The late 19th-and early 20-centuries were a time of joining in Tennessee. Civil war gave way to civic engagement, as thousands of benevolent societies and fraternal organizations formed and expanded across the country. Born from crisis, these community organizations became a part of the fabric of a newly born United States. These groups pooled their resources to aid their dues-paying members by caring for the ill, burying the dead, and providing a social safety net long before the advent of Social Security. This resource will help students understand how these institutions helped define and influence American ideals during a tumultuous period of growth for our young nation.