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RUNNINGHEAD: DEALING WITH DIVERSITY IN AMERICA FROM RECONSTRUCTION THROUGH THE 1920SDealing With Diversity in America From Reconstruction Through the 1920’sNameInstitutional Affiliation
Dealing With Diversity in America From Reconstruction Through the 1920’s 2IntroductionAmerica has been labeled “the land of opportunity” due to people’s belief that any dream could be achieved in the country and that everyone is accepted there for who they are. Despite being a very diverse continent harboring people from all races and walks of life, racism is still a struggle that minority groups especially African Americans face. However, racism has been dated back to the slavery era when Americans sourced slave labor for their plantations and farms from Africa. In the 1850s and 1860s, Republicans led by Abraham Lincoln wanted slavery to be banned in America whereas the southern states felt that that would be a violation of their constitutional rights. The southerners felt that emancipation of slaves would be a huge blow to their economy. They worried that if Lincoln amassed enough votes and became president he would ban slavery, a fact that brought a lot of tension and instability in the country. This instability and tension eventually resulted in the break out of a civil war. The civil war began in April 1861 shortly after President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration when the Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Lincoln issued an emancipation proclamation in 1863 which made ending slavery the ultimate war goal. The civil war ended in April 1865 resulting in the freedom of the remaining slaves, marking the beginning of the Reconstruction era. In this paper, I will be discussing how the lost cause narrative, political policies and reform movements impacted racial prejudice and increased democracy and diversity and the contribution of these historical events to the modern business world.The lost cause narrativeAfter the civil war, the southern states came up with a narrative which sought to justify their defeat and reasons for involvement in the war known as the lost cause. The term “lost cause” was
Dealing With Diversity in America From Reconstruction Through the 1920’s 3popularized when Edward Pollard, an editor in the Richmond Examiner during the war wrote his book with the same name. The southern states argued that they fought the war not to maintain slavery but to retain the southern way of life. Through the lost cause, they portrayed themselves in a favorable light ( Duby, 2005) depicting themselves as fighters for a noble cause. The phrase