Gilded, Populists, and Progressives Timeline APUSH

Eli Passas

Cornelius Vanderbilt

1794 - 1877

Gained his wealth and fame as a robber baron in the steamship business, but with the rise of RR, he bought out RRs and became a RR tycoon. He was immensely successful as a cause of low fares that beat out competition.

Willam Tweed, or "Boss Tweed"

1823 - 1878

As the "boss" of Tammany hall, the Democratic Political machine, he was responsible for a large amount of political corruption in the government. Convicted for steeling $25 million to $45 million form New York City Taxpayers through his corruption, but later estimates place it closer to $200 million.

Horatio Alger

1834 - 1899

A popular dime-novel writer for young boys. All of his books were about rags to riches. Extraordinarily popular during the 1870s-1890s.

Marshall Field

1834 - 1906

Created first department store, Marshall Field's Wholesale Store, which he directed at Urban Women who had leisure, in 1880. Created the policy of "the customer is always right"

Andrew Carnegie

November 25, 1835 - August 11, 1919

Born in scotland, he came to the US in 1848 poor with his family. Slowly he earned his wealth, a major amount coming from war returns, oil investments, and later from Carnegie Steel Company. Revolutionized steel industry as well as wrote the Gospel of Wealth, a philanthropic doctrine of giving away ones wealth.

J P Morgan

April 13, 1837 - March 31, 1913

A robber baron who made his wealth off of banking and investing in the railroad industry. Created J P Morgan and Company, most powerful banking firm in 1900. Bailed out the US in the panic of '93 by putting gold into the banking system. Developed Morganization: a reorganization of management to maximize profitability. In 1901 he bought Carnegie steel for 40 million and formed US Steel

Gustavus Swift

1839 - 1903

Created the start of the modern meat market. Began making his fortune with a small meat market that he kept excessively clean. Started a larger meat processing company, but because live cattle was extraordinarily expensive to ship, he moved to Chicago. There he tried to send out pre-slaughtered beef. He met opposition from people who believed that the meat not slaughtered locally was dangerous. He found many uses for slaughter by-product. Also created a refrigeration system that worked reasonably well for shipping packaged meat.

JD Rockefeller

1839 - 1937

Became the worlds wealthiest man, entirely upon oil. Instead of going into oil speculation, he went into refining, which was a much more stable market. Created Standard Oil of Ohio, which later developed into simply Standard Oil once he had gotten big enough to be a national corporation. Standard oil was broken in 1911.

William Graham Sumner

1840 - 1910

Taught at Yale from 1872-1909. He is the author of Social Darwinism, which uses Darwin's theory of evolution to validate lasseiz-faire economics.

Henry Frick

1849 - 1919

Owner of 80% of the anthracite coal mines in Pennsylvania. Started buying up coal mines, in part with family money, at age 19. Ended up going into a partnership with Andrew Carnegie. 1889 was the chairman of Carnegie Company.

Edward Bellamy

1850 - 1898

A socialist novelist, most known for the book "Looking Backward", written in 1888, about a man who falls into a hypnotic sleep and wakes up in the year 2000, where people co-exist rather than compete. Selfishness, greed, malice, insanity, hypocrisy, lying, apathy, the lust for power, the struggle for existence, and anxiety as to basic human needs do no exist in this year 2000 society. "Looking Backward was the third greatest seller of its time.

Mary Elizabeth Lease

1853 - 1933

Supporter of the free silver movement. From Kansas, she was believed to be the person Dorothy represented in the Wizard of Oz. She said "raise more hell and less corn."

Robert La Follette

1855 - 1925

He was one of the most influential senators in history. He campaigned mainly to create a direct primary system in America.

Grover Cleveland

1855 - 1899

First Democrat President elected after the Civil War. Known for fighting political corruption, such as with the Credit Moblier Scandal that occurred with grant. Gained support of Mugwumps and democrats to get elected. He was the first president to use federal troops to stop a labor strike in the Pullman Strike.

Bessemer Process Patent by Henry Bessemer


The bessemer process made steel production easy and profitable. It allowed for the use of steel in the railroads, industrial factories. and the construction of skyscrapers in cities.

Louis Sullivan

1856 - 1924

A significant architect in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Often coined as the father of the modern skyscraper for making the first skyscraper. Developed the first strictly American style of architecture.

Drake Oil Strike, Titusville, PA

August 27, 1859

The first successful oil strike at a well were the digging was done to intend to find oil. Edwin L. Drake struck oil. Led to the oil industry, which was fronted by J. D. Rockefeller who owned Standard Oil, centered in Cleveland, OH, the city in which a lot of the Pennsylvania oil was processed.

Henry Ford

1863 - 1947

Revolutionized mass production. Paid workers twice what others in the same market did, used assembly line, and had a 3-shift system of 8 hour shifts. Was able to pu out a model T chassis is 24 seconds.

National Labor Union

1866 - 1873

The first labor union that brought together many smaller unions in order to create a union powerful enough to pass legislation and gain workers' rights. Paved the way for other unions later on.

Erie War


A conflict between the owners of the Erie RR Company, James Flask, James Gould, and Daniel Drew, and Vanderbilt, who wanted the company. Drew reacted by releasing illegal shares that inflated Erie's assets to 3x its worth. Vanderbilt alerted official, but the three became fugitives in New Jersey, and when they returned to New York, they bought votes to make the merger illegal. Boss Tweed was the main profiteer from the deal.

Molly Maguires

1869 - 1876

The Molly Maguires were a terror organization that used the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, an Irish-Catholic labor union, as a front to meet and organize beatings and murders against mine officials and their families in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania. They were formed after a fire in 1869 caused the deaths of 110 people, the families of whom argued was due to the lack of financing a second exit. They were disbanded when an undercover agent of the Pinkerton Detective Agency exposed them and testified against them in court. Their name is said to be hailed from an Irish woman who was evicted from her home or a mythical women who was a symbol of vengeance and justice for some Irish people.

The Knights Of Labor and Terrence Powderly


A labor Union that was most prominent in the 70s and 80s. Vertically organized, included both sexes, all trades, and african Americans after 1883. Most of its power was gone by the 90s, mostly because of the Haymarket Riot, in which a bomb was thrown that is accredited to the KoL caused major disturbance. Supported the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Fought for the workingman's rights. Terrence Powderly was its chairman. He advocated against strikes, but that did not stop them.

Standard Oil

1870 - 1911

The largest oil corporation in the US. Owned by JD Rockefeller. Was broken in 1911 on account of the Sherman Antitrust Act. It would buy out other oil companies or force them into submission by buying out all the oil, product dumping, etc.

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley


A book written about the gilded age. Where the term the gilded age is derived from.

Crime of '73


The government stopped coining silver because it was being sold to other buyers because the market value of silver was higher than the set value by the government. The end of a silver standard led to an outcry among farmers.

The Farmers' Declaration of Independance

July 4, 1873

From the Granger Movement. It was a statement of grievances committed against them by the tyranny of monopolies, specifically railroad monopolies.

Temperance movement


Though the temperance movement technically started much earlier, the Women's Christian temperance union began in this year. The movement aimed to get get prohibition into legislature and end the use of alcohol. It was strongly tied to the women's rights movement.

Menlo Park Laboratory- Thomas Edison


Menlo park was a residential district in the Raritan township in New Jersey. The first research and developmental facility. He there developed the phonograph and on October 21, 1879 created the first successful incandescent light bulb. Later, he created the Edison Electric Company to aid in the mass sale of his newly perfected light bulb.

Socialist Labor Party


Originally the Workingman's Party of America. Earliest socialist party in the US. Largely advocated the use of industrial unions to make progress. Has largely been linked to the anarchist movement, though they were not the same.

Nicolaus Otto Creates Efficient Internal Combustion Engine

May, 1876

First practical internal four stroke engine. Created a motorcycle with it. One innovation that led to the creation of the car.

Railroad Strike of 1877


A strike against the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad after a second wage cut. Workers in Martinsburg, West Virginia walked off the job. Spread over state lines and while it was looked at by socialists as an opportunity, robber barons and legislators worked to quell it. The Illinois National Guard and the US Army were called in to stop the riot.

Half Breeds

1877 - 1881

Other split of Republican Party apart from Stalwarts, more liberal party. Supported civil service reform and opposed the protective tariff. was lead by James Blaine. Garfield was a Half Breed and his VP Arthur a Stalwart. Garfield assassinated by James Guiteau. He was a Stalwart that wanted a job. Thought newly President Arthur would give him a job.


1877 - 1881

Part of the split in during administration of Rutherford B Hayes. Roscoe Conkling was the most prominent leader of the stalwarts. Stalwarts opposed civil service reform and backed the protective tariff.

Social Darwinism


Led by WIlliam Graham Sumner, in reference to economic policy of laissez-faire economics. Herbert Spencer was a strong supporter of Social Darwinism. Social darwinism accredited superiority to economic success, and thus validated the suffering of lower classes in order to keep only the "purest" of humanity to create an ideal society.

Chester Arthur

1881 - 1885

President after the assassination of James Garfield. After he became president he advocated for civil service reform. He signed the Pendleton Civil Service reform bill.

James Garfield


Garfield was president after the 1880 election. He was a Half Breed, and he chose Arthur as his running mate in order to unite the Stalwarts and Half Breeds to win the Election. He was assassinated in 1881 by Charles Guiteau, who wanted a Stalwart President.

Pendleton Civil Service Act

January 16, 1883

Ended the spoils system by requiring a test that validated the capability of civil service workers (government jobs).

Gottlieb Daimler creates first prototype of modern car engine


Labor Contract Law

February 26, 1885

Forbade companies from making contracts with people prior to immigration. This was in order to prevent the massive imports of cheap labor from other countries.

American Federation of Labor


The AFL was a union headed by Samuel Gompers that was made up entirely of skilled workers. By 1900 500,000 people had joined the union. It was a union based on simplicity.

Haymarket Square

May 4, 1886

The riot began with some 1500 people organized most prominently by German labor radicals. A bomb was thrown at a squad of police officers advancing towards the demonstrators, reportedly by a member of the Knights of Labor but many believe that not to be true. After the following gunfire, over 12 rioters were dead and over 100 injured. 31 men indicted, 8 convicted, 7 to the death and 1 to 15 years in prison.

Interstate Commerce Act


Created the Interstate Commerce commission, which regulated the railroads to ensure that they did not overcharge for the "long haul". It was the first time the Federal Government regulated private business. Signed in by Grover Cleveland.

Gottlieb Damlier creates first V shaped four cylinder engine


The Gospel Of Wealth


Written by Andrew Carnegie, who believed that the rich and the poor should bind together to create a greater society as a whole. Carnegie believed that the rich man had only gained his wealth because of other people, thus the money should return. He advocated death taxes, for the wealthy not to leave money to their children, and for the wealthy to put money into bettering society. Carnegie himself is well known for putting a large amount of money into creating libraries.

Hull House


A settlement house that housed mostly poor immigrant women to keep them from tenement housing. Founded by Jane Addams. Part of a reform movement aimed to end the suffering of the lower class in cities. It was in Chicago.

Frederick Jackson Turner's Frontier Thesis


An argument put forth by turner that stated that the West still held the key to prosperity for America.

Ocala Demands


Demands put forward by the farmers alliance that also formed the populist party which aimed to bring economic balance to farmers. Among the demands was abolishing the banking system

"How the Otehr Half Lives" by Jacob Riis


A book complete with pictured that exposed the terrible living conditions of poor Americans living in cities, primarily immigrants in tenement housing. He was a muckraker who brought a lot of focus to reform movements to improve the lives of the poor.

Direct Primary

1890 - 1920

During this period states adopted the direct primary, which allowed for citizens to vote for the presidential candidate in their party.

General Federation for Women's Clubs


A community based volunteer organization for women aimed at improving the society through volunteer work. Part of the reform movement of the late 1800s and also part of the feminist movement of the ate 1800s and early 1900s.

McKinley Tariff


Named after Congressman McKinley, later he was President. Protective Tariff on Manufacturing that drove up equipment prices for farmer. In trade for this being passed, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was allowed through.

Sheman Antitrust Act

July 2, 1890

An act put in place to stop trusts. It was not effectively used until Roosevelt, and then subsequently by Taft.

Sherman Antitrust Act

July 2, 1890

An act put forth by Senator Sherman of Ohio and passed by President Benjamin Harrison. It was designed to bring down monopolies. Not used effectively until President Roosevelt.

Secret Ballot, or the Australian Ballott


A ballot that put all the candidates on the same ballot. It made the voting process secret and allowed people of one party to vote for a candidate of a different party.

Sierra Club

1892 - Present

An organization formed bu John Muir to advocate for the conservation of wild lands that still is influential today. Part of the conservationist movement.

Carnegie Steel

1892 - 1901

Carnegie steel formed, using the bessemer process, in 1892 when Andrew Carnegie pulled together all of his Steel manufacturers into one company. Carnegie entered the steel business in 1872.

Homestead Strike


Strike in one of Andrew Carnegie's Steel plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania. When prices of steel dropped from $35- $22 a gross, Henry Frick, general Manager of the plant at the time, tried to break the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel workers, one of the strongest craft unions. He moved to lower wages, and then when the union did not accept, shut down the factories until they did. Though 750 of the 3800 employees were in the Union, 3000 voted to strike. Frick built a 12 foot, 3 mile plant around the plant, full with barbed wire and rifle holes. Named "fort Frick". Frick called in Pinkerton's Private army. During a 14 hour siege, 3 detectives and 9 workers died, but the Pinkertons then surrendered. Then the governor of Penn called in state militia. After the strikers' resources ran out, they returned to work. Several strikers were charged with murder and all of them charged with treason, but none were convicted

Free Silver Movement

1893 - 1896

A movement to use a bimetallic or a silver standard for currency in order to increase inflation. Started and supported by western farmers. The Wizard of Oz is an allegory for the free silver movement. Died in 1896 when McKinley won the election over William Jennings Bryan.

Frank Duryea makes first "motor wagon"

September 20, 1893

First car ever made. Driven for the first time in Springfield, Massachusetts. 1895, first car company, "Duryea motor wagon company" formed. Stevens-Duryea Motor company formed in 1899.

Coxey's Army


A demonstration of farmers that marched to DC after the panic of 93 in order to persuade congress to authorize public works. Led by Jacob S. Coxey.

Pullman Strike

May 11, 1894

A strike against the way Pullman, owner of the Pullman Palace Car Company, treated his workers. After the Panic of 93, workers found a 25% wage cut, but rents, required by the employer, were not cut at the same time. 3000 workers went on a wildcat strike, one without authorization from their employer. It grew to the point that all the trains in Chicago had essentially stopped and over 50,000 men had left their jobs. The leader of the strike was the Leader of the American Railroads Union, Eugene V. Debs. The ARU had a large amount of members in the strike. Eventually Cleveland sent in troops to stop the strike on account of it "interfering with US mail". It was the first time a federal injunction had been used to stop a strike.

People's Party/Populist


A party that supported free silver as the currency backers and opposed monopolies. most influential in the '96 election. Made up almost entirely by farmers. Many populists supported Bryan for the 1896 election.

William Jennings Bryan

1896 - 1900

Represented by the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, William Jennings Bryan was a presidential candidate who lost to McKinley in 1896. He was a strong advocate of the free silver movement and is most remembered for his Cross of Gold Speech in 1896. He later focused of the evils of Imperialism though, costing him the 1900 election.

William McKinley

1896 - 1901

Beat William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 election and the 1900 election. Assassinated in 1901, VP Theodore Roosevelt became president. Strongly supported the Spanish American War and furthered New Manifest Destiney and Imperialism. Supported the gold standard.

Gold Standard Act


Put the US definitively on the gold standard for currency and effectively ended the free silver movement, though silver was no longer needed for the backing of currency because the economy had improved due to an agricultural market crash in Europe.

U.S. Steel


Largest steel company in the world at its formation in 1901. Had an essential monopoly on the steel industry once it bought out Tennessee Iron in 1807. Owned by J P Morgan. Taft's Justice Dpt filed suit against US Steel in 1910, calling it a "bad trust" even though Theodore Roosevelt had called it a "good trust" because it did not directly impact the average american, as the average american did not have to buy steel. Brought to the SC, but the SC upheld the breaking of US Steel because of the Sherman Act.

United Mine Workers Strike


A strike in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania against wage cuts. President Roosevelt sent in troops to nationalize the mine and work it if the conflict was not resolved. Ended up in a 10% wage increase. First time the government did not take sides with business owners in strikes.

Henry Ford makes Ford Motor Company


Hailed the start of the motor age. Wanted to make a motor car for the average man.

First Successful Flight by the Wright Brothers

December 17, 1903

First sustained flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Led to modern airplanes

Square Deal


A pitch made by Theodore Roosevelt to the public that included three points: to corral corporations, consumer protection, and conservation of nature. It outlined his domestic policy for the 1904 election. He did carry through with all three points as well.

Niagara Movement


An organization of people headed by W.E.B. DuBois that wanted to end disenfranchisement and discrimination against colored people.



Activists that worked to expose the social wrongs of society, such as Jacob Riis. Term coined by Theodore Roosevelt in a 1906 speech.

"The Jungle" by Upton Sinlaire


A book that exposed the dirty conditions of the Chicago meat market. Though it was aimed as an attack on capitalism, it struck most Americans by disgusting them because it showed how meat had fingers, rats, and even rat poison in it because of the poor conditions of the meat market. Led to the creation of the Pure Food and Drug Administration.

Pure Food and Drug Act


Created by Theodore Roosevelt to investigate the Chicago Meat Industry. Created regulations on the food and drug industry and later evolved into the FDA.

Hepburn Railroad Act of 1906


An act passed by Theodore Roosevelt that gave the Interstate Commerce Commission a greater jurisdiction and allowed for them to set maximum rates for the railroads. It essentially gave it power over the Railroads.

Model T by Ford Motor Companies Introduced

October, 1908

Started on the market for $950, though price dipped as low as $280. In the US alone there were 15,500,000 sold.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

1909 - Present

Started by W.E.B DuBois, it is an organization that aims to help in the social standing and educational advancement of Africans Americans, especially due to the brutal segregation that was prevalent.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire


A fire in Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that was devastating because the employers locked the employees in to prevent breaks. 146 people died. Sparked the labor reform movement, which is why we have building safety codes and labor laws now.

"The Principles of Scientific Management" by Frederick Taylor


Taylor founded the economic scientific management system of Taylorism. It was the management style of creating a working environment that caused the highest model of efficiency. This is a reaction to "soldiering", where workers would work well below their capacity for fear that efficiency would result in layoffs, non-incentive style wages, and relying on "rule of thumb methods" rather than standards of optimal efficiency. Instead he proposed processes of highly educating workers to their specific job, cooperating with workers to make sure the training applies, dividing work between managers and laborers, and replacing rule of thumb with process created by scientific study. Led to much of the prosperous conditions in the 20s from the high levels of efficiency and productivity.

Federal Reserve Act


An act that created the Federal Reserve system to prevent the government from being able to be bailed out by a single person, such as J P Morgan. Signed in by Woodrow Wilson.

"A Theology for the Social Gospel" by Walter Rauschenbusch


The idea that the welfare of the public should be met by the church, and indoctrinated into protestant values the idea of social welfare through the church. Put forth the belief that the Church should work to end the sins in society that stem from war, drinking, etc. and to take an ethical and engaged focus in society.

Buchanan v. Warley


Supreme Court case that rules separate housing ordinances for whites and blacks violated the 14th amendment. More of a property rights issue than civil rights, but was a strong step in the right direction to end segregation.

18th Ammendment


Put prohibition into law in the US. It was the ultimate goal of the Temperance Movement.

19th amendment


Guaranteed women the right to vote nationally.

Charles Lindbergh First Flight across the Atlantic Ocean

May 20, 1927 7:52 AM - May 21, 1927 5:21 PM

He flew from New York to Paris in 33 and a half hours. Notable pilot during WWI and as stunt pilot before the war.