the making of a superpower: timeline

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What was the term ‘reconstruction’

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era of reconstruction and gilded age (1865-1890),

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What was the term ‘reconstruction’

  • the process of reintegrating the Southern states into the USA.

  • building new social structures in the South to replace the old slavery-based ones.

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How was reconstruction under Lincoln?

  • he faced several problems in dealing with reconstruction. During and immediately after the end of the Civil War

  • Radical republicans wanted to impose a harsher settlement on the South and wanted Af-Am's to have the same rights as white americans, esp. the vote.

  • Lincoln introduced the Ten Percent Plan in 1864

    • rebel states would be admitted if 10% of their ELECTORATE agreed to an oath of future allegiance to the US, they supported all existing acts of Congress regarding slavery and they allowed Af-Am's to vote.

    • Louisiana met the this plan and was admitted into the Union.

  • Radical republicans were dissatisfied with this Plan and two radical senators - Henry Davis and Benjamin Wade introduced the Wade-Davis Bill in June 1865

    • required 50% of the electorate to take a much tougher act of allegiance

    • this was vetoed by Lincoln which led to further deterioration between Congress and President

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When was the Monroe Doctrine written and what was it’s significance

1823, stated that:

  • US policy was to avoid becoming involved in European wars UNLESS American interests were involved.

  • the 'American continents' were not be to colonised by ANY European powers.

  • any such attempts at colonisation would be regarded as 'unfriendly' acts.

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What was the reason for isolationism?

  • USA seemed 'detached' from foreign entanglements in the 19th century - policy referred to as 'isolationism'.

  • Europe, home to other major powers like Britain, France and Germany were thousands of miles away.

  • USA became populated by people often seeking to escape persecution and discrimination in their own lands → USA didn't want to get involved in old regimes.

  • USA was different from other countries and would be guided different and more morally-based principles than the older European states.

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What was US involvement with the Far East and the Dominican Republic?

  • 1867: US acquired the uninhabited Midway Island in the West Pacific, originally to obtain supplied of guano.

  • the Burlingame Treaty (1868) endorsed the free movement of people + free trade between the US and China to stimulate Chinese immigration to work on railroad building in the USA.

  • 1869: the Dominican Republic offered itself for colonisation but Congress refused - following year there was an attempt by the federal gov. to annex the Republic which stimulated a debate on Imperial expansion in Congress .

  • those in favour argued the US would be able to exploit the wealth + resources of the Dominican Republic and sell its goods.

  • those who opposed argued the US wouldn't deal with 'savages'.

  • Ultimately, the Senate rejected the annexation of the Republic.

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What was US involvement with Alaska?

  • purchased in Russia in 1867 and was keen to sell it bc it had few settlers or resources.

  • The US wanted to acquire Alaska as it felt Seward (city in Alaska) felt that the development of Alaskan harbours might provide a gateway to northern Asia. It would also expand the Pacific coastline of the US and keep the British out and it would make sense to maintain good relations with such a powerful nation as Russia.

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What was US involvement with Britain and Canada?

  • strained relations w/ Britain and Canada in the years after the CW.

  • At the end of the Civil War, US demanded compensation from the British, however Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while Britain continued to control its foreign and defence policies - USA retaliated by allowing fenian raids by Irish-American Civil War veterans across the border into Canada from 1866 to 1871.

  • This was eventually brought to a close when Britain agreed to pay $15.5 million to the USA for the damage caused by Confederate commerce raiders built in Britain to the US merchant fleet during the Civil War.

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When was the Homestead Act and what was its significance?

1862, this act aimed to encourage the development of the American West and economic growth. It provided 160 acres of federal land to anyone who was willing to farm the land.

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How many Homesteaders were there in the West by 1865?


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In 1860, the South had only

8% of US factories

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When was the Emancipation Act and what was it’s significance?

1863, frees slaves in states in rebellion and authorises the enlistment of black troops

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What was Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan and what was it’s significance?

1864, It was a reconstruction program that would allow Confederate states to establish new state governments after 10 percent of their male population took loyalty oaths and the states recognized the permanent freedom of formally enslaved people

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When was the Wade Davis Bill and what was its significance?

1864, required that 50% of all voters in the Confederate states, as opposed to Lincoln's proposed 10%, must pledge allegiance to the Union before reunification. Along with the loyalty pledge, the Bill would abolish slavery within the rebel states

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When was what the significance of the Sand Creek Massacre

1864, US army attack on peaceful native Americans and it was inspired by the tension between those who had lived on the plains for years and the American expansionism.

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When did the Civil War end?

1865, the confederate army surrendered and therefore lost to the Union

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When was the Freedman’s Bureau created and what was its significance?

1865, aimed to provide aid for displaced southerners and newly freed African Americans

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When was Lincoln assassinated?


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What was the Lost Cause Idea?

A southern portrayal of an Idyllic pre-war south that glorifies the south and allows justification of their behaviours such as racism and slavery.

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What was significant during Andrew Johnson’s presidency (1865-69)?

  • Was saved by 1 vote for impeachment

  • Congress hated him because both houses were Radical Republican

  • He was lenient on the south, felt states should make their own decisions

  • Vetoed the civil rights act (to fix the black codes) but this was overturned

He was not a prestigious or powerful president

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How was reconstruction under Johnson?

  • After Lincoln's assassination, Andrew Johnson became President immediately in 1865.

  • He was keen to push ahead with reconstruction.

  • He wanted to restore the Southern states asap as he knew he would face strong opposition from Radical Republicans

  • However, Johnson favoured leniency and had no wish to promote the position of ex-slaves

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What was Radical Reconstruction?

  • Congress put real pressure on the South and put out plans known as the 'Radical Reconstruction' which included

    • The Military Reconstruction Bill, 1867: imposed military rule on the South with exception of Tennesse

    • The Command of the Army Act: reduced Johnson's military powers

    • The Tenure of Office Act: prevented Johnson from removing a host of office-holders, eg - Edwin M. Stanton.

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When was the 13th Amendment passed and what did it do

1865, abolished slavery

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What was the percentage increase in wealth in the North during the 1860s?


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When were Black Codes passed and what did they include

1865-66, the South passed a series of laws known as the Black Codes;

  • Unemployed Af-Ams could be forced to work for white employers

  • Af-Am children could be forced into working on plantations

  • Af-Ams could be prevented from receiving an education

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When was the Civil Rights Act passed and what was it’s significance?

1866, declared all persons born in the United States to be citizens, "without distinction of race or colour, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude." This bill was vetoed by Johnson but overturned by Congress.

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What was significant about the Midterm Elections of 1866

it massively destroyed Johnson’s popularity and lessened his decision making abilities - meaning he lost control of the process of reconstruction. Gives congress more power and confidence to push more bills/amendments

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When was the KKK set up

1866 in Tennesse

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When was the Purchase of Alaska and what was it’s significance

1867, William Seward pursued expansionist policies such as the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. In 1867, the USA purchased Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million – mainly to remove the presence of Russia from America

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When and what was the Military Reconstruction Act

1867,  outlined the terms for readmission to representation of rebel states but the Radicals wanted the Act to go even further eg. redistributing land to the ex slaves, but Johnson deliberately tried to sabotage it by appointing conservative military officers. Then Congress moves to prevent his actions! This Act sparks defiance in the South eg: KKK and race riots in the case

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When and what was the Command of the Army Act

1867, Required Johnson to issue a military orders through the General of the Army (at the time, Grant) instead of making the decision himself. This took away a major part of the presidential power.

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When and what was the Tenure of Office Act

1867, Required consent of the senate for the President to remove an office holder - however Johnson goes against this and fires Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, which led to his impeachment

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When and what was the Burlingame Treaty with China

1868, it endorsed free trade and free movement of people between the USA and China, in part to stimulate Chinese immigration for work on railway building in the USA

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When and what was the attempted impeach of Johnson

1868, Attempted impeachment due to his chaotic presidency but the final straw was because he fired an official who was protected under the Tenure of Office Act. He escaped impeachment by one vote

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When and what the 14th Amendment?

1868, everyone has the right to citizenship

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What was significant in the presidency of U. Grant (1869-77)

  • Grant was using patronage and his friends were directly involved with the Whiskey Ring Scandal and thus the blame was put on Grant

He was a prestigious president because of his image as a war general

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How was Reconstruction under Grant

  • He won 52% of the vote, mainly through Southern Af-Am support and became President in 1869.

  • He was in favour of the harsh treatment of the South in the recon. process.

  • New state government had been established in the South and were often corrupt and inefficient

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What were scandals under Grant’s presidency

  • 'Black Friday': this was a failed plot in which a group of speculators attempted to influence the gov. + manipulate the gold market. Although Grant wasn't directly involved in the scheme, his reputation suffered as he was linked w/ two of the speculators - James Fisk and Jay Gould prior to the scandal.

  • 'Whiskey Ring scandal' of 1875: involved a network of distillers, distributors and public officials who conspired to defraud the fed. gov. of millions in liquor tax revenue.

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What happened at the end of Reconstruction?

  • came to an end between 1876-1877

  • Rutherford B. Hayes was the Republican candidate in 1876 while Samuel Tilden was the Democrat candidate.

  • Ultimately, Hayes withdrew troops from the South and this brought an end to Republican attempts to modernise the politics, gov. and racial attitudes of the South.

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What were the political effects of Reconstruction

  • the North wasn't harsh on the South during reconstruction.

  • Reconstruction had some adverse effects on white Southerners - they temporarily lost control of their Southern states.

  • After 1865, there was a major fall in the political influence of the South in the US as a whole.

  • Many state governments in the South felt even more distant culturally + politically from the gov. in Washington D.C

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What were the economic effects of Reconstruction?

  • Reconstruction had a positive effect on the economy of the USA which developed into a true industrial power.

  • Railroads were rebuilt and textile manufacturing expanded.

  • However only North benefitted as the South remained economically depressed with considerable poverty.

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How were African Americans under Reconstruction?

  • Initially Af-Am's wielded some political power in the South but wielded little influence in Southern states during and after reconstruction

  • little or no land was given to the ex-slaves - Johnson in 1865 had ordered that all land that had been confiscated by the Union must be returned to those Southerners who had been 'pardoned'.

  • however, Af-Am's did have more control over their lives than under slavery as during the 1870s most became 'sharecroppers' (tenant farmers) - it gave Af-Am's freedom from day to day supervision but the fall in cotton prices in the early 70's resulted in economic hardship.

  • Reconstruction FAILED to guarantee Af-Am's civil rights.

  • They were treated as second-class citizens by most white Americans in the South.

  • In the late 19th century, every state introduced segregation including the 'Jim Crow' laws.

  • Black and white Americans had seperate schools, drinking fountains and public toilets were allocates in different areas.

  • Although there were some progress in terms of that there were still black institutions meaning there was some opportunity for Af-Am's to lead and manage - a small but increasing number of black MEN became doctors, lawyers and teachers.

  • some Af-Am's actually favoured segregation and they had no wish to mix socially w/ whites.

  • many Af-Am's faced initimidation + violence from white racists in the South, esp. from the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) which was set up in 1866.

  • they became active in several states and would intimidate black people into not voting through beatings and lynchings.

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Why did the USA experience rapid industrial growth in the 1860s and 1970s

  • country was growing through Westward expansion and massive immigration.

The impact of the Civil War:

  • the impact of the CW stimulated demand for manufactured goods as the army needed guns and clothing as well as transport.

  • the war provided the necessary financial infrastructure to stimulate economic growth - led to the development of a sophisticated capital-raising system based on Wall Street in NY.

  • the introduction of tariffs, ensured the necessary protection for US - manufactured goods + greatly reduced competition from already industrialised nations like Britain.

Availability of land:

  • the westward settlement created a market for manufactured goods as well as encouraging further railroad development - much of the land was FERTILE and led to the mass production of wheat which ensured the expansion of farming and there was plenty of food for the population.

  • also encouraged greater mechanisation in agriculture.

Population growth:

  • rapid growth of population of the USA in the 1860s and 1870s which provided an ample source of cheap labour for economic expansion.

  • the growth was partly due to increased incomes which meant better food and housing as well as progress in public health + medical knowledge - lower death rates.

  • another reason was IMMIGRATION - people came all over from Europe and Asia in search of a better life in the US.

  • the majority esp. those from eastern and southern parts of Europe headed for cities and provided cheap labour force.

  • also as consumers, they stimulated further demand for coal, clothes and food.


  • US experienced a revolution in transport, esp. railroads.

  • 1869: First Transcontinental Railroad opened up the far-west mining + ranching region.

  • Railroads employed 1000's of workers and encouraged a lot of demand as railroads required a lot of steel.

The availability of capital:

  • entrepreneurs would often need to borrow money in order to develop their businesses.

  • the New York Stock Exchange had become the second largest money market in the world by 1890.

The role of the government:

  • the commercial policy of the federal government also helped expansion.

  • congress was happy to impose protective tariffs to ensure that foreign - manufactured goods were more expensive than home-produced goods.

  • businesses didn't have to deal w/ trade unions and were generally free to manage their workforce any way they wanted.

Corporations and trusts:

  • Economic growth was also encouraged by new business methods including corporations and trust.

  • Corporation proved to be the perfect model for the growth of big industries in the USA - it could own a number of businesses + could hire the management it wanted to run the corporation.

  • The other favoured model for massive expansion was the 'trust' ---> in some states there were laws that stopped people from owning shares in more than one state or company.

  • John D. Rockefeller set up the Standard Oil Company in 1870 and dominated the oil industry in the USA and became the first American billionaire.

Technological innovation:

  • Andrew Carnegie dominated the steel industry in the USA.

  • he brought the Bessemer Converter over to the US and used it in his steel mills and his business rapidly expanded

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Why was there a depression in 1873

  • partly due to a major economic reversal in Europe as well as the poor state of the American banking system.

  • the NY stock exchange shut for 10 days and credit dried up as well as the closure of factories.

  • Many major railroads failed + construction of new railroad lines declined drastically.

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How did urbanisation impact industrial growth

  • industrial development brought massive changes to towns and cities.

  • Chicago, a railroad centre which served the upper-Midwest as a shipping hub for lumber, meat and grain and now taken the lead in steel production.

  • cities quickly became identified w/ what they produced, eg. Ohio made glass and Texas produced railroad cars.

  • however there was a spread of slums - the rapid influx of workers often led to the hasty construction of poor quality housing.

  • those with wealth moved away into the suburbs.

  • many cities were run by the 'Boss' system with the 'Boss' being the local mayor who was often corrupt. He'd also provide jobs + employment for immigrants/ Af-Am's from the South who in turn would vote for him in the future.

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How did agriculture impact industrial growth?

  • Agriculture did not prosper in the same way industry did.

  • farmers faced hardships as they incurred debts due to borrowing for the purchase of land.

  • many farmers tried unsuccessfully to compete with big 'agribusinesses' and some in the South were way too dependent on a single cash crop like cotton.

  • prices kept dropping in the years after the Civil War so did profits which affected the ability to repay loans

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What was the impact of Native Americas ad Westward expansion?

  • the largest population of Native Americans occupied the vast area of the USA known as the 'Great Plains'.

  • tribes were almost entirely 'nomadic' (didn't live in one place permanently).

  • initially the US gov. was content to leave the Native Americans to live freely but from 1860s it became gov. policy to attract settlers to populate these vast open spaces in the West.

  • by the early 1860s several tribes, most notably the Sioux and Cheyenne were hostile to the increasing encroachments of white settlers on the Plains.

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Why did the Great Sioux War breakout?

  • there had been a discovery of gold in the Black Hills of Dakota and gold prospectors poured into Native American territory.

  • the gov. tried to deal w/ the Native Americans offering $6 million but this had failed.

  • the gov. believed that they were being unreasonable + demanded that they should go to their reservations.

  • ultimately due to popular and political pressure of white Americans they decided to remove the Native Americans from the Black Hills.

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Why did the Native Americans present a real problem to the US government?

  • their independent existence gave them a degree of self-determination which was deemed 'unacceptable'.

  • a significant number of them were hostile and dangerous, therefore the US gov. turned to its reservation policy in order to bring an end to their traditional nomadic lifestyle.

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What did the reservation policy do?

  • to 'americanise' them and to destroy their 'tribal life' - this would be achieved by a process of education, conversion to christianity and by training them to be farmers.

  • reservation life was extremely harsh - they were dependent on the food supplied by the gov. and people starved + the total dependence on white Americans for food, clothing and shelter proved humiliating

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What was the average Southerner’s income in 1870

2/3 of the Northern average

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When and what was the 15th Amendment?

1870, right to vote

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What was the percentage of ‘carpetbaggers’ in the South


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When was the First Transcontinental Railroad opened and what was it’s impact

1869, it had a huge impact on the West.  It encouraged further settlement in the West as it made travelling their cheaper and easier

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By 1900, how many railroads were there?


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How many immigrants were there during the 1870s

2.8 million

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When was the Foundation of standard Oil and what was its impact

The most successful oil firm was Standard Oil Company of Cleveland, founded by John

D. Rockefeller in 1870.

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what was the Financial Panic of 1873

The panic started with a problem in Europe, when the stock market crashed. Investors began to sell off the investments they had in American projects, particularly railroads.

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When and what was the Colfax massacre

1873, 73~ black militia men were murdered while surrendering to a mob of former Confederate soldiers and members of the KKK.

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When and what was the Whiskey Ring Scandal

1875, a scandal involving the diversion of tax revenues in a conspiracy among government agents, politicians, whiskey distillers, and distributors.

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What was the significance of the Civil Rights Act in 1875

the bill guaranteed all citizens, regardless of colour, access to accommodations, theatres, public schools, churches, and cemeteries

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What was significant in the presidency of Rutherfraud Hayes (1877-1881)

  1. Seen as a weak president - he got the presidency through a bad deal - affected the prestige of the presidency.

  2. He began the Gilded Age of presidents

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What was the Compromise of 1877 and what was it’s significance?

Southern Democrats agreed to support the Republican candidate Rutherford Hayes if federal troops were withdrawn, and Reconstruction ended.

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What was the Civil Service Reform issues and what was it’s significance?

  • After Reconstruction, the big issue was civil service reform due to the strength of meritocracy and nepotism within the civil service - divided the presidents of this period

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What was the Great Railroad strike and what was it’s significance?

1877, the country’s first major rail strike and witnessed the first general strike in the nation's history.

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How many children were in school in South Carolina

6x more than in 1870

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How much did railroads grow by the end of the Civil War

40,000 miles of tracks were laid between 1830 to 1870

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How many railroads failed from 1873 to 1879


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What did the years 1877-90 signify?

The Gilded Age, a period of industrialisation and rapid economic growth that was categorised by the emergence of overly wealthy individuals (robber barons). This age is associated with political corruption

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Which 4 presidents are involved during the Gilded Age?

  1. Hayes

  2. Garfield

  3. Arthur

  4. Cleveland

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How did historians portray this period

  • excessive corruption in political life with politicoians only interested in furthering selfish, often economic interests rather than public good

  • described as an age of ‘negation’, ‘cynicism’ and ‘excess’

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What were the 2 major issues dominating the presidency of Hayes

  • Civil Service Reform

  • Railroad Strike of 1877

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What was the Civil Service Reform under Hayes?

  • he took office determined to reform the system of civil service appointments.

  • by the 1870s the civil service was made up of incompetent and demoralised party hacks - Hayes was opposed by a faction of the Republican Party led by Senator Roscoe Conkling called 'Stalwarts'.

  • Government jobs were given to those who were qualified - immediately Hayes's call for reform brought him into conflict w/ those who favoured the spoils system, esp. Conkling who fought Hayes's reform efforts at every turn.

  • to show his commitment to reform, he appointed one of his best-known advocates of reform, Carl Schurz and William M. Evarts to lead a special cabinet committee to draw up new rules for federal appointments.

  • Hayes issued an executive order that FORBADE federal officeholders from being required to make campaign contributions or taking part in party politics.

  • Chester A. Arthur refused to obey this and eventually Hayes sacked him and was replaced.

  • Reform legislation didn't pass during Hayes's presidency, however he'd set the ball rolling for further civil service reform under his successors, esp. the PENDLETON ACT of 1883.

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What was the Railroad strike of 1877?

  • in order to make up for financial losses suffered since the panic of 1873, the major railroads cut their employees' wages several times in 1877, leading to a strike of railway workers.

  • Hayes was prepared to send federal troops when requested to do so by several governors who feared possible riots.

  • business leaders praised the support of Hayes who seemed to establish the principle of fed. gov. support for business and industry.

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How was presidency under Garfield?

  • he supported reform of the civil service, believing that the spoils system was damaging to the presidency.

  • he strengthened federal authority and had a stronghold over Conkling, leader of the Stalwart Republicans.

  • Garfield had submitted to the Senate a list of appointments, including many of Conkling's friends - Conkling contested the nomination and tried to persuade the Senate to block it, however Garfield would NOT submit.

  • eventually, Conkling and his fellow Senator resigned and Garfield's victory was complete.

  • Garfield continued the work of his predecessor, Hayes in reform of the Post Office - in April 1880 there had been a CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION into corruption in the Post Office Department where there had been an alleged steal of millions of dollars and employing 'star routes' ---> Garfield forced the resignation of one of the ringleaders of the 'star routes', Thomas J Brady.

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What happened during the assassination of Garfield?

  • was on his way to a summer's retreat on the New Jersey seashore and as he made his way through the station, Charles Guiteau came from the shadows and fired 2 shots into Garfield.

  • Guiteau believed Garfield owed him a position on the diplomatic corps and that Garfield's political decisions threatened to destroy the Republican Party. He was convicted of murder and hanged the year later.

  • however, Garfield didn't die immediately as he lived on for another 3 months - ironically, it was not the bullet that killed him but the efforts to save him as he died on 19th September 1881.

  • his death GREATLY increased the demand for and support of further civil service reform.

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When is James Garfield assassinated and who becomes president instead?

1881, Chester Arthur

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How was the presidency under Arthur?

  • he continued the civil service reform of his predecessors most notably w/ the Pendleton Act of 1883.

  • the creation of the first Civil Service Commission was the beginning of the end of the spoils system.

  • Arthur also signed the first federal immigration law that excluded paupers, criminals and the mentally ill - Congress also passed a Chinese Exclusion Act that would've made Chinese immigration illegal for 20 years and made Chinese immigrants permanent aliens by excluding them from US citizenship.

  • Arthur VETOED this bill but signed a revised bill that wasn't as harsh.

  • Arthur tried to lower tariff rates so the gov. wouldn't be as embarrassed by annual surpluses of revenue - Arthur signed the Tariff Act of 1882 which ended up only reducing tariffs by an average of 1.47%.

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In 1882, how many passengers can the railroad carry

1 million

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When and what was the significance of the Chinese Exclusion Act

1882, act that prohibited all immigration of Chinese labourers for 10 years. This was the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States based on race.

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What were the number of lynchings in 1882-1899


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How many eligible black children were enrolled in school during the Gilded Age

only 2/5

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When and what was the Pendleton Act

1883, stated that government jobs be based on a meritocracy and that government employees be selected through competitive exams

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What did the Railroads make possible by the 1880s

they doubled in mileage and made it possiblee to develop new industries such as Coal Mining in West Virginia

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How did James Buchanan revolutionise the tobacco industry in the 1880s

by using new technology, his machine could produce 100,00 cigarettes per day

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In the final quater of the nineteenth century, how much of the population was foreign born

1/3 in California

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How many terms did Grover Cleveland have?


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How was presidency under Cleveland?

  • first DEMOCRAT elected after the CW.

  • his election was one of the muddiest in American history and was very close.

  • some Republicans united in a group called the 'Mugwumps' (reformers who were unhappy with the high level of corruption in government) - they abandoned Blaine during the campaign.

  • the Mugwumps claimed they would support an honest Democrat like Cleveland.

  • Cleveland continued to reform the civil service + was faced with the task of filling all gov. jobs for which the president had the power of appointment -typically filled under the spoils system + Cleveland announced that he wouldn't fire any Republican who was doing their job well.

  • he used his appointment powers to reduce the number of federal employees.

  • as a Democratic president, he faced a Republican-dominated Senate and often resorted to using his veto powers.

  • he vetoed HUNDREDS of private pension bills for ACW veterans.

  • 1887: he issued his most well-known veto - the Texas Seed Bill - after a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress gave $10,000 to farmers to purchase seed grain for farmers and Cleveland vetoed the expenditure.

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Who were the ‘Robber Barons’ and the main 4?

  • a term used for industrialists' business practices who were sometimes unscrupulous - these men were able to gain direct political influence, esp. within the Republican Party + benefitted from the prevailing belief in LAISSEZ-FAIRE

  • the 4 main ones were: Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan.

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Who was Cornelius Vanderbilt?

  • famous railroad tycoon

  • made his fortune through steamboat operations and ploughed his profits into the great railroad boom.

  • when he died he was the richest man in America.

  • bulk of his fortune went to his son William who was ruthless and increased the family fortune by manipulation of capital and labour making him one of the most unpopular men in America.

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Who was Andrew Carnegie?

  • led the expansion of the steel industry in the 19th century.

  • used Bessemer Converters to make better and cheaper steel from iron.

  • in 1900, he sold his empire to the banker J.P. Morgan.

  • however he did attract criticism for both extremes - he was criticised by other businessmen for being a SOCIALIST bc he gave money to help various people and societies - he was also criticised for making his fortune by EXPLOITING his workforce through paying low wages and demanding long hours as well as being ruthless.

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Who was John D. Rockefeller?

  • he bought his first oil refinery in 1862 and 8 years later set up the Standard Oil Company - he ruthlessly eliminated competitors, used fixed prices and negotiated w/ immense skill.

  • by the 1880s, he controlled 85% of all American oil production.

  • he expanded into iron, copper, coal, shipping and banking and by 1913 was the world's first billionaire

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Who was J.P. Morgan?

  • skillfull financier and increased his fortune through this skill.

  • he was the major force behind the creation of large companies like US Steel Corporation.

  • 1871: began his own private banking company - J.P. Morgan & Co, one of the leading financial firms in the country.

  • his wealth, power and influence attracted a lot media attention and gov. scrutiny - for creating monopolies by making it difficult for business to compete against his.

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How did technology impact economic progress?

  • Alexander Bell in 1876 patented the first telephone.

  • Thomas Edison in 1879 invented the first light bulb.

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What was the national railroad strike in 1877

  • owners of Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad announced a pay cut in 1877, workers walked off the job and together the growing mass of workers attacked railroad yards, burning trains and tearing up tracks.

  • violence was the worst in Pittsburgh where there was a pitched battle.

  • workers burned more than 500 cars, 104 locomotives and 39 buildings.

  • MILITARY FORCE eventually restored order along the nation's railroad lines.

  • the strike was a terrifying shock to most Americans and it convinced workers that they need to organise and build a stronger union and advance their course by political activity to fight against the industrial and US gov.

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Who were the Knights of Labour

  • founded in 1869, they sought to build a comprehensive organisation uniting workers of ALL races, genders, ethnicities and occupations.

  • they LOBBIED gov. for the 8 hr day and child labour restrictions.

  • they aimed for industries governed by councils of workers and managers within genuinely democratic enterprises.

  • they grew rapidly during the. 1880s and experienced GREAT success - however decline was imminent as when an 8 hr day rally in Chicago's Haymarket Square turned violent, all supporters were blamed and w/in a year of the riot the Knights' membership had been cut in half + w/in a decade the Knights were all but extinct.

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What was the Haymarket bomb outrage?

  • on May 3rd 1886, a pitched battle took place between strikers, strikebreakers and police.

  • when police fired, several were killed and many injured.

  • anarchists of the Black International, a revoluntionary organisation called a meeting in Haymarket Square and the mayor attended and discovered it was peaceful and left.

  • someone then threw a bomb that killed a policeman and wounded more than 60 people, 6 of whom died later.

  • the police then retaliated, firing into the crowd, wounding more.

  • 7 of the anarchists were arrested, tried, found guilty and executed in 1887 and this case was a public sensation at home and abroad.

  • once again, organised labour had failed.

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How many immigrants were there during the Gilded Age

10 million

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When and what was the First Pan-American Conference?

Delegates from 18 countries met in Washington in October 1889 with two goals:

  1. A customs union offering free trade across the American continent.

  2. A system for international arbitration to avoid future wars.

Little was agreed beyond some trade agreements and a weak arbitration system, which was signed by only half the delegates. Nevertheless, the precedent was set for future agreements and co-operation.

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When and what was the significance of setting up the AFL

1885, the creation of the AFL by several workers union groups marked the beginning of the labour movements in the USA

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What was the American Federation of Labour?

  • the union that now played a central role in the labour movement was the AFL set up by Samuel Gompers in 1885.

  • only admitted SKILLED WHITE MEN.

  • focused on achieving higher wages + shorter workdays for its members.

  • the AFL acknowledged discontent provoked by the Knights and was determined to avoid their mistakes.

  • the policy of the AFL was to support unions in winning recognition + securing agreements from employers by collective bargaining and to strike, ONLY when these had failed.

  • Gompers was elected as its first president in 1896 until his death.

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