When Was America Greatest? Anything

When Was America Greatest?

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List Criteria: 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.

List Photo:  Coalition for Trump Superstore
Collection Photo:  Pam Roth
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    The Era of Continental Expansion

    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

    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

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    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

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    The Revolutionary Era

    The Revolutionary Era 
	is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list When Was America Greatest?
    Photo: Daniel Mennerich/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    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

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    The Era of Good Feelings

    The Era of Good Feelings 
	is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list When Was America Greatest?
    Photo: Internet Archive Book Images/flickr/No known copyright restrictions

    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

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    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

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    The Space Race

    The Space Race 
	is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list When Was America Greatest?
    Photo: jurvetson/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

    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

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    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

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    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

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