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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   



9. Social
Realism


•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
Activities
- Author
Activities
- Context
Activities
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Context Activities

Core Contexts
The Gospel of Wealth: Robber Barons and the Rise of Monopoly Capitalism
John D. Rockefeller, the leader of the oil industry and the wealthiest man in the world in his day, once articulated his beliefs about money and power this way: "I believe the power to make money is a gift of God . . . to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed... Go

Making Amendments: The Woman Suffrage Movement
When American women go to the polls to cast their ballots in local and federal elections, most of them do not realize that it took dedicated generations of women almost seventy-five years of activism to ensure their right to vote. Most of the women who first began working for suffrage in 1848 did not live to see ... Go

Coming to America: Immigrants at Ellis Island
Between 1892 and 1954, over twelve million immigrants first touched American soil at Ellis Island. A small island located just south of New York City and within view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island was the site of the nation's largest immigrant reception center. On one day alone at the height of immigration, Ellis... Go


Extended Contexts
How the Other Half Lived: The Lower East Side
Touring the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early years of the twentieth century, author Henry James was shocked by the "intensity of the material picture in the dense Yiddish quarter." An area populated almost entirely by impoverished immigrants, the Lower East Side must have astonished James, who had spent most of his life surrounded by... Go

Elevating an Elite: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Talented Tenth
At the turn of the twentieth century, black people in the American South had yet to enjoy many of the rights and opportunities promised them by the Emancipation Proclamation, the Fifteenth Amendment, and the federal Civil Rights Act. Instead, many African Americans were denied the right to vote by expensive ... Go



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