Modern Am. History Week 5
Modern Am. History Week 5 HIST 2060-3002
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Annika Thomas on Monday October 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2060-3002 at Bowling Green State University taught by Dr. Childers in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Modern American History in History at Bowling Green State University.
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Date Created: 10/03/16
9/18/16 1865-1890: The Gilded Age- Producers, Consumers, Capital and Labor The Gospel of Wealth -Economic Darwinism -Success as an indication of personal virtues The Gospel of Wealth’s Societal Impact -William Graham Sumner: warned that welfare programs would violate the “natural” progress of society -“Charity” is good, a Christian duty, and the role of the church -Horatio Alger Novels: Young boys strive for success, accept society’s standards for moral, upright behavior, and are rewarded Mechanization Takes Command New inventions such as the telephone and the opening of Edison’s Menlo Park in 1876 showed the impact of technology on American business and society -Railroads stimulated development, creating a national market The Development of Mechanization -Harnessing Steam in America -Wood fueled to around 1870 -Switched to coal as it was made more accessible Communications and Information Thomas A. Edison: Phonograph, Kinetoscope, The first Alkaline Battery, 21st Century Technology -2016 Tesla Model S P100D -0-60mph in 2.5 seconds -315 miles on a single charge The Original Multi-level Distributor -Marketed toward rural consumers -Increased range of products available to public -Reduced prices-competition and local credit risk upcharges 9/20/16 Producers, consumers, capital and labor -Market-based economy -Technology spurs resource control and development -United States becomes an exporting nation -No competing visions Visionary or Robber Baron John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) Cleveland, Ohio Age 16- Assistant Bookkeeper Age 20- Partner in Business 1855- Yate Professor distills Kerosene from Northwestern Pennsylvania crude oil Crude Oil versus Whale Oil (post 1860) Kerosene from Crude Oil • Crude oil plentiful • Side products- paraffin Gasoline, lubricating oil • Drilling costs low -High transport costs Whale Oil • Known technology • Processing limited Costs to consumers Prior to 1870, whale oil costs were rising, making it less affordable for the growing middle class and out of reach of the poor One alternative was coal oil; this too was in demand and increasing prices Refining Kerosene from crude oil was not inexpensive; but the supply of crude oil was high The problem was transportation… Rockefeller’s idea • Concentrate on the refining process- kerosene, gasoline, paraffin were only the easiest products to distill • Oil wells wasted crude; dumping excesses into creeks, etc. Rockefeller thought that if each barrel was more profitable, less waste • Early gasoline production-no real markets (too flammable) poured into rivers • “Let the good work go on. We must ever remember we are refining oil for the poor man and he must have it cheap and good.” • 1870s- Standard oil has 90% of the market, Kerosene costs drop from 26 cents per gallon to 8 cents per gallon Risk Taker • Rockefeller sought oil deposits that were rated un-refinable (Lime Ohio- 1885) Hired 2 chemists to solve the problem (wrote their own paychecks!) • Lima Oil field pays off • During this period, Rockefeller personally funded the construction of railroad tankers and continued pushing his chemists to improve refinement • 1883- Russia strikes “Black Gold” in the Baku Oil Fields- a huge reserve for export Vertical Integration Baku oil better quality (more viscous), wells produced 280 barrels per day; American oil wells 4.5 barrels per day 1882- Austro-Hungarian empire imports 500,000 barrels in 1882; none in 1890 Rockefeller’s use of “Vertical integration” Links crude oil to his refineries by negotiating deeply discounted rail costs Standard Oil’s Labor Policies Rockefeller demanded attention to details and quality work In return, he paid his employees above the labor market value, considering it a wise business investment and his Christian duty Rockefeller regularly visited his subsidiaries, assuming menial tasks in order to understand Standard Oil of Indiana (1907) Fined $29 million for illegal rebates (discounts) from railroads who negotiated rates based upon volume Kennesaw Mountain Landis (US District Court- Northern Illinois)- a shipping clerk did not check the box acknowledging a 6 cent per barrel tariff Fine was approximately 7 times the entire value of the Standard Oil subsidiary Judgment reversed upon appeal Rockefeller and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act • Rockefeller had set up a single trust to run all operations • Standard Oil has it subsidiaries domiciled in each state based upon the tax advantages of that state • In 1911, U.S. Supreme Court ruled that this was a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act Rockefeller’s Legacy • During his lifetime, gave away $550,000,000 of his fortune (more than half) • Hired scientists to find cures and treatments for yellow fever, ringworm • University of Chicago endowments • Schools in the south, primarily African American 9/22/16 The Wage System Late 1800s: American labor force transformed -The number of Americans working for wages grew dramatically -Wages vs Piece Rate -Mechanization transformed labor by changing employer- employee relations and creating new categories of workers -Immigrants met the demands of new industries The Wage System- Social Impact -Women moved into clerical positions and sales -Racism kept African Americans and Chinese out of most skilled positions >Even low-skilled jobs where tradesmen formed exclusive associations -Factory work was dangerous, tedious: 10-12 hours per day -Periodic depressions threw millions of workers out of jobs The American Federation of Labor Led by Samuel Gompers, organized skilled workers within the wage system The AFL: >Did not organize unskilled workers, females, or racial and ethnic minorities >Focused on short-term goals of higher wages, shorter hours, and collective bargaining Unlike other unions, AFL achieved a degree of respectability An Internal Colony of the Industrial North Southerners like Henry Grady envisioned a “New South”—in control of its own resources for manufacturing >What does the South produce? Logical manufacturing goal—textile mills Northern investors bought up much of the south’s manufacturing and natural resources, often eliminating southern competition An Internal Colony of the Industrial North By the 1920’s northern investors held much of the south’s wealth, including the major textile mills For the most part, southern industry produced raw materials for northern Southern Labor With the exception of the knights of Labor, white workers generally protected their racial position >Most southern factories— whites-only or rigidly segregated >Wages were much lower for southerners than outside of the region, a situation that was worsened by widespread use of child and convict labor >African Americans were allowed low-paying jobs with railroads while African American women typically worked as domestics or in other unskilled jobs The Transformation of Piedmont Communities The Piedmont (southern Virginia through northern Alabama) became textile center As cotton and tobacco prices fell, farmers sent children into the mills to pay debts Workers gradually moved into company villages-shotgun shacks Mill managers used teachers and clergy to foster company’s work ethic in community Populating the City After the Civil War, manufacturing moved from rural areas to the city Many migrants came from rural areas in the United States Immigrants and their children accounted for most of the urban population growth >economic opportunities >Religious or ethnic persecution >Success depended on the skills the immigrants brought with them Life in the Streets 4 Many working-class people felt disenchanted in the alien and commercial society To allay stress, they established close-knit ethnic communities Chinese, Mexicans, and African Americans were prevented from living outside of certain ghettos European ethnic groups chose to live in close-knit communities Populating the City- Ethnic enclaves Groups tended to live near their countrymen and to work >Late 19th Century >Holy Rosary Catholic Church >Unskilled >Limited or no English The Urban Economic Landscape Boston, New York, Chicago: Tenements in working-class neighborhoods The wealthy: new mansions, townhouses, brownstones The upper classes created a style of “conspicuous consumption” to display their wealth to the world around them The Arts- Galleries, Museums, Symphonies (High Culture) The Urban Spatial Landscape Streetcars and subways altered the spatial design of cities The steel-cable suspension Brooklyn Bridge (1883) exemplified the new industrial city The extension of transportation allowed residential suburbs to emerge on the periphery of the cities The City and the Environment Despite technological innovations, pollution continued to be an unsolved problem Overcrowding and inadequate sanitation bred a variety of diseases Attempts to clean up city water supplies and eliminate waste often led to: >Polluted rivers >Garbage dumps on nearby rural lands