Chapter 15 – Life at the Turn of the 20th Century Section Notes Video Life at the Turn of the 20th Century New Immigrants Urban Life Politics in the Gilded Age Segregation and Discrimination Maps Ethnic Neighborhoods in Chicago, 1880–1910 History Close-up Early Skyscrapers Images Quick Facts Political Cartoon: Old and New Immigration Political Cartoon: Boss Tweed The Populist Movement Mexican American Worker Old and New Immigrants Visual Summary: Life at the Turn of the 20th Century
New Immigrants • The Main Idea • A new wave of immigrants came to the United States in the late 1800s, settling in cities and troubling some native-born Americans. • Focus Questions • How did patterns of immigration change at the turn of the century? • Why did immigrants come to America in the late 1800s, and where did they settle? • How did nativists respond to the new wave of immigration?
The old immigrants 10 million immigrants 1800 and 1900 Northern and Western Europe Most were Protestant Christians with similar cultures to the original settlers Reasons: have a voice in government, escape political turmoil, religious freedom, or fleeing poverty and starvation Most came for economic opportunity or open farm land Chinese immigrants lured by gold rush and railroads jobs The new immigrants 1880 to 1910 new wave brought 18 million Most from Southern and Eastern Europe Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews. Arabs, Armenians, and French Canadians came as well. Smaller #’s from East Asia. Severe immigration laws reduced Chinese immigration, but 90,000 of Chinese descent in the U.S. by 1900. Japanese immigrants arrived by way of Hawaii American population had changed 1910 ≈ 1 in 12 Americans were foreign-born Changing Patterns of Immigration
Desire for a better life New life?? Willing to work hard in America, prosperity was possible. The journey to America Decision to come involved entire family Usually the father went first and sent for the rest later Port city by train, wagon, or foot to wait for a departing ship Pass an inspection to board & prove they had some $ Steerage Ellis Island Opened 1892, immigration station, 112 million immigrants passed through…must pass inspection before entering Coming to America
Coming to America West Coast immigrants processed in San Francisco Many Chinese immigrants were detained awaiting a ruling…Poverty and discrimination awaited many newcomers Angel Island Many immigrants lived in poor housing slums near the factories (tenements) NE & MW immigrants settled near others from their homeland Cities = patchwork of ethnic clusters Churches and synagogues to practice their faith Benevolent societies = aid organizations to help new immigrants obtain jobs, health care, and education Building urban communities
Nativists Respond Some native-born Americans saw immigrants as threats to society. Nativists felt they brought crime and poverty, kept wages low for everyone…so, stop immigration Threat to society Chinese workers were tolerated during good times, but worsening economy led to active opposition them Not allowed state jobs & local govt’s could ban them from communities The Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) banned Chinese immigration for 10 years Chinese in the U.S. weren’t allowed citizenship Law renewed in 1892, Chinese immigration banned in 1902. LimitingChinese immigration
Japanese Nativists also resented the Japanese…students in SF were segregated Theodore Roosevelt negotiated a Gentlemen’s Agreement with Japan. No unskilled workers from Japan, and in return Japanese children could attend schools with other children. Other immigrants Nativists opposed immigration from S & E Europe Claimed they were poor, illiterate, and non-Protestant and could not blend society They called for a literacy test to see if test takers could read English Literacy Test Act was passed in 1917, over President Wilson’s veto Limits to Immigration Americanization Newcomers taught American ways to help assimilation…learned English literacy skills, U.S. history and govt.
Urban Life • The Main Idea • In cities in the late 1800s, people in the upper, middle, and lower classes lived different kinds of lives because of their different economic situations. • Focus Questions • How did American cities change in the late 1800s? • How did class differences affect the way urban dwellers lived? • How did the settlement house movement work to improve living conditions for immigrants and poor Americans?
Compact cities Late 1880s, they ran out of room and started to build up. Tall buildings and transportation Steel frames and Elisha Otis’s safety elevator made taller buildings possible Mass transit people moved away Green spaces Urban planning Frederick Law Olmsted designed city parks to provide residents with countryside…ex: New York’s Central Park American Cities Change
Class Differences Wealthy inherited fortunes made from industry and business Newly rich displayed their wealth big city houses and country estates High-society women instructional books on proper behavior Ideal woman homemaker; organized and decorated her home; entertained visitors and supervised her staff; offered moral and social guidance to her family Some women worked on social reform
The middle class Urban middle class grew as jobs for accountants, clerks, managers, and salespeople increased Educated workers like teachers, engineers, lawyers, and doctors were needed. The rise of professionalism required standardized skills and qualifications Married women managed a home & some participated in reform work The working class Many in poverty, with a growing population keeping wages low Housing shortages = crowded and unsanitary conditions (tenements) Housekeeping was difficult; no indoor plumbing Clothes were boiled on the stove and hung on lines to dry. Many women also worked low-paying jobs Class Differences
London reformers Founded in 1884. Volunteers taught skills so people could use to lift themselves from poverty Hull House Jane Addams founded Hull House (Chicago) one of the first settlement houses in the U.S. Movement gave women the opportunity to lead, organize, and work for others Religious views Social Gospel was idea that religious faith should be expressed through good works and that churches had a moral duty to help solve society’s problems Social Darwinists disagreed; they felt people were poor because of their own deficiencies The Settlement House Movement
Politics in the Gilded Age • The Main Idea • Political corruption was common in the late 1800s, but reformers began fighting for changes to make government more honest. • Reading Focus • How did political machines control politics in major cities? • What efforts were made to reduce political corruption? • How did the Populist movement give farmers political power?
Political Machine informal group of politicians controlling the local government who often resorted to corrupt methods for dealing with urban problems Immigrants—loyal support for political machines Corruption—illegal tactics to maintain control, buying voter support and election fraud The Tweed Ring—notorious NYC political machine headed by William Marcy Tweed (Tammany Hall) Thomas Nast—political cartoonist who attacked the corruption in Harper’s Weekly Political Machines
Federal Corruption Grant’s presidency marred by scandals Crédit Mobilier cost taxpayers $23 million The Whiskey Ring Scandals Reformers end the spoils system – Merit System Pres. Hayes prohibited government employees from managing political parties or campaigns Hayes and reform President James A. Garfield was assassinated four months after taking office Pres. Chester A. Arthur signed the Pendleton Act Civil service reform
Farmers’ hardships Crop prices ↓ and farmers had to repay loans High RR fees Everyone made money but the farmer Farmers organized Local groups formed to aid farmers The National Grange First major farmers’ organization Pushed for political reform and targeted railroad rates Munn v. Illinois gave state legislatures the right to regulate businesses that involved the public interest Wabash v. Illinois—federal government could regulate railroad traffic The Populist Movement
The Alliance Movement and money supply Farmers’ Alliance helped w/ buying equipment or marketing farm products; wanted reform & regulation In the South, the Colored Farmers’ Alliance formed the Alliance advocated hard work and sacrifice as keys to gaining equality Expand money supply = help by inflating prices Money tied to the gold standard, and farmers wanted it backed by silver as well. Candidates supported by the Alliance won more than 40 seats in Congress and four governorships
The Alliance formed a national political party The Peoples’ Party was born in 1892. Coalition of farmers, labor leaders, and reformers became known as the Populist Party. Party Platform—Supported the National Grange and Alliance, wanted income tax, bank regulation, govt. ownership of RR and telegraph companies, and free coinage of silver. 1892 election—Speaking for the common people against the ruling elite, the Populists took several state offices and won seats in Congress. The Populist Party
The Panic of 1893 Depression investors pulled out of the stock market, businesses collapsed Silver ↓ in value, people rushed to exchange paper money for gold. Cleveland called for Congress to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. The country stayed on the gold standard. The election of 1896 William McKinley, Republican nominee, and the Democratic, William Jennings Bryan Bryan hailed free coinage of silver as key to prosperity The Populists supported Bryan McKinley won and the Populist Party faded, but idea of reform remained Economic Depression and a New Election
Segregation and Discrimination • The Main Idea • The United States in the 1800s was a place of great change—and a place in need of even greater change. • Reading Focus • What kinds of legalized discrimination did African Americans endure after Reconstruction? • What informal discrimination did African Americans face? • Who were the most prominent black leaders of the period, and how did their views differ? • In what ways did others suffer discrimination in the late 1800s?
Restricting the vote Democrats had regained control over their state legislatures, passed poll tax and literacy requirements to prevent African Americans from voting Most African Americans were too poor to afford the poll tax, and many had been denied the education needed to pass the literacy test Some poor or illiterate white men could not meet the requirements, but grandfather clause allowed them to vote Legalized segregation Jim Crow laws passed in the South African Americans filed lawsuits, wanting equal treatment under the Civil Rights Act of 1875. 1883, the Court ruled the Act unconstitutional, “the 14th Amendment applied only to state governments” “Congress had no power over private individuals or businesses” Legalized Discrimination
Louisiana state law required railroads to provide “equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races.” Homer Plessy sat in a whites-only train compartment to test the law and was arrested. He appealed based on the 14th Amendment. Plessy v. Ferguson(1896), the court upheld the practice of segregation Ruled “separate but equal” facilities did not violate the 14th Amendment. Plessy case allowed legalized segregation for ≈ 60 years Plessy v. Ferguson
Informal Discrimination Strict rules of behavior governed social and business interactions African Americans were supposed to “know their place” and defer to whites Racial etiquette If an African American failed to speak respectfully or acted with too much pride or defiance, the consequences could be serious. Worst consequence was lynching the murder of an individual usually by hanging, without a legal trial. 1882-1892, ≈ 900 lost their lives to lynch mobs. Lynchings declined after 1892, but continued into the early 1900s. Lynching
Prominent Black Leaders Two approaches for improving lives of African Americans. Booker T. Washington African Americans should accept segregation for the moment. Farming and vocational skills were key to prosperity, and he founded the Tuskegee Institute to teach skills for self-sufficiency. W.E.B. Du Bois, a Harvard-trained professor speak against prejudice and strive for full rights immediately African Americans should be uplifted through the “talented tenth,” their best educated leaders. Du Bois launched the Niagara Movement to protest discrimination in 1905. He helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (1909)
Others Suffer Discrimination Encountered hostility from white Americans, often struggled w/ English & took jobs for low pay. Debt peonage tied to jobs until they could pay off debts to their employer Mexican Americans Chinese and Japanese Americans lived in segregated neighborhoods and attend separate schools. Several states also forbade marriage with whites. Asian Americans Native Americans government efforts to stamp out their traditional ways of life Children sent away to be “Americanized.” Reservations little chance for econ. improvement Native Americans