Changing Landscapes: Development after the Civil War (1860 - 1890)

Economic Diversification

  • King Cotton
    • ruled the South for many years
    • blamed for defeat - single crop economy was bad
    • blamed for slavery
    • needs to be changed to rebuild South
  • Henry W. Grady, editor of the Atlanta Constitution/
    • promoted new vision of the South
    • at a meeting of the New England Society of New York, he shared this optimistic view
    • with a strong core, a diversified economy would grow over time
    • saw an agricultural society with several crops
    • follows the example of the North, with some industry
  • Tobacco, Rice, Cane Sugar
    • new crops identified to diversify
    • tobacco became popular during the Civil War
    • rice and sugar became huge secondary products
  • Cotton and the textile industry
    • cotton had served the large plantations well, so they won't abandon it
    • with the textile industry booming, cotton mills increased
    • cotton consumption increased hugely by the turn of the century
    • it continues to serve well, but there is still a need to diversify
  • Coal, iron, limestone
    • area around (not yet existent) Birmingham, Alabama became known for coal, iron, and limestone production
    • eventually, they would produce steel as well - the "Pittsburgh of the South"
    • from 1875 - 1900, Southern coal production increased by about 5 million tons
  • Hydroelectricity
    • comes to be a growing source of electricity
    • important step in industrialisation of the South
  • Forestry
    • much lumber is produced from the versatile Southern pine
    • because of the warm climate and quick renewal of the pine, it didn't become an ecological disaster
    • paper factories, etc. are built

Political Changes

  • the political atmosphere is being transformed - look for new leaders
  • "Redeemers"
  • local Southern leaders
  • try to redeem South from dominant Yankees and from a one-crop economy
  • Republicans, Populists, etc. call them Bourbons, a derogatory label
    • viewed them as reactive, not proactive
    • concerned about opposing power
  • bring about a mini political revolution
    • believe in laissez-faire as more productive for the South than military-enforced Reconstruction
    • influenced by desire to regain local control
  • education would be necessary for rebirth and renewal

Education

  • war caused most of the South to lose everything
  • George Peabody was a London banker who provided $3 million for public education in the South
  • John F. Slater also contributed $1 million
  • JLM Currey was a former Confederate soldier who preached and educated
    • managed funds for the education system
    • started many programs such as summer schools and teachers' associations
  • literacy in the South increased from 50% to 88% in a short period of time (for whites); increased to 50% for former slaves
  • dramatic rise in black colleges and universities
  • something good that came out of Reconstruction, carpetbaggers, and other troubles

Blacks in Congress

  • rise in numbers, especially in South Carolina and Georgia
  • most were from districts with large black populations - whites weren't putting them in office
  • some districts were drawn specifically to support minority groups

Brief Coexistence: 1880-1890

  • for a short while, blacks and whites were able to live together in relative peace
  • most proclaiming white superiority didn't see blacks as a threat

Race Relations in the New South

  • Separation
    • there's a tentative, but severely limited peace between blacks and whites
    • whites expected blacks to have menial jobs, worship and socialise separately
    • blacks couldn't demand anything, especially equal rights
    • even though emancipated, Southern labour supply still demanded large numbers of bodies
    • many slaves became indentured servants - contract had a finite end, but otherwise slavery all over again
    • sharecropping was a large problem - gave away up to 3/4 of their crops
    • could never work out of debt
    • if harvest was good, they earned good money; if not, no money
    • sharecropper had all the risk; landowner was guaranteed a profit
  • Populist Party
    • gave blacks leadership positions
    • sets up a battle between Populists and Redeemers - fear loss of votes and power
  • Jim Crow laws
    • Redeemers need a plan to keep power
    • can't truly disenfranchise blacks, due to the Constitution
    • develop voting rules such as taxes and literacy tests to weed out black voters
    • eliminate some of the poor whites, as well, but Redeemers felt it was worth it
    • Mississippi Plan
      • 7 other states also adapt it
      • 1890 state constitutional convention in Mississippi incorporated these rules
      • Residency Rule
        • all voters had to have lived within the state's borders for 2 years
        • former slaves never built up that kind of residency - were wanderers
        • all taxes had to have been paid, as well - and officials might "lose" receipts
    • South Carolina literacy requirement exempted those with more than $300 of property
    • Louisiana grandfather clause didn't allow the vote unless the voter's father or grandfather had voted in 1867, when blacks couldn't vote
    • poll taxes not banned until the 24th Amendment in 1964
    • protests occurred, and 7 cases made it to the Supreme Court
    • Court ruled that discrimination by corporations and individuals was illegal, but segregation by states was not prohibited
  • Separate but Equal
    • agenda for propagation of New South
    • segregation became common, in North and South, so long as all had "equal" facilities
    • separate happens, equal is rare
    • Plessy v Ferguson (1896)
      • Homer Plessy has 1/8 black ancestry, and was ordered to leave a whites-only railroad car; he refused, was arrested and convicted
      • Supreme Court validated his conviction
      • Southern states saw this as permission for further segregation laws on a wider scale
      • one Justice dissented, saying that this would promote a more aggressive attitude towards blacks
      • until Brown v Board in 1954, the nation would exist as two separate nations - one black, one white (in North and South)

Washington and Du Bois

  • Booker T. Washigton
    • former slave, he was educated at Hampton
    • responsible for the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama
    • encouraged blacks to stay on their own, focus more on daily survival than on public leadership
    • believed a strong economic base was more important than an uprising
    • "Atlanta Compromise" speech
      • accept segregation in the short term
      • focus on economic gain
      • later, they would achieve political equalty
  • WEB Du Bois
    • born after the Civil War
    • first African American to earn a Harvard PhD
    • one of Washington's harshest critics
    • firmly believed that Washington's passive plan would perpetuate second-rate citizenship
    • promoted immediate, ceaseless agitation as the only method to obtain equal rights
    • arrogant - wanted equal rights for the "talented tenth" immediately
    • editor of The Crisis - published his disdain for Washington
    • instrumental in creation of Niagara Movement, which evolved into the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured Peoples)
    • got fed up with the slow pace of the civil rights movement in the US, so he renounced his citizenship and moved to Ghana, where he died 2 years later

Migration Westward

  • prior to the Civil War, most English settlers and their descendants lived on the Atlantic Coast
  • the Pacific Coast will then be settled, and the middle will fill in later
  • the "Great West" is everything west of the Atlantic coast area; less optimistically, it's the "Great American Desert"
  • Western settlers find Indians, Asians, Mexicans (Southwest), and other groups
  • initially, trappers and miners were the main groups
  • Indians were pushed West and scattered (Sioux, Comanche, Apache, Navaho, and Shoshone)
  • 1862 - Homestead Act
    • further shaped Western landscape
    • farmers could claim up to 160 acres by living there for 5 years, after which the settler gets the land for free
    • in 6 months, the land could be pushed for $1.25/acre
    • drew many West - try to escape Civil War
    • push Indians off their lands, will lead to "Indian Wars"
  • Farming
    • Great Plains weren't suited to farming, more for cattle ranching
    • East coast methods didn't work, but new methods were later developed
    • many fortune-seekers were disappointed
  • Exodusters
    • Benjamin "Pap" Singleton led a large group of former slaves into Kansas
    • he was a self-proclaimed rescuer of blacks from the hardships of sharecropping
    • says Kansas can give a new life
    • but slaves there just faced new troubles
    • lacked resources, poor soil, etc.
    • many ended up hiring themselves out, again
    • exodus of blacks to the Great Plains begins to be hindered by Southern leaders, who worried about loss of workforce
    • by 1890, over 1/2 million former slaves had migrated west of the Mississippi
  • Mining
    • Western expansion was also fuelled by the prospect of making a fortune
    • all go West searching for one chance for riches
    • California's 49ers led to statehood and the Compromise of 1850
    • Colorado gold discovered in 1859
      • Pike's Peak along the South Platte River
      • 100,000 immigrants settled the area
      • applied for statehood 1876
      • more gold than in California, so it stayed active; gold strikes continued until the 1890s
    • Nevada
      • mountains were targeted by prospectors for potential precious metals
      • HTP Comstock was a fur trader who found gold and silver in the region: the Comstock Lode
    • tin, quartz, copper, lead, and zinc were also mined
      • consistently profitable over the long term
      • advancing technology created new uses for the metals
      • Montana and Arizona became valuable for copper
    • boom and bust - many people come, town lasts until mine runs out (ghost towns)
    • many individuals are eventually bought out by conglomerates
    • surge in the mining industry and the Western frontier affected the entire nation
      • Indian Wars
      • folklore - Harte, Twain
      • industry and farming
      • strengthens case for transcontinental railroad

Railroads

  • building influenced by mining boom
    • gold, silver, tin, etc. discoveries lead to a need for better transportation
    • many people want a transcontinental railroad
    • before the Civil War, most railroads were east of the Missouri R.
    • hope for tracks from "sea to shining sea"
  • challenge of how to complete the project
    • western part would cross the mountains
    • hundreds of miles of prairie also needed to be crossed
    • little water, threat of Indians
    • the process was thought to be too difficult for one company, so the federal government awarded charters to two groups in 1869
      • Union Pacific - Missouri to the Rockies
      • Central Pacific - Sacramento through the Sierra Nevada
  • Lincoln signed a federal assistance package for the railroad companies
    • they are paid per mile of track in acres of land and cash
    • companies compete for money and land, leading to shoddy workmanship and a need to go back and repair sections of track
  • diverse working populations
    • the Union Pacific hired many Irish immigrants and ex-soldiers
    • the Central Pacific hired many Chinese men
    • these Chinese came to make their fortune and then return to China; they didn't bring their families and usually had no interest in American culture
  • Promontory, Utah 10 May 1869
    • the two railroad lines were joined
    • vision of the now-dead Stephen Douglas is fulfilled
  • revolutionised many industries
    • takes people West
    • carries ore
    • agriculture
      • prior to the transcontinental railroad, cows were taken from the range to the market by cowboys on horseback; they were thin and worthless by the end of the journey
      • entrepreneurs make improvements (refrigeration, etc.) to allow cattle to be shipped to market by railroad
    • replaces Pony Express
    • allows easier transport of military

Native Americans

  • European immigrants try to "civilise" them
  • small societies - 100 to 500 people
    • no outsiders allowed in
    • very little inter-tribal marriage
    • strong tribal lines
    • warriors compete with other tribes
    • hurt themselves, with limited marriages and with warfare
    • they are disadvantaged against whites by their smaller numbers
  • in the early 19th century, the US government claimed most of North America as its own
    • initially, the Indians were allowed to remain
    • US wasn't sure how to classify them
    • they were treated both as independent nations and as wards of the states
    • required Senate-ratified treaties - but the treaties weren't enforced
  • as settlers moved West, they recognised that the Indians had land that could benefit them
  • so, the Indian tribes were given land, and then had it taken from them
  • in 1851, the US began a "concentration policy"
    • provides white settlers with more productive land
    • relocates Indians into smaller areas
    • the Sioux, for example, had been spread across the northern US, but were moved into the Black Hills of the Dakotas
    • Oklahoma became known as the "Indian Territory"
    • relocated hundreds of thousands of Indians under the guise of protecting them
  • in 1836, established the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
    • set up to help the Indians as part of relocation, etc.
    • put under the department of the Army - the same Army that is charged with protecting white settlers by preventing Indian attacks
    • most of the bureaucrats involved with the BIA were crooks - stole supplies among other corruption

Indian Resistance

  • constant warfare between settlers and Indians
  • Indians fought to protect their land and heritage from white encroachment
  • Indians had the same weapons, but lacked the numbers of the whites
  • as the Civil War ends, some soldiers had developed a taste for war, and they go West to continue fighting
  • the Buffalo Regiment was one such group; they were black Civil War veterans
  • Sherman (of March to the Sea fame), Sheridan, and Custer were some of the leaders
  • battles were brutal for both sides
  • Sand Creek Massacre (Colorado)
    • miners had overtaken an area and pushed the local Indians into a desolate spot
    • about 400 Indians confidently believed that they were going to be protected
    • the military went in and killed every single one - men, women, children
  • Little Bighorn, Montana Territory, 25 June 1877
    • the Sioux tribe, led by Chief Sitting Bull, had been living in the Black Hills in peace until an 1875 discovery of gold
    • Custer was called to move the Indians out of the area
    • during the Sioux War (1876-1877) the Sioux pushed back
    • Custer came across a settlement of 7000 Indians, but attacked even though he was outnumbered - he thought he had the element of surprise
    • he divided his troops and encircled the camp, but before he attacked, he was surrounded by Chief Crazy Horse and his 264 men were massacred
    • Sitting Bull led his tribe to Canada, where they took up peaceful residence
  • Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce
    • they lived in the Pacific northwest - Oregon and Idaho
    • they had given up a lot of land to maintain peace
    • but the government continued to want more, and their last attempt sparked conflict
    • Chief Joseph has a reputation as a humane and noble leader; doesn't want the war to continue
    • he embarked on a 75-day march to Canada, but was overcome 30 miles from the border
    • the US government promised to return them to Idaho, but sent them to Kansas instead
    • the Kansas became infected with malaria (not necessarily on purpose), and 1/3 of the Nez Perce died; what was left would eventually be allowed to return to Oregon, via Oklahoma
  • Jack Wilson and the Ghost Dance
    • "Jack Wilson" was an Indian leader who had a dream stating that the Supreme Being was going to rescue them
    • this rescue could be hastened by the performance of a ghost dance
    • however, it scared settlers badly, and they asked the federal government to ban the dance
    • the government didn't ban it, but kept a close eye on the proceedings
    • in 1890, the army stepped in to control the crowd, and while arresting a chief, he was killed
    • on 29 Dec 1890, "accidental" gunfire at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, caused both sides to believe a war had begun
    • this resulted in a bloodbath, with 200 Indians and many US forces killed
  • after Wounded Knee, most tribes tried to be integrated, not fight; they kept feelings of resentment, however

Effects of Indian Wars

  • A Century of Dishonor - Helen Hunt Jackson
    • a copy was given to every member of Congress
    • details harsh and unfair treatment of Indians by the government
    • sought to improve Indian conditions and help them assimilate into US culture
    • wanted specific Indian reservations that could not be changed
  • after Wounded Knee
    • troops were consolidate into government reservations
    • thought feeding them was cheaper than fighting them
    • after construction of the reservations, the government played a very limited role
  • Cost
    • the cost of the wars was great, both in money and in lives
    • natural resources were also lost, such as the buffalo
    • buffalo destruction was encouraged, to weaken Indian resistance; this resulted in a massive reduction of the buffalo population
  • the Indians tended to interact only with other Indians, but the eventually had to communicate with traders, teachers, etc.; these outsiders often brought disease
  • Allotment / Dawes Severalty Act (1887)
    • Massachusetts Congressman, Dawes Severalty
    • the government could divide tribal lands and give land to family heads and other tribe members for free
    • after 25 years, the Indians would receive outright ownership of the land and US citizenship
    • another way to take reservation lands; break it up so that it's easier for outside traders to connive it away from the Indians
    • also, broke up the uniformity of the tribes

Cattle, Cowboys, and Beef Barons

  • by the end of the Civil War, about 5 million longhorn cattle roamed wild in Texas
    • these were tough, rangy animals, with an 8-foot horn span
    • initially, they were hunted for hides
    • with the railroad, it became possible to transport them to Eastern markets, where there's a taste for beef
    • this gave rise to the "long drive", in which cattle were driven to railroad stations over trails (for example, the Chisholm Trail)
  • Cowboys
    • usually in their 20s
    • diverse backgrounds - Civil War vets, immigrants, freed slaves
    • contrary to Hollywood, they led a tough life - low pay, hard work, subject to the elements, bad diet
    • in Texas, Spanish terms begin to be incorporated into the language via Mexican cowboys
  • Range Wars
    • as more people came West, issues of land ownership and fencing arose
    • farmers, sheepherders, and ranchers all wanted to use the land
    • sheepherders were particularly hated, as sheep ripped out the grass by the roots
    • farmers wanted to build fences to stop animals from ranging into their crops; ranchers wanted an open range to drive their cows to market
    • there's little water, so they also fight over that
  • 1866-1888: 4 million head of longhorn cattle are driven North
    • cattle towns (Dodge City, Cheyenne) are created
    • stop-over towns for cowboys to rest and party
    • wild and lawless; new professions will be created to keep the peace
  • 1869: GH Hammond, Chicago meat-packer, shipped Chicago beef to Boston in an air-cooled car
    • this creates a new era in food: products can be raised in the areas best suited to their growth, and shipped across the nation
    • Swift will develop a true refrigerated car
    • cattle were slaughtered and shipped East with optimum conditions
    • Swift and Armour develop the meat-packing industry, almost like a factory
      • employ thousands, new businesses built
      • creates a whole new economy
    • brings a quiet end to the long drive and the era of cowboys
    • the open range ends, as it's no longer needed
    • ranchers now raise cattle on fenced-in ranches
    • homesteaders, sheepherders replace the long drive, and the area of open range becomes smaller
  • the railroad will branch out from the main trans-continental line into Texas and Oklahoma, so ranchers can bring cattle to local stations
  • development of different breeds of cattle - can breed on a controlled ranch
  • cattle ranching becomes a regular business, and Eastern investors will put money into it
    • commercialises quickly
  • becomes politicised quickly, as well
    • herders, ranchers, sheepherders organise into groups to gain political leverage with respect to the railroads
    • for example, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association
    • seek favourable legislation
  • the battle between farmers and ranchers becomes a battle between commercial industry, railroads, and the market
  • as the West grows rapidly, it begins to fall in line with the rest of the nation and be called "civilised"

Farming in the Plains

  • the Homestead Act of 1862 gave people a chance to start anew
    • 1865: 20,000 farmers have used the Act
    • 1905: 500,000 farmers have made use of it
  • Weather
    • plains farmer was constantly fighting nature
    • wind, hail could destroy crops instantly
    • moisture, etc. varied widely
    • prairie fires were common
    • might not get a crop every year - needed to be prepared to survive without income
  • Land
    • much of the land wasn't suited for farming - better for grazing, etc.
    • some unscrupulous companies use "dummy" homesteaders to get land
    • much of the land quickly passes from the original homesteader to large corporations
    • the federal policy of free land will last until 1934, but the land available at that time will be much less
  • Prairie Sod
    • originally, the plains were covered with thick, water-conserving grass, with some roots 10 feet in depth
    • the sod resisted being broken for crops until the steel plough - farmers become known as "sodbusters"
    • burn corn cobs and "buffalo chips" for cooking and heating
    • make fences with barbed wire to keep grazing animals out
    • sometimes use limestone as fence posts, as wood was very scarce
  • 1880-1890 Drought
    • this drought in Kansas, Eastern Colorado, and Montana drove almost all of the farmers out of the area
    • those who stayed developed "dry-farming" techniques
    • they used a "lifter" for ploughing, which resulted in a layer of fine dust over the surface of the ground
    • this would eventually lead to the "Dust Bowl", another drought in the 1930s, in the midst of the Great Depression
  • Mennonites
    • the railroad, wanted to benefit from single cash crops, sent people to Europe to promote the West
    • the Mennonites came from the Russian steppes, and brought valuable knowledge and experience
    • they also brought the Red Turkey strain of winter wheat, which was ideal for the Great Plains region
  • Equality for Women
    • farming meant that women were working the same land and doing the same labour as men, and men came to see that women could work as well as they could
    • this increased respect meant that women often received the right to vote (in local elections) in Western states first

Far West: Culture of California

* Spain, historically, developed most of California; less American influence
* in the earliest stages, following Mexican independence, California was similar to the plantation culture of the South
* has Spanish culture, social structure, and religion - differences from South
* but, large estates were run by a single individual, and had Indian slaves - like in the South
* with the discovery of gold, some 100,000 people came to California
* by 1870, much of the original Hispanic culture had disappeared
* but, Spanish is still spoken in parts of the Southwest, and city names, traditions, and mission-style architecture remain
* during settlement days, San Francisco began to take root

Growth of the West

* Transcontinental railroad
* brought settlers, manufacturing West
* shipped products East
* artery for development
* Liberal land policy
* government persuaded people to move West and settle
* remarkable population growth from the 1870s-1880s
* foreign-born immigrants are more than 1/2 of the population; the West is much more diverse than the rest of the nation
* San Francisco becomes the urban heart of California and the economic hub of the entire Pacific coast
* extremely diverse: Hispanic, Anglo, Asian population totalling 1/4 of a million people
* by 1900, 14 new states had been formed from the Western territories (Utah was delayed until 1896 because of polygamy issues)
* 1889: government opened for settlement lands in Oklahoma
* had given Oklahoma to the Indians, now they take it back
* occupied by Creeks and Seminoles
* fired a pistol to start the race into the state: 50,000 "Boomers" settled 2 million acres
* 60,000 by end of year, became a territory; state in 1907
* "Sooners" had entered the territory before the official starting time; army used to kick some of them out
* after a brief pioneering phase, the West developed rapidly
* build boom towns
* entrepreneurs arrive, build communities and provide common commodities
* it had been predicted that settling the West would take centuries, but it only took decades

End of the Frontier

  • the 1890 Census announced the end of the frontier
    • there was no longer a distinctive line in the West marking the end of civilisation
    • there were no longer large tracts of land unbroken for settlemtn
  • psychological impact
    • for the first time in the history of the nation, there was no frontier
    • there had always been somewhere else to go and conquer
    • takes away the pioneer part of the American identity
    • there had always been an escape mechanism; now, people can't escape into the wilderness to create a new identity
    • people thought they'd lost some power to shape their lives
  • Safety Valve Theory
    • high unemployment in the East would cause people to flood West, lowering unemployment
    • whereas, in Europe, a bad economy would result in rioting
    • however, few city dwellers actually went West; most toughed it out at home
    • Easter farmers could move to new farms in the West, on occasion
    • young people also went West seeking the "American Dream" - complete freedom and a natural way of life
  • Frederick Jackson Turner: //The Significance of the Frontier in American History" (1893)
    • to really understand America, one needs to understand the frontier
    • the frontier had determined the direction of the nation
    • the frontier's isolation fostered self-reliance
    • created a civilisation of vigour, ambition, and democracy
    • talks about the expansion of several "Wests": Appalachians, Mississippi River, Great Plains, Far West, etc.
    • critics point out that the addresses the psychological state of only the mainstream
      • doesn't account for others, such as non-English speakers - his theory would be viewed in a different light by women, blacks, immigrants, etc.
    • because of his work and impact, efforts would be made to preserve virgin land in the West (national parks)
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