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Chapter 16 - The Gilded Age
Terms in this set (70)
The Gilded Age
1877-1900; rapid industrialization, urbanization, immigration; rise of big business and the labor movement; the Populist movement; term coined by Mark Twain
The four causes of American industrial growth in the second half of the nineteenth century
(1) the growth of the nation's population; (2) the innovative spirit of the time; (3) a government sympathetic to the interests of business; (4) new power sources
men whose ideas, energy, and money dominated the age of industrialization; some have referred to them as "captains of industry;" their critics called them "robber barons"
Borrowed $100 from his mother to begin shipping business; soon controlled most of the shipping business in New York; by 1860, he controlled much of the nation's shipping.
James J. Hill
built and ran the Northern Railroad without seeking or accepting any federal funds
born in Scotland, but hard times there forced his poor family to immigrate to western Pennsylvania; first job he earned $1.20 a week; invested in anything involving steel; Carnegie Steel soon became the largest steel company in the world, producing about half as much steel as the entire nation of Great Britain and about one-fourth of America's; perfected vertical integration; by 1901, his personal worth was $300 million; wrote "The Gospel of Wealth" and gave millions of dollars to educational institutions and cultural development
practice where a single entity controls the entire process of a product, from the raw materials to distribution
The Gospel of Wealth
Book published by Andrew Carnegie - argued the wealthy people have the obligation to give back to poor
John D. Rockefeller
America's first billionaire; founder of Standard Oil Company; made his money by getting the most he could out of a barrel of oil; by 1879, he was so successful that he controlled 90 percent of the American oil market and 65 percent of the world market. Consumers benefited by paying less for those products; like Carnegie, he gave away millions of dollars
A corporate expansion strategy in which companies acquire their competitors; used by Rockefeller to build his Standard Oil Company
a legal device by which a board of trustees was empowered to make decisions and control the operations of a whole group of companies; the Standard Oil Trust purchased twenty-seven competing oil companies; Rockefeller's trust became the pattern for the formation of other trusts during the 1880s by businessmen who also had the means to buy up competing companies; led to cries from competitors for the government to break up the giants and to create a so-called fair playing field; result was the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.
After the war, Southerners, as they had done for two centuries, returned to the soil for their livelihood. Nonetheless, many Southerners began to envision a "New South" that would match the North in economic and industrial capacity. The economic house of the New South would be built on the twin pillars of the "two Ts"—tobacco and textiles. Virginia and Carolina piedmont towns—such as Danville, Virginia, and Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina—had largely escaped the ravages of war. Those cities became leaders in the economic revitalization of the postwar New South. By 1900, four hundred cotton mills dotted the old Confederacy, far surpassing the textile production of New England.
James Buchanan Duke
Formed the American Tobacco Company, controlled 90% of the cigarette market; the "New South's" Tobacco Baron
John Pierpont Morgan
the leading investment banker in America during the Gilded Age. Morgan came to symbolize the power and prestige at the top of America's industrial pyramid.
Morgan's business was not an industrial product but money— buying and selling stocks on a grand scale; he bought Carnegie Steel in 1901.
United States Steel Corporation
owned by J. P. Morgan; the first billion-dollar corporation
Journalists who attempted to find corruption or wrongdoing in industries and expose it to the public
Alexander Graham Bell
Scottish immigrant who arrived in the United States at the age of twenty-four to teach speech to the deaf; invented the telephone
Thomas Alva Edison
America's most prolific inventor; invented the phonograph, the motion-picture projector, and the incandescent light bulb.
Four issues that dominated American politics from the mid-1870s to the end of the nineteenth century
(1) civil service reform; (2) government corruption; (3) tariff revision; (4) regulation of trusts
controlled the Republican political machine in New York; the machine controlled the tariff-collecting agency, the Customs House, where New York politicians manipulated records and siphoned off money belonging to the federal government. President Hayes, hoping to check the corrupt practices, removed the Collector of the Port, future president Chester Arthur. The removal angered Conkling and other influential Republicans.
The clash between Hayes and Conkling reflected a growing division within the Republican Party. On one side was Conkling's faction, the "Stalwarts," who favored high tariffs and the spoils system.
Opposing the "Stalwarts" were moderate Republicans, called "Half-breeds," who had earlier been dissatisfied with Grant, the Radical Republicans, and Reconstruction and who tended to favor reform.
James A. Garfield
A "Half-Breed" Republican nominated for president in 1880;
Chester A. Arthur
"Stalwart" Republican nominated as Garfield's running mate
Charles J. Guiteau
shot Garfield only a few months after he took the oath of office; shouted, "I am a Stalwart, and Arthur is now president."
Introduced by George Pendleton, Democrat from Ohio; signed in 1883 by President Arthur; established the Civil Service Commission which eliminated much of the spoils system and established the merit system and competitive tests as a means of filling federal jobs; stated that federal employees could not be required to contribute to campaign funds nor be fired for political reasons;
Democratic nominee for president in 1884; NY Governor, opponent of Tammany Hall; noted for his honesty. Even many Republicans supported Cleveland; he defeated James G. Blaine of Maine
Interstate Commerce Act
In February 1887, Cleveland signed the Interstate Commerce Act, which (1) directed that railroad rates must be "reasonable and just," (2) required that railroad companies publish all rates and make financial reports, and (3) provided for the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), an independent regulatory agency, to investigate and stop alleged abuses.
Republican nominee in 1888; defeated Cleveland, who had been renominated by the Democrats; he would lose to Cleveland in the 1892 election
Sherman Antitrust Act
Passed during the Harrison presidency; The public had become increasingly wary of the tendency of big businesses to form monopolies, or "trusts." Companies such as Rockefeller's Standard Oil, after driving all competition out of business or forcing a merger, allegedly took advantage of their monopoly by raising prices to an exorbitant level. If the consumer needed the product and could get it nowhere else, he simply had to pay.
The Sherman Antitrust Act made such monopolizing illegal. The act was difficult to enforce, however, because it offered no specific definitions of contract, combination, or restraint of trade. Therefore, the act was relatively ineffective until the passage of tougher federal regulations in the twentieth century.
Named for Ohio representative William McKinley, who introduced the bill, the tariff imposed higher duties on manufactured and agricultural imports than had any previous tariff in history, thereby protecting American inefficiency. The high tariff also lowered revenue by radically decreasing trade. This decrease in the government's income, combined with lavish congressional spending, reduced the treasury's reserves alarmingly. The voters demonstrated their anger at the tariff in the congressional election of 1890, reducing the Republican majority in the Senate and giving the Democrats an overwhelming 235-88 advantage in the House. Even Representative McKinley was turned out of office.
Panic of '93
Cleveland recaptured the White House for Democrats in the 1892 election. Unfortunately for the Democrats, a financial collapse called the Panic of '93 occurred shortly after Cleveland's inauguration, plunging the nation into four years of the worst economic depression it had yet seen. The Democrats watched helplessly as banks and businesses failed and unemployment mounted to a record 20 percent.
Knights of Labor
earliest significant labor union; formed in 1869 as a secret society of skilled and unskilled workers from various occupations; advocated an eight-hour workday, laws prohibiting child labor, and equal pay for men and women
American Federation of Labor
formed in 1881; a splinter group from the Knights of Labor, formed craft unions for skilled laborers; grouping skilled workers together by profession gave union members greater bargaining power with management. AFL supported higher wages, shorter working hours, safer and cleaner working conditions, and elimination of child labor (called for elimination of child labor primarily to protect adult jobs)
leader of the American Federation of Labor
most enduring achievement of the American Federation of Labor
eight-hour work day
1886; the most famous example of labor violence in America; Factory workers in Chicago, agitated by anarchists, went on strike, demanding an eight-hour workday. On May 4, 1886, police attempted to disperse a crowd of strikers listening to an anarchist speaker at Haymarket Square in Chicago. Someone threw a bomb into a group of policemen, touching off a riot. When the unrest ended, seven policemen and four civilians had been killed and many others seriously wounded. The Haymarket Square episode discredited the Knights of Labor.
1892; a strike at the Carnegie Steel Company in Homestead, Pennsylvania; Carnegie's assistant at the company, Henry C. Frick, proposed lowering the workers' wages because of the use of new labor-saving machinery. When the workers threatened to strike, Frick closed the plant, an action that became known as a "lock- out." Frick then hired three hundred guards (Pinkertons) to subdue picketers. The fighting that broke out on July 6, 1892, left nine people dead. The hired guards were beaten back. Despite the temporary victory for the workers, the Homestead Strike gained nothing. After five months of striking, the workers agreed to Frick's proposal. The union was broken.
Private detectives hired to forcefully break up labor strikes
Another violent strike occurred at the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago. Although the name Pullman is most commonly associated with railroad sleeping cars, the company contracted to carry not only passengers but also the U.S. mail. Therefore, any labor union activity was potentially dangerous and disruptive for both business owners and taxpayers. President Cleveland sent in troops to break the strike and allow the mail to be moved.
Eugene V. Debs
leader of the Pullman Strike; founder of the American Railway Union and later a presidential candidate on the Socialist ticket
A judicial order forcing a person or group to refrain from doing something; in the case of Pullman Strike, the injunction ordered Debs and others to desist in leading the strike. Debs ignored the order and was arrested and jailed for six months.
advocates government regulation or ownership of the means of production; Eugene V. Debs promoted socialism
organization of farmers which united to encourage social contacts and scientific methods of farming. Its growth and influence were negligible until farmers began to use it as a means of confronting railroads. The Granger movement made state regulation of railroads its chief goal, and it gained increasing support during the 1870s.
the Grange eventually disappeared but re-emerged in the 1880s as the Farmers' Alliance. Taking a lesson from industrial labor, the Farmers' Alliance united farm cooperatives across the country and looked to politics to meet agrarian demands such as railroad regulation, favorable currency policies, and antitrust laws.
"The People's Party": hard financial times and a series of blizzards in the Midwest caused thousands of farmers and reformers to rally under the party's banner; pro-labor, pro-agrarian
The Populist Party promoted free silver, the unlimited coinage of silver; more abundant than gold, more silver in circulation, they argued, would help the common man; farmers argued that more money in circulation would would mean higher prices for crops; what farmers did not consider, however, was that having more money in circulation would also mean that prices for all products, including those that farmers had to buy, would go up. In the long run, they would be no better off than be
Republican nominee 1896; friend of industrialists, a fitting candidate for the gold-standard, pro-tariff, big-business platform of the Republicans.
William Jennings Bryan
36 year-old Nebraskan; became the Democratic and Populist Party nominee in 1896; "the Great Commoner"; remarkable orator; "Cross of Gold" speech;
Election of 1896
McKinley wins; Populist Party dies out; many of the issues of the Populist Party continued to be championed by other groups
The American continent had been receiving immigrants, of course, since the English settled at Jamestown and Plymouth. After 1865, however, came a wave of immigrants so different from those in the past that it was called the New Immigration. As the turn of the twentieth century neared, the percentage of British and German immigrants (who had made up most earlier immigration) shrank in contrast to new immigrants from Southern and Eastern European countries, such as Italy, Greece, and Russia. By 1900, for the first time in American history, immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe outnumbered those from Northern and Western Europe. Another new element in immigration was the large number of Chinese who began to settle on the West Coast, where they provided labor for the railroads.
reasons why many Americans opposed the "New Immigration" of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
(1) fear of labor competition; (2) poverty of slums that lowered standard of living and bred crime and disease; (3) fear of influence by foreign (non-Protestant religion)s; (4) racial prejudice; (5) tendency of immigrants to band together and preserve old customs and languages
Factories in which many people worked long hours, low wages, unfair treatment, and poor sanitation; many of the new immigrants ended up working in these factories
a new form of housing that was developed in the early 1900's it was designed as a dumbbell and had more apartments for more families and shared restrooms; these tenements were fire hazards, waste and disease
Author of "Origin of Species"; promoted the theory of natural selection
A social theory which states that the level a person rises to in society and wealth is determined by their genetic background; "survival of the fittest"
Jim Crow laws
legislation passed in Southern states in the 1890s that required forced segregation, or separation, of the races in trains, restaurants, hotels, schools, and other social settings.
separation of the races
Plessy v. Ferguson
Segregation in the South would not have been possible had not the Supreme Court issued a series of decisions that gutted the enforcement of the Reconstruction civil rights legislation. Perhaps the most infamous of these cases was Plessy v. Ferguson, a ruling that decreed that "separate but equal" facilities for blacks and whites (in that particular case, on trains) were constitutional. Such decisions gave state legislatures the legal justification they needed to pass Jim Crow law codes
Booker T. Washington
Author of "Up from Slavery": Washington had risen from slavery to the presidency of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, the nation's leading black industrial school. Washington was basically conservative; in his famous speech in Atlanta in 1895, he urged blacks not to risk strife by agitating politically for their rights. Instead, they should concentrate on bettering themselves economically through vocational education and the establishment of black businesses and trades. In this way, they would make themselves indispensable to the economy. As they became more powerful economically, Washington argued, whites would have to accept them and grant them political equality.
W.E.B. Du Bois
Opposing Washington was another group of blacks led by W.E.B. Du Bois. They argued that blacks could not truly improve themselves economically until they enjoyed equal participation in the political process as American citizens. They opposed Washington's exclusive stress on technical and industrial education over liberal arts, fearing that it would force all blacks into an economically inferior laboring class and discourage higher education among blacks. Whereas Washington sought an economic solution to the problem, Du Bois pursued a political solution.
"Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
"The Red Badge of Courage"
"The Call of the Wild"
the premier writer of such rags-to-riches tales.
conducting of large, citywide preaching campaigns in huge auditoriums or large churches in major cities.
Dwight L. Moody
Chicago Evangelist; advocate of urban evangelism
song leader and hymn writer for D. L. Moody
Methodist urban evangelist; sometimes called "the Moody of the South"
America's most beloved hymn writer of he 19th century; "Blessed Assurance"
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