(1865-1877) Reconstruction was a time period of rebuilding the nation after the civil war. They needed to put back the states that left the union, rebuild towns and cities, and fix broken families after losing husbands and sons in the war.
(1865) The Black Codes were laws enacted by Southern Legislatures in order to limit the power of the 13th Amendment. It kept blacks enslaved and created outrageous laws and charged blacks a fine if they broke them. The newly freed slaves had no way to pay the fine so they were forced to work it off in the fields.
The Black Codes were significant because it imposed severe restrictions on freed slaves such as prohibiting their right to vote, forbidding them to sit on juries, limiting their right to testify against white men, carrying weapons in public places and working in certain occupations. The South tried to re-enslave the Africans after being free as a result of the Civil War.
Pacific Railway Act
(1862) Union Pacific & Central Pacific railroads could oversee construction of the transcontinental railroad. To offset the cost, companies received land from the government to keep on building. For every mile of track they received 10 sections of land (1 section = 1 sq mile).
The significance of the Act was that without the government's support, the railroads NEVER could have been built so quickly.
The railroads played a BIG role in the industrialization of America. Between 1860-1900 the total mileage went from 30 thousands to 193 thousand miles. The number of workers went up from 1.3 million to 5.3 million and the value of the annual product from under 2 million to over 13 billion.
This was significant because the railroads fueled the Industrial Revolution, which was a period of rapid growth and vast economic expansion. They not only made US the most powerful country but it transformed it from rural to urban and industrialized. Railroads made it easier to transport goods and communicate through mail.
The Homestead Act was passed in 1862 and it encouraged people to move mid-west to farm. But when people moved they realize that the land that was supposed to be given to the Americans, was actually already inhabited by the Native Americans.
Chinese Exclusion Act
Chinese immigrants were used for the construction of the railroads but completion of them brought many conflicts for the Chinese. They had very limited jobs they can take and could not be witnesses in court. They Chinese were seen as inferior to the Americans. Pressure was put on Congress to limit Chinese Immigration. This Act prohibits Chinese immigration for 10 years.
The Act was extended over and over until 1943. This was significant because America was supposed to be a land promising freedom and rights to all citizens. This shows that racism was still clouding America as a whole and their morals.
Helen Hunt Jackson
(1830-1885) She was a reformer that wanted to change the policy on Native Americans. In her book "A Century of Dishoner" (1881) she states that the reservation process does NOT work and criticized the federal Indian Policy.
She was significant because since she was friends with senators, she was able to have the strong Indian Rights Association created. She later went on and became a Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
(1887) The Dawes Act was the first comprehensive reform legislation for Indians. The Act provided for the dissolution of tribal autonomy and the division of tribal lands, with each family head receiving 160 acres. The land was held in trust by the government for 25 years, those who received land received US citizen, excess land was sold off to whites, and participation was mandatory.
This was significant because the US thought they were doing the Indians a favor by teaching them the culture and ways of the Americans but this made the native culture of the Indians lost over time. Because of the Act Indians lost 90 million acres of land that was originally theirs.
The Ghost Dance was a dance which originated in Nevada. An elder took medication which gave him a vision that told him that the Indians to ignore the whites and by doing the dance all the whites will die and dead ancestors would return to earth. For this is happen they were told that the Indians had to live together in peace, abandon white influences - like school, clothing, and farming - , and dance the Ghost Dance.
This dance was significant because it gave the Indians hope, hope that life would return to normal the life before the invasion of the whites.
(1890) The Battle at Wounded Knee was a result of the refusal of the Indians to stop the Ghost Dance. The cause of the battle was actually a misunderstanding. The Indians came to surrender but thinking they were here to attack, a gun was fired and the US government brutally attacked. This was the last of the Indian Wars.
Andrew Carnegie was a "rags to riches" guy who was originally from Scotland and immigrated to the US at age 12. Has a brain that thinks businesslike. Knowing the demand for railroads, he makes an industry that produces steel. Using vertical integration, Carnegie became the richest guy at the time. He believed it was the duty of the wealthy to enrich the society do he founded the Carnegie Library, Carnegie Hall, and Carnegie Melon University. His business philosophy is "Watch the cost, and the profits will take of themselves"
Vertical Integration is when a company has control of all portions of the manufacturing process from the raw materials to distribution.
John D. Rockefeller
(1870) Rockefeller had a oil refinery business, Standard Oil Company. Similar to JP Morgan but his business strategy consisted of trusts. He threatened his competitors and bribed politicians when necessary. He also employed spies to harass the customers of competing refiners.
A combination of businesses in a single operation leads to a horizontal integration.
Also known as the "Captains of Industry" Robber Barons were businessmen who are ambitious, resourceful, and extremely able. They displayed the vigor cleverness, and strength of will that have characterized the great entrepreneurs of all epochs of capitalistic expansion.
The Gilded Age, termed by Mark Twain, refers to when something is altered to appear more attractive or valuable than it really is. The years 1880-1900 was considered "gilded" because on the outside it seemed dazzling with economic growth and inventions, but underneath was filled with corruption and inequality.
Laissez Faire, associated with Adam Smith, is limited government role in economic life. Smith believed that the best way to encourage growth was to let individuals pursue their own selfish desires without intervention from government.
Knights of Labor
The Knights of Labor was a union founded by Louisiana tailors. Their goals included equal pay from women, end child labor, limit Chinese immigration, and 8 hour workday. They allowed all kinds of workers to join.
(1892) Ellis Island was an immigration facility at the New York harbor which received immigrants coming from Europe. Their busiest year was 1907 with about 5,000 people coming a day. This was made to ensure that only the healthy and capable people entered the US.
Tenements were originally made to house a small family but because the massive numbers of immigrants arriving the tenements were extremely crowded and cramped. Tenements were 3 room apartments with an estimated 330,000 people living in one sq mile on the lower East Side of NYC. With the help of Jacob Riis, the Tenement Act passed in 1901 which required windows, ventilation, toilets, and proper lighting.
Many Americans saw the new waves of immigrants as a threat because they took their jobs and got paid less. Prejudices surfaced and they resented immigrates for accepting lower wages. They wanted to restrict immigration levels.
The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry was organized by a group of farmers that felt they were being left behind and believed that politicians were indifferent and hostile toward their interests. The Grange is a social organization that farmers could use to share information about new technology and common problems.
Election of 1896
The candidates of the Election of 1896 were William McKinley, Garret A. Hobart, Richard P. Bland, William Jennings, and Thomas Watson. The winners of the election was Republican candidates McKinley and Hobart with 271 electoral votes. Despite being a poor speaker, McKinley received a lot of votes from farmers from urban areas and ethic groups, which opponent Bryan failed to do so.
The significance was that political bosses, such as Marcus Alonzo Hanna, had so much power, enough to support and help McKinley win.
William Jennings Bryan
The Democratic Party candidate for the 1896 Election. He was nominated because he captivated the silver delegates with a speech that roared approval, but some viewed it as more bluster than substance. He had an exceptional ability to connect with audiences with his use of rhetoric.
Interstate Commerce Act
This Act provided that all railway rates "shall be reasonable and just", prohibited such discriminatory practices such as rebates and drawbacks, made legal some of the long and short abuses. It forbade pooling agreements and required that all the rates and fares be printed and publicly posted.
Sherman Anti-trust Act
The act declared that "every contract, combination in the form of a trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce" was illegal. This act was not enforced.
Progressivism is a political movement that represents the interests of ordinary people in response to the excuses of the industrial age. It was based on a number of assumptions and Progressives believed that order is essential for progress. Growth shouldn't be allowed to grow recklessly as it had during the laissez faire century but rather controlled by societal institutions, including government.
Muckraker, termed by Theodore Roosevelt because they "rake the muck", is the act of publishing scandalous articles about social, economic, and political problems. For example, writer Ida M. Tarbell wrote about and exposed the dubious business dealings of the Standard Oil Company (John D. Rockefeller)
Settlement Houses were like community centers that provide services to immigrants and the poor. For example, Hull House created in Chicago by Jane Adams provided day care, classes, and services. The settlement houses were mostly staffed by women and they tried to get support for changes in laws.
Election of 1912
Candidates were William Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Eugene Debs, and Eugene Chafin. Final candidates were Wilson and Roosevelt. Wilson's platform was the New Freedom. He advocated state's rights and believes that state's government should have big role in lawmaking. Wanted to restore competition by breaking trusts and lowering tariffs.
Roosevelt on the other hand is completely opposite to Wilson. His platform was the New Nationalism. And he believed that government SHOULD be a part of life and he provided programs. Wilson won Election of 1912
Hawaii was the crossroad of the Pacific so the US used Hawaii to protect business interests. Hawaii was a big producer of sugar so US made an agreement in 1875 which stated that Hawaii's sugar can enter the US duty free BUT Hawaii can't have this same deal with any other country. This resulted in an increase of Hawaii's dependence on the US. And in 1887 Hawaii gives the US exclusive use of Pearl Harbor.
This was significant because this later resulted in Hawaii becoming a state and companies like C&H. keke. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was also the reason the US entered WWII.