challenges and issues that the United States faces in both foreign and domestic

1. In recent lessons, you have been reading about some of the challenges and issues that the United States faces in both foreign and domestic affairs. The following chapter highlights from Chapters 39–41 underscore some of these challenges:

The high-tech boom began in the Silicon Valley in California, but the information economy soon shifted to a global phenomenon as U.S. companies began outsourcing production and services to other countries in order to reduce costs.
Demographic trends brought increases in the numbers of immigrants, changes in their national origins, more frequent illegal immigration, and a graying of America as the general population aged.
The North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) intended to stimulate trade with Mexico and Canada also stimulated debate and controversy as some Americans lost jobs.
President Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, initiated an unsuccessful examination of health care and how it could be provided more equitably and efficiently.
Vice President Al Gore took the lead in addressing environmental issues and global warming, but as of 2011, the United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol that a world meeting had intended to limit greenhouse emissions
Cultural issues related to abortion, gun control, and gays in the military played out during the Clinton years with conflicts between liberals and conservatives, who brought differing perspectives to these issues.
Osama bin Laden helped found al-Qaeda, whose goals included driving Americans out of all Islamic nations, destroying Israel, and toppling pro-Western governments in the Middle East.
In response to the 9/11 attacks, U.S.-led troops invaded Afghanistan with the goals of toppling the Taliban regime and finding bin Laden.
Review the Looking to the Future and Charting Future Courses activity sheets from the Divisions and New Realities lessons.

Of all the challenges and issues that the United States faces, which do you believe is the most serious in terms of foreign affairs and which in terms of domestic affairs? Choose one of each and write an essay that describes each issue and explains why you believe it is the most serious.

There is no right or wrong answer—you will be graded, in part, on how well you make the argument that each issue you chose is the most serious. Refer to the rubric and scoring instructions on the next page to see how your teacher will grade this assignment.


Your Score

___ of 50


Your teacher will use the following rubric and scoring instructions to grade your essay.


1 point

2 points

3 points

4 points

5 points



The essay does not fulfill the assignment. Content is not developed and ideas are confusing. The essay is so inadequate and flawed as to be unacceptable.

The essay does not fulfill the assignment. Content is poorly developed and ideas are confusing. The essay fails to address several aspects of the assignment and demonstrates a lack of clear understanding of the concepts and facts. It contains serious flaws.

The essay partially fulfills the assignment, but content is not fully developed and/or ideas are not clear. The essay fails to address all aspects of the assignment and demonstrates a superficial understanding of the concepts and facts. It contains some flaws.

The essay mostly fulfills the assignment. Content is developed and ideas are clear. The essay, however, demonstrates a less than thorough understanding of the concepts and facts and contains minor flaws. There is some room for improvement.

The essay completely fulfills the assignment. Content is well-developed and ideas are original and clear. The essay demonstrates a thorough understanding of the concepts and facts. It is accurate, relevant, and complete.


The essay is so disorganized that it is not understandable.

The essay lacks clear organization. It is difficult to understand.

The essay is somewhat organized but has significant flaws.

The essay is well-organized, with only minor flaws.

The essay is clearly and logically organized and easy to understand.

Spelling, Punctua-tion, and Grammar

The essay contains 10 or more errors in spelling, punctuation, and/or grammar.

The essay contains 7 to 9 errors in spelling, punctuation, and/or grammar.

The essay contains 5 to 6 errors in spelling, punctuation, and/or grammar.

The essay contains 3 to 4 errors in spelling, punctuation, and/or grammar.

The essay contains 2 or fewer errors in spelling, punctuation, and/or grammar.

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