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US History Chapter 19

by: Susan Miller

US History Chapter 19 HIST 2112 - US History Since Reconstruction of 1878

Susan Miller
GPA 4.0

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Political Stalemate and Rural Revolt: Urban America, the New Immigration, Cultural Life, the Impact of Darwinism, Realism in Literature and Art, Gilded Age Politics, Hayes to Harrison, Farmers and ...
History 2112
Dr. William Price
Class Notes
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Susan Miller on Thursday September 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2112 - US History Since Reconstruction of 1878 at Kennesaw State University taught by Dr. William Price in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see History 2112 in History at Kennesaw State University.

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Date Created: 09/08/16
US History Since 1877 Chapter 19 Political Stalemate and Rural Revolt I. Urban America A. Political Culture 1. Growing conflict a) City vs. Country, Industry vs. Agriculture b) Farmers felt ignored/betrayed by political process c) Industrialists prospered while farmers struggled (1) Channeled frustration into political action B. America’s Move to Town 1. Reasons a) Job attraction (pushed out of farms by machinery) b) Excitement of city life c) Immigrants: could live in neighborhoods with similar ethnicities 2. Tenements a) Congested, low-cost buildings b) Poorly ventilated and poorly lit c) Cheap housing C. Growth in All Directions 1. Innovations a) Steam radiators: larger apartment buildings (no coal-burning fireplaces or chimneys) b) Electric elevator: taller buildings c) Cast-iron and steel-frame construction techniques: skyscrapers d) Railways: allowed commuting e) Cable cars/trolleys/underground subways: businesses could move out of the crowded downtown D. Crowds, Dirt, and Disease 1. Little Planning/Regulation a) Poor housing, unhealthy living conditions b) Disease due to overcrowding c) No fire escapes or emergency plans d) Average one toilet for 20 people 2. Typical cities… a) Did not have regular trash collection or reliable sewage systems b) Had little to no water treatment c) Had child-mortality rates as high as 40% in tenements II. The New Immigration A. Surge of Newcomers from Europe 1. Statistics a) 1870s: 3 million annually b) 1880s: 5 million annually c) 1900: 9 million annually d) 4 of every 5 New Yorkers were foreign-born in 1890 2. New Immigrants a) From southern and eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, Greece, and Italy) b) Easy targets for exploitation, often knew no English c) Desperate for jobs d) Lived in ethnic neighborhoods B. The Nativist Response 1. Nativists a) Believed that the Anglo-Saxon race was superior to the Slavic, Italian, Greek, and Jewish newcomers 2. Chinese a) By 1880, 75,000 Chinese formed 1/9 California’s population b) Not white or Christian, many illiterate c) Resented for “taking jobs from whites” 3. Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) a) First federal law to restrict immigration of free people based on race alone b) Periodically renewed, extended indefinitely in 1902 c) Barriers eventually removed in 1943 4. American Protective Association (APA) a) Secret organization whose members promised to never employ or vote for a Roman Catholic b) Quickly gained 2.5 million members c) Shaped 1894 election results in Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, and Colorado 5. Immigration Restriction League a) Created in 1891 in New England b) To “save the Anglo-Saxon race from being contaminated” c) Wanted Congress to ban illiterate immigrants d) Vetoed by Cleveland (1897), Taft (1913), and Wilson (1915, 1917) (1) Congress overrode in 1917, restriction of illiterate immigrants became a law III.Cultural Life A. Changes 1. Middle class families spent time at home, playing games or singing or reading 2. Saloons became more popular among working men 3. Movie theatres, music halls, art museums, sporting events B. Saloons 1. More saloons than grocery stores by 1900 2. Workingman’s social club, popular among male immigrants seeking companionship 3. Place of discussion, mostly politics 4. Refuges for the homeless in winter C. Leisure for Women 1. Married women a) Had much less time than men (1) No such thing as a stay-at-home dad yet b) Used streets as public place (1) Did laundry, watched playing children, went to markets 2. Single Women a) Many worked as maids, had much more free time b) Went to dance halls, picnic grounds, and most importantly… movie theatres! IV. The Impact of Darwinism A. Social Darwinism 1. Although originally mean for biological phenomenon, many applied it to society 2. Herbert Spencer a) Argued natural selection and “survival of the fittest” b) Competition generation “greatest perfection and most complete happiness” c) Ideas dismissed by Darwin (1) Said he had been only talking about animals in nature 3. E. L. Youmans a) Endorsed social Darwinism and Herbert Spencer b) Founding editor of Popular Science Monthly c) Said social Darwinism implied lasses-faire (things need to unfold naturally) (1) Anti-business regulation (2) Anti-housing and sanitation standards B. Reform Darwinism 1. Opposed government regulation of business 2. Lester Frank Ward a) Government employee, fought his way “up the food chain” from poverty b) Dynamic Sociology (1883) (1) Emphasized the human brain (2) Not only do people compete, they also collaborate (3) Humans can shape and direct social change and plan for the future c) Believed in cooperation not competition (1) Believed government should work to alleviate poverty and promote education 3. Became one of the pillars of the Progressive Movement V. Realism in Literature and Art A. Romanticism 1. Dominated American literature and art before the Civil War 2. Included Transcendentalists B. Realists 1. Challenged romantic tradition a) Horrors of Civil War caused more people to take realistic view of life in general 2. Caused partially by the impact of modern science a) Realists observed people in their everyday lives and produced art b) Scientists observed facts and produced knowledge 3. Appealed to normal people 4. Worship of money was a common theme (it wasn’t called the Gilded Age for nothing) VI. Gilded Age Politics A. Local Politics and Party Loyalties 1. Political Activity a) Mostly local and state b) Federal government insignificant in daily life 2. Party Norms a) People were intensely loyal b) Members paid dues, party leaders demanded campaign contributions from captains of industry and tycoons 3. Bosses a) Politics controlled by “rings” (small groups that shaped policy) led by a “boss” who used his “machine” (neighborhood activists and officials) to govern b) Decided who candidates would be c) Commanded loyalty by rewarding or punishing party members d) Settled local disputes e) Provided aid for the poor f) Patronage System (1) Distributed government jobs and contacts to loyal followers (a) Expected to contribute % of salary to the party (2) Prompted legislation for a “merit system” B. National Politics 1. Division of Parties a) Republicans vs. Democrats b) Neither party was dominant (1) Avoided big issues for fear of losing close elections (2) Ironically, voter turnout was between 70 and 80% (compared to 58% for the 2012 Presidential election) (3) 1872-1896: No President won the majority vote c) Usually an emotional campaign (1) Republicans @ Democrats: you caused the war, we freed the slaves! (2) Democrats @ Republicans: yeah? Well we believe in white supremacy and states’ rights! 2. Republican Norms a) New England, NY, PN, OH, and Midwest b) Protestant of English or Scandinavian descent c) Party of Lincoln and Grant = relied on southern black vote and Union veterans d) Supported prohibition of alcohol (alienated many immigrants) e) Pushed immigration restriction 3. Democrat Norms a) More diverse: southern whites, northern Catholics (German or Irish), other non- Republican supporters VII. Hayes to Harrison A. Hayes and Civil Service Reform 1. Hayes as Nominee a) Compromise between two Republican factions (1) Stalwarts (a) Very loyal to Grant, mastered the patronage system (2) Half-Breeds (a) Only half committed to Grant and half committed to spoils system b) Argued that they need to work together c) Said it was time for “civil service reform” (1) Appointed a committee to consider a merit system (2) Fired Chester A. Arthur (big deal guy in New York) who had abused the patronage system severely (3) Enraged Republican leaders d) Economically conservative B. Garfield, Arthur, and the Pendleton Act 1. Election a) Republicans (1) Compromise candidate: James A. Garfield (2) Picked Chester A. Arthur as Vice President to please Stalwarts and NY b) Democrats (1) Winfield Scott Hancock became the nominee (a) Retired Union General (b) Undermined effort by supporting southern efforts to deny voting to blacks c) Outcome (1) Garfield did not win the popular vote (48%) (2) Won 214 to 155 in electoral college (3) Republicans took control of Congress as well (4) Democrats won all the southern states (5) Republicans won all the northern states 2. A Presidency Cut Short a) Garfield chose Half-Breeds over Stalwarts b) Shot 4 months into his Presidency (1) July 2, 1881 (2) Shot in back by Charles Guiteau, former Republican who had been turned down for a federal job (a) Shouted that he was a Stalwart (b) Declaration eventually destroyed the faction of Republicans c) Died 79 days later (1) September 19, 1881 (2) Due to complications from inept medical care d) Trial (1) Jury refused to believe he was insane (2) Hanged; autopsy revealed that his brain was diseased 3. Civil Service Commission a) Chester A. Arthur (1) Distanced himself from the party divisions (2) Became a civil service reformer (a) Promised not to remove anyone for political reasons (b) Made merit-based appointments (3) Very little is known about Arthur (a) Had all his papers and correspondence burned before he died (b) Reason is unclear b) George H. Pendleton (1) Formed the Civil Service Commission (a) First federal regulatory agency (2) Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act (a) 15% of federal jobs based on competitive tests (b) Federal employees running for office could not receive political contributions from other government workers C. The Campaign of 1884 1. Republicans a) The Mugwumps (1) Republicans who disapproved of the Republican nominee, James Gillespie Blaine (a) Very corrupt and shady (2) Group of reformers dedicated to promoting honest government (3) Mostly professors, editors, and writers (including Twain) (4) Wanted all federal jobs filled based on merit 2. Democrats a) Nominee: Grover Cleveland (1) Had history of fighting corruption (2) Supported civil service reform (3) Two personal issues: (a) Paid for substitute in Civil War (b) Sex scandal: as a bachelor, befriended a widow, who named him the father of her child, he sent money discreetly to support the child 3. Outcome a) Blaine’s Blunders (1) Went to dinner with 200 of the nation’s wealthiest business leaders (a) Asked for help financing his campaign (2) Protestant minister insulted Democrats (a) Blaine let the part of the insult about Catholics slide (b) Accused of being Anti-Catholic b) Cleveland barely won (1) 219 to 192 in electoral college (2) Won New York by only 1,149 out of 1,167,169 (key deciding state) D. Cleveland’s Reform Efforts 1. Railroad Regulation a) Wanted federal regulation of rates charged by interstate railroads b) Thought they were unfairly high c) Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) (1) 1887, 5 members (2) Job was to ensure that freights rates were “reasonable and just” (3) Members tended to be former railroad executives (4) Came to be ignored, never really had that much power 2. Tariff Reform and the Election of 1888 a) Cleveland’s Dramatic Challenge to Big Business (1) Previously: Import tariffs, let American businesses charge anything, no foreign competition to lower prices (2) Outspoken stance set stage for his reelection in 1888 b) Republicans (1) Nominee: Benjamin Harrison (a) From Indiana (pivotal state in Presidential elections) (b) He would “do as he was told” (2) Enjoyed generous campaign funding from big businesses who despised Cleveland’s tariff plan c) Outcome (1) Cleveland barely won popular vote (2) Harrison won electoral vote (3) Republicans gained control of the House and the Senate E. Republican Activism Under Harrison 1. Dependent Pension Act a) Harrison owned money to Civil War veterans b) Awarded federal pensions to veterans and family members 2. Sherman Anti-Trust Act a) Prohibited powerful corporations from conspiring to establish monopolies or restrain trade in their industries b) US was the first nation to outlaw monopolistic business practices c) Rarely enforced due to its vague definitions of trusts and monopolies d) Had many loopholes e) Mostly for show 3. Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890) a) Required Treasury to produce 4.5 million ounces of silver each month to convert into dollar coins b) Effort to please western states with silver mines c) Helped set the stage for the currency issue that contributed most to the financial panic of 1893 4. McKinley Tariff Act (1890) a) Raised taxes on imported manufactured goods to their highest level ever b) Added many agricultural products to the tariff list c) Encouraged businesses to raise prices 5. Backfired a) In the 1890 congressional elections, Democrats won 3 to 1 in the House b) The Republican majority in the Senate was reduced to 4 c) Emergence of the Populists VIII. Farmers and the “Money Problem” A. Agricultural Unrest 1. Over last 20 years… a) Corn prices down by 1/3, Wheat by more than half, and Cotton by 2/3 b) Caused by overproduction and international competition c) Excess of land to farm on plains = larger harvest = lower demand = lower prices 2. Money Issues a) Farmers borrowing at high interest rate (1) Prices dropped and therefore income dropped, couldn’t pay debt (2) So they grew more wheat in hopes of making more money (3) This really just drove the price down more b) Railroads charged high rates to ship 3. Climate a) Successive parched summers and frigid winters B. The Granger Movement 1. The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry a) Founded by Oliver H. Kelley (sent by Department of Agriculture) b) 858,000 members by 1875 c) Promoted “cooperatives” (1) Farmers avoided high fees by storing and sell crops together d) Persuaded state legislatures to pass “Granger Laws” (1) Regulated prices charged by railroads and grain warehouses (2) Munn vs. Illinois (a) Supreme Court: states have the right to regulate property that operated in the public interest (b) Thrown out 9 years, found out in Wabash vs. Illinois that only Congress could regulate interstate industries C. Farmers’ Alliances 1. White Alliances a) About 1.5 million members by 1890 b) Majority landowners 2. Colored Farmers’ National Alliance a) Formed in 1886, about 1 million members by 1890 3. Goals a) Political action and economic cooperation b) Income tax for wealthy Americans 4. Had trouble making a dent in the problem without serious political power D. New Third Parties 1. Alliances called for third-party action a) Independent Party: miners and railroad workers in CO b) People’s Independent Party: Nebraska farmers 2. In the South… a) Some success: 4 governors, 44 Congressmen, several Senators E. The Election of 1892 1. The People’s Party aka Populists a) Convention in Omaha, Nebraska (1) Called for (a) Unlimited coinage in silver (b) “Progressive” income tax (c) Federal ownership of the railroads (d) 8-hour workday (e) Laws restricting immigration b) Nominee: James B. Weaver (1) Each major candidate received more than 5 million votes (Cleveland won in the electoral college) (2) Weaver received more than 1 million votes and carried CO, KS, NV, and AL (3) Won 37% in Alabama IX. The Depression of 1893 and the “Free Silver” Crusade A. Panic of 1893 1. Set off by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroads declaring bankruptcy 2. Outcome a) Other overextended railroads crashed b) More than 600 banks closed c) 15,000 businesses failed d) 1/4 unskilled workers lost jobs e) Wage cuts f) Farm foreclosures soared 3. Repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act a) Caused less money in circulation when there needed to be more B. Silverites vs Goldbugs 1. Division in Democratic Party due to repeal 2. Republicans a) Nominee: Willian McKinley (1) Committed to gold coins (2) “Silver Republicans” from Western states literally stormed out of the convention (3) Knew that the whole campaign would be a fight over the “money problem” 3. Gold Democrats surprisingly took control of their convention C. William Jennings Bryan 1. Gave final speech before balloting began a) Said that Republicans believed: if you support the rich, their riches will leak through to the poor below them b) Said the Democrats believed: if you legislate for the common people it will work its way up c) Speech lasted 20 minutes and “worked better than even he could have imagined” d) Helped him secure the nomination 2. Republicans were not amused D. The Election of 1896 1. Most Dramatic in History a) Serious differences between candidates b) Depression made the stakes extremely high 2. Bryan a) Champion to the poor, discontented, and oppressed b) Called for expansion of the federal government c) Loved campaigning and was very passionate d) Did not address racial issues however 3. McKinley a) Knew he couldn’t out-campaign Bryan b) Welcomed people to come to his home and talk to him c) Gave prepared statements to the press d) Had an excellent campaign manager (1) Mark Hanna (2) Portrayed Bryan as a communist who would ruin the capitalist system (3) Appealed to people’s fears and uncertainties (4) Used campaign money to pay 1400 speakers to go around the country and promote McKinley 4. Outcome a) Bryan: 6.5 million b) McKinley: 7.1 million c) 271 to 176 in electoral college 5. Aftermath a) Bryan launched Democratic party shift from business conservatism to liberal reform b) Populist Party pretty much died c)


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