Native Americans were slowly condensed into smaller areas of land to make more space for white homesteaders.
Gold Discovered in California
Start of the great mining industry in the West for silver, gold, and coal.
Oil Struck in Pennsylvania
160 acres were offered for $10 to anyone who would settle and improve the land for a 5-year period. This system was intended to help settle the West and stimulate the economy in the North. However, abuse by wealthy industries caused the system to fail badly—2/3 of all homesteads failed by 1890. Those who invested in diverse ways were ultimately successful.
Pacific Railway Act
Began the rapid construction of railways across the US.
1865 - 1867
National Labor Union Formed
A social group formed as a means of protecting workers. However, it was largely humanitarian and died out early on.
Civil Rights Cases
1870 - 1890
In the Civil Rights Cases of 1870-1890 288 cases were heard, all dealing with the 14th amendment. Corporations manipulated the system and used the 14th amendment to their defense, claiming that the company passed as an individual.
Panic of 1873
Result of too much paper money and lack of gold to back it up. Businesses went bankrupt, unemployment hit 15%, and the economy suffered.
Desert Land Act
640 acres for $1.25 per acre was offered for land in the southwest—the desert areas. The owners could be paid if they irrigated the land. However, the system was cheated like the Homesteaders and it failed.
Timber & Stone Act
Land was sold that was considered unlivable, and could be resold if improved. However, lumber companies abused the system and it failed as well.
Salvation Army Founded
Chinese Exclusion Act
Civil Rights Cases
In 1883 the Civil Rights cases declared the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional, but blacks continued to live in poverty.
"The Big Die Up"
1885 - 1887
Result of Dust Bowl, harsh winters.
Wabash v. Illinois
It declared that the federal government was in charge of interstate commerce and overturned Munn v. Illinois. They enforced the Interstate Commerce Act of 1877 which enforced regulation of interstate commerce. However, many of the officers were owned by Rockefeller who manipulated the system easily—the law had too many loopholes to be effective.
Dawes Severalty Act
Natives no longer addressed as tribes, but as individuals.
Hull House Opened
A settlement home opened by Jane Addams to provide housing and social services for the poor.
Sherman Anti-Trust Act Passed
It eliminated all trusts to restore competition, and declared anything that restrains commerce illegal. It was also ineffective because of its vague wording and loopholes.
Last Armed Resistance by Native Americans
Ghost Dance & Wounded Knee.
Ellis and Angel Island opened to immigrants
Henry Street Settlement Opened
A settlement home opened by L. Wald to provide housing and social services for the poor.
Panic of 1893
US v. EC Knight
EC controlled 95% of the sugar industry but in this trial emasculated the Anti-Trust Act. Sugar refining was not considered as “restraining” the economy, and so it was declared legal. The 14th amendment was used to defend most businesses in court and allowed them to continue to grow without restrain.
Plessy v. Ferguson
In 1896 this Supreme Court case declared separate schools for children of differing races was legal. The facilities were separate though not equal.
"Great American Desert" Area believed to be unlivable
1800 - 1850
Labor Unions viewed as radical--unsupported
1800 - 1830
General increase in income for labor workers
1860 - 1870
Boom in the Cattle Industry
1863 - 1888
"Root Hog or Die"
1866 - 1899
The general idea that people had to “figure things out” on their own, or they would die. Those who were poor and unsuccessful were believed to be at fault for their misfortune, as all people at the time were expected to be self-reliant.
"Waving the Bloody Shirt"
1868 - 1880
A political tactic which is intended to distract voters from true issues. By referring back to the many hardships of the Civil War, the politicians hoped that the emotion would distract from the deteriorating economy and the suffering blacks.
Worldwide Economic Downturn
1870 - 1879
Increase in Agricultural Production
1870 - 1890
Result of land grants, plenty of space, and advances in farming technology and methods.