U.S. History 202

Reconstruction to the Twenty-First Century
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  • Lectures 272
  • Length 12.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English, captions
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About This Course

Published 3/2016 English Closed captions available

Course Description

"U.S. History 202" is a comprehensive introduction to United States History from Reconstruction to the Information Age. This self-paced online course, and companion course to U.S. History 201, combines the real world immediacy and intimacy of professionally-produced video with the free, open-source, peer-reviewed textbook "U.S. History" from OpenStax College. Hear from noted historians and scholars - including Alan Brinkley, Deborah G. White, Matthew Frye Jacobson, Mickey Edwards, Kent Greenawalt, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Gergen, Paula McClain and others - who together provide a comprehensive and balanced examination of America's rich heritage.

The course covers everything you can expect to see in an introductory college or high school course in United States History:

  • Reconstruction
  • Westward Expansion
  • Industrialization and Urbanization
  • The Age of Empire
  • The Progressive Movement
  • World War I
  • The Roaring 20s
  • The Great Depression and New Deal
  • World War II and the Cold War
  • America in the 1960s
  • Culture Wars
  • Challenges of the 21st Century

Enjoy more than 200 professionally-produced and engaging video segments - each approximately three to five minutes in duration - that incorporate subject expert interviews, photographs and artifacts, and historic images and illustrations.

U.S. History 202 can be adopted "as is" for use as a complete online course in American History, as a quality supplement to existing history courses, or as a media-rich resource for review and test preparation (e.g. CLEP Exam).

What are the requirements?

  • System requirements: PC, laptop or mobile device (with Udemy app) and broadband connectivity.
  • Course requirements: There are no pre-requisite or other course requirements.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Establish a chronology of historical events in American History from 1865 to present.
  • Explain the changing geo-political structures of the United States from 1865 to the present.
  • Describe how the United States was economically transformed and modernized in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Analyze the role of industrialists and inventors during the era of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Analyze the Age of Progressivism
  • Describe and analyze the rise of the United States as a world power including American involvement in World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the War of Terrorism.
  • Describe American domestic affairs from 1945 to the present.
  • Explain the relative freedom of people of color in American history, the role of women in American society, and the role of class in American Society.
  • Describe some of the major economic and social trends of the late 20th century.

What is the target audience?

  • Professors of United States History looking to adopt low-cost, media-rich supplemental materials for their students.
  • Students currently enrolled in (or considering enrolling in) United States History, American History, High School or AP History classes.
  • Anyone with in an interest in United States History.

What you get with this course?

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30 day money back guarantee.

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Curriculum

Section 1: Course Description and Introductory Video
Course Description
Article
01:38


U.S. History 202 (1865 to the present)

More than just a collection of dates to memorize, U.S. History 202 weaves the tapestry that is America's history from its political, social, cultural, and global threads, beginning with Reconstruction and continuing to the present day. From the great industrialists to the Great Depression, from the Black Codes to civil rights, from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., the events and personalities that shaped and continue to influence a maturing nation are put into political, social, and cultural context. Re-enactments, readings from historical texts, interviews with leading scholars, and visits to significant locales bring history to life in the videos, quizzes and textbook chapters that are the second semester of U.S. History.

Section 2: The Eve of Reconstruction (1865-1877)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 16

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

**********************************************************************************

KEY TERMS

black codes - laws some southern states designed to maintain white supremacy by keeping freed people impoverished and in debt

Compromise of 1877 - the agreement between Republicans and Democrats, after the contested election of 1876, in which Rutherford B. Hayes was awarded the presidency in exchange for withdrawing the last of the federal troops from the South

carpetbagger - a term used for northerners working in the South during Reconstruction; it implied that these were opportunists who came south for economic or political gain

crop-lien system - a loan system in which store owners extended credit to farmers for the purchase of goods in exchange for a portion of their future crops

Freedmen's Bureau - the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, which was created in 1865 to ease blacks' transition from slavery to freedom

Ironclad Oath - an oath that the Wade-Davis Bill required a majority of voters and government officials in Confederate states to take; it involved swearing that they had never supported the Confederacy

Ku Klux Klan - a white vigilante organization that engaged in terroristic violence with the aim of stopping Reconstruction

Radical Republicans - northern Republicans who contested Lincoln's treatment of Confederate states and proposed harsher punishments

Reconstruction - the twelve-year period after the Civil War in which the rebel Southern states were integrated back into the Union

redeemers - a term used for southern whites committed to rolling back the gains of Reconstruction

scalawags - a pejorative term used for southern whites who supported Reconstruction

sharecropping - a crop-lien system in which people paid rent on land they farmed (but did not own) with the crops they grew

ten percent plan - Lincoln's Reconstruction plan, which required only 10 percent of the 1860 voters in Confederate states to take an oath of allegiance to the Union

Union Leagues - fraternal groups loyal to the Union and the Republican Party that became political and civic centers for blacks in former Confederate states

02:37

Confusion and Devastation Marks End of Civil War

In 1865, as it becomes clear that the war is drawing to a close, no one in Washington knows quite what to do. Abraham Lincoln cannot negotiate a treaty with a government he insists has no right to exist, but neither can he simply readmit Southern states into the Union as though nothing has happened. When will it be appropriate to bring back Southern politicians into Congress and on what terms? The South itself is devastated, physically and psychologically. Homes, factories, even whole cities are destroyed; slavery is abolished; Confederate currency is worthless; and the cause they had committed themselves to has been utterly defeated.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture


Download the transcript of this video below:

04:15

Emancipation and Reunification: Challenges to Peacemaking

There are two primary goals at the end of the Civil War, reuniting the country and emancipation, but no one knows exactly what freedom for blacks means. Freed people know what they want--literacy and land--but taking land from the planter class and distributing it flies in the face of everything that is capitalist. Even before the war ends, Congress establishes a Freedman's Bureau, fewer than 1000 agents to serve the entire Confederacy. For a short period of time the U. S. also maintains a small standing army in the South. Although some Republicans seek to punish the South and are angry at Lincoln because that's not his goal, more Congressmen are interested in uniting the country.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

Thomas, Emory M., Ph.D., Regents Professor of History, University of Georgia, author of Robert E. Lee: A Biography

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture

White, Deborah G., Ph.D., Rutgers University, author of Too Heavy a Load


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:18

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Just a few days into his second term in office, Lincoln’s life comes to an abrupt end. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln and his wife are attending a play at Ford’s Theater when actor John Wilkes Booth slips into the presidential box and shoots the president. Lincoln is carried to a house across the street where he dies early the next morning. Many Northern generals fear reprisals and caution their troops that President Lincoln would have wanted a peaceful ending. The loss of the president is yet another chapter in the carnage that was the Civil War--three quarters of a million killed, many more severely maimed; others psychologically distraught because of the war.

Berlin, Ira, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, author of Many Thousands Gone

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture

Wyatt-Brown, Bertram, Ph.D., Milbauer Professor of History, University of Florida


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:10

President Johnson “Fast Tracks” Re-entry of Southern States

At this very difficult time, Lincoln’s Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President. Johnson is a former slaveholder and wartime governor of Tennessee, a loyal unionist Democrat who was put on the ticket to broaden the appeal of the Republican Party. As members of Congress soon learn, he is a much less skilled politician than Lincoln. He issues a proclamation of amnesty which allows the elite of the south to apply to him directly for an official pardon, bringing thousands of ex-Confederate general and politicians into national government through this process. He clashes with the Republican Congress over the restoration of former confederate states, and suffers substantial losses in the mid-year elections of 1866.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Condition in America

Thomas, Emory M., Ph.D., Regents Professor of History, University of Georgia. author of Robert E. Lee: A Biography

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:45

Republicans Legislate Harsher Approach to Reconstruction

Republicans in Congress legislate a more radical version of reconstruction through a series of Reconstruction Acts they pass over Johnson's veto. It is clear that they don't want treasonous Southerners in Congress within months of the war's end. They are also concerned that a revived Democratic party in the South might link with its Northern counterpart and challenge Republicans who had just waged and won the war for the Union. During this period great constitutional changes are occurring, the most since the Bill of Rights in the early history of the U.S. The 13th amendment freed people who had been slaves since 1607; the 14th amendment made them citizens and guaranteed them equal protection of the law, and the 15th amendment gave them the right to vote.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Condition in America

Kousser, M. Morgan, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, author of Colorblind Injustice

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:17

President Johnson impeached by Congress

President Johnson is no longer a serious obstacle to the passage of radical legislation, but he still is the person responsible for administering Reconstruction programs. The Radicals have little confidence in his motivation to do so and begin impeachment proceedings against the president over his firing a member of his cabinet without congressional approval, a violation of the Tenure of Office Act. He is impeached by the House of Representatives and brought to trial in the Senate where he escaped conviction by a single vote.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Condition in America

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:50

Reconstruction and Financial Issues Plague Grant’s Administration

The influence of radical Republicans, more progressive as far as blacks are concerned, is diminished as moderate Republicans come into power. They nominate Ulysses S. Grant for the presidency in 1868, perhaps the only man who could be elected during these difficult years. Grant enters the White House with no political experience and his performance, according to some critics, is ineffectual from the start. What Grant does is give the nation an assertive president who works quite well with Congress on some issues. However, scandals involving members of his cabinet begin surfacing during the 1872 campaign. Complicating Grant's problems is a financial crisis that had its origins in the Civil War.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Condition in America

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:57

Challenges of Rebuilding Southern Society

The South faces enormous challenges after the Civil War, mainly how to reconstitute its economic and social base without slavery. The responsibility for resolving these issues falls to the Republicans. At first, many white males are excluded from voting or holding office in the ten Southern states reorganized under the Congressional plan. In fact black voters are in the majority in five of the states. When suffrage limitations are lifted, Republicans maintain control only with the help of Southern whites, the carpetbaggers and scalawags. There are examples of graft in Reconstruction governments but there are also dramatic improvements in areas such as education.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

Kousser, J. Morgan

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles; co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture

White, Deborah G., Ph.D., Rutgers University, author of Too Heavy a Load


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:50

The System of Sharecropping

At first, the Freedman’s Bureau grants land from abandoned plantations to thousands of black families, but the "gift" is only temporary as most of the land is returned to its former owners. Northerners assume that a free labor system will emerge in which freed black people will be paid wages as they are in the North. But with the destruction of the banking system and the South's economic base there is no money to pay wages. As a result a system of sharecropping develops which leaves black families in a state of perpetual debt.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

White, Deborah G., Ph.D., Rutgers University, author of Too Heavy a Load


Download the transcript for this video below:

01:47

Rebuilding African-American Family Structures

One of the most striking features of the Reconstruction period is the effort of blacks to rebuild their family structures. Marriage between African-Americans is legalized; their children are their own and cannot be sold away. The traditional family lifestyle, however, is out of reach for most black families. Economic hardship means that women must work to help support the family.


Kousser, J. Morgan

White, Deborah G., Ph.D., Rutgers University, author of Too Heavy a Load


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:53

Emergence of the Ku Klux Klan

During the Grant administration interest in Reconstruction fades as the North becomes preoccupied with its own problems. Before Grant leaves office in 1876 Democrats redeem seven of the eleven former Confederate states. It is a setting in which terrorist organizations like Ku Klux Klan gain strength and use intimidation and violence to undermine the gains that have been made and reestablish white supremacy; Congress enacts laws in 1870 and 1871 to confront the Klan; a federal first, but this respite is brief. A growing number of people in the Republican party do not consider blacks good citizens and believe it is better to have the propertied classes in the South retake control.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Condition in America


Download the transcript for this video below:

01:23

The Election of 1876

Grant plans to run for another term in 1876 but Republican leaders, shaken by Democratic gains, resist. On election day two names head the ballot: Rutherford B. Hayes, Republican, and Samuel Tilden, Democrat. Hayes wins the majority of the Northern votes, Tilden the South, and in a supposed "deal" Hayes agrees to remove remaining troops from the South in exchange for support for his presidency. A later interpretation by 20th century historian C. Van Woodward questions this assumption since Tilden would have removed the troops as well. He suggests that the exchange instead may have been for internal improvements in the South.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Condition in America


Download the transcript for this video below

02:17

The Southern Economy

In an effort to diversify the economy in the years after the Civil War, Southern industry does expand. However, new jobs in the Alabama steel industry or the textile industries in the Carolinas are generally limited to white workers. Some blacks do manage to acquire property, establish small businesses and enter professions. The key is education, and for a time the major spokesman for the importance of education for his race is Booker T. Washington, founder of The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. His emphasis on economic independence, on building a position of power rather than demanding political equality, is criticized by W. E. B. Dubois and Ida Wells.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles; co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:45

Obstruction of Voting Rights for Southern Blacks

Few white Southerners ever accept the idea of racial equality. The fact that former slaves acquire legal and political rights is the result of federal support which all but vanishes after federal troops withdraw in 1877. The Fifteenth Amendment that gave African American men the vote is superseded in the 1880s and 1890s by grandfather clauses, white primaries, and unadulterated terror. The Southern states start passing segregation laws only one of which ever reaches the U. S. Supreme court, Plessy v. Ferguson. With each year that passes the limitations on blacks seem to tighten, choking off gains that were achieved just after the Civil War.


Kousser, J. Morgan, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, author of Colorblind Injustice

White, Deborah G., Ph.D., Rutgers University, author of Too Heavy a Load


Download the transcript of this video below:

05:02

The Horror of Lynching

Lynching is a brutal form of oppression intended to silence, intimidate and terrorize African-Americans as well as a few other groups in the South that some whites believe must be kept in their place. The incidence of lynchings is greater in states like Mississippi where there is cotton cultivation than it is in Virginia where there is not. Although there are few records to show who is involved, a full range of Southerners participate in the brutalization. The victims are as varied as the architects of the violence, as historian Fitzhugh Brundage reflects in recounting the story of Sam Hose. The horror of lynching is what it does to the South as a whole and how it will affect black/white relations far into the future.


Brundage, W. Fitzhugh, Ph.D., Umstead Professor of History, University of North Carolina, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory


Download the transcript for this video below:

01:15

Reconstruction: The Civil War in Broader Perspective

In the generations to come, people in the North and the South will have very different perceptions about the successes and failures of Reconstruction. Its success lies mainly in the fact that the nation does reunite despite difficulties at every level. It is a failure for black Americans whose hopes are frustrated at every turn. In many ways, Reconstruction is the Civil War in broader perspective.


Waugh, Joan, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles; co-author of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture


Download the transcript for this video below:

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Section 3: Westward Expansion (1840-1900)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 17

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

**********************************************************************************

Key Terms

Americanization - the process by which an Indian was “redeemed” and assimilated into the American way of life by changing his clothing to western clothing and renouncing his tribal customs in exchange for a parcel of land

Battle of Wounded Knee - an attempt to disarm a group of Lakota Sioux Indians near Wounded Knee, South Dakota, which resulted in members of the Seventh Cavalry of the U.S. Army opening fire and killing over 150 Indians

bonanza farms - large farms owned by speculators who hired laborers to work the land; these large farms allowed their owners to benefit from economies of scale and prosper, but they did nothing to help small family farms, which continued to struggle

California Gold Rush - the period between 1848 and 1849 when prospectors found large strikes of gold in California, leading others to rush in and follow suit; this period led to a cycle of boom and bust through the area, as gold was discovered, mined, and stripped

Comstock Lode - the first significant silver find in the country, discovered by Henry T. P. Comstock in 1859 in Nevada

Exodusters - a term used to describe African Americans who moved to Kansas from the Old South to escape the racism there

Fence Cutting War - this armed conflict between cowboys moving cattle along the trail and ranchers who wished to keep the best grazing lands for themselves occurred in Clay County, Texas, between 1883 and 1884

Las Gorras Blancas - the Spanish name for White Caps, the rebel group of Hispanic Americans who fought back against the appropriation of Hispanic land by whites; for a period in 1889–1890, they burned farms, homes, and crops to express their growing anger at the injustice of the situation

Manifest Destiny - the phrase, coined by journalist John O’Sullivan, which came to stand for the idea that white Americans had a calling and a duty to seize and settle the American West with Protestant democratic values

Sand Creek Massacre - a militia raid led by Colonel Chivington on an Indian camp in Colorado, flying both the American flag and the white flag of surrender; over one hundred men, women, and children were killed

Sod house - a frontier home constructed of dirt held together by thick-rooted prairie grass that was prevalent in the Midwest; sod, cut into large rectangles, was stacked to make the walls of the structure, providing an inexpensive, yet damp, house for western settlers

01:59

The West’s Long History as a Meeting Ground

To many 19h century Americans the West is a vast untamed frontier, a place were rugged pioneers are carving out a new social order. In reality the Great Plains of the United States has been a meeting ground for thousands of years, a place of convergence where people from many different cultures have come together. The peopling of the West in the 19th century is not simply a case of people moving from the east into the west, but from many directions. These immigrants have made the West the most racially and ethnically diverse region in the country.


Aron, Stephen, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart

West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, author of The Contested Plains

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


Download the transcript for this video below:

04:04

The Western Tribes

Indian tribes inhabited Western lands long before other groups begin to venture into the territory, some since their ancestors crossed the Bering Straits 12.000-14.000 B.C. Others like the Cherokees and Creeks are forcible pushed westward from their homes in the Southeast. Forms of tribal organizations can be quite old like the Zunis; others result from contact with Europeans or are offshoots of the treaty process For a long time after the first contact with Europeans, Indian peoples remain independent. After the Civil War, the Plains Indians, a large and diverse group of tribes, collide with each other and the settlers who "intrude" upon their territory. The native populations find themselves and their way of life overwhelmed by the onslaught of settlers.


Trafzer, Clifford, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside, author of As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:29

The Mexican-American Experience

Spanish-speaking communities scattered throughout the Southwest are also transformed by the arrival of Anglo-American immigrants. Despite the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo's guarantee of equal citizenship, there is widespread discrimination against Mexican-Americans in the West. Their experiences vary significantly depending on their numbers in comparison to the Anglo population and whether they live in New Mexico, California, or Texas. The Gold Rush in California strips most Mexican Americans of their political power. Their plight is similar to the kinds of discrimination the Indian or Chinese population face, but as historian Richard White cautions, "to lump them all together is to really miss the causes that provoke them."


Cortes, Carlos, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


Download the transcript for this video below:

03:35

The Chinese Migration

Like generations of immigrants before them, the Chinese cross the Pacific looking for a better life than they could hope to find in their homeland. Relatively few arrive in California before the Gold Rush, but after 1848 the numbers increase dramatically. The young men who leave China because of the turmoil at end of Xing dynasty send their earnings back to China to support families at home. At first, hard-working Chinese immigrants find success as prospectors, but their fortunes are restricted when special tax legislation is passed in 1852, a Foreign Miners Tax which deters Chinese and Mexicans from competing in gold fields, Just as mining declines as a source of jobs, railroad employment grows as a result of the treaty the U. S. negotiates with China allowing immigrants to work on the Transcontinental Railroad.


Hamamoto, Darrell Y., Ph.D., University of California--Davis

Iriye, Akira, Ph.D., Warren Professor of American History, Harvard University, author of The Global Community

Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Ph.D., Yale University; author of Whiteness of a Different Color

Odo, Franklin, Ph.D., Director, Asian Pacific American Program, Smithsonian Institution. editor of Documentary History of Asian Americans


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:55

Anti-Chinese Sentiments

When the Transcontinental Railroad is completed, Chinese laborers settle in cities like San Francisco to work in such industries as shoe- or cigar-making. This causes such deep resentment among white laborers that Chinese workers are relegated to service jobs--cleaning, laundry, and food preparation--jobs that do not generally attract Euro-American workers. Their success in these fields is met with discriminatory rules and regulations often waived for other groups, like the ordinance that requires laundries to be built of brick. It is ironic that European immigrants, working class people who are also seeking refuge in the United States, use racial identity as a way to marginalize and exclude people of color.


Hamamoto, Darrell Y., Ph.D., University of California--Davis

Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Ph.D., Yale University; author of Whiteness of a Different Color

Odo, Franklin, Ph.D., Director, Asian Pacific American Program, Smithsonian Institution. editor of Documentary History of Asian Americans


Download the transcript for this video below:

06:50

Violence Against Chinese Grows

In order to survive in an unfriendly atmosphere, Chinese immigrants bond together, often living in enclaves referred to as Chinatowns. This protective gesture creates a new round of stereotypes about who they are and what their intentions are. Their refuge in Chinatown is held up as proof they cannot assimilate or become part of the self-governing polity. The fact that they can survive on less than the white man is considered proof of their inferiority. Young marriageable Chinese women not allowed to immigrate nor are Asians, Mulattoes or Negroes allowed to marry whites. By the mid 1880s anti-Chinese protests and violence spread across the United States, and the Chinese become the first national group to be barred from immigrating to U.S.


Hamamoto, Darrell Y., Ph.D., University of California--Davis

Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Ph.D., Yale University; author of Whiteness of a Different Color

Odo, Franklin, Ph.D., Director, Asian Pacific American Program, Smithsonian Institution. editor of Documentary History of Asian Americans

Moss, Alfred, Ph.D., University of Maryland, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:22

Homestead Act of 1862 Encourages Western Settlement

After the Civil War millions of new settlers crowd into the West from eastern parts of the United States. Most of the new settlers are native born, but over two million are European-born immigrants. The federal government plays a major role in this surge of new settlers with the passage of the Homestead Act in 1862. Just what homesteading means, and how it is monitored and managed becomes clear in the story of Union army scout Daniel Freeman who filed the first of the 417 homestead applications on January 1, 1863. Just as the early history of the U. S. was molded by the people who immigrated to its eastern shores in the 17th and 18th centuries, so the West will be influenced by the many different cultures that now occupy its lands.


Excerpts from The Homestead Act, May 20, 1862; excerpt from Daniel Freeman’s application filed January 1, 1868


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01:24

Myths and Myth Makers

By the end of the Civil War, the West is already legendary. It is looked upon as a "frontier" rather than the great American desert, an empty land awaiting settlement and civilization, a place for fresh beginnings and bold undertakings. The great myth makers of the old West--people like Remington, Wister, and Turner--had a greater impact in creating 20th century nostalgia than 19th century hype. Today's historians stress the cultural and environmental costs of expansionism into West rather than the taming of the West as a great epoch adventure.


Aron, Stephen, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart

West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, author of The Contested Plains


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:40

The Changing Western Economy

The events that transforms the far West and its economy begin in the mid 19th century with the discovery of gold in California. A second major economic surge occurs with the emergence of the cattle industry, but like the mining industry, the early economic success of cattle ranchers is difficult to sustain. It is the third major development that really gives impetus to Western growth and that is the arrival of the railroad. There is no way to move the products the West produces to Eastern markets without the railroad, and the changes that occur with its arrival are unprecedented.


West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, author of The Contested Plains

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


Download the transcript for this video below:

02:34

Myth of the Cowboy and a Culture of Violence

The life of the cowboy is part of the legend of the West. Although not all of it is quite as it is portrayed, elements of the cowboy myth are based on reality. It is a difficult, monotonous, and poorly-paid life. When cowboys reach town after a long drive, they engage in a bit of fighting, drinking and carousing, but does it follow that the West is a violent place? The shootouts on Main Street portrayed in the movies are not as frequent as alleged. Other types of violence however do occur like the assaults on Indians in the mining areas of California and violence against other ethnic groups.


West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, author of The Contested Plains


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03:31

The Dispersal of the Tribes

The United States recognizes Indian peoples as semi-sovereign nations that have basic rights and own the land they have ceded to the United States, but these legal protections are subverted by the government when it gets in their way. One of the most dramatic examples of the incongruity of U.S. Indian policy occurs in Idaho in 1877. For decades, members of the Nez Perce tribe live quietly and peacefully in Oregon. After the killing of Custer's soldiers at Little Big Horn the U. S. attempts to force the tribe onto a reservation. Historians Richard White and Clifford Trafzer weave the story of the tribe's attempts to escape the order under the leadership of Chief Joseph.


Trafzer, Clifford, Ph.D., University of California--Riverside, author of As Long as the Grass Shall Grow and Rivers Flow

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


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03:28

Government Policies Undermine Indian Way of Life

The United States Indian policy is never genocidal; in fact government officials want them to survive but on their terms, abandoning tribal identify and assimilating. As the Western territory becomes more populated there is greater pressure to open Indian lands. The Dawes Act of 1887 attempts to parcel out reservation land to Indian families and held in trust for 25 years. The act is ineffectual for several reasons: it is badly administered; most of the land is poor, and individually held property runs counter to the communal nature of Native-American life. Increasingly, the tribes find it difficult to survive.


West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, author of The Contested Plains

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


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03:22

Rapid Agricultural Growth in the Plains Region

The arrival of the miners, the empire building of the cattle ranchers, the dispersal of the Indian tribes--all serve as a prelude to a massive movement of farmers into the plains region. There is rapid agricultural growth in Great Plains and West between 1870-1900. The plains area, noted for its erratic weather patterns, is in a wet cycle during this growth period. In order to sell farmers on the idea of homesteading and investing they are told that “rain will follow plow.” The drought of the 1890s is an economic and human disaster that illustrates how wrong that statement is.


Stoll, Steven, Ph.D., Yale University, author of The Fruits of Natural Advantage

West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, author of The Contested Plains


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04:18

Unique Developments in Western Agriculture

Farm life on the Great Plains is different than farming in the Midwest or points east. Western farmers build sod houses, design steel plows uniquely shaped to cut through the sod, and develop barbed wire to keep grazing animals away from crops. Although competition does exist between farmers and cattle ranchers, the conflict is somewhat exaggerated By the end of the 19th century, large-scale commercial activities begin to alter look and feel of traditional agriculture.


Stoll, Steven, Ph.D., Yale University, author of The Fruits of Natural Advantage

West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, author of The Contested Plains


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04:03

Decline of the Western Farmer

Worldwide overproduction leads to a drop in prices for most agricultural products in the late 1880s. Farm families are painfully aware that something is wrong, but instead of blaming the glut of products on the market they tend to blame the railroad, the banks, and the government. The discontent among farmers and the social and a political upheaval on the Great Plains is part of a larger feeling of discontent among other groups in the United States at the end of the 19th century. And yet, in just a few short decades the West has become bound up in the economic interests of the nation. The people of the West are not always satisfied with their role in this equation, but they are nonetheless essential to it.


West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas, author of The Contested Plains

White, Richard, Ph.D., Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University, author of The Middle Ground


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Check Your Understanding
10 questions
Section 4: Industrialization and the Rise of Big Business (1870-1900)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 18

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

**********************************************************************************

Key Terms

Haymarket affair - the rally and subsequent riot in which several policemen were killed when a bomb was thrown at a peaceful workers rights rally in Chicago in 1866

Holding company - a central corporate entity that controls the operations of multiple companies by holding the majority of stock for each enterprise

Horizontal integration - method of growth wherein a company grows through mergers and acquisitions of similar companies

Molly Maguires - a secret organization made up of Pennsylvania coal miners, named for the famous Irish patriot, which worked through a series of scare tactics to bring the plight of the miners to public attention

Monopoly - the ownership or control of all enterprises comprising an entire industry

Robber baron - a negative term for the big businessmen who made their fortunes in the massive railroad boom of the late nineteenth century

Scientific management - mechanical engineer Fredrick Taylor’s management style, also called “stop- watch management,” which divided manufacturing tasks into short, repetitive segments and encouraged factory owners to seek efficiency and profitability over any benefits of personal interaction

Social Darwinism - Herbert Spencer’s theory, based upon Charles Darwin’s scientific theory, which held that society developed much like plant or animal life through a process of evolution in which the most fit and capable enjoyed the greatest material and social success

Trust - a legal arrangement where a small group of trustees have legal ownership of a business that they operate for the benefit of other investors

Vertical integration - a method of growth where a company acquires other companies that include all aspects of a product’s lifecycle from the creation of the raw materials through the production process to the delivery of the final product

05:04

Sources of Industrial Growth


In the decades following the end of the Civil War, the United States propels itself into the forefront of industrial nations, joining Germain and Britain as a major power. The country has been developing a manufacturing economy since the early 19th century, but given the devastating Civil War it has just been through, the nation's meteoric rise seems miraculous. Controversy surrounds corporate entrepreneurs and industrial giants not only in relation to the great power and wealth they are amassing, but how they are doing it.


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Clark, Christopher, Ph.D., University of Warwick, England, author of Transformations in American Society, 1770-1870

Katz, Stanley, Ph.D., Princeton University

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis

Zeiler, Thomas, Ph.D., University of Colorado, author of Defending America Abroad


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02:49

Growth of the Industrial Workforce

In the late 19th century, there is a dramatic expansion of industrial workers in the United States. Millions of laborers are drawn from the farm to industrial cities, lured by jobs and opportunity. Immigration increases because wages and living conditions in the U.S. are better than they are in the rest of world. Different ethnic groups tend to capture different industries, like the Italians in New York's garment industry or the Poles in Chicago's meat packing industry. Some employers attempt to keep their industry from becoming too segmented as a protection against union organization.


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Halter, Marilyn, Ph.D., Boston University

Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Ph.D., Yale University, author of Whiteness of a Different Color

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis


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06:02

The Plight of the Worker

The industrial revolution creates many factory jobs, most of which are occupied by unskilled laborers. These men, women and children earn a very low wage, work long hours and in deplorable conditions. The result is a poor, uneducated working class who are exploited and very rarely experience upward financial mobility. Since child labor laws are non-existent, 1.7 million children under the age of 16 are in the labor force in 1900.


Freedman, Estelle, Ph.D., Stanford University, author of No Turning Back

Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of America in the Twentieth Century; American History, Columbia University, author of In Pursuit of Equity

Nicolaides, Becky, Ph.D., University of California--San Diego

Silverman, Victor, Ph.D., Pomona College

West, Elliott, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History, University of Arkansas


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04:49

Beginnings of the Union Movement

Working men and women attempt to fight back against poor working conditions by adopting some of the same tactics their employers use, repeatedly trying to organize themselves in order to force change. Some early unions like the Knights of Labor enjoy brief success in the 1870s and 1880s but lack the means to sustain their efforts in face of greater corporate power. The American Federation of Labor (AFL), a collection of trade unions, becomes the first permanent national union organization. The women's unions that tend to last begin around the turn of the century with the formation of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Immigrants are generally left out of the union movement.


Boyle, Kevin, Ph.D., Ohio State University, author of Sweet Justice

Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of America in the Twentieth Century; American History, Columbia University, author of In Pursuit of Equity

Odo, Franklin, Ph.D., Director, Asian Pacific American Program, Smithsonian Institution. editor of Documentary History of Asian Americans

Silverman, Victor, Ph.D., Pomona College


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04:08

Class Violence--Labor vs. Employer--Breaks Out at Work Sites

Despite the collective efforts of workers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, working conditions do not improve. Frustration grows, relations deteriorate into a series of violent strikes and labor actions in the railroad, garment, and steel industries. The federal government deems union organizing illegal and uses court injunctions against strikes and union actions.


Boyle, Kevin, Ph.D., Ohio State University, author of Sweet Justice

Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of America in the Twentieth Century; American History, Columbia University, author of In Pursuit of Equity

Silverman, Victor, Ph.D., Pomona College


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02:31

Profound Changes in U.S. as a Result of Industrialization

During the first part of the 20th century, the United States evolves into an industrialized economy. Cities and urban centers are forming around industry. Government, investors and workers alike are attempting to define themselves in this new world.


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Rodgers, Daniel, Ph.D., Lea Professor of History, Princeton University


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Check Your Understanding
6 questions
Section 5: Urbanization (1870-1900)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 19

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

**********************************************************************************

Key Terms

City Beautiful a movement begun by Daniel Burnham and Fredrick Law Olmsted, who believed that cities should be built with three core tenets in mind: the inclusion of parks within city limits, the creation of wide boulevards, and the expansion of more suburbs

Great Migration the name for the large wave of African Americans who left the South after the Civil War, mostly moving to cities in the Northeast and Upper Midwest

graft the financial kickback provided to city bosses in exchange for political favors

instrumentalism a theory promoted by John Dewey, who believed that education was key to the search for the truth about ideals and institutions

machine politics the process by which citizens of a city used their local ward alderman to work the “machine” of local politics to meet local needs within a neighborhood

naturalism a theory of realism that states that the laws of nature and the natural world were the only relevant laws governing humanity

pragmatism a doctrine supported by philosopher William James, which held that Americans needed to experiment and find the truth behind underlying institutions, religions, and ideas in American life, rather than accepting them on faith

realism a collection of theories and ideas that sought to understand the underlying changes in the United States during the late nineteenth century

Social Register a de facto directory of the wealthy socialites in each city, first published by Louis Keller in 1886

settlement house movement an early progressive reform movement, largely spearheaded by women, which sought to offer services such as childcare and free healthcare to help the working poor

social gospel the belief that the church should be as concerned about the conditions of people in the secular world as it was with their afterlife

Tammany Hall a political machine in New York, run by machine boss William Tweed with assistance from George Washington Plunkitt

01:22

The Lure of the City

The United States is becoming urban nation in the late 19th century. The industrial revolution has made the city the center of economic life, drawing young adults from country, African Americans from South, and immigrants to the shores of the country. The growth of cities generates need to reconceptualize urban infrastructure and political systems.


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Monkkonen, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of America Becomes Urban


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06:51

The Ethnic City

Some cities are marked by clearly-defined ethnic neighborhoods, others are more diverse. Among immigrant families, men are usually the first to arrive, hoping to earn enough money to take back home. Historians call these immigrants "birds of passage" even though few ever make enough to return home. The most they are able to do is send for a wife. Transition to a new country is difficult for the older generation but their children have different experiences altogether. Public schools and workplaces encourage immigrants to throw off old-world bonds, yet the strength of ethnic ties, usually maintained by women, competes with the desire to assimilate. Some native-born Americans openly resent the arrival of so many new immigrants.


Bailyn, Bernard, Ph.D., Adams and Phillips Professor of History Emeritus, Harvard University

Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Freedman, Estelle, Ph.D., Stanford University, author of No Turning Back

Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Ph.D., Yale University; author of Whiteness of a Different Color

Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of American History, Columbia University, author of In Pursuit of Equity

Levine, Lawrence W., Ph.D., Byrne Professor of History Emeritus, University of California--Berkeley, author of The People and the President

Monkkonen, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of America Becomes Urban


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03:18

The Urban Landscape

The city at the end of the 19th century is a place of remarkable contrasts. Planning and building simply cannot keep up with the pace of growth. As one reformer laments, it is a challenge to make "a great city in a few years out of nothing." City planners want grand parks and curving boulevards, skyscrapers and public buildings designed to impress, but there is a prevalence of shacks and tenement housing into which families are crowded. The moneyed class tend to live in grand suburbs. Working-class African Americans also choose suburban living, exchanging the trouble of commuting for a bit of land and a small house. A public transit system to connect suburban dwellers to their place of employment develops more quickly in the U. S. than in other countries. The poor condition of the roadways prompts what is called the "good roads movement."


Jackson, Kenneth, Ph.D., Barzun Professor of History, Columbia University, author of Crabgrass Frontier

Monkkonen, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of America Becomes Urban

Nicolaides, Becky, Ph.D., University of California--San Diego, author of My Blue Heaven


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05:23

Strains of Urban Life

Increasing congestion places a strain on the capacity of cities to protect those who live within their boundaries. When plagues hit, like the cholera epidemic that invades cities in the 19th century, city officials are forced to implement public health interventions. But many problems are not being addressed. Urban pollution, considered a sign of a healthy economy, contributes to the unhealthy environment for people living in cities. Insufficient supplies of safe water and inadequate sewage and garbage treatment systems abound. In addition poverty, and its corollary crime and violence, haunt cities at the turn of the century.


Handler, Joel, J.D., Maxwell Professor of Law, University of California--Los Angeles

Jackson, Kenneth, Ph.D., Barzun Professor of History, Columbia University, author of Crabgrass Frontier

Katz, Stanley, Ph.D., Princeton University

Monkkonen, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of America Becomes Urban

Nicolaides, Becky, Ph.D., University of California--San Diego, author of My Blue Heaven


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04:30

Infrastructure and Political Issues

Growth forces cities to rebuild their infrastructure and reconceptualize their political systems in the late 19th century. In fact the governmental institutions and services we think of as essential to an American city are created during this time period. One of the most distinctive forms of urban politics to emerge is the political machine. A city that needs to expand its services represents jobs for immigrants who are often unskilled and face discrimination. Political machines "buy" loyalty and support by rewarding immigrant voters with jobs if their candidates are victorious, skimming off profits from city contracts in the process. Progressive reformers launch vigorous campaigns to unseat political bosses with some success, although some historians debate the cost/benefits for everyday people.


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Ph.D., Yale University; author of Whiteness of a Different Color

Monkkonen, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of America Becomes Urban

Nicolaides, Becky, Ph.D., University of California--San Diego, author of My Blue Heaven


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03:53

The Rise of Mass Consumption

Urban middle-class Americans are introduced to the fine art of "shopping" during the last decades of the 19th century. From 1880 onward there is the beginning of trade catalogues, national advertising and warehousing, and the creation of franchising networks in which economy of scale comes into play. Instead of small shops dotted across the urban landscape, there is the development of department stores and urban shopping areas. With the rapid expansion of the economy and the increasing number of hours workers have away from their jobs, it becomes possible to imagine leisure time as a normal part of life.


Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Halter, Marilyn, Ph.D., Boston University, author of Shopping for Identity

Jackson, Kenneth, Ph.D., Barzun Professor of History, Columbia University, author of Crabgrass Frontier

Monkkonen, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of America Becomes Urban

Zeiler, Thomas, Ph.D., University of Colorado, author of Defending America Abroad


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Check Your Understanding
10 questions
Section 6: Politics in the Gilded Age (1870-1900)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 20

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

**********************************************************************************

Key Terms

Bloody shirt campaign the strategy of Republican candidates to stress the sacrifices that the nation had to endure in its Civil War against Democratic southern secessionists

Coxey’s Army an 1894 protest, led by businessman Jacob Coxey, to advocate for public works jobs for the unemployed by marching on Washington, DC

Civil service the contrast to the spoils system, where political appointments were based on merit, not favoritism

Farmers’ Alliance a national conglomeration of different regional farmers’ alliances that joined together in 1890 with the goal of furthering farmers’ concerns in politics

Gilded Age the period in American history during which materialism, a quest for personal gain, and corruption dominated both politics and society

Grange a farmers’ organization, launched in 1867, which grew to over 1.5 million members in less than a decade

Half-Breeds the group of Republicans led by James G. Blaine, named because they supported some measure of civil service reform and were thus considered to be only “half Republican”

Mugwumps a portion of the Republican Party that broke away from the Stalwart-versus-Half-Breed debate due to disgust with their candidate’s corruption

Populist Party a political party formed in 1890 that sought to represent the rights of primarily farmers but eventually all workers in regional and federal elections

Stalwarts the group of Republicans led by Roscoe Conkling who strongly supported the continuation of the patronage system

Subtreasury plan a plan that called for storing crops in government warehouses for a brief period of time, during which the federal government would provide loans to farmers worth 80 percent of the current crop prices, releasing the crops for sale when prices rose

02:34

Democrats and Republicans in 1880s

For several decades after Congress ceases to battle over Reconstruction there is political equilibrium between Democrats and Republicans. The outcome of presidential elections generally pivots on who can win four states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Indiana. Voters are extremely loyal to their party during these decades, with roughly 80 percent of those eligible casting ballots in presidential elections. It is not the issues that pull voters to he polls but the patronage the winning party will control.

Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Tradition in America

James, Scott, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of Parties, Presidents, and the State


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03:20

Stalwarts and Half-Breeds Compete for Control of Republican Party

As president, Rutherford B. Hayes attempts to institute civil service reforms, declaring himself a one-term president who would not be making strategic political appointments just to win reelection. By the end of Hayes' presidency, the Stalwarts led by New York Senator Conkling and their rivals the Half-Breeds threaten to split the Republican Party. Even the Republican convention in the summer of 1880 seems hopelessly deadlocked before delegates finally settle on the ticket of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur. In July of 1881, only four months after his inauguration, a deranged gunman cuts short Garfield's term and Chester A. Arthur becomes president of the United States.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Tradition in America…


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00:52

The Pendleton Act

The federal government’s bureaucracy is growing larger and the old method of selecting people for public office has not grown with it. The Pendleton Act, passed early in 1883 attempts to remedy the situation, but it only applies to 10 to 15% of the federal workforce The fact that the bill authorizes the president to expand the classified list allows presidents in the decades to come to do just that.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Tradition in America…

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03:48

The “Mudslinging” Election of 1884

In the presidential election of 1884 Senator James G. Blaine, once the head of the Half-Breeds, challenges and defeats incumbent president Chester A. Arthur for the Republican nomination. The Democrats nominate New York governor Grover Cleveland. Charges and counter charges sully the campaign. Blaine, hoping to raise the level of debate, launches a speaking tour across the country, highly unusual for the time. The Mugwumps, a small group that believed in civil service reform, throw their support to Cleveland who wins by a very narrow margin.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Tradition in America

James, Scott, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of Parties, Presidents, and the State


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02:23

Fundamental Differences Between Republicans and Democrats Emerge

Fundamental differences between the Republicans and Democrats begin to surface during the late 19th century, particularly in relation to the economy and the role government should play in regulating it. The Republicans favor the protective tariff and a sound money policy; the Democrats are averse to policies that favor special interests. Cleveland's primary weapon against overreaching government is the veto, a skill he perfected as New York governor. His favorite targets are the pension bills that support disabled Civil War veterans. Many view these bills as precursors to the modern notion of welfare.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Tradition in America


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03:46

Activist vs. Passive Government

The campaign of 1888 between Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison plays up the economic differences between the parties. It is also one of the closest elections in American history with Harrison winning an electoral majority but losing the popular vote to Cleveland by 100,000. Almost immediately Congress begins to confront some of the more pressing issues of the day with passage of the McKinley Tariff, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, and the Dependent Pension Bill. Public pressure builds for railroad legislation which Congress grudgingly passes with the Interstate Commerce Act. Americans, wary of activist government; hand Republicans a major loss in the mid-year elections of 1890. Two years later Harrison secures his party's nomination over Blaine but cannot generate enough enthusiasm to defeat the Democratic nominee Grover Cleveland.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Tradition in America

James, Scott, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of Parties, Presidents, and the State


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02:58

1890s Depression Fuels Agrarian Revolt and Birth of Populist Party

Just months after Grover Cleveland takes office for a second time the economy comes to a screeching halt with a depression that lasts from the mid to late 1890s. Millions of people are out of work; thousands of businesses fail. The plight of farmers fuels an agrarian revolt and gives birth to a new voice on the political scene, the Populist Party. In the summer of 1898, Cleveland calls Congress back into session to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. As the Populist party develops strength, the money question seems to win the support of more than just farmers, a concern to business leaders who fear radical populism.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Tradition in America

Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections


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05:23

1896, a Realigning Election

Republicans blame the Democrats for the Depression as they approach the election of 1896 with William McKinley as their presidential candidate. The Democrats, split by the Populist movement, nominate William Jennings Bryan as their standard bearer and include some Populist ideas in their platform. In a controversial vote the Populists also back Bryan. McKinley, backed by business wins by a large majority in what is considered a realigning election. The Republicans now become the majority party.


Calhoun, Charles W., Ph.D., East Carolina University, author of The Human Tradition in America

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections


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Check Your Understanding
7 questions
Section 7: The Progressive Movement (1890-1920)
Article

READINGS

Download the PDF below and READ Chapter 21

OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

Download full text book for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11740/latest/

**********************************************************************************

Key Terms


Atlanta Compromise Booker T. Washington’s speech, given at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895, where he urged African Americans to work hard and get along with others in their white communities, so as to earn the goodwill of the country

direct primary a political reform that allowed for the nomination of candidates through a direct vote by party members, rather than by the choice of delegates at conventions; in the South, this strengthened all- white solidarity within the Democratic Party

initiative a proposed law, or initiative, placed on the ballot by public petition

muckrakers investigative journalists and authors who wrote about social ills, from child labor to the corrupt business practices of big businesses, and urged the public to take action

NAACP the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a civil rights organization formed in 1909 by an interracial coalition including W. E. B. Du Bois and Florence Kelley

New Freedom Woodrow Wilson’s campaign platform for the 1912 election that called for a small federal government to protect public interests from the evils associated with bad businesses

New Nationalism Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 campaign platform, which called for a powerful federal government to protect the American public

Niagara Movement a campaign led by W. E. B. Du Bois and other prominent African American reformers that departed from Booker T. Washington's model of accommodation and advocated for a “Declaration of Principles” that called for immediate political, social, and economic equality for African Americans

Progressive Party a political party started by Roosevelt and other Progressive Republicans who were unhappy with Taft and wanted Roosevelt to run for a nonconsecutive third term in 1912

Progressivism a broad movement between 1896 and 1916 led by white, middle-class professionals for legal, scientific, managerial, and institutional solutions to the ills of urbanization, industrialization, and corruption

recall to remove a public official from office by virtue of a petition and vote process

referendum a process that allows voters to counteract legislation by putting an existing law on the ballot for voters to either affirm or reject

Silent Sentinels women protesters who picketed the White House for years to protest for women’s right to vote; they went on a hunger strike after their arrest, and their force-feeding became a national scandal

Square Deal Theodore Roosevelt’s name for the kind of involved, hands-on government he felt the country needed

Taylorism a system named for Fredrick Winslow Taylor, aimed at improving factory efficiency rates through the principle of standardization; Taylor’s model limited workers to repetitive tasks, reducing human contact and opportunities to think or collaborate

Wisconsin Idea a political system created by Robert La Follette, governor of Wisconsin, that embodied many progressive ideals; La Follette hired experts to advise him on improving conditions in his state634 Chapter 21 Leading the Way: The Progressive Movement, 1890-1920

Wobblies a nickname for the Industrial Workers of the World, a radical Progressive group that grew out of the earlier labor movement and desired an industrial union model of labor organization

03:49

Business Interests Push U.S. Involvement Overseas

Great Britain amasses vast colonies in Asia and Africa in the second half of 19th century. With the exception of the United States, other countries scramble to join race. Many Americans loath the idea of imperialism and want the U. S. to remain focused on its own economic development and overland expansion. Aggressive business interests, however, want an overseas presence. Young ambitious imperialists see overseas territories as the new frontier.


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Iriye, Akira, Ph.D., Warren Professor of American History, Harvard University, author of The Global Community

Osborne, Thomas J., Ph.D., Santa Ana College, author of Looking In, Looking Out

Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism

Zeiler, Thomas, Ph.D., University of Colorado, author of Defending America Abroad


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02:27

Early Overtures in Western Hemisphere

Since 1790, the Caribbean is a region of primary interest to the United States. Fear of European expansion in Western hemisphere plays out in the Venezuelan crisis of 1895. Henry Cabot Lodge pressures for the United State's increased presence in Hawaii. Its strategic location would protect Pacific approaches to the future canal and to serve as route to Orient.


Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism

Osborne, Thomas J., Ph.D., Santa Ana College, author of Looking In, Looking Out


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04:46

Events Leading to War with Spain over Cuba

The passage of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff in 1894 devastates the Cuban sugar market and contributes to civil unrest and revolutionary activity on the island Charges of Spanish human rights violations against Cuba are reported extensively by U. S. newspapers. The Cuban exile community in Florida urges the United States to become involved. When an explosion on the U.S.S. Maine anchored in Cuban waters kills hundreds of Americans, newspapers accuse Spain of deliberately bombing the ship, triggering a national frenzy. This crisis becomes a mechanism for reviving the nation in midst of severe Depression as young men rush to sign up for the military. The McKinley administration demands that Spain repeal its reconcentrado policy. Spain tries to comply but revolutionary forces refuse to agree to an armistice.


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism

Osborne, Thomas J., Ph.D., Santa Ana College, author of Looking In, Looking Out

Schulzinger, Robert, Ph.D., University of Colorado, author of A Time for Peace


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02:34

The “Splendid Little War”

The United States declares war on Spain in April of 1898. Anti-imperialists in Congress attach the Teller Amendment to the war resolution stating that the U.S. will not annex Cuba. The support of Cuban guerillas and Spain’s lack of military prowess contribute to the brevity and success of the U. S. war effort--a unified effort involving soldiers from both the North and South. Black soldiers receive little recognition for the significant role they play, particularly in protecting the Rough Riders.


Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Gerstle, Gary, Ph.D., University of Maryland, author of American Crucible

Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism

Osborne, Thomas J., Ph.D., Santa Ana College, author of Looking In, Looking Out


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04:21

“Spoils” of Spanish-American War Extend beyond Caribbean

Annexation of the Philippines becomes a target of opportunity in the closing days of war. The United States also invades and annexes Puerto Rico, an unincorporated but strategic island territory. There is fierce Senate debate over the Treaty of Paris that would cede the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, to the U. S. The debate centers on the people of the Philippines and Puerto Rico and their fitness for self government. Imperialists search for reasons to support these acquisitions—economic, strategic, humanitarian--and ultimately win the support of President McKinley and senate approval to acquire these territories, the first U.S. “colonies.”


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Jacobson, Matthew Frye, Ph.D., Yale University; author of Whiteness of a Different Color

Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism

Osborne, Thomas J., Ph.D., Santa Ana College, author of Looking In, Looking Out


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03:28

Difficulties with Cuba and the Philippines

The new American empire is small in comparison to the great European empires of the era. Three recent acquisitions--Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico--present relatively few problems for the country, but Cuba and the Philippines prove more difficult. As a protectorate Cubans elect their own government but clearly the country does not have sovereignty over foreign affairs. U. S. troops are stationed there until 1902. In the Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo leads an independence movement against U.S. annexation which results in three years of bloody conflict. Once actual administration of the Philippine Islands begins, Americans are forced to cut back on their aspirations. William Howard Taft, first governor general of Philippines, pursues policy of accommodation that achieves few improvements.


Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism

Osborne, Thomas J., Ph.D., Santa Ana College, author of Looking In, Looking Out


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03:52

The Diplomacy of Imperialism

As a newcomer to the diplomacy of imperialism, the United States finds itself welcomed by some countries and rejected by others. It is the United State's proposed open-door policy toward China that particularly angers some European powers, Russia, and Japan. They view the United States as an upstart trying to dictate policy when it had only recently entered the international arena. Teddy Roosevelt makes it clear when he's president that there's not enough of value in China to risk going to war with Japan. The Philippine skirmish and the Boxer Rebellion as well as the war with Spain also reveal glaring deficiencies in the country's military system.


Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism

Osborne, Thomas J., Ph.D., Santa Ana College, author of Looking In, Looking Out

Schulzinger, Robert, Ph.D., University of Colorado, author of A Time for Peace


Download the transcript for this video below:

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Section 8: The Age of Empire (1890-1914)
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OpenStax College, U.S. History. (© 2014 Rice University)

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Key Terms


Anti-Imperialist League a group of diverse and prominent Americans who banded together in 1898 to protest the idea of American empire building

dollar diplomacy Taft’s foreign policy, which involved using American economic power to push for favorable foreign policies

Frontier Thesis an idea proposed by Fredrick Jackson Turner, which stated that the encounter of European traditions and a native wilderness was integral to the development of American democracy, individualism, and innovative character

Open Door notes the circular notes sent by Secretary of State Hay claiming that there should be “open doors” in China, allowing all countries equal and total access to all markets, ports, and railroads without any special considerations from the Chinese authorities; while ostensibly leveling the playing field, this strategy greatly benefited the United States

Roosevelt Corollary a statement by Theodore Roosevelt that the United States would use military force to act as an international police power and correct any chronic wrongdoing by any Latin American nation threatening the stability of the region

Rough Riders Theodore Roosevelt’s cavalry unit, which fought in Cuba during the Spanish-American War

Seward’s Folly the pejorative name given by the press to Secretary of State Seward’s acquisition of Alaska in 1867

sphere of influence the goal of foreign countries such as Japan, Russia, France, and Germany to carve out an area of the Chinese market that they could exploit through tariff and transportation agreements

yellow journalism sensationalist newspapers who sought to manufacture news stories in order to sell more papers

02:48

A Movement with a Variety of Meanings

A powerful surge of reform efforts emerges in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States--reforms intended to help the United States deal with the extraordinary changes brought on by industrialization and urbanization. "The progressive era" as it is called is a time of slow, long-term shifts in society and the economy. But as more than one historian has noted, it comes to mean so many different things to so many different people--from anti-monopolists to urban progressives--that it ceases to mean anything at all. What it does reflect is the inequality of wealth in this country. Large numbers of Americans are in distress, steeped in poverty, while the titans of industry are accumulating vast fortunes.


Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

James; Scott

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affection


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02:40

The Settlement House Movement

Nothing produces greater distress, many reformers believe, than the crowded immigrant neighborhoods of American cities. One response is to create settlement houses like Hull House which Jane Addams and a group of women open in Chicago in 1889. Using family money and contributions from local businesses, they purchase a house in the middle of an immigrant neighborhood, move in and begin educating people in childcare, literacy, and other aspects of western civilization. Such social work is often an outlet for unmarried, university-educated women who cannot get professional degrees. By becoming politically active, they begin to exercise the democratic involvement to which they feel entitled.


Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of American History, Columbia University, author of In Pursuit of Equity

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections


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02:02

Women in the Workforce

It is rare for a woman to hold public office in the early 20th century much less enter professions dominated by men. When women engage in "women’s jobs" there is not much controversy. It is in higher earning and more prestigious areas like medicine that barriers are erected. As a result women begin to create their own medical schools, hospitals, and clinics. Even women who earn wages in ways considered acceptable, like taking in laundry or doing piecework for factories, are not always counted as part of the workforce if that work is accomplished in the home.


Freedman, Estelle, Ph.D., Stanford University, author of No Turning Back

Kessler-Harris, Alice, Ph.D., Hoxie Professor of American History, Columbia University, author of In Pursuit of Equity


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02:31

Women and Reform

By the end of the 19th century, the home is not the all-consuming place it once was. Families are getting smaller, and growing numbers of middle-class women are identifying with activities outside the home such as women's clubs and social reform. Some are so concerned about prostitution and its control that they attempt to close down dance halls, or hide behind bushes in hopes of catching young women in the act of kissing or some other "unseemly" behavior. The element of social control is at the base of many reform movements.


Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections


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03:08

Fight for Women’s Suffrage

Perhaps the largest single reform movement of the progressive era is the fight for women's suffrage, a movement which attracts support from both men and women. Most states grant women some voting rights before passage of 19th amendment, acknowledging the major changes that had occurred in family and work lives of women, and in their education. The South with its history of opposition to federal involvement in franchise issues offers the only real resistance to women’s suffrage. The amendment granting women the right to vote is finally passed by a fragile coalition of supporters. Although people expect the election of 1920 to be revolutionary because women will be voting, the results reveal few changes.


Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Freedman, Estelle, Ph.D., Stanford University, author of No Turning Back

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections


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02:14

Government and Progressive Reform

Reformers seeking ways to get around city bosses, state legislators, and political parties try a variety of tactics. Some western states adopt an initiative process that empowers voters to write their own laws and put them to a vote of the people in a general election. Special interest groups lobby for social reforms, often engaging the political process outside the party system. The right to petition government, to try to affect what your government does to you or for you, is a fundamental part of the First Amendment to the Constitution.


Edwards, Mickey, J.D., Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Lindsay, James M., Ph.D., Slick Chair for International Affairs, University of Texas

Lupia, Arthur, Ph.D., University of Michigan, author of Stealing the Initiative


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02:05

African-Americans and Reform

One social question that receives relatively little attention from white progressives is race. Among African Americans themselves, however, the progressive era produces some significant challenges to existing racial norms. Black women engaged in welfare work form the National Organization of Colored Women in 1896, almost 15 years before the emergence of the NAACP. In 1915, as the South continues to tighten its control over the black population, Birth of a Nation is released. The movie stereotypes African-Americans and romanticizes the Ku Klux Klan. Historian Rayford Logan terms this the darkest time in African-American history, but it is also a period when black people come together because that is what is needed.


Capozzola, Christopher, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Freedman, Estelle, Ph.D., Stanford University, author of No Turning Back

White, Deborah G., Ph.D., Rutgers University, author of Too Heavy a Load


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01:38

The Temperance Crusade

Reformers during the progressive era direct much of their energy toward political issues but they also crusade on behalf of what they term moral issues, like the campaign to eliminate alcohol from the national scene. Prohibition is a clear example of how religious values influence public policy. In 1917, progressive advocates of prohibition succeed in getting Congress to support a constitutional amendment banning the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages. Two years later the 18th amendment is ratified by every state except Connecticut and Rhode Island. It impacts but does not prevent drinking, and repeal efforts start immediately.


Dumenil, Lynn, Ph.D., Cleland Professor of American History, Occidental University, co-author of America: A Concise History


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02:14

Immigration Restriction

The massive waves of immigration from Eastern Europe and Italy during the decades between 1880 to 1910 prompt concern that the growing immigrant population is creating social problems for the United States Although there is wide disagreement on how to respond, there is pressure to close the nation's gates--pressure that results in the enactment of restrictive quotas after World War I. Controversy also develops over how immigrants should be assimilated, with three quite different approaches vying for top honors: the Anglo-Saxon conformity or supremacy approach, the melting pot theory, and cultural pluralism.


Halter, Marilyn, Ph.D., Boston University, author of Shopping for Identity

Schulzinger, Robert, Ph.D., University of Colorado, author of A Time for Peace


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04:07

Challenging the Capitalist Order

At no time in U. S. history do critics of capitalism attract more support than in the period between 1900 and 1914. Although socialists agree on the need for basic structural changes in the economy, they differ widely on the tactics to use. Among the most militant groups is a coalition of radical groups called the Industrial Workers of the World, an organization that seeks to overthrow capitalism. IWW has some initial victories but becomes the target of political repression, and is ultimately broken up. Many reformers agree with the socialists that excessive corporate consolidation is a threat to the nation's economy, and call for more government regulation of big business. Early in the 20th century the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Trade Commission, and the Interstate Commerce Commission are established to keep track of what is going on.


Brinkley, Alan, Ph.D., Nevins Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Unfinished Nation

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections

Silverman, Victor, Ph.D., Pomona College


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01:42

The Accidental President

Theodore Roosevelt becomes the youngest man to assume the presidency when William McKinley is assassinated in 1901. Although in journalistic histories he is often portrayed as an impulsive, immature figure, Roosevelt is actually astute and intellectual, a prolific writer and reader. He believes in the science of administration, the need for trained government officials who know what they are doing and can incorporate learning and science with university expertise. Roosevelt cultivates journalists and is media conscious, knowing the value of the bully pulpit.


Kernell, Samuel, Ph.D. University of California--San Diego, author of Going Public

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections

Rodgers, Daniel, Ph.D., Lea Professor of History, Princeton University, author of Atlantic Crossings


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01:15

Federal Government as Mediator of the Public Good

Roosevelt does not consider the federal government the agent of any particular interest, only public interest. During his presidency, he argues for public accountability of corporations and files more than 40 antitrust suits. Roosevelt also introduces the Square Deal and pressures Congress to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act, an 8-hour day for workers, compensation for industrial accidents, inheritance and income taxes, and far-reaching conservation programs.


Gerstle, Gary, Ph.D., University of Maryland, author of American Crucible

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections


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03:18

Roosevelt and Conservation

Theodore Roosevelt is involved with Gifford Pinchot and Carl Schurz in conservation efforts as early as the 1890s. As the first director of National Forest Service, Pinchot establishes a legacy of government involvement in wilderness areas primarily by developing a rationale for land management in concert with large lumber interests and ranchers. Walking a middle path puts Pinchot in conflict with people on both sides of the conservation issue, including preservationist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. Their political battle over the Hetch Hetchy Dam Project, designed to supply water to San Francisco, ends with Congress enacting legislation to build the dam in 1913, and Muir's death the following year.


Balogh, Brian, Ph.D., University of Virginia, author of Integrating the Sixties

Stoll, Steven, Ph.D., Yale University, author of The Fruits of Natural Advantage


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02:13

The Panic of 1907

The Panic of 1907 illustrates how little control the federal government has over the industrial economy. When the stock market goes into free fall, J. P. Morgan attempts to halt the panic by guaranteeing he "will cover all obligations." Conservatives blame Roosevelt's policies for the economic disaster. Although the president disagrees with their assessment, he acts quickly to assure J. P. Morgan and other business leaders that he will not interfere with their recovery efforts. The key, Morgan tells the president, is the take-over of the Tennessee Coal & Iron Company by U. S. Steel. To help prevent future panics, the government establishes the Federal Reserve System


Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections

Parrish, Michael, Ph.D., University of California--San Diego, author of Anxious Decades


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03:02

The Troubled Succession of William Howard Taft

After eight energetic years in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt retires from public life, at least that is his stated intention. His hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft, easily wins the presidential election of 1908, but he is not a progressive Republican like Roosevelt. He is much better suited to be a Supreme Court Justice which he eventually becomes. A number of independent and private progressive organizations form during this period. Robert LaFollette, Wisconsin senator, becomes the leader of progressive Republicans until Roosevelt returns in 1910 and wants the job back.


Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections


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03:01

The Presidential Election of 1912

In the presidential election of 1912 Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive), Woodrow Wilson (Democrat), and Eugene Debs (Socialist) compete for the same constituencies: farmers, laborers, and immigrants. Roosevelt endorses minimum-wage legislation and corporate regulation, the agenda of social progressives. Wilson, pushed by Roosevelt’s social justice agenda and the AFL’s political planks, also attempts to court upper middle-class voters. The strong third-party candidates upset the balance between two major parties and bring issues to the fore. President Taft (Republican), resigned to defeat, barely campaigns. A would-be assassin sidelines Roosevelt weeks before election, and Wilson wins a plurality of the vote. However, Roosevelt garners more votes than any third-party candidate in history.


Patterson, Thomas E., Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, Harvard University

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections

Rodgers, Daniel, Ph.D., Lea Professor of History, Princeton University, author of Atlantic Crossings


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02:08

Woodrow Wilson and The New Freedom

Woodrow Wilson is a bold and forceful leader clearly in charge of the Executive branch. In legislative matters, he skillfully uses his position as party leader to solidify support for his program in Congress. Wilson sees a strong link between popular expression and government action. A succession of bills are approved by Congress--bills that lower the tariff, establish a 1% income tax, reform banking and establish the Federal Trade Commission to control the power of the corporate sector, particularly in relation to smaller businesses.


Cook, Brian J., Ph.D., Clark University, author of Bureaucracy and Self Government

James, Scott, Ph.D., University of California--Los Angeles, author of Parties, Presidents, and the State


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02:14

Woodrow Wilson—Retreat and Advance

Despite the Democrats mid-term election losses in the House of Representatives in 1914, Woodrow Wilson initiates another round of reforms in 1915 and 1916 and appoints Louis Brandeis to Supreme Court. It becomes evident that there is a mismatch between the Democratic Party's constituents--white Southerners and urban immigrants--and the progressive social politics Wilson advances. For example, Congress passes the Literacy Test Law over Wilson’s veto. Like Roosevelt Wilson believes in European immigration. He does not, however, believe blacks can be the equals of whites and re-segregates Washington, D.C. on the basis of separate but equal.


Gerstle, Gary, Ph.D., University of Maryland, author of American Crucible

Rauchway, Eric, Ph.D., University of California--Davis, author of The Refuge of Affections

Rodgers, Daniel, Ph.D., Lea Professor of History, Princeton University, author of Atlantic Crossings


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04:04

The Panama Canal

The United States’ new sense of itself as world power is evidenced by its plan to build a canal across a narrow stretch of land in Central America. When Roosevelt’s Secretary of State John Hay is unsuccessful in his attempts to negotiate a canal treaty with Columbia, Roosevelt finds an ally in Philippe Bunau-Varilla, chief engineer of failed French project in Panama. Bunau-Varilla, with U. S. naval support, works with revolutionaries in Panama to sever their ties with Columbia. Days later, the U. S. recognizes an independent Panama, signs a treaty with the young nation, and work on this ten-year project begins. When the canal opens in 1914, Wilson establishes a user rate that is the same for everyone, extending the idea that every nation should benefit from the canal.


Osborne, Thomas, Ph.D., Santa Ana College, author of Looking In, Looking Out

Ninkovich, Frank, Ph.D., St. John's University, author of The United States and Imperialism


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