Andrew Carnegie, Bessemer Process
A young Scottish immigrant named Andrew Carnegie saw a future in the production of steel as he worked his way up in the railroad business in the 1860’s. Carnegie emerged as one of the nation’s wealthiest men through his Carnegie Steel Company. By using the Bessemer process to produce steel to sate the appetite of the U.S. businesses, Carnegie soon was responsible for supplying over half of the world’s steel.
The railroad industry already had a foothold in the East, with men such as Cornelius Vanderbilt leading modernization of older rails. Vanderbilt had amassed a fortune in the steamboat business before venturing into rail. He placed his fortune into conversion of eastern lines to common guage steel rails, and consolidated many smaller rail lines under one name–the New York Central Railroad.
Gustavus Swift/vertical integration
Vertically integrated companies in a supply chain are united through a common owner. Usually each member of the supply chain produces a different product or (market-specific) service, and the products combine to satisfy a common need. It is contrasted with horizontal integration. Swift was the first to use this method.
John D. Rockefeller/Standard Oil
Rockefellar turned a small petroleum company into a massive monopoly by his business strategy of “horizontal integration.” Much more damaging than Carnegie’s vertical integration, Rockefeller’s style was to control one aspect of the production process of oil; in this case the refining stage. His Standard Oil Company eventually controlled 95% of the refineries in the United States by the process of consolidation.
The New South idea was to convert the pre-Civil War agricultural South into a more diversified economy. Southern industry did develop in textiles, steel, lumber, furniture, and tobacco products, but southern industry continued to lag well behind the North.
The second major wave of immigration to the U.S.; betwen 1865-1910, 25 million new immigrants arrived. Unlike earlier immigration, which had come primarily from Western and Northern Europe, the New Immigrants came mostly from Southern and Eastern Europe, fleeing persecution and poverty. Language barriers and cultural differences produced mistrust by Americans.
Frederick Taylor/scientific management
Frederick W. Taylor was in the field of mechanization. He was an expert on metal-cutting methods and believed that the engineer’s approach might be applied to managing workers, which he titled as “scientific management,” which was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity.
Knights of Labor
Meeting in secret so as to not lose their jobs, the Knights of Labor finally emerged in 1881 under the leadership of Terrance Powderly. The union was inclusive–all workers, women, and minorities included, were invited to join. Much like the National Labor Union before them, Powderly and his followers advocated both economic and social reforms such as the development of labor cooperatives modeled after the Grangers, an eight-hour work day, government regulation of business, and arbitrations to settle disputes between labor and management rather than violent strikes.
Many of the Knight had left to join Samuel Gompers andhis American Federation of Labor founded in 1886, a union that became the country’s largest with over a million members. The Federation was a practical union that chose to concentrate on “bread and butter” issues–such as the eight-hour work day and higher wages.
Haymarket Square Riot
On May 4, 1886 in Haymarket Square, Chicago police advanced on a meeting called to protest alleged brutalities by authorities. A dynamite bomb was thrown and killed dozens of people. The Knights of Labor were blamed for incident at Haymarket Square and as a result, it lost public support.
Factory owners sometimes would force prospective employees to sign a yellow dog contract, or “ironclad oath” in which the worker agreed not to join a union as a condition of employment.
It was one of the most violent strikes in U.S. history. It was against the Homestead Steel Works, which was part of the Carnegie Steel Company, in Pennsylvania in retaliation against wage cuts. The riot was ultimately put down by Pinkerton Police and the state militia, and the violence further damaged the image of unions.
In response to the Great Railroad Strike, the Pullman Palace Car Company, which manufactured sleeping cars for the railroads, constructed a “model town” for its employees. When a wage cut was announced and the leader of their union fired by management, Pullman workers chose to stop working. With their homegrown union without a lader, the group sought assistance from the American Railway Union under the leadership of Eugene Debs. Rail workers across the nation joined the Pullman strikers.
Prominent socialist leader (and five time presidential candidate) who founded the American Railroad Union and led the 1894 Pullman Strike
Industrial Workers of the World
an international industrial labor union, considered radical by many, that was organized in Chicago
United States architect known for his steel framed skyscrapers and for coining the phrase ‘form follows function’ (1856-1924)
Jacob Riis/How the Other Half Lives
To shw the conditions of New York’s tenements in Hell’s Kitchen, Danish photojournalist Jacob Riis shocked the nation with his book How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890.
Politics in America’s large cities was mired in corruption and collusion. Large, consolidated political groups called “machines” controlled party politics in cities such as New York, Chicago, and Baltimore. Political machines provided coverted city jobs to those who promised to vote for their candidates. They also found housing for newly arrived immigrants and doled out various forms of support to needy families throughout the city, like turkeys and Thanksgiving, clothes, and job-search assistance.
The most famous political machines, Tammany Hall in New York City was led by “Boss” Tweed.
Tweed and his fellow Irishmen gave aid to small businessmen, immigrants, and the poor in exchange for votes. George Washington Plunkett, a lower boss in Tammany Hall, would pocket large sums of taxpayer money in what he called “honest graft.” Plunkett would gain advance notice of a city project from an insider sitting on the planning board. He would buy the land for the proposed project and then sell it to the city for as much as three times its original selling price.
William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal American fought over circulation numbers in the city with his sensationalized stories and rock-bottom prices.
Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers
the practice of granting favors to reward party loyalty
civil service reform
Congress took action in the late 19th century to protect ethical politicians and create standards for political service; including, a civil service test for those seeking a job in government.
Pendleton Civil Service Act of 1881
This Act reformed the corruption patronage system of obtaining civil service jobs. No longer could plitical cronyism secure government positions–all potential civil service employees had to take an exam to prove their worthiness.
a politician from New York who served both as a member of the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He was the leader of the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party.
A faction of the Republican party in the ends of the 1800s Supported the political machine and patronage. Conservatives who hated civil service reform.
Favored tariff reform and social reform, major issues from the Democratic and Republican parties. They did not seem to be dedicated members of either party.
The McKinley Tariff was a name popularly given to a law enacted by the United States Congress in 1890 which increased tariffs on some goods imported into the United States. It was named after Congressman William McKinley, who would later become President of the United States.
Many lower class Americans subscribed to the “rags to riches” myth propagated by novelist Horatio Alger, whose titles such as Ragged Dick were intended to inspire young stret urchins to become wealth industrialists like Andrwe Carnagie.
Americans were quick to apply Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and the notion of “survival of the fittest” to the economic and social sectors of the country. Social Darwinists argued that wealth belonged in the hands of those who were fittest to manage it.
Republican political activists who supported Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland in the United States presidential election of 1884. They switched parties because they rejected the financial corruption associated with Republican candidate, James Blaine.
secret ballot establish in the civil war/first republican era
(Women’s Christian Temperance Union) group organized in 1874 that worked to ban the sale of liquor in the U.S.
became leader of the WCTU. She worked to educate people about the evils of alcohol. She urged laws banning the sale of liquor. Also worked to outlaw saloons as step towards strengthening democracy.
Plessy v. Ferguson, Jim Crow
sumpreme court ruled that segregation public places facilities were legal as long as the facilites were equal
Ida B. Wells
the lynching of blacks outraged her, an african american journalist. in her newspaper, free speech, wells urged african americans to protest the lynchings. she called for a boycott of segregated street cars and white owned stores. she spoke out despite threats to her life.
farmers joined focres in several states across the coutnry to form the Famers’ Alliance. The Alliance gained membership, sucessfully seated senators and governors in Midwestern states, and eventually morphed into the Populist Party.
Morphed from the Famers’ Alliance, the Populists advocated for the following: unlimited coinage of silver; a graduated income tax; public ownership of railraods, telegraph, and telephone; government subsidies to assist in stablilizing agricultural prices; an eight-hour work day; the direct election of US senators; and increased voter power with the use of the initiative, referendum, and recall.
gold standard/free silver
The money supply was tied to the gold standard, which limited circulation of liquid assets. As the country rebounded from panic after panic, it was clear to those who needed cash most–farmers and debtors–that the nation would have to adopt a bi-metal standard of use paper currency in place of limited hard coin. Some argued for the unlimited coinage of silver to loosen up the money supply.
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