Unit VIII Timeline

US History

Key Terms

Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)


Led by Frances Willard 1878-1897. Women's organization whose members visited schools to educate children about the evils of alcohol, addressed prisoners, and blanketed men's meetings with literature. Most prevalent in Midwest.

Social Darwinism


(fake science)
"Scientific" Races: People interpret Darwin's "survival of the fittest" to mean some races > others

The application of Charles Darwin's theory of biological evolution to society, holding that the fittest and wealthiest survive, the weak and the poor perish, and government action is unable to alter this "natural" process.

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.

new immigrants

1880 - 1910

Immigrants from Southern&Eastern Europe who were mostly unskilled. Most planned to return (unless escaping religious persecution; often Jewish). In Industrial cities. Significant b/c increased population, provided source of cheap labor, non-white ("darker").

AFL (update)


American Federation of Labor. 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.

Samuel Gompers


President of AFL. Disregarded unskilled workers, racial minorities, and immigrants because he believed that they were impossible to organize and unworthy of membership to AFL. Advanced interests of "aristocrats of labor."

Jane Addams


Founded Hull House in Chicago. "Boo you war"

Jim Crow laws

1890 - 1900

Maintained segregation in South, blacks<whites, legal set of behavioral rules. 1890s; racial segregation legalized. Economic: Couldn't make as much $, can't use all businesses (sometimes successful people (start-ups) "too wealthy" (not poor) can be lynched (NOT ALL THOUGH)). Political: Upheld by all courts.
Defined southern society; way of societal treatment.

  • Neither major party addressed problem of racism and nativism in campaign of 1896
  • Local and state governments in the South codified racism in Jim Crow laws
  • The Supreme Court upheld the new discriminatory legislation

Sherman Antitrust Act


An act put in place by Senator Sherman (OH) to stop trusts. Passed by President Harrison. Designed to bring down monopolies. It was not effectively used until Roosevelt, and then subsequently by Taft.



Crowded, dirty/unsanitary (no sewer connection too), no ventilation, no lighting, conditions=poor, diseases spread (b/c dirtiness), multigenerational, potential for disagreement

Four- to six-story residential dwellings, once common in NY, built on tiny lots without regard to providing ventilation or light.

racial accommodation


Led by Booker T. Washington. Urged blacks to focus on economic improvement and self-reliance, as opposed to political and civil rights.
Believed workers should focus on improving vocational skills as industrial workers and farmers (labor work > academic studies)

Plessy v. Ferguson


Supreme Court decision holding that Louisiana's railroad segregation law did not violate the Constitution as long as the railroads or the state provided equal accommodations. (upheld segregation) based on "separate but equal" doctrine.

National Consumers' League (NCL)


Started by Maud Nathan and Josephine Lowell. Sponsored a "white label" campaign in which manufacturers who met safety and sanitary standards could put NCL labels on their food and clothing.
Under Florence Kelley, NCL publicized labor abuses in department stores and lobbied for maximum-hour and minimum-wage laws in states.

Robert LaFollette


Republican. Forged a coalition of angry farmers, small businessmen, and workers with his attacks on railroads and other large corporations.



Journalists who seek to expose social & political ills through their work (whistleblower).
[Activists that worked to expose the social wrongs of society, such as Jacob Riis. Term coined by Theodore Roosevelt in a 1906 speech.]

Examples: Jacob Riis, Upton Sinclair, Ida Wells, Ida Tarbell



Industrial Workers of the World. Members known as "Wobblies." Created by leaders of WFM, Socialist Party, and radical groups in Chicago. Haywood = most influential spokesman for IWW.
- Insisted no one would be excluded
- Concentrated efforts on miners, lumberjacks, sailors, "harvest stiffs," and other casual laborers

Hetch Hetchy Valley


A battle over conservation vs. preservation
One group wants to fill the valley w/ water for people to use (government-controlled water (NOT private companies), people use).
Other group wants to keep the valley from being filled. (don't touch! special space! not ours to use! etc).

First group one, valley filled with gov't-controlled water for the ppl.



The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 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.

Organization co-founded by W.E.B. DuBois in 1910 dedicated to restoring African American political and social rights.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory


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.

Election of 1912


4-way race between Taft, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Debs. Wilson won with 42% of popular vote (435 electoral, while only 88 for Roosevelt and 8 for Taft) First "modern" presidential race: 1st direct primaries, challenges to traditional party loyalties, an issue-oriented campaign, and a high degree of interest-group activity.

16th Amendment


Congress can tax personal incomes.

(graduated income tax-- higher income, higher tax rate, etc)

Margaret Sanger


Major proponent of birth control. Her pioneering efforts of educating women about birth control began before WWI. Campaigned frequently and vigorously (books, journals, tours, etc) to make contraception freely available to all women.

17th Amendment


Senators elected by the people. (now elected officials, no longer appointed) 2 from each state

Great Migration

1914 - 1920

The mass movement (hundreds of thousands) of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, spurred especially by new job opportunities during WWI and the 1920s.

Clayton Antitrust Act


Replaced the old Sherman Act of 1890 as the nation's basic antitrust law. It exempted unions from being construed as illegal combinations in restraint of trade, and it forbade federal courts from issuing injunctions against strikers.

National Woman’s Party


Impatient with its moderate tactics, Alice Paul breaks from the National American Woman Suffrage Association led by Carrie Chapman Catt to found the organization that will become in 1916 the National Woman's Party.

Espionage Act


The government's key tool for the suppression of antiwar sentiment. Would severely punish anyone found guilty of helping an enemy force or harming an American force(s). Ex of punishment: Upt to 20 years in prison + $10,000 fine.
Increased overall police & surveillance machinery to further enforce Espionage Act.

Committee on Public Information (CPI)


Government agency during WWI that sought to shape public opinion in support of the war effort through newspapers, pamphlets, speeches, films, and other media.

Zimmermann Telegram


Secret note b/t German foreign secretary Zimmermann and German ambassador in Mexico. Proposed that Germany and Mexico become allies if US joins WWI.
Note exposed, used frequently as propaganda by US and those who wanted US in the war.

War Industries Board


The federal agency that reorganized industry for maximum efficiency and productivity during WWI

Fourteen Points


Goals outlined by Wilson for war
- US war aims under Wilson
- Self-determination=key component
-League of Nations = most important part of Wilson's postwar vision (in his opinion)

Sedition Act


An amendment to the Espionage Act (1917). Outlawed any "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language intended to cause contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute" to the government, Constitution or flag.

Heavily promoted nativism and conveniently destroyed socialists, pacifists, radical labor activists, and others who resisted the increasingly powerful patriotic tide.

18th amendment


Prohibition of intoxicating liquor

Red Scare


Post-WWI public hysteria over Bolshevik influence in the US directed against labor activism, radical dissenters, and some ethnic groups.

Harmed women's movement and suffragists b/c they had had fragile ties w/ socialist and labor groups - red scare destroyed those ties, making the movements far less powerful.

League of Women Voters


League formed in 1920 advocating for women's rights, among them the right for women to serve on juries and equal pay laws.

19th amendment


Guaranteed women the right to vote nationally.

Treaty of Versailles


Ended WWI
US didn't ratify it (most Democrats agreed w/ it, Republicans wanted amendments, Wilson wouldn't compromise) and didn't join League of Nations, weakening the League.

Immigration Act of 1921


Set a maximum number (357,000) of new immigrants each year.

(Reduced immigration, established quotas for nationalities)

Other Important Terms

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.

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.


1890 - 1915

Large group of people who called themselves "progressive"
Not clearly defined
Many different people w/ some unifying ideas

4 unifying ideas:
1. Industrialization/urbanization (anger over ) (hate excesses)
2. Votes, courts, laws - optimistic (optimism about ability to improve issues) (expand [powers]!)
3. Structural problems, not individual (reject individualism)
4. Convert feelings into actions (must intervene politically and morally)

Tension b/t social justice and social control

2 motivating factors:
1. Evangelical (goal: convert others) protestantism (duty of christians = address inequality)
2. Social science (want experts to study problems and find solutions)

Jacob Riis


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

Grandfather Clause


Rule stating that, if your grandfather didn't vote, you can't vote either.
Way to make blacks unable to vote w/o specifically stating racist intentions.

Rules that required potential voters to demonstrate that their grandfathers had been eligible to vote; used in some Southern states after 1890 to limit the black electorate.

Booker T. Washington

  • Atlanta Expo, 1895
  • Mainly economic
  • Sharecropping = Means towards equality
  • Educate blacks in work (labor)
  • Social equality


1900 - 1908

Trust Busting:
- Dissolve monopolies
- Sherman Antitrust Act (1890)
- 1902 begins Sherman Anti Trust lawsuits
- 44 cases: Standard Oil, beef and tobacco trusts, Northern Securities v. US (1904) example

Business Regulations:
- 1906 Hepburn Act (creates the Interstate Commerce Commission), Pure Food and Drug Act (creates FDA), Meat Inspection Act (Dept of Agriculture can inspect/certify meat

- 1902 Newlands Reclamation Act
- 1905 US Forest Service

Child Labor:
- Abolition of child labor as part of "New Nationalism"

Educated Women

  • Main group of progressives
  • First generation to graduate from college
  • Only options are now wife, teacher, nurse - same as before college (no difference)
  • Create their own opportunities & make opportunities for other women (poor, not working, etc.)

Examples: Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, Lillian Wald, Frances Perkins, Settlement houses, Mary McLeod-Bethune, Ida Wells, Ida Tarbell

Roosevelt Corollary


President Theodore Roosevelt's policy asserting US authority to intervene in the affairs of Latin American nations; an expansion of the Monroe Doctrine.

Open Door Policy


American policy of seeking equal trade and investment opportunities in foreign nations or regions.

Educated Blacks

  • In constant threat of being lynched
  • Taking Jim Crow legislation and the structural inequality facing blacks
  • Group meets 1905
  • Focus on labor issues
  • Form NAACP 1909 (later on)
  • "The Crisis" magazine discusses it

Examples: Niagra Movement, Ida Wells, Mary McLeod-Bethune, W.E.B. DeBois

Niagra Movement


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

Protested legal segregation, the exclusion of blacks from labor unions, and the curtailment of voting and other civil rights.
Failed to generate much change.

African American group organized in 1905 to promote racial integration, civil and political rights, and equal access to economic opportunity.

W.E.B. DuBois

  • Niagra movement; NAACP
  • Civil rights
  • Higher education of negro youth = necessary
  • Political equality

Pure Food and Drug Act


Created by Theodore Roosevelt to investigate the Chicago Meat Industry (cause: "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair). Created regulations on the food and drug industry and later evolved into the FDA.

Upton Sinclair


Author of "The Jungle," 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.


1908 - 1912

Trust Busting:
- 90 cases, including US Steel
- Against Roosevelt's Anti-Trust Policies

Business Regulations:
- Mine and railroad safety codes

- Fired Gifford Pinchot (US Forest Services)

Child Labor:
- 1912 Children’s Bureau under Department of Commerce and Labor
- No child labor

Protective Tariffs:
- Disagreed w/ Roosevelt's Tariff policies
- 1909 Payne-Aldrich Act [change international commerce]

The Uprising of the 20,000


In the NYC garment district. Strikers demanded union recognition, better wages, and safer and more sanitary conditions.
Drew support from thousands of suffragists, trade unionists, and sympathetic middle-class women.


1912 - 1920

Trust Busting:
- 1914 Clayton Antitrust Act

Business Regulations:
- 1914 Federal Trade Commission

- 1916 National Park Service

Child Labor:
- 1916 Keating-Owen Act [pressured by progressives, banned children <14 from working]
- Separated department of labor from commerce 1913

Protective Tariffs:
- Wanted to get rid of it to protect individualism (part of New Freedom platform)
- Underwood-Simmons Act 1913

New Freedom


Woodrow Wilson's program for limited government intervention in the economy to restore competition by curtailing the restrictive influences of trusts and protective tariffs, thereby providing opportunities for individual achievement.



100% American
Anti-immigration movement



Members of the Communist movement in Russia that established the Soviet government after the 1917 Russian Revolution.

League of Nations


International organization created by the Versailles Treaty after WWI to ensure world stability.

Debs v. US


Case; Court affirms Eugene Debs is guilty for antiwar speech in Canton.

Schenck v. US


Case; Court unaimously rules that Congress can restrict speech if the words are used in a dangerous manner or a way that could create a "clear and present" danger.
Convicted Schenck for mailing soldiers pamphlets urging them to resist the draft.

Abrams v. US


Case; Court upheld Sedition Act convictions of 4 Russian immigrants who had printed pamphlets denouncing American military intervention in the Russian Revolution.

Sheppard-Towner Act


The first federal social welfare law, providing federal funds for infant and maternity care.


William McKinley Assassinated


Theodore Roosevelt becomes President at age 42.