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Period 6 Overview
~1865 – 1898~
Hannah Stott
Short Summary
• This period was the continued transformation of the States from
agricultural based living to a more urbanized, industrialized, business
based lifestyle. With the growing urban societies, many changes came
about with it, such as economic, social, political, and cultural changes.
Key Concepts
• Key Concept 6.1: The rise of big business in the United States encouraged massive
migrations and urbanization, sparked government and popular efforts to reshape the
U.S. economy and environment, and renewed debates over U.S. national identity.
• Key Concept 6.2: The emergence of an industrial culture in the United States led to
both greater opportunities for, and restrictions on, immigrants, minorities, and
• Key Concept 6.3: The “Gilded Age” witnessed new cultural and intellectual
movements in tandem with political debates over economic and social policies.
The Great West + The Agricultural
Chapter 26
Western Natives and Battles
Tans-Missouri West
• This area was the vast grasslands where the white pioneers wanted to advance,
but the Native Americans were occupying that space. They were located there
because that was their prior placement after being told to leave where they
were and move westward. White pioneers slowly but steadily tried to encroach
on the Native’s land.
Indian Policy
• Beginning of Reservation Systems: Trying to appease the Plains Indians, the
fed. government signed treaties with several tribes’ chiefs at Fort Laramie
(1851) and Atkinson (1853)
• In the 1860, they intensified their reservation policy, confining the Natives Washington.
There they were promised to be left alone.
Ghost Dance Movement
• Native American purification ritual
• It was a spiritual movement in which Indians, who were defeated in battle
confined in conservations, were taught that the gods were angered because
they abandoned their traditional customs. Many Sioux thought that if they
undertook the practice of the Ghost Dance in addition to refusing to “walk the
path of a white man, the gods would create a fresh start for the world and
would get rid of all non believers which included non-Indians.
More on the Natives
Battle of Little Bighorn (June 25, 1876)
• Prelude: Clashes between the whites and Indians were very brutal. Aggressive
whites would sometimes shoot peacemaking natives and women and children. Brave
souls were tortured and mutilated. One incident where the Indians fought back was
in 1866 in an attempt to stop construction on the Bozeman Trail. The natives didn’t
leave a single survivor behind. One trooper had 105 arrows on his face.
• Actual Battle
Cause: Several tribes passed the deadline for moving to the new reservation, so the U.S.
army called in Custer.
Leaders: U.S. Army: Gen. Custer, Natives: Sitting Bull
Custard’s Last Stand: Mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the valley. However the
natives won and the U.S. army lost, which was the worst defeat for them in the Plains
Indian War. It also confirmed to the public that the stereotype of Indians being
bloodthirsty and more primitive was true. However, within the next 5 years, the Sioux
and Cheyenne Indians would be seen at the reservation.
Battle of Wounded Knee (1890)
• This event occurred located at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and it was a
massacre that left about 200 Indians as well as 29 soldiers.
• Causes: The ‘Ghost Dance” was outlawed by the government and disagreement on
the Dawes Act.
• It is suspected by historians that the soldiers started the battle to get revenge on the
natives for their victory at Little Bighorn.
Top: Bighorn
Bottom: Wounded Knee
Indian Wars and Locations of Tribes
The Great West
Before moving on…
• Dawes Severalty Act (1887)
It basically wiped out tribal ownership of land and disbanded tribes (no longer considered
as legal entities. It also set Individual family heads with 160 free acres. If the natives
“walked the path of a white man”, they would be entitled to their holding as well as
citizenship, in 25 years. Full citizenship was granted in 1924.
• In 1859, Colorado ”Pikes Peakers” poured into Nevada looking for gold.
Fortunately, both silver and gold could be found at Comstock Lode. All together, it was
worth more than $340 million.
Gradually big business expanded to the mining industry.
• Instead of dusty miners and dishpans, they were replaced with expensive machinery and trained
engineers. Independent gold-seekers were demoted to everyday laborers.
Mining attracted people and wealth as well as opportunities. Equality was more easily
found in the western frontier.
Oklahoma Land Rush
On April 22, 1889, 50,000 “boomers” and “sooners” hopeful for land, awaited for the signal
at noon. Horseback riders charged across the prairie to stake their claims the they’re
hopefully new homesteads. Guthrie had been transformed from a small railroad station to a
tent city of 10,000 people within a few hours. The rush quickened the demise of Indian
territory because the whites took control of the Indian land. In 1890, the unassigned lands
became known as Oklahoma Territory.
The Gilded Age + Industry
Chapter 24
What was the “Gilded Age”?
“Gilded Age” was a sarcastic term given to the three decade
long post civil war era.
• The name was given by Mark Twain in 1873.
• The age occurred from about 1870 to 1900.
• Its depicted as America covered in gold but standing on a
cheap vase.
• This means that the U.S. may have seen perfect and wonderful,
but if one looked deeper, the underlying truth is that it was not
so great. The following are examples of not-so great things
about the “Gilded Age”:
• Robber Barons
• Labor Conditions
• Immigration
Second Industrial Revolution
• In 1865, there was only 35,000 miles of railroad. However by 1900, the railroads
had substantially increased to 192,556 miles.
• Land Grants were given to railroads in belts along the proposed route, but it
caused problems since the land was held up by only future railroads.
• Land grant were seen to critics as a “cheap” way to subsidize (fund) the very necessary
transportation system because it avoided taxes for direct cash grants.
• Speaking about subsides… it is a payment made by the government to encourage the
development of certain key industries.
• The railroad business shot up as the biggest business in the nation. More people
were employed in that industry than any other, and almost 20% of investments
were devoted in that as well from both international and domestic investors.
• Corruption Issues examples:
• Crédit Mobilier of America (1872-1873): It was a company where a few men would
contract with themselves to construct the railroad. It was a profitable deal for the them,
but it impoverished the railroads in the process.
• Jay Gould: One of the masters of corruption. For almost 30 years, he boomed and busted
stock of Eire, Kansas Pacific, Union Pacific, and Texas and Pacific.
• The bottom line: The railroad network caused increased economic growth. The
west was a field of wealth and the railroad provided a way to reach it. In
addition, it also caused a burst of millionaires.
Railroad Change Over Time
Industrial Revolution, Part 2
New Technologies
• Between 1860 and 1890, about 440,000 patents were distributed. The business
world was heading towards the idea of being run by machines. If the new
inventions were helping move along urbanization.
• Examples: Cash register, stock ticker, type write (literary piano”), refrigerator
car, electric dynamo, and the electric railway
• In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell introduced the telephone which changed
people’s social lives by making communication easier. In addition, in 1879, he
perfected the electric light bulb.
The Oil Industry
• In 1859, a well in PA (“Drake’s Folly”) had “black gold”. Thus pretty much
overnight, the industry was born.
• Kerosene was the first major product. By the 1870s kerosene was the 4th most
valuable export America offered.
• By 1885, the electric innovations made oil obsolete, but the new business of
automobiles had the oil industry booming once again.
• John D. Rockefeller later dominated the industry.
Alexander Graham Bell
Knights of Labor
• The second national labor organization that was set as a secret society
in 1869, but in 1881, public membership was offered. They welcomed all
workers. Skilled or unskilled, black or white, male or female, none of
that mattered.
• Membership declined in the mid 1880s, mainly because they were
involved in violent strikes and disharmony between the skilled and
unskilled members.
American Federation of Labor (AFL)
• Founded in 1886, it was a national federation of trade unions that only
included skilled workers and composed of mostly male whites. Led by
Samuel Gompers for about four decades, the AFL sought to create a
better working atmosphere by negotiating with employers. They
brought op topics such as better wages and hours.
Mother Jones
• Mary Harris “Mother” Jones was an Irish-American school teacher and
dressmaker who later became a prominent labor and community
organizer. She later help plan strikes and cofounded Industrial Workers
of the World.
Moving to the City
Chapter 25
Segregation and Immigration
• Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
• Basically, it stated that “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional under the
14th amendment. This case tried to explain that separate facilities for blacks and whites
were allowed.
• Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
• It prohibited any further immigration from China.
• U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1878)
• A case where exclusionists tried to strip native-born Chinese Americans of their
• The Supreme Court however stated that under the 14th amendment, any person born in
the United States is guaranteed citizenship. This protected Chinese Americans as well as
other immigrant groups.
• American Protective Association (1887)
• APA was an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant group that was founded by Henry F. Bowers.
• It was a secret society that played upon the uncertainties of rural Americans about the
growth and political power of immigrant-populated cities.
• In general, the American dream most immigrants strived for was not
reachable, and most ended up working under harsh conditions.
Urban Life
• The National American Woman Suffrage Association was founded in 1890 and aimed to give
the right to vote to women. NAWSA argued that women are important to decision making
in society because of their roles in their home.
• Woman’s Christian Temperance Union
• Founded in 1874, it became one of the most influential women’s groups of the 19th century.
Issues brought up were abstinence from alcohol, labor laws and prison reform.
The Gospel of Wealth (1989)
• It was an essay written by Andrew Carnegie which promoted Social Darwinism. It also
described the responsibilities of the
• Social Darwinism
Belief that the wealthy Americans deserved their wealth. It followed the guidelines of Darwin’s
evolution: natural selection and survival of the fittest.
Effects of City Growth
• Some became overpopulated, unsanitary, and ill-ridden.
Jane Addams
• Activist who was the founder of the Hull House. Since it was located ina poor immigrant
neighborhood of Greeks, Italians, Russians, and Germans, it provided English lessons, counseling on
big city life, child care, and cultural activities. Because of her work with the Hull House, other women
founded settlement houses in different cities.
Booker T. Washington
• Ex-slave, Washington, was called in 1881 to teach a black school in Tuskegee, Alabama. He started
out with 40 students and educated them in useful trades so that they could have self-confidence and
economic security. His commitment to teaching lead to the trades and agriculture found in the
curriculum at Tuskegee Institute.
Ida Wells-Barnett
• More well-known as Ida B. Wells, she was an African American journalist. In 1892, she published a
pamphlet titled Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. She documented lynching in the
U.S., trying to show that that was often used as a punishing to blacks method. She also tried to
uncover the truth to lynching in her pamphlet. She was also active in women’s rights and helped
establish several noteworthy organizations.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
• She was one of the founders of NAWSA and helped organized the first women’s rights convention in
Gilded Age + Politics
Chapter 23
Depression of 1893
• Causes: overbuilding, labor disorders, and agricultural
depression, expanded supply of silver coins
• Eight thousand business collapsed in six months.
• Charities did their best to keep up with jobless, but the
federal government had the attitude of “go with the flow”
and “whatever happens, happens”.
• The gold reserve in the Treasury dropped below $100
million, which was its safe minimum.
• Repeal of Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890: Cleveland saw
it as the only logical reason to fix the faltering gold reserve.
• It temporarily the repeal did stop the hemorrhaging of gold but it
broke ties with silver-loving democrats and President Grover
Cleveland, in addition to disrupting the integrity of his own party.
• In February 1894, the gold in the Treasury eventually sank to $41
Depression Continued
J.P. Morgan
• In 1895 Cleveland was still extremely low on funds in the Treasury so he turned
to Morgan, “the bankers’ banker” and the head of a Wall Street business.
• After some intense negotiation, the bankers lent $65 million to the government in gold.
However, they charged a commission of about $7 million.
• The loan in the end did temporarily help with the situation at hand. However. the deal
caused an uproar. In the eyes of silverites and debtors, it symbolized everything that
was wrong with American politics.
• He made a well-known reputation for himself by financing the reorganization of
railroads. He believed that “money power” wasn’t dangerous unless put in the
hands of someone dangerous.
John D. Rockefeller
• In 1870 in Ohio, the “Oil Baron” organized the Standard Oil Company.
Rockefeller believed in the idea of “the survival of the fittest”, so by 1877, he
controlled 95% of all of the oil refineries in the country.
• His monopoly achieved mass production and distribution. This proved that
expensive machinery was an effective was to earn a big profit.
Top: Morgan
Bottom: Rockefeller
More on Politics
Homestead Strike (1892)
• At Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead steel plant near Pittsburg, angry strikers, who were on strike over pay cuts, were armed
with rifles and dynamite. The fought an intense battle, leaving 10 dead and about 60 wounded. Eventually, company
officials called in 300 armed Pinkerton detectives to stop the rebellious strikers.
Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
• It forbade all combinations that restricted trade between states or foreign nations. The aim was to reduce economic
competition. However, instead of being used for its original intention, it did curb labor unions that were deemed to be
restricting to trade. Unfortunately it was not a very successful measure. It was not until 1914 when this act was actually
Interstate Commerce Act (1887)
• Prelude: Wabash St. Louis & Pacific Railroad Company v. Illinois (1886) which stated that individual states did not have
the power to regulate interstate trade because the Constitution granted Congress the power. As a result, reformers
directed their attention to the federal government, which was the only one who had power to regulate the railroad
• The Act: President Cleveland was not a fan of the regulation, but Congress ignored him and passed the important
Interstate Commerce Act. It prohibited rebates and pools and it required the railroads to publish their rates openly. It
outlawed charging more for a short haul than for a long haul.
One important outcome was the set up of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)
Populist Party
• From the Farmers’ Alliance, the “People’s Party” emerged and formed in the 1890s. They valued rural society they wanted
the government to assist them with their debt. For example, they demanded a “subtreasury”, which would provide farmers
with loans for crops stored in government-owned warehouses, where they were held until market prices rose again.