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Reaction Journal - Essay Example

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Unofficial racism persisted in the North too. “There were – two Americas.” 1 Most African Americans enlisted to prove their…
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Reaction Journal

Download file to see previous pages... The arrest of Eugene V. Debs is reminiscent of authoritarian governments which Americans now criticize in other global regimes, such as China. However, this had a positive consequence: the formation of the American Civil Liberties Union.
‘The Roaring Twenties’ appears to be a misnomer! Economic prosperity was concentrated in big business, but did not extend to the agricultural sector or rural area. Public support for the Ku Klux Klan, the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, the National Origins Act of 1924, lynching, and the banning of interracial marriages indicated an upsurge in racism. Christian fundamentalism raised its head. Perhaps it assumed a connotation of general well-being, because it was sandwiched between the World War 1 and the Great Depression.
Ironically, the New Deal failed to satisfy the privileged class (who resented the higher taxes imposed on them), critics in the Democratic Party (Huey P. Long declared that it failed to do enough for the poor), or the Republican opposition (Senator Taft condemned it for its socialist stance, deficit spending and its attack on private enterprise). The AAA’s destruction of ‘surplus’ agricultural production (during a period of acute food scarcity!) and discrimination against blacks, debase the New Deal.3
President Roosevelt’s ‘Four Freedoms’ – freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear, was accepted American ideology, but contradicted and undermined by racism. It is tragic to read Foner’s account of the government “bending over backward to accommodate German-Americans and Italian-Americans in the war effort” but “viewing every person of Japanese ethnicity as a potential spy”4.
The meaning of ‘freedom’ was controversial during the 1950’s. The Cold War identified freedom with anti-communism: racially segregationist South Africa was part of the ‘Free World’ merely because ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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