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RECONSTRUCTION AND THE SOUTH Presidential Reconstruction after John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, the national mood hardened – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Presidential Reconstruction
  • after John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham
    Lincoln on April 14, 1865, the national mood
  • however, in spite of the amount of blood shed,
    the Civil War caused less intersectional hatred
    than might have been expected animosity quickly
    subsided, and most Confederate leaders were only
    mildly punished

  • the status of the southern states raised complex
    legal questions about the process of readmitting
    them to the Union
  • the process of readmission began in 1862, when
    Lincoln appointed provisional governors for those
    areas of South occupied by federal troops
  • in December 1863, he issued a proclamation that
    provided that southerners, with the exception of
    high Confederate officials, could reinstate
    themselves as United States citizens by taking a
    loyalty oath

  • a state could set up a government when a number
    equal to 10 percent of those who voted in 1860
    took the oath
  • the Radicals disliked Lincoln's plan and passed
    the Wade-Davis Bill, which required a majority of
    voters in a state to take the loyalty oath before
    a constitutional convention could be convened
  • the bill further required that the states
    prohibit slavery and repudiate Confederate debts.
    Lincoln pocket-vetoed the bill

  • after Johnson became president, he issued an
    amnesty proclamation only slightly more rigorous
    than Lincolns
  • by the time Congress reconvened in December 1865,
    all of the southern states had organized
    governments, ratified the Thirteenth Amendment,
    and elected senators and representatives.
    Johnson submitted the new governments to Congress

  • Republican Radicals
  • both radical and moderate Republicans wanted to
    protect ex-slaves from exploitation and to
    guarantee their basic rights
  • radicals, however, demanded full political
    equality moderates were unwilling to go so far
  • their agreement on a minimum set of demands
    doomed Johnsonian Reconstruction

  • Republicans feared that the balance of power in
    Congress might swing to the Democrats because the
    13th Amendment increased the Souths
    congressional representation by negating the
    Three-Fifths Compromise
  • southern voters provoked northern resentment by
    electing former Confederate leaders to office
  • Black Codes passed by southern governments to
    control ex-slaves further alarmed the North
  • congressional Republicans rejected Johnsonian
    Reconstruction and created a committee on
    Reconstruction to study the question of
    readmitting southern states

  • Johnson further alienated Republicans in Congress
    by vetoing an extension of the Freedmans Bureau
    and the Civil Rights Act
  • Congress overrode the veto of the Civil Rights
    Act, and thereafter Congress, not the president,
    controlled Reconstruction

  • The Fourteenth Amendment
  • in June 1866, Congress submitted the Fourteenth
    Amendment to the states
  • this truly radical measure granted blacks
    political rights and, in doing so, expanded the
    power of the federal government at the expense of
    the states
  • in addition, it broadened the definition of
    citizenship and struck at discriminatory
    legislation, such as the Black Codes, by
    guaranteeing all citizens due process and equal
    protection of the law

  • it attempted to force southern states to permit
    blacks to vote those states that did not faced a
    reduction of their congressional representation
  • the amendment also barred former federal
    officials who had served the Confederacy from
    holding state or federal office unless they
    received a pardon from Congress
  • finally, it repudiated the Confederate debt

  • Johnson made the choice between the Fourteenth
    Amendment and his own policy the main issue of
    the 1866 elections
  • this strategy failed dismally the Republicans
    won veto-proof majorities in both houses of
    Congress and control of all the northern state

  • The Reconstruction Acts
  • the refusal of southern states to accept the 14th
    Amendment led to the passage, over Johnsons
    veto, of First Reconstruction Act in March 1867
  • this law divided the South into five military
    districts commanded by a military officer with
    extensive powers to protect the civil rights of
    all persons and to maintain order
  • to end military rule, states had to adopt new
    constitutions that both guaranteed blacks the
    right to vote and disenfranchised many

  • the new state governments also had to ratify the
    14th Amendment
  • Congress passed two more Reconstruction Acts to
    tighten and clarify procedures
  • Arkansas became first state to gain readmission
    in June 1868, and by July enough states had
    ratified the 14th Amendment to make it part of
    the Constitution
  • last southern state to qualify for readmission,
    Georgia, did so in July 1870

  • Congress Takes Charge
  • the Souths refusal to accept the spirit of even
    the mild Reconstruction designed by Johnson
    goaded the North to ever more strident measures
    to bring the ex-Confederates to heel
  • Johnsons intractability also influenced the
    Republicans, and they became obsessed with the
    need to defeat him
  • a series of measures passed between 1866 and 1868
    increased the authority of Congress over many
    areas of government

  • still not satisfied, the Republicans finally
    attempted to remove Johnson from office
  • although a poor president, Johnson had really
    done nothing to merit ejection from office
  • the Republicans accused Johnson of violating the
    Tenure of Office Act by dismissing Secretary of
    War Stanton without obtaining the Senates
  • the House promptly impeached Johnson, but the
    Radicals failed to secure a conviction in the
    Senate by a single vote

  • The Fifteenth Amendment
  • the Republican candidate, Ulysses Grant, defeated
    the Democratic nominee, Horatio Seymour, for the
    presidency in 1868
  • Southern blacks enfranchised under the
    Reconstruction Acts provided Grants narrow
    margin of victory in the popular vote
  • the Fourteenth Amendment and Reconstruction Acts
    enabled southern blacks to vote, but the Radicals
    wanted to guarantee blacks the right in all
    states, despite the unpopularity of the idea in
    the North

  • Congress passed the Fifteenth Amendment, which
    forbade states to deny the right to vote on
    account of race, color, or previous condition of
  • the amendment became part of the Constitution in
    March 1870

  • Black Republican Reconstruction Scalawags and
  • during Reconstruction, former slaves had real
    political influence they voted, held office, and
    exercised the rights guaranteed them by 14th
  • however, black officeholders were neither
    numerous nor inordinately influential
  • real rulers of black Republican governments
    were scalawags, southern whites who cooperated
    with the Republicans, and carpetbaggers

  • carpetbaggers were northerners who went to the
    South for idealistic reasons or in search of
  • Blacks failed to dominate southern governments
    because they generally lacked political
    experience, were often poor and uneducated, and
    were nearly everywhere a minority
  • those blacks who held office tended to be better
    educated and more prosperous than most southern
    blacks many had been free before the war

  • most black officeholders proved to be able and
    conscientious public servants
  • others were incompetent and corrupt
  • in this regard, little distinguished them from
    their white counterparts
  • corruption in northern cities dwarfed that in the
  • radical southern governments, in conjunction with
    the Freedmans Bureau and philanthropic
    organizations, did much to rebuild the South and
    to expand social services and educational
    opportunities for whites and blacks

  • The Ravaged Land
  • the Souths economic problems complicated the
    rebuilding of its political system
  • although in the long run the abolition of slavery
    released immeasurable quantities of human energy,
    the immediate effect was chaos
  • Thaddeus Stevens was the leading proponent of
    confiscating the property of southern planters
    and distributing it among blacks
  • establishing ex-slaves on small farms without
    adequate tools, seeds, and other necessities,
    however, would have done them little good

  • yet, without a redistribution of land, former
    slaves were confined to the established framework
    of southern agriculture
  • southern whites considered blacks incapable of
    providing for themselves as independent farmers
  • southern productivity did decline, but not
    because blacks could not work independently
  • Blacks chose no longer to work like slaves for
    example, they did not force their children into
    the fields at very early ages

  • Sharecropping and the Crop-Lien System
  • immediately after the Civil War, southern
    planters attempted to farm their lands by gang
    labor consisting of ex-slaves working for wages
  • this system did not work because it reminded
    blacks of slavery and because capital was scarce
  • sharecropping emerged as an alternative.
    Sharecropping gave blacks more control over their
    lives and the hope of earning enough to buy a
    small farm

  • however, few managed to buy their own farms, in
    part because of white resistance to blacks owning
  • many white farmers in the South were also trapped
    by the sharecropping system
  • Scarcity of capital led to the development of the
    crop-lien system, which locked southern
    agriculture into the cultivation of cash crops
  • the Souths economy grew slowly after the Civil
    War, and its share of the national output of
    manufactured goods declined sharply during the
    Reconstruction era

  • The White Backlash
  • to check black political power, dissident
    southerners formed secret terrorist societies,
    the most notorious of which was the Ku Klux Klan
  • formed in 1866 as a social club, the Klan soon
    became a vigilante group dedicated to driving
    blacks out of politics the Klan spread rapidly
    throughout the South
  • Congress attacked Klan with three Force Acts
    (1870-1871), which placed elections under federal
    jurisdiction and punished those convicted of
    interfering with any citizens right to vote

  • by 1872, federal authorities had broken the power
    of the Klan, but the experience of Klan, however,
    demonstrated the effectiveness of terrorism in
    keeping blacks away from polls, and paramilitary
    organizations adopted the tactics the Klan had
    been forced to abandon
  • Conservative parties (Democratic in national
    affairs) took over southern governments
  • terrorism and intimidation account only in part
    for this development
  • sectional reconciliation and waning interest in
    policing the South made the North unwilling to

  • Grant as President
  • Grant failed to live up to expectations as
  • the general was a poor executive his honest
    naivete made him the dupe of unscrupulous friends
    and schemers
  • he failed to deal effectively with economic and
    social problems, and corruption plagued his
  • Grant did not cause or participate in the
    scandals that disgraced his administration, but
    he did nothing to prevent them

  • in 1872, Republican reformers, alarmed by rumors
    of corruption in Grants administration and by
    his failure to press for civil service reform,
    formed the Liberal Republican party and nominated
    Horace Greeley for president
  • Democrats also nominated Greeley, but Grant
    easily defeated him

  • The Disputed Election of 1876
  • in 1876, Republicans nominated Rutherford B.
    Hayes, and Democrats chose Samuel J. Tilden
  • in Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana, where
    Republican regimes still held power, Republicans
    used their control of the election machinery to
    invalidate Democratic votes and declare Hayes the
    winner in those states
  • in January 1877, Congress created an electoral
    commission to decide the disputed elections
  • the Republican majority on the commission awarded
    the disputed votes to Hayes

  • The Compromise of 1877
  • many southern Democrats were willing to accept
    Hayes if he would promise to remove federal
    troops from South and to allow southern states to
    manage their own internal affairs
  • once in office, Hayes honored most elements of
    the compromise
  • he removed the last troops from South Carolina
    and Louisiana in April 1877 and appointed a
    former Confederate general, David M. Key, as
    Postmaster General

  • the alliance of ex-Whigs and northern Republicans
    that produced the compromise did not last
  • the South remained solidly Democratic
  • the Compromise of 1877 did, however, mark the end
    of the Reconstruction era and the recognition of
    a new regime in the South

  • New Problems, New Solutions
  • industrialization and urbanization changed the
    structure of the American economy and society
  • American political history in the last quarter of
    the 19th century was singularly divorced from the
    meaningful issues of the day
  • on the rare occasions that important issues did
    become the subject of debate, they occasioned far
    less argument than they merited

  • The Triumph of Self-Interest
  • after Civil War Americans became materialistic
  • they professed a belief in laissez-faire, a
    policy of government noninterference in business
  • people tolerated the grossest kind of waste and
    corruption in high places
  • Mark Twain described this period as the Gilded
    Age dazzling on the surface but base metal below

  • by the 1870s, Charles Darwins Origin of the
    Species (1859) influenced American public opinion
  • William Graham Sumner drew an analogy between
    survival of the fittest in nature and in human
  • the application of Darwinist theory to social
    relations became known as social Darwinism

  • Congress Ascendant
  • a succession of weak presidents occupied White
    House, and Congress dominated government
  • within Congress, the Senate generally
    overshadowed the House
  • critics called the Senate a rich mans club, but
    its real source of influence derived from the
    long tenure of many of its members and the small
    number of senators
  • then, too, the House of Representatives was one
    of the most disorderly and inefficient
    legislative bodies in the world

  • although the Democrats and Republicans competed
    fiercely, they seldom took clearly opposing
    positions on the issues of the day
  • fundamental division between Democrats and
    Republicans was sectional, result of Civil War
  • the South was heavily Democratic New England
    remained solidly Republican and the rest of the
    country was split, although Republicans tended to
    have the advantage
  • wealthy northerners and blacks tended to be
    Republicans immigrants and Catholics tended to
    be Democrats

  • even though Democrats won presidency only twice,
    most presidential elections in late nineteenth
    century were extremely close, and congressional
    majorities fluctuated continually

  • The Political Aftermath of War
  • Republicans attacked Democrats by waving the
    bloody shirt (reminding voters that the
    Democrats had been party of secession and that
    Democrats denied rights to blacks in South)
  • other major issues included the tariff, currency,
    and civil service reform

  • Blacks After Reconstruction
  • both Republicans and Democrats subscribed to
    hypocritical statements about black equality and
    constitutional rights, but neither did anything
    to implement them
  • for a time, southern blacks were not totally
  • rival white political factions tried to
    manipulate black voters
  • in the 1890s, however, southern states began to
    use poll taxes and literacy tests to bar blacks
    from voting

  • Supreme Court decisions curtailed black civil
    rights and power of government to defend them
  • in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), Court declared
    the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional and
    ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed
    civil rights against invasion by the state, but
    not by individuals
  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) upheld legality of
    separate public accommodations for blacks and
    whites, so long as they were of equal quality
  • in practice, facilities provided for blacks were
    separate they were rarely equal

  • Booker T. Washington A Reasonable Champion for
  • some blacks responded to racism and
    discrimination by adopting militant black
    nationalism others advocated a revival of the
    African colonization movement neither of these
    approaches won many adherents
  • the dominant black leader of the period, Booker
    T. Washington, believed that blacks needed to
    accommodate themselves to white prejudices, at
    least temporarily, and concentrate on

  • these ideas, expressed in his Atlanta
    Compromise speech, established his reputation as
    a moderate, reasonable black leader
  • in public, he minimized the importance of civil
    and political rights behind the scenes, however,
    he lobbied against discriminatory measures and
    financed test cases in the courts

  • White Violence and Vengeance
  • for decades after the Civil War, some southern
    whites had attempted to replace the legal
    subjugation of slavery with a new form of
    subjugation based on terror
  • between 1890 and 1910, an average of nearly a
    hundred blacks were lynched each year
  • even more striking was the utter savagery of many
    of the lynchings
  • violence succeeded in disfranchising southern
    black men and driving them out of public spaces

  • ironically, this created an opportunity for black
    women to fill the void created by the
    disfranchisement of black men
  • black women in religious and reform associations
    became the points of contact with the white

  • The West after the Civil War
  • there was neither a typical West nor westerner
  • many parts of region had as large a percentage of
    foreign-born residents as the eastern cities
  • although often portrayed as an unpopulated region
    with large open spaces, the West contained
    several growing cities, including San Francisco
    and Denver
  • if the western economy was predominantly
    agricultural and extractive, it also had both a
    commercial and developing industrial component

  • the West epitomized the social Darwinist
    psychology of post-Civil War America
  • beginning in the mid-1850s, a steady flow of
    Chinese immigrated to the United States
  • many worked building the railroads
  • with the completion of the railroads, Chinese
    began to look elsewhere for work
  • workers in San Francisco, who resented the
    competition, rioted
  • by 1882, these problems led Congress to prohibit
    Chinese immigration for ten years later this ban
    was extended indefinitely

  • The Plains Indians
  • in 1860, the Indians still occupied roughly half
    the United States by 1877, they had been
    shattered as independent peoples the Plains
    Indians lived by hunting
  • they eagerly adopted the products of white
    culture-clothing, weapons, horses
  • westward expansion by whites put pressure on
    Indian lands
  • in 1851, Thomas Fitzpatrick, an Indian agent,
    negotiated agreements with several tribes of
    Plains Indians at Horse Creek, Wyoming

  • each tribe agreed to accept definite limits on
    its hunting grounds
  • in return, the Indians were promised gifts and
    annual payments
  • this policy, known as concentration, was
    designed to reduce intertribal warfare and, more
    important, to enable the government to negotiate
    separately with each tribe
  • the United States maintained that each tribe was
    a sovereign nation, to be dealt with as an equal
    in treaties, although both sides knew that such
    was not the case

  • Indian Wars
  • white encroachments led to the outbreak of
    guerrilla warfare, in the course of which both
    sides committed atrocities
  • in 1867, the government tried a new strategy to
    replace the concentration policy
  • all Indians would be confined to reservations and
    forced to become farmers
  • some Indians refused to yield to the new policy
    and waged war against both the U.S. Army and

  • Indians made superb cavalry soldiers and often
    held off or defeated American troops
  • granting the inevitability of white expansion,
    some version of the small reservation policy
    was probably best for the Indians
  • however, maladministration hampered the
    governments policy
  • treaties did not provide adequate land for the
    Indians, and Indian agents often cheated Indians
  • the discovery of gold on the Black Hills Indian
    Reservation led to further fighting, including
    Custers defeat at the Little Bighorn

  • The Destruction of Tribal Life
  • the bison formed the mainstay of the Indians
    food and provided materials for clothing, tools,
    and shelter
  • its destruction led to disintegration of tribal
  • many whites, including those sympathetic to the
    Indians plight, believed that the only way to
    solve the Indian problem was to persuade them
    to abandon their tribal culture and to live on
    family farms

  • the Dawes Severalty Act (1887) allotted tribal
    lands to individual Indians, provided funds for
    education, and granted United States citizenship
    to those who accepted allotments and adopted the
    habits of civilized life
  • although the bills sponsors perceived it as a
    humanitarian reform, it had disastrous results
  • it shattered what remained of Indian culture
    without enabling Indians to adapt to white ways

  • The Lure of Gold and Silver in the West
  • Americans had long regarded the West as a
    limitless resource to be exploited
  • miners chased strikes, which gave rise to boom
    towns, many of which soon died
  • major strikes were made at Fraser River, Pikes
    Peak, and Nevada (the Comstock Lode)
  • the boom towns of the West reflected the
    get-rich-quick attitude prevalent in the East
  • few gave any thought of conserving the resources

  • gold towns attracted a variety of characters, and
    law enforcement was a constant problem
  • prospectors may have made key discoveries, but
    larger mining interests developed the resources
    and made most of the profits
  • gold rushes increased interest in the West and
    generated a valuable literature
  • moreover, each new strike and rush, no matter how
    ephemeral, brought permanent settlers farmers,
    cattlemen, storekeepers, lawyers, and ministers

  • gold bolstered the financial position of the
    United States and helped pay for the import of
    European goods
  • gold towns also consumed American agricultural
    and manufactured goods

  • Big Business and the Land Bonanza
  • the Homestead Act (1862) intended to create
    160-acre family farms, but things did not work
    out as planned
  • even if land was free, most landless Americans
    could not afford the cost of moving and
    purchasing the necessary farm equipment
  • factory workers had neither the skills nor the
    interest to become farmers

  • moreover, 160 acres was not sufficient for farms
    in the far West the Timber Culture Act (1873)
    increased the figure to 320 acres and required
    the planting of trees on the land
  • large speculators grabbed much of the land, and
    private interests destroyed much of the western
  • some corporate bonanza farmers made profits,
    but even commercialized agriculture could not
    withstand the droughts of the 1880s

  • Western Railroad Building
  • the government subsidized the construction of
    western railroads through a combination of land
    grants and loans
  • government lands adjacent to the railroads were
    not open to homesteading because such free land
    would prevent the railroads from disposing of
    their granted lands at good prices
  • land grant railroads encouraged the growth of the
    West by advertising and selling their lands
  • they also provided inexpensive transportation and
    shipping for settlers
  • corruption and waste often marred the
    construction of railroads

  • The Cattle Kingdom
  • the cattle industry developed as a result of
    increasing demands for food in eastern cities and
    the expansion of the railroad network
  • cattle were driven from Texas to Sedalia,
    Abilene, and points westward on the railroads,
    where the cattlemen sold them for substantial
    profits the long drive produced the American
    cowboy, about a third of whom were black or
  • cattle towns such as Abilene, Wichita, and Dodge
    City thrived
  • life in these towns was neither so violent nor
    disorderly as legend has it

  • Open-Range Ranching
  • cattlemen began raising stock closer to the
    railheads, eliminating the long drive
  • open-range ranching on the northern plains
    required little more than the possession of
    cattle and access to water
  • the open range made actual ownership of much land
  • ranchers often banded together to obtain legal
    title to watercourses and grazed their cattle in
    common on adjacent lands

  • their herds became intermixed and could be
    distinguished only by brands
  • Easterners and Europeans invested in the ranches,
    and a few large ranches eventually came to
    dominate the industry

  • Barbed Wire Warfare
  • by the mid-1880s, crowding on the range and lack
    of clear land titles gave rise to conflict and
  • compounding matters, Congress refused to change
    the land laws and thereby encouraged those who
    could not get title to enough land legally to
    resort to fraud
  • individuals and groups began to fence off large
    areas of land they considered their own, a step
    made possible by the invention of barbed wire
  • fencing often led to conflicts

  • overproduction drove down beef prices, and many
    sections were overgrazed
  • the severe winter of 1886 to 1887 killed between
    80-90 percent of cattle on the range and ended
    open-range cattle ranching
  • the industry revived on a smaller, more efficient

  • Essentials of Industrial Growth
  • American manufacturing flourished in the last
    quarter of the nineteenth century
  • new natural resources were discovered and
    exploited, creating opportunities that attracted
    the brightest and most energetic Americans
  • the national market grew, protected from foreign
    competition by tariffs, and foreign capital
    entered the market freely

  • European immigrants provided the additional labor
    needed for industrial expansion
  • advances in science and technology created new
    machines and power sources, which increased

  • Railroads The First Big Business
  • in the last quarter of the nineteenth century,
    railroads were probably the most significant
    element in American economic development
  • important as an industry themselves, railroads
    also contributed to the growth and development of
    other industries
  • railroads developed into larger and more
    integrated systems, and their executives,
    including Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould,
    became some of the most powerful and wealthiest
    people in the country

  • railroad equipment became standardized, as did
    time zones
  • land grant railroads helped to settle the West by
    selling their lands cheaply and on easy terms to
  • new railroad technology, including the air brake
    and more powerful locomotives, made it possible
    for larger trains to travel at faster speeds

  • Iron, Oil, and Electricity
  • the transformation of iron manufacturing affected
    the United States almost as much as the
    development of railroads
  • new techniques, including the Bessemer process,
    made possible mass production of steel
  • huge supply of iron ore and coal in U.S. allowed
    for rapid growth of steel production
  • the Mesabi range yielded enormous quantities of
    easily mined iron
  • Pittsburgh, surrounded by vast coal deposits,
    became the iron and steel center of the country

  • the petroleum industry expanded even more
    spectacularly than iron and steel
  • new refining techniques enabled refiners to
    increase the production of kerosene, which, until
    the development of the gasoline engine, was the
    most important petroleum product
  • technological advances and the growth of an urban
    society led to the creation of new industries,
    such as the telephone and electric light

  • Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in
    1876, and his invention quickly proved its
    practical value
  • of all Edisons many inventions, the most
    significant was the incandescent light bulb
  • the Edison Illuminating Company opened a power
    station in New York, and power stations began to
    appear everywhere
  • the substitution of electric for steam power in
    factories had an impact comparable to the
    substitution of steam for water power before the
    Civil War

  • Competition and Monopoly The Railroads
  • growing importance of expensive machinery and
    economies of scale led to economic concentration
  • deflationary pressures after 1873 led to falling
    prices and increased competition, which cut
    deeply into railroad profits
  • railroads attempted to increase the volume of
    shipping by giving rebates, drawbacks, and other
    discounts to selected customers

  • sometimes these discounts were far beyond what
    the economies of bulk shipment justified in
    order to make up these losses, railroads charged
    higher rates in areas where no competition
  • combination of lost revenue from rate cutting and
    inflated debts forced several railroads into
    receivership in the 1870s
  • in the 1880s, major railroads responded to those
    pressures by creating interregional systems
  • these became the first giant corporations

  • Competition and Monopoly Steel
  • the iron and steel industry was also intensely
    competitive production continued to increase,
    but demand varied erratically
  • Andrew Carnegie used his talents as a salesman
    and administrator, along with his belief in
    technological improvements, to create Carnegie
    Steel Company, which dominated the industry
  • alarmed by Carnegies control of the industry,
    makers of finished steel products began to
    combine and considered entering primary production

  • in response, Carnegie threatened to turn out
    finished products
  • J. P. Morgan averted a steel war by buying out
    Carnegie, his main competitor, and the main
    fabricators of finished products
  • the new combination, United States Steel, was the
    first billion-dollar corporation
  • Carnegie retired to devote his life to

  • Competition and Monopoly Oil
  • competition among refiners led to combination and
    monopoly in the petroleum industry
  • John D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil
    Company in 1870
  • he used technological advances and employed both
    fair and unfair means to destroy his competition
    or to persuade them to join forces
  • by 1879, Rockefeller controlled 90 of nations
    oil refining capacity
  • to maintain monopoly, Rockefeller developed a new
    type of business organization, the trust

  • Competition and Monopoly Utilities and
  • utilities, such as the telephone and electric
    lighting industries, also formed monopolies in
    order to prevent costly duplication of equipment
    and to protect patents
  • Bell and Edison fought lengthy and expensive
    court battles to defend their inventions from
    imitators and competitors
  • competition between General Electric Company and
    Westinghouse dominated the electric lighting

  • the life insurance business expanded after the
    Civil War, and it, too, became dominated by a few
    large companies
  • in retailing, this period saw the emergence of
    urban department stores, including Wanamakers
    and Marshall Field
  • the department stores advertised heavily and
    stressed low prices, efficient service, and
    guaranteed products

  • Americans Ambivalence to Big Business
  • the expansion of industry and its concentration
    in fewer hands changed the way many people felt
    about the role of government in economic and
    social affairs
  • although Americans disliked powerful government
    and strict regulation of the economy, they did
    not object to all government involvement in the
    economic sphere
  • the growth of huge industrial and financial
    organizations frightened many people

  • at the same time, people wanted the goods and
    services big business produced
  • the public worried that monopolists would raise
    prices still more significant was the fear that
    monopolies would destroy economic opportunity and
    threaten democratic institutions

  • Reformers George, Bellamy, Lloyd
  • the popularity of several reformers reflected the
    growing concern over the maldistribution of
    wealth and the power of corporations
  • in Progress and Poverty (1879), Henry George
    argued that labor was only true source of capital
  • he proposed a single tax on wealth produced by
    appreciation of land values
  • Edward Bellamys utopian novel, Looking Backward
    (1888), described a future in which America was
    completely socialized and carefully planned

  • Bellamys ideal socialist state arrived without
    revolution or violence
  • Henry Demarest Lloyds Wealth Against
    Commonwealth (1894) denounced the Standard Oil
  • his forceful but uncomplicated arguments made
    Lloyds book convincing to thousands
  • despite their criticisms, these writers did not
    question the underlying values of the middle
    class majority, and they insisted that reform
    could be accomplished without serious
    inconvenience to any individual or class

  • Reformers The Marxists
  • by the 1870s, the ideas of the Marxian socialists
    began to penetrate the United States Marxist
    Socialist Labor party was founded in 1877
  • Laurence Gronlunds The Cooperative Commonwealth
    (1884) attempted to explain Marxism to Americans
  • leading voice of Socialist Labor party, Daniel De
    Leon, was a doctrinaire revolutionary who
    insisted that workers could improve their lot
    only by adopting socialism and joining Socialist
    Labor party
  • he paid scant attention to the opinions or to the
    practical needs of common working people

  • The Government Reacts to Big Business Railroad
  • political reaction to the growth of big business
    came first at the state level and dealt chiefly
    with the regulation of railroads
  • strict railroad regulation resulted largely from
    agitation by the National Grange and focused on
    establishing reasonable maximum rates and
    outlawing unjust price discrimination
  • in Munn v. Illinois (1877), the Supreme Court
    ruled that such regulations by states were
    constitutional when applied to businesses that
    served a public interest

  • however, the Supreme Court declared invalid an
    Illinois law prohibiting discriminatory rates
    between long and short hauls in the Wabash case
    (1886) on the ground that a state could not
    regulate interstate commerce
  • the following year, Congress passed the
    Interstate Commerce Act, which required that
    railroad charges be reasonable and just
  • it also outlawed rebates, drawbacks, and other
    competitive practices
  • in addition, the act created the Interstate
    Commerce Commission, the first federal regulatory
    board, to supervise railroad regulation

  • The Government Reacts to Big Business The
    Sherman Antitrust Act
  • first antitrust legislation originated in the
  • federal action came with the passage of the
    Sherman Antitrust Act (1890), which declared
    illegal trusts or other combinations in restraint
    of trade or commerce
  • the Interstate Commerce Act sought to outlaw the
    excesses of competition the Sherman Act intended
    to restore competition

  • the Supreme Court undermined the Sherman Act when
    it ruled that the American Sugar Refining
    Company, which controlled 98 percent of sugar
    refining, was engaged in manufacturing and
    therefore its dominance did not restrict trade
  • in later cases, however, the Court ruled that
    agreements to fix prices did violate the Sherman

  • The Labor Union Movement
  • at the time of the Civil War, only a small
    percentage of American workers were organized,
    and most union members were skilled artisans, not
    factory workers
  • the growth of national craft unions quickened
    after 1865
  • the National Labor Union was founded in 1866, but
    its leaders were out of touch with the practical
    needs and aspirations of workers
  • they opposed the wage system, strikes, and
    anything that increased laborers sense of
    membership in the working class

  • their major objective was the formation of
    worker-owned cooperatives
  • founded in 1869, the Knights of Labor supported
    political objectives that had little to do with
    working conditions and rejected the idea that
    workers must resign themselves to remaining wage
  • the Knights also rejected the grouping of workers
    by crafts and accepted blacks, women, and
  • membership in the Knights grew in the 1880s,
    encouraged by successful strikes against railroads

  • in 1886, agitation for an eight-hour day gained
    wide support
  • clashes between workers and police in Chicago led
    to a protest meeting at Haymarket Square
  • a bomb tossed into the crowd killed seven
    policemen and injured many others

  • The American Federation of Labor
  • the violence in Chicago damaged organized labor,
    especially the Knights of Labor, which the public
    associated with anarchy and violence
  • membership in the Knights declined
  • a combination of national craft unions, the
    American Federation of Labor, replaced the
    Knights of Labor as the leading labor union
  • led by Adolph Strasser and Samuel Gompers, the
    AFL concentrated on organizing skilled workers

  • it fought for higher wages and shorter hours
  • the AFL accepted the fact that most workers would
    remain wage earners and used its organization to
    develop a sense of common purpose and pride among
    its members
  • the AFL avoided direct involvement in politics
    and used the strike as its primary tool to
    improve working conditions

  • Labor Militancy Rebuffed
  • threatened by the growing size and power of their
    corporate employers, the substitution of machines
    for human skills, and the influx of foreign
    workers willing to accept low wages, labor grew
    increasingly militant
  • in 1877, a railroad strike shut down two-thirds
    of the nations railroad mileage
  • violence broke out, federal troops restored
    order, and the strike collapsed
  • in 1892, violence marked the strike against
    Carnegies Homestead Steel plant

  • the defeat of the Amalgamated Association of Iron
    and Steel Workers eliminated unionism as an
    effective force in the steel industry
  • the most important strike of the period took
    place in 1894, when Eugene Debss American
    Railway Union struck the Pullman company
  • President Cleveland broke the strike when he sent
    federal troops to ensure the movement of the mail
  • when Debs defied a federal injunction to end the
    strike, he was jailed for contempt

  • Whither America, Whither Democracy?
  • each year more of Americas wealth and power
    seemed to fall into fewer hands
  • bankers dominated major industries
  • centralization increased efficiency but raised
    questions about the ultimate effects of big
    business on democracy
  • the defeat of the Pullman strike demonstrated the
    power of courts to break strikes

  • the federal government obtained an injunction in
    that case by asserting that the American Railway
    Union was engaged in a combination in restraint
    of trade prohibited by the Sherman Act
  • after the failure of the Pullman strike, Debs
    became a socialist

(No Transcript)
  • Middle-Class Life
  • American middle-class culture took elements of
    romanticism (the optimism about human potential,
    the quest for personal improvement, the passion
    for competition) and tempered them with
  • Victorian family relations, however, were not
    nearly so stiff and formal as often imagined

  • diaries and letters indicate that many couples
    experienced sexually fulfilling relationships
  • middle-class families also began to have fewer
    children abstinence accounted for much of the
    decline in fertility, but the use of
    contraceptive devices and abortion contributed as
  • Americas middle-class comprised professionals,
    varied groups of shopkeepers, small
    manufacturers, skilled craftsmen, and established
  • middle-class family life was defined in terms of
    tangible goods, thus giving rise to a culture of

  • Skilled and Unskilled Workers
  • wage earners, especially in the mining,
    manufacturing, and transportation sectors,
    experienced the full impact of industrialization
  • skilled industrial workers were generally quite
    well off, but unskilled laborers found it
    difficult to support a family on their wages
  • large-scale industry decreased contact between
    employee and employer relations between them
    became increasingly impersonal

  • machines set the pace of work
  • the costs of capitalization reduced the workers
    opportunity to rise from the ranks of labor to
  • workers became subject to swings of the business

  • Working Women
  • with the shift from cottage industries to a
    factory system, a growing number of women worked
    outside of the home
  • while many women found work in textile mills and
    sewing trades, at least half of all working women
    were employed as domestic servants
  • the Cult of True Womanhood served to open new
    employment opportunities for women

  • employers in the retail sector believed women to
    be more polite, honest, and submissive than male
  • for many of these same reasons, educated
    middle-class women came to dominate the nursing,
    elementary education, and secretarial fields
  • although employment opportunities for women
    increased during this period, management and
    entrepreneurial positions remained, for the most
    part, a male domain

  • Farmers
  • long the mainstay of American society,
    independent farmers found their relative share of
    the nations wealth and their personal status
  • loss of wealth and influence, along with an
    increasing vulnerability to an economy dominated
    by industrial trends, fostered periodic waves of
    radicalism in the nations farm belts

  • while the Grange movements took hold at different
    times in different places and varied in their
    impact, they were instrumental in breaking down
    rural laissez-faire prejudices
  • farmers in the older, more established regions
    benefited not only from new technology but from
    easy access to rapidly expanding urban markets
  • the frontier farm belts and the Old South proved
    less able to adapt to new technologies and
    advances in transportation

  • Working-Class Family Life
  • enormous disparities existed in the standard of
    living among workers engaged in the same line of
    work during this period
  • co-workers with the same pay rates often
    supported their families in dramatically
    different styles
  • the factors influencing a working-class family
    could range from family size to personal spending

  • social workers of the day listed such variables
    as family health, intelligence, the wifes
    household management skills, the familys
    commitment to middle-class values, and pure luck

  • Working-Class Attitudes
  • surveys conducted among workers during the 1880s
    and 1890s revealed a broad spectrum of responses
    regarding their employment circumstances
  • while some workers expressed contentment with
    their conditions, others called for the
    nationalization of the means of production and
  • despite a general improvement in living
    standards, the number of bitter strikes revealed
    the discontent of many workers

  • this dissatisfaction fell into three broad areas
  • for some, poverty remained the chief problem for
    others, rising aspirations triggered discontent
  • the discontent of yet another group stemmed from
    confusion over their situation the tradition
    that no one of ability need remain a hired hand
    died hard, even in the face of contradictory
  • they were drawn to the ideas of a classless
    society and the community of interest shared by
    capital and labor, but the gap between the very
    rich and ordinary citizens was widening

  • Working Your Way Up
  • Americans were a mobile people. Geographical
    mobility often translated into economic and
    social improvement
  • nearly one quarter of all manual laborers studied
    rose into the ranks of the middle class

  • while such upward progress was primarily the
    result of economic growth, public education began
    to provide an additional boost
  • by the turn of the century, more than 15 million
    students attended public schools, curricula had
    expanded, and as many as 36 cities had
    established vocational high schools

  • The New Immigration
  • between 1866 and 1915, about 25 million
    immigrants entered the United States
  • the demand for labor created by industrial
    expansion drew immigrants, and steamships made
    the Atlantic crossing safe and speedy
  • economic disruption in many European countries,
    political upheaval, and religious persecution
    pushed this wave of immigrants to Americas shores

  • prior to the 1880s, the bulk of Americas
    newcomers were western and northern Europeans
  • beginning in the 1880s, the sources of
    immigration shifted from northern and western to
    southern and eastern Europe

  • New Immigrants Face New Nativism
  • linguistic, religious, and cultural factors,
    along with the physical appearance of these new
    immigrants, convinced many Americans that these
    new arrivals would not assimilate into mainstream
  • old stock American workers, in addition to their
    existing prejudices, worried that these new
    immigrants undermined their job security
  • the majority of these new immigrants settled
    into ethnic enclaves

  • political nativists, social Darwinists, and
    pseudo-scientists found the flow of immigrants
  • labor leaders feared competition for jobs.
    Employers were not disturbed by the influx of
    workers, but many became alarmed by the supposed
    radicalism of the immigrants
  • there were some efforts to limit immigration, but
    substantial immigration controls were not enacted
    until after World War I

  • The Expanding City and Its Problems
  • proponents of immigration restriction made much
    of crowded ethnic enclaves in cities
  • immigrants were drawn to cities by the jobs
    created by expanding industry, as were
    native-born Americans
  • industrialization alone did not account for the
    growth of the cities urban centers served as
    commercial and transportation hubs
  • by the end of the century, however, the expansion
    of industry had become the chief cause of urban