Reconstruction and the Age of American Imperialism


Reconstruction and the Age of American Imperialism


Over the course of the nineteenth century, the United States matured into a country with interests and influences extending beyond North America. Following the upheaval of the Civil War, Americans tried to reassemble their country and bring the states of the former Confederacy back into the Union. The decade of Reconstruction was characterized by contentious legislation and attempts to integrate African Americans into the political, economic, and social frameworks of the United States. The Second Industrial Revolution reached its height during the second half of the century as well. New innovations in manufacturing, transportation, and communication accelerated the growth of consumer culture and changed the standard of living in the United States. As the nineteenth century drew to a close, the United States became an overseas empire, fighting wars with European powers over territorial influence and acquiring colonial possessions of its own.

In this assessment, you will examine the legal and social changes that took place during Reconstruction in the United States. You will also consider the ways that industrialization and imperialism contributed to the emergence of the United States as an international power during the late nineteenth century.

A. Discuss three major changes in race relations (i.e., laws, amendments, labor arrangements, working conditions, migration patterns, socioeconomic changes) that resulted from Reconstruction (suggested length of 1–2 pages).

B. Describe two consequences of industrialization on American politics and/or society (suggested length of 1–2 pages).

C. Explain the rise of the Progressive movement (suggested length of 1–2 pages) by doing the following:
1. Describe the role of religion and social morality in promoting Progressive reforms.
2. Describe two reform movements that helped to define the Progressive Era.
3. Discuss one impact of the Progressive movement on American politics (i.e., amendments, legislation, diplomatic decisions).

D. Explain (suggested length of 1–2 pages) the role of American imperialism in leading the United States into two of the following conflicts:
• Hawaiian Annexation
• War in the Philippines
• Spanish-American War
• World War I

E. Provide acknowledgement of source information, using in-text citations and references, for quoted, paraphrased, or summarized content.
1. Include the following information when providing source references:
• author
• date
• title
• location of information (e.g., publisher, journal, or website URL)

Textbook information: