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Was there a gap between the rhetoric of hope and democracy peddled by American institutions and leaders and the reality on the g - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Reconstruction: Its Benefits, Drawbacks and Legacy Whereas American society had grown in something of a predictable way up to and including the period of the Civil War, the way in which American society grew post-Civil War has been something of interest to political scientists, historians, sociologists and others for decades…
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Was there a gap between the rhetoric of hope and democracy peddled by American institutions and leaders and the reality on the g
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"Was there a gap between the rhetoric of hope and democracy peddled by American institutions and leaders and the reality on the g"

Download file to see previous pages As a function of understanding this unique period of American history, this brief essay will analyze this period with relation to the experience that different formerly marginalized groups had. The groups included within the analysis will include women, Native Americans, African Americans, and the various new immigrants that landed on American soil as a result of systemic and societal changes throughout Europe and the rest of the world.1 Finally, the essay will seek to answer the question of whether or not there was a gap with regards to the level of democracy that the system promised and what was actually realized within the masses of citizens of the republic. With regards to the experience that post-Reconstruction brought to women, this was a period in which the emancipation and ultimate freedom that the former slaves had realized served to entice the women’s suffrage movement to begin to stir.2 The result of this stir was also due to the fact that many former anti-slavery advocates were women and it was realized that defined and sustained political action by such groups could make a discernable and lasting impact on the future of politics within the nation. As a function of this, suffragists and other individual issue groups began to ply the political channels in the United States. Although it took many decades for this movement to eventually be heard, the realization of political power that was born from the end of slavery served to embolden this group of shareholders to demand a more active and integrative political process within the nation. Similarly, due to the changes that the end of slavery had afforded to recently freed African Americans, there were many positive and negative externalities that soon existed for this demographic. Firstly, with regards to the positive changes, an amendment to the Constitution made it possible for black men to have a voice in the way that the nation grew and expanded. This of course helped to provide a previously disenfranchised group of individuals with a small portion of the political power that they should have held all along. Sadly, this and the end to slavery were some of the only positive factors that integrated themselves with the African American experience in the Post-Reconstruction era. The fact of the matter was that in an era in which the civil rights of African Americans should have flourished the most, a litany of Jim Crow laws popped up all over the country which practically relegated these individuals to a form of second class citizenship. Unable to eat, drink, or even wait in the same waiting rooms as whites, African Americans saw many of the hopes and dreams of equality that they had held after the conclusion of the Civil War and the beginning of the Reconstruction fade into something of an unrealistic dream.3 Similarly, with regards to the employment outlook and opportunity that existed for these recently freed slaves; this too was a difficult if not impossible. Sharecropping came to represent a new form of enslavement whereby the landed aristocracy was able to subjugate the lower classes into a type of generational and perpetual servitude.4 With regards to Native Americans, their plight was perhaps ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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