The Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920: Photographs from the Fred Hulstrand and F.A. Pazandak Photograph Collections
Historical Issue Analysis and Decision Making
The collection includes evidence of various changes that, while having many benefits, have also had several costs. For example, settlement allowed many people to establish homes and to make the land productive. However, this was achieved through the depletion of natural resources and the forced removal of Native Americans from their homeland.
Similarly, large-scale farming and ranching, known as bonanzas, made large profits in North Dakota in the late 1800's. However, not everyone had the capital to run such an operation and small farmers, already oppressed by the high interest rates of banks and railroads, felt the weight of such competition and inequity.
Finally, modernization has caused many changes of which students may question the value. Change is illustrated within the collection with, for example, images of automobiles replacing images of bicycles. What have automobiles allowed us to do? How have they affected the environment? How have they shaped our culture? Students can also see changes by comparing images from the collection with contemporary images.
Ask them to consider and explain the benefits and costs of a major change represented in the collection. Students may also want to refer to the "North Dakota Historical Overview" and the online collection, Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920.