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Unit 6: 1865-1898

General Timeline
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General Map

Map # 1: The US

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Course Content

The New South:


Redemption of the Southern Governments

  • By 1877, US Federal troops left the South, so Southern White governments took over all Southern states

    • Ruled largely by conservative oligarchy (similar to before Civil War)​

    • Industrialists had influence in new gov

    • New gov had a focus on white rule & economic development

  • New Southern govs undid most funding for services to help Blacks

    • Many reduced funding for public schools & other services that Reconstruction made to help Blacks

    • They did this so they could lower taxes

  • Many organized dissent movements to campaign to reinstate the state services (like public schools)

    • Virginia had "Readjuster" movement

      • Partly successful, gained control of VA state legislature

    • Eventually, conservative whites took over all these dissent movements

  • Basically, most achievements of Reconstruction were undone


Southern Economy

Southern Industrialization

  • After Civil War, South realized its industrial disadvantage compared to North

    • South rapidly began industrializing

  • Textile factories appeared in the South itself

    • Cotton was grown in South, and it was made into textiles in Southern factories

      • No need to send to Northern factories anymore​

    • Abundance of water power, cheap labor, low taxes, and strong govs allowed this​

  • James B Duke founded American Tobacco Company

    • Processed raw tobacco into finished products​

  • Iron & Steel industries grew in the South

    • Mostly Birmingham, AL​

  • Railroad Development was significant

    • Trackage doubled from 1880-1890

    • Changed the gauge (width of tracks) to match that of the North

      • Allowed South & North to combine tracks

  • Still, South was a minor player compared to North

    • Still had about 10% of industrialization (same as before Civil War)

    • Per capita income increased 21%

    • Most of the industrial capital came from the North (thus, South was like a colonial economy)

  • Many women joined the factories

    • Many men died in Civil War, so their widows needed employment​

    • Often payed very little (< 1/2 of Northern wages)

  • Blacks had little opportunity in factories

    • Often lowest positions or very little pay

    • Many were denied employment in railroads & other heavy industrial projects

    • "Convict-lease" system allowed gov to send prisoners to work in factories

      • Most of these were Black men

      • Often died of overwork

  • Mill towns (towns w/ textile mills) were very strict & rigid

    • Low pay for workers, high prices for groceries at the company stores

    • Managers would suppress labor strikes & unions


Southern Agriculture & Sharecropping

  • Although the South industrialized, it was still largely agrarian

    • Relied on absentee farmers (farmers who owned large plots of land & didn't manage it often)

    • Relied on a few cash crops (like cotton)

  • African-Americans mostly couldn't own their own land, so they were tenants on others' plantations

    • Most had no tools, so their landlords would give them basic tools in exchange for rent

    • In Crop-lien system, landlord gives basic tools & necessities to tenants in exchange for credit

      • The landlord earns most of the tenant's profit from the crops

      • Often tenants would ​get some land, a small house, tools, seeds, and a mule

      • This was known as "Sharecropping" as tenants share their crops w/ their landlords

      • Tenants barely had any money left to keep themselves, so they were in deeper debt

  • Overall, plantation life for Blacks didn't change that much after the Civil War


Southern Society

Black Society & Black Middle Class

  • Most Blacks were poor & in the lower class, but some were able to acquire wealth & become in middle class

    • These were former slaves & their kids

    • Most built small businesses or entered professions to help other Blacks

      • Some became teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc. to help other Blacks

    • Maggie Walker established St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, VA (1903)

      • First female bank president in US

      • Meant to serve Black community

  • Booker T Washington was a Black who promoted the pursuit of education for Blacks

    • Believed education was the only way to advance in society & gain wealth and social status​

    • Founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama

    • Believed that if Blacks get educated, they can become more respected by Whites

    • In a speech known as the Atlanta Compromise (1895), he said that Blacks had enormous potential if they get educated

    • Very influential in helping inspire & awaken the next generation of Blacks


Jim Crow Laws & Black Subordination

  • Blacks had some equality after Civil War, but it all disappeared in 1877 when Reconstruction ended

    • Whites sought to reinstate white rule

    • Federal gov lost interest in pursuing Black rights

      • In 1883, Supreme Court ruled that private enterprises can discriminate against Blacks

        • Only public enterprises can't discriminate

      • Thus, railroads, hotels, etc. could all discriminate against Blacks​

  • In Plessy v Ferguson (1896), Supreme Court legalized segregation

    • Private enterprises can have separate facilities for blacks as long as they are equal

      • ​Known as "separate but equal" but they weren't equal at all

  • Cumming v Richmond County Board of Education (1899)​ legalized segregation in schools

  • Whites also sought to remove Black voting rights

    • They had to somehow remove Black voting rights while adhering to 15th Amendment

    • They instituted a literacy test in which voters had to interpret the Constitution in order to vote

      • Blacks had a harder test than Whites, so many Blacks failed it

      • Black voter registration fell 62%

      • Williams v Mississippi (1898) validated the literacy test

    • However, Whites also wanted to allow poor whites to vote

      • Many poor whites ​failed the literacy test, so they needed another solution

      • Gov passed the Grandfather Clause: If you fail literacy test, you can still vote if your ancestors have voted before the Reconstruction

        • This way, poor whites could vote

        • This was eventually voided in court

  • This system was known as Jim Crow laws

    • Blacks had separate railroad cars, waiting rooms, bathrooms, schools, etc. than whites​

      • Always had inferior facilities than Whites

  • More violence, especially lynchings, was used toward Blacks

    • A bit under 200 lynchings a year, most were Black

      • Many were lynched for supposedly committing crimes

      • Most of these "crimes" were actually not adhering to rules of Black subordination

    • Ida B Wells, Black journalist, began anti-lynching movement in 1892

      • This largely failed as Whites were united in promoting Black subordination​


Westward Expansion:


Economic Development in West

Growth of Agriculture in the Plains Region

  • More railroads were built to give access to West

    • In 1869, transcontinental railroad was completed

    • State govs gave subsidies to private enterprises to make smaller railroad lines within the states

      • These railroads encouraged settlement by offering fares at very low prices

  • More people settled in Great Plains due to rising rainfall & better climate

    • No longer believed to be "Great American Desert"​

    • Climate was now more suitable for agriculture

  • Farmers had to enclose their farms to prevent cattle from entering & destroying their crops

    • They developed barbed wire to fence their farms

  • Farmers also had to develop methods of irrigation

    • There wasn't as much water compared to the East

    • Developed wells or channels

  • A drought began in 1887, causing many farmers to suffer

    • Crop yield decreased, crop prices fell​

    • Some developed advanced methods of irrigation, but these were expensive

      • Only the big farms could do this

    • Most could not pay off the debts they had taken to initially migrate westward

    • Many had to migrate back eastward

  • A lot of farmers felt isolated in the Plains

    • They lacked educational facilities & other basic necessities

    • This isolation turned into a political movement called the Populist Movement in 1890s


Commercial Agriculture in Plains Region

  • Many of the farmers in Great Plains practiced commercial farming

    • Wouldn't produce goods for their own use; produced cash crops to sell in markets​

    • Bought all groceries & goods at the village store

    • These farmers faced a lot of financial challenges

      • They were now dependent on bankers & the international market

  • Many farmers had to sell in unpredictable international markets

    • America didn't have a big enough market for the surplus of agricultural goods

    • International market could fluctuate, causing farmers' incomes to fluctuate

  • Price of goods could fall anytime

    • Farmers couldn't predict the price of their goods by harvest time

  • Farmers depended on bankers for credit

    • Due to the scarcity of loans, farmers had to accept whatever loan they get offered​

      • Sometimes at a high interest rate

    • Sometimes, interest must be paid when currency is scarce & prices were dropping

  • Farmers also depended on railroad industries

    • Railroads would charge lots of money to transport agricultural goods

    • They would also control prices of storage rooms


Labor Patterns in the Western Region

  • Labor in the west involved mining, ranching, railroad construction, etc.

    • Workers had higher wages than in East​

      • Chinese immigrants could work for lower wages​

    • Once project was over or mine was depleted, workers had to find a new job

      • Caused lots of problems​

  • Many men in the West were single as they had to move around a lot

  • There was limited social mobility & a highly-stratified social structure

    • People believed West was full of limitless opportunity

      • Only the wealthy had many opportunities

    • Labor system was stratified along racial lines

      • Whites were at the top​

      • Nonwhites (Blacks, Asians, etc.) were at the bottom as they did unskilled labor

  • Still, the nonwhites were able to endure the working conditions as they were used to working in the heat

    • They could accept low wages & live in extreme conditions


Mining in the West

  • The Mining industry was a very dangerous & unpredictable industry

    • When gold was discovered, people would quickly flock there​, creating a boom town

    • Once the gold is depleted, people would leave, creating a ghost town

    • After the people leave, corporations would bring machinery to dig deeper to find gold

  • This life cycle of a mining boom can be seen at all major mining rushes of the late 1800s

    • Happened in California Gold Rush of 1849​

    • Pike's Peak Gold Rush of 1858 (Colorado)

    • Comstock Lode Gold Rush of 1859 (Nevada)

    • Black Hills Gold Rush of 1874 (Dakota Territory)

  • Working conditions in mines were dangerous & bad

    • There was no police, so some people organized their own "law enforcement"

    • Mines were very hot and there were lots of dangerous substances

      • This could cause health problems

    • Many people could become disabled or die

  • The majority of miners were men

    • Some women migrated to mining towns, mostly with their husbands​

      • Some women worked for wages​

      • Other women did domestic chores


The Cattle Kingdom & Cattle Ranching

  • Cattle Ranching became a common industry in the West (Texas, Kansas, and all states to the West)​

    • Originated when Mexico owned the land, then Americans took over Mexican ranches

    • Served the purpose of developing meat & dairy products from the cattle

    • White men dominated the industry, but Mexicans & black men held other positions within cattle ranches

  • Cattle were often brought via trails & railroads to Kansas & Missouri, where they were sold or marketed

    • The Texas Road was a trail from Texas to Sedalia, MO, where many cattle were brought

    • Chisholm Trail brought cattle to Abilene, KS​

    • Other cities in Kansas were also home to cattle ranching stations

    • People also transported meat & dairy products on these railroads in refrigerated rail cars

    • The image of the cattle drive became a really romanticized image in American art & literature

  • Afterward, cowboys started to enclose their ranches instead of letting cattle graze in the open

    • Ranchers would build fences to protect their cattle from the other farmers​

      • Farmers also used barbed wire to prevent cattle from entering their land​

    • They sometimes fought "range wars" against sheepmen over property ownership

  • A series of winters in late 1880s caused many cattle to die, which put the industry in decline

  • Women gained a lot of political power from ranches

    • Many women owned ranches themselves​

      • This influenced Western states to give voting rights to women

    • Wyoming was the first state that gave voting rights to women, & other Western states followed


The Western Societies & the Indians

The Indians in the West

  • There were still about 150k Indians living west of Mississippi River, excluding those in Indian Territory

    • Some had developed advanced forms of civilization, most were still nomadic

  • Pueblos had lived in New Mexico, and they developed close relations w/ the Spanish & Mexicans

    • Pueblos allied w/ Spanish against the other tribes (Apache, Navajo, etc.)​

    • Created a social structure w/ Spanish at top, Pueblos below, and other tribes at the bottom

  • Many of the Plains Indians were in constant warfare but had many similarities

    • All had a religion & culture base​d on natural spirits and ancestors

    • Most tribes had bands of 500 people, each with a governing council

    • Often had limited permanent settlements: Used mostly teepees as temporary settlements

  • Buffalos were super important for Indians

    • Their meat provided food​

    • Their skin was used fo clothing & teepees

    • Their bones were arrowheads or knives

  • Plains Indians developed into great warriors

    • Used horses (that the Spanish had used before)

    • Still were outnumbered & outgunned by the more powerful Whites (obviously)

  • Many diseases decimated some Indian populations

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Hispanic New Mexico

  • In New Mexico, the Indians (mostly Pueblo) had lived alongside the Spanish (& Mexicans)

  • In Mexican-American War, Gen. Stephen Kearny took over New Mexico

    • Kearny tried to establish a government that excluded the Mexican ruling class​

    • The Mexicans & Indians hated this

      • Taos Indians revolted in the Taos Indian Rebellion (1847)​

        • They killed the US governor & some US officials​​

    • US military established rule there until a new territorial gov was created in 1850

  • By 1870s, the New Mexico gov was ruled by White businessmen who wanted profits

  • Finally, the US ended the power of the Indian tribes in New Mexico (Navajo, Apache)

    • US forced them onto reservations

    • This allowed Hispanics in New Mexico to continue their business & commercial practices

  • Later on, Hispanic New Mexico drew influence from cattle ranchers

    • Cattle ranchers came from Mexico & Eastern US​

    • Hispanics failed to fend off the cattle ranchers

  • Overall, Hispanics in New Mexico still had considerable power


The Hispanics in California and Texas

  • In the Spanish colonial period, missionaries started to baptize the Indians on the West Coast

    • They even forced the Indians to do labor

  • After 1830, new Mexican gov had created a Mexican aristocracy in California

    • Took power away from the Churches​

    • Landowning Mexicans had power

  • Ranching survived in the South, but it also was in decline

  • When the Whites arrived, they took power away from the Mexicans

    • Expropriated their land through business deals or outright ​seizures

    • Many Mexicans in the South were forced into neighborhoods in Los Angeles

    • Many Mexicans were now in subordinate low-income positions

  • A similar pattern occurred in Texas

    • Texan Mexicans lost their power to the White Americans

    • Most Mexicans resorted to unskilled agricultural or industrial labor


Chinese Immigration

  • Many people from China migrated to the US

    • In CA, Chinese people were 10% of population​

  • At first, CA gov welcomed them; Later, CA gov started to put them in subordinate position

    • Imposed a special tax for Chinese miners​

    • Adopted other measures to discourage Chinese settlement

  • Many Chinese migrated during the Gold Rush to find gold or help other Chinese miners

  • After Gold Rush, many Chinese worked on the Transcontinental Railroad

    • Made up 90% of workforce

    • Could work for low pay in harsh conditions

  • After completion of Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, some worked in irrigation projects in Central Valley

    • Others worked in agriculture as tenant farmers​

  • Many Chinese people established "Chinatowns" or centers of Chinese culture

    • Most prominent was in San Francisco​

  • Many Chinese resorted to small businesses or low-income labor

    • Laundry was a really common. Chinese business​

  • Few Chinese women migrated, and they were mostly prostitutes

    • As gender-ratio became more balanced, Chinese women were treated better

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Opposition to Chinese Immigration

  • Many people opposed the growing Chinese immigration

    • Believed they are taking jobs from the Whites as they can accept lower wages

  • People started Anti-Coolie clubs to attack Chinese

    • Attacked Chinese workers on the streets, set fire to factories w/ Chinese employees, etc.

  • Democratic Party promoted anti-Chinese sentiment

  • In 1882, Congress passed Chinese Exclusion Act

    • Banned Chinese immigration for 10 years​

      • Renewed in 1892, permanent in 1902

    • Chinese population declined 40% as a result

    • Reflected how much the Americans hate the Chinese for stealing their jobs


Immigration from the East

  • A lot of people migrated from the East

    • Mostly came via railroads

    • Came for better prospects & to gain land

    • Many came from Europe: Scandinavia, Italy, Central Europe, etc.

  • Homestead Act of 1862 allowed settlers to buy 160 acres of land after living there for 5 years

    • This was problematic because 160 acres often wasn't enough for grain farms

    • Also, it was difficult & expensive to run a farm in the arid climate

    • This was meant to allow people to acquire land in the West to improve their life prospects

    • This allowed millions of people to migrate westward

  • Many other Government Laws allowed people to acquire land in the West

  • Eventually, most lands in the west became states


Removal of the Indians

US's Initial Policies Toward the Indians

  • Before 1850, US basically reserved the area west of Missouri River as Indian Territory

  • Now, US wanted to concentrate each tribe into a reservation​

    • These were scattered plots of land chosen by the US, w/ little benefits for the Indians

  • US Established Indian Peace Commission (1867)

    • Sought to move all Indians to 2 Indian territories: One in Oklahoma, one in Dakotas

    • This failed

  • US later left all matters to Bureau of Indian Affairs

    • This sought to move all Indians to reservations

    • The Whites who looked over the reservations were very incompetent

  • US sought to kill all buffalos

    • Buffalos were super important to Indians

    • US wanted Buffalos as food for travelers

    • US was also interested in Buffalo hides

    • US decimated the buffalo population from millions to a few thousand


US's Battles Against the Indians

  • The Indians sought to resist any method of White encroachment on their land

    • Often killed stagecoaches, trains, etc. to try to regain their land

  • In 1851, Chief Little Crow led the Sioux to kill 700 Whites, but later agreed to move from MN to Dakotas

  • At the Sand Creek Massacre (1864), Arapaho & Cheyenne tried to revolt against mining practices in Eastern CO

    • Chief Black led a group of Indians to revolt

    • All peaceful Indians were brought to a safe camp, but the US Army fired at them instead

    • Chief Black escaped but was caught much later

  • Ordinary Whites also threatened Indian civilization and engaged in "Indian Hunting"

    • Would hunt Indians as kind of a sport & receive bounties in exchange

  • In 1877, the Nez Percé Indians (which had lived in OR) were forced to migrate to Montana area

    • Chief Joseph led the Nez Percé in running from the US Army, covering 1321 miles in 75 days

      • Sought to go to Canada to join the Sioux​

    • Nez Percé were eventually captured by US Army, and Joseph was killed

Here are flowcharts depicting 2 of the most important Indian battles:

US Army, led by Gen. George Custer, sought to move the Sioux Indians to a reservation 

The Sioux resisted & organized an army of 2500 Indian soldiers

At the Battle of Little Bighorn (1876), the Sioux killed Gen. Custer & his entire 200-person army

The Sioux Indians adopted the
"Ghost Dance," a religious tradition that promoted Indian revival and the end of threats by the Americans

The US Army believed the "ghost dance" was a threat & sought to suppress it

At the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890), the US army killed 200 Sioux Indians

The Dawes Act (1887) & Creation of Boarding Schools

  • Now, US sought to end the practice of having tribes living communally on reservations

    • Wanted to assimilate them to White society​

  • US passed the Dawes Act of 1887

    • Proposed by Sen. Henry Dawes (R-MA)

    • Would divide all Indian reservations into individual land plots, some given to Whites, the rest kept for Indians

      • Indians lost more than 80% of their land

    • Indians who accept land would eventually be given US citizenship under certain prerequisites

  • They also sent Indian children to boarding schools to assimilate them into White society

    • Cut their hair, taught them English, removed tribal traditions, gave them new names​

    • Richard Pratt founded the Carlisle School in PA, a boarding school for Indians

      • Said, "Kill the Indian, save the man"

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The Gilded Age:


Rise of Capitalism

Industrial Innovations

  • The beginning of 1800s (Market Revolution) was known for textile production

  • The end of 1800s (Gilded Age) was known for iron, steel, oil, and heavy industry

    • Henry Bessemer invented the Bessemer convertor to make steel from ​iron

  • Pittsburgh became the center for steel production

    • Coal was also found in Western PA mines & was used to power steel furnaces

    • Other midwest cities became important steel production centers

  • Railroads were crucial to transporting steel & raw materials

    • They developed a close tie with industry​

    • Pennsylvania Railroad created the PA Steel Company

  • People then realized that oil & petroleum could be used to lubricate machines

    • Found out its potential for fuel later on

    • In 1859 George Bissell & Edwin L Drake created first oil well in PA

  • Henry Ford used the internal combustion engine (an engine that used refined petroleum) to make the first major American car in 1903

    • He created an assembly line of Ford automobiles

  • The Wright brothers (Wilbur & Orville Wright) used the internal combustion engine to create the first model of an airplane (1903)

  • Thomas Edison also made many inventions

    • Invented phonograph, lightbulb, motion picture, & a system to generate & distribute electricity​

    • Established General Electric, created first electricity generator in Manhattan in 1882

    • Nikola Tesla (Croatian immigrant) created the electric motor

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Communications Innovations

  • Railroad trackage increased 6 fold from 1860-1900

    • 5 transcontinental railroad lines​

    • Railroad adopted a standard gauge (width of track) in 1886

    • Creation of 4 standard time zones in 1883

  • The Transatlantic Cable was created in 1868, making it easier to send telegraph messages to Europe

  • The telephone, typewriter, telegraph, handheld camera were invented

    • Made communication easier​


Andrew Carnegie

  • Scottish immigrant to US

    • First worked in Pennsylvania Railroad​, later worked in the factories

  • Carnegie created the first vertically-aligned steel company

    • This company did everything from getting raw materials, transporting materials, producing finished products, & distribution of products

      • Known as vertically-aligned

    • His main factory at Homestead, PA, was most advanced in the world

  • He donated most of his wealth to philanthropies

    • Funded public libraries & universities


John D Rockefeller

  • Rockefeller owned an oil company & wanted to eliminate competition

    • He bought all competing oil refineries

    • He absorbed all smaller oil companies

  • He created a trust: One company owns the enterprises of multiple smaller companies

    • Created Standard Oil Company & Trust​

    • Known as horizontal organization

  • He also had vertical organization: Controlled all aspects of oil production from raw material extraction to production to distribution

  • He later made his Trust a "holding company"

    • One company would buy up the stocks of other subordinate companies

    • He bought the stocks of all companies in his trust to establish direct rule over his trust

  • He also gave his wealth away to educational & medical research institutes


Labor & Social Policies

Brutal Working Conditions & Robber Barons

  • The industrial owners like Carnegie & Rockefeller were known as "robber barons"

    • They used brutal labor practices on their workers

  • Industrial workers had terrible working conditions

    • Long working hours (~14 hours a day), 6 days a week

    • Factory labor was also dangerous & filthy

    • Wages were super low & kept being lowered

    • There were so many unemployed people, so if one person does a bad job, a new person can easily be hired

  • Government generally supported the factory owners & did almost nothing to help the workers


Labor Unions & Labor Strikes

  • Industrial workers organized labor unions to campaign for better working conditions

    • Wanted less working hours & more pay

    • Almost always unsuccessful as their employers would suppress them

      • Also, there were so many unemployed people, so these workers could easily be replaced

    • Labor unions often led workers' strikes

  • The Great Railroad Strike (1877) was when railroad workers revolted against a pay cut

    • US army was called to break the strike & killed about 100 strikers

    • This was the main motivation for the creation of Labor Unions in the future

  • Haymarket Affair (1886) was a protest & strike against labor cuts at McCormick factory in Chicago

    • 4 Strikers were killed by police, so people rallied in Haymarket square to protest

    • Someone threw a bomb into the crowd, causing police to open fire & kill many people

    • This led to anti–Labor union sentiment among people


Social Darwinism & Other Social Ideas

  • Many people created social theories & even wrote books about the social order in the Gilded Age

  • People adapted Social Darwinism to the Gilded Age

    • Believed successful businessmen & corporations can better adapt to their surroundings than unsuccessful people

      • "Survival for the fittest" meant that only the successful businessmen could survive​

  • Edward Bellamy wrote Looking Backward

    • Believed in a world of equality w/ no competition

    • Wanted to combat the social effects of the Gilded Age

  • Henry George wrote Progress and Poverty to try to explain why poverty exists

  • The Social Gospel Movement was a Protestant movement to apply Christianity to social problems

    • Combatted child labor, helped the poor, etc.


Political Developments & Gilded Age Politics:


Politics in the Gilded Age

Corruption in Government

  • The government was very corrupt in the Gilded Age as it served the interests of the businessmen

    • Passed laws to help businesses make money & keep employees in strict subordination

    • Sometimes passed laws to help the businesses in which they had stocks

  • In the Whiskey Ring (1875), Pres. Grant & the Republicans defrauded lots of federal tax money

    • They used tax money from Whiskey distillers to fund the Republican campaign

  • In the Tweed Ring, William Tweed took over the NYC government & generated huge profits

    • Tweed was a businessmen who took over the NYC government

    • He used his position to defraud millions of tax dollars & gain lots of money

  • Overall, the Gilded Age corrupted many governments as they only served business interests


Governmental Acts

  • Government passed many acts to help business interests

    • Did little to solve issues like education, medicare, crime, etc.

    • Repealed greenbacks (paper money), returned to gold standard for currency

      • Caused decrease in money supply​

    • Tried to solve corruption but wasn't very successful

  • Civil Service Act / Pendleton Act (1883) created a merit-based exam for federal officeholders

    • Tried to end corruption in government

  • Interstate Commerce Commission (1887) passed Interstate Commerce Act (1887)

    • Meant to regulate prices in railroad industry to prevent monopolies

    • Very little influence as it could only sue violating companies at court & not fix prices easily

  • Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) tried to enforce free trade & prevent monopolies

    • Very vague & not super successful​


Political Machines & Bosses

  • Many governments were corrupt as they were ruled by "political machines"

    • Political Machines (or "bosses") were rich people who would appeal to immigrants for support

    • They'd give relief services & help to immigrants in exchange for their vote in the election

  • These "bosses" were super corrupt

    • They'd profit from city construction projects

    • William Tweed was a famous "boss" in NYC

    • "Bosses" were successful as immigrants enjoyed the services they provided them & didn't care much about their corruption

    • Upper classes also profited from some construction projects by these "bosses"

    • This allowed "bosses" to rule for a long time


Political Developments in 1880s

Election of 1880

  • At this time, the national government was weak

    • The power was in the 2 political parties, not the government

    • Political parties were almost evenly divided, causing a series of one-term presidencies

  • At the end of Rutherford B Hayes's term, 2 Republican factions were competing for control

    • Stalwarts wanted political machines (corrupt businessmen) to dominate government

      • Led by Sen. Roscoe Conkling (R-NY)

    • Half-Breeds wanted civil service reform & merit-based government

      • Led by Sen. James Blaine (R-ME)​

      • Opposed political machines

  • In election of 1880, Republicans had James Garfield (Half-Breed) for president & Chester Arthur (Stalwart) for VP

    • Allowed Republicans to appeal to more people since they had one Stalwart & one Half-Breed

    • Democrats had Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock

  • Garfield won the election, but he was shot by a Stalwart in Jun 1881

  • Chester Arthur (former VP) became president and passed the Pendleton Act (1883)

    • Instituted a civil service exam for government positions, meant to end corruption

    • This was actually supported by Half-Breeds, but Pres. Arthur later supported it


Grover Cleveland & Elections of 1884, 1888, 1892

  • Election of 1884 was James Blaine (R) vs Grover Cleveland (D)

    • Cleveland believed in lowering tariffs & got a lot of support​

    • Cleveland won

  • Cleveland wanted to lower tariff rates, but Senate Republicans actually raised tariffs

  • Election of 1888 was Grover Cleveland (D) vs Benjamin Harrison (R)

    • The tariffs were an important issue in this election

    • Harrison supported the tariffs, but Cleveland wanted to reduce the tariffs

    • Harrison won

  • Harrison passed Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) to suppress monopolies

    • It had almost no impact

  • Rep William McKinley (R-OH) promoted the McKinley Tariff, a really high tariff

    • People hated this, so Republicans lost a lot of power

  • Election of 1892 election was Grover Cleveland (D) vs Benjamin Harrison (R)

    • Since people now hated the high tariff, Cleveland won

    • Cleveland passed Wilson-Gorman Tariff (Revenue Act) (1894) which slightly reduced tariffs


The Populist Movement by the Farmers

The Grange

  • The Order of Patrons of Husbandry (or the Grange) was founded in 1867 by Oliver​​ Kelley

    • Wanted to create a community of farmers because many farmers were isolated & lonely

  • Membership significantly increased after Depression of 1873

  • The Grange was very popular in the South & Midwest, where it focused more on economic opportunities

    • Set up collective stores & warehouses to circumvent the "middlemen" in crop sales

  • Grange members managed to win seats or even control of some state legislatures

    • Passed laws to regulate railroad rates

  • In the 1880s, the Courts managed to nullify all railroad regulations, causing the Grange to decline


The Farmers' Alliances

  • As The Grange was declining, another organization called the Farmers' Alliance was taking root

    • Had Southern Alliance & Northwestern Alliance​

      • Merged in 1889

  • Alliance believed in cooperative economic power; hated large corporations

    • Created subtreasuries: Farmers deposit goods in a warehouse as collateral to get loans from banks at low interest rates

    • Wanted to abolish the national bank

    • Wanted government ownership of railroads

    • Rejected capitalism

  • Alliance members taught agricultural education throughout the Midwest & South

  • In 1890, the Alliance met at Ocala, FL and wrote the Ocala Demands

    • A list of things the Alliance wanted the government to do (most are listed above)


The Creation of the Populist Party

  • After the Ocala Demands (1890), other Alliance Members met in 1892 at Omaha, NE

    • Created the Populist Party (the People's Party), an actual political party of the Farmers' Alliance​

    • This was the successor of the Greenback party, a political party of farmers who wanted the government to issue more money

  • Made a list of Populist ideas

    • Subtreasury system: Farmers deposit goods in warehouses as collateral to get low-interest loans

    • Abolition of national bank & absentee ownership of land

    • Direct election of US senators

    • Government ownership of railroads

    • Graduated income tax (percentage of income that's taxed gradually increases)

    • Wanted inflation of currency

  • Generally disagreed w/ miners on economic issues

  • Only agreed w/ miners on the issue of "free silver"

    • Believed silver (as well as gold) should be basis for currency​

  • Black people created the "Colored Alliances"

    • A subset of Populist movement​

  • In 1892 elections, James Weaver (IA) was presidential candidate

    • Weaver lost, but many Populists won Congressional elections


Economic Issues & Question about "Free Silver"

Panic of 1893

Pennsylvania & Reading Railroads couldn't pay loans, so they collapsed

This caused National Cordage Company to collapse, which caused Stock Market to Fail

NY banks that invested in stocks failed, so small businesses that used loans failed. A depression in Europe caused American farmers to lose their European markets

Coxey's Army (1894)

In 1894, Jacob S Coxey (Ohio businessman) wanted a public works program to create jobs during the Panic of 1893

His proposals failed, so he marched from Ohio to DC w/ 500 people to ask Congress to launch the public works program

Police arrested Coxey & dispersed his march

Question about "Free Silver"

  • In the mid 19th century, Congress used silver & gold metal as basis for currency

    • 16 oz of silver = 1 oz of gold (16:1 ratio)

  • Actual market value of silver was better than the 16:1 ratio, silver manufacturers would sell it as jewelry instead of to the government

    • This caused US government to have a lack of silver

  • In 1873, US government stopped minting coins w/ silver basis, causing silver price to decline

    • Known as "Crime of '73"​

    • Farmers hated this as they wanted more money & more inflation to easily pay off debts

  • Pres. Harrison passed Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890), making Congress purchase a certain amount of silver from miners to mint it into money

    • Known as "Free Silver"

    • Became a really important issue in upcoming elections


William Jennings Bryan

  • At the Democratic National Convention of 1896, William Jennings Bryan promoted "free silver"

    • Gave a famous speech called "Cross of gold," denouncing the gold standard for currency

    • He became presidential nomination for Democratic party

  • Populists agreed with Bryan

    • Realized that they'll lost if they have their own candidate

    • Thus, Populists joined Democrats & supported Bryan


Election of 1896 & McKinley's Economic Recovery

  • Election of 1896 was William Bryan (D) vs William McKinley (R)

    • Both sides had vigorous campaigning

    • In the end, McKinley won

    • Populist party dissolved as it had fused with the Democrats

  • McKinley's presidency brought lots of recovery

    • Labor protests started to diminish

    • Economic crisis became better​

  • More gold was available to help strengthen the gold standard of currency

    • Extracted gold from Alaska, South Africa, & Australia to keep the gold standard

    • Passed Gold Standard Act (Currency Act) (1900) to assign a specific value of gold to US currency​​

  • Passed Dingley Tariff (1897), raising tariffs to the highest point in US history


Life in the Cities:


Multiethnic Life in Cities

Immigration from Europe to Cities

  • More people migrated to the cities

    • Cities had higher-paying jobs & more opportunities

    • Transportation (railroad & steamship) made it easy to come to the cities

  • Many immigrants came to the Cities

    • Most came from Southern & Eastern Europe​

      • Mostly unskilled laborers who took industrial jobs​

    • Some also came from Canada, Latin America, China, Japan


Multiethnic Culture in Cities

  • Cities became multiethnic centers due to rising immigration

    • In many cities, >80% of population was immigrants​ & their kids​

  • Immigrants formed ethnic communities of other immigrants from the same country

    • Had newspapers in their native language, ​restaurants/shops w/ goods from native country


Responses to Immigration

  • Most immigrants sought to Americanize themselves

    • Learned English in schools, spoke English at work, bought American goods

    • Mostly 2nd & 3rd gen immigrants assimilated into American culture

  • This caused a change in gender roles

    • In America, women have more freedom compared to women in other countries
    • Immigrant women had to adapt to the idea of having more freedom
  • Many Americans hated the rising immigration
    • Henry Bowers founded American Protective Association (1887) to stop immigration
    • Some believed in a literacy test for immigrants
    • Congress passed a law in 1882 to restrict Chinese immigration
  • Most people believed immigration to be good as it provides a source of cheap labor

Problems & Reforms in Cities

Creation of Public Spaces, Transportation, and Skyscrapers

  • People wanted open spaces in the city to as a place to get away from busy city life​​​

    • Frederick Law Olmsted & Calvert Vaux designed New York's Central Park in 1850s​

    • People promoted the "City Beautiful" movement

      • Wanted to clear older neighborhoods to build large avenues & parks

  • Cities also needed better transportation

    • Horse-drawn streetcars were too slow

    • NYC built the elevated steam-powered railway in 1878, other cities followed

    • Richmond, VA, built 1st electric trolley in 1888

    • Boston built first subway system in 1897

  • Cities also started building taller buildings to create more rooms & housing

    • Invention of elevators & iron beams for support allowed the construction of taller buildings

    • Equitable Building in NY (1870) was first building w/ elevator

    • Most skyscrapers built in NYC & Chicago


Housing in the Cities

  • Rich people lived in magnificent houses in rich districts or on famous streets

  • Middle class people often lived in suburbs

    • Had fresh air, linked to city w/ railroad or streetcar​

  • Housing the poor was hard

    • Most working class people lived in tenements​

      • Crowded into very small spaces, allowing disease to spread easily​

    • Blacks in the south lived in old slave quarters or brick row houses


Solutions to Fires, Crimes, Poverty, and the Environment

  • Many cities had big fires in late 1800s

    • This encouraged the creation of fire departments

  • Cities also had lots of crime, so cities created police departments to combat this

    • There were many robberies, murders, lynchings (in the south), etc.

  • Cities had lots of poverty, so many philanthropies donated to them

    • Salvation Army (est. 1879) was a Christian revival movement that helped the poor

  • Federal government created many services to combat environmental & health issues

    • Disease spread easily in cities​

    • Industrial waste polluted the air as well as lakes & rivers

    • Human waste polluted drinking water

    • Federal gov created Public Health Service in 1912 to combat disease spread

    • Gov also created OSHA in 1971 to force employers to establish safe & healthy working conditions


Society in the Cities

Department Stores & Consumer Culture

  • The Middle Class had a rising income, allowing them to spend more on stylish products

    • People, especially women, were more concerned w/ stylish clothes & fashion trends

      • This was known as consumer culture

    • People were also concerned with types of foods

      • Businesses packaged special foods in tin containers & shipped them

  • Chain stores became common as they could buy in bulk

    • Woolworth opened the Five and Ten Cent Store in ​Utica, NY (1879)

      • Later created a whole chain​

    • These had lower prices than normal stores

    • Mail-orders were used in rural areas as a replacement for chain stores

  • Department stores also became popular

    • Made shopping a glamorous activity

    • Had comforthouses & teahouses, making shopping a social activity as well

  • Women were mainly concerned w/ the consumer market, and they often took jobs as clerks or waitresses


Leisure Activities for Working Class

  • People had more extra time they could use toward leisure activities

  • Working class had somewhat limited options due to their low income

  • Working class often went to saloons for leisure time

    • Known for crimes, prostitution, and discussions of politics

  • Many also enjoyed watching boxing matches

  • On the 4th of July, they would organize picnics outside


Leisure Activities for Middle Class

  • Middle class had more options for leisure as they could pay more

  • Spectator sports like football, basketball, baseball, boxing, and horse racing became common

  • Theaters were also popular places

    • Home to Italian operas, Yiddish theatrical works, Vaudeville shows, and many others

  • Thomas Edison invented the motion picture in 1880s, which was used to create movies

  • Also enjoyed reading newspapers

    • Reporting became a professional business​

    • Newspaper circulation increased

    • Telegraphs were used to communicate news over long distances

    • William Randolph Hearst was the main player in the newspaper industry



  • Public schools were becoming common

    • By 1900, many states had mandatory education

  • Many people opened schools to civilize the Indians​

  • Colleges benefited from Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862

    • Allowed states to sell their land & use the money to finance the creation of colleges​

    • Led to creation of many colleges in the South & the West

  • Many robber barons & philanthropies donated to colleges & founded their own colleges

  • More women's colleges started to appear

    • Mt. Holyoke, Wellesley, and others were only for women

    • Many colleges were coeducational

    • Many women pursued advanced careers or pursued reform movements after college

Important Terms & People

The New South:

After the Reconstruction (1877), the South sought to restore its initial policies of Black subordination. Most Blacks couldn't advance in society and resorted to sharecropping, where they rented the land on other people's farms. Despite this, the South industrialized and built many factories, but not as much as the North, and it still remained largely agricultural. The Whites sought to restore White dominance, so they created separate facilities (schools, restrooms, restaurants, etc.) for Blacks & Whites, and the 1896 Plessy v Ferguson case validated this practice. Since then, the Whites have circumvented federal laws & stripped Blacks of many of their rights, including voting rights. 

Westward Expansion:

The construction of the transcontinental railroad as well as the Homestead Act of 1862 enabled many people to settle westward. Many farmers settled in the Great Plains region, where they practiced commercial agriculture & sold their crops to international markets. Many miners came to the West to take advantage of the gold & silver mines. On top of that, many Chinese people migrated to the West Coast and helped build the transcontinental railroad. This created a racially-stratified multiethnic society in the West. The biggest obstacle to Westward settlement was the Indians. The US tried moving them to reservations, but they met with considerable resistance. At the Battle of Little Bighorn, (1876) the Sioux Indians killed US Gen. Custer, but at the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890), the US finally defeated the Sioux. Eventually, all Indians were forced onto reservations, clearing the West for American settlement. 

The Gilded Age:

The Gilded Age was the American equivalent to the 2nd Industrial Revolution. This is when heavy industry—oil, steel, iron, etc.—triumphed. This era was dominated by big businessmen, such as Carnegie & Rockefeller. They were known for their brutal labor practices, eventually causing labor strikes, which all ended in violence toward the laborers.

Political Developments & Gilded Age Politics:

In the Gilded Age, the businessmen dominated the city governments, and the governments solely served the economic interests of the businessmen, causing corruption. Some businessmen, known as political machines, provided services to immigrants in order to get their vote in the election. Once elected to the city council, they'd invest in construction sites to earn money from city projects, further proving how corrupt they were. This led to a huge protest movement by the farmers, which created the Populist Party, a political party that sought to end government corruption and help the farmers of the South & Midwest. It was preceded by the Grange & the Farmers' Alliance. At the same time, tariffs became an issue in the presidential elections, which is why Grover Cleveland was elected to 2 nonconsecutive terms. Another major political issue was the issue of money supply. Farmers wanted more money & more inflation so they could easily pay taxes. They wanted the government to use silver as a base for currency, instead of solely gold, an idea called "free silver." They joined the Democrats to support William J Bryan, who supported "free silver," but his loss in the 1896 election caused the Populists to decline. However, the new president, William McKinley, caused the economy to recover. 

Life in the Cities:

Due to rising immigration, cities became multiethnic places. However, this came with some resistance from native-born Americans. Rising urban population caused some city problems, eventually leading to the creation of skyscrapers, urban parks, and urban transportation. Fire & police departments as well as environmental policies were created. To combat poverty, wealthy people donated to various philanthropies such as the Social Gospel. The working class had little leisure time, but the middle classes enjoyed a wide array of leisure activities such as spectator sports, theaters, and more. Furthermore, rising wages and lower cost of food for the middle class allowed them to spend some of their wage on extra goods, such as consumer goods. This led to a rise in consumer culture and department stores, and shopping became a fun, social, and stylish experience. 

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