||Turner's Frontier Thesis: The Significance of the
Frontier in American History
Divine 530-531 (on Turnerís frontier thesis)
3. In what sense does the United States lie "like a huge page in the history of society"? According to Turnerís description of the history of society, what state does he consider to be the height of civilization?
4. How has the frontier helped to create an "American nationality"?
5. What role has the federal government played in promoting westward expansion?
6. How has the frontier promoted democracy and individualism in the United States?
7. What is Frederick Jackson Turnerís thesis in "The Significance of the Frontier in American History"?
||The Frontier Myth: Cowboys and Indians
Begin Divine reading for day three
How do popular images of the American West reflect Turnerís Frontier Thesis? How do these images serve to create an American mythology about the frontier?
||Civilizing the Frontier: Federal Land Policy and
"The Indian Problem"
Divine, pages 506-513 and 518-520
Supplement: Arthur,"Third Annual Message" and The Dawes Act
Write out answers to questions 3 and 4
What role did the federal government play in promoting westward expansion? How did American policies towards the Indians reflect American attitudes towards them?
2. What factors led to the battle between Sioux and federal troops led by George Custer at Little Bighorn? How did Americans respond to the event? Why?
3. Why has Wounded Knee become a symbol for contemporary Americans of American Indian policy during the 19th century?
4. What did the Carlisle Indian School seek to accomplish? What did the slogan of its founder, Richard Pratt, "Kill the Indian and save the man," indicate about the goals of the assimilationists?
5. What were the main provisions of the Dawes Act? In what way did the Dawes Act seek to end tribal life? Why did it seek to do so? Why does Divine call it "the most important legal development in Indian-white relations in over three centuries."
6. Why did Americans systematically kill the buffalo of the Great Plains?
7. How can we account for the popularity of dime novels and of Buffalo Billís Wild West Show during the late 19th century? Why might such forms of entertainment become more popular during late 19th and early 20th century?
8. What was the Homestead Act? How might it have promoted westward expansion? Why might its supporters have seen it as integral to the success of American democracy?
9. How did the Timber Culture Act and Timber and Stone Act supplement the Homestead Act in promoting the growth of the West?
||From Frontier to Factory: Westward Expansion and Industrial Growth
Divine, pages 536-543 and 549-551
What factors led to the unprecedented economic growth of the United
States between 1865-1900? In what sense was the relationship between
industrialization and westward expansion a symbiotic one?
2. Explain what impact each of the following had on American
industrial development: natural resources, immigration, technological innovation,
4. What specific measures did the federal government take to promote the building of railroads?
5. How did the system of American railroads change from a series of locally-owned and run lines to a industry dominated by a few large companies? What were the advantages of such consolidation? What did this indicate about the goals of American industrialists at the time?
6. What role did each of the following play in the creation of the transcontinental railroad: the federal government, Chinese and Irish immigrants, industrialists. Why did the completion of the transcontinental railroad set off such wild celebrations throughout the nation?
7. Pick two of the following: George Eastman, Gustavus Swift, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison, and explain how their inventions promoted national unity and industrialization.
||Captains of Industry and Robber Barons
Divine, pages 543-549 and 661-662
3. What is vertical integration? What were its advantages to industrialists like Andrew Carnegie?
4. In what sense did Andrew Carnegie come to symbolize the "American Dream" during the late 19th century? What does this indicate about how the "American Dream" has changed since the era of Andrew Jackson? In ways has the American Dream remained the same?
5. What process did John D. Rockefeller use to build Standard Oil into the predominant oil business in the country?
6. Why did the oil and steel industries become the cornerstones of the American economy during the industrial era?
7. What is a trust? What were its advantages to industrialists like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller?
8. Why might "antitrust" have become a "watchword for a generation of reformers"? Why might some critics have felt that trusts (monopolies/oligopolies) were dangerous to the public interest?
||From Artisan to Wage-Earner: Industrialization and the Laboring
Divine, pages 660-661 (top), 662-663, 666, and 553-557
Write out answer to question 3
What impact did industrialization have on the laborer? In what ways is industrial labor different from artisanal labor?
2. How did mass production change the nature of the workplace and on the daily lives of industrial laborers?
3. What is the significance of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire? What does it indicate about working conditions during the Gilded Age? How did the American public react to it?
4. How did the rise of industrialization stimulate the incorporation of women and children into the workplace?
5. Why was the myth of social mobility so prevalent among urban factory laborers? To what extent was this myth a reality? Why was sustaining this myth essential to the success of industrial development?
||"Let the Devil Take the Hindmost": the Appeal of
Divine, pages 589-90 on Social Darwinism
Supplement: Conwell, "Acres of Diamonds"
Supplement: Carnegie, "Gospel of Wealth"
What is Social Darwinism? What does the popularity of Social Darwinism indicate about the way Americans of the late 19th century viewed wealth and poverty?
2. What accounts for the popularity of Social Darwinism during the late 19th century?
3. According to Andrew Carnegie, what are the duties of the man of wealth?
4. How does Carnegie view charity? In what instances does Carnegie believe that charity is most beneficial? Why, according to Carnegie, are some people "worthy" of charity and others "unworthy"?
5. What does Russell Conwell mean when he says, "To make money honestly is to preach the gospel"? What is his attitude towards the poor? How does Conwellís piece reflect the attitudes of the time period?
||"Whose Side Are You On?" Unions, Strikes, and Conflict in the Workplace
Divine, pages 557-561 and 564, and 611-14
Write out answers to homework question 5 and 7
What factors led to the rise of industrial unions in the United States? What internal and external obstacles did these unions face? How did industrial capitalists and the federal government respond to unions and union activity?
2. What specific reforms did the Knights of Labor seek?
3. What was the philosophy of the American Federation of Labor? What types of people did it hope to attract?
4. What specific reforms did the American Federation of Labor seek?
5. How did the Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor, respectively, view union inclusion of blacks, women, and unskilled workers?
6. How did industrial capitalists view unions? How did they seek to limit unions and prevent strikes?
7. Select ONE of the following strikes, and discuss the immediate
causes, the federal government response, and the public reaction: Haymarket
Square strike, Homestead Steel strike, Pullman strike
||The Clash Between Capital and Labor: The Case of The Great Railroad
Divine, pages 562-563
What were the structural and immediate causes of the Great Railroad
strike of 1877? How did the public and governmental response to the strike
reflect the attitudes of the era?
2. How did the federal government respond to the strike?
3. What was the publicís perception of the strike and of the conditions that caused it?
||Why No Socialism?: Karl Marx and American Exceptionalism
Divine, pages 676 (middle)-677 (on IWW)
Supplement: Marx, The Communist Manifesto
What is Marxís view of industrial capitalism? Why was socialismís (communismís) appeal limited in the United States?
3. What does Marx mean when he says, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles"? What does he see as the central struggle of the era of industrial capitalism?
4. What impact has industrial society had on the proletariat?
5. Why, according to Marx, has the laborer become a "commodity" as a result of industrial capitalism?
6. Why does Marx believe that class consciousness will inevitably emerge among the proletariat? What does he think is the inevitable result of this class consciousness?
7. According to Marx, what will be he founding principles of socialist society?
||The Huddled Masses: The New Immigrants
Divine, pages 571-576, 570-571, and 672-674
2. How did the "new immigrants" of 1880-1914 differ in ethnic composition from the "old" immigrants? Why did these new immigrants trouble "mainstream society"?
3. What were some of the obstacles faced by immigrants in the New World? What measures did they take to adjust to the strains of immigrant life? In what sense can it be said that immigrants "shaped the city as much as it shaped them"?
4. What is a political machine? Why were many immigrants attracted to political machines and the policies of political "bosses"?
5. What is a tenement? What do tenements indicate about the living conditions of immigrants and the urban poor at the turn of the century? Other than population density, what other factors contributed to the squalor of urban life for poor Americans at the turn of the century?
6. What were the goals of Ford Moter Companyís school for immigrant employees? What does the schoolís purpose suggest about the ways in which immigrants were viewed by mainstream soceiety?
||City Life: The Height of Civilization and the Depth of Dispair
Divine, pages 568-570
2. How did cities come to symbolize the height of civilization during the late 19th century?
3. In what ways did Louis Sullivan and his conception of skyscrapers reflect the ideals and trends of the time?
4. What factors, both technological and ideological, stimulated the growth of suburbs during this era?
||The Social Gospel and the Stirrings of Reform
Divine, pages 590-594, and 595 (middle) -596
2. What was the Social Gospel? How does Rauschenbuschís notion of Christianity reflect the Social Gospel?
3. What were the goals of settlement houses that were founded by Jane Addams and Lillian Wald in the late 19th century? What limitations obstructed the success of these settlement houses?
4. To what extent was there class conflict developing in the United States in the last two decades of the 19th century? To what extent was America becoming a "House of Have and a House of Want"? Offer evidence that a crisis in class relations was developing at the end of the 19th century.
|Day Fourteen||Test on the Gilded Age|
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