The Gilded Age (1869-1896)

  • Period: to

    Gilded Age

  • Knights of Labor is established

    Knights of Labor is established
    The Knights of Labor were militant organization that was seeking solutions to labor problems. The included skilled and unskilled workers, and women and African Americans in the organization; there were over 700,000 members. The Knights of Labor wanted and eight hour work day, the termination of child labor, equal pay for equal work, and the elimination of private banks.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1869)
  • "Black Friday"

    "Black Friday"
    "Jubilee Jim" Fisk and Jay Gould made a plan to drastically increase the price of gold. They worked with President Grant and his brother-in-law to make sure they didn't sell gold from the federal Treasaury. Then they madly bid the price of gold skyward, which earned them money but severely hurt honest business people.
  • First Transcontinental Railroad completed

    First Transcontinental Railroad completed
    It was completed with Golden Spike at Promontory Point in Utah. This railroad marked the meeting of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroad companies. The completion of this railroad involed Irish and Chinese labor. This railroad opened national markets that helped reach growing economic needs.
  • Creation of the Standard Oil Company

    Creation of the Standard Oil Company
    The Standard Oil Company was formed by John D. Rockefeller. The company dominated the oil industry and was the first great business trust in the U.S.. This company revolutionized the petroleum industry.
  • The Fifteenth Amendment

    The Fifteenth Amendment
    The fifteenth amendment was passed in 1870. This amendment said that no state could deny the right to vote on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This amendment wasn't always followed, or was bent, especially with the Jim Crow Laws.
  • Whiskey Ring Scandal

    Whiskey Ring Scandal
    This was one of the scandals of Grant's administration. The liquor taxes were increased to aid in paying off the cost of the civil war, and scandal was that distillers and treasury officials conspired to defraud the government by giving out cheap tax stamps that robbed the government of millions.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1870)
  • Credit Mobilier Scandal

    Credit Mobilier Scandal
    The Union Pacific Railroad secretly formed the Credit Mobilier contruction company and then hired themselves at inflated prices in order to gain more money. President Grant's administration was found to have accepted payments from the Credit Mobilier company, causing Gran'ts reputation to be tarnished.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1972)
  • Creation of the Liberal Republican Party

    Creation of the Liberal Republican Party
    By 1972, Grant's administration period had been labelled corrupt, and the group that formed the Liberal Republican party were disgusted with it. They formed this party in order to purify the Washington administration and to end military reconstruction. The people in this party were very reform minded citizens. They named Horace Greeley as their candidate for the election of 1872.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1972)
  • Election of 1872

    Election of 1872
    The Liberal Republicans chose Horace Greeley as their candidate for the election. The Democrats also chose Greeley as their candidate. The Republicans stuck with President Grant who was running for another term. Grant won the election of 1872.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1872)
  • General Amnesty Act is passed

    General Amnesty Act is passed
    This act was passed by the Republican Congress. It removed political disabilities from about five hundred former Confederate leaders. The Congress also moved to reduce the Civil War tariffs because they were high.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1872)
  • Panic of 1873

    Panic of 1873
    Too much expansion had taken place by 1873 which caused great overspeculation. This overspeculation is known as the leading cuase for the Panic of 1873. Many people took out loans to invest their money into business opportunities, however when the opportunities were not profitible, the people could not pay back their loans.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1873)
  • Indian Wars - Modoc Indians

    Indian Wars - Modoc Indians
    There is an indian war with the Modoc Indians of Oregon. Eventually the American army captured the Modoc leaders and the leaders are captured and hanged. The rest of the Modoc Indiands were transferred to a reservation in the Dakotas.
  • Invention of Barbed Wire

    Invention of Barbed Wire
    Barbed wire was invented by Joseph Glidden in 1874. It was invented because people needed to keep roaming herds of wild buffalo off their farm land in the west. It allowed free range to become private pasture land and more cowboys became settled ranchers and farmers. Barbed wire allowed farmers to feel more secure.
  • Resumption Act of 1875

    Resumption Act of 1875
    The advocates of "hard money" persuaded President Grant to pass the Resumption Act of 1875. This act promised that the government would continue to withdraw greenbacks from circulation and would redeem all paper currency in gold at face value starting January 1, 1879.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875

    Civil Rights Act of 1875
    This act guaranteed equal accommodations in public places and prohibited racial discrimination in jury selections. The law however was not kept for long because it was "toothless" and stayed that way for over a century.
  • Jim Crow Laws first established

    Jim Crow Laws first established
    Jim Crow laws were first established in 1876. They were respresentative of the Black Codes that were banned earlier in the 1860s. These laws brought unemployment, harm, and eviction to blacks who tried to assert their rights. They also forced Blacks into the sharecropping and tenant systems. Former slaves found themselves no longer at the mercy of slave owners, but now at the mercy of former slave masters who were now their landlords and creditors.
  • William Belknap resigns

    William Belknap resigns
    William Belknap was the Secretary of War in President Grant's cabinent. He was forced to resign when it became known that he pocketed bribes from suppliers to the Indian reservations. President Grant stood behind him and accepted his resignation with great regret.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1876)
  • First official National League Baseball game

    First official National League Baseball game
    National League baseball played its first official game between Boston and Philadelphia. Jim O'Roarke gets the first hit, and in the end Boston beat Philadelphia six to five.
  • Presidential Election of 1876

    Presidential Election of 1876
    The Democratic candidate was Samuel Tilden; he rose to fame by catching Boss Tweed in New York. The Republican candidate was Rutherford B. Hayes; he served as the governor of Ohio for three years. This presidential race involved much compromise and conflict, and eventually Rutherford B. Hayes was named President of the United States.
  • Electoral Count Act is passed by Congress

    Electoral Count Act is passed by Congress
    The election of 1877 was in a deadlock, and the Electoral Count Act was to break up this deadlock. The act set up an electoral commission that consisted of fifteen men who were selected from the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court.
  • Compromise of 1877

    Compromise of 1877
    The Democrats agreed that Hayes could take office only if he withdrew federal troops from Louisiana and South Carolina. The Republicans promised that the Democrats would have support for a bill that subsidized the Texas and Pacific Railroad's construction of a southern transcontinental railroad line.
    (**Date not accurate, in February 1877)
  • "Tilden or Blood!" Conflict

    "Tilden or Blood!" Conflict
    This day was inauguration day for Samuel Tilden, who was a Republican. Democratic hotheads were furious that Tilden was going to be president, so they created a conflict where the "Minute Men" began to drill with arms and they chanted "Tilden or Blood!"
  • Railroad Worker Strikes

    Railroad Worker Strikes
    Following the Panic of 1873, the nation's four largest railroad companies decided collectively to cut the wages of employees back by ten percent. This infuriated the workers, who struck back, forcing President Hayes to bring in federal troops to stop the unrest.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1877)
  • Edison Electric Light Co.

    Edison Electric Light Co.
    Thomas Edison establishes the Edison Electric Light Co. This company eventually dominates the lighting industry especially since Thomas Edison was a main inventor, and it eats up all the other competition to become General Electric.
  • Timber and Stone Act

    Timber and Stone Act
    The Timber and Stone Act is passed by Congress and allows people to cut timber on public land. This act helps to increase the acreage of farm land and allows for creation of more buildings.
  • Redemption Day

    Redemption Day
    This was the day in which the holders of greenbacks could trade their greenbacks for gold. However, very few people did this. By the time this day came, the amount of greenbacks circulated in the United States had dropped, which caused the value of the greenbacks to increase.
    (**Day not accurate, in 1879)
  • Roll of Film Patent

    Roll of Film Patent
    In 1880, George Eastman patents a roll of film for cameras. By 1885 a box camera with the film inside is on the market, and by 1891, Eastman had perfected the daylight loading camera. Then, by 1895, the first pocket Kodak camera was in use.
  • Election of 1880

    Election of 1880
    The Republicans chose Hames A. Garfield as their candidate. The Democrats chose Winfield Schott Hancock, who was a civil war hero, as their candidate. James Garfield won the election of 1880 with only 39,213 more votes than Hancock. Garfield's Vice President was Chester A. Arthur.
  • President Garfield Assassinated

    President Garfield Assassinated
    Charles Guiteau, a mentally deranged office seeker, shot President Garfield in the back at a railroad station. The shot did not kill him immediately, and he lived for eleven weeks after he was shot. After he died on September 19, 1881, the Vice President, Chester Arthur took over Presidency. Charles Guiteau was fould guilty of murder and hanged for his crime.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    Chinese Exclusion Act
    The Chinese people had been immigrating to the United States and working cheaper than everyone else, which took jobs away from Americans and other immigrants. The grou the Kearneyites took matters into their own hands and terrorized the chinese by tearing off their pigtails or murdering them. The congress passed this act which prohibited immigration from China until 1943.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1882)
  • Labor Day

    Labor Day
    The first parade celebrating Labor Day is held in New York City. This is a sign that the labor movement and the status of labor were becoming part of the nation's central concerns.
  • Completion of the Brooklyn Bridge

    Completion of the Brooklyn Bridge
    It was begun in 1869, but completed in 1883 and it was called the Brooklyn Bridge. It was opened with great fanfare by Chester Arthur and Governer Grover Cleveland. Many New Yorkers are convinced that the Brooklyn Bridge is the eighth wonder of the world.
  • Civil Rights Cases

    Civil Rights Cases
    The Supreme Court announced that much of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was unconstitutional. The Court decided that the fourteenth amendment prohibited only government violations of civil rights not the denial of civil rights by individuals.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1883)
  • Pendleton Act of 1883

    Pendleton Act of 1883
    The Pendleton Act made campaign contributions from federal employees illegal and established the Civil Service Commission which made appointments to federal jobs on the basis of examinations rather than which person had the most "pull." This act was considered the "Magna Carta" if civil-service reform.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1883)
  • World's first skyscraper

    World's first skyscraper
    The world's first true skyscraper is completed. It was a ten story building that was called the Home Life Insurance Building. It was designed by William Le Baron Jenne, who built it in Chicago. The invention of the steel skyscraper in which floors and walls are hung is one of the biggest steps ever made in architecture.
  • The United States Naval War College is established

    The United States Naval War College is established
    The college was established in 1884 and its first president was Commodore Stephen B. Luce. It was built in Newport, Rhode Island in the old building that previously was the Newpoer Asylum for the Poor. The school specializes in developing ideas for naval warfare and passing them along to the officers of the Navy,
  • Election of 1884

    Election of 1884
    The Republicans chose James G. Blaine as their candidate. The Democrats chose Grover Cleveland. Because Cleveland was a very honest and admirable man, he won the election of 1884. This election however, sank to what was considered the lowest level in American history, as the two parties went to extremes to discredit the other.
  • Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad

    Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad
    This is considered one of the more important Supreme Court rulings. In this case the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation is a person under the Fourteenth amendment and therefore cannot be deprived of profits or other rights.
  • Creation of the American Federation of Labor

    Creation of the American Federation of Labor
    This organization was a combination of national craft unions that represented labor interests in wages, hours, and safety. The members of the local unions were all members of the AFL. The philosophy of the AFL was "pure and simple unionism." The first president of the AFL was Samuel Gompers.
  • Haymarket Square Riot

    Haymarket Square Riot
    A strike at McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. caused a large rally in Haymarket Square in Chicago. The police were trying to disperse the crowd when a bomb went off, killing eleven and injuring over 100. Eight people were put on trial and four were executed for this riot. The incident was used to discredit the Knights of Labor.
  • Wabash Case

    Wabash Case
    This case was a challenge against the legislation enacted by the State of Illinois against the railroads. The state of Illinois was trying to appease the demands of farmers for lower railroad rates, however the Supreme Court ruled that states had no power to regulate interstate commerce. This case undid the decision in the Munn v. Illinois case in 1877.
  • William Randolph Hearst and the San Francisco Chronicle

    William Randolph Hearst and the San Francisco Chronicle
    in 1887, William Randolph Hearst inheretid the San Francisco Chronicle from his father. This newspaper entered him into the publishing world, and eventually when he got control of the New York Times, he founded "yellow journalism." This "yellow journalism" was writing that dealt with sensational news, and expanded the truth.
  • Interstate Commerce Act

    Interstate Commerce Act
    This act established the Interstate Commerce Commisison that monitored discrimintation within the railroad industry. The Interstate Commerce Commission also required that all railroads must publish their rates, and prohibited rebates and pools. Also, it outlawed the practice of charging more for short hauls than long hauls. This act opened competition in the railroad industry.
  • Dawes Severalty Act

    Dawes Severalty Act
    The Dawes Severalty Act was meant to breakup the Native American tribes in order to try and assimilate them into American society. This distributed the Native American reservation lands among the individual members of the tribe and formed systems of agriculture more similar to the white man's. Each head of a Native American family was given 160 acres of farmland or 320 acres of grazing land.
  • Tariff of 1887

    Tariff of 1887
    Congress was introduced to this lower tariff in 1887, and it was supported by Cleveland. The tariff completely hurt the nation through the factories and the overall economy. Because the negative affects of the tariff, and the fact that Cleveland fully supported it, Cleveland lost support for the election of 1888.
  • Election of 1888

    Election of 1888
    The Republicans chose Benjamin Harrison as their presidential candidate. The Democrats chose Grover Cleveland, who was running for a second term. This election was the first in years to have a real issue that divided the two parties. This issue was tariffs, and Cleveland had previously lost support due to his support of the Tariff of 1887. While Cleveland won the popular vote, Benjamin Harrison won the election in the end.
  • Thomas Reed becomes Speaker of the House of Representatives

    Thomas Reed becomes Speaker of the House of Representatives
    Thomas B. Reed was a Republican who was known as a master debater and was very powerful and influential. Many credit this to his hulking figure that scared many people into listening to him. Reed intimidated the House of Representatives to his imperious will, and dominated the House of Representatives.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1889)
  • Creation of the Hull House

    Creation of the Hull House
    The Hull house was co-founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. It was located in Chicago, Illinois and it opened its doors to European immigrants in order to help them settle into America. There would be clubs and social gatherings at the Hull house that would help the people from other countries get used to American ways.
  • More States admitted into the United States

    More States admitted into the United States
    North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington are all admitted into statehood of the United States in 1889.
  • "Billion Dollar Congress"

    "Billion Dollar Congress"
    Thomas Reed was very influential to the House of Representatives, and bent them to his imperious will. Because of this and the lavish spending that Reed wanted to do and did, the Congress of these years were known as the "Billion Dollar Congress." The Billion Dollar Congree spent money lavishly, gave pensions to Civil War veterans, increased government purchases on silver, and passed the McKinley Tariff Act.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1890)
  • Battle of Wounded Knee

    Battle of Wounded Knee
    The federal army believed that Chief Sitting Bull, of the Sioux indians, was organizing a rebellion. So, the army went in and captured the chief. During this capture, there was a sudden exchange of gunfire, killing Chief Sitting Bull and others. After this the remainder of the tribe went to Wounded Knee Creek, The army followed and a shot was fired by an indian. In response the army returned fire and over two hundred people were killed. This is considered the last battle of the Indian Wars.
  • "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History:1660-1783" Book Published

    "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History:1660-1783" Book Published
    Book written by Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan who was a naval officer and historian. The book gave the importance of naval power as a key factor in the rise of the British Empire, which encouraged further sea expansion and American imperialism.
    (**Date not accurate, within 1890)
  • McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 is passed

    McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 is passed
    This Act was passed by the Billion Dollar Congress. It raised tarifs and forced farmers to buy expensive products from American manufacturers while still selling their products to the highly competitive world markets. This really hurt the farmers and caused the Republican party to lose support from the public and become discredited.
  • Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890

    Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890
    This act was created by Harrison's administration so that the amount of silver in circulation would increase. The rise in silver caused the people to think that the less expensive silver would replace gold as the form of currency. Because of this the people began to withdraw their assets in gold which depleted the Treasury's gold supply. The act was repealed in 1893.
  • Creation of the Populist Party

    Creation of the Populist Party
    The populist party was formed by farmers of the West and South. They demanded things like: unlimited coinage of silver, graduated income tax, government ownership of the telephone, telegraph and railroads, one-term presidential limit, direct election of senators, etc. The populist party supported the Black community and felt that Blacks had the right to vote. The party didn't last long and fell apart by 1908. (**Date not accurate, in 1890)
  • How The Other Half Lives

    How The Other Half Lives
    Jacob Riis publishes How the Other Half Lives about life in the slums and the ghettos.
  • Motion Picture Camera

    Motion Picture Camera
    Thomas Edison is granted a patent for his motion picture camera.
  • Homestead Strike

    Homestead Strike
    Iron and steel workers protested salary reductions in a strike against Carnegie Steel Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Henry Clay Frick hired security guards to protect the steel plant but the strike involved fighting that caused deaths of both protesters and guards. The fighting continued until the Pennsylvania State Militia was brought in to take control. This event tarnished Andrew Carnegie's reputation.
    (**Date not accurate, is within 1892)
  • Election of 1892

    Election of 1892
    The Populists nominated General James Weaver as their candidate. The Democrats nominated Grover Cleveland again as their president candidate. Grover Cleveland won the election, beating out the Populist party and the Republican party (who was discredited due to the McKinley Tariff Act).
  • The Panic of 1893

    The Panic of 1893
    This was the worst economic downturn for the United States during the 19th century. It was caused by overbuilding and overspeculation, labor disorders, and the agricultural depression. This depression lasted for about four years. Over eight thousand businesses in America collapsed within six months of this depression.
  • Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894

    Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894
    This tariff lowered other tariffs and cantained a two percent tax on incomes over $4,000. While this lasted for a year, in 1895 the Supreme Court ruled that all income taxes were unconstitutional. This ruling basically overturned this tariff.
    (**Date not accurate, in 1894)
  • J.P. Morgan Loans Millions to Government

    J.P. Morgan Loans Millions to Government
    In desperation, President Cleveland turned to J.P. Morgan for help when the US Treasury sank because of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. J.P. Morgan was known as the "banker's banker" and was the head of a Wall Street syndicate. After tense negotiaitions, J.P. Morgan agreed to loan $65 million in gold to the federal government. This loan helped temporarily restore confidence in the nation's finances.
  • First Moving Picture Showing

    First Moving Picture Showing
    The first public showing of a moving picture occurs in 1896. It is presented at the Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York City.
  • Plessy vs Ferguson Supreme Court Case

    Plessy vs Ferguson Supreme Court Case
    The decision in this case validated the South's segregation social orders. It ruled that "seperate but equal" facilities were legal and constitutional based on the "equal protection" policy of the fourteenth amendment.
  • The Forgettable Presidents

    The Forgettable Presidents
    When the Election of 1896 came around, it was the end of Cleveland's two terms. The end of his term was the end of the "Forgettable Presidents." The Forgettable Presidents included: Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, and Cleveland.