The speech by Booker T. Washington in 1895 was focused on the relationship between white Americans and black American living in the South. The welfare of black people living in the south was disregarded in several aspects and Booker T stressed that the only way in which the entirety of the south would achieve greater lengths in success, is by including all races in its development process. The main political strategy highlighted in this speech is one that cements relationships between races and allows black Americans to begin from the bottom as they move all the way to the top. It is called the strategy of gradualism and racial accommodation. In contrast to this policy presented by Booker T, W.E.B. Dubois criticized it stressing that black American have to remain inside their racial boats, and called for persistence of civil rights and political power in order for the black community to achieve equal opportunity in education.
These two political strategies are similar in the sense that they all strive to ensure the well fare of the black community in America. By the time Dubois was responding to Booker T’s policy, black Americans were still a marginalized group as they struggled to achieve a status where they felt part of the American society. Both policies called for black community to fight in order to achieve this status. However the difference between the two political policies is seen with the strategy to be used to achieve this status. Booker T called for a gradual progress where black people start from the bottom as they move all the way to the top. They had to cast down their bucket in commerce, business, mechanics, agriculture, and domestic services. Dubois called for black Americans to rise in political power and change the situations from the top.
President Washington in his farewell address to the new republic was concerned about the future of America. He made reference to several issues that would ensure the nation stays unified and also highlighted on other issues that would divide the nation. He stressed that for the nation to remain unified, the interest of the country should come first before the interest of the individual states or cities. He also stressed that, societal lines of division such as religion, political ideologies, habits, and manners should be overlooked and instead concentrate on the independence and liberty of the new republic. Other factors that would unify the nation include, education, basing political ideologies on religious principles and morality and balanced government budget that ensures the nation avoids unnecessary borrowing, observing the letter of the constitution and making necessary amendment to the constitution that would meet the need of Americans.
Concerning aspects that would divide the nation, President Washington strongly warned the people of America against sectionalism. He advised that people who want to bring rivalry between the states have an ill motive and they should be ignored. It is only through collective efforts that Americans would enjoy their new liberty. Other factors that he expressed concerns for their potential to divide the nation includes: Political parties, and permanent foreign alliances. His main concern in this letter is unity and strength of the American people. Religion has to form the basis of all popularly elected governments because it promotes happiness of the public. Morality is also essential in promoting prosperity of the nation and this can only be achieved through religion. Based on what he says, if President Washington were alive today, he would be proud at the unity of Americans today and congratulate the leaders for sharing his vision.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 was meant to change the manner in which the government provides monetary assistance to the poor. The new strategy was to provide means in which the poor would get jobs rather than giving them money to use within a limited time. It was basically meant to end welfare programs that had existence in the US since the 1930s. In addition to providing job opportunities, the beneficiaries of the program were also supposed to be trained on basic skills in cases where necessary. On family matters, the act was supposed to discourage parents from getting children out of wedlock and then letting the mother to be the sole caretaker for the children.
Those who accepted to get jobs irrespective of the pay were supported in child care. This meant that the benefits of the welfare program shifted to their children. They also received support in education and training programs for their jobs, and given free transportation. While those who refused to get jobs risked to be sanctioned as their limits for receiving well fare money was to be cut off.
The reforms on the welfare program were not received well by everyone. Various parties and liberal groups reacted in criticism to the law. Feminist groups pointed out fears that the reforms would contribute to racism and misogyny especially in the work places. Other criticisms include: the manner in which low wage jobs were structured, and the ineffectiveness of the reform in supporting child welfare. However despite all the criticism, the reforms proved effective as it changed the way needy people are cared for in America. If it is not for the recession, America would still be witnessing growth in employment and reduction of poverty.