History Thesis: Reconstruction Era Essay

1574 Words Feb 5th, 2011 7 Pages
After the Civil War, America was still amidst great turmoil and economic instability. During this time period, the ultimate goal for Americans was to seize the “American Dream”. This was defined by most as being able to support their family and live a comfortable life. Although some did achieve this, many faced social, political and economic hardships. Beginning with the unjust treatment of African-Americans, then the struggles of immigrants, and followed by the rise of big businesses, the challenges faced during this time of rebuilding varied among the classes. Of all the groups, African-Americans, had the most treacherous economic ladder to climb. Immediately following the Civil War they had the freedoms necessary to obtain …show more content…
These “newcomers” did not deserve to come here and steal their jobs. Mike Trudic’s account from his childhood referred to his father’s hunt in America to desperately find work, “At the end of a week he was taken ill and died. It said he died of a broken heart”(Mike, 188). There were just too many workers and not enough jobs to be filled. Another first hand source provided by Rose Cohen, called Out of the Shadow, depicts the story of a jewish girl in New York and the experiences her family goes through in order to reach a sustainable lifestyle. The struggles included descriptions of harsh working conditions and anti-semitism, which created difficulty for immigrants who were trying to assimilate into the American culture. The formation of unions helped workers of similar nature band together and demand better wages for their work. Many workers went on-strike, demanding higher wages, but living paycheck to paycheck it was difficult to weather out an entire strike. With the onset of industrialization and the automation of many factory jobs, the amount of jobs available decreased and further dumbed down the jobs, requiring less education to operate effectively, and further increasing the market for competition. Immigrants just wanted to sustain a good job that can make them enough money to support their family and live comfortably, but had a tough time being affluent in America while working wage-labor shifts in poor working