America's Perks and Faults

Mistakes and Achievements Throughout the Years

Industrialization

The Dawes Act

In 1887, America passed the Dawes Act, which was an attempt to regulate Native American land for American settlements. The Natives were pushed out of their land, and put onto reservations. The Americans wanted to assimilate the Natives. This meant teaching them English, manners, and changing their names to names like John, or David. I'm not proud of America for doing this, we came into a new land and claim it as our own, then deprived a different group of what they know to be as their life.
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Erie Canal

Built in 1817, this canal connects eastern seaboard and the Old Northwest. This canal set off a frenzy that created a new form of transportation. It's main purpose was to create a route from New York City to the Atlantic Ocean. I'm proud of America for this, it helped us get to new places!
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Bessemer Process

During the 1850's, many immigrants came to the states. The more immigrants, the more space was taken up. Streets were crowed, housing was overbooked, and people were unhappy. Then came the Bessemer Process, a process that made steel stronger and stronger. This allowed builders to go up and not out, providing more living and work space. Thanks to this, railroads were improved with better steel beams, the first skyscraper was built, and the first elevator! I'm also proud of this because without this process, it probably would have been harder to make buildings, or taken even longer to get to where we are now.
Bessemer Converter

Immigration

Chinese Exclusion Act

During the immigration period in the United States, many different cultures came to find better opportunities. A large group of immigrants, the Chinese, had luck in getting jobs, but many believed they were stealing these jobs from more deserving men. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. Because of this, many Chinese immigrants lost their jobs, and gained no income, and those trying to come into America were sent back. I'm ashamed of this act, purely because we deprived people of life. Without a job, they had no money for housing, food, or clothing.
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Ellis Island

Before coming into America, bout twelve million immigrants came through Ellis Island. It wasn't a quick trip through, sometimes they would be there for more than two hours. All immigrants were required to have a medical exam, answer a bundle of questions, and pay a fee. If you did not pass these requirements, you were deported back home. But only two percent were taken back out of the twelve million. I'm proud of this island because it helped new comers enter our country.
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Old / New Immigrants

After the rush of immigrants into America, there were now two groups of immigrants, The old, and the new. If you were to come after 1890, you were considered new. New immigrants couldn't speak proper English, had little money, and came from Southern or Eastern Europe. The old immigrants were the opposite, and highly preferred by Americans. I'm ashamed of this because we were classifying two groups of people and treating them differently. We didn't help the new immigrants, instead we shunned them.

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Urbanization

Child Labor Laws

In the Industrial Revolution, factories and stores were looking for help from anyone, even children. They looked past the fact that the working conditions were dangerous for small children as young as five or six. After thousands of accidents, Edwin Markham published an article about the dangers in the work space. This opened many peoples eyes, which led to Child Labor Laws. The law states that anyone under the age of twenty-one is restricted from working in many occupations. I'm proud of America for settling this, because no child should have to work at such a young age.

Settlement Houses

Immigrants did not have the best living conditions, most of them lived in tenement houses. These houses being run down, needing many repairs, and most likely had a number of diseases lurking around were not ideal for families. Settlement Houses were the solution to their problems. They offered education, social services, and a place to live. One of the most popular Settlement Houses is the Hull House, founded by Jane Addams. I'm proud of this simply because it took a step towards helping the less fortunate.
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Disease

The bigger the city, the more people. The more people, the more disease. Big cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia were riddled with disease. But New York had the biggest problem, it's death rate was higher than both Boston and Philadelphia. Due to the poor plumbing system, infectious diseases were not a rare occurrence throughout the city. I'm not proud of New York's poor plumbing, many people died from these diseases!
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Progressivism

National American Womans Suffrage Assosiation (NAWSA)

In early America, women were not considered equal too men. But a certain group of women thought otherwise. In 1890 NAWSA was formed to fight for equality for women. For years they held peaceful picket fence strikes, and tried getting up to the president for help, but both resulted in arrests. This group fought for what they believed in until the 19th amendment was issued after WWI. I'm so proud of these women for fighting, without them it probably would have taken longer for women to vote and be equal to men.
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The Jungle

Before Upton Sinclair published The Jungle, no one was fully aware of what the meat went through in factories. Many people in America were infected with diseases, but no one knew why. After publication, The Jungle, made it clear the packaging was not clean, and the meat was not treated properly. I'm proud Sinclair went through the process to let everyone know what dangers were hidden in their meat. This was the first step towards the Meat Inspection Act.
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Prohibition

With poor working conditions, alcohol brought the risk of injury higher. In 1920, alcohol was banned from being sold, distributed, or produced. This brought anger from the people in America, so the ban was lifted in 1933. I'm proud of America for doing this because having a drunk employee not only puts them in danger, but everyone else as well.
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Imperialism

Open Door Policy

Something i'm not proud of is America being greedy. When other countries were trading with China while we weren't, we took it upon ourselves to create the Open Door Policy. this protected equal privileges among countries to trade with China. So we basically butted into something we weren't a part of, and because of this, i'm ashamed.
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Control Over Philippines

After the Philippines had broken away from Spain, America gained control. The Philippines wanted complete independence, but America needed them for boat ports, and just to have control over another place. Of course this resulted in a war, which gained the Philippines their independence. I'm not proud of this, since he had just fought for our independence, but we couldn't grant it to someone else.
The Philippine American War

Social Darwinism

There were two different classes in early America, the rich and the poor. The rich believed they owned everything, had more power, and only the strongest would survive in society. They had no time for the lower class, they stuck their noses up at everyone. This is nothing to be proud of, separating people into different classes is no way to break up America.
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World War I

19th Amendment

Women fought for years to get the same rights as men, and they got a step closer with the 19th amendment. This gave women the right to vote! Although they didn't have all the same privileges, this was a big achievement for the NAWSA and all women. I'm glad this was finally passed, just because we're not all the same gender doesn't meant that we're different from each other.
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Reparations

After World War One had ended, many countries were not out of the clear. These countries included Hungary, Austria, Turkey, and Germany. They were given amounts they had to pay, but most countries were in such debt they couldn't fulfill their amount. Germany, however, was taxed the most. I think this was a good thing because Germany broke a ton of their promises to many countries during the war.
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Conscription

When the war first started, military relied completely on conscription - or draft- for getting their men. Only 73,000 volunteers enlisted out of the million target. Soon the Selective Service Act came into play, which drafted men from the ages of 21 to 31. Nearly half a million immigrants were also drafted for the war. I'm proud, but also not happy with this. men were torn away from their families against their will once they were drafted. That's horrible.
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