America from 1880 to 1920


During industrialization, there was a push for some political reforms, people wanted shorter days and more money. Because of this, Americans workers formed unions. The economy at this time, was run by robber barons and captions of industry. These robber barons, such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, crushed their competition, gave bad wages, and used their power to influence the government. On the social and cultural side of things, things went from rural to urban. This time ended the dominance of agriculture.



For 10 years, we had the Chinese Exclusion Act in effect which prohibited Chinese immigrants from coming into the United States. Other immigrants would take jobs that put Americans out of work, because these immigrants would work for very little pay. Reasons for immigration come from push and pull factors.

Push factors: famine, poverty, religious non-freedom

Pull Factors: freedoms, economic opportunities, land


During this time, there was an emergence of a new political party, the Populist party. They were with the people and allied with labor unions and were against capitalism. Political machines also rose at this time. They stole from cities and gave jobs to people in exchange for votes. For our economy, money was poured into manufacturing plants, banks, and the railroads. For the social change, overcrowding was a huge dilemma. Tenement housing, little sanitation, and terrible living conditions were all effects of overcrowding in cities.


The Graduated Income Tax, the 16th amendment, was added at this time. It stated that the more money you make, the more taxes you pay. We were also introduced to the Pure Food and Drug Act. Thanks to Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle", and some bad meat the soldiers received, companies had to start to label their food products with ingredients and expiration dates. The suffrage movement also took place at this time. Alice Paul and the National Women's Party fought for voting rights by striking outside the White House and calling President Wilson a hypocrite. It worked, and eventually the 19th amendment was passed.


During the imperialistic period, there were political problems such as labor violence. Our economy also heavily leaned on foreign trade, and this opened up many new opportunities for us. Socially, our American ideals were placed all around the world.

World War 1

Following the Great War, the United States truly emerged as a world dominating power. Our economy was not effected very much other than rationing. Factories and businesses were mostly unharmed and worked very well. Post war, women finally gained the right to vote and came one step closer to being truly equal.