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Realism and reconstruction702



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  • 1. REALISM & RECONSTRUCTION Post Civil War America in Art and Culture
  • 2. Definition:
    • Realism
    • Literary composition that aims at an interpretation of the actualities of any aspect of life, free from subjective prejudice, idealism, or romantic color.
    • A reaction against romanticism, an interest in scientific method, the systematizing of the study of documentary history, and the influence of rational philosophy
  • 3. Definitions:
    • Meaning?
    • Realism in American Literature spanned from 1865-1900
    • Fiction devoted to accurate representation and an exploration of American lives in various contexts
    • Generally concerned with the affairs of the middle and lower classes (Agriculture, Industry, Survival)
    • Emphasis was on character, daily life and commonplace rather than romantic plots and the unusual
  • 4. Causes:
    • Rapid growth in U.S. after Civil War lead to expanding industrialism and urbanization, an increase in population base due to immigration, and a relative rise in middle-class affluence
    • Resulted in increasing rates of democracy and literacy providing a fertile literary environment for readers interested in understanding these rapid shifts in culture
    • Leaded to a reaction against romanticism, an interest in scientific method, the study of documentary history, and the influence of rational philosophy
  • 5. Effects:
    • Authors such as: William Dean Howells, Rebecca Harding Davis, Henry James, Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, and others wrote fiction devoted to accurate representation and an exploration of American lives in various contexts.
    "The Bowery at Night" by William Louis Sonntag - 1895
  • 6. Definition:
    • Reconstruction
    • In reference to the entire nation in the period 1865-1877 following the Civil War
    • The reconstruction of state and society in the former Confederacy, from 1863 to 1877, as well as the addition of amendments 13, 14, and 15 to the U.S. Constitution.
  • 7. Important points:
    • Started in 1863 when Lincoln announced a proposal called the "ten percent plan." Under this plan, former states would be readmitted into the Union if ten percent of white voters took an oath of loyalty to the Union.
    • The addressing of how the eleven seceding states would regain self-government and be reseated in Congress, the civil status of the former leaders of the Confederacy, and the Constitutional and legal status of freedmen
  • 8. Details:
    • Amendment 13 – outlaw of slavery
    • Amendment 14- all born/naturalized in U.S. are citizens
    • Amendment 15 – All citizens have the right to vote
    • Reconstruction Acts of 1867
    • all were readmitted between 1868 and 1870
    • Each state had to accept the 14 th or, if readmitted after its passage, the 15 th Constitutional Amendment
    • Resented by most southerners
  • 9. The Civil Rights Act of 1875
    • Everyone, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was entitled to the same treatment in "public accommodations“
    • Enforced by Union Army and Freedman's Bureau
    • Hampered by Andrew Jackson
  • 10. Black Codes
    • laws that placed severe restrictions on freed slaves such as prohibiting their right to vote.
    • Forbidding them to sit on juries and limiting their right to testify against white men
    • Prohibiting carrying weapons in public places and working in certain occupations
    • Labor contracts – Blacks working as serfs
  • 11. Ku Klux Klan
    • Loosely organized group of political and social terrorists during the Reconstruction
    • Fought for political defeat of the Republican Party and the maintenance of absolute white supremacy after the Civil War.
    The Lost Cause Worse Than Slavery Thomas Nast - 1874
  • 12. Ku Klux Klan
    • Passage of the Military Reconstruction Acts in March 1867, and the prospect of freedmen voting in the South, the Klan became a political organization.
    • Organized terrorism began most notably on March 31, 1868, when Republican organizer George Ashburn was murdered in Columbus, Georgia
  • 13. Positive Racial Changes
    • Despite complaints of government spending enrollment numbers in South Carolina jumped from zero to 70,000 Black children in 1876
    • Two Black Senators and Twenty Black Congressmen held office in 1869
    • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896 ) - Separate but equal
  • 14. Positive Industrial and Technological Changes
    • The United States became a world leader in applied technology.
    • From 1860 to 1890, 500,000 patents were issued for new inventions—over ten times the number issued in the previous seventy years
    • Electrical Welding, Refrigeration, Microphone -1877
    • Electric Light Bulb, Cash Register -1879
    • Technological Revolution
    • Medical advances
    • Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Hopkins
  • 15. Positive Government Changes
    • A more equitable tax system.
    • Expansion of State Railroad systems
    • Promoted physical reconstruction
    • Increased public services
    • Created a lasting public school system.
    • First National Weather Bureau was created
    • Dept of Justice was established
  • 16. Backwards Progress
    • 1883 - U.S. Supreme Court holds that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 allowing equal privileges for all to public places is unconstitutional
    • Rampant government corruption
    • 1877 - President Rutherford B. Hayes abandoned the idea of federal intervention to protect the rights of black citizens in the South, essentially leaving their fate in the hands of local whites
    • 1901 Last Black Congressman until 1929
  • 17. America Grows Up
    • Newly reunified and slave free nation takes it’s place on the world stage
    • Continual rapid expansion West brings railroads, mining, immigrants, government and more
    • Most changes of the Reconstruction Era benefit the North and Whites
  • 18. Conclusions
    • Growing pains for America
    • Complex multifaceted blend of positives and negatives for the nation and it’s people
    • America becomes major nation on the global stage in nearly all aspects of business, industrialism, art, and culture