Is it true to say that white working-class Americans had actually been “forgotten” by the mainstream of American politics in 1969? Or is it more true to say that white working-class Americans had been the center of American politics since World War
One of the kinds of stories we’ve considered in this course is about inclusion and exclusion. During and after World War II, African-American activists protested their exclusion from full and equal participation in American political, social, and economic life. By the 1960s, numerous other groups examined their life circumstances and argued that they were being unfairly excluded from the opportunities available to white men. We’ve read some of their complaints, and we’ve learned about some of their successes.
By the end of the 1960s, these reformers’ successes sparked an increasingly large opposition, which is described evocatively in Peter Schrage’s 1969 essay “The Forgotten American.”
Is it true to say that white working-class Americans had actually been “forgotten” by the mainstream of American politics in 1969?
Or is it more true to say that white working-class Americans had been the center of American politics since World War II, that they were the center of power when Schrage wrote in 1969, and that they are still the center of power today?
Write a well-structured, persuasive, concise essay of no longer than 1500 words which takes a position on these questions. Defend your position using evidence from the text and/or video readings.
A good answer will include at least three specific, detailed historical examples related to the following: the post-World-War-II economic boom and how different Americans experienced it concrete forms of exclusion faced by African-Americans in the South and/or elsewhere, and specific legal reforms which addressed these exclusions other groups which made claims of social, political, and/or economic exclusion, and your assessment of how successful their protests were the role of the Cold War and anti-Communism major cultural and/or social shifts between 1945 and 1985 the rise of the New Right between 1963 and 1985
To receive full credit, your answer should tell a persuasive story about the origins of postwar social-change movements, the short-term responses these movements provoked, and the long-term responses these movements provoked.
Given the question, you may want to conclude your essay with references to the 2012 presidential election, but recent/current events should not be the major focus of your answer.
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