The National Government

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1. Why do you think the National Government refused to be more proactive (involved) or protective (concerned) for the environment or workers' rights by the end of the 1800's?

According to Jefferson, the democracy of the United States lied in the agriculture and manufacture. Nonetheless, the nation’s primary concern at the beginning of the 1800s was the need to create a powerful country through settlement of a stable national economy. The individual artisans and farmers were pushed down by the spreading industry, which was more profitable for America. However, pursuing manufacturing industry was not advantageous for the people either. The workers had been under terrible dangerous and dirty working conditions. They had to pursue a 12 hour working day, having one day off per week, earning minimal wages, which were not enough to cover such basic needs, as medical care. Finally, in case they got sick, or hurt during the work day, the employer could easily fire the person, rather than insure his life. Thus, at the same time, by the end of 1800s the workers began fighting for their rights. They wanted better salaries for better working hours, medical care and better working conditions. Such turn of events was not profitable for the National Government. The federal government rather encouraged the actions of the industrialists, who lead the timber industry and the construction of the railroads, which helped the development of the economy. The fighting workers were not the government’s priority as they have been inhibiting the development of economy. It was more profitable to spend less money on the workers and gain more resources instead in order to sell or export them in even a higher price.

2. During the Progressive Era, Congress passed the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcohol. Do you consider this a progressive measure or a harmful measure? Do you see any similarities between outlawing liquor in the early 1900's and outlawing recreational drugs in today's times?

The pass of the 18th Amendment by the Congress was a gesture of control over the citizens, who had started to shatter the democratic ground by excessive drinking, which lead to a variety of problems and issues both among the middle class, and the upper level as well. The reason for prohibition of manufacture and use of alcohol was credited to the problem of drunkenness, which had been a concern of the society. The anti-alcohol movement had been created in the mid-1830s by the American ministers, physicians, and employers, who felt the problem of alcohol abuse of their servants and workers, who were destroying themselves and their families. In addition, drunkenness was considered to be the reason of poverty, business bankruptcy, insanity, raise of crime performance, extreme violence, and unemployment raise, which was disadvantageous to the United States economy. Such an extreme decision of alcohol prohibition is a healthy decision of the American Congress as it helped resolving the problems with unemployment and violence. Later, in the 1900s, the prohibition of alcohol and drugs had other reasons and lead to different types of consequences. The prohibition of alcohol and drugs has been ineffective and harsh for many American citizens. The problem has rooted deeply into society, and a simple outlawing was expensive for the country, as well as unnecessary too. Therefore, the American society had created the alternative, such as partial drug legalization, harm reduction and, drug decriminalization. Also, a more effective approach of alcohol regulation had been introduced.

3. Should the U.S. have gotten involved in Vietnam? Once involved, was it a winnable conflict? What could the nation have done differently to have gained a victory?

The reason of Vietnam War was the separation of the Southern and Northern parts due to political issues. The South lead democratic lifestyle, when the North had been trying to force into application the development of communism. At the time, the Southern lands of Vietnam were the colonies, which belonged to France. Now, if there was some sort of mediator, who should help Vietnam to resolve the conflict between the two sides, it should have been France. Nonetheless, the American country considered it’s implication to the Vietnam War. The United States has been propagating freedom, liberty and democracy as the core ideas of the United States, therefore, felt direct connection to less developed and savage Vietnamese troops. However, what the American soldiers have forgotten, once entered Vietnam, is that they are now in the jungle of cultural misinterpretation, lack of understanding, and absence of civilization to fight for their core principles on alien lands. The American troops have been trying to save people, who probably have not been in need to be saved, fighting for the principles they did not want to implement after all. The Vietnam War did not need the intrusion of anyone, especially the brave and strong patriotic troops of the United States. North and South of Vietnam could have easily resolved this conflict themselves. Instead, America had thrown more wood into the fire and kept the War proceed longer and hairier, which resulted in enormous unnecessary damage and millions of innocent deaths.

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