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Major Problems in the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era 3rd Edition

Leon Fink

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2001, 1993
  • 544 Pages


MAJOR PROBLEMS IN THE GILDED AGE AND THE PROGRESSIVE ERA, Third Edition, presents a carefully selected group of readings on the transformative period between 1877 and 1920 that allows students to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians, and draw their own conclusions. Covering capitalism, labor movements, the Great War, and roots of Progressive reform movements the book takes a roughly chronological approach, emphasizing themes that continue to resonate today. As part of Cengage Learning's Major Problems in American History Series, the book is designed to encourage critical thinking about history. It contains primary documents and analytical essays as well as introductions, headnotes that provide context to help students better understand the readings, up-to-date bibliographies, and full document sources.

Leon Fink, The University of Illinois, Chicago

Leon Fink, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Chicago. A specialist in American labor, immigration history, and the Gilded Age/Progressive Era, he directs the Ph.D. concentration in the History of Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World (WRGUW) and edits the journal Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas. Professor Fink is the author or editor of eight books, most recently SWEATSHOPS AT SEA: MERCHANT SEAMEN IN THE WORLD'S FIRST GLOBALIZED INDUSTRY, FROM 1812 TO 2000 (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), which seeks out the roots of today's “globalized” economic order. A Fulbright Senior Scholar and past NEH Fellow, Professor Fink has also taken a leading role in national history education circles, where he has stressed the necessary collaboration between the university and the public schools.
  • This book, a volume in the MAJOR PROBLEMS IN AMERICAN HISTORY series, seeks to provide educators and their students with essential, readable, and provocative documents and essays that illuminate issues of wealth, technology, inequality, and difference-racialized, ethnicized, and gendered in various ways that defined the American world at the turn of the century.
  • The third edition features many new documents and essays, while retaining the basic framework of the previous volume. In keeping with the events of the present day, there is a stronger follow-through on issues of both social class and religion. In addition, borderlands, disability, and gay and lesbian history make their entrees, while themes of labor, business, populism, empire, and social welfare receive enhanced coverage.
  • The documents are primary sources, selected for how they illustrate major developments and, often, how they illuminate the accompanying essays. Some documents are well known, and others relatively obscure, but all are important. The essays in this volume were chosen because of the particular significance of each essay to our understanding of the time period, and the quality of the writing, research, and analysis.
1. Introducing the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Rebecca Edwards, The Thrust of Paleotechnology. T. J. Jackson Lears, Dreaming of Rebirth.
2. The Price of Progress.
Andrew Carnegie Hails the Triumph of America, 1885. Henry George Dissects the Paradox of Capitalist Growth, 1879. Ragged Dick Learns About “Struggling Upward,” 1895. Mark Twain Satirizes the Great American Myth, 1879. William Vanderbilt Defends Railroad Corporation Practices, 1882. Anarchist August Spies Calls on Laborers to Arm Themselves, 1886.
David Nasaw, The Law of Accumulation: A Gospel for the Wealthy. Michael Kazin, The Dreams of the Left.
3. Domesticating the West.
Bison Skulls Ready for Processing, Mid-1870s. The Medican (i.e. Medicine) Man, 1891. Sitting Bull Crosses into Canada to Elude U.S. Authorities, 1877. President Chester A. Arthur Aims to Turn Indians into U.S. Citizens, 1881. Las Gorras Blancas Announce Their Platform, 1890. Chinese Workers in Wyoming Protest Mob Attack, 1885. Frederick Jackson Turner Praises the Frontier as the Source of American Democracy, 1893. Norwegian Women Attack a Saloon, 1890s.
Richard White, Betting the Ranch: The Economics of the Open Range. Dee Garceau-Hagen, The Gendering of Ranch Work.
4. The World of Work in Industrial America.
North Carolina Landowner A. T. Mial Engages Sharecroppers, 1876, 1886. Mule-Spinner Thomas O''Donnell Laments the Decline of the Factory Artisan, 1883. The Purposes and Program of the Knights of Labor, 1878. A Trade Union Official Enunciates a Restrictive AFL Policy Toward Women Workers, 1897. Labor Organizer Mother Jones Compares Southern Mill Life to Serfdom, 1901. F. W. Taylor Recruits the Ideal Worker with the Principles of Scientific Management, 1910. Upton Sinclair Describes the Assembly Line at Ford Motor Company, 1910s.
Thomas G. Andrews, The Miners'' Freedom. Olivier Zunz, The Rise of the Managers.
5. Urbanization: New Places, New Peoples.
Population Growth in Select U.S. Cities, 1870–1920. Immigrant Distribution in Six Cities, 1890–1910. Traffic on Dearborn and Randolph, Chicago, 1909. Congress Takes Aim at the “Chinese Menace,” 1892. Types and Development of Man, 1904. Jacob Riis Describes Italian Immigrant Life in New York, 1914. The Jewish Daily Forward Offers Advice for New Immigrants, 1906–1907. Henry Ford''s Social Department Polices Immigrant Life, 1910s.
Maury Klein, The Collision of City and Country. George J. Sanchez, Americanization of the Mexican Immigrant. Douglas Baynton, The Undesirability of Admitting Deaf Mutes.
6. Gilded Age Politics.
Three Cartoonists Interpret the Political Scene, 1880, 1884, 1888. Free-Thinker Robert G. Ingersoll Waves the Bloody Shirt, c. 1880. New York City''s Boss Plunkitt Defends “Honest” Graft, 1905. The Pendleton Act Authorizes Civil Service Employment, 1883. Virginia Activist Live Pryor Seeks Help for Her Downtrodden Black Sisters, 1880. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Demands Suffrage as the Protection of Selfhood, 1892.
Mark Summers, The Power of Partisanship. Rebecca Edwards, Gendered Politics in the Gilded Age: Prohibitionist Strategies.
7. The Crises of the 1890s.
Political Economist Richard Ely Analyzes Pullman, IL, 1885. Harper''s Satirizes Eugene Debs, 1894. The People''s Party Pledges to End Economic Oppression: The Omaha Platform, 1892. Tom Watson Advocates a Biracial Populism, 1892. William Jennings Bryan Scorns the Gold Standard: The “Cross of Gold” Speech, 1896. The Republican Party Platform Seeks Protection and Sound Money, 1896.
Charles Postel, Revisiting the Populists. David Montgomery, The Pullman Boycott and the Making of Modern America.
8. Jim Crow America.
Atlanta Constitution Editor Henry W. Grady Heralds the New South, 1886. The U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Segregation: Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896. Booker T. Washington Advocates Self-Help, 1895. W.E.B. Du Bois Rejects Washington''s Strategy of Accommodation, 1903. Mary Church Terrell Praises the Club Work of Colored Women, 1901. The Lynching of African-American Farmhand Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas, 1916. Negro Migrants Explain Their Reasons for Coming North 1917–1918.
Robert J. Norrell, Booker T. Washington Catches Political Fire. David Blight, The Lost Cause in Black and White.
9. Constructing Empires.
Alfred T. Mahan Proclaims the Importance of Sea Power, 1890. Theodore Roosevelt Links War in the Philippines to the Ideal of the Strenuous Life, 1899. Poet Arthur H. MacOwen Memorializes the Destruction of the Maine, 1898. William Jennings Bryan Opposes U.S. Occupations of the Philippines, 1900. Emilio Aguinaldo Resists U.S. Occupation of the Philippines, 1899. President Theodore Roosevelt Justifies U.S. Intervention in Latin America, 1904.
Matthew Jacobson, Children of Barbarism, the Culture of Empire. Julie Greene, The Panama Canal: Transforming a Foreign Landscape.
10. Science in the Material, Social, and Spiritual Worlds.
Lester Frank Ward Attacks Laissez Faire in the Name of Reform Darwinism, 1884. Jane Addams Explains the Need for Social Settlements, 1892. Washington Gladden Explains the Higher Criticism, 1894. Reverend Franklin Johnson Attacks Biblical Criticism, 1910–1915. Gentleman-Sociologist Richard Dugdale Examines the Criminality of the “Jukes,” 1877.
Alice O''Connor, Poverty Knowledge in the Progressive Era. Thomas Hughes, An Inventor Nation.
11. Consumer Culture and Commercialized Leisure.
Pear''s Soap Ads Target Race and Gender, 1899, 1905. Frank Baum''s Dorothy Contrasts Kansas with the Emerald City of the Land of Oz, 1900. Charlotte Perkins Gilman Seeks to Extricate Women from the Trap of Consumption, 1899. Amusement Park Promoter Frederic Thompson Creates the Carnival Spirit, 1908. Jack Johnson Bests Jim Jeffries in the “Fight of the Century,” 1910.
George Chauncey, The Bowery as Homosexual Haven. Kathy Peiss, Beauty Culture and Women''s Commerce.
12. Progressivism: Roots of the Reform Vision.
Lewis Hine Documents Child Labor, 1900s. Reporter William G. Shepherd Witnesses the Triangle Fire, 1911. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise Memorializes the Victims of the Triangle Fire, 1911. Baptist Clergyman Walter Rauschenbusch Seeks a Social Christianity, 1912. Lincoln Steffens Exposes the Corruption of Municipal Politics, 1904. John Dewey Advocates a Democratic Schoolroom, 1900.
Daniel Rodgers, In Search of Progressivism. Vanessa H. May, Middle-Class Reformers and the Unprotected Domestic Worker.
13. The Progressive State.
The Supreme Court Accepts Limits on Working Women''s Hours: Muller v. Oregon, 1908. Al Smith Looks Back on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and Reforms, 1929. Charles McCarthy Inventories Wisconsin''s La Follette-Era Reforms, (1909–1911), 1911. Theodore Roosevelt Justifies State Regulation of Enterprise, 1910. Louis Brandeis Takes on Monopolies, 1913.
Alan Dawley, Progressive Statecraft. Eric Foner, Freedom and the Progressive State.
14. Progressive Environmentalism.
Children Play in the Street with a Dead Horse, ca. 1900. Upton Sinclair Describes Meat-Packing in Chicago, 1906. Conservationist Anna Comstock Sets Out a Nature-Study Curriculum, 1922. Congress Debates the Hetch Hetchy Dam, 1913. Enos Mills Mourns the Death of a One-Thousand-Year-Old Pine, 1914.
Donald Worster. The Passion of John Muir. Karl Jacoby, The Havasupai Problem.
15. American and the Great War.
President Woodrow Wilson Defends American Neutrality, 1914. President Woodrow Wilson Takes the U.S. to War, 1917. World War I Propaganda Posters, 1917–1919. Newspapers Report the African-American Experience During World War I, 1917–1918. A Wobbly Testifies to Vigilante Attack, 1917. President Wilson Envisions Fourteen Points of a New World Order, 1918.
David M. Kennedy, Over There: Interpreting Wartime Experiences Abroad. Joseph McCartin, Safe for Democracy? The Workplace During the Great War. Colin Fisher, African Americans, Outdoor Recreation, and the 1919 Chicago Race Riot.

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