American Society and Government

by trevor ricks

Open Door Policy

The Open Door Policy was the idea of free trade across the seas to China. The United States wanted this with other countries because fighting overseas and getting ships attacked was just another worry and caused more problems with other countries. Getting all other countries trading with China to sign this could let everyone trade peacefully.

The Platt Amendment

This amendment was passed in 1903 which amended the bill originally from 1901. What this amendment did was stated the conditions of the withdraw of the United States troops from Cuba at the end of the Spanish-American War. The United States also had Cuba sign a treaty that they understood the conditions and that the United States would no longer be fighting anymore.

Yellow Journalism

Yellow Journalism was a popular style of writing. It was mostly used in newspapers. This style of writing was very dramatic and made stories exaggerated. These stories would have lies and people around America would believe them even though they were very ridiculous and untrue.

The Zimmerman Note

The Zimmerman Note was a letter sent to Mexico from Germany in 1917. This letter was asking Mexico to join them in teaming up against the United States and going after them. When the U.S. was informed of this it made the U.S. join the war. At the beginning the United States had decided they would stay neutral but after this they decided to join.

Selective Service Act

As the United States Army became low on troops america needed to do a draft to get more soldiers. This act gave the united states military the right to draft men and if these men were chosen they were required to join the military. They had to be between 18 and 25 because they need to be fit and able to do everything. If they needed troops all they had to do was draft the men and take them straight into training. I think this act helped our country a lot during WWI.


Trench Warfare was a new way of warfare in the nineteen hundreds. Trenches were deep holes dug in the ground and soldiers would be hiding down in them. Soldiers could shoot at other armies at a short distance away. Soldiers would spend long hours in the trenches and they got very cold at night. Being in the trenches you would constantly be hiding or shooting others and it was very hard work.

Railroad Act of 1862

This act was passed by Abraham Lincoln . This act provided government support on the building of the first transcontinental railroad. This was a big advancement in America considering it was the first railroad ever. This opened up many opportunities for more railroads, transportation, and trade across the U.S. This also opened a lot of jobs for people to work on the railroads.

Invention of the Telephone

The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1849. This changed technology and communication in America. It was the first way of communication not in person in America. This was a huge advancement and great invention that helped shape the country and what it would do in Industrialization.

California Gold Rush

In 1848 a large amount of gold was discovered in California. When this news hit America it brought a ton of people to move to California because they wanted to get gold to make a lot of money. Over 300,000 people ended up moving their and the gold industry grew rapidly. This brought a lot more money to the United States and a lot of population to California. The gold industry became huge there and a lot of money came out of that.

19th amendment

The 19th amendment stated that any U.S. citizen could vote not based off of their sex. This amendment gave women in America the right to vote. This amendment was fought for by many women's rights and suffragist groups for many years. This was a very harsh and cruel time for women during the time of fighting for their rights. Their hard work finally paid off in. All of the activists groups were built up from women around all of the states and had many leaders from all around America.

John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller would buy out all of his competitors and would ship through the competing oil line. He took over the oil industry and was a huge corporation. Once he got control of his competitors and was on top, he had control of the whole industry and was making all of the money. This is when President Roosevelt's trust busting would come into use.

Trust busting

President Theodore Roosevelt thought strong corporations were good for our country's progressivism but also needed to be strictly monitored. If they were not monitored the government would have no control over what they were doing and would not know if they were doing illegal things or not. Trust busting was very good for our country because strong corporations made most of our money in the rising ages but also gave the government some control to monitor how the money was made.

Ellis Island Immigration Center

Ellis Island was a processing center for immigrants trying to enter the United States. It was on the coast of New York so ships would sail in then the immigrants would be processed right there. Immigrants had to go through an interview and inspected in a health exam. Most immigrants that went through Ellis Island were Chinese.

Housing for Immigrants

Along with the growing industries as the large cities grew the amount of immigrants did as well. Settlement homes and tenement apartments were an option for immigrants to live in which were very crowded and unsanitary. They were dark, crowded, gross, conditions of living. There were large amounts of people usually in one bedroom apartments. Many diseases and smells were in these apartments. Im sure immigrants did not like living this way, but if they wanted to live in America that is how they had to live.

Chinese Exclusion Act

This was an act passed by congress in 1882. This act banned all Chinese from America except teachers, students, government officials, and merchants. This was wrong of America because they had already let immigrants from China in, so it was not fair for the other people trying to follow but couldn't.

The Dawes Act

This was passed in 1887. This act split apart reservation land and gave some to Indians. Giving Indians land where the Americans wanted them was good for America so when trying to move across the country they didn't have to worry about indian wars.

Jobs in the cities

As cities became more urban and more people moved to these areas, more factories and industries moved to those cities. When all of these companies were in the city and their company was growing larger and demand for whatever the made was increasing, more jobs were needed. Immigrants were usually hired because factories paid them less and there were a lot of them looking for jobs.

Barbed Wire

Barbed wire created a way to claim land keeping others off your land from movement and cattle drives. This was good to have setting the borders of your land because then no one could get on your land and if they did it they could be accused of trespassing. I especially think that this helped with the cattle drives and helping them stay on their path of travel.