Paper Example on U.S. History Reconstruction and the Age of American Imperialism

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1697 Words
Date:  2022-09-14


Before the civil war, the United States was searching for the foreign market for their goods and services to reduce the amount of surplus and improve the stability of the economy by offsetting agrarian products. The civil war permitted the northern states of America to sell their industrial products sustained through reconstruction. Therefore, this study details the significant changes among race relations that resulted from reconstruction, the consequences of industrialization in American politics, the rise of progressive movements and the role of American imperialism in leading the United States.

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Changes in Race Relations That Resulted From Reconstruction

The thirteenth amendment influenced the abolishment of slavery in the United States altering the socioeconomic status among the Americans and the Blacks. President Lincoln desired that slavery would be abolished, attained when Congress gave a two-thirds vote's majority. The passing of the amendment saw abolishment of slavery and farm owners who previously utilized slavery to facilitate their labor requirements were unable to hire affordable labor for them to continue making profits. In turn, farmers became sharecroppers that put them along with freshly freed slaves who were incapable of funding their farms and resorted to renting land. Therefore, the white Americans ended up operating like the Blacks resulting in a neutral socioeconomic platform for the first time in history. The thirteenth amendment meant that slavery was illegal hence altering the working dynamics between the races. The blacks had the right to negotiate on their pay and living conditions decreasing the level of control the White Americans had over the Black Americans. Civil rights of the Black Americans were strengthened in 1866 and 1869 when the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. These right rights included the right to vote, and multiracial fairness in Congress. This significantly affected the association between the Americans and the Black Americans had a voice since they were represented in a political office.

The "Freedman's Bureau" was a significant change that assisted the poor whites and previous Black slaves with necessities that include housing, food supply, education, Medicare and legal aid. Therefore, this resulted in the relocation of black Americans to urban areas. Because the slaves were free, they were able to intermarry with other previous slaves from different farms and have a family, which was a significant milestone for the Black Americans. The Bureau encountered funding and race-based politics that lessened its ability to protect race equality; however, it was actively acknowledged for the realization of equal access to free labor and justice (Norton, 2015).

Migration to urban areas and the Blacks gaining more power that is political led to the formation of secret societies organized by the White Americans that overlooked assault and killing of Black Americans. The aim of such groups was to make the life of the Blacks hard that led to Jim Crow Law that intended to racially separate and discriminate against the Blacks. This resulted in the blacks moving to Northern America to pursue better lives and opportunities (Norton, 2015).

Consequences of Industrialization on American Politics And Society

The primary result of industrialization is the rapid growth of societies, innovative technologies, productivity; a significant population moved from to the cities and worked in industry jobs. This increased monopolies, overproduction, and labor strife. Changes in towns and cross-cultural mixture led to the growth of crime, diseases, and poverty. Development of new working class and influence from the immigration increased new social standings. The immigrants populated the cities in search of better lives; the middle-class population grew by creating new businesses. The disadvantage is the creation of child labor that was favorable because of low pay and more profits to the industries such as mines and factories. Children were perceived as the primary income source for the family, worked under poor conditions, and extended hours with less pay.

Industrialization influenced American politics; the federal government started controlling working conditions. Previously, Americans worked in farms with others being artisans. The concept of mass production making the artisans and farmers irrelevant to the industry. Several industries such as mining and laundry, subjected employees to poor working conditions with extended working hours. Employers disagreed based on the contract signed by employees emphasizing that they were right extending working hours since employees willingly signed contracts. The government passed laws that restricted the number of hours workers subjected to and the minimum age. Mass production resulted in a decline in the cost of goods that led to changes in how people spend their income. Societies changed how they spend their leisure time. The rise of labor unions ensured that the average working hours per week reduced for every employee. This created more time for leisure activities and workers were able to enjoy hobbies such as music and sports (Norton, 2015).

Progressive Movement

Role of Religion and Social Morality in Promoting Progressive Reforms

Religion and social morality were critical in supporting progressive reforms. Individuals with high beliefs and in their religious values felt that the government should enact remedial measures to eliminate the immoral behavior. Progressives thought that the government had the responsibility of improving the society and pressured their representatives to implement rules by restricting actions including abuse of labor and availing checkups to compensation for workers in cases of injuries, factories, and lowest wage rates and wage laws, child labor laws. Regulations against alcohol ban, the anti-saloon league, along with the women's Christian Temperance league collaborated against further production of alcohol during the progressive period. They supported the reforms because of the adverse effects of alcohol. The 18th amendment of the constitution in 1920 that banned the manufacture of alcohol. It was perceived as the primary cause of accidents, poverty, and the reduction in productivity potential of an individual. Prompted by the infamous article, white women being forced into prostitution by cliques forced progressives to call for government investigations and creation of new laws. The Congress approved the Mann Act of 1910 that prohibited transportation of women between different states or other countries for wrong reasons and by 1915, almost all states had banned brothels (Norton, 2015).

Reform Movements That Helped to Define the Progressive Era

The suffrage women movement was the primary change movement, which assisted in defining the progressive movement. Women had the desire to give more to the society other than managing household activities and desired to be allowed to similar rights granted to men because they believe they are disadvantaged from realizing their full potential. The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) established in1890 that championed for the rights of women to vote and backed up by the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote that ended a battle that women had fought for a long time (Norton, 2015).

The setting of labor standards and restricting companies from exploiting employees was among the most significant movements. Employees were not supposed to work for more than 10 hours daily, reformation on child labor laws that stipulated the age limit that factories should adhere while hiring, and reformation to protect female workers against and to abolish prostitution in different states. The journalist reform on prostitution was that gang forced women into prostitution while the moral person's reforms perspective was a social problem not human and wanted it eradicated. Prohibition movement redefined the progressive error that involved advocacy groups protesting against consumption and manufacture of alcohol while giving information regarding the harmful use of alcohol. The Anti-Saloon League in partnership with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union assisted in educating the public about the influence of alcohol consumption such as accidents, health problems, increased crime, and marital issues and in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson put a temporary ban on alcohol sale, production, and consumption (Norton, 2015).

Impact of the Progressive Movement on American Politics

The significant effect of the progressive movement on American politics is the right of women to vote. Women opted to remain silent, lobbied for reforms regarding their rights, and eventually won their right to vote. This enabled women to further and show that they are equal and should be given equal opportunities as men. They should possess similar jobs and ranks like men and the right to education. The right to vote for women transformed the family and the society changing aspects of American politics (Norton, 2015).

Role of American Imperialism in Leading the United States Into the Following Conflicts

Hawaiian Annexation

The United States felt that the Hawaiian island was the ultimate frontier and viewed the island as a vital section of the American structure to enlarge into and assist the less advantaged island to become successful. Fair terms during the sugar trade with Hawaii saw that the US was transporting duty-free sugar. The McKinley Tariff was passed in 1890 when Hawaii when into a crisis, which increased the importation taxes of foreign sugar and a depression entangled the island when the tariff was introduced (Norton, 2015). However, the Americans have crucial information about what would happen when the United States annexed Hawaii. The Americans succeeded in a rebellion against the Queen with assistance from the marines that saw Hawaii annexed with commands from the president. The queen surrendered the throne and Cleveland became president in 1885, he did not approve of the annexation and withdrew the treaty. During the Spanish-American war, President McKinley acknowledged the importance of Hawaii to refuel the ships and tactical reasons; hence, he restored the annexation where Hawaii fell under the US jurisdiction over again (Norton, 2015).

Spanish-American War

The American imperialism had a vital role in the Spanish-American war that emanated from American interference with the Cubans fight for independence from Spain, and the Philippines was also fighting for freedom from Spain. Americans envisioned the potential of benefiting from the Philippines because it has proximity to China and it would serve a good access point. The Americans aided the Cubans and Philippines in their war, but the Philippines became upset because Americans had captivated their government and Philippines rebelled prompting battles (Norton, 2015). It was until World War 1 when Americans gave up when they felt the Spanish government was stable. This war was distinct as it saw the entry of America into world affairs playing vital roles in conflicts around the world, therefore, signing various treaties and agreements.


Norton, M.B. (2015). A people & a nation. Retrieved from

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