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Gilded Age

This is the name that Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens) gave to the late 1800s and early 1900s because it appeared to be covered in gold from the outside, but worthless and tarnished if you dug beneath the surface.

Railroad Price Gouging Farmers

Because this transportation industry had a monopoly, it could charge whatever prices it wished, hurting the working class the most

Munn v. Illinois 1877

This Supreme Court Case said that states had the authority to regulate railroad prices within their borders; it is a landmark case and seen as the start of government intervention in the private sector (business)

Interstate Commerce Commission

This was five member board that was created by Congress to monitor railroad prices so that railroad owners were treating charging the same prices for everyone and not price gouging farmers

Crop price drops

This hurt farmers and occurred because industrial machines, more farmland available, and more farmers created massive increases in the amount of food grown in the US.

farmer's fixed loans

Farmers had to borrow money from banks to buy farming necessities like land, tools, and seed; farmers were required to pay the banks back at predetermined rates and for a set number of years.

demand for "Free Silver"

This occurred as many farmers wanted more money in circulation so that there would be inflation because of the increase in the money supply, this would make farmers fixed-rate mortgages easier to pay back to banks.

Advocates of gold standard

Banks, Wall Street, and other financial and Industrial institutions advocated for this sort of currency because it kept cash in high demand and limited and therefore "expensive," which benefit those who give out loans.

Western support of "free silver"

This region supported silver as a currency because they were farmers and miners who would benefit

Silver as class-divisive

The working class advocated for a silver currency standard to make it easier to pay off their loans while the rich advocated for a gold standard to keep the price of money high, which would benefit them

Grange Movement

This occurred during the late 1800s as farmers banded together to have a louder voice during Industrial Development in the US.

Granger Cooperatives

These were associations of farmers that banned together and pooled money and resources to buy expensive farming machines, seed, land, etc.

Peoples Party

This was the political party of the Populist Movement

Populist Movement

This was a major movement of farmers in the late 1800s that pulled together most of working-class America who felt as if they were being abused by the changes that were occurring due to the Industrial Revolution; it would die off by the early 1900s, but be reborn with the Progressive Movement of the early 1900s

Populist Desires

More power to the people at the state level, such as referendums, recall elections, and the direct election of Senators, they wanted the regulation of railroad prices, cheap loans from the federal government, and the usage of silver as a currency to cause inflation.

Panic of 1893 and push for free silver

This economic depression occurred because the US based its paper money off of how much gold the federal government had locked in reserves, when people cashed in their paper notes for gold, there was a major shortage of money available and people advocated that the US base its currency off of silver instead of gold, because silver is more abundant.

Eugene V. Debs

This was the candidate for the Socialist Party that sought to push the government to own major industry like railroads and telegraph lines so that rich industrialists could not abuse the poor

William Jennings Bryan

This man ran for president many times for several different political parties, he was seen as the main proponent of the Populist Movement

Golden Cross Speech

"You shall not push down this crown of thorns upon the brow of labor, you shall not nail us to this gold cross."

Civil Service Reform

Changes in hiring and promoting bureaucrats (people who work for the government)

Pendleton Act

This law changed the way that federal government employees would be hired; now job-seekers would have to take a civil service test and high marks earned jobs, low ones did not, it also created the Civil Service Commission

Civil Service Commission

This is the agency that was created to enforce the Pendleton Act

Interstate Commerce Act

This law gave the power of the federal government to monitor railroads to ensure they were charging fair prices to people

Interstate Commerce Commission

This is the five-member board that supervised the execution of the Interstate Commerce Act

Munn v. Illinois

This Supreme Court decision gave states the authority to regulate railroad prices in their state

Political Realignment of Republican Party

This occurred at the end of the 1800s when the Republican Party began to be associated with Conservatisms and being pro big business and against government regulation of Industry

Political Realignment of Democratic Party

This occurred at the end of the 1800s when the Democratic Party began to be associated with farmers, the working class, and making progressive reforms, like regulating business and provided social welfare services

Populists and Progressives

Characterized by progress and change and the regulation of business with government interventions


Newspaper journalists who exposed the atrocities of city life and industrialization

History of Standard Oil

A book written to expose the illegal and dishonest practices that created Standard Oil

The Jungle

Book written to expose the contamination and filth of the meatpacking industry, it caused government reform of food processing in America

Robert LaFollette

Governor of Wisconsin that instilled many changes in his state to give voters more rights, it was an increase in democracy at the state level!

Ballot Initiative

This allows voters to propose laws to their state legislatures to vote on


This allows state legislators to allow voters to approve or disapprove of laws with a popular statewide vote

Recall Elections

This allows voters to fire elected officials and vote in new ones

T. Roosevelt rise to presidency

This occurred because William McKinley was assassinated by a disgruntled government job seeker

Trust Buster

Nickname given to Teddy Roosevelt for dismantling harmful monopolies in the US

National Parks

Nature preserves created by the Federal Government to protect land from investment, mining, logging, and commercial enterprise

Taft and the 16th and 17th Amendments

President who passed two Progressive Era Amendments, one to create a federal income tax, one to force states to allow the people to vote for Senators instead of having state legislatures choose them

New Nationalism

Roosevelt's belief that the Federal Government's role was to protect human rights, even at the expense of property rights.

New Freedom

Woodrow Wilson's philosophy that the Federal Government needed to revise anti-trust legislation, business regulation, banking regulations, and tighter control on monetary policies.

Government Interventions

This is government intervention, or regulation with laws, of privately owned businesses.

Federal Trade Commission

Created to regulate and stop unfair business practices, part of the Clayton Anti-Trust Act.

Clayton Antitrust Act

Laws and agencies created to regulate business, break up monopolies, and ensure fair trade.

Federal Reserve System

Created to regulate the money supply, interest rates, and other financial institutions in the US.

Women's Suffrage Bill

This was introduced in Congress for over 20 years every, but never passed until the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote.

Susan B. Anthony

She, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton were the most prominent women's suffragists in the US during the Progressive Era

American Suffrage Association

This was a group that tried to gain support in Congress and in society so that women could vote and have more rights

Margaret Sanger

She was a very forceful women's rights advocate who was highly criticized for advocating that women should be allowed to use birth control and that state governments should not be able to make birth control illegal

Feminist Movement

Social movement to give women more rights and independence

19th Amendment

This is part of the Constitution and ensures that all states allow women the right to vote

W.E.B. Du Bois

This man was a prominent black rights' leader and co-founded the NAACP, he was the first black man to receive a Ph.d from harvard and believed in immediate equal rights for black Americans. He Opposed Booker T. Washington's "moderate" approach for gradual rights.


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; it was created to advocate for black rights and fight for them in the American legislative and judicial systems

Booker T. Washington

This man was a prominent black rights' leader who believed that blacks should have equal rights, but understood that it would be a slow, incremental process, not an immediate one. He advocated that black Americans accept their position given to them by whites and slowly work for more rights through economic gains.

Tuskegee Institute

This university was founded by Booker T. Washington in his attempt to advocate for black rights


This is the term that W.E.B. Du Bois ascribed to those who wished to appease white Americans in black Americans' struggle for rights; Du Bois rejected this philosophy.

Atlanta Exposition

This speech was given by Booker T. Washington in which he state that the black community should submit to white racism and disenfranchisement in return for jobs and education

Atlanta Compromise

This was a pejorative (derogatory) terms coined W.E.B. Du Bois to describe his hatred of the Atlanta Exposition where Booker T. Washing told blacks to submit to white racism in return for jobs and education

Start of the Great Migration

This began in about 1910 and was when 2 million black Americans moved out of the South in into the Midwest, Northeast, and the West seeking to free themselves of white racist oppression.


A group of investors who pool their resources and own a business collectively, often times selling stocks and bonds to the public to raise money for the business.


a share of a company that an individual investor can buy, when the company does well, the value of the company increases it benefits shareholders, when the company does poorly, the company is worth less and the shareholder is negatively impacted


essentially, this is a loan that a person or financial institution gives to a corporation and in exchange, the corporation promises the investment back, plus interest.

Scale of Economy

The more of something you produce, the cheaper it is per-unit to produce that good.

Holding Company

A corporation that attempts to buy a controlling amount of stock in many companies that harvest raw materials, transport goods, and create finished products in an attempt of the corporation to control the production of a product from start to finish

Vertical Integration

A legal business maneuver where a person or corporation attempts to control production of a good from raw material to finished product.

Horizontal Integration

An illegal business maneuver when a corporation attempts to completely control the distribution of a product, that corporation attempts to be the only corporation that sells that one item, it is a monopoly!

Boom and Bust Cycles

This occurred as the American economy relied almost completely on the success of a relatively few number of HUGE corporations; when these corporations did well, people had money, when they performed poorly, the entire American economy suffered.


Cheap source of energy to boil water to make electricity.

Control-able Work force

Women, Children and the newest, poorest, most in-need-of-work immigrant laborers

Projecting Profits for the future

Because corporations had nearly every aspect of a market consolidated, they could predict costs, expenditures, losses, and financial gains before they even happened, thus allowing them to entice investors (either honestly or dishonestly) to invest in their corporations!

Light bulb increases production

This allowed the 24 hour production of goods in factories

Extreme Working Hours

Extremely long because Industrialists were trying to make humans as efficient and productive as machines

Subsistence income

Wages so low that a person was below the poverty line and unable to buy basic necessities like food, decent housing, and clothing.

Child Labor

This was used because Industrialists needed small hands and bodies to fix and operate huge industrial machines

Immigrant Labor

These were the most desperate for work people in the United States and usually the pool of labor that Industrialists preferred.

Robber Barons

Name given to fabulously rich and powerful industrialists who used abusive labor practices, profit-driven business practices, illegal business deals

500,000 deaths and maimings annually

Occurred because Industrialists were concerned only with making huge profits, not with the health and safety of their laborers

Collective Bargaining

The idea that if laborers banded together they would have more power and influence when negotiating for workers' rights with powerful

Railroad Strike of 1877

This was broken up by President Rutherford B. Hayes with the US Army because he said it disrupted interstate trade, an area over which Congress has power, according to the Constitution

Knights of Labor

The first major national labor union that allowed both skilled and unskilled labor into the union in order to create a powerful group that could use collective bargaining to work for better working conditions for the working class

Haymarket Square Riots

Seen as a turning point where many in society began to suspect that unions were too radical and too violent when trying to achieve labor goals

American Federation of Labor

A confederation of many skilled labor unions united into one larger union; this national union excluded unskilled laborers, women, many immigrant groups, and blacks and Latinos

Samuel Gompers

This man organized the American Federation of Labor

Bread and Butter Issues

The focus of the American Federation of Labor, such as higher wages and better working conditions instead of political goals like socialism or other radical political ideologies


A corporation that seeks to establish a monopoly, or complete control of the production and selling of a product

Government Regulation

Government control and influence in the private sector, i.e. ensuring safety standards, monitoring pollution, inspecting workplaces, etc.

Jay Gould

This man was seen as an evil and corrupt Robber Baron who used illegal and abusive methods to gain control over much of the US railroad system.

John D. Rockefeller

This man created standard Oil and the idea of the holding company to control many companies that produce, transport, and distribute oil

Standard Oil

A monopoly that controlled nearly the entire American oil supply

Andrew Carnegie

A Scottish immigrant who went from rags to riches; he used the Bessemer Process to mass produce steel to meet the demands for building material in Industrial America

Robber Barons

The name given to the rich and powerful Industrialists who used cut-throat and abusive business tactics to create monopolies

Munn v. Illinois

Supreme Court cases that said that the states were allowed to regulate the private sector and even set maximum prices for goods and services in some instances

Sherman Antitrust Act 1890

Legislation that attempted to give the federal government the power to break up monopolies and to regulate the private sector; it was weak and ineffective because it was not specific enough; the Supreme Court also ruled in several cases in favor of big business and allowed Robber Barons to use it to break up Labor Unions instead of its purpose, to break up monopolies!

US v. EC Knight Company 1895

Supreme Court Case that said the federal government has no power to break up a sugar monopoly because sugar is produced within the states, therefore the federal government has no constitutional authority over intra-state (within a state) commerce.

Clayton Antitrust Act 1916

This law gave the federal government real power to regulate big business and break up monopolies and fixed the flaws of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890

Interstate Commerce Act

This law created a federal commission (people who monitor something) to ensure that the railroad industry was not price-gouging and used fair business practices

Hepburn Act 1906

This law gave the federal government the power to set maximum rates that the railroads could charge for people and freight, it was seen as a major victory by farmers

New Immigrants versus Old Immigrants

Instead of coming from Northwestern Europe and being Protestant, many Eastern and Southern Europeans, many of which were Catholic, began to come to America after the Civil War

Chinese Exclusion Act

This Law forbade unskilled Chinese laborers from coming to the United States, not repealed until 1943!

Working Class

The poorest members of the labor force, usually working in factories and dangerous jobs, most were the newest immigrants to the US

Migrant Workers in Industry

As factories hired and fired people based on demand, people wandered from job to job and city to city in search of work

Ellis Island

The immigration port in New York City where most European immigrants went to enter into the US

Tenement Homes

Slum homes that were poorly built, susceptible to fires, and dirty

Ethnic Neighborhoods

Groups of immigrants who live near other immigrants from the same background and language group

New York City as Melting Pot

Since most immigrants who came to the US went to this city first, it became a center of diversity, forging many ethnic groups into a unique American culture

Homestead Act

This law passed in 1862 gave free land to anyone who would live on it for five years, it was a major force pulling people to the US from other countries

Social Darwinism

The idea that only the strongest and best suited to business would survive in a market free of government interventions, this would produce the best and cheapest products for society


The belief that the government should not place rules and restrictions on business because it retards business

Tax exemptions, grants, tariffs

These are all government interventions that businesses liked because it is government assistance to industry

Gospel of Wealth

The idea that only a select few should be extremely wealthy and that they should use their wealth and power to benefit society, Andrew Carnegie was a proponent of this ideology.

Social Gospel

The belief based on Christianity's dogma that Jesus helped the poor in a very hands-on sort of way and so too should people in Industrial America

Jane Addams

A proponent of the Social Gospel who lived and worked with the poor of Chicago, trying to improve their lives

Settlement Houses

Centers of charity in poor neighborhoods created by proponents of the Social Gospel to relieve the plight of the poor.

Hull House

A settlement house started by Jane Addams in Chicago to house, feed, and educate the poor.

Failed Homesteaders

The majority of those who attempted to farm the Great Plains of America, most returned to cities for factory jobs.

Industrial Work

Dirty, dangerous, low paying factory jobs


Were often forced to take industrial jobs because they were desperate for income

Ethnic Neighborhoods

Formed by people of like-backgrounds in urban areas

Increased efficiency and productivity of agriculture

Fewer people were needed to produce greater amounts of food because of industrial machines, creating a greater food supply for factory workers in urban areas

Tenement Housing

Apartment buildings in poor neighborhoods that were dirty and dangerous

disease and poverty of ethnic neighborhoods

Occurred because there was no sanitation, sewage systems, and waste removal provided by municipal governments

middle class neighborhoods

Began to appear on the periphery of cities as those with enough money moved away from dirty and dangerous city centers

municipal governments

City governments, these were very weak and small and provided very few services to people living in cities

political bosses

Gained power by creating and running political machines to provide services, jobs, and police forces to people living in cities because there were no city governments providing these services

political machines

The groups of people who administered services and created jobs for poor immigrants living in cities in exchange for "donations" and political support (voting); they were essentially gangs that ran poor neighborhoods

Boss Tweed

The most notorious political boss of the Industrial Revolution Era who stole tens of millions of dollars and abused people's rights with intimidation, extortion, and fear

Tammany Hall

The political machine that ran the state of New York, highly corrupt and abusive

Samuel J. Tilden

The governor of New York who brought down Boss Tweed and reduced the power of the Tammany Hall political machine

Urban alcohol consumption

Increased DRAMATICALLY as the poor worked dangerous, boring, long hours in dismal conditions

increase of consumerism

This occurred because there were exponentially more objects to purchase available because of the efficiency and mass production of the Industrial Revolution

shopping as entertainment

Large numbers of middle class and upper class Americans began to engage in this sort of pastime for the first time because they had disposable income and relatively cheap products available

Fifth Avenue, Euclid Avenue

Famous streets were the rich and powerful lived and shopped for high end goods.

Joseph Pulitzer

This man was a Jewish immigrant from Hungary that migrated to the US and created a new system of newspaper; he crusaded against the abuse of the poor, and other progressive reforms

William Randolph Hearst

This man was an American-born newspaper owner who utilized Yellow Journalism to increase his newspaper circulation and was able to increase his newspapers' circulation throughout the entire nation.

Yellow Journalism

This is the reporting of the news in very sensational and dramatic ways that emphasizes fear, large headlines, exaggerated accounts, unnamed eye witnesses, etc. to sell more papers; the emphasis is on selling papers, not on reporting news.

Daily Newspapers

During the late 1800s, these began to be read by Americans more than ever before, allowing the rapid spread of news and the increase in the power of the media in politics, society, and the economy.

Mark Twain

This American author changed the style of writing in the United States; he used wit and humor to tell stories of morality and struggle

The Gilded Age

This is the name that Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens) gave to the late 1800s and early 1900s because it appeared to be covered in gold from the outside, but was worthless and tarnished if you dug beneath the surface.

Pacific Railroad Acts

An Act of Congress to create low interest loans, direct grants of cash, and land grants to railroad builders to spur Westward Expansion

Transcontinental Railroad

A railroad that would span the entire nation, from East to West

Union Pacific

A corporation that built a railroad from Omaha, Nebraska to Promontory Point, Utah

Central Pacific

A corporation that built a railroad from Sacramento, California to Promontory Point, Utah

Land Grants

Free land given by the federal, state, or local government

Immigrant Labor

This was mostly used to build the railroads and other dangerous jobs

Displacement of Native People

This occurred as railroads pushed native people off of their lands to construct the Transcontinental Railroad

Mail-Order Products

This system of buying goods allowed people on the frontier to access urban markets

Reduction of Buffalo Herds From a Million to Less than 1,000

This occurred as a conscience effort to control Indians as well as to make way for railroads

Northern Securities Company vs. US 1904

A US Supreme Court decision that broke up a railroad monopoly, it was the start of the Progressive Era and government regulation

Homestead Act

Gave 160 acres of land to anyone who would "improve" the land for five years

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