America- The Best and The Worst

1880-1920

Industrialization

Political- Sherman Antitrust Act: This act made it illegal to form a trust that interfered with free trade and destroyed competition. Benjamin Harrison was president when this was signed into law. The law prevented monopolies such as standard oil which eliminated competition. It has sometimes been said that the purpose of the Sherman Act is not to protect competitors, but rather to protect competition, as well as promote and preserve a competitive landscape. (proud)


Economic- Petroleum/Bessemer Process: The process made the production of steel more efficient and stronger. Oil became very valuable during this period. The stranger steel led to the building of skyscrapers and elevators. These buildings allowed more space for others by building up instead of out. (proud)


Social- Sweat Shops/Child Labor: Workshops in tenements that were very crowded and tedious. Children and women worked here for very low wages. A child could work for 14 hours and get paid 27 cents. Jacob Riis book how the other half lives described the unsafe and lengthy conditions in the workforce. (shame)

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Immigration

Political- The Chinese Exclusion Act: President Chester A. Arthur signed this law in May 6, 1882. It prohibited all and any immigration by chinese immigrants. At angel island the chinese were detained for weeks at a time only to face deportation. This xenophobic action was America's greatest restriction on immigration to date. (shame)


Economic- Immigrants build the nations rail roads: Chinese immigrants helped build the nations rail roads, including the first transcontinental line. However, they were paid very little and rations were scarce. This expanded America to the west and helped fulfill manifest destiny. (proud and shame)


Social- Xenophobia/Nativism: Nativism gave rise to anti-immigrant groups in America and led to a demand for restrictions. This was a dark time because paranoia and fear lead to bad actions. We should be tolerant of everyone no matter the race. Xenophobic remarks resulted in racism and racial persecution. (shame)

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Urbanization

Political- Americanization Movement: Designed to assimilate people of wide ranging cultures into dominant culture (american). It is becoming a person who shares American values, beliefs and customs and is assimilated into American society. However, many immigrants did not want to abandon their traditions. People shouldn't force others to change their ethnic ways. (proud and shame)


Economic- Job Competition: Blacks and Whites were segregated and competed for industrial jobs in the north. This lead lynching and racism in the north. Higher levels of immigration increased high-school graduation rates among native-born children, particularly among black students. (shame)


Social- Rapid Urbanization: Industrialization began a rapid urbanization that forced the poor into slums. This is a population shift from rural to urban areas. Cities were very overcrowded and unsanitary. Promoting economic and social well-being while protecting the environment has not been achieved due to rising inequality, gaps and shortfalls in development partnerships, rapid population growth, climate change and environmental degradation. (shame)

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Progressivism

Political- Pure food and drug act: An Act for preventing the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors, and for regulating traffic therein, and for other purposes. Upton Sinclair described the horrors in the meat packing industry and then the act was passed to ensure that meat factories were more sanitary. The muckrakers had successfully heightened public awareness of safety issues stemming from careless food preparation procedures and the increasing incidence of drug addiction from patent medicines, both accidental and conscious. (Proud)


Economic- Scientific Management: Studies to see how quickly a manufacturing task could be performed. Frederick Winslow Taylor started the Scientific Management movement, and he and his associates were the first people to study the work process scientifically. They studied how work was performed, and they looked at how this affected worker productivity. Taylor's philosophy focused on the belief that making people work as hard as they could was not as efficient as optimizing the way the work was done. This increased efficiency which resulted in fewer work hours for employees. (Proud)


Social- Women's suffrage: The right for women to vote. A leader, Susan B Anthony, fought for women's rights. However, this idea was opposed by many including the liquor and textile industry. Disagreements over strategy threatened to cripple the movement more than once. But on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. (shame because it took so long)

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Imperialism

Political- Foraker Act: Ended military rule set up a civil government. Gave the President the power to appoint Puerto Rico's Governors. In addition, all federal laws of the United States were to be in effect on the island. The first civil governor of the island under the Foraker Act was Charles H. Allen, inaugurated on May 1, 1900 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The US controlled a freed nation and influenced its government. (shame)


Economic- Not allowing Philippines Independence for close access to Chinese: After the signing of the Treaty of Paris with Spain, the US bought the Philippines. The US did not allow Aguinaldo and his people full independence because of the Island's close proximity to Chinese markets. The US was imposing on the Philippines self rule for economic and strategic gain. (shame)


Social- The US as a world Power: The US had many protectorates. American industry produced twice as much as its closest competitor--Britain. But the United States was not a great military or diplomatic power. Its army numbered less than 30,000 troops, and its navy had only about 10,000 seamen. People began to think that the US should interfere with foreign affairs as a world police force and stop being Neutral/Isolationists. (proud)

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World War I

Political- Zimmerman Telegram: In January of 1917, British cryptographers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Minister to Mexico, von Eckhardt, offering United States territory to Mexico in return for joining the German cause. The Germans ignored Wilson's call for peace, the US declares war. This message helped draw the United States into the war and thus changed the course of history. (proud)


Economic- War Industries Board: Started by Bernard M. Baruch, it encouraged companies to use mass production techniques to increase efficiency. This made war efforts easier.The US was advancing into a world power. (proud)


Social- America Joining The Great War: The US breaks away from it's isolationist ways and helps the Allies defeat the central powers. Although we should have joined sooner with the imminent threat of the Germans across the Atlantic, its better late than never. (proud)

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