Texto com Conjunções em inglês

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The Not-So-Wild, Wild West

Despite what we may think, the Wild West was not so wild.  In a thorough review of the “West was violent” literature, Bruce Benson (1998) discovered that many historians simply assume that violence was pervasive—even more so than in modern-day America—and then theorize about its likely causes.

Therefore, an allegedly violent and stateless society of the nineteenth century is blamed for at least some of the violence in the United States today, but that is not true. Alternative literature based on actual history concludes that the civil society of the American West in the nineteenth century was not very violent.

Eugene Hollon, for example, writes that the western frontier “was a far more civilized, more peaceful and safer place than American society today” (1974, x). In addition, Terry Anderson and P. J. Hill affirm that although “[t]he West . . . is perceived as a place of great chaos, with little respect for property or life,” their research “indicates that this was not the case; property rights were protected, and civil order prevailed. Private agencies provided the necessary basis for an orderly society in which property was protected and conflicts were resolved” (1979, 10).

In sum, this work by Benson, Anderson and Hill, Umbeck, and others challenges with solid historical research the claims made by the “West was violent” authors. The civil society of the American West in the nineteenth century was much more peaceful than American cities are today. In fact, the evidence suggests that the Old West was not a very violent place at all.  History reveals that the expanded presence of the U.S. government was the real cause of a culture of violence in the American West.

(Fonte: Adaptado de Independent Institute <https://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?id=803>)

  1. What is the general belief about the Wild West?
  2. Is the general belief about the Wild West correct? Why or why not?
  3. According to Bruce Benson, what are the two mistakes historians make?
  4. What is the result of historians simply assuming that the Wild West was violent?
  5. What did Terry Anderson and P. J. Hill’s research indicate about the West?
  6. Are Terry Anderson and P. J. Hill’s research in accordance with what Eugene Hollon wrote?
  7. What is summarized in the final paragraph of the article?
  8. In fact, what does evidence suggest about the Old West?

What was the real cause of a culture of violence in the American West?

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