Essays for the American Pageant, 14th Ed.
Essays for The American Pageant, 14th ed. Part One 1. From the perspective of Native Americans, the Spanish and English empires in America had more similarities than differences. Assess the validity of this generalization. Response Strategy It is important to develop a clear thesis on the validity of the statement at the outset of the essay. A good essay could be developed on either side of the issue or in support of a middle-of –the-road position. Supporting paragraphs should be developed to build the position chosen.
Both the Spanish and the English treated the Native Americans as inferiors, thought it important to bring them Christianity, sought to profit economically from relations with the Native Americans, and forced some Native Americans into slavery. Both brought terrible diseases to the New World, though the Spanish impact was more devastating because of earlier arrival. The Spanish attempted to integrate Native Americans into their colonial societies through intermarriage and through the establishment of agricultural communities with Native American workers.
The English separated themselves from Native American life to a greater extent and relied mostly on trade for economic gain. 2. Evaluate the extent of settlement and influence of three of these groups of non-English settlers in North America before 1775. French Dutch Scots Irish German African Response Strategy It is important to point out that English settlers were a definite majority of those in North America during the entire eighteenth century. However, the proportion declined from about twenty to one in 1700 to only about three to one by 1775.
So a good essay should point out that the significance of non-English groups was increasing. The next task is to select three groups from the list and describe the influence of each. Of the non-English settlers, the largest group consisted of Africans, most of whom were enslaved and forced to immigrate. The laws and social customs that enabled the institution of slavery to exist were firmly in place by the 1700s. There were enslaved Africans in all of the colonies, though the practice was most prevalent in the South, due to the labor-intensive export crops common there.
The French had relatively small settlements in the St. Lawrence River valley, but exerted economic influence over vast expanses of the interior through trade and missionary activities. Because French economic power rivaled that of England, the English feared the French settlers more than those from the other countries, until the French colonies came under English rule in 1763. The Dutch originally controlled the Hudson River valley as a separate colony, but this had been absorbed by New York by the 1700s. Dutch names remained important there and Dutch social customs were influential.
The relative poverty and the independent spirit of many of the Scots Irish settlers is demonstrated by their tendency to settle along the western frontiers on both sides of the Appalachians from Pennsylvania southward. They maintained their Presbyterian religion, and a history of struggles with the Church of England meant that they were unlikely to respect the English colonial governments. German settlers located themselves mostly in Pennsylvania where they were called “Pennsylvania Dutch. ” They maintained relatively prosperous farming communities and tried to remain culturally separate from the English. . Explain the theory of mercantilism and the role in played in prompting Americans to rebel in 1776. Essay A (Strong) In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the set of economic ideas that prevailed in the governments of several leading European nations came to be called mercantilism. Based on these ideas, English leaders made decisions that were more advantageous to the mother country than they were to the colonies. While this resulted in some discontent among the colonists, mercantilism by itself was not responsible for the acts of rebellion in 1776.
Mercantilism played a role in American independence, but it was only one of a number of ideas and events that were important. Mercantilist ideas emphasized that nations should strive toward economic self-sufficiency and that the power of a nation should be measured by the amount of its gold and silver reserves. Ultimately, a nation should arrange to produce everything it needed for its own citizens and sell surpluses to for hard currency. This metal reserve, in turn, could be used in emergency situations to pay for wars or solve shortages.
Colonies, like those England had in North America, played an important part in this economic equation. They could help England become self-sufficient by producing things that could not be made or grown there such as tobacco, sugar, and tall masts for ships. Colonists could also provide a market for British goods, particularly manufactured products, such as woolen cloth or beaver hats. This meant that the home economy in England could become more fully developed, while the colonial economies were relegated to a role of supplying raw materials.
To insure that the American colonies would contribute to this overall sense of British wealth, various Navigation Acts were passed beginning in 1650 to regulate trade between the colonies, England, and the rest of the world. In many cases, ships carrying American products to other European countries had to stop in England first to pay duties before continuing onward. Also, goods traveling to and from America had to be carried in English or American ships, not Dutch or French, regardless of the source or destination of the cargoes.
Furthermore, the requirement that gold and silver be spent to purchase English goods meant that there was a great shortage of money in the colonies. They could only obtain these precious metals by illicit trade with the French and the Spanish colonies. The British right to nullify colonial laws that conflicted with the mother country’s objectives meant that efforts of colonies to issue paper money were sometimes halted because of concerns by English banks and merchants. The colonists often resented these intrusions by British authorities and the resulting limitations on economic opportunities.
Despite the existence of the mercantilist policies, relations between Britain and its North American colonies were relatively good through most of the 1600s and 1700s. Partly this was because the Navigation Acts were not well enforced during the period of “salutary neglect” and the colonial economies grew. Also the Americans gained some advantages from the system such as the tobacco monopoly. Relations became strained to the point of rebellion only after 1763. The royal government began to impose taxes on the colonists, such as Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Acts.
While these new taxes bore some relationship to the mercantilist control of the colonial economies, they were primarily motivated by England’s need to pay the expenses of an ongoing struggle with France. There was also a growing awareness among the colonists of the radical Whig ideas that liberties and economic livelihood could be lost to a corrupt government unless actively protected, so colonists were primed to rebel when England tried to increase its colonial revenue stream. Mercantilist ideas set up a situation in which the economic interests of the American colonists were subordinated to those of England.
However, this alone was not sufficient to cause the colonists to rebel. The situation tipped toward rebellion after 1763 because of England’s war-related expenses and because the colonists were becoming more aware of their rights and the need to defend them. Essay B Mercantilism was an economic policy that emphasized that, to be successful, a nation had to make money. This meant that it had to sell more than it bought and build up gold and silver reserves. The British strongly believed in this policy.
This led the colonists to rebel in 1776 for three reasons—trade restrictions, economic shortages, and a lack of respect for colonial rights. The Navigation Acts required that the colonists could trade certain enumerated products only with England. This meant that tobacco growers and others had to sell to England, even when better prices could be obtained elsewhere. Also, items shipped to and from the American colonies had to travel in English or American ships, even when other nations might be the customers or might be able to ship things more cheaply.
Sometimes exports being send from the colonies to other countries had to land in England first to pay duties to the English. These trade restrictions limited economic opportunities for the colonists, but there were other grievances as well. Manufacturing was discouraged in the colonies since England want to earn money by sending products such as woolen cloth to America to be sold for hard currency. This in turn caused American to be short of gold and silver. Then they could not buy and sell things to each other except through barter.
After the French and Indian War, England wanted more money to pay for the expenses incurred in fighting France. Since England had been used to considering the colonists as subordinates under mercantilist policies, they did not hesitate about passing additional taxes such as the hated Stamp Act. The colonists really started to feel threatened and began to talk rebellion. The economic situation and the lack of respect for colonial rights caused by mercantilism were responsible for prompting the colonists to rebel in 1776. Essay C (Weak)
Mercantilism was a system set up by England to regulate merchants. It said what each could sell and how much taxes each would have to pay. The merchants in the colonies resented this more than the merchants in England because they had more regulations. There laws like the Navigation Acts to regulate shipping and there were taxes like the tax on tea, which led to the Boston Tea Party. The colonists became rebellious. When British soldiers were sent to enforce the taxes, the colonists did not want to have to pay them or let them live in their houses like was required in the Quartering Act.
Eventually the British shot at the colonists in Lexington and Concord where the shot heard round the world was fired. The British were put on notice that there was a rebellion when the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. It was written by Thomas Jefferson. He was a farmer, not a merchant, and had an estate in Virginia called Monticello. Part Two 1. To what extent did European events influence the course of American development between 1795 and 1810? Assess with respect to three of the following. XYZ Affair Alien and Sedition Acts Louisiana Purchase Embargo of 1807
Response Strategy Start by observing that the French Revolution that began in 1789 and the subsequent Napoleonic Wars plunged Europe into a turbulent historical era. Many Americans hoped to stay out of the European struggles, and this goal was articulated in George Washington’s Farewell Address. However, American merchants depended on free use of the seas for trade, and this brought them into contact with the warring European parties. Some Americans favored Britain, the former mother country and largest trading partner. Other Americans favored France, whose revolution seemed similar to their own.
A good essay will develop a thesis demonstrating that European affairs extensively influenced the United States during this time period in both harmful and beneficial ways. When President Adams sent a delegation to France to negotiate fair treatment for American ships, bribes were demanded by unnamed officials labeled X, Y, and Z. This angered many Americans including Alexander Hamilton who wanted to raise an army to fight against France. In 1798, a majority of the new Congress was Federalist and very anti-French. They viewed the statements of many of the Democratic-Republicans (who often favored France) as treasonous.
Therefore, they passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, allowing the deportation of aliens and imposing fines and imprisonment on those who criticized the president or Congress. By 1803, France was under the control of Napoleon who needed funds to build the European empire he envisioned. He was also soured on the idea of a French presence in the New World by the rebellion led by Toussaint L’Ouverture in Santo Domingo. These circumstances led to the French sale of Louisiana and a doubling of the size of the United States under Jefferson’s presidency.
Jefferson faced additional problems regarding shipping, as both British and French navies were seizing American ships. This led to the Embargo Act of 1807, which aimed at preventing trouble with European countries by stopping all Americans exports. This unpopular and economically disruptive law was repealed in 1809. 2. Analyze the social changes that gave rise to mass democracy in the United States between 1820 and 1840. Include the roles of three of the following in this process. John Marshall Henry Clay Andrew Jackson William Henry Harrison Essay A (Strong)
By 1840, the process for attaining high office, particularly the Presidency, was significantly different than it had been in 1820. Those who controlled the major decisions in the government of the United States, for the most part, were still men of some wealth and experience. However, to gain and keep political power, these men had to win and keep the support of the common man. Suffrage was still limited to free, white males; however the increased interest in politics and the greater rate of participation in elections showed that some measure of mass democracy had emerged as ordinary citizens became more influential in the political process.
This was something new on the world stage at that time, and the individuals listed played varying roles in inventing mass democracy. The person who best symbolized this process was Andrew Jackson. He entered politics as a nationally known hero from the Battle of New Orleans at the conclusion of the War of 1812, and was the first president from the West. He first ran for president in 1824. No candidate that year received a majority in the Electoral College, and the House of Representatives had to choose the winner.
Speaker of the House Henry Clay supported John Quincy Adams, who became President and named Clay as Secretary of State. Jackson and his supporters condemned Clay and began promoting the idea that Adams had become President because of a corrupt bargain. Though there is no definite evidence that this charge was true, the issue provided an important tool for whipping up partisan support, particularly in the West where rallies were held on the issue. They also used the cold and distant personality of John Quincy Adams to portray him to voters as an elitist who was out of touch with the needs of the people.
By building up western enthusiasm and gaining the support of some political machines that were being developed to recruit voters among the working class in the cities of the East, the Jackson campaign easily prevailed in the Election of 1828. Jackson reciprocated by holding an inaugural party at the White House to which all were invited. The resulting fracas was referred to as “King Mob”, but it showed that Jackson was in touch with common people. Though Jackson’s Democratic Party had mass support, there were various groups that opposed it, particularly among the social and economic elite.
Included were businessmen of the northeast, many of whom favored the Bank of the United States that had been attacked by Jackson. Also there were the anti-Masons who believed that the secret societies conspired to keep power and that the government should be used to promote the moral reforms favored by the preachers of the Second Great Awakening. There were also southerners and westerners who wanted federal money to be spent on internal improvements, as had been proposed by Henry Clay’s American System. These diverse groups were very disorganized in the Election of 1832, in which Jackson easily won reelection.
However, by 1836, they had organized themselves into the Whig Party, and the second political party system in U. S. history was born. Political parties were beginning to be seen as important parts of mass democracy rather than as harmful threats to national unity. Henry Clay became the Whig candidate in the Election of 1836, but the Jacksonian influence was still too strong to overcome. Even though Clay had a strong record as a national leader in the Senate, the Presidency went to Martin Van Buren, Jackson’s Vice-President and chosen successor.
By 1840, the Whigs were well aware of what they had to do to win the Presidency. They needed a candidate who could be portrayed as a hero and a commoner to appeal to the voting masses in the West. This candidate was William Henry Harrison. He had won some battles fighting Indians much earlier in his long life, one of which was the Battle of Tippecanoe. An opposing newspaper said that Harrison should stay home in his log cabin and drink hard cider. This validated the approach of Harrison’s supporters who held rallies and marches to promote the image of the frontier hero who lived in a log cabin.
This was a deliberate use of a social class status symbol to identify Harrison with a large western voting bloc. That his actual dwelling was much nicer did not seem to make much difference as the Whigs used the same tactics to arouse mass voter support that the Jacksonians had initiated earlier. The economic downturn that had occurred under Van Buren helped the Whig cause as well. The slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” carried the day and put Harrison in the White House. Between 1820 and 1840, the ways in which large numbers of white male voters were mobilized altered the U.
S. political process was forever. The idea of deference to a natural aristocracy had weakened and white men of all social classes expected to be able to vote. By 1840, the percentage of eligible voters who participated in the election had grown to a record 78 percent. The Jacksonians developed techniques of mass campaigning in the West as well as in the eastern cities. Those who opposed Jackson had no choice but to adopt similar strategies themselves to appeal to the greatly increased number of men who were now interested in politics.
Through this process, the two-party system of mass democracy was developed for the first time. Essay B Between the years 1820 and 1840, there were three different approaches to governing the United States. By that time, the right to vote had been extended to most men who were free, white, and at least twenty-one years of age. This meant that candidates had to learn how to deal with a wide range of men before they could be important in government. John Marshall, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay illustrate the different approaches.
As the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall did not need to run for office. He had been a Federalist, a political party whose members tended toward the idea that government should be in the hands of a natural aristocracy. Such beliefs hampered Federalists an era that saw a greatly increased number of voters. In this new era, Marshall’s presence, until his death in the 1830s, served to remind people that there were limits to popular democracy. Decisions like the Dartmouth College case and Fletcher v.
Peck showed that Constitutional guarantees for private property had to be respected, regardless of the wishes of the majority of voters in various states. This probably contributed to the development of mass democracy by preventing excesses and maintaining the importance of unity under the Constitution. With private property protected, people who considered themselves part of the natural aristocracy felt less vulnerable and were more willing to accept the political participation of the common man. As a successful two-term president, Andrew Jackson knew how to appeal to the voting public.
He was already well-known as the hero of New Orleans. In his political campaigns, he successfully portrayed himself as a frontier hero with common tastes. Even though he owned slaves, and lived in a mansion, he was identified with the popular opinions. He also portrayed his political enemies such as John Quincy Adams and Nicholas Biddle as representatives of an elite group that was trying to prevent the common people from having what they needed from government. The campaigns of Andrew Jackson became the basis for the modern Democratic Party.
Such parties are an important part of mass democracy. Henry Clay was an important figure in starting the Whig Party. American mass democracy seems to require a two-party system so that those opposed to the policies of the party in power will have a way to get power for themselves. Some Americans opposed Jackson’s policies because they wanted the national government to encourage economic development such as proposed in Clay’s American System. Others believed that moral reforms should receive greater emphasis.
These groups became Whig supporters and by 1840, the Whig Party was a vigorous part of the emerging mass democracy, and provided a political home for many who considered themselves a cut above the common man. The continuation of some Federalist ideas, the innovations of the Jacksonian Democrats, and the development of the opposition Whig Party all contributed to the development of mass democracy in the United States. White male voters of a variety of social classes and beliefs found ways to participate in the system. Essay C (Weak) Andrew Jackson was known as Old Hickory.
He had been a hero in the War of 1812. Then he got into politics and served two terms as President of the United States. He was known for opposing the Bank of the United States, which was portrayed by its opponents as a monster that would devour the fortunes of the common American people. He also would not stop the removal the Cherokee to the West, an event that is known as the Trail of Tears. Henry Clay is known as the Great Compromiser. He was involved in the Compromise of 1820, which is the Missouri Compromise. Missouri entered the union as slave state and Main as a free state.
This helped to prevent a Civil War between the North and the South. Though he ran for President, he was never elected. William Henry Harrison was known as Old Tippecanoe after a battle he had won as a general in some wars against the Native Americans. When he ran for President, his running mate was named Tyler, so his campaign used the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”. When Harrison won the election, everyone could see that a good campaign slogan is a useful thing for mass democracy. So you can see that Jackson, Clay, and Harrison each played a part in developing mass democracy in the United States. . Analyze the ways in which the “transportation revolution” (1820–1860) affected economic relationships among the Northeast, the South, and the West. Response Strategy A successful essay should begin by analyzing the components of the “transportation revolution. ” Road building techniques were improved and travelers on the National Road could go as far west as Illinois. The steamboat increased the importance of river transportation as travelers and freight could now easily go upstream as well as downstream. River transportation was especially important in the South.
There was a boom in canal building, the most famous of which was the Erie Canal in upstate New York. Railroad construction exploded in the 1850s, especially in the North. The next task is to analyze the resulting economic relationships. A good approach would be to observe that the transportation revolution was closely linked to the market revolution that meant people were making fewer things for themselves and buying more things from far away. The Northeast provided manufactured goods for the South and the West. The South provided cotton as a raw material for factories located primarily in the Northeast.
The West provided grain and livestock to feed the East. Earlier the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers had joined the South with the West as westerners depended on the port of New Orleans for imports and exports. However, the Erie Canal allowed goods to be shipped to the East Coast via the Great Lakes. This, together with railroad expansion, increased economic ties between the Northeast and the West, and weakened western economic ties with the South. Part Three 1. Explain popular sovereignty. How and why was it proposed as a political doctrine? How well did it work in Kansas in the 1850s?
Response Strategy The three distinct parts in this essay prompt should prove useful in structuring a good answer. Begin with an overall introductory thesis on popular sovereignty, perhaps including the definition in the introduction. It was designed to give the inhabitants of new territories the opportunity to decide whether slavery would be allowed. It was proposed as a political doctrine in the 1840s, probably by Senator Lewis Cass, the Democratic nominee for President in 1848. This was an effort to keep the northern and southern sections of that party united by making it unnecessary to take a tand for or against the expansion of slavery. The flaw in this logic was that the doctrine transferred a highly charged moral issue into a local context. In answering the third part of the question, be sure to mention the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854, which allowed slave owners to settle in Kansas. Abolitionists hated this. Then it is important to summarize the essential events of the contest that has been labeled “Bleeding Kansas. ” Lawlessness prevailed on both sides with raids and killings. Rival constitutions and capitals were established.
As a result, the national government was forced to face the issue it had hoped to avoid as Congress was asked by President Buchanan to accept the Lecompton Constitution as the basis for Kansas’ admission to the union. Stephen Douglas, leader of the northern Democrats and author of the Kansas Nebraska Act, believed that the vote in Kansas to approve this constitution had been fraudulent. A split in the Democratic Party resulted. So it seems fair to label popular sovereignty a failure. 2. What geographic and strategic advantages did the South possess at the outset of the Civil War?
Why were these not sufficient to prevail in the struggle? Response Strategy This question can be best answered by a quick review of the early advantages of the South and then a more detailed analysis of the advantages possessed by the North. Some attention could be given to the military events of the war, but this is not necessary to answer the question well. The South had extensive territory, about the size of Western Europe. It also had a very long coastline that could be used to access outside help. This made it very difficult to conquer militarily.
The South could adopt a defensive strategy, making the North bring the war to it. The North had to conquer the South and win military victories, but the South could maintain its independence by defending its interior lines and retaining at least the heart of its territory. These advantages prevented a quick northern victory, but they did not prevail in the end. Demographics favored the North, which had a larger population and continued to attract new immigrants during the war. Economic advantages overwhelmingly favored the North, which had far more factories and financial institutions.
The North already had an organized and functioning national government, something the Confederacy was never entirely successful at establishing. There was also the moral issue of slavery, which made foreign nations reluctant to aid the South. In the end, the North proved able to sustain the long war of attrition that was needed to overcome the southern geographic advantages. 3. To what extent did the Constitutional Amendments ratified during Reconstruction (13th, 14th, and 15th) bring political and economic equality to the former slaves by 1900? Essay A (Strong)
Unlike the earlier amendments to the Constitution, which were designed to limit the powers of the federal government, the Reconstruction amendments asserted federal power into new situations. The victorious Union government, heavily influenced by the so-called Radical Republicans, wanted to insure the end of the South’s system of slavery and aimed to assure that the former slaves had the rights and privileges of United States citizens. While a measure of success was achieved, attitudes embedded in American society prevented full political and economic equality for the former slaves.
Regrettably, the political and economic institutions of the nation evolved ways that kept most African Americans in positions of subordination, limiting their political and economic power. During the Reconstruction period, the U. S. government ended up treating most of the former Confederacy as conquered territory that had to be readmitted to the Union. Part of the process of readmission was to ratify three Constitutional Amendments designed to give rights to the former slaves. The 13th, ratified in 1865, prohibited slavery.
The 14th, ratified in 1868, defined American citizenship in a way that included the former slaves and required all states to respect the rights of citizens. The 15th (1870) required that states give adult males had the right to vote regardless of race or former status as slaves. These amendments, together with a number of federal laws and agencies created to enforce them, appear on their face to be sufficient to create political and economic equality for the former slaves. However, entrenched attitudes and customs kept these ideals from becoming a reality in the period before 1900.
Freedom was a life-transforming experience for many former slaves. In the knowledge that their former masters had no legal hold over them, people traveled widely looking for lost friends and relatives. Many chose to settle in new locations or to exchange legally binding marriage vows. The Freedman’s Bureau and various private agencies set up schools to provide literacy training. The Union League provided a vehicle for many African Americans to participate in forming new constitutions for the former Confederate states. Blacks served in state legislatures and held offices at the local level.
There were 14 African Americans in the U. S. House of Representatives and two in the Senate. After the deadlocked Election of 1876, however, a compromise ended what was left of federal efforts to guarantee the political rights of the former slaves. Most white Americans still considered blacks to be inferior and had little interest in continuing Reconstruction efforts. Redeemer governments passed laws requiring literacy tests and poll taxes that served as barriers to black political participation. The hostility of some whites manifested itself in a system of terror carried out by the Ku Klux Klan and lynch mobs.
Former slaves who tried to exercise political rights had to fear for their lives. African Americans who held political office or even exercised the right to vote were very few by 1900. Right after the Civil War, many former slaves hoped that they would be given plots of land as had been done in the few Union occupied areas. This rarely happened. It would have required that private property be confiscated, a practice that goes against American traditions. Instead Black Codes were passed, which usually required the former slaves to sign labor contracts with landowners.
Those who did not sign, or who broke their contracts, could be arrested as vagrants. Even organizations such as the Freedman’s Bureau acquiesced in this arrangement. In time, many former slaves were able to maintain their own homes and work land as sharecroppers. However, they had to buy supplies on credit from white merchants and give a substantial percentage of each crop to the owners of the land. Very few individuals were able to make economic progress under such conditions. While there were African Americans who owned plots of land or small businesses in the period before 1900, this was quite unusual.
Most of the former slaves were very poor. As Frederick Douglass pointed out, the former slaves no longer had individual masters; but they were the slaves of society. The prevailing political and economic attitudes and institutions kept them from true equality. Essay B During Reconstruction, the American national government sought to bring political and economic equality to the former slaves. Three amendments to the Constitution were passed by Congress and ratified by the states to bring this about. However, despite this well-intentioned effort, equality was not achieved.
This can be seen by analyzing the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. Amendment 13 said that slavery and involuntary servitude were prohibited. Of the three amendments, this was the one that was most fully carried out. Many freedmen and women moved away from their former masters for a new start. Controls such as Black Codes that required blacks to sign labor contracts prevailed for a time. Eventually, many of the former slaves became sharecroppers. As such, they were a better off than slaves, since they could have more control over their own lives and work schedules. African American churches and social organizations were created.
They were not really well-off socially or economically, but at least they were no longer slaves. Amendment 14 made the ex-slaves citizens and required that all states respect citizenship rights. This has been an important restriction on the power of the states throughout recent American history. However, the way this amendment was interpreted before 1900 limited its usefulness as a vehicle toward equality for the former slaves. In the 1896 case of Plessy V. Ferguson, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that it was not against the 14th Amendment for blacks to be kept separate from whites so long as the facilities provided were equal.
In actual practice this sanctioned a system of separation much like a caste system. The Jim Crow laws that were upheld by this decision meant that African Americans were almost always kept separate but hardly ever were the facilities truly equal. Amendment 15 said that citizens could not be denied the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. For a while, many men who had been slaves did vote. However, many former Confederates resented the political power this gave them. Intimidation was used to keep blacks from voting, especially by the KKK.
Some states passed poll taxes requiring that people pay to vote or literacy tests that were unfairly administered. By 1900, voting was more a theoretical right than an actual one for most former slaves. While people with good intentions passed the Reconstruction Amendments, the way they were implemented meant that equality was not achieved. Essay C (Weak) The framers of the Constitution provided a method for amending when a significant change is needed in the way the American government operates. The amendment has to be passed through Congress and ratified by most of the states before it can go into effect.
That is what was done during Reconstruction after the Civil War. The amendments that were passed and ratified were to make sure that the former slaves had political and economic equality. The right to vote is an important political right. With this right, people can choose their own leaders and be represented. Sometimes there were organizations like the Ku Klux Klan that tried to keep the former slaves from exercising the right to vote. However, in the end, this right is fundamental to Americans and was guaranteed. An important economic right is the right to own property and hold a job.
Some of the former slaves got 40 acres and a mule and had the property they needed to earn a living. Others became sharecroppers and got to keep part of what they grew for themselves. They were not as rich as most of the whites, but they had a living and got by. The former slaves did not achieve complete political and economic equality, and Jim Crow laws kept blacks separated from whites. But these three amendments insured that progress was made. Part Four 1. Analyze the part played by immigration in transforming the urban social fabric of the United States between 1870 and 1900.
Essay A (Strong) In the early days of the American union, Thomas Jefferson envisioned a nation peopled mostly by yeoman farmers, each owning his own land and enjoying a relatively equal status as a citizen. While the United States never really approached this ideal, the nation was mostly rural throughout the 19th century. Between 1870 and 1900, however, this began to change. America’s overall population doubled in those decades while the urban population tripled. The biggest transformation in U. S. cities of the era was that of shear size.
Several cities such as New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia had more the one million residents. However, new waves of immigrants composed an ever-larger percentage of the people building the way of life in these and other cities. The ethnic makeup and residential settlement patterns of these groups shaped the face of cities. Economic and cultural obstacles had to be confronted and overcome. In the end, the assimilation of various ethnic groups meant that the Americans cities of 1900 were forming a way of life that would typify American society in the 20th century.
While the tradition of welcoming newcomers had been a fundamental part of American life from the beginning, the sources of immigration were changing by the late 1800s. Before the 1880s, most non-English immigrants had been of northern European stock such as German and Scandinavian. Now more and more immigrants were from southern and eastern Europe. There were many Italians, Slovaks, Greeks, Poles, and Russians. These groups tended to be poorer and less educated than earlier groups of immigrants. Also, they often had religions such as Orthodox or Jewish, unlike the Protestant Christianity that had been considered the norm in earlier America.
Although many who arrived in this “new immigration” had been farm workers in their home countries, they rarely had the means to leave the cities to take up farming in the U. S. They naturally gravitated toward neighborhoods where they understood the language and customs. So cities developed many crowded enclaves populated by single ethnic groups – Little Italy, Little Poland, and the like. Each new group of arrivals seemed to settle in some of the worst housing in a particular city. Those displaced by newcomers headed toward slightly better neighborhoods.
The descendants of the original White Anglo-Saxon Protestant settlers moved to more attractive park-like districts or to less crowded communities away from the congestion. In the end, the urban geography of late 19th century America displayed considerable segregation based on socio-economic class. Economic opportunity had been the prime motivator for immigration to the United States through most of its history. This continued to be true. Jobs were available for immigrants in a wide variety of manufacturing, transportation, service, and construction occupations.
Since the labor supply was so great, working-class jobs tended to be poorly paid, requiring entire families to be employed. The ready-to-wear garment business was booming, and sweatshop jobs or home piecework jobs were readily available for women and children. Dangerous and difficult construction labor was often the lot of the men as sanitation and transportation networks were belatedly expanded. Each ethnic community had individuals of higher status, often political bosses or labor recruiters who could speak both English and the immigrant language and link newcomers with available positions.
Relative social isolation and a high degree of economic exploitation gave rise to tensions among various ethnic groups as well as between immigrants and the more settled groups. Customs regarding drinking and the observation of the Sabbath caused many older Americans to regard new immigrants with disdain. The common practice of establishing newspapers, businesses, and even schools that used only the immigrant language, not English, caused many to despair that the southern and eastern European newcomers would never become part what they regarded as the American way of life.
Groups such as the American Protective Association and various labor unions to placed pressure on the government to restrict immigration. Gradually, beginning in 1882, immigration laws become somewhat more restrictive. However, immigration numbers continued to increase even after 1900, and cities grew ever larger. On the other hand, American cities also saw considerable efforts to improve and assimilate the new wave of immigrants. The national government of the era had an aversion to meddling in social issues. Rural interests, by and large, dominated state governments.
This left it up to city governments and private agencies to deal with the immigrants. The urban political machines were often criticized for corruption. However, they did provide a network of ward bosses who could link immigrants with needed jobs and services in return for votes. The Social Gospel movement, led by Walter Rauschenbusch and Washington Gladden, brought the needs of the immigrants to the attention of many Christian churches. One outgrowth of this was the opening of settlement houses, such as Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago, to provide social services and cultural education to newcomers.
The profession of social work was born in this era, and often appealed to reform-minded middle-class women. Also the rapid expansion of public school system in the cities meant that many of the younger immigrants learned the English language and American customs that were the gateway to upward social mobility. As the 19th century drew to a close, American cities were still crowded and chaotic. However, immigrant groups from southern and eastern Europe were gaining a foothold in American society.
The opportunities to work hard, gain a living, and send youngsters to school meant that most immigrants remained in the United States rather than returning to Europe. In the end, American cities were more successful economically and had a more varied cultural textures because of their presence. They helped construct the type of urban social fabric that became the norm for Americans during the 20th century. Essay B During the late 1800s, the United States became increasingly urban. The majority of Americans still lived in small communities and on farms. However, the cities were growing faster.
A large portion of the urban growth came from immigration. Immigrants changed the cities in social, political, and economic ways. By the 1880s, it became clear that an increasing percentage of the immigrants were coming from southern and eastern Europe. This wave of immigrants has been labeled the “new immigration” to distinguish it from the immigrant wave of mostly German and Irish immigrants that came before the Civil War. Because these immigrants, such as Poles and Italians, had languages and customs that differed from the majority, they settled in their own neighborhoods in the cities.
This meant that they could stick to ways of life they knew with their own foods, language, and religion. In the end, this caused quite a bit of concern because many people did not think that they would Americanize rapidly enough. To hasten this process, private agencies such as Hull House and the Henry Street Settlement were organized to teach American ways to the immigrants. Also the public schools began requiring attendance and punished immigrant children for using their own language. Political machines dominated governments in many cities in the late 1800s. The most famous example was Tammany Hall in New York City.
Machines used immigrant votes to keep their power. In return for being able to tell immigrants for whom to vote, political ward bosses did favors for immigrants such as getting them jobs and housing as well as and providing gifts at funerals and during hard times. When the political leaders used their positions to get rich, reformers had a hard time getting them out of office because of the loyalty displayed by those they had helped. The new immigrants occupied the lowest rungs of the urban economy. Many jobs were in factories that required repetitive tasks and often hired women and children.
The garment factories, or sweatshops, in the New York City area are best known. Many wealthy and middle-class Americans had moved into larger homes and required many domestic servants, often hired from among the new immigrant class. Immigrant men often held dangerous jobs such as railroad construction or meatpacking. If they were injured, they lost their jobs. America cities were growing larger and more diverse. The immigrants between 1870 and 1900 helped to shape and change those cities. Essay C (Weak) Millions of immigrants came to the United States between 1870 and 1900 and settled in the cities.
Earlier, most immigrants had come from northern and western Europe. Now most came from countries such as Italy, Greece, and Poland, in southern and eastern Europe. Immigrants were encouraged to come by factory owners and others who wanted cheap labor. Most were illiterate and had few job skills. They found it harder to adjust to America than many earlier immigrants. There were some Americans who opposed immigration. They thought the immigrants might be after their jobs. They began to get restrictions passed like the Chinese Exclusion Act. Each immigrant group settled in its own neighborhood.
Eventually, though, they began to meet each other and even intermarry. The many different immigrant groups brought change and variety to the cities. There was Italian spaghetti and pizza that became popular throughout the country. Germans brought beer and sausages. Everyone also began to enjoy Jewish bagels and the many other things that are part of the melting pot culture found in American cities. 2. Assess the roles played by three of the following in the social class conflicts that characterized the late nineteenth century. Tom Watson W. E. B. Du Bois Mary Harris “Mother” Jones Ida B. Wells Response Strategy
Begin by developing an overall thesis on the nature of class conflict in the last 1800s. The most obvious areas on which to concentrate are the conflicts between labor and industry and those that occurred as the rights of African Americans were suppressed by the Jim Crow laws. But urban- rural conflicts, conflicts over immigration, and moral conflicts over issues such as prohibition could also have a place in this essay. Once an overall theme is established, go on to select three of the individuals named, identify them well, and establish their relationship to the theme of social class conflict.
At first, Tom Watson tried to organize both black and white farmers to gain economic fairness. Later, as racial segregation became more firmly entrenched, he appealed to white racism as a tactic for getting political support. A Harvard-educated intellectual, Du Bois wrote and argued for immediate black equality and helped to found the NAACP. Jones was an organizer with the Knights of Labor who tried to unite all workers, both black and white, to get better wages and working conditions in mines and factories.
Wells led anti-lynching protests and helped bring African American women into an organization to seek equal rights at a time when the leading women’s suffrage organizations only admitted whites. 3. Analyze and explain the role played by railroads in the rapid economic growth of late nineteenth century America. Response Strategy Begin with a thesis emphasizing the fundamental role of railroads played in the economic growth of the United States in this time period. Railroads were both a major purchaser of the products of mines and factories (coal and steel) and a network that linked an immense national market.
Then go on to develop several lines of analysis on the importance of railroads. The list of possibilities is almost endless. Mass production and consumption were encouraged. Various areas could specialize in goods that could be shipped to the entire country. A more uniform national culture was encouraged through the creation of time zones and opportunities for travel. Public-private partnerships were arranged through government land grants. Railroads recruited immigrants both to work on railroad construction and to occupy lands made accessible by the new railroads.
Railroads were among the first large stockholder-owned corporations with professional management. The nationwide nature of railroads necessitated some of the first federal laws regulating commerce. Hazardous working conditions on the railroads brought calls for greater protection of workers rights in cases of accident or injury, resulting in some of the first legislation in this field. Part Five 1. Explain how the presidential candidates in the Election of 1912 demonstrated the contrasting political interests and ideas of the early 1900s. Response Strategy
Two key pieces of information are essential for answering this question. The first is that the year 1912 marked a high point in the influence of the set of reform-minded political ideas labeled “Progressivism”. The second is that there was a split in the Republican Party, which allowed the Democrats to take control of the White House for the first time since Cleveland left office in 1897. William Howard Taft had been elected in 1908 with the blessing of his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt. Progressives had grown disenchanted with Taft, in part because of issues related to tariffs and conservation.
With their support, Roosevelt challenged Taft for the nomination only to have his challenge thwarted because Taft controlled the Republican Party machinery that made the convention rules. Roosevelt and many of his followers bolted to form the Progressive Party, which ran TR as a third-party candidate. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, progressives eventually prevailed in a drawn-out convention to nominate Woodrow Wilson. In the election, Taft represented the more conservative forces that favored less regulation of business and fewer reforms.
Both Roosevelt and Wilson emphasized progressive ideas such as the direct election of senators and the lowering of the tariff. Wilson, however, also had many conservative supporters in the South. To emphasize his differences from Roosevelt, he called his proposals the New Freedom and called for reforms to weaken monopolies, help small business, and promote competition. Roosevelt’s New Nationalism proposals called for a stronger role for the Federal government in regulating and shaping large businesses. The election results showed that most voters favored progressive candidates.
With the Republican vote split, however, Wilson captured the most states and easily won in the Electoral College. However, he took only 41 percent of the popular vote. An answer to this question also could point out that the Socialist party, which favored government ownership of major industries, received 6 percent of the vote in this election, higher than in any other presidential election. The Socialist candidate, Eugene Debs, argued that Progressives were proposing only stopgap measures that would delay radical reform. 2.
Explain the role of new ideas and technologies in creating political and social tension during the 1920s. Response Strategy This is a broad question that can be taken in many directions. It is not possible to cover all of the new ideas and technologies in an answer that can be written in the 35-minute time limit. Select several topics that you can cover well and build your answer. Bolshevism and Prohibition were not really new ideas, but the communist takeover of Russia and the passage of the 18th Amendment gave them a new impact.
Other ideas that could be discussed would include evolution, cultural pluralism, religious modernism, and cultural liberation in literature. The flowering of black culture in the Harlem Renaissance could be contrasted with the increase in repression evident in the growth of the KKK. The automobile, radio, and the motion picture were new technologies that became common in the 1920s. With a 50-50 split between urban and rural population for the first time, the tension between older and newer ways of life was keenly felt. Also the jazz age youth culture made generational conflicts apparent.
While the national government seemed firmly in the hands of conservatives, there were still pockets of progressivism at work, particularly at the state and local level. Develop a thesis that links social and political tensions with the new ideas and inventions of the Twenties; then use appropriate examples of your choice to support and illustrate that concept. 3. Analyze the long-term significance of the New Deal for three of the following groups. industrial workers retired workers women farmers and farm workers Essay A (Strong) The nation’s economy reached the lowest level of the Great Depression in 1933, just as Franklin D.
Roosevelt took office as President. His confident speeches and call for a “New Deal” for Americans boosted the morale of a discouraged nation. Critics correctly point out that FDR’s programs were improvisational, bureaucratic, and failed to cure the Great Depression. Nonetheless, it is true that the New Deal changed the relationship between the American people and their national government in many ways that have had long-term significance. The U. S. government took responsibility for protecting its citizens from many of the economic vicissitudes of life.
Many of the basic New Deal policies set in place for industrial workers, retired workers, farmers, and farm workers have remained in force in the ensuing decades. For industrial workers, the basic issues were job security, and just compensation. A major early program of the New Deal was the National Recovery Administration (NRA). This government program required various industry to set up codes regulating many business practices including wages to be paid and hours to be worked. For the first time, the right of workers to be represented by labor unions was guaranteed by the federal government.
When the Supreme Court declared this complex and intrusive program unconstitutional in 1935, new laws were passed to maintain many of the protections workers had received. The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) of 1935 renewed the right of labor union representation; and unions, including the CIO, grew rapidly. Also in 1935, the Social Security Act included provisions for unemployment compensation and disability payments for those injured at work. Then in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed. It established the minimum wage, the 40-hour workweek, and restrictions on child labor.
The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and several other laws and economic changes have weakened the role of labor unions somewhat since the New Deal. However, the basic changes made by the Social Security Act and Fair Labor Standards Act have stood the test of time and are generally part of workers’ expectations today. Though it had the provisions mentioned above for active workers, the Social Security Act today is associated in most peoples’ minds with retired workers. In the 1930s, many families had become so poor that they were unable to care for their elderly relatives as had been expected in the past.
Radicals like Dr. Francis Townsend proposed that all people over 60 be given good incomes by the government. Partly to reduce the appeal of radicals, FDR signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935. A program of modest pensions was set up to be paid for by a tax on the incomes of people still working and their employers. Over time, this helped to transform the nature of old age in the United States by assuring the retired workers would have at least a basic income. Over the years, the level of payments and the number of people covered have expanded greatly.
Medical benefits have been added to the program. Though there are concerns about how the nation will continue to pay for them, these benefits for retired workers are now viewed as an entitlement by most Americans. Farmers, for the most part, did not share in the economic prosperity of the 1920s; and their lot continued to decline as the United States plunged into the Great Depression. A variety of New Deal programs aimed at making farming more economically secure. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 paid farmers to cut production of certain products so that surpluses would not drive down prices.
When this law was declared unconstitutional, it was replaced by a similar law that also emphasized soil conservation and gave payments to farmers who limited production by conserving land for the future. Special laws were passed to help specific poverty pockets, such as the Dust Bowl victims who had resettled in California and the residents of the Tennessee River Valley who got hydroelectric plants in their region of the country. Electricity made life easier for farmers in many other areas as well after the REA was launched to provide loans for the construction of electric power lines.
Federal programs to construct major dams in the West also had the effect of making power and more irrigation water available for farmers in that region. Overall, the tradition of government involvement in agriculture has continued. The exact extent and nature of the restrictions and subsides has changed over time. However, they are still part of the national policy aimed at assuring a plentiful good supply. Little was done during the New Deal to help tenant farmers or farm laborers, however. Many landless farm workers are still on the lowest rungs of the American economy.
The New Deal represented a basic change in how the United States government involved itself in the national economy. The economic desperation of many people during the Great Depression made them willing and even eager to embrace more government authority and control. Industrial workers, retired workers, and farmers welcomed the increased economic security many of them received. The years since have seen some efforts to reduce the level of government involvement in economic life; however the basic expectations and structures established by the New Deal remain in place. Essay B
The New Deal was an important part of our nation’s political and economic structure during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a program of relief, recovery, and reform that changed the nature of how the government related to people. This can be seen through an examination of the long-term significance of the New Deal for industrial workers, retired workers, and women. Before the New Deal, there were few uniform standards for workers and employers in industry. Some states had progressive regulations while others did not. New Deal policies changed this.
In 1935, the Wagner Act was passed which assured workers the right to be represented by labor unions. Industrial workers were organized through sit down strikes and other tactics. A standard workweek of 40 hours and a minimum wage of at least 40 cents per hour were the goals set by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Unemployment compensation and workmen’s compensation payments for job-related injuries were also set up during the New Deal. All of these things are still in force today. Until the New Deal, there was no Social Security program for retired workers. Many older workers had employers who could no longer afford to pay pensions.
Partly as a political strategy to lessen the appeal of Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and Dr. Townsend, the Social Security Act was passed in 1935. It set up a system of pensions workers over the age of 65. Even though Herbert Hoover charged that the program would set up expectations of too much leisure time, it was very popular and millions of people began receiving benefits. Now this is an important benefit, and few politicians are willing to risk changing it. Under the New Deal, women received more attention from the government than had been the case in the past.
Though the right to vote had been assured by the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, very few women were actually involved in the federal government. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor, set the example by traveling extensively and speaking out on behalf of the needy. There was a program to recruit qualified women for administrative posts. Two of the best known are Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor and America’s first woman cabinet member, and Mary McLeod Bethune, of the National Youth Administration, America’s highest-ranking African American at the time.
Women, of course, also gained from the benefits provided for workers and retirees mentioned above. Though there were no major new laws or amendments directed specifically at women’s rights, the New Deal era was part of a continuing trend of more women becoming involved in the federal government. The New Deal represented a major change in the way the government related to its citizens. These changes were of long-term significance and are still felt today. Essay C (Weak) Industrial workers got the right to bargain in union