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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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"The Brown Man's Burden" (Excerpt)

Much like Lulu Baxter Guy's "The Black Man's Burden," Henry Labouchère's "The Brown Man's Burden" shifts the emphasis of Kipling's notorious poem, offering a view of imperialism from the perspective of those who were most directly affected by the [...]

"The Poor Man's Burden" (Excerpt)

This poem was one of a number of parodies written in response to Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden." Here the author points out the special misery that imperialism abroad places on working people back home.

"The Black Man's Burden" (Excerpt)

Among the dozens of replies to Rudyard Kipling’s pro-imperialist poem "The White Man's Burden," was “The Black Man’s Burden,” written by African-American clergyman and editor H. T. Johnson and published in April 1899. A “Black Man’s [...]

President Cleveland Vetoes a Law Restricting Immigration

In 1897 President Grover Cleveland vetoed legislation requiring a literacy test for would-be immigrants proposed by Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, declaring, "I cannot believe that we would be protected against these [alleged evils of [...]

Rock Springs Massacre Victims Plead for Justice

Even in the late nineteenth-century American West, a notably violent region, the violence directed against Chinese immigrants was shocking. The Union Pacific Railroad employed 331 Chinese and 150 whites in their coal mine in Rock Springs, Wyoming. [...]

An American-Born Chinese Man Complies with the Chinese Exclusion Act

Wong Kim Ark, a Chinese-American born in San Francisco, was required under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to acquire this Certificate of Registration before leaving the country on an 1894 trip to China so that he would be allowed back into the [...]

Guide Map of San Francisco, 1891

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it was fashionable for middle-class people, especially young men, to visit working-class and immigrant neighborhoods. Such tourism was really voyeurism, exoticizing immigrants and laborers as [...]

"The Belle of Manilla"

During the 1890s, popular songs and sensationalist news coverage played a large role in drumming up support for U.S. intervention and the Spanish-American War. "The Belle of Manila," written in 1898, was one of many pro-war songs that were played in [...]

"The Black KPs"

"The Black KPs" was written by Charles Hillman and Sidney L. Perrin in 1898 to bolster the domestic support for the war in the Philippines. While the sentiment behind the song was considered patriotic, the language in the lyrics are unmistakably [...]

The U.S. Supreme Court Rules in the case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark

In 1895, Wong Kim Ark returned to San Francisco, the city of his birth, from a trip to China. Customs officials denied him re-entry to the country and detained him, claiming that he was not a citizen; because of the Chinese Exclusion Act passed in [...]

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