“Who can tell the weird and ghastly story of the last quarter of the nineteenth-century?” - John Swinton. I. The Age of Uncertainty. 1862, Emancipation Proclamation (U.S.). 1861, Alexander frees the serfs (Russia). 1868, the Meiji restoration (Japan). 1876, the “Porfirato” (Mexico).
“Who can tell the weird and ghastly story of the last quarter of the nineteenth-century?” - John Swinton
I. The Age of Uncertainty
1861, Alexander frees the serfs (Russia)
1868, the Meiji restoration (Japan)
1876, the “Porfirato” (Mexico)
A rural society suffering from extreme sectional polarization led by a weak federal government, moving through a 30 year boom and bust cycle out of which came corporate giants. These conditions provoked widespread utopian and radical movements, constantly thwarted by the nation’s rigid party system and racist, ethnic and political divisions.
I. The Age of Uncertainty, 1877 through 1898
Chinatown, San Francisco, 1882. . . indicative of enclave America. 40 percent of the population of NYC spoke some other language besides English by 1910
Yick Wo Elementary School, SF
Texas cattle trails; a Texas longhorn posing for the camera; a piece of the XIT ranch
Imagine a world in 1880 with 1 farmer, 1 bushel of wheat to sell and 1 consumer with 1 dollar?
Q. How much is that bushel going to sell for?
(A. 1 dollar)
Suppose in 1881 the population goes up . . .
Now there are 2 farmers and 2 bushels of wheat being sold to 2 consumers.
But, still only one dollar because the dollar is based on the extant supply of gold!
Q. How much do those two farmers get for their wheat?
An alliance meeting in the 1880s
Between July 1888 and June 1889 the railroads employed:
20,028 were injured
and 1,972 died
a 3 percent rate of injury and fatality
Jimmy Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman
William Jennings Bryan, “Cross of Gold” speech, 1896
Election of 1896: McKinley beats Bryan, 51 to 46.7 %
Republican William McKinley