Dignity/history is the quest

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History as the Quest for Dignity[edit]

Juggling on the Berlin Wall on 16 November 1989

While the claim that "All of history is the quest for dignity" is obvious hyperbole, it is true that many transformational events in history were motivated by retaliation or escape from humiliation, preserving honor, or by the pursuit of grandeur. Here are some prominent examples:

The American Revolution and other revolutions.

The United States Civil War and other civil wars.

Movements for woman's suffrage around the world and other movements for protecting woman's rights.

Labor movements

Honor Killings

Street Gangs

The United States Civil Rights Movement.

The Rise of Nazis Germany and the second world war.

The Holocaust.

The activities of the Khmer Rouge working to eliminate anyone suspected of "involvement in free-market activities"

The many genocides that have taken place throughout history.

Apartheid

The Watergate Scandal leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Perestroika — restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.

The Polish trade union movement, Solidarity, lead by Lech Wałęsa.

The fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

The Rwandan genocide.

The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, leading to the 2010-2011 Tunisian Revolution.

Assignment[edit]

Read one or more of the papers listed in the references section below. Then study one of the historic events listed above in-depth. Write a paper describing the role of dignity in precipitating, sustaining, or resolving the conflict. Identify the insult, humiliation, shame, or anger driving the event and the trespass that caused them. If you prefer, choose a significant historic event not listed above to write about. Consider contributing your paper to enhance the materials for this course.

References[edit]