Chapter 8 POLITICS, IMMIGRATION, AND URBAN LIFE Politics and the Gilded Age read p. 290 The “Gilded Age” describes the post Civil War era in which a glittering layer of prosperity covered the poverty and corruption of much of society The wealth of the few covered the problems faced by immigrants, laborers and farmers. It also covered up the widespread abuse of power in business and government Business of Politics Laissez-faire policies: “hands off” approach of government towards business (social darwinism) As businesses got more and more powerful/ruthless, a call for government intervention came from the people Tariffs, Land Grants, Subsidies are some of the early government interventions Mega-wealthy bribed politicians to ensure most of that aid came to their businesses Ex – between 1875 – 85, the Central Pacific Railroad budgeted $500,000 per year for bribes Business of Politics Credit Mobilier Scandal – government subsidies for building railroads invited corruption Congress granted Union Pacific RR Co. loads and land to complete the transcontinental railroad Owners hired an outside company to build the railroad for them (Credit Mobilier) Credit Mobilier charged far more than value and the government just sent more and more money Credit Mobilier gave members of Congress very cheap shares of the company in exchange for keeping the government coming The result was a finished transcontinental railroad that cost FAR MORE than necessary at the taxpayers expense The owners, Credit Mobilier, congressmen all got rich on the taxpayer Business of Politics The Spoils System – another means of corruption in government Elected officials appointed friends and supporters to government jobs, regardless of their qualifications Government run by unqualified, corrupt people People supported candidates because it meant they got a job, not because he would be best for country People would use jobs to skim money out of the government Reforms of the Spoils System Rutherford B. Hayes Refused to use spoils system, appointed qualified people, fired others Angered own party by removing key people President James Garfield killed by man who believed he was denied a job he was owed Chester Arthur Had supported spoils system earlier in career Surprised many when he pushed for reform after the death of Garfield PENDLETON CIVIL SERVICE ACT: • • Commission classified jobs and the qualifications for each job Governmental employees could not be required to give money to candidate or party Democrats take Power Grover Cleveland became first democratic president since 1856 Regulating Railroads Took back more than 80 million acres of land given to wealth RR investors Ended practice of REBATES (partial refunds to favored customers) INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT: required set rates for shipping, rates made public Depression to Prosperity People on the Move Immigrants’ Hopes and Dreams US population will nearly double between 1865-1920 Immigrants dreams (were told) of riches, personal freedoms Many left their countries because things were SO bad (push of immigration) Italy/Russia Crossing the Ocean Most crossed ocean in STEERAGE (large open area in bottom of ships) Arriving in America 10 million came between 1865-1890 Most came from NW and C Europe Before 1880 – who got in was up to states US government took over in 1880’s to control who and how many Key Ports: Ellis Island, Angle Island Immigrants from Europe Physical Exams – to keep diseases out. If failed, immigrant would be quarantined, maybe deported. If passed, they showed their documents to the officials and were recorded If they had friends or family, they went off to find them If they knew noone, they would have a much harder time finding lodging and work Where immigrants settled Usually settled in areas with people of similar language and culture (gangs of new york) mostly in the cities of the northeast or on the west coast Immigrants paid much less than “American” workers (who were vastly underpaid as well) GHETTOS – an area where one racial group dominated RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS – agreements among homeowners not to sell real estate to certain groups of people (jews, blacks, catholics, etc). This restricted immigrants from buying nicer homes in better areas, even if they could afford to do so Immigrants from Asia Cultural, language, and looks differed Asian immigrants for those from Europe Often the target of violence and discrimination Chinese Excluded – RR companies brought thousands of Chinese immigrants to US to help build RR (cheap, expendable labor source) Immigrants worked to pay off the cost of their passage and upkeep Once they paid off debt, they often settled into working in the fields Like European immigrants, Chinese immigrants also lived in groups, helped with safety American workers fought to keep Chinese workers out, they accepted lower wages and drove down wages for all Some in American used “funky” science to try to prove Chinese were inferior mentally and physically to whites US Congress passed the CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT in 1882. This prohibited Chinese immigrants from entering this country. The act was renewed several times Angel Island in San Francisco also tested new immigrants before allowing entry Immigrants from Asia Japanese restricted too Many Japanese had immigrated to Hawaii before it was a territory or state Then they would immigrate to the US mainland for a better life By 1920, 200,000+ in US (mostly California) working in fields Mostly working in private industry, did not compete with union jobs, so didn’t have same problems as Chinese workers 1906 – San Francisco schools ruled all asian students must attend separate schools A “Gentleman’s Agreement” was made with Japanese government. The San Francisco schools would end its policy of segregation in exchange for no more Japanese workers coming to America 1913 – Law banning asians from owning farm lands Immigrants from Mexico 1902 – Congress passed law to irrigate lands of the southwest New farmland meant need for labor – Mexican workers filled the need Mexican workers worked hard, tough jobs for low pay World War I also increased need for laborers – filled by Mexican workers These new opportunities at a better life were the PULL factor The Mexican Revolution and civil war drove more into the states (PUSH) Nearly 1 million Mexicans died (10% of population) during this time Immigration Restriction Act of 1921 limited immigration from Europe and Asia, but immigrants from Mexico continued to flow into the US By 1925, LA had largest Spanish speaking population in North America outside of Mexico The Challenge of the Cities Expanding Cities As immigrants moved in, the wealthier people moved out to the “suburbs” Builders tore down houses to build 5-6 story apartment buildings Between 1880-1920, 11 million Americans moved into cities (migration) Machines making things people used to make. City dwellers were no longer self-sufficient African Americans migrated North to escape the discrimination/violence of the South How Cities Grew Before Civil War, few cities were bigger than 3-4 miles across and people walked or rode horses most places The invention of transit allowed those who could afford to, to move further away from city center/work and commute in. This created SUBURBS or residential communities outside the city Later, motorized vehicles made commuting even easier, growing the suburbs more Trolley’s, subways, etc also grew the suburbs Cities grew upwards as well Elisha Otis invented the elevator. This allowed for more growth upwards As cities expanded so did services like banks, stores, government offices, etc. These were located out near the suburbs to make them more convenient to the people living there Industrial, wholesale, and warehouse districts formed around the city centers where the land was cheaper Urban Living Conditions Most workers moved into areas built up for them (couldn’t afford suburbs) Buildings left vacant by move by middle class to suburbs converted to multifamily units TENEMENTS – low cost apartment buildings designed to house as many families as the owner could pack in. Groups of TENEMENTS would transform an area into a slum SLUM - a thickly populated, run-down, squalid part of a city, inhabited by poor people. Fire was a constant danger. Buildings were packed close together. No electricity meant fires used to cook. No safety devises to help put fire out. All this meant fires were a huge concern Great Chicago Fire of 1871 – 250 dead, 100,000 homeless, property losses of over $200 million (equiv. to $2 billion today) Disease another problem. People were packed in so tight that once a disease started, it spread quickly. Epidemics common Heatwave in 1896 in New York took lives of 400 (no ventilation) Urban Living Conditions Push to reform living conditions (sewer, water, air flow) 1879 – NYC required an outside window in every room Dumbbell tenement created to bring light, air to apartments It did little to lessen the crowded, unsanitary conditions 1901 – NYC required a hallway bathroom on each floor Urban Living Conditions A book written about the conditions “How the Other Half Lives” by Jacob Riis brought the conditions to the awareness of Americans with pictures and personal interviews New York passed the first laws that really changed how people lived in the slums and tenements Results of City Growth Some avoided problems in the cities by moving out to suburbs. The gap between rich and poor grew bigger and bigger A few cities protected the mansions and parks in the center of cities. The people who lived there become more and more isolated Political Divisions Increased need for police, services (transportation, sewers, water, garbage) cost city governments Cities raised taxes to pay for these. Opened centers for apply for help As the government collected more money, corruption followed Competition between groups in the city for money available caused conflict Rise of Political Bosses Political Machines operated outside elected government to access money & power Political Boss – individual that ran the political machine and skimmed money for himself & friends System worked on the basis of exchanged favors (I’ll get you aid if you vote for me) Graft - use of job to gain profit – those attached to the political machine used graft Political Machines relied on immigrants to stay in power. Many blamed system on immigrants Boss Tweed (Tammany Hall) most notorious political boss. He and his friends stole millions of dollars from NYC They did help people, earning their loyalty, at the same time they stole from them Because of power they controlled, political parties came to them for support Ideas for Reform Use your books (p. 311-315 ) to fill in information on the diagram below Immigration Morality Ideas for Reform Helping the Needy – Many middle class people shocked to learn of the horrid conditions the poor lived in and worked in. Moved by social conscience and religious idealism, 1000’s joined organizations to help The Charity Organization Movement (making charity a scientific enterprise) The Social Gospel Movement (churches provided aid for the poor around them) Took down data on those received aide. Used this to determine who they deemed ‘/worthy’ of help Wanted immigrants to adopt ‘american’ ways Tried to treat the conditions that caused bad behavior (gambling, drinking, etc) Better living and work conditions were strived for The Settlement Movement (young educated men and women moved into settlements in poor parts of the city and worked with the poor) Hull House Settlement Houses – community center for the poor Offered classes in english, reading, ect Childcare, playgrounds for children while parents looked for work or took a class More the 400 Settlement Houses opened in country in late 1800’s and early 1900’s Development of Sociology The study of how people interact in society. Collect data on societies, measures the data against theories of human behavior Looked at every aspect of human life (church, government, schools, library, museum) in various cultures Might include how children/parents interact in various cultures Sociologists of the day tried to study the impact of industrialization on human culture Rapid growth of America gave sociologists a perfect place to study Migrants moving to cities (cultural interactions) Immigrants from MANY cultures moving to America (cultural interations) Controlling Immigration and Behavior Many Americans blamed society’s problems on new immigrants. Hoping to restore better days, they tried to keep immigrants out of US Nativism: favoring native born Americans Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 American Protective Assoc.- targeted immigrants and Catholic Church Immigration Restriction League – wanted to exclude unwanted immigrants by requiring literacy tests Prohibition: ban on manufacture and sale of alcohol Temperance Movement – wanted to eliminate alcohol consumption as it was blamed for causing many of the ills of society (abuse, corruption, vices) Slow progress, but progress made. 1917 18th Amendment Purity Crusaders: campaign against vices (immoral behavior) As cities grew, so did drug use, gambling, prostitution and other forms of vice (profitable) “Purity Crusaders” pushed for laws prohibiting what they considered immoral behaviors Other crusaders attacked the corruption of government (bribes, graft) Ch 8 Need to Knows Section One Gilded Age – scandals Spoils System Reforms – Pendleton Civil Service Act Regulating Railroads Section Two Immigration Experience – promises/reality, steerage, Entering America – Ellis Island/Angel Island, physicals, quaranteen Ghettos, slums Excluding immigrants – Chinese, Japaneses Mexican immigrants - different Section Three Growth of Cities – suburbs, slums, tenements Increased need of services Political Machines, Political Bosses Section Four Charity Organization Movement, Social Gospel Movement, Settlement Movement Sociology Nativism, Prohibition, Purity Crusaders Ch 8 Vocabulary Chinese Exclusion Act Civil Service Ghetto Gilded Age Graft Laissez-Faire Nativism Political Machine Settlement House Tenement Ch 8 Essays Pick 2 of 3 essays 1) Many immigrants who came to the US expected to find streets paved with gold and easy opportunities to make their fortunes. Describe what they were more likely to find. (living conditions, work, etc) 2) On the issue of immigrants, compare the attitude of a Nativist to that of a Settlement House worker. 3) Massive immigration caused overcrowding in the cities. What problems did this cause and how were these problems dealt with?