Continuity & Change in the United States


Although through the years 1997 to 2015, many American citizens and historians have the belief that nothing has changed and this country has maintained continuity. However, the Unites States has fostered an impactful change. This was done through technology with advances in all aspects, politics through interpretation of the Constitution, the world with new security measure to prevent terrorism, and culture from racism and political scandals.

Document A:

Source: Gina Kolata, February 23, 1997

"SCIENTIST REPORTS FIRST CLONING EVER OF ADULT MAMMAL" / Serial: Newspaper / Work, Exchange, & Technology / Year of Birth


The group, led by Dr. Ian Wilmut, a 52-year-old embryologist at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, created a lamb using DNA from an adult sheep. The achievement shocked leading researchers who had said it could not be done. The researchers had assumed that the DNA of adult cells would not act like the DNA formed when a sperm's genes first mingle with those of an egg. In theory, researchers said, such techniques could be used to take a cell from an adult human and use the DNA to create a genetically identical human -- a time-delayed twin. That prospect raises the thorniest of ethical and philosophical questions. Dr. Wilmut's experiment was simple, in retrospect. He took a mammary cell from an adult sheep and prepared its DNA so it would be accepted by an egg from another sheep. He then removed the egg's own DNA, replacing it with the DNA from the adult sheep by fusing the egg with the adult cell. The fused cells, carrying the adult DNA, began to grow and divide, just like a perfectly normal fertilized egg, to form an embryo. Dr. Wilmut implanted the embryo into another ewe; in July, the ewe gave birth to a lamb, named Dolly. Though Dolly seems perfectly normal, DNA tests show that she is the clone of the adult ewe that supplied her DNA.

Historical Context: After many many tries, scientists were able to finally create the first genetically cloned sheep. Many researchers have been trying to clone animals for year prior to this but Dolly was the first farm animal to have succeeded. Also, at the same time Dolly was created, another American scientist was able to isolate human embryonic stem cells which was another major breakthrough in medical science.

Point of View: In the context of this article, the author thinks that Dolly was a great advance in medical science and was able to benefit the medical community. The author uses positive connotations as calling Dolly "perfectly normal" and calling the Dolly "the achievement."

Reflection on Work, Exchange and Technology: This article about Dolly the Sheep reflects work, exchange, and technology because she (Dolly) was able in influence many other technological advances in the medical society. Genetically cloning an animal was never done before and when tried, it never succeeded. So, being the first cloned animal, Dolly was a technological breakthrough allowing more research and information to have been found out about genetics and embryology. Historians can find this source significant in the future because they can look back on the process of how Dolly was created and use this to advance if they every want to compare on another cloned animal.

Document B:

Source: ABC News Archive, January 26 1998

"1/26/1998: Clinton Denies Lewinsky Affair" / Television Shows / Culture / Year After Birth

Historical Context: Monica Lewinsky was a 22 year old white house employee who was accused of having a sexual relationship with the president of the Unites States at the time, which was Bill Clinton. Because of these allegations Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 by the House of Representatives. When Lewinsky was claimed to have been spending too much time with Clinton, she was transferred to work at the Pentagon. Throughout the months after the news broke of the scandal, the media debated back and fourth the affair had actually happened.  

Intended Audience: The intended audience of this video is the American Citizens. At this time, this was a extremely covered topic all over the news, radio, television, etc. The tabloids were mixing up stories and people were making up information and newscasters point of view was influencing how society's perspective was  on the situation. Bill Clinton made this address to be able to clear up all of the "false" accusations against him . Clinton wanted the American citizens to still have trust in him and still think of him as a professional and qualified president, so he made this address to explain himself and take his stance on the problems.

Reflection: The Monica Lewinsky case affected American culture in politics and society in 1998. Republicans found Bill Clinton to be an unqualified president therefore, leading to his impeachment. Also, the Monica Lewinsky case was the first political scandal to be found out through "social media." This was the first story that spread through internet journalism since scandals like this were never shared through technology. This case changes how journalists covered stories. This can be a significant source in the future when taking about political scandals in the Unties States through the years. This is because the Monica Lewinsky case was the first well know scandal in the culture of American politics.  

Document C:

Source: Barack Obama / January 21st 2009

Barack Obama Inauguration Speech / Recordings: Sound Recording / Politics and Power / Elementary School

Historical Context: Barack Obama was and is the first African American president in American History. There was much controversy on weather or not he was born in the Unites States because of his birth certificate.  This election was accepted by many people and was not accepted by others. America was used to having only white president and candidates. Also, during this election there was another big change. Hillary Clinton was also running for president. This was another first for America because only males had run in the past.

Purpose: The purpose of an oath to office is to support your loyalty to the Constitution on the United States. Obama wanted and needed to share his loyalty to the country in front of America.

Reflection: This source reflects politics and power because the political value of freedom and citizenship was tested. Obama was faced with being the first African American male running and winning the presidential election of 2008. Some of America was not ready for a black male to  be the leader of the United States, yet it is anyone's right to run for president (of course, having the qualifications). This source can be well used by historians in the future. This is because they can refer to this when talking about a major time when the politics in America changed. This is significant to the American society and politics because it shows a more accepting society for change.

Document D: John Stockwell / October 2012

"SEAL TEAM SIX: THE RAID ON OSAMA BIN LADEN" / Visual Materials: Movie Trailer / America In The World / Middle School

Historical Context: The operation of planning to assassinate Bin Laden was months in the working but only took a couple minutes to complete. Seal Team 6 went to Osama Bin Ladens hiding place in the middle of the night and enclosed him and shot and killed 5 people. They then took his body and raided where he was staying to find out his activities and plans. This was a decade long hunt for Osama Bin Laden because of being the head lead of al-Qaeda.

Purpose: The purpose of this movie was to portray the raid and killing of Osama Bin Laden. This movie was portrayed as the assassination was one of the best things for America after so many years of hunting and planning.

Reflection: This movie trailer reflects the theme America in the world because the U.S military helped out a major issue of terrorism and somewhat "lifted a weight" off of Americas shoulders. Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 and destroying a lot of people lives. Ever since then, much has changed in America for security. The United States military wanted to destroy him since he was the leader of the terrorist group Al Qaeda. Americas goal was to kill him and it was successfully completed. A historian can used this source when analyzing terrorism in the unites States and how it impacted not only us, but the world as well.

Document E:  Fred Straker / 4/14/2010

"Apple Delays International iPad Release Date" / Archival Material: Artifacts / Work, Exchange & Technology / Middle School

Historical Context: During this time period, Steve Jobs wants to release something new from Apple. Even though the iPad was being worked on before the iPhone was even thought of, they decided to release the phone first instead. The apple iPad was only available through the apple store and the apple company had more pre orders for this than anything else.  

Purpose: The purpose of the iPad is to make technology easier and more accessible. Instead of looking at a tiny iPhone screen the iPad was made and it became a bigger version.

Reflection: This source reflects work, exchange and technology because it influenced U.S society to become more hands on and have more accessible things. The iPad more it easier for people with not so good eye sight to see the screen. Historians can use this first generation iPad in the future to see much the technology of apple has changed.

Document F: President Barack Obama / October 1st, 2013

"FULL TRANSCRIPT: President Obama’s Oct. 1 remarks on the government shutdown and Obamacare" / Manuscript: Speech / Politics & Power / High School

"Good morning, everybody. At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the federal government. Let me be more specific. One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government all because they didn't like one law. This Republican shut down did not have to happen, but I want every American to understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act. They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job. And many representatives, including an increasing number of Republicans, have made it clear that had they been allowed by Speaker Boehner to take a simple up-or-down vote on keeping the government open, with no partisan strings attached, enough votes from both parties would have kept the American people's government open and operating. Now, we may not know the full impact of this Republican shutdown for some time. It will depend on how long it lasts."

Historical Context: In 2013, the senate could not agree on passing a bill about the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act was Obamacare which the president really wanted to become effective. The democrats and republicans did not come up with a compromise by September 30th 2013. So on October 1st, the government  shut down because  lack of funds for the 2014 fiscal year.

Intended Audience: Obama wrote and presented this speech towards all American Citizens. He wanted to send his apologies for the government shutting down since it was not his fault. Obama was angry with the senate because they were not able to come to an agreement and now everyone in America besides them have to pay for it. Obama wanted to make sure the American people were aware of what was happening and give his apologies.

Reflection: This speech reflects the theme politics and power because of the clashes in power of the government and the interpretation of the Constitution. Obama does not like what the senate did but he can not change their decision because of the distribution of powers within the government. The executive branch can not just over ride a decision made legislative branch. Although he can not change what the decision was, Obama can still say his feelings and thoughts and that is exactly what he did. Obama expressed his opinion and thinks it is unfair towards the citizens. This marks as a clash within the federal government. Historians can benefit from this source because government shutdowns are a serious issue and the historians can use this to analyze the causes and effects of the governement shutdown in the future.

Document G: Michael Schmidt / April 22nd 2013

"Boston Suspect Is Charged and Could Face the Death Penalty" / Serial: Newspaper Archive / America In The World / High School

"Lying grievously wounded in a hospital bed, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings admitted on Sunday to playing a role in the attacks, said law enforcement officials, and on Monday he was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction that resulted in three deaths and more than 170 injuries."

Historical Context: Every year, Boston has a marathon. In the 2013 Boston marathon, two pressure cooker bombs went off at the finish line. This killed 3 people and injured many more. The Boston marathon is an annual marathon hosted by many cities and always happens on patriots day. This is the oldest marathon and is one of the worlds best known running events.

Purpose: The purpose of this article was to inform the American people of the current situation and status of the suspects of the Boston Bombing. Many American, especially the ones affected by this act of terrorism, wanted to be informed about the bomber and what was going to happen to him.  

Reflection: This source reflects the theme America in the world because it involves an act of terrorism. The Boston bomber was not from America and made a bombing terrorist attack. Historians can find this source significant in the future because when analyzing and evaluating acts of terrorism, they are always compared to others. Also, when seeing what happens to the Boston bomber they can use source like these against him when convicting him.  

Document H: Josh Levs / April 29th 2015

"Baltimore mom who smacked son at riot: I don't play" Recordings: Oral History / Culture / 2015 Current Year

Historical Context: Within the past two to three years, there has been many race issues going on in America. The first one being Trayvone Martin. Then there was Mike Brown and then Freddie Gray, which started the Baltimore riots. All of these cases were overly covered by the media and all involved a man of a white/Latino race shooting or hurting an "unarmed young black man." Society has been on the edge of their seats about these issues and then once Freddie Gray was killed in Baltimore, the city went crazy trying to prove their point.

Point of View: The point of view in this video shows that yes racism is still a big issue in the American society but it does not need to be taken out through violence. There are many ways to fix the issue of racism without violence because adding fuel to the fire will only make everything worse.

Reflection: This source relates to the theme culture because it has drastically impacted popular culture in society within the past few months/years. Many racism incidents have ended in violence and this source is showing that a change is needed in society. Not everything should end in violence and that there are many other options for solving issues. This source is going to be significant in the future for historians because they will be able to compare how much racism has changed from now and if it has gotten any better. Also, they could make a timeline on racism in the United States.

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