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Gilded Age Vocab

vocabulary of the Gilded Age era

TermDefinition
Transcontinental Railroad Completed in 1969, it connected the east and west coast by rail reducing travel time from several months to a few weeks and creates a national market
Alexander Graham Bell Invented the telephone in 1876
Telephone Allowed people to communicate across great distances through electrical wires
Thomas Edison Produce the first effective light bulb in 1879
Free Enterprise System Individuals have the freedom to make their own economic decisions
National Market Railroads, telegraph, and telephone linked together different parts of the country, creating the ability to sell product throughout the country
Corporation A company chartered by a state and recognized in law as a separate "person" issuing stocks to shareholders
Entrepreneur A person who starts a business hoping to make a profit
"Gilded Age" The period from 1865 to 1900 when many entrepreneurs reaped huge profits, created immense wealth for themselves and lived lavish lifestyles
Captain of Industry Entrepreneurs of the Gilded Age like Carnegie and Rockerfeller are sometimes referred to this way because they forged the modern industrial economy
Robber Baron Entrepreneurs of the Gilded Age are sometimes referred to this way because of the ruthless tactics they used to destroy competition and keep their workers' wages low
Andrew Carnegie Worked his way up from poor immigrant to one of America's richest men as the owner of a steel company. Also known for philanthropy
Philanthropy Concern for humanity usually expressed through a donation of money or time
John D. Rockerfeller An entrepreneur of the Gilded Age who made his fortune in oil. His company, Standard Oil, became a monopoly and was eventually broken up by the government
Monopoly A company having complete control over the supply of a product or service
Interstate Commerce Act A federal law prohibiting unfair practices by railroads, such as charging higher rates for shorter routes
Sherman Anti-trust Act A federal law created to stop monopolies engaging in unfair practices that prevent fair competition
Child Labor In the late 1800s and early 1900s children were often worked in textile mills and coal mines under dangerous and unhealthy conditions
Laissez-faire The theory that government should not interfere in the operation of the free market
Union An organized association of workers formed to protect and further their rights and interests
Knights of Labor The first national labor union joining together all skilled and unskilled workers. It ultimately failed due to a lack of organization and a lack of unity among the skilled and unskilled workers
AFL American Federation of Labor (1881) Consisted of separate unions of skilled workers which joined together into a federation. Membership was limited to skilled, specialized for workers
Samuel Gompers He founded the AFL and worked toward higher pay, an 8-hour work day, and better working conditions for workers
Urbanization Movement of people from the countryside to towns and cities
Demography The study of population
Bessemer Process made the production of steel faster and more economical
Tenement single-room apartments, often without heat or lighting. Frequently, many families shared a single toilet
Political Machine Controlled city government. Provided jobs and other services to immigrants and the poor in exchange for their votes
Political "Bosses" Leaders of political machines
Immigration
Push Factors Reasons immigrants choose to leave their home and home country, can include oppression, poverty, religious discrimination, or ethnic persecution
Pull Factors reasons immigrants choose to go to a new country, can include economic opportunity, freedom from oppression, family and cultural ties
"New Immigrants" Immigrants who came to the United States after 1880, who spoke no English
Ethnic Ghettos A neighborhood where people of similar background and culture live
Nativists Those who believed that those "born" in or "native" to the United States were superior to or better than the "new immigrants"
Americanization The process where immigrants learn to speak, dress, and act like other Americans. Adopting the culture of"mainstream" America
Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 first federal law to restrict immigration. Chinese immigrants banned for 10 years
Frontier The line separating areas of settlement from unsettled wilderness territory
Great Plains Part of North America that covers a large area of land in the middle of the continent. Home to millions of buffalo and inhabited by numerous Native American tribes who hunted the buffalo for food and for the hides.
Klondike Gold Rush 1898 gold discovery in Alaska/Canada
Homestead Act 1862. Gave 160 acres of government land to any citizen who "improved" the land for five years by building a house and growing crops. After five years, the homesteaders would own land
Indian Wars Wars between the Great Plains Native American tribes and the United States government. The Indian Wars ended with the Massacre at Wounded Knee
Reservations Areas of land given to Native American Tribes by the US government. Often undesirable land and smaller than the area the tribes had previously occupied
Dawes Act Law passed to speed up the Am
American Indian Citizenship Act
Created by: parker02