Continuity & Change in the United States 1997-2015

Although, continuity and change has occurred in the United States from 1997-2015, there have been more changes that have occurred that have influenced American Society and government overall. There have been many advancements to technology which influences more communication and unity worldwide. America in the World has been majorly altered due to the fact U.S foreign policy changed to more military action, in order to protect U.S interest. Culture has been changed because with the use of technology people  are able to get their voice heard more and it gives people the opportunity to make a lasting impact on American society and politics. However, continuity has remained during this time period, this is seen through politics and power which have remained the same as more plans and bills have been created to address the public many conseratives display major concern and resentment of such proposed ideas.  

Document A:

Source: Jeff Koopersmith/ February 1997/ “Clone Fever”/ Journal/ Work, Exchange, & Technology/ Year of Birth

Clone Fever
by Jeff Koopersmith

Tuesday, February 25th, 1997 (APJP) -- President Clinton wasted no time in asking a scientific panel to look into cloning.

Now that Scotland, of all places, has eclipsed the United States in reproductive low technology, the White House, naturally, wants to take control.

I had to smile watching Jim Lehrer's Newshour and his interview with three Americans -- two science types and an ethicist. One bio-structuralist pretended that his lab was much more interested in another technology, the other intimated that since the "cat was out of the bag" it wouldn't be long before we were cloning humans. The ethicist, who didn't look like he showered too often, whined about thinking deeply about cloning, but admitted no one probably would and, of course, called for a new bureaucracy to pass judgement on such things.

Here's what I think. The minute this technology becomes economically viable, and perhaps even before, "Clone Fever" will hit the world like a meteor. Not only will humans be cloned, but also dying pets, fatally ill children and perhaps even entire crops of "people" -- the sole purpose of which would be to harvest organs for transplant.

The next step? Perfection of surgical procedures to transplant your brain to your own twenty-one year old clone. Eternal life may be just around the corner.

The riddle: where is the soul?

Historical Context: The creation of Dolly the Sheep was a landmark experiment, Wilmut and Campbell created a lamb by transferring the nucleus from an adult sheep's udder cell into an surgically removed egg, she however later passed away due to progressive lung disease and severe arthritis. With the birth of Dolly, cloning was brought into the limelight, and the need for such legislative policy to address the debate over cloning in the US was needed because of the absence of any effective system to license private research laboratories, fertility clinics, or other commercial operations involving human embryos.

POV: The author's point of view is that the cloning process shouldn’t be conducted because it violates ethics and morals and because people possibly would take advantage of the cloning technology by using it for non-viable reasons.

Reflection: This source reflects the Work, Exchange, & Technology theme because it shows how Dolly has was an important animal to science and leaves a lasting legacy. The technology used to create her showed, as mentioned in this source was very controversial however she taught scientist that our cells are much more plastic and changeable than previously thought. In the source the author states, “Not only will humans be cloned, but also dying pets, fatally ill children and perhaps even entire crops of ‘people’", this quote demonstrates the Technology theme because with the new technology of cloning American society was impacted because it sparked many debates over ethics and morals. Also on a scientific level because of Dolly, there have been many more cloned animals and the technology continues to improve such as, horses, cows, pigs, rats, and mice are now able to be cloned. Historians might find this source significant in the future perhaps because cloning humans might be either accepted or successfully done and this source is an example of the opposition that the cloning industry once faced.

Document B:

Source: President Bush/ Sept. 2001/ “REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AFTER TWO PLANES CRASH INTO WORLD TRADE CENTER”/ Archival Material (Speech)/ America in the World/ Elementary School/

September 11, 2001

Emma Booker Elementary School Sarasota, Florida 9:30 A.M. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult moment for America. I, unfortunately, will be going back to Washington after my remarks. Secretary Rod Paige and the Lt. Governor will take the podium and discuss education. I do want to thank the folks here at Booker Elementary School for their hospitality. Today we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. I have spoken to the Vice President, to the Governor of New York, to the Director of the FBI, and have ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families, and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. Terrorism against our nation will not stand. And now if you would join me in a moment of silence. May God bless the victims, their families, and America. Thank you very much.

END 9:31 A.M.

Historical Context: On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four aircraft and crashed them into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and rural Pennsylvania. Al Qaeda, which was based in Afghanistan and led by Osama bin Laden, was responsible for the attack.

Purpose: The purpose of this speech was to comfort the nation, after the surprising 9/11 attacks. Many Americans were frightened as this was the first major terrorist attack that occurred in America, which resulted in so many fatalities. The President intended to calm the feeling of Americans and set forth a plan in order to deal with the terrorists, which was to find the men who initiated such a fatal attack on America.

Reflection: This source reflects America in the World because the speech made by the President set forth the events that changed U.S foreign policy because the new policy included military means of mass retaliation, punishment, and preemptive strikes. In other words the U.S was willing to invade any country that was considered to be a threat for American interest. For example the author states, “conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act”, this quote demonstrates the theme because it explains how terrorism set forth the change in U.S foreign policy goals. With the creation of Department of Homeland Security which sought to protect the nation's borders and the Guantanamo Detention Camp, the means of protecting Americans and the punishment dealing with terrorist was altered and affected. Historians might find this source significant in the future because it signifies the change in the U.S foreign policy. Also, the manner in which the President should address the nation in the proper way after a major crisis.

Document C:

Internet Archive/ July 13, 2006/ A Day Without Immigrants/Visual Materials (News Broadcast)/Politics and Power/ Elementary School/

Historical Context: On 1 May 2006, a mass swarm of protesters filled the streets of U.S. cities, from New York City to California including over 1 million who participated as part of the “Day Without Immigrants” demonstrations, vowing to either go to work or school or to purchase any consumer goods for 24 hours. The protest arose from the bill passed by the House of Representatives on December 16, 2005, the bill would have made residing in the U.S illegally a felony and punishment for those who knowingly would employ non citizens illegally, although, the H.R 4437 was passed by The House of Representatives, it later wasn’t passed by the Senate.

IPP: The point of view of the author was to show the reason behind why the protesters were protesting the bill that would turn undocumented workers and anyone who aided them into felons. The author believes that the immigrants have a right to work in America without risking being prosecuted.

Reflection: This source reflects Politics & Power because due to the H.R 4437 bill, which intended to turn illegal immigrants into felons, demonstrates how bills can cause civil protest. This bill caused many debates over political values, which led to ideological clashes because the bill wasn't exactly specific to which immigrant group the bill would pertain to and the Senate later did not approve of the bill. The Senate subsequently introduced S.2611 which also dealt with immigrant reform however, neither bill was made into a law because Congress couldn't come to an agreement. In the video a protester states, “We want full amnesty for all immigrants!” this is an example of debates over political values, many government officials believed the opposite of this statement, which led to the proposed bill and resulted in debates over citizenship and democracy. Historians might find this source significant in the future as an example of a mass group of people joining together in order to defend their rights, despite their different backgrounds and religious beliefs.

Document D

Congress/ Oct. 5, 2011/ "United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act”/ Government Documents (Text)/ America in the World/ Middle School (Government documents/ treaties)

"United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act"
To implement the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.

CRS summary.

Approves the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (the Agreement) entered into on June 28, 2007, with the government of Panama. Prescribes implementing actions. Authorizes the President to establish or designate within the Department of Commerce an office responsible for administrative assistance to dispute settlement panels. Authorizes the President to proclaim specified tariff modifications. Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to assess specified additional duties on safeguard agricultural goods. Prescribes formula for the regional value-content of certain automotive goods under the Agreement. Authorizes the President to proclaim the addition to the list in Annex 3.25 of the Agreement of fabrics, yarns, and fibers which are not available in commercial quantities in the United States. Amends the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 to prohibit the charging of customs user fees with respect to originating goods under this Act. Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 with respect to: (1) penalty-free prompt correction by an importer of an incorrect claim that a good qualifies as an originating good, (2) prohibition of false certifications of origin, and (3) denial of tariff treatment under the Agreement. Authorizes the President to direct the Secretary of the Treasury to take certain appropriate actions while the government of Panama conducts a verification of an enterprise's compliance with customs laws and regulations regarding trade in textiles or apparel goods. Prescribes procedures for: (1) petitions to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for relief from imports benefiting from the Agreement; and (2) the provision of such relief. Amends the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 to make a product or service of a party to the Agreement eligible for U.S. government procurement. Amends the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) to remove Panama from the list eligible for designation as a beneficiary country for duty-free treatment under CBERA of eligible Panamanian products imported into the United States. Extends certain customs users fees for the processing of merchandise entered into the United States from September 1, 2021, through FY2021. Increases by 0.25% the required estimated tax payments which are otherwise due in the third quarter of 2012 and 2016 for corporations with assets of not less than $1 billion.

Historical Context: On June 28, 2007, the United States and Panama signed a free trade agreement (FTA) after two and a half years and 10 rounds of negotiations. Negotiations formally concluded on December 16, 2006, with an understanding that changes to labor, environment, and intellectual property rights chapters would be made pursuant to future congressional input and President Obama signed the implementing bill into law on October 21, 2011, but the FTA would not enter into force for another year.

Purpose: The purpose of this treaty was to increase opportunities for U.S. businesses, farmers, and workers through improved access for their products and services in foreign markets. Stated objectives include eliminating obstacles to trade and favoring private investment in and between both nations. Apart from commercial issues, it included economic, institutional, labor and environmental policies, among others.

Reflection: This source reflects America in the World because it exemplifies how economic involvements and globalization have changed U.S foreign policy goals from 1997- 2015 because historically, the United States has had an ongoing concern over problems with drug trafficking and money laundering through Panama, and critics have pointed to the need for greater tax transparency to help monitor and control related illegal financial transactions. With the use of the Trade Agreement Panama was able to get off the “Gray List”, maintained by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes administrations that have committed to an internationally agreed tax standard, but have yet to start it. The change in the U.S foreign policy with Panama would also ensure that U.S. businesses have an opportunity to participate on a competitive basis in the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion project. Historians might find this source significant in the future because it demonstrates how sometimes if a foreign policy is changed for economic reasons it can have positive impact on all parties.

Document E: Silva, Diane/ March 6, 2011/New work! FaceTime for iPad 2 & new FaceTime HD camera for Macs/ Visual Materials (Images)/Middle School/

Historical Content: Face Time is a video telephone/video chat service provided by Apple. On February 24, 2011, Face Time left beta (the last version before the software is fully released to all actual customers) and was listed in the Mac App Store for $0.99, the App instantly met extreme commercial success.

Purpose: The purpose of this source is to show customers that FaceTime allows its customers to speak face to face with a person even if they’re not in the same city. The author choose to picture a family because it allows customers to be able to see themselves as an owner of the IPad using FaceTime to talk to loved ones without being at the same location.

Reflection: This source reflects Work, Exchange, & Technology because it's an example of how FaceTime heavily influenced U.S society because people were now able to talk face to face with a person as shown in the image a woman is speaking with two young children face to face, compared to previous time periods where a person had to use the telephone or talk in person. With the technology advancement in video chat technology people are able to communicate, coordinate, and maintain network businesses. Also, FaceTime impacted American society because it guarantees mobility, flexibility, and reliability. Historians might find this source significant in the future because it demonstrates an innovative change in technology and how it impacts citizens in many ways. Also, historians might want to compare this source to an image of a 90s commercial for a cell phone, as an example of the change in technology.  

Document F:

The Memory Of The World/ Dec. 4, 2013/ Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting 911 Calls Released/ Recording (Sound Recording)/ Culture/ High School/

Historical Context: The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and 6 adult staff members. Prior to driving to the school, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and 6 adult staff member and by nightfall, the firehouse became a gathering point for parents and family members whose loved ones were deceased.

Audience: The intended audience of this source was the 911 dispatcher because the citizens that were calling were in need of medical and police assistance, due to the gunman at the school.

Reflection: This source reflects culture because of its lasting impact on American culture and society. Even past this tragedy there have been new laws in which many states passed stricter gun control laws, including Connecticut. Congress also decided to take action by attempting to ban assault weapons, this proposal however failed, due to the majority of the Republicans who voted against it. Along with, Obama who announced on January 16, 2013 a plan for reducing gun violence in four parts: closing background check loopholes; banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; making schools safer; and increasing access to mental health services. This event impacted American society because many people realized how vulnerable schools were statewide, in order to change this many school increased the amount of police officers on site and advancing the security detail. Historians might find this source significant in the future because it gives historians an idea of the events that occurred on the day of the shooting.

Document G:

ABC News/ Oct. 20, 2013/ ‘This Week': Sen. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush Interview on Government Shutdown, Upcoming Budget Battle/ Recording (Oral History)/ Politics & Power/ High School Year/

Historical Context: From October 1 through 16, 2013, the U.S government entered a shutdown because the House of Representative Republicans, which is for the majority Republican controlled and the Senate, which is also for the majority Democratic controlled did not agree to fund the healthcare program, “Obama Care”. The shutdown also halted permitting and environmental and other reviews, delaying job creating transportation and energy projects and in return the President signed it shortly after midnight on October 17, ending the government shutdown and suspending the debt limit until February 7, 2014.

POV: The point of view of Ted Cruz was that Obama Care should be defunded because he believes it was wrong decision for the government to spend federal funds on the Act. The view presented by Cruz demonstrates a conservative point of view that doesn’t approve of spending a large quantity of federal funds, in order to benefit the less fortunate.

Reflection: This source demonstrates Politics & Power because it shows how the power within the government is balanced, for instance if the House of Representatives proposes a bill that the Senate doesn’t agree with they have the power to deny it. Also, this source shows what happen if there's disagreement within the government and how the government has to agree for the majority on the bills that are proposed that affect America and American citizens, an example of this is during the interview Cruz states, “ The reason this deal was reached, the lousy deal, was reached is because unfortunately, Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans”. Historians might use this source in the future because this event is the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history and gives historians intuition on the events that led to and resulted because of the government shutdown. This source would be very valuable to historians in the future because it demonstrates how opposing parties in Congress have to agree overall, in order for a bill to be passed and the backlash that resurges.

Document H:

David Hudson/ April 27, 2015/ President Obama Meets with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch/Text (Organization Record)/ Culture/ 2015 current year

For Immediate Release

April 27, 2015

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Following her swearing-in this afternoon, President Obama met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the White House to welcome her to the team and reiterate that he looks forward to her leadership at the Department of Justice. The Attorney General thanked the President then updated him on several issues, including the events occurring in Baltimore, Maryland following the death of Freddie Gray, which the Department of Justice is currently investigating. Attorney General Lynch assured the President that she would continue to monitor events in Baltimore and that the Department of Justice stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful there.

Earlier today, the President also spoke with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake about the ongoing situation in Baltimore. The Mayor updated the President on efforts to address the demonstrations and maintain peace throughout the city. The President highlighted the Administration’s commitment to provide assistance as needed and will continue to receive updates on the situation from Attorney General Lynch and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett also spoke with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today.

Historical Context: On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American resident of Baltimore, Maryland, sustained injuries following his arrest by policemen and soon after Gray's death was ruled to be a homicide and legal charges were issued against the six officers involved in the incident, including that of second-degree murder A CVS Pharmacy burned by protesters. Due to the misconduct and the police brutality many protesters rioted the streets of Baltimore on April 27, 2015 although the protests started out as peaceful they later led to violence. 

IPP: The purpose of this source was to give a press release about the meeting between President Obama and the Attorney General Loretta Lynch, which she updated him on the events occurring in Baltimore and how she will continue to monitor her city. The source also served to release the meeting between the President and the Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, which covered more information about the events in Baltimore and her plan going forth. I believe these meeting were released to the press in order to reassure the public that the events that occurred in Baltimore didn’t go unnoticed and there will be a plan going forth.

Reflection: This source exemplifies Culture because the protesters who choose to riot choose to protest because they felt as though their culture has been at the hand of misconduct, which has gone far too long unnoticed. Many people feel as though by starting trending topics and widely publicized riots, that they are making a bigger statement than they could have with peaceful protest, which is why protesters tend to turn towards violence, this is an example of how American society was imapacted. Before Freddie Gray, there was many other instances of police misconduct and brutality that have gone unnoticed and or the police officer was seen within his rights, however, Freddie Gray’s murder ruled to be a homicide and legal charges were issued against the six officers involved in the incident. This source specifically exemplifies culture because of the reasons behind the riots, which were cultural reasons and politics were impacted because many Baltimore politicians, such as the Mayor and Attorney General had to meet with the President in order to inform him about the events that occurred, which garnered much attention. Historians might find this source significant in the future because it demonstrates proper protocol to follow after mass rioting and damage has occurred in a city.

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