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  Theme:challenge authority

  Thesis: Question authority makes a society stronger.

  Subject 1: Progressive Era & Civil Rights Movement

  Detail: The Progressive era,for example,is a time during which from president to muckrakers,all aspects of American society parid numerous effort to improve the way people live.President Theodore Roosevelt,who believed in equal opportunity and adherence to the spirit of law,ordered his Attorney General to bring suits against the growing monopolies which exercised enormous control both in economy and in political sphere.Muckrakers,journalists who expose a vatrity of problems in the society to the public,such as Upton Sinclair,who wrote about the unsanitary conditions in the meatpacking industry which eventually led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act,and Ida Tarbell,who exposed a variety of methods used by Standard Oil company to achieve a monopoly.Thus their works more or less make some sweeping changes in the society. Another example comes from the Civil Rights Movement which set the stage for the progress and turmoil of the 1960s.At that time,despite the American creed of “equality for all”,segregation was prevalent in the South.Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka questioned the Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Fergusor that “the doctrine of separate but equal has no place”,and the successfully overrule of this decision encouraged civil rights workers to press for equality and freedom.

  Subject 2: Copernicus's heliocentric theory & 1992 LA riots

  Detail: Copernicus's heliocentric theory in the 16th century was a direct attack upon the accepted wisdom of the time, the geocentric view of the universe po!u*d PCwbbs.gter.netstulated by Aristotle.When Darwin first declared that the wide variety of animal species was due to a process of development over many millennia, he challenged the traditional Christian belief and outraged the religious fundamentalists. Mass resistance to authority can escalate to violent protest and rioting, during which innocent people are hurt and their property damaged and destroyed. The fallout from the 1992 Los Angeles riots aptly illustrated this point. The “ authority” that the rioters sought to challenge was that of the legal justice system, which acquitted police officers in the beating of Rodney King. The means of challenging that authority amounted to flagrant disregard for criminal law on a mass scale-by ways of looting, arson, and even deadly assault. This violent challenge to authority resulted in a turning back of the clock with respect to racial tensions across America.

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