Continuity & Change in the United States 1998-2015

APUSH Final Exam Project
by: Jenna Greenlee

Main Thesis Statement

It seems that in this day and age, America is starting to realize that some laws need to be changed. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written hundreds of years ago. Some argue that the laws written back then have little to no relevance to the society that America lives in now. Things are starting to change in America demographically, socially, geographically and economically. Slowly America as a whole is starting to change. Things that were not allowed, or even possible 15-20 years ago, is now something legal and something more commonly saw and approved of. In the short 17 years that I have been alive, things have changed. Technology has advanced and has made our world something that no one knew would happen. I predict that 20 years from now, half of the Constitution will not even be in place because of al of the new laws being added and ignored.

Document #1: 1998

Author: Clintonlibrary42
Date: August 19th, 1998
Source Title: Statement to Press on Military Strikes Against Sudan and Afghanistan
Source Type: Speech (Manuscript & Archival Material)
Theme: Politics & Power
Year Used: Year of my birth

Historical Context: Afghanistan and Sudan were starting to terrorize the Americans. Sudan and Afghanistan had bombed the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and had killed hundred of American citizens. Clinton ordered the missile strike against them as retaliation for their actions against the American embassy. This could be one event that could lead to separation of alliance between the Middle East and the United States.
Intended Audience: Citizens of the United States

Document #2: 2001

Author: Serge Schmemann
Date: Sept. 12th, 2001
Source Title: Hijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers & Hit Pentagon in Day of Terror
Source Type: News Article (Text)
Theme: America in the World
Year Used: Year after birth to end of elementary school (1999-2009)

Historical Context: al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, signed a fatwa that said: "We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson." When al-Qaeda attacked the twin towers and the Pentagon, I believe that this is what started the American-led war on Iraq and Afghanistan that is still ongoing to this day.
Purpose: The purpose of this article was to inform the public and citizens of the city of what had happened the day before. No doubt that everyone living in New York City (and everyone else in the country after seeing broadcasts) were scared and wondering what had happened. So this was to inform the public of the actions that were taken against the United States.  

Document #3: 2005

Author (Singers): Celine Dion, The Game, John legend, Jojo, Jesse McCartney, Nick & Aaron Carter, Aj McLean. Angie Stone, Natalie Cole, Patti Labelle, Wycleaf Jean, etc.
Date: October 7th, 2005
Source Title: "Come Together, Now"
Source Type: Song (Recordings)
Theme: Work, Exchange and Technology
Year Used: Year after birth to elementary school (1999-2009)

Historical Context: Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans in 2005. The Level 5 hurricane killed many people and left nearly everyone homeless with no house, car, money or possessions. Many fundraisers and campaigns were put together to help bring money into helping the Katrina victims. This song had various artists come together to create a song that would generate money to donate towards New Orleans. The U.S government had gotten together to help fix a part of our society and tried to help rebuild an economy.  
Purpose: The purpose of this song is to raise awareness for New Orleans and the devastation that they were going through. This song was made to help raise money to donate to the Katrina victims so they could get food and water while their city was recovering from the hurricane.

Document 4: 2010


Author (Singers): Lionel Richie, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Pink, etc \
Date: Feb. 2010
Source Title: "We Are The World"
Theme: Work, Exchange & Technology
Year Used: Middle School

Historical Context: Haiti was hit with a 7.0 (Richter scale) earthquake in 2010. Their city was torn apart (much like New Orleans). The earthquake left many people without homes and basic necessities like food and water. The Red Cross and other American government foundations came together to try and help the wounded and the many others that were without shelter and food. This song was created to help create donations for help towards Haiti. This effected American economy because a lot of money was put towards to try and help them and effected American life as well.
Purpose: This song encouraged people to help give funding to other people in the world. The song originally written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie told people to help their "brothers and sisters" in their time of need.

Document #5: 2011

Author: ProSportsBrief
Date: March 2011
Source Title: Osama Bin Laden Death - Reaction of US
Source Type: Visual
Theme: America in the World
Year Used: Middle School

Historical Context: Osama Bin Laden had been the leader of al-Qaeda, the terrorist group that had threatened America for years. He was the one who had control over 9/11 and the bombing of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and many other bombings that harmed the citizens of America. After looking for him for years, SEAL Team 6 was able to locate him and kill him. This was devastating to al-Qaeda, but a huge victory for America in a personal war that had been raging for years.
Purpose: The purpose of this video is semi-informative because it lets America know that America has just gained a huge victory, but also shows the excitement and unity of America once our biggest enemy was finally defeated.

Document #6: 2015

Author: Jessica Gresko & Tom Foreman Jr.
Date: April 27th, 2015
Source Title: Riot Erupts in Baltimore After Freddy Gray's Funeral
Source Type: Article (Text)
Theme: Politics & Power
Years Used: High School

Historical Context: Many deaths in 2014-2015 have gotten anger out of people. Many black people are being killed because of unfair police action and brutality. It has started a movement around America known as "Black Lives Matter". Many are even going as far to comparing the riots happening now to the riots that have happened in the 1950's. People are saying that rights of the Constitution are being compromised because of the unfair deaths and injustice that is happening specifically to the African American race. When Freddy Gray was in the care of the police during arrest, his neck and back were broken, which lead to his death because of the exaggerated police brutality. When the police weren't charged, people were angered and reacted with riots.
Purpose: This article is put here to inform the people in America on what is going on in Baltimore. Because so many riots were breaking out due tot he Black Lives Matter, most people want to know what has happened and why people are so upset.

Document #7: 2015

Author: The Hill Newspaper
Date: Jan 22nd, 2015
Source Title: Obama: More Likely to Legalize Marijuana
Source Type: Video (Visual)
Theme: Culture
Year Used: High School

Historical Context: Marijuana is a drug that has been deemed dangerous and illegal for years. Millions of people are currently sitting in jail because of marijuana and having illegal possession of it. but in the last couple years, certain states have changed the law and have given certain states rights to use it medically and recreationally. This has caused huge controversy and debate among people in America on whether it's appropriate to have a drug that has been illegal for such a long time, to be used so loosely. So the possession of marijuana has actually changed laws and how society is starting to view things. In the next couple of years, using marijuana to simply get high can be legal. Anyone is allowed to have possession of a drug that millions have been locked up for. This new law is going to mold our society into something new and something that most would call inappropriate.
Purpose: The purpose of this interview is to let people know what's actually going on about the legalization from the president's own words. Many are excited for this new law, and many are not. This would keep a lot of people out of jail, and could change the demographic of America forever.

Document #8: 2015

Author: Cady Carmichael
Date: May 2012
Source Title: Obama Speech on Gay Marriage
Source Type: Speech (Manuscript)
Theme: Culture
Year Used: Current 2015

Historical Context: For years the LGBT community has been angered because they cannot legally get married. There was large debate saying how it was unconstitutional for the law to prohibit people from marrying who they want to. But during Obama's second inauguration, he has promised that the gay community will be treated as equal to others and will have the right to marry. Slowly, state by state is passing the law that says that gays can now legally be married. Most people are very happy by this, but the religious community is not. the Bible calls same-sex marriage a sin, and most religious people would call it disgusting and don't want their children growing up in a society where it's okay to see two men, or two women lawfully bound. But since the law is changing, more people are coming out about their sexuality and now, same sex couples are a common thing to be seen n America.
Purpose: This interview was given to show that Obama is with the LGBT community and that he supports the life that they live. By him trying to help them win their right to be married to the person they want, he is gaining their vote and their encouragement and he is showing that certain community that he stand behind them and that someone is there fighting for their rights.  

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