APUSH Key Terms Quarter 3

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Andrew Carnegie

Scottish-born industrialist who developed the U.S. steel industry; his is a rags-to-riches story as he made a fortune in business and sold his holdings in 1901 for $447 million. He spent the rest of his life giving away $350 million to worthy cultural and educational causes.


Bloody Shirt

Republican campaign tactic that blamed the Democrats for the Civil War; it was used successfully in campaigns from 1868 to 1876 to keep Democrats out of public office, especially the presidency.


Coxey's Army (1894)

unemployed workers led by Jacob Coxey who marched to Washington demanding a government road-building program and currency inflation for the needy; Coxey was arrested for stepping on grass at the Capitol and the movement collapsed.


Credit Mobilier

a major scandal in Grant's second term; a construction company, aided by members of Congress, bilked the government out of $20-40 million in building the transcontinental railroad. Members of Congress were bribed to cover up the overcharges.


Dawes General Allotment Act (1887)

abolished communal ownership on Indian reservations; each family head got 160 acres of reservation land; 80 acres for a single person; 40 acres for each dependent child. More than two-thirds of Indians' remaining lands were lost due to this law.


Eugene V. Debs

Labor leader arrested during the Pullman Strike (1894); a convert to socialism, Debs ran for president five times between 1900 and 1920. In 1920, he campaigned from prison where he was being held for opposition to American involvement in World War I.


"Free silver"

political movement to inflate currency by government issuance of $16 of silver for every $1 of gold in circulation; it was supported by farmers, who sought to counter declining crop prices and increase the money supply. It became a symbol of liberating poor farmers from the grasp of wealthy easterners.


"Grandfather clause"

laws in southern states that exempted voters from taking literacy tests or paying poll taxes if their grandfathers had voted as of January 1, 1867; it effectively gave white southerners the vote and disenfranchised African Americans.


Granger Movement (National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry) (1837)

a farmers' organization and movement that started as a social/educational association; the Grange later organized politically to pass a series of laws to regulate railroads in various states.


Grover Cleveland

only Democrat elected to presidency from 1856 to 1912; he served two nonconsecutive terms; elected in 1884, losing in 1888, and winning again in 1892. His second term was marred by the Depression of 1893.


Haymarket Riot (1886)

violent incident at a workers' rally held in Chicago's Haymarket Square; political radicals and labor leaders called the rally to support a strike at the nearby McCormick Reaper works. When police tried to break it up, a bomb was thrown into their midst, killing 8 and wounding 67 others. The incident hurt the Knights of Labor and Governor John Altgeld, who pardoned some of the anarchist suspects.


Homestead Act (1862)

encouraged westward settlement by allowing heads of families to buy 160 acres of land for a small fee ($10-30); settlers were required to develop and remain on the land for five years. Over 400,000 families got land through this law.


James B. Weaver

former Civil War general who ran for president with the Greenback Party (1880) and the Populist Party (1892).


Jim Crow laws

series of laws passed in southern states in the 1880s and 1890s that segregated the races in many facets of life, including public conveyances, waiting areas, bathrooms, and theaters; it legalized segregation and was upheld as constitutional by Plessy v. Ferguson.


John D. Rockefeller

founder of Standard Oil Company; at one time his companies controlled 85-90 percent of refined oil in America. Standard Oil became the model for monopolizing an industry and creating a trust.


Knights of Labor

labor union founded in 1869 and built by Terence V. Powderly; the Knights called for one big union, replacement of the wage system with producers' cooperatives, and discouraged use of strikes. By 1886, they claimed membership of 700,000. Membership declined after the union's association with the Haymarket Riot of 1886.


"New immigration"

wave of immigration from the 1880s until the early twentieth century; millions came from southern and eastern Europe, who were poor, uneducated, Jewish, and Catholic. They settled in large cities and prompted a nativist backlash and, eventually, restrictions on immigration in the 1920s. These immigrants provided the labor force that allowed the rapid growth of American industry in the late 1880s and early 1900s.


Pendleton Act (1883)

reform passed by Congress that restricted the spoils system; passed in part in reaction to assassination of President Garfield by a disappointed office seeker in 1881, it established the U.S. Civil Service Commission to administer a merit system for hiring in government jobs.


Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Supreme Court case about Jim Crow railroad cars in Louisiana; the Court decided by 7 to 1 that legislation could not overcome racial attitudes, and that it was constitutional to have "separate but equal" facilities for blacks and whites.


Populist Party (1892)

a largely farmers' party aiming to inflate currency and to promote government action against railroads and trusts; it also called for a graduated income tax and immigration restrictions. Its platform was never enacted in the 1890s, but it became the basis of some Progressive reforms in the early twentieth century. It is also known as the Peoples Party.


Samuel Gompers

labor leader and president of American Federation of Labor, founded in 1886; Gompers believed that craft unionism would gain skilled workers better wages and working conditions. He emphasized support for capitalism and opposition to socialism.


Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)

first federal action against monopolies; the law gave government power to regulate combinations "in restraint of trade." Until the early 1900s, however, this power was used more often against labor unions than against trusts.


Social Darwinism

the application of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to the business world; William Graham Sumner, a Yale professor, promoted these ideas and lobbied against any government regulation in society. Industrialists and social conservatives used these arguments to justify ruthless business tactics and widespread poverty among the working class.



Republicans in the 1870s who supported Ulysses Grant and Roscoe Conkling; they accepted machine politics and the spoils system and were challenged by other Republicans called Half-Breeds, who supported civil service reform.


Transcontinental railroad

linked the nation from coast to coast in 1869; the Union Pacific Railroad built west from Omaha and the Central Pacific started east from Sacramento. The federal government supported construction with over $75 million in land grants, loans and cash.


Tweed Ring

scandal in New York City (1868-1871); William Marcy Tweed headed a corrupt Democratic political machine (Tammany Hall) that looted $100-200 million from the city. Crusading journalists and others pointed to this organization and its activities as another example of the need for social and political reform.


William Jennings Bryan

a spokesman for agrarian western values,1896-1925, and three-time Democratic presidential candidate (1896-1900, 1908); in 1896 his "Cross of Gold" speech and a free-silver platform gained support from Democratics and Populists, but he lost the election.


William McKinley

Republican president, 1897-1901, who represented the conservative Eastern establishment; he stood for expansion, high tariffs, and the gold standard. He led the nation during the Spanish-American War (1898) and was assassinated in 1901 by a radical political anarchist.


Alfred Thayer Mahan

naval officer, writer, teacher, and philosopher of the new imperialism of the 1890s; he stressed the need for naval power to drive expansion and establish America's place in the world as a great power.


Big Four

the leaders who constructed the Treaty of Versailles: Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau (France), David Lloyd George (Britain), and Vittorio Orlando (Italy)


Big Stick policy

Theodore Roosevelt's method for achieving American goals in the Caribbean; it featured the threat and use of military force to promote America's commercial supremacy, to limit European intervention in the region, and to protect the Panama Canal.


Boxer Rebellion (1900)

an uprising against foreigners in China that trapped a group of diplomats in Peking (Beijing); their rescue by an international army created fears in the United States that China would be partitioned and prompted the Second Open Door Note.


Dollar Diplomacy

President Taft's policy that encouraged American business and financial interests to invest in Latin American countries to achieve U.S. economic and foreign policy goals and maintain control; if problems persisted, the United States reverted to the Big Stick option of the Roosevelt administration, turning to military intervention and employment of force to restore stability and peace.


Emilio Aguinaldo

Filipino patriot who led a rebellion against both Spain and the United States from 1896 to 1902, seeking independence for the Philippines; his capture in 1901 helped break the resistance to American control of the islands.


Fourteen Points (1918)

Woodrow Wilson's vision for the world after World War I; it called for free trade, self-determination for all peoples, freedom of the seas, open diplomacy, and a League of Nations. Wilson hoped his Fourteen Points would be the basis for a negotiated settlement to end the war. However, they were not harsh enough on Germany for the other Allies to accept. Only a few of them were incorporated into the treaty.


George Dewey

naval hero of the Spanish-American War; his fleet defeated the Spanish at Manila Bay and gave the United States a tenuous claim to the Philippine Islands.


Henry Cabot Lodge

chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who accepted the Treaty of Versailles and membership in the League but demanded reservations to the League to maintain congressional authority in foreign affairs; Wilson's unwillingness to accept these conditions caused the Senate to reject the treaty.


John Fiske

historian and expansionist who argued that, with the superiority of its democracy, the United States was destined to spread over "every land on the earth's surface."


John Hay

secretary of state in the McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt administrations; he was the author of the Open Door Notes, which attempted to protect American interests in China in the early 20th century by asking European countries to pledge equal trading rights in China and the protection of its territory from foreign annexation.


John Pershing

American commander in France during World War I; his nickname of the "Black Jack" resulted from his command of black troops earlier in his career. Before being dispatched to France, Pershing led an American incursion into Mexico in 1916 in a failed attempt to capture Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa.


Josiah Strong

expansionist who blended racist and religious reasons to justify American expansion in the 1880s and 1890s; he saw the Anglo-Saxon race as trained by God to expand throughout the world and spread Christianity along the way.



British passenger liner sunk by a German submarine in May 1915; among the 1,200 deaths were 128 Americans. This was the first major crisis between the United States and Germany and a stepping-stone for American involvement in World War I.


The Maine

U.S. battleship sent to Havana in early 1898 to protect American interests; it blew up mysteriously in February 1898 killing 266 men. American newspapers blamed the Spanish, helping to cause toe war. In 1976, it was discovered that the ship blew up accidentally.


Pineapple Republic

popular name for the government American sugar planters in Hawaii set up in 1894 after they, assisted by the U.S. ambassador there and Marines from a U.S. warship offshore, overthrew the Hawaiian monarch; the rebels immediately sought annexation by the United States, an action supported by many members of Congress. President Cleveland opposed it, and the islands remained independent until 1898, when Congress, with President McKinley's approval, made Hawaii a territory of the United States.


Platt Amendment (1901)

an amendment added to Cuba's constitution by the Cuban government, after pressure from the United States; it provided that Cuba would make no treaties that compromised its independence or granted concessions to other countries without U.S. approval. The amendment was abrogated in 1934.


Roosevelt Corollary (1903)

addendum to the Monroe Doctrine issued after the Dominican Republic got into financial trouble with several European nations; the United States assumed the right to intervene in Latin American countries to promote "civilized" behavior and protect American interests.


Teller Amendment (1898)

part of the declaration of war against Spain in which Congress pledged that Cuba would be freed and not annexed by the United States as a result of the conflict.


Theodore Roosevelt

assistant secretary of the navy, who headed a volunteer regiment in the Spanish-American War; nicknamed the Rough Riders by the press, the First Volunteer Cavalry consisted of Roosevelt's colorful friends from the West and his Harvard days. After the war, Roosevelt "rode" his Rough Riders image to the vice presidency and then the presidency of the United States.


Treaty of Paris (1898)

ended the Spanish-American War; under its terms, Cuba gained independence from Spain, and the United States acquired Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. The United States paid Spain twenty million dollars for the Philippines.


Treaty of Versailles (1919)

ended World War I; it was much harder on Germany than Wilson wanted but not as punitive as France and England desired. It was harsh enough, however, to set stage for Hitler's rise to power in Germany in 1930s.


Valeriano Weyler

Spanish governor in charge of suppressing the Cuban revolution, 1896-1898; his brutal "reconcentration" tactics earned him the nickname of the "Butcher" in America's yellow press.


William Borah

led a group of senators who were irreconcilably opposed to joining the League of Nations; he promoted ideals of traditional isolationism and believed the League was "an entangling foreign alliance."


William McKinley

president of the United States, 1897-1901; a reluctant expansionist, he led America during the Spanish-American War. His assassination in 1901 brought "that [dang] cowboy" Thodore Roosevelt to the presidency.


Yellow journalism

sensational newspaper stories from Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal that stirred Americans against Spanish rule in Cuba; this media coverage proved a force for war in 1898.


Zimmerman Note (1917)

a secret German proposal to Mexico for an alliance against the United States; Germany offered to help Mexico get back territories it lost to the United States in 1848. Britain alerted the Wilson administration to the plan, and Mexico refused the idea.

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