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Ch 21: Reconstruction, Westward Expansion, Industrialization & Urbanization

About This Chapter

To get ready for an upcoming exam, use this expertly taught chapter on industrialization, urbanization, reconstruction and westward expansion. Review these topics at your convenience using the short video lessons and self-assessment quizzes.

Reconstruction, Westward Expansion, Industrialization & Urbanization - Chapter Summary

Studying for an important test is a snap when you have help from this engaging chapter on westward expansion, urbanization, reconstruction and industrialization. Fun lessons cover topics including President Lincoln's legacy and the Reconstruction amendments. You'll also watch videos on the effects of Reconstruction on African Americans and life in the South after the Civil War. This chapter is designed to get you ready to:

  • Outline women's suffrage, the Homestead Act and the Transcontinental Railroad
  • Explain the struggles between the Native Americans and the settlers
  • Discuss westward expansion and the Frontier Thesis
  • Detail the conquest, conflict and assimilation of Native Americans during the Gilded Age
  • Analyze scientific management, new business models and the Bessemer Process
  • Identify the political machines and civil service reform during the Gilded Age
  • Assess immigration in industrial America and the rise of nativism
  • Describe the effects and problems associated with urbanization during the Second Industrial Revolution in America

Take your time as you work through these lessons and feel free to go back as often as needed to review them again. The timeline tags make it easy to skip ahead or re-watch specific points in the videos. If you wish to study offline, our printable lesson transcripts make handy study guides.

12 Lessons in Chapter 21: Reconstruction, Westward Expansion, Industrialization & Urbanization
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
President Lincoln's Legacy: Plans for a Reconstructed Union

1. President Lincoln's Legacy: Plans for a Reconstructed Union

Before the guns of the American Civil War fell silent, President Abraham Lincoln was making plans for the reconstruction of the South. In this lesson, learn what his plans involved and the controversy surrounding them.

The Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

2. The Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

Between 1865 and 1870, during the historical era known as Reconstruction, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified to establish political equality for all Americans. Together, they are known as the Reconstruction Amendments.

Reconstruction's Effects on African Americans: Politics, Education and Economy

3. Reconstruction's Effects on African Americans: Politics, Education and Economy

The era in U.S. history known as Reconstruction presented many new opportunities to African Americans, especially in the South. For the first time, freedmen were free to pursue economic independence, education, religion and politics. These pursuits are embodied in the accomplishments of four men: Alonzo Herndon, Booker T. Washington, Jonathan Gibbs and Hiram Revels.

Life in the South After the Civil War

4. Life in the South After the Civil War

Following the Civil War, the era of Reconstruction was a difficult time for Southerners. Their land was destroyed, their political institutions were overrun by outsiders, the economy was in transition and their society was in upheaval. It was in this climate that the Ku Klux Klan was born and the Redeemers sought to reestablish the Old South.

Transcontinental Railroad, Homestead Act and Women's Suffrage

5. Transcontinental Railroad, Homestead Act and Women's Suffrage

In light of slavery and the issues related to it, several consequential events are often overlooked in the mid- to late-1800s: the Homestead Act, completion of the the transcontinental railroad and the push for women's suffrage.

The Indian Wars: Struggle Between Native Americans and Settlers

6. The Indian Wars: Struggle Between Native Americans and Settlers

As America expanded into the West, whites often encroached on Indian land and resources. Many Native Americans defended their territory, leading to a series of conflicts known as the Indian Wars.

Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & the Frontier Thesis

7. Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & the Frontier Thesis

Between the mid-1800s and the turn of the 20th century, the American frontier opened and closed abruptly. What factors influenced this land rush, and how did it help shape American history?

Native Americans: Conflict, Conquest and Assimilation During the Gilded Age

8. Native Americans: Conflict, Conquest and Assimilation During the Gilded Age

In the second half of the 19th century, the federal government attempted to control Native American nations. This led to violent conflicts known together as the Indian Wars. Learn about famous battles, and the attempt to 'civilize' tribes through various policies.

American Industry Development in the Gilded Age: Bessemer Process, Scientific Management & New Business Models

9. American Industry Development in the Gilded Age: Bessemer Process, Scientific Management & New Business Models

American industry was transformed in the Second Industrial Revolution but not just through mechanization. Find out how new methods of management and organization helped the development of big business.

Gilded Age Politics: Political Machines & Civil Service Reform

10. Gilded Age Politics: Political Machines & Civil Service Reform

Refresh your memory of the 'Forgotten Presidents' of the Gilded Age, and learn how Civil Service Reform might have cleaned up the federal government, but not the cities and states. They were the domain of political machines, like Tammany Hall.

Immigration in Industrial America and the Rise of Nativism

11. Immigration in Industrial America and the Rise of Nativism

Between the Civil War and WWI, America experienced a massive third wave of immigration. Learn about where these immigrants came from, where they went and how 'native' Americans responded to them.

Urbanization During the Second Industrial Revolution in America: Effects & Problems

12. Urbanization During the Second Industrial Revolution in America: Effects & Problems

After the Civil War, America transformed from a rural nation to an urban nation. Learn where all those people came from and why. Using New York City as an example, you'll see some of the problems of urbanization and the steps they took to improve it.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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