Thursday, November 19, 2009

US History Test, circa 2050

Having taught for many years, I seem to see everything in terms of projects and tests.  So I decided to imagine a US History test students might take in the future, let's say 2050.

1. A number of phrases used in the first part of the century are now obsolete.  Try to define the following words or phrases, referring to the years when they were used and under what circumstances:  (a.) "same-sex marriage" (b) "don't ask, don't tell"(c) "defense of marriage" (d) "civil unions" (e) "domestic partnerships"

2. We all know that President Lyndon Johnson was instrumental in advancing civil rights for African Americans.  Which President signed the bill that allowed gay couples to marry?  What has been her legacy?

3. Study the attached ballot questions labeled "Proposition 8" from California and "Question 1" from Maine.  Can you think of other periods in history when Americans were denied civil rights?  How were these denials similar to and different from the passage of these two referenda?

4. Explain the role of the following presidents in the Gay Civil Rights Movement.  How did they contribute/not contribute to the movement, especially regarding the acquisition of marriage rights?  (a) Bill Clinton (b) George Bush (c) Barak Obama (d) Sonya Jimenez (e) Robert Chan

5. Who was the first gay Secretary of State? The senators from which seven states opposed his nomination?

6. Although it is hard to believe, some politicians claimed that granting marriage rights to all would lead to people wanting to marry their pets.  Explain why the court refused to hear Snoopy vs. the State of Texas. Please cite the anti-equality forces who brought the case to court hoping to prove a point.

7.  As we have discussed, religion played a major role in the debate over marriage.  Indicate whether or not the following religious groups opposed or denied equality for gays and lesbians: (a) Roman Catholic Church (b) Unitarian Universalist Society (c) Episcopal Church (d) Evangelical Christians

8. Which state was the first to grant marriage rights?  Who was the governor of that state who played such an important role in protecting these rights?

9. Briefly discuss the demise of the Republican Party and the role its opposition to civil rights played in its downfall.

10. Who was the first nominee of a major political party to embrace equal marriage rights?  What was her margin of victory?

1 comment:

  1. Awwwww Crap. You didn't tell me there was going to be a test.

    C I pick C.