Social class in the United States Though most Americans today identify themselves as middle classAmerican society and its culture are considerably more fragmented. Distinct lifestyles, consumption patterns and values are associated with different classes. Early sociologist-economist Thorstein Veblenfor example, noted that those at the very top of the social ladder engage in conspicuous leisure as well as conspicuous consumption. Upper-middle-class persons commonly identify education and being cultured as prime values.
The term reflected the combination of outward wealth and dazzle with inner corruption and poverty. They stress greed, scandals, and corruption of the Gilded Age.
They set in motion developments that would shape the country for generations—the reunification of the South and North, the integration of four million newly freed African Americans, westward expansion, immigration, industrialization, urbanization.
It was also a period of reform, in which many Americans sought to regulate corporations and shape the changes taking place all around them. A compromise gave Hayes the presidency in return for the end of Reconstruction and the removal of federal military support for the remaining biracial Republican governments that had emerged in the former Confederacy.
With that agreement, Congress abandoned one of the greatest reforms in American history: The United States thus accepted a developing system of repression and segregation in the South that would take the name Jim Crow and persist for nearly a century.
The freed people in the South found their choices largely confined to sharecropping and low-paying wage labor, especially as domestic servants. Although attempts at interracial politics would prove briefly successful in Virginia and North Carolina, African American efforts to preserve the citizenship and rights promised to black men in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution failed.
The West Congress continued to pursue a version of reform in the West, however, as part of a Greater Reconstruction. The federal government sought to integrate the West into the country as a social and economic replica of the North.
Land redistribution on a massive scale formed the centerpiece of reform. Through such measures as the Homestead and Railroad Acts ofthe government redistributed the vast majority of communal lands possessed by American Indian tribes to railroad corporations and white farmers.
To redistribute that land, the government had to subdue American Indians, and the winter of saw the culmination of the wars that had been raging on the Great Plains and elsewhere in the West since the end of the Civil War. Following the American defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn the previous fall, American soldiers drove the Lakota civil and spiritual leader Sitting Bull and his followers into Canada.
They forced the war leader Crazy Horse to surrender and later killed him while he was held prisoner. Sitting Bull would eventually return to the United States, but he died in at the hands of the Indian police during the Wounded Knee crisis.
The defeat of the Lakotas and the utterly unnecessary Nez Perce War of ended the long era of Indian wars.
There would be other small-scale conflicts in the West such as the Bannock War and the subjugation of the Apaches, which culminated with the surrender of Geronimo inbut these were largely police actions. The slaughter of Lakota Ghost Dancers at Wounded Knee in did bring a major mobilization of American troops, but it was a kind of coda to the American conquest since the federal government had already effectively extended its power from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The treaty system had officially ended inbut Americans continued to negotiate agreements with the Indians. The goal of these agreements, and American land policy in general, was to create millions of new farms and ranches across the West.
Not satisfied with already ceded lands, reformers—the so-called "Friends of the Indians" whose champion in Congress was Senator Henry Dawes—sought to divide reservations into individual farms for Indians and then open up most or all of the remaining land to whites. The Dawes Act of became their major tool, but the work of the Dawes Commission in extended allotment to the Creeks, Cherokees, Seminoles, Chickasaws, and Choctaws in Indian Territory, which became the core of the state of Oklahoma.
Land allotment joined with the establishment of Indian schools and the suppression of native religions in a sweeping attempt to individualize Indians and integrate them one by one into American society.
The policy would fail miserably. Indian population declined precipitously; the tribes lost much of their remaining land, and Indians became the poorest group in American society.
Immigration Between and immigrants prompted much more concern among native-born white Americans than did either black people or Indian peoples.
During these years there was a net immigration of approximately 7, people into the United States.
During roughly the same period, the population of the country increased by about 27 million people, from about 49 million in to 76 million in Before the immigrants came largely from Western Europe and China. Taking the period between and as a whole, Germans comprised 28 percent of American immigrants; the British comprised 18 percent, the Irish 15 percent, and Scandinavians 11 percent.
Together they made up 72 percent of the total immigration. At the end of the century, the so-called "New Immigration" signaled the rise of southern and eastern Europe as the source of most immigrants to America.
The influx worried many native-born Americans who still thought of the United States as a white Protestant republic. Many of the new immigrants did not, in the racial classifications of the day, count as white.
As the century wore on, they were increasingly Catholic and Jewish. Immigrants entered every section of the country in large numbers except for the South.
They settled in northeastern and midwestern cities and on western and midwestern farms. The Pacific and mountain West contained the highest percentage of immigrants of any region in and The immigrants forged networks that shaped how and where they migrated and the kinds of communities they established.Understanding How The United States became an Industrial Power "Cubing" Method Organized Labor Struggles Employers could use the following tactics to defeat unions.
Understanding How The United States became an Industrial Power "Cubing" Method Organized Labor Struggles Employers could use the following tactics to defeat unions. In the decades following the Civil War, the United States emerged as an industrial giant.
Old industries expanded and many new ones, including petroleum refining, steel manufacturing, and . After the Civil War, Andrew Carnegie used improved technology in the production of steel.
He also used the new organizational principle of vertical integration to . Slater's Mill was established in the Blackstone Valley, which extended into neighboring Massachusetts, (Daniel Day's Woolen Mill, at Uxbridge), and became one of the earliest industrialized region in the United States, second to the North Shore of Massachusetts.
In the decades following the Civil War, the United States emerged as an industrial giant. Old industries expanded and many new ones, including petroleum refining, steel manufacturing, and .