The Gilded Age Essay

1238 Words Feb 25th, 2016 5 Pages
Although the social class was seen as the biggest conflict, the racial construct was also a severe problem intrinsic to the Victorian nature of the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age continued to operate as a white supremacy despite the passing of 14th amendment in 1868. To Americans of the Gilded Age, all ethnicities are ranked according to “science”, with Anglo-Saxons proudly sitting on top of the pyramid. In this construct, some can elevate to whiteness, others need segregation and still others exclusion. This racial ontology prevailed among whites and non-whites who aspired to become white, successfully fracturing the minority communities and securing the domination of Anglo-Saxons. To uphold this racial ontology, in 1873, many of the southern state enacted Jim Crow laws legalizing segregation of African Americans. In 1888, the Chinese Exclusion Act effectively banned Chinese immigration to the United States, and many were upset that government did not kick out the Chinese altogether.
During the Reconstruction period, even the personal safety of the African Americans was never respected. In the southern states where the Ku Klux Klan prevailed, violence against African Americans was not just accepted, but encouraged. Fueled by the anger of losing the civil war, a sense of American patriotism and a shared hatred for African Americans, the Ku Klux Klan committed countless violent crimes against African Americans and their white supporters, aiming at the undermining the…

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