Ch 11: Westward Expansion, Industrialization & Urbanization (1870-1900)

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about Western expansion, industrialization and urbanization from 1870-1900. Complete the short quizzes that conclude each lesson to test your understanding of the material.

Westward Expansion, Industrialization & Urbanization (1870-1900) - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

In the mid- to late 19th century, President Lincoln's signing of the first Homestead Act and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad led to rapid development of the Western United States. In this chapter, you'll learn about opportunities that awaited Western settlers as well as the hardships they faced. By the end of this chapter, you should:

  • Be familiar with policies and theories associated with westward expansion, including the Homestead Act of 1862, the Frontier Thesis and the Dawes Act.
  • Understand the role of westward expansion in the quest for women's right to vote.
  • Have insight into the relationship among settlers, the U.S. government and Native Americans in the late 1800s.
  • Know about various reform movements that aimed to improve social conditions in the U.S.
  • Comprehend why labor practices and conditions in industrial America led to the formation of workers' unions.

VideoObjective
Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & the Frontier ThesisLearn how the Homestead Act encouraged farming, ranching and settlement in the West. Learn about the Frontier Thesis.
Expanding the Transcontinental Railroad: History and ImpactLearn about new opportunities that awaited Americans in the West and the impact of the Transcontinental Railroad. Explore the growing momentum for women's suffrage.
Native Americans: Conflict, Conquest and Assimilation During the Gilded AgeExamine fighting among settlers, the U.S. government and Native Americans, including the Nez Perce, Apache and Lakota.
Economic Policy Supports IndustrializationExplore federal economic and monetary policies that supported industrialization, such as tariffs and support for monopolies.
Andrew Carnegie and the Robber BaronsLearn about industrial leaders and their business practices.
Frederick Taylor & Management: Maximizing ProductivityUnderstand the contributions Frederick Taylor made to the field of management by studying tasks and incentives to develop fixed procedures that could maximize productivity and efficiency.
Labor Conditions in Industrial AmericaExplore typical working conditions for common laborers during the Industrial Revolution.
Native Americans: Conflict, Conquest and Assimilation Learn about conflicts among settlers, Native Americans and the U.S. government. Explore Native American policy, including the Dawes Act.
Gilded Age Politics: Political Machines and MoreExamine characteristics of Industrial Revolution-era politics, including political machines and civil service reform, at the local, state and federal levels.
Unions: Organized Labor vs. ManagementExplore the development of labor unions during the Industrial Revolution and their interaction with management and law enforcement.
The Grange and PopulismLearn about the development of social and political organizations for farmers. Explore the platform of the Populist Party.
Immigration in Industrial America and the Rise of NativismExamine the origins and destinations of immigrants during the Industrial Revolution and the corresponding response of American citizens.
UrbanizationExplore the rapid growth of cities as a result of migration from the countryside and immigration. Learn about living conditions and urban planning.
The Social Gospel MovementUnderstand the goals of various urban reform movements, including settlement houses, the Salvation Army and the YMCA, that were aimed at eradicating social problems.
Urban Culture in the Late 1800sLearn about life in the cities in the late 19th century, including popular activities and literary and artistic movements.

15 Lessons in Chapter 11: Westward Expansion, Industrialization & Urbanization (1870-1900)
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & the Frontier Thesis

1. 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?

Expanding the Transcontinental Railroad: History and Impact

2. Expanding the Transcontinental Railroad: History and Impact

After decades of wrangling, plans were finalized for construction of a transcontinental railroad during the Civil War. After completion in 1869, the railroad changed many aspects of American life, for better or worse.

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

3. 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.

Economic Policies During the Second Industrial Revolution

4. Economic Policies During the Second Industrial Revolution

With encouragement from the federal government, the Second Industrial Revolution transformed America from an agrarian nation into an industrial power. The mixed effects of these changes on the American people prompted Mark Twain to dub the period the 'Gilded Age.'

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

5. 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.

Andrew Carnegie and the Robber Barons

6. Andrew Carnegie and the Robber Barons

The Second Industrial Revolution created enormous wealth for industrialists like Andrew Carnegie. These corporate leaders were sometimes called Robber Barons for their questionable business practices, but they were also well-known for their philanthropy.

Frederick Taylor & Management: Maximizing Productivity & Efficiency

7. Frederick Taylor & Management: Maximizing Productivity & Efficiency

Known as the father of scientific management, Frederick Taylor revolutionized management practices. This lesson will discuss the contributions Taylor made to the field of management, most of which are still used today to maximize productivity and efficiency.

Labor Conditions During the Second Industrial Revolution

8. Labor Conditions During the Second Industrial Revolution

In the period between the Civil War and World War I, the American economy - supported by industry rather than agriculture - boomed. But, not everything glittered in the Gilded Age. Learn about the difficult, dangerous conditions of work during the Second Industrial Revolution.

Gilded Age Politics: Political Machines & Civil Service Reform

9. 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.

Labor Unions During the Second Industrial Revolution: Organized Labor vs. Management

10. Labor Unions During the Second Industrial Revolution: Organized Labor vs. Management

Before American businesses had to comply with basic labor laws and safety regulations, workers organized to improve their working conditions. Learn about the early labor unions and their violent clashes with management and government.

The Grange and the Populist Party Platform: Goals, History & Definitions

11. The Grange and the Populist Party Platform: Goals, History & Definitions

During the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, farm prices fell and the federal government began supporting industry. Farmers first organized the Grange, a social movement that turned political with Farmers' Alliances. The Populist Party emerged to represent agrarian interests at the national level.

Immigration in Industrial America and the Rise of Nativism

12. 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

13. 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.

The Social Gospel Movement: Definition and Goals of Urban Reform Movements

14. The Social Gospel Movement: Definition and Goals of Urban Reform Movements

Many Americans were desperately poor around the turn of the 20th century. The Social Gospel movement emerged among Protestant Christians to improve the economic, moral and social conditions of the urban working class.

Middle Class Opportunities in American Cities During the Second Industrial Revolution

15. Middle Class Opportunities in American Cities During the Second Industrial Revolution

In the late 1800s, a new middle class emerged in America. In this lesson, learn about new opportunities available to these urbanites, including technology, sports and leisure, education and the arts.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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