Slavery the Genocide of Native Americans and Crime Essay

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Civil War and Reconstruction Question 2: What does the Civil War show that failed in the United States in this period?

The Civil War and its aftermath showed that the United States failed to create a cohesive national character and ethical identity. The nation was truly divided, symbolized by the fact that Abraham Lincoln received not a single Southern electoral vote, and less than half of the popular vote, but still became President (Slide 5). The majority of Southerners allied themselves with the Southern Democrat platform, and failed to align their outdated beliefs about race and economic exploitation with the more progressive norms evident in the North.

Yet slavery was only one of the meaningful points of divergence between different geographic and cultural segments of the nation. The economies of North and South were completely different from one another, with the North cornering the market on manufactured goods and the South being the agricultural hub (Slide 8). In fact, slavery itself was linked to a host of geographic and cultural contingencies that revealed the schisms leading to the Civil War. Even at war’s end, North and South had irreconcilable differences: proven by the fact that Reconstruction would also fail. The federal government, weakened by those who clung to the belief that states’ rights could coexist within a republican framework of government, lacked the legal or pragmatic power to make more decisive and less compromised decisions related to slavery.

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Reconstruction failed because Americans allowed it to fail, because the nation remained too timid to cultivate a strong national moral character. Instead of conceding its loss and amending its wrongs, the South became increasingly sinister, supporting groups like the KKK (Slide 20). Even with the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, no reparations were made to former slaves, and no attempt was made to firmly uphold the universal rights and freedoms of African Americans.

The Western Frontier Question 4: How did Westward expansion increase tensions with Native Americans?

European settlement in the Americas created tensions with indigenous people since the time of first contact, as settlers and aboriginal groups found themselves competing for land and power, or entered into tense and lopsided political agreements. Westward expansion increased tensions with Native Americans to an unprecedented degree, leading to large-scale slaughter and genocide. By the time of Westward expansion, the myth of manifest destiny had become entrenched in the American consciousness. Still part of American culture and identity, manifest destiny refers to the sense of entitlement Americans feel towards resource exploitation. Westward expansion was not necessarily motivated by a desire to kill Indians, but in….....

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