American History, 1865-1900

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American History, 1865-1900 The years after the civil war left one half of America, the north, satisfied and the other half, the south, mostly dissatisfied. Therefore the last third of the nineteenth century, 1865-1900, was a time period in which America was mending, repairing, improving, reshaping, and reconstructing its society, economy, culture, and policies. Basically it was changing everything it stood for. This continual change can be seen in the following events that took place during this time. These events are both causes and effects of why America is what it is today. These are some examples: the reconstruction of the south, the great movement towards the west, the agricultural revolution, the rise of industrialism, the completion of the transcontinental railroad, and America's growth to gaining world power. All of these are reasons and events that characterize America as being an ever-changing nation. The south was in economic and social chaos after its defeat in the war. 1865-1877 was a time period of reconstructing the south, however, it left an everlasting impression that kept the south behind for years to come. The political apprehension the south felt was due to the fact that there was no more authority and the new states had to deal with the northern states. The question was how the newly reelected Lincoln was going to bring these states back to the Union. His idea was known as the ten percent plan in which ten percent of a states qualified voter would take a loyalty oath to be readmitted into the Union. This would allow the south to get back into the main stream and find some solutions to its many problems. Unfortunately for Lincoln and unfortunately for America, Lincoln would be assainated only one month after the south surrendered. This presented America with one more hurdle to overcome, and that hurdle was to initially be jumped by the newly appointed President Johnson. As President, Johnson decided to follow Lincolns plans by granting amnesty to almost all former confederates; establishing a Provisional government; and ratifying the thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery. However, Johnson was not the same man as Lincoln for he was quite unpopular, especially with Congress. As the south was in a transitional period, its politics were changing as well. First, the Reconstruction Act allowed blacks to v... ... middle of paper ... ...ay to the rise of big business. Americas population was increasing, many citizens were employed and making money, and more eager to spend. Some of the businesses got too big and antitrust acts, such as the Sherman anti-trust act, were passed to control the powers of monopolies and their owners. Not only were there monopolistic companies in the corporate world, there were monopolies in the railroad business as well. The control of railroads became an issue in politics over the abuses and operations of the rail systems. Soon, the federal agencies Interstate Commerce Commission was formed as the first regulatory agency to control private businesses in the public?s interest. More and more control was placed upon Americas businesses and corporations and from this grew unions, as well as conflicts between management and labor, all of which exist today. America has grown to be the country it is today not by luck, but by the fact that it has struggled in trying to become an independent nation. Regardless of the hardships, turmoil, and chaos it has gone through, the events that occurred between the years 1865-1900 have caused America to be the independent nation that it is today.

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