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History

Slaves were assigned a first name only, and after Reconstruction, many of them took on new names, as did Lewis Evans, who said “the white folks gave me a new name”. America missed the opportunity to create a multiracial society. First, Lincoln missed that chance by legitimizing pro-Union governments in the South that only allowed white men to vote. After Lincoln was assassinated, the new President, Andrew Johnson, took power. He was extremely racist, saying “Damn the negroes” (textbook, 474). As someone with a class chip on his shoulder, Johnson quickly returned the southern states to the Union, allowing them to enforce Black Codes of law that kept African Americans without property, and with very few legal rights. The former slave narratives include the story of Henry “Happy Day” Green, Sarah Gray, Lewis Evans and Measy Hudson. Henry Green reports that he voted. The right to vote was an important symbol of freedom. Sarah Gray’s voice did not come through in the interview, perhaps because of the interviewer, Minnie Ross’s, condescending attitude: “ [it gave] her as much pleasure as a child playing with a favorite toy”. All that Miss Ross seems to have found out is that Sarah Gray thought she was well-treated in slavery. Lewis Evans speaks of his house, and garden lot, his own land on which he raises a garden and chickens. This is important because along with his small pension, it provides his livelihood. Measy Hudson describes working as a laundress, being married and voting twice, all important parts of freedom. I think the slaves’ narratives are accurate when their actual words are faithfully recorded, because they were there, and experienced these events first-hand. ELECTIONS OF 1912 Roosevelt espoused Progressivism, which believed in reducing the power of giant trusts(corporations). Progressivism wanted to remove the influence of special interest groups to form a “pure democracy” where people had a more direct voice in the central government. He proposed to limit the power of the judicial system by allowing a popular vote or referendum to overturn court decisions. Wilson, a Democrat, espoused antitrust measures and state regulations to control the powers of giant trusts. He also espoused small government. Taft, the incumbent Republican President, espoused the protection of the judicial system from popular votes intended to overturn rulings. He believed that checks and balances were written into the constitution to prevent mass hysteria in governance. Taft believed in protection of the environment and safety standards for mines and railroads, as well as an 8-hour workday, all of which he put in place while president. Eugene V. Debs espoused the organization of workers into unions. He ran on the Socialist Party ticket and was one of the founding members of the International Labor Union. The outcome of the election, with Roosevelt’s victory, says that Americans wanted to have a more direct influence on their national government, and that many of them were in favor of the various reform movements of the time. WORLD WAR 1 PROPAGANDA The U.S. Food Administration sent the message in its propaganda posters to conserve food, especially meat. A poster for navy recruiting week listed the dates to attend. The president lent his image to say conserve food, as well as to say that we must conquer the enemy, and stay united in the war effort. The Armenian and Syrian Relief Campaign’ ...Show more

Summary

American Slave Narratives Freedom to the former slaves meant land ownership, which former slaves believed was an important stepping-stone to achieving equality to the white man. Freedom also meant having a new place to work. Even when their former owners offered them the chance to “stay on” at higher wages, some former slaves said no…
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