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Events That Have Made America What It Is Today Essay

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Updated: Jan 14th, 2022

Introduction

Understanding the critical events that have played an important role to shape the history of America should be the core objective of any student who takes pride in his country. Some of the major historical events that have been identified include the D-Day invasion, the Great Depression, and even the assassinations of the United States great presidents, John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. These are just but a few of the common events that have shaped the history of this nation. However, other significant milestones have been ignored by historical experts. Larry Schweikart, a conservative historian, in his most celebrated book titled ‘Seven Events that Made America America’, takes a deep discovery of some pivotal events that have made America what it is today. Scheweikart indicates that these neglected, yet significant historical events, disclose the imperativeness of our values.

The Seven Events That Made America America

The author does not merely recount America’s history but rather takes a different perspective to examine some significant events in light of the vision of our Founding Fathers. The seven events, as discussed by Schweikart, form a cohesive argumentative point to any historian through this easy-to-read but, educative book. One of the insights by the author is his take on Martin Van Buren’s nightmare in the 1820s which bore the big government. The author notes that the move by Martin to invent new national party machinery seemed to evoke some kind of partisan strife in history. The machinery’s strategy to reward its supporters by giving them employment both at the party and government level resulted in the continuous growth of the federal government. The second notable event identified by the author is the Dred Scott decision in 1857 that wrecked the economic status in America and accelerated a war. The decision by the supreme court in the matter of Dred, a slave, not only messed him up but became a historical event that led to financial panic. It also played a big role to spark the beginning of the Civil War. The third historical event took place in 1889 during the Johnstown Flood. This flood saw the citizens themselves coming together in solidarity to heroically and efficiently give aid in response to the disaster hence exhibiting the power of private empathy. This act is therefore not surprising as the Founding Fathers would not have expected the people to act otherwise. The fourth event identified by the author is the heart attack by Ike that triggered dietary nannyism. According to the author, the war to ensure that Americans ate healthy foods was triggered by President Dwight Eisenhower’s heart attack. Though the Constitution does not give the federal government power to dictate Americans’ diet, the author seems to argue that this particular event set the pace to preach dietary nannyism. The war on meat, sugar, fats and any other food that the government deemed not healthy to the human’s body would not have appalled the Founders. According to him, the upheaval started in the British era when they attempted to dictate what tea was fit for the Americans. The fifth event was witnessed in the early 1960s when the steel guitar rocked the iron curtain. The author argues that the emergence of new rock in America rocked through the iron curtains. Originally termed as a liberal phenomenon, its emergence faced challenges but the process assisted in communism’s defeat. The victory achieved reassured the Founders that the individuals are therefore the source of artistic expression and not the government. The sixth event was witnessed during Ronald Reagan’s role to deploy marines in Lebanon to keep peace hence dismantling his greatest achievement to fight communism. This strategy was threatened by the emergence of a new worldwide movement, the radical Islamic Jihad. The last important event was witnessed when Obama made a speech that seems to chill the media. The author argues that the event has led the media today to become democratic and almost partisan.

Interpreting The Events That Made America America

History always seems to repeat itself yet we, the citizens, fail to learn from past mistakes. The state, on the other hand, seems to make the same mistakes. A good illustration is witnessed in the author’s attempt to explain the consequences of Ike’s heart attack which gave rise to the never-ending dietary policies evident in our modern society. He supports his argument by quoting Thomas Jefferson’s sentiments of the need for the government to prescribe Americans the appropriate diet and medicine to keep their bodies healthier. Through the emergence of the current ban on various unhealthy foodstuffs, the introduction of dietary policies, and the looming application of Obama care, the author paints an unappealing picture of the State’s intrusion in our private kitchens and healthcare centers in the future. Ike’s heart attack resulted in the government politicizing the issue of medicine and science. The event led researchers such as Jean Mayer to predict the heart attack predicament to future cardiovascular diseases caused by high intake of fats. It is funny that by the time the government engaged itself in the war in 1977, 20% of Americans were already obese. The consequences of the events put the government’s preparedness in question. Another tragedy that seemed to hit the nation was the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack that left the whole nation in mourning. This is a consequence of the big mistake made by Ronald Reagan that triggered the terrorist attacks. History seems to repeat itself. The attacks on Reagan’s men were a result of the futile peacekeeping mission, a mistake that the current government reiterated when it supported the Israelis, hence triggering another attack. Before the federal government could reorganize itself following the attacks, the Hurricane Katrina disaster hit the nation claiming thousands of lives as a result in 2005. The same Johnstown Flood event seems to replay itself in the Katrina disaster. This triggered a report by the Senate committee in charge of homeland security and state affairs that questioned the level of coordination and planning by the government. The government seems not to heed either long-term or short-term warnings. This is proven by the fact that the government was aware of the potential threat and likelihood of a devastating hurricane on the Gulf region for several years, a fact that it chose to ignore. How else can they explain hurricane Betsy in 1965 or Hurricane Camille in 1969? More recently is the Hurricane Georges that was experienced in 1998 in the Gulf.

Rock music, on the other hand, is an indicator of individual freedom and liberty. Rock music is always in form of a band that has a solo lead singer. It, therefore, symbolizes the Americans who are always ready to work as a team towards a common goal, but who possess the ability to express themselves individually. Further, President Obama has been praised for his excellent public speaking skills which seem to create a ‘thrill’ in the media. Does that make him any different from his predecessors? The U.S media has always possessed a shallow definition of the issue of objectivity. The information that is published in our media is in most cases 98% biased. Take for instance the Bush administration which was filled with many holes in the media coverage. The same is true with the current government and media coverage which seems to protect political speech. Take for example the move by the Obama administration to declare Fox News as a political opponent rather than a feasible news agency. However, the media democracy that seems to grow by the moment in each government departs, as evidenced in Obama’s event, from the vision of our Founding Fathers. The consequences of Dred Scotts’ decision also seem to create an impact on our current economic status. The event is an indication of wrong decisions made by the government that seems to trigger both the economic and social crisis. The ad hoc decisions by the government are not well thought out hence causing a major economic crisis in America. This has led to massive unemployment further causing social panic. The Founding Fathers predicted such problems but the government has not taken any steps to involve experts while making decisions as regards the monetary policies.

Conclusion

The seven events show the consequences of ignoring the values of individual freedom, private ventures, or even a diminutive form of government. It becomes evident that such ignorance can generate a negative impact on the future of a nation. The arguments posed by Scheweikart in support of the seven highlighted events are not only intriguing but also plausible. His articulations that the Founding Fathers predicted the consequences of the events make one wonder whether the Americans are merely ignorant, or if the federal government is at fault.

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