The Evolution Of Poverty During The Civil War

1654 Words Nov 23rd, 2014 7 Pages
THE EVOLUTION OF POVERTY IN AMERICA

Missy Worrells
Modern History 1073
November 19, 2014

The Evolution of Poverty in America Poverty is a hardship that has existed in every milestone of American history. War impacted the economy of the country after the Civil War. The twentieth century would see wars, natural disasters, and economical depressions that contributed to the developing culture of poverty. Poverty in any time period is a shattering experience. While being poor during the Reconstruction, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights movement were each devastating, the nature of poverty would evolve as the culture of each decade evolved. The character of poverty changed most dramatically over the years
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They had to give up the hope of owning their own land to become sharecroppers. Farmers had to rely on credit and cash crops, and as cotton prices dropped, they sank further into debt.
In the decades after the Civil War the Progressive Era began. America was shifting from the agrarian society of the Civil War to an urban society and the middle-class was growing. Immigrants were coming to America looking for the illusive something better and at the turn of the century there were Americans still living in extreme poverty. Factory workers held jobs in an unsafe environment. Women found it difficult to find jobs and unions were hostile towards them. Children and adults were contractually bound to work in harsh conditions. Families were once again living a slave-like existence. These factors would prompt social reformers to come forward and proclaim that poverty, class differences, poor health, and racism were no longer acceptable. They would begin to change society’s perception of how Americans should live. Progressives promoted quality education. Muckrakers made the public aware of the problems to which they previously turned a blind eye. Women’s temperance leagues fought for social justice. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois stepped forward to fight for civil rights, each in his own way.
Most social reform battles were fought on a local and state level. President Theodore Roosevelt embraced the concept of progressivism also,

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