Sample Essay on Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties

Civil liberties protections control the government by defining the course of actions in which the ability of the government to impede is restricted. The story of the United States from 1865 to the present is a noteworthy account of triumph and tragedy, despair and hope (Gillam, 2008). The United States politically withdrew from the world, a virtual island in the middle of two great oceans. As the 20th century advanced, it dominated the world and became a beacon of egalitarianism. Despite the long entrenched history of inequality in America, it elected an African American president in 2008. During these times, women also emerged from the shadows of political lockdown to earn the right to vote and enjoy equality and professional success.

This paper seeks to analyze the activities of civil liberties and the other events after 1865 to date (Bowels, 2011).
The Unfinished Revolution, Reconstruction (1865-1877)

Reconstruction Issues of Democrat and Republican was a comparatively new one in this epoch, and the parties did not essentially advocate for particular values that they hold today. In 1832, the Democratic Party substituted the previous Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican Party and carried out the first presidential nomination convention. In 1854, the Republican Party was coined from an inspiration for eradication or abolishment of slavery. This resulted into political pressure in America. It also happens with a majority of those from the South aligning with the Democratic Party and eradicators in the North with the Republican Party. The attempts to include the former slaves into the American economy and society, while also welcoming back the southern states that had separated and fought against the union was a significant role (Henerson, 2009)

The killing of Abraham Lincoln occurred when he sided more with the reasonable view of Reconstruction. He won the presidential elections in 1864, just a year before the Civil War was terminated (McPherson, 2003). Despite Lincoln’s victory, he was not the one who shaped the Reconstruction era. Booth and his pro-Confederate co-conspirators were in great anticipation for capturing the presidency. Instead, with his concealed derringer pistol, Booth sneaked into Lincoln’s theatre box and shot him at the back of the head. Booth’s anger was agitated by the desire of Abraham Lincoln to provide the unrestrained slaves with voting rights. Lincoln was unconscious after the gunshot and succumbed the following day. Union militaries finally tracked Booth down and killed him on April 26th. The leadership for Reconstruction was then passed on to Lincoln’s vice, Andrew Johnson (Kauffman, 2004).

Agrarian Revolt and Crisis in the 1890s   

The year 1893 was filled with remarkable contrasts between technological optimism and economic catastrophe. In May, over twenty million people travelled to Chicago to visit the world’s fair known as the Columbian Exhibition. It marked the four hundredth anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s cruise to America. The fair represented the business industry as the pillar of the country. President Grover Cleveland began the ceremonies in a dramatic fashion when, at the touch of the telegraph button, the ten thousand bright lights, leading visitors through vast displays of technological wonders like typewriters, refrigerators and watches. Although it was a breathtaking splendor, the fantasy of the exposition did not match the realities of life in America (Salvatore, Schneirov & Stromquist, 1999).

Suffrage and Segregation (1900 to 1920)

By most measures, the US was a beacon of democracy for the world, represented by the torch of its new Statue of Proofreading-EditingLiberty instilled in 1886. However, significant challenges lurked under the surface, especially with regards to the racial and gender equality of African Americans and women. As seen, the hopes shared by African Americans after their release from slavery soon dissipated by the end of the 19th century. The Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 legalized racism in the country through its proclamation that separate but equal facilities for the races were fair and just. Women and African Americans faced social turmoil in the first decades of 20th century since the ways through which the legal system and the cultural values were designed left them out from active participation in issues of the nation that was considered as home of democracy and freedom (Lee and Mark Twain Media, 2006).

Savage Peace

This was exactly how the fundamental decades from 1900 to 1919 finished with a savage peace that left the country mired in battle almost all over the place it operated. However, looking back at the previous 20 years, it was clear that the nation had undergone significant transformation in many ways. Some of these changes were for the better while others for worse. The US established itself as an empire with its imperialistic drives in Alaska and Hawaii, and its war with Spain. Several reform leaders in the country, also known as Progressives tried to make the nation a better place through their emphasis on democracy, efficiency, regulation, social justice and prohibition. While they achieved some notable successes like prohibition and the right for women to take part in voting, the social justice was a failure in enhancing the plight of African Americans (Hagedorn, 2007).

In conclusion, covering most of these complications were melodramatic new progresses in the world of technology. These include the likes of the silent birth of the computer era, the start of the automobile revolution, and the departure of Americans into the blues with the first airlifts. Most of the new technologies emerged as a result of World War I, where mechanical developments enabled the creation of new ways for nations to kill one another. Finally, from these battles was a savage peace in America with the spread of fears on various fronts, including race, communism, anarchy and terrorism.

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Bowels, M. D. (2011). American History 1865-Present: End of Isolation. US: American Military University.

Gillam, S. (2008). Civil liberties. Edina: ABDO Pub. Co.

Hagedorn, A. (2007). Savage peace: hope and fear in America, 1919. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Henerson, S. (2009). Aspects of American history. London: Routledge.

Lee, G. R., & Mark Twain Media. (2006). U. S. history: people and events 1865-present. Lewistown: mark Twain Media.

Salvatore, N., Schneirov, R., & Stromquist, S. (1999). The Pullman Strike and the crisis of the 1890: essays on labor and politics. Urbana: University of Illinois 1999.

Steers, E. (2001). Blood on the moon. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

The Learning Network (2012, January 31). Jan. 31, 1865: House Passes 13th Amendment, Abolishing Slavery. The New York Times, pp. F1, F5.