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HIST312: Capitalism and Democracy in America

Unit 9: Post Civil War America: The Gilded Age (1870-1897)   The federal government’s victory in the American Civil War was followed by nearly seventy years of Republican dominance of the national government.  During this period, the tension between democracy and capitalism, which had been growing since at least the 1820s, increased, and a series of presidential administrations shifted the balance decisively toward capital.  This led to a reaction from organized labor, which based its appeal on (among other things) democracy.

Unit 9 Time Advisory
This unit should take you 4.5 hours to complete.

☐    Introduction: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 9.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 9.2: 1 hour

Unit9 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Identify and define the term “Gilded Age.”
  • Identify post-Civil War industrial changes and economic growth.
  • Identify and define the term “populism.”

  • Reading: Wikibooks’ US History: “Age of Invention and Gilded Age” Link: Wikibooks’ US History:Age of Invention and Gilded Age” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read the entirety of the website in order to get a sense of the strained relationship between democracy and capital during the Gilded Age
     
    About the link: This online text was developed by Wikibooks as an open educational resource for use in undergraduate history courses.
     
    Terms of Use: The Wikibooks article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML).  You can find the original version of this article here (HTML).

9.1 Industrial Changes and Economic Growth   9.1.1 Transcontinental Railroad   - Lecture: C-SPAN/National Press Club, Stephen Ambrose, “Nothing Like it in the World” Link:  C-SPAN/National Press Club, Stephen Ambrose, “Nothing Like it in the World” (Youtube)

 Instructions: Please listen to Stephen Ambrose’s entire 90-minute
lecture to get a sense of the interaction between business interests
and government as it related to the development of the
transcontinental railroad.  
    
 About the link: This website an entire series of lectures produced
by C-SPAN.  
    
 Terms of Use: The material above was produced by C-SPAN, with
permission granted for non-commercial use with no modifications to
the material.  The original version can be found
here <http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/159024-1>.

9.1.2 Industrialization and Economic Growth   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation's "Industrialization and Economic Growth" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "Industrialization and Economic Growth" (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read this in its entirety.

9.2 Politics   9.2.1 Republican Domination of Post-Civil War Politics   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation's "Republican Domination of Post-Civil War Politics" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "Republican Domination of Post-Civil War Politics" (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read the linked material.

9.2.2 Organized Labor and the Homestead Strike   - Web Media: History Channel, “Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Strike” Link: History Channel, “Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Strike” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please watch the entire 5-minute video on the Homestead strike.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

9.2.3 Populism   - Reading: Reading: Sage American History: Dr. Henry Sage’s “The Gilded Age,” and “Politics in the Gilded Age” Link: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage's  The Gilded Age,” (PDF) and “Politics in the Gilded Age” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of these web pages in order to get a sense of the rise of popular discontentment which resulted from the unregulated economic boom during the Reconstruction era.
 
About the link:  This text was developed by Dr. Sage as a part of his independent online American History course, “Academic American History.”
 
Terms of Use:  The material above has been reposted with permission for noncommercial use by Dr. Henry Sage.  It can be viewed in its original form here and here.