Period 7: 1890-1945

Key Concepts

Key Concept 7.1 — Growth expanded opportunity, while economic instability led to new efforts to reform U.S. society and its economic system.

Key Concept 7.2 — Innovations in communications and technology contributed to the growth of mass culture, while significant changes occurred in internal and international migration patterns.

Key Concept 7.3 — Participation in a series of global conflicts propelled the United States into a position of international power while renewing domestic debates over the nation’s proper role in the world.

Study Resources

Of Interest

Dark Side of the 1920s Presentation

1920s Presentation Snapshot

FSA Color Photographs, 1930s-40s

Cabin in Southern U.S.  (LOC)

Primary Sources

How the Other Half Lives (Excerpt)

Riis, Jacob A
1890
Jacob Riis, a Danish immigrant, combined photography and journalism into a powerful indictment of poverty in America. His 1890, How the Other Half Lives shocked Americans with its raw depictions of urban slums. Here, he describes poverty in New York.

Significance of the Frontier in American History

Turner, Frederick Jackson
1893
Perhaps the most influential essay by an American historian, Frederick Jackson Turner’s address to the American Historical Association on “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” defined for many Americans the relationship between the frontier and American culture and contemplated what might follow “the closing of the frontier.”

The White Man's Burden

Kipling, Rudyard
1899
​​​​​​​As the United States waged war against Filipino insurgents, the British writer and poet Rudyard Kipling urged the Americans to take up “the white man’s burden.”

McKinley on the Philippines

McKinley, William
January 23, 1903

When next I realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps, I confess I did not know what to do with them. I sought counsel from all sides-Democrats as well as Republicans-but got little help. I thought first we would take only Manila; then Luzon; then other islands, perhaps, also.