Essay Exam #2 asks for an interpretive thesis and six primary sources. A and B-level examples written by students.

From History 111: US History

World War II came at a costly price in both tangible and intangible ways. With the rampant destruction all over the globe, money and bodies were poured into the war effort by nearly all those capable. America, though initially not involved in the war, jumped in at full throttle when it felt necessary. With this, domestic life shifted rapidly, with men leaving home for the battlefield, industries gearing up for war production, and women left behind to take care of the rest. WWII brought with it a cultural shift, in which domestic life challenged the norms of the era, pushing different groups into positions antithetical to the time.
 
 Women, whose lives tended to be confined to the tasks at home, now had to take roles in public to fill the shoes of the men who had gone overseas. Desiree posted an image of four women sewing parachutes under the employ of the Pacific Parachute Company in San Diego, CA (Russell Lee, April 1942, http://womenshistory.about.com/od/warwwii/ig/World-War-II-Rosies--Pictures/Fair-Employment-Practices.html). Women did not typically hold jobs outside of their roles at home, but with a shortage of workers came the need for adaptation. Society had to accept that the help of women in the workplace was necessary for the strengthening of the war effort. Ashley posted a painting of the iconic "Rosie the Riveter" seated before an American flag, looking powerful and dignified (Norman Rockwell, 1943, http://www.rosietheriveter.org/painting.htm). This particular picture not only depicts a woman as a worker in a uniform typically worn by a man, but it also shows her muscular arms and powerful presence. Women were no longer meek, fragile creatures, but powerful people who had something great to contribute.
 
 America, a land rooted in ideas of freedom and liberty, actively sought to intern an entire population based on the suspicion of spies. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, paranoia and fear were at an all-time high. Racism against the Japanese was prevalent, despite many of those interned having been born in America. Katelyn posted a flyer instructing "all persons of Japanese ancestry" to relocate to a determined location by a certain time (City of San Francisco, 1942, http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/assets/300px-Instructions_to_japanese.png). Despite the rights offered to all American citizens by law, the wartime fervor led to the internment of thousands of Japanese, putting these people into a position as less-than-American. Jerica posted an image of two young boys waving goodbye, as they waited for a bus to take them to a "War Relocation Camp" (US Army Signal Corps, 1942, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004669768/). Even the domestic lives of children changed, as the government rounded them up and forced a new life for them.
 
 With America desperate for workers to fill the roles of the men who had left for battle, minorities that were often the targets of segregation were now accepted into roles they weren't before. David posted an flyer of two men, one white, the other black, working on machinery for the war with the words "United We Win" in bold letters beneath (distributed by US Government, 1943, http://www.amistadresource.org/plantation_to_ghetto/end_of_world_war_two.html). Despite the still-standing "Jim Crow" laws of the time, even the US government made a push to unify the races, to have all supporting the war effort. Deanna posted an image of three women (one white, two black) working on submarine grommets together at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard (African American Historical and Cultural Society, 1943,http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=WWII_In-migration_%26_Rising_Bigotry). Though racism and segregation were still prevalent in American life, the domestic lives of minorities underwent a cultural shift, as it was more useful to have all working together, rather than segregated. This new unification between the races, however slight, stood in contrast to the laws and attitudes of America pre-WWII.
 
 As America's role in the Second World War shifted, so did the society at home. With many men being drafted to fight abroad, the country was left with in a position of dire straits, of desperation. From this came the need for change, for cultural adaptation, and many of these changes challenged the accepted notions of the time. Whether it be that women's role was in the home, that all citizens should be free, or that the races should be divided, WWII domestic life challenged the accepted roles of all.

From History 104: Western Civilization

The pursuit of riches played out on an international stage in the eighteenth century. This chase shifted from country to individual pursuit in the nineteenth century. People displaced, oppressed, and desensitized from the Seven Year War and Revolutionary Wars devalued the state while enriching society.

Leaders of state during the eighteenth century squeezed every resource to keep pace with the "Balance of Power" by exploiting the most important resource-the people. This pursuit of power became placed in the hands of citizens. Connor's post of Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" 1776 http://lisahistory.net/hist104/pw/docs/enlightenment.htm#3, explains how the invisible hand of government leads individuals in building more capital for their country because of their pursuit of personal endeavors during the eighteenth century. The wealth of the "people" began during the nineteenth century with capitalism taking hold and entrepreneurship increasing. Shannon included the success of Levi Strauss 1870 http://levistrauss.com/blogs/day-denim-history, introducing jeans to America and further pushing the individual inventing spirit in the nineteenth century.

The riches of eighteenth century royalty displayed would lose its allure with its citizens during the following century and highlight the value of each individual. Kamalehua's attachment of a painting done by Louise Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun 1779 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Antoinette, shows Maria Antoinette surrounded by complete decadence. The statement of wealth through paintings during the eighteenth century fizzled in the following century. The stench of death brought on by the Seven Year War and Revolutions underlined the mortality of humans. No longer did leaders of state receive undeserved entitlement without scrutiny. During the nineteenth century the individual became more understood through theories of evolution. Toan contributed to the forum with Charles Darwin and his "Evolutionary Tree" 1837 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Darwin_tree.png, became more aware of their personal connection with other species and each other.

The art of war dominated the eighteenth century for countries looking to increase land, resources, and wealth, but the arts took over during the nineteenth century as the pursuit of individual wealth took center stage. The "world" order of things during the eighteenth century kept nations focused on one mission. Grant's post of "The Gardeners Dictionary" 1754 http://www.archive.org/details/gardenersdictio03millgoog, demonstrates such order in greenhouses. Philip Miller's dictionary cover shows a very manicured, ordered garden. Individual expression turned the table of order and freed artist during next century, departing from paradigms and enriching the canvas with personal art.

The art of war continued throughout the eighteenth century as countries surveyed and gained new territories, using citizens to fund their cause. When the dust settled, social problems abound closer to home. People were withered, they longed for peace and a new pursuit in the nineteenth century.

From History 105: History of England

Throughout history there have been a great variation of texts and ideas that have changed the course of human history and thought. Often these ideas put to script resulted in the modification of behaviours and style of expression. Religious texts are often prime examples of publications that would result in such changes upon introduction to peoples. With the publication of the works of the great enlightenment I propose the same result occured that was previously reserved for ideas related to realms of religious philosophy with particular expression in fashions that developed in the era.

With the publication of works such as Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica[1]by Sir Isaac Newton it introduced a way of thinking that had not been in vogue since the days of the ancient Greek civilisations. A re-birth of rational thought with respects to the understandings of the workings of the natural world seperated from the realm of super-natural occurances filled with gods, goddesses, demons and angels. Principia would lay down the very ground of mechanics and universal gravitation. These things would give order to a universe thought to be in chaos as per the view often cited by the popular Christian religion of the day. Styles such as used by Her Most Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth I reflected the persona believed to be in the Monarch,even in this simplified form done by Dutch artist Steven van der Meulen in 1563[2] still conveyed the majesty of the God believed to have annointed her to the throne. This can be seen in the pearls,satin and laces used for the dress worn. This painting of Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia[3] better displays the majesty shown through fashions prior to the aftermath of the enlightenment frame of mind.

After understanding of the universe and the order that ruled the natural world began to take hold the world though vast and intricate began to take on a sense of simplicity because happenings began to be understood in light of cause and effect. The view of super-natural majesty began to fade slightly and helped develop a new style adopted by the monarchs. Such an example of this change in simplicity can be seen in this painting ofHer Majesty Queen Charlotte the Queen consort of His Britannic Majesty King George III done by Sir Thomas Lawrence circa 1789 [4]. The break from the pearl inlay and emerald studded brooches can be seen through the simple yet elegant drappery of the dress and the use of less intricate weaves of fabrics. The change in style would'nt only be adopted by the royals. This drawing believed to have been done by the sister of famed author Jane Austen in 1810[5] shows the simplicity in dress that developed in this era. Jane Austen was of the gentry class and would be no stranger to finer fabrics in eras past because of her status.

Because the enlightenment saw a rebirth in classical values of scientific imperical observations this would give rise to neo-classical styles in music, art, and of course dress. Neo meaning new,the re-invention of the classical greek values in culture. The new world view and the appreciation to the ones that gave birth to the original classical Greek culture wouldn't be confined to science. Here we can see the the molding of what would be known as the neo-classical style and the Goergian style of adornment in this dress circa 1770 in the Tunbridge Wells Museum [6]. For even in the less complicated Georgian dress it would give way to dress such as these drawings circa 1790-1822 dresses from Moore's The Gallery of Fashion. The hight of neo-classical dress into the Romantic would be this dress from 1790[7] that would be made famous by the bride of Emperor Bonapart in France the Empress Josephine[8].

It was the works of Isaac Newton and the collections of writings that would give rise to the enlightenment that would not only give rise to a re-birth of rational thought and scientific imperical observations but spark a change in self expression and self realisation that before them was only confined to the realm of super-natural texts and philosophy. This enlightenment would be the basis of everything we hold modern and rational. The enlightenment would lay down the foundations of science and the possibility of a self identification that hadn't been seen since the days of the ancient Greeks.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophi%C3%A6_Naturalis_Principia_Mathematica,Sir Isaac Newton 1726.
[2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elizabeth_I_Steven_Van_Der_Meulen.jpg , Steven Van der Meulen, 1563.
[3]http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw07343/Elizabeth-Queen-of-Bohemia?search=ap&npgno=5529,unknown artist, 1613
[4]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sir_Thomas_Lawrence_003.jpg, Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1789.
[5]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CassandraAusten-JaneAusten(c.1810)_hires.jpg, Cassandra Austen, 1810.
[6]http://lifetakeslemons.wordpress.com/tag/fashion/,Moore's the Gallery of Fashion ,1770.
[7]http://www.janeausten.co.uk/from-classic-to-romantic-changes-in-the-silhouette-of-the-regency-gown, Metropolitan Museum, 1790.
[8]http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/2389-portrait-of-the-empress-josephine-o-firmin-massot.html,Firman Massot,1812.