United States History

United States History
“The Gilded Age” Unit
Portrait of America:
Heilbroner, “The Master of Steel: Andrew Carnegie”
McCullough, “The Brooklyn Bridge: A Monument to American Ingenuity and Daring”

“Gilded Age” – Key Terms
Transcontinental Railroads
Union Pacific & Central Pacific
Land Grants
Power – natural monopolies: Vanderbilt
Industrial stimulation
Corruption: stock watering, rebates, pools
Regulation – Wabash case? ? Interstate Commerce Act (1887)

Captains of Industry (Robber Barons)
Carnegie – steel (Bessemer process) – “vertical integration” Rockefeller – oil – “horizontal integration”
Morgan – banking – “interlocking directorates” – buys out Carnegie for $400 mil., US Steel “The American Beauty Rose can only be grown by sacrificing the early buds that grow up around it” Standard Oil – by 1877 controlled 95% of oil refineries

Gospel of Wealth – justification?
Natural selection – Social Darwinism
Regulation – Sherman Anti-Trust Law (1890) – forbade combinations in restraint of trade South lags behind – kept there by systems like “Pittsburgh Plus”

Workers hurt by “ironclad” and “yellow-dog” contracts, company towns National Labor Union (1886)
Knights of Labor (1877) – for economic and social reform
Haymarket Square, 1886
American Federation of Labor (1886) – only skilled workers – led by Samuel Gompers – for better wages, hours, and conditions – used walkout and boycott

Life in the Cities
10 million immigrants between 1860-1890
New Immigrants from southern and eastern Europe – faced challenges to assimilate and yet preserve culture and tradition “American fever” – land of opportunity, “streets paved in gold”? Patronage – trading jobs and services for votes for a political “boss” Settlement House (e.g. Hull House by Jane Adams) to help immigrants Nativism

Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
Question of leadership for blacks
Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. DuBois

The Great West and Farming
Problems for Indians: Broken treaties, railroad, diseases, alcohol, killing of the buffalo (from 15 mil to less than 1,000 by 1885) Dawes Severalty Act (1887) – forced assimilation  Carlisle Indian School  Mining in the West – gold and silver attract settlers (Pikes Peak, Comstock Lode) The Long Drive – Texas cowboys driving cattle to “cow towns” to put cattle on railcars Homestead Act – 160 acres – promises and realities

Dry farming – needed to confront the challenging climate
Wheat flourished in the West  1890 census declares the frontier “closed” – significance? (Turner’s Thesis) Cash Crops – due to technological advancements, e.g. the combine Vulnerability – unprotected, competitive world markets vs. TARIFF protected manufactured goods 1870s lack of currency forced crop price down – hard on DEBTORS (farmers have mortgages) Droughts – starting in summer of 1887