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Misc. terms from US History TEKS

political machines organized groups of dishonest politicians who used illegitimate means to get the group's own candidates elected to all of the top jobs in the city government. and used their power to make the leaders of the organization rich.
the Social Gospel a movement which applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, slums, unclean environment, child labor, inadequate labor unions, and poor schools.
philanthropy the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes; for example, Andrew Carnegie using private funds to build public libraries.
Fourteen Points President Woodrow Wilson's plans for a lasting peace after WWI that included the League of Nations. Most points were rejected by European nations who wanted revenge against Germany; Americans rejected membership in the League of Nations.
Treaty of Versailles Peace agreement that ended WWI but was so punitive against Germany that it sewed seeds of discord that led to WWII.
Battle of Argonne Forest one of a series of Allied attacks which brought WWI to an end. It was the largest and bloodiest operation of World War I for the American Expeditionary Force (AEF).
Muckrakers reform-minded American journalists who exposed established institutions and leaders as corrupt.
Social Darwinism the theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same Darwinian laws of natural selection as plants and animals; used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform.
eugenics During the Progressive Era people believed in this method of preserving and improving the dominant groups in the population; now generally associated with racist and nativist elements.
nativism the policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants; hostility to things foreign
the Red Scare promotion of widespread fear by a society or state about a potential rise of communism, anarchism, or radical leftism; in the 1920s after the Bolshevik Revolution and in the 1950s in the beginning of the Cold War.
Prohibition the prevention by law of the manufacture and sale of alcohol, especially in the US between 1920 and 1933.
war bonds debt securities issued by a government to finance military operations and other expenditure in times of war.
Victory Gardens a vegetable garden, especially a home garden, planted to increase food production during a war.
Truman Doctrine an American foreign policy whose stated purpose was to counter or contain Soviet geopolitical expansion during the Cold War.
Marshall Plan A massive aid program begun in 1947 t rebuild the war-torn countries of Western Europe in effort to stabilize the continent and to limit the spread of Soviet influence.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
McCarthyism a campaign against alleged communists in the US government and other institutions carried out under Senator Joseph McCarthy in the period 1950–54.
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) created to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having communist ties.
Venona Papers an American government effort from 1943-1980 to decrypt coded messages by intelligence forces of the Soviet Union; part of the case against the Rosenbergs.
containment a Cold War foreign policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism.
Domino Theory a Cold War policy that suggested a communist government in one nation would quickly lead to communist takeovers in neighboring states
Vietnamization the US policy of withdrawing its troops and transferring the responsibility and direction of the war effort to the government of South Vietnam.
credibility gap a difference in perception between the government and its people; a disconnect between what is being reported what people believe; most frequently used to describe public skepticism about the Lyndon B. Johnson statements on the Vietnam War.
the silent majority refers to the large number of voters who felt disrespected and silenced by the American political process in the late 1960s.
egalitarianism the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
populism a political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against a privileged elite; espoused by the People's Party formed in 1892.
Laissez-faire governments refrain from interfering in the workings of the free market.
Tin Pan Alley the name given to the collection of New York City music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
the Harlem Renaissance the development of the Harlem neighborhood in New York City as a black cultural mecca in the early 20th Century and the subsequent social and artistic explosion that resulted. Lasting roughly from the 1910s through the mid-1930s
Beat Generation a literary movement whose central elements included rejection of standard narrative values, spiritual quest, rejection of materialism, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and sexual liberation and exploration.
Chicano Mural Movement the use of the walls of city buildings, housing projects, schools, and churches to depict Mexican-American culture; part of the effort of Hispanics to reinvigorate their cultural heritage, to affirm cultural identity and challenge racism.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) A cartel of oil-exporting nations; embargoed the US in 1973 in response for American support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War.
General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating one of the world’s largest free trade zones
Contract with America detailed the actions the Republicans promised to take if they became the majority party in the United States House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years after the midterm elections of 1994.
Moral Majority a political action group formed in the 1970s to further a conservative and religious agenda. Represented the rise in political activism among organized religion's radical right wing.
Panama Canal a manmade a water passage across the isthmus of Panama to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; control over this passage gave the US advantages in trade and influence in Latin America.
Rust Belt a region of the United States, made up mostly of places in the Midwest and Great Lakes, though the term may be used to include any location where industry declined starting around 1980.
Sun Belt the southern US from California to Florida; the site of rapid economic and population growth in the 1970s.
National Park System agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a government agency that maintains and enforces national standards to protect the environment.
Open Door Policy statement of principles initiated by the US in 1899 and 1900 for the protection of equal privileges among countries trading with China and in support of Chinese territorial and administrative integrity. A change from America's tradition of isolationism.
Dollar Diplomacy a form of American foreign policy to further its aims in Latin America and East Asia through use of its economic power by guaranteeing loans made to foreign countries. (Taft administration).
Warren Harding's Return to Normalcy 1920 presidential slogan reflecting the candidate's hope that the United States would go back to the way things were before the decade of progressive politics and foreign interventions,
Federal Reserve System the central banking system of the US whose job is to maximize employment, stabilize prices, moderate long-term interest rates, supervise and regulate banks, and maintain the stability of the financial system.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation an independent agency created by the Congress to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system by insuring deposits and examining and supervising financial institutions for safety and soundness and consumer protection.
Securities and Exchange Commission federal agency whose responsibility is enforcing the federal securities laws, proposing securities rules, and regulating the securities industry, the nation's stock and options exchanges.
Social Security Administration agency of the U.S. federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits.
Baby Boom The rise in births following WWII.
Great Society a domestic program in the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson that instituted federally sponsored social welfare programs.
affirmative action The use of laws or regulations to achieve racial , ethnic, gender, or other diversity, as in hiring or school admissions. Primarily aimed at improving educational for employment opportunities for women and minorities.
court packing President Franklin Roosevelt's plan to appoint additional Supreme Court justices to prevent more of his New Deal programs from being ruled unconstitutional. Congress rejected the plan.
Détente Period of the easing of Cold War tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union from 1967 to 1979. The era was a time of increased trade and cooperation with the Soviet Union and the signing of the SALT treaties.
Manhattan Project the code name for the American-led effort to develop a functional atomic weapon during World War II.
New Deal a series of programs and projects instituted during the Great Depression by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that aimed to restore prosperity to Americans.
Created by: nchaplinlewis