When the Constitution of the United States of America came into force in 1789, the Founding Fathers had a specific plan in their minds to lead their country to its greatest. Unfortunately, certain difficulties, wrong decisions and their consequences in the following years made that impossible which will be shown below.
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It is safe to assume that what the Founding Fathers wanted for their country was liberty at its purest. People living in freedom, happily, protected by their government – that was the sort of a picture they had in mind at the time. However, even with all the amendments that were added to the Constitution, this image remained an unattainable dream. Several challenges the United States faced immediately before 1895 showed that it is a lot harder to achieve than one might think.
First and foremost, the Founding Fathers believed in people so much that the latter had the freedom of doing anything they wanted, except for harming one another. This is better than depriving humans of every right they are supposed to have. Nonetheless, it resulted in just the opposite: during the late 1870s and 1880s, people’s hardships and greed lead to inevitable consequences.
For example, the notoriously famous town of miners, Bodie, California, witnessed twenty-nine murders at the time. These were due to anger, lack of money, people’s disappointment in the living conditions and their powerlessness. The wars between the ranchers were brutal as well. Overcrowding was a big problem that led to a lot of conflicts as no one had undisputed rights for the land. They tried to obtain the larger and better grazing lands for their herds, even the lands the ranchers had no right to enclose. This lead to several violent outbursts, which involved multiple murders.
Because the working class had to perform their duties in atrocious conditions, numerous labor strikes occurred in several cities. An infamous secret organization, Molly Maguires, tried to draw attention to the plight of the miners through fights, murder, and kidnapping. Sadly, it did not improve the working conditions for simple folk. Instead, all members of the organization were convicted of crimes of different kinds and ten of them got executed.
Factories used children and women at the time, paying them extremely low wages and the question of safety in the workplace was inevitable. Nevertheless, despite the effort of some states to pass certain legislation in Congress did not bring any success until the middle of the twentieth century.
Despite the end of slavery and promise of protection of rights and life according to the law, African Americans were still treated with a lot of hatred and oppression. The increase in the activity of the Ku Klux Klan after the Civil War made matters much worse, and even after it was dismantled in the late 1870s, the racially-based violence continued.
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The United States in 1895 would not meet the expectations that the Founding Fathers had for their country. It was not the land of free people who had a say in what the government does. The government did not protect its citizens, the simple rights of the working class were compromised and liberty did not bring the blessings it was supposed to.
Corbett, P. Scott, John M. Lund, Todd J. Pfannestiel, Paul S. Vickery and Volker Janssen. U.S. History. Houston: OpenStax, 2017.
Shi, David E., and George Brown Tindall. America: A Narrative History, Brief Tenth Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.