The Triumph of Industry Study Guide – Chapter 4

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The Triumph of Industry Study Guide – Chapter 4


  1. Patentlicenses to make, use, or sell an invention; exclusive rights to an inventor to develop, use, sell an invention for a set period of time

  2. Productivity – the amount of goods and services created in a given period of time

  3. mass production – manufacture of goods in large amount by breaking the production process into many repetitive segments

  4. monopoly – When a company has no competition in selling its product

  5. cartel – a loose arrangement of similar businesses formed to control production and keep prices high

  6. trust – A group of separate companies placed under the control of a single managing board

  7. business cycle – what economists call periods of boom or bust, may be described as expansion followed by recession

  8. piecework – the method of providing payment based on the number of items created, favored young and strong workers

  9. scab – workers called in to replace striking workers

  10. economies of scale – As production increases, the cost of each item produced is often lower…producers can then charge less

  11. collective bargaining – when workers negotiate as a group with employers

  12. anarchist – political radicals who oppose all government


  1. Thomas Edison – the inventor who established the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, major accomplishment…making electricity more widely available

  2. George Westinghouse – developed the alternating current to aid in the spread of electricity

  3. John A Roebling – designed the Brooklyn Bridge

  4. Andrew Carnegie – the industrialist who preached the “Gospel of Wealth”, argued that the success of wealthy industrialists helped the entire nation

  5. John D. Rockefeller – the industrialists who established Standard Oil, he attempted to create a monopoly, cartel and trust in that industry, gained control over much of the oil industry by managing a trust made up of Standard Oil and allied companies

  6. Fredrick Winslow Taylor – studied worker productivity as the foundation for his system for the scientific management published in his 1911 book, The Principles of Scientific Management

  7. Karl Marx/Friedrick Engels – German philosophers who wrote the Communist Manifesto which opposed capitalism, later used by Communists, founders of modern communism and socialism

  8. August Spies - anarchists and newspaper editor who stirred up anger among the workers during the Haymarket Riot

Identification Terms:

  1. Transcontinental Railroad – the railway extending from coast to coast completed on May 10, 1869, the government contributed to the building by awarding loans and land grants to private companies

  2. Bessemer process – developed by inventor Henry Bessemer as a cheaper and more efficient method of producing steel, made skyscrapers and other wonders possible including the symbol of American success the Brooklyn Bridge

  3. Telegraph – invented and patented by Samuel F.B. Morse, revolutionized American communications in the late 1800s

  4. Telephone – invented by Alexander Graham Bell who established the American Telephone and Telegraph company, revolutionized American communications in the late 1800s

  5. Brooklyn Bridge – symbol of American success made possible by the Bessemer process

  6. Social Darwinism – the theory that discouraged government interference in economic matters, the theory stated that government should stay out of the affairs of business and the best would create success that would benefit society as a whole

  7. Standard Oil – company owned by John D. Rockefeller

  8. Sherman Anti-Trust Act – passed by Congress to keep industry from cutting off competition

  9. horizontal consolidation – the process of bringing together many firms that are in the same business to form one large company; Example: John D. Rockefeller, illegal

  10. vertical consolidation – the process of gaining control of the many different businesses that make up all phases of a product’s development; Example: Andrew Carnegie, legal

  11. division of labor – Breaking a job down into separate tasks and having each worker perform a different task

  12. socialism – the philosophy that advocates public rather than private control of property

  13. Knights of labor - hoped to organize all working men and women, skilled and unskilled, into a single union; leader Terrence Powderly

  14. Wobblies – focused on unskilled workers, was a radical union that included many Socialists among its leadership

  15. Haymarket Riot – the 1886 labor-related violence in Chicago, anarchist accused of throwing a bomb into a crowd of police

  16. Homestead Strike – the 1892 strike in Pennsylvania against Carnegie Steel; Pinkertons called in

  17. Pullman Strike – lead by popular labor organizer Eugene Debs who called for a boycott of Pullman cars leading to a strike, the government responded to the strike by using federal troops to control the workers

Other Topics/People to Consider:

  1. Jacob Riis - this social reformer wrote the book Children of the Poor to draw attention to child labor practices in 1892

  2. Samuel Gompers – opposed letting women join the American Federation of labor because he believed that women in the work force would drive the wages down

  3. American Federation of Labor – organized only skilled labor…lead by Samuel Gompers

  4. Philanthropist – a person who donates money to worthy causes

  5. Yellow Dog Contracts – some employers forced workers to sign agreements not to join labor unions…they would not become a “yellow dog”

  6. Robber Baron – critic of the powerful industrialist, a negative term of description

  7. Technological Advances – made possible the American industrial growth in the late 1800s, along with financial investments sparked the expansion of American industry

  8. Distribution of Wealth – industrial growth led to the concentration of wealth being in the hands of a few industrialists

  9. Children – often worked in factories because families needed the income to survive

  10. Nation’s first major labor strike – began due to railway workers becoming angered by wage cuts

Possible short answer/open response:

  1. Explain why American industrialists of the late 1800s were called both “robber barons” and “captains of industry.” What viewpoint do you think most accurately depicts nineteenth-century industrialists?

  2. Describe the theory of social Darwinism and its connection to big business. Do you agree with the philosophy of social Darwinism? Why or why not.

  1. During the railroad strike, one newspaper accused the strikers of carrying out “a revolution… to undermine American institutions.” How did this characterization highlight the public’s view of labor unions? What does this tell us about American society during this time period?

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