Essay Questions: (Choose one theme only and answer all of the prompts)
Theme 1: Civil Rights
• How did World War II affect race relations in the United States? Why was there a renewed spirit for civil rights movements after the war?
• In the decades following World War II, in what ways did judicial system affect the struggle for civil rights? (specifically cite court cases in your answer)
• In what ways did the other two branches of the federal government (excluding the Supreme Court) affect the struggle for civil rights in the decades following World War II?
• Explain the roles of the grassroots civil rights groups and of those focused on the court system? Why were both important to the major civil rights successes of the 1950s and 1960s?
• How and why did many civil rights groups “radicalize” in the second half of the 1960s, and in what ways did that radicalization affect the success of the broader civil rights movement?
• How has the Federal government continued to struggle with civil rights/equality since the 1970’s? Identify relevant court cases and policy programs.
Theme 2: Foreign Policy
• How and why did World War II destabilize geopolitics?
• Identify and discuss the events leading into the Cold War. What was the Cold War (1945-1991) and why was it given that title?
• What is the political significance of a bipolar international environment where the United States and the Soviet Union were considered to be the only remaining super powers?
• Compare and contrast the implementation of Cold War policies by the Truman administration and the Eisenhower administration.
• What are the major lessons of the Cold War? How are those lessons impacting foreign policy decisions today? Provide a few examples citing current events.
• What lessons have not been taken into account in modern American foreign policy decisions? What risks are associated with repeating the mistakes of the past?
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