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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Industrialization and Expansion (1877-1913) (x)

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Uncle Sam Watches over Cuba and the Philippines

The Spanish-American War ended in December, 1898, when Spain surrendered to the U.S. and negotiated a peace treaty that sold Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the U.S. Cuba remained independent, but firmly under the influence of the United [...]

"The New Temptation on the Mount"

In 1898 the United States won the Spanish-Cuban-American war and took control of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. That same year, it also annexed the Hawaiian islands. This 1899 cartoon reflects the belief held by many anti-imperialists that [...]

"Civilization Begins at Home"

The beginning of U.S. expansion overseas, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, coincided with the peak years of racial violence and lynchings in the United States. Meanwhile, jingoists insisted that the United States should spread "civilization" to [...]

A Cartoonist Depicts "The Cuban Melodrama"

This political cartoon, published in Puck in June, 1896, depicts the U.S. as a handsome male hero saving a greatful female "Cuba" from the villainous male figure of "Spain."

An Economist Declares Mexicans "An Undesirable Class of Residents"

Discussions of the "Mexican problem" in the early 20th century often revolved around issues of race and culture, much as they did with other immigrant groups. Samuel Bryan published this study of Mexican immigrants in a leading Progressive social [...]

A Railroad Titan Explains Why the Chinese are Good for White Workers

The "divide-and-conquer" tactics used by bosses pitted different ethnic groups against one another and native-born workers against all immigrants. It often worked out better for white workers than for Asians. Charles Crocker, one of the "Big Four" [...]

Growers Explain Why They Hire Immigrant Workers

Many bosses deliberately hired workers who did not share common languages or ethnic backgrounds. Here, a manager of a Hawaii sugar plantation explains this anti-labor tactic to a Honolulu commission investigating strike activity. Other growers had [...]

California Workingmen Feel Threatened by Chinese Laborers

California held a series of anti-Chinese conventions in the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s. After Chinese immigration was forbidden by federal law in 1882, white laborers organized boycotts of Chinese-owned businesses and won pledges from state leaders not [...]

The Poetry of Chinese Immigration

In this activity students read poems written by Chinese immigrants to understand the hopes of and challenges faced by Chinese immigrants during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Then students write an original poem about the Chinese [...]

Booker T. Washington Recommends that African Americans "Cast Down Their Buckets"

In 1895, Booker T. Washington gave what later came to be known as the Atlanta Compromise speech before the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. His address was one of the most important and influential speeches in American history, [...]

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