Nobody downloaded yet

U.S. intellectual history since 1877 - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
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 PAPER94.2% 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
  • CHICAGO
(“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)
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”, 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

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF U.S. intellectual history since 1877

American History Since 1877: Describe Alfred T. Mahan's Impact

..., it was eventually adopted, with more technology executed to improve the state of the naval armory and battleships (Mahan and Westcott, 1999). Following his suggestions, more warships were built, and the technology used to construct their engines improved, to enhance their speed. He advocated for the production and increase in capacities for the battleships during the peaceful periods, so that they are ready for executing a triumphant war during the warring times (Beisner, 2003). This strategy has been adapted and applied ever since. Therefore, Alfred T. Mahan's impact on American strategic thinking, in relation to naval war and supremacy, is felt to present day. References Beisner, L. 2003. American foreign relations...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

U.S. History to 1877

...U.S. History to 1877 The historical background of the United s of America is always an interesting topic to study. On its path to becoming the world super power, many events underwent in the country. From the efforts of its founding fathers’ to its present day leaders, the USA has overseen key events on its territory to the world map. 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. The European background After the fall of the Roman Empire, settlement and colonization of the Americas became the first...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

American Foreign Policy since 1877

...? American Foreign Policy A nation’s interaction with other foreign countries includes specific standards that are set through its government’s Foreign Policy. The diplomatic history of American Foreign Policy has faced with major trends and challenges right from the time of American Revolution to the present-day. The efforts taken by the United States in achieving its national objectives and power is often determined in its foreign policy. There had been considerable changes since 1877 as far as American foreign policies are concerned, as it reoriented its focus regarding its national security, defense and expansion of its economy. In its formative years, American foreign policy dealt...
4 Pages(1000 words)Assignment

African American History Since 1877 (PT 3)

... Americans could express their feelings, and issues can be resolved. The more whites and African Americans understand each other, the less they will fear each other. Familiarity would bring the understanding that all colors are human. There are still issues that are taboo between the races. This builds walls between the two. If history can be taught and discussed, these walls can be torn down. References Kelley, Robin D.G. and Earl Lewis. To Make Our World Anew: Volume I: A History of African Americans to 1880. US: Oxford University Press, 2005. ---. To Make Our World Anew: Volume II: A History of African Americans Since 1880. US: Oxford University Press, 2005.... in general. This is constricting to African Americans. ...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

U.S History since 1877

...The U.S. History since 1877 Qus The 1920s was a decade of tremendous growth and prosperity for the United s. It was also a period of contradiction and conflict as the forces of modernity confronted the forces of tradition. Discuss the factors that gave rise to these conflicts and where they were most pronounced. 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 the early down of her origination, was maintaining a safe distance from being involved...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

U. S. Constitution

...US Constitution s right in American political system refers to the political rights reserved for the governments. Even though America asa whole has a federal government, each state in America has separate state governments. US constitution provides some specific rights to the state governments in law making even though all the state governments are operating under the federal government. The rights of the state government are protected by the tenth amendments (Part of bill of rights) in US constitution. According to The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

U S History

..., 2005). Work citied Greenberg, Brian, and Linda S. Watts. Social History of the United States. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2009. print. Hamilton, Neil A. The 1970s. New York: Facts On File, 2006. Internet resource. Horowitz, Daniel. Jimmy Carter and the Energy Crisis of the 1970s: The "crisis of Confidence" Speech of July 15, 1979 ; a Brief History with Documents. New York, NY [u.a.: Bedford/St. Martins, 2005. Print.... "Crisis of Confidence" in the United s The United s was a dominant world power in the 1970’s even though the countries self-perception was mired in doubt and malaise. The stagflation of the country’s economy, the experience and results of the Vietnam war, the lack...
2 Pages(500 words)Admission/Application Essay

History/Amer Civ Since 1877

... in the white house: the key players: Lt. Col. Oliver L. North: A Passion for the Fight Against Communism.” Articles.latimes.com. Web. 09 December 2014. Reagan, R., & National Review Books. “Tear down this wall: The Reagan revolution - a National Review history.” New York: Continuum, 2004. The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” Www.britannica.com. Web. 09 December 2014. U.S. Supreme Court Ruling. “PLESSY v. FERGUSON.” Findlaw.com. Web. 09 December 2014.... Question The Great Society promoted progressive politics, which the Reagan administration rejected Ronald Reaganhimself was conservatives by nature and viewed the Great Society’s idea of progressive politics...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

History before 1877

...Lecturer’s Option One: History Before 1877 European migration to the British colonies by the United s freedom and opportunity for newcomers to develop the nation economically and socially. The first group of immigrants to visit America arrived from Europe during the colonial era. Many of them were merchants in search of barter trade, as well as religious interaction (Wolff 56). On reaching, North America, they met and interacted with a group of indigenous people who received them warmly. Later, conflicts started in Europe and convicts were sent over in their country. At the beginning of 1619, African slaves were forcefully relocated to work on the plantations, as part of the slave...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

American History Since 1877

...American History Since 1877 Introduction Since 1877, some of the events in American history include the Gilded Age and Progressive Era between 1877 and 1929. Since 1877, America has also witnessed other historical events that include the increasing influence of America in the international realm, and the cold war and civil rights evident in the period between 1950s and 1980s.Further, the 1870s in America marked a period of reconstruction. 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...
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!

Contact Us