Home Solutions A People’s History of the United States of America 1492 to Present
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In the 1900s, Europeans nations decided to strive for notable economic developments. They decided to change their methods of production in order to increase production levels at lower cost of production. This era was characterized b industrialization where production stopped being dependent on human labor. Machine labor started being utilized as it would yield more output than human labor. This shift led to production of more high quality output. Technological inventions characterized this era through various skillful discoveries. Such include manufacture of steel which replaced wood, establishment of rail road which facilitated fast means of transport and invention of communication devices such as telephone to facilitate communication. These events increased the pace of business activities hence accelerating development (Zinn, 2003).
African slaves provided cheap labor to the Americans as situation that enabled them to grow their economy. The slaves contributed to massive production levels at zero labor cost. The slaves would work in cotton and sugar farms in large numbers. This enhanced high production levels of cotton and sugar which would consequently be exported. The economic growth experienced by America was at the expense of the African slaves who worked for long hours under strict supervision and pressure. Since labor provided by the slaves was free, the Americans were able to save a lot of labor costs hence fast economic growth. The children of the Americans were able to concentrate fully on learning since all possible chores were assigned to the enslaved Africans. This led to high academic growth in America (Zinn, 2003).
According to Zinn (2003), some of the people who were actively involved on developments observed in the 1900 were such as Thomas Edison. He was the inventor of most of the electrical gadgets at the time. He made money through legitimate business activities and trading. J.P Morgan was another person who fueled development in the 1900s. He made money through stock trading. He was the founder of Morgan and Company insurance company. Another key personality behind the industry growth was John D. Rockefeller. He was a bookkeeper and accumulated enough money to join the oil sector. He made money through controlling oil refineries and later established Standard oil Company.
Money is not just money. In the 1900s, money was used by key industry leaders to enable them have their way in doing things. Corruption ventures were observed where business leaders would pay huge sums of money to achieve what they wanted. For example, Daniel Drew and Jay Gould offered $1 million bribe to the legislature of New York to make their venture of $8 million “watered stock” legal. Thomas Edison pledged $1000 to politicians in New Jersey for positive registration. The Union Pacific company sold their shares at a low price to the Congressmen to evade investigation as they had acquired large tracks of land illegally (Zinn, 2003).
According to Zinn (2003), the rights of the workers were secured through constant demonstrations, rebellion and mass actions. Formation of workers unions was a step towards securing equitable workers rights. Activists such as Albert Parsons fuelled the debate regarding securing the rights of the workers through the “Communist Manifesto” which called for equality of all workers. Union leaders and workers group leaders also organized massive strikes championing for the rights of workers. The Triangle shirt fire elicited numerous critics regarding the working conditions. From the horrible experiences that were observed during the fire outburst, companies were forced to adopt new work environment safety standards which functions till today.
The US is observed to have engaged itself in different war missions especially during the 19thand the 20th century. The American governance system argued that the missions were aimed at protecting the interests of their citizens. A depth analysis however reveals that the country utilized these wars in establishing superiority over other countries and expanding their overseas markets. For example in 1853, the US used its warships and forcefully made Japan to open its ports for them. In 1860, America sent its troops to Angola to protect their interests and property. Expansionism ideology is observed among ancient American political and business leaders (Zinn, 2003).
According to Zinn (2003), the United States observed Hawaii and Philippines as an untapped market. The US concentrated its efforts in exploiting the untapped potential for these regions. In Philippines for example, President McKinley cited that it had wood and was capable of sustaining world’s timber needs for a century. The other than market benefits realized from Hawaii, the US utilized it as base of controlling its activities in Samoa. The Hawaii and Philippines territories were annexed through signed treaties where the US used its power and intimidated the respective leaders to sign those treaties.
After the war, both countries signed a treaty dubbed The Paris Treaty in 1898 by which Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico became annexed to America. Spain through the same treaty renounced the entire claim over control of Cuba. Two years after the war, Roosevelt assumed US presidency and granted Cuba full independency in 1902 after abandoning the treaty. The US government however retained their right to get involved in the political and financial matters of Cuba as well as administering their international relations. The US leased Guantánamo Bay from Cuba to use it as their naval base. Was never colonized by the US but became a protectorate nation (Zinn, 2003).
The most common guise the US used to invade foreign countries was to protect the interest of their people. America argued that their interests as a nation were being threatened by other countries hence they had no otherwise but to stop them. For example in 1984, America forces invaded Nicaragua. The reason for the invasion was explained to be protection of their interests in Bluefield after a revolution. The US also argued that their reason for invasion to foreign countries was to develop their economic status. They argued that the foreign countries had untapped resources and they would help them realize the benefits of these natural resources (Zinn, 2003).
According to Zinn (2003), America decided to avoid taking part in World War I at all cost and observed a strategy of neutrality and isolating itself from the events that led to war. Their approach of evading the war was supported by a majority of the citizens and government leaders in America. The US argued that war evasion was in best interest of the Americans and hence they would not take part in the war. The US adopted a policy of fairness where its bankers were allowed to lend to war partisans from any side. The American neutrality policy enabled America to avoid participating in the war.
Zinn (2003) indicates that Garvey tirelessly fought for the rights of the black people in America. He believed that Africans in America were not fully liberated and were being oppressed and sidelined by the white Americans. Garvey emphasized on economic self reliance among the African Americans and their rights to get involved in the country’s political matters. At the height of his fight for liberation, Garvey founded UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) which was body that enhanced international trade among the black and facilitated them to return to Africa. The main reason behind UNIA was to empower the blacks.
Garvey’s quest for African American liberation was facilitated by several elements. One element was racial prejudice where Garvey capitalized on demonstrating how African Americans were discriminated against on the basis of their ethnicity. Self hate was another element where Garvey sought to reprieve African Americans from despising themselves on the basis of their race. Authors also took part in facilitating Garvey’s movement through publish articles and books that communicated his ideologies. Such include highlighting on oppression of the blacks. Indian immigrants also championed Garvey’s as they too were experiencing the same sentiments as African Americans (Zinn, 2003).
I find no problem with Garvey’s meeting with the Ku Klux Klan leaders although it elicited a lot of controversies. Garvey’s sentiments after the meeting that were observed to favor the Klan were justified. The Klan seemed to agree with most of Garvey’s ideologies than any other White American group. The whites tried to criticize Garvey’s interest in the Klan but Garvey observed them as closer friends and allies than the whites. I personally commend the meeting, since Garvey would gain more than he could lose from building ties with the Ku Klux Klan (Zinn, 2003).
Garvey advocated for unity among the people through most his speeches and writings. He called upon all Africans to unite and fight for their rights. In his speeches and articles, Garvey indicated that an individual cannot achieve something but with combined efforts of every person success was inevitable. Garvey discouraged ignorance and urged the blacks to remain vigilant in order to overcome their oppression by the whites. Garvey also sought to encourage Africans through his speeches and articles. He motivated them to be self reliant and raised their esteem through showing them how beautiful they were as well as their culture which the whites disliked (Zinn, 2003).
Garvey observed that the black people were being repressed by the whites. Although slavery in America had ended had ended, Garvey observed that Africans from all over the world were not fully liberated from the whites. He observed that the blacks in every part of the world were experiencing poor living conditions and were poverty stricken. He found that the blacks had no ability to rely on themselves and were dependent on the whites. He also established that the blacks were oppressed by the whites where they had no rights and no future (Zinn, 2003).
Haile Selassie is viewed as Jesus in His second mission on earth and is worshipped by a group of people kwon as Rastafarians. Like Haile Selassie, Garvey is also venerated by the Rastafarians who view him as a prophet and hold deeply to his ideologies which seemingly guide their religion. Both Garvey and Haile Selassie advocated for separatism and nationalism of the blacks where all blacks in Africa were urged to join hands to end the colonial rule. Although Garvey was never involved with the Rastafarian movement, members strongly associate him with the Rastafarian movement as his ideologies contributed much to its establishment (Zinn, 2003).
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