American Rights between 1865 and Today
In your essay analyze how the definition of what it means to be \”American\” and the rights of \”Americans\” changed between 1865 and today.
Must be in Rule of Three format with a introduction and strong thesis statement, 3 paragraphs of the body (each with their own thesis statement – one for each of the three key points of your overall thesis), and conclusion. So a minimum of 5 paragraphs.
This is a fact based essay, you must provide specific and detailed evidence for your hypotheses.
You must utilize a minimum of three primary sources from the assigned materials (primary sources posted in the Blackboard course module OR found under the primary source section of each chapter in American Yawp only; you may not utilize sources linked to in the reference section of American Yawp) as evidence in your essay
You must utilize a minimum of three secondary sources from the assigned materials as evidence in your essay
You may only use materials assigned in this course for your essay (we have vetted all the materials utilized in this course, other materials may not be appropriate or accurate). If you use outside sources your grade will be docked.
DO NOT QUOTE sources, paraphrase in your own words and cite
You must consider ethics/ethical decision making in this essay
Don\’t forget about historical geography, where something takes place matters and it may be important to your argument.
You must use Turabian citation style in this essay; all citations must be footnote style citations (no parenthetical cites allowed, no endnotes/works cited at the end, you need footnotes). Be sure to review how to properly cite a primary source that may be contained in another work and be sure to use page numbers where possible.
12 pt type, 1 inch margins, double-spaced
American Rights between 1865 and Today
The term American means relating or belonging to the United States. The definition of the term American varies based on the historical, geographical and political context. The period before and after 1865 redefined the lives of Americans and the term American. One of the reasons for redefining the American concept changed since Americans slaves were to be adopted as citizens. The Thirteenth Amendment led to the end of the slavery trade. Slaves were thus freed and given the opportunity to become citizens of America. When the former slaves were given the opportunity to work and vote, there were differences in perspectives between the North and Southern States. However, the Congress redefined the American concept through the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendment, they gave equal rights to former slaves giving them an opportunity to vote regardless of their former state as slaves.
The reconstruction period continued after 1865, but in 1877, it came to an end after a series of Civil Rights cases. The Civil Rights cases advocated against the equal rights for all including the former slaves. Therefore, the rights of the former slaves were curtailed with the intention of fostering Native Americans’ supremacy . It was also intended to foster plantation farming. For example, Plessy v. Ferguson, the U.S. ruled that Americans the whites and former slaves had the rights for equal access to public facilities, but they were to use them differently . The ruling fostered racial segregation and discrimination, which would later agitate the blacks leading to a revolution. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment led to focus on women rights including their right to vote . Additionally, immigrants were not given equal rights to access to public facilities. They were also discriminated in workplaces or allocation of houses. Therefore, the period after 1865 comprised of the fall and rise of Civil Rights that would favor the former slaves or immigrants.
During emancipation and reconstruction, the American slaves marched in thousands to convince Abraham Lincoln that they would be of great help to him. Lincoln was convinced that he would use the opportunity for the good of the country. Therefore, he enlisted approximately 2,000 former slaves were enlisted as soldiers . However, Lincoln was feeling he needed to come to the aid of former slaves but feared the forces against the idea . He also feared more states would away from their agreement pact. His intentions for free the slaves or immigrants from oppression were ethical due to the increased number of cases of brutal treatment of slaves . Additionally, it was not ethical since slaves were not given equal rights with the whites . During this period, former slaves or immigrants were not regarded as Americans. The concept of Americans only applied to whites.
The slaves and immigrants were oppressed since they were not given equal opportunities or equal access to public facilities. The oppression led to the Civil Rights Movement that pushed for equal rights for all people. The champions of the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-1900s argued that all people are created equal and thus it was not justifiable for some to be denied some rights. The South was mainly known for severe racism that only upholds the whites as Americans and the rest as slaves . For example, in 1964 former president Johnson signed into law legislation introduced by former president Lincoln before his assassination . The Civil Rights law required all people to be given equal employment opportunities for all people despite being white or black.
The decision by former president Johnson was ethical decision making since it favored the slaves who were oppressed for a long time. The slaves did not have an opportunity to vote. For example, Reverend, Bishop Martin Luther King Junior initiated a movement for the Civil Rights that sought to provide equal rights for all . The voter literary tests were also scrapped off. On the other hand, the civil rights movement had tragic movement after the ‘Bloody Sunday.’ The protests led to deaths of hundreds of protesters who were killed by extra use of force. For example, Reverend, Bishop Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated leading to more push for civil rights. After the death of Luther King, the Housing Act was signed into law leading to the elimination of housing based on certain characteristics . Today, the concept of Americans has changed to incorporate all the people living in the United States and equal rights for all.
The decisions made during the American Civil War triggered various changes that were needed to favor the slaves. They were ethical decisions since it was no longer ethical to oppress a slave. Today, the concept has changed over the years since it has now led to the adoption of a new concept of Americans. For example, in 2008, the country elected its first black president Barrack Obama. The gesture was important since it shows that people had a transformed mind. In the new concept, all people living in the United States now became Americans. Therefore, the transformation of activities was helpful since they eliminated slavery and oppression of black people.
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Calomiris, Charles W., and Jonathan Pritchett. “Betting on secession: Quantifying political events surrounding slavery and the civil war.” American Economic Review 106, no. 1 (2016): 1-23.
Graff, G. (2016). Post Civil War African American History: Brief Periods of Triumph, and Then Despair. Journal of psychohistory, 43(4).
Hanlon, W. Walker. “Temporary shocks and persistent effects in urban economies: Evidence from British cities after the US Civil War.” Review of Economics and Statistics 99, no. 1 (2017): 67-79.
Ramos, Raúl A. “The Southern Exodus to Mexico: Migration across the Borderlands after the American Civil War.” (2018): 541-542.4
Barber, E. Susan, and Charles F. Ritter. “Dangerous liaisons: Working women and sexual justice in the American Civil War.” European journal of American studies 10, no. 10-1 (2015).