America following the Civil War was vastly different from America prior to it. No longer interested in romantic ideas, writers sought to depict life as it really was. This movement is known as realism. Many realists focused on highlighting the unique characteristics of different regions of the country, creating writing referred to as regionalism. As the 19th century came to a close, naturalism rose in popularity. This writing reflected the rapid changes of the time. Naturalists saw people as helpless from forces beyond their control, and often focused on the sharp contrasts created by wealth.