Give Me Liberty discussion 1

Table of Contents

Give Me Liberty
Give Me Liberty

What was “Fordism” and how did workers respond to it?

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1.    Read Textbook: Foner, Give Me Liberty, (“The Progressive Era, 1900-1916 [start of chapter] to “The Expanding Role of Government” [end of chapter])

G I V E M E L I B E R T Y ! A N A M E R I C A N H I S T O R Y  B r i e f F o u r t h E d i t i o n G I V E M E L I B E R T Y ! A N A M E R I C A N H I S T O R Y  B r i e f F o u r t h E d i t i o n E R I C F O N E R B W . W . N O R T O N & C O M P A N Y N E W Y O R K . L O N D O N For my mother, Liza Foner (1909–2005), an accomplished artist who lived through most of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first W. W. Norton & Company has been independent since its founding in 1923, when William Warder Norton and Mary D. Herter Norton first published lectures delivered at the People’s Institute, the adult education division of New York City’s Cooper Union. The firm soon expanded its program beyond the Institute, publishing books by celebrated academics from America and abroad. By mid-century, the two major pillars of Norton’s publishing program— trade books and college texts—were firmly established. In the 1950s, the Norton family transferred control of the company to its employees, and today—with a staff of 400 and a comparable number of trade, college, and professional titles published each year— W. W. Norton & Company stands as the largest and oldest publishing house owned wholly by its employees. Copyright © 2014, 2012 by Eric Foner All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America Fourth Edition Editor: Steve Forman Associate Editor: Justin Cahill Editorial Assistant: Penelope Lin Managing Editor, College: Marian Johnson Managing Editor, College Digital Media: Kim Yi Project Editor: Diane Cipollone Copy Editor: Elizabeth Dubrulle Marketing Manager: Sarah England Media Editors: Steve Hoge, Tacy Quinn Assistant Editor, Media: Stefani Wallace Production Manager: Sean Mintus Art Director: Rubina Yeh Designer: Chin-Yee Lai Photo Editor: Stephanie Romeo Photo Research: Donna Ranieri Permissions Manager: Megan Jackson Permissions Clearing: Bethany Salminen Composition and Layout: Jouve Manufacturing: Transcontinental Since this page cannot accommodate all of the copyright notices, the Credits pages at the end of the book constitute an extension of the copyright page. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for. This edition: ISBN 978-0-393-92034-5 (pbk.) W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017 W. W. Norton & Company Ltd., Castle House, 75/76 Wells Street, London W1T 3QT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 A B O U T T H E A U T H O R  E R I C F O N E R is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, where he earned his B.A. and Ph.D. In his teaching and scholarship, he focuses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and nineteenth-century America. Professor Foner’s publi- cations include Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War; Tom Paine and Revolutionary America; Nothing but Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy; Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877; The Story of American Free- dom; and Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction. His history of Recon- struction won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for History, the Bancroft Prize, and the Parkman Prize. He has served as president of the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association. In 2006 he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching from Columbia University. His most recent book is The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, winner of the Lincoln Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize.  C O N T E N T S  A b o u t t h e A u t h o r . . . v L i s t o f M a p s , T a b l e s , a n d F i g u r e s . . . x v i i i P r e f a c e . . . x x 1 5 . “ W H A T I S F R E E D O M ? ” : R E C O N S T R U C T I O N , 1 8 6 5 – 1 8 7 7 . . . 4 4 1 T H E M E A N I N G O F F R E E D O M . . . 443 Families in Freedom … 443  Church and School … 444  Political Freedom … 444  Land, Labor, and Freedom … 445  Masters without Slaves … 445  The Free Labor Vision … 447  The Freedmen’s Bureau … 447  The Failure of Land Reform … 448  The White Farmer … 449 Voices of Freedom: From Petition of Committee in Behalf of the Freedmen to Andrew Johnson (1865), and From A Sharecropping Contract (1866) … 450 Aftermath of Slavery … 453 T H E M A K I N G O F R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N . . . 454 Andrew Johnson … 454  The Failure of Presidential Reconstruction … 454  The Black Codes … 455  The Radical Republicans … 456  The Origins of Civil Rights … 456  The Fourteenth Amendment … 457  The Reconstruction Act … 458  Impeachment and the Election of Grant … 458  The Fifteenth Amendment … 460  The “Great Constitutional Revolution” … 461  The Rights of Women … 461 R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N I N T H E S O U T H . . . 462 “The Tocsin of Freedom” … 462  The Black Officeholder … 464  Carpetbaggers and Scalawags … 464  Southern Republicans in Power … 465  The Quest for Prosperity … 465 T H E O V E R T H R O W O F R E C O N S T R U C T I O N . . . 466 Reconstruction’s Opponents … 466  “A Reign of Terror” … 467  The Liberal Republicans … 469  The North’s Retreat … 470  The Triumph of the Redeemers … 471  The Disputed Election and Bargain of 1877 … 472  The End of Reconstruction … 473 R E V I E W . . . 4 7 4 1 6 . A M E R I C A ’ S G I L D E D A G E , 1 8 7 0 – 1 8 9 0 . . . 4 7 5 T H E S E C O N D I N D U S T R I A L R E V O L U T I O N . . . 476 The Industrial Economy … 477  Railroads and the National Market … 478  The Spirit of Innovation … 479  Competition and Consolidation … 480  The Rise of Andrew Carnegie … 481  The C o n t e n t s v i i Triumph of John D. Rockefeller … 481  Workers’ Freedom in an Industrial Age … 482 T H E T R A N S F O R M A T I O N O F T H E W E S T . . . 483 A Diverse Region … 484  Farming in the Trans-Mississippi West … 485  The Cowboy and the Corporate West … 486  Conflict on the Mormon Frontier … 487  The Subjugation of the Plains Indians … 488  “Let Me Be a Free Man” … 489  Remaking Indian Life … 489  The Dawes Act and Wounded Knee … 490  Settler Societies and Global Wests … 491 Voices of Freedom: From Andrew Carnegie, “Wealth” (1889), and From Ira Steward, “A Second Declaration of Independence” (1879) … 492 P O L I T I C S I N A G I L D E D A G E . . . 494 The Corruption of Politics … 494  The Politics of Dead Center … 495  Government and the Economy … 496  Reform Legislation … 497  Political Conflict in the States … 497 F R E E D O M I N T H E G I L D E D A G E . . . 498 The Social Problem … 498  Social Darwinism in America … 499  Liberty of Contract and the Courts … 500 L A B O R A N D T H E R E P U B L I C . . . 501 “The Overwhelming Labor Question” … 501  The Knights of Labor and the “Conditions Essential to Liberty” … 502  Middle-Class Reformers … 502  Protestants and Moral Reform … 504  A Social Gospel … 504  The Haymarket Affair … 505  Labor and Politics … 506 R E V I E W . . . 5 0 7 1 7 . F R E E D O M ’ S B O U N D A R I E S , A T H O M E A N D A B R O A D , 1 8 9 0 – 1 9 0 0 . . . 5 0 8 T H E P O P U L I S T C H A L L E N G E . . . 510 The Farmers’ Revolt … 510  The People’s Party … 511  The Populist Platform … 512  The Populist Coalition … 513  The Government and Labor … 513  Populism and Labor … 514  Bryan and Free Silver … 515  The Campaign of 1896 … 516 T H E S E G R E G A T E D S O U T H . . . 517 The Redeemers in Power … 517  The Failure of the New South Dream … 517  Black Life in the South … 518  The Kansas Exodus … 518  The Decline of Black Politics … 519  The Elimination of Black Voting … 520  The Law of Segregation … 521  The Rise of Lynching … 522  Politics, Religion, and Memory … 523 R E D R A W I N G T H E B O U N D A R I E S . . . 524 The New Immigration and the New Nativism … 524  Chinese Exclusion and Chinese Rights … 525  The Emergence of v i i i Contents Booker T. Washington … 526  The Rise of the AFL … 527  The Women’s Era … 528 B E C O M I N G A W O R L D P O W E R . . . 529 The New Imperialism … 529  American Expansionism … 529  The Lure of Empire … 530  The “Splendid Little War” … 531  Roosevelt at San Juan Hill … 532  An American Empire … 533  The Philippine War … 535 Voices of Freedom: From Josiah Strong, Our Country (1885), and From “Aguinaldo’s Case against the United States” (1899) … 536 Citizens or Subjects? … 538  Drawing the Global Color Line … 539  “Republic or Empire?” … 539 R E V I E W . . . 5 4 2 1 8 . T H E P R O G R E S S I V E E R A , 1 9 0 0 – 1 9 1 6 . . . 5 4 3 A N U R B A N A G E A N D A C O N S U M E R S O C I E T Y . . . 545 Farms and Cities … 545  The Muckrakers … 546  Immigration as a Global Process … 546  The Immigrant Quest for Freedom … 548  Consumer Freedom … 548  The Working Woman … 549  The Rise of Fordism … 550  The Promise of Abundance … 550 V A R I E T I E S O F P R O G R E S S I V I S M . . . 551 Industrial Freedom … 552  The Socialist Presence and Eugene Debs … 552 Voices of Freedom: From Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics (1898), and From John Mitchell, “A Workingman’s Conception of Industrial Liberty” (1910) … 554 AFL and IWW … 556  The New Immigrants on Strike … 556  Labor and Civil Liberties … 557  The New Feminism … 558  The Birth- Control Movement … 558  Native American Progressivism … 559 T H E P O L I T I C S O F P R O G R E S S I V I S M . . . 559 Effective Freedom … 559  State and Local Reforms … 560  Progressive Democracy … 561  Jane Addams and Hull House … 562  The Campaign for Woman Suffrage … 563  Maternalist Reform … 564 T H E P R O G R E S S I V E P R E S I D E N T S . . . 566 Theodore Roosevelt … 566  John Muir and the Spirituality of Nature … 567  The Conservation Movement … 567  Taft in Office … 568  The Election of 1912 … 569  New Freedom and New Nationalism … 569  Wilson’s First Term … 570  The Expanding Role of Government … 571 R E V I E W . . . 5 7 3 C o n t e n t s i x 1 9 . S A F E F O R D E M O C R A C Y : T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S A N D W O R L D W A R I , 1 9 1 6 – 1 9 2 0 . . . 5 7 4 A N E R A O F I N T E R V E N T I O N . . . 576 “I Took the Canal Zone” … 576  The Roosevelt Corollary … 578  Moral Imperialism … 579  Wilson and Mexico … 579 A M E R I C A A N D T H E G R E A T W A R . . . 580 Neutrality and Preparedness … 581  The Road to War … 582  The Fourteen Points … 582 T H E W A R A T H O M E . . . 584 The Progressives’ War … 584  The Wartime State … 584  The Propaganda War … 585  The Coming of Woman Suffrage … 586  Prohibition … 587  Liberty in Wartime … 587 Voices of Freedom: From Eugene V. Debs, Speech to the Jury before Sentencing under the Espionage Act (1918), and From W. E. B. Du Bois, “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis (1919) … 588 The Espionage Act … 590  Coercive Patriotism … 590 W H O I S A N A M E R I C A N ? . . . 591 The “Race Problem” … 591  The Anti-German Crusade … 592  Toward Immigration Restriction … 593  Groups Apart: Mexicans and Asian-Americans … 593  The Color Line … 594  Roosevelt, Wilson, and Race … 594  W. E. B. Du Bois and the Revival of Black Protest … 595  Closing Ranks … 596  The Great Migration … 596  Racial Violence, North and South … 597  The Rise of Garveyism … 598 1 9 1 9 . . . 599 A Worldwide Upsurge … 599  Upheaval in America … 599  The Red Scare … 600  Wilson at Versailles … 601  The Wilsonian Moment … 602  The Seeds of Wars to Come … 604  The Treaty Debate … 605 R E V I E W . . . 6 0 7 2 0 . F R O M B U S I N E S S C U L T U R E T O G R E A T D E P R E S S I O N : T H E T W E N T I E S , 1 9 2 0 – 1 9 3 2 . . . 6 0 8 T H E B U S I N E S S O F A M E R I C A . . . 610 A Decade of Prosperity … 610  A New Society … 611  The Limits of Prosperity … 612  The Farmers’ Plight … 612  The Image of Business … 613  The Decline of Labor … 613  The Equal Rights Amendment … 615  Women’s Freedom … 615 B U S I N E S S A N D G O V E R N M E N T . . . 616 The Republican Era … 617  Corruption in Government … 617  The Election of 1924 … 618  Economic Diplomacy … 618 T H E B I R T H O F C I V I L L I B E R T I E S . . . 619 A “Clear and Present Danger” … 620  The Court and Civil Liberties … 621 x Contents T H E C U L T U R E W A R S . . . 621 The Fundamentalist Revolt … 621  The Scopes Trial … 622  The Second Klan … 623  Closing the Golden Door … 624  Race and the Law … 625  Promoting Tolerance … 626  The Emergence of Harlem … 627 Voices of Freedom: From André Siegfried, “The Gulf Between,” Atlantic Monthly (March 1928), and From Majority Opinion, Justice James C. McReynolds, in Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) … 628 The Harlem Renaissance … 630 T H E G R E A T D E P R E S S I O N . . . 631 The Election of 1928 … 631  The Coming of the Depression … 632  Americans and the Depression … 633  Resignation and Protest … 635  Hoover’s Response … 636  The Worsening Economic Outlook … 636  Freedom in the Modern World … 637 R E V I E W . . . 6 3 8 2 1 . T H E N E W D E A L , 1 9 3 2 – 1 9 4 0 . . . 6 3 9 T H E F I R S T N E W D E A L . . . 641 FDR and the Election of 1932 … 641  The Coming of the New Deal … 642  The Banking Crisis … 642  The NRA … 643  Government Jobs … 644  Public-Works Projects … 645  The New Deal and Agriculture … 646  The New Deal and Housing … 647  The Court and the New Deal … 648 T H E G R A S S R O O T S R E V O L T . . . 648 Labor’s Great Upheaval … 648  The Rise of the CIO … 649  Labor and Politics … 650  Voices of Protest … 651  Religion on the Radio … 651 T H E S E C O N D N E W D E A L . . . 652 The WPA and the Wagner Act … 653  The American Welfare State: Social Security … 654 A R E C K O N I N G W I T H L I B E R T Y . . . 655 The Election of 1936 … 655 Voices of Freedom: From Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Fireside Chat” (1934), and From John Steinbeck, The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to the Grapes of Wrath (1938) … 656 The Court Fight … 658  The End of the Second New Deal … 659 T H E L I M I T S O F C H A N G E . . . 660 The New Deal and American Women … 660  The Southern Veto … 661  The Stigma of Welfare … 661  The Indian New Deal … 662  The New Deal and Mexican-Americans … 662  Last Hired, First Fired … 663  Federal Discrimination … 664 A N E W C O N C E P T I O N O F A M E R I C A . . . 665 The Heyday of American Communism … 665  Redefining the People … 666  Challenging the Color Line … 667  Labor and Civil C o n t e n t s x i Liberties … 667  The End of the New Deal … 668  The New Deal in American History … 669 R E V I E W . . . 6 7 1 2 2 . F I G H T I N G F O R T H E F O U R F R E E D O M S : W O R L D W A R I I , 1 9 4 1 – 1 9 4 5 . . . 6 7 2 F I G H T I N G W O R L D W A R I I . . . 674 Good Neighbors … 674  The Road to War … 675  Isolationism … 675  War in Europe … 676  Toward Intervention … 677  Pearl Harbor … 677  The War in the Pacific … 678  The War in Europe … 679 T H E H O M E F R O N T . . . 682 Mobilizing for War … 682  Business and the War … 683  Labor in Wartime … 684  Fighting for the Four Freedoms … 684  The Fifth Freedom … 685  Women at War … 686 V I S I O N S O F P O S T W A R F R E E D O M . . . 687 Toward an American Century … 687  “The Way of Life of Free Men” … 688  The Road to Serfdom … 689 T H E A M E R I C A N D I L E M M A . . . 689 Patriotic Assimilation … 690  The Bracero Program … 690  Indians during the War … 691  Asian-Americans in Wartime … 691  Japanese- American Internment … 692  Blacks and the War … 694  Blacks and Military Service … 695  Birth of the Civil Rights Movement … 695  The Double-V … 696  The War and Race … 696  An American Dilemma … 697 Voices of Freedom: From Henry R. Luce, The American Century (1941), and From Charles H. Wesley, “The Negro Has Always Wanted the Four Freedoms,” in What the Negro Wants (1944) … 698 Black Internationalism … 700 T H E E N D O F T H E W A R . . . 700 “The Most Terrible Weapon” … 701  The Dawn of the Atomic Age … 701  The Nature of the War … 702  Planning the Postwar World … 703  Yalta and Bretton Woods … 703  The United Nations … 704  Peace, but not Harmony … 704 R E V I E W . . . 7 0 6 2 3 . T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S A N D T H E C O L D W A R , 1 9 4 5 – 1 9 5 3 . . . 7 0 7 O R I G I N S O F T H E C O L D W A R . . . 709 The Two Powers … 709  The Roots of Containment … 709  The Truman Doctrine … 710  The Marshall Plan … 711 x i i Contents  The Reconstruction of Japan … 712  The Berlin Blockade and NATO … 713  The Growing Communist Challenge … 713  The Korean War … 715  Cold War Critics … 717  Imperialism and Decolonization … 717 Voices of Freedom: From Will Herberg, Protestant, Catholic, Jew (1955), and From Henry Steele Commager, “Who Is Loyal to America?” in Harper’s (September 1947) … 718 T H E C O L D W A R A N D T H E I D E A O F F R E E D O M . . . 720 Freedom and Totalitarianism … 720  The Rise of Human Rights … 721  Ambiguities of Human Rights … 722 T H E T R U M A N P R E S I D E N C Y . . . 722 The Fair Deal … 722  The Postwar Strike Wave … 723  The Republican Resurgence … 723  Postwar Civil Rights … 724  To Secure These Rights … 725  The Dixiecrat and Wallace Revolts … 725 T H E A N T I C O M M U N I S T C R U S A D E . . . 727 Loyalty and Disloyalty … 728  The Spy Trials … 729  McCarthy and McCarthyism … 730  An Atmosphere of Fear … 731  The Uses of Anticommunism … 731  Anticommunist Politics … 732  Cold War Civil Rights … 733 R E V I E W . . . 7 3 5 2 4 . A N A F F L U E N T S O C I E T Y , 1 9 5 3 – 1 9 6 0 . . . 7 3 6 T H E G O L D E N A G E . . . 738 A Changing Economy … 738  A Suburban Nation … 739  The Growth of the West … 740  The TV World … 741  Women at Work and at Home … 741  A Segregated Landscape … 742  The Divided Society … 743  Religion and Anticommunism … 743  Selling Free Enterprise … 744  The Libertarian Conservatives and the New Conservatives … 744 T H E E I S E N H O W E R E R A . . . 745 Ike and Nixon … 745  The 1952 Campaign … 746  Modern Republicanism … 747  The Social Contract … 748  Massive Retaliation … 749  Ike and the Russians … 749  The Emergence of the Third World … 750  Origins of the Vietnam War … 751  Mass Society and Its Critics … 752  Rebels without a Cause … 753 T H E F R E E D O M M O V E M E N T . . . 754 Origins of the Movement … 755  The Legal Assault on Segregation … 755  The Brown Case … 757  The Montgomery Bus Boycott … 758  The Daybreak of Freedom … 758  The Leadership of King … 759  Massive Resistance … 760  Eisenhower and Civil Rights … 760 C o n t e n t s x i i i Voices of Freedom: From Richard Right, “I Choose Exile” (1950), and From The Southern Manifesto (1956) … 762 T H E E L E C T I O N O F 1 9 6 0 . . . 764 Kennedy and Nixon … 764  The End of the 1950s … 765 R E V I E W . . . 7 6 7 2 5 . T H E S I X T I E S , 1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 8 . . . 7 6 8 T H E C I V I L R I G H T S R E V O L U T I O N . . . 770 The Rising Tide of Protest … 770  Birmingham … 771  The March on Washington … 772 T H E K E N N E D Y Y E A R S . . . 773 Kennedy and the World … 773  The Missile Crisis … 774  Kennedy and Civil Rights … 775 L Y N D O N J O H N S O N ’ S P R E S I D E N C Y . . . 776 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 … 776  Freedom Summer … 776  The 1964 Election … 777  The Conservative Sixties … 778  The Voting Rights Act … 780  Immigration Reform … 780  The Great Society … 781  The War on Poverty … 781  Freedom and Equality … 782 T H E C H A N G I N G B L A C K M O V E M E N T . . . 782 The Ghetto Uprisings … 783  Malcolm X … 784  The Rise of Black Power … 784 V I E T N A M A N D T H E N E W L E F T . . . 785 Old and New Lefts … 785  The Fading Consensus … 786  America and Vietnam … 787 Voices of Freedom: From Young Americans for Freedom, The Sharon Statement (September 1960), and From Tom Hayden and Others, The Port Huron Statement (June 1962) … 788 Lyndon Johnson’s War … 790  The Antiwar Movement … 792  The Counterculture … 793  Personal Liberation and the Free Individual … 793  Faith and the Counterculture … 794 T H E N E W M O V E M E N T S A N D T H E R I G H T S R E V O L U T I O N . . . 7 9 5 The Feminine Mystique … 795  Women’s Liberation … 796  Personal Freedom … 796  Gay Liberation … 797  Latino Activism … 797  Red Power … 798  Silent Spring … 798  The Rights Revolution … 799  The Right to Privacy … 801 1 9 6 8 . . . 802 A Year of Turmoil … 802  The Global 1968 … 803  Nixon’s Comeback … 804  The Legacy of the Sixties … 804 R E V I E W . . . 8 0 5 x i v Contents 2 6 . T H E T R I U M P H O F C O N S E R V A T I S M , 1 9 6 9 – 1 9 8 8 . . . 8 0 6 P R E S I D E N T N I X O N . . . 807 Nixon’s Domestic Policies … 808  Nixon and Welfare … 808  Nixon and Race … 809  The Burger Court … 809  The Continuing Sexual Revolution … 810  Nixon and Détente … 811 V I E T N A M A N D W A T E R G A T E . . . 813 Nixon and Vietnam … 813  The End of the Vietnam War … 814  Watergate … 815  Nixon’s Fall … 815 T H E E N D O F T H E G O L D E N A G E . . . 816 The Decline of Manufacturing … 816  Stagflation … 818  The Beleaguered Social Compact … 818  Ford as President … 819  The Carter Administration … 820  Carter and the Economic Crisis … 820  The Emergence of Human Rights Politics … 821  The Iran Crisis and Afghanistan … 822 T H E R I S I N G T I D E O F C O N S E R V A T I S M . . . 823 Voices of Freedom: From Redstockings Manifesto (1969), and From Jerry Falwell, Listen, America! (1980) … 824 The Religious Right … 826  The Battle over the Equal Rights Amendment … 827  The Abortion Controversy … 828  The Tax Revolt … 829  The Election of 1980 … 829 T H E R E A G A N R E V O L U T I O N . . . 830 Reagan and American Freedom … 830  Reaganomics … 831  Reagan and Labor … 831  The Problem of Inequality … 832  The Second Gilded Age … 833  Conservatives and Reagan … 834  Reagan and the Cold War … 834  The Iran-Contra Affair … 836  Reagan and Gorbachev … 836  Reagan’s Legacy … 837  The Election of 1988 … 837 R E V I E W . . . 8 3 9 2 7 . G L O B A L I Z A T I O N A N D I T S D I S C O N T E N T S , 1 9 8 9 – 2 0 0 0 . . . 8 4 0 T H E P O S T – C O L D W A R W O R L D . . . 842 The Crisis of Communism … 842  A New World Order? … 844  The Gulf War … 845  Visions of America’s Role … 845  The Election of Clinton … 845  Clinton in Office … 846  The “Freedom Revolution” … 847 Voices of Freedom: From Bill Clinton, Speech on Signing of NAFTA (1993), and From Global Exchange, Seattle, Declaration for Global Democracy (December 1999) … 848 Clinton’s Political Strategy … 850  Clinton and World Affairs … 851  Human Rights … 852 C o n t e n t s x v A N E W E C O N O M Y ? . . . 853 The Computer Revolution … 853  The Stock Market Boom and Bust … 854  The Enron Syndrome … 855  Fruits of Deregulation … 855  Rising Inequality … 856 C U L T U R E W A R S . . . 857 The Newest Immigrants … 858  The New Diversity … 859  African- Americans in the 1990s … 861  The Spread of Imprisonment … 862  The Continuing Rights Revolution … 863  Native Americans … 864  Multiculturalism … 865  “Family Values” in Retreat … 866  The Antigovernment Extreme … 866 I M P E A C H M E N T A N D T H E E L E C T I O N O F 2 0 0 0 . . . 867 The Impeachment of Clinton … 868  The Disputed Election … 868  A Challenged Democracy … 869 F R E E D O M A N D T H E N E W C E N T U R Y . . . 870 Exceptional America … 871 R E V I E W . . . 8 7 3 2 8 . A N E W C E N T U R Y A N D N E W C R I S E S . . . 8 7 4 T H E W A R O N T E R R O R I S M . . . 876 Bush before September 11 … 876  “They Hate Freedom” … 877  The Bush Doctrine … 877  The “Axis of Evil” … 878 A N A M E R I C A N E M P I R E ? . . . 878 Confronting Iraq … 879  The Iraq War … 880  The World and the War … 881 T H E A F T E R M A T H O F S E P T E M B E R 1 1 A T H O M E . . . 883 Security and Liberty … 883  The Power of the President … 883  The Torture Controversy … 884  The Economy under Bush … 885 T H E W I N D S O F C H A N G E . . . 885 The 2004 Election … 885  Bush’s Second Term … 886  Hurricane Katrina … 886  The Immigration Debate … 887  Islam, America, and the “Clash of Civilizations” … 888  The Constitution and Liberty … 889  The Court and the President … 890  The Midterm Elections of 2006 … 890  The Housing Bubble … 891  The Great Recession … 892  “A Conspiracy against the Public” … 893  Bush and the Crisis … 894 T H E R I S E O F O B A M A . . . 895 The 2008 Campaign … 896  The Age of Obama? … 897  Obama’s First Inauguration … 897 Voices of Freedom: From The National Security Strategy of the United States (September 2002), and From President Barack Obama, Speech on the Middle East (2011) … 898 Obama in Office … 900 x v i Contents O B A M A ’ S F I R S T T E R M . . . 902 The Continuing Economic Crisis … 902  Obama and the World … 902  The Republican Revival … 904  The Occupy Movement … 905  The 2012 Campaign … 905 L E A R N I N G F R O M H I S T O R Y . . . 907 R E V I E W . . . 9 0 9 A P P E N D I X D O C U M E N T S The Declaration of Independence (1776) … A-2 The Constitution of The United States (1787) … A-5 From George Washington’s Farewell Address (1796) … A-17 The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments And Resolutions (1848) … A-22 From Frederick Douglass’s “What, To the Slave, Is The Fourth Of July?” Speech (1852) … A-25 The Gettysburg Address (1863) … A-29 Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address (1865) … A-30 The Populist Platform of 1892 … A-31 Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address (1933) … A-34 From The Program For The March On Washington For Jobs And Freedom (1963) … A-37 Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address (1981) … A-38 Barack Obama’s First Inaugural Address (2009) … A-42 T A B L E S A N D F I G U R E S Presidential Elections … A-46 Admission of States … A-54 Population of the United States … A-55 Historical Statistics of The United States: Labor Force—Selected Characteristics Expressed As A Percentage of The Labor Force, 1800–2010 … A-56 Immigration, By Origin … A-56 Unemployment Rate, 1890–2013 … A-57 Union Membership As A Percentage Of Nonagricultural Employment, 1880–2012 … A-57 Voter Participation in Presidential Elections 1824–2012 … A-57 Birthrate, 1820–2011 … A-57 S U G G E S T E D R E A D I N G S … A – 5 9 G L O S S A R Y … A – 6 9 C R E D I T S … A – 9 7 I N D E X … A – 9 9 C o n t e n t s x v i i M A P S Japanese-American Internment, 1942–1945 … 693 C H A P T E R 1 5 C H A P T E R 2 3 The Barrow Plantation … 446 Sharecropping in the South, 1880 … 452 Cold War Europe, 1956 … 714 The Presidential Election of 1868 … 460 The Korean War, 1950–1953 … 716 Reconstruction in the South, 1867–1877 … 471 The Presidential Election of 1948 … 727 The Presidential Election of 1876 … 472 C H A P T E R 2 4 C H A P T E R 1 6 The Interstate Highway System … 740 The Railroad Network, 1880 … 479 The Presidential Election of 1952 … 747 Indian Reservations, ca. 1890 … 491 The Presidential Election of 1960 … 765 Political Stalemate, 1876–1892 … 496 C H A P T E R 2 5 C H A P T E R 1 7 The Presidential Election of 1964 … 778 Populist Strength, 1892 … 512 The Vietnam War, 1964–1975 … 791 The Presidential Election of 1896 … 516 The Spanish-American War: The Pacific … 532 C H A P T E R 2 6 The Spanish-American War: The Caribbean … 532 The Presidential Election of 1980 … 830 American Empire, 1898 … 534 The United States in the Caribbean and Central C H A P T E R 1 8 America, 1954–2004 … 835 Socialist Towns and Cities, 1900–1920 … 553 C H A P T E R 2 7 The Presidential Election of 1912 … 571 Eastern Europe after the Cold War … 844 C H A P T E R 1 9 The Presidential Election of 2000 … 868 The United States in the Caribbean, 1898–1941 … 577 C H A P T E R 2 8 World War I: The Western Front … 583 U.S. Presence in the Middle East, Europe in 1914 … 602 1947–2012 … 882 Europe in 1919 … 603 The Presidential Election of 2012 … 906 C H A P T E R 2 0 T A B L E S A N D F I G U R E S The Presidential Election of 1928 … 632 C H A P T E R 2 1 C H A P T E R 1 6 The Presidential Election of 1932 … 641 Table 16.1 Indicators of Economic Change, The Tennessee Valley Authority … 646 1870–1920 … 477 C H A P T E R 2 2 C H A P T E R 1 7 World War II in the Pacific, 1941–1945 … 679 Table 17.1 States with Over 200 Lynchings, World War II in Europe, 1942–1945 … 681 1889–1918 … 523 x v i i i List of Maps, Tables, and Figures C H A P T E R 1 8 Figure 24.3 The Baby Boom and Its Decline … 742 Table 18.1 Rise of the City, 1880–1920 … 546 Table 18.2 Immigrants and Their Children as C H A P T E R 2 5 Percentage of Population, Ten Major Cities, 1920 … 547 Figure 25.1 Percentage of Population below Table 18.3 Percentage of Women 14 Years and Poverty Level, by Race, 1959–1969 … 782 Older in the Labor Force … 549 Table 18.4 Percentage of Women Workers in C H A P T E R 2 6 Various Occupations … 550 Figure 26.1 Median Age of First Marriage, Table 18.5 Sales of Passenger Cars … 551 1947–1981 … 810 Table 26.1 The Misery Index, 1970–1980 … 817 C H A P T E R 1 9 Figure 26.2 Real Average Weekly Wages, 1955–1990 … 819 Table 19.1 The Great Migration … 597 Figure 26.3 Changes in Families’ Real Income, 1980–1990 … 832 C H A P T E R 2 0 Figure 20.1 Household Appliances, 1900–1930 … C H A P T E R 2 7 611 Figure 27.1 U.S. Income Inequality, 1913–2003 … Table 20.1 Selected Annual Immigration Quotas 856 under the 1924 Immigration Act … 626 Table 27.1 Immigration to the United States, 1960–2010 … 858 C H A P T E R 2 1 Figure 27.2 Birthplace of Immigrants, Figure 21.1 The Building Boom and Its Collapse, 1990–2000 … 860 1919–1939 … 647 Figure 27.3 The Projected Non-White Majority: Figure 21.2 Unemployment, 1925–1945 … 659 Racial and Ethnic Breakdown … 861 Table 27.2 Home Ownership Rates by Group, 1970–2000 … 862 C H A P T E R 2 2 Figure 27.4 Changes in Family Structure, Table 22.1 Labor Union Membership … 684 1970–2010 … 865 Figure 27.5 Women in the Paid Workforce, C H A P T E R 2 4 1940–2000 … 866 Figure 24.1 Real Gross Domestic Product per Capita, 1790–2000 … 738 C H A P T E R 2 8 Figure 24.2 Average Daily Television Viewing … Figure 28.1 Portrait of a Recession … 893 741 L i s t s o f M a p s , Ta b l e s , a n d F i g u r e s x i x P R E F A C E Since it originally appeared late in 2004, Give Me Liberty! An American History has gone through three editions and been adopted for use in survey courses at close to one thousand two- and four-year colleges in the United States, as well as a good number overseas. Of course, I am extremely gratified by this response. The book offers students a clear narra- tive of American history from the earliest days of European exploration and conquest of the New World to the first decade of the twenty-first century. Its central theme is the changing contours of American freedom. The comments I have received from instructors and students encour- age me to think that Give Me Liberty! has worked well in the classroom. These comments have also included many valuable suggestions, ranging from corrections of typographical and factual errors to thoughts about subjects that need more extensive treatment. In preparing new editions of the book I have tried to take these suggestions into account, as well as incorporating the insights of recent historical scholarship. Since the original edition was written, I have frequently been asked to produce a more succinct version of the textbook, which now runs to some 1,200 pages. This Brief Edition is a response to these requests. The text of the current volume is about one-third shorter than the full version. The result, I believe, is a book more suited to use in one-semester survey courses, classes x x Preface where the instructor wishes to supplement the text with additional read- ings, and in other situations where a briefer volume is desirable. Since some publishers have been known to assign the task of reduction in cases like this to editors rather than the actual author, I wish to empha- size that I did all the cutting and necessary rewriting for this Brief Edition myself. My guiding principle was to preserve the coverage, structure, and emphases of the regular edition and to compress the book by eliminating details of secondary importance, streamlining the narrative of events, and avoiding unnecessary repetition. While the book is significantly shorter, no subject treated in the full edition has been eliminated entirely and noth- ing essential, I believe, has been sacrificed. The sequence of chapters and subjects remains the same, and the freedom theme is present and operative throughout. In abridging the textbook I have retained the original interpretive framework as well as the new emphases added when the second and third editions of the book were published. The second edition incorporated new material about the history of Native Americans, an area of American his- tory that has been the subject of significant new scholarship in the past few years. It also devoted greater attention to the history of immigration and the controversies surrounding it—issues of considerable relevance to Amer- ican social and political life today. The most significant change in the third edition reflected my desire to place American history more fully in a global context. In the past few years, scholars writing about the American past have sought to delineate the influ- ences of the United States on the rest of the world as well as the global devel- opments that have helped to shape the course of events here at home. They have also devoted greater attention to transnational processes—the expan- sion of empires, international labor migrations, the rise and fall of slavery, the globalization of economic enterprise—that cannot be understood solely within the confines of one country’s national boundaries. Without seek- ing in any way to homogenize the history of individual nations or neglect the domestic forces that have shaped American development, this edition retains this emphasis. The most significant changes in this Fourth Edition reflect my desire to integrate more fully into the narrative the history of American religion. Today, this is a thriving subfield of American historical writing, partly because of the increased prominence in our own time of debates over the relations between government and religion and over the definition of reli- gious liberty—issues that are deeply rooted in the American experience. The Brief Edition also employs a bright new design for the text and its various elements. The popular Voices of Freedom feature—a pair of excerpts from primary source documents in each chapter that illuminate divergent inter- pretations of freedom—is present here. So too are the useful chapter opening P r e f a c e x x i focus questions, which appear in the running heads of the relevant text pages as well. There are chapter opening chronologies and end-of- chapter review pages with questions and key terms. As a new feature in the Brief Edition there are marginal glosses in the text pages that are meant to highlight key points and indicate the chapter structure for students. They are also useful means for review. The Brief Edition features more than 400 illustrations and over 100 captioned maps in easy to read four-color renditions. The Fur- ther Readings sections appear in the Appendix along with the Glossary and the collection of key documents. The Brief Edition is fully supported by the same array of print and electronic supplements that support the other edi- tions of Give Me Liberty! These materials have been revised to match the con- tent of the Brief Edition. Americans have always had a divided attitude toward history. On the one hand, they tend to be remarkably future-oriented, dismissing events of even the recent past as “ancient history” and sometimes seeing history as a bur- den to be overcome, a prison from which to escape. On the other hand, like many other peoples, Americans have always looked to history for a sense of personal or group identity and of national cohesiveness. This is why so many Americans devote time and energy to tracing their family trees and why they visit historical museums and National Park Service historical sites in ever-increasing numbers. My hope is that this book will help to con- vince readers with all degrees of interest that history does matter to them. The novelist and essayist James Baldwin once observed that history “does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, . . . [that] history is literally present in all that we do.” As Baldwin recognized, the power of history is evident in our own world. Especially in a political democracy like the United States, whose government is designed to rest on the consent of informed citizens, knowledge of the past is essential—not only for those of us whose profession is the teaching and writing of history, but for everyone. History, to be sure, does not offer simple lessons or imme- diate answers to current questions. Knowing the history of immigration to the United States, and all of the tensions, turmoil, and aspirations associated with it, for example, does not tell us what current immigration policy ought to be. But without that knowledge, we have no way of understanding which approaches have worked and which have not—essential information for the formulation of future public policy. History, it has been said, is what the present chooses to remember about the past. Rather than a fixed collection of facts, or a group of inter- pretations that cannot be challenged, our understanding of history is con- stantly changing. There is nothing unusual in the fact that each generation rewrites history to meet its own needs, or that scholars disagree among x x i i Preface themselves on basic questions like the causes of the Civil War or the rea- sons for the Great Depression. Precisely because each generation asks dif- ferent questions of the past, each generation formulates different answers. The past thirty years have witnessed a remarkable expansion of the scope of historical study. The experiences of groups neglected by earlier scholars, including women, African-Americans, working people, and others, have received unprecedented attention from historians. New subfields—social history, cultural history, and family history among them—have taken their place alongside traditional political and diplomatic history. Give Me Liberty! draws on this voluminous historical literature to pres- ent an up-to-date and inclusive account of the American past, paying due attention to the experience of diverse groups of Americans while in no way neglecting the events and processes Americans have experienced in common. It devotes serious attention to political, social, cultural, and eco- nomic history, and to their interconnections. The narrative brings together major events and prominent leaders with the many groups of ordinary peo- ple who make up American society. Give Me Liberty! has a rich cast of char- acters, from Thomas Jefferson to campaigners for woman suffrage, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to former slaves seeking to breathe meaning into emancipation during and after the Civil War. The unifying theme of freedom that runs through the text gives shape to the narrative and integrates the numerous strands that make up the American experience. This approach builds on that of my earlier book, The Story of American Freedom (1998), although Give Me Liberty! places events and personalities in the foreground and is more geared to the structure of the introductory survey course. Freedom, and battles to define its meaning, has long been central to my own scholarship and undergraduate teaching, which focuses on the nineteenth century and especially the era of Civil War and Reconstruction (1850–1877). This was a time when the future of slavery tore the nation apart and emancipation produced a national debate over what rights the former slaves, and all Americans, should enjoy as free citizens. I have found that attention to clashing definitions of freedom and the struggles of differ- ent groups to achieve freedom as they understood it offers a way of mak- ing sense of the bitter battles and vast transformations of that pivotal era. I believe that the same is true for American history as a whole. No idea is more fundamental to Americans’ sense of themselves as individuals and as a nation than freedom. The central term in our politi- cal language, freedom—or liberty, with which it is almost always used interchangeably—is deeply embedded in the record of our history and the language of everyday life. The Declaration of Independence lists liberty among mankind’s inalienable rights; the Constitution announces its pur- pose as securing liberty’s blessings. The United States fought the Civil War P r e f a c e x x i i i to bring about a new birth of freedom, World War II for the Four Freedoms, and the Cold War to defend the Free World. Americans’ love of liberty has been represented by liberty poles, liberty caps, and statues of liberty, and acted out by burning stamps and burning draft cards, by running away from slavery, and by demonstrating for the right to vote. “Every man in the street, white, black, red or yellow,” wrote the educator and statesman Ralph Bunche in 1940, “knows that this is ‘the land of the free’ . . . ‘the cradle of liberty.’” The very universality of the idea of freedom, however, can be mislead- ing. Freedom is not a fixed, timeless category with a single unchanging defi- nition. Indeed, the history of the United States is, in part, a story of debates, disagreements, and struggles over freedom. Crises like the American Revo- lution, the Civil War, and the Cold War have permanently transformed the idea of freedom. So too have demands by various groups of Americans to enjoy greater freedom. The meaning of freedom has been constructed not only in congressional debates and political treatises, but on plantations and picket lines, in parlors and even bedrooms. Over the course of our history, American freedom has been both a real- ity and a mythic ideal—a living truth for millions of Americans, a cruel mockery for others. For some, freedom has been what some scholars call a “habit of the heart,” an ideal so taken for granted that it is lived out but rarely analyzed. For others, freedom is not a birthright but a distant goal that has inspired great sacrifice. Give Me Liberty! draws attention to three dimensions of freedom that have been critical in American history: (1) the meanings of freedom; (2) the social conditions that make freedom possible; and (3) the boundaries of free- dom that determine who is entitled to enjoy freedom and who is not. All have changed over time. In the era of the American Revolution, for example, freedom was pri- marily a set of rights enjoyed in public activity—including the right of a com- munity to be governed by laws to which its representatives had consented and of individuals to engage in religious worship without governmental interference. In the nineteenth century, freedom came to be closely identi- fied with each person’s opportunity to develop to the fullest his or her innate talents. In the twentieth, the “ability to choose,” in both public and private life, became perhaps the dominant understanding of freedom. This develop- ment was encouraged by the explosive growth of the consumer marketplace which offered Americans an unprecedented array of goods with which to satisfy their needs and desires. During the 1960s, a crucial chapter in the history of American freedom, the idea of personal freedom was extended into virtually every realm, from attire and “lifestyle” to relations between the sexes. Thus, over time, more and more areas of life have been drawn into Americans’ debates about the meaning of freedom. x x i v Preface A second important dimension of freedom focuses on the social con- ditions necessary to allow freedom to flourish. What kinds of economic institutions and relationships best encourage individual freedom? In the colonial era and for more than a century after independence, the answer centered on economic autonomy, enshrined in the glorification of the inde- pendent small producer—the farmer, skilled craftsman, or shopkeeper— who did not have to depend on another person for his livelihood. As the industrial economy matured, new conceptions of economic freedom came to the fore: “liberty of contract” in the Gilded Age, “industrial freedom” (a say in corporate decision making) in the Progressive era, economic security during the New Deal, and, more recently, the ability to enjoy mass consump- tion within a market economy. The boundaries of freedom, the third dimension of this theme, have inspired some of the most intense struggles in American history. Although founded on the premise that liberty is an entitlement of all humanity, the United States for much of its history deprived many of its own people of free- dom. Non-whites have rarely enjoyed the same access to freedom as white Americans. The belief in equal opportunity as the birthright of all Ameri- cans has coexisted with persistent efforts to limit freedom by race, gender, class, and in other ways. Less obvious, perhaps, is the fact that one person’s freedom has fre- quently been linked to another’s servitude. In the colonial era and nine- teenth century, expanding freedom for many Americans rested on the lack of freedom—slavery, indentured servitude, the subordinate position of women—for others. By the same token, it has been through battles at the boundaries—the efforts of racial minorities, women, and others to secure greater freedom—that the meaning and experience of freedom have been deepened and the concept extended into new realms. Time and again in American history, freedom has been transformed by the demands of excluded groups for inclusion. The idea of freedom as a universal birthright owes much to abolitionists who sought to extend the blessings of liberty to blacks and to immigrant groups who insisted on full recognition as American citizens. The principle of equal protection of the law without regard to race, which became a central element of American freedom, arose from the antislavery struggle and Civil War and was rein- vigorated by the civil rights revolution of the 1960s, which called itself the “freedom movement.” The battle for the right of free speech by labor radicals and birth control advocates in the first part of the twentieth century helped to make civil liberties an essential element of freedom for all Americans. Freedom is the oldest of clichés and the most modern of aspirations. At various times in our history, it has served as the rallying cry of the power- less and as a justification of the status quo. Freedom helps to bind our cul- ture together and exposes the contradictions between what America claims P r e f a c e x x v to be and what it sometimes has been. American history is not a narrative of continual progress toward greater and greater freedom. As the abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson noted after the Civil War, “revolutions may go backward.” While freedom can be achieved, it may also be taken away. This happened, for example, when the equal rights granted to former slaves immediately after the Civil War were essentially nullified during the era of segregation. As was said in the eighteenth century, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. In the early twenty-first century, freedom continues to play a central role in our political and social life and thought. It is invoked by individuals and groups of all kinds, from critics of economic globalization to those who seek to export American freedom overseas. As with the longer version of the book, I hope that this Brief Edition of Give Me Liberty! will offer begin- ning students a clear account of the course of American history, and of its central theme, freedom, which today remains as varied, contentious, and ever-changing as America itself. x x v i Preface A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S All works of history are, to a considerable extent, collaborative books, in that every writer builds on the research and writing of previous scholars. This is especially true of a textbook that covers the entire American experience, over more than five centuries. My greatest debt is to the innumerable histo- rians on whose work I have drawn in preparing this volume. The Suggested Reading list in the Appendix offers only a brief introduction to the vast body of historical scholarship that has influenced and informed this book. More specifically, however, I wish to thank the following scholars, who gener- ously read portions of this work and offered valuable comments, criticisms, and suggestions: Wayne Ackerson, Salisbury University Mary E. Adams, City College of San Francisco Jeff Adler, University of Florida David Anderson, Louisiana Tech University John Barr, Lone Star College, Kingwood Lauren Braun-Strumfels, Raritan Valley Community College James Broussard, Lebanon Valley College Michael Bryan, Greenville Technical College Stephanie Cole, The University of Texas at Arlington Ashley Cruseturner, McLennan Community College Jim Dudlo, Brookhaven College Beverly Gage, Yale University Monica Gisolfi, University of North Carolina, Wilmington Adam Goudsouzian, University of Memphis Mike Green, Community College of Southern Nevada Vanessa Gunther, California State University, Fullerton David E. Hamilton, University of Kentucky Brian Harding, Mott Community College Sandra Harvey, Lone Star College–Cy Fair April Holm, University of Mississippi David Hsiung, Juniata College James Karmel, Harford Community College Kelly Knight, Penn State University Marianne Leeper, Trinity Valley Community College Jeffrey K. Lucas, University of North Carolina at Pembroke Tina Margolis, Westchester Community College Kent McGaughy, HCC Northwest College James Mills, University of Texas, Brownsville Gil Montemayor, McLennan Community College Jonathan Noyalas, Lord Fairfax Community College Robert M. O’Brien, Lone Star College–Cy Fair P r e f a c e x x v i i Joseph Palermo, California State University, Sacramento Ann Plane, University of California, Santa Barbara Nancy Marie Robertson, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis Esther Robinson, Lone Star College–Cy Fair Richard Samuelson, California State University, San Bernadino Diane Sager, Maple Woods Community College John Shaw, Portland Community College Mark Spencer, Brock University David Stebenne, Ohio State University Judith Stein, City College, City University of New York George Stevens, Duchess Community College Robert Tinkler, California State University, Chico Elaine Thompson, Louisiana Tech University David Weiman, Barnard College William Young, Maple Woods Community College I am particularly grateful to my colleagues in the Columbia University Department of History: Pablo Piccato, for his advice on Latin American his- tory; Evan Haefeli and Ellen Baker, who read and made many suggestions for improvements in their areas of expertise (colonial America and the history of the West, respectively); and Sarah Phillips, who offered advice on treating the history of the environment. I am also deeply indebted to the graduate students at Columbia Univer- sity’s Department of History who helped with this project. Theresa Ventura offered invaluable assistance in gathering material for the new sections plac- ing American history in a global context. April Holm provided similar assis- tance for new coverage in this edition of the history of American religion and debates over religious freedom. James Delbourgo conducted research for the chapters on the colonial era. Beverly Gage did the same for the twenti- eth century. Daniel Freund provided all-round research assistance. Victoria Cain did a superb job of locating images. I also want to thank my colleagues Elizabeth Blackmar and Alan Brinkley for offering advice and encourage- ment throughout the writing of this book. Many thanks to Joshua Brown, director of the American Social History Project, whose website, History Matters, lists innumerable online resources for the study of American history. Nancy Robertson at IUIPUI did a superb job revising and enhancing the in-book pedagogy. Monica Gisolfi (Univer- sity of North Carolina, Wilmington) and Robert Tinkler (California State University, Chico) did excellent work on the Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank. Kathleen Thomas (University of Wisconsin, Stout) helped greatly in the revisions of the companion media packages. x x v i i i Preface At W. W. Norton & Company, Steve Forman was an ideal editor— patient, encouraging, and always ready to offer sage advice. I would also like to thank Steve’s assistants, Justin Cahill and Penelope Lin, for their indispensable and always cheerful help on all aspects of the project; Ellen Lohman and Debbie Nichols for their careful copyediting and proof read- ing work. Stephanie Romeo and Donna Ranieri for their resourceful atten- tion to the illustrations program; Hope Miller Goodell and Chin-Yee Lai for their refinements of the book design; Mike Fodera and Debra Morton-Hoyt for splendid work on the covers for the Fourth Edition; Kim Yi for keep- ing the many threads of the project aligned and then tying them together; Sean Mintus for his efficiency and care in book production; Steve Hoge for orchestrating the rich media package that accompanies the textbook; Jessica Brannon-Wranosky, Texas A&M University–Commerce, our digital media author for the terrific new web quizzes and outlines; Volker Janssen, Cali- fornia State University, Fullerton, for the helpful new online reading exer- cises; Nicole Netherton, Steve Dunn, and Mike Wright for their alert reads of the U.S. survey market and their hard work in helping establish Give Me Liberty! within it; and Drake McFeely, Roby Harrington, and Julia Reidhead for maintaining Norton as an independent, employee-owned publisher ded- icated to excellence in its work. Many students may have heard stories of how publishing companies alter the language and content of textbooks in an attempt to maximize sales and avoid alienating any potential reader. In this case, I can honestly say that W. W. Norton allowed me a free hand in writing the book and, apart from the usual editorial corrections, did not try to influence its content at all. For this I thank them, while I accept full responsibility for the interpretations pre- sented and for any errors the book may contain. Since no book of this length can be entirely free of mistakes, I welcome readers to send me corrections at My greatest debt, as always, is to my family—my wife, Lynn Garafola, for her good-natured support while I was preoccupied by a project that con- sumed more than its fair share of my time and energy, and my daughter, Daria, who while a ninth and tenth grader read every chapter as it was writ- ten and offered invaluable suggestions about improving the book’s clarity, logic, and grammar. Eric Foner New York City July 2013 P r e f a c e x x i x G I V E M E L I B E R T Y ! A N A M E R I C A N H I S T O R Y  B r i e f F o u r t h E d i t i o n 1865 Special Field Order 15 C H A P T E R 1 5 Freedmen’s Bureau established Lincoln assassinated; Andrew Johnson becomes president 1865– Presidential Reconstruction 1867 Black Codes “ W H A T I S 1866 Civil Rights Bill Ku Klux Klan established 1867 Reconstruction Act of 1867 F R E E D O M ? ” Tenure of Office Act 1867– Radical Reconstruction 1877  1868 Impeachment and trial of President Johnson Fourteenth Amendment ratified R E C O N S T R U C T I O N , 1 8 6 5 – 1 8 7 7 1869 Inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant 1870 Hiram Revels, first black U.S. senator Fifteenth Amendment ratified 1870– Enforcement Acts 1871 1872 Liberal Republicans established 1873 Colfax Massacre Slaughterhouse Cases National economic depression begins 1876 United States v. Cruikshank 1877 Bargain of 1877 The Shackle Broken—by the Genius of Freedom. This 1874 lithograph depicts Robert B. Elliott, a black congressman from South Carolina, delivering celebrated speech supporting the bill that became the Civil Rights Act of 1875. F O C U S On the evening of January 12, 1865, less than a month after Union forces captured Savannah, Georgia, twenty leaders of the city’s black community gathered for a discussion with General William T. Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The con- Q U E S T I O N S versation revealed that the black leaders brought out of slavery a clear definition of freedom. Asked what he understood by slavery, Garrison s Frazier, a Baptist minister chosen as the group’s spokesman, responded did the former slaves and that it meant one person’s “receiving by irresistible power the work of slaveholders pursue in the another man, and not by his consent.” Freedom he defined as “placing postwar South? us where we could reap the fruit of our own labor, and take care of our- selves.” The way to accomplish this was “to have land, and turn it and till s it by our own labor.” visions of Reconstruction? Sherman’s meeting with the black leaders foreshadowed some of the radical changes that would take place during the era known s as Reconstruction (meaning, literally, the rebuilding of the shattered political effects of Radi- nation). In the years following the Civil War, former slaves and their cal Reconstruction in the white allies, North and South, would seek to redefine the meaning and South? boundaries of American freedom. Previously an entitlement of whites, freedom would be expanded to include black Americans. The laws and s Constitution would be rewritten to guarantee African-Americans, for tors, in both the North and the first time in the nation’s history, recognition as citizens and equality South, for the abandon- before the law. Black men would be granted the right to vote, ushering ment of Reconstruction? in a period of interracial democracy throughout the South. Black schools, churches, and other institutions would flourish, laying the foundation for the modern African-American community. Many of the advances of Reconstruction would prove temporary, swept away during a campaign of violence in the South and the North’s retreat from the ideal of equal- ity. But Reconstruction laid the foundation for future struggles to extend freedom to all Americans. Four days after the meeting, Sherman responded to the black delegation by issuing Special Field Order 15. This set aside the Sea Islands and a large area along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts for the settlement of black families on forty-acre plots of land. He also offered them broken-down mules that the army could no longer use. In Sherman’s order lay the origins of the phrase, “forty acres and a mule,” which would reverberate across the South in the next few years. Among the emancipated slaves, Sherman’s order raised hopes that the end of slavery would be accompanied by the economic independence that they, like other Americans, believed essential to genuine freedom. 442 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What visions of freedom did the former slaves and slaveholders pursue in the postwar South? T H E M E A N I N G O F F R E E D O M “What is freedom?” asked Congressman James A. Garfield in 1865. “Is it the bare privilege of not being chained? If this is all, then freedom is a bitter mockery, a cruel delusion.” Did freedom mean simply the absence of slavery, or did it imply other rights for the former slaves, and if so, which ones? Equal civil rights, the vote, ownership of property? During Reconstruction, freedom became a terrain of conflict, its substance open to different, often contradictory interpretations. Conflicts over freedom African-Americans’ understanding of freedom was shaped by their experiences as slaves and their observation of the free society around them. To begin with, freedom meant escaping the numerous injustices of slavery—punishment by the lash, the separation of families, denial of access to education, the sexual exploitation of black women by their owners—and sharing in the rights and opportunities of American citizens. “If I cannot do like a white man,” Henry Adams, an emancipated slave in Family Record, a lithograph marketed Louisiana, told his former master in 1865, “I am not free.” to former slaves after the Civil War, centers on an idealized portrait of a middle-class black family, with scenes of slavery and freedom. F a m i l i e s i n F r e e d o m With slavery dead, institutions that had existed before the war, like the black family, free blacks’ churches and schools, and the secret slave church, were strength- ened, expanded, and freed from white supervision. The family was central to the postemancipation black community. Former slaves made remarkable efforts to locate loved ones from whom they had been separated under slavery. One northern reporter in 1865 encoun- tered a freedman who had walked more than 600 miles from Georgia to North Carolina, searching for the wife and children from whom he had been sold away before the war. While freedom helped to stabilize family life, it also subtly altered relationships within the family. Immediately after the Civil War, planters complained that freedwomen had “withdrawn” from field labor and work as house servants. Many black women preferred to devote more time to their families than had been pos- sible under slavery, and men considered it a badge of T H E M E A N I N G O F F R E E D O M 443 honor to see their wives remain at home. Eventually, the dire poverty of the black community would compel a far higher proportion of black women than white women to go to work for wages. C h u r c h a n d S c h o o l At the same time, blacks abandoned white-controlled religious institutions to create churches of their own. On the eve of the Civil War, 42,000 black Methodists worshiped in biracial South Carolina churches; by the end of Reconstruction, only 600 remained. As the major institution independent of white control, the church Five Generations of a Black Family, played a central role in the black community. A place of worship, it also an 1862 photograph that suggests housed schools, social events, and political gatherings. Black ministers the power of family ties among came to play a major role in politics. Some 250 held public office during emancipated slaves. Reconstruction. Another striking example of the freedpeople’s quest for individual and community improvement was their desire for education. The thirst for learn- ing sprang from many sources—a desire to read the Bible, the need to prepare for the economic marketplace, and the opportunity, which arose in 1867, to take part in politics. Blacks of all ages flocked to the schools established by Mother and Daughter Reading, Mt. Meigs, Alabama, an 1890 northern missionary societies, the Freedmen’s Bureau, and groups of ex- photograph by Rudolph Eickemeyer. slaves themselves. Reconstruction also witnessed the creation of the nation’s During Reconstruction and for years first black colleges, including Fisk University in Tennessee, Hampton thereafter, former slaves exhibited Institute in Virginia, and Howard University in the nation’s capital. a deep desire for education, and learning took place outside of school as well as within. P o l i t i c a l F r e e d o m In a society that had made political participation a core element of freedom, the right to vote inevitably became central to the former slaves’ desire for empowerment and equality. As Frederick Douglass put it soon after the South’s surrender in 1865, “Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot.” In a “monarchial government,” Douglass explained, no “special” disgrace applied to those denied the right to vote. But in a democ- racy, “where universal suffrage is the rule,” excluding any group meant branding them with “the stigma of inferiority.” Anything less than full citizenship, black spokesmen insisted, would betray the nation’s democratic promise and the war’s meaning. To demon- strate their patriotism, blacks throughout the South organized Fourth of July celebrations. For years after the Civil War, white southerners would 444 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What visions of freedom did the former slaves and slaveholders pursue in the postwar South? The First African Church, Richmond, as depicted in Harper’s Weekly, June 27, 1874. The establishment of independent black churches was an enduring accomplishment of Reconstruction. “shut themselves within doors” on Independence Day, as a white resident of Charleston recorded in her diary, while former slaves commemorated the holiday themselves. L a n d , L a b o r , a n d F r e e d o m Like those of rural people throughout the world, former slaves’ ideas of freedom were directly related to landownership. On the land they would Freedom and landownership develop independent communities free of white control. Many former slaves insisted that through their unpaid labor, they had acquired a right to the land. “The property which they hold,” declared an Alabama black con- vention, “was nearly all earned by the sweat of our brows.” In some parts of the South, blacks in 1865 seized property, insisting that it belonged to them. In its individual elements and much of its language, former slaves’ definition of freedom resembled that of white Americans—self-ownership, Freedom’s meaning for former slaves family stability, religious liberty, political participation, and economic autonomy. But these elements combined to form a vision very much their own. For whites, freedom, no matter how defined, was a given, a birthright to be defended. For African-Americans, it was an open-ended process, a transformation of every aspect of their lives and of the society and cul- ture that had sustained slavery in the first place. Although the freedpeople failed to achieve full freedom as they understood it, their definition did much to shape national debate during the turbulent era of Reconstruction. M a s t e r s w i t h o u t S l a v e s Most white southerners reacted to military defeat and emancipation with The southern white reaction to dismay, not only because of the widespread devastation but also because emancipation they must now submit to northern demands. “The demoralization is T H E M E A N I N G O F F R E E D O M 445 Two maps of the Barrow plantation illustrate the effects of emancipation T H E B A R R O W P L A N T A T I O N on rural life in the South. In 1860, 1860 1881 slaves lived in communal quarters near the owner’s house. Twenty years later, former slaves working as Sabrina sharecroppers lived scattered across Dalton the plantation and had their own Lizzie Dalton iver iver church and school. Frank Maxey Joe Bug Jim Reid ittle R ittle R L W L r Wr Nancy Pope ig i h g t h ‘s t ‘s Cane Pope B Church r B an Gus Barrow ra c School Willis n h c Bryant h Gin House Lem Bryant Gin House Lewis Watson Tom Wright Reuben Barrow Ben Thomas Omy Barrow “Granny” Slave Peter Tom Landlord’s Quarters Master’s Barrow Thomas House House Milly Barrow Handy Barrow Old Isaac Calvin Tom Tang Branch Creek Parker Branch Creek Beckton Barrow Syll’s Fork Syll’s Fork Lem Douglas complete,” wrote a Georgia girl. “We are whipped, there is no doubt about it.” The appalling loss of life, a disaster without parallel in the American Confederate deaths experience, affected all classes of southerners. Nearly 260,000 men died for the Confederacy—more than one-fifth of the South’s adult male white population. The widespread destruction of work animals, farm buildings, and machinery ensured that economic revival would be slow and painful. In 1870, the value of property in the South, not counting that represented by slaves, was 30 percent lower than before the war. Planter families faced profound changes in the war’s aftermath. Many Planters lost not only their slaves but their life savings, which they had patrioti- cally invested in now-worthless Confederate bonds. Some, whose slaves departed the plantation, for the first time found themselves compelled to do physical labor. Southern planters sought to implement an understanding of freedom quite different from that of the former slaves. As they struggled to accept the reality of emancipation, most planters defined black freedom in the narrowest manner. As journalist Sidney Andrews discovered late in 1865, “The whites seem wholly unable to comprehend that freedom for the negro means the same thing as freedom for them.” 446 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What visions of freedom did the former slaves and slaveholders pursue in the postwar South? T h e F r e e L a b o r V i s i o n Along with former slaves and former masters, the victorious Republican North tried to implement its own vision of freedom. Central to its defini- tion was the antebellum principle of free labor, now further strengthened as a definition of the good society by the Union’s triumph. In the free labor Free labor and the good society vision of a reconstructed South, emancipated blacks, enjoying the same opportunities for advancement as northern workers, would labor more productively than they had as slaves. At the same time, northern capital and migrants would energize the economy. The South would eventually come to resemble the “free society” of the North, complete with public schools, small towns, and independent farmers. With planters seeking to establish a labor system as close to slavery as possible, and former slaves demanding economic autonomy and access to land, a long period of conflict over the organization and control of labor followed on plantations throughout the South. It fell to the Freedmen’s Winslow Homer’s 1876 painting , A Bureau, an agency established by Congress in March 1865, to attempt to Visit from the Old Mistress, depicts an imaginary meeting between a establish a working free labor system. southern white woman and her former slaves. Their stance and gaze suggest the tensions arising from the birth T h e F r e e d m e n ’ s B u r e a u of a new social order. Homer places his subjects on an equal footing, Under the direction of O. O. Howard, a graduate of Bowdoin College in yet maintains a space of separation Maine and a veteran of the Civil War, the bureau took on responsibilities between them. He exhibited the that can only be described as daunting. The bureau was an experiment in painting to acclaim at the Paris government social policy that seems to belong more comfortably to the Universal Exposition in 1878. New Deal of the 1930s or the Great Society of the 1960s (see Chapters 21 and 25, respec- tively) than to nineteenth-century America. Bureau agents were supposed to establish schools, provide aid to the poor and aged, settle disputes between whites and blacks and among the freedpeople, and secure for former slaves and white Unionists equal treatment before the courts. “It is not . . . in your power to fulfill one-tenth of the expec- tations of those who framed the Bureau,” General William T. Sherman wrote to Howard. “I fear you have Hercules’ task.” The bureau lasted from 1865 to 1870. Even at its peak, there were fewer than T H E M E A N I N G O F F R E E D O M 447 The Freedmen’s Bureau, an engraving from Harper’s Weekly, July 25, 1868, depicts the bureau agent as a promoter of racial peace in the violent postwar South. Achievements of the 1,000 agents in the entire South. Nonetheless, the bureau’s achievements Freedmen’s Bureau in some areas, notably education and health care, were striking. By 1869, nearly 3,000 schools, serving more than 150,000 pupils in the South, reported to the bureau. Bureau agents also ran hospitals established dur- ing the war and provided medical care and drugs to both black and white southerners. T h e F a i l u r e o f L a n d R e f o r m One provision of the law establishing the bureau gave it the authority to divide abandoned and confiscated land into forty-acre plots for rental and eventual sale to the former slaves. In the summer of 1865, however, President Andrew Johnson and land Andrew Johnson, who had succeeded Lincoln, ordered nearly all land in reform federal hands returned to its former owners. A series of confrontations followed, notably in South Carolina and Georgia, where the army forcibly evicted blacks who had settled on “Sherman land.” When O. O. Howard, head of the Freedmen’s Bureau, traveled to the Sea Islands to inform blacks of the new policy, he was greeted with disbelief and protest. A committee of former slaves drew up petitions to Howard and President Johnson. Land, the freedmen insisted, was essential to the meaning of freedom. Without it, they declared, “we have not bettered our condition” from the days of slavery—“you will see, this is not the condition of really free men.” Because no land distribution took place, the vast majority of rural freedpeople remained poor and without property during Reconstruction. 448 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What visions of freedom did the former slaves and slaveholders pursue in the postwar South? They had no alternative but to work on white-owned plantations, often for their former owners. Far from being able to rise in the social scale through hard work, black men were largely confined to farm work, unskilled labor, and service jobs, and black women to positions in pri- vate homes as cooks and maids. The failure of land reform produced a deep sense of betrayal that survived among the former slaves and their descendants long after the end of Reconstruction. “No sir,” Mary Gaffney, an elderly ex-slave, recalled in the 1930s, “we were not given a thing but freedom.” Out of the conflict on the plantations, new systems of labor emerged in the different regions of the South. Sharecropping came to dominate the Cotton Belt and much of the Tobacco Belt of Virginia and North Carolina. Sharecropping initially arose as a compromise between blacks’ desire for land and planters’ demand for labor discipline. The system allowed each A nursemaid and her charge, from a black family to rent a part of a plantation, with the crop divided between daguerreotype around 1865. worker and owner at the end of the year. Sharecropping guaranteed the planters a stable resident labor force. Former slaves preferred it to gang labor because it offered them the prospect of working without day-to- day white supervision. But as the years went on, sharecropping became more and more oppressive. Sharecroppers’ economic opportunities were severely limited by a world market in which the price of farm products suffered a prolonged decline. T h e W h i t e F a r m e r The plight of the small farmer was not confined to blacks in the postwar South. Wartime devastation set in motion a train of events that perma- nently altered the independent way of life of white yeomen, leading to what they considered a loss of freedom. To obtain supplies from mer- chants, farmers were forced to take up the growing of cotton and pledge a part of the crop as collateral (property the creditor can seize if a debt is not paid). This system became known as the “crop lien.” Since interest rates The crop-lien system were extremely high and the price of cotton fell steadily, many farmers found themselves still in debt after marketing their portion of the crop at year’s end. They had no choice but to continue to plant cotton to obtain new loans. By the mid-1870s, white farmers, who cultivated only 10 percent of the South’s cotton crop in 1860, were growing 40 percent, and many who had owned their land had fallen into dependency as sharecroppers who now rented land owned by others. Both black and white farmers found themselves caught in the share- The burden of debt cropping and crop-lien systems. The workings of sharecropping and the T H E M E A N I N G O F F R E E D O M 449 V O I C E S O F F R E E D O M F r o m P e t i t i o n o f C o m m i t t e e i n B e h a l f o f t h e F r e e d m e n t o A n d r e w J o h n s o n ( 1 8 6 5 ) In the summer of 1865, President Andrew Johnson ordered land that had been distributed to freed slaves in South Carolina and Georgia returned to its former owners. A committee of freedmen drafted a petition asking for the right to obtain land. Johnson did not, however, change his policy. We the freedmen of Edisto Island, South Carolina, have learned from you through Major General O. O. Howard . . . with deep sorrow and painful hearts of the possibility of [the] government restoring these lands to the former owners. We are well aware of the many perplexing and trying questions that burden your mind, and therefore pray to god (the preserver of all, and who has through our late and beloved President [Lincoln’s] proclamation and the war made us a free people) that he may guide you in making your decisions and give you that wisdom that cometh from above to settle these great and important questions for the best interests of the country and the colored race. Here is where secession was born and nurtured. Here is where we have toiled nearly all our lives as slaves and treated like dumb driven cattle. This is our home, we have made these lands what they were, we are the only true and loyal people that were found in possession of these lands. We have been always ready to strike for liberty and humanity, yea to fight if need be to preserve this glorious Union. Shall not we who are freedmen and have always been true to this Union have the same rights as are enjoyed by others? . . . Are not our rights as a free people and good citizens of these United States to be considered before those who were found in rebellion against this good and just government? . . . [Are] we who have been abused and oppressed for many long years not to be allowed the privilege of purchasing land but be subject to the will of these large land owners? God forbid. Land monopoly is injurious to the advancement of the course of freedom, and if government does not make some provision by which we as freedmen can obtain a homestead, we have not bettered our condition. . . . We look to you . . . for protection and equal rights with the privilege of purchasing a homestead—a homestead right here in the heart of South Carolina. 450 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” F r o m a S h a r e c r o p p i n g C o n t r a c t ( 1 8 6 6 ) Few former slaves were able to acquire land in the post–Civil War South. Most ended up as sharecroppers, working on white-owned land for a share of the crop at the end of the growing season. This contract, typical of thousands of others, originated in Tennessee. The laborers signed with an X, as they were illiterate. Thomas J. Ross agrees to employ the Freedmen to plant and raise a crop on his Rosstown Plantation. . . . On the following Rules, Regulations and Remunerations. The said Ross agrees to furnish the land to cultivate, and a sufficient number of mules & horses and feed them to make and house said crop and all necessary farming utensils to carry on the same and to give unto said Freedmen whose names appear below one half of all the cotton, corn and wheat that is raised on said place for the year 1866 after all the necessary expenses are deducted out that accrues on said crop. Outside of the Freedmen’s labor in harvesting, carrying to market and selling the same the said Freedmen . . . covenant and agrees to and with said Thomas J. Ross that for and in consideration of one half of the crop before mentioned that they will plant, cultivate, and raise under the management control and Superintendence of said Ross, in good faith, a cotton, corn and oat crop under his management for the year 1866. And we the said Freedmen agrees to furnish ourselves & families in provisions, clothing, medicine and medical bills and all, and every kind of other expenses that we may incur on said plantation for the year 1866 free of charge to said Ross. Should the said Ross furnish us any of the above supplies or any other kind of expenses, during said year, [we] are to settle and pay him out of the net proceeds of our part of the crop the retail price of the county at time of sale or any price we may agree upon—The said Ross shall keep a regular book account, against each and every one or the head of every family to be adjusted and settled at the end of the year. We furthermore bind ourselves to and with said Ross that we will do good work and labor ten hours a day on an average, winter and summer. . . . We further agree that we will lose all lost time, or pay at the rate of one dollar per day, rainy days excepted. In sickness and women lying in childbed are to lose the time and account for it to the other hands out Q U E S T I O N S of his or her part of the crop. . . . We furthermore bind ourselves that we will 1. Why do the black petitioners believe obey the orders of said Ross in all things in carrying that owning land is essential to the out and managing said crop for said year and be enjoyment of freedom? docked for disobedience . . . and are also respon- sible to said Ross if we carelessly, maliciously 2. In what ways does the contract limit maltreat any of his stock for said year to said Ross the freedom of the laborers? for damages to be assessed out of our wages. Samuel (X) Johnson, Thomas (X) Richard, 3. What do these documents suggest Tinny (X) Fitch, Jessie (X) Simmons, Sophe (X) about competing definitions of black Pruden, Henry (X) Pruden, Frances (X) Pruden, freedom in the aftermath of slavery? Elijah (X) Smith. V O I C E S O F F R E E D O M 451 S H A R E C R O P P I N G I N T H E S O U T H , 1 8 8 0 Percentage of farms sharecropped (by county) 35–80% 26–34% 20–25% 13–19% 0–12% VIRGINIA NORTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE ARKANSAS SOUTH CAROLINA GEORGIA TEXAS MISSISSIPPI ALABAMA A t l a n t i c LOUISIANA O c e a n FLORIDA Gulf of Mexico 0 150 200 miles 0 150 200 kilometers By 1880, sharecropping had become crop-lien system are illustrated by the case of Matt Brown, a Mississippi the dominant form of agricultural farmer who borrowed money each year from a local merchant. He began labor in large parts of the South. The system involved both white and black 1892 with a debt of $226 held over from the previous year. By 1893, farmers. although he produced cotton worth $171, Brown’s debt had increased to $402, because he had borrowed $33 for food, $29 for clothing, $173 for supplies, and $112 for other items. Brown never succeeded in getting out of debt. He died in 1905; the last entry under his name in the merchant’s account book is a coffin. Even as the rural South stagnated economically, southern cities expe- Growth of southern cities rienced remarkable growth after the Civil War. As railroads penetrated the interior, they enabled merchants in market centers like Atlanta to trade directly with the North, bypassing coastal cities that had traditionally monopolized southern commerce. A new urban middle class of merchants, railroad promoters, and bankers reaped the benefits of the spread of cotton production in the postwar South. 452 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What visions of freedom did the former slaves and slaveholders pursue in the postwar South? The cotton depot at Guthrie, Texas. Bales of cotton have been loaded onto trains for shipment. After the Civil War, more and more white farmers began growing cotton to support their families, permanently altering their formerly self-sufficient way of life. A f t e r m a t h o f S l a v e r y The United States, of course, was not the only society to confront the prob- lem of the transition from slavery to freedom. Indeed, many parallels exist Emancipation in the Western between the debates during Reconstruction and struggles that followed Hemisphere slavery in other parts of the Western Hemisphere over the same issues of land, control of labor, and political power. Planters elsewhere held the same stereotypical views of black laborers as were voiced by their coun- terparts in the United States—former slaves were supposedly lazy and lacking in ambition, and thought that freedom meant an absence of labor. For their part, former slaves throughout the hemisphere tried to carve Chinese laborers at work on out as much independence as possible, both in their daily lives and in their a Louisiana plantation during Reconstruction. labor. On small Caribbean islands like Barbados, where no unoccupied land existed, former slaves had no alternative but to return to plantation labor. Elsewhere, the plantations either fell to pieces, as in Haiti, or continued operating with a new labor force composed of indentured ser- vants from India and China, as in Jamaica, Trinidad, and British Guiana. Southern planters in the United States brought in a few Chinese laborers in an attempt to replace freedmen, but since the federal government opposed such efforts, the Chinese remained only a tiny proportion of the southern workforce. But if struggles over land and labor united its poste- mancipation experience with that of other societies, in T H E M E A N I N G O F F R E E D O M 453 one respect the United States was unique. Only in the United States were former slaves, within two years of the end of slavery, granted the right Emancipation and the to vote and, thus, given a major share of political power. Few anticipated right to vote this development when the Civil War ended. It came about as the result of one of the greatest political crises of American history—the battle between President Andrew Johnson and Congress over Reconstruction. The struggle resulted in profound changes in the nature of citizenship, the structure of constitutional authority, and the meaning of American freedom. T H E M A K I N G O F R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N A n d r e w J o h n s o n To Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, fell the task of overseeing the restoration of the Union. Born in poverty in North Carolina, as a youth Johnson’s background Johnson worked as a tailor’s apprentice. Becoming a successful politician after moving to Tennessee, Johnson identified himself as the champion of his state’s “honest yeomen” and a foe of large planters, whom he described as a “bloated, corrupted aristocracy.” A strong defender of the Union, he became the only senator from a seceding state to remain at his post in Washington, D.C., when the Civil War began in 1861. When northern forces occupied Tennessee, Abraham Lincoln named him military gov- ernor. In 1864, Republicans nominated him to run for vice president as a symbol of the party’s hope of extending its organization into the South. Outlook In personality and outlook, Johnson proved unsuited for the respon- sibilities he shouldered after Lincoln’s death. A lonely, stubborn man, he was intolerant of criticism and unable to compromise. He lacked Lincoln’s political skills and keen sense of public opinion. Moreover, while Johnson had supported emancipation once Lincoln made it a goal of the war effort, he held deeply racist views. African-Americans, Johnson believed, had no role to play in Reconstruction. T h e F a i l u r e o f P r e s i d e n t i a l R e c o n s t r u c t i o n A little over a month after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, and with Congress out of session until December, Johnson in May 1865 outlined his plan for reuniting the nation. He issued a series of proclamations that 454 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the competing visions of Reconstruction? began the period of Presidential Reconstruction (1865–1867). Johnson offered a pardon (which restored political and property rights, except for Johnson’s program slaves) to nearly all white southerners who took an oath of allegiance. He excluded Confederate leaders and wealthy planters whose prewar property had been valued at more than $20,000. Most of those exempted, however, soon received individual pardons from the president. Johnson also appointed provisional governors and ordered them to call state con- ventions, elected by whites alone, that would establish loyal governments in the South. Apart from the requirement that they abolish slavery, repu- diate secession, and refuse to pay the Confederate debt—all unavoidable consequences of southern defeat—he granted the new governments a free hand in managing local affairs. The conduct of the southern governments elected under Johnson’s program turned most of the Republican North against the president. By and large, white voters returned prominent Confederates and members of the old elite to power. Reports of violence directed against former slaves and northern visitors in the South further alarmed Republicans. T h e B l a c k C o d e s But what aroused the most opposition to Johnson’s Reconstruction policy were the Black Codes, laws passed by the new southern governments that attempted to regulate the lives of the former slaves. These laws granted Regulating former slaves blacks certain rights, such as legalized marriage, ownership of property, and limited access to the courts. But they denied them the rights to testify Selling a Freedman to Pay His Fine at Monticello, Florida, an engraving from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, January 19, 1867. Under the Black Codes enacted by southern legislatures immediately after the Civil War, blacks convicted of “vagrancy”—often because they refused to sign contracts to work on plantations—were fined and, if unable to pay, auctioned off to work for the person who paid the fine. T H E M A K I N G O F R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 455 against whites, to serve on juries or in state militias, or to vote. And in response to planters’ demands that the freedpeople be required to work on the plantations, the Black Codes declared that those who failed to sign yearly labor contracts could be arrested and hired out to white landowners. Clearly, the death of slavery did not automatically mean the birth of freedom. But the Black Codes so completely violated free labor principles Reaction to Black Codes that they called forth a vigorous response from the Republican North. In general, few groups of rebels in history have been treated more leniently than the defeated Confederates. A handful of southern leaders were arrested, but most were quickly released. Only one was executed—Henry Wirz, the commander of Andersonville prison, where thousands of Union prisoners of war had died. Most of the Union army was swiftly demobilized. What moti- vated the North’s turn against Johnson’s policies was not a desire to “punish” the white South, but the inability of the South’s political leaders to accept the reality of emancipation as evidenced by the Black Codes. T h e R a d i c a l R e p u b l i c a n s When Congress assembled in December 1865, Johnson announced that with loyal governments functioning in all the southern states, the nation had been reunited. In response, Radical Republicans, who had grown increas- ingly disenchanted with Johnson during the summer and fall, called for the dissolution of these governments and the establishment of new ones with “rebels” excluded from power and black men guaranteed the right to vote. Thaddeus Stevens, leader of Radicals shared the conviction that Union victory created a golden opportu- the Radical Republicans in the nity to institutionalize the principle of equal rights for all, regardless of race. House of Representatives during Reconstruction. The most prominent Radicals in Congress were Charles Sumner, a senator from Massachusetts, and Thaddeus Stevens, a lawyer and iron manufacturer who represented Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives. Before the Civil War, both had been outspoken foes of slavery and defenders of black rights. Stevens’s most cherished aim was to confiscate the land of disloyal planters and divide it among former slaves and northern migrants to the South. But his plan to make “small indepen- dent landholders” of the former slaves proved too radical even for many of his Radical colleagues and failed to pass. T h e O r i g i n s o f C i v i l R i g h t s With the South unrepresented, Republicans enjoyed an overwhelming majority in Congress. Most Republicans were moderates, not Radicals. Moderates believed that Johnson’s plan was flawed, but they desired to 456 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the competing visions of Reconstruction? work with the president to modify it. They feared that neither northern Radical Republicans versus nor southern whites would accept black suffrage. Moderates and Radicals moderates joined in refusing to seat the southerners recently elected to Congress, but moderates broke with the Radicals by leaving the Johnson governments in place. Early in 1866, Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois proposed two bills that reflected the moderates’ belief that Johnson’s policy required modi- fication. The first extended the life of the Freedmen’s Bureau, which had originally been established for only one year. The second, the Civil Rights Bill, was described by one congressman as “one of the most important bills ever presented to the House for its action.” It defined all persons born in the United States as citizens and spelled out rights they were to enjoy without The Civil Rights Bill of 1866 regard to race. Equality before the law was central to the measure—no longer could states enact laws like the Black Codes discriminating between white and black citizens. So were free labor values. According to the law, no state could deprive any citizen of the right to make contracts, bring lawsuits, or enjoy equal protection of one’s person and property. These, said Trumbull, were the “fundamental rights belonging to every man as a free man.” The bill made no mention of the right to vote for blacks. In President Andrew Johnson, in an constitutional terms, the Civil Rights Bill represented the first attempt to 1868 lithograph by Currier and Ives. define in law the essence of freedom. Because of Johnson’s stubborn To the surprise of Congress, Johnson vetoed both bills. Both, he said, opposition to the congressional would centralize power in the national government and deprive the states Reconstruction policy, one disgruntled citizen drew a crown on of the authority to regulate their own affairs. Moreover, he argued, blacks his head with the words, “I am King.” did not deserve the rights of citizenship. Congress failed by a single vote to muster the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto of the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill (although later in 1866, it did extend the bureau’s life to 1870). But in April 1866, the Civil Rights Bill became the first major law in American history to be passed over a presidential veto. T h e F o u r t e e n t h A m e n d m e n t Congress now proceeded to adopt its own plan of Reconstruction. In June, it approved and sent to the states for ratification the Fourteenth Amendment, which placed in the Constitution the principle of citizenship for all persons born in the United States, and which empowered the fed- eral government to protect the rights of all Americans. The amendment prohibited the states from abridging the “privileges and immunities” of citizens or denying them the “equal protection of the law.” This broad language opened the door for future Congresses and the federal courts to breathe meaning into the guarantee of legal equality. T H E M A K I N G O F R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 457 In a compromise between the radical and moderate positions on black suffrage, the amendment did not grant blacks the right to vote. But it did provide that if a state denied the vote to any group of men, that state’s representation in Congress would be reduced. (This provision did not apply when states barred women from voting.) The abolition of slavery Black suffrage and political threatened to increase southern political power, since now all blacks, not power merely three-fifths as in the case of slaves, would be counted in determin- ing a state’s representation in Congress. The Fourteenth Amendment offered the leaders of the white South a choice—allow black men to vote and keep their state’s full representation in the House of Representatives, or limit the vote to whites and sacrifice part of their political power. By writing into the Constitution the principle that equality before the law Significance of the Fourteenth regardless of race is a fundamental right of all American citizens, the amend- Amendment ment made the most important change in that document since the adoption of the Bill of Rights. T h e R e c o n s t r u c t i o n A c t The Fourteenth Amendment became the central issue of the political campaign of 1866. Johnson embarked on a speaking tour of the North. Denouncing his critics, the president made wild accusations that the Radicals were plotting to assassinate him. His behavior further under- mined public support for his policies, as did riots that broke out in Memphis and New Orleans, in which white policemen and citizens killed dozens of blacks. In the northern congressional elections that fall, Republicans op posed to Johnson’s policies won a sweeping victory. Nonetheless, at the president’s urging, every southern state but Tennessee refused to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment. The intransigence of Johnson and the bulk of the white South pushed moderate Republicans toward the Radicals. In March 1867, over Johnson’s veto, Congress adopted the Reconstruction Act, which temporar- ily divided the South into five military districts and called for the creation of new state governments, with black men given the right to vote. Thus began Radical Reconstruction the period of Radical Reconstruction, which lasted until 1877. I m p e a c h m e n t a n d t h e E l e c t i o n o f G r a n t In March 1867, Congress adopted the Tenure of Office Act, barring the president from removing certain officeholders, including cabinet mem- bers, without the consent of the Senate. Johnson considered this an unconstitutional restriction on his authority. In February 1868, he removed 458 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the competing visions of Reconstruction? A Democratic Party broadside from the election of 1866 in Pennsylvania uses racist imagery to argue that government assistance aids lazy former slaves at the expense of hardworking whites. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, an ally of the Radicals. The House of Representatives responded by approving articles of impeachment—that is, it presented charges against Johnson to the Senate, which had to decide whether to remove him from office. That spring, for the first time in American history, a president was placed on trial before the Senate for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” By this The trial of Andrew Johnson point, virtually all Republicans considered Johnson a failure as president. But some moderates feared that conviction would damage the constitutional separation of powers between Congress and the executive. Johnson’s lawyers assured moderate Republicans that, if acquitted, he would stop interfering with Reconstruction policy. The final tally was 35-19 to convict Johnson, one vote short of the two-thirds necessary to remove him. Seven Republicans had joined the Democrats in voting to acquit the president. A few days after the vote, Republicans nominated Ulysses S. Grant, Ulysses Grant the Union’s most prominent military hero, as their candidate for president. Grant’s Democratic opponent was Horatio Seymour, the former governor of New York. Reconstruction became the central issue of the bitterly fought 1868 campaign. Democrats denounced Reconstruction as unconstitutional and condemned black suffrage as a violation of America’s political tradi- tions. They appealed openly to racism. Seymour’s running mate, Francis P. Blair Jr., charged Republicans with placing the South under the rule of “a T H E M A K I N G O F R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 459 semi-barbarous race” who longed to “subject T H E P R E S I D E N T I A L the white women to their unbridled lust.” E L E C T I O N O F 1 8 6 8 T h e F i f t e e n t h A m e n d m e n t 5 5 7 Grant won the election of 1868, although 3 4 8 33 12 by a margin—300,000 of 6 million votes 8 4 cast—that many Republicans found uncom- 26 7 6 3 3 8 21 16 13 3 fortably slim. The result led Congress to 5 5 3 11 7 11 adopt the Fifteenth Amendment, which 10 9 prohibited the federal and state govern- 5 6 8 9 ments from denying any citizen the right to 7 vote because of race. Bitterly opposed by the 3 Democratic Party, it was ratified in 1870. Non-voting territory Although the Fifteenth Amendment opened the door to suffrage restrictions Electoral Vote Popular Vote Party Candidate (Share) (Share) not explicitly based on race—literacy tests, Republican Grant 214 (73%) 3,012,833 (53%) property qualifications, and poll taxes—and Southern Democrat Seymour 80 (27%) 2,703,249 (47%) Not voting due to Reconstruction did not extend the right to vote to women, it State legislature cast the electoral votes for Grant marked the culmination of four decades of abolitionist agitation. “Nothing in all his- tory,” exclaimed veteran abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, equaled “this wonderful, quiet, sudden transformation of four millions of human beings from . . . the auction-block to the ballot-box.” The Fifteenth Amendment, an 1870 lithograph marking the ratification of the constitutional amendment prohibiting states from denying citizens the right to vote because of race. Surrounding an image of a celebration parade are portraits of Abraham Lincoln; President Ulysses S. Grant and his vice president, Schuyler Colfax; the abolitionists John Brown, Martin R. Delany, and Frederick Douglass; and Hiram Revels, the first black to serve in the U.S. Senate. At the bottom are scenes of freedom—education, family, political representation, and church life. 460 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the competing visions of Reconstruction? T h e “ G r e a t C o n s t i t u t i o n a l R e v o l u t i o n ” Effects of Reconstruction The laws and amendments of Reconstruction reflected the intersection amendments of two products of the Civil War era—a newly empowered national state, and the idea of a national citizenry enjoying equality before the law. What Republican leader Carl Schurz called the “great Constitutional revolution” of Reconstruction transformed the federal system and with it, the language of freedom so central to American political culture. Before the Civil War, American citizenship had been closely linked to race. But the laws and amendments of Reconstruction repudiated the idea that citizenship was an entitlement of whites alone. And, as one congress- Race and citizenship man noted, the amendments expanded the liberty of whites as well as blacks, including “the millions of people of foreign birth who will flock to our shores.” The new amendments also transformed the relationship between the federal government and the states. The Bill of Rights had linked civil liberties to the autonomy of the states. Its language—“Congress shall make no law”—reflected the belief that concentrated national power posed the greatest threat to freedom. The authors of the Reconstruction amendments assumed that rights required national power to enforce them. Rather than a threat to liberty, the federal government, in Charles Sumner’s words, had become “the custodian of freedom.” The Reconstruction amendments transformed the Constitution from Constitutional significance a document primarily concerned with federal-state relations and the rights of property into a vehicle through which members of vulnerable minori- ties could stake a claim to freedom and seek protection against misconduct by all levels of government. In the twentieth century, many of the Supreme Court’s most important decisions expanding the rights of American citi- zens were based on the Fourteenth Amendment, perhaps most notably the 1954 Brown ruling that outlawed school segregation (see Chapter 24). T h e R i g h t s o f W o m e n “The contest with the South that destroyed slavery,” wrote the Philadelphia lawyer Sidney George Fisher in his diary, “has caused an immense increase in the popular passion for liberty and equality.” But advocates of women’s rights encountered the limits of the Reconstruction commitment Women and the limits of to equality. Women activists saw Reconstruction as the moment to claim equality their own emancipation. The rewriting of the Constitution, declared suf- frage leader Olympia Brown, offered the opportunity to sever the blessings of freedom from sex as well as race and to “bury the black man and the woman in the citizen.” T H E M A K I N G O F R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 461 Even Radical Republicans insisted that Reconstruction was the “Negro’s hour” (the hour, that is, of the black male). The Fourteenth Amend ment for the first time introduced the word “male” into the Constitution, in its clause penalizing a state for denying any group of men the right to vote. The Fifteenth Amendment outlawed discrimination in voting based on race but not gender. These measures pro- duced a bitter split both between feminists and Radical Republicans, and within femi- nist circles. Some leaders, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, denounced their former abolitionist allies and moved to sever the women’s rights move- A Delegation of Advocates of Woman ment from its earlier moorings in the antislavery tradition. Suffrage Addressing the House Thus, even as it rejected the racial definition of freedom that had Judiciary Committee, an engraving from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated emerged in the first half of the nineteenth century, Reconstruction left the Newspaper, February 4, 1871. The gender boundary largely intact. When women tried to use the rewritten group includes Elizabeth Cady legal code and Constitution to claim equal rights, they found the courts Stanton, seated just to the right of the unreceptive. Myra Bradwell invoked the idea of free labor in challenging speaker, and Susan B. Anthony, at an Illinois stat ute limiting the practice of law to men, but the Supreme the table on the extreme right. Court in 1873 rebuffed her claim. Free labor principles, the justices declared, did not apply to women, since “the law of the Creator” had assigned them to “the domestic sphere.” Despite their limitations, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments America’s great departure and the Reconstruction Act of 1867 marked a radical departure in American and world history. Alone among the nations that abolished slavery in the nineteenth century, the United States, within a few years of emancipation, clothed its former slaves with citizenship rights equal to those of whites. The Reconstruction Act of 1867 inaugurated America’s first real experi- ment in interracial democracy. R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N I N T H E S O U T H “ T h e T o c s i n o f F r e e d o m ” Among the former slaves, the passage of the Reconstruction Act inspired an Political action by outburst of political organization. At mass political meetings—community African-Americans gatherings attended by men, women, and children—African-Americans 462 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the social and political effects of Radical Reconstruction in the South? Electioneering at the South, an engraving from Harper’s Weekly, July 25, 1868, depicts a speaker at a political meeting in the rural South. Women as well as men took part in these grassroots gatherings. staked their claim to equal citizenship. Blacks, declared an Alabama meeting, deserved “exactly the same rights, privileges and immunities as are enjoyed by white men. We ask for nothing more and will be content with nothing less.” Determined to exercise their new rights as citizens, thousands joined the Union League, an organization closely linked to the Republican Party, and the vast majority of eligible African-Americans registered to vote. James K. Green, a former slave in Hale County, Alabama, and a League The First Vote, an engraving from organizer, went on to serve eight years in the Alabama legislature. In Harper’s Weekly, November 16, 1867, the 1880s, Green looked back on his political career. Before the war, he depicts the first biracial elections in declared, “I was entirely ignorant; I knew nothing more than to obey my southern history. The voters represent master; and there were thousands of us in the same attitude. . . . But the key sources of the black political leadership that emerged during tocsin [warning bell] of freedom sounded and knocked at the door and we Reconstruction—the artisan carrying walked out like free men and shouldered the responsibilities.” his tools, the well-dressed city person By 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to (probably free before the war), and the Union, and in a region where the Republican Party had not existed the soldier. before the war, nearly all were under Republican control. Their new state constitutions, drafted in 1868 and 1869 by the first public bodies in American history with substantial black representation, marked a consid- erable improvement over those they replaced. The constitutions greatly expanded public responsibilities. They established the region’s first state- funded systems of free public education, and they created new peniten- tiaries, orphan asylums, and homes for the insane. The constitutions guaranteed equality of civil and political rights and abolished practices of the antebellum era such as whipping as a punishment for crime, property qualifications for officeholding, and imprisonment for debt. A few states initially barred former Confederates from voting, but this policy was quickly abandoned by the new state governments. R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N I N T H E S O U T H 463 T h e B l a c k O f f i c e h o l d e r Throughout Reconstruction, black voters provided the bulk of the Republican Party’s support. But African-Americans did not control Reconstruction politics, as their opponents frequently charged. The high- est offices remained almost entirely in white hands, and only in South Carolina, where blacks made up 60 percent of the population, did they form a majority of the legislature. Nonetheless, the fact that some 2,000 African-Americans in African-Americans held public office during Reconstruction marked public office a fundamental shift of power in the South and a radical departure in American government. African-Americans were represented at every level of government. Fourteen were elected to the national House of Representatives. Two blacks served in the U.S. Senate during Reconstruction, both repre- senting Mississippi. Hiram Revels, who had been born free in North Carolina, in 1870 became the first black senator in American history. The second, Blanche K. Bruce, a former slave, was elected in 1875. At state and local levels, the presence of black officeholders and their white allies A portrait of Hiram Revels, the first black U. S. senator, by Theodore made a real difference in southern life, ensuring that blacks accused of Kaufmann, a German-born artist who crimes would be tried before juries of their peers and enforcing fairness emigrated to the United States in in such aspects of local government as road repair, tax assessment, and 1855. Lithograph copies sold widely poor relief. in the North during Reconstruction. In South Carolina and Louisiana, homes of the South’s wealthiest and Frederick Douglass, commenting best-educated free black communities, most prominent Reconstruction on the dignified image, noted that African-Americans “so often see officeholders had never experienced slavery. In addition, a number of ourselves described and painted as black Reconstruction officials, like Pennsylvania-born Jonathan J. Wright, monkeys, that we think it a great who served on the South Carolina Supreme Court, had come from the piece of fortune to find an exception North after the Civil War. The majority, however, were former slaves who to this general rule.” had established their leadership in the black community by serving in the Union army; working as ministers, teachers, or skilled craftsmen; or engaging in Union League organizing. C a r p e t b a g g e r s a n d S c a l a w a g s The new southern governments also brought to power new groups of whites. Many Reconstruction officials were northerners who for one reason or another had made their homes in the South after the war. Their opponents dubbed them “carpetbaggers,” implying that they had packed all their belongings in a suitcase and left their homes in order to reap the spoils of office in the South. Some carpetbaggers were undoubtedly corrupt adventurers. The large majority, however, were former Union 464 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the social and political effects of Radical Reconstruction in the South? soldiers who decided to remain in the South when the war ended, before there was any prospect of going into politics. Most white Republicans, however, had been born in the South. Southern Republicans Former Confederates reserved their greatest scorn for these “scalawags,” whom they considered traitors to their race and region. Some southern- born Republicans were men of stature and wealth, like James L. Alcorn, the owner of one of Mississippi’s largest plantations and the state’s first Republican governor. Most “scalawags,” however, were non-slaveholding white farmers from the southern upcountry. Many had been wartime Unionists, and they now cooperated with the Republicans in order to pre- vent “rebels” from returning to power. S o u t h e r n R e p u b l i c a n s i n P o w e r In view of the daunting challenges they faced, the remarkable thing is not that Reconstruction governments in many respects failed, but how much they did accomplish. Perhaps their greatest achievement lay in establish- ing the South’s first state-supported public schools. The new educational State-supported public schools systems served both black and white children, although generally in schools segregated by race. Only in New Orleans were the public schools integrated during Reconstruction, and only in South Carolina did the state university admit black students (elsewhere, separate colleges were established). The new governments also pioneered civil rights legislation. Civil rights legislation Their laws made it illegal for railroads, hotels, and other institutions to discriminate on the basis of race. Enforcement varied considerably from locality to locality, but Reconstruction established for the first time at the state level a standard of equal citizenship and a recognition of blacks’ right to a share of public services. Republican governments also took steps to strengthen the position of rural laborers and promote the South’s economic recovery. They passed laws to ensure that agricultural laborers and sharecroppers had the first claim on harvested crops, rather than merchants to whom the landowner owed money. South Carolina created a state Land Commission, which by 1876 had settled 14,000 black families and a few poor whites on their own farms. T h e Q u e s t f o r P r o s p e r i t y Rather than on land distribution, however, the Reconstruction governments Economic development during pinned their hopes for southern economic growth and opportunity for Reconstruction African-Americans and poor whites alike on regional economic development. R A D I C A L R E C O N S T R U C T I O N I N T H E S O U T H 465 A group of black students and their teacher in a picture taken by an amateur photographer, probably a Union army veteran, while touring Civil War battlefields. Railroad construction Railroad construction, they believed, was the key to transforming the South into a society of booming factories, bustling towns, and diversified agriculture. Every state during Reconstruction helped to finance railroad construction, and through tax reductions and other incentives tried to attract northern manufacturers to invest in the region. The program had mixed results. Economic development in general remained weak. To their supporters, the governments of Radical Reconstruction presented a complex pattern of disappointment and accomplishment. A revitalized southern economy failed to materialize, and most African- Biracial democracy Americans remained locked in poverty. On the other hand, biracial demo- cratic government, a thing unknown in American history, for the first time functioned effectively in many parts of the South. The conservative elite that had dominated southern government from colonial times to 1867 found itself excluded from political power, while poor whites, newcomers from the North, and former slaves cast ballots, sat on juries, and enacted and administered laws. It is a measure of how far change had progressed that the reaction against Reconstruction proved so extreme. T H E O V E R T H R O W O F R E C O N S T R U C T I O N R e c o n s t r u c t i o n ’ s O p p o n e n t s The South’s traditional leaders—planters, merchants, and Democratic politicians—bitterly opposed the new governments. “Intelligence, virtue, Sources of opposition and patriotism” in public life, declared a protest by prominent southern 466 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the main factors, in both the North and South, for the abandonment of Reconstruction? Democrats, had given way to “ignorance, stupidity, and vice.” Corruption did exist during Reconstruction, but it was con- fined to no race, region, or party. The rapid growth of state budgets and the benefits to be gained from public aid led in some states to a scramble for influence that pro- duced bribery, insider dealing, and a get- rich-quick atmosphere. Southern frauds, however, were dwarfed by those practiced in these years by the Whiskey Ring, which involved high officials of the Grant admin- istration, and by New York’s Tweed Ring, controlled by the Democrats, whose thefts ran into the tens of millions of dollars. (These are discussed in the next chapter.) The rising taxes needed to pay for schools and other new public facilities and to assist railroad development were another cause of opposition to Reconstruction. Many poor whites who had initially supported the Republican Party turned against it when it became clear that their economic situation was not improving. The most basic reason for opposi- tion to Reconstruction, however, was that most white southerners could not accept the idea of former slaves voting, holding office, and enjoying equality before the law. Opponents launched a campaign of violence in an effort to end Republican rule. Their actions posed a fundamental challenge both for Reconstruction A cartoon from around 1870 governments in the South and for policymakers in Washington, D.C. illustrates a key theme of the racist opposition to Reconstruction—that blacks had forced themselves upon “ A R e i g n o f T e r r o r ” whites and gained domination over them. A black school teacher inflicts The Civil War ended in 1865, but violence remained widespread in large punishment on a white student in an integrated classroom, and a racially parts of the postwar South. In the early years of Reconstruction, violence mixed jury judges a white defendant. was mostly local and unorganized. Blacks were assaulted and murdered for refusing to give way to whites on city sidewalks, using “insolent” T H E O V E R T H R O W O F R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 467 language, challenging end-of-year contract settlements, and attempting to buy land. The violence that greeted the advent of Republican governments after 1867, however, was far more pervasive and more directly moti- vated by politics. In wide areas of the South, secret societies sprang Campaigns of violence up with the aim of preventing blacks from voting and destroying the organization of the Republican Party by assassinating local leaders and public officials. The most notorious such organization was the Ku Klux Klan, which in effect served as a military arm of the Democratic Party in the South. From its founding in 1866 in Tennessee, the Klan was a terror- ist organization. It committed some of the most brutal criminal acts in American history. In many counties throughout the South, it launched what one victim called a “reign of terror” against Republican leaders, black and white. A Prospective Scene in the City of The Klan’s victims included white Republicans, among them war- Oaks, a cartoon in the September 1, time Union ists and local officeholders, teachers, and party organizers. 1868, issue of the Independent But African-Americans—local political leaders, those who managed to Monitor, a Democratic newspaper acquire land, and others who in one way or another defied the norms published in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The cartoon sent a warning to of white supremacy—bore the brunt of the violence. On occasion, vio- the Reverend A. S. Lakin, who lence escalated from assaults on individuals to mass terrorism and even had moved from Ohio to become local insurrections. The bloodiest act of violence during Reconstruction president of the University of took place in Colfax, Louisiana, in 1873, where armed whites assaulted Alabama, and Dr. N. B. Cloud, a the town with a small cannon. Hundreds of former slaves were mur- southern-born Republican serving as Alabama’s superintendent of public dered, including fifty members of a black militia unit after they had education. The Ku Klux Klan forced surrendered. both men from their positions. In 1870 and 1871, Congress adopted three Enforcement Acts, outlawing ter- rorist societies and allowing the presi- dent to use the army against them. These laws continued the expansion of national authority during Reconstruction. In 1871, President Grant dispatched federal mar- shals, backed up by troops in some areas, to arrest hundreds of accused Klansmen. Many Klan leaders fled the South. After a series of well-publicized trials, the Klan went out of existence. In 1872, for the first time since the Civil War, peace reigned in most of the former Confederacy. 468 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the main factors, in both the North and South, for the abandonment of Reconstruction? T h e L i b e r a l R e p u b l i c a n s Despite the Grant administration’s effective response to Klan terrorism, Waning commitment to the North’s commitment to Reconstruction waned during the 1870s. the North Northerners increasingly felt that the South should be able to solve its own problems without constant interference from Washington. The federal government had freed the slaves, made them citizens, and given them the right to vote. Now, blacks should rely on their own resources, not demand further assistance. In 1872, an influential group of Republicans, alienated by corruption within the Grant administration and believing that the growth of federal power during and after the war needed to be curtailed, formed their own party. They included Republican founders like Lyman Trumbull and prominent editors and journalists such as E. L. Godkin of The Nation. Calling themselves Liberal Republicans, they nominated Horace Greeley, editor of Liberal Republicans the New York Tribune, for president. Democratic criticisms of Recon struction found a receptive audi- ence among the Liberals. As in the North, they became convinced, the “best men” of the South had been excluded from power while “ignorant” voters controlled politics, producing corruption and mis- government. Greeley had spent most of his career, first as a Whig and then as a Republican, denouncing the Democratic Party. But with the Changes in graphic artist Thomas Nast’s depiction of blacks in Harper’s Weekly mirrored the evolution of Republican sentiment in the North. And Not This Man? August 5, 1865, shows the black soldier as an upstanding citizen deserving of the vote. Colored Rule in a Reconstructed (?) State, March 14, 1874, suggests that Reconstruction legislatures had become travesties of democratic government. T H E O V E R T H R O W O F R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 469 1872 election Republican split presenting an opportunity to repair their political fortunes, Democratic leaders endorsed Greeley as their candidate. But many rank-and-file Democrats, unable to bring themselves to vote for Greeley, stayed at home on election day. As a result, Greeley suffered a devastating defeat by Grant, whose margin of more than 700,000 popular votes was the largest in a nineteenth-century presidential contest. But Greeley’s campaign placed on the northern agenda the one issue on which the Liberal reformers and the Democrats could agree—a new policy toward the South. T h e N o r t h ’ s R e t r e a t The Liberal attack on Reconstruction, which continued after 1872, con- tributed to a resurgence of racism in the North. Journalist James S. Pike, a leading Greeley supporter, in 1874 published The Prostrate State, an influential account of a visit to South Carolina. The book depicted a state engulfed by political corruption, drained by governmental extrava- gance, and under the control of “a mass of black barbarism.” Resurgent racism offered a convenient explanation for the alleged “failure” of Reconstruction. The solution, for many, was to restore leading whites to political power. Factors weakening Other factors also weakened northern support for Reconstruction. Reconstruction In 1873, the country plunged into a severe economic depression. Distracted by economic problems, Republicans were in no mood to devote further attention to the South. The depression dealt the South a severe blow and further weakened the prospect that Republicans could revitalize the region’s economy. Democrats made substantial gains throughout the nation in the elections of 1874. For the first time since the Civil War, their party took control of the House of Representatives. Before the new Congress met, the old one enacted a final piece of Reconstruction legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1875. This outlawed racial discrimination in places of public accommodation like hotels and theaters. But it was clear that the northern public was retreating from Reconstruction. The Supreme Court and The Supreme Court whittled away at the guarantees of black rights Reconstruction Congress had adopted. In the Slaughterhouse Cases (1873), the justices ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment had not altered traditional fed- eralism. Most of the rights of citizens, it declared, remained under state control. Three years later, in United States v. Cruikshank, the Court gutted 470 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the main factors, in both the North and South, for the abandonment of Reconstruction? the Enforcement Acts by throwing out the convictions of some of those responsible for the Colfax Massacre of 1873. T h e T r i u m p h o f t h e R e d e e m e r s By the mid-1870s, Reconstruction was clearly on the defensive. Democrats had already regained control of states with substantial white voting Democratic victories at majorities such as Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas. The victori- the polls ous Democrats called themselves Redeemers, since they claimed to have “redeemed” the white South from corruption, misgovernment, and north- ern and black control. In those states where Reconstruction governments survived, violence again erupted. This time, the Grant administration showed no desire to intervene. In Mississippi, in 1875, armed Democrats destroyed ballot Return of violence boxes and drove former slaves from the polls. The result was a Democratic landslide and the end of Reconstruction in Mississippi. Similar events R E C O N S T R U C T I O N I N T H E S O U T H , 1 8 6 7 – 1 8 7 7 PENNSYLVANIA COLORADO INDIANA OHIO ILLINOIS MARYLANDDELAWARE KANSAS WEST VIRGINIA MISSOURI VIRGINIA 1870 (1873) KENTUCKY NEW MEXICO NORTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE 1868 (1876) TERRITORY INDIAN 1866 (1870) TERRITORY ARKANSAS 1868 (1874) SOUTH CAROLINA 1868 (1876) MISSISSIPPI ALABAMA GEORGIA 1870 (1875) 1868 (1874) 1870 (1871) TEXAS 1870 (1873) LOUISIANA A t l a n t i c 1868 (1876) O c e a n FLORIDA 1868 (1876) Gulf of Mexico Former Confederate states 1869 Date of readmission to the Union 0 150 300 miles (1873) Date of election that produced Democratic control of legislature 0 150 300 kilometers and governorship T H E O V E R T H R O W O F R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 471 took place in South Carolina in 1876. Democrats nominated for gover- nor former Confederate general Wade Hampton. Hampton promised to respect the rights of all citizens of the state, but his supporters, inspired by Democratic tactics in Mississippi, launched a wave of intimidation. Democrats intended to carry the election, one planter told a black official, “if we have to wade in blood knee-deep.” T h e D i s p u t e d E l e c t i o n a n d B a r g a i n o f 1 8 7 7 Events in South Carolina directly affected the outcome of the presidential campaign of 1876. To succeed Grant, the Republicans nominated Gov- Rutherford B. Hayes ernor Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio. The Democrats chose as his opponent New York’s governor, Samuel J. Tilden. By this time, only South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana remained under Republican control. The election turned out to be so close that whoever captured these states—which both parties claimed to have carried—would become the next president. Unable to resolve the impasse on its own, Congress in January 1877 appointed a fifteen-member Electoral Commission, composed of sena- tors, representatives, and Supreme Court justices. Republicans enjoyed an 8-7 majority on the commission, and to no one’s surprise, the members decided by T H E P R E S I D E N T I A L that margin that Hayes had carried the dis- E L E C T I O N O F 1 8 7 6 puted southern states and had been elected president. Even as the commission deliberated, 5 5 7 2 5 however, behind-the-scenes negotiations 1 13 10 35 11 took place between leaders of the two par- 4 3 11 29 6 9 ties. Hayes’s representatives agreed to 3 21 22 15 3 3 5 recognize Democratic control of the entire 6 5 15 11 8 12 10 South and to avoid further intervention 12 6 7 in local affairs. For their part, Democrats 8 10 11 promised not to dispute Hayes’s right to 8 8 office and to respect the civil and political 4 rights of blacks. Non-voting territory Thus was concluded the Bargain of Electoral Vote Popular Vote 1877. Hayes became president and quickly Party Candidate (Share) (Share) ordered federal troops to stop guarding Republican Hayes 185 (50%) 4,036,298 (48%) Democrat Tilden 184 (50%) the state houses in Louisiana and South 4,300,590 (51%) Greenback Cooper 0 (0%) 93,895 (1%) Carolina, allowing Democratic claimants Disputed (assigned to Hayes by electoral commission) to become governors. (Contrary to legend, 472 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” What were the main factors, in both the North and South, for the abandonment of Reconstruction? Hayes did not remove the last soldiers from the South—he simply ordered them to return to their barracks.) The triumphant southern Democrats failed to live up to their pledge to recognize blacks as equal citizens. T h e E n d o f R e c o n s t r u c t i o n As a historical process—the nation’s adjustment to the destruction of slavery—Reconstruction continued well after 1877. Blacks continued to vote and, in some states, hold office into the 1890s. But as a distinct era of national history—when Republicans controlled much of the South, blacks exercised significant political power, and the federal government accepted the responsibility for protecting the fundamental rights of all American citizens—Reconstruction had come to an end. Despite its limitations, Reconstruction was a remarkable chapter in the story of American free- dom. Nearly a century would pass before the nation again tried to bring Is This a Republican Form of equal rights to the descendants of slaves. The civil rights era of the 1950s Government?, a cartoon by Thomas and 1960s would sometimes be called the Second Reconstruction. Nast in Harper’s Weekly, September 2, 1876, illustrates his conviction that the overthrow of Reconstruction meant that the United States was not prepared to live up to its democratic ideals or protect the rights of black citizens threatened by violence. T H E O V E R T H R O W O F R E C O N S T R U C T I O N 473 C H A P T E R R E V I E W A N D O N L I N E R E S O U R C E S R E V I E W Q U E S T I O N S K E Y T E R M S 1. In 1865, the former Confederate general Robert Freedmen’s Bureau (p. 447) Richardson remarked that “the emancipated slaves own sharecropping (p. 449) crop-lien system (p. 449) nothing, because nothing but freedom has been given to Black Codes (p. 455) them.” Explain whether this would be an accurate assess- Civil Rights Bill of 1866 (p. 457) ment of Reconstruction twelve years later. Fourteenth Amendment (p. 457) Reconstruction Act (p. 458) 2. The women’s movement split into two separate national Fifteenth Amendment (p. 460) organizations in part because the Fifteenth Amendment women’s rights (p. 461) did not give women the vote. Explain why the two groups carpetbaggers and scalawags (p. 464) split. Ku Klux Klan (p. 468) Colfax Massacre (p. 468) 3. How did black families, churches, schools, and other Enforcement Acts (p. 468) institutions contribute to the development of African- Civil Rights Act of 1875 (p. 470) American culture and political activism in this period? Slaughterhouse Cases (p. 470) Redeemers (p. 471) 4. Why did ownership of land and control of labor become Bargain of 1877 (p. 472) major points of contention between former slaves and whites in the South? 5. By what methods did southern whites seek to limit African-American civil rights and liberties? How did the federal government respond? 6. How did the failure of land reform and continued poverty lead to new forms of servitude for both blacks and whites? 7. What caused the confrontation between President /studyspace Johnson and Congress over Reconstruction policies? VISIT STUDYSPACE FOR THESE RESOURCES AND MORE 8. What national issues and attitudes combined to bring an s end to Reconstruction by 1877? s s 9. By 1877, how did the condition of former slaves in the s United States compare with that of freedmen around the s globe? 474 C h a p t e r 1 5  “What Is Freedom?” C H A P T E R 1 6 1872 Crédit Mobilier Scandal 1873 Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner’s Gilded Age 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn 1877 Reconstruction ends A M E R I C A ’ S Great Railroad Strike 1879 Henry George’s Progress and Poverty 1883 Civil Service Act G I L D E D A G E Railroads create time zones 1886 Knights of Labor’s membership peaks Haymarket affair  1887 Interstate Commerce Commission created Dawes Act 1 8 7 0 – 1 8 9 0 1888 Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward 1889 Andrew Carnegie’s “Wealth” 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives Massacre at Wounded Knee 1893 Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis 1894 Henry Demarest Lloyd’s Wealth against Commonwealth 1895 United States v. E. C. Knight Co. 1899 Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class 1905 Lochner v. New York Forging the Shaft, a painting from the 1870s by the American artist John Ferguson Weir, depicts workers in a steel factory making a propeller shaft for an ocean liner. Weir illustrates both the dramatic power of the factory at a time when the United States was overtaking European countries in manufacturing, and the fact that industrial production still required hard physical labor. F O C U S An immense crowd gathered in New York Harbor on October 28, 1886, for the dedication of Liberty Enlightening the World, a fitting symbol for a nation now wholly free. The idea for the statue originated in 1865 with Édouard de Laboulaye, a French educator and Q U E S T I O N S the author of several books on the United States, as a response to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Measuring more than 150 feet from s torch to toe and standing atop a huge pedestal, the edifice was the tallest make the United States a man-made structure in the Western Hemisphere. mature industrial society In time, the Statue of Liberty, as it came to be called, would become after the Civil War? Americans’ most revered national icon. For over a century it has stood as a symbol of freedom. The statue has welcomed millions of immigrants— s the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” celebrated in a poem by formed economically and Emma Lazarus inscribed on its base in 1903. In the years since its dedi- socially in this period? cation, the statue’s familiar image has been reproduced by folk artists in every conceivable medium and has been used by advertisers to promote s everything from cigarettes and lawn mowers to war bonds. It has become political system effective a powerful international symbol as well. in meeting its goals? The year of the statue’s dedication, 1886, also witnessed the “great upheaval,” a wave of strikes and labor protests that touched every part s of the nation. The 600 dignitaries (598 of them men) who gathered on development of the Gilded what is now called Liberty Island for the dedication hoped the Statue Age affect American of Liberty would inspire renewed devotion to the nation’s political and freedom? economic system. But for all its grandeur, the statue could not conceal the deep social divisions and fears about the future of American freedom that s accompanied the country’s emergence as the world’s leading industrial the period approach the power. Crucial questions moved to the center stage of American public problems of an industrial life during the 1870s and 1880s and remained there for decades to come: society? What are the social conditions that make freedom possible, and what role should the national government play in defining and protecting the liberty of its citizens? T H E S E C O N D I N D U S T R I A L R E V O L U T I O N Between the end of the Civil War and the early twentieth century, the United States underwent one of the most rapid and profound economic revolutions any country has ever experienced. There were numerous Roots of economic change causes for this explosive economic growth. The country enjoyed abundant natural resources, a growing supply of labor, an expanding market for manufactured goods, and the availability of capital for investment. In 476 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age What factors combined to make the United States a mature industrial society after the Civil War? addition, the federal government actively promoted industrial and agri- cultural development. It enacted high tariffs that protected American industry from foreign competition, granted land to railroad companies to encourage construction, and used the army to remove Indians from west- ern lands desired by farmers and mining companies. T h e I n d u s t r i a l E c o n o m y The rapid expansion of factory production, mining, and railroad construc- tion in all parts of the country except the South signaled the transition from Lincoln’s America—a world centered on the small farm and artisan A changing America TABLE 16.1 Indicators of Economic Change, 1870–1920 1870 1900 1920 &ARMS 5.7 6.4 Land in farms (million acres) 408 841 956 Wheat grown (million bushels) 254 599 843 %MPLOYMENT 28.5 44.5 In manufacturing (millions) 2.5 5.9 11.2 0ERCENTAGE Agricultural 52 27 Industryb 29 44 Trade, service, administrationc 20 27 2AILROAD Steel produced (thousands of tons) 0.8 11.2 46 ‘.0 18.7 91.5 Per capita (in 1920 dollars) 371 707 920 ,IFE 47 54 a Percentages are rounded and do not total 100 b Includes manufacturing, transportation, mining, construction c Includes trade, finance, public administration T H E S E C O N D I N D U S T R I A L R E V O L U T I O N 477 workshop—to a mature industrial society. By 1913, the United States Industrial growth produced one-third of the world’s industrial output—more than Great Britain, France, and Germany combined. By 1880, for the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau found a majority of the workforce engaged in non- farming jobs. The traditional dream of economic independence seemed obsolete. By 1890, two-thirds of Americans worked for wages, rather than owning a farm, business, or craft shop. Drawn to factories by the promise of employment, a new working class emerged in these years. Between 1870 and 1920, almost 11 million Americans moved from farm to city, and another 25 million immi- grants arrived from overseas. Most manufacturing now took place in industrial cities. The heart- land of what is sometimes called the “second industrial revolution” was The industrial Great Lakes the region around the Great Lakes, with its factories producing iron and region steel, machinery, chemicals, and packaged foods. Pittsburgh had become the world’s center of iron and steel manufacturing. Chicago, by 1900 the nation’s second-largest city with 1.7 million inhabitants, was home to factories producing steel and farm machinery and giant stockyards where cattle were processed into meat products for shipment east in refrigerated rail cars. R a i l r o a d s a n d t h e N a t i o n a l M a r k e t The railroad made possible the second industrial revolution. Spurred by private investment and massive grants of land and money by federal, state, Key role of railroads and local governments, the number of miles of railroad track in the United States tripled between 1860 and 1880 and tripled again by 1920, opening vast new areas to commercial farming and creating a truly national mar- ket for manufactured goods. The railroads even reorganized time itself. In 1883, the major companies divided the nation into the four time zones still in use today. The growing population formed an ever-expanding market for the mass production, mass distribution, and mass marketing of goods, essen- The rise of national brands tial elements of a modern industrial economy. The spread of national brands like Ivory Soap and Quaker Oats symbolized the continuing integration of the economy. So did the growth of national chains, most prominently the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, better known as A & P grocery stores. Based in Chicago, the national mail-order firms Montgomery Ward and Sears, Roebuck & Co. sold clothing, jewelry, farm equipment, and numerous other goods to rural families throughout the country. 478 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age What factors combined to make the United States a mature industrial society after the Civil War? T H E R A I L R O A D N E T W O R K , 1 8 8 0 Pacific Mountain Time Zone Time Zone Central Seattle Time Zone Eastern Time Zone Atlantic Time Zone Portland CANADA Helena Northern Pacific Boise St. Paul Boston Ne Buffalo w York Cen Detroit tral New York Central Pacific Chicago Reno Cleveland U Salt Lake City nion Pacific Pen Omaha n Pittsburgh sylvania Philadelphia San Francisco Il Washington, D.C. l Denver in Baltimore and Ohio o Kansas City is St. Louis C Norfolk entra Los Angeles l Memphis Santa Fe Phoenix A t l a n t i c Atlanta O c e a n Charleston El Paso Dallas So Mobile uthern Pa Houston New Orleans cific MEXICO Gulf of Mexico Pa c i f i c O c e a n 0 250 500 miles Major railroads in 1880 0 250 500 kilometers Time-zone boundaries T h e S p i r i t o f I n n o v a t i o n By 1880, the transnational rail network made possible the creation A remarkable series of technological innovations spurred rapid commu- of a truly national market for goods. nication and economic growth. The opening of the Atlantic cable in 1866 made it possible to send electronic telegraph messages instantaneously between the United States and Europe. During the 1870s and 1880s, the telephone, typewriter, and handheld camera came into use. Scientific breakthroughs poured forth from research laboratories in Menlo Park and Orange, New Jersey, created by the era’s greatest inventor, Edison’s innovations Thomas A. Edison. During the course of his life, Edison helped to establish entirely new industries that transformed private life, public entertainment, and economic activity. Among Edison’s innovations were the phonograph, lightbulb, motion picture, and a system for generating and distributing electric power. The spread of electricity was essential to industrial and Electricity urban growth, providing a more reliable and flexible source of power than water or steam. T H E S E C O N D I N D U S T R I A L R E V O L U T I O N 479 ( Left) Travel became globalized in the second half of the nineteenth century. This advertisement promotes an around-the-world route by railroad and steamboat, beginning in Chicago. ( Right) The cover of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog. One of the country’s largest mail- order companies, Sears, Roebuck processed 100,000 orders per day at the end of the nineteenth century. The cornucopia at the center suggests the variety of items one could order by mail: furniture, a piano, a bicycle, and farm tools. C o m p e t i t i o n a n d C o n s o l i d a t i o n Economic growth was dramatic but highly volatile. The combination of a market flooded with goods and the federal monetary policies (discussed later) that removed money from the national economy led to a relentless fall in prices. The world economy suffered prolonged downturns in the 1870s and 1890s. Businesses engaged in ruthless competition. Railroads and other The Electricity Building at the Chicago companies tried various means of bringing order to the chaotic market- World’s Fair of 1893, painted by place. They formed “pools” that divided up markets between suppos- Childe Hassam. The electric lighting edly competing firms and fixed prices. They established “trusts”—legal at the fair astonished visitors and devices whereby the affairs of several rival companies were managed by illustrated how electricity was changing the visual landscape. a single director. Such efforts to coordinate the economic activities of independent companies generally proved short lived. To avoid cutthroat competition, more and more corporations battled to control entire industries. Between 1897 and 1904, some 4,000 firms fell by the wayside or were gobbled up by others. By the time the wave of mergers had been completed, giant corpo- rations like U.S. Steel (created by financier J. P. Morgan in 1901 by combining eight large steel companies into the first billion- dollar economic enterprise), Standard Oil, 480 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age What factors combined to make the United States a mature industrial society after the Civil War? and International Harvester (a manufacturer of agricultural machinery) dominated major parts of the economy. T h e R i s e o f A n d r e w C a r n e g i e In an era without personal or corporate income taxes, some business leaders accumulated enormous fortunes and economic power. During the depression that began in 1873, Andrew Carnegie set out to establish a “vertically integrated” steel company—that is, one that controlled every Vertical integration phase of the business from raw materials to transportation, manufac- turing, and distribution. By the 1890s, he dominated the steel industry and had accumulated a fortune worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Carnegie’s complex of steel factories at Homestead, Pennsylvania, were the most technologically advanced in the world. Believing that the rich had a moral obligation to promote the advance- ment of society, Carnegie denounced the “worship of money” and distrib- uted much of his wealth to various philanthropies, especially the creation Philanthropy of public libraries in towns throughout the country. But he ran his com- panies with a dictatorial hand. His factories operated nonstop, with two twelve-hour shifts every day of the year except the Fourth of July. T h e T r i u m p h o f J o h n D . R o c k e f e l l e r Next!, a cartoon from the magazine If any single name became a byword for enormous wealth, it was John Puck, September 7, 1904, depicts the D. Rockefeller, who began his working career as a clerk for a Cleveland Standard Oil Company as an octopus with tentacles wrapped around merchant and rose to dominate the oil industry. He drove out rival the copper, steel, and shipping firms through cutthroat competition, arranging secret deals with rail- industries, as well as a state house road companies, and fixing prices and production quotas. Like Carnegie, and Congress. One tentacle reaches he soon established a vertically integrated for the White House. monopoly, which controlled the drilling, refining, storage, and distribution of oil. By the 1880s, his Standard Oil Company con- trolled 90 percent of the nation’s oil indus- try. Like Carnegie, Rockefeller gave much of his fortune away, establishing foundations to promote education and medical research. And like Carnegie, he bitterly fought his employees’ efforts to organize unions. These and other industrial leaders inspired among ordinary Americans a com- bination of awe, admiration, and hostility. T H E S E C O N D I N D U S T R I A L R E V O L U T I O N 481 Depending on one’s point of view, they were “captains of industry,” whose energy and vision pushed the economy forward, or “robber barons,” who wielded power without any accountability in an unregulated marketplace. Their dictatorial attitudes, unscrupulous methods, repressive labor poli- cies, and exercise of power without any democratic control led to fears that they were undermining political and economic freedom. Concentrated wealth degraded the political process, declared Henry Demarest Lloyd Henry Demarest Lloyd’s Wealth against in Wealth against Commonwealth (1894), an exposé of how Rockefeller’s Commonwealth Standard Oil Company made a mockery of economic competition and political democracy by manipulating the market and bribing legislators. “Liberty and monopoly,” Lloyd concluded, “cannot live together.” W o r k e r s ’ F r e e d o m i n a n I n d u s t r i a l A g e Striking as it was, the country’s economic growth distributed its benefits very unevenly. For a minority of workers, the rapidly expanding indus- trial system created new forms of freedom. In some industries, skilled workers commanded high wages and exercised considerable control over the production process. A worker’s economic independence now rested on technical skill rather than ownership of one’s own shop and tools as in ear- lier times. Through their union, skilled iron- and steelworkers fixed output quotas and controlled the training of apprentices in the technique of iron rolling. These workers often knew more about the details of production than their employers did. Economic insecurity For most workers, however, economic insecurity remained a basic fact of life. During the depressions of the 1870s and 1890s, millions of workers lost their jobs or were forced to accept reductions of pay. The “tramp” became a familiar figure on the social landscape as thousands of men took to the roads in search of work. Between 1880 and 1900, an average of 35,000 workers perished each year in factory and mine accidents, the highest rate in the industrial world. Much of the working class remained desperately poor and to survive needed income from all family members. By 1890, the richest 1 percent of Americans received the same total income as the bottom half of the population and owned more property than the remaining 99 percent. Many of the wealthiest Americans consciously pursued an aristocratic lifestyle, building palatial homes, attending exclusive social clubs, schools, and colleges, holding fancy- Thorstein Veblen’s The dress balls, and marrying into each other’s families. In 1899, the Theory of the Leisure Class economist and social historian Thorstein Veblen published The Theory 482 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age What factors combined to make the United States a mature industrial society after the Civil War? A turn-of-the-century photograph of the Casino Grounds, Newport, Rhode of the Leisure Class, a devastating critique of an upper-class culture Island, an exclusive country club for focused on “conspicuous consumption”—that is, spending money not rich socialites of the Gilded Age. on needed or even desired goods, but simply to demonstrate the pos- session of wealth. At the same time much of the working class lived in desperate con- ditions. Jacob Riis, in How the Other Half Lives (1890), offered a shocking account of living conditions among the urban poor, complete with photo- graphs of apartments in dark, airless, overcrowded tenement houses. Jacob Riis and tenements T H E T R A N S F O R M A T I O N O F T H E W E S T Nowhere did capitalism penetrate more rapidly or dramatically than in the trans-Mississippi West, whose “vast, trackless spaces,” as the poet Walt Whitman called them, were now absorbed into the expanding economy. At the close of the Civil War, the frontier of continuous white settlement did not extend far beyond the Mississippi River. To the west lay millions of acres of fertile and mineral-rich land roamed by giant herds of buffalo whose meat and hides provided food, clothing, and shelter for a population of more than 250,000 Indians. Ever since the beginning of colonial settlement in British North America, the West—a region whose definition shifted as the population The West as place of expanded—had been seen as a place of opportunity for those seeking to opportunity improve their condition in life. From farmers moving into Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois in the decades after the American Revolution to prospectors T H E T R A N S F O R M A T I O N O F T H E W E S T 483 who struck it rich in the California gold rush of the mid-nineteenth century, millions of Americans and immigrants from abroad found in the westward move- ment a path to economic opportunity. But the West was hardly a uniform paradise of small, independent farm- ers. Beginning in the eighteenth century, for example, California was the site of forced Indian labor on mis- sions run by members of religious orders, a system that helped establish the pattern of large agricultural landholdings in that region. Landlords, railroads, and mining companies in the West also utilized Mexican migrant and indentured labor, Chinese working on long-term contracts, and, until the end of the Civil War, African-American slaves. A D i v e r s e R e g i o n The West, of course, was hardly a single area. West of the Mississippi River lay a variety of regions, all marked by remarkable physical beauty—the “vast, trackless” Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the desert of the Baxter Street Court, 1890, one of Southwest, the Sierra Nevada, and the valleys and coastline of California numerous photographs by Jacob Riis depicting living conditions in New and the Pacific Northwest. It would take many decades before individual York City’s slums. settlers and corporate business enterprises penetrated all these areas. But the process was far advanced by the end of the nineteenth century. The political and economic incorporation of the American West was part of a global process. In many parts of the world, indigenous inhabitants—the Zulu in South Africa, aboriginal peoples in Australia, American Indians—were pushed aside (often after fierce resistance) as The worldwide fate of centralizing governments brought large interior regions under their indigenous peoples control. In the United States, the incorporation of the West required the active intervention of the federal government, which acquired Indian land by war and treaty, administered land sales, regulated territorial politics, and distributed land and money to farmers, railroads, and min- ing companies. In the twentieth century, the construction of federally financed irrigation systems and dams would open large areas to commercial farm- ing. Ironically, the West would become known (not least to its own inhab- itants) as a place of rugged individualism and sturdy independence. But Role of government in without active governmental assistance, the region could never have been the West settled and developed. 484 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age How was the West transformed economically and socially in this period? Across the Continent, a lithograph from 1868 by the British-born female artist Frances F. Palmer, celebrates post–Civil War westward expansion as the spread of civilization— represented by the railroad, telegraph, school, church, and wagon trains—into a wilderness that appears totally uninhabited except for two Indians in the far distance and a herd of buffalo. F a r m i n g i n t h e T r a n s – M i s s i s s i p p i W e s t Even as sporadic Indian wars raged, settlers poured into the West. Territo- rial and state governments eager for population and railroad companies anx ious to sell the immense tracts of land they had acquired from the gov- ernment flooded European countries and eastern cities with promotional literature promising easy access to land. More land came into cultivation in the thirty years after the Civil War than in the previous two and a half centuries of American history. Hundreds of thousands of families acquired farms under the Homestead Act, and even more purchased land from spec- The new agricultural empire ulators and from railroad companies. A new agricultural empire produc- of the West ing wheat and corn arose on the Middle Border (Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas), whose population rose from 300,000 in 1860 to 5 million in 1900. The farmers were a diverse group, including native-born easterners, blacks escaping the post-Reconstruction South, and immigrants from Canada, Germany, Scandinavia, and Great Britain. In the late nine- teenth century the most multicultural state in the Union was North Dakota. Despite the promises of promotional pamphlets, farming on the Great Plains was not an easy task. Much of the burden fell on women. Farm fami- Farm women lies generally invested in the kinds of labor-saving machinery that would bring in cash, not machines that would ease women’s burdens in the household (like the back-breaking task of doing laundry). A farm woman in Arizona described her morning chores in her diary: “Get up, turn out my chickens, draw a pail of water . . . make a fire, put potatoes to cook, brush and sweep half inch of dust off floor, feed three litters of chickens, then mix T H E T R A N S F O R M A T I O N O F T H E W E S T 485 biscuits, get breakfast, milk, besides work in the house, and this morning had to go half mile after calves.” Despite the emergence of a few “bonanza farms” that covered thou- sands of acres and employed large numbers of agricultural wage work- Family farms ers, family farms still dominated the trans-Mississippi West. Even small farmers, however, became increasingly oriented to national and interna- tional markets, specializing in the production of single crops for sale in faraway places. At the same time, railroads brought factory-made goods to rural people, replacing items previously produced in farmers’ homes. Farm families became more and more dependent on loans to purchase land, machinery, and industrial products, and increasingly vulnerable to Vulnerability to global the ups and downs of prices for agricultural goods in the world market. market prices Agriculture reflected how the international economy was becoming more integrated. The combination of economic depressions and expanding agri- cultural production in places like Argentina, Australia, and the American West pushed prices of farm products steadily downward. Small farmers throughout the world suffered severe difficulties in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Many joined the migration to cities within their countries or the increasing international migration of labor. The future of western farming ultimately lay with giant agricultural enterprises relying heavily on irrigation, chemicals, and machinery— investments far beyond the means of family farmers. A preview of the agricultural future was already evident in California, where, as far back The family of David Hilton on their as Spanish and Mexican days, landownership had been concentrated in Nebraska homestead in 1887. large units. In the late nineteenth century, California’s giant fruit and veg- The Hiltons insisted on being photographed with their organ, away etable farms, owned by corporations like the Southern Pacific Railroad, from the modest sod house in which were tilled not by agricultural laborers who could expect to acquire land of they lived, to better represent their their own, but by migrant laborers from China, the Philippines, Japan, and aspiration for prosperity. Mexico, who tramped from place to place following the ripening crops. T h e C o w b o y a n d t h e C o r p o r a t e W e s t The two decades following the Civil War also witnessed the golden age of the cattle kingdom. The Kansas Pacific Railroad’s stations at Abilene, Dodge City, and Wichita, Kansas, became destinations for the fabled drives of millions of cattle from Texas. A collection of white, Mexican, and 486 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age How was the West transformed economically and socially in this period? black men who conducted the cattle drives, the cowboys became symbols of a life of freedom on the open range. Their exploits would later serve as the theme of many a Hollywood movie, and their clothing inspired fash- ions that remain popular today. But there was nothing romantic about the life of the cowboys, most of whom were low-paid wage workers. (Texas cowboys even went on strike for higher pay in 1883.) The days of the long- distance cattle drive ended in the mid-1880s, as farmers enclosed more and more of the open range with barbed-wire fences, making it difficult to graze cattle on the grasslands of the Great Plains, and two terrible winters destroyed millions of cattle. When the industry recuperated, it was reorga- nized in large, enclosed ranches close to rail connections. The West was more than a farming empire. By 1890, a higher percentage of its population lived in cities than was the case in other regions. Large cor- In the late 1800s, California tried to porate enterprises appeared throughout the West. Western mining, from attract immigrants by advertising its Michigan iron ore and copper to gold and silver in California, Nevada, and pleasant climate and the availability of Colorado, fell under the sway of companies that mobilized eastern and land, although large-scale corporate European investment to introduce advanced technology. Gold and silver farms were coming to dominate the rushes took place in the Dakotas in 1876, Idaho in 1883, and Alaska at the state’s agriculture. end of the century. C o n f l i c t o n t h e M o r m o n F r o n t i e r The Mormons had moved to the Great Salt Lake Valley in the 1840s, hop- ing to practice their religion free of the persecution they had encountered in the East. They envisioned their community in Utah as the foundation of a great empire they called Deseret. Given the widespread unpopular- Deseret community ity of Mormon polygamy and the close connection of church and state in Mormon theology, conflict with the growing numbers of non-Mormon settlers moving west became inevitable. When President James Buchanan removed the Mormon leader Brigham Young as Utah’s territorial gov- ernor and Young refused to comply, federal troops entered the Salt Lake Valley, where they remained until the beginning of the Civil War. In 1857, during this time of tension, a group of Mormons attacked a wagon train of non-Mormon settlers traveling through Utah toward California. What came to be called the Mountain Meadows Massacre resulted in the death Mountain Meadows Massacre of all the adults and older children in the wagon train—over 100 persons. Nearly twenty years later, one leader of the assault was convicted of mur- der and executed. After the Civil War, Mormon leaders sought to avoid further antagonizing the federal government. In the 1880s, Utah banned the practice of polygamy (although the practice persists to this day among T H E T R A N S F O R M A T I O N O F T H E W E S T 487 some fundamentalist Mormons living in isolated areas). But sporadic conflict continued between Mormon families, who spread out across the Southwest, and Native Americans as well as other settlers. T h e S u b j u g a t i o n o f t h e P l a i n s I n d i a n s The incorporation of the West into the national economy spelled the doom of the Plains Indians and their world. Their lives had already undergone Spread of horses profound transformations. In the eighteenth century, the spread of horses, originally introduced by the Spanish, led to a wholesale shift from farming and hunting on foot to mounted hunting of buffalo. Most migrants on the Oregon and California Trails before the Civil War encountered little hostility from Indians, often trading with them for food and supplies. But as settlers encroached on Indian lands, bloody conflict between the army and Plains tribes began in the 1850s and contin- ued for decades. In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant announced a new “peace policy” in the West, but warfare soon resumed. Drawing on methods used to defeat the Confederacy, Civil War generals like Philip H. Sheridan set out to destroy the foundations of the Indian economy—villages, horses, and The buffalo especially the buffalo. Hunting by mounted Indians had already reduced the buffalo population—estimated at 30 million in 1800—but it was army campaigns and the depredations of hunters seeking buffalo hides that ren- dered the vast herds all but extinct. Albert Bierstadt’s 1863 painting, The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak, depicts Indians as an integral part of the majestic landscape of the West. 488 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age How was the West transformed economically and socially in this period? “ L e t M e B e a F r e e M a n ” The army’s relentless attacks broke the power of one tribe after another. In 1877, troops commanded by former Freedmen’s Bureau commissioner O. O. Howard pursued the Nez Percé Indians on a 1,700-mile chase across the Far West. The Nez Percé (whose name was given them by Lewis and The Nez Percé Clark in 1805 and means “pierced noses” in French) were seeking to escape to Canada after fights with settlers who had encroached on tribal lands in Oregon and Idaho. After four months, Howard forced the Indians to sur- render, and they were removed to Oklahoma. Two years later, the Nez Percé leader, Chief Joseph, delivered a Chief Joseph speech in Washington to a distinguished audience that included President Rutherford B. Hayes. Condemning the policy of confining Indians to res- ervations, Joseph adopted the language of freedom and equal rights before the law so powerfully reinforced by the Civil War and Reconstruction. “Treat all men alike,” he pleaded. “Give them the same law. . . . Let me be a free man—free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to . . . think and talk and act for myself.” Until his death in 1904, Joseph would unsuccessfully petition successive presidents for his people’s right to return to their beloved Oregon homeland. Indians occasionally managed to inflict costly delay and even defeat on army units. The most famous Indian victory took place in June 1876 at Little Bighorn, when General George A. Custer and his entire command of 250 men perished. The Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, were defending tribal land in the Black Hills of the Sitting Bull, probably the best-known Dakota Territory. Native American of the late nineteenth Events like these delayed only temporarily the onward march of white century, in a photograph from 1885. soldiers, settlers, and prospectors. Between the end of the Civil War and 1890, eight new western states entered the Union (Nebraska, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming). Railroads now crisscrossed the Great Plains, farmers and cattlemen exploited land formerly owned by Indians, and the Plains tribes had been concentrated on reservations, where they lived in poverty, preyed on by unscrupulous traders and government agents. R e m a k i n g I n d i a n L i f e “The life my people want is a life of freedom,” Sitting Bull declared. The Indian idea of freedom, however, which centered on preserving their cul- tural and political autonomy and control of ancestral lands, conflicted with the interests and values of most white Americans. T H E T R A N S F O R M A T I O N O F T H E W E S T 489 In 1871, Congress eliminated the treaty system that dated back to the revolutionary era, by which the federal government negotiated agreements with Indians as if they were independent nations. The federal government also pressed forward with its assault on Indian cul- ture. The Bureau of Indian Affairs established boarding schools where Indian children, removed from the “nega- tive” influences of their parents and tribes, were dressed in non-Indian clothes, given new names, and educated in white ways. T h e D a w e s A c t a n d W o u n d e d K n e e The crucial step in attacking “tribalism” came in 1887 with the passage of the Dawes Act, named for Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts, chair of the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee. The act broke up the land A quilt created by a Sioux woman of nearly all tribes into small parcels to be distributed who lived on a reservation in South to Indian families, with the remainder auctioned off to white purchasers. Dakota around 1900, possibly as Indians who accepted the farms and “adopted the habits of civilized life” a gift for a nearby white family. It would become full-fledged American citizens. The policy proved to be a depicts scenes of traditional daily life disaster, leading to the loss of much tribal land and the erosion of Indian cul- among the Indians, including hunting buffalo and cooking game. The bird’s tural traditions. When the government made 2 million acres of Indian land eggs at the top left corner have available in Oklahoma, 50,000 white settlers poured into the territory to hatched at the bottom right. claim farms on the single day of April 22, 1889. Further land rushes followed in the 1890s. In the half century after the passage of the Dawes Act, Indians lost 86 million of the 138 million acres of land in their possession in 1887. Some Indians sought solace in the Ghost Dance, a religious revitaliza- Despite white efforts to remake Indian tion campaign. Its leaders foretold a day when whites disappear, the buffalo life, traditional crafts survived. This would return, and Indians could once again practice their ancestral customs photograph, taken in 1903, depicts a pottery maker in the Isleta Pueblo “free from misery, death, and disease.” Large numbers of Indians gathered for near Albuquerque, New Mexico. days of singing, dancing, and religious observances. Fearing a general upris- ing, the government sent troops to the reservations. On December 29, 1890, soldiers opened fire on Ghost Dancers encamped near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, killing between 150 and 200 Indians, mostly women and children. The Wounded Knee massacre was widely applauded in the press. An army court of inquiry essentially exonerated the troops and their com- mander, and twenty soldiers were later awarded the Medal of Honor, a rec- ognition of exceptional heroism in battle, for their actions at Wounded Knee. The Wounded Knee massacre marked the end of four centuries of armed conflict between the continent’s native population and European 490 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age Focus Question How was the West transformed economically and socially in this period? I N D I A N R E S E R V A T I O N S , c a . 1 8 9 0 RIBES MANDAN COLVILLE HIDATSA CANADA L T SPOKAN BLACKFEET MINITARI ASTA REE COEUR D’ALENE CHIPPEWA WASHINGTON FLATHEAD SIOUX EST CO CHIPPEWA YAKIMA SIOUX & TRIBES NEZ PERCÉ MONTANA ASSINIBOIN NORTH DAKOTA NORTHW MINNESOTA UMATILLA WARM SPRING CROW NORTHERN SIOUX OREGON CHEYENNE TRIBES WISCONSIN IDAHO KLAMATH SOUTH DAKOTA MICHIGAN RIVER KLAMATH SHOSHONE & BANNOCK SHOSHONE & ARAPAHO SIOUX SIOUX HOOPA VALLEY WYOMING IOWA SHOSHONE PONCA WINNEBAGO & PAIUTE ROUND OMAHA SAC & FOX VALLEY PAIUTE NEBRASKA INDIANA UTE ILLINOIS POMO NEVADA SAC & FOX PAIUTE UTAH KICKAPOO TERRITORY COLORADO POTTAWATOMI KANSAS CHIPPEWA MUNSEE MISSOURI KENTUCKY CALIFORNIA MOAPA UTE JICARILLA TULE RIVER APACHE RIVER SUPPAI NAVAJO HOPI INDIAN TERRITORY HUALPAI MISSION INDIANS MOHAVE ARIZONA PUEBLO Peoria TERRITORY ZUÑI Chilocco Ottawa Quapaw MOHAVE NEW MEXICO Kansas Wyandotte PIMA Modoc APACHE TERRITORY CHEROKEE Tonkawa Shawnee YUMA OUTLET Ponca Osage Seneca PAPAGO MARICOPA Otoe & Missouri MESCALERO Cherokee APACHE Iowa Pawnee PAPAGO Cheyenne & Pa c i f i c TEXAS Arapaho Kickapoo Sac & Fox O c e a n Wichita Creek Caddo Pottawatomie MEXICO Comanche Seminole Kiowa Choctaw Apache Chickasaw 0 200 400 miles Indian reservations 0 200 400 kilometers By 1890, the vast majority of the settlers and their descendants. By 1900, the Indian population had remaining Indian population had been fallen to 250,000, the lowest point in American history. Of that num- removed to reservations scattered ber, 53,000 had become American citizens by accepting land allotments across the western states. under the Dawes Act. The following year, Congress granted citizenship to 100,000 residents of Indian Territory (in present-day Oklahoma). The remainder would have to wait until 1919 (for those who fought in World War I) and 1924, when Congress made all Indians American citizens. S e t t l e r S o c i e t i e s a n d G l o b a l W e s t s The conquest of the American West was part of a global process whereby set- A global process tlers moved boldly into the interior of regions in temperate climates around the world, bringing their familiar crops and livestock and establishing T H E T R A N S F O R M A T I O N O F T H E W E S T 491 V O I C E S O F F R E E D O M F r o m A n d r e w C a r n e g i e , “ W e a l t h ” ( 1 8 8 9 ) One of the richest men in Gilded Age America, Andrew Carnegie promoted what he called the gospel of wealth, the idea that those who accumulated money had an obligation to use it to promote the advancement of society. He explained his outlook in this article in the North American Review, one of the era’s most prominent magazines. The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship. The conditions of human life have not only been changed, but revolutionized, within the past few hundred years. . . . The contrast between the palace of the millionaire and the cottage of the laborer with us to-day measures the change which has come with civilization. This change, however, is not to be deplored, but welcomed as highly beneficial. It is well, nay, essential for the progress of the race, that the houses of some should be homes for all that is highest and best in literature and the arts, and for all the refinements of civilization, rather than that none should be so. . . . In bestowing charity, the main consideration should be to help those who will help themselves. . . . He is the only true reformer who is as careful and as anxious not to aid the unworthy as he is to aid the worthy, and, perhaps, even more so, for in alms-giving more injury is probably done by rewarding vice than by relieving virtue. . . . The best means of benefitting the community is to place within its reach the ladders upon which the aspiring can rise—parks, and means of recreation, by which men are helped in body and mind; works of art, certain to give pleasure and improve the public taste, and public institutions of various kinds, which will improve the general condition of the people—in this manner returning their surplus wealth to the mass of their fellows in the forms best calculated to do them lasting good. Thus is the problem of Rich and Poor to be solved. The laws of accumulation will be left free; the laws of distribution free. Individualism will continue, but the millionaire will be but a trustee for the poor. 492 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age F r o m I r a S t e w a r d , “ A S e c o n d D e c l a r a t i o n o f I n d e p e n d e n c e ” ( 1 8 7 9 ) At a Fourth of July celebration in Chicago in 1879, Ira Steward, the most prominent labor leader associated with the movement for the eight-hour day, invoked the legacy of the Declaration of Independence and the abolition of slavery during the Civil War to discuss labor’s grievances. Resolved, That the practical question for an American Fourth of July is not between freedom and slavery, but between wealth and poverty. For if it is true that laborers ought to have as little as possible of the wealth they produce, South Carolina slaveholders were right and the Massachusetts abolitionists were wrong. Because, when the working classes are denied everything but the barest necessities of life, they have no decent use for liberty. . . . Slavery is . . . the child of poverty, instead of poverty the child of slavery: and freedom is the child of wealth, instead of wealth the child of freedom. The only road, therefore, to universal freedom is the road that leads to universal wealth. Resolved, That while the Fourth of July was heralded a hundred years ago in the name of Liberty, we now herald this day in behalf of the great economic measure of Eight Hours, or shorter day’s work for wageworkers everywhere . . . because more leisure, rest and thought will cultivate habits, customs, and expenditures that mean higher wages: and the world’s highest paid laborers now furnish each other with vastly more occupations or days’ work than the lowest paid workers can give to one another. . . . [And] if the worker’s power to buy increases with his power to do, granaries and warehouses will empty their pockets, and farms and factories fill up with producers. . . . And we call to the workers of the whole civilized world, especially those of France, Germany, and Great Britain, to join hands with Q U E S T I O N S the laborers of the United States in this mighty 1. Why does Carnegie think it is better to movement. . . . build public institutions than to give On the . . . issue of eight hours, therefore, or less hours, we join hands with all, regardless charity to the poor? of politics, nationality, color, religion, or sex; 2. Why does Ira Steward appeal to knowing no friends or foes except as they aid other countries for assistance and or oppose this long-postponed and world-wide understanding? movement. And for the soundness of our political econ- 3. Compare the views of Carnegie and omy, as well as the rectitude of our intentions, Stewart about how the economy should we confidently and gladly appeal to the wiser operate. statesmanship of the civilized world. V O I C E S O F F R E E D O M 493 mining and other industries. Countries such as Argentina, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as the United States, are often called “settler societies,” because immigrants from overseas quickly outnum- bered and displaced the original inhabitants—unlike in India and most parts of colonial Africa, where fewer Europeans ventured and those who did relied on the labor of the indigenous inhabitants. In many settler societies, native peoples were subjected to cultural reconstruction similar to policies in the United States. In Australia, the government gathered the Aboriginal populations—their numbers devastated by disease—in “reserves” reminiscent of American Indian reservations. Australia went fur- ther than the United States in the forced assimilation of surviving Aboriginal peoples. The government removed large numbers of children from their families to be adopted by whites—a policy abandoned only in the 1970s. A 1911 poster advertising the federal government’s sale of land formerly possessed by Indians. Under the Dawes Act of 1887, Indian families were allotted individual farms and the remaining land P O L I T I C S I N A G I L D E D A G E on reservations, so-called surplus land, was made available to whites. The era from 1870 to 1890 is the only period of American history com- monly known by a derogatory name—the Gilded Age, after the title of an 1873 novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. “Gilded” means covered with a layer of gold, but it also suggests that the glittering surface covers a core of little real value and is therefore deceptive. T h e C o r r u p t i o n o f P o l i t i c s As they had earlier in the nineteenth century, Americans during the Gilded Age saw their nation as an island of political democracy in a world still dominated by undemocratic governments. In Europe, only France and Switzerland enjoyed universal male suffrage. Even in Britain, most of the working class could not vote until the passage of the Reform Act of 1884. The new corporation and Nonetheless, the power of the new corporations, seemingly immune political power to democratic control, raised disturbing questions for the American under- standing of political freedom as popular self-government. Political corrup- tion was rife. In Pennsylvania’s legislature, the “third house” of railroad 494 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age Was the Gilded Age political system effective in meeting its goals? The Bosses of the Senate, a cartoon from Puck, January 23, 1889, shows well-fed monopolists towering over the obedient senators. Above them, a sign rewrites the closing words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “This is the Senate of the Monopolists, by the Monopolists, and for the Monopolists.” lobbyists supposedly exerted as much influence as the elected chambers. In the West, many lawmakers held stock or directorships in lumber com- panies and railroads that received public aid. Urban politics fell under the sway of corrupt political machines like New York’s Tweed Ring, which plundered the city of tens of millions of dollars. “Boss” William M. Tweed’s organization reached into every “Boss” Tweed of New York neighborhood. He won support from the city’s immigrant poor by fashion- ing a kind of private welfare system that provided food, fuel, and jobs in hard times. A combination of political reformers and businessmen tired of paying tribute to the ring ousted Tweed in the early 1870s, although he remained popular among the city’s poor, who considered him an urban Robin Hood. At the national level, the most notorious example of corruption came to light during Grant’s presidency. This was Crédit Mobilier, a corporation The Crédit Mobilier scandal formed by an inner ring of Union Pacific Railroad stockholders to oversee the line’s government-assisted construction. Essentially, it enabled the participants to sign contracts with themselves, at an exorbitant profit, to build the new line. The arrangement was protected by the distribution of stock to influential politicians. T h e P o l i t i c s o f D e a d C e n t e r In national elections, party politics bore the powerful imprint of the Civil War. Republicans controlled the industrial North and Midwest and the Republican strength agrarian West and were particularly strong among members of revival- ist churches, Protestant immigrants, and blacks. Organizations of Union P O L I T I C S I N A G I L D E D A G E 495 veterans formed a bulwark of Republican P O L I T I C A L S T A L E M A T E , support. Every Republican candidate for 1 8 7 6 – 1 8 9 2 president from 1868 to 1900 had fought in the Union army. By 1893, a lavish system of pensions for Union soldiers and their widows and children consumed more than 40 percent of the federal budget. Democrats, after 1877, dominated the South and did well among Catholic voters, especially Irish-Americans, in the nation’s cities. The parties were closely divided. In three of the five presidential elections between 1876 and 1892, the margin sepa- rating the major candidates was less than Non-voting territory 1 percent of the popular vote. Twice, in 1876 and 1888, the candidate with an Elections of 1876–1892 electoral-college majority trailed in the Voted Democrat 4–5 times Voted Republican 4–5 times popular vote. Only for brief periods did the Voted more irregularly same party control the White House and both houses of Congress. More than once, Congress found itself paralyzed as important bills shuttled back and forth between House and Senate, and special sessions to complete legislation became necessary. Gilded Age presidents made little effort to mobilize public opinion or extend executive leadership. In some ways, though, American democracy in the Gilded Age seemed Party activism remarkably healthy. Elections were closely contested, party loyalty was intense, and 80 percent or more of eligible voters turned out to cast ballots. G o v e r n m e n t a n d t h e E c o n o m y The nation’s political structure, however, proved ill equipped to deal with the problems created by the economy’s rapid growth. Despite its expanded scope and powers arising from the Civil War, the federal government remained remarkably small by modern standards. The federal workforce in 1880 numbered 100,000 (today, it exceeds 2.5 million). The parties and business Nationally, both parties came under the control of powerful politi- interest cal managers with close ties to business interests. Republicans strongly supported a high tariff to protect American industry, and throughout the 1870s they pursued a fiscal policy based on reducing federal spending, repaying much of the national debt, and withdrawing greenbacks—the paper money issued by the Union during the Civil War—from circulation. Democrats opposed the high tariff, but the party’s national leadership 496 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age Was the Gilded Age political system effective in meeting its goals? remained closely linked to New York bankers and financiers and resisted demands from debt-ridden agricultural areas for an increase in the money supply. In 1879, for the first time since the war, the United States returned to the gold standard—that is, paper currency became exchangeable for gold at a fixed rate. Republican economic policies strongly favored the interests of eastern industrialists and bankers. These policies worked to the disadvantage of southern and western farmers, who had to pay a premium for manufactured goods while the prices they received for their produce steadily declined. R e f o r m L e g i s l a t i o n Gilded Age national politics did not entirely lack accomplishments. Inspired in part by President Garfield’s assassination by a disappointed office seeker, the Civil Service Act of 1883 created a merit system for fed- eral employees, with appointment via competitive examinations rather than political influence. Although it applied at first to only 10 percent of This political cartoon from the 1884 the more than 100,000 government workers, the act marked the first step presidential campaign depicts Republican nominee James G. Blaine in establishing a professional civil service and removing officeholding as a champion of a high tariff that from the hands of political machines. (However, since funds raised from would protect American workers from political appointees had helped to finance the political parties, civil service cheap foreign labor. Blaine’s attire is reform had the unintended result of increasing politicians’ dependence on a reference to the nominating speech donations from business interests.) at the Republican convention by In 1887, in response to public outcries against railroad practices, Robert G. Ingersoll, who referred to the candidate as a “plumed knight.” Congress established the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to ensure that the rates railroads charged farmers and merchants to trans- port their goods were “reasonable” and did not offer more favorable treat- ment to some shippers over others. The ICC was the first federal agency intended to regulate economic activity, but since it lacked the power to establish rates on its own—it could only sue companies in court—it had little impact on railroad practices. Three years later, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, which banned all combinations and practices that restrained free trade. But the language was so vague that the act proved almost impossible to enforce. Weak as they were, these laws helped Legacy of economic reform to establish the precedent that the national government could regulate the legislation economy to promote the public good. P o l i t i c a l C o n f l i c t i n t h e S t a t e s At the state and local level the Gilded Age was an era of political ferment and conflict over the proper uses of governmental authority. In the imme- diate aftermath of the Civil War, state governments in the North, like P O L I T I C S I N A G I L D E D A G E 497 those in the Reconstruction South, greatly expanded their responsibility for public health, welfare, and education, and cities invested heavily in public works such as park construction and improved water and gas services. The policies of railroad companies produced a growing chorus of protest, especially in the West. Farmers and local merchants complained of excessively high freight rates, discrimination in favor of large producers and shippers, and high fees charged by railroad-controlled grain Laying Tracks at Union Square warehouses. Critics of the railroads came for a Railroad, an 1890 painting, together in the Patrons of Husbandry, or Grange (1867), which moved to depicts one of the era’s many public establish cooperatives for storing and marketing farm output in the hope works assisted by state and local of forcing the carriers “to take our produce at a fair price.” governments. At the same time, the labor movement, revitalized during the Civil War, demanded laws establishing eight hours as a legal day’s work. Seven northern legislatures passed such laws, but since most lacked strong means of enforcement they remained dead letters. Nevertheless, the efforts of workers, like those of farmers, inspired a far-reaching national debate. F R E E D O M I N T H E G I L D E D A G E T h e S o c i a l P r o b l e m As the United States matured into an industrial economy, Americans struggled to make sense of the new social order. Debates over politi- cal economy engaged the attention of millions of Americans, reaching far beyond the tiny academic world into the public sphere inhabited by self-educated workingmen and farmers, reformers of all kinds, newspaper editors, and politicians. This broad public discussion produced thousands of books, pamphlets, and articles on such technical issues as land taxation and currency reform, as well as widespread debate over the social and ethi- cal implications of economic change. Many Americans sensed that something had gone wrong in the Social unrest nation’s social development. Talk of “better classes,” “respectable classes,” and “dangerous classes,” dominated public discussion, and bitter labor strikes seemed to have become the rule. In 1881, the Massachusetts Bureau 498 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age How did the economic development of the Gilded Age affect American freedom? of Labor Statistics reported that virtually every worker it interviewed in Fall River, the nation’s largest center of textile production, complained of overwork, poor housing, and tyrannical employers. With factory workers living on the edge of poverty alongside a grow- ing class of millionaires, it became increasingly difficult to view wage Freedom and equality labor as a temporary resting place on the road to economic independence. disconnected Yet given the vast expansion of the nation’s productive capacity, many Americans viewed the concentration of wealth as inevitable, natural, and justified by progress. By the turn of the century, advanced economics taught that wages were determined by the iron law of supply and demand and that wealth rightly flowed not to those who worked the hardest but to men with business skills and access to money. The close link between freedom and equality, forged in the Revolution and reinforced during the Civil War, appeared increasingly out of date. S o c i a l D a r w i n i s m i n A m e r i c a The idea of the natural superiority of some groups to others, which before the Civil War had been invoked to justify slavery in an otherwise free society, now reemerged in the vocabulary of modern science to explain the success and failure of individuals and social classes. In 1859, the British scientist Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. One of the most Charles Darwin influential works of science ever to appear, it expounded the theory of evolution whereby plant and animal species best suited to their environ- ment took the place of those less able to adapt. In a highly oversimplified form, language borrowed from Darwin, The misapplication of such as “natural selection,” “the struggle for existence,” and “the survival Darwin’s theory of evolution of the fittest,” entered public discussion of social problems in the Gilded Age. According to what came to be called Social Darwinism, evolution was as natural a process in human society as in nature, and government must not interfere. Especially misguided, in this view, were efforts to uplift those at the bottom of the social order, such as laws regulating conditions of work or public assistance to the poor. The giant industrial corporation, Social Darwinists believed, had emerged because it was better adapted to its environment than earlier forms of enterprise. To restrict its operations by legislation would reduce society to a more primitive level. Even the depressions of the 1870s and 1890s did not shake the widespread view that the poor were essentially responsible for their own fate. Failure to advance in society was widely thought to indicate a lack of character, an absence of self-reliance and determination in the face of adversity. F R E E D O M I N T H E G I L D E D A G E 499 The era’s most influential Social Darwinist was Yale professor William Graham Sumner William Graham Sumner. For Sumner, freedom required frank accep- tance of inequality. Society faced two and only two alternatives: “liberty, inequality, survival of the fittest; not-liberty, equality, survival of the unfit- test.” Government, Sumner believed, existed only to protect “the property of men and the honor of women,” not to upset social arrangements decreed by nature. L i b e r t y o f C o n t r a c t a n d t h e C o u r t s The growing influence of Social Darwinism helped to popularize an idea that A new idea of free labor would be embraced by the business and professional classes in the last quar- ter of the nineteenth century—a “negative” definition of freedom as limited government and an unrestrained free market. Central to this social vision was the idea of contract. So long as labor relations were governed by con- tracts freely arrived at by independent individuals, neither the government nor unions had a right to interfere with working conditions, and Americans had no grounds to complain of a loss of freedom. Thus the principle of free labor, which originated as a celebration of the independent small producer in a society of broad equality and social harmony, was transformed into a defense of the unrestrained operations of the capitalist marketplace. State and federal courts regularly struck down state laws regulating The courts and economic economic enterprise as an interference with the right of the free laborer to freedom choose his employment and working conditions, and of the entrepreneur to utilize his property as he saw fit. For decades, the courts viewed state regulation of business—especially laws establishing maximum hours of work and safe working conditions—as an insult to free labor. The courts generally sided with business enterprises that complained of a loss of economic freedom. In 1885, the New York Court of Appeals invalidated a state law that prohibited the manufacture of cigars in tene- ment dwellings on the grounds that such legislation deprived the worker of Women and work the “liberty” to work “where he will.” Although women still lacked political rights, they were increasingly understood to possess the same economic “lib- erty,” defined in this way, as men. The Illinois Supreme Court in 1895 declared unconstitutional a state law that outlawed the production of garments in sweatshops and established a forty-eight-hour work week for women and E. C. Knight case children. In 1895 in United States v. E. C. Knight Co. , the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which barred combinations in restraint of trade, could not be used to break up a sugar refining monopoly, because the Constitution empowered Congress to regulate commerce but not manufacturing. Their unwillingness to allow regulation of the economy, 500 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age How did the economic development of the Gilded Age affect American freedom? however, did not prevent the courts from acting to impede labor organization. The Sherman Act, intended to prevent business mergers that stifled competi- tion, was used by judges primarily to issue injunctions prohibiting strikes on the grounds that they illegally interfered with the freedom of trade. In a 1905 case that became almost as notorious as Dred Scott, the Supreme Court in Lochner v. New York voided a state law establishing ten Lochner v. New York hours per day or sixty per week as the maximum hours of work for bak- ers. By this time, the Court was invoking “liberty” in ways that could easily seem absurd. In one case, it overturned as a violation of “personal liberty” a Kansas law prohibiting “yellow-dog” contracts, which made nonmember- ship in a union a condition of employment. In another, it struck down state laws requiring payment of coal miners in money rather than paper usable only at company-owned stores. Workers, observed mine union leader John P. Mitchell, could not but feel that “they are being guaranteed the lib- erties they do not want and denied the liberty that is of real value to them.” L A B O R A N D T H E R E P U B L I C “ T h e O v e r w h e l m i n g L a b o r Q u e s t i o n ” Ruins of the Pittsburgh Round House, As Mitchell’s remark suggests, public debate in the late nineteenth a photograph published in the July century, more than at almost any other moment in American history, 1895 issue of Scribner’s Magazine, divided along class lines. The shift from the slavery controversy to shows the widespread destruction what one politician called “the overwhelming labor question” was dra- of property during the Great Railroad matically illustrated in 1877, the year of both the end of Strike of July 1877. Reconstruction and also the first national labor walkout— the Great Railroad Strike. When workers protesting a pay cut paralyzed rail traffic in much of the country, militia units tried to force them back to work. After troops fired on strikers in Pittsburgh, killing twenty people, workers responded by burning the city’s railroad yards, destroy- ing millions of dollars in property. General strikes para- lyzed Chicago and St. Louis. The strike revealed both a strong sense of solidarity among workers and the close ties between the Republican Party and the new class of industrialists. President Rutherford B. Hayes, who a few months earlier had ordered federal troops in the South to end their involvement in local politics, ordered the army into the North. The workers, the president wrote in his diary, were “put down by force.” L A B O R A N D T H E R E P U B L I C 501 In the aftermath of 1877, the federal government constructed armories in major cities to ensure that troops would be on hand in the event of further labor diffi- culties. Henceforth, national power would be used not to protect beleaguered for- mer slaves but to guarantee the rights of property. T h e K n i g h t s o f L a b o r a n d t h e “ C o n d i t i o n s E s s e n t i a l t o L i b e r t y ” The 1880s witnessed a new wave of labor organizing. At its center stood the Knights The Great Labor Parade of of Labor, led by Terence V. Powderly. The September 1, from Frank Leslie’s Knights were the first group to try to organize unskilled workers as well as Illustrated Newspaper, September 13, skilled, women alongside men, and blacks as well as whites (although even 1884. A placard illustrates how the labor movement identified Gilded Age the Knights excluded the despised Asian immigrants on the West Coast). The employers with the Slave Power of group reached a peak membership of nearly 800,000 in 1886 and involved the pre–Civil War era. millions of workers in strikes, boycotts, political action, and educational and social activities. Labor reformers of the Gilded Age put forward a wide array of pro- grams, from the eight-hour day to public employment in hard times, currency reform, anarchism, socialism, and the creation of a vaguely defined “cooperative commonwealth.” Labor raised the question whether meaning- ful freedom could exist in a situation of extreme economic inequality. M i d d l e – C l a s s R e f o r m e r s Dissatisfaction with social conditions in the Gilded Age extended well beyond aggrieved workers. Alarmed by fear of class warfare and the Social thought in the growing power of concentrated capital, social thinkers offered numerous Gilded Age plans for change. In the last quarter of the century, more than 150 utopian or cataclysmic novels appeared, predicting that social conflict would end either in a new, harmonious social order or in total catastrophe. Of the many books proposing more optimistic remedies for the unequal distribution of wealth, the most popular were Progress and Poverty (1879) by Henry George, The Cooperative Commonwealth (1884) by Laurence Gronlund, and Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888). All three were among the century’s greatest best-sellers, their extraordinary success tes- 502 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age How did reformers of the period approach the problems of an industrial society? tifying to what George called “a wide-spread consciousness . . . that there is something radically wrong in the present social organization.” All three writers, though in very different ways, sought to reclaim an imagined golden age of social harmony and American freedom. Henry George’s Progress Progress and Poverty probably commanded more public attention than and Poverty any book on economics in American history. Henry George began with a famous statement of “the problem” suggested by its title—the growth of “squalor and misery” alongside material progress. His solution was the “single tax,” which would replace other taxes with a levy on increases in the value of real estate. No one knows how many of Henry George’s read- ers actually believed in this way of solving the nation’s ills. But millions responded to his clear explanation of economic relationships and his stir- ring account of how the “social distress” long thought to be confined to the Old World had made its appearance in the New. Quite different in outlook was The Cooperative Commonwealth, the first book to popularize socialist ideas for an American audience. Its author, Laurence Gronlund, was a lawyer who had emigrated from Denmark in 1867. Socialism—the belief that private control of economic enterprises Socialism should be replaced by government ownership in order to ensure a fairer dis- tribution of the benefits of the wealth produced—became a major political force in western Europe in the late nineteenth century. In the United States, however, where access to private property was widely considered essential to individual freedom, socialist beliefs were largely confined to immigrants, whose writings, frequently in foreign languages, attracted little attention. Gronlund began the process of socialism’s Americanization. Whereas Edward Bellamy, author of the Karl Marx, the nineteenth century’s most influential socialist theorist, utopian novel Looking Backward. had predicted that socialism would come into being via a working-class revolution, Gronlund portrayed it as the end result of a process of peace- ful evolution, not violent upheaval. He thus made socialism seem more acceptable to middle-class Americans who desired an end to class conflict and the restoration of social harmony. Not until the early twentieth century would socialism become a sig- nificant presence in American public life. As Gronlund himself noted, the most important result of The Cooperative Commonwealth was to prepare an audience for Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, which promoted social- ist ideas while “ignoring that name” (Bellamy wrote of nationalism, not socialism). In Looking Backward, his main character falls asleep in the late nineteenth century only to awaken in the year 2000, in a world where cooperation has replaced class strife, “excessive individualism,” and cutthroat competition. Freedom, Bellamy insisted, was a social condition resting on interdependence, not autonomy. L A B O R A N D T H E R E P U B L I C 503 The book inspired the creation of hundreds of nationalist clubs devoted to bringing into existence the world of 2000 and left a profound mark on a generation of reformers and intellectuals. Bellamy held out the hope of retaining the material abundance made possible by industrial capitalism while eliminating inequality. P r o t e s t a n t s a n d M o r a l R e f o r m Mainstream Protestants played a major role in seeking to stamp out sin during the Gilded Age. What one historian calls a “Christian lobby” pro- moted political solutions to what they saw as the moral problems raised by labor conflict and the growth of cities, and threats to religious faith by Darwinism and other scientific advances. Unlike the pre–Civil War period, when “moral suasion” was the pre- ferred approach of many reformers, powerful national organizations like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, National Reform Association, Legislation on morals and Reform Bureau now campaigned for federal legislation that would “christianize the government” by outlawing sinful behavior. Among the proposed targets were the consumption of alcohol, gambling, prostitu- tion, polygamy, and birth control. In a striking departure from the prewar situation, southerners joined in the campaign for federal regulation of individual behavior, something whites in the region had strongly opposed before the Civil War, fearing it could lead to action against slavery. The key role played by the white South in the campaign for moral legislation The Bible Belt helped earn the region a reputation as the Bible Belt—a place where politi- cal action revolved around religious principles. Although efforts to enact a national law requiring businesses to close on Sunday failed, the Christian lobby’s efforts set the stage for later legislation such as the Mann Act of 1910, banning the transportation of women across state lines for immoral purposes (an effort to suppress prostitution), and Prohibition. A S o c i a l G o s p e l Most of the era’s Protestant preachers concentrated on attacking individual sins like drinking and Sabbath-breaking and saw nothing immoral about the pursuit of riches. But the outlines of what came to be called the Social Rauschenbusch and Gladden Gospel were taking shape in the writings of Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist minister in New York City; Washington Gladden, a Congregational clergyman in Columbus, Ohio; and others. They insisted that freedom and spiritual self-development required an equalization of wealth and power and that unbridled competition mocked the Christian ideal of brotherhood. 504 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age How did reformers of the period approach the problems of an industrial society? The Social Gospel movement originated as an effort to reform Protestant churches by expanding their appeal in poor urban neighbor- hoods and making them more attentive to the era’s social ills. The move- ment’s adherents established missions and relief programs in urban areas that attempted to alleviate poverty, combat child labor, and encour- age the construction of better working-class housing. Within American Catholicism as well, a group of priests and bishops emerged who attempted to alter the church’s traditional hostility to movements for social reform and its isolation from contemporary currents of social thought. With most of its parishioners working men and women, they argued, the church should lend its support to the labor movement. T h e H a y m a r k e t A f f a i r The year of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, 1886, also witnessed an unprecedented upsurge in labor activity. On May 1, 1886, some 350,000 workers in cities across the country demonstrated for an eight-hour day. Having originated in the United States, May 1, or May Day as it came to The first May Day be called, soon became an annual date of parades, picnics, and protests, celebrated around the world by organized labor. The most dramatic events of 1886 took place in Chicago, a city with a large and vibrant labor movement that brought together native-born and immigrant workers, whose outlooks ranged from immigrant socialism and anarchism to American traditions of equality and anti-monopoly. On May 3, 1886, four strikers were killed by police. The next day, a rally was held in Haymarket Square to protest the killings. Near the end of the Haymarket protests speeches, someone—whose identity has never been determined—threw a bomb into the crowd, killing a policeman. The panicked police opened fire, shooting several bystanders and a number of their own force. Soon after, police raided the offices of labor and radical groups and arrested their leaders. Employers took the opportunity to paint the labor movement as a dangerous and un-American force, prone to violence and controlled by foreign-born radicals. Eight anarchists were charged with plotting and carrying out the bombing. Even though the evidence against them was extremely weak, a jury convicted the “Haymarket martyrs.” Four were hanged, one committed suicide in prison, and the remaining three were imprisoned until John Peter Altgeld, a pro-labor governor of Illinois, com- muted their sentences in 1893. Seven of the eight men accused of plotting the Haymarket bombing were foreign-born—six Germans and an English immigrant. The last was Albert Parsons, a native of Alabama who had served in the Confederate L A B O R A N D T H E R E P U B L I C 505 army in the Civil War, married a black woman, and edited a Republican newspaper in Texas during Reconstruction. Having survived the Ku Klux Klan in Reconstruction Texas, Parsons perished on the Illinois gallows for a crime that he, like the other “Haymarket martyrs,” did not commit. L a b o r a n d P o l i t i c s The Haymarket affair took place amid an outburst of independent labor political activity. In Kansas City, for example, a coalition of black and Irish- American workers and middle-class voters elected Tom Hanna as mayor. He proceeded to side with unions rather than employers in industrial disputes. The most celebrated labor campaign took place in New York City, where in 1886, somewhat to his own surprise, Henry George found him- In this pro-labor cartoon from 1888, a self thrust into the role of labor’s candidate for mayor. George’s aim in workingman rescues liberty from the running was to bring attention to the single tax on land. The labor leaders stranglehold of monopolies and the who organized the United Labor Party had more immediate goals in mind, pro-business major parties. especially stopping the courts from barring strikes and jailing unionists for conspiracy. A few days after the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, New Yorkers flocked to the polls to elect their mayor. Nearly 70,000 voted for George, who finished second, eclipsing the total of the Republican candidate, Theodore Roosevelt, and coming close to defeating Democrat Abram Hewitt. The events of 1886 suggested that labor might be on the verge of establishing itself as a permanent political force. In fact, that year marked the high point of the Knights of Labor. Facing increasing employer hostil- ity and linked by employers and the press to the violence and radicalism Decline of Knights of Labor associated with the Haymarket events, the Knights soon declined. The major parties, moreover, proved remarkably resourceful in appealing to labor voters. In the early twentieth century, reformers would turn to new ways of addressing the social conditions of freedom and new means of increasing ordinary Americans’ political and economic liberty. But before this, in the 1890s, the nation would face its gravest crisis since the Civil War, and the boundaries of freedom would once again be redrawn. 506 C h a p t e r 1 6  America’s Gilded Age C H A P T E R R E V I E W A N D O N L I N E R E S O U R C E S R E V I E W Q U E S T I O N S K E Y T E R M S “great upheaval” of 1886 1. The American economy thrived because of federal (p. 476) involvement, not the lack of it. How did the federal “trusts” (p. 480) government actively promote industrial and agricultural vertical integration (p. 481) development in this period? “captains of industry” vs. “robber barons” (p. 482) “bonanza farms” (p. 486) 2. Why were railroads so important to America’s second Dawes Act (p. 490) industrial revolution? What events demonstrate their Ghost Dance (p. 490) influence on society and politics as well as the economy? gospel of wealth (p. 492) greenbacks (p. 496) 3. Why did organized efforts of farmers, workers, and local Interstate Commerce reformers largely fail to achieve substantive change in the Commission (p. 497) Gilded Age? Sherman Antitrust Act (p. 497) Patrons of Husbandry (p. 498) 4. Describe the involvement of American family farmers Social Darwinism (p. 499) in the global economy after 1870 and its effects on their liberty of contract (p. 500) Knights of Labor (p. 502) independence. Social Gospel (p. 504) Haymarket Affair (p. 505) 5. How successfully did third parties lead movements for reform at the state level? 6. How did American political leaders seek to remake Indians and change the ways they lived? 7. How do the ideas of Henry George, Edward Bellamy, and other authors conflict with Social Darwinism? 8. How did social reformers such as Edward Bellamy, Henry George, and advocates of the Social Gospel movement /studyspace conceive of liberty and freedom differently than the proponents of the liberty of contract ideal and laissez- VISIT STUDYSPACE FOR THESE RESOURCES AND MORE faire? s s 9. In what ways did the West provide a “safety valve” for s the problems in the industrial East? In what ways did it s reveal some of the same problems? s C h a p t e r R e v i e w a n d O n l i n e R e s o u r c e s 507 1867 Alaska purchased C H A P T E R 1 7 1874 Women’s Christian Temperance Union founded 1879– Kansas Exodus 1880 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act 1883 Civil Rights Cases F R E E D O M ’ S 1886 American Federation of Labor established 1890 National American Woman Suffrage Association B O U N D A R I E S , A T organized Alfred T. Mahan’s The Influence of Sea Power upon History H O M E A N D A B R O A D 1892 Homestead strike Populist Party organized  1893 Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani overthrown Economic depression 1 8 9 0 – 1 9 0 0 begins 1894 Coxey’s Army marches to Washington Pullman strike Immigration Restriction League established 1895 Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta speech 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson The National Association of Colored Women established 1897 William McKinley inaugurated president 1898 Spanish-American War 1899– Philippine War 1903 1900 Gold Standard Act 1901– Insular Cases 1904 A Trifle Embarrassed, a cartoon from the magazine Puck in 1898, depicts Uncle Sam and a female figure of liberty standing at the gate of a Foundling [Orphan] Asylum and being presented with orphans representing Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Cuba, and the Philippines. These were the territories acquired by the United States during the Spanish-American War. (All but Cuba remained American possessions.) The artist seems to question whether the United States is prepared to assume the role of imperial power. One of the most popular songs of 1892 bore the title “Father Was Killed by a Pinkerton Man.” It was inspired by an incident dur- F O C U S ing a bitter strike at Andrew Carnegie’s steelworks at Home- stead, Pennsylvania, the nineteenth century’s most widely publicized Q U E S T I O N S confrontation between labor and capital. Homestead’s twelve steel mills were the most profitable and techno- logically advanced in the world. The union contract gave the Amalgam- s ated Association a considerable say in their operation, including the right and the significance of to approve the hiring of new workers and to regulate the pace of work. Populism? In 1892, Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, his local supervisor, decided to operate the plant on a nonunion basis. Henceforth, only workers who s agreed not to join the union could work at Homestead. In response, blacks after 1877 give way the workers blockaded the steelworks and mobilized support from the to legal segregation across local community. The battle memorialized in song took place on July 6, the South? 1892, when armed strikers confronted 300 private policemen from the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Seven workers and three Pinkerton agents s were killed, and the Pinkertons were forced to retreat. Four days later, boundaries of American the governor of Pennsylvania dispatched 8,000 militiamen to open the freedom grow narrower in complex on management’s terms. In the end, the Amalgamated Associa- this period? tion was destroyed. Homestead demonstrated that neither a powerful union nor public s opinion could influence the conduct of the largest corporations. Moreover, emerge as an imperial two American ideas of freedom collided at Homestead—the employers’ power in the 1890s? definition, based on the idea that property rights, unrestrained by union rules or public regulation, sustained the public good; and the workers’ conception, which stressed economic security and independence from what they considered the “tyranny” of employers. During the 1890s, Andrew Carnegie’s ironworks at many Americans came to believe that they were being denied economic Homestead, Pennsylvania. independence and democratic self-government, long central to the popular understanding of freedom. Millions of farmers joined the Populist movement in an attempt to reverse their declining economic pros- pects and to rescue the government from what they saw as control by powerful corporate interests. The 1890s witnessed the imposition of a new racial system in the South that locked African-Americans into the status of second-class citizenship, denying them many of the freedoms white Americans took for granted. Increasing immigration produced heated debates over whether the country should reconsider its traditional self-definition as a refuge for foreigners seeking greater F R E E D O M ’ S B O U N D A R I E S , A T H O M E A N D A B R O A D 509 freedom on American shores. At the end of the 1890s, in the Spanish- American War, the United States for the first time acquired overseas possessions and found itself ruling over subject peoples from Puerto Rico to the Philippines. Was the democratic republic, many Americans won- dered, becoming an empire like those of Europe? Rarely has the country experienced at one time so many debates over both the meaning of free- dom and freedom’s boundaries. T H E P O P U L I S T C H A L L E N G E T h e F a r m e r s ’ R e v o l t Even as labor unrest crested, a different kind of uprising was ripen- ing in the South and the trans-Mississippi West, a response to falling agricultural prices and growing economic dependency in rural areas. In the South, the sharecropping system, discussed in Chapter 15, locked millions of tenant farmers, white and black, into perpetual poverty. The interruption of cotton exports during the Civil War had led to the rapid Causes of unrest expansion of production in India, Egypt, and Brazil. The glut of cotton on the world market led to declining prices, throwing millions of small farmers deep into debt and threatening them with the loss of their land. In the West, farmers who had mortgaged their property to purchase seed, fertilizer, and equipment faced the prospect of losing their farms when unable to repay their bank loans. Farmers increasingly believed that their plight derived from the high freight rates charged by railroad companies, excessive interest rates for loans from merchants and bank- ers, and the fiscal policies of the federal government (discussed in the previous chapter) that reduced the supply of money and helped to push down farm prices. The Farmers’ Alliance Through the Farmers’ Alliance, the largest citizens’ movement of the nineteenth century, farmers sought to remedy their condition. Founded in Texas in the late 1870s, the Alliance spread to forty-three states by 1890. The Alliance proposed that the federal government establish warehouses where farmers could store their crops until they were sold. Using the crops as collateral, the government would then issue loans to farmers at low interest rates, thereby ending their dependence on bankers and mer- chants. Since it would have to be enacted by Congress, the “subtreasury plan,” as this proposal was called, led the Alliance into politics. 510 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad What were the origins and the significance of Populism? T h e P e o p l e ’ s P a r t y In the early 1890s, the Alliance evolved into the People’s Party (or Populists), the era’s greatest political insurgency. Attempting to speak for all “producing classes,” the party did not just appeal to farmers. It achieved some of its greatest successes in states like Colorado and Idaho, where it won the support of miners and industrial workers. But its major base lay in the cotton and wheat belts of the South and West. The Populists embarked on a remarkable effort of community orga- Populist organizing nization and education. To spread their message they published numer- ous pamphlets on political and economic questions, established more than 1,000 local newspapers, and sent traveling speakers throughout rural America. At great gatherings on the western plains, similar in some ways to religious revival meetings, and in small-town southern country stores, one observer wrote, “people commenced to think who had never thought before, and people talked who had seldom spoken.” Here was the last great political expression of the nineteenth-century vision of America as a commonwealth of small producers whose freedom rested on the ownership of productive property and respect for the dignity of labor. But although the Populists used the familiar language of nineteenth- century radicalism, they were hardly a backward-looking movement. They embraced the modern technologies that made large-scale cooperative The Populist message enterprise possible—the railroad, the telegraph, and the national market— while looking to the federal government to regulate those technologies in the public interest. They promoted agricultural education and believed farmers should adopt modern scientific methods of cultivation. A group of Kansas Populists, perhaps on their way to a political gathering, in a photograph from the 1890s. T H E P O P U L I S T C H A L L E N G E 511 T h e P o p u l i s t P l a t f o r m The Populist platform of 1892, adopted at the party’s Omaha convention, remains a classic document of American reform. Written by Ignatius Donnelly, a Minnesota editor, it spoke of a nation “brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin” by political corruption and eco- Proposals of reform nomic inequality. The platform put forth a long list of proposals to restore democracy and economic opportunity, many of which would be adopted during the next half-century: the direct election of U.S. senators, govern- ment control of the currency, a graduated income tax, a system of low-cost public financing to enable farmers to market their crops, and recognition of the right of workers to form labor unions. In addition, Populists called for public ownership of the railroads to guarantee farmers inexpensive access to markets for their crops. A generation would pass before a major party offered so sweeping a plan for political action to create the social conditions of freedom. P O P U L I S T S T R E N G T H , 1 8 9 2 WASHINGTON CANADA NEW MONTANA NORTH HAMPSHIRE MAINE DAKOTA VERMONT OREGON MINNESOTA IDAHO SOUTH WISCONSIN NEW MASSACHUSETTS WYOMING DAKOTA MICHIGAN YORK RHODE ISLAND NEBRASKA IOWA PENNSYLVANIA CONNECTICUT NEVADA UTAH INDIANA OHIO NEW JERSEY ILLINOIS WEST DELAWARE CALIFORNIA TERRITORY COLORADO KANSAS VIRGINIA MARYLAND MISSOURI VIRGINIA KENTUCKY NORTH ARIZONA OKLAHOMA TENNESSEE CAROLINA TERRITORY NEW MEXICO TERRITORY ARKANSAS SOUTH TERRITORY CAROLINA ALABAMA GEORGIA Populist share of the MISSISSIPPI presidential vote, 1892 TEXAS (percentage) LOUISIANA Over 48 30–48 FLORIDA 15–30 5–15 0–5 MEXICO 0 250 500 miles Not voting 0 250 500 kilometers 512 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad What were the origins and the significance of Populism? T h e P o p u l i s t C o a l i t i o n In some southern states, the Populists made remarkable efforts to unite black and white small farmers on a common political and economic pro- gram. In general, southern white Populists’ racial attitudes did not differ Populism and race significantly from those of their non-Populist neighbors. Nonetheless, rec- ognizing the need for allies to break the Democratic Party’s stranglehold on power in the South, some white Populists insisted that black and white farmers shared common grievances and could unite for common goals. Tom Watson, Georgia’s leading Populist, worked the hardest to forge a black-white alliance. “You are kept apart,” he told interracial audiences, “that you may be separately fleeced of your earnings.” While many blacks refused to abandon the party of Lincoln, others were attracted by the Populist appeal. In most of the South, however, Democrats fended off the Populist challenge by resorting to the tactics they had used to retain power since the 1870s—mobilizing whites with warnings about “Negro suprem- acy,” intimidating black voters, and stuffing ballot boxes on election day. The Populist movement also engaged the energies of thousands of Women reformers reform-minded women from farm and labor backgrounds. Some, like Mary Elizabeth Lease, a former homesteader and one of the first female lawyers in Kansas, became prominent organizers, campaigners, and strategists. During the 1890s, referendums in Colorado and Idaho approved extending the vote to women, whereas in Kansas and California the proposal went down in defeat. Populists in all these states endorsed woman suffrage. Populist presidential candidate James Weaver received more than 1 million votes in 1892. The party carried five western states. In his inau- Presidential election of 1892 gural address in 1893, Lorenzo Lewelling, the new Populist governor of Kansas, anticipated a phrase made famous seventy years later by Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have a dream. . . . A time is foreshadowed when . . . liberty, equality, and justice shall have permanent abiding places in the republic.” T h e G o v e r n m e n t a n d L a b o r Were the Populists on the verge of replacing one of the two major par- ties? The severe depression that began in 1893 led to increased conflict between capital and labor and seemed to create an opportunity for expanding the Populist vote. Time and again, employers brought state or federal authority to bear to protect their own economic power or put down threats to public order. In May 1894, the federal government T H E P O P U L I S T C H A L L E N G E 513 deployed soldiers to disperse Coxey’s Army—a band of several hundred unemployed men led by Ohio businessman Jacob Coxey, who marched to Washington demanding economic relief. Also in 1894, workers in the company-owned town of Pullman, Illi- nois, where railroad sleeping cars were manufactured, called a strike to protest a reduction in wages. The American Railway Union announced The Pullman Strike that its members would refuse to handle trains with Pullman cars. When the boycott crippled national rail service, President Grover Cleveland’s attorney general, Richard Olney (himself on the board of several railroad companies), obtained a federal court injunction ordering the strikers back to work. Federal troops and U.S. marshals soon occupied railroad centers like Chicago and Sacramento. The strike collapsed when the union’s leaders, including its char- Eugene Debs ismatic president, Eugene V. Debs, were jailed for contempt of court for violating the judicial order. In the case of In re Debs, the Supreme Court unanimously confirmed the sentences and approved the use of injunctions against striking labor unions. On his release from prison in November 1895, more than 100,000 persons greeted Debs at a Chicago railroad depot. P o p u l i s m a n d L a b o r Federal troops pose atop a railroad In 1894, Populists made determined efforts to appeal to industrial work- engine after being sent to Chicago ers. Governor Davis Waite of Colorado, who had edited a labor newspa- to help suppress the Pullman strike per before his election, sent the militia to protect striking miners against of 1894. 514 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad What were the origins and the significance of Populism? company police. In the state and congressional elections of that year, as the economic depression deepened, voters by the millions abandoned the Democratic Party of President Cleveland. In rural areas, the Populist vote increased in 1894. But urban work- ers did not rally to the Populists, whose core issues—the subtreasury plan and lower mortgage interest rates—had little meaning for them. Urban working-class voters instead shifted en masse to the Republicans, Labor votes who claimed that raising tariff rates (which Democrats had recently reduced) would restore prosperity by protecting manufacturers and industrial workers from the competition of imported goods and cheap foreign labor. In one of the most decisive shifts in congressional power in American history, the Republicans gained 117 seats in the House of Representatives. B r y a n a n d F r e e S i l v e r In 1896, Democrats and Populists joined to support William Jennings Bryan for the presidency. A thirty-six-year-old congressman from Nebraska, A cartoon from the magazine Judge, Bryan won the Democratic nomination after delivering to the national con- September 14, 1896, condemns vention an electrifying speech that crystallized the farmers’ pride and griev- William Jennings Bryan and his ances. “Burn down your cities and leave our farms,” Bryan proclaimed, “cross of gold” speech for defiling the symbols of Christianity. Bryan “and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms tramples on the Bible while holding and grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” Bryan called his golden cross; a vandalized church for the “free coinage” of silver—the unrestricted minting of silver money. In is visible in the background. language ringing with biblical imagery, Bryan condemned the gold stan- dard: “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.” Bryan’s demand for “free silver” was the latest expression of the view that increasing the amount of currency in circulation would raise the prices farmers received for their crops and make it easier to pay off their debts. His nomination wrested control of the Democratic Party from long- dominant leaders like President Grover Cleveland, who were closely tied to eastern businessmen. There was more to Bryan’s appeal, however, than simply free silver. A devoutly religious man, he was strongly influenced by the Social Gospel movement (discussed in the previous chapter). He championed a vision of the government helping ordinary Americans that anticipated provisions of the New Deal of the 1930s, including a progressive income tax, banking regulation, and the right of workers to form unions. Bryan also broke with tradition and embarked on a nationwide speaking tour, seeking to rally farmers and workers to his cause. T H E P O P U L I S T C H A L L E N G E 515 T h e C a m p a i g n o f 1 8 9 6 Republicans met the silverite challenge head on, insisting that gold was the only “honest” currency. Abandoning the gold standard, they insisted, would destroy business confidence and prevent recovery from the depres- sion by making creditors unwilling to extend loans, because they could not be certain of the value of the money in which they would be repaid. The William McKinley party nominated for president Ohio governor William McKinley, who as a congressman in 1890 had shepherded to passage the strongly protectionist McKinley Tariff. The election of 1896 is sometimes called the first modern presidential campaign because of the amount of money spent by the Republicans and A modern campaign the efficiency of their national organization. Eastern bankers and industrial- ists, thoroughly alarmed by Bryan’s call for monetary inflation and his fiery speeches denouncing corporate arrogance, poured millions of dollars into Republican coffers. (McKinley’s campaign raised some $10 million; Bryan’s around $300,000.) While McKinley remained at his Ohio home, his politi- cal manager Mark Hanna created a powerful national political machine that flooded the country with pamphlets, posters, and campaign buttons. The results revealed a nation as divided along regional lines as in 1860. Bryan carried the South and West and received 6.5 million votes. McKinley swept the more popu- lous industrial states of the Northeast and T H E P R E S I D E N T I A L Midwest, attracting 7.1 million. Industrial E L E C T I O N O F 1 8 9 6 America, from financiers and managers to workers, now voted solidly Republican, 4 a loyalty reinforced when prosperity 3 3 4 4 6 4 9 returned after 1897. 3 4 12 36 15 14 McKinley’s victory shattered the 3 4 32 8 13 6 political stalemate that had persisted 3 10 3 24 15 23 3 8 4 6 since 1876 and created one of the most 10 17 12 8 12 1 11 enduring political majorities in American 1 12 8 9 history. During McKinley’s presidency, 9 11 13 Republicans placed their stamp on eco- 15 8 nomic policy by passing the Dingley 4 Tariff of 1897, raising rates to the highest Non-voting territory level in history, and the Gold Standard Electoral Vote Popular Vote Act of 1900. Not until 1932, in the midst Party Candidate (Share) (Share) of another economic depression, would Republican McKinley 271 (61%) 7,104,779 (51%) Democrat Bryan 176 (39%) 6,502,925 (47%) the Democrats become the nation’s Minor parties 315,398 (2%) majority party. 516 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the liberties of blacks after 1877 give way to legal segregation across the South? T H E S E G R E G A T E D S O U T H T h e R e d e e m e r s i n P o w e r The failure of Populism in the South opened the door for the full imposition of a new racial order. The coalition of merchants, planters, and business entrepreneurs who dominated the region’s politics after 1877 called themselves Redeemers, since they claimed to have redeemed the region from the alleged horrors of misgovernment and “black rule.” Undoing Reconstruction On achieving power, they had moved to undo as much as possible of Reconstruction. Hardest hit were the new public school systems. Louisiana spent so little on education that it became the only state in the Union in which the percentage of whites unable to read and write actu- ally increased between 1880 and 1900. Black schools, however, suffered the most, as the gap between expenditures for black and white pupils widened steadily. New laws authorized the arrest of virtually any person without employment and greatly increased the penalties for petty crimes. As the South’s prison population rose, the renting out of convicts became a Convict labor profitable business. Every southern state placed at least a portion of its convicted criminals, the majority of them blacks imprisoned for minor offenses, in the hands of private businessmen. Railroads, mines, and lumber companies competed for this new form of cheap, involuntary labor. Conditions in labor camps were often barbaric, with disease rife and the death rates high. “One dies, get another” was the motto of the A group of Florida convict laborers. system’s architects. Southern states notoriously used convicts for public labor or leased T h e F a i l u r e o f t h e N e w S o u t h D r e a m them out to work in dire conditions for private employers. During the 1880s, Atlanta editor Henry Grady tirelessly promoted the promise of a New South, an era of prosperity based on industrial expan- sion and agricultural diversification. In fact, while planters, merchants, and industrialists prospered, the region as a whole sank deeper and deeper into poverty. Some industry did develop, such as new upcountry cotton factories that offered jobs to entire families of poor whites from the sur- rounding countryside. But since the main attractions for investors were the South’s low wages and taxes and the availability of convict labor, these enterprises made little contribution to regional economic develop- ment. With the exception of Birmingham, Alabama, which by 1900 had developed into an important center for the manufacture of iron and steel, southern cities were mainly export centers for cotton, tobacco, and rice, T H E S E G R E G A T E D S O U T H 517 with little industry or skilled labor. Overall, the region remained depen- dent on the North for capital and manufactured goods. As late as the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt would declare the South the nation’s “number one” economic problem. B l a c k L i f e i n t h e S o u t h Black farmers As the most disadvantaged rural southerners, black farmers suffered the most from the region’s condition. In the Upper South, economic develop- ment offered some opportunities—mines, iron furnaces, and tobacco facto- ries employed black laborers, and a good number of black farmers managed to acquire land. In the rice kingdom of coastal South Carolina and Georgia, most of the great plantations had fallen to pieces by the turn of the century, and many blacks acquired land and took up self-sufficient farming. In most Declining landownership of the Deep South, however, African-Americans owned a smaller percent- age of land in 1900 than they had at the end of Reconstruction. In southern cities, the network of institutions created after the Civil War—schools and colleges, churches, businesses, women’s clubs, and the like—served as the foundation for increasingly diverse black urban com- munities. They supported the growth of a black middle class, mostly pro- Coal miners, in a photograph by fessionals like teachers and physicians, or businessmen like undertakers Lewis Hine. Mining was one and shopkeepers serving the needs of black customers. But the labor mar- occupation in which blacks and whites often worked side by side. ket was rigidly divided along racial lines. Black men were excluded from supervisory positions in factories and work- shops and white-collar jobs such as clerks in offices. A higher percentage of black women than white worked for wages, but mainly as domestic servants. In most occupations, the few unions that existed in the South excluded blacks, forming yet another bar- rier to their economic advancement. T h e K a n s a s E x o d u s Trapped at the bottom of a stagnant economy, some blacks sought a way out through emigration from the South. In 1879 and 1880, an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 African-Americans migrated to Kansas, seeking political equality, freedom 518 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the liberties of blacks after 1877 give way to legal segregation across the South? from violence, access to education, and economic opportunity. Those promoting the Exodus, including former fugitive slave Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, the organizer of a real estate company, distributed flyers and lithographs picturing Kansas as an idyllic land of rural plenty. Lacking the capital to take up farming, however, most black migrants ended up as unskilled laborers in towns and cities. But few chose to return to the South. In the words of one minister active in the movement, “We had rather suffer and be free.” Despite deteriorating prospects in the South, most African-Americans had little alternative but to stay in the region. The real expansion of job opportunities was taking place in northern cities. But most northern Northern jobs employers refused to offer jobs to blacks in the expanding industrial econ- omy, preferring to hire white migrants from rural areas and immigrants from Europe. T h e D e c l i n e o f B l a c k P o l i t i c s Neither black voting nor black officeholding came to an abrupt end in 1877. A few blacks even served in Congress in the 1880s and 1890s. Nonetheless, political opportunities became more and more restricted. Not until the 1990s would the number of black legislators in the South approach the level seen during Reconstruction. Benjamin “Pap” Singleton (on the left), who helped to organize the “Exodus” of 1879, superimposed on a photograph of a boat carrying African-Americans emigrating from the South to Kansas. T H E S E G R E G A T E D S O U T H 519 With black men of talent and ambition turning away from poli- tics, the banner of political leadership passed to black women activists. The National Association of Colored Women, founded in 1896, brought Black women reformers together local and regional women’s clubs to press for both women’s rights and racial uplift. They aided poor families, offered lessons in home life and childrearing, and battled gambling and drinking in black communities. By insisting on the right of black women to be considered as “respectable” as their white counterparts, the women reformers challenged the racial ideology that consigned all blacks to the status of degraded second-class citizens. For nearly a generation after the end of Reconstruction, despite fraud and violence, black southerners continued to cast ballots in large num- Biracial politics bers. In some states, such as Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina, the Republican Party remained competitive and formed biracial political coalitions that challenged Democratic Party rule. Despite the lim- its of these alliances, especially those involving the Populists, the threat of a biracial political insurgency frightened the ruling Democrats and con- tributed greatly to the disenfranchisement movement. T h e E l i m i n a t i o n o f B l a c k V o t i n g Between 1890 and 1906, every southern state enacted laws or constitu- tional provisions meant to eliminate the black vote. Since the Fifteenth Amendment prohibited the use of race as a qualification for the suffrage, how were such measures even possible? Southern legislatures drafted laws that on paper appeared color-blind but that were actually designed Poll tax to end black voting. The most popular devices were the poll tax (a fee that each citizen had to pay in order to retain the right to vote), literacy tests, and the requirement that a prospective voter demonstrate to election offi- cials an “understanding” of the state constitution. Six southern states also adopted a “grandfather clause,” exempting from the new requirements descendants of persons eligible to vote before the Civil War (when only whites, of course, could cast ballots in the South). The racial intent of the Grandfather clause grandfather clause was so clear that the Supreme Court in 1915 invalidated such laws for violating the Fifteenth Amendment. The other methods of limiting black voting, however, remained on the books. Although election officials often allowed whites who did not meet the new qualifications to register, numerous poor and illiterate whites also lost the right to vote, a result welcomed by many planters and urban reformers. Louisiana, for example, reduced the number of blacks registered to vote 520 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the liberties of blacks after 1877 give way to legal segregation across the South? from 130,000 in 1894 to 1,342 a decade later. But 80,000 white voters also lost the right. Disenfranchisement led directly to the rise of a generation Scope of disenfranchisement of southern demagogues, who mobilized white voters by extreme appeals to racism. As late as 1940, only 3 percent of adult black southerners were reg- istered to vote. The elimination of black and many white voters, which reversed the nineteenth-century trend toward more inclusive suffrage, could not have been accomplished without the approval of the North and the Supreme Court, both of which gave their approval to disenfranchise- ment laws, in clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. As a result, southern congressmen wielded far greater power on the national scene than their tiny electorates warranted. T h e L a w o f S e g r e g a t i o n Along with disenfranchisement, the 1890s saw the widespread impo- sition of segregation in the South. Laws and local customs requiring the separation of the races had numerous precedents. They had existed in many parts of the pre–Civil War North. Southern schools and many other institutions had been segregated during Reconstruction. In the 1880s, however, southern race relations remained unsettled. Some railroads, the- aters, and hotels admitted blacks and whites on an equal basis while others separated them by race or excluded blacks altogether. In 1883, in the Civil Rights Cases, the Supreme Court invalidated Civil Rights Cases the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which had outlawed racial discrimination by hotels, theaters, railroads, and other public facilities. In 1896, in the landmark decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court gave its approval to state laws requiring separate facilities for blacks and whites. The case arose in Louisiana, where the legislature had required railroad com- panies to maintain a separate car or section for black passengers. In an 8-1 decision, the Court upheld the Louisiana law, arguing that segregated facilities did not discriminate so long as they were “separate but equal.” The lone dissenter, John Marshall Harlan, reprimanded the majority with an oft-quoted comment: “Our constitution is color-blind.” Segregation, he insisted, violated the principle of equal liberty. To Harlan, freedom for the former slaves meant the right to participate fully and equally in American society. As Harlan predicted, states reacted to the Plessy decision by passing laws mandating racial segregation in every aspect of southern life, from Spread of segregation schools to hospitals, waiting rooms, toilets, and cemeteries. Some states T H E S E G R E G A T E D S O U T H 521 In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws forbade taxi drivers to carry members of different races at the same time. establishing racial segregation did Despite the “thin disguise” (Harlan’s phrase) of equality required by the not violate the equal protection Court’s “separate but equal” doctrine, facilities for blacks were either non- clause of the Fourteenth Amendment existent or markedly inferior. so long as facilities were “separate More than a form of racial separation, segregation was one part of an but equal.” In fact, this was almost never the case, as illustrated by all-encompassing system of white domination, in which each component— these photographs of the elementary disenfranchisement, unequal economic status, inferior education— schools for black and white children reinforced the others. in South Boston, Virginia, in the early Segregation affected other groups as well as blacks. In some parts twentieth century. of Mississippi where Chinese laborers had been brought in to work the fields after the Civil War, three separate school systems—white, black, and Chinese—were established. In California, black, Hispanic, and American Indian children were frequently educated alongside whites, but state law required separate schools for those of “mongolian or Chinese descent.” In Segregation and other Texas and California, although Mexicans were legally considered “white,” minority groups they found themselves barred from many restaurants, places of entertain- ment, and other public facilities. T h e R i s e o f L y n c h i n g Those blacks who sought to challenge the system faced not only overwhelming political and legal power but also the threat of violent reprisal. In every year between 1883 and 1905, more than fifty persons, the vast majority of them black men, were lynched in the South—that Mob violence is, murdered by a mob. Lynching continued well into the twentieth century. By mid-century, the total number of victims since 1880 had reached nearly 5,000. Some lynchings occurred secretly at night; others 522 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the liberties of blacks after 1877 give way to legal segregation across the South? were advertised in advance and attracted large crowds of onlookers. Mobs engaged in activities that shocked the TABLE 17.1 States with civilized world. In 1899, Sam Hose, a plantation laborer Over 200 Lynchings, who killed his employer in self-defense, was brutally 1889–1918 murdered near Newman, Georgia, before 2,000 onlook- ers, some of whom arrived on a special excursion train STATE NUMBER OF LYNCHINGS from Atlanta. A crowd including young children watched as his executioners cut off Hose’s ears, fingers, and geni- tals, burned him alive, and then fought over pieces of his Georgia 386 bones as souvenirs. Mississippi 373 Like many victims of lynchings, Hose was accused after Texas 335 his death of having raped a white woman. Yet in nearly all Louisiana 313 cases, as activist Ida B. Wells argued in a newspaper edito- Alabama 276 rial after a Memphis lynching in 1892, the charge of rape was Arkansas 214 a “bare lie.” Born a slave in Mississippi in 1862, Wells had become a schoolteacher and editor. Her essay condemning the lynching of three black men in Memphis led a mob to destroy her newspaper, the Memphis Free Press, while she was out of the city. Wells moved to the North, where she became the nation’s leading antilynch- ing crusader. She bluntly insisted that given the conditions of southern blacks, the United States had no right to call itself the “land of the free.” Part of the crowd of 10,000 that P o l i t i c s , R e l i g i o n , a n d M e m o r y watched the 1893 lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, Texas. Smith was As the white North and South moved toward reconciliation in the 1880s accused of raping and murdering a and 1890s, one cost was the abandonment of the dream of racial equality four-year-old girl. The word “justice” spawned by the Civil War and written into the laws and Constitution dur- was painted on the platform. ing Reconstruction. In popular literature and memoirs by participants, at veterans’ reunions and in public memorials, the Civil War came to be remembered as a tragic family quarrel among white Americans in which blacks had played no signifi- cant part. It was a war of “brother against brother” in which both sides fought gal- lantly for noble causes—local rights on the part of the South, preservation of the Union for the North. Slavery increasingly came to be viewed as a minor issue, not the war’s fundamental cause, and Reconstruction as a regrettable period of “Negro rule.” T H E S E G R E G A T E D S O U T H 523 Southern governments erected monuments to the Lost Cause, a romanticized version of slavery, the Old South, and the Confederate expe- rience. Religion was central to the development of Lost Cause mythology— it offered a way for white southerners to come to terms with defeat in the Civil War without abandoning white supremacy. According to the Lost Cause, Confederate leaders like Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson were sterling representatives of Christian virtue, while the Yankees had represented the forces of evil. The death of the Confederacy, in many sermons, was equated with the death of Christ, who gave his life for the sins of mankind. Southern churches played a key role in keeping the values of the Old South alive by refusing to reunite with northern branches. In the 1840s, the Methodist and Baptist churches had divided This carving by an unknown into northern and southern branches. Methodists would not reunite until southerner from around 1875 well into the twentieth century; Baptists have yet to do so. juxtaposes Robert E. Lee and the crucified Christ, illustrating the strong religious overtones in the ideology of the Lost Cause. R E D R A W I N G T H E B O U N D A R I E S As the nineteenth century drew to a close, American society seemed to be fracturing along lines of both class and race. The result, commented economist Simon Patten, was a widespread obsession with redrawing the boundary of freedom by identifying and excluding those unworthy of the blessings of liberty. “The South,” he wrote, “has its negro, the city has its slums. . . . The friends of American institutions fear the ignorant immi- grant, and the workingman dislikes the Chinese.” T h e N e w I m m i g r a t i o n a n d t h e N e w N a t i v i s m The 1890s witnessed a major shift in the sources of immigration to the United States. Despite the prolonged depression, 3.5 million newcom- ers entered the United States during the decade, seeking jobs in the industrial centers of the North and Midwest. Over half arrived not from Ireland, England, Germany, and Scandinavia, the traditional sources Southern and eastern Europe of immigration, but from southern and eastern Europe, especially Italy and the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. The “new immigrants” were widely described by native-born Americans as members of distinct “races,” whose lower level of civilization explained everything from their willingness to work for substandard wages to their supposed inborn ten- dency toward criminal behavior. 524 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad In what ways did the boundaries of American freedom grow narrower in this period? A cartoon from the magazine Judge illustrates anti-immigrant sentiment. A tide of newcomers representing the criminal element of other countries washes up on American shores, to the consternation of Uncle Sam. Founded in 1894 by a group of Boston professionals, the Immigration Restriction League called for reducing immigration by barring the illit- erate from entering the United States. Such a measure was adopted by Congress early in 1897 but was vetoed by President Cleveland. Like the South, northern and western states experimented with ways to eliminate Restricting the vote undesirable voters. Nearly all the states during the 1890s adopted the secret or “Australian” ballot, meant both to protect voters’ privacy and to limit the participation of illiterates (who could no longer receive help from party officials at polling places). Suffrage throughout the country was increasingly becoming a privilege, not a right. C h i n e s e E x c l u s i o n a n d C h i n e s e R i g h t s The boundaries of nationhood, expanded so dramatically in the aftermath of the Civil War, slowly contracted. Leaders of both parties expressed vicious opinions regarding immigrants from China—they were “odious, abominable, dangerous, revolting,” declared Republican leader James G. Blaine. Between 1850 and 1870, nearly all Chinese immigrants had Anti-Chinese opinion been unattached men, brought in by labor contractors to work in western gold fields, railroad construction, and factories. In the early 1870s, entire Chinese families began to immigrate, leading Congress in 1875 to exclude Chinese women from entering the country. Beginning in 1882, Congress temporarily excluded immigrants from China from entering the country altogether. Although non-whites had long been barred from becoming naturalized citizens, this was the first R E D R A W I N G T H E B O U N D A R I E S 525 time that race had been used to exclude an entire group of people from entering the United States. Congress renewed the restriction ten years later and made it permanent in 1902. At the time of exclusion, 105,000 persons of Chinese descent lived in the United States. Nearly all of them resided on the West Coast, where they suffered intense discrimination and periodic mob violence. In the late- nineteenth-century West, thousands of Chinese immigrants were expelled from towns and mining camps, and mobs assaulted Chinese residences and businesses. Between 1871 and 1885, San Francisco provided no public edu- cation for Chinese children. In 1885, the California Supreme Court, in Tape v. Hurley, ordered the city to admit Chinese students to public schools. The state legislature responded by passing a law authorizing segregated educa- tion. But Joseph and Mary Tape, who had lived in the United States since the 1860s, insisted that their daughter be allowed to attend her neighbor- A Chinese vegetable peddler in Idaho hood school like other children. “Is it a disgrace to be born a Chinese?” Mary City, Idaho. Tape wrote. “Didn’t God make us all!” But her protest failed. Not until 1947 did California repeal the law authorizing separate schools for the Chinese. The U.S. Supreme Court also considered the status of Chinese- Americans. In United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), the Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment awarded citizenship to children of Chinese immigrants born on American soil. Yet the justices also affirmed the right of Congress to set racial restrictions on immigration. And in its decision Expulsion without due process in Fong Yue Ting (1893), the Court authorized the federal government to expel Chinese aliens without due process of law. In his dissent, Justice David J. Brewer acknowledged that the power was now directed against a people many Americans found “obnoxious.” But “who shall say,” he continued, “it will not be exercised tomorrow against other classes and Result of an anti-Chinese riot in other people?” Brewer proved to be an accurate prophet. In 1904, the Court Seattle, Washington. cited Fong Yue Ting in upholding a law barring anarchists from entering the United States, demonstrating how restric- tions on the rights of one group can become a precedent for infringing on the rights of others. T h e E m e r g e n c e o f B o o k e r T . W a s h i n g t o n The social movements that had helped to expand the nineteenth-century boundaries of freedom now redefined their objectives so that they might be realized within the 526 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad In what ways did the boundaries of American freedom grow narrower in this period? new economic and intellectual framework. Prominent black leaders, for example, took to emphasizing economic self-help and individual advance- ment into the middle class as an alternative to political agitation. Symbolizing the change was the juxtaposition, in 1895, of the death of Frederick Douglass with Booker T. Washington’s widely praised speech at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition that urged blacks to adjust to segrega- tion and abandon agitation for civil and political rights. Born a slave in 1856, Washington had studied as a young man at Hampton Institute, Virginia. He adopted the outlook of Hampton’s founder, General Samuel Armstrong, who emphasized that obtaining farms or skilled jobs was far more important to African-Americans emerging from slavery than the rights of citizenship. Washington put this view into practice when he became head of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, a center for vocational edu- cation (education focused on training for a job rather than broad learning). Booker T. Washington, advocate of industrial education and economic In his Atlanta speech, Washington repudiated the abolitionist tra- self-help. dition, which stressed ceaseless agitation for full equality. He urged blacks not to try to combat segregation. Washington’s ascendancy rested in large part on his success in channeling aid from wealthy northern Washington’s appeal whites to Tuskegee and to black politicians and newspapers who backed his program. But his support in the black community also arose from a widespread sense that in the world of the late nineteenth century, frontal assaults on white power were impossible and that blacks should concen- trate on building up their segregated communities. T h e R i s e o f t h e A F L Within the labor movement, the demise of the Knights of Labor and the ascendancy of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) during the 1890s reflected a similar shift away from a broadly reformist past to more lim- ited goals. As the Homestead and Pullman strikes demonstrated, direct confrontations with the large corporations were likely to prove suicidal. Unions, declared Samuel Gompers, the AFL’s founder and longtime Samuel Gompers president, should not pursue the Knights’ utopian dream of creating a “cooperative commonwealth.” Rather, the labor movement should devote itself to negotiating with employers for higher wages and better work- ing conditions for its members. Like Washington, Gompers spoke the language of the era’s business culture. Indeed, the AFL policies he pio- neered were known as “business unionism.” During the 1890s, union membership rebounded from its decline in the late 1880s. But at the same time, the labor movement became less and less inclusive. Abandoning the Knights’ ideal of labor solidarity, the AFL R E D R A W I N G T H E B O U N D A R I E S 527 Skilled workers restricted membership to skilled workers—a small minority of the labor force—effectively excluding the vast majority of unskilled workers and, therefore, nearly all blacks, women, and new European immigrants. AFL membership centered on sectors of the economy like printing and building construction that were dominated by small competitive businesses with workers who frequently were united by craft skill and ethnic background. AFL unions had little presence in basic industries like steel and rubber, or in the large-scale factories that now dominated the economy. T h e W o m e n ’ s E r a Changes in the women’s movement reflected the same combination of expanding activities and narrowing boundaries. The 1890s launched what would later be called the “women’s era”—three decades during which women, although still denied the vote, enjoyed larger opportunities than in the past for economic independence and played a greater and greater Women in the workforce role in public life. Nearly 5 million women worked for wages in 1900. Although most were young, unmarried, and concentrated in traditional jobs such as domestic service and the garment industry, a generation of college-educated women was beginning to take its place in better-paying clerical and professional positions. Through a network of women’s clubs, temperance associations, and social reform organizations, women exerted a growing influence on pub- The Women’s Christian lic affairs. Founded in 1874, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union Temperance Union (WCTU) grew to become the era’s largest female organization, with a membership by 1890 of 150,000. Under the banner of Home Protection, it moved from demanding the prohibition of alcoholic beverages (blamed for leading men to squander their wages on drink and treat their wives abusively) to a comprehensive program of economic and political reform, including the right to vote. Women, insisted Frances Willard, the group’s president, must abandon the idea that “weakness” and dependence were their nature and join assertively in movements to change society. At the same time, the center of gravity of feminism shifted toward an outlook more in keeping with prevailing racial and ethnic norms. The movement continued to argue for women’s equality in employment, education, and politics. But with increasing frequency, the native-born, middle-class women who dominated the suffrage movement claimed the vote as educated members of a “superior race.” Immigrants and former slaves had been enfranchised with “ill- advised haste,” declared Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (created in 1890 to reunite the 528 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad In what ways did the boundaries of American freedom grow narrower in this period? rival suffrage organizations formed after the Civil War). Indeed, Catt suggested, extending the vote to native-born white women would help to counteract the grow- ing power of the “ignorant foreign vote” in the North and the dangerous potential for a second Reconstruction in the South. In 1895, the same year that Booker T. Washington delivered his Atlanta address, the National American Woman Suffrage Association held its annual convention in that segregated city. Like other American institutions, the organized movement for woman suffrage had made its peace with nativism and racism. “A woman’s liquor raid,” an illustration in the National Police Gazette in 1879, depicts a group of temperance crusaders destroying B E C O M I N G A W O R L D P O W E R liquor containers in a Frederickstown, Ohio, saloon. T h e N e w I m p e r i a l i s m In world history, the last quarter of the nineteenth century is known as the age of imperialism, when rival European empires carved up large parts of the world among themselves. For most of this period, the United States remained a second-rate power. The “new imperialism” that arose after 1870 was dominated by European powers and Japan. Belgium, Great Britain, and France con- The global context solidated their hold on colonies in Africa, and newly unified Germany acquired colonies there as well. By the early twentieth century, most of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific had been divided among these empires. A m e r i c a n E x p a n s i o n i s m Territorial expansion, of course, had been a feature of American life from well before independence. But the 1890s marked a major turning point in America’s relationship with the rest of the world. Americans were increasingly aware of themselves as an emerging world power. “We are a great imperial Republic destined to exercise a controlling influence upon “A great imperial Republic” the actions of mankind and to affect the future of the world,” proclaimed Henry Watterson, an influential newspaper editor. B E C O M I N G A W O R L D P O W E R 529 Until the 1890s, American expansion had taken place on the North American continent. Ever since the Monroe Doctrine (see Chapter 10), to be sure, many Americans had considered the Western Hemisphere an American sphere of influence. The last territorial acquisition before the 1890s had been Alaska, purchased from Russia by Secretary of State William H. Seward in 1867. Most Americans who looked overseas were interested in expanded Expanding trade trade, not territorial possessions. The country’s agricultural and industrial production could no longer be absorbed entirely at home. By 1890, compa- nies like Singer Sewing Machines and John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company aggressively marketed their products abroad. Especially during economic downturns, business leaders insisted on the necessity of greater access to foreign customers. Middle-class American women, moreover, were becoming more and more desirous of clothing and food from abroad, and their demand for consumer goods such as “Oriental” fashions and exotic spices for cooking spurred the economic penetration of the Far East. T h e L u r e o f E m p i r e One group of Americans who spread the nation’s influence overseas Missionaries were religious missionaries, thousands of whom ventured abroad in the late nineteenth century to spread Christianity, prepare the world for the second coming of Christ, and uplift the poor. Inspired by Dwight Moody, a Methodist evangelist, the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions sent more than 8,000 missionaries to “bring light to heathen worlds” across the globe. A small group of late-nineteenth-century thinkers actively promoted American expansionism, warning that the country must not allow itself to be shut out of the scramble for empire. Naval officer Alfred T. Mahan, in The Influence of Sea Power upon History (1890), argued that no nation could prosper without a large fleet of ships engaged in international trade, protected by a powerful navy operating from overseas bases. His arguments influenced the outlook of James G. Blaine, who served as secretary of state during Benjamin Harrison’s presidency (1889–1893). Blaine urged the president to try to acquire Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Cuba as strategic naval bases. Hawaii Although independent, Hawaii was already closely tied to the United States through treaties that exempted imports of its sugar from tariff duties and provided for the establishment of an American naval base at Pearl Harbor. Hawaii’s economy was dominated by American-owned sugar plantations that employed a workforce of native islanders and Chinese, 530 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the United States emerge as an imperial power in the 1890s? Japanese, and Filipino laborers under long-term contracts. Early in 1893, a group of American planters organized a rebellion that overthrew the Hawaii government of Queen Liliuokalani. On the eve of leaving office, Harrison submitted a treaty of annexation to the Senate. After determining that a majority of Hawaiians did not favor the treaty, Harrison’s successor, Grover Cleveland, withdrew it. In July 1898, in the midst of the Spanish- American War, the United States finally annexed the Hawaiian Islands. The depression that began in 1893 heightened the belief that a more aggressive foreign policy was necessary to stimulate American exports. Fears of economic and ethnic disunity fueled an assertive nationalism. These were the years when rituals like the Pledge of Allegiance and the practice of standing for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” came into existence. New, mass-circulation newspapers also promoted nationalistic sentiments. By the late 1890s, papers like William Randolph A cartoon in Puck, December 1, 1897, Hearst’s New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World—dubbed imagines the annexation of Hawaii the “yellow press” by their critics after the color in which Hearst printed by the United States as a shotgun a popular comic strip—were selling a million copies each day by mixing wedding. The minister, President McKinley, reads from a book entitled sensational accounts of crime and political corruption with aggressive Annexation Policy. The Hawaiian appeals to patriotic sentiments. bride appears to be looking for a way to escape. Most Hawaiians did not support annexation. T h e “ S p l e n d i d L i t t l e W a r ” All these factors contributed to America’s emergence as a world power in the Spanish-American War of 1898. But the immediate origins of the war lay not at home but in the long Cuban struggle for independence from Spain. Ten years of guerrilla war had followed a Cuban revolt in 1868. The movement for independence resumed in 1895. As reports circulated of widespread suffering caused by the Spanish policy of rounding up civilians and moving them into detention camps, the Cuban struggle won growing support in the United States. Demands for intervention escalated after February 15, 1898, when an explosion—probably accidental, a later investigation concluded— destroyed the American battleship Maine in Havana Harbor, with the The U.S.S. Maine loss of nearly 270 lives. After Spain rejected an American demand for a cease-fire on the island and eventual Cuban independence, President McKinley in April asked Congress for a declaration of war. The purpose, declared Senator Henry Teller of Colorado, was to aid Cuban patriots in their struggle for “liberty and freedom.” To underscore the government’s humani- tarian intentions, Congress adopted the Teller Amendment, stating that the The Teller Amendment United States had no intention of annexing or dominating the island. B E C O M I N G A W O R L D P O W E R 531 T H E S P A N I S H – A M E R I C A N T H E S P A N I S H – A M E R I C A N W A R : T H E P A C I F I C W A R : T H E C A R I B B E A N CHINA FORMOSA UNITED San Juan Hill (Taiwan) STATES Santiago July 1, 1898 Hong Kong (British) (Japanese) Pa c i f i c De O c e a n w Tampa Spanish fleet destroyed e H a i n a n y July 3, 1898 Lu z o n PHILIPPINE U.S.S. Maine sunk February 1898 A t l a n t i c ISLANDS BAHAMAS O c e a n Manila Havana FRENCH INDOCHINA CUBA South China Santiago PUERTO Sea HAITI RICO JAMAICA DOMINICAN Sulu (British) M i n d a n a o REPUBLIC Sea BRITISH NORTH BORNEO Caribbean Sea SARAWAK (British) Manila surrenders Bataan August 13, 1898 NETHERLANDS Manila EAST INDIES American victories Pa c i f i c Co r r e g i d o r American forces Spanish O c e a n American naval blockade Dewey fleet destroyed 0 200 400 miles 0 200 400 miles Spanish forces May 1, 1898 Spanish possessions 0 200 400 kilometers 0 200 400 kilometers In both the Caribbean and the Pacific, the United States achieved swift Secretary of State John Hay called the Spanish-American conflict a victories over Spain in the Spanish- “splendid little war.” It lasted only four months and resulted in fewer than American War. 400 American combat deaths. The war’s most decisive engagement took place not in Cuba but at Manila Bay, a strategic harbor in the Philippine Islands in the distant Pacific Ocean. Here, on May 1, the American navy under The Spanish-American War Admiral George Dewey defeated a Spanish fleet. Soon afterward, soldiers went ashore, becoming the first American army units to engage in combat outside the Western Hemisphere. July witnessed another naval victory off Santiago, Cuba, and the landing of American troops on Cuba and Puerto Rico. R o o s e v e l t a t S a n J u a n H i l l The most highly publicized land battle of the war took place in Cuba. Rough Riders This was the charge up San Juan Hill, outside Santiago, by Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. An ardent expansionist, Roosevelt had long 532 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the United States emerge as an imperial power in the 1890s? believed that a war would reinvigorate the nation’s unity and sense of manhood, which had suffered, he felt, during the 1890s. A few months shy of his fortieth birthday when war broke out, Roosevelt resigned his post as assistant secretary of the navy to raise a volunteer cavalry unit, which rushed to Cuba to participate in the fighting. His exploits made Roosevelt a national hero. He was elected governor of New York that fall and in 1900 Theodore Roosevelt became McKinley’s vice president. A n A m e r i c a n E m p i r e With the backing of the yellow press, the war quickly escalated from a cru- sade to aid the suffering Cubans to an imperial venture that ended with the United States in possession of a small overseas empire. McKinley became convinced that the United States could neither return the Philippines to Spain nor grant them independence, for which he believed the inhabit- ants unprepared. In an interview with a group of Methodist ministers, the president spoke of receiving a divine revelation that Americans had a duty to “uplift and civilize” the Filipino people and to train them for self- government. In the treaty with Spain that ended the war, the United States acquired the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the Pacific island of Guam. Acquiring possessions As for Cuba, before recognizing its independence, McKinley forced the island’s new government to approve the Platt Amendment to the new Cuban constitution (drafted by Senator Orville H. Platt of Connecticut), which authorized the United States to intervene militarily whenever it saw fit. The United States also acquired a permanent lease on naval stations in Cuba, including what is now the facility at Guantánamo Bay. Charge of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, a painting by Frederic Remington, depicts the celebrated unit, commanded by Theodore Roosevelt, in action in Cuba during the Spanish-American War of 1898. Roosevelt, on horseback, leads the troops. Remington had been sent to the island the previous year by publisher William Randolph Hearst to provide pictures of Spanish atrocities during the Cuban war for independence in the hope of boosting the New York Journal’ s circulation. B E C O M I N G A W O R L D P O W E R 533 A M E R I C A N E M P I R E , 1 8 9 8 Alaska (purchased from Russia, 1867) RUSSIAN Bering EMPIRE Strait CANADA Aleutian Islands (1867) OUTER MONGOLIA KOREA UNITED STATES JAPAN CHINA A t l a n t i c O c e a n Midway Islands (annexed 1867) Hawaiian Islands Puerto Rico Philippines (annexed 1898) MEXICO (ceded by Spain, (ceded by Spain after Wake Island 1898) Spanish-American War, 1898) (annexed 1898) Guam (ceded by Spain after Spanish-American War, 1898) Pa c i f i c O c e a n American Samoa I n d i a n (annexed 1899) O c e a n 0 1,000 2,000 miles 0 1,000 2,000 kilometers United States territory As a result of the Spanish-American War, the United States became the America’s interest in its new possessions had more to do with trade ruler of a far-flung overseas empire. than with gaining wealth from natural resources or large-scale American settlement. Puerto Rico and Cuba were gateways to Latin America, stra- tegic outposts from which American naval and commercial power could be projected throughout the hemisphere. The Philippines, Guam, and Hawaii lay astride shipping routes to the markets of Japan and China. In 1899, soon after the end of the Spanish-American War, Secretary of State John Hay announced the Open Door policy, demanding that European powers that had recently divided China into commercial spheres of Spheres of influence influence grant equal access to American exports. The Open Door referred to the free movement of goods and money, not people. Even as the United States banned the immigration of Chinese into this country, 534 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the United States emerge as an imperial power in the 1890s? it insisted on access to the markets and investment opportunities of Asia. T h e P h i l i p p i n e W a r Many Cubans, Filipinos, and Puerto Ricans had welcomed American intervention as a way of breaking Spain’s long hold on these colonies. Large planters looked forward to greater access to American markets. Nationalists and labor leaders admired America’s democratic ideals and believed that American participation in the destruc- tion of Spanish rule would lead to social reform and political self-government. In this cartoon comment on the But the American determination to exercise continued control, direct American effort to suppress or indirect, led to a rapid change in local opinion, nowhere more so than the movement for Philippine in the Philippines. Filipinos had been fighting a war against Spain since independence, Uncle Sam tries to subdue a knife-wielding insurgent. 1896. After Dewey’s victory at Manila Bay, their leader, Emilio Aguinaldo, established a provisional government with a constitution modeled on that of the United States. But once McKinley decided to retain possession of the islands, the Filipino movement turned against the United States. The result was a second war, far longer (it lasted from 1899 to 1903) and blood- ier (it cost the lives of more than 100,000 Filipinos and 4,200 Americans) Emilio Aguinaldo, leader of the than the Spanish-American conflict. Today, this is perhaps the least Philippine War against American remembered of all American wars. occupation, in a more dignified Once in control of the Philippines, the colonial administration took portrayal than in the cartoon above. seriously the idea of modernizing the islands. It expanded railroads and harbors, brought in American schoolteachers and public health officials, and sought to modernize agriculture (although efforts to persuade local farmers to substitute corn for rice ran afoul of Filipino climate and cultural traditions). The United States, said President McKinley, had an obligation to its “little brown brothers.” Yet in all the new possessions, American policies tended to serve the interests of land-based local elites—and bequeathed enduring poverty to the majority of the rural population. Under American rule, Puerto Rico, previously an island of diversified small farmers, became a low-wage plantation economy controlled by absentee American corpo- rations. By the 1920s, its residents were among the poorest in the entire Caribbean. B E C O M I N G A W O R L D P O W E R 535 V O I C E S O F F R E E D O M F r o m J o s i a h S t r o n g , O u r C o u n t r y ( 1 8 8 5 ) The Congregational minister Josiah Strong promoted both the Social Gospel—a desire, grounded in religious belief, to solve the nation’s social problems—and an updated version of manifest destiny and American expansionism strongly connected to ideas of racial superiority and a Christian missionary impulse. It seems to me that God, with infinite wisdom and skill, is training the Anglo-Saxon race for an hour sure to come in the world’s future. Heretofore there has always been in the history of the world a comparatively unoccupied land westward, into which the crowded countries of the East have poured their surplus populations. But the widening waves of migration, which millenniums ago rolled east and west from the valley of the Euphrates meet to-day on our Pacific coast. There are no more new worlds. The unoccupied arable lands of the earth are limited, and will soon be taken. The time is coming when the pressure of population on the means of subsistence will be felt here as it is now felt in Europe and Asia. Then will the world enter upon a new stage of its history—the final competition of races, for which the Anglo-Saxon is being schooled. Long before the thousand millions are here, the mighty centrifugal tendency, inherent in this stock and strengthened in the United States, will assert itself. Then this race of unequaled energy, with all the majesty of numbers and the might of wealth behind it—the representative, let us hope, of the largest liberty, the purest Christianity, the highest civilization—having developed peculiarly aggressive traits calculated to impress its institutions upon mankind, will spread itself over the earth. If I read not amiss, this powerful race will move down upon Mexico, down upon Central and South America, out upon the islands of the sea, over upon Africa and beyond. And can any one doubt that the results of this competition of races will be the “survival of the fittest?”. . . Some of the stronger races, doubtless, may be able to preserve their integrity; but, in order to compete with the Anglo-Saxon, they will probably be forced to adopt his methods and instruments, his civilization and his religion. 536 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad F r o m “ A g u i n a l d o ’ s C a s e a g a i n s t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s ” ( 1 8 9 9 ) Emilio Aguinaldo, who led the Filipino armed struggle for independence against Spain and then another war against the United States when President McKinley decided to annex the Philippines, explained his reasons for opposing American imperialism in an article in the widely read magazine the North American Review. He contrasted American traditions of self- government with the refusal to grant this right to the Philippines. We Filipinos have all along believed that if the American nation at large knew exactly, as we do, what is daily happening in the Philippine Islands, they would rise en masse, and demand that this barbaric war should stop [and] . . . she would cease to be the laughing stock of other civilized nations, as she became when she abandoned her traditions and set up a double standard of government—government by consent in America, government by force in the Philippine Islands. . . . You have been greatly deceived in the personality of my countrymen. You went to the Philippines under the impression that their inhabitants were ignorant savages. . . . We have been represented by your popular press as if we were Africans or Mohawk Indians. . . . You repeat constantly the dictum that we cannot govern ourselves. . . . With equal reason, you might have said the same thing some fifty or sixty years ago of Japan; and, little over a hundred years ago, it was extremely questionable, when you, also, were rebels against the English Government, if you could govern yourselves. . . . Now, the moral of all this obviously is: Give us the chance; treat us exactly as you demanded to be treated at the hands of England when you rebelled against her autocratic methods. Now, here is a unique spectacle—the Filipinos fighting for liberty, the American people fighting them to give them liberty. . . . You promised us your aid and protection in our attempt to form a government on the principles and after the model of the government of the United States. . . . In combination with our forces, you compelled Spain to surrender. . . . Joy abounded in every heart, Q U E S T I O N S and all went well . . . until . . . the Government at Washington . . . commenc[ed] by ignoring all 1. How does Strong justify the idea of promises that had been made and end[ed] by world domination by Anglo-Saxons? ignoring the Philippine people, their personality and rights, and treating them as a common 2. Why does Aguinaldo think that the enemy. . . . In the face of the world you emblazon United States is betraying its own humanity and Liberty upon your standard, while values? you cast your political constitution to the winds and attempt to trample down and exterminate a 3. How do these documents reflect brave people whose only crime is that they are different definitions of liberty? fighting for their liberty. V O I C E S O F F R E E D O M 537 C i t i z e n s o r S u b j e c t s ? American rule also brought with it American racial attitudes. In an 1899 poem, the British writer Rudyard Kipling urged the United States to take up the “white man’s burden” of imperialism. American proponents of empire agreed that the domination of non-white peoples by whites formed part of the progress of civilization. America’s triumphant entry into the ranks of imperial powers sparked an intense debate over the relationship among political democracy, race, Colonies in the American and American citizenship. The American system of government had framework no provision for permanent colonies. The right of every people to self- government was one of the main principles of the Declaration of Independence. The idea of an “empire of liberty” assumed that new ter- ritories would eventually be admitted as equal states and their residents would be American citizens. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American This propaganda photograph War, however, nationalism, democracy, and American freedom emerged from 1898 depicts the Spanish- more closely identified than ever with notions of Anglo-Saxon superiority. American War as a source of national The Foraker Act of 1900 declared Puerto Rico an “insular terri- reconciliation in the United States tory,” different from previous territories in the West. Its 1 million inhab- (with Confederate and Union soldiers itants were defined as citizens of Puerto Rico, not the United States, and shaking hands) and of freedom for denied a future path to statehood. Filipinos occupied a similar status. In Cuba (personified by a girl whose arm holds a broken chain). a series of cases decided between 1901 and 1904 and known collectively as the Insular Cases, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution did not fully apply to the territories recently acquired by the United States—a significant limitation of the scope of American freedom. Thus, two principles central to American freedom since the War of Independence—no taxation without representation and government based on the consent of the governed— were abandoned when it came to the nation’s new pos- sessions. In the twentieth century, the territories acquired in 1898 would follow different paths. Hawaii, which had a sizable population of American missionaries and planters, became a traditional territory. Its popu- lation, except for Asian immigrant laborers, became American citizens, and it was admitted as a state in 1959. After nearly a half-century of American rule, the Philippines achieved independence in 1946. Until 1950, the U.S. Navy administered Guam, which remains today an “unincorporated” territory. As for Puerto Rico, 538 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the United States emerge as an imperial power in the 1890s? it is sometimes called “the world’s oldest colony,” because ever since the Puerto Rico Spanish conquered the island in 1493 it has lacked full self-government. It elects its own government but lacks a voice in Congress (and in the election of the U.S. president). D r a w i n g t h e G l o b a l C o l o r L i n e Just as American ideas about liberty and self- government had circulated An advertisement employs the idea of a “white man’s burden” (borrowed around the world in the Age of Revolution, American racial attitudes had from a poem by Rudyard Kipling) a global impact in the age of empire. The turn of the twentieth century was as a way of promoting the virtues a time of worldwide concern about immigration, race relations, and the of Pears’ Soap. Accompanying text “white man’s burden,” all of which inspired a global sense of fraternity claims that Pears’ is “the ideal toilet among “Anglo-Saxon” nations. Chinese exclusion in the United States soap” for “the cultured of all nations,” strongly influenced anti-Chinese laws adopted in Canada, and American and an agent of civilization in “the dark corners of the earth.” segregation and disenfranchisement became models for Australia and South Africa as they formed new governments; they read in particular the proceedings of the Mississippi constitutional convention of 1890, which pioneered ways to eliminate black voting rights. The Union of South Africa, inaugurated in 1911, saw its own policy of racial separation—later known as apartheid—as following in the footsteps of segregation in the United States. South Africa, however, went much further, enacting laws that limited skilled jobs to whites and dividing the country into areas where black Africans could and could not live. “ R e p u b l i c o r E m p i r e ? ” The emergence of the United States as an imperial power sparked intense debate. Opponents formed the Anti-Imperialist League. It united writers and social reformers who believed American energies should be directed at home, business- men fearful of the cost of maintaining overseas outposts, and racists who did not wish to bring non-white populations into the United States. America’s historic mission, the League declared, B E C O M I N G A W O R L D P O W E R 539 was to “help the world by an example of successful self- government,” not to conquer other peoples. The presidential election In 1900, Democrats again nominated William Jennings Bryan to run of 1900 against McKinley. The Democratic platform opposed the Philippine War for placing the United States in the “un-American” position of “crushing with military force” another people’s desire for “liberty and self-government.” George S. Boutwell, president of the Anti-Imperialist League, declared that the most pressing question in the election was the nation’s future character—“republic or empire?” But without any sense of contradiction, proponents of an imperial foreign policy also adopted the language of freedom. America’s was a “benevolent” imperialism, they claimed, rooted in a national mission to uplift backward cultures and spread liberty across the globe. Riding the wave of patriotic sentiment inspired by the war, and with the economy having recovered from the depression of 1893–1897, McKinley in 1900 repeated his 1896 triumph. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the United States seemed poised to take its place among the world’s great powers. In 1900, many features that would mark American life for much of the twentieth century were A rising power already apparent. The United States had surpassed Britain, France, and Germany in industrial production. The political system had stabilized. The white North and South had achieved reconciliation, while rigid lines of racial exclusion—the segregation of blacks, Chinese exclusion, Indian reservations—limited the boundaries of freedom and citizenship. A Republican campaign poster from the election of 1900 links prosperity at home and benevolent imperialism abroad as achievements of William McKinley’s first term in office. 540 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad How did the United States emerge as an imperial power in the 1890s? Yet the questions central to nineteenth-century debates over freedom— the relationship between political and economic liberty, the role of govern- ment in creating the conditions of freedom, and the definition of those entitled to enjoy the rights of citizens—had not been permanently answered. Nor had the dilemma of how to reconcile America’s role as an empire with traditional ideas of freedom. These were the challenges bequeathed by the nineteenth century to the first generation of the twentieth. B E C O M I N G A W O R L D P O W E R 541 C H A P T E R R E V I E W A N D O N L I N E R E S O U R C E S R E V I E W Q U E S T I O N S K E Y T E R M S 1. What economic and political issues gave rise to the People’s Party (or Populists) (p. 511) Populist Party, and what changes did the party advocate? Coxey’s Army (p. 514) “free silver” (p. 515) 2. How did employers use state and federal forces to protect Kansas Exodus (p. 518) their own economic interests, and what were the results? disenfranchisement (p. 521) Plessy v. Ferguson (p. 521) 3. Compare and contrast the goals, strategies, and member- “separate but equal” (p. 521) ship of the American Federation of Labor and the Knights lynching (p. 522) of Labor (you may want to refer back to Chapter 16). the Lost Cause (p. 524) Immigration Restriction League 4. Who were the Redeemers, and how did they change (p. 525) society and politics in the New South? Washington’s Atlanta Speech (p. 526) American Federation of Labor 5. Explain how changes in politics, economics, social factors, (p. 527) and violence interacted to affect the situation of African- “women’s era” (p. 528) Americans in the New South. Alfred T. Mahan (p. 530) “yellow press” (p. 531) 6. How did religion and the idea of the Lost Cause give U.S.S. Maine (p. 531) support to a new understanding of the Civil War? Platt Amendment (p. 533) Open Door policy (p. 534) 7. What ideas and interests motivated the United States to Insular Cases (p. 538) create an empire in the late nineteenth century? “white man’s burden” (p. 539) Anti-Imperialist League (p. 539) 8. Compare the arguments for and against U.S. imperialism. Be sure to consider the views of Josiah Strong and Emilio Aguinaldo. 9. What rights did Chinese immigrants and Chinese /studyspace Americans gain in these years, and what limitations did they experience? How did their experiences set the stage VISIT STUDYSPACE FOR THESE for other restrictions on immigration? RESOURCES AND MORE s s s s s 542 C h a p t e r 1 7  Freedom’s Boundaries, at Home and Abroad C H A P T E R 1 8 1889 Hull House founded 1901 Socialist Party founded in United States President McKinley assassinated 1903 Ford Motor Company established T H E P R O G R E S S I V E 1904 Northern Securities dissolved 1905 Industrial Workers of the E R A World established 1906 Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle Meat Inspection Act Pure Food and Drug Act Hepburn Act  John A. Ryan’s A Living Wage 1 9 0 0 – 1 9 1 6 1908 Muller v. Oregon 1909 Uprising of the 20,000 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire Society of American Indians founded 1912 Children’s Bureau established Theodore Roosevelt organizes the Progressive Party 1913 Sixteenth Amendment Seventeenth Amendment Federal Reserve established 1914 Federal Trade Commission established Clayton Act Sixth Avenue and Thirtieth Street, a 1907 painting by John Sloan, depicts a busy street in New York City in an area known as the Tenderloin, with an elevated railroad overhead. Sloan was one of a group of painters called the Ashcan School because of their focus on everyday city life. Here, he emphasizes the vitality of the city and the mingling of people of different social classes on its streets. F O C U S It was late afternoon on March 25, 1911, when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. The factory occupied the top three floors of a ten-story building in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. Here some 500 workers, mostly young Jewish and Q U E S T I O N S Italian immigrant women, toiled at sewing machines producing ladies’ blouses, some earning as little as three dollars per week. Those who tried s to escape the blaze discovered that the doors to the stairwell had been central element in Progres- locked—the owner’s way, it was later charged, of discouraging theft and sive America? unauthorized bathroom breaks. The fire department rushed to the scene with high-pressure hoses. But their ladders reached only to the sixth s floor. Onlookers watched in horror as girls leaped from the upper stories. women’s movements By the time the blaze had been put out, 46 bodies lay on the street and expand the meanings of 100 more were found inside the building. American freedom? The Triangle fire was not the worst fire disaster in American history (seven years earlier, over 1,000 people had died in a blaze on the General s Slocum excursion boat in New York Harbor). But it had an unrivaled sivism include both demo- impact on public consciousness. In its wake, efforts to organize the city’s cratic and antidemocratic workers accelerated, and the state legislature passed new factory inspec- impulses? tion laws and fire safety codes. Triangle focused attention on the social divisions that plagued s American society during the first two decades of the twentieth century, presidents foster the rise of a period known as the Progressive era. These were years when economic the nation-state? expansion produced millions of new jobs and brought an unprecedented array of goods within reach of American consumers. Cities expanded rapidly—by 1920, for the first time, more Americans lived in towns and cities than in rural areas. Yet severe inequality remained the most visible feature of the urban landscape, and persistent labor strife raised anew the question of government’s role in combating social inequality. The word “Progressive” came into common use around 1910 as a way of describing a broad, loosely defined political movement of indi- viduals and groups who hoped to bring about significant change in American social and political life. Progressives included forward-looking businessmen who realized that workers must be accorded a voice in economic decision making, and labor activists bent on empowering industrial workers. Other major contributors to Progressivism were members of female reform organizations who hoped to protect women and children from exploitation, social scientists who believed that aca- demic research would help to solve social problems, and members of an anxious middle class who feared that their status was threatened by the rise of big business. 544 C h a p t e r 1 8  The Progressive Era Why was the city such a central element in Progressive America? As this and the following chapter will discuss, Progressive reform- ers addressed issues of American freedom in varied, contradictory ways. The era saw the expansion of political and economic freedom through the reinvigoration of the movement for woman suffrage, the use of politi- cal power to expand workers’ rights, and efforts to improve democratic government by weakening the power of city bosses and giving ordinary citizens more influence on legislation. It witnessed the flowering of understandings of freedom based on individual fulfillment and personal self-determination. At the same time, many Progressives supported efforts to limit the full enjoyment of freedom to those deemed fit to exer- cise it properly. The new system of white supremacy born in the 1890s became fully consolidated in the South. Growing numbers of native-born Americans demanded that immigrants abandon their traditional cultures and become fully “Americanized.” And efforts were made at the local and national levels to place political decision making in the hands of experts who did not have to answer to the electorate. Even as the idea of freedom expanded, freedom’s boundaries contracted in Progressive America. A N U R B A N A G E A N D A C O N S U M E R S O C I E T Y F a r m s a n d C i t i e s The Progressive era was a period of explosive economic growth, fueled Economic growth by increasing industrial production, a rapid rise in population, and the continued expansion of the consumer marketplace. In the first decade of the twentieth century, the economy’s total output rose by about 85 per- cent. For the last time in American history, farms and cities grew together. Farm families poured into the western Great Plains. More than 1 million claims for free government land were filed under the Homestead Act of 1862—more than in the previous forty years combined. Irrigation trans- formed the Imperial Valley of California and parts of Arizona into major areas of commercial farming. But it was the city that became the focus of Progressive politics and Growth of the cities of a new mass-consumer society. The United States counted twenty-one cities whose population exceeded 100,000 in 1910, the largest of them A N U R B A N A G E A N D A C O N S U M E R S O C I E T Y 545 New York, with 4.7 million residents. The TABLE 18.1 Rise of the City, 1880–1920 twenty-three square miles of Manhattan Island were home to over 2 million people, more than lived in thirty-three of the states. URBAN NUMBER OF CITIES POPULATION WITH The stark urban inequalities of the 100,000+ YEAR (PERCENTAGE) POPULATION 1890s continued into the Progressive era. Immigrant families in New York’s down- 1880 20% 12 town tenements often had no electricity 1890 28 15 or indoor toilets. Three miles to the north 1900 38 18 stood the mansions of Fifth Avenue’s Millionaire’s Row. According to one esti- 1910 50 21 mate, J. P. Morgan’s financial firm directly 1920 68 26 or indirectly controlled 40 percent of all financial and industrial capital in the United States. T h e M u c k r a k e r s Some observers saw the city as a place where corporate greed undermined traditional American values. At a time when more than 2 million children Lewis Hine used his camera to under the age of fifteen worked for wages, Lewis Hine photographed chronicle the plight of child laborers child laborers to draw attention to persistent social inequality. A new such as this young spinner in a generation of journalists writing for mass-circulation national magazines southern cotton factory. exposed the ills of industrial and urban life. The Shame of the Cities (1904) by Lincoln Steffens showed how party bosses and business leaders profited from political corruption. Theodore Roosevelt disparaged such writing as “muckraking,” the use of journalistic skills to expose the underside of American life. Major novelists took a similar unsparing approach to social ills. Perhaps the era’s most influential novel was Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906), whose description of unsanitary slaughterhouses and the sale of rotten meat stirred public outrage and led directly to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. I m m i g r a t i o n a s a G l o b a l P r o c e s s If one thing characterized early-twentieth-century cities, it was their immigrant character. The “new immigration” from southern and eastern Europe (discussed in Chapter 17) had begun around 1890 but reached its peak during the Progressive era. Between 1901 and the outbreak of World 546 C h a p t e r 1 8  The Progressive Era Why was the city such a central element in Progressive America? War I in Europe in 1914, some 13 million immigrants came to the United Worldwide migration States, the majority from Italy, Russia, and the Austro-Hungarian empire. In fact, Progressive-era immigration formed part of a larger process of worldwide migration set in motion by industrial expansion and the decline of traditional agriculture. During the years from 1840 to 1914 (when immigration to the United States would be virtually cut off, first by the outbreak of World War I and then by legislation), perhaps 40 million persons emigrated to the United States and another 20 million to other parts of the Western Hemisphere, including Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Millions of persons migrated to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, mainly from India and China. Numerous causes inspired this massive uprooting of population. Causes of emigration Rural southern and eastern Europe and large parts of Asia were regions marked by widespread poverty and illiteracy, burdensome taxation, and declining economies. Political turmoil at home, like the revolution that engulfed Mexico after 1911, also inspired emigration. Most European immigrants to the United States entered through Ellis Island. Located in New York Harbor, this became in 1892 the nation’s main facility for processing immigrants. Millions of Americans today trace their ancestry to immigrants who passed through Ellis Island. At the same time, an influx of Asian and Mexican newcomers was taking place TABLE 18.2 Immigrants and Their in the West. After the exclusion of immi- Children as Percentage of Population, grants from China in the late nineteenth Ten Major Cities, 1920 century, approximately 72,000 Japanese arrived, primarily to work as agricultural laborers in California’s fruit and vegetable CITY PERCENTAGE fields and on Hawaii’s sugar plantations. Between 1910 and 1940, Angel Island New York City 76% in San Francisco Bay—the “Ellis Island Cleveland 72 of the West”—served as the main entry Boston 72 point for immigrants from Asia. Far larger Chicago 71 was Mexican immigration. Between 1900 Detroit 65 and 1930, some 1 million Mexicans (more San Francisco 64 than 10 percent of that country’s popula- Minneapolis 63 tion) entered the United States—a number Pittsburgh 59 exceeded by only a few European countries. Seattle 55 By 1910, one-seventh of the American Los Angeles 45 population was foreign-born, the highest percentage in the country’s history. A N U R B A N A G E A N D A C O N S U M E R S O C I E T Y 547 T h e I m m i g r a n t Q u e s t f o r F r e e d o m Like their nineteenth-century predecessors, the new immigrants arrived imagining the United States as a land of freedom, where all persons enjoyed equality before the law, could worship as they pleased, enjoyed economic opportunity, and had been emancipated from the oppressive social hierarchies of their homelands. “America is a free country,” one Polish immigrant wrote home. “You don’t have to be a serf to anyone.” Agents sent abroad by the American government to investigate the reasons for large-scale immigration reported that the main impetus was a desire to share in the “freedom and prosperity enjoyed by the people of the United States.” Although some of the new immigrants, espe- cially Jews fleeing religious persecution in the Russian empire, thought of themselves as permanent emigrants, A greeting card for Rosh Hashanah, the majority initially planned to earn enough money to return home the Jewish New Year, marketed to and purchase land. Groups like Mexicans and Italians included many early-twentieth-century immigrants, “birds of passage,” who remained only temporarily in the United States. depicts Americanized Jews welcoming traditionally dressed new The new immigrants clustered in close-knit “ethnic” neighborhoods arrivals from Russia. The American with their own shops, theaters, and community organizations, and often eagle holds a banner reading, continued to speak their native tongues. Although most immigrants earned “Shelter us in the shadow of your more than was possible in the impoverished regions from which they came, wings.” Above the immigrants is the they endured low wages, long hours, and dangerous working conditions. In Imperial Russian coat of arms. the mines and factories of Pennsylvania and the Midwest, eastern European immigrants performed low-wage unskilled labor, whereas native-born workers dominated skilled and supervisory jobs. The vast majority of Mexican immigrants became poorly paid agricultural, mine, and railroad laborers, with little prospect of upward economic mobility. “My people are not in America,” remarked one Slavic priest, “they are under it.” C o n s u m e r F r e e d o m The rise of mass consumption Cities, however, were also the birthplace of a mass-consumption society that added new meaning to American freedom. During the Progressive era, large downtown department stores, neighborhood chain stores, and retail mail-order houses made available to consumers throughout the country the vast array of goods now pouring from the nation’s factories. By 1910, Americans could purchase, among many other items, electric sew- ing machines, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and record players. 548 C h a p t e r 1 8  The Progressive Era Why was the city such a central element in Progressive America? Leisure activities also took on the characteristics of mass consump- tion. Amusement parks, dance halls, and theaters attracted large crowds of city dwellers. By 1910, 25 million Americans per week, mostly working- class urban residents, were attending “nickelodeons”—motion-picture theaters whose five-cent admission charge was far lower than that of vaudeville shows. T h e W o r k i n g W o m a n The new visibility of women in urban public places—at work, as shoppers, and in places of entertainment like cinemas and dance halls—indicated that traditional gender roles were changing dramatically in Progressive America. As the Triangle fire revealed, more and more women were working Women at work in a shoe factory, for wages. Immigrant women were largely confined to low-paying factory 1908. employment. But for native-born white women, the kinds of jobs available expanded enormously. By 1920, around 25 percent of employed women were office workers or telephone operators. Female work was no longer con- fined to young, unmarried white women and adult black women. In 1920, of 8 million women working for wages, one-quarter were married and living with their husbands. The working woman—immigrant and native, working- class and professional—became a symbol of female emancipation. “We enjoy our independence and freedom” was the assertive statement of the Bachelor Girls Social Club, a group of female mail-order clerks in New York.

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