The Boas & Braman Experience


February 2016

Monday’s Test

Remember, you should be studying more than just the concepts.  You need to be working on the thinking as well.  Here are the questions we used with a document in class today.  With the exception of #3, these work with all potential documents.  The #3 is still a legitimate question, but it would be adapted if the source were different.

Read this document and then answer the following questions. This is a model of the short-answer portion of Monday’s test.

1. What perspective does the author convey? (3 points)
What words/lines convey this perspective? (2pts)
2. What specific actions does the author advocate? (2pts)
What rationale does he/she provide? (2pts)
What, according to the author, are the implications of these actions? (2pts)
3. Contrast this author with an American policymaker from our current unit.  Justify your choice. (3pts)
4. Who is the author? (1pt)

Why internment?

In conjunction with your Tindall and Shi readings, we will be looking at other perspectives.  But before we get ahead of ourselves and look at what others think, we will begin by looking carefully at the primary documents that set the tone and attitudes of the time.  What influenced the attitudes of Americans as decisions to intern American citizens and deprive them of homes and property?  Start your search here. And stay away from Wikipedia.

Your job is to research the elements that contributed to the war hysteria.  What were the undercurrents?  What was the pre-war sentiment regarding the Japanese (Issei) and Japanese-Americans (Nisei)?  What were the editorials saying?  What were the cartoonists saying?  What were in the news accounts?  What were government officials saying?

Here’s a minimalist list for learning about the hysteria:

  • The Oriental Exclusion League (1919)
  • Fifth Column
  • Executive Order 9066
  • The Tolan Committee
  • The Roberts Commission
  • General DeWitt
  • Military Exclusion Zones
  • Korematsu
  • Attorney General Earl Warren

And an evolving list for considering the perspectives:

Your post-essay reflection

You will (after you are done with your essay) produce a reflection (400 words).  It is modeled after the IA for history – we are practicing the thinking now.  Choose three (tres, 3) of the prompts below to include in your reflection.  When you are finished, submit your one-page response (<401 words) in written form.  Include a word count at the bottom of the page.  

You will reflect on what undertaking their investigation highlighted to them about the methods used by, and the challenges facing, the historian.

Examples of discussion questions that may help to encourage reflection include the following.

  1. What methods used by historians did you use in your investigation?
  2. What did your investigation highlight to you about the limitations of those methods?
  3. What are the challenges facing the historian? How do they differ from the challenges facing a scientist or a mathematician?
  4. What challenges in particular does archive-based history present?
  5. How can the reliability of sources be evaluated?
  6. What constitutes a historical event?
  7. Who decides which events are historically significant?
  8. Should terms such as “atrocity” be used when writing about history, or should value judgments be avoided?
  9. If it is difficult to establish proof in history, does that mean that all versions are equally acceptable?

February Reading Schedule

Moving from New Deal to international conflict, we must add a few things to our knowledge about the buildup to war.  The big picture is that we will be first reading about the political machinations leading to war and then learn about the domestic front during World War II. As we focus on a social history of the war, the leading issue will be Japanese American internment.

Before we get there, however, we will need some background.  Tindall and Shi will help a bit and we will compare their perspective to other historians.  Unless otherwise noted, you should take notes on the information in the textbook with both Evidence and Evaluation.  Here is your homework and reading schedule:

  • the evening of Thursday, 2/4 – 1126-1132 (CR w/notes); skim 1132-1149
  • the weekend – 1149 Pearl Harbor – 1153 End of Chapter 29
  • the evening of Monday, 2/15 Social Effects of War 1162-1168; excerpts from Zinn Chapter 16  (CR + answer 2 questions)
  • the evening of Tuesday, 2/16 -Fact-check two historians from the three we read: (Tindall and Shi, Schweikert and Allen, and Zinn).  Choose the one you most agree with and the one you most disagree with.  Please know that your job is to poke holes in the authenticity of the historians’ work, so just looking to see if they reported some basic fact correctly isn’t enough – you need to probe deeper.  Your homework is to write a brief description of what you looked for/checked and then to include/quote the information (and cite it) that helped ensure that you have effectively validated the work of the historian.
  • the evening of Wednesday, 2/17 – research your viewpoint for your paragraph AND:
    • Tule Lake
    • The 442nd
    • Korematsu decisions by Black and Jackson
    •  DeWitt’s Public Proclamations
  • the evening of Thursday, 2/18 -Read the packet, interview an adult, and write a paragraph supporting your group’s consensus view regarding internment.
  • Reading Schedule up to February 29th’s in-class (Multiple Choice and Short response) test.
    • Over Break – Come up with a list of grievances that you have because Mr. Braman chose to not give you any reading over break (EVEN THOUGH HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO!).  Make sure your list is sincere and really ‘whiney’ so it is believable.
    • Evening of Monday, 2/22 Chapter 30 “A New Age is Born” & “The Final Ledger” and the Intro to Part 7
    • Tuesday 2/23 Chapter 31 “Demobilization” & “The Cold War” Beginning of 31 to 1220
    • Wednesday 2/24 Chapter 31 “Civil Rights…” (1220) to End of Chapter 1220-1238
    • Thursday, 2/24 STUDY FOR THE TEST

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