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bonanza farms

large farms that came to dominate agricultural life in much of the West in the late 1800s; instead of plots farmed by yeoman farmers, large amounts of machinery were used, and workers were hired laborers, often performing only specific tasks(similar to work in a factory).

Coxey's Army

Supporters of Ohio populist Jacob Coxey who in 1894 marched on Washington, demanded that the government create jobs for the unemployed; although this group had no effect whatsoever on policy, it did demonstrate the social and economic impact of the Panic of 1893.

Populist party

formed in 1892 by members of the Farmer's Alliance, this party was designed to appeal to workers in all parts of the country. Populists favored a larger role of government in American Society, a progressive income tax, and more direct methods of democracy.

Farmer's Alliance

organization that united farmers at the statewide and regional level; policy goals of this organization included more readily available farm credits and federal regulation of the railroads.

tight money

policy that took paper money used during the Civil War out of circulation.

Sitting Bull

One of the leaders of the Sioux tribe. He was a medicine man " as wily as he was influential." He became a prominent Indian leader during the Sioux Was from 1876-1877.( The war was touched off when a group of miners rushed into the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1875.) The well-armed warriors at first proved to be a superior force. During Custer's Last Stand in 1876, Sitting Bull was " making medicine" while another Indian, Crazy Horse, led the Sioux. When more whites arrived at the Battle of Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull and the other Sioux we forced into Canada.

Crazy Horse

He was chief of the Nez Perce Indians of Idaho. People wanting gold trespassed on their beaver river. To avoid war, and save his people Chief Joseph tried retreating to Canada with his people. They were cornered 30 miles from safety and he surrendered in 1877.

Chief Joseph

Leader of Nez Perce. Fled with his tribe to Canada instead of reservations. However, US troops came and fought and brought them back down to reservations


Geronimo, the leader of the Apaches in Arizona and New Mexico, fought against the white man, who was trying to force the Apaches off of their land. Geronimo had an enormous hatred for the whites. He was, however, eventually pushed into Mexico where he surrendered

John Wesley Powell

explorer and geologist who warned that traditional agriculture could not succeed west of 100th meridian

Benjamin Harris

Came to Boston in 1686 to publish a regularly scheduled newspaper. His greatest success came from a spelling book called the New England Primer. In 1690, he founded Publick Occurrences.

William Jennings Bryan

United States lawyer and politician who advocated free silver and prosecuted John Scopes1925) for teaching evolution in a Tennessee high school1860-1925)

Helen Hunt Jackson

an author who wrote A Century of Dishonor which chronicled the government's actions against the Indians. She also wrote Romona, which was a love story about Indians. Her writing helped inspire sympathy towards the Indians.

Sioux Wars

The Sioux Wars lasted from 1876-1877. These were spectacular clashes between the Sioux Indians and white men. They were spurred by gold-greedy miners rushing into Sioux land. The white men were breaking their treaty with the Indians. The Sioux Indians were led by Sitting Bull and they were pushed by Custer's forces. Custer led these forces until he was killed at the battle at Little Bighorn. Many of the Indian were finally forced into Canada, where they were forced by starvation to surrender.

Nez Perce

Native American Tribe that will flee capture from U.S. Troops, who almost make it to Canada.


Native American-Indian tribe; 1870's; group from Arizona and New Mexico led by Geronimo were difficult to control; chased into Mexico by Federal troops; they became successful farmers raising stock in Oklahoma

Ghost Dance

A cult that tried to call the spirits of past warriors to inspire the young braves to fight. It was crushed at the Battle of Wounded Knee after spreading to the Dakota Sioux. The Ghost Dance led to the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887. This act tried to reform Indian tribes and turn them into "white" citizens. It did little good.

Battle of Wounded Knee

A group of white Christian reformist tried to bring Christian beliefs on to the Indians. Fearing the Ghost Dance American troops were called to go with the reformist. While camped outside of an Indian reservation a gun was fired and the troops stormed the reservation killing Indian men women and children.

Dawes Severalty Act

1887, dismantled American Indian tribes, set up individuals as family heads with 160 acres, tried to make rugged individualists out of the Indians, attempt to assimilate the Indian population into that of the American

Little Big Horn

General Custer and his men were wiped out by a coalition of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse

Homestead Act

Passed in 1862, it gave 160 acres of public land to any settler who would farm the land for five years. The settler would only have to pay a registration fee of $25.

Sooner State

Oklahoma's nickname because about 500.000 people illegal entered that state before it became an offical state in 1907

Safety-valve theory

As the pop. Of US begins to increase there has always been a way to release pop. Pressure: West has always acted as a safety valve; by 1890 valve was gone... no more frontier

Granger laws

During the late 1800's an organization of farmers, called the Grange, strove to regulate railway rates and storage fees charged by railroads, warehouses, and grain elevators through state legislation. These laws that were passed, but eventually reversed, are referred to as the Granger Laws.

Farmers' Alliance

This was the first "national" organization of the farmers, which led to the creation of the Populist party. The Farmers' Alliance sponsored social gatherings, were active in politics, organized cooperatives, and fought against the dominance of the railroads and manufacturers.

Jim Crow Laws

Limited rights of blacks. Literacy tests, grandfather clauses and poll taxes limited black voting rights

Colored Farmers National Alliance

More than 1 million southern black farmers organized and shared complaints with poor white farmers. By 1890 membership numbered more than 250,000. The history of racial division in the South, made it hard for white and black farmers to work together in the same org.

Pullman Strike

in Chicago, Pullman cut wages but refused to lower rents in the "company town", Eugene Debs had American Railway Union refuse to use Pullman cars, Debs thrown in jail after being sued, strike achieved nothing

Cross of Gold Speech

An impassioned address by William Jennings Bryan at the 1896 Deomcratic Convention, in which he attacked the "gold bugs" who insisted that U.S. currency be backed only with gold.

Gold Standard Act

Signed by McKinley in 1900 and stated that all paper money must be backed only by gold. This meant that the government had to hold large gold reserves in case people wanted to trade in their money. Also eliminated silver coins in circulation.

Homestead Act

This law, passed in 1862, stated that a settler could acquire up to 160 acres of land and pay a minimal fee of $30.00 just for living on it for five years and settling it. A settler could acquire it for only six months and pay $1.25 an acre. This was important because previously land was being sold for profit and now it was basically being given away. About half a million families took advantage of this offer. Unfortunately, it was often too good to be true and the land was ravaged by drought and hard to cultivate.

Dry Farming

a way of farming dry land in which seeds are planted deep in ground where there is some moisture

Sherman Silver Purchase Act

Required the government to purchase an additional 4.5 million ounces of silver bullion each month for use as currency.

McKinley Tariff

1890 tariff that raised protective tariff levels by nearly 50%, making them the highest tariffs on imports in the United States history

Sixteenth Amendment

The constitutional amendment adopted in 1913 that explicitly permitted Congress to levy an income tax.

fourth party system

A term scholars have used to describe national politics from 1896-1932, when Republicans had a tight grip on the White House and issues like industrial regulation and labor concerns became paramount, replacing older concerns like civil service reform and monetary policy.664)

mechanization of agriculture

The development of engine-driven machines, like the combine, which helped to dramatically increase the productivity of land in the 1870s and 1880s. This process contributed to the consolidation of agricultural business that drove many family farms out of existence.654)

mining industry

After gold and silver strikes in Colorado, Nevada, and other Western territories in the second half of the nineteenth century, fortune seekers by the thousands rushed to the West to dig. These metals were essential to U.S. industrial growth and were also sold into world markets. After surface metals were removed, people sought ways to extract ore from underground, leading to the development of heavy mining machinery. This, in turn, led to the consolidation of the mining industry, because only big companies could afford to buy and build the necessary machines.644)


Officially known as the People's party, the Populists represented Westerners and Southerners who believed that U.S. economic policy inappropriately favored Eastern businessmen instead of the nation's farmers. Their proposals included nationalizing the railroads, creating a graduated income tax, and most significantly the unlimited coinage of silver.657)

reservation system

The system that allotted land with designated boundaries to Native American tribes in the west, beginning in the 1850s and ending with the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887. Within these reservations, most land was used communally, rather than owned individually. The U.S. government encouraged and sometimes violently coerced Native Americans to stay on the reservations at all times.635)

Frederick Jackson Turner

American historian who said that humanity would continue to progress as long as there was new land to move into. The frontier provided a place for homeless and solved social problems.

Jacob S. Coxey

A socialist American politician, who ran for elective office several times in Ohio. Supported and helped establish paper money. Led protest of unemployment from Panic of 1893

William McKinley

25th President of the United States

Marcus Alonzo Hanna

Used the money he made in the iron business to support William McKinley's presidential campaign. He became a personification of big business in politics.

Buffalo Soldiers

African-American soldiers that formed one-fifth of the frontier soldiers after the Civil War, nicknamed for the resemblance between their hair and the buffaloes'.

George Armstrong Custer

Former General during the Civil War, he set out in 1874 with his Seventh Cavalry to return the Plains Indians to the Sioux reservation. Defeated by an army that outnumbered his men 10 to 1.

Long Drive

Process in which Texas cowboys would drive herds of cattle thousands strong over the plains until they reached a railroad terminal, such as Dodge City, Abilene, or Cheyenne.

Greenback Labor Party

Political party devoted to improving the lives of laborers and raising inflation, reaching its high point in 1878 when it polled over a million votes and elected fourteen members of Congress.

Eugene V. Debs

Leader of the Pullman strike of 1894 and of the American Railway Union.

Dingley Tariff Bill

Raised tariff pushed through in 1897 by Republicans who had contributed strongly to Mark Hanna's campaign. Lobbyists raised the average rates to 46.5 percent.


Which animal, whose population diminished due to white intruders, did the native americans of the plains highly depend on?


True or False; the white settlers and soldiers expanding west increased native american violence between tribes

Great Sioux Reservation

where Native Americans were herded by the federal government after giving up their ancestral land for the promise of being left alone with food and clothingthey were never sufficiently taken care of)

Indian Reorganization Act of 1934

which act partially reversed the individualistic approach and belatedly tried to restor the tribal basis of Indian life that was stripped by the Dawes Severalty Act?

Farmers' Alliances

the 1890s Peoples/Populist Party evolved from?

Long Drive

When Texas cowboys drove herds numbering from 1,000 to 10,000 slowly over unfenced and unpeopled plains- this was called?

dry farming

a type of farming used to try and grow crop in drought stricken areas that created a finely pulverized surface which would contribute to the Dust Bowl


large cash crops such as wheat and corn made farmers unhappy because they needed machines and lots of land for which they needed to borrow money thus causing?

regulating railroads

The State Granger laws helped farmers distribute crops nationally by

Carlisle Indian School

in Pennsylvania to educate and civilize Indians, motto = "Kill the Indian and save the man"

Frontier Thesis

Americans developed new characteristicsrugged, democratic, and individualistic) b/c frontier and westward expansion

Placer Mining

mining valuable minerals from a placer by washing or dredginglike panning for gold)

Comstock Lode

valuable silver found here, causing many Californians and "fifty-niners" to migrate and settle Nevada

100th meridian

imaginary line from the Dakotas to Texas dividing the East and the West


the nickname given to farmers on the Great Plains because they used plows to break up the thick grasssod) and reach the soil below

1890 Census

the frontier was officially settle and used many different types of information that wasn't able to be measured before such as jobs, race, age, etc.


Date: New Indian peoples move onto Great Plains


Date: Pike's Peak gold rush


Date: Nevada Comstock Lode discovered


Date: Homestead Act


Date: Sand Creek Massacre


Date: Nevada admitted into the Union


Date: National Grange organized


Date: The Battle of Little Bighorn


Date: Colorado admitted into Union


Date: Nez Perce Indian War


Date: Helen Hunt Jackson publishes A Century of Dishonor


Date: Federal government outlaws Indian SunDance


Date: Local chapters of Farmer's Alliance formed


Date: Dawes Severalty Act


Date: Oklahoma opened to settlement


Date: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming all admitted to the Union


Date: Census bureau declares frontier line ended


Date: Emergence of People's partyPopulists)


Date: Battle of Wounded Knee


Date: Populist candidate James B. Weaver polls more than 1 million votes in presidential election


Date: Fredrick Jackson Turner publishes "The Significance of the Frontier in American History"


Date: "Coxey's army" marches on Washington


Date: Pullman strike


Date: Utah admitted to Union


Date: McKinley defeats Bryan for presidency


Date: Dingley Tariff Act


Date: Gold Standard Act


Date: Oklahoma admitted to the Union


Date: Indians granted US citizenship


Date: Indian Reorganization Act


Dates: Federal government tries to pacify the Plains Indiannsby signing treaties at Fort Latamie and Fort Atkinson. Marked the beginning of the reservation system.


Date: Sand Creek Massacre

Sand Creek Massacre

At Sand Creek, Colorado, Colonel J. M. Chivington's army murdered about 400 Indians, men, women, and children, in cold blood.

Colonel J.M Chivington

Commander of the militia responsible for the Sand Creek Massacre.

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