Chapter 14 Project US HISTORY

Key Terms

Pacific Railway Acts: Federal government support for the building of the first transcontinental railroad (pictured)

Morrill Land-Grant Act: acts that that provided grants of land to states to finance the establishment of colleges specializing in agriculture and the mechanical arts

Homestead Act: encouraged Western migration by providing settlers 160 acres of public land

Dawes Act: an act passed to protect the property rights of Native American Indians but the law was organized in such a way that it caused tribe members to take in the American society and culture

land speculators: people who practice the financial activity of purchasing real estate with the hope that the price will increase

US Military vs the Great Plains Indians

Causes of the Wars: As the Americans started the Westward expansion after the Civil War, they encountered the Native Americans of the area. It is believed that the settlers caused the war due to their attempts to convert the Native's to their beliefs and cultures.

Boomers vs Sooners

Boomers: a group who promoted for more than ten years prior to 1889 to open Oklahoma to settlement.

Sooners: those who illegally crossed the line prior to the opening gun at high noon on April 22, 1889 in order to gain the best land.


Someone who was given ownership of land, typically called a "homestead", at little or no cost.

Problems Faced

  • Drought
  • Little medical help nearby
  • Natives
  • When it rained the sod from the sod houses went everywhere
  • Grasshoppers ate anything in their sight that was green
  • Stores were rarely close to the sites
  • Prairie fires were common and when they occured, they ruined crops and wages for a whole year


Support for the concerns of ordinary people

Supply and Deflation

During deflation, prices come down. Deflation was a very big problem for the farmers out West. When the farmers sold their crops they did not get enough money to make the payments to the banks. Many of the farmers wanted some inflation so that they could get enough money for their crop so that they could make the payments to the bank. The farmers knew that the only way they could get inflation would be by increasing the money supply. The amount of money in circulation was dependent on the amount of gold that the American government had. One idea to increase the amount of money was to use silver as well as gold for the money supply.

Bimetallic Standard vs Free Silver

Bimetallic standard is a monetary system in which a government recognizes coins composed of gold or silver as a legal currency. Free silver is a sign of a US political movement for the free coins of silver.

Bland Allison Act: an act that required the U.S. Treasury to buy a certain amount of silver and put it into circulation as silver dollars

Sherman Silver Purchse Act: an act that required the U.S. government to purchase twice as much silver as before and it added substantially to the amount of money already in circulation

The Grange: a movement to advance methods in agriculture

Farmer's Alliance: an organized economic movement among farmers regarding redistributed land

Interstate Commerce Act: a federal law that was designed to regulate the railroad industry, particularly its business practices

Populist Party

The party wanted to take care of those in the working class and to only allow wealth to go to the person who creates it rather than industry giants. The party followed the motto "If any will not work, neither shall he eat." They also wanted the people to take over ownership of the railroads. They had additional guidelines for transportation, finance and land to supplement their other requests.

William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan was an American orator and politician. He was a dominant force in the populist wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as the Party's nominee for President of the United States.

Cross of Gold Speech

A speech given by William Jennings Bryan at the Democratic National Convention in which he discussed his support for free silver. He believed it would bring the nation great wealth.


Created with images by JefferyTurner - "Flag"

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