United States History to 1865

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1803

This is the year that saw both the Louisiana Purchase and the Supreme Court decision in Marbury v. Madison.

1861

The first shots of the American Civil War were fired in this year.

Common Sense

Written by Thomas Paine in early 1776, it said that continued American loyalty to Britain would be absurd, and independence was the only rational thing for colonists to do.

Dred Scott Decision

This was a 1857 Supreme Court decision that a slave, because he was not a citizen, could not sue for his freedom.

Adam Smith

This 18th century economist coined the term "Invisible Hand," a metaphor representing the natural forces that drive individuals to succeed economically, which are the same forces that "invisibly" guide a large economy.

Alien And Sedition Acts

Passed in 1798, these laws were supposed to 'protect' the U.S. from foreign people looking to spread the chaos of the French Revolution and from subversive or terroristic acts.

American Revolution

This was the first successful colonial independence movement against a European power, 1775-1783.

Andrew Jackson

He led American forces against the British in the War of 1812, was the seventh President of the United States, and evicted the Cherokee from the Southeast during the "Trail of Tears" era.

Andrew Johnson

This politician from Tennessee became President following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, later becoming the first President to be impeached (he was found not guilty).

Appomattox Court House

This is the city in Virginia where General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate forces to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the American Civil War.

Articles Of Confederation

The first government of the United States was based on this, which was created in 1777.

Bacon's Rebellion

This was a 1676 uprising in the Virginia Colony led by frontiersmen against government corruption and oppression.

Battle Of Camden

This was the 1780 battle during the American Revolution in which the British forces, led by Lieutenant General Lord Charles Cornwallis soundly defeated the Continental armed forces led by General Horatio Gates.

Battle Of Gettysburg

This was one of the bloodiest battles during the American Civil War. Set in Pennsylvania, it is also credited as a major turning point for the Union in the war against the Confederacy.

Bleeding Kansas

Term coined by the New York Tribune to describe the violence between pro and anti slavery factions between 1854 and 1858. The violence was an attempt to influence whether Kansas would become a free or slave state.

Blockade Of Charleston

This is the term that describes the Union Navy controlling and cutting off South Carolina's major port from trade in 1863.

Boston Tea Party

This was a political protest by Boston, Massachusetts residents in 1773 against the British parliament led by the Sons of Liberty.

Civil War

This was the war between the North and South in the United States (1861-1865), also known as the War Between the States.

Committee Of Correspondence

This was a local government body in the American colonies that coordinated written communication outside of the colony. They were important to the revolution effort.

Compromise Of 1850

This was an agreement that California would be admitted to the Union, the slave trade in the District of Columbia would be restricted, and the Fugitive Slave Law would be enforced.

Cooperationists

This is the name given to some Southern Democratic politicians prior to the Civil War who were willing to cooperate with the Republican Party if the institution of slavery was protected from elimination.

Cotton Gin

Mechanical device invented by Eli Whitney in 1793 to separate the seed from the cotton fibers. This allowed for the large-scale profitability and harvest of cotton.

Declaration Of Independence

This was an act passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 declaring the thirteen American Colonies independent of British rule.

Eli Whitney

He was an American inventor of the late 18th and early 19th centuries with two major contributions to the world: his Cotton Gin revolutionized agriculture and his development of "interchangeable parts" revolutionized industry

Fundamental Orders Of Connecticut

This document was created in 1638 in colonial North America, giving structure and power to the government in a small New England colony.

George III

This was the ruler of Great Britain during the Seven Years' War and American Revolution.

George Mason

This colonial Virginia statesman was, along with James Madison, known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights" for his insistence that one be added to the Constitution.

George Washington

He was our first president, father of the nation, founding father, and Commander of the Continental Army in victory over Britain in the Revolutionary War.

Half-Way Covenant

This was a method for members to have partial church membership in the New England Puritan Church. It was promoted by Reverend Solomon Stoddard.

House Of Burgesses

This was the first representative government in North America located in Virginia, but the Virginia Company had to approve any laws it passed.

Intolerable Acts

These were series of laws passed in response to the Boston Tea Party by the British Parliament in 1774. Those laws included the Massachusetts Government Act, Administration of Justice Act, Boston Port Act, and the Quartering Act. These acts are considered a significant cause of the American Revolutionary War.

Jacksonian Democracy

This was the political philosophy espoused by the seventh President that gave increased power to the common man (white males only) believed in Manifest Destiny, the spoils system and Laissez-faire economics.

James Monroe

During the tenure of this 5th U.S. President, the country acquired Florida and Maine, and warned Europe to forget about interfering in the Americas.

John Marshall

This was the 'Great Chief Justice,' he presided over the case of Marbury v. Madison and was remembered as the principal founder of the U.S. system of constitutional law.

John Paul Jones

He became the first major hero of the United States Navy during the American Revolution, responding to a British demand to surrender by exclaiming, "I have not yet begun to fight!"

Judicial Review

This is the power of a court to review a law or an official act of a government employee or agent for constitutionality or for the violation of basic principles of justice.

Kansas Nebraska Act

In 1854 Stephen A. Douglas introduced this to the Senate, to allow states to enter the Union with or without slavery.

Lewis And Clark

These explorers ventured into the Louisiana Territory in 1803 and became the first U.S. citizens to navigate their way westward to the Pacific Ocean.

Lexington And Concord

Battles where first shots of American Revolution were fired.

Manifest Destiny

This was the concept of U.S. territorial expansion westward to the Pacific Ocean seen as a divine right.

Marquis De La Fayette

He was a French military officer who was a key general during both the French and American Revolutionary wars. He volunteered his services.

Massachusetts

This is a state that was first settled by the Pilgrims in 1620 in Plymouth. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated here.

Mayflower Compact

This was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony, signed by the Pilgrims in November of 1620.

Mercantilism

This was the economic philosophy that control of imports was the key to enhancing the health of a nation and that Colonies existed to serve the home country as a source of raw materials and a market for manufactured goods.

Middle Passage

This is the term used to describe the part of Triangle Trade in which slaves were shipped from Africa to the Western Hemisphere.

Missouri Compromise

This was a congressional agreement of 1820 which included the admission of one free and one slave state to maintain the balance of free and slave states in the Union.

Navigation Acts

Series of laws passed by England in 1651 stating that English trade must be transported on English ships.

Northwest Ordinance

This was an Act of Continental Congress which initially organized the first <i>United States</i> territory and was to be the basis for governing how the United States would expand westward.

Oregon Trail

This was a major U.S. route from Missouri to the Northwest in the 19th century.

Patrick Henry

He was an early colonial leader who, like Thomas Paine and John Adams, was opposed to British tyranny and supported republicanism.

Paul Revere

This was an American silversmith who warned of the advance of the British on Lexington and Concord.

Powhatan

This was a powerful Native American tribe that was in constant conflict with European settlers in eastern Virginia.

Proclamation Of 1763

This was issued by King George III at the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Year's War to organize Britain's new North American empire. It regulated trade, settlement and land purchases with the Native Americans. It gave Britain a monopoly on land purchased west of the Appalachians.

Puritans

Radical protestant followers of John Calvin seeking purity of church and doctrine. Many emigrated to North America from 1620-1640s to separate themselves from the Church of England and its tolerance of Roman Catholic practices.

Robert E. Lee

A graduate of West Point and commanding General of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

Roger Williams

English theologian with unique beliefs in colonial America. He was an advocate for the separation of church and state and Native American rights. He is also the founder of Providence, Rhode Island and the first Baptist church in America.

Salem Witch Trials

These were a series of court proceedings held in Massachusetts in 1692 in which 20 people were executed for allegedly practicing witchcraft.

Slavery

The North Carolina case of State v. Mann (1830), dealt with this now-controversial and illegal institution.

Sons Of Liberty

This group of Patriots was formed in 1765 and urged colonial resistance to the Stamp Act using any means available... even violence.

Stamp Act

This was an Act passed in 1765 by the British, requiring all legal documents, contracts, newspapers, etc. in the American colonies to carry a tax stamp to help pay for the military presence in the colonies.

Stonewall Jackson

An admired Confederate general during the American Civil War. He is known for his strong leadership and bold battle tactics.

Susan B. Anthony

This was a Women's suffrage pioneer who also urged for emancipation.

Tariff Of 1832

This import tax was meant to replace the earlier "Tariff of Abominations", but it was widely disliked by southern merchants. South Carolina event talked about having the right to ignore Federal law, starting what would become known as the "Nullification Crisis."

Trans-atlantic Trade

This was the trade of African slaves by Europeans. Most slaves were shipped from West Africa to the New World.

Treaty Of Paris Of 1763

This was a document which formally ended the American Revolutionary W

Ulysses S. Grant

This Union General made a name for himself at the siege at Vicksburg, though he later defeated Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to end the Civil War.

Unionist

This is a Civil War-era term given to people of Border and Confederate states who remained loyal to the United States.

Virginia Company

This was a pair of English stock companies, London Company and Plymouth Company, founded in 1606 to establish settlements on the coast of North America.

War Hawks

This is a term originally used to describe a member of Congress who advocated going to war with Great Britain in 1812.

War Of 1812

The United States and Great Britain fought this war partially over territorial expansion in North America.

William Lloyd Garrison

This was a U.S. Journalist who founded the radical newspaper The Liberator, and fought to abolish slavery.

XYZ Affair

This name was given to a period of diplomatic tension between the U.S. and France in 1797. France demanded the U.S. pay 'tribute' to French diplomats before negotiations between the nations to begin.

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