American History Homework Twelve Answers - Student Three

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Addison DM (all d0ne!)

1. “Protagonists” is not the correct word to refer to both sides. From an American point of view, we were the protagonist and the Soviet Union was the antagonist. The Cold War lasted from 1945, the last year of World War II, to 1991, when the anti-Communist work of President Reagan coupled with reforms in the Soviet Union itself caused the disintegration of the old Soviet system.

Correct! Good elaboration also.

2. These two wars are the Korean War lasting from 1950-1953 and causing approximately 54,000 American deaths, and the Vietnam War, lasting from 1964-1973 and causing nearly 60,000 American deaths. Both of these wars were meant to stop the spread of Communism, and were fought under the general ideas of the Containment Doctrine and Domino Theory. Communism was often evil in practice, if not wrong in theory, leading not to a glorious brotherhood of men but to cruel and oppressive dictatorships. Thus, I think that the wars themselves were justifiable and even commendable. However, we should have fought and finished the wars with the same zeal we got into them with, instead of settling for unsatisfactory terms.

Excellent analysis, with a particularly good conclusion.

3. I like that the most successful and legendary actions during the Civil Rights movement were not those of militant, anti-white groups, but those of the non-violent, positive, and Christian Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other non-violent yet strong-willed protestors like Rosa Parks and the members of the Freedom Rides.

Superb.

4. In foreign policy, President Johnson is known for sparking the Vietnam War. Though there had been conflict in Vietnam since the 1950s, Johnson turned it into a full-blown war, using a false story for political advantage. He later became infamous for the war and its mismanagement, and it became so unpopular that he could not run again; ironic, because the war gave him a huge re-election boost his first race, and destroyed his chances by the second race.

Excellent insight in pointing out the irony. Perhaps this illustrates one of Jesus's teachings? See the concluding paragraph of this story today about corruption in an African nation for a similar irony, which cites Jesus's teaching without giving Him credit: [1]

5. I like that the 80th Congress actually got things done. Rather than promise lots of action and then do nothing (as Truman accused it of), the 80th Congress hit the ground running and passed much important legislation. Perhaps my favorite legislation is the term limit on the Presidency, which has both a practical and historical purpose: it limits the President’s power and helps guard against power grabs, and it enshrines George Washington’s precedent into law and thus honors him.

Terrific, good enough to be a model answer.

6. The first thought is Ronald Reagan, but he was not a major player until the 1980s got under way. So, I’m going to choose Jimmy Carter, whose abysmal record helped sway public opinion to the Republican Party and paved the way for Ronald Reagan, one of the most effective, if not one of the best, American Presidents.

Clever answer!

7. The Warren Court lasted from 1953-1969. Aside from being activist, the Warren Court seems to have favored federal over state power, as it decided that the federal Bill of Right should apply to the states. The Warren Court was also very political, supporting liberal policies in its “interpretation” of the Constitution, such as removing religion from public life and favoring criminals. I find most interesting the Court’s apparent view of the 1st Amendment: it contorted freedom of speech to apply to pornography but not prayer, and, it would seem, loosely read the establishment of religion clause to prohibit non-compulsory prayer.

Terrific answer, which should also be a model answer. I had forgotten your insight about incorporation doctrine! I need to put that in some Conservapedia entries, and may update the lecture too.

Honors

2. Debate: were the 1950s more conservative than today? Political-policy wise, they were more liberal, and understandably, because Democrats had controlled the better part of politics for over 20 years. However, looking at these political policies, at least two (high taxes and the draft) are probably just left over from WWI and WWII. The number of Communists in government was high only because Communism in general was “in style.” And the threat of nuclear war decreased with not only the installation, but the development of defense strategy along with the decline of the Soviet Union itself. So, many of these political policies existed more because of the times than because of a political agenda. Socially speaking, the 1950s were almost definitely more conservative. Abortion was illegal, contraception was less used, gay rights did not even exist, school prayer remained, and LBJ’s modern “Welfare State” had not been ushered in yet. Having sex with anyone and whenever you wanted was frowned upon. However, the 1950s contained the seed of their own destruction. They were a conservative time, but not due enough to Christian practice and moral awareness. Instead, their conservatism was more due to societal customs and unwritten rules of conduct, which would inevitably lead to rebellion in a way that true moral understanding would not. And for those who transgressed the rules, the result was not Christian forgiveness but societal anger.

Extremely insightful. Perhaps I will make this the model answer ... even though it goes against my general view that people are overall becoming more conservative. After all, a society should be learning from its mistakes, and thus moving to the right.

3. The ERA is just the sort of thing a liberal activist court would love- it provides almost infinite opportunity to legislate from the bench, since innumerable practices could be declared unconstitutional. The vagueness of the ERA is what makes it sound so good and harmless, but what makes it potentially harmful in the hands of activists. It means almost nothing, and for that very reason it can be made to mean anything. Furthermore, the ERA was very politically motivated, and the radical feminists who were the base of its support intended it to be construed to support many things ordinary Americans would never want, or even imagine.

Terrific point about how ERA would have enabled activist courts to do whatever they wanted. Superb answer, another one of model answer caliber. You're making my decision about the model answers difficult!

5. The Inchon Landing was definitely unconventional. In the military, operations are often called either a “risk” (somewhat risky) or a “gamble” (extremely risky but with a good payoff if successful). Due to the risky tides, the need to land safely, (as in any amphibious operation) and the fact that Communists would surround the Americans, it was a gamble. Was it logical? Yes. The Americans faced no better fate being surrounded near Pusan than being surrounded at Inchon. It goes to show what a bad situation were in, that a gamble operation could hardly be worse than staying where we were! Did MacArthur being homeschooled, and Truman being public schooled, have anything to do with the situation, or the war in general? From MacArthur’s end, perhaps. Being homeschooled can’t hurt in developing the kind of traits he had. However, to portray Truman as a dumb, jealous (public-schooled) man is not totally accurate; Truman’s ultimate problem with MacArthur was his defiance to the Executive Branch, and in the end, Truman’s firing of MacArthur can be construed as a defense against Marshal Law.

Excellent analysis, and I agree that Truman was not retaliating against MacArthur based on their different educations. But I think their different styles of reasoning, which were a result of their different educations, played a factor. (Note: "martial law," not "Marshal Law").
One of the finest homework "papers" of any student all year, and probably the finest. 100/100. Congratulations!!!
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