Choose ONE of the following three questions. Then, drawing upon specific examples from readings and lectures, write a 9-11 page essay.

1) The Political Culture of Homeownership: What role has suburban homeownership played in the development of Southern California’s political culture? Considering the history of twentieth-century Los Angeles, what specific historical examples (e.g. federal policy, local government, etc.) can you identify to demonstrate how the single family home has become a focal point of regional politics and what role did ideas about race and racial difference play in that development?

2) The 1960s: Frank Wilkinson, a blacklisted City Housing Authority official, remarked shortly after the Watts uprising of 1965, “thus the Sixties reap the folly of the Fifties.” Looking beyond the 1950s, as far back as the early 1940s and even the 1930s, write an essay illuminating the historical circumstances that precipitated the outbursts of racial violence in Los Angeles during the 1960s. Consider various factors such as urban decline, highway construction, suburban development, and racial segregation.

3) Ecology and Culture: How would you characterize the historic relationship between Los Angeles and its natural environment since the late nineteenth century? Considering the unique features of Southern California’s natural setting, write an essay that identifies specific historic trends and/or developments that you think illuminate the relationship between the city and its natural surroundings.

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