Thursday, June 2, 2011

America 1865-1917

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When I think of America I think of the patotric flag which waves freedom and the diverse people all under one nation. America is the only country where the pursuit of happiness is actually guaranteed in writing. The country that we live in and the freedom we enjoy are possible because of people who take a stand in what they believe in. They are the ones that make great events, like the ones that took place centuries ago happen. The most important time for America’s development was during the 18th and 1th century.


The oppositions of slavery began in the early 18th century.187 the northern states outlawed slave ownership. Consequently, the south needed slaves and they were the reason many farmer prospered. In 1865 Andrew Jackson was elected president. Jackson had a neutral stand on slavery, he stated ”Our federal Union It must and shall be preserved!” (Burke 18). The opposition of slavery was a moral issue for the north. The south merely thought slavery as an economic necessity. The north and south were different by more ways than one. The north had a larger free population, more money, factories to produce weapons, and transportation. The south was at a disadvantage. Their ports were blocked so that supplies could not be brought through. Also the North had Abraham Lincoln as their leader. The civil war had the nation divided. Unfortunately, that was not the end. The north had a great leader, President Lincoln, but he was assassinated in 1865 by John Booth in the Ford’s Theater. Many said Lincoln was “The best friend the south had.” (Burke 1) In 1866 a secret organization was formed by white southern men called the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). They were angered because of the corruption among the black legislators. The KKK only came out at night, they dressed in long white robes from head to toe. They wanted ensure the concealment of their identity, since many were good law biding citizen in the day time. The KKK used terror tactics to intimidate black people. They would sometimes even go as far as to even murder or mutilated their victims. In 1870 congress passed an act to stamp out the KKK but the damaged had been done. The battle of slavery did not end here unfortunately. Three years later the fourteenth and the fifteenth amendments were added to ensure that all freed slaves were entitled to full rights of citizenship.


The expansion of the great west was also happening during this time period. The people searched outward to find settlement. Throughout the southwest the area was not settle by any white men until mostly only Mexican who owned gold camps and the Indians. Unfortunate for the Indians though, they lived on the land that the settles wanted to develop and would us any means necessary regardless. At First the settle brought diseases like cholera, typhoid and smallpox. Then the settle began to kill of the Indian food supply, the buffalo. The railroad would pay men to go out and kill the buffalo. The famous Buffalo Bill killed over four thousand animals in eighteen month. The Indians were aggressive and they did fight back but the government got involved and tried to make peace offering treaties and other types of barging but outcome was just war. The pioneers and the Indians fought, soldiers were also sent in until all the Indian men, women, and children were either killed or captured.


After the Civil War million of cattle were killed for their hides. The cattle were so scrawny that the could not make the long journey to the market so that the cattlemen could still make a profit. Therefore, they were shipped, on the transcontinental railroad in refrigerator cars. The winter of 1886-1887 was rough for the for the cowboys most of the cattle were starved. So the stockman had to make cattle raising a big business. He did many thing to change the future of cattle farming for example; fencing in the ranches, laying winter feed, import blooded bulls, and learned to organized. Now cattle rancher were profitable and they could enjoy the open range.


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Mining was also prosperous in the 1800s. Mainly because the railroad gave transportation to the pioneers. Many people rushed west to search for gold, silver, copper, iron or any thing they could find. Mostly the people stayed in Colorado to mine for silver or nonmetallic wealth in the form of golden gain. Nevada was also a state for mining during this time. In 185 the Comstock lode had been uncovered, this was about 40 million dollars worth of gold and silver. Then people started to search other states like Montanan, Idaho, and more. These were Know as boom towns. Gradually the mining industry was taking over by big businesses with expensive machinery and educated engineers.


Life in the 100’s was depressing and was filled with extremely hard and strenuous work that didn’t offer any future. Many people maintained one job their entire life. The only way people were able to get ahead was by the low taxes. The economy then was considered lassize- fair often living in conditions that were below poverty and it was even worse for arriving immigrants. Most of the simple technologies were just being invented. Horses played a large role in the every day life. Like horse drawn carriages, or farmer used them to pull the plough’s. Other uses were for transportation or to pull the wagon in the coal mines. Horses all did the city job like pulled fire engines in emergency other types of transportation were a bicycle.


The Industrial Revolution was dawning in the United States. In 181 the big cotton mill was constructed. Most jobs in the cotton factory required neither great strength nor special skills. The women could even do the work easily . However, the father’s of young girls did not let there daughter’s work at the factories. They were afraid they would be exploited and would sink into homeless poverty.


So the factories built descent houses that hired women supervisors who made the girls live by strict morals. The factory workers made about $.50 a week, but at those times one dozen eggs cost ten cent. Generally the worker labored eleven to thirteen hours six to seven days a week, but most people worked from dawn till dusk. The factory caused a tremendous growth in the town that eventually lead to overcrowding. The Yankee workers weren’t cheap enough labor either, so the factories started to hire immigrant workers. As the country developed and became more successful it attracted outsiders who were searching for chances. Immigrant poured in by the thousand for a chance to work in America. However, the original workers were unhappy and began to join labor unions to protect their own interests. Workers demanded fair and equal pay and if they did not get it they would strike! New laws for children and women began to be passed. The 100’s was a period of growing cities, of coal, and steel, of engines, and fast communications. During this time the railroads had decreased and the wages for the railroad workers had as well. There was nothing that the trains men could do about it.


Seeing as that unions were now illegal. However so workers secretly formed trainmen unions to oppose the railroad. Then in 1877 Four big railroads announced that they were going to decrease wages another ten percent. In addition they had to perform twice the work, on July sixteenth a strike began. On the Baltimore and Ohio railroad only passenger trains were allowed to pass freely the rest were refused. The government got involved with the soldier but that just led to a bloody fight. President Hayes had sent out orders to end the revolt, but it was to late. The people had burned everything to the ground. This was called the great railroad strike of 1877, after this the government enforced other laws to insure justice and equality in the work place. Meanwhile women and men were striking for higher wages all throughout the United States. This was known as the progressive era. The 10’s were prosperous years but in october1 the stock market crashed. People lost their jobs family, and their businesses. In the 10’ the great depression set in. Franklin D. Roosevelt promised a “New Deal” . He passed the Wagner’s act. It provided opportunity during the 10’s congress enacted other programs that benefited laborer’s like the social security act of 15. Since the worker of the 100s fought hard and they took a stand today we have jobs that attempt to attract and accommodate women workers, provide childcare, and flexible hours.


Other problems arose besides all the strikes fights for fare wages. Europe began to ban American meatpackers products from their market. Europe claimed that American meat was tainted. In 106 Sinclair wrote the novel, The Jungle. It enlightened people of what actually went on in canning factories, they were appalled by his descriptions. “ Mary had a little lamb, And when she saw it sicken, she shipped of to Packing town, And now it’s labeled chicken.” ( Kennedy 4) Roosevelt Passed the Meat Inspection Act of 106. Which allowed meat to be inspected but and gave it the government’s seal of approval. Also later the pure food and drug act was imposed in 106. It was given so that foods could not be miss labeled.


In 117 America entered World War one. By doing this America played a grave role in conquering Germany and ushering peace to Europe. In doing so the battle was horrible. Germany sent out unlimited submarine warfare, sinking all American ships. World War 1 is perhaps best known for being a war fought in trenches, ditches dug out of the ground to give troops protection from enemy artillery.


American has become what it is today because of the adventure and stand American have taking in the past. If the workers in Chicago and New York would have just sat back and did nothing then the economy would have never got better and possibly today we would still be working for barely and any money from dusk till dawn. Their fights created the laws we have that protect us and allow us to be free.





Works Citied


Burkes, Merle. “United States History, The Growth of Our Land.” 5th ed. American Technical Society Chicago 170.


Kennedy, David. “ The Brief American Pagent.” 5th ed. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston New York.000.





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