Political History

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  1. Reconstruction- Presidential and Radical and Reconstruction Amendments
    250 Black ministers held public office during Reconstruction.  Widespread destruction.  Some blacks seized properties insisting that it belonged to them. President Andrew Johnson ordered nearly all land in federal hands returned to its former owners.  Majority of freedmen remained poor and w/o property.  Andrew Johnson- Presidential Reconstruction- he offered a pardon to nearly all white southerners who took an oath of allegiance.  He appointed provisional governors and ordered them to call state conventions, elected by whites, that would establish loyal governments in the south.  14th Amendment, principle of citizenship for all persons born in the United States.  Reconstruction Act, temporarily divided the South into five military districts and called for the created of new state governments with black men given the right to vote.  15th Amendment- Prohibited the Federal and State governments from denying any citizen the right to vote because of race.
  2. Black Codes
    Laws passed by the new southern governments that attempted to regulate the lives of the former slaves.  The laws granted blacks certain rights like legalized marriage, ownership of property, and limited access to the courts, but denied them the rights to testify against whites, to serve on juries or state militias, or to vote.  They declared that people who failed to sign yearly labor contracts could be arrested and hired out to white land owners.
  3. Carpet Bagger
    People who packed all of their belongings in a suitcase and left their homes in order to reap the spoils of office in the South.  Majority were Union Soldiers.
  4. Scalawag
    People who came down from to the North to live in the south.  They were mainly wartime Unionists.
  5. Freedmen's Bureau
    Experiment in government social policy.  Bureau agents were sent to establish schools, prove aid to poor, settle disputes b/t whites and blacks, and secure for former slaves and white Unionist's equal treatment before the court.  They ran hospitals established during the war, and provided medical care and drugs to both black and white southerners.
  6. Sharecropping
    The system allowed each black family to rent part of a plantation, with the crop divided between worker and owner at the end of the year.  it guaranteed the planters a stable resident labor force.  Sharecropper's economic opportunity were severely limited by a world market in which price of farm products suffered a prolonged decline.
  7. Second Industrial Revolution
    Country enjoyed abundant natural resources, growing supply of labor, expanding market for manufactured goods and the availability of capital investment.  Government enacted high tariffs that protected American industry from foreign competition.  Government used the army to remove Indians from western lands desired by farmers and mining companies.  By 1913, the U.S. produced 1/3 of the world's industrial output- more then the total of Great Britain, France and Germany combined.  Census Bureau found a majority of the workforce was engaged in non-farming jobs.  people were drawn to factories by the promise of employment.  Most manufacturing took place in cities.  The number of miles of railroad in the U.S. tripled b/t 1860 and 1880 and tripled again by 1920.  In 1883, the major companies divided the nation into the four times zones still in use today.  Businesses engaged in ruthless competition.  They formed pools and established trusts.  Andrew Carnegie- steel company.  He distributed much of his wealth to various philanthropies and ran his factories non-stop.  John D. Rockefeller established a monopoly which controlled the distribution, drilling, refining, and storage of oil.  His standard oil company controlled 90% of the nations oil industry.  People either considered them captains of industry, whose energy and vision pushed the economy forward, or robber barons, who wielded power w/o any accountability in an unregulated market place.  The country's economic growth distributed its benefits very unevenly.  During the depression of the 1870's and 1890's, millions of workers lost their jobs or were forced to accept pay reductions.
  8. Corporation
    A company or group of people that act as a single entity
  9. Trust
    Legal devices whereby the affairs of several rival companies were managed by a single director
  10. Sherman AntiTrust act 1890
    First law to restrict monopolistic trusts and business combinations; extended by the Clayton AntiTrust Act of 1914
  11. Lassiez- Faire Economics
    Opposition to the government action to regulate economic or personal behavior.
  12. Social Darwinism
    Application of Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection to society.  Used the concept of the " survival of the fittest " to justify class distinctions and explain poverty.
  13. Social Gospel
    The Social Gospel Movement originated as an effort to reform Protestant churches by expanding their appeal in poor urban neighborhoods and making them more attentive to the era's social ills.  They established missions and relief programs in urban areas that attempted to alleviate poverty, combat child labor, and encourage the construction of better working class housing
  14. Homestead Act of 1862
    Authorized Congress to grant 260 acres of land to a western settler, who had to live on the land for five years to establish title.  Hundreds of thousands of families acquired farms under the Homestead Act
  15. Exodusters
    Exodusters was a name given to African Americans who migrated from states along the Mississippi River to Kansas in the late nineteenth century, as part of the Exoduster Movement or Exodus of 1879. It was the first general migration of blacks following the Civil War.
  16. Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
    A federal law passed in response to complaints by workers on the West Coast that competition from Chinese immigrants was driving down their wages and threatening white “racial purity.” It suspended Chinese immigration for ten years and declared Chinese immigrants ineligible for naturalization as American citizens.
  17. Imperialism- Spanish American War (1898)
    America  over the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the Pacific Islands of Guam.  Secretary of State John hay announced the Open Door Policy, demanding that European powers that had recently divided China into commercial spheres of influence grant equal access to American exports.  Filipino's turned against the U.S. and went into war with them when President McKinley decided to retain possession of the islands.  When the U.S. controlled the Philippines they expanded railroads and harbors, and brought American school teachers and public health officials and sought to modernize agriculture.  President McKinley said the U.S. had an obligation to its " little brown brothers "  Rudyard Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the " white mans burden " of imperialism.  The supreme court held that the Constitution did not fully apply to the territories recently acquired by the U.S.
  18. Progressives- The progressive era
    Economic growth, increasing industrial production, rise in population, continued expansion of the consumer marketplace.  More then 1 million claims for free land from the government were filed under the Homestead ACt of 1862.  Immigrant families in New York's downtown tenements often had no electricity or indoor toilets.  Muckrakers exposed the ills of industrial and urban life.  Upton Sinclair's the jungle exposed the unsanitary slaughter house and sale of rotten meat.  This lead directly to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906.  Many immigrants came to the U.S. because of political turmoil at home and widespread poverty and illiteracy.  Immigrants lived in close-knit neighborhoods.  Americans could purchase electric sewing machines, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and record players.
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Political History
2013-10-10 03:10:33

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