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Gilded America: Labor & Life, 1877 - 1920
Transcript of Gilded America: Labor & Life, 1877 - 1920
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Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900
"Across the Continent, Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way," F.F. Palmer, 1868
COMPELLING: Has rapid industrial development been a blessing or a curse for Americans?
DEBATE: Were big business leaders "captains of industry" or "robber barons"?
COMPELLING: Can workers attain economic justice without violence?
How did technological invention & innovation improve life in 19th century US?
How did it impact the lives of ordinary peoples?
How was it ineffective in solving their troubles?
COMPELLING: Should business & politics be regulated by government?
COMPELLING: Did America fulfill the dreams of immigrants?
COMPELLING: Did populism provide an effective solution to the nation's problems?
What were the origins of Populism?
Who was to blame for these problems?
What were their solutions?
Were the farmers' revolts justified?
How did businesses need regulation?
How did they reduce competition and be allowed to combine?
How did 19th century politics need regulation?
How did it affect the lives of ordinary peoples?
COMPELLING: Who tamed the West...or was it ever really "Wild"?
How has the West been romanticized?
Who formed the West?
How were law & government instrumental in its conquest?
How did the railroads transform the West?
COMPELLING: Have Native Americans been treated fairly by the US government?
What did people think of Native Americans?
To what extent did the government impact the lives of Native Americans?
How did western settlement & railroads impact the lives of Native Americans?
In what ways did Native Americans respond?
COMPELLING: "Useful" or "Just Don't Go There: Mascots of Native Americans
What role do Indian mascots play in the world of sports -- high school, college & professional?
Do they perpetuate stereotypes?
What are the anti-mascot arguments?
What are the pro-mascot arguments?
Cowboy Take Me Away
Myths of Wild West
Filled with stereotypes of all participants.
The “white man” is seen either as a unified group of progressives fighting barbarians or victimizers of natives.
The “Indian” is seen as a unified group who were the victims of the whites’ conquest.
The women were seen as reluctant pioneers, pulled by the spouses and their family to this savage land.
The cowboys were seen as rugged individualists escaping an industrializing world into the frontier.
Debunking the Myth: 5 Themes
3) Conquest & Resistance
4) Race & Culture
"Garden of the World"
Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier Thesis, 1890
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show
Origins of myth?
The Real Cowhand
Hispanic, Irish, African American, Chinese, Scots, Welsch
Shorthorn - more meat
Longhorn - survival
Ecological & Biological
Connection to Eastern Markets
Conrad Kohrs -- 10,000 head to markets
Joseph McCoy --
75,000 head from Abilene
James Ben Ali Haggin -- 100,000 head annually
Land, Water & Rails
Kill the buffalo, Kill Indian.
Irish, Welsh, Scot & Cantonese Workers
Chinese - 80% of Central Pacific
Homestead Act, 1864
160 Acres, $10 Fee, 5 Years
Desert Land, 1877
640 acres, $1.25 an acre
Needed 2000 Acres
Sod Busters & Exodusters -- poor/middling from South
In 1857, Carpenter began her trail journal by going "back in fancy" over the two years she had spent in Kansas. She recalled the initial "weary journey of three weeks on a river boat" when all the children fell" ill. Then, she wrote, it was "the struggle to get a roof over our heads . . . then followed days of longing for youthful compan- ions . . . and before the summer waned, the entire community was stricken with fever and ague." Just as she finally made some friends and established something of a social life, "such pleasures were cut short by border troubles and an army of 'Border Ruffians' . . . who invaded the neighborhood, with no regard for life or
property." She admitted that Kansas was "beau- tiful country" with its tall grass and lush wild- flowers, but added that "the violent thunder storms are enough to wreck the nerves of Her- cules and the rattle snakes are as thick as the leaves on the trees, and lastly 'but not leastly,' the fever and ague are corded up ever ready for use."
The answer is yes, many women who remained on the Plains did so with hostility and grievance in their hearts. Their writings tell of crushing work loads, frequent births, illnesses and deaths, recurring depression, loneliness, homesickness, and fear.
Captains of Industry?
What do movies say about Custer?
An Assessment from an informed contemporary, Franklin Lane, Sect'y of the Interior, 1914
"That the Indian is confused in mind as to his status and very much at sea as to our ultimate purpose toward him is not surprising.For a hundred years he has been spun round like a blindfolded child in a game of blind man's bluff....To him [the white man's treatment] must have seemed [like] the systematized malevolence of a cynical civilization.... Manifestly the Indian has been confused in his thought because we have been confused in ours."
Titans of Industry:
The Lure of the City
Analyze the role of new giant corporations in American life.
How did they revolutionize American industry?
Industrial Revolution, Again?
Cottage Industry, 1790-1830
Francis Cabot Lowell
Eli Whitney & Cotton Gin
Lowell Mill Girls
John D. Rockefeller -
Oil & Railroads
John P. Morgan - Banking
Gustavus Swift - Meatpacking
James B. Duke - Tobacco
⁃ Legal identify with legal and political rights; a way to raise large $$$
⁃ Limited Liability for its stockholders.
Assembly Line -- Frederick Taylor
Bethlehem Steel, Penn.
Marketing & Advertising
Swift used "everything but the squeal."
No Income Tax
Carnegie: $350 of $400 million
Rockefeller: 50 % ($500 million)
Gospel of Wealth
Putting Out System, 1900s
Who were the "old" immigrants?
Who were the "new" immigrants?
How did they retain their cultural heritage & customs?
What were their roles in the Gilded Age?
Was late 19th century America a melting pot or a mixing bowl?
Who were the Knights of Labor?
Who were the American Federation of Labors?
Who was left out?
What was the significance of Haymarket Square Riot & Pullman Strikes?
Who did the government side?
Bill and Melinda Gates have given away nearly $28 billion and started a foundation to change the world.
Warren Buffett, currently ranked the third richest man in the world, has pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth.
Oprah Winfrey, the world’s most philanthropic celebrity, has supported of education and social programs around the world.
David Rubenstein donated $7.5 million to fix the Washington Monument.
Jon Bon Jovi’s Jovi Soul Foundation has built and restored over 300 homes. Jovi’s new Soul Kitchen project feeds thousands through a “pay what you can afford” restaurant model.
Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and founder of the Case Foundation which is dedicated to employing the internet and social media to make philanthropy more efficient.
Peter Peterson, advocate of sustainable government, known for sizable contributions in the political arena.
Pools & Trusts
Knights of Labor
American Federation of Labor
Haymarket Square Riot
Who's responsible for the violence at Homestead, 1892?
Overwhelming Labor Question...
Homestead...4 years later
Union contract gave Amalgamated Association a considerable say in operation, including right to approve the hiring of new workers and regulate pace of work.
Frick — union’s power infringed on management’s rights
1892 — decided to go non-union.
Only workers who agreed to not join union (yellow dog) could work
Workers, including unskilled not included Amalgamated (AFL-Like) blockaded steelworkers and mobilized support
Armed strikers confronted 300 Pinkertons.
7 workers & 3 Pinkertons dead
4 days later, Governor of Penn sent 8000 militia
Strikes held out until November, but union defeat. Amalgamated destroyed.
Town “a squalid and unlovely as could be imagined” with “dingy houses over which hung dense clouds of black smoke,” and workforce sullen & bitter.
Is an owner responsible for welfare of workers?
Should the wealthy be expected to give freely?
Can reform happen without violence?
Response to International Harvester
Police & rioters killed by bomb thrown by supposed anarchist (8 executed)
Revived middle-class fears of unions
750,000 strong -- in a time when unions illegal
Skilled, unskilled, men, women, blacks
Excludes Asian workers
All trades, all levels
Terence Powderly -- each man its own employer
Better pay, better hours, better conditions
Example -- International Harvester Strike
Cut wages but not standard of living in Pullman's Company town who built plush RR cars
Workers strike to convince American Railroad Union to support their cause.
President Cleveland's actions?
Euguene Debs's actions?
How did it end the strength of KoL?
Accommodation rather than resistance
Only skilled laborers
Not unskilled...meaning who was left out?
Higher wages, fewer hours, improved safety & more benefits
Accepts capitalism & working within the system
Combat child labor
Better working-class housing
Better health & safety laws
Ruled in favor of owners, not workers
Holden v. Hardy (1896) -- okay to limit hours of miners
Lochner v. New York (1905) -- cannot limit bakers' hours, not dangerous (HS -- voided state law establishing 10-hour work day
Muller v. Oregon (1908) -- 10-hour limit okay only for women (fragility)
Sherman Anti-Trust (1890) -- broke up Rockefeller oil monopoly
US v. E.C. Knight (1890) -- refused to break up sugar monopoly
Hard Times in the Fields
Sharecropping & Tenancy
1865 - Wheat ($1.50); Cotton (1.25)
1890 - Wheat (.60); Cotton (.06)
Farmers Alliance, 1889
Opened to men & women
Secret meetings (Freemasonery)
Couldn't control state & local chapters
Elastic Currency -- silver over gold
Sub-treasury Plan -- pool crops; prices go up & then sell (Federal loans)
Direct election of senators
Public ownership of RRs
Sockless Jerry Simpson
1892 Election, "Omaha Platform"
Direct Election of US Senators
Government Control of Currency
Graduated Income Tax
Low-cost financing to help farmers
Right to form unions
“You shall no press down upon the brow of labor this
crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a
cross of gold.”
Mock EOC Test
Week of February 1st
Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882
Custer, a fool or a hero?