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The vocabulary in this wiki will reference labor history, immigration issues, and mining content related to the period 1880-1940. We will begin our work by reading and reflecting on the text Out of this Furnace by Thomas Bell.


Each book in the Children's Literature section also has a separate vocabulary section with activities developed to foster academic language development.


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Term, Event, or Person


Definition and Link to Outside Source

Spanish-American War: 


The Spanish-American War was a short war between the United States and Spain that began on April 25,1898 and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. The main purpose of the War to was to expand on the property of the United States westward into land that was currently owned by Mexico.  As a result of the war the United States became a world power that controlled an empire from the Caribbean Sea to the Far East.


Great Depression:  
The Great Depression was a global economic slump that began in 1929 and bottomed in 1933. There have been many economists, historians, and political scientists who have posed several theories for the cause, or causes. This remains one of the most studied events of history to economic historians. One of the most common talked about causes is the stock market crash of 1929. What was the main outcome?
Progressive Era
The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s.[1] The main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to expose and undercut political machines and bosses. Many (but not all) Progressives supported prohibition in order to destroy the political power of local bosses based in saloons.[2] At the same time, women's suffrage was promoted to bring a "purer" female vote into the arena 
Gilded Age
In American history, the Gilded Age refers to the era of rapid economic and population growth in the United States during the post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction eras of the late 19th century. 
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies.
Sherman Anti-Trust Act
requires the United States Federal government to investigate and pursue trusts, companies, and organizations suspected of violating the Act. It was the first Federal statute to limit cartels and monopolies, and today still forms the basis for most antitrust litigation by the United States federal government. However, for the most part, politicians were unwilling to use the law until Theodore Roosevelt's Presidency (1901–1909). For More Information.
The period from 1919 to 1933, during which the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol were banned nationally as mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. 1920's Prohibition and More Prohibition
Thomas Edison
 Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor, scientist, and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park" (now Edison, New Jersey) by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large teamwork to the process of invention, and therefore is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
Woodrow Wilson

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president of the United States and a leader of the Progressive Movement.


Theodore Roosevelt


Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States.  He was known for his leadership in the Progressive Movement and his cowboy image.  He was also the leader of the Republican Party and a know Naturalist.
Blast Furnace
A furnace used in integrated steelmaking in which coke and iron ore react together under a hot air flow to form liquid hot metal, also called pig iron. Here is a link to an archive of turn of the 20th century blast furnaces.
A Strikebreaker or a person who works despite strike action or against the will of other employees.
An organization of workers that have banded together, often for the purposes of getting better working conditions or pay.
A work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to perform work, also known as a walkout.
Hunky (Hunkies)
A derogatory American slang term for immigrants.
Vigilante Group  Someone who illegally punishes an alleged lawbreaker.







War Tax


War Savings Stamps



A medical facility for long-term illness.


A faction of a pre existing Russian political party that created a movement in socialization.Bolshevism






Stamps used during WWI and WWII that school-aged children could sell to raise money for the Wars.  It was funded by the US Treasury.

Liberty Bond
A bond issued by the U.S. during WWI. This type of bond financed the war effort in Europe. These again, were reissued after 9/11 terror attacks for finance the rebuilding of Ground Zero. 
A system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill.




Steel Workers' Organization Committee


Congress of Industrial Organizations

Homestead Strike The Homestead Strike was an industrial lockout and strike which began on June 30, 1892, culminating in a battle between strikers and private security agents to act as strikebreakers, on July 6, 1892. It was one of the most serious disputes in U.S. labor history. The dispute occurred at the Homestead Steelworks in the Pittsburgh-area town of Homestead, Pennsylvania, between the Amalgamated Association of iron and steel workers (the AA) and the Carnegie steel company. The final result was a major defeat for the union, and a setback for efforts to unionize steelworkers. 
Immigrant  A person who comes to a Country where they were not born in order to settle there. People immigrated to the United States for many reasons during this time period, from seeking a better life to religious persecutions. Click here to learn more about the reasons for people immigrating to the U.S. 

Another term for tuberculosis, an infectious disease most often affecting the lungs.  Symptoms include chronic cough, night sweats, fever, and weight loss.  Infection of other organs can result in additional symptoms. 





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