Themes in American History: Capitalism, Slavery, Democracy

Joshua Brown’s Reconstruction Representation


American reconstruction after the civil war which started during the mid-1860s was a huge deal as the emancipation proclamation gave black Americans freedom and with reconstruction came many reformations. . This is where Joshua Brown comes in with his Reconstruction Representation excerpt showing us the way of life from the mid-1860s all the up to the 1880s. Joshua Brown does not only talk rather uses a visual representation to express how perspective which I found very nice as it gave a sense of realism. Joshua Brown starts talking about the panic of 1873 which was about the bad representation of the poor in the economy. This is enduring to this day as different classes of people have bad representation but in the 1870s considering the level of immigration and labor wages, things were menacing to a peak. Joshua Brown also talks about Frank Leisle’s illustration in newspapers which helped spread the news of terrible representation. 

“The Great Uprising of 1877 marked a sea-change in the typing of American labor. The largely spontaneous two-week strike that paralyzed most of the nation’s industrial cities defied the expectations of observers.” ( Joshua Brown )

“Pennsylvania–The railroad riot in Pittsburgh 1877

It really is apparent to Joshua Brown that FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER portrays it as wild and chaotic. Men and women were fighting all out inflicting chaos in the economy. Frank Leslie’s newspaper played a big role in this depiction as it gives us a vivid idea of the event. Leslie’s used photographic practices to capture these moments and pass them down in history. Although it was times of chaos who even know if these pictures has any legitimacy but they described it as such. So many people have witnessed this time in history and suffered from its consequences One would think after undergoing massive changes things will be better but they weren’t as people always wanted more and more. Continuing looking at the illustration Joshua brown uses it can be seen how there was chaos in the mids of stikes which were for jobs and proper wages. The illustration that Joshua Brown uses in his excerpts is from Leslie’s newspaper which goes to the credibility of his perspective which will help as we talk about the next things which are the 1877 railroad attacks which were considered the single most destructive incident in the nationwide strike as people were kind of crazy due to terrible representation but not only but also labor shortages where immigrants were hired more due to them being cheaper. I found Joshua Brown’s excerpt to be somewhat thrilling due to the realism the illustration added also the consequential effect of bad economical decisions.

One thought on “Joshua Brown’s Reconstruction Representation”

  1. Sorry about the mix-up with this reading on Blackboard. However, since it seems you read enough to get the gist, the first few sentences of your post are a bit unclear–what is the connection between Reconstruction in the South and the “reconstruction” of representations of (mostly northern) immigrants and workers that Brown says was also taking place during this period? What was the role of illustrated newspapers like Frank Leslie’s in depicting events like the Great Strike of 1877?

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