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Alexander Graham Bell

United States inventor (born in Scotland) of the telephone (1847-1922)

Thomas Edison

American inventor best known for inventing the electric light bulb, acoustic recording on wax cylinders, and motion pictures.

Steel industry and effects

1870s-1880s. Increase in railroad production across the country, creation of the Bessemer process (tougher steel), Trade cities centered around railroad stops (Pennsylvania), growth of immigrant labor/ bad working conditions, westward expansion w/larger developing cities.

Henry Ford

1863-1947. American businessman, founder of Ford Motor Company, father of modern assembly lines, and inventor credited with 161 patents.

How did companies maximize production?

Taylor tried to specify workers to a specific task for efficiency, decline of artisans or specialized labor from this, and the use of assembly line grew. Interchangeability of people for a more streamlined process.

Assembly line

In a factory, an arrangement where a product is moved from worker to worker, with each person performing a single task in the making of the product.


Implemented by Fredrick W. Taylor, scientific management to reduce waste, was resented by many although he brought concrete improvements of productivity. Not very liked by factory workers.

R & D

1900- "Research and Development" process, used by companies, such as GE, for streamlining development.

Government's role in economy



a type of business with limited liability for the owners with the advantage of not paying corporate income tax (abbreviation)
the company only gives back the money the investor put in, if the co. crashes

US Steel

Carnegie sold his company in 1900 for over 400 million to a new steel combination headed by JP Morgan. The new corporations, United States Steel, was the first billion dollar company and also the largest enterprise in the world, employing 168,000 people and controlling over 3/5th of the nations steel business

Standard Oil

predominant integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870, it operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations until it was dissolved by the United States Supreme Court in 1911; John D. Rockefeller

Vertical/Horizontal Integration

beginnings of trusts (destruction of competition); vertical- controlling every aspect of production (control quality, eliminate middlemen - Rockefeller); horizontal- consolidating with competitors to monopolize a market (highly detrimental)

JP Morgan

Banker who buys out Carnegie Steel and renames it to U.S. Steel. Was a philanthropist in a way; he gave all the money needed for WWI and was payed back. Was one of the "Robber barons"

Trusts and holding companies

Businesses formed these to increase profits by eliminating competition.

Social Darwinism

The application of ideas about evolution and "survival of the fittest" to human societies - particularly as a justification for their imperialist expansion.

Conspicuous consumption

buying expensive services and products in order to flaunt your wealth

Gospel of Wealth

This was a book written by Carnegie that described the responsibility of the rich to be philanthropists. This softened the harshness of Social Darwinism as well as promoted the idea of philanthropy.

Horatio Alger

Popular novelist during the Industrial Revolution who wrote "rags to riches" books praising the values of hard work

Henry George

He wrote Progress and Poverty in 1879, which made him famous as an opponent of the evils of modern capitalism.

Edward Bellamy

Wrote Looking Backward; said that captialism supported the few and exploited the many. character wakes up in 2000 after napping; says socialism will be on top in the end

New Immigrants

These were immigrants that were recently arriving into America. These were unskilled laborers that filled the jobs no one else wanted.1880's

Molly Maguires

members of a secret Irish organization. Many historians believe the Mollies were present in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania in the United States from approximately the time of the American Civil War until a series of sensational arrests and trials in the years 1876−1878. Evidence that the Molly Maguires were responsible for coalfield crimes in the U.S. rests largely upon allegations of one powerful industrialist, and the testimony of one Pinkerton detective. Fellow prisoners also testified against the alleged Molly Maquires, but some believe these witnesses may have been coerced or bribed

Working Conditions

machine noise could be deafening, poor lighting and ventilation, frequent fires and accidents were caused by fatigue, faulty equipment, and careless training

1877 Railroad Strike

Eastern railroad announced a 10% wage cut, which caused workers to stop rail service from Baltimore to St. Louis. Hayes sent troops to calm down the rioting, and it became the first major national labor conflict

Knights of Labor

one of the most important American labor organizations of the 19th century, demanded an end to child and convict labor, equal pay for women, a progressive income tax, and the cooperative employer-employee ownership of mines and factories

Terence Powderley

leader of the Knights of Labor in the 1880s (president of the organization)


American Federation of Labor. A union of skilled workers from one or more trades which focused on collective bargaining (negotiation between labor and management) to reach written agreements on wages hours and working conditions. The AFL used strikes as a major tactic to win higher wages and shorter work weeks.

Samuel Gompers

United States labor leader (born in England) who was president of the American Federation of Labor from 1886 to 1924 (1850-1924)

Haymarket Bombing

In Chicago, home to about 80,000 Knights of Labor and a few hundred anarchists that advocated a violent overthrow of the American government, tensions had been building, and on May 4, 1886, Chicago police were advancing on a meeting that had been called to protest brutalities by authorities when a dynamite bomb was thrown, killing or injuring several dozen people.

Homestead Strike

1892 steelworker strike near Pittsburgh against the Carnegie Steel Company. Ten workers were killed in a riot when "scab" labor was brought in to force an end to the strike.

Pullman Strike

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

Eugene Debs

Prominent socialist leader (and five time presidential candidate) who founded the American Railroad Union and led the 1894 Pullman Strike

Why was organized labor unsuccessful?


Sources of immigration


Immigration Restriction League

A Nativist group who wanted to restrict immigration into the U.S. to certain groups they deemed desirable. Because of them congress passed a bill in 1897 requiring a literacy test for immigrants.

Spatial division in cities

Cities were divided by class, race, and ethnicity. People of the same ethnicity flocked into groups, creating "chinatowns" and the majority poor lived in tenements in cities, often known to have terrible conditions. the small wealthy class lived away from the city, in large country homes. Divisions entirely separated different types of people; Jacob Riis helped expose class differences.

Jacob Riis

A Danish immigrant, he became a reporter who pointed out the terrible conditions of the tenement houses of the big cities where immigrants lived during the late 1800s. He wrote How The Other Half Lives in 1890.

Problems of urban life

Fire (all-wooden, close together homes), Disease (close, small, windowless quarters), Air polution/ waste damage (overcrowded areas), Sewage systems (no disposal system). Urban Povery (many orphans), Crime, Violence. Led to the Public Health Service department in 1912 and the Salvation Army in 1879

Sister Carrie

Theodore Dreiser's novel; single woman who moved to city and worked in shoe factory but then turned to prostitution due to poverty

Machine politics

an unofficial system of a political organization based on patronage, the spoils system, "behind-the-scenes" control, and longstanding political ties within the structure of a representative democracy.

William Tweed

N.Y. political boss (did not hold a political office) controlled the Democratic political machine known as Tammany Hall; Stole $200 million from New York City

Consumer society

People became increasingly organized around consumption (of goods and leisure), rather than the production of materials and services. Department stores, catalogues, prepared foods, standardized clothing.

Department stores/catalogues

The first department store was Marshall Fields in Chicago. It turned shopping into a much more glamorous and alluring activity. Sears and Roebuck sent out a catalog for mail orders.

NCL and Florence Kelley

The National Consumers League was formed in 1890 by a woman named Florence Kelley. Their focus was to force retailers to improve working conditions. They encouraged women to buy only products with the League's "white label."

Why leisure now?

Members of the urban middle and professional classes had large blocks of time during which they did not work-evenings, weekends, even paid vacations. Working hours in factories decreased from 70 hours per week to 60 hours per week from 1860 to 1900.

Role of sports

Some of the sports represented war. At the time there was a crisis of masculinity because female and male were beginning to merge in the workplace. Sports recreated the division of gender.

Birth of a Nation

controversial but highly influential and innovative silent film directed by d.w. griffith. it demonstrated the power of film propaganda and revived the kkk.

William Randolph Hearst

Leading newspaper publisher who controlled nine newpapers and two magazines by 1914

Literary Realism

American literature recreating urban sociall reality. This trend was found early in the voice of Stephen Crane, The Red badge of Courage (1895), Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893)

Ashcan School


Gilded Age politics


Who voted for which party?








James Garfield


Pendleton Act


Grover Cleveland


Benjamin Harrison


Sherman Antitrust Act


McKinley Tariff


Interstate Commerce Act


National Grange


Farmer's Alliance


Populist Party and platform


Panic of 1893


Coxey's Army


Free Silver


William Jennings Bryan




Alfred Thayer Mahan


Frederick Jackson Turner


Other reasons for imperialism




Spanish-American War


De Lome letter


Yellow journalism


The Maine


San Juan Hill and Rough Riders


Foraker Act


Philippines Debate and War


Emilio Aguinaldo


Platt Amendment


Open Door


Boxer Rebellion


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