Monday, August 10, 2020

Controversy and our nation

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The wise and religious philosopher Buddha once said, "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves." In this quotation, the author makes the point that a controversy in one's life can create anger and hostility in their life. Ultimately, this anger can build up inside someone. An especially significant event occurring in one's life can encourage them to defend an issue that they believe to be important. An occurrence can spark something inside a person that causes them to angrily defend an important issue or to take actions to change things for the better. Buddha believes that when a man feels anger, he is at the point where he will rally for what he believes to be true. By examining five articles about specific events in our nation's history, we can see that the appearance of controversy can influence people to stand up for what they believe to be most true or to take actions to make advancements for the future. We will examine five articles, "When Congress Tried to Rule" by Milton Lomask, "Who Was Wyatt Earp?" by Allen Barra, "Remember the Maine" by Tom Miller, "Bonnet, Book, and Hatchet" by Stewart H. Holbrook, and "Maiden Voyage" by Walter Lord, to prove this point.

In 1868, Navy Secretary Welles called it, "a conspiracy to overthrow the government." In the spring of 1868, President of the United States Andrew Johnson was declared "not guilty" of the high crimes and misdemeanors charged against him. In Milton Lomask's article, "When Congress Tried to Rule", the controversy began when the debate on whether to remove President Johnson became the issue. President Johnson was impeached because of his defiance of the Tenure of Office Act or 1867, which forbade the President to remove a Cabinet member without the consent of the Senate. The leaders of the Republican majority in Congress went to great lengths to dispose the President. However, despite Congress' efforts to remove Johnson from his position, the President had several men stand behind him and support him and what they believed to be true. He was not standing alone in his thinking. Although both houses of Congress had enough strength to override any vetoes Johnson chose to hand down, their efforts to impeach and remove him resulted in failure. In this controversy, Johnson had many men who stood behind him. Standing beside him were Washington, Madison, Franklin, Randolph, and all of the other devoutly remembered architects of our federal system of government. (Lomask 6) Lomask says, "The failure to remove the President set a precedent that future generations would hesitate to challenge." The controversy and results changed the path that future generations would take.

Josephine Marcus spent her life devotedly following her partner Wyatt Earp despite his eventful and dangerous life. In Barra's, "Who Was Wyatt Earp?", the story of Earp's life is traced. Josephine met Earp and they stayed together for forty-seven years up until his death in 1 without having ever being married. Josephine stayed with Earp despite the controversy that surrounded his life. Josephine endured Earp's dangerous life in law enforcement. Josephine outlived Earp by fifteen years. Even into her seventies, she fought to become the guardian of his legend. When movie offers and projects were being presented, she fought to prevent and halt them. She relented on some films but still thought they put too much emphasis on the few violent moments of Earp's life. (Barra ) Earp's life went on to be the basis of many major productions. Some of these productions were major motion pictures, such as Tombstone, made in 1, and Wyatt Earp, made in 14. Josephine also defended Earp when the 160 publication of the book The Earp Brothers of Tombstone started an Anti-Earp action. Throughout the violence and controversy of Wyatt Earp's life, Josephine stayed with him and fought to keep his legend alive to better future generations. His legend lives on to tell to those of generations to follow.

There are times when an event can happen to an entire country. This event can encourage a change in the attitudes of the people as a whole. On February 15, 188, the USS Maine in Havana Harbor exploded. In all, 66 of the 50 men aboard the Maine were killed. (Miller ) Americans believed the exploding of the Maine was a deliberate act by Spain. Immediately afterward, pro-war sentiment sparked throughout the nation. The families of sailors killed on the battleship urged the President to jump into war. Throughout America, eager teenage boys asked where they could enlist. Newspapers fed the fever and congressmen were deluged with letters calling for revenge on Spain. (Miller 6) The controversy had begun when Spain did not take full responsibility for the attack on the Maine. Because of the direct hit to the United States, Americans developed anger within themselves and in no time stood up for what they believed to be right. This same situation had carried on into future generations. In 141, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Americans were stunned. They instantly developed anger towards the country of Japan and did not hesitate to rally to go to war. We are now facing the same situation in the present. Since the terrorist attacks on New York City in 001, Americans often express their hatred to terrorists and the people living in the Middle East. It is easy to see how the situation with Americans and the destruction of the battleship the USS Maine continued throughout the years up until today. The feelings of anger and resentment towards other countries have been a trend that has happened repeatedly.

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Carry Nation is best remembered by the symbol that she made her own the ax. Ax in hand, she traveled from city to city, from saloon to saloon, preaching the evils of the "poison" called alcohol. With an ax in her hand she caused destruction to saloons that promoted the behavior that she believed to be sinful and wrong. Nation campaigned to save men from a drunken fate. (Holbrook 1) Being president of the Barber County, Kansas chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Nation strongly believed that the sins of alcohol and tobacco would poison the country and the people in it. Temperance had become quite the issue at the time and those who opposed prohibition and those who supported it divided the United States. Nation was strongly supported prohibition and dedicated her life to enforcing it. Unfortunately, the excitement she created gradually died in the United States. (Holbrook 4) Although despite her efforts, prohibition eventually failed. But Nation is not long forgotten. Her dedication to stand up and try to better the people of her country will remain a part of the United States' history forever.

When Titanic set off on her maiden voyage she was deemed "unsinkable". At the time, to name a human development "unsinkable" seemed to be defying God and seemed to be like a miracle. "She was a beautiful, wonderful ship", reflects one of the last Titanic crewmembers Charles Burgess. (Lord 1) The maiden voyage of this break-taking ship proved irresistible. (Lord ) It seemed almost impossible at the time to name a man-made development "unsinkable". However, on April 1, 114, the Titanic traveled across the Atlantic and sped through an ice field and struck an iceberg, ripping a 00-foot gash in her hull, which opened six watertight compartments. (Lord 11) Titanic was only made to handle two compartments full of water. Water was spilling into six compartments and instantly doomed the "unsinkable" ship. The sinking of the Titanic was a tragedy, and it also made Americans realize how vulnerable they could be. Developing a ship that was deemed "unsinkable" was a great advance for the times, but it obviously still had some flaws. The sinking of the Titanic can be said to be beneficial to the United States because despite all the controversy, Americans were able to move on and learn from their mistakes, improving developments throughout the future generations.

It is safe to say that there has been a good share of controversy throughout the history of the United States. By examining these past articles, one can see five specific occasions of controversy that the United States has dealt with and learned from. To many people, this much controversy seems like a bad thing. It actually does not have to be that way. As the wise philosopher Buddha said When there's a presence of controversy, there will be a presence of anger as well. And as soon as one feels the anger, they have begun striving not for the truth, whatever it may be, but for themselves. These articles have shown people standing up and striving for what they believe to be right and true. Controversy may bring problems, but what's most important to realize is that it can also influence people to defend subjects they are passionate about. And when it results in the people learning from mistakes or experiences, that is when controversy can be truly beneficial. Facing and confronting controversy is what helps the United States of America grow to be a stronger and wiser country every day.

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