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The United States from 1877 to 1914 Themes: 1877-1898 An overwhelmingly rural society A largely absent Federal government Rise of corporate capitalism.

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Presentation on theme: "The United States from 1877 to 1914 Themes: 1877-1898 An overwhelmingly rural society A largely absent Federal government Rise of corporate capitalism."— Presentation transcript:

1 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Themes: An overwhelmingly rural society A largely absent Federal government Rise of corporate capitalism Savage boom and bust cycles Utopian social movements, constantly thwarted by:  Political and social fragmentation  Enormous ethnic complexity/cultural isolation, and racism  The economic instability of the period After the election of 1896, utopianism replaced by progressivism

2 The United States from 1877 to 1914 What does “freedom” mean now? For African Americans:  Access to land  Access to the vote  Access to education For white Southerners:  Freedom from the Federal government  “States rights” Newly free family in Richmond, Virginia, circa 1865

3 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Lincoln’s 10 percent plan General amnesty to white southerners who pledged an oath of loyalty to the government and to the elimination of slavery When 10 percent took the oath in a given state, they could set up a state government

4 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Andrew Johnson plan Loyalty oath Governor invokes constitutional convention State becomes repatriated if it abolishes slavery, revokes secession, and repudiates its confederate war debts

5 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Civil Rights Act of 1866 Declared blacks citizens of the United States Gave the Federal government power to intervene in southern state affairs Gave Freedmen’s Bureau the power to open special courts to nullify the black codes 14 th Amendment, ratified 1868 First constitutional definition of citizenship Gave individuals “equal protection of the laws” Reduction of representatives to any state that denied men the suffrage

6 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Radical Reconstruction South transformed into five military districts Military commanders could register all qualified male voters who had not participated in the rebellion. State constitutional conventions had to include black suffrage State legislatures had to approve the 14th amendment.

7 The United States from 1877 to 1914 The 15 th Amendment, 1869 Forbade states to deny suffrage on basis of “race, color, or previous condition and servitude” Made this a requirement for last states applying for repatriation: Mississippi, Virginia and Texas All southern states had to pass 15 th amendment to return to the Union

8 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Andrew Johnson escapes conviction of the articles of impeachment, 1868

9 The United States from 1877 to 1914 The Freedman’s Bureau Federal employment agency, banking system, legal advocacy agency, medical service, and, for a little while, a land agency for African Americans

10 The United States from 1877 to 1914 The Credit Mobiler Scandal, Union Pacific railroad board of directors hires and pays itself to build the Union Pacific railroad at exorbitant prices Pays off members of Congress to keep quiet President Ulysses S. Grant

11 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Colfax massacre, African-American farmers murdered in Louisiana Federal government indicts 98 men of violating the 14 th amendment Supreme Court overthows convictions in Cruikshank vs. United States Removing the dead after the Colfax massacre

12 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Hayes’ corrupt bargain: South will support him if he withdraws Federal troops. The Stolen Election of 1876 “Rutherfraud” B. Hayes

13 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Four contested states Oregon Louisiana South Carolina Florida 19 electoral votes in dispute Five U.S. Senators Five House Representatives Five Supreme Court Justices (7 Democrats; 7 Republicans; 1 independent) One electoral commission Electoral crisis of 1876 and 1877

14 The United States from 1877 to a class divided society Wealthiest 1 percent of families in 1890 owned 51 percent of all real estate, personal property, and $$$$. The 44 percent least wealthy owned 1.2 percent of all property. Wealthy and better off own about 86 percent of all wealth

15 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Two visions of America Identity of interest: Basic harmony exists between capital and labor The free market benefits all Laws helping poor damned as “class legislation... “ Conflict of interest: U.S. society essentially out of joint U.S. on the way to developing an aristocracy Government needed to take active steps to prevent this...

16 The United States from 1877 to 1914 The Knights of Labor emphasized alternatives to the wage system created diverse assemblies of workers not based on their craft

17 The United States from 1877 to 1914 The Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882 Congressional response to the Workingmen’s Party of California Prohibited most Chinese from immigrating to the United States Exceptions: wives of men already in the U.S.; teachers, students, and merchants Chinese-American population halved by 1920

18 The United States from 1877 to 1914 Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886) Yick Wo was denied a permit to operate a laundry in San Francisco (while white operators received permits). U.S. Supreme Court declared that the application of a statute as well as the statute itself must not be discriminatory Declared City of San Francisco in violation of the 14th amendment Case later cited in Texas v. Hernandez (1954) Yick Wo Elementary School, SF


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