Themes in American Political History

Themes in American Political History - paragons of virtue...

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Themes in American Political History Americans tend to view their history as a success story and as a victory for democracy. A number of themes recur in how Americans think about their history, including the mythical founding of the United States, the struggle against tyranny and injustice, and the sense of history as progress. Popular culture, especially movies and television shows, constantly reinforces these themes and this view of American history. Mythical Founding Most Americans re-imagine the founding of the United States in mythical terms, as the triumph of wisdom over tyrannical ignorance and as the creation of something new and important in the world. Likewise, many American citizens tend to revere the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers are seen as
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Unformatted text preview: paragons of virtue and political acumen. The iconic image of George Washington on the one-dollar bill or the statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial fits in with this heroic vision of the founders. Struggle Against Tyranny and Injustice Most Americans often think of their country as the champion of democracy and justice. Many events in American history are therefore seen as part of this struggle. Americans tend to think of the Civil War, for example, as the battle to end slavery, World War II as the defeat of evil tyrants, and the Cold War as a triumph of democratic values over communism and totalitarianism. Today, many Americans see the fight against terrorism as the latest example of the United States standing up for what is right in the world....
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2012 for the course POS POS2112 taught by Professor Leslietaylor during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.

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