Key Concept 6.2: The emergence of an industrial culture in the United States led to both greater opportunities for, and restrictions on, immigrants, minorities, and women.
I. International and internal migrations increased both urban and rural populations, but gender, racial, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic inequalities abounded, inspiring some reformers to attempt to address these inequities. (ID-6) (PEO-2)(PEO-3) (PEO-6) (POL-3)
Increased migrations from Asia and from southern and eastern Europe, as well as African American migrations within and out of the South, accompanied the mass movement of people into the nation’s cities and the rural and boomtown areas of the West.
Cities dramatically reflected divided social conditions among classes, races, ethnicities, and cultures, but presented economic opportunities as factories and new businesses proliferated.
Immigrants sought both to “Americanize” and to maintain their unique identities; along with others, such as some African Americans and women, they were able to take advantage of new career opportunities even in the face of widespread social prejudices.
In an urban atmosphere where the access to power was unequally distributed, political machines provided social services in exchange for political support, settlement houses helped immigrants adapt to the development and social and political reform. new language and customs, and women’s clubs and self-help groups targeted intellectual development and social and political reform.
II. As transcontinental railroads were completed, bringing more settlers west, U.S. military actions, the destruction of the buffalo, the confinement of American Indians to reservations, and assimilationist policies reduced the number of American Indians and threatened native culture and identity. (PEO-4) (ENV-5) (POL-6)
Post–Civil War migration to the American West, encouraged by economic opportunities and government policies, caused the federal government to violate treaties with American Indian nations in order to expand the amount of land available to settlers.
The U.S. government generally responded to American Indian resistance with military force, eventually dispersing tribes onto small reservations and hoping to end American Indian tribal identities through assimilation.