The challenge on traditional culture that is resulted from both external cultural and political influences, as well as internal changes is extremely strong and this is the core of Islamic fundamentalism. Fundamentalism arises as a backlash towards the fragmenting of national identity and cultural transparency. Many traditionalists feel that they need to compensate for the growing modernity of their nations by bringing back their fundamental roots, and thus they take extreme actions. This is evidenced particularly in Saudi Arabia, where the conflict between fundamentalists and modernists are evident. While the nation is awash with oil wealth, it has transformed them into a modern state with all of the benefits of economic status and technology. However, fundamentalists argue that the country has left behind their religion and cultural values to succumb to western wealth. Therefore they consistently combat these forces through the employment of radical measures including terrorism. The rise of fundamentalism is inevitable, as it has occurred in every culture that has ever experienced dramatic change and evolution. However, the case of Islamic fundamentalism is unique because they have taken a decided hatred for the Western world that has transformed geopolitical lines.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States assumed the role of being the sole super power within the World. This has presented numerous challenges as well as benefits to the United States. From a political perspective it makes them much more formidable to push their agenda on the world stage, this has resulted in U.S. policy being the dominant political discussion of the past two decades. It has evidenced itself not only the ability of U.S. presidents to singularly pursue their goals, but also in the reflection of post-Cold War politics. However, this does not mean that the U.S. has only reaped benefits from their status. Rather, they are now viewed as responsible for any and all crisis that occurs on the international level. They are consistently criticized if they do not take action to prevent world crisis, but also criticized if they excessively monitor and "police" the world. As the sole world power, it has gained the economic advantage of being able to dictate policy, but they also suffer in that they are the "nation to catch" by all other nations. Thus making them an easy target for other nations to pursue. The world perspective of the United States has changed significantly since WWII. It was praised and viewed as beneficial during the Cold War where it stood up against the Soviet Union and helped to rebuild the financial prospects of the European and Asian nation states. At the same time however, it is now viewed with disdain by their former allies because of their policy of unilateral "empire building." The United States should most importantly pick a strategy and stick with it. They fluctuate from moving closer to globalization as well as isolationist. As a result, they want to have the benefits of both without any of the obligations. This is not a feasible strategy to maintain in the long-term and should be pursued.
8) Identify and explain the significance of the Criteria for Evaluating Primary and Secondary Sources. How do these criteria help us to improve our understanding of the Past?
The criteria for evaluating primary and secondary sources is the understanding of how to correctly interpret documentation and evidence that is given first and second hand. Primary source documents are documents that come from the specific time period that reflects the event without any additional interpretation. While secondary sources are information that has been processed and explained through an intermediary. Both of these sources are extremely important in understanding the past as they dictate how we can fully appreciate and understand the impact of historical events. The Criteria itself works because it teaches us when and how to understand different types of sources. For instance, primary sources give an excellent interpretation of perspectives, but does a very poor job of giving us a broad and macroscopic understanding of specific issues. Whereas secondary sources are extremely important in evaluating a broad perspective of events while being very poor assessment of the specific events because they are often biased with the conclusions and perspectives of the author.