Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Economic Opportunity for Former Slaves

    Though life after slavery was far from perfect for African-Americans, it did improve. As slaves, they received no pay and no education while having to do arduous labor. After the civil war however, even the south opened a H.B.C.U (historically black college and universities) named Shaw University. The more lenient north had opened a few already but for the south to do so was quite substantial." In Reconstruction and It's Aftermath it's discussed how, "African Americans enjoyed a period when they were allowed to vote, actively participate in the political process, acquire the land of former owners, seek their own employment, and use public accommodations." During these times, before the rise of the KKK, many blacks were getting educated, more literate and as a result were able to work in jobs as farmers, teachers, and even politicians like P.B.S. Pinchback became the 1st African-American state senator. Though not wealthy, former slaves finally experienced earning money rather than being forced into work without pay and despite many limitations on job opportunity were able do what they pleased rather than being commanded by slave owners.

https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart5.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historically_black_colleges_and_universities

http://classroom.synonym.com/blacks-politics-1800s-10429.html

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Founding

    In this article, called the American Yawp it's said that the American dream wouldn't have if it weren't for the British. The article mentions that "Instead of making their own tools, clothes, and utensils, colonists increasingly purchased luxury items made by specialized artisans and manufacturers". Living the high life was the aspiration of most, however when the British began taxing these specific goods the colonists were angered. It's no doubt that "Britain’s central role in transatlantic trade greatly enriched the mother country" but when they got to the 1760's the British began taxing the specific goods the colonists enjoyed. The British tried to take advantage of the colonists knowing their high demand for luxury goods, but it backfired as they took away the dreams of many colonists who wanted to live an upscale lifestyle and this was the beginning of the conflict that would eventually lead to American independence.

http://www.americanyawp.com/text/04-colonial-society/

Thursday, September 29, 2016

historyguy colonial

     Wealth has always been a part of the American Dream and so when Southerner Colonists made lots of  profit off of tobacco, they began living it. The common belief nowadays is when you work hard, your efforts pay off  and you achieve success but the men of the time debunked that theory and got slaves to work hard for them. However, this was not the ideal, legitimate way of achieving the American Dream, as it involved wrongful acts of slavery. It probably wouldn't have even gotten popular for many more years had gold been in Virginian lands, but it wasn't and this caused John Rolfe to import tobacco seeds from the West Indies which was preferred to the tobacco seeds from Virginia. This was the start of something great and something horrible that still affects us today.  In "The Growth of the Tobacco Trade" James I says,"Smoking is a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless" showing that even back then not everyone was for it and were aware of its dangers. The American Dream started with the money that came from the tobacco, but not without its damaging aftereffects including slavery and death. The colonies wouldn't have gotten rich or expanded without it, but many lives would have been spared from its harmful effects and demand for arduous slaves.

    "Despite efforts to diversify Virginia's economy, by the end of the 1620's only one Virginia crop was drawing a fair market price in England: tobacco." All the blame can't be put on those made money off tobacco because even if they did attempt to make money another way, they wouldn't have been able to make money and even today it's one the most profitable industries. Though slavery has been abolished for a number of years, tobacco still takes lives and the producers now are still like those of the past. Still to this day there are those who still attempt to achieve American Dream by gaining wealth and selling tobacco related products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Truth be told, tobacco may never be wiped and money will continue to be made, and people will continue to die as a result of doing it, showing that the sometimes the American Dream can be a negative thing like it is in this case.

http://www.ushistory.org/us/2d.asp

Thursday, September 8, 2016

historgyguy

     I chose my theme to be the American Dream because I believe it's a topic which relates to everyone who lives or wishes to live in America. What makes it a fascinating topic is that everyone has their own definition of it whether it's to get a job, get married, and have kids or whether it's to become a professional athlete we all have dreams we want to achieve in this nation. Though there are various opinions as to what the American Dream is, Lewis Humphries author of the article defines it as: to be wealthy and successful in your career. In my opinion this is why many people especially foreigners get jobs and open businesses in the U.S., to be successful and profitable. In the article the author says, "The American Dream will continue to evolve and become increasingly distant for low-income or poorly educated members of society" and I must say that I agree that financial stability and success are ultimately the main factors in achieving the American Dream.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/062113/it-foolish-strive-american-dream.asp