What is the"best" era in American history? You may have heard some politicians talk about "returning" to  better time in American history. Do you think such a time exists? If so, when? If not,...

What is the"best" era in American history?

You may have heard some politicians talk about "returning" to  better time in American history. Do you think such a time exists? If so, when? If not, which aspects of American society today make you glad to live in the present?

 


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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Nostalgia about the past is before common, especially among politicians. They want to evoke well-loved historical figures to capitalize on their popularity. They also want people to look back and imagine that their lives were wonderful, and they should trust these politicians to make things wonderful again.
mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There is no question that the crime rate was much, much lower fifty or so years ago. It was, indeed, a safer life that the majority of citizens lived. American industry prospered--the U. S. actually produced things-- and the economy was sound; there was no more powerful country in the world.  The Middle East was virtually nonexistent to Americans and not the tinder box that it is today.  There was no "globalization" which has brought many new issues to the United States.

Socially, however, for only one cultural group, (interestingly, this group that now has diminshed greatly was 90% of the country in the 1950s), were those times "the best of times."  The other 10% lived lives fraught with poverty, rejection, and fear especially in some geographical areas.  So, for "minorities" conditions are much improved. 

In many other aspects, however, the United States fails today.  When before have states been bankrupt, for instance?  When has the national debt been so astronomical?  When has 60% of the population had to support 40% of the population before?

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Even with the other societal limitations of the 1950s, I'd have to say that time period.  It's the last time when a high school diploma meant a job that you could make a living at.  It marked the last time a home needed one income.  It was perhaps the closest we have ever come to full employment in the United States.  And I have to admit, I would have loved to have the cars of the era in my garage.

herappleness's profile pic

M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The way that society has learned to be tolerant of the differences of people is, to me, the best thing about living in modern society. For some people to feel safe enough to express their idiosyncrasies, their alternative lifestyles, or their personal preferences and EXPECT respect for it is an incredible social feat.

I can go back as early as the 1980's and remember feeling shy for not being "a white girl" among the many around me who were. Now, I celebrate my culture, my skin color, my accent, my mannerisms, and the way that I was uniquely brought up because modern thinking has brought with it an overall shattering of the archetypal "poster people".

These days we see a myriad of beautiful , faces, races, dresses.  We hear more varied languages, songs, music, accents...and prayers. It is amazing to live in a world where one can be oneself and feel proud of it. I wouldn't change it for the world!

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Today is by far the best time in history, at least from my perspective.

I cannot imagine wanting to go very far back in history because that would get me to a time when things like polio and smallpox existed and antibiotics did not.

Some people might point to the '50s as a golden age in the US.  They point to how the US was so much more socially harmonious and how standards of living were going up.  But standards of living are way higher now and, much more importantly, our society today is so much more fair.

I'm half-white and half-Asian.  My parents' marriage would have been illegal in much of the South in the '50s.  I could well have faced discrimination myself.  My daughters would have been growing up in a time when women had very little in the way of opportunities and when they would have been seen as second class citizens because of their sex.

So, as a "person of color" who has daughters, I'm glad I live now because I think there is much more justice and equality in our society today.

hakuna-matata's profile pic

hakuna-matata | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted on

I completely agree. This is a great time to be alive, especially for minorities.

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