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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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An Immigrant Writes a Letter Home to Ireland

Mary Ann Rowe emigrated to America from Ireland in 1888 because her father promised to leave his farm to her younger sister as a marriage dowry. Her letter to a friend back home in Dunnamaggan, suggests the homesickness experienced by millions of [...]

Anti-Chinese Prejudice and the "Six Companies"

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of San Francisco (commonly known as "the Six Companies") was an umbrella organization of several regional- and clan-based immigrant self-help societies in Chinatown. Such societies helped to get new [...]

Calvary Escorting Meat Train Protected by Infantry from the Chicago Stock Yards During Strike

The Pullman Strike began on May 11, 1894, when Pullman Palace Car Company workers walked off the job in response to severe wage cuts; members of Eugene V. Debs' American Railway Union soon joined in by refusing to work in Pullman cars. U.S. Army [...]

An Illustrator Depicts Irish Ethnic Stereotypes

In this 1866 illustration, the Anglo-Saxon features of Florence Nightingale, the storied battlefield nurse of the Crimean War, are contrasted with those of "Bridget McBruiser," whose animal-like features and generally slovenly appearance are typical [...]

Tables Show Chinese Labor Distribution and Wage Discrepancies in Late 19th Century San Francisco

This chart shows the numbers of Chinese immigrants employed in various occupations in San Francisco from 1860-1880. Although the data is incomplete, the chart shows that the vast majority of Chinese worked in menial jobs as laundry workers, [...]

A Senator Speaks in Support of Empire

In this speech, Republican Senator from Indiana Albert J. Beveridge strongly advocates the annexation of the Philippines.

African-American Democrats Speak Out Against U.S. Imperialism

In this statement during the 1900 presidential election, the Negro National Democratic League criticizes the Republican administration's expansionist foreign policy, and gives its endorsement to the Democratic candidate, William Jennings Bryan.

"To A Locomotive in Winter" (Excerpt)

Walt Whitman ardently depicted scenes and objects of modernity in the mid 19th century, seeing beauty in the power and invention of the machine age. This set him apart from a slightly earlier generation of artists, poets, and writers like Henry [...]

"Unguarded Gates" (Excerpt)

Thomas Bailey Aldrich was a well-known and regarded American poet of the late nineteenth century. In "Unguarded Gates," he expresses the anti-immigrant xenophobia and notions of Anglo-American superiority shared by many native-born Americans of the [...]

"The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands"

In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled "The White Man's Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands." In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the "burden" of empire, as had Britain and [...]

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