The Birth of Modern America

  • Industrialization

    The process in which a society or country transforms itself from a primarily agricultural society into one based on the manufacturing of goods and services.
  • Initative

    An individual's action that begins a process, often done without direct managerial influence. For example, an employee might take the initiative to come up with a new product or service that the company could offer.
  • Referendum

    Referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, or a law.
  • Recall

    The process of retrieving defective goods from consumers and providing those consumers with compensation. Recalls often occur as a result of safety concerns over a manufacturing defect in a product that may harm its user.
  • Susan B. Anthony

    Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts. She was raised in a Quaker household and went on to work as a teacher. She became a leading figure among abolitionists and for women's voting rights movement. She partnered with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and would eventually lead the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony died in 1906.
  • Indian Removal

    The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government.
  • Andrew Carnegie

    Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. By the time Carneige was 54, he owned The Carnegie Steel Company, which was the largest in the world. In 1901, Carnegie decided to sell his business to the United States Steel Corporation, earning him over 200 million dollars. Carnegie wanted to expand his philanthropic work by building libraries and making donations to help others. In 1905, he created the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He died in 1919.
  • Nativism

    Nativism, in general, refers to a policy or belief that protects or favors the interest of the native population of a country over the interests of immigrants. In the United States, greatest nativist sentiment coincided with the great waves of 19th-century European immigration on the East Coast and, to a lesser extent, with the arrival of Chinese immigrants on the West Coast.
  • Manifest Destiny

    In the 19th century, Manifest Destiny was the widely held belief in the United States that American settlers were destined to expand throughout the continent. A symbol of Manifest Destiny, the figure "Columbia" moves across the land in advance of settlers, replacing darkness with light and ignorance with civilization.
  • Clarence Darrow

    Clarence Darrow was born in Kinsman, Ohio. He moved to Chicago in 1887 and attempted to free the anarchists charged in the Haymarket Riot. In 1894, he defended Eugene V. Debs. He also secured the release of labor leader William D. Haywood for assassination charges, saved Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold from the death penalty, and defended John T. Scopes. He died in 1938.
  • Theodore Roosevelt

    Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was born in New York City. Roosevelt was governor of New York before becoming U.S. vice president. At age 42, he became the youngest man to become the U.S. president after President McKinley was assassinated in 1901. He won a second term in 1904. Roosevelt was known for his anti-monopoly policies and ecological conservationism. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in ending the Russo-Japanese War. He died in 1919.
  • Political Machine

    A political machine is a political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses, usually campaign workers, who receive rewards for their efforts.
  • William Jennings Bryan

    William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Illinois. Bryan was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1890. Defeated for the U.S. Senate in 1894, he spent the next two years as editor of the Omaha World-Herald. In the 1896 presidential campaign, he travelled more than 18,000 miles through 27 states, but he lost to William McKinley. Bryan lost to McKinley again in 1900 and to William Howard Taft in 1908. He died in 1925.
  • Jane Addams

    Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois. Addams co-founded one of the first settlements in the United States, The Hull House in Chicago, Illinois, in 1889. She was named a co-winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize. Addams also served as the first female president of the National Conference of Social Work. She established the National Federation of Settlements and also served as president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She died in 1935.
  • Homestead Act

    The Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862. Anyone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government, including freed slaves and women, that were 21 years or older, or the head of a family, could file an application to claim a federal land grant.
  • Ida B. Wells

    Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Wells was a journalist, led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s, and went on to found and become integral in groups striving for African-American justice. She died in 1931.
  • Third Parties Policies

    An insurance policy purchased for protection against the actions of another party. Third-party insurance is purchased by the insured (first party) from an insurance company (second party) for protection against another party's claims (third party).
  • The Gilded Age

    The late 19th century was a period of greed and guile: of rapacious Robber Barons, unscrupulous speculators, and corporate buccaneers, of shady business practices, scandal-plagued politics, and vulgar display. The Gilded Age was known as an era of corruption, conspicuous consumption, and unfettered capitalism. It was modern America's formative period, when an agrarian society of small producers were transformed into an urban society dominated by industrial corporations.
  • Upton Sinclair

    Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland. After many publishers rejected it, Sinclair published on his own expense his book, "The Jungle". It became a best-seller and angered many people, at the quality of and impurities in processed meats. He died in 1968.
  • Civil Service Reform

    The Civil Service Reform Act is an 1883 federal law that abolished the United States Civil Service Commission. It eventually placed most federal employees on the merit system and marked the end of the so-called "spoils system."
  • Eugene V. Debs

    Eugene V. Debs was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was the Socialist party's presidential candidate in 1900,1908, 1912 and 1920. Debs became president of the American Railway Union in 1893. In 1894, his union conducted a successful strike for higher wages against the Great Northern Railway, and he went to jail for leading the Chicago Pullman Palace Car Company strike. He died in 1926.
  • Haymarket Riot

    The Haymarket Riot was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It killed several people, and resulted in a highly controversial trial followed by executions of four men who may have been innocent.
  • Dawes Act

    An act that broke up Indian reservations and distributed land to individual households. Leftover land was sold for money to fund U.S. government efforts to "civilize" Native Americans.
  • Populism

    Populism is a political doctrine that appeals to the interests and conceptions, such as fears, of the general people, especially contrasting those interests with the interests of the elite.
  • Progressivism

    Progressivism is a term that encompasses a wide spectrum of social movements that include environmentalism, labor, agrarianism, anti-poverty, peace, anti-racism, civil rights, women’s rights, animal rights, social justice and political ideologies such as anarchism, communism, socialism, social democracy, and liberalism.
  • Klondike Gold Rush

    The Klondike Gold Rush was a frenzy of gold rush immigration to and gold prospecting in the Klondike near Dawson City in the Yukon Territory, Canada, after gold was discovered in the late 19th century. On August 16, 1896, the party discovered rich placer gold deposits in Bonanza (Rabbit) Creek.
  • Immigration

    Immigration is the act of entering and settling into a country or region to which one is not native.
  • Urbanization

    Urbanism is the characteristic way of interaction of inhabitants of towns and cities, with the built environment or, in other words the character of urban life, organization, problems, etc., as well as the study of that character, or of the physical needs of urban societies, or city planning. Urbanism is also movement of the population to the urban areas or its concentration in them.
  • Muckracker

    A person who intentionally seeks out and publishes the misdeeds, such as criminal acts or corruption, of a public individual for profit or gain. Sometimes this information is linked to powerful businessmen. Muckraker is often applied specifically to journalists.
  • Pure Food & Drug Act

    The Pure Food and Drug Act of June 30, 1906 was a United States federal law that provided federal inspection of meat products and forbade the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated food products and poisonous patent medicines. The act required that certain specified drugs, including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, morphine, and cannabis, be accurately labeled with contents and dosage. Previously many drugs had been sold as patent medicines with secret ingredients or misleading labels.
  • Dollar Diplomacy

    Dollar Diplomacy is the effort of the United States, particularly over President William Howard Taft, to further its aims in Latin America and East Asia through use of its economic power by guaranteeing loans made to foreign countries.
  • Social Gospel

    The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada. Labor reforms, including abolition of child labor, a shorter workweek, a living wage, and factory regulation, constituted the Social Gospel’s most prominent concerns.
  • 16th Amendment

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
  • 17th Amendment

    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures.
  • Federal Reserve Act

    The Federal Reserve Act set up the central banking system of the United States of America, and granted it the legal authority to issue Federal Reserve Notes and Federal Reserve Bank Notes as legal tender. It was an Act of Congress that created and set up the Federal Reserve System.
  • 18th Amendment

    Prohibited the making, transporting, and selling of alcoholic beverages. Adopted at the urging of a national temperance movement, proponents believed that the use of alcohol was reckless and destructive and that prohibition would reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, decrease the need for welfare and prisons, and improve the health of all Americans.
  • 19th Amendment

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  • Suffrage

    Suffrage is the right to vote in public elections. Universal suffrage means everyone gets to vote, as opposed to only men, or property holders.
  • Teapot Dome Scandal

    The Teapot Dome scandal was a bribery incident that took place in the United States from 1920 to 1923, during the administration of President Warren G. Harding. During the Teapot Dome scandal, Albert B. Fall, who served as secretary of the interior in President Warren G. Harding's cabinet, is found guilty of accepting a bribe while in office. Fall was the first individual to be convicted of a crime committed while a presidential cabinet member.
  • The American Dream

    The "American dream" has powered the hopes and aspirations of Americans for generations. It began as a plain but revolutionary notion: each person has the right to pursue happiness, and the freedom to strive for a better life through hard work and fair ambition.