U.S. Elections | Middle East
U.S. ElectionsThomas Jefferson won the Presidency in 1800 in what has been called a political revolution for the new Republic. The election was the first in which two parties faced one another in a presidential election, and demonstrated that Americans could peacefully change their government through the electoral process. Jefferson, after narrowly defeating John Adams in the electoral college, pledged in his inaugural address to unite the country, "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists." The two-party system that was born in this election persists until the present.
The election of Thomas Jefferson brought to power a new political party, the Democratic-Republicans. Was this party a national organization, representing the U.S. as a whole, or sectional party, representing only the South? What evidence is there for each position?
Why did a two-party system arise in the election of 1800? What effect did this system have on American political history? Was this a healthy or unhealthy development for American political life?
Write a diary as an observer from France in the United States during the Election of 1800. What are your views of the election? What do you think the election reveals about American political life? Compare America's peaceful transition to Democratic-Republican rule with political life in post-revolutionary France? How do you explain the differences?
Middle EastThis map charts the frequent conflicts in the Middle East from 1940 to the present. The carving up of the Middle East by Western powers remains a by-product of the Scramble for Africa in the nineteenth century and, as this map indicates, during World War II when Britain and Russia invaded the region. In following the timeline of this map, it becomes clear that the 20th century represents an era of conflict based on three factors: colonialism, oil and the official recognition of the State of Israel by the United Nations. Perhaps most importantly, this map demonstrates that conflict in the region remains far from a recent development, with Arab-Israeli wars raging throughout the century as well as a prolific American military presence in the region, in places such as Lebanon in 1983, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in 1991, and, more recently, in Iraq in 2003.
Look at the locations of various holy sites. What strikes you about them? Would this information help to explain the conflicts that have occurred in the Middle East over the past century?
What political, social, and economic implications might the distribution of groundwater have?
What ramifications, if any, did European colonization have on the Middle East?
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