UnAmerica - help me rightsize the checkered past of this country...
January 31, 2017 4:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to help people who don't have a good understanding of US history understand some of the recent (post 9/11) events within the context of prior events. In a nutshell: kind of a condensed and updated version of A People's History

Specifically what I'm looking for is a rubric for comparing betrayals of founding principles OR if you prefer, of betrayals of humanistic values. This interplay is difficult for an AskMefi and the topic is huge, so I'm really looking for things that were either (1) highly impactful because of the precedent or how it affected path dependence or (2) affected a lot of people

*Because the examples are so numerous, I'm also hoping to get lots of examples under both R and D administrations.

For responses, what would be really valuable is a comparison that includes reference or comparison to a post 9/11 event of a similar kinda. Some examples:

- Japanese internment compared with the profiling of muslims
- Federal troops opposing miner strikes in the early 20th century compared with pipeline protests
- Gerrymandering leveraged post WW2 compared with in the last 20 years
- Iran Contra compared with US involvements with opponents of ISIS

...these may be particularly bad or inexact examples, and that's why I'm asking for your help, thanks!
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens to Law & Government (2 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This documentary does a good job of contextualizing post 9/11 politics, particularly as it relates to Syria.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:02 AM on January 31, 2017

Look into the end of the 19th century in the U.S.

There are a number of parallels with what is going on right now: the Spanish-American war started after an American ship, the U.S. Maine, exploded in harbor at Havana and people thought it was a deliberate attack; rising nationalism in reaction to the increase in non-Western Europe immigration into the U.S.; yellow journalism and jingoism; people wrestling in general with the changes the industrial revolution had brought to society; lots of wealth concentrated in a very small number of powerful businessmen while working class people suffered.
posted by colfax at 10:11 AM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]

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