The Americans Reconstruction to the 21st Century is a writing, which presents the evolution of America. It presents various events, which were significant in shaping the present of America. The events are presented in a chronological manner up till the 21st century.
In chapter one, ancient history of America is described. Here, the life of ancient tribes of America is described. These tribes were the Maya, the Aztecs, and the Incas. The chapter also describes European expansion where people like Marco Polo traveled to Asia, while other Europeans start to look for water routes. In 1492, Columbus discovered America. It also happened that the Spanish intermarried with Native Americans and created Mestizo populations. At the same time, the British expanded into the America and colonized it. The colonies became bigger and with time they started awakening and fighting for independence.
Chapter two describes a revolution and the early republic. What comes up is colonial resistance and rebellion. Hostility of the British to the colonies made the latter resist. What followed was the war for independence and there were two groups: those who were loyal and those who wanted independence. Chapter also speaks about Confederation and Constitution. Creation of Constitution defined the roles of different arms. At the end of it all, the new nation appeared and George Washington became the first president.
In chapter three, the growth of a young nation is described. The chapter discusses Thomas Jefferson and an election called the Evolution of 1800. There is also a discussion of the era of Jackson, during which the economy expanded, and discussion of the Northern economy and the Southern economy. There is the settling the frontier. There is a belief that America expanded from coast to coast. There is also a discussion of a market revolution that took place during this period when people sold and bought goods. Reforming the society also occurred whereby there was a lot of spiritual awakening.
When chapter four begins, the Union is in peril. The reason was that there were differences between the North and South. There was also a civil movement beginning, where several states united as one state. There were also many battles between the North and the South. Finally, there were plans for reconstruction.
Chapter five describes the changes in the western frontier. There was a culture clash where the natives and Americans clashed over the land in the West. There was also settling in the Great Plains where settlers started their farming. The rise and fall of populism is also described in this chapter. This united the people who tried to bring power back to the people.
Chapter six describes the industrial age. It is mainly focused on the expansion of industries. It describes the age of railroads where rails begin to operate. There is also the emergence of successful businesses. Labor issues were characterized by frequent strikes. Innovations led to developments of industries.
Chapter seven talks about immigrants and urbanization. These immigrants came to America to look for opportunities, and they contributed to the development of many industries. Various challenges emerged out of urbanization. This is also the chapter where politics of the Gilded are discussed. These were political machines and city bosses. Civil service replaced patronage. Finally, businesses thrived and buying power of people increased.
Chapter eight describes the age of science and urban life. It talks about scientific revolution and city life. Public education expanded providing more opportunities for education than before. This was also the time of the dawn of mass culture. People started having time outside of work for themselves. People created time for leisure.
Chapter nine is about the origin of progressivism. Progressive movement had the aim of restoring economic opportunities and correcting injustices. Many reforms came up, and the issue of women in the public life became popular. Teddy Roosevelt’s square deal also emerged during this period. President Taft also appeared in the picture with many progressive ideas. The average citizen got more freedom to participate in reforms than it had been the case earlier.
Chapter ten concentrates on imperialism in America. America extended its control over the weaker nations. The result of this was the Spanish American war. America initially wanted Cuba. It gave Spain the money to buy it, and Spain refused. The war began when the USS marines were sunk by Spain. The battle made other countries join.
Chapter eleven introduces the World War I. It was caused by nationalism, militarism, imperialism, alliance system, and assassinations. Americans did not take any side in the war. However, they joined in the war later. There occurred the use of dangerous weapons, which led to mass killings.
The roaring life of the twenties is described in chapter 12 and 13. This was characterized by changing ways of life. The picture of urban and rural life is drawn. The population grew in the cities as rural areas became depopulated. Manufacture and the sale of alcoholic drinks became prohibited. There was organized crime in key cities. At the same time, science and religion clash caused more conflict. Laws were also passed to handle criminal cases.
Finally, there was the consummate depression and the New Deal. At that time, unemployment was extraordinarily high, and production still lagged. Soil conservation occurred, and domestic allotment act was passed, which paid farmers for cutting the production of soil depleting crops. The resettlement administration provided loans to small scale farmers. In addition to that, there was rural electrification administration that financed cooperatives to bring electricity to isolated areas.
Part Two: Importance of the Events
It is quite clear that the systematic occurrence of the events in American reconstruction is extremely crucial. It is due to these events that America is where it is today. These are events that changed and made America to be a leading super power it is today.
The history of America is tremendously important. It sets a foundation to the events that were to occur later. People who were the earliest inhabitants of America and their interaction set the pace of the impact which is felt today. They are the people who occupied the land, and their contribution was quite significant. It is evident that without these people, we would not have America as it is today. The settlement of the earliest communities also took place. This set the beginning of the earliest economic activities in the region. These economic activities were a foundation of the industrialization that was later experienced. Social hierarchies also emerged and the idea of government came up. There were clergies, queen, king, the noble, merchants and peasants. The hierarchical system might have contributed so the situation we see today.
The changes in western frontier are also significant in shaping the current state of America. The population began to expand at this time and this pushed them to the West. One may be tempted to think that the desire for Americans to dominate began here. The businesses also emerged. Majority of the Americans took part in cattle business. This might be the thing that led to the emergence of industrial change. The foundation set in the industrial field has its impact on the current society. This might be the influencing factor behind many industries that we see today. Immigrants who migrated to America brought much ideas and creativity that led to growth of the business field. They were the main investors who contributed enormously to the growth of the economy. Urbanization and the change of lifestyle made people change the rural mind set and accommodate to change.
The roaring of the twenties and the New Deal was the climax of everything. During this period, urban mentality came up. Men were leaving the farms and the population in the cities grew tremendously. It is clear that some laws like the alcohol law got roots at this time. Reformers believed that some crimes and corruption were caused by liquor. New changes accompanied this period. There were new rules and regulations that governed certain aspects of society. Rural areas also experienced tremendous developments as they got some attention. People start being concerned about the environmental conservation. This was like the beginning of a new America with new people who did things differently. The poor also get recognition, and they are given assistance to develop themselves.
To sum up, it is evident that each and every event had a noticeable influence on the evolution of America to what it is today. This means that combination of all these periods and events led to emergence of a superpower America that people see today. Some aspects that were seen the can still be identified in America today. The idea of being very enterprising and the desire to conquer are good examples. It is also noticeable that America is a good destination for many immigrants. These and many others can be related to what happened back then.
- Danzer, G. A., & McDougal, L. (2005). The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21st century. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell.