How Far Have We Come?
Prepare: Take some time to look back on the information that
you learned in this course and the work that you have done on your Final
Project. Look back at your instructor’s feedback on your thesis on the Reflect: Throughout this course, we have looked at how life has
changed for different groups of Americans since the end of Reconstruction. Think
about the many ways that the United States has made tremendous progress in
realizing equality for all Americans. Where are there still some areas in which
there is more to do? What conclusions have you reached while researching your
Final Project? What specific events support your
Write: Create a post that explains:
- The main conclusion from your Final Project. This is your thesis. Be sure to
take the time to review your instructor’s feedback on your Week Three assignment
and consider any additional information that you have learned. Then, revise your
- At least two events that support your conclusion.
Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Provide specific
examples to support your points. Your references and citations must be formatted
according to APA style
By 1877, the United States had weathered the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Although there was a concerted effort on the part of Northern Republicans and
African Americans to establish social, political, and legal equality for African
Americans, that effort largely failed, leaving African Americans as a distinct
underclass, facing segregation and discrimination in all facets of life.
However, African Americans were not the only group struggling under the weight
of inequality. American women were also fighting to be recognized as full
citizens, pushing for the right to vote (suffrage) as well as legal and social
The last half of the 1800s also saw the rapid expansion of industrial
capitalism. New forms of business arose that allowed a few prominent men to grow
exceptionally wealthy on the backs, so many Americans believed, of exploited
workers and farmers. More than perhaps any other industry, the railroad business
aroused the fears and resentments of many Americans, who deplored its financial
prospects and it’s seemingly corrupt influence over American politics. Native
Americans on the Great Plains suffered greatly from the expansion of railroads,
but farmers in the region, too, saw it as an enemy and organized against it as
the Populist Party in the 1890s.
The economic expansion attracted huge numbers of immigrants. Fleeing poor
economic prospects and violence and hoping to find their fortunes in the United
States, the immigrants instead often found dirty and over-crowded tenements,
dangerous working conditions, and wages that were too low to survive on. The
immigrants of this period differed from those in the past in their countries of
origin as well as in religious beliefs and cultural practices. Viewed with
hostility by many Americans, the new immigrants of the late 19th century also
found themselves struggling against discrimination to establish themselves in
their new homeland.
This week, we’ll look at the challenges faced by African Americans, Native
Americans, women, and immigrants as they worked for equality and the chance to
enjoy the promised opportunities of American society. We will also examine the
Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s, considering the social, cultural, and
economic outcomes of such a radical upheaval.
- O'Malley, M. (2004). Alien menace. Retrieved from
- This article provides images and explanation related to the reception many
immigrants in the late 1800s received. It also discusses the idea of “whiteness”
and how that characterization did or did not apply to these immigrants.
- Jones, R. (Writer), & Hawksworth, R. (Director & Producer). (2001).
The American industrial
revolution [Video file]. Retrieved from
- This film discusses the Industrial Revolution, including the social,
cultural, economic, and political impacts.
- Hudson, L. M. (2008). Entertaining citizenship:
Masculinity and minstrelsy in post-emancipation San Francisco. Journal
of African American History, 93(2), 174-197. Retrieved from the
- This scholarly article looks at the ways that minstrel shows portrayed
African American men and how these portrayals reflected social attitudes related
to race and masculinity in San Francisco in the years after the Civil War. This
is a scholarly secondary source that can be used for the discussion board posts
and for the Final Project. This article can be accessed from the EBSCOhost
database in the Ashford University Library.
- Zylstra, G. D. (2011). Whiteness, freedom, and
technology: The racial struggle over Philadelphia’s streetcars, 1859-1867.
Technology and Culture, 52(4), 678-702. Retrieved from
- This scholarly article provides additional explanation related to the
conflict over race, gender, and ethnicity in the late 180s by focusing on the
streetcars in Philadelphia. This scholarly secondary source can be used as a
source for the discussion boards and for the Final Project. This article can be
accessed from the Project MUSE database in the Ashford University Library.
- Wallenstein, P. (2012). Identity, marriage, and schools: Life along the
color line/s in the era of Plessy v. Ferguson. In S. Cole & N. Ring (Eds.),
The folly of Jim Crow: Rethinking
the segregated South(pp. 32-45). Retrieved from the ebrary database.
- This e-book chapter provides additional information on segregation in the
South at the end of the 19th century, especially in relation to identity,
personal relationships, and education.
- Burns, R. (Producer, Writer, & Director), Ades, L. (Producer), &
Sanders, J. (Writer). (2003). New York, 1865-1898: Sunshine and
shadow [Television series episode]. In R. Burns (Executive producer),
New York: A documentary film by Ric Burns. Retrieved from
- This film provides elaboration and a visual medium through which students
can find additional information on urban life at the end of the 1800s. It can be
used as a source for the discussion boards and for the Final Project.
- Kunhardt, P. W., & Sheppard, S. (Executive producers). (2002). What is Freedom? [Series
episode]. In Freedom: A history of US. Retrieved from
- This film discusses the challenges faced by former slaves in the years just
after the Civil War as they sought to find freedom. It can be used as a source
for the discussion boards and for the Final Project.