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These are the vocabulary words assigned for chapter 8 of our history textbook, America- Pathways to the Present, at Madeira High School.

gilded age

• used to describe the post-Reconstruction era
• suggests that a thin but glittering layer of prosperity covered the poverty and corruption of society

spoils system

elected officials appointed friends and supporters to government jobs, regardless of qualifications

James Garfield's assassination

• took place in 1881 in Washington, DC
• shot by a mentally unstable lawyer (Charles Guiteau) who expected a job from Garfield but never received one

Pendleton Service Act

• created a Civil Service Commission to classify government jobs and test applicants
• states that federal employees cannot be required to contribute to campaign funds and cannot be fired for political reasons

William McKinley's assassination

• took place in 1901 at Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York
• shot by a mentally ill man (Leon Czolgosz) who called himself an anarchist


low-cost apartment buildings designed to hold as many families as the owner could pack in

dumbbell tenements

tenements with a dumbbell shape, allowing each room to have an outside window as required by law

political machine

an unofficial city organization designed to keep a particular party or group in power


the use of one's job to gain profit

George B. Cox

• a political boss elected to Cincinnati city council
• worked with local reformers to improve the quality of the police force and city services

William Marcy Tweed

a notorious boss who used various illegal methods to plunder the New York City treasury

Tammany Hall

the political club that ran New York City's Democratic party

Thomas Nast

a cartoonist who exposed the corruption of Tweed

settlement house

a type of community center offering social services

Jane Addams

opened the former Charles Hull mansion to immigrants

Hull House

a community center used to help immigrants become acclimated to America; also launched investigations of city economic, political, and social conditions


favoring native-born Americans over immigrants

temperance movement

an organized campaign to eliminate alcohol consumption

Carry Nation

a prohibition activist who won fame by smashing illegal saloons with a hatchet

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