The history of a country or state serves as an important component to progress and development. History teaches about the past of a particular people, community, society, and so forth. Freedom is a state of one being in a position to express his own ideas, establish them and being treated in accordance to his wishes.
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On the other hand, progress is an act of a country improving from one level to another in various aspects, be it economical, political, social or even moral aspects. In order for a community to calculate its progress and recent achievements, it is always in order to consider where they have come from, learn from past success and failures, embrace what would be helpful from the past, and amend the failures to avoid a repeat of the mistakes, giving room for modernization, industrialization, and advancements.
On learning about history, many ideologists emerge with distinct visions that are sometimes interrelated, though others are contrasting concerning what freedom civilization and progress aspects are. Thus, this paper will aim at investigating the history of America.
Additionally, it will seek to find out the visions that have been put forward concerning freedom and the American progress from the perspective of American Indians. More over, it will seek to establish the comparison and contrast of the visions about freedom and progress of America, as well as the idea of civilization that has occurred in the distinct ethic communities.
The history of the United States and its characteristics
The United States, being one of the most famous and prominent countries in the world, has a kind of memorable history. It is characterized by various events that have helped to shape its future. In addition, it was among the first states to gain full independence during the early 19th century, and at the same time, witnessing tremendous events whose end marked the beginning of progress. First, the country faced the challenge of colonization by British and other forces who caused the country’ freedom to be deprived.
It was also marked by the presence of different ethnic communities who had conflicting ideas about progress, civilization, as well as freedom. Moreover, there was rampant slavery, which had emanated from colonization, depriving people of their rights and freedoms and causing many to rise up in questing for freedom. Furthermore, the economic, political and social status was poorly developed, thus it needed some critical attention.
More important, the United States was not an exception when it came to the world wars touching almost all European states; this is evidenced by participation in the World War I and World War II, as well as the Cold Wars, events that awakened them to stand strategically in the recent years. Recently, other historical events like terrorism have also been experienced, giving way for the different ideologies that have been put across.
The vision of American progress and freedom from the perspective of American Indians
From the recorded reports in the history of America and the Dee Brown’s literature, it is evident that America had been occupied by a number of numerous ethnic groups for a long time. Thus, from the perspective of American Indians, many ideas developed concerning the progress of America and the idea of freedom.
First, the Americans believed that it could not matter the number of ethnic groups that occupied the state, however, they would expand towards the four corners to become a large territory in the world.
They thought of the expansion not only as a wise idea, but also as an opening to economic, political, and social opportunities for every citizen living in the country. Additionally, owing to the occurrence of the consequent world wars, they believed in a destiny that is manifest where democracy and freedom were key achievements in all areas of governance.
Secondly, the idea of a destiny that was manifest was interpreted differently by different groups, thus the development of a variety of ideas concerning what freedom is, including Dee Brown’s views. The vision to expand was accompanied by idea to become the most industrialized state in the world, ending every kind of a bondage and expansion of trade. Furthermore, the Americans anticipated working to their best in ceasing slavery, promoting development, and fostering progress in a nation that is democratic and free.
Furthermore, from the perspective of American Indians, the Americans always have a vision to promote the unity of different races that are in existence in the country. United State harbors every kind of a race that exists in the earth, thus creating many problems. However, a lot of racism has thrived, sometimes acting as a hindrance to the achievement of positive visions.
Therefore, there has always been hope that the problem of racism will one day end, while at the same time, other ideologists believe that the existence of such races is adequate. More important, most Americans have long anticipated for a politically free state, where the constitution in the country gives room for every citizen to exercise their ideas and rights in all ways since freedom paves a way for a peaceful nation.
Similarities in the competing visions about freedom and progress
The competing visions concerning progress and freedom put forward by the United States have had some distinct similarities. One, most of them has focused on the liberty of the people regardless of the race, thus the reason for most ideologists trying to define freedom as a way of fighting for it. The vision for all citizens has as well focused on the idea of civilization, without leaving behind any of the races in order to create a modern country.
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At the same time, the ides of economic, political, and social development is well embraced in the country by all ethnic races, despite the racial differences that may occur between them. Overall, they all concur that a Free State, freedom, and democracy is the key to every success. More over, all are keen about their history since it will definitely provide some direction for the success of the future plans.
Contrast in the competing visions about freedom and progress
In the recorded history of America, contrasting visions concerning freedom and the country’s progress have been put in place. The main reason as to why there have to be competing visions about something is simply that of people being created differently and uniquely in their way of viewing things. All along, people have provided distinct ideas of what they view as freedom.
For instance, Dee brown records that some ideologies have been passed to portray freedom as the aspect of not being in slavery. On the other hand, others view freedom to emanate from security in the economy of America. Moreover, some people consider that, when a country becomes politically independent, there is a room for freedom to find its way easily in such a state.
Most people have considered freedom to take pre-eminence in a state where the constitution gives full rights to a citizen to exercise their freedom for a long time. This is the most common ideology since almost all states in the world have documented freedom in their constitutions.
Nevertheless, if we revisit the history, the term freedom ought to have a deeper and a concise meaning, since, though records declare one free according to a constitution, other factors may declare one definitely bound. For instance, from people, a history of the United States, the Americans vision was that of self-freedom from a state of colonialism, at a time when colonialism had overtaken them.
Thus, they were working towards eliminating the colonialists from their land in this perspective. Therefore, freedom would be possibly defined appropriately in accordance to the prevailing conditions at the time of its requirement to avoid dwelling on a diversity of contrasting visions.
Furthermore, different people have also rated the challenges that the country faces currently to the high rate of industrialization and modernization. They have viewed much industrialization as a key to sources of conflicts and terror attacks and they suggest that minimal developments are healthy.
Others view freedom to be problematic since it is a source of rampant crimes in the state, thus decide that much freedom should not be granted. However, as people still anticipate that racism would come to an end, other people do embrace the same finding it as a solution to the many problems since two are always considered better than one on terms of development and progress.
The American history is marked by a number of events and ideologies about freedom and progress. It is true that freedom and progress are directly interrelated, since freedom paves way for developmental ideas. In addition, there have been many ideas, some similar and other contrasting ideas about freedom and progress over the years.
Nevertheless, the objective of the paper has been achieved in discussing about the history, as well as comparing and contrasting different visions that have been put forward concerning freedom and progress. Thus, more research should be conducted to come up with an appropriate definition of freedom and its relationship with progress as well as other economic, social, and political factors.
Abbott, Jacob. American History. NY: Sheldon & co. publishers, 1860.
Bancroft, George. History of the United States. Boston: The University of Michigan publishers, 2005.
Brown, Dee and Sides, Hampton. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc, 2009.
- Abbott, Jacob. American History. American history Volume 1, (NY: Sheldon & co. publishers, 1860), p, 136.
- Brown, Dee and Sides, Hampton. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, (NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc, 2009), p.41.
- Brown, Dee and Sides, Hampton. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, (NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc, 2009), p.13.
- Brown, Dee and Sides, Hampton. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, (NY: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc, 2009), p. viii.
- Bancroft, George. History of the United States. (Boston, The University of Michigan publishers, 2005), p. 176.
- Bancroft, George. History of the United States. (Boston, The University of Michigan publishers, 2005), p. 1.
- Bancroft, George. History of the United States. (Boston, The University of Michigan publishers, 2005), p. 81 & 82.