In this activity, students watch a short clip from the ASHP documentary 1877: The Grand Army of Starvationto learn about the impact of railroad expansion on Americans and the nation as a whole. After watching the clip, students complete the “Technological Turning Points and their Impact” worksheet in order to examine the positive and negative effects of the railroad.
The Ad*Access Project presents images and database information advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. This selection of ads is about trains.
Starting with the Gold Rush, Chinese migrated to California and other regions of the United States in search of work. As several photographs show, many Chinese found work in the gold mines and on the railroads. They accepted $32.50 a month to work on the Union Pacific in Wyoming in 1870 for the same job that paid white workers $52 a month. This led to deep resentment by the whites, who felt the Chinese were competing unfairly for jobs. White labor unions blamed the Chinese for lower wages and lack of jobs, and anti-Chinese feelings grew. The cartoon "You Know How It Is Yourself" expresses this sentiment. Several political cartoons in this topic are graphic representations of racism and conflicts between whites and Chinese. "Won't They Remain Here in Spite of the New Constitution?" shows a demonized figure of political corruption protecting Chinese cheap labor, dirty politicians, capital, and financiers. "The Tables Turned" shows Denis Kearney (head of the Workingman's Party of California, a union that had criticized Chinese laborers) in jail, being taunted by Chinese men. In 1880, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed the Chinese Exclusion Treaty, which placed strict limitations on the number of Chinese allowed to enter the United States and the number allowed to become naturalized citizens. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited immigration from China (The Act was not repealed until 1943). The two-part cartoon from the July-December 1882 issue of The Wasp reflects how some citizens saw the situation. After the Act was passed, anti-Chinese violence increased. One illustration depicts the Rock Springs Massacre of 1885, a Wyoming race riot in which 28 Chinese were killed by British and Swedish miners. The "Certificate of Residence" document illustrates that Chinese individuals were required to prove their residence in the United States prior to the passage of the Exclusion Act. The poster offering a reward for Wong Yuk, a Chinese man, makes it clear that the United States was actively deporting Chinese. Despite discrimination and prejudice, this first wave of immigrants established thriving communities. Photographs taken in San Francisco's Chinatown show prosperous businesses, such as the "Chinese Butcher and Grocery Shop." Wealthy merchants formed active business associations, represented by the image "Officers of the Chinese Six Companies." The Chinese celebrated their heritage by holding cultural festivals, as shown in the photograph from 1896. The photographs "Children of High Class," "Golden Gate Park," and "Chinese Passengers on Ferry" are evidence that some Chinese adopted Western-style clothing while others wore more traditional attire.
In this activity, students read a series of primary source documents, including the 1872 print "American Progress," that depict the social, political and cultural conflicts between settlers and Native Americans during the 19th century. Then, working in small groups, students will consider the events from the perspective of Native Americans, and create an illustration to counter George A. Crofutt's famous print of "American Progress" moving across the Great Plains.
Poster circulated in Philadelphia in 1839 to discourage the coming of the railroad, 1839
Examine a collection of primary source documents about railroads in the United States.
In this activity, students are guided through a close reading of The Journal of Sean Sullivan: A Transcontinental Railroad Worker, a fictional book for young readers based on historical sources. Students will read a short excerpt from the beginning of the book and determine the meaning of key words. Working in groups, students will then read excerpts related to one of the following themes: working conditions of railroad builders; tension between immigrant groups; corruption of the railroad companies; conflict with Great Plains Indian tribes; and boomtowns. They will also complete an individual writing task on their theme. Finally, students will consider the positive and negative effects of the railroad on the country as a whole, as well as on specific groups of Americans.
U.S. History is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of most introductory courses. The text provides a balanced approach to U.S. history, considering the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States from both the top down (politics, economics, diplomacy) and bottom up (eyewitness accounts, lived experience). U.S. History covers key forces that form the American experience, with particular attention to issues of race, class, and gender.Senior Contributing AuthorsP. Scott Corbett, Ventura CollegeVolker Janssen, California State University, FullertonJohn M. Lund, Keene State CollegeTodd Pfannestiel, Clarion UniversityPaul Vickery, Oral Roberts UniversitySylvie Waskiewicz
U.S. History is designed for a two-semester American history sequence. It is traditional in coverage, following a roughly chronological outline, and using a balanced approach that includes political, economic, social, and cultural developments. At the same time, the book includes a number of innovative and interactive features designed to enhance student learning. Instructors can also customize the book, adapting it to the approach that works best in their classroom.
This is an online companion to the 8-part PBS documentary on the American West. The site is divided into sections dealing with an overall tour, events in the West, places, people, and archives.