header by Emerson Taymor, 2005

1. The Colonial Era: 1607-1763

2. The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789

3. The Early National Period: 1789-1824

4. Jacksonian America: 1824-1848

5. Antebellum America: 1848-1860

6. The Civil War Era: 1861-1877

7. The Gilded Age: 1877-1901

8. Progressivism: 1901-1920

9. The Twenties

10. Depression and New Deal: 1929-1939

11. World War II: 1939-1945

12. Early Cold War: 1945-1963

13. Social Ferment: 1945-1960

14. The Sixties

15. The Seventies and After




Chapter 7: The Gilded Age


Gilded Age timeline; another, broader one

interested in corporations and the Gilded Age? read this summary/analysis from The Company

Dorian Alexander and Levi Hastings, "The Real Great Train Robbery," The Nib--graphic-novel depiction of corruption and the Transcontinental Railroad

Gilded Age politics summary and survey; chart of political changes in Congress since the beginning

Louis Uchitelle, "The Richest of the Rich, Proud of a New Gilded Age" (2007); chart of the wealthiest Americans ever; chart comparing dominance of major industries in the Gilded Age and today, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 17, 2018; from Louis Brandeis, Other People's Money, on interlocking directorates (1913)

Digital History Project: railroads and the making of modern America; in current news: The Top 1%: What Jobs Do They Have?; Shaila Dewan and Michael Gelbeloff, "Among the Wealthiest 1%, Many Variations" (2012); more conspicuous consumption: The Rich Kids of Instagram

Russell Conwell, "Acres of Diamonds"; Hanna Rosin on the prosperity gospel (Atlantic, Dec. 2009); Tommy Barnett, "Are You Dreaming BIG Enough?"; selections from the McGuffey Reader; Andrew Carnegie, "Wealth" (1889)

Harvard entrance exam, 1869; read more about college admissions back then; 1901 college entrance questions; 1926 SAT

ad for a copier, 1897; a magazine discusses the health benefits of the recently-invented game of basketball for the modern worker, 1891; Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin tries performance enhancers and loves them (1889)

map of Victorian religious denominations' success around the world

New York Times complains about bad coffee, 1872; a depressing Victorian children's story; Jon Kelvey, "How Advertising Shaped the First Opioid Epidemic," Smithsonian (April 2018); oddball story about how duelling in Kentucky was ended by the use of potatoes (1892)


Comparing the 1900 and 2000 censuses; an 1870 "gentleman's directory" shows you where the brothels are in NYC; the actual directory; New York Times covers the 27th-Street ghost, 1870

some Gilded-Age crooks, from Thomas Byrne's Professional Criminals of America; a streetcar robbery in Noe Valley (1894); publishers worry that the new fad of bicycling will destroy book publishing (New York Times, 1896); map of tenements and synagogues in Hester Street, NYC (1910); Frances Willard, women and temperance (1883); historian Roger Lane on accidental death rates in cities (they went down, eventually); the SF earthquake mapped onto today's SF


Constitution of the Knights of Labor (1878); "Labor's Great Army," Boston Herald (1889); sweatshop conditions horrify an inspector (1893)

Martha Louise Rayne, proper business ventures for Victorian women (1893); Edward O'Donnell, Women as Bread Winners--the Error of the Age" (1897); Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics" (1898)


historian Frederick Jackson Turner, from "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" (1893); historian Richard White, "Born Modern: an Overview of the West" (2006); historian John Mack Faragher, The Myth of the Frontier: Progress or Lost Freedom (2006); historian Matthew Frye Jacobson, from Whiteness of a Different Color (1999); statistics on westward movement; historian Sara Deutsch, "Landscape of Enclaves"; historian Richard Brown, "The Gunfighter: The Reality Behind the Myth"; Brown, California Conflict and the American Dream"; "Gun Control is as old as the Old West," Smithsonian (Feb. 2018)

Katherine Moran, "The Secret, Not-So-Saintly History of Junipero Serra Statues," SF Chronicle July 2020)

interesting article on Samuel Colt, inventor of the Colt .45; Joseph Nimmo, The American Cow-Boy" (1886); federal anti-polygamy legislation aimed at Mormons (1862); Sir Richard Burton on Mormon polygamy (1860)

see also these photos of Western criminals; a smoke shop in the Richmond uses Western imagery to push smoking

Time on "The West As America," a controversial Smithsonian exhibition in 1991--linked photos, so you can compare comments with actual images; an excellent and complete review of the exhibition and its controversy from the Journal of American History

The Western Civil War of Incorporation: Miguel Antonio Otero remembers the situation in New Mexico (1880); Las Gorras Blancas announce their platform (1890)

racist detergent ad tries to use Chinese Exclusion to sell itself; Henry George defends Chinese exclusion (1869); an SF Chronicle writer visits Chinatown and is horrified (1869); Frederick Douglass and the black press on anti-Chinese laws (1869); anti-Chinese riot in LA, 1871; an 1874 article explaining why Chinese immigrants need to be excluded; Frank Pixley, "The Chinese Question" (1870); Marin Journal anti-Chinese resolution (1876); Sing Kum, letter from a Chinese girl (1876); Six Companies discourage immigration (1876); anti-Chinese cartoon accusing Chinese immigrants of stealing American jobs

Chinese Exclusion Act (1882); George Hoar opposes exclusion (1882); New York Chinese merchants oppose renewal of Exclusion Act (1892); Beth Lew-Williams, tweet thread about Stanford and Chinese exclusion (2019)

introduction to Jean Pfaelzer, Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans; Pfaelzer on Chinese resistance to white violence in the 1850s; Pfaelzer's timeline of roundups and purges, 1880-1890

California apologizes for past discrimination against the Chinese (2009)

excerpt from Ronald Takaki, Strangers from a Different Shore

Japanese government criteria for emigrants to Hawaii (1885)


interactive map of native land cessions, 1776-1887

Timothy Egan, "Mending a Trail of Broken Treaties" (2000): How the US repeatedly broke treaties with native peoples; Evelyn Nieves, "Indians Continue Wait for Accounts' Resolution" (2005): traces native suit against the BIA for mishandling funds; an update to the case, as of March 2010; another update, Dec. 2010; final(?) update, April 2012

Chief Joseph's surrender speech and Nez Perce trail; selected statements from Chief Joseph 1874-1877; George Armstrong Custer, from My Life on the Plains (1874); James Harris Guy, The White Man Wants the Indians' Home (1878); Luther Standing Bear recalls the Carlisle School (1879); Francis La Flesche recalls Indian boarding schools (1900); Helen Hunt Jackson, A Century of Dishonor (1881); historian David Mayers on opposition to the Dawes Act, from Dissenting Voices in America's Rise to PowerElaine Goodale reports on the Ghost Dance (1890); historian Philip Deloria on the cultural meanings of Wounded Knee (2004); a revisionist account by Jeffrey Ostler of why Wounded Knee happened (1996); Helen Hunt Jackson on the 1864 Sand Creek massacre (1881)

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, "Annihilation Unto Total Surrender": the Plains Wars as counterinsurgency campaign, from An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States; Jeffrey Ostler,"Conquest and the State: Why the United States Employed Massive Military Force to Suppress the Lakota Ghost Dance," Pacific Historical Review (1996); Mitch Smith, "An Indian 'Chief' Mascot Was Dropped. A Decade Later, He's Still Lurking," New York Times (Feb. 1, 2018)


Populist orator Mary Elizabeth Lease, "Wall Street Owns the Country" (c. 1890); Populist party documents

review questions on Populism

Bryan's Cross of Gold speech

Timothy Egan, "Failing Farmers Learn to Profit from Federal Aid" (2000): a journalist explains how government aid enables farmers not to grow anything; Dan Morgan, "Senate's Farm Bill Includes $10 Billion in New Aid" (2007); Binyamin Appelbaum, "GOP Candidates Viewing Economy's Past through Gold-Colored Glasses" (2015): the real history of the gold standard


Frederick Douglass, "The Lesson of the Hour" (1894); Tera Hunter, To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors After the Civil War (1997); Neal McMillen, Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow (1990); Vivek Bald on Bengali immigrants and the color line in New Orleans, from Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (2013); African-American religious revival in the Gilded Age, from Mark Noll, God and Race in American Politics

Atticus Haygood, Our Brother in Black (1881); excerpt from the 1890 Mississippi Constitution; Richard Wright, "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" (1937); Paul Laurence Dunbar, "We Wear the Mask" (1896); Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Speech (1895); John Hope, "Rise, Brothers!"(1896); North Carolinians plead to William McKinley for help (1898-1900); W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

from Stephanie Hinnershitz, A Different Shade of Justice: Asian-American Civil Rights in the South; Ethan Sandweiss, "The Challenges of Reclaiming Filipino Louisiana's Centuries-Old History," Atlas Obscura; Moon-Ho Jung, "Making Sugar, Making 'Coolies': Chinese Laborers Toiled Alongside Black Workers on 19th-Century Louisiana Plantations," The Conversation(Jan. 2022)

a literacy test; Louisiana literacy test; photos of the authors above; Ida Wells-Barnett, A Red Record (1895); John Marshall Harlan's dissent in Plessy (1896); disenfranchisement by the numbers, 1876-1900

map of lynchings; PBS: the rise and fall of Jim Crow (interactive map/timeline)

Eric Foner, "Confederate Statues and 'Our' History," New York Times (Aug. 20, 2017)


Rudyard Kipling, "The White Man's Burden" (1899); John White Chadwick, "The Black Man's Burden" (1899); H. T. Johnston, "The Black Man's Burden" (1899); San Francisco Call, "The White Man's Burden" (1899); Henry Labouchere, "The Brown Man's Burden" (1899); Ernest Crosby, "The Real White Man's Burden" (1899); Anti-Imperialist League, "Address to the People of the United States" (1898); Samuel Gompers, "Imperialism--Its Dangers and Wrongs" (1898); William Vaughn Moody, "On a Soldier Fallen in the Phillipines" (1902)

excerpt from George Black, The Good Neighbor: "Banana Republics"; Susan Brewer, "Selling Empire: American Propaganda and War in the Phillipines," Asia-Pacific Journal (2013)

US practices waterboarding on Filipino rebels, c. 1900; Emilio Aguinaldo on American imperialism in the Philippines, 1899; Filipino rebels' declaration of independence (1898)

some statistics about imperialism; Edmund Morris on TR's words and the Spanish-American War (1999); Congressional testimony on waterboarding (1902)