James A. Henretta Eric Hinderaker Rebecca Edwards Robert O. Self America’s History Eighth Edition America: A Concise History Sixth Edition CHAPTER 18 The Victorians Make the Modern 1880–1916 Copyright © 2014 by Bedford/St. Martin’s I. Commerce and Culture A. Consumer Spaces (Long male-centered, new businesses changed their atmospheres in order to attract women.) 1. The circus – P. T. Barnum used rail system for traveling circus; focused on family entertainment; emphasized refined female entertainers to encourage women’s attendance; promised middle-class parents that circus would teach children courage and promote outdoor activity and exercise. 2. First-class rail cars – Railroad companies sought to make their customers comfortable with modern amenities; fitted with carpets, upholstery, and woodwork; first-class “ladies’ cars” were opulent and soon became sites of struggle for racial equality; prohibited African Americans from sharing the space. 3. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) – Supreme Court decision declared that “separate but equal” facilities for African Americans on railroad cars and in other public facilities did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment; placing a stamp of approval on segregation, the Plessy decision allowed Jim Crow laws to stand and expand dramatically. I. Commerce and Culture D. Masculinity and the Rise of Sports 1. “Muscular Christianity” – Introduced in Boston (1851), YMCA was first promoter of physical fitness in the U.S.; adapted from a British model and advocated vigorous exercise for young men; combined evangelism with gyms and athletic facilities where men could make themselves “clean and strong”; 1900–1917 developed an industrial program to foster loyalty to companies and a content workforce; serving on company teams instilled pride and teamwork; searching for winter activities in the 1890s, YMCA instructors invented basketball and volleyball; some negotiations arose on whether the working class could be participants. 2. America’s Game – Baseball developed before the Civil War, spread in popularity during the war, and became a professional sport after the war; National League was launched in 1876; first World Series was held in 1903; employers encouraged company teams. 3. Rise of the Negro Leagues – At the turn of the century, most black players were barred from professional teams; led to development of segregated teams; desegregation came after World War II. 4. American Football – Controversial sport grew out of Ivy League colleges in 1880s; the game was violent—6 player deaths in 1908; eventually, rules were put in place to protect players; professional teams developed in Pittsburgh, Green Bay (WI), and Chicago. I. Commerce and Culture C. The Great Outdoors (1890: 10 million bicycles sold in U.S. as Americans began to reject Victorian culture as stuffy and claustrophobic; revolted by heading outdoors.) 1. Preservation – National and state governments made provisions for land to be set aside for preservation and recreation; extended the reach of national forests; Wilson created the National Parks Service (1916); Lacey Act (1900) established federal penalties for selling specified birds, animals, and plants. Antiquities Act (1906) allowed the president to set aside “objects of historic and scientific interest” as national monuments; debate ensued over the use of natural resources (ex: timber) from monuments vs. parks, which were protected. 2. Environmentalists – John Muir, an inventor from Wisconsin, founded the Sierra Club (1892) for exploring and preserving Pacific Coast; protection of wildlife encouraged; Audubon societies called for protection of bird species; new laws against hunting game caused controversy. II. Women, Men, and the Solitude of the Self A. Changes in Family Life 1. The average American family – Family size decreased in post-Civil War years; in 1800, women gave birth to an average of 7 children; in 1900, the average was 3.6; farming families needed many children for work; families in industrial society limited family size and concentrated their resources on helping the children succeed in the market economy; couples married at older ages; tried to suppress fertility by nursing, condoms, and diaphragms (vulcanization of rubber made these possible). 2. Comstock Act – In 1873, Anthony Comstock secured a federal law banning “obscene materials” from U.S. mail; was applied to any information about sex and birth control; supported by those who feared the rising tide of pornography, sexual information, and contraceptives made available by industrialization. • • • 1. Describe Sargent’s depiction of this newly married couple. (Answer: Formal dress: man in suit jacket, vest, tie; woman in long skirt, jacket, long shirt-sleeves, with a hat at her hip; man appears serious, standing behind in her shadow; woman almost smiling with hand at hip.) 2. What can we conclude about this couple from Sargent’s painting? (Answer: We know little of this couple except that they have enough wealth to dress in fine clothing; someone, if not themselves, has the means to commission a portrait for them; the placement of the husband behind the wife should be discussed as this is a period in which husbands were the representation of the family in public; perhaps here, as they marry, Sargent allowed her to shine, the husband standing behind to celebrate her beauty.) 3. Does this portrait give us any clues into married life at the turn of the century? (Answer: This couple would not be representative of married couples in the nineteenth or early twentieth century because of their wealth; we can tell that they are white and of European descent, but we know little else about them from Sargent’s work.) II. Women, Men, and the Solitude of the Self B. Education 1. The rise of high school – Education was critical for affluent boys preparing for professional employment; daughters were encouraged to attend school to gain employable skills (“just in case”); technical and business education were important for urban and rural people; by 1900, 71 percent of Americans between 5 and 18 years of age attended school; curriculum included literature, composition, history, geography, biology, mathematics, ancient and modern languages, and athletics. 2. College – By 1920, approximately 8 percent of youth were attending public universities; state schools emphasized technical training while private colleges pioneered liberal arts. 3. African American education – Tuskegee Institute (1881) established by Booker T. Washington; was a school for industrial education; educated women for nursing and teaching, and men for trades; Washington was criticized by civil rights leaders for refusing confrontation with whites over race issue, focusing instead on training wage earners for economic success. 4. Women’s education – In the Northeast and South, women attended single-sex schools or teachertraining colleges; Vassar College (1861) sought to give women an education equal to that of males; founding of Smith, Wellesley, and other colleges followed; some feared that education would “unsex” young women; Vassar included a focus on keeping young women healthy and strong to combat public criticism of education for women; Midwest and West offered public coeducational universities. II. Women, Men, and the Solitude of the Self C. From Domesticity to Women’s Rights (“Maternalist” ideal: justified women’s work in the public sphere based on women’s special talents as mothers and Christians.) 1. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) – Founded in 1874, and led by Frances Willard; advocated prohibition of liquor; put women at the forefront of public reform; Willard’s motto was “Home Protection”; WCTU began first national movement against domestic violence; brought together people from urban and rural areas; founded soup kitchens and free libraries; investigated prisons; advocated for 8-hour workday and an end to child labor; called for woman suffrage; supported the Prohibition Party; early twentieth century was reborn in such groups as Anti-Saloon League. 2. Women, Race, and Patriotism – Daughters of the American Revolution (1890) excluded black women; United Daughters of the Confederacy (1894) was founded to extol the South’s “Lost Cause”; Ida B. Wells organized one-woman campaign against lynching (1892) but won little support; National Association of Colored Women (1896) showed that black women shared with white women the determination to carry domesticity into the public sphere; Women’s Convention of the National Baptist Church (1900) was the largest black women’s group. II. Women, Men, and the Solitude of the Self • C. From Domesticity to Women’s Rights (cont.) • 3. Women’s Rights – Rival suffrage organizations reunited as the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1890 and won full ballots of women in Colorado (1893), and Idaho and Utah (1896); by 1913, most women living west of the Mississippi have the vote; antisuffragists organized National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (1911); by the 1910s, some women began to call for women’s full political, economic and social equality; Heterodoxy Club (1912) organized in NYC for intellectuals, journalists, and labor organizers who supported women’s rights and liberation (called themselves feminists). III. Science and Faith A. Darwinism and Its Critics 1. Theory – In his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, Darwin argued that all creatures struggle to survive, but some are born with mutations that make them better fit for their environment (theory of “natural selection”); these characteristics then become dominant in future generations. 2. Social Darwinism – Elaborate theory developed by Herbert Spencer, British philosopher; humans had advanced through competition and “survival of the fittest”; William Graham Sumner, sociologist at Yale, claimed the wealthy were the “fittest”; Sumner’s views were controversial; critics argued that Spencer and others (French biologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck) were making excuses for the excesses of industrial society. 3. Eugenics – So-called “science” of human breeding that argued mentally deficient people should be prevented from reproducing; proposed sterilization laws; many associated mental deficiencies with so-called “lower races,” which led to increased discrimination against people of Asian, African, and Native American descent. III. Science and Faith B. Realism in the Arts 1. Naturalism – Suggested that human beings were victims of forces beyond their control (impulses and desires); examples include Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893); Jack London’s story, “The Law of Life” (1901); and Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889). 2. Modernism – Rejected traditional canons of literary taste; focused on the subconscious and “primitive” mind; sought to overturn convention and tradition; included religious skeptics and atheists; questioned progress; some photographers argued that their “true” representations made painting obsolete. But painters invented their own forms of realism; the Armory Show (1913) introduced America to modern art, including cubism; was met with both controversy and fascination. • • • 1. Describe this Arthur B. Davies painting from 1914. Who is depicted, and what are they doing? (Answer: Painting depicts women dancing, without clothing. Their mode of dancing is not formal. The painting’s style is also not traditional but modernist.) 2. Imagine that you are a middle-class, middle-aged person viewing this painting in the mid-1910s. How would you respond? (Answer: Many conventional people probably would have found this painting shocking because of the nudity, the “primitive” forms of dancing presented, and the cubist style.) III. Science and Faith C. Religion: Diversity and Innovation 1. Immigrant Faiths – Arrival of large numbers of Catholics and Jews led to questioning of whether immigrants should adapt their faiths to American Protestantism; connections to churches decreased because of harshness of industrial society; immigrant Catholics established parishes based on ethnicities (Irish, Italian, Polish); native-born American Jews embraced Reform Judaism, abandoning such religious practices as keeping a kosher kitchen and conducting services in Hebrew; some Jews founded Orthodox synagogues. 2. Protestant Innovations – In 1916, Protestants still were a majority in the U.S. but faced increasing political pressure from large numbers of Catholics; Protestants worked to evangelize those who were uncommitted to religion through “Social Gospel”: founded YMCAs, revealed faith through their public welfare and social justice efforts; introduction in U.S. of British organization, the Salvation Army. 3. Fundamentalists – Conservatives who were concerned about the rising secularism of the country; a series of Bible Conferences at Niagara Falls were held between 1876 and 1897; reaffirmed the literal “truth” of the Bible and the certain damnation of those not born again in Christ; used revival meetings; Billy Sunday helped bring evangelism into the modern era and held revivals to reconnect Americans with Protestant religion (was hugely popular).