Inequalities During The Progressive Era

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The reconstruction period of the United States was a time where our country rebuilt the Federal and State Government, underwent transformations in the economy, reaffirmed white supremacy, and reinvented citizenship. The many changes during the reconstruction period brought on inequalities in many facets of the American society. Inequalities during the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era were prevalent, and they were also considered a problem to contemporaries. Contemporaries saw the inequalities as a problem because they were prevalent in the work force due to industrialization and the exploitation of the poverty-stricken and middle class workers, women were not granted certain rights due to disenfranchisement, and there was an emphasis of white …show more content…
Because of Imperialism, the Federal Government’s power increased due to the country’s taking over and control of new land. American Imperialism was strongly related to white supremacy. In “The White Man’s Burden” by Rudyard Kipling, he says, “On fluttered folk and wild, your new caught, sullen peoples, half devil and half child” (Kipling, “Burden”). This basically means that it was the country’s obligation to humanize the foreigners because they were considered savages. White supremacy was also considered a staple of immigration in America. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law passed by Congress that excluded an entire group based on race. A major supporter of this legislation was James Phelan. Phelan, as well as most Americans, saw the Chinese as a “vastly inferior civilization in completion with our own” (Phelan, “Excluded”) due to their tendency to drink and gamble. Inequality from Americans towards non-Americans was extremely evident in the Imperialist Era. Americans resisted Imperialism with the Anti-Imperialist League which protested the country’s presence in the Philippines. William James thought that because of Imperialism the United States “regurgitated the Constitution and it won’t swallow again immediately what it was so happy to have vomited up” (James, “Question”). The Americans that were against Imperialism considered it to be conflicting with the country’s founding beliefs. Members of the Anti-Imperialist League still did think that white was the superior race. The members of this league felt that immigrants could assimilate to blend in with