Change and Continuity in the United States

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


From 1998 to 2015, little events have fostered slight change in American ideals, however ideals have unfailingly maintained continuity. American economics grow from the constant increase in innovative inventions. While at the same time politics and culture show resembling traits from that of the Cold War era.

Document 1:

Adam Hudson

May 28, 2013

Source: Black Man Is Killed Every 28 Hours by Police or Vigilantes: America Is Perpetually at War with Its Own People

"These killings come on top of other forms of oppression black people face. Mass incarceration of nonwhites is one of them. While African-Americans constitute 13.1% of the nation's population, they make up nearly 40% of the prison population. Even though African-Americans use or sell drugs about the same rate as whites, they are 2.8 to 5.5 times more likely to be arrested for drugs than whites. Black offenders also receive longer sentences compared to whites. Most offenders are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses."

Online Article/Culture/High School Year

This source offers a perspective of how civil injustice has maintained continuity. This effects many cultures and identities within America (mainly African-American) as it infringes on constitutional rights. This offers future significance as it is important to be aware of the continuous lack of equality and take steps toward changing this.

Historical Context

This occurs in a modern day society that claims to be more equal and just than it was in the past. With equal laws to protect and enforce equality, America still struggles with it's treatment toward minorities.


This text was created in order to inform Americans about the alarming subject of prejudice. The author most likely intended this text to influence his audience into taking required action to solving this national issue. The use of statistics in this article provide a sense of urgency that the American people may possibly begin to develop.

Document 2:


November 6, 2008

Source: Barack Obama wins Historic Election NBC Projection

Film/Politics & Power/Middle School Year

This source establishes an apparent change in political belief and is a landmark event in history. The electing of an African American president shows America's growth in civil justice and political power. Historians may potentially observe this event's significant in the future, as this historic political adjustment may leave long term effects on the American government.

Historical Context

This event occurs in a more equal time in American society. Although there are still prejudices and hate shown towards minorities, American citizens are still open enough to elect an African American president.

Point of View

The historical event of the election of the first African American left an impression on many American citizens. For those with a racist mindset and an opposition to an African American president, there is a feeling of disappointment and anger. However to minorities and especially the African American community, there is a feeling of achievement, pride, and hope for the future.

Document 3:

Kanye West

June 18, 2013

Source: New Slaves - Kanye West

"Meanwhile the DEA, Teamed up with the CCA

They tryna lock n*ggas up

They tryna make new slaves

See that's that privately owned prison

Get your piece today"

Lyrics/Culture/High School Year

By identifying racial indifference and evident societal injustice, Kanye West offers both future and present generations knowledge on a secret subject. The growth of private institutions is undoubtedly due to the increase of minority prisoners, primarily African American males and females. While more prisoners are being incarcerated, these institutions receive more financial increase and grow to become unfailingly wealthy.

Historical Context

During the time of this song, racial injustice had been occurring frequently and seemed to have become more blatant in America. Following the death of African American Treyvon Martin, American minorities begin to recognize this disregard for liberty and justice for all and begin to express their beliefs more publicly.

Intended Audience

Kanye West expresses his radical opinion towards a serious government issue. He is speaking directly to those in control of private prisons and their success, challenging them in his lyrics. He adresses those regulating and enforcing these crude actions, ensuring them that he is fully knowledgeable about what they attempt to do with their power (create "new slaves").

Document 4:

Arsen Ostrovsky

June 2, 2015

Source: Obama: Deal is the only way stop Iran; no military option

Tweet/America in the World/Current Year

This historical document, although not blatantly monumental, offers extremely significant importance. Here, not only do we see that the 5th amendment right has become a more heavily exercised privilege in society, but we can see that the American people are more active in politics. Aside from this, we can also identify the continuous relationship between American politics and other countries. Historians may potentially view the continuity of America's regulation in other country affairs.

Historical Context

Upon the election of the first African American president, there had been much skepticism about government adjustments. Military action was one of the most criticized and monitored government regulations. The war in the middle east became a controversial topic, especially following 9/11.

Point of View

This tweet shows an American citizen taking advantage of his 5th amendment privilege. He is clearly stating his frustration towards the President publicly and freely with no repercussions. This citizen believes that the President's actions were foolish and places the military and fellow citizens in a pessimistic mindset.

Document 5:

University of Wisconsin


Source: Exxon-Mobil Cartoon


Political Cartoon/Work, Exchange, and Technology/Birth Year

During the advancement in modern technology and the dawning of the year 2000, economic growth was based off of demand for innovation. Exxon and Mobil, both gas and oil companies, took advantage of this thirst for technology and attempted to maximize profits through manipulating the consumer mindset. Historians may analyze the tactics used by companies such as Exxon-Mobil, and compare them to methods used in market economies both present and future.

Historical Context

At this particular intersection in American history, technological innovation consistently redeems itself in a fast flowing society. Transportation had become such a common innovation that most citizens had owned an automobile. With this comes the necessity for gas, which capitalist companies took advantage of by manipulating prices.


This political cartoon represents the negativity and societal disregard expressed by capitalist companies. In the cartoon we see the company is represented by someone who is wealthy and heavy whereas the consumer is depicted as nimble and foolish. This political portrait offers the viewer a different perspective of gas transactions and the industry complex.

Document 6:


November 25, 2002

Source: Homeland Security Act

Homeland Security Act

The primary mission of the Homeland Security Act is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism, and minimize damage and assist in recovery for terrorist attacks that occur in the United States.1,2 The Homeland Security Act provides the secretary of Homeland Security with the authority to direct and control investigations that require access to information needed to investigate and prevent terrorism.3 This authority can be interpreted to include requests for PHI of any type without the express authorization of the patient or legal guardian. It further states that PHI is protected from unauthorized disclosure and is to be handled and used only for the performance of official duties.4 Therefore, redisclosure would be restricted to those who need to know the information to perform their jobs, which is compatible with the HIPAA privacy rule.

The Homeland Security Act also established the US Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security includes many other organizations, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, US Coast Guard, US Secret Service, and Transportation Security Administration.

The Department of Homeland Security boasts the first statutorily required privacy office within a federal agency. Mary Ellen Callahan was appointed the chief privacy officer and chief FOIA officer in March 2009. The privacy office is primarily responsible for evaluating privacy's effect on the department's programs, systems, and initiatives. It is further required to mitigate any anticipated effect on privacy.

The privacy office's objectives include:

  • Evaluating the department's legislative and regulatory proposals that involve the collection, use, and disclosure of personally identifiable information
  • Centralizing and providing program oversight and implementing all FOIA and Privacy Act operations
  • Operating a privacy incident response program that addresses incidents involving personally identifiable information
  • Responding to, investigating, and addressing complaints of privacy violations
  • Providing training, education, and outreach that build the foundation for privacy practices across the department and create transparency

Government Document/Politics & Power/Elementary School

Historians will undoubtedly review government acts enforcing regulation on American citizens. However this is particularly significant as Homeland Security has become a source of dependence unlike that of any other. With the hopes of defending the nation from foreign affairs, we can observe continuity from the era of the "Red Scare".

Historical Context

One of the most historic events 9/11, left Americans with a sense of pride and patriotism. The acts of terrorism portrayed by the middle east crippled families, however the support of fellow citizens offered strength and prosperity. With a demand for retaliation, the American government began to protect itself and take steps towards vengeance.


This newly enforced law provided American citizens with a feeling of security and assurance of safety in a difficult time. Military forces were also strengthened by the enforcing of a new law regulating American protection. While offering encouragement, this law succeeded in ensuring events such as 9/11 would not take place.

Document 7:

President Obama

May 1, 2011

Source: Osama Bin Laden is dead

"...And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America."

Speech/America in the World/Middle School

The monumental achievement of extinguishing the world's most notorious criminal belongs solely to America. With such an accomplishment, America proceeds to restore a reputation that emphasizes its unity and determination to accomplish goals. In the future this success at regulating foreign affairs will definitely be observed by annalists, as the death of Bin Laden shows not only the strength of America, but the continuity of military actions since Vietnam.

Historical Context

Following 9/11 and the continuous war in the middle east, American citizens pursued an agenda leading to retaliation. Osama Bin Laden was notorious for his involvement in the various terrorist acts towards America, and the failure of military powers to capture him and enforce punishment had angered citizens. However his eventual execution reignited a strong sense of patriotism.

Intended Audience

President Obama presents this speech to his fellow American citizens to offer them a feeling of pride. He speaks directly to them informing them of America's military success and the accomplishment of a goal they fought hard to achieve. Not only does Obama manage to satisfy his audience, he also inspires them and reassures them as a nation and as a united society.

Document 8:

New Sound Lab


Source: NSL007 Hybrid Car

Sound/Work, Exchange, and Technology/Elementary School

The innovation known as the hybrid car became widely accessible to American consumers in 1999. This was a revolutionary movement in technology, as Americans could now have the satisfaction of transportation that preserves the environment and also saves money from excessive gas prices. Historians will consider the hybrid car when observing the role Americans played in attempting to limit pollution and also the progressive innovation of American technology.

Historical Context

During this time in history, America continues to break boundaries and defy limitations regarding technology. The increasing success of the automobile industry leads to the constant race for resources. Companies invest and plot to gain oil, having little regard for environmental effects.

Intended Audience

This sound recording is used as a marketing technique to influence consumers to purchase a hybrid car. The sound of the car is used to ensure the consumer that it's comfortable while also energy efficient. This technology also sways the buyer as a car that runs off of electricity is highly innovative.

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