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U.S. History Unit 2

Gilded Age

capitalism an economic system in which individuals are free to own means of production and to maximize profits
free enterprise freedom of private business to organize and operate for profit in a competitive system without interference by government beyond regulation necessary to protect public interest and keep the national economy in balance
laissez-faire (pronounced LAH-ZAY-FAIR) a French term literally translating to "allow to do;" it means the absence of government control over personal and economic life
protective tariffs the taxes on imported goods designed to protect domestic industry
entrepreneurs people who build and manage businesses or enterprises in order to make a profit, often risking their own money and livelihoods
patent official rights given by the government to an inventor for the exclusive right to develop, use, and sell an invention for a set period of time
Thomas Edison (b.1847-d.1931) an American inventor; he held over 1,000 patents for inventions, including the light bulb, an early movie projector, and an alkaline battery
mass production production of goods in large numbers through the use of machinery and assembly lines
assembly line arrangement of workers in which work passes from operation to operation in direct line until the product is assembled
Henry Ford (b.1863-d.1947) founder of the Ford Motor Company; he revolutionized the automobile industry with his assembly line and treatment of workers
cash crop a crop grown on a large scale intended for sale
corporation a company recognized as a legal unit that has rights and liabilities separate from each of its members
monopoly exclusive control by one company over an entire industry
cartel an association of producers of a good or service that prices and controls stocks in order to monopolize the market
trust a group of separate companies that are placed under the control of a single managing board of directors in order to form a monopoly
Sherman Anti-Trust Act a law passed in 1890 which banned any trust that restrained interstate trade or commerce
Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) first federal independent agency monitoring business operations, created in 1887 to oversee interstate railroad procedures
robber baron an individual in an industry who uses ruthless means to acquire and maintain personal wealth
captain of industry an individual in an industry who acquires and maintains personal wealth fairly, and often shares their wealth with society
Social Darwinism the belief held by some in the late 1800s that wealth was a measure of an individual's inherent value, and that those who had it were the most "fit" in society
philanthropy the giving of financial donations to charitable causes, organizations, or institutions
John D. Rockefeller (b.1839-d.1937) an American industrialist and philanthropist; he began the Standard Oil Company and dominated the oil industry with innovative, aggressive business practices
vertical integration system of consolidating firms involved in all steps of a product's manufacture
Andrew Carnegie (b.1835-d.1919) an American industrialist and philanthropist who began Carnegie Steel, a corporation that dominated the American steel industry
horizontal integration system of consolidating many firms in the same business
Bessemer process method developed in the mid-nineteenth century for making steel more efficiently
sweatshops small factories where employees have to work long hours under poor conditions for little pay
company towns communities in which residents rely upon one company for jobs, housing, and buying goods
collective bargaining process in which employers negotiate with labor unions about hours, wages, and other working conditions
socialism a system or theory under which the means of production are publicly controlled and regulated rather than owned by individuals
Eugene V. Debs (b.1855-d.1926) a labor organizer and social leader who advocated for the rights of railway workers; he ran for president five times between 1900 and 1920 as a candidate for the Socialist Party
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) a radical, socialist union of unskilled workers founded in part by Eugene V. Debs; its members, called "Wobblies," led many violent strikes
Knights of Labor a labor union that sought to organize all workers and focused on broad social reforms ; it was the first national labor union in the United States
Terence V. Powderly (b.1849-d.1924) an American labor leader who led the Knights of Labor for several years in the late 1800s with the goal of leading American workers out of what he saw as the bondage of wage labor
American Federation of Labor (AFL) a labor union that organized skilled workers in a specific trade and made specific demands rather than seeking broad changes
Samuel Gompers (b.1850-d.1924) an American labor leader and first president of the American Federation of Labor; he advocated organized strikes and boycotts to achieve the organization's goals
Haymarket Riot an 1886 labor-related protest in Chicago which ended in deadly violence
Homestead Strike an 1892 strike against Andrew Carnegie's steelworks in Homestead, Pennsylvania
Pullman Strike a violent 1894 railway workers' strike which began outside Chicago and spread nationwide
"new" immigrants southern and eastern European immigrants who arrived in the United States in a great wave of immigration between 1880 and 1920
steerage third-class accommodations on a steam ships;
Ellis Island an island in New York harbor that served as an immigration station for millions of immigrants arriving to the United States
Angel Island an island in San Fransisco bay that operated as an immigration station for mainly Asian immigrants arriving to the United States
Americanization the belief that assimilating immigrants into American society would make them more loyal citizens
nativism the inclination to favor native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants
melting pot a metaphor to explain a society in which people of different nationalities assimilate to form one culture
salad bowl a metaphor to explain a society in which people of different nationalities separate themselves, and keep their own distinct identities
xenophobia (pronounced ZEE-NO-FO-BEE-AH) the fear of foreigners, or what is perceived to be foreign or strange
Chinese Exclusion Act an 1882 law that prohibited the immigration of Chinese laborers
Gilded Age a term coined by Mark Twain to describe the post-Reconstruction era as a facade of prosperity
urbanization expansion of cities and/or an increase in the number of people living in them
rural-to-urban migrants people who move from an agricultural area to a city
skyscrapers very tall buildings
tenements multistory buildings divided into apartments to house as many tenants as possible
cholera a severe bacterial infection of the small intestine that causes dehydration, usually caused by drinking contaminated water
suspension bridges bridges that have a roadway suspended by cables
mass transit public transportation systems that carry large numbers of people
suburbs residential areas surrounding a city
Elisha Otis (b.1811-d.1861) an American who invented the first safety elevator in 1852, first designed for freight, but later adapted for passengers
Frederick Law Olmsted (b.1822-d.1903) an influential American landscape architect best known for designing Central Park in New York City
James A. Garfield (b.1831-d.1881) an Ohio statesman, former Union general, teacher, and canal worker who served as the 20th President of the United States; he was assassinated by a disgruntled office seeker in 1881
Chester A. Arthur (b.1829-d.1886) a New York politician who became the 21st President of the United States after the assassination of James Garfield
Grover Cleveland (b.1837-d.1908) a New York statesman who served as both the 22nd and 24th President of the United States; he is the only U.S. President to serve two non-consecutive terms
Benjamin Harrison (b.1833-d.1901) an Indiana statesman who served as the 23rd President of the United States; he was grandson of the 9th President of the United States, William Henry Harrison; while in office he supported protective tariffs and the Sherman Anti Trust Act
spoils system the practice of the political party in power giving jobs and appointments to its supporters, rather than to people based on their qualifications
political machines a political party's organization that wins voter loyalty and guarantees power to a small group of leaders, who often abuse it for their own gain
William "Boss" Tweed (b.1823-d.1873) an American politician best known as "boss" of the political machine, Tammany Hall, in New York City
civil service government departments and their non-elected employees
Pendleton Civil Service Act an 1883 law that created a civil service system for the federal government in an attempt to hire employees on a merit system rather than a spoils system
Created by: colehaugen


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