Presentation on theme: "Goal 5. US cities grew rapidly from the 1870’s – the early 20 th century. The main reasons: Industrialization brought jobs High immigration, with many."— Presentation transcript:
US cities grew rapidly from the 1870’s – the early 20 th century. The main reasons: Industrialization brought jobs High immigration, with many immigrants choosing to remain in cities rather than moving to the frontier as in early times. New inventions made it easier to have higher population density: Steel made “skyscrapers” possible Housing innovations like “dumbbell tenements” enabled more people to live in a smaller space. City transit like subways, elevated trains, and streetcars enabled people to live farther from the city center.
Rapid growth put a strain on city infrastructure: it was difficult for cities to keep pace with demand for housing, sanitation, police and fire protection, roads, and so on.
Most immigrants in this era (some 20 million in all) came from Europe. European immigration occurred in two phases. The people are usually referred to as Old Immigrants and New Immigrants. Until about 1890, Old Immigrants were most-numerous. They were from northern and western European countries. Most were Protestants. They tended to assimilate fairly quickly. They were more or less “acceptable” to native-born Americans.
New Immigrants began to arrive around 1890 and predominated into the early 20 th century. New Immigrants were from eastern and southern Europe. Most were Catholic; some were Jewish They tended to cluster in urban areas They did not assimilate as quickly as the Old Immigrants They were more “objectionable” to native-born Americans.
Millions of European immigrants were “processed” at Ellis Island – an immigration center in New York City.
Immigration had a profound impact on the nation as a whole, but on urban areas in particular. Cities like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago became “melting pots” with millions of immigrants swelling their populations. They provided cheap labor for factories. They provided markets for industrial and agricultural goods. They were often opposed by labor unions because they worked cheaply and were sometimes used as strikebreakers.
Immigrants faced considerable hardships as they adjusted to life in America, but, over time, many thrived. An Italian summed up the experience of many: "I came to America because I heard the streets were paved with gold. When I got here, found out three things: First, the streets weren't paved with gold; second, they weren't paved at all: and third, I was expected to pave them." In spite of the difficulties, few gave up and returned home. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/snpim1.htm
In 1924, Congress imposed the first immigration quota system in US history. It was based on nationality and tended to favor Old Immigrants over New.
Though in smaller numbers, Asian immigration also occurred in this era. China and Japan were the main countries of origin. The majority of Asian immigrants settled in California. Large numbers of Chinese immigrants came in the 1860’s to work on the transcontinental railroad. Many Asians arrived through Angel Island, an immigration center in San Francisco.
Chinese immigrants were the object of extreme discrimination. A Californian named Dennis Kearney founded the Workingmen’s Party. Their slogan: The Chinese must go. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act – the first legislation to prohibit US immigration to an entire national group.
In 1906, San Francisco’s public schools threatened to establish racially segregated schools for Japanese children. This prompted a strong reaction from Japan. In 1907, a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” between the US and Japan limited the numbers of Japanese immigrants to the US. Though not a legal “exclusion,” the US government was responding to public pressure in states like California to limit the Asian influx.
The late 19 th century brought rapid industrialization. Railroads and steel were the bedrock industries, with hundreds of others made possible by these two. Innovators like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell revolutionized business.
“Robber Barons” like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and Cornelius Vanderbilt dominated their industries with ruthless efficiency.
Such men were innovative and ambitious. They were also ruthless and controlling. They formed “trusts” and other forms of monopoly. They treated their workers harshly and fought workers’ attempts to establish labor unions. Labor strikes were frequent and often violent.
The National Labor Union and the Knights of Labor were early attempts at large-scale unionization. Both died out. A violent incident at Haymarket Square ended the Knights of Labor. The Homestead Strike and the Pullman Strike were violent examples of late- 19 th century labor disputes.
In the late 1800’s, labor unions were largely unsuccessful. However, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) managed to survive the era. In 1955 it merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) to form the AFL-CIO, the largest union in the United States today.
The labor movement improved the conditions of American workers, but it took a long time and most gains occurred in the 20 th century, not the 19 th. Mother Jones and the March of the Mill Children in 1903 helped to highlight the conditions of child labor. In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Factory in New York killed 146 women and helped bring about factory safety laws. Labor unions remained only “marginally legal” until the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1913 exempted unions from antitrust lawsuits. The Wagner Act of 1935 finally recognized the right of workers to join unions.
Government in this era was reluctant to “regulate” private business. Most Americans advocated a “laissez faire” approach to business. However, the public and labor pressured for some government intervention. Some important milestones: Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 created the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), primarily to oversee the behavior of railroads. Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was the first federal law to prohibit “trusts” or, “combinations in restraint of trade,” (aka monopolies). The Populist Party favored government ownership of railroads, telegraph and telephone lines, and even banks, but government control to this extent never occurred. The Progressive Era brought more regulation… stay tuned.
As the United States was industrializing and urbanizing, securing the “Last Frontier,” and absorbing millions of immigrants, it was also growing in power. From 1870 – 1914, the US emerged as a major world power. (While not yet the “superpower” it would become later in the 20 th century, it became an important nation nevertheless.) Main reasons: The frontier was “closing,” so US influence would have to stop expanding or expand overseas. This was the era of European “imperialism” when major nations had colonial empires and “spheres of influence” across the globe. To compete with other major powers, the US engaged in imperialism. Alfred Mahan’s book, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, convinced many that the US needed a large, “two-ocean” navy and Pacific naval bases to maintain it. America’s growing industries would benefit from more overseas trade.
Major events as the US expanded its power: 1898: Spanish-American War. Happened in response to the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana, Cuba. Public pressure to “avenge the Maine” was encouraged by the “yellow journalism” of newspaper publishers like Hearst and Pulitzer. The war was fought ostensibly to “free Cuba,” but the US also used the conflict to acquire some strategic islands owned by Spain. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines were transferred to the US in the Treaty of Paris of 1898. The explosion of the Maine
Cuba was granted independence, but the Platt Amendment kept it as a US “protectorate” until the 1930’s. The US also won the right to establish a naval base on Cuba. Guantanamo Bay remains in US hands to the present day.
The Spanish-American War showcased the newly- modernized US Navy, but revealed serious weaknesses in the US Army. Future-US President Theodore Roosevelt was enthusiastic about the war. He helped organize the Rough Riders, famous for charging up San Juan Hill in Cuba.
Unrelated to the war, but coinciding in time, the US annexed the Hawaiian Islands in 1898. The main reasons: to secure the port of Pearl Harbor for a naval base and to protect the investments of American planters who had become economically dominant over the preceding decades.
1899 – 1903 The US was forced to subdue a Filipino rebellion in order to take control of The Philippines. Rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo led the resistance. It was one of America’s first experiences with jungle guerrilla warfare. A “benevolent assimilation” followed: the US built roads, schools, and government buildings, and fostered democracy. (The US granted Philippine independence in 1946.)
1903: President Theodore Roosevelt aided a Panamanian “revolution” in order to facilitate construction of a canal. The Panama Canal – an engineering marvel – opened in 1914. Roosevelt’s mantra, “Speak softly and carry a big stick,” sums up his foreign policy. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine made Latin America a US “sphere of influence.”
Lacking its own “sphere of influence” in Asia, the US tried to keep China open to US trade by suggesting an Open Door Policy. It was somewhat successful.
“Dollar Diplomacy” under President Taft continued US dominance in Latin America. President Wilson tried to repair the “bully” image of the US with “Moral Diplomacy,” but he was mostly unsuccessful.
Progressivism: A reform movement of the early 20 th century that sought to use the government more aggressively to combat America’s problems. Who were the Progressives? Most were middle class and urban. They were found in both parties and in all regions of the country. There were three Progressive Presidents. Two were Republican and one was a Democrat.
What were the goals of the Progressive Movement? Progressives wanted more government regulation of big business to curb the most abusive practices of “predatory wealth.” They wanted reforms that would end government corruption. They wanted to improve urban living conditions. They wanted to improve the working conditions of industrial labor. They wanted to conserve America’s natural resources. Some supported the prohibition of alcohol. Some supported extending the vote to women.
Was Progressivism successful? Phenomenally. Progressivism was arguably the most successful reform movement in US history. Muckrakers exposed business practices and other abuses that led to reforms. Some notables: Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle brought the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Ida Tarbell ‘s The History of the Standard Oil Company exposed the unfair business practices of the “trusts.” Jacob Riis wrote How the Other Half Lives. His photojournalism was groundbreaking and exposed the urban poverty of America’s cities.
As Governor of Wisconsin, Robert “Fightin’ Bob” LaFollette led reforms at the state level. Galveston, Texas and Dayton, Ohio introduced the City Commission and City Manager types of municipal government. These helped break the influence of trusts and political “machines.”
Theodore Roosevelt was a “trust-buster” as was William Taft. President Wilson attacked the “Triple Wall of Privilege” with landmark legislation to control banking, break up trusts, and lower the tariff. Progressives achieved democratic reforms like initiative, recall, referendum, and the secret ballot. Landmark laws and constitutional amendments of the Progressive Era: Clayton Antitrust Act of 1913 Federal Reserve Act of 1913 16 th Amendment: graduated income tax 17 th Amendment: direct election of US Senators 18 th Amendment: Prohibition of alcohol 19 th Amendment: women’s suffrage
Absent from the Progressive agenda was the plight of African-Americans. Progressives largely ignored the racial injustice that was dominant across the South, but prevalent in the rest of the nation as well. From the 1880’s into the early 20 th century, southern states essentially “legalized” racial injustice. Segregation laws (also known as Jim Crow laws) separated Americans by race in almost all aspects of life. Racial discrimination was the norm. Poll taxes, literacy tests, “grandfather clauses” and other legal maneuvering stripped most African-American men of their right to vote. Lynching and other terror tactics maintained white supremacy and the “racial etiquette” that governed interracial behavior, particularly in the South.
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were late 19 th /early 20 th century African- American leaders. They shared the same goal: to end racial segregation and discrimination. However, they disagreed sharply about the best way to achieve this goal. Washington DuBois
Booker T. Washington believed that racial prejudice was so deeply ingrained in American society, that rapid change was not possible. He favored a “gradual approach” during which African-Americans would work first toward economic independence, saving the fight for legal, political, and social equality for a later time. To achieve economic independence, Washington suggested vocational and skills training. He established the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama for this purpose.
W.E.B. DuBois disagreed with Washington. He felt that blacks had already waited a long time for equality and should not be asked to postpone it any longer. He advocated direct and immediate challenges to segregation and discrimination. He helped found the Niagra Movement and a few years later, the NAACP. These organizations raise money to fight legal battles through the courts.
In this era, neither leader’s approach yielded significant gains. It would be another 50 years – into the 1950’s and 1960’s – before the cause of black Civil Rights would achieve meaningful change.
World War I (The Great War) Was the first time the US became involved as a “major power” in a European conflict. The war began in 1914 and lasted until 1918. Allied Powers: Great Britain, France, Russia, (USA) Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire The war began following an incident in the Balkan Peninsula (the assassination of the Austrian Arch-Duke), but real cause of the war was European rivalry and concerns about the balance of power.
In 1914, the United States reacted to the war in Europe by declaring its neutrality. Both sides established naval blockades of the other, but Germany chose to enforce its blockade using submarines. Submarine attacks are more deadly than those of surface ships. German submarine attacks on US ships caused US entry into the war.
Relying on both volunteers and a military draft, the US mobilized about 4 million men, some 2 million of whom actually served on the Western Front in France. Three years of futile “trench warfare” had exhausted and demoralized the French and British soldiers. Though in the war a short time, the US forces contributed to the final Allied victory.
WWI did not have a dramatic impact upon US life, however there were some limited effects. African-Americans, though fighting in segregated units, were well-treated in France. After the war, they found it difficult to accept their customary “second-class” citizenship. Women were permitted in the military for the first time. Most women who served in the war were nurses or performed clerical duties. Voluntary measures such as buying “liberty bonds,” growing “victory gardens,” enduring “meatless Mondays” and “gasless nights” were ways citizens aided the war effort. The US introduced Daylight Savings Time for the first time as an energy-saving strategy.
US President Woodrow Wilson played an important role. During the war, he gave a speech called the Fourteen Points. The content of the speech pointed to ways that Europe (and the world) could be more peaceful in the future. The speech was popular in Europe and gave hope to millions that the war would accomplish something meaningful.
When the war ended, many people hoped Woodrow Wilson’s ideas would influence the content of the final treaty, the Treaty of Versailles. Some of Wilson’s ideas did make it into the treaty. For example, several new nations were created out of old, defeated empires. Before WWIAfter WWI
Most important to Wilson himself was his proposal for a League of Nations.
Ironically, the US Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles largely because it contained Wilson’s League of Nations. The Senators feared that membership in the League might obligate the US to future conflicts. Opposition to the Treaty was led by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.
WWI had several lingering impacts. 1.WWI disillusioned many Americans. It had cost millions of (European) lives but had accomplished little meaningful change. As a result, during the 1920’s and 1930’s, most Americans preferred a return to America’s “traditional” isolationism. US world leadership was limited during those decades. 2.During the war, revolution had broken out in Russia. Communists overthrew the government. Fear of communism and other radical political ideas spread across the US. This was known as the (First) “Red Scare.” Immigrants and labor unions seemed the most “suspicious” and suffered setbacks as a result.
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