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This text presents a carefully selected group of readings, on topics such as American capitalism and the Great War, that allow students to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians, and draw their own conclusions.
1. Introducing the Gilded Age and Progressive Era ESSAYS Sean Dennis Cashman, Industrial Spring: America in the Gilded Age John Milton Cooper, Jr., Pivotal Decades, 1900-1920 2. The Price of Progress: Capitalism and Its Discontents DOCUMENTS 1. Andrew Carnegie Hails the Triumph of America, 1885 2. Henry George Dissects the Paradox of Capitalist Growth, 1879 3. The Reverend Alexander Lewis Offers an Ode to Upward Mobility, 1902 4. Mark Twain Satirizes the Great American Myth, 1879 5. The Purposes and Program of the Knights of Labor, 1878 6. A Trade Union Official Enunciates a Restrictive AFL Policy Toward Women Workers, 1897 ESSAYS Alan Trachtenberg, The Machine as Deity and Demon Leon Fink, Class Consciousness American-Style 3. Behind the Bravura of the Wild West DOCUMENTS 1. A Buffalo Hunter Describes His Business, c. 1875 2. President Chester A. Arthur Aims to Turn Indians into U.S. Citizens, 1881 3. A Popular Account of the Death of Jesse James, 1882 4. Miguel Antonio Otero Remembers the Land Wars of the 1880s 5. Black Elk Remembers the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 6. Frederick Jackson Turner Praises the Frontier as the Source of American Democracy, 1893 7. Catharine Calk McCarty Meets Her Cattlemen Neighbors, 1916 ESSAYS Richard White, Outlaw Gangs and Social Bandits Robert L. Griswold, Western Women and the Uses of Domestic Ideology David Rich Lewis, Farming and the Northern Ute Experience 4. Trials of the New South DOCUMENTS 1. Sharecroppers' Contracts, 1876-1886 2. Atlanta Constitution Editor Henry W. Grady Heralds the New South, 1886 3. Historian Broadus Mitchell Describes a Benevolent Cotton-Mill Campaign of the 1880s 4. Labor Organizer Mother Jones Compares Southern Mill Life to Serfdom, 1901 5. Frederick Douglass Describes a Legacy of Race Hatred, 1883 6. A Teacher and Two Pupils Outline the Problems of a "Colored" School, 1883 ESSAYS Edward L. Ayers, Mill and Mine Jacqueline Jones, Bent Backs in the Rural South 5. Rise of the Industrial City: New Places, New Peoples DOCUMENTS 1. Population Growth in Select U.S. Cities, 1870-1920 2. Immigrant Distribution in Six Cities, 1870-1920 3. A Visiting Rudyard Kipling Returns, Unimpressed, from Chicago, 1899 4. Poet Carl Sandburg Extols the City of Big Shoulders, 1916 5. Congress Takes Aim at the "Chinese Menace," 1892 6. Huang Zunxian Expresses the Chinese Perspective in Poetry, c. 1884 7. W.E.B. Du Bois Denounces Racial Prejudice in Philadelphia, 1899 8. An Advice Column for Jewish Immigrants, 1906,1907 ESSAYS Maury Klein and Harvey A. Kantor, Technology and the Treadmill of Urban Progress John Bodnar, Families Enter America George J. Sanchez, Americanization of the Mexican Immigrant 6. Politics in the Gilded Age: Mainstream and Periphery DOCUMENTS 1. Three Cartoonists Interpret the Political Scene, 1880, 1888: Thomas Nast Attacks the Democrats, 1880; Joseph Keppler Ridicules the Third-Term Aspirations of President Grant, 1880; Watson Heston Lampoons Parties and Their Corporate Patrons, 1888 2. Free-Thinker Robert G. Ingersoll Waves the Bloody Shirt, c. 1880 3. Virginia Activist Live Pryor Seeks Help for Her Downtrodden Black Sisters, 1880 4. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Demands Suffrage as the Protection of Selfhood, 1892 5. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Justifies the Woman's Bible, 1895 ESSAYS Charles W. Calhoun, Political Culture: Public Life and the Conduct of Politics Ellen Carol DuBois, The Limitations of Sisterhood 7. The 1890s: Economic Depression and Political Crisis DOCUMENTS 1. John W. Holway, a Pinkerton Guard, Views the Battle of Homestead, 1892 2. Eugene V. Debs Denounces the Role of Corporations and the Courts in the Pullman Strike, 1895 3. Populist Principles: The Omaha Platform, 1892 4. William Jennings Bryan Scorns Advocates of the Gold Standard: The "Cross of Gold" Speech, 1896 5. The Republican Party Platform, 1896 6. Puck Assails William Jennings Bryan and the "Popocrats," 1896 7. McKinley Takes Credit for New Prosperity, 1900 ESSAYS Nell Irvin Painter, The Depression of the 1890s Michael Kazin, The Righteous Commonwealth of the Late Nineteenth Century 8. Professionalism and the Uses of New Knowledge DOCUMENTS 1. John Fiske Reconciles Evolutionism and Christian Doctrine (1882), 1902 2. William Graham Sumner Elaborates the Principles of Social Darwinism, 1885 3. Lester Frank Ward Attacks Laissez Faire in the Name of Reform Darwinism, 1884 4. A Day in the Life of Thomas Alva Edison, 1885 5. Jane Addams Explains the Need for Social Settlements, 1892 6. F. W. Taylor Recruits the Ideal Worker with the Principles of Scientific Management, 1910 ESSAYS Burton J. Bledstein, The Culture of Professionalism Robyn Muncy, The Female Dominion of Professional Service Edward Caudill, Social Darwinism: Adapting Evolution to Society 9. The Language of Empire DOCUMENTS 1. Alfred T. Mahan Proclaims the Importance of Sea Power, 1890 2. Theodore Roosevelt Links War in the Philippines to the Ideal of the Strenuous Life, 1899 3. William Jennings Bryan Opposes U.S. Occupation of the Philippines, 1900 4. Alfred Beveridge Defends U.S. Imperialism, 1900 5. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, 1904 ESSAYS Paul Kennedy, The United States as New Kid on the Block, 1890-1940 Louis A. Perez, 1898: The Meaning of the Maine Gail Bederman, Theodore Roosevelt and the Strenuous Life 10. Race and Power Under Jim Crow DOCUMENTS 1. The U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Segregation: Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896 2. Congressman Frank Clark Praises Segregation, 1908 3. Booker T. Washington Advocates Self-Help, 1895 4. W.E.B. Du Bois Rejects Washington's Strategy of Accommodation, 1903 5. Mary Church Terrell Praises the Club Work of Colored Women, 1901 ESSAYS Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Whiteness and Manhood Kevin K. Gaines, Uplift and the Decline of Black Politics 11. Consumer Culture and Commercialized Leisure DOCUMENTS 1. Theodore Dreiser's Carrie Discovers the Department Store, 1900 2. Charlotte Perkins Gilman Seeks to Extricate Women from the Trap of Consumption, 1899 3. Amusement Park Promoter Frederic Thompson Creates the Carnival Spirit, 1908 4. Democracy at the Movies, 1910 5. Ring Lardner's Baseball "Busher" Writes Home, 1914 ESSAYS Gunther Barth, Baseball and the Values of Industrial America Lewis A. Erenberg, Steppin' Out 12. Progressivism: The Roots of the Reform Vision DOCUMENTS 1. John Dewey Advocates a Democratic Schoolroom, 1900 2. Lincoln Steffens Exposes the Corruption of Municipal Politics, 1904 3. New York City's Boss Plunkitt Defends "Honest" Graft, 1905 4. Socialist Reformer Robert Hunter Decries Murder by Tenement, 1907 5. Baptist Clergyman Walter Rauschenbusch Seeks a Social Christianity, 1912 6. Two Suffrage Cartoons: "The Corn or the Cob—Which?" 1911; "Double the Power of the Home," 1915 ESSAYS Richard L. McCormick, Evaluating the Progressives Robert Westbrook, Lewis Hine and the Two Faces of Progressive Photography 13. Progressivism: Foundations for a New American State DOCUMENTS 1. The Supreme Court Accepts Limits on Working Women's Hours: Muller v. Oregon, 1908 2. Charles McCarthy Inventories Wisconsin's La Follette-Era Reforms (1909-1911), 1911 3. Theodore Roosevelt Announces the New Nationalism, 1910 4. Woodrow Wilson Proclaims the New Freedom, 1913 5. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act, 1914 ESSAYS Alan Dawley, Progressive Statecraft Eric Foner, Freedom and the Progressive State 14. Nature Without Nurture: Progressives Confront Environmental Destruction DOCUMENTS 1. President Theodore Roosevelt's Conservation Message, 1907 2. A Lumberer's Perspective on the California Redwoods, 1884 3. Enos Mills Mourns the Death of a One-Thousand-Year-Old Pine, 1914 4. The Pros and Cons of the Great Hetch Hetchy Dam Debate, 1913 5. Jane Addams Offers an Example of Municipal Housekeeping in Chicago, 1910 ESSAYS William J. Cronon, Economic Gain and Environmental Loss: Lumber Roderick Nash, The Hetch Hetchy Controversy Martin V. Melosi, Responding to the Urban Environmental Crisis 15. America and the Great War DOCUMENTS 1. President Woodrow Wilson's War Message, 1917 2. Senator Robert M. La Follette's Antiwar Dissent, 1917 3. George Creel Looks Back on the Selling of the War, 1920 4. A Wobbly Testifies to Vigilante Attack, 1917 5. The U.S. Government Punishes War Protesters: The Espionage Act, 1918 6. Two Treatments of the Color Question During Wartime, 1918: A U.S. Divisional Commander in Kansas Counsels Against Race Discussions; German Propaganda Circular Targes the African-American Soldier 7. Wilson's Fourteen Points for World Peace, 1918 ESSAYS Barry D. Karl, Managing War David M. Kennedy, Over There: Interpreting Wartime Experiences Abroad Arthur S. Link, Wilson and the War for Democracy
Posted December 5, 2000