American History Homework Twelve Answers - Model

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Lecture - Questions - Student Answers

1. Who were the main protagonists in the "Cold War", and what was the period of this "war"?

The Soviet Union, U.S.S.R., and the United States of America were the main protagonists in the Cold War. There was no fighting in the “war” so that is why it was called a cold war; there was no heat. In the Cold War, the USA and the Soviet Union created and collected bombs and other ammunition, which they pointed at the enemy’s cities. It was basically a competition in seeing who was the most strongest and powerful country in the world. The Cold War lasted from 1945 to 1991; Americans wanted to stop communism from spreading to the neighboring countries. (Veronika F.)

2. Identify the two wars that caused over 50,000 American deaths which occurred between 1945 and 1980, and briefly state your view of the American role in those wars. Do you agree with our acceptance of the outcomes?

The Vietnam War and the Korean War. The United States obviously fought hard in both of these, but it was not a concerted effort like World War II. These wars, people thought, were less important. Our country was not in immediate danger, so these wars were much less popular. Vietnam was especially unpopular, not only because of the cultural changes favoring rebellion and independence, but because of the position the U.S. took in Vietnam. Much like Britain fighting in the colonies. To the British the colonies was a large unknown wilderness with an diverse population. Many of them were strongly opinionated and planned on fighting for the soil they lived on. The colonists knew the country and fought the invaders using guerrilla warfare. Although many of them sided with England (Tories), the patriots were aided by foreign countries. They were convinced by radical literature that they were fighting for freedom.
Do you see all the similarities? America loves an underdog. And in Vietnam we were definitely not the underdog. The outcome is sad, but I think it was foreseeable. I completely agree with the way we accepted defeat in Vietnam, but there were not very many options. Right before the war started there was only two choices about it: go to war or not. What else could we have done?
In Korea, however, I believe we could have won that. Korea might be a completely capitalist country today if it were not for Harry Truman's ire. (Steven M.)
The two main undeclared wars the United States engaged in between 1945 and 1980 were the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Both were partially mishandled by the United States military. In the Korean War, we should have informed the Chinese that, if they attacked our troops, we were going to attack them (not telling them we would not attack mainland China) as well as that if North Korean MiG-15s crossed the Yalu River into Chinese territory they would be pursued. In Vietnam, we should have bombed Haiphong and Hanoi earlier, as well as mining Haiphong Harbor. (Duncan B.)
... Truman was wrong to fire General MacArthur. General MacArthur could have finished subduing China, and thereby warned the communist world to watch out for the U.S. This could have completely prevented the Vietnam War, because China was the main supplier of the Vietcong. ... (Aran M.)

3. Pick an aspect of the Civil Rights Movement that impressed you most, and explain why.

What James Meredith must have endured in the quest for a fair education is simply incredible. Not many people have the strength and stamina to withstand riots, prejudice on that level, death of innocents, and later being shot at. (Kara H.)
What impressed me the most about the civil rights movement is how when enough people took initiative and stood against segregation, the government eventually responded. I think that this example should encourage us to stand against abortion, limitations on parent’s rights, and gay marriage. (Jess S.)
What I find most impressive about the Civil Rights Movement is not its leader (though some, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. were quite admirable), but the way so many common people saw the problem and decided to do something about it, despite inconveniences, ridicule and even the risk of danger. Examples of common people taking a bold stand against injustice can be found in Rosa Parks who bravely protested segregation on public buses and James Meredith who succeeded in gaining his admission into the University of Mississippi. Both of these people were just common people who saw a problem and were willing to go out of their way to solve it, even amidst the great disdain of those around them. (Rachel N.)
In the civil rights movement I was impressed at Jackie Robinson who was able to play major league baseball. I think this was very hard because baseball is shown everywhere so he received a lot bad criticism and hate. I am impressed that he was able to go through with it. (Isaac Z.)
I was very impressed with the “sit-ins,” and how cunning that idea was when I really thought about it. (Jonathan R.)
My favorite aspect of the Civil Rights Movement is how Congress, realizing that African Americans were not treated as equals to White Americans in this county, passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act outlawed discrimination based upon race, religion, color, or gender. No longer could employers deny an African American a job because of his color. People should be hired based on knowledge and ability, not their color. (Nick DeJ.)
I was most impressed by the case brought by the NAACP known as Brown v. Board of Education. The result of this legal battle was that the Supreme Court ruled that segregation of blacks and whites in public schools was unconstitutional. I think was milestone for African Americans. The “separate but equal” policy that had been upheld to this point makes no sense. To me. This Supreme Court decision helped give blacks a chance for a better education and better lives in general. (Mark DeJ.)

4. President Lyndon Johnson is known best for two things. Pick one and explain why, providing a specific example to support your answer.

I think that the reason he is so well know for pushing through the Great Society programs is because they are what every nation wants. An end to poverty. That was what Johnson was trying to do. These programs would supposedly end poverty in America. Every nation wants to have no poverty and every one happy and things to go well. But that is impossible. As long as there is laziness in the world, there will be poverty. (Bethany S.)
President Lyndon Johnson is a perfect example of someone who did not learn from history. One of the things he is known best for is creating the “Great Society.” The Great Society was supposed to end poverty giving government money to poor people. It was very similar to the “New Deal,” previously put out by President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s. The New Deal also promised to help the poor by giving them taxpayer money. However, this program completely failed. And just like the New Deal, the Great Society failed as well. If President Johnson had studied the New Deal and learned of its failure, then he would not have created another program so similar to it. (Ruth L.)

5. What do you like best about the 80th Congress? Explain.

What I liked best about the 80th Congress was the Taft-Hartley Act. This was important because it greatly decreased the power of the unions that were destroying the economy with their unreasonable demands and strikes. This act gave workers the right to not join the union, where before they were forced to and then had to go with whatever damage was done to their career and paycheck via the union. (Katie B.)
The 22nd Amendment. It limited the length of time a President could be in office, and also effectively, though unintentionally, limited the Presidents power while in office. Congress would not have to worry about dealing with a president for more than 8 years, while their offices had no term limits to worry about, except those imposed by voters. At the same time, this amendment allowed the president to not worry about public opinion as much in his second term. It struck a nice balance in executive and legislative power. (Michelle F.)
The 80th Congress cut taxes and balanced the government's budget. The economic success of the 1950s can be attributed to the 80th Congress. (Sean R.)

6. Who do you think was the most important person between 1945 and 1980 in American history, and why?

Douglas MacArthur was the most important person from 1945 to 1980. He helped to positively influence the Korean War, which would have been ten times worse if he had not led the troops in to battle. (Zachary C.)
The group led by Phyllis Schlafly to stop the ERA was invaluable in stopping one of the greatest tragedies that would have befallen our country. Men and women are different. The ERA was an attempt to tear down the God blessed differences between men and women. This would result in terrible consequences for our country. You cannot treat men and women the exact same because they aren’t the same. This can be compared to a farmer calling apples oranges and oranges apples just because the both come from trees, it simply can’t be done. The ERA wasn’t an assault upon segregation, it was a full out strike upon the two identities of God’s pinnacle of creation, man and woman. (James G.)
In my point of view their were many very important and influential people throughout this time so its hard to choose only one. But one of my favorites would be Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr is highly respected in the eyes of many, he is known for the speech he delivered in 1963 titled as, "I have a dream". It was an extremely inspiring speech and talked about his dream for a future where blacks and whites among others would coexist harmoniously as equals. He also founded the Southern Christian Leadership conference which had a large role in the American Civil Rights Movement. (Amanda S.)
Barry Goldwater .... (Daniel N.)
Allen Ginsberg was an important person though not necessarily in the positive sense of the word. ... (Meredith Y.)
The most important, most influential person of this era must be Earl Warren, the Chief Supreme Court Justice. His Court is responsible for more legislation from the bench than any other Court. (Will M.)
I think that the most important person between 1945 and 1980 was Lyndon Johnson - though not for the good. During his presidency Lyndon Johnson created many problems that took a long time to resolve, and some which have not been resolved to this day. (Kevin F.)
US Supreme Court Building

7. Throughout the 1960s, what was the name used to describe the people in charge of the building pictured here, and describe their approach or ideology, mentioning at least one issue as an example.

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. (Addison DM)

H1. What is your view of whether Muhammad Ali was entitled to a conscientious objection based on Islam?

I think that he was right, based on freedom of religion, which was established in the first amendment in the bill of rights. Freedom of religion means people can practice whatever their religion the way they choose too. So if you happen to have a religion, like Muslim, that says you shouldn’t be involved in a certain war, then under that amendment, we shouldn’t be able to force him to fight in the war. By drafting him, that would be forcing him to do something against his religion, taking away his freedom of religion. (Natalie D.)
It is fair that Muhammad Ali resisted the draft based on religious reasons, just that it is the same for a parent to not let their child be vaccinated with vaccines that use aborted fetus cells, also based on religious reasons. (Christina F.)
Muhammad Ali did not have a right to reject the draft because his religion did not allow it. He [lived in] America, enjoyed the freedom and liberty she offered him, and then refused to protect her. (Olivia F.)

H2. Write about any issue or debate in the lecture, or relating to the period 1945 to 1980.

Yes, I think that criminals deserve the rights the Warren Court granted. Everyone has the right to defend themselves, and if you can’t afford a lawyer, then you can’t defend yourself. The government should definitely provide a lawyer for criminals so they can have a fair trial. I like the Miranda Warning too, which lets the person know what they can and can’t do. (Sarah W.)
I think communism theoretically sounds good to some people but in reality is quite bad. It is bad because you pretty much give everything up to the government. In a communist society, the government controls the economy. Communism rejects capitalism. There is only one political party – the communist party. Any form of opposition is suppressed. The media is restricted. People do not enjoy religious freedom. There is no way to better yourself. There are not as many options in a communist society as there are in a capitalist society. ... (Mark DeJ.)

H3. Your view of the ERA, please.

The ERA is an illusion. At first glance, it seems to make perfect sense: make everyone equal and everyone will be happy. If that thought is followed through to conclusion it becomes evident that this theory does not work. God made men and women different for a reason. If both men and women are equal, major parts of society will be neglected. (Jenna N.)

H4. "Over time, conservative principles and values tend to gain broader acceptance by the American people." Do you agree with respect to 1945 through 1980, or 1980 through today (take your pick)? Explain.

I think that the quote can be used even more accurately for 1980 to the present because back then, most people had conservative values but really didn’t have a fire for it. Now the conservatives are picking up power and opposition which is a main part of being great-standing in the face of opposition. Oh, and we have homeschooling :). (Danielle R.)

H5. General MacArthur's Inchon Landing: unconventional but logical thinking by a homeschooler that you've seen before? Discuss in any way you like.

I really enjoyed learning about General MacArthur’s Inchon Landing; he wasn’t afraid to do something just because no one had ever done it before. We should all follow his example. (Olivia F.)
I loved MacArthur’s strike plan. He had the mind of a genius. Unfortunately all of the United States best general live at a time when the government is not on their side (George Washington, George Patton ...). (Nathanael H.)