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History 1200 Lectures 5 & 6

by: Ashley Albers

History 1200 Lectures 5 & 6 Hist 1200

Ashley Albers
GPA 3.3

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both lectures 5 and 6
Survey of American History Since 1865
Steven Watts
Class Notes
History 1200
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Albers on Thursday February 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 1200 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Steven Watts in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Survey of American History Since 1865 in History at University of Missouri - Columbia.


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Date Created: 02/11/16
The Crisis of Bourgeois Society: The Radical Specter By the 1890s the US was in a state of crisis, wide spread sense that this dominant culture of individualism was coming apart at the seams I. Rural Discontent a. The American farmer was the backbone of the American republic i. Yeomen Farmer, hardworking self supporting land owner b. One problem farmers faced over and over again had to do with mechanization i. Originally steam powered tractors, steamers and later on run by oil ii. The more its produced the prices go down, making less money with the problem of overproduction c. Problem of debt i. Those tractors and combines were fairly expensive, farmers borrowed money for these machines and for the machines they needed more land so they borrowed money for more land d. Sharecropping i. In the south and the border states, a dominant mode of farming was sharecropping which was big land owners who owned hundreds of acres and they would rent land out to smaller farmers and provided seeds and implements but at the end of the season the landowner gets a high % of product so the small farmers were often impoverished (slave to the land) e. All of the excitement/newness of American life was all in the cities, farms increasingly seen as out on the margins of things i. Hard to make a living have to work, farmers looked down upon ii. New words, language emerging: country bumpkin, redneck, etc. f. Enemies of the Farmers i. One of the enemies targeted by farmers were the banks, who were in charge of all those loans ii. Another enemy of the farmers were the railroads, smaller farmers with smaller product have to pay more for transportation II. The Populist Moment a. As a result of pressures, farmers begin to readdress some of these problems b. The Grange Movement: i. Begin to see in the late 1860s and it becomes important in the 1870s ii. Cluster of organizations that farmers rushed to join and all together they had about 1 ½ million farmers; basically an agricultural cooperative for buying and selling goods (i.e. buying cut rate of seeds) iii. At harvest time The Grange members would pull up all their crops and try and sell them in large quantity to try and get better price iv. “An organization for working together, buying together, selling together…. For our better advancement” v. National Farmers’ Alliance 1. Alliances all about grange agenda and cooperatives but on top of that they went further, NFA pushed hard for government regulation of the railroads (rates), also pushed hard for a reduction in the tariff 2. Pressure for federal income tax c. The Peoples Party (Populist Party) i. This was the culmination of the rural revolt in the early 1890s ii. In 1892 in STL they had their first convention, determined to raise less corn and more hell 1. Tom Watson emerging; put together one of the first third parties iii. Ran a candidate for the next election and got 20 something electoral votes but did much better at a state level 1. Elected 3 governors, a dozen congressmen, and several senates, as well as 1500 state legislatures iv. Never won majority anywhere but for the first time since civil war the populists crossed racial divide (black and white farmers coming together) v. Populists appealed to urban laborers (factory workers) III. Labor Discontent a. Industrial workers facing the problem of losing craft skills, facing harsh working conditions and were facing very low wages (struggling to support families) b. A lot of industrial workers were unhappy and started to perceive their enemies and see the growth of class conflict i. Have nots angry at the haves c. Start seeing more labor strikes – people refuse to work to try and pressure employers into solving their problems i. National Railroad Strike of 1877 – there were a series of wage cuts in the railroad industry and what you see is a wave of strikes against the railroad and these strikes turned violent as hundreds of strikers got into fights with police and companies trying to protect their properties ii. Haymarket Riot of 1886 – big labor strike in Chicago with hundreds of laborers in Haymarket square and the police were called to keep people calm and a series of bombs were set off and you had a resulting clash between strikers and police and 7 people had been killed 1. In the weeks after that a number of radicals were accused of detonating these bombs (anarchists) they were convicted and four of them were hung and four were in jail iii. Homestead Strike of 1892 – famous because it involved Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Steel had created homestead steel mill and was coming along and in 1892 wages were cut, Carnegie wanted nothing to do with this and sailed away and left it in the hands of the managers, so they hired the Pinkerton protection agencies to protect the factory; a battle erupted involving guns and there was a battle where 3 or 4 guards were killed as well as strikers iv. Coxey’s Army – result of the depression of 1893 which put a bunch of business in trouble of cutting wages and lay offs; people put on their old army uniforms and made their way to DC under the leadership of Jason Coxey, as they walked to DC people joined them and there were thousands of people camped out in DC 1. Frightened the government and they sent out local police and tore up the camp city and drove them off IV. Radicals and Unions a. Industrial workers decide the best way to deal with problems are to join together in unions, so in the late 19h century you see the rise of unions i. Knights of Labor – formed in 1870s to the 1880s, a reform union and they pushed for the eight hour work day, they pushed for the abolition of child labor, called for humanitarian relief programs b. Pace of change was slow so people became more radical i. Eugene V. Debs – lined up with socialist party and ran for president and the socialist began to push worker control of industry ii. American Federation of Labor (AFL) – pushed forward by Samuel Gompers, and the AFL is important because it rejects the reform union approach as well as socialist approach as well and it focuses on collective bargaining, the more people it gets under its umbrella the more leverage they can get with asking for higher wages, lower hours, better conditions Terms Share Cropping Homestead Strike The Grange Coxey’s Army Naitonal Farmers Alliance Knights of Labor The People’s Party Eugene V. Debs Tom Watson American Federation of National Railroad Strike Labor Haymarket Riot Samuel Gompers Late Victorian Culture: The Crisis of Gentility I. Social Sources a. Do these people have the will to resist or hold off these angry working class people? b. Century Magazine in 1883 ran an article on labor problems i. Painted the Victorians as the non-vicious ones, and the lower class as the strong ones who fight back c. Plump complacent Victorians sitting on a volcano getting ready to erupt d. Editorial after Haymarket riot about the issues coming from immigrants not Americans e. Scientific Racism: refers to a kind of intellectual endeavor that comes from the field of biology, certain biological theories begin to argue that Slavic & Latin roots could/should not be assimilated into American culture because they were biologically inferior i. Fueled along the movement that was pushed along by people like Henry Cabot Lodge (senator) restricted by number of southern and eastern Europeans as a result of scientific racism f. Theodore Roosevelt was a kind of up and coming politician in New York, young Theodore ended up being both politician and intellectual running around 1880s building his reputation and part of it he used race suicide i. “Race Suicide”: declining birth rate, but the birth rate of immigrants is rising dramatically so conclusion was race suicide that will result in Americans being run over by immigrants 1. Solution to this was to fight birth control, Victorians should give up birth control and have big families, (Teddy Roosevelt had a ton of kids) g. A powerful fear arising about the ability of them II. Economic Sources a. Shift in the structure of the economy from competitive capitalism to monopoly capitalism i. Monopoly Capitalism: Capitalism market run by big corporations 1. i.e. movement from individuals to companies competing, part of this are the corporate bureaucracies 2. 1901 Andrew Carnegie sold his company to big corporate conglomerate US Steel, US Steel is run by CEO Charles Schwab (powerful man but no one in 1901 knew of him, he was faceless corporate bureaucrat) Andrew Carnegie the Victorian ideal sold his company so it’s a problem for Victorian businessmen b. A change in the nature of work for Victorian businessmen i. A very different environment when working in bureaucracy, work life is one that is very divided, for Victorians who believed in individualism it was a traumatic switch ii. Increased demands for productivity – big intense demands come down from above onto your shoulders as a part of the raised standards 1. Standard Time: was created by the railroad companies and only later adopted by the government, set up standard time in order to make their trains match up to get to market destinations more efficiently, establishing clock in time 2. Herbert Spencer was an Englishman and in the th later part of 19 century he became a hero to American businessmen because a series of books he wrote where he argued human history is a story of progress and in this story the apex of high point was modern business a. Goes on tour in 1890s in America and thousands of American businessman flock to hear him speak and his speech was that businessmen were working to hard and their life had become too tense and how businessmen are overcome with nervous exhaustion and the suicide rate of businessmen III. Cultural Sources a. Self-control, both men and women by the end of the 19 th century are beginning to question the idea of self-control and are seeing it as a straightjacket who are afraid to show emotion and self-control has eliminated the passion in life i. For women the complaint of self-control refers to creating brittle shell of human beings women who are only ornamental and have become crystalline figures in parlors who have no real emotion 1. 1889 a woman wrote an editorial that complained about the standard of the true woman b. Moved away from an evangelical age, in the early 19 th century you had traditional protestant religion with Calvinist roots and talking about damnation; along the Victorians you see people saying hell/devil may not exist but a vague indication to be a good person i. In Victorian world of liberal Protestantism that if hell is not real why is it that we are behaving ourselves so strictly? There was a moral drift that crept into Victorian culture c. By 1890s there’s a titlewave of doubt coming from the Victorian culture and they are questioning everything they had held dear to them IV. The Disease of the Age a. The 1890s prosperous Victorians were talking about a disease that seemed to be sweeping through the Victorian Class i. Neurasthenia: identified by George M. Beard was a neurologists in NYC and had a prosperous clientele and a lot of his patients were complaining about insomnia, not wanting to move, a desire for stimulants and fearing of society and complained about a paralysis of will so Beard ended up writing a book and coined the term Neurasthenia and everyone begins talking about it 1. Neurasthenia was almost completely among Victorians and in the Urban areas 2. Most people said it was result of modern urban life and the pressures of this life had driven them to their beds; but physicians pointed it to Victorian repression that it had just crushed peoples spirits 3. Watts says we don’t really know much about neurasthenia but we know regardless of if it was real the Victorians thought it was real and they thought it was something sweeping their culture 4. Neurasthenia was all their anxieties in a nutshell Terms Scientific Racism Henry Cabot Lodge “Race Suicide” Theodore Roosevelt Monopoly Capitalism Charles Schwab Standard Time Herbert Spencer Liberal Protestantism Neurasthenia George M. Beard


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