This paper explores outbreaks of violence in two American historical periods through the examination of Durkheim 's theories on anomie. Core values behind the American Dream, individualism, and a frontier mentality are also examined. Both the American western frontier and the Post-Reconstruction South experienced periods of violent unrest among the general population. Both of these historical periods were under conditions of anomie associated with the lack of regulation from social institutions, anxiety over the removal (or sudden presentation of) existing opportunities, and the forces of individualism and the penchant for violence provided by American ethics.
Loff '04, Jennifer M., "Our Dream and our Nightmare: Anomie and Violence in Historical Periods" (2004). Honors Projects. Paper 5.