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What Can History Teach Us? Essay

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Updated: Jun 9th, 2021

Introduction

The greatness of the United States is often associated with its economic and military might that have ensured the place of an international police officer in the world arena. However, this position can be soon questioned by some emerging economies while American leaders tend to neglect modern challenges and the need to adjust to the new environment.

Americans will be the victims of leaders’ errors as well as the ones who contributed greatly to the decline of their society. US citizens and residents lost the orientation that guided the nation for over two hundred years.

The major threat to the US development is the lack of “meaningful competition at home, as the social mobility of the postwar era has given way to an extraordinary social polarization” (“America’s ‘Oh Sh*T!’ Moment”).

America’s decline is due to irreconcilable divisiveness, disrespect for legitimate leaders, and loss of civility in general.

Historical perspective

One of the pillars of American high position is its economic potential, but the share of global health of this nation decreased from 22.5% in the 1950s to 15.1% in the late 2010s (Preble).

One of the reasons for these losses is elites’ focus on their wealth they manage to hold and accumulate making social competition impossible.

Divisiveness

The distribution of resources in American society is alarming as one percent of Americans hold the largest part of the nation’s wealth, which is a considerable threat to US domination in the world.

The competitiveness of the country decreased “from 5.82 to 5.43” while Chinese competitiveness reached 4.90 (“America’s ‘Oh Sh*T!’ Moment”).

These figures suggest that the USA is losing one of its competitive advantages at an unprecedented pace while emerging economies try to improve their social mobility.

The American society should understand the negative outcomes of the loss of social mobility as even wealthy people will lose a lot in this situation due to the overall decline of the country’s economy.

Disrespect for Leadership

The presidency of Donald Trump became a surprise for many and has already become a disappointment for the majority of the US population.

The Trump administration plans to spend almost $757 billion a year on the military sector while the American society needs this investment into its economic development (Preble).

Americans do not support Trumps’ militarism as they feel that their country’s might is not all about the army, but it is more concerned with economic prosperity and innovation.

The gap between American leaders and the nation may lead to greater tension in the society that may lead to more serious economic issues.

Loss of Civility

Americans’ loss of civility is another factor contributing to the overall decline of society as people are losing important values and their ability to communicate that is needed for addressing the emerging challenges.

It is believed that “a return to the original values of the American republic” is necessary for the country’s great leap to its already lost supremacy.

Americans seem to have forgotten about such values as competition, innovation, and the nation’s civility, which is leading to the polarization of the society and disrespect to leadership.

It is critical to make sure that the American society will follow the principles that once made this great nation.

The three major areas to address include civility, social competitiveness, and collaboration, which will ensure the necessary mobilization of each member of the society.

Works Cited

“America’s ‘Oh Sh*T!’ Moment.” Niall Ferguson. 2011. Web.

Preble, Christopher A. “The New York Times. 2018. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "What Can History Teach Us?" June 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-can-history-teach-us/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'What Can History Teach Us'. 9 June.

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