history When Was America Greatest?  

Jacob Shelton
2.1k votes 242 voters 8k views 20 items Follow Embed

List Rules Vote up the periods of U.S. history when you reckon America was at its greatest.

Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again,” but what does that even mean? Depending on who you are, when you were born, and which socio-economic class you lucked into, the time period when America was great could be anywhere from the Revolutionary era to the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s. Even the greatest eras in American history were marred by ugliness and misfortune. Booming economic times shared space with terrorist attacks and the displacement of indigenous people. Put on your thinking cap and vote up the times when was America great.

From the Civil Rights movement to the waves of feminism that date back to the first great awakening, every era has had something going for it. But when was America last great? What era can you look back on and place a demarcation saying there’s been a steady decline in greatness ever since? Have we hit that moment in history yet? According to Donald Trump, the answer is yes, but what era do you think we should return to? What era do you think we should try to emulate?

Vote up the periods of U.S history to which you think “Make America Great Again” refers.

The Era of Continental Expansi... 
    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list When Was America Greatest?
Photo: A.Davey/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
1
+ - 79 35

The Era of Continental Expansion


What made it great: We moved out west, the Homestead Act

What made it not so great: The War of 1812, mass annexation of Native land

The Revolutionary Era 
    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list When Was America Greatest?
Photo: Daniel Mennerich/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
2
+ - 81 39

The Revolutionary Era


What made it great: America winning its independence, no cell phones, people still loved poetry.

What made it not so great: All that fife music, slavery, no indoor plumbing

The Space Race 
    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list When Was America Greatest?
Photo: jurvetson/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
3
+ - 84 47

3 people just voted on The Space Race


What made it great: Neo-futurism, we went to the moon, a massive jump in technology.

What made it not so great: Sending animals into space to die, rocket development, finding exactly zero space aliens

The Post-WWII Boom 
    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list When Was America Greatest?
Photo:  girlart39/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
4
+ - 88 51

The Post-WWII Boom


What made it great: Massive economic prosperity, malte shoppes, The Catcher in the Rye

What made it not so great: Racism, the threat of atomic annihilation, Atlas Shrugged

The Great Awakening 
    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list When Was America Greatest?
Photo:  tpsdave/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
5
+ - 62 35

The Great Awakening


What made it great: Spiritual equality was extended to African American slaves, women were told they could analyze their feelings

What made it not so great: Rampant hucksterism, the separation of the Calvinist movement

The Era of Good Feelings 
    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list When Was America Greatest?
Photo: Internet Archive Book Images/flickr/No known copyright restrictions
6
+ - 61 35

The Era of Good Feelings


What made it great: Everyone loved America, bitter bipartisan disputes ended, Monroe's tour of goodwill

What made it not so great: The panic of 1819, the Missouri Crisis, Jacksonian Nationalism

The Gold Rush 
    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list When Was America Greatest?
Photo:  WikiImages/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
7
+ - 62 42

3 people just voted on The Gold Rush


What made it great: There was gold in them there hills! The growth of San Francisco, railroad construction

What made it not so great: Pushing Native Americans from their homes, organized attacks on foreign miners, the depletion of natural resources

Reconstruction 
    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list When Was America Greatest?
Photo:  lizzyliz/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
8
+ - 52 35

Reconstruction


What made it great: Slavery officially being not cool, the beginning of the public school system, railroad subsidies

What made it not so great: Things were still awful for African Americans, the Panic of 1873, the much-disputed 1876 Presidential election