It has been shown that people involved in acts of atrocity, such as lynching, shared common characteristics. This is true in case of America when it is estimated that more than 3,500 were lynched between 1865 and 1920. These happened during the time of black disfranchisement, enactment and implementation of Jim Crow laws.
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In fact, the reality brought about by its barbaric and grisly activity was so awful that such an event should never be forgotten. This is mainly because of the fear of knowing its conditions, causes and consequences. The places involved in lynching included mid-Atlantic region, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
However, the most notorious areas were the south, particularly the cotton growing states. The most important factors that led to increase in lynching across the region included the belief that collective action was rational, and Whites had the right to practice lynching in order to preserve their dominion and guard the community against the unwanted intrusions (Miller, 276).
In addition, it represented a marrow of community identity as seen in labor strikes, American Revolution and Civil war, among others. It can thus be said that the most important factors that led to increased lynching were communal identity, communal rights/interests, rational view of collective action, economic changes and laws applied at that period.
The most important factors that led to an increase in lynching across the United States between 1890 and 1930
Lynching was done for a number of reasons during these periods. However, the most important factor involved was caused by the desire to protect communal identity with its rights.
This allowed the upstanding members of white community to call such an atrocity as a means of protecting their rightful places in society as well as strengthening their communal identity. This was quite popular in the southern region where lynching was a common practice. Another cause of lynching is because it defended communal interest in the region (Miller, 277).
In essence, these people would stop at nothing to protect their interests and communal identity. Evidences of lynching were collected throughout America and presented in photographs and postcards, which were taken as souvenirs (Allen & Littlefield, 1). They uncovered numerous surprising photographs of lynching. These included corpses of Clyde Johnson of Yreka, California (image #1) as well as African American males in Texas (image #2) and Georgia (image #3), among others.
These examples show the brutality that the victims of lynching suffered. Consequently, it can be noted that some of the most important factors that led to increase in lynching across the United States were for interests and rights of the white community as well as the need to protect communal identity. In essence, they felt that external forces were infringing on their rightful place or ideas, thereby, derailing their authority and rule (Miller, 277).
Another important factor that caused lynching was in the conflict of interest between the whites and blacks. This is mainly because blacks were slaves in cotton plantations, most of them were treated badly. This forced some to rebel and be lynched in result. Moreover, those who sympathized with them also faced the same fate. Production of food was essential for the whites. In addition, their economic status hugely relied on production.
They, therefore, justified their acts, claiming that lynching was done to ensure their survival. Moreover, they believed in the fact that they were superior to other races and thus deserved respect and special rights over the others. This caused them to strengthen their place as superiors in the region. In essence, those who tried to rebel against the rule of the Whites faced lynching (Miller, 305). It is also necessary to note that the laws of the land could not protect rights of blacks who were treated as slaves.
Lynching was done in the most barbaric and grisly way throughout American. This is quite agonizing that the current generation opts to forget such an event. This is mainly because they fear to take responsibility for its causes and execution. However, it is also necessary to note that the southern states recorded most occurrences of lynching. In fact, they were the most notorious in practicing that barbaric act.
It has also been established that the main reason for lynching was to protect the interests and rights of the white community. Others included the need to protect communal identity and ideas. Moreover, one of the factors that contributed greatly to these events was the fact that collective actions were considered rational. Moreover, drastic economic changes during these periods also influenced the increase in the number of these acts of injustice.
Moreover, the laws of the land at the time did not offer protection for blacks, hence allowing such actions to be undertaken against them as well as against those who sympathized with them. The most important factors that led to increased lynching in America were communal identity, communal rights/interests, economic changes, laws at that period and rational view of collective action.
Allen, James and John Littlefield. “Photographs and Postcards of lynching in America“. Without Sanctuary. 2005. Web.
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Miller, Randall M. “Lynching in America: Some Context and a Few Comments”. Pennsylvania History, 72.3 (2005): 275-291. JSTOR. Web. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27778679?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents