¶ … Modern-Day Corruption and Graft
The Watergate incident that occurred in President Nixon's Administration is exemplary of modern day corruption. Here, the government under Nixon's presidency was recognized to have sanctioned a sequence of confidential monitoring operations conducted by highly-trained agents that was financed by illegal campaign contributions. The seriousness of the incident was such that Richard Nixon had to resign his presidency.
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois offered differing philosophies, strategies, and tactics for African-Americans following Reconstruction. In your opinion, which of these leaders gave the best advice for their times? Why do you feel this way?
Booker T. Washington primarily believed that the approach to deal with the African-Americans after the Reconstruction was tolerance, adaptation, and self-assistance with maximum attention on the provision of job opportunities for possible advancement of the community W.E.B. Dubois, on the other hand, asserted that the best methodology was the use of campaigning disapproval of the segregation. Both leaders had polar opposite approaches but one could not be instigated without the other, hence it would have been more feasible if both approaches were blended to an extent to attain higher and equal penetration of the African-American community after the Reconstruction.
3. Historians have long debated whether Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, et al., were ORGANIZATIONAL and INDUSTRIAL GENIUSES or ROBBER BARONS. What do you think? Relatively good men? Incredibly evil? A little of both, but more one way than the other? Would the United States have been better off without them? Why, or why not?
The three individuals aforementioned were all great industrial pioneers of their time, and without their efforts, the industrial revolution in the United States would not have surged as much as it did. Some individuals might view the individuals and others of their kind as good men due to their apt captaincy of their respective industries and others might consider them as good due to their philanthropic interests that surfaced later. That is my view, although I do understand how some individuals could view these individuals as oppressors and exploiters, but my stance is pro-capitalism which is why I view them as good men.
4. Has there been much change in the large, U.S. urban areas since the turn-of-the-century? Or, is it all still very much the same? Why do you feel this way? If you find inadequacies in today's urban condition, what can the government do to improve the situation?
Most of the modern urban planning is focused on primarily the beautification aspects of structures and all efforts for city planning, validation of city government, and increments in the nature and expanse of city services are focused thereof for visual appeal with little to no concern for the environmental pressures that they exert. All future urban planning must not only focus on the negative impacts that it will have on the environment but also focus on the exploitation of the natural resources. It is suggested that alternative sources be used for future urban planning ventures.
5. Why do you think the National Government refused to be more proactive (involved) or protective (concerned) for the environment or workers' rights by the end of the 1800's?
The expanding size and nature of the factories during the industrial revolution was the primary reason for ill-involvement and minimal concern shown by the government when it came to the environmental concerns or worker rights. The industrial revolution was bring in huge profits for the governments and simultaneously decreasing their input capital as majority of the work was done by the machines and minimal workforce was required, hence decreasing the percentage of wages which were minimal to begin with at the time (i.e. $400-$500 annually to serve an entire family).
6. Given the greed and aggressiveness of the other superpowers of the day, could the U.S. have done anything other than enter the "sweepstakes" for colonial territory? Could it have permitted its European rivals to gobble up most of the Earth's raw material-producing areas? Did a colony stand a better chance for humane treatment and eventual independence while being controlled by the U.S. Or by one of its European (or Japanese) competitors?
The expanse of colonial rule at the time left literally no choice for the Americans to expand in a similar fashion in order to have a role to play in the use of the abundant raw materials. In hindsight, the use of colonies perhaps was the reason that the Americans were able to have a methodical tactic to attain independence...
It would have been extremely difficult, especially with the spread of the colonial system, to have attained independence otherwise.
7. During the Progressive Era, Congress passed the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcohol. Do you consider this a progressive measure or a harmful measure? Do you see any similarities between outlawing liquor in the early 1900's and outlawing recreational drugs in today's times?
Both alcohol and drug use lead to same negative circumstances for the societies, even though the use of these was initiated across different eras. The major negative circumstances that both alcohol and drug use pose include: increased child or wife abuse; decreased work capacity and increased corruption. Alcohol regulation and laws have perhaps lead the way for drug regulation in current times as well, but it is important to note here that both alcohol and drugs continue to pose the same threats when unregulated.
8. Given the circumstances of the war crisis -- was the government's suspension of civil rights during WWI an "acceptable" violation of our Constitution, or should our freedoms never be restricted for any cause?
Restricting civil rights never really results in fruitful lifestyles for the citizens or the minorities as it constricts the overall interaction between social actors. In an intimately networked world today, it will be far more devastating to restrict the civil rights as opposed to not restricting them. The restriction imposed in WWI is proof of how lifting the restriction results in far more work in the future as opposed to monitoring a predetermined standard of freedom of civil rights.
9. Compare the reaction then with events concerning immigration today. What are the similarities and differences? Is immigration a problem for the country in the 21st Century?
Immigration laws have always been enforced even though America is a nation that is primarily made up of immigrants; however, the laws imposed in the earlier times in the events leading up to and after World War I were far more based on hatred, then general concern. This is one of the basic differences as immigration is now accepted as a reality for most countries and welcomed but with certain restrictions and expectations. Another major difference is that now the implementation of the immigration laws is far more proper and successful than it was initially.
10. How much responsibility should the federal government take in guaranteeing its citizens a minimum standard of living? How much is too much? Should we move even further in this direction (such as national health care)? Or should we move back to placing more emphasis on the state, local government, or on the individuals, themselves?
The federal government as well as the state must take active role in the provision of standard healthcare facilities to its citizens. There should however be a limit and designated sections that each department must be responsible for and in different circumstances. For instance, the provision of basic healthcare facilities must be under the administration of the local government as they best understand the customized needs; the federal government must head the medical research and fulfillment of the demands of the local governments while the state must take care of the funding needs.
11. Did the West (the United States, England, France) do as much as could be reasonably expected during World War II to prevent the extermination of European Jews? Did Truman make the right decision on dropping the atomic bomb on Japan?
Examples of the holocaust and Pearl Harbor as well as the decision to engage the use of atom bombs does not paint a picture of restraint from the engaged armies in the Second World War. It has been over fifty years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, but the citizens are still living with the repercussions on health an economy caused thereof. As a whole, Japan is an industrialized and developed country but Hiroshima and Nagasaki continue to suffer and in hindsight, while the decision might have proved U.S. To be stronger, it continues to be one of the worst decisions made on the grounds of human rights.
12. Was there any alternative to a "Cold War" policy? Could there have been any kind of peaceful coexistence early on, given the volatility of the situation following WWII?
The fact of the matter is that the situation after World War II was very brittle and none of the countries involved in the War were willing to compromise on any grounds, hence a Cold War seemed to be…