The United States societal system during the 19th century was saturated with a legacy of discrimination based upon race. Cultivating a humanitarian approach, progressive intellectuals ushered in an era of societal reconstruction with the intention to establish primary equalities on the pervasive argument of human race. The experiment poised the United States for rebellion and lasting ramifications. The instantaneous repercussions for both races evolving from the emancipation of African-Americans were plainly stated by the daughter of a Georgia planter in the summer of 1865: "There are sad changes in store for both races" (Nash 469). The long-term ramifications are still in progress. The combination and division of commerce and virtue, north and south, white and black, violence and empathy, and personal and political agendas, created the birth and death of the era of Reconstruction that began during the Civil War and ended in 1877. However, the period of Reconstruction provided the entry for two African-American men, Booker T Washington and W.E.B. DuBois, to rise to leadership positions while propelling radically opposing ideologies. The two differing ideologies served as anchors in a society adrift. Both races, being tossed about by the storm Reconstruction had unleashed upon society, were compelled to reach-out for the anchors that symbolized the prospect of stability. Washington and DuBois anchors were thrust in different bodies of water, but both men's proclamations existed in currents that surged toward a collective body of water. Washington and DuBois's positions on the collaboration amongst the races had extreme variations due to their...
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...re dropped in different bodies of water, the two men's concepts continue today to flow and intertwine into one body of water. The historical era of Reconstruction had a beginning and end, but it did open the floodgate to prosperity for the United States by unleashing the enormous voice and wisdom of two extraordinary men; voices that forever changed our society's way of life.
* Washington, Booker T. "Up From Slavery." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Nina Baym, General Editor. 6th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. 761.
* W.E.B. DuBois. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Nina Baym, General Editor. 6th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. 876-877
* W.E.B. DuBois. The American People Creating a Nation and a Society. Gary B. Nash And Julie Roy Jeffrey. 4th ed. Brief. New York: Longman, 2003. 469,481-82,517.
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