Write a 500 word essay based on the writing prompts below, citing the Hine & Faragher text at least 5 times. Your citation should come from a broad range of pages within Hine & Faragher, not merely one or two pages near each other. You may reach back into past chapters to supplement the current unit if you would like. If you read ahead, you are welcome to cite future chapters. The index in the back of the book will help you add depth to your analysis and breadth to your citation.

Writing Prompts:

  • Extra Option 1 for Unit 10: What is the West? Where is it? What demarcates it?
  • Extra Option 2 for Unit 10: Do you buy Turner’s Frontier Thesis – that America as a nation is defined by the frontier? Why or why not?
    For Turner’s Frontier Thesis, click here:
  • Extra Option 3 for Unit 10: Is there any topic from the readings that you would like to have spent more time on? If so, you may use the skills you have developed in this course to expound upon that topic. Be sure that you have an argument, a point, as you have with any other essays this semester. Be sure to demonstrate significance in your essay.
  • Extra Option 4 for Unit 10: Is there any topic that you wish Hine & Faragher had discussed more fully? If so, what is that topic, and what is its significance? Why should the textbook authors have included it?

  • Choose a place from this lesson’s readings. Discuss the importance of this place on the period and regions covered in this lesson. Was this place a site of conflict? If so, were people fighting for control of it, or was it merely where opposing sides happened to encounter one another? Was this place a site of exchange of goods and ideas? Why does this place matter in the scheme of the History of the American West?
    • For example, if the Black Hills were in this lesson’s readings, you might examine what the Black Hills meant to various parties. Why did people want to control them or to have access to them? You might explore how conflicts over the Black Hills led to other conflicts. How did the loss of the Hills by one group and the gain of the Hills by another affect their cultures? Landscape has tremendous power in American identity, particularly Western landscapes. Later in the course, a particular place as a factor in local or national identity would be interesting to pursue. (Yellowstone and Yosemite, for example)

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