Contemporary History




September11 attack

September11 attack is arguably one of the most important historical events inthe modern history in the United States. The attack involvedcoordinated terrorism acts by al-Qaeda, an Islamic terrorist group onthe United States. The attack took place on the morning of eleventhSeptember 2001 where suicide attackers hijacked four passengers’aircrafts and crushed the planes into the pentagon and the worldtrade center. The attack had a huge direct and direct impact onAmerica and the world (Atkins, 2011). Although the impacts of theattack are mainly negative, due to the number of people who dies,trauma and the economic loss, there are some positive impacts, mainlydue to the reaction of the United States and its allies in preventinganother similar attack in the future. This paper looks at thepositive and negative impacts that are associated with the September11 attack.

Themost significant impacts of the September 11 attack are obviously thenegative impacts. The high number of casualties was the mostimportant and immediate impact of the terrorism attack which resultedinto a series of social and economic impacts. Statistics indicatesthat almost three thousand people died on the day of attack. Manymore suffered severe injuries and long term suffering which has had along term impact on their health. In addition to the physicalinjuries, it has been argue that the debris of the Twin Towerscontained over two thousand five hundred dangerous contaminant, someof which are carcinogenic. These contaminants exposed both thesurvivors and the rescue workers to a wide ranger of healthcomplications. There are several deaths that have been linked toexposure to dusts from the blast. Terrorism attacks are alsodisturbing and traumatizing especially among young children (Atkins,2011).

Anotherimportant direct impact of the attack was the impact on the economy.The losses resulting from attack cost the United States economytrillions of dollars. In addition to the direct losses due todestruction of assets, the attack affected the United States andglobal stock markets and the economic systems. For example, for atleast a week, some of the major stock exchanges such as the New YorkStock Exchange were not operational. It is estimated that the stockmarkets in the United States lost about one and half trillion dollarsas a result of the attack. Insurance claims associated with theattack were also huge, which had a huge impact on the insuranceindustry. The economy lost almost half a million jobs as a result ofthe attack. As a result of direct and indirect impacts of the attack,the United States economy suffered significantly (Atkins, 2011).

Althoughthe immediate impacts are very important, the changes that resultedfrom the reaction of the United States and the world have morehistorical significance. As a result of the attack, the united statedlaunched a war against terrorism in different parts of the world.This resulted into a decade of war. President Bush administrationsent American troops to the Middle East, especially Afghanistan andIran with an aim of dismantling terrorism insurgents such as al-Quedaand Taliban. The invasion was aimed at weakening terrorism groups byremoving autocratic governments that supported terrorism activities.Although the war was as a result of genuine concern, a threat to theUnited States and global security, the war on terrorism has had farreaching impacts on the United States. The United States is deeplyentangled in the instability in Middle East as a result of war onterrorism. Although the troops were able to significantly weakenal-Qaeda networks, the region and the world is faced with increasedthreat of ISIS, an Islamic extremist group. Additionally, as a resultof war on terrorism, defense budget in the United States hasincreased by almost three folds since early 2000s (Roach, 2011).

Althoughit was an unfortunate event in history, there are some positiveimpacts. As a result of the attack, airports and air travel in theUnited States and the world is relatively safer. As a result of theSeptember 11 attack, security in airports and major installations allover the world has improved. The attack initiation new inventions andoverhauls of security systems. The new security procedures andscreening significantly reduces the risks associated with airtransport. Although there have been concerns, especially infringementof privacy rights, profiling of people from middle east and increasein the average travel time, the additional security is beneficial.Additionally, as a result of the attack, there are evidence that thegovernment is more kin on security and surveillance. The attack alsohad a positive impact on emergency coordination. The attack exposedthe weaknesses in agencies dealing with emergency resulting intobetter equipment and training in dealing with large scalecatastrophes (Roach, 2011).

Inconclusion, the September 11 attack remains one of the most importanthistoric events in the modern America. The terrorism act opened a newchapter in domestic and global security. As a result, there are manyimmediate impacts as well as indirect and long term impacts on theUnited States.


Atkins,S. E. (2011). The9/11 Encyclopedia.ABC-CLIO.

Roach,K. (2011). The9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism,New York, Cambridge University Press.

Contemporary History


Institution Affiliation:

Contemporary history

Q1: History through the eyes of the historian

History, according to the American Historical Association, is thecontinues process whereby people engage in learning more about thepast and understanding what it meant then and its implications forthe present. While there are different levels of learning history,almost everyone is interested in learning something about the past.(Goff, Moss &amp Terry, 2007). Regardless, no one can be interestedin learning about every aspect of history, as people are interestedin different areas. For instance, some people may be interested inlearning the economic history, others political history, while othersis keen studying the history of the earth. In one way or the other,everyone wants to learn about the past and decipher its meaning. Itis only that people engage in studying history in different ways thanthe rest. While some may learn a little history, some people go deepinto specializing in the field.

Historyis very important to some people, because it is their profession.These people always regard history as the holder of the meaning ofthe present and future phenomena, which is based on the pasthappenings. These people can be called “professional historians”.Professional historians often study history by first identifying aproblem, then going back in time and studying the nature of theissue. While at it, they form questions and looks for answers, whichguides them in interpreting the meanings of the things that theyobserve. Providing the rest of humanity with reliable and accurateinformation is therefore part of their responsibility. As such, theytake time to examine their sources, evaluate and make comparisons toderive informed meanings (Goff, Moss &amp Terry, 2007). Such people,therefore, take history seriously, based on their profession.

Q2: The Twenty-First Century

Michael Parenti claims that over the pat last four or five centuries,imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history. Hefurther claims that it has curved up whole continents, while at thesame time, oppressing the indigenous people and eliminating entirecivilizations (Parenti, 2007). I support his argument, going by thefact that some select nations have imposed their ways of life andsocial organization, onto others. Nations that have come into powerare compelled to extend their influence onto others as means ofestablishing their control. While at it, these imperial regimes donot mind their subjects’ traditions and social organization, asthey instill their own mechanisms over them. The result is that thenations that are under the control of the imperialists lose theirtraditions and adapt the ways of the colonial masters. This isevident in the case of Western Industrial powers and traditionalnon-western societies.

Theimperial type of foreign policy was imposed by the British and Frenchpowers, which extended their reach to the traditional Africansociety. While at it, they influenced the non-western society in anumber of ways, for instance, means of industrial production andeconomy. While the Europeans considered the African industrialproduction as “cottage”, they introduced capitalist andmechanized production that changed their traditional means. This isjust one of the ways that imperialism affected the Africans. However,it can be argued that the contact was positive, as it introducedmodernistic revolution into the non-westernized nations. Regardless,there are a number of negative aspects of this contact, for instance,brutal colonization and deprivation of human rights.


Goff, R., Terry, J., Upshur, J., Schroeder, M. &amp Moss, W. (2007).The Twentieth Century and Beyond: A global history (7thEd). New York, NY: Mc-Grawhill Education.

Parenti, M. (2007). Contrary notions: The Michael Parenti Reader.San Francisco, CA: City Light Books.