USII.3a-f  Study Guide
Life Changes After the Civil War

The student will demonstrate knowledge of how life changed after the Civil War by

a)       identifying the reasons for westward expansion.


WHITE PRINT - Content outline from VDOE curriculum guide   BLACK  PRINT - Additional information

Why did westward expansion occur?
New opportunities and technological advances led to westward migration following the Civil War.

Reasons for westward expansion:


Opportunities for land ownership 

click to enlarge
The Homestead Act of 1862 provided that any adult citizen (or person intending to become a citizen) who headed a family could qualify for a grant of 160 acres of public land by paying a small registration fee and living on the land continuously for five years.
·     Technological advances, including the Transcontinental Railroad Railroads could reach interior areas, including places where an inadequate water supply or rough terrain made canals impossible. By 1840, the United States had almost three thousand miles of track; by 1860, a network of thirty thousand miles linked most of the nation's major cities and towns.
·     Possibility of wealth created by the discovery of gold and silver California Gold rush of 1849 was followed by new discoveries of gold and silver between 1857 and 1890. Prospectors swarmed to the mines where gold and silver were found.
·     Adventure

       click to enlarge
Some people thought that life in the West was filled with adventure. Young men were drawn to the cowboy life.
·     A new beginning for former slaves Few of the freed slaves could afford to own land and most worked as sharecroppers, work  not very different from what they did as slaves. Thousands of black families took advantage of the opportunity to become homesteaders on the Plains.

Early view of the Illinois Central Railroad

Copyright 1997 State Historical Society of Wisconsin

Development of the Transcontinental Railroad - Development, 1850-90
The student will demonstrate knowledge of how life changed after the Civil War by
b) explaining the reasons for the increase in immigration, growth of cities, new inventions, and challenges arising from this expansion.

Why did immigration increase?


·     Hope for better opportunities

 In the 1840s,  the potato crop failed and Irish farmers had nothing to eat. By 1860 Irish immigrants had largely replaced the New England mill girls as textile workers.

From 1860 to 1910, the U.S. population tripled. After 1880, immigrants were often from southern and eastern Europe, where there was little industry and life was hard for poor peasants.

·     Religious freedom Jews from Eastern Europe fled persecution
·     Escape from oppressive governments Russians and Poles escape political oppression at home.
·     Adventure  

Why did cities develop?

     Specialized industries including steel (Pittsburgh), meat packing (Chicago)

click to enlarge - Chicago meat packing - Pittsburgh steel mill
·     Immigration from
other countries

Click picture to expand - Immigrants arrive at Ellis Island
Industrial expansion created jobs that attracted thousands of immigrants to America.  By 1860 Irish immigrants had largely replaced the New England mill girls as textile workers.
·     Movement of Americans from rural to urban areas for job opportunities This was the beginning of a vast migration from the farms to the cities when agricultural machinery cut the need for farm laborers.

What inventions created great change and industrial growth in the United States?

Inventions that contributed to great change and industrial growth

·     Lighting and mechanical uses of electricity (Thomas Edison)

Edison invented the electric light bulb in 1879. During the following decades, factories and transportation began to shift from steam to electric power. By 1925, over 60% of homes had electric power.
·     Telephone service (Alexander Graham Bell) 1876 - Phone service spread rapidly and transformed communications. 

What challenges faced Americans as a result of those social and technological changes?

Population changes, growth of cities, and new inventions produced interaction and often conflict between different cultural groups, and thus produced problems in urban areas.   Inventions had both positive and negative effects on society.
·     Rapid industrialization and urbanization led to overcrowded immigrant neighborhoods and tenements.

New York and other industrial cities became terribly overcrowded. Slums were created when landlords divided tenement buildings and packed in as many people as possible. People of the same ethnic background lived in same neighborhoods, creating ghettos. Overcrowding caused frequent epidemics of typhoid, smallpox, and tuberculosis. Bad water and garbage in the streets led to disease. The ghettos were filled with smoke and dust. The crime rate was high. Fires were frequent.

What were some efforts to solve immigration problems?

Although many immigrants did migrate to rural America, a majority settled in cities. Immigrant populations, in fact, were highest in four of the largest cities at the time (New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Chicago).

·     Settlement Houses, such as  Hull House founded by Jane Addams
       Click to expand - Coffee Room at Hull House
Hull house in Chicago was established to help immigrants. It provided many services - from kindergartens to laundry rooms. Other settlement houses soon opened around the nation.

·     Political machines that gained power by attending to the needs of new immigrants (e.g., jobs, housing)



Progressives fought the power of the bosses and the political machines that controlled the big cities.  By 1900 city life becoming better. Fresh water was piped  in, lighting was installed. Some city bosses tried to help new immigrants in order to get their votes.  Many attempts to reform the city machines.  Reformers created city-owned services like garbage collections and street cleaning, and also created private organizations to help the poor.

How did different cultural groups interact?

Indians - Interaction and conflict

Indians believed that land and its resources should be available to all, and not something that could be bought or sold.  Buffalo had provided the Indians of the Plains with most of their needs, but by 1883,  buffalo were nearly extinct. Whites killed buffalo for meat, hides, and increasingly  for sport. Buffalo,  which in the past had roamed and grazed on the plains at will,  were cut off from grazing land by barbed wire fences.
·     Indian policies and wars


By 1865 skirmishes between Indians and whites were frequent on the Great Plains and throughout the Southwest. In 1867 a Peace Commission was established to convince the various tribes to give up their lands and to relocate onto "reservations" - tracts of land set aside for Indian communities. Some Indians moved voluntarily, while others continued to fight for their land and their way of life.
Battle of Little Bighorn
"Custer's Last Stand"
In 1876, the federal government decided to force the Sioux, led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, back on to the reservation. Custer led his troops against more than 2,000 Sioux Indians.

Custer and all of his men died in that attack, which came to be known as "Custer's Last Stand."  The Sioux were buoyed by their victory, but within a few months they were forced to surrender nonetheless.
·     Chief Joseph In 1877, when the federal government sent troops in to force the Nez Percé off their lands in the Washington territory and into a reservation, Chief Joseph led 400, 000 of his people on a long trek toward the Canadian border to escape white settlers. Finally in late 1877, just a few miles from the Canadian border, the troops captured Chief Joseph and his warriors, the old people, the women, the children, and sent them off to Indian territory.

·     Discrimination against immigrants -


Settlers on the West Coast especially blamed declining wages and economic problems on the Chinese workers.   In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act,  the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States.
Irish The Irish  began to arrive a large number by the 1840s after the potato crop failed. By 1860 Irish immigrants had largely replaced the New England mill girls as textile workers.  Americans tended to look down on each group of new immigrants. Immigrants in turn were unfriendly toward blacks.

·     Challenges faced by cities

·     Tenements and ghettos
                           1890 NYC Jewish ghetto
 Immigrants and factory workers often lived in crowded slums in industrial cities. Life there was squalid and dangerous. Low wages meant wives and children of most factory workers also had to work to help the family survive.
·     Political corruption (political machines) City bosses tried to make money from running the cities. The bosses, who were often the local mayors, controlled the city "machine".. They promised jobs to those that voted for them . One of the most corrupt was New York City's boss Tweed.


USII.3c Study Guide
Racial Segregation, "Jim Crow", and African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South

WHITE & YELLOW PRINT - Content outline from the VDOE curriculum guide   BLACK PRINT - Additional information

Standard USII.3c
The student will demonstrate knowledge of how life changed after the Civil War by

c)       describing racial segregation, the rise of “Jim Crow,” and other constraints faced by African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South.

What is racial segregation?

Racial segregation:

·    Separation based upon race

·     Directed primarily against African Americans, but other groups also were kept segregated

·     “Jim Crow” laws were passed to discriminate against African Americans.

How were African Americans discriminated against?

Discrimination against African Americans continued after Reconstruction.
“Jim Crow” laws
institutionalized a system of legal segregation.

“Jim Crow” laws

·     Made discrimination practices legal in many communities and states.


         Click to enlarge image

The name Jim Crow is often used to describe the segregation laws, rules, and customs which arose after Reconstruction ended in 1877. These "Black Codes"  took away many of the rights which had been granted to Blacks through the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. They prevented Blacks from voting by requiring payment of poll taxes and requiring  that voters pass a test about the Constitution.  For a while, Blacks were disparagingly called "Jim Crow",  a term meant to evoke the image of a singing and dancing fool.

·     Were characterized by unequal opportunities in housing, work, education, government

"Jim Crow" laws encouraged segregation. They required separate black and white facilities - schools, railroad cars, etc.

They prevented blacks from living in white areas, getting government jobs etc.

The Supreme Court confirmed legality of "separate but equal" in Plessey vs. Ferguson case - 1896.

How did African Americans respond to discrimination and “Jim Crow”?

African Americans differed in their responses to discrimination and “Jim Crow.”

·     Booker T. Washington—Believed equality could be achieved through vocational education; accepted social separation.

He founded the Tuskegee Vocational School in Alabama in 1881. Some blacks thought he was too cautious and faulted him for his acceptance of separation.
·     W.E.B. Du Bois—Believed in full political, civil, and social rights for African Americans .  Du Bois would not accept segregation as Booker T. Washington had. He founded the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) which called for complete political, legal, and social equality for blacks and an end to discrimination.


The student will demonstrate knowledge of how life changed after the Civil War by

d)     explaining the rise of big business, the growth of industry, and life on American farms.

Between the Civil War and World  War I, the United States was transformed from an agricultural to an industrial nation.

What created the rise in big business?

·     National markets created by transportation advances A single manufacturer could use railroads and canals to ship goods to markets all around the U.S.
·     Captains of industry

John D. Rockefeller, oil
Rockefeller's Standard Oil owned each step in the  oil production process from the drilling operations to the gas station pumps. He took over rival companies and made them part of his trusts.
Andrew Carnegie, steel By using the latest technology and watching costs, Carnegie priced his steel below competitors. By 1900 he owned the world's largest industrial corporation - Carnegie Steel.
Henry Ford, automobile  
Model T - click to enlarge
Ford increased output in the auto industry with standardized machine-made parts and assembly line production.
·     Advertising In order to  increase sales, manufacturers began to develop strategies to advertise their products.
·     Lower-cost production Big businesses could lower the cost of production with new technologies like assembly lines, standardized interchangeable parts, and the Bessemer process for making steel. Economies of scale gave them a distinct advantage in using these technologies.

What are some examples of big business during this era?

·      Railroads

      click to enlarge

At first, railroads were developed by hundreds of small companies, but soon they started to drive each other out of business. Railroad barons bought up the smaller lines and created nationwide rail systems that used the same equipment and same size track.
 ·      Oil Rockefeller's Standard Oil formed a trust that eliminated any competition in the oil industry. It took over all of the other rival companies and controlled all of the steps in the production process.
·     Steel Carnegie prices his steel below the competition and drove others out of business. Later Carnegie steel would become part of U.S. Steel, an even larger corporation formed by J.P. Morgan.

What factors caused the growth of industry in general?


·     Access to raw materials and energy
Vast supplies of natural resources had been discovered in the U.S., including food, fuel and minerals. By the late 1800s, railroads carried raw materials like coal and iron ore from the mines to mills in Pittsburgh.
·     Availability of work force Industry could not have grown if the U.S. without a large available workforce. A large workforce was available due to 1)  a huge influx of immigrants, which caused the U.S. population to triple between 1860 and 1910, and 2) increased migration to the cities from southern farms, where mechanization was decreasing the need for labor.
·     Inventions The new Bessemer process allowed coal and iron to be converted cheaply to steel, and steel fueled the growth of other industries.  Other inventions included sewing machines which led to a huge textile industry in New England, the telegraph and telephone which enable better communication, and hydroelectric power plants for electricity.
·    Financial resources During this prosperous period, money was available to fund new industries.

How did industrialization and the rise in big business influence life on American farms?

Postwar changes in farm and city life:

·     Mechanization (e.g., the reaper) had reduced farm labor needs and increased production. The reaper, for example,  could do the work of ten men. Mechanization meant fewer men were needed on the farms. Farm production still increased, and food was available to feed the city workforce. This was the beginning of a long period of migration from rural areas to the cities.
·     Industrial development in cities created increased labor needs. Farm laborers saw better opportunities in the cities. Increased demand for labor in the cities meant higher wages.
·     Industrialization provided access to consumer goods (e.g., mail order) More consumer goods were produced and they became increasingly available in cities. But rural customers were also able to buy goods from catalogs and have them shipped via mail order.

USII.3e Study Guide
The Progressive Movement, Organized Labor, Women's Suffrage, and the Temperance Movement

WHITE PRINT - Content outline from the VDOE curriculum guide

The student will demonstrate knowledge of how life changed after the Civil War by

e)       describing the impact of the Progressive Movement on child labor, working conditions, the rise of organized labor, women’s suffrage, and the temperance movement.

What were the negative effects of  industrialization?

·     Child labor

Click image to enlarge

Children often entered the work force at age eight or nine because parents needed their children's wages.  They worked in coal mines, textile mills and other factories. Without safety regulations, children were three times more likely to hurt themselves than adults.
·     Low wages, long hours 10-hour workdays were common and wages were barely enough to live on.  Workers had no health coverage or other benefits.
·     Unsafe working conditions No regulations on safety. Frequent accidents occurred in factories, especially involving children who might fall asleep or be less attentive. A tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in N.Y. killed 141 seamstresses who were unable to escape because exits were locked.

How did workers respond to the negative effects of industrialization?

The effects of industrialization led to the rise of organized labor and important workplace reforms.

Rise of organized labor:

·     Formation of unions—American Federation of Labor

AFL pushed for issues like higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions. It was strongest in the skilled trade, not the factories.  Preferred bargaining over strikes.

· Strikes


1892 - Illustrated Weekly - Labor troubles at Homestead, PA -    Click to enlarge

In the late 1800's, strikes occurred all the time, often ending in violence and little gain for the workers. In 1892, 13 men were killed in a battle between striking steelworkers and strikebreakers at Carnegie's Homestead steel plant in Pittsburgh.
The strike turned many Americans  against unions and organized labor, which they blamed for the violence.

How did the reforms of the Progressive Movement change the United States?

Progressive Movement workplace reforms:

·     Improved safety conditions

Progressive Movement - includes different reform movements that dealt with problems caused by massive immigration, urbanization, and big business. Reformers wanted laws to protect workers and poor people, to reform government and to regulate business.

Resulted in laws passed passed by states making employers legally responsible if their workers were injured or killed on the job.

·     Reduced work hours States gradually began to reduce work hours, especially for women and children.
·     Placed restrictions on child labor States started to place restrictions on child labor, though some of the state laws were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

What were the results of the women's suffrage movement?

Women’s suffrage:

·     Increased educational opportunities

By 1900, one-third of college students were women. Educated women began demanding the right to vote.
·     Attained voting rights   Growing numbers of educated women were becoming angry that they could not vote.  In large cities, women campaigned hard for suffrage, and gradually more and more states allowed women to vote.  The important role played by women workers in World War II tipped the balance in favor of granting women suffrage.
·     Women gained the right to vote with passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. In 1920, the 19th Amendment was adopted. It made it illegal for any state or for the federal government to deny women the right to vote.
·     Susan B. Anthony worked for women’s suffrage. During the 1800's, Anthony was one of the leaders of the women's suffrage movement, and fought for women to win the right to vote.

What was the Temperance Movement?

·     Composed of groups opposed to the making and consuming of alcohol

Temperance Movement - wanted to limit or ban the use of alcohol. Thought drinking was a serious threat to family life. Mostly Protestants. Associated drinking with Irish Catholics.
·     Supported 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcoholic beverages 18th Amendment, banning manufacture or sale of alcohol,  adopted in 1919.

Click images to enlarge