IB History of the Americas
This year’s summer assignment for IB History of the Americas should allow each of you to understand three major “through-lines” in American history, issues that seem to change in context but not in their core nature, partially because of their innate place in the American democratic experience. Below you will find instructions for each component of the summer assignment, all of which will be due the first week of school in the fall semester.
- Read/watch/listen to each of the three primary source pairings below about “through-line” issues in American history: capital and labor; the role of government in the economy; and civil rights.
- For each source, in a word processing file, you will individually:
- Provide a general summary of the author’s argument, which includes at least three points of evidence, either paraphrased or directly quoted, that the author uses to legitimize their point. This should be no less than four sentences for each source. Make sure to label all six sources clearly in your document.
- For each primary source pairing, in the same word processing file, you will individually:
- Detail at least two points of comparison and two points of contrast. This should be no less than four sentences long.
- Provide a short reflection of the ways in which you see these same issues in today’s society. This should be your own opinion/analysis of the news. This should be around four-to-six sentences long.
- Lastly, you will produce a creative project, such as an essay, a graphic novel, a photograph collage, a piece of visual art, a poem, a vlog or other video, a podcast, or another creative product. Individually or with one partner, your project must:
- Connect the ideas found in one of the primary source pairings of your choice to similar ideas/issues from a different time period in United States history or from a different nation or region of the world.
- Present this project to the class the first week of school. Instructions for the presentation will be provided when we start school in August.
Primary source pairings
Capital and Labor (Gilded Age, 1861-1900)
- Andrew Carnegie, “Wealth” (1889)
- Samuel Gompers, “Letter on Labor in Industrial Society” (1894)
The Role of the Government in the Economy (Great Depression & the New Deal, 1929-1939)
- Herbert Hoover, “Rugged Individualism” (1928)
- Full text available at https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/rugged-individualism/
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Commonwealth Club Speech” (1932)
- Full text available at https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/commonwealth-club-address/
Civil Rights (1954-1968)
NOTE: choose one of the Malcolm X sources and one of the Martin Luther King, Jr. sources
- Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet” (1964)
- Text and selected audio at https://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/blackspeech/mx.html.
- Video with text as subtitles at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zLQLUpNGsc
- Malcolm X, “By Any Means Necessary” (1964)
- Text at https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/speeches-african-american-history/1964-malcolm-x-s-speech-founding-rally-organization-afro-american-unity/
- Video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBS416EZsKM
- Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963)
- Text at https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
- Audio at https://ed.ted.com/best_of_web/a7lRYePh
- Martin Luther King, Jr., “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” (1968)
Please email me at email@example.com with any questions.
Have a great summer!
Thomas Reynolds, M.A.
IB History of the Americas and IB World Topics