Without any doubt, in the 19s and the first third of the 20th century the American society was facing various changes in the field of economy, legislation system, and social institutions.
At that period, the Progressive Era began. It is the age of progressive reforms, and the war between labor and capital that lasted from1890s to 1920s. This historic period had a big influence on all Americans, since the role of government in American society was considerably transformed. Moreover, this era commenced the application of new reforms which power and legacy continue to persist until modern times. Among the most important turning points of the Progressive Era were the actual inception of the American oil industry in 1901 and the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1906. Furthermore, significant changes were seen in the sphere of legislation. The scholars determined the two most important points of legislation at that time, such as the establishment of the Commerce and Labor in 1903 and the adoption of the Hepburn Act in 1906. The United States Congress created the Department of Commerce and Labor (DOCL) in order to solve the labor-conflict issues. In 1906 the Hepburn Act was approved in order to control the existing railroad rates. This Act significantly improved the working conditions and reduced the level of issues amidst the employers and employees.
Undeniably, the Progressive Era is famous for the shortest one-sided war commonly known as the war between the USA and Spain. This war significantly influenced the establishment of the American Empire. The first struggle between the USA and Spain was organized in Cuba in 1885. During that time Cuba was fighting for independence. The USA supported Cuba due to the fact that the business investments on this island were estimated at more than 50 million dollars. Moreover, the close collaboration with Cuba can bring an annual income around 100 million dollars. The Spanish-American War took place on two fronts such as the Caribbean and the Philippines islands. George Dewey, an admiral of the American Navy, considerably influenced this war, while he won a decisive victory at the Battle of Manila Bay. It is generally true that Yellow Journalism played a significant role during the Spanish American war, since this mass median tool was one of the most important manipulative techniques that rapidly spread the news in the exaggerated manner. Yellow Journalism was characterized by using of following mass median devices, such as titles of the articles in huge print, many pictures, using of misleading headlines, false information, and emotional words. In this war, the USA won a decisive victory, while it had better naval preparation. Consequently, the USA and Spain made peace on the first of October in 1898. After that war Cuba gained independence and the USA became an empire. According to Stromberg (47), this war represented the American leadership in other, non-American territories. Consequently, the USA was determined as the most powerful country extending its leadership from the Caribbean Sea to the Far East.
Indisputably, New Nationalism and New Freedom deeply characterize the political system during the 19s %u2500 the first third of the 20th century. In 1912 the battle for the presidential chair expanded between Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive-Republican) and Woodrow Wilson (Democrat). New Nationalism was adopted by Theodore Roosevelt who pointed out the vitality of the following facts:
- increase of government power in the fields of economy and social system;
- adoption of labor, currency, and tariff reforms;
- regulation of property;
- adoption of federal child labor law and wage law for women.
On the contrary, Woodrow Wilson adopted his new political campaign, commonly known as New Freedom that included the significant changes in entrepreneurship, the destruction of monopoly, and the establishment of un-monopolized markets.
Undoubtedly, in the 19th century the rise of industrialization, the development in economic, social, and political spheres considerably influenced the generally accepted gender roles of men and women. At that time, women were responsible for housekeeping and raising their children, while men were busy at their workplaces. It is clearly seen that the original gender roles were unchanged until the 19th: women assumed the role of mothers, while men assumed the role of breadwinner. On the geographical map, women’s suffrage was mostly located in the western frontier states. It can be explicated by the fact that the western states were the first to approve women’s right to vote. Moreover, in the west, the population was homogeneous, which significantly precipitated the implementation of women’s rights to vote. On the contrary, the eastern and the southern states were confident that women’s suffrage will dramatically influence the institute of family, and reduce the level of ethics and morality in the society. Furthermore, they proclaimed that if women are allowed to participate in the process of legislation and election, the divorce rate will considerably grow. Consequently, the end of hot debate about women’s suffrage amidst the western, eastern, and southern states were put at end after the ratification of the nineteenth Amendment on August 18, 1920. At that time, women gained the rights to vote (Bridget, 4).
In the framework of analyzing the historical period from the 19s to the first third of the 20th in the history of the USA, it is highly recommended to investigate poor life conditions of the American society. In this case, a novel “The Jungle” written by Upton Sinclair depicts considerable issues in the American society in 1906. Upton Sinclair deeply analyzed and demonstrated in his novel the absence of social programs, poverty, the poor life and working conditions, and the big fault in the American meatpacking industry. Furthermore, in this novel the readers can find detailed information about the terrible conditions of life in which working-class immigrants were forced to live.
One of the turning points during the first third of the 20th century was the announcement of using of unrestricted submarine by Germany. Historically, it is thought that the application of unrestricted submarine considerably influenced the participation of the USA in the World War One. By using unrestricted submarine, Germany planned that their ferocity would suppress the USA to enter the war. During the navy battles between the USA and Germany in 1917, Germany understood its own fault in the application of unrestricted submarine, since the navy military forces of the USA were mush stronger. On April 6th, 1917 USA officially entered the war.
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Another turning point during the first third of the 20th century is characterized by the establishment of the War Industries Board in July 1917. This American government agency had the aim to provide American Allies with the necessary high-developed military technologies during the World War One. Furthermore, this agency conducted the psychological meeting for people who were looking for a job. Consequently, this organization is evaluated as the most powerful agency that provided USA army with the best services for the war effort (Leuchtenburg, 13).
Moreover, the establishment of the National War Labor Board in April 1918 considerably ameliorated the situation during the war, since the main purpose of this organization was to predict the labor-management issues during the World War II. The establishment of the National War Labor Board was made during the Presidency of William Howard Taft. The main aim of this agency was to prevent any possible strikes that could occur during the war and could influence the deceleration of production of military industry. The twelve representatives of this organization controlled the maintenance to the basic rules between the employees and the workers in order to ensure military productivity and labor reliability during the war.
Furthermore, the period from the 19s to the first third of the 20th century is remarkable for the Great Migration that lasted from 1917 to 1970. During these years, almost 6 million people migrated from the South to the North of the USA. The main causes of the migration were terrible conditions of life for the black people, immigrants, and the Irish communities. The Great Migration considerably influenced the flow of events during the World War One, since the black people were recruited in hard industry in order to provide the American army and its Allies with the military equipment. Historians pointed out that this migration significantly increased the level of military productivity during the World War One.
Additionally, the announcement of the Fourteen Points in July 1918 by President Wilson had an impact on the global collaboration between the USA and its European Allies. The Fourteen Points consisted of the following steps, such as opening of international diplomacy, nationwide freedom of the seas, removal of economic barriers, reduction of military technologies, regulations of colonial claims, subjugation of militant Russian territories, safekeeping of Belgian sovereignty, renewal of the French territory, reestablishment of Italian barriers, control of Turkey, establishment of an independency of Poland, and conclusion of the nationwide treaty between the USA and its Allies.
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Historically, the Roaring Twenties is the period that lasted during the Progressive Era in the USA. This age was associated with the rise of jazz and freedom of American society. Moreover, a “new breed” of Western women was born, since the World War One significantly influenced the increase of transatlantic cultural exchange. At that time, women were wearing short skirts and makeup, smoking, having sex in a casual manner without a fear to be punished. The Roaring Twenties introduced the changes in the gender roles, since the Victorian women were characterized by the strict adjustments to the rules of religion and society. On the contrary, the flappers ignored all the rules and behaved in their own free manner, since women gained the right to vote and to express their own thoughts that could be quite opposite to men’s opinion. Consequently, the feministic movements were associated with the advent of the flappers. Undeniably, during the first third of the 20th century, the youth culture was considerably changed, due to the fact that the adolescences felt that they could behave in their own way, without the maintenance to their parent’s control. This period is characterized by the rise of the various subcultures, such as the Bloomsbury group, the hobbyists, and the futuristic movements. At that time, the youth was “running wild” demonstrating an excessive drinking level in the public places and carring a gun.
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During the first third of the 20th century, the quality of life in the USA was considerably increased, due to the fact that the average level of consumption had grown. This era is also characterized as the period of mass consumption, since the level of poverty was lowered to a great extent. Furthermore, the possibility of getting a credit increased, thus the purchasing power extended its borders. At that time, the first hypermarkets appeared.
Moreover, in 1866 the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was established and aimed to constitute the supremacy of white people. Moreover, this organization is associated with the terroristic organizations that planned to “clean” the pure American nation from the black people and immigrants. The KKK consisted of the tree periods, such as 1870, 1920, and 1946. During its radical movements, the KKK applied the violent methods of protecting the white race, by bombing black churches, organizations, and schools (Howarth, 45).
Unfortunately, the Roaring Twentieth is also famous for the American stock market crash that happened in on October 29, 1929. The scientists pointed out three major events of the great market crash, known as the Black Thursday (on October 24, 929), the Black Monday (on October 29, 1929), and the Black Tuesday (on October 29, 1929). The Black Tuesday is also known as the Wall Street Market Crash. Moreover, the Roaring twentieth is associated with economic contraction that is characterized by the rapid decrease in gross domestic products. Furthermore, before the Great Depression, the American society witnessed the greatest decline in the economic and social spheres. However, during that damnable time, Hoover’s administration did not provide any financial reassurance. Hoover tried to ameliorate the economic situation by the establishment of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1932. The main purpose of this organization was to reconstruct war plants, to make loans to foreign governments, and to adopt fully-fledged plans in order to protect the USA against destructive consequences of war. However, Hoover’s administration did not achieve their prime goals. This dramatic economic decline lasted until the adoption of the Square Deal by a new President Roosevelt. The beginning of the 20th century is characterized by the high unemployment rate (approximately 26%), the shortage of social insurance, and bank deposits. In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt introduced a new government-based policy known as the Square Deal. According to the definition, the Square Deal is a new model of government successful teamwork that was directed to the improvement of life standards. In public, the Square Deal is associated with the system of the three C’s including control of the teamwork, consumer protection, and conservation laws. Undoubtedly the market crash and Roosevelt’s Square Deal influenced the government to work for citizens in need. The core goal of government was to provide effective and high-qualified social support to the needy (Sage, 10). Nowadays, the USA is famous for the desirable, expected, and professional government involvement in the social and economic life of the country.
In 1931, the terrible changes were seen in ecological sphere. This year is associated with the Dust Bowl. During that time, strong dust storms caused tremendous ecological and agricultural issues. The government could not take any appropriate measure in order to prevent erosion. Geographically, the Dust Bowl extended its borders on the southern territory of the USA. This period of severe drought lasted eight years from 1932 to 1939. The turning point to stop the continuation of drought was seen in 1938 when the government adopted a new program to replant the territory that was harmed by drought. According to this policy, the government got a success in saving approximately 65% of droughty places (Henderson, & Turner, 65).
All in all, the impact of the period that lasted from the 19s %u2500 the first third of the 20th in the USA is tremendous since during that time, women gained the same rights as men in the legal framework. Moreover, the USA expended its imperialistic power from the Caribbean Sea to the Far East. Due to the development in the American oil industry in 1901, the USA significantly improved the international collaboration. Furthermore, during the Progressive Era, the rights of Afro-American people were considerably ameliorated since the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was established. Finally, in this age, the government developed a fully-fledged policy focusing on the improvement of the working conditions, life standards, and financial revival in the USA.