Hello all! I know my posting is all over the place but life is just busy. With the 4th of July right around the corner I thought I’d do a history post. Before school ended we were required to give our top 10 events that made America what it is today. Now I’m fully aware we all have our own ideas of what made America great and I want to hear them too! So I’m going to share you mine, but please remember these are my opinions and if you disagree that’s totally okay, if we all thought the same we’d be robots and thats just scary…
10: Edison’s Invention of the Light Bulb –
Though disputed on who actually invented the light bulb, Thomas Edison is generally credited and proclaimed as the one who brought light into the darkness. Not only did he invent a way to see in the night, he allowed working, traveling, and more to be done for more hours each day. Generally, once the sun went down, most jobs would stop as kerosene was quite expensive and candles didn’t throw much light. Once the electric light bulb became practical, companies could keep working later, helping America grow and develop. As well, the intention of the light bulb in America, demonstrated internationally the technological might of the country and started a long chain of advancements which are even continued to this day.
9: Defeat of the Spanish Armada by English –
Although not located on American soil, the defeat Spanish Armada on July 28, 1588, made America the land it is today. Why, you ask? If Armada had won, we would now be part of the Spanish Empire. There would have been little to no English exploration throughout the North America Coastline. There would be no America the Beautiful, and I’m sure way more Taco Bells. In all honesty, our America would not be the country she was without the English winning on that Wednesday in 1588. America, as we know, would not exist.
8: Great Depression –
As the critical breaking point of the American economy, the Great Depression allowed for a reevaluation and restructuring of the federal government and the US monetary system as a whole. During this period, President Roosavelt pushed for an expansion of the executive branch, with the intention to provide assurance to all citizens and build a better backing and support infrastructure. This has led to the US being one of the best countries for public assistance, providing a reliable platform for everything to run on. As well, the Great Depression was one of the major motivators for the United States to enter WW2, as the war funded economy was able to spring back into action. Without these difficult 10 years, the government and America as a whole would not be where it is today and as such, is essential to place on this list.
7: The Resignation of George Washington –
General George Washington, the first President of the United States, was the leader of the revolution and an essential part of the founding of America. Even with all this, the most important thing he did, was resign. Coming from a monarchical English Empire, the standard was for the leader of the country to serve for as long as they wanted (or lived) and then pass it off to a family member or political ally. With the US and its intentions to break free from that system, all eyes were on George Washington to see how he would continue his term. He feared that if he continued to serve in the role, people would think that the President was a lifetime appointment, which would violate the goals of the newly founded democracy. As such, the resignation of George Washington after his second term was essential in forming the democratic bedrock that America lives on today.
6: Marbury v Madison –
The United States of America was founded on the concept of liberty and justice, backed by an independent branch of government with the power to keep the executive and legislative in check. While created by Article 3 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court really didn’t have any power until the Marbury v Madison decision, in which John Marshall established the principle of Judicial Review (the power of the court to declare a law unconstitutional.) This one case allowed landmark cases to be heard and decided, changing the foundation and interpretation of the constitution. As such, Marbury v Madison is an essential part of the way America is today and the liberties we hold so dear.
5: 9/11 –
Security, Patriotism, and Terrorism; three words that describe the action and reaction to the New York attacks on September 11th, 2001. 9/11 brought the county together in the fight against terorism both nationally and abroad. But it also gave way to increased government surveillance and protrusion into its citizen’s personal lives. It helped expand the United State’s role as the global mediator in international conflicts and proved that in a time of national emergency its people would rise to the call, just as they did 60 years ago.
4: Covid 19 –
When our country was turned into complete chaos over the news of the Coronavirus that we now refer to as Covid 19, we completely changed our way of how we live and think. Even though it has not affected us for a long period of time, we still go about our day with a dread of what might come. Although the Coronavirus has made life very difficult you can easily see the growth America has had through it. We’ve grown stronger as a nation, our vaccination usage has largely increased, and awareness concerning our health has greatly improved. In all, this will help the United States to grow stronger and allow its people continue to thrive.
3: World War II –
We know that the United States is an international superpower, able to spread the ideas and beliefs of democracy throughout the world. But the event that proved that was undeniably WW2. Coming out of the Great Depression, the US needed the spark to bring back its economic successes. The boom of Federal Spending, exponential employment expansion, and the race from private companies to advance war-fighting technologics to get military contracts, pushed America to the forefront of invention and prosperity. Without WW2, we would not be where we are today and neither would be the world, better than before it happened, even with the horrors that occurred during it.
2: Civil Rights Movement –
100 years after the end of my number one choice, the Civil Rights Movement was the final nail in the coffin for segregation and country-wide discrimination based on skin color. During a time of great conflict, especially with JFKs assisination and the looming threat of the Cold War, great orators such as Martin Luther King and Malcom X brought the country together in finally delivering freedom for all. Once everybody could fight together we could finally begin to overcome greater problems such as international conflicts and the ever escalating Vietnam war.
1: Civil War –
The Civil War, while in itself, divided the country upon political and social lines, ended up creating a more unified and energetic United States. While slavery is often quoted as the sole reason for the war, many more factors played in the succession of 11 of states. Primarily, it was a struggle for power, between the state and federal governments, each yearning to take control militarily, economically, and socially. This sparked technological advancements both civilly and war-focused which helped develop the U.S. into the next generation. These achievements as well as the transportation, agricultural, and manufacturing infrastructure created during the war helped America win future conflicts such as the Spanish American War and WW1. In all, the Civil War is an important keystone in our country and is the most important event in helping shape it to the way it is today.
What are your top 10 events that made America great? I’d love to hear a few of them in the comments!