1 – Sitting Bull stated, “The life my people want is a life of freedom.” Likewise, Chief Joseph simply asked the government for equal rights enshrined by the laws. Describe what freedom meant to the Indians and how that conflicted with the interests and values of most white Americans. Also, explain why white Americans did not allow Indians the opportunity to have American citizenship.
2 – The West experienced tremendous growth after the Civil War; nowhere was this more apparent than in California. Write an essay on the consequences of population growth on the western landscape, looking at farming, livelihoods, the impact of the railroad, the growth of Indian reservations, and the subjugation of Indian peoples.
3 – What might account for the emergence of a mythic “Wild” West during the Gilded Age? Given the rapid post–Civil War expansion of industry beyond the Mississippi River, why would perceptions of a West, at once a lawless but timeless romantic frontier dominated by cowboys and Indians, permeate American popular culture in the late nineteenth century? (In composing your answer, consider the impact of the second industrial revolution.)
4 – Explain why Americans increasingly came to feel that they were being denied economic independence and democratic self-government during the late nineteenth century.
5 – How did the Populists seek to rethink the relationship between freedom and government to address the crisis of the 1890s? Why was their platform considered radical? How did their platform seek to guarantee freedom?