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Social Tension in Post-civil War America

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The American War started in 1961 and ended in 1965. The effects of the war were severe, and the Americans had to correct its aftermath, and the period after the war has come to be known as the Reconstruction Era. It was followed by economic prosperity with increased immigration into the country in the Gilded Era. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the progressive era emerged in the country where leaders believed in the need to change the society through reforms. The three ages were characterized by social tension occasioned by economic conflict and competition as well as the different reform agendas pushed by the Populists and the Progressives, but all Americans including the conservatives and liberals reluctantly joined the Progressive movements that emerged.

The fifty years after the Civil War were dominated by social tension due to the economic conflicts that emerged after the civil war. The government rooted for capitalism whereas other leaders were against such moves. Hofstadter was an excellent critique of capitalism and believed that it exploited the poor, and he represents a class of historians who advocated for communism in the country. As a result, the economic activities in the state created a rift between those opposed to capitalism and those in support of it. There was a formation of anti-capitalist movement lead by consensus historians who believed there was a middle point between everything. Those who thought in a communist market also had tension among themselves as most individuals including Hofstadter though it was undemocratic. The prevailing economic freedom in the Post-Civil War America created social tension.

The defeat of the Confederate states at the end of the Civil War resulted in competition between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Democrats were viewed as liberal and soft-minded while the Republicans were radical and required rapid response to the societal problem. The political competition left the society divided, and the Republicans appealed to the Americans at the time as people needed swift action to rebuild the nation and establish its growth. Historians also realigned based on the changes in society. Some conservative individuals were slow to reforms and preferred the country to rule as it was since its formation. Conversely, another group of the liberals was open to changes that would enhance the prosperity of the Americans. The different approaches on how to govern the US after the Civil War, resulted in tension in the society.

The emergence of the Populists followed the aftermath of the Civil War in America and later the Progressives, and each group had its agenda. The Populists were a group of leaders who focused in appealing to masses. The group was popular after the war as the locals believed its leaders understood their plights. The leaders of the Populists aligned themselves to the demand of the majority and acted in the interests of the majority. The group, however, did not address the challenges that faced the North and the South and as a result, it left the minority isolated. Conversely, Progressives started sprouting in the 1890s, and they became a strong movement at the start of the 20th century. The group believed in changing society through reforms. It empowered the historically discriminated such as women as it advocated for their voting rights. The Populists leaders were concerned with being followed by large masses while the Progressives believed in a better America where everybody lives a worthy life.

The rise of the Progressives was an awake up call to all Americans. At the end of Gilded era America had become a powerful nation, and land for all. Many migrants moved into the country to work in the industries and firms. It was evident that the traditional norms of the country had changed. For instance, women became a crucial part of the voting bloc in the twentieth century. Significant inventions were made in the late nineteenth century. As a result, it was not difficult for the conservatives to be swayed by the Progressives. They understood a time for change had come, and it would go on whether they like it or not. The conservatives joined the Progressive movements to make sure that they protect the interests of the Americans in the era where immigrants were filling the country. Conversely, the liberals willing joined the progressive movements as they were open to any idea and they adopt it if genuine. The liberals became the face of the progressive, and they instituted reforms that addressed the needs of the Americans.

The American Civil War acted as a turning point to all American people. It started the process of rebuilding a great American for all and not just for a few. However, the next fifty years after the war was marked by social tension as there were different groups with opposing views. The opinions ranged from economic conflicts to political competition. The late nineteenth century and the early 20th century was characterized by three eras where America was rebuilt, made to prosper economically and socially, and reforms instituted to eradicate discrimination. At the start of the twentieth century, all Americans had acknowledged the Progressives, and the liberals and conservatives joined the movement.

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Social Tension In Post-Civil War America. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from
“Social Tension In Post-Civil War America.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022,
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