Textbook: America: A Narrative History, vol. 2, 11th ed., w/Inquizitive Access Code George Tindall & David Shi, ISBN 978-0-393-66894-0
For this week, the assigned readings will come from chapters 16,17, and 19. We will be covering Reconstruction, the rise of big business and labor unions, and the politics of the Gilded Age.
Reconstruction of course covers the period immediately following the Civil War where America struggled to understand how to bring the Union back together. There was no consensus on what to do with the southern states, nor how (or even if) they should be punished. America also struggled with the idea of what to do with the freed slaves, and how society could change in light of the end of slavery.
Please read the following passages in your textbook.
Pgs 729-747. Pgs 751-757, Pgs 764-768 and pgs 770-73.
While reading please think about the positive strides made during reconstruction. What good things did the radicals accomplish, and what did they fail to do? Also think about the events that led to the end of reconstruction. Which if any would be the most important factor?
Ch 17 covers the rise of big business and the rise as well of the Labor unions. As you read try to understand both sides. What allowed the barons of business to achieve what they did? Did they have abilities and talents that no one else did? Did they have advantages and connections that allowed them to succeed where others had failed? Or was it a combination of these things.
In your Textbook please read pgs 794-806, 810-829.
Ch 19 Covers the politics of the Gilded Age. The Gilded age is often misunderstood because few realize the importance of technological advancement following the Civil War. Prior to the war, america had primarily focused on agriculture or rather slavery vs free soil-ers. The collapse of slavery left many of the richest people in American society laid low. The people who would replace them were heads of corporations and business barons. The rise of big business was a new concept for America. Companies that stretched across state lines so easily were a novel concept. Workers and their rights in the face of such expansion were also new ground. With this new America also came a shift in politics. The way people conceived of government and its purpose shifted. And new groups popped up to root out and answer corruption that had entered government with the advent of these large businesses.
In your Textbook please read pgs. 885-901, 906-926
After you have read the passages for the week. I would like you to think about the following questions. After you have thought about these questions please take the quiz for the week. The quiz will consist of these questions. Your answers should be 3-5 sentences per question.
1. What were the successes of Congressional Reconstruction?
2. How did Reconstruction end, and what did that mean for the Country?
3. What qualities or factors allowed men like Carnegie, Rockefeller and Morgan to succeed in business?
4. Who Generally won the Labor conflicts of the 19th Century? With whom did the public generally side?