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CHAPTER 20 Dissent, Depression, and War 1890–1900

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1 CHAPTER 20 Dissent, Depression, and War 1890–1900
Copyright © 2009 by Bedford/St. Martin’s

2 The Farmers’ Revolt The Farmers’ Alliance
Farmers faced series of economic challenges Supported the Grange and Greenback Labor Party Falling prices - rising railroad rates - insufficient currency and credit system - farmers alliances in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana - two regional alliances - more than 200,000 members: Northwestern Farmers’ Alliance and the more radical Southern Farmers’ Alliance. Southern Farmers’ Alliance worked with the Colored Farmers’ Alliance. 5. The Farmers’ Alliance supported the Great Southwestern Strike and the Knights of Labor - encouraged inclusion of women and children Socializing and political education - secular preaching to reach illiterate participants. Farmers’ cooperatives that sought to negotiate better prices - opposition from merchants, bankers, wholesalers, and manufacturers As cooperative movement died – direct political action – railroad regulation, laws against land speculation, and currency and credit reform.

3 The First Farmers’ Alliance Flag

4 Consumer Prices and Farm Income, 1865–1910

5 The Labor Wars The Homestead Lockout The Populist Movement
Farmers’ Alliance - People’s Party - Populist movement. Stinging critique of industrial society – sub treasury, farmers to store nonperishable crops in government storehouses until market prices rose Land reform and a plan to reclaim excessive lands granted to railroads or sold to foreign investors. Currency - free silver and greenbacks. Prohibition and women’s suffrage too divisive. An alternative vision of American economic democracy. The Labor Wars The Homestead Lockout In 1892, steelworkers in Pennsylvania v. Andrew Carnegie - right to organize the Homestead steel mills.

6 - Carnegie against Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel
- Carnegie against Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers – profits and control of industry – denied renewal at at Homestead mill - left plant under Henry Clay Frick, a tough anti labor man – Fifteen-foot fence around the plant mercenaries from the Pinkerton Detective Agency to defend “Fort Frick.” On June 28, Frick locked workers out – workers blocked Pinkertons entry – scuffle killed or wounded more than a dozen Pinkertons and thirty workers - Pinkertons retreated to their barges - finally surrendered – faced verbal and physical violence Dubious victory for the workers - public outcry - governor of Pennsylvania called National Guard - Alexander Berkman, a Russian immigrant and anarchist, attempted to assassinate Frick Public opinion against the workers - four and a half months later workers returned to work - wages slashed, workday lengthened, and 500 jobs eliminated. Carnegie’s profits tripled - forty-five years for steelworkers, unskilled as well as skilled, to successfully unionize.

7 The Cripple Creek Miners’ Strike of 1894
1893 – depression - silver mines hit hard - miners found jobs in the gold fields of Cripple Creek, Colorado. Conservative mine owners increased workday from eight to ten hours - Western Federation of Miners (WFM) protested. Strike in 1894 – support from local businesses, grocers, local officials and the governor County sheriff called troops - Populist governor Davis H. Waite refused - served as arbitrator in the dispute Mine owners eventually capitulated - eight-hour workday – decade later they hit back with support from state troops - took back control of mines - defeated the WFM and blacklisted its members. Eugene V. Debs and the Pullman Strike By million unemployed – Workers in company town of Pullman affected High rents and constant threat of eviction - Wages of Pullman workers slashed five times in percent cuts - rent remained constant.

8 Homestead Workers Attack the Pinkertons

9 Piecework for day wages - undermining skilled crafts workers - workers rebelled - American Railway Union (ARU) led by Eugene V. Debs. George Pullman fired three union leaders who led protest of wage cuts - 90 percent of Pullman’s thirty-three hundred workers began strike. Strikers appealed to ARU for help - ARU membership voted to boycott Pullman cars - switchmen in other states refused to handle any train carrying Pullman cars General Managers Association (GMA) recruited strikebreakers - fired protesting switchmen. Boycott/strike spread to more than fifteen railroads - affected twenty seven states and territories - peaceful. Management press releases distorted reality – reported about violence. Attorney General Richard B. Olney - convinced President Grover Cleveland to send federal troops to protect U.S. mail - governor of Illinois had refused to call out troops because strike was peaceful. Two conservative Chicago judges prohibited Debs from speaking in public and made the boycott a crime punishable by jail sentence for contempt of court. Cleveland called the army - Debs jailed - strike broken. Workers had little recourse when government wielded its power in defense of industrialists’ property rights.

10 Women’s Activism Frances Willard and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Still unable to vote in the late nineteenth century - women were far from apolitical - WCTU and women’s political activism Frances Willard – led the campaign – alcoholism, a disease rather than a sin – poverty, a cause rather than a result of drink. In a shrewd political tactic, Willard used cult of domesticity - moved women into public life – to ameliorate social problems. “home protection” – reform coalition with support from Knights of Labor, the People’s Party, and the Prohibition Party. Over 200,000 members in the 1890s - valuable experience in political action. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and the Movement for Woman Suffrage Movement for woman suffrage - small and relatively weak. Stanton and Anthony - National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in the vote for women.

11 The Election of 1892

12 Depression Politics Coxey’s Army
Spring of unemployed Americans marched to Washington, D.C., - economic plight - public works program - end unemployment - Jacob S. Coxey from Massilon, Ohio. May 1, Coxey’s army in Washington - in Capitol grounds - met by police using nightsticks. Comfortable Americans - specter of insurrection and rebellion everywhere in 1894. Coxey jailed - by August – movement ended Unsuccessful - called into question the underlying values of the new industrial order - ordinary citizens and use of means outside the regular party system to influence politics in the 1890s. The People’s Party and the Election of 1896 Populists rally against status quo. Fiery rhetoric frightened many – call not to reform but to revolution. People’s Party captured more than a million votes in the presidential election of 1892. Sectional and racial animosities threatened party unity - common cause with black farmers - hated in the white South.

13 The Election of 1896

14 Election of intensified cries for reform not only from the Populists, but throughout the electorate. Republicans nominated Ohio governor William McKinley - preservation of the gold standard - western advocates of free silver walked out of the convention Democratic Party as vast segments in the West and South repudiated President Grover Cleveland because of support for gold - William Jennings Bryan - passionate call for free silver. People’s Party – Populists urged the party to ally with the Democrats and endorse Bryan – but Democratic vice presidential candidate, Arthur M. Sewall, a railroad director and bank president, posed significant obstacles to Populists who advocated fusion with Democrats. Populism’s regional constituencies - divided about tactics and united in call for change - vice presidential candidate, Tom Watson of Georgia and Bryan for president. Silver states of the Rocky Mountains lined up for Bryan - Northeast stood solidly for McKinley - much of the South, with the exception of the border states, abandoned the Populists and returned to the Democratic fold - Midwest hanging in the balance - costing Bryan crucial votes. Unprecedented voter turnout - McKinley won twenty-three states and Bryan twenty-two – Populists and the People’s Party crushed but Populism set domestic political agenda for the United States in the next decades - banking and currency reform, electoral reform, and an enlarged role for the federal government in the economy.

15 The United States and the World
Markets and Missionaries Depression of the 1890s provided a powerful impetus to American commercial expansion abroad for profits. American missionaries - spread the gospel of Christianity to the “heathen” – series of anti foreign uprisings in China - culminated in the Boxer uprising of 1900. Boxers terrorized missionaries and Christian converts throughout northern China, some 800 Americans and Europeans sought refuge in foreign legation buildings in Beijing. August ,500 U.S. troops joined an international force to rescue foreigners besieged in Beijing - routed Boxers - looted Forbidden City - imperial court - Dowager Empress flees – paradox of bringing Christianity to China at gunpoint. The Monroe Doctrine and the Open Door Policy United States as a world power - against colonial powers -

16 Share of the World Wheat Market, 1860–1900

17 Expansion in U.S. Trade, 1870–1910

18 Germany and Japan - threat to the twin pillars of America’s expansionist foreign policy: the Monroe Doctrine and Open Door policy. Monroe Doctrine’s assertion of American hegemony in the Western Hemisphere. Americans risked war with Great Britain over America’s role in Conflict between Venezuela and British Guiana American business triumphed in a bloodless takeover that saw French and British interests routed by the United Fruit Company of Boston. European powers to stay out of the Western Hemisphere - but U.S. competing with colonial powers For trade in the Eastern Hemisphere Risking war with Germany to maintain dominance over the harbor at Pago Pago in the Samoan Islands. The biggest prize in Asia –1900, Secretary of State John Hay wrote a series of notes to Britain, Germany, Russia, France, Japan, and Italy, calling for an “open door” policy that would ensure access to all and maintain Chinese sovereignty. United States - secured access to Chinese markets - expanding economic power while avoiding problems of maintaining a far-flung colonial empire on the mainland of Asia.

19 War and Empire “A Splendid Little War”
Spanish-American War – respite for Americans marred by a decade of bitter depression, social unrest, and political upheaval. Moral outrage over treatment of Cuban revolutionaries – Hearst and Pulitzer and newspaper subscription - pressure for U.S. intervention mounted. American interests in Cuba - more than $50 million invested in Cuban sugar – trade of a brisk $100 million a year before the rebellion – now dropped to near zero. Expansionists such as Theodore Roosevelt believed in Cuban independence and the prospect of expansion into Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands. President McKinley slowly moved toward intervention - dispatched armored cruiser Maine to Cuba - mysterious blast destroyed the ship crew killed - cries for war. Congress declared war in April - Commodore George Dewey’s forces destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. The war in Cuba - Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders

20 The Spanish-American War, 1898

21 U.S. Overseas Expansion through 1900

22 The Battle of San Juan Hill

23 The Debate over American Imperialism
After Spanish- American – United States in possession of an empire stretching halfway around the globe - Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. Cuba freed from Spanish rule – did not gain full autonomy. Treaty of Paris that ended the war with Spain gave the Philippines to the United States along with Spain’s former colonies in Puerto Rico and Guam. Filipino revolutionaries bitterly fought American troops - nasty guerrilla war for seven years. Vocal minority at home - mostly Democrats and former Populists resisted U.S. foray into empire - unwise, immoral, and unconstitutional. The anti-imperialists drowned out by cries for empire – justification - social Darwinism and missionary zeal.

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