The Mid-to-Late 1800’s

  • Trouble for Farmers and Workers

    Trouble for Farmers and Workers

    The course of history seems to be that as we find solutions to one problem, we often create new ones. In the late 1800s, factories provided goods to people more quickly and cheaply than ever before. At the same time, advances in farm equipment and techniques meant that farmers could…


  • Immigration: the American Dream

    Immigration: the American Dream

    Between 1880 and 1920, almost 25 million people came to America from other countries. Most of these immigrants came from Europe. They came to escape terrible poverty in their own country, having often heard rumors that the streets of America were paved with gold. They believed that America was a…


  • The Victorian Era

    The Victorian Era

    The Victorian Era, named for Great Britain’s Queen Victoria, was a time of tremendous change in both America and Europe. Inventions like electric light, the vacuum cleaner, and even the first electric iron, made life easier for many Americans. They had more time for recreation, art, and literature. For the…


  • Big Cities

    Big Cities

    Until the late 1800s, most people in America lived in small farming communities. The Industrial Revolution changed all that as people came to the cities looking for work. European immigrants arrived in America hoping for a better life. New inventions, such as the telephone and electric lights, made life easier…


  • Tycoons of the Industrial Age

    Tycoons of the Industrial Age

    The poor generally remained poor during the Industrial Revolution, but a few ambitious men made huge fortunes. These men saw the changing times and seized opportunities. They made their businesses as efficient and streamlined as possible. And they used ruthless business practices to drive competitors out of business. Some people…


  • Factories Change America

    Factories Change America

    The late 1800s were a time of great change for the United States. Before the Civil War, most people lived in small villages and worked on farms. Life revolved around the home, where most of a family’s necessities were produced. Families raised livestock and grew much of their food. They…


  • Homesteaders

    Homesteaders

    Western guidebooks described the plains area as a place with little water or firewood. But when the Homestead Act of 1862 was declared, even these dire descriptions couldn’t discourage settlers looking for a better way of life. Fun Facts Anyone was allowed to claim a tract of 160 acres. The…


  • Getting to the West: Trains, Railways, and the Pony Express

    Getting to the West: Trains, Railways, and the Pony Express

    The mid-to-late 1800s marked a time of great growth as settlers, looking for better opportunities, forged west. Forward thinking businessmen and politicians worked to develop a network of railways that would stretch across the United States. Towns sprung up along the railways. Farmers and ranchers could send wheat, potatoes, cattle,…


  • Cowboys, Outlaws, and Heroes

    Cowboys, Outlaws, and Heroes

    The wide, open west meant acres and acres of land for ranching. Once the railway came, ranchers could make huge profits by shipping their cattle to large cities, such as Chicago. During cattle drives, cowboys drove cattle from Texas to cattle towns, which sprung up near the railways. These cattle…


  • America’s Centennial

    America’s Centennial

    General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox marked the official end of the Civil War, but it didn’t mean an end to the nation’s troubles. Bitter disagreements about how the South should rejoin the nation followed. As America’s Centennial (100 years as a nation) approached, people were glad for a reason to…