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part oneAn Op Ed is an opinion editorial piece. The author creates a strong argument based on opinion. It usually has some form of bias and is meant to sway the audience in siding with the author’s opinion. 

This assignment asks you to create an OpEd piece for a local American newspaper. Choose to either be for American involvement in the Vietnam war or against US involvement. 

Your Op Ed piece should be about 3-4 paragraphs long, with a clear introduction to the topic of American involvement in Vietnam, the pros and cons of such involvement, and your opinion whether or not such involvement is warranted and why. Conclude your argument by reiterating your main reasons for or against! 

Your Op Ed piece should use at least 5 of the following terms in their appropriate context: 

  1. Proxy War 
  2. Containment 
  3. Domino Theory 
  4. Proxy War 
  5. Civilian casualties 
  6. Military casualties 
  7. Napalm 
  8. Agent Orange 
  9. Gulf of Tonkin 
  10. Vietcongpartone:

part two:

The issues we discuss in the context of world history often seem remote, but issues involving war, peace, terrorism, alliances, political tensions, and military competition remain a part of the contemporary world.

  • Your task for this assignment is to write a review on a current article that connects to some of the social, political, economic, military, and diplomacy topics facing us today.
  • By current, that means it should be dated within the past 3 months! 

Potential ideas (you can begin with a search through Google News): current wars, containment strategies, alliances, acts of appeasement, tolerance/lack of tolerance, terrorism, economic competition, military competition, cultural conflict, riots/protests, government corruption, military spending, weapons development, environmental, etc.

Your current event should include

  • Paragraph 1: a brief summary of the article including:
    • The title of the article
    • Author
    • List the source
    • Why you chose this article/why you think the issue at hand is important
  • Paragraph 2: list which of the 5 World history themes this event falls under, and briefly explain WHY the issue this article discusses falls under the given category.
    • Theme 1: Development and Transformation of SOCIAL Structures
    • Theme 2: POLITICAL – State-Building, Expansion, and Conflict
    • Theme 3: INTERACTION Between Humans and the ENVIRONMENT
    • Theme 4: Development and Interaction of CULTURES
    • Theme 5: Creation, Expansion, and Interaction of ECONOMIC Systems
    • Part three:

    In this primary source analysis, you are required to read an excerpt from a 1961 speech made by Fidel Castro, the communist revolutionary who seized power on the island of Cuba in 1959. 

The purpose of this activity is to examine a primary source speech that is of one ideological persuasion, and examine how persuasive messages and rhetorical devices act as evidence of a certain ideological background (in this case, the socialist message of Fidel Castro following his political ascension). 

After a close reading, please respond to the questions below!

May 1st 1961: Castro’s Address

We have been witnesses, all of us Cubans, of every step taken by the revolution, so maybe we cannot realize how much we have advanced as fully as can be understood by visitors, particularly those visitors from Latin America, where today they are still living in a world very similar to the one we lived in yesterday. It is as if they were suddenly transported from the past to the present of our revolution, with all its extraordinary progress as compared to the past. We do not intend tonight to stress the merit of what we have done. We merely want to locate ourselves at the point where we are at the present.

We had a chance today to see genuine results of the revolution on this May Day, so different from the May Days of the past. Formerly that date was the occasion for each sector of labor to set forth its demands, its aspirations for improvement, to men who were deaf to the working class interests, men who could not even accede to those basic demands because they did not govern for the people, for the workers, for the peasants, or for the humble; they governed solely for the privileged, the dominant economic interests. Doing anything for the people would have meant harming the interests that they represented, and so they could not accede to any just demand from the people. The May Day parades of those days marked the complaints and protest of the workers.

How different today’s parade has been! How different even from the first parades after the revolution triumphed. Today’s parade shows us how much we have advanced. The workers (Light applause) now do not have to submit themselves to those trials; the workers now do not have to implore deaf executives; the workers now are not subject to the domination of any exploiting class; the workers no longer live in a country run by men serving exploiting interests. The workers know now that everything the revolution does, everything the government does or can do, has one goal: helping the workers, helping the people. (Applause)

Fruits of the revolution are seen everywhere. The first to parade today were the children of the Camilo Cienfuegos school center. We saw the Pioneers parade by with the smile of hope, confidence, and affection. We saw the young rebels parade by. We saw the women of the federation go by. We saw children from numberless schools created by the revolution parade. We saw 1,000 students from the 600 sugar-cane cooperatives who are studying artificial insemination here in the capital. We saw young people, humble people, parade with their uniforms of the school center where they are learning to be diplomatic representatives of the future.

We saw the pupils of the schools for young peasants of the Zapata swamps parade by, the swamps that the mercenaries chose for their attack. We saw thousands and thousands of peasants who are studying in the capital and who come from distant mountain areas or from cane cooperatives or from people’s farms parade. We saw the young girls studying for children’s club work. And here everyone of these groups staged scenes that are worthy of praise. And we saw also what is going into the rural areas. The volunteer teachers paraded and also representatives of the 100,000 young people on their way to the interior to wipe out illiteracy. Where does this strength come from? It comes from the people, and it is devoted to the people in return.

These young people are truly children of the people. When we saw them today writing Long Live Our Socialist Revolution with their formations we thought how hard it would have been to have all this without a revolution; how hard for any of these children from the mountains to have paraded here today, or any of these young people from the rural areas to have a chance to get to know the capital, or to study in any of these schools, or to parade with the joy and pride shown here today, or to march with the faith in the future shown today, because schools, university professions, art, culture, and honors were never for the children of poor families, in town or in the country. They were never for the peasant of the remote rural areas; they were never for the poor young fellow, black or white, or our countryside and cities.


Summarize Castro’s speech in your own words, and respond to the following as you go: 

  • Who is Castro addressing, what past events does he allude to, and who does he characterize as being members of the working class? 
    • Who did the previous government of Cuba support, according to Castro, and at the expense of whom? 
  • How do descriptions of youth and education factor into this speech? Why do you think Castro is keenly focusing his rhetoric on the lives of Cuba’s youth? 
  • What “fruits of the revolution” are now visible in Cuba? Why do you think these references serve to validate Castro’s speech? 
  • Do you think Castro’s language, statements, and references are persuasive? How do you think this speech might have appealed to persons coming from the poorer classes of Cuban society?


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