The graduate examines the major changes that defined the United States in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
Over the course of the nineteenth century, the United States matured into a country with interests and influences extending beyond North America. Following the upheaval of the Civil War, Americans tried to reassemble their country and bring the states of the former Confederacy back into the Union. The decade of Reconstruction was characterized by contentious legislation and attempts to integrate African Americans into the political, economic, and social frameworks of the United States. The Second Industrial Revolution reached its height during the second half of the century as well. New innovations in manufacturing, transportation, and communication accelerated the growth of consumer culture and changed the standard of living in the United States. As the nineteenth century drew to a close, the United States became an overseas empire, fighting wars with European powers over territorial influence and acquiring colonial possessions of its own.