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Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:17 AM

If you could describe the history of America in one word...

...what would it be?

I'll go first: muddled.

33 replies, 7706 views

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply If you could describe the history of America in one word... (Original post)
ellisonz Feb 2012 OP
ZombieHorde Feb 2012 #1
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2012 #2
flamingdem Feb 2012 #3
zipplewrath Feb 2012 #4
chitowngal08 Mar 2012 #7
Fastcars Mar 2012 #8
zipplewrath Mar 2012 #9
mrmpa Feb 2012 #5
yyfq66 Mar 2012 #6
bemildred Mar 2012 #10
lutefisk Apr 2012 #11
RZM Apr 2012 #12
limpyhobbler Apr 2012 #13
padem196645 Jun 2012 #14
Rowdyboy Jun 2012 #15
XemaSab Jun 2012 #16
johnsolaris Jul 2012 #17
DrewFlorida Jul 2012 #18
steve2470 Jul 2012 #19
robk6295sie Jul 2012 #20
Bucky Jul 2012 #21
Bucky Jul 2012 #22
bemildred Jul 2012 #24
DrewFlorida Aug 2012 #25
petronius Sep 2012 #29
Bucky Sep 2012 #31
MrValentine Jul 2012 #23
ghurley Aug 2012 #26
CountAllVotes Aug 2012 #27
Pterodactyl Aug 2012 #28
bemildred Sep 2012 #30
MWM958 Sep 2012 #32
Sam1 Sep 2012 #33

Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:35 AM

1. Imaginary. nt

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:36 AM

2. Fascinating.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:49 AM

3. Experimental

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 03:32 PM

4. Bigoted

Not yet the perfect word, but better than "racist". From the original conflict between the natives and the british and spanish, to the north-south conflicts between the europeans themselves, it's hard not to see the issue of fear and loathing of those "different from us" in the whole of American History.

The bigotry over immigration at various points in our history. The entire drawn out history of african slavery leading to the Jim Crow era. The treatment of various catholic immigration waves of italians, and irish. The treatment of the germans during WWI. The treatment of the japanese during WWII. The treatment of Hawaii and the Philipines as we stretched our power into and across the pacific. Driving the Mormons to Utah. The trail of tears out of Georgia. The jewish exclusions that many social/country/golf clubs had for decades.

We may be a melting pot, but it is a rolling boil while it melts.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 07:13 PM

7. Bigoted, indeed

I can agree with you on this one especially the roiling boil while it melts. Too much hatred in this country right now. I think the media/fox/big mouths are just making it worse. I can hardly have a conversation with an repub anymore where I don't have to shut up to maintain the "friendship". But that is changing. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked - 'And what have they done for you Lately?' It is getting very hard for me.
I was so angry with the Bush Campaign and the Churches spewing their Repub crap to my elderly mom and her friends. Making her feel guilty into signing in with them. I am opposed to what they represent because they trash alot of things that I think this Country needs.
Of course, I do understand where they are coming from on some of the stuff. My concern is that we will end up back in the Robber Baron days....I am from Chicago. The Union riots made me proud!

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 05:48 PM

8. Ciuldn't "bigoted" apply

To the history of most countries?

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Response to Fastcars (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 08:42 AM

9. I dunno

Not being familiar with the histories of most countries, it's hard for me to answer.
It is also probably true that the US, unlike many countries, has a fairly unique cultural history because of the immigrant structure of the culture. Unlike many of the British Colonies, the US actually became dominated by the immigrants themselves, as oppose to merely "westernizing" an existing population. Finally, the condition in many countries would probably be closer to xenophobic, where as in the US it was much more connected to "race". The history of many cultures would be as "class" related as it would be to race. The US never really formally had class distinctions.

If there was anything that would make the US standout in this regard, it would be the Constitution and its specific reference to slavery, as well as the American Civil War, followed by the Jim Crow era. Almost 150 years of extremely organized and legislated race based bigotry. Not sure you'll find anything like that in "most countries".

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 06:56 PM

5. evolving eom

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 02:08 AM

6. Spam deleted by Morning Dew (MIR Team)

 

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 09:26 AM

10. Corruption. nt

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:46 PM

11. war

Involved in some sort of "war" (by some definition) more or less continuously since the beginning...

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 05:03 PM

12. Nachos n/t

 

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:19 AM

13. "Progress?"

The question mark is part of the answer. It's "progress?"
It's supposed to make you think "hmmmm....America has made alot of progress, but are we still progressing?"

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Tue Jun 12, 2012, 03:35 PM

14. interesting

 

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 01:08 AM

15. chaotic....

At least thats ny choice right now...

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 01:21 AM

16. Exploration

Sometimes we have spent a long, long time going down the wrong path, but sometimes we have discovered amazing things, and there are amazing things still left to be discovered.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 05:12 PM

17. forefathers

We are just like our European forefathers. They came to North America when all the land was owned by the rich and there was no other place left to go, Raped the environment and enslaved & killed all the locals. When they needed cheap labor, they imported & enslaved people from the African continent. Then everyone spread out to the hinterlands & continued the process. That is pretty much the story of the entire World.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 04:04 PM

18. Underachieving

Underachieving;

From the begining we have had such wonderful high ideals, but from the begining our actions have failed them.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sat Jul 14, 2012, 04:00 PM

19. Complex nt

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 02:19 AM

20. bloody.

 

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 04:30 PM

21. byzantine

Which raised the obvious question about how I'd describe Byzantine history.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 05:21 PM

22. The post in which I describe why each of your one word answers are wrong

"muddled" by ellisonz
Not hardly. American history has been witness to a surprising uniformity and a tendency (despite all our chatter about "E Pluribus Unam") toward conformity. Tocqueville pointed this out in the 1830s with his observation. The land of Red Scares, McCarthyism, Levittown suburbs, cookie cutter reality shows, and zombified consumerism is more uniform in its popular culture and historical goals than any other large nation on Earth.

"Imaginary" by ZombieHorde
Alas, it is all too real.

"Fascinating" by ScreamingMeemie
In fact, it is quite boring. I have been told this by numerous high school students while I was teaching them US History.

"Experimental" by flamingdem
No, it is tried and true.

"Bigoted" by zipplewrath
I'm trying to think of another country with a better record on expanding the rights of minorities and historically disenfranchised groups. Sure, one of the biggest complaints among Bostonians rebelling against George III in the 1770s was that his step-father was Catholic. But this was also the country where the oppressed Catholics of Britain came to enjoy greater freedom. For every Jefferson Davis we have fighting for slavery, we have an Abraham Lincoln fighting on far stronger support against it--and please pay attention to who won that conflict.
For every anti-immigrant hysteria that swept the US, there was a city welcoming them and an open path to success enjoyed by their children and grandchildren. And who did the American people through their practice of politics and study of history remember: Lester Maddox or Martin Luther King Jr? Whose vision of America won out in the long run?
While there is a grain of truth that American history has included racists and bigots, there is a far greater reality that American history generally can be told as the triumph of Americans in overcoming and defeating their bigotry.

"evolving" by mrmpa
Okay, you have a point, but no one else does

"Spam" deleted by Morning Dew
No, spam actually was invented in Europe. We merely perfected it by crowning it with pineapple slices.

"Corruption" by bemildred
Your beef seems to be with human nature. All large countries, and in fact all small ones too, exhibit corruption. But in fact no nation has advanced the war against corruption in public affairs more than has the United States. It wasn't just the Revolutionary generation rejecting the cronyism of British rule, but also the obsession of the Framers of the Constitution who deliberately set about creating a form of government that could discover and oust corruption when it tried to take root. The principle purpose of the First Amendment, which re-set the ideal and norm for world politics every since 1791, was to expose corruption. Furthermore the Progressive Era, which stated in the US, expanded that war on corruption to the corporate powerhouses of industry. And the principal defenders of the Internet and the free flow of information today in world have their strongest base of supporters in the US, or in parts of the world where the Jeffersonian ideals have most taken root.

"war" by lutefisk
The world has, in fact, been far more peaceful on a per capita basis since the United States achieved geopolitical primacy in the world. We might have a big military, but its primary effect in world affairs has been to make Earth a less violent place than it has been at any other time in world history.

"Nachos" by RZM
Not many people know this, but in fact the nacho is of Mexican cultural origin. Perhaps you are thinking of the crunchy taco. That is American as apple pie. Ironically, the apple pie comes from Kazakhstan.

"Progress?" by limpyhobbler
Go home. You're drunk.

"chaotic" by Rowdyboy
Actually, it's surprisingly organized in comparison to other nations' histories. The defining characteristic of westward expansion was the deliberate brainchild of governmental policies--most notably by the Republicans of the 1860s designing the Homestead Act for the explicit purpose of people the "Great American Desert". But in the administrations of Washington, Jefferson, and Jackson there were plenty of precedents for that policy.

"Exploration" by XemaSab
Ironically, the greatest exploration of American history was carried out by non-Americans, from the French trappers who opened up the West for Lewis and Clark to the German rocket engineers who strapped Aldrin and Armstrong down into the Apollo capsule.

"forefathers" by johnsolaris
The real difference that America has made in the evolution of human affairs has come in fact in the progress that women have made in their place in civilization. There might have always been another Jefferson, another Franklin, another Edison to come along and shake up how people do stuff. But the inclusion of women into the halls of power, at least by indirect means, is a direct result of how the Enlightenment played out in English speaking parts of North America.

"Underachieving" by DrewFlorida
Beat the Nazis. Completed the Apollo Program. Built the Internet.

"Complex" by steve2470
No, you're wrong too.

"bloody" by robk6295sie
Well, no progress occurs without a human cost. But America's signal contributions to post-WW2 world history are all peaceful: (1) applying Keynesian economics to ending the Depression, (2) the more-peaceful-than-the-alternative Containment of Communism, and (3) the popularization of Civil Disobedience as explained by the philosophy and teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr (which finds its roots ultimately in the pacifistic and exemplararily American writings of Thoreau)

"byzantine" by Bucky
Shut up you fucktard

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Response to Bucky (Reply #22)

Fri Jul 27, 2012, 09:06 AM

24. Slow day? nt

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Response to Bucky (Reply #22)

Sat Aug 4, 2012, 01:30 PM

25. Those answers are very underachieving, lol.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #22)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 10:44 PM

29. How about "exceptional"? Or my own creation: exceptionalismistic?

Exceptional post, by the way...

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Response to petronius (Reply #29)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 03:10 PM

31. Aha! My new favorite word!

Mystic exceptionalism.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2012, 09:08 PM

23. Complex and improving

 

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 03:50 PM

26. Ambitious

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 10:40 PM

27. Genocidal

Sad but true.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 11:20 AM

28. Awesome!

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 08:38 AM

30. Well, apparently, from this thread, muddled is in the right neighborhood.

I see wide disagreements.

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 09:30 AM

32. Struggle

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Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Tue Sep 18, 2012, 07:00 AM

33. devolving

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