The Period Between Reconstruction And World War I

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The period between Reconstruction and World War I was a time of tremendous social, economic, and cultural change in the United States. The end of the Civil War, the shrinking of the frontier, the rise of immigration, and the rapid growth of industry that characterized this time period brought many issues of race, class, and status to the forefront of politics. Many different opinions came to light about what it means to be an American and the dynamic between the American individual and American society. The differing answers to these questions created both divisions and unifications between different races, classes, and political parties. Through careful analysis of historical documents from the period, it is evident that society owes all individuals basic civil rights and the ability to make a living through harnessing their skills in the workplace. Conversely, the individual owes society work that benefits society as a whole and participation in government through suffrage.
In the wake of the Civil War, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were ratified which abolished slavery and in theory granted people of all races the citizenship rights, equal protection, and suffrage that society owes them. However, that did not stop a wave of backlash policies from passing especially in Southern states that felt their way of life was threatened by the newfound independence of black Americans. These laws served to perpetuate racism and white privilege, and further divide the racist,

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