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Growth and Role of the Federal Government

  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    During the Revolutionary War, the second Continential Congress appointed a commitee to establish a new government in favor of the states. The government did not have the power over interstate commerce, regulation of taxes, or the soverignty of the states.
  • Constitution Created

    Constitution Created
    With the Articles of Confederation leaving the country in chaos, the founding fathers came together after the war to make a new national government. The Constitution created three branches of government; the executive, legislative, and judicial to deal with presidentcy, lawaking, and court power respectively. This new government has much more power over the states, which are no longer soverign, and has a Bill of Rights for the protection of the people from government.
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    Early Stages of Government

    The first era of the new republic set the foundation for the great democratic power that was to come. The constitution established a three branched government with much more power over the states than the Articles ever gave the federal government. It could control interstate commerce, as recognized by the Supreme Court case Gibbons v. Ogden. The new government also passed acts such as the Alien and Sedition Acts that banned speech against the government, but was soon repealed.
  • First Bank of theUnted States

    First Bank of theUnted States
    The National Bank was first proposed by Alexander Hamilton in 1790 in part of the three part Assumption Plan. It was viciously argued by Thomas Jeffereson, who objected to the view HAmilton took on the Constitution while drafting the plan. Jefferson believed in a strict cut and dry interpretation of teh Constitution, while Hamilton believed the Constitution was created as a guideline and is very vague. In the end, Hamilton wins the arguement and gets his plan passed and the bank chartered.
  • Lousianna Purchase

    Lousianna Purchase
    President Thomas Jefferson buys the Lousianna Territory from France for about three cents per acre. Jefferson was torn between his strict-constitutional views and loose constitutional interpretation in the acquiring of land. He did however go against his views even though it does not say in the Constitution that a President can buy land from another country. Jefferson is expanding preidental power over the other branches and expanding the role of the federal government.
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    Jackson Era

    During this era, Andrew Jackson exerted much influence on the expansion of the federal government. He extended voting rights to include all whites males. He used his presidential veto power to stop the re-charter of the Bank of the United States. When South Carolina threatened to nullify the Tariff of Abominations, he called for a Force Bill in Congress to force SAC to follow the law. He also issued the Specie Circular, making all purchases of public lands in specie.
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    Antebellum Growth

    During this era, most the government was concerned about the debate over slave state and Free State balance. After the Mexican-American war, America obtained great amounts of land, which was debated over constantly. People wondered which state will come into the Union free or slave. Radical legislation, including the Wilmot Proviso, proposed that the Mexican land should not be inhabited by slaves. Other acts such as the Kansas-Nebraska act and Compromise of 1850 set new laws for slavery.
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    Civil War Era

    During this time, Abraham Lincoln and the Republican party greatly expanded the federal government. Once elected, the Southern states secceeded frm the Union. He responded by not letting them leave the Union, entering the country into a Civil War. Lnicoln stopped habeus corpus, the right of due process, asserting that the fed had the right during the time of war. He also proclamed that all slaves in the Southern confederacy were freed under the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Railroads Funded by Congress

    Railroads Funded by Congress
    Union Pasific Railroad was the first railroad sponcered by the Federal government. Tracks were laid starting in Omaha, Nebreaska. For each mile of track constructed, the railroad company was given 20 square miles of land around the tracks and a generaous finincial loan, ranging from $16,000 to $48,000. Fraud ran rampant with the federal loans, including the Credit Mobilier scandel.
  • Homestead Act

    Homestead Act
    Government giveaway of federal land. Gave 160 acres for each man for $10 and the land was theirs if they could live on the land for 5 years. Government or public giveaway of land instead of private selling of land in the West, which expanded the role of the government to land sales. The act failed miserably, with fraud running rampant and the land being incredibly inadequate to farm.
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    During this time, regulations were made to socially help freed slaves adjust into society. This marks one of the first times the government has to intervene in general public lifestyle. Andrew Johnson, president after the assasination of Lincoln, tried to hold up Lincoln's idea of reconstrutction, but did not succeed. His ideas conflicted with those of the party's, and during his mid-term election, the Radical Republicans came into Congress. They overrode Johnson's vetoes and set up a new South.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act
    Granted Equal accommodations in public places and prohibited racial discrimination in jury selection. Law rendered useless by Civil Rights cases (1883) in which the 14th amendment prohibited only government violations of civil rights, not individual.
  • US v. Reese

    US v. Reese
    Supreme Court ruled that literacy test, grandfather clauses, poll taxes, and such laws were legal because the laws were not based on race. They went on to say that the 15th ammendment did not grant anyone privledges, only prevented restrictions.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    Chinese Exclusion Act
    Limited the influx of Chinese immigrants in the United States until 1943. First bill that regulated immigration of a particular ethnic or regional group. Congress had to wait for Preisdent Hayes to leave office to finally pass and approve the bill.
  • Wabash Case

    Wabash Case
    Supreme Court decreed that individual states had no power to regulate interstate commerce. This overturned the Illinois law that regulated railroad fares for farmers (Munn v. Illinois).
  • Dawes Severity Act

    Dawes Severity Act
    Attempt to force assimilation on the Native Americans. Gave 160 acres of land to each head of families to farm and be restricted in. Greatly contrasted with typical Indian nomadic culture and lifestyle. The Plains Indians were not a farming type of people; they lived around the buffalo and migrated with it across the plains of the West.
  • Interstate Commerce Act

    Interstate Commerce Act
    Prohibited rebates and pools and required the railroads to publish their rates openly. It also forbade unfair discrimination against shippers and outlawed charging more for a short haul for a long haul. It marked the first government intervention of trade, transportation, and businesses. Set up the Interstae Commerce Commision, which proved ineffective in administering or enforcing new legislation. ICC mostly stabalized the existing business system, not revolutionizing the system.
  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act

    Sherman Anti-Trust Act
    Forbade combinations in restrait of trade without any distinction between "good" trusts and "bad" trusts. Bigness was wrong, not badness. Ineffective because of legal issues and loopholes.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    "Separate, but equal" facilities were constitutional under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. This basically gives the OK from the federal government to segregate and discriminate based on race.
  • Teller Amendment

    Teller Amendment
    The Teller amendment was America establishment of troops in Cuba and was the amendment that gave Cuba its independence after the Spanish American war. This was significant for our federal government expansion in that it had extended power to declare a nation independent after a war, but also established a new expansion of control that the U.S. government had to worry about.
  • Occupation of the Philipines

    Occupation of the Philipines
    The occupation in the Philippines was a force of the federal government in which the president pushed for America to control the Philippines with federal troops. Teddy Roosevelt was the president that established this control in the Philippines after America had gained the territory after the Spanish American war. The use of troops to control another nation was an expansion of governmental control that the president of the United States pushed for so as to have more power as a nation.
  • Foraker Act (Oranic Act of 1900)

    Foraker Act (Oranic Act of 1900)
    The Foraker act signed by President McKinley and established that Puerto Rico would be limited in self government and that America’s federal government would still have control over the nation even though it was not total control. This was an expansion of government in that America was controlling another nation’s government with our own even though they still were independent of us.
  • Platt Amendment

    Platt Amendment
    The Platt amendment was established after the Spanish American war when Cuba was freed from control of the Spanish. This amendment gave America the right to intervene in Cuba’s policies so that if Cuba was in debt to another nation America could interfere with troops to enforce the payment of taxes to relieve the debt so that Cuba would not fall under control of another nation. This amendment also gave America the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba. This was an expansion of American federal gove
  • Roosevelt Corollary

    Roosevelt Corollary
    This was an extension of the Monroe doctrine that stated that the United States of America was in control and was the dominant force within the western hemisphere. It stated that Europe could not control nations in the western hemisphere and stated that the United States could interfere with all the nations within the western hemisphere if they felt it was necessary to do so to help keep them out of control of European nations. This was a huge expansion in the federal government’s foreign policy
  • Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act

    Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act
    President Roosevelt's second part of his square deal, caring for the consumer, was achieved by the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. The PFDA prevented the adulteration and mislabeling of foods or pharmaceuticals. The MIA, inspired by Upton Sinclair’s novel "The Jungle" caused uproar for the regulation of meat in the meat packing industry. It decreed that the preparation of meat over state lines would be subject to federal inspection.
  • Gentlemen's Agreement between Roosevelt and Japan

    Gentlemen's Agreement between Roosevelt and Japan
    This Gentlemen’s agreement between the United States and Japan was an informal agreement that stated that American would no longer restrict or segregate the current Japanese immigrants in America about where would go to school or live or their rights in America. But Japan had to stop the emigration to America in order for the current Japanese to avoid segregation. This was an expansion of federal government because it allowed the government to stop an immigration of people to the nation and enf
  • Muller v. Oregon

    Muller v. Oregon
    Louis Brandeis persuaded the Supreme Court to accept the constitutionality of women being protected in factories because of the harmful effects it can have upon a woman’s body. This kind of thinking is sexual discrimination and would not be accepted in today's society, but at the time, it was a landmark decision. It justified the usage of labor laws, a triumph over existing legal doctrine.
  • Seventeenth Amendment Ratified

    Seventeenth Amendment Ratified
    The direct election of senators was finally given to the people in early 1913. This change to the normal state legislature election of senators came because of the progressive calls for a more honest government. Many regarded it as the "Millionaires’' Club" because of wealth of the men in the Senate. This gave the people an added role in government, much to the current senators' dismay.
  • Federal Reserve Act

    Federal Reserve Act
    President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the most important economic legislation between the Civil War and the New Deal. It Federal Reserve Board oversaw a nationwide system of 12 regional reserve districts, each with its own central bank. It also helped regulate currency by releasing paper money and lent money to banks and acted as the "Banker's Bank." This law helped carry the US through the economic turmoil of WWI and create significant progress toward modern economic age.
  • Clayton Antitrust Act

    Clayton Antitrust Act
    This new tlegislation aimed at trust busting gave Woodrow Wilson a much more powerful versin of the Sherman Antitrust Act. It targetted monopolies by lengthening business practicies that were deemed objectionable from Sherman, included price discrimination, and exempted labor from being busted under law.
  • CPI (Commitee on Public Information)

    CPI (Commitee on Public Information)
    This committee was headed by George Creel and was established to sell America on World War 1 and use propaganda to gain support. This committee hired speakers called 4 minute men to give quick speeches in public supporting the war. Posters, billboards, pamphlets, and leaflets were often used to show the enemy Germans in a bad light and to urge Americans to buy war bonds to financially support the war. Creel was overwhelmingly successful at intensifying American feelings of pro-war.
  • Espionage Act

    Espionage Act
    The Espionage act gave the federal government an extreme amount of power in censuring what the public said and did against the war. It allowed for anyone to be arrested for any “anti-war” activities. People were even arrested for sharing ideas on the war if the government felt that it was hurting America’s cause in the war. This Act increased the role of the federal government greatly in restricting what people could do against the nation especially when the nation was at war.
  • Prohibition Passed

    Prohibition Passed
    The Noble Experiment, though repealed 13 years later, was a monumental time in this nation's history. The governemtn now went directly into the lives of the individual as far to say that one cannot drink any longer. This gave new federal enforcing agents the power to arrest anyone in the sale, consumption, and transport of alcohol. Although it was terribly enforced and crime ran rampent, the federal government gained a new foothold in the lives of the American people for a short time.
  • War Industries Board (WIB)

    War Industries Board (WIB)
    Headed by Bernard Baruch, this government organization was designed to oversee that the economy, and especially factories, are ready for war. The object was to standardize the factories so all would be developing the same output as other factories and utilizing the same part, making industries more efficient. This required a huge government overhaul of the free industries of the United States, who firmly resisted giving up their way of laissez-faire economics.
  • Sedition Act

    Sedition Act
    This act allowed for the federal government to control what the public was saying about government, the nation, its flag or it’s military. People could be charged and imprisoned for saying anything that was considered disloyal speech. This was a huge expansion of corrupt power for the federal government to use such a vague law so that people would not speak against the nation so as to influence others.
  • Schenck Vs. US

    Schenck Vs. US
    This was the Supreme Court case that upheld the Espionage Act and allowed for the continuation of the federal government to control and restrict anti-war actions. The Supreme Court decided in the case that was being tested that the speech that Schenck had been convicted on showed a clear and present danger to the nation and what it supported so it allowed for him to be imprisoned under the espionage act. This allowed for further restriction of the people for going against what the government had
  • Atkins v. Children's Hospital

    Atkins v. Children's Hospital
    This monumental court case reversed the progressive policies of the federal government after the court case Muller v. Oregon. The decision rendered the proposed child labor amendment unable to be ratified and stopped a restricted work day. Union were hit hard by the conservative decision as membership dramatically dropped and wages decreased.
  • Reconstructive Finance Corporation

    Reconstructive Finance Corporation
    Passed by President Hoover, this onumental legislature was the beginning of the New Deal. No law of its kind had ever been seen before. It was passed by Congress in responce to Hoover's eventual appeal for government intervention in the free market economy. The corporatoin acted as a government lending bank, providing indirect relief to insurance companies, banks, agriculteral organizations, railroads, and state and local governments.

    The National Industrial Recovery Act was passed to create a new radical organization called the National Recovery Act. It mandated company’s treatment to workers, including such perks as the number of working hours, wages, and union recognition and support. If a company did not display the blue eagle and pledge its allegiance to the NRA, then it was boycotted by the public. If a company did display the eagle, it then escaped all potential anti-trust lawsuits. It was ruled unconstitutional.
  • 100 days Legislation

    100 days Legislation
    Many acts of President FDR's New Deal was passed in the first 100 days of his tenure in office. FDR called a four day bank holiday and also passed the Emergency Banking Act, which only allowed healthy banks to reopen and set up a procedure helping failing banks. Many public works projects were established by job organizations created in the New Deal, including the CCC, CWA, TVA, and PWA, which all opened job opportunities for thousands of people.
  • Agriculteral Adjustment Agency

    Agriculteral Adjustment Agency
    Another critical act passed by Congress during the 100 days was the AAA, which focused primarily on farmers. It payed farmers a ceratin sum not to farm, which would reduce the surplus of crops so there is less product in the market and prices will rise. Critics accused the governemtn of keeping food away from teh already starving American public, while it was actually helping the market rebound from the surplus created after the stock market crash.
  • Glass-Steagall Act

    Glass-Steagall Act
    Also passed during the 100 days was the Glass-Steagal Act, which created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This significant act insured a certain amount of money in a person's bank account, securing from a bank failure which would cause people to lose all of their deposits. The fact that this was not available during the stock market crash caused the deepening of the Great Depression. The FDIC is still around today and is an integral part of our banking system.
  • Securities and Exchange Commision

    Securities and Exchange Commision
    This organization was created by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and is used to help support the federal securities laws that were created. It helps to regulate the stock market and stock exchanges so that it would not get out of control like it had before when the market crashed. It also worked to enforce the Securities Act of 1934
  • Gold Reserves Act

    Gold Reserves Act
    This act was instituted to benefit the nation in escaping the depression. This act took all the gold and placed it in the national treasury under federal control. It then took the nation off the gold standard. This was beneficial during the depression because it allowed for more money to be printed and used throughout the nation to benefit the poor people of society and distribute more money for the people.
  • Works Progress Administration

    Works Progress Administration
    Led by Harry Hopkins, this work organization was by far the most prominent and most successful of all the job relief organizations. It spent $11 billion on thousands of projects on buildings, bridges, and roads. It generated jobs for nearly 9 million people. Easily the most criticized organization for odd-jobs such as building monkey pens in Oklahoma City; people argued unconvincingly that these jobs were worthless to society.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act

    Fair Labor Standards Act
    This act was very important for labor rights throughout the nation. The government declared a minimum wage for all workers and guaranteed time and a half for overtime work. This act also prohibited child labor in companies since it was now seen as cruel and people began to think it was more important for children to be educated. This mainly applied to interstate commerce and companies that traded commercial products between states.
  • House of Un-American Activities Committee

    House of Un-American Activities Committee
    Originally designed to investigate "subversion" this committee set up by the House of Representatives tried many famous Hollywood writers, directors, and actors. The famous Alger Hiss trial, led by Richard Nixon, led to the conviction of Hiss on a perjury charge in 1950.
  • Smith Act

    Smith Act
    The first peacetime anti-sedition law since 1798 Alien and Seditino Act, this act requied all non-citizen adults to register with the government and set criminal penelties for people advocating the overthrow of the US government.
  • New National War Labor Board

    New National War Labor Board
    This board was a reestablishment of the war labor board that was instilled in 1918 by president Woodrow Wilson. Laborers and unions really liked this board as it supported their needs and desires since the nation wanted to keep the laborers happy so that they wouldn’t strike. The federal government did not want the laborers to strike as it could harm necessary production that was very important during the war. It administrated wage control to help this cause of keeping the laborers happy.
  • War Production Board

    War Production Board
    This board was ordered to be created by FDR and was instilled to help keep up production of necessary war products when they were crucial during World War 2. It expanded many industries to meet requirements and also rationed certain war necessitates so that these products could be used by the soldiers. These products included gasoline, heating oil, metal, rubber, paper, and plastics.
  • Smith Connalley Act

    Smith Connalley Act
    This act was passed to help benefit the nation during a time of war. The act gave the federal government the right to take control of companies under strike or threatened by a strike in industries that involved the production of war product. This allowed for continued production during the war when all the products created were extremely necessary to help the war since the federal government could take control and keep the worked happy for production to take place.
  • GI Bill (Readjustment Act of 1944)

    GI Bill (Readjustment Act of 1944)
    At the end of the Second World War, 15 million Vets were set to return to America. This bill sent 8 million of those men to institutes of higher education with all expenses paid by the government. The government wanted to prevent from the recession that resulted at the end of WWI because of an influx of veterans.
  • Social Security Act

    Social Security Act
    President FDR signs into law the most scoialistc legislation this country has ever seen. It openly provided money to senior citizens, jobless people, disbled pelpe, and dependant mopthers. This act gave brand new power to the governemtn. Now, the Fed pays people once they reach a certain age, giving it a huge role in people's everyday lives.
  • National Security Act

    National Security Act
    Established the CIA and the NSC to advise the president on security matters and coordinate the government's foreign fact gathering.
  • Taft-Hartley Act

    Taft-Hartley Act
    The taft-Hartley Act moniters the activites and power of labor unions. To pass this, Congress had to override President Truman's veto. This was a swing to the right in the view of labor, as the bill revised the NLRA (Wagner Act). It was viewed by Truman and his fellow Democrats as a "slave-labor Bill."
  • McCarren Internal Security Act

    McCarren Internal Security Act
    This bill gave the President the power to remove any people in the country that the President felt were problematic or a threat to society. Truman vetoed this bill because of his opinions on Presidential power but it was still passed by Congress.
  • Interstate Highway Act

    Interstate Highway Act
    Authorized the government to build interstate highways for the quicker and more efficient transfer of the ground military forces. Signed into law by Dwight D. Eisenhower.
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    LBJ's Great Society

    The Great Society was a set of domestic programs proposed or enacted on the initiative of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The two main goals were social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice. Some reforms enacted were VISTA, Headstart, Housing Act, Medicaid, Medicare, Civil-Rights Act, and the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The civil rights act, an act proposed by JFK and passed by LBJ, outlawed discrimination in public accommodations, schools, and housing. This act also outlawed bias in federal programs and created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which worked to ensure hiring procedures were not based upon or determined based upon ones race.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

    Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    This resolution gave the president of the United States, LBJ, a "blank check" (literally they gave him a check for zero dollars hahah jk) for the fight for the Vietnam war. This allowed him to use whatever means necessary to win the war and fight as he felt it necessary to fight. After the Vietnam War ended Congress passed the War Powers Act that made the president submit a resolution to congress after he uses armed forces without congressional permissions.
  • Voting Act of 1965

    Voting Act of 1965
    This act was passed by LBJ and prohibited states from abridging the right for one to vote based on sex or race. This act specifically went against the literacy tests that had been previously used saying that they were unconstitutional.