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Dealing with Diversity in America from Reconstruction through the 1920s
After the Civil War, the United States had to recover from war, handle western expansion, and grapple with very new economic forms. However, its greatest issues would revolve around the legacies of slavery and increasing diversity in the decades after the Civil War. In the South, former slaves now had freedom and new opportunities but, despite the Reconstruction period, faced old prejudices and rapidly forming new barriers. Immigrants from Europe and Asia came in large numbers but then faced political and social restrictions. Women continued to seek rights. Yet, on the whole, America became increasingly diverse by the 1920s. Consider developments, policies, and laws in that period from 1865 to the 1920s. Examine the statement below and drawing from provided sources, present a paper with specific examples and arguments to demonstrate the validity of your position.
Statement—in which you can take a pro or con position:
Political policies and movements in the period from 1865 to the 1920s generally promoted diversity and “the melting pot” despite the strong prejudices of a few. (or you can take the position that they did not). Use specific examples of policies or movements from different decades to support your position.
After giving general consideration to your readings so far and any general research, select one of the positions above as your position—your thesis. (Sometimes after doing more thorough research, you might choose the reverse position. This happens with critical thinking and inquiry. Your final paper might end up taking a different position than you originally envisioned.) Organize your paper as follows, handling these issues:
The position you choose —or something close to it—will be the thesis statement in your opening paragraph.
To support your position, use three (3) specific examples from different decades between 1865 and 1930. You may narrowly focus on race or gender or immigrant status, or you may use examples relevant to all categories.
Explain why the opposing view is weak in comparison to yours.
Consider your life today: In what way does the history you have shown shape or impact issues in your workplace or desired profession?
After the Civil War, the United States had to recover from war, handle western expansion, and grapple with very new economic forms. However, its greatest issues would revolve around the legacies of slavery and increasing diversity in the decades after the Civil War.