American Cultures

PICK ONE 2. (In)justice: The ideal of justice is woven into the fabric of American rhetoric—“liberty and justice for all” is promised in the Pledge of Allegiance. Yet, the material realities of our past often tell a very different story. Slavery, colonization of Native American lands, and discrimination against immigrants are just a few of the ways in which injustice has shaped the course of American history. Several types of justice to consider include distributive justice, restorative justice, and retributive justice. Some questions to consider are as follows: *How has (in)justice been served in various aspects of American culture? *What types of (in)justice are implicated in x, y, or z? *How has x, y, or z served as a vehicle for social change? *What are the root causes of oppression? How do we overcome them? 3. (Dis)continuity For this theme, you will examine the evolution of American culture. When has history repeated itself to varying degrees, and what differences have emerged in these iterations? Some questions to consider are as follows: *What parts of American culture have continued from the past into the present? *Why are we still arguing about x, y, or z? *Why did x, y, or z change? How have they changed? *What have we lost, set aside, or destroyed? Why? *What is the meaning of history, change over time? At the end of the term, you will turn in a 6-8 page essay that builds and articulates some critical insight about American culture. You will articulate a thesis statement (a claim backed up with analysis and evidence). You should cite both lectures and readings and include 3-4 sources from class. No outside sources are necessary.

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Rebellion has been part of the American colony even before the revolutionary war. Research states that the thirteen American colonies have over time experienced violent revolutions where the American people have shown themselves to be more than willing to defend a cause that they hold dear or deem important (Kurashige, 9). As such, the tradition of rebellion has characterized the American spirit throughout history. It can take various forms. It can either be individual or collective depending with the people involved in the activity or the purposes to be accomplished. Consequently, they can either be peaceful and non-violent or extremely violent thus causing terror and sabotage of activities and events. Politically, rebellions and revolts are often differentiated by their differences in aims, targets and purposes. According to research, it is clear that if a rebellion seeks to evade or acquire concessions from a tyrannical and repressive power or regime, the rebels work to overthrow, sabotage and destroy that power (Wood, Reed, and Jakana, 32). Also, the accompanying laws and regulations that are attached to such a regime are overruled such that they become inactive. The main purpose of a rebellion is to seek resistance while a revolt aims at acquiring a revolution.  According to Karl Marx’s evaluation on rebellions, it is clear that they are seen as expressions for political violence. This is to mean that they are not episodic outbursts of discontentment or dissatisfaction but are rather symptomatic expressions of a specific set of objectives (Wood, Reed, and Jakana, 35). For instance, Bacon’s rebellion in 1676 reflects a group of resentful and unhappy residents of the western part of Virginia who were in search of justice. These people felt that their interests were not being represented in the legislature. Besides, they felt that there was no protection for them against the raids from the Indians. This caused more than a thousand people to burn the capital city causing the presiding governor to flee. The insurgents looted and plundered the city until reinforcements fought back. This led to the death of over 20 rebels but the rebellion did not stop. On the contrary, the wealthy people in the society were filled with fear of continued rebellion. As such, similar protests and rebellions took place in many colonies (Kauanui, 257). From the above incident, it is clear that rebellions do not just happen and they must be triggered by something. Unlike Karl Marx, it has been argued that grievances that have been ignored for a long period of time cause the people to become impatient especially if the conditions are becoming unbearable.  It is also evident that rebellions act as a symptom to problems or trouble. This is to mean that they act as pointers to subjects of interest. For instance, the Paxton boys in 1764 marched to object to the Native American Policy ((Kurashige, 67). In this case, the Paxton people wanted a right to the native American Land as well as protection. As such, one of the leaders met with the group and listened to their grievances and as such, order was restored before significant attacks were made on Philadelphia. As such, it is clear that the American people were experienced rebels especially when their rights were infringed or jeopardized. In such cases, they were willing to take up their arms. Some of the major causes of rebellion were economic exploitation, lack of political representation and unfair taxation.  Research states that rebellions play a significant role in forming both individual and group identities. This is because the people that take part in the rebellion often have a common interest or a shared goal. For instance, the people involved in the American revolution had a common interest in liberation and to acquire independence (Kauanui, 261). As such, the rebellion forms their identity. It is also clear that the rebellion and prohibition of the drag balls in the 1920s attracted more than 7000 people from different races and social classes but with the same sexual orientation of being queer. From this explanation, it is clear that rebellions have a way of forming certain identities in groups. Besides, they have an emotional and psychological effect on the participants (Kauanui, 263). This is to mean that a person’s character, behavior and attitude towards things can change due to such rebellions. This comes as a result of the awareness created due to shifts in perceptions, ideas and concepts. As such, these differences have the ability to develop a specific identity in individuals.  From the above discussions, it is clear that some of the rebellions in the United States brought about justice and reshaped the status quo. For instance, reverberations of the US rebellions reached England between 1763 and 1776 and the message from the colonial Americans was heard leading to their liberation and independence. Subsequent revolts also prove that the Americans were ready to fight to acquire justice and various freedoms. For instance, the Shay’s rebellion in 1787 that was against economic injustices, led to economic reforms (Ablavsky, 1792).  However, it is also clear that most violent rebellions lead to the death of many people and some of the grievances not handled. For instance, the Slave rebellion in 1831 led to the murder of local blacks. As such, it is clear that rebellion has formed the American spirit and has won many batters for modern America.

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