Modernization And Reform Analysis

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Modernization and Reform in U.S. Justice

At the turn of the twentieth century, Americans understood—if subconsciously—that the world their grandparents had known was gone forever. By the time Charlie Chaplin’s masterpiece “Modern Times” opened to theater-going audiences in February of 1936, city-dwelling Americans had directly experienced, to varying degrees, many of the themes in the film—the Tramp’s distaste for industrialization, urbanization, and modernization, for example. The cities of the North became frontier spaces once again, as the limits of traditional sensibility collided with the juggernaut of modernity. But tensions over modernization were not limited to this sort of Marxist economic dialectic. Tensions over modernization
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As a factory supervisor at the National Pencil Company, he was perceived as an industrialist. He was Jewish. And though born in Texas, Frank was closely identified with New York. When Frank was found guilty of the murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan, an employee at the pencil factory, it was to the delight of many Georgians. The case also provoked unresolved racial issues, as the testimony of Jim Conley (a black man and likely suspect) came into question. Frank’s conviction was met elsewhere with controversy, due to a preponderance of mostly circumstantial evidence and clear anti-Semitism during and after the trial. When, amid swirling political controversy, Frank’s death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, a group calling themselves the “Knights of Mary Phagan” took action. The lynching of Leo Frank and the subsequent rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan was representative of the push against modernity, a desire to return to days past. Leonard Dinnerstein …show more content…
Women, generally, were still second-class citizens, as universal suffrage postdated the passage of the 15th Amendment by half a century; women of color were even worse off. For black women, rape, first under slavery and later as a reality of Jim Crow, was obscured by the horrific imagery of lynching.
The institutionalized rape of black women has never been as powerful a symbol of black oppression as the spectacle of lynching. Rape has always involved patriarchal notions of women being, at best, not entirely unwilling accomplices, if not outwardly inviting a sexual attack. The links between black women and illicit sexuality consolidated during the antebellum years had powerful ideological consequences for the next hundred and fifty years.
Women suffered silently in what Darlene Clark Hine calls, “a culture of dissemblance.” The Women’s and Civil Rights Movements would finally undo the work of those opposed to reform and encroaching modernity. Reform and modernity eventually came, to some degree, though some might argue just how

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