1880-1920, Proud or Shameful
By: Liam Pfeiffer
Industrialization (Child Labor Laws)
The Child Labor Laws were a series of many different laws that limited and regulated the work conditions of children under the age of 14 years old. For example, The Keating-Owen Act made it so products made by underage child laborers were prohibited and couldn't be sold on the market. I am proud that people stood up for the rights of these children, allowing them to live a normal life until they themselves were ready to enter the job field. My evidence is an article created by Lewis Hine that was printed on January of 1910, which explained how the new Child Labor Laws have affected the nation.
Bimetallism was a system that introduced both gold and silver as money, with a fixed price ratio. Many people argued against bimetallism bringing up that such a system is wasteful in that mining, handling, and coinage of two metals is more costly than just one metal. I am ashamed of how the government handled this situation and that they even introduced the policy in the first place. My evidence for this piece is a political cartoon showing Uncle Sam riding a bike with one wheel being gold and the other being silver, this political cartoon demonstrates how silver is useless compared to gold.
Industrialization (Lewis Hine)
Lewis Hine was a famous muckraker who took pictures of child laborers to show how sickening and unsafe the factories they worked in were. Through his work he paved the way for Child Labor Laws that would be passed in the future. I am proud of Lewis Hine for exposing the tyrant known as the factory bosses and saving children from untimely deaths. My evidence is one of the pictures that he took to show how deadly and depressing the working conditions were at the factories.
Immigration (Chinese Exclusion Act)
The Chinese Exclusion Act was a law signed by Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882. The Chinese Exclusion Act restricted the immigration of Chinese immigrants into the United States, except for Chinese laborers who were skilled in manual labor. I am ashamed of how cruel and heartless the government was back then to actually pass this law. My evidence is a political cartoon depicting a Chinese immigrant being locked outside of the gates of the United States.
Immigration (Tenement House Act)
The Tenement House Act was a law that banned the further building of tenement houses within cities. This law was passed because of all the controversy with the health issues of the tenement buildings and how dirty the streets were becoming. I am both proud and ashamed of this law because of how it cleaned up the streets, but also made it so that many people had no cheap place to settle after arriving in America. My evidence is one of the pictures taken inside one of the tenement houses. It shows how dirty and disgusting the living conditions within those tenement houses were.
Immigration (Culture Shock)
Culture shock is defined as the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes. Culture shock was seen widely throughout the time that many immigrants entered the United States. Both from the people born there and from those who were immigrating into the United States, this is why we have many little places like Chinatown, Little Tokyo, etc. I am proud of what came from culture shock, even though culture shock is something you wouldn't want to experience. My evidence is a picture of a Chinatown in New York.
Urbanization (Pure Food and Drug Act)
The Pure Food and Drug Act was a law inspired by Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and was signed by Theodore Roosevelt on June 23, 1906. The Pure Food and Drug Act made it so many consumer products had to be checked for anything poisonous or dangerous, if they found something they would prohibit the selling of that item on the market. I am proud of this law because it made it so many dangerous products were banned and overtime saved many people's lives. My evidence is the book that inspired the passing of the Pure Food and Drug Act, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.
Infrastructure is defined as the necessary requirements needed to fully operate a society or enterprise. Some examples of necessary requirements in a society could be railroads, buildings, power supplies, etc. I am proud of how Americans built so many useful things and how they set up the rules and regulations for our society. Sadly, America's infrastructure has become quite damaged recently. My evidence is a youtube video describing how the infrastructure of America is crumbling.
Urbanization (Hull House)
The Hull House was a settlement house founded by Ellen Gates Starr and Jane Addams on September 18, 1889. The Hull House was used as a place to educate immigrants and allow them to learn while their children would be able to play in a safe environment. I am proud of how thoughtful and caring Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr were to sacrifice many things to help educate those in need. My evidence is a newspaper article explaining what the Hull House was and what they were going to do within it's walls.
Progressivism (Federal Reserve Act)
The Federal Reserve Act was a law signed by President Woodrow Wilson on December 23, 1913. The Federal Reserve Act set up the Federal Reserve System, the national banking system of the United States. I am neither proud nor ashamed of this law because it did not really affect the people of the United States in any way other than with their monetary problems. My evidence for this act is a book that states the amendments of the Federal Reserve Act in explicit detail.
Progressivism (Clayton Anti-Trust Act)
The Clayton Anti-Trust Act was a law signed by President Woodrow Wilson on October 15, 1914. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act banned/discouraged unethical monetary practices and stopped the formation of monopolies. This would be awful news for the Robber Barons. I am proud that this law got passed because it stopped frequent corruption in the business world. My evidence for this piece is a political cartoon depicting how anti-trust laws solve the solutions created by monopolies.
A muckraker is defined as a person who would search for and publish information about big scandals to try to solve the problem they were interested in. Some examples of muckrakers could be Upton Sinclair, Lewis Hine, Jane Addams, Ida Tarbell, and many others. Each of them with a different problem they were trying to solve. i am proud of how much work the muckrakers put into their investigations to try to solve America's problems. My evidence is a youtube video that explains what muckraking is and who some of the most famous muckrakers were.
Progressive Era: The Muckrakers
Imperialism (Teller/Platt Amendment)
Both the Teller and Platt Amendments were related to Cuba in the way that the United States intervened in foreign affairs and saved Cuba from Spanish control. But in return Cuba had to give them ports and lease them land. I am ashamed of the actions that the United States used against Cuba, they were only thinking about themselves and what they would get from helping them. My evidence for this piece is a political cartoon that depicts Uncle Sam taking control over Cuba.
Imperialism (Open Door Policy)
The Open Door Policy was a policy set by the United States whose goal was to stop the other world power's influence on China and set up free and equal trade between all of them. America set forward this policy in the first place because all of the other world powers had taken parts of China and America was left out and didn't receive anything. I am both proud and ashamed by what the U.S. government decided to do, i am proud because they set China free from the world power's influence, but i am ashamed because they did it so that they only did it so that they could trade with China. My evidence for this piece is a political cartoon that represents all of the major world powers splitting up pieces of China and taking them for themselves.
Imperialism (Yellow Journalism)
Yellow Journalism is defined as journalism that stretches the truth and over-exaggerates things to get more business and make more money. Some examples of Yellow Journalism could be when the sinking of the Maine occurred the yellow journalist blamed the Spanish for the event that occurred that day. I am ashamed of how low these people could go just to make a couple more bucks. My evidence is a yellow journalist article that blames the Spanish for the sinking of the Maine.
World War I (Sedition/Espionage Act)
The Sedition Act is an extension of the Espionage Act which made it so speaking out against the war or voicing your negative opinions is illegals and could be punished by time in jail. Even though this law was passed some people still voiced their opinions even when they knew of the consequences that awaited them. I am ashamed of how this law obviously breaks the 1st amendment by not allowing freedom of speech. My evidence for this piece is a war poster that advised people to keep their mouths shut or else.
World War I (War Bonds)
War bonds were government issued bonds that were used during times of war that helped in financing purposes when the government ran low on money to fund the war. The U.S. government encouraged people to buy war bonds through propaganda posters and articles in the newspapers. I am proud of how the government went about receiving the money necessary to fund the war instead of just raising taxes. My evidence for this piece is a propaganda poster encouraging people to buy war bonds.
World War I (Homefront)
During WWI families on the Homefront would recycle old materials to be used for military supplies, knit socks and blankets, and would collect peach pits for use in gas masks. Without these families the U.S. government would of had to spend a decent amount of money to make the materials themselves. I am proud of how caring and thoughtful these families were as to help the soldiers oversea by sending over useful materials. My evidence for this piece is a propaganda poster that explains how people could help on the Homefront to benefit the soldiers oversea.