Material for test 5 - I The Gilded Age(1876 1896 Mark Twain...

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I. The Gilded Age (1876 - 1896) - Mark Twain devised this period’s name. It is on the outside the shiniest and prettiest, one of the most glowing eras of our histories. But on the inside there is a lot of violence, poverty, etc. Stokly Carmicle - “there is as much violence as apple pie in America (search for quote).” a. Plight of Blacks in the South - the south valued its system of a well ordered society with everyone in its place…and the war has destroyed that. They are now faced with the problem of putting everything into a new place. There are freedmen now - but they are still black. How can the white south devise a way/place/what to do with the freedmen? a.i. There is still a south even after the war. Unlike America, the south lost the war. Forever know: the south is poor. There are definite differences, and there remains a definite “south”. They lost a lot of their wealth and all of their slaves, and a lot of the land. The south is desperately poor and this separates the southern experience from the rest of the nation because the rest of the country was characterized by prosperity. a.ii. The south has acres and acres of land with no one to work it. The south is a cashless society - they really don’t have any cash. In the compromise of 1877 the government brought some cash, but there really isn’t any. On the other hand there are all of these freedmen who can’t be paid because there is no money. a.iii. Economic: a.iii.1. A sharecrop system - this is a sharing system. The crops (which a worker would work) would be shared with the worker. This was good for a cashless society with lots of unemployed people (or freedmen) a.iii.2. A colorblind system - after the war there are hundreds of thousands of poor whites. There are a lot of poor people. The sharecrop system works for blacks and whites. a.iii.3. The Crop Lien (mortgage) System - It is a process of mortgaging the crop. The white aristocracy is back on top and the poor whites/freedmen aren’t. It is a way for workers (who are sharecropping for someone) could get things from the store and then they would then share the crop with the store. This emerges very quickly into a colored specific program manipulated to keep the blacks on the land. At the time both blacks and the poor whites are illiterate. So, stores would tell them that the crop didn’t quite pay for the things they got from the store (it is often fudged). That means they would forced you to give next year’s crop and laws preventing you to from leaving the land. By manipulating the books they forced good workers (and blacks) in the field and got rid of bad workers. a.iii.4. One Crop Problem - if you have to mortgage your crop then it has to be a good crop that can be stored, etc. Therefore - it is all tied to cotton. While the rest of the nation is industrializing the south is all tied up in a cotton society. This is the only economic
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solution for the south and a partial solution for keeping the blacks in their place. a.iv.
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Material for test 5 - I The Gilded Age(1876 1896 Mark Twain...

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