Continuity & Change in the United States 1998-2015

Evaluate the extent to which economics, politics, culture, and America’s role in the world from 1988-2015 contributed to maintaining continuity as well as fostering change in the United States.

Document A: News Video

Source: ABC News, 1998


Historical Context: 1998- A supreme court case just struck down Colorado's Amendment 2 which dealt with gay discrimination protection 2 years before. It was now  that gay and anti-gay activism began to rise drastically in America.

Purpose: The point here was to publicly address the rising issue of LGBTQ hate and hate crime. The way it was presented was to get the audience to combat this issue and bring it to an end.

Culture: This event impacts society by making society address the rising issue of anti-gay violence and discrimination. Because it was projected via news and now is in social sharing website Youtube it has a higher chance of making its way to being a major Supreme Court case and impacting future American politics because reactions from teh rest of the population is going to be unignoreable.

Document B: Newspaper Article

Source: Los Angeles Times, 2002

Top U.S. Lawmakers Seek Expanded Afghanistan Role

Top U.S. Lawmakers Seek Expanded Afghanistan Role August 01, 2002|GREG MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WASHINGTON — Leading lawmakers voiced concern Wednesday that Afghanistan could again become a haven of chaos and terrorism unless the United States expands its peacekeeping role--a proposal that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld firmly resisted during congressional testimony that included several testy exchanges. "We don't want to win this war and then lose the peace in the sense of seeing a return to chaos," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The two-hour hearing reflected growing concern on Capitol Hill that the stability of Afghanistan's fledgling government is being undermined by fighting among regional warlords. The session also demonstrated that many in Congress are increasingly comfortable criticizing aspects of the war effort, in sharp contrast to the early months of the conflict when members feared that raising even minor questions would make them appear unpatriotic.

Several lawmakers not only challenged White House reluctance to deploy American soldiers as peacekeepers, but they also argued that the military made a major blunder by not using U.S. troops to seal off Al Qaeda escape routes during the major battles of the war. "For me, Operation Enduring Freedom has become Operation Enduring Frustration," said Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.). "We still haven't killed or captured Osama bin Laden and his terrorist cadre. Do you happen to know where he is?"

Rumsfeld bristled at the line of questioning. "You can be frustrated if you want--I'm not," he said. He acknowledged that the United States does not know the terrorist mastermind's whereabouts, but he argued that Bin Laden's capture was not the paramount goal of the war. "He may be dead. He may be seriously wounded. He may be in Afghanistan, he may be somewhere else," Rumsfeld said. "But wherever he is, if he is, you can be certain he is having one dickens of a time operating his apparatus."

Though the hearing was billed as a status report on the war in Afghanistan, much of the discussion centered on Iraq, widely perceived as the Bush administration's next military target. Asked how the administration will decide which countries should be targeted by preemptive military action in the war on terrorism, Rumsfeld stopped short of pointing to Iraq, but he said that some nations "obviously elevate themselves as problems. If we sat down and looked at what they are doing to their own people -- starvation, repression, butchery, use of chemicals," Rumsfeld said, "pretty soon people have to nod and say, 'Well, they're nominating themselves.' "

Historical Context: 2002- This was a year after the 9/11 attacks and in the middle of President Bush's "war on terrorism."  

Point Of View: This is coming from the point of view of people who want to have more control in Afghanistan and find Osama Bin Laden.

Politics and Power: This article from the LA Times is significant because America wants to gain a larger foothold (at least temporarily) in Afghanistan to end the terrorism war and spread her democratic ideas to them. If they didn't it was believed that Afghanistan would turn into a "haven of chaos and terrorism," again.  

Document 3: Artifact

Source:, 2003

Historical Context: 2003- That year NASA's Space Shuttle Program started 22 years ago with Space Shuttle Columbia and was also when it first failed. This is a helmet of one of the 7 astronauts on Space Shuttle Columbia which disintegrated while reentering earth from outer space.

Intended Audience: This artifact is property of NASA and the photo of it was meant for the general public but is used for NASA in the research of the disintegration of Space Shuttle Columbia.

Work, Exchange, and Technology: This artifact taken from a Texas farm is important because it shows the potential aftermath of our advancing technology. The Space Shuttle Program was widely supported by the general public at first, especially after the  successful moon landing in 1969, but this artifact served as a grim reminder of what the space race may lead to. Things like this may lead the public to get NASA to stop the shuttle program which ended 8 years after the photo was taken.

Document 4: Data Graph

Source:, 2010

Historical Context: 2010- Offshore oil drilling is nothing new by now, but there were more and more arguments made against offshore drilling for economic, energy, and reasons surrounding natural resources and wildlife.

Purpose: This in an informative data graph that shows the dangers of offshore drilling and also as a reason to put an end to it due to the destruction of wildlife.

Work, Exchange and Technology: This chart relates to the theme of work, exchange and technology because our advancements in technology began to have a negative affect on our environment and to the safety of our oil drill workers.

Document 5: Newspaper Article

Source:, 2011

Coalition Launches 'Operation Odyssey Dawn'

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2011 – Coalition forces launched “Operation Odyssey Dawn” today to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people from the country’s ruler.

The goal of the military coalition is to prevent further attacks by regime forces on Libyan citizens, officials said, adding that the coalition also wants to degrade the ability of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime to resist a no-fly zone being implemented.

U.S. military forces are on the leading edge of the coalition operation, taking out Libya’s integrated air and missile defense system, Defense Department officials said. The ordnance is aimed at radars and anti-aircraft sites around the capital of Tripoli and other facilities along the Mediterranean coast.

Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear aboard the command ship USS Mount Whitney. The Mount Whitney joins 24 other ships from Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom and France in launching the operation.

Cruise missiles from U.S. submarines and frigates began the attack on the anti-aircraft system. A senior defense official speaking on background said the attacks will “open up the environment so we could enforce the no-fly zone from east to west throughout Libya.”

In addition to the cruise missiles, the United States will provide command and control and logistics. American airmen and sailors also will launch electronic attacks against the systems.

The United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada already have announced that they are part of the coalition. Officials expect Arab countries will publicly announce their participation soon.

Historical Context: 2011- The Libyan Civil War and America's involvement in it went on in the same year that President Obama was ordering troops out Iraq. He also gave a speech that year that defined America's role in the world as a peace and democracy keeping superpower that does everything in her power to protect the innocent and the good.

Purpose: To inform the public of what is going on overseas and to ensure that America is doing the right thing (supports American exceptionalism).

America in the World: This newspaper article from relates to this theme because it shows America and the UN acting as a guardian to civilians that were caught in the civil war in Libya. Events such as this and those preceding it (like the war in Iraq) made it clear that America is to be a peacekeeping superpower and will change its foreign policy accordingly.

Document 6: Political Cartoon

Source:, 2013


Historical Context: 2013- This year was when the Defense of marriage Act was struck down. This allowed gays to be seen and legal married couples in the eyes if the state and federal governments.

Point of View: This cartoon is coming from the point of view of someone that does not like the new ruling of the Supreme court about DOMA.

Culture: This cartoon in significant to the theme because it shows that America is now changing its stripes and becoming more accepting of the LGBT community; probably because societal awareness of the issues surrounding the treatment of gays in America.

Document 7: News video

Source:, 2014

"Michael Brown family files lawsuit, seeks at least $75,000 in Ferguson Case"

Historical Context: 2014- This was 2 years after the wrongful shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 in Sanford, Florida. There were also a number of other similar cases going on throughout the country involving a wrongful death of an unarmed black person.

Point of View: This is from the point of view of those who believe that the shooting death of Michael Brown was wrong and needs to be properly addressed and dealt with.

Politics & Power: Through the source, this event is significant because it challenges the fair use of the Constitution throughout the states. The Constitution states that everyone is equal under the law, however this child was not treated fairly under the law because he was shot unnecessarily simply because of his race. This action is (supposedly) illegal in the United States.

Document 8: Political Cartoon

Source:, 2015

"Olive Branch Cartoon"

Historical Context: 2015- This was during the talks between America and Iran concerning Iran's nuclear program. There are also talks between them concerning the violence and Sunni insurgents in  Shia-led Iraq.

Intended Audience: This was meant for the general public.

America in the World: This cartoon is related to the theme because it shows America's Secretary of State trying to make a peace offering to Iran even though he ends with his arm chopped off by the Iran dagger. This reinforces America's role as a world peacekeeper, but it also hints at her role as a world protector because Iran's move of refusing to make peace with America is potential grounds to go to war.

Thesis: Although there were changes in certain areas of American culture and politics, there were many continuities in American technology and it's role in the rest of the world.

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