The Great Depression
The impact of economic hardships during The Great Depression has an indelible impact on American society. Apart from foreign policy changes, the shrinking economy and conservative outlook of America guided most of the political narrative at that time. For instance, the depression forced some American intellectuals to see Marxism as an alternative to the failed policies of capitalism.
As the economy has rendered most of the domestic workers jobless, the resentment against the foreign workers grew. Racism against the non-white class swelled and the identity of being American largely centered on white Americans. African Americans were not accorded equal rights and the relative homogenous outlook of the society bred ethnocentric and conservative tendencies. (Eyerman, 2003, pp. 1-22)
However, the American’s entry into the Second World War infused the nation with a new wave of nationalism. Support for armed forces and subsequent victory has boosted their sense of pride in their nationhood.
Role of Government
The rise of the left posed a serious challenge to the government of the free world. The capitalist policies of the government came under increasing pressure. Further, mass migration and rising crime rate further exacerbated the situation for the government.
Additionally, higher education remained out of reach for a large part of the local population. This amplified the income gap between different economic classes within American society.
Evidence of these shifts in the current era
The consolidation of the conservative front in the recent elections and the ever-increasing economic disparity remains the hallmark of American society and politics in the current era. To this date, expensive higher education restricts social mobility and future opportunities for a large part of the American population.
The recent result of the American elections also reflects the role of white supremacists, wherein other ethnicities are looked down on with disdain.
Eyerman, Ron. Cultural Trauma: Slavery and the Formation of African American Identity. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008.