THE GILDED AGE

The Gilded Age is the period of American History dating from 1865 to 1900, less the Reconstruction Period of 1865-1877, which deal specifically with the South in the post-Civil War era. This is the area of American history that Mark Twain was referring to when he gave the era 1865-1900 the moniker of  the "Gilded Age.@ The term  refers to something with a deceptive attractiveness, or false luster. The Gilded Age covers four topics of American development in this time period: The movement of Americans to the Old West; the growth of American Industrialization, which includes renewed immigration, growth of labor unions, and expansion of urban America; American Politics; and a new American Imperial Foreign Policy.   By the end of the Gilded Age, unexciting a period as it may have been, the United States is a vastly different nation from what existed in 1865.

THE OLD WEST

REQUIRED READING

Tindall, chapter 19

TERMS TO KNOW

George Armstrong Custer    Battle of the Little Big Horn   7th Cavalry     Chief Joseph  Nez Perce Indians    Cow Towns and Boom Towns  Concentration System   Reservation System    "Domestic  Dependent Nation"    Dawes Severalty Act    Wheeler-Howard Act     Long Drive      Frederick Jackson Turner  "The Significance of the Frontier in American History"

George Armstrong Custer - commander of the 7th Cavalry Regiment who led a good sized portion of his regiment to defeat at the hands of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull at the battle of the Little Big Horn, June 25, 1876.  The destruction of the 7th Cavalry (generally referred to in American History as Custer's Last Stand) was the most recognizable or all battles between the US Cavalry and Indians, but was atypical of the normal results during the Indian Wars.

Because of white settler interest in the gold discovered on the large Indian reservation in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Sioux and their Cheyenne Indian allies left the reservation.  General Alfred Terry was authorized to use force to return the tribes to the reservation, and Custer's 7th Cavalry were part of Terry's command.

Custer discovered the Sioux on the banks of the Little Big Horn River, located in southeastern Montana.  Rather than wait for General Terry's arrival, Custer decided to act alone, and soon discovered that he was vastly outnumbered.  Custer made several fatal mistakes, including his division of his command into three parts, and he left the regimental wagon train and its supplies behind to move faster as he sought battle.

Custer and a third of his regiment, in excess of 200 cavalry troopers, were wiped out to the last man.  The regiments other two sections, under Major Reno and Captain Benteen, barely survived until General Terry's arrival.

Frederick Jackson Turner - historian and author of  "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" (1893), in which he lamented the closing of the frontier and the end of the first period of American History.
"Domestic Dependent Nation" - an attempt by the U.S. Supreme Court to describe the legal relationship of Native American Indian tribes to the United States in Worcester v. Georgia (1832).  Chief Justice John Marshall believed that, while individual Indians were not citizens, tribes were a nation within a nation, which were dependent on the protection of the U.S. Government.
Cow Towns and Boom Towns:  Towns that arose on the Great Plains to meet the needs of miners and cowboys
Long Drive - a cattle drive where cattle were marched to a railroad hub for shipment to the nation's growing cities.

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS

What officer led the 7th Cavalry to disaster at the Battle of the Little Big Horn?

What was the pattern of movement of settlers into the Old West?

Why was the US Cavalry able to prevail in battle with the plains Indians?

What is Turner's thesis in "The Significance of the frontier in American History"?

AMERICAN INDUSTRIALIZATION

    The Gilded Age is the era of the most dynamic growth in the American industrial process.  It was a process that began around 1800, but hit its takeoff phase after the Civil War.  In 1865, this nation was predominantly agricultural and rural based; by 1900 we had become predominantly industrial and urbanized.  The nation had access to all of the necessary ingredients for industrial growth (the seven factors of growth).  Led by the growth of the American railroad, we became an industrial giant.  The great men of the second half of the century were the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, the Morgans, all of whom had more influence than the presidents of the era.  But this nation has long had an argument over their roles.  Were they the Captains of Industry who made this nation great with their entrepreneurship?  Or were they Robber Barons, who made their millions at the expense of regular Americans who worked long hours at low wages in unsafe factories?
Business Trust - A combination of firms or corporations joined together to reduce competition and control prices throughout a business or industry.  John D. Rockefeller is normally viewed as the creator of the Trust structure.
Holding Company - A parent company which has partial or complete control of another company or companies.
Laissez-Faire - Non-interference and non-regulation by the government in business and industry, literally, "hands off."
Vertical integration - Corporate control which extends beyond mere production of an item.  Corporate control may extend to include ownership of raw materials, transportation, marketing, wholesaling and/or retailing of the item.
14th Amendment - Citizenship amendment passed in aftermath of the Civil War which stated that citizens could not be denied their rights without "due process of law."  Used by U.S. Supreme Court in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway v. Minnesota case to protect corporations from state regulations.
Granger Movement - Political movement in Midwest to protect  farmers from railroad abuses. Called for state regulations to prevent railroads from pooling rates, rebating favored customers, and stop bribing of government officials.
Samuel Gompers - New York City cigar maker, founder of American Federation of Labor (AFL).
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842) - Massachusetts Supreme Court case which ruled that trade unions were legal organizations.
Nativism - movement where native-born Americans viewed immigrants as a threat to America, which held anti-Catholic and/or anti Jewish sentiments, and cultural prejudices, or viewed immigrants as economic threats to Americans.

REQUIRED READING

Tindall, chapters 20  & 21

TERMS TO KNOW

Vertical and Horizontal Integration    Monopoly    Factors of Growth  Robber Barons  Captains of Industry   Laissez-Faire    Social Darwinism   Granger Movement  Business Trust/Holding Company  14th Amendment/Due Process Clause   Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)  Sherman Anti-trust Act    U.S. v. E.C. Knight  Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company v. Minnesota    John D. Rockefeller    Andrew Carnegie    J.P. Morgan   New Immigrant Groups    urbanization     skilled/unskilled workers    labor union    National Labor Union  Knights of Labor    American Federation of Labor (AFL)  Samuel Gompers  Homestead Strike    Pullman Strike     Haymarket Square Riot    Eugene Debs    Nativism      Commonwealth v Hunt   Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Strike

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS

Who founded the AFL?

Describe the seven factors of growth required for industrial expansion.

Explain how vertical integration would make monopolistic practices more effective.

GILDED AGE POLITICS

The second half of 19th century American political history has been portrayed as a period of shameful corruption.  Name the great presidents between Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Not one stands out as a truly superior chief executive. Among Gilded Age presidents, Andrew Johnson was impeached and barely held on to office. Ulysses Grant=s administration was riddled with corruption never before seen in the capital, and barely matched since. Rutherford Hayes beat Samuel Tilden only by political deal making. James Garfield and William McKinley were assassinated. Benjamin Harrison was a president who received fewer votes than his opponent. Grover Cleveland was considered immoral for having a child out of wedlock and for having hired a substitute when he was called for service in the Civil War.

The Gilded Age political scene was dominated by local party Amachines@ who were corrupt in their own realm. Politicians across the country were owned by big business, especially the railroads. Supreme Court decisions backing big business caused even greater distrust on the part of Americans. But as the turn of the century approached, just as reformers began to look at the problems of urbanization and in industry, reformers also arose in the political field, hoping to change the manner of patronage and regain control of the political system from the city machines.

The post Civil War era gives a bad name to American politics. This low esteem may have reappeared again here at the end of the 20th century as we view such corruption such as Watergate, Congressional pay raises and bad check writing, Whitewater, inside the Beltway political warfare over ethics, and sexual peccadilloes of our politicians.

The two major political parties differed very little over policy during the Gilded Age. The major defining issues between the parties was the protective tariff, and it was only over the rate level to be set. The Gold and Silver issue (backing for paper money) grew into a major issue at the end of the century. But both parties tried to avoid taking firm stands opposed to the other party for fear that such stands would also stand against public opinion and could cost either party dearly.

Gilded Age elections were extremely close run, and neither party could afford to offend its loyal supporters. We were mired in an era of divided government, with the Republican Party (GOP) normally controlling the Senate and Presidency, the Democratic Party controlling the House of Representatives. Except for Grover Cleveland, the GOP was able to Awave the bloody shirt@ and hold the White House. AWaving the Bloody Shirt@ was a means by which the GOP blamed the Democrats for starting the Civil War and claiming credit for themselves for having kept the nation unified. The Republicans ran that horse till it finally dropped in 1932 when Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Hoover for the presidency. Only two Democrats, Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson, broke the GOP stranglehold over the White House between the 1868 election and 1932 (it can be argued that the Republicans elected Wilson in 1912 by dividing itself between Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft). As far as closeness goes, Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel Tilden by one single electoral vote and became president only by a compromise political deal between the parties. James Garfield barely out-polled Winfield Scott Hancock in 1880.  Benjamin Harrison lost by 1% of the popular vote but carried the Electoral College in 1888. Only McKinley victory over Bryan in 1896 stands as a landslide after Grant=s reelection in 1872.

Bases of political party support

The GOP could count on the support of voters in New England, Pennsylvania, the Midwest and the Far West. Union Army soldiers were loyal supporters of the party, and areas in the north that were for prosecution of the war stayed with the party. The only Republican support in the South after 1877 came from black voters who were in the process of having their voting restricted by Aredeemed@ southern states. The GOP could count on support of Anative@ American groups, that is, those had traced their lineage in the US back to the Revolutionary era. Older Protestant groups, outside the South also were on the GOP side. Those concerned about alcohol use were for the Republicans. Big Business and large farmers were loyalists as well.

The Democratic party was rock solid in the South, so much so that South was referred to as the@Solid South@ and it remained so until the election of Eisenhower in 1952. The inner-city political machines of the Northeast were Democratic bastions. Immigrants, laborers, small business men, and poor farmers supported the party. Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Jews all were in the Democratic camp.

With these loyal groupings, it became essential to hold your voting blocs, and that was the role of the AMachine.@ Certain states, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, NJ and NY, became the battleground states, where the real contest were held every two years for control of the political process. If the machine failed to deliver the vote, the election was surely lost. Voting turnout was very high, especially when compared to the present, except in the South where only one party competed and where the black vote was restricted. It was essential to have party choices for the presidency from these battleground states.

Within the parties, factions existed which competed for control of the party. In the GOP, the Stalwarts led by Roscoe Conkling of NY and the Half Breeds led by James Blaine of Maine competed for control of the party apparatus and patronage. These two corrupt wings were further opposed by the Mugwumps, a reform group which sought an end to dishonest politics and for civil service reform. The Democrats were split by the rise of the ASilverites@ in 1896, which allowed the party to come under control of Populist ideas and led to the nomination of the youthful William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska for president, which ended in an election debacle at the hands of the Republicans.

'Waving the Bloody Shirt' - Used by Republicans after the Civil War, blaming secession and the war on the Democrats (southern states were controlled by the Democratic Party in the 1850s), and using this to appeal the union Army veterans and their families to vote Republican in the Gilded Age.
'Redeemed' States - After the Civil War, the Radical Republicans established new state governments in the eleven former states of the Confederacy, all dominated by the Republican Party, using a voting coalition of Carpetbaggers, Scalawags, and former slaves.  As Reconstruction came to an official end in 1877, and as the eleven states finally voted out these Republican governments and restored the Democratic Party to power in the state, the state was said to be 'redeemed.'
'The Solid South' - now redeemed, the southern states solidly voted Democratic from the 1870s through the 1950s.  Among the last jobs finally won by the Republicans in the south:  Sony Perdue's election as Georgia's governor in 2002, the first Republican elected governor since Reconstruction ended.
Grandfather Clause - a means of preventing former slaves from registering to vote.  Former slaves earned the right to vote via the 15th Amendment, but states prevented them from registering to vote.  In this case, you are allowed to vote if your grandfather voted, a standard no former slave could possibly claim. Literacy Tests, Residency Requirements and Poll Taxes all had the same purpose as the Grandfather Clause, to keep former slaves from registering to vote.
"Battleground States" - In the Gilded Age, these states are legitimately up for grabs for both the Democrats or Republicans to win in upcoming presidential elections.  Would not include states from the Solid South, which were controlled by the Democrats.  During the Gilded Age, battleground states would include electoral vote rich states New York, Ohio and Illinois, among others.  In modern day political language, these politically competitive tates are often referred to as "Purple States " as Red States are Republican dominated states, and Blue States are states where the Democrats dominate.
Primary - Pre-elections, where political parties select candidates to run for offices in the upcoming general election.  Enables average voters to select the candidates, rather than allowing the political bosses to arbitrarily select them.
Stalwarts and Half-Breeds - two factions within the Republican Party.  The Stalwarts were led by Roscoe Conkling of New York, and the Half-Breeds by James Blaine of Maine.  The two factions sought control of the party at the expense of the other, but the divisions between the two faction were murky and unclear.  Both factions should be seen as part of the political boss side of American politics.
Mugwumps - Republican Party reformers.

REFORM POLITICAL IDEAS
Secret Ballot - also known as the Australian ballot, did not become a staple in American politics until the end of the Gilded Age
Civil Service Reform - reformers hoped to end patronage, and fill government jobs based on individual qualifications.
Direct Election of Senators - change US Constitution and elect US senators directly by the people, instead of indirectly by state methods (such as selection by the state legislature).
Political Initiative - Average citizens suggest legislation that state legislature should consider for passage.
Referendum - State citizens vote yes or no on laws passed by the state legislature.
Primary - Party rank and file members select candidates to run for office via election, instead of allowing state political bosses to control the process of selecting candidates.  An Open Primary allows all eligible voters in a  state to chose a party to vote in their primary (but only one), while a Closed Primary allows only registered party members to vote in that party's primary.
Women's Right to Vote - not fully achieved until the Progressive Era, the Women's Suffrage Movement originated prior to the Civil War.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN THE GILDED AGE

Andrew Johnson - Former Democrat who was elected Vice-President under Lincoln in 1864, Johnson assumed office upon Lincoln's assassination in April, 1865.  He was impeached by the Radical Republicans in 1867 for specific violations of the Tenure in Office Act and the Command of the Army Act but, in reality, he was impeached because he disputed the Radical Republican plans for Reconstruction of the Confederacy after the Civil War.  Johnson was acquitted by the Senate by a mere one vote, and would not run for the presidency in 1868.

U.S. Grant - Elected twice by overwhelming margins for the presidency in 1868 and 1872, Grant's administrations were racked with corruption, most notably the Whiskey Ring Conspiracy.

The Election of 1876 stands as arguably the most disputed contested election this nation ever had, challenged only by the Bush-Gore election of 2000 and the question surrounding Florida and its electoral votes.  Rutherford B. Hayes (R-Ohio), former Union Army general had earned 165 of the needed 185 electoral votes, while Samuel Tilden (D-NY), governor of New York had earned 184, one short of election.  The nineteen electoral votes of Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana, plus one additional vote from Oregon, were in dispute between the two parties.  A special commission was selected to decide who won those votes. Tilden needed to be awarded only one of the disputed votes to become president, while Hayes had to be awarded all twenty electoral votes if he wished to win the White House. The special commission voted along straight party lines, and since the Republicans had one more member on  the commission, all twenty contested electoral votes were awarded to Hayes, giving him the White House.

The Democrats were justifiably upset with this partisan effort to rob them of the presidency, especially since Tilden not only had missed winning the Electoral College by one vote, he had also won the popular vote.  The Democrats were in no mood to let the issue drop, and only through the Compromise of 1877 did the Democrats accede to Hayes assuming office.  In return for Hayes becoming president, the occupation of the former Confederacy by Union troops was ended, and the three remaining states with Radical Republican governments, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana, were all "redeemed."

Election of 1880.  James Garfield (R-Ohio) former Union Army general defeated Winfield Scott Hancock (D), also a former Union Army general.  As part of the Republican nomination process, Garfield (a Half-Breed) agreed to accept Chester Arthur (NY), a Stalwart, as his Vice-Presidential running mate.  Arthur had the previous distinction of getting fired from his job at the New York City Customs House by President Hayes, because of the rampant corruption that went on during the collection of import tariffs.

When Garfield was assassinated by a disgruntled man seeking a federal job, Arthur assumed the presidency.  During his term, the Pendleton Act (also called the Civil Service Act) was passed.  The Pendleton Act created a system of Civil Service testing for a percentage of federal jobs, thus removing patronage in favor of hiring qualified individuals for these positions.

Arthur also authorized expenditures form the federal surplus to modernize the US Navy.  Because of the Industrial Revolution, this meant that over the next two decades, the US Navy would be changing from a wind powered wooden navy into a steel navy, a quantum leap forward for making the United States an eventual world power.

Election of 1884.  Grover Cleveland (D-NY) defeated James G. Blaine (R-Maine) for the presidency.  Cleveland was the only Democrat elected to the presidency in the Gilded Age, all of the others elected were Republicans.   This election was marked by real mudslinging and dirt throwing.  Blaine, Speaker of the House, was referred to as, "Blaine, Blaine, the continental liar from the State of Maine'" because of his connection to corruption and railroad kickbacks.  Blaine had no Civil War combat experience, something the Republicans normally used to "wave the bloody shirt."  Cleveland a reformed minded governor of New York, had paid a substitute $300 to take his place when he had been drafted during the Civil War.  Cleveland had also fathered a child out of wedlock, and was subject to derogatory cries from Republicans of, "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa?"

Blaine's candidacy was hurt by his connection to a Protestant minister, who proclaimed the Democrats the party of "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion."  Oddly enough, New York City's Tammany Hall "Machine" Democrats were prepared to deliver their votes to Blaine, the Republican, instead of the reformer, Grover Cleveland.  But the minister's remark angered many New York Irishmen who dominated Tammany Hall, since they were known to drink, were Catholic, and had fought against the Confederacy.  Tammany Hall delivered their votes to Cleveland.  Grover Cleveland was the only Democrat elected president in the Gilded Age.

President Cleveland reinforced the belief that the Democrats were the party of rebellion when he vetoed the Dependent Pension Bill.  The bill would have provided pensions to Civil War veterans and the dependents.  Cleveland vetoed the bill because there was no pension provision for former Confederate veterans, and in effect Southerners would be footing the bill for a benefits package that provided nothing to the Southern states.  The Dependent Pension Bill would eventually become law during the Harrison administration.

Election of 1888.  Benjamin Harrison (R-Indiana), former Union army general and grandson to the nation's 9th president, William Henry Harrison, defeated Cleveland's attempt at earning a second term.  For the second time in twelve years, the candidate with the most popular votes, Cleveland, lost the Electoral College.  This did not happen again until the year 2000.  Cleveland was hurt by the fact that the British ambassador to the United States admitted that the British favored Cleveland's re-election.  This remark angered Irish-Americans into voting for Harrison.

During Harrison's one term as president, the McKinley Tariff was passed, which raised the protective tariff to its highest levels ever.  The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was also passed which allowed to government to buy up a limited amount of silver to expand the amount of paper currency in circulation.

Election of 1892.  Grover Cleveland ran as the Democratic choice to recapture the White House.  In a rematch with Harrison, Cleveland won, and remains the only president to have regained his old office, thus making Cleveland both our 22nd and 24th president. 

The 1892 election marked the arrival of a third party, the Populist Party, to contest the presidency.  The Populists represented farming interests, and should be seen as an outgrowth of the earlier Granger Movement.  The Populists ran a former Union Army general, James Weaver of Iowa, as their presidential nominee, and a former Confederate general as their vice-presidential nominee.  The party supported issues such as government ownership of railroads and telegraph, direct election of US senators, a one term presidency, and ending the gold standard.  The Populists earned over one million votes, (10% of the popular vote total), along with twenty two electoral votes from western states, and sent several congressmen and senators to Washington.  The political experts believed the party to be the wave of the future.

Cleveland's second term was marked by economic troubles, referred to as the Depression of 1893.  These economic troubles guaranteed a Democratic defeat in 1896.  The depression provided the worst economic troubles that the nation had ever seen.

Election of 1896.  William McKinley (R-Ohio), former Civil War veteran, won his first term as president.  The Democrats found their candidate in Nebraska congressman William Jennings Bryan, at the tender age of 36.  Bryan stands as a true "dark horse" candidate, arriving at the party's Chicago convention a virtual unknown.  Bryan's brilliant oratory marked his arrival, as he gave a rousing speech forever known as the "Cross of Gold" speech.  Bryan took up the mantle of Populist ideas and carried them into the Democratic Party (thus insuring the eventual death of the Populist Party).  Bryan went after the Gold Standard, promising that, "You shall not crucify mankind on a cross of gold" in his speech, which caused the party to turn to him in hopes of avoiding election defeat.  Bryan even had the distinction of earning the nomination of the Populist Party in 1896 as their candidate for president as well.

McKinley ran a successful "front porch" campaign under the direction of his campaign manager, Mark Hanna.  McKinley's campaign was carefully scripted,. as supporters went to his home in Ohio to received fully prepared remarks.  This was in marked contrast to Bryan's whirlwind campaign around the country by rail.  But the nation was not yet prepared to accept the new ideas that Bryan offered, incorporated by the Democrats from the Populist Party.  McKinley carried all of the Northern states with their huge electoral vote totals and easily won the presidency.  The two candidates had a rematch in 1900, with McKinley again winning the White House.  Bryan has the distinction of being the youngest ever (36, barely above the constitutional minimum requirement of age 35) to earn the nomination of a major political party for the presidency, and he lost three times as the Democratic nominee for president (in 1896, in 1900  when he lost to McKinley for a second time, and in 1908).  Bryan was later named Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson.

REQUIRED READING

Tindall, chapter 22

TERMS TO KNOW

Corruption    Machine Politics    Mugwumps    Stalwarts    Half Breeds    Corruption    Patronage    "Cross of Gold" Speech     Reform Politicians                Solid South    "Waving the Bloody Shirt"    Grand Old Party (GOP)            Compromise of 1877    Pendleton Act    Civil Service Reform   Populist Party        Gold versus Silver      Open and Closed Primary    Poll Tax    Literacy Tests    Secret Ballot   Political Initiative            Direct Election of Senators     William Jennings Bryan  Farmers Alliance      Grandfather Clause    Dependent Pension Bill  McKinley Tariff   "Rum, Romanism and Rebellion"

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS

Which presidential candidate won his party=s nomination for the White House after delivering the dynamic ACross of Gold@ speech?

What voter groups were loyal to the Democratic Party in the Gilded Age? To the Republican Party?

What president was fired from his job in the New York Customs House because of corruption?

AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY IN THE GILDED AGE

The philosophy of American foreign policy from our independence until 1898 was largely of "Isolation."   George Washington had urged the nation to steer clear of "entangling foreign alliances" in his Farewell Address, surely excellent advice to a newly emerging country.  A neutral course in foreign policy seemed a prudent choice for the new United States.  In 1823, in the aftermath of the unhappy American experience in the War of 1812 and the end of much of the Spanish Empire in Latin America, James Monroe issued his Monroe Doctrine.  Monroe's doctrine ch announced that the Western Hemisphere was closed to further European colonization, and that the United States had no interest in involving itself in European affairs. The Washington and Monroe pronouncements serve as the pillars of Isolationism and Neutrality.

American new found interest in overseas adventures was largely born in the Gilded Age.  It occurred at a time when European Imperialists had grabbed ownership of large portions of Africa and Asia, and there was a sense among American Imperialists that the United States needed to get involved in overseas actions sooner rather than later, if it wished to emerge as a world power, and would need to do so before much of the world was carved up by the Europeans.  Imperialism had a strong economic rationale, and a new industrial power such as the U.S. had a strong need to have access to raw materials and foreign markets.  In addition, the American frontier, which provided an outlet for our citizens, was finally closed in the 1890's, and it was only natural for the nation to look elsewhere.  Social rationale also encouraged European powers, as well as the US, that it was the duty of  advanced civilizations to extend their leadership to the backward corners of the world ("White Man's Burden")

As this country entered into the Spanish-American War of 1898, it began to flex its muscles as an emerging world power, Many Americans were not ready to see an end to the nation's traditional isolationist attitude.  The War of 1898 represents a short but intense period of American imperialism.  It was a war the American Navy was well prepared for, as the Navy had been modernized as a steel navy.  The American Army, which had been fighting Indians since the 1860's was far less prepared, and suffered from incompetence during the war.  Far more lives were lost as a result of disease than from enemy action.  In the end, the Spanish were not able to withstand American power, and Cuba would gain its independence. As a result of the Spanish American War, the United States gained hegemony over the Caribbean Islands, including protectorate status over Cuba and Puerto Rico, and American ownership of Guam and the Philippine Islands.  The United States would also find itself mired down in a long protracted war against Filipino revolutionaries, who turned their guns on the United States when they discovered that the Americans had not come to liberate them from their Spanish masters, but rather came to replace the Spanish masters with American ownership.

 
In the 20th century, the U.S. would struggle with the two opposing viewpoints, isolationism and imperialism, for several more decades.  At the end of World War II, a victorious nation finally accepted its superpower role and entered into a great struggle with the Soviet Union, a struggle known as the "Cold War."  

'Seward's Ice Box'/'Seward's Folly' - Williams Seward's purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.
Spheres of Influence - areas of China under European (Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, etc.) economic control.  Examples: Hong Kong (Britain or Macao (Portugal)
Open Door Policy - Policy promoted by John Hay which urged that the European spheres of influence in China cease expanding, and that the remainder of China should be open to trade by all countries.
"That Splendid Little War" - Secretary of State John Hay's description of the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Regional Hegemony - the predominant influence of one nation over a region.
Teller Amendment - U.S. Senate agreed that the goal of the Spanish-American war is the liberate Cuba, and the U.S. will not annex Cuba for itself.
Platt Amendment - U.S. agreed to evacuate Cuba but reserved the American right to intervene in Cuban internal affairs in the future without invitation.  US gained naval rights to use Guantanamo Bay.
Yellow Journalism - sensationalism found in American newspapers, led by William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer's New York World.  Urged the US to retaliate against Spain after the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898.
Rough Riders - 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment which rode up San Juan Hill in Cuba.  Best known leader: Teddy Roosevelt.
The Immunes - men recruited by the Army for service in Cuba who were supposedly  immune from tropical diseases.
The Influence of Sea Power Upon History - Written by Alfred Thayer Mahan, the book's thesis stated that world power status evolved out of naval power, best demonstrated  by Britain's Royal Navy.
Guerrilla Warfare - warfare dominated by the use of irregular, indigenous small units, using hit and run tactics against a militarily superior foe. Used by the Filipino revolutionaries against American forces for many years in the Philippine Insurrection, following the War of 1898.

 REQUIRED READING

Tindall, chapter 23

TERMS TO KNOW

Imperialism    Isolation     Interventionism    Washington=s Farewell Address     Monroe Doctrine     ASeward=s Folly@ or ASeward=s Icebox@   Alfred Thayer Mahan    The Influence of Sea Power Upon History       The Spanish-American War    Yellow Journalism   ARemember the Maine!@     San Juan Hill    The Rough Riders   Teller Amendment     Platt Amendment  Philippine Insurrection   Emilio Aguinaldo    Open Door Policy   John Hay     spheres of influence   guerrilla warfare  Boxer Rebellion     protectorate    regional hegemony

SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS

What was the thesis of Mahan's book, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History?

How did Washington' Farewell Address and the Monroe Doctrine help establish the American desire for isolation?

What caused the Philippine Insurrection?

Who formed America's "Open Door" policy towards China?

Contrast Isolationism with Imperialism

What are the motivations in favor of Imperialism for the United States in the 1890's?