We have all heard the statement,"History repeats itself", but we tend to compare periods and eras separated by several decades or centuries. We can see history repeat itself just as easily with a comparison of these past three decades. One can see new trends have similar characteristics of the trends from just a few years ago.
The activity for you is to find items in the 1990's that support the statement, "History repeats itself." You will create a table that list ten 1970's items 1980's and the ten 1990's items that are similar to it. Do the same for the 1980's with the 1990's. Once complete answer these questions: Is society getting better? Why or Why not? Use the information from your research of the listed links and from other resources to give support to your opinion.
Examples of repetitive items: Watergate > Whitewater; Izod > Tommy Hilfiger; Bruce Springsteen > Garth Brooks; "Head of the Class" > "Saved by the Bell"; Cabbage Patch Kids > Beanie Babies; Pong > Atari > Playstation.
Once you have completed the activity examining the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's, you will have a better grasp of what characterized each decade. As a class, list 10 items that demonstrate what each decade was about. Next, discuss actions that you have taken due to the pressure of society. For example, have you ever bought Nike shoes at $120 instead of a comprable brand at $40 for you wanted to be accepted by your peers?
From this understanding of how a decade affects one's judgment, you will examine how a President is also affected by society and culture during his/her time. You will research actions taken by each of our Presidents in the last thirty years (Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, & Clinton). You will create a chart that includes these headings: President; Issue he was facing; Action taken; How did Society affect that decision. One can utilize the White House link above or search through the internet or textbook for further information.
The second part of the activity will be to write an essay on three issues our future president(s) will face, how society and culture will affect those decisions, and your predictions and supporting evidence as to why the president(s) will choose those actions. A strong essay will include thorough research and demonstrate an understanding of the issues. Issues that a president may have to face include: tobacco legislation, welfare, social security, security in technology, new forms of medical research, drugs, immigration, English as the native language, alcohol and education to name a few. One may choose to research through the multisearch engine dogpile or search the archives at news' sites such as cnn.
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