U.S. and the World - B Block

About this class

This is a U.S. History survey class which is organized thematically. 

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by ecarey on February 11, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by Ceilek on February 11, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by gfastie on February 11, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by rysenior on February 11, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by SlowSlothIsSlow on February 7, 2016
Vermont Commons School
      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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by Camel on February 7, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by Lasker on February 4, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by Ben Maksym on February 4, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by jakeweissgold on February 3, 2016
Vermont Commons School
Jake Weissgold Mark CL MUSH February 2, 2016  

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by EhindsVCS on February 3, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by Storm on January 15, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by gfastie on January 13, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by gfastie on January 13, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by I Don't Know on January 4, 2016
Vermont Commons School
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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by lpierce_ on December 11, 2015
Vermont Commons School
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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by Ben Maksym on December 11, 2015
Vermont Commons School
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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by JWolf_802 on December 11, 2015
Vermont Commons School
Throughout my time at VCS, specifically in Mark’s classes, the idea of globalization has been a major theme. It has always been referred to as something that continuously is growing and we should support in order to be global citizens. However, this has been one of the first drawbacks to globalization that has been brought up. For the first time, global connections are questioned and often viewed negatively. While the personal question of, should the lives of developed nations be valued at treated better than others?

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by Lasker on December 11, 2015
Vermont Commons School
Trading across the world has shown to be helpful and unhelpful in multiple ways throughout history, trading provokes innovation and peace deals between countries and nations. As well as ensuring that countries gain resources that they cannot easily produce on their own. The downside of trading is the loss of jobs in countries, since importing and exporting certain materials can make a job held by someone obsolete, due to the cheap and more efficient use of importing and exporting materials and resources.

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4 years 9 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

Reply to: Racism Today
4 years 9 months ago

Racism is definitely still an issue in America and it's a shame that it doesn't get the attention in everyday life that it deserves. Race is a big topic in the media whenever there is a police shooting or other issue, but there are people that have to put up with racism every day.
Also, you may want to go back and proofread your last paragraph. I think you were making an important point and it kinda gets lost in some grammar mistakes.

Reply to: Racism Today
4 years 9 months ago

I think that you bring up some good and very important points. Being a black that lives in a city like Baltimore I can tell you that I confront racism more than you would think. I am a black kid who grew up in a white family (I was adopted) I went to private schools and lives in a mostly white neighborhood but I still get racially profiled with no one knowing my background. In a city like Baltimore one of the biggest problems is the way that The police portray themselves to blacks. Me personally I don't feel to comfortable around cops not even because I'm black just because I don't feel that they actually keep the right people safe and so,e like to abuse there power. It only takes one cop to shoot someone and give cops everywhere a bad name. Same goes for blacks, it only takes one black to start a riot or run from a cop and it puts blacks back into a category immediately. The media also doesn't help because like you said the media really only talks about blacks if they are actors athletes musicians or ,underestimated rapists and things like that. And when they do talk about black doctors or lawyers or business men it seems like it is surprising and rare for a black to be in that position. And I am not calling these reporters racist it's sad but thats just how the media is today regardless of race or class. But overall I think that you raise many good points and are completely right about racism in today's society. And I agree that I think that it will never really go away.

-Nik

4 years 9 months ago

Hey there. Nice post. Your practical view on the civil rights movement and discrimination against black people is cool because you don't have many assumptions. You just speak from your point of view instead of talking from what you think others might think. I've never really thought of it this way, but I guess the Black Rights Movement is kind of vague. Lots of effective movements before them had clear cut goals they were going for like desegregation, which made it easier to solve the problems they highlighted. The BLM movement is going for a much harder thing to work with. Like you said, the problem today is dealing with people who hold racist beliefs that might harm others. It's kind of hard to change someone's beliefs, and there's no law to change or event to organize that will change this. That's why I think BLM might be less structured and going around holding seemingly random protests (that apparently are backfiring). They're trying to get into people's heads, letting everyone know they're still there and so are the problems. Personally, I don't really think some of the stuff they're doing is helping either, like that whole stopping Bernie's speech thing. I'm not sure what that accomplished besides angering a bunch of Bernie supporters, who generally agreed with their cause in the first place. Anyway, I thought it was a good article. Nice job bringing up some interesting issues.

-Eli

Reply to: Racism Today
4 years 9 months ago

Ryan, this is great. I completely agree with your point about prejudice. I believe that it will never be banished from society. I say this because it is something that comes from what your family preaches to you to be. If it exists in a household or with the people that some are around most , they will be accustomed to having that prejudice nature. Its the only thing that some will know. If everyone were smart enough to see around it, the world would be much better.

_Ross J.

Reply to: Racism Today
4 years 9 months ago

I agree that although we have made great strides in achieving equality, as a nation, we still have a long way to go. Having grown up a privileged, white girl in Baltimore city, the riots that took place last May were a wake up call to the ever-present racial inequality. I feel as though it is easy to sometimes brush off media stories covering events of African-American mistreatment because you cannot directly feel its effect. During the riots, I was forced to face the fact that these issues are still relevant in society, and they do have a significant influence on how I live my life. Although slavery and segregation no longer exist, racial discrimination takes place in other forms. In concurrence with what you said, society has shaped white as "right" or "better" through the use of trends and media. I hope that as we progress we can offer opportunities to everyone no matter what their race.
-Erin Farrugia

Reply to: Racism Today
4 years 9 months ago

I agree that although we have made great strides in achieving equality, as a nation, we still have a long way to go. Having grown up a privileged, white girl in Baltimore city, the riots that took place last May were a wake up call to the ever-present racial inequality. I feel as though it is easy to sometimes brush off media stories covering events of African-American mistreatment because you cannot directly feel its effect. During the riots, I was forced to face the fact that these issues are still relevant in society, and they do have a significant influence on how I live my life. Although slavery and segregation no longer exist, racial discrimination takes place in other forms. In concurrence with what you said, society has shaped white as "right" or "better" through the use of trends and media. I hope that as we progress we can offer opportunities to everyone no matter what their race.
-Erin Farrugia

4 years 9 months ago

I enjoyed your article, and I liked many of the points you made about what you learned from the course; you clearly demonstrate your knowledge in the first two paragraphs. However, I do wish that the first two paragraphs were slightly more connected to the last two. You do have good points in both sections, but I wish there was more of an effort to visibly connect what you have said you learned from the course, and your opinion shown in the first two paragraphs.

4 years 9 months ago

I enjoyed your article, and I liked many of the points you made about what you learned from the course; you clearly demonstrate your knowledge in the first two paragraphs. However, I do wish that the first two paragraphs were slightly more connected to the last two. You do have good points in both sections, but I wish there was more of an effort to visibly connect what you have said you learned from the course, and your opinion shown in the first two paragraphs.

4 years 9 months ago

You're very right that recognition and news coverage of the tribulations of black Americans, however unduly sensationalized, represents one small societal victory. It's encouraging to see the populous understand, more and more as time goes on, the legitimacy of racial concerns. Like you, however, I sometimes question whether we will ever get to a place where the civil rights movement may reach its end. To me, it feels like the next ten years will be a time of great change in that regard. Or at least I hope it will.

Best,
Josh

Vermont Commons School

  • Modern US History in a Global Context

    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.

About the author

I am Upper School History Department Chair at Friends School of Baltimore. I teach Modern World History, U.S. History and electives. I am passionate about connecting my students with others and moving conversations beyond the walls of the classroom.

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