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America in Transition. Unit 2 . Troubles for American Farmers. New urban populations and increased foreign competition caused American farmers to produce more food. As the supply of food increased, prices dropped drastically, some were forced to give up their farms.

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America in Transition

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troubles for american farmers
Troubles for American Farmers
  • New urban populations and increased foreign competition caused American farmers to produce more food.
  • As the supply of food increased, prices dropped drastically, some were forced to give up their farms.
  • Farmers united to form organizations like the National Grange to look out for their interests.
  • In 1887 the Interstate Commerce Act stopped railroads from offering lower cost or secret rebates to larger shippers. It also outlawed the practice of one carrier charging more for short hauls than for long ones.
populist party
Populist Party
  • The National Grange and the Farmers’ Alliance demanded that Congress increase the money supply to raise prices on farm products
  • When Congress did not satisfy the farmers, the two unions ran their own candidates in the 1890 elections and won 40 seats in Congress.
  • The coalition of Alliance members, farmers, labor leaders and reformers called themselves the Populist Party.
gold or silver
Gold or Silver
  • A central political issue in the l890’s was whether to back the countries money supply with gold or silver.
  • Conservative Republicans wanted to back each dollar with GOLD keeping the supply of money and prices of goods down.
  • The Democrats and farmers wanted to back money with more abundant SILVER, increasing the money supply and raising prices.
  • Eventually GOLD would be set as the standard
second industrial revolution
Second Industrial Revolution
  • From 1865 to 1905 America entered a second industrial revolution marked by numerous discoveries and inventions.
  • The basis of the new industrial revolution came with the Bessemer Process which allowed as much steel to be produced in one day which used to take one week to produce.
  • Increased steel supply spurred the building of more railroads and multistory buildings.
transportation innovations
Transportation Innovations
  • The increased availability of steel lead to the rapid increase of railroad lines including the first transcontinental railroad in 1869.
  • In 1876 the first gasoline powered engine was invented by Nikolaus A Otto and in 1893 the Duryea Brothers built the first American car.
  • On December 17th, 1903 Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first piloted flight lasting 12 seconds and covering 120 feet.

The Wright Brothers – First in Flight

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

communication innovations
  • In 1837 Samuel Morse developed the telegraph and the Morse Code – a system of dots and dashes representing letters and numbers.

(SOS = … _ _ _ …)

  • By 1866 Western Union had more than 2,000 telegraph offices in the US.
  • In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and by 1900 more than a million telephones were in operation.
  • In 1867 Christopher Sholes developed the typewriter and sold his patent in 1873.
  • Typing pools were used by many businesses and gave women the opportunity to work in a skilled profession.
the new capitalist spirit
The New Capitalist Spirit
  • Capitalism is an economic system in which private businesses run industry and competition sets prices and wages.
  • An entrepreneur is a person willing to risk capital (money) in a business venture.
  • American government practiced a laissez-faire economic policy, meaning that government does little to interfere with the economy.
  • Free-enterprise is when governments allow businesses to compete in a free market.
communism and social darwinism
Communism and Social Darwinism
  • The system of Communism proposed that individual ownership of property should not be allowed, property and means of production are owned by the community and the community would provide for all people equally.
  • Social Darwinism held that if society is allowed to progress through natural competition, then the fittest would rise to power and the unfit would fail; any attempt to help the poor would slow progress.
  • After the Civil War many businesses chose to sell stock in their company to earn extra capital for their business.
  • These corporations were able to raise large amounts of money to expand, while stockholders owned a share of a business without taking responsibility for its running
  • Several corporations could join together to form a trust resulting in a monopoly where the trust has total control of the quality and price of a product.
  • In 1890 Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act which outlawed all monopolies and trusts. The act failed to define what a monopoly was thus proved difficult to enforce.
giants of american industry
Giants of American Industry
  • Andrew Carnegie dominated the steel industry by lowering production costs and buying businesses that supplied his factories.
  • By 1880, John D. Rockefeller controlled 90% of the oil refining business; he was able to buy businesses that supplied his oil refineries and then raised prices for his competitors.
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt bought large and small railroad lines and connected many urban centers with direct rail lines.
the new working class
The New Working Class
  • In the late 1800’s thousands of African Americans moved north in search of jobs, but even in the north black workers were given the dirtiest or most dangerous jobs.
  • The number of American female workers doubled between the years 1870-1890.
  • The number of laborers under the age of 16 also doubled in this time with 20% of children under the age of 16 working for a wage.
labor begins to organize
Labor Begins to Organize
  • In the late 1800’s , labor unions began to fight for shorter hours and better working conditions for the American worker.
  • The first union was the National Labor Union (1866).
  • By 1872, 32 national unions existed serving the special interests of bricklayers, typesetters, and shoemakers.
  • In 1894, the federal government declared Labor Day as a legal holiday in tribute to laborers.
labor unions
Labor Unions
  • In 1886 the Knights of Labor lead several railroad strikes known as the Great Upheaval.
  • During a protest in Chicago, seven police officers and one civilian were killed after a bomb exploded in Haymarket Square.
  • After 1886 skilled workers led by Samuel Gompers split from unskilled workers and formed the American Federation of Labor
  • Between 1881 and 1900 there were 23,000 strikes involving 6,610,000 workers and employers lost $450 million.
old and new immigrants
Old and New Immigrants
  • From 1800 to 1880, 10 million immigrants came to the United States; most were Protestants from Northwestern Europe and are often referred to as the Old Immigrants.
  • From 1891 to 1910, 12 million immigrants came to the US; 70% of “new immigrants” were from Southern or Eastern Europe. (remember SEE as a key)
  • Immigrants came to the US to escape poverty or persecution and many hoped to make enough money to return home and buy land
the immigration process
The Immigration Process
  • The journey to America was often difficult, immigrant passengers traveled in steerage (a cramped, poorly ventilated area below decks).
  • Millions of immigrants were processed through Ellis Island in New York or Angel Island in San Francisco.
  • Any immigrant with serious mental or physical health problems were deported.
  • All others answered questions about their skills, background and criminal history.
immigration restrictions
Immigration Restrictions
  • In the late 1800’s an Anti-Chinese movement began in the labor unions of California.
  • The Workingmen’s Party excited crowds and some Chinese were attacked and killed.
  • In 1882 Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act which denied citizenship to Chinese and stopped immigration of Chinese laborers.
  • In 1894 the Immigration Restriction League sought to impose literacy test on all immigrants but President Cleveland vetoed the bill.
new urban cities
New Urban Cities
  • Between 1865 and 1900 the percentage of Americans living in cities doubled.
  • Architects need to build skyscrapers to accommodate the new urban residents.
  • In 1852 Elisha Otis invented a mechanical elevator allowing more stories on buildings.
  • Cities began to build ‘up’ rather than ‘out’.
  • Urban transportation improved with the development of mass transit including trains, subways and trolley cars.
upper class life
Upper Class Life
  • During the Second Industrial Revolution newly wealthy bankers, landowners and merchants formed the urban upper class.
  • This upper class usually liked to show offtheir money with expensive houses and lavish parties.
  • The rich also became concerned with social behavior and began to imitate British Victorian culture which had rules for etiquette in all manner of social situation.
middle class life
Middle Class Life
  • New industries and a growing urban population created a huge demand for educated workers.
  • By the late 1800’s a growing middle class included accountants, clerks, engineers, managers, teachers and salespeople.
  • Most married middle class women worked as homemakers but innovations such as running water allowed women time for social clubs and to join the reform movement
life of the poor
Life of the Poor
  • Life for those in poverty in the late 1800’s usually was marked by crowded living conditions, long hours and poor sanitation.
  • Most were forced to live in rundown, poorly built apartment buildings called tenements.
  • New York had some 40,000 tenements that housed over a million poor workers as many as 12 families per floor.
  • Tenements were known for poor sanitation, terrible smell and a lack of privacy and safety
reforms for the urban poor
Reforms for the urban poor
  • In the late 1800’s settlement houses offered education, job training and even daycare to the poor urban working class.
  • Jane Addams lead many educated young women on a missionto help the poor and later to press for women’s suffrage.
  • Many Protestant churches tried to apply Christian principles to address the problem of poverty and churches offered counseling, job training, libraries and other social services.
american education
American Education
  • By 1900, most states had passes Compulsory Education Laws which required parents to send children to school.
  • From 1870 to 1900 the number of children in public schools doubled and by 1900, 72% of American children were in school.
  • Also by 1900, 1,000 American colleges were educating some 350,000 students.
  • Publishers began to serve a new educated public through newspapers and books.
american leisure and sports
American Leisure and Sports
  • In the late 1800’s city planners began the City Beautiful movement which stressed the importance of parks and an attractive design
  • By 1890 professional baseball teams were drawing an estimated 60,000 fans daily.
  • In the late 1890’s football and basketball had become popular in many universities.
  • Plays by William Shakespeare and Ragtime music were popular forms of American entertainment.