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Historical Event: September 11, 2001, Essay Example

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The most significant historical event of my lifetime would have to be the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  I can think of a number of different historical events, both positive and negative, that have had far-reaching consequences, but a major terrorist attack on American soil was something that had never happened before. Because the United States is one of the most powerful nations in the world –economically, politically, militarily, and even culturally- the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks has had implications and consequences for nations around the world.

The repercussions of 9/11 continue to have a major impact on every aspect of American life. The recent stories about Edward Snowden, who has been leaking secrets about the operations of the National Security Agency, are rooted in the aftermath of 9/11. I am sure that the U.S. government has always been involved in monitoring the activities of its citizens to some degree, but the response to 9/11has been to develop a massive security state that seems to reach much farther than the government had ever admitted. This is just one example of how historical events do not just happen, but are linked together as one event leads to another. In just one or two generations the U.S. has become a nation where practically everyone is using cell phones, the Internet, and other digital communication technology, and we now know that the government has the ability to monitor virtually all of these communications. While I want to believe that the government will only use this capacity to monitor the activities of potential terrorists and other criminals, I have to admit that it is a frightening prospect to know that everything I do on the Internet, or ever cell phone call I make, can be tracked and monitored. This capacity would likely have developed anyway, but it seems clear that the events of 9/11 made a convenient excuse for the government to basically spy on Americans in ways that earlier generations would never have imagined possible.

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