Chapters 16-17

APUSH Chapter 16-17 Vocabulary: Conquering A Continent / Industrial America At Work, 1877-1911
Assimilation - Efforts by U.S. government agents and Christian missionaries to persuade people of color to adopt
white ways. Through assimilation policies, Native Americans, for example, were pressured to abandon their
traditional religion, dress, and customs, and adopt Christianity, speak only English, accept U.S. laws concerning
private property, and adapt their work and family life to white expectations.
Sioux Wars - Spectacular clashes in 1876-1877 between the Sioux Indians and white men. The war reached its
height at the Battle of the Little Bighorn where Sitting Bull crushed Colonel Custer's forces. The battle galvanized
Americans in their efforts to place the Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
“Ghost Dance” - Cultish belief led by Wovoka that the spirits of past warriors would help the Sioux defeat the
white man. Whites overreacted and crushed the remaining Sioux at the Battle of Wounded Knee. The Ghost Dance
led to the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887, which dismantled tribes in an attempt to assimilate Native Americans.
Homestead Act - 1862 law offering settlers up to 160 acres of land for a minimal fee of $30.00 if they agreed to
live on and settle it for five years. The land was basically given away in order to fill the interior of the nation,
squeezing out natives and pro-slavery forces. Unfortunately, much of the land was hard to cultivate. As a result,
several farmers continued to struggle and their hardships stimulated another economic panic in 1873.
Vertical integration - A method employed by companies to control the cost of production by gaining ownership
of all parts of the manufacturing process, from raw materials through transportation and marketing.
Horizontal integration - A method employed by companies to raise market share and gain control over prices, by
absorbing rival firms. Horizontal integration could be a cooperative process, in which several companies banded
together out of common interest. It could also be accomplished through hostile takeovers, when a powerful
company pressured or forced competitors to surrender their independence and be absorbed into the structure of the
dominant firm.
White-collar workers - Middle-class professionals who are salaried workers as opposed to business owners or wage
laborers. Their ranks were composed of lawyers, engineers, and chemists, as well as salesmen, accountants, and
advertising managers.
Blue-collar workers - Skilled tradesmen who work with their hands, such as carpenters, railroad workers, and
industrial factory workers.
Scientific management - A system of organizing work, developed by Frederick W. Taylor in the late nineteenth
century, designed to get the maximum output from the individual worker and reduce the cost of production.
10. Trade unions - Organizations of skilled workers, usually limited to men in a specialized field (such as bricklayers,
carpenters, or electricians). Trade unions tended to exclude women, and to emphasize direct negotiation with employers,
rather than broad-based political action.
11. Blacklisted - A list of people to be excluded from an activity or organization. In the ninteenth century, employers
compiled lists of workers affiliated with unions and either fired them or refused to hire them.
12. Anarchism - The advocacy of a stateless society achieved by revolutionary means. Feared for their views,
anarchists became the scapegoats for the 1886 Haymarket Square bombing.
13. Closed shop - Workplace in which a job seeker had to be a union member to gain employment. In the nineteenth
century, the closed shop was favored by craft unions as a method of keeping out incompetent and lower-wage
workers and of strengthening the unions’ bargaining position with employers.
14. Haymarket Square Riot - Incident on May 4, 1886 at a strike in Haymarket Square, Chicago. An unknown
assailant detonated a bomb killing dozens of people, and the Knights of Labor were blamed. Eight were arrested.
Three died or committed suicide before governor Altgeld pardoned the rest.
15. Trust - A combination of several companies into one large company that controls production in an industry This
could be done in several ways including vertical and horizontal integration. Owners of trusts such as Carnegie or
Rockefeller, were very powerful and often exerted influence over other industries and government becoming
Robber Barons.
16. American Federation of Labor - Founded in 1886 by Samuel Gompers, it consisted of an association of
independent self-governing national unions. It sought for better wages, hours, and working conditions (not
political reform) while using the boycott and walkout as its primarily weapons. The AFL was specific to only
skilled workers.
17. Yellow dog contract - A non-union labor force. Due to increasing strikes, corporations sometimes made their
workers sign these contracts to ensure stability. It is important as a yellow dog contract could break a union and
leave the workers helpless against company abuses.
18. Socialist - One who supports the government owning businesses, controlling the economy, and distributing wealth
evenly through society. Many socialists were immigrant workers from eastern European countries whose political
views often associated unions to radicalism.
19. “Billion dollar” Congress - The 51st Congress had approximately a billion dollar surplus in the Treasury. In
order to reduce that surplus and the public’s impression that congress was a rich man’s club, the "Billion Dollar"
Congress passed the popular Pension Act of 1890, providing pensions for all Union Civil War veterans.
20. Homestead Steel Strike - 1892 strike at Andrew Carnegie's Homestead plant near Pittsburgh. The cause of the
strike was a pay cut. Insensitive company officials called in armed detectives and attempted to force the defiant
strikers to surrender but they fired back turning the strike into a bloody confrontation.
21. Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 - 1890 act authorizing the treasury to buy 4.5 million ounces of silver for
circulation. This law doubled the amount of silver purchased under the Bland-Allison Law of 1878 and allowed
debt relief for farmers. At the same time, the act was passed as a compromise to conservatives who received
passage of the McKinley Tariff.
22. Pullman Strike - 1894 strike at the Pullman Palace Car Company after the company cut wages. Attorney General
Olney called in the federal troops under the pretext that strikers were interfering with the delivery of mail. It was
evidence of the repressive measures the government took on the side of business.
23. Gospel of Wealth - Idea held by the rich that wealth is a product of natural selection and interestingly, justified by
God. The claim was important as it led to charitable contributions for the poor and temporarily, kept the
government away from both the income tax and social welfare.