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Drawing upon the historical lessons of the Reconstruction Era and cotemporary times, what should the role of government be in society - Essay Example

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The civil war had ended slavery and laws were passed defending the rights of black Americans for the first time – yet Jim Crow laws continued to…
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Drawing upon the historical lessons of the Reconstruction Era and cotemporary times, what should the role of government be in society
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Drawing upon the historical lessons of the Reconstruction Era and cotemporary times, what should the role of government be in society

Download file to see previous pages... ng and vital role in defending the rights of minorities, and must take action to atone for the wrongs of its past (for instance, by not simply ending slavery but actively redressing its effects).; The problem, however, is that from both that time period and today show that the government cannot be fully trusted: it will always act in its own self-interest.
One of the most important lessons from the reconstruction era is that the government, to actually make societal changes for the better, must work to actively redress the crimes of its past – this is something that was simply not done enough during the reconstruction era, to the detriment of America today. Slavery was a crime committed by the various governments of the United States for almost 100 years – a crime that led to millions of people suffering and dying needlessly.2 America fought the civil war, at least in part, to atone for these crimes. The government also passed “constitutional amendments, [and] laws for racial equity” following the Civil war, believing simply outlawing their past crime was enough to make up for it.3 The problem, however, was that this did little to actually make up for the crimes of the past – black Americans were still widely discriminated against, and still relied on “privileged whites”4 for their work and sustenance – and if they tried to stand up against those whites they could be fired, deprived from work, otherwise harassed or even suffer violence.5 This led to black Americans having generation after generation of oppressed people, to the point where they still, more than one hundred and fifty years after the end of slavery, suffer from more societal ills such as poverty and crime. The United States government should have made a concerted effort to actually reverse the effect of the crime of slavery, not just stop committing that crime – if it had we might not need to be having debates about things like affirmative action today – and we would not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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