Guilded, Populist, and Progressive Era


Isaac Singer


Singer was an inventor, actor, and entrepreneur. He made important improvements in the design of the sewing machine and was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Altough many had patented sewing machines before Singer, his success was based on the practicality of his machine, the ease with which it could be adapted to home use, and its availability on an installment payment basis.

The Homestead Act of 1862


This act encouraged western expansion. It required a three step procedure: file an application, improve the land, and file for deed of title. The Homestead Act of 1862 gave rise later to a new phenomenon, large land rushes, such as the Oklahoma Land Grab of the 1880s and 90s

Marshall Field


Field was the founder of Marshall Field and Company, the Chicago-based department stores.

Andrew Carnegie

1865 - 1901

Moving with his poor family from Scotland in 1848, Carnegie eventually became to lead the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. He was also one of the highest profile philanthropists of his era. He is famous for writing the "Gospel of Wealth."

Erie War


The Erie War was a conflict between Jay Gould, Daniel Drew, and James Fisk fought Vanderbilt for control of the Erie Railroad, which connected New York to Chicago.

National Labor Union

1866 - 1873

The National Labor Union was the first national labor federation in the United States. It paved the way for other organizations, such the Knights of Labor and AFL. The National Labor Union sought to bring together all of the national labor organizations in existence, as well as the "eight-hour leagues" established to press for the eight-hour day, to create a national federation that could press for labor reforms and help found national cherokee union in those areas where none existed

The Grangers


An American agrarian movement taking its name from the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry and reaching its membership peak in 1875, the Grangers . Although established originally for social and educational purposes, the local granges became political forums and increased in number as channels of farmers protest against economic abuses of the day.

William Tweed


Known as Boss Tweed, was a politician known for being the "boss" of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that helped influence politics of 19th century New York City and State. Tweed was the third-largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railroad, the Tenth National Bank, and the New-York Printing Company, as well as proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel. Tweed was convicted for stealing an amount estimated by an aldermen's committee in 1877 at between $25 million and $45 million from New York City taxpayers through political corruption.

Gustavus Swift


Swift founded a meat-packing empire and is credited with the development of the first ice-cooled railroad car which allowed his company to ship dressed meats to all parts of the country.

Cornelius Vanderebilt


One of the richest men in American history,Vanderbilt was an industrialist and philanthropist who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was involved with the Erie War.

Horatio Alger


Alger was an author best known for his "rags to riches" boys novels. One such popular book was titles Ragged Dick.

W.E.B. Du Bois


Du Bois was a sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, author, and editor. He was the first African American to earn a doctorate (from Harvard) and became a professor at Atlanta University. He was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.



A trust is different companies that meeting to reduce competition and form prices within the same range. They were seen by many as detrimental to the economy because they could drive up prices. Taft and Roosevelt were trust busters.

Standard Oil


Standard Oil was an integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. It was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations until it was broken up by the United States Supreme Court in 1911. John D. Rockefeller was a founder, chairman and major shareholder.

JD Rockefeller


Rockefeller was an industrialist and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy.

Crime of '73


The Fourth Coinage Act was enacted by the United States Congress in 1873; it embraced the gold standard, and demonetized silver. Western mining interests and others who wanted silver in circulation years later labeled this measure the "Crime of '73." Gold became the only metallic standard in the United States, hence putting the United States de facto on the gold standard.



Chautauqua was an adult education movement in which enterntainment and culture was provided to communities. Roosevelt claimed that these were "the most American thing in America." They were popular in the 1920's.

Leonidas L. Polk


After fighting in the Civil War, Polk returned to North Carolina and founded the town of Polkton where he started a weekly newspaper called The Ansonian. Through it he advocated for farmers and for the Grange movement. He also became active in state politics. Polk also founded the Progressive Farmer in 1886 in Winston. At first, the paper's primary aim was to teach new agricultural methods, but soon it also focused on politics.

Terrence Powderly


Powderly was the leader of the Knights of Labor, a prominent workers union.

Socialist Labor Party of America


Originally known as the Workingmen's Party of America, this party advocates the ideology of "socialist industrial unionism" (a belief in a fundamental transformation of society through the combined political and industrial action of the working class organized in industrial unions.)

Molly Maguires


The Molly Maguires were an unorganized secret labor union of Irish Catholic coal miners who used murder to better their work. Kehoe was the King of the Maguires. They were discovered by James McParlan, a Pinkerton Detective.

RR Strike of 1877


This was a strike in response to a cut in wages that lasted 45 days. It was stopped by President Hayes sending in troops.

Salvation Army


A Protestant Christian organization which started in London, moved to the United States in 1880. It strives to bring salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their "physical and spiritual needs"

Henry Frick


Frick was an industrialist, financier, and art patron. He founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the formation of the giant U.S. Steel steel manufacturing concern. He also financed the construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Company, and owned real estate in Pittsburgh and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

Horizontal and Vertical Integration


Horizontal and Vertical Integration refers to the building trusts and monopolies. Vertical integration refers to monopolies because it is the ownership of all parts of a business (for example, steel and railroads.) Horizontal Integration refers to trust when multiple companies join forces, eliminating competition and allowing for driving up prices.

James Garfield

1880 - 1881

Garfield won the election of 1880, but his term only lasted 200 days because he was assassinated by Charles Guiteau, from the Oneida Community.As president, he wanted a bi-metal monetary system, agricultural technology, an educated electorate, and civil rights for African-Americans. He proposed substantial civil service reform.



A monopoly is a company that owns all parts of a business. An example of this is J.P. Morgan's ownership of not only all steel in the country, but all the RailRoads as well.

Chester Arthur


Arthur was the 21st President. Becoming President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, He struggled to overcome his connection withe New York Custom House. He is most famous for the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act passed and enforced during his term.

Pendleton Act


The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of United States is a federal law established in 1883 that stipulated that government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit, not just because politicians were "friends" were with each other . It was signed in my President Arthur.



The term mugwumps refers to the Republican voters that, in the election of 1884, voted Democrat in order to not support the corrupt Republican candidate James Blaine.

Mark Twain


Twain is famous especially for his books the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck Finn is considered the "Great American Novel."



This was a supreme court case against Illinois that restricted states rights to deal with interstate commerce. It led to the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887.

Haymarket Affair

May 4, 1886

The Haymarket Affair was a riot in Haymarket square with the Knights of Labor and gunfire, because they wanted an 8 hour work day.

Interstate Commerce Act


This Act was designed to regulate the railroad industry with its monopolistic practices.The Act required that railroad rates be "reasonable and just," but did not empower the government to fix specific rates. It also required that railroads publicize shipping rates and prohibited short haul/long haul fare discrimination, a form of price discrimination against smaller markets, particularly farmers. The Act created the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).

Edward Bellamy


Bellamy is and author best known for his novel Looking Backward, a book that sold the second most books in America (other than Uncle Tom's Cabin.) It is set in the distant year of 2000

Grover Cleveland

1888 - 1895

Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. He is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. He was the winner of the popular vote in 1884, 1888, and 1892 and was the only Democrat elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination that lasted from 1861 to 1913. Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism and subsidies to business, farmers or veterans. He was also a conservative. He won praise for his honesty, independence, and integrity. He fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism.

Benjamin Harrison

1889 - 1893

Harrison, a Republican, was elected in 1888, defeating the Democratic Grover Cleveland. His administration is remembered most for economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The Gospel of Wealth


This was an essay written by Carnegie saying that it was dangerous to allow large sums of money to be passed into the hands of persons or organizations ill-equipped mentally or emotionally to cope with them.

Acres of Diamonds


Acres of Diamonds is a term created by Russell Conwell (a Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer). It was first said in one of his speeches that he gave thousands of times. The central idea of the speech is that one doesn't need to look elsewhere for opportunity, achievement, or fortune—the resources to achieve all good things are present in one's own community. It was about getting rich, but in your backyard.

Ocala Demands


This was a policy later adopted by the People's party, and adopted in Ocala, Florida. The demands called for an abolition of the national bank, the increase of money in circulation, a direct election amendment, a smaller tarriff and the establishment of the income tax.

McKinley Tarriff


This tariff, passed my McKinley, raised the average duty on imports to almost fifty percent.

Booker T Washington


Booker T Washington was an African American educator, author, and adviser to Republican presidents. He spoke on behalf of the large majority of blacks who lived in the South but had lost their ability to vote through disfranchisement by southern legislatures.

Louis Sullivan


Louis Sullivan is known as the "father of skyscrapers." He was not the first to build one, but had a brilliance in design and construction.

People's Party/ Populists


The People's Party grew out of agrarian unrest in response to low agricultural prices in the South and the trans-Mississippi West, mainly by the Farmer's Alliance. They supported Bryan in the election of 1896, but he lost because the industrialists didn't support him. The People's party was like the Democrats in many matters.

J.P. Morgan


John Pierpont Morgan was a financier, banker, philanthropist and art collector who was a leader in corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing the creation of the Federal Steel Company, he merged in 1901 with the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron businesses. He was one of the richest men of his time and had one of the biggest monopolies, US Steel. Morgan's bank bailed out the US Bank multiple times.

Frederick Jackson Turner


Turner was a historian. He is best known for his essay "The Significance of the Frontier in American History", whose ideas formed the Frontier Thesis. He argued that the moving western frontier shaped American democracy and the American character from the colonial era until 1890. He is also known for his theories of geographical sectionalism.

Panic of 1893


The Panic of '93 was the worst economic depression the United States had ever experienced at the time. One of the first clear signs of trouble came with the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. Upon becoming President, Cleveland dealt directly with the Treasury crisis, and successfully convinced Congress to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which he felt was mainly responsible for the economic crisis. As concern for the state of the economy worsened, people rushed to withdraw their money from banks and caused bank runs. The credit crunch rippled through the economy. A financial panic in the United Kingdom and a drop in trade in Europe caused foreign investors to sell American stocks to obtain American funds backed by gold.

Wilson-Gorman Tariff


Passed by Cleveland, this tariff lowered the previously high McKinley Tariff. It was supported by the Democrats and farmers.

Duryea Motor Wagon Company


The Duryea Motor Wagon Company was a company that was founded by Charles Duryea and his brother Frank. It was the first American firm to build gasoline automobiles.

Mary Lease


Lease was a lecturer, writer, and political activist. She was an advocate of the suffrage movement as well as temperance but she was best known for her work with the Populist party. She is also claimed to be the inspiration for the character Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

Henry Ford


Henry Ford was an industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.He did not invent the automobile, but he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford to buy.

William McKinley


William McKinley won the election of 1896 against Bryan and served until his assassination in September 1901. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry, and maintained the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of inflationary proposals. Though McKinley's administration was cut short with his assassination, his presidency marked the beginning of a period of dominance by the Republican Party that lasted for more than a third of a century.



Progressivism was a reform movement considered to be middle class and reformist in nature. It included growth of large corporations and railroads, and fears of corruption in American politics. Progressives continue to embraced concepts such as environmentalism and social justice. Social progressivism, the view that governmental practices should be adjusted as society evolves, forms the ideological basis for many American progressives.

Gold Standard Act 1900


The Gold Standard Act established gold as the only standard for redeeming paper money, stopping bimetallism. It was signed by President William McKinley

Women's Professions


Due to lack of birth control, many women had to stay home mostly to take care of the numerous children. If they were working, they would normally be teachers, midwives, factory workers (normally with fabrics), and dressmakers.


1900 - 1920

Muckrakers were people that fought for social justice and sought to expose and rid of the "poop" of society, such as slums, lynching, and unfair working conditions for all. Famous muckrakers include John Riis, Ida Tarbell, and Ida B. Wells.

Social Gospel


The Social Gospel was a social movement involving Protestant Christian ideals. They dealt with issues of social justice such as excessive wealth, poverty, alcoholism, crime, racial tensions, slums, bad hygiene, child labor, inadequate labor unions, poor schools, and the danger of war

US Steel

1901 - 1911

US was a trust with all of the country's steel. It was America's first billion dollar corporation.

Square Deal


The Square Deal was President Theodore Roosevelt's domestic program formed upon three basic ideas: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection. These three demands are often referred to as the "three C's" of Roosevelt's Square Deal. It aimed at helping middle class citizens and involved attacking plutocracy and bad trusts while at the same time protecting business from the most extreme demands of organized labor.

Women's Trade Union League


The Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) was an organization of both working class and well-off women to support the efforts of women to organize labor unions and to eliminate sweatshop conditions.

Wright Brothers

December 17 1903

Orville and Wilbur Wright were two brothers that became famous for being the first people to fly controlled and powered airplanes. This was done on December 17th, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens


Lincoln Steffens was a New York reporter who launched a series of articles in McClure's called The Shame of the Cities. He is famous for investigating corruption in municipal government in American cities. Tarbell is best known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which took down Standard Oil in May 1911.



The Industrial Workers of the World promotes the concept of "One Big Union," and says that all workers should be united as a social class and that capitalism and wage labor should be abolished

Eugene V. Debs


Debs was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and several times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President.

R. Ballinger Scandal

1909 - 1911

In 1909, President William Howard Taft appointed Richard Ballinger as Secretary of the Interior. While Secretary, he was accused of having interfered with investigation into the legality of certain private coal-land claims in Alaska, which became to be known as the R. Ballinger Scandal.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People


The NAACP is an African-American civil rights organization with a mission is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.”

New Nationalism


Roosevelts platform including A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies. Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled. Limited injunctions in strikes. A minimum wage law for women. An eight hour workday. A federal securities commission. Farm relief. Workers' compensation for work-related injuries. An inheritance tax. A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax. Women's suffrage. Direct election of Senators. Primary elections for state and federal nominations.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

March 25, 1911

This was the biggest industrial fire in the history of New York. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three;

Direct Primary


A primary election is an election that narrows the field of candidates before an election for office. Primary elections are when a political party nominates candidates for an upcoming general election. Robert LaFollette fought for these to be used.

New Freedom


Wilson's platform, opposed to Roosevelt's, advocating Tariff Reform, Business Reform, and Banking Reform.

Underwood Simmons Tariff Act

October 3, 1913

This act re-imposed the federal income tax following the ratification of the 16th Amendment and lowered tariff rates from 40% to 25%. It was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.

Smith-Lever Act


This is a federal law that established a system of "cooperative extension services", connected to the land-grant universities, which informed people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, public policy/government, leadership, 4-H, and economic development.

Guinn v United States


This case deemed grandfathers clauses as unconstitutional, breaking the 15th Amendment.

Louis Brandeis


Dubbed the "people's lawyer," Brandeis cases included actions fighting railroad monopolies; defending workplace and labor laws; helping create the Federal Reserve System; and presenting ideas for the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He was later nominated by President Woodrow Wilson to become an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, which he did in 1916.

Keating-Owen Act


This addressed child labor by not allowing the sale in interstate commerce of goods produced by factories that employed children under fourteen, mines that employed children younger than sixteen, and any facility where children under sixteen worked at night or more than eight hours daily.

Buchanan v. Warley


In the case the Court addressed civil government instituted racial segregation in residential areas. The Court held that a Louisville, Kentucky, city ordinance prohibiting the sale of real property to African Americans violated the Fourteenth Amendment.

Eighteenth Amendment

January 17, 1920

This Amendment prohibited the use of alcoholic beverages.

Nineteenth Amendment

August 18, 1920

This Amendment gave women the right to vote.

Charles Lindbergh


Lindbergh was the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. He used his fame gathered from this to promote Air Mail and Commercial Aviation. The kidnapping and murder of his son was dubbed " The Crime of the Century."