From a 21st century perspective, the USA seems to be a highly contradictory state. It prides itself on being the home of the brave, the land of the free, the great citadel of freedom and liberty. And yet ….. the actions of its governments, and of many of its citizens seem to go against those laudable aims. May we get a clearer understanding of this apparent conflict by studying the nation’s history….. but maybe approaching it from a more questioning standpoint ? What have all of these grand statements and eloquent declarations really meant ? We shall follow a chronological outline of the USA’s history, picking up on all of its significant moments – but then examining them to see what they really tell us. Are the lofty ideals of the Founding Fathers really being met ? We shall range from the original British settlement; the meaning of independence; the lasting effects of slavery; the American Dream, and from New Deal to neoliberalism.

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