American History Homework Eleven Answers - Model

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Lecture - Questions - Student Answers

1. This course is mostly over. Can you now identify a value in learning history?

History prepares us for the difficulties we will face in life. We can learn from other people's mistakes so when we face the same challenge we will know the right way to act. The same situations happen today that occurred over the past 100 years. The only differences are the people and their perspective. Almost every war in history is started by jealousy or hatred. The nature of man does not change, only his yearnings. (Veronika F.)
There are many benefits to learning and understanding history. Of course, the saying “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” comes to mind. However, I’ve also noticed that the more history we’ve covered, the easier it is for me to understand what’s happening now, especially with the election. I’ve never understood politics, but it’s much easier now that I know how it started, and how it’s developed. (Sarah W.)
I have truly benefited from studying American history. Through looking at the past I find hope in the future. As our economy spins out of control I find a peace in knowing that we have been through this before. Somehow, even if it takes a very long time, the United States of America will pull through. Fifty years from now the troubles of 2008 will also be history. (Jenna N.)
Now that I know a lot of American history I'm more confident. And I think that's good for anyone .... (Karen N.)
Remembrance of Jesus's sacrifice is proper and helpful; the same is true for learning about and remembering Americans who sacrificed, often in His name, for our future. This includes soldiers, Alexander Hamilton, George Patton, Ronald Reagan, and many, many others. Knowing history enables us to uplift ourselves and enrich others, and we can comfort many around us with insights learned from history. (Teacher)

2. Was the United States right to enter World War II, and should we have entered sooner or later?

The united states was right to enter the war because the Germans and the Japanese were definitely a great evil in the world in that time. We needed to fight them because they would have attacked the U.S after conquering Europe. We should have entered the war earlier because we let Japan and Germany get too strong and when we entered we were fighting to very strong enemies who had a great resolve to win. (Isaac Z.)
The United States was definitely right to enter World War Two. The atheistic, evolutionary Nazi Germany was probably the most evil nation ever (perhaps except Communist Russia and China.) Adolf Hitler, the German leader, was a crazed fanatic who had two aims: revenge Germany’s defeat in World War I, and eliminate all Jews from the earth. Japan was not an inherently evil society, but the military government and the racist view that Japanese were superior to all other races meant that the Japanese had no qualms about resorting to any tactic. When the city of Nanking in China fell in 1937, for nearly six weeks Japanese troops rampaged the city, raping, looting, murdering, and burning. Japanese officials denied that anything had happened. (Duncan B.)

3. Which of the approaches in American history towards immigration do you like best, and why?

I agree most with the Immigration Act of 1924, because it limited the amount of immigrants allowed into the United States. The bill should have made skilled workers a priority, instead of having the quotas. (Zachary C.)
In American history, the approach to immigration that I liked best was in 1891, the Immigration and Naturalization Service because the immigrants had to go through screening, medical tests, and oaths of allegiance. (Olivia F.)

4. Pick out something from the "Roaring Twenties" and describe what you like about it.

"Keep Cool with Coolidge." That was the campaign slogan he used. I like everything about the Coolidge administration. He made choices confidently and decisively, and good, conservative choices at that. "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." (Proverbs 17:28) (Steven M.)
One of the inventions created during the Roaring Twenties was the band-aid. Earle Dickinson, an employee of “Johnson & Johnson”, had a very accident-prone wife. Earle finally came up with the idea of having a strip of tape with a small piece of gauze in the middle. He later began to sell the idea, and in 1924, “Johnson & Johnson”, installed machines to mass-produce the new invention. (Olivia F.)
I really like how America began to invent her own form of entertainment. Two things that started this were jazz music and silent movies. In the 1800s Yankee ingenuity was the cause of many useful inventions. In the roaring twenties, this American ingenuity was used to invent things for entertainment. This decade opened the door for the entertainment world to expand and the American culture to grow. (Jenna N.)
One of the things I liked about the roaring twenties is that President William Harding appointed 4 conservative judges to the Supreme Court. It helped the country prepare for a couple years later when FDR would take office, a very liberal president. (Benjamin H.)
I liked the Kellogg-Briand Pact, because I think it is funny that someone would try to outlaw war. I also think that it is ridiculous that to get a country to comply with this treaty, they would have to go to war. (Nick DeJ.)
I agree most with Warren Harding's policy of quotas. It was the best method of limiting competition between immigrants and American workers. (Daniel N.)
The "Roaring Twenties" brought life into America. Jazz music is a much more laid back music with a strong attitude; when invented in the 1920s it just opened a whole new perspective of music and culture. (Lena M.)

5. What is your view of the New Deal, and what might you have done differently in response to the Great Depression?

I think the government should not have been as involved and should have just let the depression just run it's course, instead of trying to manage the economy. (Michelle F.)
The New Deal was one of the worst ideas the Executive Branch has ever had. It tried to make a quick fix, when America really needed a long-term plan. It created useless jobs as an excuse to give away government money (Civilian Conservation Corps and Federal Emergency Relief Act), it put government regulations in place of free enterprise (Agricultural Adjustment Act (this act was so bad that it was declared unconstitutional), Tennessee Valley Authority, Glass-Steagall Banking Act, and National Industrial Recovery Act (also declared unconstitutional), and granted money to failing businesses (Emergency Banking Act and Farm-Credit Act). While these ideas may seem like would help the economy, they really don’t because giving people government money only helps them for a short amount of time. Once the money runs out, they are back where they started. Besides, all “government money” is, is taxes. And the more government money given away through programs, the higher the taxes have to be to pay for them. Also, using government regulations only work at first, but history has shown that free enterprise always leads to a better economy. What would have been better to do would have been to make less government programs, lay off unnecessary government workers, and overall downsize the government. ... (Ruth L.)
... I do not think there is ever a quick fix for a poor economy. The New Deal was like a quick fix. It did not end the Depression. Some economists believe it actually made it worse! The social programs setup by this deal cost money to implement. Taxes were increased, especially for the rich. Instead of the New Deal, I would have proposed a bill that made the government more accountable for its spending, and I would have stopped much of the spending for a certain period of time. During this period I would have thought out a strategy for fixing the economy. I would still have pushed for certain social programs for people who were poor and sick with diseases. I also would not have taxed the rich as much as they did at the time, because rich people start companies and create more jobs. (Nick DeJ.)
... I would not have raised the tariffs in 1931. (Kara L.) [Note: this was before FDR and the New Deal]
... We see today that when the market crashed, the government was quick to pass the Bailout plan. However, the bill was ineffective at stabilizing the market and cost us 700 billion dollars. Sometimes it is best not to interfere with the economy. (Sean R.)

6. Do you think we should have dropped the atomic bombs on Japan? Explain.

I think we should have bombed Japan. It showed them that there are consequences to their aggressive actions. We bombed Japan to show them that our stick is bigger than theirs. Some people think that innocent people were killed, but no citizens of a country that's at war are innocent. All the people were probably making weapons and financially supporting he war, and just because they weren't on the front line it didn't mean they weren't for the war Why should just the soldiers die? When we're n a war, aren't we all in it together? At least, we should be. (Steven H.)
Absolutely not. The Japanese had already informally offered a conditional surrender before we dropped the first one; surrender on the same conditions we ended up accepting in the end. Hundreds upon hundreds of innocent men, women and children died during the originally explosion and the effects that lasted for many months afterward. It was heinous that we would kill so many civilians, uninvolved in the war beyond the fact that they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Katie B.)
I think that the atomic bomb was a horrible invention because it can kill many people and has horrible lasting effects, but I believe that dropping the bomb on Japan brought an end to the war and saved many American and Japanese lives in the long run. The Japanese were fanatics and were not going to surrender easily. The war could have gone on for years. (Mark DeJ.)
Dictatorial Power.GIF

7. Please interpret and explain the cartoon, including an estimate of its date. (It was published by a paper in New Jersey years ago.)

This cartoon depicts Theodore Roosevelt as an angry spirit that thinks his fifth cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt has assumed a dictatorial rule helped by the fact that the members of the Senate and House were predominately Democrats. Theodore Roosevelt is well known for saying "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." However, the sticks carried by the two Congressmen in the cartoon are absurdly huge. I believe that this cartoon was created around 1933, after FDR’s first 100 days in office and was drawn by a Republican whose point of view is different from that of FDR. (Mark DeJ.)
This cartoon displays the ghost of Theodore Roosevelt looking on in disgust at how his fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took his "big stick" policy to a much higher extreme than he had ever intended for it. In this context "big stick" refers to the federal government (and furthermore, the executive branch) having a large amount of power. When the democrat FDR was president there was a democrat majority in both the House and the Senate. For that reason, Congress went along with virtually everything that FDR introduced—and FDR introduced more than any president before him with his New Deal. This cartoon portrays this relationship between Congress and the executive by showing two men (representing the House and the Senate) carrying huge sticks to the White House as "gifts" for the president (FDR). This was probably drawn in 1933, the year that FDR took office and proceeded to make more changes to the American government than any president before or after him. (Rachel N.)
Teddy Roosevelt ... is calling his 'big stick' a mere 'willow' compared to the sticks the 'House' and the 'Senate' are bringing the president. It represents the Democratic power in the House and Senate during the terms of FDR. This cartoon was probably written by a disapproving Republican around 1934. (Bethany S.)
This cartoon I'm assuming was drawn sometime in the 1930's by a Republican who did not agree with the Democratic power in the House and Senate during the terms of FDR. It shows the "shade" of Teddy Roosevelt exclaiming from outside the White House that his "Big Stick" was a mere willow compared to the big sticks of Dictatorial Power that the men from the House and Senate were bringing in. (Amanda S.)
The ghost (or would T.R. prefer gost?) of Teddy Roosevelt says that, in comparison, the power he gave the office of president is to the recent power [of FDR], represented by two big sticks, as a willow switch is to a log. ..." (Cole N.)

Honors (pick 3 out of 5)

H1. Throughout American history, has the president has been becoming more and more of a "leader" or a "follower"? In other words, is the trend towards more of a leadership position for that office, or less of one? Explain.

I would have to say that presidents are becoming followers as the years go by. ... They say they believe in the causes that a majority of the country believe, get themselves elected, but one really has to wonder if they believe these things or not. Especially when a number of the "popular causes" contradict each other. Now, having the same beliefs has a majority of the Americans can be seen as becoming a leader, wanting to lead America in the most popular way. But all this leader is leading is simply "the cool crowd," those with the most popular beliefs and ideas. So I say that no matter what it may look like, presidents have become a group of followers instead of true leaders. (Kara H.)
It seems as though the President has become a follower, following the trends of the people, and the wants of the country, but still, retaining his power as a leader, and dropping in his own ideas. (Christina F.)

H2. Pick out any military aspect of World War II and discuss it.

The German preparations for war was their main advantage. Years before the start of the war, the Germans were training, gathering support and allies, removing opponents and building weaponry. By contrast, the rest of Europe was not ready,nor were they expecting war. They were hoping for a respite after the tiring WWI. Germany, though it had a far worse time in WWI and had many debts from the war, was ready, mentally and militarily, for war. It took the rest of Europe by surprise with it's Blitz kreig (lightening war). If it weren't for this careful planning and preparation on the German's part, WWII wouldn't have lasted as long. It probably never would have occurred. (Michelle F.)

H3. Discuss any issue, mystery or debate topic from the lecture or time period 1920-1946.

The Japanese-American internment camps were not right. They may not be “unconstitutional”, as in specifically written about in the constitution, but it’s not right for American citizens to be judged for their ancestry. They couldn’t help that their great grandparents moved from Japan to America. Most of the people in the internment camps had been in America for generations and had no allegiance to Japan. America is a land of freedom, but how much freedom do we really have if the government is allowed to just move us at will because of something we didn’t do? (Sarah W.)
I believe Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent. At the time of their trial, there was a strong dislike for anarchists and Italians. The prosecutors played on these fears to receive an outcome of the case that they desired. Vanzetti had a strong alibi; he was away on vacation with his family during the time of the crime, there is a photograph of him and his family on this vacation as proof. But perhaps Vanzetti had inhuman abilities to be in two places at once. Further proof of prejudice against Italians was shown when Sacco and Vanzetti had trouble understanding and answering the questions. Being recent immigrants from Italy naturally, Italian was their first language nonetheless, a translator was not provided. The prosecutors did not have sound evidence, only the public’s fear of anarchists on their side. When Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death there weren’t only a few liberals defending them there were worldwide protests against the unjust case. People may still review the case and believe in Sacco and Vanzetti’s guilt however, it is doubtless that there were many flaws in their trial. In the 1970s, a Governor cleared both Sacco and Vanzetti’s names because he saw the disgrace in the trial. (Meredith Y.)

H4. Your view of the United Nations, please?

The United Nations is yet another example of something that looks great on paper and mostly fails in practice. There are two setbacks to large, international councils like this: one, they have a tendency to limit or damage national sovereignty, and two, nations can sometimes hardly agree on their own national policies, let alone agree with other nations. It’s like taking the thirteen (somewhat disunited) states under Articles of Confederation, and putting that on an international scale. Not to mention the fact that the UN needs a huge bureaucracy to run, and bureaucracies are often self-serving and prone to selfish scandals such as the Oil for Food scandal. Also, it was recently reported that a very expensive decoration project was undertaken for a refurbished UN human rights chamber in Spain. This money could have gone somewhere much better. Perhaps the UN should go somewhere I can’t say .... (Addison DM)

H5. How would you recommend handling the communist infiltration described in the lecture?

The communist infiltration cost the United States dearly, from stolen atomic bomb secrets to the tragic loss of life at the invasion of the Bay of Pigs to the lack of productivity that results when you cannot even trust your fellow government employees. Two independent sets of atomic bomb secrets were leaked from the Manhattan Project to the communists! That was utterly inexcusable to allow that to happen, and reflects a naivety that should not exist. America is an open society, and properly so, but need not be a naive society. Better countermeasures, such as stricter standards and monitoring of government employees in positions of power, would have helped. Having an open society does not require believing and trusting liars who seek to harm America. (Teacher)