Theodore Roosevelt Essay Research Paper OutlineThesis Theodore — страница 2

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pervaded the period from 1865 to 1901. The early dominating factor was, of course, Reconstruction. Reconstruction was a dirty game, and nobody liked it. Johnson fought with congress and the end result proved very little had changed. The South was still largely agrarian, and the North was commercial. Most importantly, the Southerners and the Northerners still felt they had as little to do with each other as a fish does with a bicycle. To the young “Teedie” Roosevelt, this must have made itself apparent. He was born in a mixed household, where “Theodore Roosevelt (Sr.) was as profoundly…for the North as Martha Roosevelt was for the south” (Hagedorn 10). The fact that the family was able to live, from all accounts, very harmoniously, is quite astonishing and gives credit

to the fine parents who raised young Theodore. Reconstruction’s greatest (and perhaps only) accomplishment was the establishment of a basis for industrialization. The basic destruction of the southern agrarian process combined with the greater need for items in the North caused the economy of the post-war United States to shift toward the cities (Nash 576). The general aim of the Untied States had turned toward the big cities, but was still focused on building the nation’s power from within. And along with the improvement of industry in the United States came the spark of ingenuity that found itself in the minds of great inventors like Edison and Bell. Once again maintaining the goal of “hasten[ing] and secur[ing] settlement,” both men concentrated on improvements in

communications, improving the transmission of light and sound (Cashman 14). The presence of these two, who are representative of so many others, shows the interest the citizens of the United States had at this time in improving their infrastructure. It is interesting to note here that Roosevelt, as the first president to make use of the popular press to his advantage, grew up at the same time as these men, eleven years their junior. The period of the United States directly before Roosevelt’s was known as the Gilded Age, due to a book of the same name by Mark Twain that made use of references to “gild[ing] refined gold,” and “guilt” from Shakespeare combined with the “guilty, gilden guilds” that had sprung up in the forms of interest groups, labor unions, and

monopolies (Cashman 3-4). Indeed, the most dominant figures in this age (for the presidents were certainly beneath mention) were the robber barons. These individuals came to power in two generations. The first, peppered by those such as Jay Gould, Jim Fisk, and Daniel Drew, rose to the top quickly by acquiring the nation’s railroads through not always legitimate means (Cashman 34). The railroads were power, as can be seen by the significant rise in miles of rail, nearly a 500% increase from 1865 to 1900. Those who controlled the railroads controlled the country, and were able to maintain a lock on the industry. Later robber barons, such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, and, of course, J. P. Morgan, operated much the same way, eliminating the competition by one way or another until

they could control their industry (Cashman 38). As the three or four thousand tycoons made their fortunes, defying government, and basically creating a plutocracy of businessmen, another large group was entering the American melting pot in larger numbers than before. Ten million people came to the United States between 1860 and 1890, and the great majority of them had little more worth to their name save the clothes on their back and the boat ticket that had brought them to America (Cashman 86). Having nowhere to turn, the large majority settled in the port cities into which they came. These immigrations were largely unrestricted; the United States not yet having installed a quota system. The Chinese-Exclusion act and the subsequent “gentlemen’s agreement” with Japan slowed

the influx of Asian immigration after 1880, but these did not impact the numbers of immigrants as much as one would think. Americans could not flee, as there was no frontier left to speak of, and assimilation increasingly failed to be effective. The result was nativism, “a defensive type of nationalism” (Cashman 106). The need to impose the will of the American civilization onto other nations can be seen here, in its early stages. The main difference between this era and the next, in that respect, is that the jingoism had not yet left the country. The Gilded Age’s strongest presidential race would end up to be its last, and the resulting president, McKinley, can not be classified as a Gilded Age president. However, the issue of the Gold and Silver standards shows the United