Nobody downloaded yet

U.S. intellectual history since 1877 - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Reinhold Niebuhr suggests there is a persistent flaw in modern American thought that underestimates the power of evil and predatory self-interest. In this way he finds that American liberalism is limited. …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.4% of users find it useful
U.S. intellectual history since 1877
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"U.S. intellectual history since 1877"

Download file to see previous pages Reinhold Niebuhr suggests there is a persistent flaw in modern American thought that underestimates the power of evil and predatory self-interest. In this way he finds that American liberalism is limited. Dr. Martin Luther King and Allen Ginsburg show how American liberal and progressive thought was challenged, renewed, and expanded as understood through the insights of Reinhold Niebuhr. Yet Malcolm X was almost defeated by the human flaws of which Niebuhr writes, and the writers of the Port Huron Declaration went too far in accepting methods of the children of the darkness as explained by Niebuhr. In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail which he wrote April 16, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King rooted his thoughts to a tradition of philosophers and theologians, including Niebuhr. King expressed how difficult it was to get privileged groups to change. He wrote, “. . . as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.”Niebuhr felt that liberalism essentially lied to itself. Dr. King could see this. Bourgeoisie society, in the south had advanced because of those lies. Niebuhr identifies the ugly powers of self-interest as pulling the chords of individuals outside any real beliefs in community. The morality that the racist South put forward was a cynical one. It was one that could not stand true from the way it dealt with black people. But the point is that this was not merely a feature of the South. As long as the segregation policies existed it was also a feature of the entire country. Hence, from Niebuhr's view, democracy did not have any adequate cultural base. It had one that was built on a house of hate. This is why Dr. King's letter was important. Building on a principle of progressive liberalism in action, King's letter extended the cultural base of the country with some honest truths. One of these truths reflects the human flaw that Niebuhr saw in man. In this letter Dr. King noted this as the inner conflict of man. He explained that he had been disappointed with his Christian and Jewish brothers. He pointed out how they allowed a "negative peace" to exist in the absence of justice. In a way this is similar to Niebuhr's thought of 'the children of light' who, in this case, were somehow led to believe that the progress of black people, according to Southern standards, was okay. Drawing further from Niebuhr, it is possible to say that Southern racism reflected an order that was cynical on the top, and laid upon Niebuhr's "perils of chaos". Dr. King pointed to this chaos. He pointed to it in the white church and its leadership. He made some exceptions. But what stood out were the members of the white religious establishment that opposed the civil rights movement Dr. King led. Dr. King was actually forging the cultural revolution that exemplified an expression of Niebuhr's ideas. It was a revolution that pursued unity while expressing a freedom and participation of formally denied people into a system of democracy. In the active outplay of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King led black and white forces to demonstrate how it was possible for America to reflect a real culture of community. That was what King sought and what, while he was living, did. Dr. King stood as the leader who influenced thought and action. There is also a way in which an artist, who has freed his or herself from the limiting confines of human prejudice and self-interest, may also illustrate some of the themes of Niebuhr. Allen Ginsberg is one of these artists. Allen Ginsberg was one of the main poets during the beat generation. He was also a public homosexual during the 1950s when homosexuality was illegal. Ginsberg was at the extreme end of the poets in that he criticized a lot about American society that Niebuhr criticized. Niebuhr, being a Christian, would probably not accept Ginsberg extreme view of homosexuality. But maybe he could have. The important thing is that Ginsberg in his poetry, especially 'Howl', attempted to turn America upside down and look into her. In order to do this all the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“U.S. intellectual history since 1877 Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/history/1411333-us-intellectual-history-since-1877
(U.S. Intellectual History since 1877 Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words)
“U.S. Intellectual History since 1877 Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1411333-us-intellectual-history-since-1877.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
American History Since 1877: Describe Alfred T. Mahan's Impact
Alfred T. Mahan was a United States navy officer and a historian, who is credited for making large impact on the American strategic thinking as to naval supremacy. Ranging from fighting in the American civil war to heading the Naval War College, Mahan’s contribution the whole of Europe is enormously great.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
African American History Since 1877 (PT 3)
Even when being allowed freedoms by their masters, the law constricted slaves. For example, a slave going a errand for his master away from their home had to provide documentation from the master to any white man asking for it. Even then, the slave
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
U.S. History from 1700 to 1877
This essay researches William Wells Brown, a noted literary figure, most famous for his autobiographical sketches of his life as a slave. The book’s thesis was clearly stated by Brown: he waited until ‘some one more competent’ would take the subject with regards the contribution of African-Americans in military and in the war and ‘although many books have been written upon the rebellion’ no one had written about the African-American experience.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
U.S History since 1877
In your opinion, did either tradition or modernity "win" over the other? Ans. Once the First World War was over, the entire socio-economic and socio-political scenario of the globe witnessed emergence of a new nation to power. The United States of America, since
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
American History Since 1877
In essence, the idea of reconstruction in the American society in the 1870s did not focus only on the restoration of Southern involvement in the government.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
History before 1877
In addition, British government passing of laws that required increased heavily taxation of American colonists. Heavy taxation resistance by the British government subjects initiated the beginning of financial hardships. Through the heavy taxations,
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Follow the instruction to Find an example of art or architecture from American history since 1877
Cutting sod was the most difficult part during construction since they lacked necessary equipments. People used to cut sod from areas they intended to build the houses. It helped to keep away burrowing animals such as
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
History/Amer Civ Since 1877
The act assisted more than three 3 million non-American residences and their members to gain American citizenship. The great society was against this act but Reagan did not invite their
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Demonstrate understanding of the events, circumstances, causes, and effects of the significant events of U.S. History Since 1877
This rise for United States of America has happened through a series of events and activities that seemed to favour the country. This paper will study events that happened in United States of America since 1877, which have shaped the country, and in addition, explain the causes for these events.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History to 1877 The historical background of the USA is always an interesting topic to study. This paper seeks to study the historical background of the country under the following subheadings; the European Background, the Colonial Experience, the Revolutionary period and 19th Century History to the Civil War.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic U.S. intellectual history since 1877 for FREE!
logo footer
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • StudentShare App Store
  • StudentShare Google play
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us