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Defining Terms and Providing Significance

Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire

Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire was one of the most saddening accidents in American history during the twentieth century. The incident occurred on March 25, 1911, at the Triangle Factory, a cloth factory owned by Isaac Harris and Max Blank. The factory was situated at Asch Building in Manhattan, New York. One hundred and forty-six people perished during the fateful afternoon fire, mostly due to failed safety features. The accident became significant as it led to developments of health standards and occupational standards. It became a crucial incident also in the history of the labor movement in America.

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1850 Fugitive Slave Act

The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was a provision of the 1850 Compromise. It was a law that required recapturing and returning slaves to their masters even if they had escaped to free states. Furthermore, the act mandated the federal government to take the responsibility of searching, capturing, and even trying the escaped slaves (Shi and Tindall 614). Although it was supposed to bring an understanding between the North and South, the act pressurized the citizens to choose sides. As a result, the tension between the two antagonistic sides heightened, prompting the Southern states to secede. Ultimately, it became significant in causing the Civil War as the North tried to preserve the Union.

President McKinley

He was the twenty-fifth president of the U.S. who held office between 1897 to 1901 when he was assassinated. McKinley is remembered for declaring war on the Spanish in 1898. Furthermore, McKinley played a considerable role in promoting American imperialism. He enacted protective tariffs to protect the American industry from external competition. McKinley was determined to ensure America maintains a superior position in the global market (Shi and Tindall 908). During McKinley’s period, America engaged in numerous imperialistic activities in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

Massacre at Wounded Knee 1890

The Massacre at Wounded Knee 1890 was a mass killing committed by the U.S. soldiers at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Dakota. One hundred and fifty Native Indian men, women, and children died after the federal troops indiscriminately murdered them. The Native Indians were protesting the unfavorable conditions of the reservation, and when the soldiers asked them to surrender their weapons, the Native Indians hesitated, promoting a massacre by the federal troops. Precisely, the murdered Native Indians were of the Sioux tribe who had resisted the encroachment of the white settlers into their ancestral lands (Shi and Tindall 808). The Massacre at Wounded Knee 1890 was significant because it defined the gradual decline of Indian resistance to westward expansion.

1887 Allotment Act

It was an act enacted by Congress in 1887 that mandated the president to assess, survey, and divide the Indian land amongst the individual Indian families. The sitting president at the time of passing the Allotment Act was Grover Cleveland. Allotment proponents led by Massachusetts senator Henry Dawes argued that the Indian way of life, including community ownership of land, was backwardness (Shi and Tindall 810). Hence land division was a way of promoting civilization among the Indians. The 1887 Allotment Act is significant in American history as it marked the start of Indian problems regarding land. Through the act, the Indians lost huge land tracks, important scared places, and were forced into reservations.

Work Cited

Shi, David E., and George Brown Tindall. America: A Narrative History. 9th ed. WW Norton & Company, 2016.

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