Don’t Know Much About History
1. What happened at Custer’s Last Stand?
Battle between Native Americans and U.S. forces, as a result of actions made by George Armstrong Custer. One of the greatest conflicts between the two forces leading to the government to wage war against the tribes. Even though the Natives were only defending against attack they were called out as murderers. 2. What happened at Wounded Knee?
This was the Natives last stand in the 1800s bringing an end to the era of Indian wars. The actual cause of the “battle” was caused when one of the surrendering Natives gun went off resulting in the soldiers firing on the unarmed Natives. It was later called the Natives “last stand.” 3. Who were the cowboys?
They were the heroes of American culture and stories. They were the cattle drivers who led individual lives and the ruthless lawmen who dueled criminals in the streets. 4. Who were the robber barons?
These were very rich and powerful businessmen in 19th century America who used exploitive methods to gain wealth and influence over politics, the stock market and national resources. 5. Of what was William Tweed boss?
William Tweed was the most notorious and powerful politician/businessman in the history of the nation. The infamous Tweed, better known as “Boss Tweed” or “boss of Tammany Hall,” acquired huge amounts of wealth through systematic corruption of various businesses and public offices in New York. He became chief of the Department of Public Works in N.Y.C. and leader of Tammany Hall, New Yorks City Democratic clubhouse. He would win scores of immigrant and disheveled workers votes keeping control of the legislature so that it passed bills that benefitted Tweed and associates directly and indirectly. In the end it was estimated he had amassed over $30 million illegally. His associate Samuel Tilden finally turned him in after being ridiculed and called out by cartoonist Thomas Naast. 6. What happened at Haymarket Square?
Strike at Haymarket Square or also massacre there was caused by police confusion and distress among the striking workers themselves. The day before there was a strike to rally for an eight-hour workday at the McCormick Reaper Company when during the strike workers attacked strikebreakers and the police fired on the crowd killing six and wounding many others. The next day as thousands of people gathered in Haymarket Square a bomb was thrown into the polices midst killing seven policemen. This incited a panic across the nation, as it was believed anarchists had caused the attack. 7. Who were the populists?
In the late 1800s the farmers, poverty stricken whites, and even the blacks united to form the People’s or Populist Party of America. The party’s formation was because the laborers were fed up with how the government was run and especially the people running the government. Their goals called for the national ownership of the railroads, telegraph lines, and telephone systems. 8. What was the Cross of Gold?
The issue of utmost importance in the 1890s was over currency whether we should use gold or silver currency and this was the epicenter of all politics during the time. Populists rallied for the “Free Silver” idea returning to the both gold and silver standard. The party had so much power it provided as the perfect springboard for any politician if they took up the cry as well. As the Democrats lost prestige with Cleveland a young Democrat from Nebraska, William Jennings Bryan, decided to seize the opportunity. He spoke at the Democratic nominating convention in 1896 delivering one of the most memorable speeches ever heard. He dramatically claimed, “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns.” Then taking a position of crucifixion Bryan said, “You shall not crucify mankind on a Cross of Gold.” Although his electrifying speech secured him the ticket to the presidency the position was literally bought out by Mark Hanna and Republican William McKinley took office. 9. What did “separate but equal” mean?
It meant that the government could legally segregate races in public transportation, schools, and other public accommodations. In Plessy vs. Ferguson the Supreme Court ruled this constitutional, totally ignoring the 14th Amendment. This led Governments mainly in the south to carry on separating public institutions on the basis that they were equal, but they never were equal. 10. Who was Jim Crow?
Who was Uncle Tom? Just like the North used Uncle Tom as a symbol of their ideals Jim Crow was used in the South to represent and justify racist and segregation acts. He originated from a song written by Thomas Dartmouth Rice in the 1830s and from theatre performances where he was depicted wearing the offensive black face. 11. Who fought in the Spanish-American war?
The war was not over any threats made against the U.S. but rather about showing strength and gaining very valuable and new markets for the rich and powerful in the government. President McKinley was surprisingly against the war, but he couldn’t hold out against the powerful proponents for war in the government and outside. Henry Cabot Lodge a senator from Massachusetts, Alfred Mahan author of The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, and even future president Theodore Roosevelt called for war. Outside the government circle were the newspaper giants William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer who knew a war would push paper sales through the roof. These men orchestrated a plot to show Spain as the worst of the worst and have president McKinley stuck in a corner with no escape but war. 12. Milestones in the Spanish-American War:
January 25- The U.S. battleship Maine drops anchor in Havana. February 15- The battleship Maine mysteriously explodes resulting in the deaths of 250 crewmembers. April 22- Congress passes the Voluntary Army Act calling for a cavalry, “Cowboy Cavalry.” U.S. ships blockade Cuba. April 23- McKinley calls for 125,000 recruits.
April 24- Spain declares war on the U.S.
April 25- The U.S. declares war exited since April 21.
May 1- The U.S. pacific forces attack and capture Manila Bay in the Philippines. June 10- The first troops, 647 marines, land on Guantanamo Bay. July 1- After suffering several causalities at San Juan Heights Colonel Roosevelt takes command and takes San Juan Heights suffering more than 1500 troops to the smaller Spanish force, but achieves war hero status. July 3- Admiral is ordered to break the blockade and reluctantly tries and fails miserably. July 10- The U.S. troops face no resistance and take Santiago and raise the flag. July 26- Through France peace terms are proposed.
August 9- Spain accepts McKinley’s terms.
13. What did America gain from the Spanish-American war?
Well we lost much 5,462 troops died mainly from diseases such as yellow fever and malaria. We did gain much territory expected and unexpected. As expected the U.S. gained control of Cuba and Puerto Rico, but also they gained control of Guam, Wake Island, and the Philippines. Another gain from the war was Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, a war hero riding his fame into the office of the presidency. 14. Who built the Panama Canal?
In the 1880s a French company begun construction on a canal through the isthmus of then Colombia, but abandoned the project after major setbacks, deaths, and rising expenses. Then after the Spanish War and seeing how long it took for the ships to arrive the U.S. took up the project, first under McKinley who had the land surveyed then to the fired up Roosevelt. He wouldn’t let anything stop him and even incited a rebellion and created the country Panama that they could control. He then ordered the construction of the canal to pick up where the French left off finishing under Woodrow Wilson. 15. What happened at Kitty Hawk?
Although not significant to many in 1903 on December 17, 1903 the Wright brothers piloted the first ever flight of a heavier-than air aircraft. A historic achievement that went down in the record books. 16. What was “big stick”?
President Roosevelt was a powerful man and he got his way, even through force. His favorite saying is “Speak softly, and carry a big stick; you will go far.” His “big stick” was the military one of the most powerful. When miners went of strike and the companies wouldn’t budge on the demands Roosevelt threatened to have the military run the mines if the company didn’t start work somehow again. 17. Who were the muckrakers?
This was another term made popular by president Roosevelt he used the term to refer to journalists who wouldn’t budge on their paths to uncover corruption. He got the name from Bunyan’s “man with the Muck-Rake,” this character would be to fed up with the crap at his feet rather than try to reach the “celestial crown.” Roosevelt aimed this at the journalists such as Ida M. Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and Upton Sinclair. These writers would investigate, expose, and bring down corrupted businesses and government like the meat packing industry and Standard Oil. 18. Who were the Wobblies?
The Industrial Workers of the World’s, a labor union created in 1905, members were called “Wobblies.” 19. Who was W.E.B. DuBois?
William Edward Burghardt Dubois was one of the co-founders of the N.A.A.C.P. and also was socialist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. He became famous after leading the Niagara Movement an African-American activist group that wanted equal rights for blacks. 20. What was the Bull Moose Party?
This was a party formed by Theodore Roosevelt after he split the Republican Party in the 1912 presidential election. It was originally called the “Progressive Party” but became the “Bull Moose” after reporters quoted Roosevelt as saying “I feel like a bull moose.” 21. Who was Pancho Villa?
Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula also known as Pancho Villa or Francisco Villa was a prominent Mexican Revolutionary General. He commanded the division of the north one of the larger Mexican states rich in resources. The Mexican people revered him as a hero as he would regularly raid trains, take over haciendas, and distribute land to peasants and soldiers. 22. How did a dead archduke in Sarajevo start a world war?
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary happened not in a very friendly country and the Austro-Hungarian government blaming Serbia declared war against them. This caused Austria’s allies Germany to declare war as well dragging in Serbia’s allies further escalating the conflict. 23. Who sank the Lusitania, and what difference did it make? The Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat citing that it violated international trade laws by carrying illegal arms. This enraged the U.S.