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Overview The Bell System dominated telecommunications in the United States and C

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The Bell System dominated telecommunications in the United States and Canada for most of the twentieth century, but its monopoly was not inevitable. In the decades around 1900, ordinary citizens—farmers, doctors, small-town entrepreneurs—established tens of thousands of independent telephone systems, stringing their own wires to bring this new technology to the people. The People’s Network reconstructs the story of the telephone’s contentious beginnings, exploring the interplay of political economy, business strategy, and social practice in the creation of modern North American telecommunications.
Apply the information covered by the book to form an argument based 5-7 page paper.
Demonstrate that you read and clearly understood the arguments presented in the book.
Apply historical lessons to our present experience
Synthesize three pieces of historical analysis into a single paper under a unifying theme.
Read Robert MacDougall’s The People’s Network: The Political Economy of the Telephone in the Gilded Age
Write a 5-7 page paper on the prompt provided in the “What to Include” section
Formatting Guidelines:
12 pt – Times New Roman Font
1″ margins
No added space between paragraphs (Go to “Paragraph” settings and set “space after” to 0pt)
Citation Guidelines:
History majors and minors – use the Chicago style with Footnotes
Non-historians use either MLA or APA. Make sure all citations include specific page numbers!
Submit your paper online as either a Word Document (.doc or .docx) or as a PDF
Apple Pages documents will not work with Carmen. DO NOT SUBMIT THEM! You will earn a ‘0’ for submitting the wrong file format!
Submissions that appear blank will be graded as a “0”
What to include
Answer the following prompt (including all subsections):
How did the development of early telephone networks shape political discussions in the United States and Canada?
How did the American Midwest approach the development of the technology? Was it similar or dissimilar to other areas who were wanting to incorporate growing telephone networks?
What does the construction of the telephone networks say about the priorities of Americans at that time?
Who won the battle over telephone networks? In the end, does it matter, according to MacDougall?
In what ways did Edison’s research mirror the development of Graham’s telephone?
Did research and development of new inventions look like an individual task, or a much larger enterprise tied to business?
How did inventors see their work as it related to average Americans?
Was it a benefit to the everyday American, or was it to benefit more elite business and personal interests?
How did changes gripping the United States after Reconstruction and during the Gilded Age change the ways Americans viewed their world?
Why does resistance to the onset of wage labor explain so much of the civil unrest in the Gilded Age?
Why did most Americans in the Gilded Age feared the rich and worried that plutocracy and inequality would destroy the republic?
How did “cooperation” (and socialism) emerged as a unifying ideal in the Gilded Age among those who feared the rise of inequality and corporate power?
How do the documentary and podcast add context to the book?
The only resources to be referenced in this assignment are provided to you below. Do NOT use outside sources for your paper or you will lose points.
The People’s Network – Robert MacDougall

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