"The Cycles of American History" by M. Schlesinger, Jr.

Essay by EggyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.2 3 reviews

Downloaded 75 times

In Chapter One, Experiment or Destiny, Arthur M. Schlesinger is trying to solve the dilemma of whether the events that happened in America during the Seventeenth and the Eighteenth Century were the consequences of an experiment, trying to follow the example of the Republic of Rome, or whether destiny, fate that God decided to give this continent, America.

It is clearly stated that no one knew exactly what America really was! Maybe, according to Schlesinger, this obscurity was the reason why many debates have been created in the seventeen hundreds, and many conflicts have been stored between Europe and America.

America was a republic, or better saying, decided to become a republic government for the only reason being that Rome's Republic seemed so amazing and represented the "utmost height of human greatness" (Schlesinger 5). The only concern which had a great importance on the development and establishment of the government in America, was whether the inglorious end of Rome's Republic was a warning for America or not, whether it would be repeated or not.

If so, that meant committing the same mistake twice; demolishing another government as if planned. To the Funding Fathers this idea seemed an outrageous one, an idea that surely would lead America to the same "happy" end! They tried to get the classical historians away from the same direction of that untruthful fate. America looked different in each different eye, and with this I mean the distinct angles different countries saw it. America from the British eye was "a gray and gloomy land where no dogs barked and no birds sang" (Schlesinger 8). But, as time passed by and the Independence Day came, everything changed and of course for the better. The theory that America was an experiment transformed to a theory based on destiny.