November 25, 2012
College Has Become the Only Option
American Society has been changing since the first explorers set foot on the soil. They came from hunter gatherers, to forming a government,and started the Industrial Revolution. Until today and the current economic difficulties society is facing. With these changes came more technology, rights for the minorities and globalization. Increased job competition has made the Blue Collar society obsolete, and education essential.
In the early 1600’s, education held little importance compared to manual labor. Agriculture was the basis of early American Society, not at all like today. English Colonists began arriving in the 1620’s, however the first Elementary School was not established for another fifteen years, with Harvard College following soon after. Even though these schools were established, many colonists stayed home to contribute to their family, through manual labor. It wasn’t until after the Revolutionary War that people started going to major universities for higher education in areas such as business (Johnson 1-2).
For the lower class society education was generally not an option, and was an option rarely pursed in the middle and upper class societies. Most believed that women belonged in the home, providing for her family through cooking, cleaning and raising children. The westward expansion of the United States increased the need for schools, and therefore teachers. Consequentially this led toward more women pursuing a higher education in normal schools. During the 1800’s women were still not permitted into male institutions, so they attended normal schools for a two year program designed specifically for teachers, however if this path was pursued it was typically for a short period of time prior to starting a family (Johnson 2).
Women in particular faced new responsibilities and new opportunities as husbands, brothers, and fathers went off to war...Before the war young women typically worked for a few years, then left their jobs when they married and had children. But when the war broke out and millions of men left factory jobs to fight overseas, the government encouraged women to enter the workforce, often to do jobs they had never done before.(“The War”)
World War II is known for the draft, and the millions of American men sent over seas because of it. “Rosie the Riveter” was an iconic propaganda poster issued by the government to get the home front involved in the war, women in particular. Approximately six million women had entered the work force by 1943. In 1945 men had returned home, expecting to get back into the same routine they had been maintaining before the war. However, the post-war economy was able to support men and women, so many women opted to stay working. The World War II era made it socially acceptable for women to receive an education and enter the work force, and since then the amount of women choosing to do so has been steadily increasing. In present times it has become the “norm” for women to attend college, and pursue a career. (Doak 1)
In the second half of the twentieth century, globalization became more prominent in our culture, as well as the Labor Movement. Many people felt the hours and conditions in which they were working were unfair. Labor Unions started to form, and the more people who joined them the less companies could do about extremely low wages. This greatly improved working conditions starting around the Industrial Revolution, but it is having an unwanted side affect on todays American Society. (“Haymarket Riots”) Although Globalization moves us toward a one world economy, nations will continue to work in their best interest.(Muridian 2) In a free market economy like the United States, that means big businesses and corporations will do everything they can to make their dealings cost effective. While that may be great for the small percentage of people who run a big business, it does nothing for the average