Let’s begin with the railroads, shall we? Turn to page 420 and read from “Settlers Move Westward to Farm” to “Government Support for Settlement”.
How did the Railroad companies come to own so much of the land in America?
Who were the people who actually performed the grueling work of prepping land and laying down track?
How did the railroad companies make money before they even had trains moving?
Why were so many of the people who moved to the Midwest immigrants (up to 70% in some states!)?
Now turn to page 442 and pick up at “The Age of the Railroads”.
Working on the railroad was hard work. How hard though? What were the dangers of working on the railroad?
How were working conditions for the Chinese different from other immigrants?
What are two ways in which the railroad linked this huge country together?
How did the Union Pacific and some members of Congress scheme to make illegal profits from the railroad?
This scandal was uncovered by newspaper reporters at the time. What happened to the men involved?
What were the effects of the scandal politically?
INFERENCE: How do you think the Credit Mobilier Scandal might affect the social atmosphere of our society?
Move on to page 447 and begin at “Carnegie’s Innovations”
Describe how vertical AND horizontal integration work. Be sure to do this in such a way that YOU can understand it.
What is Social Darwinism?
How were men like Carnegie, Morgan, and Rockefeller able to gain so much wealth (I am looking for treatment of employees and competitors)?
Do you agree with Carnegie’s defense of millionaires? Why or why not?
How did robber barons get around the Sherman Antitrust Act?
How is business in the South at the time?
Workers had few of the rights we enjoy today. What were some of the benefits that they were denied that we come to expect today?
What were some of the effects of low wages?
What was the first large scale labor union and what did it accomplish within its first few years?
How were the Knights of Labor different from NLU?
Read the “Historical Spotlight”. Why might African Americans have chosen to cross a strike line to work if management offered a job?
What goals did craft unions and industrial unions achieve for their workers?
Socialism started to sound really good to a lot of the working class at this time. What is socialism and why might it have been so attractive as a political movement?
How might the 1877 strike and the Haymarket Affair cause the public to begin to turn on the labor movement?
Use the graph on p. 453 to help you answer the following: What effects did the Haymarket Riot have on union membership?
Read from “The Pullman Company Strike” to the end of page 455. Based on what you read please hypothesize: If the government had supported unions instead of management in the late 19th century, how might the lives of workers been different?