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Chapter 8: Politics, Immigration, and Urban Life (1870-1915)

*The Gilded Age
A term coined by Mark Twain to describe the post-Reconstruction era.
*Laissez-faire
Doctrine stating that government generally should not interfere in private business
Subsidy
A payment made by the government to encourage the development of certain key industries
*Blue law
Regulation that prohibited certain private activities people considered immoral, such as drinking alcohol on Sundays
*Civil service
The government’s non-elected workers
Pendleton Civil Service Act
1883 law that created Civil Service Commission and stated that federal employees could not be required to contribute to campaign funds or be fired for political reasons
Rebate
A partial refund
Munn v. Illinois
1877 Supreme Court decision that allowed states to regulate certain businesses within their borders
Pogrom
Violent massacre of Jews
*Steerage
A large open area beneath the ship’s deck, often used to house traveling immigrants
Quarantine
A time of isolation to prevent the spread of a disease
*Ghetto
Area in which one ethnic or racial group dominates
Restrictive covenant
Agreement among homeowners not to sell real estate to certain groups of people.
*Chinese Exclusion Act
Law passed in 1882 that prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the country, but did not prevent entry of those who had previously established U.S. residence
Gentlemen’s Agreement
1907 agreement between the United States and Japan that restricted Japanese immigration
Alien
A noncitizen
*Suburb
Residential community surrounding a city
*Tenement
A low-cost apartment building that often has poor standards of sanitation, safety, and comfort, and is designed to house as many families as possible
Dumbbell tenement
A tenement building that narrowed in the middle, forming air shafts on either side and allowing light and air into the rooms
*Political machine
An unofficial city organization designed to keep a particular party or group in power and unusually headed by a single, powerful boss
*Graft
Use of one’s job to gain profit; a major source of income for political machines
Social gospel movement
A social reform movement that developed within religious institutions and sought to apply the teachings of Jesus directly to society
*Settlement house
Community center organized to provide various services to the urban poor
Sociology
Termed coined by philosopher Auguste Comte to describe the study of how people interact with one another in society
*Nativism
A policy of favoring native-born Americans over immigrants
Temperance movement
An organized campaign to eliminate alcohol consumption
*Prohibition
A ban on the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages
Vice
Immoral or corrupt behavior
How did business influence politicians during the Gilded Age?
The laissez-faire approach to business meant that business favored high tariffs on imported goods to encourage people to buy American goods instead. They also began to accept land grants and subsidies, to ensure that they continued to receive these, they would give money to politicians.
What problems did the spoils system create?
The problem was that Jackson would put people into office that were not qualified, so jobs were not being done.
Why did so many people want to come to the United States between 1870 and 1915?
The immigrants who came to the United States between 1870 and 1915 were seeking a better life. They were fleeing poverty and looking for new opportunities.
Starting in the 1890s, where did large numbers of immigrants come from?
After the 1880s, immigrants increasingly came from Eastern and Southern European countries, as well as Canada and Latin America. By 1910, Eastern and Southern Europeans made up 70 percent of the immigrants entering the country.
How did slums develop in cities?
Although specific reasons for slum development vary from city to city, the underlying reason for slum development is poverty.
What were the advantages and disadvantages of political machines for urban residents?
Advantage of political machines was it provided order and was a strong bargaining position. Disadvantage-cause of corruption
How did the settlement movement seek to help the needy?
The settlement movement’s main objective was the establishment of “settlement houses” in poor urban areas, in which volunteer middle-class would live, hoping to share knowledge & culture with, & alleviate the poverty of those with low-income.
What actions did nativists take to restrict immigration?
The immigrants had to go through immigration stations such as Ellis Island and Angel Island. Where they were checked for disease, and had to go through a government inspector to see if they met the legal requirements for entering the United states. Which included proving they had never been convited of a felony, demonstrating that they were able to work, and showing that they had some money. Some immigrants would be held for days, months, and even some up to a year for inspection.

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