Westward Expansion Expands

America builds up and expands its power to a global scale


Robber Barons

Robber Barons were industrialists who used illegal practices to build up and broaden their companies while also using those illegal practices to rid the smaller competition. These Robber Barons gained political power to benefit the company and to keep growing.

There is both proud and shame with Robber Barons. Some just took money for personal gain and a stronger influence in the government, others gave back and built facilities that would benefit the public. Those who gave back part of what they earned were known as Captains of Industry. An example of man who was both a Robber Baron and a Captain of Industry is Andrew Carnegie.

Rockefeller and Oil Companies

Run by John D. Rockefeller, the Standard Oil Company was a monopoly that controlled almost all oil businesses in the States. This monopoly would crush competition by changing prices, but despite one business disappearing, Standard Oil was increasing the economy. More cash began to roll in, even if it was due to unethical means.

Not all the money went to Rockefeller. He gave money back. Despite the greed of the monopoly, the Standard Oil Company should not be something to be ashamed about. The product supported the economy and Rockefeller donated portions of the money back.

Tenement Housing

The demand for workers, willing to work long hours with little pay, increased as the number of large cities and factories increased. These employees wanted to be close to their job and as a result the tenements were built. A majority of these houses were in the center of the city. It was mainly the poor who occupied the rooms. The rooms were small and more than one family occupied each room. There were so many residents in one area that it created a social center. Tenement houses should be something to be ashamed about. Due to the close proximity of the buildings, the small living space, and lack of infrastructure, the living conditions in a tenement were unsuitable and a hazard.


Political Machines

Corruption with politics increased. Political machines strengthened their power in a city by targeting the immigrants. The political machines would make a "promise" such as a good job or living space in return of a vote. Greed and empty lies gave undeserving citizens more power than they should deserve and because of those reasons political machines are something to be ashamed about. The control of one individual affected whole political parties. A political party needs to be regulated by a group of citizens.

Central Pacific Railroad

What the Central Pacific Railroad provided can be something to be proud about. The work required for building a railroad created job openings that immigrants could take. The increase of immigrants also encouraged them to build their own communities along the tracks. The communities expanded up into cities and soon enough multiple cities were appearing alongside the railroad. In these cities or communities, the immigrants could open their own businesses. The opportunity for work created a pull factor for more immigrants to travel over.

New and Old Immigrants

America became the dream for immigrants but as more traveled over a difference between the new immigrants and the old immigrants became visible. The new immigrants did not know English or did not know how to work. The old immigrants did know English and how to work. Because the old immigrants knew how to provide for themselves, they thought themselves to be superior and looked down on the new immigrants. The differences between the two groups created a social gap. The prejudice that the old immigrants had towards the new immigrants is something to be ashamed about. They were all immigrants looking for something in America, whether it be a job or a new start.
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Roosevelt and Trust Busting

The President began to interfere with the government's control over monopolies and other large companies. Roosevelt made his own policy to prevent the monopolies from taking over other small businesses. It was also up to Roosevelt to decide what was a "good" trust and what was a "bad" trust. The good trusts were left alone. The bad trusts, which might've been messing with prices, would be attacked. What Roosevelt was trying to achieve with his "trust busting" could be something to be proud and ashamed about. He had the right idea in mind but took the wrong approach.

Graduated Income Tax

The Sixteenth Amendment. The more someone makes, the more they are taxed. This could be seen as a good and a bad thing. The good is that more money rotated through the economy. A negative outlook on the change is how it is received by those who are making money. Those with a good income do not want to be paying for those that do not work at all.

Hull House

The settlement house founded by Jane Addams is something to be proud about. This institutions provides more than just a place to live. Residents have access to education, recreation, and social services. The experiences that were available at the house could be applied to jobs and therefore provide a living. The Hull House created a change in the community. Other reformers who helped in the house pressed for laws that would protect women and children, especially those who worked in dangerous conditions at factories.



Muckrakers pushed for change for safer and healthier working conditions, and challenged for social reform. Muckrakers would fight against the government for a positive change. How these muckrakers fought for a change varied. Some methods included: writing books, taking photographs, protesting, marching, boycotting, and holding strikes. What the muckrakers had in mind for change for the government and how the government ran businesses is something to be proud about.

Pure Food and Drug Act

Impacted by The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, the Pure Food and Drug Act required more business regulations. The regulations might've been costly, but they were put into place to protect the health of citizens. Manufacturers would've had to hire food inspectors. To make up for the price of new regulations, food prices would increase. The Pure Food and Drug Act itself was to benefit the health, and therefore is something to be proud about.


The National American Woman Suffrage Association. The association that did not cease its fight until women received the right to vote. When the association did succeed, the new amendment helped raise the social status of women. Women had a new platform to stand on and speak their voice. What the NAWSA achieved is definitely something that America should be proud about. With suffrage granted, it paved a new road for women to follow to receive the same respect that men do. Women would finally be seen as equals.
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Big Stick Policy

Roosevelt began to interfere with the government more, but this time he pushed for more global attention. He wanted the United States to be recognized as a force. The United States would use force in Latin America if there was a problem. The states were also a predominant power in the Caribbean and Central America. If any other imperial power made an attempt to colonize, then the US would intervene. Roosevelt's aim was to be recognized as a power. Once again, he had the right idea in mind but took the wrong approach and therefore his actions should be ashamed of.

Open Door Policy

United States wanted all the countries to have equal,open trade in China. No individual power would take claim of China. This policy would increase trade with the United States. With the increase in trade, the economy would benefit. As the economy benefits, then the United States would have a higher status on a global scale. The Open Door Policy is both proud and shame. The proud from increasing trade with other countries. The shame from politically dividing China into spheres of influence without input from China.

Yellow Journalism

The writing style of Yellow Journalism twisted the truth around and exaggerated stories. These exaggerated stories created a reaction from the public and changed viewpoints, for better or for worse. Overall, the journalistic style should be something to be ashamed about. There's no research involved within the writing process. The eye catching titles have the ability to change a whole society's perspective. The writing normally creates a target for the United States to attack. This style also represents how gullible society really is.

World War I

Wilson's Fourteen Points

President Wilson's Fourteen Points are something that America should be proud of even though the government rejected the proposal. This was the blueprint for peace for the future. The peace would not just be in the United States but with the most powerful nations. President Wilson wanted to avoid any means of fighting within the topics of trade and traveling the ocean. The points were not passed by Congress but at the end of the war they were used as a layout for peace negotiations.
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Lever Food and Fuel Control Act

The government put restrictions on prices that can be charged on goods. The president was the one who could regulate the price and production of economic staples. Such items would be: feeds, food, fuel, beverages, and distilled spirits. This act was put into place to save food and money during the war. This act could be something to be proud about. The income could be maintained and spending money during the war wouldn't get out of hand.

Hate the Hun

"Hate the Hun" is something to be ashamed about. The phrase encompasses a period during and partially after the war when the word "German" in any product was replaced with another word. This new word would be completely disassociated with Germany. The phrase was also very popular in propaganda that tried to dehumanize the Germans. In society, German citizens were hated and looked down on.