Settling The West Review StudentPresentation Transcript
Settling the West 1865-1890
Frederick Jackson Turner: Significance of the Frontier in American History (1893)
"Up to our own day American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development."
Argued closing of the frontier had ended an era in American history.
Used census report of 1890 to explain that settlement of the frontier had provided an explanatory framework for American development.
His work also illustrates the psychological power of the frontier in that, with its passing, Americans began to realize that revitalizing opportunities were also vanishing.
" Great West" or the "Great American Desert"
From the Great Plains in the east to the California desert in the west.
Flood of whites to area after Civil War
Area inhabited by Plains Indians
By 1890, entire area carved into states except for four territories.
Expansion spurred by the Homestead Act of 1862
Native Americans stood in the way of expansion on two fronts: westward from the trans-Mississippi East and eastward from the Pacific Coast; epic clash inevitable.
18% of California population by 1890
Many involved in fur trade in 1820s and 1840s.
Over 500,000 lived west of Mississippi; many came west as slaves
After 1877, about 200,000 blacks moved West, many homesteading in Kansas or Oklahoma.
As many as 1 in 4 cowboys were black
Subduing of Native Americans
Spanish-introduced horse in 16th, 17th and 18th centuries made Indians more nomadic and war-like as they had more range and competed for resources.
By 1860, tens of thousands of buffalo-hunting Indians roamed the western plains.
Government policy toward native Americans: Federal gov’t traditionally regarded Indian tribes both as independent nations and as wards of the state and therefore negotiated treaties with them that required ratification by the Senate.
As white settlers moved west, exerted more pressure for access to Indian lands .
Gov’t frequently responded by violating treaties they made with Native Americans .
Policy intensified during 1860s; Indians herded into still smaller areas – "relocation"
Sioux "guaranteed" sanctuary of Black Hills in Dakota Territory.
Other tribes relocated to "Indian Territory" (present-day Oklahoma)
Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior in charge of the reservations.
Indians surrendered ancestral lands provided that they would be left alone and provided with food, clothing and other supplies.
1868-1890, constant warfare raged in Western area between Indians & whites .
U.S. troops largely made of Civil War veterans
Plains Indians expert fighters who often had state-of-the-art weapons supplied from fur traders. (repeating rifles)
Sand Creek Massacre , Colorado, 1864
1861, Cheyenne & Arapaho forced into desolate Sand Creek reservation due to gold mining.
Colonel J. M. Chivington ’s militia massacred in cold blood about 400 Indians who thought they had been promised immunity and protective custody by the gov’t.
Sioux War of 1876-1877
Began when gold miners rushed to Black Hills of S.D. in 1875 stampede.
Warriors led by Sitting Bull took the warpath after treaties violated.
Led by George A. Custer , federal forces pursued Sioux
Battle of Little Big Horn
Custer’s forces clashed with 2,500 well armed warriors in eastern Montana led by Crazy Horse
Custer and his 264 men completely wiped out; about 150 Indians dead
U.S. reinforcements eventually drove Sitting Bull to Canada where he received political asylum; hunger forced them to return and surrender by 1876.
Nez Perce led by Chief Joseph (located in Idaho 250 miles west of Portland, Oregon)
Chief Joseph noble & humane leader, earlier helped white settlers & explorers.
Nez Perce had ceded much land to U.S. in 1855 in return for large reservation in Oregon and Idaho
1877, U.S. gov’t ordered removal of Nez Perce
War ensued and Nez Perce won several battles before fleeing.
Nez Perce 75-day, 1,500 mile retreat to Canada; sought out Sitting Bull’s camp in Canada but subdued only 30 miles from border -- 1 day)
Nez Perce shipped south to malaria infested camp in Kansas before final relocation in Oklahoma; had been promised a reservation in the Dakotas.
Over a third died of disease
Nez Perce eventually allowed to return to northwest but not Wallowa Valley.
Cochise led successful 9-year guerrilla war from base in Rocky Mountains -- Americans offered deal but later reneged
Apache then led by Geronimo (Arizona, New Mexico)
Pursued by Federals into Mexico and finally induced to surrender
Many Apache became successful farmers in OK, where they raised cattle.
Battle of Wounded Knee (1890) -- last major clash between U.S. troops and Indians.
Issue: Army sent end sacred "Ghost Dance" that had spread to the Dakota Sioux.
Believers of cult expected buffalo to return and God’s wrath to wipe the white man from the face of the earth.
Fearful whites (many were Christian reformers on reservations) successfully urged U.S. gov’t to make it illegal.
300 Sioux men, women, & children massacred in S.D.; 60 U.S. soldiers killed
Result of Indian Wars
By 1890, effectively all North American tribes in reservations
Killing of buffalo resulted in Indians being subdued
Farmers underrepresented politically and poorly organized
By 1900 the U.S. exceeded the combined output of Germany and Great Britain.
U.S. borrowed heavily from Europe; after World War I, U.S. emerged as largest creditor.
Technological innovations: a. steel: railroads, skyscrapers, engines b. oil: internal combustible engine, cars (suburbs), subways, street railroads c. Electricity: lights, power, refrigerated railroad cars d. Advances in business: telephone, typewriter, cash register, adding machines. e. Mass popular culture (early 20th century): Cameras, phonographs, bicycles, moving pictures, amusement parks, professional sports. f. Contrasts 1st Industrial Revolution: textiles, coal, iron, early railroads.
In 1880, about 50% of Americans worked in agriculture; only 25% by 1920
Depressions and recessions led to unrest a. 1873 -1879; 1882-1885; 1893 -1897; 1907 -1908; 1913-1915
By 1900, 192,556 miles of track; 35,000 in 1865 alone (more than all Europe combined)
Gov’t subsidized transcontinental railroad building since unpopulated areas were initially unprofitable
Cities flourished where lines were laid while bypassed cities became "ghost towns"
The Transcontinental Railroad (completed in 1869)
Pacific Railway Act (1862): Passed by Republican Congress during Civil War. -- Connecting the pacific states seen as urgent to the security of the republic
Union Pacific Railroad appointed by Congress to build west from Omaha, Nebraska
Company granted 20 square miles for each mile of track constructed
Company also granted federal loans for each mile: $16,000 for flat land,. $32,000 for hilly country; $48,000 for mountainous country
Construction began in 1865
Irish "paddies" who fought in the Union armies worked at a frantic pace .
Workers fended off attacks from hostile Indians; scores lost their lives
"Hell on wheels": tented towns sprang up at rail’s end; drinking, prostitution
Insiders of the Credit Mobilier construction company pocketed $73 million for some $50 million worth of work.
Central Pacific Railroad pushed east from Sacramento over Sierra Nevada.
Led by the " Big Four"
Leland Stanford -- ex-governor of CA and future Senator
Collis P. Huntington – v.p.; managed enterprise on day to day basis.
CP ran a relatively clean operation compared to Union Pacific (Credit Mobilier)
Gov’t provided same subsidies as to Union Pacific
10,000 Chinese laborers, worked as cheap, efficient and docile labor -- Hundreds lost their lives in premature explosions and other mishaps
Sierra Nevada became a major challenge as workers could only chip through a few inches a day through rocky tunnels.
Railroad completed at Promontory Point, Utah on May 10, 1869.
Union Pacific built 1,086 miles of line
Central Pacific built 689 miles
Linked the entire continent via railroad and by telegraph
Paved the way for incredible growth of the Great West.
Facilitated a burgeoning trade with the Orient
Seen by Americans at the time as a monumental achievement along with the Declaration of Independence and the freeing of the slaves.
Other Transcontinental lines
No subsequent RR received gov’t loans but all received generous land grants.
Northern Pacific Railroad completed in 1883 (Lake Superior to Puget Sound)
Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe RR completed in 1884
Connected those cities through the southwestern deserts to California.
Southern Pacific: New Orleans to San Francisco via Los Angeles (1884)
Great Northern Railroad: Duluth, Minn. to Seattle; completed in 1893
Created by James G. Hill , probably the greatest of all the railroad builder. -- Believed prosperity of railroad depends on prosperity of area it serves
Hill ran agricultural demonstration trains along his lines and imported bulls from England which he distributed to farmers.
Railroad Consolidation and Mechanization
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877)
Popularized the steel rail; replaced the old iron tracks of the NY Central RR
Steel safer and more economical since it could carry a heavier load.
Amassed a fortune of $100 million dollars
Jay Gould and Russell Sage by 1880 controlled much of railroad traffic in West.
Gutted their railroads by stock watering and pocketing profits rather than reinvest.
Gould had earlier tried to corner the gold market during Grant's presidency.
Significant improvements in railroad building
Steel, standard gauge of track width, Westinghouse air brake,
Pullman Palace Cars afforded luxurious travel, introduced in 1860s.
Significance of America’s railroad network
Spurred the industrialization of the post-Civil War years (especially steel)
Sprawling nation became united physically.
Created enormous domestic market for US raw materials and manufactured goods. -- Probably the largest integrated market in the world.
Stimulated creation of 3 Western frontiers: mining, agriculture, and ranching
Railroad led to great city ward movement of late 19th c.
Facilitated large influx of immigrants
Spurred investment from abroad
Concept of time altered with creation of distinct "time zones" from coast to coast.
Maker of millionaires; a new railroad aristocracy emerged
Native Americans displaced and herded into ever-shrinking reservations.
Railroad corruption by the "Robber Barons"
Jay Gould : Forced prices of stocks to boom and bust on some of his lines.
Stock watering: Railroad stock promoters grossly inflated value of railroad stock.
Railroad managers forced to charge high rates and wage ruthless competition to pay off the exaggerated financial obligations.
Railroad tycoons, for a time, became the most powerful people in America .
Eventually ruled as an oligarchy instead of cut-throat competition.
Formed defensive alliances to protect their profits.
Competing firms agreed to divide the market, establish prices, place profits in a common fund, and pro-rate profits.
Some gave secret rebates or kickbacks to large corporations..
Slashed rates on competing lines but made up difference on other lines.
Hurt farmers with long-haul, short-haul practices
Cornelius Vanderbilt: "Law! What do I care about the Law? Hain’t I got the power?"
Supreme Court decisions
Depression of 1870s inspired farmers to protest against being forced into bankruptcy by unfair railroad policies.
Organized agrarian groups such as the Grange (Patrons of Husbandry) pressured many Midwestern legislatures to regulate the railroad monopoly.
Slaughterhouse Cases, 1873 -- molded Court's interpretation of 14th Amendment for decades.
Court ruled protection of "labor" was not a federal responsibility under the 14th Amendment but a state responsibility.
Significance: Protected businesses from federal regulation if they engaged only in intrastate commerce (within a state).
Munn v. Illinois, (1877) -- (One of so-called farmer "Granger Laws")
Decision: Public always has the right to regulate business operations in which the public has an interest; ruled against railroads
Wabash case, 1886
Significance: Supreme Court ruled that individual states had no power to regulate interstate commerce; responsibility rested with the federal gov’t. -- In effect, overturned Munn v Illinois .
Illinois law had prohibited short haul & long haul practices
Stimulated push for Interstate Commerce Act of 1887
1886, Court ruled a corporation was a "person" under the 14th Amendment.
Thus, extremely difficult for federal gov't to regulate corporations especially since Court justices and many gov't officials often sided with corporations.
Railroad companies in particular hid behind the decision.
Interstate Commerce Act
Set up Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) (most important provision) to enforce and administer the new legislation
Prohibited rebates and pools and required railroads to publish their rates openly.
Forbade unfair discrimination against shippers and outlawed charging more for short haul than long haul over the same line.
Positive result -- provided an orderly forum where competing business interests could resolve their conflicts in peaceful ways.
Yet, ICC didn’t effectively regulate the railroads; more of a panacea to public.
1st large-scale attempt by fed. to regulate business in the interest of society. -- Precedent for future regulatory commissions in 20th century.
Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone (1876)
Thomas A. Edison
" Vertical integration"
" Horizontal integration"
John D. Rockefeller
" Interlocking directorates" / J. P. Morgan
Henry Clay Frick
Gustavus F. Swift & Philip Armour
"nouveau riche" – arrogant class of "new rich" after Civil War
Older American aristocracy of successful merchants and professionals highly resentful and concerned about the change in the order of society
Antitrust crusaders generally led by the "best men" -- genteel old-family do-gooders who were conservative defenders of their own vanishing influence. -- Roosevelt’s, Wilson, Mugwumps
The Gospel of Wealth
Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890
James Buchanan Duke
"Redeemers" and "Bourbons“
Henry W. Grady
Rise of the Labor Movement
Conditions for workers in the 2nd industrial revolution were precarious
Low-skilled jobs make workers expendable as number of workers abundant
Automation created short-term losses of jobs; better in long-run
Before mechanization, most manufacturing done by skilled craft workers (such as shoemakers, saddle-makers, etc.); earliest unions were trade unions.
National Labor Union organized in 1866 (led by William Sylvis)
Major boost to the union movement -- Designed to bring together skilled craft unions into one large one
Lasted 6 years; attracted about 600,000 workers inc. skilled & unskilled farmers
Focused on social reform (such as abolition of the wage system) but also fought for goals such as 8-hr. work-day and arbitration of industrial disputes .
Molly Maguires (formed in 1875 by Irish anthracite-coal miners in Pennsylvania)
Members were part of an Irish American secret fraternal organization (Ancient Order of Hibernians).
Mollies used intimidation, arson, and violence to protest owners’ denial of their right to
President of Reading Railroad called in Pinkerton detective agency for help. -- Mollies infiltrated and incriminating evidence was gathered.
Mollies destroyed and twenty of its members hanged in 1877.
The Mollies became martyrs for labor and a symbol for violence
Knights of Labor
Led by Terence Powderly – a moderate; not a radical
Founded in 1869 as a secret society (like the Masons and others)
Demise due to the Great Upheaval (1886) – 1,400 strikes involving 500k workers.
Haymarket Square Bombing
American Federation of Labor (AFL)
Formed in 1886 under the leadership of Samuel Gompers
Consisted of an association of self-governing national unions with the AFL unifying overall strategy.
Gompers’ path fairly conservative
Closed shop -- all workers in a unionized industry had to belong to the union. -- Provided necessary funds to ride out prolonged strikes.
Major strikes in the 1890s
Homestead Strike (1892) in Carnegie’s steel plant near Pittsburgh
Demonstrated a strong employer could break a union if it hired a mercenary police force and gained gov’t and court protection
Pullman Strike, 1894
Pullman Palace Car Company hit hard by the depression & cut wages by 1/3 but maintained rent prices in the company town.
Eugene V. Debs helped to organize the American Railway Union of about 150K
Between 1881-1900, 23,000 strikes occurred involving 6.6 million workers.
Labor movement by the early 20th century
Lochner v. New York (1905) – Supreme Court overturned a New York law limiting New York bakers to 60/hr weeks.
Danbury Hatters case , 1908 in CT had assessed more than $250K on striking hat makers who were striking; workers were to lose savings and homes.
Supreme Court had ruled trade union had violated Sherman Act by interfering with interstate commerce.
Supreme Court in 1908 upheld use of broadest injunctions and did much to destroy organized labor.
Clayton Anti-Trust Act, 1913—exempted unions from Sherman Antitrust provisions.
Hailed by Gompers as "the magna carta of labor."
By 1917 AFL membership reached 3 million
"Red Scare" after World War I led to crackdowns on labor and the movement declined significantly until Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s.
The Rise of Urban America
Population in 1900 doubled to about 80 million since the census of 1870 (105 million by 1920)
Population in cities tripled; by 1900 40% of Americans lived in cities.
Skyscrapers emerged as steel allowed for taller buildings and elevators were perfected
Brooklyn Bridge ( John A. Roebling )
City a new frontier of opportunity for women (over 1 million new workers in 1890s)
"New Immigration" occurred after 1880
Between 1850 & 1880, over 6 million immigrants came to U.S. (part of "Old Immigration")
Most Anglo-Saxon who came from Britain & Western Europe (Germany, Scandinavia) -- Most were literate and easily adapted to American society
Before 1880 the stereotype of immigration was German and Irish
Germans seen as sturdy, hardworking, serious people.
Constituted largest number of immigrants in 19th century.
Some joined Republican party and gained respectability among WASPs
Irish seen as dirty, drunk, immoral, Catholic, and violent
2nd in numbers to German immigrants by end of century (though largest in number between 1840-1860)
Most were Democrats and gained political stereotypes: bossism, herd voting, corruption (although it was widespread in both parties). -- Civil service reform largely a nativist, class reaction against Irish .
"New Immigration": Between 1880 and 1920 about 27 million immigrants came to the U.S.; about 11 million went back.
Most came from Eastern and Southern Europe (Italians, Jews, Poles, Greeks, Hungarians, Croat/Slovenian, Slovaks, and Bulgarian/Serbian/Montenegrin, Czech)
By 1910 1/3 of Americans either foreign born or had one parent foreign born. (only 19% in 1890).
Most came through Ellis Island in New York harbor from 1882-1954 -- Others came through Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, Galveston, Mobile, New Orleans, and West Coast ports.
Came to live in enclaves in NY & Chicago where their numbers were larger than their Old World cities.
Many were Orthodox Christians or Jewish (from Eastern Europe)
Came from countries with little democracy
Struggled to maintain their cultures in America
Why immigration from Eastern & Southern Europe?
Overpopulation in Europe and rapid industrialization left many with either no where to go or forced many to change their customary occupations.
America seen as a land of opportunity (conditions in Europe dismal)
Statue of Liberty erected in NY harbor, a gift from the French.
"Give us your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breath free/ The wretched refuse of your teeming shore." -- Emma Lazarus
Industrialists sought low-wage labor, railroads sought buyers for their land grants, states wanted more population, and steamship lines wanted more business.
Persecution of minorities in Europe
Chinese immigration (not considered part of "New Immigration")
Burlingame Treaty in 1868 between U.S. and China allowed unrestricted immigration to work on the transcontinental railroad
Sec. of State Seward hoped to open Chinese markets to U.S. goods.
By 1870, accounted for 9% of California population; 75,000
Workingmen’s Party of California -- led by Kearney
Formed in 1877 called for exclusion of Chinese from California and the U.S.
California Constitution denied Chinese jobs on public works projects and stated they could not work for companies in the state.
Chinese Exclusion Act (1882): Ended Chinese immigration (lasted until 1943)
Social Crusaders attempted to improve the "shame of the cities"
Social Gospel advocates emerged
Christianity should improve life on earth rather than waiting for the afterlife .
Sought to improve problems of alcoholism & unemployment
Tried to mediate between managers and unions
Did much to spark the Progressive reform at the turn of the century
Washington Gladden -- Sought to open branches in working class districts.
Salvation Army : arrived from England in 1879
Appealed to the poverty stricken; free soup most obvious contribution
Settlement House Movement
Primarily a women’s movement of white, northeastern and Midwestern stock, college educated and prosperous
Jane Addams (1860-1935) ("St. Jane")
One of first generation of college-educated women
She believed living among the poor would give meaning to lives of young educated women who needed firsthand experience with realities poverty in the city.
Est. Hull House in Chicago (along with Ellen Gates Starr) -- American settlement house where immigrants were taught English, offered classes in nutrition, health, and child care, discussed the day’s events, and could hold celebrations. -- Helped immigrants cope with American big-city life; provided child-care -- Became a model for other settlement houses in other cities.
Condemned war as well as poverty and won Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Lillian Wald -- Henry Street Settlement in NY.
Settlement houses became centers of women’s activism and social reform
Florence Kelley most important figure
Won legislation regulating hours and working conditions for women and children (also sought to help African Americans)
Served 3 decades as general secretary of Nat’l Consumers League. -- Pioneer of occupational safety legislation. -- Socialist views.
American Red Cross launched in 1881 under leadership of Clara Barton who had been an "angel" of the Civil War battlefields.
Anti foreign organizations
American Protective Association (APA) formed in 1887
Urged voting against Roman Catholic candidates for office
Soon, claimed a million members.
Labor leaders infuriated at use of immigrants as strike breakers.
Rev. Josiah Strong: Our Country, 1885
Congregational minister who condemned cities as wicked places
The New Morality
Many WASPs concerned moral principles (middle-class Victorian ideals) now under attack
Victoria Woodhull ’s periodical Woodhull and Clafin’s Weekly included much feminist propaganda including appeals for women’s suffrage, equal rights, and "free love.“
" Comstock Law" of 1873 passed by Congress forbade publishing of material provocative sexual material.
Prohibition of Alcohol
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) organized in 1874
Led by Francis Willard
Carrie A. Nation used her hatchet to smash saloon bottles and bars
Her actions hurt the prohibition movement (she was arrested over 30 times)
Anti-Saloon League formed in 1893
Picked up WCTUs fight but had more political connections to get legislation passed.
By 1900, 25% of Americans living in communities with restrictions on alcohol.
Art in the late 18th century and early 20th century
Winslow Homer (1836-1910): Preeminent marine painter; The Gulf Stream
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903): portrait painter
Thomas Eakins -- realism
Ashcan School ("Ash Can School") -- progressive era realism formed in 20th century
Painting should reflect life as it happened, and should celebrate the vitality of urban experience for ordinary people.
Later organized 1913 Armory Show which presented European abstract art to Americans for the first time.