Burt Folsom (if you want a history teacher, pick him) has written an article on the Gilded Age of America. That was the period after the civil war which saw America rise to greatness.
Excellent article for those of you looking to defend tax cuts, spending reduction, and a sound currency.
"This formula for economic success—cut the national debt, produce a sound
currency, and cut taxes—has been drastically violated during the
economic stagnation of the last five years. From 2007-2012, the U.S.
has sharply increased its national debt, has undermined its currency in
part through quantitative easing, and is raising taxes (or trying to
raise taxes) and putting stringent regulations on American businesses.
Why not do what worked during the Gilded Age? Increase liberty and
decrease the size of government."