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HIST 203 - Week 1 Notes

by: Alex Tucker

HIST 203 - Week 1 Notes Hist 203

Marketplace > University of Oregon > History > Hist 203 > HIST 203 Week 1 Notes
Alex Tucker
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Week 3 Notes
Twentieth Century American History
Beda S
Class Notes
ProgressiveEra, race, Immigration, AmericanNativism, NativeAmericans




Popular in Twentieth Century American History

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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alex Tucker on Saturday April 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 203 at University of Oregon taught by Beda S in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see Twentieth Century American History in History at University of Oregon.


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Date Created: 04/23/16
Race in the Progressive Era (Day 1) 3/28/16 - What is the Progressive Era? - Response to Gilded Age - American capital & industry growth - Handful of “winners”; majority = “losers” - Started to end child labor / make work safer - Created labor unions - Progressive Era Reforms - Prohibition - Women’s Suffrage - Consumer Production - In short, Progressive Era was a time of major reform & social transformation. - The question for today is just how “progressive” was the Progressive Era? - Progressive Era Science - If one thing defines the Progressive Era, it is an unwavering faith in science. - Race in the Progressive Era - Even though many reformers & politicians sought to fix the problems & excesses of the early Gilded Age, there were nevertheless still many continuities between the Gilded Age & Progressive Era. Indeed, the way many people thought about race & “fitness” were quite similar in both eras. - Social Darwinism - Concept of “survival of the fittest” to social relations - Only a few individuals were capable of driving the emerging industrial economy - 1 articulated in mid 19 C. th 1. Gilded Age Social Darwinists believed tampering w/ society was a bad thing. 2. Gilded Age Social Darwinism was a school of thought mostly applied to class relations. In the Progressive Era, Social Darwinism was increasingly applied to race relations. - “Civic Biology” - George William Hunter, A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems, (1914) - “if the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of future generations of men and women on the earth might not be improved by applying to them the laws of selection”. - Fears of “Race Suicide” Race in the Progressive Era (Day 1) 3/28/16 - Civic “biologists” argued that unfit peoples (non-whites) had too many children while fit people (whites) were not having enough children. For many Progressives, this was a disturbing trend. - American Eugenics - Charles Benedict Davenport - Considered father of American Eugenics, he collected hundreds-of-thousands of medical histories from Americans. He argued that humanity was being “diluted” by intermarriage & “irresponsible breeding” - 1904, founded Station for Experimental Evolution intended to study eugenics & make policy recommendations - The Eugenics Creed - “Eugenic Certificate: This Guarantees that I have examined the gender of this card and find a perfect Physical and Mental Balance and unusually strong Eugenic Love possibilities, well fitted to promote the happiness and future welfare of the race”. - Sterilization st - 1907, Indiana passed 1 sterilization law, which required patients in state mental institutions to undergo mandatory sterilization. 30 states would pass similar laws. - Jim Crow - Eugenics & “Civil Biology” were further used to justify existing Jim Crow segregation on basis that keeping races separate would prevent mixing, intermarriage, & “race suicide”. - Better Living Through Science?: The Big Points 1. Belief that race had scientific basis goes back to 17 C. But in the Progressive Era, this idea became more firmly entrenched in American politics, society, & culture. 2. Progressive Era’s emphasis on science & reformers’ belief that society could be improved through science had significant implications for American racial relations. White supremacy very much gained a “scientific” justification. 3. White supremacy became a belief supported by both conservatives & progressives. Many of the same people ending for an end to child labor or women’s suffrage also supported anti-miscegenation & compulsory sterilization. Race in the Progressive Era (Day 1) 3/28/16 Immigration & Nativism in the Progressive Era (Day 2) 3/30/16 - Prohibition, the KKK, & Immigration Restriction, 1900 – 1924 - From last time … - Progressive Era was period of intense reform, when Americans tried to right the wrongs of Gilded Age. - However, as the histories of “civic biology” & eugenics show, ideas of “progress” were tied to ideas of race. When white Progressive Era Americans spoke of progress, they often meant progress for whites. - Important history to understand. As attitudes of Trump & many present-day Americans shows, many people still fear immigrants & want immigrant restrictions. - Which is all to say, xenophobia is nothing new in American history. - Immigration to America, 1900 – 1924 - Immigration Waves - FIRST WAVE IMMIGRATION, 1780 – 1820 - Mostly English, Scots-Irish, French, Dutch, & German - SECOND WAVE IMMIGRATION, 1820 – 1880 - Dominated by Irish, but also Germans & a few English - THIRD WAVE IMMIGRATION, 1900 – 1924 - Largest “wave”, consisting of close to 14.5 million people - Who Were The “Third Wave” Immigrants? - Largely from Italy, Poland, Hungary, & Greece - Didn’t have money to buy land & lacked industrial skills (led to few economic opportunities) - Took “unskilled” jobs in steel manufacturing, mining, or industrial production - Working for a Living - 1907, 11,694 out of 14,359 common laborers employed in Pittsburg’s steel mills were Eastern European. - Typically worked 12 hour days & 6 day weeks - 2/3 made less than $12.50 / week - “Chain Migration” & Immigration Neighborhoods - while life of an immigrant was certainly difficult, immigrants found ways to navigate life in America. - Decision to emigrate usually occurred through social networks that linked immigrants by kinship, personal acquaintance, & work experience. Immigration & Nativism in the Progressive Era (Day 2) 3/30/16 - New York’s “Little Italy” c. 1900 - Walking through a neighborhood like New th York’s “Little Italy” in the early 20 C., you probably wouldn’t have heard English. People would be speaking Italian & listening to Italian music. Street vendors would’ve been selling Italian produce, meats, & cheeses. The newspapers young boys sold on street corners would’ve been written entirely in Italian. The schools were run by Italian clergy & nuns, who taught daily lessons in Italian. - Fearing Immigration: Why Did Many (White) Americans Fear Immigration? 1. Immigrants Couldn’t “Assimilate”: White Americans believed that ethnic neighborhoods were proof that Eastern-European immigrants wouldn’t & couldn’t accept American culture (& language). 2. Labor Market Competition: White Americans, particularly skilled, white American workers, feared immigrants (who worked for far less) would out-compete native-born Americans for jobs & drive-down wages. 3. Race Suicide: Eastern Europeans were not regarded as “white” & many white Americans feared that continued immigration would dilute white racial purity. - Anti-Immigration Movements - Prohibition - very much a reaction against & attempt to eliminate “un- American” immigrant culture. Why was this? - Bars were the social centers of ethnic working-class neighborhoods. - Women’s Christian Temperance Union, “The Drunkards Home”, 1909 - 18 Amendment, which banned the production, sale, & transportation of “intoxicating liquors” was ratified on Jan 16, 1919. It went into affect on Jan 16, 1920. - Second Ku Klux Klan - KKK was originally founded in Reconstruction S. & it attempted to undo / reverse civil rights legislation. (Died out in 1870s) Immigration & Nativism in the Progressive Era (Day 2) 3/30/16 - 2nd Klan emerged in 1915; spurred to action by immigration & fears of “ndce suicide”. - Unlike earlier, 2 Klan waged war against immigrants, Catholics, & Jews. - “100% Americanism” - “Native, White, Protestant Supremacy” - national organization; not just in S. - by 1924, membership was more than 3 million. - Throughout the 1920s, several Klan members served in the Oregon legislature. - Reed- Johnson Origins Act (1924) - Established quotas for immigration, limiting annual immigration form any European country to 2% of its natives counted in 1890 census. - Further prevented immigration from “the colored races”, effectively ending immigration from Asia & Latin America. - Anti-Immigration Movements in the 21 Century st - Just like the Progressive Era, many Americans today look at immigrant neighborhoods & say immigrants can’t “assimilate”. - Likewise, some argue that immigrants “out compete” (white) workers on job market - And, some Americans still fear “race suicide”. - Nativism, xenophobia, & fears of immigrants that emerged in the Progressive Era shaped the longer history of the 20 C. th - America is a country that celebrates its immigration history. We all learn in grade school that America is a “melting pot” & much of our natural imagery promotes the idea that America is a land of inclusion. - Why do you think we celebrate the “American melting pot”, while, simultaneously, prohibiting & discouraging immigration? Native Americans in Boarding Schools, Sports, & Society (Day 3) 4/1/16 - War & Peace - White settlers, along w/ the US government & Army, engaged in dozens of Indian Wars w/ Native nations through the continent during the 19 C.h - Assimilating Adults - Dawes Act, or General Allotment At of 1887, divided Indian lands into individual homesteads. - Granted land & US citizenship to Indians willing to leave reservations & start family farms - Made “excess” land available for white settlement - Attempted to systematically eradicate Indian culture in favor of mainstream American culture. - Assimilating the Youth - Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania (1879 - 1918) - “Kill the Indian to save the man” - Marching Band at Sherman Institute, Riverside, CA - A Class in Domestic Art at the Phoenix Indian School - Many boarding school students suffered from physical, mental, & sexual abuse. Hundreds died from illness, some left unidentified. - “The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to aboriginal people and gain control over their lands and resources” - Persistent Myths of the Noble Savage and the Vanishing Race - As American society attempted in very real ways to eradicate Indian culture, there was also a cultural fascination w/ what many non- Natives considered a foreign, dying race that stood as relics of a wild, untamed past, free of the burdens of the present. - Wild West Shows - World Fairs & Expositions - Golden Age of Sports th - Sports were immensely popular in the early 20 C. in the US & Europe as a form of entertainment & a vehicle for asserting national & racial worth. st - Gertrude Ederle (American) becomes the 1 woman to swim the English Channel, 1926 - Dorando Pietri (Italian) gains international fame @ 1908 Olympics - Anxiety Over Indigenous Athletes Native Americans in Boarding Schools, Sports, & Society (Day 3) 4/1/16 - Report from the 1904 “Anthropology Days”, held in conjunction w/ the St. Louis World Fair & the 3 Modern Olympics, to assess whether aboriginal people from around the globe possessed natural athletic prowess that could rival well-trained whites. - “This … is such a ridiculously poor performance that it astonished all who witnessed it”. - “It can probably be said, without fear of contradiction, that never before in the history of sport in the world were such poor performances recorded for weight throwing”. - Carlisle Olympians - Jim Thorpe & Lewis Tewanima - Football - “I believe in outdoor games, and I do not mind in the least that they are rough games, or that those who take part in them are occasionally injured” – Theodore Roosevelt - Carlisle v. University of Chicago (1907) - Carlisle won; UC = best football team at that time - Victory showed that Native Americans could embody values that early 20 C. America held in the highest esteem, like athleticism & dignified masculinity. - Main Points - NA didn’t vanish & aren’t noble savages. - Assimilation wasn’t successful - NA adjusted to & participated in mainstream American society & embodied some of societies major values w/o becoming “un-Indian”. - White Americans understood “Indianness” in ambivalent & contradictory ways, both fascinated by it & morally opposed to it. Discussion 1 3/29/16 - Listen to King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band “Dipper Mouth Blues” - Doing History - Sourcing: Who produced the document? What kind of document is it? What may have been the author’s purpose? - Close Reading: What does the document say / depict? How does it say it? - Contextualizing: When was the document produced? What else was going on at the time? - Corroborating: What perspectives are missing? What can this document reveal about the past, & what can’t it reveal?


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