Arguments Against Western Ideals
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Eastern Philosophy Vs Western Philosophy
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This, the argument has gone, causes major issues in terms of medical ethics. Individual physicians possibly have faced unfair burdens due to general issues with national healthcare systems getting placed onto their shoulders, with this making their idealistic views falter even more. Fading idealism has been cited as a contributor to the serious issue of burnout among medical professionals. With the widespread movement away from traditional religious beliefs in both the Anglosphere and other nations during the 20th century and into the 21st century, the question of to what extent the ideals held by the irreligious owe a debt to particular faith groups has attracted much attention. Specifically, certain authors known as " new atheists " such as biologist Richard Dawkins and journalist Christopher Hitchens have argued that newly emerging forms of secular ethics constitute an approach of people treating each other that is more logical, just, and reasonable when seen as a rejoinder to previous forms of "traditional values".
At the same time, multiple thinkers have advocated for moral relativism and a reduced or non-existent sense of holding to previously well-promoted ideals as a direct result of their wholesale rejection of religion. As well, scholars regardless of personal faith background have commented about the complex nature of ethics when taken from spiritual movements. Ideals have played a role in politics for millennia. For example, iconic Greek statesman Pericles famously presented an ideal-based view of the Mediterranean world. In , shortly after the Peloponnesian War had started, Pericles' "Funeral Oration" made to commemorate fallen soldiers, described for posterity by the historian Thucydides , presented a view of Athens and the city-state's broader civilization that emphasized a sense of cleverness and open-mindedness that Pericles believed gave it the strength to rise to different challenges.
In contrast to what he saw as decadence spreading into Rome and nearby areas from elsewhere, Cato articulated support for what he labeled as traditional Roman ethics. Most political revolutions have drawn support from the mass appeal of a certain moral idealism in contrast to the doctrines of those holding power , having the various grievances with the status quo created from real or perceived misrule spark ethical debate.
Many political movements in modern times have centered themselves upon multiple ideals found to be mutually reinforcing. Recent examples have included the peace movement and the broader opposition expressed worldwide to war in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as elsewhere. In many cases current and historical, instances have popped up in which proclaimed ideals simply weren't lived up to by various figures while in office, despite claims made by the officials before taking power and since attaining it. In British English , politicians openly changing their opinions in defiance of previous assertions about their ethics have been labeled as making a "u-turn". In American English , similar individuals have been pejoratively called "flip-floppers".
While different, the terms have meant the same thing. Idealism in the context of politics has attracted criticism from multiple fronts. For instance, U. Gaus has made other warnings such as cautioning that people can lose their sense of how much has already been achieved and how well current situations have become in certain circumstances. In general, Gaus has advocated for compromise and incremental socio-political reform. In a less abstract sense, multiple famous private individuals have been thought to embody certain ideals due to multiple factors such as their courage , intelligence , personal endurance , and so on.
Although existing in real life and thus being subject to complexities that philosophical thought experiments often don't feature, these moral examples have established a link between dry intellectual principles and broader issues found in regular people's decision making. Naturally, even the famous have possessed diverse and multi-faceted traits. To get considered representative of an ideal has usually constituted a necessary simplification process; with only a few traits on prominent display, some individuals have become easy archetypes which others have tried to mimic. For instance, disabled athlete Terry Fox has been a prominent example of idealistic values.
Known for his "Marathon of Hope", Fox's public running helped raise huge amounts for charity and spread awareness of the achievement possible among those possessing a handicap in Fox's case, a lost leg due to cancer. Fox finished second to politician Tommy Douglas in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program The Greatest Canadian , which the organization broadcast in But through the spring and summer of , Fox captivated the nation with his display of will and strength.
And nearly four decades later, his legacy continues to inspire people around the world. In what would be the final stretch of his journey, Fox's daily progress through the northern Ontario landscape was a moving picture of humility, dedication and unrelenting courage As well, multiple figures with a sincerely revered or otherwise prominent status within religious and broadly spiritual beliefs have been seen by individuals within those movements as representative of an ethical idealism worth mimicking. In Islam , for instance, the life of the prophet Muhammad has been held up as a comprehensive ideal for Muslims to study.
However, all of his words and deeds must be interpreted for believers through the lens of his life's broader path and the larger religious context, according to Islamic scholars. Multiple other prophets exist in Islam and have been considered worth devoted study including Jesus and previous figures such as Abraham and Moses. In the Jewish context, the term " mensch " has gotten frequently used to describe an individual of great worth due to his or her moral actions. Originally coming from Yiddish , the labeling of idealistic people as such has since become co-opted into regular use within the English language in certain areas.
Christian thinking has often encouraged regular people to highlight certain individuals as ethical examples. In both Eastern Orthodoxy and the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church , saints have received veneration due to their heroic deeds. Within Protestantism and other sects, similar practices have taken place in terms of holding up particular believers for widespread adulation.
Another famous example of a self-described "starry-eyed idealist" getting notice has been the reverend and television personality Fred Rogers. Variety has frankly remarked that Rodgers "attempted to change the world. The host's personal image became a major part of his programming, with Rogers wearing a prominent hand-knitted cardigan and using a voice that maintained both a soft yet deliberate tone. This clothing additionally featured colors such as pink and lavender that have stereotypically perceived as un-masculine. Although slender as an adult, Rogers mentioned being overweight as a child and experiencing bullying that led him to reject expressions of prejudice throughout his later life.
Upon Rogers' death from cancer in , the U. House of Representatives voted unanimously to honor "his dedication to spreading kindness through example. Rogers' commentary, particularly regarding that of how to best respond to disasters and other moments of national crisis, has continued to attract attention into the 21st century years after his death. With respect to government policy, appeals to idealistic values and the sense of reaching beyond petty concerns have long been a part of U. For instance, the U. President's Science Advisory Committee published an "explanatory statement" in on the possible future of traveling through outer space using language later described by the Financial Times as "a shot of pure idealism.
Yet it described as a core principle "the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before". In terms of the idealism behind space-based research and development, astronaut and U. I'd like to think that our explorations are more and more being directed toward increasing our knowledge and mastery of the physical universe. I see in the explorers of today men and women led by visions of wonders and unexpected discoveries, driven by curiosity and a quest for knowledge, and sustained by personal courage, faith[,] and strength.
In general leadership terms, specific national officials known for their sense of personal idealism include American presidents Theodore Roosevelt ,   Ronald Reagan ,   and Barack Obama. Within American history , Theodore Roosevelt has been described by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin as a champion of the common person and a determined advocate for social progress, with a biography on him and his times being aimed by Goodwin to "guide readers" to "bring Having possessed an assertive personality with a striking physical image, Roosevelt has also garnered attention as an icon of American masculinity.
Writers Robert Kagan and William Kristol have labeled the statesman an "idealist of a different sort" such that, unlike other leaders, Roosevelt "did not attempt to wish away the realities of power Roosevelt himself notably cited his belief in idealistic morality when giving his speech upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in , the statesman remarking,. Our words must be judged by our deeds; and in striving for a lofty ideal we must use practical methods; and if we cannot attain all at one leap, we must advance towards it step by step, reasonably content so long as we do actually make some progress in the right direction.
Fellow 20th century American leader Ronald Reagan's tenure as president of the U. Yet the leader's deeply optimistic style managed to spread due to his advocacy for certain ideals. Diggins has written that, in contrast to other approaches set forth during the Cold War for policy experts, the moralistic "Reagan was an idealist who put more trust in words than in weapons. In terms of 21st century America, The New York Times commented in a article about Barack Obama that the then ex-president possessed a "signature idealism". Thus, Sarson argued that Obama remained "idealistic" but "free of blinding visions" given Obama's sense of practical compromise and willingness to tolerate diverse opinions, expressing an "ecumenical" approach.
During his seminal speech titled A More Perfect Union , delivered in at the National Constitution Center , then presidential candidate Obama took stock of his particular view of the American experience and his own ethical idealism, commenting,. And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk- to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.
With respect to European history , Konrad Adenauer has been regarded in academic analysis as one of the " Founding Fathers of Post-War Europe ",  with the statesman's sense of idealistic leadership reinvigorating West Germany after the chaos of World War II. Being in the public eye during that same general era, Charles de Gaulle's lifelong pursuit of "a certain idea of France" and sense of socio-political ethics about the limits of power has also attracted notice.
Writing for the Houston Chronicle , columnist Robert Zaretsky has labeled de Gaulle "an idealist who understood the need for pragmatism. Within the central and south Americas , Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia has received international acclaim for his idealistic efforts to end his country's long-running civil war. In the broad sense, "idealism" in the sense of foreign policy can be defined as a viewpoint in which human rights and a generally positive view of the nation state gets encouraged, with warfare seen not as inevitable but as the result of avoiding constructive policies that would otherwise prevent conflict. Said policies often include the promotion of international trade as well as international law.
Influenced by the thinking of Kant, the approach to international relations envisions a strong sense of morality as creating a more just world. Moon , Pitman Potter , and James T. Shotwell in the U. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung proposed, based on his analysis of his patients' reporting of their struggles, a theory in which all individuals possesses within themselves a kind of mental structure based on three layers: the "personal conscious", the "personal subconscious", and the "collective subconscious".
The former represents higher thinking and rationality while the latter two exist in a more shadowy realm that profoundly influences peoples' minds, Jung wrote, even as said individuals cannot reason through what happens subconsciously. The "collective" part of the subconscious, Jung determined, "constitutes a common psychic substrate of a suprapersonal nature which is present in every one of us" and comes about through existence itself. Thus, Jung stated that personal ideals arise out of abstract concepts held collectively in the subconscious to later see specific expression in the conscious based on particular contexts.
He theorized that individuals think in terms of certain character forms that he labeled as " archetypes " and associated prominent traits to those forms; for instance, the archetypes of the "great mother" and "wise old man" embody the ideal of wisdom. As a result of all this, idealistic notions become seen in real-world people. The reverence of African leader Shaka Zulu on the continent has been cited as an example. Despite the fact that behavioral philosophies develop at a personal level and get lived out as such, a variety of publications by multiple scholars have found that the broader social context matters.
The cultural, historical, political, and religious background that individuals experience greatly influences their sense of ethical idealism, research has stated, such that aggregate views vary between specific groups. Empirical research has demonstrated differences between men and women in terms of their relative approaches to moral idealism. Specifically, a report in the journal Academia Revista Latinoamerica de Administracion stated that four scholarly studies published in the past had determined that women appeared to be more idealistic than men while one had failed to detect any significant differences between the sexes.
Finding similar results in its own analysis, the report speculated as a driving cause the notion that women express more concern over interpersonal relationships in comparison to men. The aforementioned article additionally evaluated distinctions in nationality and determined that significant differences exist between the various peoples when it comes to idealism. Particularly strong notions of idealism appeared "consistent with the moral philosophies in the traditional Catholic and Islamic cultures" found in "Mediterranean ethics" as well as "Middle Eastern regions", the authors of the study stated, while nations with a considerably pragmatic and utilitarian social undercurrent possess less idealistic people.
The U. As well, a report published in the Journal of Business Ethics concluded that "levels of idealism Studies have additionally evaluated differences based on varying generations in terms of their ideals. The aforementioned Academia Revista Latinoamerica de Administracion report concluded that particular gaps exist between age groups. Broadly speaking, the older an individual was, the more importance they gave to idealistic ethics according to the analysis. Research has also found a positive relationship with beliefs in idealism and religiosity. Philosopher Norbert Paulo has stated that, in common life, ideals as such appear to exist in relation to general social obligations.
Many of the latter concepts have tended to appear, according to Paulo, absolute and essentially mandatory while also existing in highly particular circumstances. For instance, Paulo has written, physicians and nurses face a variety of ethical obligations imposed on them when treating their patients that regular individuals encountering said patients randomly do not.
He had added that a continuum exists between clear-cut, widely held obligations applied via social norms and vague ones only partially behold to cultural sanction. Paulo's argument, thus, has concluded that idealist behavior takes place at a behavioral and mental level above and beyond mere social rules, such actions being "warranted" yet "not strictly required" either while their optional nature sets them up as being "praiseworthy".
Ideals represent a method of putting into action an individual's personal character and its given traits such that, Paulo has argued, moral standards get fleshed out beyond the rigid framework of mere obligations. One person's altruistic caring for another generally has constituted a particular example. The line between an ideal and a virtue has been difficult to access.
Ideals have been argued to inherently involve aspirations while virtues function as direct guides for assigned conduct given social standards. In general, some philosophers have argued that an ideal usually constitutes something more inherent that one can make a habit while virtues, instead, necessarily involve going above and beyond regular decision making in order to actively strive for something. Thus, these thinkers have stated, virtues inherently constitute a behavior that's by its very nature highly difficult to turn into a regular practice.
Other philosophers have made the exact opposite argument and seen virtues as fundamentally philosophically weaker entities than ideals. Given the complexity of putting ideals into practice, not to mention resolving conflicts between them, many individuals have chosen to narrowly pick a certain group of them and then harden them into absolute dogma. Political theorist Bernard Crick has stated that a way to solve this dilemma is to have ideals that themselves are descriptive of a generalized process rather than a specific outcome, particularly when the latter is hard to achieve.
Kant wrote in his work Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View pitting idealism against the enactment of personal vice , the philosopher arguing,. Deny yourself satisfaction of amusement, of debauchery, of love, etc. This stinginess with the cash of your vital urge makes you definitely richer through the postponement of pleasure, even if you should, for the most part, renounce the indulgence of it until the end of your life.
The awareness of having pleasure under your control is, like everything idealistic, more fruitful and more abundant than everything that satisfies the sense through indulgence because it is thereby simultaneously consumed and consequently lost from the aggregate of totality. Robert S. Hartman has contended that since, colloquially, labeling an entity as ideal means that something is the best member of the set of all things of that class, thus the term has particular implications when used in an ethical context.
For example, he has stated, the ideal student constitutes the best member of the set of all students in exactly the same way that the ideal circle is the best circle that can be imagined of the class of all circles. Since one can define the properties that the ideal member of a class should have, according to Hartman, the value of any actual object can be empirically determined by comparing it to the ideal. The closer an object's actual properties match up to the properties of the ideal, the better the object is to Hartman. Thus, a bumpy circle drawn in the sand is worse than a very smooth one drawn with a compass' aid, but both are better than a regularly made square. For Hartman, the world in general has presented a situation in which each particular entity ought usually to become more like its ideal if possible.
This entails that, in ethics , each individual should analogously to become more like the hypothetical ideal person, and a person's morality can actually be measured by examining how close they live up to their ideal self, in Hartman's view. The question of to what extent one can hold to certain ideals practically and how facing resistance will shape them has attracted debate from multiple thinkers. The related issue of to what extent idealistic morality held by individuals reflects broader cultures has done so as well. The extent to which human beings think through their behavior irrationally or rationally has been a major issue in these such discussions.
One 21st century philosopher who has delved into the topics is Terry Eagleton. Writing in his book After Theory , he has commented critically about the practicality of ethical idealism, Eagleton arguing,. Moral values which reflect what you actually do are far more plausible, but only at the cost of no longer serving to legitimate your activity. Another 21st century philosopher who has questioned traditional understandings of idealistic morality is Kwame Anthony Appiah.
In particular, his book As If: Idealization and Ideals examined the usefulness of the concepts and the processes through which they've been articulated. Appiah found fault in the general assumptions made by certain thinkers of human rationality and advocated for a larger understanding of the practical nature of the idealization process among scholars of multiple disciplines as well as laypeople. In depth, Appiah's book presented a nuanced picture of ethical idealism in the context of cultural organization, the philosopher writing,. It starts with the rejection of some current practice or structure, which we come to see as wrong.
You learn to be in favor of equality by noticing what is wrong with the unequal treatment of blacks, or women, or working-class or lower-caste people. Multiple forms of media in terms of filmed and serially televised production have portrayed issues surrounding ideals and characters facing tests of their personal ethics. The fictional universe of the Star Trek franchise has traditionally aimed to portray humanity in general through the lens of idealistic morality. Air Force as well as an officer of the Los Angeles Police Department , prominently laced his character designs and overall plot threads with strong ideals such as toleration , religious skepticism , and the promotion of peace among different groups.
Centered upon the U. Running from to , the series had achieved influence not only in terms of fandom but in its legacy of inspiring multiple individuals' belief's about American democracy itself. The news website Vox. With respect to movies and the golden age of Hollywood , the works of American filmmaker Frank Capra have long attracted attention for their ideals and overall presentation of regular life, particularly when it came to lead characters.
Upon Capra's death, The New York Times published an article stating that his works "were idealistic, sentimental and patriotic", Capra's releases having "embodied his flair for improvisation and spontaneity" as well as his "buoyant humor". Smith Goes to Washington and his "backwoods ideals", as Variety put things, in the face of the U. Movies prominently featuring pre-teen acting have sometimes become known for their idealistic portrayal of childhood. The early filmography of silent picture star Jackie Coogan serve as an example. In that era, child performers became known for their exaggerated dramatics and for facing plots placing them in unfortunate situations in order to foster emotional resonance with audiences.
To Kill a Mockingbird , released in , has become known as one of the most idealistic movies in Anglo-American history. Leading character Atticus Finch , a crusading lawyer defending a man falsely accused of rape in a racially-charged atmosphere, was played by Gregory Peck. Upon the actor's death in , journal The Guardian published a review of his life that labeled him the "screen epitome of idealistic individualism"; the actor's liberal values became as much a part of his public persona as his film career, Peck particularly taking a stand in his choice of roles against antisemitism. That same year, members of the American Film Institute voted Peck's character as Finch the greatest ever hero in motion pictures. An article published by the Michigan Law Review has remarked upon Finch's particular influence in terms of promoting idealistic views of American legal system among many lawyers as well as the character's broader legacy,.
And while symbols are not the solution to a corrupt legal culture, it is important to have beacons to remind us that, at our best, lawyers are vehicles through which equal justice is realized. Atticus serves as such an example. He has inspired countless young men and women to embark on legal careers, and he continues to influence legal practitioners for the better. The original Star Wars trilogy made up of the movies A New Hope , The Empire Strikes Back , and Return of the Jedi have attracted commentary due to the character arc of series protagonist Luke Skywalker , a former farmer coming from a place of naivety and vulnerability to become a victorious hero.
The films' creation intentionally drew upon Jungian archetypes of human psychology such that Skywalker's idealistic nature has gained an emotional resonance with audiences. The theory of the monomyth was important in the trilogy's coming into being as well. In terms of more recent films, the movie Wonder Woman and its titular protagonist has been cited as a commercially successful instance of idealism on the silver screen. Within the film's plot, the central character has to work against the machinations of the Greek god of war , Ares , as a matter of moral duty; learning of the First World War and the suffering of humanity, she has to act. Despite her innocence and lack of understanding about the world, the film has overall been cited as demonstrating the ability for an individual to make a difference out of love.
Anime has frequently featured characters acting out of broader desires to assist others, with a strong sense of ideals guiding their actions. A notable example has been protagonist Kenshiro of the highly influential Fist of the North Star franchise. Known for his incorruptible nature and ironclad sense of determination as well as massive physical strength , the character has utilized a particular fighting style focusing on various pressure points in order to defeat his opponents while traveling through a landscape that nuclear warfare has devastated, Kenshiro serving as a violent kind of messianic archetype.
The titular character behind the Sailor Moon franchise has gained notice for her altruism and assertive personality. Both her and the overall collection of media involving her have featured a dogged idealism through which emotionally positive values such as friendship and love win out against just about adversity. Characters in stories still well known from classical antiquity for their idealistic actions and words include, for instance, Achilles. The heroic figure, a prominent part of stories such as the ancient Greek work the Iliad , has attracted notice for his immense courage and powerful sense of individual honor. Kane has stated that Achilles' particular portrayal constitutes "idealism in an excessive, radical[,] and absolute way" that makes the character's actions in the Iliad essentially "sadomasochistic".
The debate about the possible lack of goodness inherent in mankind and its capacity to hold to high-minded ideals is prominently displayed in The Grand Inquisitor , with the fictional confrontation between Jesus Christ and an outwardly Christian appearing leader who actually holds cynical views attracting great attention since its authorship by Fyodor Dostoevsky in While the titular inquisitor rationally argues for the relativist view that people seek safety and security over higher callings, Christ surprisingly kisses the aged, emotionally distant leader on the lips; while still holding to his views, the moved inquisitor allows Christ to leave freely.
The ethical conflict posed by the characters' fundamental opposition, notably, fails to come to a resolution in the work, the ambiguity gaining much notice by later commentators. The material of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy have had massive influence within Eurasia and elsewhere. Working through his strident sense of religious ideals, his argumentative works notably include The Kingdom of God Is Within You. Possessing principles that put him at odds with the Russian Orthodox Church , which excommunicated him in a failed attempt to reduce his popularity, the author's bibliography additionally includes fictional works such as Anna Karenina and War and Peace.
Multiple stories authored by Tolstoy set forth a deep ethical criticism of the mores of his day. In the novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich , for instance, the titular protagonist gets described as only truly understanding his place in the world and the meaning of his existence on his deathbed, the character realizing that the concerns he spent the vast majority of his time on such as the advancement of his career ultimately meant nothing. Tolstoy's idealism led him to abandon the regular living expected of such a prominent figure and to live on a commune in similar practice to the early Christians shortly after the death of Jesus ; in both his fiction and other writings, he's molded the development of not only Christian ethics but other idealistic traditions as well.
Later figures influenced by Tolstoy's ideals notably include Indian independence activist and social leader Mahatma Gandhi. Comic books often incorporate conflicts between traditional heroes and heroines, ones who act out of a sense of altruism and cling to strict sets of ideals, with antiheroes and other morally ambiguous individuals that still feature prominent superpowers. A particular example that's attracted commentary is the tension between Superman ,  one so bound by ideals he's been nicknamed the "big blue boy scout",  and groups such as the Elite , who face little qualms engaging in brutality. Discussing the animated film Superman vs. Thus, while teaming up on multiple occasions, Nightwing in contrast to Batman has felt comfortable fighting in a team to accomplish larger, altruistic goals and additionally has expressed his willingness to share his civilian alter ego with others.
Herge's ideal self", the character serving as "the perfect boy scout" in being "idealistic, brave, [and] pure-hearted". The publication has recommended three particular Tintin stories within its project titled Novels Everyone Must Read. In the history of recorded music, a great many albums and songs have been distributed with an idealistic kind of emotional tone. Such material has often featured lyrics emphasizing psychologically positive and assuring themes, examples being compassion , faith , forgiveness , generosity , and so on. In terms of instrumental work, said music additionally has frequently featured upbeat sounds meant to provide a melodramatic undercurrent, the musicians having intended feelings of contentment , joy , victory , et cetera.
Idealistic material has gotten released across multiple genres from heavy metal to jazz to light rock to pop and more. Although idealistic lyrical content has been usually considered to exist in tandem with the rest of a given song, it has additionally not been uncommon for that not to be the case. Prominent examples exist of light-sounding vocals accompanying a dark-sounding background and vice versa. Labeling particular material as being notably idealistic within the broader market for recorded music has been a broad subject, praising commentary for various releases having been written in a variety of different social environments.
The straight edge movement and related sub-genres of punk rock have particularly attracted much attention in this context. Fans of positive hardcore specifically have been known for promoting song lyrics emphasizing camaraderie and a shared sense of purpose. Examples of the idealist hardcore sound include the bands 7 Seconds and Youth of Today. Within this particular strain of the larger punk movement , music has been used as inspiration to reject the broader sense of hedonism among rock groups, with causes such as fighting against racism , opposition to war, and raising funds for charity getting emphasized.
The ideal of unity in the face of adversity has been a core principle of the scene. In terms of popular music more broadly, including musicals and other such productions, particular examples of media with an idealistic, hopeful tone include South Pacific , an Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers written drama that had its Broadway debut in , and Hamilton , a Lin-Manuel Miranda written drama that had its Off-Broadway debut in In terms of live performances, the Live Aid concerts of July 13, constituted what The New York Times later called "a peak moment for idealism in rock, when top-selling musicians decided they should leverage their popularity for good works".
The dual-venue benefit concerts took place in support of a broader fundraising initiative designed to help those affected by the then ongoing famine in Ethiopia. The set by British rock group Queen during the event in particular has been regarded as one of the greatest musical performances done live of all time. The group's charismatic frontman, Freddie Mercury , has particularly garnered attention for his theatrical actions and strident looks as well as his assertive vocals.
Looking at specific lyrical focuses, songs discussing drug use often involve condemnations of pushers and lamentations of the problems around substance abuse in the context of exhorting the listener to live an ethical life. Romantic songs have frequently depicted human relationships in a hopeful, idealistic fashion, with the power of determination in overcoming adversity keeping people apart serving as a theme. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Principle or value that one actively pursues as an ethical goal.
Not to be confused with optimism. For other entities known by the title of "ideal", see Ideal disambiguation. For the different use of "idealism" as a metaphysical notion, see Idealism metaphysics. This article has multiple issues. Please help to improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages.
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The medal worn around his neck, apparently given to him by George Washington, reflects his position as an intermediary. Seneca war chief, Philadelphia: C. Hullmandel, Throughout the early republic, diplomacy was preferred to war. Violence and warfare carried enormous costs for all parties—in lives, money, trade disruptions, and reputation. Diplomacy allowed parties to air their grievances, negotiate their relationships, and minimize violence. Violent conflicts arose when diplomacy failed. Native diplomacy testified to the complexity of Indigenous cultures and their role in shaping the politics and policy of American communities, states, and the federal government.
They created towns in present-day Indiana, first at Greenville, then at Prophetstown, in defiance of the Treaty of Greenville Tecumseh traveled to many diverse Native nations from Canada to Georgia, calling for unification, resistance, and the restoration of sacred power. Neolin, the Delaware prophet, influenced Pontiac, an Ottawa Odawa war chief, with his vision of Native independence, cultural renewal, and religious revitalization.
His message was particularly effective in the Ohio and Upper Susquehanna Valleys, where polyglot communities of Indigenous refugees and migrants from across eastern North America lived together. Once again, the epicenter of this resistance and revitalization originated in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes regions, where from to a joint force of Shawnee, Delaware, Miami, Iroquois, Ojibwe, Ottawa, Huron, Potawatomi, Mingo, Chickamauga, and other Indigenous peoples waged war against the American republic.
Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa articulated ideas and beliefs similar to their eighteenth-century predecessors. In particular, Tenskwatawa pronounced that the Master of Life entrusted him and Tecumseh with the responsibility for returning Native peoples to the one true path and to rid Native communities of the dangerous and corrupting influences of Euro-American trade and culture. Tenskwatawa stressed the need for cultural and religious renewal, which coincided with his blending of the tenets, traditions, and rituals of Indigenous religions and Christianity.
In particular, Tenskwatawa emphasized apocalyptic visions that he and his followers would usher in a new world and restore Native power to the continent. For Native peoples who gravitated to the Shawnee brothers, this emphasis on cultural and religious revitalization was empowering and spiritually liberating, especially given the continuous American assaults on Native land and power in the early nineteenth century.
Tenskwatawa as painted by George Catlin, in Tecumseh attracted a wealth of allies in his adamant refusal to concede any more land. Tecumseh proclaimed that the Master of Life tasked him with the responsibility of returning Native lands to their rightful owners. In his efforts to promote unity among Native peoples, Tecumseh also offered these communities a distinctly Native American identity that brought disparate Native peoples together under the banner of a common spirituality, together resisting an oppressive force.
In short, spirituality tied together the resistance movement. Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa were not above using this unifying rhetoric to legitimate their own authority within Indigenous communities at the expense of other Native leaders. Those who opposed Tenskwatawa or sought to accommodate Americans were labeled witches. Led by the Creek prophet Hillis Hadjo, who accompanied Tecumseh when he toured throughout the Southeast in , the Red Sticks integrated certain religious tenets from the north and invented new religious practices specific to the Creeks, all the while communicating and coordinating with Tecumseh after he left Creek Country.
In doing so, the Red Sticks joined Tecumseh in his resistance movement while seeking to purge Creek society of its Euro-American dependencies. Creek leaders who maintained relationships with the United States, in contrast, believed that accommodation and diplomacy might stave off American encroachments better than violence. This lack of allies hindered the spread of a movement in the southeast, and the Red Sticks soon found themselves in a civil war against other Creeks.
Tecumseh thus found little support in the Southeast beyond the Red Sticks, who by were cut off from the North by Andrew Jackson. Following their defeat, the Red Sticks were forced to cede an unprecedented fourteen million acres of land in the Treaty of Fort Jackson. As historian Adam Rothman argues, the defeat of the Red Sticks allowed the United States to expand west of the Mississippi, guaranteeing the continued existence and profitability of slavery. Many Native leaders refused to join Tecumseh and instead maintained their loyalties to the American republic.
The War of between the United States and Britain offered new opportunities for Tecumseh and his followers. Even then, the confederacy faced an uphill battle, particularly after American naval forces secured control of the Great Lakes in September , forcing British ships and reinforcements to retreat. Yet Tecumseh and his Native allies fought on despite being surrounded by American forces. We are determined to defend our lands, and if it is his will, we wish to leave our bones upon them. His death dealt a severe blow to Native American resistance against the United States.
Men like Tecumseh and Pontiac, however, left behind a legacy of Native American unity that was not soon forgotten. Soon after Jefferson retired from the presidency in , Congress ended the embargo and the British relaxed their policies toward American ships. Yet war with Britain loomed—a war that would galvanize the young American nation. The War of stemmed from American entanglement in two distinct sets of international issues. The second had older roots in the colonial and Revolutionary era. In both cases, American interests conflicted with those of the British Empire. British leaders showed little interest in accommodating the Americans. Impressments, the practice of forcing American sailors to join the British Navy, was among the most important sources of conflict between the two nations.
Driven in part by trade with Europe, the American economy grew quickly during the first decade of the nineteenth century, creating a labor shortage in the American shipping industry. In response, pay rates for sailors increased and American captains recruited heavily from the ranks of British sailors. As a result, around 30 percent of sailors employed on American merchant ships were British. As a republic, the Americans advanced the notion that people could become citizens by renouncing their allegiance to their home nation.
To the British, a person born in the British Empire was a subject of that empire for life, a status they could not change. The British Navy was embroiled in a difficult war and was unwilling to lose any of its labor force. In order to regain lost crewmen, the British often boarded American ships to reclaim their sailors. Between and , some six thousand Americans suffered this fate. The British would release Americans who could prove their identity, but this process could take years while the sailor endured harsh conditions and the dangers of the Royal Navy. In , responding to a French declaration of a complete naval blockade of Great Britain, the British demanded that neutral ships first carry their goods to Britain to pay a transit duty before they could proceed to France.
Despite loopholes in these policies between and , Britain, France, and their allies seized about nine hundred American ships, prompting a swift and angry American response. Although efforts to stand against Great Britain had failed, resentment of British trade policy remained widespread. From their position in Canada, the British maintained relations with Native Americans in the Old Northwest, supplying them with goods and weapons in attempts to maintain ties in case of another war with the United States.
The threat of a Native uprising increased after when Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh built their alliance. The territorial governor of Illinois, William Henry Harrison, eventually convinced the Madison administration to allow for military action against the Native Americans in the Ohio Valley. The resulting Battle of Tippecanoe drove the followers of the Prophet from their gathering place but did little to change the dynamics of the region. British efforts to arm and supply Native Americans, however, angered Americans and strengthened anti-British sentiments. Republicans began to talk of war as a solution to these problems, arguing that it was necessary to complete the War for Independence by preventing British efforts to keep America subjugated at sea and on land.
The war would also represent another battle against the Loyalists, some thirty-eight thousand of whom had populated Upper Canada after the Revolution and sought to establish a counter to the radical experiment of the United States. In , the Democratic-Republicans held 75 percent of the seats in the House and 82 percent of the Senate, giving them a free hand to set national policy. Calhoun of South Carolina. The Democratic-Republicans hoped that an invasion of Canada might remove the British from their backyard and force the empire to change their naval policies. After much negotiation in Congress over the details of the bill, Madison signed a declaration of war on June 18, For the second time, the United States was at war with Great Britain.
While the War of contained two key players—the United States and Great Britain—it also drew in other groups, such as Tecumseh and his Confederacy. The war can be organized into three stages or theaters. The first, the Atlantic Theater, lasted until the spring of During this time, Great Britain was chiefly occupied in Europe against Napoleon, and the United States invaded Canada and sent their fledgling navy against British ships. During the second stage, from early to , the United States launched their second offensive against Canada and the Great Lakes. In this period, the Americans won their first successes. During the war, the Americans were greatly interested in Canada and the Great Lakes borderlands. In July , the United States launched their first offensive against Canada.
By August, however, the British and their allies rebuffed the Americans, costing the United States control over Detroit and parts of the Michigan Territory. By the close of , the Americans recaptured Detroit, shattered the Confederacy, killed Tecumseh, and eliminated the British threat in that theater. Despite these accomplishments, the American land forces proved outmatched by their adversaries. Privateers and the U. Early on, Americans humiliated the British in single ship battles. Within six minutes, the Chesapeake was destroyed and Lawrence mortally wounded. Yet the Americans did not give up.
As the Guerriere tried to outmaneuver the Americans, the Constitution pulled along broadside and began hammering the British frigate. Her sides are made of iron! Fort McHenry repelled the nineteen-ship British fleet, enduring twenty-seven hours of bombardment virtually unscathed. Impressive though these accomplishments were, they belied what was actually a poorly executed military campaign against the British. The U. Navy won their most significant victories in the Atlantic Ocean in Thanks to the blockade, the British were able to burn Washington, D. This American victory actually came after the United States and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, , but the Battle of New Orleans proved to be a psychological victory that boosted American morale and affected how the war has been remembered.
The artist shows Washington D. But not all Americans supported the war. They produced a document that proposed abolishing the three-fifths rule that afforded southern enslavers disproportionate representation in Congress, limiting the president to a single term in office, and most importantly, demanding a two-thirds congressional majority, rather than a simple majority, for legislation that declared war, admitted new states into the Union, or regulated commerce. Contemplating the possibility of secession over the War of fueled in large part by the economic interests of New England merchants , the Hartford Convention posed the possibility of disaster for the still-young United States. England, represented by the figure John Bull on the right side, is shown in this political cartoon with arms open to accept New England back into its empire.
William Charles Jr. These proposals were sent to Washington, but unfortunately for the Federalists, the victory at New Orleans buoyed popular support for the Madison administration. The next New England politician to assume the presidency, John Quincy Adams, would, in , emerge not from within the Federalist fold but having served as secretary of state under President James Monroe, the leader of the Virginia Democratic-Republicans. The Treaty of Ghent essentially returned relations between the United States and Britain to their prewar status.
The war, however, mattered politically and strengthened American nationalism. During the war, Americans read patriotic newspaper stories, sang patriotic songs, and bought consumer goods decorated with national emblems. They also heard stories about how the British and their Native allies threatened to bring violence into American homes. Terror and love worked together to make American citizens feel a stronger bond with their country. The United States continued to expand into Native American territories with westward settlement in far-flung new states like Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi, and Illinois.
Between and , the country added more than six thousand new post offices. In , South Carolina congressman John C. They aimed to make America economically independent and encouraged commerce between the states over trade with Europe and the West Indies. These projects were controversial. Even Calhoun later changed his mind and joined the opposition. Even when the federal government did not act, states created banks, roads, and canals of their own.
President James Monroe issued an ultimatum to the empires of Europe in order to support several wars of independence in Latin America. The Monroe Doctrine declared that the United States considered its entire hemisphere, both North and South America, off-limits to new European colonization. Although Monroe was a Jeffersonian, some of his principles echoed Federalist policies. Whereas Jefferson cut the size of the military and ended all internal taxes in his first term, Monroe advocated the need for a strong military and an aggressive foreign policy.
The War had cultivated a profound sense of union among a diverse and divided people. Political division continued. Though the dying Federalists would fade from political relevance, a schism within the Democratic-Republican Party would give rise to Jacksonian Democrats. Political limits continued along class, gender, and racial and ethnic lines. At the same time, industrialization and the development of American capitalism required new justifications of inequality.
As always, the meaning of democracy was in flux. The elimination of slavery in northern states like Pennsylvania was slow and hard-fought. A bill passed in began the slow process of eroding slavery in the state, but a proposal just one year later would have erased that bill and furthered the distance between slavery and freedom.