History's Eras Essay

1084 words - 4 pages

History's Eras

Throughout the many changes in history and fluctuations in economy during times of war and times of rebuilding, there are several key people and events that have greatly affected America's path forever within the multiple Eras. Each abrupt turn in history is the result of someone's decision or some event that placed the power in someone else's hands. These sometimes critical and morally questioned times make up the guide not only to our history, but our future as well. They teach us which way not to go again, and what is, and what use to be extremely important in preserving the American culture that was founded not so long ago. By viewing these movements, wars and moral evolutions, we can see how far America has come so far and where it should go.

Reconstruction took several different turns within the twelve year period of 1865-1877. Although President Lincoln revealed the rough road that lay ahead by presenting his Ten Percent Plan and the 13th Amendment, he would have little to do with what was to come due to his untimely assassination by John Wilkes Booth. Booth changed the course of history at that moment by handing the presidency to Vice President Andrew Johnson.

Johnson rolled back several gains that Lincoln had in store. He had little to no sympathy for the enslaved blacks and blamed wealthy property owners and high ranking Confederate Officials for the South's poverty. With the now Union functioning governments of the former Confederate states, Republicans were "Sympathetic" to Johnson's decision to put the power of the freed men's civil and political rights into the hands of the individual states. This brought on the laws or "Black Codes" which gave them no choice but to live the slave life they had supposedly been freed from. As for Congressional Reconstruction, the Republican goal of maintaining power was met by getting the necessary two-thirds of the votes . For the first time in history they overturned a veto by enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1866.Finally, with the Republicans having the power in Congress now, they were trying to reconstruct the Presidency as well. They put the 14th and 15th Amendment into place and the Reconstruction Act of 1867. They wanted to make sure that the new constitutions guaranteed black suffrage. After Congress' failed attempt to impeach the President, the following election was won by Republican Ulysses S. Grant. This ended reconstruction era, but several future events would bring the US back to these foundations.

The Progressive Era reflected the last fifty years spent by Americans trying to build the most powerful industrial economy. The Progressive way of thinking was, "If the facts could be known, everything else was possible." Everyone was speaking out, and efforts in several aspects of America were being made to change problems such as poverty, disease, crime and corruption. The new middle class was composed of young professionals who sought to apply...

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