New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

His 106: Week 2 Notes

by: Hailey Hansen

His 106: Week 2 Notes His 106

Marketplace > University of Mississippi > His 106 > His 106 Week 2 Notes
Hailey Hansen

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

The over-arching theme we discussed this week was capitalism, as well as the effects of the machine on mankind. We also discussed the unrest seen in the workers.
The United States Since 1877
Jared Heath Roll
Class Notes
capitalism, railroads, JohnHenry, CaseyJones, JayCooke, depression, strike, Workingmen'sParty, SocialistLaborParty, knights of labor
25 ?




Popular in The United States Since 1877

Popular in Department

This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hailey Hansen on Friday September 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to His 106 at University of Mississippi taught by Jared Heath Roll in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 211 views.

Similar to His 106 at OleMiss


Reviews for His 106: Week 2 Notes


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 09/02/16
The Ghost of Casey Jones: Capitalism and Technology To recap what we covered last week: 1876 was a year for celebrating national unity and rising  economic power. It marked the beginning of reconciliation for the nation.  While the future seemed bright for many due to new technological advances, it was not  bright for all. There was still war with the Native Americans who resisted economic  expansion.  Technology affected all lives. (REMEMBER: MACHINES WERE THOUGHT TO  LIBERATE MANKIND.) These technological marvels were put into motion by men in  search of profit – this is known as industrial capitalism. They sought to expand  production beyond what was previously thought possible. Achievements of Reconstruction  13  Amendment (1865) th Formally abolished slavery  14  Amendment (1868) o Granted citizenship to all those who were born in the U.S. o This included former slaves th  15  Amendment (1870) o Granted voting rights for all men o Still excluded women  Civil Right Act of 1875 o Called for equal treatment of African Americans in public settings o Wanted to create a “level playing field” o Brought about a central contradiction – the freedom and independence that  freedmen craved was granted by military occupation in the South Ideology of the Republican Party  Free market capitalism o What is capitalism? Put simply, it occurs when individuals engage in trade in a  marketplace for private gain. o Money is power  Free labor o Selling skills in an open market place o Those who are more skilled will profit Reconstruction aimed at freeing slavery and wanted freedmen to have the same opportunities as  everyone else. They wanted to give them what slavery denied them. Republican Emphasis on Railroads  Pacific Railroad Act (1862)  Northern Pacific Railroad Act (1864) o Both of these acts were passed in order to build a transcontinental railroad line  from coast to coast.  Public land grants  Government bonds o Grants and bonds were given to sell land to private railroad corporations o One grant gave 100 million acres of land, which equates to the size of California,  or 3 Mississippis. Railroads  Private corporations lead to new waves of investment in stock and bonds – this includes  public and private investment. o In 1830, the New York Stock Exchange had 31 trades per day. o By 1886, they had 1 million trades per day. These were mostly railroad stocks.  Railroads attract investment. Through railroads, the government sought to rebuild  society. This led to dramatic expansion. (See the railroad maps on Blackboard.)  The railroads brought together communities – they were literally connected in ways that  were not previously possible.  Because the railroads were the biggest businesses, they required multiple layers of  management. (Pennsylvania Railroad employed 55,000 employees, which was the largest at this time.)  The railroads not only received the land to build the tracks on, they also received land  around the tracks. They planned to use this land for money making, and sold it to families and companies in order to populate the West.  In other words, the railroads were establishing where people go.  Fun fact: Yellowstone National Park was established largely due to the railroads. Time  Railroads started to bend time itself. Because there was no unified concept of time, every  town had a different time.  In 1862, the government created the Federal Time and Distance Indicator.  In 1883, four time zones were created, which became federal law. Technological Innovation  Technological innovation became a vehicle for private investment. This can be seen in  the fact that all life depended on the railroads. Human society was put on pace with  machines. In other words, machines dictated human life. Machines began to enter every  industry, providing exponential increase in making profits.  One such technological innovation was the standard gauge, which allowed trains to run  on more than one track. (Before this, each railroad company had its own gauge, so trains  could not cross tracks.) This then led to the creation of “junction cities” where there were  many railroads. Music  Railroads were so integrated into society that they became music themselves.  John Henry was a track layer in Virginia who was known for his ability to drive steel.  The railroad company decided they couldn’t build fast enough, so they bought machines  to substitute for human labor. Henry challenged the machine to a race to see who could  build the track faster. He won the race, but instantly dropped dead.  Casey Jones was an engineer on the Mississippi Central railroad. He was known for his  obsession with staying on time. One day he was running late, so he was speeding out of  anger. He plowed straight into a freight train and was killed. o There are now songs about both men. This ties back in to the idea that the machine has to be obeyed and dictates human life. They are  engines of potential prosperity and danger. Economic Hardship  Jay Cooke was a banker and railroad financer. In 1873 the largest bank in the U.S. goes  bankrupt. It sold too many bonds for the Northern Pacific railroad company and the stock collapsed. o Overselling of bonds was due to his over­exuberant faith in the railroads  This was the start of a 7 year economic depression. Alternative Visions What is wage labor?  When an individual sells their labor on an open marketplace under a formal or informal  contract Labor  The machine brought about a new regime of time. They changed how people worked.  Before the Civil War, workers were governed by the sun – meaning they worked from  sunrise to sunset. Machines now allowed workers to be paid for their time. This concept  is known as an hourly wage (how we are paid today). The higher skill that was required  to do a job meant that the worker would be paid a higher wage. However, the majority of  jobs required little or no skill.  This mindset made humans servants to the machine. Industry  In 1870, there were 2 million manufacturing workers in the U.S.  In 1900, this statistic rose to 5 million workers.  Industry represented a power lure away from farms. It excited a dream of joining the  forces of the progress of modern life. This inspired the migration from farms with rural  people seeking opportunity to improve their lives. Industrial Cities  Working and living conditions were unpleasant in industrial cities (such as the Carnegie  Steel plant in Pittsburg). o 10 hour days with 6 day weeks o Child labor o Slums, sewage, violence  REMEMBER: Humans were now forced to follow the unrelenting pace of the machine.  In the 1870s, 1 out of every 6 workers were women. The numbers are the same for  children between the ages of 10­15. o To them, a child’s life was cheap. If a child was injured or even killed, it was no  big deal because they had no spouse or children to deal with. They could be paid  very little, and they were seen as being easily replaceable and dispensable.  Many workers were immigrants who looked to growing industrial cities for new  opportunities. Many came from: o Germany o Great Britain o Scandinavia o China o Italy o Austria­Hungarian Empire o Poland o Eastern Russian Empire  Industrial America was chaotic – it was not a place that was suitable for comfortable  living. You had to live wherever and however you could. There was little accommodation for sanitation – they had no sewage or clean water. Depression of 1870s  The depression of the 1870s showed how unstable capitalism could be.  REMEMBER: Capitalism is dynamic and chaotic – there are booms and busts  The 7 year depression caused the factories to come to a halt and wages had to be lowered. There was widespread misery across industrial America.  However, the depression was not hard for all; Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller all  made their money in the depths of the depression. This showed the profound imbalance  of wealth in America. The richest 10% of people held 70% of the nation’s wealth. At this  time, income tax did not exist. An income tax was even proposed for the richest 10%, but was ruled unconstitutional. Great Uprising of 1877  This uprising began in West Virginia when the railroads cut wages by 10% but increased  dividends to shareholders by 10%. (To better understand this, if you earn $500, but cut it  by 10%, you lose $50.) This wage cut caused workers to go on strike. The governor of  West Virginia, as well as the governor of Maryland, called in the militia to deal with the  strikers – battle erupts and the militia open fire on the strikers.  This causes the strike to spread to Pittsburg. Workers burned down the central railroad  hub. Philadelphia militia opens fire on the strikers.  The strikes gain power from the oppression. The strike spread along the railroads and led  to what is known as the Battle of Pittsburg. The strike spread to faraway places such as  St. Louis, Kansas City, and even Omaha. The strike was able to spread so far due to the  recognition of a common experience and a common enemy between the workers.  The strike is eventually shut down due to the overwhelming armed power of the militia.  This led to the creation of the National Guard, which was meant to wage war against  those who rebelled against industrial capitalism. Organized Political Parties  The spirit of the strike lived on, and workers realized they needed to organize politically.  They created the Workingmen’s Party in 1877­1878, and the name was changed to the  Socialist Labor Party of America in 1878­1901. This party was the forerunner of the  communist party. However, the party didn’t get very far due to the already established  strength of the Republican and Democratic parties. o Henry George addresses the central problem in America in his book Progress and  Poverty (1879). He asked why poverty came with progress.  This contradiction brought up a new organization known as the Knights of Labor. They  wanted to organize society on more equal terms. They wanted: o Organize labor to counter big business o Secure labor its share of wealth o Cooperative stores/business o Public land for settlers o Health and safety laws in the workplace o Arbitration of disputes o No child labor o Equal pay for equal work between men and women o 8 hour days o National money, not private bank notes  Their main political goal focused on the 8 hour work day.  Fun fact: This party founded Labor Day. Discussion Notes Review “The Tournament of Today” in the American Yawp Reader. What does it symbolize?  The monopoly of capitalism – the railroads, in other words – overpowers the labor force.  The capitalists seem larger and placed above the common folk, who are the majority.  The strike was all the workers had, which shows how feeble it was against the railroads.  The masses have no armor and therefore nothing to protect themselves with.  The railroad attacks the workers with press, and uses the monopoly as armor. The  workers had no chance to overcome the railroad. America’s Butcher  Chicago – the meat packing industry. Chicago was seen as a center of disgust within the  nation.  Why is this an industry? Perhaps due to convenience, with people moving away from  farms and with the population increase in urban areas. The railroads created the need for  food distribution in a whole new way.  The railroad created suburbs because they allowed people to spread out. Great Uprising 1877  10% wage cut and 10% increase for stockholders  The strike spread throughout the states – the cities farther away from the strikes sent in  their militia  The strikes led to a political attack later down the road (Knights of Labor). They realized  they needed an organized way to strike back against the monopoly.  The National Guard was created to stop strikes – it was meant to protect the industry, not  the people. Knights of Labor  They wanted: o Fair wages for all workers – male and female o No child labor o 8 hour days o National currency  This was the first big equality push for equal pay  They were pretty inclusive, but they excluded Chinese Scientific Management  “Taylorism” – increase efficiency by subdividing tasks – this led to the assembly line  Increased pay, increased production, decreased value of workers. In other words, workers were easily replaceable  Skill no longer resided in the workers, but in the machine  John Henry – steel driver. He raced the machine and won, but died in doing so.  Humans have to capacity to surpass machines, but at the cost of a life.


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."

Kyle Maynard Purdue

"When you're taking detailed notes and trying to help everyone else out in the class, it really helps you learn and understand the I made $280 on my first study guide!"

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Parker Thompson 500 Startups

"It's a great way for students to improve their educational experience and it seemed like a product that everybody wants, so all the people participating are winning."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.