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49 Cards in this Set

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Homestead Act of 1862
Permitted settlers to buy plots of 160 acres for a small fee if they occupied the land they purchased for five years and improved it.

Supporters believed it would create new markets and new outposts of commercial agriculture for the nation's growing economy.
Multiracial Working Class
In the West, english-speaking whites, europeans, blacks, asians, mexicans, and indians often worked alongside each other. They typically worked in unskilled labor--in mines, on the railroads, or in agriculture.
Comstock Lode
A plentiful and valuable vein of silver found in 1858 by Henry Comstock. Other veins of silver were also found in the Washoe area.
Boom and Bust Economy
The agricultural economy: new western farmers flourished in the late 1870s and early 1880s, but in the mid-1880s, they agricultural economy began a long, steady decline.
Problems with Farming on the Plains in the 1860s
Fencing: materials for traditional fences were unavailable. To solve this, Joseph H. Glidden and I.L. Ellwood developed barbed wire.

Water: even when rainfall was high, water was scarce. After 1887, there were a series of dry seasons.
What encouraged western settlement during the 1860s?
Cheap Rail Rates: rates were so low to travel west that almost anyone could afford it. State govt subsidized railroad development by offering financial aid, loans, and land to the companies.
Solutions to the Water Scarcity
Dryland Farming: system of tillage designed to conserve moisture in the soil by covering it with a dust blanket.

Planting drought-resistant crops.
Reverse Migration
White settlers began moving back east, because they could not pay their debts through farming, crop sale prices were falling, and production was becoming more expensive.
Overproduction of Agricultural Goods
Commercial farmers, specializing in cash crops, began replacing family farmers. These farmers were dependent on bankers, railroads, supply/demand.

The global market, created by modern communications and transportation, created new markets for agricultural goods.

In the 1880s, worldwide overproduction caused a drop in prices for most agricultural goods and thus caused economic distress for farmers.
Grievances Against Railroads
Railroads charged higher rates to ship farm goods than other goods, and also charged higher rates in the S and W than in the NE.

Railroads also controlled elevator and warehouse facilities in buying centers, and charged arbitrary storage rates.
Farmers' Other Grievances
Banks/Loan Companies: farmers had to take whatever loans they could get, because there weren't many available. Banks/etc capitalized on this by charging interest rates of 10-25%. Farmers had to pay these loans back during years when prices were dropping and currency was becoming scarce.

Prices: a farmer could plant crops when the price was high, but the price might have fallen by the time he sold the crops.

"Conspiracy": "middlemen" were conspiring with each other to fix prices to benefit themselves at the growers' expense. E Manufacturers were conspiring to keep the prices of farm goods low and the prices of industrial goods high.

(ALLEGED by farmers)
Rleationship between Railroads and Steel
Steel manufacturers provided rails and parts for trains; railroads were markets for/transporters of steel.
Development of Steam Freighters
The demand for vessels capable of transporting oil and steel combined with the development of powerful steam engines to create the design of larger/heavier freighters.

Shippers used new steam engines to speek the unloading of ore.
Importance of Government Subsidies
Subsidies from federal/state/local govts allowed the total railroad trackage to increase six-fold from 1860 to 1900.
Limited Liability
Investors risked only the amount of their investments; they were not liable for any debts the corporation might accumulate beyond that point.

This made stocks more appealing to a broad public, and so it was possible for entrepeneurs to gather vast sums of capital.
Horizontal Integration
the combining of a number of firms engaged in the same enterprise into a single corporation..
Vertical Integration
the taking over of all the different businesses on which a company relies for its primary function..

EG, Carnegie Steel, which took over steel mills, mines, railroads, and other enterprises.
Holding Company
A central corporate body taht would buy up the stock of various members of a trust and establish direct, formal ownership of the corporations in the trust.
Socialist Labor Party
Founded in the 1870s by Daniel De Leon. He attracted a modest following in industrial cities, but it never became a major political force.
Single Tax
Created by Henry George; he blamed social problems on the ability of a few monopolists to become rich as a result of rising alnd values. He claimed an increase in land value wasn't a result of any effort by the owner, but was an "unearned increment" produced by the growth of society around the land. Therefore, the profits were the property of the community.

The single tax was one tax on land, which would replace all other taxes. It would return the increment to the people. It would destroy monopolies, distribute wealth more equally, and eliminate poverty.
Labor Contract Law
Repealed in 1885

Permitted employers to pay for the passage of workers into the US in advance, and deduct the amount later from their wages.
Molly Maguires
A militant labor organization that sometimes used violence and even murder in its battle with coal operators.

Much of the violence attributed to the MMs, however, was deliberately instigated by informers and agents employed by the mine owners, who wanted a pretext for ruthless measures to suppress unionization.
Railroad Strike of 1877
Eastern railroads announced a 10% wage cut. The strike disrupted rail service from Baltimore to St. Louis, destroyed equipment, and rioted in the streets.

State militias were called out to suppress the strike.

It was the US's first major national labor conflict.
Knights of Labor
First major effort to create a national labor organization; founded 1869 by Uriah S. Stevens.

Championed an 8-hr workday and the abolition of child labor. Also interested in the long-range economic reform, and hoped to replace the wage system with a new "cooperative system," in which workers would themselves control a large part of the economy.
American Federation of Labor (AFL)
Rival labor association, founded by Samuel Gompers.

Concetrated on labor's immediate objectives: wages, hours, and working conditions. They demanded a national 8hr workday, and called for a general strike if the goal wasn't achieved by May 1, 1886.
Haymarket Bombing
May 1, 1886, strike at the McCormick Harvester Company.

Police ordered the crowd to disperse, and someone threw a bomb that killed/injured 70 people, including police. The police fired into the crowd and killed four others.

Conservative, property-holding Americans called for retribution, so officials charged eight anarchists with murder.
The Pullman Strike
Pullman Palace Car Company rented houses to its employees. 1893, they cut wages by 25%, but didn't cut the rent.

Workers went on strike and convinced the American Railway Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, to support them by refusing to handle Pullman cars and equipment.
William M. Tweed
The most famously corrupt city boss, boss of NYC's Tammany Hall. Their extravagant use of public funds on projects that paid kickbacks to their organization landed Tweed in jail in 1872.
The Telephone
1878, first telephone switchboard opened in CT.

1914, "repeaters" which strengthened the signal over distances made a transcontinental line possible.
Gold Standard Act (1900)
Confirmed the nation's commitment to the gold standard.
Emergence of Modern Campaigning
Bryan traveled throughout the country systematically (mostly in the S and W), addressing the populace in a revivalistic, camp-meeting style.
Stalwarts
led by Roscoe Conkling

Republican faction that favored traditional, professional machine politics.
Half-Breeds
led by James G. Blaine

Republican faction that favored reform.
Mugwumps
A group of "liberal Republicans" who announced they would break with the party and support an honest Democrat (Cleveland) over James G. Blaine.
Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific Railway Co. v. Illinois

(AKA The Wabash Case)
A Granger law in Illinois was ruled unconstitutional.

The court claimed that the law was an attempt to control interstate commerce, and thus infringed on the exclusive power of Congress.
Interstate Commerce Act
Banned discrimination in rates between long and short hauls, required that railroads publish their rate schedules and file them with the govt, and declared that all interstate rail rates must be "reasonable and just."

The Interstate Commerce Commission, a five-person agency, was to administer the act.

It was not well-enforced.
Fusion
Allying of the Populists with the Democrats. The Populists chose to endorse Bryan [Dem. candidate] and risk losing their identity as a party, rather than naming their own candidate and splitting the protest vote.
Cross of Gold Speech
Delivered by Bryan at the Democratic National Convetnion, supporting free silver. Ultimately won him the nomination for the presidency in the 1896 election.
Bimetallism
Both silver and gold are recognized as a legitimate basis for the US dollar.
Crime of '73
1873, Congress passed a law that recognized the existing situation by officially discontinuing silver coinage.

When the market value of silver fell below the official mint ration, many accused Congress of intentionally foreclosing a potential method of expanding the currency as part of a conspiracy of big bankers.
Coxey's Army
Jacob S. Coxey, 1894, advocated an inflation of the currency and a massive public works program to create jobs for the unemployed.

His proposals made no progress in Congress, so he organized a march of the unemployed to DC to present his demands to the government. Congress took no action.
Panic of 1893
Philadelphia and Reading Railroads declared bankruptcy. The corporate failures triggered a stock market collapse. Since many major banks were heavy investors in the stock market, many banks began to fail. When the banks failed, credit was revoked, which mean that many new businesses soon went bankrupt.

**Showed how interconnected the US economy was, especially the reliance on railroads. When the railroads suffered, everything suffered.
Subtreasury
A network of government-owned warehouses, where farmers could deposit their crops. Using those crops as collateral, growers could then borrow money from the government at low interest rates, and wait for the price of their goods to go up before selling them.
Populists
Called for the abolition of national banks, the end of absentee land ownership, direct election of senators, regulation and govt ownership of railroads, telephones & telegraphs. They demanded a system of govt-operated postal savings banks, a graduated income tax, inflation of the currency, and remonetization of silver.
The Alliances
Formed cooperatives, established stores, banks, processing plants, and other facilities for their members, in order to free them from dependence on merchants.
Grangers
1867; formed a network of local organizations that tried to teach new scientific agricultural techniques to members.

Organized marketing cooperatives, and they promoted political action to curb the monopolistic practices of the railroads and warehosues.
Granger Laws
1870s, many states imposed strict regulations on railroad rates and practices.
Pendleton Act
Required that some federal jobs be filled by competitive written examinations rather than by patronage.
Sherman Antitrust Act
Intended to destroy trusts/monopolies, which could escape state laws by incorporating in states that offered special privileges (eg, NJ).

Sherman Act was randomly enforced, and weakened by the courts.