312 terms


ABC-1 agreement (1941)
An agreement between Britain and the United States developed at a conference in Washington, DC, between January 29- March 27, 1941, that should the United States enter World War II, the two nations and their allies would coordinate their military planning, making a priority of protecting the British Commonwealth. That would mean "getting Germany first" in the Atlantic and the European theater and fighting more defensively on other military fronts.
Bracero program (1942)
Program established by agreement with the Mexican government to recruit temporary Mexican agricultural workers to the United States to make up for wartime labor shortages in the Far West. The program persisted until 1964, by when it had sponsored 4.5 million border crossings.
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) (1942)
Nonviolent civil rights organization founded in 1942 and committed to the "Double V"—victory over fascism abroad and racism at home. After World War II, CORE would become a major force in the civil rights movement.
D-Day (1944)
A massive military operation led by American forces in Normandy beginning on June 6, 1944. The pivotal battle led to the liberation of France and brought on the final phases of World War II in Europe.
Executive Order No. 9066 (1942)
Order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizing the War Department to remove Japanese "enemy aliens" to isolated internment camps. Immigrants and citizens alike were sent away from their homes, neighbors, schools, and businesses. The Japanese internment policy was held to be constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Korematsu v. U.S. (1944).
Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) (1941)
Threatened with a massive "Negro March on Washington" to demand equal job opportunities in war jobs and in the military, Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration issued an executive order forbidding racial discrimination in all defense plants operating under contract with the federal government. The FEPC was intended to monitor compliance with the Executive Order.
Manhattan Project (1942)
Code name for the American commission established in 1942 develop the atomic bomb. The first experimental bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, in the desert of New Mexico. Atomic bombs were then dropped on two cities in Japan in hopes of bringing the war to an end: Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
Midway, Battle of (1942)
A pivotal naval battle fought near the island of Midway on June 3-6, 1942. The victory halted Japanese advances in the Pacific.
National War Labor Board (NWLB) (1940s)
Established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to act as an arbitration tribunal and mediate disputes between labor and management that might have led to war stoppages and thereby undermined the war effort. The NWLB was also charged with adjusting wages with an eye to controlling inflation.
Navajo code talkers (1940s)
Native American men who served in the military by transmitting radio messages in their native languages, which were undecipherable by German and Japanese spies
Office of Price Administration (OPA) (1941-1947)
A critically important wartime agency charged with regulating the consumer economy through:
1) rationing scarce supplies, such as automobiles, tires, fuel, nylon, and sugar,
and by
2) curbing inflation by setting ceilings on the price of goods.
3) Rents were controlled as well in parts of the country overwhelmed by war workers.
The OPA was extended after World War II ended to continue the fight against inflation, but was abolished in 1947.
Potsdam conference (1945)
From July 17 to August 2, 1945, President Harry S Truman met with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and British leaders Winston Churchill and later Clement Attlee (when the Labour party defeated Churchill's Conservative party) near Berlin to deliver an ultimatum to Japan: surrender or be destroyed.
Smith-Connally Anti-Strike Act (1943)
Passed amidst worries about the effects that labor strikes would have on war production, this law allowed the federal government to seize and operate plants threatened by labor disputes. It also criminalized strike action against government-run companies.
V-E (Victory in Europe) Day (1945)
May 8, 1945, marked the official end of the war in Europe, following the unconditional surrender of what remained of the German government.
V-J (Victory in Japan) Day (1945)
August 15, 1945 heralded the surrender of Japan and the final end to World War II.
WAACs (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps), WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), and SPARs (U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve (1940s)
The women's branches of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Coast Guard, established during World War II to employ women in noncombatant jobs. Women now participated in the armed services in ways that went beyond their traditional roles as nurses
War Production Board (WPB) (1940s)
Established in 1942 by executive order to direct all war production, including procuring and allocating raw materials, to maximize the nation's war machine. The WPB had sweeping powers over the U.S. economy and was abolished in November 1945 soon after Japan's defeat.
Albert Einstein
german-born scientist who immigrated to the United STates in 1933 to escape the Nazis. He helped persuade FDR to push ahead with preparations for developing the atomic bomb, but later reufully declared that "annihilation of any life on earth has been brought within the range of technical possibilities"
Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower
Supreme commander of U.S. forces in Europe during WWII, the war hero later became the 34th president of the United States. During his two terms, from 1952-1960, he presided over the economically prosperous 1950s. He was praised for his dignity and decency, though criticized for not being more assertive on civil rights
Douglas MacArthur
the flamboyant, vain, and brilliant American commander in the Philippines and mastermind of the "leapfrogging" strategy for bypassing strongly defended Japanese islands during WWII he would go on to command American troops in the Korean War until he was relieved of his duties by President Truman for insubordination in 1951
Chester Nimitz
U.S. navy admiral who was commander-in-chief of the Pacific Naval Forces for the United STates and its allies during WWII. He strategized the important victories in the Battle of Midway and the Coral Sea
Harry S. Truman
Vice president under FDR in 1945, he assumed the office of the presidency in April of that year, when FDR died froma brain hemorrhage while vacationing in WArm Springs, Georgia. He won another term in his own right in a historically close election in 1948 against Republican Thomas Dewey. As president, he chose to use nuclear weapons against Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Abraham Lincoln Brigade (early 1940s)
Idealistic American volunteers who served in the Spanish Civil War, defending Spanish republican forces from the fascist General Francisco Franco's nationalist coup. Some 3,000 Americans served alongside volunteers from other countries.
Appeasement (1938)
The policy followed by leaders of Britain and France at the 1938 conference in Munich. Their purpose was to avoid war, but they allowed Germany to take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia.
Atlantic Charter (1941)
Meeting on a warship off the coast of Newfoundland in August 1941, Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed this covenant outlining the future path toward:
1) disarmament
2) peace
3) and a permanent system of general security.
Its spirit would animate the founding of the
4) United Nations
5) and raise awareness of the human rights of individuals after World War II.
Good Neighbor policy (late 1930s)
A departure from the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, it stressed nonintervention in Latin America. It was begun by Herbert Hoover but associated with Franlin D. Roosevelt.
Hitler-Stalin pact (1939)
Treaty signed on August 23, 1939 in which Germany and the Soviet Union agreed not to fight each other. The fateful agreement paved the way for German aggression against Poland and the Western democracies.
Johnson Debt Default Act (1934)
Seeped in ugly memories of World War I, this spiteful act prevented debt-ridden nations from borrowing further from the United States.
Kristallnacht (1938)
German for "night of broken glass," it refers to the murderous pogrom that destroyed Jewish businesses and synagogues and sent thousands to concentration camps on the night of November 9, 1938. Thousands more attempted to find refuge in the United States, but were ultimately turned away due to restrictive immigration laws.
Lend-Lease Bill (1941)
Based on the motto, "Send guns, not sons," this law abandoned former pretenses of neutrality by allowing Americans to sell unlimited supplies of arms to any nation defending itself against the Axis Powers. Patriotically numbered 1776, the bill was praised as a device for keeping the nation out of World War II.
London Economic Conference (1933)
A sixty-nation economic conference organized to stabilize international currency rates. Franklin Roosevelt's decision to revoke American participation contributed to a deepening world economic crisis.
Neutrality Act of 1939
This act stipulated that European democracies might buy American munitions, but only if they could pay in cash and transport them in their own ships. The terms were known as "Cash-and-Carry." It represented an effort to:
1) avoid war debts
2) and protect American arms-carriers from torpedo attacks.
Neutrality Acts of 1935, 1936, and 1937
Short-sighted acts passed in 1935, 1936, and 1937 in order to prevent American participation in a European War. Among other restrictions, they prevented Americans from selling munitions to foreign belligerents
Pearl Harbor (1941)
An American naval base in Hawaii where Japanese warplanes destroyed numerous ships and caused 3,000 casualties on December 7, 1941—a day that, in President Roosevelt's words, was to "live in infamy." The attack brought the United States into World War II.
Quarantine Speech (1937)
An important speech delivered by Franklin Roosevelt in which he called for "positive endeavors" to "quarantine" land-hungry dictators, presumably through economic embargos. The speech flew in the face of isolationist politicians.
Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (1934)
This act reversed traditional high-protective-tariff policies by allowing the president to negotiate lower tariffs with trade partners, without Senate approval. Its chief architect was Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who believed that tariff barriers choked off foreign trade.
Rome-Berlin Axis (1936)
Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler, and Fascist Italy, led by Benito Mussolini, allied themselves together under this nefarious treaty. The pact was signed after both countries had intervened on behalf of the fascist leader Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War.
War Refugee Board (1944)
A United States agency formed to help rescue Jews from German-occupied territories and to provide relief to inmates of Nazi concentration camps. The agency performed noble work, but it did not begin operations until very late in the war, after millions had already been murdered.
Francisco Franco
spanish general who became head of state after his fascistic troops prevailed over the republican loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. He remained head of the Spanish state util his death in 1975
Adolf Hitler
Nazi dictator of Germany form 1933 to 1945, he was the mastermind behind the Holocaust. His rapacious quest for power provoked World War II
Cordell Hull
secretary of state under President Roosevelt and chief archtiect of the low-tariff reciprocal trade policy of the New Dealers. Foreign trade increased appreciably under all the trade pacts that he negotiated. One of the chief archtiects behind the United Nations, he was awarded the nobel Peace Prize in 1945 for "co-initiating the United Nations"
Benito Mussolini
facist leader of Italy from 1922 to 1943, He launched Italy into World War II on the side of Axis Powers and became a close ally of Adolph Hitler
Wendell Wilkie
Known as the "rich man's Roosevlet," he was a novice politician and Republican businessman who lost to FranklinRoosevelt in the 1940 presidential campaign. Although he won more votes than any previous GOP candidate, Roosevelt still beat him by a landslide
Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) (1933)
A New Deal program designed to raise agricultural prices by paying farmers not to farm. It was based on the assumption that higher prices would increase farmers' purchasing power and thereby help alleviate the Great Depression.
Brain Trust
Specialists in law, economics, and welfare, many young university professors, who advised President Franklin D. Roosevelt and helped develop the policies of the New Deal.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) (1933)
A government program created by Congress to hire young unemployed men to improve the rural, out-of-doors environment with such work as planting trees, fighting fires, draining swamps, and maintaining National Parks. The CCC proved to be an important foundation for the post-World War II environmental movement.
Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)
A New Deal-era labor organization that broke away from the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in order to organize unskilled industrial workers regardless of their particular economic sector or craft. The CIO gave a great boost to labor organizing in the midst of the Great Depression and during World War II. In 1955, the CIO merged with the AFL.
Court-packing plan (1937)
Franklin Roosevelt's politically motivated and ill-fated scheme to add a new justice to the Supreme Court for every member over seventy who would not retire. His objective was to overcome the Court's objections to New Deal reforms
Dust Bowl (1930s)
Grim nickname for the Great Plains region devastated by drought and dust storms during the 1930s. The disaster led to the migration into California of thousands of displaced "Okies" and "Arkies"
Fair Labor Standards Act (1938)
Important New Deal labor legislation that regulated minimum wages and maximum hours for workers involved in interstate commerce. The law also outlawed labor by children under sixteen. The exclusion of agricultural, service, and domestic workers meant that many blacks, Mexican Americans, and women who were concentrated in these sectors—did not benefit from the act's protection
Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act (1933)
A law creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insured individual bank deposits and ended a century-long tradition of unstable banking that had reached a crisis in the Great Depression.
Hundred Days (1933)
The first hundred days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, stretching from March 9 to June 16, 1933, when an unprecedented number of reform bills were passed by a Democratic Congress to launch the New Deal.
Keynesianism (1930s)
An economic theory based on the thoughts of British economist John Maynard Keynes, holding that central banks should:
1) adjust interest rates
2) and governments should use deficit spending and tax policies to increase purchasing power and hence prosperity
National Recovery Administration (NRA) (1933)
Known by its critics as the "National Run Around," the NRA was an early New Deal program designed to assist industry, labor, and the unemployed through centralized planning mechanisms that monitored workers' earnings and working hours to distribute work and established codes for "fair competition" to ensure that similar procedures were followed by all firms in any particular industrial sector.
New Deal (1930s)
The economic and political policies of Franklin Roosevelt's administration in the 1930s, which aimed to solve the problems of the Great Depression by providing relief for the unemployed and launching efforts to stimulate economic recovery. The New Deal built on reforms of the progressive era to expand greatly an American-style welfare state.
Social Security Act (1935)
A flagship accomplishment of the New Deal, this law provided for unemployment and old-age insurance financed by a payroll tax on employers and employees. It has long remained a pillar of the "New Deal Order".
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (1933)
One of the most revolutionary of the New Deal public works projects, the TVA brought:
1) cheap electric power
2) full employment
3) low-cost housing
4) and environmental improvements
to Americans in the Tennessee Valley
Wagner Act (1935)
Also known as the National Labor Relations Act, this law protected the right of labor to:
1) organize in unions
2) bargain collectively with employers
3) and established the National Labor Relations Board to monitor unfair labor practices on the part of employer.
Its passage marked the culmination of decades of labor protest.
Mary McLeod Bethune
the highest ranking African-American in the Roosevelt administration, she headed up the Office of Minority Affairs and was a leader of the unoffical Black Cabinet which sought to apply new deal benefits to blacks as well as whites
Father Charles Coughlin
a catholic priest from michigan who goaded 40 million radio listeners with his weekly anti-New Deal harangues. He was a well-known opponent of FDR's New Deal policies
Harry Hopkins
a former New York social worker, he came to be one of the major architects of the New Deal, heading up the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and Works Progress ADministration, and serving as a personal confidant to FDR
Huey "Kingfish" Long
Louisiana governor, later senator, whose anti-New Deal "Share Our Wealth" program promised to make "Every Man a King" that is, until he was gunned down in 1935
Frances Perkins
the first woman cabinet member and secretary of labor under FDR, she helped draw labor into the New Deal coalition
Eleanor Roosevelt
the wife of FDR, she was the most active First Lady the United STates had ever seen, and was known for her devotion to the impoverished and opressed
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
the 32nd president of the United States, he was the only American president to be elected to four terms of office. He first won the presidency against Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover in 1932 in the depths of the Great Depression and was credited with having devloped a program, called the New Deal, that shepherded the nation out of crisis. When World War II broke out in Europe, he steered the U.S. into the war, which in the end proved more effective than the New Deal in helping the nation recover from difficult economic times. His gallant struggle against polio and his enormous talents as a politician helped make him a beloved leader for a dozen difficult years in the nation's history
Francis Townsend
a retired physician who had lost his savings in the Great Depression and promoted a plan, popular with senior citizens to pay every person over sixty $200 a month, provided that the money was spent within the month. One estimate had the scheme costing one-half of the national income
Robert Wagner
A democratic senator from New York State from 1927-1949, he was responsible for the passage of some of the most important legislation enacted through the New Deal. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 was popularly known as the Wagner Act in honor of the senator. He also played a major role in the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and the Wagner-Steagall Housing Act of 1937
Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923)
A landmark Supreme Court decision reversing the ruling in Muller v. Oregan, which had declared women to be deserving of special protection in the workplace
Agricultural Marketing Act (1929)
This act established the Federal Farm Board, a lending bureau for hard-pressed farmers. The act also aimed to help farmers help themselves through new producers' cooperatives. As the depression worsened in 1930, the Board tried to bolster falling prices by buying up surpluses, but it was unable to cope with the flood of farm produce to market.
Black Tuesday (1929)
The dark, panicky day of October 29, 1929 when over 16,410,000 shares of stock were sold on Wall Street. It was a trigger that helped bring on the Great Depression
Bonus Army (1932)
Officially known as the Bonus Expeditionary Force (BEF), this rag-tag group of 20,000 veterans marched on Washington to demand immediate payment of bonuses earned during World War I. General Douglas MacArthur dispersed them with tear gas and bayonets
Dawes Plan (1924)
An arrangement negotiated in 1924 to reschedule German reparations payments. It stabilized the German currency and opened the way for further American private loans to Germany
Fordney-McCumber Tariff Law (1922)
A comprehensive bill passed to protect domestic production from foreign competitors. As a direct result, many European nations were spurred to increase their own trade barriers
Hawley-Smoot Tariff (1930)
The highest protective tariff in the peacetime history of the United States, passed as a result of good old-fashioned horse trading. To the outside world, it smacked of ugly economic warfare.
Grim shantytowns where impoverished victims of the Great Depression slept under newspapers and in makeshift tents. Their visibility (and sarcastic name) tarnished the reputation of the Hoover administration
Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928)
A sentimental triumph of the 1920s peace movement, this 1928 pact linked sixty-two nations in the supposed "outlawry of war"
McNary-Haugen Bill (1924-1928)
A farm-relief bill that was championed throughout the 1920s and aimed to keep agricultural prices high by authorizing the government to buy up surpluses and sell them abroad. Congress twice passed the bill, but President Calvin Coolidge vetoed it in 1927 and 1928
Nine-Power Treaty (1922)
Agreement coming out of the Washington "Disarmament" Conference of 1921-1922 that pledged Britain, France, Italy, Japan, the United States, China, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Belgium to abide by the Open Door Policy in China. The Five-Power Naval Treaty on ship ratios and the Four-Power Treaty to preserve the status quo in the Pacific also came out of the conference
Norris-La Guardia Anti-Injunction Act (1932)
This law that banned "yellow-dog," or anti-union, work contracts and forbade federal courts from issuing injunctions to quash strikes and boycotts. It was an early piece of labor-friendly federal legislation.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) (1932)
A government lending agency established under the Hoover administration in order to assist insurance companies, banks, agricultural organizations, railroads, and local governments. It was a precursor to later agencies that grew out of the New Deal and symbolized a recognition by the Republicans that some federal action was required to address the Great Depression
Teapot Dome scandal (1921)
A tawdry affair involving the illegal lease of priceless naval oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California. The scandal, which implicated President Harding's Secretary of the Interior, was one of several that gave his administration a reputation for corruption.
Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
Vice President "Silent Cal" became the 30th president of the United States when Warren G. Harding died in office. A friend of business over labor, he served during the boom years from 1923-1929
John Davis
the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for president in 1924. The wealthy, Wall-Street-connected man was no less conservative than his opponent, Calvin Coolidge
Albert B. Fall
a scheming conservationist who served as secretary of the interior under Warren G. Harding, he was one of the key players in the notorious Teapot Dome Scandal
Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
29th president of the United States, from 1921 to his death in office in 1923. He began his career as a newspaper publisher before getting elected to the Ohio Senate, where he served from 1899 to 1903. He then served as lieutenant governor of Ohio (1903-1905) and as a U.S. senator (1915-1921) before winning the presidency. His time in office was beset with scandals, many of them the result of disloyalty of designing friends
Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follete
hailing from Wisconsin, he was one of the most militant of the progressive Republican leader. He served in the Senate and in the Wisconsin governor's seat, and was aperennial contender for the presidency, keeping the spirit of progressivism alive into the 1920s
Albert E. Smith
colorful New York governor who was the unsuccessful Democrati candidate for president in 1928. His Catholicism and "wet" stance on Prohibition made him a controversial figure, even in the traditionally loyal Democratic South. Although he lost the electoral vote to Hoover by a landslide, his appeal to urban voters foreshadowed the northern urban and Southern coalition that would gain FDR the White House in 1932
American plan
A business-oriented approach to worker relations popular among firms in the 1920s to defeat unionization. Managers sought to strengthen their communication with workers and to offer benefits like pensions and insurance. They insisted on an "open shop" in contrast to the mandatory union membership through the "closed shop" that many labor activists had demanded in the strike after World War I.
Bible Belt
The region of the American South, extending roughly from North Carolina west to Oklahoma and Texas, where Protestant Fundamentalism and belief in literal interpretation of the Bible were traditionally strongest.
Bolshevik Revolution (1917)
The second stage of the Russian Revolution in November 1917 when Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik party seized power and established a communist state. The first stage had occurred the previous February when more moderate revolutionaries overthrew the Russian Czar.
criminal syndicalism laws (1919-1920)
Passed by many states during the Red Scare of 1919-1920, these nefarious laws outlawed the mere advocacy of violence to secure social change. Stump speakers for the International Workers of the World, or IWW, were special targets.
Eighteenth Amendment (1919)
Ratified in 1919, this Constitutional amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. It ushered in the era known as Prohibition.
A system of assembly-line manufacturing and mass production named after Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company and developer of the Model T car.
A Protestant Christian movement emphasizing the literal truth of the Bible and opposing religious modernism, which sought to reconcile religion and science. It was especially strong in the Baptist Church and the Church of Christ, first organized in 1906.
Immigration Act of 1924
Also known as the "National Origins Act," this law established quotas for immigration to the United States. Immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe were sharply curtailed, while immigrants from Asia were shut out altogether.
Ku Klux Klan
An extremist, paramilitary, right-wing secret society founded in the mid nineteenth century and revived during the 1920s. It was anti-foreign, anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-pacifist, anti-Communist, anti-internationalist, anti-evolutionist, and anti-bootlegger, but pro-Anglo-Saxon and pro-Protestant. Its members, cloaked in sheets to conceal their identities, terrorized freedmen and sympathetic whites throughout the South after the Civil War. By the 1890s, Klan-style violence and Democratic legislation succeeded in virtually disenfranchising all Southern blacks.
People who obtain money illegally by fraud, bootlegging, gambling, or threats of violence. Racketeers invaded the ranks of labor during the 1920s, a decade when gambling and gangsterism were prevalent in American life.
red scare (1919-1920)
A period of intense anti-communism lasting from 1919 to 1920. The "Palmer raids" of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer resulted in about six thousand deportations of people suspected of "subversive" activities.
Scientific Management
A system of industrial management created and promoted in the early twentieth century by Frederick W. Taylor, emphasizing stopwatch efficiency to improve factory performance. The system gained immense popularity across the United States and Europe.
United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
A black nationalist organization founded in 1914 by the Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey in order to:
1) promote resettlement of African Americans to their "African homeland"
2) and to stimulate a vigorous separate black economy within the United States.
Volstead Act (1919)
A federal act enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.
Bourne and Kallen
two early 20th century commentators who wrote against the grain of "one-hundred-percent" Americanism, celebrating ethnic diversity and cultural pluralism. Their essays left behind an important legacy for later writers on pluralism and civil rights
Al Capone
a notorious Chicago bootlegger and gangster during Prohibition, he evaded conviction for murder but served most of an 11-year sentence for tax evasion
Henry Ford
the "Father of the Traffic Jam," he developed the Model T Ford and pioneered its assembly-line production. As founder of the Motor Ford Company, he became one of the wealthiest men in the world
Sigmund Freud
An Austrian physician who led the way in developing the field of psychoanalysis. One of the most influential minds of the 20th century, he was known for his argument that sexual repression was responsible for a variety of nervous and emotional ills
Charles A. Lindbergh
An American aviator who made history as the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic. An instant international hero, his reputation was later tarnished by anti-Semitic views he voiced during WWI
A. Mitchell Palmer
A zealous prosecutor and anti-red, he served as Attorney General during the post-WWI "red scare," when thousands of foreign national were deported because of suspected subversion activities.
Sacco and Vanzetti
Italian anarchists convicted in 1921 of the murder of a Massachusetts factory paymaster his guard. Despite a worldwide public outcry, they were electrocuted in 1927
John T. Scopes
A Tennessee high school biology teacher who was prosecuted in 1925 for teaching the theory of evolution. Former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan joined the prosecution. The talented Clarence Darrow served as defense attorney.
Frederick W. Taylor
A prominent inventor and engineer who developed "scientific management," a system of shop-floor organization that stressed efficient, highly supervised labor management and production methods. His methods revolutionized manufacturing across the industrialized world.
Battle of Château Thierry (1918)
The first significant engagement of American troops in World War I—and, indeed, in any European war. To weary French soldiers, the American doughboys were an image of fresh and gleaming youth.
Committee on Public Information (1917)
A government office during World War I known popularly as the Creel Committee for its Chairman George Creel, it was dedicated to winning everyday Americans' support for the war effort. It regularly distributed pro-war propaganda and sent out an army of "four-minute men" to rally crowds and deliver "patriotic pep".
Espionage Act (1917)
A law prohibiting interference with the draft and other acts of national "disloyalty." Together with the Sedition Act of 1918, which added penalties for abusing the government in writing, it created a climate that was unfriendly to civil liberties.
Fourteen Points (1918)
Woodrow Wilson's proposal to ensure peace after World War I, calling for:
1) an end to secret treaties
2) widespread arms reduction
3) national self-determination
4) a new league of nations.
Industrial Workers of the World (1905)
The IWW., also known as the "Wobblies," was a radical organization that sought to:
1) build "one big union"
2) and advocated industrial sabotage in defense of that goal.
At its peak in 1923, it could claim 100,000 members and could gain the support of 300,000. The IWW particularly
3) appealed to migratory workers in agriculture
4) and lumbering
5) and to miners, all of whom suffered from horrific working conditions.
Led by Senators William Borah of Idaho and Hiram Johnson of California, this was a hard-core group of militant isolationists who opposed the Wilsonian dream of international cooperation in the League of Nations after World War I. Their efforts played an important part in preventing American participation in the international organization.
League of Nations (1919)
A world organization of national governments proposed by President Woodrow Wilson and established by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. It worked to facilitate peaceful international cooperation. Despite emotional appeals by Wilson, isolationists' objections to the League created the major obstacle to American signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
Meuse-Argonne offensive (1918)
General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing led American troops in this effort to cut the German railroad lines supplying the western front. It was one of the few major battles that Americans participated in during the entire war, and was still underway when the war ended.
National War Labor Board (1918)
This wartime agency was chaired by former President Taft and
1) aimed to prevent labor disputes by
2) encouraging high wages
3) an eight-hour day.
While granting some concessions to labor, it stopped short of supporting labor's most important demand: a government guarantee of the right to organize into unions.
Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
This Constitutional amendment, finally passed by Congress in 1919 and ratified in 1920, gave women the right to vote over seventy years after the first organized calls for woman's suffrage in Seneca Falls, New York.
Schenck v. United States (1919)
A Supreme Court decision that upheld the Espionage and Sedition Acts, reasoning that freedom of speech could be curtailed when it posed a "clear and present danger" to the nation.
Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act (1921)
Designed to appeal to new women voters, this act provided:
1) federally financed instruction in maternal and infant health care
2) and expanded the role of government in family welfare.
Treaty of Versailles (1919)
World War I concluded with this vengeful document, which
1) secured peace
2) imposed sharp terms on Germany
3) created a territorial mandate system to manage former colonies of the world powers.
To Woodrow Wilson's chagrin, it incorporated very few of his original Fourteen Points, although it did include the
4) League of Nations that Wilson had long sought. Isolationists in the United States, deeply opposed to the League, led the opposition to the Treaty, which was never ratified by the Senate.
War Industries Board (1917)
Headed by Bernard Baruch, this federal agency:
1) coordinated industrial production during World War I
2) setting production quotas
3) allocating raw materials
4) pushing companies to increase efficiency and eliminate waste.
Under the economic mobilization of the War Industries Board, industrial production in the United States increased 20 percent during the war.
Zimmerman note (1917)
German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmerman had secretly proposed a German-Mexican alliance against the United States. When the note was intercepted and published in March 1917, it caused an uproar that made some Americans more willing to enter the war.
Bernard Baruch
a stock speculator who was appointed to head the War Industries Board under President Wilson, he went on to participate in the "Brain Trust" under FDR's New Deal administration. During World War II, he repeated his service as an economic adviser, advocaating price controls and rent ceilings
George Creel
the young outspoken, and tactless journalist who was tapped to head the Comittee on Public Information, also known as the Creel Committee, during WWI
Eugene V. Debs
a tireless socialist leader who organized th American Railway Union in the Pullman Strike of1894, he was later convicted under the FirstWorldWar's Espionage Act in 1918 and sentenced to 10 years in a federal penitentiary. A frequent presidential candidate on the Socialist Party Ticket, in 1920 he own over 900,00 votes campaigning for president form his prison cell
David Lloyd George
prime minister of Great Britain during World War I. Along with Woodrow Wilson, Italy's vittorio Orlando, and France's Georg Clemenceau, he formed part of the inner clique at the Paris Peace Conference known as the "Big Four"
William D. ("Big Bill") Haywood
as a leader of the Industrial workers of the World, the Wester Federation of Miners, and the Socialist Party of America. He was one of the most feared of American labor radicals. During WWI, he became a special target of anti-leftist legislation
Herbert C. Hoover
a quaker-humanitarian tapped to head the Food Administration during WWI. During th 1920s, he became the Secretary of Commerce, promoting economic modernization and responsible leadership by business to hold off further expansion of government power. Elected to the presidency in 1928 as a Republican, he soon faced the crisis of the Great Depression, which he tried to combat with the same volutnary efforts and restrained governemnt action that had been his hallmark over the previous decade. He lost the election of 1932 to Deomcrat FDR, who advocated a more activist role for the federal government
Henry Cabot Lodge
a prominent republican senator from Massachusetts, he was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and a persistent thorn in President Wilson's internationalist side when he crusaded against the League of Nations
Arthur Zimmermann
german foreign secretary during WWI and author of the infamous "Zimmerman note," which proposed a German-Mexican alliance against the united States
Adamson Act (1916)
This law established an eight-hour day for all employees on trains involved in interstate commerce, with extra pay for overtime. It was the first federal law regulating the hours of workers in private companies, and was upheld by the Supreme Court Wilson v. New (1917).
Great Britain, Russia, and France, later joined by Italy, Japan, and the United States, formed this alliance against the Central Powers in World War I.
Central Powers
Germany and Austria-Hungary, later joined by Turkey and Bulgaria, made up this alliance against the Allies in World War I.
Clayton Anti-Trust Act (1914)
1) Law extending the anti-trust protections of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act
2) exempting labor unions and agricultural organizations from antimonopoly constraints.
3) The act conferred long-overdue benefits on labor.
Federal Reserve Act (1913)
An act establishing twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks and a Federal Reserve Board, appointed by the president, to:
1) regulate banking
2) create stability on a national scale in the volatile banking sector.
The law carried the nation through the financial crises of the First World War of 1914-1918.
Federal Trade Commission Act (1914)
A banner accomplishment of Woodrow Wilson's administration, this law empowered a standing, presidentially appointed commission to investigate:
1) illegal business practices in interstate commerce like unlawful competition
2) false advertising
3) mislabeling of goods.
holding companies
A company that owns part or all of the other companies' stock in order to extend monopoly control. Often, a holding company does not produce goods or services of its own but only exists to control other companies. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act of 1914 sought to clamp down on these companies when they obstructed competition.
Jones Act (1916)
Law according territorial status to the Philippines and promising independence as soon as a "stable government" could be established. The United States did not grant the Philippines independence until July 4, 1946.
Lusitania (1915)
British passenger liner torpedoed and sank by Germany on May 7, 1915. It ended the lives of 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, and pushed the United States closer to war.
New Freedom (1912)
Platform of reforms advocated by Woodrow Wilson in his first presidential campaign, including:
1) stronger antitrust legislation to protect small business enterprises from monopolies
2) banking reform
3) tariff reductions.
Wilson's strategy involved
4) taking action to increase opportunities for capitalist competition rather than increasing government regulation of large trusts.
New Nationalism (1912)
State-interventionist reform program devised by journalist Herbert Croly and advocated by Theodore Roosevelt during his Bull Moose presidential campaign. Roosevelt did not object to continued consolidation of trusts and labor unions. Rather, he sought to create stronger regulatory agencies to insure that they operated to serve the public interest, not just private gain.
Tampico Incident (1914)
An arrest of American sailors by the Mexican government that spurred Woodrow Wilson to dispatch the American navy to seize the port of Veracruz in April 1914. Although war was avoided, tensions grew between the United States and Mexico.
German submarines, named for the German Unterseeboot, or "undersea boat," proved deadly for Allied ships in the war zone. U-boat attacks played an important role in drawing the United States into the war.
Underwood Tariff (1913)
This tariff provided for a substantial reduction of rates and enacted an unprecedented, graduated federal income tax. By 1917, revenue from the income tax surpassed receipts from the tariff, a gap that has since been vastly widened.
Workingmen's Compensation Act (1916)
Passed under Woodrow Wilson, this law granted assistance to federal civil-service employees during periods of disability. It was a precursor to labor-friendly legislation passed during the New Deal.
Louis D. Brandeis
a progressive-minded confidant of the Woodrow Wilson, he was the litigator behind Muller v. Oregon. In 1916, Wilson made him the first Jewish American to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court
Venustiano Carranza
a principal rival and presidential successor to Mexican General Victoriano Huerta, Woodrow wilson favored him over Huerta, but he resented the U.S. president's meddling in Mexican affairs
Herbert Croly
Political thinker and journalisht whose book, The Promise of American Life (1910) influenced the New Nationlist reform platform of Theodor Roosevelt
Victoriano Huerta
Mexican military officer who declared himself president and installed a dictatorship duringthe Mexican Revolution. president Wilson's strong opposition to him led him to support U.S. military intervention in Mexico
Charles Evans Hughes
United States Supre Court Justice and unsuccessful Republican candidate for president in 1916 against Woodrow Wilson. He almost won, carrying most of the populous Northeast and Midwest, but Wilson won enough working class and pro-reform votes to squeak through
John ("Black Jack") Pershing
american general and veteran of the Cuaban and Philippine campaigns who led an unsuccessful mission to capture Pancho Villa in 1917. He went on to lead the American Expedititionary Force in World War I
Francisco ("Pancho") Villa
a combination of bandit and Robin Hood, he emerged as a chief rival to Mexican President Carranza and tried to provoke the United States int war by going ona killing spree north of the border in New Mexico. President Wilson dispatched General John J "Black Jack" Pershing in an attempt to capture him, but the expedidtion ended in defeat for American forces
Australian ballot (1900s)
A system that allows voters privacy in marking their ballot choices. Developed in Australia in the 1850s, it was introduced to the United States during the progressive era to help counteract boss rule.
dollar diplomacy (1909)
Name applied by President Taft's critics to the policy of supporting U.S. investments and political interests abroad. First applied to the financing of railways in China after 1909, the policy then spread to Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. President Woodrow Wilson disavowed the practice, but his administration undertook comparable acts of intervention in support of U.S. business interests, especially in Latin America.
Elkins Act (1903)
Law passed by Congress to impose penalties on railroads that offered rebates and customers who accepted them. The law strengthened the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The Hepburn Act of 1906 added free passes to the list of railroad no-no's.
Hetch Hetchy Valley (1913)
The federal government allowed the city of San Francisco to build a dam here in 1913. This was a blow to preservationists, who wished to protect the Yosemite National Park, where the dam was located.
initiative (1900s)
A progressive reform measure allowing voters to petition to have a law placed on the general ballot. Like the referendum and recall, it brought democracy directly "to the people," and helped foster a shift toward interest-group politics and away from old political "machines".
Lochner v. New York (1905)
A setback from labor reformers, this 1905 Supreme Court decision invalidated a state law establishing a ten-hour day for bakers. It held that the "right to free contract" was implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Meat Inspection Act (1906)
A law passed by Congress to subject meat shipped over state lines to federal inspection. The publication of Upton Sinclair's novel, The Jungle, earlier that year so disgusted American consumers with its description of conditions in slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants that it mobilized public support for government action.
muckrakers (early 1900s)
Bright young reporters at the turn of the twentieth century who won this unfavorable moniker from Theodore Roosevelt, but boosted the circulations of their magazines by writing exposés of widespread corruption in American society. Their subjects included business manipulation of government, white slavers, child labor, and the illegal deeds of the trusts, and helped spur the passage of reform legislation.
Muller v. Oregon (1908)
A landmark Supreme Court case in which crusading attorney (and future Supreme Court Justice) Louis D. Brandeis persuaded the Supreme Court to accept the constitutionality of limiting the hours of women workers. Coming on the heels of Lochner v. New York, it established a different standard for male and female workers.
Payne-Aldrich Bill (1909)
1) While intended to lower tariff rates,
2) this bill was eventually revised beyond all recognition,
3) retaining high rates on most imports. President Taft angered the progressive wing of his party when he declared it
4) "the best bill that the Republican party ever passed"
Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)
A law passed by Congress to inspect and regulate the labeling of all foods and pharmaceuticals intended for human consumption. This legislation, and additional provisions passed in 1911 to strengthen it, aimed particularly at the patent medicine industry. The more comprehensive Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 largely replaced this legislation.
recall (early 1900s)
A progressive ballot procedure allowing voters to remove elected officials from office.
referendum (early 1900s)
A progressive reform procedure allowing voters to place a bill or on the ballot for final approval, even after being passed by the legislature.
social gospel (early 1900s)
A reform movement led by Protestant ministers who used religious doctrine to demand better housing and living conditions for the urban poor. Popular at the turn of the twentieth century, it was closely linked to the settlement house movement, which brought middle-class, Anglo-American service volunteers into contact with immigrants and working people.
Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)
Founded in 1874, this organization advocated for the prohibition of alcohol, using women's supposedly greater purity and morality as a rallying point. Advocates of prohibition in the United States found common cause with activists elsewhere, especially in Britain, and in the 1880s they founded the World Women's Christian Temperance Union, which sent missionaries around the world to spread the gospel of temperance.
Hiram W. Johnson
elected republican governor of California in 1910, he oversaw numerous progressive reforms, including the passage of woman suffrage at the state level. In 1917 he entered the Senate, where he proved an isolationist in foreign affairs. He is famous for declaring that "the first casualty when war comes, is truth"
Kelley Florence
a tireless crusader for women's and labor rights, she was Illinois's first chief factory inspector and a leader of the National consumer's League, an organization dedicated to improving working conditions for womena nd children. She also went on to hlep found the NAACP
Robert M. ("Fighting Bob") La Follette
hailing from Wisconsin, "Fighting Bob" was one of the most militant of the progressive Repbulican leaders, He served in theSEnate and in the Wisconsin governor's eat, and was a perennial contender for the presidency, keeping the spirit of progressivism alive into the 1920s
Henry Demarest Lloyd
a muckracking journalist and reform leader whose book, Wealth against Commonwealth (1894) excoriated the sins of the Standard Oil Company. He became one of the leading intellectuals behind the progressive movement, influencing such figures as Clarence Darrow, Florence Kelly, and John Dewey
John Muir
this noted naturalist split with conservationists like Gifford Pinchot by trying to protect natural "temples" like the Hetch Hetchy Valley from development. In 1892 he founded the Sierra Club which is now one of the most influential conservation organizations in the United States. His writings and philosophy shaped the formation of the modern environmental movement
Gifford Pinchot
a friend of Teddy Roosevelt, he was the head of the federal Division of Forestry and a noted conservationist who wanted toprotect, but also use, the nation's natural resources, like forests and rivers. In 1922 he won election to the Pennsylvania governor's mansion, on the Republican ticket
Jacob A. Riis
danish-born police reporter and pioneering photographer who exposed the ills of tenement living in his 1890 book illustrated with powerful photographs, How the Other Half Lives. His work led to the establishment of "model tenements" in New York City
Thorstein Veblen
an eceentric Norwegian-American economist who savagely attacked "predatory wealth" and "conspicuous consumption" in his most important book, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899)
Frances E. Willard
This pious leader of the Woman's Christian Temperance union wished to eliminate the sale of alcohol and thereby "make the world more homelike." Her exumenical "do everything" reform sensibility encouraged some women to take the leap toward more readical causes like woman suffrage, whil allowing more conservative women to stick comfortably with temperance work
Insurrectos (1890s)
Cuban insurgents who sought freedom from colonial Spanish rule. Their destructive tactics threatened American economic interests in Cuban plantations and railroads.
Great Rapprochement (1895-96)
After decades of occasionally "twisting the lion's tail," American diplomats began to cultivate close, cordial relations with Great Britain at the end of the nineteenth century—a relationship that would intensify further during World War I.
Anti-Imperialist League (1898-1921)
A diverse group formed in order to protest American colonial oversight in the Philippines. It included university presidents, industrialists, clergymen, and labor leaders. Strongest in the Northeast, the Anti-imperialist League was the largest lobbying organization on a U.S. foreign-policy issue until the end of the nineteenth century. It declined in strength after the United States signed the Treaty of Paris (which approved the annexation of the Philippines), and especially after hostilities broke out between Filipino nationalists and American forces.
Big Sister policy (1880s)
A foreign policy of Secretary of State James G. Blaine aimed at rallying Latin American nations behind American leadership and opening Latin American markets to Yankee traders. The policy bore fruit in 1889, when Blaine presided over the First International Conference of American States.
Boxer Rebellion (1900)
1) An uprising in China directed against foreign influence.
2) It was suppressed by an international force of some eighteen thousand soldiers, including several thousand Americans.
3) This paved the way for the revolution of 1911, which led to the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912.
Foraker Act (1900)
Sponsored by Senator Joseph B. Foraker, a Republican from Ohio, this
1) accorded Puerto Ricans a limited degree of popular government.
It was the first comprehensive congressional effort to
2) provide for governance of territories acquired after the Spanish American War,
3) and served as a model for a similar act adopted for the Philippines in 1902.
Hay-Pauncefote Treaty (1901)
A treated signed between the United States and Great Britain, giving Americans a free hand a free hand to build a canal in Central America. The treaty nullified the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850, which prohibited the British or U.S. from acquiring territory in Central America.
Insular Cases (1901-1904)
Beginning in 1901, a badly divided Supreme Court decreed in these cases that:
1) the Constitution did not follow the flag.
2) Puerto Ricans and Filipinos would not necessarily enjoy all American rights.
Maine (1898)
American battleship dispatched to keep a "friendly" watch over Cuba in early 1898. It mysteriously blew up in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, with a loss of 260 sailors. Later evidence confirmed that the explosion was accidental, resulting from combustion in one of the ship's internal coal bunkers. But many Americans, eager for war, insisted that it was the fault of a Spanish submarine mine.
McKinley Tariff (1890)
Shepherded through Congress by President William McKinley, this tariff raised duties on Hawaiian sugar and set off renewed efforts to secure the annexation of Hawaii to the United States.
Open Door note (1899-1900)
A set of diplomatic letters in which Secretary of State John Hay urged the great powers to respect Chinese rights and free and open competition within their spheres of influence. The notes established the "Open Door Policy," which sought to ensure access to the Chinese market for the United States, despite the fact that the U.S. did not have a formal sphere of influence in China.
Platt Amendment (1901)
Following its military occupation, the United States successfully pressured the Cuban government to write this amendment into its constitution. It:
1) limited Cuba's treaty-making abilities
2) controlled its debt
3) stipulated that the United States could intervene militarily to restore order when it saw fit.
4) two bays for naval bases (specifically Guantonomo Bay)
Roosevelt Corollary (1904)
A brazen policy of "preventive intervention" advocated by Theodore Roosevelt in his Annual Message to Congress in 1904. Adding ballast to the Monroe Doctrine, his corollary stipulated that the United States would retain a right to intervene in the domestic affairs of Latin American nations in order to restore military and financial order.
Root-Takahira agreement (1908)
The United States and Japan agreed to:
1) respect each other's territorial possessions in the Pacific
2) to uphold the Open Door in China.
The Agreement was credited with
3) easing tensions between the two nations,
4) but it also resulted in a weakened American influence over further Japanese hegemony in China.
Rough Riders (1898)
Organized by Theodore Roosevelt, this was a colorful, motley regimen of Cuban war volunteers consisting of western cowboys, ex-convicts, and effete Ivy leaguers. Roosevelt emphasized his experience with the regiment in subsequent campaigns for Governor of New York and Vice-President under William McKinley.
Teller Amendment (1898)
A proviso to President William McKinley's war plans that proclaimed to the world that when the United States had overthrown Spanish misrule, it would give Cuba its freedom. The amendment testified to the ostensibly "anti-imperialist" designs of the initial war plans.
Emilio Aguinaldo
well-educated Filipino leader who first fought against Spain and later led the Philippine insurgency against United States colonial rule
James G. Blaine
american statesman who served in the House thirteen years (1863-1876), followed by a little over four years in the Senate (1876-1881). He served as Speaker of the House from 1869 to 1875. As secretary of state under James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur, he advocated a "Big Sister" policy of United States dominantion in Latin America
Dupuy de Lome
the Spanish minister to the United staes who found himself at the center of a scandal when hs private letter maligning President McKinley was made public in 1898
George Dewey
commander of the American Asiatic Squadron who boldly captured Manila Bay and the Philippines at the lauch of the Spanish American War. His actions ultimately led to fierce debates about the propiety of American imperialism
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Supreme commander of U.S. forces in Europe during World War II, the war hero later became the 34th president of the United States. During his two terms, from 1952-1960, he presided over the economically prosperous 1950s. He was praised for his dignity and decency, though criticized for not being more assertive on civil rights
John Hay
Named U.S. ambassador to England in 1897, when William McKinley became president. He later served as McKinley's secretary of state. He was author of the Open Door Notes, which called for free economic competition in China
the last reigning queen of Hawaii, whose defense of native Hawaiian self-rule led to a revlot by white settlers and to her dethronement
Alfred Thayer Mahan
american naval officer and author whose book of 1890, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, impressed a generation of imperialists around the world with its argument that control of the sea was the key to world dominance
Richard Olney
the pugnacious successor to James G. Blain as secretary of state serving form 1895 to 1897, he stirred up conflict with Great Britain during the Venezuelan Crisis of 1895-1896. He also insisted on the protection of American lives and property and on reparations for losses incurred during violent disturbances in Cuba, China, and Turkey
Theodore ("Teddy") roosevelt
Rough Rider "Teddy" was a cowboy-hero of the Cuban campaign who rodes his popularity into the governorship of New York state and then into the vice-president's office. He became prsident when McKinley was assassinated in 1901. He won reelection as a Republican in 1904 and then lost to Democrat Woodrow Wilson in 1912, when he tried for another term as Progressive Party candidate
Josiah Strong
protestant clergyman and author of Our Country: Its possible Future and Its Present Crisis (1885). He:
1) touted the superiority of Anglo-Saxon civilization
2) and helped summon Americans to spread their religion abroad
William H. Taft
the corpulent civil governor of the Philippines under William McKinley. He went on to become the 27th presiden of the U.S. in 1909
"Butcher" Weyler
a Spanish general who arrived in Cuba in 1896 to put down the insurrection. He became notorious for herding many civilians into barbed-wire reconcentration camps
Dawes Severalty Act (1887)
An act that broke up Indian reservations and distributed land to individual households. Leftover land was sold for money to fund U.S. government efforts to "civilize" Native Americans. Of 130 million acres held in Native American reservations before the Act, 90 million were sold to non-Native buyers.
fourth party system (1896-1932)
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.
Gold Standard Act (1900)
An act that guaranteed that paper currency would be redeemed freely in gold, putting an end to the already dying "free silver" campaign. (665)
Homestead Act (1862)
A federal law that gave settlers 160 acres of land for about $30 if they lived on it for five years and improved it by, for instance, building a house on it. The act helped make land accessible to hundreds of thousands of westward-moving settlers, but many people also found disappointment when their land was infertile or they saw speculators grabbing up the best land. (479)
Battle of Little Bighorn (1876)
A particularly violent example of the warfare between whites and Native Americans in the late nineteenth century, also know as "Custer's Last Stand." In two days, June 25 and 26, 1876, the combined forces of over 2,000 Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians defeated and killed more than 250 U.S. soldiers, including Colonel George Custer. The battle came as the U.S. government tried to compel Native Americans to remain on the reservations and Native Americans tried to defend territory from white gold-seekers. This Indian advantage did not last long, however, as the union of these Indian fighters proved tenuous and the United States Army soon exacted retribution.
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 (late 1800s)
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, they 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)
Pullman strike (1894)
A strike by railroad workers upset by drastic wage cuts. The strike was led by socialist Eugene Debs but not supported by the American Federation of Labor. Eventually President Grover Cleveland intervened and federal troops forced an end to the strike. The strike highlighted both divisions within labor and the government's new willingness to use armed force to combat work stoppages.
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.
Battle of Wounded Knee (1890)
A battle between the U.S. Army and the Dakota Sioux, in which several hundred Native Americans and 29 U.S. soldiers died. Tensions erupted violently over two major issues: the Sioux practice of the "Ghost Dance," which the U.S. government had outlawed, and the dispute over whether Sioux reservation land would be broken up because of the Dawes Act. (639)
Jacob S. Coxey
A wealthy Ohio Populist who led a 500-strong "army" to Washington, D.C. in 1894 to demand a public works program to create jobs for the unemployed in the midst of a devastating 4-year depression.
Marcus Alonzo Hanna
The driving force behind McKinley's rise to the presidency, he was a former businessman who raised money and devised strategy for McKinley's winning bid for the White House in 1896.
William McKinley (1896-1901)
A former Republican congressman from Ohio who won the presidency in 1896 and again in 1900. He was pro-business, conservative, and unwilling to trouble the waters by voicinng unpopular opinions.
Frederick Jackson Turner
Author of the famous "frontier thesis," in which he argued that the taming of the West had shaped the nation's character. The experience of molding wilderness into civilation, he argued, encouraged Americans' characteristic embrace of individualism and democracy. Although he is now criticized for, among other things, entirely ignoring the role of Native Americans in the West, his argument remains a keystone of thought about the West in American history.
land-grant colleges (late 1800s)
Colleges and universities created from allocations of pubic land through the Morrell Act of 1862 and the Hatch Act of 1887. These grants helped fuel the boom in higher education in the late nineteenth century, and many of the today's public universities derive from these grants.
liberal Protestants (1875-1925)
Members of a branch of Protestantism that encouraged followers to use the Bible as a moral compass rather than to believe that the Bible represented scientific or historical truth. Many Liberal Protestants became active in the "social gospel" and other reform movements of the era.
National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) (1890)
An organization founded to demand the vote for women. NAWSA argued that women should be allowed to vote because their responsibilities in the home and family made them indispensable in the public decision-making process. During World War I, NAWSA supported the war effort and lauded women's role in the Allied victory, which helped to finally achieve nationwide woman suffrage in the Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
New Immigrants (late 1800s)
Immigrants from southern and eastern Europe who formed a recognizable wave of immigration from the 1880s until 1924, in contrast to the immigrants from western Europe who had come before them. These new immigrants congregated in ethnic urban neighborhoods, where they worried many native-born Americans, some of whom responded with nativist anti-immigrant campaigns and others of whom introduced urban reforms to help the immigrants assimilate.
pragmatism (late 1800s)
A distinctive American philosophy that emerged in the late nineteenth century around the theory that the true value of an idea lay in its ability to solve problems. The pragmatists thus embraced the provisional, uncertain nature of experimental knowledge. Among the most well-known purveyors of pragmatism were John Dewey, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and William James.
settlement houses (late 1800s)
Mostly run by middle-class native-born women, located in immigrant neighborhoods provided housing, food, education, child care, cultural activities, and social connections for new arrivals to the United States. Many women, both native-born and immigrant, developed life-long passions for social activism in the settlement houses. Jane Addams's Hull House in Chicago and Lillian Wald's Henry Street Settlement in New York City were two of the most prominent
Tuskegee Institute
A normal and industrial school led by Booker T. Washington in Tuskegee, Alabama. It focused on training young black students in agriculture and the trades to help them achieve economic independence. Washington justified segregated, vocational training as a necessary first step on the road to racial equality, although critics accused him of being too "accomodationist".
Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)
Founded in 1874, this organization advocated for the prohibition of alcohol, using women's supposedly greater purity and morality as a rallying point. Advocates of prohibition in the United States found common cause with activists elsewhere, especially in Britain, and in the 1880s they founded the it, which sent missionaries around the world to spread the gospel of temperance.
World's Columbian Exposition (1893)
Held in Chicago, Americans saw this World's Fair as their opportunity to claim a place among the world's most "civilized" societies, by which they meant the countries of western Europe. The Fair honored art, architecture, and science, and its promoters built a mini-city in which to host the fair that reflected all the ideals of city planning popular at the time. For many, this was the high point of the "City Beautiful" movement.
yellow journalism
A scandal-mongering practice of journalism that emerged in New York during the Gilded Age out of the circulation battles between Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal. The expression has remained a pejorative term referring to sensationalist journalism practiced with unethical, unprofessional standards.
Jane Addams
She founded Hull House, America's first settlement house, to help immigrants assimilate through education, counseling, and municipal reform efforts. She also advocated pacifism throughout her life, including during World War I, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Horatio Algers
The writer of dozens of novels for children, he popularized the notion of "rags to riches," that by hard work and a bit of luck, even a poor boy could pull himself up into the middle class.
Carrie Chapman Catt
A leader of the revived women's suffrage movement, she served as president of the National American Women's Suffrage Association (NAWSA) from 1900-1904 and again from 1915-1920. She was also active internationally, helping women i other countries gain suffrage and advocating for international peace.
Charles Darwin
A British naturalist whose 1859 book On the Origin of Species outlined a theory of evolution based on natural selection, whereby the strongest individuals of a particular species survived and reproduced while weaker individuals died out. This theory had an enormous impact not just on science but on religion and society too, as people wrestled with the challenge evolutionary theory posed to Biblical notions of divine creation and applied the ideas of natural selection to human society.
John Dewey
A leader of the pragmatist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he applied the philosophy to education and social reform, advocating "learning by doing" as well as the application of knowledge to solving real life problems. He became an outspoken promoter of social an dpolitical reforms that broadened American democracy.
W.E.B. Du Bois
A Harvard-educated leader in the fight ffor racial equality, he believed that liberal arts education would provide the "talented tenth" of African Americans with the ability to lift their race into full participation in society. From New York, where he was a gounder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), he relentlessly brought attention to racism in America and demanded legal and cultural change. During his long life he published many important books of history, sociology, and poetry and provided intellectual leadership to those advocating civil rights. One of his deepest convitions was the necessity of American blacks connection their forredom struggle with Aftican independence and he died as a resident of the new nation of Ghana.
William Randolph Hearst
A newspaper magnate who started by inheriting his father's San Francisco Examiner and ultimately owned newspapers and magazines published in cities across the US. He was largely responsible for the spread of sensationalist journalism. The Hearst Corporation still owns dozens of newspapers, magazines, and other media outlets in the US and around the world.
Joseph Pulitzer
A publisher whose newspapers, including the New York World, became a symbol of the sensationalist journalism of the late 19th century.
Mark Twain
A satirist and writer, he is best known for his books The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. His work critiqued American politics and society, especially the racial and economic injustice that he saw in the South and West. He traveled abroad extensively and his work was read and loved around the world.
Booker T. Washington
As head of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he advocated for vocational education for African-Americans so that they could gain economic security. Believing that southern whited were not yet ready for social equality, he instead concentrated on gaining economic power for blacks without directly challenging the southern racial order.
American Federation of Labor (founded 1886)
A national federation of trade unions that included only skilled workers, founded in 1886. Led by Samuel Gompers for nearly four decades, it sought to negotiate with employers for a better kind of capitalism that rewarded workers fairly with better wages, hours, and conditions. Its membership was almost entirely white and male until the middle of the twentieth century.
closed shop (late 1800s)
A union-organizing term that refers to the practice of allowing only unionized employees to work for a particular company. The AFL became known for negotiating these agreements with employers, in which the employer would agree not to hire non-union members.
Haymarket Square (1886)
A May Day rally that turned violent when someone threw a bomb into the middle of the meeting, killing several dozen people. Eight anarchists were arrested for conspiracy contributing to the disorder, although evidence linking them to the bombing was thin. Four were executed, one committed suicide, and three were pardoned in 1893.
horizontal integration
The practice perfected by John D. Rockefeller of dominating a particular phase of the production process in order to monopolize a market, often by forming trusts and alliances with competitors.
interlocking directorates
The practice of having executives or directors from one company serve on the Board of Directors of another company. J. P. Morgan introduced this practice to eliminate banking competition in the 1890s.
Interstate Commerce Act (1887)
Congressional legislation that established the Interstate Commerce Commission, compelled railroads to publish standard rates, and prohibited rebates and pools. Railroads quickly became adept at using the Act to achieve their own ends, but the Act gave the government an important means to regulate big business.
Knights of Labor (1869-1886)
The second national labor organization, organized in 1869 as a secret society and opened for public membership in 1881. They were known for their efforts to organize all workers, regardless of skill level, gender, or race. After the mid-1880s their membership declined for a variety of reasons, including the their participation in violent strikes and discord between skilled and unskilled members.
National Labor Union (1866-1872)
This first national labor organization in U.S. history was founded in 1866 and gained 600,000 members from many parts of the workforce, although it limited the participation of Chinese, women, and blacks. The organization devoted much of its energy to fighting for an eight-hour workday before it dissolved in 1872.
Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
A law that forbade trusts or combinations in business, this was landmark legislation because it was one of the first Congressional attempts to regulate big business for the public good. At first the law was mostly used to restrain trade unions as the courts tended to side with companies in legal cases. In 1914 the Act was revised so it could more effectively be used against monopolistic corporations.
Social Darwinists (late 1800s)
Believers in the idea, popular in the late nineteenth century, that people gained wealth by "survival of the fittest." Therefore, the wealthy had simply won a natural competition and owed nothing to the poor, and indeed service to the poor would interfere with this organic process. Some social Darwinists also applied this theory to whole nations and races, explaining that powerful peoples were naturally endowed with gifts that allowed them to gain superiority over others. This theory provided one of the popular justifications for U.S. imperial ventures like the Spanish-American war.
Standard Oil Company (1870-1911)
John D. Rockefeller's company, formed in 1870, which came to symbolize the trusts and monopolies of the Gilded Age. By 1877 Standard Oil controlled 95% of the oil refineries in the U.S. It was also one of the first multinational corporations, and at times distributed more than half of the company's kerosene production outside the U.S. By the turn of the century it had become a target for trust-busting reformers, and in 1911 the Supreme Court ordered it to break up into several dozen smaller companies.
A mechanism by which one company grants control over its operations, through ownership of its stock, to another company. The Standard Oil Company became known for this practice in the 1870s as it eliminated its competition by taking control of smaller oil companies.
vertical integration
The practice perfected by Andrew Carnegie of controlling every step of the industrial production process in order to increase efficiency and limit competition
Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad Company v. Illinois (1886)
A Supreme Court decision that prohibited states from regulating the railroads because the Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. As a result, reformers turned their attention to the federal government, which now held sole power to regulate the railroad industry.
Alexander Graham Bell
The inventor of the telephone, patented in 1876.
Andrew Carnegie
A tycoon who came to dominate the burgeoning steel industry. His company, later named US Steel, was the biggest corporation in US history in 1901. After he retired, he donated most of his fortune to public libraries, universities, arts organizations, and other charitable causes.
Thomas Alva Edison
The inventor of, among other things, the electric light bulb, the phonograph, the mimeograph, the moving picture, and a machine capable of taking X-rays. Ultimately he held more than 1,000 patents for his inventions.
Samuel Gompers
The president of the American Federation of Labor nearly every year from its founding in 1886 until his death in 1924. He was no foe of capitalism but wanted employers to offer workers a fair deal by parying high wages and providing job security.
John D. Rockefeller
The founder of the Standard Oil Company, he developed the technique of horizontal integration and compeled other oil companies to join the Standard Oil "trust." He became the richest person in the world and the US's first billionaire. He later became known for his philanthropic support of universities and medical research.
Cornelius Vanderbuilt
A railroad magnate who made millions in steam-boating before beginning a business consolidating railroads and elimination competition in the industry.
Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
Federal legislation that prohibited most further Chinese immigration to the United States. This was the first major legal restriction on immigration in U.S. history.
Civil Rights Act of 1875
The last piece of federal civil rights legislation until the 1950s, the law promised blacks equal access to public accommodations and banned racism in jury selection, but the Act provided no means of enforcement and was therefore ineffective. In 1883, the Supreme Court declared most of the Act unconstitutional.
Compromise of 1877
The agreement that finally resolved the 1876 election and officially ended Reconstruction. In exchange for the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, winning the presidency, Hayes agreed to withdraw the last of the federal troops from the former Confederate states. This deal effectively completed the southern return to white-only, Democratic-dominated electoral politics.
Crédit Mobilier scandal (1872)
A construction company was formed by owners of the Union Pacific Railroad for the purpose of receiving government contracts to build the railroad at highly inflated prices—and profits. In 1872 a scandal erupted when journalists discovered that it had bribed congressmen and even the Vice President in order to allow the ruse to continue.
Gilded Age (1877-1896)
A term given to the period 1865-1896 by Mark Twain, indicating both the fabulous wealth and the widespread corruption of the era.
grandfather clause (1890s)
A regulation established in many southern states in the 1890s that exempted from voting requirements (such as literacy tests and poll taxes) anyone who could prove that their ancestors ("grandfathers") had been able to vote in 1860. Since slaves could not vote before the Civil War, these clauses guaranteed the right to vote to many whites while denying it to blacks.
Homestead Strike (1892)
A strike at a Carnegie steel plant in Homestead, P.A., that ended in an armed battle between the strikers, three hundred armed "Pinkerton" detectives hired by Carnegie, and federal troops, which killed ten people and wounded more than sixty. The strike was part of a nationwide wave of labor unrest in the summer of 1892 that helped the Populists gain some support from industrial workers.
Jim Crow (late 1800s)
System of racial segregation in the American South from the end of Reconstruction until the mid-twentieth century. Based on the concept of "separate but equal" facilities for blacks and whites, the system sought to prevent racial mixing in public, including restaurants, movie theaters, and public transportation. An informal system, it was generally perpetuated by custom, violence, and intimidation.
panic of 1873
A world-wide depression that began in the United States when one of the nation's largest banks abruptly declared bankruptcy, leading to the collapse of thousands of banks and businesses. The crisis intensified debtors' calls for inflationary measures such as the printing of more paper money and the unlimited coinage of silver. Conflicts over monetary policy greatly influenced politics in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
Practice of rewarding political support with special favors, often in the form of public office. Upon assuming office, Thomas Jefferson dismissed few Federalist employees, leaving scant openings to fill with political appointees.
Pendleton Act (1883)
Congressional legislation that established the Civil Service Commission, which granted federal government jobs on the basis of examinations instead of political patronage, thus reigning in the spoils system.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Supreme Court case that upheld the constitutionality of segregation laws, saying that as long as blacks were provided with "separate but equal" facilities, these laws did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. This decision provided legal justification for the Jim Crow system until the 1950s.
An agricultural system that emerged after the Civil War in which black and white farmers rented land and residences from a plantation owner in exchange for giving him a certain "share" of each year's crop. Sharecropping was the dominant form of southern agriculture after the Civil War, and landowners manipulated this system to keep tenants in perpetual debt and unable to leave their plantations.
Tweed Ring
A symbol of Gilded Age corruption, "Boss" Tweed and his deputies ran the New York City Democratic party in the 1860s and swindled $200 million from the city through bribery, graft, and vote-buying. Boss Tweed was eventually jailed for his crimes and died behind bars.
"waving the bloody shirt" (1868)
The use of Civil War imagery by political candidates and parties to draw votes to their side of the ticket. The Republican party particularly benefited from reminding voters of Democratic treachery during the secession crisis.
Chester Arthur (1881-1884)
Elected as vice president in 1880, he became president after Garfield's assassination. He was primarily known for his efforts at civil service reform, culmination in the Pendleton Act.
William Jennings Bryan (1896)
A Democratic congressman from Nebraska who was an outspoken "free silver" advocate. his "Cross of Gold" speech at the Democratic convention in 1896 won him the party's nomination. The Populists also backed him in a "fusion" ticket with the Democrats. His eloquent advocacy for free silver and farmers' interests earned him millions of devoted followers, but never quite enough to win the presidency, for which he ran three times. Later in life, as Secretary of State he led the resistance to American entry into World War I and in 1925, an ardent fundamentalist he gained fame from some quarters-and great disdain from others-for joining the prosecution of high-school biology teacher John T. Scopes for teaching evolution.
Grover Cleveland
President from 1885-1889 and again from 1893-1897, his first term was dominated by the issues of military pensions and tariff reforms. He lost the election of 1888, but he ran again and won in 1892. During his second term he faced one of the most serious economic depressions in the nation's history but failed to enact policies to ease the crisis.
James Garfield (1880-1881)
Elected to the presidency in 1880, he served as president for only a few months before being assassinated by Charles Guiteau, who claimed to have killed him because he was denied a job through patronage when he was elected. The assassination fueled efforts to reform the spoils system.
Jay Gould
A railroad magnate who was involved in the Black Friday scandal in 1869 and later gained control of many of the nation's largest railroads, including the Union Pacific. He became revered and hated for his ability to manipulate railroad stocks for his personal profit and for his ardent resistance to organized labor.
Ulysses S. Grant (1868-1876)
A Union Army general elected to the presidency in 1868 as a Republican, his 8 years in office were marred by corruption and economic depression.
Horace Greeley
A New York newspaper editor, he ran for President in 1872 under the mantles of the Liberal Republican and Democratic Parties.
Rutherford B. Hayes (1876-1880)
The former Republican governor of Ohio, he became President after the contested 1876 election. By 1880 he had lost the support of his party and was not re-nominated for the office.
J.P. Morgan
A banker who became a national symbol of the power of the banks during the Gilded Age, he helped all big businesses of the era consolidate their holdings and ultimately bought Carnegie's steel empire for more than $400 million in 1900. He helped th bail the US government out of a currency crunch in 1895 when he organized a loan to the government of $65 million in gold. In 1902 his Northern Securities Company became one of the first targets of Teddy Roosevelt's trust-busting crusades, but Roosebelt's 1907 decision to allow a steel merger under Morgan's watch showed the limits of Roosebelt's efforts.
"10 percent" Reconstruction plan (1863)
Introduced by President Lincoln, it proposed that a state be readmitted to the Union once 10 percent of its voters had pledged loyalty to the United States and promised to honor emancipation.
Black Codes (1865-1866)
Laws passed throughout the South to restrict the rights of emancipated blacks, particularly with respect to negotiating labor contracts. Increased Northerners' criticisms of President Andrew Johnson's lenient Reconstruction policies.
carpetbaggers (mid 1800s)
Pejorative used by Southern whites to describe Northern businessmen and politicians who came to the South after the Civil War to work on Reconstruction projects or invest in Southern infrastructure.
Civil Rights Bill (1866)
Passed over Andrew Johnson's veto, the bill aimed to counteract the Black Codes by conferring citizenship on African Americans and making it a crime to deprive blacks of their rights to sue, testify in court, or hold property.
Ex parte Milligan (1866)
Civil War Era case in which the Supreme Court ruled that military tribunals could not be used to try civilians if civil courts were open.
Fifteenth Amendment (ratified 1870)
Prohibited states from denying citizens the franchise on account of race. It disappointed feminists who wanted the Amendment to include guarantees for women's suffrage.
Force Acts (1870-1871)
Passed by Congress following a wave of Ku Klux Klan violence, the acts banned clan membership, prohibited the use of intimidation to prevent blacks from voting, and gave the U.S. military the authority to enforce the acts.
Fourteenth Amendment (ratified 1868)
Constitutional amendment that extended civil rights to freedmen and prohibited States from taking away such rights without due process.
Freedmen's Bureau (1865-1872)
Created to aid newly emancipated slaves by providing food, clothing, medical care, education and legal support. Its achievements were uneven and depended largely on the quality of local administrators.
Ku Klux Klan (founded 1866)
White paramilitary organization whose members, cloaked in sheets to conceal their identities, terrorized freedmen and sympathetic whites throughout the South after the Civil War. By the 1890s, Klan-style violence and Democratic legislation succeeded in virtually disenfranchising all Southern blacks.
Pacific Railroad Act (1862)
Helped fund the construction of the Union Pacific transcontinental railroad with the use of land grants and government bonds.
Reconstruction Act (1867)
Passed by the newly-elected Republican Congress, it divided the South into five military districts, disenfranchised former confederates, and required that Southern states both ratify the Fourteenth Amendment and write state constitutions guaranteeing freedmen the franchise before gaining readmission to the Union.
Redeemers (1870s)
Southern Democratic politicians who sought to wrest control from Republican regimes in the South after Reconstruction.
scalawags (mid 1800s)
Derogatory term for pro-Union Southerners whom Southern Democrats accused of plundering the resources of the South in collusion with Republican governments after the Civil War.
Seward's Folly (1867)
Popular term for Secretary of State William Seward's purchase of Alaska from Russia. The derisive term reflected the anti-expansionist sentiments of most Americans immediately after the Civil War.
Tenure of Office Act (1867)
Required the President to seek approval from the Senate before removing appointees. When Andrew Johnson removed his secretary of war in violation of the act, he was impeached by the house but remained in office when the Senate fell one vote short of removing him
Union League (mid 1800s)
Reconstruction-Era African American organization that worked to educate Southern blacks about civic life, built black schools and churches, and represented African American interests before government and employers. It also campaigned on behalf of Republican candidates and recruited local militias to protect blacks from white intimidation.
Wade-Davis Bill (1864)
Passed by Congressional Republicans in response to Abraham Lincoln's "10 percent plan", it required that 50 percent of a state's voters pledge allegiance to the Union, and set stronger safeguards for emancipation. Reflected divisions between Congress and the President, and between radical and moderate Republicans, over the treatment of the defeated South.
Woman's Loyal League (1863-1865)
Women's organization formed to help bring about an end to the Civil War and encourage Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to prohibiting slavery.
Oliver O. Howard
Union general put in charge of the Freedmen's Bureau during Reconstruction. He later founded and served as president of Howard University, an institution aimed at education African American students
Andrew Johnson
17th president of the US, North Carolina-born, he assumed the presidency after Lincoln's assassination in 1865. Much to the disgust of Radical Republicans in Congress, he, a Democrat, tood a conciliatory approach to the South during Reconstruction, granting sweeping pardons to former Confederates and supporting Southern Black Codes against freedmen. In 1868, he was impeached by the House of Representatives for breaching the Tenure of Office Act. Acquitted by the Senate, he remained in office to serve out his term.
Hiram Revels
He was the first African-American senator, elected in 1870 to the Mississippi seat previously occupied by Jefferson Davis. Born to free black parents in North Carolina, he worked as a minister throughout the South before entering politics. After serving for just one year, he returned to Mississippi to head a college for African American males.
William Seward
US senator and secretary of state under Lincoln. An avid opponent of slavery, he was a leading candidate for the Republican nomination in both 1856 and 1860. Later, as one of Lincoln's closest advisers, he helped handle the difficult tasks of keeping European nations out of the Civil War. He is best known, however, for negotiating the purchase of Alaska, dubbed "Seward's Folly" by expansion-weary opponents of the deal.
Edwin M. Stanton
Secretary of war under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson, he advocated for stronger measures against the South during Reconstruction, particularly after widespread violence against African Americans erupted in the region. In 1868, Johnson removed him in violation of the 1867 Tenure of Office Act, giving pretense for Radical Republicans in the House to impeach him.
Thaddeus Stevens
Pennsylvania congressman who led the Radical Republican faction i the House of REpresentatives during and after the Civil War, advocation for abolition and later, the extension of civil rights to freed black. He also called for land redistribution as a means to break the power fo the planter elite and provide African Americans with the economic means to sustain their newfound independence.