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Chapter 1: 1896-1904: America Ascends to Power 1. The Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court Case By John Marshall Harlan 26 In 1896, in the Plessy v. Ferguson case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that reserving "separate-but- equal" facilities for blacks and whites did not vio- late the Fourteenth Amendment. U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan was the lone dissenter of the decision and argued that any de- gree of racial segregation is oppressive. 2. The Triumph of America in the Spanish- American War By Henry Watterson 31 The mysterious explosion of the USS Maine off the coast of Havana, Cuba, and opposition to Spanish colonial rule of Cuba prompted the United States to declare war against Spain in 1898. America's tri- umph in the Spanish-American War announced the arrival of a new global power. 3. The United States Annexes the Philippines By William Jennings Bryan 37 After its victory in the Spanish-American War of 1898, the United States faced the question of whether or not to act as an imperial power and an- nex Spain's former colonies. Politician William Jen- nings Bryan, a leading anti-imperialist, railed against the forced U.S. annexation of the Philip- pines on the basis that it profoundly conflicted with America's virtues of democracy and freedom. 4. Urban Growth in the United States By Adna Ferrin Weber 42 Turn-of-the-century industrial advances trans- formed agriculture in the United States and freed the majority of the population from the necessity of farming. Able to pursue other ways of living, Americans flocked to the cities, causing the urban population of the United States to swell. 5. Laissez-Faire and the Gospel of Wealth By Foster Rhea Dulles 46 The "hands-off" philosophy of laissez-faire pre- vailed in American economics during the early twentieth century, resulting in the rise of big busi- ness monopolies and great imbalances of eco- nomic wealth and power. 6. Life in Small-Town and Rural America By John W. Dodds 51 Although the United States was becoming increas- ingly urbanized by the 1900s, most Americans still lived in small towns or on farms, where the sim- plicity of their daily routines, traditions, and ways of life remained unchanged. 7. Immigration at the Turn of the Century By Edward Lowry 57 Immigration to the United States reached historic peaks in the first decade of the twentieth century. The majority of these immigrants hailed from southern and eastern Europe, Asia, Mexico, and Scandinavia and arrived at Ellis Island. 8. The Assassination of President William McKinley By Aaron T. Haverin 62 The Pan-American Exposition of 1901, "Grandest of all the World's Fairs," tragically set the stage for the assassination of President William McKinley. He was shot at point-blank range by Leon Czol- golz, a self-professed disciple of American anar- chist Emma Goldman. 9. The Wright Brothers' First Flight By Hendrik de Leeuw 68 On December 17,1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright's biplane achieved the miracle of heavier- than-air flight. Although this cold, winter day would go down in history, the public and press barely took notice of the Wrights' achievement. 10. Opening Night at Coney Island By the New York Times 72 At the turn of the century, the amusement parks at Coney Island were a huge success, attracting hundreds of thousands of patrons with their daz- zling sights, thrilling rides, and exotic attractions. The success of these parks sprung from the pock- ets of working Americans eager to spend their newfound leisure time escaping the monotonous workweek. Chapter 2: 1905-1912: Resistance and Reform 1. The Rise of Muckraking Journalism By Stephen Goode 78 Muckraking journalists in the early 1900s gave Americans a closer look at the corrupted activities of governments and private industries. Their brand of investigative reporting, during its finest hours, saved lives and shaped federal reform. 2. The Saloon Problem By John Marshall Barker 84 Temperance advocates attributed America's social problems to the consumption of alcohol. John Mar- shall Barker, a major figure of the temperance movement, contended that the saloon encouraged alcohol abuse, posing a great menace to society. 3. The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 By DeWitt C. Baldwin 89 On April 18, 1906, a deadly earthquake rocked the city of San Francisco, resulting in devastating losses of property and life. More than eighty years later, former San Francisco resident DeWitt C. Baldwin recalled the natural disaster with eerie detail. 4. Theodore Roosevelt and the Hepburn Act By Nathan Miller 95 President Theodore Roosevelt worked to limit the powers of big business. With the Hepburn Act, he gave the government the authority to regulate the railroad monopolies. 5. The Great American Vaudeville Industry By the New York Times 100 Vaudeville shows led the American entertainment industry in the early 1900s. The chance to join a successful vaudeville show or act drew aspiring performers from all walks of life. 6. The Founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People By Charles Flint Kellogg 107 Although slavery had been abolished in the United States in the 1860s, the social and economic situation of black Americans changed little as they entered the twentieth century. In 1909, a group of multiracial activists answered the call of their abo- litionist predecessors and formed the nation's old- est civil rights organization. 7. Life in a Sweatshop By Rose Cohen 111 Sweatshops exploited and endangered the lives of the nation's poor in the early 1900s. As a young woman desperate for employment, Rose Cohen re- luctantly took up work in a grueling, abusive gar- ment factory. 8. The Effort to Save Yosemite By John Muir 116 Developers' plans to dam Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley stirred a national debate in the early twentieth century. Preservationist John Muir ar- gued passionately against the dam, believing that it would destroy Yosemite's greatest treasure. Chapter 3: 1913-1917: America Watches the World Go to War 1. The Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 By Sheridan Harvey 123 By 1913, after a half century of struggle, only six states had granted women the right to vote. To breathe new life into the suffrage movement, thou- sands of activitists boldly marched for women's suffrage in Washington, D.C., on March 3 of that year. 2. Henry Ford Introduces Mass Production By Allan Nevins and Frank Ernest Hill 129 When automobile manufacturer Henry Ford ap- plied his seven principles of mass production to his factories in late 1913, he made automobiles af- fordable and ushered in a new age of industry and consumerism. 3. The Balkan Crisis: Assassination at Sarajevo By Edward Robb Ellis 134 Centuries of conflict in the Balkans led to the as- sassination of the archduke of Austria-Este and his wife on June 28, 1914. Although the tragedy would plunge Europe and eventually the United States into World War I, many Americans regarded the event as a routine incident of Balkan hostility. 4. The Panama Canal Opens a Path Between the Seas By David McCullough 143 The Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, is a monumental testament to hu- man ingenuity, perseverance, and sacrifice. How- ever, the triumph of the canal's completion in 1914 was eclipsed by Germany's declaration of war. 5. Tension Grows in "Neutral" America By Mark Sullivan 151 Conscious of America's diverse cultural back- ground, President Woodrow Wilson declared that the United States must remain neutral in World War I. Nonetheless, the nation's official stance of neutrality could not mask the growing friction be- tween pro-Ally and pro-German Americans. 6. Americans React to the Sinking of the Lusitania By Thomas A. Bailey and Paul B. Ryan 155 The sinking of the British luxury liner Lusitania by a German submarine on May 7, 1915, in which 128 American lives were lost, was widely condemned in the United States. The desire for retribution against Germany, however, was not unanimous. 7. The Birth of a Nation: A Landmark in Film History By Ward Greene 161 Released in February 1915, D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation became America's most important cinematic event to date. Critic Ward Greene com- mented on the controversy and passion the film ig- nited. 8. Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement By Ellen Chesler 166 Driven by the horrors of self-induced abortions, Margaret Sanger dedicated herself to making birth control accessible to women. When Sanger founded America's first birth control clinic in Oc- tober 1916, she gave momentum to the birth con- trol movement. Chapter 4: 1918-1919: The War Changes America 1. America Enters World War I By Woodrow Wilson 177 President Woodrow Wilson was determined to maintain America's neutrality in the First World War. However, after Germany resumed unre- stricted submarine warfare and sank three Ameri- can ships, Wilson delivered a stirring war speech that persuaded Congress to enter into the war and fight for the Allied cause. 2. America Asserts Its Military Power By Arthur S. Link, William A. Link, and William B. Catton 186 American troops helped to end the deadlock on the Western front in favor of the Allies. In addition, the U.S. Navy's campaign against German subma- rine warfare greatly reduced the shipping losses of the Allies. 3. Eugene Debs's Antiwar Speech By Eugene Debs 192 Despite the risk of imprisonment, socialist leader Eugene Debs spoke boldly against America's in- volvement in World War I. In his Canton, Ohio, an- tiwar speech, Debs asserted his belief that fighting in the war did not serve the interests of the com- mon people. 4. The Influenza Epidemic Hits America By A.A. Hoehling 203 The influenza epidemic had swept the globe and killed millions of people before it broke out in the United States in the spring of 1918. By the fall of that year, thousands of Americans were becoming infected with and dying from the deadly virus on a weekly basis. 5. The Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations By Thomas C. Reeves 210 President Woodrow Wilson believed that the dev- astation left by World War I provided the opportu- nity to achieve global peace. Abroad and at home, Wilson tenaciously pursued the creation of the League of Nations, an organization aimed at pre- venting future wars. 6. The Making of a Red By Robert Benchley 218 Wartime suspicions bloomed into the Red Scare, a mass paranoia of foreigners and political dis- senters in the United States. Believing it was a counterproductive social movement, noted hu- morist and drama critic of the day Robert Benchley wrote an essay satirizing the Red Scare. 7. An American Town Greets Prohibition By the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois 223 Although the Eighteenth Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1920, the passing of the Volstead Act in 1918 hastened the prohibition of alcohol more than six months earlier. Like many towns across the United States, the people of Quincy, Illinois, crowded the saloons and stocked up on liquor before greeting Prohibition. 8. The 1919 World Series: Baseball's Most Famous Scandal By the Chicago Historical Society 228 Low morale, measly pay, and jealousies tempted eight members of the Chicago White Sox to strike a deal with a gambler to throw the 1919 World Se- ries to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for $100,000. The resulting scandal threatened base- ball's standing as America's favorite pastime. Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:United States History 1865-1921 Juvenile literature, United States History 1865-1921 Sources Juvenile literature, United States History 1865-1921, United States History 1865-1921 Sources