Time Period 6: 1865-1898
Freedmen's Bureau (1865-1872)Causes: Congress created the Freedmen's Bureau to provide food, shelter, and medical aid to freed slaves and people made poor by the war.
People: General Oliver O. Howard, President Johnson
Effects: The Bureau tried to resettle freedblacks on confiscated Southern land, but Johnson later pardoned and gave Confederates their land back. The Bureau did establish nearly 3000 schools for free blacks and taught about 20,000 blacks how to read.
Civil War (1861-1865) ends, beginning of Reconstruction Era/Industrial Revolution/Gilded AgeCauses: The Union won because of industrialization, a larger population (immigrants and African-Americans) and better leadership under Lincoln in the North.
People: President Lincoln, Union General Grant, Confederate General Lee
Effects: Slavery ended with the adoption of the 13th amendment. Reconstruction Era began to reunite the North and the South and to give African-Americans more rights. The war cost the US thousands of lives and $15 billion. South's economy and environment was destroyed.
Black Codes passed in Southern statesCauses: Southern state legislatures began passing Black Codes to restrict the rights of newly freed African-Americans.
People: President Johnson, Southern governments, freed blacks
Effects: Black Codes forbade blacks from from renting/buying land, forcing them into contract-labor systems ("a new form of slavery"), and forbade them from testifying against whites in court. Republicans in the North were angry at Johnson for allowing this to happen and refused to seat ex-Confederate representatives.
13th Amendment ratifiedCauses: The Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg Address & the Union victory in the Civil War brought an end to slavery in the entire US with the passage of the 13th Amendment.
People: Lincoln, Congress, every state
Effects: 4 million slaves were freed, but economic, political, and social oppression continued due to racism, Black Codes, the KKK, sharecropping, segregation (Jim Crow), and much more.
Ku Klux Klan foundedCauses: With Republicans in control of Southern state governments, white supremacists formed the KKK to violate the rights of and incite violence against freed blacks.
People: Nathaniel Bedford Forrest
Effects: Klansmen burned down freedmen's houses/churches and killed many blacks. In 1870, Congress's Force Acts allowed federal authorities to stop KKK violence and violation of blacks' rights. The KKK gained renewed popularity in the 1960s and unfortunately continues on today.
The Grange (The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry)Causes: Farmers were harmed by deflation, international competition (leading to lower prices), debt, droughts, floods, taxes, freight rates, etc.
People: Oliver H. Kelly
Effects: The Grange brought 800,000 farmers (by 1875) together in social events, set up cooperatively owned stores/warehouses, and even went into politics by helping pass Granger Laws to regulate railway rates & storage fees, though most were soon reversed.
14th Amendment ratifiedCauses: Even after overriding Johnson's veto of the Civil Rights Act, Radical Republicans feared that the law could be repealed by Democrats and decided to pass a permanent US amendment to the Consitution.
People: Radical Republicans (Stevens, Sumner), President Johnson
Effects: 14th Amendment required the states, not just the US gov, to uphold the rights of all citizens, including blacks, women, and other minorities.
Wyoming: 1st state to grant women suffrageCauses: Wyoming became the 1st state to grant women the vote in hopes of bringing publicity and more women to the area.
People: Suffragists, Wyoming Territory
Effects: Many states followed Wyoming's example by becoming more inclusive of women in local elections, especially regarding schools. By 1890, most states had given married women property rights and many women in cities began women's organizations.
Knights of LaborCauses: After the Civil War, labor unions became more popular for workers to unite in the face of a higher cost of living, lack of job security, etc.
People: Terence V. Powderly
Effects: This labor organization was more inclusive of female and black workers, unlike the National Labor Union before it, and focused on social/economic reform like an 8 hour workday and safety/health codes. The K of L's image was ruined after the Haymarket Riot in 1886 and membership dropped.
Standard Oil Company organizedCauses: Rockefeller dominated the shrinking (due to electricity) oil industry by starting his Standard Oil Company.
People: John D. Rockefeller
Effects: Standard Oil became a monopoly (gained control of an entire industry) with horizontal (small companies make up 1 big company) and vertical (1 company owns raw materials + product) integration with enough power to hugely control both poor workers, the government, & the pro-business court.
15th Amendment ratifiedCauses: After the election of 1868, where Republican Ulysses S. Grant barely managed to win over Democratic opponent Seymour, Republicans realized that in order to keep control in the gov, the voting rights of freedmen needed federal protection.
People: Republicans, President Grant
Effects: 15th Amendment forbade any state from denying a citizen's right to vote based on race (but NOT on gender). Many black voters were still barred from voting due to poll taxes, literacy tests, and intimidation.
Tweed ScandalCauses: Tweed was a "political boss," who helped the poor with jobs, homes, citizenship, parks, & etc in return for their votes & money. He robbed NYC of millions and scared the citizens into silence.
People: "Boss" Tweed
Effects: Tweed was busted for his crimes and sent to jail, but the fact that he had had so much power over his followers showed the power of bosses during the Gilded Age.
Crédit Mobilier ScandalCauses: Union Pacific Railroad members formed the Crédit Mobilier construction company to secretly make their own profit, and distributed shares of its stock to Republican Congressmen and even the Vice President.
People: Vice President Colfax, President Grant
Effects: The scandal was exposed to the public, who viewed this as proof of the government's corruption during the Gilded Age. Many, such as the Liberal Republicans, wanted an end to Military Reconstruction.
Panic of 1873Causes: Rapid growth (of railroads, minues, factories, agriculture) from the Industrial Revolution caused the markets to crash and loans to go unpaid.
People: President Grant
Effects: The depression hit the poor laborers, especially blacks, hard. Debtors and farmers grew more supportive of inflation and the coinage of silver to lower their debts. City workers were also affected by the crash with lower wages and responded with strikes.
Woman's Christian Temperance Union foundedCauses: The WCTU was founded in order to bring Christian (white) women together to prohibit alcohol and support other reform movements like suffrage.
People: Frances Willard
Effects: The union urged for women's suffrage in order to pass prohibition laws locally, & generally gained more open support than the more "radical" suffragists because they portrayed suffrage as necessary for women to be better mothers. The WCTU eventually became the US's largest women's organization by 1900.
Civil Rights Act of 1875Causes: Republicans in Congress passed another law to guarantee African-Americans equal treatment in public places and inclusion in juries.
People: Charles Sumner, President Grant, Radical Republicans
Effects: This law was the last civil rights reform law passed during the Reconstruction Era. The law barely enforced because the era of radical Republicanism was ending alongside Reconstruction. The law was later deemed unconstitutional.
Whiskey Ring ScandalCauses: The Whiskey Ring was a group of alcohol distillers who bribed government officials and tax collectors to avoid paying excise-taxes.
People: 238 men, President Grant, Orville Babcock
Effects: The scandal was seen as further proof of the corruption in politics during President Grant's terms and the Reconstruction Era (Gilded Age). It also distracted the public from focusing on reforming the post-war South.
Alexander Graham Bell invents telephoneCauses: Bell discovered how to trasmit vocal sounds telegraphically.
People: Alexander Graham Bell
Effects: The telephone was the first device ever that allowed people to talk directly to others, even with large distances. It transformed the US socially, allowed for faster trade, & even provided more women with jobs as operators.
Great Sioux War (1876-1881)Causes: Conflict between the Sioux and white settlers in the West continued even when the Sioux were herded onto a reservation and promised to be left alone. White settlers often violated reservation agreements, like Colonel Custer who said he found gold on Sioux land.
People: Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Colonel Custer
Effects: The US army brutally crushed the Indians who had defeated Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, & after the war the US began focusing on forcibly assimilating Indians.
Compromise of 1877/End of Reconstruction EraCauses: Republicans and Democrats compromised by allowing Republican Hayes to become president as long as federal troops were pulled out from the South and to build a railroad in the South to help it industrialize.
People: Rutherford Hayes, Samuel Tilden
Effects: By pulling troops out of the South, Democrats quickly regained control over southern state govs and the rights of blacks went unprotected. The end of Reconstruction returned power to Democrats in the South like before the Civil War.
Farmers' AllianceCauses: Farmers came together through the Alliance to not only socialize but also in an attempt lessen the power of railroad companies & manufacturers.
People: Charles Macune
Effects: The Alliance spread throughout the South & West and had over 1 million members by 1890, but ignored landless tenant farmers, sharecroppers, farmworkers, & people of color. The People's (Populist) Party emerged from the Alliance to help farmers & combat the corrupt political/economic system during the Gilded Age.
Great Railroad Strike of 1877Causes: As a result of the Panic of 1873, railroad companies cut employees' wages by 10% and set off work stoppages, strikes, and violence ending in the deaths of over 100 people.
Effects: The failure of the strike showed the weaknesses with the labor movement, including racial tensions such as between the Irish and the Chinese making it difficult to achieve unity against bosses. It also exposed the rising conflict between the working class and the richer classes above it.
Thomas Edison invents electric lightCauses: Edison created the electric lightbulb in his workshop, along with other important inventions: the mimeograph, dictaphone, moving picture.
People: Thomas Edison
Effects: Electric light allowed for longer workhours since work could continue past nighttime, thereby speeding up production in factories & boosting the Industrial Revolution. People now had an average of 7 hrs of sleep rather than 9.
Booker T. Washington becomes head of Tuskegee InstituteCauses: Washington taught black students at Tuskegee to help them "accommodate" to southern white racism by gaining an education, self-respect, & economic independence that would one day lead to equal sociopolitical rights for blacks.
People: Booker T. Washington
Effects: Many black students, such as George Washington Carver, went on to accomplish great things after Tuskegee. W. E. B. Du Bois disliked Washington's "acceptance" of segregation and wished for blacks to gain complete equality now.
Federal Restrictions on Immigration, Including the Chinese Exclusion ActCauses: Nativism against non-WASP grew, and even labor unions disliked immigrants for taking lower wages and being hard to unionize.
People: President Chester Author
Effects: Under these laws, criminals, convicts, the insane, the sick, anarchists, foreign workers under contract, and even the Chinese from coming to America. For the first time, the US government had shut their previously open door on immigration for certain groups considered undesireable.
Civil Rights CasesCauses: Black Americans went to court in a series of cases over whether segregated facilities violated the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and the 14th Amendment.
People: Supreme Court (Joseph P. Bradley)
Effects: The Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment only protected citizens from the government violating their civil rights, not individuals. The Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional and the decision, paired with the Compromise of 1877 withdrawing Northern troops from the South, hurt blacks.
Pendleton Civil Service Reform ActCauses: The assassination of President Garfield led to the government reforming the spoils system/patronage, where politicians offered money/jobs in exchange for political support.
People: President Chester Arthur
Effects: The Pendleton Act created the Civil Service Commission to oversee examinations for government employees to avoid patronage. Civil-service reform did reign in patronage, but also led to politicians allying themselves with big business leaders and lobbyists.
Haymarket Square BombingCauses: In Chicago, anarchists set off a bomb during a labor demonstration and killed several police officers and civilians.
People: 8 anarchists
Effects: The Knights of Labor were mistakenly associated with the bombing and lost much of their influence and popularity. The 8 hour workday movement and labor movement also suffered as a result. Many skilled workers did move on to join the American Federation of Labor, formed in 1886.
American Federation of LaborCauses: After the fall of the Knights of Labor after the Haymarket Riot, skilled workers joined the less-utopian American Federation of Labor.
People: Samuel Gompers
Effects: The Federation aimed for a fairer share of labor, higher wages, lower hours, and better working conditions by using walkouts, boycotts, and strikes and soon grew to have 500,000 members by 1900. The AF of L did not, however, represent unskilled laborers and many women and blacks like the K of L had tried to before.
Colored Farmers' AllianceCauses: The Farmers' Alliance excluded blacks from joining, even though blacks were nearly half of the agricultural production in the South, so black farmers started their own alliance.
People: J. J. Shuffer, R.M. Humphrey
Effects: More than 250,000 black farmers joined the Alliance by 1890, but often clashed with the white Farmers' Alliance over strikes and blacks' civil rights. The CFA did support many of the same goals as their white counterparts, like higher prices and lower railroad prices.
Interstate Commerce ActCauses: Farmers (in groups like the Grange) wanted state legislatures to regulate the railroad monopoly that put many of them into debt. In the Wabash case, the Supreme Court ruled states couldn't regulate interstate commerce so control would have to come federally.
People: President Cleveland
Effects: The act set up the Interstate Commerce Commission to supervise railroad activities & regulate unethical practices, the 1st attempt to regulate businesses (going against capitalism).
Dawes Act of 1887Causes: A movement to reform Indian policy led to the US deciding to assimilate Indians to white culture rather than forcibly contain and kill Indians.
People: Sen. Henry Laurens Dawes, Pres Grover Cleveland
Effects: The act split up reservations and alotted Indian families separate plots of land. If Indians conformed to white culture, they would be granted US citizenship after a few decades. Leftover reservation land was sold to railroads/whites & used to fund schools to "civilize" Indian kids.
American Protective AssociationCauses: Nativism against New Immigrants from south and east Europe, many of whom were Roman Catholics.
People: Henry F. Bowers
Effects: The APA was hugely anti-Catholic and aimed to supress Catholic power in America by going against Catholics running for any type of office & trying to suspend immigration of Catholics.
1st Pan-American ConferenceCauses: Secretary of State Blaine held a conference in DC in hopes of opening Latin American markets to trade & uniting the Americas under the power of the US.
People: James G. Blaine
Effects: The conference established a union between the Americas, but Latin American nations rightfully feared the US would take advantage of them economically & politically through imperialism.
Sherman Anti-Trust ActCauses: The public grew more & more resentful against monopolies since they harmed the lower classes, so the government tried to restrict trusts.
People: John Sherman
Effects: The law was largely ineffective in restricting monopolies because the courts & businesses could find loopholes. In fact, the law was often used against labor unions because they were seen as restricting free trade. This proved how hard it was so truly regulate the strong power of trusts and big business.
National American Woman Suffrage AssociationCauses: The 2 rival women's suffrage organization, the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association, banded together to give women the vote both by state and with a federal amendment.
People: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone
Effects: The NAWSA was the most important organization advocating for women's suffrage in the nation, and played a major role in the passage of the 19th Amendment allowing women to vote in 1920.
McKinley TariffCauses: Republicans in Congress wanted to increase the duties on wool, sugar, etc. and protect US manufacturing.
People: Sen. William McKinley
Effects: The tariff, as usual, harmed poor farmers at the expense of helping rich manufacturers. It led to the rise of the Populist Movement for free-silver by farmers. The tariff also caused Hawaii's economy to crash through the new tariffs on sugar and led to white Hawaiian sugar planters uprising against the Hawaiian queen in favor of US annexation.
Wounded Knee MassacreCauses: The US banned the Indian Sun Dance in 1884 to get Indians to give up their tribal religions and assimilate. Instead, the "Ghost Dance" spread in order to resist assimilation under the Dawes Severalty Act.
People: Dakota Sioux, US Cavalry
Effects: The US army killed around 200 Indians, including women and children, and practice of the Ghost Dance dropped hugely out of fear.
Populist (People's) PartyCauses: From the Farmers' Alliance came a political party called the People's Party by and for poor, indebted farmers.
People: Dem. William Jennings Bryan
Effects: The Populist Party supported free coinage of silver (to cause inflation and lower debts), called for government ownership of railroads/telegraphs, a graudated income tax, directly elected US senators, and shorter workdays. Bryan's loss in the 1896 election led to the end of the Populist movement.
White sugar planters revolt against Hawaiian queenCauses: The McKinley Tariff harmed Hawaii's economy by making Hawaii pay high tariffs for the sugar trade. The white sugar planter minority in Hawaii wanted the US to annex Hawaii & rebelled with the help of US troops.
People: Queen Liliuokalani, President Cleveland
Effects: Newly elected Cleveland withdrew the treaty for annexation, feeling that the US had wronged the Queen and Hawaiian natives, but Hawaii was later annexed in 1898.
Panic of 1893Causes: Overbuilding, overspending, labor & agricultural problems, free-silver debates, & US loans led to the depression of 1893.
People: President Cleveland, JP Morgan
Effects: Thousands of businesses collapsed, many were left poor and unemployed, & the Treasury's gold reserve fell to an all-time low, prompting Cleveland to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act & go to JP Morgan/Wall Street for a huge gold loan. The Populist & Socialist parties grew more popular during the 4 year crisis.
Wilson-Gorman TariffCauses: The Wilson-Gorman Tariff was an attempt to lower the tariffs set by the McKinley tariff earlier, but by the time it had gone through Congress it had barely made any change to McKinley's rates.
People: President Cleveland
Effects: The tariff contained an income tax and kept tariff rates very high (supporting American businesses), and is one of the causes of the Spanish-American War. High import tariffs from the US led to Cuba rebelling against Spain.
Pullman StrikeCauses: The Depression of 1893 hit the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago hard, causing the company to drop wages & anger their workers into a strike.
People: Eugene V. Debs (American Railway Union), Richard Olney
Effects: President Cleveland dispatched federal troops to crush the Pullman Strike. Organized labor saw this as a sign that employers could crush labor unions by going to the courts, while more broadly, Populists saw the ordeal as proof that the businesses and government were allied
Atlanta CompromiseCauses: Washington & other black leaders had an unofficial agreement with Southern white leaders that blacks would not fight for equality/end of segregation & racism so long as whites allow blacks education & due process.
People: Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois
Effects: Other black leaders like Du Bois disliked the Compromise and called for African-Americans to fight of full social/political/economic equality rather than allow white supremacy. Du Bois founded the NAACP to do so.
William McKinley's win in the 1896 Presidential ElectionCauses: Democrat & free-silverite W.J. Bryan went up against Republican William McKinley. McKinley was backed by factory owners, who bribed & threatened workers if McKinley lost.
People: William McKinley, William Jennings Bryan,
Effects: The election was a huge success for big business & showed that candidates needed support from the big cities in order to win rather than the declining rural population. Republicans took the White House for 16yrs & voters showed less interest in parties & voting
Plessy v. FergusonCauses: Louisiana passed a law segregating railroad cars, which was protested and brought to court by Homer Plessy.
People: Homer Plessy, Justice Henry Billings Brown
Effects: The Supreme Court ruled that the law did not violate the 14th amendment (which promised equal protection under the law to all citizens) so long as segregated facilities were "separate but equal." This case formally legalized segregation (Jim Crow) and only supported racist ideas that blacks were inferior to whites.
National Association of Colored WomenCauses: Many women's organizations, including the National American Woman Suffrage Association, excluded non-white women, so black women like Wells created their own associations instead.
People: Ida B. Wells
Effects: The association helped black women get involved in the women's club movement, as well as women's suffrage, anti-lynching, and anti-Jim Crow movements in ways that they were not allowed to in white women organizations.
Teller AmendmentCauses: McKinley did not want Spain to control Cuba anymore but also didn't want Cuba to be fully independent, since it would leave Cuba open to other imperialistic nations.
People: President McKinley, Congress
Effects: The amendment declared that Cuba would be independent once the US helped defeat Spain. After the war, the US didn't annex Cuba but had much power over the nation with the Platt Amendment.
Spanish-American WarCauses: With the Industrial Revolution, American businesses began looking internationally for new markets and the government in turn became more interested in imperialism and acquiring colonies. Cuba & the Philipinnes rebelling against Spain gave the US an opportunity to expand so they fought against Spain.
People: President McKinley
Effects: In the Treaty of Paris, the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rica, & Guam were ceded to the US. Continued in "Treaty of Paris."
Hawaii annexedCauses: During the 1870s, Hawaii got involved with the US through the sugar trade. After the McKinley tariff hugely raised tariffs for sugar, Hawaii's economy crashed & white sugar growers for annexation rebelled against the Hawaiian queen who tried to keep Hawaii free.
People: President McKinley, Queen Liliuokalani
Effects: Japan was mad at the US because over 40% of Hawaiians were of Japanese descent. The US gained a new addition to their growing empire.
Treaty of Paris - 1898Causes: The US won the Spanish-American War.
People: President McKinley
Effects: Spain ceded Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the US. The Philippines was annexed, leading to guerrilla warfare by Filipino nationalists. Despite the Teller Amendment stopping the US from annexing Cuba, US troops stayed in Cuba & controlled Cuban politics to the ire of Cubans. The US had gained an overseas empire.