Themes in American History: Capitalism, Slavery, Democracy

Blog Post #4

  In Chapter 4 of “Reflation and Relief,” the author Rauchway explains what President Roosevelt and The United States had to do to prepare for The Great Depression. Roosevelt’s goal was to get the country out of this depression. He began to “repair finance, agriculture, and manufacturing, though he would give less attention to overseas economics affairs.” He created the “New Deal”, which gave the people a ‘fresh start’. The new deal was a success, administration offices got money and credit for the country. Banks were closed because Americans didn’t have money, as they didn’t have jobs. So, They were not spending money or using credit. But eventually, banks began to reopen and the country was improving.  Capitalism was going to be saved because of President Roosevelt. In 1935, the banking act occurred. Federal Reserve Systems appointed governors. But the government was afraid that President Roosevelt’s plan was going to fail, and the country was going to be in-depth again. They didn’t want to owe money to anyone and had to borrow money from other countries. They also didn’t want to raise products. This reading shows how ‘history repeats itself. America has always been a Capitalist country. They need citizens or people to have jobs, to make money, in order to get back money to the country. After the pandemic, products from all businesses were raised after they lost money for over a year and people were getting stimulus checks. The article also states how “… Roosevelt administration did more than its predecessor to revive American banking, and its efforts evidently succeeded. But the New Deal’s financial policies—however plainly Roosevelt explained them over the radio—dealt with matters far removed from ordinary Americans’ experience.” This piece of evidence shows how President Theodore Roosevelt took actions into his own hands during this time and also wanted the people to remain calm. Overall, I think President Roosevelt did a great job saving the country from a financial Depression.

Blog Post #3

In the article “Making of Radical Reconstruction”, Eric Foner explains that slavery was overthrown during the time (the 1860s-1870s) and how the 14th amendment had an impact on people’s lives. The Republican party wrote the 14th amendment. Which protected all citizens and gave them the right to vote. U.S. citizens now had rights under the law. But black men were not able to vote even after the 14th amendment. Having black votes was important as it would have an impact on different laws and bills. So, during this time the government didn’t want black men to vote as they knew their votes would give them the power to make a change for immigrants and people of color.  Rules and laws such as the ‘grandfather clause’ didn’t give black men the right to vote but it gave them ‘an equal right to vote’. The law was if your grandfather was allowed to vote, you could vote too. It was an unfair law as black men’s grandfathers were slaves and were not allowed to vote, which meant these men couldn’t vote as well. The 14th amendment had caused legal equality. The conflict between the Republican party and letting blacks vote became a replication. White political leaders wanted to stay in charge and have power. The article states “Radical Republicanism did possess a social and economic vision, but one that derived from the free labor ideology rather than from any one set of business interests.” Southern whites wanted to recreate the past instead of having rights for everyone. They wanted to use free labor to their advantage and also make as much money as possible. The south attempted change was successful but was affected by the presence of freedmen. The Freedmen Bureau Bill and civil rights act gave American Americans food, shelter, clothing, land, and medical services. 


Blog Post #2

The author Thavolia Glymph explains Slavery in the book “The House Of Bondage” and that slavery was when African Americans were enslaved for labor. She explains how slavery was an evil time. She shares different experiences that people had with slavery. Thavolia Glymph explains what these people had to go through and that it was horrible. Thavolia Glymph did an interview with Lulu Wilson, who was a former slave. Lulu Wilson explains that she knows a lot about slavery and goes into detail that slaves were treated unfairly. Their masters had all the power and saw slaves as property, the text states “He beat and starved the few slaves he owned and kept up a steady pattern of selling her mother’s children.”(page 18). The reading gave me more knowledge on slavery by having the different points of view that people actually experienced. And that female slaves were utilized. They were abused because they were seen to have no power. Women’s life was terrible and had the classic role of being a housewife or housemaid. The text states that “Difficulties arise, however, when the stories of women of different backgrounds encounter one another. The plantation household was just such a site of con- tact between women whose access to power, privilege, and opportunity, much less food, clothing, and citizenship, was vastly unequal.” (page 21). I learned that slavery during this time (the 1930s) was brutal. There were black and white women in plantation households. White women were slaves to their husbands. All women either a slave or not were only seen as an object. Women didn’t have equal rights to men, even if they were wealthy. This makes me question if the roles were reversed between men and women how would things be the same or different?  Also, if capitalism is a modern form of slavery?