acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) Immune disorder that reached epidemic proportions in the United States in the 1980s.
affirmative action Programs meant to overcome historical patterns of discrimination against minorities and women in education and employment. By establishing guidelines for hiring and college admissions, the government sought to advance equal opportunities for minorities and women.
Agricultural Adjustment Act New Deal legislation that raised prices for farm produce by paying farmers subsidies to reduce production. Large farmers reaped most of the benefits from the act. The Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1936.
America First Committee Isolationist organization founded by Senator Gerald Nye in 1940 to keep the United States out of World War II.
American Equal Rights Association Group of black and white women and men formed in 1866 to promote gender and racial equality. The organization split in 1869 over support for the Fifteenth Amendment.
American Federation of Labor (AFL) Trade union federation founded in 1886. Led by its first president, Samuel Gompers, the AFL sought to organize skilled workers into trade-specific unions.
American Indian Movement (AIM) An American Indian group, formed in 1968, that promoted “red power” and condemned the United States for its continued mistreatment of Native Americans.
American Plan Voluntary program initiated by businesses in the early twentieth century to protect worker welfare. The American Plan was meant to undermine the appeal of labor unions.
American Protective League (APL) An organization of private citizens that cooperated with the Justice Department and the Bureau of Investigation during World War I to spy on German residents suspected of disloyal behavior.
American Woman Suffrage Association Organization founded in 1869 to support ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment.
Anti-Imperialist League An organization founded in 1898 to oppose annexation of the Philippines. Some feared that annexation would bring competition from cheap labor; others considered Filipinos racially inferior and the Philippines unsuitable as an American territory.
Atlantic Charter August 1941 agreement between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill that outlined potential war aims and cemented the relationship between the United States and Britain.
Battle of the Little Big Horn 1876 battle in the Montana Territory in which Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his troops were massacred by Lakota Sioux.
beats A small group of young poets, writers, intellectuals, musicians, and artists who attacked mainstream American politics and culture in the 1950s.
Berlin airlift During the Berlin blockade by the Soviets from 1948 to 1949, the U.S. and British governments dispatched their air forces to transport food and supplies to West Berlin.
black codes Racial laws passed in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War by southern legislatures. The black codes were intended to reduce free African Americans to a condition as close to slavery as possible.
Black Panther Party Organization founded in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale to advance the black power movement in black communities.
Black Tuesday October 29, 1929, crash of the American stock market. The 1929 stock market crash marked the beginning of the Great Depression.
blacklist Informal list of individuals barred from employment in the entertainment industry in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a result of their suspected Communist connections.
Boland Amendment 1982 act of Congress prohibiting direct aid to the Nicaraguan Contra forces.
Bonus Army World War I veterans who marched on Washington, D.C., in 1932 to demand immediate payment of their service bonuses. President Hoover refused to negotiate and instructed the U.S. army to clear the capital of protesters, leading to a violent clash.
boss Leader of a political machine. Men like “Boss” George Washington Plunkitt of New York’s Tammany Hall wielded enormous power over city life.
Brown v. BoardofEducation ofTopeka, Kansas Landmark 1954 Supreme Court case that overturned the “separate but equal” principle established by Plessy v. Ferguson and applied to public schools. Few schools in the South were racially desegregated for more than a decade.
buffalo soldiers African American cavalrymen who fought in the West against the Indians in the 1870s and 1880s and served with distinction.
bully pulpit Term used by Theodore Roosevelt to describe the office of the presidency. Roosevelt believed that the president should use his office as a platform to promote his programs and rally public opinion.
Bush Doctrine President George W. Bush’s proposal to engage in preemptive war against despotic governments, such as Iraq, deemed to threaten U.S. national security, even if the danger was not imminent.
Californios Spanish and Mexican residents of California. Before the nineteenth century, Californios made up California’s economic and political elite. Their position, however, deteriorated after the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848.
Camp David accords 1978 peace accord between Israel and Egypt facilitated by the mediation of President Jimmy Carter.
carpetbaggers Derogatory term for white Northerners who moved to the South in the years following the Civil War. Many white Southerners believed that such migrants were intent on exploiting their suffering.
Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 act that banned Chinese immigration into the United States and prohibited those Chinese already in the country from becoming naturalized American citizens.
civic housekeeping Idea promoted by Jane Addams for urban reform by using women’s traditional skills as domestic managers; caregivers for children, the elderly, and the needy; and community builders.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 Wide-ranging civil rights act that, among other things, prohibited discrimination in public accommodations and employment and increased federal enforcement of school desegregation.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) New Deal work program that hired young, unmarried men to work on conservation projects. The CCC employed about 2.5 million men and lasted until 1942.
collective bargaining The process of negotiation between labor unions and employers.
Commission on the Status of Women Commission appointed by President Kennedy in 1961. The commission’s 1963 report, American Women, highlighted employment discrimination against women and recommended legislation requiring equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.
Committee on Public Information (CPI) Committee established in 1917 to create propaganda and promote censorship in order to generate enthusiasm for World War I and stifle antiwar dissent.
Compromise of 1877 Compromise between Republicans and southern Democrats that resulted in the election of Rutherford B. Hayes. Southern Democrats agreed to support Hayes in the disputed presidential election in exchange for his promise to end Reconstruction.
Comstock Lode Massive silver deposit discovered in the Sierra Nevada in the late 1850s.
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Civil rights organization, founded in 1942, that fought against racial exclusion in public accommodations. The emergence of organizations like CORE signaled a new phase in the civil rights struggle.
conservative coalition Alliance of southern Democrats and conservative northern Republicans in Congress that thwarted passage of New Deal legislation after 1938.
Contract with America A document that called for reduced welfare spending, lower taxes, term limits for lawmakers, and a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget. In preparation for the 1994 midterm congressional elections, Republicans, led by Representative Newt Gingrich, drew up this proposal.
convict lease The system used by southern governments to furnish mainly African American prison labor to plantation owners and industrialists and to raise revenue for the states. In practice, convict labor replaced slavery as the means of providing a forced labor supply.
corporation A form of business ownership in which the liability of shareholders in a company is limited to their individual investments. The formation of corporations in the late nineteenth century greatly stimulated investment in industry.
counterculture Young cultural rebels of the 1960s who rejected conventional moral and sexual values and used drugs to reach a higher consciousness. These so-called hippies bonded together in their style of clothes and taste in rock ’n’ roll music.
court-packing plan Proposal by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 to increase the size of the Supreme Court and reduce its opposition to New Deal legislation. Congress failed to pass the measure, and the scheme increased resentment toward Roosevelt.
Coxey*s army 1894 protest movement led by Jacob Coxey. Coxey and five hundred supporters marched from Ohio to Washington, D.C., to protest the lack of government response to the depression of 1893.
Cuba Libre Vision of Cuban independence developed by José Marti, who hoped that Cuban independence would bring with it greater social and racial equality.
D Day June 6, 1944, invasion of German-occupied France by Allied forces. The D Day landings opened up a second front in Europe and marked a major turning point in World War II.
Dawes Act 1887 act that ended federal recognition of tribal sovereignty and divided Indian land into 160-acre parcels to be distributed to Indian heads of household. The act dramatically reduced the amount of Indian-controlled land and undermined Indian social and cultural institutions.
Dayton Peace Accords 1995 peace agreement ending the war in Bosnia that emerged from a conference hosted by President Bill Clinton in Dayton, Ohio.
depression of 1893 Severe economic downturn triggered by railroad and bank failures. The severity of the depression, combined with the failure of the federal government to offer an adequate response, led to the realignment of American politics.
détente An easing of tense relations with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This process moved unevenly through the 1970s and early 1980s but accelerated when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the mid-1980s.
divestment movement 1980s campaign against apartheid by ending investments by U.S. corporations, universities, and municipalities in South Africa.
dollar diplomacy Term used by President Taft to describe the economic focus of his foreign policy. Taft hoped to use economic policies and the control of foreign assets by American companies to influence Latin American nations.
“don’t ask, don’t tell” The official policy toward gays in the U.S. military established by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The policy prohibited discrimination against homosexuals as long as they did not reveal their sexual identity, but it banned openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces. It was repealed by President Barack Obama in 2011.
Eisenhower Doctrine A doctrine guiding intervention in the Middle East. In 1957 Congress granted President Dwight Eisenhower the power to send military forces into the Middle East to combat Communist aggression. Eisenhower sent U.S. marines into Lebanon in 1958 under this doctrine.
Enola Gay American B-29 bomber that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The dropping of a second bomb on Nagasaki three days later led to Japan’s surrender.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal agency established by Richard Nixon in 1971 to regulate activities that resulted in pollution or other environmental degradation.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) A proposed amendment that prevented the abridgment of “equality of rights under law . . . by the United States or any State on the basis of sex.” Not enough states had ratified the amendment by 1982, when the ratification period expired, so it was not adopted.
Espionage Act 1917 act that prohibited antiwar activities, including opposing the military draft. It punished speech critical of the war as well as deliberate actions of sabotage and spying.
ethnic cleansing Ridding an area of a particular ethnic minority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity. In the civil war between Serbs and Croatians in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995, the Serbian military attempted to eliminate the Croatian population through murder, rape, and expulsion.
eugenics The pseudo-science of producing genetic improvement in the human population through selective breeding. Proponents of eugenics often saw ethnic and racial minorities as genetically “undesirable” and inferior.
European Union (EU) Organization formed by European nations in 1993 to boost their economic and political power. Member nations took steps to facilitate free trade, investment, and migration among EU states.
Exodusters Blacks who migrated from the South to Kansas in 1879 seeking land and a better way of life.
Fair Employment Practice Committee (FEPC) Committee established in 1941 to help African Americans gain a greater share of wartime industrial jobs.
Fair Labor Standards Act 1938 law that provided a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour and a forty- hour workweek for employees in businesses engaged in interstate commerce.
Farmers’ Alliances Regional organizations formed in the late nineteenth century to advance the interests of farmers. The most prominent of these organizations were the Northwestern Farmers’ Alliance, the Southern Farmers’ Alliance, and the Colored Farmers’ Alliance.
Federal Employee Loyalty Program Program established by President Truman in 1947 to investigate federal employees suspected of disloyalty.
Fifteenth Amendment Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the abridgment of a citizen’s right to vote on the basis of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” From the 1870s on, southern states devised numerous strategies for circumventing the Fifteenth Amendment.
fireside chats Radio addresses by Franklin Roosevelt during the depression. Roosevelt’s addresses boosted morale and informed the public about government efforts to help ease their difficulties.
Fourteen Points The core principles President Wilson saw as the basis for lasting peace, including freedom of the seas, open diplomacy, and self-determination for colonial peoples.
Fourteenth Amendment Amendment to the Constitution defining citizenship and protecting individual civil and political rights from abridgment by the states. Adopted during Reconstruction, the Fourteenth Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision.
Free Speech Movement (FSM) Movement protesting policies instituted by the University of California at Berkeley that restricted free speech. In 1964 students at Berkeley conducted sit-ins and held rallies against these policies.
Freedmen’s Bureau Federal agency created in 1865 to provide ex-slaves with economic and legal resources. The Freedmen’s Bureau played an active role in shaping black life in the postwar South.
Freedom Rides Integrated bus rides through the South organized by CORE in 1961 to test compliance with Supreme Court rulings on segregation.
Freedom Summer 1964 civil rights project in Mississippi launched by SNCC, CORE, the SCLC, and the NAACP. Some eight hundred volunteers, mainly white college students, worked on voter registration drives and in freedom schools to improve education for rural black youngsters.
ghettos Neighborhoods dominated by a single ethnic, racial, or class group.
Ghost Dance Religious ritual performed by the Paiute Indians in the late nineteenth century. Following a vision he received in 1888, the prophet Wovoka believed that performing the Ghost Dance would cause whites to disappear and allow Indians to regain control of their lands.
Gilded Age Term coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner to describe the late nineteenth century. The term referred to the opulent and often ostentatious lifestyles of the era’s superrich.
glasnost Policy of political “openness” initiated by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s. Under glasnost, the Soviet Union extended democratic elections, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
globalization The extension of economic, political, and cultural relationships among nations, through commerce, migration, and communication. Globalization expanded in the late twentieth century because of free trade agreements and the relaxation of immigration restrictions.
“The Gospel of Wealth” 1889 essay by Andrew Carnegie in which he argued that the rich should act as stewards of the wealth they earned, using their surplus income for the benefit of the community.
Grangers Members of an organization founded in 1867 to meet the social and cultural needs of farmers. Grangers took an active role in the promotion of the economic and political interests of farmers.
great migration Population shift of more than 400,000 African Americans who left the South beginning in 1917—1918 and headed north and west hoping to escape poverty and racial discrimination. During the 1920s another 800,000 blacks left the South.
Great Plains Semiarid territory in central North America.
Great Recession The severe economic decline in the United States and throughout the world that began in 2008, leading to bank failures, high unemployment, home foreclosures, and large federal deficits.
Great Society President Lyndon Johnson’s vision of social, economic, and cultural progress in the United States.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution 1964 congressional resolution giving President Lyndon Johnson wide discretion in the use of U.S. forces in Vietnam. The resolution followed reported attacks by North Vietnamese gunboats on two American destroyers.
Haymarket Square Site of 1886 rally and violence. In the aftermath of the events in Haymarket Square, the union movement in the United States went into temporary decline.
Hetch Hetchy valley Site of a controversial dam built to supply San Francisco with water and power in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake. The dam was built over the objections of preservationists such as John Muir.
Homestead Act 1862 act that established procedures for distributing 160-acre lots to western settlers, on condition that they develop and farm their land, as an incentive for western migration.
Homestead strike 1892 strike by steelworkers at Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead steel factory. The strike collapsed after a failed assassination attempt on Carnegie’s plant manager, Henry Clay Frick.
Hoovervilles Shantytowns that sprang up in the years following the 1929 stock market crash. Many Americans believed that President Hoover did not do enough to relieve the suffering that accompanied the Great Depression.
horizontal integration The ownership of as many firms as possible in a given industry by a single owner. John D. Rockefeller pursued a strategy of horizontal integration when he bought up rival oil refineries.
House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) House committee established in 1938 to investigate domestic communism. After World War II, HUAC conducted highly publicized investigations of Communist influence in government and the entertainment industry.
Hull House Settlement house established in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Starr. Hull House inspired a generation of young women to work directly in immigrant communities.
Hurricane Katrina 2005 storm that hit the Gulf coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The hurricane caused massive flooding in New Orleans after levees broke. Federal, state, and local government responses to the storm were inadequate and highlighted racial and class inequities.
imperial presidency Term used to describe the growth of presidential powers during the Cold War, particularly with respect to war-making powers and the conduct of national security.
Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) 1934 act that ended the Dawes Act, authorized self-government for those living on reservations, extended tribal landholdings, and pledged to uphold native customs and language.
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Organization that grew out of the activities of the Western Federation of Miners in the 1890s and formed by Eugene V. Debs. The IWW attempted to unite all skilled and unskilled workers in an effort to overthrow capitalism.
internment The relocation of persons seen as a threat to national security to isolated camps during World War II. Nearly all people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast were forced to sell or abandon their possessions and relocate to internment camps during the war.
Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) Regulatory commission established by Congress in 1887. The commission investigated interstate shipping, required railroads to make their rates public, and could bring lawsuits to force shippers to reduce “unreasonable” fares.
Iran-Contra Reagan administration scandal involving the funneling of funds from an illegal arms- for-hostages deal with Iran to the Nicaraguan Contras in the mid-1980s.
Jim Crow Late-nineteenth-century statutes that established legally defined racial segregation in the South. Jim Crow legislation helped ensure the social and economic inferiority of southern blacks.
jingoists Superpatriotic supporters of the expansion and use of military power. Jingoists such as Theodore Roosevelt longed for a war in which they could demonstrate America’s strength and prove their own masculinity.
Joint Electoral Commission Commission created by Congress to resolve the disputed presidential election of1876. The commission consisted of five senators, five House members, and five Supreme Court justices—seven Republicans, seven Democrats, and one independent. The commission sided with the Republican presidential candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes.
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) Organization formed in 1865 by General Nathan Bedford Forrest to enforce prewar racial norms. Members of the KKK used threats and violence to intimidate blacks and white Republicans.
La Raza Unida (The United Race) A Chicano political party, formed in 1969, that advocated job opportunities for Chicanos, bilingual education, and Chicano cultural studies programs in universities.
laissez-faire French for “let things alone.” Advocates of laissez-faire believed that the marketplace should be left to regulate itself, allowing individuals to pursue their own self-interest without any government restraint or interference.
League of Nations The international organization proposed by Woodrow Wilson after the end of World War I to ensure world peace and security in the future through mutual agreement. The United States failed to join the league because Wilson and his opponents in Congress could not work out a compromise.
Lend-Lease Act March 1941 law permitting the United States to lend or lease military equipment and other commodities to Great Britain and its allies. Its passage marked the end of American neutrality before the United States entered World War II.
Levittown Suburban subdivision built in Long Island, New York, in the 1950s in response to the postwar housing shortage. Subsequent Levittowns were built in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Liberal Republicans Political group organized to challenge the reelection of President Grant in 1872. The Liberal Republicans called for an end to federal efforts at Reconstruction in the South.
Little Rock Nine Nine African American students who, in 1957, became the first black students to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Federal troops were required to overcome the resistance of white officials and to protect the students.
Long Drive Cattle drive from the grazing lands of Texas to rail depots in Kansas. Once in Kansas, the cattle were shipped eastward to slaughterhouses in Chicago.
Lost Generation A term used by the writer Gertrude Stein to describe the writers and artists disillusioned with the consumer culture of the 1920s.
Manhattan Project Code name for the secret program to develop an atomic bomb. The project was launched in 1942 and directed by the United States with the assistance of Great Britain and Canada.
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom August 28, 1963, rally by civil rights organizations in Washington, D.C., that brought increased national attention to the movement.
Marshall Plan Post-World War II European economic aid package developed by Secretary of State George Marshall. The plan helped rebuild Western Europe and served American political and economic interests in the process.
McCarthyism Term used to describe the harassment and persecution of suspected political radicals. Senator Joseph McCarthy was one of many prominent government figures who helped incite antiCommunist hysteria in the early 1950s.
megachurches Mainly Protestant congregations containing at least two thousand members. The number of megachurches in the United States increased dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s.
melting pot Popular metaphor for immigrant assimilation into American society. According to this ideal, all immigrants underwent a process of Americanization that produced a homogeneous society.
Mexican revolution 1911 revolution in Mexico, which led to nearly a decade of bloodshed and civil war.
military-industrial complex The government-business alliance related to the military and national defense that developed out of World War II and that greatly influenced future development of the U.S. economy.
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) Political party formed in 1964 to challenge the all-white state Democratic Party for seats at the 1964 Democratic presidential convention and run candidates for public office. Although unsuccessful in 1964, MFDP efforts led to subsequent reform of the Democratic Party and the seating of an interracial, convention delegation from Mississippi in 1968.
Modern Republicanism The political approach of President Dwight Eisenhower that tried to fit traditional Republican Party ideals of individualism and fiscal restraint within the broad framework of the New Deal.
Montgomery Improvement Association Organization founded in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 to coordinate the boycott of city buses by African Americans.
Mormons Religious sect that migrated to Utah to escape religious persecution; also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
muckrakers Investigative journalists who specialized in exposing corruption, scandal, and vice. Muckrakers helped build public support for progressive causes.
mujahideen Religiously inspired Afghan rebels who resisted the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
multinational (or transnational) corporations Companies that operate production facilities or deliver services in more than one country. Between 1970 and 2000, the number of such firms increased ninefold.
mutual aid societies Voluntary associations that provide a variety of economic and social benefits to their members.
mutually assured destruction (MAD) Defense strategy built around the threat of a massive nuclear retaliatory strike. Adoption of the doctrine of mutually assured destruction contributed to the escalation of the nuclear arms race during the Cold War.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Organization founded by W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Jane Addams, and others in 1909 to fight for racial equality. The NAACP strategy focused on fighting discrimination through the courts.
National Interstate and Defense Highway Act 1956 act that provided funds for construction of 42,500 miles of roads throughout the United States.
National Labor Relations Act 1935 act (also known as the Wagner Act) that created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB protected workers’ right to organize labor unions without owner interference.
National Organization for Women (NOW) Feminist organization formed in 1966 by Betty Friedan and like-minded activists.
National Origins Act 1924 act establishing immigration quotas by national origin. The act was intended to severely limit immigration from southern and eastern Europe as well as prohibit all immigration from East Asia.
National Recovery Administration (NRA) New Deal agency established in 1933 to create codes to regulate production, prices, wages, hours, and collective bargaining. The NRA failed to produce the intended results and was eventually ruled unconstitutional.
National Security Council (NSC) Council created by the 1947 National Security Act to advise the president on military and foreign affairs. The NSC consists of the national security adviser and the secretaries of state, defense, the army, the navy, and the air force.
National War Labor Board (NWLB) Government agency created in 1918 to settle labor disputes. The NWLB consisted of representatives from unions, corporations, and the public.
National War Labor Board Board established in 1942 to oversee labor-management relations during World War II. The board regulated wages, hours, and working conditions and authorized the government to take over plants that refused to abide by its decisions.
National Woman Suffrage Association Organization founded in 1869 to support women’s voting rights. Founders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton objected to the Fifteenth Amendment because it did not provide suffrage for women.
nativism The belief that foreigners pose a serious danger to a nation’s society and culture. Nativist sentiment rose in the United States as the size and diversity of the immigrant population grew.
neoconservatives Disillusioned liberals who condemned the Great Society programs they had originally supported. Neoconservatives were particularly concerned about affirmative action programs, the domination of campus discourse by New Left radicals, and left-wing criticism of the use of American military and economic might to advance U.S. interests overseas.
Neutrality Acts Legislation passed between 1935 and 1937 to make it more difficult for the United States to become entangled in overseas conflicts. The Neutrality Acts reflected the strength of isolationist sentiment in 1930s America.
New Deal The policies and programs that Franklin Roosevelt initiated to combat the Great Depression. The New Deal represented a dramatic expansion of the role of government in American society.
New Freedom Term used by Woodrow Wilson to describe his limited-government, progressive agenda. Wilson’s New Freedom was offered as an alternative to Theodore Roosevelt’s New Nationalism.
New Frontier President Kennedy’s domestic agenda. Kennedy promised to battle “tyranny, poverty, disease, and war,” but, lacking strong majorities in Congress, he achieved relatively modest results.
New Look The foreign policy strategy implemented by President Dwight Eisenhower that emphasized the development and deployment of nuclear weapons in an effort to cut military spending.
New Nationalism Agenda articulated by Theodore Roosevelt in his 1912 presidential campaign. Roosevelt called for increased regulation of large corporations, a more active role for the president, and the extension of social justice using the power of the federal government.
New Negro 1920s term for the second generation of African Americans born after emancipation and who stood up for their rights.
New Right The conservative coalition of old and new conservatives, as well as disaffected Democrats. The New Right came to power with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
New South Term popularized by newspaper editor Henry Grady in the 1880s, a proponent of the modernization of the southern economy. Grady believed that industrial development would lead to the emergence of a “New South.”
new woman 1920s term for the modern, sexually liberated woman. The new woman, popularized in movies and magazines, flouted traditional morality.
Noble Order of the Knights of Labor Labor organization founded in 1869 by Uriah Stephens. The Knights sought to include all workers in one giant union.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Free trade agreement approved in 1993 by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Cold War military alliance intended to enhance the collective security of the United States and Western Europe.
NSC-68 April 1950 National Security Council document that advocated the intensification of the policy of containment both at home and abroad.
nuclear freeze movement 1980s protests calling for a mutual freeze on the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons and of missiles and aircraft designed primarily to deliver nuclear weapons.
Occupy Wall Street A loose coalition of progressive and radical forces that emerged in 2011 in New York City and around the country to protest corporate greed and federal policies that benefit the very wealthy.
Open Door 1899 policy in which Secretary of State John Hay informed the nations occupying China that the United States had the right of equal trade in China.
Operation Desert Storm Code name of the 1991 allied air and ground military offensive that pushed Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Organization formed by oil-producing countries to control the price and supply of oil on the global market.
Palmer raids Government roundup of some 6,000 suspected alien radicals in 1919—1920, ordered by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and his assistant J. Edgar Hoover. The raids resulted in the deportation of 556 immigrants.
Patriot Act 2001 law passed in response to the September 11 terror attacks. It eased restrictions on domestic and foreign intelligence gathering and expanded governmental power to deport immigrants.
Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act 1883 act that required federal jobs to be awarded on the basis of merit through competitive exams rather than through political connections.
Pentagon Papers Classified report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam leaked to the press in 1971. The report confirmed that the Kennedy and Johnson administrations had misled the public about the origins and nature of the Vietnam War.
perestroika Policy of economic “restructuring” initiated by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev hoped that by reducing state control he could revive the Soviet economy.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act 1996 act reforming the welfare system in the United States. The law required adults on the welfare rolls to find work within two years or lose their welfare benefits.
Platt Amendment 1901 act of Congress limiting Cuban sovereignty. American officials pressured Cuban leaders to incorporate the amendment into the Cuban constitution.
Plessy v. Ferguson 1896 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the legality of Jim Crow legislation. The Court ruled that as long as states provided “equal but separate” facilities for whites and blacks, Jim Crow laws did not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
political machine Urban political organizations that dominated many late-nineteenth-century cities. Machines provided needed services to the urban poor, but they also fostered corruption, crime, and inefficiency.
Populists The People’s Party of America, formed in 1892. The Populists sought to appeal to both farmers and industrial workers.
Port Huron Statement Students for a Democratic Society manifesto written in 1962 that condemned liberal politics, Cold War foreign policy, racism, and research-oriented universities. It called for the adoption of “participatory democracy.”
pragmatism Philosophy that holds that truth can be discovered only through experience and that the value of ideas should be measured by their practical consequences. Pragmatism had a significant influence on the progressives.
Proclamation ofAmnesty and Reconstruction 1863 proclamation that established the basic parameters of President Lincoln’s approach to Reconstruction. Lincoln’s plan would have readmitted the South to the Union on relatively lenient terms.
Progressive Party Third party formed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 to facilitate his candidacy for president. Nicknamed the “Bull Moose Party,” the Progressive Party split the Republican vote, allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the election.
Pullman strike 1894 strike by workers against the Pullman railcar company. When the strike disrupted rail service nationwide, threatening the delivery of the mail, President Cleveland ordered federal troops to get the railroads moving again.
Reaganomics Ronald Reagan’s economic policies based on the theories of supply-side economists and centered on tax cuts and cuts to domestic programs.
Red scare The fear of Communist-inspired radicalism in the wake of the Russian Revolution. The Red scare following World War I culminated in the Palmer raids on suspected radicals.
Redeemers White, conservative Democrats who challenged and overthrew Republican rule in the South during Reconstruction.
Roe v. Wade The 1973 Supreme Court opinion that affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.
Roosevelt Corollary 1904 addition to the Monroe Doctrine that affirmed the right of the United States to intervene in the internal affairs of Caribbean and Latin American countries to preserve order and protect American interests.
Sacco and Vanzetti case 1920 case in which Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were convicted of robbery and murder. The trial centered on the defendants’ foreign birth and political views, rather than the facts pertaining to their guilt or innocence.
SALT II 1979 strategic arms limitation treaty agreed on by President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Carter persuaded the Senate not to ratify the treaty.
scalawags Derisive term for white Southerners who supported Reconstruction.
Scottsboro Nine Nine African American youths convicted of raping two white women in Scottsboro, Alabama, in 1931. The Communist Party played a key role in defending the Scottsboro Nine and in bringing national and international attention to their case.
second front Beginning in 1942, Stalin wanted an immediate invasion by U.S., British, and Canadian forces into German-occupied France to take pressure off the Soviet forces fighting the Germans on the eastern front. The attack in western Europe did not begin until 1944, fostering resentment in Stalin.
second industrial revolution Revolution in technology and productivity that reshaped the American economy in the early twentieth century.
Sedition Act 1918 act appended to the Espionage Act. It punished individuals for expressing opinions deemed hostile to the U.S. government, flag, or military.
Servicemen’s Readjustment Act 1944 act that offered educational opportunities and financial aid to veterans as they readjusted to civilian life. Known as the GI Bill, the law helped millions of veterans build new lives after the war.
settlement houses Community centers established by urban reformers in the late nineteenth century. Settlement house organizers resided in the institutions they created and were often female, middle- class, and college educated.
Share Our Wealth Plan devised by Senator Huey Long of Louisiana to provide families with a $5,000 homestead and a guaranteed annual income of $2,000. These results would be achieved by taxing the wealthy.
sharecropping A system that emerged as the dominant mode of agricultural production in the South in the years after the Civil War. Under the sharecropping system, sharecroppers received tools and supplies from landowners in exchange for a share of the eventual harvest.
Sherman Antitrust Act 1890 act that outlawed monopolies that prevented free competition in interstate commerce.
sit-down strike A strike in which workers occupy their place of employment. In 1937 the United Auto Workers conducted sit-down strikes in Flint, Michigan, against General Motors to gain union recognition, higher wages, and better working conditions. The union won its demands.
skilled workers Workers with particular training and skills. Skilled workers were paid more and were more difficult for owners to replace than unskilled workers.
skyscrapers Buildings more than ten stories high that first appeared in U.S. cities in the late nineteenth century. Urban crowding and high prices for land stimulated the drive to construct taller buildings.
Smith Act 1940 act that prohibited teaching or advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government or belonging to any group with that aim.
social gospel Religious movement that advocated the application of Christian teachings to social and economic problems. The ideals of the social gospel inspired many progressive reformers.
Social Security Act Landmark 1935 act that created retirement pensions for most Americans, as well as unemployment insurance.
Solidarity Polish trade union movement led by Lech Walesa. During the 1980s, Solidarity played a central role in ending Communist rule in Poland.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Organization founded in 1957 by Martin Luther King Jr. and other black ministers to encourage nonviolent protests against racial segregation and disfranchisement in the South.
Stonewall Tavern The gay bar in Greenwich Village in New York City where, in 1969, its patrons fought the police in response to harassment. This encounter helped launch the gay liberation movement.
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) 1972 agreement between the United States and Soviet Union to curtail nuclear arms production during the Cold War. The pact froze for five years the number of antiballistic missiles (ABMs), intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine- based missiles that each nation could deploy.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Civil rights organization that grew out of the sit-ins of 1960. The organization focused on taking direct action and political organizing to achieve its goals.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Student activist organization formed in the early 1960s that advocated the formation of a “New Left” that would overturn the social and political status quo.
subprime mortgages Mortgages that are normally made out to borrowers with lower credit ratings. During the early twenty-first century, banks and mortgage companies devised lenient lending policies to allow buyers to purchase homes beyond their means.
subtreasury system A proposal by the Farmers’ Alliances in the 1880s for the federal government to extend loans to farmers and store their crops in warehouses until prices rose and they could buy back and sell their crops to repay their debts.
suffragists Supporters of voting rights for women. Campaigns for women’s suffrage gained strength in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and culminated in ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.
Sun Belt The southern and western part of the United States. After World War II, millions ofAmericans moved to the Sun Belt, drawn by the region’s climate and jobs in the defense, petroleum, and chemical industries.
sweatshops Small factories or shops in which workers toiled under adverse conditions. Business owners, particularly in the garment industry, turned tenement apartments into sweatshops.
Taft-Hartley Act 1947 law that curtailed unions’ ability to organize. It prevented unions from barring employment to non-union members and authorized the federal government to halt a strike for eighty days if it interfered with the national interest.
Tea Party movement A loose coalition of conservative and libertarian forces that arose around 2008. Generally working within the Republican Party, the Tea Party advocates small government, low taxes, and reduced federal deficits.
Teapot Dome scandal Oil and land scandal during the Harding administration that highlighted the close ties between big business and the federal government in the early 1920s.
Teller Amendment Amendment to the 1898 declaration of war against Spain stipulating that Cuba should be free and independent. The amendment was largely ignored in the aftermath of America’s victory.
tenements Multifamily apartment buildings that housed many poor urban dwellers at the turn of the twentieth century. Tenements were crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) New Deal agency that brought low-cost electricity to rural Americans and redeveloped the Tennessee River valley through flood-control projects. The agency built, owned, and supervised a number of power plants and dams.
Tenure of Office Act Law passed by Congress in 1867 to prevent President Andrew Johnson from removing cabinet members sympathetic to the Republican Party’s approach to congressional Reconstruction without Senate approval. Johnson was impeached, but not convicted, for violating the act.
Tet Offensive January 31, 1968, offensive mounted by Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces against population centers in South Vietnam. The offensive was turned back, but it shocked many Americans and increased public opposition to the war.
Thirteenth Amendment Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was passed in January 1865 and sent to the states for ratification.
To Secure These Rights Report issued by President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights in 1947 that advocated extending racial equality. Among its recommendations was the desegregation of the military, which Truman instituted by executive order in 1948.
transcontinental railroad A railroad linking the East and West Coasts of North America. Completed in 1869, the transcontinental railroad facilitated the flow of migrants and the development of economic connections between the West and the East.
Treaty of Fort Laramie 1851 treaty that sought to confine tribes on the northern plains to designated areas in an attempt to keep white settlers from encroaching on their land. In 1868, the second Treaty of Fort Laramie gave northern tribes control over the “Great Reservation” in parts of present- day Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Triangle Shirtwaist Company Site of an infamous industrial fire in New York City in 1911. Inadequate fire safety provisions in the factory led to the deaths of 146 workers.
Truman Doctrine U.S. pledge to contain the expansion of communism around the world. Based on the idea of containment, the Truman Doctrine was the cornerstone of American foreign policy throughout the Cold War.
Tuskegee Institute African American educational institute founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington. Following Washington’s philosophy, the Tuskegee Institute focused on teaching industrious habits and practical job skills.
unions Groups of workers seeking rights and benefits from their employers through their collective efforts.
Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Organization founded by Marcus Garvey in 1914 to promote black self-help, pan-Africanism, and racial separatism.
unskilled workers Workers with little or no specific expertise. Unskilled workers, many of whom were immigrants, made up the vast majority of the late-nineteenth-century industrial workforce.
vertical integration The control of all elements in a supply chain by a single firm. For example, Andrew Carnegie, a vertically integrated steel producer, sought to own suppliers of all the raw materials used in steel production.
Vietcong The popular name for the National Liberation Front (NLF) in South Vietnam, which was formed in 1959. The Vietcong waged a military insurgency against the U.S.-backed president, Ngo Dinh Diem, and received support from Ho Chi Minh, the leader of North Vietnam.
Vietnamization President Richard Nixon’s strategy of turning over greater responsibility for the fighting of the Vietnam War to the South Vietnamese army.
vital center liberalism Political ideology of Harry Truman supporters who took a middle political ground between the extreme right and left. Vital center liberals supported the Cold War, favored civil rights measures and federal government support for public housing and medical care, and opposed McCarthyism while supporting domestic anticommunism efforts.
Voting Rights Act 1965 act that eliminated many of the obstacles to African American voting in the South and resulted in dramatic increases in black participation in the electoral process.
War Industries Board (WIB) Government commission created in 1917 to supervise the purchase of military supplies and oversee the conversion of the economy to meet wartime demands. The WIB embodied a government-business partnership that lasted beyond World War I.
War Powers Act 1973 act that required the president to consult with Congress within forty-eight hours of deploying military forces and to obtain a declaration of war from Congress if troops remained on foreign soil beyond sixty days.
War Production Board Board established in 1942 to oversee the economy during World War II. The War Production Board was part of a larger effort to convert American industry to the production of war materials.
Watergate Scandal and cover-up that forced the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974. The scandal revolved around a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in 1972 and subsequent efforts to conceal the administration’s involvement in the break-in.
Weathermen A group advocating the use of revolutionary violence, formed in 1968 by dissident members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The Weathermen went underground to avoid criminal prosecution.
white-collar workers Managerial, clerical, and technical workers. The creation of large numbers of white-collar jobs in the late nineteenth century was the key factor in the expansion of the American middle class.
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Organization founded in 1874 to campaign for a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol. In the late nineteenth century, under Frances Willard’s leadership, the WCTU supported a broad social reform agenda.
Works Progress Administration (WPA) New Deal agency established in 1935 to put unemployed Americans to work on public projects ranging from construction to the arts.
Yalta Agreement Agreement negotiated at the 1945 Yalta Conference by Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin about the fate of postwar eastern Europe. The Yalta Agreement did little to ease growing tensions between the Soviet Union and its Western allies.
yellow journalism Sensationalist news accounts meant to provoke an emotional response in readers. Yellow journalism contributed to the growth of public support for American intervention in Cuba in 1898.
Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) A group of young conservatives from college campuses formed in 1960 in Sharon, Connecticut. It favored free market principles, states’ rights, and anticommunism.
Zimmermann telegram 1917 telegram in which Germany offered Mexico an alliance in the event that the United States entered World War I. The telegram’s publication in American newspapers helped build public support for war.
zoot suit riots Series of riots in 1943 in Los Angeles, California, sparked by white hostility toward Mexican Americans. White sailors attacked Mexican American teenagers who dressed in zoot suits—suits with long jackets with padded shoulders and baggy pants tapered at the bottom.