1. In the 1860s, in New York City, people tryed to find any way to make money, even if it included bribery and fraudulent elections. "Boss" Tweed, also known as the a symbol of "Gilded Age Corruption" and his deputies, ran the Democratic party known as Tammany Hall in New York City and managed to deprive taxpayers of $200 million through once again bribery, vote-buying, and graft. Finally in 1871, Tweed was prosecuted, and was sent to jail. He never made bond and died behind bars. In 1872, cartoonist, Thomas Nast attacked "Boss" Tweed in a series of cartoons in the New York Times which revealed the chararcter who bribed his way to the top eventually leading to his downfall. The Knights of Labor, founded in 1869 in Philadelphia, were a secret organization meant to protect its members from employer retaliation. The organizations original goal was ideological, based on the belief in the unity of all producing groups; meaning farmers, shopkeepers, etc. The Knights of Labor main leader was Terence Powderly, and the knights grew in size up to 700,000 members when Terence became mayor. The secret organization soon began to loose members after the Haymarket Square Riot, which led to the Knights loosing over 100,000 members, and eventually led to the Knights of Labor demise. 1. Jane Addams was born into a prosperous Illinois family in 1860. Addams was a middle-class woman who was dedicated to uplifting urban masses. She was one of the first generation of college educated women. Jane addams was inspired by a visit to England and established the Hull House in Chiicago in 1889 which eventually became the most settlement house in America. The purpose of Addam's settlement house was to house immigrnats and urban poor class citizens to help immigrants transition into the American life as well as help urban masses battle with poverty. With nothing but mostly middle class native born women staff, they offered housing, food, education, child care, cultural activities, social connections, medical care, unemployement bureus, and training in skill sets such as cooking and book binding. Addam's courageousness with the Hull House is significant because by the year 1900, over 100 like settlements were across the U.S. in the worst areas in the biggest cities helping and encouraging indiviuals to fight adainst poverty to have a better chance at sucess in life. Addams and other like pioneering workers also helped blazed the trail that many women and some men later followed into urban reform careerpaths and social work, offering a new kind of frontier opportunity. The transcontinental railroad is in the United States and is any continuous rail line connecting a location on the U.S. Pacific coast with one or more of the railroads of the nation's eastern trunk line rail systems operating between the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers and the U.S. Atlantic coast. In the 1860s, the United States embarked on an ambitious project that would change the course of the country's history. For decades, entrepreneurs and engineers had dreamed of building a railroad that would span the continent from ocean to ocean. The Transcontinental Railroad, once completed, allowed Americans to settle the west, to transport goods and expand commerce, and to travel the width of the country in days, instead of weeks. Before the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, it cost nearly $1,000 dollars to travel across the country, but after the railroad was completed the price dropped to $150 dollars. The building of the transcontinental railroad opened up the American West to more rapid development. When it was passed by Congress in 1862, the Pacific Railway Act permitted two companies to begin construction on the Transcontinental Railroad. The Central Pacific Railroad and The Union Pacific Railroad were granted the contract to lay the track. Connecting the two American coasts made the economic export of Western resources to Eastern markets easier than ever before. The railroad also facilitated westward expansion, escalating conflicts between Native American tribes and settlers who now had easier access to new territories. 1. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which carried on through 1943, was a Federal legislation that prohibited most further Chinese immigration to the United States. This was the first major legal restriction on immigration in U.S. history. It's unfortunate that the Chinese Exclusion Act was a nationwide affair.
Many Chinese men from South China were immigrating to California for work. They would lay the railroad tracks and/or dig in the gold fields. When those jobs inevitably ended, they took to the menial jobs as cooks, laundrymen, or domestic servants. In San Francisco, a man named Denis Kearney from Ireland incited his followers to violent abuse among Chinese immigrants. They would particularly cut off their ponytails and sometimes outright kill them.
The Chinese Exclusion Act lasted for 61 years. About 16 years into the act, some exclusionists tried to strip native-born Chinese Americans of their citizenship. Luckily, the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark that the 14th amendment guaranteed citizenship to all persons born in the United States, therefore making that unconstitutional.
This piece of history is important because it highlights another oppressed group. However, although the Chinese still face discrimination today, they found a stable way to make their income. Many of them did manage to open their own restaurants, laundries, and other small businesses which made a solid economic foundation for their small community that still thrives today.
During the 19th century, many Europeans began to spread west, which caused confrontation between American settlers and Native Americans who lived in the area. As a result, the federal government attempted to solve this "Indian Problem" by exerting control and situating Natives away from white settlers using the reservation system; a system that designated boundaries and retricted Native Americans to reside on communally used land where they were self-governed. However, this assimulation failed, and many historical battles known as the "Indian Wars", which lasted from 1860 to 1890. Although the Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces surrendered in 1877, many hard-liner white settler's and Christian reformers felt it necessary to conform Indians to American civilization and destroy Indian tradition which was considered uncivilized, leading to the Dawes Severalty Act of 1877. This act gave shares of land to individual hosueholds and split up Indian Reservations completely. Other provisions of this act included that each of the heads of households received 160-acres of land, and the federal government would hold each allotment in trust for 25 years, until the Indians could prove themselves as "good white settlers". Ultimately though, the Indians were granted full citizenship in 1924. This act was significant to US history because had not it been declared, our culture in society may have been totally different. Also, if the US allowed for this rebellion to continue, then it could have influenced other rebellions in regards to other individual cultures and freedom reforms today. The Open Door Policy was a policy between China, the US, Japan, and several European(namely Germany and Britain) powers that stated each of those countries should have equal access to Chinese trade. It was created in 1899 by US Secretary of State John Hay and lasted until 1949, when the Chinese civil war ended as the Communist Party took over rule of China. China was seen as a potentially very lucrative trade market for the rest of the world and the US wanted to be part of it. After the end of the Spanish American War, the US gained control of the Phillipine Islands and our interest in trade with that area of the world strengthened. Hays wrote the Act to ensure every country had equal trade opportunities and that no one country could "close the door" on any other country's trade.
Why the Open Door Policy was created:
The Open Door Policy was created during the Age of Imperialism, a period during the late 19th century and early 20th century when European powers, as well as countries like the US and Japan, were attempting to expand their global power through colonialism and territory expansion.
The US had recently gained a foothold in East Asia, and they were afraid they'd be forced out of the Chinese market by countries who had been there longer than them, so they created the policy to ensure they wouldn't lose their ability to trade with China.
The impacts of the The Open Door Policy: impacts lasted for decades, and it had three major impacts.
Increased Chinese backlash against foreigners
Led to an increase in Chinese and American conflict with Japan
Increased US interest in East Asia as they saw this region as great way to increase trade and make money for the US.
The Gilded Age took place from the 1870s to about 1900, the period after reconstruction. It was an era of rapid economic and population growth, especially in the Northern and Western United States. The word "gilded" coined by Mark Twain in 1873, means when something is covered in gold or silver foil to give the appearance that it is made of solid gold metal when in fact under the foil is carved wood. So, Although, the rapid economic growth brought about vast wealth during the Gilded Age and new products and technologies improved middle-class quality of life, there were downsides to it as well. Three major problems included during this time were poverty, unemployment, and corruption. Industrial workers and farmers didn't share in the new prosperity. They worked long hours in dangerous conditions for low pay. Racial inequality was also a persistent problem during the Gilded Age. African Americans, other minorities, and women struggled in a losing battle as they tried to gain equality. Plessy v. Ferguson was a landmark US Supreme Court case that ruled that the "separate but equal" doctrine, in which white and non-white people were segregated in public spaces as long as the quality of said spaces was equal, was constitutional. Although the Supreme Court ruling took place in 1896, the actual incident took place on June 7, 1892 when Homer Plessy, who was "seven-eighths Caucasian and one-eighth African blood", sat in the "whites only" train car on a train in New Orleans, Louisiana, and refused to move. The case went through local, state, and national Supreme Courts, and in all cases, the "separate but equal" doctrine was upheld as constitutional. The ruling of this case is historically significant because it shows how the US was willing to uphold unconstitutional Jim Crow laws and helped perpetuate and encourage those sentiments in the South as well.