Arrival of Europeans
Civil War and Reconstruction
- The Roots and the Rise of the Civil War – Lesson
- The Roots and the Rise of the Civil War – Quiz
- Civil War: The War Between the States – Lesson
- Civil War: The War Between the States – Quiz
- Reconstruction: Trying to Rebuild a Broken Nation – Lesson
- Reconstruction: Trying to Rebuild a Broken Nation – Quiz
Immigration and America
20th Century and Modern America
- Black Lives Matter and the Anarchists of 1919 – Lesson
- Prohibition: The Failed Attempt to Outlaw Drunkenness – Lesson
- Attack on Pearl Harbor: Bringing America into World War II – Lesson
- Survivors Tell Their Stories on 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack – Lesson
- Survivors Tell Their Stories on 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack – Quiz
- Marion Robert Goff: A Soldier’s Tale on D-Day – Lesson
- Marion Robert Goff: A Soldier’s Tale on D-Day – Quiz
- France Says ‘Merci Les Américains’ on Bastille Day – Lesson
- France Says ‘Merci Les Américains’ on Bastille Day – Quiz
- A Closer Look at Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech – Lesson
- A Closer Look at Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech – Quiz
- 50 Years Since Nixon Went to China: Ping-Pong Diplomacy – Lesson (Part 1)
- 50 Years Since Nixon Went to China: Ping-Pong Diplomacy – Quiz
- 50 Years Since Nixon Went to China: ‘The Week That Changed the World’ – Lesson (Part 2)
- 50 Years Since Nixon Went to China: ‘The Week That Changed the World’ – Quiz
The 21st Century: A New Millennium
Historical Statues: Should they Stay or Go – Lesson
Protesters try to tear down monuments – what effect will this have on the U.S.?
It is impossible to separate the death of George Floyd from the cries for justice in America over the last few weeks. The push against monuments dedicated to Confederate figures isn’t new, but it has resurfaced at a time when the debate over racism is at a peak in America. While some Confederate statues have been removed over the years, the focus then was on taking the monuments down through legal action. Now, statues have been toppled by angry mobs.
The Argument to Remove Statues
Talk about the legacy of Confederate statues in America did not begin in 2020. Black Lives Matter has pushed to erase all references to the Confederacy in public spaces for years. They claim that the history of slavery in America is shameful and that its legacy lives on today. Therefore, statues honoring these historical events and figures is to continue in racial discrimination.
The Argument to Keep Statues
There are various positions held by those who want to keep these monuments. Some suggest that to remove the statues would disguise America’s past and erase a significant aspect of Southern people’s history and ancestry.
More broadly, a common argument against removing historical monuments is that they do not necessarily honor the figures, but simply help us to remember them. Some claim that by keeping the past alive around us, we can better learn the lessons that history teaches, and avoid making the same mistakes again.
It’s No Longer Just About the Confederacy
Some also argue that it’s a slippery slope from tearing down Confederate statues to destroying other monuments. This has proven true, as monuments of 18th president Ulysses S. Grant, renowned Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, and even America’s founding president, George Washington, have all been torn down or vandalized. Even the Washington, D.C. monument to Abraham Lincoln – the president who ended slavery in the U.S. – was defaced during recent protests.
Some also question what this does to achieve justice for the victims of racial injustice, such as Floyd.
Is the effort to remove historical statues going to bring positive change between the police and black Americans? Or do the protesters seeking to remove these monuments want to delete American history?