An Independent Country

  • Women’s Right to Vote in Wyoming

    Women’s Right to Vote in Wyoming

    The U.S. Constitution didn’t prohibit women’s right to vote, but it didn’t guarantee it either. Until 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, states were allowed to decide the issue. Interestingly, it wasn’t the “progressive” states of New England and the East Coast that first gave women the vote, but…


  • The Progressive Era

    The Progressive Era

    The Industrial Revolution of the 1800s changed life in America forever. Urban areas grew quickly and, for the first time, a small percentage of Americans (one percent) controlled 70 percent of America’s wealth. People began seeking change. Many Americans began fighting to solve the problems of widespread poverty, unfair working…


  • The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

    The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

    The late 1800s to early 1900s were a time of hope and optimism as the middle class enjoyed greater prosperity and comfort than ever before. Yet, immigrant factory workers in New York City worked in dismal conditions just blocks from the mansions of wealthy factory owners, never taking part in…


  • 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…