The Many Changes that Occurred in the American Society after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

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Despite the great struggles imposed on our country, the September 11 attacks have played a significant role in defining American culture over the last decade. They have influenced people’s attitudes toward our government and different ethnic groups. In Jeffrey Melnick’s book, 9/11 Culture, he discusses in-depth how our country has changed as a result of 9/11 and what aspects have evolved since then. Many governmental changes were made due to the aftermath of 9/11, and the views of people also changed significantly. While these attacks were terrible, they also helped to forge a tighter relationship between people within the United States.

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The terrorist attacks of 2001 occurred on Tuesday, September 11. Conceived by the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, nineteen terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners in a series of four coordinated attacks. Two of the hijacked airliners targeted the two World Trade Center towers in New York. Another airliner was aimed at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The fourth airliner crashed in Pennsylvania but was intended to hit another target in Washington D.C. Altogether, nearly 3,000 people were killed and almost 10 billion dollars worth of damage was caused. This terrorist attack led to many changes in the U.S., from both a political and government perspective.

These attacks led to the creation of the Homeland Security Act, which was designed to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S. and minimize the number of terrorist threats faced by the country. Another significant consequence of 9/11 was the creation of the Patriot Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law. The Act aims to detect terrorist activity in the U.S. and, in turn, reduce the threat of domestic terrorist attacks. These two acts were among the first government plans to counter the spread of terrorism and have contributed significantly over the years to detecting terrorist activity. In 2002, Guantanamo Bay was established to house convicted terrorists. On October 7, 2001, the U.S. officially declared war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, initiating the War on Terrorism.

Life became challenging for most Americans after 9/11. They experienced numerous changes in their daily routines. Americans observed increased security in airports and elsewhere, all in response to the directives of the Department of Homeland Security. Consequently, Americans lived in heightened fear, pondering the possibility that an incident like 9/11 could recur. Their fears extended to their family and friends and generated apprehension towards other races. After 9/11, some Americans began demonizing people of Muslim heritage by labeling them as terrorists. Instances of discrimination towards people of Arab descent also increased. In his book, 9/11 Culture, Jeffrey Melnick explores the rumors and discrimination faced by Arab individuals. A study conducted by the New York City Commission on Human Rights shows the increased discrimination and hate towards Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Although there were many negative effects as a result of 9/11, some good also came out of it. For the first time in decades, Americans began to come together and support one another. It united the nation in a whole new way. After the 9/11 attacks, President Bush’s approval rating rose to over 90 percent. He brought hope to America and pushed for new legislation as a result of 9/11. For once in a very long time, Americans weren’t divided as Republicans or Democrats, but were united as one. George W. Bush stated “America is United” after the attacks, which helped to bring people together. At that time, everyone shared the same goal—to defeat the terrorists. A decade later, the United States views 9/11 from a whole new perspective, not just as an event that created unity. Today, 9/11 plays a significant part in politics in America. The need for foreign policy is more important than ever before as a result of 9/11 and will remain so. It seems today that policies created by George W. Bush are viewed differently by Democrats and Republicans.

After 10 years, the disputes between Democrats and Republicans have significantly changed. Rather than discussing domestic issues, the government now has an agenda that revolves around the war on terrorism and relations with other countries. This perception of a terrorist threat is believed by many to be the cause of the national debt and could also be the reason for the recession. While 9/11 initially brought this country together, a decade later it resulted in two sides arguing back and forth. The 9/11 terrorist attacks were terrible, resulting in considerable pain and suffering for American families and shaking the world in innumerable ways. It led to new laws being implemented and improvements in our national security to protect our country from similar events. While it united Americans at first, it eventually divided them as they began blaming each other years later. It has been a focal point in congressional debates and has been widely studied and criticized. The attacks have affected all of our lives. It clearly shows how our culture has changed as a result of this event and how people are perceived today. It led to discrimination against ethnic groups and both united and divided the United States. It has played a significant role in defining American culture and will continue to do so for many years to come.

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The Many Changes that Occurred in the American Society After the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. (2022, Nov 14). Retrieved from