Unit 5-Gilded Age

Social Science Department at Canyon Crest Academy


AP U.S. History

Van Over

Unit Six

Emergence of Modern America and “The Gilded Age”



DIRECTIONS:        This is your study resource to use as we progress through our unit.  It lists concepts, terms, and an outline of items that may appear on the unit exam or the AP Exam.  Use this guide as you wish; it will not be collected.  However, all material on this guide (and from class) is subject to being tested.


READINGS:                           Bailey, et al, Chapters 24, 25, 26, and 23 (we read 23 last)

                                                Taking Sides, VOLUME 2, Issue 5,


UNIT DATES:                         November 13, 2006—December 1, 2006


ANTICIPATED TEST:             Multiple Choice Test and Essay: December 1, 2006




Reading objectives (written by the publishers of your textbook) are provided as a guide to what you should know when you are done reading the chapter.  Many of you have reported that you find it difficult to read the book, as you are not sure you are “getting” what you are supposed to know.  Use these objectives as a way to clue you in to what is important.  A possible method is to look over the objectives before you read; then, as you read and note information that relates to the objective, make notes about the information or outline. 


The study guide questions are provided as always.  Below you will find a list of terms that relate to each chapter.




Your weekly agendas may specify certain portions of a chapter, or certain chapters, to be read as homework prior to a day’s lesson.  THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD ONLY READ PAGES LISTED IN YOUR AGENDAS.  FURTHERMORE, IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE FOR ALL READINGS FOR THE UNIT.  Do not fall into the trap of only reading what is specified in the agendas.


Note: We read Chapter 23 (Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age, 1869—1896) at the END of the unit.


CHAPTER 24: Industry Comes of Age, 1865—1900


Chapter Objectives


  1. Explain how the transcontinental railroad network provided the basis for the great post-Civil War industrial transformation.

  2. Identify the abuses in the railroad industry and discuss how these led to the first efforts at industrial regulation by the federal government.

  3. Describe how the economy came to be dominated by giant “trusts,” such as those headed by Carnegie and Rockefeller in the steel and oil industries.

  4. Discuss the growing class conflict caused by industrial growth and combination, and the early efforts to alleviate it.

  5. Indicate how industrialists and their supporters attempted to explain and justify great wealth and increasing class division through “natural law” and the “Gospel of Wealth.”

  6. Explain why the South was generally excluded from industrial development and fell into a “third world” economic dependency.

  7. Analyze the social changes brought by industrialization, particularly the altered position of working men and women.

  8. Explain the failures of the Knights of Labor and the modest success of the American Federation of Labor.


Identify, Define, or Describe, and state the historical significance of the following:


Leland Stanford

Collis P. Huntington  James J. Hill

Cornelius Vanderbilt

Jay Gould   Alexander Graham Bell

Thomas Edison

Andrew Carnegie  John D. Rockefeller

J. Pierpont Morgan

Terence V. Powderly John P. Altgeld

Samuel Gompers 

Land Grant Stock Watering


Rebate Vertical Integration (Consolidation)

Horizontal Integration           

Trust  Interlocking Directorate

Capital Goods 

Plutocracy  Injunction

Union Pacific Railroad

Central Pacific Railroad  Grange

Wasbash Case

 Bessemer Process United States Steel

Gospel of Wealth

William Graham Sumner  New South

Yellow Dog Contracts

 National Labor Union  Haymarket Riot

American Federation of Labor



Review Questions:


  1. What was the impact of the transcontinental rail system on the American economy and society in the late nineteenth century?

  2. How did the huge industrial trusts develop to industries such as steel and oil, and what was their effect on the economy?

  3. What early efforts were made to control the new corporate industrial giants, and how effective were these efforts?

  4. What was the effect of the new industrial revolution on American laborers, and how did various labor organizations attempt to respond to new conditions?

  5. Compare the impact of the new industrialization on the North and the South.  Why was the “New South” more a slogan than a reality?

  6. William Graham Sumner said that the wealth and luxury enjoyed by millionaires was justified as a “good bargain for society” and that “natural law” should prevent the wealthy classes from aiding the working classes and poor.  Why were such views so popular during the Gilded Age?  What criticisms of such views might be offered?

  7. The text states that “no single group was more profoundly affected by the new industrial age than women.”  Why was women’s role in society so greatly affected by these economic changes?

  8. In what ways did industrialization bring a revolution in cultural views of labor, opportunity, and even time?

  9. How did the industrial transformation after the Civil War compare with the earlier phase of American economic development?  (See Chapter 14.)  Why were the economic developments of 1865—1900 often seen as a threat to American democracy, whereas those of 1815—1860 were not?

  10. What strains did the new industrialization bring to the American ideals of democracy and equality?  Was the growth of huge corporations and great fortunes a successful realization of American principles or threat to them?  How?


CHAPTER 25: America Moves to the City, 1865—1900


Chapter Objectives:


  1. Describe the new industrial city and its impact on American society.

  2. Describe the “New Immigration” and explain why it aroused opposition from many native-born Americans.

  3. Discuss the efforts of social reformers and churches to aid the New Immigrants and alleviate urban problems.

  4. Analyze the changes in American religious life in the late nineteenth century, including the reaction to Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories and the expansion of Catholicism and Judaism.

  5. Explain the changes in American education from elementary to the college level.

  6. Describe the literacy and cultural life of the period, including the widespread trend towards “realism.”

  7. Explain the growing national debates about morality in the late nineteenth century, particularly in relation to the changing roles of women and the family.


Identify, Define, or Describe, and state the historical significance of the following:


Jane Addams                       Florence Kelley                    Mary Baker Eddy                  Charles Darwin

Booker T. Washington        W.E.B. Du Bois                    William James                     Henry George

Horatio Alger                        Mark Twain                           Charlotte Perkins Gilman   Carrie Chapman Catt

Megalopolis                         Ethnicity                                 Settlement house               Nativism

Evolution                               Philantrophy                         Pragmatism                          Yellow Journalism

New Immigration                 Social Gospel                      Hull House                            American Protective Association

Modernist                             Chatauqua Movement       Morrill Act                              Comstock Law

Women’s Christian Temperence Union                          Eighteenth Amendment


Chapter Review Questions:


  1. What new opportunities did the cities create for Americans?

  2. What new social problems did urbanization create?  How did Americans respond to these problems?

  3. How did the “New Immigration” differ from the “Old Immigration,” and how did Americans respond to it?

  4. How was American religion affected by the urban transformation, the New Immigration, and cultural and intellectual changes?

  5. Why was Darwinian evolution such a controversial challenge for American religious thinkiers?  Why were religious “liberals’ able to dominate Americans’ cultural response to evolution?  How did a minority resistance to evolution lay the basis for a later rise of fundamentalism?

  6. How did American social criticism, imaginative writing, and art all relate to the urban industrial changes of the late nineteenth century?

  7. How and why did women assume a larger place in American society at this time?  (Compare their status in this period with that of the pre-Civil War period described in Chapter 16.)  How were changes in their condition related to changes in both the family and the larger social order?

  8. What were the greatest cultural transformations of the Gilded Age?

  9. Why did American culture and writing actually flourish against the troubling and conflict-ridden politics and economics of the period (See Chapters 23 and 24)?  Can it be argued that American intellectuals and writers of the period actually “benefited” from economic upheaval and social disruption?


CHAPTER 26: The Great West and the Agricultural Revolution, 1865—1896


Chapter Objectives:


  1. Discuss the causes and the nature of the cultural conflicts and battles that accompanied the White American migration into the Great Plains and the Far West.

  2. Explain the development of federal policy towards Native Americans in the late nineteenth century.

  3. Analyze the brief flowering and decline of the cattle and mining frontiers.

  4. Explain the impact of the closing of the frontier and the long-term significance of the frontier for American history.

  5. Describe the revolutionary changes in farming on the Great Plains.

  6. Describe the economic forces that drove farmers into debt, and describe how the Grange, the Farmers’ Alliances, and the Populist Party organized to protest their oppression.


Identify, Define, or Describe, and state the historical significance of the following:


Sitting Bull                            George A. Custer                 Chief Joseph                        Geronimo

Helen Hunt Jackson            Joseph F. Glidden              Oliver H. Kelley                   James B. Weaver

Mary Elizabeth Lease         Sioux Wars                            Nez Percé                              Apache

Ghost Dance                         Battle of Wounded Knee   Dawes Severalty Act          Comstock Lode

Long Drive                             Homestead Act                    Eighty-Niners                       Patrons of Husbandry

Granger Laws                       Greenback Labor Party       Farmers’ Alliance               Populists

Marcus A. Hanna                 Eugene V. Debs                    William Jennings Bryan     Bimetallism

Jacob S. Coxey                     William McKinley                Pullman Strike                    Gold Standard Act

Homestead Strike               Free Silver                              Wilson-Gorman Tariff         Dingley Tariff

“Cross of Gold” Speech     Depression of 1893           Grover Cleveland


Chapter Review Questions:


  1. How did whites finally overcome resistance of the Plains Indians, and what happened to the Indians after their resistance ceased?

  2. How did the successive phases of mining, cattle raising, and farming each contribute to the settlement of the Great West?

  3. What social, ethnic, environmental, and economic factors made the trans-Mississippi West a unique region among the successive American frontiers?

  4. What factors made western farmers economically vulnerable even as they were expanding their agricultural production in the Great West?

  5. What were the strongest points of the Farmers’ Alliances, and what were their weaknesses?  Why did the farmers’ protests scare eastern interests so badly?

  6. What were the actual effects of the frontier on American society at different stages of its development?  What was valuable in Frederick Jackson Turner’s “frontier thesis,” despite being discredited by subsequent historians?

  7. How did the forces of economic class conflict and race figure into the farmer and labor revolt of the 1880s and 1890s?  Was there ever any chance that a bi-racial coalition of farmers could have succeeded not only in economic change but in overcoming the South’s racial divisions?  Were race relations actually worse after the Populist Revolt failed?

  8. Were the Populist and the pro-silver movements of the 1880s and 1890s essentially backward-looking protests by a passing rural America, or were they, despite their immediate political failure, genuine prophetic voices raising central critical questions about democracy and economic justice in the new corporate industrial America?

  9. What were the major issues in the crucial campaign of 1886?  Why did McKinley win, and what were the long-term effects of his victory?

  10. Some historians have seen Bryan as the political heir of Jefferson and Jackson, and McKinley as the political heir of Hamilton and the Whigs.  Are such connections valid?  Why or why not? 

  11. The settlement of the “Great West” and the farmers’ revolt occurred at the same time as the rise of industrialism and the growth of American cities.  To what extent were the defeat of the Indians, the destruction and exploitation of western resources, and the populist revolt of the farmers caused by the Gilded Age forces of industrialization and urbanization?


CHAPTER 23: Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age, 1869—1889


Chapter Objectives:


  1. Describe the political corruptions of the Grant administration and the various efforts to clean up politics in the “Gilded Age”

  2. Describe the economic slump of the 1870s and the growing conflict between “hard-money” and “soft-money” advocates.

  3. Explain the intense political involvements of the age, despite the lack of the parties’ lack of ideological difference and poor quality of political leadership.

  4. Indicate how the disputed Hayes-Tilden election of 1876 led to the Compromise of 1877 and the end of Reconstruction.

  5. Describe how the end of Reconstruction led to the loss of black rights and the imposition of the Jim Crow system of segregation in the South.

  6. Explain the rise of class conflict between business and labor in the 1870s and the growing hostility to immigrants, especially the Chinese.

  7. Explain the importance of the spoils system in Gilded Age politics and how the Garfield assassination led to the beginnings of civil service.

  8. Discuss how the issueless political contests of the 1880s became increasingly nasty and personal, until Cleveland made the tariff question a focus of political debate.

  9. Explain  the rise of political conflict in the early 1890s, and the failure of Cleveland to address growing farm and labor discontent.

  10. Show how the farm crisis of the depression of the 1890s stirred growing social protests and class conflict, and fueled the rise of the radical Populist Party.


Identify, Define, or Describe, and state the historical significance of the following:


Ulysses S. Grant                  Horatio Seymour                                 Jim Fisk                                  Jay Gould

Thomas Nast                        Horace Greeley                                    Jay Cooke                              Roscoe Conkling

James G. Blaine                  Rutherford B. Hayes                           Samuel Tilden                      James A. Garfield

Chester A. Arthur                 Winfield S. Hancock                           Charles J. Guiteau               Grover Cleveland

Benjamin Harrison              Cheap Money                                       Hard/Sound Money            Contraction

Resumption                          Gilded Age                                            Spoils System                      “Ohio Idea”

the “Bloody Shirt”               Tweed Ring                                           Crédit Mobilier                     Whiskey Ring

Liberal Republicans            Resumption Act                                   “Crime of ‘73”                     Bland-Allison Act

Greenback Labor Party       GAR                                                        Stalwart                                 Half-Breed

Compromise of 1877        Pendleton Act                                       Mugwumps


Review Questions:


  1. What made politics in the Gilded Age extremely popular—with over 80 percent voter participation—yet so often corrupt and unconcerned with the issues?

  2. What caused the end of Reconstruction?  What did the North and the South each gain from the Compromise of 1877?

  3. What were the results of the Compromise of 1877 for race relations?  How were the political, economic, and social conditions of southern African-Americans interrelated?

  4. What caused the rise of the “money issue” in American politics?  What were the backers of “greenback” and silver money trying to achieve?

  5. How did civil service come to partially replace the political patronage system, and what were the consequences of the change for politics?

  6. In what ways did the politics of the Gilded Age still partially reflect the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction?  (See Chapter 24.)  How did the issues of that earlier era gradually disappear?

  7. What were the causes and political results of the rise of agrarian protest in the 1880s and the 1890s?  Why were the Populists’ attempts to form a coalition of white and black farmers and industrial workers ultimately unsuccessful?

  8. White laborers in the West fiercely resisted Chinese immigration, and white farmers in the South turned toward race-baiting rather than forming a populist alliance with black farmers.  How and why did racial issues “trump” the apparent economic self-interests of these lower class whites?

  9. Was the apparent failure of the American political system to address the industrial conflicts of the Gilded Age a result of the two parties’ poor leadership and narrow self-interest, or was it simply the natural inability of a previously agrarian, local, democratic nation to face up to a modern, national industrial economy?




Election Year

Legal Tender Cases 1870, 1871

Ulysses S. Grant

1868, 1872

Bradwell v. Illinois (1873)

Rutherford B. Hayes


Munn v. Illinois (1877)

James A. Garfield


Wabash, St. Louis, & Pacific RR Co. v. Illinois  (1886)

Grover Cleveland


Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co.  (1895)

Benjamin Harrison


Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Grover Cleveland (yes, again)


Slaughterhouse Cases, 1873

William McKinley

1896, 1900

Minor v. Happersen (1875)



Civil Rights Cases, 1883



U.S. v. E.C. Knight Co. (1895)



In re Debs, 1895






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