AP US: Women, Minorities, and Labour

The American Revolution

Women

  • rights won't be addressed until the mid-19th century, right to vote in 1919
  • had vote in New Jersey after Revolution, but that was repealed early in the 19th century
  • wondered if rights would be addressed, and tried to acquire better rights in the aftermath of the Revolution
  • Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams
    • wrote her concerns to her husband - she wanted him to remember the ladies, and not put unlimited power in the hands of men, while making a new code of laws
  • men like Franklin support education for women
  • situation was not any better after Revolution, even though they maintained the colonial economy, ran farms and businesses, and performed many other important tasks during the Revolution; essentially made the backbone of the everyday work during the fighting
  • also, they provided supplies, nurses, and some disguised themselves to fight as soldiers
  • Mercy Otis Warren - wrote to express patriot views; propagandist
  • some supplied armies with food, clothes, musket balls, etc.
  • Mary McCauley took the place of her husband in a gun crew, she's been nicknamed "Molly Pitcher"
  • Margaret Corbin - commanded a gun crew in the defence of Fort Washington in 1776; she is buried at West Point with a monument in her honour

Blacks

  • in first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson blamed George III for slavery in the colonies as part of the list of grievances; however, that clause was removed by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and others
  • Dr. Samuel Johnson, British author during the American Revolution: "how is it that the loudest yelps for liberty came from the drivers of slaves?"
  • ironic - slaves fought on both sides of the conflict for the same reason - their own liberty
    • promised freedom if British were victorious
    • some had been in Northern militias before the war, some were veterans of the French and Indian War
    • at outbreak of hostilities, due to pressure from Southern colonies, the Continental Congress prohibited them from serving in the Continental Army
    • 5500 Blacks eventually fought on the American side, free or not
      • usually segregated from white troops
      • many were returned to slavery at the end of the war - they were only allowed to be "patriots" in name
      • many fought just as bravely, if not more, than the whites
      • usually given the worst positions and jobs but they fought none the less
      • Discrimination and racism continued to shape their war efforts and roles until the 20th century

Growth of Industry

Women

  • the growth of factories allows women to take jobs outside the house
  • inventions such as the sewing machine create jobs for many women
  • they work in factories, with terrible conditions, low pay, etc.

The Jacksonian Era

Trade Unions

  • first begin to develop during this era, but for every gain, they lose something
  • every time they try for progress, other events, such as depression, will cause setbacks
  • for example, they started to gain rights, but then the economy crashed in 1837

The Second Great Awakening

Blacks

  • Blacks held their own, segregated, revivals
  • these went along the same lines as the white ones, if anything, with more enthusiasm
  • these helped to foster unity in the pre-Civil War era

Women

  • these revivals gave them something to do outside of the house
  • than can do other things than cook, raise children, etc.
  • they become more concerned about the spiritual health of their communities
  • leads them to become social reformers

The Age of Reform

Women and Education

  • Catharine Beecher Stowe encouraged women to teach, and by 1850 most elementary teachers were women
  • Emma Willer, in 1821, founded the first female seminary, Troy Female Seminary, in New York
  • Oberlin College, in Ohio, was the first institution of higher learning to admit blacks and women, in 1837
  • opportunities for women's education expanded, but they weren't encouraged to pursue learning

Women's Rights

  • many women played a role in the spirit of reform of the era, especially in temperance and abolition
  • this era began the quest for equality between the sexes; however, this won't happen until decades later
  • following the Revolutionary War, women were encouraged to become models of "Republican Motherhood"
  • the emerging market economy in the early 19th century widened the gap between the home and the workplace
    • a distinction of labour emerges between men and women, and each come to possess their own "spheres"
    • women embrace this role
  • Treaties on Domestic Equality by Catharine Beecher in 1841 was a best-seller that instructed wives and mothers on their household duties
  • during the Age of Reform, there were many legal limits on women
    • women were prohibited from voting, holding public office
    • they could not create wills, file law suits, or sign contracts without their husband's permission
    • most professions were closed to women, except for teaching and writing
    • legal status was like that of a child, or even a slave
  • Margaret Fuller was the editor of The Dial, a 19th-century Transcendentalist magazine; she wrote that women were beginning to review their lives and see what they lacked
  • some female Abolitionists turn against "domestic slavery"
    • in 1838, Angelina Grimk√© married a Western abolitionist but chose to keep her maiden name
    • Lucretia Mott and Elisabeth Stanton
      • were denied full participation in London's World Anti-Slavery Convention
      • July 1848, Seneca Falls, New York
        • 300 delegates adopted the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolution
        • this was the first women's rights convention in the US
        • the document had the same structure as the Declaration of Independence - listed grievances and called for a redress of these grievances
        • they demanded the right to vote for women
        • 34 men signed as well, but some would later request that their names be removed
        • these women were referred to as the "Amazons", and received public scorn
        • they launched the women's rights campaign in America
  • in 1850, Susan B. Anthony took a leading role in the drive for equality and the vote
  • some states slowly give rights
    • Mississippi was the first state to grant some property rights to married women
    • in 1849, Blackwell became the first female to graduate from a medical college
  • this was a movement before its time; it needed other reforms first, such as the abolition of slavery

Abolition

  • slavery had existed in all the original 13 colonies
  • by the mid-18th century, people begin to speak out against slavery
    • Quakers would be the first group to do so publicly
    • this outcries were bolstered by Enlightenment ideals
    • by the first decade of the 19th century, all states that will be free at the time of the Civil War are on the road to abolition
    • in 1808, Congress forbade the foreign slave trade
    • slavery was dying out, but the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 made cotton much more lucrative
      • slavery becomes an institution to control the black population
      • it's a "necessary evil", as freeing millions would ruin the economy
  • some Northerners have economic ties to the south, and workers worry about job competition
    • many will talk about abolition, but will restrict the political liberties of blacks
  • American Colonisation Society
    • founded by powerful men, many of them were from the south
    • Judge Bushrod Washington presides
    • Henry Clay, a slaveholder, praised the attempt to rid the country of a useless and dangerous part of society
    • their idea was to move all blacks to Liberia, Africa
    • this was frowned upon by many free black Americans, who viewed America as their home and didn't see any chance for success in Liberia
    • some advocated separate black communities in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean
  • in 1827, in New York, the first abolitionist newspaper was started
  • David Walker, a free black, moved from North Carolina to Boston
    • in 1829 he published Walker's Appeal
    • he rejected colonisation
    • warned whites of destruction if blacks had to fight for their freedom
    • he called for a slave rebellion
    • states begin to outlaw black education and stop Northern pamphlets from circulating in the South
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion, August 1831
    • leads 2 dozen on a bloody rampage in Virginia
    • more than 30 whites were killed
    • the Southerners blamed this on Northern abolitionists
    • the South now defends slavery as a positive good, as it prevents violent rebellions
  • the conflict over the abolishment of slavery is now set in stone
    • all issues begin to revolve around the issue of slavery
    • the possibility of war isn't acknowledged yet
  • William Lloyd Garrison, prominent Abolitionist writer
    • initially, he calls fro a gradual, compensated emancipation, realising that the system won't change overnight
    • his attitude shifts quickly, and he begins to advocate extreme abolition
    • publishes The Liberator
      • demands immediate, uncompensated abolition and equal rights for all black Americans
      • blames the Constitution for permitting slavery
      • calls on the Northern states to secede if slavery isn't abolished by the "wicked" Southerners
      • he is the first so suggest secession
  • the Abolitionist movement is not supported by all in the North
    • most feel fine about freeing the slaves
    • however, equality would create competition for jobs
    • abolition is considered to be a radical movement
  • Lucretia Mott
    • founded the Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1733 in Philadelphia
    • this groups holds a convention, with speakers, etc. in New England
  • Grimk√© sisters
    • were Southerners who left the south and converted to Quakerism
    • they were strong advocates of women's rights and abolition
  • escaped slaves were especially good speakers
    • Brown, from Kentucky, among others
    • Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
      • he taught himself to read and write, went to Maryland
      • founded the North Star, an abolitionist paper
      • called for racial equality
  • a small minority overall
    • physical threats were made to abolitionists
    • Garrison, in 1835, was paraded around Boston with a rope around his neck by a "well-dressed" mob
    • in Illinois, just across the Mississippi from Missouri, Lovejoy, a preacher and abolitionist writer was murdered
  • in 1836, the House passed the "Gag Rule", which automatically tabled (removed from discussion) any anti-slavery petition
    • JQ Adams, when he left the presidency, returned to serve in the House as a representative from Massachusetts; he fought the Gag Rule, and it was repealed in 1844
  • in 1840, abolitionist leaders formed a political party, the Liberty Party
    • they nominated Birney, a former Kentucky slaveowner, for President, and he received 7000 popular votes
    • in 1844, Birney would receive 62,000 votes, losing the elction for the Whigs and leading to the election of Polk
  • this will proved to be the most powerful Reform Era movement, as it forever changes the history of the US

The Civil War

Women

  • women played an extensive, active role in the Civil War
  • they ran factories and plantations to release men for active duty
  • nurses helped on both sides, led by Clara Barton
  • they also helped with welfare services for soldiers and widows

Reconstruction

Blacks

  • Amendments
    • 13th: abolition of slavery
    • 14th: citizenship; right to vote
    • 15th: right to vote, again
  • millions of blacks were now freed, and faced challenges of how to live independently
  • many ended up back in "slavery", as sharecroppers on the "crop lien" system
    • rented land at the price of 1/4-1/2 of their crop
    • rented tools at 60% interest
  • Freedman's Bureau
    • created by the Radical Republican section of Congress to aid freed blacks
    • built schools, trained teachers, etc.
  • Jim Crow laws / Black codes
    • created to limit the vote
    • laws such as poll taxes, literary tests, requirements that grandfather could vote eliminate black votes
    • the white Southerners sought to keep their power, against the rising Populist Party
  • KKK begins to attack blacks
  • NAACP is formed to protect black rights
  • the "Redeemers" or "Bourbons" took over after the North gave up on Reconstruction
  • federal enforcement of the various Amendments and civil rights legislation will fail - had attempted military Reconstruction
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875 held that full and equal use of public facilities must be maintained
  • South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida had the most politically active black populations

Development post-Reconstruction

Blacks

  • philanthropists such as Slater and Peabody contributed to education in the South
  • blacks begin to be seen in Congress
  • for a brief period, blacks and whites lived in relative peace, but as two separate parts of the nation
  • Plessy v Ferguson established the doctrine of "separate but equal", and segregation will become legally enforced in many parts of both the North and the South
  • Booker T. Washington argued that blacks should first seek economic independence, and not agitate for political rights, in his "Atlanta Compromise" speech
  • WEB Du Bois argued that blacks should ceaselessly agitate for full political equality
  • the "Exodusters" were a group of former slaves that went West to Kansas, led by Benjamin "Pap" Singleton; most of them ended up as sharecroppers

Women

  • farming in the West was a long-term boon for women
  • women worked side-by-side with men
  • gained confidence in themselves and their ability to survive
  • men also saw their ability to survive equally
  • overall, political progress for women was greatest in the West - they could own property, run businesses, vote in state elections, hold political offices in the West before anywhere else
  • played an important role in developing the West

Gilded Age

Labour

  • Commonwealth v Hunt (1842)
    • the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that unions and strikes were not illegal
    • a first step, but not universal
    • companies don't necessarily agree
    • but at least there's some recognition of labour
  • National Labour Union (1866)
    • first national labour organisation
    • delegates from labour and reform
    • 8-hour work day, arbitration of industrial disputes
    • wanted printed paper money to relieve debtors
    • lasted about 6 years, with 600,000 members
    • included skilled, unskilled labour; farmers, some women, a few blacks; excluded Chinese
    • 1870s depression and death of their leader ended the union
    • did persuade Congress to adopt an 8-hour work day for federal employees
    • many of these ideas will be adopted at the federal level, then trickle down
    • got Congress to repeal the Contract Labour Law towards the end of the Civil War (the law had encouraged importation of labour, because immigrants work for less)
  • Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labour (1869)
    • founded by Uriah Stephens in Philadelphia
    • initially, for garment workers
    • Stephens created a secret organisation with elaborate rituals, secret handshakes, etc. to deter discovery by business leaders
    • Terence Powderly succeeded Stephens; he discarded the rituals and membership increased dramatically
    • welcome skilled and unskilled workers
      • blacks were accepted, but segregated
      • women
      • immigrants, but not Chinese
    • wanted 8-hour day, greenbacks, safety/health codes
    • worked with farmers to create co-ops
    • ahead of their time, in that they supported equal pay for men and women (an issue still discussed today)
    • encouraged the idea that if they worked together, individuals in the union could make it up the corporate ladder
    • staged a successful strike of the Wabash Railroad in 1885
      • wages had been cut
      • the Knights striked, and forced the railroad to restore the lost wages (couldn't get an increase)
      • victory increased membership to a peak of about 700,000
    • would later decline in membership and power
    • Haymarket Square Riot (4 May 1886)
      • new immigrants were beginning to be considered as anarchists, and real anarchists were creating turbulence
      • in Chicago, there was a strike over an 8-hour workday near the McCormick Harvesting Machine plant
      • in a conflict with the police, someone threw a bomb and gunfire ensued; several were killed
      • panic in the city; many arrests
      • one of the anarchists who was arrested had a Knights of Labour membership card
        • no direct link to the event other than the card, but unions became associated with anarchy
    • the union dissolved in 1893
  • American Federation of Labour (1886)
    • alliance that unified the various self-governing local unions
    • only allowed skilled labour
    • wanted employee liability laws, safety, favourable trade agreements, increased wages, 8-hour day
    • supported closed shops, where only union workers can be hired; new workers must join union, pay dues, etc.
    • focussed on a select number of basic goals, called a "bread-and-butter" union
    • grew from 500,000 in 1900 to 4 million in 1920
    • more successes meant that more people joined the union
  • a long, hard fight, was needed - economic downturns were blamed on unions
  • Major Strikes
    • from 1881-1900 there were about 23,000 strikes
      • about a half were useless; some made small gains
      • not very effective
      • some are bloody - sometimes use federal troops or local militias to break up the strike
    • "Molly Maguires"
      • early 1870s, coal region of Pennsylvania
      • mines were dangerous - poor ventilation, cave-ins, etc.
      • miners are frustrated, owners don't care
      • formed a union, and members became known as "Molly Maguires"
      • they eventually resorted to violence - intimidation, arson, killing
      • 1874-1875: Pinkerton Detective Agency is hired to stop the struggles
        • gained enough evidence of criminal activities to indict the leaders
        • about 20 go to trial, some are hanged
    • Great Railroad Strike (1877)
      • first nation-wide strike
      • railroad workers received a 10% pay cut, and walked off the job in protest
      • blockaded freight trains in Baltimore and West Virginia
      • rioting and sympathy walkouts occured
      • 100,000 workers total ended up on strike
      • Rutherford B. Hayes sent federal troops to restore order and force trains to resume working, ending the strikes
      • no gains were made, and the union lost its focus
    • Homestead Strike
      • this was Carnegie's plant, run with his partner, Frick
      • Carnegie made a big deal about not taking people's jobs, etc.
      • so, he went on vacation to let Frick break up the union in order to cut costs
      • the Amalgamated Associated of Iron and Steel Workers was locked out by Frick, who hired 300 Pinkertons to keep order
      • many ended up dead or wounded in ensuing conflict
      • the union eventually collapsed, the Homestead would remain deunionised until 1937
    • Pullman Strike (1894)
      • took place in Illinois
      • cut wages 25-40% because of depression, but failed to cut prices in housing
      • the American Railway Union was founded by Eugene V. Debs (Socialist)
      • tried to negotiate, but was unsuccessful
      • they went on strike, shutting down most of the railroad in the midwest
      • an injunction is issued against the strikers
      • Cleveland sent federal troops in to break up the strike, on the reasoning that the strike was hindering the delivery of the US mail; this gave him a Constitution grounds for the use of federal troops
      • violence followed, and Debs was arrested
      • movement collapsed when Debs was jailed

Progressivism

Women

  • in the 19th century, most women were expected to stay at home
  • 1908: Muller v Oregon
    • Florence Kelly of the National Consumers League persuaded Louis Brandeis (later on the Supreme Court) to participate in the case
    • Muller was challenging the state's right to limit women to 10-hour workdays
    • Brandeis argued that it was Constitutional, to protect women's weaker bodies
    • Supreme Court agreed, and Muller was fined $10
  • American Women's Suffrage Association and the National Women's Suffrage Association joined in 1890 to create the National American Women's Suffrage Association
    • looking to gain support, they changed their focus from the national level to working state-by-state
    • want the right to vote for women
    • Wyoming was the first state to grant the vote; Utah, Colorado, Idaho followed
  • women from across the country paraded down Pennsylvania Ave.
    • wanted support for national suffrage
    • created a riot - troops had to be called in to restore order
    • Wilson didn't support them at all
  • 19th Amendment (1920)
    • in 1919, Congress approved the resolution to propose the 19th Amendment
    • it was ratified in time for women to vote in the election of 1920

Blacks

  • Booker T. Washington's "Atlanta Compromise" - economic independence before political power
  • WEB Du Bois's "Niagara Movement" - immediate political action
  • 1896 Plessy v Ferguson - separate but equal
  • Jim Crow laws
  • not an easy period; push to create federal anti-lynching law
  • 1892 - Ida B. Wells (black journalist) organised a protest against lynching, in Memphis
    • there were threats on her life, and she had to move North; she did continue to speak, however
  • 1910 - NAACP

Labour

  • Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Strike
    • President Theodore Roosevelt stepped in to moderate a labour-management dispute in favour of the workers

Post-WWI Life

Women

  • 1918 - Wilson asked Congress to approve a Constitutional amendment to allow the woman vote; it fell two votes short in the Senate
  • the National Suffrage Association
    • Cary Chatman Catt
    • June 1919 - brought the amendment to Congress again, and it passed
    • the 19th Amendment was ratified by the states Aug 1920
  • League of Women Voters
    • grew out of National Suffrage Association
    • today, one of the most influential groups in voting issues
  • more opportunities to work out of the home
    • World War I created jobs
    • restricted to clerical, secretarial, service, and teachings jobs
    • lower wages - 1962 push for equal wages, and there's still a difference today
    • 1920: 8 million working out of the home; 1930: 10 million
  • the "new woman" of the 1920s
    • personified by the "Gibson Girl" - athletic (croquet), new styles of dress
    • this was especially prominent in urban areas
    • referred to as "flappers" - thought to have complete disregard for the traditional morality of women
    • rise in divorce rates influence by relaxation of divorce laws
    • new sense of independence for women
    • moves through and into the Depression, but was weakened by the Depression and World War II

Blacks

  • artistic, political, literature achievements due in a large part to the massive migration to the North, beginning around 1915
    • labour shortages due to war meant that many blacks moved North
    • the number of blacks in New York City doubled from 1920-30
    • living in the North, they were able to speak and act freely
    • see a change in political/cultural influence
  • Jazz music
    • black musicians arose, especially in New Orleans
    • began to get widespread popularity (from blacks and whites)
    • roots in post-Reconstruction traditions
    • blend spirituals, ragtime, etc.
    • Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Joseph Oliver ("father of Jazz")
    • New York clubs - ex. 1927 "Cotton Club"
    • forerunner of big band era
  • Harlem Renaissance
    • Marcus Garvey
      • came from Jamaica to New York City
      • influential political leader, promoted black expansion and racial pride
      • wanted to end imperialism in Africa
      • United Negro Improvement Association
        • "Back-to-Africa" movement - helped blacks return to Africa
        • sponsored black businesses
        • forefront of the African-American movement
        • initially suggested that blacks patronise black businesses - keep money in the community
      • most of his endeavours were financially unsuccessful
      • he was eventually audited for fraud and imprisoned
      • in 1927, Coolidge pardoned him and had him deported to Jamaica
    • Writers
      • Claude McKay - poet, Harlem Shadows 1922
      • Langston Hughes - poet, Weary Blues 1926
      • Zora Neale Hurston
      • influenced by many young writers
        • disillusioned by the optimism before the war, the reality of the war, fundamentalists, KKK
        • many left the country, they were so disillusioned
      • Gertrude Stein
        • one of the first to popularise a modernistic writing style
        • named a new generation of writers - the "Lost Generation" (those who served in the war)
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