Change and Continuity in the United States 1998-2015

Evaluate the extent to which economics, politics, culture, and America's role in the world from 1998-2015 contributed to maintaining continuity as well as fostering change in the United States.

Politics, American culture, and America's role have lead to several both positive and negative changes within the United States in the past seventeen years. The economy has been in periods of good and bad times, politics have had changes implemented by both political parties, and America has been involved in various wars across the world. Therefore, the events that have occurred in the last seventeen years have fostered many changes on the United States as well as across the world.

Document A: First Portable MP3 Player

Source citation: The Register, May 18th 2015, Ten Years Old: the world's first mp3 player/Texts:journals/work,exchange,and technology/1998/year of birth ,

The device made its debut at the CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany. It was a prototype, but Saehan must have garnered enough interest to put the player into mass production, which it did in May 1998 before going on sale in the US and Europe through importers in the summer.

In the US, local supplier Eiger Labs wanted $250 for the F10, though the price fell to $200 the following year prompted by the release of the Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300, which was priced at $200.

The PMP300 - widely but wrongly held to be the world's first commercial MP3 player - also had 32MB of storage fed through a parallel port. But it boasted a larger display than the F10 and also featured a Smart Media slot to allow users to increase the gadget's storage capacity.

Historical Context: At this point in history, portable technology wasn't accessible or practical. It had always been too big or too expensive, with the creation of the portable MP3 player,  portable music was accessible by almost everyone, with a small size and modest price.

Purpose: With the turn of the century coming, the need more the next big thing lead to innovations in technology, such as the MP3 player.

Work, Exchange, & Technology:

The production of the first MP3 player in 1998 lead the way for the dozens to hundreds of other similar devices used to play digitally downloaded music from a portable platform. This lead to innovations in computer technology, and communication devices. The portable MP3 player wasn't just a United States product, it was available around the world and was part of a revolution in technology in the early 2000's. At this time the U.S. economy was strong, which allowed the MP3 player to have a reasonable price, which was likely a reason for its success.

Document B: "Google Up Rise"

Source Citation: Alan White, 5/18/2015, Here's an Important Reminder That "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" Used the Word "Googled" on TV First/Texts:Articles and Visual Materials: Television shows/Culture/2002/year after birth to end of elementary school,

According to Arthur, just a few months [after the show was broadcast], all 60 members of a committee selected by the American Dialect Society voted to google 2002’s most useful new word. Merriam-Webster and the Oxford English Dictionary would soon note the coinage. By 2006, Google’s lawyers — fearful of seeing the company’s name brand watered down to the trademark mushiness of kleenex — wrote a post for the company blog outlining when and when not to google should be used.

Historical Analysis: when aired in 2002, using the word google as a verb (ex. googled, googling,) had never been used, let alone on a popular nationally aired television show. The originally apprehensive company allowed the name to be used, and became  one of the most used new words of the time.

Intended Audience: Being used on a popular television show, the intended audience was most likely an adolescent to young adult american audience because they were the target audience for the show, as well as being involved with the new age of computers.

Culture: The late 90's to early 2000's saw major changes in technology, with things like computers, internet, and cellphones being accessible by the majority of American households. When this episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer aired in 2002, it was the first time google had been used as a verb on television. Immediately following, googling became a common term that we use today. This is an example of a cultural change in society because it shows how technology is becoming integrated in peoples lives.

Document C: Moving Towards Iraq War

Source Citation: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters, 4/9/2003, "Iraq Crisis: Timeline since 2003 US Invasion"/Visual Materials: photographs/ America in the world/2003/ year after birth to end of elementary school/

Historical Analysis:

This picture was taken in 2003, quickly after the United States had invaded parts of Iraq. The soldiers took over the city Baghdad, and covered the face of dictator, Saddam Hussein, with a flag, showing symbolic take over of Iraq.

Point of View:

This photograph was published in The Telegraph, which is a global news source. By broadcasting this from a global standpoint to the rest of the world, it has a point of view that puts the United States in a position of power.

America in the World:

During this time, the war on Iraq had just began, and U.S. military troops were just beginning to arrive in the country. At this beginning point in the war, the U.S., had taken over the city of Baghdad, and covered a statue with the American flag, showing force over Iraq. This lead type of act lead to increased tension between the U.S. and the Middle East, and may have prolonged the United States involvement in the war. Foreign policy had changed as well, with the U.S. taking part in the politics of other countries.

Document D: Push For Healthier Schools

Source Citation:

Greg Toppo,12/1/2009,Healthy, Organic, and Cheap School Lunches? Order up/Texts/Work, Exchange, and technology/middle school/2015,

"The federal government pays, on average, $2.68 per child per meal – and most food advocates say that simply isn't enough. A few insist it can't be done for less than $5.

So it's big news when someone tries, even on a small scale, to feed kids well for under $3 a pop."

Historical Analysis:

In the 2000's is when the United States started to push towards a healthier lifestyle, especially for children. However, the government did not allow money for it at that time, but later implements the "No Kid Hungry" act.


This article was written to bring attention to the fact that due to costs, school lunches are very unhealthy, with schools going for the cheapest option rather than the healthiest option.

Work, Exchange, and Technology:

The lunches provided by schools depend on the funding from the government. This could be a factor of the high childhood obesity concerns in the US at this time. With the Federal  Government controlling the food lunches get, price is usually the defining factor, rather than health value. Later in the future, this could have in impact by showing what spending was most important to the government.

Document E: 2012 Elections

Barack Obama, November 5th 2012, Remarks at a Campaign Rally in Madison, Wisconsin/Manuscript and archival material/Politics and power/middle school/2015,

"Because our budget reflects our values; it's a reflection of our priorities. And as long as I'm President, I'm not going to kick some poor kids off of Head Start to give me a tax cut. I'm not going to turn Medicare into a voucher just to pay for another millionaire's tax cut."

Historical Analysis:

President Obama had been running for his second term as president, and this was his last speech before the election.

Intended Audience:

This speech was likely intended for the average American voters because they are who the majority of who major political changes are going to effect.

Politics and Power:

The election of 2012 was a very close election, with President Obama winning by about 1%. But President Obama, and the opposing candidate had different opinions on spending. While the Republicans in America was a large population, the population of Democrats had been rising. The democrats won, as a democratic president had won two terms.

Document F: Racial Prejudice still relevant and archival material(clothing)/America and The World/high school/2015,

Historical Context:

After the death of unarmed teenager, Mike Brown, by the Ferguson, Missouri police, the phrase "Black Lives Matter" was used to bring attention to racial injustice in America.


These shirts were created in protest to the racial crimes from police officers in the year 2014. The term was also a trending tag on twitter, getting millions of responses from around the world.

America in the World:

While not an issue with foreign policy, there was somewhat of a change in the internal policies in America. The crimes and consequential riots lead to the Unites States as well as other countries to re-evaluate their police forces. Economically, the US had suffered due to the cost of deploying police officers, and repairing partial damage. The incidents sparked controversy around the world, leaving many people more aware of modern day race issues.

Document G: Turf War

Source Citation:

Andrea Crossan, August 8, 2014, Female soccer players launch a turf war over next year's Women's World Cup/Recording (oral interview)/Culture/High school/2015,

Historical Context:

Women's sports have generally had less of a fan base, but for years the World Cup wasn't allowed to be played on the same fields as the men's World Cup, which has caused controversy for years.

Point of View:

The interview is given to a long time female soccer fan and pro player who has seen the minor yet big discrimination against female athletes.


While the small difference may not mean a lot, the fact that there is a difference in the way men's and women's sports are treated has a bigger cultural impact. Men's sports are broadcast on every major news network, with countless of channels devoted to men's sports. For Women's sports, aside from the Olympics, the Women's World Cup is probably the biggest sporting event their is. This has an impact in American culture because it shows how sports and popular sports culture treats men and women's sports differently.

Document H: Obama Care Debate

Supreme Court, March  4 2015, Oral Argument/ Recording/ Politics and Power/ current year/2015,

Historical Context:

Health care prices had always been a problem among lower income Americans, with the Obama Care health care is given to everyone, however many politicians are against it.

Intended Audience:

The debate would likely be intended for the tax payers, because, in a sense, they are the ones paying to fund the free health care.

Politics and Power:

While not stated as part of the Constitution, health care has been an issue that has caused a lot of controversy in the US. Within the US the Democratic party has generally been in favor of free or cheaper health care, while the Republican party has opposed it. The ideology clash between the parties has delayed the health care acts, but with a Democratic president in office, free health care was achieved. American citizens have remained split over the issue.

Comment Stream