US History Spring Semester 1876-1900

  • Invention of the Telephone

    In 1871, Alexander Bell started working on a harmonic device that allowed multiple messages to be transmitted over a wire at once. Four years later Bell and his partner Thomas Watson came up with a receiver that turned electricity to sound. On March 7, 1876, Alexander was granted his telephone patent, then just a few days later he made his first-ever telephone call to Watson.
  • Stand Oil Trust Formed

    John D. Rockefeller was the founder of the standard oil company. He organized the Standard Oil Trust in 1879 and the peak was in the 1880s. He bought other companies and gave them small profits.
  • Pendelton Civil Service Act

    Pendleton Civil Service Act introduces merit system. The Pendleton Civil Service Act, passed by Congress in 1882, created the Civil Service Commission to oversee competitive examinations for government positions. The act gave the commission jurisdiction over only 10 percent of federal jobs, though the president could expand the list. Because the Constitution barred Congress from interfering in state affairs, civil service at state and local levels developed more haphazardly.
  • Nation Divides into Four Time Zones

    America’s railroads began using a standard time system involving four time zones, Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific. Within each zone, all clocks were synchronized. The railroad industry’s plan was adopted by much of the country, although the time-zone system didn’t become official across the United States until the passage of the 1918 Standard Time Act, which also established daylight saving time.
  • Haymarket Riots

    On May 4, 1886, a demonstration in Chicago's Haymarket Square to protest the slayings of two workers during a strike turned into a violent riot after a bomb explosion killed seven policemen. Although the bomb thrower was never found, the incident was blamed on labor "radicalism" and resulted in public condemnation to the demise of the Knights of Labor
  • Sherman Antitrust Act

    First legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress to curb concentrations of power that interfere with trade and reduce economic competition. It was named for U.S. Sen. John Sherman of Ohio, who was an expert on the regulation of commerce.
  • Pollock V. Farmers

    The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the unportioned income taxes on interest, dividends and rents imposed by the Income Tax Act of 1894 were direct taxes and therefore unconstitutional.
  • War with Spain

    The US supported Cubans against the Spanish who were tyrants; they declared war on Spain in retaliation for the explosion on the USS Maine. They fought and defeated Spain on the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans. The defeat of Spain gave the U.S an overseas empire.
  • Treaty of Paris of 1998

    Brought a formal end to the Spanish-American war. It confirmed the terms of the armistice concerning Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam. American negotiators had startled the Spanish by demanding that they also cede the Philippines to the U.S, but an offer of 20 million for the islands softened Spain's resistance. The Spanish accepted the Americans terms.
  • Gold Standard Act

    This was signed by McKinley. It stated that all paper money would be backed only by gold. This meant that the government had to hold gold in reserve in case people decided they wanted to trade in their money. Eliminated silver coins, but allowed paper Silver Certificates issued under the Bland-Allison Act to continue to circulate