Introductory lecture


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Introductory lecture

  1. 1. Introductory Lecture Dr. John Holmes U.S. History After 1877, History 121 Diablo Valley College San Ramon Summer 2013
  2. 2. Introduction Why are we studying U.S. history? What do you expect to get out of this course?
  3. 3. Why a course in American history? Because you live here Practical skills useful in later life George Santayana: he who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it Myths and legends, romantic people and famous events
  4. 4. Who is your instructor? Master’s degree in American History at San Francisco State University Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in Russian/Soviet history Dissertation on Noah London Jewish immigrant from Tsarist Russia Jewish Socialist, garment unionist in New York Returns to Russia; prominent industrial manager; secret dissident Executed in Stalinist Great Terror in 1937
  5. 5. What kind of class will this be? Not just the rich and famous Historical processes behind famous events Social, political, economic, military, diplomatic history Main focus of class: economic development, social conflict
  6. 6. Consequences of Economic Development External: from backwater to most powerful country in world 1877 to 1992 Internal: the “three I’s” Industrialization Immigration urbanIzation Result: social polarization, class conflict
  7. 7. What does economic history mean? Guiding thread is … money Wells Fargo “How the west was won” Recent events show how economics is key to American history
  8. 8. American History before 1877 First half of U.S. history survey: liberty and slavery Foner, Give Me Liberty, Part 1 Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, 1619-1877 Basic conflict between: North and South Free labor and slavery Slavemasters and capitalists
  9. 9. The Civil War: the Second American Revolution America: a compromise between liberty and slavery The compromise breaks down: South sees industrial development as undermining slavery; North sees grip of South on American government and society holding back progress; Conflict breaks out over West “Bleeding Kansas” John Brown and Robert E. Lee
  10. 10. Why 1877, and not 1865? Two big events in 1877, and one in 1876 End of Reconstruction The Great Railroad Strike 1876: Little Big Horn
  11. 11. Reconstruction The defeated South: Doc. 16-1 Initially: slavery by another name The Black Codes, doc. 16-2 Not acceptable to blacks in South, or Radical Republicans in North Democratic Party, party of slavery Republicans, party of capitalism
  12. 12. Results of Reconstruction “40 acres and a mule,” and Thaddeus Stevens Freedmens’ Bureau: “New Deal” social reforms Republican Southern governments with black participation Alabama Colored Convention, doc. 16-4
  13. 13. From slavery to sharecropping black farmer autonomy dependence on credit cash crops not food crops Cotton as King sharecropping generalized to both white and black small farmers price drops and general farm crisis
  14. 14. End of Reconstruction Compromise of 1877 Republican Hayes gets Presidency U.S. troops stop defending Reconstruction Ku Klux Klan: military arm of Democratic Party Republican governments in South overthrown blacks begin to lose the vote
  15. 15. 1865-1877 in the North Rapid economic development Transcontinental Railroad South/North issue in 1850s 1867, the Golden Spike Economic development means class conflict Class issues replace race issues not North versus South or settlers versus Indians, but rich versus poor Capital versus labor Farmers vs. bankers and railroads
  16. 16. 1865-1877 in the West 1876: Custer’s Last Stand, or Little Big Horn Last Stand of American Indians Army leaves South to finish the Indian wars By 1877: no more barrier to Western settlement
  17. 17. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Largest outburst of popular rebellion in American history
  18. 18. Next class The Gilded Age: Industrialization and Westward Expansion Foner, Chapter 16 Johnson, Chapters 17 and 18 Discussion groups to be completed and set up on WebCT