Understanding Our 21 st Century political polarization and intense, almost tribal hostilities by examining some of the powerful events that are the 19 th Century roots of the issues is the goal. The explosive growth of the Industrial revolution and the wage labor class that it created, and their exploitation and economic privation led to an era of labor organizations and demands for unions with the right to bargain collectively. Capital’s desire to prevent this led to frequent strikes and violence. Likewise, during the same period, also defined by frequent and extreme violence, the South saw Reconstruction dismantled, the Confederacy “redeemed,” and the establishment of the segregated and Jim Crow run South. We will
examine many of these 19th Century events that built the foundation of our political present.