Essay On 20th Century American Identity

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Both international and domestic events have had a colossal impact on the American identity in the first half of the 20th century. During the late 1800’s, the country was divided. America came out of the bloody Civil War in 1864 (Taylor). During his second inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln urged his country towards peace when he said, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us…bind up the nation’s wounds…care for him who shall have borne the battle…” Sadly, Lincoln’s wish for peace did not happen. In fact, the next ten years were filled with the bloody violence of reconstruction. Even after the period of reconstruction ended, America was still torn apart by racism. …show more content…
Instead, it was filled with roaring parties for the rich and long working days for the poor. Although authors like Upton Sinclair and F. Scott Fitzgerald showed the lack of patriotism and equality in their books, the 20th events of the 20th century dramatically shaped the American identity over time. During the 1920’s, America was not united. Instead the rich stood for the rich, and the poor were left without any help. Yet, World War I changed this through propaganda. Because of the propaganda, both rich and poor Americans took pride in standing up and defending their country ("World War I Propaganda Posters”). This brought about a renewed sense of patriotism as soon everyone in America did their best to help fight the war. Still many people argue that the Americans of that time lacked any sense of equality. Nevertheless, the first half of the 20th century created the Civil Rights Movement, because Americans started to identify themselves as people who had equality for all. If it was not for the first half of the 20th century, the Civil Rights Movement could not occur. So how could the Americans during that era not identify themselves as equal, if equality is what they fought for? Despite some people’s belief, the events of the early 20th century shaped the American identity of that

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