Reaction Journal to American Civil War - Book Report/Review Example

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The turn of the century tended to be full of promise to numerous people. Several people viewed commerce and industry as future waves as agriculture also boomed in the…
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Reaction Journal to American Civil War
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Reaction Journal to American Civil War Introduction It is during the turn of the century period that there were many changes witnessed in the American’s lives. The turn of the century tended to be full of promise to numerous people. Several people viewed commerce and industry as future waves as agriculture also boomed in the US. There were witnessed sexual revolution, women’s liberation movements, as well as the enhancement of large corporations, and extensive labor, which immensely transformed people’s lives. People had freedoms to participate in agriculture and employed technology and heavy irrigation methods and fertilization in regions such as California, which were essential in factory farms1. People also enjoyed the freedom to buy new products, stored in better stores as well as new modes of transportation that tended to change life hastily. However, the class definition also persisted, as it was a rigid one there were the wealthiest and poorest in society. These definitions created a foundation for progressivism2. Education was provided to both male and female in the same schools while the young generations dated openly in public as they interacted in amusement parks such as Coney Island.
Evidently the changes from the reconstruction era were minimal, although there were witnessed alterations in the American race relations; the equal rights among the races were not fully resolved3. The wealth distribution was another issue that did not change as although the slaves were granted freedom, the whites exploited them, as land was left in the hands of the whites. However, there were improved political and economical advancements.
Freedom entailed the young women, although with restrictions managed to secure jobs. Moist young women were single mothers who managed to tend for their families for working in factories such as cotton and sewing industries. In addition, laws that provided for minimum wage, maximum hour or child labor were enacted to protect workers4.
According to Kathy Peiss, The young women, who were mostly industry employees, socialized in places like dance halls, film theaters, amusement parks and beaches in the turn of the century. They were able to share public space with other young people even in various states of undress.
She thinks that these activities were significant in their social lives as there were many excitements involved. They were more of recreation activities for them. These things were able to allow women to live more free and make their own life choices and decisions.
Riis’ photographs depict the challenging and difficult lifestyles of the immigrants. They lived in shanties that were crowded with poor living conditions that were undesirable. He wanted those in the middle class to understand the poor living condition of the immigrant workers and offer them better places to live.
During the progressive era period, there was witnessed unprecedented number of entertainments that emerged in the American social environment. The people began to follow organized sports avidly more so boxing and baseball among others. These posed social problem in relation to work reformers established controls and regulations. The Americans were transformed in this era from farm dwellers to a diverse, urban, affluent, leisure obsessed, and teeming multitude. The reformers of this period, embarked in enacting regulations, to control social life.
According to Florence Kelly,5 the rapid industrialization has negative effects on the working urban class concerning their families, health, and education of the working people as well as the economic morality concerning the control of production means. She suggests changing this, through probable legislation to mitigate the difficulties that were at end passed as federal laws. This is because she wants the modern industrialization in America, which is expanding rapidly to contribute constructively to the nation. Furthermore, the speeches of Theodore Roosevelt6 and William Jennings Bryan, promoted labor liberalism and money regulation in a period when inflation was escalating and heavily affecting the economy.
List of references
Anderson, L. William. 2006. The Progressive Era, Part 2: Progressives and the Economy.
Freedom daily. Accessed at,
<> Barton, Rebekah. 2009. Progressive Era Leisure and Capitalism: Freedom, License,
Reform. Pp 1-25.
< > Edwards, Rebecca. 2006. New Spirits, 1865 -1905. New York: Oxford University
Kelley, Florence. 2011. Modern industry in relation to the family, health, education, morality.
New York: Longmans, Green, and Co.
McGerr, Michael E. 2003. A fierce discontent: the rise and fall of the Progressive movement in
America, 1870-1920. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tomlins, Christopher L. 2010. Freedom bound law, labor, and civic identity in colonizing
English America, 1580-1865. New York: Cambridge University Press. Read More
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