Railroads, Inventions, and the Age of “Big Business” American Expansion
1st Transcontinental Railroad Pacific Railway Act of 1862 U.S. Government hired Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railway Company to build railways across the whole United States. Central Pacific Started in Sacramento, CA Built toward the East Union Pacific Started in Omaha, NE Built toward the West The two railroad companies met in Promontory, Utah to drive the “Golden Spike” on May 10, 1869
The Workers Workers were mainly Chinese, Irish immigrants, and African American citizens: Central Pacific—Chinese Union Pacific—Irish and African American Working conditions were poor Reasons: Weather—frigid winds, hot desert Rough and dangerous terrain-- mountainous, blasting
Effects of the Railroad on the West: Workers moved west Iron and steel industries grew because of increased demand from the railroads Demand for coal increased Many towns grew up along the railroad, increasing the population out west Time zones were created
Time Zones Scheduling was a major concern—Accidents! Towns set clocks according to the sun. Time differences from town to town created confusion. 1883: National System of Time Zones Time zones were created to help with this. How many total time zones does the USA have?
Who were they? Powerful individuals who controlled the nation’s rail traffic… Example: Vanderbilt Some railroad companies began to consolidate. Consolidate-to combine (separate companies) Rebates—discounts given to the biggest shippers Smaller railroad companies could not compete and soon were out of business. Railroad Barons:The beginnings of “Big Business”
Telegraph Transatlantic Cable—Cyrus Field (1866) Typewriter—Christopher Sholes’s (1968) Telephone—Alexander Graham Bell (1876) Kodak camera—George Eastman (1888) And…..THE CAR!! New Technologies
Henry Ford made the car affordable for everyone. What made it less expensive? Assembly line—workers perform the same task over and over, getting really fast at it Mass production—to produce large amounts of the same goods quickly Results—lots of goods at a cheaper price How did the automobile change American industry and society?
Factors of Production In order for a factory to get started, it needs three things… Land Labor Capital What is capital? Machines, buildings, tools, money How does a company or corporation raise capital? Company—owners get a loan from a bank Corporation—sell stock Stock—shares of ownership in a corporation Shareholders—partial owners who bought stock Dividends—cash payments to stock owners when the corporation makes a lot of money
Click this link to see a video from “Common Craft,” a fantastic instructional video site. www.commoncraft/stock-markets-video How does “selling stock” work?
Oil Industry-John D. Rockefeller Steel Industry-Andrew Carnegie These men got EXTREMELY rich (imagine Bill Gates of Microsoft) off of the very limited government regulation of business. Other “Big Business”
Trust—a group of companies managed by the same board of directors Rockefeller bought up the majority stock of other companies from individuals by offering the stock of his company as a trade—which paid a higher dividend. This put his company, Standard Oil, in control of all of the other smaller, independent companies. What is a trust?
Monopoly—total control of an industry by a single company or producer By owning the majority stock of many other companies, Rockefeller was able to drive his competitors out of business. He encouraged his customers not to purchase from them and he used his power to get special shipping rates from the railroad companies. What is a monopoly?
Horizontal (same) You can form a monopoly by taking control of the businesses within your industry. There are two types: Vertical (connected)
Philanthropy—the use of money to help society Both Carnegie and Rockefeller gained a ton of wealth during this time. As they got older, they decided to give some of it back to society. How did they do this? Created schools/universities Carnegie Hall—concert hall Public libraries Institutes for medical research What is a philanthropist?
Working conditions during the early 1800’s to the late 1800’s were harsh: 12 hours, 6 days a week, unsafe and unhealthy environments. (Coal miners/cave ins, steelworkers/burns, loss of limbs in machines, etc.) Sweatshop—crowded and dangerous urban factory, often women and children labor worked there *Laws to protect workers were often ignored. Unions
Fought for better pay and safer working conditions Trade unions—members had a skill (skilled labor) Knights of Labor —national labor union that included women, African Americans, and unskilled workers American Federation of Labor –national labor union of skilled workers, led by Samuel Gompers How did labor unions help?
Many members of unions were immigrants Collective bargaining –union representatives met with factory owners to negotiate changes or improvements for union members. Unions organized strikes to force changes Strike—to stop work for a period of time Violence –sometimes strikes ended in violence (Haymarket Riot) How did company owners react? Strikebreakers -replaced workers with new workers Blacklist-list of union “trouble makers” shared by owners that prevented some workers from getting a job Characteristics of unions:
Immigrants came to the U.S. for opportunity: political freedom, jobs (farm/factory), religious opportunity 1st wave—early 1800’s—Western Europe 2nd wave—late 1800’s—Eastern/Southern Europe Immigration Stations: Ellis Island —New York City (Europeans) Angel Island –San Francisco (Chinese/Japanese) Immigrants
How did most get here? By boat steerage—cramped quarters on the lower decks of ships (think Titanic) Where did they settle? Ethnic enclave —immigrants settled in areas with others who were from their ethnic group for support: similar language, culture, jobs (China Town, Little Italy, etc.) Many tried to assimilate into American culture. assimilate –to become part of Most lived in tenements, an apartment building in the slums—poor, run down neighborhoods Immigrants
Tenement Life for Immigrants Tenement--Crowded, multi-family apartments in the slums of the city.
Tenement Life for Immigrants Often no indoor plumbing or water, unsafe building conditions. Disease and death risks were high, and children became homeless with loss of parents.
Many Americans began to dislike immigrants: Competition for jobs Different cultures/languages/religions Blamed them for increased crime, unemployment, lack of education Nativism—pro American and anti-immigrant These people wanted to limit immigration. Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)—law stopped Chinese from entering U.S. for 10 years Immigration Act of 1917—law required immigrants to be able to read/write in a language in order to enter Anti Immigrant Feelings
The ProgressivesA Period of Reform What areas were reformed? Big Business Labor Conditions Government Democracy Society/Urban Life Who helped? The “Muckrakers”
Theodore Roosevelt What did he improve? “Trustbuster”—He helped reduce the influence of trusts through government regulation. Conservation—He pushed to conserve the nation’s natural resources and set aside land for wildlife sanctuaries Food Inspection—He supported the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act (Dept. of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration) 1st Progressive President?
Large companies formed monopolies, oligopolies, and trusts and abused their power. It hurt competition and consumer choices/prices Railroad (Interstate Commerce Act) Steel (Sherman Anti-trust Act) Oil Big Business Reform
Americans and immigrants worked in unsafe conditions, long hours and received low wages. Workers formed unions: Knights of Labor American Federation of Labor Worker’s Compensation Labor Conditions and Reform
Spoils System ended Pendleton Act created the Civil Service Commission to provide workers for government jobs 17th Amendment Replaced the practice of state legislators choosing senators with the direct election of senators by the voters. Initiative Referendum Recall Government Reforms
Temperance movement Social push to reduce the consumption of alcohol Immigrant life/tenements Settlement houses, public education Prohibition 18th Amendment was passed to make the consumption, production, and transportation of alcohol illegal Urban and Social Reforms
America’s Food Supply Meat Patent Medicines Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle exposed the truth behind the meat packing industry. Medicines were being made with false labels and questionable or dangerous ingredients and sold to consumers.