It helped adjudicate labor disputes, distribute food, and build community institutions such as schools and hospitals. It was established within the Union Army in 1865. Formally known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Land.
This vein of metal in Nevada produced $96 million dollars in silver—more than the combined total from all previous recorded American mining. It was an example of the mineral rushes of the mid-1800s that pulled migrants to the West from all parts of the United States and the globe, generating staggering wealth.
Bureau of Reclamation
Agriculture in the desert West required massive federal support that came with the creation of the Reclamation Service (later renamed this), which eventually funded massive irrigation projects in 16 western states. The simple act of providing water to farmers and ranchers enormously expanded the growth and reach of the federal government.
In the mid-19th century, this valley and several nearby groves of giant Sequoia trees were “discovered” (though the Ahwahneechee tribe had lived there for centuries). The valley was promoted by early entrepreneurs, spurring demand for private enterprises to transport, house, and guide tourists through the area for profit. Recognizing the area’s unique scenery and tourism potential, Congress reserved the land for public use.
Battle of Little Big Horn
This battle in June 1876 was a rare victory for Indians pressured by accelerating U.S. expansion. Custer and the Seventh Cavalry fell to Oglala Sioux leader Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapa Sioux and was instantly mythologized for his “last stand.” Crazy Horse surrendered and was executed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.
This was the political platform of the Populist Party formulated in 1892. It advocated socialization of the nation’s railroads and other farsighted reforms aimed at empowering family farmers in the industrial age. Although many of its demands were late embraced by progressives and New Dealers, it was agribusiness, industrial ranching, and federal subsidies that provided the only consistently successful method for reaping the riches of the Plains.
These tens of thousands of African Americans fled rising racial violence at the end of military reconstruction in 1877 and migrated West to establish new towns and get a fresh start. Like other migrants, they were also pulled by the lure of new opportunities.
A condition coal miners in turn of the century of America suffered from after years of breathing in coal dust. Untreatable, symptoms included cough and shortness of breath. Without government safety regulations of the workplace, American coal miners died at three times the rate of their European counterparts.
The system of racial and social relations that prevailed in the American South in the antebellum period. Independent white males took responsibility for and exerted authority over subordinates, supposedly to look out for the best interests of those under their control.
A national cooperative organization for farmers, promoted cooperation between women and men on their farms and in their households starting in the 1870s.
Passed by the state governments established under Johnson’s readmission policies, the black codes restricted black freedoms and granted limited rights as a means of reimposing control over the African American population in the South.
Morant Bay Rebellion
In the fall of 1865, black agricultural laborers revolted against whites in Jamaica who had denied them access to land and political power. Americans paid careful attention to the this movement, with white southerners using it to justify more control over blacks and abolitionists using it to support their calls for full black equality.
This amendment banned slavery in the United States.
This amendment guaranteed citizenship to blacks and naturalized citizens and equality before the law. It also did not count the black population for apportionment purposes in states where they were denied the right to vote.
The system that emerged in the South after the Civil War to address landowners’ lack of labor and capital, and former slaves’ need for land. Sharecroppers would agree to turn over a portion of their crop in exchange for use of the land for the season.
This amendment prohibited denying the right to vote on the basis of race but did not do anything to enfranchise women.
Looking to better their lives and be able to read the Bible on their own, freed people sought out this skill, which had been denied to them under slavery.
Knights of Labor
This organization emerged as the largest union in the wake of the Railroad Strike of 1877 and aimed to organize all laboring people into one large, national union regardless of race, gender, or national origin. It articulated a scathing critique of industrial capitalism, informed by the Declaration of Independence and the Bible, but the alleged involvement of one union member in the Haymarket bombing in Chicago in 1886 forever tarnished their reputation.
A legal claim to ownership over the crops a farmer grew in the field, providing sharecroppers with some right to the crops they grew. Courts in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee ruled that the crops belonged to the landowner and the portion given to the sharecropper was actually a wage, removing this meager legal protection.
Passed during the Civil War, this act provided 160 acres of land to families who made improvements on the land over a five-year period.
Homestead Act of 1862
This act of 1862 expanded the basic system of settlement established by the Ordinance of 1785 and helped privatize expansive western public lands. Passed during the Civil War by a Congress free of southern opposition, the Act reflected the ideals and goals of the Republican Party and provided title to 160-acre parcels for individuals who made “improvements” to the land over a period of five years.
Grant’s personal friend General Ely Samuel Parker, the first chair of the Board of Indian Commissioners, initiated this policy, which became increasingly difficult to achieve in the 1870s. Between 1869 and 1876, however, the competing goals of peacefully assimilating Indians and pushing them off their land with military force made peace impossible to achieve.
Desert Lands Act
Because the 160 acre parcels of the Homestead Act provision of 1862 were too small for ranching in the arid Southwest and because the five-year wait for full title ownership was too long, Congress passed this act In 1877. Applicable in 11 western states, the Act allowed for homesteading on 640-acre parcels and provided title within three years.
Industrial education for Indians drew support from a new scientific ideology known as this. Adopted from the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, it identified the decline and rise of different racial groups and cultures as evidence of natural selection and the survival of the fittest.
New businesses required massive infusions of capital that they could only obtain through the sale of shares to investors. These corporations also required new forms of management, and railroads pioneered the use of organized departments manned with specialists in engineering, scheduling, and finance.
Sherman Antitrust Act
Public outcry over the concentration of wealth in Gilded Age America forced Congress to pass this act in 1890. The law aimed at dismantling combinations that restrained trade. But the law did not define “fair competition” and “monopoly,” leaving it up to the courts to interpret the law’s meaning. In addition, business interests used the legislation to attack unions.
Chinese Exclusion Act
Urged by white labor organizers, anti-Chinese leagues, community leaders, and western states, the U.S. Congress passed this act in 1882. The act, which nominally suspended immigration, was tightened over the years until harsh immigration restrictions of the early 1920s ended virtually all Asian immigration to the United States. This was not just an American phenomenon; Australians had blazed the racist path by enacting Chinese exclusion acts as early as the 1850s.
General Allotment Act
This act of 1887 divided reservation land into individual parcels and turned tribal land into individual pieces of property. Also known as the Dawes Act, the act was supposed to protect Indians against fraud and incorporate them in the old dream of yeomen farming. In practice, however, the results for tribes were disastrous.
An economic doctrine that insisted that government not interfere with business or the market. This was gospel to businessmen and the politicians they supported. But despite the commitment of “self-made men” to the theory of non-regulation, American businessmen benefited greatly from government aid.
Aimed to dismantle the capitalist system and power of the state, triggered fears that placed the judicial system overwhelmingly on the side of employers. Like the theories of socialism and communism, this idealism came to the United States through immigration. And although communists made up only a small percentage of the American labor movement unions were subsequently branded as threatening, revolutionary, and “un-American.”
American Federation of Labor (AFL)
Headed by Samuel Gompers, this federation embodied “bread and butter” unionism, embracing capitalism and rejecting the long-range, utopian goals of the Knights of Labor. Formed by craft unions with a predominantly white male membership, it focused on claiming “more of the pie.”
A new genre of investigative reporting emerged in Gilded Age America with the writings of Henry Demarest Lloyd and others. It helped bring about major reforms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Ku Klux Klan
Founded in Tennessee in late 1865, this cult spread across the region and used violence and intimidation to limit white Republican and black political power and blacks’ participation in the public sphere during the 1870s.
American Protective Association (APA)
Association advocating strict immigration laws. At its peak in the mid-1890s, the organization boasted half a million members. Like anti-immigrant groups before the Civil War, it spread wild conspiracy theories about Roman Catholics and, for example, blamed the economic collapse of the 1890s on the Pope.
American Railway Union (ARU)
Eugene V. Deb, a veteran in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, founded this union in 1893 because he believed that railway workers could increase their power by organizing one industry-wide union. The depression of the 1890s had deeply hurt railway workers in the form of cuts in wages and hours, and this union asserted its power to protect workers for the first time in response to wage cuts by the Great Northern Railroad in April 1893.
Immigration Restriction League
Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)
Pendleton Civil Service Act
People’s (Populist) Party
Open Door Policy
United Fruit Company
National Municipal League
Keating-Owen Child Labor Act
Jim Crow Laws
Plessy v. Ferguson
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Initiative, referendum, & recall
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Williams v. Mississippi
Lochner v. New York
Muller v. Oregon
Meat Inspection Act
Pure Food & Drug Act
National Parks Act of 1916
National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA)
Treaty of Versailles
American Protective League (APL)
National Security League
Tax Act of 1916
American Expeditionary Force (AEF)
Sedition Act of 1918
League of Nations