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Parts of a Whole: Americanization Science Project
by Jeanette Cain
This project requires dedication of study in the areas of history, geography, mathematics, and government. You may start by making a diagram of America, which is represented as a "whole pie." The idea is to prove that the prosperity of America depends on American citizens as a whole working together. The togetherness made past advancements possible and this continued cooperation will determine the prosperity of the future. Determine of what American ideals consist. Show the slices as different cultures that moved to, advanced, and filled the American nation (the whole pie). You will determine of what Americanization consists by a study of the development of American institutions, then analyze what each culture contributed to the "pie." If one slice of the pie is removed, what will be lost with its removal? You may choose to remove each slice and show what is removed (whether positive or negative) from America from that slice. You can make a hypothesis as to what would not have been accomplished, if only ONE of these slices had not been added. Use mathematical equations to show the results. This experiment is limited only by what time you wish to spend studying it.
FIRST, trace the development of American institutions, or its historical foundation. You may choose to start with the first English colony, then use the beginning charter of settlers, introduction of slavery, and the first legislative assembly. What cultures already existed in America and how did the first colony add or subtract to the whole "pie?" Which people played the largest role in the direction of the colonization of America? Are these cultures still in America? Who were the main players in the early days, e.g., Thomas Jefferon, Cotton Mather? From where did they immigrate and how did their ideals determine America's future?
NEXT, study the formation of the United States beginning with the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution. Which cultures influenced the origins of formation? How did these papers influence the abolishment of slavery and women suffrage? How did these influence the beginnings of the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of the United States? How much has changed from the original to what you know today? Which cultures influenced these beginnings? Are these cultures still influencing or have they been replaced by another piece of the pie?
Which cultures influenced the American ideals? You can center on religious liberty, freedom of the press, and equal rights for all. Are these ideals still in accordance with the first English colony? If not, what has changed? What influenced these changes? Are the changes better or worse?
THEN, show what is lost or gained when the parts of the whole are removed. Is not everyone a part of the greater whole? Consider yourself as a piece of the pie: what would happen if you did not fulfill your obligations as an American? What attributes would America lose without you, your parents, your friends, your teachers, etc?