Source: Wikipedia, Credit: D. W. Griffith, 1915
The story of the Civil War and Reconstruction was told through the stories of two families-one from the South, the other from the North-in D.W. Griffith’s film, The Birth of a Nation. A southerner and the son of a Confederate cavalry officer who returned from the war a broken man, Griffith blamed his own troubles on Reconstruction and southern blacks. The film depicts that resentment by contending that radical Republicans and “uppity” blacks were the cause of all post-war social, political, and economic problems. The film was based on a Ku Klux Klan propaganda piece called The Clansman, which was written by Thomas Dixon.
Beginning in 1896, immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, mainly Italians, Jews and Slavs from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were the largest groups arriving in the U.S. The reception they received was markedly different from earlier northern European immigrants. They experienced employment and housing discriminationpolicies and practices that harm and disadvantage a group and its members. More that resulted in many living in urban “ghettos” in the Northeast and the Midwest. Many Americans saw them as “racially” different and inferior. The ideology of racea recent idea created by western Europeans following exploration across the world to account for... More was applied to Southern and Eastern Europeans because they were physically and culturally different from the Northern Europeans and Scandinavians. That racial worldview dominated thinking about human differences and was extended to European populations in the U.S. as well. European intellectuals had begun to see their own populations as divided into races, with attributes that made them unequal.