HIST 102 AMU week 2 lesson Industrializing America: Upheavals and ExperimentsAmerican History since 1877 American Military university
The Industrial City, Politics in the Age of Enterprise, and the Progressive Era
A new wave of reform shook the United States as the Progressive Era charged forth. On the cusp of the twentieth century, cities continued to grow and industrialize, and as more Americans moved to the cities urbanization and other factors led to developments in education, modern ideas, and the roles of women in society. The American political scene evolved to include participation from women and many other groups that had previously been marginalized, including racial minorities, and electoral reform saw a growth in the impact Americans could produce on their country’s political system. As this political scene saw changes, Americans began to demand changes in every aspect of American society.
Topics covered will include:
- Changes in Education
- Sports and the Culture of Masculinity
- Changes in the Role of Women
- Modern Ideas
- Immigrants and Religion
- Modern Cities
- Urban Politics and the Machine
- Reform and the Cities
- Electoral Reform
- Depression of the 1890s
- The Rise of Jim Crow
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Women and Reform
- Election of 1912
- Woodrow Wilson
Changes in Education
In the nineteenth century, it was the norm for students to attend school only through the eighth grade. As the century came to a close, leading experts began to question whether or not eight years of schooling were enough. It was at this point that an increasing number of high schools began to open throughout the United States.
At first, high school was geared towards only those students who had the aptitude to attend college, and those who wished to enroll in high school were required to pass a difficult exam first. But within a few decades, all students were allowed to attend and were offered the same curriculum, whether they intended to attend college or trade school after graduation.
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
Sports and the Culture of Masculinity
- GROWTH IN ATHLETICS
After the Civil War, advances in technology and an increasingly diverse labor force led to a decline in the professional blue-collar jobs that had traditionally been held by men, with more men holding white-collar jobs that required little physical activity.
The growth of such careers led many to fear that men were becoming soft and weak and were losing their masculinity. Fears such as these led to a growth in athletic pursuits in the United States.
Cartoon of the YMCA.
The Original draisine, also known as the running machine.
This growing interest in exercise and athletic pursuits soon expanded to include spending time outdoors. One event that further fueled this interest was the popularity of the bicycle. The “running machine,” a wooden frame with two wheels and no pedals, had been invented in 1817, but it was developments such as pedals, a metal frame, and air-filled rubber tires that helped make bicycling popular starting in the 1860s.
The illustration, Love in a Garden by Charles Dana Gibson.
Bicycling soon became a popular sport not only for men, but also for urban, upper-class women. The Gibson Girl, a creation of the illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, embodied the turn-of-the-century lady with both independence and glamour and was often depicted riding a bicycle.
- By the beginning of the twentieth century, the frontier had finally been closed and most of the Western land had been explored and surveyed. Two national parks had been established in the West, Yellowstone and Yosemite. Detailed pictorial map of Yellowstone National Park.
Changes in the Roles of Women
Traditionally, American men and women had been divided into separate spheres, with the male sphere being a public one and the female sphere private and centered around the home. But as the twentieth century approached, the opportunities for women to move beyond the home and into the public sphere increased. Even the role of the housewife had begun to change at this time, as women became the primary decision makers for their households when it came to consumer purchases. Department stores and other businesses began to realize this, and catered their goods and services with women’s tastes and needs in mind.
The idea that women had inborn qualities related to their feminine nature, maternalism, became increasingly important during the progressive era of the early century. It was believed that these qualities made women especially well suited for certain types of political and public service duties. In many fields, women became prominent reformers; one example was within the temperancemovement. Men who consumed alcohol heavily tended to be abusive towards their wives and families, and would also squander their household’s finances to buy alcohol. This led to a large number of American women supporting the legal prohibition of alcohol.
WOMEN’S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION (WCTU)
Social Theories and Critics
- NATURAL SELECTION
- SOCIAL DARWINISM
New ideas in the arts and sciences began to emerge in the nineteenth century, and many of these would change society and the world for years to come. One was the theory of evolution by natural selection, proposed by the British scientist Charles Darwin in the mid-1800s.
On a trip to the remote Galapagos Islands (off the coast of Ecuador), Darwin studied the wildlife of different parts of the island against fossils that he had found there and discovered that, over time, these species had changed to better adapt to their distinct environments. His theories were set forth in the groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species, published in 1859.
Title page of Darwin’s The Origin of Species.
Radical changes were also made in the visual arts. Modernism, a movement that began in Europe with the French Impressionists around the 1860s, stressed a focus on what was important and relevant in the current day, rather than efforts to recreate the past in art. Another European movement, realism, urged artists to recreate their surroundings just as they saw them—not how they would like to see them.
These movements came to the United States a few decades later. Among the most prominent American realists were the members of the Ashcan School, a group of painters who lived and worked in New York. Artists such as Robert Henri and John Sloan painted scenes of daily life in the city, including the streets, apartment buildings, taverns, and markets of New York’s poorest neighborhoods.
Many of the Ashcan School artists participated in the Armory Show, a major exhibition held in New York in 1912. The Armory Show included works from not only forward-thinking American artists but also dozens of those from Europe, including Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, and Marcel Duchamp.A