Pre-1914 US Economic Development Vocab

Note: Words in blue are not tested for students with individual education plans.

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bankruptcy – a condition of financial failure caused by not having the money that you need to pay your debts.

boom – a period of rapid economic growth.

bust – a period of rapid economic decline.

capital – money used for investment purposes; stuff used to make other stuff.

commerce – the activity of buying and selling, especially on a large scale.

cyclical – happening again and again in the same order.

entrepreneurs – people who use money to make money; organizers of business concerns.

monopoly – when one company controls a market.

muckraker – a person who searches out and exposes real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business.

oligopoly – when a few companies control a market.

populist – of or relating to a political party that claims to represent ordinary people; a political program that puts mass appeal above the need for consistent ideology.

robber baron – an unscrupulous wealthy businessman, especially an American capitalist who acquired a fortune in the late nineteenth century by ruthless means.

Social Darwinismthe theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same laws of natural selection as plants and animals. Now largely discredited, the theory was used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform.

tariff – a tax on trade.

trust – a dominating combination of related businesses owned by a single entity.

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