What does “Who built America?” mean?

May 9, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, Europe (1815-1915), Industrial Revolution
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Who Built America? State and National Governments

“Who built America?” The government What does “Who built America?” mean?

What was the government’s role?

How crucial was the government? Credits

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What does “Who built America?” mean?

What does “Who built America?” mean? 

The period from 1790 – 1897 saw the United States of America building its economy into one that would lead the world for years to come. Its growth to a superpower was facilitated by a number of major components, most notably the government. During this period, its policies shaped the development of business and industry. State governments, as well as the military, played important roles in coordinating and facilitating national projects, such as the continental railroad.

Pictures from: http://franklaughter.tripod.com/cgi-bin/growth/

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What does “Who built America?” mean? 

But “Who Built America?” There were entrepreneurs, capitalists, inventors, enslaved workers, and industrial workers. Which of these played the most important role of developing America's commerce from 1790 to 1897? That's for you to consider as you experience this presentation.

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What was the role of the government in the building of America?

What was the government’s role? 

Major topics: 





In 1830, Andrew Jackson vetoed a bill to create a road through Kentucky, justifying his decision by claiming that federal funds should only be used for national projects. President Jackson also played a major role in the country’s financial future by ending the charter of the Second Bank of the United States. This led to the “independent treasury.” During the Civil War, the government enacted protective tariffs, however, many historians believe that this crisis actually led to a hiatus in the increase of production in the United States.

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What was the government’s role? 





In 1862, Congress passed the Homestead Act, which gave any citizen who was the head of a family 160 acres of undeveloped land. Later that year, the Morrill Act was passed, which created land-grant colleges, many dedicated to agricultural training. However, in the second half of the 19th century, many of these “Homesteads” became property of large landowners, creating a land monopoly. The government would pass many new laws in the 19th century, including: 





The Timber Culture Act, allowing farmers to buy treeless land if they word reforest that land. The Desert Culture Act, allowing farmers to receive desert land if they would irrigate it.

However, these acts were widely unsuccessful.

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What was the government’s role? 



The Army planned the development of railroads, which were then financed by government. President John Quincy Adams ordered Army engineers to develop the first railroad, and the Army engineers helped to construct and maintain many of those railroads. State governments also aided in the railroad expansion. The New York & Erie railroad was planned and built under the oversight of the New York state legislature.

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The New York and Erie Railroad

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What was the government’s role? 





From 1850-1871, the national government gave railroad corporations more than 200 million acres of land for railroad construction; states offered about 50 million acres. However, because of this, much of the land surrounding the railroad was withheld from homesteaders. After railroad companies became inundated with corruption, state governments took action. In 1869, Massachusetts established a commission to supervise railroads. However, a Supreme Court case in 1886 declared that a state could not regulate interstate commerce. The federal government would have to take action. The Interstate Commerce Act, signed by President Cleveland in 1887, forbade railroads to engage in discriminatory practices, mandated just rates, and outlawed pooling agreements.

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What was the government’s role? 



Many of the industries in the United States began forming trusts in the late 19th century. The Steel industry was united by J.P. Morgan, and John Rockefeller united the oil industry. The government fought back against these trusts. As with the railroads, the states were the first to begin regulating the trusts, and later, the federal government began to help with the 1890 passing of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Although this bill seemed strongly worded, many lawyers still found loopholes.

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What was the government’s role? 





The government also helped different minority groups gain their rights. Many of the new Western states gave women full suffrage, including Wyoming, which was the first in 1890. The government made many changes in the economy after the election of Hayes in 1876. Hayes’ insistence of the Specie Resumption act led to the formation of a new political party, the Greenback party, but all attempts to dissuade Hayes failed. The coinage of silver was also a major issue. After the gold rushes of the 1850’s, the United States adopted the gold standard, leaving the new silver mines discovered with no market. This issue would dominate the political landscape for decades to come.

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What was the government’s role? 



The Bland-Allison Act in 1878 restarted the coinage of silver, allowing between 2 and 4 million dollars worth of it by coined each year. Later, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was passed as part of a compromise; however, by changing the federal silver requirements to ounces rather than dollars, the lowering prices allowed the government to spend less and less on silver.

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What was the government’s role? 

The Election of 1896 was the culmination of the silver issue. William McKinley stood for Gold, while William Jennings Bryan and his famous “Cross of Gold” speech spoke out against the gold standard. After McKinley triumphed, gold was discovered Alaska and Australia, and the inflation that silver supporters had desired came.

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What was the government’s role? 

Discussion Questions: 











What effect did Andrew Jackson’s feelings on internal improvements have? How did the government’s programs on the railroad both help and hinder the westward expansion of the United States? How did the different government programs encourage westward expansion, and how could they have been improved? How did the discovery of silver in the West affect the growth of the nation? How did states exercise their rights and have them restricted during the growth of America? Why did the government support the businesses and corporations over industrial workers in labor issues?

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How crucial were the contributions of the government to the building of America?

How crucial were the government’s contributions? 

Without the cooperation of the army and state governments, along with the federal government's support, American business would not have gained the monumental asset of a consistent and continental railroad. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was a valuable statement of the government’s support for the common man, and the federal government provided substantial support to industrial factories and corporations in labor battles.

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How crucial were the government’s contributions? 

State and national governments were instrumental to the development of America's industry during this time period. Consider the facts presented in this exhibit when evaluating the contributions made by different groups towards the building of America.



So… Who built America, after all?

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Bibliography 

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Blum, John M. et al.; The National Experience Eighth Edition. Newman, John & Schmalbach, John; United States History. Chaitkin, Anton; Executive Intelligence Review, July 17, 1988 http://members.tripod.com/~american_almanac/railroad.htm#7 http://libwww.syr.edu/digital/images/e/ErieRailroad/ http://franklaughter.tripod.com/cgi-bin/growth/ http://www.ussteel.com/corp/index.htm Wikipedia; en.wikipedia.org www.sokotapictures.com/sponsors.html www.usagold.com/ gold/coins/bars.html http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/deadsea.scrolls.exhibit/Community/coins.html http://www.objectsby.com/ images/1francgrand.jpg

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Credits Executive Powerpoint Special Music Voice Directors Thanks &Actors Producers Sound Design To: Danny Chao “Who Grant Built America?” Daniel DannyJohnson Schafer Chao Adam Lederer © 2004 Daniel - Rellik Schafer Productions

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