Chapter 17: Freedom's Boundaries, at Home and Abroad, 1890-1900

US History


Purchasing Alaska


The last territorial acquisition before the 1890s was purchasing Alaska from Russia by Secretary of Astarte William H Seward

Formation of the Farmers' Alliance

1870 - 1890

Share cropping system made millions of farmers poor.
In the South, the glut of cotton on world market led to decking prices
In the West, farmers mortgaged their property to purchase seed, fertilizer, and equipment faced the prospect of loosing farms to the banks.

"Subtreasury plan" -wanted the federal government to establish warehouses where farmers could store their crops until they were sold and use the crops as collateral, the government could issue loans to far,ears at low interest rates, thereby ending farmers dependence on bankers and merchants.

Women's Christian Temperance Union


Grew to become the era's largest female organization



Formed after the compromise of 1877.
Coalition of merchants, planters, and business entrepreneurs.
Dominated regions politics and claimed they were going to redeem the region from the alleged horrors of misgovernment and "black rule"

The Kansas Exodus

1879 - 1880

Background: many b
Acts acquired land and took up self-sufficient farming. In most of the Deep South, African Americans owned a smaller percentage of the land in 1900 than they had at the end of Reconstruction. The network of institution created after the Civil War like schools, churches, businesses and women's clubs help to create a diverse black urban community and a middle class (mostly professionals like teachers and physicians)

In 1879-1880 an estimated 40,000-60,000 African-Americans migrated to Kansas seeking political equality, freedom from violence, access to education, and economic opportunity. Promoted by railroads.

But, they lacked the capital to take up farming and they ended up being u skilled workers in towns and cities

New South


Promoted by Henry Grady, the new South was an era of prosperity based in industrial expansion and agricultural diversification
Investors were attracted because of South's low wages and taxes and the availability of convict labor

The region remained dependent on the North for capital and manufactured goods.

Chinese Exclusion Acts

1882 - 1910

Congress temporarily excluded immigrants from China from entering the country altogether

First time that race had been used to exclude an entire group of people from entering the United States

Made permanent in 1902

In Our Country


Written by Josiah Strong, a clergyman, updated the idea of manifest destiny. He said that Angle-Saxons should now spread their institutions and values to "inferior races" throughout the world. The economy would benefit since one means of civilizing "savages" was to turn them into consumers of American goods.

Yick Wo vs Hopkins


The supremes court ordered San Francisco to grant licenses to Chinese-operated laundries. The court declared that denying a person an opportunity to earn a living is intolerable for a country that freedom prevails.

National American Woman Suffrage Association organized


The Influence of Sea Power upon History


Alfred T Mahan argued that no nation could prosper without a large fleet of ships engaged in international trade, protected by a powerful navy operating from overseas.

Increased Immigration

1890 - 1900

Increased immigration especially from southern and Eastern Europe like Italians and Russians.

They were believed to have a lower level of civilization relating to working for substandard wages and proned to violence.

The People's Party (Populists)


Evolved from the Farmers Alliance.
*wanted to return to the yeoman farming culture.
Wanted to speak to all "producing classes" not just farmers.
Was popular in cotton and wheat belts of South and West, Colorado and Idaho (industrial workers) and attracted Knights of Labor
Used pamphlets and traveling speakers

The Women's Era

1890 - 1920

The Rise of theAmerican Federation of Labor

1890 - 1900

Samuel Gompers (the founder) declared that unions should not seek economic independence, rather, the labor movement should devote itself to negotiating with employers for higher wages and better working conditions for its members.

The AFL restricted membership to skilled workers which excluded the vast majority of unskilled workers which were mostly blacks, women and new European immigrants.

AFL had little presence in basic industries or large-scale factories that dominated the economy

Populist platform of 1892


A classic document of American reform. Written by Ignatius Donnelly.
It spoke of a nation "brought to verge of moral, political, and material ruin" by political corruption and economic inequality.

1.the direct election of US senators
2. Government of the currency
3..A graduate income tax
4. A system of low-cost public financing to enable farmers to market their crops
5. Recognition of the right of workers to form labor unions
6. Public ownership of the railroads to guarantee farmers inexpensive access to markets for their crops

Homestead Strike

July 6, 1892

Perfect example of labor vs government (or labor vs capital). Took place in Homestead, Pennsylvania in Andrew Carnegie Steel Company. In 1892, they decided to operate the plant on a nonunion basis so only workers not in a union can work. Workers blockaded the steelworks and mobilized support from the local community. Battle took place on July 6, 1982 when armed strikers confronted 300 private policemen from Pinkerton Detective Agency. Four days later, the governor of Pennsylvania dispatched 8,000 militiamen to open the complex on management's terms.

Homestead demonstrated that neither a powerful union nor public opinion could influence the conduct of the largest corporations.

Two ideas of freedom:
1. Based on the idea that property rights, unrestrained by union rules or public regulation, sustained the public good
2.economic security and independence from what they considered the "tyranny" of employers.

Fong Yue Ting


The Court authorized the federal government to expel Chinese aliens without due process of law. Which affirms the right that Congress can set racial restrictions on immigration and restricting the rights of one group of people can become a precedent for infringing on the rights of others.

1894 Urban Workers go Republican


Urban workers went against the core issues of us treasury plan and lower mortgage rates. Republicans promised to raise tariff rates which would restore prosperity by protecting manufacturers and industrial workers from the competition of imported goods and cheap foreign labor

Immigration Restriction League


Founded by a group of Boston professionals eh wanted to reduce immigration by barring the illiterate. This was adopted by 1897 but vetoed by President Clevland.

The Pullman Strike


Workers in the company-owned town of Pullman, Illinois, where railroad sleeping cars were manufactured, called a strike to protest a reduction of wages. This boycott crippled national railroad service and Olney (president Cleveland's attorney general) obtained a federal injunction orderi g the strikers back to work.

Strike collapsed when Eugene Debs was jailed for violating judicial order. Supreme Court approved the use of injunctions against striking labor unions

Coxey's Army

May 1894

Fed government deployed soldiers to disperse Coxey's Army (a band of several hundred unemployed men led by Jacob Coxey, who marched to Washington demanding economic relief)

Tape vs Hurley


Supreme Court ordered the city to admit Chinese students to public schools. The state legislature passed a law authorizing segregated education and the city established a school for Chinese

Booker T Washington Speech


Many prominent leaders emphasized economic self help and individual advancement into the middle c,ass as an alternative to political agitation.

In his speech at the Atlanta Cotton Exposition he urged blacks to adjust to segregation and abandon agitation for civil and political rights. He emphasized that obtaining far,s and skilled jobs was far more important to African-American emerging from slavery that the rights of citizenship

Frontal assaults on white power were impossible and that blacks should concentrate on building up their segregated communities.

Effects of 1896 election


A nation divided along regional lines as in 1860. Bryan carried the South and West and McKinley swept the industrial Northeast and Midwest
All of Industrial A,Erica voted republican
Last election with extremely high voter turnout.

Dingley Tariff of 1897 which raised the rates to the highest level in history
Gold Standard Act of 1900

1896 - Bryan and Free Silver


Democrats and Populosts joined to support William Jennings Bryan.
He wanted the "free coinage" of silver- the unrestricted minting of silver money. This would create an inflation and help the farmers by raising prices farmers would receive for their crops and make it easier to lay off their debts

Campaign of 1896


Called the first modern day campaign for two reasons:
1. Bryan embarked on a nationwide speaking tour to rally farmers and workers
2. Bankers poured millions of dollars into the republican candidate, McKinley

United States vs Wong Kim Ark


The court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment WRded citizenship to children of Chinese immigrants born on American soil.

The Spanish- American War


Spanish policy rounding up civilians and moving them into detention camps, the Cuban struggle for independent in growing support in the United States.
On Feb 15,1898 an accidental explosion destroyed the American battleship Maine in Havana Harbor killing nearly 270 lives
To underscore the government's humanitarian intentions, Congress adopted the Teller Amendment, stating that the US had no intention of annexing or dominating the island.
The War only lasted 4 months and resulted in less than 400 American deaths.
The most important battle occurred in Manila Bay, a harbor in the Phillipine Is,ands on May 1
The most publicized land battle was the charge up San Juan Hill****

Open Door Policy


Secretary of State John Hay made ODP which demanded that European powers that had recently divided China into commercial spheres of influence grant equal access to America's exports. ODP referred to the free movement of goods and money, not people

The Philippine War

1899 - 1903

The Anti-Imperalist League


The Foretaker Act


The Wizard of Oz


Popular children's classic published by L. Frank Baum offered a commentary on the election of 1896 and its aftermath.

The Emerald City (everything is green for money) represents Washington D.C. And the Wizard of Oz who remains invisible in his palace and rules by illusion is President McKinley. The only way to go through the city is on the yellow brick road (the color of gold). The wicked witches of the west and east represent oppressive industrialists and mine owners. In the book Dorothy's shoes are silver, representing the ordinary people

Insular Cases

1901 - 1904