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Industrialization and the Gilded Age: 1816–1900


Boss Tweed

Democratic leader who rose to power in New York City in the late 1860s

Chinese Exclusion Act

law passed in 1882 that closed doors to Chinese immigrants for a period of 10 years and was eventually made permanent


legal entity created for the purpose of running a business

Dawes Act

law passed in 1887 to divide Native American reservation land among members of the tribe while selling the remainder to white settlers and businesses

First Industrial Revolution

widespread use of machines and factories to mass-produce goods in Europe and the United States in the early 19th century

Homestead Act

act passed in 1862 that encouraged the settlement and development of the American West by promising each settler a 160-acre homestead

Horace Mann

social reformer and advocate of free public education

horizontal integration

strategy for monopolizing a market by forming mergers with or taking over and forcing out competitors


process of converting a society to a socioeconomic order based primarily on industry


market structure in which one company is the only supplier of a good or service for which there are no close substitutes

natural resource

material found naturally in the environment that can be harvested and exploited for economic gain


system of rewarding people loyal to the party by giving them valuable contracts and secure jobs


promotion of others' welfare by providing funding to charitable causes

Plains Wars

series of conflicts between white settlers and Native Americans for control of land from 1848 to 1868

political machine

party-affiliated organization led by a powerful and disciplined boss who got things done, often by illegal means

Populist Party

grassroots movement that lasted from 1889 to 1896 and was made up primarily of farmers and some labor groups

Pullman Strike

1894 strike in which railroad workers walked off the job to protest a pay cut, leaving railroad cars stranded on tracks across the country

robber barons

derisive term applied to businessmen who displayed excessive greed and earned great fortunes from dishonest or exploitative business practices

Samuel Slater

British mechanic who immigrated to America and in 1790 designed the first equipment to mill, or process, cotton on a large scale in the United States

Second Industrial Revolution

industrialization phase in the United States between the 1870s and 1900 marked by the rapid adoption of new technologies

spoils system

practice of a winning political party filling public offices with its supporters

Tammany Hall

political machine named after the building that served as Democrat Boss Tweed's headquarters in New York City

The Gilded Age

satirical novel about corruption in public life. Cowritten by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, the title would lend its name to the period.

titans of industry

individuals who benefited greatly from industrialization

transcontinental railroad

first continuous cross-continent railroad line in the United States, completed in 1869


process by which towns and cities grow larger and become more centralized because of population shifts from rural to urban areas

vertical integration

process by which a corporation owns and controls every part of the manufacturing process, from its source materials, to its factories, to its transportation