Ch. 16 Study Questions - America’s Gilded Age: 1870-1890
1. The American economy thrived because of federal involvement, not the lack of it. How did the federal government actively promote industrial and agricultural development in this period? BE SPECIFIC.
The federal government actively promoted industrial and agricultural development. It enacted high tariffs that protected American industry from foreign competition, granted land to railroad companies to encourage construction, and used the army to remove Indians form western land desired by farmers and mining companies. 2. Why were railroads so important to America’s second industrial revolution? What events demonstrate their influence on …show more content…
In 1871, Congress eliminated the treaty system that dated back to the revolutionary era, by which the federal government negotiated agreements with Indians as if they were independent nations. The Bureau of Indian Affairs established boarding schools where Indian children, removed from the “negative” influences of their parents and tribes, were dressed in non-Indian clothes, given new names, and educated in white ways. 7. Explain how social thinkers misapplied Charles Darwin’s ideas to justify massive disparities in wealth and power to deny government a role in equalizing opportunity.
According to what came to be called Social Darwinism, evolution was a natural a process in human society as in nature, and government must not interfere. Especially misguided, in this view, were efforts to uplift those at the bottom of the social order, such as laws regulating conditions of work or public assistance to the poor. The giant industrial corporation, Social Darwinists believed, had emerged because it was better adapted to its environment than earlier forms of enterprise. To restrict its operations by legislation would reduce society to a more primitive level. 8. How did social reformers such as Edward Bellamy and Henry George and advocates of the social gospel conceive of liberty and freedom differently than the proponents of the liberty of contract ideal