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American Expansion and Reform
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American Expansion and Reform


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  • 1. Railroads, Inventions, and the Age of “Big Business”
    American Expansion
  • 2. 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
  • 3.
  • 4. Promontory, Utah May 10, 1869
  • 5. 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
    Weather—frigid winds, hot desert
    Rough and dangerous terrain-- mountainous, blasting
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 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?
  • 8. 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”
  • 9. 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
  • 10. 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?
  • 11. Factors of Production
    In order for a factory to get started, it needs three things…
    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
  • 12. Click this link to see a video from “Common Craft,” a fantastic instructional video site.
    How does “selling stock” work?
  • 13. 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”
  • 14. 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?
  • 15. 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?
  • 16. Horizontal (same)
    You can form a monopoly by taking control of the businesses within your industry. There are two types:
    Vertical (connected)
  • 17. 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?
  • 18. 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.
  • 19. 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?
  • 20. 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:
  • 21. 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)
  • 22. 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
  • 23. Tenement Life for Immigrants
    Tenement--Crowded, multi-family apartments in the slums of the city.
  • 24. 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.
  • 25. 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
  • 26. The ProgressivesA Period of Reform
    What areas were reformed?
    Big Business
    Labor Conditions
    Government Democracy
    Society/Urban Life
    Who helped? The “Muckrakers”
  • 27. 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?
  • 28. 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)
    Big Business Reform
  • 29. 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
  • 30. 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.
    Government Reforms
  • 31. Temperance movement
    Social push to reduce the consumption of alcohol
    Immigrant life/tenements
    Settlement houses, public education
    18th Amendment was passed to make the consumption, production, and transportation of alcohol illegal
    Urban and Social Reforms
  • 32. America’s Food Supply
    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.