Archive for the ‘Chapter 29’ Category

Links for information about the Women’s Rights Movement in the Progressive Era Multimedia Info– “The Fight for Women’s Suffrage”: This has a very nice summary and then videos about important figures, especially Alica Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucy Burns, and Susan B. Anthony.

Info about NAWSA (the more moderate wing):

Photos of the National Women’s Party, the more radical wing:

The Enduring Significance of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in America:

Chapter 29 questions

1. List the main features of the New Freedom platform. Compare with the New Nationalism. What writer influenced TR in creating his platform? Which was the more conservative platform?
2. What factors, especially political considerations, gave Democrats hope that they could capture the White House in 1912?
3. What were the unusual features of the election of 1912? Use the information from the map on 730 as well as the actual text in forming your answer. What might have happened if TR and Taft had not split the Republican vote? What about the Socialists?
4. Explain: “Progressivism rather than Wilson was the run-away winner.”
5. Which party was stronger in 1912? Socialists or Progressives? Why?
6. How did Taft eventually find a happy ending?
7. How did Wilson’s heritage (birthplace and religious background) influence specific policies he advocated?
8. What tactic did Wilson use to attempt to “manage” the legislative branch as both governor and president? What impact did his personality have on the effectiveness of this tactic?
9. What three specific things did Wilson target as the cause of the economic inequality in America? Which one was addressed first, and why did this make sense?
10. What is the correlation between the Underwood Tariff Act and the 16th Amendment? How did Wilson get this bill passed despite opposition and lobbying?
11. How did the Federal Reserve Act attempt to fix the specific flaws of the Civil War Banking Act?
12. What two laws passed under Wilson attempted to break the power of the trusts? What were the main powers of the Federal Trade Commission?
13. How did the Clayton Act help labor? What were its main provisions? How historically significant did Samuel Gompers believe this law to be?
14. How did Wilson change the cultural makeup of the Supreme Court? What were the LIMITS of Wilson’s Progressivism, from a social point of view?
15. Create a chart of the specific pieces of major legislation passed during Wilson’s first term in office.
16. Was Wilson imperialist or anti-imperialist? Give a nuanced answer with specific examples.
17. Describe the reasons for Wilson’s less-than-friendly relations with Mexico.
18. How did most Americans regard our obligations at the start of World War I? How did economic ties influence our “neutrality?”
19. Why did German submarines attack non-military ships? Did they attack American ships? Explain why America was outraged by the attacks on the Lusitania, Arabia, and Sussex?
20. What pledges did Germany make, and what was the value of these pledges? What condition did Germany extract from the US in order to give the Sussex pledge?
21. What groups strongly supported Wilson in his re-election bid?

Bad Romance parody on Woman Suffrage

This is VERY well done!

I Want My Suffrage!

Excerpt from The Jungle

Upton Sinclair was a muckraker who hoped that his novel would outrage readers about the way the workers (mostly immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe) in the meat-processing plants around Chicago were treated. Instead, most people reacted most strongly to the details he provided here—especially if they were eating their breakfast sausage at the time…..

As he said,”I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”

Excerpt: The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair

With one member trimming beef in a cannery, and another working in a sausage factory, the family had a first-hand knowledge of the great majority of Packingtown swindles. For it was the custom, as they found, whenever meat was so spoiled that it could not be used for anything else, either to can it or else to chop it up into sausage. With what had been told them by Jonas, who had worked in the pickle rooms, they could now study the whole of the spoiled-meat industry on the inside, and read a new and grim meaning into that old Packingtown jest–that they use everything of the pig except the squeal.

Jonas had told them how the meat that was taken out of pickle [out of a saltwater solution used as a preservative] would often be found sour [beginning to spoil], and how they would rub it up with [baking] soda to take away the smell, and sell it to be eaten on free-lunch counters; also of all the miracles of chemistry which they performed, giving to any sort of meat, fresh or salted, whole or chopped, any color and any flavor and any odor they chose. In the pickling of hams they had an ingenious apparatus, by which they saved time and increased the capacity of the plant–a machine consisting of a hollow needle attached to a pump; by plunging this needle into the meat and working with his foot, a man could fill a ham with pickle in a few seconds. And yet, in spite of this, there would be hams found spoiled, some of them with an odor so bad that a man could hardly bear to be in the room with them. To pump into these the packers had a second and much stronger pickle which destroyed the odor–a process known to the workers as “giving them thirty per cent.” Also, after the hams had been smoked, there would be found some that had gone to the bad. Formerly these had been sold as “Number Three Grade,” but later on some ingenious person had hit upon a new device, and now they would extract the bone, about which the bad part generally lay, and insert in the hole a white-hot iron. After this invention there was no longer Number One, Two, and Three Grade–there was only Number One Grade. The packers were always originating such schemes–they had what they called “boneless hams,” which were all the odds and ends of pork stuffed into casings; and “California hams,” which were the shoulders, with big knuckle joints, and nearly all the meat cut out; and fancy “skinned hams,” which were made of the oldest hogs, whose skins were so heavy and coarse that no one would buy them–that is, until they had been cooked and chopped fine and labeled “head cheese!”

It was only when the whole ham was spoiled that it came into the department of Elzbieta. Cut up by the two-thousand-revolutions-a-minute flyers, and mixed with half a ton of other meat, no odor that ever was in a ham could make any difference. There was never the least attention paid to what was cut up for sausage; there would come all the way back from Europe old sausage that had been rejected, and that was moldy and white–it would be dosed with borax and glycerine, and dumped into the hoppers, and made over again for home consumption. There would be meat that had tumbled out on the floor, in the dirt and sawdust, where the workers had tramped and spit uncounted billions of consumption germs. There would be meat stored in great piles in rooms; and the water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of rats would race about on it. It was too dark in these storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the dried dung of rats. These rats were nuisances, and the packers would put poisoned bread out for them; they would die, and then rats, bread, and meat would go into the hoppers together. This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat would be shoveled into carts, and the man who did the shoveling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one–there were things that went into the sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat was a tidbit. There was no place for the men to wash their hands before they ate their dinner, and so they made a practice of washing them in the water that was to be ladled into the sausage. There were the butt-ends of smoked meat, and the scraps of corned beef, and all the odds and ends of the waste of the plants, that would be dumped into old barrels in the cellar and left there. Under the system of rigid economy which the packers enforced, there were some jobs that it only paid to do once in a long time, and among these was the cleaning out of the waste barrels. Every spring they did it; and in the barrels would be dirt and rust and old nails and stale water–and cartload after cartload of it would be taken up and dumped into the hoppers with fresh meat, and sent out to the public’s breakfast. Some of it they would make into “smoked” sausage–but as the smoking took time, and was therefore expensive, they would call upon their chemistry department, and preserve it with borax and color it with gelatine to make it brown. All of their sausage came out of the same bowl, but when they came to wrap it they would stamp some of it “special,” and for this they would charge two cents more a pound.

US Indian Policy from the Dawes Act to the New Deal

This is the introduction to a paper I wrote in graduate school. It sums up the effects of the Dawes Act rather succinctly.

At the turn of the 20th century, the United States government had decided upon the policy of allotment as a solution to the “Indian problem.” Allotment had become the law of the land with the passage of the Dawes General Allotment Act in 1887 and the Curtis Act, which covered Indian Territory, in 1898. These Acts allowed the President to have reservations surveyed and apportioned into individual allotments suitable for a small farmer. Individual Indians received parcels of roughly one quarter section (160 acres) each or less, depending upon the size of the reservation and the age and marital status of the Indian. Most Indians received much less than 80 acres. Two outcomes were desired. First, it was held that humanitarian impulses (as well as notions of cultural superiority) dictated assistance to our “backward brethren.” But far more importantly, Indians who were converted to farming and ranching would not need as much land to support their families as did hunters; thus, these Indians could be persuaded to sell their “excess” holdings to the government for white settlement. Allotted Indians would be subject to taxes and all the other burdens of citizenship.

The allotment policy also included programs to extinguish original Indian cultures, including languages and religion. Schools enforced the use of English only and emphasized vocational skills needed by a farmer or housewife. The policy of allotment and its educational programs ignored one insuperable flaw: many Indians did not want to farm. The cultivation of plants was not considered an honorable occupation for men in many Indian societies, especially in the northern and central Great Plains. Other native religions forbade cutting into the Earth with a sharp instrument such as a plow. Policymakers either ignored or were unaware of these obstacles. It was believed that so long as Indians held the land in common, there would be no individual incentive to bring it fully into production.

Much of the appeal of assimilation was also financial in nature. Some congressmen, particularly from Western areas, were critical of the amount of money spent on Indian affairs. They believed that by force of arms whites had taken over the continent and that therefore, nothing was owed the Indians. They decried the endless financial obligations that were required so long as Indians maintained their tribal status. They sought to abolish the Indian Bureau and terminate the federal recognition of tribes. Once tribes passed away, Indians would have no special privileges granted to them. These westerners were also frustrated that Indian land was protected from white economic exploitation. Assimilated Indians would have no federal protections to keep their lands forever beyond the reach of development. All lands would be in the public domain or be private property, and use would be unrestricted. The result would be economic growth for the nation.

To protect the Indians, the Dawes Act provided that the title to each allotment would be held in trust by the government for a period of 25 years. During this time of adjustment, the Federal government — specifically, the secretary of the interior and the bureaucrats in the Bureau of Indian Affairs –- would serve as trustee to each Indian and control all individual financial affairs. At the end of the twenty-five year period, an Indian could petition for a patent in fee simple, which would transfer title from trust status through the Federal government to the individual. At that time, the Indian had to prove competence to handle his or her property. If competent, the Indian would own the land outright, and would be subject to taxation by the state and local governments. Once an Indian received his land in fee simple, free from government control, he would be granted United States citizenship. The acceptance of an allotment implied a willingness to sever tribal ties. The concept of dual citizenship in both tribe and greater nation was not entertained. An assimilated Indian would no longer need the protection of the tribe when he or she had the protections of American culture, education, and citizenship. Once tribes no longer existed, treaty obligations would die as well. In 1905, the Supreme Court ruled that Indians who accepted citizenship could not receive federal Indian services, although this decision was overturned eleven years later.

Allotment perfected the drive to dispossess the Indians that had begun with the first treaties. The Burke Act of 1906 allowed the secretary of the interior to allow some Indians to petition for their patents before the twenty-five year period had elapsed. Some agents colluded with white neighbors to pressure Indians into receiving their patent and immediately selling their allotment, often for a fraction of its value. Further, the government operated a “competency commission” from 1915 to 1920 which forced twenty thousand Indians of less than half “Indian blood” to accept their patents without consent. When they could not pay the state taxes on the land, they were forced to sell. An estimate by the National Resources Board in 1935 revealed that about 50% of all allotments had been released from government oversight from 1900 to 1934. Most of these allotments had been alienated from Indian ownership due to the inability to pay the taxes assessed by the states and local communities. Therefore, the mixed blood Indians, who were often more acculturated than their full-blooded brethren, were more apt to lose their allotments. Full bloods actually were more likely to retain their land during the allotment period, since they were granted a longer period of government protection.

Those who managed to retain their lands were usually unable to successfully farm them. The climate of most reservations was too arid for such small plots of land to be profitable. Much of the land that remained in Indian hands by the 1930s was submarginal in quality. Population pressures further eroded the usefulness of allotments. In 1900, the Indian population of the US was numbered at 237,196. By 1930, the Indian population had increased to 343,352. This meant that there were far fewer allotments than there were Indians, a development that had not been anticipated by the framers of the Dawes Act. As the original allottees died, the laws of inheritance exacerbated this problem. Allotments became fractionated into useless parcels as their estates were divided among heirs. With the lower life expectancy of Indians, a single piece of land could pass through several estates within a few decades. Because most Indians had no wills, each successive inheritance was usually divided among several heirs. Some Indians had inherited plots only a few feet square. In areas in which Indian reservations were comprised of submarginal land, only large tracts could be utilized successfully; therefore, these allotments became even less valuable each time they changed hands. A 1934-35 survey of inherited lands that had originally been allotments found just 7 percent being used by Indians, with the remainder being sold to whites or left unused. Furthermore, allotted land benefited only one-half of reservation Indians through rent or ownership: 49 percent of Indians on allotted reservations in 1933 were landless.

Many Indians and non-Indians alike decried the conditions prevalent on reservations and boarding schools. Even before the Depression struck the United States unemployment and poverty were rules rather than exceptions. Reservations were isolated from business centers and employment opportunities. The Indian Bureau also failed to provide vocational training, expertise to help Indians create their own businesses, or plans to draw employers to the reservation. Fifty-five percent of reservation Indians in 1928 had a per capita income of less than two hundred dollars annually; the top two percent of reservation inhabitants had yearly incomes above five hundred dollars, and wages generally made up no more than two hundred dollars per annum. Schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs often did not have enough room for all the children living on a reservation, and many of the buildings were in poor repair. The lack of health care was evident in the astronomical rates of infection of tuberculosis and trachoma, an eye disease that could result in blindness. Benjamin Reifel, a Sioux who served as Commissioner of Indian Affairs under Gerald Ford, remembered, “While I was a boy growing up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation we had the most sickening poverty that one could imagine. Tuberculosis was a killer of Indians. The people on the Pine Ridge Reservation and at Oglala were eating their horses to survive. Impoverishment was everywhere.”

Children in boarding schools faced the same conditions due to chronic underfunding of educational programs by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Congress. As historian Floyd O’Neil has stated,

The word assimilation was not an abstract, remote concept. Rather, it was an active philosophy, with tremendous power to break up families and even to take the lives of children. For the death rate of Indian children was much higher than that of the general population.
Indian children were not welcomed in public schools, since their parents paid no taxes and lived on land outside state jurisdiction, not to mention the barrier of racism that discouraged enrollment.

How did assimilation last so long as official policy? Assimilation had been supported by many of the reformers of Indian affairs prior to the 1930s. The Indian Rights Association had been particularly influential during the 1920s and was the oldest Indian reform group then active. Founded in 1882, its stated mission was to promote Christianity and the private ownership of property for Indians. The IRA supported government policies which sup-pressed native religions. Ironically, other reformers argued that the IRA actively campaigned against Indian rights, since it sought to deny Indians their constitutional right to freedom of worship.

Because Indians had not begun to organize themselves until the 1940s, the debate on Indian policy took place with little Indian input. The reforming spirit that would overtake American social policy in the early decades of the twentieth century impacted Indian affairs as well. By the 1930s several organizations were active in the debate over federal Indian policy. Among these were the American Indian Defense Association, the Indian Rights Association, the National Council of American Indians, the National Association of Indian Affairs, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs’ Indian Welfare Committee. Several members of these groups would receive federal appointments during the 1930s and 1940s and attempt to put their reform ideas into action. The result would be an attempt to reverse the course of federal Indian affairs.


The next part of this story can be found here and will be published in February:

The Ludlow Massacre

In 1913, coal miners in Ludlow, Colorado, employed by Colorado Fuel and Iron Co owned by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (the son of the founder of Standard Oil), went on strike to protest their wages, which they felt were too low. Making matters worse was that Ludlow was a company town, and employees lived in company-owned houses. They were paid in company scrip rather than US currency, thus tying them to the company store and its prices. The Colorado state militia opened fire with machine guns on the striking miners’ camp, and eventually buildings were put to the torch. The massacre ultimately killed three women and eleven children. Read a first-hand account here ( The PBS companion site on the incident is here.

The events of the Ludlow Massacre demonstrate the ruthlessness that was employed by employers in their attempts to crush strikes, and the often brutal cooperation of government authorities in supporting the interests of business over those of the working people.

The massacre caused protests outside Rockefeller’s New York mansion. Woody Guthrie was later inspired to write a song about the incident:

Ludlow Massacre

It was early springtime when the strike was on,
They drove us miners out of doors,
Out from the houses that the Company owned,
We moved into tents up at old Ludlow.

I was worried bad about my children,
Soldiers guarding the railroad bridge,
Every once in a while a bullet would fly,
Kick up gravel under my feet.

We were so afraid you would kill our children,
We dug us a cave that was seven foot deep,
Carried our young ones and pregnant women
Down inside the cave to sleep.

That very night your soldiers waited,
Until all us miners were asleep,
You snuck around our little tent town,
Soaked our tents with your kerosene.

You struck a match and in the blaze that started,
You pulled the triggers of your gatling guns,
I made a run for the children but the fire wall stopped me.
Thirteen children died from your guns.

I carried my blanket to a wire fence corner,
Watched the fire till the blaze died down,
I helped some people drag their belongings,
While your bullets killed us all around.

I never will forget the look on the faces
Of the men and women that awful day,
When we stood around to preach their funerals,
And lay the corpses of the dead away.

We told the Colorado Governor to call the President,
Tell him to call off his National Guard,
But the National Guard belonged to the Governor,
So he didn’t try so very hard.

Our women from Trinidad they hauled some potatoes,
Up to Walsenburg in a little cart,
They sold their potatoes and brought some guns back,
And they put a gun in every hand.

The state soldiers jumped us in a wire fence corners,
They did not know we had these guns,
And the Red-neck Miners mowed down these troopers,
You should have seen those poor boys run.

We took some cement and walled that cave up,
Where you killed these thirteen children inside,
I said, “God bless the Mine Workers’ Union,”
And then I hung my head and cried.

EWWWW. Some people will buy anything.

I can’t MAKE this stuff up. Someone else does it for me: