The Gilded Age 1876-1900
Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner coined the term The Gilded Age in their book, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. 
This era was one of extensive and substantial growth in industry and immigrants. Millions of immigrants came ashore in a ten year span and their movement about the country was made easier with the expansion of transportation systems. Coal, Gold, and Silver mining boosted the economy. Several immigration laws were enacted. The country was growing and changing rapidly.
See the United States Emigration and Immigration page for more information on immigrants.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
- 1876: The Centennial Exposition was held to celebrate the first 100 years of signing of the Declaration of Independence. This giant 3 mile long fair was held in Philadelphia in May. America's inventions were displayed including the typewriter, telephone, Hires Root Beer, and the mimeograph. 10,000,000 people marveled at this great celebration.  Many county histories were also written during this time. The Battle of Little Big Horn also known as Custer's last stand. Col. Custer was defeated by Chief Crazy Horse, Chief Gall, and Chief Two Moons. 
- 1877: William Wheeler is sworn in as the 19th Vice President of the United States. Rutherford Hayes is sworn in as the 19th President of the United States. The Desert Land Act is enacted by Congress to encourage the development of desert lands in California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, and "Dakota". The act offers any married couple paying $1.25 an acre an entire section, or 640 acres. If in three years time the farmer can prove he had irrigated the land, the land is his. This was also done to improve private irrigation.  The first electric railway built as a complete system was accomplished at Richmond, Virginia by Frank Spraque.
- 1880: The U.S. population is 50,155,783 of which 6,600,000 are foreign born. More than 5.2 million immigrants enter the country between 1880 and 1890.  Indian Wars were continual through the 1780's to the 1890's.
- 1881: James Garfield is sworn in as the 20th President of the United States with Chester Arthur as Vice President. Chester Arthur is sworn in as the 21st President of the United States. The Alaska Territory is organized.
- 1882: Chinese exclusion law is established. Russian anti-Semitism prompts a sharp rise in Jewish emigration.
- 1885: Grover Cleveland is sworn in as the 22nd President of the United States with Thomas Hendricks as Vice President. The first pocket box Kodak camera was in use.
- 1889: Benjamin Harrison is sworn in as the 23rd President of the United States with Levi Morton as Vice President. North Dakota, and South Dakota obtain statehood, both were part of Dakota Territory before statehood. Montana and Washington become states. The Johnstown Flood in Pennsylvania left many dead, widowed, and orphaned.
- 1890: New York is home to as many Germans as Hamburg, Germany. For information on immigartion from Hamburg see Using Hamburg Passenger Lists. The Oklahoma Territory is organized. Idaho and Wyoming become states. Many Jews from Austria, Poland, and Galicia immigrated between 1890 and 1891. Many immigrants live in dire conditions. 
- 1891: The Bureau of Immigration is established. Congress adds health qualifications to immigration restrictions.
- 1892: Ellis Island replaces Castle Garden. Ellis Island opened to screen immigrants entering on east coast. (Angel Island screened those on west coast.) Ellis Island officials reported that women traveling alone must be met by a man, or they were immediately deported.
- 1893: Grover Cleveland is sworn in as the 24th President of the United States with Adlai Stevenson is sworn in as the Vice President of the United States.
- 1894 to 1896: To escape Ottoman Empire (Modern day Turkey) massacres, Armenian Christians emigrate.
- 1896: Utah is the 45th state admitted to the Union.
- 1897: William McKinley is sworn in as the 25th President of the United States with Garret Hobart as Vice President. Pine-frame buildings on Ellis Island are burned to the ground in a disastrous fire. From 1855 to then most of the immigration records were burned. To read more about burned records see the Burned Counties Research page.
- 1898: The United States declares war on Spain. Over 300,000 men were involved in the Spanish-American War which was fought mainly in Cuba and the Philippines. For more information about the Spanish American War and its battles see the Spanish American War Page along with individual State Military Pages. The United States annexes Hawaii. The United States and Spain sign an armistice, ending the Spanish-American War. The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of Paris 1898, officially ending the Spanish-American War.
- 1899 to 1929: Natives of north America lives were documented in photographs by Edward S. Curtis.
- 1899:The United States annexes Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. The Philippine Insurrection happened between 1899 and 1902. Manila is captured. America Samoa is acquired by the U.S. with the Treaty of Berlin of 1899 and is used as a naval base in the Pacific.
- 1900: The Hawaii Territory is organized. The present main brick building at Ellis Island was opened. It was designed to process 5,000 immigrants per day. "On one day it was recorded that "6,500 immigrants, each one of whom received some individual attention, entered, passed, and 'cleared' in nine hours." Galveston hurricane leaves reportedly as many as 8,000 dead.
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Asian in America Timeline
- Digital History
- Immigrant Servants Database
- Irish immigration
- The First Asian Immigrants
- The Gilded Age & the Progressive Era (1877–1917) Industrialization
- The Tenement As History And Housing
- Tenement Museum
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Twain, Mark and Warner, Charles Dudley; The gilded age: a tale of today; Published by Harper, 1915. Item notes: v. 2. Original from the New York Public Library. Digitized Jan 11, 2007. WorldCat 222070644 Full text is available at Google Books.
- Wainwright, Nicholas; Russell Weigley and Edwin Wolf (1982). Philadelphia: A 300-Year History. Page 467 - 468. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-01610-2Worldcat.
- Dixon, Joseph Kossuth and Wanamakerm, Rodman; The Vanishing Race, the Last Great Indian Council: A Record in Picture and Story of the Last Great Indian Council, Participated in by Eminent Indian Chiefs from Nearly Every Indian Reservation in the United States, Together with the Story of Their Lives as Told by Themselves--their Speeches and ... Edition: 2. Published by Doubleday, Page & Company, 1913, Original from Harvard University. Digitized Aug 17, 2006 231 pages. Worldcat, Full text is available at Google Books
- This is from information at http://www.blm.gov/nhp/landfacts/DesertLand.html
- Foner, Nancy; From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration. Published by Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN 0300093217, 9780300093216. 352 pages. Worldcat Full text is available at Google Books
- Glazier, Ira A., Filby, P. William; Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U.S. Ports; Edition: illustrated. Published by SR Scholarly Resources, 1990. Item notes: v. 1. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Sep 17, 2008. ISBN 0842022791, 9780842022798 550 pages.Worldcat FHL Book 973 W2ger v. 1
- Riis, Jacob August; How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New YorkPublished by Charles Scribner's Sons, 1890 Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Feb 17, 2006.Worldcat. Full Text available at Google Books.
- Immigration - Ellis Island