Background: Many Americans like to imagine the history of their nation as one of continual progress. While acknowledging that not all persons and groups enjoyed equal rights at all times, Americans often take it for granted that American history moves in only one direction: toward greater rights, greater freedom, and greater equality. However, from roughly 1867 to 1875, African Americans enjoyed far more political influence and equal rights than they ever had before, or ever would again, until the end of the modern Civil Rights Movement almost a century later. In addition to the disturbance in the social hierarchy created by the end of slavery, the nation experienced the influx of huge numbers of immigrants during the last half of the 1800s, many of whom were viewed by the American population as different and inferior to earlier waves of immigrants. Adding to concerns about social order was the push for women’s suffrage that arose after Civil War. These factors came together to create a threat to White male supremacy and combined to create a period characterized by conflict over race, ethnicity, and gender.
Review the following sources about the differences between primary and secondary sources:
- Entertaining Citizenship: Masculinity and Minstrelsy in Post-Emancipation San Francisco
- Identity, Marriage, and Schools: Life along the Color Line/s in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson
- Whiteness, Freedom, and Technology: The Racial Struggle Over Philadelphia’s Streetcars, 1859-1867
Instructions: Explore the Alien Menace exhibit thoroughly, viewing all of the links. You are not required to answer the questions on the website, but consider them. Watch What is Freedom?—Freedom: A History of US from the Films on Demand database. Based on Chapter 1 in your textbook, the required exhibit, and the film, explain
- Why the last half of the 1800s was a time of conflict over the meanings of citizenship, race, and gender.
- How African Americans, White Americans, and immigrants worked to secure their places in the social and political hierarchy.
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 as outlined by the Ashford Writing Center. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Thanks