America in the 1880s - 1920s

The Pride and Shame

Industrialization: William Jennings Bryan

At the Democratic convention, congressman William Jennings Bryan ,editor of the Omaha World-Herald, delivered an impassioned address to the assembled delegates. Bryan made a speech, The Cross of Gold, and that won him the Presidential nomination. The speech was about bimetallism. Bimetallism is a system allowing the unrestricted currency of gold and silver as legal tender at a fixed ratio to each other. Bryan wanted to loosen the connection to gold, and use silver as well, which goods become more valuable than currency, and the first gains value, and money loses value. This is good for the poorer people. There would be an exchange of value from the rich to the poor. I am proud of this because Bryan spoke an empowering speech and wanted Americans to have a better life without the money always hovering over them. Unfortunately, Bryan was not elected as the President so know of what he said happened, which is the downside...

Here is a Speech William Jennings Bryan made, "Cross of Gold":

Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and

the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring

interests, and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand

for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down

upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify

mankind upon a cross of gold.

The Dawes Act

The Dawes Act was a significant step in the Americanization step. This act broke up reservations and gave some of the reservation land to individual Native Americans. The Native Americans would get about 160 acres individually rather than to tribes. I am ashamed of this because it was an overall attack of tribal society, discriminating the Native Americans, and unfair to the Native Americans way of life. The evidence I have provided is proof of the shameful things the United States is capable of.
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The Populist Party

The Populist Party formed in 1892 consisting of many African Americans and many people from the farmers alliance. I am proud of the peoples party because of their strive to make the economy of America better and their will power to fixing main problems such as wanting the government to regulate the rail roads, wealth will belong to the worker who actually earns it, lower the protective tariffs that inhibited foreign trade, and promoted federal income tax. Their main purpose was to make American prosperous again.

Here is a quote from Mary Elizabeth Lease, the daughter of Irish immigrants, was a leader of the Populist Party.

What you farmers need to do is to raise less corn and

more Hell! We want the accursed foreclosure system wiped

out. . . . We will stand by our homes and stay by our fire-

sides by force if necessary, and we will not pay our debts

to the loan-shark companies until the Government pays its

debts to us.

Immigration: Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese exclusion was he first compelling law restricting immigration in the United States. This act banned entry to all of the Chinese except for students, teachers, merchants, tourists, and government officials. Congress wanted to calm work demands and satisfy widespread concerns about protecting the white "racial purity". I am ashamed of this because this act caused distress and it is important to know about the history of other nations and learn from them.The evidence I have is a cartoon showing the unfairness America has put onto the Chinese.
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The Melting Pot

The melting pot is a mixture of people of different cultures and races who blended together by abandoning their native languages and customs.It was America a chance to create a new and unique American culture. I am proud of this because its provides diversity, Americans can learn about other cultures, and they get to have a better way of life.
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Angel Island

About 50,000 Chinese immigrants entered the United States through Angel Island. These immigrants encountered harsh questioning and a long detention in filthy buildings waiting to be admitted or rejected. Also since the Chinese Exclusion Act was still enforced in the United Sates, Angel Island served as more of a detention and deportation center rather than an immigration processing center. I am ashamed because immigrants had to go through a long painful process to get into the United State and most of which didn’t even have a chance, but the one's that were admitted gave Americans a chance to learn more about Chinese culture. The evidence below shows the harsh conditions the Chinese had to deal with while on Angel Island.
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Urbanization: Social Gospel

The Social Gospel was an idea that religious faith should be expressed through good works. It was an effort among Protestant Christians to improve the economic, moral, and social conditions of the urban poor. A few reformers established settlement houses, community centers in slum neighborhoods that provided assistance to people in the area, especially immigrants. Settlement workers would live at the houses so that they could learn about the problems caused by urbanization and wanted to help create solutions for these problems. I am proud of this because this improved not only living conditions but also morality of Americans. Jane Addams was one of the most influential members of the movement.

The Mass Transit

The Mass Transit were transportation systems designed to move a large number of people along a certain route. This helped workers to get to and from their jobs easier. Later, mass transit networks in many urban areas linked city neighborhoods to one another and to outlying communities. Unfortunately, cities struggled to repair old transit systems and to build new ones to meet the demand of expanding populations. I am proud that mass transits were there to help every day life become easier ,but also cities were becoming so over populated that what was the point of the mass transit if it had struggles with meeting new demands.

The Americanization Movement

The Americanization Movement was designed to assimilate people of wide ranging cultures into dominant cultures. The efforts the United States put into Americanization of immigrants took the form of English language classes and courses in American civics. We wanted immigrants to be loyal to the United States and accept our republican form of government. I am proud of this because the United States let immigrants come in no matter the culture to learn our culture.
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Progressivism: The Seventeeth Amendment

The Seventeenth Amendment was mainly about voters casting direct votes for US senators. I am proud of this because the Amendment allows Americans the right to directly vote for whomever they choose. Also because the government included efforts to give Americans more of a voice in electing their legislators and creating laws, it increased numbers of women into public life.
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Muckrakers wrote about the corrupt side of business and the public life in mass circulation magazines or in other words exposed them. I am proud of this because is shined light of the truth of what businesses were actually doing and what all was going on in the public life. This also let the American people understand what was going on. Muckraker Upton Sinclair wrote a novel, "The Jungle", and it was reveal “the breaking of human hearts by a system [that] exploits the labour of men and women for profits.” But the readers were most shocked about the conditions of the meatpacking industry.

Here is a quote from Upton Sinclair's novel, "The Jungle".

There would be meat that had tumbled out on the floor, in the

dirt and sawdust, where the workers had tramped and spit

uncounted billions of consumption [tuberculosis] germs. There

would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; . . . and thousands

of rats would race about on it. . . . A man could run his hand over

these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of

rats. These rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poi-

soned bread out for them; they would die, and then rats, bread,

and meat would go into the hoppers together.

Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act

The Payne- Aldrich Tariff Act was a compromise that only moderated the high tariff rates of the Aldrich Bill. When the Aldrich bill was attacked for increasing rates by a group of Republicans in the Senate, a compromise bill was adopted. This changed bill moderated the high rates of the Aldrich bill and was immediately signed by Taft. The results of the bill was that it lowered 650 tariff schedules, raised 220, and left 1,150 unchanged. This act also angered progressives who thought President Taft abandoned them. The president made progressives mad by clumsily attempting to defend the tariff, calling it “the best [tariff] bill the Republican party ever passed.” I am ashamed of this because instead of lowering the tariffs like President Taft said, he is for the Payne- Aldrich Tariff Act which raises tariffs overall. The cartoon below shows the elephant (Republican) being led by President Taft, who is carrying a bouquet "for the people". The Republican elephant is advertising the Senator Nelson W. Aldrich as "the people's friend". The Republican elephant then is pulling a cart that is transporting a bucket of "whitewash"(applied liberally at all important stops). The tin can is says "tariff revision" that is tied to the elephants tail which shows a problem that will soon arise.
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Imperialism: The US gaining Hawii

Queen Liliuokalani realized her reign in Hawaii had come to an end when more than 160 U.S. sailors and marines stood ready to aid the white foreigners who planned to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy. The monarch surrendered Hawaii to the United States. The United Sates then annexed Hawaii. I am proud of this because it not only gives the US more diverse people but also land resources. Also, I'm proud Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown because she was a harsh ruler. Her people were trying to get away from her.

Here is a quote from Queen Liliuokalani, proving her harshness and how the United States rightfully took control.

I, Liliuokalani, . . . do hereby solemnly protest against any

and all acts done against myself and the constitutional govern-

ment of the Hawaiian Kingdom. . . . Now, to avoid any collision of

armed forces and perhaps the loss of life, I do under this protest . . .

yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States

shall . . . undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority

which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.

Platt Amendment

The Platt Amendments conditions prohibited the Cuban Government from entering into any international treaty that would compromise Cuban independence or allow foreign powers to use the island for military purposes. Also in order to protect Cuba's independence, it gave the US the right to intervene in Cuban affairs and the right to buy or lease Cuban land for naval and fueling. The United States wanted to maintain “a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty.” Lastly, the United States pressured the Cubans to incorporate the terms of the Platt Amendment in the Cuban constitution. I am proud of this because the United States gained control of land and also was thinking about Americas best interests.

William Seward

William Seward had purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 and people doubted his decision because they thought Alaska was going to be a dead end. Well, Alaska became apart of American expansion and later, William sold an acre of land for 2 cents. Also, Alaska was full of natural resources such as timber, minerals, and oil. I am proud of this because although other people saw Alaska as a wasteland, William didn't and in the long run that benefited the United States. The cartoon shows the treaty William Seward signed to get Alaska from Russia and the amount of land Seward had been given.
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World War 1: The League of Nations

The League of Nations was proposed by US president Wilson and it is the association of countries to promote international cooperation’s. They wanted to maintain world peace through security and to encourage international co-operation in order to solve economic and social problems.I am proud of this because the League of Nations successfully settled many disputes between small, weak nations. For example, it settles a dispute between Sweden and Finland over the Aaland Islands and after that Yugoslavian troops withdrew from Albania when the League threatened to impose economic sanction on Yugoslavia. The cartoon to the right has the League of Nations as the muzzle on the dog of war, showing that the nations has discuss rather than resort to violence.

The Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was the treaty that ended World War 1ad it was drafted at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and was made by the Big Four powers(Great Britain, France, Italy, and the United States). Because of the treaty, Germany had to pay the war guilt clause(pay for all the damages the war had done). The U.S. public opinion wanted ratification of the Treaty, including the Covenant of the League of Nations, but the U.S. Senate strongly opposed it. I am ashamed of the Treaty of Versailles because it put full blame on Germany when Austria Hungry was at fault as well, but also I am proud because the Americans felt that the United States best hope for peace was to stay out of European affairs.
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Propaganda was the spreading of ideas or beliefs to further a particular cause of damage an opposing cause. It helped people become more involved with the United States mostly in World War 1. I am proud of this because propaganda made its way into the minds of Americans and because people got involved, the United States was getting more and more support to win battles.
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