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U.S.

History
Volume II: 1865Present
Introduction to Boundless
Chapter 19
Reconstruction: 1865-1877
Chapter 20
The Gilded Age: 1870-1900
Chapter 21
Race, Empire, and Culture in the Gilded Age: 1870-1900
Chapter 22
The Progressive Era: 1890-1917
Chapter 23
World War I: 1914-1919
Chapter 24
From the New Era to the Great Depression: 1920-1933
Chapter 25
The New Deal: 1933-1940
Chapter 26
From Isolation to World War II: 1930-1943
Chapter 27
The Cold War: 1947-1991
U.S. History
Volume II: 1865Present
Chapter 28
The Politics and Culture of Abundance: 1943-1960
Chapter 29
The Sixties: 1960-1969
Chapter 30
The Conservative Turn of America: 1968-1989
Chapter 31
The Challenges of Globalization and the Coming Century: After 1989
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ii
Chapter 19
Reconstruction:
1865-1877
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/reconstruction-1865-1877/
Section 1
The End of the War
The End of the War
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/reconstruction-1865-1877/the-end-of-the-war/the-end-
of-the-war/
4
The End of the War
(former slaves). The views of Lincoln and Johnson prevailed until
the election of 1866, which enabled the Radicals to take control of
Reconstruction from 1865-1877 was characterized by
policy, remove former Confederates from power, and enfranchise
the conflicting views of President Johnson and
the freedmen. A Republican coalition came to power in nearly all
Congress over Reconstruction policy.
the Southern states and set out to transform the society by setting
up a free labor economy, with support from the Army and the
KEY POINTS
Freedman's Bureau. The Radicals, upset at President Johnson's
opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment
President Andrew Johnson took a moderate position
designed to bring the South back to normal as soon as
charges but the action failed by one vote in the Senate. President
possible.
Ulysses S. Grant supported Radical Reconstruction, using both the
The Radical Republicans, opposed to Johnson's moderate
U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. military to suppress white
policies, used Congress to block the moderate approach,
insurgency and support Republican reconstructed states. Southern
impose harsh terms, and upgrade the rights of the freedmen
Democrats, alleging widespread corruption, counterattacked and
(former slaves).
regained power in each state by 1877. President Rutherford B.
Although resigned to the abolition of slavery, many former
Confederates were not willing to accept the social changes or
Hayes blocked efforts to overturn Reconstruction legislation.
political domination by former slaves.
The deployment of the U.S. military was central to the
establishment of Southern Reconstructed state governments and
Reconstruction in the South
the suppression of violence against black and white voters.
Reconstruction was a remarkable chapter in the story of American
From 1863 to 1869, Presidents Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew
freedom, but most historians consider it a failure because the region
Johnson took a moderate position designed to bring the South back
became a poverty-stricken backwater, and whites re-established
to normal as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Radical
their supremacy, making the freedmen second-class citizens by the
Republicans used Congress to block the moderate approach,
start of the twentieth century.
impose harsh terms, and upgrade the rights of the freedmen
5
Figure 19.1 Lincoln and Johnson
for the non-enforcement and defiance of Reconstruction laws
Restoring the Union
passed by Congress.
A political cartoon of Andrew
Johnson and Abraham Lincoln,
Although resigned to the abolition of slavery, many former
1865, entitled "The Rail Splitter At
Work Repairing the Union." The
Confederates were not willing to accept the social changes or
caption reads (Johnson): Take it
political domination by former slaves. The fears, however, of the
quietly Uncle Abe and I will draw it
closer than ever. (Lincoln): A few
mostly conservative planter elite and other leading white citizens
more stitches Andy and the good
were partly assuaged by the actions of President Johnson who
old Union will be mended.
ensured that wholesale land redistribution from the planters to the
Johnson's Presidential Reconstruction
freedman did not occur. Johnson ordered that land forfeited under
the Confiscation Acts passed by Congress in 1861 and 1862 and
Northern anger over the assassination of Lincoln and the immense
administered by the Freedman's Bureau would not be redistributed
human cost of the Civil War led to vengeful demands for harsh
to the freedmen but instead returned to pardoned owners.
policies for the South. Vice President Andrew Johnson had spoken
of hanging rebel Confederates. However, Johnson took a much
Radical Reconstruction
softer line when he became president, pardoning many
Concerned that President Johnson viewed Congress as an "illegal
Confederates. There were no trials for treason. Only one person,
body" and wanted to overthrow the government, Republicans in
Captain Henry Wirz, the commandant of the prison camp in
Congress took control of Reconstruction policies after the election
Andersonville, Georgia, was executed for war crimes.
of 1866. Johnson ignored the policy mandate, and he openly
Andrew Johnson's conservative view of Reconstruction did not
encouraged Southern states to deny ratification of the Fourteenth
include the involvement of former slaves in government. Indeed, he
Amendment. Radical Republicans in Congress, led by Stevens and
refused to heed Northern concerns when Southern state legislatures
Sumner, opened the way to suffrage for male freedmen. They were
implemented Black Codes that lowered the status of the freedmen
generally in control, although they had to compromise with the
similar to slavery. Johnson's presidency would be known primarily
moderate Republicans. Historians generally refer to this period as
Radical Reconstruction.
6
The South's white leaders, who held power in the immediate
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/
postwar era before the vote was granted to the freedmen, renounced
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-end-of-the-war/the-end-of-the-war/
secession and slavery, but not white supremacy. People who had
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previously held power were angered in 1867 when new elections
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were held. New Republican lawmakers were elected by a coalition of
white Unionists, freedmen, and Northerners who had settled in the
South. Some leaders in the South tried to accommodate to new
conditions.
Three Constitutional amendments, known as the Reconstruction
Amendments, were adopted. The Thirteenth Amendment
abolishing slavery was ratified in 1865. The Fourteenth Amendment
was proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868, guaranteeing United
States citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United
States and granting them federal civil rights. The Fifteenth
Amendment, proposed in late February 1869 and passed in early
February 1870, decreed that the right to vote could not be denied
because of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." The
amendment did not declare the vote an unconditional right; it
prohibited these types of discrimination. States would still
determine voter registration and electoral laws. The amendments
were directed at ending slavery and providing full citizenship to
freedmen. Northern Congressmen believed that providing black
men with the right to vote would be the most rapid means of
political education and training.
7
Section 2
The Aftermath of the War
The Aftermath of the War
Economic Development in the North
Devastation in the South
Legally Free, Socially Bound
The Freedmen's Bureau
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/reconstruction-1865-1877/the-aftermath-of-the-war/
8
The Aftermath of the War
of industrial strength and population. Confederate actions, they
argue, only delayed defeat.
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation enabled blacks to
join the Union Army, giving the Union an advantage,
The Confederacy sought to win independence by out-lasting
and helped end the Civil War.
Lincoln. However, after Atlanta fell and Lincoln defeated McClellan
in the election of 1864, all hope for a political victory for the South
ended. At that point, Lincoln had succeeded in getting the support
KEY POINTS
of the border states, War Democrats, emancipated slaves,
Historians are divided as to whether the South ever had a
Britain, and France. By defeating the Democrats and McClellan, he
chance of winning the Civil War.
also defeated the Copperheads and their peace platform.
The Union naval blockade of the South was a key factor in its
victory.
Lincoln's eloquence was also important in rationalizing the national
The South's hope that European markets would need its
purpose and his skill in keeping the border states committed to the
cotton was dashed when the world markets increased
Union cause. Although Lincoln's approach to emancipation was
production.
slow, the Emancipation Proclamation was an effective use of
Three percent of the United States' population was injured or
the President's war powers. The Confederate government failed in
killed fighting in the Civil War.
its attempt to get Europe involved in the war militarily, particularly
the United Kingdom and France. Southern leaders needed to get
Debate
European powers to help break up the blockade the Union had
created around the Southern ports and cities.
Historians have debated whether the Confederacy could have won
the war. Most scholars, such as James McPherson, argue that
Lincoln's naval blockade was 95% effective at stopping trade
Confederate victory was at least possible. Some scholars, such as
goods. As a result, imports and exports to the South declined
those of the Lost Cause tradition, argue that the Union held an
significantly. The abundance of European cotton and the United
insurmountable long-term advantage over the Confederacy in terms
Kingdom's hostility to the institution of slavery, along with
Lincoln's Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico naval blockades, severely
9
decreased any chance that either the United Kingdom or France
Slavery for the Confederacy's 3.5 million blacks effectively ended
would enter the war.
when Union armies arrived. They were nearly all freed by the
Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves in the border states and those
Figure 19.2 Andersonville
located in some former Confederate territory occupied prior to the
National Cemetery
Andersonville National
Emancipation Proclamation were freed by state action or (on
Cemetery is one of many
December 18, 1865) by the Thirteenth Amendment. The full
cemeteries holding Civil War
dead.
restoration of the Union was the work of a highly contentious
postwar era known as Reconstruction. The war produced about
1,030,000 casualties (3% of the population), including about
620,000 soldier deathstwo-thirds by disease. The war accounted
for roughly as many American deaths as all American deaths in
The Emancipation Proclamation
other U.S. wars combined.
The Emancipation Proclamation enabled African-Americans, both
free blacks and escaped slaves, to join the Union Army. About
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-aftermath-of-the-war/the-aftermath-of-
190,000 volunteered, further enhancing the numerical advantage
the-war/
the Union armies enjoyed over the Confederates, who did not dare
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emulate the equivalent manpower source for fear of fundamentally
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undermining the legitimacy of slavery. Emancipated slaves mostly
handled garrison duties, and fought numerous battles in 186465.
European immigrants joined the Union Army in large numbers,
including 177,000 born in Germany and 144,000 born in Ireland.
The railroad industry became the nation's largest employer outside
of agriculture. The American Civil War was followed by a boom in
railroad construction, which contributed to the Panic of 1873.
10
Economic Development in
Southern population included more than 3.5 million slaves and
about 5.5 million whites, thus leaving the South's white population
the North
outnumbered by a ratio of more than four to one when compared to
the North's overall population.
The North had a more highly-developed industrial
economy that was important during the war and
The Union controlled over 80 percent of the shipyards, steamships,
sustained economic growth after the war.
riverboats, and the Navy. The disparity between the North and
South only grew as the Union controlled an increasing amount of
southern territory with garrisons, and cut off the trans-Mississippi
KEY POINTS
part of the Confederacy. This enabled the Union to control the river
In 1861, the Union population was 22 million while the South
had a population of just 9 million (more than 3.5 million
systems and to blockade the entire southern coastline.
slaves and about 5.5 million whites).
Excellent railroad links between Union cities allowed for the quick
The extensive railroad network in the North allowed for
and cheap movement of troops and supplies. Transportation was
movement of troops and supplies that were essential to the
war effort.
much slower and more difficult in the South, which was unable to
The South believed that its cotton was so important to the
augment its much smaller rail system, repair damage, or even
world that other countries would come to its aid in the war
perform routine maintenance. The failure of Davis to maintain
with the North.
positive and productive
relationships with state
Figure 19.3 Cornelius
Vanderbilt, 1794-1877
The more industrialized economy of the North aided in the
governors (especially
Vanderbilt, a
production of arms, munitions and supplies, as well as finances and
Governor Joseph E. Brown
transportation tycoon,
contributed greatly to
transportation. The advantages widened rapidly during the war, as
of Georgia and Governor
the industrial
the Northern economy grew, and the Confederate territory shrank
Zebulon Baird Vance of
development of the
North in the years
and its economy weakened. In 1861, the Union population was 22
North Carolina) damaged
immediately following
million while the South had a population of just 9 million. The
his ability to draw on
the Civil War.
11
regional resources. The Confederacy's " King Cotton"
Devastation in the South
misperception of the world economy led to bad diplomacy, such as
the refusal to ship cotton before the blockade started.
Many of the South's largest cities, and much of its
human and material resources, were destroyed during
The more industrialized economy of the North continued to prosper
the Civil War by the Union armies.
in the years following the war, with men like Cornelius Vanderbilt
building their fortunes on transportation systems needed to sustain
KEY POINTS
Northern trade ( Figure 19.3).
Much of the livestock and farming supplies of the South were
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also destroyed.
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-aftermath-of-the-war/economic-
The South transformed from a prosperous minority of
development-in-the-north/
landholders to a tenant agriculture system.
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Many of the recently freed slaves could only find jobs in
unskilled and service industries.
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One in four white Southern men of military age was killed
during the war.
After emancipation, the entire economy of the South had to
be rebuilt on a different basis.
Reconstruction played out against a backdrop of a once prosperous
economy in ruins. The Confederacy in 1861 had 297 towns and
cities with a combined population of 835,000; of these, 162
locations with 681,000 total residents were at one point occupied by
Union forces. Eleven were destroyed or severely damaged by war
action, including Atlanta, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina;
Columbia, South Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia. These eleven
12
contained 115,900 people in the 1860 census, or 14% of the urban
maintenance and repair, the absence of new equipment, the heavy
South. The number of people who lived in the destroyed towns
over-use, and the deliberate relocation of equipment by the
represented just over 1% of the Confederacy's combined urban and
Confederates from remote areas to the war zone ensured the system
rural populations. In addition, 45 courthouses were burned (out of
would be ruined at war's end. Restoring the infrastructure
830), destroying the documentation for the legal relationships in
especially the railroad systembecame a high priority for
the affected communities.
Reconstruction state governments.
Farms were in disrepair, and the prewar stock of horses, mules and
The enormous cost of the Confederate war effort took a high toll on
cattle was much depleted, with two-fifths of the South's livestock
the South's economic infrastructure. The direct costs to the
killed. The South's farms were not
Confederacy in human capital, government expenditures, and
Figure 19.4 Broad Street,
highly mechanized, but the value
Charleston, South Carolina
physical destruction from the war totaled $3.3 billion. By 1865, the
of farm implements and
Confederate dollar was worthless due to massive inflation, and
machinery in the 1860 Census was
people in the South had to resort to bartering services for goods, or
$81 million and was reduced by
else use scarce Union dollars. With the emancipation of the
40% by 1870. The transportation
southern slaves, the entire economy of the South had to be rebuilt.
infrastructure lay in ruins, with
Having lost their enormous investment in slaves, white planters had
little railroad or riverboat service
minimal capital to pay freedmen workers to bring in crops. As a
available to move crops and
result, a system of sharecropping was developed where
animals to market. Railroad
landowners broke up large plantations and rented small lots to the
mileage was located mostly in
freedmen and their families. The South was transformed from a
This photograph of Broad Street, in
rural areas and over two-thirds of
Charleston, South Carolina, taken in
prosperous minority of landed gentry slaveholders into a tenant
the South's rails, bridges, rail
1865, shows the devastation of the
farming agriculture system.
South following the Civil War.
yards, repair shops and rolling
The end of the Civil War was accompanied by a large migration of
stock were in areas reached by Union armies, which systematically
new freedpeople to the cities. In the cities, African Americans were
destroyed what they could. Even in untouched areas, the lack of
13
relegated to the lowest paying jobs such as unskilled and service
Legally Free, Socially Bound
labor. Men worked as rail workers, rolling and lumber mills
workers, and hotels workers. The large population of slave artisans
Though the Reconstruction Amendments guaranteed
during antebellum had not translated into a large number of
them equal rights, African-Americans experienced
freemen artisans during the Reconstruction. Black women were
widespread discrimination after the War.
largely confined to domestic work employed as cooks, maids, and
child nurses. Others worked in hotels. A large number became
KEY POINTS
laundresses.
The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, also known as the
Reconstruction Amendments, outlawed slavery, granted full
Over a fourth of Southern white men of military agemeaning the
U.S. citizenship to African-Americans, and extended the right
backbone of the South's white workforcedied during the war,
to vote to black males.
leaving countless families destitute. Per capita income for white
From 1865 to 1877, some strides were made as African
southerners declined from $125 in 1857 to a low of $80 in 1879. By
Americans were elected to office, built schools and churches,
the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th century, the
and cultivated their own land.
South was locked into a system of poverty. How much of this failure
After Reconstruction ended, a series of laws were passed to
was caused by the war and by previous reliance on agriculture
segregate public facilities and services, called the Jim Crow
laws.
remains the subject of debate among economists and historians.
While legally the Reconstruction Amendments had granted
African Americans certain legal rights, in social practice they
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remained second-class citizens and were subject to
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-aftermath-of-the-war/devastation-in-
discrimination and violence.
the-south/
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In 1863, in the midst of the American Civil War, President Abraham
Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This Proclamation
freed slaves in the southern states at war with the North. Two years
14
later, the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution outlawed slavery
the state and local levels between 1876 and 1965, and mandated de
in the United States. In 1868 the 14th amendment granted full U.S.
jure segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate
citizenship to African-Americans, and the 15th amendment, ratified
but equal" status for black Americans ( Figure 19.5). In reality, this in 1870, extended the right
to vote to black males. Together these
led to treatment and accommodations that were significantly
amendments were known as the Reconstruction Amendments.
inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a
number of economic, educational, and social disadvantages. While
After the Union victory over the Confederacy, a brief period of
legally the Reconstruction Amendments had granted African
progress followed for African Americans in the South. From 1865 to
Americans certain legal rights, in social practice they remained
1877, under protection of Union troops, some strides were made
second-class citizens and were subject to discrimination and
toward equal rights for African-Americans. Southern black men
violence.
began to vote and were elected to the United States Congress, as
well as local offices such as sheriff. Coalitions of white and black
Figure 19.5 Sign for the
Republicans passed bills to establish the first public school systems
"colored" waiting room at a
bus station in Durham,
in most states of the South, although sufficient funding was hard to
North Carolina, 1940
find. Blacks established their own churches, towns, and businesses.
Jim Crow laws, established
after Reconstruction, lasted
Tens of thousands migrated to Mississippi for the chance to clear
until 1965.
and own their own land, as 90% of the bottomlands were
undeveloped. By the end of the century, two-thirds of the farmers
who owned land in the Mississippi Delta bottomlands were black.
Tens of thousands of African Americans from the North left homes
In the face of mounting violence and intimidation directed at blacks
and careers and also migrated to the defeated South, building
as well as whites sympathetic to their causethe U.S. government
schools, printing newspapers, and opening businesses.
retreated from its pledge to guarantee constitutional protections to
freed men and women. When President Rutherford B. Hayes
After the end of Reconstruction in 1877, African-American
withdrew Union troops from the South in 1877, white Democratic
Southerners fared less well. The Jim Crow laws were enacted on
southerners acted quickly to reverse the groundbreaking advances
15
of Reconstruction. To reduce black voting and regain control of
The Freedmen's Bureau
state legislatures, Democrats had used a combination of violence,
fraud, and intimidation since the election of 1868. These techniques
The Freedmen's Bureau helped former slaves adjust to
were prominent among paramilitary groups such as the White
freedom by providing food, housing, education,
League and Red Shirts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida prior
healthcare, and employment prospects.
to the 1876 elections.
KEY POINTS
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The Freedmen's Bureau was established by President
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-aftermath-of-the-war/legally-free-
Abraham Lincoln in 1865, and was operational until it was
socially-bound/
disbanded under President Ulysses S. Grant in 1871.
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The Bureau helped solve everyday problems of the newly
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freed slaves such as clothing, food, water, health care,
communication with family members, and jobs.
The most widely recognized among the achievements of the
Freedmans Bureau are its accomplishments in the field of
education. The Bureau spent $5 million to set up schools for
blacks, and by the end of 1865, more than 90,000 former
slaves were enrolled as students in public schools.
Despite its good intentions, the Bureau faced strong
opposition from Southern whites, who hindered many local
Bureau agents from carrying out their duties.
The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, usually
referred to as simply the Freedmen's Bureau, was a U.S. federal
government agency from 1865-1869 aided distressed freedmen
(freed slaves) during the Reconstruction era of the United States
16
( Figure 19.6). The Bureau was created through the Freedmen's
opportunities and supervising labor contracts. It soon became, in
Bureau Bill, which was initiated by President Abraham Lincoln,
effect, a military court that handled legal issues. The Bureau
and was intended to last for one year after the end of the Civil War.
distributed 15 million rations of food to African Americans, and set
It was passed on March 3, 1865, by Congress to aid former slaves
up a system where planters could borrow rations in order to feed
through legal food and housing, oversight, education, health care,
freedmen they employed.
and employment contracts with private landowners. The Bureau
The most widely recognized of the Freedmans Bureau's
was part of the United States Department of War, and became a key
achievements is its accomplishments in the field of education. Prior
agency during Reconstruction. Headed by Union Army General
to the Civil War, no southern state had a system of universal state-
Oliver O. Howard, the Bureau was operational until 1871, when it
supported public education. Freedmen had a strong desire to learn
was disbanded under President Ulysses S. Grant.
to read and write. They had worked hard to establish schools in
Figure 19.6 Office of the
their communities prior to the advent of the Freedmen's Bureau. By
Freedmen's Bureau, Memphis,
1866, missionary and aid societies worked in conjunction with the
Tennessee. (1866) From
Harper's Weekly
Freedmen's Bureau to provide education for former slaves. The
The Freedmen's Bureau aided
American Missionary Association was particularly active;
distressed freedmen (freed
establishing eleven colleges in southern states for the education of
slaves) in 18651869, during the
Reconstruction era of the United
freedmen. After 1866, Congress appropriated some funds to use in
States.
the freedmen's schools. Overall, the Bureau spent $5 million to set
up schools for blacks. By the end of 1865, more than 90,000 former
slaves were enrolled as students in public schools.
At the end of the war, the Bureau's main role was providing
The Bureau faced many challenges despite its good intentions,
emergency food, housing, and medical aid to refugees; it also helped
efforts, and limited successes. By 1866, it was attacked by Southern
reunite families. Later, it focused its work on helping the freedmen
whites for organizing blacks against their former masters. That
adjust to their condition of freedom by setting up work
same year President Andrew Johnson, supported by Radical
17
Republicans, vetoed a bill for an increase of power for the Bureau.
Many local Bureau agents were hindered in carrying out their duties
by the opposition of former Confederates, and lacked a military
presence to enforce their authority.
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bureau/
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18
Section 3
The Battle over Reconstruction
The Battle over Reconstruction
Lincoln's Plan and Congress's Response
Johnson's Plan
Johnson's Battle with Congress
The Fourteenth Amendment
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reconstruction/
19
The Battle over
and legal status of freedmen. The civil rights of freedmen and
whether they should be given the right to vote were under special
Reconstruction
consideration. Reconstruction policies were implemented when the
Union Army controlled Confederate states.
'Reconstruction' was a set of federal policies that
addressed the status of the former Confederate states
Lincoln During the Reconstruction
after the Civil War.
President Lincoln planned that the eleven Confederate states that
had seceded could be readmitted to the Union by meeting some
KEY POINTS
tests of political loyalty. In his 1863 Proclamation of Amnesty and
Reconstruction addressed how the seceding states would
Reconstruction, Lincoln established a plan that would have granted
regain self-government and be reseated in Congress, the civil
presidential pardons to all southerners, except for the political
status of the former Confederate leaders, and the
leaders during secession. They took an oath of future allegiance to
Constitutional and legal status of freedmen.
the Union. Lincoln's plan would re-legitimize a state as soon as 10
President Lincoln planned that the eleven Confederate states
that had seceded could be readmitted to the Union by
percent of the voting population of the 1860 general election took
meeting some tests of political loyalty.
the oath, and the state government accepted the emancipation of
When Vice President Andrew Johnson became President
the slaves. By December 1864, the Lincoln plan of Reconstruction
following Lincoln's assassination, the Radical Republicans in
had been enacted in Louisiana and the legislature sent two Senators
Congress found it more difficult to completely overhaul the
and five Representatives to take their seats in Washington.
Southern government and economy.
However, Congress refused to count any of the votes from
Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee, essentially rejecting Lincoln's
Reconstruction After the Civil War
moderate Reconstruction plan as too lenient. They passed the more
'Reconstruction' addressed how the eleven seceding states would
demanding Wade-Davis bill in 1864 instead. It required 50 percent
regain self-government and be reseated in Congress, as well as the
of the voters to take the loyalty oath and allowed only those who
civil status of the former Confederate leaders and the Constitutional
could swear that they had never supported the Confederacy to run
20
for office or hold federal employment. Lincoln pocket-vetoed this
Over Johnson's vetoes, Congress passed three Reconstruction acts
bill.
in 1867 which divided the southern states into five military districts
under the control of the Union army. The military commander in
Andrew Johnson's Presidency
charge of each district was to ensure that the state fulfilled the
After Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, Vice President
requirements of Reconstruction by ratifying the Fourteenth
Andrew Johnson became President. Johnson's leadership proved
Amendment and by providing voting rights without a race
to be an obstacle for the Radical Republicans in Congress, who
qualification. Tennessee was not included in the districts because it
attempted to completely overhaul the Southern government and
had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866 and was quickly
economy. In May 1865, Johnson made his own proclamation that
readmitted to the Union.
was very similar to Lincoln's. It offered amnesty to almost all
In 1868, the House of Representatives impeached Andrew Johnson.
Confederates who took an oath of allegiance to the Union. Johnson
Earlier, Congress had passed the Tenure of Office, which required
also reversed General Sherman's decision to set aside land for the
the President to dismiss officers only with the advice and consent of
express use of freed slaves. Not long after Johnson took office, all of
the Senate if he
the former Confederate states were readmitted.
Figure 19.7 New
appointed
Orleans 1874, during
In 1866, Johnson vetoed two important bills. The first bolstered the
them with the
the post-Civil War
Reconstruction period
protection that the Freedmen's Bureau gave to blacks, and the
same advice
White Leaguers
second was a civil rights bill that gave blacks full citizenship. The
and consent.
attacking the
integrated police force
Republicans then united against Johnson to pass the Civil Rights
Johnson
and state militia, New
Act of 1866, which outlawed the black codes that had been prevalent
believed that
Orleans, 1874
throughout the South. They also tried to pass the Fourteenth
the Act was
Amendment, which granted citizenship to all persons born in the
unconstitutional (the Supreme Court agreed in 1926) and
United States and required the states to respect the rights of all U.S.
intentionally violated it. Radical Republicans used this violation as
citizens.
an excuse to impeach Johnson, who the Senate acquitted by one
vote.
21
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Lincoln's Plan and
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-battle-over-reconstruction/the-battle-
over-reconstruction/
Congress's Response
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While Lincoln took a moderate approach to
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Reconstruction, Congress sought to impose harsh
terms on the south.
KEY POINTS
The Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction was
Lincolns plan to reintegrate the Confederate states back into
the Union, granting presidential pardons to all southerners
(except political leaders) who took an oath of future
allegiance to the Union.
Radical Republicans rejected Lincolns plan and instead
passed the more stringent Wade-Davis Bill, which called for
50% of the state to take the loyalty oath. Lincoln pocket-
vetoed this bill.
The Freedman's Bureau was an agency that provided food,
shelter, medical aid, employment aid, education, and other
needs for blacks and poor whites. It was the largest federal
aid relief plan at the time and it was the first large scale
governmental welfare program.
President Johnson proved to be an obstacle to the Radical
Republicans in Congress, who attempted to completely
overhaul the Southern government and economy.
22
Figure 19.8 The Rail Splitter Repairing the Union
KEY POINTS (cont.)
In 1866, Johnson vetoed two important bills by Congress; in
response, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and
the Fourteenth Amendment, granting African-Americans full
citizenship.
Lincoln's Plan and Congress's Response
From 1863 to 1869, Presidents Abraham Lincoln, along with
Andrew Johnson (who became president in 1865) took a moderate
position designed to bring the South back to normal as soon as
possible. During this time, the Radical Republicans (as they called
themselves) used Congress to block Lincoln's moderate approach,
impose harsh terms, and upgrade the rights of the Freedmen
(former slaves). The views of Lincoln and Johnson prevailed until
A political cartoon of Andrew Johnson and Abraham Lincoln from 1865, during the
Reconstruction era of the United States (18631877). Cartoon print shows Vice
the election of 1866, at which point the Radicals were able to take
President Andrew Johnson sitting atop a globe, attempting to stitch together the
control of policy, remove former Confederates from power, and
map of the United States with needle and thread. Abraham Lincoln stands, right,
using a split rail to position the globe. Johnson warns, "Take it quietly Uncle Abe
enfranchise the Freedmen. A Republican coalition came to power in
and I will draw it closer than ever." While Lincoln commends him, "A few more
nearly all the southern states and set out to transform the society by
stitches Andy and the good old Union will be mended."
setting up a free labor economy, with support from the Army and
all southerners, save the political leaders during secession, who took
the Freedman's Bureau ( Figure 19.8).
an oath of future allegiance to the Union. Lincoln's plan would re-
In his 1863 Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Lincoln
legitimize a state as soon as 10 percent of the voting population of
established a plan that would have granted presidential pardons to
the 1860 general election took the oath and the state government
23
accepted the emancipation of the slaves. By December 1864, the
In March 1865, Congress created a new agency, the Freedman's
Lincoln plan of Reconstruction had been enacted in Louisiana;
Bureau. This agency provided food, shelter, medical aid,
hence it was referred to as Lincolns Louisiana Plan. The state
employment aid, education, and other needs for blacks and poor
legislature sent two Senators and five Representatives to take their
whites. The Freedman's Bureau was the largest federal aid relief
seats in Washington.
plan at the time and it was the first large scale governmental welfare
program.
However, Radical Republicans in Congress refused to count any of
the votes from Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee, rejecting
Lincoln continued to advocate his Louisiana Plan as a model for all
Lincoln's moderate Reconstruction plan as too lenient ( Figure 19.9).
states up until his assassination on April 14, 1865. The plan
They passed the more demanding Wade-Davis Bill in 1864,
successfully began the Reconstruction process of ratifying the
requiring 50 percent of the voters to take the loyalty oath and
Thirteenth Amendment in all states. After Lincoln was assassinated
forbidding anyone who had supported the Confederacy of holding
on April 14, 1865, Vice-President Andrew Johnson took office.
public or federal office. Lincoln pocket-vetoed this bill.
President Johnson proved to be an obstacle to the Radical
Republicans in Congress, who attempted to completely overhaul the
Southern government and economy. In May, 1865, Johnson made
Figure 19.9
Running the
his own proclamation that was very similar to Lincoln's that offered
"Machine"
amnesty to almost all Confederates who took an oath of allegiance
An 1864 political
cartoon takes a
to the Union. Johnson also reversed General Sherman's decision to
swing at Lincoln's
set aside land for the express use of freed slaves. Not long after
administration
featuring William
Johnson took office, all of the former Confederate states were able
Fessenden, Edwin
to be readmitted.
Stanton, William
Seward, Gideon
Welles, Lincoln, and
In 1866, Johnson vetoed two important bills: the first bolstered the
others.
protection the Freedmen's Bureau gave to blacks and the second, a
civil rights bill that gave blacks full citizenship. The Republicans
24
then united against Johnson to pass the Civil Rights Act of
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1866which outlawed the black codes that had been prevalent
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-battle-over-reconstruction/lincoln-s-
throughout the South, and the Fourteenth Amendment that granted
plan-and-congress-s-response/
citizenship to all persons born in the United States and required the
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states to respect the rights of all U.S. citizens. Congress also passed
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three Reconstruction acts in 1867 that divided the southern states
into five military districts under the control of the Union army. The
military commander in charge of each district was to ensure that the
state fulfilled the requirements of Reconstruction by ratifying the
Fourteenth Amendment and by providing voting rights without a
race qualification. In 1868, the Radicals, upset at President
Johnson's opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed
impeachment charges but the action failed by one vote in the
Senate.
Lincoln is typically portrayed as taking the moderate position and
fighting the Radical positions. There is considerable debate on how
well Lincoln, had he lived, would have handled Congress during the
Reconstruction process that took place after the Civil War ended.
One historical camp argues that Lincoln's flexibility, pragmatism,
and superior political skills with Congress would have solved
Reconstruction with far less difficulty. The other camp believes the
Radicals would have attempted to impeach Lincoln, just as they did
his successor, Andrew Johnson, in 1868.
25
Johnson's Plan
Johnson's Battle with Congress
While Andrew Johnson favored punishment for
Both Northern anger over the assassination of President Abraham
Confederates after the Civil War, his policies toward the
Lincoln as well as the immense cost of human life during the Civil
South softened during his presidency.
War led to vengeful demands for harsh policies in the South.
Initially, Vice President Andrew Johnson spoke of hanging rebel
Confederates. When he became President, however, Johnson took a
KEY POINTS
much softer line and pardoned many of them. Additionally, no trials
The Black Codes were laws passed in the Southern states in
for treason took place. Only Captain Henry Wirz, commandant of
the aftermath of the Civil War. They lowered the status of
freedmen.
the prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, was executed for war
The Confiscation Acts were passed by Congress in 1861 and
crimes.
1862. They allowed for the confiscation of land owned by
Johnson's conservative view of Reconstruction did not include the
Confederates, and for this land to be redistributed to
freedmen. Johnson ordered that the land be given back to the
involvement of former slaves in government, and he refused to heed
pardoned owners instead.
Northern concerns when southern state legislatures implemented
The Freedman's Bureau administered confiscated land and
Black Codes, laws that limited the basic human rights and civil
aided newly freedmen and poor whites with legal and
liberties of blacks. Johnson's presidency, therefore, would be known
employment needs.
primarily for its lax enforcement, and at times defiance, of
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 gave freedmen full legal equality,
Reconstruction laws passed by Congress.
with the exception of the right to vote. It was vetoed by
Johnson, but his veto was overridden by Congress.
Despite the abolition of slavery, many former Confederates were not
The Joint Committee on Reconstruction was a 15-member
willing to accept the social changes. The fears of the mostly
panel created to devise reconstruction requirements for
Southern states to be restored to the Union.
conservative planter elite and other prominent white citizens,
however, were partly assuaged by Johnson's assurance that
wholesale land redistribution from the planters to the freedman
would not occur. Johnson ordered that land forfeited under the
26
Confiscation Acts of 1861 and '62, which were passed by Congress
falling price of cotton, led to indebtedness among a majority of the
and administered by the Freedman's Bureau, would not be
freedmen, and poverty among many planters.
redistributed to the freedmen, but instead returned to pardoned
Northern officials gave varying reports on conditions involving
owners.
freedmen in the South. One harsh
Figure 19.10 Andrew
Freedmen and the Enactment of Black Codes
assessment came from Carl Schurz,
Johnson
who documented dozens of extra-
Southern state governments quickly enacted the restrictive Black
judicial killings in states along the
Codes. Although they were abolished in 1866 and seldom had effect,
Gulf Coast. He also reported that at
this occurred due to the Freedman's Bureau's, not local courts',
least hundreds, perhaps thousands of
handling of legal affairs pertaining to freedmen.
other African Americans had been
The Black Codes indicated that the freedmen would have more
killed in this area. In Selma, Alabama,
rights than they had before the war, but still only a limited set of
Major J.P. Houston noted that whites
second-class civil rights. Additionally, freedman were not granted
who killed 12 African Americans in
voting rights or citizenship The Black Codes outraged Northerners,
his district never came to trial.
President Andrew Johnson
and were overthrown by the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which gave
Several other killings never
freedmen full legal equality (except the right to vote).
culminated in official cases.
This helped freedmen force planters to bargain for their labor. Such
Black women were particularly vulnerable at this time, as convicting
bargaining soon led to the practice of sharecropping, which gave the
a white man of sexually assaulting a black woman was immensely
freedmen both greater economic independence and social
difficult. Since black women were considered to have little virtue,
autonomy. However, because freedmen lacked capital, and because
white society held that they could not be raped. This racist mindset
planters continued to own the tools, draft animals and land, the
contributed to numerous sexual crimes against black women. Black
freedmen were forced into producing cash crops, mainly cotton, for
men were construed as being extremely sexually aggressive, and
the land-owners and merchants. Widespread poverty, as well as the
27
their supposed threats to white women were often used as a pretext
Illinois senator Lyman Trumbull, leader of the moderate
for lynching and castrations.
Republicans, recognized that the abolition of slavery was worthless
without the protection of basic civil rights, and thus proposed the
Moderate Responses
first Civil Rights Law. Congress quickly passed this Civil Rights bill.
During the autumn of 1865, the Radical Republicans responded to
the implementation of the Black codes by blocking the readmission
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of the former rebellious states to Congress. Johnson, however,
plan/
pushed to allow former Confederate states into the Union as long as
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their state governments adopted the 13th Amendment (which
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abolished slavery). The amendment was ratified by December 6,
1865, leading Johnson to believe that Reconstruction was over.
The Radical-controlled Congress, however, rejected Johnson's
moderate Presidential Reconstruction, and organized the Joint
Committee on Reconstruction, a 15-member panel that devised
reconstruction requirements for the Southern states to be restored
to the Union.
Johnson vetoed the renewal of the Freedmen's Bureau Bill in
February 1866. Although Johnson had sympathies for the plights of
the freedmen, he was opposed to federal assistance. An attempt to
override the veto failed on February 20, 1866. In response, both the
Senate and House passed a joint resolution, disallowing any
congressional seat admittance until Congress declared
Reconstruction finished.
28
Johnson's Battle with
KEY POINTS (cont.)
Congress
strike down the Reconstruction Acts as unconstitutional. To
prevent this, Congress repealed the Habeas Corpus Act of
The Radical Reconstruction era was a period when the
1867, revoking the Supreme Court's jurisdiction over the
Radical Republicans held control of Congress and
case.
directed Reconstruction efforts.
Congress Imposes Radical Reconstruction
KEY POINTS
Concerned that President Andrew Johnson viewed Congress as an
The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, or the "Reconstruction
"illegal body" and was attempting to overthrow the government,
Amendments," were adopted between 18651870.
Republicans in Congress took control of Reconstruction policies
The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, and was ratified in
after the 1866 election. Johnson ignored this, and openly
1865.
encouraged southern states to refuse the ratification of the 14th
The 14th Amendment was proposed in 1866 and ratified in
Amendment. The border states of Delaware, Maryland and
1868. It guaranteed United States citizenship to all persons
Kentucky, as well as each former Confederate state excluding
born or naturalized in the United States, and granted them
federal civil rights.
Tennessee, adhered to Johnson's recommendation and refused to
The 15th Amendment was proposed in late February 1869
ratify.
and passed in early February 1870. It decreed that the right to
vote could not be denied on the basis of "race, color, or
During the era known as "Radical Reconstruction," Radical
previous condition of servitude".
Republicans in Congress, led by Stevens and Sumner, paved the way
The first Reconstruction Act placed 10 Confederate states
for male freedmen suffrage. Although the Radical Republicans were
under military control. These measures were meant to ensure
generally in control, they had to compromise with the moderate
and protect African-American voting rights and safety.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress. As a result, Radical
Ex Parte McCardle was a Supreme Court case in 1867.
Republicans found themselves virtually powerless.
Congress feared that the Court might use this opportunity to
29
Constitutional Amendments
that effectively disfranchised most blacks (and many poor whites) in
the South. Early Supreme Court rulings at the dawn of the 20th
The Reconstruction Amendments, the 13th, 14th and 15th
century upheld many of these new southern constitutions and laws,
amendments, were adopted between 1865 and 1870. The 13th
preventing most blacks voting in the South until the 1960's. Full
Amendment, which abolished slavery, was ratified in 1865. The 14th
federal enforcement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments
Amendment, proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868, guaranteed
did not occur until the passage of the African-American Civil Rights
United States citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the
Movement (19551968) necessitated the amendments' legislation.
United States, and granted them federal civil rights. The 15th
Amendment,
Reconstruction Acts and Military Reconstruction
proposed in late
Figure 19.11
With the Radicals in control, Congress passed four statutes, known
February of
Plessy V
Ferguson
as "Reconstruction Acts," on March 2, 1867. The full title of the
1869 and
Veiw of the Plessy
initial legislation was "An act to provide for the more efficient
passed roughly
v Ferguson
government of the Rebel States. For the former Confederate States
a year later,
memorial in New
Orleans
to be readmitted to the Union, they had to fulfill all requirements of
decreed that the
the Acts. Texas was accepted since it had already ratified the 13th
right to vote
amendment and had been readmitted.
could not be
denied based on "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
The first Reconstruction Act placed ten Confederate states under
However, the amendment did not declare the vote an unconditional
military control, grouping them into five military districts:
right; it only prohibited these examples of discrimination. Voter
registration and electoral laws were still left up to the state.
First Military District: Virginia, under General John Schofield
Second Military District: North Carolina and South Carolina,
Following Reconstruction, many blacks became active in voting and
under General Daniel Sickles
political life. However, white Democrats and insurgent groups
forcefully regained power in the state legislatures, and passed laws
30
Third Military District: Georgia, Alabama and Florida, under
Additionally, Congress required that each state draft a new state
General John Pope and George Meade
constitution to be approved by Congress. The states were also
required to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
Fourth Military District: Arkansas and Mississippi, under
Constitution and grant voting rights to black men
General Edward Ord
Fifth Military District: Texas and Louisiana, under Generals
President Andrew Johnson's vetoes of these measures were
Philip Sheridan and Winfield Scott Hancock
overridden by Congress. After Ex Parte McCardle came before the
Supreme Court in 1867, Congress feared that the Court might strike
Tennessee was an exception, as it had already been readmitted to
the Reconstruction Acts down as unconstitutional. In order to
the Union.
prevent this, Congress repealed the Habeas Corpus Act of 1867,
These districts placed the ten Southern state governments under the
revoking the Supreme Court's jurisdiction over the case.
direct control of the United States Army. One major purpose of this
By the end of 1870, all Southern states were readmitted to Congress,
was to protect African Americans' right to vote. Within this state of
the last being Georgia.
martial law, the military closely supervised local government,
elections and the administration of justice, and tried to protect
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office holders and freedmen alike from violence. Blacks were
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-battle-over-reconstruction/johnson-s-
enrolled as voters; former Confederate leaders were excluded for a
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limited period of time. No one state was entirely representative. For
example, the Reconstruction Acts denied the right to vote from men
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who had sworn to uphold the Constitution only to rebel against the
Federal Government. Because so many white men fought for the
Confederacy, they were thus denied the right to vote. Although
blacks were a minority in some states, the number of blacks who
were registered to vote nearly matched the number of white
registered voters.
31
The Fourteenth Amendment
The Fourteenth Amendment
The 14th Amendment provided the foundation of equal
The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted on July 9, 1868, was the
rights for all U.S. citizens, including African-Americans.
second of three Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment
provided the foundation for equal rights for all US citizens,
including African-Americans, and a framework for their
KEY POINTS
implementation in the former Confederate states.
The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted on July 9, 1868, was
the second of three Reconstruction Amendments. The three
The three main clauses of the amendment are the citizenship clause,
main clauses of amendment are the citizenship clause, the
the due process clause, and the equal protection clause. The
due process clause, and the equal protection clause.
Citizenship Clauseoverruled the Supreme Courts 1857 Dred Scott v.
The Citizenship Clause contains a broad definition of
Sandford ruling that blacks could not be citizens of the United
citizenship, overruling the Supreme Courts 1857 Dred Scott
v. Sandford ruling that blacks could not be citizens of the
States. The Due Process Clause prohibits state and local
United States.
governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property
The Due Process Clause prohibits state and local
without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. The Equal
governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or
Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection
property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness.
under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was
The Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide
the basis for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court
equal protection under the law to all people within its
jurisdiction.
decision which led to the desegregation of United States schools.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 had previously granted U.S.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 had previously granted U.S. citizenship
citizenship to all persons born in the United States; however
to all persons born in the United States. The framers of the
the 14th amendment served to solidify this act in the
Constitution.
Fourteenth Amendment added this principle to the Constitution for
two reasons. (1) to prevent the Supreme Court from ruling the Civil
Rights Act of 1866 to be unconstitutional for lack of congressional
authority to enact such a law and (2) to prevent a future Congress
32
from altering it by a mere majority vote. The amendment was also
3. Section 3 prohibited the election or appointment to any
in response to the Black Codes that southern states had passed in
federal or state office of any person who had held any certain
the wake of the abolishment of slavery. These Black Codes
offices and then engaged in insurrection, rebellion, or
attempted to return former slaves to something like their former
treason. It was removed by Congress in 1898.
condition by, among
Figure 19.12
4. Section 4 confirmed the legitimacy of all United States public
other things, restricting
14th
debt appropriated by the Congress. It also confirmed that
their movement, forcing
Amendment of
the United
neither the United States nor any state would pay for the loss
them to enter into year-
States
of slaves or debts that had been incurred by the Confederacy.
long labor contracts,
Constitution
First page of the
prohibiting them from
5. Section 5 provided Congress with the authority to enforce the
14th
owning firearms, and by
Amendment in
previous provisions.
the National
preventing them from
Archives.
suing or testifying in
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court.
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fourteenth-amendment/
The amendment consists of five sections ( Figure 19.12):
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1. Section 1 formally defines citizenship and protects a person's
civil and political rights from abridgment or denial by any
state. It overruled the Dred Scott decision that black people
were not, and could not become, citizens of the United States.
2. Section 2 gave Southern states the choice of enfranchising
Negro voters or losing Congressional representation.
33
Section 4
Reconstruction in the South
Reconstruction in the South
The Triumph of Congressional Reconstruction
The Impeachment and Trial of Johnson
Radical Rule in the South
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34
Reconstruction in the South
views of Lincoln and Johnson prevailed until the election of 1866,
which enabled the Radicals to take control of policy, remove former
Reconstruction from 1865-1877 was characterized by
Confederates from power, and enfranchise the freedmen. A
the conflicting views of President Johnson and
Republican coalition came to power in nearly all the Southern states
Congress over Reconstruction policy.
and set out to transform the society by setting up a free labor
economy, with support from the Army and the Freedman's Bureau.
The Radicals, upset at President Johnson's opposition to
KEY POINTS
Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment charges but the
President Andrew Johnson took a moderate position
designed to bring the South back to normal as soon as
action failed by one vote in the Senate. President Ulysses S. Grant
possible.
supported Radical Reconstruction, using both the U.S. Justice
The Radical Republicans, opposed to Johnson's moderate
Department and the U.S. military to suppress white insurgency and
policies, used Congress to block the moderate approach,
support Republican reconstructed states. Southern Democrats,
impose harsh terms, and upgrade the rights of the freedmen
alleging widespread corruption, counterattacked and regained
(former slaves).
power in each state by 1877. President Rutherford B. Hayes blocked
Although resigned to the abolition of slavery, many former
efforts to overturn Reconstruction legislation.
Confederates were not willing to accept the social changes or
political domination by former slaves.
The deployment of the U.S. military was central to the
establishment of Southern Reconstructed state governments and
Reconstruction in the South
the suppression of violence against black and white voters.
Reconstruction was a remarkable chapter in the story of American
From 1863 to 1869, Presidents Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew
freedom, but most historians consider it a failure because the region
Johnson took a moderate position designed to bring the South back
became a poverty-stricken backwater, and whites re-established
to normal as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Radical Republicans
their supremacy, making the freedmen second-class citizens by the
used Congress to block the moderate approach, impose harsh
start of the twentieth century.
terms, and upgrade the rights of the freedmen (former slaves). The
35
Johnson's Presidential Reconstruction
Although resigned to the abolition of slavery, many former
Confederates were not willing to accept the social changes or
Northern anger over the assassination of Lincoln and the immense
political domination by former slaves. The fears, however, of the
human cost of the Civil War led to vengeful demands for harsh
mostly conservative planter elite and other leading white citizens
policies for the South. Vice President
Figure 19.13 Andrew Johnson
were partly assuaged by the actions of President Johnson who
Andrew Johnson had spoken of
ensured that wholesale land redistribution from the planters to the
hanging rebel Confederates. However,
freedman did not occur. Johnson ordered that land forfeited under
Johnson took a much softer line when
the Confiscation Acts passed by Congress in 1861 and 1862 and
he became president, pardoning many
administered by the Freedman's Bureau would not be redistributed
Confederates. There were no trials for
to the freedmen but instead returned to pardoned owners.
treason. Only one person, Captain
Henry Wirz, the commandant of the
Radical Reconstruction
prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia,
Concerned that President Johnson viewed Congress as an "illegal
was executed for war crimes.
President Andrew Johnson's
body" and wanted to overthrow the government, Republicans in
Reconstruction policy would be
Andrew Johnson's conservative view of
Congress took control of Reconstruction policies after the election
known primarily for the
Reconstruction did not include the
nonenforcement and defiance
of 1866. Johnson ignored the policy mandate, and he openly
of Reconstruction laws passed
involvement of former slaves in
encouraged Southern states to deny ratification of the Fourteenth
by the U.S. Congress and
government. Indeed, he refused to heed would be in constant conflict
Amendment. Radical Republicans in Congress, led by Stevens and
constitutionally with the
Northern concerns when Southern
Sumner, opened the way to suffrage for male freedmen. They were
Radicals in Congress over the
state legislatures implemented Black
status of freedmen and whites
generally in control, although they had to compromise with the
in the defeated South.
Codes that lowered the status of the
moderate Republicans. Historians generally refer to this period as
freedmen similar to slavery. Johnson's presidency would be known
Radical Reconstruction.
primarily for the non-enforcement and defiance of Reconstruction
The South's white leaders, who held power in the immediate
laws passed by Congress.
postwar era before the vote was granted to the freedmen, renounced
36
secession and slavery, but not white supremacy. People who had
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previously held power were angered in 1867 when new elections
reconstruction-1865-1877/reconstruction-in-the-south/reconstruction-
were held. New Republican lawmakers were elected by a coalition of
in-the-south/
white Unionists, freedmen, and Northerners who had settled in the
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South. Some leaders in the South tried to accommodate to new
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conditions.
Three Constitutional amendments, known as the Reconstruction
Amendments, were adopted. The Thirteenth Amendment
abolishing slavery was ratified in 1865. The Fourteenth Amendment
was proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868, guaranteeing United
States citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United
States and granting them federal civil rights. The Fifteenth
Amendment, proposed in late February 1869 and passed in early
February 1870, decreed that the right to vote could not be denied
because of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." The
amendment did not declare the vote an unconditional right; it
prohibited these types of discrimination. States would still
determine voter registration and electoral laws. The amendments
were directed at ending slavery and providing full citizenship to
freedmen. Northern Congressmen believed that providing black
men with the right to vote would be the most rapid means of
political education and training.
37
The Triumph of
KEY POINTS (cont.)
Congressional
The Reconstruction Acts were four statutes passed by
Congress on March 2, 1867. To be readmitted to the Union,
Reconstruction
former Confederate States had to fulfill the requirements of
the Acts.
Radical Reconstruction was a period of the
By the end of 1870, all Southern states were readmitted to
Reconstruction Era during which the Radical
Congress, the last being Georgia.
Republicans held control of Reconstruction policies.
Radical Reconstruction
KEY POINTS
Radical Reconstruction was a period following the Civil War during
which radical Republicans controlled Reconstruction policies,
The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, also known as the
Reconstruction Amendments, were adopted from 1865 to
( Figure 19.14) though they often clashed with President Johnson
1870.
The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and was ratified in
Figure 19.14 The reconstruction policy of
1865.
Congress, as illustrated in California
George C. Gorham, Union Party candidate for
The 14th Amendment was proposed in 1866, and ratified in
governor of California in 1867, was "...the only one
1868. It guaranteed United States citizenship to all persons
that had the honesty and at the same time the
born or naturalized in the United States and granted them
imprudence to express himself opposed to the
federal civil rights.
anti-Chinese movement, and had in consequence
lost many votes and impaired his future political
The 15th Amendment was passed in early February 1870. It
prospects...." [cf Hittell, Theodore H. History of
decreed that the right to vote could not be denied on the basis
California. 1897. v.4, p.405.] Caricature of
of race or color. However, this amendment did not declare
gubernatorial candidate George C. Gorham
suffrage an unconditional right: it only prohibited these
bearing a Black, a Chinese, and an Indian man on
his back. Uncle Sam is at left, and another figure
specific types of discrimination.
with a monkey stands at right. Each figure makes
a statement relating to issues of racial equality,
citizenship, suffrage, and Gorham's views.
38
over pieces of legislation. In particular, Johnson encouraged
passed in February 1870, decreed that the right to vote could not be
southern states to refuse to
denied on the basis of "race, color, or previous condition of
ratify the 14th Amendment.
Figure 19.15 The
servitude". Voter registration and electoral laws, though, were still
color line is broken
Radical Republicans in
left up to the state.
Political cartoon
Congress, however, led by
from 1877 by
Thomas Nast
With the Radicals in control, Congress passed four statutes known
Stevens and Sumner, opened
portraying the
as Reconstruction Acts on March 2, 1867. For the former
the way for male freedmen
Democratic Party's
control of the
Confederate States to be readmitted to the Union, they had to fulfill
suffrage. ( Figure 19.15) They
South.
the requirements of these Acts. Texas was excepted since it had
were generally in control of
already ratified the 13th amendment and been readmitted.
Reconstruction legislation, although they often had to compromise
Tennessee had likewise already been admitted.
with the moderate Republicans.
The Reconstruction Acts
The Radical Republicans
The first Reconstruction Act placed ten Confederate states under
In the immediate postwar era before the vote was granted to the
military control, grouping them into five military districts which
freedmen, Southern political leaders renounced secession and
would serve as the acting government for the region:
slavery, but not white supremacy. In the elections of 1867, however,
a new crop of Republican lawmakers were elected by a coalition of
First Military District: Virginia, under General John Schofield
white Unionists, freedmen and northerners who had settled in the
Second Military District: North Carolina and South Carolina,
South.
under General Daniel Sickles
The "Reconstruction Amendments" (13th, 14th, and 15th) were
Third Military District: Georgia, Alabama and Florida, under
adopted in the period from 1865-1870. The 13th Amendment
General John Pope and George Meade
abolishing slavery was ratified in 1865. The 14th Amendment,
ratified in 1868, guaranteed United States citizenship to all persons
Fourth Military District: Arkansas and Mississippi, under
born or naturalized in the United States. The 15th Amendment,
General Edward Ord
39
Fifth Military District: Texas and Louisiana, under Generals
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Philip Sheridan and Winfield Scott Hancock
reconstruction-1865-1877/reconstruction-in-the-south/the-triumph-of-
congressional-reconstruction/
These districts placed the ten Southern state governments under the
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direct control of the United States Army. One major purpose was to
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recognize and protect the right of African Americans to vote. Under
a system of martial law in the South, the military closely supervised
local government, elections, and the administration of justice, and
tried to protect office holders and freedmen from violence. Blacks
were enrolled as voters and former Confederate leaders were
excluded for a limited period. The Reconstruction Acts denied
the right to vote for men who had sworn to uphold the Constitution
and then rebelled against the Federal Government. As a result,
while in some states the black population was a minority, the
number of blacks who were registered to vote nearly matched the
number of white registered voters. In addition, Congress required
that each state draft a new state constitution--which would have to
be approved by Congress--and that each state ratify the Fourteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution and grant voting
rights to black men.
40
The Impeachment and Trial of
KEY POINTS (cont.)
Johnson
The Tenure of Office Act was repealed by Congress in 1887,
and was further deemed invalid in the Supreme Court case of
The impeachment of Andrew Johnson during the
Myers v. United States in 1926.
Reconstruction era was the first impeachment of a
sitting president in the history of the U.S.
The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was one of the most
dramatic events that occurred during the Reconstruction era in the
KEY POINTS
United States, and was the first impeachment in history of a sitting
The impeachment of President Johnson was the culmination
United States president. Johnson was impeached because of his
of a lengthy political battle between the moderate Johnson
efforts to undermine Congressional policy; the impeachment was
and the "Radical Republicans" that dominated Congress and
the culmination of a lengthy political battle between the moderate
sought control of Reconstruction policies.
Johnson and the "Radical Republicans" who dominated Congress
In 1867, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act to protect
Stanton as Secretary of War and maintain Radical
and sought control of Reconstruction policies. Johnson was
Republicans' power over Reconstruction. It required the
acquitted by one vote.
President to have express concurrence of the Senate to relieve
any member of his Cabinet.
On February 24, 1868, Johnson was impeached in the U.S. House of
Johnson, holding that the Tenure of Office Act was
Representatives on eleven articles of impeachment detailing his
unconstitutional, suspended Stanton anyway. On February
"high crimes and misdemeanors", in accordance with Article Two of
24th, 1868, the House of Representatives adopted eleven
the United States Constitution. The House's primary charge against
articles of impeachment against the president.
Johnson was his violation of the Tenure of Office Act, which
After a month-long trial, Johnson was acquitted by one vote.
Subsequent hearings found evidence suggesting that some
Congress had passed in the previous year. Specifically, he had
acquittal votes were acquired through bribery.
removed from office Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton (who
the Tenure of Office Act was largely designed to protect), and
replaced him with Ulysses S. Grant.
41
The impeachment and subsequent trial of Johnson is historically
only to pass civil rights legislation, but also to wrestle control of
recognized as an act of political expedience, rather than necessity,
Reconstruction away from the president.
based on Johnson's defiance of an unconstitutional piece of
Tenure of Office Act
legislation and with little regard for the will of the public (which,
despite the general unpopularity of Johnson, opposed the
In 1867, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act in an effort to
impeachment). Not until the impeachment of Bill Clinton 131 years
protect Edwin M. Stanton, a Radical Republican whose policies
later was another United States president impeached.
greatly differed from Johnson's, from being replaced as Secretary of
War. Johnson, who believed that the Tenure of Office Act was
Background
unconstitutional, ignored the act and suspended Stanton anyway,
Tensions between the executive and legislative branches intensified
replacing him with General Ulysses Grant on August 5, 1867.
shortly after Johnson's ascension to the White House. Prior to his
In January 1868, the Senate acted to reinstate Stanton, a movement
election, Johnson had been a fierce and unrelenting critic of the
Johnson ignored until Grant (who did not enjoy politics and
southern secession that had sparked the Civil War. Radical
resented Johnson's exploitation of Grant's celebrity) sent the
Republicans were convinced that as President, Johnson would enact
president his resignation. Johnson offered the post to Lorenzo
their hard line Reconstruction policies, specifically protection for
Thomas, and on February 21, 1868 ordered the removal of Stanton
newly freed slaves and punishments for former slave owners, as
from office. Stanton refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the
well as for government and military officials.
order and barricaded himself in his office. Three days later, the
When Johnson began his first term as president, however, he
House of Representatives voted 126 to 47 to impeach the President
unexpectedly proclaimed general amnesty for most former
of high crimes and misdemeanors. One week later, the House
confederates, and vetoed legislation that extended civil rights and
adopted eleven articles of impeachment against the president.
financial support for former slaves. Congress was able to override
Trial and Acquittal
only a few of his vetoes, setting the stage for a historic confrontation
between Congress and the President. After gaining majority in
A trial began in the Senate in March ( Figure 19.16). While the
Congress during the midterm elections, the Radicals managed not
prosecution spoke out against Johnson's violations of the Tenure of
42
Figure 19.16
been bribed to vote for Johnson's acquittal. These hearings and
The Senate as
later inquiries found increasing evidence that some acquittal votes
a Court of
Impeachment
were acquired by promises of
Figure 19.17 The Last speech on
for the Trial of
patronage jobs and cash cards.
impeachment
Andrew
Johnson
In 1887, the Tenure of Office Act
The
Impeachment
was repealed by Congress, and
of Andrew
subsequent rulings by the United
Johnson
States Supreme Court seemed to
support Johnson's position that
Office Act, the defense argued that Stanton's position was not
he was entitled to fire Stanton
The Last speech on impeachment--
actually protected by the Act, since Stanton was a leftover
without Congressional approval.
Thaddeus Stevens closing the debate
in the House, March 2. Illus. in:
appointment from the 1860 cabinet. Both sides argued the
In 1926, the Supreme Court's
Harper's Weekly, 1868 March 21
legitimacy of the Act; the prosecution rested their case on April 9th
ruling on a similar piece of later
( Figure 19.17).
legislation in the case Myers v. United States affirmed "that the
Tenure of Office Act of 1867...was invalid".
On all three occasions, thirty-five Senators voted "guilty" and
nineteen "non-guilty". Because the Constitution requires a two-
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/
thirds majority for conviction in impeachment trials, Johnson was
reconstruction-1865-1877/reconstruction-in-the-south/the-
impeachment-and-trial-of-johnson/
thus acquitted by one vote.
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Seven Republican senators were concerned that the proceedings
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had been manipulated to convey a one-sided presentation of the
evidence. After the trial, lawyer Benjamin Butler conducted
hearings on the widespread reports that Republican senators had
43
Radical Rule in the South
several states, the more conservative scalawags fought for control
with the more radical carpetbaggers, and the Republican Party
Following the Civil War, political-racial tensions built up
steadily lost support. Meanwhile, freedmen were demanding a
in the South leading to a period of radical military rule.
bigger share of the offices and patronage, squeezing out their
carpetbagger allies. The racial tension within the Republican Party
KEY POINTS
was exacerbated because poor whites resented the job competition
This New Departure was a strategy of the Democratic Party to
from freedmen. Finally, some of the more prosperous freedmen
fight the Republican Party on economic grounds rather than
were joining the Democrats, angered by the failure of the
race.
Republicans to help them acquire land.
Not all Democrats agreed however, and the Redeemers
continued to resist Reconstruction.
Democrats Try a "New Departure"
President Grant was blamed for the Panic of 1873, and the
The Grant administration had proven by its crackdown on the Ku
Republican Party lost 96 seats in the 1874 elections.
Klux Klan that it would use as much federal power as necessary to
Throughout the South, secret societies such as the Ku Klux
Klan, the White League and the Red Shirts served as the
suppress open anti-black violence. So, by 1870, the Democratic
military arm of the Democratic party and used violence to
Conservative leadership across the South decided it had to end its
maintain white supremacy.
opposition to Reconstruction and black suffrage to survive. They
The Compromise of 1877 between the Republicans and
wanted to fight the Republican Party on economic grounds rather
Democrats settled the contested 1876 presidential election,
than race. This New Departure offered the chance for a clean slate
marking the end of Reconstruction. President Hayes removed
troops from the south, and Redeemers passed Jim Crow laws.
without having to re-fight the Civil War every election.
Not all Democrats agreed however, and an insurgent element
Overview
continued to resist Reconstruction. Eventually, a group called
"Redeemers" took control of the party in the Southern states,
In the South, politicalracial tensions built up inside the
forming coalitions with conservative Republicans and emphasizing
Republican Party as they were attacked by the Democrats. In
the need for economic modernization. Across the South, some
44
Democrats switched from the race issue to taxes and corruption,
black ( Figure 19.18). The most notorious such organization was the
charging that Republican governments were corrupt and inefficient.
Ku Klux Klan, which in effect served as the military arm of the
Democratic party in the South. The White League and the Red
In the lower South, violence continued and new insurgent groups
Shirts were similar white supremacist paramilitary organizations
arose. The disputed 1872 election of a Republican Governor in
that operated throughout the South to restore white supremacy.
Louisiana led to an outbreak of violence - later known as the Colfax
Massacre in which 3 white men died, 120150 African-Americans
Election of 1876
were killed and some 50 were held as prisoners. This marked the
In 1876,
Figure 19.18
beginning of heightened insurgency and attacks on Republican
The Union As It
Republican
officeholders and freedmen in Deep South states.
Was
Rutherford Hayes
A Harper's
Panic of 1873
was elected
Magazine
editorial cartoon
president in one of
by Thomas Nast
The economic Panic of 1873 hit the Southern economy hard and
denouncing
the most
disillusioned many Republicans. Many local black leaders started
KKK and White
contentious and
League murders
emphasizing individual economic progress in cooperation with
of innocent
hotly disputed
white elites, rather than racial political progress in opposition to
blacks.
elections in
them. Nationally, President Grant was blamed for the depression,
American history. Although he lost the popular vote to Democrat
and as a result, the Republican Party lost 96 seats in the 1874
Samuel J. Tilden, Hayes won the presidency by the narrowest of
elections. The Bourbon Democrats took control of the House in all
margins after a Congressional commission awarded him twenty
but 4 states.
disputed electoral votes ( Figure 19.19). The result was the
Paramilitary Groups Allied With Democratic Party
Compromise of 1877, in which the Democrats acquiesced to Hayes's
election and Hayes accepted the end of military occupation of the
Throughout the South, secret societies rose with the aims of
South.
preventing blacks from voting and destroying the Republican party
by assassinating local leaders and public officials, both white and
45
This compromise essentially marked the end of Reconstruction.
After assuming office, President Hayes removed troops from the
capitals of the remaining Reconstruction states. The Democrats
Figure 19.19
1876 Electoral
Map
Electoral Map of
the disputed
1876 Election
between Hayes
and Tilden.
gained control of the Senate, and now had complete control of
Congress having already taken over the House in 1875.
The period after Reconstruction saw the rise of the Democratic
" Redeemers" in the South. The Redeemers vowed to take back the
South from Republican rule, passing Jim Crow laws segregating
blacks and whites, and putting voting restrictions on blacks that
would not be outlawed until the next century.
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the-south/
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Boundless is an openly licensed educational resource
46
Section 5
The Reconstructed South
The Freed Slaves
African Americans in Southern Politics
Carpetbaggers and Scalawags
The Radical Record
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/reconstruction-1865-1877/the-reconstructed-south/
47
The Reconstructed South
The Freed Slaves
Southern states undermined efforts at equality with
During the Reconstruction period of 18651877, federal law
laws designed to disfranchise blacks, despite of a
provided civil rights protection in the U.S. South for freedmen, the
series of federal equal rights laws.
African Americans who had formerly been slaves. In the 1870s,
Democrats gradually returned to power in the Southern states,
sometimes as a result of elections in which paramilitary groups
KEY POINTS
intimidated opponents, attacking blacks or preventing them from
African-American freed slaves in the South faced a number of
voting. Gubernatorial elections were close and disputed in
struggles after the Civil War.
Louisiana for years, with extreme violence unleashed during the
General William Tecumseh Sherman passed an ordinance
campaigns. In 1877, a national compromise to gain Southern
guaranteeing recently freed slaves land after his March to the
support in the presidential election resulted in the last of the federal
Sea, but his orders had no force of law and were overturned.
troops being withdrawn from the South. White Democrats had
In the 1870s, Democrats gradually returned to power in the
regained political power in every Southern state. These
Southern states, sometimes as a result of elections in which
paramilitary groups intimidated opponents, attacking blacks
conservative, white, Democratic Redeemer governments legislated
or preventing them from voting.
Jim Crow laws, segregating black people from the white population.
Blacks were still elected to local offices in the 1880s, but the
Blacks were still elected to local offices in the 1880s, but the
establishment Democrats were passing laws to make voter
registration and electoral rules more restrictive. As a result,
establishment Democrats were passing laws to make voter
political participation by most blacks and many poor whites
registration and electoral rules more restrictive. As a result, political
began to decrease.
participation by most blacks and many poor whites began to
Those who could not vote were not eligible to serve on juries
decrease. Between 1890 and 1910, ten of the eleven former
and could not run for local offices. They effectively
Confederate states, starting with Mississippi, passed new
disappeared from political life, as they could not influence the
state legislatures, and their interests were overlooked.
constitutions or amendments that effectively disfranchised most
blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites through a combination
48
of poll taxes, literacy and comprehension tests, and residency and
particularly after Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's
record-keeping requirements. Grandfather clauses temporarily
March to the Sea. General Sherman's Special Field Orders, No. 15,
permitted some illiterate whites to vote.
issued on January 16, 1865, provided for the land, while some of its
beneficiaries also received mules from the Army for plowing. The
Those who could not vote were not eligible to serve on juries and
policy became known as forty acres and a mule.
could not run for local offices. They effectively disappeared from
political life, as they could not
The Special Field Orders issued by Sherman were never intended to
Figure 19.20
influence the state legislatures,
represent an official policy of the United States government with
Slave
and their interests were
Children
regards to all former slaves. Andrew Johnson, who succeeded
overlooked. Public schools had
Two children
President Lincoln after the assassination, revoked Sherman's
who were
been established by
likely
Orders and returned the land to its previous white owners. Because
Reconstruction legislatures for
emancipated
of this, the phrase 40 acres and a mule has come to represent the
during the
the first time in most Southern
Civil War,
failure of Reconstruction policies in restoring to African Americans
states. The schools for black
circa 1870.
the fruits of their labor.
children were consistently
underfunded compared to
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reconstruction-1865-1877/the-reconstructed-south/the-freed-slaves/
schools for white children, even
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when considered within the strained finances of the postwar South.
The decreasing price of cotton kept the agricultural economy at a
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low.
The government adopted a policy of providing arable land to former
black slaves during the last stages of the American Civil War in
1865. They were freed as a result of the advance of the Union armies
into the territory previously controlled by the Confederacy,
49
African Americans in
electoral offices, black men as representatives voting in state and
federal legislatures marked a drastic social change.
Southern Politics
At the beginning of 1867, no African-American in the South held
After the Civil War, many African Americans and former
political office, but within three or four years a significant minority
slaves became Republicans and officeholders.
of office-holders in the South were black. About 137 black
officeholders had lived outside the South before the Civil War. Some
had escaped from slavery to the North, become educated, and
KEY POINTS
returned to help the South advance in the postwar era. Others were
Most African Americans served in local offices, with very few
free blacks before the war, who had achieved education and
in national offices.
positions of leadership elsewhere. Other African-American men
Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American to serve
who served were already leaders in their communities, including a
in Congress as a Senator.
number of preachers. As happened in white communities, not all
Joseph Hayne Rainey was the first African American to serve
as a Congressman.
leadership depended upon wealth and literacy.
At the beginning of 1867, no African American in the South
There were few African Americans elected or appointed to national
held political office, but within three or four years a
office. African Americans voted for white candidates and for blacks.
significant minority of office-holders in the South were black.
The Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed the right to vote, but did not
The Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed the right to vote, but
did not guarantee that the vote would be counted or the
guarantee that the vote would be counted or the districts would be
districts would be apportioned equally.
apportioned equally. As a result, states with majority African-
American population often elected only one or two African-
American representatives in Congress. Exceptions included South
After the Civil War, Republicans took control of all Southern state
Carolina; at the end of Reconstruction, four of its five Congressmen
governorships and state legislatures, except for Virginia. The
were African American.
Republican coalition elected numerous African Americans to local,
state, and national offices. Though they did not dominate any
50
Hiram Rhodes Revels (September 27, 1827 January 16, 1901) was
Carpetbaggers and
the first African
Figure 19.21 Hiram
American to serve in the
Rhodes Revels
Scalawags
United States Senate.
U.S. Senator Hiram
Rhodes Revels, the
"Carpetbaggers" and "scalawags" are pejorative terms
Because he preceded
first African-
that were used by Southerners during the
any African American in
American in the
Congress.
Reconstruction period.
the House, he was the
first African American
in the U.S. Congress as
KEY POINTS
well. He represented Mississippi in 1870 and 1871.
The term carpetbagger refers to Northerners who moved to
the South after the Civil War, during Reconstruction.
Joseph Hayne Rainey (June 21, 1832 August 1, 1887) was the first
Many carpetbaggers were said to have moved South for their
African American to serve in the United States House of
own financial and political gains.
Representatives, the second black person to serve in the United
Scalawags were white Southerners who cooperated politically
States Congress, the first African American to be directly elected to
with black freedmen and Northern newcomers. Scalawags
Congress (Revels had been appointed), and the first black presiding
typically supported the Republican Party.
officer of the United States House of Representatives. Born into
slavery, he was freed in the 1840s when his father purchased his
Carpetbaggers
and his family's freedom.
In the context of U.S. history, carpetbagger was a term used to
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describe Northerners who moved to the South after the Civil War,
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-reconstructed-south/african-americans-
during Reconstruction (1865-1877). The term, a pejorative coined
in-southern-politics/
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by frustrated Southerners, referred to the observation that many of
these newcomers carried their belongings in "carpet bags." This was
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a sturdy, common form of luggage at the time, and was made from
51
pieces of used carpet. The term carpetbagger was used in a
Scalawags
derogatory fashion, and communicated the fear, among
In United States history, scalawag was a term for white
Southerners, that opportunistic outsiders were conspiring to exploit
Southerners who supported Reconstruction and the Republican
Southern resources. Together with Republicans, carpetbaggers were
Party after the Civil
viewed as politically manipulating formerly Confederate states for
War. Like
Figure 19.23
their own financial and political gains. Carpetbaggers were seen as
"carpetbagger," the
Carpetbagger
insidious Northern outsiders with questionable objectives, who
This political
term scalawag has a
attempted to meddle with, and control, Southern politics. Following
cartoon from
long history of use as
1872 depicts
carpetbaggers
a slur. Typically, it
Figure 19.22 The
in a negative
Fate of the
was used by
light.
Carpetbagger and
conservative, pro-
Scalawag
A cartoon
federation
threatening that the
Southerners to
Ku Klux Klan would
lynch
derogate individuals whom they viewed as betraying southern
carpetbaggers,
values by supporting Northern policies like desegregation ( Figure
Tuscaloosa,
Alabama,
19.22). In historical studies, the term is commonly used as a neutral
Independent
descriptor for Southern White Republicans, but some historians
Monitor, 1868
have discontinued this habit because of the term's pejorative origin.
the Civil War, carpetbaggers often bought plantations at fire-sale
prices. Because of this and other behavior, they were generally
During Reconstruction, scalawags formed coalitions with black
considered to be taking advantage of those living in the South. A
freedmen and Northern newcomers to take control of state and
carpetbagger should not be confused with a copperhead, a term
local governments. Despite being a minority, these groups gained
given to Northerners who sympathized with the cause of Southern
power by taking advantage of the Reconstruction laws of 1867.
Secession.
These laws disenfranchised individuals who could not take the
52
Ironclad Oath. Any individual who had served in the Confederate
The Radical Record
army, or who had held office in a state or Confederate government,
was not allowed to take this oath. Because they were unable to take
Radical Republicans in Congress, led by Stevens and
this oath, these individuals were disenfranchised.
Sumner, opened the way to suffrage for male freedmen.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/
KEY POINTS
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-reconstructed-south/carpetbaggers-and-
scalawags/
In January 1866, Congress renewed the Freedman's Bureau,
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which Johnson vetoed in February.
Radical Republicans in Congress passed the Freedmen's
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Bureau bill over Johnson's veto.
Senator Lyman Trumbull proposed the first Civil Rights Law,
which stated that African-Americans were to be granted equal
rights as citizens in all aspects.
The Radical Republicans also passed the Reconstruction
Amendments, which were directed at ending slavery and
providing full citizenship to freedmen. Northern
Congressmen believed that providing black men with suffrage
would be the most rapid means of political education and
training.
Many of the political and legal advances made by African-
Americans during the Reconstruction period were
undermined by laws passed by individual states and the
Supreme Court.
Concerned that President Johnson was attempting to subvert
congressional authority, Republicans took control of Reconstruction
53
policies after the election of 1866. Radical Republicans in Congress,
organized the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, a 15-member
led by Stevens and Sumner, opened the way to suffrage for male
panel to devise reconstruction requirements for the Southern states
freedmen. They were generally in control, although they had to
to be restored to the Union.
compromise with the moderate Republicans. the Democrats in
Figure 19.25 Grant's last
In January 1866, Congress renewed
outrage in Louisiana
Congress had almost no power. Historians generally refer to this
the Freedman's Bureau, which
period as Radical Reconstruction.
Johnson vetoed in February. Although
During fall 1865, out of response to the Black codes and worrisome
Johnson had sympathies for the
signs of Southern recalcitrance, the Radical Republicans blocked
plights of the freedmen, he was
the readmission of the former rebellious states to the Congress.
against federal assistance. An attempt
Johnson, however, was content with allowing former Confederate
to override the veto failed on February
states into the Union as long as their state governments adopted the
20, 1866. This veto shocked the
13th Amendment abolishing slavery. By December 6, 1865, the
Congressional Radicals. In response,
amendment was
both the Senate and House passed a
Grant's last outrage in Louisiana
ratified and
Figure 19.24
joint resolution not to allow any
in Frank Leslie's illustrated
Johnson considered
The color
Senator or Representative seat
newspaper on January 23,
line is
1875. With nation tired of
Reconstruction
broken
admittance until Congress decided
Reconstruction, Grant remained
over. Radical
Political
when Reconstruction was finished.
the lone President protecting
cartoon from
African American civil rights.
Republicans in
1877 by
Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois,
Congress, however,
Thomas Nast
portraying
leader of the moderate Republicans, took affront at the black codes.
disagreed. They
the
He proposed the first Civil Rights Law, because the abolition of
rejected Johnson's
Democratic
Party's
slavery was empty if laws were to be enacted and enforced depriving
moderate
control of the
persons of African descent of privileges which were essential to free
Reconstruction
South.
men. The law stated that African-Americans were to be granted
efforts, and
54
equal rights as citizens in all aspects. Congress later passed the Civil
Bingham, was designed to put the key provisions of the Civil Rights
Rights bill. Although strongly urged by moderates in Congress to
Act into the Constitution. It extended citizenship to everyone born
sign the Civil Rights bill, Johnson broke decisively with them by
in the United States, except visitors and Indians on reservations,
vetoing it on March 27, 1866. His veto message objected to the
penalized states that did not give the vote to freedmen, and most
measure because it conferred citizenship on the freedmen at a time
importantly, created new federal civil rights that could be protected
when eleven out of thirty-six states were unrepresented and
by federal courts. Johnson used his influence to block the
attempted to fix by Federal law "a perfect equality of the white and
amendment in the states.
black races in every State of the Union." Johnson said it was an
While many blacks took an active part in voting and political life,
invasion by Federal authority of the rights of the States. It had no
and rapidly continued to build churches and community
warrant in the Constitution and was contrary to all precedents. The
organizations, white Democrats and insurgent groups used force to
Democratic Party, proclaiming itself the party of white men, north
regain power in the state legislatures, passing laws that effectively
and south, supported Johnson. However, the Republicans in
disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites in the South. Early
Congress overrode his veto. The Senate overrode the veto by the
Supreme Court rulings around the turn of the 19th to 20th century
close vote of 33:15, the House by 122:41. Then, the Civil Rights bill
upheld many of these new Southern constitutions and laws, and
became law. Congress also passed another version of Freedmen's
most blacks were prevented from voting in the South until the
Bureau Bill, which Johnson again vetoed. This time, however,
1960s. Full federal enforcement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth
Radical Republicans mustered enough congressional support to
Amendments did not occur until passage of legislation in the
override Johnson's veto.
mid-1960s as a result of the African-American Civil Rights
The Radical Republicans also passed the Reconstruction
Movement (19551968).
Amendments, which were directed at ending slavery and
providing full citizenship to freedmen. Northern Congressmen
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believed that providing black men with suffrage would be the most
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rapid means of political education and training. For instance, the
Fourteenth Amendment, whose principal drafter was John
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55
Section 6
The Grant Presidency
The Grant Presidency
The Election of 1868
The Government Debt
Scandals
White Terror
Conservative Resurgence
Reform and the Election of 1872
Panic and Redemption
The Compromise of 1877
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/reconstruction-1865-1877/the-grant-presidency/
56
The Grant Presidency
assumed that slavery and Confederate nationalism were dead and
that the southern states could return. The Radicals sought out a
President Ulysses S. Grant presided over a country that
candidate for President who represented their viewpoint.
had survived the Civil War, but was now divided over
how to deal with the aftermath.
In 1868, the Republicans unanimously chose Ulysses S. Grant to be
the Republican Presidential candidate. Grant won favor with the
Radicals after he allowed Edwin M. Stanton, a Radical, to be
KEY POINTS
reinstated as Secretary of War. As early as 1862, during the Civil
Ulysses S. Grant was elected president of the United States in
War, Grant had appointed the Ohio military chaplain John Eaton to
1868.
protect and gradually incorporate refugee slaves in west Tennessee
Immediately upon Inauguration in 1869, Grant bolstered
and northern Mississippi into the Union War effort and pay them
Reconstruction by prodding Congress to readmit Virginia,
Mississippi, and Texas into the Union, while ensuring their
for their labor. It was the beginning of his vision for the Freedman's
constitutions protected every citizen's voting rights.
Bureau. Grant opposed President Johnson by supporting the
Grant re-admitted several Southern states to the Union, and
Reconstruction Acts passed by the Radicals.
signed legislation guaranteeing equal rights to recently freed
slaves.
Immediately upon Inauguration in 1869, Grant bolstered
Grant created new federal departments and ordered federal
Reconstruction by prodding Congress to readmit Virginia,
troops to suppress racial violence in the South.
Mississippi, and Texas into the Union, while ensuring their
Ultimately, Grant's administration was marred by a series of
constitutions protected every citizen's voting rights. Grant met with
scandals.
prominent black leaders for consultation, and signed a bill into law
that guaranteed equal rights to both blacks and whites in
During the Civil War, many in the North believed that fighting for
Washington, D.C. Furthermore, in Grant's two terms he
the Union was a noble cause for the preservation of the Union and
strengthened Washington's legal capabilities. He worked with
the end of slavery. After the war ended, with the North victorious,
Congress to create the Department of Justice and Office of Solicitor
the fear among Radicals was that President Johnson too quickly
General, led by Attorney General Amos Akerman, and the first
57
Solicitor General Benjamin Bristow, who both prosecuted
resurgence of the Democrats in the North and South. Furthermore,
thousands of Klansmen under the Force Acts. Grant sent additional
most Republicans felt the war goals had been achieved by 1870 and
federal troops to nine South Carolina counties to suppress Klan
turned their attention to other issues such as financial and
violence in 1871.
monetary policies.
Grant also used military pressure to ensure that African Americans
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could maintain their new electoral status, won passage of the
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-grant-presidency/the-grant-presidency/
Fifteenth Amendment giving African Americans the right to vote,
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and signed the Civil Rights
Figure 19.26
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Act of 1875 giving people
Ulysses S.
access to public facilities
Grant, 18th
President of the
regardless of race. To
United States
counter vote fraud in the
Official White
House portrait of
Democratic stronghold of
President U.S.
New York City, Grant sent
Grant done by
Henry Ulke on
in tens of thousands of
March 2, 1875.
armed, uniformed federal
marshals and other election officials to regulate the 1870 and
subsequent elections. Democrats across the North then mobilized to
defend their base and attacked Grant's entire set of policies. On
October 21, 1876, President Grant deployed troops to protect black
and white Republican voters in Petersburg, Virginia.
Grant's support from Congress and the nation declined due to
presidential scandals during his administration and the political
58
The Election of 1868
presidential nomination. Instead of Johnson, the Democrats
nominated Horatio Seymour, chairman of the convention, after a
The election of 1868 was the first presidential election
series of failed ballots with several other candidates vying for
to take place after the Civil War, during Reconstruction.
nomination. Seymour and the Democratic Party wanted to carry out
a Reconstruction policy that would emphasize peaceful
reconciliation with the South, a policy similar to that advocated by
KEY POINTS
Abraham Lincoln and President Andrew Johnson.
The Democrats nominated Horatio Seymour after a series of
failed ballots and pledged to pursue a softer Reconstruction.
By 1868, Republicans felt strong enough to drop the Union Party
Republicans favored Radical Reconstruction, punishing the
label, but still badly needed to nominate a popular hero for their
South for its role in the war and nominated war hero Ulysses
presidential candidate. The Democratic Party controlled many large
S. Grant.
Northern states that had a great percentage of the electoral votes.
Grant took no part in the campaign and made no promises. A
line in his letter of acceptance of the nomination became the
General Ulysses S. Grant announced he was a Republican and was
Republican campaign theme"Let us have peace".
unanimously nominated on the first ballot as the party's standard
bearer at the Republican convention in Chicago, Illinois, held on
May 20-21, 1868. House Speaker Schuyler Colfax, a Radical
The United States presidential election of 1868 was the first
Republican from Indiana, was nominated for vice-president on the
presidential election to take place after the American Civil War,
sixth ballot, beating out the early favorite, Senator Benjamin Wade
during the period referred to as Reconstruction. Three of the former
of Ohio.
Confederate states, Texas, Mississippi, and Virginia, were not yet
restored to the Union and therefore could not vote in the election.
The Republican platform supported black suffrage in the South, but
agreed to let northern states decide for themselves whether to
The incumbent President, Andrew Johnson, who succeeded to the
enfranchise blacks. It also opposed using greenbacks to redeem U.S.
presidency in 1865 following the assassination of President Lincoln,
bonds, encouraged immigration, endorsed full rights for naturalized
was unsuccessful in his attempt to receive the Democratic
citizens, and favored Radical Reconstruction.
59
Figure 19.27
spread stories of bloodshed in the South to prove that Radical
Republican
Reconstruction was necessary.
Nominees for
1868
Horatio Seymour polled 2,708,744 votes against 3,013,650 for
Ulysses S.
Grant and
Grant, a fairly close race, but ultimately Grant carried the electoral
Schuyler Colfax,
college, winning the election. Many alleged that had the remaining
Republican
running mates
Southern states taken place in the election, Seymour would have
for the
won, but the possible outcome is impossible to know for sure.
presidency in
the 1868
elections.
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The campaign was conducted vigorously. The Republicans were
fearful as late as October that they might be beaten. The Democrats
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were out of favor, and their candidate Seymour had been called a
traitor and a troublemaker. Because several Southern states were
not yet re-integrated into the union, the votes of thousands of
southern Democrats would not be counted.
Grant took no part in the campaign and made no promises. A line in
his letter of acceptance of the nomination became the Republican
campaign theme"Let us have peace." After four years of civil war,
three years of wrangling over Reconstruction, and the attempted
impeachment of a president, the nation craved the peace Grant
pledged to achieve. The voters were told that if they wanted to re-
open the Civil War they need only elect Horatio Seymour, and some
60
The Government Debt
employees working in the government by 2,248 persons from 6,052
on March 1, 1869 to 3,804 on December 1, 1871. He also increased
Ulysses S. Grant's administration pursued a series of
tax revenues by $108 million from 1869 to 1872. During his first
policies to strengthen public credit, reform the Treasury,
administration, the national debt fell from $2.5 billion to $2.2
and reduce the debt.
billion.
Grant's first move upon taking office was signing the Public
KEY POINTS
Credit Act of 1869, which the Republican Congress had just
Grant's first move upon taking office was signing the Public
passed. It ensured that all public debts, particularly war bonds,
Credit Act of 1869, which ensured that all public debts,
would be paid only in gold rather than in greenbacks. The price of
particularly war bonds, would be paid only in gold rather
gold on the New York exchange fell to $130 per ounce the lowest
than in greenbacks.
point since the suspension of specie payment in 1862.
Grant protected the wages of U.S. Government employees
through another act he signed in 1869.
On May 19, 1869, Grant protected the wages of those working for
Treasury Secretary Boutwell reorganized and reformed the
the U.S. Government. In 1868, a law had been passed that reduced
United States Treasury by discharging unnecessary
employees, starting sweeping changes in Bureau of Printing
the government working day to eight hours. However, much of the
and Engraving to protect the currency from counterfeiters,
law was later repealed that allowed day wages to also be reduced. To
and revitalizing tax collections to hasten the collection of
protect workers, Grant signed an executive order that "no reduction
revenue.
shall be made in the wages" regardless of the reduction in hours for
the government day workers.
Grant and the Government Debt
Boutwell and the Treasury
In the first two years of the Grant administration, with George
Treasury Secretary George S. Boutwell reorganized and reformed
Boutwell at the helm, Treasury expenditures had been reduced to
the United States Treasury. First, he discharged unnecessary
$292 million in 1871 down from $322 million in 1869. The cost of
employees. Second, he started sweeping changes in Bureau of
collecting taxes fell to 3.11% in 1871. Grant reduced the number of
61
Printing and Engraving to protect the currency from counterfeiters.
Scandals
Finally, he revitalized tax collections to hasten the collection of
revenue. These changes
Ulysses S. Grant's administration was plagued by a
Figure 19.28
soon led the Treasury to
series of scandals, many involving those close to Grant.
George S.
have a monthly surplus.
Boutwell
George S.
By May 1869, Boutwell
Boutwell
KEY POINTS
reduced the national debt
served as
Secretary of
by $12 million. By
Grant pursued different courses for prosecution depending
the Treasury
on his friendship with those indicted, which caused
September, the national
under
controversy.
Ulysses S.
debt was reduced by $50
Grant.
The Black Friday scandal, which involved Grant's brother-in-
million, which was
law, was a scheme to control the gold market. When it failed,
achieved by selling the
it rocked the United States economy.
growing gold surplus at weekly auctions for greenbacks and buying
The Whiskey Ring scandal, which involved Grant's personal
back wartime bonds with the currency.
secretary, was a scheme to defraud the IRS of whiskey taxes.
Grant himself was deposed as part of the Whiskey Ring
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The presidency of Ulysses S. Grant was marred by a series of
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scandals. Grant's standards in many of his cabinet appointments
were low, leading to widespread charges of corruption. Beginning
with the Black Friday gold speculation ring in 1869, corruption was
uncovered during Grant's two presidential terms in seven federal
departments. Reform movements initiated in both the Democratic
Party and the Liberal Republicans, a faction that split from the
62
Republican Party to oppose political patronage and corruption in
economy for several years to come. By September 21, the price of
the Grant Administration. Nepotism was prevalent, with over 40 of
gold had jumped from $137 to $141; Gould and Fisk jointly owned
Grant's family members or relatives benefiting from government
$50 million to $60 million of it. Boutwell and Grant finally met on
appointments and employment.
September 23 and agreed to release gold from the treasury if its
price continued to rise. On the same day, Boutwell also ordered that
Black Friday
the Tenth National Bank be closed. Then, on September 23, 1869
The first scandal to taint the Grant administration in 1869 was
(known infamously as "Black Friday"), the price of gold soared to
Black Friday (also known as the "Gold Panic"), which was an
$160 dollars an ounce. This spurred Boutwell to release $4 million
attempt by two financiers to corner the price of gold without
in gold specie into the market and buy $4,000,000 in bonds. The
consideration for the nation's economic welfare. This intricate
gold market crashed, foiling Gould and Fisk, while ruining many
financial scheme was primarily conceived and administered by Wall
investors financially.
Street manipulator Jay Gould and his partner James Fisk in
The gold panic devastated the United States economy for months.
September 1869. They managed to involved Grant's brother in law,
Stock prices plunged, and the price of food crops such as wheat and
Abel Rathbone Corbin, with the scheme in order to access Grant
corn dropped severely, devastating farmers.
himself. Gould had also given a $10,000 bribe to the assistant
secretary of the treasury, Daniel Butterfield, in exchange for inside
Whiskey Ring
information. Corbin himself had $2,000,000 invested in the gold
The most infamous scandal associated with the Grant
market, and had given both First Lady Julia Grant and Grant's
administration was the Whiskey Ring of 1875, which was exposed
personal secretary Horace Porter $500,000 speculative accounts.
by Treasury Secretary Benjamin H. Bristow and journalist Myron
On September 6, 1869, Gould bought the Tenth National Bank with
Colony. Whiskey distillers in the Midwest were no strangers to
the intention of using it as a buying house for gold, and Gould and
evading taxes, having done so since the Lincoln Administration.
Fisk began buying gold in earnest.
This intensified during the Grant administration, as whiskey
Secretary Boutwell tracked the situation and found that the profits
distillers bribed Treasury Department agents, who in turn helped
made in the manipulated rising gold market could ruin the nation's
the distillers evade taxes to the tune of up to $2 million per year; the
63
agents would neglect to collect a duty of 70 cents per gallon, then
to pursue ringleaders, the order caused friction between him and
split the bonus profits. The ringleaders had to coordinate distillers,
Grant. Prosecutor Henderson accused Grant of interfering with
rectifiers, gaugers, storekeepers, revenue agents and Treasury clerks
Secretary Bristow's investigation.
by way of recruitment and extortion.
The accusation angered Grant, who fired Henderson as special
On May 13, 1875, Bristow, with Grant's endorsement, struck hard at
prosecutor. Grant then replaced Henderson with James Broadhead,
the ring, seized the
who had little time to research the facts surrounding Babcock's case
Figure 19.29 Orville E.
distilleries and made
and those of other Whiskey Ring members. At the trial, President
Babcock, Private
hundreds of arrests.
Secretary to President
Grant read a deposition stating that he had no knowledge of
Missouri Revenue
Ulysses S. Grant
Babcock being involved in the ring. The jury accepted the
Orville E. Babcock,
Agent John A. Joyce
Grant's private
president's testimony, and quickly acquitted Babcock of any
and two of Grant's
secretary, was indicted
charges. Broadhead went on to close out all the other cases in the
as part of the worst
appointees,
scandal to rock the
Whiskey Ring. McDonald and Joyce were convicted in the graft
Supervisor of
Grant administration,
trials and sent to prison. On January 26, 1877, President Grant
the Whiskey Ring of
Internal Revenue
1875
pardoned McDonald.
General John
McDonald and private secretary to the president Orville E. Babcock,
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were eventually indicted in the Whiskey Ring trials.
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After Babcock's indictment, Grant requested that Babcock go
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through a military trial rather than a public trial, but the grand jury
denied the request. Grant unexpectedly issued an order not to give
any more immunity to persons involved in the Whiskey Ring,
leading to speculation that he was trying to protect Babcock.
Because Bristow needed distillers to testify with immunity in order
64
White Terror
other areas of the state and in New Orleans. During the later years
of Reconstruction, it was one of the paramilitary groups described
"White terror" refers to white supremacy groups formed
as "the military arm of the Democratic Party." Through violence and
in the South in reaction to recently freed African-
intimidation, its members reduced Republican voting and
Americans after the Civil War.
contributed to the Democrats' taking over control of the Louisiana
Legislature in 1876.
KEY POINTS
White League
The White League was a paramilitary group formed to
intimidate African-Americans and Republican officeholders.
Although sometimes linked to the secret vigilante groups of the Ku
The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were formed by Confederate
Klux Klan, as well as Knights of the White Camelia, the White
veterans and quickly formed a coherent hierarchy.
League and other paramilitary groups of the later 1870s displayed
The KKK opposed Republicans, ""carpetbaggers and
significant differences. They operated openly, solicited coverage
scalawags," as well as African-Americans.
from newspapers, and the men's identities were generally known.
The Red Shirts were a similar group, which was started in
Post-War Reactionary Response
Mississippi in 1875 and active in South Carolina. They had a specific
political goal: to overthrow the Reconstruction government. They
After the Civil War, a number of white supremacist groups formed
directed their activities toward intimidation and removal of
as a reaction to the recent freeing African-American former slaves,
Northern and black Republican candidates and officeholders. Made
who now competed for paying jobs and opportunities in the South.
up of well-armed Confederate veterans, they worked to turn
The White League was a white paramilitary group started in 1874
Republicans out of office, disrupt their political organizations, and
that worked to turn Republicans out of office and intimidate
use force to intimidate and terrorize freedmen to keep them from
freedmen from voting and political organizing. Its first chapter,
the polls. Backers helped finance purchases of up-to-date arms,
established in Grant Parish, Louisiana, was made up of many of the
including Winchester rifles, Colt revolvers, and Prussian needle
same local Confederate veterans who had participated in the earlier
guns.
Colfax massacre, in April 1873. Chapters were soon founded in
65
Ku Klux Klan
In an 1867 meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, Klan members
gathered to try to create an hierarchical organization with local
Six well-educated Confederate veterans from Pulaski, Tennessee,
chapters reporting up the line of command to a national
created the original Ku Klux Klan on December 24, 1865, during
headquarters. Since most of the Klan's members were veterans, they
Reconstruction of the South after the Civil War. The Ku Klux Klan
were used to the hierarchical structure of the organization;
was one among a number of secret, oath-bound organizations using
however, the Klan never operated under this centralized structure.
violence as a political weapon, including the Southern Cross, in New
Local chapters and bands were highly independent.
Orleans (1865), and the Knights of the White Camelia (1867), in
Louisiana. Historians
In an 1868 newspaper interview, Forrest stated that the Klan's
generally see the KKK
primary opposition was to the Loyal Leagues, Republican state
Figure 19.30 The
as part of the post-
Union As It Was
governments, people like Tennessee governor Brownlow, and other
Civil-War insurgent
This Harper's Weekly
"carpetbaggers and scalawags." He argued that many southerners
cartoon from October
violence related not
1874, titled "The
believed that blacks were voting for the Republican Party because
only to the high
Union As It Was,"
they were being hoodwinked by the Loyal Leagues.
depicts White League
number of veterans in
and Klan opposition
to Reconstruction
the population, but
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also to their effort to
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control the dramatically changed social situation by using
extrajudicial means to restore white supremacy. In 1866,
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Mississippi Governor William L. Sharkey reported that disorder,
lack of control, and lawlessness were widespread; in some states
armed bands of Confederate soldiers roamed at will. The Klan used
public violence against blacks as a method of intimidation. They
burned houses and attacked and killed blacks, leaving their bodies
on the roads.
66
Conservative Resurgence
succeeded in convincing fellow (white) citizens. They formed new
political parties (often with the intention to contest elections), and
Many Southern whites were frustrated by the social
supported or tolerated
changes after the Civil War and formed conservative
violent activist groups that
Figure 19.31
political organizations.
intimidated both black and
The color line
is broken
white Republican leaders
Political
cartoon from
KEY POINTS
at election time. By the mid
1877 by
1870s, the Conservative
The Ku Klux Klan was one of many violent secret societies
Thomas Nast
formed to intimidate African-Americans and voters in the
Democrats had aligned
portraying the
Democratic
South.
with the national
Party's control
Often, these parties called themselves the "Conservative
Democratic Party, which
of the South.
Party" or the "Democratic and Conservative Party" in order to
enthusiastically supported
distinguish themselves from the national Democratic Party
their cause, even as the national Republican Party was losing
and to obtain support from former Whigs.
interest in Southern affairs.
Reaction by the angry whites included the formation of
violent secret societies, especially the KKK.
Often, these parties called themselves the "Conservative Party" or
Violence occurred in cities with Democrats, Conservatives,
the "Democratic and Conservative Party" in order to distinguish
and other angry whites on one side and Republicans, African-
Americans, federal government representatives, and
themselves from the national Democratic Party and to obtain
Republican-organized armed Loyal Leagues on the other.
support from former Whigs. These parties sent delegates to the
1868 Democratic National Convention and abandoned their
separate names by 1873 or 1874.
The fact that their former slaves now held political and military
power angered many whites. They self-consciously defended their
Most white members of both the planter/business class and
own actions within the framework of an Anglo-American discourse
common farmer class of the South opposed black power,
of resistance against tyrannical government, and they broadly
Carpetbaggers and military rule and sought white supremacy.
67
Democrats nominated blacks for political office and tried to steal
government representatives, and Republican-organized armed
other blacks from the Republican side. When these attempts to
Loyal Leagues on the other. The victims of this violence were
combine with the blacks failed, the planters joined the common
overwhelmingly African American. The Klan and other such groups
farmers in simply trying to displace the Republican governments.
were careful to avoid federal legal intervention or military conflict.
The planters and their business allies dominated the self-styled
Their election-time tactics included violent intimidation of African
"conservative" coalition that finally took control in the South. They
American and Republican voters prior to elections while avoiding
were paternalistic toward the blacks but feared they would use
conflict with the U.S. Army or the state militias and then
power to raise taxes and slow business development.
withdrawing completely on election day. Conservative reaction
continued in both the North and South; the "white liners"
Figure 19.32 KKK
Cartoon
movement to elect candidates dedicated to white supremacy
Cartoon from 1868
reached as far as Ohio in 1875.
("'Tis but a change
of banners - CSA
KKK"), which
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Democratic party
resurgence/
presidential
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candidates of
relying on support
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from Ku Klux Klan
members who were
Confederate traitors
in 1864 (from the
point of view of the
United States).
Reaction by the angry whites included the formation of violent
secret societies, especially the KKK. ( Figure 19.32) Violence occurred
in cities with Democrats, Conservatives, and other angry whites on
one side and Republicans, African-Americans, federal
68
Reform and the Election of
Liberal Republicans; they advocated civil service reform, a low
tariff, and amnesty to former Confederate soldiers. The Liberal
1872
Republicans successfully ran B.G. Brown for the governorship of
Missouri and won with Democrat support. Then in 1872, the party
Grant remained popular after his first term and was
completely split from the Republican party and nominated New
renominated as the presidential candidate for the
York Tribune editor Horace Greeley as candidate for the
Republican Party in 1872 election.
Presidency. The
Figure 19.33
Democrats, who at this
Horace
KEY POINTS
time had no strong
Greeley
Liberal Republicans split from the main Republican Party
candidate choice of their
Horace
Greeley was
and nominated Horace Greeley.
own, reluctantly adopted
soundly
The Democrats, with no strong candidate of their own,
defeated as
Greeley as their
adopted Greeley as their candidate.
the candidate
candidate with Governor
of the Liberal
The Republicans, who were content with their Reconstruction
Republican
B.G. Brown as his
program for the South, renominated Grant and
Party during
Representative Henry Wilson in 1872. Grant had remained a
running mate. Frederick
the election of
1872.
popular Civil War hero, and the Republicans continued to
Douglass supported
wave the "bloody shirt" as a patriotic symbol representing the
Grant and reminded
North.
black voters that Grant
had destroyed the violent Ku Klux Klan.
Grant remained popular throughout the nation, despite the
scandals evident during his first term in office. Grant had supported
The Republicans, who were content with their Reconstruction
a patronage system that allowed Republicans to infiltrate and
program for the South, renominated Grant and Representative
control state governments. In response to President Grant's federal
Henry Wilson in 1872. Grant had remained a popular Civil War
patronage, in 1870, Senator Carl Schurz from Missouri, a German
hero, and the Republicans continued to wave the "bloody shirt" as a
immigrant and Civil War hero, started a second party known as the
patriotic symbol representing the North. The Republicans favored
69
high tariffs and a continuation of Radical Reconstruction policies
Panic and Redemption
that supported five military districts in the Southern states. Grant
also favored amnesty to former Confederate soldiers like the Liberal
The global panic of 1873 reached the U.S. after over
Republicans. Because of political infighting between Liberal
speculation in the railroad industry and losses in fires
Republicans and Democrats, the physically ailing Greeley was no
weakened the economy.
match for the "Hero of Appomattox" and lost dismally in the
popular vote. Grant swept 286 Electoral College votes while other
KEY POINTS
minor candidates received only 63 votes. Grant won 55.8% of the
The Panic of 1873 started when the stock market in Vienna
popular vote between Greeley and the other minor candidates.
crashed in June 1873. Unsettled markets soon spread to
Heartbroken after a hard fought political campaign, Greeley died a
Berlin, and throughout Europe. Three months later, the Panic
spread to the United States when three major banks stopped
few weeks after the election and was able to receive only three
making payments.
electoral votes. Out of respect for Greeley, Grant attended his
The causes of the panic in the United States included over-
funeral.
expansion in the railroad industry after the Civil War, losses
in the Chicago and Boston fires of 1871 and 1872,
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respectively, and insatiable speculation by Wall Street
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financiers.
election-of-1872/
Grant had little economic experience and relied on advisors
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who implemented a series of policies that caused a five year
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depression.
The Panic of 1873 was a world-wide depression that started when
the stock market in Vienna crashed in June 1873. Unsettled markets
soon spread to Berlin, and throughout Europe. Three months later,
the Panic spread to the United States, when three major banks
stopped making payments: the New York Warehouse & Security
70
Company on September 8, Kenyon, Cox, & Co. on September 13,
After the Panic of 1873, Congress debated an inflationary policy
and the largest bank, Jay Cooke & Company, on September 18. On
to stimulate the economy and passed the Legal Tender Act, known
September 20, the New York Stock Exchange shut down for ten
days. All of these events created a depression that lasted five years
Figure 19.34
in the United States, ruined thousands of businesses, depressed
Grant Vetoes
the "Inflation
daily wages by 25% from 1873 to 1876, and brought the
Bill"
unemployment rate up to 14%. Some 89 out of 364 American
U.S. President
Ulysses S. Grant
railroads went bankrupt.
on a platform is
congratulated
The causes of the panic in the United States included over-
boisterously by
expansion in the railroad industry after the Civil War, losses in the
an audience for
vetoing the
Chicago and Boston fires of 1871 and 1872, respectively, and
"inflation bill".
insatiable speculation by Wall Street financiers. All of this growth
was done on borrowed money by many banks in the United States,
having over-speculated in the railroad industry. Grant, who knew
as the "Inflation Bill", on April 14, 1874 to increase the nation's tight
little about finance, relied on bankers for advice on how to curb the
money supply. Many farmers and working men favored the bill, but
panic. Secretary of Treasury William A. Richardson responded by
Eastern bankers favored a veto because of their reliance on bonds
liquidating a series of outstanding bonds. The banks, in turn, issued
and foreign investors. On April 22, 1874, Grant unexpectedly vetoed
short-term clearing house certificates to be used as cash. People
the bill on the grounds that it would destroy the credit of the nation.
became desperate for paper currency. Although the issuance of
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clearing house certificates curbed the Panic on Wall Street, it did
reconstruction-1865-1877/the-grant-presidency/panic-and-
nothing to stop the ensuing five-year depression. Grant did nothing
redemption/
to prevent the panic and responded slowly after the banks crashed
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in September. The limited action of Secretary Richardson did little
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to increase confidence in the general economy.
71
The Compromise of 1877
state governments in South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. The
compromise took effect even before Hayes was sworn in, as the
The Compromise of 1877 was a purported bargain in
incumbent president, Republican Ulysses S. Grant, removed the
which the White House was awarded to the Republican
soldiers from Florida. As president, Hayes removed the remaining
Party after the election of 1876.
troops in South Carolina and Louisiana. As soon as the troops left,
many Republicans also left (or became Democrats) and the
"Redeemer" Democrats took control.
KEY POINTS
Whether the negotiations took place or not, some of the
The purported compromise essentially stated that southern
elements of the supposed bargain were carried through, such
Democrats would acknowledge Hayes as president, but only on the
as the removal of troops from the South and the appointment
understanding that Republicans would meet certain demands.
of a southern cabinet member.
Other elements of the bargain, such as industrialization of the
The following elements are generally said to be the points of the
South and the funding of a transcontinental railroad, did not
compromise:
happen.
The bargain itself did not decide the results of the 1876
The removal of all federal troops from the former Confederate
election.
States. (Troops remained in only Louisiana, South Carolina,
and Florida, but the compromise finalized the process.)
The Compromise of 1877 refers to a purported informal, unwritten
The appointment of at least one southern Democrat to Hayes's
deal that settled the disputed 1876 U.S. Presidential election,
cabinet. (David M. Key of Tennessee became Postmaster
regarded as the second "corrupt bargain," and ended Congressional
General.)
("Radical") Reconstruction. Through it, Republican Rutherford B.
The construction of another transcontinental railroad using
Hayes was awarded the White House over Democrat Samuel J.
the Texas and Pacific in the South (this had been part of the
Tilden on the understanding that Hayes would remove the federal
"Scott Plan," proposed by Thomas A. Scott, which initiated the
troops whose support was essential to the survival of Republican
72
process that led to the final compromise). In exchange,
official vote of Congress to accept the recommendations of the
Democrats would:
Electoral Commission they themselves had set up as a way out of
the election impasse. The expectation in setting up the committee
accept Hayes's presidency, and
had been that its decisions would be accepted by Congress. It was
respect blacks' rights.
only when certain Democrats disagreed with the commission's
decisions in favor of Hayes that this arrangement was jeopardized.
In fact, in regards to the first point, Hayes had already announced
This group threatened a
his support for the restoration of "home rule," which would involve
Figure 19.35 The
filibuster (opposed by
troop removal, before the election. It was also not unusual, nor
Corrupt Bargain
Republicans and
unexpected, for a president, especially one so narrowly elected, to
A political cartoon
Congressional
by Joseph
select a cabinet member favored by the other party. As for the final
Keppler depicts
Democratic leadership
two points, if indeed there was any such firm agreement, they were
Roscoe Conkling
as well) that would
as
never acted on.
Mephistopheles,
prevent the agreed-upon
as Rutherford B.
In any case, whether by a semi-formal deal or simply reassurances
vote from even taking
Hayes strolls off
with a woman
already in line with Hayes's announced plans, talks with Southern
place. Discussions of the
labeled as "Solid
Democrats satisfied the worries of many and, therefore, prevented a
points in the alleged
South."
Congressional filibuster that had threatened to extend resolution of
"compromise" only
the election dispute beyond Inauguration Day 1877. No serious
concerned convincing key Democrats not to acquiesce in a
effort was made to fund a railroad or provide other federal aid. An
filibuster. The very threat of a filibuster, a measure used by a
opposing interest group representing the Southern Pacific
minority to prevent a vote, indicates that there were already
successfully thwarted Scott's Texas and Pacific scheme and,
sufficient votes for accepting the commission's recommendations.
ultimately, ran its own line to New Orleans.
Whatever "deals" may or may not have taken place, in formal legal
terms, the election of 1876 was not decided by such acts, but by the
73
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74
Chapter 20
The Gilded
Age:
1870-1900
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Section 1
The Gilded Age
The Gilded Age
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76
The Gilded Age
as the "Gilded Age". The term "Gilded Age" was coined by Mark
Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their book The Gilded Age: A
The Gilded Age refers to the period following the
Tale of Today, published in 1873. The term refers to the gilding of a
Reconstruction, when the American economy grew at
cheaper metal with a thin layer of gold, with a hint of the "golden
its fastest rate in history.
age" of a nation's glory. Many critics complained that the era was
marked by ostentatious display, crass manners, corruption, and
shoddy ethics.
KEY POINTS
The period after Reconstruction, the last few decades of the
Historians view the Gilded Age as a period of rapid economic,
nineteenth century, was known as the Gilded Age, a term
technological, political, and social transformation. This
coined by Mark Twain in 1873.
transformation forged a modern, national industrial society out of
The Gilded Age was a period of transformation in the
what had been small regional communities. By the end of the Gilded
economy, technology, government, and social customs of
America.
Age, the United States was at the top end of the world's leading
This transformation forged a modern, national industrial
industrial nations. In the Progressive Era that followed the Gilded
society out of what had been small regional communities.
Age, it became a world power. In the process, there was much
The wealth of the period is highlighted by the American
dislocation, including the destruction of the Plains Indians,
upper class' opulence, but also by the rise of American
hardening discrimination against African Americans, and
philanthropy.
environmental degradation. Two extended nationwide economic
Many new corporations and businesses gave rise to ultra-rich
depressions followed the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893.
individuals. The period was also marked by social movements
for reform, the creation of machine politics, and continued
Economic and Political Innovations
mass immigration.
The Gilded Age saw impressive economic growth and the
unprecedented growth of major cities. Chicago's population
In United States history, the period following the Civil War and
increased tenfold from 1870 to 1900, for example. Technological
Reconstruction, running from the late 1860s to 1896, is referred to
innovations of the time included the telephone, steel production,
77
skyscrapers, refrigerator, car, linotype machine,
head of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) after 1886. Gilded
chromolithography, electric light bulb, typewriter, electric motors,
Age politics, called the Third Party System, featured very close
and many others. These inventions provided the bases for modern
contests between the Republicans and Democrats, and,
consumerism and industrial productivity.
occasionally, third parties. Nearly all the eligible men were political
partisans and voter turnout often exceeded 90% in some states.
During the 1870s and 1880s, the U.S. economy rose at the fastest
rate in its history, with real wages, wealth, GDP, and capital
Figure 20.1 The
formation all increasing rapidly. By the beginning of the 20th
Breakers
The Breakers, the
century, per capita income and industrial production in the United
summer home of
States led the world, with per capita incomes double that of
Cornelius Vanderbilt
II, located in
Germany or France, and 50% higher than Britain. The businessmen
Newport, Rhode
of the Second Industrial Revolution created industrial towns and
Island, United
States. Built in
cities in the Northeast with new factories, and hired an ethnically
1893, it typifies the
diverse industrial working class, many of them new immigrants
excesses of Gilded
Age wealth.
from Europe. The corporation became the dominant form of
business organization, and a managerial revolution transformed
business operations.
The wealth of the period is highlighted by the American upper class'
opulence, but also by the rise of American philanthropy (referred to
The super-rich industrialists and financiers such as John D.
by Andrew Carnegie as the "Gospel of Wealth") that used private
Rockefeller, Andrew W. Mellon, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Flagler,
money to endow thousands of colleges, hospitals, museums,
Henry H. Rogers, J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt of the
academies, schools, opera houses, public libraries, symphony
Vanderbilt family, and the prominent Astor family were labeled as
orchestras, and charities. John D. Rockefeller, for example, donated
"robber barons" by the public, who felt they cheated to get their
over $500 million to various charities, slightly over half his entire
money and lorded it over the common people. There was a small,
net worth.
growing labor union movement led especially by Samuel Gompers,
78
Politically, the period saw the two major parties in very close parity,
with occasional third-party political campaigns by farmers and
labor unions, civil service reform, organized movements that
enlisted many women working for prohibition and women's
suffrage, the strengthening of big city machines, and the transition
from party to modern interest group politics. Socially, the period
was marked by large-scale immigration from Germany and
Scandinavia to the industrial centers and to western farmlands, the
deepening of religious organizations, the rapid growth of high
schools, and the emergence of a managerial and professional middle
class.
The end of the Gilded Age coincided with the Panic of 1893, a deep
depression, which lasted until 1897 and marked a major political
realignment in the election of 1896. This productive but divisive era
was followed by the Progressive Era.
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79
Section 2
The Second Industrial Revolution
The Transformed National Economy
The Second Industrial Revolution
The Transcontinental Railroads
Manufacturing
The Inventions of the Telephone and Electricity
Laissez-Faire and the Supreme Court
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The Transformed National
process called the "Second Industrial Revolution." Railroads greatly
expanded the mileage and built stronger tracks and bridges that
Economy
handled heavier cars and locomotives, carrying far more goods and
people at lower rates. Refrigeration railroad cars came into use. The
The rapid economic growth after the Civil War, driven by
telephone, phonograph, typewriter, and electric light were invented.
many discoveries and inventions, led to the Second
By the dawn of the 20th century, cars had begun to replace horse-
Industrial Revolution.
drawn carriages.
Parallel to these achievements was the development of the nation's
KEY POINTS
industrial infrastructure. Coal was found in abundance in the
Railroad improvements and brand new technologies such as
Appalachian Mountains from Pennsylvania south to Kentucky. Oil
telephones, typewriters, and electric lights all made life easier
was discovered in Western Pennsylvania. It was mainly used for
and more productive.
lubricants and for kerosene for lamps. Large iron ore mines opened
America's industrial infrastructure also expanded greatly,
in the Lake Superior region of the upper Midwest. Steel mills
with new coal, iron, copper, silver, and lead mines and new
processes for making steel and cement.
thrived in places where these coal and iron ore could be brought
Many businessmen and industrialists became fabulously
together to produce steel. Large copper and silver mines opened,
wealthy, giving rise to the designation "Gilded Age".
followed by lead mines and cement factories. In 1913, Henry Ford
The period was not immune to setbacks, and saw a number of
introduced the assembly line, a step in the process that became
recessions, most notably the Panic of 1893.
known as mass-production. Frederick W. Taylor pioneered the field
of scientific management in the late 19th century, carefully
plotting the functions of various workers and then devising new,
The rapid economic development following the Civil War laid the
more efficient ways for them to do their jobs. After 1910, mass
groundwork for the modern U.S. industrial economy. By 1890, the
production was sped by the electrification of factories, which
USA leaped ahead of Britain for first place in manufacturing output.
replaced water power.
An explosion of new discoveries and inventions took place, a
81
The " Gilded Age" of the second half of the 19th century was the
the panic of 1873. The economy repeated this period of growth in
epoch of tycoons. Many Americans came to idealize these
the 1880s, in which the wealth of the nation grew at an annual rate
businessmen who amassed vast financial empires. Often their
of 3.8%, while the GDP was also doubled.
success lay in seeing the long-range potential for a new service or
product, as John D. Rockefeller did with oil. They were fierce
Figure 20.2 United States Gross National Product per capita, 1869-1918
competitors, single-minded in their pursuit of financial success and
power. Other giants in addition to Rockefeller and Ford included
Jay Gould, who made his money in railroads, J. Pierpont Morgan in
banking, and Andrew Carnegie in steel. Some tycoons were honest
according to business standards of their day. Others, however, used
force, bribery, and guile to achieve their wealth and power. For
better or worse, business interests acquired significant influence
over government. While upper-class European intellectuals
generally looked on commerce with disdain, most Americans
living in a society with a more fluid class structureenthusiastically
A chart of real US GNP per capita from 1869 to 1918 (covering the period of the
embraced the idea of moneymaking. They enjoyed the risk and
Long Depression and the Gilded Age). Annotations are major financial panics during
the period (e.g., Panic of 1893, Panic of 1907). Shaded areas are recessions.
excitement of business enterprise, as well as the higher living
standards and potential rewards of power and acclaim that business
The American labor movement began with the first significant labor
success brought.
union, the Knights of Labor in 1869. The Knights collapsed in the
1880s and were displaced by strong international unions that
The Gilded Age saw the greatest period of economic growth in
banded together as the American Federation of Labor under Samuel
American history. After the short-lived panic of 1873, the economy
Gompers. Rejecting socialism, the AFL unions negotiated with
recovered with the advent of hard money policies and
owners for higher wages and better working conditions. Union
industrialization. From 1869 to 1879, the U.S. economy grew at a
growth was slow until 1900, then grew to a peak during World War
rate of 6.8% for real GDP and 4.5% for real GDP per capita, despite
82
I. To modernize traditional agriculture reformers founded the
The Second Industrial
Grange movement, in 1867. Federal land grants helped each state
create an agricultural college and a network of extension agents who
Revolution
demonstrated modern techniques to farmers. Wheat and cotton
During the Gilded Age, America developed its mass
farmers in the 1890s supported the Populist movement, but failed
production, scientific management, and managerial
in their demands for free silver and inflation. Instead, the 1896
skills.
election committed the nation to the gold standard and a program
of sustained industrialization.
KEY POINTS
During the period, a series of recessions happened. The Panic of
Large corporations or trusts managed the manufacturing of
1873 had New York Stock Exchange closed for ten days. Of the
raw materials such as coal, iron, and oil.
country's 364 railroads, 89 went bankrupt. A total of 18,000
The incredible economic and industrial growth of America
businesses failed between 1873 and 1875, unemployment reached
after the Civil War became known as the Second Industrial
14% by 1876, during a time which became known as the Long
Revolution.
Depression. The end of the Gilded Age coincided with the Panic of
The Bessemer process for manufacturing steel led to
1893, a deep depression that lasted until 1897 and marked a major
America's first billion dollar corporation, United States Steel.
political realignment in the election of 1896.
Improvements in workflow such as mass production and
scientific management contributed greatly to economic
growth.
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surpassed that of Britain and took world leadership. Railroad
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mileage tripled between 1860 and 1880, and tripled again by 1920,
opening new areas to commercial farming, creating a truly national
marketplace, and inspiring a boom in coal mining and steel
83
production. The voracious appetite for capital of the great trunk
Nikola Tesla in developing alternating current long distance
railroads facilitated the consolidation of the nation's financial
transmission networks. Theodore Vail established the American
market in Wall Street. By 1900, the process of economic
Telephone & Telegraph Company. Thomas A. Edison, the founder
concentration had extended into most branches of industrya few
of General Electric, invented a remarkable number of electrical
large corporations, some organized as "trusts" (e.g. Standard Oil),
devices, including many hardware items used in the transmission,
dominated in steel, oil,
distribution, and end uses of electricity as well as the integrated
Figure 20.3
sugar, meatpacking, and
power plant capable of lighting multiple buildings simultaneously.
James
the manufacture of
Pierpont
Oil became an important resource, beginning with the Pennsylvania
agriculture machinery.
Morgan
oil fields. Kerosene replaced whale oil and candles for lighting. John
J.P. Morgan, a
New methods for
financier,
D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil Company to consolidate the oil
manufacturing steel,
formed the first
industrywhich mostly produced kerosene before the automobile
billion dollar
such as the Bessemer
corporation in
created a demand for gasoline in the 1900s century.
process, contributed to
United States
History, United
At the end of the century, workers experienced the " second
the manufacture of this
States Steel.
industrial revolution," which involved mass production,
infrastructure. United
scientific management, and the rapid development of managerial
States Steel was the first
skills. The new technology was hard for young people to handle,
billion-dollar corporation. It was formed in 1901 by financier J. P.
leading to a sharp drop (18901930) in the demand for workers
Morgan, who purchased and consolidated steel firms built by
under age 16. This resulted in a dramatic expansion of the high
Andrew Carnegie and others.
school system.
The United States became a world leader in applied technology.
From 1860 to 1890, 500,000 patents were issued for new
inventionsover ten times the number issued in the previous
seventy years. George Westinghouse invented air brakes for trains
(making them both safer and faster). Westinghouse was aided by
84
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The Transcontinental
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Railroads
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Completed in 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad
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served as a vital link for trade, commerce and travel
between the East and West of the U.S.
KEY POINTS
Railroads replaced stagecoach lines and wagon trains, and
provided safer, faster, and cheaper transportation for goods
and passengers.
Many of the workers on the railroad were Army veterans and
Irish and Chinese immigrants.
Known as the Pacific Railroad when it opened, the railroad
served as a vital link for trade, commerce, and travel and
opened up vast regions of the North American heartland for
settlement.
The sale of the land grants and the transport provided for
timber and crops and led to the rapid settling of the "Great
American Desert".
The world's First Transcontinental Railroad was built between 1863
and 1869 to join the eastern and western halves of the United
States. Begun right before the American Civil War, its construction
85
was considered to be one of the greatest American technological
transportation for people and goods across the western two-thirds
feats of the 19th century. Known as the Pacific Railroad when it
of the continent. It took one week to travel from Omaha to San
opened, it served as a vital link for trade, commerce, and travel and
Francisco via emigrant sleeping car at a fare of about $65 for an
opened up vast regions of the North American heartland for
adult. The sale of the land grants and the transport provided for
settlement. Shipping and commerce could thrive away from
timber and crops and led to the rapid settling of the " Great
navigable watercourses for the first time since the beginning of the
American Desert". Many Army veterans and Irish emigrants
nation. Much of this line is currently used by the California Zephyr,
were the main workers on the Union Pacific, while most of the
although some parts were rerouted or abandoned.
engineers were ex-Army men who had learned their trade keeping
the trains running during the American Civil War. The Central
Figure 20.4
Pacific Railroad, facing a labor shortage in the more sparsely-settled
Finishing the
First
West, relied on Chinese laborers who did prodigious work building
Transcontinental
the line over and through the Sierra Nevada mountains and then
Railroad
across Nevada to their meeting in northern Utah.
Workers
celebrating the
completion of
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the First
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Transcontinental
Railroad on May
railroads/
10, 1869.
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The coming of the railroad resulted in the end of most of the far
slower and more hazardous stagecoach lines and wagon trains.
The railroad also led to a great decline of traffic on the Oregon and
California Trail, which had helped populate much of the West. The
Transcontinental Railroad provided much faster, safer, and cheaper
86
Manufacturing
became an assemblage of unskilled laborers performing simple and
repetitive tasks under
The mechanization of the manufacturing process
Figure 20.5
the direction of skilled
Frederick
allowed workers to be more productive in less time and
foremen and
Winslow Taylor
factories to operate more efficiently.
engineers. Machine
Frederick
Winslow Taylor, a
shops, comprised of
mechanical
highly skilled workers
engineer by
KEY POINTS
training, is often
and engineers, grew
credited with
Many of the new workers were unskilled laborers who
inventing
performed simple, repetitive tasks.
rapidly. The number of
scientific
unskilled and skilled
management and
New systems of management with clear chains of command
improving
and complex bureaucratic systems began with railroads
workers increased as
industrial
companies and spread throughout American businesses.
their wage rates grew.
efficiency.
Many new blue collar jobs appeared in manufacturing, as well
Engineering colleges
as white collar jobs for managers.
were established to feed the enormous demand for expertise.
Railroad companies and management
Manufacturing
Railroads yielded the invention of modern management with
The Gilded Age's was marked by increased mechanization of
clear chains of command, statistical reporting, and complex
industry. Business searched for cheaper and more efficient ways to
bureaucratic systems. Railroad companies systematized the roles of
create more product. Frederick Winslow Taylor observed that the
middle managers and set up explicit career tracks. They hired young
use of machines could improve efficiency in steel production by
men at age 1821 and promoted them internally until a man
requiring workers to make fewer motions in less time. His redesign
reached the status of locomotive engineer, conductor, or station
increased the speed of factory machines and the productivity of
agent at age 40 or so. Career tracks were offered to skilled blue
factories while undercutting the need for skilled labor. Factories
collar jobs and white collar managers, starting in railroads and
87
expanding into finance, manufacturing, and trade. Together with
The Inventions of the
rapid growth of small business, a new middle class was rapidly
growing, especially in northern cities. Thick national networks for
Telephone and Electricity
transportation and communication were created. The corporation
The telephone and electric light bulb are perhaps the
became the dominant form of business organization, and a
two most influential nineteenth-century inventions.
managerial revolution transformed business operations. By the
beginning of the 1900s, the U.S. had the highest per capita income
and industrial production in the world, with per capita incomes
KEY POINTS
double that of Germany and France, and 50% higher than Britain.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the first workable
telephone, basing his invention on a series of previous
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Thomas Alva Edison, commonly credited with inventing the
light bulb, actually experimented with previous inventors'
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ideas to create the first commercially successful light bulb by
perfecting the filament material.
Edison founded the successful Menlo Park research lab to
produce innovation.
Edison and Nikola Tesla both advocated different systems of
electricity delivery; eventually, Tesla's alternating current
(AC) system proved more practical.
The Telephone
Alexander Graham Bell is commonly credited as the inventor of the
first practical telephone. He was the first to obtain a patent, in 1876,
88
for an "apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds
The first long distance telephone call was made on 10 August 1876
telegraphically", after experimenting with many primitive sound
by Bell from the family homestead in Brantford, Ontario, to his
transmitters and receivers.
assistant located in Paris, Ontario, some 10 miles away. In June
1876, Bell exhibited a telephone prototype at the Centennial
Bell's telephone transmitter (microphone) consisted of a double
Exhibition in Philadelphia.
electromagnet, in front of which a
Figure 20.6 Patent Drawing for
membrane, stretched on a ring,
Alexander Graham Bell's
The Lightbulb
carried an oblong piece of soft iron
Telephone
Thomas Alva Edison's major innovation was the first industrial
cemented to its middle. A funnel-
research lab, which was built in Menlo Park, New Jersey and was
shaped mouthpiece directed the
the first institution set up for the specific purpose of producing
voice sounds upon the membrane,
constant technological innovation. Most of the inventions produced
and as it vibrated, the soft iron
there were legally attributed to Edison, though many employees
armature induced corresponding
carried out research and development under his direction.
currents in the coils of the
electromagnet. After traversing the
Edison did not invent the first electric light bulb, but rather the first
wire, these currents passed through
commercially practical incandescent light. Many earlier inventors
the receiver, which consisted of an
had previously devised incandescent lamps, including Henry
electromagnet in a tubular metal can
Alexander Graham Bell's
Woodward and Mathew Evans. Others who developed early and
that had one end partially closed by
Telephone Patent Drawing,
commercially impractical incandescent electric lamps included
03/07/1876. Bell's telephone
a thin circular disc of soft iron. When was the first apparatus to
Humphry Davy, James Bowman Lindsay, Moses G. Farmer,
the undulatory current passed
transmit human speech via
William E. Sawyer, Joseph Swan, and Heinrich Gbel. These early
machine. His work culminated
through the coil of this
in one of the most profitable
bulbs had an extremely short life, were expensive to produce, or
electromagnet, the disc vibrated,
and contested of all 19th-
drew a high electric current, making them difficult to produce on a
century patents.
thereby creating sound waves in the
large commercial scale.
air ( Figure 20.6).
89
By 1879, Edison had produced a new concept: a high resistance
it was only suitable for central business districts. When George
lamp in a very high vacuum, which would burn for hundreds of
Westinghouse suggested using high-voltage AC instead, as it could
hours. While earlier inventors had produced electric lighting in
carry electricity hundreds of miles with only marginal loss of power,
laboratory conditions, dating back to a demonstration of a glowing
Edison waged a "War of Currents" to prevent the adoption of the AC
wire by Alessandro Volta in 1800, Edison concentrated on
system.
commercial application. He was able to sell the concept to homes
The war against AC involved Edison in the development and
and businesses by mass-producing relatively long-lasting light bulbs
promotion of the electric chair (using AC) as an attempt to portray
and creating a complete system for the generation and distribution
AC to have greater lethal potential than DC. Edison continued to
of electricity.
carry out a brief but intense campaign to ban the use of AC or to
The "War of Currents"
limit the allowable voltage for safety purposes. As part of this
campaign, Edison's employees publicly electrocuted animals to
Edison's true success, like that of his friend Henry Ford, was in his
demonstrate the dangers of AC. On one of the more notable
ability to maximize profits by establishing mass-production systems
occasions, Edison's workers electrocuted Topsy the elephant at
and obtaining intellectual property rights. George Westinghouse
Luna Park, near Coney Island, after she had killed several men and
became an adversary of Edison when he promoted the direct
her owners wanted her put to death.
current (DC) for electric power distribution instead of the more
easily transmitted alternating current (AC) system invented by
AC eventually replaced DC in most instances of generation and
Nikola Tesla and promoted by Westinghouse. Unlike DC, AC
power distribution, enormously extending the range and improving
could be stepped up to very high voltages with transformers, sent
the efficiency of power distribution. Though widespread use of DC
over thinner and cheaper wires, and stepped down again at the
ultimately lost favor for distribution, it exists today primarily in
destination for distribution to users.
long-distance high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission
systems.
The problem with DC was that power plants could only
economically deliver DC electricity to customers within about one
and a half miles (about 2.4 km) from the generating station, so that
90
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Laissez-Faire and the
age-1870-1900/the-second-industrial-revolution/the-inventions-of-the-
telephone-and-electricity/
Supreme Court
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During the "Lochner Era," Supreme Court justices
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pursued a laissez-faire policy.
KEY POINTS
Lochner vs. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905), was a landmark
United States Supreme Court case that held a "liberty of
contract" that was implicit in the due process clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment.
By a five to four vote, the Supreme Court rejected the
argument that the law was necessary to protect the health of
bakers, deciding instead that it was a labor law attempting to
regulate the terms of employment.
In the Lochner era, the Supreme Court issued several
controversial decisions invalidating progressive federal and
state statutes that sought to regulate working conditions
during the Progressive Era and the Great Depression.
Laissez-faire is an economic environment in which
transactions between private parties are free from tariffs,
government subsidies, and enforced monopolies, with only
enough government regulations sufficient to protect property
rights against theft and aggression.
91
Lochner vs. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905), was a landmark
Progressive Era and the Great
Figure 20.7 Justice Rufus
United States Supreme Court case that held a "liberty of contract"
Depression. Justice Harlan's dissent, Wheeler Peckham
that was implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth
joined by two other Justices, argued
Amendment. The case involved a New York law that limited the
that the Court gave insufficient
number of hours that a baker could work each day to ten, and
weight to the state's argument that
limited the number of hours that a baker could work each week to
the law was a valid health measure
60.
addressing a legitimate state
interest. Justice Holmes's famous
By a five to four vote, the Supreme Court rejected the argument that
lone dissent criticized the decision
the law was necessary to protect the health of bakers, deciding it
for discarding sound constitutional
was a labor law attempting to regulate the terms of employment,
interpretation in favor of personal
and calling it an "unreasonable, unnecessary, and arbitrary
beliefs, writing: "[t]he Fourteenth
interference with the right and liberty of the individual to contract."
Rufus Wheeler Peckham,
Amendment does not enact Mr.
Justice Rufus Peckham wrote for the majority, while Justices John
Associate Justice of the United
Herbert Spencer's Social Statics."
States Supreme Court (1895
Marshall Harlan and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. filed dissents.
1909), and author of the
This was a reference to a book in
Many consider the Lochner era to have started in actuality several
Court's opinion in Lochner v
which Spencer advocated a strict
New York
years before the landmark case in 1905, with many of the Court's
laissez-faire philosophy. Laissez-
philosophies applying to its decisions throughout the late Gilded
faire is an economic environment in which transactions between
Age.
private parties are free from tariffs, government subsidies, and
Lochner was one of the most controversial decisions in the Supreme
enforced monopolies, with only enough government regulations
Court's history, giving its name to what is known as the Lochner
sufficient to protect property rights against theft and aggression.
era. In the Lochner era, the Supreme Court issued several
During the quarter-century that followed Lochner, the Supreme
controversial decisions invalidating progressive federal and state
Court generally upheld economic regulations, but also issued
statutes that sought to regulate working conditions during the
several rulings invalidating such regulations. The Court also began
92
to use the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to
protect personal (as opposed to purely property) rights, including
freedom of speech and the right to send one's child to private
school, which was the beginning of a line of cases interpreting
privacy rights. The Lochner era is often considered to have ended
with West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish (1937), in which the Supreme
Court took a much broader view of the government's power to
regulate economic activities.
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93
Section 3
The Rise of the City
The Rise of the City
The Allure and Problems of the Cities
Urban Politics
The Environmental Impact of Cities
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94
The Rise of the City
In 1870, there were only two American cities with a population of
more than 500,000, but by 1900, there were six. Three of these
The industrialization of America led to incredible
New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia had over one million
population growth in urban centers; by 1900, 40% of
inhabitants. Roughly 40 percent of Americans lived in cities, and
Americans lived in cities.
the number was climbing. These large city populations caused crime
rates to rise, and disease to spread rapidly. Not only did
KEY POINTS
urbanization cause cities to grow in population, it also caused cities
to grow in building
With the growth in population, crime and disease increased.
size. Skyscrapers
Figure 20.8 Wainwright
When more people moved into cities, architecture shifted to
Building, Chicago
accommodate them, and the first skyscrapers appeared.
were being built in
The Wainwright Building in
In 1870, there were only two American cities with a
the cities and the
Chicago, finished in 1891,
exemplifies architect Louis
population of more than 500,000, but by 1900, there were
idea of mass
Sullivan's ideas of form
six, and three of these, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia,
transit had begun
following function, which
had over one million inhabitants.
was a new principle in urban
to take root. Mass
architecture of the period.
When public transit systems grew, allowing people to move
transit systems
further away, wealthier families moved outside the city,
creating what is known as the suburbs.
allowed people to commute to work from further distances. Suburbs
were beginning to form as upper class families began to move out of
the over crowded cities.
The industrialization of the late 19th century brought on rapid
urbanization. The increasing factory businesses created many
The period between 1865 and 1920 was marked by the increasing
more job opportunities in cities and people began to flock from
concentration of people, political power, and economic activity in
rural, farm areas, to large urban locations. Minorities and
urban areas. These new large cities were not coastal port cities (like
immigrants added to these numbers. Factory jobs were the only
New York, Boston, and Philadelphia) but laid inland along new
jobs some immigrants could get, and as more came to the cities to
transportation routes (like Denver, Chicago, and Cleveland). The
work, the larger the urbanization process became.
first twelve presidents of the United States had all been born into
95
farming communities, but between 1865 and 1912 the Presidency
The Allure and Problems of
was filled by men with backgrounds representing businesses and
cities.
the Cities
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As the United States industrialized in the 19th century,
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immigrants and workers from the countryside were
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KEY POINTS
Among the problems new city dwellers faced were the
dangers of tenement living as they were often overcrowded,
filthy, and had limited access to clean water.
Because tenement houses were so overcrowded, fire safety
was a constant concern.
Jacob Riis's book "How the Other Half Lives" was a key step
in raising public awareness of the poor living conditions in
tenements.
The Tenement House Act of 1901 required a number of
reforms to make tenements safer and cleaner.
U.S. Tenement Housing in the 1800s and early 1900s
As the United States became more industrialized during the 1800s,
immigrants and workers from the countryside increasingly lived in
former middle-class houses and other buildings such as
96
warehouses, which were bought and divided into small dwellings.
more than 65%. The New York City Board of Health declined to
Additionally, beginning as early as the 1830s on the Lower East Side
enforce the regulations, and as a compromise, the Old Law
in New York City, people lived in jerry-built three- and four-floor
tenement became the standard. It had a "dumbbell" shape, with air
"railroad flats" (so called because the rooms were linked together
and light shafts on either side of the center, usually fitted to the
like a train) with windowless internal rooms. The adapted buildings
shafts in the adjacent buildings, and typically covered 80% of the
were also known as "rookeries," and were particularly concerning as
lot. James Ware is credited with the design; he had won a contest
they were prone to collapse and fire. Mulberry Bend and Five Points
the previous year held by Plumber and Sanitary Engineer magazine
were the sites of notorious rookeries that the city worked for
to find the most practical yet profitable improved tenement design.
decades to clear. In both rookeries and purpose-built tenements,
The "New Law"
communal water taps and water closets (either privies or "school
sinks," which opened into a vault that often became clogged) were
The 1890 publication of Jacob Riis' How the Other Half Lives
squeezed into what open space there was between buildings. In
stirred Public concern about New York tenements. The New York
parts of the Lower East Side, buildings were older and had
State Assembly Tenement House Committee report of 1894
courtyards, which were generally occupied by machine shops,
surveyed 8,000 buildings with approximately 255,000 residents
stables, and other businesses.
and found New York to be the most densely populated city in the
world, at an average of 143 people per acre, with part of the Lower
The "Old Law"
East Side having 800 residents per acre, denser than Bombay. The
The Tenement House Act of 1867, the state legislature's first
committee used both charts and photographs in their report (it was
comprehensive legislation on housing conditions, prohibited cellar
the first official use of such photographs). Together with the 1895
apartments unless the ceiling was one foot above street level;
U.S. Department of Labor publication of The Housing of Working
required one water closet per 20 residents; required fire escapes;
People, a special report on housing conditions and solutions
and paid some attention to space between buildings. The Tenement
elsewhere in the world, these publications ultimately led to the
House Act of 1867 was amended by the Tenement House Act of
passage of the Tenement House Act of 1901. Known as the New
1879, known as the "Old Law," which required lot coverage of no
Law, the act implemented the Tenement House Committee's
97
recommendation of a maximum of 70% lot coverage; mandated
frames to construct skyscrapers for the first time while pioneering
strict enforcement; specified a minimum of 12 feet for a rear yard;
the idea of "form follows function." One of his earliest works was
required six feet for an air and light shaft at the lot line or 12 feet in
the Wainwright Building in St. Louis, Missouri. Elisha Otiss
the middle of the building (these numbers increased for taller
introduction of safety measures on elevators also helped buildings
buildings); required running water and water closets in every
reach newer heights.
apartment; equired a window in every room; and instituted fire-
safety regulations. These rules rendered single-lot development
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age-1870-1900/the-rise-of-the-city/the-allure-and-problems-of-the-
uneconomical and are still used today as the basis for New York City
cities/
law on low-rise buildings.
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Figure 20.9
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Tenements in
New York
Park Avenue
and 107th
Street, New
York City,
around 1900,
showing
tenement
houses.
Skyscrapers
Not all new urban architecture revolved around lower-class
housing. Louis Sullivan became a noted architect for using steel
98
Urban Politics
use. When a political machine won an election, it could remove all
appointed office holders, leading to a change in make up of the body
Many political machines in cities were affiliated with the
as well as the heads of government departments. At that time many
Democratic Party, which recruited new immigrants,
political offices were also elected. Many elected officials were
particularly the Irish.
elected to represent their ward, and not by the entire city. This
system led to the election of people personally known to their
communities, as opposed to people voters had heard of but didn't
KEY POINTS
know.
Politics during the Gilded Age were called machine politics, in
which political offices were controlled by groups affiliated
The machines in the cities tended to be controlled by the
with parties.
Democratic party which allied with new immigrants by providing
Through the "spoils system", when a political machine won
jobs, housing, and other benefits in exchange for votes. This was a
an election, it could remove all appointed office holders,
leading to major changes in the make up of the organization
challenge to the power of the old elites, whose families had lived in
as well as the heads of government departments.
the US for generations. Political machines routinely used fraud and
Political machines could provide lucrative opportunities for
bribery to further their ends. On the other hand they also provided
supporters, including choice offices and government
relief, security, and services to the crowds of newcomers who voted
contracts.
for them and kept them in power. By doing this they were able to
Support for political machines declined late in the Gilded Age
keep the peoples loyalty, thus giving themselves more power.
as they failed to recruit from among the new waves of
immigrants.
The political machines gave lucrative government contracts and
official positions to supporters. Opponents of the political machines
called this corruption, and wished to give a corrupt government
Machine Politics
contracts and official positions to people they preferred. One of the
During the Gilded Age, politics were characterized by the political
most well known machines was that of Tammany Hall in New York.
machines of the cities and states. The "spoils system" was still in
Long led by William Tweed, he was better known as Boss Tweed. In
99
addition to rewarding supporters, they saw themselves as defending
Many machines formed in cities to serve immigrants to the US in
New York City from the residents of upstate New York and the New
the late 19th century who viewed machines as a vehicle for political
York state government who saw New York city as a ready source of
enfranchisement. Machine staffers helped win elections by turning
funds to benefit upstate New York.
out large numbers of voters on election day. But even among the
Irish, continued help for new immigrants declined over time. It was
Figure 20.10
in the party machines' interests to only maintain a minimally
New York's
New Solar
winning amount of support. Once they were in the majority and
System
could count on a win, there was less need to recruit new members,
This political
as this only meant a thinner spread of the patronage rewards to be
cartoon from
1899 shows all
spread among the party members. As such, later-arriving
people from all
immigrants, such as Jews, Italians, and other immigrants from
walks of life
revolving around
Southern and Eastern Europe between the 1880s and 1910s, rarely
a political boss,
saw any reward from the machine system. At the same time, most of
Richard "Boss"
Croker.
political machines' staunchest opponents were members of the
established class (nativist Protestants).
Larger cities in the United States--Boston, Chicago, Cleveland,
Kansas City, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, etc.--were
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accused of using political machines in the late 19th and early 20th
age-1870-1900/the-rise-of-the-city/urban-politics/
centuries. Each city's machine lived under a hierarchical system
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elected officials and their appointees, and who knew the proverbial
buttons to push to get things done. Benefits and problems both
resulted from the rule of political machines.
100
The Environmental Impact of
responded by paving streets, digging sewers, sanitizing water,
constructing housing, and creating public transportation systems.
Cities
Industrialization
When cities grew in population, their problems with
pollution and disease increased exponentially.
The period between 1865 and 1920 was marked by the increasing
concentration of people, political power, and economic activity in
urban areas. In 1860, there were nine cities with populations over
KEY POINTS
100,000 and by 1910 there were fifty. These new large cities were
During industrialization, cities tried to alleviate social
not coastal port cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, but
problems through redevelopment projects such as paved
laid inland along new transportation routes (like Denver, Chicago,
streets, better sewers, waterworks, and public transit.
and Cleveland). The first twelve presidents of the United States had
Diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever
all been born into farming communities, but between 1865 and 1912
became common as a direct result of poor sanitation.
the Presidency was filled by men with backgrounds of representing
The early national conservation movement shifted emphasis
businesses and cities. Industrialization and urbanization reinforced
to scientific management which favored larger enterprises
and control began to shift from local governments to the
each other and urban areas became increasingly congested.
states and federal government.
Urbanization
With industrialization came urbanization. The increasing factory
The Environmental Impact of Cities
businesses created many more job opportunities in the cities. Soon
Industrialization and urbanization reinforced each other and urban
people began to flock from rural, farm areas to large cities.
areas became increasingly congested. Diseases like cholera,
Minorities and immigrants added to these numbers. Factory jobs
dysentery, and typhoid fever struck urban areas with increasing
were the only jobs some immigrants could get, and as more came to
frequency as a result of unsanitary living conditions. Cities
the cities to work, the larger the urbanization process became. In
1870 there were only two American cities with a population of more
101
than 500,000, but by 1900 there were six, and three of these, New
This still holds true today; many of the nicer homes are located
York, Chicago, and Philadelphia had over one million inhabitants.
further away from the larger city center. For example, in the city of
Roughly 40 percent of Americans lived in cities and the number was
Chicago, you will find a lot of the nicer homes away from the city,
climbing.
and more towards the suburbs. In this case, it is because there is a
lot of violence in the inner city. Therefore, people try to live further
Figure 20.11 Sorting Refuse at an Incinerating Plant, New York City
away from the city in order to stay away from the violence.
Conservation Movement
Conservation first became a national issue during the progressive
era (1890s to the 1920s). The early national conservation movement
The subject is a group of about thirty men and boys who are sorting combustible
shifted emphasis to scientific management, which favored larger
refuse, mostly paper, and stuffing it into large sacks. In the background, a man in a
enterprises. Control began to shift from local governments to the
hat with an emblem on it can be seen unloading trash from a large wagon. Location
may be the New York City Sanitation Department's East 17th Street facility, or
states and federal government. Some writers credit sportsman,
possibly the incinerator at West 47th Street on the Hudson River.
hunters and fisherman with the increasing influence of the
These large populations in the cities caused the crime rates to go up,
conservation movement. The conservation movement also urged
and disease was rapidly spreading. Not only did urbanization cause
the establishment of state and national parks and forests, wildlife
cities to grow in population, it also caused cities to grow in building
refuges, and national monuments intended to preserve noteworthy
size. Skyscrapers were being built in the cities and the idea of mass
natural features. Conservation groups focus primarily on an issue
transit had started. Mass transit allowed people to commute to work
whose origins are routed in general expansion. As Industrialization
from further distances. Suburbs were beginning to form and higher
and the increasing trend towards Urbanization became more
class families began to move to them to get out of the overcrowded
prominent, the conservative environmental movement began.
city but still gave them the ability to go into the city to work each
day. City living was for the lower class; the upper class had enough
money to get away from all of the pollution and the city stench.
102
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103
Section 4
The Rise of Big Business
The Rise of Big Business
Robber Barons and the Captains of Industry
Rockefeller and the Oil Industry
Carnegie and the Steel Industry
J.P. Morgan and the Financial Industry
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104
The Rise of Big Business
American cities such as Chicago, and the arrival of a flood of
immigrants from all over Europe to man the factories.
The post-Civil War North became one of the most
heavily industrialized regions in the world during the
Impact of the Civil War
Gilded Age.
The Civil War had transformed the North into one of the most
heavily industrialized regions in the world, and during the Gilded
Age, businessmen reaped enormous profits from this new economy.
KEY POINTS
Powerful tycoons formed giant trusts to monopolize the production
Women and children moved from domestic work in the home
of goods that were in high demand. Andrew Carnegie, for one, built
to factory line jobs.
a giant steel empire using vertical integration, a business tactic
Laborers and employers often clashed over working hours,
wages, safety conditions, sanitary workplaces, and other
that increased profits by eliminating middlemen from the
compensation and working conditions issues.
production line. Though industrialization caused many long-term
Laborers organized themselves into unions to negotiate with
positives, it did cause problems in the short-term. Rich farmers who
companies.
could afford new machinery grew even richer, while poorer farmers
In 1886, workers formed the American Federation of Labor
were forced to move into urban areas as they could not compete in
(AFL) to fight for laborers.
the agricultural sector.
Labor unions began the practice of striking for better working
conditions and compensation.]
Industrialization and the Assembly Line
In 1878 the US had entered a time of success after a long downfall
in the mid 1870's. The number of manufacturing plants and number
In the 1870s, the United States became a leading Industrial power.
of people doubled. Also, by the 1900's the South had consisted of
Advances in technology drove American Industrialization, as did
more than 400 mills. Women and children worked in bad
access to the immense and untapped resources of the North
conditions for long periods of time, mostly about 12-16 hours per
American continent. Industrialization brought the growth of new
105
day ( Figure 20.12). They only made about a half a dollar per day,
Unionization
which was not much in that time.
Figure 20.12 Factory workers
Workers adjusted to mechanization as best they could. Some people
assembling engines at Leland &
As industrialization boomed, more job
submitted to the demands of the factory, machine, and time clock.
Faulconer Manufacturing Co.,
opportunities than ever opened up.
Detroit, Mich.
Some tried to blend old ways of working into the new system.
Factory line jobs were perfect for
Others turned to resistance. Individuals challenged the system by
women and children, mostly because
ignoring management's orders, skipping work, or quitting. But also,
the factory owners could pay them
anxiety over the loss of independence and a desire for better wages,
less. Despite terrible work conditions,
hours, and working conditions drew disgruntled workers into
increasing numbers of women began
unions.
to move from purely domestic workers
Photo shows men at the foundry
In the cities, laborers and employers often clashed over wages,
to factory help. Although women now
and machine shop that
sanitary conditions, working hours, benefits, and several other
had a part in the workforce, sexual
produced automobile engines in
1903 and merged with Cadillac
issues. Laborers organized themselves into unions to negotiate with
discrimination remained. Women had
Motor Co. in 1905.
companies. The companies, however, attempted to shut down labor
the opportunity to take some low
unions. Some imposed yellow dog contracts, under which an
positions, but virtually no women were trusted with responsibilities
employer could dismiss a worker who participated in union activity.
such as managing, or even handling money. The factories also took
advantage of immigrants and used them as cheap labor. Immigrants
In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was formed to fight for
from Ireland, Germany and other European countries were
laborers in general. The AFL and other union groups employed as
considered second class citizens and this was evident in the work
many tactics as possible to force employers to accede to their
place. Immigrants received extremely low wages and no benefits; it
demands. One tactic was the strike. Some strikes escalated into
was common for a worker to suffer a serious injury and lose his job
riots, as with the Knights of Labor's strike in 1886 becoming the
if he was unable to perform.
Haymarket Riots. The Haymarket Riots of 1886 occurred when an
unknown person threw a dynamite bomb into a group of police
officers. Eight officers were killed in the explosion and gunfight that
106
Figure 20.13
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New York's
age-1870-1900/the-rise-of-big-business/the-rise-of-big-business/
business
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district from
Woodbridge
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Building.
New York's
business
district from
Woodbridge
Building.
ensued. As a result, eight anarchists were tried for murder--four
were sentenced to death and one committed suicide.
The companies sometimes retaliated against strikes by suing the
unions. Congress had passed the Sherman Antitrust Act to prevent
trusts, or corporations that held stock in several different
companies, from obstructing the activities of competitors. Though
the Sherman Act was intended to target trusts, the companies sued
the union under it, claiming that unions obstructed interstate
commerce.
107
Robber Barons and the
Economic Predators
Captains of Industry
Robber baron is a term used for a powerful 19th century American
businessman. By the 1890s, the term was typically applied to
The term "robber baron" is applied to powerful 19th
businessmen who were viewed as having used questionable
century industrialists who used unethical or illegal
practices to amass their wealth. These "questionable practices"
practices to build monopolies.
usually included a perception that they offered their products at
extremely low prices (and paid their workers very poorly in order to
KEY POINTS
do so), buying out the competitors that couldn't keep up. Once there
was no competition, they would hike prices far above the original
Robber barons were accused of eliminating competition
through predatory pricing and then overcharging when they
level. It combines the sense of criminal ("robber") and illegitimate
had a monopoly.
aristocracy ("baron").
The term combines the concept of a criminal robber with an
illegitimate aristocrat baron. The term had originally been
The term derives from the medieval German lords who legally
applied to bandits and minor nobility who had preyed upon
charged tolls on ships traversing the Rhine without adding anything
the trade routes in the eastern areas of Europe during the
of value. U.S. political and economic commentator Matthew
middle ages, from approximately 800 AD to 1800 AD.
Josephson popularized the term during the Great Depression in a
The term "robber baron" contrasted with the term "captain of
1934 book by the same title. He attributed the phrase to an 1880
industry," which described industrialists who also benefitted
anti-monopoly pamphlet about railroad magnates. Like the
society.
German antecedents, Josephson alleged that American big
Nineteenth century Robber Barons included J.P. Morgan,
Andrew Carnegie, Andrew W. Mellon, and John D.
businessmen amassed huge fortunes immorally, unethically, and
Rockefeller.
unjustly. The theme was popular during the Great Depression, a
Thomas Carlyle coined the term "robber baron" in his book
time of public scorn for the abuses of big business.
"Past and Present" in 1843.
Robber barons were compared to "captains of industry," a term
originally used in the United Kingdom during the Industrial
108
Revolution describing a business leader whose means of amassing a
Rockefeller and the Oil
personal fortune contributes positively to the country in some way.
This may have been
Figure 20.14
Industry
through increased
Cornelius Vanderbilt,
John Davison Rockefeller was the founder of the
productivity,
1794-1877
Cornelius Vanderbilt,
Standard Oil Company, a business trust which
expansion of
also known by the
dominated the oil industry.
markets, providing
sobriquet
Commodore, was an
more jobs, or acts of
American industrialist
philanthropy. Some
and philanthropist
KEY POINTS
who built his wealth in
nineteenth-century
shipping and
John D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company in
industrialists who
railroads.
1870 in Cleveland, Ohio.
were called
In his time, Rockefeller became the richest man in the world
"captains of industry" overlap with those called "robber barons".
and the first American worth over a billion dollars.
These include people such as J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie,
In 1904, Standard Oil controlled 91% of oil production and
85% of final sales.
Andrew W. Mellon, and John D. Rockefeller. The positive term was
A trust is a business entity formed to create a monopoly or fix
coined by Thomas Carlyle in his 1843 book, Past and Present.
prices using anticompetitive practices.
Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890 in
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response to monopolistic industrialists like Rockefeller.
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In 1911, the U.S. Justice Department sued the group under
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companies, including Exxon and Mobil.
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John Davison Rockefeller was an American industrialist and
philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company,
109
which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S.
competition in Cleveland in less than two months in 1872 and later
business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry
throughout the northeastern United States.
and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he
In the early years, John D. Rockefeller dominated the combine, for
founded the Standard Oil
Figure 20.15
he was the single most important figure in shaping the new oil
Company and aggressively ran
John D.
industry. He quickly distributed power and the tasks of policy
it until he officially retired in
Rockefeller
John D.
formation to a system of committees, but always remained the
1897. As kerosene and
Rockefeller,
largest shareholder. Authority was centralized in the company's
gasoline grew in importance,
industrialist and
philanthropist, is
main office in Cleveland, but decisions in the office were made in a
Rockefeller's wealth soared,
generally
cooperative way.
and he became the world's
regarded as the
richest man in
richest man and first
American history.
Standard Oil's market position was initially established through an
American worth more than a
emphasis on efficiency and responsibility. While most companies
billion dollars. Adjusting for inflation, he is often regarded as the
dumped gasoline in rivers (this was before the automobile was
richest person in American history.
popular), Standard used it to fuel its machines. While other
companies' refineries piled mountains of heavy waste, Rockefeller
Background
found ways to sell it. For example, Standard created the first
Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership formed by the well-
synthetic competitor for beeswax and bought the company that
known industrialist John D. Rockefeller, his brother William
invented and produced Vaseline, the Chesebrough Manufacturing
Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, chemist Samuel Andrews, silent partner
Company, which was a Standard company only from 1908 until
Stephen V. Harkness, and Oliver Burr Jennings, who had married
1911.
the sister of William Rockefeller's wife. In 1870, Rockefeller
The company grew by increasing sales and also through
incorporated Standard Oil in Ohio. Using highly effective tactics,
acquisitions. After purchasing competing firms, Rockefeller shut
later widely criticized, it absorbed or destroyed most of its
down those he believed to be inefficient and kept the others. In a
seminal deal, in 1868, the Lake Shore Railroad, a part of the New
110
York Central, gave Rockefeller's firm a going rate of one cent a
Corporations studied Standard's operations from the period of 1904
gallon or forty-two cents a barrel, an effective 71% discount from its
to 1906 and concluded that its growth was due to unfair business
listed rates in return for a promise to ship at least 60 carloads of oil
practices.
daily and to handle the loading and unloading on its own. Smaller
In 1909, the US Department of Justice sued Standard under federal
companies decried such deals as unfair because they were not
anti-trust law, the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, for sustaining a
producing enough oil to qualify for discounts.
monopoly and restraining interstate commerce. The lawsuit argued
In response to state laws trying to limit the scale of companies,
that Standard's monopolistic practices had taken place over the
Rockefeller and his associates developed innovative ways of
preceding four years. The government identified four illegal
organizing, to effectively manage their fast growing enterprise. In
patterns:
1882, they combined their disparate companies, spread across
1. secret and semi-secret railroad rates;
dozens of states, under a single group of trustees. This organization
proved so successful that other giant enterprises adopted this
2. discriminations in the open arrangement of rates;
"trust" form.
3. discriminations in classification and rules of shipment;
In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act the source
4. discriminations in the treatment of private tank cars.
of all American anti-monopoly laws. The law forbade every contract,
scheme, deal, or conspiracy to restrain trade, though the phrase
On May 15, 1911, the US Supreme Court upheld the lower court
"restraint of trade" remained subjective. The Standard Oil group
judgment and declared the Standard Oil group to be an
quickly attracted attention from antitrust authorities leading to a
"unreasonable" monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act. It
lawsuit filed by Ohio Attorney General David K. Watson.
ordered Standard to break up into 34 independent companies with
different boards of directors, the biggest two of the companies were
In 1904, Standard controlled 91% of production and 85% of final
Exxon and Mobil. Standard's president, John Rockefeller, had long
sales. Most of its output was kerosene, of which 55% was exported
since retired from any management role, but emerged from the
around the world. After 1900, it did not try to force competitors out
of business by underpricing them. The Federal Commissioner of
111
dissolution as the richest man in the world due to the number of
Carnegie and the Steel
shares that he owned.
Industry
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Andrew Carnegie built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel
industry/
Company and became the second-richest man in the
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KEY POINTS
Carnegie's philanthropic endeavors included Carnegie Hall,
Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, Carnegie Institution of Washington,
Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Museums of
Pittsburgh.
In the late 1880s, Carnegie Steel was the largest
manufacturer of pig iron and steel rails in the world.
Carnegie eventually owned all steel production in the country
in a process called horizontal integration.
The United States Steel Corporation was the first corporation
in the world worth over $1 billion.
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist who led the
enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th
century. He was also one of the most important philanthropists of
his era. Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated
112
to the United States with his parents in 1848. His first job in the
content of pig iron to be burnt away Figure 20.16 Andrew Carnegie
United States was as a factory worker in a bobbin factory. Later on
in a controlled and rapid way. The
he became a bill logger for the owner of the company. Soon after he
steel price dropped as a direct
became a messenger boy. Eventually he progressed up the ranks of
result, and Bessemer steel was
a telegraph company. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel
rapidly adopted for railway lines
Company, which was later merged with Elbert H. Gary's Federal
and girders for buildings and
Steel Company and several smaller companies to create U.S. Steel.
bridges. The second was in his
vertical integration of all suppliers
With the fortune he made from business he built Carnegie Hall,
of raw materials. In the late 1880s,
later he turned to philanthropy and interests in education, founding
Carnegie Steel was the largest
the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for
manufacturer of pig iron, steel rails,
International Peace, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie, American
and coke in the world, with a
businessman and philanthropist.
Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
capacity to produce approximately
Carnegie gave most of his money to establish many libraries,
2,000 tons of pig metal per day. In 1888, Carnegie bought the rival
schools, and universities in the United States, the United Kingdom,
Homestead Steel Works, which included an extensive plant served
Canada and other countries, as well as a pension fund for former
by tributary coal and iron fields, a 425-mile long railway, and a line
employees. He is often regarded as the second-richest man in
of lake steamships. Carnegie combined his assets and those of his
history after John D. Rockefeller.
associates in 1892 with the launching of the Carnegie Steel

Company.
Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry, controlling the
most extensive integrated iron and steel operations ever owned by
By 1889, the U.S. output of steel exceeded that of the UK, and
an individual in the United States. One of his two great innovations
Carnegie owned a large part of it. Carnegie's empire grew to include
was in the cheap and efficient mass production of steel by adopting
the J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works, (named for John Edgar
and adapting the Bessemer process for steel making. Sir Henry
Thomson, Carnegie's former boss and president of the Pennsylvania
Bessemer had invented the furnace which allowed the high carbon
Railroad), Pittsburgh Bessemer Steel Works, the Lucy Furnaces, the
113
Union Iron Mills, the Union Mill (Wilson, Walker & County), the
United States history to date. The holdings were incorporated in the
Keystone Bridge Works, the Hartman Steel Works, the Frick Coke
United States Steel Corporation, a trust organized by Morgan, and
Company, and the Scotia ore mines. Carnegie, through Keystone,
Carnegie retired from business. His steel enterprises were bought
supplied the steel for and owned shares in the landmark Eads
out at a figure equivalent to 12 times their annual earnings$480
Bridge project across the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri
million (presently, $13,409,280,000) which at the time was the
(completed 1874). This project was an important proof-of-concept
largest ever personal commercial transaction.
for steel technology, which marked the opening of a new steel
market.
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In 1901, Carnegie was 66 years of age and considering retirement.
industry/
He reformed his enterprises into conventional joint stock
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corporations as preparation to this end. John Pierpont Morgan was
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a banker and perhaps America's most important financial deal
maker. He had observed how efficiently Carnegie produced profit.
He envisioned an integrated steel industry that would cut costs,
lower prices to consumers, produce in greater quantities and raise
wages to workers. To this end, he needed to buy out Carnegie and
several other major producers and integrate them into one
company, thereby eliminating duplication and waste. He concluded
negotiations on March 2, 1901, and formed the United States Steel
Corporation. It was the first corporation in the world with a market
capitalization over $1 billion.
The buyout, secretly negotiated by Charles M. Schwab (no relation
to Charles R. Schwab), was the largest such industrial takeover in
114
J.P. Morgan and the Financial
businesses, including Consolidated Steel and Wire Company, to
form the United States Steel
Industry
Figure 20.
Corporation.
17 James
Pierpont
John Pierpont Morgan was an American financier who
At the height of Morgan's career
Morgan
consolidated many industries.
during the early 1900s, he and
J. P.
Morgan,
his partners had financial
American
investments in many large
financier,
KEY POINTS
banker
corporations and were accused by
and art
Morgan played a role in forming such companies as General
critics of controlling the nation's
collector.
Electric and the United States Steel Corporation.
high finance. He directed the
Critics of Morgan accused him of controlling all of the
banking coalition that stopped the Panic of 1907. He was the
country's high finance.
leading financier of the Progressive Era, and his dedication to
Morgan's philanthropic achievements included the Morgan
Library and Museum in New York.
efficiency and modernization helped transform American business.
Morgan's process of taking over businesses and restructuring
Morgan redefined conservatism in terms of financial prowess
them became known as "Morganization".
coupled with strong commitments to religion and high culture.
Morgan died in Rome, Italy, in his sleep in 1913 at the age of 75,
leaving his fortune and business to his son, John Pierpont "Jack"
John Pierpont Morgan was an American financier, banker and art
Morgan, Jr., and bequeathing his mansion and large book
collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial
collections to The Morgan Library & Museum in New York.
consolidation during his time ( Figure 20.17). In 1892, Morgan
arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-
Morgan went into banking in 1857 at his father's London branch.
Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing
He moved to New York City in 1858, where he worked at the
the creation of the Federal Steel Company he merged in 1901 with
banking house of Duncan, Sherman & Company, the American
the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron
representatives of George Peabody & Company. From 1860 to 1864,
115
as J. Pierpont Morgan & Company, he acted as agent in New York
reorganizations and consolidations. Morgan had many partners
for his father's firm. By 18641872, he was a member of the firm of
over the years, but remained firmly in charge.
Dabney, Morgan, and Company. In 1871, he partnered with the
Morgan's ascent to power was accompanied by dynamic financial
Drexels of Philadelphia to form the New York firm of Drexel,
battles. He wrested control of the Albany and Susquehanna
Morgan & Company. Anthony J. Drexel became Pierpont's mentor
Railroad from Jay Gould and Jim Fisk in 1869. He led the syndicate
at the request of Junius Morgan.
that broke the government-financing privileges of Jay Cooke, and
Figure 20.18
soon became deeply involved in developing and financing a railroad
The Helping
empire by reorganizations and consolidations in all parts of the
Hand
Morgan's role
United States.
in the
economy was
He raised large sums in Europe, but instead of only handling the
denounced as
overpowering
funds, he helped the railroads reorganize and achieve greater
in this hostile
efficiencies. In 1885, he reorganized the New York, West Shore &
political
cartoon.
Buffalo Railroad, leasing it to the New York Central. In 1886, he
reorganized the Philadelphia & Reading, and in 1888 the
Chesapeake & Ohio. He was heavily involved with railroad tycoon
After the 1893 death of Anthony Drexel, the firm was rechristened
James J. Hill and the Great Northern Railway.
"J. P. Morgan & Company" in 1895, and retained close ties with
After Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887,
Drexel & Company of Philadelphia, Morgan, Harjes & Company of
Morgan set up conferences in 1889 and 1890 that brought together
Paris, and J.S. Morgan & Company (after 1910 Morgan, Grenfell &
railroad presidents in order to help the industry follow the new laws
Company), of London. Fifteen years later, he created the Chase
and write agreements for the maintenance of "public, reasonable,
Manhattan Bank. By 1900, it was one of the most powerful banking
uniform and stable rates." The conferences were the first of their
houses of the world, carrying through many deals, especially
kind, and by creating a community of interest among competing
116
lines paved the way for the great consolidations of the early 20th
century.
Morgan's process of taking over troubled businesses to reorganize
them came to be called "Morganization". Morgan reorganized
business structures and management in order to return them to
profitability. His reputation as a banker and financier also helped
bring interest from investors to the businesses he took over.
In 1895, at the depths of the Panic of 1893, the Federal Treasury
was nearly out of gold. President Grover Cleveland accepted
Morgan's offer to join with the Rothschilds and supply the U.S.
Treasury with 3.5 million ounces of gold to restore the treasury
surplus in exchange for a 30-year bond issue. The episode saved the
Treasury but hurt Cleveland with the agrarian wing of the
Democratic Party and became an issue in the election of 1896, when
banks came under a withering attack from William Jennings Bryan.
Morgan and Wall Street bankers donated heavily to Republican
William McKinley, who was elected in 1896 and reelected in 1900.
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Section 5
The Rise of Immigration
The Pull to America
Ellis Island
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118
The Pull to America
Each group evinced a distinctive migration pattern in the gender
balance within the migratory pool, the permanence of their
After 1870, lower fares and faster transatlantic travel
migration, their literacy rates, and the balance between adults and
provided opportunity for new waves of immigration.
children. They made up the bulk of the U.S. industrial labor pool,
making possible the emergence of such industries as steel, coal,
KEY POINTS
automobile, textile, and garment production, enabling the United
States to leap into the front ranks of the worlds economic giants.
Nearly 25 million new immigrants arrived in the United
States after 1870.
Xenophobia
Among immigrants to the U.S., young people between the
ages of 15 and 30 predominated.
Immigrants' urban destinations, numbers and an overall antipathy
Immigrants provided a workforce to power the new factories
toward foreigners led to the emergence of a wave of organized
and industries of cities.
xenophobia. By the 1890s, many Americans, particularly from the
In the face of new immigration, many states and even the
ranks of the well-off, white and native-born, considered
federal government created anti-immigrant legislation.
immigration to pose a serious danger to the nations health and
security. In 1893, a group called the Immigration Restriction
Immigrants
League, along with other similarly inclined organizations, began to
press Congress for severe curtailment of foreign immigration.
After 1870, the use of steam powered ships with lower fares became
prevalent Meanwhile, farming improvements in southern and
Legislation
eastern Europe created surplus populations that needed to move
Shortly after the U.S. Civil War, some states started to pass their
on. This wave of migration could better be referred to as a flood of
own immigration laws. This prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to
immigrants, as nearly 25 million Europeans made the voyage.
rule in 1875 that immigration was a federal responsibility. In 1875,
Italians, Greeks, Hungarians, Poles and others constituted the bulk
the nation passed its first immigration law, the Page Act of 1875,
of this migration. Included among them were 2.5 to 4 million Jews.
also known as the Asian Exclusion Act. This outlawed the
119
importation of Asian contract laborers, any Asian woman who
the largest Eastern European ancestry group in the United States.
would engage in prostitution, and all people considered to be
Immigration of Eastern Orthodox ethnic groups was much lower.
convicts in their own countries.
Figure 20.19 From
In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The act stated
the Old to the New
World
that there was a limited amount of immigrants of Chinese descent
"From the Old to the
allowed into the United States. The law was renewed in 1892 and
New World," an
illustration published
1902. Prior to 1890, the individual states regulated immigration
in Harper's Weekly in
into the United States. The Immigration Act of 1891 established a
1874, shows German
emigrants boarding a
Commissioner of Immigration in the treasury department. The
steamer in Hamburg,
Canadian Agreement of 1894 extended U.S. immigration
Germany, to come to
America.
restrictions to Canadian ports.
Settlement of Immigrant Populations
Lebanese and Syrian immigrants started to settle in large numbers
in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The vast majority of
About 1.5 million Swedes and Norwegians immigrated to the United
the immigrants from Lebanon and Syria were Christians, but
States within this period due to opportunity in America and poverty
smaller numbers of Jews, Muslims and Druze also settled. Many
and religious oppression in united Sweden-Norway. This accounted
lived in New York City and Boston. In the 1920s and 1930s, a large
for around 20 percent of the total population of the kingdom at that
number of these immigrants set out west, with Detroit getting a
time. They settled mainly in the Midwest, especially Minnesota and
large number of Middle Eastern immigrants, as well as many
the Dakotas. Danes had comparably low immigration rates due to a
Midwestern areas where Arabs worked as farmers.
better economy; after 1900 many Danish immigrants were Mormon
converts who moved to Utah.
From 1880 to 1924, around two million Jews moved to the United
States, mostly seeking better opportunity in America and fleeing the
Over two million Eastern Europeans, mainly Catholics and Jews,
pogroms of the Russian Empire. After 1934, these Jews, along with
immigrated between 1880 and 1924. People of Polish ancestry are
120
any other above-quota immigration, were usually denied access to
Ellis Island
the United States.
America's first federal immigration station was
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established in 1890 on Ellis Island.
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KEY POINTS
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The Federal Government assumed control of immigration on
April 18, 1890, and Congress appropriated $75,000 to
construct America's first federal immigration station on Ellis
Island.
At Ellis Island, immigrants were evaluated for disease and
self-sufficiency.
About 2% of the immigrants who traveled to America were
not admitted and forced to return home, giving Ellis Island
the sobriquets "Island of Tears" or "Heartbreak Island".
In the 35 years before Ellis Island opened, the over eight million
immigrants arriving in New York were processed by New York State
officials at Castle Garden Immigration Depot in lower Manhattan.
The Federal Government assumed control of immigration on April
18, 1890, and Congress appropriated $75,000 to construct
America's first Federal immigration station on Ellis Island.
Artesian wells were dug, and using landfill from the construction of
New York City's subway tunnels and ballast of incoming ships, Ellis
Island was expanded to six acres, or twice its original size. While the
121
building was under construction, immigration processing took place
ashes. No loss of life was reported, but most of the immigration
at the Barge Office located nearby at the Battery.
records dating back to 1855 were destroyed. About 1.5 million
immigrants had been processed at the first building during its five
The First Immigration Inspection Station
years of use. Plans were immediately made to build a new, fireproof
The first federal immigrant inspection station was an enormous
immigration station on Ellis Island. During the construction period,
three-story tall structure, with outbuildings built of Georgia pine
passenger arrivals were, once again, processed at the Barge Office.
and containing all of the amenities that were thought to be
The Second Immigration Inspection Station
necessary. It opened with celebration on January 1, 1892. Three
large ships landed on the first day, and 700 immigrants passed over
The present main structure was designed in French Renaissance
the docks. Almost 450,000 immigrants were processed at the
Revival style, and built of red brick with limestone trim. When it
station during its first year.
opened on December 17, 1900, officials estimated 5,000
immigrants per day would be processed. The facilities, however,
Figure 20.20
were barely able to handle the flood of immigrants that arrived in
First Ellis Island
Immigration
the years just before World War I. Writer Louis Adamic came to
Station in New
America from Slovenia in 1913, and described the night he and
York Harbor
many other immigrants slept on bunk beds in a huge hall. Lacking a
The first Ellis
Island
warm blanket, the young man "shivered, sleepless, all night,
Immigration
listening to snores" and dreams "in perhaps a dozen different
Station opened
in 1892. It was
languages." The facility was so large that the dining room could seat
built entirely of
1,000 people.
wood, and
burned to the
ground in 1897.
After opening, Ellis Island was expanded with landfill and
additional structures were built. By its closing in 1954, the U.S.
On June 15, 1897, a fire of unknown origin, possibly caused by
Bureau of Immigration had processed 12 million immigrants
faulty wiring, turned the wooden structures on Ellis Island into
( Figure 20.21). It is estimated that 10.5 million immigrants departed
122
Figure 20.21
Generally, immigrants who were approved spent from two to five
Immigrants
hours at Ellis Island. Arrivals were asked 29 questions including
arriving at
Ellis Island
name, occupation, and the amount of money carried. The American
Nearly 12
government wanted to ensure that the new arrivals could support
million
immigrants
themselves and had enough money to get started. The government
arrived in the
wanted immigrants to have an average between 18 and 25 dollars.
United States
through Ellis
Those with visible health problems or diseases were sent home or
Island.
held in the island's hospital facilities for long periods of time. More
than 3,000 would-be immigrants died on Ellis Island while being
held in the hospital facilities. Some unskilled workers were rejected
because they were considered "likely to become a public charge."
for points across the United States from the Central Railroad of
New Jersey Terminal, located just across a narrow strait. Others
About 2% of immigrants were denied admission to the U.S. and sent
would have used one of the other terminals along the North River
back to their countries of origin for reasons including having a
(Hudson River) at that time. The peak year for immigration at Ellis
chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity. Ellis
Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 processed immigrants. The all-time
Island was sometimes known as "The Island of Tears" or
daily high occurred on April 17, 1907, when 11,747 immigrants
"Heartbreak Island" because of the 2% who were not admitted after
arrived. After the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, which
the long transatlantic voyage. The Kissing Post is a wooden column
greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas
outside the Registry Room, where relatives and friends, typically
embassies, the only immigrants to pass through the station were
with tears, hugs, and kisses, greeted new arrivals.
displaced persons or war refugees. Today, over 100 million
Americans (one third of the population) can trace their ancestry to
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123
Section 6
Work in Industrial America
Work in Industrial America
The Diversity of Workers
The Working Woman
The Family Economy: Women and Children
Mass Marketing, Advertising, and Consumer Culture
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124
Work in Industrial America
of the 1880s. The Knights promoted the social and cultural uplift of
the workingman, rejected Socialism and radicalism, demanded the
Early labor organizations supported white men over
eight-hour workday, and promoted the producers ethic of
women, African-Americans, and Asians, viewing them
republicanism. In some cases, it acted as a labor union, negotiating
as competition.
with employers, but it was never well organized, and after a rapid
expansion in the mid-1880s, it suddenly lost its new members,
becoming a small operation again.
KEY POINTS
The Knights of Labor supported legislation for an eight-hour
The Knights of Labor had a mixed history of inclusiveness and
day, the end of child and convict labor, the Chinese Exclusion
exclusiveness, accepting women and blacks (after 1878) and their
Act, and Contract Labor Law.
employers as members and advocating the admission of blacks into
The American Federation of Labor mainly supported skilled
local assemblies, but tolerating the segregation of assemblies in the
workers in craft unions.
South. Bankers, doctors, lawyers, stockholders, and liquor
By the early twentieth century, women formed the
International Ladies Garment Workers Union and the
manufacturers were excluded because they were considered
Women's Trade Union League, which eventually merged with
unproductive members of society. Asians were also excluded, and in
the AFL.
November 1885, a branch of the Knights in Tacoma, Washington
Early conflicts between trade unions included the brewers
worked to expel the city's Chinese, who amounted to nearly one-
and teamsters, machinists and typographers, machinists and
tenth of the overall city population at the time. The Knights were
autoworkers, and the pipefitters, machinists, and iron
workers.
also responsible for race riots, resulting in the deaths of about 28
Chinese Americans in the Rock Springs massacre in Wyoming, and
an estimated 50 African-American sugar-cane laborers in the 1887
The Knights of Labor
Thibodaux massacre in Louisiana.
The Knights of Labor, lead by Terence V. Powderley, was the
largest and one of the most important American labor organizations
125
The American Federation of Labor and Racism
The AFL and Sexism
During its first years, the AFL admitted nearly anyone. Gompers
In most ways, the AFLs treatment of women workers paralleled its
opened the AFL to radical and socialist workers and to some
policy towards black workers. The AFL never adopted a strict policy
semiskilled and unskilled workers. Women, African Americans, and
of gender exclusion and, at times, even came out in favor of
immigrants joined in small numbers. By the 1890s, the Federation
womens unionism. Despite such rhetoric, the Federation only half
had begun to organize only skilled workers in craft unions and
heartedly supported womens attempts to organize and, more often,
became an organization of mostly white men. Although the
took pains to keep women out of unions and the workforce
Federation preached a policy of
altogether. Only two national unions affiliated with the AFL at its
egalitarianism in regard to African
Figure 20.22 Railroad
founding openly included women, and others passed bylaws barring
Strike, Baltimore, 1877
American workers, it discriminated against
womens membership entirely. The AFL hired its first female
black workers. The AFL sanctioned the
organizer, Mary Kenney O'Sullivan, in 1892, but released her after
maintenance of segregated locals within its
five months and did not replace her or hire another woman national
affiliates, a practice which often excluded
organizer until 1908. Women who organized their own unions were
black workers altogether from union
often turned down in bids to join the Federation, and even women
membership and, thus, from employment in
who did join unions found them hostile or intentionally
organized industries. In 1901, the AFL
inaccessible. AFL unions often held meetings at night or in bars
lobbied Congress to reauthorize the 1882
when women found it difficult to attend and where they might feel
Railroad Strike,
Chinese Exclusion Act, and issued a
uncomfortable, and male unionists heckled women who tried to
Baltimore, 1877
pamphlet entitled "Some reasons for
speak at meetings.
Chinese exclusion. Which shall survive?" The AFL also began one of
Attitudes gradually changed within the AFL, due to the pressure of
the first organized labor boycotts when they put white stickers on
organized female workers. Female-domination began to emerge in
the cigars made by unionized white cigar rollers, while
the first two decades of the twentieth century, including the
simultaneously discouraging consumers from purchasing cigars
International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Women organized
rolled by Chinese workers.
126
independent locals among New York hat makers, in the Chicago
reservations of Gompers and other leaders about creation of a
stockyards, and among Jewish and Italian waist makers, to name
separate body within the AFL that might function as a federation
only three examples. Through the efforts of middle class reformers
within a federation. While those fears were partly borne out in
and activists, often of the Women's Trade Union League, these
practice, as the Building Trades Department did acquire a great deal
unions joined the AFL.
of practical power gained through resolving jurisdictional disputes
between affiliates, the danger that it might serve as the basis for
Conflicts Between Affiliated Unions
schism never materialized.
From the beginning, unions affiliated with the AFL found
Affiliates within the AFL formed "departments" to help resolve
themselves in conflict when both unions claimed jurisdiction over
these jurisdictional conflicts and to provide a more effective voice
the same groups of workers: both the Brewers and Teamsters
for member unions in given industries. The Metal Trades
claimed to represent beer truck drivers, both the machinists and the
Department engaged in some organizing of its own, primarily in
International Typographical Union claimed to represent certain
shipbuilding, where unions such as the Pipefitters, Machinists and
printroom employees, and the machinists and a fledgling union
Iron Workers joined together through local metal workers' councils
known as the "Carriage, Wagon, and Automobile Workers Union"
to represent a diverse group of workers. The Railway Employees
sought to organize the same employees, even though neither union
Department dealt with both jurisdictional disputes between
had made any effort to organize or bargain for those employees. In
affiliates and pursued a common legislative agenda for all of them.
some cases the AFL mediated the dispute, usually favoring the
larger or more influential union. The AFL often reversed its
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jurisdictional rulings over time, as the continuing jurisdictional
age-1870-1900/work-in-industrial-america/work-in-industrial-
battles between the Brewers and the Teamsters showed.
america/
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These jurisdictional disputes were most frequent in the building
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trades, where a number of different unions claimed the right to have
work assigned to their members. The craft unions in this industry
organized their own department within the AFL in 1908, despite the
127
The Diversity of Workers
African American workers, it actively discriminated against black
workers. The AFL sanctioned the maintenance of segregated locals
The American Federation of Labor (AFL) offered more
within its affiliates particularly in the construction and railroad
support to white men than to women and non-whites.
industries a practice which often excluded black workers
altogether from union membership, and thus from employment in
KEY POINTS
organized industries.
The AFL viewed women and non-whites as competition to
Sexism
white, male workers.
Women who were turned down in bids to join the AFL
In most ways, the AFLs treatment of women workers paralleled its
organized their own unions such as the International Ladies
policy towards black workers. The AFL never adopted a strict policy
Garment Workers Union and the Women's Trade Union
of gender exclusion and, at times,
League.
Figure 20.23 1919 AFL Certificate
even came out in favor of womens
In 1900, only 3.3% of working women were organized into
unionism. But despite such rhetoric,
unions, and that number did not rise significantly until the
1920s.
the Federation only half-heartedly
supported womens attempts to
organize and, more often, took pains
Racism
to keep women out of unions and the
During its first years, the AFL admitted nearly anyone. Gompers
workforce altogether. Only two
opened the AFL to radical and socialist workers and to some
national unions affiliated with the
semiskilled and unskilled workers. Women, African Americans, and
AFL at its founding openly included
immigrants joined in small numbers. But by the 1890s, the
women, and others passed by-laws
Federation had begun to organize only skilled workers in craft
barring womens membership
unions, and became an organization of mostly white men. Although
entirely. AFL unions often held
the Federation preached a policy of egalitarianism with regard to
meetings at night or in bars when
1919 AFL Certificate
128
women might find it difficult to attend and where they might feel
despite the reservations of Gompers and other leaders about
uncomfortable, and male unionists heckled women who tried to
creation of a separate body within the AFL that might function as a
speak at meetings. When the Federation did organize women
federation within a federation.
workers, most often it did so to protect mens jobs and earning
Affiliates within the AFL formed "departments" to help resolve
power, not to improve the conditions, lives, or wages of women
these jurisdictional conflicts and to provide a more effective voice
workers. In response, most women workers remained outside the
for member unions in given industries. The Metal Trades
labor movement. In 1900, only 3.3% of working women were
Department engaged in some organizing of its own, primarily in
organized into unions. In 1910, even as the AFL surged forward in
shipbuilding, where unions such as the Pipefitters, Machinists and
membership, the proportion had dipped to 1.5%. And while it
Iron Workers joined together through local metal workers' councils
improved to 6.6% over the next decade, women remained mostly
to represent a diverse group of workers. The Railway Employees
outside of unions and practically invisible inside of them until the
Department dealt with both jurisdictional disputes between
mid-1920s.
affiliates and pursued a common legislative agenda for all of them.
Conflicts Between Affiliated Unions
Even that sort of structure did not prevent AFL unions from finding
themselves in conflict on political issues. For example, the
From the beginning, unions affiliated with the AFL found
International Seamen's Union opposed passage of a law applying to
themselves in conflict when both unions claimed jurisdiction over
workers engaged in interstate transport that railway unions
the same groups of workers, even though neither union had made
supported. The AFL bridged these differences on an ad hoc basis.
any effort to organize or bargain for those employees. In some
cases, the AFL mediated the dispute, usually favoring the larger or
Ideology
more influential union.
The Knights of Labor had a mixed history of inclusiveness and
These jurisdictional disputes were most frequent in the building
exclusiveness, accepting women and blacks (after 1878) and their
trades, where a number of different unions might claim the right to
employers as members, and advocating the admission of blacks into
have work assigned to their members. The craft unions in this
local assemblies but tolerating the segregation of assemblies in the
industry organized their own department within the AFL in 1908,
South. Bankers, doctors, lawyers, stockholders, and liquor
129
manufacturers were excluded because they were considered
The Working Woman
unproductive members of society. Asians were also excluded, and in
November 1885, a branch of the Knights in Tacoma, Washington
In 1870, women were 15% of the total workforce,
worked to expel the city's Chinese, who amounted to nearly a tenth
primarily as factory workers, teachers, dressmakers,
of the overall city population at the time. The Knights were also
milliners, and tailors.
responsible for race riots that resulted in the deaths of about 28
Chinese Americans in the Rock Springs massacre in Wyoming, and
KEY POINTS
an estimated 50 African-American sugar-cane laborers in the 1887
The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th
Thibodaux massacre in Louisiana. The Knights strongly supported
centuries changed the nature of work for women in Europe
the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Contract Labor Law of
and other countries of the Western world as working for a
1885, as did many other labor groups, although the group did
wage, and eventually a salary, became part of urban life.
accept most others, including skilled and unskilled women of any
The General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC), founded
in 1890, was dedicated to women's self-education,
profession.
development, and volunteer and service works.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
The General Federation of Women's Clubs was a strong
lobbying force for women's suffrage.
age-1870-1900/work-in-industrial-america/the-diversity-of-workers/
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Women in the Workforce
The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries
changed the nature of work for women in Europe and other
countries of the Western world. Working for a wage, and eventually
a salary, became part of urban life.
130
The 1870 US Census was the first United States Census to count
General Federation of Women's Clubs
females engaged in each occupation and provides an intriguing
The General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC), founded
snapshot of women's history. It reveals that, contrary to popular
in 1890, is an international women's organization dedicated to
belief, not all American women of the 19th century were either idle
community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through
in their middle class homes or working in sweatshops. Women were
volunteer service. GFWC is one of the world's largest and oldest
15% of the total work force (1.8 million out of 12.5). They made up
nonpartisan, nondenominational women's volunteer service
one-third of factory operatives, but teaching and the occupations
organizations.
of dressmaking, millinery, and tailoring played a larger role. Two-
thirds of teachers were women. Women could also be found in such
The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the
unexpected places as iron and steel works (495), mines (46),
United States Code. History of the GFWC traces its roots back to
sawmills (35), oil wells and refineries (40), gas works (4), and
Jane Cunningham Croly, a New York newspaperwoman who wrote
charcoal kilns (5). Some even held such surprising jobs as ship
under the pen name of Jennie June. Indignant that she and other
rigger (16), teamster (196), turpentine laborer (185), brass founder/
women were denied admittance to a banquet honoring Charles
worker (102), shingle and lathe maker (84), stock-herder (45), gun
Dickens in 1868 at the all-male New York Press Club simply
and locksmith (33), and hunter and trapper (2).
because they were women, she resolved to organize a club for
women only.
Figure 20.24
Women
The name initially chosen for this club was Sorosis, a Greek word
workers
1887
meaning "an aggregation, a sweet flavor of many fruits." As Sorosis
An illustration
approached its 21st year, Mrs. Croly proposed a conference in New
of women
York that brought together delegates from 61 women's clubs. On the
working in an
assembly
last day of the conference, the women took action to form a
line.
permanent organization. A committee to draft a constitution and
plan of organization to be ratified the following year was chosen,
with Sorosis President Ella Dietz Clymer presiding. The constitution
131
was adopted in 1890, and the General Federation of Women's Clubs
suppressed, the State Federation chapters held grassroots efforts to
was born. It was chartered in 1901 by the U.S. Congress.
make sure women's voices were heard. Through everything from
monthly group meetings to annual charter meetings, women of
Ella Dietz Clymer holds a particular place of honor in Federation
influential status within their communities could have their feelings
history as the author of the GFWC motto "Unity in Diversity."
heard. They were able to meet with state officials in order to have a
Speaking to the delegates at the first conference, she said, "We look
say in the ongoings of community events. Until the right to vote was
for unity, but unity in diversity. We hope that you will enrich us by
granted, these women's clubs were the best outlet for women to be
your varied experiences." The aptness of the motto is evident in the
heard and taken seriously.
diverse interests of GFWC members, who have implemented a
broad range of programs and projects tailored to meet the needs of
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their communities. It set the tone for the flexibility that has allowed
age-1870-1900/work-in-industrial-america/the-working-woman/
the GFWC to grow and adapt to the changing and diverse life styles
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and concerns of women throughout the country in volunteer work.
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Local women's clubs initially joined the General Federation directly
but later came into membership through state federations that
began forming in 1892. The GFWC also counts international clubs
among its members. Although women's clubs were founded
primarily as a means of self-education and development for women,
the emphasis of most local clubs gradually changed to one of
community service and improvement.
While not every state in the country has a local women's club,
several have remained very active over the last 110 years. The state
of Maryland chapter, for example, is held in high regard by the
General Federation. In a time when women's rights were
132
The Family Economy:
KEY POINTS (cont.)
Women and Children
By the early 20th century, dissident anthropologists and
other social scientists began to challenge the biological
The term Family Economy describes the economic
determination of human behavior, revealing great similarities
productivity of the entire household, including those
between men and women and suggesting that many sex
differences were socially constructed.
working inside the home.
The Family Unit
KEY POINTS
In a family economy, families produced agricultural products,
The early stages of development in many economies is characterized
manufactured goods, and services for the market.
by family based production. The term Family Economy can be used
The Industrial Revolution largely ended the Family Economy
to describe the family as an economic unit. In the early, pre-
at which point men inhabited the public sphere's worlds of
industrial stage, technology was limited and unchanging with most
politics, economy, commerce, and law while women presided
economic activity taking place within the household, and
over the domestic sphere of child-rearing, housekeeping, and
religious education.
production and distribution organized by custom and tradition.
Separate spheres prevented women from undertaking
High mortality rates and low productivity meant that on the farms
professional careers and pursuing higher education.
and in towns, life was short and living conditions were harsh--an
The separation between female and male spheres was heavily
existence which was accepted fatalistically.
influenced by biological determinism, the notion that women
and men are naturally suitable for different social roles due to
The family economic unit has always been dependent on the
their biological and genetic makeup.
specialized labor of family members. The family was a
multigenerational producer with capital and land provided by older
generations and labor provided by younger generations. Goods were
produced not only for home consumption but to sell and trade in
the market as well. Family production was not only limited to
133
agricultural products, but they also produced manufacturing goods
Separate Spheres
and provided services. In order to sustain a viable family
"Separate Spheres" is an ideology that defines and prescribes
economy during the pre-industrial era, labor was needed. The
separate spheres for women and men. Culturally located in Europe
labor needed to operate the farm and provide old-age support came
and North America, it emerged as a distinct ideology during the
from family members.
Industrial Revolution, although the basic idea of gendered
Industrialization
separation of spheres is much older. The notion of separate spheres
dictates that men, based primarily on their biological makeup as
During the post-industrial stage the family as an economic unit
well as the will of God, inhabit the public sphere--the world of
changed. The family transformed from being a unit of production to
politics, economy, commerce, and law. Women's "proper sphere,"
being a unit of consumption. This new era of industrialization
according to the ideology, is the private realm of domestic life,
brought changes where farming required less people, therefore
child-rearing, housekeeping, and religious education .
children were no longer to be viewed as economic assets but rather
as liabilities. Industralization further contributed to the demise of
History
the family economy where the capitalist market encouraged
The idea that women should inhabit a separate, domestic sphere
production in large scale factories, farms and mines. Wage labor
has been extant in Western thought for centuries, extending as far
became common and family members no longer worked together
back as the ancient Greeks. In Politics, Aristotle described two
but rather used the wages they had earned to buy goods which they
separate spheres in Greek society, the home (oikos) and the city
consumed as a family unit. The industrial revolution, starting in the
(polis). Women were confined to the private realm while men
nineteenth and going into the twentieth century, is seen as the force
occupied the public sphere of the polis.
that changed the economic family and is basically responsible for
the "modern family."
The notion of separate spheres managed to prevail in the dominant
mainstream consciousness as well-founded, or at the very worst
harmless, until the mid-20th century when historians and feminist
theorists began to take a much more critical stance toward the
134
separate spheres ideology and its impact on women's lives. Betty
Biological Determinism
Friedan's The Feminine Mystique asserted that women were being
The separation between female and male spheres was heavily
forced to rely on their husbands and children as the sole sources of
influenced by biological determinism, the notion that women
their identity by an historically constructed oppressive paradigm,
and men are naturally suitable for different social roles due to their
not by any "intrinsic" predisposition. Drawing on Friedan, historian
biological and genetic makeup. The idea of biological determinism
Barbara Welter identified a "Cult of True Womanhood," an ideal of
was popular during the Age of Enlightenment and among such
femininity prevalent among the upper and middle classes in the
thinkers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau who argued that women were
19th century. "True women" were supposed to be pious, pure,
inherently different from men and should devote themselves to
Figure 20.25
reproduction and domesticity. Women were considered passive,
19th-century
dependent on men, and, due to their reproductive capacity, ill-
storekeeping
family,
suited for life outside the domestic realm. Rousseau described
Nantucket
women's primary duties in Emile, or On Education, stating that
19th-century
"women's entire education should be planned in relation to men. To
storekeeping
family,
please men, to be useful to them, to win their love and respect, to
Nantucket
raise them as children, to care for them as adults, correct and
console them, make their lives sweet and pleasant; these are
women's duties in all ages and these are what they should be taught
from childhood."
submissive, and domestic. Domesticity, in particular, was regarded
as a laudable virtue as the home was considered a woman's proper
Other Influences
sphere. Unlike Tocqueville, Welter and other 20th century
The popular beliefs about inherent sex differences remained deeply
historians were critical of the separate spheres ideology, seeing it as
embedded in popular consciousness throughout the Progressive
a source of women's denigration.
Era. By the early 20th century, however, dissident anthropologists
and other social scientists began to challenge the biological
135
determination of human behavior, revealing great similarities
Mass Marketing, Advertising,
between men and women and suggesting that many sex differences
were socially constructed. Despite these new insights and social and
and Consumer Culture
economic changes such as women's entry into the labor force, the
By 1900, advances in consumer education and mass
separate spheres ideology did not disappear. Women's confinement
production helped advertising to become firmly
to the private sphere was reinforced by cultural and legal
established as an industry.
arrangements, such as the lack of women's suffrage, legal
prohibitions against women undertaking professions like medicine
and law, and discouragement from obtaining higher education.
KEY POINTS
Strong support for the separation of spheres came from anti-
In 1840, Volney B. Palmer established the roots of the
suffragists who relied on the notion of inherent sexual differences to
modern day advertising agency in Philadelphia by buying
argue that women were unfit for political participation.
large amounts of space in various newspapers at a discount
and then reselling to advertisers at a higher rate.
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Prior to the Industrial Revolution, members of the working
age-1870-1900/work-in-industrial-america/the-family-economy-
classes worked long hours for low wages and had little time or
women-and-children/
money left for consumer activities.
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Frederick Winslow Taylor brought his theory of scientific
management to the organization of the assembly line in
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commodity industries which unleashed incredible
productivity and cost savings and ushered in the era of mass
consumption.
Advertising is a form of communication used to encourage or
persuade an audience to take some action. Most commonly, the
desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a
commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising
136
is also common. The purpose of advertising may also be to reassure
advertisements became a problem, which later ushered in the
employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful.
regulation of advertising content.
Advertising History
Industrialization and Economical Growth
Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters.
As the economy expanded during the 19th century, advertising grew
Commercial messages and political campaign displays have been
as well. In June 1836, the French newspaper
found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Wall or rock
La Presse was the first to include paid
Figure 20.26 1895 ad
painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an
advertising in its pages, allowing it to lower its
for weight-gain
product
ancient advertising form, which today is still present in many parts
price, extend its readership, and increase
of Asia, Africa, and South America.
profitability. Around 1840, Volney B. Palmer
established the roots of the modern day
As the towns and cities of the Middle Ages began to grow, and the
advertising agency in Philadelphia. In 1842,
general populace was unable to read and so signs that today would
Palmer bought large amounts of space in
use an image associated with their trade such as a boot for a cobbler
various newspapers at a discounted rate then
or a suit for a tailor. Fruits and vegetables were sold in the city
resold the space at higher rates to advertisers.
square from the backs of carts and wagons and their proprietors
The actual ad was still prepared by the
used street callers (town criers) to announce their whereabouts for
company wishing to advertise, making Palmer
customers.
a space broker. The situation changed in the
As education advanced literacy, advertising expanded to include
late 19th century when the advertising agency
1895 ad for weight-
handbills. In the 18th century, advertisements started to appear in
of N.W. Ayer & Son was founded. Ayer and
gain product
weekly newspapers in England. These early print advertisements
Son offered to plan, create, and execute
were used mainly to promote books and newspapers as well as
complete advertising campaigns for its customers. By 1900, the
medicines, which were increasingly sought after as disease ravaged
advertising agency had become the focal point of creative planning,
Europe. However, false advertising and so-called "quack"
and advertising was firmly established as a profession. Around the
137
same time, Charles-Louis Havas extended the services of his news
but not to the same extent as other sectors. Members of the working
agency, Havas, to include
classes worked long hours for low wages and little time or money
advertisement brokerage, making it
Figure 20.27 1900 Coca-Cola
was left for consumer activities.
ad
the first French group to organize.
Capital goods and infrastructure were quite durable and took a long
Philadelphia's N. W. Ayer & Son,
time to be used up. Henry Ford and other leaders of industry
opened in 1869, was the first full-
understood that mass production pre-supposed mass consumption.
service agency to assume responsibility
After observing the assembly lines in the meat packing industry,
for advertising content.
Frederick Winslow Taylor brought his theory of scientific
At the turn of the century, there were
management to the organization of the assembly line in other
few career choices for women in
industries which unleashed incredible productivity and reduced the
business; however, advertising was one
costs of all commodities produced on assembly lines.
of the few. Since women were
While previously the norm had been the scarcity of resources, the
responsible for most of the purchasing
1900 Coca-Cola ad
Industrial Revolution created an unusual economic situation. For
done in their household, advertisers
the first time in history products were available in outstanding
and agencies recognized the value of women's insight during the
quantities, at outstandingly low prices, being thus available to
creative process. In fact, the first American advertising to use a
virtually everyone. So began the era of mass consumption ( Figure
"sexual" sell was created by a woman for a soap product.
20.27).
A great turn in consumerism arrived just before the Industrial
Revolution. In the nineteenth century, capitalist development and
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age-1870-1900/work-in-industrial-america/mass-marketing-
the industrial revolution were primarily focused on the capital
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transportation networks). At that time, agricultural commodities,
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essential consumer goods, and commercial activities had developed
138
Sears Roebucks
corporate name became
Figure 20.28
Sears, Roebuck, and Co.
Sears,
Sears, Roebuck, and Co. was founded in 1886 in
Roebuck,
Mail Order Catalog.
and Co.
Chicago, Illinois.
Catalog for
Richard Sears knew that
Women
farmers often brought
A Sears
catalog for
KEY POINTS
their crops to town,
women's
items.
The Sears catalog offered mail ordered supplies for farmers
where they could be sold
for less money than local stores.
and shipped. Before the
Sears printed its first catalog in 1888.
Sears catalog, farmers
The catalog grew to include sewing machines, bicycles,
typically bought supplies,
sporting goods, automobiles, dolls, refrigerators, stoves, and
often at high prices, from local general stores. Sears took advantage
groceries.
of this by clearly stating prices in his catalog. This allowed the
In 1906, Sears opened its catalog plant and the Sears
consumers to know what Sears was selling and at what price; they
Merchandise Building Tower.
could order goods by mail and conveniently obtain them. The
catalog business quickly grew.
When Richard Warren Sears was a railroad station agent in North
The first Sears catalog was published in 1888 ( Figure 20.28). By
Redwood, Minnesota, he received an impressive shipment of
1894, the Sears catalog had grown to 322 pages, featuring sewing
watches from a Chicago jeweler, which the local cube jeweler did
machines, bicycles, sporting goods, automobiles (produced from
not want. Sears purchased the watches, sold them for a considerable
19051915 by Lincoln Motor Car Works of Chicago, not related to
profit to other station agents, and then ordered more for resale.
the current Ford Motor Company brand of the same name), and a
Soon, he started a business selling watches through mail order
host of other new items.
catalogs. The next year, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he met
Alvah C. Roebuck, who joined him in his business. In 1893, the
139
Chicago clothing
the days of outhouses and a lack of readily available toilet paper, the
Figure 20.29
Richard
manufacturer Julius
pages of the mass-mailed catalog were used as toilet paper.
Sears
Rosenwald became a
Portrait
Alvah Roebuck returned to the organization during the Great
partial owner in 1895. He
Richard
Depression and worked as a spokesperson until his death in 1948.
Sears, the
organized the company
co-founder
One of his reasons for leaving Sears in 1895 was the stress the
so that it could handle
and owner of
business placed upon him; he later took some delight in pointing
Sears,
orders on an economical
Roebuck,
out his longevity in comparison to the much shorter life of Richard
and efficient basis.
and Co.
Sears. In the 1970s, the name "Roebuck" was dropped from the
Shortly after Rosenwald
trade name of the stores, though not from the official corporate
joined the company,
name.
Alvah Roebuck resigned due to ill health; the company retained his
name. By the following year, dolls, refrigerators, stoves, and
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
groceries were added to the catalog. Sears, Roebuck, and Co. soon
age-1870-1900/work-in-industrial-america/sears-roebucks/
developed a reputation for quality products and customer
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satisfaction. By 1895, the company was producing a 532-page
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catalog. In 1893, sales exceeded $400,000, and two years later they
had increased to more than $750,000.
In 1906, Sears opened its catalog plant and the Sears Merchandise
Building Tower. By that time, the Sears catalog had become known
in the industry as "the Consumers' Bible." In 1933, Sears, Roebuck,
and Co. produced the first of its famous Christmas catalogs, known
as the "Sears Wishbook," a catalog featuring toys and gifts, separate
from the annual Christmas Catalog. The catalog also became a
euphemism for toilet paper, particularly among rural dwellers; in
140
Section 7
The Transformation of the West
The Transformation of the West
Range Wars
Territorial Government
Tenants, Sharecroppers, and Migrants
The Diversity of the West
Pioneer Women
Gold Fever in the West
Mining on the Comstock Lode
The Migratory Stream
African American Migration
Ranchers, Cowboys, and Cattle
The End of the Open Range
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west/
141
The Transformation of the
Transformation of the West
West
The American West was vastly transformed during the Gilded Age.
As railroads traversed the nation, crime became a major problem,
The West was most notably transformed through the
and the rise of industry prompted a response by environmentalists.
railroads, increase in crime rates, and the rise of
industry during the Gilded Age.
Transcontinental Railroads
The Pacific Railroad Act was passed in 1862, which authorized
KEY POINTS
construction of both the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific
railroad lines. Four rich San Francisco merchants, Leland Stanford,
The 1862 Pacific Railroad Act authorized construction of the
transcontinental railroad, which was completed in 1869.
Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins, took charge
Lumber, coal, and mining industries left long-term
of these lines. Construction was completed in 1869, when a golden
environmental damage in the West.
spike ( Figure 20.30) was hammered that linked the western and
Most of the manual laborers on the Central Pacific were new
eastern halves on May 10, 1869, touching off a national celebration.
arrivals from China.
The six transcontinental railroads built in the Gilded Age
Figure 20.30
were the Northern Pacific, Milwaukee Road, Great Northern,
Golden Spike
Union Pacific, Central Pacific, and Southern Pacific.
1869
The Golden
Major banditry was conducted by the infamous outlaws of the
Spike united
West, including Jesse James, Billy the Kid, the Dalton Gang,
the Central
Black Bart, Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, and hundreds
Pacific and
of others who preyed on banks, trains, and stagecoaches.
Union Pacific
railroad lines.
142
Coast-to-coast passenger travel in 8 days now replaced wagon trains
holding, and convicting wrongdoers. Once convicted, however,
or sea voyages that took 6 to 10 months and cost much more.
punishment was severe.
In the first year of operation, 186970, 150,000 passengers made
Criminals avoided the cities, which left deputies the main chore of
the long trip. Settlers were encouraged with promotions to come
knocking down drunks and hauling them away before they got hurt.
West on free scouting trips to buy railroad land on easy terms
They also disarmed cowboys who violated gun control edicts, tried
spread over several years. The railroads had "Immigration Bureaus"
to prevent dueling, and dealt with flagrant breaches of gambling
which advertised packaged low-cost deals including passage and
and prostitution ordinances.
land on easy terms for farmers in Germany and Scandinavia. The
Banditry
settlers became customers of the railroads, shipping their crops and
cattle out, and bringing in manufactured products. All
Banditry was a major issue in California after 1849, as thousands of
manufacturers benefited from the lower costs of transportation and
young men, detached from family or community, moved into a land
the much larger radius of business.
with few law enforcement mechanisms. San Francisco solved the
problem with informal citizens' vigilance committees that gave
Six transcontinental railroads were built in total during the Gilded
drumhead trials and death sentences to well-known offenders. In
Age. They opened up the West to farmers and ranchers. From north
rural areas Joaquin Murieta, Jack Powers, and other bandits
to south they were the Northern Pacific, Milwaukee Road, and
terrorized the state. Fatal duels were often fought to uphold
Great Northern along the Canadian border; the Union Pacific/
personal honor.
Central Pacific in the middle; and to the south the Santa Fe, and the
Southern Pacific.
Some of the banditry of the West was carried out by Mexicans and
Indians against white targets of opportunity along the U.S. Mexico
Law and Order
border, particularly in Texas, Arizona, and California. The second
Lawlessness was common in the West. Criminals found many
major type of banditry was conducted by the infamous outlaws of
opportunities to rob pioneer families of their possessions, while the
the West, including Jesse James, Billy the Kid, the Dalton Gang,
few underfunded lawmen had great difficulty detecting, arresting,
143
Black Bart, Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, and hundreds of
argued that careful management would not only enhance these
others who preyed on banks, trains, and stagecoaches.
goals but also increase the long-term economic benefits to society
by planned harvesting and environmental protections. Roosevelt
Figure 20.31
worked his entire career to put the issue high on the national
The United
agenda. He was deeply committed to conserving natural resources.
States
1884-1889
He worked closely with Gifford Pinchot and used the Newlands
U.S. States
Reclamation Act of 1902 to promote federal construction of dams to
and
Territories,
irrigate small farms and placed 230 million acres under federal
1884-1889
protection. Roosevelt set aside more Federal land, national parks,
and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined.
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age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-west/the-transformation-of-
the-west/
Conservation and Environmentalism
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Concern with the protection of the environment became a new issue
in the late 19th century, pitting different interests against one
another. On the one side were the lumber and coal companies who
called for maximum exploitation of natural resources to maximize
jobs, economic growth, and their own profit.
In the center were the conservationists, led by Theodore Roosevelt
and his coalition of outdoorsmen, sportsmen, bird watchers, and
scientists. They wanted to reduce waste. They emphasized the value
of natural beauty for tourism and ample wildlife for hunters; they
144
Territorial Government
treaty, then it sent surveyors to map and document the land. By the
20th century, Washington bureaucracies managed the federal lands
The private profit motive dominated the movement
such as the General Land Office in the Interior department and,
westward, but the federal government played a
after 1891, the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture.
supporting role in securing land.
After 1900, dam building and flood control became major concerns.
Transportation was a key issue and the Army, especially the Army
KEY POINTS
Corps of Engineers, was given full responsibility for facilitating
The president appointed territorial governors.
navigation on the rivers. The steamboat, first used on the Ohio
A territorial governor acted as a militia commander, a local
River in 1811, made possible inexpensive travel using the river
superintendent of Indian affairs, and the state liaison with
systems, especially the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and their
federal agencies.
tributaries. Army expeditions up the Missouri River in 1818-25
Elected legislatures dealt with more local issues.
allowed engineers to improve the technology.
The General Land Office and the Forest Service managed
federal lands.
Territorial Governance after the Civil War
The Homestead Act granted 160 acres to each settler who
With the war over, the federal government focused on improving
improved the land for five years.
the governance of the territories. It subdivided several territories,
preparing them for statehood, following the precedents set by the
The Federal Government and the West
Northwest Ordinance of 1787. It standardized procedures and the
supervision of territorial governments, taking away some local
The private profit motive dominated the movement westward, but
powers, and imposing much "red tape", growing the federal
the federal government played a supporting role in securing land
bureaucracy significantly. Federal involvement in the territories was
through treaties and setting up territorial governments, with
considerable. In addition to direct subsidies, the federal
governors appointed by the president. The federal government first
government maintained military posts, provided safety from Indian
acquired western territory from other nations or native tribes by
attacks, bankrolled treaty obligations, conducted surveys and land
145
sales, built roads, staffed land offices, made harbor improvements,
scientific teams would undertake reconnaissance of the land and
and subsidized overland mail delivery. Territorial citizens came to
determine Native American habitation. Through treaty, land title
both decry federal power and local corruption, and at the same
would be ceded by the resident tribes. Then surveyors would create
time, lament that more federal dollars were not sent their way.
detailed maps marking the land into squares of six miles (10 km) on
Territorial governors were political appointees and beholden to
each side, subdivided first into one square mile blocks, then into
Washington so they usually governed with a light hand, allowing the
160-acre (0.65 km2) lots. Townships would be formed from the lots
legislatures to deal with the local issues. In addition to his role as
and sold at public auction. Unsold land could be purchased from
civil governor, a territorial governor was also a militia commander,
the land office at a minimum price of $1.25 per acre.
a local superintendent of Indian affairs, and the state liaison with
Figure 20.32
federal agencies. The legislatures, on the other hand, spoke for the
Camp
local citizens and they were given considerable leeway by the federal
Supply
government to make local law. These improvements to governance
Stockade,
1869
still left plenty of room for profiteering. As Mark Twain wrote while
Camp
working for his brother, the secretary of Nevada, "The government
Supply
Stockade,
of my country snubs honest simplicity, but fondles artistic villainy,
1869
and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if
I had remained in the public service a year or two" (Roughing It
(1913), p.181). "Territorial rings", corrupt associations of local
As part of public policy, the government would award public land to
politicians and business owners buttressed with federal patronage,
certain groups such as veterans, through the use of " land scrip".
embezzled from Indian tribes and local citizens, especially in the
The scrip traded in a financial market, often at below the $1.25 per
Dakota and New Mexico territories.
acre minimum price set by law, which gave speculators, investors,
In acquiring, preparing, and distributing public land to private
and developers another way to acquire large tracts of land cheaply.
ownership, the federal government generally followed the system
Land policy became politicized by competing factions and interests,
set forth by the Land Ordinance of 1785. Federal exploration and
and the question of slavery on new lands was contentious. As a
146
counter to land speculators, farmers formed "claims clubs" to
The Diversity of the West
enable them to buy larger tracts than the 160-acre (0.65 km2)
allotments by trading among themselves at controlled prices. In
European immigrants to the U.S. in the 1800s often
1862, Congress passed three important bills that impacted the land
built and lived in communities of similar religious and
system. The Homestead Act granted 160 acres (0.65 km2) to each
ethnic backgrounds.
settler who improved the land for five years, whether citizens or
non-citizens and including squatters and women, for no more than
KEY POINTS
modest filing fees. The law was especially important in the settling
The railroad offered the Chinese lower wages and more
of the Plains states, although many farmers purchased their land
dangerous jobs than white workers.
from railroads at low rates. The Pacific Railway Acts of 1862
Significant numbers of Japanese arrived in California as
provided for the land needed to build the transcontinental railroad.
permanent settlers.
The land given the railroads alternated with government-owned
Mormons migrated to the valley of the Great Salt Lake to
tracts saved for distribution to homesteaders.
escape religious persecution in Illinois and Missouri.
In the Old West, Finns went to Minnesota and Michigan,
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Swedes to South Dakota, Norwegians to North Dakota, Irish
age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-west/territorial-
to Montana, Chinese to San Francisco, German Mennonites
government/
in Kansas, and German Jews to Portland, Oregon.
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African-Americans served in all capacities in the west,
including as fur traders, miners, cowboys, Indian fighters,
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scouts, woodsmen, farm hands, saloon workers, cooks, and
outlaws.
The all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas was founded in
1877.
147
European Immigrants
organized settlement that predates the Exodusters but is often
associated with them.
European immigrants to the U.S. in the 1800s often built and lived
in communities of similar religious and ethnic backgrounds. For
Asians and Hispanics
example, many Finns went to Minnesota and Michigan, Swedes to
The California Gold Rush encouraged large migrations of Hispanic
South Dakota, Norwegians to North Dakota, Irish to Montana,
and Asian people which continued after the Civil War. Chinese
Chinese to San Francisco, German Mennonites in Kansas, and
migrants, many of whom were impoverished peasants, provided the
German Jews to Portland, Oregon.
major part of the workforce for the building of Central Pacific
African Americans
portion of the transcontinental railroad. Most of them went home
by 1870 when the railroad was finished but thousands stayed on.
African Americans served in westward expeditions as fur traders,
They also worked in mining, agriculture, and small businesses,
miners, cowboys, Indian fighters, scouts, woodsmen, farm hands,
many living in San Francisco. Significant numbers of Japanese also
saloon workers, cooks, and outlaws. The famed Buffalo Soldiers
settled in Hawaii and California permanently. Many Hispanics who
were in the all-black regiments of the U.S. Army (with white
had been living in the former territories of New Spain lost their land
officers). They served in numerous western forts. About 4000
rights to fraud and governmental action when Texas, New Mexico,
blacks came to California during the Gold Rush. In 1879, after the
and California were formed. In some cases, Hispanics were simply
end of Reconstruction in the
driven off their land. In Texas, the situation was most acute, as the
Figure 20.33 Army Buffalo soldier
South, thousands of Freedmen
" Tejanos," who made up about 75% of the population, ended up as
moved from Southern states to
laborers employed by the large white ranches which took over their
Kansas. Known as the
land. In New Mexico, only six percent of all claims by Hispanics
Exodusters, they were lured
were confirmed by the Claims Court. As a result, many Hispanics
by the prospect of good, cheap
became permanently migrating workers, seeking seasonal
land and better treatment. The
employment in farming, mining, ranching, and the railroads.
all-black town of Nicodemus,
Border towns sprang up with barrios of intense poverty. In
Kansas, founded in 1877, was an
Army Buffalo soldier
148
response, some Hispanics joined labor unions, and in a few cases,
underground. Meanwhile, aggressive missionary work in the U.S.
led revolts. The California, a "Robin Hood," Joaquin Murieta, led a
and Europe brought a flood of Mormon converts to Utah. Finally in
gang in the 1850s which burned houses, killed miners, and robbed
1890 the Church leadership announced polygamy was no longer a
stagecoaches. Starting around 1859 in Texas, Juan Cortina led a 20-
central tenet, and reached a compromise, with Utah becoming a
year campaign against Texas land grabbers and the Texas Rangers.
state and the Mormons dividing into Republicans and Democrats.
The Mormons
The Quakers
Brigham Young, seeking to leave American jurisdiction and escape
The state of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 1682, as
religious persecution in Illinois and Missouri, led the Mormons to
a safe place for Quakers, or the Society of Friends, to live and
the valley of the Great Salt Lake, owned at the time by Mexico but
practice their faith. Quakers have been a significant part of the
not controlled by it. A hundred rural Mormon settlements sprang
movements for the abolition of slavery, promoting equal rights for
up in what Young called "Deseret," which he ruled theocratically
women, and peace. They have also promoted education and the
and later became Utah Territory. Young's Salt Lake City settlement
humane treatment of prisoners and the mentally ill, through the
served as the hub of their network. The communalism, polygamy,
founding or reforming of various institutions. Quaker entrepreneurs
and advanced farming practices of the Mormons helped them to
played a central role in forging the Industrial Revolution, especially
succeed. They sold goods to passing wagon trains and got along
in England and Pennsylvania.
with local Indian tribes because Young decided it was cheaper to
feed the Indians than fight them.
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Education became a high priority of the beleaguered group; it
west/
helped to reduce heresy and maintain group solidarity. The U.S.
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government threatened the Mormon kingdom when it took
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ownership of Utah in 1848 and rejected theocracy and polygamy.
After the Civil War the federal government systematically took
control of Utah away and drove the church's leadership
149
Gold Fever in the West
including some Americans. With the outbreak of war with Mexico in
1846, the U.S. sent in Frmont and an army unit, as well as naval
The gold rush radically changed the California economy
forces, and quickly took control. As the war was ending gold was
and brought in an array of professionals to the area.
discovered in the north, and the word soon spread worldwide.
The gold rush radically changed the California economy and
KEY POINTS
brought in an array of professionals, including precious metal
Prospectors came to California by sailing around South
specialists, merchants, doctors, and attorneys, who supplemented
America, sailing through the Panama Canal, or taking the
the numerous miners, saloonkeepers, gamblers, and prostitutes. A
California Trail across the country.
San Francisco newspaper stated, "The whole country... resounds to
Between 1846 and 1852, the white population of California
the sordid cry of gold! Gold! Gold! while the field is left half planted,
increased by over 200,000.
the house half built, and everything neglected but the manufacture
The gold rush brought out West precious metal specialists,
of shovels and pick axes." Over 250,000 miners found a total of
merchants, doctors, attorneys, miners, saloonkeepers,
gamblers, and prostitutes.
more than $200 million in gold in the five years of the California
Prospectors discovered gold, silver, copper, and other
Gold Rush. As thousands arrived, however, fewer and fewer miners
minerals in the mountainous areas of the triangle from New
struck their fortune, and most ended exhausted and broke.
Mexico to California to South Dakota.
Thousands of "Forty-Niners" reached California, by sailing around
The city of San Francisco developed in the 1860s out of the
gold and silver rushes.
South America (or taking a short-cut through disease-ridden
Over 250,000 miners found a total of more than $200
Panama), or walked the California trail. The population soared to
million in gold in the five years of the California Gold Rush.
over 200,000 in 1852, mostly in the gold districts which stretched
into the mountains east of San Francisco. San Francisco saw hastily
erected housingoften docked ships whose crews had headed for
In 1846 about 10,000 Californios (Hispanics) lived in California,
the mines. Out in the gold fields living conditions were primitive,
primarily on cattle ranches in what is now the Los Angeles area. A
though the mild climate proved attractive. Supplies were expensive
few hundred foreigners were scattered in the northern districts,
150
Figure 20.34
independent miners were displaced as mines were purchased and
San Francisco
run by mining companies, who then hired low-paid miners. As gold
Harbor c.
1850.
became harder to find and more difficult to extract, individual
Between 1847
prospectors gave way to paid work gangs, specialized skills, and
and 1870, the
mining machinery. Bigger mines, however, caused greater
population of
San Francisco
environmental damage. In the mountains, shaft mining
exploded from
predominated, producing large amounts of waste.
500 to
150,000.
The mountainous areas of the triangle from New Mexico to
California to South Dakota contained hundreds of hard rock mining
sites, where prospectors discovered gold, silver, copper, and other
and food poor, typical diets consisting mostly of pork, beans, and
minerals (as well as some soft-rock coal). Temporary mining camps
whiskey. These highly male, transient communities with no
sprang up overnight; most became ghost towns when the ores were
established institutions were prone to high levels of violence,
depleted.
drunkenness, profanity, and greed-driven behavior. Without courts
or law officers in the mining communities to enforce claims and
The discovery of the Comstock Lode, containing vast amounts of
justice, miners developed their own ad hoc legal system, based on
silver, resulted in the Nevada boomtowns of Virginia City, Carson
the " mining codes" used in other mining communities abroad.
City, and Silver City. The wealth from silver, more than from gold,
Each camp had its own rules and often handed out justice by
fueled the maturation of San Francisco in the 1860s and helped the
popular vote, sometimes acting fairly and at times exercising
rise of some of its wealthiest families, such as that of George Hearst.
vigilantismwith Indians, Mexicans, and Chinese generally
Prospectors spread out and hunted for gold and silver along the
receiving the harshest sentences.
Rockies and in the southwest. Soon gold was discovered in
Camps spread out north and south of the American River and
Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Montana, and South
eastward into the Sierras. In a few years, nearly all of the
Dakota (by 1864).
151
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Mining on the Comstock
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Lode
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The Comstock Lode was the first major U.S. discovery
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of silver ore, located in what is now Virginia City,
Nevada in 1857.
KEY POINTS
Mining in the Comstock Lode declined after 1874.
Mining the Comstock Lode ceased in 1922.
Miners uncovered 6,971,641 tons and 640 pounds of ore in
the Comstock District from 1860 to June 30, 1880.
Large-scale mines were excavated with steam and hydraulic
pumping equipment.
The Virginia City and Gold Hill Water Company built the
water system that supplied much of the area.
Begun in 1869, the Virginia and Truckee Railroad eventually
connected the Comstock Lode to the Central Pacific Railroad.
Background
The Comstock Lode was the first major U.S. discovery of silver ore,
located in what is now Virginia City, Nevada, on the eastern slope
152
of Mount Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range. After the
Fate of the Discoverers
discovery was made public in 1859, prospectors rushed to the area
The miners who discovered the mines and the investors who bought
to stake their claims. Mining camps soon thrived in the vicinity,
their claims did not know the size of the strike. The size, richness,
which became bustling centers of wealth. The Comstock Lode is
and cost of exploiting a buried
notable not just for the immense fortunes it generated and the large
Figure 20.35 Miners
ore body is very hard to
role those fortunes had in the growth of Nevada and San Francisco,
estimateeven today. Most of
but also for the advances in mining technology that it spurred. The
them assumed they had made a
mines declined after 1874, and eventually ceased in 1922.
small to modest strike like
The Discovery of Silver
nearly all other gold strikes. All
of them knew they did not have
The discovery of silver in Nevada (then western Utah Territory) in
the money or expertise to
1859 caused considerable excitement in California and throughout
investigate the strike
the United States. The excitement was the greatest since the
Comstock Miners, 1880s
thoroughly. The size of the
discovery of gold in California ten years earlier at Sutter's Mill.
strike and its potential value would take many years of extensive
Gold was discovered in this regionthe Gold Canyonin the spring
work, thousands of miners, and the investments of millions of
of 1850 by a company of Mormon emigrants who were part of the
dollarswhich none of them had.
Mormon Battalion. After arriving much too early to cross the Sierra,
Early Mining and Milling
they camped on the Carson river in the vicinity of Dayton to wait for
the mountain snow to melt. They soon found gold along the gravel
The ore was first extracted through surface diggings, but these were
river banks by panning, but they left when the mountains were
quickly exhausted and miners had to tunnel underground to reach
passable, as they anticipated taking out more gold on reaching
ore bodies. Unlike most silver ore deposits, which occur in long thin
California. Other emigrants followed, camped on the canyon and
veins, those of the Comstock Lode occurred in discrete masses,
went to work at mining.
often hundreds of feet thick. The ore was so soft it could be removed
by shovel. Although this allowed the ore to be easily excavated, the
153
weakness of the surrounding material resulted in frequent and
The Migratory Stream
deadly cave-ins. The excavations were carried to depths of more
than 3,200 feet (1,000 m).
Migrants to the Western US sought new economic
opportunities such as larger, cheaper, and more fertile
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parcels of land.
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KEY POINTS
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Wagon trails included the Oregon Trail, California Trail,
Bozeman Trail, and Mormon Trail.
The wagon trails were 2,000 miles long and carried at least
400,000 migrants.
The first wagon trains left from Independence, Missouri and
went to Fort Hall, Idaho and, later, the Willamette Valley in
Oregon.
Migration After the Civil War
After the Civil War, many people from the East Coast and Europe
were lured west by reports from relatives and by extensive
advertising campaigns promising "the Best Prairie Lands," "Low
Prices," "Large Discounts For Cash," and "Better Terms Than Ever!"
The new railroads provided the opportunity for migrants to go out
and take a look, with special family tickets, the cost of which could
be applied to land purchases offered by the railroads. Farming the
plains was indeed more difficult than it had been back east. Water
154
management was more critical, lightning fires were more prevalent,
been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Wagon trails were cleared
the weather was more extreme, and rainfall was less predictable.
further and further west, eventually reaching all the way to the
Willamette Valley in Oregon. The eastern half of the trail was also
The fearful stayed home. The actual migrants looked beyond fears
used by travelers on the California Trail (from 1843), Bozeman Trail
of the unknown. Their chief motivation to move west was to find a
(from 1863), and Mormon Trail (from 1847), up to the respective
better economic life than the one they'd had out east. Farmers
locations at which the migrants on each turned off to their separate
sought larger, cheaper, and more fertile parcels of land; merchants
destinations.
and tradesmen sought new customers and new leadership
opportunities. Laborers wanted higher paying work and better
In the "Wagon Train of 1843," some 700 to 1,000 migrants headed
working conditions.
for Oregon. Missionary Marcus Whitman led the wagons on the last
leg. In 1846, the Barlow Road was completed around Mount Hood,
The Oregon Trail
providing a rough but completely passable wagon trail from the
To get to the rich new lands of the West Coast, some people sailed
Missouri river to the Willamette Valley: about 2,000 miles. Some
for six months, but 400,000 others traveled 2,000 miles in six
returned eastward. They included pioneers who were discouraged
months in wagon trains that left from Missouri. They moved in
by illness, death, or financial losses. Some returned with gold from
large groups under an
California or were headed to pick up their families and move them
Figure 20.36 The Oregon Trail
experienced wagonmaster,
all back east. These "go-backs" were a major source of information
bringing their clothing, farm
and excitement about the wonders and promisesand dangers and
supplies, and animals. They
disappointmentsof the far west.
followed the main rivers,
crossed the mountains, and
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age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-west/the-migratory-
ended in Oregon and
stream/
California. By 1836, when
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The Oregon Trail
the first migrant wagon
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train was organized in Independence, Missouri, a wagon trail had
155
African American Migration
blacks following the Civil War. One of the most important figures of
the Exodus was Benjamin "Pap" Singleton ( Figure 20.37). To escape The Exodus of 1879, also
known as the Kansas
the Ku Klux Klan, the White League, and the Jim Crow laws, which
Exodus/Exoduster Movement, was the first general
continued to make them second-class citizens after Reconstruction,
migration of blacks following the Civil War.
as many as forty thousand Exodusters left the South to settle in
Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
KEY POINTS
In the 1880s, blacks bought more than 20,000 acres of land in
Black churches in St. Louis formed the Colored Relief Board
Kansas, and several of the settlements made during this time (e.g.
and the Kansas Freedmen's Aid Society to help those
Nicodemus, Kansas, which was founded in 1877) still exist today.
stranded in St. Louis reach Kansas.
This sudden wave of migration came as a great surprise to many
Freed slaves known as exodusters moved from Southern
white Americans, who did not realize that black southerners were
states to Kansas.
free in name only. Many blacks left the South with the belief that
Exodusters bought more than 20,000 acres of land in
Kansas.
they were receiving free passage to Kansas, only to be stranded in
St. Louis, Missouri. Black churches in St. Louis, together with
African-Americans fled to Kansas after Reconstruction to
escape the Ku Klux Klan, the White League, and the Jim
Eastern philanthropists,
Crow laws.
Figure 20.37
formed the Colored Relief
Benjamin
African-American migrants formed the all-black town of
Board and the Kansas
"Pap"
Nicodemus, Kansas in 1877.
Freedmen's Aid Society to
Singleton
Benjamin
help those stranded in St.
"Pap"
Louis to reach Kansas.
Singleton
The Exodus of 1879, also known as the Kansas Exodus and the
encouraged
Exoduster Movement, refers to the mass movement of African
African-
The Kansas Fever Exodus
American
Americans from states along the Mississippi River to Kansas in the
refers specifically to six
migration to
late nineteenth century, and was the first general migration of
Kansas
thousand blacks who
156
moved from Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas to Kansas. Many in
Ranchers, Cowboys, and
Louisiana were inspired to leave the state when the 1879 Louisiana
Constitutional Convention decided that voting rights were a matter
Cattle
for the state, not federal, government, thereby clearing the way for
During the late 1800s, many range wars erupted
the disenfranchisement of Louisiana's black population. The
between ranchers over water rights, grazing rights, or
Exodus was not universally praised by African Americans. Indeed,
property and border disagreements.
Frederick Douglass was a critic of the movement. It was not that
Douglass disagreed with the Exodusters in principle, but he felt that
the movement was ill-timed and poorly organized.
KEY POINTS
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
Until the invention of barbed wire in the 1870s, ranchers let
their livestock graze on open-range public land.
age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-west/african-american-
migration/
Unbranded cattle were known as "mavericks" and could
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become the property of anyone able to capture and brand the
unmarked animals.
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The cowboy tradition grew out of the established Hispanic
system of hacendados and vaqueros in the Southwest.
The Homestead Act of 1862 brought in an increased number
of ranchers.
The earliest cowboys traveled on the Santa Fe Trail.
Range Wars
A range war is a type of armed conflict, typically undeclared, which
occurs within agrarian or stock-rearing societies. The subject of
157
these conflicts is the control of "open range" (or range land freely
the Tewksbury brothers. The Grahams took the deal and went to
used for cattle grazing). Typically triggered by disputes over water
work for Stinson with the expressed vow to drive the Tewksburys
rights or grazing rights for this land, they often involve farmers and
out of Pleasant Valley. The case against the Tewksburys was thrown
ranchers. Formal military involvement, other than to separate
out of court for lack of evidence. The notion that this was a sheep v.
warring parties, is rare. Range wars were known to occur in the
cattle range war came about in part because the first killing in the
American West. Famous range wars included the Lincoln County
feud was the murder of a Basque sheep herder who worked for the
War, the Pleasant Valley War, the Mason County War, and the
Daggs Brothers sheep ranch in northern Arizona. In 1885, the
Johnson County Range War, sometimes fought between local
Tewksbury brothers leased some sheep from Daggs, and they sent
residents and gunmen hired by absentee landowners.
the sheep to Pleasant Valley with the Basque sheep herder. The
Basque sheep herder was murdered and robbed by Andy Cooper,
1882 - 1885
who was one of the Graham faction. Overall, between twenty to
During the late 1880s, a number of range wars erupted between
thirty-four deaths resulted directly from the feud.
cattlemen and sheepmen over water rights, grazing rights, and
The Wells Outfit
property and border disagreements. There had been quarrels
between the work hands of both factions as far back as 1882,
A local cattleman, Fred Wells, had borrowed a lot of money in
stemming from accusations of cattle and horse rustling leveled at
Globe, Arizona to build back his cattle herd. The Wells clan had no
both parties; as a result, some Tewksburys and Grahams were
stake in the feud, but his creditors did. Wells was told to join their
arrested on charges made by another rancher, Jim Stinson, that
forces in driving off the opposition's cattle or forfeit his own stock.
they all had taken part in rustling cattle from Stinson's ranch. There
When Wells refused, his creditors demanded immediate payment of
was also an undercurrent of racial prejudice against the
the loans and sent two deputies to attach his cattle. Wells gathered
Tewksburys, who were half-Indian, and referred to as "damn
his clan and cattle together along with a young ranch hand and
blacks" by the Grahams and by Stinson. Stinson made a deal with
began driving his herd into the mountains, hotly pursued by the
the Grahams to pay them each fifty head of cattle and see that they
deputies. Thus Burnham was drawn into the conflict in 1884, and
never served jail time if they would turn the state's evidence against
subsequently marked for death.
158
Figure 20.
1888 - 1892
38
Johnson
Over the next few years, several lynchings and unsolved murders of
County
War
members of both factions took place, often committed by masked
Invaders,
men. Both the Tewksburys and the Grahams continued fighting,
1892
until only two were left. In 1892, Tom Graham, the last of the
Johnson
County War
Graham faction involved in the feud, was murdered in Tempe,
Invaders,
Arizona. Edwin Tewksbury, the last of the faction involved in the
1892
feud, was accused of the murder. Defended by well-known Arizona
attorney Thomas Fitch, the first trial ended in a mistrial due to a
legal technicality. The jury in the second trial was dead-locked
1886 - 1887: Shootout at Tewksbury's Ranch
seven to five for acquittal. Edwin Tewksbury died in Globe, Arizona
In September, 1887, a grisly incident occurred which has been the
in April, 1904. By the time of his release, none of the Grahams
basis of many stories about the feud, and which sparked a deadly
remained to retaliate against him, nor was there anyone on the
chain of events. The Graham faction surrounded a Tewksbury cabin
Tewksbury side to have avenged his death had anyone killed him.
in the early morning hours and coolly shot down John Tewksbury
and William Jacobs as they started out for horses. The Grahams
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continued firing at the cabin for hours, with fire returned from
and-cattle/
within. As the battle continued, a drove of hogs began devouring the
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bodies of Tewksbury and Jacobs. Although the Grahams did not
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offer a truce, John Tewksbury's wife came out of the cabin with a
shovel. The firing stopped while she scooped out shallow graves for
her husband and his companion. Firing on both sides resumed once
she was back inside, but no further deaths occurred that day, and
after a few hours the Grahams rode away.
159
The End of the Open Range
of livestock branding allowed the cattle owned by different ranchers
to be identified and sorted. Ranching dominated western economic
The open range came to an end due to the overgrazing
activity beginning with the settlement of Texas in the 1840s.
of cattle.
Along with ranchers came the need for agricultural crops to feed
both humans and livestock. Hence, many farmers came west along
KEY POINTS
with ranchers. Many operations were diversified, with both
The open range had allowed free feeding for bison, as well as
ranching and farming activities taking place. With the Homestead
domesticated cattle and sheep.
Act of 1862, more settlers came west to set up farms. This created
After the Homestead Act of 1862, farmers fenced off privately
some conflict since increasing numbers of farmers needed to fence
owned grazing land with barbed wire.
off fields to prevent cattle and sheep from eating their crops. Barbed
Overgrazing lead to the end of the open range, which was
wire, invented in 1874, gradually made inroads in fencing off
replaced by private leases.
privately owned land, especially for homesteads. There was some
reduction of land on the Great Plains open to grazing.
The Open Range
History and practice
The prairie and desert lands of what is today Mexico and the
Unlike the eastern United States, the western prairies of the 19th
western United States, were well-suited to "open range" grazing.
century were vast, undeveloped, and uncultivated, with scarce,
For example, American bison had been a mainstay of the diet for
widely separated sources of water. Until the invention of barbed
the Native Americans in the Great Plains for centuries. Likewise,
wire in the 1870s, it was more practical to fence the livestock out of
cattle and sheep were simply turned loose in the spring after their
developed land, rather than to fence it in. As the United States
young were born and allowed to roam with little supervision and no
government acquired western territories, land not yet placed into
fences. They were then rounded up in the fall, with the mature
private ownership was publicly-owned and freely available for
animals driven to market and the breeding stock brought close to
grazing cattle; although, conflicting land claims and periodic
the ranch headquarters for greater protection in the winter. The use
160
warfare with Native Americans of the Great Plains placed some
as vigilantes, tried to enforce or combat fence-building with varying
practical limits on grazing areas at various times.
success. In 1885, federal legislation outlawed the enclosure of public
land. By 1890, illegal fencing had been mostly removed.
The invention of barbed wire allowed cattle to be confined to
End of the Open Range
Figure 20.39
Cattle
In the north, overgrazing stressed the open range, leading to
Roundup,
insufficient winter forage for the cattle and starvation. This was
Colorado, 1898
particularly true during the harsh winter of 18861887, when
Cattle
Roundup,
hundreds of thousands of cattle died across the Northwest, leading
Colorado, 1898
to collapse of the cattle industry. By the 1890s, barbed wire fencing
was standard in the northern plains, railroads had expanded to
cover most of the nation, and meat packing plants were built closer
to major ranching areas. This made long cattle drives from Texas to
the railheads in Kansas unnecessary. Hence, the age of the open
range was gone and large cattle drives were over. Meanwhile,
ranches multiplied all over the developing West.
designated areas to prevent overgrazing of the range. In Texas
and surrounding areas, an increased population required ranchers
The end of the open range was not brought about by a reduction in
to fence off their individual lands. This initially brought
land due to crop farming, but by overgrazing. Cattle stocked on the
considerable drama to western rangeland. Its invention made
open range created a tragedy of the commons as each rancher
fencing huge expanses cheaper than hiring cowboys for handling
sought increased economic benefit by grazing too many animals on
cattle. In addition, indiscriminate fencing of federal lands occurred
public lands that "nobody" owned. However, being a non-native
throughout the 1880s. This occurred often without any regard to
species, the grazing patterns of ever-increasing numbers of cattle
land ownership or other public needs, such as mail delivery and
slowly reduced the quality of the rangeland; this was in spite of the
movement of other kinds of livestock. Various state statutes, as well
simultaneous massive slaughter of American bison that occurred. In
161
the winter of 1886-1887, as livestock that were already stressed by
Range Wars
reduced grazing died by the thousands, many large cattle operations
went bankrupt, while others suffered severe financial losses. Thus,
Range wars were fought over water rights, grazing
after this time, ranchers also began to fence off their land and
rights, or property and border disagreements.
negotiated individual grazing leases with the American government
so that they could keep better control of the pasture land available
KEY POINTS
to their own animals.
Famous range wars included the Lincoln County War, the
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Pleasant Valley War, the Mason County War, and the
age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-west/the-end-of-the-open-
Johnson County Range War.
range/
The Mason Country and Pleasant Valley Range Wars featured
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disputes between cattle and sheep herders.
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The Johnson County and Lincoln County Range Wars were,
broadly, disputes between established settlers and
newcomers, although the Johnson County war dealt with the
dry goods business and the Lincoln County war dealt with
ranchers.
Range Wars
Range wars occurred throughout the American West throughout the
late nineteenth century. The subject of these armed conflicts was
control of the open range as farmers and ranchers argued over
water rights or grazing rights. Famous range wars included the
Lincoln County War, the Pleasant Valley War, the Mason County
War, and the Johnson County Range War.
162
Lincoln County War
Figure 20.40
Johnson
The Lincoln County Range War arose between two factions over the
County War
Invaders,
control of dry goods trade in the county. The older, established
1892
faction was led by general store monopolist Murphy and his
Johnson
business partner, James Dolan. Meanwhile, young newcomers to
County War
Invaders,
the county, John Tunstall and Alexander McSween, opened a
1892
competing store in 1876. The two sides gathered lawmen,
businessmen, and criminal gangs to their support. The conflict was
marked by back-and-forth revenge killings, starting with the
murder of Tunstall by members of the Evans Gang.
Mason County War
Pleasant Valley War
The Mason County War (18751876) was a cattle rustling dispute
The Pleasant Valley War was commonly thought to be an Arizona
between German-American settlers and the non-German ranchers
sheep war between two feuding families, the cattle-herding
in Mason County, Texas. The war was brought on mostly due to
Grahams and the sheep-herding Tewksburys. However, eyewitness
neither culture understanding the other, with neither making much
reports show that sheep were not brought into Pleasant Valley until
effort to do so, in addition to political and social disagreements.
1885, two years after the feuding between the Tewksbury and
However, it likely would not have resulted in violence had the area
Graham factions began. The feud itself lasted for about a decade,
possessed a suitable and professional law enforcement element.
with its most deadly incidents between 1886 and 1887, with the last
Johnson County War
known killing occurring in 1892. Of all the feuds that have taken
place throughout American history, the Pleasant Valley War was the
The Johnson County War, also known as the War on Powder River
most costly, resulting in an almost complete annihilation of the two
and the Wyoming Range War, was a range war that took place in
families involved.
Johnson, Natrona and Converse County, Wyoming in April 1892. It
was fought between small settling ranchers against larger
163
established ranchers in the Powder River Country. It culminated in
Tenants, Sharecroppers, and
a lengthy shootout between local ranchers, a band of hired killers,
and a sheriff's posse, eventually requiring the intervention of the
Migrants
United States Cavalry on the orders of President Benjamin
The transforming of the West in the late nineteenth
Harrison. ( Figure 20.40)
century relied on various types of laborers-tenants,
sharecroppers, and migrants.
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age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-west/range-wars/
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KEY POINTS
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Sharecroppers live and work on land belonging to another
and pay a rent as a portion of their crop in return for seeds,
tools, fuel, livestock, and housing.
Migrant farm workers, during this period, came from China,
Mexico, and the Philippines, as well as other parts of the
United States.
Tenant farmers live on and work the land owned by someone
else, usually a large landowner.
The use of Mexican migrant laborers declined during the
Great Depression, when internal migrant workers from Dust
Bowl states moved west to California, taking jobs normally
filled by Mexican migrants.
Tenant Farming
A tenant farmer is one who resides on and farms land owned by a
landlord. Tenant farming is an agricultural production system in
164
which landowners contribute their land and often a measure of
half) of the crop he raises and who
Figure 20.42 A Family of
operating capital and management, while tenant farmers contribute
brings little to the operation besides
Migrant Workers
their labor along with at times varying amounts of capital and
his family labor; the landlord usually
management. Depending on the contract, tenants can make
furnishing working stock, tools,
payments to the owner either of a fixed portion of the product, in
fertilizer, housing, fuel, and seed, and
cash, or in a combination. The rights the tenant has over the land,
often provided regular advice and
the form, and measure of the payment varies across systems
oversight.
(geographically and chronologically). In some systems, the tenant
Migrant Workers
could be evicted at whim (tenancy at will); in others, the landowner
and tenant sign a contract for a fixed number of years (tenancy for
Migrant workers in the United States
years or indenture). In most developed countries today, at least
have come from many different
A family of migrant workers in
some restrictions are placed on the rights of landlords to evict
sources, and have been subject to
California.
tenants under normal circumstances.
different work experiences ( Figure 20.
Tenant farming was historically a step on the "agricultural ladder"
Figure 20.41
from hired hand or sharecropper taken by young farmers as they
Tenant Farming
accumulated enough experience and capital to buy land (or buy out
in the United
States
their siblings when a farm was inherited.) In 1920, many came from
Tenant farming
Japan to the West Coast states.
has been
important in the
United States
Sharecroppers
from the 1870s to
the present
A hired hand is an agricultural employee, even though he or she
may live on the premises and exercise a considerable amount of
control over the agricultural work, such as a foreman. A
sharecropper is a farm tenant who pays rent with a portion (often
165
42). Prior to restrictions against the slave trade, agriculture in the
The experiences of migrant laborers in agriculture during this
United States was largely dependent on slave labor; contrary to
period varied. Workers from England experienced little difficulty, as
popular myth, slavery, while more prominent in the Southern
they shared a common language and Protestant religion with many
plantation system, was used in both the North and South as a way of
Americans and, thus, faced little prejudice and assimilated into
supplying labor to agriculture. However, over the course of the late
American society easily. On the other hand, workers from Catholic
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the slave trade was
countries, such as Ireland and Germany, were subject to a number
banned and slaves emancipated, foreign workers began to be
of prejudices. Employers viewed Mexican workers, who continued
imported to fill the demand for cheap labor.
to be brought into the United States on a temporary basis during
the twentieth century, desirably, as they generally did not strike or
There were many sources for cheap labor. Workers from China were
demand higher wages and, therefore, were seen by managers as
the first group to be brought to the United States in large numbers;
being satisfied with the conditions they worked under. However, the
however, the federal government curtailed immigration from China
use of Mexican migrant laborers declined during the Great
with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. At the turn of the twentieth
Depression, when internal migrant workers from Dust Bowl states
century, workers from Mexico and the Philippines began to enter
moved west to California, taking jobs normally filled by Mexican
the United States to work as cheap agricultural laborers. Other
migrants.
sources of cheap agricultural labor during this time were found in
unskilled European immigrants, whom, unlike Chinese, Mexican, or
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Filipino laborers, were not brought to the United States to work
age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-west/tenants-
specifically as cheap laborers but were hired to work in agriculture
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nonetheless. Many European migrants who worked as agricultural
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laborers did so with the goal of eventually purchasing their own
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farm in the United States; however, due to the difficulty farm hands
faced in accumulating capital, this goal was often not reached.
166
Pioneer Women
During the early years of settlement, farm women played an integral
role in assuring family survival by working outdoors with the men.
Pioneer women took care of child-rearing, fed and
After a generation or so, women increasingly left the fields, thus
clothed the family, managed the housework, and fed
redefining their roles within the family. New conveniences such as
the hired hands.
sewing and washing machines encouraged women to concentrate
on domestic roles. The scientific housekeeping movement was
promoted across the land by the media and by government
KEY POINTS
extension agents, as well as through county fairs which featured
Social gatherings available to pioneer women and their
achievements in home cookery and canning, advice columns for
families included barn raisings, corn huskings, quilting bees,
political meetings, church activities, and school functions.
women in the farm papers, and home economics courses in the
Demand for prostitutes drew women from throughout the
schools.
country and world to the West, mainly in mining areas.
Although the eastern image of farm life on the prairies emphasizes
Pioneer women also worked as teachers, boarding house
landladies, laundresses, and seamstresses.
the isolation of the lonely farmer and farm life, in reality rural folk
Figure 20.43
Family life
Omaha
Monument to
Pioneer
On the Great Plains very few single men attempted to operate a
Women
farm or ranch; farmers understood the need for a hard-working wife
Omaha
and numerous children to handle the many chores. This meant
Monument to
Pioneer
women were fully employed in farm-centered labor, including child-
Women
rearing, feeding and clothing the family, managing the housework,
and feeding the hired hands.
167
created a rich social life for themselves. They often sponsored
children who were more self-reliant, mobile, adaptable, responsible,
activities that combined work, food, and entertainment such as barn
independent and more in touch with nature than their urban or
raising, corn husking, quilting bees, Grange meetings, church
eastern counterparts.
activities, and school functions. Women organized shared meals
On the other hand, historians Elizabeth Hampsten, in Settlers'
and potluck events, as well as extended visits between families.
Children: Growing Up on the Great Plains (1991), and Lillian
Childhood
Schlissel, with Byrd Gibbens and Elizabeth Hampsten, who wrote
Far from Home: Families of the Westward Journey (2002), offer a
Childhood on the American
Figure 20.44
grim portrait of loneliness, privation, abuse, and demanding
frontier is contested territory
Fannie
physical labor from an early age. Pamela Riney-Kehrberg takes a
among academics. One group
Porter, San
middle position in Childhood on the Farm: Work, Play, and Coming
of scholars, following the lead
Antonio
Madam, c.
of Age in the Midwest (2005).
of novelists Willa Cather and
1900
Laura Ingalls Wilder, argue the
Fannie Porter,
Prostitution
San Antonio
rural environment was
Madam, c.
Entrepreneurs set up shops and businesses to cater to miners.
salubrious to a growing child.
1900
( Figure 20.44) The most famous were the houses of prostitution
Historians Katherine Harris, in
found in mining camps. Prostitution was a growth industry,
Long Vistas: Women and
drawing in sex workers from around the globe, who were pulled in
Families on Colorado
by the money, despite the harsh and dangerous working conditions
Homesteads (1993), and Elliott
and low prestige. For some it was a practical decision; others had
West, in Growing Up with the
little choice in the matter. Chinese women, for example, were
Country: Childhood on the Far
frequently sold by their families and taken to the camps as
Western Frontier (1989), write that rural upbringing allowed
prostitutes; they had to send their earnings back to their families in
children to break loose from urban hierarchies of age and gender,
China.
promoted family interdependence, and in the end produced
168
In Virginia City, Nevada, a prostitute named Julia Bulette was one
of the few who achieved "respectable" status. She nursed victims of
an influenza epidemic; this brought her acceptance in the
community and the support of the sheriff. The townspeople were
shocked when she was murdered in 1867; they gave her a lavish
funeral and speedily tried and hanged her assailant.
Until the 1890s, madams predominantly ran the businesses, after
which male pimps took over, and the treatment of the women
generally declined. The common depiction of the openness of
bordellos in western towns shown in films is somewhat realistic,
allowing for fantasy elements like the casting of Hollywood starlets.
Gambling and prostitution were central to life in many western
towns. Only lateras the female population increased, reformers
moved in, and other civilizing influences arriveddid prostitution
become less blatant and less common. After a decade or so the
mining towns attracted respectable women who ran boarding
houses, organized church societies, worked as laundresses and
seamstresses, and strove for independent status.
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169
Section 8
Conquest in the West
The Indian Wars
Indian Policy
The Decimation of the Great Bison Herds and the Fight for the Black Hills
The Dawes Act and Indian Land Allotment
Indian Resistance and Survival
The End of the Frontier
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170
The Indian Wars
Background
American Indian Wars is a series of conflicts between
The western United States had been penetrated by United States
American settlers, federal government, and the native
forces and settlers before the Civil War: by fur trappers, the Santa
peoples.
Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the Mormon emigration to Utah, as
well as by settlement of California and Oregon.
KEY POINTS
Relations between American migrants and Native Americans were
The Indian Wars mainly occurred in Texas, Arizona Territory,
generally peaceful. In the case of the Santa Fe Trail, this was due to
New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, California, the Dakotas, and
the friendly relationship of the Bents of Bent's Fort with the
Washington.
Cheyenne and Arapaho, and in the case of the Oregon Trail, to the
Forts providing protection for white migrants and a base for
peace established by the Treaty of Fort Laramie. Signed in 1851
the U.S. military included Fort Laramie, Fort Kearny, Fort
between the United States and the plains Indians and the Indians of
Huachuca in Arizona; Fort Sill in Oklahoma; Fort Smith in
Arkansas; Fort Snelling in Minnesota; Fort Union in
the northern Rocky Mountains, the treaty allowed passage by
Montana; Fort Worth in Texas; and Fort Walla Walla in
migrants and the building of roads and the stationing of troops
Washington.
along the Oregon Trail.
Conflicts occurred between white settlers and the Shoshone
and Ute of the Great Basin; Nez Perce of Idaho; Sioux,
The Pike's Peak Gold Rush of 1859 introduced a substantial
Arapaho, Crows, and Lakota of the Northern Plains; Apache
white population into the Front Range of the Rockies, supported by
and Navajo of the Southwest; the Comanches of Texas; and
a trading lifeline that crossed the central Great Plains. Increasing
Cheyenne of the Great Plains.
settlement following the passage of the Homestead Act and the
Many of the most well-known of these conflicts occurred
during and after the Civil War until the closing of the frontier
building of the transcontinental railways following the Civil War
in about 1890.
further destabilized the situation, placing white settlers into direct
competition for the land and resources of the Great Plains and the
Rocky Mountain West. Further factors included the discovery of
gold in the Black Hills, creating the gold rush of 18751878, and,
171
earlier, in Montana during the Montana Gold Rush of 18621863,
These units fought the Indians besides keeping open
and the opening of the Bozeman Trail, which led to Red Cloud's
communications with the east, holding the west for the Union, and
War and later the Great Sioux War of 187677.
defeating the Confederate attempt to capture the New Mexico
Territory.
As in the East, expansion into the plains and mountains by miners,
ranchers, and settlers led to increasing conflicts with the indigenous
Indian Wars and Conflicts During the Civil War
population of the West. Many tribes-from the Ute of the Great
The series of conflicts in the western United States between Native
Basin to the Nez Perce of Idaho-fought Americans at one time or
Americans, American settlers, and the United States Army are
another. But the Sioux of the Northern Plains and the Apache of the
generally known as the Indian Wars. Many of the most well-known
Southwest provided the most celebrated opposition to
of these conflicts
encroachment on tribal lands. Led by resolute, militant leaders,
Figure 20.45
occurred during and
such as Red Cloud and Crazy Horse, the Sioux were skilled at
Chief
after the Civil War,
Quanah
high-speed mounted warfare. The Sioux were relatively new arrivals
Parker of the
until the closing of the
on the Plains, as previously, they had been sedentary farmers in the
Kwahadi
frontier in about 1890.
Comanche
Great Lakes region. Once they learned to capture and ride horses,
However, regions of
One of the
they moved west, displacing other Indian tribes and becoming
great
the West that were
American
feared warriors. Historically, the Apache bands supplemented their
settled before the Civil
Indian
economy by raiding others' and practiced warfare to avenge a death
leaders
War, such as Texas,
during the
of a kinsman. They were adept at fighting and highly elusive in the
New Mexico, Utah,
American
environment of deserts and canyons.
Indian Wars.
Oregon, California,
During the American Civil War, U.S. Army units were withdrawn
and Washington, saw
from the west to fight the war in the east. They were replaced by the
significant conflicts
volunteer infantry and cavalry raised by the states of California and
prior to 1860.
Oregon, by the western territorial governments, or the local militias.
172
Various statistics have been developed concerning the devastation
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of these wars on the peoples involved. One notable study by Gregory
age-1870-1900/conquest-in-the-west/the-indian-wars/
Michno used records dealing with figures "as a direct result of"
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engagements and concluded that "of the 21,586 total casualties
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tabulated in this survey, military personnel and civilians accounted
for 6,596 (31%), while Indian casualties totaled about 14,990
(69%)", for the period of 185090. However, Michno says he "used
the army's estimates in almost every case", and, "the number of
casualties in this study are inherently biased toward army
estimations".
Arizona ranked highest, with 310 known battles fought within the
state's boundaries between Americans and the Natives. Also, when
determining how many deaths resulted from the wars in each of the
American states, Arizona again ranked highest. At least 4,340
people were killed, including both settlers and Indians; over twice
as many as occurred in Texas, the second highest-ranking state.
Most of the deaths in Arizona were caused by the Apache. Michno
also says that 51 percent of the Indian war battles between 1850 and
1890 took place in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico, as well as 37
percent of the casualties in the country west of the Mississippi
River.
173
Indian Policy
with settlers. The lands that natives resided on, Nebraska and
Kansas territories, ended up being taken from the natives by the
As settlers moved west, Native American tribes were
government and given to settlers. Treaties were signed by the
coerced into signing treaties giving away their land.
natives of the area stating they accepted the downsized reservations
or allotments, although their allotments were usually sold to the
white settlers by force. Unfortunately the outcome of this
KEY POINTS
devastating removal cost the natives their tribal identity and
Allotment and assimilation sought to allot tribal lands and
independence.
assimilate the people.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs was used during this time to a
The Allotment and Assimilation Era (1887-1943)
commanding hold of all aspects of native life, thus upholding
the goal of "civilizing" natives.
In 1887, the United States Congress passed the General Allotment
The Allotment Era resulted in the loss of over two-thirds of
Act, which is considered one of the earliest attempts aimed toward
tribally entrusted lands from 138 million acres (558,000
assimilation of native tribes. This act intended to give natives a
km) in 1871 to 48 million acres (190,000 km) in 1934.
sense of land ownership and integrate agricultural lifestyle with the
tribes, much like that of the Americans and Europeans. Under the
General Allotment Act, tribal lands were no longer under the
During the early 19th century, the natives were caught in westward
control of tribal governments. Instead the land was under the
expansion and Indian relocation as the eastern settlers of the
control of individual land owners. This period of allotment over
United States felt the need to explore westward. Eastern Indian
tribal lands became known as the " Allotment and Assimilation
tribes were forced out of their homelands to barren areas that
Era" because the main goal of allotting tribal land was to assimilate
contained fruitless soils. The reason given to justify the Indian
native peoples into mainstream society. The notion that native
removal, as stated by Thomas Jefferson, was to "give them a space
peoples could live their lives according to traditional practices and
to live undisturbed by white people as they gradually adjust to
teachings on the reservation was forbidden, thus assimilation
civilized ways." Though a problem occurred where westward
became the epitome of Federal Indian Policy.
expansion was on the rise and areas in the West were becoming full
174
The Bureau of Indian Affairs was used during this time to a
The Decimation of the Great
commanding hold of all aspects of
Figure 20.46 Lakota Sioux
native life, thus upholding the goal of
Chief Gall, 1880s
Bison Herds and the Fight for
"civilizing" natives. The Allotment Era
resulted in the loss of over two-thirds
the Black Hills
of tribal entrusted lands from 138
The Black Hills War of 1876-7 was a series of battles
million acres (558,000 km) in 1871 to
and negotiations between the Lakota, Northern
48 million acres (190,000 km) in
Cheyenne and the United States.
1934. The loss of land was mainly due
to leasing, and eventually selling tribal
lands to white settlers. Allotment did
KEY POINTS
not work because it was not something
The rise of the cattle industry and the cowboy is directly tied
with which Indians were familiar. They
to the demise of huge herds of bison, which are usually called
didn't view the land as something to
Lakota Sioux Chief Gall, 1880s
buffalo.
own. Instead they viewed it as home.
From 1872 to 1883, between 10 -15 million bison died,
leaving only 100 total.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
The Great Sioux War, also known as the Black Hills War, was
age-1870-1900/conquest-in-the-west/indian-policy/
a series of battles and negotiations that occurred between
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1876 and 1877, involving the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne
in conflict against the United States military and American
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settlers.
Major events of the war included the Battle of the Rosebud,
Battle of the Little Bighorn, Battle of Slim Buttes, Fort
Robinson Massacre, and Wounded Knee Massacre.
175
1876 and 1877, involving the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne,
KEY POINTS (cont.)
against the United States.
Major figures in the conflict included Crazy Horse, Sitting
Bull, Little Wolf, Dull Knife, Nelson A. Miles, George Custer,
Figure 20.47 American bison
George Crook, and Wesley Merritt.
Decline of the Buffalo
The rise of the cattle industry and the cowboy is directly tied to the
demise of the huge herds of buffalo which used to populate the US.
Once numbering over 25 million on the Great Plains, the grass-
eating herds were a vital resource animal for the Plains Indians,
providing food, hides for clothing and shelter, and bones for
implements. Loss of habitat, disease, and over-hunting steadily
reduced the herds through the 19th century, bringing the species to
the point of near extinction. The last victims of the great
destruction, 10-15 million, died out over the course of a single
American bison
decade, from 1872-1883.
Black Hills
The tribes that depended on the buffalo were left with little choice
The Cheyenne had migrated west to the Black Hills before the
but to accept the government offer of reservations, where the
Lakota and introduced them to horse culture about 1730. By the late
government would feed and supply them on condition they did not
18th century, the growing Lakota tribe had expanded its territory
go on the warpath.
west of the Missouri River. The Black Hills, located in present-day
South Dakota, became an important resource to the Lakota and
The Great Sioux War of 1876, also known as the Black Hills War,
were considered sacred.
was a series of battles and negotiations which occurred between
176
The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, signed with the US by Lakota and
trickle into the Black Hills in violation of the Fort Laramie Treaty.
Northern Cheyenne leaders following Red Cloud's War, set aside a
This trickle turned into a flood; thousands of miners invaded the
portion of the Lakota territory as the Great Sioux Reservation. The
Hills before the gold rush was over.
Black Hills region was reserved for their exclusive use. It also
In May 1875, Sioux delegations headed by Spotted Tail, Red Cloud,
provided unceded territory for Cheyenne and Lakota hunting
and Lone Horn traveled to Washington, D.C. in an eleventh-hour
grounds.
attempt to persuade President Ulysses S. Grant to honor existing
The growing number of miners and settlers encroaching on the
treaties and stem the flow of miners into their territories. The US
Dakota Territory, however, rapidly nullified the protections. The US
leaders said that Congress wanted to pay the tribes $25,000 for the
government could not keep settlers out. By 1872, territorial officials
land and have them relocate to Indian Territory (in present-day
were considering harvesting the rich timber resources of the Black
Oklahoma). The delegates refused to sign a new treaty with these
Hills, to be floated down the Cheyenne River to the Missouri, where
stipulations.
new plains settlements needed lumber. The geographic uplift area
Launching the fight for the Black Hills
suggested the potential for mineral resources. When a commission
approached the Red Cloud Agency about the possibility of the
Concerned about launching a war against the Lakota without
Lakota signing away the Black Hills, Colonel John E. Smith noted
provocation, the government instructed Indian agents in the region
that this was "the only portion [of their reservation] worth anything
to notify the various non-treaty bands to return to the reservation
to them." He concluded that "nothing short of their annihilation will
by January 31, 1876, or face potential military action. The US agent
get it from them."
at Standing Rock Agency expressed concern that this was
insufficient time for the Lakota to respond, as deep winter restricted
In 1874, the government dispatched the Custer Expedition to
travel. His request to extend the deadline was denied. On February
examine the Black Hills. The Lakota were alarmed at his expedition.
8, 1876, General Sheridan telegraphed Generals Crook and Terry,
Before Custer's column had returned to Fort Abraham Lincoln,
ordering them to commence their winter campaigns against the
news of their discovery of gold was telegraphed nationally.
"hostiles". The Great Sioux War of 187677 had begun.
Prospectors, motivated by the economic panic of 1873, began to
177
Wounded Knee Massacre
suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but US
cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.
Major battles for the Black Hills included the Battle of the Rosebud,
Battle of the Little Bighorn, Battle of Slim Butte, and the Fort
By the time it was over, at least 150 men, women, and children of
Robinson Massacre. However, the most renowned, as well as the
the Lakota Sioux had been killed and 51 wounded (4 men, 47
most brutal of the battles over the Black Hills, is the massacre which
women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates
took place at Wounded Knee.
placed the number of dead at 300. ( Figure 20.48)
The Wounded Knee Massacre happened on December 29, 1890,
Figure 20.48
near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: hakp pi Wakpla) on the
Mass grave for
Wounded Knee
Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. On the day
Massacre
before, a detachment of the US 7th Cavalry Regiment, commanded
Victims
by Major Samuel M. Whitside, intercepted Spotted Elk's band of
Mass grave for
Wounded Knee
Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte
Massacre
and escorted them 5 miles westward (8 km) to Wounded Knee
Victims
Creek, where they made camp.
On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the camp to
disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the
process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black
The site has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot
for it. A scuffle over Black Coyote's rifle escalated and a shot was
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fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry opening fire indiscriminately
age-1870-1900/conquest-in-the-west/the-decimation-of-the-great-
from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of
bison-herds-and-the-fight-for-the-black-hills/
their own fellow troopers. Those few Lakota warriors who still had
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weapons began shooting back at the attacking troopers, who quickly
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178
The Dawes Act and Indian
divide it into allotments for individual
Figure 20.49 Henry L. Dawes
Indians. The Dawes Act was amended
Land Allotment
in 1891 and again in 1906 by the Burke
Act.
The Dawes Act authorized the President to survey
Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for
The Dawes Act was named for its
individual Indians.
sponsor, Senator Henry L. Dawes of
Massachusetts. The stated objective of
the Dawes Act was to stimulate
KEY POINTS
assimilation of Indians into American
Senator Henry L. Dawes claimed that the General Allotment
society. Individual ownership of land
Henry L. Dawes
Act was aimed at helping tribes assimilate into American
was seen as an essential step. The act
society.
also provided that the government would purchase Indian land
The Reservation system allotted each tribe a claim to their
new lands, protection over their territories, and the right to
"excess" to that needed for allotment and open it up for settlement
govern themselves.
by non-Indians.
Under the Dawes Act, a head of family would receive a grant
of 160 acres, a single person or orphan under 18 years of age
The Dawes Commission, set up under an Indian Office
would receive a grant of 80 acres, and persons under the age
appropriation bill in 1893, was created, not to administer the Dawes
of 18 would receive 40 acres.
Act, but to attempt to get the Five Civilized Tribes, which were
From 1871 to 1934, Native American tribes lost over 90
excluded under the Dawes Act, to agree to an allotment plan. This
million acres to white settlers.
commission registered the members of the Five Civilized Tribes.
The Curtis Act of 1908 completed the process of destroying tribal
governments by abolishing tribal jurisdiction of Indian land.
The Dawes Act, also called General Allotment Act, or Dawes
Severalty Act of 1887, adopted by Congress in 1887, authorized the
After decades of seeing the disarray these acts caused, the Franklin
President of the United States to survey Indian tribal land and
D. Roosevelt administration supported passage in 1934 of the
179
Indian Reorganization Act. It ended allotment and created a "New
Kidwell, "Allotment," Oklahoma Historical Society Encyclopedia of
Deal" for Indians, including renewing their rights to reorganize and
Oklahoma History and Culture]. Land owned by Indians decreased
form their own governments.
from 138 million acres (560,000 km2) in 1887 to 48 million acres
(190,000 km2) in 1934.
Provisions of the Dawes Act
The land granted to most allottees was not sufficient for economic
1. A head of family would receive a grant of 160 acres (0.65
viability, and division of land between heirs upon the allottees'
km2), a single person or orphan under 18 years of age would
deaths resulted in land fractionalization. Most allotment land,
receive a grant of 80 acres (320,000 m2), and persons under
which could be sold after a statutory period of 25 years, was
the age of 18 would receive 40 acres (160,000 m2) each;
eventually sold to non-Native buyers at bargain prices. Additionally,
2. The allotments would be held in trust by the U.S.
land deemed to be "surplus" beyond what was needed for allotment
Government for 25 years;
was opened to white settlers, though the profits from the sales of
these lands were often invested in programs meant to aid the
3. Eligible Indians had four years to select their land;
American Indians. Native Americans lost over the 47 years of the
afterwards the selection would be made for them by the
Act's life, about 90 million acres (360,000 km) of treaty land, or
Secretary of the Interior.
about two-thirds of the 1887 land base. About 90,000 Native
Effects
Americans were made landless.
The Dawes Act had a negative effect on American Indians, as it
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ended their communal holding of property by which they had
age-1870-1900/conquest-in-the-west/the-dawes-act-and-indian-land-
ensured that everyone had a home and a place in the tribe. It was
allotment/
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followed by the Curtis Act of 1898, which dissolved tribal courts and
governments. The act "was the culmination of American attempts to
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destroy tribes and their governments and to open Indian lands to
settlement by non-Indians and to development by railroads" [C.S.
180
Indian Resistance and
Resistance
Figure 20.50 Chief Sitting Bull
Survival
As American expansion continued,
Native Americans resisted settlers'
Indian tribes fought over 40 wars for survival, killing at
encroachment in several regions of the
least 19,000 white settlers and soldiers and at least
new nation (and in unorganized
30,000 American Indians.
territories), from the Northwest to the
Southeast, and then in the West, as
settlers encountered the tribes of the
KEY POINTS
Great Plains.
As American expansion continued, Native Americans resisted
settlers' encroachment in several regions of the new nation.
Southeast
Chief Sitting Bull
Major incidents of Indian resistance included the Sand Creek
Massacre (1864), Wounded Knee (1890), Battle of Little
East of the Mississippi River, an
Bighorn (1876), Creek Wars, Sioux Uprising (1862), Seminole
intertribal army led by Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, fought a
Wars, and Tecumseh's War (1811-12).
number of engagements in the Northwest during the period 1811
The Indian Wars under the government of the United States
12, known as Tecumseh's War. In the latter stages, Tecumseh's
have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives
group allied with the British forces in the War of 1812 and was
of about 19,000 white men, women and children-- including
instrumental in the conquest of Detroit. Conflicts in the Southeast
those killed in individual combats-- and the lives of about
30,000 Indians.
included the Creek War and Seminole Wars, both before and after
In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that about 0.8%
the Indian Removals of most members of the Five Civilized Tribes,
of the U.S. population was of American Indian or Alaska
beginning in the 1830s under President Andrew Jackson.
Native descent. This population is unevenly distributed
across the country.
Plains and West
Native American nations on the plains in the West continued armed
conflicts with the United States throughout the 19th century
181
through what were called generally " Indian Wars." The Battle of
The End of the Frontier
Little Bighorn (1876) was one of the greatest Native American
victories. Defeats included the Sioux Uprising of 1862, the Sand
When the 11th U.S. Census was taken in 1890, there
Creek Massacre (1864), and Wounded Knee in 1890. Indian Wars
was no longer a clear line of advancing settlement, and
continued into the early 20th century. According to the U.S. Bureau
hence no longer a frontier.
of the Census (1894), The Indian Wars under the government of the
United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost
KEY POINTS
the lives of about 19,000 white men, women, and children--
Cheap land became available for settlers after 1860, with
including those killed in individual combats-- and the lives of about
government incentives such as the Homestead Act.
30,000 Indians.
The question of slavery was a contentious issue among
frontier states.
In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that about 0.8% of the
Nearly 600,000 American farmers moved to the Prairie
U.S. population was of American Indian or Alaska Native descent.
frontier of the Canadian West from 1897 to 1914.
This population is unevenly distributed across the country.
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Following the victory of the United States in the American
age-1870-1900/conquest-in-the-west/indian-resistance-and-survival/
Revolutionary War and the signing Treaty of Paris in 1783, the
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United States gained formal, if not actual, control of the British
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lands west of the Appalachians. Many thousands of settlers, typified
by Daniel Boone, had already reached Kentucky and Tennessee and
adjacent areas. Some areas, such as the Virginia Military District
and the Connecticut Western Reserve (both in Ohio), were used by
the states as rewards to veterans of the war. How to formally
include these new frontier areas into the nation was an important
issue in the Continental Congress of the 1780s and was partly
182
resolved by the Northwest Ordinance (1787). The Southwest
United States was elaborated by the historian Frederick Jackson
Territory saw a similar pattern of settlement pressure.
Turner, who built his Frontier Thesis in 1893 around this notion.
For the next century, the expansion of the nation into these areas,
Figure 20.51 A
as well as the subsequently acquired Louisiana Purchase, Oregon
false-front
building in
Country, and Mexican Cession, attracted hundreds of thousands of
Chesaw,
settlers. The question of whether the Kansas frontier would become
Washington
"slave" or "free" was a spark of the American Civil War. In general
A false-front
building in
before 1860, Northern Democrats promoted easy land ownership
Chesaw,
and Whigs and Southern Democrats resisted. The Southerners
Washington
resisted Homestead Acts because it supported the growth of a free
farmer population that might oppose slavery.
When the Republican Party came to power in 1860 they promoted a
free land policynotably the Homestead Act of 1862, coupled with
When the eleventh U.S. Census was taken in 1890, the
railroad land grants that opened cheap (but not free) lands for
superintendent announced that there was no longer a clear line of
settlers. In 1890, the frontier line had broken up (Census maps
advancing settlement, and hence no longer a frontier in the
defined the frontier line as a line beyond which the population was
continental United States. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner used
under 2 persons per square mile).
the statistic to announce the end of the era in which the frontier
The popular culture impact of the frontier was enormous, in dime
process shaped the American character.
novels, Wild West shows, and, after 1910, Western movies set on
Fresh farmland was increasingly hard to find after 1890although
the frontier. The American frontier was generally the most Western
the railroads advertised some in eastern Montana. Bicha shows that
edge of settlements and typically more free-spirited in nature than
nearly 600,000 American farmers sought cheap land by moving to
the East because of its lack of social and political institutions. The
the Prairie frontier of the Canadian West from 1897 to 1914.
idea that the frontier provided the core defining quality of the
183
However about two-thirds of them grew disillusioned with Canada
and returned to the U.S.
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age-1870-1900/conquest-in-the-west/the-end-of-the-frontier/
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184
Section 9
The Transformation of the South
The Transformed South
Sectionalism and the New South
Economic Growth
Agriculture, Tenancy, and the Environment
The Bourbons and the Redeemers
Disenfranchising African Americans
The Spread of Segregation
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south/
185
The Transformed South
KEY POINTS (cont.)
After the Civil War, the South was thrown into turmoil as
Their tactics included violent intimidation of African-
many whites faced their former slaves as equals.
American and Republican voters prior to elections while
avoiding conflict with the U.S. Army or state militias, then
withdrawing completely on Election Day.
KEY POINTS
Conservative Democrat Reaction
Former white slaveholders in the American South self-
consciously defended their own actions within the framework
Following the Civil War, society in the South was thrown into
of an Anglo-American discourse of resistance against
tyrannical government, and they broadly succeeded in
turmoil as many ex-slaveowners faced their former slaves as equals.
convincing fellow (white) citizens of their concerns.
The fact that former slaves now held political and military power
White southerners formed new political parties (often with
angered many whites, and this gave rise to movements such as the
the intention to contest elections), and supported or tolerated
KKK and other white supremacist organizations. They self-
violent activist groups that intimidated both black and white
consciously defended their own actions within the framework of an
Republican leaders at election time.
Anglo-American discourse of resistance against tyrannical
Republicans in the South supported black candidates for
political office, and were opposed by Democrats.
government, and they broadly succeeded in convincing fellow
By the mid-1870s, the Conservative Democrats had aligned
(white) citizens of their concerns. They formed new political parties
with the national Democratic Party, which enthusiastically
(often with the intention to contest elections), and supported or
supported their cause even as the national Republican Party
tolerated violent activist groups that intimidated both black and
was losing interest in Southern affairs.
white Republican leaders at election time. By the mid 1870s, the
Most (white) members of both the planter/business class and
Conservative Democrats had aligned with the national Democratic
common farmer class of the South opposed black power and
supported white supremacy.
Party, which enthusiastically supported their cause even as the
national Republican Party was losing interest in Southern affairs.
186
Most white members of both the planter/business class and
Figure 20.52
common farmer class of the South opposed black power and sought
Politics and
white supremacy. Democrats nominated blacks for political
the KKK
1868 cartoon
office and tried to steal other blacks from the Republican side.
links
When these attempts to combine with the blacks failed, the planters
Democratic
presidential
joined the common farmers in simply trying to displace the
candidate to
Republican governments. The planters and their business allies
KKK
dominated the self-styled "conservative" coalition that finally took
control in the South. They were paternalistic toward the blacks but
feared they would use power to raise taxes and slow business
development.
Historian Walter Lynwood Fleming ideas are a typical example of
the conservative interpretation of Reconstruction. His work
defended some roles in opposing military oppression by the white
supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) but denounced the
leaders from the country and started the whites on the way to gain
Klan's violence. Fleming accepted as necessary the
political supremacy."
disenfranchisement of African Americans because he thought their
votes were bought and sold by carpetbaggers. Fleming described the
Reaction by the angry whites included the formation of violent
first results of the movement as "good" and the later ones as "both
secret societies, especially the KKK. Violence occurred in cities with
good and bad." According to Fleming (1907) the KKK "quieted the
Democrats, Conservatives, and other angry whites on one side and
Negroes, made life and property safer, gave protection to women,
Republicans, African-Americans, federal government
stopped burnings, forced the Radical leaders to be more moderate,
representatives, and Republican-organized armed Loyal Leagues on
made the Negroes work better, drove the worst of the Radical
the other. The victims of this violence were overwhelmingly African
American. The Klan and other such groups were careful to avoid
187
federal legal intervention or military conflict. Their election-time
Sectionalism and the New
tactics included violent intimidation of African American and
Republican voters prior to elections while avoiding conflict with the
South
U.S. Army or the state militias and withdrawing completely on
Many white Southerners were devastated economically,
election day. Conservative reaction continued in both the North and
emotionally, and psychologically by the defeat of the
South; the "white liners" movement to elect candidates dedicated to
Confederacy in 1865.
white supremacy reached as far as Ohio in 1875.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
KEY POINTS
age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-south/the-transformed-
south/
Prior to the war, many Southerners proudly felt that their
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rich military tradition would allow them to prevail in the
conflict.
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To cope with their loss during the Civil War, many
Southerners created the "Lost Cause" theory, which argued
that the South lost due to factors beyond their control.
Memorial associations, such as the United Daughters of the
Confederacy, were founded to help propagate the Lost Cause.
Many white Southerners were devastated economically,
emotionally, and psychologically by the defeat of the Confederacy in
1865. Prior to the war, many Southerners proudly felt that their rich
military tradition would allow them to prevail in the conflict. When
this did not happen, white Southerners sought consolation in
attributing their loss to factors beyond their control, such as
188
treachery. Many Southerners felt that their way of life had been
posterity, and do justice to our brave Soldiers." [Gary W. Gallagher
disrupted by the North both before and after the Civil War. The
and Alan T. Nolan (ed.), The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War
term Lost Cause first appeared in the title of an 1866 book by the
History, 2000, p.12]. In another letter, Lee wanted all "statistics as
historian Edward A. Pollard, The Lost Cause: A New Southern
regards numbers, destruction of private property by the Federal
History of the War of the Confederates. However, it was the articles
troops, &c." because he intended to demonstrate the discrepancy in
written by Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early in the 1870s for the Southern
strength between the two armies and believed it would "be difficult
Historical Society that firmly established the Lost Cause as a
to get the world to understand the odds against which we fought."
long-lasting literary and cultural phenomenon. The 1881
Referring to newspaper accounts that accused him of culpability in
publication of The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government by
the loss, he wrote, "I have not thought proper to notice, or even to
Jefferson Davis, a two volume apologia for the Southern cause as
correct misrepresentations of my words & acts. We shall have to be
Davis saw it, provided another important text in the history of the
patient, & suffer for awhile at least. ... At present the public mind is
Lost Cause. Even though the book's initial sales were very
not prepared to receive the truth."[Gallagher & Nolan p.12] All of
disappointing to the author, the book remained in print and was
these were themes made prominent by Early and the Lost Cause
often used to justify and or romanticize the Southern position and
writers in the nineteenth century and they continued to be
to distance it from slavery.
important throughout the twentieth.
Early's original inspiration for his views may have come from
Memorial associations such as the United Confederate Veterans, the
General Robert E. Lee himself. When he published his farewell
United Daughters of the Confederacy, and Ladies Memorial
order to the Army of Northern Virginia, Lee consoled his soldiers by
Associations integrated Lost Cause themes to help Southerners cope
speaking of the "overwhelming resources and numbers" that the
with the many changes during this era, most significantly
Confederate army fought against. In a letter to Early, Lee requested
Reconstruction. These institutions have lasted to the present time
information about enemy strengths from May 1864 to April 1865,
period and descendants of Southern soldiers continue to attend
the period in which his army was engaged against Lt. Gen. Ulysses
these meetings. However, these groups are now more geared
S. Grant (the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg). Lee
towards honoring the memory and sacrifices of Confederate soldiers
wrote, "My only object is to transmit, if possible, the truth to
than the continuation of the old Southern ways.
189
Monument
focusing on military sacrifice, rather than grievances regarding the
erected by
North, the Confederate Museum aided the process of sectional
United
Daughters of
reconciliation according to Hillyer. By depicting slavery as
the
benevolent, the museum's exhibits reinforced the notion that Jim
Confederacy.
Crow was a proper solution to racial tensions that had escalated
Monument
erected by
during Reconstruction. Lastly, by glorifying the common soldier
United
and portraying the South as "solid," the museum promoted
Daughters of
the
acceptance of industrial capitalism. Thus, the Confederate Museum
Confederacy.
both critiqued and eased the economic transformations of the New
South, and enabled Richmond to reconcile its memory of the past
with its hopes for the future. This allowed it to leave the past behind
as it developed new industrial and financial roles. [Reiko Hillyer,
"Relics of Reconciliation: The Confederate Museum and Civil War
Memory in the New South," Public Historian, Nov 2011, Vol. 33
Issue 4, pp 35-62]
New South
Historians have emphasized how the "Lost Cause" theme helped
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age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-south/sectionalism-and-the-
white Southerners adjust to their new status and move forward into
new-south/
what was called "the New South." Hillyer argues that the
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Confederate Memorial Literary Society (CMLS), founded by elite
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white women in Richmond, Virginia in the 1890s, exemplifies this
solution. The CMLS founded the Confederate Museum to document
and defend the Confederate cause and to recall the antebellum
mores that the New South's business ethos was displacing. By
190
Economic Growth
represented just over 1% of the Confederacy's combined urban and
rural populations. In addition, 45 courthouses were burned (out of
Many of the South's largest and most prosperous cities
830), destroying the documentation for the legal relationships in
were destroyed during the Civil War.
the affected communities.
Farms were in disrepair, and the prewar stock of horses, mules and
KEY POINTS
cattle was much depleted; two-fifths of the South's livestock had
The high costs of the war effort and the devastation of the
been killed. The South's farms were not highly mechanized, but the
fighting meant that the South's economic infrastructure was
value of farm implements and machinery in the 1860 Census was
in shambles.
$81 million and was reduced by 40% by 1870. The transportation
Many of the South's plantations were broken up into small
infrastructure lay in ruins, with little railroad or riverboat service
farms, which were leased by tenants.
available to move crops and animals to market. Railroad mileage
The backbone of the South's workforce died in the war and
with the freeing of the slaves, the previous economic system
was located mostly in rural areas and over two-thirds of the South's
vanished.
rails, bridges, rail yards, repair shops and rolling stock were in areas
reached by Union armies, which systematically destroyed what they
could. Even in untouched areas, the lack of maintenance and repair,
Reconstruction played out against a backdrop of a once prosperous
the absence of new equipment, the heavy over-use, and the
economy in ruins. The Confederacy in 1861 had 297 towns and
deliberate relocation of equipment by the Confederates from remote
cities with a combined population of 835,000; of these, 162
areas to the war zone ensured the system would be ruined at war's
locations with 681,000 total residents were at one point occupied by
end. Restoring the infrastructureespecially the railroad system
Union forces. Eleven were destroyed or severely damaged by war
became a high priority for Reconstruction state governments.
action, including Atlanta, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina;
Columbia, South Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia; these eleven
The enormous cost of the Confederate war effort took a high toll on
contained 115,900 people in the 1860 census, or 14% of the urban
the South's economic infrastructure. The direct costs to the
South. The number of people who lived in the destroyed towns
Confederacy in human capital, government expenditures, and
191
physical destruction from the war totaled $3.3 billion. By 1865, the
Figure 20.53 Richmond ruins, 1865
Confederate dollar was worthless due to massive inflation, and
people in the South had to resort to bartering services for goods, or
else use scarce Union dollars. With the emancipation of the
southern slaves, the entire economy of the South had to be rebuilt.
Having lost their enormous investment in slaves, white planters had
minimal capital to pay freedmen workers to bring in crops. As a
result, a system of sharecropping was developed where landowners
broke up large plantations and rented small lots to the freedmen
and their families. The South was transformed from a prosperous
minority of landed gentry slaveholders into a tenant farming
agriculture system.
Richmond ruins, 1865
The end of the Civil War was accompanied by a large migration of
Over a fourth of Southern white men of military agemeaning the
new freed people to the cities. In the cities, African Americans were
backbone of the South's white workforcedied during the war,
relegated to the lowest paying jobs, such as unskilled and service
leaving countless families destitute. Per capita income for white
labor. Men worked as rail workers, rolling and lumber mill workers,
southerners declined from $125 in 1857 to a low of $80 in 1879. By
and hotel workers. The large population of slave artisans during the
the end of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth
antebellum era had not translated into a large number of freemen
century, the South was locked into a system of poverty. How much
artisans during the Reconstruction. Black women were largely
of this failure was caused by the war and by previous reliance on
confined to domestic work employed as cooks, maids, and child
agriculture remains the subject of debate among economists and
nurses. Others worked in hotels. A large number became
historians.
laundresses.
192
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Agriculture, Tenancy, and the
age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-south/economic-growth/
CC-BY-SA
Environment
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The American South remained heavily rural for decades
after the Civil War; sharecropping was widespread as a
response to economic upheaval.
KEY POINTS
Many farmers were sharecroppers, working under a system
in which they farmed an owner's land in exchange for sharing
the results of the crop.
Farmers who owned their own equipment were tenant
farmers, and paid a smaller fee for use of the owner's land.
Farmers purchased supplies on credit, hoping to pay for them
with a good crop at the end of the season.
Sharecroppers had little, if any, chance for advancement or
profit.
Racial segregation and outward signs of inequality were
everywhere, and rarely were challenged. Blacks who violated
the color line were liable to expulsion or lynching.
Historical South
The South remained heavily rural until World War II. There were
only a few scattered cities; small courthouse towns serviced the
193
farm populations. Local politics revolved around the politicians and
One particular area that has
Figure 20.54 Former Slave, 1915
lawyers based at the courthouse.
attracted scholars interested in the
rise or origins of sharecropping is
Mill towns, narrowly focused on textile production or cigarette
the Natchez District, roughly
manufacture, began opening in the Piedmont region, especially in
centered in Adams County,
the Carolinas. Racial segregation and outward signs of inequality
Mississippi, and the county seat,
were everywhere, and rarely were challenged. Blacks who violated
Natchez. The location of the city,
the color line were liable to expulsion or lynching. Cotton became
with access to the Mississippi River,
even more important than before, even though prices were much
but high on a bluff and safe from
lower. White southerners showed a reluctance to move north, or to
flooding, meant that the records of
move to cities, so the number of small farms proliferated, and they
the cotton-trading gentry survived
became smaller and smaller as the population grew.
the natural disasters. The Civil War
Sharecropping
largely bypassed the city, saving the
records from man-made disasters
Sharecropping became widespread as a response to economic
as well. The mass influx of
A former slave, from an Alabama
upheaval caused by the emancipation of slaves and
immigrants in the 1900s brought
cotton plantation.
disenfranchisement of poor whites in the agricultural South during
an increase in sharecropping
Reconstruction.
during the World War I era. Sharecroppers worked a section of
Plantations had first relied on slaves for cheap labor. Prior to
the plantation independently, usually growing cotton, tobacco, rice,
emancipation, sharecropping was limited to poor landless whites,
and other cash crops and received a small portion of the parcel's
usually working marginal lands for absentee landlords. Following
output.
emancipation, sharecropping came to be an economic arrangement
In Reconstruction-era United States, sharecropping was one of few
that largely maintained the status quo between black and white
options for penniless freedmen to conduct subsistence farming
through legal means.
and support themselves and their families. Other solutions included
194
the crop-lien system (where the farmer was extended credit for seed
Rural Tenancy
and other supplies by the merchant), a rent labor system (where the
Rural tenancy refers to a type of share-cropping or tenancy
former slaves rents his land but keeps his entire crop), and the wage
arrangement that a landowner can use to make full use of property
system (worker earns a fixed wage, but keeps none of his crop).
he may not otherwise be able to develop properly. A "tenant" or
Sharecropping was by far the most economically efficient, as it
non-landowner will take residency on the property of the landowner
provided incentives for workers to produce a bigger harvest. It was
and work the land in exchange for giving the landowner a
a stage beyond simple hired labor, because the sharecropper had an
percentage of the profits from the eventual crop.
annual contract. During Reconstruction, the Freedman's Bureau
The term "rural tenancy" usually describes the situation of
wrote and enforced the contracts.
previously-enslaved people that were then tenants on the
The sharecropper purchased seed, tools and fertilizer, as well as
landowner's property. The landowner would extend the farmer
food and clothing, on credit from a local merchant, or sometimes
shelter, food, and necessary items on credit to be repaid out of the
from a plantation store. When the harvest came, the cropper would
tenant's share of the crop. The farmer could, if he desired, charge
harvest the whole crop and sell it to the merchant who had extended
the tenant extremely high interest on the advanced pay since there
credit. Purchases and the landowner's share were deducted and the
were no lending laws applicable to migrant or tenant workers at the
cropper kept the differenceor added to his debt.
time. This could ultimately result in the tenant owing the landlord
more money than his share of the crop at harvest and forcing the
Though the arrangement protected sharecroppers from the negative
farmer to be further indentured to the landowner.
effects of a bad crop, many sharecroppers (both black and white)
were economically confined to serf-like conditions of poverty. To
This practice was used frequently by landowners in the South after
work the land, sharecroppers had to buy seed and implements,
slavery was abolished. Modern day tenancy is much more highly
sometimes from the plantation owner who often charged exorbitant
regulated and these practices are more rare. A "tenant" or non-
prices against the sharecropper's next season.
landowner will take residency on the property of the landowner and
work the land in exchange for giving the landowner a percentage of
the profits from the eventual crop.
195
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The Bourbons and the
age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-south/agriculture-tenancy-
and-the-environment/
Redeemers
CC-BY-SA
Redeemers were the southern wing of Bourbon
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Democratsthe conservative, pro-business wing of the
Democratic Party during Reconstruction.
KEY POINTS
Bourbons and Redeemers sought to oust the Republican
coalition of freedmen, carpetbaggers, and scalawags during
the Reconstruction era in the South.
"Bourbon" was used as a criticism of old-fashioned opinions
and as a reference to the Bourbon dynasty in France, which
was overthrown by the French Revolution.
"Redeemers" were members of the Southern wing of the
Bourbon Democrats. They were conservative, pro-business,
and believed they could "redeem" the changes of
Reconstruction by replacing Republican politicians with
white Democrats.
Some Bourbons and Redeemers carried out violence against
recently freed slaves in organizations such as the Ku Klux
Klan.
196
The Bourbons
The Redeemers
Bourbon Democrat was a term used in the United States from 1876
In United States history, "Redeemers" and "Redemption" were
to 1904 to refer to a member of the Democratic Party, conservative
terms used by white Southerners to describe a political coalition in
or classical liberalespecially one who supported Charles O'Conor
the Southern United States during the Reconstruction era.
in 1872, Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, President Grover Cleveland in
Redeemers were the southern wing of the Bourbon Democratsthe
18841888/18921896, and Alton B. Parker in 1904. After 1904,
conservative, pro-business faction in the Democratic Party who
the Bourbons faded away. Woodrow Wilson, who had been a
sought to oust the Republican coalition of freedmen, carpetbaggers,
Bourbon, made a deal in 1912 with the Bourbon's leading opponent,
and scalawags.
William Jennings Bryan; Bryan endorsed Wilson for the
During Reconstruction, the South was occupied by federal forces,
Democratic nomination, and Wilson named Bryan Secretary of
and Southern state governments were dominated by Republicans.
State. The term "Bourbon" was mostly used disparagingly by critics
Republicans nationally pressed political rights for the newly freed
complaining of old-fashioned viewpoints.
slaves as the key to their citizenship. The Thirteenth Amendment
Bourbon Democrats were promoters of capitalism and opposed
(banning slavery), Fourteenth Amendment (guaranteeing the civil
to the protectionism that the Republicans were then advocating.
rights of former slaves and ensuring equal protection of the laws),
They opposed imperialism and U.S. overseas expansion, fought for
and Fifteenth Amendment (prohibiting the denial of the right to
the gold standard, and opposed bimetallism. Strong supporters of
vote on grounds of race, color, or previous condition of servitude)
reform movements such as the Civil Service Reform and opponents
enshrined such political rights in the Constitution.
of the corrupt city bosses, Bourbons led the fight against the Tweed
Numerous educated blacks returned to the South to work for
Ring. The anticorruption theme earned the votes of many
Reconstruction, and some blacks attained positions of political
Republican Mugwumps in 1884.
power under these conditions. However, the Reconstruction
governments were unpopular with many white Southerners, who
were not willing to accept defeat and continued to try to prevent
black political activity by any means. While the elite planter class
197
often supported insurgencies, violence against freedmen and other
Klan, violence began to increase in the Deep South. In 1868, white
Republicans was often carried out by other whites; insurgency took
terrorists tried to prevent Republicans from winning the fall
the form of the secret Ku Klux Klan in the first years after the war.
election in Louisiana. Over a few days, they killed about two
hundred freedmen in St. Landry Parish. From April to October,
White League, Red Shirts, Violence
there were 1,081 political murders in Louisiana, in which most of
In the 1870s, the Southern Democrats exercised power through
the victims were freedmen.
paramilitary organizations such as the White League and Red
Later that year, thousands of armed white militia, supporters of the
Shirts, especially in Louisiana and Mississippi, respectively. The
Democratic gubernatorial candidate John McEnery, fought against
Red Shirts were also active in North Carolina. These paramilitary
New Orleans police and state militia in what was called the "Battle
groups turned out
Figure 20.
of Liberty Place." They took over the state government offices in
Republican
55 The
New Orleans and occupied the capitol and armory. They turned
officeholders and
Union As
It Was
Republican governor William Pitt Kellogg out of office, and
terrorized and
Effects of
retreated only in the face of Federal troops sent by President
assassinated other
the KKK in
blocking
Ulysses S. Grant.
freedmen and their
freedpeopl
allies to suppress
e's rights
In 1874, the White League turned out six Republican officeholders
voting. By the
in Coushatta, Louisiana and told them to leave the state. Before they
presidential election
could make their way, they and five to twenty black witnesses were
of 1876, only three
assassinated by white paramilitary.
Southern statesLouisiana, South Carolina, and Floridawere
In Mississippi, the Red Shirts formed as a prominent paramilitary
"unredeemed," or not yet taken over by white Democrats.
group that enforced Democratic voting by intimidation and murder.
In the 1870s, white Democratic Southerners saw themselves
Chapters of paramilitary Red Shirts also arose in North Carolina
redeeming the South by regaining power. More importantly, in a
and South Carolina. They disrupted Republican meetings, killed
second wave of violence following the suppression of the Ku Klux
198
leaders and officeholders, intimidated voters at the polls, or kept
post-Reconstruction period to serve in Congress, retired in 1901,
voters away altogether.
leaving Congress completely white.
The Redeemers' Program and Influence
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age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-south/the-bourbons-and-
The Redeemers' program emphasized opposition to the Republican
the-redeemers/
governments, which they considered to be a corrupt violation of
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true republican principles. They also worked to reestablish white
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supremacy. The crippling national economic problems and reliance
on cotton meant that the South was struggling financially.
Redeemers denounced taxes higher than what they had known
before the war. At that time, however, the states had few functions,
and planters maintained private institutions only. Redeemers
wanted to reduce state debts. Once in power, they typically cut
government spending, shortened legislative sessions, lowered
politicians' salaries scaled back public aid to railroads and
corporations, and reduced support for the new systems of public
education and some welfare institutions.
As Democrats took over state legislatures, they worked to change
voter registration rules to strip most blacks and many poor whites
of their ability to vote. Blacks continued to vote in significant
numbers well into the 1880s, with many winning local offices. Black
Congressmen continued to be elected, albeit in smaller numbers,
until the 1890s. George Henry White, the last Southern black of the
199
Disenfranchising African
In Alabama, for instance, in 1900 fourteen Black Belt counties had
79,311 voters on the rolls; by June 1, 1903, after the new
Americans
constitution was passed, registration had dropped to just 1,081.
Statewide Alabama in 1900 had
During Reconstruction, many Southern states passed
181,315 blacks eligible to vote. By 1903 Figure 20.56 General Sheridan
laws that effectively disenfranchised African-Americans.
stands by his dispatches
only 2,980 were registered, although
at least 74,000 were literate. From
KEY POINTS
1900 to 1903, white registered voters
fell by more than 40,000, although
Some laws required that voters pay poll taxes, take literacy
tests, or prove residency.
their population grew in overall
Jim Crow laws imposed segregation in public places, which
number. By 1941, more poor whites
shut African-Americans out of many political conversations.
than blacks had been disfranchised in
Many Northern legislators were furious about Southern
Alabama, mostly due to effects of the
actions, but the Supreme Court upheld state actions in
cumulative poll tax. Estimates were
several cases.
that 600,000 whites and 500,000
General Philip Sheridan, full-
blacks had been disfranchised.
length portrait, standing, facing
right, next to copies of his letters
Democrats worked hard to prevent populist coalitions. In the
African-Americans and poor whites
describing actions of "armed
former Confederate South, from 1890 to 1908, starting with
White League" in Louisiana,
were totally shut out of the political
Mississippi, and Arkansas,
Mississippi, legislatures of ten of the eleven states passed
process and left unable to vote for
against African American voting
disfranchising constitutions, which had new provisions for poll
rights. Illus. in: Harper's weekly, v.
representation. Southern legislatures
19, no. 944 (1875 Jan. 30), p. 89.
taxes, literacy tests, and residency requirements that effectively
passed Jim Crow laws imposing
disfranchised nearly all blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites.
segregation in public facilities and places. As blacks were
Hundreds of thousands of people were removed from voter
segregated, millions of people were quickly affected, to devastating
registration rolls soon after these provisions were implemented.
effect. The disfranchisement lasted well into the later decades of the
200
20th century. They were shut out of all offices at the local and state
The Spread of Segregation
level, as well as Federal level. Those who could not vote could not
run for office or serve on juries, so they were never judged by peers.
Many southern states passed requirements for voting
after the Civil War that effectively disenfranchised
While Congress had actively intervened for more than 20 years in
African-Americans.
elections in the South which the House Elections Committee judged
to be flawed, after 1896 it backed off from intervening. Many
Northern legislators were outraged about the disfranchisement of
KEY POINTS
blacks and some proposed stripping the South of seats in Congress.
African-Americans were an absolute majority of the
They never managed to accomplish that, as southern
population in Mississippi, Louisiana and South Carolina, and
represented over 40% of the population in four other former
representatives formed a strong, one-party voting block for decades.
Confederate states.
Although educated African Americans mounted legal challenges
Fearing black domination, southern whites resisted the
(with many secretly funded by educator Booker T. Washington and
freedmen's exercise of political power.
his northern allies), the Supreme Court upheld Mississippi's and
Along with voting restrictions, Jim Crow laws mandated
Alabama's provisions in its rulings in Williams v. Mississippi (1898)
racial segregation in public facilities.
and Giles v. Harris (1903).
Segregated facilities were meant to be "separate but equal,"
but in reality most facilities used by African-Americans were
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
inferior to those supplied to whites.
age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-south/disenfranchising-
african-americans/
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The 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified
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in 1870 to protect the suffrage of freedmen after the American Civil
War. It prevented any state from denying the right to vote to any
male citizen on account of his race. African-Americans were an
absolute majority of the population in Mississippi, Louisiana and
201
South Carolina, and represented over 40% of the population in four
in the South could have voted then, this denied nearly all of the
other former Confederate states. Fearing black domination,
freed men their right to vote.
southern whites resisted the freedmen's exercise of political power, .
The constitutional provisions survived Supreme Court challenges in
White supremacist paramilitary organizations allied with the
cases like Williams v. Mississippi (1898) and Giles v. Harris (1903).
Democratic Party practiced intimidation, violence and
In practice, these provisions, including white primaries, created a
assassinations to repress and prevent blacks exercising their civil
maze that blocked most African-Americans and many poor whites
and voting rights in elections from 1868 through the mid-1870s.
from voting in southern states for decades after the turn of the 20th
Black voting decreased markedly under such pressure, and white
century. Voter registration and turnout dropped sharply across the
Democrats regained political control of southern legislatures and
South.
governors' offices in the 1870s. As a result of a national compromise
Jim Crow Laws
related to the presidency, the federal government withdrew its
forces from the South in 1877.
Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States
enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial
Voting Restrictions
segregation in all public facilities in southern states of the former
Starting with the Georgia poll tax in 1877, southern Democratic
Confederacy, with a supposedly " separate but equal" status for
legislators created new constitutions with provisions for voter
black Americans. The separation led to treatment, financial support
registration that effectively completed disfranchisement of most
and accommodations that were usually inferior to those provided
African-Americans and many poor whites. They created a variety of
for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic,
barriers, including poll taxes, residency requirements, rule
educational and social disadvantages. De jure segregation mainly
variations, and literacy and understanding tests. These barriers
applied to the southern United States. Northern segregation was
achieved power through selective application against minorities, or
generally de facto, with patterns of segregation in housing enforced
were particularly hard for the poor to fulfill. The grandfather clause
by covenants, bank lending practices and job discrimination.
was a provision that allowed a man to vote if his grandfather or
father had voted prior to January 1, 1867. As no African-American
202
Examples of Jim Crow laws are the segregation of public schools,
of blacks performed by white actor Thomas D. Rice in blackface. As
public places and public transportation, as well as the segregation of
a result of Rice's fame, "Jim Crow" had become a pejorative
restrooms, restaurants and drinking
expression meaning "Negro" by 1838. When the laws of racial
Figure 20.57 "The Original Jim
fountains. The U.S. military was also
Crow," circa 1832
segregation were enacted at the end of the 19th century, they
segregated. These Jim Crow Laws
became known as Jim Crow laws.
were separate from the 18001866
Black Codes, which had previously
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age-1870-1900/the-transformation-of-the-south/the-spread-of-
restricted the civil rights and civil
segregation/
liberties of African Americans. Plessy
CC-BY-SA
v. Ferguson (1896) was a Supreme
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Court decision that ruled that
"separate but equal" facilities were
constitutional. The ruling contributed
to 58 more years of legalized
discrimination against black and
Cover to early edition of Jump
colored people in the United States.
Jim Crow sheet music. Thomas
D. Rice is pictured in his
blackface role; he was
State-sponsored school segregation
performing at the Bowery
was declared unconstitutional by the
Theatre (also known as the
"American Theatre") at the time.
Supreme Court of the United States in This image was highly influential
1954 in Brown v. Board of Education.
on later Jim Crow and minstrelsy
images.
Generally, the remaining Jim Crow
laws were overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting
Rights Act of 1965. The origin of the phrase "Jim Crow" has often
been attributed to "Jump Jim Crow," a song-and-dance caricature
203
Section 10
Politics in the Gilded Age
Politics in the Gilded Age
Partisan Politics
Political Stalemate at the National Level
Political Participation and Party Loyalty
City Government and the "Bosses"
Women's Activism
Frances Willard and the Women's Christian Temperance Union
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and the Movement for Women's Suffrage
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204
Politics in the Gilded Age
prohibitionists, labor unions, and farmers. The Democrats and
Republicans fought over major economic issues and control of
Gilded Age politics were characterized by intense
offices, which became the rewards for party activists. Voter turnout
competition between the two parties and much
was very high and often exceeded 80% or even 90% in some states
demographic change.
as the parties drilled their loyal members like an army drills its
soldiers. Competition was intense and elections were very close. In
the southern states, lingering resentment over the Civil War meant
KEY POINTS
that much of the South would vote Democrat. After the end of
The major parties during the Gilded Age were the
Reconstruction in 1877, political competition in the south mainly
Republicans and Democrats.
took place within the Democratic Party. Nationwide voter turnout
The Republican base was mainly in the North and favored
inflationary, protectionist policies.
fell sharply after 1900.
The Democrats had a base among Catholics, poorer farmers,
Major metropolitan centers underwent rapid population growth
and people who favored hard-money, free trade, and other
free market policies.
and as a result, had many lucrative contracts and jobs to award. To
take advantage of the new economic opportunity, both parties built
A "spoils system" is a practice where a political party, after
winning an election, gives government jobs to its voters as a
so-called " political machines" to manage elections, reward
reward.
supporters, and pay off potential opponents. Financed by the "spoils
A "political machine" controlled a city's politics and
system," the winning party distributed most local, state and
sometimes was accused of engaging in corrupt practices.
national government jobs, and many government contracts, to its
Tammany Hall in New York City was an example of a political
loyal supporters. Large cities became dominated by political
machine.
machines, in which constituents supported a candidate in exchange
for anticipated patronage. These votes would be repaid with favors
Gilded Age politics, referred to as the Third Party System, were
from the government once that candidate was elected; very often,
characterized by intense competition between the two parties, with
candidates were selected based on their willingness to play along
minor parties coming and going, especially on issues of concern to
with the spoils system. Perhaps the largest example of a political
205
machine from this time period is Tammany Hall in New York
The Bourbon Democrats supported a free market policy, with low
City, led by Boss Tweed.
tariffs, low taxes, less spending and, in general, a Laissez-Faire
(hands-off) government. They argued that tariffs made most goods
Corruption reached into Congress with the the Crdit Mobilier of
more expensive for the consumer and subsidized the trusts
America scandal, and disgraced the White House during the Grant
(monopolies). They also denounced imperialism and overseas
Administration. The scandal divided the Republican party into two
expansion. By contrast Republicans insisted that national
different factions, The Stalwarts led by Roscoe Conkling, and the
prosperity depended on industry that paid high wages, and warned
Half-Breeds led by
that lowering the tariff would be a disaster because goods made by
James G. Blaine.
Figure 20.58 "A
low-wage European factory workers would flood American markets.
Group of Vultures
There was a sense
Waiting for the Storm
that government
to Blow Over - Let Us
Presidential elections were so closely contested between the two
enabled political
Prey"
major parties that a slight nudge could tip the election, and
A Group of Vultures
machines to intervene
Congress was marked by political stalemate. With support from
WaitiCartoon
in the economy and
denouncing the
Union Army veterans, businessmen, professionals, and craftsmen
corruption of New
the resulting
York's Boss Tweed
and larger farmers, the GOP (the Republicans) consistently carried
favoritism, bribery,
and other Tammany
the North in presidential elections. The Democrats, often led by
Hall figures, drawn in
inefficiency, waste,
1871 by Thomas Nast
Irish Catholics, had their base among Catholics, poorer farmers,
and corruption had
and published in
and traditional party members.
Harper's Weekly.
negative
Overall, Republican and Democratic political platforms remained
consequences. Accordingly there were widespread calls for reform,
remarkably constant during the years before 1900. Republicans
such as Civil Service Reform led by the Bourbon Democrats and
generally favored inflationary, protectionist policies while
Republican Mugwumps. In 1884, the Democrats won their first
Democrats favored hard-money, free trade, and other Laissez-Faire
national victory since 1856 with the election of Democrat Grover
policies.
Cleveland to the presidency.
206
From 1860 to the early 1900s the Republicans took advantage of the
Partisan Politics
association of Democrats's association with "Rum, Romanism, and
Rebellion." Rum stood for the liquor interests and the
The Gilded party era was characterized by intense voter
tavernkeepers, in contrast to the GOP, which had a strong dry
interest, routinely high voter turnout, and unflinching
element. "Romanism" referred to Roman Catholics, especially Irish
party loyalty.
Americans, who ran the Democratic Party in most cities, and whom
the reformers denounced for political corruption and the operation
KEY POINTS
of a separate parochial school system. "Rebellion" stood for the
Large majorities of Southern Methodists, Southern Baptists,
Democrats of the Confederacy, who had tried to break the Union in
Presbyterians, and Catholics supported the Democratic Party.
1861, as well as their northern allies, called "Copperheads."
Scalawags were southern whites who supported
Demographic trends boosted the Democrats' totals, as the German
Reconstruction and the Republican Party after the Civil War.
and Irish Catholic immigrants had became Democrats, and
The Democratic Party favored hard money, free trade, and
free market policies.
outnumbered the English and Scandinavian Republicans. The new
The Republican Party was supported mainly by urban
immigrants who arrived after 1890 seldom voted at this time.
professionals in the North and freedmen in the South.
During the 1880s and 1890s, the Republicans struggled against the
The Democratic Party was mainly supported by white
Democrats' efforts, winning several close elections and losing two to
Southerners called Redeemers and pro-business Northerners.
Grover Cleveland (in 1884 and 1892).
During the Third Party System, the spoils system and
political machines developed.
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Background
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Both parties comprised broad-based voting coalitions. Throughout
the North, businessmen, shop owners, skilled craftsmen, clerks and
207
professionals favored the Republicans as did more modern,
Postwar
commercially oriented farmers. In the South, the Republicans won
Civil War and Reconstruction issues polarized the parties until the
strong support from the freedmen (newly enfranchised African
Compromise of 1877 finally ended the political warfare. War issues
Americans), but the party was usually controlled by local whites
resonated for a quarter century, as Republicans waved the "bloody
("scalawags") and opportunistic Yankees ("carpetbaggers"). The
shirt" (invoking the memories and
race issue pulled the great majority of white southerners into the
sacrifices of dead Union soldiers),
Figure 20.59 Waving the Bloody
Democratic Party as Redeemers.
Shirt
and Democrats warned against Black
The Third Party System is a term of periodization used by historians
supremacy in the South and
and political scientists to describe a period in American political
plutocracy in the North. The
history from about 1854 to the mid-1890s that featured profound
modernizing Republicans who had
developments in issues of nationalism, modernization, and race.
founded the party in 1854 looked
This period is defined by its contrast with the eras of the Second
askance at the undisguised
Party System and the Fourth Party System. It was dominated by the
corruption of Ulysses S. Grant and
new Republican Party (also known as the Grand Old Party or GOP),
his war veterans, bolstered by the
which claimed success in saving the Union, abolishing slavery and
solid vote of freedmen. The
enfranchising the freedmen, while adopting many Whiggish
dissenters formed a "Liberal
modernization programs such as national banks, railroads, high
Republican" Party in 1872, only to
tariffs, homesteads and aid to land grant colleges. While most
have it smashed by Grant's
Democratic magazine ridicules the
elections from 1874 through 1892 were extremely close, the
reelection. By the mid-1870s, it was
GOP's use of "bloody shirt"
memories of Civil War.
opposition Democrats won only the 1856, 1884 and 1892
clear that Confederate nationalism
presidential elections, though from 1874 to 1892 the party often
was dead; all but the most ardent Republican Stalwarts agreed
controlled the United States House of Representatives. Indeed some
that the southern Republican coalition of African-American
scholars emphasize that the 1874 election saw a realignment and
freedmen, scalawags, and carpetbaggers was helpless and hopeless.
the collapse of support for Reconstruction.
In 1874, the Democrats won big majorities in Congress; economic
208
depression was a major issue. People asked how much longer the
itself weakened as voters were switching between parties much
Republicans could use the Army to impose control in the South.
more often. It became respectable to declare oneself an
Following the contested 1876 election, Rutherford Hayes became
independent.
President after a highly controversial electoral count,
Third Parties
demonstrating that the corruption of Southern politics threatened
the legitimacy of the presidency itself. After Hayes removed the last
Throughout the nineteenth century, third parties such as the
federal troops in 1877, the Republican Party in the South sank into
Prohibition Party, Greenback Party and the Populist Party,
oblivion, kept alive only by the crumbs of federal patronage.
evolved from widespread antiparty sentiment and a belief that
governance should attend to the public good rather than partisan
Campaigning Changes in 1896
agendas. Because this position was based more on social
By campaigning tirelessly with over 500 speeches in 100 days,
experiences than any political ideology, nonpartisan activity was
William Jennings Bryan seized control of the headlines in the 1896
generally most effective on the local level. As third-party candidates
election. It no longer mattered as much what the editorial page said
tried to assert themselves in mainstream politics, however, they
most newspapers opposed himas long as his speeches made the
were forced to betray the antiparty foundations of the movement by
front page. Financing likewise changed radically. Under the Second
allying with major partisan leaders. These alliances, and the
and Third Party Systems, parties financed their campaigns through
factionalism they engendered, discouraged nonpartisan supporters
patronage; now civil service reform was undercutting that revenue
and undermined the third-party movement by the end of the
and entirely new, outside sources of funding became critical. Mark
nineteenth century. Many reformers and nonpartisans subsequently
Hanna systematically told nervous businessmen and financiers that
lent support to the Republican Party, which promised to attend to
he had a business plan to win the election, and then billed them for
issues important to them, such as anti-slavery or prohibition.
their share of the cost. Hanna spent $3.5 million in three months
for speakers, pamphlets, posters, and rallies that all warned of
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209
Political Stalemate at the
Congress were filled with tobacco smoke and spittoons were
everywhere. One disgusted observer noted that not only did the
National Level
members chew and spit incessantly, but also their aim was bad. The
atmosphere on the floor was described as an infernal din. The
During the late nineteenth century high levels of political
Senate, whose seats were often auctioned off to the highest bidder,
partisanship emerge.
was known as a rich man's club, where political favors were traded
like horses, and the needs of the people in the working classes lay
KEY POINTS
beyond the vision of those exalted legislators.
Issues dividing the parties included tariffs, the gold standard,
The dominant fact concerning the American political parties
enfranchisement for African-Americans, the railroad, and
between 1875 and 1900 was that the parties were evenly divided. It
imperialism.
was also an era in which political corruption seemed to be the norm;
Political machines emerged to consolidate single-party
domination at the local level and offer patronage to its
practices that today would be viewed as scandalous were accepted
supporters.
as a matter of routine. Businessmen wantonly bribed public officials
Groups that diverged from the national party system included
at the local, state and national level, and political machines turned
the Populist Party, Greenback Party, Bourbon Democrats,
elections into exercises in fraud and manipulation.
and the Republican Mugwumps.
The sectionalism that had been prevalent prior to the Civil
During this period very little serious legislation was passed;
War was still alive and well, and with the evenness of political
between 1875 and 1896 only five major bills made it through
party affiliations, candidates personalities were important.
Congress to the president's desk. Even discussion of the graduated
income tax, by any definition a revolutionary measure, failed to
arouse much interest or public debate. All the same, there was wide
During the Gilded Age, 1876-1900, Congress was known for being
voter participation and interest in the political process; most
rowdy and inefficient. It was not unusual to find that a quorum
elections saw about an 80% turnout. Yet unprecedented dilemmas
could not be achieved because too many members were drunk or
being created by industrialization, urbanization, and the huge influx
otherwise preoccupied with extra-governmental affairs. The halls of
210
Figure 20.60 1896 Republican Campaign
of immigrants were met
Republican base as the century progressed. Republicans were also
Poster
with passivity and
known as the party of business, and they supported protective
confusion.
tariffs, transportation improvements and a tight money policy.
Republican presidents
Before the Civil War the Democratic Party had become a heavily
dominated the White House
Southern party, and its strong Southern base continued until well
from the election of
into the 20th century. By 1900 the Democrats controlled most of
Abraham Lincoln in 1860
the southern states, but they had difficulty electing a candidate to
until election of Franklin
the White House; they could not win national office with a
Roosevelt in 1933. The only
Confederate Civil War veteran. As mentioned above, the only
two Democrats elected
Democratic president elected between 1860 and 1900 was Grover
during that interval were
Cleveland, who was elected twice, in 1884 and 1892; he was the only
former Governor Grover
American president with split terms. In the South, however,
Cleveland of New York, who
Confederate veterans had the advantage in most elections. The so-
was conservative enough
called Bourbons, conservative old Southern leaders, dominated the
that Republicans were more
section.
or less content with his election, and Woodrow Wilson, elected in
A few anti-tariff businessmen were Democrats, along with some
1912 when the Republican Party split between incumbent President
merchants and other business people. Democrats were just as
William Howard Taft and Progressive candidate Theodore
conservative on money issues as Republicans: the politics of
Roosevelt.
business was common to both parties. The northern wing of the
Another part of the Republican base was African-American voters
Democratic Party leaned heavily in favor of the working classes,
who tended to vote Republicanthe party of Lincoln and
whose demographic makeup included Roman Catholics of German
emancipationwhenever they could. The gradual
and Irish descent, white Southern Baptists, and many of the
disenfranchisement of blacks in the South tended to erode the
working class immigrants once they became eligible to vote.
211
Democratic machines in the cities such as Tammany Hall in New
Political Participation and
York worked hard to get them registered and active in politics.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans were willing to take strong
Party Loyalty
stands on issues important to the voters. The sectionalism that
Political partisanship throughout the late nineteenth
had been prevalent prior to the Civil War was still alive and well,
century led to consistent turnouts of over 90% of the
and with the evenness of political party affiliations, candidates
electorate.
personalities were important.
At the national level powerful public interests tended to dominate
KEY POINTS
the political landscape. All the presidents from Abraham Lincolns
The Republican party drew much of its support from large
death until Teddy Roosevelt's accession where notably weak. All
majorities of Quakers, Free Will Baptists, Congregationalists,
were more or less decent men, but none were activists. The last
Northern Methodists, Scandinavian Lutherans, and Baptists
president of the Gilded Age was William McKinley of Ohio, elected
and African-Americans.
in 1896 with the assistance of his manager, Senator Mark Hanna of
The Democrats were mainly supported by Methodists and
Ohio. President McKinley pursued a conservative, pro-business
Baptists in the South, as well as Episcopalians, Presbyterians,
and Catholic immigrants.
agenda and signed the second highest protective tariff bill in
American history, the Dingley Tariff of 1897.
Republican partisans supported big business, the gold
standard, high tariffs, and generous pensions for Union
veterans.
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The Democratic Party argued in favor of the
disenfranchisement of African-Americans, western
national-level/
expansion, rural-friendly policies, and rejection of the gold
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Campaign clubs for both parties emerged during the Gilded
Age, including such groups as the Wide Awakes, Douglas
Invincibles, Young Hickories, Minute Men, and Earthquakes.
212
Mobilizing Voters was the basic campaign strategy to the maximum
among Catholics and other high-church (liturgical) groups, among
mobilization of potential votes. To find new supporters, politicians
those who wanted minimal government, and among whites who
systematically canvassed their communities, talking up the state
demanded that African Americans not be granted political or social
and national issues of the day, and watching which themes drew the
equality.
Figure 20.61
As the parties developed distinctive positions on issues such as the
Inside the
modernization of the economy and westward expansion, voters
1880
Republican
found themselves attracted to one side or the other. The Whigs and
National
Republicans aggressively favored modernizing the economy,
Convention
supporting banks, railroads, factories, and tariffs, and promised a
Inside the
1880
rich home market in the cities for farm products. The Whigs always
Republican
opposed expansion, as did the Republicans until 1898. The
National
Convention
Democrats, meanwhile, talked of agrarian virtues of the yeoman
farmer, westward expansion, and how well rural life comported
with Jeffersonian values.
best responses. In such a large, complex, pluralistic nation, the
Both parties set up campaign clubs, such as the Wide Awakes, in
politicians discovered that citizens were especially loyal to their own
which young men paraded in torchlight processions wearing special
ethno-religious groups.
uniforms and holding colorful banners. By the late 19th century, the
parties in the Midwest combined to turn out over 90 percent of the
These groups, furthermore, had distinctive moral perspectives and
eligible electorate in entire states, reaching over 95 percent in 1896
political needs. The Whigs and Republicans were especially effective
in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio. Some counties
in winning support among pietistic and evangelical denominations.
passed the 100-percent mark not because of fraud but because the
During Reconstruction (1866-1876), the Republicans dominated the
parties tracked people down whom the census missed.
South with their strong base among African-Americans, augmented
by Scalawags. The Democrats on the other hand did much better
213
Fraud did take place in municipal elections in large cities, where the
City Government and the
ward-heelers could expect tangible rewards. Apart from some
Reconstruction episodes in the South, there was little fraud in
"Bosses"
presidential elections, because the local workers were not in line for
Parties set up citywide political machines that brought
presidential rewards anyway. The best way to build enthusiasm was
together public officials and business leaders in a
to show enthusiasm. The parties used rallies, parades, banners,
system of patronage and support.
buttons, and insignia to display partisanship and promote the
theme that with so much strength victory had to be inevitable. The
side that lost was usually surprised, and tended to ascribe defeat to
KEY POINTS
preternatural factors, such as bad weather or treachery.
Political machines focused on encouraging high supporter
turnout to ensure electoral victory.
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By the end of the century, political machines were widely
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Major nineteenth century political machines included the
Chicago Democratic Machine and Tammany Hall in New
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York City.
Tammany Hall drew strong support from immigrants,
primarily the Irish.
Political machines such as Tammany Hall often offered
welfare assistance to its constituents in times of emergency
and hardship.
Political figures in the larger cities in the United States (Boston,
Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, New York City, Philadelphia, St.
Louis, etc.) were accused of using political machines in the late
214
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this time cities
club for "pure Americans." The name "Tammany" comes from
experienced rapid growth under inefficient government. Each city's
Tamanend, a Native-American leader of the Lenape. The society
machine lived under a hierarchical system with a " boss" who held
adopted many Native-American words and also their customs,
the allegiance of local business leaders, elected officials and their
going so far as to call its hall a wigwam.
appointees, and who knew the proverbial buttons to push to get
Tammany Halls electoral base lay predominantly with New Yorks
things done.
burgeoning immigrant constituency, which often exchanged
Many political machines formed in cities to serve immigrants to the
political support for Tammany Halls patronage. In pre-New-Deal
U.S. in the late nineteenth century who viewed machines as a
America the extralegal services that Tammany and other urban
vehicle for political enfranchisement. Machine staffers helped win
political machines provided, often served as a rudimentary public
elections by turning out large numbers of voters on election day. It
welfare system. The patronage Tammany Hall provided to
was in the party machines' interests, however, only to maintain a
immigrants, many of whom lived in extreme poverty and received
minimally winning amount of support because once they were in
little government assistance, covered three key areas. First,
the majority and could count on a win, there was less need to recruit
new members, as this only meant a thinner spread of the patronage
Figure 20.
rewards for the party members. Later-arriving immigrants, such as
62 Boss
Tweed and
Jews and Italians, rarely saw any reward from the machine system.
the
At the same time, most political machines' staunchest opponents
Tammany
were members of the established class (nativist Protestants).
Ring
Boss Tweed
and the
Tammany Hall
Tammany
Ring by
The Tammany Society, also known as the Society of St. Tamman
Nast, circa
was founded in New York on May 12, 1789, originally as a branch of
1870.
a wider network of Tammany Societies, the first having been formed
in Philadelphia in 1772. The society was originally developed as a
215
Tammany provided in times of emergency: Food, coal, rent money
and state governance. Although Tweed was elected to the state
or a job. Secondly, Tammany served as a powerful intermediary
Senate, his true sources of power were his appointed positions to
between immigrants and the unfamiliar state. (For example: In the
various branches of the city government. These positions gave him
course of one day, Tammany figure George Washington Plunkitt
access to city funds and contractors, thereby controlling public
assisted the victims of a house fire, secured the release of six
works programs. This benefitted his pocketbook and those of his
"drunks" by speaking on their behalf to a judge, paid the rent of a
friends, but also provided jobs for the immigrants, especially Irish
poor family to prevent their eviction, gave them money for food,
laborers, who were the electoral base of Tammany's power.
secured employment for four individuals, attended the funerals of
Under "Boss" Tweed's dominance, the city expanded into the Upper
two of his constituents, attended a Bar Mitzvah, and attended the
East and Upper West Sides of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge was
wedding of a Jewish couple from his ward). Lastly, Tammany Hall
begun, land was set aside for the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
served as a social integrator for immigrants by familiarizing them
orphanages and almshouses were constructed, and social services
with American society and its political institutions and by helping
both directly provided by the state and indirectly funded by state
them become naturalized citizens.
appropriations to private charitiesexpanded to unprecedented
Tweed Regime
levels. All of this activity, of course, also brought great wealth to
Tweed and his friends. It also brought them into contact and
Tammany's control over the politics of New York City heightened
alliance with the wealthy elite of the city, who either fell in with the
considerably under William M. "Boss" Tweed in the mid-nineteenth
corruption, or tolerated it because of Tammany's ability to control
century ( Figure 20.62). In 1858, Tweed obtained a position on the
the immigrant population, of whom these wealthy elite were wary.
County Board of Supervisors and then placed his friends in various
offices. From this position of power, he was elected "Grand Sachem"
It was Tammany's demonstrated inability to control Irish laborers
of Tammany, and he used this position take functional control of
in the Orange Riot of 1871 that began Tweed's downfall. Campaigns
the city government. With his proteges elected governor of the state
to topple Tweed by the New York Times and Thomas Nast of
and mayor of the city, Tweed was able to expand the corruption and
Harper's Weekly began to gain traction in the aftermath of the riot,
kickbacks of his appointed ring into practically every aspect of city
and disgruntled insiders began to leak the details of the scope of the
216
Tweed ring's avarice to the newspapers. Tweed was arrested and
Women's Activism
tried in 1872. He died in Ludlow Street Jail, and political reformers
took over the city and state governments.
The term "first wave feminism" describes the women's
movements during the Gilded Age, which primarily
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KEY POINTS
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Important activists in the women's movement included Susan
B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Victoria Woodhull,
Chapman Catt, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells,
Margaret Sanger, and Lucy Burns.
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union, led by Frances
Willard, advocated prohibition against alcohol.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's National
Woman Suffrage Association and Lucy Stone's American
Woman Suffrage Association advocated a woman's right to
vote.
Feminists also fought for women's rights within marriage,
health care, higher education, and the workplace.
First wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity during
the 19th and early 20th century in the United Kingdom, Canada, the
Netherlands, and the United States. It focused on de jure (officially
217
mandated) inequalities,
The limited membership of the NWSA was narrowly focused on
Figure 20.63
primarily on gaining women's
Jane
gaining a federal amendment for women's suffrage, whereas the
suffrage (the right to vote)
Cunningham
AWSA, with ten times as many members, worked to gain suffrage
Croly
on a state-by-state level as a necessary precursor to federal suffrage.
Prominent leaders of the
Founder of
the General
The NWSA had broad goals, hoping to achieve a more equal social
feminist movement in the
Federation of
role for women, but the AWSA was aware of the divisive nature of
United States include
Women's
Clubs
many of those goals and instead chose to focus solely on suffrage.
Lucretia Coffin Mott,
The NWSA was known for having more publicly aggressive tactics
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy
(such as picketing and hunger strikes) whereas the AWSA used
Stone, and Susan B. Anthony.
more traditional strategies like lobbying, delivering speeches,
Anthony and other activists, such as Victoria Woodhull and Matilda
applying political pressure, and gathering signatures for petitions.
Joslyn Gage, made attempts to cast votes prior to their legal
entitlement to do so, for which many of them faced charges. Matilda
The first wave of feminists, in contrast to the second wave, focused
Joslyn Gage, of the National Woman Suffrage Association
very little on the subjects of abortion, birth control, and overall
(NWSA), resembled the radicalism of much of second-wave
reproductive rights of women. Though she never married, Susan B.
feminism. Some activists belonged to conservative Christian groups
Anthony published her views about marriage, holding that a woman
(such as Frances Willard and the Woman's Christian Temperance
should be allowed to refuse sex with her husband. The American
Union). The majority of first-wave feminists were more moderate
woman had no legal recourse at that time against rape by her
and conservative than radical or revolutionarylike the members of
husband.
the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) they
In 1860, New York passed a revised Married Women's Property Act
were willing to work within the political system, and they
which gave women shared ownership of their children, allowing
understood the clout of joining with sympathetic men in power to
them to have a say in their children's wills, wages, and granting
promote the cause of suffrage.
them the right to inherit property. Further advances and setbacks
were experienced in New York and other states, but with each new
218
win the feminists were able to use it as an example to apply more
Frances Willard and the
leverage on unyielding legislative bodies. The end of the first wave is
often linked with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the
Women's Christian
United States Constitution (1920), granting women the right to
vote. This was the major victory of the movement, which also
Temperance Union
included reforms in higher education, in the workplace and
Frances Willard founded the Women's Christian
professions, and in health care.
Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1874 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Many white women excluded black women from their organizations
and denied them the right to participate in events because they
KEY POINTS
feared that the racist attitudes of Southern voters would affect their
support of the women's movement.
The WCTU based itself upon Christian morality principles,
such as sobriety and abstinence.
Source:https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
The WCTU argued for women's roles in foreign policy,
age-1870-1900/politics-in-the-gilded-age/women-s-activism/
poverty, labor, and other sociopolitical issues based upon
CC-BY-SA
women's roles as "citizen-mothers" responsible for raising the
children.
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The WCTU generally consisted of Protestants.
In addition to its support on moral issues, the WCTU
advocated for progressive women's reforms in education,
unions, and politics.
The WCTU spread internationally to form the International
Women's Christian Temperance Union.
The WCTU employed racist arguments in support of
temperance.
219
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was the first
and in helping more women become involved in American politics.
mass organization among women devoted to social reform with a
Local chapters, known as unions, were largely autonomous,
program that "linked the religious and the secular through
though linked to state and national headquarters.
concerted and far-reaching reform strategies based on applied
Willard pushed for the "Home Protection" ballot, arguing that
Christianity." The purpose of the WCTU was to further the
women, being the superior sex morally, needed the vote in order to
temperance movement and create a "sober and pure world" by
act as " citizen-mothers" and protect their homes and cure
abstinence, purity and evangelical Christianity.
society's ills. At a time when suffragists still alienated most
Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard was an American educator,
American women, who viewed them as radicals, the WCTU offered
temperance reformer, and women's suffragist. Her influence was
a more traditionally feminine and
instrumental in the passage of the Eighteenth (Prohibition) and
appropriate organization for women to
Statue of Frances Willard in
U.S. Capitol
Nineteenth (Women Suffrage) Amendments to the United States
join.
Constitution. Willard became the national president of the World
The WCTU's work extended across a
Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1879, and remained
range of efforts to bring about personal
president for 19 years. Her vision progressed to include federal aid
and social moral reform. In the 1880s
to education, free school lunches, unions for workers, the eight-
they worked on creating legislation to
hour work day, work relief for the poor, municipal sanitation and
protect working girls from the
boards of health, national transportation, strong anti-rape laws, and
exploitation of men. They focused on
protections against child abuse.
using the legislature to keep Sunday as a
The WCTU was very interested in a number of social reform issues,
Sabbath day and restrict frivolous
including labor, prostitution, public health, sanitation, and
activities.
international peace. As the movement grew in numbers and
Between 1900 and 1920, much of their
strength, members of the WCTU also focused on suffrage. The
budget was given to their center on Ellis
WCTU was instrumental in organizing woman's suffrage leaders
Statue of Frances Willard in
Island, which helped to start the
U.S. Capitol
220
Americanization process. The WCTU claimed that immigrants
Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
(particularly the Irish and German) were more prone to alcoholism.
Willard and other temperance reformers were also accused of
Susan B. Anthony, and the
racism by anti-lynching activists for depicting alcohol as a
substance that incited black criminality.
Movement for Women's
Membership within the WCTU grew greatly every decade until the
Suffrage
1940s. By the 1920s, it was in more than forty countries and had
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed
more than 766,000 members paying dues at its peak in 1927.
the National Woman Suffrage Association to advocate
for constitutional rights for women.
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age-1870-1900/politics-in-the-gilded-age/frances-willard-and-the-
women-s-christian-temperance-union/
KEY POINTS
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The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 is widely viewed as the
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first important event in the women's suffrage and feminist
movements of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
The National Woman Suffrage Association and the American
Woman Suffrage Association differed primarily on their
support for the Fifteenth Amendment.
The NWSA opposed the Fifteenth Amendment for excluding
women from its expansion of suffrage rights.
Anthony and Stanton advocated for women's suffrage,
parental property, labor, and marital rights.
In 1890, the NWSA joined with American Woman Suffrage
Association to form the National American Woman Suffrage
Association (NAWSA).
221
Overview
Their object was to secure an amendment to the Constitution in
favor of women's suffrage, and they opposed passage of the
Women's suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at
Fifteenth Amendment unless it was changed to guarantee to women
state and local levels, during the late 19th century and early 20th
the right to vote. They continued work on The Revolution which
century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth
included radical feminist challenges to traditional female roles.
Amendment to the United States Constitution which gave women
the right to vote.
Susan B. Anthony
On July 1920, 1848, in upstate New York, the Seneca Falls
Susan Brownell Anthony (1820 1906) was a prominent American
Convention on
civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century
Figure 20.64
women's rights was
women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the
Susan B. Anthony
hosted by Lucretia
Public relations
United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance
Mott, Mary Ann
portrait of Susan
Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President. She also co-
B. Anthony as
M'Clintock and
used in the History
founded the women's rights journal, The Revolution.
Elizabeth Cady
of Woman
Suffrage by
In the era before the American Civil War, Anthony took a
Stanton. Some 300
Anthony and
Elizabeth Cady
prominent role in the New York anti-slavery and temperance
attended, including
Stanton, Volume I,
movements. In 1837, at age 17, Susan collected petitions opposing
Frederick Douglass,
published in 1881.
slavery as part of an organized response to the gag rule prohibiting
who stood up to
anti-slavery petitions in the House of Representatives. In 1849, at
speak in favor of
age 29, she became secretary for the Daughters of Temperance,
women's suffrage to settle an inconclusive debate on the subject.
which gave her a forum to speak out against alcohol abuse, and
Later, in May 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association
served as the beginning of Anthony's movement towards the public
(NWSA) was formed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady
limelight.
Stanton.
222
In 1851, on a street in Seneca Falls, Anthony was introduced to
their former partners in working for both African American and
Elizabeth Cady Stanton by a mutual acquaintance, as well as fellow
women's rights, refused to demand that the language of the
feminist Amelia Bloomer. Anthony joined with Stanton in
amendments be changed to include women.
organizing the first women's state temperance society in America
In the decade following ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment,
after being refused admission to a previous convention on account
both Stanton and Anthony increasingly took the position, first
of her sex, in 1851. Stanton remained a close friend and colleague of
advocated by Victoria Woodhull, that the Fourteenth and Fifteenth
Anthony's for the remainder of their lives, but Stanton longed for a
Amendments actually did give women the right to vote. They argued
broader, more radical women's rights platform. Together, the two
that the Fourteenth Amendment, which defined citizens as "all
women traversed the United States giving speeches and attempting
persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the
to persuade the government that society should treat men and
jurisdiction thereof," included women and that the Fifteenth
women equally.
Amendment provided all citizens with the right to vote. Using this
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
logic, they asserted that women now had the constitutional right to
vote and that it was simply a matter of claiming that right.
Stanton was an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading
figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of
This constitutionally-based argument, which came to be called "the
Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held
new departure" in women's rights circles because of its divergence
in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating
from earlier attempts to change voting laws on a state-by-state
the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage
basis, led to first Anthony (in 1872), and later Stanton (in 1880),
movements in the United States.
going to the polls and demanding to vote. Despite this, and similar
attempts made by hundreds of other women, it would be nearly 50
After the American Civil War, both Stanton and Anthony broke with
years before women obtained the right to vote throughout the
their abolitionist backgrounds and lobbied strongly against
United States.
ratification of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the US
Constitution, which granted African American men the right to
vote. Both Stanton and Anthony were angry that the abolitionists,
223
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age-1870-1900/politics-in-the-gilded-age/elizabeth-cady-stanton-
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224
Section 11
Urban Reform
Urban Reform
The Settlement House Movement
The Social Gospel
Toward a Welfare State
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-age-1870-1900/urban-reform/
225
Urban Reform
Providenza Panno at 43, and the youngest were 14-year-olds Kate
Leone and "Sara" Rosaria Maltese.
Early efforts in urban reform were driven by poor
conditions exposed by tragedies such as the Triangle
Because the managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and
Shirtwaist Factory fire.
exits a common practice at the time to prevent pilferage and
unauthorized breaks, many of the workers who could not escape the
burning building jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors to
KEY POINTS
the streets below. The fire led to legislation requiring improved
The Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory burned in March
factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the
1911, resulting in a horrible loss of life.
International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for
The casualties of the fire were caused in large part by unsafe
better working conditions for sweatshop workers.
working conditions, and the prominence of the fire led to
reform.
During the height of its influence, the United States Children's
The United States Children's Bureau was organized in order
Bureau was directed,
Figure 20.65
to investigate and report upon matters of child welfare.
managed, and staffed
Addie Card
almost entirely by
"Addie Card,
womena rarity for any
12 years.
Spinner in
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25,
federal agency in the
North Pormal
1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of
early 20th century. It
[i.e., Pownal]
Cotton Mill.
New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an
was most influential in
Vt." by WDM
industrial accident in US history. The fire caused the deaths of 146
bringing the methods of
garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or
reform-oriented social
falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent
research and the ideas of
Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three;
maternalist reformers to
of the victims whose ages are known, the oldest victim was
bear on federal government policy. New Deal legislation, including
226
the Fair Labor Standards Act and Aid to Dependent Children
The Settlement House
programs, incorporated many reforms that the Children's Bureau
and its network of grassroots women's organizations had supported
Movement
for years. The Children's Bureau was folded into the Social Security
The settlement house movement was a reform that
Administration in 1946.
intended for the rich and the poor to live together in
interdependent communities.
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age-1870-1900/urban-reform/urban-reform/
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KEY POINTS
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The main object of the movement was the establishment of
"settlement houses" in poor urban areas, in which volunteer
middle-class "settlement workers" would live, hoping to share
knowledge and culture with, and alleviate the poverty of their
low-income neighbors.
Volunteer settlement workers moved into houses in order to
share knowledge with lower-income neighbors.
In the US, by 1913 there were 413 settlements in 32 states.
The most famous settlement house in America was Chicago's
Hull House, founded by the social reformer Jane Addams.
The settlement movement was a reformist social movement,
beginning in the 1880s and peaking around the 1920s, in England
and the U.S., with a goal of getting the rich and poor in society to
live more closely together in an interdependent community. Its
227
main object was the establishment of " settlement houses" in
Figure 20.
poor urban areas, in which volunteer middle-class " settlement
66 Toynbee
workers" would live, hoping to share knowledge and culture with
Hall
Toynbee
and alleviate the poverty of their low-income neighbors. In the U.S.,
Hall
by 1913 there were 413 settlements in 32 states.
settlement
house,
founded
History
1884,
pictured
The movement started in London in the mid 19th century. These
here in
houses often offered food, shelter, and basic and higher education,
1902.
provided by virtue of charity on part of wealthy donors, the
residents of the city, and (for education) scholars who volunteered
and Oxford House in Bethnal Green. There is also a global network,
their time. Victorian England, increasingly concerned with poverty,
the International Federation of Settlements.
gave rise to the movement whereby those connected to universities
The movement gave rise to many social policy initiatives and
settled students in slum areas to live and work alongside local
innovative ways of working to improve the conditions of the most
people. Through their efforts, settlement houses were established
excluded members of society. The Poor Man's Lawyer service came
for education, savings, sports, and arts. Such institutions were often
about because a barrister volunteered his time and encouraged his
praised by religious representatives concerned with the lives of the
friends to do the same. In general, the settlement movement, and
poor, and criticized as normative or moralistic by radical social
settlement houses in particular, "have been a foundation for social
movements.
work practice in this country."
The British Association of Settlements and Social Action Centres is
Hull House
a network of such organizations in the United Kingdom.
Birmingham University has produced a brief history of the
The most famous Settlement House in the United States is
settlement movement in the UK. Examples of the earliest
Chicago's Hull House, founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates
settlements dating back to 1884 are Aston-Mansfield, Toynbee Hall,
Starr in 1889 after they had visited Toynbee Hall in 1888. Lenox
228
Hill Neighborhood House, founded in 1894, Henry Street
Hall as "a community of university men who, while living there,
Settlement, founded in 1893, and University Settlement House,
held their recreational clubs and social gatherings at the settlement
founded in 1886, and the oldest in the United States were important
house...among the poor people and in the same style they would in
sites for social reform. United Neighborhood Houses of New York is
their own circle." Hull House became, at its inception in 1889, "a
the federation of 35 settlement houses in New York City. These and
community of university women" whose main purpose was to
other settlement houses inspired the establishment of settlement
provide social and educational opportunities for working class
schools to serve isolated rural communities in Appalachia. The
people, many of them recent European immigrants in the
settlement house concept was continued by Dorothy Day's Catholic
surrounding neighborhood. The "residents", volunteers at Hull were
Worker hospitality houses in the 1930s.
given this title, held classes in literature, history, art, domestic
activities, such as sewing, and many other subjects. Hull House also
Located in the Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois, Hull House
held concerts that were free to everyone, offered free lectures on
opened its doors to the recently arrived European immigrants. By
current issues, and operated clubs for both children and adults.
1911, Hull House had grown to 13 buildings. In 1912 the Hull House
complex was completed with the addition of a summer camp, the
Hull House conducted careful studies of the Near West Side,
Bowen Country Club. With its innovative social, educational, and
Chicago community, which became known as "The Hull House
artistic programs, Hull House became the standard bearer for the
Neighborhood". These studies enabled the Hull House residents to
movement that had grown, by 1920, to almost 500 settlement
confront the establishment, eventually partnering with them in the
houses nationally.
design and implementation of programs intended to enhance and
improve the opportunities for success by the largely immigrant
The Hull mansion and several subsequent acquisitions were
population.
continuously renovated to accommodate the changing demands of
the association. The original building and one additional building,
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
which has been moved 200 yards, survives today. Addams followed
age-1870-1900/urban-reform/the-settlement-house-movement/
the example of Toynbee Hall, which was founded in 1885 in the East
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End of London as a center for social reform. She described Toynbee
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229
The Social Gospel
could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by
human effort. Social Gospel leaders were predominantly associated
The Social Gospel movement applied Christian ethics
with the liberal wing of the Progressive Movement and most were
to social problems.
theologically liberal, although they were typically conservative when
it came to their views on social issues. Important leaders include
Richard T. Ely, Josiah Strong, Washington Gladden, and Walter
KEY POINTS
Rauschenbusch.
The Social Gospel movement applied Christian ethics to
social problems.
Although most scholars agree that the Social Gospel movement
Social justice issues were especially important to Social
peaked in the early 20th century, there is disagreement over when
Gospel reformers.
the movement began to decline; some assert that the destruction
Social Gospel workers were post-millennialist, believing that
and trauma caused by World War I
Christ would return to Earth after humankind had worked
left many disillusioned with the
through its sins.
Figure 20.67 Washington
Social Gospel's ideals while others
Gladden
argue that World War I actually
The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual
stimulated the Social Gospelers'
movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century
reform efforts. Theories regarding
United States and Canada. The movement applied Christian ethics
the decline of the Social Gospel
to social problems, especially issues of social justice such as
after World War I often cite the
excessive wealth, poverty, alcoholism, crime, racial tensions, slums,
rise of neo-orthodoxy as a
bad hygiene, child labor, inadequate labor unions, poor schools, and
contributing factor in the
the danger of war. Theologically, the Social Gospellers sought to
movement's decline. Many of the
operationalize the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:10): "Thy kingdom
Social Gospel's ideas reappeared in
come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." They typically
the Civil Rights Movement of the
were post-millennialist; that is, they believed the Second Coming
1960s. "Social Gospel" principles
Washington Gladden
230
continue to inspire newer movements such as Christians Against
Toward a Welfare State
Poverty.
Maternalist reforms were those that provided
The Social Gospel affected much of Protestant America. The
assistance for mothers and children, expanding the
Presbyterians described its goals in 1910 by proclaiming: "The great
American welfare state.
ends of the church are the proclamation of the gospel for the
salvation of humankind; the shelter, nurture, and spiritual
fellowship of the children of God; the maintenance of divine
KEY POINTS
worship; the preservation of truth; the promotion of social
The Children's Bureau, established by William Howard Taft,
righteousness; and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the
was the first national government office in the world to focus
on issues with mothers and children.
world."
The Sherwood Act awarded pensions to all veterans.
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Maternalist Reforms in the United States were experiments
age-1870-1900/urban-reform/the-social-gospel/
in public policy beginning in the Progressive Era that took the
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form of laws providing for state assistance for mothers with
young children that did not have the financial support of a
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male member of the household.
These reforms arose from the belief that government has an
obligation and interest in protecting and improving the living
standards of women and children.
Maternalist Reforms in the United States were experiments in
public policy beginning in the Progressive Era that took the form of
laws providing for state assistance for mothers with young children
that did not have the financial support of a male member of the
household. This assistance took the form of financial
231
reimbursements, as well as limits on the maximum working hours
law on April 9, 1912. Taft appointed Julia Lathrop as the first head
for women. These
of the Bureau. Lathrop, a noted maternalist reformer, was the first
Figure 20.68
reforms arose from the
Julia Lapthrop
woman ever to head a government agency in the United States. In
belief that government
Director of
1921, Lathrop stepped down as director and the noted child-labor
National
has an obligation and
reformer Grace Abbott was appointed to succeed her. The
Children's
interest in protecting
Bureau,
Children's Bureau played a major role in the passage and
1912-1922
and improving the
administration of the SheppardTowner Act, the first federal
living standards of
grants-in-aid act for state-level children's health programs.
women and children.
The Sherwood Act of May 11, 1912 was the first important United
Maternalism is defined
States pension law in the 20th century. It awarded pensions to all
by some experts as a variety of ideologies that "exalted women's
veterans. Veterans of the US-Mexican War and Union veterans of
capacities to mothers and extended to society as a whole the values
the Civil War could receive pensions automatically at age 62,
of care, nurturance and morality," and was intended to improve the
regardless of disability.
quality of life of women and children. To improve the conditions of
women and children these policies attempted to reconcile the
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
conflicting roles placed on women during this time period. As single
age-1870-1900/urban-reform/toward-a-welfare-state/
mothers were responsible for both supporting their families and
CC-BY-SA
raising children, government assistance would reduce the
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probability that they could be charged with neglecting their "home
duties."
The Children's Bureau was established by President William
Howard Taft in 1912. It was the first national government office in
the world which focused solely on the well-being of children and
their mothers. The legislation creating the agency was signed into
232
Section 12
Corruption and Reform
Corruption and Reform
The White City, Chicago and the World
Hayes and Civil Service Reform
Columbian Exposition
Garfield and Arthur
Reform and Scandal: The Campaign of
1884
The Scurrilous Campaign
Cleveland and the Special Interests
The Tariff and the Politics of Protection
The Election of 1888
Republican Reform Under Harrison
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233
Corruption and Reform
of James A. Garfield by a rejected office-seeker in 1881, the call for
civil service reform intensified. The Pendleton Civil Service
The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in ended the
Reform Act in ended the spoils system at the federal level in 1883
spoils system at the federal level in 1883.
and created a bipartisan Civil Service Commission to evaluate job
candidates on a nonpartisan merit basis. While few jobs were
initially covered under the law, it allowed the President to transfer
KEY POINTS
jobs and their current holders into the system, thus giving the
The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act created a bipartisan
Civil Service Commission to evaluate job candidates on a
holder a permanent job.
nonpartisan merit basis.
The new law prohibited mandatory campaign contributions, or
The call for civil service reform intensified after the
"assessments," which amounted to 50-75% of party financing in the
assassination of James A. Garfield by a rejected office-seeker
in 1881.
Gilded Age. Second, it required entrance exams for aspiring
The 1883 law only applied to federal jobs, not to the state and
bureaucrats. At first it covered very few jobs, but there was a ratchet
local jobs that were the main basis for political machines.
provision whereby outgoing presidents could lock in their own
State level corruption was not addressed until the Progressive
appointees by converting their jobs to civil service. After a series of
Era.
party reversals at the presidential level (1884, 1888, 1892, 1896),
the result was that most federal jobs were under civil service, which
A spoils system (also known as a patronage system) is a practice
allowed for more expertise and less politics. An unintended result
where a political party, after winning an election, gives government
was that parties began to rely on funding from business, since they
jobs to its voters as a reward for their support and as an incentive to
could no longer depend on patronage hopefuls.
keep working for the party (as opposed to a system of awarding
The 1883 law only applied to federal jobs, not to the state and local
offices on the basis of merit independent of political activity). Civil
jobs that were the main basis for political machines (which was not
Service Reform in the U.S. was a major national issue in the late
addressed until the Progressive Era). The Progressive Era political
1800s a major state issue in the early 1900s. Proponents denounced
reforms led to structural changes in administrative departments
the spoils system as corrupt and inefficient. After the assassination
234
Figure 20.69 Congress and
the Spoils System
Hayes and Civil Service
In this 1872 cartoon
published in Harper's Weekly,
a congressman is "presenting
Reform
a few of his constituents" for
The Stalwarts, a faction of the Republican Party in the
appointment to jobs in
federal offices. Before the
late 19th century, opposed civil service reform and
Civil Service Reform Act
favored machine politics.
(Pendleton Act) was passed
in 1883, civil service
appointments were given
based on a patronage
KEY POINTS
system; that is, those who
During the Republican National Convention of 1880, the
were loyal to an individual or
Half-Breeds advocated the candidacy of James Blaine of
party were rewarded with
government jobs.
Maine for President. A stalemate occurred between the Half-
breeds and Stalwarts, and a compromise was struck to
and changes in the way the government managed public affairs. The
nominate a decent, unabrasive man: James Garfield.
1978 Ethics in Government Act codified standards of government
Instead of giving federal jobs to political supporters, Hayes
ethics for the executive branch. In 1989, the act was expanded in its
wished to award them by merit according to an examination
that all applicants would take. Immediately, Hayes' call for
applicability to the legislative and judicial branches.
reform brought him into conflict with the Stalwart, or pro-
spoils, branch of the Republican party.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
Rutherford B. Hayes made strides toward eliminating
age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/corruption-and-reform/
political patronage in government jobs during his
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administration.
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The "Stalwarts" were a faction of the United States Republican
Party toward the end of the 19th century. Led by Roscoe Conkling,
Stalwarts were sometimes called Conklingites. Other notable
235
Stalwarts include Chester A. Arthur and Thomas C. Platt, who
suggested that the New York Custom House was so overstaffed with
were in favor of Ulysses S. Grant, the eighteenth President of the
political appointees that 20% of the employees were expendable.
United States (18691877), running for a third term. Stalwarts
Although he could not convince Congress to outlaw the spoils
were the "traditional" Republicans who opposed Rutherford B.
system, Hayes issued an executive order that forbade federal office
Hayes' civil service reform.
holders from being required to make campaign contributions or
Hayes took office determined to reform the system of civil service
otherwise taking part in party politics. Chester A. Arthur, the
appointments, which had been based on the spoils system since
Collector of the Port of New York, and his subordinates Alonzo B.
Andrew Jackson was president. Instead of giving federal jobs to
Cornell and George H. Sharpe, all Conkling supporters, refused to
political supporters, Hayes wished to award them by merit
obey the president's order. In September 1877, Hayes demanded the
according to an examination that all applicants would take.
three men's resignations, which they refused to give.
Immediately, Hayes's call for reform brought him into conflict with
Hayes was forced to wait until July 1878 when, during a
the Stalwart, or pro-spoils, branch of the Republican party. Senators
Congressional recess, he fired Arthur and Cornell and replaced
of both parties were accustomed to being consulted about political
them by recess appointments of Merritt and Silas W. Burt,
appointments and turned against Hayes. Foremost among his
respectively. Conkling opposed the appointees' confirmation when
enemies was New York Senator Roscoe Conkling, who fought
the Senate reconvened in February 1879, but Merritt was approved
Hayes's reform efforts at every turn.
by a vote of 3125, as was Burt by 3119, giving Hayes his most
To show his commitment to reform, Hayes appointed one of the
significant civil service reform victory. For the remainder of his
best-known advocates of reform, Carl Schurz, to be Secretary of the
term, Hayes pressed Congress to enact permanent reform
Interior and asked Schurz and William M. Evarts, his Secretary of
legislation, even using his last annual message to Congress on
State, to lead a special cabinet committee charged with drawing up
December 6, 1880 to appeal for reform. While reform legislation did
new rules for federal appointments. John Sherman, the Treasury
not pass during Hayes's presidency, his advocacy provided "a
Secretary, ordered John Jay to investigate the New York Custom
significant precedent as well as the political impetus for the
House, which was stacked with Conkling's spoilsmen. Jay's report
236
Pendleton Act of 1883," which was signed into law by President
Although Hayes and the Congress both looked into the contracts
Chester Arthur.
and found no compelling evidence of wrongdoing, Brady and others
were indicted for conspiracy in 1882. After two trials, the
Figure 20.70
Arthur NY
defendants were found not guilty in 1883.
customs
house cartoon
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Hayes kicking
age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/hayes-and-civil-service-
Chester A.
reform/
Arthur out of
the New York
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Custom House
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Hayes also dealt with corruption in the postal service. In 1880,
Schurz and Senator John A. Logan asked Hayes to shut down the
"star route" rings, a system of corrupt contract profiteering in the
Postal Service, and to fire Second Assistant Postmaster-General
Thomas J. Brady, the alleged ring leader. Hayes stopped granting
new star route contracts, but let existing contracts continue to be
enforced. Democrats accused Hayes of delaying proper
investigation so as not to injure Republican chances in the 1880
elections but did not press the issue in their campaign literature, as
members of both parties were implicated in the corruption.
237
Garfield and Arthur
Garfield.Garfield advocated dismissal of incompetent incumbent
appointees.
The Pendleton Act (1883) was one of many attempts to
reform the spoils, or patronage, system for government
Previously in April, 1880 there had been a Congressional
jobs.
investigation into corruption in the Post Office Department, where
profiteering rings allegedly stole millions of dollars, employing
bogus mail contracts called " star routes". This postal corruption
KEY POINTS
by the rings had stealthily succeeded for many years during both the
President James A. Garfield was assassinated by Charles
Grant and Hayes administrations. After obtaining contracts by a
Guiteau, a disgruntled office-seeker.
low bidding procedure, known as "straw-bids", costs to run the mail
The "star route" system at the United States Postal Service
routes would be escalated and profits would be divided among ring
was an example of corruption, in which certain contractors
members. In 1880, Garfield's predecessor, President Hayes,
were overpaid for their routes.
stopped the implementation of any new "star route" contracts in a
reform effort. In April, 1881 President Garfield was given
Civil and Post Office Reform
information from Attorney General Wayne MacVeagh and
Postmaster Thomas L. James of postal corruption by an alleged
President Garfield believed that the spoils system was damaging to
"star route" ringleader, Second Assistant Postmaster-General,
the Presidency while more urgent national concerns needed to be
Thomas J. Brady. Garfield immediately demanded Brady's
addressed. Garfield's predecessors, Grant and Hayes, had both
resignation and started prosecutions led by Postmaster James that
advocated civil service reform. By 1881, civil service reform
would end in the famous "star route" indictments and trials for
associations had organized with renewed energy across the nation,
conspiracy. When told that his party, including his own campaign
including New York. Some reformers were disappointed that
manager, Stephen W. Dorsey, was involved, Garfield directed
President Garfield had advocated limited tenure only to minor
MacVeagh and James to root out the corruption in the Post Office
office seekers and had given appointments to his old friends. Many
Department "to the bone", regardless of where it might lead.
prominent reformers remained loyal and supported
According to the New York Times, many "questionable" members
238
allegedly involved in post office corruption were fired or resigned.
After a juror came forward with allegations that the defendants
Brady resigned immediately on President Garfield's demand, and
attempted to bribe him, the judge set aside the guilty verdicts and
was eventually indicted for conspiracy. After two "star route" ring
granted a new trial. Before the second trial began, Arthur removed
trials in 1882 and 1883, the jury found Brady not guilty. Garfield
five federal office holders who were sympathetic with the defense,
appointed Richard A. Elmer as Brady's replacement.
including a former Senator.The second trial began in December
1882 and lasted until July 1883 and, again, did not result in a guilty
Civil Service Reform
verdict. Failure to obtain a conviction tarnished the
In the 1870s, the public became aware of a scandal in which
administration's image, but Arthur did succeed in putting a stop to
contractors for star postal routes were greatly overpaid for their
the fraud.
services with the connivance of government officials (including
Garfield's assassination by a deranged office seeker amplified the
Second Assistant Postal Secretary Thomas J. Brady and former
growing public demand for civil service reform. Democratic and
Senator Stephen Wallace Dorsey). This was an example of the kind
Republican leaders both realized that they could attract the votes of
of corruption that reformers feared Arthur would permit, and
reformers by turning against the spoils system and, by 1882, the
reformers grew concerned that the former supporter of the spoils
tide turned in favor of reform.As early as 1880, Democratic Senator
system would not devote his administration's energy to continuing
George H. Pendleton of Ohio had introduced legislation that would
the investigation into the scandal. Nevertheless, the new Attorney
allow for selection of civil servants based on merit as determined by
General, Brewster, continued the investigations begun by MacVeigh
an examination. In his first annual Presidential address to Congress
and hired notable Democratic lawyers William W. Ker and Richard
in 1881, Arthur requested civil service reform legislation and
T. Merrick in an attempt both to improve the prosecution team and
Pendleton again introduced his bill, but Congress did not pass it.
avoid the appearance of political partisanship. Although Arthur had
Republicans lost seats in the 1882 congressional elections, in which
worked closely with Dorsey before taking office, once in office he
Democrats campaigned on the reform issue. As a result, the lame
supported the investigation and forced the resignation of officials
duck session of Congress was more amenable to civil service reform;
suspected in the scandal. An 1882 trial of the ringleaders resulted in
the Senate approved Pendleton's bill 385 and the House soon
convictions for two minor conspirators and a hung jury for the rest.
concurred by a vote of 15547. Arthur signed the Pendleton Civil
239
Service Reform Act into law on January 16, 1883. In just two years'
that government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit. The
time, an unrepentant Stalwart had become the president who
act provided selection of government employees competitive exams,
ushered in long-awaited civil service reform.
rather than ties to politicians or political affiliation. It also made it
illegal to fire or demote government employees for political reasons.
At first, the act applied only to 10% of federal jobs and, without
To enforce the merit system and the judicial system, the law also
proper implementation by the president, it could have gone no
created the United States Civil Service Commission.
further. Even after he signed the act into law, its proponents
doubted Arthur's commitment to reform. To their surprise, he acted
Started during the Chester A. Arthur administration, the Pendleton
quickly to appoint the members of the Civil Service Commission
Act served as a response to the massive public support of civil
that the law created, naming reformers Dorman Bridgeman Eaton,
service reform that grew following President Garfield's
John Milton Gregory, and Leroy D. Thoman as commissioners. The
assassination. Despite his previous support of the patronage
chief examiner, Silas W. Burt, was a long-time reformer who had
system, Arthur, nevertheless, became an ardent supporter of civil
been Arthur's opponent when the two men worked at the New York
service reform as president.[ The Act was passed into law on
Customs House. The commission issued its first rules in May 1883;
January 16, 1883. The Act was sponsored by Senator George H.
by 1884, half of all postal officials and three-quarters of the
Pendleton, Democratic Senator of Ohio, and written by Dorman
Customs Service jobs were to be awarded by merit. That year,
Bridgeman Eaton, a staunch opponent of the patronage system who
Arthur expressed satisfaction in the new system, praising its
was later first chairman of the United States Civil Service
effectiveness "in securing competent and faithful public servants
Commission. However, the law would also prove to be a major
and in protecting the appointing officers of the Government from
political liability for Arthur. The law offended machine politicians
the pressure of personal importunity and from the labor of
within the Republican Party and did not prove to be enough for the
examining the claims and pretensions of rival candidates for public
party's reformers; hence, Arthur lost popularity within the
employment."
Republican Party and was unable to win the party's Presidential
nomination at the 1884 Republican National Convention.
The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act (ch. 27, 22 Stat. 403) of
United States is a federal law established in 1883 that stipulated
240
The law only applied to federal government jobs: not to the state
Naval Officer at the New York Custom House, a lucrative job with
and local jobs that were the basis for political machines. At first, the
few responsibilities, but was unable to do so. Nevertheless, he
Pendleton Act only covered very few jobs, as only 10% of the US
continued his law practice and his role in politics, becoming a
government's civilian employees had civil service jobs. However,
member of the prestigious Century Club in 1867. Conkling, elected
there was a ratchet provision whereby outgoing presidents could
in 1867 to the United States Senate, noticed Arthur and aided his
lock in their own appointees by converting their jobs to civil service.
rise in the party. Arthur became chairman of the New York City
After a series of party reversals at the presidential level (1884, 1888,
Republican executive committee in 1868. His ascent in the party
1892, 1896), the result was that most federal jobs were under civil
hierarchy kept him busy most nights, and his wife began to resent
service. One result was more expertise and less politics. An
his continual absence from the family home on party business.
unintended result was the shift of the parties to reliance on funding
Figure 20.71 NY
from business[citation needed], since they could no longer depend
Custom House
on patronage hopefuls. The act also prohibits soliciting campaign
Merchants
Exchange
donations on Federal government property.
The New York
Custom House
The end of the Civil War meant new opportunities for the men in
(formerly the
Morgan's Republican machine, including Chester Arthur. Morgan
Merchants'
Exchange
leaned toward the conservative wing of the New York Republican
building) was
party, as did the men who worked for him, who continued in office
Arthur's office
for seven years.
under President Andrew Johnson, and Roscoe Conkling, an
eloquent Utica Congressman and rising star in the party.
Arthur rarely articulated his own political ideas during his time as a
part of the machine; as was common at the time, loyalty and hard
Conkling's machine was solidly behind General Ulysses S. Grant's
work on the machine's behalf was more important than actual
candidacy for president, and Arthur worked to raise funds for
political sympathies. In 1866, he attempted to secure the position of
Grant's election in 1868. The opposing Democratic machine in New
York City, known as Tammany Hall, worked for Grant's opponent,
241
former New York Governor Horatio Seymour; while Grant was
pressure to replace Murphy grew too great, and Grant asked for his
victorious in the national vote, Seymour carried the state of New
resignation in 1871. To replace him, Grant nominated Arthur.
York easily. Arthur began to devote more of his time to politics and
The Senate confirmed Arthur's appointment. As Collector, he not
less to law. In 1869, he was appointed counsel to the New York City
only controlled nearly a thousand jobs, but he also stood to receive
tax commission under an arrangement his friend Murphy made
personal compensation as great as any federal officeholder. Arthur's
with William Marcy Tweed, the Tammany Hall boss. He remained
salary was $6,500, but senior customs employees were also
at the job until 1870 at a salary of $10,000 a year. Arthur's actual
compensated by the "moiety" system, which awarded them a
role in the tax commission's duties is still unknown; after Tweed's
percentage of the fines levied on importers who attempted to evade
fall from power in 1871, Arthur never spoke of the Conking
the tariff. In total, his income came to more than $50,000more
machine's cooperation with Tammany Hall. Shortly thereafter,
than the president's salary, and more than enough for him to enjoy
President Grant gave control over the New York Custom House
fashionable clothes and a lavish lifestyle.Among those who dealt
patronage to Conkling and appointed Murphy to the position of
with the Custom House, Arthur was one of the era's more popular
Collector of the Port of New York. Murphy's reputation as a war
collectors. He got along with his subordinates and, since Murphy
profiteer and his association with Tammany Hall made him
had already filled the staff with Conkling's adherents, he had few
unacceptable to many of his own party, but Conkling nevertheless
occasions to fire anyone. He was also popular within the Republican
convinced the Senate to confirm him. The Collector was responsible
party as he efficiently collected campaign assessments from the staff
for hiring hundreds of workers to collect the tariffs due at the
and placed party leaders' friends in jobs as positions became
United States' busiest port. Typically, these jobs were dispensed to
available. Arthur had a better reputation than Murphy, but
adherents of the political machine responsible for hiring the
reformers still criticized the patronage structure and the moiety
Collector. Employees were required to make political contributions
system as corrupt. A rising tide of reform within the party caused
known as "assessments" back to the machine, which made the job a
Arthur to recharacterize the financial extractions from employees as
highly coveted political plum. Murphy's unpopularity only increased
"voluntary contributions" in 1872, but the principle remained the
as he replaced workers loyal to Senator Reuben Fenton's faction of
same and the party reaped the benefit of controlling government
the Republican party with those loyal to Conkling's. Eventually, the
jobs. In that year, reform-minded Republicans formed the Liberal
242
Republican party and voted against Grant, but he was re-elected in
The Scurrilous Campaign
spite of their opposition. Nevertheless, the new civil service reform
continued to chip away at Conkling's patronage machine when,
The issue of personal character figured prominently in
after Custom House employees were found to have improperly
the 1884 presidential campaign with the character of
assessed fines against an importing company in 1874, Congress
Blaine and Grover questioned.
repealed the moiety system and put the staff, including Arthur, on
regular salary. As a result, his income dropped to $12,000 a year.
KEY POINTS
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Both campaigns during the 1884 presidential election were
age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/garfield-and-arthur/
rocked by scandal.
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James G. Blaine, the Republican nominee, was implicated in
a scandal in which he burned several important letters.
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Grover Cleveland, the Democratic nominee, was discovered
to have fathered a child out of wedlock.
The presidential campaign was marked by an emphasis on
personality and scandal.
Though the popular vote was close, Cleveland won in the
electoral college.
The issue of personal character was paramount in the 1884
campaign. Former Speaker of the House James G. Blaine had
been prevented from getting the Republican presidential
nomination during the previous two elections because of the stigma
of the Mulligan letters: in 1876, a Boston bookkeeper named
James Mulligan had located some letters showing that Blaine had
243
sold his influence in Congress to various businesses. One such letter
However, the Cleveland campaign's approach worked well enough
ended with the phrase "burn this letter", from which a popular
and the race remained close through Election Day. In fact, many
chant of the Democrats arose - "Burn, burn, burn this letter!" In just
Republican reformers, put off by Blaine's scandals, worked for the
one deal, he had received $110,150--over $1.5 million in 2010
election of Cleveland. These reformers were known as
dollars--from the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad for securing a
Mugwumps. In the final week of the campaign, the Blaine
federal land grant, among other things. Democrats and anti-Blaine
campaign suffered a catastrophe. At a Republican meeting attended
Republicans made unrestrained attacks on his integrity as a result.
by Blaine, a group of New York preachers castigated the
New York Governor Grover Cleveland, on the other hand, was
Mugwumps.
known as Grover the Good for his personal integrity. In the space
Campaign against Cleveland
of the three previous years, he had become successively the mayor
of Buffalo and then the governor of the state of New York, cleaning
The Democrats held their convention in Chicago the following
up large amounts of Tammany Hall's graft.
month and nominated Governor Grover Cleveland of New York.
Cleveland's time on the national scene was brief, but Democrats
It came as a tremendous shock when, on July 21, the Buffalo
hoped that his reputation as a reformer and an opponent of
Evening Telegraph reported that Cleveland had fathered a child out
corruption would attract Republicans dissatisfied with Blaine and
of wedlock, that the child had gone to an orphanage, and that the
his reputation for scandal. They were correct, as reform-minded
mother had been driven into an asylum. Cleveland's campaign
Republicans (called "Mugwumps") denounced Blaine as corrupt
decided that candor was the best approach to this scandal: they
and flocked to Cleveland. The Mugwumps, including such men as
admitted that Cleveland had formed an illicit connection with the
Carl Schurz and Henry Ward Beecher, were more concerned with
mother and that a child had been born and given the Cleveland
morality than with party, and felt Cleveland was a kindred soul who
surname. They also noted that there was no proof that Cleveland
would promote civil service reform and fight for efficiency in
was the father, and claimed that, by assuming responsibility and
government. However, even as the Democrats gained support from
finding a home for the child, he was merely doing his duty. Finally,
the Mugwumps, they lost some blue-collar workers to the
they showed that the mother had not been forced into an asylum.
Her whereabouts were unknown.
244
Greenback-Labor party, led by Benjamin F. Butler, Blaine's
contradicted his earlier explanations. Nevertheless, what Blaine
antagonist from their early days in the House.
described as "stale slander" served to focus the public's attention
negatively on his character.
Figure 20.72 Bernard Gilliam - Phryne before the Chicago Tribunal
Both candidates believed that the states of New York, New Jersey,
Indiana, and Connecticut would determine the election. In New
York, Blaine received less support than he anticipated when Arthur
and Conkling, still powerful in the New York Republican party,
failed to actively campaign for him. Blaine hoped that he would
have more support from Irish Americans than Republicans typically
did. While the Irish were mainly a Democratic constituency in the
19th century, Blaine's mother was Irish Catholic, and he believed his
career-long opposition to the British government would resonate
with the Irish. Blaine's hope for Irish defections to the Republican
standard were dashed late in the campaign when one of his
supporters, Samuel D. Burchard, gave a speech denouncing the
1884 cartoon in Puck magazine ridicules Blaine as the tattooed-man, with many
Democrats as the party of "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion". The
indelible scandals. The cartoon image is a parody of Phryne before the Areopagus,
an 1861 painting by French artist Jean-Lon Grme.
Democrats spread the word of this insult in the days before the
The campaign focused on the candidates' personalities, as each
election, and Cleveland narrowly won all four of the swing states,
candidate's supporters cast aspersions on their opponents.
including New York by just over one thousand votes. While the
Cleveland's supporters rehashed the old allegations from the
popular vote total was close, with Cleveland winning by just one-
Mulligan letters that Blaine had corruptly influenced legislation in
quarter of a percent, the electoral votes gave Cleveland a majority of
favor of railroads, later profiting on the sale of bonds he owned in
219182.
both companies. Blaine acknowledged that the letters were genuine,
but denied that anything in them impugned his integrity or
245
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Cleveland and the Special
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As president, Grover Cleveland worked to eradicate
spoils jobs from the government with limited success.
KEY POINTS
.President Cleveland announced that he would not fire any
Republican who was doing his job well, and would not
appoint anyone solely on the basis of party service.
Cleveland also used his appointment powers to reduce the
number of federal employees, as many departments had
become bloated with political time-servers.
Cleveland was also a committed non-interventionist, and
rejected the annexation of Hawaii.
Cleveland used his veto power to block many laws passed by
the Republican Senate.
President Grover Cleveland
Soon after taking office, President Grover Cleveland was faced with
filling all the government jobs for which the president had the
power of appointment. These jobs were typically filled under the
spoils system, but Cleveland announced that he would not fire any
246
Republican who was doing his job well. Nor would he appoint
In 1887, Cleveland issued the Texas
Figure 20.73 John Bull vs Grover
anyone solely on the basis of party service.Cleveland also used his
Seed Bill. After a drought ruined
Cleveland in Hawaii political
cartoon
appointment powers to reduce the number of federal employees, as
crops in several Texas counties,
many departments had become bloated with political time-servers.
Congress appropriated $10,000 to
purchase seed grain for
Later in his term, Cleveland replaced more of the partisan
farmers.Cleveland vetoed the
Republican officeholders with Democrats. While some of his
expenditure, espousing his theory of
decisions were influenced by party concerns, more of Cleveland's
limited government:
appointments were decided by merit alone. Cleveland also reformed
other parts of the government. In 1887, he signed an act creating
"I can find no warrant for such an
the Interstate Commerce Commission. He also modernized the navy
appropriation in the Constitution,
and canceled construction contracts that had resulted in inferior
and I do not believe that the power
ships. Cleveland angered railroad investors by ordering an
and duty of the general government
investigation of western lands they held by government grant.
ought to be extended to the relief of
individual suffering which is in no
Cleveland and the Power of Veto
John Bull vs Grover Cleveland in
manner properly related to the
Hawaii political cartoon
Cleveland faced a Republican Senate and often resorted to using his
public service or benefit. A prevalent
veto powers. He vetoed hundreds of private pension bills for
tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty
American Civil War veterans, believing that if their pension
should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson
requests had already been rejected by the Pensions Bureau,
should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the
Congress should not attempt to override that decision. When
government, the government should not support the people. The
Congress, pressured by the Grand Army of the Republic passed a
friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied
bill granting pensions for disabilities not caused by military service,
upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been
Cleveland also vetoed that. Cleveland used the veto far more often
repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases
than any president up to that time.
247
encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the
government on a treaty of annexation and submitted it to the Senate
government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character."
for approval. Cleveland withdrew the treaty from the Senate and
sent former Congressman James Henderson Blount to Hawaii to
Cleveland was a committed non-interventionist who had
investigate the conditions there.
campaigned in opposition to expansion and imperialism. He
refused to promote the previous administration's Nicaragua canal
Cleveland agreed with Blount's report, which found the populace to
treaty, and generally was less of an expansionist in foreign relations.
be opposed to annexation. Liliuokalani initially refused to grant
Cleveland's Secretary of State Thomas F. Bayard negotiated with
amnesty as a condition of her reinstatement, saying that she would
Joseph Chamberlain of the United Kingdom over fishing rights in
either execute or banish the current government in Honolulu.
the waters off Canada. Cleveland struck a conciliatory note despite
Dole's government refused to yield its position. By December 1893,
the opposition of New England's Republican Senators. Cleveland
the matter was still unresolved, and Cleveland referred the issue to
also withdrew from Senate consideration the Berlin Conference
Congress. In his message to Congress, Cleveland rejected the idea of
treaty which guaranteed an open door for U.S. interests in the
annexation and encouraged Congress to continue the American
Congo.
tradition of non-intervention. The Senate, under Democratic
control but hostile to Cleveland, produced the Morgan Report. This
Cleveland and Hawaii
contradicted Blount's findings and found the overthrow was a
When Cleveland took office he faced the question of Hawaiian
completely internal affair. Cleveland dropped all talk of reinstating
annexation. In his first term, Cleveland had supported free trade
the Queen, and went on to recognize and maintain diplomatic
with Hawaii and accepted an amendment that gave the United
relations with the new Republic of Hawaii.
States a coaling and naval station in Pearl Harbor. In the
intervening four years, Honolulu businessmen had denounced
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age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/cleveland-and-the-special-
Queen Liliuokalani as a tyrant who rejected constitutional
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government; in early 1893, they overthrew her and set up a
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Harrison administration had agreed with representatives of the new
248
The Tariff and the Politics of
Figure 20.74 Cleveland Tariffs
Protection
The protective tariff was a contentious issue during
Cleveland's presidency.
KEY POINTS
Cleveland and most other Democrats preferred to reduce the
tariff.
Representative William McKinley presented a bill called the
Tariff Act of 1890 that raised the tariff to a very high rate in
order to protect domestic industry.
The Wilson-Gorman Act of 1894 promptly lowered tariffs
Cleveland, portrayed as a tariff reformer
again.
The tariff was not well received by Americans, who suffered a steep
increase in the cost of products. In the 1890 election, Republicans
The McKinley Tariff
House seats went from 166 to only 88. McKinley, the acts framer
and defender, was then assassinated. In the 1892 presidential
The Tariff Act of 1890, commonly called the McKinley Tariff, was
election, Harrison was soundly defeated by Grover Cleveland, and
an act of the United States Congress framed by Representative
the Senate, House, and Presidency were all under Democratic
William McKinley that became law on October 1, 1890. The tariff
control. Lawmakers immediately started drafting new tariff
raised the average duty on imports to almost fifty percent, an act
legislation.
designed to protect domestic industries from foreign competition.
Protectionism, a tactic supported by Republicans, was fiercely
debated by politicians and condemned by Democrats.
249
Cleveland and the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act
denounced it as a disgraceful product of the control of the Senate by
trusts and business interests. Even so, he believed it was an
Cleveland's opinion on the tariff was that of most Democrats: the
improvement over the McKinley tariff and allowed it to become law
tariff ought to be reduced. American tariffs had been high since the
without his signature.
Civil War, and by the 1880s the tariff brought in so much revenue
that the government was running a surplus. After reversing the
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Harrison administration's silver policy, Cleveland sought next to
age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/the-tariff-and-the-politics-of-
reverse the effects of the McKinley tariff. What would become the
protection/
Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act was introduced by West Virginian
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Representative William L. Wilson in December 1893. After lengthy
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debate, the bill passed the House by a considerable margin. The bill
proposed moderate downward revisions in the tariff, especially on
raw materials. The shortfall in revenue was to be made up by an
income tax of two percent on income above $4,000, a 103 thousand
U.S. dollars in present terms.
The bill was next considered in the Senate, where opposition was
stronger. Cleveland faced opposition from key Democrats led by
Arthur Pue Gorman of Maryland, who insisted on more protection
for their states' industries than the Wilson bill allowed. Morgan and
Hill voted partly out of a personal enmity toward Cleveland. By the
time the bill passed the Senate, it had more than 600 amendments
attached that nullified most of the reforms. The Sugar Trust in
particular lobbied for changes that favored change at the expense of
the consumer. Cleveland was outraged with the final bill, and
250
The Election of 1888
Figure 20.75
1888
Democratic
In the election of 1888, President Grover Cleveland lost
Poster
to Republican Benjamin Harrison in the Electoral
Cleveland/
College despite winning the popular vote.
Thurman
campaign
poster
KEY POINTS
Tariff policy was a major issue during the election. Harrison
took the side of industrialists and factory workers who
wanted to keep tariffs high, while Cleveland strenuously
denounced high tariffs as unfair to consumers.
Unlike the election of 1884, the power of the Tammany Hall
political machine in New York City helped deny Cleveland the
Tariff Policy
electoral votes of his home state.
Tariff policy was the principal issue in the election. Harrison took
The election of 1888 was the third of only four U.S. elections
in which the winner did not come in first in the popular vote.
the side of industrialists and factory workers who wanted to keep
tariffs high, while Cleveland strenuously denounced high tariffs as
unfair to consumers. His opposition to Civil War pensions and
The 1888 election for President of the United States saw Grover
inflated currency also made enemies among veterans and farmers.
Cleveland of New York, the incumbent president and a Democrat,
On the other hand, he held a strong hand in the South and border
try to secure a second term against the Republican nominee
states, and appealed to former Republican Mugwumps.
Benjamin Harrison, a former U.S. Senator from Indiana. The
economy was prosperous and the nation was at peace, but
Results
Cleveland lost reelection in the Electoral College, even though he
Harrison swept almost the entire North and Midwest, losing only
won a plurality of the popular vote by a narrow margin.
Connecticut and New Jersey, but carried the swing states of New
251
York and Indiana to achieve a majority of the electoral vote. Unlike
Republican Reform Under
the election of 1884, the power of the Tammany Hall political
machine in New York City helped deny Cleveland the electoral votes
Harrison
of his home state.
Civil service reform, pension reform, and the "Billion
This was the third of only four U.S. elections in which the winner
Dollar Congress" characterized the Harrison
did not come in first in the popular vote. The first, that of 1824, saw
administration's Republican reforms.
John Quincy Adams elected by the House, the second occurred just
12 years earlier in 1876, while the fourth would occur 112 years later
KEY POINTS
in the year 2000 when Bush v. Gore decided the vote.
Harrison enacted the Dependent and Disability Pension Act
in 1890, granting pensions to all disabled Civil War veterans
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regardless of the cause of their disability.
age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/the-election-of-1888/
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Civil service reform was a prominent issue following
Harrison's election. However, he did little to advance civil
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service reform during his time in office, fearing Congressional
conflict.
The 51st Congress was nicknamed the "Billion Dollar
Congress" for its massive spending. This Congress was also
responsible for a number of pieces of landmark legislation,
many of which asserted the authority of the federal
government.
Two significant pieces of legislation that would have removed
some of the voting barriers faced by African-Americans failed
to gain Congress' approval.
252
Civil Service Reform
Figure 20.76
Billion dollar
Civil service reform, which is improvement of civil service in
Congress
methods of appointment, rules of conduct, etc., was a prominent
Benjamin
Harrison and
issue following Harrison's election. Harrison had campaigned as a
the Congress
are portrayed
supporter of the merit system, as opposed to the spoils system.
as a "Billion-
Although some of U.S. civil service jobs had been classified under
Dollar
Congress,"
the Pendleton Act by previous administrations, Harrison spent
wasting the
much of his first months in office deciding on political
surplus in this
cartoon from
appointments.
Puck.
Congress was widely divided on the issue, and Harrison was
reluctant to address the issue in hope of preventing the alienation of
either side. The issue became a political football of the time and was
immortalized in a cartoon captioned "What can I do when both
parties insist on kicking?" Harrison appointed Theodore Roosevelt
and Hugh Smith Thompson, both reformers, to the Civil Service
Commission, but otherwise did little to further the reform cause.
expenditures reached $135 million under Harrison, the largest
expenditure of its kind to that point in American history, a problem
Pension Reform
exacerbated by Pension Bureau commissioner James R. Tanner's
Harrison quickly saw the enactment of the Dependent and
expansive interpretation of the pension laws.
Disability Pension Act in 1890, a cause he had championed
The 51st Congress
while in Congress. In addition to providing pensions to disabled
Civil War veterans, regardless of the cause of their disability, the Act
The Fifty-first United States Congress, referred to by some critics as
depleted some of the troublesome federal budget surplus. Pension
the Billion Dollar Congress, was a meeting of the legislative
253
branch of the United States federal government that met in
government to mint silver. They were both authored by Senator
Washington, D.C., from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1891, during the
John Sherman.
first two years of the administration of U.S. President Benjamin
National Forests
Harrison.
The Fifty-first Congress was also responsible for passing the Land
Legislative Achievements
Revision Act of 1891, which created the national forests. Harrison
The 51st Congress was responsible for a number of pieces of
authorized America's first forest reserve in Yellowstone, Wyoming,
landmark legislation, many of which asserted the authority of the
the same year.
federal government. Emboldened by their success in the elections of
Significant Legislation that Failed
1888, the Republicans enacted virtually their entire platform during
their first 303-day session, including a measure that provided
Other bills were discussed but failed to pass, including two
American Civil War veterans with generous pensions and expanded
significant pieces of legislation focused on ensuring African
the list of eligible recipients to include noncombatants and the
Americans the right to vote. Henry Cabot Lodge sponsored a so-
children of veterans. Grover Cleveland had vetoed a similar bill in
called Lodge Bill that would have established federal supervision of
1887. It was criticized as the "Billion Dollar Congress'" for its lavish
Congressional elections so as to prevent the disfranchisement of
spending and, for this reason, it incited drastic reversals in public
southern blacks. Henry W. Blair sponsored the Blair Education Bill,
support that led to Cleveland's reelection in 1892 ( Figure 20.76).
which advocated the use of federal aid for education in order to
frustrate southern whites employing literacy tests to prevent blacks
Economic and Trade Legislation
from registering to vote.
Other important legislation passed into law by the Congress
included the McKinley tariff, authored by Representative, and
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/republican-reform-under-
future President, William McKinley. The Sherman Antitrust Act,
harrison/
which prohibited business combinations that restricted trade, and
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the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the U.S.
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254
The White City, Chicago and
celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival
in the New World in 1492. Chicago was selected over New York City,
the World Columbian
Washington, D.C., and St. Louis to host the fair, which profoundly
affected architecture, the arts, Chicago's self-image, and America's
Exposition
spirit of industrial optimism.
The World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago was an
Figure 20.77 Weltausstellung-Chicago Brockhaus
international fair whose grandeur symbolized emerging
American exceptionalism.
KEY POINTS
The exposition displayed and influenced art, architecture,
science, and technology.
The exposition covered over 600 acres, included canals,
lagoons, and examples of neoclassical architecture, and
attracted people from around the world.
More than 27 million people attended the exposition during
its six-month run.
Many prominent American civic, professional, and
Print of an aerial view of the exposition
commercial leaders were involved in the financing,
Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted designed the
coordination, and management of the fair.
exposition as a prototype of their vision of an ideal city. Built
according to Beaux Arts and French neoclassical principles of
The World's Columbian Exposition (the official shortened name for
architectural symmetry, balance, and splendor, the exposition
the World's Fair: Columbian Exposition, also known as The Chicago
covered over 600 acres (2.4 km) and included canals, lagoons, and
World's Fair) was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to
nearly 200 temporary buildings in the neoclassical style. The fair's
255
unprecedented scale and grandeur became a symbol of emergent
Reform and Scandal: The
American exceptionalism in much the way that the Great Exhibition
became associated with the Victorian-era United Kingdom.
Campaign of 1884
Dedication ceremonies for the fair were held on October 21, 1892.
The so-called Mugwumps, reformist Republicans, left
The fair ran for six months, from May 1 to October 30, 1893, and
the Republican party in anger at Blaine's nomination in
drew over 27 million people. On October 9, 1893, the date
the 1884 presidential election.
designated Chicago Day, the fair set a record for outdoor event
attendance, attracting 716,881 people. While the fair recognized the
KEY POINTS
400th anniversary of Europe's discovery of the New World, it also
demonstrated that Chicago had risen from the ashes of the 1871
The 1884 presidential campaign pitted Democrat Grover
Cleveland against Republican James G. Blaine.
Great Chicago Fire.
Blaine had been implicated in a financial scandal and
Prominent civic, professional, and commercial leaders from around
Cleveland had fathered a child out of wedlock.
the U.S. helped to finance, coordinate, and manage the fair. These
Reform and scandal were major themes of the campaigns.
leaders included the shoe tycoon Charles H. Schwab and the
railroad and manufacturing magnate John Whitfield Bunn, both of
In 1884, the Democrats gathered in Chicago for their National
Chicago; the banking, insurance, and iron products magnate Milo
Convention. The leading candidate for the nomination was New
Barnum Richardson, of Connecticut; and many other figures.
York Governor Grover Cleveland. Cleveland's reputation for good
government made him a national figure. The Republican Party
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/the-white-city-chicago-and-
nominated James G. Blaine for president in 1884, even though he
the-world-columbian-exposition/
had been implicated in a financial scandal. Many influential
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Republicans were outraged. They thought the time had come for a
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national reform administration. These Republicans, called
mugwumps, withdrew from the convention and declared that they
256
would vote for the Democratic
them to oppose the political corruption in the politics of the Gilded
Figure 20.78 Blaine-
candidate if he were an honest man.
Standing
Age.
The Democrats answered by
nominating Cleveland. They chose
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
age-1870-1900/corruption-and-reform/reform-and-scandal-the-
Governor Thomas A. Hendricks of
campaign-of-1884/
Indiana for vice president.
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After the election, mugwump survived
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for more than a decade as an epithet
for a party bolter in American politics.
Many Mugwumps became Democrats
or remained Independents; most
James G. Blaine in the 1870s
continued to support reform well into
the twentieth century. During the Third Party System, party loyalty
was in high regard and Independents were rare. Theodore
Roosevelt stunned his upper class New York City friends by
supporting Blaine in 1884; by rejecting the Mugwumps, he kept
alive his Republican party leadership, clearing the way for his own
political aspirations.
New England and the Northeastern United States had been a
stronghold of the Republican Party since the Civil War era, but the
Mugwumps considered Blaine to be an untrustworthy and
fraudulent candidate. Their idealism and reform sensibilities led
257
Section 13
The Agrarian and Populist Movements
The Agrarian and Populist Movements
Economic Conditions
The Farm Problem and Agrarian Protest Movements
The Granger Movement
The Farmer's Alliance
The Populist Movement
The Populist Party and the Election of 1896
Populism and Religion
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movements/
258
The Agrarian and Populist
movement was remarkable because it involved radical socio-
economic propaganda from what was considered the most
Movements
conservative class of American society. There were three periods of
the Farmers Movement, popularly known as the Grange,
Founded in 1867, the Farmers Movement sought to
Alliance, and Populist Movements.
advance the economic and political status of poor, rural
people, especially farmers.
The Grange
The Grange, or Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, was a secret
KEY POINTS
order founded in 1867 to advance the social and economic needs of
farmers. It was founded by O.H. Kelly, an official with the
The Agrarian Movement's Grangers opposed the railway
expansion.
Department of Agriculture. Kelly had been sent to Virginia to assess
Southern agricultural resources and practices. He found conditions
The National Farmers Alliance and Industrial Union, formed
in 1889 as an expansion of The Grange, advocated for silver
to be generally poor and became determined to found an
coinage, additional paper money, lower tariffs, the secret
organization of farmers for the dissemination of information. In
ballot, and the termination of national banks.
addition to farming practices, the Grange provided insurance and
In 1892, the Grange and Alliance movements spawned the
aid to its members. The association grew swiftly during early years,
Populist Party to champion collective goals on a political
and at its peak, had approximately 1.5 million members.
level.
Major components of the Populist Party's political platform
The original objectives of the Grange were primarily educational,
included support for silver, support for the income tax,
but these were soon de-emphasized in favor of an anti-middleman,
nationalization of the railways and other utilities, labor laws,
pure food reforms, and direct democracy reforms.
co-operative movement. Collectively, Grange agents bought
everything from farm machinery to women's dresses. Hundreds of
grain elevators, cotton and tobacco warehouses, and even
The Farmers Movement was, in American political history, the
steamboat lines were purchased. Co-operation was not limited to
general name for a movement between 1867 and 1896. This
distributive processes. Crop reports were circulated, co-operative
259
dairies multiplied, and co-operative flour mills were operated.
renaissance began, particularly in the Middle States and New
Patents were also purchased, to enable the Grange to manufacture
England. This revival was characterized by a renewed interest in the
its own farm machinery. In some states, these practices led to ruin,
Grange's original social and educational goals.
and the name, Grange, became a reproach.
The Alliance Movement
Railways had been extended into frontier states, and farmers
The National Farmers Alliance and Industrial Union, formed in
resented the absentee ownership of these railways by New York
1889, embraced several originally independent, and sometimes
capitalists. In 1867, the Grange began efforts to establish regulation
secret, organizations. The National Farmers Alliance, The Colored
of the railways as common-
Figure 20.79
Farmers' National Alliance, and the Cooperative Union were three
carriers, by the states. Such
Kansas-
of the largest of these organizations.
laws were known as
Bountiful-1907
This is an
Granger Laws, and their
example of
The Alliance movement reached its greatest power about 1890. In
general principles,
boosterism,
that year, twelve national farmers organizations were represented in
the cover of a
endorsed in 1876 by the
promotional
conventions in St Louis. The six largest had an approximate
Supreme Court of the
booklet
membership of five million individuals.
published in
United States, remain
1907 by the
For the Southern farmer, a clear enemy was the crop-lien system,
important to the current
Rock Island
Railroad.
in which farmers mortgaged their future crops in return for
American legal system.
furnished supplies. This practice placed many cotton farmers in
In a declaration of
debt to country merchants. In the North, farmers attacked a wide
principles in 1874, the
range of capitalistic legislation that hurt their business. Almost all
Grangers declared that
of these organizations demanded the abolition of national banks,
they were not enemies of the railroads, and that they were not
the free coinage of silver, a sufficient issue of government paper
advocates of communism or agrarianism. By 1876, the organization
money, the revision of tariffs, and a secret ballot.
was diminishing in national importance. By 1880, however, a
260
The Populist Party
accomplished a vast amount of good. The movement contributed
the impetus for all of the following:
By 1892, a majority of these farmers organizations, along with
industrial and radical orders, were united to become the People's
the establishment of traveling and local rural libraries, reading
Party, also known as the Populist Party. This party supported the
courses, and lyceums
following issues:
the establishment of farmers institutes
free silver
free rural mail delivery
the income tax
for agricultural exhibits and an improved agricultural press
the eight-hour work day
the establishment of the United States Department of
reclamation of land grants
Agriculture
government ownership of railways
the irrigation of the semi-arid West, adopted as national policy
in 1902
telephones and telegraphs
the pure-food laws of 1906
popular election of federal senators
the interstate-commerce law of 1887
In the presidential election of 1892, the Populist Party elected 22
presidential electors, the first from any third party since 1856. In
the railway-rate laws of 1903 and 1906
1896 and in 1900, the Populist Party merged with the Democratic
the Bureau of Commerce and Labor Law of 1903
Party in the presidential campaign.
the Anti-trust laws of 1903
The Farmers Movement was often misunderstood, abused, and
In short, the movement lessened rural isolation and created many
ridiculed by the societal forces it challenged. However, it
opportunities for farmers. It was the beginning of a widespread,
261
effective protest against "the menace of privilege" in the United
Economic Conditions
States.
Decreases in crop prices and crop failures in the 1880s
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bred economic discontent among farmers that led to
age-1870-1900/the-agrarian-and-populist-movements/the-agrarian-
the formation of the Populists.
and-populist-movements/
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KEY POINTS
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Low inflation and a scarcity of paper money increased
farmers' debt burden during the 1880s, while decreasing real
wages and crop prices.
The Populist Party emerged out of the Farmers Alliances and
the agricultural distress of the 1880s.
Supporters of the Populist Party and many Democrats
favored silver, while Republicans and financial interests
advocated the gold standard.
In 1896, the Democratic candidate, William Jennings Bryan,
argued against the nation crucifying itself on a "cross of gold".
The improvement of U.S. finances in 1897 and the Spanish
American War in 1898 drew attention away from Populist
issues.
Agricultural Distress
The economic transformation taking place during the Gilded Age
created prosperity and new lifestyles for some, but these changes
also had a widespread negative impact in areas dominated by
262
farming. Although crop diversification and the greater focus on
these elements, a new political party, known as the Populist Party,
cotton as a cash crop offered some potential for farmers to get
emerged.
ahead, other forces worked against that success. For instance, while
The Populist Party and The Currency Question
technology greatly increased the amount a farmer could harvest, it
also left high surpluses that could not be sold. Farmers struggled
The pragmatic portion of the Populist platform focused on issues of
due to debt and falling prices. The crop failures of the 1880s greatly
land, railroads, and money, including the unlimited coinage of
exacerbated the situation.
silver. The Populists showed impressive strength in the West and
South in the 1892 elections. It was the currency question, however,
During the late 1880s, a series of droughts devastated the West. To
pitting advocates of silver against those who favored gold, that soon
make matters worse, the McKinley Tariff of 1890 was one of the
overshadowed all other issues. Agrarian spokesmen in the West and
highest the country had ever seen. This was detrimental to
South demanded a return to the unlimited coinage of silver.
American farmers, as it drove up the prices of farm equipment. By
Convinced that their troubles stemmed from a shortage of money in
1890, the level of agrarian distress was at an all-time high.
circulation, they argued that increasing the volume of money would
This high level of agricultural distress led to the birth of the Farmers
indirectly raise prices for farm products and drive up industrial
Alliances. From the beginning, the Farmers Alliances were political
wages, thus allowing debts to be paid with inflated dollars.
organizations with elaborate economic programs. According to one
Conservative groups and the financial classes, on the other hand,
early platform, its purpose was to "unite the farmers of America for
believed that such a policy would be disastrous. They insisted that
their protection against class legislation and the encroachments of
inflation, once begun, could not be stopped. Railroad bonds, the
concentrated capital." Their program also called for the regulation
most important financial instrument of the time, were payable in
if not the outright nationalizationof the railroads; currency
gold. If fares and freight rates were set in half-price silver dollars,
inflation to provide debt relief; the lowering of the tariff; and the
railroads would go bankrupt in weeks, throwing hundreds of
establishment of government-owned storehouses and low-interest
thousands of men out of work and destroying the industrial
lending facilities. These were known as the Ocala Demands. From
economy. They claimed that the gold standard was the only
currency that offered stability.
263
The financial panic of 1893 heightened the tension of this debate.
movement. Despite carrying most of the South and West, Bryan lost
Bank failures abounded in the South and Midwest. Unemployment
the more populated, industrial North and Eastand the election
soared and crop prices fell badly. The crisis, and President
to the Republican William McKinley with his campaign slogan "A
Cleveland's inability to solve it, nearly broke the Democratic Party.
Full Dinner Pail."
Figure 20.80
The following year, the country's finances began to improve, mostly
Populism in
from restored business confidence. Silverites, who did not realize
the west
that most transactions were handled by bank checks, not sacks of
The Populist
Movement
gold, believed the new prosperity was spurred by the discovery of
became
increasingly
gold in the Yukon. In 1898, the Spanish-American War drew the
influential in
nation's attention further away from Populist issues. If the
Western
courts
movement was dead, however, its ideas were not. Once the
Populists supported an idea, it became so tainted that the vast
majority of American politicians rejected it; only years later, after
the taint had been forgotten, was it possible to achieve Populist
reforms, such as the direct popular election of senators.
The Democratic Party, which supported silver and free trade,
absorbed the remnants of the Populist movement as the
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
presidential elections of 1896 neared. The Democratic convention
age-1870-1900/the-agrarian-and-populist-movements/economic-
conditions/
that year was witness to one of the most famous speeches in U.S.
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political history. Pleading with the convention not to "crucify
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mankind on a cross of gold," William Jennings Bryan, the young
Nebraskan champion of silver, won the Democrats' presidential
nomination. The remaining Populists also endorsed Bryan, hoping
to retain some influence by having a voice inside the Bryan
264
The Farm Problem and
Alliances were political organizations with elaborate economic
programs. According to one early platform, its purpose was to
Agrarian Protest Movements
"unite the farmers of America for their protection against class
legislation and the encroachments of concentrated capital." Their
The Farmers' Alliance was an 1880s agrarian movement
program also called for the regulationif not the outright
with the goals of ending the crop-lien system and
nationalizationof the railroads, currency inflation to provide debt
promoting higher commodity prices.
relief, the lowering of the tariff, and the establishment of
government-owned storehouses and low-interest lending facilities.
KEY POINTS
These were known as the Ocala Demands.
Price volatility of farm products led to agrarian unrest.
During the late 1880s, a series of droughts devastated the West.
During this era, farmers became increasingly linked to the
larger economy, often with negative results.
Western Kansas lost half its population during a four-year span. To
Farmers believed railroad monopolies held too much control
make matters worse, the McKinley Tariff of 1890 was one of the
of the price of crops.
highest the country had ever seen. This was detrimental to
Designed to protect domestic industries from foreign
American farmers, as it drove up the prices of farm equipment. By
competition, the McKinley Tariff of 1890 raised the average
1890, the level of agrarian distress was at an all-time high. In
duty on imports to almost fifty percent.
response, the Farmer's Alliance made a push for political power.
Out of the rural discontent emerged the Populist Party with a
From these elements, a new political party, known as the Populist
base among poor, white, cotton farmers in the South and
hard-pressed wheat farmers in the Plains states.
Party, emerged. The elections of 1890 brought the new party into
coalitions that controlled parts of state government in a dozen
The Populist Party represented a radical crusading form of
agrarianism and hostility to banks, railroads, and elites
Southern and Western states and sent a score of Populist senators
generally.
and representatives to Congress.
By 1880, the Granger movement began to decline and was replaced
by the Farmers Alliances. From the beginning, the Farmers
265
Its first convention was in 1892, when delegates from farm, labor,
railroads would go bankrupt in weeks, throwing hundreds of
and reform organizations met in Omaha, Nebraska, determined at
thousands of men out of work and destroying the industrial
last to make their mark on a U.S. political system that they viewed
economy. Only the gold standard, they said, offered stability. The
as hopelessly corrupted by the moneyed interests of the industrial
financial Panic of 1893 heightened the tension of this debate. Bank
and commercial trusts.
failures abounded in the South and Midwest; unemployment soared
and crop prices fell badly. The crisis, and President Cleveland's
The pragmatic portion of the Populist platform focused on issues of
inability to solve it, nearly broke the Democratic Party.
land, railroads, and money, including the unlimited coinage of
silver. The Populists showed impressive strength in the West and
Figure 20.81
Freeman
South in the 1892 elections, and their candidate for President polled
Homestead-
more than a million votes. It was the currency question, however,
Certificate
pitting advocates of silver against those who favored gold, that soon
Farm output
increased as more
overshadowed all other issues.
people settled in
the west. Part of
Agrarian spokesmen in the West and South demanded a return to
this settlement can
be attributed to: the
the unlimited coinage of silver. Convinced that their troubles
influx of
stemmed from a shortage of money in circulation, they argued that
immigrants, the
Homestead Act,
increasing the volume of money would indirectly raise prices for
and railroad
farm products and drive up industrial wages, thus allowing debts to
construction.
be paid with inflated dollars.
The Democratic Party, which supported silver and free trade,
Conservative groups and the financial classes, on the other hand,
absorbed the remnants of the Populist movement as the
believed that such a policy would be disastrous, and they insisted
presidential elections of 1896 neared. The Democratic convention
that inflation, once begun, could not be stopped. Railroad bonds,
that year was witness to one of the most famous speeches in U.S.
the most important financial instrument of the time, were payable
political history. Pleading with the convention not to "crucify
in gold. If fares and freight rates were set in half-price silver dollars,
mankind on a cross of gold," William Jennings Bryan, the young
266
Nebraskan champion of silver, won the Democrats' presidential
The Granger Movement
nomination. The remaining Populists also endorsed Bryan, hoping
to retain some influence by having a voice inside the Bryan
The Grange was founded in 1867 to advance the social
movement. Despite carrying the South and all the West except
and economic interests of rural farmers.
California and Oregon, Bryan lost the more populated, industrial
North and Eastand the electionto the Republican William
KEY POINTS
McKinley with his campaign slogan "A Full Dinner Pail".
Causes championed by The Grange included reducing railway
The following year, the country's finances began to improve, mostly
freights and tariffs.
from restored business confidence. Silveriteswho did not realize
Granger Laws included the Cooperative Extension Service,
that most transactions were handled by bank checks, not sacks of
Rural Free Delivery, and the Farm Credit System.
goldbelieved the new prosperity was spurred by the discovery of
The Cooperative Extension Service created land-grant
gold in the Yukon. In 1898, the Spanish-American War drew the
university programs to study agriculture.
nation's attention further away from Populist issues. If the
Rural Free Delivery subsidized the delivery of mail to sparsely
populated rural areas.
movement was dead, however, its ideas were not. Once the
The Farm Credit System created federally chartered entities
Populists supported an idea, it became so tainted that the vast
to lend to people working in agriculture.
majority of American politicians rejected it; only years later, after
The court case Munn v. Illinois allowed states to regulate
the taint had been forgotten, was it possible to achieve Populist
certain businesses within their borders, including railroads
reforms, such as the direct popular election of Senators.
and grain warehouses.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/the-gilded-
age-1870-1900/the-agrarian-and-populist-movements/the-farm-
The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, also
problem-and-agrarian-protest-movements/
simply styled the Grange, is a fraternal organization for American
CC-BY-SA
farmers that encourages farm families to band together for their
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common economic and political well-being. Founded in 1867 after
267
the Civil War, it is the oldest surviving agricultural organization in
In the middle of the 1870s, the Granger movement succeeded in
America, though now much diminished from the over one million
regulating the railroads and grain warehouses. The birth of the
members it had in its peak in the 1890s through the 1950s. In
Cooperative Extension Service, Rural Free Delivery, and the
addition to serving as a center for many farming communities, the
Farm Credit System were largely due to Grange lobbying. The
Grange was an effective advocacy group for farmers and their
peak of their political power was marked by their success in Munn
agendas, including fighting railroad monopolies and advocating
v. Illinois, which held that the grain warehouses were a "private
rural mail deliveries. Indeed, the word "grange" itself comes from a
utility in the public interest", and therefore could be regulated by
Latin word for grain, and is related to a "granary" or, generically, a
public law. However, this achievement was overturned later by the
farm.
Supreme Court in Wabash v. Illinois.
The original objects of the Grange were primarily educational, but
Other significant Grange causes included temperance, the direct
these were soon overborne by an anti-middleman, co-operative
election of Senators, and women's suffrage. Susan B. Anthony's last
movement. Grange agents bought everything from farm machinery
public appearance was at the National Grange Convention in 1903.
to women's dresses. Hundreds of grain elevators and cotton and
During the Progressive Era of the 1890s to the 1920s, political
tobacco warehouses were bought, and even steamboat lines. Mutual
parties took up Grange causes. Consequently, local Granges focused
insurance companies were also formed and joint-stock stores. Nor
more on community service, although the State and National
was co-operation limited to distributive processes. Crop reports
Granges remain a political force.
were circulated, co-operative dairies multiplied, flour mills were
The Grange Organization is a hierarchical organization ranging
operated, and patents were purchased so that the Grange might
from local communities to the National Grange organization. At the
manufacture farm machinery. In some states, the outcome was ruin,
local level are community Granges, otherwise known as
and the name, Grange, became a reproach. Nevertheless, these
"subordinate Granges". All members are affiliated with at least one
efforts in co-operation were exceedingly important both for the
subordinate. In most states, multiple subordinate Granges are
results obtained and for their wider significance.
grouped together to form "Pomona Granges". Typically, Pomona
Granges are made up of all the subordinates in a county. Next in the
268
order come State Granges, which is where the Grange begins to be
Grange membership. The ceremony of each degree relates to the
especially active in the political process. State Masters, or
seasons and various symbols and principles.
Presidents, are responsible for
Railways
supervising the administration
Figure 20.
82 Stamp-
of Subordinate and Pomona
Railways had been extended into frontier states. There were heavy
national
Granges. Together, thirty-six
grange
crops in sparsely settled regions where freight-rates were high, so
State Granges, as well as
1967 U.S.
that given the existing distributive system there were over
postage
Potomac Grange #1 in
stamp
production and waste. There was notorious stock manipulation and
Washington, D.C., form the
honoring
discrimination in rates, and the farmers regarded absentee
the National
National Grange. The National
Grange
ownership of railways by New York capitalists much as absentee
Grange represents the interests
ownership of land has been regarded in Ireland. The Grange
of all Grangers in lobbying
officially disclaimed enmity to railways. Although the organization
activities similar to the state,
did not attack them, the Grangers, through political farmers clubs
but on a much larger scale. In addition, the National Grange
and the like, did. In 1867, the Grange began efforts to establish
oversees the Grange ritual. The Grange is a grassroots organization,
regulation of the railways as common-carriers by the states. Such
and virtually all policy originates at the subordinate level.
laws were known as Granger Laws, and their general principles,
endorsed in 1876 by the Supreme Court of the United States, have
Rituals and Ceremonies
become an important chapter in the laws of the land.
When the Grange first began in 1867, it borrowed some of its rituals
The Grange Today
and symbols from Freemasonry, including secret meetings, oaths,
and special passwords. Small, ceremonial farm tools are often
Union Grange Hall in Slatersville, Rhode Island is now a
displayed at Grange meetings. Elected officers are in charge of
community center. Grange membership has declined considerably
opening and closing each meeting. There are seven degrees of
as the percentage of American farmers has fallen from a third of the
population in the early 20th century to less than two percent today.
269
In the last fifteen years, the number of Grange members has
The Farmer's Alliance
dropped by 40%. Washington has the largest membership of any
state, at approximately 40,000.
The Farmers' Alliance was an organized agrarian
economic movement amongst U.S. farmers that
Despite this drop in membership and national awareness, the
flourished in the 1880s.
Grange continues to press for the causes of farmers, including
issues of free trade and farm policy. In its 2006 Journal of
KEY POINTS
Proceedings, the organization's report of its annual convention, the
organization lays out its mission and how it works towards
Branches of the farmers' movement formed the Ocala
Demands in 1890.
achieving it through fellowship, service, and legislation.
The Ocala Demands included the abolition of national banks,
the increase of circulating money, free silver, industrial
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The Farmers' Alliance included the Northern or
Northwestern Alliance, the Southern Alliance, and the
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Colored Farmers Alliance and Co-operative Union.
In the crop-lien system, farmers were constantly indebted to
land owners and merchants who lent them goods in exchange
for a larger share of the crops, leading farmers to a cycle of
ever-increasing debt.
In Illinois, the Northern or Northwestern Alliance sought to
protect farmers from industrial monopolies and promote
regulations on commerce and tax reform.
The alliance set up its own stores to compete with
wholesalers and its own mills to lower production costs.
270
The Farmers Alliance was an organized agrarian economic
The Northern Alliance sought to enact a more equitable tax system
movement amongst U.S. farmers that flourished in the 1880s. One
on mortgage property, pass income tax law, abolish free travel
of the goals of the organization was to end the adverse effects of the
passes to public officials, and regulate interstate commerce by
crop-lien system on farmers after the American Civil War.
Congress. The Southern Alliance developed in 1887 through the
merger of several smaller organizations. This was one of the first
The agrarian movement of the late nineteenth century witnessed
steps in unifying farmers along the American cotton belt.
Figure 20.83
The limited effects of the local policies of the alliances did little to
Farmers' Alliance
address the overall problem of deflation and depressed agricultural
Pamphlets
The Populist Party
prices. By 1886, tensions had begun to form in the movement
grew directly out of
between the political activists, who promoted a national political
the Farmers'
Alliance. For both
agenda and the political conservatives who favored no change in
groups, social
national policy but a "strictly business" plan of local economic
events helped
cement political
action. In Texas, the split reached a climax in August 1886 at the
ties.
statewide convention in Cleburne. The political activists
successfully lobbied for passage of a set of political demands that
the emergence and eventual amalgamation of numerous farming
included support of the Knights of Labor and the Great Southwest
unions and alliances.The most powerful and largest organizations
Railroad Strike of 1886.
were the farmers alliances: the Northern or Northwestern Alliance,
The political activism of the alliance gained strength in the late
the Southern Alliance, and the Colored Farmers Alliance and Co-
1880s, merging with the nearly 500,000 member Agricultural
operative Union. While all three organizations understood the need
Wheel in 1888. In the South, the agenda centered on demands of
for unity among farmers and pursued similar objectives, the three
government control of transportation and communication, in order
organizations remained independent of each other.
to break the power of corporate monopolies. The Southern Alliance
also demanded reforms of currency, land ownership, and income
271
tax policies. Meanwhile, the Northern Alliance stressed the demand
(formed in 1888, merged with the above Southern Alliance in 1890)
for free coinage of large amounts of silver.
was the second greatest organization.
Political activists in the movement also made attempts to unite the
For the Southern farmer, a chief concrete evil was the crop-lien
two alliance organizations, along with the Knights of Labor and the
system, mortgages on their future crops for furnished supplies by
Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Cooperative Union, into a
which cotton farmers fell into debt to country merchants. In the
common movement. The efforts and unification proved futile,
North, the farmer attacked a wide range of capitalistic legislation
however, and the Southern Alliance organized on its own,
that hurt him, he believed, for the benefit of other classes, notably
eventually reaching 43 states. The alliance movement as a whole
legislation sought by railways.
reached over 750,000 by 1890.
In December, 1890, the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial
The alliance failed as an economic movement, but it is regarded by
Union, more commonly known as the Southern Farmers' Alliance,
historians as engendering a "movement culture" among the rural
its affiliate the Colored Farmers' Alliance, and the Farmers' Mutual
poor. This failure prompted an evolution of the alliance into a
Benefit Association met jointly in the Marion Opera House in Ocala,
political movement to field its own candidates in national elections.
Florida, where they adopted the Ocala Demands.
In 18891890, the alliance was reborn as the Populist Party. The
The Ocala convention was part of a trend in the farmers' movement
Populist Party, which fielded national candidates in the 1892
of moving from its fraternal and mutual benefit roots towards an
election, essentially repeated all the demands of the alliance in its
increasingly political and radical position. Convention delegates
platform.
hoped that future political gains would lead to major economic and
The National Farmers Alliance and Industrial Union, formed in
political reforms.
1889, embraced several originally independent organizations
In 1892, the Farmers' Alliance founded the People's (or Populist)
formed from 1873 onwards; it was largely confined to the South and
Party, and the Ocala Demands were incorporated in the party's
was secret. The National Farmers Alliance, formed in 1880, went
Omaha Platform. As the focus of the Farmers' Movement shifted
back similarly to 1877, was much smaller, Northern, and not secret.
into politics, the Farmer's Alliance faded away.
The Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Cooperative Union
272
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The Populist Movement
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KEY POINTS
The Populists focused on railroads, silver coinage, crop
prices, and inflation.
The Populist Party supported the Democrat William Jennings
Bryan in the 1896 election.
Frances Willard chaired the first convention of the Populist
Party, also called the People's Party, in 1892 in Omaha,
Nebraska.
The party's Omaha Platform called for the end of national
banks, the establishment of a progressive income tax, the
direct election of Senators, an eight hour working day, and
government control of all utilities, including railroads.
Prominent Populist Party leaders demonstrated a dedication
to the cause of white supremacy.
By 1900, the Populist Party was in decline.
The People's Party, also known as the "Populists," was a short-lived
political party in the United States established in 1891 during the
Populist movement. It was most important in 1892-96, then rapidly
faded away. Based among poor, white cotton farmers in the South
273
(especially North Carolina, Alabama, and Texas) and hard-pressed
Kansas, Idaho, and Nevada) and received electoral votes from
wheat farmers in the plains states (especially Kansas and
Oregon and North Dakota as well.
Nebraska), it represented a radical crusading form of agrarianism
The party flourished most among farmers in the Southwest and
and hostility to banks, railroads, and elites in general. It sometimes
Great Plains, and made significant gains in the South, where it faced
formed coalitions with labor unions, and in 1896 the Democrats
an uphill battle given the firmly entrenched monopoly of the
endorsed their presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan.
Democratic Party. Success was often obtained through electoral
The terms "populist" and "populism" are commonly used for anti-
fusion, with the Democrats outside the South, but with alliances
elitist appeals in opposition to established interests and mainstream
with the Republicans in Southern
parties.
Figure 20.84 Populist Logo
states like Alabama, North Carolina,
The drive to create a new political party out of the movement arose
Tennessee, and Texas.
from the belief that the two major parties, Democrats and
For example, in the elections of 1894,
Republicans, were controlled by bankers, landowners, and elites
a coalition of Populists and
hostile to the needs of the small farmer. The movement reached its
Republicans led by Populist Marion
peak in 1892 when the party held a convention chaired by Frances
Butler swept state and local offices in
Willard (leader of the WCTU and a friend of Powderly's) in Omaha,
North Carolina, and the coalition
Nebraska and nominated candidates for the national election.
would go on to elect Republican Daniel
The party's platform, commonly known as the Omaha Platform,
Lindsay Russell as Governor in 1896.
Populist Party logo
called for the abolition of national banks, a graduated income tax,
Quite separate from the Populists were
direct election of Senators, civil service reform, a working day of
the Silverites in the western mining states, who demanded free
eight hours, and government control of all railroads, telegraphs, and
silver to solve the Panic of 1893. The Populists followed the
telephones. In the 1892 Presidential election, James B. Weaver
Prohibition Party in actively including women in their affairs. Some
received 1,027,329 votes. Weaver carried four states (Colorado,
southern Populists, including Thomas E. Watson of Georgia, openly
talked of the need for poor blacks and poor whites to set aside their
274
racial differences in the name of shared economic self-interest.
Ignatius L. Donnelly, and disbanded afterwards. Populist activists
Regardless of these rhetoric appeals, however, racism did not evade
either retired from politics, joined a major party, or followed
the People's Party. Prominent Populist Party leaders such as Marion
Eugene Debs into his new Socialist Party.
Butler, a United States Senator from North Carolina, at least
In 1904, the party was re-organized, and Thomas E. Watson became
partially demonstrated a dedication to the cause of white
the nominee for president in 1904 and in 1908, after which the
supremacy, and there appears to have been some support for this
party disbanded again.
viewpoint among the rank-and-file of the party's membership. After
1900, Watson himself became an outspoken white supremacist and
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117,000 and 29,000 votes.
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Fusion with the Democrats was disastrous to the Party in the South.
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The Populist/Republican alliance which had governed North
Carolina fell apart in North Carolina, the only state in which it had
enjoyed any success. By 1898, the Democrats were using a violently
racist campaign to defeat the North Carolina Populists and GOP,
and in 1900 the Democrats ushered in disfranchisement. Populism
never recovered from the failure of 1896. For example, Tennessees
Populist Party was demoralized by a diminishing membership, and
became puzzled and divided by the dilemma of whether to fight the
state-level enemy (the Democrats) or the national foe (the
Republicans and Wall Street).
In 1900, while many Populist voters supported Bryan again, the
weakened party nominated a separate ticket of Wharton Barker and
275
The Populist Party and the
The Populist Party
Election of 1896
The People's Party, also known as the "Populists Party", was a
short-lived political party in the United States, established in 1891
The Populist Party backed the Democratic candidate
during the Populist movement. It was at its strongest in 1892-96,
William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 election.
and then rapidly faded away. Based among poor, white, cotton
farmers in the South (especially North Carolina, Alabama, and
Texas) and hard-pressed wheat farmers in the plains states
KEY POINTS
(especially Kansas and Nebraska), it represented a radical crusading
Bryan consolidated the traditional Democratic base, the
form of agrarianism and hostility to banks, railroads, and elites
Populists, and the Silverite Western states.
generally. It sometimes formed coalitions with labor unions, and in
Agrarians were drawn to Bryan's support for bimetallism.
1896 the Democrats endorsed their presidential nominee, William
The populists supported Thomas E. Watson for vice
Jennings Bryan. The terms "populist" and "populism" are
president, known for attacking business, bankers, railroads;
and Democratic President Grover Cleveland.
commonly used for anti-elitist appeals in opposition to established
interests and mainstream parties.
Bryan's main platform was opposition to the gold standard,
as illustrated by his convention "Cross of Gold" speech.
William Jennings Bryan had an innate oratory talent. He gave
The Populists proposed both greater government control over
speeches, organized meetings, and adopted resounding resolutions
the economy and giving the people power over government
through the secret ballot, direct election of United States
that eventually culminated in the founding of the American
senators, and replacement of the electoral college with direct
Bimetallic League, which then evolved into the National Bimetallic
election by popular vote.
Union, and finally the National Silver Committee.
Bryan lost to William McKinley by 600,000 votes.
At the time, many inflationist farmers believed that by increasing
the amount of currency in circulation, the crops they grew would
receive higher prices. They were opposed by banks and bond
holders who feared inflation, and by urban workers who feared
276
inflation would further erode their purchasing power. The ultimate
Bryan delivered speeches across the country for free silver from
goal of the League was to garner support on a national level for the
1894 to 1896, building a grass-roots reputation as a powerful
reinstatement of the coinage of silver.
champion of the cause. At the 1896 Convention, Bryan lambasted
Eastern moneyed classes for supporting the gold standard at the
With others, he made certain that the Democratic platform reflected
expense of the average worker. His " Cross of Gold" speech made
the now-strengthening spirit of the silverites. With his support,
him the sensational new face in the Democratic party.
Charles H. Jones of the
St Louis Post-Dispatch
Silver in Control
Figure 20.
was put on the platform
85 1896
Republican
A two-thirds vote was required for the Democratic Party
committee and Bryan's
Campaign
nomination and at the Convention the silverites just barely had it,
plank for free silver was
Poster
despite the extreme regional polarization of the delegates. In a test
adopted sixteen to one,
McKinley
Hobart
vote on an anti-silver measure, the Eastern states (from Maryland
and silently added to
Campaign
to Maine), with 28% of the delegates, voted 96% in favor of gold.
the Chicago Democratic
Poster
The delegates from the rest of the country voted 91% against gold,
Platform in order to
so the silverites controlled 67% of the delegates.
avoid controversy.
As a minority member
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government roots towards its modern, liberal character. Through
these measures, the public and influential Democrats became
convinced of his capacity to lead and bring change, resulting in his
being mentioned as a possible chairman for the Chicago convention.
277
Populism and Religion
Wilson from 1913 to 1915, taking a pacifist position on the World
War. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a supporter of popular
The Populist movement coincided with the Third Great
democracy, and an enemy of the
Awakening, characterized by pietistic Protestant
Figure 20.86 William Jennings Bryan
Gold Standard as well as banks
denominations.
and railroads. He was a leader of
the silverite movement in the
KEY POINTS
1890s, a peace advocate, a
prohibitionist, and an opponent
Populists were often reform-minded and rejected orthodoxy
in religion.
of Darwinism on religious
Populists were mainly rural Protestants who were active in
grounds. With his deep,
church life.
commanding voice and wide
Populists used empirical and scientific reasoning to support
travels, he was one of the best
religious reform.
known orators and lecturers of
Picture of William Jennings Bryan.
Populists were often on the liberal side of religious debates.
the era. Because of his faith in
Many Populists focused on improving life in the present
the wisdom of the common people, he was called "The Great
rather than on the afterlife.
Commoner."
In the intensely fought 1896 and 1900 elections, he was defeated by
William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 July 26, 1925) was a
William McKinley but retained control of the Democratic Party.
leading American politician from the 1890s until his death ( Figure
With over 500 speeches in 1896, Bryan invented the national
20.86). He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the
stumping tour, in an era when other presidential candidates stayed
Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for
home. In his three presidential bids, he promoted Free Silver in
President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908). He served in
1896, anti-imperialism in 1900, and trust-busting in 1908, calling
Congress briefly as a Representative from Nebraska and was the
on Democrats to fight the trusts (big corporations) and big banks,
41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow
and embrace anti-elitist ideals of republicanism. President Wilson
278
appointed him Secretary of State in 1913, but Wilson's strong
descent of man through evolution undermined the Bible. Second, he
demands on Germany after the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915
saw Social Darwinism as a great evil force in the world promoting
caused Bryan to resign in protest. After 1920 he was a strong
hatred and conflicts, especially the World War. By 1921, Bryan saw
supporter of Prohibition and energetically attacked Darwinism and
Darwinism as a major internal threat to the US. The major study
evolution, most famously at the Scopes Trial in 1925. Five days after
which seemed to convince Bryan of this was James H. Leuba's The
the end of the case, he died in his sleep.
Belief in God and Immortality, a Psychological, Anthropological and
Statistical Study (1916). In this study, Leuba shows that, during four
Fighting the Theory of Evolution: 1918 - 1925
years of college, a considerable number of college students lost their
In 1905, Bryan noted that "the Darwinian theory represents man
faith. Bryan was horrified that the next generation of American
reaching his present perfection by the operation of the law of hate,
leaders might have the degraded sense of morality which he
the merciless law by which the strong crowd out and kill off the
believed had prevailed in Germany and caused the Great War.
weak. If this is the law of our development then, if there is any logic
Bryan then launched an anti-evolution campaign.
that can bind the human mind, we shall turn backward to the beast
The campaign kicked off in October 1921, when the Union
in proportion as we substitute the law of love. I choose to believe
Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia invited Bryan to
that love rather than hatred is the law of development." Bryan threw
deliver the James Sprunt Lectures. At its heart was a lecture entitled
himself into the work of the Social Gospel. Bryan served on
"The Origin of Man", in which Bryan asked, "what is the role of man
organizations containing a large number of theological liberalshe
in the universe and what is the purpose of man?" For Bryan, the
sat on the temperance committee of the Federal Council of
Bible was absolutely central to answering this question, and moral
Churches and on the general committee of the short-lived Inter-
responsibility and the spirit of brotherhood could only rest on belief
church World Movement. Before World War I, Bryan believed
in God. The Sprunt lectures were published as In His Image, and
moral progress could achieve equality at home and, in the
sold over 100,000 copies, while "The Origin of Man" was published
international field, peace between all the world's nations.
separately as The Menace of the Theory of Evolution and also sold
Bryan opposed the theory of evolution for two reasons. First, he
very well.
believed that what he considered a materialistic account of the
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280
Section 14
The Silver Solution
The Silver Solution
Inadequate Currency
Depression Politics
Coxey's Army
Silverties Versus Goldbugs
The People's Party and the Election of 1896
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281
The Silver Solution
policy using the "free coinage of silver" as opposed to the less
inflationary Gold Standard. Supporters of Free Silver were called
Proponents of "free silver" believed that the United
"Silverites". The Silverites promoted Bimetallism, the use of both
States economy should be based on silver instead of
silver and gold as currency at the ratio of 16 to 1, 16 ounces of silver
gold.
would be worth 1 ounce of gold. Because the actual ratio was about
32 to 1 at the time, most economists warned that the cheaper silver
KEY POINTS
would drive the more expensive gold out of circulation. Everyone
agreed that free silver would raise prices. The question was whether
Proponents of "bimetallism" believed silver and gold should
be used together to regulate the economy to provide the
or not this inflationary measure would be beneficial. The issue
inflationary pressure necessary to bring America out of
peaked from 1893 to 1896, when the economy was in a severe
difficult financial times.
depression called the Panic of 1893 characterized by falling
The currency debate pitted the pro-gold financial
prices (deflation), high unemployment in industrial areas, and
establishment of the Northeast, along with railroads,
severe distress for farmers.
factories and businessmen, who were creditors and would be
hurt by inflation, against poor farmers who would benefit
The debate pitted the pro-gold financial establishment of the
from higher prices for their crops.
Northeast, along with railroads, factories, and businessmen, who
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 required the
Treasury to buy silver with a special issue of Treasury Notes
were creditors and would be hurt by inflation, against poor farmers
that could be redeemed for either silver or gold.
who would benefit from higher prices for their crops. Free silver
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act led to the depletion of the
was especially popular among farmers in the wheat belt (the
nation's gold reserves.
western Midwest) and the cotton belts (the Deep South), as well as
Repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act exacerbated the
silver miners in the West. It had little support among farmers in the
Panic of 1893.
Northeast and the Corn Belt (the eastern Midwest). Free Silver was
the central issue for Democrats in the presidential election of 1896
Free Silver was a central American policy issue in the late 19th
and that of 1900, under the leadership of William Jennings Bryan.
century. Its advocates were in favor of an inflationary monetary
The Populists also endorsed Bryan and Free Silver in 1896, which
282
marked the effective end of its independence. In major elections,
in return receive nearly its weight in silver dollars and other
Free Silver was consistently defeated, and after 1896 the nation
currency.
moved to the gold standard.
Many populist organizations favored an inflationary monetary
To understand exactly what is meant by "free coinage of silver", it is
policy on the grounds that it would enable debtors, often farmers
who had mortgages on their land, to pay their debts off with
Figure 20.87
cheaper, more readily-available dollars. Those who suffered under
Republican
this policy were the creditors such as banks and landlords. The most
campaign
poster from
vocal and best organized supporters were the silver mine owners,
1896
such as William Randolph Hearst, workers, and the western states
attacking
and territories generally.
free silver.
Republican
campaign
Outside the mining states of the West, the Republican Party
poster of
steadfastly opposed Free Silver, arguing that the best road to
1896
attacking
national prosperity was "sound money," or gold, which was central
Free Silver.
to international trade. They argued that inflation meant guaranteed
higher prices for everyone, and real gains chiefly for the silver
interests.
necessary to understand the way mints operated in the days of the
gold standard. Essentially, anyone who possessed uncoined gold,
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was enacted on July 14, 1890 as a
such as successful prospectors, could bring it to one of the United
United States federal law. Under the Act, the federal government
States Mints and trade it for its equivalent in gold coins. Free silver
purchased millions of ounces of silver, with issues of paper
advocates wanted the mints to accept silver on the same principle,
currency. It became the second-largest buyer in the world, after the
so that anyone would be able to deposit silver bullion at a Mint and
government of India. In addition to the $2 million to $4 million that
had been required by the Bland-Allison Act of 1878, the U.S.
government was now required to purchase an additional 4.5 million
283
ounces of silver bullion every month. The law required the Treasury
Inadequate Currency
to buy the silver with a special issue of Treasury Notes that could be
redeemed for either silver or gold.
Proponents of bimetalism argued that the gold standard
left an inadequate supply of currency in circulation.
That plan backfired, as people, mostly investors, turned in the new
coin notes for gold dollars, thus depleting the government's gold
reserves. As concern of the state of the economy worsened, people
KEY POINTS
rushed to withdraw their money from banks and caused bank runs.
Currency policy was a matter of intense political debate
The credit crunch rippled through the economy. A financial panic in
during the 1880's and 90's.
the United Kingdom and a drop in trade in Europe caused foreign
Many believed that switching to a silver-based economy
investors to sell American stocks to obtain American funds backed
would ease currency pressures.
by gold.
William Jennings Bryan delivered a famous speech at the
Democratic National Convention in 1896 called the "Cross of
After the Panic of 1893 broke, President Grover Cleveland oversaw
Gold" speech in which he argued for bimetallism, or the joint
the repeal of the Act in 1893 to prevent the depletion of the
use of silver and gold.
country's gold reserves. Banker J. P. Morgan stepped in to form a
Crop-lien credit systems, widely used in the South after the
Civil War, meant that many farmers operated on credit and
syndicate that saved the U.S. with a massive gold loan, for which he
were short of cash.
received a commission. Nevertheless, Morgan succeeded in saving
the nation from bankruptcy. While the repeal of the Act is
sometimes blamed for the Panic, the Panic was already well
William Jennings Bryan
underway.
The "Cross of Gold" speech was delivered by William Jennings
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Bryan, a former congressman from Nebraska, at the Democratic
age-1870-1900/the-silver-solution/the-silver-solution/
National Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896. In the address,
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Bryan supported bimetallism or "free silver", which he believed
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284
would bring the nation prosperity. He decried the gold standard,
Congress noted in the act that silver was not being coined, and
concluding the speech, "you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross
eliminated a practice thought obsolete. However, during the
of gold". Bryan's address helped catapult him to the Democratic
economic chaos of
Figure 20.88
Party's presidential nomination. His speech is considered one of the
the Panic of 1873, the
William Jennings
greatest political speeches in American history.
price of silver
Bryan
In his "Cross of
dropped
Bimetallism
Gold" speech,
significantly, but the
William Jennings
Bryan advocated
For twenty years, Americans had been bitterly divided over the
Mint would accept
for bimetallism or
nation's monetary standard. The gold standard, which the United
none for striking into
"free silver",
which he
States had effectively been on since 1873, limited the money supply
legal tender. Silver
believed would
but eased trade with other nations, such as the United Kingdom,
producers
bring the nation
prosperity.
whose currency was also based on gold. However, many Americans
complained, and
believed bimetallism, making both gold and silver legal tender, was
many Americans
necessary to the nation's economic health. The economic Panic of
came to believe that
1893 intensified the debates, and when Democratic President
only through bimetallism could the nation achieve and maintain
Grover Cleveland continued to support the gold standard against
prosperity. They called for the return to pre-1873 laws, which would
the will of much of his party, activists became determined to take
require the Mint to take all the silver offered it and return it, struck
over the Democratic Party organization and nominate a silver-
into silver dollars. To advocates of what became known as free
supporting candidate in 1896.
silver, the 1873 act became known as the "Crime of '73". Pro-silver
forces, with congressional leaders such as Missouri Representative
The Coinage Act of 1873 eliminated the standard silver dollar. It
Richard P. Bland, sought the passage of bills to allow depositors of
also repealed the statutory provisions allowing silver bullion to be
silver bullion to receive it back in the form of coin. Such bills,
presented to the Mint and returned in the form of circulating
sponsored by Bland, passed the House of Representatives in 1876
money. In passing the Coinage Act, Congress eliminated
and 1877, but both times failed in the Senate. A third attempt in
bimetallism.This was not the actual intent of the legislation.
285
early 1878 again passed the House, and eventually both houses after
The Farmers' Alliance
being amended in the Senate. The bill, as modified by amendments
The Farmers' Alliance was an organized agrarian economic
sponsored by Iowa Senator William B. Allison, did not reverse the
movement among U.S. farmers that flourished in the 1880s. One of
1873 provisions, but required the Treasury to purchase a minimum
the goals of the organization was to end the adverse effects of the
of $2 million of silver bullion per month. The profit, or seignorage,
crop-lien system on farmers after the American Civil War. First
from monetizing the silver was to be used to purchase more silver
formed in 1877 in Lampasas, Texas, the Alliance was designed to
bullion. The silver would be struck into dollar coins, to be circulated
promote higher commodity prices through collective action by
or else stored and used as backing for silver certificates. The Bland-
groups of individual farmers. The movement was strongest in the
Allison Act was vetoed by President Rutherford B. Hayes, but was
South, and was widely popular before it was destroyed by the power
enacted by Congress over his veto on February 28, 1878.
of commodity brokers. Despite its failure, it is regarded as the
Implementation of the Bland-Allison Act did not end calls for free
precursor to the Populist Party, which grew out of the ashes of the
silver.
Alliance in 1892.
The Bimetallic Committee carefully planned to take control of every
The crop-lien system is a credit system that became widely used by
aspect of the convention, eliminating any threat that the minority
farmers in the United States in the South from the 1860s to the
gold faction could take power. It made no secret of these
1920s. After the American Civil War, farmers in the South had little
preparations. This takeover was considered far more important
cash. The crop-lien system was a way for farmers to get credit
than was the choice of presidential candidate, and the committee
before the planting season by borrowing against the value for
decided to take no position on who should win the race for the
anticipated harvests. Local merchants provided food and supplies
nomination, reasoning that the victor, no matter who he was, would
all year long on credit. When the cotton crop was harvested, farmers
be a silver man. Well aware of the overwhelming forces against
turned it over to the merchant to pay back their loan. Sometimes
them, many gold delegates were inclined to concede the platform
there was cash left over. When cotton prices were low, the crop did
battle.
not cover the debt and the farmer started the next year in the red.
286
The credit system was used by land owners, sharecroppers, and
Depression Politics
tenant farmers.
The midterm elections of 1894 brought a major
The merchants had to borrow the money to buy supplies, and in
Republican victory and fragmented the Democratic
turn charged the farmer interest as well as a higher price for
Party.
merchandise bought on such credit. The merchant insisted that
more cotton, or some other cash crop, be grownnothing else paid
welland thus came to dictate the crops that a farmer grew. When
KEY POINTS
farmers suddenly left the area, the bills went unpaid and the
Republicans blamed the conservative wing of the Democratic
merchant had to absorb the loss, as well as the risk that cotton
Party, called the Bourbon Democrats, for the depression of
prices would fall so the raw cotton he was given at harvest time was
the 1890s.
worth less than the amount he loaned during the year.
In 1894, the Pullman Strike brought about a major conflict
between labor unions and railroads.
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Eugene V. Debs led the American Railway Union in the
age-1870-1900/the-silver-solution/inadequate-currency/
strike, which had to be broken up by Army troops.
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The U.S. House election of 1894 was a realigning electiona major
Republican landslide that set the stage for the decisive Election of
1896. The elections of members of the United States House of
Representatives in 1894 came in the middle of President Grover
Cleveland's second term. The nation was in its deepest economic
depression ever following the Panic of 1893, so economic issues
were at the forefront.
287
In the spring, a major coal strike damaged the economy of the
Democrats tried to raise a religious issue, claiming the GOP was in
Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. It was accompanied by violence; the
cahoots with the American Protective Association. Democrat
miners lost and many moved toward the Populist party.
William Jennings Bryan lost the Senate race in Nebraska, but came
Immediately after the coal strike concluded, Eugene V. Debs led a
back to win the 1896 presidential nomination.
nationwide railroad strike, called the Pullman Strike. The
After having elected Bourbon Democrat leader Grover Cleveland to
fragmented and disoriented Democratic Party was crushed
the office of President both in 1884 and in 1892, the support for the
everywhere outside the South, losing more than half its seats to the
movement was considerably damaged in the wake of the Panic of
Republican Party. Even in the South, the Democrats lost seats to
1893. The President, a staunch believer in the gold standard,
Republican-Populist electoral fusion in Alabama, Texas, Tennessee,
refused to inflate the money supply with silver, thus alienating the
and North Carolina. The Democrats lost 125 seats in the election
agrarian populist wing of the Democratic Party.
while the Republicans gained 130 seats. This makes the 1894
election the largest midterm election victory in the entire history of
The delegates at the 1896 Democratic National Convention quickly
the United States.
turned against the policies of Grover Cleveland and those advocated
Background
Figure 20.89
Pullman Strike
The main issues revolved around the severe economic depression,
Photo
which the Republicans blamed on the conservative Bourbon
Striking
Democrats led by Cleveland. Cleveland supporters lost heavily,
American
Railway Union
weakening their hold on the party and setting the stage for an 1896
members
takeover by the silverist wing of the party. The Populist Party ran
confront Illinois
National Guard
candidates in the South and Midwest, but generally lost ground,
troops in
outside Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas where
Chicago during
the Pullman
state-level fusion with the Republicans was successful despite
Strike
Populist and Republican antagonism at the national level. The
288
by the Bourbon Democrats, favoring bimetallism as a way out of the
described as "a struggle between the greatest and most important
depression. Nebraska congressman William Jennings Bryan now
labor organization and the entire railroad capital" that involved
took the stage as the great opponent of the Bourbon Democrats.
some 250,000 workers in 27 states at its peak.
Harnessing the energy of an agrarian insurgency with his famous
The strike was broken up by United States Marshals and some
Cross of Gold speech, the congressman was soon selected to be the
12,000 United States Army troops, commanded by Nelson Miles,
Democratic nominee for President in that election.
sent in by President Grover Cleveland on the premise that the strike
Some of the Bourbons sat out the 1896 election or tacitly supported
interfered with the delivery of U.S. Mail, violated the Sherman
McKinley, the Republican nominee; others created the third party
Antitrust Act, and represented a threat to public safety. The arrival
ticket of the National Democratic Party led by John M. Palmer, a
of the military and subsequent deaths of workers led to further
former governor of Illinois. Most Bourbons returned to the
outbreaks of violence. During the course of the strike, 13 strikers
Democratic party by 1900 or 1904 at the latest. Bryan demonstrated
were killed and 57 were wounded.
his hold on the party by winning the 1900 and 1908 Democratic
nominations as well; in 1904, a Bourbon, Alton B. Parker, won the
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age-1870-1900/the-silver-solution/depression-politics/
nomination. He lost, as did Bryan every time.
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The Pullman Strike
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The Pullman Strike was a nationwide conflict between labor
unions and railroads that occurred in the United States in 1894.
The conflict began in the town of Pullman, Illinois, on May 11 when
nearly 4,000 employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company began
a wildcat strike in response to recent reductions in wages, bringing
traffic west of Chicago to a halt. The American Railway Union, the
nation's first industry-wide union, led by Eugene V. Debs,
subsequently became embroiled in what The New York Times
289
Coxey's Army
Figure 20.90
Coxey Leading
Coxey's Army was a protest march by unemployed
Army
workers from the United States, led by Ohio
Coxey's Army
marchers
businessman Jacob Coxey.
leaving their
camp.
KEY POINTS
Ohio businessmen Jacob Coxey led a march of unemployed
workers to protest in Washington, D.C., in 1894. The group
became known as Coxey's Army.
The purpose of the march was to protest the unemployment
caused by the Panic of 1893 and to lobby for the government
to create jobs that would involve building roads and other
public works improvements.
Washington, and the expression "Enough food to feed Coxey's
Many of the unemployed were railroad workers who blamed
Army" originates from this march.
monetary policies and railroad companies for their problems.
The purpose of the march was to protest the unemployment caused
by the Panic of 1893 and to lobby for the government to create jobs
Coxey's Army was a protest march by unemployed workers from
that would involve building roads and other public works
the United States, led by Ohio businessman Jacob Coxey. They
improvements. They also demanded that workers be paid in paper
marched on Washington D.C. in 1894, the second year of a four-
currency, which would expand the currency in circulation,
year economic depression that was the worst in United States
consistent with populist ideology. The march originated with 100
history to that time. Officially named the Army of the Commonweal
men in Massillon, Ohio, on March 25, 1894. It passed through
in Christ, its nickname came from its leader and was more
Pittsburgh, Becks Run and Homestead, Pennsylvania, in April.
enduring. It was the first significant popular protest march on
290
The Army's western section received the nickname Kelly's Army,
the military intervention they provoked proved to be a rehearsal for
after California leader "General" Charles T. Kelly. Although larger at
the federal force that broke the Pullman Strike later that year.
its beginning, Kelly's Army lost members on its long journey; few
made it past the Ohio River. Various groups from around the
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age-1870-1900/the-silver-solution/coxey-s-army/
country gathered to join the march, and its number had grown to
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500 with more on the way from further west when it reached
Washington on April 30, 1894. The 260-acre Shreve farm site at
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current day Colmar Manor, Maryland was used by the 6,000 jobless
men as a camp site. Coxey and other leaders of the movement were
arrested the next day for walking on the grass of the United States
Capitol. Interest in the march and protest rapidly dwindled.
Some of the most militant Coxeyites were those who formed their
own "armies" in Pacific Northwest centers such as Butte, Tacoma,
Spokane, and Portland. Many of these protesters were unemployed
railroad workers who blamed railroad companies, President
Cleveland's monetary policies, and excessive freight rates for their
plight. The climax of this movement was perhaps on April 21, 1894,
when William Hogan and approximately 500 followers
commandeered a Northern Pacific Railway train for their trek to
Washington, D.C. They enjoyed support along the way, which
enabled them to fight off the federal marshals attempting to stop
them. Federal troops finally apprehended the Hoganites near
Forsyth, Montana. While the protesters never made it to the capital,
291
Silverties Versus Goldbugs
was judged to have inhibited inflation. The Panic of 1893 was a
severe nationwide depression that brought the money issue to the
"Silverites" were pitted against "Goldbugs" in a political
forefront. The "silverites" argued that using silver would inflate the
conflict towards the end of the 1800s that revolved
money supply and mean more cash for everyone, which they
around currency policy.
equated with prosperity. The gold advocates said silver would
permanently depress the economy, but that sound money produced
KEY POINTS
Figure 20.91 Flower
Silverites wanted the United States to pursue a policy of
delegation
bimetallism, or joint use of gold and silver as an economic
William and Ida McKinley
standard.
(to her husband's right)
pose with members of the
Goldbugs believed the economy should stay on a gold
"Flower Delegation" from
standard and that silver would depress the economy.
Oil City, Pennsylvania,
before the McKinley home.
Free silver policies were favored by those in the west, which
Although women could not
mined a great deal of silver.
vote in most states, they
might influence male
relatives and were
encouraged to visit Canton.
Bimetallism
by a gold standard would restore prosperity.
Toward the end of the 1800s, bimetallism became a cause of
political conflict in the United States. During the Civil War, the U.S.
Silver vs. Gold in the 1896 Presidential Election
switched from bimetallism to a fiat money currency to finance the
war. After the war, the government passed the Fourth Coinage Act
William Jennings Bryan, who took over leadership of the
in 1873 and soon resumed payments without the free and unlimited
Democratic Party in 1896 as well as the Populist and Silver
coinage of silver. This put the U.S. on a mono-metallic gold
Republican Parties, demanded bimetallism and "Free Silver." The
standard. This angered the proponents of monetary silver, known as
Republican Party nominated William McKinley on a platform
the silverites. They referred to this act as "The Crime of '73," as it
supporting the gold standard which was favored by financial
292
interests on the east coast. A faction of Republicans from western
Act of 1834. Silverites belonged to a number of political parties,
silver mining regions known as the Silver Republicans endorsed
including the Silver Party, Populist Party, Democratic Party, and the
Bryan. Bryan, the eloquent champion of the cause, gave the famous
Silver Republican Party.
"Cross of Gold" speech at the National Democratic Convention on
The Silverites advocated free coinage of silver. They wanted to lower
July 9, 1896 asserting that "The gold standard has slain tens of
the gold standard of the United States to silver, which would have
thousands." However, his presidential campaign was ultimately
simultaneously allowed more money to be printed and made
unsuccessful; this can be partially attributed to the discovery of the
available to the public which would cause inflation. Many Silverites
cyanide process by which gold could be extracted from low grade
were from the West, where silver was mined. Advocates predicted
ore. This process and the discoveries of large gold deposits in South
that if silver were used as the standard of money, they would be able
Africa and Alaska (Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1887 and the
to pay off all of their debt. The debt amount would stay the same but
Klondike Gold Rush of 1896) increased the world gold supply and
they would have more silver money with which to pay it.
the subsequent increase in money supply that free coinage of silver
was supposed to bring. The McKinley campaign effectively
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persuaded voters that the Bryan platform would exacerbate poor
age-1870-1900/the-silver-solution/silverties-versus-goldbugs/
economic progress and unemployment. McKinley was elected in
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1896.
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The Silverites
The Silverites were members of a political movement in the United
States in the late 1800s that advocated that silver should continue
to be a monetary standard along with gold, as authorized under the
Coinage Act of 1792. The Silverite coalition's famous slogan was "16
to 1" that is, the ratio of sixteen ounces of silver equal in value to
one ounce of gold, a ratio similar to that established in the Coinage
293
The People's Party and the
allegiance of eastern Republicans to the gold standard, considered
forming their own party. When the Republicans nominated former
Election of 1896
Ohio Governor William McKinley for president in June 1896 and
passed at his request a platform strongly supporting the gold
Discontent with the two major political parties during
standard, a number of " Silver Republicans" walked out of the
the 1896 election year led to strong third party efforts
convention. The leader of those who left was Colorado Senator
by the People's Party.
Henry M. Teller; he was immediately seen as a possible candidate
for the Democratic nomination.
KEY POINTS
The 1896 Democratic convention opened at the Chicago Coliseum
Some Republicans joined the Populist party, and many left
on July 7, 1896. Silver forces were supported by the Democratic
the Republican Party to form the Silver Republican Party.
National Bimetallic Committee, the umbrella group formed in 1895
The Democratic Party took up the causes of the People's
to support silver Democrats in their insurgency against Cleveland.
Party.
Gold Democrats looked to the President for leadership, but
The Populist Party endorsed William Jennings Bryan, the
Democratic nominee, but only with their own vice
Figure 20.92
presidential nominee, Thomas E. Watson.
1896
The Republicans nominated Ohio Governor William
Democratic
McKinley.
Convention
1896
Democratic
Convention
Discontent, Gold, Silver
where Bryan
delivered his
In early 1896, with the economy still poor, there was widespread
famous
"Cross of
discontent with the two existing major political parties. Some
Gold"
peoplemostly Democratsjoined the far-left Populist Party. Many
speech.
Republicans in the western states, dismayed by the strong
294
Cleveland, trusting few in his party, did not involve himself further
nominee, Thomas E. Watson of Georgia. Watson was cautiously
in the gold efforts; he spent the week of the convention fishing off
open to cooperation, but after the election he recanted any hope in
the New Jersey coast.
the possibility of cooperation as a viable tool. Bryan's strength was
based on the traditional Democratic vote (minus the middle class
William Jennings Bryan
and the Germans); he swept the old Populist strongholds in the
By 1896, the Democratic Party took up many of the People's Party's
west and South, and added the Silverite states in the west, but he
causes at the national level, and the party began to fade from
did poorly in the industrial heartland. He lost to Republican
national prominence. In that year's presidential election, the
William McKinley by a margin of 600,000 votes, losing again in a
Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan, who focused (as
1900 rematch by a larger margin.
Populists rarely did) on the free silver issue as a solution to the
economic depression and the maldistribution of power.
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age-1870-1900/the-silver-solution/the-people-s-party-and-the-
The "Cross of Gold" speech was delivered by Bryan, a former
election-of-1896/
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congressman from Nebraska, at the Democratic National
Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896. In the address, Bryan
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supported bimetallism or "free silver," which he believed would
bring the nation prosperity. He decried the gold standard,
concluding the speech, "you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross
of gold." Bryan's address helped catapult him to the Democratic
Party's presidential nomination; it is considered one of the greatest
political speeches in American history.
The Populists had the choice of endorsing Bryan or running their
own candidate. After great infighting at their St. Louis convention,
they decided to endorse Bryan but with their own vice presidential
295
Chapter 21
Race, Empire,
and Culture in
the Gilded
Age:
1870-1900
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-culture-
in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/
Section 1
Culture in the Gilded Age
Freedom, Inequality, and Democracy in the Gilded Age
The Social Problem
Social Darwinism in America
Reform Darwinism
Liberty of Contract
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-
1900/culture-in-the-gilded-age/
297
Freedom, Inequality, and
During the Gilded Age, many new social movements took hold in
the United States. Many women abolitionists who were
Democracy in the Gilded Age
disappointed that the Fifteenth Amendment did not extend voting
rights to them remained active in politics, this time focusing on
During the Gilded Age, many new social movements
issues particular to women. The suffrage and temperance
took hold in the United States, supporting the rights of
movements were particularly prominent.
women and African-Americans.
The development and fast acceptance of the sewing machine during
this period changed the domestic lives of women. Often overlooked
KEY POINTS
in discussions of the advent of rapid industrialization, this product
The Womens Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)
did more than any other single development (until women's
advocated for the prohibition of alcohol.
suffrage) to change the daily life of the average American woman.
The National American Woman Suffrage Association
The production of hand-sewn clothing and household linens
(NAWSA) was one of the first groups to argue for women's
chained all but the wealthiest of women to a life of toil, which can
suffrage.
hardly be understood today. Almost no domestic product-- until the
Jim Crow legislation prevented blacks from voting and
serving on juries and created a system of legal racial
advent of the automobile-- was accepted more quickly than this
segregation in public and private facilities such as schools,
device.
hospitals, trains, restaurants, stores, lunchrooms, restrooms,
and fitting rooms.
The " nadir of American race relations" is a term that refers to the
Unequal distribution of wealth resulted in a small, wealthy
period in United States history from the end of Reconstruction
class known as the "captains of industry" or the "Robber
through the early 20th century, when racism in the country is
Barons".
deemed to have been worse than in any other period after the
Many blacks voted with their feet and left the South to seek
American Civil War. During this period, African Americans lost
better conditions. In particular, they moved to Northern
many civil rights gained during Reconstruction. Anti-black violence,
cities during what became known as the Great Migration.
298
lynchings, segregation, legal racial discrimination, and expressions
Blacks who were economically successful faced reprisals or
of white supremacy increased.
sanctions. Through violence and legal restrictions, whites often
prevented blacks from working as common laborers, much less as
Figure 21.1 A postcard
skilled artisans or in the professions. Under such conditions, even
showing the burned body
of Jesse Washington,
the most ambitious and talented black people found it extremely
Waco, Texas, 1916.
difficult to advance.
A postcard showing the
burned body of Jesse
Many blacks voted with their feet and left the South to seek better
Washington, Waco, Texas,
1916. Washington was a
conditions. In particular, they moved to Northern cities during what
17-year-old mentally
became known as the Great Migration. While they faced difficulties,
disabled farmhand who
confessed to raping and
overall they had better chances there. They had to make great
killing a white woman.
cultural changes, as most went from rural areas to major industrial
Conservative, white Democratic governments in the South passed
cities, and had to adjust from being rural workers to being urban
Jim Crow legislation, creating a system of legal racial segregation in
workers. They also faced racism from Northerners with whom they
public and private facilities. Blacks were separated in schools and
were competing for jobs and housing.
hospitals, and had to use separate sections in some restaurants and
Black literacy levels, which rose during Reconstruction, continued
public transportation systems. They were often barred from certain
to increase through this period. The NAACP was established in
stores, or forbidden to use lunchrooms, restrooms, and fitting
1909, and by 1920 the group had won a few important anti-
rooms. Because they could not vote, they could not serve on juries,
discrimination lawsuits. African Americans, such as Du Bois and
which meant they had little if any legal recourse in the system.
Wells-Barnett, continued the tradition of advocacy, organizing, and
Between 1889 and 1922, as political disfranchisement and
journalism which helped spur abolitionism, and also developed new
segregation were being established, the National Association for the
tactics that helped to spur the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) calculates lynchings
and 1960s. The Harlem Renaissance and the popularity of jazz
reached their worst level in history.
music during the early part of the 20th century made many
299
Americans more aware of black culture and more accepting of black
The Social Problem
celebrities.
New social problems emerged from industrialization,
There was also a great deal of new prosperity and income inequality
threatening to increase unemployment, poverty, and
during this time. The "Gilded Age" that was enjoyed by the topmost
unequal distribution of wealth.
percentiles of American society after the recovery from the Panic of
1873 floated on the surface of the newly industrialized economy of
the Second Industrial Revolution. It was further fueled by a period
KEY POINTS
of wealth transfer that catalyzed dramatic social changes. It created
Henry George's Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the
for the first time a class of the super-rich "captains of industry," the
Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with
Increase of Wealth dealt with the problems of business
" Robber Barons," whose network of business, social, and family
depressions, unemployment, and poverty.
connections ruled a largely White Anglo-Saxon Protestant social
The Third Great Awakening, which began before the Civil
world that possessed clearly defined boundaries. The term "Gilded
War, returned and made a significant change in religious
Age" was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their
attitudes toward social progress.
1873 book, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, employing the ironic
English philosopher Herbert Spencer proposed the idea of
difference between a "gilded" and a Golden Age. In 1915, an era in
social Darwinism. This new concept justified the stratification
which the Rockefellers and Carnegies dominated American
of the wealthy and poor and coined the term survival of the
fittest.
industry, the richest 1% of Americans earned roughly 18% of all
income.
Henry George
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Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial
freedom-inequality-and-democracy-in-the-gilded-age/
Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth was
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written by Henry George in 1879 and is a treatise on the cyclical
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nature of an industrial economy and its remedies. It seeks to
300
explain why poverty exists, notwithstanding widespread advances
productive way, thereby employing labor and creating wealth, or to
in technology, even where there is a concentration of great wealth
sell the land to those who could and would themselves use the land
such as in cities.
in a productive way. This shift in the bargaining balance between
resource owners and laborers would raise the general level of wages
George saw how technological and social advances (including
and ensure no one need suffer involuntary poverty.
education and public services) increased the value of land (natural
resources, urban locations, etc.) and, thus, the amount of wealth
Charles Darwin
that can be demanded by the owners of land from those who need
Science also played an important part in social thought as the work
the use of land. In other words, the better the public services, the
of Charles Darwin became popular. Following Darwins idea of
higher the rent is (as more people value that land).The tendency of
natural selection, English philosopher Herbert Spencer proposed
speculators to increase the price of land faster than wealth can be
the idea of social Darwinism. This new concept justified the
produced to pay results in lowering the amount of wealth left over
stratification of
for labor to claim in wages, and finally leads to the collapse of
the wealthy and
Figure 21.2
enterprises at the margin, with a ripple effect that becomes a
poor and coined
Hull House,
serious business depression entailing widespread unemployment,
Smith Hall,
the term
foreclosures, etc.
view north on
survival of the
South
Halsted, 1910
In Progress and Poverty, George examines various proposed
fittest." Joining
Smith Hall
strategies to prevent business depressions, unemployment, and
Spencer was Yale
along Halsted
poverty, but finds them unsatisfactory. As an alternative, he
University
St., 1910
proposes his own solution: a single tax on land values. This would
professor
be a tax on the annual value of land held as private property. It
William Graham
would be high enough to allow for all other taxes-- especially upon
Sumner, whose book What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (which
labor and production-- to be abolished. George argued that a land
was first published in 1884) argued that assistance to the poor
value tax would give landowners an incentive to use the land in a
actually weakens their ability to survive in society. Sumner argued
301
for a laissez-faire and free-market economy. Not everyone agreed
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-
with the social Darwinists, and soon a whole movement to help the
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/culture-in-the-gilded-age/the-
poor arose. Henry George proposed a single tax that would be
social-problem/
leveled on the rich and poor alike, with the excess money collected
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used to equalize wealth and level out society. In Chicago, noted
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attorney Clarence Darrow made vocal arguments that poverty and
not biology created crime. Wisconsin-born author Thorstein Veblen
argued in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class that the
conspicuous consumption and conspicuous leisure" of the wealthy
had become the basis of social status in America. In Looking
Backward: 2000-1887, author Edward Bellamy wrote of a future
America set in the year 2000 in which a socialist paradise has been
established. The works of authors such as George and Bellamy
became popular, and soon clubs were created across America to
discuss their ideas, although these organizations rarely made any
real social change.
The Third Great Awakening, which began before the Civil War,
returned and made a significant change in religious attitudes
toward social progress. Followers of the new Awakening promoted
the idea of the Social Gospel ,which gave rise to organizations such
as the YMCA, the American branch of the Salvation Army, and
settlement houses such as Hull House, founded by Jane Addams in
Chicago in 1889.
302
Social Darwinism in America
Social Darwinism
American Social Darwinism held that the social classes
Social Darwinism is a term that has rarely been used by advocates
had no obligation towards those unequipped or under-
of the supposed ideologies or ideas; instead it has almost always
equipped to compete for survival.
been used (pejoratively) by its opponents. The term draws upon the
common use of the term Darwinism, which has been used to
describe a range of evolutionary views, but in the late 19th century
KEY POINTS
was applied more specifically to natural selection as first advanced
Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner, Edward L.
by Charles Darwin to explain speciation in populations of
Youmans, John Fiske, and John W. Burgess helped shape
organisms. The process includes competition between individuals
American Darwinism.
for limited resources.
Sumner believed that the best equipped to win the struggle
for survival was the American businessman, and concluded
While the term has been applied to the claim that Darwin's theory
that taxes and regulations serve as dangers to his survival.
of evolution by natural selection can be used to understand the
The great majority of American businessmen rejected the
social endurance of a nation or country, social Darwinism
anti-philanthropic implications of the theory. Instead they
gave millions to build schools, colleges, hospitals, art
commonly refers to ideas that predate Darwin's publication of On
institutes, parks, and many other institutions.
the Origin of Species. Others whose ideas are given the label include
American Social Darwinism was popularized in the United
the 18th century clergyman, Thomas Malthus, and Darwin's cousin,
States in 1944 by the American historian, Richard Hofstadter,
Francis Galton, who founded eugenics towards the end of the 19th
who used it in the ideological war effort against fascism to
century.
denote a reactionary creed which promoted competitive
strife, racism and nationalism.
The term first appeared in Europe in 1877, and around this time it
was used by sociologists opposed to the concept. The term was
popularized in the United States in 1944 by the American historian,
Richard Hofstadter, who used it in the ideological war effort against
fascism to denote a reactionary creed which promoted competitive
303
strife, racism, and nationalism. Hofstadter later recognized (what
competition for life, which can be identified as a relationship
he saw as) the influence of Darwinist and other evolutionary ideas
between man and man. The first being a biological relationship with
upon those with collectivist views, enough to devise a term for the
nature and the second being a social link and thus sociology. Man
phenomenon, Darwinist collectivism. Before Hofstadter's work,
would struggle against nature to obtain essential needs such as food
the use of the term in English academic journals was quite rare.
or water and in turn this would create the conflict between man and
man in order to obtain needs from a limited supply. Sumner
William Graham Sumner
believed that man could not abolish the law of survival of the
fittest but only interfere with it and produce the unfit.
Figure 21.3
Herbert Spencer
Logo of the
Second
International
Spencer proved to be a popular figure in the 1880s primarily
Congress of
because his application of evolution to areas of human endeavor
Eugenics, 1921.
promoted an optimistic view of the future as inevitably becoming
Logo of the
Second
better. In the United States, writers and thinkers of the gilded age
International
such as Edward L. Youmans, William Graham Sumner, John Fiske,
Congress of
Eugenics, 1921.
John W. Burgess, and others developed theories of social evolution
as a result of their exposure to the works of Darwin and Spencer.
William Graham Sumner was influenced by many people and ideas
In 1883, Sumner published a highly influential pamphlet entitled
such as Herbert Spencer and his social Darwinist ideologies. In 1881
What Social Classes Owe to Each Other, in which he insisted that
Sumner wrote an essay entitled Sociology. In the essay, Sumner
the social classes owe each other nothing, synthesizing Darwin's
focuses on the connection between sociology and biology. He
findings with free enterprise capitalism for his justification.
explains that there are two sides to the struggle for survival in a
According to Sumner, those who feel an obligation to provide
human. The first being a struggle for existence, which is a
assistance to those unequipped or under-equipped to compete for
relationship between man and nature. The second side would be the
survival, will lead to a country in which the weak and inferior are
304
encouraged to breed more like them, eventually dragging the
Reform Darwinism
country down. Sumner also believed that the best equipped to win
the struggle for survival was the American businessman, and
Reform Darwinism recognized that the fittest could be
concluded that taxes and regulations serve as dangers to his
those who cooperated with each other.
survival.
Sumner never fully embraced Darwinian ideas, and some
KEY POINTS
contemporary historians do not believe that Sumner ever actually
Reform Darwinism can be viewed as the opposite of Social
believed in social Darwinism. The great majority of American
Darwinism.
businessmen rejected the anti-philanthropic implications of the
Reform Darwinism focused on community action, such as
theory. Instead they gave millions to build schools, colleges,
state planning, eugenics, and racial science and breeding
programs.
hospitals, art institutes, parks, and many other institutions. Andrew
Carnegie, who admired Spencer, was the leading philanthropist in
Reform Darwinism could be used to support colonization and
Imperialist programs by justifying the exploitation of "lesser
the world (18901920), and a major leader against imperialism and
breeds without the law" by "superior races".
warfare.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-
Charles Darwin
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/culture-in-the-gilded-age/social-
darwinism-in-america/
While Darwin himself chiefly used the term "Reform Darwinism" in
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its narrow sense for his own special purpose, he warned his
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followers against committing the error (which he seems once to
have committed himself) of overrating its narrow meaning. In The
Descent of Man he wrote some powerful pages to illustrate its
proper, wide sense. He pointed out how, in numerous animal
societies, the struggle between separate individuals for the means of
305
existence disappears, how struggle is replaced by co-operation, and
very beginning of his memorable work, he insisted upon the term
how that substitution results in the development of intellectual and
being taken in its
Figure 21.4 The
moral faculties which secure for the species the best conditions for
"large and
Mismeasure of
its survival. He intimated that in such cases, the fittest are not the
metaphorical sense,
Man
physically strongest, nor the cunningest, but those who learn to
including
A scientific
demonstration
collaborate so as to mutually support each other, strong and weak
dependence of one
from 1868 that the
alike, for the welfare of the community. "Those communities," he
being on another,
Negro is as
distinct from the
wrote, "which included the greatest number of the most
and including
Caucasian as the
Chimpanzee.
sympathetic members would flourish best, and rear the greatest
(which is more
Josiah Nott was a
number of offspring." The term, which originated from the narrow
important) not only
polygenist who
believed that the
Malthusian conception of competition between each and all, thus
the life of the
"races" of man
lost its narrowness in the mind of one who knew Nature.
individual, but
had always been
separate.
success in leaving
Peter Kropotkin argued in his 1902 book Mutual Aid: A Factor of
progeny."
Evolution that Darwin did not define the fittest as the strongest, or
the most clever, but recognized that the fittest could be those who
Reform Darwinism
cooperated with each other. In many animal societies, struggle is
Social Darwinism has often been linked to nationalism and
replaced by cooperation. It may be that at the outset Darwin himself
imperialism. During the age of New Imperialism, the concepts of
was not fully aware of the generality of the factor which he first
evolution justified the exploitation of "lesser breeds without the
invoked; that is, the factor for explaining only one series of facts
law" by "superior races." To elitists, strong nations were composed
relative to the accumulation of individual variations in incipient
of white people who were successful at expanding their empires,
species. But he foresaw that the term "evolution," which he was
and as such, these strong nations would survive in the struggle for
introducing into science, would lose its philosophical and only true
dominance. With this attitude, Europeans, except for Christian
meaning if it were used in its narrow sense onlya struggle between
separate individuals for the sole purpose of existence. And at the
306
missionaries, seldom adopted the customs and languages of local
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-
people under their empires.
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/culture-in-the-gilded-age/
reform-darwinism/
Fascist and National Socialist ideology subscribed to a different
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form of social Darwinism than the laissez-faire version because they
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were not advocates for an individualist order of society; rather, they
advocated racial and national struggle, where the state planned and
controlled human breeding through science and eugenicsa
program that no proponent of laissez-faire could consistently
endorse. Darwinist Collectivism or Reform Darwinism, rather than
the individualist form of Darwinism, are more accurate terms for
these ideologies.
Some pre-twentieth-century doctrines subsequently described as
social Darwinism appeared to anticipate state- imposed eugenics
and the race doctrines of Nazism. Critics have frequently linked
evolution, Charles Darwin, and social Darwinism with racialism,
nationalism, imperialism, and eugenics, contending that social
Darwinism became one of the pillars of fascism and Nazi ideology,
and that the consequences of the application of policies of "survival
of the fittest" by Nazi Germany eventually created a very strong
backlash against the theory.
307
Liberty of Contract
In 1905 the Supreme Court used the
Figure 21.5 Joseph Lochner
"due process" clause in the 14th
at work in 1905
In 1905 Lochner v. New York pitted the individual right
Amendment to declare unconstitutional
of "liberty of contract" against the state's right to
the New York state statute imposing a
regulate business.
limit on hours of work. In Lochner v.
New York, Justice Peckham wrote for
the majority: "Under that provision no
KEY POINTS
state shall deprive any person of life,
The concept of "Liberty of Contract" elevated an individual's
right to contract above labor laws such as minimum wage,
liberty, or property without due process
maximum hours, and child labor laws legislated by the state.
of law. The right to purchase or to sell
Critics of liberty of contract argued that a strong central
labor is part of the liberty protected by
Joseph Lochner at work in
government should have the power to promote and to some
this amendment..." Writing in dissent,
1905
extent control science, invention, industry, and commerce.
Oliver Wendell Holmes accused the
The Progressive Era saw the enactment of more controls on
majority of basing its decision on laissez-faire ideology. He believed
the economy, as evidenced by the Wilson Administration's
that their interpretation of law was based on economics rather than
New Freedom program.
the constitution. He did not believe that "Liberty of Contract"
existed or was intended by the constitution.
In 1902 a New York baker named Joseph Lochner was fined for
The Supreme Court applied the liberty of contract doctrine
violating a state law limiting the number of hours his employees
sporadically over the next three decades, but generally upheld
could work. He sued the state on the grounds that he was denied his
reformist legislation as being within the states' police power. In
right to "due process." Lochner claimed that he had the right to
1937 the Court reversed its view in the case West Coast Hotel Co. v.
freely contract with his employees and that the state had unfairly
Parrish. In that case the court upheld a Washington state law
interfered with that right.
setting a minimum wage.
308
Frank Bourgin's 1989 study of the Constitutional Convention shows
that the Founders intended direct government involvement in the
economy. The reason for this was the economic and financial chaos
the nation suffered under the Articles of Confederation. The
Founders did not want to lose dearly won political independence by
depending economically and financially on the powers and princes
of Europe. The creation of a strong central government able to
promote science, invention, industry, and commerce was seen as an
essential means to promote the general welfare and make the
economy of the United States strong enough to determine the its
own destiny. The Progressive Era saw the enactment of more
controls on the economy, as evidenced by the Wilson
Administration's New Freedom program.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/culture-in-the-gilded-age/liberty-
of-contract/
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309
Section 2
Popular Culture
Popular Culture
Vaudeville
Saloon Culture
Outdoor Recreation
Spectator Sports
Domesticity and "Domestics"
Mill Towns and Company Towns
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1900/popular-culture--2/
310
Popular Culture
in technology and industrialization created a "democratic"
entertainment for the mainstream. From the mid-1800s on,
Popular culture of the late 19th century included
entertainment began to be mass-produced and literacy boomed.
paperback books, theater, and the penny press.
Print Media
As printing became cheaper, newspaper prices were slashed. News
KEY POINTS
baron Gordon Bennett's Sun
The new middle class sparked the rise of consumer culture as
Figure 21.
was the first penny newspaper
well as more democratic forms of entertainment, or popular
6 New
culture.
( Figure 21.6). The news in these
York Sun
papers was often
The Sun
Many cultural forms that first became popular before the
from 26
Civil War expanded rapidly after the war.
sensationalized to encourage
November
1834
As printing became cheaper, newspaper prices were slashed.
sales and also carried serialized
News baron Gordon Bennett's Sun was the first penny
fiction. Newsboys were
newspaper.
employed to hawk the papers
Department stores grew and spread in the second half of the
on street corners.
nineteenth century, which helped foster a consumer culture
spread and sustained by mass media.
Books were considered
Blackface minstrel shows were a popular form of
expensive until paperbacks were invented. Popular authors at this
entertainment.
time were Walter Scott and James Fenimore Cooper. There were
also female authors, whose books often expressed anti-male, pro-
domestic, and puritanical sentiments. Western and southwestern
In 1860 the work week went from 60 hours to 40 hours and in 1920
fiction expressed Calvinist attitudes, and often portrayed blacks and
and the birth rate boomed. Out of this, consumer culture was born.
Mexicans as inferior. Native Americans, however, were viewed
The "high" culture of the rich, and the "low" folk culture of the poor
ambivalently. Poetry was very popular, such as Henry Wadsworth
were synthesized into a new "middle" culture. The concomitant rise
311
Longfellow's Voices of the Night. Poems from this period were
comedians were Thomas "Daddy" Rice and Edwin Christy. Rice was
primarily optimistic, encouraging progress.
called the "Father of American Minstrelsy." Characters played by
these minstrels, such as Uncle Ned and Zip Coon, portrayed
Theatrical Entertainment
African-American males as stupid and lazy. Black women, on the
Theaters were another well-loved form of entertainment. Expensive
other hand, were portrayed as large and genial (the "mammy"
tickets were 75 cents, while gallery seating was 12 and a half cents.
stereotype).
At the Bowery in New York, tickets went for 10-30 cents. Theaters
Parks and Museums
offered both high-class and pop culture entertainment, sometimes
even melding the two into a kind of "high pop." The most popular
In 1841, P.T. Barnum purchased the American Museum in the
play was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Other popular plays included those by
Manhattan borough of New York. Barnum's museum was for
Shakespeare, or based on the works of Charles Dickens.
entertainment, not education, and featured oddities like
ventriloquists, midgets, and albinos. One of his "freaks" was
Figure 21.7
General Tom Thumb, who was two feet one inch tall at age five, and
Minstrel Show
Poster
then quit growing.
This reproduction of
a 1900 minstrel
New York's Central Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted
show poster,
originally published
and Calvert Vaux. People were beginning to worry that cities would
by the Strobridge
become unlivable. In 1850, New York city only had 500,000 people,
Litho Co., shows
the blackface
and it was already crowded. So, Central Park was created as a place
transformation from
for people to get away and relax. In the park, people could ice skate
white to "black."
during the winter and bicycle during the summer. It was meant to
be a meeting place for all citizens; however, the richest lived near
the park, and the poor far from it.
Minstrel shows were plays acted by white men wearing a black
face (in imitation of African-Americans). Two well-known blackface
312
Consumer Culture
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culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/popular-culture--2/popular-
The first department stores began appearing at the end of the
culture/
19th century. Macy's was founded in 1858. Other department stores
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from this period included Wanamaker's in Philadelphia and Fields.
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Most department stores were run by families. The stores were
glamorous and grandiose, with a large inventory geared towards the
upper class. They had skylights, chandeliers, lounges, and even in-
store restaurants. For advertising, they bought full-page ads.
Competition between department stores created the end-of-season
sale and price wars.
Some stores, like Montgomery Ward and Sears, were mail-order
only, mailing out catalogs to customers. These companies appealed
to people who didn't live near a department store. Richard Sears,
founder of Sears, Roebuck and Co., gained a loyal following of rural
customers. Chain stores began to crop up, with names like
Woolworth, Great Atlanta, Pacific Tea, and A&P. Frank Woolworth
opened his first store, the Great 5 Cents Store, in Utica, NY in 1879,
his strategy being to sell nothing for more than a nickel. Although
that store eventually closed down, Woolworth succeeded with a
similar store in Lancaster, PA, extending the prices to a dime.
Woolworth's "five-and-ten" or "five-and-dime" stores were a huge
success.
313
Vaudeville
early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate,
unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts
Vaudeville is a term encompassing a wide range of
included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians,
entertainment forms popular from the 1830s to the early
trained animals, magicians, impersonators, acrobats, illustrated
1930s.
songs, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes,
lecturing celebrities, minstrels, and movies. A vaudeville performer
KEY POINTS
is often referred to as a vaudevillian. Vaudeville had many
Evolving out of variety, vaudeville was initially a kind of show
influences, including the concert saloon, minstrelsy, freak shows,
that featured several different kinds of mostly bawdy acts for
dime museums, and literary burlesque. Called "the heart of
chiefly male audiences. However, it grew to encompass a
American show business," vaudeville was one of the most popular
blend of family-friendly acts including anything from animal
types of entertainment in North America for several decades.
tricks to opera singers and classical musicians.
Starting in the 1880s, vaudeville no longer consisted
At its height, vaudeville played across multiple strata of economic
exclusively of locally sourced and managed programs, but
class and auditorium size. On the vaudeville circuit, it was said that
evolved into traveling companies that would play a string of
theaters in large cities, known as "the circuit".
if an act would succeed in Peoria, Illinois, it would work anywhere.
The question "Will it play in Peoria?" has now become a metaphor
Well-known performers who got their start in vaudeville
include Buster Keaton, Will Rogers, Harry Houdini, and the
to indicate whether something appeals to the American mainstream
Marx Brothers.
public. The three most common levels of production were the small
"Vaudeville" evolved into a form unique to the United States,
time (lower-paying contracts for more frequent performances in
quite distinct from French vaudeville, to become the heart of
rougher, often converted theatres), the medium time (moderate
American show business from roughly 1880 to 1930.
wages for two performances each day in purpose-built theatres),
and the big time (possible remuneration of several thousand
Vaudeville
dollars per week in large, urban theatres largely patronized by the
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment
middle and upper-middle classes). As performers rose in renown
popular in the United States and Canada from the 1830s until the
and established regional and national followings, they worked their
314
way into the less arduous working conditions and better pay of the
and offered gifts of coal and hams to attendees. Pastor's experiment
"big time". The capitol of the "big time" was New York City's Palace
proved successful, and other managers soon followed suit.
Theatre (or just The Palace in vaudevillian slang). Featuring a bill
The Marx Brothers
stocked with inventive novelty acts, national celebrities, and
acknowledged masters of vaudeville performance (such as
The Marx Brothers were an American family comedy act, originally
comedian and trick roper Will Rogers), the Palace provided what
from New York City, that enjoyed success in Vaudeville, Broadway,
many vaudevillians considered the apotheoses of remarkable
and motion pictures from the early 1900s to around 1950. By World
careers.
War I, "The Four Marx Brothers" began to incorporate their unique
style of comedy into their act and to develop their characters ( Figure
In the early 1880s, impresario Tony Pastor, a circus ringmaster
21.9). Both Groucho and
turned theatre manager, capitalized on middle class sensibilities
Harpo's memoirs reveal
Figure 21.9
and spending power when he began to feature "polite" variety
that their now-famous
1911
programs in several of his New York City theatres ( Figure 21.8). The
newspaper
on-stage personae were
advertisement
usual date given for the "birth" of vaudeville is October 24, 1881 at
created by Al Shean.
for a Marx
New York's Fourteenth
Figure 21.8
Brothers
Groucho began to wear
Street Theater, when
Tony Pastor
appearance
his trademark
1911 newspaper
Pastor famously staged the
and Bonnie
Thornton
greasepaint moustache
advertisement
first bill of self-proclaimed
for the Marx
(circa 1897)
and to use a stooped
Brothers
"clean" vaudeville in New
Jack How I
appearance in
Envy You
walk. Harpo stopped
York City. Hoping to draw
Saginaw,
with Tony
speaking onstage and
Michigan.
a potential audience from
Pastor and
Bonnie
began to wear a red
female and family-based
Thorton
fright wig and carry a taxi-cab horn. Chico spoke with a fake Italian
shopping traffic uptown,
accent, while Zeppo adopted the role of the romantic.
Pastor barred the sale of
liquor in his theatres, eliminated bawdy material from his shows,
315
By the 1920s, the Marx Brothers had become one of America's
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favorite theatrical acts. With their sharp and bizarre sense of
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/popular-culture--2/vaudeville/
humor, they satirized high society and human hypocrisy. They also
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scenarios. Under Chico's management, and with Groucho's creative
direction, the brothers' vaudeville act led to them becoming stars on
Broadway, first with a musical revue, I'll Say She Is (19241925)
and then with two musical comedies, The Cocoanuts (19251926)
and Animal Crackers (19281929). Playwright George S. Kaufman
worked on the last two and helped sharpen the Brothers'
characterizations.
Demise of Vaudeville
The shift of New York City's Palace Theatre, vaudeville's epicenter,
to an exclusively cinema presentation on 16 November 1932 is often
considered to have been the death knell of vaudeville. No single
event is more reflective of its gradual withering. The line is blurred,
however, by the number of vaudeville entrepreneurs who made
more or less successful forays into the movie business. For example,
Alexander Pantages quickly realized the importance of motion
pictures as a form of entertainment. He incorporated them in his
shows as early as 1902. There was no abrupt end to vaudeville,
though the form was clearly sagging by the late 1920s.
316
Saloon Culture
Along with liquor, concert saloons featured particularly tawdry,
low-end theater and the new fad of "waiter girls," dancers who
The concert saloon was an American copy of the
sometimes doubled as prostitutes. Many people found the
English music hall, and the forerunner of the variety and
entertainment to be disrespectful and immoral. In 1881, Nym
vaudeville theater.
Crinkle claimed that saloons "...serve as the gathering places for idle
and vicious people to drink beer, listen to execrable music, make
assignations, and parade in the dirtiest market those common
KEY POINTS
charms which they have to sell."
Music Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment which
was popular between 1850 and 1960. It involved a mixture of
Saloon entertainment was greatly influenced by "music hall," a form
popular song, comedy, speciality acts and variety
of British theater that was popular between 1850 and 1960. It
entertainment.
involved a mixture of
Music hall entertainment became increasingly popular with
Figure 21.10
contemporary songs,
audiences, so much so, that during the 1850s, the public
Saloon Interior
houses in which the form originated were demolished and
comedy, specialty acts
Interior View of
Phalon's New
Music hall theatres were developed in their place.
and variety
Saloon, in the
Although music hall suffered a brief decline in the 20th
entertainment, much
St. Nicholas
century, they recovered by the beginning of World War I, and
Hotel, New York
like the American
were used to stage charity events in aid of the war effort.
vaudeville
entertainment that
surfaced in ensuing years. The term derives from the venues where
The concert saloon, an American copy of the English music hall,
such entertainment took place.
was the forerunner of the variety and vaudeville theater. Because
alcohol was served at saloons, the entertainment there was intended
Music hall theaters were designed so that patrons could consume
to hold the imbiber's attention so that they would continue to
food and alcohol and smoke tobacco in the auditorium while the
purchase drinks.
entertainment took place. This differed from the conventional
317
theaters which, up until then, seated the audience in stalls with
entertainment continued after the war, but became less popular due
separate bar-rooms.
to the emergence of Jazz, Swing and Big Band musical acts. As
modern day variety shows became more and more popular, Music
By the mid-nineteenth century, the immense popularity of the
hall entertainment was deemed unfashionable. Many music halls
music hall theaters created a demand for new and catchy songs. As
were closed as a result.
a result, professional songwriters were enlisted to provide the music
for a plethora of star performers including Marie Lloyd, Dan Leno,
The typical music hall comedian was a man or woman, usually
Little Titch and George Leybourne. Music halls also offered male
dressed 'in character' to suit the subject of the song, or sometimes
and female impersonators, Lions Comiques, mime artists and
attired in absurd and eccentric style. Up until well into the
impressionists, trampoline acts and comic pianists such as John
twentieth century, acts were essentially vocal, with songs telling a
Orlando Parry and George Grossmith.
story while being accompanied by minimum patter. Popular
performers included "Lions Comiques," men dressed as 'toffs' who
Figure 21.
sang songs about drinking champagne, attending races, going to the
11
Gambling
ball, womanizing, gambling and living the life of an Aristocrat. Male
Men
and female impersonators also performed, most notably Vesta
gambling in
a saloon,
Tilley, whose male impersonations communicated biting social
probably
commentary. Such impersonations paved the way for "stand up,"
circa 1900
spoken acts in which a wisecracking performer would be prompted
and interrupted by a "straight" partner. The vocal content of the
music hall bills was, from the beginning, accompanied by "specialty
acts." These weird and yet wonderful performances brought fame to
performers such as Jules Leotard, the "Daring Young Man on the
Although music hall suffered a brief decline in the 20th century,
Flying Trapeze," and legendary magician Harry Houdini. Other
they recovered by the beginning of World War I, and were used to
specialty acts included circus acts, ventriloquist acts, feats of
stage charity events in aid of the war effort. Music hall
strength, fire eating and knife throwing.
318
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Outdoor Recreation
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/popular-culture--2/saloon-
culture/
Bicycle riding, camping, and public parks grew in
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KEY POINTS
The first well known chain-drive bicycle was the "Rover,"
produced in 1885 by John Kemp Starley. It led to a bicycle
craze in the 1890s.
Frederick Law Olmsted attained pre-eminence for, among
other things, designing parks. He co-designed Central Park
and numerous other parks and park systems in Boston,
Chicago, and other cities.
Olmsted called Central Park (completed in 1873) the first real
park made in the United States.
The application of the internal-combustion engine to the
bicycle during the 1890s resulted in the motorcycle, and then
soon after, the engine was applied to 4-wheel carriages
resulting in the motor car or "automobile" which in later
decades largely supplanted its unmotorized ancestor.
The Bicycle
It was the invention of the "safety bicycle" with its chain-drive
transmission, whose gear ratios allowed smaller wheels without a
concurrent loss of speed, and the subsequent invention of the
319
pneumatic (inflatable air-filled) bicycle tire, which led to perhaps
first edition of The Camper's Handbook in 1908 and founded the
the biggest bicycle craze of all during the 1890s. Experiments
Association of Cycle Campers, now the Camping and Caravanning
with chain-drive had been attempted in 1869 and 1879, but the first
Club. His passion for camping developed as a child when he crossed
well known chain-drive bicycle was the "Rover" produced in 1885
the United States with his parents in a wagon train. In 1863, he
by John Kemp Starley. Very quickly, the penny-farthing passed out
went west to become the manager of the Rancho Las Mariposas-
of fashion, and multitudes of people all over the world began riding
Mariposa mining estate in the Sierra Nevada mountains in
the "safety." It was largely the popularity of this type of bicycle at
California. Honoring his early work in preserving Yosemite Valley,
this time which first caused roads to be paved.
the promontory Olmsted Point near Tenaya Lake in Yosemite
National Park was named after him. In 1865 Vaux and Olmsted
September 13, 1892 saw the opening of a Bicycle Railroad between
formed Olmsted, Vaux and Company. When Olmsted returned to
Mount Holly, New Jersey and the H. B. Smith Manufacturing
New York, he and Vaux designed Prospect Park; suburban Chicago's
Company in Smithville, NJ during the Mount Holly fair, with 3,000
Riverside parks; the park system for Buffalo, New York; Milwaukee,
riders its first week (for amusement instead of commuting). Coney
Wisconsin's grand necklace of parks; and the Niagara Reservation
Island wanted one, and the World's Columbian Exposition in
at Niagara Falls.
Chicago featured one. Several others were built for amusement in
Atlantic City, Ocean City, and Gloucester City, NJ (the first two in
Frederick Law Olmsted
1893 and last in 1894). The application of the internal-combustion
Olmsted not only created numerous city parks around the country,
engine to the bicycle during the 1890s resulted in the motorcycle,
he also conceived of entire systems of parks and interconnecting
and then soon after, the engine was applied to 4-wheel carriages
parkways to connect certain cities to green spaces. Two of the best
resulting in the motor car or "automobile" which in later decades
examples of the scale on which Olmsted worked are the park system
largely supplanted its unmotorized ancestor.
designed for Buffalo, New York and the system he designed for
Camping
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Olmsted was a frequent collaborator with
architect Henry Hobson Richardson, for whom he devised the
Thomas Hiram Holding (18441930) was a British traveling tailor
and often considered the founder of modern camping. He wrote the
320
landscaping schemes for half a dozen projects, including
New York legislature settled upon a 700-acre (280 ha) area from
Richardson's commission for the Buffalo State Asylum.
59th to 106th Streets for the creation of the park, at a cost of more
than US$5 million for the land alone. The state appointed a Central
In 1883 Olmsted established what is considered to be the first full-
Park Commission to oversee the development of the park, and in
time landscape architecture
Figure 21.12 Riding, Central Park
1857 the commission held a landscape design contest. Frederick
firm in Brookline,
Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux developed what came to be known
Massachusetts. He called the
as the Greensward Plan, which was selected as the winning design
home and office compound
( Figure 21.13).
Fairsted. It is now the
restored Frederick Law
Figure 21.13
Olmsted National Historic
New York City.
Plan for
Site. From there Olmsted
Entrance to
designed Boston's Emerald
Central Park
Riding, Central Park
Plan for the
Necklace, the campuses of
Entrance to
Stanford University and the University of Chicago, as well as the
Central Park.
ca. 1863
1893 World's Fair in Chicago, among many other projects.
New York City's need for a great public park was voiced by the poet
and editor of the Evening Post (now the New York Post), William
Cullen Bryant, and by the first American landscape architect,
Andrew Jackson Downing, who began to publicize the city's need
for a public park in 1844. A stylish place for open-air driving,
similar to the Bois de Boulogne in Paris or London's Hyde Park, was
felt to be needed by many influential New Yorkers, and, after an
abortive attempt in 1850-51 to designate Jones's Wood, in 1853 the
321
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Spectator Sports
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/popular-culture--2/outdoor-
recreation/
Baseball and boxing became increasingly popular
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during the latter half of the 19th century.
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KEY POINTS
The first organized college sports club was formed in 1843
when Yale University created a boat club. Harvard University
then created a similar boat club a year later.
In the mid-1850s, a baseball craze hit the New York
metropolitan area. By 1856, local journals were referring to
baseball as the "national pastime" or "national game".
John L. Sullivan, widely considered the last bare-knuckle
boxing champion, dominated gloved boxing throughout the
1880s. He was the first American sports hero to become a
national celebrity and the first American athlete to earn over
one million dollars.
College Sports
The first organized college sports club was formed in 1843 when
Yale University created a boat club. Harvard University then
followed in their footsteps, creating a similar boat club a year later.
The creation of these organizations set the stage for the first
intercollegiate sports event in the U.S. This event took place in
322
1852, when the rowing team from Yale competed against the rowing
Field, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on what is now the site of
team from Harvard at Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. This
Rutgers' College Avenue Gymnasium.
marked the beginning of intercollegiate competition and triggered
Baseball
the creation of numerous college athletic organizations.
In the mid-1850s, a baseball craze hit the New York metropolitan
In the late 1850s, bat and ball games had started to become widely
area. By 1856, local journals were referring to baseball as the
known and the sport of baseball was starting to become an
"national pastime" or "national game." A year later, sixteen area
establishment at U.S. universities. The first intercollegiate baseball
clubs formed the sport's first governing body, the National
game took place in 1859 between Amherst College and Williams
Association of Base Ball Players. In 1863, the organization
College. The popularity of collegiate baseball increased from this
disallowed putouts made by catching a fair ball on the first bounce.
point. By 1870, college teams were playing extensive schedules. In
Four years later, it barred participation by African Americans.
1879, the first official intercollegiate baseball league was formed.
Track and field also grew in popularity during this time, and the
The game's commercial potential was developing. In 1869 the first
first intercollegiate track and field event occurred in 1873. This
fully professional baseball club, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was
competition featured a two-mile race between athletes from
formed and in that season went undefeated against a schedule of
Amherst College, Cornell University, and McGill University of
semipro and amateur teams. The first professional league, the
Montreal, Canada. The first intercollegiate soccer match in the U.S.
National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, lasted from
took place on November 6, 1869, in New Brunswick, N.J., when
1871 to 1875; scholars dispute its status as a major league.
clubs from Princeton and Rutgers played under rules modified from
The more formally structured National League was founded in 1876.
those of Association Football. The first intercollegiate rugby game
As the oldest surviving major league, the National League is
took place on May 15, 1874, at Cambridge, Massachusetts when
sometimes referred to as the "senior circuit." Several other major
Harvard played rugby against McGill University. The first
leagues formed and failed. In 1884, African American Moses Walker
intercollegiate football game between teams from Rutgers College
(and, briefly, his brother Welday) played in one of these, the
(now Rutgers University) and the College of New Jersey (now
American Association. An injury ended Walker's major league
Princeton University) took place on November 6, 1869, at College
323
career, and by the early 1890s an unspoken "gentlemen's
The National League's first successful counterpart, the American
agreement" effectively barred black players from the white-owned
League, which evolved from the minor Western League, was
professional leagues, major and minor. Professional Negro leagues
established that year. The two leagues, each with eight teams, were
formed, but quickly folded. Several independent African American
rivals that fought for the best players, often disregarding each
teams succeeded as barnstormers.
other's contracts and engaging in bitter legal disputes. A modicum
of peace was eventually established, leading to the National
In 1884, overhand pitching was legalized. In 1887, softball, under
Agreement of 1903. The pact formalized relations both between the
two major leagues and between them and the National Association
Figure 21.14
of Professional Base Ball Leagues, representing most of the
Boston
Chapter
country's minor professional leagues.
Knights of
Columbus
The World Series, pitting the two major league champions against
Baseball Team
each other, was inaugurated that fall, albeit without express major
Boston Chapter
Knights of
league sanction. The Boston Americans of the American League
Columbus
defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League. The next
Baseball Team,
1902
year, the series was not held, as the National League champion New
York Giants, under manager John McGraw, refused to recognize the
major league status of the American League and its champion. In
1905, the Giants were National League champions again and team
management relented, leading to the establishment of the World
the name of indoor baseball or indoor-outdoor, was invented as a
Series as the major leagues' annual championship event.
winter version of the parent game. Virtually all of the modern
Boxing
baseball rules were in place by 1893; the last major change
counting foul balls as strikeswas instituted in 1901.
John Lawrence Sullivan (October 15, 1858 February 2, 1918), also
known as the Boston Strong Boy, was recognized as the first
324
Heavyweight Champion of gloved boxing from February 7, 1881 to
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-
1892, and is generally recognized as the last heavyweight champion
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/popular-culture--2/spectator-
of bare-knuckle boxing under the London Prize Ring rules. ( Figure
sports/
21.15) He was the first American sports hero to become a national
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celebrity and the first American athlete to earn over one million
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dollars. In Sullivan's era, no formal boxing titles existed. He became
a champion after defeating Paddy Ryan in Mississippi City, near
Gulfport, Mississippi, on February 7, 1882. Modern authorities have
retroactively labelled Ryan the "Heavyweight Champion of
America," but any claim to Ryan's being a "world champion" would
have been dubious; he'd never contended internationally as Sullivan
had. Depending on the modern authority, Sullivan was first
considered world heavyweight champion either in 1888, when
he fought Charley Mitchell in France, or the following year when he
knocked out Jake Kilrain in round 75 of a scheduled 80-round bout.
Figure 21.15
John L.
Sullivan -
Jake Kilrain
fight, 1898
Sullivan-
Kilrain fight
325
Domesticity and "Domestics"
working class, and immigrant women did not fit the definition of
"true women" because of social prejudice. Very few white women fit
In the nineteenth century, middle class white American
this ideal either, even those in wealthy households. This of course,
women were expected to concern themselves only with
did not stop them from trying.
their families.
Part of the separate spheres ideology, the cult of domesticity
identified the home as women's "proper sphere." Prescriptive
KEY POINTS
literature advised women on how to transform their homes into
Many poor, immigrant, and non-white women strove to fit
domestic sanctuaries for their husbands and children. Women were
the ideal image, but their socially marginal status made it
the center of the domestic sphere and expected to fulfill the roles of
harder for them to be considered equally "respectable".
a calm and nurturing mother, a loving and faithful wife, and a
During the Gilded Age, married as well as single women
passive, delicate, and virtuous creature. These women were also
participated in reform movements, such as temperance
expected to be pious and religious, teaching those around them by
(through the WCTU) and woman suffrage.
their Christian beliefs and expected to unfailingly inspire and
Parlor games were amusements designed to be played in
private homes, generally at small parties. An example is
support their husbands. The women and men who most actively
charades. Their popularity later waned in the twentieth
promoted these standards were generally white, Protestant, and
century with the advent of radio and, still later, television.
lived in Northeastern United States.
The characteristics of a "true woman" were described in sermons
The Cult of Domesticity
and religious texts, as well as women's magazines. In the United
States, Peterson's Magazine and Godey's Lady's Book were the most
The cult of domesticity or cult of true womanhood was a prevailing
widely circulated women's magazines and were popular among both
value system among the upper and middle classes during the
women and men. Magazines which promoted the values of the cult
nineteenth century in the United States and Great Britain. Although
of domesticity faired better financially than competing magazines
women were supposed to emulate this ideal of femininity; black,
which offered a more progressive view in terms of women's roles.
326
With a circulation of 150,000 by 1860, Godey's reflected and
labor and refrain from paid, market-oriented work. Consequently,
supported the ideals of the cult of true womanhood. The magazine's
in 1890, 4.5% of all married women were "gainfully employed,"
paintings and pictures illustrated the four virtues, often showing
compared with 40.5% of single women. Women's complete financial
women with children or behind husbands. It also equated
dependence upon their husbands proved disastrous when wives lost
womanhood with motherhood and being a wife, declaring that the
their husbands through death or desertion and were forced to fend
"perfection of womanhood (...) is the wife and mother." The
for themselves and their children. The division between the
magazine presented motherhood as a woman's natural and most
domestic and public spheres had an impact on women's power and
satisfying role, and encouraged women to find their fulfillment and
status. In society as a whole, particularly in political and economic
contributions to society strictly
arenas, women's power declined. Within the home, however, they
Figure 21.16 Ironing Women, 1891
within the home. Reflecting the
gained symbolic power.
ideal of true womanhood,
Legal Implications
Godey's considered mothers as
crucial in preserving the
The legal implications of this ideology included the passage of
memory of the American
protective labor laws which limited women's employment
Revolution and in securing its
opportunities outside the home. These laws, as well as subsequent
legacy by raising the next
Supreme Court rulings such as Muller v. Oregon were based on the
generation of citizens. Fashion
assumption that women's primary role was that of mother and wife
was also stressed because a
and that women's non-domestic work should not interfere with
woman had to please her
their primary function. As a result, women's working hours were
husband. The cult of domesticity
limited and night work for women was prohibited, essentially
affected married women's labor
Ironing Women, 1891 by Ivana Kobilca
costing many female workers their jobs and excluding them from
market participation in the
many occupations.
nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. "True
women" were supposed to devote themselves to unpaid domestic
327
Opposition
Leisure Class
Women who advocated for women's rights, such as Mary
During the nineteenth century, wealthy men and women had more
Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, and Harriet Martineau, were
leisure time than people of previous generations. This led to the
accused of disrupting the natural order of things and were
creation of a variety of parlor games, a group game played
condemned as unfeminine. "They are only semi-women, mental
indoors in a parlor, to allow these gentlemen and ladies to amuse
hermaphrodites," wrote Henry F. Harrington in the Ladies'
themselves at small parties. Parlor games decreased in popularity in
Companion. During the Progressive Era, the new woman emerged
the first half of the twentieth century as radio, movies, and later,
as a response to the cult of true womanhood. The new woman,
television captured more of the public's leisure time. Though
frequently associated with the suffrage movement, represented an
decreased in popularity, parlor games, continue to be played and
ideal of femininity which was diametrically opposed to the values of
were extremely popular among the upper and middle classes.
that cult.
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Early feminist opposition to the values promoted by the cult of
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/popular-culture--2/domesticity-
domesticity culminated in the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 and
and-domestics/
later influenced the second wave of feminism. After the Jacksonian
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Period, 1812 to 1850, had granted universal white male suffrage,
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extending the right to vote to virtually all white males in America,
women believed it was their opportunity for civil liberty. However,
even after the Declaration of Sentiments was written at the Seneca
Falls convention of 1848, the right to vote was not extended to
women until 1920.
328
Mill Towns and Company
city limits. ( Figure 21.17) The town, entirely company-owned,
provided housing, markets, a library, churches, and entertainment
Towns
for the 6,000 company employees and an equal number of
dependents. Employees were required to live in Pullman, despite
In the early and mid-19th century, mills proliferated in
the fact that cheaper rentals could be found in nearby communities.
New England.
In 1898 the Illinois Supreme Court required Pullman to dissolve
their ownership of the town.
KEY POINTS
Figure 21.
Generally located along rivers, they fostered the growth of
17 Scene
From
towns for the numbers of people coming to work in the mill.
Pullman
Sometimes the towns were owned by the mill owners.
Map and
Company towns were owned by a company, to provide
Illustration
housing, stores, and other services for its employees. One of
of Pullman,
the first company towns was Pullman, outside Chicago, which
Chicago
developed in the 1880s.
Living in the company town was mandatory for employees.
The company owners exploited their captive market, charging
exorbitant prices for housing, goods, and services. In the case
of Pullman, the Illinois Supreme Court ordered the company
Another famous company town was McDonald, Ohio, which was
to dissolve their ownership of the town in 1898.
created by the Carnegie Steel Company to house and serve the
needs of its employees in the Youngstown, Ohio area. At their peak
there were more than 2,500 company towns, housing 3% of the US
Company Towns
population.
One of the first company towns in the United States was
Pullman, Chicago, developed in the 1880s just outside the Chicago
329
Mill Towns
textiles in southern states where cotton was grown and winters did
not require significant heating costs. Finally, the Great Depression
Beginning with technological information smuggled out of England
acted as a catalyst that sent several struggling New England firms
by Francis Cabot Lowell, large mills were established in New
into bankruptcy.
England in the early- to mid-19th century. Mill towns, sometimes
planned, built, and owned as a company town, grew in the shadow
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of the industries. The regions around mill towns became
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/popular-culture--2/mill-towns-
manufacturing powerhouses along rivers like the Housatonic River,
and-company-towns/
Quinebaug River, Shetucket River, Blackstone River, Merrimack
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River, Nashua River, Cochecho River, Saco River, Androscoggin
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River, Kennebec River, and Winooski River.
"In the nineteenth century, saws and axes made in New England
cleared the forests of Ohio; New England ploughs broke the prairie
sod, New England scales weighed wheat and meat in Texas; New
England serge clothed businessmen in San Francisco; New England
cutlery skinned hides to be tanned in Milwaukee and sliced apples
to be dried in Missouri; New England whale oil lit lamps across the
continent; New England blankets warmed children by night and
New England textbooks preached at them by day; New England
guns armed the troops; and New England dies, lathes, looms,
forges, presses and screwdrivers outfitted factories far and wide." -
Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities, 1969
In the 20th century, alternatives to water power were developed
and it became more profitable for companies to manufacture
330
Section 3
Cheap Amusements
Cheap Amusements
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331
Cheap Amusements
Amusement Parks
During the Gilded Age, free time and disposable income
Amusement parks, set up outside major cities and in rural areas,
were spent on new forms of leisure like amusement
emerged to meet this new economic opportunity. These parks
parks, burlesque, and dime museums.
reflected the mechanization and efficiency of industrialization while
serving as source of fantasy and escape from real life. By the early
1900s, hundreds of amusement parks were operating in the United
States and Canada. Trolley parks, established at the end of the
KEY POINTS
trolley line by enterprising streetcar companies, stood outside many
Cabarets, clubs, music halls, and theaters put on popular
burlesque shows.
cities. Parks like Atlanta's Ponce de Leon and Idora Park near
Youngstown, OH took passengers to traditionally popular picnic
New amusement parks provided new forms of entertainment,
including trolleys, rides, roller coasters, and concessions.
grounds, which by the late 1890s also often included rides like the
Burlesque shows included such acts as striptease, singing,
Giant Swing, Carousel, and Shoot-the-Chutes. These amusement
comedy routines, mime acts, minstrel shows, and dancing.
By the late 1930s, a social crackdown on burlesque shows
Figure 21.18
began their gradual downfall.
Midway, White
City
Dime museums were designed as centers for entertainment
Amusement
and moral education for the working class.
Park,
Worcester,
Massachusetts
1908
During the Gilded Age, many Americans began working fewer hours
Midway, White
City
and had more disposable income. With new-found money and time
Amusement
to spend on leisure activities, Americans sought new venues for
Park, Worcester,
Massachusetts
entertainment.
1908
332
parks were often based on nationally-known parks or world's fairs.
lighting. Novelty acts, such as
Figure 21.19 Bon Ton Burlesquers - 365
They had names like Coney Island, White City, Luna Park, or
fire breathing or
days ahead of them all
Dreamland. The American Gilded Age was, in fact, amusement
contortionists, might be
parks' Golden Age that reigned until the late 1920s.
added to enhance the impact
of their performance. The
By the end of the First World War, people seemed to want an even
genre traditionally
more exciting entertainment, a need which was met by the roller
encompassed a variety of acts.
coasters. Although the development of the automobile provided
In addition to the striptease
people with more options for satisfying their entertainment needs,
artistes, there was some
after the war amusement parks continued to be successful. The
combination of chanson
1920s saw the development of many innovations in terms of the
singers, comedians, mime
roller coaster, encouraging extreme drops and speeds to thrill the
artists, and dancing girls, all
riders.
delivered in a satiric style
Burlesque
with a saucy edge. The
striptease element of
Poster of U.S. burlesque show, 1898,
American Burlesque is a genre of variety show. Derived from
burlesque became subject to
showing a woman in outfit with low
elements of Victorian burlesque, music hall and minstrel shows,
neckline and short skirts holding a number
extensive local legislation,
of upper-class men "On the string"
burlesque shows in America became popular in the 1860s and
leading to a theatrical form
evolved to feature ribald comedy such as lewd jokes and female
that titillated without falling foul of censors. Burlesque gradually
striptease. By the early 20th century, burlesque in America was
lost popularity beginning in the 1940s. A number of producers
presented as a populist blend of satire, performance art, music hall,
sought to capitalize on nostalgia for the entertainment by
and adult entertainment ( Figure 21.19).
attempting to recreate the spirit of burlesque in Hollywood films
Performers, usually female, often created elaborate tableaux with
from the 1930s to the 1960s.
lush, colorful costumes, mood-appropriate music, and dramatic
333
Charlie Chaplin, who starred in the 1915 film Burlesque on Carmen,
By the late 1930s, a social crackdown on burlesque shows began
noted in 1910, "Chicago...had a fierce pioneer gaiety that enlivened
their gradual downfall. The shows had slowly changed from
the senses, yet underlying it throbbed masculine loneliness.
ensemble ribald variety performances, to simple performances
Counteracting this somatic ailment was a national distraction
focusing mostly on the striptease. In New York, Mayor Fiorello
known as the burlesque show, consisting of a coterie of rough-and-
LaGuardia clamped down on burlesque, effectively putting it out of
tumble comedians supported by twenty or more chorus girls. Some
business by the early 1940s.
were pretty, others shopworn. Some of the comedians were funny,
Figure 21.20 The Lecture Room of Barnum's
Dime Museums
American Museum, 1853.
most of the shows were smutty harem comedies coarse and
cynical affairs."
Dime museums were
institutions that were
By the early 20th century, there were two national circuits of
briefly popular at the end of
burlesque shows and resident companies in New York, such as
the 19th century in the
Minsky's at the Winter Garden. The uninhibited atmosphere of
United States. Designed as
burlesque establishments owed much to the free flow of alcoholic
centers for entertainment
liquor, and the enforcement of Prohibition was a serious blow. The
The Lecture Room of Barnum's American
and moral education for the Museum, 1853.
popular burlesque show of this period eventually evolved into the
working class, the museums
striptease which became the dominant ingredient of burlesque by
were distinctly different from upper-middle class cultural events. In
the 1930s. At first, soubrettes showed off their figures while singing
urban centers like New York City, where many immigrants settled,
and dancing. Some were less active but compensated by appearing
dime museums were popular and cheap entertainment. The dime
in elaborate stage costumes. Ostensibly Syrian in origin, exotic
museum social trend reached its peak during the Progressive era
"cooch" dances, which were similar to belly-dancing, were
(ca. 18901920).
introduced. Strippers gradually supplanted the singing and dancing
soubrettes. By 1932, there were at least 150 strip principals in the
P.T. Barnum founded the first Dime Museum in 1841, called the
U.S. The transition from traditional burlesque to striptease is
"American Museum". P.T. Barnum and Charles Willson Peale
depicted in the film The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968).
introduced the so-called "Edutainement" which was a moralistic
334
education realized through sensational freak shows, theater, circus
performances, and many other means of entertainment. The
"American Museum" burned down in 1865 ( Figure 21.20).
For many years in the basement of the Playland Arcade in Times
Square in New York City, Hubert's Museum featured acts such as
the sword swallower, Lady Estelene, Congo The Jungle Creep, a flea
circus, a half-man half-woman, and magicians such as Earl "Presto"
Johnson. Later, in Times Square, mouse pitchman Tommy Laird
opened a dime museum that featured Tisha Booty "the Human Pin
Cushion", and several magicians including Tommy Laird, Lou
Lancaster, Criss Capehart, Dorothy Dietrich, Magician Dick Brooks,
and others.
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/cheap-amusements/cheap-
amusements/
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335
Section 4
Education
Education
The Spread of Public Education
Vocational Training
Higher Education
https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-
1900/education/
336
Education
northern and middle colonies, and the literacy rate was relatively
high. Educational opportunities were much sparser in the rural
Industrial growth and increased educational
South.
opportunities in agriculture and engineering fueled the
new economy during the Gilded Age.
The U.S. had its highest economic growth in the last two decades of
the Second Industrial Revolution. The Gilded Age in America was
based on heavy industry such as factories, railroads and coal
KEY POINTS
mining. The iconic event was the opening of the First
As railroads multiplied and grew, they developed complex
Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, providing six-day service
bureaucratic systems, which required managerial skills.
between the East Coast and San Francisco.
Management positions also increased in finance,
manufacturing, and trade.
First Industrial Revolution
States used federal funding from the Morrill Land-Grant
The demand for skilled workers increased relative to the labor
Colleges Acts of 1862 and 1890 to set up "land grant colleges"
that specialized in agriculture and engineering.
needs of the First Industrial Revolution. Machine shops grew
rapidly, and were comprised of highly skilled workers and engineers
The land-grant college system produced agricultural
scientists and industrial engineers. The colleges laid the
that were needed to oversee factory operation. The number of
foundation of the world's pre-eminent educational
unskilled and skilled workers increased, as their wage rates grew.
infrastructure that supported the world's foremost
Engineering colleges were established to feed the enormous
technology-based economy.
demand for expertise. Railroads invented complex bureaucratic
systems, using middle managers, and set up explicit career tracks.
Prior to the First Industrial Revolution and Second Industrial
They hired young men at ages 18 to 21 and promoted them
Revolution, education in the Thirteen Colonies during the 17th and
internally until reaching the status of locomotive engineer,
18th centuries varied considerably depending on one's location,
conductor or station agent at age 40 or so. Career tracks were
race, gender, and social class. Basic education in literacy and
invented for skilled blue collar jobs and for white collar managers,
numeracy was widely available, especially to whites residing in the
starting in railroads and expanding into finance, manufacturing and
337
trade. With the rapid growth of small business, a new middle class
new technology was hard for young people to handle, leading to a
was also growing, especially in northern cities.
sharp drop (18901930) in the demand for workers under age 16.
This resulted in a dramatic expansion of the high school system.
The United States became a world leader in applied technology.
From 1860 to 1890, 500,000 patents were issued for new
Figure 21.21
inventionsover ten times the number issued in the previous
Class in Bed
Making
seventy years. George Westinghouse invented air brakes for trains,
1898 photograph
making them both safer and faster. Westinghouse was supported by
of a group of
young girls
Nikola Tesla, who developed alternating current long distance
learning how to
transmission networks. Theodore Vail established the American
make a bed at a
"vacation
Telephone & Telegraph Company. Thomas A. Edison, the founder
school", what in
of General Electric, invented a remarkable number of electrical
modern
terminology
devices, including many hardware items used in the transmission,
would probably
distribution and end uses of electricity as well as the integrated
be a summer
camp.
power plant capable of lighting multiple buildings simultaneously.
Oil became an important resource beginning with the Pennsylvania
Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and "Commodore"
oil fields. Kerosene replaced whale oil and candles for lighting. John
Cornelius Vanderbilt were among the most influential industrialists
D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company to consolidate
during the Gilded Age. Carnegie (18351919) was born into a poor
the oil industrywhich mostly produced kerosene before the
Scottish family and came to Pittsburgh as a teenager. In 1870,
automobile created a demand for gasoline in the 20th century.
Carnegie erected his first blast furnace and by 1890 dominated the
fast-growing steel industry. He preached the "Gospel of Wealth,"
Second Industrial Revolution
saying the rich had a moral duty to engage in large-scale
At the end of the century, workers experienced the Second
philanthropy. Carnegie did give away his fortune, creating many
Industrial Revolution, which involved mass production, scientific
institutions such as the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now
management, and the rapid development of managerial skills. The
part of Carnegie Mellon University) to upgrade craftsmen into
338
trained engineers and scientists. Carnegie built hundreds of public
Among the first land-grant colleges were Purdue University,
libraries and several major research centers and foundations.
Michigan State University, Kansas State University, Cornell
Rockefeller built Standard Oil into a national monopoly; then he
University (in New York), Texas A&M University, Pennsylvania
retired from the oil business in 1897 and devoted the next 40 years
State University, The Ohio State University and the University of
of his life to giving away his fortune using systematic philanthropy,
California. Few alumni became farmers, but they did play an
especially to upgrade education, medicine and race relations.
increasingly important role in the larger food industry; especially
Cornelius Vanderbilt started out as a sailor in New York harbor;
after the Extension
then took part in the transportation revolution, from steamboats to
System that put trained agronomists in every agricultural county
railroads. He brought the corporation from its infancy to maturity
was set up in 1916.
as the organization of choice for big business.
The engineering graduates played a major role in rapid
Land-Grant Colleges
technological development. Indeed, the land-grant college system
States used federal funding from the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges
produced the agricultural scientists and industrial engineers who
Acts of 1862 and 1890 to set up " land grant colleges" that
constituted the critical human resource of the managerial
specialized in agriculture and engineering. The 1890 act created all-
revolution in government and business from 1862 to 1917. These
black land grant colleges, which were dedicated primarily to teacher
colleges laid the foundation of the world's pre-eminent educational
training. They also made important contributions to rural
infrastructure that supported the world's foremost technology-
development, including the establishment of a traveling school
based economy.
program by the Tuskegee Institute in 1906. Rural conferences
sponsored by Tuskegee also attempted to improve the life of rural
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/education/education/
blacks. In recent years, the 1890 schools have helped train many
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students from less-developed countries who return home with the
ability to improve agricultural production.
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339
The Spread of Public
schools. By the year 1870, all states had free elementary schools and
the U.S. population boasted one of the highest literacy rates at the
Education
time. Private academies flourished in towns across the country, but
rural areas (where most people lived) had few schools before the
Throughout the 1800s, American education underwent
1880s. By the close of the 1800s, public secondary schools began to
a variety of developments and reforms, including the
outnumber private ones.
expansion of public education.
Common Schools
KEY POINTS
A " common school" was a public, often one-roomed school in the
United States or Canada in the 1800s ( Figure 21.22). The term was
Beginning in 1870, the Catholic church in the United States
developed a system of separate Catholic schools; thereafter,
coined by Horace Mann, and refers to the school's aim to serve
other parochial schools spread, such as those for German
individuals of all social classes and religions. Students often went to
Lutherans, Dutch Calvinists, and Orthodox Jews.
the common school from ages six to fourteen (predecessor of grades
Many states passed laws called "Blaine amendments"
1-8). The duration of the school year was often dictated by the
forbidding the use of taxpayer funds to support parochial
agricultural needs of particular communities, with children on
schools.
Reformer Horace Mann promoted locally-controlled, often
Figure 21.22
one-room "common schools" in which children of all ages and
School house.
classes were taught together, but eventually introduced the
[Man in a top hat
age-grading system.
in front of a
shack with
several boys with
books.]
Post Revolution
A school house
from the late
After the American Revolution, an emphasis was put on education,
nineteenth
century
especially in the northern states, which rapidly established public
340
vacation from school when they needed to work on the family farm.
adopted one version or another of the system he established in
Common schools were funded by local taxes, did not charge tuition,
Massachusetts, especially the program for "normal schools" to train
and were open to all white children. Each district was typically
professional teachers.
controlled by an elected local school board; a county school
Mann's work revolutionized the approach of the common school
superintendent or regional director was usually elected to supervise
system of Massachusetts, which in turn influenced the direction of
day-to-day activities of several common school districts.
other states. In 1838, he founded and edited The Common School
Many education scholars mark the end of the common school era
Journal. In this journal, Mann targeted the problems of public
around 1900. In the early 1900s schools generally became more
schools. Mann hoped that by bringing children of all classes
regional (as opposed to local), and control of schools moved away
together, they could share a common learning experience. This
from elected school boards and towards professionals.
would also give the less fortunate an opportunity to advance in
society. Mann met with bitter opposition by some Boston
Horace Mann
schoolmasters who strongly disapproved of his innovative
Horace Mann (May 4, 1796 August 2, 1859) was an American
pedagogical ideas and by various religious sectarians who
education reformer. He served in the Massachusetts House of
contended against the exclusion of all sectarian instruction from the
Representatives from 1827-1833 and the Massachusetts Senate
schools.
from 1834-1837. He was elected to the U.S. House of
Mann advocated the Prussian model of schooling, which included
Representatives in 1848 after serving as Secretary of the
the technique of age gradingstudents were assigned by age to
Massachusetts State Board of Education since its creation. He is
different grades and progressed through them. With the
often called "the father of American public education."
introduction of age grading, multi-aged classrooms all but
Arguing that universal public education was the best way to turn the
disappeared. Some students progressed with their grade and
nation's unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican
completed all courses the secondary school had to offer. These were
citizens, Mann won widespread approval from modernizers,
"graduated," and were awarded a certificate of completion.
especially in his Whig Party, for building public schools. Most states
341
Parochial Schools
enthusiastic. Overall, the Bureau spent $5 million to set up schools
for blacks. By the end of 1865, more than 90,000 Freedmen were
The development of the American Catholic parochial school system
enrolled as students in public schools. The school curriculum
can be divided into three phases. From 17501870, parochial
resembled that of schools in the north.
schools appeared as ad hoc efforts by parishes, and most Catholic
children attended public schools. From 18701910, the Catholic
Source: https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/race-empire-and-
hierarchy made a basic commitment to a separate Catholic school
culture-in-the-gilded-age-1870-1900/education/the-spread-of-public-
system. These parochial schools, like the parishes around them,
education/
tended to be ethnically homogeneous. Instruction in the language of
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the "old country" was common. From 19101945, Catholic
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education was modernized and modeled after the public school
system.
In addition to Catholics, German Lutherans, the Calvinist Dutch,
and Orthodox Jews also began parochial schools. Starting from
about 1876, thirty nine states (out of 50) passed a constitutional
amendment to their state constitutions called the " Blaine
Amendments" forbidding tax money to be used to fund parochial
schools. In 2002, the United States Supreme Court upheld an Ohio
law allowing aid under specific circumstances.
Reconstruction Era
In the era of reconstruction, the Freedmen's Bureau opened 1000
schools across the South for black children. Schooling was a high
priority for the Freedmen, and enrollment was high and
342
Vocational Training
educations responses to a country in transition was the junior
college.
A rise in formalized vocational training followed the
Panic of 1893, with vocational high schools and normal
Several different movements supported the creation of community
schools preceding.
colleges, including local community support of public and private
two year institutions, the expansion of the public education system,
increased professional standards for teachers, the vocational
KEY POINTS
education movement, and an expanding demand for adult and
"Normal schools"--for the training of teachers--began in
community education. Numerous colleges and universities
Massachusetts in the 1880s.
advocated for the development of junior colleges. Leadership felt
Vocational high schools, secondary school programs for
that small, private liberal arts colleges and high schools could
training students specifically for industrial work, originated
provide the first two years of college while larger universities could
in Maryland, also in the 1880s.
focus resources on research and junior and senior level students.
The private two-year college, or junior college, developed in
response to the Panic of 1893.
In the early years of the twentieth century, a number of efforts were
made to imitate German-style industrial education in the United
Community College
States. Researchers such as Holmes Beckwith described the
relationship between the apprenticeship and continuation school
The social and economic climate of the early twentieth century led
models in Germany, and suggested variants of the system that could
to vocal activists for a two year educational alternative to four year
be applied in an American context. The industrial education system
higher education institutions. Several different groups advocated
evolved, after large-scale growth following World War I, into
for community colleges in the early twentieth century, including
modern vocational education.
students and parents, educators, businesses, state universities, and
government officials. Events like urbanization, industrialization,
and economic development caused changes in society. One of
343
Normal Schools
Normal School in New Hampshire was appointed the first teacher;
she was one of six candidates for the position. Evers references
Many of the early community colleges were "normal schools" and
included work at Marthas Vineyard and Saratoga.
prepared teachers. Primary emphasis was placed on traditional
middle class values and developing responsible citizens. Normal
Figure 21.23
Laundry, Straight
Schools began in Massachusetts in the 1880s as extensions of local
University.
high schools. They were originated to meet the need for teacher
Sustained by
preparation. For example, in Saint Joseph, Missouri, a Normal
American
Missionary
School was added to the local high school to provide a career track
Association".
for women who wanted to teach. Mr. Whiteford, the areas district
1890s
superintendent, inquired of the University of Missouri to determine
Students training
in laundry ca. 1897
if credits from Saint Joseph Normal School could transfer into a
baccalaureate program. The Universitys President Dr. Hill
acknowledged the request and provided for the articulation.
Coincidently, Dr. Hill was actively involved in the American
Association of Universities and calling for the establishment of
During the 1920s and 1930s there was a shift in the purpose of
junior colleges for this purpose. In Minnesota, St. Pauls Public
community colleges to developing a workforce, which was
School District established a City Training School for preparing
influenced by wide unemployment during the Great Depression.
teachers. The 1883 schools mission was to provide certified
Developing "semiprofessionals" became dominant national
teachers and substitutes for the district. Mrs. M. E. Jenness from
language to describe junior college students. The notion that
the Normal School at River Falls, Wisconsin was the St. Paul
engineers and supervisors make primary decisions about what and
Schools first principal; Mrs. N. F. Wheaton was the Director of
how activities were to be done in the workplace provided the