Jim Crow System
Jim Crow system in the US were local and national regulations imposing racial segregation in the Southern America (Saperstein and Gullickson 1921-1942). The laws continued being applied up to 1945 after their enactment, which happened subsequent to the Reconstruction period. The system authorized racial segregation across all public facilities and called for a separate but comparable status for the black people in the US; however, the conditions for the blacks were always poorer and underfunded when judged against the ones of the whites. The system commanded the segregation of the public learning institutions, transport, and places, in addition to the segregation of restaurants, wash rooms, and water fountains. The racial segregation hurt the minority groups and although some people were convinced that it was the effective end of a long struggle, the fight had in reality just started, and the Jim Crow system had to be stopped.
Jim Crow system was anchored in the theory of white superiority and posed great cruelty against the blacks in the US. For instance, it led to the politicians ill-treating the African Americans for them to get popularity amid the white electorate. Moreover, newspapers were able to draw a huge number of white readers by highlighting and fabricating criminal activities amid the blacks (Taylor 34-42). Despite having sixteen black members, in 1890, the General Assembly of Louisiana endorsed an Act that sought to hinder white and black people from intermingling on railways. While supporting the regulation, the court stated that public amenities for the whites and blacks might be segregated but equal; shortly, the facilities in the South were separated.
The court system in the United States appeared to seal the fate of the African Americans with its upholding of the Mississippi decree that sought to deny the blacks from exercising their voting rights. Through the authorization of the court, the states in the Southern US started restricting the right to vote to the people that possessed property or had excellent reading ability, to the residents whose grandparents took part in voting, the people with good behaviors, and the ones that paid taxes. Though Louisiana had about 130,000 registered African American voters in 1896, just about 1,300 (1%) were allowed to participate in the passing of the new laws in the state (Saperstein and Gullickson 1921-1942).
Jim Crow system affected every aspect of life for the African Americans, and they were prohibited from visiting many regions and places, which added to their suffering and oppression (Taylor 34-42). For instance, in Richmond, a person could not reside in a given estate unless many of the dwellers were people that such a person could marry (this is afterward, the reality that an individual could not marry another from a different race). In 1914, African Americans were barred from living in six metropolises in Texas. Apart from a curfew in Mobile where the African Americans could not go out of their houses after 10 pm, there were signs marking the sections for the whites and for the blacks that were usually placed on doors, windows, and water fountains, and there were separate parks in Georgia and segregated phone booths in Oklahoma. In South Carolina, the white and African American employees in the textile sectors were prohibited from operating in the same room, or getting in through the same gate; furthermore, the majority of industries could not hire African Americans, and the existing unions passed laws that excluded the blacks.
Racial segregation under the Jim Crow system hurt the minority groups and although there was a belief that it was the successful end of an extensive struggle, the battle had in reality just commenced, and the system had to be discontinued. In 1948, President Truman sought to enhance racial equality by ending most of the Jim Crow laws. When President Truman pushed for the abolishment of the poll tax, unfair voting regulations, and the separate transportation practices to mention a few, different Southern states ditched the Democratic Party in objection. Although President Truman considerably facilitated racial equality, he was not able to eliminate racism in its entirety. Jim Crow system in the US led to segregation across all public facilities; nevertheless, the situations for the blacks were at all times poorer and inadequately financed when judged against the ones for the whites, which necessitated the termination of the system for racial equality.
Saperstein, Aliya, and Aaron Gullickson. “A “Mulatto escape hatch” in the United States? Examining evidence of racial and social mobility during the Jim Crow era.” Demography 50.5 (2013): 1921-1942. Print.
Taylor, Clarence. Black religious intellectuals: The fight for equality from Jim Crow to the 21st century. London: Routledge, 2013. Print.
U.S. Labor Movement
The 1920s saw a decade of rapid expansion for the US capitalism and the self-assurance of the ruling class increased. The best economists affirmed that the period of explosions and slumps was long gone and that the US economy was destined for lasting prosperity. Nonetheless, by the close of the decade, the United States had fallen into the most horrible economic depression ever. By the end of 1932, it was approximated that about 75% of the American population was residing in abject poverty, and more than 30% was unemployed (Lichtenstein 56-63). The Great Depression acted as the major defining moment for the workers’ movement in the US; apart from strengthening and changing the unions, the Great Depression was the period that created the modern labor movement.
Initially, the Great Depression seemed to deplete unions but later the era marked a time for the creation of a strong voice for the employees (Kaufman 501-532). For instance, with the rise in unemployment in the 1930s, the labor movement appeared helpless, incapable of protecting jobs, as well as the level of wages for the workers. However, even prior to the initial clues of economic recuperation, there were indications of the gush of powerful unions. The Great Depression will forever be considered as the supreme hour of the labor movements, a period of tremendous organizing forces, fruitful strikes, increased social optimism, and political drives that transformed labor regulations for the future cohorts. Towards the end of the 1930s, the majority of the US residents came to understand that unions were amid the solutions to indisputable democracy.
The labor movement in the US resorted to politics, searching for regulations to safeguard the extent of salaries and union employments (Lichtenstein 56-63). For instance, the Seattle Central Labor Council took a few months of 1931 in lobbying for a charter review that could have created a compulsory 5-day week for metropolitan workers, thus stringing out scarce jobs. However, voters, concerned about taxation and finances to cater for the unemployed, turned down the proposed changes. While leading the City Council, Harlin started losing the support of the voters for showing much concern regarding union wage levels rather than caring for the thousands of the unemployed individuals.
Before the close of the 1930s, organized labor movement, irrespective of the divisions, became more powerful and benefited from legitimacy than possibly any time before (Kaufman 501-532). During the 1937 Labor Day, different unions embarked on impressive shows where close to 90,000 people carried banners with the affirmation that Seattle was once more a gallant union region. Unions realized tremendous changes in the 1930s as they achieved not only higher remunerations and better conditions at their workplaces but also a new level of democracy. The US residents from diverse backgrounds came to believe that the voting right was not sufficient, and employees’ rights have to make influence at their place of work where employers must not possess supreme command, but the employees also have a justified voice and joint bargaining power.
The Great Depression acted as the strongest defining moment for the labor movement in the US; aside from reinforcing and changing the unions, the period saw the emergence of the modern labor movement. By the close of the 1920s, the United States had fallen into the most terrible economic depression ever, and it was approximated that by 1932, roughly 75% of the American population was residing in miserable poverty, and more than 30% was jobless. At the outset, the Great Depression seemed to ruin unions but afterward the period marked a time of the formation of a strong say for the employees. Before the close of the 1930s, structured labor movement, regardless of the divisions, became more influential and benefited from legality than probably any time before. The United States residents from varied backgrounds came to suppose that the voting right was not adequate, and employees’ rights have to implement changes at their place of work where employers must not hold supreme command but the employees as well have a reasonable voice and joint bargaining power.
Kaufman, Bruce E. “Wage theory, new deal labor policy, and the Great Depression: Were government and unions to blame?” Industrial & Labor Relations Review 65.3 (2012): 501-532. Print.
Lichtenstein, Nelson. State of the union: A century of American labor. Princeton, United States: Princeton University Press, 2013. Print.
The Vietnam War involved North Vietnam, backed by its allies, fighting against South Vietnam, supported by the United States, and took place between 1955 and 1975 (Oliver 117-118). The aim of North Vietnam was to unite Vietnam into one government while the South Vietnam resisted the merger and engaged in warfare with the aid of the United States. The US chose to take part in the war as an effort of its larger objective of restraint, thwarting the increase of Communism. American residents were compelled to take part, and numerous were killed in the warfare that split America between people that were convinced that it was the responsibility of the US to defend other countries and others that believed that it wrong for the United States to engage in the war and that doing so was a costly fault. Irrespective of the contentious viewpoints, it is indubitable that the Vietnam War holds great significance in the history of the United States.
One thing that made the US fail to win a military victory is that the Vietnam War was the first warfare to achieve extensive media coverage and the public was overwhelmed by the view of the killings of their fellow citizens in the battlefield (Oliver 117-118). Therefore, it appeared that the United States was not just engaging in warfare in Vietnam but also internally in trying to regain the lost public support. The sight of friends, relatives, and own troops being killed caused intense public outrage and demonstrations that further weakened the morale of winning the war by the US. Examples encompass in 1965 where Quaker Morrison set himself ablaze outside the pentagon in protest and Martin Luther King speaking out strongly against the battle and led to over 5,000 people demonstrating in opposition to the warfare in 1967.
The Vietcong against whom the United States was fighting practiced guerilla war techniques that overpowered the US efforts (Oliver 117-118). For instance, they undertook the tactic of retreating into the forests to entice the American troops toward the several traps they had set therein, which resulted in injuring and killing many US combatants. The strange landscape coupled with the harsh climate resulted in America losing the war. The Vietcong also intermingled with the civilians and wore similar clothing with the residents, which challenged the US fighters in identifying them amid the innocent Vietnamese. The reality that the southern Vietnamese as well lost confidence in the US troops played a key role in deteriorating the US efforts to overcome the Vietcong.
Unlike the Vietcong, the United States did not receive the backing of many nations while engaging in the warfare (Short 67-72). For instance, Australia was their only supporter in the warfare as the earlier ally in the world War, Britain, chose to remain neutral. Attributable to the supply of over 200,000 guns, 100 million bullets, 4,000 ordinances, and one million shells of artillery by China, in addition to more than 3000 Soviet martial professionals, Vietcong overshadowed the United States. The assistance by China and Soviet Union amid other allies enabled Vietcong to outmatch the United States for troops and available resources.
Irrespective of the controversial perspectives, it is certain that the Vietnam War holds immense significance in the history of the US. The United States engaged in the war as an attempt of its larger objective of control; upsetting the rise of Communism. It failed to win a military conquest in that the Vietnam War was the first battle to attain broad media coverage in the US and the public was grieved by the sight of the killings of their fellow citizens in the battleground. The Vietcong against whom America was fighting performed guerilla war skills that overpowered the US endeavors. Moreover, contrary to Vietcong, the US did not obtain the backing of many nations in the course of the warfare.
Oliver, Kendrick. “No sure victory: Measuring US army effectiveness and progress in the Vietnam War.” Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature 96.1 (2012): 117-118. Print.
Short, Anthony. The origins of the Vietnam War. London: Routledge, 2014. Print.
President Reagan worked strongly not just to cause the fall of the Soviet Union, but more importantly to ensure the development of democracy across the globe (Pemberton 98-103). His economic strategies, anchored in free market trade, reduced taxes, and less invasive government control of private entities, stimulated three decenniums of unparalleled economic transformations and set the basis for military success in the United States where the force of freedom still reckons. The major achievement of President Reagan with respect to the economy of the United States was his dedicated backing of the Federal Reserve that pursued fiscal policies which maintained the rate of inflation low attributable to his unrelenting efforts. Despite President Reagan’s achievements, he had some failures such as minimal concern in terms of foreign relations and entrusted much authority regarding diplomacy to his foot soldiers hence the US suffered such things as being rocked by the Iran-Contra affair. Taken as a whole, the influence of Ronald Reagan on the world during his presidency was indisputably positive.
During his presidency, the failures of Ronald Reagan encompass increased unemployment and weak foreign relations (Pemberton 98-103). For instance, under his leadership, the United States was greatly distressed by a long recession and the highest rate of unemployment from the time of the Great depression. When he was assuming office in 1981, the level of unemployment was 7.5% and this rate rose to 11% in 1982 when 900,000 Americans suffered job loss; unemployment increased even in later years with most jobs that were being created being low paying and hardly enriching the employees. In an effort to flee the Americans that were held hostage in 1986, President Reagan secretly offered money and munitions to Iran, which was employed in strengthening the Nicaragua Contra rebels. With the disclosure of the scandal, although Reagan attempted to play down the occurrence, the US greatly lost reputation.
Regardless of the failure, President Reagan succeeded in ensuring peace across the globe (Mervin 78-80). For instance, in the course of his second term, he made considerable advancements towards the realization of a genuine détente involving the US and the Soviet Union, and thwarted the Cold War. At the conclusion of his presidency in 1989, President Ronald Reagan was honored for making powerful contributions of bringing peace. Among his main concerns as the president was supporting the US armed forces as strengthening the military was tantamount to ensuring the safety of America and making it a force for international peace. For example, in 1983 he sent the US soldiers to Grenada to lead a global force in the liberation of the country from a cruel Marxist despotism.
President Reagan also succeeded in lowering taxation and inflation in the US. The tax cuts that were implemented in 1981 acted as a critical decrease in domestic outlays and were intended to reduce federal revenues in the course of a period of five years amounting to over 700 million dollars. Reagan was successful in the major objective of decreasing the marginal income tax level from 70% at the time of his assuming presidency to 28% at the conclusion of his second term (Mervin 78-80). The “stagflation” and “depression” that negatively affected the American economy from 1973 to 1980 were altered by the economic policies of President Reagan and were converted to a constant period of higher development and reduced degree of inflation. In the course of Reagan’s presidency, the yearly rise in real (inflation-adjusted) outlays were lowered from 4% to 2.5% irrespective of an evident peacetime augment in real security expenditures.
All things considered, the impact of Ronald Reagan across the globe during his presidency was irrefutably positive. President Reagan worked tirelessly to make sure that there was development of democracy internationally. He failed in the concerns of foreign relations and assigned much authority concerning diplomacy to his foot soldiers, which made the US suffer such happenings as being rocked by the Iran-Contra affair. Nonetheless, President Reagan made major achievements as regards the economy of the US through his devoted backing of the Federal Reserve that practiced fiscal policies which sustained the rate of inflation low thanks to his unremitting efforts. He as well succeeded in maintaining peace across the globe such as when he sent the US military to Grenada to lead a global force in the liberation of the nation.
Mervin, David. Ronald Reagan: The American presidency. London: Routledge, 2014. Print.
Pemberton, William E. Exit with honor: The life and presidency of Ronald Reagan. London: Routledge, 2015. Print.