The railroads not only “made” the industrialists; the railroads also planted the seeds for mass retailconsumerism. Within two decades of the completion of the transcontinental rail lines, rural residentswere ordering many of the same retail products from catalogs that urban residents had been enjoying.
THE TRUST TITAN EMERGESDespite protests to the contrary, competition was the bugbear of most business leadersof the day. Steel tycoon, Andrew Carnegie, incorporated an economic strategy called“vertical integration” to eliminate competition. Explain this strategy.
Oil tycoon, John D. Rockefeller, utilized an economic strategy called “horizontalintegration,” which was less justifiable on grounds of efficiency. Explain the workings ofthis strategy. How effective was Rockefeller’s strategy? And what term came tobe generally used from the use of this strategy? John D. Rockefeller
Rockefeller’s oil empire, Standard Oil Company, captured a feeling of widespreadresentment because of his business practices.
The imperial J.P. Morgan devised still other schemes for eliminating “wasteful”competition. Describe his financial tactics.
THE SUPREMACY of STEELWhat was the wonder metal of the 19th century?What process allowed steel to reign supreme?Why was the U.S. uniquely qualified to become the world’s major steel producer?
How did J.P. Morgan create U.S.Steel?What was the significance of his newcompany?
ROCKEFELLER GROWS an AMERICAN BEAUTY ROSEThe sudden emergence of the oil industry was one of the most striking developments inthe post-Civil War years. What invention ensured the supremacy of oil?Provide John Rockefeller’s profile and business philosophy. What role did “freeenterprise” play in his success? What economic good came from his businesspractices?
Other trusts blossomed along with Rockefeller’s. These untrustworthy trusts, and the“pirates” who captained them, were disturbingly new. They eclipsed an older Americanaristocracy of modestly successful merchants and professionals. An arrogant class of“new rich” emerged.
Self-justification by the wealthy inevitably involved contempt for the poor – why?Plutocracy, like the earlier slavocracy, took its stand firmly on the Constitution – tycoonsexploited the very legislation that supposedly regulated them – examples.
GOVERNMENT TACKLES the TRUST EVILBy the last decade of the 19th century, the masses people began to mobilize against monopoly. Thefirst attempts were at the state level. When these failed, efforts mobilized at the federal level. Thefirst federal regulation was the Interstate Commerce Act (1887).Explain the provisions of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. What were its intended and unintendedresults? Explain the significance of the increasing federal regulation (the revolutionary principle).
THE SOUTH in the AGE of INDUSTRYThe industrial tidal wave that washed over the North following the Civil War caused onlyfeeble ripples in the backwater of the South. As late as 1900, the South still produced asmaller percentage of the nation’s manufactured goods than it had before the Civil War.
The plantation system had degenerated into a pattern of absentee land ownership. White and blacksharecroppers tilled the soil for a share of the crop, or they became tenants, in bondage to theirlandlords, who controlled needed credit and supplies.In the 1880’s, what industry gave an important boost to southern agriculture?
Prominent among the boosters of a“new South” was Henry Grady. Hetirelessly exhorted the ex-Confederates to become “GeorgiaYankees’ and outplay the North at thecommercial & industrial game.Identify and describe theformidable obstacles hinderingindustrialization in the South.
THE IMPACT of the NEW INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION on AMERICABy the end of the 19th century, once –rural America boasted the world’s largest industrialoutput – a development with enormous consequences for politics, diplomacy, and familylife.
Economic miracles after the Civil War enormously increased the wealth of the Republic: 1. The standard of living rose sharply 2. American workers enjoyed more physical comforts than their foreign counterparts 3. Urban centers mushroomed as new factories demanded more American laborRural American migrants and peasant European immigrants, used to living by the languid clock of nature,now had to regiment their lives by the factory whistle.
Probably no single group was more profoundly affected by the new industrial age thanwomen.Millions of women discovered new economic and social opportunities. Socially, womencareers could delay marriages and result in smaller families. They faced difficult workingconditions and they earned less than their male counterparts.
The machine age likewise accentuated classdivision. “Industrial buccaneers” flauntedbloated fortunes. Such extravagances evokedbitter criticism, especially from recent Europeanimmigrants.The existence of an oligarchy of money wasamply demonstrated by the fact that in 1900about 1/10 of the people owned 9/10’s of thecountry’s wealth.
Rapid industrialization created the social problem of child labor exploitation. This 1909 photo of young “doffers,” whose job it was to remove fully wound bobbins from textile spinning machines. He shows the boys climbing dangerously on the whirling mechanism.
Industrialization created a new class of wage earners. Real wages were rising and timeswere good for workers who were working. But swings in the economy, work accidents, orthe whims of an employer could jeopardize the family’s survival. This is a situationwhere children would likely be taken from school and sent to work.And strong pressures for foreign trade developed as the tireless American industrialmachine threatened to saturate the domestic market. This would mark the beginning ofAmerican imperialism.
IN UNIONS THERE IS STRENGTHWith industrialization, wage workers did not share proportionately with their employers in the benefitsof the age of big business. How had the workplace changed since the Civil War?Individual workers were powerless to battle single-handedly against giant industry, so their recoursewas to unionize. Unions faced an uphill battle in America.
Forced to organize and fight for basic rights, wage workers found the dice heavily loaded againstthem. Identify and describe the tactics/advantages of big business. The worker’s primaryweapon was to strike. How did the middle-class public react to the increasing rash of strikes?
LABOR LIMPS ALONGLabor unions, which had been few and disorganized in 1861, were given a strong boost by the Civil War.Explain how the Civil War benefited organized labor.The National Labor Union was organized in 1866. It lasted for 6 years and boasted a membership ofapprox. 600,000 workers. Was it an all-inclusive union? What did the union fight for? And whatwas its downfall?
A new organization – the Knights of Labor – seized the torch dropped by the defunctNational Labor Union. It began in 1869 as a secret society, with a private ritual,passwords, and a special handshake. This secrecy would incite reprisals by employers.Who was eligible for membership? Describe the unions’ goals and tactics.
The Knights were under the leadership of Terence Powderly, an Irish-American.The Knights won a number of strikes forthe eight-hour day. When the Knightsstaged a successful strike against JayGould’s Wabash Railroad in 1885,membership increased to 775,000.
What was the other fatal handicap for the Knights?Despite their outward success the Knights wereriding for a fall. They became involved in a numberof May Day strikes in 1886. Describe theHaymarket Square incident. How did this incidenthurt the Knights? Gov. John Altgeld
THE AF of L to the FORE The elitist American Federation of Labor, born in 1886, was largely the brainchild of Samuel Gompers. How did the federation work? Explain Gomper’s strategy. Was he a socialist? What was his major goal? Describe the membership profile. From 1881 to 1900, the strikers lost about half their strikes and won or compromised the remainder. Organized labor’s greatest weakness was its numbers (approx. 3% or workers in 1900). How were public attitudes changing toward organized labor? Which side continued to have the advantage in labor relations?
Interpret the cartoon – what was the public’s attitude toward organized labor?
Many of the early labor disputes turned violent and the owners were successful inportraying the unions as the instigators.
Why are the trusts portrayed asvultures?Why did the cartoonist use “$” instead of“S” in the word “Senate?”How could the trusts purchase a Senateseat?What bias did the Founding Fathersdemonstrate in their procedure forelecting senators?How does the cartoon demonstrate thesurvival of the Founding Fathers’ bias?Explain how the cartoon reflects thecartoonist’s biases.
THE PHILOSOPHY of the INDUSTRIALISTSState several specific business practices that Rockefeller seems to justify in hiscomment to his Sunday School class.How did the cartoonist interpret John D. Rockefeller’s remark?
What does the cartoonist imply was the source of the monopolist’s wealth & power?What industries does the cartoonist show as protected businesses?What does the booty in the cartoon represent?What do the facial expressions suggest about the people’s attitude toward King Monopoly?What philosophy of big business is represented by King Monopoly?
Summarize the main idea of the cartoonon Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth.Does Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealthadequately solve problems created bythose who employ the philosophy of SocialDarwinism? Explain.To what extent do you see evidence ofindividuals employing either or both ofthe philosophies of Social Darwinism andGospel of Wealth in today’s society? Citespecific examples to illustrate your view.
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