June 6

Blog #99 – When was America great?

Our current president campaigned on the slogan, Make America Great Again.  It made me wonder, as an amatuer historian, what time period do you think he meant that America should go back to?  So, I ask you, as competent, well-versed APUSH students who have studied almost all of American history, when was America great?

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If you’re like me, you may have a hard time narrowing it down to one specific time period.  I’m thinking of several, but I won’t reveal my answers until you guys are done w/ this blog.

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Please answer the following questions: 

  1. Give me a time period when you think America was great.  It doesn’t have to be the latest, or the best, but one in which you think America lived up to its highest ideals and values.  Explain why you think this event or time period makes America great.
  2. Since the president doesn’t think we’re great now, why do you think we are not great now (in essence, what made America not great)?  Or, if you disagree with the president, why is America great now?  Explain with specific examples.
  3. What time period do you think the president wants to go back to and why?

Due Thursday, June 8 by class.  350 words minimum.  

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Posted June 6, 2017 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

66 thoughts on “Blog #99 – When was America great?

  1. Hank Peters-Wood

    I believe that America was great just after World War Two. This may sound like a strange time since we were just amidst a terrible war, but this time showed the best of American values. For example, after the war and Roosevelt’s plans helped pull us out of the Great Depression and into an era of great economic prosperity. Also, the war and its conclusion gave the country a wide spread feeling of patriotism and pride. We were victorious in the war and people were proud to be American and everyone felt that they were part of the same team. It was a time that gave America its top dog status and showed the world that America stood together with the highest of values. Honestly, I would not say we are great today, but not for what I believe trump’s reasons are. This day in age, I’d say our country is way too divided. The two political parties refuse to compromise and citizens are always at disagreements. Racism and sexism are still huge problems and our economy is not at its peak. We have tensions with multiple countries (Russia, North Korea, etc.) and the way that or foreign affairs trend is heading is not good. Our environment is in grave danger and we aren’t doing enough to help it. All in all, I’d say there are issues across the board and I don’t think that we have the proper leader to fix them. I think that President Donald Trump believes America was great back in the 1950’s. This was a time when America was basically completely white and Christian. There was no “worry” about people of other races, sexes, or religions, because they were considered inferior. This is a time when white men dominated entirely and many people today consider it a “simpler” time. I don’t agree with this, and I guess I’m not positive Trump does, but from his character and his word choice, I’d say he agrees with the ideas of this time period as if opposed to today’s ideas.

  2. Gus

    I think America was the best during the 1980s. The 1980s was a time of change and innovation that can be seen in the later years. The US at the time was led by my favorite president Ronald Regan. During this time Sci-fi movies were upcoming as seen in Star Wars, alien, terminator, and Star Trek in which were all releasing at this time which are the best movies series of all time. During this time politically we were outstanding as a country having minimal debt and low taxes with a strong sense of nationalism reigning across the country. The generation of the yuppies was on the rise who were young and enjoyed money as their number one priority.
    This time period relates greatly with apush such as the election. Starting at the beginning of the 80’s regan beat carter with 50% of the blue collar vote. We are then introduced to reganomics which are tax cuts to reduce government spending which also supports my opinion that this time period was the best. Before all this a huge case known as Roe vs. wade occurred over the topic of abortion. In general this time period is action packed and all lead back to what we have been learning in class. Regan was faced with many challenges during this time such as the Iran contra affair where we negotiated with Iran to free hostages held in the embassy. Labor unions started to become increasingly popular among the middle class.
    Right now I don’t think we are great since we are in almost $20 trillion in debt and we are still having economic problems. The middle class is getting farther and farther from the high class as well as the economic crisis that happened in 2008 is going to happen again somewhat soon. The prices are really high right now and I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens again. I think a lot of our money is being put into useless things as well. For example we are paying people to sit on their butt while people are hard at work paying for them. I think our money should be put into other categories such as NASA.
    I think presidents want to go back to when there aren’t as big of problems since like national debt that presidents are forced to take on nowadays. I’m not going to blame them since they have a lot of pressure to deal with but they want a simpler time where they can help the can’t push forward than get back to where we started.

  3. Ny'dea Terrell

    1. In my opinion there has never been a time where “America was great”, but there have been periods of time where areas of country has showed improvements. The country had its most prosperous moments during the early 1990’s to the mid 2000’s, just before the Great Recession. The Clinton-Era gave many a chance to recover financially due to a tax break. Also 22 million jobs were created, which gave many the opportunity to come out of the percentage who unemployed. There was also resurge in the Information technology (IT) manufacturing business. There was an increase in buyers in that department. It is my belief that if we people have the money to invest into their own personal technology, they are not necessarily being conservative with their money. On a more ethical bases, I think that there have been some times since the major events with equal rights. There are still obvious problems with our society in discrimination of race, gender, and sex, but I do not think it as prevalent as it as during the 1960’s-1970’s, in terms of a whole nation protesting on either side.

    2. It is undeniable that on any basis, “America is great”, at this point in current day America. There are imbalances economically,internationally, and ethically/culturally. Our growth in the economy is limited and some could argue decreasing. There are a limited amount of jobs available and with less jobs that means everyone is not bringing in an income. That also leads to the number of people who consume goods to lower, ultimately affecting our national GDP. It is reported by New York Times and CNN that the GDP is not moving at the progressive rate of four percent that Trump had invision. Internationally, all countries face the problem of Terrorism. Many are stumped with the large question, “How to stop it?”. Lastly, ethically our country is at odds. Within our own borders there is still much discrimination over race, gender, and sex. There has been much controversy on people’s sexual preferences or orientation. This month is pride month, beginning with all former Presidents acknowledging the month, but it has stopped this year due to Trump not wanting toacknowledge it. There has also been discrimination of races by the police, by the justice system, and even in work forces. Not to mention people are often discriminated based on their gender in the workforce. Our other country have bigger controversies on the immigration population to America.

    3. I believe that the president wants to go back to the Reagan era of presidency. After all that was the foundation for his campaign slogan, but it goes farther into similar actions. Reagan always displayed himself as a stern character, who enforced his actions. Trump has “tried” to enforce policies in the same manner. During Reagan’s time it was a clear line between men, women, and race opportunities. There was the white flight, blue collar, and white collar jobs. In our society now it is close to equal opportunities. It is no clear distinction, which might make him feel uncertain as a political leader.

  4. Lizzie P

    1.) I believe that America could be considered great starting in the 2000s. This is when our country has lived up to its ideals of equality for all. In the past few years, same sex marriage has become legal for the first time in US history. More and more people are accepting of the LGBTQ community as well. America has religious tolerance for all. More and more women work just as much as men and some are even heads of companies. Feminism is stronger than ever. Also, it is an American value to no longer discriminate against African Americans or people of other cultures. We are all human. America lives on the virtue of equality. There have been issues with police racism, but this has been going on for years, and I would still say that our country is great despite this. Furthermore, one could also argue that America is America is not totally tolerant of all religions because there has been more discrimination against Muslims. However, I think that the true American is not against Muslims. Those who are racist against Muslims need to fix their mindsets, but when you compare this to the previous time periods where African Americans weren’t even valued at all in society, this would not keep our country from being great. Also, America has not really gotten involved in many huge foreign conflicts when compared to the past major wars. There has been an issue with terrorism, but events like 9/11 made our country closer than ever. After 9/11, it did not matter if you were a Republican or Democrat. There was a huge spike in nationalism and everyone banded together to share their anger. Technology has become incorporated to everyday life. Families often gather around the TV to watch their favorite TV show or sports team. Cell phones have made contacting the police and others in emergencies a whole lot easier. While America did have a major economic downfall in the mid-2000s (2008), we have made steps to fix this issue and while the economy does still need some adjusting, I would say that it doesn’t ruin the 2000s shot as being the winner for the time when America was great. I think that the 2000s truly showed what America’s roots are. Our country stands on freedom for everyone, equality, and opportunities. The earliest Americans came to seek gold, opportunity, or religious toleration. Now, Americans can obtain all of that. Opportunities appear every day and our country has become so accepting of everyone. Of course our country will never be perfect. There is always going to be a flaw in the system. However, when you compare the 2000s to previous time periods, our world seems pretty unimaginable.
    2.) I disagree with Donald Trump’s belief that America is not great. I think that our country is great. Anyone can be who he or she wants to be. Everyone can earn a place in society. While there are issues with the economy, I would not say that that makes our country weak. America is said to be the “land of the brave and the home of the free”. I think that it truly does live up to that. We are a developed country and have far superior technology to many countries around the world. We have come to accept so many people who used to be viewed so poorly. As we accept more people, hopefully our country forms great bonds with other countries around the world.
    3.) I think that the president thinks he is still living through the time of Reagan’s presidency. Donald Trump’s campaign is even modeled under Reagan (“Make America Great Again!”). Trump goes along with Reagan’s economic policies. He is fond of tax cuts. Also, he does not want the government to interfere with business. After all, Trump is a business man. He wants to create more jobs open for US citizens. However, Trump also has taken ideas from the 1880s, when we began to place restrictions on immigration. Trump clearly does not want foreigners to enter our borders.

  5. Jordan L

    1) When thinking about when America was great, you can’t compare to our country now in present time. You must compare it to other countries in the specific time period. When I think of when America was great, I think of the 1980’s under Ronald Reagan’s administration. During Reagan’s presidency, he did several great things which made the U.S. increase our lead in the world wide race for a perfect country. One thing in the 1980’s that made America so great was the values that were so powerful. Not only did America have the proudest citizens in the world at the time but it also promoted the values of hard work and some of the same morals that our Founding Fathers recounted. Secondly, during the 1980’s the U.S. economy was no doubt the largest and with the most volume. Under Ronald Reagan’s deregulation policies and pro-business attitude, the U.S. economy skyrocketed and 16 million jobs were created. Additionally, the inflation under Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford was cured under the Reagan administration. Lastly, the U.S. military was at the top when compared to the rest of the globe. Ronald Reagan’s power budget which blasted us into 2.7 trillion dollars in debt, made the Soviet Union forfeit the Cold War.

    2) The current president, Donald Trump, does not think America is great as of right now and I agree with him for several reasons. Firstly, economically, foreign countries like Japan and China are starting to catch up. Trump thinks that our trade deals is the with these foreign countries are the root of this problem because they are highly in a disadvantage to the United States. Secondly, America isn’t as great as it used to be because other countries have already taken the lead in education. Scandinavian countries and some Asian countries are plenty ahead of the U.S. in education. President Trump seems to think this is because our school system hasn’t changed since the 1950’s. To this Trump promotes school of choice in which money will be given to individual students to pick which school they wasn’t to go to whether it is a private school or a charter school. Lastly, America isn’t as great as it used to be because of the increase of the size of the government. The amount of increase that is seen in government programs like welfare, medicaid, and even college is tremendous. Back in the day, people wouldn’t struggle as much since you didn’t need that much qualifications to receive an relatively high paying job. At this point in time, there is the most people on welfare programs whether it is if they can’t legitamitly finad a job (which is unlikely) or they are unmotivated, we need to get these people off these programs.

    3) If Donald Trump could go back to one time period I think it would definitely be the 1980’s under the reagan administration. This is because Trump is in love with the high deregulation scheme that Reagan imposed. Also, Trump also likes the economical reform of supply-side economics which decreased taxes for businesses so they could use more of their money to put into the economy. As of right now, Trump is looking to enforce this policy during this term. Secondly, I think Trump wants to go back to the 1980’s because of their low tolerance for people of different sexual orientations or non-binary gender orientations. Especially now since the call for transgender rights and gay rights is at it’s climax, Trump would feel more comfortable ack in the 1980’s.

  6. Riley Montgomery

    1) I think a good time in American history was the 1960s and early 70s. I think the attitudes during this time well represent American ideals of equal opportunity and freedom. These may not have been fully achieved but America was working hard to become more equal. The government reacted to movements by creating several important laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972. The economy during this time period was not bad and our military and space technology improved through competition with Russia during the Cold War.
    2) I don’t think America is not great right now. It is doing economically well. It has made several social advancements but still has a lot to work on. We are a strong nation in the world. I don’t think our government is that great; I think it could have less corruption, but some corruption usually does come with most governments, especially in such a large one as America’s.
    3) I think President Trump would believe that the Gilded Age was great because of its economic advances. The industrial revolution was occurring, transforming our economy. Railroads grew across the country, investors made lots of money investing in new inventions, businessmen grew very, very wealthy, but i believe this was a very greedy time for America because while those few prospered, the majority of the nation lacked the American right to equal opportunity, were denied equal say in their government. I don’t agree with him because while 10% of the people had 90% of the wealth and the economy was great for those 10% (which would’ve included Trump had he been alive then), the other 90% suffered. Americans did not have equal opportunity. Most of the poor who did make it to the top had to sacrifice their morals to do so.
    Trump also would’ve liked when Reagan was president because Reagan was conservative and had many of the same ideas as Trump. He wanted to reduce the government, did not support many civil rights movements, and was against abortion. Trump is also conservative and would want a weaker government and deregulation.

  7. Hassan Dabliz

    I think that the 1990’s is when america was great. When Bush and Clinton were in their presidencies, it was a great time because it was post cold war and there was no longer fear or money being wasted on developing a military to compete with the soviet union or fight communism. The US had gone to war in the gulf and Bush had the highest approval rating in history. The high approval rating meant that people were generally happy. Under Clinton the budget balanced and the US was at its peak economically, gas prices were low and the internet was new and surging at this time period. People’s incomes grew, and crime rates dropped to an all time low. New advancements in medicine allowed there to be research on diseases like HIV. With the advancement in technology there also was an increase in the entertainment industry with more TV shows and movies.

    We are not great now for many reasons, most of them have to do with ur economy because we are 17 million dollars in debt. We owe money to countries like China and Saudi Arabia. The US was also in two wars recently that cost a lot of money and that affected the US’s economy. The US has also hurt themselves when they borrowed money from the social security. The US is also not at all where it is supposed to be in terms of civil rights. White men are still considered better than women and other people of color. There are jobs that are being given to other people in foreign countries like China and Mexico and Trump wants to bring jobs back to the US and have the middle class develop again because the gap between the upper class and the lower class people.

    Trump would enjoy the eighties, a time where the world was more closed minded like him, he also would have been in favor of deregulation, he also wants to lower taxes but like Reagan did in the 80s. The eighties had the cold war and Reagan was taking care of that and negotiating with the soviet union to get rid of nuclear weapons. Trump claims that he is good at making deals and this would have been a good opportunity to negotiate.

  8. Nick Capinjola

    1. In my opinion I think america was “great” in the 1980’s. The reason is think this time period was one of america’s best is because of the values of western culture that america was build on were being lived up too, along with the ideal of the “american dream” of receiving financial freedom were being opened up too also because of President Reagan’s economic plans like deregulation. When people immigrate from other countries to america financial independence is high on the list of reasons why. The true american Dream is to work, earn, and provide for yourself and loved ones without interference from government. This is why i feel the 1980’s was the best time for the values of the american dream because of president reagan’s dedication to small government and little interference with private business. Along with the financial american ideals being at a great place, so was the cultural values. America was back on top, we were viewed a strong and fearless, women were gaining more rights and whites were easing tension with african Americans. (Obviously things were getting better but it was not yet great in the sense of equality for all, which is why the 80’s is not great in the as far as equality. In the aspect i think the 2000’s/current time is the best for that because everyone is now equal). The 80’s was great for the economic and cultural values part, even though more rights were being gained equality was yet to become “great”. Reagan brought back the toughness to America, which had been lost in prior years.

    2. The reason i think America is not necessarily great right now is because of the lack of patriotism and hardcore pro-american attitudes in our country. Along with this i also think that after the 2008 economic collapse we still have not fully recovered into a big growth period were capitalism can truly work and create The american dream for all. As far as the lack of patriotism, i feel that we as a society have been growing soft and are putting feeling before everything else. Young people are growing up feeling that they are entitled to everything and that the real world consists of safe spaces. We have a surplus of hate for our country and leaders because we don’t agree or dislike their political views. I’m not saying that everyone has to like our political leaders and law enforcement, but there needs to be a higher level of respect. Were also involved in a great racial divide in our country, not that all races aren’t equal but that everyone that doesn’t agree with another’s opinion is labeled a racist, sexest, etc. We have lost the great patriotism and replaced it with an overly offended and soft society, weich is why the current president, Donald Trump is looking to bring back strength and fearlessness into america. As far a economics go, after the housing market crash in 2008, we have grown the economy back but it’s still not at its full potential and wealthy people are being taxed at high amounts which heavily discourages against them reinvesting in new companies which creates jobs. Capitalism is what america was built on and capitalism is built on competition which has been lacking in the past few years.

    3. I don’t think Trump had one specific time that he would like to go back to, but if i could guess he is aiming towards the 1980’s Reagan time period mostly because of the same reasons i think that time was the ‘greatest” in america. America was thriving economically and it was a time of great new inventions and creations along with a time of great national pride and patriotism. We were fearless an strong, and people didn’t get offended over every little thing. This is why me, and possibly the president thinks the 1980s was America’s greatest time.

  9. Celia Crompton

    I believe that the Second Great Awakening was the time when America was great. This time is the most inspiring to me because Americans of all kinds were united behind a common cause, religious revival. However, I don’t think the religious revival was the part that made America great, but rather the unison behind a common cause where even slaves were invited to support it alongside their masters. Other movements also united Americans in terms of women’s independence, moral ideas like temperance, and abolitionism. Other periods like WWII also saw the US united behind a common cause, but to need a war for the country to be united is not the ideal “great” I believe that America can be. This is different than our current time period, which I believe is not great but better called “could be so much better”. Our time period right now suffers from a deep divide in American ideals, as evidenced by the closeness of the 2016 election of candidates with such different campaigns and policies. The US is currently struggling over opposite sides in many nationwide debates, including gay rights, abortion, national security, and other such issues. In my opinion, the people of the US haven’t rallied behind a true national cause since 9/11, and this sense of unison that we currently lack is the foundation of a “great” America. I believe the president sees the 80’s and Reaganism as his ideal time period of a Great America. This is partly due to his success during that era because of Reagan’s new economic policies of deregulation, tax cuts, trickle-down economics, and public stocks. This made him even richer as a businessman, until the policies made corrupt businessmen out of Wall Street giants that ultimately caused the downfall of the system. Until then, Reagan was a popular president for the typical white American. He preached conservative ideals, he acted as a foreign policy hero by confidently dealing with foreign affairs, and his policies of deregulation made insanely rich Americans out of many. In this way, the 80’s would be Trump’s ideal Great America, which differs from today because at that point in time concerns over national security were quelled (terrorism and the War on Terror didn’t spark problems until the 2000’s), economic policies were lax (many are lobbying for tighter control on the economy now, especially after the 2008 crisis), and controversies involving social rights were not as prominent as they are today.

  10. Aaron Stottlemyer

    “There is nothing in the world more stubborn than a corpse: you can hit it, you can knock it to pieces, but you cannot convince it.”
    -Alexander Herzen

    I believe that the United States of America was great from the war of 1812 up until the end of the cold war. Not to say that America was a bad country after that point, but I think that it truly stood out from the world in many cases, which ceased during more recent times. Since it was first found by Columbus in 1492, America has been a place that people wanted to go to to prosper. Be it wealth, religious freedom, or simply a new life, America was the place to go. Now, if I just left it as that then you could say that many countries fit the image of ‘great’, and I do agree. However, I’m just saying America was a prosperous country; it can definitely be said that America is still a good country today. Great is a relative term; you can not say that something is great without comparing it to something of lesser quality. America most definitely fits the boot in that aspect, as since the war of 1812, America has proven that it is a force to be reckoned with. We fought the British, and we showed ‘em what for. We fought the Indians, and we showed ‘em what for. Once the gilded age grasped America, the economy flourished, which even pushed us into the position of a world power. Not only was the country as a whole amazing, but the individual’s within flourished. America’s rich landscape and population allowed capitalists to thrive, and carry everyone else with it. We fought the Nazis, and we showed ‘em what for. Then we fought the Commies, and we just kinda sat there and they showed themselves what for. For all that time, America was badass. But then we got cocky and fought a small island for 20 years and then kinda stopped. After that point, America settled down a bit and became less of the country and more of a country.

    I believe that the country has definitely boiled down and stepped down from its throne. Not to say that we need to nuke china and demand that they get rid of our debt and force Japan and Korea into satellites in order to show dominance, but it would take a lot of work to make America stand out again. Firstly, one of the biggest things holding America back is our debt, which has proven to be detrimental to the nation, and some efforts to fix it have proven to be ineffective and sometimes just hurt the economy worse, like the Fiscal Cliff (which saw the combination of four tax increases, and two budget cuts) or the Government Shutdown (which saw Congress fail to compromise on Affordable Care Act). Reaganomics was one of the last great economic reforms America saw, with lowered taxes and greatly reduced inflation, however it also saw a widened gap between the lower and upper class. Secondly, the government ends up preventing itself and the people from making any major change. It has become a corpse that has been tossed onto the entire nation; crushing any hope of change, weighing down any attempt at a large movement, and allowing the poor to eat from its flesh without needing to provide any real work.

    Trump seems to be trying to go back to the time of America First; although he entered office as a Republican, he pushes for more of a Jacksonian Democracy, where the people have a much greater say in things. He also wants to improve the American economy against foreign powers, such as when he broke the TPP, and his proposed 45% tariff on China. Trump seems to be pushing for American dependence on American goods, and in some ways seems to be moving towards economic isolationism, instead of restricting foreign involvement. He also seems to be pushing against immigration, and has put many border restrictions against Mexico and many Muslim countries.

  11. Caitlyn Moore

    In my opinion, America was great in the sixties during the civil rights movement. When the country came together and began to end oppression of a culture was when we were at our best. When the government began to pass laws that helped people besides white males is when our country was in progress and working towards something positive. We finally held up our values of liberty and equality when we were fighting for it as a nation.
    I agree with the President when he says America isn’t great anymore. Our debt is through the roof, the wage gap is increasing and the middle class is decreasing, and the amount of domestic violence is outrageous. The amount of domestic terrorism is absurd and it’s mostly people who were born and raised in America which clearly demonstrates that there’s an issue with our country’s society. Also, police brutality has been awful recently. So many unarmed black people specifically men are being killed which creates conflict between the black community and the police force making them even more distrusting of each other. In addition the LGBTQ Community doesn’t have protection laws still in so many states. Michigan itself only has fifteen percent protection laws meaning if a member of the LGBTQ Community were to go to court there would be no laws to help or defend them making them vulnerable to any hate crimes or hateful people. With all of these issues within America it needs to be made great again and despite the idiocy of our President I hope he does so.
    I personally feel like the President wants to go back to the eighties when he was gaining all of the riches that he has now and the stock market was booming. At this time Trump was buying up the majority of New York City, naming every building he bought with his name, and building his brand. When he was a young elite member of society much like the film discussed and although he’s still just as rich, now he’s hated by more of society than he was previous to his candidacy.

  12. Rania Abbasi

    1. In my opinion, the US has never experienced a period that embodied all of its best values without war, economic depression, tragedy, or inequality. To be completely honest, I don’t think America was ever “great”. Our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. There has never been a time in American history where all communities had all their unalienable rights and liberties. For example, since the discovery of America, Native Americans have never had the same treatment and liberties as the white man. African Americans have never had complete freedom; slavery, then Jim Crow, then mass incarceration and police brutality. You could go more in depth with all groups such as immigrants, Women, the LGBTQ+ community, the Latinx community, and anyone else that wasn’t a WASP. These ideals that are in our original documents (DOI and Constitution) are still not available to all in our nation. If you wanted to argue one time when America was, I guess, “great”, I would probably say post-world war 2 (see question 3 for explanation).

    2. I agree with our President that America is not great now, but probably for different reasons. I believe America is not great now because of all the hate being spewed from all sides. Everything has become a bi-partisan issue; including basic human rights—like water. Although women have the right to vote, their rights to their bodies are still being debated. The LGBTQ+ community has marriage equality, yet the transgender community still doesn’t have their right to use the bathroom. LGBT folks are also still being targeted with violence (i.e. Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting). Immigrants are being denied entry and kicked out based on their religion and/or ethnicity. I’m writing this from a social point of view. Our economy could be prospering, yet people that make up this country’s population are suffering.

    3. I think President Trump wants to go back to a time when industry and the military was prospering. The years after World War 2 were a prosperous time for the country when it came to the military, post-war feelings, culture, and overall the vibe of America. It was confident. The baby-boom had just occurred and there was an entirely new way of living – the suburbs. Most of the civil rights movements had not started at this time, so there wasn’t much conflict socially (even though many groups didn’t have rights or equal treatment).

  13. Henry Van Faussien

    1.) When I think of great American time periods the first thing that comes to mind is the 1980’s under the Reagan administration I think that our country saw great strides in many categories of prosperity. One that comes to mind is economic prosperity. With the introduction of supply-side economics AKA Reaganomics which helped stimulate the economy getting rid of the period of stagflation, in addition it created 16 million jobs and shrunk the unemployment rate to 5.4% at the end of his second term. Another area of success in the 1980’s was the end of the Cold War. Treaties like the INF ended the nuclear arms race and cut back on our’s and Russia’s nuclear arsenals. After this americans began to be more and more confident showing a lot of patriotism compared to times under Carter and Nixon in which people did not believe in their government.

    2.) I think a lot of President Trump’s criticisms of todays America has to do with the economic left making a resurgence for example Bernie Sanders presidential run no doubt was frustrating as most of the country was very happy with having a socialist in the office of president. I think as a candidate and advocate for the right, Trump was afraid of the repercussions as America is a capitalist machine. I think another area that Trump criticizes is under the Obama administration they did not retaliate to acts of terror as strongly as he would have liked them to.

    3.) And finally I think the time Trump refers to as the former great america is the 1980’s under Reagan. With the very similar slogans and policies it is not hard to draw comparisons between the two. Not only does Trump personally strive to be the next Reagan he is calling for tax cuts very similar and it looks as though he will be implementing Reagans policy of trickle down economics. i think Reagans doctrine of deregulation will continue through Trump’s term as president and will continue its legacy.

  14. Lindsay Martin

    In terms of ideology, America was great at its very beginning. There was the most pride for our country, because it was created from those people. The core ideas for our country were fought for to be upheld. More townspeople had a say in the government and they were willing to work and change the laws to create a strong base for our country. All of the people in our country were innovators- they had bright ideas and intense motivation to make the country more suitable. We established our systems of checks and balances to prevent corruption in the government. Our country had a strong leader, George Washington. He was such a strong leader that the electoral college unanimously voted for him. To get all the Americans to agree on something isn’t an easy task, and hasn’t happened often. Washington had great ideals that he worked to uphold, he wanted to keep America away from monarchy, so he stepped down after his second term, setting a precedent for all the presidents that follow. Our military was also great. We didn’t have the advanced technology, but the people were still willing to fight. While the conditions weren’t ideal, slavery was still in effect, and our country still needed improving, we had the strongest pride and best leadership. America isn’t as good as it used to be. We no longer uphold our image as a “melting pot” because of how difficult it is to immigrate to America. Taxation is also high, which is something we resented at the beginning. Americans changed our image from determined, to lazy. A stereotypical view of an American is a fat man sitting on his couch watching tv, while eating McDonald’s. And because of all of our technology, the CO2 emissions from our country are devastating worldwide. Many Americans also abuse illegal drugs. Our countries have one of the highest rates of drug abuse worldwide.Even our civil rights need improvement, blacks and women are still fighting for equality, and white men are viewed as ideal. Violence is also a major issue, mass shootings are occurring often. We also have a huge national debt that is only increasing. America has a lot to improve upon.Trump was referring to when we focused on militarism and industrialism. This occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. The age of industrialism occurred. Trump focuses on wealth for the country- and trickle down economics. During this era, industrialism created a lot of jobs for the lower-class workers, and helped the upper-class make more money. America was creating more goods, so our dependence on other countries (like England) lessened. While there were ecological downfalls because of the industrialism, Trump isn’t concerned with the environment. This also caused a shift in population from countryside to big cities, due to the need for workers. Materialism became implemented in most minds, as the dependence on goods increased. So that’s why I believe Trump was referring to industrialism as when America was “great”.

  15. Beau Lerner

    1. I believe that America has always been great and that it keeps getting better. In essence, I believe that right now America is the greatest that it has ever been. Compared to 300 years ago, or even 30 years ago, Civil rights and women’s suffrage has come such a long way providing more equality for more Americans. While we certainly have a ways to go in both of those categories, I believe that in a way, America will be even better tomorrow, and the day after that, as we continue to ever expand on personal freedoms and civil rights for all. While we might have a few hiccups occasionally, what with travel bans and other proposed legislation that could make life harder for minorities, in total America (and to some respect, the world) will always continue to make progress towards greatness.
    2. (question already answered in first prompt)
    3. I believe that President Trump wants to go back to an American culture, political climate and economy of the mid 1950’s. While it is certainly debatable to what extent he wants to restore America to the mid-fifties culture (as racist as he is, I doubt he plans on undoing the civil rights act or voting rights act) but I think in essence he wants every American (that isn’t poor or a Democrat) to live the ideal white suburbian lifestyle that is so often depicted when historians talk about the 50’s.

  16. Brooklyn S

    I believe America was great during the 1990’s because during this time period our economy was thriving and for the most part our country was mostly at peace within each other. We had just finished the Cold War and we were somewhat at peace with Russia. We had also established ourself as a force to be reckoned with in the middle east due to the U.S. keeping Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Our economy was booming and unemployment rates dropped and so did the amount of people who were considered to be in poverty. There was an increase in technology and computers began to advance and Windows 95 revolutionized the computer industry. This increase in technology allowed for us to find ways to help fight back against HIV and other diseases.

    I do believe that America is not great but not for the reasons Trump believes. I believe that we are not great because LGBTQ people do not have any rights protecting them. There is a spiraling rape culture happening and people are getting away with rape crimes in our Justice System. African-Americans male and female are being shot and killed by police officers (mostly white officers) and they are getting away with a not guilty verdict or getting a lesser sentence than normal. There is wage gap that pays women less than men specifically women of color and LGBTQ people. I believe that America hasn’t addressed the race issue in this country ever since the CRM and kind of just covered it up and now we have to address is due to the deaths of many African-Americans. I believe we also need to fix our inner-city school systems because many of the schools don’t have access to enough textbooks or even computers to learn with. I also believe we need to fix out Native American Reservations because we took so much from them and still give them very little. We need to ban the amount alcohol concentration drinks are allowed to have based on fluid ounces because that is one thing that is hurting the Native Americans. We also need to provide job opportunities for them because the reason most of the Natives live below the poverty line is because they don’t have jobs.

    I believe the president wants to return to the 1980’s when the rich (like him) were getting richer because during the 1980’s he was rolling in cash and the President Ronald Reagan established deregulation which was in favor of the rich and powerful.

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