Changes in the Political History of America Essay

Changes in the Political History of America Essay

The United States saw profound social and political transformations from the Civil War to the New Deal. These alterations entailed challenges to and reinterpretations of the American political heritage. Others fought to maintain the status quo, while some individuals and organizations advocated for reform and inclusiveness. Others endeavoured to refocus American principles, while others urged for drastic change. This paper will investigate the ideas and movements of people or organizations who have advocated for change in the political history of America. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

In his 1861 inaugural address, Jefferson Davis supported the right of states to secede and presented the Civil War as a war for independence (Davis, 1861). He maintained that the Confederacy was not engaged in a revolt but rather was fighting for the same values of liberty that inspired the establishment of the United States. Davis contended that since the states were autonomous and had entered the Union voluntarily, they had the freedom to depart. He urged a peaceful resolution but warned the South would defend its honour and interests. Davis’s argument highlights the significance of states’ rights in American political history, which has been frequently invoked by those who desire to reject federal authority or preserve traditional social norms. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

In his 1867 Address on Reconstruction, Thaddeus Stevens pushed for a dramatic reorganization of Southern society after the Civil War (Stevens, 1867). Stevens was a prominent supporter of the rights of formerly enslaved people and thought that the South must be punished for its rebellion and made to embrace the new government. He advocated the seizing of Southern planters’ land, its redistribution to formerly enslaved people, and the emancipation of black males. Stevens contended that the old system had to be destroyed for the United States to develop a new society based on equality. The argument of Stevens reflects the radicalism of specific Reconstruction initiatives, which sought to radically alter the power structure in Southern society and establish an equal political system. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

The Populist Party, which originated in the 1890s, attempted to challenge the political dominance of industrial and financial elites (Jividen, 1892). The party comprised farmers, labourers, and small company owners who needed help to compete with significant businesses and affluent individuals. The populists advocated for government action to safeguard workers and farmers, as well as a more democratic political structure that would be more sensitive to the average citizen’s concerns. The Populist Party’s platform represents a challenge to the period’s prevailing economic and political structure, as well as an effort to establish a more inclusive and equal society.

The women’s suffrage campaign, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Susan B. Anthony, aimed to increase women’s political rights (Stanton, Gage & Anthony, 1876). The movement asserted that women had the same rights and advantages as males, including voting and participating in the political process. The suffragists contended that women’s exclusion from the political arena constituted discrimination and that women had the right to be full U.S. citizens. The women’s suffrage movement represents a challenge to the gendered nature of American politics and culture and a desire for more gender equality and involvement. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

In their 1924 Equal Rights Amendment to the Federal Constitution, Alice Paul and Benjamin Loring Young attempted to establish gender equality (Paul & Young, 1924). The amendment demanded the abolition of all gender-based legal disparities and the recognition of women’s entirely legal and political rights. Paul and Young contended that gender inequality exists.

The Populist Party was also concerned with advancing the rights of farmworkers and agricultural workers. They included in their platform the following demands: the formation of a graduated income tax; the regulation of railroads and other monopolies; the construction of a system of sub-treasuries to offer loans to farmers at reasonable interest rates; and the direct election of senators (Jividen, 1892). These demands were intended to address the economic problems of the farmer and labouring classes, whom the industrial revolution and the consolidation of wealth in the hands of a few had left behind. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

The Progressive Era, which started in the early 20th century, was marked by a rekindled push for change and the growth of democratic rights. Women’s suffrage, a significant issue for several decades, finally culminated in the passing of the 19th amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote. This gave women the opportunity to participate in the political process. The Equal Rights Amendment, initially introduced in 1923 by Alice Paul and Benjamin Loring Young, intended to entrench gender equality in the Constitution. Nevertheless, the amendment was unsuccessful (Paul & Young, 1924). In 1972, the amendment was finally approved by Congress, but the required number of states still needed to ratify it to become a part of the Constitution. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his State of the Union Address in 1941, during the height of the Great Depression. In this speech, he outlined the “Four Freedoms,” which included freedom of speech, freedom of faith, freedom from want, and freedom from fear (Roosevelt, 1941). These liberties were intended to apply to everyone and were seen as being necessary for the continued existence and growth of a democratic society. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, which included the construction of social security and other social welfare programs, were a fundamental change from the prior laissez-faire approach to government. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

The other change experienced was the emergence of a new class of educated professionals. Academic professionals played essential roles in ensuring that the education systems in the country were changed (Hoover). The knowledgeable professionals played crucial roles in ensuring that the education systems in the country were changed. In the American economy and society, educated professionals played a significant role. They contributed to sustaining the country’s economic expansion and good standard of living (Jividen,1892). They continue to be in great demand due to their specific knowledge and skills, and they are essential to creating new technology, goods, and services. Their knowledge was crucial to the success of businesses in various industries throughout the time since they were frequently the first to identify and capitalize on emerging trends. In other instances, they acted as department and agency heads, offering knowledge and direction on various policy matters. Through that, most Americans acquired knowledge and skills to participate in activities leading to the country’s growth and development (Carnegie,1889 ).  Changes in the Political History of America Essay Again, educated professionals experienced increased rates of production in the United States. As a result, the country was enabled to experience rapid growth in its economy, therefore, reducing the poverty rates.

Moreover, it is through the educated professionals during the period from the Civil War to the New Deal whereby a rise of universities, the expansion of public education as well as the emergence of the growth of the numbers of the professional class played significant roles in the increment of a new kind of intellectuals in the United States (Carnegie, 1889). The new type of intellectuals who knew liberal arts and science worked towards creating processes that challenged the status quo, expanding the rights of all the public members. Changes in the Political History of America Essay This was evident in John Dewey’s writings, which he used to support his arguments for increasing civil freedoms and the significance of democratic involvement in society (Hoover, 2017). Parallel to this, the labour movement’s growth was a direct challenge to the existing quo and aimed to increase worker rights and protect their fundamental rights as citizens. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

To summarize, the era spanning the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the New Deal was marked by significant shifts in the political and social landscapes of the United States. As a result of these shifts, the American political tradition has been subjected to a variety of different interpretations and criticisms. At the same time as movements and thinkers were calling for change and inclusiveness, others were attempting to maintain the status quo. While some wanted a more moderate rethinking or reorientation of American principles, many advocated for sweeping reforms. This paper examines several speeches and documents, each providing evidence of the myriad viewpoints and the ongoing conflict about how to forge an ideal union. Changes in the Political History of America Essay

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