We will be reviewing important EVENTS, DATES, PEOPLE, etc. in preparation for our Midterm on Saturday. Look at the chronologies in Out of Many for all of the chapters we have read up to this point before class this evening.

See you later!

and we will follow a number of important links beween these two eras as we begin with Theodore Roosevelt and end with his fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

For our class of tomorrow, June 12, recall the political, economic, and social problems and issues that arose out of the transformations we examined last week: incorporation, industrialization, and urbanization.

  • displacement of artisans and skilled workers
  • grueling, dangerous working conditions
  • labor resistance & strikes
  • concentration of wealth and political power
  • corruption at all levels of government
  • slums, disease, inadequate or poor city services

We will also discuss immigration, one of the most significant topics in U.S. history, focusing on the “New Immigration” (1880 – 1920), the various reasons why people migrated to the United States, patterns of settlement and adjustment to American life, and the response of native-born Americans (nativism, anti-immigrant organizations, and federal immigration laws).

As you are reading Chapter 21 in Out of Many, pay close attention to:

  • The people: Who are the “Progressives?” Who are some of the leading figures?
  • What issues and problems are Progressives concerned about?
  • What are their influences and methods?

See especially p. 565 and the chart titled, “Currents of Progressivism.”

In reading Chapter 22 about World War I, note how U.S. involvement and mobilization for the war drew upon Progressive ideas about the role of the federal government in organizing and regulating industrial production. The authors also point out that Woodrow Wilson believed that the U.S. “must actively use its enormous moral and material power to create the new order” of the postwar world (Out of Many, p. 592), reflecting Progressive ideals about U.S. democracy and civilization. How did the war impact America and Americans?

Web Assignment #1 

After reading selections from the interviews of James Reeves and Frank Wise I was surprised that it wasn't what they said that was the most significant part of the interview but how it was said and what was not said. For instance, it was clear that the family unit held importance to them. Mr. Reeves and Wise recounted the names and kin of their immediate families. It is noteworthy that the whereabouts of many family members were unknown. The slaves led lives where family members simply vanished without a trace and that was that. It is hard to imagine living like that. The people and land were entwined as the former slaves knew whose plantation their family and relatives lived on and how it affected the family. As significant the family was to these two men, they did not voice any emotion in regards to how angry it made them when the white men would beat up and kill family members like their mothers and grandmothers. This strikes me as peculiar as I would expect to hear a passionate verse or two expressing hatred towards those that wronged their family. I question how they have been conditioned to regard one another as property rather than people. It was a hard time and it was clear that the family unit suffered from slavery.

Aside from the brief summary each gave on their family background, the bulk of the interview was spent discussing the way of life for these men as slaves and as newly freedmen. The Ku Klux Klan were very prominent threat to these men and their families. They would terrorize them at night, keeping them away from voting and keeping their working conditions poor.

The widespread lawlessness of the West was clear. The brutal whippings and beatings of the slaves was commonplace. Reeves grandmother had lost her eyesight to particularly gruesome treatment. His mother's wounds stayed with her to the grave which again speaks of the ruthless treatment of women. Noted by Reeves, "She never did like to tell the details. But the scars were awful." It is understandable that the slaves, disrespected time and time again by whites, were never forthcoming with tales of violence. It was a way of life. However, this code of "don't ask don't tell" is instrumental in studying the history of the slaves for it is nearly impossible to know exactly what went on. People might have only been able to handle what they were going through and did not want to hear the troubles of others. This is a possibility of why the big picture of slavery could be less than wholly accurate and reliable.

To gauge what these men placed importance upon in their lives, the interviewer could have just asked "Tell me about your life" or some broad prompt. Instead, the interviewer went by a checklist-like barrage of statements which the men then responded to. I thought this could take the time away from what they would have wanted to talk more about – like how they felt about these atrocities their families had suffered.

Power and participation is prevalent in the lives of these men. The whites are in, what they believe, a constant power struggle. This leads to the patrollers, voting laws, violence, and anti-black organizations. They feel that the blacks are taking what is not rightfully theirs — such as land, education, money, respect, and most importantly, power in government.

Web Assignment #4 Race, Markets, and Imperialism

In the Cleveland Gazette, the tone is shameful, angry, and horrified by the atrocities of the US overseas. This anti-war stance is clear as the native "liberty-loving" Philippines are described as being "hunted and slaughtered" by US soldiers("Slaughter in the Philippines," p. 1). And compared to the Dallas Morning News' take on the situation, almost justifying the actions of the soldiers, "[America] must do it's duty and use its great power in the interest of humanity and civilization. ("America as a Pacific Power," p. 4) This manifests what we learned about earlier this week about the white man's burden to culture the uncivilized peoples. In these articles, it is evident that just like today, people's realities are vastly different from one another. Some think that things are going great, others think everything is falling apart and needs change. Realities differ between people, so do historical sources. What I take away from this is that to wholly know an event in history, you have to dig for all the different perspectives on the who, what, where and why and then formulate your own ideas.

From 1863 to 1900, the economy shifted from primarily farming into a more widespread industrial one. Work was that of logging, mining, fur trading — all marketing the great natural resources of the West. The settlers drove the Indians away from their land and means of survival. They disregarded the native Americans as equals but as brute savages — unworthy of fair trials, basic civil rights and freedoms. Women, blacks and even some immigrants were not granted the power to vote. Although blacks won power when freed from slavery, they were infinitely far from being seen as equals to white men. But relative to the centuries of slavery, the African Americans gained power at this time. This is very significant because it pushes civil rights of immigrants, native Americans, women and suppressed people worldwide closer to equality.

I have thought about the above historical evidence, and I have come to the following conclusions. Primary sources, in particular works of art, offer infinite perspectives into history. In addition, the context in which the art was created tells even more about that moment in time. Especially at the time before the turn of the 20th century before television and radio, these pieces of art had a huge impact if published in newspapers and magazines. An entire nation could be easily swayed, angered or impassioned by the portrayal of the West or of war in one single drawing. It is almost scary to think about how much power and impact these artists had on the nation, as did the editors and journalists of this time as well.

Web Assignment #3 Illustrated Lecture

Stereopticon are two lanterns that would be lit close to one another so that together they would produce one image. I think this poster is supposed to show us that the people did not get the entire story of imperialism- just what was presented to them, like at a town hall presentation on the stereopticon. I bet that the presentation told stories of great heroism in battle against a evil, savage people to gain support for the war.

Web Assignment # 2

Visions of the West
1. The most prominent theme I take away from Emanuel Leutze's painting is one of the American dream, or ideal. This meant, especially to Americans during Westward expansion, equal opportunity for land to raise a family (women and children are pictured), to build a home, produce goods (the land looks fertile), cultivate the land — to essentially practice the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that America was founded on just a century before Leutze's painting. The most striking images that lead me to this conclusion is the landscape. The snow topped mountain, the amber waves of grain, the sea to shining sea — all very idyllic American imagery. It is important to notice the differing apparel and appearance of the men and women. One man in particular is standing tall above the rest, hatless with a healthy head of hair. I will guess that he is a young, wealthy, robust young explorer. The rest of the men and women are cloaked in ragged cowboy hats, tired and frazzled faces, hurrying to the top of the ridge. They do not seem as at ease as the fine young gentleman at the top.

The native American Indians are not shown in the painting but their presence to the men is clear — their guns are drawn, waving freely in the air ready to defend themselves against Indian attacks. The image depicts a flurry of emotion – all that craving this American dream. There is great anticipation among these roused yet weary men.

I think this image portrays a glossy side of travels westward. The image is only that of the happily ever after picturesque moment and fails to address the grueling means that these people survived to achieve this kind of image. It could have been very well used as propaganda to fuel the sale of Homesteads out west.

2. Fanny Palmer's depiction of westward expansion not only shows the new railroad(including the exhaust pollution) and schoolhouse but also the native Americans which can be seen with their horses perhaps deliberately on the wrong side of the tracks. The settlers are all of Anglo-Saxon origin. Unlike the Indians way of life of preserving the earth's natural resources, the white men are mining and profiting from it. The native Americans are shown on their horses, wearing some headdress and holding a spear watching the smoggy train roll past the new town.

3. In "Pioneers of America" could easily be mistaken for a Folder's advertisement of the old West, the tall, dark, handsome father doting over his American born son before a hard days work logging. Again, the ideal situation is portrayed in these portraits of the American West. Her work stops short of addressing the constant harsh weather, deadly illnesses and generally difficult way of life of these people.

In this work, the woman is shown faintly in the background, her face is covered by her bonnet and she is perhaps washing clothes or pumping water for her family. The men are front and center, denoting the emphasis on a man's importance. Leutze's mural portrays women as an integral part of the wagon train – caring and tending on the children and men. Although still farther in the background, the woman's face is shown clear as she protects her child.

4. Progress is inferred through images of both the traditional and the more stately, improved driver-equipped covered wagon. In the far background, sailboats and water transportation is shown – the world of commerce is expanding from the west worldwide. Crops being irrigated and fertilized is shown as well as the buffalo running off the land that they once roamed free. In relation to one another, the artist shows the expanding and booming industrialized world running the old world away until they are almost extinct. The ships coming into the port, the rivers running down from the port into the mainland — the covered wagons, the rail, the telephone lines.

5. The notion of the white man's burden, that whites must pillage forward and culture savage civilizations because, as Berkeley poignantly concluded in his poem, "time's noblest offspring is it's last." It is in direct agreement to that the new settlers are much more intelligent creatures than those who were living on the land before them.

6. In your opinion, are these works of art accurate representations of the Anglo-American settlement and incorporation of the West? Why or why not? What role (if any) do you think they played in shaping American beliefs and opinions about subsequent political, military, and foreign policy decisions and events?

I think I already addressed how accurate these images portray the west but to reiterate, these are all very glossy versions of life of a western settler and I believe could have easily been used as propaganda to entice more families to forge west to fuel America's emerging industrial economy.

Abby Week #1 Blog

 Web Assignment #1:
Both James Reeves' and Frank Wise's interviews begin by talking about where they are from, when they were born and more background on their lives. They both also discuss their family backgrounds. James Reeves talks about his family and how they were affected by slavery. He personally was not alive during the time of slavery, but he tells the interviewer about his parents and grandparents experiences in slavery. Frank Wise, however, was born into slavery. He talks about the war and what he remembers of his time in slavery. The interviews clearly explain how both had to deal with tyranny during slavery and afterwards. Both Reeves and Wise talk about life after slavery was abolished. They speak of the trouble that came with the Ku Klux Klan and also with their right to vote. James Reeves said that his parents were told the following when they were set free: “Henry, you all just as free as I am. You can stay here with Miss Lucy or you can go to work with whomsoever you will. You don’t belong to Miss Lucy no more” (pg. 4). I believe this sentence truly describes what both men are talking about in their interviews.
Both James Reeves and Frank Wise bring up the issues of the Ku Klux Klan. Reeves says, “Some of the people formed the Ku Klux Klan to keep the Negro down” (pg 6). Reeves and Wise also both talk about the issue with voting. Reeves says, “They went around and commanded the Negroes not to go to the polls the next day” (pg. 7). Finally, the interviews also have in common that both men talk about how they discovered they were free. Wise says, “I don’t remember how we got the news of freedom. I don’t remember what the slaves expected to get. I don’t know what they got, if they got anything” (pg. 2). These all represent the issue of “power and participation.” The Ku Klux Klan affected their lives and shows the white southerners trying to hold on to their power. The Ku Klux Klan was one last fight they were putting up to keep control of the newly freed slaves. This theme also is shown in the issues of voting. Voting is a major way to have “power and participation” and this was one of the first aspects of power the freed slaves were given. Last, the theme of “power and participation” also is seen when the men talk abut how they were freed. The slaves are getting power by no longer being anyone’s property.
I believe that when someone has gone through a traumatic experience they often do have trouble remembering the exact details of an event especially after a significant amount of time has passed. However, the questions they are being asked are very general and I do not think that the interviews are unreliable. I especially believe Frank Wise’s interview to be very accurate considering that he has some first hand knowledge of slavery. James Reeves also is probably very consistent since he has been given the information directly from his parents and grandparents. I know that when my parents tell me stories I can repeat them years later and still tell them very precisely. I do believe that their experiences since slavery have colored their perception somewhat considering that they have lived many years with freedom. They probably cherish their freedom more now that they have experienced it. They also have seen a very harsh side of many white southerners, with the lynching and torture that was happening. Even though they experienced some of this during slavery some of them might have been household slaves or high ranked slaves that did not experience the harsh torture that others endured.
The structures of the interviews are very clear and easy to read. They have very easy subtitles and are divided very clearly so that the information is easy for the reader to read and later find. The sections are also, in clear chronological order. The interviewer asked questions to give us background and then also information on not only their lives in slavery but also their lives during the Civil War and after the war. I felt like the interviewer covered all aspects of slavery si the reader gets in-depth and complete information.
There was not anything in the interviews that was completely new to me, however, I did find it very interesting that both men commented that the Ku Klux Klan did nothing to anyone they knew and that all the did was scare people. I always thought that the Ku Klux Klan was very present and that everyone in the south was constantly affected by this group of white southerners.

Web Assignment #2:
In Emanuel Leutze’s painting “Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way” Leutze portrays the pioneers examining the skyline and all that lays in front of them. You see the men walking with the guns to protect them and women in the wagons. Leutze also shows the native people, however, in a somewhat undignified way. He has them in the background on top of a rock with a weapon in hand. It looks like he is portraying them as if they are going to attack the settlers. On the other hand, he has in the front right hand circle a picture of what looks like it could be a native in a very peaceful pose. The picture gives a vision of hope. The light is dark in the area that the settlers are traveling from and very light in the area that they are traveling towards. I believe it truly shows a bright future. The interesting part of the painting is what seems to be a frame. The area framing the photo has nothing to do with the west; in fact it seems to be the complete opposite. The frame seems almost very classic and proper. The bottom part of the frame is also interesting; it is a picture of the sea. The painting is very interesting and so it the frame, they just do not seem to go together.
Fanny Palmer’s drawing, “Across the Continent: Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way,” is very much making fun of Leutze’s image of the west. She makes that very obvious by the title. In Palmer’s version, the train is the center focus. She is showing how the country became developed very fast. On one side of the train is a town, where children are pictured playing and men are picture working as what looks like loggers. Palmer is showing how the west has become industrialized and is no longer an unknown path. Native Americans are also pictured; however, they do not seem as aggressive, even though one does have a spear. They are divided from the town by the train. Palmer seems to have drawn the smoke from the train to be entrapping the Native Americans, like American development entrapped them on reservations. Palmer’s version does not capture the beauty of the west, but instead shows the viewer the development of the west.
In “Pioneers of the West,” the pioneers are shown in a very different light then in the other pictures. There are several stereotypes of the west in this picture. First of all the women is in the back doing the laundry and taking care of the house. In the front, a man drinks what is probably suppose to be an alcoholic drink. Also, he is showing his son how to cut wood, which is a man’s job. The son looks up to his father and looks like he wants to get involved and help. Finally, they live in a log cabin and it seems to be very isolated. The picture shows them living out in the middle of nowhere. Many of these stereotypes clash with what life was really like out west for the pioneers. For example, many times people did live in towns and not in log cabins. This picture is very different from Emanuel Leutze’s picture for not only does it not show the beauty of the west like Leutze picture, but it also depicts the west as a place where everyone is alone. In Leutze picture, although, a large number of settlers move together to settle the land and set up a city. The woman are also seen as more of a part of the group in the other picture as in this one the women is very small in the background. Also, in Leutze painting a man has carried his wife to a rock to show her the view of the land and is cradling her in his arms. In this photo the man is not paying any attention to his wife.
“American Progress,” by John Gast, shows the progression of the west in America. To the far left, being chased out, are the Native Americans, buffalos, and bears. Pushing them out is the farmers and settlers. However, behind the farmers and settlers, pushing them, is the railroad and what looks like to be a big city in the background. The picture shows how over time each group pushed the other out. First the Indians and the wild life were pushed, then the framers and settlers, and finally industrialization took over. Gast is showing the viewer the change over time and the progression of the west.
Like George Berkeley’s poem, some of these pictures show the beauty and greatness of the west. Berkeley’s poem is about how a country is so pure and beautiful at first. He says that Europe has decayed and can no longer have that beauty, however, the newest “offspring,” America has a chance. He says that one needs to let nature flourish and succeed. When the settlers moved west, however, they did not respect nature but they did see the beauty of an untouched world. Leutze’s image especially shows the beauty of this unharmed world. His picture really does show the beauty of the world that Berkeley describes.
These pictures each represented a different aspect and view of the west. If one was to only see one of these pictures they would not have an accurate depiction of the west. However, when they are all together they do well to represent the west. During this time period, the people living in the north and south would usually only see one or maybe two of these pictures, and therefore would not have been able to get a correct portrayal of the west. The one aspect that is missing is an image that shows the cruelty to the Indians. Gast’s depiction shows them being pushed out but it is not the main focal point of the painting.

Web Assignment #3:
Stereopticon is “a magic lantern, especially one with two projectors arranged as to produce dissolving views” (dictionary.com). This was a way to show images to people before there was the TV and other modern day machines. I believe that this poster is expected to get me to notice the propaganda at this time. This is very early propaganda. The poster is getting people to come hear about the war in the Philippians. It does not say anything negative about the war and in fact gets people excited to come and see pictures of the war. I believe that Mr. Mumper supported the war efforts and was excited to tell his story about all the good the army was doing in the Philippians. Mr. Mumper would probably talk about the great American army and how horrible the “savages” were that they were fighting against. The American people have so much pride for their country during this time that this would be great entertainment for them.

Web Assignment #4:
There were several factors in the United States going to war with Spain. These reasons were economics, domestic politics, and political and social ideologies. The U.S. believed that they needed to expand the market for their products. There were many issues at the time with overproduction and they believed that if they could expand the market to other countries, especially China, America would flourish. The domestic policy at the time was also a factor that pushed the U.S. to war with Spain and the reason that many people at the time believed America went to war. The USS Maine had exploded outside of Cuba and America blamed Spain for this incident. However, later evidence showed that Spain was probably not responsible for the explosion but rather a problem with the ship. Nevertheless, America took Cuba’s side in the war between Cuba and Spain. The last factor, the political and social ideologies, is that America wanted to be a powerful country and gain land. Spain had shown aggression towards America, or so the country thought, and a strong country does not stand for that. America wanted to create a strong navy and Cuba seemed like a great place for a naval station. In the article “America as a Pacific Power,” the author says, “If America is to stand before the world as the pioneer of liberty and civilization, the hidebound but respectable conservatism which would obstruct the natural and legitimate growth of the country must be laid aside, and the liberal conservatism which has momentum enough for progress and yet resistance enough for safety, must be used as we go forward to the destiny which awaits the republic” (pg 1). The author is saying that America has a destiny to become great, a super power and to show everyone the ways of liberty and civilization. America believed that they went to places to help the people become civilized but in actuality civilized just meant more like Americans. Even though the government at the time was saying they went to war because Spain attacked the USS Maine it is shown in all of the articles that everyone at the time wanted to Americanize the rest of the world, expand the country, and gain power.

I have thought about the above historical evidence, and I have come to the following conclusions. From 1863 to 1900 the country was going through a “growing era.” The country for the first time had to deal with the issues of diversity. It realized that no matter your race you should not be enslaved. The country still did not agree on this issue but those that disagreed were on their way to learning how to deal with it. The country was developing cities and factories. America became a place were one could purchase many different products. Inventions were being made that took the country in a new direction. For example, the completion of the railroad connected the country and made it possible for trade. It also made it possible for not only exploration but also for many more people to travel and settle the western portion of the country. America also was dealing with the actually growing in size of the country. Not only were there a great number of immigrants coming into the country but the country was also expanding in land mass. Alaska, Hawaii, Cuba and the Philippians became part of America. Towards the end of the era, the United States faced its first hardship, as the entire country was affected by the first Depression. By the 1900’s America had grown to become a land on its way to being a powerful nation.