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SOL Practice Terms for sections 4, 5, 6

John Locke

English philosopher who advocated the idea of a "social contract" in which government powers are derived from the consent of the governed and in which the government serves the people; also said people have natural rights to life, liberty and property.

Common Sense

a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that claimed the colonies had a right to be an independent nation

Declaration of Independence

the document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson was influenced by John Locke and Thomas Paine in writing the Declaration.

Proclamation of 1763

Act passed by England prohibiting colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains following the French and Indian War.

Stamp Act

A tax that the British Pariliament placed on newspapers and official documents sold in the American Colonies.

Sugar Act

law passed by the British Parliament setting taxes on molasses and sugar imported by the colonies

Boston Tea Party

protest against increased tea prices in which colonists dumped british tea into boston harbor

Boston Massacre

a riot in Boston (March 5, 1770) arising from the resentment of Boston colonists toward British troops quartered in the city, in which the troops fired on the mob and killed several persons.

First Continental Congress

September 1774, delegates from twelve colonies sent representatives to Philadelphia to discuss a response to the Intolerable Acts


volunteer soldiers during the early days of the American Revolution who were ready to fight in a moments notice

Second Continental Congress

They organized the continental Army, called on the colonies to send troops, selected George Washington to lead the army, and appointed the comittee to draft the Declaration of Independence

Lexington and Concord

The first battles of the American Revolution. Colonial Minutemen fought agains British troops.


Colonists who wanted independence from Britain

Loyalists "tories"

American colonists who remained loyal to Britain and opposed the war for independence. Also called Tories.


American Colonists who wanted to remain neutral throughout the American Revolution.

Treaty of Alliance

(1778) After the American victory at Saratoga, the France decides to recognize the US and an independent nation, and it laid groundwork for assistance to the American War effort. Alliance was negotiated by Benjamin Franklin.

George Washington

1st President of the United States. Commander of the Continental Army. Early on his leadership revolved around not going "toe to toe" with the British.


On Christmas night, 1776, Washington led 2,400 men across the Delaware River to attack the drunken Hessians who were sleeping. The Americans killed 30 of the enemy and took 918 captives and 6 Hessian cannons.


A battle that took place in New York where the Continental Army defeated the British. It proved to be the turning point of the war. This battle ultimately had France to openly support the colonies with military forces in addition to the supplies and money already being sent.

Battle of Yorktown

In 1781 during the American Revolution, the British under Cornwallis surrendered after a siege of three weeks by American and French troops

Articles of Confederation

This document, the nation's first constitution, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1781 during the Revolution. The document was limited because states held most of the power, and Congress lacked the power to tax, regulate trade, or control coinage.

Constitutional Convention

The meeting of state delegates in 1787 in Philadelphia called to revise the Articles of Confederation. It instead designed a new plan of government, the US Constitution.

James Madison

"The Father of the Constitution". Contributed the Virginia Plan. Also, wrote much of the Bill of Rights.

Virginia Plan

The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state's share of the U.S. population.

New Jersey Plan

The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the state's population

Great Compromise

Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature and representation based on population in the other house

Declaration of the Rights of Man

George Mason's contribution to the VA state constitution. Became the premise for the Bill of Rights.

3/5ths Compromise

agreement providing that enslaved persons would count as three-fifths of other persons in determining representation in Congress

VA Statute of Religious Freedom

Jefferson's idea that there should be separation between church and state. Basis of the 1st Amendment.

Bill of Rights

First 10 Amendments of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing certain rights to all Americans. Anti-Federalists fought to get it included in the Constitution.


supporters of the stronger central govt. who advocated the ratification of the new constitution. Group included Virginians George Washington and James Madison.


opponents of a strong central government who campaigned against the ratification of the Constitution in favor of a confederation of independant states. Group included Virginians Patrick Henry and George Mason.

Marbury v. Madison

This case establishes the Supreme Court's power of Judicial Review

McCulloch v. Maryland

Maryland was trying to tax the national bank and Supreme Court ruled that federal law was stronger than the state law. The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy.

John Marshall

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appointed by John Adams. Ruled on several early court cases.

Gibbons v. Ogden

Regulating interstate commerce is a power reserved to the federal government

Federalist Party

a major political party in the United States in the early 19th century. Favored a strong federal government, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams were party leader.

Democratic-Republican Party

a political party founded in the 1790s by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other leaders who wanted to preserve the power of the state governments and promote agriculture

Election of 1800

First peaceful transfer of power in U.S. history.

Louisana Purchase

1803 purchase by the United States of France's Louisiana territory for $15million (Mississippi River-Rocky mountains). Doubled the size of the U.S.

Lewis and Clark

Two explorers sent by the president to explore the Louisiana Purchase


native American woman who served as a guide an interpreter for the Lewis and Clark expedition

Monroe Doctrine

President James Monroe's statement forbidding further colonization in the Americas and declaring that any attempt by a foreign country to colonize would be considered an act of hostility

Manifest Destiny

This expression was popular in the 1840s. Many people believed that the U.S. was destined to secure territory from "sea to sea," from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This rationale drove the acquisition of territory.

Cotton Kingdom

Areas in the south where cotton farming developed because of the high demand for cotton, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas (partly Florida)

Cotton Gin

Invented by Eli Whitney in 1793. It removed seeds from cotton fibers. Now cotton could be processed quickly and cheaply. Results: more cotton is grown and more slaves are needed for more acres of cotton fields


the mission in San Antonio where in 1836 Mexican forces under Santa Anna besieged and massacred American rebels who were fighting to make Texas independent of Mexico. Became rallying cry for the Texans who ultimately won their independence.

Trail of Tears

The tragic journey of the cherokee people from their home land to indian territory between 1838 and 1839, thousands of cherokees died. Facilitated by the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Age of the Common Man

Phrase for the elections of the 1820's when voter turnout increased due to the ending of property requirements for enfranchisement. Helped Andrew Jackson win the election of 1828.

Spoils System

The practice of rewarding supporters with government jobs. Jackson made this practice famous for the way he did it on a wide scale.

Protective Tariff

a tax on imported goods that raises the price of imports so people will buy domestic goods. In the 1820's-1830's caused distress between the North and South. North liked it (Industry) South disliked it (Agriculture).

Missouri Compromise/Compromise of 1820

an agreement in 1820 between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States concerning the extension of slavery into new territories

Compromise of 1850

Includes California admitted as a free state, the Fugitive Slave Act, Made popular sovereignty in most other states from Mexican- American War

Kansas-Nebraska Act

States would decide (Popular Sovereignty) on the issue of slavery. Led to "Bleeding Kansas".


the states'-rights doctrine that a state can refuse to recognize or to enforce a federal law passed by the United States Congress. First came about as a result of the Tariff of 1832.

Nat Turner and Gabriel Prosser

Slaves revolts in Virginia.

William Lloyd Garrison

Major leader of the growing abolitionist movement creator of the anti-slavery movement The Liberator.

Seneca Falls Convention

Kicked off the equal-rights-for-women campaign led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (1848)

Panic of 1837

a series of financial failures that led to an economic depression. Caused by Andrew Jackson's policy to "kill" the national bank.

Abolitionist Movement

Movement to end slavery


A movement in the 18th century that advocated the use of reason.

natural rights

the idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property

Social Contract

The notion that society is based on an agreement between government and the governed in which people agree to give up some rights in exchange for the protection of others.

Thomas Paine

Revolutionary leader who wrote the pamphlet Common Sense (1776) arguing for American independence from Britain.


right to vote

due process

The government must act fairly and in accord with established rules in all that it does

French and Indian War

A conflict between Britain and France for control of territory in North America, lasting from 1754 to 1763

Revolutionary War

A war between the British and the colonists. The colonists wanted to be free of British rule.

Patrick Henry

Outspoken member of House of Burgesses; inspired colonial patriotism with "Give me liberty or give me death" speech.

George Washington

Commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, presided over the Constitutional Convention and 1st president.

three branches of the federal government

legislative, executive and judicial


The legislature of the United States government made up of two houses the Senate and House of Reprentatives

United States Constitution

The supreme law of the U. S. that limits the government.

George Mason

He wrote the Virginia Declarartion of Rights that reiterated the notion that basic human rights should not be violated by governments. Used by James Madison to write the Bill of Rights.


Formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution.

Jay's Treaty

1794 - It was signed in the hopes of settling the growing conflicts between the U.S. and Britain.

John Adams

America's first Vice-President and second President.

Alexander Hamilton

1789-1795; First Secretary of the Treasury. He advocated creation of a national bank, and a strong national government.

Thomas Jefferson

Frist Secretary of State and 3rd President of the United States.

Oregon Territory

Territory in the upper western corner of the US - claimed by both Britain and US.

Westard Expansion

Railroads and it destroyed the Native American's habitat because they lived by the nature and hunted buffalo.

Eli Whiteny

He invented the cotton gin and introduced the idea of interchangeable parts.

democratic spirit

The belief that all citizens have a voice in their government which grew under Andrew Jackson.


the name taken by the political party that opposed President Jackson


The American Party; anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic.

fugitive slave laws

a law enacted as part of the compromise of 1850 designed to ensure that escaped slaves would be returned into bondage

The Liberator

Antislavery newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

A member of the women's right's movement in 1840. She started the womens movements at Seneca Falls and helped write the "Declaration of Sentiments" which declared "all men and women are created equal."

Susan B. Anthony

Friend and partner of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the struggle for women's rights; meeting in 1851, Anthony and Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association after the Civil War. The Nineteenth Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women in 1920, is sometimes called the "Anthony" amendment.


a reformer who favors abolishing slavery

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