POLITICS AND SOCIETY
Introduction History has a way of repeating itself. In the United States we have gone through several key boom and bust cycles since the Civil War. These cycles are periods of time that start with a high level of prosperity in the boom phase, and are followed by a bust phase that causes social unrest and changes in the views of Americans. These boom and bust cycles have changed the face of America throughout the past 150 years by affecting society changes as well as political changes, and it will most likely continue throughout the rest of the United States future. The Reconstruction period, the Interwar years, and the Cold War era were all boom and bust cycles that had major changes on society and politics since the Civil war.
The Reconstruction period was the 12 years after the Civil War when the United States government took steps to integrate the 11 states of the Confederacy back into the Union (Jones et al, 2011, 363). The United States experienced a period of rapid change that altered the social, political, and economic life of the nation. After the Civil War, the victorious Union had to make very important decisions on how to bring the southern states back into the United States. While Lincoln was alive he thought it was best to allow them back quickly and painlessly but when he was killed and President Johnson took over he had different views. President Johnson wanted to see the members of the southern planter elite humiliated but he still had pretty lenient goals for the southern states to come back into the union. President Johnson stated that the states had to abolish slavery and repudiate all Confederate debts (Jones et al, 2011, 364). The 13th Amendment was added to the constitution in 1865 and it was now law that slavery was considered to be a crime. With the adding of the southern