From 1865 to 1940, the United States experienced a major shift in its economic structure and its debut as a major world power. In what ways did old divisions continue to deny opportunity and equality to some Americans?

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From 1865 to 1940, the United States experienced an industrial revolution, significant urbanization, and increased power in world affairs, but many Americans, including working classes, women, and people of color, remained outside the prosperity and authority brought by these developments.

Workers endured long hours, unsafe working conditions, low pay, and...

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From 1865 to 1940, the United States experienced an industrial revolution, significant urbanization, and increased power in world affairs, but many Americans, including working classes, women, and people of color, remained outside the prosperity and authority brought by these developments.

Workers endured long hours, unsafe working conditions, low pay, and abuse for decades before finally gaining the right to unionize, fight for their rights, and be protected by legislation in their favor. These workers often lived in major cities in cramped conditions amidst disease, crime, and poverty. They often lacked opportunities for education and advancement, and they struggled just to earn a living for themselves and their families. Life was not easy for them, even though the country grew and prospered.

Women, too, faced struggles. Those in the working classes experienced the same challenges as male workers, but they were actually paid less and often had to follow stricter rules. They also sometimes suffered from harassment from male bosses. Women of all classes did not receive the right to vote until 1920, and they faced other legal limitations for decades, including reduced property rights and financial dependence.

Finally, people of color, including African Americans and Native Americans, lacked equal rights and opportunities. While African American males won the right to vote after the Civil War, they soon lost it through barriers like literacy tests, poll taxes, and intimidation. Segregation ramped up through these decades as well, and "separate but equal" was merely a catchphrase. The "equal" part was far from true. Native Americans were forced off their lands and onto reservations as settlers continued to move west and settle widely. Native Americans had no say in the matter, and violence often broke out when they attempted to resist.

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