Week 2 and 3 Notes
Week 2 and 3 Notes HIST 2112
Popular in American History since 1865
Popular in History
This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Samantha Cheatwood on Monday February 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2112 at University of Georgia taught by Brian A. Drake in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see American History since 1865 in History at University of Georgia.
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Date Created: 02/01/16
American History Since 1865 with Drake Week 2 Samantha Cheatwood The American slave system was one of the last left in existence in the world th Even after slavery was abolished by the 13 amendment, the South worked diligently to recreate slavery by other means, such as the Black Codes The Worldwide History of Slavery: o There are a few unique characteristics of EuroAmerican slavery o Roman slaves were often slaves by circumstance, such as captured soldiers American slaves were just slaves because of who they were (not white) o American slavery existed to make money for their owners o American slaves were also considered property and could be sold at market o Slavery was typically permanent, meaning if you were born a slave you would die a slave o It was also inherited, so if your parents were a slave then you would be too o It was based on making economic profits for the white owners, it was racist, and it continued through descent Slavery started in the Caribbean and Brazil Brazil held 50% of all slaves, America had 25%, and the Caribbean held the other 25% of African slaves Slavery and the South o Slavery is a huge source of economic and political power “Planter Elite”: the top 4% of wealthiest plantation owners, and their money came from their dominance of the slave system They controlled most of the political system, and most of the founding fathers were actually plantation elites o While slavery was a huge part of the Southern economy, 75% of white southerners actually did not own slaves Even though they didn’t, most wanted to. It was their “goal” or the “Southern American Dream” of the time Those who didn’t own slaves often worked for the plantation elite such as being their lawyers o Slavery and poor whites the social floor All that divided poor whites from the blacks was the fact that they were white, which made them incredibly racist as they tried to hold on to some pride The End of Slavery and the Beginning of Freedom Now what? o Blacks began searching for their lost family members almost immediately after they were freed Slaves were sold away from their family members as a method of control, in order to keep a slave from acting out owners would threaten to sell their families o They also began seeking an education The Freedman’s Bureau sent white teachers to teach in Freedman schools The blacks were very eager to receive education they wanted to be able to read and write o They began establishing their own churches Religion (Christianity) was always very important to the slaves The form of Christianity taught to the slaves was often twisted to make it seem as if the Bible endorsed slavery Blacks now wanted to be a part of churches with an accurate representation of the Bible o They were also eager to enter politics Blacks now want to exercise their political rights to office They entered politics early during Reconstruction Once the Northern enforcements pulled back they were kicked out of office The problem of making a Living Sharecropping o Freedman’s Dream was to own their own farm and become a “yeoman” farmer o They were ready for economic independence o There was discussion of taking land away from the planter elite and distributing it to freed slaves; this happened on a very small scale in isolated areas and was often soon reversed o The freed slaves were given “nothing but freedom” in that they were no longer slaves, but they also had no land or means to support themselves o They were trying to resist the Black Codes, but often just ended up back on the old plantation The slaves had no land, and the plantations now had no workers The result was Sharecropping The blacks would grow cotton for the land owners; the land owners gave them housing and sold them the things they needed to begin farming; they would then split the cotton profits at the end of the season Sharecroppers got their percentage minus the cost of borrowed materials They continued to owe landowners and get in more and more debt The poor whites were often sucked into Sharecropping as well This continues all the way up to the 1940s, until the Civil Rights movement begins Heading West Why West? o We have been expanding westward since the time of the puritans, and westward expansion really picks up after the Civil War o 18701890s is big on westward expansion o Native Americans have been “removed” from the East and relocated to the West by this point So what happens to the native Americans now residing in the West? Cheap Land! Homestead Act of 1862 o Everyone wants a farm to be independent, it is that age’s “American Dream” o Thomas Jefferson believed heavily in an agrarian society for America People who meet their own needs take control of their own destiny o Democracy needs land Louisiana purchase doubled the size of the United States o Back to the Homestead Act: the military moves in to remove the natives, then the government essentially ‘gives away’ land: it was super cheap for people to buy relatively large amounts of land from the government o The West was turned into a giant grid in order to divide up and distribute land to Homesteaders (this is why many western states are square or rectangular) It was the greatest welfare act in American history Many freed slaves begin to head west Many immigrants come to the US to take advantage as well Government gives railroad land in exchange to build railways in the west Business Opportunities and Rise of the Corporate West o People buy land and keep it until the value goes up (when a railroad comes through the area) then sell it for 10x what they paid for it: known as “land speculation” o People set up general stores to sell supplies to homesteaders o Go west to make money o First corporations start in the west The railroad Cattle operations cowboys worked for corporate cattle operations Eventually cowboys go on strike just like factory workers Johnson County Range War of 1862: cowboys leave their jobs for the corporates and start small competing cattle operations of their own; the corporation sends in mercenaries to kill off the cowboys, ends in the cowboys about to kill the mercenaries when the US Calvary steps in to intervene Manifest Destiny o History or Heaven has destined America to take over the continent from ocean to ocean “sea to shining sea” o It’s a concept that is “in the air” and not something that is actually spoken about o Nature is destined to become civilized by Manifest Destiny Opportunities for Freedom o Freed slaves have a chance to live the American Dream out west Fate of the Natives: Death, Disappearance, or Reform o The “Education” School kill Natives to wipe them out Idea is common among former war veterans: Sherman takes to wiping out Indians Sand Creek Massacre (1864): slaughter hundreds of natives “kill and scalp them all, big and little, because knits eventually become lice” Fetterman Massacre: US Calvary unit massacred by Indians Little Big Horn (1876): Another US Calvary unit is massacred by Indians o The “Assimilation” School cultural genocide Assimilation starts with “the myth of the vanishing native” Teach natives to be Americans Go to reservations and round up children to go to “Indian Schools” which were boarding schools for native children to teach them to act like Americans Cut their hair, dress them in western clothes, teach them English, teach girls to be homemakers and boys to be farmers Deliberate government sanctioned cultural genocide o Reservations were divided by the Dawes Act of 1887 Reservations divided into chunks like the Homestead Act and each family gets a piece Teach natives to farm in the American style But of course, they were given the poorest quality land The whole reservation was not divided, only part of it was given to the natives and the rest was taken and sold by the government We were trying to turn hunters into gatherers and tie them to a small piece of land, which didn’t go so well Native Men were not the ones to farm so essentially wanting them to farm was trying to make them act like women which was insulting to them The Current Time and Why Time zones were determined by the railroads o “Standardization” of time nationally Industrialism is probably the most important thing to happen since 1865 o Bigger economy o Greater labor force o Urbanization o Changed lifestyles and began massive consumerism; changes to how we spend our money o Changes the nature of working conditions o What will American Democracy look like in an Industrial Economy? What rights do you have as a factory worker? There’s now more wealth than any time before in the world. Power comes with wealth Should children be working in factories? American Business Before 1870 o 1830s and 1840s begins the revolution, but it is halted by the Civil War o Carnegie Steel factory is the largest company in the world in 1900 Before industrial revolution business was all small scale o 4x more people are working in factories form 18501900 o 1/3 of Americans were working on farms at this point in time Andrew Carnegie o Steele is much stronger and more useful than iron; but harder to make o Bessemer process makes a lot of steel quickly o Carnegie is an immigrant, came from Scotland in 1848 o Worked on the railroad; in the textile factory before that o Wants to be an entrepreneur o Focused on efficiency causes problems for workers o Railroads allow exploitation of resources o 28 million people come in as immigrants Immigrant labor is crucial to industry Pay goes down because of high demand for jobs Monopoly and price fixing is still legal Technology and corporate business starts coming together, government is pro industrialization Future of America is factories and not farms Labor strikes would call on the owners to better working conditions Corporations can do things people do; such as making profits and suing people William Graham Sumner o Charles Darwin “survival of the fittest”; except applied to the economy o Only the products consumers want in the market will survive
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