Impacts that Shaped the United States

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United States is a country where there are people with different social levels, nationality, race, skin color, and religion. The history of the United States is one of the most interesting of all time, because of the different obstacles, difficulties, and setbacks that its inhabitants had to cross with to consolidate what is today of our nation. It is necessary to remember that the United States has had extremely important events and individuals that impacted the shaping of the United States. Two events that had a great impact in America are the Second Industrial Revolution and the Civil Rights Movement. The individual that created great impact is Booker T. Washington.

The second industrial revolution happened between the end of the Civil War and the early twentieth century, it was stated that “the United States underwent one of the most rapid and profound economic revolutions any country has ever experienced” (Foner, E.,2014). It was a historical period characterized by the great socio-economic changes that occurred between 1850-1870 and 1914. These transformations were caused by technical advances in the chemical, oil, electrical and metallurgical industries, as well as the emergence of inventions such as the telephone or the telegraph. According to author Foner. E “The country enjoyed abundant natural resources, a growing supply of labor, an expanding market for manufactured goods, and the availability of capital for investment” (Foner, 2014, p.476). In addition to the industry and technological advances, the society of the time was also profoundly transformed. New working methods appeared, creating, on the one hand, a new type of mercantilism and monopoly capitalism and, on the other, workers' organizations that tried to improve the conditions of the proletariat.

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In addition, there were other very important developments in the field of transport and communications. All these transformations had a reflection in society, which changed significantly. The most used means of transport continued to be the railroad, which made possible the second industrial revolution. The railroad had great success, that it created a national market for manufactured goods. Also, it created an increase in the population. On the one hand, the improvement of agricultural techniques allowed an increase in production. On the other, the demand for workers by the industry caused a transfer of population from the countryside to the city. The Second Industrial Revolution affected all social aspects. Its positive consequences were the increase in production, its scientific advances or the improvement of transport. On the negative side, the creation of a mass of industrial workers living in subhuman conditions can be noted.

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a long struggle, primarily non-violent, to extend full access to civil rights and equality before the law to groups that do not have, especially to African-American citizens. There have been numerous movements in favor of other groups in the US. overtime, but the term is generally used to refer to the struggles that took place between 1955 and 1968 to end discrimination against African Americans and end racial segregation, especially in the southern United States. The period considered usually begins with the boycott of Montgomery buses in 1955 and ends with the murder of Martin Luther King in 1968, although the civil rights movement in the United States continues in many ways to this day.

The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) was a watershed in the history of the United States: after years of campaigning against the laws of Jim Crow and racial oppression, the Civil Rights Movement had obtained a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court that threw back the doctrine of 'separated but equal' that had been used to justify official racism for half a century ( Forner, 2014). On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks (the 'mother of the Civil Rights Movement') refused to get up from her seat on a public bus to leave it to a white passenger. Rosa was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced for disorderly conduct and for violating a local law. When the incident was known among the black community, 50 African-American leaders met and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott to protest the segregation of blacks and whites on public buses. The boycott lasted 382 days until local segregation law between African Americans and whites was lifted. This incident is frequently cited as the spark of the Civil Rights Movement. led to greater social and economic mobility for African-Americans across the nation and banned racial discrimination, providing greater access to resources for women, religious minorities, African-Americans and low-income families.

Booker T. Washington was an important figure of the American black community from 1890 to 1915, especially after a speech he gave at the Exhibition of Cotton and International States in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1895, called The Atlanta Commitment. It was a very well accepted speech between the black community and the white liberals of the North and the south. At that time he received support from W.E.B. Du Bois, but then they had a disagreement. Washington appreciated industrial education aimed at the jobs available to most blacks and Du Bois wanted for them the same classical education in liberal professions that whites received. Washington contributed to raise funds to make legal changes on segregation and suffrage, as in the case of Giles vs. Harris, who was the first one related to the vote given in the Supreme Court of the United States.

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Impacts that Shaped the United States. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
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