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Christopher Columbus: Spanish explorer who, with the backing of Ferdinand V and Isabella I, discovered the North American continent on October 12,1492. Though he was originally seeking a westward route to India, his fleet of ships consisting of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria reached the island of Hispanola, claiming it for Spain.

Juan Ponce de Leon: Spanish explorer who discovered the present day state of Florida on March 27, 1512. Following reports of a fountain of youth, he sailed from his colony in Puerto Rico to the eastern shore of Florida where, upon landing, his party was attacked by natives and where he was mortally wounded before retreating to Cuba.

encomiendas: Grants that give a person the right to take labor in the form of slaves or any type of homage form a designated group of Indians. Christopher Columbus who was sailing for Spain and who was one of the first conquistadors also began this practice in Hispanolia.

Colombian Exchange: The exchange of biological organisms between continents. The diseases brought to the American continent that helped to nearly destroy the native populations is one example of that exchange. Besides disease, many plants and animals have been brought to new environments with varying consequences.


 Joint Stock Company: A business owned by investors through control of stocks. Examples operated in England and dealt with colonial markets in America. Such companies organized and supported the colonies through charters from the British government and while they worked with the government they made private profits.

Jamestown: The first successful settlement in the Virginia colony founded in May, 1607. Harsh conditions nearly destroyed the colony but in 1610 supplies arrived with a new wave of settlers. The settlement became part of the Virginia Company of London in 1620. The population remained low due to lack of supplies until agriculture was solidly established. Jamestown grew to be a prosperous shipping port when John Rolfe introduced tobacco as a major export and cash crop.

starving time: The period early in any settlements development when food and supplies are scarce due to lack of preparation, unfamiliarity with the surroundings, weather, and inability to successfully grow crops. The starving time usually cost a large percentage of the settlers lives and lasted for the first few years.

John Smith: Colonial leader who brought structure and stability to Jamestown during its starting years. As a member of the governing council of Virginia he was chosen to replace the previous president in 1608. Smith is credited with organizing trade with the Powhatan Confederacy and leading the colony through its roughest years.

John Rolfe: English colonist and farmer who greatly aided the colony. Rolfe is credited with introducing tobacco as a crop for export, which ensured the colony of profits as well as bringing eight years of peace between Indians and colonists through his marriage to Pocahontas.

indentured servants: People who promised their lives as servants in order to get to the colonies. The servants, who were usually white, worked for a certain amount of time so to pay off their debt. This practice led to social tensions with such eruptions as Bacon’s Rebellion and eventually was replaced by race slavery.

headright system: System enacted first in Virginia then in Baltimore to attract people to the sparsely populated colonies. The system worked by granting large amount of land to anyone who brought over a certain amount of colonists. In Baltimore, anyone bringing five adults at their own expense would receive two thousand acres.

House of Burgesses: A regular assembly of elected representatives that developed in the Virginia colony in the 1630’s. The House of Burgesses was split into two chambers in 1650, creating the House of Burgesses and the Governors Council. The House was a bicameral legislature that was a model for our congress.

Bacon’s Rebellion: Colonial rebellion against the governor of Virginia in 1676. Nathaniel Bacon was the leader of the uprising protesting Governor Berkeley’s neglect of calls for a stronger military presence in the frontier to end problems caused by Indian hostility. The revolt succeeded in driving away the governor and it appeared it would achieve success when Bacon died shortly after the initial success before any progress was made and the rebellion dissipated.


Mayflower Compact: Agreement made by the Pilgrims in 1620 when they landed at Plymouth. The compact created the Plymouth colony and made a civil government under James I based on the will of the colonists. The Compact was important in the early organization and success of the colony.

William Bradford: The second governor of the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts, he was elected over John Carver in 1621 and was reelected thirty times. He was important in the organization and success of the colony and kept a history of the development of the Plymouth colony that was published in 1856.

Pilgrims: The original group of puritan separatists that fled religious persecution in England and found refuge in what is now Massachusetts. The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic and reached America in 1620 where they founded the Plymouth colony and organized a government based on the Mayflower compact.

Puritans: Reform movement in the Anglican church in the 16th and 17th centuries and came to America in 1629. The movement aimed at purifying the church of corruption split into separatists, who wanted to end ties with the established church and non-separatists. Seeking religious freedom was a strong motivation for colonies in America.

PILGRIMS VS. PURITANS: Pilgrims and Puritans were extremely similar in most practices and beliefs, but Pilgrims were a distinct group of puritans who were not only against the Anglican church but called for total separation from the church, a dangerous belief in religiously tense England. For this reason they fled the town of Scrooby, England, where they originally had assembled and ended up in Plymouth with intentions of creating a community free of English control.

Separatists vs. Non-Separatists: Separatists were a group of Puritans who advocated total withdrawal from the Church of England and wanted the freedom to worship independently from English authority. They included the Pilgrims who migrated to America. Non-Separatists sought to reform the Church from within.

Massachusetts Bay Colony: Colony created by the Massachusetts Bay Company. Under the leadership of John Winthrop, the colony was created to provide the world with a model Christian society. The colony was created in 1630 and it was governed through a General Court selected by church members.

City Upon a Hill: Name given to the Puritan society that was to be created in the New World. The leader of the Puritan migration, John Winthrop planned to create a utopian society based on Puritanism that would have no class distinction and would stress the importance of community and church. The society was to be an example to all the world of what could be achieved. It was anticipated that once the world saw this great city it would follow it example.

Puritan Migration: The term given to the migration of Puritans to America in the early 17th century. Following the restoration of James I to the throne Puritans in England became persecuted and with the accession of Charles I to the throne the situation became worse. The puritans fled England and came to America to have freedom of religion.

John Winthrop: The first governor and one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and a member of the Massachusetts Bay Company. He played a key role in the puritan migration and intended to create a utopian society in America. He was elected governor twelve times and pursued a conservative religious and governmental policy.

Congregationalism: Protestant organizational system based on the freedom of each church to control its affairs. An offshoot of the separatist, it was continued by the pilgrims in America where it was adopted by the new churches as a way to maintain local independence. Congregationalism was part of the strong independence of the colonies.

Contrast Puritan Colonies with others: Because most colonies were created with financial or political gains in mind, puritan colonies had a special distinction from them. The puritans came to American seeking religious freedom and had a strong work ethic enabling them to achieve a success not seen in other colonies.

Roger Williams, Rhode Island: Early colonial clergyman who founded the religiously tolerant colony of Rhode Island in 1636. Williams was banished from Massachusetts for his belief in religious freedom, he established a colony at Providence in 1636 that tolerated all dissenters and was in good relations with the Natives.

Anne Hutchinson, antinomianism: Early New England religious leader who founded the doctrine of antinomianism, the belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to laws. She was banished to Rhode Island in 1637 for her belief in antinomianism and her insistence on salvation by faith and not works.

Massachusetts School Law: Law also Known as the Old Deluder Act of 1647, that replaced home education by creating a system in which small towns would have a person capable of teaching the children and every town of over one hundred homes would have a school. The law was a step towards creating a universal education system.

 Half Way Covenant: A modification in the Cambridge Platform in 1662 that enabled people who had not experienced the conversion relation to become part of the congregation. With the later generations of Protestant settlers unwilling to undergo the conversion relation, church membership was threatened and the compromise was made.

SALEM WITCH TRIALS: The fear of witchcraft that came to a head in the 1691-1963, especially boiling over in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. This fear ended with the death of many innocent women. Most of the women were middle aged wives or widows. Many implicated others for fear of their lives. The Salem Witch Trials pinpointed the underlying tension that was coming to head in many colonies due to religion and social standings.


NEW ENGLAND: Region of the colonies lying on the northeast Atlantic Coast. It started as a highly religious, Puritan society, but eventually became a commercialized "Yankee" society. Of all the colonies, the New Englanders prospered the least, had the most overpopulated towns, and had the poorest soil. To make up for the lack of farming, New Englanders turned to fishing and the merchant marine, and by 1700, this was one of the largest industries in the colonies.

The Dominion of New England: Centralized government imposed upon the New England colonies by England in 1686 as a result of the Restoration monarchy’s need for control and renewed colonial interest. The Dominion was governed by New York governor Sir Edmund Andros. The consolidation was strongly opposed by the colonists because of the elimination of all colonial legislatures, and was ended by colonial insurrection.

Massachusetts Bay Company: Company in 1628 to govern the Massachusetts Bay Colony on granted by the Council of New England in America. Puritan settlers who founded their settlement at Boston first colonized the land, starting a trend of religiously independent settlements. The Company was dissolved in 1684

New England Confederation, 1643: A concord among the New England colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven in the years from 1643-1684. The union was for the purpose of ensuring safety and peace between the colonies. The confederation was used most effectively advising during King Phillips War.

Poor Richard’s Almanack: Publication written by Benjamin Franklin in 1732 that gained an immense following with its home remedies and practical wisdom. It can be said that Poor Richard’s Almanack helped define the American culture by giving them traditions and wisdom’s all their own, separate from Britain.

SOUTHERN COLONIES: Region consisting mainly of the Carolinas and Georgia. The Southern Colonies were distinct from other colonies mostly on their dependence for slave labor and for farming. The main crop in the South was rice, leading to an absence of large cities in the south. But although most southern cities were tiny, Charleston became the fourth largest city in the colonies. The Southern Colonies were also the only colonies with a large population of blacks and an ethnically stratified society.

Culpeper’s Rebellion: Rebellion against the colonial government in Carolina in 1677. The rebellion was lead by John Culpeper and was directed against the government’s acceptance of English trade laws. The rebellion succeeded in disposing the governor and placing Culpeper in his position, but he was removed in 1679.

Georgia: Colony founded in 1733 by a charter granted to James Oglethorpe. The colony started with a settlement in Savanna created by Oglethorpe as a debtor’s colony. The high ideals of Oglethorpe, such as bans on slavery and rum, slowed growth as large settlement did not occur until after slavery was brought to Georgia.

James Oglethorpe: English soldier and founder of the colony of Georgia in 1733. Oglethorpe founded Georgia after a grant from King George II and settled with a small group on the Savanna River. Oglethorpe’s ideals in creating a debtors colony free of vice were a distinction from other colonies.

Maryland: Proprietary colony originally intended to be a refuge for English Catholics. Maryland was created in 1632 when Lord Baltimore (Cecilius Calvert) was given a land grant and created a manor based state with a headright system. However, Protestants formed a majority and the manors evolved into plantations.

sugar colonies: Colonies that produced sugar for England, like New Netherlands, New England, Virginia, Maryland, and the Caribbean. Sugar was produced because it could make people rich quickly because it was sold at very high prices. Sugar plantation owners liked to use black slaves because they were able to work harder and longer.

CHESAPEAKE SOCIETY: Society characterized by few neighbors and isolated families whose lives depended on tobacco. Chesapeake society also revolved around fertile soil near navigable water because tobacco needed such an environment to be grown profitably. Because of this, most farms were located along Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake society also had a powerful merchant class who controlled both export and import commerce. Slow urbanization also characterized society around the Chesapeake.

Lord Baltimore: Founder of Maryland who, in 1632, received a charter from King Charles I for a tract of land to the northeast of the colony of Virginia. It comprised the present-day states of Maryland and Delaware. He wrote the charter for the colony but died before he got it.

Maryland Act of Toleration: Act that resulted when the Catholics began feeling threatened by the overwhelming Protestant population. The Maryland Act of Toleration was passed in 1649 so all types of Christians could have equal political rights. Along with this equality Lord Calvert allowed a representative assembly for the Catholics.

Carolinas: Colonies created when Charles II rewarded eight of the noblemen who had helped him regain the throne from the Puritan rule in 1663 by giving them land. North Carolina originated as an extension of Virginia and South Carolina came from planters from Barbados, who founded Charleston in 1670.

John Locke, Fundamental Constitution: Intricate constitution written by Cooper and John Locke in 1670, meant to stabilize the government of Carolina by basing the social rank on one’s "landed wealth." It formed the three orders of nobility with the proprietors at the top, the caciques in the middle, and the landgraves at the bottom.

staple crops of the South: The major staple crop of the south was rice, which was picked by African-American planters who were imported by the Dutch in 1616. Other crops were tobacco, indigo, various grains, wood, and skins. All of these products were exported to Europe and the west Indies. Most of the colonists’ profit came from farming.

Middle Colonies: The middle colonies were Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, all of which produced iron, grain, flour, wood, and tobacco which were exported to Britain, Europe and the West Indies. Pennsylvania was built on the basis of being a religious haven for Quakers. New York was built upon the rule of James Duke of York who sent out John Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret to be the first two proprietors of New Jersey.

Restoration Colonies: Colonies created following the Stuart restoration in 1660 when England again took interest in America. The colonies enabled England to control the East Coast, Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. These colonies had governments that made a social hierarchy geared toward a dominant wealthy class.

Primogeniture, entail: The practice of passing on land to a son, usually the eldest, when no will was left for the land. This practice became came over with the colonists and was introduced into common law, but it did not take long for the practice to die out in the colonies.

Pennsylvania, William Penn: Pennsylvania was founded as a refuge for Quakers by William Penn in 1681. The Quakers believed that an "inner-light" allowed them to be on a personal level with God. Penn and his people did not experience a starving time which was very common for starting colonies. They started with a strong government.

Quakers: Religious movement founded in 1600 by a religious belief that divine revelation is immediate and individual and that all persons may perceive the word of God in their soul. They rejected a formal creed and regarded every participant as a potential vessel for the word of God. They were based in Pennsylvania.

Holy Experiment: The main part of this theology that George Fox taught was that people had an inner light that could spiritually inspire their souls. He objected to political and religious authority, opposed war and slavery, and believed that all human actions should be directed by inner contemplation and a social conscience inspired by God.

East/ West Jersey: They were colonies that resulted from the sale of the Jersey territory to Quakers. English settlers resisted the original proprietors’ authority, so in 1674 Berkeley sold his half to a union of Quakers. East Jersey then became dominated by Scottish Quakers whereas West Jersey became the home to many English Quakers.

Peter Struyvesant: Dutch governor who was attacked by Charles II in 1664 so that the British could control North America. Struyvesant, whose army was already hurt from Indian attacks, peacefully surrendered and gave New Netherlands to Charles II, forming the New York and Jersey colonies with a large remaining Dutch population.

the middle colonies as a religious haven: William Penn founded Pennsylvania originally as a religious haven for Quakers who were not accepted elsewhere in 1681. Similarly, Maryland was founded by George Calvert in 1632 and served as a refuge for English Catholics. Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams in 1644 for dissenting Puritans.

crops in the middle colonies: The middle colonies rich level lands produced lengthy growing seasons and gave good bumper crops. The middle colonies were major exporting colonies because of their accessible sea ports. Their exports were rice, iron, grain, flour, wood, and tobacco which were shipped to Europe and the West Indies.

New York City and Philadelphia as urban centers: Both cities were the two biggest exporting cities in America thus making them rapidly growing urban centers. High population and bad sanitation allowed many of the people to catch viruses and diseases. Recessions hit frequently and the job force was very unstable.

Benjamin Franklin: A notable American printer, author, diplomat, philosopher, and scientist, his contributions epitomized the Enlightenment. In 1731 he founded what was probably the first public library in America. He first published Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1732 and played a crucial role in the American Revolution and community.


indentured servants: People who promised their lives as servants in order to get to the colonies. The servants, who were usually white, worked for a certain amount of time so to pay off their debt. This practice led to social tensions with such eruptions as Bacon’s Rebellion and eventually was replaced by race slavery.



Iroquois Confederacy: The joining of six sects of the Iroquoian family and of the Eastern Woodlands area. By the 1700s, the tribes in the confederacy were the Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida, Mohawk, Seneca, and Tuscarors. By combining they were a stronger force against the colonists.

Pequot War: So-called war consisting of clumsy plundering by Massachusetts troops and raids by Pequots in 1637. The colonists eventually won the alliance of rival tribes and waged a ruthless campaign. The war tipped the balance of military power to the English, opening the way to New England’s settlement.

King Phillips War: War between the Native American tribes of New England and British colonists that took place from 1675-1676. The war was the result of tension caused by encroaching white settlers. The chief of the Wampanoags, King Philip lead the natives. The war ended Indian resistance in New England and left a hatred of whites.

SLAVERY BEGINS: Followed the exploration of the African coast and the establishment of a slave trade Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The slave trade then moved in to America as the development of a plantation system in Virginia offered a market for slavery and the first slaves arrived there in 1619. Slavery remained small among the colonies, however because it was not yet profitable for slavery under the conditions. As trade and agriculture grew and a plantation system grew so did slavery.

Barbados Code: Code adopted by Carolina in 1696 to control slaves at the will of their masters. It was often noted as an inhumane code but the society revolved around slaves, so laws like this were created in order to keep control in the society. White owners relied on force and fear to control the growing black majority in the Carolinas.

Maryland Slave Code, 1661: The first actual definition by the colonies of slavery as a "lifelong, inheritable, racial status." It was issued by Maryland in 1661 in order to set up a distinct place for the slaves in the society. Out of the Maryland Slave Code of 1661 came the establishing of other slave codes that set up strict legal codes.

Stono Rebellion: Slave uprising in South Carolina in 1739, in which twenty slaves robbed guns and ammunition from the Stono River Bridge along with killing civilians. Officials suppressed the rebellion and stopped any more chaos and damage. It was a significant encounter because it caused white apprehension and led to a new slave code.


mercantilism: features, rationale, impact on Great Britain, impact on the different colonies: Economic policy prevailing in Europe during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries under which governmental control was exercised over industry and trade in accordance with the theory that national strength is increased by a majority of exports over imports. The colonies adopted mercantilism as business in which the mother country could benefit.

Habeas Corpus Act: Act saying that a person can not be held in prison without being charged and tried. They put this into effect to help stop innocent people from being thrown into jail with no specific reason why. This idea was adopted into our Constitution in Article 1, Section 9. It can only be revoked in time of rebellion.

Navigation Act, 1651: Parliament passed this legislation in 1651 in order to protect English trade from foreign competition. It was only temporary and it stated that goods imported or exported by the colonies in Africa and Asia must be shipped out or imported only by English vessels and the crews must be 75% British. It also helped U.S. capitalism.

Navigation Act, 1660: This Parliamentary act renewed the 1651 act and specified certain innumerable articles which could be exported only to the English or to another English colony in 1660. Among these goods were tobacco, rice, and indigo. American shipbuilding thus prospered and there was a stable protected market for producers.

Navigation Act, 1663: This Parliamentary act disallowed colonial merchants from exporting products like sugar and tobacco anywhere except to England and from importing goods in ships not made and produced by the English. Along with the 1660 act, it was passed to help English commercial interests in 1663 but helped the U.S.

Navigation Act, 1696: This was the fifth and final Parliamentary Navigation Act. It allowed for methods of enforcing the acts, provided more penalties for evasion, and introduced use of vice-admiralty courts. It was passed in 1696 in an effort to strengthen its effect on colonists. It was felt much more harshly by the colonists and led to hostility

Robert Walpole: Statesman who is considered Britain’s first prime minister. He entered the English Parliament in 1701 and became a well known speaker for the Whig Party. In 1708 he was named Secretary of War. In 1739 he declared war on Spain, which caused division in his party (Whigs) for support for him in elections.

the Enlightenment: A period in the 1700s when a new method of thought was employed. It was a time when great minds awoke and started thinking, affecting the colonies as well as Europe. Some beliefs brought to the forefront were the laws of nature, optimism, confidence in human reason, and deism. Its ideas lead to revolutionary ideas.

contributors that criticized Colonial government he was arrested and put on trial. He was announced not guilty, his success paving the way for freedom of the press.

COLONIAL GOVERNMENT: Characterized by regular assemblies and appointed militia, law, and local administration. Often, these were dominated by the colonial elite despite liberal qualifications for male voters. Because of low voter participation and indifference toward politics, colonial government only truly flourished in the major seaports. The most significant development of colonial government was the rise of the assembly and the limiting of the power of governors

PROPRIETARY, CHARTER, ROYAL COLONIES: These are three ways one could come upon owning land in Colonial America. One such way was for a company to give out land so an area would become populated. Kings and Queens could also give away land as well as people having property passed on to them, therefore having an influence on decisions the new powers would make. All of these ideas helped shape America’s way of government life.

Glorious Revolution: When Mary and William over run James II in England in 1688, British citizens saw this as a win in liberty for parliament would have more control than ever. Moderate uprising that came out of the Colonial America during this time ended with William and Mary taking apart the Dominion of New England.


Jonathan Edwards - Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, A Careful and Strict Enquiry into. . . That freedom of Will: Sermon about how one must have a personal faith and relationship with Jesus Christ to gain salvation instead of an afterlife in hell. The sermon also used the fury of the divine wrath to arouse religious fervor.

George Whitefield: English clergyman who was known for his ability to convince many people through his sermons. He involved himself in the Great Awakening in 1739 preaching his belief in gaining salvation. Coming from Connecticut, most of his speeches were based there. His presence helped raise the population by about 3000 people.

William Tennent: Presbyterian minister who played a chief role in the Great Awakening in Central New Jersey by calling prayer meetings known as the Refreshings around the 1730’s. Another one of his significant projects was the founding of his influential Log College which had teachers educated in all areas of study.

Gilbert Tennent: American Presbyterian minister, in 1740 delivered a harsh sermon, "The Dangers of Unconverted Ministry," in which he criticized conservative ministers who opposed the fervor of the Great Awakening. The result was a schism (1741) in the Presbyterian church between the "Old Lights" and the "New Lights," led by Tennent.

Harvard University: University located in Cambridge, Mass. that was founded in 1636 on a grant from the Mass. Bay Colony. The school was originally organized to educate ministers because of the scarcity of clergy and lack of an educational institution in the new colony. The university eventually developed a more secular format

effects of the Great Awakening on religion in America: Long term effects of the Great Awakening were the decline of Quakers, Anglicans, and Congregationalists as the Presbyterians and Baptists increased. It also caused an emergence in black Protestantism, religious toleration, an emphasis on inner experience, and denominationalism.




Why Great Britain eventually won: When William Pitt joined the British leaders he turned things around. He began to treat the Americans like equals or allies instead of subordinates. This lead Americans to feel a sense of pride and a renewed sense of spirit that sent them into several victories that made France eventually concede.

King William’s War: In Europe a war fought between the Grand Alliance and France which also embroiled the colonies. The entire war was battled over who would reign in England. In the colonies the Indians were fighting for the French. In 1697 fighting ceased due to the Peace of Ryswick which restored Port Royal to the French.

Queen Anne’s War: The second of the four imperial wars that were fought between Britain, France and Spain. It took place from 1702-1713. Though many Spanish colonial towns were captured and burned by English forces, American colonists met with military failure creating a feeling of dependence on Britain. The war ended with Peace of Utrecht.

War of Jenkin’s Ear: This war was British versus Spain. It was fought in Georgia and North Carolina. Lieutenant Governor William Gooch led Virginia’s 400 men into the whole 3000 men colonial army and after their Colonel died Gooch succeeded him. When they attacked Cartagena it proved disastrous, though Gooch wouldn’t report it that way.

King George’s War: War fought between Britain and France and Spain. It took place not only in Europe but also in North America with American colonists supporting the British with thousands of troops. In the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle Britain gained lands in India but lost Louisburg, which embittered Anglo-American relations.

FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR: The French and Indian war was fought between Britain and France. It lasted from 1754-1760, with the colonies supporting Britain and the Indians supporting France. This war spanned three different continents and it was the main factor in the ending of "salutary neglect." This war planted the seeds of misunderstanding between Britain and the colonies and indirectly was one of the causes of the Revolutionary War. Britain came out victoriously with the Treaty of Paris.

Albany Plan of Union, Benjamin Franklin: Colonial confederation based on the ideas of Franklin calling for each town to have independence in a large whole, known as a Grand Council. It was used for military defense and Indian policies and set a precedent for later American unity.

Edward Braddock: Braddock was the General of all the British Troops (French and Indian War), he led an attack against Fort Duquesne, never reaching his destination for they were attacked by the Monongahela River where 900 of his 1200 men were wounded or killed. Braddock was wounded at this battle and died soon afterwards.

William Pitt: Prime minister for Britain, who helped Britain bounce back after the Revolutionary War and who lead the war effort against France. Pitt had two terms, 1783 to 1801 and 1804 to 1806. He was considered a moderate, with the backing of the king and the parliament. Pitt’s time in office became a foundation for future prime ministers.

Fort Duquesne: This was the fort that General Braddock tried to take during the French and Indian War but him and his troops were slaughtered in an ambush at the Monongahela, where 900 of the 1200 troops were wounded or killed. Later General Amherst captured the fort.

Treaty of Paris (1763): Treaty that ended the French and Indian War was ended by the Treaty of Paris. This treaty ended French reign in Canada. The treaty also called for Spain to give Florida to Britain, and for France to give all lands east of the Mississippi River to Britain. It also was a precursor, for colonial politics would follow Britain.

Proclamation of 1763: This proclamation stated that no white settlers could go past the crest of the Appalachians. While this upset many colonists who had claims that far west, Britain explained it was only temporary, for it was meant to calm the Indians, sure enough five years later the boundary was moved further west.

Pontiac’s Rebellion: Ottawa chief Pontiac attacked and besieged ten British forts in May, 1763, in order to keep British out of the Appalachians. An uneasy truce was negotiated by 1764, and as a result, the Proclamation of 1763 was put forth in order for Britain to maintain 10,000 soldiers in the U.S. to occupy French ceded territories.



Paxton Boys: This group of Rangers from Pennsylvania Paxton in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, killed some Sasquehannock Indians in 1764. The conflict arose as a result of the desire to expand westward. Governor John Penn in 1764 attempted to punish them, but the people of the area were so upset that a revolt ensued; Benjamin Franklin solved it.

Grenville’s Program: British Prime Minister George Grenville was the principal architect of the Sugar Act; his method of taxation and crackdown on colonial smuggling were widely disliked by Americans. He passed the Stamp Act arguing that colonists received virtual representation in Parliament, even though Americans didn’t elect members.

SUGAR ACT, 1764: George Grenville introduced this act which amended the Molasses Act that had taxed all foreign molasses entering the U.S. at sixpence a gallon in 1764. The new act ended the previous British policy of keeping Americans out of all revenue-raising measures. It stated that colonists exported certain items to foreign countries only if they passed through Britain first. Parliament hoped that Americans would buy more British items and it increased British sale of European wine.

Deism: most of the religious thinkers during the Enlightenment were deist. The deists believed that God was a clockmaker who created the world but now just watches it work. They believed that we lived in a perfect universe and that we are laws that we created were natural.

no taxation without representation: John Adams, in his Circular Letter, in 1768, openly criticized Parliament’s practice of taxation without proper colonial representation. It was said that no tax that was issued in order to produce revenue for Great Britain was constitutional because American representatives had not voted to allow the tax.

STAMP ACT: British prime minister George Grenville’s most detested act, the Stamp Act was introduced in 1765 as a means of raising revenue in the colonies, and was passed by Parliament. It stated that all legal documents, contracts, licenses, pamphlets, and newspapers must carry a stamp that is taxed. It was intended to raise money for keeping up defense in colonies. It infuriated colonists because it was an internal tax that few could escape. Opposition to the Stamp Act led to formation of the Stamp Act Congress.

Patrick Henry: He was an orator and statesman who played a key role in igniting patriotism and leading the colonists toward the American Revolution. In 1763 he became a member of the House of Burgesses where he introduced seven resolutions against the Stamp Act. He is famous for his comment "Give me liberty or give me death."

Virginia Resolves: American leader Patrick Henry persuaded the Virginia House of Burgesses to state their opposition to taxation in 1765. They adopted several resolutions which refuted the power of Parliament to tax the colonies. Henry’s fiery orations caused, by the end of the year, eight other colonies to also denounce taxation and declare rights.

Stamp Act Congress, 1765: This was an assembly of delegates from nine of the original thirteen colonies in 1765 which was intended to protest the Stamp Act. They met in New York City and presented the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, but the group’s demand for no taxation without representation was refused by the House of Commons.

SONS OF LIBERTY: Members included Samuel Adams and Paul Revere; it was a secret society of patriots which was organized in 1765 in the colonies. They formed a Committee of Correspondence to defend themselves against British actions. One of the actions they took was to adopt a policy of non-importation in which merchants refused to import goods sent from Great Britain. They also participated in terrorizing the stamp distributors through house-wrecking and tar-and-feathering in order to achieve respect.

internal/external taxes: Introduced by the British Parliament in 1765, the Stamp Act was an internal tax which few colonists could escape, all of the colonists were drastically affected by this tax. An example of an external tax is the Sugar Act passed in 1764 which raised costs only for a select group of people; public opposition to the tax was minute.

Revenue Act: Parliament passed the Revenue taxes in 1767. The Act taxed glass, paint, lead, paper, paint, and tea. In colonial opinion, it was just like the Stamp Act in that, though it was said to be an external tax, it was still put into effect solely to raise revenue for the British treasury. It further angered colonial resentment to Charles Townshend.

Quartering Act (called the Mutiny Act by the British): Passed by Congress, this was one of the Intolerable Acts in 1774. It effectively served to further punish the colonists. Basically, it allowed for much-hated British officers to be permitted to requisition empty, private buildings. All resistance was repressed by this blatant attempt to force troops in.

TOWNSHEND ACTS, REACTION: Under the control of British Prime Minister Charles Townshend, Parliament passed these measures in 1767. The first called for suspension of the New York Assembly because it would not abide by the Quartering Act. The Revenue Act called for customs duties on imports of glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea. As a result of unrest over these acts, the Massachusetts legislature was dissolved. Colonial reaction was that of further discontent toward their motherland.

SAM ADAMS: He was an outspoken advocate of the Sugar Act, and served on the General Court of Massachusetts in 1765. Moreover, he was a main proponent of opposition to the Townshend Acts and a key figure in the formation of the Sons of Liberty. Starting a movement for an uprising against the Boston Massacre, he led several other angry colonists in the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Due to his literary agitation, Adams contributed to the movement for revolution.

repeal of the Townshend Acts exept tax on tea: Lord North, in a Parliamentary act in 1770, wanted to eliminate the Townshend duties due to increased hostility against the British and to keep the boycott from gaining momentum. However, he still recommended they maintain the tea tax, because it was profitable for the Royal Treasury in Great Britain.

Boston Massacre, 1770: British troops, (which were resumed in the city in 1770 in order to discourage opposition to the Townshend Acts), when hit by hecklers within the crowd, opened fire upon the innocent; five men were killed. Eight soldiers were tried for murder; their attorney was John Adams. Many were acquitted and anti-British feelings rose.

Crispus Attucks: He was the leader of a group of colonists who were killed in the 1770 Boston Massacre. Though he was the first man to be shot, he was only one of five colonists. He was either African-American or Native American and he may have been a runaway slave. In 1888 a monument of him was erected in his honor in Boston.

John Adams: He was the lawyer for the soldiers who were tried for murder in the Boston Massacre in 1770. He successfully defended his clients in defense that they were trying to protect their own lives. He additionally denounced the Stamp Act, analyzed the demands facing the colonists, and was a member of both Continental Congresses.

Colonial smuggling was very harmful to the East India Company which had held a monopoly on tea. The act provided savings for Britain.

BOSTON TEA PARTY: A group of Boston citizens organized a protest on December 16, 1773, which was against the British tax on tea imported to the colonies The citizens were angry and disallowed three British ships to unload their cargo in Boston. Led by Samuel Adams and members of the Sons of Liberty, the group, disguised as Indians boarded the ships and dumped all the tea into Boston Harbor in protest. The American government later refused to pay for the tea and was punished through closure of the port.

COERCIVE ACTS: Passed by the British Parliament, several laws were composed in 1774 in response to colonial rebellion. The Boston Tea Party was the last straw leading to the passage of these harsh acts as measures against the colony of Massachusetts. The four measures passed were to serve as warnings to the rest of the colonies. They included the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Quartering Act, and the Administration of Justice Act. Americans united in sympathy for Massachusetts.

Boston Port Act: Parliament passed this act on April 1, 1774, as one of the Intolerable Acts; it ordered the U.S. navy to close Boston Harbor. Unless they paid for the ruined tea, the port would be subject to permanent closure. They imposed a deliberately short deadline to ensure that the harbor would close, which would lead to economic difficulties.

Quebec Act: Parliament passed this greatly detested law which established Roman-Catholicism as the official religion in Quebec, making Protestants angry. Also, Canada’s government was awarded an abundance of powers, but was in turn, given no legislature. The law also extended Quebec’s 1774 land claims, further angering colonists.

FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, 1774: The First Continental Congress convened in Philidelphia in September, 1774, to consider the situation resulting from the Intolerable Acts. They issued the Declaration of Rights and Grievances to George III, and called for the Continental Association, and agreement to boycott trade with Britain. committees of Safety were in charge of enforcing the Continental Association. Before it was adjourned, the delegates agreed to meet in May, 1775 if the situation still hadn’t been resolved.


LEXINGTON AND CONCORD, APRIL 19, 1775: American Captain John Parker and seventy Minutemen waited for the British at Lexington, on April 19. A British officer ordered the Minutemen to lay down their arms, but a shot from an unknown source was fired. The British then opened fire and charged. Afterwards, the British continued on the Concord only to find that almost all of the weapons and supplies had been moved. While retreating to Boston, they were fired on by Minutemen from local cities.

Paul Revere, William Dawes: Seven hundred British troops, on the night of April 18, 1775, were sent to find and destroy a cache of colonial weapons and supplies at Concord. However, they were detected by Americans, and news was dispatched throughout the countryside by Paul Revere and William Dawes.

SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS: The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775. They drew up the Olive Branch Petition, which begged George III to restore peace, and adopted a Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking up Arms. Congress was divided into two main factions: the delegates that were ready to go to war and declare independence, and those that weren’t ready to go that far. The Second Continental Congress later evolved into the revolutionary government.

Olive Branch Petition: The Second Continental Congress issued this petition to King George III on July 5, pleading with him to intercede with Parliament to restore peace. After he ignored it, he issued a Prohibitory act, which declared all colonies in a state of rebellion no longer under his protection. Thus, Americans prepared for an all out war with Britain.

Thomas Paine, Common Sense: Thomas Paine published this in January 1776, which called for immediate independence. Although its arguments were extreme, it had much influence in favor of independence. Combined with the Prohibitory Act, it convinced many Americans that the British had every intention to carry out a full scale war.

George III: After the Battle of Bunker Hill, the people of Britain wanted retaliation, and King George III, on August 23, proclaimed New England in a state of rebellion. In December Parliament declared all colonies in a state of rebellion, and made their ships liable to seizure.

Richard Henry Lee’s Resolution: Colonial leader Richard Henry Lee presented several formal resolutions to Congress on June 7, 1776. These resolutions called for independence and a national government. As a result, the Committee on Independence was formed to further accommodate his proposal.

            Committee on Independence: After Richard Henry Lee’s resolution on June 7, 1776, the Committee on Independence was formed. Members included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Its purpose was to draft a statement of reasons for independence which led to the Declaration of Independence.

JULY 4, 1776 AND THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: Written by the Committee on Independence, he Declaration of Independence contained a list of grievances placing the blame on George III. Additionally, it asserted certain natural rights: "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and the "Consent of the governed" to revolt against tyrannical governments. The English Revolution of 1688 and Enlightenment writers inspired some of the ideas in the Declaration of independence.

Advantages/Disadvantages for Britain: The British were well equipped, well trained, and well disciplined. They had a strong navy to land troops, transport troops, guard communication and supply lines. Also, they had a large sum of money which could be used to hire foreign mercenaries. However, they were outnumbered by the U.S.

Advantages/Disadvantages for U.S.: Many colonists knew how to use firearms. They had a superior rifle range and accuracy over the smoothbore British muskets. Washington was a highly respected, experienced commander-in-chief, and they were fighting in their own territory. However, their naval power was less than that of Britain.

LOYALISTS, TORIES: They were Anglican clergymen, ethnic and religious minorities, government officials, and some wealthy merchants comprised the Loyalists. About one-fifth to one-third of the population remained loyal to Britain. They felt that war was unnecessary to preserve the rights of the colonists, and maintained a respect for the monarchy. The majority of ethnic and religious minorities, however, were supporters of the revolution. Eighty thousand Loyalists left, leaving their positions for others.

John Adams: He was one of the first men to propose American independence when the Revolution began. Moreover, he served on the Committee on Independence, and also helped persuade the Second Continental Congress to adopt the Declaration of Independence. In Congress and in diplomatic missions abroad, he served the patriot cause.

Abigail Adams: Even though she had a scarce formal education, she was among the most influential women of her day, particularly as a leader of fashion and social mediator. She was the wife of John Adams, and mother of John Quincy Adams. Also, she challenged the lack of equality for women and was a strong advocate of the Revolutionary War.

GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE REVOLUTION: George Washington created the Continental Army that had fought against the British. He was a strong influence in persuading the states to partake in the Constitutional Convention, and he used his prestige to help gain ratification of the Constitution. He earned a good reputation from the French and Indian War in 1763. His early military experience taught him the dangers of overconfidence and the necessity of determination when faced with defeat.

 Benjamin Franklin and the Revolution: From, Pennsylvania, he served on the Committee for Independence in 1776. Moreover, as a prime minister to Britain, he along with John Adams and John Jay, signed a peace treaty between the U.S. and England, which concerned new American borders, on November 30, 1782.

Lafayette: The Marquis de Lafayette’s close connections with the French court in 1778 indicated that Louis XVI might recognize U.S. independence and declare war on Britain. After France and the United States entered into an alliance against Great Britain, Lafayette returned to France to further the granting of financial and military aid to the Americans.

Benedict Arnold: He led one of the Continental Armies into Canada but was defeated. A fervent patriot, he later turned into a traitor. With 400 men, he attacked Fort Ticonderoga in April of 1775, along with Ethan Allen, who raised an army for the same purpose, but without command.

Continental Army: Composed of colonial men, the Continental Army consisted of less than 10,000 men prepared for duty at one time. Out of the potential 250,000 men living in the colonies, the Continental Army was quite diminutive at the dawn of the war. Led by George Washington, this army fought in various battles such as Valley Forge.

Native Americans in the Revolutionary War: The colonists’ expansion into the Ohio Valley drove the western Indians into allying with the British. In the East, the Iroquois in New York were neutral until 1777, when the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy split, leaving all but the Tuscaroras and most Oneidas on the side of the British.

Battle of Bunker Hill (Breed’s Hill): Three British generals arrived in Boston in May, 1775 to assist General Gage. After two failed British attacks on Breed’s Hill, the colonists ran out of ammunition, and the British succeeded. The colonists now had two choices: to commit to a full-scale revolution, or to accept the rule of the British.

FRENCH ALLIANCE OF 1778, REASONS FOR IT: France entered into two treaties with America, in February, 1778. The first was a treaty of goodwill and commerce, and granted most favored nation status to one another. The second treaty was the French Alliance of 1778, to be effective if war broke out between Britain and France.

Saratoga: British General John Burgoyne felt overwhelmed by a force three times larger than his own, and surrendered on October 17, 1777. This forced the British to consider whether or not to continue the war. The U.S. victory at the Battle of Saratoga convinced the French that the U.S. deserved diplomatic recognition.

Valley Forge: American survivors from the Battle at Brandywine Creek marched through Valley Forge in early December, 1777. The Continental Army marched through Valley Forge while the British army rested miles away in Philadelphia. After the arrival of Baron Friedrich von Steuben, the Continental army emerged from Valley Forge.

Hessians: They were German mercenaries who were comprised of approximately 30,000 soldiers in the British army during the Revolutionary War. They fought among 162,000 other Britons and loyalists but were outnumbered by the 220,000 troops of the Continental Army.

British Generals: Henry Clinton, William Howe, John Burgoyne: General Howe planned to set up headquarters in New York in 1776 but was delayed by Washington’s escape to Long Island. General Burgoyne was trapped at Saratoga in 1777 and was forced to surrender. General Clinton succeeded Howe as commander in chief in 1778.

Yorktown, Lord Cornwallis: Washington, along with Admiral de Grasse’s French fleet, trapped British General Cornwallis on the Yorktown peninsula. The Siege of Yorktown began in September of 1781, and ended when Cornwallis realized that he lost three key points around Yorktown and surrendered.

Treaty of Paris, 1783: Great Britain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris, which brought an end to the American Revolution, on September 3. Great Britain recognized the former 13 colonies as the free and self-governing United States of America.



STRENGTHS OF THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION: The thirteen states established a permanent government in 1781 in the form of a confederation which included a congress that represented the states and had the power to conduct Indian and foreign affairs, mediate disputes between states, and establish a standard for weights and measures. The Articles protected against an oppressive central government, such as a monarchy or oligarchy, by placing power within the fragmented states.

WEAKNESSES OF THE ARTCILES OF CONFEDERATION: The government established in 1781, was a confederation; each state was its own powerful entity and had its own tariffs and currencies, making it harder for interstate commerce to occur. The federal government lacked the power to tax and form a militia without the approval of all the states. Amending the Articles was a difficult and tedious process, because the amendment would have to be accepted by each state in order to be passed.

Land Ordinance of 1785: Congress enacted this law to set a uniform procedure for surveying land in 1785. It established that the settlement of a town would be six square miles and would contain land set aside for schools, setting a precedent for the public education system in the United States.

Northwest Ordinance, 1787: Congress passed this law to define the steps for the formation and admission of states into the Union in 1787. It applied to the lands north of the Ohio River which had been established as the Northwest Territory. The existence of slavery could be determined by popular sovereignty in these territories.

Shays’ Rebellion: A group of Massachusetts farmers led by Daniel Shays protested after taxes were raised to pay for Revolutionary debts in 1786. The high taxes, combined with the depression that hit after British markets were lost, forced the farmers to revolt. The result was an increase in tension between the North and South.

Annapolis Convention, 1786: A group of delegates from five states met in Annapolis, Maryland in 1786, in an effort to solve the problems of interstate commerce. Because there was little representation, the delegates decided that a convention of all states should be held the year after in order to amend the Articles of Confederation.


PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION: A congressional convention met in Philadelphia to amend the Articles of Confederation in 1788. The delegates, which included Madison, Hamilton, and Franklin, believed that there should be checks and balances in the government to give each branch equal amounts of power. The convention ultimately scrapped the Articles and came up with the much more effective Constitution, in which various compromises were made to pacify sectional differences.

Delegates: Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin: At the Philadelphia Convention in 1788, George Washington presided over the convention while he and Franklin helped in mediating heated debates. Hamilton wrote the "Federalist Papers," along with John Jay, in defense of the Constitution.

James Madison, "Father of the Constitution": Madison drafted the Virginia Plan of national government that became the basis for its bicameral structure in 1788. He also assisted in the writing of the "Federalist Papers" in order to persuade delegates who were fearful of centralized power.

GREAT COMPROMISE: Also called the Connecticut compromise, this compromise was introduced by the Connecticut delegation in 1788, and contained both the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. It provided for a presidency, a senate with states represented with two senators each, and a House of Representatives with representation according to population. The plan resolved the dilemma of using only one of the two self serving documents in the Constitution.

VA Plan, NJ Plan: The Virginia Plan called for an executive branch with two houses of Congress which were both based on population. The New Jersey Plan, introduced by William Patterson, called for a legislature with equal representation and increased powers for the national government.

Slavery and the constitution: slave trade, three-fifths clause, Fugitive Slave law: Although the word "slavery" was not used in the Constitution, the idea surfaces in three places in the Constitution: the three-fifths clause, which lessened the power of the voting south by making the votes of three slaves equal that of five white votes; the Fugitive Slave Law, which captured and returned runaway slaves who fled into free territories, and lastly Congress’ option to ban the slave trade in Washington D. C. after 1808.

Antifederalists: Antifederalists were opponents of the Constitution who thought that it failed to balance power between the national and state governments. Believing that a balance was impossible to reach, the opponents thought that the new government would ultimately ruin the states.

supporters of the Constitution: The supporters of the Constitution, including Hamilton, Jay, and Madison, who called themselves the Federalists. These men became important in the ratification process of the Constitution; they persuaded many of its opponents to ratify it through their speeches, the Federalist Papers, and other propaganda.

opponents of the Constitution: The opponents of the Constitution were called the Antifederalists; they opposed it because it failed to balance power between the national and state governments. They thought that a balance would be impossible to reach and that the new government would ultimately ruin the states.

George Mason, Bill of Rights: Mason was a delegate at the Constitutional Convention and helped draft the Constitution. Troubled by its power and its failure to limit slavery or contain a bill of rights, he would not sign it. Some states refused to ratify the Constitution until 1791, when a bill of rights was added to the Constitution.

The Federalist Papers, Jay, Hamilton, Madison: The Federalist papers were written by Jay, Hamilton, and Madison in 1788, during the Philadelphia Convention as a response to Antifederalist objections to the Constitution. The eighty-five newspaper essays offered a glimpse of the framers’ intentions in designing the Constitution, and shaped the American philosophy of the government. They explained that the Constitution would protect the minority’s rights but would not make them too powerful.

implied powers, elastic clause, necessary and proper clause: An implied power is one not granted in a job description, yet is meant to be taken. The elastic clause was included into the Constitution to allow flexibility. Congress was granted the right to make all laws which they deemed necessary and proper thus expanding their power.

loose, strict interpretation of the Constitution: The strict interpretation of the constitution meant that it was to be followed exactly to the word, a philosophy adopted by Jefferson. Hamilton believed in a loose interpretation, or that powers implied within the Constitution should be included in the new government to fit changes over time.

RESERVED AND DELEGATED POWERS: Delegated powers were specifically enumerated rights granted to Congress and the President. The delegated powers of Congress included the ability to tax, issue currency, borrow money, declare war and sustain an army. All powers not stated specifically in the Constitution were reserved to the states as stated in the Tenth Amendment. These reserved powers were the result of flexibility in the Constitution to adapt over time.

Upper and Lower House: The senate was seen as the upper house because there were less delegates, the age requirement was higher, and the term limits were six years as opposed to two for the House of Representatives. As a result the Senate was seen as more of an elitist institution while the House was viewed as reflective of the common people.

Electoral College: In order to protect the interests of the elite, land owning class, the framers of the Constitution added the electoral college as a safeguard against the majority opinion. As a result, electors could elect a presidential candidate without considering the popular vote and elections could be won without a majority in the popular vote.


President George Washington: George Washington was elected president in 1788 and again in 1792. Washington’s two terms set the precedent for being President of the United States. He tended to shy away from the affairs of Congress and also formed the first Presidential cabinet, appointing two of the ablest men into high positions of responsibility into his cabinet. His farewell address cautioned the American people to stay out of international affairs, remain isolationist, and to beware of impending bipartisanship.

Washington’s Definition of the Presidency: George Washington set the precedent for being the President of the United States. He humbly served two terms and appointed the first cabinet. Washington stayed out of Congress’ way and supported the United States’ isolationist stance in world affairs.

Vice President John Adams: Because he ran second to George Washington in the elections of 1788 and 1792, he became the nation’s first Vice President, limiting himself to presiding over the senate. Prior to his term as Vice President, he was a diplomat to European nations such as France, Britain, and the Dutch Republic.

Judiciary Act, 1789: The Congress passed the Judiciary Act in 1789, in an effort to create a federal-court system and replace the old system, in which the courts varied from state to state. They were burdened with filling in the holes of the judiciary system left by the Constitution.

Secretary of Treasury Hamilton: Hamilton was appointed in 1789, when the nation’s economy was in shambles. In 1790, he submitted to Congress a Report of the Public Credit that provided for the payments of all debts assumed during the war. He wanted a national bank and encouraged manufacturing through financial government protection.

Secretary of State Jefferson: As Secretary of State for Washington’s first term, Thomas Jefferson wanted to establish reciprocal trade agreements with European nations and deny it to the British. This plan, in 1783, died in Congress, along with his other plans to try to manipulate the European countries. He resigned after the Citizen Genet scandal.

Secretary of War Knox: Henry Knox was the Secretary of War from 1789-1794, the first one under the United States Constitution. Prior to this, he fought in major Revolutionary battles, was in command of the West Point fortress in New York, and was the Secretary of War under the Articles of Confederation.

Attorney General Randolph: Edmund Jennings Randolph was the Attorney General under the Washington Administration from 1789-1794; before which he was the head of the Virginia delegation at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and submitted the Virginia Plan.

Hamilton’s program: ideas, proposals, reasons for it: Alexander Hamilton wrote to Congress a Report on Public Credit which proposed a way in which the national and foreign debts could be funded and how the federal government would take charge of the debts left by states from the resolution in 1790. The plans attempted to end wartime debt problems. Hamilton believed that constant deficit was necessary to stimulate the nation’s economy, and also believed that the U.S. should immediately repay its foreign debt.

Tariff of 1789: A revenue raising tariff enacted by Congress, it encouraged the people of the U.S. to manufacture earthenware, glass, and other products in their home in order to avoid importation. With a duty of 8.5%, the tariff succeeded in raising much needed funds for Congress

Bank of the U.S.: Chartered by the newly formed federal government, the bank was established in Philadelphia in 1791, and was permitted by the government to issue legal tender bank notes that could be exchanged for gold. The bank successfully established a national currency, but the charter ended in 1811, for economic and political reasons.

excise taxes: A fixed charge on items of consumption, usually used for revenue raising. The first excise tax placed upon the United States in 1791, by Parliament was one which taxed all domestic distilled spirits. Anger towards this excise tax led directly to the Whiskey Rebellion.

Whiskey Rebellion: An organized resistance in 1794, to the excise tax on whiskey in which federal revenue officials were tarred and feathered, riots were conducted, and mobs burned homes of excise inspectors. The federal militia captured many of the protesters, but most were released.

French Revolution: The revolution was a period consisting of social and political upheaval from 1789-1799. Caused by the inability of the ruling class and clergy to solve the states problems, the hunger of the workers, the taxation of the poor, and the American Revolution, it led to the establishment of the First Republic and the end of the monarchy.

Neutrality Proclamation: Issued by President George Washington on April 22, 1793, the Neutrality Proclamation stated that the United States would remain a neutral faction in the war with France against Britain and Spain despite heavy French pressures to join their forces. Many Americans felt the war to be a violation of their neutrality.

XYZ Affair, Talleyrand: When a commission was sent to France in 1797 in order to negotiate problems between the two countries, they were told by the French foreign minister Talleyrand that the agents X, Y, Z, three officials who did not take the process seriously, would only negotiate for a lend of $10 million to the French government.

undeclared naval war with France: Otherwise known as the Quasi-War, the undeclared conflict between the two nations lasted from 1798 to 1800. In the conflict, the United States managed to capture ninety-three French ships while France captured just one U.S. ship.

British seizure of American ships: The Privy Council issued a secret order on November 6, 1793, to confiscate any foreign ships trading with French Caribbean islands. In this decision, they seized over 250 American ships which were conducting trade with the islands.

Jay’s Treaty: Negotiated between the United States and France in 1794, the treaty evacuated British posts in the West, appointed a committee to set up the U.S.-French boundary, and named a commission to determine how much the British should pay for illegally seizing American ships. It did not resolve the British West Indies trade dispute.

Pinckney’s Treaty, right of deposit at New Orleans: Ratified in 1796, the treaty gave westerners the right to access the world markets duty-free through the Mississippi River. Spain promised to recognize the thirty-first parallel, to end U.S. camps, and to discourage Indian attacks on western settlers.

Battle of Fallen Timbers: At the Battle of Fallen Timbers, in 1794, Anthony Wayne defeated a coalition of Native American tribes as the major general and commander in chief of the troops. The battle took place around present day Toledo and led to the Treaty of Greenville which opened up the Northwest to American settlers.

Barbary Pirates: Following the American Revolution, the Barbary pirates began to raid the ships of the United States. The United States therefore formed treaties with Morocco, Tripoli, and Tunis, as European nations already had, that gave them immunity from these attacks.

War of Tripoli: From 1801-1805, the war was a battle between the North African state Tripoli and the United States. The Tripolitans had seized U.S. ships in the U.S. refusal to pay in increase in the tribute paid to the pasha of Tripoli. In the end, the demand for payment was ended and the U.S. paid $60,000 to free Americans caught captive.

election of 1796: President Adams, Vice-president Jefferson: Jefferson was supported by the Republicans, while Adams was supported by the Federalists. Adams was victorious in the election, Jefferson was made Vice-president, as a constitutional law stated that the candidate with the second highest number of electoral votes got that position.

new states: Vt, Ky, Tenn: Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee were all admitted into the United States between 1791 and 1796 by the federal government. Their admission was spurred by the hope that they would then become completely loyal to the Union, as they had not been before.

Federalists: The Federalist party was the starting point of the movement to draft and later ratify the new Constitution. It urged for a stronger national government to take shape after 1781. Its leaders included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, and George Washington rose to power between 1789-1801. Under Hamilton, the Federalists solved the problem of revolutionary debt, created Jay’s Treaty and also the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Democratic-Republicans: The first political party in the United States, the Democratic-Republican party was created by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in opposition to the views of Alexander Hamilton. It arose to power in the 1790s and opposed the Federalist party, while advocating states rights and an agricultural society. The party expressed sympathy towards the French Revolution but opposed close ties with the British.

Society of the Cincinnati: A post-war organization of veteran officers from the Continental Army, the Society of the Cincinnati was feared by many because its charter had the possibility of becoming a hereditary aristocracy, as it gave membership to descendants.

Alien and Sedition Acts: In 1798, the Neutralization Act said residence must remain in the United States for five years before becoming naturalized while the Alien Act allowed the exportation of any alien believed to be a threat to national security. The Alien Enemies Act allowed the President to export aliens during times of war and the Sedition Act made it a criminal offense to plot against government. These acts were criticized because they oppressed the people’s First Amendment rights.

Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions: Written by Jefferson and Madison in protest to the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Virginia Resolution stated that states possessed the right to intervene in unconstitutional acts in government, and the Kentucky Resolution stated that federal government could not extend powers outside of constitutionally granted powers.

Convention of 1800: The Federalist party split into two factions during the Convention of 1800, as the party was undecided as to who their presidential candidate should be. The Federalists wanted to nominate Adams, while the "High Federalists," led by Alexander Hamilton, denounced his candidacy.

Second Great Awakening: Occurring mainly in the frontier states, the Second Great Awakening began in the 1790s and was characterized by "camp meetings," or open air revivals which lasted for weeks at a time where revivalists spoke of the second coming of Jesus. Charles Finney, an especially prominent preacher of the time, preached not only the second coming of Jesus, but also the gospel of free will, which lead to a greater democratic power commonly seen in the ideals of Jacksonian democracy.

Fugitive Slave Law: Enacted by congress in 1793, the law required judges to give a slave back to its owner or his representative if caught after running away. This law indicated tightening racial tensions, as well as stripped slaves of the right to trial by jury or presentation of evidence of freedom.

Gabriel’s Rebellion: Led by Gabriel Prosser in August 1800, the rebellion broke out near Richmond, Virginia when 1,000 slaves marched to the capital. Thirty five slaves were executed by a swift state militia, but whites still feared what many occur in the future with slave uprisings. The rebellion increased tensions between the North and the South.



•Election of 1800: Jefferson and fellow Republican Aaron Burr, who ran for Vice-presidency in the same year, received an equal number of electoral votes, thus creating a tie and throwing the presidential election into the House of Representatives, in agreement to Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution. With Hamilton’s coercion, Jefferson was elected as president, with Burr as Vice-president. (The Constitution was amended to require separate votes for each position.)

JEFFERSONIAN DEMOCRACY: Jefferson’s administration severely cut naval and military operations. 70 percent of the national revenue was applied to reducing the national debt as well. Most importantly, Jefferson purchased the Louisiana territory from the French, though a Constitutional violation. Gallatin was the genius behind the public debt cut and creating a large surplus of funds. He opposed war, seeing it as detrimental to the national economy.

Midnight judges: Federalists dominated the government, but with the election of 1800, Jefferson drove them out, resulting in Adams’s last day in office (December 12, 1800). On this date he appointed last-minute judges to keep the judiciary in the Federalists hands, by using the Judiciary Act of 1801.

LOUISIANA PURCHASE: When France obtained the territory from Spain, Jefferson’s goal to purchase the territory was the great port of New Orleans, land West of the Mississippi, as well as the threat of French invasion. Jefferson obtained the territory for $15 million, and was ratified as a treaty by the Senate, though purchasing the territory was Constitutionally illegal and going beyond his presidential rights. From this territory became 14 new state governments.

Toussaint L’Ouverture: Haitian general on the island of Santo-Domingo, who succeeded in liberating the island from France in 1801, and becoming president for life of the country. 1802, Napoleon sent troops to crush the Haitians, and Toussaint was defeated, and accused of conspiracy; where he was imprisoned and died in France.

LOUISIANA PURCHASE: Most Federalists opposed the Louisiana Purchase on the grounds that it would decrease the relative importance of their strongholds on the eastern seaboard. Jefferson, a Republican, saw no reason to hand the Federalists an issue by dallying over ratification of the treaty made to obtain the territory.

Hamilton-Burr duel: Election of 1800 Between Jefferson and Burr, had turned to the House of Representatives for the decision of the next president Burr’s election in 1804, for the governor of NY State, where Hamilton opposed him, again. Dueled Hamilton on July 11, 1804, where Hamilton was killed.

Burr treason trial: Burr purchased land in the newly acquired Louisiana territory, and intended to invade the Spanish territory and establish a separate republic in the Southwest, or seize land in Spanish America. He was arrested and indicted for treason, and was acquitted on Sept. 1, 1807, after a six-month trial in Richmond, Virginia.

Lewis and Clark: They explored the vast territory west of the Mississippi River by the US, when they where commissioned by Jefferson. They cataloged plants and animals, and established relations with Indian inhabitants. They reached the Rockies, over the Continental Divide, and reached the Pacific in November 1805.

impressment: Arbitrary seizure of goods or individuals by a government or its agents for public services. Used by British to regain deserters from the Royal Navy to American vessels during 1790 to 1812. This was one of the reasons for the War of 1812, when British vessels boarded and obtained their crew from the high paying American ships.

EMBARGO OF 1807: This law was passed in December 1807 over Federalist opposition, and prohibited United States vessels from trading with European nations during the Napoleonic War. The Embargo Act was in response to the restrictive measure imposed on American neutrality by France and Britain, who where at war with each other. To pressure the nations to respect the neutral rights of the US and to demonstrate the value of trade with the US, Jefferson imposed the embargo instead of open warfare.

Non-Intercourse Act: The Non-Intercourse Act of March 1, 1809, repealed the Embargo Act, and reactivated American commerce with all countries except the warring French and the British. The US also agreed to resume trade with the first nation of the two, who would cease violating neutral rights, pressuring the needs for American goods.

Macon’s Bill No. 2: Nathaniel Macon created the Macon’s Bill No. 2, in May 1810, which was designed to discourage the British and the French from interfering with US commerce, by bribing either the England or France in repealing their restrictions on neutral shipping; who ever obliged, the US would halt all commerce with the other nation.

Tecumseh: A Shawnee leader, who fought against the United States expansion into the Midwest. He opposed any surrender of Native American land to whites, and tried with his brother, Tenskwatawa the "Prophet," in uniting the tribes from American customs, especially liquor. He was defeated at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

WAR OF 1812

War Hawks: A group of militants in Madison’s Democratic-Republican party, who wanted more aggressive policies toward the hostile British and French. Thus creating a war spirit by several young congressman elected in 1810. This group in the House of Representatives, led by Henry Clay preferred war to the "ignominious peace."

War against Great Britain: For the most part, the Napoleon Wars were played out in Europe, and the French accepted the United States merchant marine neutrality by the Berlin and Milan Decrees. Hatred of the British persisted, with the constant violations of neutrality on the seas and in the Great Lakes.

FEDERALIST OPPOSITION TO THE WAR OF 1812: The Federalist party were deeply opposed to the war, for their lack of support for commercial and diplomatic policies of Jefferson and Madison. Even more so, was their opposition to Jefferson and Madison’s trade programs of neutrality and trade, for example the Non-intercourse act.

Naval Battles in the War of 1812: The beginning of the War of 1812, encounters were with single-ship battles. The frigate Constitution defeated the Guerriere in August 1812, and in the same year, the Untied States seized the British frigate Macedonian. However, the Chesapeake lost to the Shannon, continuing British blockade.

Results of the War of 1812: After the treaty of Ghent, the British wanted neutral Indian buffer states in the American Northwest and wanted to revise both the American-Canadian boundary. The Treaty of Ghent secured US maritime rights and peace around Europe and the Americas. Rising Indian opposition to American expansion in the Northwest and Southwest was broken, and there was an increased sense of national purpose and awareness.

Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key: During the War of 1812 on September 13-14, Fort McHenry withstood a 25-hour bombardment by the British Vice-Admiral Alexander Cochane and his fleet, which prompted the famous "Star-spangled Banner," by Francis Scott Key when he saw the flag still standing.

Jackson’s victory at New Orleans: Jackson, during the War of 1812, captured New Orleans with a small army against the British army, which was composed mainly of veterans. This victory on January 8, 1815 occurred after the peace treaty that ended the war.

HARTFORD CONVENTION: The Hartford Convention of 1814 damaged the Federalists with its resolutions to the idea o secession, leaving an idea of disloyalty to use against them. The convention on December 14, 1814 was to oppose the war, which was hurting American industries and commerce. The recommendation of the convention was to have an amendment to the Constitution that would grant taxation and representation in each state, and prohibit congress from the embargo.

Henry Clay, Gallatin, and treaty negotiations: Adams drafted the Monroe Doctrine and arranged for the Treaty of Ghent that ended the War of 1812. Gallatin also was a part in the negotiations of the Treaty of Ghent, as well as Clay, with hope of ending the war of 1812.

Treaty of Ghent: This was an agreement between the United States and Great Britain, in Belgium, on December 24, 1814. This treaty ended the War of 1812, and provided that all territory captured would be returned to the rightful owner. Great controversy occurred over fishing rights and the Northwest Boundary, between England and America.


transportation revolution: The transportation revolution was the period in which steam power, railroads, canals, roads, bridges, and clipper ships emerged as new forms of transportation, beginning in the 1830s. This allowed Americans to travel across the country and transport goods into new markets that weren’t previously available.

Erie Canal: The Erie Canal, the first major canal project America, was built by New York beginning 1817. Stretching 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo, it was longest canal in western world at the time. It was a symbol of progress when it was opened in 1825, and it later sparked artistic interest in the Hudson River when its use peaked in the 1880s.

National Road(Cumberland Road): The National Road was a highway across America. Construction began in 1811; the road progressed west during early 1800s, advancing father west with each year. Its crushed-stone surface helped and encouraged many settlers to travel into the frontier west.

Commonwealth v. Hunt: In the case of Commonwealth v. Hunt, the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 1842 ruled that labor unions were not illegal conspiracies in restraint of trade. Although this decision made strikes legal, it did not bring significant changes in the rights of laborers because many Massachusetts judges still considered unions illegal.

Robert Fulton, steamships: Fulton was an artist turned inventor. In 1807, he and his partner, Robert Livingston, introduced a steamship, the Clermont, on the Hudson River and obtained a monopoly on ferry service there until 1824. Steamships created an efficient means of transporting goods upstream, and this led to an increase in the building of canals.

clipper ships: Clipper ships were sailing ships built for great speed. The first true clipper ship, the Rainbow, was designed by John W. Griffiths, launched in 1845, but this was modeled after earlier ships developed on the Chesapeake Bay. During the Gold Rush, from 1849 to 1857, clipper ships were a popular means to travel to California quickly.

Samuel Slater: Slater was the supervisor of machinery in a textile factory in England. He left England illegally in 1790 to come to Rhode Island, where, in 1793, he founded the first permanent mill in America for spinning cotton into yarn. In doing this, Slater founded the cotton textile industry in America.

Eli Whitney, interchangeable parts: Whitney was an inventor who introduced the concept of interchangeable parts in 1798. The tools and machines he invented allowed unskilled workers to build absolutely uniform parts for guns, so that the whole gun no longer had to be replaced if a single part malfunctioned or broke. This was the beginning of mass production.

Cyrus McCormick, mechanical reaper: McCormick was an inventor who improved upon previous designs for the mechanical reaper. He patented his reaper in 1834 and built a factory to mass produce it in 1847. This invention lessened the work of western farmers by mechanizing the process of harvesting wheat.

Samuel F.B. Morse, telegraph: Morse invented the telegraph in 1844. This invention was enthusiastically accepted by the American people; telegraph companies were formed and lines erected quickly. The telegraph allowed rapid communication across great distances, usually transmitting political and commercial messages.

Cyrus Field: Field was a financier who promoted the first transatlantic telegraph cable. In 1841, Field founded a company, Cyrus W. Field and Co. After four failed attempts, Field laid a cable between Irealand and Newfoundland in 1866. This cable was 2,000 miles long and laid from the Great Eastern, a ship. This allowed for rapid transatlantic communication


Second Bank of the US: Andrew Jackson vetoed the recharter bill of the Second Bank of the United States on July 10, 1832, which was a blow against monopoly, aristocratic parasites, and foreign domination, as well as great victory for labor. Instead, Jackson created pet banks and destabilized the national currency and aid.

Tariff of 1816 (protective): This was a protective tariff that was principally intended to hold the production of textiles and goods. This tariff was made in order to defend the industries that were established during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812, promoting new industries. A revision was made in 1824 to clear problems that aroused.

Rush-Bagot Treaty: Rush-Bagot was an agreement between the US and Great Britain concerning the Canadian border in 1817. The decision was that there would be a disarmament of the US-Canadian frontier, and that there would be a precedent for the amicable settlement of peace between the US and Canada.

Panic of 1819 : Occurred when the Second Bank of the United States tightened its loan policy, triggering a depression, that caused distress throughout the country, especially western farmers. Even more so, British exports unloaded textiles, causing a great depression for farmers.


sectionalism: Sectionalism is loyalty or support of a particular region or section of the nation, rather than the United States as a whole. Slavery was particularly sectional issue, dividing the country into North and South to the extent that it led to the Civil War; for the most part, southerners supported slavery and northerners opposed it.

"KING COTTON": In the 1800s, cotton became the principal cash crop in the South. The British textile industry created a huge demand for cotton, and the invention of the cotton gin made it practical to grow cotton throughout the South. It was so profitable that the vast majority of southern farms and plantations grew cotton, and the "Cotton Kingdom" spread west into Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. Essentially, the entire Southern economy became dependent on the success of cotton as a crop.

Hinton Helper, The Impending Crisis of the South: In 1857, Helper wrote The Impending Crisis of the South in an attempt to persuade non-slaveholders that slavery harmed the Southern economy, using the poor whites of the pine-barrens as an illustration of how the institution of slavery degrades non-slaveowning southerners.

mountain whites in the South, pine barrens: The poorest class of whites in the Lower South tended to cluster in the mountains and pine-barrens, where they survived by grazing hogs and cattle on land that the usually didn’t own. They were considered lazy and shiftless, and were often cited by northerners as proof that slavery degraded non-slaveholding whites.

Purchase of Florida: Spain surrendered Florida to the United States in 1819 by the Adams-Onis Treaty, with a sum of five million dollars. This however began a rebellion by the Indians, starting the Seminole War (1835-42), and becoming another reason for Indian hatred of the white man.

MONROE DOCTRINE: origins, provisions, impact: President Monroe’s message to Congress on Dec. 2, 1823, it consisted of 3 principles: U.S. policy was to abstain from European wars unless U.S. interests were involved, European powers could not colonize the American continents and shouldn’t attempt to colonize newly independent Spanish American republics. Ridiculed in Europe, it was used to justify U.S. expansion by presidents John Tyler and James Polk. In 1904, the Roosevelt Corollary was introduced.

Era of good feelings: This phrase exemplifies both of Monroe’s presidencies, from 1816-1824. The War of 1812 eliminated some divisive issues, and Republicans embraced the Federalist’s issues. Monroe made an effort to avoid political controversies, but soon sectionalism divided the nation.

Chief Justice John Marshall: decisions: Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) The question was whether New Hampshire could change a private corporation, Dartmouth College into a state university. It was unconstitutional to change it. After a state charters a college or business, it can no longer alter the charter nor regulate the beneficiary.

Tallmadge Amendment: The Tallmadge Amendment (1819) restricted further importation of slaves into Missouri and freed slave descendants born after Missouri’s admission as a state, at age 25. It passed in the House but not the Senate due to sectionalism.

MISSOURI COMPROMISE: Congress admitted Maine as a free state in 1820 so that Missouri would become a slave state and prohibited slavery in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase territory north of 36 30, the southern boundary of Missouri. Henry Clay proposed the second Missouri Compromise in 1821, which forbade discrimination against citizens from other states in Missouri but did not resolve whether free blacks were citizens. Congress had a right to prohibit slavery in some territories.

Clay’s American System: In his tariff speech to Congress on March 30- 31, 1824, Clay proposed a protective tariff in support of home manufactures, internal improvements such as federal aid to local road and canal projects, a strong national bank, and distribution of the profits of federal land sales to the states.

Daniel Webster: Supporting the tariff of 1828, he was a protector of northern industrial interests. In the debate over the renewal of the charter of the US Bank, Webster advocated renewal and opposed the financial policy of Jackson. Many of the principles of finance he spoke about were later incorporated in the Federal Reserve System.

ELECTION OF 1824: popular vote, electoral vote, House vote: Jackson, Adams, Crawford, Clay: All five candidates, including Calhoun were Republicans, showing that the Republican party was splintering, due to rival sectional components. Calhoun withdrew and ran for the vice presidency. Jackson won more popular and electoral votes than the other candidates but didn’t manage to gain the majority needed Because Clay supported Adams, Adams became president.

"corrupt bargain": After Adams won the presidency, he appointed Clay as secretary of state. Jackson’s supporters called the action a "corrupt bargain" because they thought that Jackson was cheated of the presidency. Although there is no evidence to link Clay’s support to his appointment of the secretary of state, the allegation was widely believed.

Tariff of Abominations: Named by southerners, this bill favored western agricultural interests by raising tariffs or import taxes on imported hemp, wool, fur, flax, and liquor in 1828. New England manufacturing interests were favored because it raised the tariff on imported textiles. In the South, these tariffs raised the cost of manufactured goods.

JOHN C. CALHOUN: South Carolina Exposition and Protest, nullification: He anonymously wrote the widely read South Carolina Exposition and Protest, in which he made his argument that the tariff of 1828 was unconstitutional. Adversely affected states had the right to nullify, or override, the law, within their borders. He acknowledged that he wrote the SC Exposition and Protest in 1831. In 1832, he convinced the South Carolina legislature to nullify the federal tariff acts of 1828 and 1832.

internal improvements: President Adams proposed a program of federal support for internal improvements in Dec. 1825; strict Jeffersonians claimed it to be unconstitutional. The South had few plans to build canals and roads. Jackson, with a political base in the South, felt that federal support meant a possibly corrupt giveaway program for the North.


Jacksonian Revolution of 1828: Jackson won more than twice the electoral vote of John Quincy Adams. However the popular vote was much closer. Adams had strong support in New England while Jackson swept the South and Southwest. In the middle states and the Northwest, the popular vote was close.

age of the common man: All white males had access to the polls. Jackson was portrayed by the opposition as a common man, an illiterate backwoodsman, during the election of 1828. He was depicted as being uncorrupt, natural, and plain. His supporters described his simple and true morals and fierce and resolute will.

spoils system: Jackson defended the principle of "rotation in office," the removal of officeholders of the rival party on democratic grounds. He wanted to give as many individuals as possible a chance to work for the government and to prevent the development of an elite bureaucracy.

National Republicans: They became the Whig party during Jackson’s second term. John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay guided this party in the 1830s. They were the Jeffersonian Republicans, along with numerous former Federalists who believed that the national government should advocate economic development.

Trail of Tears: A pro-removal chief signed the Treaty of New Echota in 1835 which ceded all Cherokee land to the United States for $5.6 million. Most Cherokees condemned the treaty. Between 1835 and 1838, 16,000 Cherokees migrated west to the Mississippi along the Trail of Tears. 2,000 to 4,000 Cherokees died.

Worcester v. Georgia, 1832: Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokees were not a state nor a foreign nation and therefore lacked standing to bring suit. Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 1831: Marshall ruled that the Cherokees were a "domestic dependent nation" entitled to federal protection from mistreatment by Georgia.

Whigs: The National Republican party altered its name to the Whig party during Jackson’s second term. They were united by their opposition of Jackson’s policies, committed to Clay’s American System and believed in active intervention by the government to change society. They became a national party with appeal by 1836.

election of 1832: Jackson, a strong defender of states’ rights and Unionism won the presidency. The National Republicans ran Henry Clay whose platform consisted of his American System. The Anti-Masonic Party ran William Wirt who received 7 electoral votes.

BANK WAR: Nicholas Biddle operated the Bank of the United States since 1823. Many opposed the Bank because it was big and powerful. Some disputed its constitutionality. Jackson tried to destroy the Bank by vetoing a bill to recharter the Bank. He removed the federal government’s deposits from the Bank and put them into various state and local banks or "pet banks." Biddle tightened up on credit and called in loans, hoping for a retraction by Jackson, which never occurred. A financial recession resulted.

Roger B. Taney: Jackson’s policy was to remove federal deposits form the Bank of US and put them in state banks. Secretary of treasury Roger B. Taney implemented the policy. Critics called the state-bank depositories pet banks because they were chosen for their loyalty to the Democratic party.

Peggy Eaton affair: Jackson’s secretary of war, John H. Eaton, married Peggy Eaton in 1829. They were socially disregarded by Calhoun’s wife and Calhoun’s friends in the cabinet. Jackson believed that the Eaton affair was Calhoun’s plot to discredit him and advance Calhoun’s presidential ambitions.

Calhoun resigns: When Jackson favored the higher rates for the Tariff of 1832, Calhoun resigned in the same year. He went back to South Carolina and composed an Ordinance of Nullification which was approved by a special convention, and the customs officials were ordered to stop collecting the duties at Charleston.

NULLIFICATION CRISIS: Calhoun introduced the idea in his SC Exposition and Protest. States that suffered from the tariff of 1828 had the right to nullify or override the law within their borders. Jackson proclaimed that nullification was unconstitutional and that the Constitution established "a single nation," not a league of states. A final resolution of the question of nullification was postponed until 1861, when South Carolina, accompanied by other southern states, seceded from the Union and started the Civil War.

Clay Compromise: He devised the Compromise Tariff which provided for a gradual lowering of duties between 1833-1842. The Force Bill authorized the president to use arms to collect customs duties in South Carolina. Without the compromise, he believed that the Force Bill would produce a civil war.

Martin Van Buren: The accepted name for a group of Democratic party politicians, their activities were centered in Albany, NY. They took a leading role in national and NY State politics between 1820 and 1850. One of the earliest, competent political machines in the US, prominent members included Van Buren.

Chief Justice Roger B. Taney: The Charles River Bridge Company sued to prevent Mass. from permitting the construction of a new bridge across the Charles River. Taney ruled that no charter given to a private corporation forever vested rights that might hurt the public interest.

panic of 1837: Prices began to fall in May 1837 and bank after bank refused specie payments. The Bank of the United States also failed. The origins of the depression included Jackson’s Specie Circular. Also, Britain controlled the flow of specie from its shores to the US in an attempt to hinder the outflow of British investments in 1836.

Independent Treasury Plan: Instead of depositing its revenue in state banks, Van Buren persuaded Congress to establish an Independent Treasury in which the federal government would keep the revenue itself and thereby withhold public money from the grasp of business cooperation.

election of 1840: Van Buren was nominated but no vice president was put up. His opponent, William Henry Harrison was ridiculed as "Old Granny" by the Democrats, and was given the most successful campaign slogans in history. "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" Harrison won 80% of the electoral vote but died a moth later.

Tariff of 1842: In August of 1842, due to the need of revenue to run the government, Tyler signed a bill which maintained some tariffs above 20%, but abandoned distribution to the states. This satisfied northern manufacturers, but by abandoning distribution, it infuriated many southerners and westerners


Transcendentalists-Transcendalists included many brilliant philosophers, writers, poets lecturers and essayists. These included such intellectuals as Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. They believed in emphasis of the spontaneous and vivid expression of personal feeling over learned analysis.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Serving briefly as a Unitarian minister, he was a popular essayist and lecturer. The topics of his essays were broad and general. He wrote on subjects such as "Beauty," "Nature," and "Power." He was a Transcendalist who believed that knowledge reflected the voice of God, and that truth was inborn and universal.

Henry David Thoreau, On Civil Disobedience: He was considered to be a "doer." He wrote OCD to defend the right to disobey unjust laws. He was also a Transcendalist who believed that one could satisfy their material purposes with only a few weeks work each year and have more time to ponder life’s purpose.

James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans, The Spy, The Pioneers: He wrote historical novels under Sir Walter Scott’s influence. To fiction, he introduced characters like frontiersmen, and developed a distinctly American theme with conflict of between the customs of primitive life on the frontier and the advance of civilization.

Herman Melville, Moby Dick: Drawing ideas and theme from his own experiences in life, Melville wrote with much pessimism. His book, which contains much pessimism, focuses on the human mind instead of the social relationships. He, along with Poe and Hawthorne, were concerned with analyzing the mental states of their characters.

Nathanial Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter- Hawthorne turned to his Puritan past in order to examine the psychological and moral effects of the adultery. He, along with Poe and Melville, wrote with concern for the human mind because of their pessimism about the human condition.

Edgar Allen Poe: Poe, with Melville and Hawthorne saw man as a group of conflicting forces that might not ever be balanced. He changed literature by freeing it from its determination to preach a moral and established the idea that literature should be judged by the positive effect they had on the reader.

Washington Irving: Residing in New York and serving in the war of 1812, he left the US and lived in Europe until 1832. He wrote Sketch Book, which contained "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and "Rip Van Winkle," which continued to give the him the support of Americans who were proud of their best known writer.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Coming from New England, the area from which literature was most prominent, Longfellow, a poet, wrote Evalgeline which was widely read by schoolchildren in America. His poems of Evalgeline and Hiawatha preached of the value of tradition and the impact of the past on the present.

Walt Whitman: By writing Leaves of Grass, Whitman broke the conventions of rhyme and meter to bring new vitality to poetry. Not only did he write in free verse. but his poems took on a different style, being energetic and candid at a time when humility were accepted in the literary world.


Charles G. Finney: Known as the "father of modern revivalism," he was a pioneer of cooperation among Protestant denominations. He believed that conversions were human creations instead of the divine works of God, and that people’s destinies were in their own hands. His "Social Gospel" offered salvation to all.

Mormons, Brigham Young: Joseph Smith organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after receiving "Sacred writings" in New York Unpopular because of their polygamy, they moved to Missouri, then to Nauvoo, Illinois. They were then led to the Great Salt Lake by Brigham young after Smith was killed.

Brook Farm, New Harmony, Onieda, Amana Community: Attempting to improve man’s life during industrialism, these cooperative communities, known as Utopian communities, were formed. These communities often condemned social isolation, religion, marriage, the institution of private property.

Dorothea Dix: In 1843, after discovering the maltreatment of the insane in 1841, presented a memorial to the state legislature which described the abhor conditions in which the insane were kept. She, along with help from Horace Mann and Samuel G. Howe, led the fight for asylums and more humane treatment for the insane.

Commonwealth vs. Hunt: This decision deemed that the trade union and their strike techniques were legal, contradicting the traditional idea of unions being illegal under the conspiracy laws of the English common law. Although this was a milestone, it in fact did not open a new era for labor unions. Most judges still believed unions were illegal.

public education, Horace Mann- The most influential of reformers, Man became the secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. For the next ten years, Mann promoted a wholistic change in public education. Mann wanted to put the burden of cost on the state, grade the schools, standardize textbooks, and compel attendance.

American Temperance Union- The first national temperance organization, it was created by evangelical Protestants. Created in 1826, they followed Lyman Beecher in demanding total abstinence from alcohol. They denounced the evil of drinking and promoted the expulsion of drinkers from church.

Irish, German immigration- 1845-1854: In this single decade, the largest immigration proportionate to the American population occurred. The Irish was the largest source of immigration with the German immigrants ranking second in number. This spurred new sentiment for nativism and a new anti-Catholic fervor.

Nativism: The Irish immigration surge during the second quarter of the nineteenth century revived anti-Catholic fever .Extremely anti-Catholic, in 1835 Morse warned that the governments of Europe were filling the US with Catholic immigrants as part of a conspiracy to undermine and destroy republican institutions.

Women’s rights : Women could not vote and if married, they had no right to own property or retain their own earnings. They were also discriminated in the areas of education and employment, not receiving the opportunities that men possessed. This encouraged the development of educational institutions for women.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: She along with Lucretia Mott planned a women’s right convention at the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Seneca Falls which sparked the women’s movement. She was also active in the fight for abolition and temperance, but was devoted to women’s rights.

Seneca Falls, 1848: Under the eye of Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, this convention adopted resolutions for women’s rights. Among those adopted were a demand for women’s suffrage and a diminution of sexual discrimination in education and employment.

Catherine Beecher: Lyman Beecher’s daughter and a militant opponent of female equality, she fought for a profession in which females could be appreciated. With this, she discovered the institution of education in which women could play an important part in. In this profession, women became the main source of teachers.


ABOLITIONISM: Abolitionism was the movement in opposition to slavery, often demanding immediate, uncompensated emancipation of all slaves. This was generally considered radical, and there were only a few adamant abolitionists prior to the Civil War. Almost all abolitionists advocated legal, but not social equality for blacks. Many abolitionists, such as William Lloyd Garrison were extremely vocal and helped to make slavery a national issue, creating sectional tension because most abolitionists were from the North.

American Antislavery Society: The American Antislavery Society was an organization in opposition to slavery founded in 1833. In 1840, issues such as the role of women in the abolitionist movement, and role of abolitionists as a political party led to the division of the organization into the American Antislavery Society and Foreign Antislavery Society. Because the organization never had control over the many local antislavery societies, its division did not greatly damage abolitionism.

William Lloyd Garrison: William Lloyd Garrison was a radical who founded The Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper, in Boston in 1831. He advocated immediate, uncompensated emancipation and even civil equality for blacks. This made Garrison a famous and highly controversial abolitionist whose main tactic was to stir up emotions on the slavery issue.

The Liberator: The Liberator was an anti-slavery newspaper published by William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp beginning in 1831. Its bitter attacks on slavery and slaveowners, as well as its articles and speeches using arguments based on morality to advocate immediate emancipation made it one of the most persuasive periodicals in the United States at the time.

Grimké sisters: Angelina and Sarah Grimké were sisters who toured New England, lecturing against slavery, in 1837. They became controversial by lecturing to both men and women. In 1838 both sisters wrote classics of American feminism; Sarah wrote Letters on the Condition of Women and the Equality of the Sexes and Angelina wrote Letters to Catherine E. Beecher.

Elijah Lovejoy: Lovejoy was American abolitionist and the editor of the an antislavery periodical, The Observer. Violent opposition from slaveholders in 1836 forced him to move his presses from Missouri to Illinois, where he established the Alton Observer. Lovejoy was killed by an mob in 1837, and his death stimulated the growth of abolitionist movement.

NAT TURNER’S INSURRECTION: Turner was a slave who became convinced that he was chosen by God to lead his people to freedom. In Virginia in 1831, Turner led about 70 blacks into a revolt against their masters. Before the uprising was brought to a halt by white militiamen, 55 whites were killed by Turner and his followers and many blacks were lynched by white mobs. Turner and fifteen of his companions were hanged. The rebellion convinced white southerners that a successful slave insurrection was an constant threat..

Gabriel Prosser: Prosser a Virginia slave who planned a slave uprising in 1800 with the intent of creating a free black state. They intended to sieze the federal arsenal at Richmond, but the plan was betrayed by other slaves. Prosser and his comrades were captured by the state militia and executed.

Denmark Vesey: Vessy was a slave from South Carolina who bought his freedom with $1,500 that he won in a lottery. In 1822, he planned to lead a group of slaves in an attacking Charleston and stealing the city’s arms. However, the plan was betrayed by other slaves, resulting in the hanging of Vessy and his followers.

Sojourner Truth: Sojourner Truth was a runaway slave who became an influential figure in both women’s societies and the abolitionist movement. In spite of her illiteracy, she traveled widely through New England and the Midwest, making eloquent speeches against sex discrimination, Godlessness, and slavery which attracted large audiences.

Harriet Tubman: Tubman was a black woman who, after escaping from slavery in 1849, made 19 journeys back into the South to help as many as 300 other slaves escape. She was the most famous leader of the underground railroad. Because of her efforts to lead her people to freedom, Tubman was known as "Moses" among blacks.

underground railroad: The underground railroad was a secret network of antislavery northerners who illegally helped fugitive slaves escape to free states or Canada during the period before the American Civil War. The system had no formal organization, but it helped thousands of slaves escape and contributed to the hostility between the North and South.

Creole affair: The Creole Affair was an uprising by a group of slaves who were in the process of being transported in the ship, the Creole. They killed the captain, took control of ship and sailed for Bahamas, where they became free under British. Incidents such as this contributed to the intensification of sectional conflict in the United States.


Stephen Austin: Austin was a prominant leader of Americans in Texas. In the 1820s, he was a highly successful empresario, who had contracted 300 American families to move to Texas by 1825. After Mexican president Santa Anna invaded Texas in1835, Austin became one of the leaders of the Texas Revolution.

TEXAN WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE: In 1836, Mexican president Santa Anna invaded Texas and brutally crushed the rebels at the battle of the Alamo. However, the leader to the Texans, Sam Houston, retaliated at the battle of San Jacinto. At San Jacinto, the Texans killed half of Santa Anna’s men in 15 minutes and Houstan captured Santa Anna and forced him to sign a treaty recognizing Texan independence. The Mexican government never recognized this treaty, but could no longer afford to fight, so Texas became the Lone Star Republic.

Alamo: The Alamo was a mission in San Antonio, Texas, that became the setting for and important episode in Texan war for independence from Mexico. In 1836, Mexican forces under Santa Anna besieged San Antonio and the city’s 200 Texan defenders retreated into the abandoned mission. All of the Texans were killed in their attempt to fight the Mexican army.

Davy Crockett: Davy Crockett was a politician, a frontiersman, and a soldier. From 1827 to 1835 Crockett represented Tennessee in Congress. In he 1835 went to Texas and joined the revolution against Mexico. He was killed while defending the Alamo in 1836. Exaggerated stories written after his death made Crockett an American folk hero.

San Jacinto: The battle of San Jacinto was the last battle of Texan war for independence. Texan General Sam Houston and 800 of his men ambushed Santa Anna and the Mexican army. The battle lasted less than 20 minutes, during which after Santa Anna was captured and forced to signed a treaty granting Texans their independence.

Santa Anna: Santa Anna was elected president of Mexico in 1833. However, in 1834, he overthrew government and named himself dictator. He invaded Texas in 1835, but got captured at the battle of San Jacinto in 1836. After this defeat, he was forced into retirement until 1838. He was overthrown in 1845, but called back in 1846 to fight in the Mexican War.

Sam Houston: Houston was a military commander and an American statesman who served in House of Representatives from 1823 to 1827. In 1836, Houston was chosen as president of the Texan rebels. He led them in the battle of San Jacinto, where he captured Santa Anna and achieved Texan independence.

Republic of Texas: Texan rebels declared their independence from Mexico in 1836. They drafted a constitution modeled after the United States Constitution and chose Sam Houston as their president. Texas was an autonomous nation from the time Santa Anna recognized Texan independence at the battle of San Jacinto until it was annexed by the United States in 1845.



"MANIFEST DESTINY": "Manifest Destiny" was the term used, throughout the 1840s, to describe Americans’ belief that they were destined by God to spread their beliefs across the continent. This sense of duty created a sense of unity among the nation and stimulated westward expansion. The term itself was coined by John O’Sullivan in an 1845 magazine article. The concept justified westward expansion in all its forms and ramifications, including the Mexican War, the persecution of the Indians, and other such ethnocentric acts.

Horace Greeley: Greeley was a journalist and political leader. He opposed slavery, but he was not an abolitionist. He was editor of the New Yorker and a Whig associated with Governor Seward of New York. In 1841, he founded the New York Tribune. In 1872, he was the Liberal Republican nominee for president.

Annexation of Texas, Joint Resolution under President Tyler: In 1843, Tyler started a campaign to annex Texas, and in 1844 he succeeded in sending a treaty to Congress for the annexation. This treaty was defeated in the Senate, but later, in early 1845, Congress passed a joint resolution to annex Texas because of the growing popularity of annexation.

ELECTION OF 1844: In the election of 1844, the Whigs nominated Henry Clay. The Democrats, however, were divided between Martin Van Buren and Lewis Cass. A deadlock at the Democratic national convention resulted in the nomination of dark-horse candidate James K. Polk. The Liberty party, consisting of a small group of northern antislavery Whigs who were alienated by Clay’s indecisiveness, nominated James G. Birney. Also, large numbers of Irish immigrants turned out to vote for Polk, and he won by a small margin.

JAMES K. POLK: Polk was a slaveowning southerner dedicated to Democratic party. In 1844, he was a "dark horse" candidate for president, and he won the election. Polk favored American expansion, especially advocating the annexation of Texas, California, and Oregon. He was a friend and follower of Andrew Jackson. He opposed Clay’s American System, instead advocating lower tariff, separation the treasury and the federal government from the banking system. He was a nationalist who believed in Manifest Destiny.

54° 40’ or Fight!: In the election of 1844, Polk used "54° 40’ or Fight!" as a campaign slogan, implying that the he would declare war if Britain did not give the United States all the Oregon territory up to its northern boundary, the line 54° 40’ N. latitude. However, in 1846 Polk agreed to negotiate, and the two countries divided Oregon at the 49th parallel.

Rio Grande, Nueces River, Disputed Territory: A dispute over the southern boundary of Texas contributed to the Mexican War. Mexico claimed that the Nueces River was boundary of Texas, but Polk insisted that the Rio Grande River was the boundary line. The land between these two rivers was uninhabited, but it was a significant slice of Mexican territory.

MEXICAN WAR: The Mexican war lasted from 1846 to 1848. The main cause of the war was American desire for territory, especially Texas and California. The war took place mainly on Mexican soil. Partially because of disorganization and instability in the Mexican government, the war resulted in and American victory. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war, made the southern boundary of Texas the Rio Grande, gave California and New Mexico to the United States, and gave $15 million to Mexico in compensation.

General Zachary Taylor: Taylor was an American major general who became a war hero during the Mexican War. His troops won important victories in northern Mexico at Matamoros, Monterrey, and Buena Vista, and his resulting popularity helped him win the presidential election in 1848.

Battle of Buena Vista: The battle of Buena Vista was a battle during Mexican War. Five thousand American troops commanded by General Taylor defeated three times as many Mexican troops under Santa Anna. As a result of this battle, Taylor was put in control of all of northern Mexico. This American victory also hastened end of the War.

John C. Fremont: Fremont was an explorer, soldier, and politician known as "the Great Pathfinder." In 1846, he assisted in the annexation of California by capturing insurgents, seizing the city of Sonoma, and declaring the independence of the "Bear Flag Republic." In 1856, Fremont became the first presidential candidate for the Republican party.

General Winfield Scott: General Scott commanded American troops during the Mexican War, and led those troops victory at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, and Chapultepec. He also led the final defeat of Santa Anna when he captured Mexico City in 1847. He ran for president of United States in 1852.

MEXICAN CESSION: The Mexican Cession was the land that Mexico ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo in 1848. This territory included California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The addition of so much land to the United States exacerbated conflict over the expansion of slavery because some Northerners feared that the extension of slavery into California and New Mexico would deter free laborers from settling there.

OREGON FEVER: During the 1830s and 1840s, many Americans traveled to the Oregon Territory in order to start a new life. The fertile farmland available in the Willamette Valley attracted many farmers. People in the East heard exaggerated, enthusiastic reports from missionaries and pioneers, convincing them that Oregon was a "pioneer’s paradise." Many settlers traveled to Oregon overland by way of the Oregon Trail or around Cape Horn in the newly invented clipper ships. This was an important part of westward expansion.

Oregon Trail: The Oregon Trail was an overland route to the Oregon territory, stretching almost 2,000 miles from Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley. The pioneers who traveled this trail in wagon trains faced many dangers. It is estimated that about 11,500 emigrants used overland trails like the Oregon Trail to reach Oregon between 1840 and1848.

Oregon Territory: Congress made the Oregon Territory an official territory of the United States in 1848. Prior to 1846, the Oregon Territory had been jointly occupied by Great Britain and the United States with its northern boundary the line 54°40’. In a 1846 treaty, the two countries split the territory, dividing it at the 49th parallel.

Brigham Young: Brigham Young was the patriarch of the Mormon church who took control of the church after Joseph Smith was killed. After the Mormons were forced out of Illinois, Young led them to Utah in 1846, where they prospered. Young has been criticized for both his support of polygamy and his intolerance towards opposition.

Mormons: The Mormon religion was founded in 1827 by Joseph Smith. Their church is based in Utah and they believe that the Book of Mormon is the supplement for the Bible. The Mormons are characterized by their preference to be set apart from the rest of the community, apparent in their views, which were antebellum in the time the religion was born.

forty-niners: In 1849, 100,000 Americans, along with immigrants from Europe, Asia and South America rushed to California in search of easy riches. Competition led to violence and greed. As a result of inadequate shelter and food and the lack of medical supplies, 10,000 died the first year and few even benefited from the expedition.

Walker Tariff, 1846: The Walker tariff was created by Robert J. Walker, Polk’s secretary of the treasury, in 1846. The bill slashed all duties to the minimum necessary for revenue. It also reversed the trend of replacing certain specifics for ad value duties and dropped the minimum valuation principle. The tariff was signed July 30, 1846.

Independent Treasury System, Polk: After Van Buren was defeated in the election of 1840 by William Henry Harrison, the Independent Treasury System was repealed. However, when Polk was elected in 1844, he brought back the Independent Treasury System. This intensified the divisions between the Whigs and Democrats.


panic of 1857: The causes of the panic were overspeculation in railroads and lands, false banking practices, and a break in the flow of European capital to American investments as a result of the Crimean War. The South’s less industrial economy suffered less than the North, who viewed this as a proof of superiority in both Southern economy and slavery.

Wilmot Proviso: David Wilmot, a Congressman from Pennsylvania, proposed that slavery be banned in land acquired from the Mexican War. The proviso was given to Congress in August 1846. It never passed the Senate, but passed the House. It was taken out of the War Appropriations bill in order for Senate to pass the actual bill.

TREATY OF GUADALUPE HIDALGO: This was the peace treaty between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican War. Through the treaty, Mexico gave Texas with Rio Grande boundary, California , and New Mexico to the United States. The U.S. assumed all claims of the American people against the Mexican government and also paid Mexico 15 million dollars. The treaty was signed on February 2, 1848. In the end, the treaty worked to expand the U.S. territory to include parts of Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada.

Free Soil Party: The Free Soil Party created by the Barnburners, Conscience Whigs, and the former Liberty party members in the election of 1844. They nominated Martin Van Buren on a platform of opposition to any kind of slavery. Although they were unable to carry any state, they had enough influence in North to convey their point.

California applies for admission as a state: Because the population grew during the gold rush and they were in need of a better government, California decided to petition to become a state in September of 1849. There was controversy on the issue of it being a free or slave state, but through the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted as a free state.

COMPROMISE OF 1850: The Compromise of 1850 was an eight part compromise devised by Henry Clay in order to settle the land disputes between the North and South. As part of the compromise, California was admitted a free state, while a stricter Fugitive Slave Law was enforced. Slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbia, while slavery itself was not abolished and sectional peace returned to the northern and southern states for a few years. The issue of slavery eventually did lead to future conflicts, though.

Henry Clay: Henry Clay was an influential American politician who earned the title of "The Great Pacificator" with his development of three compromises. He ran, unsuccessfully, for president six times and devised the "American System" that favored a protective tariff and federal support of internal improvements.

John C. Calhoun: Calhoun is most known for the "nullification crisis" in 1828 between he and president Jackson over the tariff of 1828 (tariff of abominations). He supported the Compromise of 1850 on the basis of the theory of nullification. He was a senator during the debates over the compromise. Calhoun was also a war hawk.

Fugitive Slave Law: Unlike the previous 1793 slave law, the 1850 slave law was more strictly enforced. The results of the law were that the North became a hunting ground for slaves and slaves were denied a trial by jury and other protections they were entitled to. The anger of the slaves led to riots and other acts of violence.

Gadsden Purchase: The Gadsden Purchase was the 1853 treaty in which the United States bought from Mexico parts of what is now southern Arizona and southern New Mexico. Southerners wanted this land in order to build southern transcontinental railroad. The heated debate over this issue in the Senate demonstrates the prevalence of sectional disagreement.

Perry and Japan: Commodore Perry opened relations with Japan, a country closed to the rest of the world for 2 centuries, in 1853. The treaty he forged protected the rights of sailors shipwrecked in Japanese territory from inhumane treatment, permitted American ships to buy coal in Japan, opened Japanese ports of to U.S. commerce, and ended Japan’s isolation.

Ostend Manifesto: American ambassadors to Great Britain, France, and Spain met in Ostend, Belgium in 1854 to issue an unofficial document that gave the United States permission to attain Cuba by any necessary means, even force, and include the island in the Union. President Pierce, however, rejected the manifesto.

Stephen A. Douglas: American politician known for his debates with Abraham Lincoln prior to the election of 1860. Douglas was an advocate of the annexation of Mexico, who aroused the question of slavery in territories with the development of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. He was also a strong supporter of the Compromise of 1850.

KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT, 1854: The Kansas-Nebraska Act ended the peace established between the North and South by the Compromise of 1850. It was proposed by Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois and repealed the Missouri Compromise. The act enforced popular sovereignty upon the new territories but was opposed by Northern Democrats and Whigs. It was passed, however, because President Pierce supported it. The purpose of the bill was to facilitate the building of the transcontinental railroad on a central route.

popular sovereignty: this compromise solution was first proposed during the time of the Wilmot Proviso: the residents of each territory had the option of determining whether it would be a free or slave state; a part of the Compromise of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.Stephen Douglas a strong advocator.

36° 30’ line: The 36° 30’ line was established by the Missouri Compromise and drew on parts of California and New Mexico. The Wilmot Proviso sought to extend the boundary line westward, blocking slavery and territory north of that line. Polk supported the idea of expansion to end the discussion of whether the new territory acquired was slave or free.

"Bleeding Kansas" and Lawrence: Topeka and Lecompton were the two rival governments of Kansas. Each claimed to be the lawful one, thus armed themselves and commenced guerilla warfare. In 1856, Missouri "border ruffians," those who supported slavery, sacked the town of Lawrence. John Brown, an abolitionist, also led a retaliation two days later .

"Beecher’s Bibles": Because the abolitionist government in Kansas was organized in 1856, a pro-slavery posse armed with guns mobbed through the town. Ridiculing the free staters, they dubbed their guns "Beecher’s Bibles," following the advice of an antislavery minister that rifles would do no more than Bibles to enforce morality in Kansas.

Pottawatomie Massacre: John Brown led a small group of abolitionists into a pro-slavery settlement in 1856 to kill unarmed men and boys at Pottawatomie Creek in retaliation to the border ruffians’ invasion and sacking of the abolitionists’ town of Lawrence. The retaliation was preceded by a pro-slavery posse’s armed raid through Kansas.

Lecompton Constitution: This constitution was devised by the anti-slavery delegates of Congress in 1857 to protect the rights of the slaveholders in Kansas and advocate popular sovereignty. Buchanan disapproved of it, but supported it so that Kansas could be admitted as a state.

Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 during Illinois senatorial campaign: The Lincoln-Douglas debates were a series of seven, where Douglas argued on the basis of his opposition to the Lecompton Constitution and depicted Lincoln as a radical abolitionist. Lincoln condemned Douglas for not taking a moral stand against slavery.

Freeport Doctrine: Stephen A. Douglas’ "Freeport Doctrine" stated that exclusion of slavery in a territory could be determined by the refusal of the voters to enact any laws that would protect slave property. In 1858, southerners rejected the doctrine because it did not insure the rights of slaves, a reaction that hurt him in the election.


Nashville Convention: Delegates of the northern and southern states assembled in the summer of 1850 to decide on the issue of the Compromise of 1850. Fire-eaters discussed southern rights, while suspicion of their secession rose amongst the northerners. The meeting itself led to the ultimate decision on the compromise.

fire-eaters: The fire-eaters were extreme advocates of southern rights. They walked out on the Nashville convention in 1850, raided a mass of Irish canal workers, and whipped and lynched slaves in the 1860s. They were labeled "fire-eaters" due to their recklessness and by making their presence strongly felt by all those around.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Harriet Stowe, a Northern abolitionist outraged by the Fugitive Slave Law, wrote this novel to illustrate the evils of slavery. Though the South denounced the novel, 500,000 copies were sold in the U.S. and others were translated into 20 languages. The novel stimulated Northern action against slavery, contributing to the Civil War.

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Stowe was an abolitionist writer who wrote powerful novels attacking slavery both before and after the Civil War in such novels as Dred, A Tale of Great Dismal Swamp (1856) and The Minister’s Wooing (1859). The novels are rambled in structure, yet rich in pathos and dramatic incident. She also wrote short stories and poetry.

election of 1852: The election of 1852 was the end of the Whig Party. Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act split the Whig Party, and the nomination of General Winfield Scott exacerbated the sectional split. The loss of votes from the South was the result of Scott’s campaign. Franklin Pierce of the Democratic party won the election with 27 of 31 states.

birth of the Republican Party: The party was formed in 1854 by northern Democrats who left the party because of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Former Whigs and Know-Nothings were party members, also. All opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act and believed that slavery should be banned from all territories of the nation, except those states where slavery already existed.

election of 1856: Republican Party, Know-Nothing Party: This election was between John C. Fremont of the Republican Party, Millard Fillmore of the Know-Nothing Party, and James Buchanan of Democratic Party. Fillmore’s inexperience weakened his party, increasing the popularity of the Republicans. Buchanan won the election.

John Brown’s raid: The raid took place at Harper’s Ferry in 1859, and was conducted by an abolitionist to raid the federal arsenal and start a slave uprising. It failed and Brown was convicted of treason and hanged because he had ties with the northern abolitionists. At his death, southern fear of future slave uprisings increased, leading to the cruel treatment slaves.

Sumner-Brooks affair: Charles Sumner, a senator from Massachusetts, made a speech titled, "The Crime Against Kansas," denouncing slavery, and, at the same time, ridiculing the South Carolina senator, Charles Butler, in 1856. Preston Brooks, Butler’s nephew came into the Senate chamber and hit him on the head, making Brooks a hero in the South.

DRED SCOTT DECISION: Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that Scott was not a citizen because he was a slave in 1856, therefore, he did not have the right to sue in federal court. It was determined that temporary residence in an area did not make one free, and that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional because it violated the fifth amendment, which did not allow Congress or territorial governments to exclude slavery from any area. Republicans became more suspicious of Slave Power in Congress.

Chief Justice Roger B. Taney: Taney was a Southerner appointed by Jackson as the 5th justice of the Supreme Court. He is well-known for handing down the Dred Scott decision. Under his leadership, the federal government had increased power over foreign relations. Taney ruled in 1861 that Lincoln exceeded his authority in suspending habeas corpus.

John Brown: John Brown was an American abolitionist who attempted to end slavery through the use of violence. This increased the tension between the North and South. He was the leader of John Brown’s raid and the Pottawatomie massacre. His life ended when he was hanged for murder and treason. He is regarded a martyr to the cause of human freedom.

ELECTION OF 1860: candidates, parties, issues: A united republican party attempted to appeal more to the North in order to win the campaign and developed an economic program to amend the damages of the 1857 depression. They nominated Abraham Lincoln, who held a moderate view on slavery. The democrats nominated two candidates, Douglas and Breckenridge, each with opposing viewpoints on the slavery issue. The constitutional party, created by Whigs, nominated John Bell, who had the desire to preserve the Union.

Democratic Party conventions: The first assembly of delegates in Charleston in 1860 resulted in the split of the Democratic party as the Southern "fire-eaters" left the convention. They were unable to agree on a platform based on the protection of slavery. An unsuccessful second attempt to reach a consensus in Baltimore led them to nominate two candidates.

John Bell: Opposed to both Lincoln and Douglas, Whigs nominated Bell in 1860, an opposer of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Lecompton constitution. Bell created the new Constitutional Union party, which had a platform based on the preservation of the Union, and not on the controversial slavery issue.

John Breckenridge: A division in the Democratic Party led to the nomination of two candidates for the 1860 election. Breckenridge, Buchanan’s vice president, was nominated by secessionists on a platform based on protection of slavery in territories. His nomination completed the split of the Democratic party.

Republican Party of 1860: In order to lure votes from Northern states to their party, an economic system based on protective tariffs, federal aid for internal improvements and the distributing of 160-acre homesteads to settlers in order, was organized in favor of the Northerners. Lincoln’s nonchalant views towards slavery led them to victory.

Buchanan and the secession crisis: Buchanan declared secession of states illegal, yet he had no power to prevent it. He refused Southern demands to remove troops from Fort Sumter. Because his efforts to supply the fort failed and due to failure of a constitutional plan, he left the office disappointed and discredited.

Crittenden Compromise proposal: The compromise was proposed by John Crittenden in an attempt to preserve the Union. The amendments were to bar the federal government from intervening in southern states’ decision of slavery, to restore the Missouri Compromise, and to guarantee protection of slavery below this line. It also repealed personal liberty laws.


secession: Slavery fueling the states’ rights issue along with the loss of Congress and Northern opposition to the new Fugitive Slave Law made the election of 1860 the straw that broke up the union. By March 1861, Lincoln’s innauguration South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas had seceded.

South’s advantages in the Civil War: The Confederate States of America had a strong advantage in the fact that they were fighting a defensive war in familiar territory, but it also had advantages buried deep within its much stronger military tradition. Southerners came from a rural rather than urban environments and therefore had more men experienced in the use of firearms and horses. This allowed the Confederacy to produce a more able corps of officers, such as Robert E. Lee.

North’s advantages in the Civil War: The Union clearly had more military potential with its larger population of 22 million. In addition to that, the Union had more advantages in terms of material goods such as money and credit, factories for manufacturing war goods, food production, mineral resources, and an established railroad system to transport these material resources. The North in comparison with the South in these areas makes the North seem more advantageous.

Fort Sumter: Fort Sumter is a fort in Charleston harbor, South Carolina and it was the site of the first conflict of the Civil War on Apr. 12, 1861. The Confederates under Beauregard bombarded the fort and were eventually victorious, but the fort was eventually retaken by Union forces in 1865.

Bull Run: On July 16, General McDowell began to move on Confederate General Beauregard at Manassas Junction. McDowell attacked Beauregard’s soldiers, with aid from the forces of Johnston, near the bridge over Bull Run River and drove them to the Henry House Hill, but Jackson checked the advance and routed the raw Union troops.

Monitor and the Merrimac: March 8, 1862 was the date of first naval battle between ironclad ships. The Confederate ironclad frigate Merrimac had sunk the Cumberland and defeated the Congress in Hampton Roads but was forced to withdraw March 9 after an engagement with the Union’s ironclad Monitor, built by John Ericsson.

Lee: Commanding the Army of N. Virginia, he took the offensive in the 7 Days Battle and beat the Union army at the 2nd battle of Bull Run. Lee repulsed Union advances at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville and Grant’s assaults in the Wilderness Campaign. Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomatox Courthouse.

Jackson: At the 1st battle of Bull Run Jackson earned his nick name when he and his brigade stood "like a stone wall." Serving under Lee, Jackson flanked the Union army to set up the Confederate victory at the second battle of Bull Run. At Chancellorsville Jackson again flanked the Union army but was mortally wounded by his own troops.

Grant: In 1862 he captured Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in Tennessee, barely escaped defeat at the Battle of Shiloh and ended Confederate control of the Mississippi in Vicksburg. Commanding in the West, he thoroughly defeated Bragg at Chattanooga. He directed the Union army in the Wilderness Campaign and he received Lee’s surrender.

McClellan: He was criticized for overcaution in the unsuccessful Peninsular Campaign and removed from command. Called on again in 1862, he checked Lee in the Antietam Campaign, but he allowed the Confederates to withdraw across the Potomac and was again removed. He would run for president in 1864.

Sherman: He fought in the Vicksburg and Chatanooga campaigns and ge undertook the Atlanta Campaign. He burned Atlanta and set off, with a force of 60,000, on his famous march to the sea, devastating the country. After capturing Savannah, he turned north through S. Carolina, and received the surrender of General Johnston.

Meade: He made himself known in 1862 at Seven Days Battle and the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, and later at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He commanded of the Army of the Potomac from 1863, and won the battle of Gettysburg, but he was criticized for not following up his victory.

Vicksburg: It was a battle fought for control of the Mississippi River. By late 1862, the Union controlled all of the river except for the 200 miles south of Vicksburg. In May of 1863 U.S. Grant opened siege, and after 6 weeks the Confederates surrendered. Vicksburg’s fall completed the encirclement of the Confederacy.

Gettysburg: It was Lee’s second invasion of the North. Meade and Lee met just west of Gettysburg. First, the Union was pushed to Cemetery Hill. Then the South took the Peach Orchard but were repulsed. On July 3 Lee ordered George E. Pickett’s division forward in its infamous disastrous charge against the Union center.

Antietam: In September 1862, trying to invade Maryland and Pennsylvania, Lee sent Jackson to capture Harpers Ferry, but Lee’s own advance was halted by McClellan, who attacked him at Antietam Creek, Maryland., on September 17, the so-called bloodiest day of the war. It was a Union victory only in that Lee’s advance was stopped.

Appomattox: Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Gen. U.S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. The surrender at Appomattox virtually ended the Civil War, but the rest of the Confederate forces did not surrender until May 26 at Shreveport, Louisiana.

Jefferson Davis: He left Washington after the secession of Mississippi. As president of the Confederacy, he assumed strong centralized power, and weakened the states’ rights policy for which the South had seceded. He had many disputes with Confederate generals, and Lee surrendered without his approval.

Copperheads: Copperheads were Northerners who sympathized with the South during the Civil War. The term Copperheads was also used to label all Democratic opponents of Lincoln. The group was led by Clement L. Vallandigham and was especially strong in the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham: Vallandigham was the leader of the Copperheads during the Civil War. He was briefly imprisoned in 1863 for maintaining in a speech that the war was being fought to free African-American and enslave whites. The 1864 Democratic platform reflected his pro-Southern views.

Homestead Laws: The Homestead laws were laws passed in Congress in 1862. They permitted almost any American citizen to acquire a homestead of up to 160 acres of land in the West, on the condition that the homesteader cultivate the land for 5 years. This allowed poor farmers to obtain land in the west and increased westward expansion.

Northern blockade: During the Civil War, the north attempted to establish a blockade of all Southern ports in order to stop the flow of essential supplies to the Confederacy. The Union navy was fairly weak, so at first the blockade was not as effective as northerners had hoped it would be and blockade-running was a common way for Southerners to obtain supplies

Anaconda Plan: The Anaconda Plan was a Union strategy in the Civil War calling for the establishment of a naval blockade around the Confederacy to prevent the importation of supplies from Europe. It was slowly implemented and only partially successful, but the blockade did contribute to the Northern victory.

Submarine: Four submersible vessels were built during the American Civil War by the Confederates for use against the federal fleet. One of these submarines successfully dragged a mine through the water to sink a northern ship, but sunk itself as well. Submarines were used only to a limited degree in the Civil War, and they were far from perfected.

Black Soldiers: It was not until late in the Civil War that African American soldiers were allowed to participate in combat, and when they were, they suffered a far higher mortality rate than white troops. Despite the many hardships that it entailed, military service was a source of pride for blacks because it symbolized their freedom.

Gatling Gun: The Gatling gun was one of the earliest machine guns, but it was the most effective of early models. The Gatling gun was created created a man by the name Gatling, who intended to make war so horrible that it would make peace. This weapon contributed to the high number of casualties in the Civil War.

Rifle: An improved rifle was one of the important technological advancements that transformed the Civil War. They were able to hit targets more accurately at large distances than previous guns, making open fields a hazard, so that trench warfare became a necessity. This also contributed to the high number of casualties during the war.

conscription, draft riots: The Federal Militia Act of 1862 and the Confederate Conscription Act of 1862 allowed for conscription, but contained many loopholes. Riots in 1863 by anti-conscription protesters and impeded the process of drafting soldiers, but the establishment of a draft prompted volunteering.

Emancipation Proclamation: The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order ending slavery in the Confederacy. It was issued by President Lincoln after the battle of Antietam. The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves residing in the territories in rebellion against the government of the United States. This proclamation had the dual purpose of injuring the Confederacy and preventing Great Britain from entering the war in support of the Confederacy. It also pushed the border states toward abolishing slavery

Trent Affair: In Nov., 1861, A Union captain stopped and boarded a British vessel, the Trent, and removed Mason and Slidell, two Confederate emissaries who were on board and he interned them in Boston. President Lincoln released Mason and Slidell, but the issue increased tension between the Union and Britain.

election of 1864: In 1864, a number of Republicans sought to prevent Lincoln’s renomination. In order to balance Abraham Lincoln’s Union ticket with a Southern Democrat, the Republicans nominated Andrew Jackson for vice president. Lincoln was able to overcome Democratic candidate George McClellan and win a second term in office.

financing of the war effort by the North and the South: In order to pay for the Civil War, both the Confederate and Union governments were forced to sell public lands and tax. The fear that heavy taxation would cause unrest and corrode support of their cause, the governments issued bonds and, in the North, greenbacks. This led to high inflation.,


Lincoln’s ten percent plan: In it all southerners, except high-ranking Confederate officials, could get a full pardon and restoration of rights after taking an oath, pledging loyalty to the Union and accepting the end of slavery. When ten percent of the 1860 voting population had taken this oath, citizens could vote in elections that would create new state governments and new state constitutions. After that the state would once again be eligible for representation in Congress and readmitted to the Union.

assassination of April 14, 1865: President Lincoln wass assassinated while attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, escaped with a broken leg, but he was shot later. Lincoln was succeeded by his vice president, Andrew Johnson.

John Wilkes Booth: Booth was a Southern sympathizer during the Civil War, who plotted with six fellow-conspirators to assassinate Union leaders. On Apr. 14, 1865, he shot President Lincoln during a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. He escaped, but was later shot and killed.

Radical Republicans: The Radical Republicans were a group of Republicans unhappy with the corruption and policies of Grant’s administration. Among their leaders were Carl Schurz, Horace Greely, and Charles Sumner. The party nominated Greeley for president. Greely was a choice acceptable to the Democrats, but unpopular with many of the leaders of his party, so Grant won reelection despite the corruption within his administration and his poor leadership.

Wade-Davis bill, veto, Wade Davis Manifesto: Congress, in July 1864, passed the Wade-Davis Bill, calling for a stricter form of Reconstruction than that proposed by Lincoln. After Lincoln pocket vetoed this bill, radicals sought to displace him. They issued Wade-Davis Manifest, which declared the primacy of Congress in matters of the Reconstruction.

Joint Committee on Reconstruction: The Joint Committee on Reconstruction was the Congressional committee consisting of leaders of both houses of Congress which led Congressional Reconstruction after the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 were passed. This committee would exist until after Hayes was elected president.

Reconstruction acts, 1867: The Reconstruction Acts divided the Confederate states except Tennessee into five military districts. Military commanders in the districts were appointed to oversee constitutional conventions in the districts and the creation of state constitutions. This military occupation would last until the states created new constitutions that included black suffrage, the permanent disfranchisement of Confederate leaders, and ratification of the 14th Amendment.

the unreconstructed South: This term refers to failure of Reconstruction to permanently reform the South. Even after Republicans withdrew, there was corruption in the states, and exploitation of African-Americans was common. When the states were readmitted into the Union, civil rights legislation was practically overturned with open discrimination.

scalawags: A scalawag was a white Southerner who joined the Republican party during the Reconstruction period. Scalawags were considered traitors to the Southern cause and were condemned by Southern Democrats. The term scalawag was applied both to entrepreneurs who supported Republican economic policies and Whig planters who had opposed secession.

carpetbaggers: Carpetbaggers were Northerners who went to the South during Reconstruction. They carried their belongings in carpetbags, and most intended to settle in the South and make money there. The African-American vote won them important posts in Republican state governments.

"forty acres and a mule": "Forty acres and a mule" refers to the desire of Radical Republicans such as Thaddeus Stevens to carry out land redistribution in the South. He wanted to subdivide confiscated land and distribute it among the freedmen. Proposals such as these failed in Congress and state legislatures.

black codes: The black codes were local laws intended to force African-Americans to continue working as plantation laborers. They imposed prohibitive taxes, harsh vagrancy laws meant to intimidate the freedmen, restrictions on blacks’ ability to own property. Essentially, they condemned the newly-freed slaves to conditions not unlike slavery.

Ku Klux Klan: The KKK was an organization formed by ex-Confederates and led by Nathan B. Forrest. It was founded in the South in 1866 in opposition to Reconstruction. Members used disguises, rituals, whippings and lynchings, to terrorize African-Americans and their supporters. Forrest disbanded the Klan in 1869.

Thaddeus Stevens: As a leader of the radical Republicans’ Reconstruction program after the Civil War, Stevens saw the Southern states as "conquered provinces." He sincerely desired the betterment of the lives African-Americans. He proposed the Fourteenth Amendment, guaranteeing civil rights and was a leader in the impeachment of President Johnson.

Charles Sumner: Sumner was the aggressive abolitionist who was physically assaulted by Preston Brooks after making a strong antislavery speech. He was one of the leaders of the radical Republicans’ Reconstruction program and was also an active participant in the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.

Andrew Johnson: As president he was denounced by the radical Republicans for his Reconstruction program. When Johnson tried to force Stanton out of office, the radical Republicans passed a resolution of impeachment against him for violation of the Tenure of Office Act, but the Senate failed to convict him by one vote.

Freedmen’s Bureau: The Freedmen’s Bureau furnished food and medical supplies to blacks, and to needy whites as well. It was also concerned with the regulation of wages and working conditions, the maintenance of schools for illiterate former slaves, and the distribution of lands abandoned by or confiscated from Southern proprietors.

Civil Rights Act: This act was passed in Congress with nearly unanimous Republican support in March 1866, and it attempted to redress the issue of slavery by defining all persons born in the nation as citizens. It also specified the rights of citizens, the right to sue, make contracts, give evidence in court, hold, convey, and inherit property.

Thirteenth Amendment: The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1865. It prohibited "slavery or involuntary servitude except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." This amendment guaranteed freedom for African Americans.

Fourteenth Amendment: The Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868. It said that no state can make or enforce any law which "deprives any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Also, states could not "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Fifteenth Amendment: Secretary of State Hamilton Fish ratified the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of United States on March 30, 1870. This amendment explicitly forbid denial of the right to vote for citizens "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

Tenure of Office Act: The Tenure of Office Act was a measure passed by Congress in 1867. It prohibited the president from dismissing any cabinet member or other federal officeholder whose appointment had required the consent of the Senate unless the Senate agreed to the dismissal. Johnson’s violation of this act caused the impeachment crisis.

IMPEACHMENT: Impeachment is the formal accusation by a legislature against a public official, to remove him from office. The term includes both the bringing of charges, or articles, and the trial that may follow. President Andrew Johnson, after violating the Tenure of Office Act, by removing Secretary of War Stanton faced impeachment. The formal accusation of Johnson went through the House on Feb. 24, 1868, but the Senate failed to convict him. This is the only instance of impeachment of an American president.

Chief Justice Chase: Salmon Chase was the sixth chief justice of the Supreme Court and an abolitionist. As chief justice, he presided over the impeachment trial of President Johnson. His greatest achievement, however, was as secretary of the treasury, when he created a national bank system.

Secretary of War Stanton: Edwin Stanton served as the secretary of war under Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, but his dismissal by President Andrew Johnson and his subsequent refusal to leave office act precipitated the impeachment of President Johnson in 1868.

Compromise of 1877: As a result of the electoral vote from the election of 1876, Congress created a 15-member bipartisan commission, on January 29, 1877, to resolve the dispute concerning the electoral votes between Tilden and Hayes. The committee consisted of five Democrats, five Republicans, and five Supreme Court justices. Hayes was unanimously awarded the electoral votes from Oregon and South Carolina and the ones from Louisiana by a commission vote of 8 to 7.

Solid South: After Reconstruction, the South became solidly Democratic. Once they gained control, the Democrats cut back expenses, wiped out social programs, lowered taxes, and limited the rights of tenants and sharecroppers. These white southerners remained a major force in national politics well into the 20th century.

sharecropping: It was the farm tenancy system that arose from the cotton plantation system after the Civil War. Landlords provided land, seed, and credit. The croppers contributed labor and received a share of the crop’s value, minus their debt to the landlord. This along with the crop lien system held back African Americans economically.

crop lien system: Through this system, the white southern landowners possessed a tight hold over African American farm production during much of the Reconstruction periond. Black economic rights were eroded away with this crop lien system and along with sharecropping. A cycle of dependency and debt would be the result of these systems.

segregation: Segregation was the practice held in the South after legislation made explicit discrimination in law illegal. In response to that legislation the concept of "separate but equal" dominated the policies Southern policy makers. This practice of keeping the races separate would not officially broken up until the mid-twentieth century.


Ulysses S. Grant: Grant was an American general and the 18th president of the United States. A war hero, Grant was admired throughout the North and was endorsed by Union veterans. Although he was a strong military leader, Grant proved to be a passive president with little skill at politics.

purchase of Alaska: Alaska was ceded to the United States by the Russian Czar Alexander II in a treaty signed on March 30, 1867. Secretary of State William Henry Seward arranged the $7.2 million purchase at 1.9¢ per acre. Critics ridiculed this purchase as "Seward’s icebox," but it expanded American territory at a reasonable price.

Secretary of State William Seward: Seward was the American Secretary of State who handled diplomatic issues during and after the Civil War. He was involved in the Trent Affair and his most notable act was the purchase of Alaska. This purchase was denounced at the time as "Seward’s folly, but it added a significant amount of territory to the United States.

"Whiskey Ring": Grant’s private secretary, Orville Babcock, was unmasked in 1875 after taking money from the "whiskey ring," a group of distillers who bribed federal agents to avoid paying millions in whiskey taxes. On May 10, 1875, 16 distillers in areas of Saint Louis, Milwaukee, and Chicago were captured.

Black Friday: Scandal caused a short-lived financial crisis in the United States that occurred on Friday, September 24, 1869. The panic was precipitated when two financial speculators, James Fisk and Jay Gould, attempted to corner the U.S. gold market. Fisk and Gould probably made a profit of about $11 million through their manipulations.

Credit Mobilier: Officials of the Union Pacific Railroad created a fake construction company, called the Credit Mobilier, in order to cheat the government out of money allotted to the construction of the Union Pacific Railroads. Grant’s vice-president, Colfax, was linked to this scandal.

Liberal Republicans: The Liberals Republicans’ revolt marked a turning point in Reconstruction history. They split the Republican party, supporting the Republican southern policy while attacking regular republicans on several key issues and denouncing Grantism and the spoils system.

election of 1872: In 1872, Republicans unhappy with the reelection of President Ulysses S. Grant formed the Liberal Republican party and nominated as their candidate the journalist Horace Greeley. Although he was also endorsed by the Democrats, Greeley was defeated, and the new party collapsed.

Panic of 1873, depression: Transforming the northern economy, the Panic of 1873 triggered a five-year depression. Banks closed, farm prices plummeted, steel furnaces stood idle, and one out of four railroads failed. However, once the depression began, demand rose. This issue divided both major parties and was compounded by the repayment of federal debt.

"Waving the bloody shirt": During the election of 1876, the Republicans backed Rutherford Hayes against the Democratic candidate, Samuel Tilden. They resorted to a tactic known as "waving the bloody shirt," which was used in the last two elections. The tactic emphasized wartime animosities by urging northern voters to vote the way they shot.

Greenbacks, Ohio Ideas: During the Civil War the Union had borrowed money through the sale of war bonds, known as Greenbacks, to private citizens. Senator John Sherman of Ohio and other Republican leaders obtained passage of the Public Credit Act of 1869, which promised to pay the war debt in "coin." Debtors favored the Greenbacks because they could repay debts easier with this inflated currency.

Specie Resumption Act: The Sherman Specie Resumption Act promised to put the nation effectively on the gold standard in 1879. With some convincing, it changed the minds of the Republican voters who also wanted to continue Greenbacks for the sake of "easy money." Grant signed this act. Unfortunately, robber barrons schemed to corner the gold market.

Greenback-Labor Party: The Greenback party was formed in 1876 with James Weaver as its presidential candidate. The party adopted the debtors’ cause, fought to keep greenbacks in circulation, and promoted the inflation of farm prices. The party elected 14 members to Congress . As prosperity returned, the Greenbacks faded.

election of 1876: The presidential election of 1876 resulted in neither Democrat Samuel Tilden nor Republican Rutherford Hayes receiving the 185 electoral votes necessary to become president. There were 20 disputed votes, and a Congressional committee gave all of these to Hays, making him president. In exchange, he ended military rule of the South.




· PENDLETON CIVIL SERVICE ACT: Because of the Pendleton Civil Service Act, political candidates were forbidden from soliciting contributions from government workers. This act also set up a civil service commission to prepare competitive exams and establish standards of merit for a variety of federal jobs. In 1883, Congress enacted a civil service law introduced by Senator George Pendleton of Ohio. Although President Arthur was a Stalwart, he had the courage to endorse the act which reformed the spoils system.

Chester A. Arthur: He became president after the assassination of Garfield. This 21st president, who served from 1881 to 1885, rose above the political corruption prevalent during the times and headed a reform-oriented administration that enacted the first comprehensive U.S. civil service legislation. He supported the passage of the Pendleton Act in 1883.

Election of 1884: James G Blaine was nominated by the Republicans, while Grover Cleveland was the Democratic nominee. The Independent Republicans, known as "Mugwumps," supported Cleveland, which cost Blaine the election. The Democrats controlled the House, while the Republicans dominated the Senate.

Half-breeds: They argued with the Stalwarts on the issues of who would control the party of machine and would distribute patronage jobs. The Half-breeds supported civil service reform and merit appointments to government posts. They were joined together as the Republican party, but disputes over patronage split it into two: Stalwarts and Half-breeds.

James G. Blaine: Blaine was a Republican Congressman, senator, secretary of state under Garfield, and a presidential candidate under the Republican Half-Breeds, who ran against Conkling. Blaine was considered one of the most popular Republicans of his time, and was elemental in his party’s success in elections.

Mugwumps: This term designated dissident members of the Republican party, who, in the presidential election of 1884, refused to support the nominee of their party, James G. Blaine. Instead, they supported the Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland, who was later elected. The term was first used derisively in a New York City newspaper, the Sun.

Secret ballot: Between 1888 and 1896, 90% of all the states were convinced to adopt a new ballot like the one in Australia, which was a method of voting that listed voter options. This was a Populist goal articulated in the Omaha Platform. The paper ballot emerged as a dominant voting method. The secret ballot is also known as the Australian ballot.

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