US history since 1865-1920

US HISTORY SINCE 1865-1920 6

The period between 1865 and 1920 has had a great impact in shapingthe America that we see today. Issues such as the equal rights forall, urbanization and the industrialization that America enjoys todayare as a result of major events that occurred in this period andchanged the history of America. After the civil war, the UnitedStates was determined to rebuild itself including the southernregions which were largely occupied by the slaves. The only way thatAmerica could have rebuilt itself would have been throughindustrialization and incorporation of all the people regardless oftheir race or status (Klose &amp Lader, 2012). The reconstructionperiod was one of the defining moments in the American history. Thereconstruction process led to the 14th amendment whichguaranteed the black slaves some rights even though they were stilldenied the right to vote. Another defining moment in American historywas the construction of the first major transcontinental railroad in1869. This was such a major event since it would revolutionize theindustrialization process. The “War to End All Wars” between 1914and 1918 was a defining moment in the history of the United States.

The reconstruction period which occurred after the civil war was adefining moment in the history of the United States. Thereconstruction took place between 1865 and 1876 and there were majorchanges that occurred and whose effects are felt till today. This wasa period when the country was picking itself up from the effects ofthe war. The industrialization process was picking up slowly andefforts were being made to bring about equal rights and protectionsfor all the people regardless of their race or gender (Klose &ampLader, 2012). The reconstruction process led the country intoeconomic growth due to the development of the industries. There werenumerous employment opportunities in the northern towns such asChicago and New York. However, one of the major breakthroughsassociated with the reconstruction process is the signing of the 14thamendment which guaranteed the black slaves in the south some rights.The amendment, which was adopted in 1868, addressed variousprotection rights for the slaves after the civil war. It is essentialto note that this was the beginning of a long journey that the blackAmericans took towards fighting for their rights and theirintegration into the society. The great migration of the blacks fromthe southern regions towards the northern towns such as New York wastriggered by the amendment and reconstruction process which led tothe development of industries (Klose &amp Lader, 2012). Theindustries required employees and the black Americans saw this as anopportunity for them to earn a living. It is vital to note that theblack Americans are enjoying various rights just as the whites due tothe efforts that were made towards the adoption of the 14thamendment. In other words, due to reconstruction process, the 14thamendment was adopted and this became a turning point in the historyof equal rights for all in the United States.

Another major defining moment in the history of the US between 1865and 1920 was the construction of the transcontinental railroad whichwas completed in 1869. The central pacific and the union pacificrailroads were the major railroads that changed the history of theAmerican transportation system. The central pacific railroad startedin San Francisco while the union pacific railroad started in Omahathrough Nebraska. The two railroads would finally meet at Promontory,Utah in 1869 marking the completion of their construction. Therailroads were constructed by Chinese and Irish immigrants who dugthrough mountains and valleys to construct the railroads (Klose &ampLader, 2012). The completion of these railroads was a defining momentfor the American transportation system. The railroads reduced thecost of transport by over 60% and therefore enhanced theindustrialization process. The railroad hastened the economic growthof the country. It can be argued that the economic position that thecountry occupies today was partly influenced by the development ofthe railroad. It is also evident that the railroad opened updifferent places and eased the transportation of goods from theindustries to other locations and cities. The railroads providedemployment for thousands of people across the country. Majority ofthe workers on the railroads were black Americans. It is, however,essential to note that the deplorable working conditions prompted theworkers to strike and seek better working conditions.

The “War to End All Wars” was yet another defining moment inAmerican history. The war resulted in the death of millions of peopleand the numerous people were injured. It is essential to note thatAmerica was neutral and was not involved in the war until 1918 whenits vessels were drowned by the Germans and President Wilson declaredwar against Germany. The war changed America and the world forever.America sent its troops to Germany and there were new war strategiesthat were deployed during the war such as chemical weapons and newaircrafts. As a result, this changed the image of warfare since then.It is essential to note that the debate on chemical weapons rangestill today (Klose &amp Lader, 2012). The war severely affected thereconstruction process also changed the image that people hadregarding women. The wives to the soldiers who were left behind tookup some duties that were previously done by men and therefore startedthe universal suffrage movements and demands. It was apparently clearthat women had equal powers just as men and they would do whatevermen would do. This was a critical aspect as it ensured that womenwere respected in the society (Klose &amp Lader, 2012). The end ofthe war triggered the start of the women rights movements whichculminated in the adoption of the universal suffrage. Women weregranted the right to vote. It cannot be doubted that the rights thatwomen enjoy today and the positions they hold are as a result of themovements that started after the war.

In conclusion, it is clear that the period between 1865 and 1920 wasa great period that put America on the world map and that encouragedthe drive of the equal rights amendments that Americans enjoy today.There were numerous events that occurred during the era and thatremain to be defining moments in history. The completion of the greatrailroad opened up the transport system and hastened the economicgrowth for the country. Additionally, the railroad created numerousemployment opportunities. The war of 1918 was also a defining momentas it encouraged the women rights movement that resulted in theuniversal suffrage (Klose &amp Lader, 2012). The war also changedthe strategies that countries used in the war such as chemicalweapons. Lastly, the reconstruction process and the 14thamendment were defining moments in the history of the United States.The black community started to enjoy some freedoms as a result of thereconstruction process and the 14th amendment.


Klose, N., &amp Lader, C. (2012).&nbspUnited States history,since 1865. Hauppauge, N.Y: Barron`s.