Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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America's History in the Making

Egalitarian America

Unit Overview

A Visit from the Old Mistress. 2076. dup of 2201

During and after World War II, the struggle for civil rights was not only an appeal for equality before the law, but also equality in housing and at the workplace. The civil rights movement sought racial equality for African Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans. Labor organizers found some common ground with the civil rights movement, but internal differences and external resistance created tension between these two forces.

The civil rights movement led to other movements for social change as individuals realized they could challenge authority in all walks of life. Americans voiced and debated new ideas about freedom, equality, democracy, identity, war, and peace.

During the sixties and seventies, there was a grassroots call for "more democracy" in all areas of life. This effort emphasized a change in cultural expectations and norms in education, religion, the workplace, and local communities. Students called for a participatory democracy by reaffirming their rights to express themselves on college campuses. University governments brought on students to their boards, and middle managers and union workers served on corporate boards. The women's movement played an important role in the call for more democracy as they sought fair pay, equal opportunity, comparable spending on collegiate sports programs, and control over their own bodies. The call for greater democracy also extended to protecting environmental and consumer rights as individuals successfully challenged the government and business to protect the safety and welfare of the public.

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