American History from Reconstruction to World War I Essay
Frontier Encounters: 1865-1896. Westward expansion. Native Americans in the West. The Far West
Wild West was colonized due to the efforts of a great number of people. However, despite the popular opinion of the individual initiative of the first settlers, the federal government played a great role in facilitating the settlement of the West (Hewitt and Lawson 469).
They promoted and encouraged people who wanted to investigate huge territories of the West. Great influence also had international companies and foreign capital. These companies invested huge sums of money understanding profitableness and perspective of this process.
However, this process also met some resistance. Native Americans did not want to change their place of living and leave their traditional homeland. A great number of military conflicts and skirmishes were the result of this resistance. However, having worse weapons and technologies, Indians were doomed to fail, being defeated again and again — moreover, the government-supplied settlers in their war with Native Americans.
However, trying to stop murders and violence, the Dawes Act was accepted. There were created some reservations for Indians. Moreover, they received inferior farmlands and inadequate tools to cultivate them. Being very unfair, this act just promoted further worsening of the situation.
However, the settlers continued their movement, and a new stage of colonization of the Far West started. These territories attracted a great number of white settlers and Chinese people. They tried to obtain some land or earn money and return home and start everything anew there. However, the West was not very welcoming for Chinese. Anti-Chinese clubs became an influential power in the region, and under their influence, the US government accepted some laws which prevented further influx of Chinese people.
American Industry in the Age of Organization: 1877-1900. Late 19th-century American industrial transformation. The idea of New South. The Jim Crow South
Between 1970 and 1900, the USA grew into a global industrial state (Hewitt and Lawson 495). The country developed new branches of industry and ways of production. A very important role in this process was the railroad. This period of time can be called the age of its blistering development. The USA was one of the countries which had the greatest tempo of development of this new mean of transport. New railroad tracks connected different parts of a huge country, allowing fast connections between all regions.
With the development of industry, new ideas become more and more popular in society. Great significance obtained the idea of New South as the contrast to Old South with its plantations and slavery. New ideas obtained their followers who considered them to be actual and fair.
Moreover, a great number of different advocates achieved great successes in different cases connected with the shift of interests and beliefs in society. There was a lively discussion in society connected with the conditions of African Americans in the state, who were still treated as people of the second sort. Additionally, the Jim Crow laws in practice legalized segregation and created different living conditions for African Americans.
Workers and Farmers in the Age of Organization: 1877-1900. Late 19th-century industrial society. Populism
Industrialization of the USA influenced all aspects of the social life of the country. Moreover, there were also significant changes it traditional American society.
The appearance of a great number of different plants led to the creation of a great number of working places. However, this fact also resulted in the cheapening of the labour and, as a result, the middle salary became lower. At the same time, people had to work under difficult conditions without any chance to improve them. Women turned their homes into workplaces, trying to earn money while looking after children and house.
Faced with improved but inadequate wages, workers tried to fight against corporate capitalists. The main method was to organize unions, a group of workers who tried to seek rights and benefits from their employers (Hewitt and Lawson 474). However, the last ones refused to participate in these negotiations and ignored all demands of workers. As a result, there were some serious strikes and even clashes between workers and owners of factories.
Agrarians had their own way to struggle with corporate capitalists. Having recognized great influence and importance of politics, agrarians created their own party, which was called Peoples party, or populists. Being very successful at the beginning of its development, it then collapsed because of some drawbacks in its political course. Their candidate for president even managed to win more than one million popular votes (Hewitt and Lawson 542), however populists negative attitude to banks and finances led to their collapse.
Cities, Immigrants, and the Nation: 1880-1915. Late 19th-century urbanization. The character of the industrial city. Urban political corruption
Industrialization of the USA also influenced the blistering growth of cities. Being concentrated in large towns, factories and plants stimulated influx of workforce. As a result, a great number of new cities appeared and existing one continued their growth. To a large extent, it was determined by a great number of immigrants who came to America hoping to start a new life. Most of more than 20 million people who came in this period of time were from Southern or Eastern Europe (Hewitt and Lawson 551).
The wave of immigrants changed the structure of American society and influenced its further development greatly. Majority of the population of a big city like New York or Chicago were presented by immigrants from other countries.
That is why it is obvious that the conditions of life in cities changed. Immigrants created their communities which altered the traditional life of cities. Moreover, the whole districts became inhabited by people from one country. Great number of different languages could be heard in the street. Traditions of different folks created the basis for the multicultural character of the USA.
As a result of a great influx of migrants, cities became overpopulated. It was very difficult to control them and regulate their life. That is why the phenomenon of city bosses appeared. Bosses were people who obtained power with the help of corruption, paying money to voters for them to vote more than one time.
Moreover, they controlled all the capital of the city, both legal and illegal. However, the current state of affairs did not satisfy people and government; that is why mass reform movement led to some changes in the system. Nevertheless, the political machine still remained corrupted.
Progressivism and the Search for Order: 1900-1917. Dynamics of Progressivism. Responses to Black conditions
The level of corruption became so high that it was impossible to ignore it. That is why some special kind of journalists appeared, who wrote about the problems of government and corruption. This movement was so large that journalists of this sort even obtained a special term, muckrakers. They were the part of the progressive movement which was peculiar for the USA of that period of history.
Moreover, progressivism also touched such sphere as the struggle for the rights of African Americans. Booker T. Washington and WEB du Bois created their own approaches to the issue of race discrimination. Having different points of view on this problem, they still demanded equal rights for African Americans. That was the beginning of the movement for termination of race discrimination in the USA.
Hewitt, Nancy and Steven Lawson. Exploring American Histories: A Brief Survey with Sources, first edition, combined volume. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. Print.
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