Book ReviewChapter 11: Barons and RebelsThis chapter is all about the Railroad Corporations that took over for profit yet made a low-wage job. The Transcontinental Railroad was a continuation railroad of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads commissioned by the Railroad Corporations. The company creates railroads to America and promises greener pasture and full citizenship for immigrants. The construction was done by thousands of Irish and Chinese nationals for 4 years and only to be paid with 1 to 2 dollars a day. Railroad corporations led to a low wage jobs which then led the workers being upset and immigrants who came to US to work, but ended up in the worse conditions working for Railroad Corporations.
The workers had enough and get together for strikes and the Knights of Labor was formed and wants to be paid higher. However, farmers were attacked through the Homestead Act where they were not paid if the buyer wished to buy the lands.The struggles faced by workers was acknowledged and made into a law known as the Fourteenth Amendment.
This addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves after the Civil War. On 1870, John D. Rockefeller made secret agreements with Railroad Corporations in order to ship his oils across America in exchange for money. His action closes the opposing or competitor oils business. This was the start of Rockefeller Oil Monopoly. In 1872, Andrew Carnegie traveled to London where he saw the new Bessemer Method (mass production of steel) and brought it to United States where he established a million dollar steel plant. During the height of depression in 1877, a group of white farmers gathered and made the first Farmer’s Alliance. It soon spread across the country. The alliance offers alternatives; if they join the alliance and form cooperative they will soon develop a system of income where they buy things at lower prices. At the dinner party in 1880, JP Morgan bought Carnegie’s Steel Company for $492M and renamed it to U.S. Steel Company. Grover Cleveland won the 1884 elections and preserves the conditions of the existing companies. He helped the Texas farmers during the great drought. However, in April of 1886 the Texas and Pacific Railroad fired the leader of the Knight of Labor, which led to the widespread strike covering the southwest of the country. Seven workers were killed and the governor declared martial law, sending seven hundred national guards to handle the strikers. A month later a meeting happened in Haymarket Square where a bombed was thrown killing 7 people. Police respond firing towards the crowd, leaving people dead and wounded. Since there no direct suspects, the police arrested 8 anarchist leaders in Chicago. Later, the Alliance drew up the Cleburne Demands made by the populist movement. They proposed regulation of railroads rates, heavy taxation of land and an increase in money supply. In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison passes the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, where it is to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints. Tennessee Coal Mine Company introduced the Iron Clad Contract where the workers are not allowed to strike, get high pay, and be paid on how much coal they can get. Since unsuccessful with their proposal, the miners then control the mining site. On the other hand, there was a strike happened in Carnegie Steel Plant which was owned by JP Morgan. Chapter 12: The Empire and the PeopleThis chapter expresses the thoughts of America to expand to other countries. President Roosevelt welcomed the possibility of was as an opportunity for the expansion of United States. They adapted the Open Door Policy where countries could trade without the use of military action as a sort of first come ” first serve type of system. They traded together with Germany and other European countries to China. In 1898, the US had a great economic interest in Cuba where they helped it in its independence to Spain. US controlled the place and have close door policy, so that the Cubans will not fight back as a result, more loot for them. The independence of Cuba from Spain further sparked conflict between US and Spain. After the Spanish-American War, the signing of the Treaty of Paris resulted in Spain surrendering control of Cuba and it also resulted in US ownership of Puerto Rico, Guam and Philippines. However, the US continued their exploitation of wealth and slavery thus making the Filipinos revolt in February 1899. The intense racism in the US during this period of time was also a contributor to the horrible treatment of the Filipino people during the war. African Americans in US were still being lynched and murdered during this time. Since the Filipinos are dark and spoked differently and strangely to Americans, they were treated with a similar cruelty.Chapter 13: The Socialist Challenge This chapter focused on addressing the social problems not just in the US but also on its territories. African Americans started organizing together to end the discrimination by the whites. They wanted to end lynching, peonage, discrimination, and disfranchisement. Moreover, the National Association of Colored Women emerged, reprimanding segregation and lynchings. In June 1905, the IWW (wobblies) was created to emancipate the workers from slave bondage of capitalism. They also wanted to gain power of economy and personal interest without having to deal with the capitalist. In 1907, there a panic where the New York stock exchange fell by half. The panic spread throughout the nation as people withdraw deposits from regional banks. Strike happened in McKees Rokcs, Pennsylvania against the US Steel Company. The AFL was composed with white skilled men but later on, women emerged and took a fifth of population. There is a continuous problems happened between workers and the owners. Many lost their lives yet they continued to gather and fight back to claim their rights.Chapter 14: War Is the Health of the StateWorld War 1 begins in Europe, bringing new test for American foreign policy and economic strength. Similarly, a serious recession hit America after the beginning of the war as international markets were more focused elsewhere. But as the European countries started needing ample military supplies, American economy boomed again. In the early 1915, a British ship sank killing 1200+ people on the board where 124 were confirmed to be Americans. The incident was blamed to Germany as Germany’s form of atrocity. A bomb exploded in the summer of 1916 killing 9 civilians which started the compulsory military training for young men. America joined the war in 1917 as a response to the growing mutinies of France. The Espionage Act was passed and signed in 1917 with a purpose to penalize anyone who spoke or acted in a way that threatened public opinion of America’s involvement in the war. Socialist anti-war meeting attracted large crowds of farmers and other groups to speak against draft recruitment tactics and the profit exclusively sought by the American government. The IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) started to decline as they imprisoned workers who they thought leading for resistance, their action was noticed by other thus withdrawing from them. In 1918, WW1 was over killing 50000+ Americans over the course of involvement. At the end of the war people who were very patriotic were saw socialist side more clearly. This scared the government, so they came up with new tactics to stop it.Chapter 15: Self Help in Hard TimesThe end of WW1 brings prosperity to United States. The mixture of big business and government increasingly looking to expand American power overseas has started. However, there is still dissatisfaction at America where the pace of reforms was not fully understood and explained. The AFL (American Federation of Labor) and IWW (Industrial workers of the World) staged a general strike in Seattle where 100000 workers walked off their job. The strike was settled through violence despite of the worker’s peaceful protest. Several prominent labor leaders were imprisoned and a mass lynching occurred. During the great depression the average American was in dire need of support from the government. Yet the government failed the people, adding the destruction of the socialist party. Americans took matters into their own hands and satisfied the crises for assistance through self-help, direct action, and through any means of survival in such difficult times. Chapter 16:
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