Why Was 1870 a Turning Point in American History?

The year 1870 was a significant turning point in American history. This period marked a critical moment in the nation’s development, where several notable changes took place, leading to the country’s modernization.


One of the significant changes that occurred during this period was industrialization. The United States had been predominantly an agricultural society until the mid-19th century.

However, with advancements in technology and communication, the country experienced a boost in manufacturing and commerce. Railroads became more accessible, and communication methods like telegraphs made it easier to coordinate business activities across long distances.

Fact: The annual production of goods increased fourfold between 1860 and 1900.

Civil Rights Movement

1870 also saw a significant milestone in the Civil Rights movement with the ratification of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment granted African American men the right to vote, which was a major step towards equality and justice for all citizens of America.

Note: Although this amendment did not guarantee suffrage for women or address issues like segregation and discrimination, it laid the foundation for future civil rights advancements.

Westward Expansion

Another essential aspect of this time was westward expansion. After years of territorial acquisition through war and negotiation, America continued its push towards fulfilling its “Manifest Destiny.” In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation that established Yellowstone National Park as America’s first national park.

  • This move set an important precedent for environmental conservation.
  • The government began designating more public lands as national parks or reserves.

Economic Growth

Finally, 1870 marked a period of economic growth for America. With increased industrialization came greater prosperity for many Americans. Wages increased, new jobs were created, and the standard of living improved overall.


In conclusion, the year 1870 marked a significant turning point in American history. It was a period of change and progress that laid the foundation for America’s modernization.

The rise of industrialization and economic growth brought newfound prosperity, while the Civil Rights movement made important strides towards equality. Westward expansion continued to shape the country’s identity and push towards further territorial acquisition. Overall, 1870 was a pivotal moment that set America on a path towards becoming the world power it is today.