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Social and Ecological Awakening in Post Civil War United States - Essay Example

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Social and Ecological Awakening in Post Civil War United States

The whole attitude was the nation was like a big bank account, constant withdrawals without any of the necessary worries of putting back. Fortunately, all of that began the change in the years between the Civil War and World War I (1865-1914). Is it odd that all periods of American literary history are balanced between its various wars? It would take another sixty years after the end of the period before the Environmental Protection Act to become law but at least the pendulum began to swing in the right direction. Americans would eventually pay a high price for their disregard of the environment but even in the late nineteenth century Mother Nature started to fight back and there were stewards who tried to make our forbearers aware. As usual, those in the literary world were at the forefront of this movement and it no surprise that the late nineteenth and early twentieth century had two major aesthetic movements, realism, and naturalism. Through their works, authors attempted to instill a sense of environmental awareness among their readers. It wasn’t the first time that authors used their influence through entertainment. Because of his writings of such classics as Oliver Twist and Bleak House, Charles Dickens raised public awareness of British apathy and maltreatment toward those in poverty. He should probably be recognized as the one instrumental in the abolishment of the treadmill, poor houses, and other abject places of misery. Taking a cue from Dickens, American writers tried to entertain and educate as well. The Civil War had been long and arduous, killing many men on both sides. Although victorious in that blacks were finally granted their freedom, the country was embittered toward war. No more were there joyous shouts of “Fifty-Four Forty or Fight” or “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!”. The country was so skittish toward war that World War I had been going on for years before the US finally entered it. ...Show more

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The paper "Social and Ecological Awakening in Post Civil War United States" presents that prior to the US Civil War, Americans felt that the country had an unlimited supply of resources. They would eventually pay a high price for their disregard of the environment…
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