Examples of A* answersWatch
Have you got examples for good answers, my topic for Paper 4 is the Europe of the Dictators?
but the good example in the web site is for another topic, I was wondering if some teachers give good examples to their students that can be shared here...
In the 1960s and 1970s, it is arguable that American society became more liberal, signalled first by the election of progressive Democrat John F. Kennedy as President in 1960. The features of this more liberal, and therefore more tolerant US society included gains for the women's liberation movement, especially in the field of reproductive health, the counter-culture movement of the 1960s which rejected conformity and accelerated the development of a gay rights movement, civil rights legislation benefitting African, Hispanic and Native Americans, and the depiction of a more diverse society in popular culture. However, it could also be argued that the level of tolerance remained unchanged or regressed: discriminatory practices towards ethnic minorities continued, progress in the women's liberation movement stalled, there was a conservative backlash against counter-culture in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and much of US society remained deeply conservative, with the emergence of a 'religious right'.
It could be argued that gains made by the women's liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s reflect the increased tolerance in American society during this period. In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, abolishing wage disparity based on gender. However, by 1979, women were still received on average $0.60 for every dollar earned by a man, perhaps indicating that some more regressive, intolerant attitudes towards women working remained. In the 1970s, huge gains were made in women's reproductive rights - in 1972 the Supreme Court ruled in the Eisenstadt v. Baird case to allow access to contraception for unmarried as well as married women. The following year, in 1973, the Roe v. Wade ruling legalised abortion throughout the country. These rulings, which allowed women to choose if and when they wanted to have children, arguably reflected more tolerant attitudes not only towards women's sexuality but also more generally in American society in the 1960s and 1970s.
It is arguable that the counter-culture movement which emerged in the 1960s reflects a more tolerant American society in the 1960s and 1970s. The post-war baby boomers were becoming teenagers and were beginning to reject the conservative values of their parents' generation. Some formed the 'hippie' movement, which supported loosening the tight family system, wider sexual freedom outside marriage and free psychedelic drug use. Other young people formed radical student groups, whose tolerance towards minorities was reflected by their wish to make America a more equal society. For example, in 1962, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) issued its Post Huron statement denouncing conventional politics as having forgotten the principle that all men are created equal, and urging a return to equality. They rejected all forms of bigotry, including anti-communism and racism, and supported free speech. Therefore, the counter-culture movements of the 1960s and 1970s, in which young people rejected conformity and their parents' values, arguably made the USA a more tolerant society.
The impacts of the civil rights movement and new civil rights legislation arguably further reflects the more tolerant atmosphere in America in the 1960s and 1970s. The 1964 Civil Rights Act banned discrimination based on race or sex in hiring, firing and promoting, while the 1965 Voting Rights Act banned any attempt to stop people from voting because they were black or Puerto Rican. This was extended in 1975 to cover Hispanic, Native and Asian-Americans. The pieces of legislation were passed exclusively to benefit Native Americans, such as the 1972 Indian Education Act, which provided funds for tribal schools, and the 1971 Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act, which transferred 40 million acres of land and over $450 million to Native Alaskans. The fact that these pieces of legislation, furthering the rights of America's ethnic minorities, were passed arguably reflects the increased tolerance of American society in the 1960s and 1970s, mirrored in the congressmen and senators Americans elected to represent them.
The development of a gay rights movement from 1969, and the advancement of the rights and opportunities of gay Americans, arguably reflects the increased tolerance of American society in the 1960s and 1970s. The rapid expansion of the movement, with the founding of the Gay Liberation Front in 1969 and gay rights groups protesting in the streets, was due to a combination of public support and the predominantly liberal climate of the 1960s and 1970s. Americans discovered that people they knew and liked were gay, dissolving their prejudices and increasing their tolerance. As early as 1977, polls suggested that over 50% of Americans believed in equal rights for gay people - the rapid progress made by the gay rights movement (compared to other movements such as black civil rights and women's liberation) arguably reflects the increased tolerance of American society by the 1970s. This was also demonstrated by the election of the first openly gay candidate - Kathy Kozachenko - to public office in 1974, followed by the election of Harvey Milk in 1977 in San Francisco. However, tolerance did not increase uniformly throughout the country - certain groups, such as the KKK, remained extremely anti-gay, and in certain parts of America, such as the rural 'Bible Belt', religious fundamentalism fuelled hostility rather than tolerance.
The depiction of a more diverse society in popular culture both reflected the increased tolerance in American society in the 1960s and 1970s, and helped to further increase the level of tolerance. For example, the children's TV show Sesame Street, which began on the partially public-funded television channel PBS in 1969, had a racially-balanced cast, one fo the first shows that did, and, among other things, taught children about racial tolerance. Its popularity meant that children from well-off, all-white suburbs absorbed a positive view of other races, increasing their tolerance of those who were different to them. In 1968, the first interracial kiss on television aired in a Star Trek episode, reflecting increased tolerance for ethnic minorities and acceptance of interracial relationships.
However, in contrast, an argument could be made that the level of tolerance in American society remained unchanged during the 1960s and 1970s. This is reflected in part by how progress made by the women's liberation movement stalled in this period, especially in the late 1970s. A lack of affirmative action meant that women continued to be locked out of top jobs in many professions. Similarly, the failure of enough states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, passed in 1972 by Congress, meant that it was never implemented, indicating that the increase in tolerance in American society was limited, to some extent. The actions of Phyllis Schlafly, who opposed demands for the amendment and founded the STOP ERA campaign in 1972, could even be said to represent a regression in levels of tolerance - she actively argued that women were designed to have children so shouldn't be equal in matters of work. Similarly, in 1974 the US did not sign up to a UN policy of introducing non-discrimination against women in all aspects of life. Therefore, it could be argued that despite the gains made by the women's liberation movement in the 1960s and early 1970s, attitudes towards women had become less tolerant by the end of the latter decade, with support for them working and having equal rights falling.
One factor behind this potential regression in the level of tolerance in in the 1970s could be the conservative backlash and emergence of a 'religious right' in this decade. As the violence that accompanied radical student groups' protests continued to spiral from the late 1960s onwards, many politicians - including both Republicans and Democrats - began to campaign as the 'New Right' to restore law and order and traditional values. This implied a growing intolerance of more liberal attitudes towards women, gay people, ethnic minorities and sexuality. This shift away from more tolerant attitudes was arguably demonstrated by the election in 1969 of President Nixon, a Republican who had campaigned on 'New Right' policies, gaining support from many Americans who had previously voted for the more liberal Democrats. The emergence of a 'religious right' in American society in the late 1960s and early 1970s also reflected a decline in tolerance - the movement campaigned for a return to traditional family values, with a move away from 'liberal' and more tolerant policies such as abortion and contraception. They also campaigned for a return to traditional family values, campaigning against abortion, contraception and the gay rights movement. For example, in 1977, in Dale County, Florida, when a law was proposed to ban anti-gay discrimination in housing, public facilities and employment, a women called Anita Bryan set up Save our Children (SOC) to campaign against the law - the group argued that gay integration would lead to the corruption of 'normal' children. This demonstrates the lack of tolerance for gay people that remained in many sections of American society in the 1960s and 1970s.
In conclusion, the US certainly became a more tolerant society in the 1960s and 1970s, demonstrated mainly be the huge gains made by the women's rights movement, the gay rights movement, and the Native, Hispanic and African-American civil rights movements. Key examples of these gains include the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973. However, the increase in tolerance was limited by factors such as the conservative backlash and 'religious right' in the late 1960s and 1970s, and was not uniform throughout the country - cities and urban areas, particularly in the North, tended to be significantly more liberal and tolerant than rural areas, especially in the southern states.
Your original post said that you needed to improve the way you explain things, not your level of knowledge. LeapingLucy has kindly shown you an example of an A* essay so you can see how to structure your work and how to argue your points. The fact that it isn't on Stalin or Lenin is irrelevant to your needs.