Politics of Gender
- How did the politics of gender change in the 1910s and the 1920s? What movements or trends were significant in bringing about these changes? What sort of limits and resistance did these movements and trends encounter?
Women were sidelined in the political field. They were disallowed to participate in voting, contesting or holding government/public offices and serving as judges. The discrimination was so intense that women shied away from contesting for political seat or fighting for the rights. However, during the early 20th century women in America formed an activist group that would see their political ambitions moves to a higher level. There were two major waves that changed women status in the community. The first wave involved suffrage movement that stood for equal rights between genders. The second wave came as a result of new culture and freedom. Women wore short skirt as well as cut their hair short. Before the movements, females were treated as men’s property. They were not separate from their husbands. This meant that they would not be sued or sues anybody in a court of law. The political, social, and economic rights for women were championed through these movements. The workers unions also joined women in demanding for better terms of employment. Women could not own property. This did not only make them poor but also unable to face the challenges. The resistance by men and the government towards women intensified as the activists increased their demands for equal treatments. Male chauvinism that was widely spread amongst Americans, forced some of the women to back down on their mission to fight for freedom. They could not support women movement that intended to increase women population in these offices. They would therefore discriminate against women in offices.
- What does Bartolomeo Vanzetti identify as the reasons for his conviction? How does this reflect social and political trends in the 1920s?
Vanzetti was accused of murder that happened during a robbery at Slater and Morrill Company. This company concentrated on the manufactures of shoes. The guard who was on duty at the material day is believed to have been murdered by the accused. This cases gained popularity after a judge presiding over the case constantly declined the use of recanted testimonies. The reasons for the conviction are as follows. First, the accused was affiliated to the anarchist movement. This group was against the government oppressive and violent ruling. Therefore, citizens were not free to express their feelings and views or challenge the government in its endeavor to deliver services to the people. Second, Luigi Galleani group was believed to be an organization formed by people determined to bring about a revolution through violence. Therefore, Vanzetti being a member was treated as an enemy of the American government, which advocated for the rule of law and adherence to the set standards. Moreover, he championed for equal opportunities culminating from the manner in which immigrants were treated.
His conviction had an impact on the social outcry and demand for a democratic society. In addition, the social struggles that happened between individual and government were evident through the public outcry after the two accused persons were electrocuted. The society was also opposed to the war that was just about to erupt. Women and workers needed freedom in performing their duties as well as better conditions. Through his actions, Vanzetti represented the dreams and aspirations of many Americans.
- How were the First New Deal and the Second New Deal similar? How were they different? Use specific examples of the initiatives undertaken in each phase.
The first new deal was established by President Roosevelt to counteract the effects of the great depression. Banks and other financial institutions had collapsed hence leaving the population at a disadvantaged state. People lost their jobs and the public outcry rose. Three acts were passed by the congress to oversee the implementation of the president’s initiative. They included Agricultural Adjustment Act, National Industrial Recovery Act and Tennessee Valley Authority Act. The second new deal came into beings after the first deal failed to oversee the end of depression. Therefore, government engaged in mass recruitment of unemployed citizens. These two deals were similar in that both were geared at creating employment opportunities for the population. In addition, laws were passed by the congress to strengthen the president’s move towards job creation. On the contrary, these laws differed in that the first deal intended to promote businesses so that the economy could regain its lost glory. This would see the economy grow while the rate of employment increases. The second attempt to restore order in the country concentrated on jobs. Workers were persuaded to join unions tasked with negotiations for better working conditions and remunerations. This move angered business owners and employers. For example, in the year 1935, the government adopted the social security act to improve the pension plans for Americans. Compensation for families that were not well up was also included in this act.
- How did William Graham Sumner justify Social Darwinism? How was this ideology used in relation to Gilded Age economics?
Summer justified social Darwinism by separating the two sides of human beings. A man is made up of the biological and social side. The biological aspects look at the relationships between him/her and the nature. Human beings are in constant struggle for food. They do this in order to survive. The second aspect involves the relationship that exists between one man and the other. It therefore means that human beings were limited in terms of the survival for the fittest. In addition, individuals displayed diverse abilities and capacities to adapt to the environment. This insinuates that those individual with better capabilities and traits would succeed and gain power over others. In addition, people with poor or no traits would remain in abject poverty. Therefore, he criticized government interference into the affairs of the society. This is because the social setup was built on accounts of survival and adaptation to the natural environment. Therefore, the establishment of rights for human beings by government would not solve the struggle for existence and liberty.
This ideology was utilized during the gilded age economy, which was characterized by great prosperity for the American industries. This happened after the war ended and normalcy restored in the community. People like John D. Rockefeller and J. Pierpont Morgan gained power due to their ability to utilize their social traits. Their success was attributed to the ability to maneuver others to work for them.
- What were the main complaints of farmers in this time period? How did they lead to the rise of the Populists?
The complaints of farmers during the mild age are that they earned very little from the sales of their products, inputs were costly and massive drought. Prices of cotton in the world market dropped with increased production from other areas; an action that rendered the farming of cotton unattractive. Cotton and other raw material were exported to Europe for their industries. When Europe developed and enhanced its local production, less cotton was demanded from outside an action that affected local industries in America. Drought engulfed the southern part of the country as well as the wheat fields. Therefore, production went down and companies experienced low supply of raw materials. The outputs were sold at higher prices hence benefiting the owners of these processing companies. In addition, farmers were greatly indebted because they were unable to pay loans. The reason behind this is that financial collapse experienced in the country affected the farming activities.
The rise of the Populist Party emerged at a time when farmers were suffering from the negative effects of the great depression that took place in the United States. Farmers were frustrated by the escalation of debt hence they supported their own candidate to head the party. The party won senatorial seat at Kansas. Several farmers’ alliances merged to form this party. This made the party populous amongst farmers. This is because the party fought for the agendas/rights of members.
- What were the reasons for American neutrality during World War I? Why did neutrality fail?
American neutrality was concerned with the United States initiative to keep off from active participation in war. Prior to the commencement of war, America remained dormant and did not make any plans or preparation. German made special request to the Mexican government to support it in the war. President Wilson viewed the war as a destructive endeavor that would lead to the fall of many economies as well as militarism. Non-interventionism laws were introduced in the United States as a way of finding a leveled playing field for warring parties. The move gained support from local communities and church leaders who advocated for a neutral approach towards the war. However, as the war escalated the United States was forced to participate in this affair. Another reason was to protect the country’s economic and social welfare. The war would cause destructions to the development made by the population. American had invested a lot into the economy and hence could not afford to bring down the structures erected in the country. However, it failed because the warring nations were supported by affiliated countries.