Please choose one topic from below and write a 3-5 page paper on it. Your essays should be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins in a reasonable font. Page suggestions are guidelines only. More is certainly acceptable. It might be difficult to cover a topic adequately in less than 3 pages. Feel free to reference your notes or books for the class. If you are using an assigned book, a brief parenthetical reference is fine eg. (Rawls, California p. 85). If you are using a different source you need to write a formal reference eg. Hunt Jackson, Helen , A Century of Dishonor. 1903, pp. 21-24. You should not need to do any outside research to write a strong essay.
1. The California Missions have been the subject of considerable debate throughout their long history.
Four authors in particular focused upon both the purpose and the result of the Mission in California. Please compare and contrast the points of view of Jean Francois Galaup de La Perouse, Helen Hunt Jackson, Sherbourne F. Cook, and Father Maynard F. Geiger. Be sure to discuss the motivations of each author. What is your opinion of the California mission, and why do you feel that way?
2.Imagine that the year is 1847. Imagine that you are an expert in Westward Migration and a government official preparing a report on the Donner Party disaster. Briefly summarized what happened to the Donner Party and then discuss who, if anyone, bears the most responsibility for the problems the Donner Party faced. The president, who will receive your report and the general public are clamoring for someone to blame. James Reed, Lansford Hastings, and the surviving children of the Donners are demanding exoneration (that is, have their or their parents’ names cleared of any blame). Your, report should be balanced and fair, but you need to explain who you think is the main culprit in the Donner Party tragedy.
3. “Despite: the ballyhoo and excitement, the Gold Rush had a relatively small impact on the history of California. The two billion dollar ‘fortune’ the Gold Rush generated is insignificant compared to the agricultural sums state farmers garner today, Once word of the mild climate and beautiful landscape reached the East Coast, California’s population Would have grown rapidly. The Gold Rush is a actually little more than a charming episode in the overall history of California.”
4. Imagine the year is 1883. (Hint, the year is significant!) Imagine that you are a Chinese immigrant living in the city of San Francisco. Imagine, moreover, that you have lived here for quite some time. Write a long letter home describing your experiences in the city. Be sure to share your feelings and your analysis of the challenges you might be facing. Would you invite your family to join you?
5. The single most important institution in California from 1862-1920 was the railroad. It fostered agricultural development as well as industrial innovation. The railroad encouraged population growth, and its very presence ended California’s long isolation from the East Coast. The building of the railroad was the most felicitous event in the history of California!
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