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The Gilded Age and Progressive Era: A Documentary Reader

William A. Link (Editor), Susannah J. Link (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-27862-8
352 pages
January 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
The Gilded Age and Progressive Era: A Documentary Reader (1118278623) cover image
This volume presents documents that illustrate the variety of experiences and themes involved in the transformation of American political, economic, and social systems during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (1870-1920).
  • Includes nearly 70 documents which cover the period from the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction in the 1870s  through World War I
  • Explores the experiences of people during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era from a variety of diverse perspectives, including important political and cultural leaders as well as everyday individuals
  • Charts the nationalization of American life and the establishment of the United States as a global power
  • Introduces students to historical analysis and encourages them to engage critically with primary sources
  • Introductory materials from the editors situate the documents within their historical context
  • A bibliography provides essential suggestions for further reading and research
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Series Editors’ Preface ix

Acknowledgments to Sources xii

Introduction 1

Prelude: Mark Twain and the Gilded Age 11

Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, from The Gilded Age , 1873

Part I New Frontiers 17

1 The New South 19

1 Henry W. Grady, “The New South,” 1886 19

2 Henry McNeal Turner on African American Civil Rights, 1889 22

3 William D. Kelley, from The Old South and New , 1888 26

4 Lewis Hine, Photographs of Southern Textile Workers, 1908–9 31

2 The New West 34

1 T.S. Kenderdine, from California Revisited, 1858–897 , 1898 34

2 Theodore Roosevelt, from Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail , 1888 39

3 Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, from The Squatter and the Don , (1885) 42

4 Workingmen’s Party, An Address from the Workingmen of San Francisco to Their Brothers throughout the Pacific Coast, 1878 48

3 Native Americans 51

1 Zitkala-Sa, Native Americans and White Attempts to Assimilate, from “The School Days of an Indian Girl,” 1900 51

2 Chief Joseph, Selected Statements and Speeches by the Nez Perce Chief, 1877–9 54

3 Lakota Accounts of the Massacre at Wounded Knee , 1896 57

4 Photographs and Images from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, 1896–9 62

Part II Industrial Society 65

4 Big Business 67

1 Andrew Carnegie, “The Gospel of Wealth,” 1889 67

2 Herbert Spencer, “The Coming Slavery,” 1884 70

3 Henry Demarest Lloyd, “The Lords of Industry,” 1884 72

4 US Supreme Court, Slaughterhouse Cases , 1873 77

5 Frederick Winslow Taylor, from The Principles of Scientific Management , 1911 83

6 Russell Conwell, from Acres of Diamonds , 1915 89

5 Gilded Age Society 98

1 Thorstein Veblen, from The Theory of the Leisure Class , 1899 98

2 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, from “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” 1892 104

3 Henry George, from Progress and Poverty , 1879 109

4 Photographs of Gilded Age Mansions 112

5 Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Woman’s Building, from The Book of the Fair , 1893 114

6 Working People 120

1 Stephen Crane, “In the Depths of a Coal Mine,” 1894 120

2 Walter A. Wyckoff, from The Workers: An Experiment in Social Reality , 1899 125

3 Image from The National Police Gazette , 1879 129

4 Edward Eggleston, Hardshell Preacher, from The Hoosier Schoolmaster , 1871 130

5 Leon Ray Livingston, Tramping in America, 1910 135

6 Upton Sinclair, from The Jungle , 1906 141

7 Immigrants in the Industrial Age 147

1 Abraham Cahan, “The Russian Jew in America,” 1898 147

2 Treaty Regulating Immigration from China, 1880 153

3 Samuel Bryan, “Mexican Americans and Southwestern Growth,” 1912 157

4 Jacob Riis, Photographs from How the Other Half Lives, 1890 163

5 Theodore Roosevelt, Hyphenated Americanism, 1915 165

6 The Emergence of Reform Judaism, 1883 and 1885 169

Part III Social Conflict 175

8 Populism 177

1 Annie L. Diggs, “The Women in the Alliance Movement,” 1892 177

2 The Omaha Platform: Launching the Populist Party, 1892 183

3 Thomas E. Watson, “The Negro Question in the South,” 1892 188

4 William Jennings Bryan, “Cross of Gold” Speech, 1896 194

9 The Coming of Jim Crow 201

1 Ida B. Wells, “Lynch Law in America,” 1900 201

2 U.S. Supreme Court, Plessy v. Ferguson , 1896 204

3 Booker T. Washington, The Atlanta Compromise, 1895 209

4 W.E.B. Du Bois, “Of Booker T. Washington and Others,” from The Souls of Black Folk , 1903 212

5 Images from the North Carolina White Supremacy Campaign, 1898 216

6 Mary Church Terrell, “What It Means to be Colored in the Capital of the United States,” 1906 218

10 Labor Protest 223

1 Roger O’Mara, Testimony on Railroad Labor Strikes, 1878 223

2 United States Strike Commission, Report on the Chicago Pullman Strike, 1894 227

3 Constance D. Leupp, “The Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike,” 1909 231

4 Photographs of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, 1911 236

Part IV Reform 241

11 Rebuilding American Institutions 243

1 John Dewey, from The School and Society , 1899 243

2 Walter Rauschenbusch, from Christianity and the Social Crisis , 1907 247

3 Charles Davenport, from Heredity in Relation to Eugenics , 1915 250

4 Margaret Sanger, “ Morality and Birth Control ,” 1918 253

5 Frances E. Willard, from Women and Temperance , 1883 256

6 Chicago Vice Commission, The Social Evil in Chicago, 1911 260

12 The Political System 266

1 Robert M. La Follette, “Peril in the Machine,” 1897 266

2 Isaac F. Marcosson, The Dayton Plan, 1914 274

3 Helen Valeska Bary, The Suffrage Movement in Southern California, 1910–1 278

4 Seventeenth Amendment to the US Constitution (direct election of senators), 1913 283

5 Marie Jenney Howe on Women’s Public Role, 1910 284

Part V Imperialism and War 291

13 Imperialism and Anti-imperialism 293

1 Mayo W. Hazeltine, “What Shall Be Done about the Philippines?” 1897 293

2 Platt Amendment, 1901 299

3 Jane Addams, “Democracy or Militarism,” 1899 301

4 Photograph from the Tour of the Great White Fleet, 1907–9 304

14 The Debate about World War I 306

1 W.E.B. Du Bois on the Postwar Peace, 1918 306

2 Eugene V. Debs, The Canton, Ohio, Anti-War Speech, 1918 307

3 Espionage Act, 1917 311

4 Woodrow Wilson, The Fourteen Points Address, 1918 315

Further Reading 321

Index 325

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William A. Link is Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida. His publications include Roots of Secession: Slavery and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (2003) and Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern American Conservatism (2008).

Susannah J. Link is instructor in American history at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
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  • Includes nearly 70 documents which cover the period from the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction in the 1870s  through World War I
  • Explores the experiences of people during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era from a variety of diverse perspectives, including important political and cultural leaders as well as everyday individuals
  • Charts the nationalization of American life and the establishment of the United States as a global power
  • Introduces students to historical analysis and encourages them to engage critically with primary sources
  • Introductory materials from the editors situate the documents within their historical context
  • A bibliography provides essential suggestions for further reading and research
See More
“This treasure trove of documents is a terrific classroom resource.  The Links chose carefully to achieve geographic, chronological, and thematic balance.  The book's organization represents all aspects of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and ties them together interpretatively. Professors will find themselves assigning documents from the reader week after week.  This is one of the most useful teaching books I've seen.” – Glenda Gilmore, Yale University

“Three cheers for William and Susannah Link, whose documentary reader offers interpretive structure and focus alongside its thoughtfully-chosen collection of primary sources.  This reader is authoritative while still compact, giving enough points of view to spark controversy without closing down conversation.  It is the perfect companion to the U.S. survey or more specialized courses in modern American history.” – Jane Dailey, University of Chicago

“Wisely selected first-person accounts coupled with the author's trenchant introductions bring to life civics and society at the dawn of modern America.  It is a valuable resource that will engage students.” – Andrew Haley, University of Southern Mississippi

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