The Economy and   Politics the 1880's

By: Nick F., Kady K., Morgan W., and Victoria Z.


    Our group was chosen to write about politics and the economy of the 1800ís. In the 1800s many diverse and interesting things that happened, we thought would be best put into a timeline. The purpose of this timeline is to help and or give a general understanding of this time in us history.  The timeline is located at the bottom of the page.
    A major transportation breakthrough occurred during the middle of the 1800s that continued through the late 1880s in the year 1830, the first railroad system was born. At this time they were at an average of 100 miles in length , 1840 3,500 miles , 1860- 30,300 miles. These railroad dramatically expanded traffic, These early railroads were not very safe or efficient. They were very dangerous, uncomfortable, their brakes were weak, and the engines started fires until coal engines appeared.
    The new railroads profoundly effected farm owners, because the location of the railroads helped determine what land could be profitably cultivated and railroad companies created farms be selling land grants as farm sites, but labor for the farm was rare.  Luckily machines came about to rid farmers of the problem of labor shortage. The major cities of the united states were also effected by the railroads, for example, Chicago, Illinois turned into the Midwest's railroad central. These railroads ultimately did glorious things and worked wonders for the united states' economic activity and agriculture.
    Many Important events happened during the early years of the 1880s also. In the year 1880 President Benjamin Hayes signed the Chinese Exclusive Treaty.   All the way in Kansas, John St. John (the governor) forces through prohibition, making Kansas the site of towns like Dodge City where the saloon has been almost a symbol of Civic life.  Kansas was the first state in the nation to "go dry".
    Helen Hunt Jackson publishes a novel called A Century of Dishonor, in this book, it discusses the first detailed examination of the federal government's treatment of Native Americans in the west in the 1882.  Also, in 1882 Congress passes the Edmund's Law, making polygamy (or having more than one spouse) a federal crime punishable by up to five years of prison.
    During this period in the United States a lot of changes happened that led up to the way politics and economy are run today.  Overall, the 1880's were very relaxed for normal life, but in the politics were up and running fast and far. The railroad was doubted greatly because the Chinese Exclusion Act was  passed so none of the Chinese workers could help build the railroad. It was eventually connected though. There were many presidents in this time period.   The second president was assassinated. There were many laws and bills passed.

                                                    Works Cited

"Apple computer Inc." PBS online.  2003 PBS 2/28/03 <http : // west/events/1880_19890.htm

Sage, Henry J.. "U.S. History 1: American Economic Growth." 11 Dec. 2002. University of Virginia
Community College. 25 Feb. 2003 <

Meyers, Andrew and Gisolfi, Monica "US history  unitn 7- the guilded age" <http:\\>