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History Midterm

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Andrew Johnson

He is considered as one of the most unfortunate presidents of the US. Johnson was born in North Carolina in 1808 and raised in poverty. When he joined politics, he championed the problems of the common man and even advocated for a homestead bill to allow the poor men to acquire free farms. In 1862, he was appointed the Military Governor of Tennessee by President Lincoln and later nominated as the Vice President. He was very firm in his ruling and silenced anyone who was against the union. After Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson took up the immense task of restoring the nation as the President. He was accused of violation of office when he attempted to dismiss Lincoln’s secretary of war, Edwin Stanton.  Johnson began his term by reunifying the country from the effects of the civil war. He abolished slavery and provided equal protection for all citizens by adding the 13th and 14th amendment of the constitution.  Alaska and Nebraska territories were purchased during his presidency.

13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. The three amendments are also referred to as the Reconstruction Amendments because they served to end slavery. The 13th Amendment was signed by President Lincoln in 1865 before his assassination. It prohibited slavery in the US. The 14th Amendment that was approved in 1868 called upon the state to protect everyone; including the slaves equal protection. It declared that anyone born or Neutralized in the US was an American Citizen. The 15th Amendment effected in 1870 guaranteed voting rights for all US citizens regardless of their color or race. These Amendments allowed African Americans to purchase real property and to decide the kind of leaders they wanted. The women were also protected from gender based violence and therefore lived more comfortably.

Radical Republicans

After the elections in 1860, Radical Republicans became very powerful in Congress. Most of them were elected as leaders of important committees like Agriculture, Territories, Foreign Relation, and Judiciary among others. They criticized Lincoln’s government during the Civil War because of his laxity in recruiting black soldiers as well as his sucking of Major General Fremont on 39th August, 1861 and General Hunter in May, 1862 after they freed slaves. During the war, this group fought for the legislation of issues such as black enlistment, emancipation, and the 13th Amendment. They continued to dominate even after the war and directed the punitive and harsh Reconstruction of Confederate states. Despite Johnson’s veto, the Congress passed some of the Radical Reconstruction Acts leading to the replacement of the Southern state governments by military ones. Unfortunately, the group’s campaign for equal rights was not popular after the Civil War.

Ku Klux Klan

This group was initiated as a social club by Confederate Army veterans in Tennessee and Pulaski in the winter season between 1865 and 1866. It was first led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The group turned out to be a terrorist organization and its main aim was to murder blacks and a few whites who were actively involved in Republican politics so that there would be no Congressional Reconstruction. The group caused a lot of destruction by chasing people from their homes, burning churches. The Force Bill was passed in 1871 to fight the Klan. Although some members were punished, most activities of the group remained operational. A new Klan was formed by William Simmons in Georgia in 1915. The new group was a racist group that fought against immigrants, blacks, Jews, and the Roman Catholics. By mid 1920, it had more than 2 million members and became a very powerful political group. It controlled access to the good jobs in the Southern cities and opposed any forms of industrial unions. In 1920s, the group also tried to control the education system to teach Americanism but failed.  

John D. Rockefeller

He was a dominating commercial man because of the amount of wealth he controlled in the US. He was also a great philanthropist and issued so much money to charity. He was born in Richford, New York in 1839. He schooled in New York and moved to Ohio in 1853 for high school education. His first job was as an assistant bookkeeper for a shipping company. In 1859, he partnered with Maurice Clark to form Clark & Rockefeller Company which was involved in the commission merchant business. However, his financial breakthrough came when he ventured into the oil refinery business in the 1860s. He was so dedicated to work that it affected his health in early 1890s leading to his early retirement. He supported the education system by donating over $75 million to the University of Chicago by 1932. He also constructed the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research to a tune of $50 million by the 1930s. Through the general Education Board, he established high schools in the South. In 1919, he donated $50 million to boost the teachers’ salaries. By 129, the Rockefeller foundation had received $235 million from him. He also helped to improve the social welfare in the South through the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission which eradicated the hookworm menace. By the time of his death in 1937, he had changed uplifted the lives of many people.

Andrew Carnegie

He helped build the steel industry in America in the 19th century. This turned around his life from rags to riches. He was born in Scotland in 1835. His father was a weaver but the industrial revolution destroyed the linen industry rendering his father jobless. When life became tougher, his family moved to America to look for a better life in 1847. He first worked as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory before he became a messenger in a telegraph office. Later, he joined the railway construction business before he established his own steel plant in Pittsburgh. He urged laborers to form unions that would fight for their rights and protect their jobs. However, his actions did not match his words because his own employees earned very little from long hours of work. He became richer when he bought another steel plant from J.P Morgan for $480 million. When he grew older, he sold his enormous steel business and gave away his hard earned fortune to educational, cultural and scientific institutions. He also established more than 2,500 public libraries. Additionally, he fought for justice by establishing the palace of peace that later became the world court.

Homestead Strike

This was the greatest downfall of Andrew Carnegie’s career because it revealed the oppression of laborers in the steel industry. It occurred in 1892 at the Homestead Steel Works in Pittsburgh. The price of steel products had declined from $35 a ton in 1890 to $22 in 1892. Henry Frick, the manager decided to cut wages and dissolve the workers union to reduce the operation costs. The laborers objected this move and unanimously decided to strike. The police was brought in to protect the property but it was kicked out of town by the workers who took over the responsibility of guarding the plant. In 1892, Frick attempted to ambush the workers at night by hiring a private army, the Pinkerton Detective Agency. However, the workers found out in advance and woke up in the night for a fight. This resulted to the death of nine workers and three detectives. The governor of Pennsylvania brought in the militia who took over the plant. Four months later, over 160 strikers were charged with murder while many other were charged with minor offenses. The entire striker committee was also arrested for treason but none of them was convicted.  This strike affected the economic capacities of workers who dependent on the steel plant. It also raised political anxiety

Social Darwinism

This term was developed in the 19th century as a way of describing the notion just like plants and animals, humans compete for existence leading to survival of the fittest. This is based on the Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Social Darwinists allege that governments should not control the economic, political and social issues in the country. The theory was mainly used to promote the fact that the whites were superior and ought to rule over other races. The theory was promoted by Herbert Spencer. At the time of its initiation, the economy, technology, and government of the Whites were more advanced than others. As a result, some people argued that it was because of natural selection. Those who rejected government welfare based their argument on Social Darwinism. At its worst, this theory was used to justify the Holocaust. According to the Nazis, killing the Jews was a natural way of wiping out inferior genetics. Philosophers felt that Hitler was out to wipe out an entire race. Most criminals and dictators have also used this theory to defend their wrong doings. Nonetheless, this theory has been proved to be dangerous and false and it was only loosely based on the theory of natural selection.

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William JenningsBryan

He was born in 1860 and became Nebraska’s Congressman. He also contested for the US presidency on three occasions. His nomination to the Congress was disapproved by president Grover Cleveland. He decided to speak his message to the people around the county so as to achieve victory for the Democrats who had been blamed for the economic depression. He was a pleasant talker with phrases full of poetry. He challenged his opponents to debates and appealed to the masses by showing that he had the qualities of a good leader. This great speech earned him an appointment to the Ways and Means Committee in his first term. Not very many people have achieved such an honor. In 1892, his speech on free wool was voted the best speech in Congress. His reappoint in 1891 was difficult but he managed to convert the Republicans to Democrats. He was of the greatest anti-imperialist. Although he never won the presidency, he became the Secretary of State in 1912 under Woodrow Wilson’s presidency. He resigned because of America’s war preparedness when the country went into the First World War. He was also very active on Christian fundamentalism.

Jane Addams

She is best known for support for the poor in Chicago. She founded the Hull House in 1889. She was among the few women who graduate from college in her time. Her commitment to helping the poor led her to work for world peace and social reform. This earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. Some of the programs at the Hull House included lunchrooms, employment bureau, and clubs for children. It also offered classes for languages, music, mathematics and painting. These classes helped to rectify the injustices in the society where resources were allocated based on social classes. She understood the poor better and was therefore driven to help them improve their lives. She was against the Charity Organization Society in 1990 which moved around in poor people’s homes to find out what problems they encountered and how they could be assisted. She argued that receiving assistant should not be a degrading experience. She also challenged rich and powerful people to help the poor. Her fight for the poor earned her the presidency of the Women’s International Peace Congress and the Women’s Peace Party in 1915.

Theodore Roosevelt

When President McKinley was assassinated, Roosevelt became the youngest president in the US history. At the age of 43 years, he brought some excitement in the President because he was fully dedicated to a strong foreign policy and progressive reforms in the American public. He alleged that since the president was the steward of the people, he was compelled to take every possible action for the good of his people unless the actions were forbidden by the constitution. He told his critics that he did not usurp power but used his executive power broadly. Nonetheless, his upbringing was not rosy. He lost his mother and wife on the same day in 1884. He was a lieutenant colonel during the war between the Spanish and Americans and turned out to be the most conspicuous heroes. As the president, he believed that the government should be nonpartisan. He steered the US into World politics. Other contributions included the Panama Canal, prevention of foreign bases and push for the US intervention to Latin America. He also contributed much in the conservation of natural resource in the country. He was awarded with the Nobel Prize because of his mediation in the war between the Japanese and Russo. He left the presidency in 1909 but vied again in 1912.

Muckrakers

This term was used on American novelists, critics, and journalists who tried to expose the corruption in politics and abuses in businesses in the beginning of the 20th century. The word came from one of the speeches of President Roosevelt in 1906. The president asserted that some of the muckrakers’ charges were irresponsible and sensational. Since the 1870s, American politics, government, and business had been facing intense pressure for reform. However, it was until the intense media involvement through the nationwide circulation of magazines like Everybody’s and McClure’s that the muckrakers received substantial amounts of funds to investigate the alleged corruption. Their large audience created nationwide awareness of the abuses in politics and business. Historians argue that it was because of the muckraking movement that the Progressive movement received popular support required for reform in the country.

Four Schools of American Foreign Policy

They include the Hamiltonians, Jeffersonian, Wilsonians, and Jacksonians. The Hamiltonians believe that the US should be a very powerful nation; like Britain used to be. They also think that the US should stop any other country from being a superpower. The Jeffersonian believe that the US should not act like corporation because this will undermine democracy at home and abroad. The Wilsonians believe in international law and the United Nation. They argue that the US should push other countries to become democracies. The Jacksonians believe that the US should carry on its own affairs without bothering of what other nations would say.

Spanish-American War

The US went into war with Spain on April 25, 1898 after the Battleship Maine sunk in Havana harbor in 1989. It lasted for four months. Until the 1890s, the US had been restrained from expanding overseas. Suddenly towards the end of the 19th century, the inhibitions collapsed. The Americans took the chance to push their power far in the Pacific, mainly to Cuba. The US did not like the fact that Cuba was controlled by Spain because it had invested in mining and Sugar in Cuba. The Wilson-Gorman Tariff that removed sugar off the list of free trade products in 1894 aggravated discontentment. The strategy was to destabilize the Cuban economy. As a result, the US annexed the colonies that had formerly been ruled by Spain, including Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam. Although some Americans did not support this move, President McKinley won the support of the public. In spite of the fact that the Americans had liberated Philippines, a rebellion broke out again leaving the president in a tight spot once more. Overall, the war acted as a stepping stone for the reconciliation between the North and South. It helped to repair the bad blood that resulted from the American Civil War. 

Philippine War

After the war between the US and Spain, Philippine was ruled by the Americans. However, two days before the Treaty of Paris was ratified, war broke out in Philippines. The Filipino wanted to become independent rather than being taken over by another colonial master. This War lasted for 3 years and led to the death of over 20,000 Filipinos soldiers and 4,200 Americans. Over 200,000 Filipinos died of famine, violence and diseases. Some Americans felt that it was wrong for the US to forcefully take over another country’s resources. The war was brutal and led to a loss of property. President Roosevelt declared an Amnesty and stopped the war on July 4, 1902.

Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

President Roosevelt’s approach to the Caribbean and Latin American is often referred to as the big stick. This policy was established in 1823. Although it was passive, things changed in the 2oth century America accepted to become the policeman of the region. In the 1900s, the president felt that if Venezuela went into war with its creditors, European powers would invade the country. He therefore argued that the US would intervene to ensure that countries in the Western Hemisphere kept their words to international creditors. This led to the US using military power to restore stability in the region.

Woodrow Wilson

He regarded himself as the people’s representative. He believed that the president should look after the interests of all of his citizens. As a result, he came up with programs of progressive reform. Additionally he praised the need for international leadership so as to create a better world. In 1917, he said that the US was entered into the First World War to make the world a safer place. He began as a conservative professor of political science. In 1902, he became Princeton’s President. He earned the reputation of a national and most Conservative Democrats felt that he had the values of a good president. In 1910, they urged him to vie for New Jersey’s Governorship. In 1912, they nominated him to vie for presidency. He was able to maneuver through Congress and brought up major bills that changed the lives of Americans. For instance, the Underwood Act and the Federal Reserve Act allowed the nation to acquire more elastic supply of money. The Federal Trade Commission was also establish to curb unfair business practices. In 1917, he persuaded the Congress to understand the need for America to go into with Germany. 

Zimmermann Telegram

In January 1917, the German government announced that it would resume submarine attacks. As a result, the US stopped its relations with Germany and tension rose between the two countries. On March 1, there was a telegraph was published in the Newspapers. It was a communication from the German Foreign minister to the Mexican government urging them to form an alliance to fight the US. He had told the Mexicans that they would acquire the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. This publication flamed opinion against Germany. It also increased the animosity between the two countries.

Treaty of Versailles

This was a peace agreement that was signed after the First World War. It was in 1981 at the Versailles Palace between Germany and its Allies. However, the event was dominated by five power states, the US, France, Italy, Britain and Japan. Germany was not satisfied with the treaty because it believed that the treaty only satisfied three states. However, it created the League of Nations which is an organization that supposed to any form of warfare in the world. Unfortunately, Germany felt like it was being accused of war. It was also unhappy with the fines it was being charged. Most Germans also felt that they were suffering on behalf of the government because it was the government that had declared war.

Red Scare

It is an experience that took place in the US shortly after the Russian revolution and the First World War. The nation was in fear of the socialists, communists, and anarchists as result of a series of bombings. Innocent people were jailed and this raised speculations that it was as a result of the Russian Revolution. Names of 62 people who were believed to be very dangerous were published in the press. This instilled more fear in the people. During the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution, over 10,000 suspects were arrested. However, the fear was soon over and people went back to their normal lives.

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