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US History Test on Industrial Revolution, Reconstruction & Transcontinental Railroad. Emily

Thomas Newcomen

British inventor who perfected the steam engine.

James Watt

Scottish inventor who improved Thomas Newcomen's steam engine.

Robert Fulton

Young American who perfected the steamship. He built the first steamship to navigate the Mississippi River in 1811.

Eli Whitney

Inventor of the cotton gin, a machine that could remove the seeds from short-staple cotton. It could clean as much cotton as 50 people working by hand.

Samuel Morse

A successful portrait painter who invented the telegraph. He also developed the Morse code for sending messages electronically.

Samuel Gompers

American labor union leader who founded the American Federation of Labor (AFL).

John L. Lewis

American labor union leader who founded the United Mine Workers (UMW) in 1890, and in 1935 the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which merged with the AFL in 1955.

Samuel Slater

English textile expert who came to America in 1789 and with a business partner produced the first spinning machines in the U.S., an important step in American industrialization.

Theodore Dehone Judah

Railroadman from Connneticut who was the first serious dreamer of a transcontinental railroad. He created a partnership with wealthy investors in California and founded the Central Pacific Railroad, but died before seeing his dream come true.

Leland Stanford

One of the "Big Four" tycoons who became president of the Central Pacific Railroad and later went on to become governor of California.

Andrew Johnson

17th president of the U.S. who succeeded Abraham Lincoln upon his assassination in 1965. He served only one term during the early years of Reconstruction, and fought the Radical Republicans in Congress who impeached him in 1867.

Ulysses S. Grant

18th president of the U.S. who succeeded Andrew Johnson in 1869 and served two terms during the period of Reconstruction.

Rutherford B. Hayes

19th president of the U.S. who succeeded Ulysses S. Grant in 1877 after a controversial election. He came to power only after promising to withdraw federal troops from the South and thus end Reconstruction.

The Big Four

Group of Sacramento businessmen who formed a partnership with Ted Judah that built the first line of the Transcontinental Railroad through the Sierras to the silver mines of Nevada. They were Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington, and Leland Stanford, who later became governor of California.

Radical Republicans

Politicians in Congress who opposed President Johnson's Reconstruction plan and sought to impose harsh terms on the South after the Civil War.


The freed slaves.


Northerners who went to the South after the Civil War and became active in republican politics, in order to profit from the unsettled social and political conditionsof the area during Reconstruction.


Native white Southerners who collaborated with the occupying forces during Reconstruction, often for personal gain.

Klu Klux Klan

Secret organization founded in 1866 by former Confederate soldiers whose goal was to "redeem" the honor of the South through violence and intimidation. During Reconstruction they attacked Northern carpetbaggers and scalawags, but their violence was directed mostly at blacks. Through terrorism, the Klan became an effective force in destroying the effectiveness of federal civil rights laws.


Tenant farmers who pay as rent a share of their crop. After the Civil War many freed slaves in the South became sharecroppers and thus were kept in a state of poverty.

Industrial Revolution

The application of power-driven machinery in manufacturing that led to the rise of industry and the growth of invention and technology. This period of rapid change, that began in the late 18th century, saw the United states transformed from an agriculteral country to a rich, industrial nation.

Flying Shuttle

An 18th century invention by John Kay that greatly improved the hand loom in the manufacture of textiles.

Spinning Jenny

an 18th century invention by James Hartreaves that greatly increased the spinning of thread in textile production.

Iron Horse

Popular name for the Steam Locomotive.

The Rocket

A steam locomotive invented by Englishman George Stephenson in 1929 which could reach 30 mph.

Centennial Celebration

the World's Fair held in Philadelphia in 1876 to celebrate the advances in technology during the Industrial Revolution and to display the great inventions of the age.

Haymarket Square Riot

A demonstration of striking laborers in Chicago in 1886 that turned violent, killing a dozen people and injuring over a hundred.

The American System

Eli Whitney's system of mass production by using interchangeable parts.

Labor Union

an organization of laborers in different trades formed to give themselves bargaining power to advance their interests, such as the power to strike in their demand for higher wages and better working conditions.


French for "Let's do", this was the prime economic theory of much of the 19th century. Advocated by Adam Smith it called for open competition and free markets without government restrictions or regulations.


An electronic devise by which messages were sent by coded signals over long distances during and after the Civil War.

Morse Code

The alphabet of long and short bursts of electricity (dots and dashes) that could be translated into words and numbers, used to communicate over a telegraph line.

Manifest Destiny

The belief held chiefly in the middle and latter part of the 19th century, that it was the destiny of the U.S. to expand its territory over the whole of North America and to extend adn enhance its political, social, and and economic influences. The term comes from an 1845 magazine article by the American journalist John L. Sullivan who celebrated America's western expansion.

Transcontinental Railroad

the great building achievement, completed on May 10, 1869, that united the country by allowing travel overland from coast to coast.

Pacific Railroad Act of 1862

The act passed by Congress and signed by President Lincoln authorizing the construction of the transcontinental railroad by two companies--the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads--and establishing ther route it would take.

Central Pacific Railroad

Western Railroad founded by Theodore Judah that was built through the Sierra Nevadas, later to become part of the transcontinental railroad.

Union Pacific Railroad

Mid-Western Railroad controlled by Thomas Durant that wsa built west from Omaha to become part of the transcontinental railroad.

Credit Mobilier

Scandal involving the finances of the Union Pacific Railroad. Credit Mobilier was a construction company bought by Thomas Durant, president of the U.P.R. (Union Pacific Railroad), and Oakes Ames, a congressman from Massachusetts and major stockholder in the U.P.R. Through a scheme of overcharging, these men illegally made millions of dollars.

Chinese Exclusion Act

Law passed by congress in 1882 that banned all Chinese laborers, except teachers and diplomats, from entering the U.S. The law was designed ro to prevent an excess of cheap labor that competed for American jobs. It was not repealed until 1948.


The period after the Civil War (1865-1867) when the Southern states that had seceded were reorganized as part of the Union. Great effort went into reconstructing the South in order to make it once again a prosperous and effective part of the U.S.

Black Codes

Set of laws passed in the South to keep freed blacks "in their place" and segregated from whites.

Jim Crow Laws

Laws passed in the South in the 1880s and 1890s in order to enforce segregation.

Freedmen's Bureau

Federal agency that was established by President Lincoln in 1865 to aid the distressed refugees of the Civil War. It primarily helped the imacipated slaves in the South to transition from slavery to freedom during reconstruction.

Thirteenth Amendment

The amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1868, that safeguarded the rights of newly freed slaves. Unfortunately, many Southern states continued to restrict voting rights through such measures as poll taxes, literacy tests, and intimidation, until laws were passed in the 1960s as a result of the civil rights movement.

Poll Tax

Tax imposed on voters that was used in the South to disenfranchise blacks.

Plessy v. Ferguson

Landmark Supreme Court decision of 1896 that upheld segregation of the races according to the "separate but equal" doctrine.

Military Reconstruction Act

Act passed by Congress in 1867 that divided the South into 5 districts, which would be run by military officers empowered to protect the rights and property of both blacks and whites and try people who committed crimes during a period of general lawlessness after the war.


As established by the Constitution, the presentation of formal charges against a public official by the House of Representatives in order to remove him from office. The trial to convict is conducted in the senate. In 1867, President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House "for high crimes and misdemeanors," but was acquitted by the senate.

Erie Canal

Historic waterway completed in 1825 that connected the Great Lakes to New York City via the Hudson River.


City north of Boston, Massachusetts, that became the largest of the mill towns in the manufacture of textiles during te American Industrial Revolution.


City in California that was the starting point of the Central Pacific Railroad.

Sierra Nevada

Mountain Range in California that formed a natural barrier for travelers and for the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The Cenral Pacific Railroad had to bore tunnels, shave mountain sides, and construct trellises in order to lay track through these mountains, work that was done mostly by Chinese laborers.

Promontory Summit

site in Northern Utah where the Union and Central Pacific railroads met to complete the building of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.

Gadsden Purchase

The last appropriation of land in the Continental U.S. acquired from Mexico in 1853 for $10,000,000 for a proposed southern route of the transcontinental railroad.

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