U.S. History Vocabulary.

Chapter 3 & 5.

American Industrial Revolution:

The Industrial Revolution took place over more than a century, as production of goods moved from home businesses, where products were generally crafted by hand, to machine-aided production in factories.

Laissez Faire:

Belief in laissez-faire was a popular view during the 19th century; its proponents cited the assumption in classical economics of a natural economic order as support for their faith in unregulated individual activity.


Trusts (or monopolies) that developed in the 19th century. These large companies wanted to monopolize a particular business, and with no competition they didn't have to worry about fixing prices. Ex. U.S. Steel.

Robber Baron:

Robber Baron was a term applied to a businessman in the 19th century who engaged in unethical and monopolistic practices, wielded widespread political influence, and amassed enormous wealth.

Vertical Integration:

Occurs when a business expands its control over other business that are part of its overall manufacturing process. For example, an oil refining business would be vertically integrated if it owned or controlled pipeline companies, railroads, barrel manufacturers, etc.

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Horizontal Integration:

Occurs when a business expands its control over other similar or closely related businesses. For example, an oil refining business would be horizontally integrated if it owned or controlled other oil refineries.

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Political Machine:

Political Machines were orgainizations that provided social services and jobs in exchange foir votes. The machines were run by a boss who in turn had precinct captains, ward captains and district captains underneath him. All of them made sure that the poor has what they needed.

Ellis Island:

Opened in 1892 as a federal immigration station, a purpose it served for more than 60 years (it closed in 1954). Millions of newly arrived immigrants passed through the station during that time–in fact, it has been estimated that close to 40 percent of all current U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors to Ellis Island.


A tenement is, in most English-speaking areas, a substandard multi-family dwelling in the urban core, usually old and occupied by the poor.

Ethnics Enclaves:

Usually urban areas, within which culturally distinct minority communities maintain ways of life largely separate from those of the generally larger communities that surround them.


Is the political position of preserving status for certain established inhabitants of a nation as compared to claims of newcomers or immigrants.

Gilded Age:

Was an era of rapid economic growth, especially in the North and West. As American wages were much higher than those in Europe, especially for skilled workers, the period saw an influx of millions of European immigrants.

Social Darwinism:

Economically, social Darwinists argue that the strong should see their wealth and power increase while the weak should see their wealth and power decrease.


That were designed to prepare foreign-born residents of the United States for full participation in citizenship. It aimed not only at the achievement of naturalization but also at an understanding of and commitment to principles of American life and work.

Populist Party:

Also known as the Populist Party or the Populists, was a short-lived agrarian-populist political party in theUnited States that most historians agree was on the left-wing of American politics. It was highly critical of capitalism, especially banks and railroads, and allied itself with the labor movement.

Gospel of Wealth:

"Wealth", more commonly known as "The Gospel of Wealth", is an article written by Andrew Carnegie in 1889 that describes the responsibility of philanthropy by the new upper class of self-made rich.

Social Gospel Movement:

Was a religious movement that arose during the second half of the nineteenth century. Ministers, especially ones belonging to the Protestant branch of Christianity, began to tie salvation and good works together. They argued that people must emulate the life of Jesus Christ.


They believe that individuality, progress, and change are fundamental to one's education. Believing that people learn best from what they consider most relevant to their lives, progressivists center their curricula on the needs, experiences, interests, and abilities of students. Progressivist teachers try making school interesting and useful by planning lessons that provoke curiosity.


The muckrakers provided detailed, accurate journalistic accounts of the political and economic corruption and social hardships caused by the power of big business in a rapidly industrializing United States.

John D. Rockefeller:

Born in July 8, 1839, U.S.—died May 23, 1937. American industrialist and philanthropist, founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust.
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Andrew Carnegie:

Born November 25, 1835—died August 11, 1919,U.S. Scottish-born American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. He was also one of the most important philanthropists of his era.
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JP Morgan:

Born April 17, 1837, U.S.—died March 31, 1913, Italy. American financier and industrial organizer, one of the world’s foremost financial figures during the two pre-World War I decades. He reorganized several major railroads and consolidated the United States Steel, International Harvester, and General Electric corporations.
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Cornelius Vanderbilt:

Born May 27, 1794, U.S.—died January 4, 1877. American shipping and railroad magnate who acquired a personal fortune of more than $100 million.
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Thomas Edison:

Born February 11, 1847, U.S.—died October 18, 1931. American inventor who, singly or jointly, held a world record 1,093 patents. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial research laboratory.
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Henry Ford:

Born July 30, 1863, U.S.—died April 7, 1947. American industrialist who revolutionized factory production with his assembly-line methods. Celebrated as both a technological genius and a folk hero, Ford was the creative force behind an industry of unprecedented size and wealth that in only a few decades permanently changed the economic and social character of the United States.
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Samuel Gompers:

Born January 27, 1850, England—died December 13, 1924, U.S. American labour leader and first president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
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William "Boss" Tweed:

Born April 3, 1823, U.S.—died April 12, 1878. American politician who, with his “Tweed ring” cronies, systematically plundered New York City of sums estimated at between $30,000,000 and $200,000,000.
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Upton Sinclair:

Born Sept. 20, 1878, U.S.—died Nov. 25, 1966. American novelist and polemicist for socialism and other causes; his The Jungle is a landmark among naturalistic, proletarian novels.
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Jacob Riis:

Born May 3, 1849—diedMay 26, 1914, U.S. American newspaper reporter, social reformer, and photographer who, with his book How the Other Half Lives (1890), shocked the conscience of his readers with factual descriptions of slum conditions in New York City.
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Theodore Roosevelt:

Born October 27, 1858, U.S.—died January 6, 1919. The 26th president of the United States (1901–09) and a writer, naturalist, and soldier. He expanded the powers of the presidency and of the federal government in support of the public interest in conflicts between big business and labour and steered the nation toward an active role in world politics, particularly in Europe and Asia.
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William Taft:

Born September 15, 1857, U.S.—died March 8, 1930. 27th president of the United States (1909–13) and 10th chief justice of the United States (1921–30). As the choice of Pres. Theodore Roosevelt to succeed him and carry on the progressive Republican agenda, Taft as president alienated the progressives.
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Meat Inspection Act:

U.S. legislation, signed by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt on June 30, 1906, that prohibited the sale of adulterated or misbranded livestock and derived products as food and ensured that livestock were slaughtered and processed under sanitary conditions.

Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC):

(1887–1996), the first regulatory agency established in the United States, and a prototype for independent government regulatory bodies.
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Children's Bureau 1912:

Was formally created in 1912 when President William Howard Taft signed into law a bill creating the new federal government organization. The stated purpose of the new Bureau was to investigate and report "upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people."

Sherman Anti-Trust Act:

First legislation enacted by the United States Congress (1890) to curb concentrations of power that interfere with trade and reduce economic competition. It was named for U.S. Senator John Sherman of Ohio, who was an expert on the regulation of commerce.

16th Amendment:

(1913) to the Constitution of the United States permitting a federal income tax.

17th Amendment:

(1913) to the Constitution of the United States that provided for the direct election of U.S. senators by the voters of the states.

18th Amendment:

(1919) to the Constitution of the United States imposing the federal prohibition of alcohol.

19th Amendment:

(1920) to the Constitution of the United States that officially extended the right to vote to women.