Progressive Era Vocabulary

American History II Honors



make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Political Machine:

unofficial city organization designed to keep a particular group in power.


proceeding step by step.


Writers who exposed corruption in politics and business in the early 20th century.


The act of forbidding something; by law.

Disenfranchisement: Describes a person or group who have been stripped from their power



to search for and expose real or alleged corruption, scandal

De facto segregation:

Racial segregation, especially in public schools

De Jure Segregation

separation enforced by law


the acquisition (gain) of money, gain, or advantage by dishonest, unfair, or illegal means.


a new plan or process to achieve something or solve a problem


an event in which the people of a county, state, etc., vote for or against a law that deals with a specific issue



bring (a fact, event, or situation) back into one's mind,


a person who remains aloof or independent, especially from party politics.

Niagara Movement:

was a black civil rights organization founded in 1905 by a group led by W. E. B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter

Poll Tax:

tax of a fixed amount per person levied on adults and often linked to the right to vote.


the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is a civil rights organization founded in 1909 to fight prejudice, lynching, and Jim Crow segregation, and to work for the betterment of "people of color."

Pendleton Act:

is a federal law established in 1883 that decided that government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit instead of political affiliation.

Vocabulary (Including Amendments)

Sherman Anti-Trust Act:

A federal law passed in 1890 that committed the American government to opposing monopolies.

16th amendment:

Permits congress to levy an Income tax

17th amendment:

Establishes the direct election of U.S Senators by popular vote.

18th amendment:

Prohibited the manufacturing or selling of alcohol

19th amendment:

Prohibits the denial of right to vote based on sex.

20th amendment:

Changes the date on which the terms of the President and Vice President (January 20) and Senators and Representatives (January 3) end and begin.

Great Migration:

was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the rural Southern United States to the urban Northeast, Midwest, and West that occurred between 1910 and 1970.


Plessy v. Ferguson (1896):

Supreme Court case upheld the constitutionality of segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine

US v. EC Knight Company (1895): known as the "Sugar Trust Case," was a United States Supreme Court case that limited the government's power to control monopolies

American Tobacco v. US (1911):

restraint of trade and an attempt to monopolize the business of tobacco in interstate commerce

Clayton Anti-Trust Act:

supplement existing laws against unlawful restraints and monopolies, and for other purposes.