Give Me Liberty: An American History





Give Me Liberty: An American History

Chapter 23

Question 1

The main ideological difference that prompted the cold war was communism and capitalism. The two world superpowers, Soviet Union and U.S.A. were at opposing ends, with each trying to ensure its ideology is adopted globally. Furthermore, each of them had a particular post war vision, with Germany as a major cause of disagreement. Various events served to ignite the war and maintain tension between the two nations and their allies. The Marshall Plan, outlined by America, was aimed at reconstruction of European states in the post war era. Soviet Union’s opposition to this led to division by the iron curtain.

In order to protect itself from any soviet aggression, America and its allies formed NATO, to which the Soviet Union retaliated by creating the Warsaw pact. Then American president Truman who conducted the Berlin airlift curtailed this. The Truman Doctrine which entailed desire for containment, pledged to support free anticommunism nations. America backed reconstruction of Japan, which was one of its allies, under General MacArthur. The Korean War was also a major event that fuelled more tension between America and USSR.

Chapter 24

Question 1

The affluent society of the 1950s was marked by several characteristics. America witnessed an increase in economic growth due to industrialization. However, the 50s saw the decline from manufacturing to serviced based products. In addition, the number of farms in this era fell from 23 to 15 million, but agricultural production rose because of technological innovations. Home ownership was a privilege of the rich in previous decades, but it became the norm in the 1950s. A major contributor to the country’s economy then was residential construction, with Levittown as an example of a suburb. California was one of the outstanding images of this suburban boom. Consumerism was also on the rise, which saw Americans increase their spending on consumer goods.

Television replaced newspapers as the main source of media and contributed to growth of the advertising sector. Owning a car was seen as a sign of affluence and was an indicator of one’s social status in society. More women were employed during this period, despite the post war drop in female employment. The society was divided along racial lines, with suburban home ownership exclusive to the whites.

Chapter 25

Question 1

The main goals of President Johnson’s Great Society Programs were to ensure equal rights for blacks and other minorities, propagate economic prosperity and to eradicate poverty. The Great Society Programs were established to ensure prosperity in America, unlike the New Deal, whose policies propagated oppression. The three programs proposed by Johnson focused on cities, education, and the environment. This is after his administration conducted investigations, which attributed poverty to inadequate skills and improper attitudes and work habits. He advocated for training for unskilled youth, for them to gain employment and reinforcement of government funding to improve education. Coupled with motivation and uplifting the spirit of the poor, this was part of the strategies used to achieve Johnson’s Great Society.

Question 2

The rights revolution of the 1960s marked the expansion of civil privileges and liberties in America. Various Supreme Court cases and subsequent rulings extended the rights and liberties to which Americans were entitled. Significant milestones achieved during this time include the clamor for racial equality, extensions to right to privacy and impositions on states to respect the Bill of Rights. All the states were obligated to preserve the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights, failure to which is punishable by law. The source of equal rights with regard to racial interactions was the case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967. The court declared that bans on interracial marriages were illegal; meaning everyone of legal age was free to choose whomever they wanted to marry with disregard to their racial orientation. The civil rights of accused criminal defendants were extended in different landmark cases such as Miranda v. Arizona in 1966, and Baker v. Carr in 1962. The right to privacy was in part fuelled by the changes in the American society. One source of this right’s extension is Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Chapter 26

Question 1

Various issues both domestic and international gave rise to the era of conservatism in America. During this time, the country experienced a revolution in civil and sexual rights. The religious right was one contributor to conservatism, which supposed that the society had trivialized religion and supported immorality. Jerry Falwell, a religious minister developed the concept of Moral Majority to be used when electing candidates to office. The equal rights amendment aroused both praise and criticism from its Americans. Its sole aim was to guarantee women’s freedom. Those opposed to it felt that it was a contradiction to the role of women as homemakers.

Controversy surrounding abortion also contributed to expanding the conservative base. The Catholic Church strongly opposed the right to abortions under any circumstance, citing that life began at conception. Others argued that women had a right over their bodies, including the liberty to have a safe, legal abortion. There was increased anxiety over the country’s economic status, ultimately leading to conservative economics. The government was criticized for its tax regime, with propositions for tax cuts. Additionally, the sagebrush rebellion advocated for allocation of more decision making power to the states.

Question 2

President Reagan revolutionized economic conservatism and made it seem progressive. His policies were emulated years to come, both domestically and abroad. He emphasized on economic freedom and enforced massive tax cuts. The idea behind this was to encourage Americans to work harder. His economic program, known as supply side economics aimed at containing inflation, lowering taxes, and stimulating the growth of private investments. Reagan increased profitability among companies, which started reducing their workforce, instead focusing on new technology to increase production. This came after he fired more than eleven thousand striking union workers from an airline. Despite paving way to one of the most severe recession, these policies later led to economic prosperity.

However, inequality soon crept into the society once more. The labor industry was the most affected, more so because of the decline of the manufacturing industry. This came at a time when many black people had just started securing employment opportunities. A high percentage of black workers were laid off work, exceeding the national unemployment rate. Although Reagan’s tenure was marked by rapid economic growth, he failed to uphold some tenets of the Great society Program, a factor that disappointed many conservatives.

Chapter 27

Question 1

The cold war ended during president bush’s tenure. The result of this was an affirmation of America’s world dominance both politically and economically. Its capitalism-backed ideology was adopted worldwide, as the Soviet Union sunk to oblivion. Bush was eager to establish a new world order, with the U.S as its leader, although its characteristics were not yet clear. America redefined itself as the world’s main advocate for democratic political systems and global free trade. This is the reason it intervened in the first international crisis after the cold war, Iraqi’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

President Clinton supported his predecessor’s policies on free trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement was enforced. Clinton’s administration campaigned for the resolution of various longstanding international disputes. As a global leader, he showed concern over the violation of human rights, instead calling on other nations to uphold them as the core of international relations. In addition, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was revived to protect human rights in the Balkans. Former American president Harry Truman created this treaty at the beginning of the cold war.

Question 2

Cultural conflicts refer to the battle for moral values and problems arising from cultural diversity, a prominent feature during the 1990s. This period was characterized by an influx of immigrants into America. Although the country was already multicultural with the presence of African Americans, cultural diversity increased during this time. New immigrants and the African American community were the poorest in society, with whites being accorded more privileges. Awareness on discrimination increased at this time, but this did not make the lives of black people easier. Black people were appreciated less by the whites as compared to other minority groups. Victims of discrimination rarely won disputes, as the justice system was sympathetic to the whites.

Black Americans were more prone to imprisonment and execution than whites were. This frustrating situation finally exploded in 1992. A sexual revolution was also among other cultural conflicts of the 1990s. The struggle for gay rights was intensified, despite the spread of the AIDS pandemic. Multiculturalism and the decline of family values made it seem like the nation was battling between traditional religious beliefs and modern secular culture.



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