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Terms in this set (50)
Act of Toleration, 1649
Act proposed by Cecilius Calvert (Lord Baltimore) to allow toleration of both Protestants and Catholics in Maryland.
Halfway Covenant, 1662
Act loosening the requirements for church membership in Puritan Massachusetts. The act was passed in response to a drop in church attendance among second generation Puritans
Proclamation of 1763
Act passed by the British Parliament restricting colonial settlement to land east of the Appalachians. The act was passed in response to clashes with Indians as colonists moved west into land acquired from France after the French and Indian War.
Stamp Act, 1765
Direct Tax placed on the American colonies by the British Parliament. The act required colonists to purchase stamps for a variety of printed material. The uproar over the act led to the Stamp Act Congress, one of the first organized protests of Britain's taxation policy.
Townshend Acts, 1767
Series of revenue-producing taxes placed on the American Colonies by Britain in an attempt to pay for continued occupation of the colonies by British troops. The act taxed items like lead, paint, glass, paper, and tea.
Intolerable Acts, 1774
Series of four acts designed to punish the city of Boston for the damage caused by the Boston Tea Party. The British refer to the acts as "Coercive Acts"
Quebec Act, 1774
Considered one of the Intolerable Acts by some. Established Catholicism as the official religion of the territory of present day Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
Land Ordinance Act, 1785
Passed by the Article of Confederation Congress, this act established an orderly method for surveying and selling western land of the early US. Notably, the act divided the land into 6 square mile "townships" that were further subdivided into homesteads.
Northwest Ordinance, 1787
Also passed by the Articles of Confederation Congress, this act established the method by which new territory could join the union as states.
Alien and Sedition Acts, 1798
A series of acts sponsored by the Federalists imposing severe restrictions on aliens out of fear of treason. The acts were an attempt to limit the power of Jefferson's Democratic Republican Party.
Embargo Act, 1807
Essentially forbade US maritime trade with foreign nations. This was signed by Jefferson in order to maintain American neutrality during the Napoleonic Wars. The embargo was opposed by the New England Federalists.
Non-Intercourse Act, 1809
Repealed the Embargo Act with regards to all nations except France and Britain.
Missouri Compromise, 1820
Also known as the Compromise of 1820, it admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, thus preserving sectional balance. It also set the southern border of Missouri at 36° 30 as the future border between slave and free states. This provision was ruled unconstitutional by the Dred Scott decision of 1857
Tariff of 1828
Also known as the "Tariff of Abominations", opposition to this act led to the Nullification Crisis, the resignation of John C. Calhoun as VP, and the writing of the South Carolina Exposition and Protest.
Indian Removal Act, 1830
Andrew Jackson's forcible removal of the Five Civilized Tribes from the South (particularly the Cherokee from Georgia). Most of the Indians were removed via the Trail of Tears. The act was a direct response to the 1828 case of Cherokee Nation v Georgia
Compromise of 1850
Series of 5 laws intended to compromise on the issue of slavery in the lands acquired after the Mexican War. California was admitted as a free state, the slave trade was ended in the District of Columbia, and the North agreed to a stricter Fugitive Slave Law.
Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854
Provided for the admission of Kansas and Nebraska with or without slavery; essentially repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820
Homestead Act, 1862
Provided for the distribution of western lands to US citizens. Homesteaders were given 160 acres of free land in exchange for a pledge to "improve" the land within 5 years.
Wade-Davis Bill, 1864
Radical Reconstruction plan passed by Congressional Republicans but later vetoed by Lincoln. The plan called for 50% of citizens of reconstructed states to take an Ironclad Oath swearing that they never supported the Confederacy. This was a challenge to Lincoln's more lenient 10% Plan.
Tenure of Office Act, 1868
Prohibited the president from removing officials properly appointed by the Senate. Andrew Johnson violated this by firing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, leading to his impeachment.
Bland-Allison Act, 1878
Required the Treasury to monthly, limited purchases of silver for coinage. Congress was required to purchase between $2 and $4 Million worth of silver. The act was later replaced by the 1890 Sherman Silver Purchase Act.
Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882
A reversal of the 1868 Burlingame Treaty, this act prohibited the immigration from China.
Pendleton Act, 1883
Provided for the objective appointment of civil service positions on the basis of merit. The Pendleton Act was sparked by the assassination of James Garfield by disappointed office seeker Charles Guiteau.
Interstate Commerce Act, 1887
Created the Interstate Commerce Commission and forced all railway charges to be fair and reasonable. The act's passage was a response to protests from farmer's groups like the Grange.
Sherman Antitrust Act, 1890
Authorized the federal government to dissolve a trust. The act was weak, and was even used to restrict the power of labor unions. The Sherman Antitrust act was strengthened by the Clayton Antitrust act of 1914.
Sherman Silver Purchase Act, 1890
Replaced the Bland-Allison Act; required the treasury to purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver at market value per month.
Foraker Act, 1900
Established the government of the newly acquired territory of Puerto Rico. The Insular Cases declared that citizenship was not automatically bestowed upon people in newly acquired territories, and it wasn't until the 1917 Jones Act that Puerto Ricans gained US citizenships
Pure Food and Drug Act, 1906
Forbade the manufacture, sale or transportation of "adulterated" or mislabeled foods or drugs in interstate commerce. This was a direct response to Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle'.
Meat Inspection Act, 1906
Aimed to eliminate the dangerous and unsanitary conditions in the meat-packing industry. This was a direct response to Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle'.
Clayton Antitrust Act, 1914
Strengthened the Sherman Antitrust Act, was more specific as to what actions constituted a "trust". Samuel Gompers called the act the "Magna Carta of organized labor" because it removed the restrictions on labor unions put into placed by the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Espionage Act, 1917
Provided severe penalties for persons found guilty of aiding the enemy or refusal to serve in the US Military. Charles Schenck's violation of this law was the subject of the 1919 case of Schenck v US.
Volstead Act, 1919
Provided the enforcement of the 18th Amendment or Prohibition.
Adjusted Compensation Act, 1924
Provided for the payment of adjusted compensation bonuses to all veterans of WWI. It was payment of this bonus that the Bonus Army was after when they marched on Washington in 1931.
Hawley-Smoot Tariff, 1930
Sharp increase of tariff rates on more than 20,000 imported goods. President Hoover thought that this would alleviate the pains of the Great-Depression, but most economists blame the Hawley-Smoot Tariff with sinking the US deeper into the Depression.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 1932
An attempt by Herbert Hoover to address the problems of the Great Depression by giving billions in loans to banks and businesses. The act was criticized because it did not give direct relief to the poor.
Also known as the "Anti-Injunction Act", it barred federal courts from issuing injunctions to halt labor disputes. The act also outlawed the "yellow-dog contract".
National Industrial Recovery Act, 1933
Created the National Recovery Administration (NRA) and the Public Works Administration (PWA). The NIRA was later ruled unconstitutional in the 1935 case of Schelter Poultry v US.
Federal Emergency Relief Act, 1933
Created the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) to aid the states through grants.
Agricultural Adjustment Act, 1933
Established the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) which paid farmers subsidies to farm less land and therefore drive crop prices up.
Glass-Steagall Act, 1933
Created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for guaranteeing individual bank deposits
Wagner Act, 1935
Also known as the National Labor Relations Act, created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Lend-Lease Act, 1941
Enabled any country whose defense is deemed necessary to the nation to acquire arms and other war supplies from the US. This arrangement to help the UK during the Battle of Britain followed the earlier "Cash and Carry" and "Destroyers for Bases" programs.
Taft-Hartley Act, 1947
Passed over Truman's veto, this act heavily restricted the actions of Unions including banning the "closed shop" and forbidding union contributions to political campaigns.
National Security Act, 1947
Combined all military departments into a single department, Defense. James Forrestal was the first Secretary of Defense.
Civil Rights Act, 1964
Among other provisions, it outlawed discrimination in employment on the basis of race, religion, or sex. It created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate claims of discrimination.
Voting Rights Act, 1965
Eliminated literacy and other tests as requirement for voting.
Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1970
(OSHA) mandated that employers provide employment "free from recognized hazards to employees".
War Powers Act, 1973
Set a 60 day limit on the presidential commitment of troops to hostilities abroad without Congressional approval. Passed over Nixon's veto, the act is considered by many to be a reaction to LBJ's actions with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, 1985
The law provided for automatic spending cuts to take effect if the president and Congress failed to reach established targets; the U.S. comptroller general was given the right to order spending cuts. Because the automatic cuts were declared unconstitutional, a revised version of the act was passed in 1987; it failed to result in reduced deficits.
Regulates campaign financing. Specifically, it targets "soft money" contributions and "issue ads" not financed by a specific candidate.
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