"The transformation of the United States from an agricultural to an increasingly industrialized and urbanized society brought about significant economic, political, diplomatic social environmental and cultural changes."
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Unit Overview:

This unit will review...

Key Concepts:

  • 6.1 The rise of big business in the United States encouraged massive migrations and urbanization, sparked government and popular efforts to reshape the U.S. economy and environment, and renewed debates over U.S. identity.
    • I. Large scale production - accompanied by massive technological change, expanding international communication networks, and pro-growth government policies- fueled the development of a "Gilded Age" marked by an emphasis on consumption, marketing, and business consolidation.
    • II. As leaders of big business and their allies in government aimed to create a unified industrialized nation, they were challenged in different ways by demographic issues, regional differences, and labor movements.
    • III. Westward migration, new systems of farming and transportation, and economic instability led to political and popular conflicts.
  • 6.2. The emergence of an industrial culture in the United States led to both greater opportunities for, and restrictions on, immigrants, minorities, and women.
    • I. International and internal migrations increased both urban and rural populations, but gender, race, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic inequalities abounded, inspiring some reformers to attempt to address these inequities.
    • II. As transcontinental railroads were completed, bringing more settlers west, U.S. military actions, the destruction of the buffalo, the confinement of American Indians to reservations, and the assimilationist policies reduced the number of American Indians and threatened native culture and identity.
  • 6.3. The "Gilded Age" witnessed new cultural and intellectual movements in tandem with political debates over economic and social policies.
    • I. Gilded Age politics were intimately tied to big business and focused nationally on economic issues -- tariffs, currency,corporate expansion, and laissez- faire economic policy -- that engendered numerous calls for reforms.
    • II. New cultural and intellectual movements both buttressed and challenged the social order of the Gilded Age.

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