America 's Violent History : The United States

3321 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 14 Pages
The homicide rate in the United States has fluctuated over the country’s history, but it remains significantly higher than the rest of the supposedly civilized world. From the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century, homicide rates fell in every Western nation other than the Untied States. What is most interesting about America’s violent history is 1) that the Southern states are astronomically more violent than the rest of the United States and 2) there is little certainty or agreement about the sources and causes of the persistent regional differences in violent behavior. “Scholars from a broad range of disciplines, writing about the past as well as the present, have demonstrated that rates of violence have been consistently higher in the South” Adler. That violence has, at various times, been blamed on the Southern “code of honor”, race relations, legal institutions, rural environments, social darwinism, and the political and economic upheaval of the time, among others. Explanations for Southern violence have never been lackingAyers and while most of these explanations contain a small element of truth, their validity is lessened by insufficient ways of analyzing patterns in Southern violence. Most explanations are guilty of the oversimplification of a complex problem. Industrialization did not have the same affects in the South as it did in the North. While the North had become the metropolitan land of opportunity, the postwar South had remained rural and…
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