On term (1904-1909), Roosevelt established his Square Deal;

On May 10, 1869, the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad was celebrated in Promontory, Utah. The railroad not only promoted the market for American goods, but it also paved the way for the four new transcontinental routes that would be constructed by 1900. These newer routes connected the eastern states to the west coast, which allowed thousands to make the long and arduous journey west to claim their 160-acre dream – public land granted by the government. And for the first time in American history, women and African Americans were given a chance as well. May 4, 1886 brought the nation’s first terrorist bombing – at the McCormick Reaper Works. The Haymarket Affair, as it came to be known, began as union workers (who were on strike) and the “scabs” fought at the plant. In the midst of the bedlam, someone in the crowd threw a bomb at the policemen who had just arrived. This led to the police firing into the crowd, and ultimately, it gave way to more anarchist uprisings in the future. Ellis Island opened in 1892, and it served as the nation’s main immigration station up until 1954. The journey to America was not an easy one, and inspectors would ask twenty-nine seemingly pointless questions before immigrants were allowed on American soil to search for homes and jobs. But the station symbolized hope to many immigrants who set out to begin a new life in America. It stood for all the opportunities available in the land of the free, the very same opportunities that convinced them to risk everything for a piece of the American Dream. European immigrants believed that the Chinese were stealing their jobs, and many pushed for the support of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Eventually, Congress overturned President Arthur’s veto of the act. This occurred in 1882, and the act itself prohibited Chinese immigration and barred so-called Asiatic laborers for ten years. In 1902, the Chinese Exclusion Act was made into a solid federal law. Old immigrants painted the Chinese as culture-less barbarians as a means of justifying their prejudice, and so sadly, the law was not repealed until the early 40s.Roosevelt succeeded in restoring the American public’s hope after the assassination of McKinley in 1901, and he also played a huge role in the reversal of negative Gilded Age trends. During his second term (1904-1909), Roosevelt established his Square Deal; the construction of the Panama Canal; the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act (after Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was published); the Antiquities Act of 1906 (which began the National Park Service); the Federal Employers’ Liability Act of 1908 (workers’ compensation); and finally, a strong Navy. Roosevelt was respected by Republicans and Democrats alike, and the United States flourished under his leadership.


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