The Gilded Age & The Progressive Era American History II- 11th Grade


North Carolina Essential Standards



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North Carolina Essential Standards

AH2.H.4.1: Analyze the political issues and conflicts that impacted the United States since Reconstruction and the compromises that resulted.


AH2.H.8.1: Analyze the relationship between innovation, economic development, progress and various perceptions of the “American Dream” since Reconstruction.


Essential Questions:

  • Should the government regulate business closely?

  • Was the Progressive Movement warranted?




Step 1

Divide primary resource assignments into centers. Assign students to small groups, which will rotate through the centers. (For a large class size, the assignments for some centers can be divided.)





Center A: Monopolists Readings & Chart (pg. 4-8)

  • With your group, please read the descriptions about each monopolist and complete the chart.

  • Discuss the individual monopolists and determine if they are captains of industry or robber barons. Be able to back up your opinions.

  • Remember, “captains of industry” portray them as champion monopolists and glorifies their business tactics, while “robber barons” holds a negative connotation.

Center B: Political Cartoons (pg. 9-11)

  • With your group, discuss the 4 political cartoons. Jot down things that you notice, interpretations, questions.

  • Answer the following questions

    • To what extend do the cartoons indicate the artists’ concerns for workers?

    • How effective was it for the artists to depict Standard Oil as an octopus? To title the 2nd cartoon “The Protectors of Our Industries?” To depict the monopolists in the Senate as money bags? To compare the monopolists of the Gilded Age to those of the French Revolution?

Center C: The Gospel of Wealth Guided Readings (pg. 12)

  • In your group, read the excerpts and quotes and respond to the 4 questions. Be sure you are discussing with your group.

  • How can this activity be used to answer the essential questions?




Center D: The Rise of the Cities: Guided Readings (pg. 13)

  • Within your group, discuss the readings from key reformers during the Gilded Age.

  • Answer the 2 discussion questions.

  • How do these 4 readings relate to the materials we have been discussing?

    • HINT: The Gospel of Wealth & the idea of philanthropy focuses on what?




Center E: Census Records for 1890 & 1900 and “Growth of the Cities” Guided Reading (pg. 14-17)

  • What conclusions can you come to using these census records for population and death rates in the cities?

  • Use the “Growth of the Cities” to supplement the Census records.

  • What can you gather about government regulations (at all levels) about living and working conditions, especially working conditions?

  • Why would the government be hesitant to making laws on working conditions?






Center F: Urban Life Pictures (pg. 18-22)

  • As you are looking at the five pictures with your group, think about the following questions:

    • What observations can you make about these conditions?

    • How could big business and government provide assistance to these situations pictured?

    • Can you come to any additional conclusions from the census results after seeing these images?




Step 2

Gather as a whole class to conclude with discussion. Possible discussion questions.



  • Were big business leaders “captains of industry” or “robber barons?”

  • Should business be allowed to combine & reduce competition?

  • Should the government regulate business closely?

  • Was the Progressive Movement warranted?




Intervention

Intentionally group students with mixed readiness levels, so that they can scaffold one another.




Extension 1: Was the Progressive Movement Warranted?

  • With your group, read the 9 excerpts on Progressive reform and the monopolies. Answer the three discussion questions. (Pg. 23-24)

  • In paragraph form, respond to the essential question in the header: Was the Progressive Movement warranted? (Explain)




Extension 2: Captains of Industry or Robber Barons?

  • Individually, you will pick one of the monopolists discussed today in class to back up your opinion of whether they are a captain of industry or robber baron.

  • Use the rubric to assess. (Pg. 25)




Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-born industrialist, businessman, and a major philanthropist. He was an immigrant as a child with his parents. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which was later merged with Elbert H. Gary's Federal Steel Company and several smaller companies to create U.S. Steel. With the fortune he made from business, he turned to philanthropy and interests in education, founding the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

While Carnegie paid his employees the low wages
typical of the time, he later gave away most of his money to
fund the establishment of many libraries, schools, and
universities in America, the United Kingdom and other
countries, as well as a pension fund for former employees.
He is often regarded as the second richest man in history. Carnegie started as a telegrapher and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges and oil derricks. He built further wealth as a bond salesman raising money for American enterprise in Europe.

Steel was where he made his fortune. In the 1870s, he founded the Carnegie Steel Company, a step which cemented his name as one of the “Captains of Industry”. By the 1890s, the company was the largest and most profitable industrial enterprise in the world. Carnegie sold it to J.P. Morgan in 1901, who created US Steel. Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, and education and scientific research.

Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry, controlling the most extensive integrated iron and steel operations ever owned by an individual in the United States. One of his two great innovations was in the cheap and efficient mass production of steel rails for railroad lines. The second was in his vertical integration of all suppliers of raw materials. In the late 1880s, Carnegie Steel was the largest manufacturer of pig iron, steel rails, and coke in the world, with a capacity to produce approximately 2,000 tons of pig metal per day. In 1888, Carnegie bought the rival Homestead Steel Works, which included an extensive plant served by tributary coal and iron fields, a 425-mile (685 km) long railway, and a line of lake steamships. Carnegie combined his assets and those of his associates in 1892 with the launching of the Carnegie Steel Company.

By 1889, the U.S. output of steel exceeded that of the UK, and Carnegie owned a large part of it. Carnegie's empire grew to include the J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works, (named for John Edgar Thomson, Carnegie's former boss and president of the Pennsylvania Railroad), Pittsburgh Bessemer Steel Works, the Lucy Furnaces, the Union Iron Mills, the Union Mill (Wilson, Walker & County), the Keystone Bridge Works, the Hartman Steel Works, the Frick Coke Company, and the Scotia ore mines. Carnegie, through Keystone, supplied the steel for and owned shares in the landmark Eads Bridge project across the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri (completed 1874). This project was an important proof-of-concept for steel technology, which marked the opening of a new steel market.

In 1901, Carnegie was 66 years old and considering retirement. He reformed his enterprises into conventional joint stock corporations as preparation to this end. John Pierpont Morgan was a banker and perhaps America's most important financial deal maker. He had observed how efficiently Carnegie produced profit. He envisioned an integrated steel industry that would cut costs, lower prices to consumers and raise wages to workers. To this end, he needed to buy out Carnegie and several other major producers and integrate them into one company, thereby eliminating duplication and waste. He concluded negotiations on 2 March 1901, and formed the United States Steel Corporation. It was the first corporation in the world with a market capitalization in excess of $1 billion.

Carnegie spent his last years as a philanthropist. From 1901 forward, public attention was turned from the shrewd business acumen which had enabled Carnegie to accumulate such a fortune, to the public-spirited way in which he devoted himself to utilizing it on philanthropic projects. He had written about his views on social subjects and the responsibilities of great wealth in Triumphant Democracy (1886) and Gospel of Wealth (1889).

Among his many philanthropic efforts, the establishment of public libraries throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking countries was especially prominent. Carnegie libraries, as they were commonly called, were built in many places. His method was to build and equip, but only on condition that the local authority matched that by providing a site and operating maintenance. To secure local interest, in 1885, he gave $500,000 to Pittsburgh for a public library, and in 1886, he gave $250,000 to Allegheny City for a music hall and library; and $250,000 to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a free library. In total Carnegie funded some 3,000 libraries, located in 47 states. Carnegie also built libraries in Canada and overseas in the United Kingdom including the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, and Fiji. He also donated £50,000 to help set up the University of Birmingham in 1899. The Broome County Public Library in New York opened in October 1904. Originally called the Binghamton Public Library, it was created with a gift of $75,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The building was designed to serve as both a public library and a community center.

He gave $2 million in 1901 to start the Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) at Pittsburgh, and the same amount in 1902 to found the Carnegie Institution at Washington, D.C. He later contributed more to these and other schools. CIT is now part of Carnegie Mellon University. Carnegie served on the Board of Cornell University.

His interest in music led him to fund construction of 7,000 church organs. He built and owned Carnegie Hall in New York City.






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