1. Paralysis – A state of helpless stoppage, inactivity, or inability to act.
2. Coalition – A temporary alliance of political factions or parties for some specific purpose.
3. Corner – To gain exclusive control of a commodity in order to fix its price.
4. Censure – An official statement of condemnation passed by a legislative body against one of its members or some other official of government. While severe, a censure itself stops short of penalties or expulsion, which is removal from office.
5. Amnesty – A general pardon for offenses or crimes against a government.
6. Civil service – Referring to regular employment by government according to a standardized system of job descriptions, merit qualifications, pay, and promotion.
7. Political appointees – Receive positions based on affiliation and party loyalty.
8. Unsecured loans – Money loaned without identification of collateral (existing assets) to be forfeited in case the borrower defaults on the loan.
9. Contraction – In finance, reducing the available supply of money, thus tending to raise interest rates and lower prices.
10. Deflation – An increase in the value of money in relation to available goods, causing prices to fall.
11. Inflation – A decrease in the value of money in relation to goods, causes prices to rise.
12. Fraternal organization – A society of men drawn together for social purposes and sometimes to pursue other common goals.
13. Consensus – Common or unanimous opinion.
14. Kickback – The return of a portion of the money received in a sale or contract, often secretly or illegally, in exchange for favors.
15. Lien – A legal claim by a lender or another party on a borrower’s property as a guarantee against repayment, and prohibiting any sale of the property.
16. Assassination – Politically motivated murder of a public figure.
17. Laissez-faire – The doctrine of noninterference, especially by the government, in matters of economics or business.
18. Pork barrel – In American politics, government appropriations for political purposes, especially projects designed to please a legislator’s local constituency.
People, Events, and Ideas:
1. Ulysses S. Grant – A great soldier but an utterly inept politician.
2. Jim Fisk – Bold and unprincipled financier whose plot to corner the U.S. gold market nearly succeeded in 1869.
3. Boss Tweed – Heavyweight New York political boss whose widespread fraud landed him in jail in 1871.
4. Horace Greeley – Colorful, eccentric newspaper editor who carried the Liberal Republican and Democratic banners against Grant in 1872.
5. Jay Cooke – Wealthy New York financier whose bank collapse in 1873 set off an economic depression.
6. Denis Kearney – Irish-born leader of the anti-Chinese movement in California.
7. Tom Watson – Radical Populist leader whose early success turned sour, and who then became a vicious racist.
8. Roscoe Conkling – Imperious New York senator and leader of the “Stalwart” faction of Republicans.
9. James G. Blaine – Charming but corrupt “Half-Breed” Republican senator and presidential nominee in 1884.
10. Rutherford B. Hayes – Winner of the contested 1876 election who presided over the end of Reconstruction and a sharp economic downturn.
11. James Garfield – President whose assassination after only a few months in office spurred the passage of a civil-service law.
12. Jim Crow – Term for the racial segregation laws imposed in the 1890s.
13. Grover Cleveland – First Democratic president since the Civil War; defender of laissez-faire economics and low tariffs.
14. William Jennings Bryan – Eloquent young Congressman from Nebraska who became the most prominent advocate of “free silver” in the early 1890s.
15. J.P. Morgan – Enormously wealthy banker whose secret bailout of the federal government in...