It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that American history is extremely rich on events, phenomena, and break-through inventions, even though it is relatively short in comparison with the other countries. Such success can be explained by multiple reasons, but little is known about historic and economic implications of various events. The history of the United States contains numerous concepts and ideas that started a new era of industry and democracy, which is why the following paper focuses on the discussion of the most meaningful aspects of the American history.
Role of The Federal Government
To speak about the role of the federal government in the period of Reconstruction, a certain progress regarding the democratization of the American society should be indicated. In spite of the fact that the federal government originated from the Republican ideology, the fundamental concepts of a contemporary democracy were initiated by the Republican federal government. The main idea of the federal government at that period was a reasonable decentralization of power within the states so that freedom of business and labor became the basic driving forces of the national economic growth. The idea of decentralization was slightly familiar to the Republicans’ viewpoints, but the evident advancements in the economy were explicit. Still, the federal government considered the farmers and villagers to be the strongest business executives, which is why any internal taxations and regulations became a matter of the federal’s government decision. In other words, the federal government wanted to create a reasonable framework for balancing the power between local and federal representatives in order to avoid excessive pressure of both parties on business, especially small and medium sectors. As a result, the government managed to develop a prototype of a modern industrial and business structure in terms of balanced regulations and free competitive opportunities.
Progressive era can be remarked by a major influence of the federal government on the westward expansion and the industrial progress. Proactive obtaining of the western lands caused the growth of obviously profitable investments for the eastern entrepreneurs. Again, the process was reasonably controlled by the federal government so that related improvements in industrialization and market growth emerged on the basis of the western expansion. Additionally, the development of free business and labor created a new competitive environment in the West. That is why the actions of the federal government can be recognized as being dramatically changeable. Obtaining the western lands and building of connecting railroads completed the formation of American economic doctrine. As soon as the national economy reached its stability, developments in social and cultural sectors were natural. In light of proactive industrialization, the federal government created a network of scientific and cultural infrastructures. Owing to that phenomenon, various scientific inventions like Thomas Edison’s electric bulb were made. Strong implementation of technology in the American society is mainly the achievement of the government that succeeded to proceed with its strategy to give enough freedom for business and labor as well as establish a specific framework for a complex enhancement of the economy.
Concerning the Great Depression, the federal government initiated financial aid for the citizens, especially small entrepreneurs and retired workers. As a consequence, such federal services as FDIC and Social Security were established for ensuring the relative financial well-being of the key forces of the economy and socially insecure citizens. The federal authorities were expected to introduce drastic measures to stop inflation. Therefore, the New Deal was quite a hard step in the history of the government as long as it had to deviate from its traditional principles of balancing, and framework local representatives. The federal government took a stricter control over the business and banking system in order to reduce further inflation. The goal was achieved, but the lawmakers were expected to restore the freedom of business and labor since the economy should grow naturally. The New Deal became a perfect period of economic revival in the United States, while the state authorities lost the traditional balance between regulation and support. Many historicists, as well as economists, argue that the New Deal was the end of the federal’s government era as it failed to limit the extreme economic growth after the New Deal. However, the role of the state political powers within the Great Depression is characterized by an essential contribution to the preservation of minimal financial stability of many Americans.
A matter of racial equality is still a strong controversy within any democratic society so that it is becoming increasingly apparent that the end of the 19th century cannot demonstrate meaningful progress with regards to the rights of the colored U.S. population. These years were known to be a rise of extreme aggression from ultra-right “white” movements like Ku Klux Klan so that a white superiority was suppressing any attempts of the colored population to restore their equality. Conversely, that caused more determined movement for the rights of colored Americans so that certain achievements could be observed. In such a way, a moderate political body of colored Americans was formed at the end of the 1890’s. They were, however, opposed by various political opportunists not just because of racist motives but also owing to the post-war era and a so-called cotton drought, that was a result of a certain economic decline for medium entrepreneurs. Therefore, they considered a rise of Negro’s rights as a distinct threat to their business which is why the violently dominating position of whites was an implication of numerous political as well as economic purposes.
Hence, the majority of black-skinned Americans were seeking for a better social environment. The northern states recognized such a tendency so that a great migration of Negroes started at the beginning of the 20th century. As a matter of fact, the migration had simple causes: the promise of equal rights, employment, and relative domestic welfare. Needless to say, that the North was extremely loaded with arriving Negroes so the situation with the employment considerably changed. The northern states provided equal rights for colored citizens, but a number of vacancies were obviously limited. Moreover, nearly 60% of migrated Negroes could barely read and write. Thus, multiple-colored schools and colleges were opened in order to reduce illiteracy among the black-skinned population as long as it was a primary requirement for applying for many jobs offered. Overall, the situation changed for the better, but the United States had much work to do regarding the fair equalization of its colored population. Legal prohibition of slavery, the formation of minor political forces, and accessible education were insufficient for a complete restoring of the Negroes’ rights. The process was thwarted by numerous external factors, which happen to be the key determinants of racial diversity in modern American society.
Significant advancements in the national economic development led to the opening of such large companies as General Motors and Ford by the time the industrialization of the American society was complete. It is worth admitting that these benefits were mainly directed towards the white population. Excessive profits and moderate pressure of the federal government after the Great Depression made an entire segment of the economy illegal. Thus, the growth of gangster networks and drug dealing decreased social welfare. Among all these phenomena, the rights of the colored population remained raged unabated again. Negroes did not enjoy the same advantages as whites did. A black-skinned American was associated with a worker at the plant or construction site while all successful businessmen were white. Negroes were placed in a situation, in which they were not offended by the white superiority, and they had no opportunities regarding their ethnical prosperity even though the American Dream became a common goal not only for Americans but also for people worldwide. Regarding that, a certain change in the racial issue can be detected, but its insufficient impacts are also obvious. The United States made meaningful progress towards the equalization of colored citizens, but economic circumstances limited Negroes very much, which is why the equality of colored rights became not a goal but a prolonged process.
Evident progress in social and economic development can be traced to the years 1900 – 1940 as the United States experienced a wide range of events, which led its society to a distinct unification. The economic doctrine was formulated and even amended several times within that period. A question of the most appropriate model, however, is still a central issue for many arguments between economists and historicists. Black citizens managed to gain basic civil rights so a social integrity development should be also noted. Moreover, Negro culture was adopted quite easily, which is why jazz, black folk music, and Evangelist churches became so popular within the United States. The experience of the Great Depression and the First World War made American society value its unity. Hence, the government strived for social unification because of several reasons, especially economic and political. It is hard to argue that many aspects still left much to be desired, but in the span of the previous fifty years, the United States advanced in its social, economic, and political unity. The opposition of concepts and views, however, will always exist, but their unmistakable presence witnesses about the complexity of the governmental effectiveness.
Speaking about the equality of rights, the colored population gained certain achievements and even presented its proactive leaders. The legal perspective of the issue was subsequently solved, but the social well-being of black-skinned population was insufficient due to multiple reasons. The superiority of whites was not aggressive but produced its effect on the opportunities of colored Americans. Such evidence can be explained by the fact that white population is simply larger, but it is pivotal to note that initial difference in rights between whites and Negroes caused their social insecurity during the period of 1900 – 1940. On the contrary, lack of economic progress was substituted with a total adoption of the Negro culture. A decision not to assimilate led to evident economic decline within colored families. Black-skinned citizens simply did not want to receive equal rights in exchange for their cultural identity, as long as they considered themselves as the same Americans as whites. It is certainly true, especially in terms of the American Dream’s concept. That is why a total unification of American society was not complete. American Dream presupposed the same opportunities for any individual without any respect to particular race or ethnicity while Negroes were facing particular social and financial hardships within the United States.
In contrast, the Jewish population assimilated quite fast even though certain traditional communities still exist. As a consequence, they received the same social status as well as financial rights as the rest of Americans. Therefore, a question of social unification in the U.S. is quite dubious. Assimilation leads to the basic advantages of U.S. citizenship while insisting of cultural identity is not associated with them. Social unity implies certain layout regarding the economy, business, and infrastructure within the country. At the same time, the United States positioned itself as a “melting pot” so that any race or ethnicity could live there with the same rights as any other citizen of the country. Nobody would argue with the fact that equal treatment of different ethnicities is the balance between these two principles of social unification. Regarding that, the United States made a drastic step towards its social unity within these years, but a complete consolidation was one of the main objectives for the upcoming future as long as the U.S. was facing a threat of The Second World War so that optimization of its basic driving forces was pivotal for the government as well as the population.
It is appropriate to make a general comment on the fact that the history of the United States contains numerous events, ideas, and phenomena so that its establishment as an independent country started a new era of industry and democracy. The paper has covered such issues as the role of the federal government, racial controversy, and a matter of social unification. Overall, distinct progress of the U.S. can be admitted from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the Second World War. The United States created its economic doctrine, solved the problem of racism, and proclaimed a new trend on the American Dream. Simultaneously, the country was facing several problems, the solution to which ended the formation of a contemporary American model of politics, economy, and social structuring.