UNIT XI – GILDED AGE AMERICA
I. An Era of Good Stealings
Text 538-543 (first column)
How are the political machines that arose at this time a betrayal of the ideas of republican government? Conversely, how are they exactly what the founders expected?
II. The Strange Death of Reconstruction
Text 544 (Standoff)-548, Spirit II 33-34 (Godkin), 34-35 (Douglass), 35-37 (Washington)
What, in your opinion, was the single-most grievous error made in the Reconstruction South? Explain why this error is so significant.
III. Attempts at Political Reform
Rendezvous With Destiny (hereafter cited as Rendezvous), ch I and II (in class)
What were the characteristics of the “patrician” reformers described by Goldman? Why did they fail in national politics at this time?
IV. The Spoilsmen – An Age of Cynicism
What were the major issues dividing the two major parties between 1877 and 1897? Were there any relationships between the close balance of power and the effectiveness of the federal government during these years? Was the government remiss in its responsibilities in this situation?
V. Railroad Consolidation and Government Regulation
Text 565-574 (first paragraph)
Analyze how the course of the fight over railroad regulation reveals relationships between economic interest and political power.
VI. Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?
Text 575-579 (first section); Spirit II 66-68 (Rockefeller), 68-69 (Oil Man)
How do the so-called “New Rich” of the Gilded Age differ from their patrician predecessors?
VII. Industrial Philosophy and Impact
Text 579-581 (top of 2nd column), 583-586, 593-594; Spirit II 70-71 (Carnegie), 71-72 (The Nation), 72-75 (Conwell)
Is the story of American Industrialism one of progress or abuse? Explain.
UNIT XI I- URBANIZATION, IMMIGRATION, AND THE WEST
I. Rise of the City
Text 595-599, Spirit II 94-95 (Waring), 96-99 (Riis)
How are the problems that faced urban America in the late 19th century similar to those that face urban America today?
II. New Immigrants
Text 548-551, 599-604, 606-609
Analyze the ways in which these “New” Immigrants differed from those that came before them. Does this account for how enthusiastically they were received? Elaborate.
III- IV. The Church, Darwin, and the Apostles of Reform
Text 609-612 (first half of first column);
Rendezvous Ch V and VI (in-class)
How did the advocates of social reform reinterpret Darwin to attack conservatives and to bolster their own arguments?
For this Rendezvous reading, note the names and works of those people mentioned, as well as the general themes of their writing. Try to determine how each supports one side of the Social Darwinism argument and refutes the other.
V. End of the Frontier
Text 633-639 (all), 642-648, 650-651 (top of 2nd column), 667
What factors were responsible for the rapid disappearance of the frontier between 1860 and 1890? Was this development inevitable?
VI. The Unhappy Farmer and the rise of Populism
Text 651, 654-664 (first three paragraphs)
Cite the areas of greatest discontent in the 1890’s. Was the plight of the farmer in any way of his own making?
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