The Second West Vocab

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

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allotment – the amount of something given or rationed out to a particular person, group, or institution.

arrogance – an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in overstated claims or assumptions.

assimilate – to cause (a person or group) to become part of a different society, country, etc.; to adopt the ways of another culture; to fully become part of a different society, country, etc.

buffalo soldier – A. The nickname given by Native Americans to US “Negro Cavalry” soldiers serving in the West.

coolie – an unskilled laborer or porter usually in or from the Far East hired for low or subsistence wages (the word considered offensive).

decimate – to select by lot and kill every tenth man of; to reduce drastically especially in number; to cause great destruction or harm to something.

land-grant colleges – Public higher education institutions that received federal support by allowing states to sell donated federal lands to fund these schools. Originally intended to provided technical and agricultural education, they evolved into each state’s largest higher education institution.

mint – a place where coins or money are made, usually officially.

municipality – a primarily urban political unit having official legal status and usually holding powers of self-government.

Native American boarding schools – Federally administered schools designed to “uplift” Native American youth by assimilating them to American culture through the forced use of English, “civilized” haircuts, and school curriculum from the Eastern US.

reservation – a legal designation for an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the US Bureau of Indian Affairs, rather than the state governments of the United States in which they are physically located. There are 326 of these, each associated with a particular Nation. Not all of the country’s 567 recognized tribes has one. Some tribes have more than one, some share, and others have none. Because tribes possess tribal sovereignty, even though it is limited, laws on tribal lands vary from the surrounding area.

right-of-way – the strip of land over which is built a public road; the land occupied by a railroad especially for its main line; the land used by a public utility (as for a transmission line).

territory – a part of the U.S. not included within any state but organized with a separate legislature.

vaquero – a cowboy; a cattle driver (in Spanish-speaking parts of the US).

Yellow Peril – A supposed threat to the US posed by Japan and China. The phrase was common in the late 19th Century, during the period of relatively high Asian immigration.

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