Bridge Over Troubled American Waters: Based on Race Division in America
The decision was finally reversed by the Civil Rights Act of Although the Supreme Court has never explicitly overruled the Dred Scott case, the Court stated in the Slaughter-House Cases that at least one part of it had already been overruled by the Fourteenth Amendment in , which begins by stating, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. In a single stroke it changed the legal status, as recognized by the U.
The owners were never compensated. Plantation owners, realizing that emancipation would destroy their economic system, sometimes moved their slaves as far as possible out of reach of the Union army. By June , the Union Army controlled all of the Confederacy and liberated all of the designated slaves. About , free blacks and former slaves served in the Union Army and Navy, thus providing a basis for a claim to full citizenship.
The Civil Rights Act of made blacks full U. In , the 14th amendment granted full U. The 15th amendment , ratified in , extended the right to vote to black males. The Freedmen's Bureau was an important institution established to create social and economic order in southern states. After the Union victory over the Confederacy, a brief period of southern black progress, called Reconstruction, followed.
During the Reconstruction the entire face of the south changed because the remaining states were readmitted into the Union. Southern black men began to vote and were elected to the United States Congress and to local offices such as sheriff. The safety provided by the troops did not last long, and white southerners frequently terrorized black voters. Coalitions of white and black Republicans passed bills to establish the first public school systems in most states of the South, although sufficient funding was hard to find.
Blacks established their own churches, towns and businesses. By the end of the 19th century, two-thirds of the farmers who owned land in the Mississippi Delta bottomlands were black. Congress in These new politicians supported the Republicans and tried to bring further improvements to the lives of African Americans. Revels and others understood that white people may have felt threatened by the African-American Congressmen.
Revels stated, "The white race has no better friend than I. I am true to my own race. I wish to see all done that can be done Bruce was the other African American who became a U. Turner, Josiah T. Walls, Joseph H. De Large. Frederick Douglass also served in the different government jobs during Reconstruction. He worked with white politicians from his region in order to hopefully help his fellow African Americans and other minority groups such as Chinese immigrants and Native Americans.
He even supported efforts to "end restrictions on former Confederates' political participation. The aftermath of the Civil War accelerated the process of a national African-American identity formation. Du Bois , disagree that identity was achieved after the Civil War. As Joel Williamson puts it:. Many of the migrants, women as well as men, came as teachers sponsored by a dozen or so benevolent societies, arriving in the still turbulent wake of Union armies.
Others came to organize relief for the refugees Still others Some came south as business or professional people seeking opportunity on this Finally, thousands came as soldiers, and when the war was over, many of [their] young men remained there or returned after a stay of some months in the North to complete their education. The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between and They mandated de jure segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans.
In reality, this led to treatment and accommodations that were usually inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages. In the face of years of mounting violence and intimidation directed at blacks as well as whites sympathetic to their cause, the U. When President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew Union troops from the South in as a result of a national compromise on the election, blacks lost most of their political power.
Men like Benjamin "Pap" Singleton began speaking of leaving the South. This idea culminated in the —80 movement of the Exodusters , who migrated to Kansas, where blacks had much more freedom and it was easier to acquire land. When Democrats took control of Tennessee in , they passed laws making voter registration more complicated and ended the most competitive political state in the South.
Voting by blacks in rural areas and small towns dropped sharply, as did voting by poor whites. From to , starting with Mississippi and ending with Georgia, ten of eleven Southern states adopted new constitutions or amendments that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. Using a combination of provisions such as poll taxes , residency requirements and literacy tests , states dramatically decreased black voter registration and turnout, in some cases to zero.
As power became concentrated under the Democratic Party in the South, the party positioned itself as a private club and instituted white primaries , closing blacks out of the only competitive contests. By one-party white rule was firmly established across the South. Although African Americans quickly started litigation to challenge such provisions, early court decisions at the state and national level went against them. In Williams v. Mississippi , the US Supreme Court upheld state provisions. This encouraged other Southern states to adopt similar measures over the next few years, as noted above.
Booker T. Washington , of Tuskegee Institute secretly worked with Northern supporters to raise funds and provide representation for African Americans in additional cases, such as Giles v. Harris and Giles v. Teasley , but again the Supreme Court upheld the states. Segregation for the first time became a standard legal process in the South; it was informal in Northern cities. Jim Crow limited black access to transportation, schools, restaurants and other public facilities.
The left's racial dilemma: President Obama, Michelle Alexander & the nature of change
Most southern blacks for decades continued to struggle in grinding poverty as agricultural, domestic and menial laborers. Many became sharecroppers , sharing the crop with the white land owners.. In , the Ku Klux Klan , a secret vigilante organization dedicated to destroying the Republican Party in the South, especially by terrorizing black leaders, was formed. Klansmen hid behind masks and robes to hide their identity while they carried out violence and property damage.
The Klan used terrorism , especially murder and threats of murder, arson and intimidation. The Klan's excesses led to the passage of legislation against it, and with Federal enforcement, it was destroyed by The anti-Republican and anti-freedmen sentiment only briefly went underground, as violence arose in other incidents, especially after Louisiana's disputed state election in , which contributed to the Colfax and Coushatta massacres in Louisiana in and Tensions and rumors were high in many parts of the South.
When violence erupted, African Americans consistently were killed at a much higher rate than were European Americans. Historians of the 20th century have renamed events long called "riots" in southern history. The common stories featured whites heroically saving the community from marauding blacks. Upon examination of the evidence, historians have called numerous such events "massacres", as at Colfax, because of the disproportionate number of fatalities for blacks as opposed to whites.
The mob violence there resulted in 40—50 blacks dead for each of the three whites killed. While not as widely known as the Klan, the paramilitary organizations that arose in the South during the mids as the white Democrats mounted a stronger insurgency, were more directed and effective than the Klan in challenging Republican governments, suppressing the black vote and achieving political goals. Unlike the Klan, paramilitary members operated openly, often solicited newspaper coverage, and had distinct political goals: to turn Republicans out of office and suppress or dissuade black voting in order to regain power in Groups included the White League , that started from white militias in Grant Parish, Louisiana, in and spread in the Deep South ; the Red Shirts , that started in Mississippi in but had chapters arise and was prominent in the election campaign in South Carolina , as well as in North Carolina ; and other White Line organizations such as rifle clubs.
The Jim Crow era accompanied the most cruel wave of "racial" suppression that America has yet experienced. Between and , millions of African Americans were disenfranchised, killed, and brutalized. According to newspaper records kept at the Tuskegee Institute , about 5, men, women, and children were murdered in documented extrajudicial mob violence —called " lynchings. Wells estimated that lynchings not reported by the newspapers, plus similar executions under the veneer of " due process ", may have amounted to about 20, killings.
Of the tens of thousands of lynchers and onlookers during this period, it is reported that fewer than 50 whites were ever indicted for their crimes, and only four were sentenced. Because blacks were disenfranchised, they could not sit on juries or have any part in the political process, including local offices. Meanwhile, the lynchings were used as a weapon of terror to keep millions of African-Americans living in a constant state of anxiety and fear.
In response to these and other setbacks, in the summer of , W. There, they produced a manifesto calling for an end to racial discrimination, full civil liberties for African Americans and recognition of human brotherhood. The organization they established came to be called the Niagara Movement. They pooled their resources to create independent community and institutional lives for themselves. They established schools, churches, social welfare institutions, banks, African-American newspapers and small businesses to serve the needs of their communities.
Progressive Era reformers were often concerned with the black condition. In after the Atlanta Race Riot got him involved, Ray Stannard Baker published the book Following the Color Line: An Account of Negro Citizenship in the American Democracy , becoming the first prominent journalist to examine America's racial divide; it was extremely successful. Sociologist Rupert Vance says it is:. During the first half of the 20th century, the largest internal population shift in U.
Starting about , through the Great Migration over five million African Americans made choices and "voted with their feet" by moving from the South to northern and western cities in hopes of escaping political discrimination and hatred, violence, finding better jobs, voting and enjoying greater equality and education for their children. In the s, the concentration of blacks in New York led to the cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance , whose influence reached nationwide. The South Side of Chicago , a destination for many on the trains up from Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, became the black capital of America, generating flourishing businesses, music, arts and foods.
A new generation of powerful African-American political leaders and organizations also came to the fore. Membership in the NAACP rapidly increased as it mounted an anti-lynching campaign in reaction to ongoing southern white violence against blacks.
Philip Randolph 's Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters part of the American Federation of labor all were established during this period and found support among African Americans, who became urbanized. Although most prominent African-American businesses have been owned by men, however women played a major role especially in the area of beauty. Standards of beauty were different for whites and blacks, and the black community developed its own standards, with an emphasis on hair care. Beauticians could work out of their own homes, and did not need storefronts.
As a result, black beauticians were numerous in the rural South, despite the absence of cities and towns. They pioneered the use of cosmetics, at a time when rural white women in the South avoided them. As Blain Roberts has shown, beauticians offered their clients a space to feel pampered and beautiful in the context of their own community because, "Inside black beauty shops, rituals of beautification converged with rituals of socialization. By contrast in the black community, beauty contests were developed out of the homecoming ceremonies at their high schools and colleges.
Walker — ; she built a national franchise business called Madame C. Walker Manufacturing Company based on her invention of the first successful hair straightening process. The U. Still, many African Americans eagerly volunteered to join the Allied cause following America's entry into the war. More than two million African American men rushed to register for the draft. Most African American units were relegated to support roles and did not see combat. Still, African Americans played a significant role in America's war effort.
Four African American regiments were integrated into French units because the French suffered heavy losses and badly needed men after three years of a terrible war. One of the most distinguished units was the th Infantry Regiment , known as the "Harlem Hellfighters", which was on the front lines for six months, longer than any other American unit in the war. They earned glory in the decisive final offensive in Champagne region of France.
During action in France , Stowers had led an assault on German trenches, continuing to lead and encourage his men even after being wounded twice. Stowers died from his wounds, but his men continued the fight on a German machine gun nest near Bussy farm in Champagne, and eventually defeated the German troops. Stowers was recommended for the Medal of Honor shortly after his death, but according to the Army, the nomination was misplaced. Many believed the recommendation had been intentionally ignored due to institutional racism in the Armed Forces.
In , under pressure from Congress , the Defense Department launched an investigation. Based on findings from this investigation, the Army Decorations Board approved the award of the Medal of Honor to Stowers. On April 24, — 73 years after he was killed in action — Stowers' two surviving sisters received the Medal of Honor from President George H. Bush at the White House. The New Deal did not have a specific program for blacks only, but it sought to incorporate them in all the relief programs that it began. All races had had the same wage rates and working conditions in the WPA. It set quotas for private firms hiring skilled and unskilled blacks in construction projects financed through the PWA, overcoming the objections of labor unions.
An immediate response was a shift in the black vote in Northern cities from the GOP to the Democrats blacks seldom voted in the South. Militants demanded a federal anti-lynching bill, but President Roosevelt knew it would never pass Congress but would split his New Deal coalition. In Chicago the black community had been a stronghold of the Republican machine, but in the Great Depression the machine fell apart. Voters and leaders moved en masse into the Democratic Party as the New Deal offered relief programs and the city Democratic machine offered suitable positions in the Democratic Party for leaders such as William Dawson , who went Congress.
The largest group of blacks worked in the cotton farms of the Deep South as sharecroppers or tenant farmers; a few owned their farms. Large numbers of whites also were tenant farmers and sharecroppers. Tenant farming characterized the cotton and tobacco production in the post-Civil War South. As the agricultural economy plummeted in the early s, all farmers in all parts of the nation were badly hurt. Worst hurt were the tenant farmers who had relatively more control and sharecroppers who had less control , as well as daily laborers mostly black, with least control.
The problem was very low prices for farm products and the New Deal solution was to raise them by cutting production. It accomplished this in the South by the AAA , which gave landowners acreage reduction contracts, by which they were paid to not grow cotton or tobacco on a portion of their land. By law, they were required to pay the tenant farmers and sharecroppers on their land a portion of the money, but some cheated on this provision, hurting their tenants and croppers.
The farm wage workers who worked directly for the landowner were mostly the ones who lost their jobs. For most tenants and sharecroppers the AAA was a major help. Researchers at the time concluded, "To the extent that the AAA control-program has been responsible for the increased price [of cotton], we conclude that it has increased the amount of goods and services consumed by the cotton tenants and croppers.
Another consequence was that the historic high levels of turnover from year to year declined sharply, as tenants and coppers tend to stay with the same landowner. Researchers concluded, "As a rule, planters seem to prefer Negroes to whites as tenants and coppers. Once mechanization came to cotton after , the tenants and sharecroppers were largely surplus; they moved to towns and cities.
Over 1. They served in segregated units. Famous segregated units, such as the Tuskegee Airmen and the U. Approximately 75 percent of the soldiers who served in the European theater as truckers for the Red Ball Express and kept Allied supply lines open were African-American. The distinguished service of these units was a factor in President Harry S. Truman 's order to end discrimination in the Armed Forces in July , with the promulgation of Executive Order This led in turn to the integration of the Air Force and the other services by the early s. Due to massive shortages as a result of the American entry into World War II, defense employers from Northern and Western cities went to the South to convince blacks and whites there to leave the region in promise of higher wages and better opportunities.
As a result, African-Americans left the South in large numbers to munitions centers in the North and West to take advantage of the shortages caused by the war, sparking the Second Great Migration. While they somewhat lived in better conditions than the South for instance, they could vote and send children to better schools , they nevertheless faced widespread discrimination due to bigotry and fear of competition of housing and jobs among white residents. Racial tensions were also high between whites and ethnic minorities that cities like Chicago , Detroit , Los Angeles , and Harlem experienced race riots in Roosevelt , whom they widely admired.
Black newspapers created the Double V campaign to build black morale and head off radical action. Most Black women had been farm laborers or domestics before the war. Their efforts redefined citizenship, equating their patriotism with war work, and seeking equal employment opportunities, government entitlements, and better working conditions as conditions appropriate for full citizens.
They broke through old stereotypes and far surpassed the limited, poorly paid roles available in race films produced for all-black audiences. It took place from , through World War II , and lasted until Some historians prefer to distinguish between the movements for those reasons.
In the Second Great Migration, more than five million African Americans moved to cities in states in the Northeast, Midwest, and West, including the West Coast , where many skilled jobs in the defense industry were concentrated. More of these migrants were already urban laborers who came from the cities of the South.
They were better educated and had better skills than people who did not migrate. Compared to the more rural migrants of the period —40, many African Americans in the South were already living in urban areas and had urban job skills before they relocated. They moved to take jobs in the burgeoning industrial cities and especially the many jobs in the defense industry during World War II. Workers who were limited to segregated, low-skilled jobs in Southern cities were able to get highly skilled, well-paid jobs at West Coast shipyards. More than 80 percent lived in cities. Fifty-three percent remained in the Southern United States, while 40 percent lived in the Northeast and North Central states and 7 percent in the West.
The Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. This decision applied to public facilities, especially public schools. Reforms occurred slowly and only after concerted activism by African Americans. The ruling also brought new momentum to the Civil Rights Movement. Boycotts against segregated public transportation systems sprang up in the South, the most notable of which was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Civil rights groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference SCLC organized across the South with tactics such as boycotts, voter registration campaigns, Freedom Rides and other nonviolent direct action, such as marches, pickets and sit-ins to mobilize around issues of equal access and voting rights.
Southern segregationists fought back to block reform.
The conflict grew to involve steadily escalating physical violence, bombings and intimidation by Southern whites. Law enforcement responded to protesters with batons, electric cattle prods, fire hoses, attack dogs and mass arrests. In Virginia , state legislators, school board members and other public officials mounted a campaign of obstructionism and outright defiance to integration called Massive Resistance.
It entailed a series of actions to deny state funding to integrated schools and instead fund privately run "segregation academies" for white students. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. As a last-ditch effort to avoid court-ordered desegregation, officials in the county shut down the county's entire public school system in and it remained closed for five years. The largely black rural population of the county had little recourse.
Some families were split up as parents sent their children to live with relatives in other locales to attend public school; but the majority of Prince Edward's more than 2, black children, as well as many poor whites, simply remained unschooled until federal court action forced the schools to reopen five years later. The organizers of the march were called the " Big Six " of the Civil Rights Movement: Bayard Rustin the strategist who has been called the "invisible man" of the Civil Rights Movement; labor organizer and initiator of the march, A.
Also active behind the scenes and sharing the podium with Dr. It was at this event, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, that King delivered his historic " I Have a Dream " speech. This march, the Birmingham Children's Crusade , and other events were credited with putting pressure on President John F. Kennedy , and then Lyndon B.
Johnson , that culminated in the passage the Civil Rights Act of that banned discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and labor unions. The "Mississippi Freedom Summer" of brought thousands of idealistic youth, black and white, to the state to run "freedom schools", to teach basic literacy, history and civics. Other volunteers were involved in voter registration drives. The season was marked by harassment, intimidation and violence directed at civil rights workers and their host families.
The disappearance of three youths, James Chaney , Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in Philadelphia, Mississippi , captured the attention of the nation.
Six weeks later, searchers found the savagely beaten body of Chaney, a black man, in a muddy dam alongside the remains of his two white companions, who had been shot to death. There was national outrage at the escalating injustices of the "Mississippi Blood Summer", as it by then had come to be known, and at the brutality of the murders. In the Selma Voting Rights Movement , its Selma to Montgomery marches , and the tragic murders of two activists associated with the march, inspired President Lyndon B. Johnson to call for the full Voting Rights Act of , which struck down barriers to black enfranchisement.
In the Chicago Open Housing Movement , followed by the passage of the Fair Housing Act , was a capstone to more than a decade of major legislation during the civil rights movement. By this time, African Americans who questioned the effectiveness of nonviolent protest had gained a greater voice. More militant black leaders, such as Malcolm X of the Nation of Islam and Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panther Party , called for blacks to defend themselves, using violence, if necessary.
From the mids to the mids, the Black Power movement urged African Americans to look to Africa for inspiration and emphasized black solidarity, rather than integration. Politically and economically, blacks have made substantial strides in the post-civil rights era. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson , who ran for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in and , brought unprecedented support and leverage to blacks in politics. There were 8, black officeholders in the United States in , showing a net increase of 7, since In there were black mayors. The 39 African-American members of Congress form the Congressional Black Caucus , which serves as a political bloc for issues relating to African Americans.
The appointment of blacks to high federal offices—including General Colin Powell , Chairman of the U. Economic progress for blacks' reaching the extremes of wealth has been slow. According to Forbes richest lists, Oprah Winfrey was the richest African American of the 20th century and has been the world's only black billionaire in , , and BET founder Bob Johnson briefly joined her on the list from to before his ex-wife acquired part of his fortune; although he returned to the list in , he did not make it in With Winfrey the only African American wealthy enough to rank among America's richest people,  blacks currently comprise 0.
The dramatic political breakthrough came in the election, with the election of Barack Obama , the son of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother. He won overwhelming support from African-American voters in the Democratic primaries, even as his main opponent Hillary Clinton had the support of many black politicians. African Americans continued to support Obama throughout his term. In , he won the presidential election against candidate Mitt Romney and was re-elected as the president of the United States.
The post-civil rights era is also notable for the New Great Migration , in which millions of African Americans have returned to the South including Texas , Georgia , Florida and North Carolina , often to pursue increased economic opportunities in now-desegregated southern cities.
After the Civil Rights Movement gains of the s—s, due to government neglect, unfavorable social policies, high poverty rates , changes implemented in the criminal justice system and laws, and a breakdown in traditional family units, African-American communities have been suffering from extremely high incarceration rates. African Americans have the highest imprisonment rate of any major ethnic group in the world. The history of slavery has always been a major research topic for white scholars, but until the s they generally focused on the political and constitutional themes as debated by white politicians; they did not study the lives of the black slaves.
During Reconstruction and the late 19th century, blacks became major actors in the South. The Dunning School of white scholars generally cast the blacks as pawns of white Carpetbaggers during this period, but W. Du Bois , a black historian, and Ulrich B. Phillips , a white historian, studied the African-American experience in depth. Du Bois' study of Reconstruction provided a more objective context for evaluating its achievements and weaknesses; in addition, he did studies of contemporary black life. Phillips set the main topics of inquiry that still guide the analysis of slave economics.
During the first half of the 20th century, Carter G. Woodson was the major black scholar studying and promoting the black historical experience. Woodson insisted that the study of African descendants be scholarly sound, creative, restorative, and, most important, directly relevant to the black community. He popularized black history with a variety of innovative strategies, including Association for the Study of Negro Life outreach activities, Negro History Week now Black History Month , in February , and a popular black history magazine.
Woodson democratized, legitimized, and popularized black history. Benjamin Quarles —96 had a significant impact on the teaching of African-American history. Quarles and John Hope Franklin provided a bridge between the work of historians in historically black colleges , such as Woodson, and the black history that is now well established in mainline universities. Quarles grew up in Boston, attended Shaw University as an undergraduate, and received a graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin.
He began in teaching at Morgan State College in Baltimore, where he stayed, despite a lucrative offer from Johns Hopkins University. Quarles' books included The Negro in the American Revolution , Black Abolitionists , The Negro in the Civil War , and Lincoln and the Negro , which were narrative accounts of critical wartime episodes that focused on how blacks interacted with their white allies. Black history attempted to reverse centuries of ignorance. While black historians were not alone in advocating a new examination of slavery and racism in the United States, the study of African-American history has often been a political and scholarly struggle to change assumptions.
One of the foremost assumptions was that slaves were passive and did not rebel. A series of historians transformed the image of African Americans, revealing a much richer and complex experience. Historians such as Leon F. Litwack showed how former slaves fought to keep their families together and struggled against tremendous odds to define themselves as free people. Others wrote of rebellions small and large. In the 21st century, black history is regarded as mainstream.
Opponents argue such curricula are dishonest, divisive, and lack academic credibility and rigor. Surveys of 11th and 12th-grade students and adults in show that American schools have given students an awareness of some famous figures in black history. Both groups were asked to name 10 famous Americans, excluding presidents.
When distinguished historians were asked in to name the most prominent Americans, Parks and Tubman did not make the top From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on African Americans History. Black schools Historically black colleges and universities Greek and fraternal organizations Stepping. Studies Literature Art. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle class Upper class Billionaires. Institutions Black church. Black theology Womanist theology. LGBT community. Dialects and languages. Gullah Louisiana Creole.
Main article: Middle Passage. Main article: Slavery in the United States. Main articles: Religion in Black America and Black church. Main article: Haitian Revolution. Main article: Dred Scott v. See also: Civil rights movement — Main article: Great Migration African American. Main article: African-American Businesses. Main article: Civil Rights Movement. Herbert Aptheker Lerone Bennett, Jr. Harris, Jr. Wesley Isabel Wilkerson Carter G. Woodson George G. M James Asa G. African American portal United States portal. The Root. Retrieved July 8, Incredibly, most of the 42 million members of the African-American community descend from this tiny group of less than half a million Africans.
S During the Slave Trade? Retrieved New York: Pearson Education, Inc. The Black Collegian Online. Archived from the original on March 5, Retrieved June 4, Chapel Hill, The Terrible Transformation. Archived from the original on June 14, Retrieved June 14, Archived from the original on June 4, American Slavery, — 2nd ed. New York: Hill and Wang. Retrieved 28 August February 2, Retrieved August 28, Summer Phi Kappa Phi Forum. Archived from the original on June 10, Archived from the original on 4 March Retrieved June 15, Maryland Historical Society.
Hutson, Religion and the founding of the American Republic , p. American Nineteenth Century History. Brotherly Love. Retrieved June 16, Retrieved April 12, Lapsansky-Werner, and Gary B. This print shows the four stages of pork packing in nineteenth-century Cincinnati. This centralization of production made meat-packing an innovative industry, one of great interest to industrialists of all ilks. As railroad construction drove economic development, new means of production spawned new systems of labor.
Many wage earners had traditionally seen factory work as a temporary stepping-stone to attaining their own small businesses or farms. After the war, however, new technology and greater mechanization meant fewer and fewer workers could legitimately aspire to economic independence.
Stronger and more organized labor unions formed to fight for a growing, more-permanent working class. At the same time, the growing scale of economic enterprises increasingly disconnected owners from their employees and day-to-day business operations. To handle their vast new operations, owners turned to managers. Educated bureaucrats swelled the ranks of an emerging middle class. Industrialization also remade much of American life outside the workplace. Rapidly growing industrialized cities knit together urban consumers and rural producers into a single, integrated national market.
Food production and consumption, for instance, were utterly nationalized. Between and , ranchers drove a million head of cattle annually overland from Texas ranches to railroad depots in Kansas for shipment by rail to Chicago. Buffalo herds, grasslands, and old-growth forests gave way to cattle, corn, and wheat. Chicago became the Gateway City, a crossroads connecting American agricultural goods, capital markets in New York and London, and consumers from all corners of the United States.
Technological innovation accompanied economic development.
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The story was a joke, of course, but Edison nevertheless received inquiries from readers wondering when the food machine would be ready for the market. Americans had apparently witnessed such startling technological advances—advances that would have seemed far-fetched mere years earlier—that the Edison food machine seemed entirely plausible. In September , Edison announced a new and ambitious line of research and development—electric power and lighting. Far from a lone inventor gripped by inspiration toiling in isolation, Edison advanced the model of commercially minded management of research and development.
crossing bridges over troubled waters Manual
Edison folded his two identities, business manager and inventor, together. By late fall , Edison exhibited his system of power generation and electrical light for reporters and investors. Then he scaled up production. He sold generators to businesses. By the middle of , Edison had overseen construction of plants powering over sixty thousand lamps in factories, offices, printing houses, hotels, and theaters around the world.
He convinced municipal officials to build central power stations and run power lines. Electricity revolutionized the world. It not only illuminated the night, it powered the Second Industrial Revolution.
Factories could operate anywhere at any hour. Electric rail cars allowed for cities to build out and electric elevators allowed for them to build up. Economic advances, technological innovation, social and cultural evolution, demographic changes: the United States was a nation transformed. These revolutionary changes, of course, would not occur without conflict or consequence see Chapter 16 , but they demonstrated the profound transformations remaking the nation. Change was not confined to economics alone.
Change gripped the lives of everyday Americans and fundamentally reshaped American culture.
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Library of Congress, LC-D Industry pulled ever more Americans into cities. Manufacturing needed the labor pool and the infrastructure. Soon the United States had more large cities than any country in the world. The U. Much of that urban growth came from the millions of immigrants pouring into the nation. Between and , over twenty-five million immigrants arrived in the United States. By the turn of the twentieth century, new immigrant groups such as Italians, Poles, and Eastern European Jews made up a larger percentage of arrivals than the Irish and Germans. The specific reasons that immigrants left their particular countries and the reasons they came to the United States what historians call push and pull factors varied.
For example, a young husband and wife living in Sweden in the s and unable to purchase farmland might read an advertisement for inexpensive land in the American Midwest and immigrate to the United States to begin a new life. A young Italian man might simply hope to labor in a steel factory long enough to save up enough money to return home and purchase land for a family.
A Russian Jewish family persecuted in European pogroms might look to the United States as a sanctuary. Or perhaps a Japanese migrant might hear of fertile farming land on the West Coast and choose to sail for California. But if many factors pushed people away from their home countries, by far the most important factor drawing immigrants was economics. Immigrants came to the United States looking for work. Industrial capitalism was the most important factor that drew immigrants to the United States between and Immigrant workers labored in large industrial complexes producing goods such as steel, textiles, and food products, replacing smaller and more local workshops.
The influx of immigrants, alongside a large movement of Americans from the countryside to the city, helped propel the rapid growth of cities like New York, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and St. By , immigrants and their children accounted for roughly 60 percent of the population in most large northern cities and sometimes as high as 80 or 90 percent. Many immigrants, especially from Italy and the Balkans, always intended to return home with enough money to purchase land.
But what about those who stayed? Did the new arrivals assimilate together in the American melting pot—becoming just like those already in the United States—or did they retain, and sometimes even strengthen, their traditional ethnic identities? The answer lies somewhere in between. Immigrants from specific countries—and often even specific communities—often clustered together in ethnic neighborhoods.
Immigrant communities published newspapers in dozens of languages and purchased spaces to maintain their arts, languages, and traditions alive. And from these foundations they facilitated even more immigration: after staking out a claim to some corner of American life, they wrote home and encouraged others to follow them historians call this chain migration. The infamous urban political machines often operated as a kind of mutual aid society.
In , journalist William Riordon published a book, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall , which chronicled the activities of ward heeler George Washington Plunkitt. On a typical day, Riordon wrote, Plunkitt was awakened at two a. He returned home at midnight. Still, machine politics could never be enough.
As the urban population exploded, many immigrants found themselves trapped in crowded, crime-ridden slums. Americans eventually took notice of this urban crisis and proposed municipal reforms but also grew concerned about the declining quality of life in rural areas. While cities boomed, rural worlds languished. Many proposed conservation. Many longed for a middle path between the cities and the country. New suburban communities on the outskirts of American cities defined themselves in opposition to urban crowding. Americans contemplated the complicated relationships between rural places, suburban living, and urban spaces.
Los Angeles became a model for the suburban development of rural places. They wanted industry and they wanted infrastructure. But the past could not be escaped. The ambitions of Atlanta, seen in the construction of such grand buildings as the Kimball House Hotel, reflected the larger regional aspirations of the so-called New South. Property was destroyed. Lives were lost. Political power vanished. And four million enslaved Americans—representing the wealth and power of the antebellum white South—threw off their chains and walked proudly forward into freedom.
Emancipation unsettled the southern social order. When Reconstruction regimes attempted to grant freedpeople full citizenship rights, anxious whites struck back. From their fear, anger, and resentment they lashed out, not only in organized terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan but in political corruption, economic exploitation, and violent intimidation. Perhaps nothing harked so forcefully back to the barbaric southern past than the wave of lynchings—the extralegal murder of individuals by vigilantes—that washed across the South after Reconstruction.
Whether for actual crimes or fabricated crimes or for no crimes at all, white mobs murdered roughly five thousand African Americans between the s and the s. Lynching was not just murder, it was a ritual rich with symbolism. Victims were not simply hanged, they were mutilated, burned alive, and shot. Lynchings could become carnivals, public spectacles attended by thousands of eager spectators. Rail lines ran special cars to accommodate the rush of participants. Vendors sold goods and keepsakes.
Perpetrators posed for photos and collected mementos. And it was increasingly common. One notorious example occurred in Georgia in Word of the impending lynching quickly spread, and specially chartered passenger trains brought some four thousand visitors from Atlanta to witness the gruesome affair. Members of the mob tortured Hose for about an hour. They sliced off pieces of his body as he screamed in agony. Then they poured a can of kerosene over his body and burned him alive.
At the barbaric height of southern lynching, in the last years of the nineteenth century, southerners lynched two to three African Americans every week. In general, lynchings were most frequent in the Cotton Belt of the Lower South, where southern blacks were most numerous and where the majority worked as tenant farmers and field hands on the cotton farms of white landowners. The states of Mississippi and Georgia had the greatest number of recorded lynchings: from to , Mississippi lynch mobs killed over five hundred African Americans; Georgia mobs murdered more than four hundred.
Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a number of prominent southerners openly supported lynching, arguing that it was a necessary evil to punish black rapists and deter others. Senate—endorsed such extrajudicial killings. This photograph captures the lynching of Laura and Lawrence Nelson, a mother and son, on May 25, , in Okemah, Oklahoma.
Black activists and white allies worked to outlaw lynching. Ida B. Wells, an African American woman born in the last years of slavery and a pioneering anti-lynching advocate, lost three friends to a lynch mob in Memphis, Tennessee, in In , Representative Leonidas Dyer of Missouri introduced federal anti-lynching legislation that would have made local counties where lynchings took place legally liable for such killings.
Throughout the early s, the Dyer Bill was the subject of heated political debate, but, fiercely opposed by southern congressmen and unable to win enough northern champions, the proposed bill was never enacted. Lynching was only the violent worst of the southern racial world. Discrimination in employment and housing and the legal segregation of public and private life reflected the rise of a new Jim Crow South.
So-called Jim Crow laws legalized what custom had long dictated. Southern states and municipalities enforced racial segregation in public places and in private lives. Separate coach laws were some of the first such laws to appear, beginning in Tennessee in the s. Soon schools, stores, theaters, restaurants, bathrooms, and nearly every other part of public life were segregated. So too were social lives.
The sin of racial mixing, critics said, had to be heavily guarded against. Marriage laws regulated against interracial couples, and white men, ever anxious of relationships between black men and white women, passed miscegenation laws and justified lynching as an appropriate extralegal tool to police the racial divide. In politics, de facto limitations of black voting had suppressed black voters since Reconstruction. Whites stuffed ballot boxes and intimidated black voters with physical and economic threats.
And then, from roughly to , southern states implemented de jure, or legal, disfranchisement. They passed laws requiring voters to pass literacy tests which could be judged arbitrarily and pay poll taxes which hit poor whites and poor blacks alike , effectively denying black men the franchise that was supposed to have been guaranteed by the Fifteenth Amendment.
Those responsible for such laws posed as reformers and justified voting restrictions as for the public good, a way to clean up politics by purging corrupt African Americans from the voting rolls. With white supremacy secured, prominent white southerners looked outward for support. And as they did, they began to retell the history of the recent past. White southerners looked forward while simultaneously harking back to an imagined past inhabited by contented and loyal slaves, benevolent and generous masters, chivalric and honorable men, and pure and faithful southern belles.
Secession, they said, had little to do with the institution of slavery, and soldiers fought only for home and honor, not the continued ownership of human beings. The New South, then, would be built physically with new technologies, new investments, and new industries, but undergirded by political and social custom. Henry Grady might have declared the Confederate South dead, but its memory pervaded the thoughts and actions of white southerners. Lost Cause champions overtook the South. They built Confederate monuments and celebrated Confederate veterans on Memorial Day. Across the South, towns erected statues of General Robert E.
Lee and other Confederate figures. By the turn of the twentieth century, the idealized Lost Cause past was entrenched not only in the South but across the country. In , for instance, North Carolinian Thomas F. In , acclaimed film director David W. The film almost singlehandedly rejuvenated the Ku Klux Klan.