Thursday, March 30, 2017

"E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" - Notes and References



I.


image from

image from 

Informal outline of presentation/discussion (details below):

“E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United.”

This presentation is intended for distinguished European/Eurasian young leaders in various professional fields participating in the “Open World”program, many of whom, although knowledgeable about the United States and admirable English speakers, have not yet visited the U.S. 

Note -- The presentation (not read from a script) changes depending on the nature of audiences and recent events; the below is a work in progress, not a “finished product.”

I. Introduction

The presentation -- given from a personal, rather than "official." perspective -- concerns the contentious details of American life rather than abstract USA-theory. It aspires to be humorous. Not social “science.” It's meant to inspire questions, not provide definitive (if any) answers. Not a USG policy statement or political party platform.

The presentation begins with slides showing the variety and diversity of the United States, a country of "only" 240 years. 


How does this vast, diverse nation keep itself together? That’s the main question for our discussion.

--E Pluribus Unum, inscribed on the Great Seal of the U.S. (depicted on the U.S. dollar bill), Latin for "Out of Many, One," is a motto adopted by an Act of the Continental Congress in 1782. Never codified by law, E Pluribus Unum is considered the unofficial motto of the United States.

--E Pluribus Unum is stated in the declarative, but it could very well have been asked in the interrogative.

--For example, even before European colonists reinvented themselves as a new country in a new world (a new world for Europeans) in 1776, Benjamin Franklin warned his fellow colonials (1754): "Join or die."

--During the Civil War (1861-1865) the U.S. did split into North and South. a war that caused more American casualties than another other USA military conflict, including WWI and WWII.

Below further information (see links) on items mentioned, off and on, in the presentation, “E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United.” Items listed in the order they are presented in the discussion. Note: These are not in-depth “academic” references; just additional information for those interested.

Ia) Introduction: U.S. political/geographical/historical overview

The recent American presidential election https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016
Current “polarization” in the U.S. http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2016/03/american-politics-has-reached-peak.html
Gertrude Stein on what is the question https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/gertrudest126110.html
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/01/divided-states-of-america-review.html
Reid Wilson, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (2011)
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/eleven-nations-american-woodard.html
http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/native-american-cultures
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2015/10/e-pluribus-unum-note-for-lecture-e.html
https://www.aoc.gov/philip-reid-and-statue-freedom
https://www.amazon.com/Benjamin-Franklin-American-Walter-Isaacson/dp/074325807X
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/join-or-die-further-note-on-1754-item.html
American Revolution Ideas
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/04/american-revolution-ideas.html
George III
http://www.history.com/topics/british-history/george-iii
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson_and_Native_Americans
https://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-slavery
http://www.ushistory.org/DECLARATION/document/
http://constitutionus.com/
http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/abraham-lincoln
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_of_America
https://www.britannica.com/event/American-Civil-War
http://www.civilwar.org/education/civil-war-casualties.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/emancipation-150/10-facts.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
https://sites.temple.edu/immerman/isolation-and-expansion-by-walter-lippmann-1952/
Civil Rights Movement (1950s-60s)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-American_Civil_Rights_Movement_(1954%E2%80%931968)
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/martin-luther-king-j-speech-i-have.html
Civil Rights Act of 1964
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964
1968 Washington, D.C. riots
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Washington,_D.C._riots
Arthur Schlesinger, The Disuniting of America (1991)
https://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-of-disuniting-of-america-1992.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_the_United_States
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-racism-still-flourishes/2015/06/26/d0e1f2e4-1b6e-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html?utm_term=.cf86a9bcab27
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Civilizations
http://www.newsweek.com/fukuyama-end-end-history-88537
Samuel Huntington, Who are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity (2004)
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/who-are-we-challenges-to-americas.html
Weber on Protestantism and Capitalism
http://oyc.yale.edu/sociology/socy-151/lecture-16
Nationalists and Cosmopolitans: How Samuel Huntington Predicted Our Political Moment
http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/07/14/how-samuel-huntington-predicted-our-political-moment/
https://www.nps.gov/heritageinitiatives/latino/latinothemestudy/pdfs/Immigration_web_final.pdf
http://www.pbs.org/latino-americans/en/timeline/
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/03/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/
http://www.vox.com/2015/1/12/7474897/immigration-america-maps
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-most-common-jobs-held-by-immigrants.html
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-are-we-rome-2007-book-cited.html
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/suicide-of-superpower-will-america.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Disunited_States_of_America
The Man in the High Castle (TV series, 2015 - present)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_in_the_High_Castle_(TV_series)
Planet of the Apes (Film, first version 1968)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_of_the_Apes
As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of the U.S. (2008)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123051100709638419

***
II) Elements contributing to American Unity:
From least important to (arguably) most important

10. Race

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/meta/long_RHI205210.htm
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/02/amercan-anthropological-association.html
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/03/14/u-s-census-looking-at-big-changes-in-how-it-asks-about-race-and-ethnicity/
https://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2016/02/us-census-bureau-projections-show.html?showComment=1474161117229
http://www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36116166
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ethnicity_in_the_United_States
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2016/07/benjamin-franklin-on-german-americans_19.html
http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/great-migration
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopians_in_Washington,_D.C.
Interracial marriage: Who is ‘marrying out’?
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/12/interracial-marriage-who-is-marrying-out/
Chirlane McCray
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chirlane_McCray
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-movie-get-out-is-strong-antidote-to.html
Comic W. Kamau Bell: We are living in the ‘most racial America' (2016)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/center-for-community-change-action/comic-w-kamau-bell-we-are_b_10919724.html
Post-racial America
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-racial_America

***

9. Culture

http://www.livescience.com/28945-american-culture.html
https://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/9780472033041-101AmerCult.pdf
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2015/12/10-ways-to-spot-american-abroad-note.html
https://www.csub.edu/~bruff/Pop%20Culture%20Articles.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports_in_the_United_States
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2014/12/02/what-american-pop-culture-tells-the-world/?utm_term=.f96c555b566b
http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/12/07/barbarism-decadence/
Eating at your desk? Your cubemates may be seething (2017)
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/04/eating-at-your-desk-your-cubemates-may.html 
http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/academy/pdf/research/books/public_diplomacy/America%E2%80%99s_Dialogue_With_The_World.pdf
http://www.weeklystandard.com/whatever-happened-to-high-culture/article/1055581
https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/07/should-the-us-have-a-secretary-of-culture/277409/

***

8. History
The Civil War (TV series, 1990)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Civil_War_(TV_series)
http://americanhistory.si.edu/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_historical_societies_and_museums
https://www.goacta.org/images/download/no_u_s_history.pdf
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-much-us-history-do-americans-actually-know-less-you-think-180955431/
https://www.thoughtco.com/henry-ford-why-history-is-bunk-172412
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/nov/21/gore-vidal-united-states-of-amnesia-the-fall-review
https://books.google.com/books?id=EpebBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA203&lpg=PA203&dq=us+germany+allies+world+II+George+W.+bush+high+school+students&source=bl&ots=HhfiUMAJ0J&sig=Do2F0V0U2ySCIlrEjY8JW06mHmU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjujaTU6_vSAhVE5YMKHcD4AvwQ6AEIKDAD#v=onepage&q=us%20germany%20allies%20world%20II%20George%20W.%20bush%20high%20school%20students&f=false
http://www.boredpanda.com/americans-place-european-countries-on-map/
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-26943479
Don’t Know Much About History” (video of the popular song, [What A] Wonderful World)
https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tmbg7yobntz2idk7sucktm5obje?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-songlyrics
https://www.amazon.com/U-S-History-Dummies-Steve-Wiegand/dp/1118888987/ref=pd_sbs_14_img_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=AGDP695YC1VZ38ZMCAAA

***

7.  Language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_English
http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/if_english_was_good_enough_for_jesus_its_good_enough_for_texas
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-05-21/news/0605210305_1_english-proposal-immigration-debate-fields
http://www.dailytexanonline.com/opinion/2012/11/26/why-americans-dont-learn-languages
http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2011/11/making_english_the_official_la.html
The First And True Language Of America
https://notalwaysright.com/the-first-and-true-language-of-america/31947 
What is the future of Spanish in the United States?  (2013)
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/05/what-is-the-future-of-spanish-in-the-united-states/
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2014-05-13/americans-already-live-in-a-bilingual-nation
http://www.westernjournalism.com/will-america-become-a-bilingual-society/
http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/standardamerican/
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/dec/15/20041215-085728-5559r/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-brown/not-loving-like_b_1442596.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-brown/apostrophe-catastrophe_b_868537.html

***

6. Religion
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_We_Trust
http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/MikeFuljenz/motto-in-God-we-trust-E-Pluribus-Unum-US/2014/06/02/id/574541/
http://www.redstate.com/matthewclark/2016/07/29/clinton-faux-pas-national-motto-in-god-trust-we-pluribus-unum/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/12/atheists-in-god-we-trust_n_3916762.html
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/most-americans-still-believe-in-god.html
Pledge of Allegiance (originally composed in 1887)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Bless_the_USA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Is_American
David Bowie full (repetitious) lyrics:
https://play.google.com/music/preview/Twasanhnroi3gswy5f6zexb6zje?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-songlyrics
http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/people/god-and-the-constitution.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state_in_the_United_States
https://allthingsliberty.com/2016/02/why-god-is-in-the-declaration-but-not-the-constitution/
http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

***

5. Central Government

https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/creating-the-united-states/forging-a-federal-government.html
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/separation-of-powers-further-note-for.html
https://www.usa.gov/branches-of-government
http://www.weeklystandard.com/presidential-power/article/2006527#!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States%27_rights
http://www.businessinsider.com/a-beginners-guide-to-americas-tax-system-2011-4

***

4. Local Associations

http://www.history.com/topics/alexis-de-tocqueville; see also.
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/alexis-de-tocqueville-on-use-that.html
Americans as "joiners": from Daniel J. Boorstin: The Americans: the national experience (1973)
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/daniel-j-boorstin-americans-national.html
http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/21/opinion/l-america-s-still-a-nation-of-joiners-028959.html
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.toc.htm
http://www.newsweek.com/2014/10/03/volunteering-america-decline-272675.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2015/11/key-quotations-from-de-tocqueville-note.html
community
http://robertdputnam.com/community-in-america/
Networking
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_networking

***

3. The Economy
http://inequality.org/income-inequality/
http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/democracy-greed-and-perils-equality
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/01/making-it-in-america/308844/
https://www.cspace.com/blog/does-money-unite-the-american-middle-class/
http://www.thisdayinquotes.com/2010/01/business-of-america-is-business.html

***

2. Ideas/Ideals

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (cited again)
The Ideals of America (1902; speech by Woodrow Wilson)
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1902/12/the-ideals-of-america/376192/
Thomas Jefferson and slavery
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson_and_slavery
Is the US the most hypocritical country in the world?
http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-the-us-the-most-hypocritical-country-in-the-world
"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue"
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/francoisde124518.html
American exceptionalism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_exceptionalism
https://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/articles/2016-01-11/top-10-civic-ideals-and-cultural-principles-that-every-american-should-know
https://hbr.org/2003/08/the-authority-of-ideas

***

1. Change – not “standing still” – as a unifying factor

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/americas-complacent-class-how-self.html
Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic (2016)
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-fragmented-society-2016-note-for.html
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/alexis-de-tocqueville-democracy-in_24.html
https://books.google.com/books?id=RKzUqXc3BHgC&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=america+is+the+only+country+in+history+that+believed+it+was+born+perfect+but+strives+for+improvement&source=bl&ots=VL1d3veGMy&sig=fRdFdp_m8NOijrPktkH_0LS7In0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTi7ronP7SAhUFTSYKHUnTC14Q6AEIHzAA#v=onepage&q=america%20is%20the%20only%20country%20in%20history%20that%20believed%20it%20was%20born%20perfect%20but%20strives%20for%20improvement&f=false
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream
https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-the-american-dream-quotes-and-history-3306009
The American Dream, Quantified at Last (2016)
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/opinion/the-american-dream-quantified-at-last.html
Is the American Dream Killing Us? (2017)
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/04/is-american-dream-killing-us.html
Requiem for the American Dream (2015)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3270538/
What's Become of the American Dream? (2017)
http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/04/whats-become-of-american-dream-note-for.html
In America, you can reinvent yourself at any turn." (writer Adam Johnson)
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/adamjohnso442718.html
Britney Spears puts on special performance for TODAY, talks about her 'reinvention' (2016)
http://www.today.com/popculture/britney-spears-puts-special-performance-today-talks-about-her-reinvention-t102443
"If America stands for anything, it is reinvention, renewal and second chances." (2017)
https://www.wsj.com/articles/reset-your-life-in-an-hour-1491261280
Walt Whitman,"Song of the Open Road." (1856) 
www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48859

No comments: