Modern US History in a Global Context

About this class

This class will explore history and global issues since 1945, with a goal of seeing every issue from multiple perspectives.  Students will write frequent, short opinion pieces that I would love to have them share with students around the world.

Vermont Commons School
by ecarey on February 11, 2016
Elliot Carey 2/3/16 Race relations over the past hundred years have changed drastically, for better and for the worse. What America has seen as a nation of many diverse groups of people is inequality, social injustice, and overall apathy. This is not including however the great triumphs made in order to correct these grievous mistakes by individuals, groups, and movements.

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Vermont Commons School
by Ceilek on February 11, 2016
We all would like to believe that racism has been dealt with and that the civil rights movement paid off and solved the issue. However, looking at the news recently provides a glimpse into reality and shows us that in truth, that it could not be further from the truth. Instead, we see a world where white supremacists work in the shadows and where we teach our police officers that black people are more likely to commit violent crime. Because of this, police brutality against people of color is one of the leading issues facing our society today.

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Vermont Commons School
by gfastie on February 11, 2016
It is not my place, as a privileged, white, Vermonter, to speak with any authority on race relations in the United States. Racism can be a tremendously personal issue, and I have no real personal experience with it. I can, of course, see statistics about racial disparities in arrests, in wealth, in callbacks from jobs, but I cannot speak to the experience of being black in America. Interestingly, it may have been easier for someone in my position to understand the plight of African Americans 50 years ago than it is now.

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Vermont Commons School
by rysenior on February 11, 2016
I think Black lives still face racism today. Anywhere in America, officers will be more prone to frisk and or arrest black citizens over whites. Black will be convicted more often than whites. And blacks have more of a chance of being racially profiled in work, or just walking on the street. Not a whole lot has changed since slavery, but there have been some major leaps. Civil rights was an enormous jump towards equality. Racism began to go under the radar, and Black people began to feel more equal to a white person.

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Vermont Commons School
by SlowSlothIsSlow on February 7, 2016
      Race equality has improved in America. Most equality has been on an upward trend in America. However improvement is not a finished solution to a problem. We still have plenty of issues to work through as a country, even if they aren’t quite as blatant as they might have been 100 years ago. While we are on the road to more equality, we haven’t quite figured out what exactly equality means, and what is socially and politically most correct. There are obvious inequalities and profiling instances today, that were clearly not just fixed up perfectly by the Civil Rights Movement.

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Vermont Commons School
by Camel on February 7, 2016
The evolution of the Civil Rights movement today has taken a turn towards violence and upheaval of authority. The major difference between the early Civil Rights movement and today’s is the early movement had defined goals. During the Civil Rights Movement, much of the earlier attention was towards the right to vote; however, the movement today has shifted to distributing attention on many injustices surrounding racial tensions.

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Vermont Commons School
by Lasker on February 4, 2016
Alex Lasker Mark Cline-Lucey Social Studies 2 February 2016 Racial issues have always existed throughout history, being bad enough as to one race enslaving another. These tensions and issues have been fought, and denounced by multiple different races. The biggest movement in the United States history is the Civil Rights Movement, which lasted nearly ten years. The movement started small, then grew to be big enough to influence laws regarding segregation and racial oppression.

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Vermont Commons School
by Ben Maksym on February 4, 2016
I feel that issues of Race in America continue to be relevant, even since the civil-rights movement. They may have vanished from the public eye after legislation was passed to help people of color and to reduce their daily struggles, but they are certainly still relevant today, as has been shown on many occasions. For instance, the shootings in Ferguson and New York bear a striking resemblance to shootings carried out in the pre-civil-rights era south, where blacks were often threatened and killed with few to no repercussions against the murderer.

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Vermont Commons School
by jakeweissgold on February 3, 2016
Jake Weissgold Mark CL MUSH February 2, 2016  

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Vermont Commons School
by EhindsVCS on February 3, 2016
Race relations has taken a huge step forward since the civil rights outcry of the 1960s, and although there is still much to be desired if we want a world of true racial equality, the progress that has been made is still something to be admired. An entire societal overhaul has taken place, and in only 50 years we have altered the societal norm for race relations from one of rigorous segregation and dominance, to one far closer to equality and integration. The civil rights movement that we studied made some great progress.

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Vermont Commons School
by Storm on January 15, 2016
The United States of America is an amazing nation that continues to lead the world through the complex geopolitical problems that we are faced with today. As a strong economic and political world leader, we have become the role model for developing nations attempting to give their people the same freedoms and opportunities that Americans have become so accustomed to. This is why it is so important to work harder than we ever have before to better ourselves as a nation, because what we change will set a precedent of improvement around the world and inspire change.

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Vermont Commons School
by gfastie on January 13, 2016
Our union, one held together by the principles set forth in the constitution, is divided by fear. We exist as a nation because after the American Revolution, each state agreed to come together on principles of liberty and freedom. The union has never been perfect in the pursuit of these values, but we have always persevered through dedication to these values. Our country has strayed furthest from these values in times when fear has overcome our principles, and history has never failed to remember those times as faults in our collective judgement, from Jim Crow to Japanese internment.

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Vermont Commons School
by gfastie on January 13, 2016
Our union, one held together by the principles set forth in the constitution, is divided by fear. We exist as a nation because after the American Revolution, each state agreed to come together on principles of liberty and freedom. The union has never been perfect in the pursuit of these values, but we have always persevered through dedication to these values. Our country has strayed furthest from these values in times when fear has overcome our principles, and history has never failed to remember those times as faults in our collective judgement, from Jim Crow to Japanese internment.

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Vermont Commons School
by I Don't Know on January 4, 2016
Neoliberal free trade is a net positive for humans across the globe that are living in poverty, but is a negative for people who are living in developed nations. The 14.8%(1) of people that are living in poverty in developing nations would benefit the most from free trade, as the goods become cheaper making it easier to live off of less money. Free trade would be good for developing nations and countries so that they are able to grow their consumer class as goods would be cheaper and more available.

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Vermont Commons School
by lpierce_ on December 11, 2015
Free trade is one of the most difficult global issues to take a non-biased approach to. In a perfect world, free trade would work to benefit everyone, for a net gain. Any disparity in capital traded between countries would be eventually offset, so no country would have a clear-cut advantage. For example, Chinese manufacturing would eventually flood our market, but our money would flood their economy, lowering the value of their goods. In this perfect world, everyone experiences lower prices.

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Vermont Commons School
by Ben Maksym on December 11, 2015
In general, I believe that Neo-liberalism is a net negative for the world as a whole. It causes massive fluctuations in the world’s economy, increases poverty in developing nations by helping to foster competition and monopolies, and is, for the moment, really only working for the benefit of the United States, and even then only for the benefit of a small few. Menial workers still have to worry about production being outsourced overseas for cheaper pay, while those overseas have to worry about degradation of their lives and values and not being able to feed their families.

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Vermont Commons School
by EhindsVCS on December 11, 2015
Neoliberalist free trade policies are a net negative for the environment, as the mass transportation of goods over extended distances not only uses up an extensive amount of resources while also spreading diseases and limiting genetic diversity among products as mass production tactics continue to limit the genetic material of goods, such as corn. Free trade is getting less harmful to the environment though, as trade agreements such as the TPP in coordination with worldwide environmental groups attempt to set standards for environmental impact of production.

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by 018 Saya on January 28, 2016
Kansai University of International Studies
     Do you know anything about TPP? Honestly, I didn’t know anything about it, so I researches about TPP, its benefits, disadvantages and my opinion about it. I am going to tell you about these things below.      First of all, I would like to tell you about TPP. TPP is the abbreviation for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is Economic Partnership Agreement for freely economy by the countries of the Pacific Rim. Many countries are joining TPP, for example, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, Australia, America, Malaysia, Canada, Mexico and Japan.

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by 032Kiei on January 25, 2016
Kansai University of International Studies
Today, I am going to think about Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP). TPP is one of the biggest issue in Japan. Many Japanese people think about this issue, but they don’t have enough knowledge about it. Therefore, I would like to talk about TPP’s positive points and negative points in this paper.

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by 037 Kurumi on December 21, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
A few years earlier, TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) becomes a current topic around the world, we can hear often about it on TV or newspapers. However, there are many difficult words, and time goes without our understanding. TPP was not global like now at first, only it worked for 4 countries. Hence, it is inevitable for the people in the other countries not to know details, so I searched websites and learned the merits and demerits of TPP. I will write my opinion about TPP.

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by 020 Koki on December 20, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
Is TPP good for Japan?                 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, which is called “TPP”, was started among Singapore, Brunei, Chile and New Zealand in 2006. Japan has participated in it since 2013, and now 11 countries has taken part in it. To be honest, I do not know anything at all about TPP. Is it good for Japan? Does we have merit points? I want to know the answer so that I will research its merit and demerit points. Then I would like to write my opinion about them.  

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by 030 Naaaaatsu on December 20, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
apan has joined TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) for 2 years ago. Many Japanese people are unwilling to agree this arrangement. However, Japanese government decided to take part in TPP. TPP includes 12 countries, America, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chili, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and Japan. I would like to tell you about merit points and demerit points of TPP.

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by 043Risa on December 19, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
     What is TPP? The official name is Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement. Originally, Singapore, New Zealand, Brunei, and Chili made the Agreement which was called Pacific 4. However, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, and some other countries had taken part in the Agreement one by one, and after that it became TPP. The purpose is to unify the each country’s rules and systems. Next, I would like to tell you about them from now.

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by 005 Yohei on December 17, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
Thinking about TPP               This “Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement” will become an important agreement for the countries which will participate. This agreement will decide rules, laws, the taxes and many other things for the countries. But this might be a negative effect against Japan and also for other countries too. Today I want to write about how it will give good and bad effect to Japan and other countries.

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by 030 Naaaaatsu on November 26, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
Syria has a civil war. Syrian people go to the Europe countries to be saved. However, some of Europe countries are unwilling to accept them. Only Germany accept them. According to Asahi Digital, Germany has a history that the Germany’s president Adolf Hitler slaughtered Jews in world warⅡ. Therefore, Germany’s constitution says that an obligation of accepting Refugees. A number of the refugees are very huge, so Germany wants other countries to accept more. More than 17 countries said that accepting refuges. First, I will tell you about the current status of Syria and refugees.

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by 018 Saya on November 26, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
     Recently, a lot of serious problems have been happening all over the world. Do you know anything about refugees? I think the refugees’ problem is the most serious problem. I think most of the young people don’t know much about the problem. Actually, I didn’t know anything about it. That’s why I focused on the refugees from Syria, and researched about their present circumstance, so I will mention about it. And also, I will tell you about Japanese Prime Minister’s opinion and my opinion.  

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by 043Risa on November 23, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
5142043 Risa Fukui        I would like to talk about an architect, Shigeru Ban. Did you know him? I did not know him and I was not interested in architecture. However, I was impressed after I watched his presentation so I would like to tell you about my opinion.  

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by 032Kiei on November 19, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
Today, I would like to talk about the issue of refugees in Japan. In this paper, I would like to focus on three points. The first one is the institution that how the Japanese government accepts refugees. The second one is how many people tried to migrate to Japan last year. The last one is what happens if people are accepted as refugees in Japan.

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by 018 Saya on November 16, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
 Have you ever dreamed about your own house? What kind of house do you want to live? When we build houses, we are going to order our requests to architects. Today, I would like to introduce an architect, and after that I will tell you about my opinion for his work.  

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by 033ryosuke on November 16, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
5142033 Ryosuke Chinen

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by 037 Kurumi on November 16, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
The admission of refugees has become a controversial matter all over the world. There are countries which accept many refugees and other that accept only a few. Also I understand that there are both advantages and disadvantages. Then, are there no other ways to help desperate refugees?

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by 043Risa on November 16, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
        The problems of Refugees 5142043 Risa Fukui  

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by 005 Yohei on November 16, 2015
Kansai University of International Studies
              Japan is a country that only accepts few people in a year as a refugee. But think about it. Why can every country accept a million of people by not knowing about them? Also on the premise, Japan was a closed society for over two hundred years, and Japan has raised a society that could move the economy with no help by other countries. From this you can know Japan’s characteristics are more like a village society than a multiethnic society. It’s more natural and easy to be stable in this way. Although to help other countries that need help is necessary in this current world.

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3 years 7 months ago

Hi Spiderman,

Thank you so much for your comment. I completely agree with your thoughts on intersectionality and how that adds to the complexity and intensity of the issue. I think that while difficult, the best possible solution to this is equality on all fronts. You mention gender, and gender is obviously a huge contributor. I thought that the article you sent me was very interesting; I was definitely previously aware of the way that gender and race combine to make discrimination far more common for people that fit into certain category combinations, but I didn't know much about the specifics that the article offered. I would be interested to see how people also identifying as LGBTQ might feature into similar statistics. I don't personally know any numbers, or much about how that adds to a combination, but I would guess that it would similarly intensify already present issues.

Amira

3 years 8 months ago

Thank your for your comment. I liked your description of the color blind argument being passive, and I completely agree with that. I'm interested to hear what you, as a resident of a big city like Baltimore, think are the main issues that can be seen every day. I think it would be interesting to compare our experiences living in Vermont and Baltimore.

3 years 8 months ago

Hey thanks for the questions. It's obviously a very complex solution and many places will require many different approaches. However, the war on drugs seems to be putting many addicts in prison on first or second offenses. A strong argument could be made to send these addicts to rehab instead of prison, because in many cases it is vastly cheaper and will rehabilitate them back into a productive member of society. In terms of prevention, education creates a natural deterrent, but there should be more debate whether recreational drugs should be legal or not. Thanks again.

3 years 8 months ago

I think today much of the movements we see that influence our steps forward are not in fact movements so much as they are legislative actions pushed by a group of politically active citizens and the politicians they collaborate with. Movements like black lives matter and other protesting groups are what we tend to notice because that is what the media tends to cover and distribute to us, however I think that most of the changes we see today come from within education systems, and the changing culture towards race is more a result of individualized changes and activism rather than a movements push for change. Riots, like the ones that happened in Baltimore, tend to stem out of police killings because of race, and also out of unfair judicial system decisions, such as the Trayvon Martin case. The riots are a manifestation of the anger and frustration that blacks and whites across the country feel.

3 years 8 months ago

I think that the Civil Rights Movement never ended, however it has changed and it became the Black Lives Matter Movement. Even after the Civil Rights Movement ended, people of color were still at a disadvantage, and this makes the movement unable to end since their is still racism present, we can see this in many statistics, and personally I believe that we most likely will never achieve equality, since we refuse to give up some power.

3 years 8 months ago

Your idea that racial inequality is brought about today by people refusing to talk about race. People need to talk about this and i do believe that people in the black lives matter movement and Ferguson racial inequality bring this issue more to the front of peoples attention. A lot of the time people are scared of these movements and therefore they do not know exactly what to expect from angry black people. this is called internalized racism and it is the biggest issue, IMO.

3 years 8 months ago

Your idea that racial inequality is brought about today by people refusing to talk about race. People need to talk about this and i do believe that people in the black lives matter movement and Ferguson racial inequality bring this issue more to the front of peoples attention. A lot of the time people are scared of these movements and therefore they do not know exactly what to expect from angry black people. this is called internalized racism and it is the biggest issue, IMO.

3 years 8 months ago

I really like your point of view, you pose a great counterpoint. I would go further to state that because there is no centralized leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, there is no focus for outsiders to see. I wonder if there was a "Martin Luther King" of the Black Lives Matter movement, if there would be more unification and strength for effective change. Thoughts?

Reply to: How admit refugees
3 years 8 months ago

Thank you for your 2 comments. I will answer your both comments.
For first one, I think bringing in refugees bring us new ideas, and it will good work for globalization of Japan as I said in my article.
Next, I think we don't have a right to force them to be labor to boost our economy, but the day that they have to work to live there will come either way if refugees enter the country.
I would like to hear your opinion about it.

Reply to: How admit refugees
3 years 8 months ago

Thank you for your comment. I'm happy to hear that. By the way for answering your question, I don't know well about the circumstances of other countries so I don't have epoch-making idea for where the refugees could go. But it is sure that there is the countries have already announced accepting them like Germany therefore I think if the refugees don't chose countries, they could find the countries will accept.

Kansai University of International Studies

Friends School of Baltimore

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