Big Business Dbq
Ryan Burgett Document A Source: Historical Statistics of the United States.Document Information • Food prices declined significantly between 1870 and 1899.• Fuel and lighting prices declined significantly between 1870 and 1899.
• Cost of living declined slightly between 1870 and 1899. Document Inferences • Improved agricultural innovations led to reduced food prices. • Mining and lighting innovations reduced prices for fuel and lighting. • Falling prices for agricultural goods led to discontent among farmers. • Mass production resulted in a decline in the cost of living. Electric lighting allowed for 24-hour production, night shifts and possibly longer hours. Potential Outside Information Consolidation Coxey’s Army Economies of scale Edison, Thomas (incandescent lightbulb) Farmers’ Alliances (Northern, Southern, Colored) “Farmers should raise less corn and more hell” Lease, Mary Elizabeth Sub-Treasury plan Document B Source: George E. McNeill, labor leader, The Labor Movement: The Problem of Today, 1887. Document Information • Railroad presidents are similar to kings. • Railroad presidents can discharge workers without cause and withhold wages. Railroad presidents can delay lawsuits. • Railroad presidents control both the government and the people. • Railroad presidents controlled freight prices and monopolized food and fuel industries. • Railroad presidents corrupt communities and control the press. Document Inferences • The financial clout of railroads leaves employees helpless. • Railroad labor and farm unrest is likely. • Railroads dictate government policy. • The Senate is controlled by wealthy interests because senators are not popularly elected. • The legal system favors railroad interests. Potential Outside Information Blacklisting Munn v.
Illinois Credit Mobilier scandal National Labor Union Fisk, Jim Patrons of Husbandry (Grange) Government ownership of railroads Railway Strikes of 1877 Gould, Jay Sylvis, William Granger laws United States v. E. C. Knight Interstate Commerce Act Vanderbilt, Cornelius Kelley, Oliver Hudson Wabash v. Illinois Long-haul/short-haul differentials yellow dog contracts AP® Document C Source: David A. Wells, engineer and economist, Recent Economic Changes and Their Effect on the Document Information • Workers no longer work independently but as if they were part of a military organization. Workers are taught to perform one simple task. • Manufacturing has largely taken away workers’ pride in their work. Document Inferences • Mass production techniques led to specialization of labor. • Specialization of labor decreases workers’ pride in their craft. • Specialization of labor leaves workers largely unskilled. • Unskilled labor is relatively easy to replace. Potential Outside Information Specialization of labor Sweatshops Unskilled/skilled labor Document D Source: Joseph Keppler, “The Bosses of the Senate,” Puck, January 23, 1889. Document Information • Shows trusts as oversized. Shows public entrance to the Senate closed. • Shows monopolists lined up at monopolists’ entrance. • Shows some senators looking back toward the trusts. • Shows sign saying “This is a Senate of the monopolists by the monopolists and for the monopolists. ” Document Inferences • The Senate (government) is controlled by big business. • People have no control over the Senate because senators are not directly elected. • Monopolists (trusts) are wealthy and powerful. • Trusts control a great many industries. Potential Outside Information Billion Dollar Congress Bland-Allison Act
Civil Service (Pendleton) Act Crime of ’73 Dingley Tariff Direct election of senators (Populist platform, not Seventeenth Amendment) Gold Standard Act/Currency Act of 1900 Interstate Commerce Commission McKinley Tariff Monopolies Nast, Thomas Reed, Thomas Sherman Antitrust Act Sherman Silver Purchase Act Wilson-Gorman Tariff Document E Source: Andrew Carnegie, “Wealth,” North American Review, June 1889. Document Information • Wealthy people should lead a modest, unpretentious existence. • Surplus revenues are to be used as a trust fund for what the wealthy see as community good. The wealthy are trustees for the poor. • The judgment of the wealthy will lead to better decisions than the poor would make for themselves. • Philanthropy justifies business owners’ wealth. Document Inferences • Some business leaders believed in charity. • The wealthy saw themselves as superior to the masses. • Social obligation is a responsibility that comes with wealth. Potential Outside Information Carnegie libraries Carnegie Steel Corporation Gospel of Wealth “He who dies rich dies disgraced” Homestead Strike Social Darwinism Social Gospel Veblen, Thorstein, Theory of the Leisure Class
Vertical integration Document F Source: “People’s Party Platform,” Omaha Morning World-Herald, July 5, 1892. Document Information • Seeks to restore government to plain people. • Power of the people (government) should be expanded. • Seeks to end oppression, injustice, and poverty. Document Inferences • The Populist Party was dedicated to political and social reform. • Government should be strengthened and made more responsible to the people. • The Populist Party nominated its own presidential candidate in 1892. Potential Outside Information Bryan, William Jennings Cross of Gold speech
Direct election of senators (Populist platform, not Seventeenth Amendment) Farmers’ Alliances (Northern, Southern, Colored) Free and unlimited coinage of silver Government ownership of railroads (utilities) Income tax Initiative Lease, Mary Elizabeth Ocala Demands Omaha Platform Populist Party Referendum Sub- Treasury Plan Weaver, James B. Document G Source: Samuel Gompers, What Does Labor Want? , an address before the International Labor Congress in Chicago, August 28, 1893. Document Information • People should not be considered property. • Labor seeks shorter hours. Shorter labor hours will reduce jail and almshouse populations. • Labor insists on the right to organize. • Negligence or maliciousness should not leave the worker without recourse. • Labor insists on adequate wages. Document Inferences • Mass production techniques are dehumanizing. • Bread-and-butter unionism grew with the trade union movement (shorter hours, better working conditions, increased wages). • Workers’ compensation laws should be passed. • Labor unions must organize to protect the interests of workers. • Companies can and should help out communities by reducing unemployment ranks.
Potential Outside Information American Federation of Labor Powderly, Terence bread-and-butter unionism Stephens, Uriah Knights of Labor Sylvis, William National Labor Union workers’ compensation Document H Document Information • Says he is a victim of Rockefeller’s combination. • Says Standard Oil offered the same quality of oil for one to three cents less than he could. • Says he found railroads were in league with Rockefeller and charged discriminatory rates. Document Inferences • Monopolists used ruthless tactics to put competitors out of business. Railroads gave big businesses rebates/kickbacks that helped them undercut their competition. • Government must protect small businesses against unfair business practices. Potential Outside Information American Beauty Rose Theory Horizontal integration “just windward of the law” Long-haul/short-haul differentials Rebates/kickbacks Rockefeller, John D. Document I Source: Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie, a novel, 1900. Document Information • Department stores were among the most efficient retail organizations. • Department stores were appealing, with swarms of patrons. • Carrie was much affected by the display of goods. The displays affected Carrie personally. Document Inferences • Urban glamour drew rural people to the city. • Improved urban transportation led to the development of department stores. • Displays and advertising blurred the distinction between wants and needs. • Consolidation in retail industry offered increased availability of consumer goods to society. Potential Outside Information Electric trolleys Macy’s Wanamaker’s (department store) Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store YMCA YWCA Document J Source: Female typists, circa 1902. Courtesy of Library of Congress # LC-D4-42930
Document Information • Shows women typists in a large room. • Shows women all dressed similarly. • Shows the presence of electric lighting. Document Inferences • Inventions like the typewriter and telephone increased employment for native-born, white women. • There was sameness about working in a mass production environment. • Industrialization created employment opportunities that often discriminated according to gender and race. Potential Outside Information Sholes, Christopher (invention of the typewriter) Sweatshops Taylor, Frederick Taylorism (scientific management) YWCA