History of California (1848-1945)

For this assignment, please write an argumentative paper critiquing the exhibition of the Natural History Museum (photos of the exhibition are provided) by using lecture slides as well as two books: George J. Sánchez “Boyle Heights” and “We Are the Land” by Akins and Bauer. Citation for this paper can only be done from these two books as well as lecture slides that I have attached. No other external material is allowed for the paper! Please look closely at the guidelines!

Access to the two books (Boyle Heights and We Are The Land):

Chapters to look at that were covered in class:

Chapter 5- We are the land – “‘The White Man Would Spoil Everything’: Indigenous People and the California Gold Rush,1846-1873,” pp. 126-167.

George J. Sánchez, Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy, Chapter 2 ”Making Los Angeles,” Pages 17-38

George J. Sánchez, Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy, Chapter 3, “From Global Movements to Urban Apartheid,” 39-66.

George J. Sánchez, Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy, chapter 4 “Disposable People, Expendable Neighborhoods”


This one begins with the Gold Rush and Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, and runs through the end of the Second World War, in 1945. The curators sub-divide this section of the exhibit into periods that echo many of the themes that we have covered in this course: 1848-1876; 1876-1929; and 1929-1941. The only difference is that we want you to cover the material in the exhibit that took place DURING World War II, so please pay attention to material extending to 1945.

How to structure the paper:

You need to start an introductory paragraph that presents BOTH your theme and an argumentative thesis. The thesis is argumentative because it makes a claim about the significance of the shortcomings or strengths of the exhibit: why that assessment matters, and shows your own original thinking. This introductory paragraph should be no more than the first half of the first page. In it, you need to identify a theme that connects all three periods: 1848-1876; 1876-1929; and 1929-1945.

In the body of the paper, discuss at least one concrete example from each of these three periods that relates to your theme, and evaluate the exhibit for each of these examples. You may have more than one example from each period. Your evaluation of each section will contribute to your overall your thesis argument. The exhibit section that you focus on will have strengths or weaknesses, or both, and the reasons why those are strengths or weaknesses will be central to your argument.

This essay is evidence based. Make sure your evaluation in each period draws specifically from BOTH the exhibit materials (caption quotes, objects described by you, things that are absent or present), AND the class materials (assigned readings, lectures, documents, and screenings for this class). You must have at least 25 “citations” in the paper, which are specific references to material that you use in your critique of the exhibit. Please note: You are responsible first of all for the assigned materials from this course. Do not introduce outside materials, as they will not be considered valid citations.

In your conclusion, review your theme and restate your thesis as a general evaluation of the treatment of that theme across your three periods of the 1848-1945 time span.

You can include photos and diagrams in an appendix, but not in the 8-10 pp of the paper itself.

Use in-line citations, such as (Akins and Bauer, p. 35) or (LA Times, 3 April 1935, p, 22).

DO NOT include quotations longer than 2 lines. Preferably shorter. The point of quotations is to support your writing, not to fill up space with someone else’s writing.

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