671 terms

Chapters 1-32

King Philip's War
This was the 1675-6 conflict between New England colonists and Native American Groups allied under Wampanoag chief Metacom. This war was the costliest in New England history and it largely crushed the Indian capacity for resistance
joint stock company
These companies, such as the Virginia Company, provided the financial means for English colonizing ventures in the New World in the early 1600s.
This was the first successful English colony in the Americas--settled in 1607. However, it faced great hardships due to disease and interference from surrounding Indian tribes.
John Smith
English captain who took control of Jamestown in 1608, famously declaring that "he who shall not work shall not eat". Instrumental in relations between the Powhatan confederacy and the English due to his relationship with Powhatan's daughter Pocahontas. His work ethic and willingness to trade with the Indians saved the settlement.
House of Burgesses
The first elected legislative assembly in the New World, formed in Virginia in 1619
English Separatists who drafted the Mayflower Compact and established Plymouth Plantation in 1620. They celebrated their survival with a Thanksgiving feast in 1621 with local Wampanoag Indians.
The first permanent English settlement in New England, established by a group of Puritan separatists known as the Pilgrims, who sailed on the Mayflower and landed near present day Cape Cod.
Mayflower Compact
A document written in 1620 by the Pilgrims establishing themselves as a "civil body politic" and setting guidelines for self-government.
An English-speaking Indian who helped the Pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation by showing them where to fish and how to cultivate corn.
Massachusetts Bay Company
This organization of influential Puritan investors in England sponsored and organized a large expedition to North America in 1629 for the express purpose of establishing an independent Puritan community, free of what they saw as the corrupting influences of the Church of England. Centered in Boston, this company administered the ___ ___ Colony during the region's early settlement.
English religious group that sought to purify the Church of England; founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony under John Winthrop in 1630.
Great Migration
during the 1630s, religious persecution and economic hard times in England drove more than 15,000 Puritans to journey to Massachusetts.
John Winthrop
He was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His "Model of Christian Charity" encouraged fellow Puritans to create a "city upon a hill."
Roger Williams
He was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for challenging Puritan ideas. He later established Rhode Island and helped it to foster religious toleration and separation of church and state.
Anne Hutchinson
She was a Massachusetts Bay Puritan who was banished for criticizing the colony's ministers and magistrates, and for her heresy of antinomianism. She then moved to the colony of Portsmouth in Rhode Island.
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
This was the first written constitution in the American colonies. It was prepared as the covenant for the new Puritan community in ___, established in the 1630s. This document described a system of government for the new community.
Toleration Act
Act passed in 1649 to allow a degree of religious freedom in Maryland
William Penn
He was the Quaker proprietor of a colony that became a refuge for persecuted Quakers. He treated Indians fairly, and his well-advertised colony became the most economically successful in English North America.
Religious group that settled in Pennsylvania and led by William Penn—believed in equality, tolerance, and religious freedom
Columbian Exchange
The exchange of plants, animals, foods, human populations, communicable diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western hemispheres after Columbus's voyage in 1492.
The Chesapeake
The region of Virginia and Maryland. In contrast to New England, this region was distinguished by indentured servants, cash crops, and African slavery.
Headright System
A land policy created in Virginia and Maryland designed to encourage settlement by providing 50 acres of land to anyone who settled in the colony
Indentured Servants
Laborers who agreed to work for a contracted period of time, usually seven years, in exchange for passage to America.
cash crops
Crops, such as tobacco and cotton, raised in large quantities in order to be sold for profit.
Bacon's Rebellion
This 1676 uprising in in the Virginia Colony was the first rebellion in the American colonies in which discontented frontiersmen violently protested against the governor of Virginia, William Berkeley, accusing him of levying unfair taxes, of appointing friends to high positions, and of failing to protect outlying farmers from Indian attack. After months of conflict, Jamestown was burned to the ground.
These were vigilante groups active in the 1760s and 1770s in the western parts of North and South Carolina. They violently protested high taxes and insufficient representation in the colonial legislature.
Halfway Covenant
This Puritan doctrine responded to the declining religious fervor of second and third generation Puritans by providing partial church membership for the children and grandchildren of church members. Puritan preachers hoped that this plan would maintain some of the church's influence in society.
Dominion of New England
In the 1680s, King James II reorganized the American colonies to bring greater imperial supervision of the New England colonies and New York. James II planned to combine eight northern colonies into a single large province, to be governed by a royal appointee (Sir Edmund Andros) with an appointed council but no elective assembly.
Edmund Andros
He was the royal governor of the Dominion of New England. Colonists resented his enforcement of the Navigation Acts and the attempt to abolish the colonial assembly.
Salem Witch Trials
This hysteria was precipitated when a nine-year-old girl attempted to divine the future in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. When she and other girls subsequently began acting in peculiar ways, they were diagnosed as being under Satan's influence. The governor set up a Court of Oyer and Terminer (meaning "to hear and to determine") to examine the cases. Twenty-seven individuals were tried for witchcraft in1692; the 19 who refused to confess were executed.
triangular trade
Trade from North America (sugar, tobacco, cotton) to Europe (rum, textiles, manufactured goods) to Africa (slaves).
Ben Franklin
He was a writer, scientist, delegate to the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and delegate to the Constitutional Convention.
town meeting
This democratic form of local government in colonial New England allowed adult males to select a representative to the assembly and decide issues related to land, taxes, and the minister's salary.
Zenger Trial
This 1735 trial of a New York newspaper editor resulted in a not guilty verdict, since his articles were based on fact. This acquittal was the first important victory for freedom of the press in the colonies and set an important precedent for the libel cases of the future.
Paxton Boys
This uprising was a revolt by western Pennsylvania farmers in 1763. It was triggered by eastern indifference to Indian attacks on the frontier and by the western district's underrepresentation in the Pennsylvania assembly.
This economic theory advocated a favorable balance of trade to guarantee the economic self-sufficiency of the British empire and the growth of its wealth and power. Supporters of this theory advocated possession of colonies as places where the mother country could acquire raw materials not available at home.
Navigation Acts
These laws were passed by Parliament to implement mercantilistic assumptions about trade. They were intended to regulate the flow of goods in imperial commerce to the greater benefit of the mother county. One of these laws, for example, called for imperial trade to be conducted using English or colonial ships with mainly English crews. Another law created vice-admiralty courts in the colonies.
enumerated articles
These were specific goods, including sugar, cotton, and tobacco, that, under the Navigation Act of 1660, colonists could ship only to British ports.
salutary neglect
British colonial policy that relaxed supervision of internal colonial affairs by royal bureacrats contributed significantly to the rise of American self government
Great Awakening
This term describes the widespread evangelical revival movement of the 1740s and 1750s. Sparked by the tour of the English evangelical minister George Whitefield, revival divided congregations and weakened the authority of established churches in the colonies.
George Whitfield
He was an Anglican minister with great oratorical skills. His emotion-charged sermons were a centerpiece of the Great Awakening in the American colonies in the 1740s.
New Lights
This term applies to those who embraced the revivals that spread through the colonies during the Great Awakening as opposd who supported more traditional services and congregations.
Jonathan Edwards
This theologian was an American revivalist of the Great Awakening. He was both deeply pious and passionately devoted to intellectual pursuits. His most popular sermon titled, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," appealed to thousands of re-awakened Christians.
This was an intellectual movement of the eighteenth century that celebrated human reasoning powers. Prominent thinkers of this time emphasized the role of human reason in understanding the world and directing its events. Their ideas placed less emphasis on God's role in ordering worldly affairs. This rationalism had a major impact on American political thought.
Iroquois Confederacy
This group was the dominant Native American military power in North America during the 18th century. The five separate nations composing this group were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. Their peaceful coexistence allowed the their to benefit economically from trade with both the English and the French. They worked with colonial leaders like Ben Franklin in the mid-18th century exchanging political and social ideas. But the American Revolution itself was a catastrophe for this group. The dispute separated the Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, who sided with the British, from the Oneidas and Tuscaroras who fought with the patriots.
French and Indian War
This conflict had its focal point in North America and pitted the French and their Native American allies against the English and their Native American allies. Althought it lasted from 1754-1763, the event was known in Europe as the Seven Years' War. This struggle drove the French from North America.
George Washington
His first military action occurred on the frontier in 1754. During a campaign to dislodge French and Indian troops in the Ohio Valley, his troops were overwhelmed at Fort Necessity by a larger and better positioned French and Indian force. Released by the French, he later becme an aide to British General Edward Braddock. By 1758, he participated in the expedition that prompted French evacuation of Fort Duquesne, and British establishment of Pittsburgh.
Treaty of Paris (1763)
This treaty ended the French and Indian War (Great War for the Empire) in 1763. France abandoned nearly all its territorial claims in North America to Great Britain.
Pontiac's Rebellion
This indian uprising began in 1763 when a grand council of Potawatomis, Hurons Ottawas was called to rise up against the British and American colonials and drive them back across the mountains. The British sent 15 regiments to restore order, but the war had been costly for the white settlements that were affected: an estimated 2,000 civilians and some 400 soldiers died during the conflict. To prevent future conflict with the indians, the British restricted American settlement west of the Appalachian mountains.
Proclamation of 1763
In an effort to avoid any future conflict with the Native Americans after the French and Indian War, the British issued this proclamation--that no English colonists shall be allowed to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains. Passed in the wake of Pontiac's Rebellion, the edict forbade private citizens and colonial governments alike to buy land from or make any agreements with natives; the empire would conduct all official relations. Theoretically the act protected colonists from Indian rampages, the measure was also intended to shield Native Americans from increasingly frequent attacks by white settlers. The majority of colonists despised the proclamation because it restricted their freedom to settle on western lands. It became one in a long list of colonial grievances against the British.
Sugar Act
This 1764 Act initiated prime minister George Grenville's plan to place tariffs on some colonial imports as a means of raising revenue needed to finance England's expanded North American empire. It also called for more strict enforcement of the Navigation Acts. The end of "salutary neglect" and the effort to curb smuggling led to many of the early colonial protests against British interference in colonial affairs.
James Otis
From 1761 to 1769, he was a political leader of Massachusetts and the chief publicist of the American cause. His pamphlets explaining the patriot perspective on the relationship between the American colonies and England laid the broad theoretical groundwork for American independence. In 1764 he wrote that everyone should be "free from all taxes but what he consents to in person, or by his representative."
Virtual Representation
This theory, used by Prime Minister Grenville to rebut colonial cries of "taxation without representation" stated that every member of Parliament stood for the interests of every British subject in the empire.
No Taxation without Representation
This is a principle dating back to the Magna Carta that means if citizens are not represented in the government, then the government should not have the authority to tax them. The American colonists cited this principle when they opposed the authority of the British Parliament to tax them.
Stamp Act
This 1765 Act of Parliament was the first purely direct (revenue) tax Parliament imposed on the colonies. It was an excise tax on printed matter, including legal documents, publications, and playing cards, and the revenue produced was supposed to defray expenses for defending the colonies. Americans opposed it as "taxation without representation" and prevented its enforcement; Parliament repealed it a year after its enactment.
Stamp Act Congress
This meeting took place in New York City in 1765 to formulate a response to the ___ Act. The delegates composed a list of grievances, and they petitioned King George III and Parliament to repeal the hated act. This meeting marked the beginnings of cooperation between the 13 colonies that ultimately led to a full movement for independence.
Sons of Liberty
Wealthy merchants John Hancock and Samuel Adams formed this radical patriot organization in Boston in 1765. This group engaged in direct action against British rule, more or less covertly. In 1773, for example, they organized and executed the Boston Tea Party. Throughout the revolutionary period, they continued to fight, eventually disbanding in 1783 with the end of the war.
Declaratory Act
Parliament passed this act in 1766 when it repealed the Stamp Act. It stated that the colonies were entirely subordinate to Parliament's authority, and that Parliament had the authority to legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever."
Townshend Acts
These acts of Parliament, passed in 1767, imposed duties on colonial tea, lead, paint, paper, and glass. Designed to take advantage of the supposed American distinction between internal and external taxes, these duties were to help support government in America. The act prompted a successful colonial nonimportation movement. Parliament gradually rescinded the tax on all of the items enumerated in the laws except tea. The episode served as another important step in the coming of the American Revolution.
Admiralty Courts
Starting with the Proclamation of 1763, these courts were given jurisdiction over a number of laws affecting the colonies. The jurisdiction was expanded in later acts of the Parliament, such as the Stamp Act of 1765. The colonists' objections were based on several factors, most notably that there was no trial by jury, and evidence standards were weaker than in criminal courts.
Massachusetts Circular Letter
The work primarily of Boston radical Samuel Adams, this was a plea to all colonial assemblies to unite in their protests against the hated Townshend Acts (1767). The British government viewed the letter as a direct challenge to Parliament's authority to rule the colonies ended the legislative session. Patriots in ___ used the episode to heighten colonial fears over the British government's lack of respect for colonial rights.
John Dickinson
In the years leading up to the Revolution, his writings were widely read in both America and England and he gained a reputation as the "penman of the Revolution." Essays like his "Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer" helped to define American grievances. He was a member of the First and Second Continental Congresses and he helped to write the Articles of Confederation.
Boston Massacre
This violent confrontation between British troops and a Boston mob occurred on March 5, 1770. Five citizens were killed when the troops fired on the crowd that had been harassing them. The incident inflamed anti-British sentiment in the colony.
Committees of Correspondence
Colonial radicals formed these groups in 1772 in order to step up communications among the colonies, and to plan joint action in case of trouble. Their organization was a key step in the direction of establishing an organized colony-wide resistance movement.
Boston Tea Party
In 1773, patriot colonists led by the Sons of Liberty protested the Tea Act and the monopoly granted to the British East India Company by boarding three British ships in Boston Harbor and destroying 342 chests of Britsh Tea.
Coercive Acts
Parliament responded to the Boston Tea Party by passing these acts in 1774. They intended to punish Boston and Massachusetts generally for the crime committed by a few individuals. Colonists called these the Intolerable Acts.
First Continental Congress
Delegates from twelve colonies attended this meeting in Philadelphia in 1774. The delegates denied Parliament's authority to legislate for the colonies, adopted the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, created a Continental Association to enforce a boycott, and endorsed a call to take up arms.
Joseph Galloway
This influential politician in colonial Pennsylvania served in the First Continental Congress in 1774. In an effort to defuse the growing political crisis, he proposed a plan of imperial union with Great Britain in which the British Parliament and a Colonial Congress would both have to approve colonial legislation. But as Americans grew more radical and pushed for independence, the congress as a whole rejected his compromise proposal by a vote of six colonies to five.
Continental Association
In 1774, the First Continental Congress called for the boycott of British goods and the stopping of exports to England. This organization was created to enforce these measures. Local committees were established to enforce the provisions of the association.
Lexington and Concord
These battles, fought on April 19, 1775 were the opening engagements of the American Revolution. Though there had been increasing violence and unrest throughout New England for several years, the colonists killed 73 British soldiers and wounded 174 and therefore brought the American patriots into open rebellion.
General George Washington
He was appointed by the Second Continental Congress as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in 1775. His ability to learn under duress and refusal to accept defeat kept an American army in the field. At the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 with French troop and naval support, he was able to entrap the British troops and force surrender. At the end of the war in 1783, he was the most famous man in America.
Second Continental Congress
This meeting gathered in May 1775 in Philadelphia. It was immediately faced with the pressure of rapidly unfolding military events. It served as the colonial government during the American Revolution. It issued paper money, made decisions that controlled the Continental Army, established committees to acquire war supplies, and investigated the possibilities of foreign assistance. This became the crucial governmental body of revolutionary America.
Bunker Hill
This first formal battle of the American Revolution took place on hills overlooking the Bitish forces concentrated in Boston. The British attack was eventually successful, but British casualties totaled 1,054, including 226 killed. Although an American loss, this battle showed that Americans could stand up to the British in a formal battle
General William Howe
He took command of British troops in North America after the Battle of Bunker Hill. He captured New York and Philadelphia, but botched the plan to isolate the New England colonies in 1777. He resigned in 1778.
Common Sense
This 50-page pamphlet, written by Thomas Paine, inspired the Declaration of Independence. Even after fighting broke out in April 1775, many Americans were reluctant to break their ties to England. Paine's publication in January 1776 helped remove that obstacle by convincing the colonists that further association with the English king was undesirable. It was highly influential and sold more than 120,000 copies in the first three months, making it the biggest best-seller of its time.
These German troops were hired by the British in 1775 to help suppress rebellion in the colonies. Colonists took offense, and Britain's use of these mercenaries made reconciliation with the colonies seem out of the question.
Declaration of Independence
Written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, this justified the American Revolution by reference to republican theory and to the many injustices of King George III toward the colonies. The indictment of the king provides a remarkably full catalog of the colonists' grievances, and Jefferson's eloquent and inspiring statement of the contract theory of government makes the document one of the world's great state papers.
Sometimes called Loyalists, these Americans hesitated to take up arms against England. They may have been as much as one-third of the colonists in 1776. Many were royal appointees, Anglican clergymen, or Atlantic merchants. They were poorly organized and of limited help to British armies, but the Patriots persecuted them.
Battle of Long Island
George Washington and his army are badly beaten at this battle on August 27, 1776. Sorely outnumbered and surrounded at Brooklyn Heights, the 9,500 troops that survived retreated under cover of night across the East River to Manhattan.
Having lost at Newport, Rhode Island and been driven out of New York, the Continental Army's morale was very low. But Washington's bold decision to cross the icy Delaware on Christmas night, 1776 produced a victory here against Hessian soldiers and helped turned the tide for the Americans.
Benedict Arnold
He was arguably the finest tactical commander in the Continental Army and directly responsible for several important American victories. But his tempestuous disposition alienated friends and superiors alike. Furious because of a lack of recognition, he threatened to resign and ultimately considered joining with the British. When he offered to betray West Point to the British for a large cash sum, he fled to the safety of a British warship, completing the most notorious episode of treason in U.S. history.
In this 1777 battle, British General Burgoyne surrendered his force to American General Horatio Gates. The American victory proved to be a turning point in the American Revolution because it thwarted a British plan to divide the colonies and it convinced France to recognize the United States and sign the Treaty of Amity and Commerce.
Treaty of Alliance
This Treaty was a pact between France and the Second Continental Congress
General Nathaniel Greene
He was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. When the war began, he was a militia private, the lowest rank possible; he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer. He commanded Patriot armies in the backcountry of North and South Carolina in 1778-1781. His guerrilla tactics harassed General Cornwallis's army as it moved toward Virginia and the decision at Yorktown in 1781.
General Charles Cornwallis
This British general was second in command to Henry Clinton. His 1781 defeat by a combined American-French force at the Siege of Yorktown is generally considered the de-facto end of the war, as the bulk of British troops surrendered with him.
This battle proved to be the decisive battle in the revolutionary defeat of Great Britain at the hands of American colonists. After the failure of his Carolinas campaign, British general Lord Charles Cornwallis withdrew his army into Virginia and hoped to receive reinforcements. Before that could occur, however, the Franco-American Army, commanded by Gen. George Washington arrived and laid siege to the city. British reinforcements were also cut off by the arrival of French admiral François de Grasse, who drove the British Navy out of Chesapeake Bay and ensured that it could not support Cornwallis. Giving up any hope of assistance, Cornwallis surrendered his troops on October 19, 1781.
Treaty of Paris (1783)
This treaty officially brought a close to the American Revolution, with Great Britain recognizing the colonies' independence. Negotiated in Paris by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Jay, the treaty granted to the fledgling United States nearly everything it wanted, including territroy extending to the Mississippi River. The document was formally signed on September 3, 1783.
Articles of Confederation
Ratified in 1781, this was the United States's first constitution. It sharply limited central authority by denying the national government any coercive power including the power to tax and to regulate trade. The articles set up the loose confederation of states that comprised the first national government from 1781 to 1788.
Abigail Adams
She holds a unique place in American history as both the wife of one president and the mother of another. In her own right, she was an ardent American patriot. Her perseverance during the American Revolution kept her family together and enabled her husband, John, to devote himself entirely to the patriot cause. Her letters provided her husband with information and shrewd insights into the political situation in Boston while he was absent. She remained a dedicated correspondent and apt political observer during the tumultuous early years of the nation until her death in 1818.
Land Ordinance of 1785
This act was adopted by the United States Congress (under the Articles of Confederation) on May 20, 1785. The act provided for the political organization of these territories and laid the foundations of land policy in the United States. Land was to be systematically surveyed into square "townships", six miles on a side and then be further subdivided for sale to settlers and land speculators. The law was also significant for establishing a mechanism for funding public education. Section 16 in each township was reserved for the maintenance of public schools.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
Adopted by the Confederation Congress on July 13, 1787, this act applied to the territories north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River. It provided for the governance of the territories and made a provision for the eventual admission of between three and five states from those territories. Since those states would have the same rights as the original 13, the law assured that the United States would not become a colonial power on the North American continent. The states eventually carved from this law were Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Noah Webster
He established a uniform national language based on the unique way Americans wrote and spoke English. Dismayed by the fact that elementary schoolbooks in use were based on British models and contained practically no information about the United States, he prepared his own speller to rectify these omissions. For the first time, information about the European voyages to America and the history of the American Revolution appeared in a textbook. He then published his famous "A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language" in 1806. His work constituted the nation's social and cultural declaration of independence from England.
John Trumbull
He was an American artist during the period of the American Revolutionary War famous for his historical paintings including his Declaration of Independence.
Critical Period
This term, coined by John Quincy Adams, refers to the 1780's, a time right after the American Revolution where the future of the newly formed nation was in the balance. Large amounts of debt, high taxes, foreign affairs, domestic issues, and military concerns were some of the problems Americans faced shortly after the Revolution. These concerns prompted calls for a more vigorous national government that eventually resulted in the Constitution in 1787.
Shay's Rebellion
This was an armed rebellion of western Massachusetts farmers to prevent state courts from foreclosing on debtors unable to pay their taxes in1786-7. Fears generated by this rebellion helped to convince states to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787.
Alexander Hamilton
During the American Revolution, he helped lead the assault at Yorktown that resulted in a British surrender. In the 1780s, he became a vocal critic of the Articles of Confederation, condemning them for their ineffectiveness. At the Constitutional Convention, he, with such notables as James Madison and Benjamin Franklin pushed for a powerful executive and federal supremacy. He rallied support for the new constitution through writing of several articles that, along with those of Madison and John Jay, became known as the Federalist Papers. With the Constitution ratified and Washington elected, he was appointed secretary of the treasury. As Treasury Secretary, he immediately confronted the main problem facing the new government, namely its finances. In building support for his program, Hamilton created the Federalist Party. In 1804, he was killed in a duel with his political nemesis, Aaron Burr.
Philadelphia Convention
Responding to calls for a stronger and more energetic national government, 55 delegates met in the summer of 1787 to draft a new constitution to replace the ineffective Articles of Confederation. The product that was created here, the Constitution of the United States, was ratified in 1788. It replaced the Articles of Confederation as the governing document for the United States, and transformed the constitutional basis of government from confederation to federation, also making it the world's oldest federal constitution.
James Madison
He is often called the "Father of the Constitution" for his critical role in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. In addition to his remarkable contributions at the Constitutional Convention, he dedicated his life to public service: he authored many of the Federalist Papers; he crafted and sponsored the Bill of Rights; he joined Jefferson in founding the Democratic-Republican Party; he drafted the Virginia Resolves; (as Secretary of State) he guided the successful negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase; and (as president) he successfully guided the United States through the War of 1812.
Virginia Plan
This plan set the agenda for much of the Constitutional Convention. The plan was believed to have been written chiefly by James Madison. It was devised as a means to correct and enlarge the Articles of Confederation. Although the plan underwent many modifications, key principles like the separation of powers and bicameralism, and key institutions like the executive and judicial branches, clearly originated in this plan. It is most remembered now for its rejected proposal that representation within the national legislature be based solely on population.
New Jersey Plan
When James Madison offered the Virginia plan at the Constitutional Convention, calling for proportional representation in Congress, James Paterson responded with this plan, hoping to protect the less populous states. This plan called for equal representation for each state in a unicameral legislature. The controversy was resolved in the Great Compromise.
The Great Compromise
This plan was proposed by Roger Sherman of Connecticut at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to resolve differences between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. It called for creating a national bicameral legislature: in the House of Representatives places were to be assigned according to a state's population (proportional representation) and filled by popular vote; in the Senate, each state was to have two members (equal representation) elected by its state legislature.
3/5 Compromise
Southerners wanted to count slaves as part of their overall population as a way to increase their representation in Congress. Northern delegates opposed to slavery generally wished to count only the free inhabitants of each state. This was the compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which a fraction of the population of slaves would be counted for enumeration purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives.
checks and balances
The Constitution contains ingenious devices of countervailing power. These checks on centralized power balance the authority of government between the co-equal branches of the presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court. This is sometimes called the separation of powers.
federal system
This term describes a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units (like states or provinces). The Constitution embodies this principle, as opposed to the confederation established under the Articles.
elastic clause
This clause in the Constitution grants Congress the right to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers specifically granted to Congress by the Constitution. This clause was the source of Hamilton's implied powers doctrine and has been used by "loose constructionists" to increase the powers of the national government.
Electoral College
Specified in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, this group elects the nation's president. It was a compromise worked out during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that allowed small and large states, and Federalists and Antifederalists, to feel that their interests were being met. It placed power in the hands of the states by allowing state delegates to choose the president. It is an important invention of the early republic and signifies the Founding Fathers' distrust of popular sovereignty by keeping the presidency out of the reach of direct democracy.
This term applied to those who advocated ratification of the Constitution; they were centralizing nationalists who were convinced that America's survival required the new, stronger government outlined in the Constitution.
Federalist Papers
Alexander Hamilton, with the help of James Madison and John Jay wrote this--a brilliant series of essays explaining and defending the national government created by the Constitutional Convention of 1787. These essays serve as a primary source for interpretation of the Constitution, as they outline the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government. According to historian Richard B. Morris, they are an "incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer."
John Jay
His involvement in the First Continental Congress drew him into full-time public service. He was elected president of the Second Continental Congress on December 10, 1778. Along with Ben Franklin and John Adams, he successfully negotiated the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Convinced that the Articles of Confederation did not provide a strong enough central government, he wrote five Federalist Papers in support of the new Constitution. President George Washington named him to be the first chief justice of the Supreme Court. Washington then asked him in 1794 to negotiate a treaty with Great Britain that recognized U.S. neutrality rights. His success was limited. The treaty he returned with bought time and helped avoid a war, but it did not contain British acceptance of American neutrality rights or halt the impressment of American seamen. He resigned as chief justice in 1795 to become governor of New York.
They were a loosely organized group that arose after the American Revolution to oppose the Constitution and the strong central government that it created. They feared the potential of strong governments to infringe on the liberties of the people and the rights of the states.
President George Washington
After the new government was organized, he was unanimously chosen to be president. He assumed the office of president on April 30, 1789, acutely aware that everything he did established a precedent. He hoped to prevent the rise of divisive partisanship and sectionalism by appointing the most talented people available to his Cabinet. Before he left office in 1797, the nation had a sound currency, adequate tax revenue to meet government expenses, an internationally respected credit rating, an adequate network of sound banks, and the start of a tax system designed to aid the development of manufacturing and maritime commerce. He decided not to seek reelection in 1796, thereby establishing the tradition of two terms for the presidency upheld until Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a third term in 1940.
Judiciary Act of 1789
Article Three of the United States Constitution created the Supreme Court and gave Congress the power to establish inferior courts. This landmark statute was adopted on September 24, 1789 in the first session of the First United States Congress. The law established the U.S. federal judiciary: it set the number of Supreme Court justices at six: one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices; it established a circuit court and district court in each judicial district; and it created the office of Attorney General.
Bill of Rights
This term refers to the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. James Madison, considered the "father of the Constitution," guided the amendments through the new Congress. The amendments were ratified by the requisite number of states on December 15, 1791 and went into effect on March 1, 1792. The amendments protect individual liberties and states' rights against the power of the national government.
Report on Public Credit
This was the first of three major reports on economic policy issued by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton on the request of Congress. The report analyzed the financial standing of the United States. Hamilton proposed a remarkable set of policies for handling the debt problem. All debts were to be paid at face value. The Federal government would assume all of the debts owed by the states, and it would be financed with new U.S. government bonds paying about 4% interest.
In his Report on Public Credit in 1791, Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton recommended that the national debt be funded at par. This meant calling in all outstanding securities and issuing new bonds of the same face value in their place, and establishing an untouchable sinking fund to assure payment of the interest and principal of the new bonds.
Bank of the United States
In 1791 Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton proposed the creation of this to store government funds, collect and expend government revenue, and issue common currency to serve as a national medium of exchange. Hamilton defended this institution as "necessary and proper" and therefore constitutional. Strict constructionists, like Jefferson and Madison however, believed it to be unconstitutional.
Whiskey Rebellion
Hamilton, unmoved by the plight of the farmers, convinced President George Washington to call up the militia and make a show of force against the farmers. The farmers chose not to fight, but the militia occupied some western Pennsylvania counties for months. This rebellion tested the principles of representative government and the powers of taxation in the new nation.
Citizen Genet
In 1793 he was dispatched to the United States to promote American support for France's wars with Spain and Britain. His goals in were to recruit and arm American privateers which would join French expeditions against the British. He also organized American volunteers to fight Britain's Spanish allies in Florida. His actions endangered American neutrality in the war between France and Britain, which Washington had pointedly declared in his Neutrality Proclamation.
Federalist Party
This party was formed during Washington's first administration in the heat of conflict over Hamilton's proposals to salvage the finances of the new republic. Under the leadership of George Washington and the intellectual guidance of Alexander Hamilton, this political party envisioned policies that would promote a thriving union based on a mixed economy of agriculture and manufacturing, a strong central banking system, opposition to widespread suffrage, and alliance with Britain—all to be directed by a strong national government. But opposition to the War of 1812 and the Hartford Convention of 1814 ensured a dive in the party's popularity. In the election of 1816, the party fielded a candidate for president for the last time.
Democratic-Republican Party
This political party was organized in the 1790s and became the first opposition party in US history. Following the ideas of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, this party was opposed to a strong central government and a central bank and supported strict construction of the Constitution and the predominance of agriculture in the economy. In 1800, Jefferson was elected president after a bitter political campaign against Adams. For the first time, power was transferred peacefully from one faction to another.
strict construction
Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson held this view of the Constitution claiming Congress was limited to making only laws that were necessary. Unless powers were specifically delegated to the Congress by the Constitution, the powers should be reserved to the states or to the people. This interpretation of the Constitution would limit the power of the new national government.
loose construction
Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton held this view of the Constitution claiming that Congress had the authority to pass all laws that were proper (implied powers). Unless the Constitution specifically forbade national legislation (Article I; section 9), then Congress had the authority ubnder the elastic clause of the Constitution. This interpretation of the Constitution would expand the power of the new national government.
Battle of Fallen Timbers
Beginning in 1790, a coalition of American Indians under Miami chieftain Little Turtle defied efforts by the U.S. government to remove them from their lands. The Miami scored two major victories against the US Army. The government responded by dispatching Gen. Anthony Wayne, a distinguished veteran of the American Revolution, to deal with the uprising. In 1794, Wayne confronted the main force of the Miami at this battle. Though Wayne lost 33 dead and 100 wounded, the Miami villages were destroyed. The defeat of the Indians led to the signing of the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, which ceded much of present-day Ohio to the United States, paving the way for the creation of that state in 1803.
Jay's Treaty
John Jay negotiated a treaty with Britain in 1794 in which the British agreed to evacuate posts in the American northwest and settle some maritime disputes. Jay agreed to accept Britain's definition of America's neutral rights. The terms of the treaty provoked a storm of protest, but it was ratified in 1795.
Pinckney's Treaty
Also known as the Treaty of San Lorenzo, this 1795 treaty established commercial relations between Spain and the United States, granted the United States free navigation of the Mississippi River through Spanish territory, and fixed the boundaries of Louisiana and Florida.
Washington's Farewell Address
President Washington decided not to seek reelection in 1796. Near the end of his term he delivered this address that warned the nation against the harmful effects of rivalry between political parties, and against the dangers of permanent alliances with foreign nations.
President John Adams
He was one of the lawyers who agreed to defend the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. At the Second Continental Congress in 1775, he pressed for a complete break with England . In 1778, he was sent to Europe to obtain a treaty of alliance with France. Later, he returned to France and in concert with Franklin and John Jay, negotiated the Treaty of Paris (1783) with Great Britain to end the revolution. He was elected the first vice president of the United States. In 1796, he overcame Hamilton's opposition to his candidacy to win a narrow victory for the presidency. Vilified by the Republicans for not vetoing the Alien and Sedition Acts, he was defeated for reelection by Jefferson in 1800.
XYZ Affair
Peace commissioners sent to France by President Adams in 1797 were insulted by their French counterparts' demand for a bribe as a condition for negotiating with American diplomats. America's tender sense of national honor was outraged by this episode and Federalists increased demands for war against France.
Alien and Sedition Acts
In 1798 the Federalist Congress passed these four acts to attack the Republican party and suppress dissent against Federalist policies. The Acts curtailed freedom of speech and the liberty of foreigners resident in the United States. Democratic-Republicans maintained that the acts were an unconstitutional weapon to suppress political dissent, and the acts themselves proved wildly unpopular.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
After the Federalist-dominated Congress adopted the Alien and Sedition Acts, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the leaders of the Democratic-Republican Party, responded by secretly authoring these papers. The resolutions suggested that the United States was a compact, much like that formed under the Articles of Confederation, and that states had the right, even the duty, to stop unconstitutional federal actions. Southerners like John C. Calhoun would later transform this vague doctrine of interposition into the doctrines of nullification and secession.
Election of 1800
This election was particularly important because it was the first election in which power was peacefully transferred from one national political party to another. All 73 electors who cast votes for Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson over Adams also voted for Aaron Burr, whom they expected to serve as vice president. When Jefferson and Burr tied, the election went to the House of Representatives, where it took 36 ballots and Hamilton's eventual support of Jefferson to break the tie. As a consequence, the Twelfth Amendment was adopted in 1804. Jefferson believed that his election had brought about a "revolution" in law and politics.
Twelfth Amendment
Following two chaotic presidential elections in 1796 and 1800, the U.S. Congress adopted this Amendment on December 2 and 3, 1803, proposing serious electoral reform for the presidency and vice presidency.
"Revolution" of 1800
The election of 1800 was considered this by Democratic-Republicans. Jefferson's victory would lead to a government that would put greater emphasis on states' rights than the previous Federalist administrations. Jefferson also repudiated the hated Alien and Sedition Acts and he attempted to bring the chief executive into greater touch with the people.
President Thomas Jefferson took this informal approach to the ceremonial responsibilities of his office--a demeanor he thought appropriate to the leader of a republic. At state dinners, for example, he ignored protocol and invited his guests to sit wherever there was an empty chair.
Judiciary Act of 1801
Passed by the lame-duck Federalists in Congress in 1801 after the election of Democratic-Republican president Thomas Jefferson, this act was a blend of needed judicial reform and partisan politics. The law added six new circuit courts and added 16 new judgeships, along with their support staffs, for outgoing Federalist president John Adams to fill. These judgeships were criticized as "midnight appointments."
midnight appointments
This was the name given to the 16 Federalists granted judgeships by the Judiciary Act of 1801. Hoping to keep the judiciary branch of the federal government under the Federalists' control for many years, outgoing President John Adams made the final appointments on his last night in office.
Marbury v. Madison
This supreme court case was pivotal in establishing the doctrine of judicial review of laws made in Congress and thus helped to shape the government of the United States. Chief Justice John Marshall effectively strengthened the judiciary as a co-equal branch of the federal government
John Marshall
He was Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835. His rulings strengthened the role of the court and constantly upheld the sanctity of contracts and the supremacy of federal legislation over the laws of the states. Though he established the precedent of judicial review, he also clashed with presidents Jefferson and Jackson over questions of constitutional interpretation.
Samuel Chase
A prominent political leader during the American Revolution, he was the only U.S. Supreme Court justice ever impeached. Despite his record of outstanding accomplishment on the Supreme Court, Congress voted to impeach him in 1804. His support of the Federalist-backed Alien and Sedition Acts and his overly zealous handling of treason and sedition trials involving Jeffersonians caused him to anger the president and his backers in Congress. While spared by only a narrow margin, he was acquitted, with the result that his trial discouraged future attempts to impeach justices for purely political reasons.
Barbary Pirates
These pirates in North Africa habitually seized trading vessels in the Mediterranean Sea and held crews and passengers for ransom. For years the new US government was too weak to deal effectively with the threat. President Jefferson dispatched a naval squadron to deal with the pirates, but the venture failed and the United States paid a financial tribute to the pirates until 1815. That victory demonstrated the growing strength of the United States and its ability to deal effectively with foreign affairs.
Toussaint Louverture
Born a slave in Saint-Domingue, in a long struggle for independence this man led enslaved Africans to victory over Europeans, abolished slavery, and secured native control over the colony of Haiti. This was the first successful attempt by a slave population in the Americas to throw off the yoke of Western colonialism. When Napoleon lost control of the colony, he became more inclined to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States.
Louisiana Purchase
This has been called the greatest real estate deal in U.S. history, and it remains one of the largest peaceful annexations of land in world history. Stretching from British Columbia to New Orleans, from the Ohio River to the eastern border of New Spain. Although he did wonder whether he could constitutionally buy the land with the U.S. government's money, Jefferson pushed the deal forward. It soon became clear to American citizens that the new land would provide more opportunity for them.
Essex Junto
This was a group of die-hard Federalists who in 1804 organized a scheme to lead the northeastern states out of the Union. When Alexander Hamilton was offered a place in the plot to secede New England from the Union, he denied the offer. Consequently, the group turned to support from Aaron Burr, who also rejected the offer. Thus, the first attempt to break off New England from the Union failed since it was unable to gain support from the major power brokers in the state of New York.
Lewis and Clark
This was the commander and co-captain of the Corps of Discovery--a group of 33 men who set out from St. Louis, Missouri on May 14, 1804 to explore the Louisiana Territory. Throughout the trip, the explorers kept multiple copies of maps and notes of observations of the climate, vegetation, and people. Both also kept diaries with complex scientific observations of the animal and plant life encountered by the expedition.
She accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition during its journey to the Pacific Ocean between 1804 and 1806. She made important contributions to the success of the Corps of Discovery: she helped guide the expedition through unfamiliar territory and she helped translate when the expedition encountered Indian tribes.
Jeffersonian Democracy
This is the phrase used to describe the general political principles embraced by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson favored reducing the size and scope of the national government. Once in office, he announced conservative fiscal policies that reduced the public debt also supported simplicity, disliking especially the ceremonial aspects of the Federalist administrations. Jefferson articulated a clear vision of what type of society and citizenry he thought was best suited for protecting American virtue: an agrarian society in which all men were honest, hardworking, and responsible—promoted independence derived from self-sufficiency.
Aaron Burr
He is chiefly remembered as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804. In the Election of 1800, he received the same number of votes as Thomas Jefferson. With no clear winner, the Constitution provided that the House of Representatives elect one of the two highest vote getters. Hamilton's influence helped secure the election of Jefferson for president. As vice president, he engaged in a scheme to establish several states in what was then the western United States as an independent country. This plan to help these areas secede from the United States was a treasonable offense and almost resulted in his conviction in 1807.
This was the practice of forcing unwilling men to serve in the military by often brutal and violent means. Between 1790 and 1814, the British, while searching U.S. vessels to seize deserters from the Royal Navy, frequently impressed naturalized U.S. citizens that were on board. America's sense of national honor was outraged and this became a cause of war in 1812.
Chesapeake Incident
This was the most important naval confrontation between the United States and Great Britain before the War of 1812 and in itself a cause of the conflict. The U.S. naval vessel was fired upon and boarded by British officers in 1807, and four sailors were impressed. The incident provoked a clamor for war in the United States, but President Jefferson asked Congress for the Embargo Act instead.
Embargo Act
One of the most controversial episodes of President Thomas Jefferson's administration, this Act of 1807-1809 halted all trade between the United States and foreign nations in response to both British and French restrictions on neutral trade during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. Many merchants, particularly in New England, suffered great financial losses, despite the dramatic rise in smuggling during these years. In the end, the this policy had little effect in compelling either France or Britain to respect American neutrality.
Non-Intercourse Act
This 1809 law replaced the unpopular and unsuccessful Embargo Act. It forbade U.S. trade only with Britain and France, and authorized the president to resume trade with either nation if it stopped violating U.S. neutral rights. It was one of several measures enacted by the U.S. government in the early 19th century in an attempt to preserve U.S. neutrality in the Napoleonic Wars then raging across Europe.
President James Madison
Physically frail, he was an unlikely candidate for political greatness. Considered the "Father of the Constitution," he co-authored the Federalist Papers and the Bill of Rights. Appalled by Alexander Hamilton's vision of federal power, he helped found the Democrat-Republican Party to pursue a more limited federal government. After serving as Secretary of State for President Jefferson, he was elected president in 1808. Faced with issues of impressment and neutral rights, he issued a declaration of War against Great Britain in 1812. He retired to his Virginia plantation in 1817.
This Shawnee chief organized an Indian confederacy to try to defend Indian land and culture in the Ohio country. He combined military skill and oratory brilliance to fashion one of the biggest pan-Indian alliances. In 1811 his confederacy was shattered at the Battle of Tippecanoe. He was killed later at the Battle of the Thames during the War of 1812.
Battle of Tippecanoe
This battle took place on November 7, 1811 between Shawnee Indians and U.S. forces. In the years after 1805, the Shawnee Prophet and his brother Tecumseh encouraged Indian resistance to U.S. demands for land in the Old Northwest. William Henry Harrison, the governor of Indiana Territory, was greatly concerned and organized more than 1,000 troops. The Prophet had decided that he must attack to forestall Harrison. This battle was fiercely fought, and the Americans lost nearly 200 killed and wounded. It is likely that Indian casualties were about the same. Harrison, however, claimed a major victory because the Indians dispersed. The Indians, however, were now more determined than ever to resist the Americans, and many were ready to join the British in the event of war.
This term was given to members of the U.S. Congress who strongly supported American participation in the War of 1812. The most adamant were Western and Southern members, including Speaker of the House Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun. By 1811, these young Congressmen called for war against Great Britain as the only way to defend the national honor and force the British to respect America's neutral rights.
General William Henry Harrison
He led the militia assault upon Tecumseh's village at Tippecanoe Creek in October 1811. Then, after the British had captured Detroit in the summer of 1812, he took charge of efforts to halt the British advance. After recapturing Detroit in late September 1813, he pursued the retreating British forces into Canada. At the Battle of the Thames in October of that same year, British troops along with their Native American allies, were so soundly defeated that they never posed a threat to the security of the Northwest Territory again. (Tecumseh was killed in the battle.) In 1840, he became the first Whig President, winning the election with a "log cabin" and "hard cider" appeal to the common people. The 68-year-old caught a cold at his inauguration and died after serving only one month in office.
Francis Scott Key
From the deck of the a British ship on the night of September 13th 1814, this man observed the ineffectual British bombardment of Fort McHenry, the city's principal defensive fortification. He was so inspired to see the American flag still flying over the fort on the morning of September 14 that he composed "The Star-Spangled Banner" while returning to shore with his friends. His words were soon set to music, and before long, the tune was being played all around the nation. In 1931, Congress resolved that the "Star-Spangled Banner" would become the nation's official anthem, which President Herbert Hoover then promptly signed into law.
Treaty of Ghent
Signed on December 24, 1814 in Belgium by representatives from the United States and Great Britain, this treaty officially ended the War of 1812. The war had essentially been a draw, and the treaty did not call for any significant changes to the status quo from before the war. The U.S. Senate unanimously ratified the treaty on February 16, 1815.
Hartford Convention
In December 1814, this meeting of Federalists in Connecticut was organized to protest the War of 1812 and propose several constitutional amendments, including changes to protect the commercial interests of New England. These antiwar Federalists were discredited when the United States achieved an honorable peace in the Treaty of Ghent that same month. This meeting became a synonym for disloyalty and treason, and the Federalist Party, which rapidly declined after the war, never lived down its notoriety.
Battle of New Orleans
This battle took place on January 8, 1815, weeks after the Treaty of Ghent had been signed. It was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, with General Andrew Jackson in command, defeated an invading British Army. At the end of the day, the British had 2,037 casualties; the Americans had 71 casualties. Such a route of British forces stirred American nationalism and contributed to the heroic legacy of Andrew Jackson.
Rush-Bagot Agreement
In this 1817 agreement, the United States and Britain agreed to limit naval forces on the Great Lakes. Perhaps the first arms limitation agreement in history, this agreement was an example of a larger Anglo-American rapproachment that followed the War of 1812. Eventually, as an outgrowth of this decision, the entire border between Canada and the United States was demilitarized, a remarkable achievement.
Convention of 1818
In this meeting, Britain and the United States agreed to the 49th parallel as the northern boundary of the Louisiana Territory between Lake of the Woods and the Rocky Mountains. The two nations also agreed to joint occupation of the Oregon country for ten years. This agreement was an example of a larger Anglo-American rapproachment that followed the War of 1812.
Transcontinental Treaty
Also known as the Adams-Onís Treaty, this treaty was ratified in 1821. The United States purchased Florida from Spain and established a definitive boundary between Spanish-held Mexico and the U.S. territory gained in the Louisiana Purchase.
Monroe Doctrine
At the suggestion of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, President Monroe announced in 1823 that the American continents were no longer open to colonization, and the United States would look with disfavor on any attempt to extend European control over independent nations in the Western Hemisphere. Although this policy is not an actual law, it has profoundly influenced the making of U.S. foreign policy. Subsequent presidents often referred to this policy as justification for U.S. intervention in hemispheric affairs.
Era of Good Feelings
In the nationalistic spirit that followed the War of 1812, rival political parties disappeared. President Monroe was so popular and the nation appeared so secure, prosperous and content that in 1817, a Boston newspaper coined this phrase to describe the mood that had settled upon the country. The era lasted from 1817 to 1823 in which the disappearance of the Federalists enabled the Republicans to govern in a spirit of seemingly nonpartisan harmony.
Second Bank of the United States
Congress (re)chartered this institution in 1816. It had extensive regulatory powers over currency and credit. It came under heavy criticism during the Panic of 1819. In 1823, Nicholas Biddle became president of this institution and pursued a strategy that strategy improved America's financial condition and stabilized the money supply, although it stifled growth in the South and West. Biddle made a major tactical blunder in 1832, however, by calling for Congress to renew the charter four years earlier than necessary. President Jackson vetoed the bill and made it the major issue of his reelection campaign later that year. This war quickly became an extremely divisive partisan issue, with Democrats supporting Jackson and Whigs supporting Biddle.
John Quincy Adams
Although he was able and principled,he served as an ineffectual president, hampered by accusations that he won the Election of 1824 by arranging a "corrupt bargain" with Speaker of the House Henry Clay. After a bitter and personally abusive campaign, Jackson won a decisive election for the presidency four years later in 1828. He is far better remembered for his earlier accomplishments as a diplomat, notably as secretary of state under President James Monroe, when he help negotiate treaties that secured Florida and the northern border with Canada. As Secretary of State, he also drafted the Monroe Doctirne.
Daniel Webster
As an orator, champion of the Union, and constitutional lawyer, he was one of the great statesmen of his day. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1812 and served there until1816. He subsequently pursued a highly successful legal practice that involved several precedent-setting appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court. His arguments in Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819), McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), and Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) were supported by Chief Justice John Marshall and earned him the nickname "Expounder of the Constitution." As a member of the newly formed Whig Party, he argued for higher protective tariffs and attacked Calhoun's theory of nullification in his famous debates against Robert Hayne in 1830. Years later, with the Union in danger of a civil war over slavery, he backed Clay's compromise efforts. In the course of debate, he spoke in favor of compromise, "not as a Massachusetts man, nor as a Northern man, but as an American."
John C. Calhoun
In a remarkable 40-year political career, he played a vital role in protecting Southern interests. At the beginning of his congressional career, he was a militant nationalist. In Congress, he joined a group of young men led by Henry Clay who were known as War Hawks. Years later, as a political philosopher and statesman, he defended the institution of slavery as "a positive good," and as an ardent proponent of states' rights, he authored the South Carolina Exposition and Protest that advanced the right of the South to nullify those laws passed by the national legislature that were viewed as harmful to its sectional interests.
Henry Clay
This great American statesman and orator represented Kentucky in both the House of Representatives and Senate. He was a leading war hawk advocating war with Great Britain in 1812. After the war, he advocated his "American System" for modernizing the economy, especially tariffs to protect industry, a national bank, and internal improvements to promote canals, ports and railroads. He was a founder and leader of the Whig Party that Challenged Jaksonian Democrats in the 1830s and 1840s. Although his multiple attempts to become president were unsuccessful, he secured a reputation as the "Great Compromiser" for his role in drafting the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the compromise tariff of 1833 (that relieved the nullification crisis) and the Compromise of 1850.
American System
This nationalistic program was the brainchild of Kentucky Congressman Henry Clay. It envisioned an active role for the federal government in fostering the U.S. economy through a national bank, a protective tariff, and such internal improvements as canals and roads.
Missouri Compromise
Missouri's application for statehood in 1819 caused considerable controversy because, if it had been admitted as a slave state, Missouri would have tipped the balance in the Senate toward slave states. Opponents of slavery wanted Missouri to eliminate the institution prior to being admitted as a state; proponents thought that was a matter for Missouri alone to decide. In 1820, this compromise, hammered out by Speaker of the House Henry Clay, solved the problem at least temporarily by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine (formerly part of Massachusetts) as a free state. The law further provided that slavery would be prohibited in the Louisiana Territory north of 36°30' north latitude and permitted south of that line.
Election of 1824
In this election, four candidates from the same party competed for the nation's highest office. In the end, Andrew Jackson received the most popular votes and the most electoral votes but he was not elected. Because no candidate won a majority of electoral votes, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives. Speaker of the House Henry Clay steered the election toward John Quincy Adams. When Adams then appointed Clay to be Secretary of State, Jackson and his supporters leveled charges of a "corrupt bargain."
Tariff of Abominations
Also known as the Tariff of 1828, this tariff placed high taxes on imported manufactured products to help fledgling industries in New England. Southern planters condemned the tariff because it kept their profits down and stifled free trade. Because it favored the North at the expense of the South, southerners claimed it was unconstitutional. Later, southern states and spokesmen like John C. Calhoun argued for a state's right o nullify unconstitutional laws.
South Carolina Exposition and Protest
After Congress passed a high tariff in 1828, which Southerners designated the Tariff of Abominations, South Carolina responded with this document. It was secretly authored by John C. Calhoun, who was then serving as vice president under Andrew Jackson. In this document, Calhoun laid the groundwork for the doctrine of nullification. Over time, the doctrine of nullification developed into the doctrine of secession, by which the Southern states asserted their right to leave the Union after President Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860, leading to the outbreak of the Civil War.
In his 1828 "South Carolina Exposition and Protest," John C. Calhoun argued that if an act of Congress violated the Constitution, a state could interpose its authority and declare it legally void or inoperative--within its own boundaries. This policy would evolve into the doctrine of states' rights and even secession.
Samuel Slater
He has been called the founder of American industry. He built the first modern textile mill in the United Sates, doing so by importing secrets from his native country, England. Given his expertise, however, leaving England posed a problem. The British government did not want any plans for textile manufacturing to leave the country out of fear that other nations would use them to gain an industrial advantage. He circumvented the English restrictions in two ways. First, memorized the details about its machinery. Second, when he departed in 1789, he did so without telling anyone, and he wore a disguise.
Francis Cabot Lowell
Through his founding of textile mills in the early 19th century, this man changed the character of textile manufacturing and contributed significantly to America's early industrialization. He opened his first factory at Waltham, Massachusetts in 1814. It was the first mill in the world that converted raw cotton into finished cloth at a single location. For laborers he hired mainly young single women who lived in company housing under strict supervision.
Waltham System
Named after Francis Lowell, the Lowell Mills were a complex of textile mills built by the Boston Company in 1823 in the town of East Chelmsford (later renamed Lowell), Massachusetts. Staffed largely by young women, the Lowell Mills were famous for this system--an innovative method of factory management that provided on-site dormitories, cultural activities, and strict supervision of its workers. By 1840, for economy reasons, the women were replaced by immigrant laborers.
factory system
This system brought the means of production together in buildings where water power (later steam and electricity) supplied the energy to run the machinery that increased productivity and reduced labor costs. It was introduced to the United States in textile manufacturing in 1790.
Irish/German Immigration
For most of the first century after the United States was formed, immigration to the country was essentially open. By the mid-19th century, as more third-, and fourth-generation Americans began to feel a strong sense of an increasingly American heritage and national identity, they began to regard immigrants as foreign elements who competed with native-born Americans for jobs and corrupted American traditions. Anti-immigration hysteria reached fever points during periods of massive influxes of foreigners, especially when these groups came between 1840 and 1860. Nativist sentiment skyrocketed, with the formation of the Know-Nothing Party in the 1850s
household system
This system of manufacturing predated the factory system. In it, local artisans produced goods to supply local needs. Central shops supplied materials to houses and small shops on a piecework basis, then marketed the finished goods to the regional market. When Samuel Slater and Francis Cabot Lowell introduced the factory system to the Untied States, this system of manufacturing became increasingly obsolete.
Eli Whitney
This skilled and prolific inventor invented the cotton gin in 1793. It almost immediately transformed southern agriculture and revitalized slavery. He also was successful in manufacturing rifles for the government by employing the idea of interchangeable parts.
cotton gin
Invented in 1793 by Eli Whitney, this simple machine could clean the seeds from 50 pounds of cotton in one day, whereas previously a laborer could clean only one pound a day. The machine was largely responsible for revitalizing the plantation system and the Southern state's dependence on slave labor. This device made the United States the dominant world supplier of cotton by the 1820s.
These early improvements in the nation's transportation system were somewhat improved roads built by private companies to replace old wagon trails. The companies then charged tolls to all who used the roads.
Robert Fulton
He was an excellent inventor, engineer, and naval architect. He was especially recognized for his inventions that substantially improved steamboats. His first steamboat, called the Clermont, left New York City for its first trip up the Hudson River to Albany (about 130 miles) in 1807. A huge success, he built many more steamboats and vastly improved the fledgling transportation network in the United States by making upstream river transport more efficient, reliable, and affordable.
Erie Canal
The construction of the 363-mile long canal began the canal boom of the 1820s and 1830s. It was financed by the state of New York with public funds. Begun in 1817, it was completed in 1825 and was an immediate financial success. It was the first transportation route between the eastern seaboard (New York City) and the western interior (Great Lakes) of the United States faster than carts pulled by draft animals, and cut transport costs by about 95%.
Marshall Court
This term refers to the Supreme Court under the 35-year tenure of Chief Justice John Marshall. Firmly committed to the need to create a strong and effective national government, Marshall's historic effect on the Court began with his decision in Marbury v. Madison (1803) that established the Supreme Court as the final arbiter on the constitutionality of laws. Marshall combined his belief in the need for a strong central government with a deep appreciation for the rights of individuals and the sanctity of private property. His decisions guided the United States through a period of rapid physical and economic growth.
Dartmouth College v Woodward
This 1819 Marshall Court decision was one of the earliest and most important U.S. Supreme Court decisions to interpret the contracts clause in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. The case arose from a dispute in New Hampshire over the state's attempt to take over Dartmouth College. By construing the Contract Clause as a means of protecting corporate charters from state interventions, Marshall derived a significant constitutional limitation on state authority. As a result, various forms of private economic and social activity would enjoy security from state regulatory policy. Marshall thus encouraged the emergence of the relatively unregulated private economic actor as the major participant in a growing national economy.
Gibbons v Ogden
In this Marshall Court case, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a state monopoly and reaffirmed Congress' power to oversee commerce between states. Of all the cases that have interpreted the scope of congressional power under the commerce clause, none has been more important than this "steamboat case." The case established a basic precedent because it paved the way for later federal regulation of transportation, communication, buying and selling, and manufacturing. Today, little economic activity remains outside the regulatory power of Congress.
Charles River Bridge v Warren Bridge
In this 1837 Supreme Court Case, Chief Justice Roger Taney that a state had a right to place the public's convenience over that of a private or particular company, over the presumed right of monopoly granted in a corporate charter. Thus a company that had a prior long-term contract for a toll bridge over the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge—and hence a monopoly on bridge traffic—could not prevent a second company from receiving another state contract to construct a competitive toll-free bridge. It advanced the interests of those who favored economic development.
Roger Taney
When John Marshall died on July 6, 1835, Jackson nominated this man as chief justice of the Supreme Court. He was a less fierce nationalist than Marshall had been, and his Court would tend to back Jackson's ideas of "democratizing" the country's economic and political life. Until the Dred Scott case, he was a proponent of the idea of judicial restraint. Scott v. Sandford (1857), however, brought politics and the issue of slavery directly to the court. Personally, he was opposed to slavery, but he believed that the Constitution recognized and protected slavery. The infamous Dred Scott decision declared that territorial governments could not be granted the power to prohibit slavery. The nation took one step closer toward Civil War.
Alexis de Tocqueville
He was a French visitor to the United States in the early 1830s. He was impressed by the relative equality of opportunity and condition in America and wrote of it in his classic description of Jacksonian America, "Democracy in America." The question that concerned him throughout his work was whether or not an egalitarian society could preserve liberty. In the end, he believed American democracy would endure and that that America showed one way in which a democracy could work.
Cult of Domesticity
This term, also known as the cult of true womanhood, reflected the early 19th century middle-class ideal about the role of women in society. In an increasingly industrial society, husbands began to work away from the home in factories or offices, and their wives stayed at home and engaged in domestic pursuits. This helped create a view that men should support their families while women stayed at home where they were sheltered from the cold realities of politics and capitalism. Work became increasingly associated with men, and the home became female identified.
Second Great Awakening
This religious revival swept across the western frontier and northeastern United States from the 1790s through the 1830s. Led by leading revivalist minister Charles Grandison Finney, this period vastly increased the membership in Protestant churches. It also thrust many Americans into a search for social reform. This new energy—manifest in the rapid rise of the Methodist Church and the Baptist Church—represented in part the influx of democratic ideas, or a reworking of traditional religious institutions to better match the average American's sensibilities and frontier lifestyles. In fact, the revivals in some ways "democratized" the churches and mirrored the political democratization underway during the Jacksonian era.
This was a point of view aimed at reforming society by first establishing and demonstrating its principles on a small scale. Supporters were motivated either by religious beliefs or secular ideologies, but, while briefly popular, examples like the Socialist utopian experiment in New Harmony, Indiana and the Oneida Community in New York were ineffective and did not last.
These people established a religious commune founded by Ann Lee. Reflecting the utopian impulse, they practiced celibacy because they believed the millennium was imminent. But their emphasis on celibacy precluded their producing a new generation of believers, and their dedication to a life of simplicity and a severe work ethic discouraged new members. The communities steadily declined and disbanded.
This religion was founded by Joseph Smith in western New York in the 1820s. They were resented because of their unorthodox religious views and exclusivism. Smith was forced to move the church several times to escape persecution. In 1844, Smith and his brother were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois, and the leadership of the church fell upon Smith's disciple, Brigham Young. Young determined that the church should move to a place where they could practice their beliefs without interference. In 1846, church members began one of the great migrations in American history. They finally located near Great Salt Lake (Utah) in the 1840s where they have flourished ever since.
Brigham Young
This man led the remarkable exodus of the Mormons to Utah, where in one of the most successful colonizing efforts in U.S. history, he established a strong religious, social, and economic base. Convinced that they could not live peacefully within the boundaries of the United States, Mormons, led by this man, headed west. At the time, the area around the Great Salt Lake belonged to Mexico and was thus beyond the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. The California gold rush of 1849 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad 20 years later, however, ended Mormon hopes that the they could live for very long in isolation, but by then he Mormons had established a solid economic, political, religious, and social organization in Utah.
Robert Owen
He was a British utopian socialist who believed in economic and political equality, and he considered competition debasing. He founded New Harmony, Indiana, a commune where members challenged sexual and religious mores of Jacksonian America. It became a costly failure.
Dorthea Dix
Imbued with the spirit of reform, she embarked on a study of the prevailing treatment of the mentally ill. She discovered that most institutions housed the insane under sordid conditions, neglecting and abusing them. She was successful in securing funds for new institutions. Not long after the outbreak of the Civil War, she proposed the plan to establish a volunteer corps of women nurses. Commissioned as superintendent of women nurses for the Union Army, she began the difficult task of finding nurses and procuring medical supplies. After the war, she continued her work for the mentally ill, raising money for the more than 50 hospitals that had been established as a result of her efforts.
American Temperance Union
The founding of this organization in 1826 by evangelical Protestants signaled the start of a national crusade against drunkenness. Using a variety of techniques, the union set out to persuade people not to drink intoxicating beverages and was successful in sharply lowering per capita consumption of alcohol. It was an example of the spirit of reform that was so prevalent in the early 1800s.
The drive to end slavery in the United States during the antebellum years was known by this term. The movement included dedicated people like William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass. Some paid a price for their outspokenness. In 1837, for example, Elijah P. Lovejoy, editor of antislavery journal, was killed by a proslavery mob in Alton, Illinois.
William Lloyd Garrison
He was the publisher of "The Liberator," and an immediate abolitionist. The Liberator created a stir by sternly denouncing slavery as a crime and a sin and calling for its immediate abolition without compensation for slave owners. He also advocated full equality for African Americans. For the next 35 years, the paper was the leading vehicle of antislavery thought.
Frederick Douglass
He was born a slave around 1817 in Maryland. In 1838, he escaped using the borrowed papers of a free African-American sailor. He soon became one of the abolition movement's star orators, traveling throughout the North to lecture to large audiences. To prove the truth of what he said, in 1845 he published an account of his experiences in slavery, "Narrative of the Life..." Two years later, he started his own abolitionist newspaper, the North Star. He welcomed the coming of the Civil War, which to him was a crusade for freedom. He urged President Abraham Lincoln to free the slaves as a war measure and to let African Americans fight in the Union Army.
Grimke Sisters
These sisters occupy a special place in the abolitionist and women's rights movements. Not only were the sisters the first Southern women to become antislavery activists, but they were also the first to advocate women's rights through their lectures and writings. Both sisters were frustrated by the limits of their education and by the role that they were expected to play as women in Charleston society. Both were also deeply religious and distressed by their firsthand experience of slavery.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
As one of the more radical of the 19th-century suffragists and women's rights leaders, she sought above all else to free women from the legal obstacles that prevented them from achieving equality with men. At the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, she met Lucretia Mott, sharing her anger that women delegates were not allowed to speak and vote at the convention. The two women decided to hold a women's rights convention as soon as they returned home. In 1848, the first women's rights convention was finally held in Seneca Falls, New York. This woman drafted a Declaration of Sentiments, modeled after the Declaration of Independence and declaring that women were created equal to men. She later met Susan B. Anthony in 1851. The two women would work together for nearly 50 years in the cause for women's rights. In 1869, she and Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association to work for the passage of a federal women's suffrage amendment.
Seneca Falls Convention
Organized in 1848 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth and Mary Ann McClintock, this was the first women's rights convention in U.S. history. After considering the literature of the abolition and temperance movements, the women selected the U.S. Declaration of Independence as the model for the Declaration of Sentiments that they prepared for the convention. With a program and leadership established, the women's movement in the United States had officially begun.
Election of 1828
This election is often identified as one of the most important presidential elections in American history. After losing the controversial previous election, Andrew Jackson spent the next four years organizing his campaign and publicly discrediting President Adams. His new Democratic Party mastered the art of political organization and campaigned heartily at the state and local levels. Jackson was the first presidential candidate to have a nickname, "Old Hickory," and used the theme at campaign rallies. By rallying the votes of the "common man," Jackson and his presidency forever changed American government.
Jacksonian Democracy
This term reflects the widespread movement for egalitarianism in the 1820s and 1830s and was named after President Andrew Jackson, who served in office between 1829 and 1837. Jackson symbolized the new Democratic party's general abhorrence of privilege and elitism. At this time, a general widening of political participation for white males across the country occurred. This resulted in the election of leaders like Jackson and growing interest in a series of reform movements, many of which championed greater egalitarianism in American society.
spoils system
This term usually used derisively, identifies the practice of elected officials who reward loyal members of their own party with jobs in public office. Jackson was accused of initiating this (which he called rotation-in-office) when he was elected to the presidency in 1828.
Kitchen Cabinet
This term originated during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, and refers to the informal advisors and close friends who consulted with Jackson. President Jackson often relied on this unelected, unconfirmed group, rather than consult his official Cabinet, to discuss governmental affairs.
Webster-Hayne Debates
This 1830 debate is generally regarded as one of the greatest congressional debates in history. During an ongoing argument about the constitutionality of nullification, Senator Daniel Webster eloquently defended the Constitution and the Union and closed his speech with a call for "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!" This debate stirred deep sentiments in both the North and the South, but only the Civil War could finally resolve the contested issues.
Nicholas Biddle
As President of the Second Bank of the United States, this man occupied a position of power and responsibility that propelled him to the forefront of Jacksonian politics in the 1830s. He, along with others who regarded the bank as a necessity, realized the threat posed by the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828. Jackson was bitterly opposed to the national bank, believing that it was an unconstitutional, elitist institution that bred inequalities among the people. A bitterly divisive issue, the rechartering of the bank dominated political discussion for most of the 1830s, and for many, this man became a symbol of all for which the bank stood. After Jackson's reelection, the Second Bank of the United States was doomed.
McCulloch v Maryland
In this 1819 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the second Bank of the United States was constitutional, thus affirming the doctrine of implied powers and a loose interpretation of the Constitution. The Marshall Court decision also determined that "the power to tax involves the power to destroy," thus state governments could not tax a federal agency like the Bank.
pet banks
This is a degrading term for state banks selected by the U.S. Department of Treasury to receive government deposits in 1833, when President Andrew Jackson "killed" the Second Bank of the United States. The term gained currency because most of the banks were chosen not because of monetary fitness but on the basis of the spoils system, which rewarded political allies of Andrew Jackson. Most of these banks flooded the country with paper currency. Because this money became so unreliable, Jackson issued the Specie Circular, which required all public lands to be purchased with metallic money. This contributed to the Panic of 1837.
Maysville Road Veto
A Congressional bill provided for the federal government to buy stock in a private company to fund an extension of the Cumberland and National Roads. The U.S. Congress passed the bill, but Jackson vetoed it, arguing that federal subsidies for internal improvements that were located wholly within a single U.S. state were unconstitutional. Jackson even said that he did not oppose the road, but simply wanted the state to fund it and not the federal government. Following this veto were seven more vetoes of public works projects, including roads and canals. This dealt a blow to the American System of Henry Clay, one of Jackson's many political opponents.
Worcester v Georgia
In this Supreme Court case, the Marshall Court held that Cherokee Native Americans were entitled to federal protection from the actions of state governments which would infringe on the tribe's sovereignty. The court established the doctrine that the national government of the United States, and not individual states, had authority in Indian affairs. However, the judicial outcome that was apparently favorable to the claims of the Cherokee was subsequently precluded by a hostile Congress and the equally hostile President Andrew Jackson. In reaction to this decision, President Andrew Jackson has often been quoted as defying the Supreme Court with the words: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" Jackson did not enforce Marshall's decision, and the Cherokee were eventually relcoated to Indian Territory (part of present-day Oklahoma) in what would become known as the Trail of Tears.
Trail of Tears
This term defined the route of the tragic removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia to Indian Territory under severe conditions in 1838. The relocation resulted from the government's removal policy, which sought to open eastern lands for white settlement and provide a permanent home for Native peoples in the West. Approximately 16,000 Cherokees relocated to the West and an estimated 4,000 died. Despite this tragedy, the federal government remained committed to the removal policy.
Nullification Crisis
Ratification of the U.S. Constitution (1787) left unresolved the issue of whether the federal or state governments were sovereign. This crisis began when President Jackson signed the Tariff Act of 1832. Vice President John C. Calhoun resigned in protest and went to South Carolina, which declared the tariff unconstitutional and therefore null. Congress passed the Force Act, and Jackson threatened to send troops to enforce the tariff. Henry Clay eased the crisis by enacting a compromise that produced a degree of tariff reduction in 1833. Sectional tension, however, remained and would eventually culminate in the Civil War.
Specie Circular
In 1836, President Jackson issued this executive order to halt a speculative land mania fueled by the easy availability of paper currency issued by pet banks and state banks. This order provided that purchasers must pay for public land in gold and silver. It abruptly halted the speculative boom and contributed to the Panic of 1837.
Democratic Party
This political party evolved out of the Democratic-Republican Party of the early 19th century. Calling upon the political heritage of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Andrew Jackson became the first leader of the this party following his election to presidency in 1828. The core of its membership was composed of farmers, immigrants, and white Southerners. Jackson's presidency has traditionally been called the "Era of the Common Man," an era that reflected two decades of expanding the suffrage, economic change, and Western expansion. Jackson and the newly constituted party embraced this rough and tumble democratic culture. This party controlled the presidency for much of the 1840s and 1850s, with James K. Polk serving a single term from 1844 to 1848, Franklin Pierce serving a single term from 1852 to 1856, and James Buchanan serving a single term from 1856 to 1860.
This political party, formed in 1834 and lasting until 1854, was the major political party opposing Andrew Jackson, who they called, "King Andrew," and his Democratic Party in the antebellum era. The party inherited the Federalist belief in a strong federal government and adopted many Federalist and National Republican policy ideas, including federal funding for internal improvements (building roads, canals, bridges; improving harbors), a central bank, and high tariffs to protect the growth of manufacturing enterprises. Famous members of this party included President William Henry Harrison, President Zachary Taylor, and Henry Clay.
Martin Van Buren
As President Andrew Jackson's campaign manager, political confidant, secretary of state, vice president, and finally, handpicked successor, this man played a major role in national politics and the establishment of Jacksonian democracy as a significant political force. Elected president in 1836, he promised to adhere to Jackson's policies, but a severe economic depression, the Panic of 1837, lasted throughout his administration and quickly undermined his popularity. He was defeated by the first Whig president, William Henry Harrison in 1840. By 1848, a coalition disgruntled Democrats and Whigs met in Buffalo, New York, formed the Free Soil Party, which was pledged to a platform against slavery, and nominated this former president as their candidate. After losing again, he retired from politics.
Panic of 1837
This was a nationwide, financial depression that gripped the country between 1837 and 1843. The United States had experienced unprecedented growth during the early part of the 19th century, but speculation had soared as investors financed new ventures. In an effort to slow down excessive financial speculation, President Andrew Jackson issued the Specie Circular. As a result, many banks halted gold payments to the public, which caused a panic and a general loss of confidence in the banking system.
Independent Treasury Act
In the wake of the Specie Circular and the Panic of 1837, President Van Buren proposed, and Congress passed this act. The system that was created took the federal government out of banking. All payments to the government were to be made in hard cash and it was to be stored in government vaults until needed.
Tippecanoe and Tyler too
At the Whig's first national nominating convention in 1840, the party chose William Henry Harrison as its presidential nominee because he was a military hero, and he did not have a political record that indicated how he felt about controversial issues. The Whigs realized that as a party representing largely upper-income and business voters who stood in opposition to Jackson's and Van Buren's egalitarian democracy, they needed a candidate who would appeal to a wide electorate. Forshadowing modern campaign tactics, the Whigs portrayed Harrison was a man of the people. Model log cabins and kegs of hard cider became Whig campaign symbols, along with this slogan which reminded voters of Harrison's heroics before and during the War of 1812.
Log Cabin Campaign
This is the name given to the 1840 Presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison. Harrison was the first president to campaign actively for office. Whigs, eager to deliver what the public wanted, declared that Harrison was "the ___ ___ and hard cider candidate," a man of the common people from the rough-and-tumble West. They depicted Harrison's opponent, President Martin Van Buren, as a wealthy snob who was out of touch with the people. In fact, it was Harrison who came from a wealthy, prominent family while Van Buren was from a poor, working family. But the election was during the worst economic depression to date, and voters blamed Van Buren. Harrison served only one month as president before dying of pneumonia on April 4, 1841.
James Fenimore Cooper
He was the first writer to capture the popular imagination with stories rooted in America's own history. He wrote romances, the heroes of which embodied the ideals—courage, integrity, and love of the wilderness—of a nation destined to expand and prosper. His stories, like Last of the Mohicans, constitute an American epic, as they relate the story of the exploration of the frontier in terms of human heroism, a majestic landscape, and a sense of national destiny.
Washington Irving
His stories and sketches made him the first American writer with an international reputation as a man of letters. His two best-known pieces, "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," became legends and are the first fully developed examples of the American short story.
Gilbert Stuart
He was the most important and the most technically accomplished portrait painter in the years after the American Revolution, and his many paintings of the new country's president, George Washington, were in great demand. In the early fall of 1796, the president sat for a portrait. Commissioned by Martha Washington, it was never finished. Nevertheless, it became the most popular image of Washington, and it appears on the United States' $1 bill. Following the national government to Washington, D.C., he painted Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.
This early nineteenth-century literary movement believed that change and growth were the essence of life, for individuals and for institutions. They valued feeling and intuition over reason and pure thought, and they stressed the differences between individuals, rather than their similarities.
This is a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual over the material and empirical. It was a mystical, intuitive way of looking at life that subordinated facts to feelings. They argued that humans could move reason and intellectual capacities by having faith in themselves; they were complete individualists. Ralph Waldo Emerson was the principal spokesperson of this American philosophical movement of that began in New England during the 1830s and sparked the American Renaissance in literature in the mid-19th century.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
He was the leading transcendentalist thinker of the early nineteenth century. Optimism and self-confidence marked his philosophy, and, like other romantics, he glorified individualism. His essay "Self-Reliance" articulated a particularly American notion of the independence of the individual within society. He is widely regarded as the father of American literature.
Henry David Thoreau
He was a leading literary romantic and Transcendentalist in the early nineteenth century. He is best known for his account of two years spent in seclusion in the Massachusetts woods. In Walden (1854) and elsewhere, he gave memorable expression to a social theory that stressed self-reliance and close communion with nature as a route to meaning in life. As a protest against the war with Mexico, he had refused to pay a poll tax owed to the federal government. This act of resistance resulted in his arrest; the experience led Thoreau to write an essay, "Civil Disobedience," which held that individuals were obliged under certain circumstances to offer nonviolent resistance to unjust laws. the essay became influential in the 20th century among such political leaders as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi.
Hudson River School
This was the first real landscape painting movement in the United States. It was a uniquely American movement that hoped to separate American artists and painting styles from those in Europe. From the 1830s-1860s, the movement celebrated the wildness of the American frontier and led the way toward a more realistic portrayal of nature. The founder and most influential artist was Thomas Cole. He sensed both the power and fragility of nature before man. After the Civil War, the movement went into decline. By the 1870s, it was considered old fashioned and provincial by artists and critics. It is now regarded as an artistic movement that reflects the optimism and sensibilities of its time.
Horace Mann
Declaring that "In a republic, ignorance is a crime," he set out to reform the system of public education in Massachusetts until it became a model for the rest of the country. The progress he made in remedying the shortcomings of the educational system during his 12 years in office earned him the title of "the father of American public education."
common schools
The early nineteenth-century movement was grounded in the belief that a successful republican government depended on an educated citizenry. This defined a need for free tax-supported public schools, which all children were expected to attend. Horace Mann was the recognized leader of this movement.
lyceum movement
This movement in the United States flourished in the mid-19th century, particularly in the northeast and middle west. Hundreds of informal associations were established for the purpose of improving the social, intellectual, and moral fabric of society. Noted lecturers, entertainers and readers would travel the "circuit," going from town to town or state to state to entertain, speak, or debate. Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau gave speeches at many local events. As a young man, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at one of these gatherings in Springfield, Illinois. This movement — with its lectures, dramatic performances, class instructions, and debates — contributed significantly to the education of the adult American in the nineteenth century.
John Tyler
He was the first vice president to become president following the death of the incumbent. He served only for the remainder of William Henry Harrison's term in the early 1840s because of a fierce battle with political rivals in Congress from within his own Whig Party. He could not bring himself to support Clay's American System because of his apprehension over its intrusion upon the rights of the states. After he vetoed two bills authorizing a new Bank of the United States, Clay engineered the resignation of the entire Cabinet. The crowning achievement of his administration was the annexation of Texas.
Webster-Ashburton Treaty
Signed in 1842, this treaty was negotiated by Secretary of State Daniel Webster of the United States and the Special Minister of Great Britain to settle disputes of the northeastern border between America and Canada. The treaty established the current borders between Canada and Maine, New York, and Vermont. The U.S. Senate approved the treaty on August 20 by a vote of 39 to 9.
Stephen A. Austin
In January 1822, he established the first legal settlement of Anglo-Americans in Texas. Largely through his efforts, by 1830 there were over 20,000 Americans living in Texas. As an empresario, he did more than settle colonists. He also mapped and charted bays and rivers, promoted commerce with the United States, and encouraged the growth of commercial enterprises and the establishment of schools. He is considered the founder of Anglo-American Texas.
Santa Anna
This Mexican leader supporrted the revolution that resulted in independence from Spain in 1821. By 1833, he was elected president of Mexico, but by 1834, he declared himself dictator. In 1836, with an army of 6,000 men, he defeated Texan rebels at the Alamo but was badly beaten by Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto. He ultimately signed the Treaties of Velasco, which granted Texas its freedom from Mexico. Returning from exile in 1846, he commanded Mexican forces again--this time against United States troops in the Mexican war. But he was again unsuccessful; Mexico city fell to General Winfield Scott in 1847.
The Alamo
This was an 18th-century Spanish colonial mission located in San Antonio, Texas. It was the site of one of the most dramatic battles of the Texas Revolution, which involved Texans fighting for independence from Mexico. All 187 Texan defenders, including Bowie and Crockett, were killed by Mexican General Santa Anna's army; but estimates put the number of Mexican Army casualties at anywhere from 600 to 2,000. The fall of this mission became a rallying cry for those fighting to secure Texas' independence and the 13-day siege quickly became enshrined in the public's mind as one of America's most heroic moments.
Sam Houston
He moved into Texas and took up residence among the Anglo settlers there in 1832; he was chosen to head the Texas rebel army against Mexico in March 1836. He commanded the troops that defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 20-21, 1836. He was then elected president of the Republic of Texas, serving from 1836 to 1838 and again from 1841 to 1844. After Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and served in that body for the next 14 years. In 1859 he became governor in the state but he was forced to resign as governor on March 18, 1861 for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.
Manifest Destiny
This was the belief of nineteenth-century Americans that their nation's territorial expansion was inevitable and ultimately a good thing, even for those being conquered. Some proponents of the idea even suggested that the country should absorb Canada, Mexico, and the nations of Central America and the Caribbean. This conviction helped Americans justify the aggressive acquisition of new territories in the 1840s.
Oregon Trail
This trail played a significant role in the westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century. The trail, which extended from Independence, Missouri, to the Columbia River and the Oregon Territory, originated with fur traders but soon became a main route for settlers migrating west. The 2,000-mile route usually took settlers about six months to complete by wagon train. All told, in the mid-19th century, more than a half million settlers used the trail in search of farmland or gold and helped settle the West. The heyday of the trail rail finally came to an end in 1869, with the completion of the transcontinental railroad.
Oregon Territory
For twenty years, the British and the United States agreed to jointly occupy this region. But in the mid-1840s this region became a political issue in the United States, with many expansionists willing to risk war to get all of the territory, including present-day British Columbia (54 40 or fight!). In 1846, Britain and the United States agreed to extend the 49th Parallel, forming the modern border between Canada and the United States. The settlers quickly applied for territorial status, which Congress granted in 1849. The territory was gradually split up, and in 1859, it—with its present borders—became the 33rd state.
James K. Polk
This dark horse candidate, was elected president in 1844 on a platform of territorial expansion. His election secured the annexation of Texas in 1845. The Mexican War, fought during his term, resulted in the United States' acquisition of New Mexico and California in 1848. During his administration, more than a million square miles of new territory were added to the United States. Exhausted and prematurely aged due to his overwork and poor health, he decided not to run for reelection in 1848. He died on June 15, 1849, only a few months after retiring from office, but today he is remembered as one of the most effective chief executives in American history.
Texas Annexation
On March 1, 1845, the U.S. Congress passed this joint resolution extending an offer to the Republic of Texas. The Texas legislature accepted the offer at a convention on July 4. The people of Texas ratified the convention's acceptance on October 13, and Texas officially joined the Union on December 29, 1845. The Mexican government was infuriated by this and soon the United States and Mexico were at war.
Mexican War
Claiming that Mexico had "invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil," President Polk stirred Congress into declaring war against Mexico on May 13, 1846. This war marked the pinnacle of U.S. expansionist feeling (Manifest Destiny). On February 2, 1848, representatives from both countries signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In return for $15 million, Mexico surrendered New Mexico and California—the "Mexican Cession"—to the United States. Would slavery be allowed in this land? The war had tremendously important consequences in the growing sectional controversy and contributed substantially to the coming of the Civil War in 1861.
John Slidell
Polk appointed him commissioner to Mexico shortly after taking office in 1845. His mission was to negotiate a settlement of the dispute over the southern border of the Republic of Texas and the purchase of New Mexico and California but the Mexican government refused to accept his appointment. This diplomatic rejection paved the way for Mexican-American War of 1846-1847.
Zachary Taylor
In 1846, President Polk ordered him to lead a small American army to Texas to defend the Rio Grande as the southern border. Fighting broke out between his forces and the Mexican Army in April 1846. His victory against a Mexican army four times the size as his at Buena Vista was his most spectacular victory and he was embraced as a national hero. He was elected president in 1848- at a time of national crisis. The central issue concerned whether slavery was going to be allowed into the territory acquired from Mexico. This Whig president made it clear that he did not support the extension of slavery. He met Southern threats of secession with the promise that if any state tried to leave the Union, he would personally lead the U.S. Army against it. He promised to veto the proposed Compromise of 1850. His tragic death on July 9, 1850 enabled his successor, Millard Fillmore, to secure the passage of the Compromise of 1850.
Winfield Scott
Known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" for his meticulous dress and behavior, he was the founder of America's professional army. He led the United States through the triumphant Mexican-American War of 1846-1847 and influenced a remarkable generation of military men who would command both sides of the fighting in the Civil War. In 1852, as sectional tension threatened to rip the country apart, the Whig Party nominated him as its presidential candidate. His unsuccessful candidacy marked the last time that the Whig Party would field a presidential candidate before its decline shortly thereafter.
Nicholas Trist
He was a chief clerk in the State Department whne President Polk sent him to negotiate a peace treaty with a defeated Mexico in 1847. Before he could open negotiations he was summoned to return, but he ignored the order and stayed to negotiate the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
This treaty ended the Mexican-American War. Mexico had suffered badly in the war and was compelled to relinquish vast amounts of land as well as abandoning all claims on Texas. In exchange, the United States paid Mexico $15 million. In the United States, the additional territory secured by the treaty reunited the fires of sectional controversy by raising questions regarding the expansion of slavery.
Wilmot Proviso
In 1846 a Pennsylvania Congressman introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill that provided for banning slavery from any territory the United States might acquire from Mexico as a result of war. It never passed Congress, but it reignited the slavery debate by generating questions about the authority of the federal government to ban slavery from the territories.
popular sovereignty
This was the term applied to the principle of allowing the people of a territory to decide for themselves whether to ban or to permit slavery in their territory. The idea originated with Michigan Senator Lewis Cass in 1848. He urged it as a solution to the question of slavery in the territories. It called for Congress to organize territories without mention of slavery, thus leaving it to settlers within the territories to determine the status of slavery among them. Later, Senator Stephen Douglas also embraced this concept in the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
Free Soil Party
This national political party was launched in 1848. It was comprised of anti-slavery Democrats (Barnburners) and andi-slavery Whigs (Conscience Whigs). The party's fundamental issue was the restriction of slavery. For president in 1848, the party nominated former president Martin Van Buren. Although Van Buren lost, the party won nine House seats and two Senate seats. After the political upheavals associated with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, most of this party's adherents joined the newly formed Republican Party.
gold rush
Gold was discovered on January 24, 1848 in a stream at Sutter's Mill, California. The news prompted this stampede of settlers from the eastern United States and all over the world to pour into the California gold fields in search of their fortunes. Miners who rushed to California after the discovery of gold in the northern part of the territory in 1848 were called "forty-niners." By the end of 1849, the population of California had increased from about 15,000 to more than 150,000. Over the next 10 years, some $550 million was extracted from the California mines. The rapid population growth led to California's application for statehood, which Congress eventually accepted on September 9, 1850 when it forged the controversial "Compromise of 1850."
Compromise of 1850
This was Congress's attempt to settle several outstanding issues involving slavery. It banned the slave trade in Washington, D.C.; admitted California as a free state; applied popular sovereignty to the remaining Mexican Cession territory; and passed a more stringent Fugitive Slave Act. Although many other men played important roles in hammering out the compromise, this controversy is remembered as the last crisis in which the three congressional titans of the day—Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun—all played a part.
William Seward
Elected governor of New York in 1838, this Whig became strongly identified with the growing antislavery movement when he refused to surrender three African-American sailors for extradition to Virginia as runaway slaves. When the old Whig Party merged with the new Republicans in 1855, he became one of the most outspoken representatives of the antislavery North. As a U.S. senator from 1849 to 1861, he believed the issue of extending slavery into the territories was not negotiable because slavery was prohibited by "a higher law than the Constitution." As secretary of state during Abraham Lincoln's presidency, he eventually became Lincoln's closest adviser and consistently supported him in the dark days of the Civil War.
Fugitive Slave Act
Congress passed this law as part of the Compromise of 1850. Under it, federal commissioners were authorized to compel citizens to assist in the return of runaway slaves; fugitives could not testify in their own behalf, and they were denied a jury trial. This was the strongest concession to the South in return for accepting California as a free state.
King Cotton
This was a phrase used mainly by Southern politicians and authors who wanted to illustrate the importance of the cotton crop to the southern economy. By the time of the Civil War, cotton accounted for almost 60% of American exports, representing a total value of nearly $300 million a year. Southern plantations generated three-fourths of the world's cotton supply. However, the attempt to use this trade as a diplomatic weapon to force Europe's hand in the American Civil War failed.
Denmark Vesey
Educated, proud, and charismatic, he became a leader of Charleston's free African-American community and began forming plans for a slave rebellion. The date for the insurrection was set for July 15, 1822, but a house servant who had discovered the plot informed his master of the plan. He was arrested a few days later and executed by hanging. Throughout the summer, more than 100 African Americans were arrested and tried in connection with the plot; 35 were executed. As a result of the conspiracy, restrictions on African Americans (both slave and free) were tightened in South Carolina.
Nat Turner
He was a religious mystic who felt that he was ordained by God to lead the struggle to destroy slavery. His plan was to murder as many whites as possible in the process. In one August night in 1831, some 55 whites were killed before most of the slave rebels were killed or captured. On November 5, this leader was tried and convicted; six days later, he was executed by hanging. His rebellion caused a wave of vindictive legislation in the South against all African Americans, which limited their few privileges and restricted their activities. It also ended all discussions of gradually emancipating slaves in the Upper South and virtually destroyed any hopes of ending slavery by reform.
Underground Railroad
This informal network of abolitionists (mostly free African Americans in the North) guided fugitive slaves across the Canadian border to safety during the years prior to the Civil War. Conductors like Harriet Tubman helped slaves to elude capture by hiding them at safe houses and other secret places, known as stations.
Commonwealth v Hunt
In this court case, the Massachusetts Supreme Court established the legality of labor unions, refuting the notion that they were inherently criminal conspiracies guilty of restraining trade. Other state courts followed this precedent.
John Deere
He was a blacksmith who, in 1839, invented the steel plow. His plow cut easily through the tough and sticky prairie sod of the upper Mississippi Valley and opened it to extensive farming.
Cyrus McCormick
He developed a mechanical, horse-drawn reaper that multiplied several times over the acreage of wheat that a farmer could harvest in a given time. This machine opened vast new lands to farming and provided the food that fed Union soldiers during the Civil War and the urban dwellers in America's burgeoning cities.
Fugitive Slave Act
One of the provisions of the Compromise of 1850, this act mandated that Northerners were constitutionally required to assist slave owners in recapturing runaway slaves. The law infuriated many Northerners, even those who had not previously supported the abolition movement, mainly because they believed such a mandate violated their liberty. As Northerners raged over the law's passage and Southerners fumed at the Northern response to the law, the country moved closer to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Pubished in 1852, this book was the first by an American author to have as its hero an African American. Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel appealed strongly to 19th-century readers, and because the book presented the horrors of slavery in vivid human terms, it had a powerful impact. More than 300,000 copies were sold within the first year. While fueling antislavery sentiment in the North,it infuriated Southerners, who charged that Stowe knew nothing about plantation life and grossly misrepresented it.
Ostend Manifesto
This was a confidential dispatch sent in 1854 to the U.S. State Department from U.S. ambassadors in Europe. It suggested that if Spain refused to sell Cuba to the United States, the United States would be justified in seizing the island. Northerners claimed it was a plot to expand slavery and the proposal was disavowed.
Matthew Perry
He was one of the foremost naval officers of his generation. His experiments with steam vessels rendered him the "father of the steam navy." But his dramatic visit to Japan was the catalyst for dramatic global change. Japan existed in a state of self-imposed isolation dating back to 1640 when the Tokugawa shogunate, recognizing the danger foreign influence represented to its rule, sealed the county off from the outside world. But this American Naval Commander recognized that the Tokugawa regime would respect force. His squadron made its unannounced appearance in Japan on July 8, 1853. After two and a half centuries of isolation, Japan was "opened" to world trade and technology and it began to assume its role as a world player.
Election 1852
In this presidential election, the Whig party fieded a candidate for the last time. Whig candidate Winfield Scott was defeated decisively by Democrat Franklin Pierce in this contest for president. The Whigs split between northern "Conscience Whigs" and southern "Cotton Whigs" over the terms of the Compromise of 1850. The demise of a national political party over issues regarding slavery was an ominous sign for the nation.
Franklin Pierce
Chosen as a Democratic candidate from the North who could please the South, he won the election of 1852 and became the 14th president of the United States. His success in securing the Gadsden Purchase was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the Ostend Manifesto, the Kansas Nebraska Act and "Bleeding Kansas." Passions over slavery had been further inflamed, and the North and South were more irreconcilable than before. He succeeded only in splitting the country further apart.
Gadsden Purchase
This land acquisition transferred ownership of a small strip of land covering approximately 30,000 square miles in the Southwest (part of present-day New Mexico and Arizona) from Mexico to the United States for the sum of $10 million. The United States wanted the land for the southern route of the transcontinental railroad. This was the final acquisition in the continental expansion of the United States. It also served as one more inflammatory issue in the ongoing sectional controversy, as Northerners objected to the transcontinental railroad being constructed on a southern route.
Kansas Nebraska Act
Congress passed this act on May 30, 1854 to promote the rapid settlement of the American West. As a concession to the South, Senator Stephen A. Douglas suggested that territory previousy closed to slavery by the Missouri Compromise now be opened to popular sovereignty. Few issues stirred greater passion in the decades prior to the Civil War than the status of slavery, and the disastrous results of this act illustrated that fact, as antislavery and proslavery forces within Kansas literally went to war with one another in an effort to determine the new state's status. This act fanned the flames of sectionalism that led to the the division of the Democrats into Northern and Southern wings, and the birth of the Republican Party, which was formed in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery into the territories.
Know Nothing Party
This political party, formally named the American Party, was a short-lived third political party in the 1850s that was based on the growing tide of anti-immigrant feeling of the 1840s. The party derived its famous name from the determination of its members to remain mysterious about their activities. This party reached the height of their power in the mid-1850s. In the 1856 presidential election, they nominated former president Millard Fillmore as their candidate. Fillmore tried to downplay the party's nativist tendencies but ran a disappointing third. The party dissolved shortly after its poor showing in the 1856 election, and many members joined the Republican Party.
Republican Party
In 1854, Northern outrage over the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act prompted several independent political factions—including the Free Soil Party, the Know-Nothings, former Whigs, and other smaller groups—to come together to form this political party. The party was formed to oppose what its members perceived as the growing political power of the South during the 1850s and to oppose the extension of slavery into newly acquired Western territories. In 1860, the party chose Abraham Lincoln, an unknown moderate and former Whig from Illinois, for the presidency. In the mid-19th century, the party was known for leading the Union war effort during the Civil War and supporting the rights of newly freed African Americans during Reconstruction.
Bleeding Kansas
This term describes the civil disorders that occurred in Kansas after the U.S. Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. The act allowed the residents of the territory of Kansas to vote on whether slavery would be allowed (popular sovereignty). Both proslavery and antislavery factions promoted the emigration of settlers to Kansas in an attempt to swing the territory's balance of political power to slaveholders or nonslaveholders. There were even rival state legislatures and state constitutions. A steady stream of killings, robberies, and other forms of violence between the two factions continued right up to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Election of 1856
In this presidential election, Democrat James Buchanan defeated Republican candidate John C. Fremont. He won the general election by denouncing the abolitionists, promising not to allow any interference with the Compromise of 1850, and supporting the principle of noninterference by Congress with slavery in the territories.
James Buchanan
Elected president in 1856, this Democrat was blamed by critics for the outbreak of the Civil War. His administration was marked with controversy; he attempted to recognize the Lecompton Constitution and he supported the Dred Scott Decision. He will be remembered most, however, for his refusal to take steps to prevent the South from seceding in the last months of his term.
John C. Fremont
In 1838 this second lieutenant in the U.S. Topographical Corps became famous after writing a lively account of a journey he made with the frontiersman Kit Carson. In 1843, his adventures exploring Oregon created a sensation, and his account became an important travel guide to the American West. In early 1846, while on another exploratory journey in northern California, he received word from President Polk that war with Mexico was imminent. He took part in the Bear Flag Revolt against Mexican rule in June. He then took command of the Bear Flag Republic, the nickname of the newly independent Republic of California. American troops arrived in California in July, and soon California was proclaimed to be a part of the United States. In December 1850, he was elected one of California's first U.S. senators. In 1856, he was nominated as the new Republican Party's first antislavery presidential candidate.
Dred Scott Decision
A slave had brought the lawsuit demanding his freedom based on his residence in a free state and a free territory with his master. In this 1857 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that blacks were not citizens and could not sue in a federal court, and that Congress had no constitutional authority to ban slavery from a territory, that, in effect, the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. The decision threatened both the central plank of the Republican party platform and the concept of popular sovereignty.
Lecompton Constitution
In the fall of 1857, proslavery delegates met to draft a state constitution for Kansas. Antislavery advocates boycotted this Constitution. In December, without the participation of antislavery advocates, the referendum on statehood easily passed. Kansas then petitioned the federal government to join the Union as a slave state. President Buchanan supported federal acceptance of this state constitution. But key Congressional leaders, led Senator Stephen A. Douglas, refused to accept this fraudulent Constitution. Kansas' application for statehood was defeated in Congress and a new referendum for all voters was held in January 1858. At that time, the voters of Kansas overwhelmingly voted to reject the Constitution. The disagreement between Buchanan and Douglas over this document further divided the Democratic party.
Panic of 1857
A boom in the American economy ended in this economic recession. Some historians believe the political struggle between 'free soil' and slavery in the territories, beginning with the Supreme Court's ruling in the Dred Scott case, may have helped bring about the Panic. According to this theory, the Court's decision threatened to open up all western territories to slavery, prompting the bonds of east-west running railroads to plummet in value, which in turn helped motivate a run on the major New York banks. And when grain prices fell, demand for railroad services and manufactures fell off. The upper Mississippi Valley was hardest hit, but the Panic did not last long and it hardly affected the South at all.
Abraham Lincoln
In 1858, the Illinois Republican Party nominated him to run for the Senate against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. In his acceptance speech, he identified slavery as the most serious threat to the union:"A house divided against itself cannot stand." He hoped that by preventing the expansion of slavery, its ultimate extinction could be gradually obtained. He challenged Senator Douglas to a series of debates. What they said was reported across the nation. Though he lost the Senate election to Douglas, he was again nominated by the Republican Party to run for president in 1860. His victory in that contest prompted South Carolina to secede from the union. The Civil War dominated his presidency.
Lincoln Douglas Debates
These debates took place in Illinois during 1858 between the Republican Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, and the incumbent Democratic Party candidate. Because the primary topic of the debates was whether slavery could legally be extended into free territories, they were widely covered in the national press. Although the Republican ultimately lost the election, the publicity surrounding the debates gained him national attention and helped him to obtain the Republican Party's nomination for the presidency in 1860.
Freeport Doctrine
During the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, Douglas declared that, even in the face of the Dred Scott decision, the people of a territory could exclude slavery simply by not passing the local laws essential for holding blacks in bondage. This attempt to reconcile the Dred Scott Decision with popular sovereignty was unpopular in both the North and South, as antislavery sentiment grew in the North and proslavery sentiment hardened in the South. Although he defeated Lincoln in the senatorial contest in November 1858, Douglas lost any hope of securing the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1860, mostly because this doctrine grew increasingly unpopular.
John Brown
A militant abolitionist, he believed that slavery must be overthrown by force. In 1859, he led an unsuccessful raid against the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoping to spark a local slave rebellion. He was captured and put on trial for treason. His dignified bearing during his trial won him much sympathy in the North. He was convicted of treason and then hanged on December 2, 1859.This event, perhaps more than any other single event, polarized the North and South and led directly to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Hinton Helper
In his book, The Impending Crisis of the South, he blamed the South's economic stagnation on slavery, which he claimed hindered the development of a free white labor sector. He did not concern himself with the immorality of slavery or its harmful effects on African Americans; his only concern was improving the lot of nonslaveholding Southern whites. He violently denounced slaveholders and threatened a slave uprising. Although written by a native of North Carolina, this book infuriated Southerners and intensified the sectional conflict that led to the Civil War.
Election of 1860
This presidential contest was a four-way race with two dominant issues: the Dred Scott decision of 1857 and slavery. Although Lincoln, with strong support in the North and Midwest, won a clear majority of the electoral college, he garnered only 40% of the overall vote. Seven Southern states (later joined by four others) seceded from the Union even before Lincoln's inauguration. Determined to uphold his oath to support the Constitution and preserve the Union, Lincoln stood firm against the secessionists, and the Civil War began.
This concept was based largely on the logic of John C. Calhoun. In his compact theory of government, states retained the essence of their sovereignty when they joined the Union, and they had constitutional authority to leave the Union when it served their interests to do so. South Carolina pursued this in 1860.
Crittenden Compromise
During the Secession Crisis in 1860-1861, a Kentucky Senator proposed this North-South compromise on slavery. He proposed a constitutional amendment recognizing slavery in all territory south of 36° 30' (the "Missouri Compromise line"), and an unamendable amendment guaranteeing slavery in slave states. President-elect Lincoln and the Republicans rejected the proposals. The failure of compromise suggested that all hope for a peaceful resolution was lost.
Jefferson Davis
This US Senator and Secretary of War from Mississippi vocally supported the rights of slaveholders. When southern states seceeded in early 1861, he was elected president of the Confederate States of America. Short-tempered and opinionated, he quickly amassed political enemies within the South and throughout the war, he attempted to maintain control over the unwieldy Confederate government, frequently quarreling with both the Confederate Congress and state governments throughout the South. After the Confederacy collapsed in April 1865, he was arrested by federal troops. He was released after serving two years in the federal prison at Fortress Monroe, without ever going to trial or being convicted on any charge.
John Wilkes Booth
He was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. He was a Confederate sympathizer vehement in his denunciation of the Lincoln Administration and outraged by the South's defeat in the American Civil War. He strongly opposed the abolition of slavery in the United States and Lincoln's proposal to extend voting rights to recently emancipated slaves. After shooting the president, he shouted, "Sic semper tyrannis! The South is avenged!"
Lincoln's 10% Plan
This plan devised by President Lincoln in 1863 promised a quick and moderate method for readmitting the seceding states to the Union; it required just 10 percent of a state's prewar voters to swear allegiance to the Union and a new state constitution that banned slavery. Many congressional Republicans considered this standard too thin to support a general reconstruction of the Union and responded with the Wade-Davis Bill.
Wade-Davis Bill
Congress passed this bill in 1864 as a substitute for Lincoln's ten percent plan. It required a majority of voters in a southern state to take a loyalty oath in order to begin the process of Reconstruction and guarantee black equality. It also required the repudiation of the Confederate debt. The president exercised a pocket veto, and it never became law.
Andrew Johnson
This Democratic Senator from Tennessee was Lincoln's vice-presidential running mate in 1864. He succeeded to the presidency when Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. His Reconstruction policies infuriated Radical Republicans in Congress, and he was impeached and nearly removed from office in 1867. While he retained office, his power was reduced. None of his vetoes were upheld during his last year in office. One of his last acts as president was to grant amnesty "without limitation to all who had participated in the rebellion."
13th Amendment
The first of three Reconstruction Amendments enacted in the years immediately following the Civil War, this Amendment officially prohibited slavery in the United States and its territories. Ironically, by negating the Three-fifths Clause in the Constitution, it had the effect of increasing the representation of the southern states in Congress.
Radical Republicans
This group in Congress, headed by Thaddeus Stevens and Benjamin Wade, insisted on black suffrage, equal rights for Freedmen, and federal protection of the civil rights of blacks. They gained control of Reconstruction in 1867 and demanded harsh, punitive policies toward the Confederate State and ex-Confederates.
Black Codes
These were highly restrictive laws that Southern states adopted after the Civil War to deny many rights of citizenship to free blacks. The laws regulated the freedom and movement of former slaves. The adoption of these laws convinced many Northerners that federal legislation and constitutional amendments (as well as federal military districts in the South) would be necessary to secure the rights of African Americans.
Freedman's Bureau
This was a federal agency set up to aid former slaves after the Civil War. It provided them food, clothing, and other necessities as well as helping them find work and set up schools. Initiated by President Lincoln in 1865, Congress extended the bill by overriding President Johnson's veto of a renewal bill in 1866.
Civil Rights Act
A bill by this name became law in 1866 when Congres overrode a veto by President Johnson. The law protected the rights of newly freed blacks before the passage of the 14th Amendment. Another law by this name was passed in 1875 to prohibit racial discrimination in jury selection and public accomodations, but the Supreme Court in 1883 declared that law unconstitutional.
14th Amendment
This Constitutional amendment was one of three Reconstruction amendments enacted in the years immediately following the Civil War. Passed by Congress in April 1866, it expanded the definition of U.S. citizenship to include people of all races, specifically African Americans; and it commanded the federal government to ensure the protection of certain fundamental rights at the state level.
Reconstruction Acts
This series of acts was passed by Congress over the veto of President Johnson in 1867. This legislation established the guidelines for Reconstruction in the South after the Civil War. The South was divided into five military districts, each governed by a general. It required southern states to guarantee black suffrage, and it disfranchised many former Confederates. Southern states were required to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment as a condition of their readmission to the Union.
Tenure of Office Act
The 1867 Act prohibited the president from removing any official who had been appointed with the consent of the Senate without obtaining Senate approval. President Johnson challenged the act in 1868 when he dismissed Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. For this, the House of Representatives impeached Johnson.
In the constitutional system of checks and balances, this power is given to the House of Representatives as a check against the executive branch. In 1868, President Andrew Johnson became the first president to be formally accused of crimes by the House. In all of American history, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee is one of only two presidents (Bill Clinton is the other) who have been formally accused of crimes serious enough to stand trial in the Senate.
15th Amendment
One of three Reconstruction amendments enacted in the years immediately following the Civil War, this amendment was adopted by the U.S. Congress on February 26, 1869 to protect the voting rights of African-American men. It was intended to guarantee blacks the right to vote in the South.
This term was given to southern whites--mainly small landowning farmers and well-off merchants and planters--who supported northern policies of reconstruction and cooperated with the congressionally imposed Reconstruction governments set up under the Reconstruction Acts for diverse reasons.
This disparaging term was applied to northerners who went to the South after the Civil War. They were a mixed lot of idealists and self-interested seekers of political and economic opportunity, many of whom became involved in Republican politics. According to the stereotype, this was a seeker of power and plunder whotook advantage of the Reconstruction Acts to sway the easily exploitable black voters and lowborn Southern white traitors known as scalawags.
During Reconstruction, southerners adopted this labor system. In it, the landowners provided land, tools, housing, and seed to a farmer who provided his labor. The resulting crop was divided between them (i.e., shared). Most laborers in this system were newly released slaves and poor, white farmers. A difficult and unrewarding system, this system perpetuated the economic inequalities in the South after the Civil War.
crop-lien system
To finance the sharecropping system, southerners turned to this system of borrowing and debt. Landowners and sharecroppers borrowed (at high interest rates) against the future harvest. Lenders insisted that they produce cash crops like cotton. The system made landowners and sharecroppers dependent on local merchants, and it prevented the development of diversified farming in the South.
Ku Klux Klan
Southerners who objected to congressional Reconstruction policies founded several secret terrorist societies; this was the most notorious. It was organized in Tennessee in 1866 and became a vigilante group dedicated to driving blacks out of politics by using intimidation and violence.
Force Acts
Congress attacked the Ku Klux Klan with these acts passed in 1870-1871. They placed state elections under federal jurisdiction and imposed fines and imprisonment on those guilty of interfering with any citizen exercising his right to vote. They were designed to protect black voters in the South.
President Grant
Considering his military success in the Civil War, his nomination for president by the Republican Party in 1868 seemed almost inevitable. On matters of Reconstruction, he supported the efforts of the Radical Republicans to enfranchise African Americans and spoke out for the need to control secret societies known as the Ku Klux Klan in the South. Shortly after he was reelected in 1872, the nation sank into a deep depression, and corruption scandals began to plague the administration.
Horace Greeley
As editor of the New York Tribune and one of the early members of the new Republican Party, he supported the anti-slavery cause. A strong supporter of the Radical Republican Reconstruction program and an advocate of the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, he at first applauded Grant's election to the presidency, but he soon denounced the new administration as corrupt and illiberal toward the South. When the Liberal Republicans split from the party in 1872, he became their candidate; the Democratic Party also nominated him for president that year. Urging a conciliatory attitude toward the South, he failed to carry a single Northern state. Crushed by the magnitude of his defeat, he went insane and died on November 29 of that same year, only a few weeks after the election.
Election of 1876
This presidential election was a close contest between Rutherford B. Hayes adn Samuel Tilden. This election is an example of the winner of the popular vote not winning the electoral college. The compromise that settled the election brought Hayes to the White House and brought military Reconstruction to an end.
Compromise of 1877
Allegedly, a deal was struck to settle the disputed outcome of the 1876 presidential election. In this compromise, Democrats accepted the election of the Republican, Rutherford Hayes. In return, Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South and end Reconstruction.
progressive movement
This was a period of widespread political reform that lasted from the 1890s through the first two decades of the 20th century. The movement actually comprised a number of efforts on the local, state, and national levels, and included both Democrats and Republicans who championed such causes as tax reform, woman suffrage, political reform, industrial regulation, the minimum wage, the eight-hour work day, and workers' compensation. The reform-minded enthusiasm of this era came to an end as the United States entered World War I in 1917, and energies were redirected into the war effort.
In the early twentieth century, this group of journalists was committed to exposing the social, economic, and political ills of industrial life. In 1906 they were given this nickname by President Theodore Roosevelt, who described them as those who raked filth rather than look up to nobler things. Their articles and books heightened moral indignation among middle-class Americans over the corruption of big business and politicians. They rallied public support for several progressive federal regulatory measures and they were the impetus for uniting fragmented local and national reform movements into a single, more potent national political movement: provressivism.
Ashcan art
This school of art evolved during the early years of the twentieth century in New York City and was the first important American art movement of the twentieth century. Departing from the staid portraiture and genteel landscapes of the nineteenth century, these artists focused on urban scenes, particularly those exposing the shabbier aspects of city life. Their intent, however, was not muckraking social commentary but the portrayal of urban vitality. Reviled by critics as the "apostles of ugliness," they are also described by this term.
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
The most radical union in U.S. history, it was dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism. It was formed in Chicago in 1905 and its members were nicknamed "Wobblies" It was active in mainstream politics (its Detroit Conference of 1909 agreed to support the presidential campaign of the Socialist Eugene Debs), but other sections of the movement indulged in sabotage and sought to foment strikes. Such actions resulted in prosecutions and alienation of many potential supporters, allowing the government to label the IWW as "red fanatics." Between 1912 and 1915, when its influence was strongest, the union had 100,000 members but it declined rapidly after the Red Scare.
Robert LaFollette
Over the course of a 25-year political career, "Fighting Bob" never let the lure of wealth or political power deter him from his successful efforts to champion progressive reforms in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. Elected governor of Wisconsin in 1900, he introduced open nominating primaries, state regulation of railroads and public utilities, and management of public resources in the public interest. Journalists publicized the "Wisconsin Idea," and his continual struggle to implement it soon marked him as a rising star in the nationwide progressive movement. In 1905 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he remained until his death. In 1912, he sought to challenge the incumbent William Howard Taft, but his bid was preempted by that of the resurgent "Bull Moose" candidacy of Theodore Roosevelt
Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
The fire on March 25, 1911 in New York City killed 146 garment workers, nearly all of them young women, and was the worst industrial fire in New York history. The disaster proved to be a seminal event in both the labor and progressive movements, as it galvanized support for government regulation of factory safety and working conditions.
Louis Brandeis
This lawyer was passionately committed to Progressive social reform. Nicknamed the People's Attorney, he frequently donated his legal services on behalf of a great variety of worthy causes. He insisted on breaking with tradition and introducing statistical and sociological information into his legal briefs. This evidence was used to demonstrate the need for legislation to protect women and children in the workplace.
National Women's Suffrage Association
This organization was founded in May 1869 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The organization advocated the adoption of a national amendment granting women's suffrage, as well as embracing many other social reforms. The association saw to it that a women's suffrage amendment was introduced into Congress every year from 1878 forward. It set a precedent for women interested in organizing independently of male-dominated politics.
Theodore Roosevelt
Following the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, he became the youngest president in American history. A lifelong champion of the strenuous life, he preached time and again, "I always believe in going hard at everything." During his two terms from 1901 to 1909, he was one of the most activist presidents in U.S. history. In pursuit of his "Square Deal," he tackled the social and economic problems created by a modern industrial society; railroads, labor, and the processed food industry came under his scrutiny. His greatest domestic concerns were the regulation of business trusts and the conservation of natural resources. Perhaps the most notable events in foreign affairs during his administration was his foreign policy transition to an "international police power" and the building of the Panama Canal. He ran for president again in 1912 as the Progressive "Bull Moose" candidate, but lost to Progressive Democrat, Woodrow Wilson.
Northern Securities Case
In 1904, a Supreme Court decision ruled that this giant railroad holding Company had violated the Sherman Act. The case, the first successful federal prosecution of a single interstate corporation, was a signal victory for Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt did not want to eliminate large corporations, he used antitrust prosecutions to enhance the authority of the executive branch. With this and other successful suits, Roosevelt won acclaim as the great "trustbuster."
Anthracite Coal Strike
This 1902 strike was led by the United Mine Workers of America in the coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania. Miners worked in deplorable conditions and were poorly paid. When the owners rejected demands for higher wages, an eight-hour day and recognition of the union, the miners went on strike. The strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to all major cities President Theodore Roosevelt called both sides together in Washington and urged a compromise. When no agreement was reached, Roosevet threatened to send federal troops to take over the mines. The miners went back to work in March 1903 and were awarded a 10% wage increase and a reduction in hours, though not an eight-hour day or recognition of the union. Previous presidents had intervened in labor disputes only to break strikes, as Cleveland had done in the Pullman Strike of 1894. Roosevelt had intervened to get a negotiated settlement and his prestige rose.
Square Deal
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt introduced this domestic program, which emphasized the conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection. Among its accomplishments, this program helped the middle class by attacking powerful trusts and monopolies. Roosevelt also created a new Department of Commerce and Labor, and managed to quell a number of labor strikes.
Hepburn Act
This 1906 act put teeth in the regulator power of the Interstate Commerce Commission. It gave the Commission power to inspect railroad companies' records, set maximum rates, and outlaw free passes, which were often used to influence politicians. Scholars generally consider the Hepburn Act the most important piece of legislation regarding railroads in the first half of the 20th century. It illustrated the trend of the Progressive Era: reform through regulation.
William Howard Taft
His experience as governor of the newly acquired Philippines and then Secretary of War led President Theodore Roosevelt to support his nomination as President in 1908. Having to serve after the immensely popular Roosevelt was perhaps his greatest handicap. Although he instituted twice as many anti-trust suits as Roosevelt, and although the supported the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments, he lost support of Progressives when he compromised the tariff issue and forced the resignation of Gifford Pinchot. In foreign affairs, he replaced the Roosevelt "Big Stick" military posturing for an economic influence called "Dollar Diplomacy." He lost his bid for re-election in 1912 because of the defection of Roosevelt, who ran on a "Bull Moose" ticket. The split vote helped Woodrow Wilson win the presidency in 1912. He later became the 10th Chief Justice on the United States Supreme Court. He was the only man to hold both positions.
Payne-Aldrich Tariff
Although President Taft called this tariff a reform measure, former President Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin had fought the law because it continued protective rates. The Republican Progressives in Congress had introduced the tariff act at lower rates. Before it passed, however, the Senate attached 847 amendments to the bill, 600 of these providing increases. Consequently, the rates averaged 40.8% of value, lower than the Dingley Tariff of 1897, but still significantly protective of most US products. Taft's acceptance of this bill was one factor causing progressive Republicans to look for a new Presidential candidate in 1912.
Ballinger-Pinchot Controversy
This incident during the administration of President William Howard Taft, was a public dispute between the secretary of the interior (appointed by Taft) and the chief of the U.S. Forestry Service (appointed by Roosevelt). The issue involved the use of public lands, and Taft sided with his secretary of the interior who favored greater use over conservation. The affair led to a split in the Republican Party between Taft's conservative faction and Roosevelt's progressive faction and gave rise to Roosevelt's Bull Moose presidential run in 1912.
New Nationalism
Theodore Roosevelt formulated this platform in the election of 1912 when he ran as the Progressive "Bull Moose" candidate. Roosevelt argued that the federal government had an interventionist role to play in the advancement of progressive democracy. Roosevelt argued that corporations should not be dismantled but should be controlled and regulated in the public interest. Roosevelt also proposed a comprehensive program of labor and social legislation. Despite Roosevelt's loss to Woodrow Wilson, this was the most progressive platform proposed by the three presidents of the Progressive Era.
Bull Moose Party
This US political party was founded 1912 by supporters of the former president Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt's "New Nationalism" platform included legislation for workers' protection and strict regulation of corporations. The new progressive party and Roosevelt's candidacy split the Republican Party completely; as a consequence the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, won the 1912 presidential election by an overwhelming majority.
New Freedom
Woodrow Wilson advocated this domestic platform in the election of 1912. Wilson called for freedom from raw capitalism, in which so much wealth was concentrated in the hands of so few. He also focused on breaking up monopolies, limiting corporate campaign contributions, and establishing a federal income tax. In the campaign, Wilson denounced Roosevelt's "New Nationalism" as paternalistic; it would sap entrepreneurial initiative and that it was potentially despotic. Untrammeled free enterprise had to remain the basis of American freedom, and that principle became the basis for his campaign platform.
Election of 1912
This United States presidential election was fought among three major candidates. Incumbent President William Howard Taft was renominated by the Republican Party. Former President Theodore Roosevelt failed to receive the Republican nomination and called his own convention and created the Progressive Party (nicknamed the "Bull Moose Party"). Woodrow Wilson won the Democratic nomination. The split between Roosevelt and Taft helped Wilson win the election. Wilson was the second of only two Democrats to be elected President between 1860 and 1932. This was also the last election in which a candidate who was not a Republican or Democrat came second in either the popular vote or the Electoral College.
Underwood Tariff
In order to end the Payne-Aldrich Tariff of 1909, President Wilson called a special session of Congress to meet in April, 1913, to revise the tariff bill downwards. This progressive tariff provided for a cut in average rates from 40.8% to 27%, reducing duties on 900 items and creating new free items such as raw wool and steel rails. While partly protective, this was the first substantial reduction below 30% rates since the Civil War.
Federal Reserve Act
This Act, passed in 1913 during Wilson's administration, established the Federal Reserve System, commonly known as the "Fed." The Federal Reserve System is still the central bank of the United States and is charged with the responsibility of developing and administering monetary and credit policies for the nation. The Fed provides the nation with central banking functions that include handling of government deposits, managing the federal debt, and supervising and regulating private banks. Its most important function in terms of the nation's economic well-being is that of determining the supply of money and credit in the system.
Federal Trade Commission
This government agency was established in 1914 as part of President Woodrow Wilson's progressive effort to ensure free and fair competition among the nation's businesses. It is an independent regulatory agency formed to combat trusts and protect the public against false advertising. Its functions were initially similar to those of the earlier Bureau of Corporations, which it absorbed, but the it was given considerably more power than the bureau to do its work, including unprecedented access to corporate records and the right to issue cease-and-desist orders.
Clayton Anti-trust Act
This 1914 Act strengthened the Sherman Anti-trust Act. In addition to imposing even more severe restrictions against monopolies, the law declared that labor unions were not combinations working in restraint of trade and therefore were exempt from much of the antitrust legislation that had previously kept them from effectively representing the concerns of laborers. Union organizer Samuel Gompers referred to this act as the "Magna Carta of American labor."
Niagra Movement
This movement was a black civil rights organization founded in 1905 by a group led by W. E. B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter. It was named for the "mighty current" of change the group wanted to effect (and the location of the first meeting in July 1905). The movement was a call for opposition to racial segregation and disenfranchisement as well as policies of accommodation and conciliation promoted by African American leaders such as Booker T. Washington. The movement led to the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
W.E.B. DuBois
He earned a PhD from Harvard in 1895 and became a staunch advocate of African-American rights. He came into conflict with Booker T Washington, opposing Washington's policy of compromise on the issue of race relations. In 1905 he founded the Niagara Movement, which was merged with the newly founded NAACP in 1909. His book Souls of Black Folk (1903) emphasized his revolt against the principles of Booker T Washington. He was also a pioneer of Pan-Africanism, the belief that all people of African descent should join together to fight against discrimination.
NAACP/The Crisis
This US civil-rights organization was dedicated to ending inequality and segregation for blacks. Founded in 1909, it campaigned to end segregation and discrimination in education, public accommodations, voting, and employment, and to protect the constitutional rights of blacks. It has made the most significant gains for civil rights through groundbreaking judicial cases. In 1909 it merged with the Niagara Movement founded in 1905 by W E B Du Bois, who went on to edit the organization's journal The Crisis.
President Woodrow Wilson
The Progressive governor from New Jersey was elected president of the United States in 1912. As a Progressive Democrat, he secured passage of a lower Underwood Tariff and the first progressive income tax. The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Trade Commission were also noteworthy accomplishments of his domestic agenda. After the outbreak of World War I in Europe in 1914, he gradually became preoccupied with foreign policy issues. Initially, the position of his administration was to adopt a policy of strict neutrality. But three years later, he asked Congress for a declaration of war on April 2, 1917. "The world," he said, "must be made safe for democracy." His "Fourteen Points" became the basis of peace negotiations that led to the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.
"missionary diplomacy"
While President Wilson pursued his "New Freedom" for domestic policy, this term describes his approach to foreign policy. To Wilson, nations, like individuals, should adhere to high ethical and moral standards. Democracy, Wilson thought, was the most Christian of governmental systems, suitable for all peoples. The democratic United States thus had a moral mandate for world leadership.
Pancho Villa
He was one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary generals. His reputation as a "bandit" grew when he seized hacienda land for distribution to peasants and soldiers and robbed and commandeered trains. In 1916, he led a raid on the New Mexico town of Columbus. His gang killed 10 civilians and 8 soldiers, and burned the town, took many horses and mules, seized available machine guns, ammunition and merchandise, before they returned to Mexico. On March 15, on orders from President Woodrow Wilson, General John J. Pershing led an expeditionary force of 4,800 men into Mexico to capture this leader. While Pershing failed to caputre his target, he and his troops reduced Mexican incursions in to the United States.
unrestricted submarine warfare
By January 1917, the German High Command decided to resume this policy, believing that Germany could win the war against the exhausted Allies before the United States could bring its full force to bear in the conflict. It was the use of submarines that would eventually bring the United States into the war, and in his request to Congress for a declaration of war in 1917, Wilson described the actions of German submarines as "warfare against mankind."
This British steamship was sunk on 7 May 1915 off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, after being torpedoed by a German U-boat. The ship had left New York on 1 May 1915 bound for Liverpool. Of the 785 passengers lost, 124 were American. The incident was a diplomatic disaster for the Germans, with the American government coming close to breaking off relations. It had a major influence on the eventual decision of the USA to enterWorld War I.
Sussex Pledge
The German policy of "unrestricted submarine warfare" led to the attack on a French passenger ferry without warning on March 24, 1916; the ship was severely damaged and about 50 lives were lost. Although no U.S. citizens were killed in this attack, it prompted President Woodrow Wilson to declare that if Germany were to continue this practice, the United States would break diplomatic relations with Germany. Fearing the entry of the United States into World War I, Germany attempted to appease the United States by issuing this pledge, which promised an end to "unrestricted submarine warfare." However, in 1917 Germany became convinced they could defeat the Allied Forces by instituting unrestricted submarine warfare before the United States could enter the war. The this pledge was therefore rescinded in January 1917. The resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare caused the United States to declare war on Germany on April 6, 1917.
William Jennings Bryan
President Woodrow Wilson selected this man to be Secretary of State. Although he had no foreign policy experience, he was the Democratic (and Populist Party) nominee for president in 1896. As a pacifist, he disagreed with Wilson's strong stand against German aggression and resigned in 1915 when asked to send a stern note protesting the sinking of the Lusitania.
Election of 1916
During his first term, Woodrow Wilson fulfilled many progressive aspirations for reform and expanded presidential authority. But as this presidential election approached, another issue concerned the electorate even more than progressive reform: the "Great War" broke out in 1914. From the war's outset, Wilson implored Americans to remain "impartial in thought as well as in deed" and a campaign slogan, "He kept us out of war" was a popular refrain during this election. Wilson won this election as the peace candidate, but less than six months after this election, America had entered the war.
Zimmerman Telegram
On January 16, 1917, German foreign minister sent a telegram to the German minister to Mexico. The German government attempted to forge a German-Mexican alliance in case the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies. British intelligence decoded this telegram and handed its contents over the U.S. State Department, which in turn announced it to the American press on March 1, 1917. U.S. outrage over Germany's dealings with Mexico served to heighten the calls for American entry into the war, which were answered when the United States declared war on Germany on April 6.
War Industries Board
This government agency was established in1917, during World War I to coordinate the purchase of war supplies, to encourage the use mass-production techniques, to increase efficiency, and to eliminate waste by standardizing products. The board set production quotas and allocated raw materials. Under this government board, industrial production in the U.S. increased 20 percent.
War Labor Board
This government agency was created to make sure industrial disputes ended through voluntary, peaceful arbitration. Its main purpose was to keep labor disputes from disrupting the country's many large contracts for war supplies. The board's actions when confronted with a labor crisis were to abandon lockouts and strikes, preserve the right of collective bargaining, determine hours and wages according to prevailing local standards, perform adjustment through mediation and conciliation, maintain maximum production, and uphold the right of workers to make a living wage. The board was abolished in 1919, by which time it had successfully disposed of all but 33 of its 1,244 cases.
Committee of Public Information
This government agency was a propaganda body whose purpose was to mobilize public support for U.S. participation in World War I. The goal was to make sure citizens' loyalty to the United States stayed strong. The agency was in charge of staging a national campaign to encourage service in the military and the purchase of war bonds to fuel the massive military effort. 75,000 speakers and100 million copies of pamphlets outlined the U.S. stance on the war. George Creel, a progressive journalist and publicist, led the agency and was instrumental in engineering the image the American public came to have of Kaiser Wilhelm III and his countrymen as "barbaric Huns.
Espionage and Sedition Acts
Enacted in 1917 and 1918 respectively, these laws mandated stricter punishments for those who attempted to undermine the U.S. war effort during World War I. Intended primarily to curb the activities of socialists and pacifists, the acts made it a crime to aid enemies of the United States or to interfere with the war effort or with military recruitment. In additon, speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds was made illegal. Considered "the nation's most extreme antispeech legislation," some fifteen hundred prosecutions were carried out under these acts.
Schenck v United States
This unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, upheld the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917. The plaintiff had mailed revolutionary pamphlets to potential draftees during World War I urging them to resist the draft. Acknowledging that this act would be protected in ordinary times and places, Holmes argued that the limits of free speech were exceeded in this case, when a "clear and present danger" was apparent.
"Great Migration"
This is the term given to the large-scale relocation of African Americans from the southern United States to the industrial states of the north and the mid-west in the early 20th century. Events such as the First World War caused a massive growth in American war industries which contributed to an increased demand for industrial workers in the northern states that was filled by African Americans who were trying to escape the memories of slavery and servitude. The northern states offered greater opportunities for education as well as increased wages and better standards of living in general. In all, approximately 4.1 million African Americans moved out of the Southern United States to the North, Midwest and West from 1910 to 1930.
American Expeditionary Force
This was the name of the American army sent to France to fight in World War I. Beginning in June 1917, under Gen. John J. Pershing, 2 million American men traveled to France to support the Allied troops on the western front. Under the direct and independent command of Pershing throughout the war, the American Army played a vital role in Allied victory. The American Army remained in France until November 1918, and by the end of the war had lost nearly 120,000 men.
John J. Pershing
He was the commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in World War I. Eventually commanding a force of 2 million men, he landed in France on June 14, 1917. He initially resisted attempts by Allied generals to disperse American forces along the front, instead insisting that the AEF remain a "distinct and separate component" in compliance with his orders. He returned to the United States in September 1919 as a national hero.
This was the slang term for a United States Army infantryman, best known from its use in World War I, although it dates back to the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. The origin of the term is unclear. The most often cited explanation is that it arose during the Mexican-American War, after observers noticed U.S. infantry forces were constantly covered with chalky dust from marching through the dry terrain of northern Mexico, giving the men the appearance of unbaked dough. The AEF frequently referred to themselves by the name, and the term was widely used in contemporary media, both in the United States and in Europe.
This battle was fought on July 18, 1918 and was one of the first actions the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) under General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing. The Germans were only 50 miles outside of Paris, but the AEF stopped the German offensive. For the first time in more than a year the Germans were on the defensive.
Argonne Forest
The greatest AEF engagement in World War I came here in September, 1918. 1.2 million doughboys fought for over a month through dense forest and formidable German defenses. When the AEF finally broke through, they broke the German center at the cost of 120,000 AEF casualties. The war ended weeks later.
Fourteen Points
President Wilson outlined this plan for a permanent peace in the wake of the First World War. His dream was to implement a permanent "peace without victory." Wilson's proposed terms included: open diplomacy; freedom of the seas; removal of trade barriers; international disarmament; adjustment of colonial claims; European territorial adjustments; and a general association of nations (which was to become the League of Nations). Although Wilson noticeable did not punish Germany, he was obliged to compromise on many of the points. The Germans, having agreed to the armistice largely on the basis of the Wilson's plan, felt betrayed by subsequent decisions imposed upon them by the Treaty of Versailles.
Treaty of Versailles
Negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference throughout the spring of 1919, this treaty formally brought World War I to an end. Its lengthy and complicated provisions placed severe penalties on Germany. Although U.S. President Woodrow Wilson had been an active participant in the conference and enthusiastically supported the treaty and the League of Nations it created, the U.S. Senate felt differently and after fierce debate, voted down ratification. Instead, the United States made a separate peace with Germany and its allies.
League of Nations
This international organization was established as part of the Treaty of Versailles to preserve the peace and settle disputes through negotiation. Although President Woodrow Wilson strongly advocated for this organization, the United States refused to participate. It was virtually powerless to stop renewed aggression in the 1930s. The organization was extremely important, however, as a forerunner of the United Nations, developing ideas and procedures that have aided the UN.
Henry Cabot Lodge
This chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee led a group of "reservationists" in the successful fight against American participation in the League of Nations. He maintained that membership in the world peacekeeping organization would threaten the political freedom of the United States by binding the nation to international commitments it would not or could not keep. His defeat of Wilson in the fight over the League humiliated the president and dealt a bitter blow to Wilson's pretensions as an international statesman.
These Republican members of the US Senate, led by Senator Borah of Idaho, opposed the Treaty of Versailles when it was submitted for ratification in 1919, largely on the grounds that the United States' membership of the League of Nations would have been unconstitutional. The treaty was never in fact ratified and the United States therefore did not become a member of the League, despite the idea of it having been one of President Wilson's Fourteen Points.
Red Scare
This was the period of popular fear of a communist or socialist uprising in the United States in 1919. Following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and World War I, there was a fierce swing in public opinion against foreigners, trades unionists and the political parties of the left. Industrial strikes were violently suppressed and Congress and state legislatures passed laws banning many socialist and syndicalist organizations.
A. Mitchell Palmer
This Attorney General, concerned that the United States was threatened by the spread of Communism, ordered a series of raids that led to mass arrests and deportation of those accused of being disloyal Americans. Although his authorization of raids, arrests, and deportations were deplored by defenders of civil liberties, they brought him popular acclaim. In historical perspective, his zeal appears excessive, though it must be understood as part of a wave of antiradical and anti-immigrant hysteria that swept through the nation during the Red Scare following World War I.
Warren G. Harding
In 1920, Republican presidential candidate promised "less government in business and more business in government" to help bring back prosperity after the recession and inflation that followed World War I. He promised to keep America out of the League of Nations and to return the country to "normalcy," or the way it used to be before the traumas of World War I, postwar inflation, labor unrest, and recession. It was precisely the right theme for the time. But prosperity was no substitute for leadership, as his incompetent, scandal-ridden administration would soon prove.
Spanish Influenza
This epidemic of 1918 was the most serious epidemic in U.S. history; it infected 20 million Americans, causing more than half a million deaths in the United States and an estimated 30 million fatalities around the world. World War I ended on November 11, 1918; returning troops brought home a resurgence of virus, and the many public victory celebrations helped the disease spread once more. More American civilians were killed by the disease than all the U.S. combat deaths during the 20th century combined. Ultimately, the death rate shortened the average life span in the United States by 10 years before the illness mysteriously disappeared.
"New" Immigration
This wave of immigration lasted from 1866-1915 and brought 25 million to the United States, mostly from southern and eastern Europe. "Pushed" out of Europe by economic hardship and political persecution and "pulled" to the United States by the availability of jobs, these immigrants entered the country through gateways like Ellis Island and settled in America's teeming cities to take jobs made available by the Second Industrial Revolution.
Jacob Riis
As his colleague observed, he was a reporter who "not only got the news, but cared about it." Armed with a pencil, a notebook, and a camera, he documented the overcrowding, lack of proper sanitation, and grinding poverty of the slums. In 1890, his first and most famous book, How the Other Half Lives, was published. Packed with harrowing details and illustrated with drawings based on his photographs, How the Other Half Lives was a powerful indictment of slum conditions. His exposés of conditions in New York City's slums influenced a generation of investigative reporters, known as muckrakers, and set the standard for future photojournalists.
Louis Sullivan
He was arguably America's most important modern architect. His contributions were the development of high-rise commercial buildings at the end of the 19th century. He was determined to unite the priorities of commercial endeavor with aesthetic imperatives. "[The high rise] must be tall," he wrote in 1896. "It must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exultation . . . from bottom to top . . . without a single dissenting line." The "skyscraper" as a new thing under the sun, an entity with . . . beauty all its own, was born.
"city beautiful" movement
This phrase first entered popular use in the United States in 1899 among New York City reformers who wanted to adorn their city with civic sculpture, public fountains, waterfront parks, indoor murals and statuary, artistic street fixtures, and much more. It quickly became a catch-phrase used throughout the nation for all manner of efforts to upgrade the appearance of towns and cities. The cultural movement reflected Progressive Era reform impulses to revitalize public life and instill civic awareness.
Social Gospel
This social reform movement combined the social welfare agenda of the Progressive Era with Christian charity. Founded by Washington Gladden, a Congregationalist minister in Ohio, the movement rejected the older idea that the poor were responsible for their poverty. Among its social aims were an end to child labor, a weekly day off, a living wage, improved working conditions for women, and religious and moral education for the poor.
Jane Addams
In 1889, she moved into a mansion donated by Charles Hull on the west side of Chicago. She then transformed the mansion into the "Hull House," the nation's first settlement house. Hull House helped new immigrants and others in need with a variety of programs. At one time or another, it offered kindergarten and daycare facilities for children of working mothers, an employment bureau, an art gallery, libraries, music and art classes, a theater, and a meeting place for trade unions. In 1931, this founder became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Boss Tweed
He was the leader of New York's Tammany Hall and the most notorious of all late nineteenth-century corrupt politicians. He controlled thousands of patronage jobs and millions of dollars in contracts and government benefits. He could and did steer city contracts to those who paid the biggest bribes or kickbacks or did the biggest favors for his Tammany political machine. He was lampooned by cartoonist Thomas Nast, and eventually jailed.
Tammany Hall
This was the popular name for the Democratic Party political machine that dominated much of New York City's political life until 1933. Under the leadership of corrupt political manipulators like "Boss" Tweed and Richard Croker, it evolved into a powerful political machine after 1860 and used patronage and bribes to control the city administration for decades.
Thomas Nast
He was the most important political cartoonist in 19th-century America, known for exposing government corruption. His legacy lives on—it was he who made the donkey and the elephant the symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties and who created the roly-poly image of Santa Claus, modeled on himself. His greatest triumph occurred in 1869, when he launched a campaign to expose the corruption of the Tweed Ring, which under the leadership of Tammany Hall boss William Marcy Tweed had robbed New York City of $100 million.
Led by New York Senator Roscoe Conkling, this anti-reform faction of the Republican party believed in the blatant pursuit of the spoils of office. They were pitted against the "Half-Breeds" (moderates) for control of the Republican Party. The only real issue between this group and Half-Breeds was patronage. Chester A. Arthur, sympathetic to the cause, was the vice president for Half-Breed James A. Garfield. He became president after Garfield was assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881.
This a political faction of the United States Republican Party that existed in the late 19th century. These moderates were opponents of the Stalwarts, the other main faction of the Republican Party. The main issue that separated them from the Stalwarts was political patronage. The Stalwarts were in favor of political machines and spoils system-style patronage, while the this group, led by Maine senator James G. Blaine, were in favor of civil service reform and a merit system.
Pendleton Act
This 1883 act brought civil service reform to federal employment, thus limiting the spoils system. It classified many government jobs and required competitive examinations for these positions. It also outlawed forcing political contributions from appointed officials.
In the 1884 presidential election, this group of eastern Republicans, disgusted with corruption in the party, campaigned for the Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland. They switched parties because they rejected the financial corruption associated with Republican candidate James G. Blaine. In a close election, they supposedly made the difference in New York state and swung the election to Cleveland.
Populist Party
The rise of this political party was the culmination of two decades of agrarian distress among farmers of the South and West. This party advocated policies to relieve the hardships of farmers, including especially the unlimited coinage of silver to increase the money supply. In 1896, they struck an unofficial truce with the Democratic Party in support of William Jennings Bryan for president. Although the political movement lost momentum after the electoral loss in 1896, many ideas survived and were enacted into law over the span of the next 20 years. The graduated income tax, the direct election of senators, the secret ballot, and government subsidies to farmers all had origins with this party.
free silver
A major political issue during the late 19th century, this was a movement in support of the unlimited coinage of silver by the U.S. government to inflate the money supply. Opponents insisted on strict adherence to the more conservative gold stanard. The issue came to a head in the election of 1896 when Populists and Democrats united behind William Jennings Bryan who proclaimed to all opponents,"You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!" Although this issue helped Bryan garner over 6 million votes, he lost the election to William McKinley.
Coxey's Army
This term was given to supporters of Jacob Coxey. Coxey vividly dramatized the plight of the unemployed in the United States by leading a march on Washington to demand relief during the depression of the mid-1890s. His march may well have contributed to the groundswell of support for the Populist Party that enabled it to elect six senators and seven congressmen in 1894.
William Jennings Bryan
He was the voice of the Democratic Party at the turn of the 20th century and a leading advocate of free silver and as a loyal spokesman for the Midwest and West. Nominated by Democrats and Populists in 1896, he campaigned energetically, staging one of the first national traveling campaigns, before losing to his Republican opponent, William McKinley. A fundamentalist crusader, he took a militant position against the theory of evolution. In the summer of 1925, he appeared as prosecutor in the famous Scopes trial and won his case against the teaching of evolution in schools. He died in his sleep on July 26, 1925, a few days after the trial ended.
Marcus Hanna
This wealthy businessman and political leader was a master political organizer and financier who introduced modern campaign techniques to the American political system. With the help of his financial backing and organizational management skills, William McKinley was elected governor of Ohio in 1891 and reelected in 1893. He then supported McKinley for president in 1896. As chairman of the Republican National Committee, he managed McKinley's "front porch" campaign and raised several million dollars that helped to ensure McKinley's election over Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan.
Front Porch Campaign
In 1896, William McKinley conducted this low-key campaign wherein he never left his Canton, Ohio home. Large crowds of spectators were brought to his home to meet the candidate. This campaign contrasted sharply with McKinley'sopposing candidate, William Jennings Bryan, who gave over 600 speeches and traveled many miles all over the United States to campaign. McKinley outdid this by spending about twice as much money. McKinley won this election.
William McKinley
He was elected president in 1896. His first priorities in office were to defend the gold standard and secure the passage of a new high protective tariff, but he is more remembered as the president when the United States became a world power at the turn of the 20th century. During his administration, the country defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, annexed the Hawaiian Islands, and acquired other overseas colonial possessions. He won reelection in 1900, but was assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz in 1901.
Josiah Strong
This Protestant clergyman and author wrote "Our Country," a racist and religious justification for American expansion. He argued that the Anglo-Saxon people were divinely ordained to dominate mankind--a case of survival of the fittest. He intended to promote missionary activity and he encouraged support for imperialistic United States policy.
Alfred T. Mahan
America's foremost naval historian and theorist in the 19th century, he wrote, "The Influence of Sea Power upon History" in 1890. He was among the leading advocates of American overseas expansion and naval power, and his theories were employed by President Theodore Roosevelt and other expansionists to further their imperial ambitions for America.
Queen Liliuokalani
She was the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii. In 1893, a group composed of Americans and Europeans formed a Committee of Public Safety in opposition to the Queen. The Queen was deposed on January 17, 1893 and temporarily relinquished her throne to "the superior military forces of the United States". On July 4, 1894, the Republic of Hawaii was proclaimed and Sanford B. Dole became president.
DeLome Letter
This letter was written by the Spanish Minister in Washington, D.C. The letter, which was intended to be private, was sent to a Spanish official in Havana and was stolen and released by Cuban revolutionists to Hearst's newspaper. In it, the minister wrote disparagingly of US President William McKinley. In1898, the letter was published in the New York Journal, headlining it "THE WORST INSULT TO THE UNITED STATES IN ITS HISTORY". The Yellow Press helped foment public sentiment in favor of the Cuban revolution against the Spanish, and is seen as one of the principal causes of the Spanish-American War of 1898.
The Maine
On February 15, 1898, the battleship USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana Harbor. Some 266 crewmen lost their lives in the incident, which had its roots in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain and was one of the triggers of the Spanish-American War. The rallying slogan "Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!" swept the country. In April 1898, Congress called for Spain to relinquish authority over Cuba and declared war. The Spanish-American War ended later in 1898.
Manila Bay
On May 1, 1898, Naval Commander George Dewey launched a devastating surprise attack against Spanish forces in the Philippines. This resulting battle was one of the most one-sided naval engagements in history. Dewey's modern steel squadron easily destroyed the aging Spanish ships without significant American losses. With this decisive battle, the United States acquired the Philippines, though the Filipinos themselves continued with a guerrilla struggle against U.S. land forces that dragged on for years. The battle extended U.S. influence in the western Pacific and marked the emergence of the United States as a world power.
Rough Riders
This was the name given to The First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, formed in 1898 on the eve of the Spanish-American War by Assistant Secretary to the Navy Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt recruited 1,250 cowboys, Native Americans, Eastern aristocrats, and Ivy League athletes, among others. On June 30, Roosevelt was promoted to the rank of colonel and the following day, led the charge on Kettle Hill to help drive the Spanish from their fortifications on San Juan Hill. On September 16, 1898, the men were shipped home after 137 days of service. In the end, one out of three Rough Riders was either killed, wounded, or afflicted by disease, the highest casualty rate among troops who served in the Spanish-American War.
Teller Amendment
This was an amendment to a joint resolution of the United States Congress, enacted on April 19, 1898, in reply to President William McKinley's War Message. It placed a condition of the United States participation in the Spanish American War. According to the clause, the U.S. could not annex Cuba but only leave "control of the island to its people."
Anti-Imperialist League
Formed in 1898, this organization opposed U.S. imperialism during a time when the United States was negotiating for control of Hawaii, fighting the Spanish-American War, and suppressing a rebellion for independence in the Philippines. Instead, this group advocated free trade without aggression or conquest of foreign territory. Mark Twin was the most famous member of the organization.
Emilio Aguinaldo
This leader of the Filipino rebels fought for Philippine Independece. He was a close ally with the United States when the Spanish American War began and he helped Commodore Dewey defeat the Spanish at Manila. After the Spanish American War, he still fought for independence, this time against the United States in the "Philippine Insurrection."
Insular Cases
In this series of cases, federal courts held that "the Constitution does not follow the flag." In other words, the courts determined that full constitutional rights did not automatically extend to all areas under American control. Those who lived in American possessions were given only the rights Congress would grant.
Platt Amendment
This amendment to the Cuban Constitution barred Cuba from making a treaty that gave another nation power over its affairs. Also, the United States could intervene in Cuban affairs to keep order or maintain independence, and could buy or lease sites for naval and coaling stations (the main one was Guantánamo Bay). Later in 1901, under American pressure, Cuba included the amendment's provisions in its Constitution.
Roosevelt Corollary
This interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine was proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. Roosevelt asserted that the United States would exercise an "international police power" to intervene in the Western Hemisphere in an effort to protect the nations of Latin America from European aggression.
spheres of influence
By 1900, Japan and several European nations were carving China into areas by this name, within which each country dominated trade relations. The United States Secretary of State, John Hay issued his Open Door Policy in an effort to encourage and maintain free trade between these foreign dominated markets in China.
Open Door Policy
In January 1900, Secretary of State John Hay announced this policy. It emphasized the economic development of China, which would preserve China's independence and political unity. It called for free access for all nations to the Chinese ports, in contrast to the practice of claiming exclusive spheres of influence by individual powers. Actually, few nations--including the United States--adhered to it in practice.
Treaty of Portsmouth
This ended the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and was signed in New Hampshire, owing to the mediation of the President of the USA, Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Gentlemen's Agreement
This agreement between the United States and Japan in 1907-1908 represented an effort by President Theodore Roosevelt to calm growing tension between the two countries over the immigration of Japanese workers. A treaty with Japan in 1894 had assured free immigration, but as the number of Japanese workers in California increased, they were met with growing nativist hostility. In the Agreement, Japan agreed not to issue passports for Japanese citizens wishing to work in the continental United States, thus effectively eliminating new Japanese immigration to America. In exchange, the United States agreed to accept the presence of Japanese immigrants already residing in America, and to permit the immigration of wives, children and parents, and to avoid legal discrimination against Japanese children in California schools.
Hay Bunau-Varilly Treaty
This 1903 treaty established the terms for the United States to construct a trans-oceanic canal across the isthmus of Panama. According to the terms of the treaty, the United States was to receive rights to a canal zone which was to extend six miles on either side of the canal route in perpetuity; Panama was to receive a payment from US up to $10 million and an annual rental payments of $250,000.
Dollar Diplomacy
This is the term used to describe America's efforts--particularly under President William Howard Taft--to further its foreign policy aims in Latin America and the Far East through the use of economic power. In Nicaragua, for example, American intervention included funding the country's debts to European bankers. As another example, the State Department persuaded four American banks to refinance Haiti's national debt, setting the stage for further intervention in the future. This approach to foreign policy was repudiated by President Woodrow Wilson within a few weeks of his inauguration in 1913.
Chautauqua movement
Organized in 1874, and named for the original location in New York State, these meetings sprang up in various locations across North America. The movement may be regarded as a successor to the Lyceum movement earlier in the 19th Century. It offered instruction, texts, and lectures on many subjects, and it provided educational opportunities for thousands who were seeking intellectual stimulation in the new industrial age.
Joseph Pulitzer
He was the publisher of the first newspaper publisher to reach a truly mass audience--the "New York World." He did it with a combination of sensationalism, solid political and financial coverage, and civic crusading. His sensational coverage and fierce competitiveness with William Randolph Hearst led to the spread of yellow journalism at the end of the 19th century.
William Randolph Hearst
He copied Joseph Pulitzer's methods and made his "New York Journal" newspaper even more popular than Pulitzer's "New York World." The circulation war between the two papers produced "yellow journalism," or an excessively lurid style of reporting. Also, by firing public sentiment against Spain, he helped cause the Spanish-American War of 1898. His journalistic empire grew through buying or starting newspapers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Seattle, and other cities. He also acquired such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Harper's.
William Rainey Harper
He was a noted academic who was selected by John D. Rockefelelr to organize the University of Chicago. As its first President, he set the standards very high; he elevated the compensation of academic professions above that of school teacher, and by doing so attracted the best and the brightest to the University. One of his ideas, that students should be able to study the first two years of college in their own communities to be better prepared for the rigors of college, helped lead to the creation of the community college system in the United States.
John Dewey
The "father" of progressive education, he argued for the need for an education that was practical and useful. He insisted that education should be child centered and that schools should build character, teach good citizenship, and be instruments of social reform. He abandoned the tradition of rote learning and recitation, focusing instead on problem-solving activities ("learning by doing") that encouraged children to think creatively.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Along with John Marshall, he is often considered considered one of the greatest justices in Supreme Court history. His opinions and famous dissents in favor of individual liberties are still frequently quoted today. He argued that current necessity rather than precedent should determine the rules by which people are governed; that experience, not logic, should be the basis of law.
Frederick Jackson Turner
He was the author of a provocative essay, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," that opened up a new period in the interpretation of American history. He believed that the frontier had shaped the American character; from it stemmed the American's toughness, resourcefulness, and individualism, as well as American democracy. He is also remembered as a historian who brought to historical research a scientific and interdisciplinary approach.
This was a literary genre that emerged in the late nineteenth century. It was the product of industrialism, Darwinian evolution, and scientific empiricism. Novelists undertook the examination of everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation.
This philosophy, closely identified with William James, held that in a world of constant change (evolution), absolutes were difficult to justify, and that abstract concepts were useful only in terms of their practical effects. This inspired much of the reform movement of late nineteenth century America.
Cornelius Vanderbilt
From steamboats to railroads, he built the infrastructure crucial to America's late-19th-century industrialization. A tough business leader and bold financial operator, he created transportation systems that stimulated and supported America's tremendous industrial growth. He ranked among that era's dominant business leaders and was one of America's richest men.
Alexander Graham Bell
He is best remembered for his invention of the "electrical speech machine"—the telephone—which quickly became the industrialized world's only means of long-distance vocal communication. He also founded the National Geographic Society in 1888 and served as its president from 1896 to 1904.
Thomas Edison
Despite a limited formal education, he became one of the nation's most prolific pioneers in the development of electronic inventions that have transformed the lives of people all over the world. Even during his lifetime, the character of such inventions as electric light, the phonograph, and motion pictures gave him an almost heroic stature in the common view, and a virtual mythology grew up about the events of his life and career. He organized companies to make and sell his various inventions that were eventually merged into what is now the General Electric Company.
Bessemer Process
This process, named after its inventor in the 1850s, was the first method by which steel could be mass produced. The process involved injecting air into molten pig iron to remove impurities. The resulting steel, relatively easy and inexpensive to produce, was also lighter and stronger than iron. This process revolutionized steel manufacture by decreasing its cost; the availability of cheap steel allowed large bridges to be built and enabled the construction of railroads, skyscrapers, and large ships.
Andrew Carnegie
He rose from poverty to become one of the richest men in the world by gaining virtual control of the U.S. steel industry. He had begun the process of vertical integration, by which he came to control raw materials, transportation, and distribution within the steel industry, managing every stage of the production process from beginning to end. U.S. steel production increased until the nation surpassed Great Britain as the foremost steel producer in the world. He was also notable as a philanthropist, who gave millions of dollars to advance education, establish public libraries, and promote world peace.
Gospel of Wealth
Millionaire and industrialist Andrew Carnegie advanced this philosophy that held that those who had accumulated wealth were morally and socially obligated to redistribute that wealth back into the community and help those less fortunate than themselves. During his lifetime, Carnegie reportedly donated more than $350 million to build schools, libraries, and public buildings, as well as supporting causes devoted to working for world peace.
J.P. Morgan
He was one of the richest men in America and was a dominant figure in the U.S. economy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He reorganized American railroads, becoming the greatest railroad magnate of his day. He also funded mergers between several prominent American companies, creating large American corporations, including General Electric Company, AT&T, and the United States Steel Corporation. His growing success and power frightened many people and prompted the U.S. government to take a more active part in regulating the economy.
John D. Rockefeller
As the moving force behind the Standard Oil Company, he helped create the American petroleum industry. His ruthless and cutthroat business practices brought him tremendous wealth, but his reputation with the public became severely damaged. Although he paid fair market value for many companies he acquired, he drove others into submission through cutthroat attacks. He pioneered large-scale, systematic philanthropy, giving away millions of dollars for the advancement of education, medicine, and science.
The trust
In 1882, this new business organization was designed by Standard Oil. All shares of stock from participating companies were held for the company owners by a small number of trustees. The trustees established prices and divided markets, thus eliminating competition and financially disastrous price wars among the participating companies. Owners profited from better earnings, stockholders profited from better dividends, and trustees profited from the fees they collected. Before long, many industires adopted this form of business organization. But their growing power and influence led newspapers, politicians, and the public to increasingly attack these business organizations, especially Standard Oil.
Henry George
He helped launch an entire generation of economic and social reform with his best-selling book, Progress and Poverty (1880). He advocated a single tax on land as a means of dealing with the wide disparity between enormous wealth and poverty in California.
Edward Bellamy
He attracted a huge following with his utopian novel, Looking Backward (1888). The novel's hero falls asleep in 1887 and wakes up in 2000 to discover that the poverty and suffering of late-19th-century industrial America have been replaced by a perfect society. The government owns the means of production and all members of society share equally in the nation's wealth. The book had a powerful impact, inspiring large numbers of reformers to take on the cause of reform.
Henry Demarest Lloyd
One of the early muckrakers, this crusading journalist and author exerted a major influence on reform in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1894, he published Wealth Against Commonwealth, a thoroughly researched attack on Standard Oil and other monopolies. He advocated government regulation of industry and public ownership of all monopolies.
The Granger Movement
This movement began in 1867 to improve the status of farmers. Also known as The Patrons of Husbandry, the primary concerns of the movement were declining crop prices, an increase in indebtedness among farmers, and the sporadic rate system for freight imposed by the railroads. Gradually, other organizations like the Farmers' Alliances and the Populist Party emerged to support agricultural concerns, and by 1880, the membership declined.
Munn v. Illinois
In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that a business that served a public interest (like a railroad or grain elevator) could be regulated by state laws. The decision seemed to hold that Granger laws were constitutional.
Interstate Commerce Commission
Established in 1887, this was the first federal regulatory agency. It arose in response to public outrage over malpractice and profiteering by the railroad companies. The agency was primarily used to regulate the railroads and it sought to make sure prices were fair.
Sherman Anti-Trust Act
In 1890, Congress passed the first federal law to regulate large corporations and trusts and eliminate monopolies. It based on the constitutional power of Congress to oversee interstate commerce. The act outlawed any contract, combination, or conspiracy that restrained trade or monopolized any market. The act established a precedent for subsequent antitrust legislation and laid the groundwork for the trust-busting campaigns of President Theodore Roosevelt in the early 20th century.
U.S. v. E.C. Knight
Also known as the "'Sugar Trust Case,'" this Supreme Court case that limited the government's power to control monopolies. In 1892 the American Sugar Refining Company gained control of a 98% monopoly of the American sugar refining industry. President Grover Cleveland directed the national government to sue the Company under the provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The court ruled that manufacturing was a local activity not subject to congressional regulation of interstate commerce.
Knights of Labor
This was the largest and most powerful labor union in America during the last half of the 19th century. It represented all workers—men and women, white and black, citizen and immigrant, and skilled and unskilled—in all industries. It was founded by Uriah Stephens, and under the leaderhsip of Terence Powderly, the union reached its peak strength of 750,000 members. The union's image was hurt when union members were blamed for the violence at Chicago's Haymarket Square riot in May 1886.
Haymarket Riot
This event ocurred on May 4, 1886 in Chicago. A bomb exploded among a group of policemen as they attempted to disperse a giant labor rally. The explosion killed seven policemen and injured 70 people. The incident received considerable nationwide publicity and seriously damaged the image of the growing labor movement--especially the Knights of Labor which was branded as a breeding ground for political dissidents rather than an organization of workers trying to secure better conditions.
This labor organization was an association of trade unions representing skilled workers in many industries. By the end of the 19th century, it was the dominant organization representing the interests of skilled labor in the United States. Under the leadership of Samuel Gompers, the union focused on improving the day-to-day conditions for workers and bargained for higher wages and shorter hours, rather than on social or political issues.
Railway Strike of 1877
This was the first rail strike and general labor strike in U.S. history. In response to wage cuts, railroad workers went on strike in West Virginia in 1877. The strikers blocked freight trains from moving and threatened to continue until pay cuts were reversed. The strikes spread wherever there were railroads and in many areas, evolved into a general labor strike. After over a month of constant rioting and bloodshed, President Rutherford B. Hayes sent in federal troops to end the strikes. The strike led to increased regulation of the railroad industry and better organization of the labor movement.
Horatio Alger
This author wrote books with rags-to-riches themes to reinforce the prevailing business philosophy of late-19th-century America. This philosophy held that any individual, however humble his or her beginnings, could become president or a millionaire by dint of hard work and good deeds. The legend embodied by his heroes became the basis of the "American Dream" of success through individual effort.
This was a tactic used by management to circulate names of troublesome workers-often labor organizers-to prevent or deny their future employment. These lists were used to discorage labor challenges to management.
yellow-dog contracts
This was a type of labor contract stating that an employee would not join a labor union; many employers forced employees to sign such contracts as a condition of employment.
Homestead Strike
This strike started on June 29, 1892 when the entire workforce of the Carnegie steel manufacturing plant stopped working. Fearful of losing their jobs and angry over pay cuts, they seized the steel plant. Management hired Pinkerton detectives and later gained the assistance of the state militia to put down the strike. Within days many were dead or injured. Within weeks, the strike was broken, and the union demolished. In many ways, the union's debacle at Homestead revealed the limited ability of organized labor to improve the conditions for America's workers during the Industrial Revolution.
Pullman Strike
This strike began in 1894 when workers walked out on a Chicago manufacturer of passenger railway cars. The American Railway Union, headed by Eugene V. Debs, was in sympathy with the striking workers, and led 125,000 workers in a nationwide boycott. Interference with the delivery of the U.S. mail gave the federal government cause to enter the dispute. President Grover Cleveland sent federal troops, who opened fire on a crowd of strikers, killing some 30 people. The federal courts then granted an injunction against the strike and the activities of the leaders of the American Railway Union. Debs went to jail for violating the injunction, and the American Railway Union called off the failed boycott two month later.
Eugene Debs
As a leader of organized labor and a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party, he passionately fought for radical social change in the United States. By 1893, he had organized the American Railway Union (ARU) and called a national strike that quickly tied up the nation's railroads to support the Pullman strike in Chicago. He was arrested and indicted on the charge of interfering with the mail. During the six months he spent in jail, he read socialist literature. Between 1904 and 1920, he ran as the Socialist candidate for president five times.
Gilded Age
This term applies to the period in American history from 1865 to 1900. The period includes depictions of weak and forgettable presidents, corrupt politicians, and corporate magnates, or "robber barons." The name itself indicates a time in which greed and corruption ran rampant, while displays of respectability, generosity, and reform provided a distracting overlay to that decadence. In fact, Mark Twain's first novel lent its name to the era.
Waving the Bloody Shirt
This was a campaign tactic used by post-Civil War Republicans to remind northern voters that the Confederates were Democrats. The device was used to divert attention away from the competence of candidates and from serious issues. It was also used to appeal to black voters in the South.
Grand Army of the Republic
This organization was founded by former Union soldiers after the Civil War. It lobbied Congress for aid and pensions for former Union soldiers. It was also a powerful lobbying influence within the Republican party.
Civil Rights Cases
In this group of five similar cases, the Supreme Court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which provided that "all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations" was unconstitutional. The Court held that the language of the 14th Amendment, which prohibited denial of equal protection by a state, did not give Congress power to regulate these private acts. The decision put an end to the attempts by Republicans to ensure the civil rights of blacks and ushered in the widespread segregation of blacks in housing, employment and public life that confined them to second-class citizenship throughout much of the United States until the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
Booker T. Washington
This former slave became a major spokesperson for his race in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1881, he became principal of a new school for African Americans at Tuskegee, Alabama. Tuskegee offered training in a variety of skilled trades and emphasized the practical applications of learning rather than learning for its own sake. He delivered his most famous speech at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta in 1895. He believed that African Americans should advance through education and effort instead of seeking social and political equality with whites. Critics called this "Atlanta Compromise" a policy of submission.
Atlanta Compromise
This term was used by cirtics to refer to a speech given by black leader Booker T. Washington in 1895. He urged blacks to concentrate on learning useful skills. He viewed black self-help and self-improvement, not agitation over segregation, disfranchisement, and racial discrimination, as the surest way to social and economic advancement for blacks.
Burlingame Treaty
This treaty with China was ratified in 1868. It encouraged Chinese immigration to the United States at a time when cheap labor was in demand for U.S. railroad construction. It doubled the annual influx of Chinese immigrants between 1868 and 1882. The treaty was reversed in 1882 by the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Sand Creek Massacre
This term refers to the 1865 massacre of more than 200 Cheyenne Indians, many of them women and children. The attack was led by U.S. Army Colonel John M. Chivington, who ordered his troops to slaughter every Indian in the village and to accept no prisoners. Chivington's order was even more diabolical as the Indians had previously surrendered to the U.S. government and were ostensibly under U.S. protection at the time. The massacre compelled the Cheyenne to break off peace talks with the Americans and led to a vicious war during 1867-1869.
Little Big Horn
In 1876, Colonel George A. Custer and 260 of his men were killed by Sioux Indians led by Sitting Bull at this battle in southern Montana. "Custer's Last Stand" became enshrined in American mythology as a symbol of the brutality of the Indian wars, although there is substantial evidence that Custer acted recklessly in attacking the large Indian encampment.
Chief Joseph
He was chief of the Nez Perce Indians who conducted one of the most epic retreats in military history. Across 1,700 miles of foreboding terrain, they evaded 10 columns of U.S. Army troops and beat them in 18 skirmishes, only to succumb to exhaustion. This leader's surrender to the US Army marked a turning point in Native Americans' attempt to maintain their sovereignty. The Nez Perce were then sent to reservations in Oklahoma.
This Apache chief was a skillful, fearless guerrilla warrior who thwarted thousands of American soldiers. His capture in 1886 helped bring a close to the late nineteenth-century suppression of Indian resistance to white migration into the Trans-Mississippi West.
Dawes Severalty Act
This 1887 law revised official government policy with regard to Indian lands. The law terminated tribal ownership of land and alloted some parcels of land to individual Indians. By dividing reservation lands into privately-owned parcels, legislators hoped to complete the assimilation process by forcing the deterioration of the communal life-style of the Native societies; it was hoped that Natve Americans would learn the benefit of owning and cultivating property. Most allotment land, which could be sold after a statutory period of 25 years, was eventually sold to non-Native buyers at bargain prices.
Comstock Lode
This was the first major U.S. deposit of silver ore, discovered under what is now Virginia City, Nevada. After the discovery was made public in 1859, prospectors rushed to the area to stake their claims. Excavations yielded about $400 million in silver and gold.
transcontinental railroad
The Pacific Railroad Act, passed in June 1862 by the U.S. Congress, authorized the building of this--a railroad across the continental United States. The Union Pacific Railroad worked westward from Omaha, Nebraska to meet the rails of the Central Pacific, which had built eastward from Sacramento, California. The railroad was completed on May 10, 1869, when crews of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad lines met and joined tracks at Promontory Summit, Utah.
Joseph Glidden
This American farmer patented barbed wire, a product that forever altered the development of the American West. Barbed wire made it affordable to fence much larger areas than before, so intensive animal husbandry was practical on a much larger scale. Within 25 years, nearly all of the open range had been fenced in under private ownership. For this reason, some historians have dated the end of the Old West era of American history to the invention and subsequent proliferation of barbed wire. The inventor gave 63 acres of his homestead as a site for a small school that would become Northern Illinois University.
OPEC Oil Embargo
Founded in 1960, this organization comprises nations whose main export income comes from the sale of petroleum. In support of the Arab invasion of Israel that occurred in October 1973, the Arab oil producing countries decided to cut their oil production; this action raised oil prices by some 300% by the end of the year.
President Gerald Ford
Following Vice President Spiro Agnew's resignation in 1973, President Nixon selected this man to be the first vice president appointed according to the provisions of the Twenty-fifth Amendment. As vice president, he defended Nixon throughout the long Watergate scandal ordeal. Upon Nixon's resignation in August 1974, he assumed the presidency. In September, he granted "a full, free and absolute pardon" to Nixon. Facing a depressed economy at home, he ineffectively acted to curb inflation and lower the deficit. In foreign affairs, he oversaw the withdrawal of U.S. forces from a defeated South Vietnam. He lost his bid to be elected president in 1976 when he was defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter.
President Jimmy Carter
After the Vietnam War debacle and the Watergate scandal, this candidte promised to return the government to the decency its citizens had every right to expect. In domestic policy however, he failed to improve the poor economy: unemployment, inflation, and the costs of energy continued to increase. The two foreign policy successes of the his administration—the negotiation and ratification by the Senate of a new Panama Canal treaty in 1978 and the Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel in 1979—were overshadowed by events in Iran where 52 American citizens were seized at the American embassy and held hostage for 444 days. He proved unable to shake his image as a vacillator, unsure of how to cope with domestic economic turmoil and foreign policy crises.
In economics, this term is a situation in which the inflation rate is high and the economic growth rate is low. It raises a dilemma for economic policy since actions designed to lower inflation may worsen economic growth and vice versa. The Misery Index (derived by the simple addition of the inflation rate to the unemployment rate) reflected the dire economic circumstances. Presidents of the time--Nixon, Ford and Carter--all proved incapable of finding a remedy for this troublesome economy that characterized the 1970s.
Phyllis Schlafly
She is a leading spokesperson for the conservative viewpoint on women's rights issues. She played a major role in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution which demanded equality of rights for women under the law. She argued that ERA represented a serious threat to women and the family, because it would thrust mothers into military combat and make wives responsible for providing 50% of the financial support of their families.
Completed in 1979, this was the first nuclear arms treaty between the US and USSR which assumed real reductions in strategic forces. Six months after the signing, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan; in protest, the United States Senate never ratified the treaty. Its terms were, nonetheless, honored by both sides until 1986 when the Reagan Administration withdrew from SALT II after accusing the Soviets of violating the pact.
Camp David Accords
The product of negotiations held in September 1978 between Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, these accords established an agreement by which the two countries could work to secure peace in the Middle East. The talks were hosted by President Jimmy Carter at his presidential retreat and are generally considered a high point of his administration.
Iran Hostage Crisis
The anti-American anger and the ability of the fundamentalist Muslim leaders and their followers to stand up to U.S. power inspired others in the Middle East. During the convoluted course of Iran's Islamic Revolution, 52 American citizens were seized at the American embassy and held hostage for 444 days. President Carter pledged not to use military force that might endanger the lives of the hostages. This crisis was viewed by many Americans and others as proof of the ineffectiveness of President Jimmy Carter and the decline of the United States after the Vietnam War.
President Ronald Reagan
His presidency may well be regarded as one of the most important in 20th-century U.S. history. He lowered taxes and increased defense spending. Unemployment dropped and inflation declined. From 1983 to 1990, the nation enjoyed one of the longest stretches of uninterrupted economic growth in its history. On the other hand, by 1988, the national debt had soared past $3 trillion. In the area of foreign policy, he adopted a hostile attitude toward the Soviet Union, which he described as the "Evil Empire." His vast defense expenditures and determination to battle communist aggression everywhere contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union.
"Reaganomics" : supply side economics
President Reagan supported this economic theory (derisively nicknamed Reaganomics by critics). The idea was that reduced taxes would spur investment, which would increase productivity and jobs. More people working and increased business revenue would produce greater tax revenues. Social programs could be cut because fewer people would need them.
The Reagan Revolution
The presidency of Ronald Reagan during 1981-1989 marked the first time since President Herbert Hoover's administration that a Republican president made an effort to implement genuinely conservative policies. President Reagan's successful rejection of liberal economic philosophies led to a major resurgence of conservatism in the United States, and his two terms in office are sometimes known by this term.
Iran-Contra Arms Deal
This scandal broke in the fall of 1986 when members of President Ronald Reagan's administration had secretly sold military parts and ammunition to Iran. In exchange, the Iranian government was to help free several U.S. citizens who were being held hostage by pro-Iranian groups. The money raised from the sale of the military supplies was passed to the Nicaraguan contras, a rebel group fighting against the government of Nicaragua. This complex arrangement violated several U.S. laws that banned both the sale of military supplies to Iran and the provision of funds to the contra rebels. The incident damaged the reputation and legacy of President Reagan.
Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars)
This idea was proposed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 as a space-based defensive umbrella against incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. Scientists developed the program throughout the 1980s, to provide the United States with a protective shield from nuclear attack as part of the largest peacetime military buildup in U.S. history. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic offense doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD). The ambitious initiative was widely criticized as being unrealistic.
Dr. Benjamin Spock
He influenced generations of parents who reared the children of the baby boom with his best-selling manual, Baby and Child Care. In contrast to the traditional manuals with their rigid rules, he emphasized permissiveness in child rearing, in striking contrast to earlier child-rearing guides that stressed harsh discipline. Critics have blamed him for contributing to an unhealthy child-centeredness that they felt produced guilt-ridden mothers and spoiled children.
William Levitt; Levittown
This was the name given to three suburban developments constructed in the post-World War II decades by the most important private builder of this period. Using mass production techniques, this builder turned home building from a cottage industry into a major manufacturing process, and his low-cost, mass-production methods were copied by builders nationwide. These subdivisions had planted trees on each plot, community pools, parks, and playgrounds. In the post-war economy, thousands of middle-class families bought in quickly and eagerly. Some observers criticized the monotonous uniformity of the these subdivisions, charging that they promoted listless personalities, conformity, and escapism.
"In God We Trust"
This official motto of the United States was adopted by Congress in 1956, just one year after the phrase "under God" was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance. The motto has appeared on U.S. coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957. These developments represent the great growth in religion after WWII as new churches were built and services were attended by baby boomers and their parents in the ever-burgeoning suburbs. Church attendance increased from 64.5 million in 1940 to 110 million by 1958.
Billy Graham
He is regarded as America's foremost modern-day evangelist. In 1950, he began preaching on an ABC radio show called The Hour of Decision. He further spread his message by producing religious films, writing a daily newspaper column, and publishing numerous books. He increased his fame by becoming associated with various presidents, including Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.
Andy Warhol
He was the foremost prophet and practitioner of the American pop art movement of the late 1950s and 1960s. His art was intentionally devoid of emotional and social comment. He produced more than 2,000 images, including a silk-screen series of star portraits and a series of sculptures that duplicated product wrappings. His famous dictum, "I like boring things," was evidenced in repetition and duplication (210 Coke Bottles and Twenty-Five Colored Marilyns) to alter our concepts of meaning in art.
Stokley Carmichael
He popularized the slogan 'Black is Beautiful', and promoted a distinctive Black-African heritage. His radical stance was seen as unnecessarily hostile to whites, and he became distanced from the leadership of Martin Luther King. He coined the term "Black Power." As leader of the Black Panthers (1967-69), he demanded black liberation rather than integration, and called for armed revolution. He became 'prime minister' of the Black Panthers in 1968, but left the United States in 1969 to live in Guinea, West Africa.
Watts Riots
On August 11, 1965, a riot broke out in this African-American ghetto of Los Angeles. Violence erupted as the residents protested police brutality, white oppression, and the generally miserable, impoverished condition of their lives. Over the course of one week, 34 people were killed as masses of angry people looted their own neighborhoods, burned and destroyed white-owned buildings and homes, and attacked police officers and the National Guard. This event symbolized the continued dissatisfaction and alienation of urban minorities, even in the era of Civil Rights reform.
Kerner Commission
This commission was assembled by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 following racial riots in Newark and Detroit. The Commission's report, released in 1968, started with one dramatic conclusion: "Our nation is moving toward two separate societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal." Its finding was that the riots resulted from black frustration at lack of economic opportunity. Its results suggested that one main cause of urban violence was white racism and suggested that white America bore much of the responsibility for black rioting and rebellion.
Black Panthers
Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded this group in October 1966. Its 10-point program demanded freedom, full employment for African Americans, decent housing and education, an end to capitalist exploitation and police brutality, and the release of all African Americans in jail. They promoted the use of physical force and armed confrontation for black liberation.
Cesar Chavez
He formed the first effective and enduring migrant worker union in the United States. Previous efforts to mount farmworker strikes had always failed for two basic reasons: the workers did not have enough money to outlast the growers, and the growers could easily replace the striking workers with imported Mexican farmworkers. To help overcome these weaknesses, he formed United Farm Workers of America (UFW) union and shrewdly sought out the assistance of other labor unions and liberal politicians across America.
American Indian Movement (AIM)
Modeled on African-American civil rights organizations, this organization was the Native American effort to advance the cause of Native American rights. During the 1970s, the organization succeeded in restoring Native Americans to the public consciousness and raising awareness of their plight. The group was involved in the major Native American protests of the early 1970s—including the Trail of Broken Treaties (1972), which declared their opposition to government policy toward Native Americans, and the invasion of Wounded Knee (1973), which led to gunfights between protesters and government agents that left three people dead.
SDS: Port Huron Statement
This organization, founded in 1960 by Tom Hayden and others, represented the "New Left." In 1962, they drafted a sixty-three-page political platform called the Port Huron Statement that presented a critique of the cold war and the materialistic complacency of postwar American life. The Port Huron Statement proposed that universities should be the locus of a new movement for "participatory democracy." The group then turned to antiwar activism. On April 17, 1965 they held the first of several mass demonstrations against the Vietnam War. By 1968, the group achieved a level of power and prominence unprecedented for a student organization, but in 1969, it collapsed. What remained became a small revolutionary sect known as the Weathermen.
This term was applied to young people in the 1960s who chose to drop out and alienate themselves from mainstream culture in America. They generally retreated to communes, drugs, and mystic religions--forming what was known as the "counterculture." They rejected materialism, political activism, and conventional authority and behavior. Depending on whom you talked to at the time, young people in the 1960s were seen as passionate idealists seeking to establish a more equitable and loving world, as dangerous radicals fomenting revolution, or as bizarre nonconformists refusing to live by society's rules
Betty Friedan: The Feminine Mystique
Few individuals played as important a role in the 1960s rise of the feminist movement as did this author of The Feminine Mystique (1963) which described the contemporary alienation of the middle-class American woman. She encouraged women to embrace a new feminine lifestyle based on valuing a career outside of the home as of equal importance to their husbands' careers. Women should no longer accept being secretaries and not executives, nurses and not doctors, church workers and not ministers. She also founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966 and served as its first president.
This is a special-interest organization promotes the rights and interests of women. Its founder, Betty Friedan, scribbled the organization's statement of purpose on a napkin: "To take action to bring women into the full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men." Its official priorities include the passing of an equal rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution, advocating for abortion and reproductive rights, supporting lesbian and gay rights, and ending violence against women.
Roe v. Wade
This is one of the most controversial and far-reaching decisions of the 20th century, striking down state laws that restricted abortion with a seven to two majority. The Supreme Court based its decision on the constitutional right of privacy, which it had recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and other cases.
Bay of Pigs
The Bay of Pigs invasion was one of the first attempts sponsored by the U.S. government to overthrow the Castro government of Cuba following the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Though the troops that fought in the invasion were exiles from Cuba, the operation was organized and funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The invasion was a disaster, both for the fighters, who were easily defeated and imprisoned, and for the administration of President John F. Kennedy, which had authorized the mission.
Berlin Wall
This barrier was constructed by East Germany in 1961, to completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls. The purpose of the barrier was to prevent the massive emigration and defection (3.5 million people!) of East Germans who crossed the border from East Berlin into West Berlin. Between 1961 and 1989, this barrier prevented almost all such emigration. The fall of this barrier in 1989 paved the way for German reunification, and served as a symbol of the end of the Cold War.
Cuban Missile Crisis
In this 1962 event, the United States and Soviet Union came close to nuclear war when the United States insisted that the Soviets remove their missiles from Cuba. The Soviets eventually did so, nuclear war was averted, and the crisis passed. The repercussions of this event were considerable. Having come closer to nuclear war than ever before, both the United States and the Soviet Union were more cautious about offensive deployment of nuclear arms during the remainder of the cold war.
Rosa Parks
This individual has been called the mother of the U.S. civil rights movement because of her courage when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. That act of resistance set off a boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system, which in turn activated the larger movement against segregation throughout the country.
Montgomery Bus Boycott
The first major instance of black activism during the Civil Rights Movement. It began after a black woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested for sitting in the white section of a bus. Mobilized by Martin Luther King, the black community boycotted the bus service in Montgomery, Alabama, for 381 days until the bus company was persuaded by a 65 per cent drop in revenue, and a Supreme Court decision that declared bus segregation unconstitutional. The event also marked the beginning of King's rise as a Civil Rights leader.
Martin Luther King
He was a US civil-rights campaigner, black leader, and Baptist minister. He first came to national attention as leader of the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott of 1955-56, and was one of the organizers of the march of 200,000 people on Washington, DC in 1963 to demand racial equality, during which he delivered his famous 'I have a dream' speech. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964 for his work as a civil-rights leader and an advocate of nonviolence. He was assassinated on 4 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.
These civil rights demonstrations began when four African-American college students asked for service at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro. After they were refused service, they stayed quietly in their seats. They were jeered at and insulted by groups of whites but did not leave until the restaurant closed. Word spread that night on the college campus; the next day, 27 students arrived at Woolworth's to sit at the counter, and by the end of the week, the protesters overflowed Woolworth's. These demonstrations were widely reported and led to similar protests against segregated facilities in 70 cities across the United States.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
Founded in 1957 at the conclusion of the Montgomery bus boycott, this civil rights organization was led by Martin Luther King Jr. The group sought through nonviolent protest to appeal to the moral conscience of white Americans and end discrimination against blacks. Their efforts included the desegregation of Birmingham, Alabama; the March on Washington; the voting rights campaign in Selma, Alabama; and many sit-ins and voter registration drives.
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
This civil rights organization was founded in 1942 by members who envisioned a nonviolent, interracial civil rights organization that emphasized integration with whites. Over the next several years, chapters of the group spread across the United States, applying the same techniques to knock down discriminatory barriers. It became famous in the 1960s, when it emerged as a leading force within the civil rights movement—particularly with its sponsorship of the Freedom Rides of 1961. In the mid-1960s, the group acquired a more militant, separatist stance and advocafed self-government by African Americans in black-majority areas.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
This civil rights group was founded in 1960 to organize the protests of African-American college students against segregation in the Deep South. The group was inspired by the Greensboro sit-in and the protest technique became the main weapon of the group. In addition, the group coordinated voter registration drives for African Americans. In 1966, however, Stokely Carmichael assumed the leadership and helped to oversee its transition from a nonviolent organization to one that embraced a militant, separatist, and revolutionary program. The new leader advocated black power as a worthier goal than the integration of blacks into white society.
freedom rides
These bus trips were taken by black and white civil-rights advocates in the 1960s to test the enforcement of federal regulations that prohibited segregation in interstate public transportation. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision that had rendered victorious the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1956, CORE and SNCC decided that the time was right to force the Southern states to uphold the federal law. As the buses traveled farther south, the hostility and violence they met escalated. Beatings and further arrests greeted them in South Carolina and Alabama; local authorities did nothing to prevent or stop the rampaging violence perpetrated against the riders by the Ku Klux Klan.
Malcolm X
He was important in shaping a Black Muslim and black power movement that challenged the nonviolent and integrationist struggle for African-American equality favored by Martin Luther King Jr. Instead of integration and equality, advocated black separatism and self-dependence, using violent means if necessary for self-defense. But in 1964 he modified his views and publicly broke with the Black Muslims and preached racial solidarity. A year later he was assassinated while addressing a rally in Harlem, New York. Three Nation of Islam members were convicted of his murder.
March on Washington
In August 1963, this rally was arranged to push for a comprehensive civil rights bill in Congress, to call for national desegregation of schools, and to demand a higher minimum wage. Leaders of the event included A. Philip Randolph, and Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In all, some 200,000 people marched to Lincoln Memorial, where King delivered his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. The procession gave a new and fresh impetus to the growing civil rights movement and showed the government that action was needed quickly.
Lyndon B. Johnson
This Texas Senator was elected vice president in 1960 and became president when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. He was then elected president in 1964. His Great Society sought to use the nation's wealth to eradicate poverty and his civil-rights programs did more for African-American equality than any president since Abraham Lincoln. But these domestic accomplishments were overshadowed by his controversial decisions that mired the United States in the Vietnam War. He declined to run for re-election in 1968 after the TET Offensive in Vietnam.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
This landmark in American legal history, provided much of the legal basis for the modern civil rights movement. It outlawed discrimination in employment and public accommodations on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It strengthened the federal government's ability to guarantee voting rights and end school segregation.
Great Society
This term describes President Johnson's ambitious, multifaceted program of social and economic reforms designed to promote social equality and economic fairness for all Americans. His central goal was bold: he declared "unconditional war on poverty" and committed himself to eliminating poverty as it then existed. These programs expanded the role of the federal government in the nation's domestic policies. Whereas Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was a response to the deepest economic crisis in U.S. history, President Johnson planned to extend the affluence that the country was enjoying in the 1960s to those citizens who traditionally had been left behind. The president's antipoverty initiative included significant programs such as Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid.
Barry Goldwater
This United States Senator from Arizona was the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure, he was known as "Mr. Conservative". He rejected the legacy of the New Deal and fought through the conservative coalition to defeat the New Deal coalition. His fiscally conservative and socially moderate campaign platform ultimately failed to gain the support of the electorate and he lost the 1964 presidential election to incumbent Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson by one of the largest landslides in history.
These programs are the hallmarks of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program. Established in 1965, the former is a U.S. health insurance program that provides care for indigent Americans and is administered mainly by state governments. The latter provides elderly people with insurance against hospitalization and lets older citizens buy inexpensive insurance to cover doctor bills and other health-related costs.
Head Start
This Great Society Program was initiated in 1964 to prepare low-income children for school. It was the foundation of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty, One reason for low-income children's educational disadvantage is that they have had less exposure than other children to such educational building blocks as numbers and the alphabet. This program furnishes that exposure and allows them to begin their formal school training on a more nearly equal footing with other students. Since its inception, nearly 18 million children have participated in the program.
Voting Right Act of 1965
Despite the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, Southern states had used a variety of means to deny African Americans the right to vote. This 1965 law authorized the use of federal voting registrars and prevented states from changing their election laws without clearance from the national government. Furthermore, the act suspended the use of literacy tests in portions of eight states. Within two years, the act helped to raise African-American voter registration rates to 62%.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Congressional resolution passed in 1964 which authorized President Lyndon Johnson to take "all necessary measures" to ensure the security of US armed forces and to defeat aggression in South-East Asia. It arose from an attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats upon US naval vessels and, although technically not a declaration of war, it was interpreted by Johnson as offering a legal basis for his commitment of US troops to Vietnam.
William Westmoreland
He was commander of the 500,000 American forces in South Vietnam and he directed the American ground effort until March 1968. His strategy remains the subject of heated debate. Critics suggest that he misunderstood the nature of the war, which required small-unit pacification operations rather than large-scale, main force attacks. Others continue to endorse his strategy, arguing that the civilian-imposed limits on operations led to its failure.
Tet Offensive
In February 1968, the North Vietnamese and Vietcong (communist guerrillas) in South Vietnam launched a major offensive against Saigon and more than ninety other towns and fifty small villages, hoping to provoke widespread rebellion in the country. The name is derived from the word for the lunar new-year celebrations, during which the attack was launched. The effort failed, but the psychological impact on South Vietnam and the United States made it a great victory for the Vietcong and North Vietnam. The United States thereafter reversed its policy of escalation and began to Vietnamize the war.
Robert Kennedy
He was the brother of President John F. Kennedy and served as his Attorney General and advisor. After JFK's assassination, he resigned as attorney general and was elected senator for New York. When running for president in 1968, he advocated social justice and civil rights at home and an end to the Vietnam War. On 5 June 1968, after winning the Californian primary election, he was shot by Sirhan Bissara Sirhan who alleged that he supported the Zionist cause against the Arabs. He died the following day.
This was the Richard M. Nixon administration strategy to pursue "peace with honor" in Vietnam. After the TET offensive, Nixon planned to "expand, equip, and train South Vietnam's forces and assign to them an ever-increasing combat role, at the same time steadily reducing the number of U.S. combat troops." He began to withdraw American troops in his first year as president.
My Lai Massacre
This village in Vietnam was the site of the most notorious U.S. military atrocity of the War. American soldiers massacred between 300-450 unarmed Vietnamese villagers (including women and children) at the village. Equally infamous was the cover-up of the incident perpetrated by the brigade and division staffs. The incident raised further questions about the morality of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
Kent State University
On May 4th, 1970 four students were shot dead by National Guardsmen on the campus of this University near Cleveland, Ohio during a violent demonstration by students against the recent movement of US troops into Cambodia. It was the most notorious and bloody episode in the widespread unrest over the war which affected American universities at that period.
Henry Kissinger
As National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State, he was the principal architect of U.S. foreign policy during the administrations of Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He played a major role in the successful opening of diplomatic relations between China and the United States in 1971 and in the implementation of the policy of coexistence with the Soviet Union known as détente. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the Paris Peace Accords, which ended America's involvement in the Vietnam War in 1973.
This is a French term meaning the relaxation of tensions. The word was used to identify U.S.-Soviet and U.S.-Chinese relations in the 1970s, as the superpowers pursued friendlier relations with each other to ease Cold War threats of nuclear war. This resulted in increased contact between East and West in the form of trade agreements and cultural exchanges.
In 1972, several men were caught breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. It was soon revealed that at least some of the burglars had ties to people in the presidential administration of Richard Nixon. Senate inquiries revealed that Nixon himself had directed a cover-up of the crime. Secret recordings made by Nixon of Oval Office conversations revealed the extent to which Nixon himself was involved. By 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of impeachment against Nixon. Rather than face that certainty, on August 9, 1974, Nixon became the first U.S. president ever to resign from office.
U.S. v Nixon
During the Watergate investigation the special prosecutor asked the White House to turn over certain specific tape recordings of oval office conversations about the Watergate cover-up. President Nixon refused, citing "executive privilege." A unanimous Supreme Court ordered the tapes to be handed over as evidence. The decision is now considered a crucial precedent limiting the power of any U.S. president.
GI Bill of Rights
This bill provided many benefits to veterans of World War II. From 1944 to 1949, nearly 9 million veterans received close to $4 billion from the bill's unemployment compensation program. The education and training provisions existed until 1956, providing benefits to nearly 10 million veterans. The Veterans' Administration offered insured loans until 1962, and they totaled more than $50 billion. The economic assistance provided by this bill accelerated the postwar demand for goods and services.
Taft-Hartley Act
Passed in 1947, this was the strongest anti-union measure in fifteen years. The Act, passed over President Truman's veto forbade closed shops, outlawed certain strikes or boycotts (including sympathy strikes and strikes by federal employees) and restricted the amount unions could pay on political activity. The Act has never been repealed.
George Kennan
This Foreign Service officer was the key idea man behind the containment doctrine. His knowledge of Soviet history led him to conclude that the Soviets saw capitalist-communist conflict as inevitable. The only way to deal with that mentality was for the United States to contain communism by resisting Soviet aggression and expansion wherever it might occur. His recommendation provided the rationale for the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Truman Doctrine
This policy set the course for U.S. foreign policy throughout the Cold War. It committed the United States to containing the spread of communism around the world. President Truman believed that the Soviet Union was directly funding communist forces within Greece and Turkey and felt the United States should support the anticommunists. The aid Truman envisaged was primarily financial, which Congress granted by appropriating $400 million to the two countries.
Marshall Plan
In 1947, the Secretary of State proposed a massive economic aid program to rebuild the war-torn economies of European nations. The plan was motivated both by humanitarian concern for the conditions of those nations' economies and by fear that their economic dislocation would promote the spread of communism in Europe, particularly Western Europe. More than any other enterprise, the $17 billion in American aid under this program stimulated the speedy recovery of Europe from the dislocation of war.
Berlin Airlift
"Operation Vittles" was undertaken by the US and British governments to counter the Soviet blockade of Berlin. The operation was both an important incident of the cold war and the most extraordinary peacetime military operation in history. The Soviet Union closed all land and water communication routes from the western zones to Berlin. The western Allies in turn responded by supplying their sectors of Berlin with all necessities by cargo aircraft. More than 277,264 flights were made into Berlin carrying 2,343,315 tons of food and coal. The Soviets ended the blockade on May 12, 1949 and conceded defeat.
At the 1948 Democratic National Convention, a group of delegates stormed out of the arena when Hubert H. Humphrey urged the Democratic Party to support President Harry Truman's civil rights platform. Those delegates formed the States' Rights Party, commonly known by this nickname because of the traditional Southern views. Their platform reflected the ideology of many Southern segregationists, as it opposed integration and civil rights, and it championed each state's right to regulate racial issues.
In 1948, the United States, Canada, and ten European nations formed this a military mutual-defense pact. General Eisenhower was the first commander of these forces. The Soviet Union countered this alliance with the formation of the Warsaw Pact. Originating as an anticommunist alliance during the cold war, this alliance has recently sought to redefine its role as East-West tensions have eased.
This formerly classified report was issued by the United States National Security Council in1950, during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. It shaped U.S. foreign policy in the Cold War for the next 20 years. It recommended policies that emphasized military over diplomatic action and it called for significant peacetime military spending, in which the U.S. possessed "superior overall power."
Korean War
This war began when North Korean communists—supported with Soviet supplies--invaded South Korea in June 1950. The United Nations condemned the attack and U.S. troops and appointed Gen. Douglas MacArthur to lead them and multinational troops in defending South Korea. Heavy fighting continued for about a year, when the Chinese joined the North Korean side. Battle lines once again took shape around the 38th parallel, where they stagnated as truce talks began in July 1951. It took two years to hammer out an armistice to end the war in July 1953, during which fighting erupted periodically.
Alger Hiss
In 1948, "this former State Department officer was accused of having been a communist in the 1930s. He was convicted of perjury sentenced to a five-year term in prison. This case fed the fears of many Americans that a communist underground was operating in the United States and had agents within the government. .
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
In 1950, this former member of the American Communist Party was arrested for spying and providing Russia with secrets about the atomic bomb. His wife, a homemaker and political activist, was also arrested and charged with assisting her husband with his espionage activities. The trial ended in1951, and the jury found both guilty of espionage. Their death sentence was pronounced and they were electrocuted at on June 19, 1953—the only civilians ever to be executed for spying.
Joseph McCarthy
In the early 1950s, this Wisconsin Senator conducted a witch-hunt of government employees that he charged with being communists or communist sympathizers. In the early years of the Cold War, his power and influence grew. Although he never unearthed a single communist spy, he became so powerful that even Dwight D. Eisenhower did not dare to criticize him. Televised Senate hearings eventually exposed his erratic behavior and made it obvious to the television audience that his charges were without foundation. After the televised hearings and his public humiliation, a majority of senators finally felt sufficiently secure enough to vote to censure him in 1954.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
This immensely popular WWII hero and commander of NATO was elected president in 1952 on the promise to end the war in Korea. His administration is remembered chiefly for its lack of legislative initiatives and calm style of consensus management during a period of national prosperity. He had campaigned on the promise of cutting back on government—on the size of the budget, on taxes, and on regulation of the nation's business. But he also recognized how popular the New Deal programs were and instead of ending them actually expanded some, such as Social Security benefits. In foreign policy he managed Cold War crises while avoiding stark confrontation with the Soviet Union.
Interstate Highway Act
Inis1956, President Eisenhower signed this bill into law. With an original authorization of 25 billion dollars over a 20-year period, it was the largest public works project in American history through that time. A significant side effect of the law was the development of suburbs--furthering the flight of citizens and businesses from inner cities, and compounding vehicle pollution and excessive petroleum use problems.
Dynamic Conservatism
This term characterized President Eisenhower's domestic program. "IKE" claimed he was liberal toward people, but conservative about spending public money. He sought to balance the federal budget and lower taxes without destroying existing social programs or hurting military spending.
John Foster Dulles
As secretary of state in the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he became famous for his strong anticommunist views and insistence that the United States help small countries to withstand aggression. In 1954, he articulated a "NEW LOOK" foreign policy that increased reliance on a nuclear weapons to deter communist aggression through threats of "Massive Retalliation"
Eisenhower Doctrine
President Dwight D. Eisenhower became convinced that the tumultuous political situation in the Middle East had become a battleground of the cold war. His foreign policy commitment in the middle east became known by this term. Eisenhower demanded that Congress grant him the military and financial resources to aid those Middle Eastern powers attempting to fend off communism. Congress complied, thus initiating a period of extensive U.S. involvement in the Middle East that continues to this day.
The Soviets expanded their space program during the cold war and beginning in 1957, they launched this first artificial satellite to successfully orbit the Earth. This success in space fed fears of Soviet technological superiority and prompted the U.S. government to vastly increase its dedication to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
"Missile Gap"
This term describes the alleged strategic superiority of the Soviet Union, created by the Soviet development of intercontinental missiles and rockets in the late 1950s and the launching of Sputnik in October 1957. President Eisenhower tried to downscale the meaning and implication of the Soviet success, but the public reacted with fear. Furthermore, the issue became partisan, with the Democrats seizing upon it as a subject with which they could attack the president and campaign for the election of 1960.
Kitchen Debate
This term describes a series of impromptu exchanges (through interpreters) between then U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959. For the exhibition, an entire house was built that the American exhibitors claimed anyone in America could afford. It was filled with labor-saving and recreational devices meant to represent the fruits of the capitalist American consumer market. Nixon and Khrushchev debated the merits of their respective countries at this location.
U-2 Incident
This incident occurred during the Cold War on May 1, 1960, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower when an American spy plane was shot down over Soviet Union airspace. The United States government at first denied the plane's purpose and mission, but then was forced to admit its role when the Soviet government produced the surviving pilot, Francis Gary Powers. Coming just over two weeks before the scheduled opening of an East-West summit in Paris, the incident was a great embarrassment to the United States and prompted a marked deterioration in its relations with the Soviet Union.
Fidel Castro
This Communist leader of the Cuban Revolution successfully overthrew the US-backed dictatorship in 1959. He then led the transformation of Cuba into a one-party socialist republic. In 1960, he forged a relationship with the USSR which increased opposition to his government in the U.S. At various times, the US government attempted to assassinate him, overthrow his regime, and restrict trade and travel to Cuba. All of these efforts failed, and his regime continues to rule Cuba (under his brother's rule) to this day.
McCarran Internal Security Act
In 1950, Congress passed this law over President Truman's veto. This measure required communists and other groups deemed subversive to register with the U.S. attorney general. Furthermore, it prevented members of these identified organizations from holding government or defense employment and denied them passports. Additionally, it prohibited any alien's entry to the United States if he or she had ever belonged to the Communist Party. The act is indicative of the anti-communist fear of the 1950s.
Brown v. Board of Education
In this controversial 1954 decision, the Supreme Court reversed the 1896 "Plessy v. Ferguson" decision that established the "separate but equal" doctrine. The decision found segregation in schools inherently unequal and in violation of the Constitution. This landmark ruling paved the way for integration and the civil rights movement.
Central High School
This high school was the scene of a civil rights showdown. After the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the school board announced its intention to comply with federal constitutional requirements. When nine African American students arrived on the first day of school, the Arkansas National Guard blocked their entrance, thus directly challenging the federal government. On September 24, 1957, President Eisenhower ordered 1,000 federal troops to Little Rock.. Troops continued to patrol the school for the rest of the school year. The press coverage focused national attention on enforcement of the Brown decision and also added fuel to the fire of the growing civil rights movement.
Election of 1960
In this landmark presidential election, youthful John F. Kennedy defeated Vice President Richard Nixon. Kennedy was just 43 years old and a member of the US Senate. Nixon and Kennedy agreed on most basic issues, which meant the campaign boiled down to varying perceptions of the men's images. For the first time, television was a deciding factor in the outcome of an election. The largest television audience in history—an estimated 70 million adults—tuned in to a debate between Kennedy and Nixon—the first presidential debate in US history. During the debate, the two seemed evenly matched, but television viewers credited Kennedy with the win. Radio listeners felt Nixon had won. In the Novembeer election, Kennedy received 34.2 million votes to Nixon's 34.1, a difference of just 115,000 votes.
John F. Kennedy
He became, at 43, the youngest man ever to be elected President, as well as the first Catholic. His domestic program, the New Frontier, called for new civil rights legislation, more comprehensive welfare, social security, and health insurance; and urban development and renewal. In foreign affairs he recovered from the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba to demand successfully the withdrawal of Soviet missiles from the country, and negotiated the Test-Ban Treaty of 1963 with the USSR and the UK. He was assassinated while riding in a motorcade through Dallas, Texas, in November 1963.
New Frontier
This name was given to the domestic agenda of President John F. Kennedy. He called for: expansion of unemployment benefits, federal aid to cities to improve housing and transportation, a water pollution control act, and an agricultural act to raise farmers' incomes. Major expansions and improvements were also made in Social Security , hospital construction, library services, family farm assistance and reclamation. By some estimates, more new legislation was actually approved and passed into law than at any other time since the New Deal in the Thirties.
Pearl Harbor
This was the U.S. naval base in Hawaii that was attacked by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. It was the worst naval disaster in U.S. history, with more than 2,000 casualties, dozens of aircraft destroyed, and 16 ships damaged or destroyed. While Americans had previously been divided over whether to enter World War II or maintain a policy of isolationism, Japan's surprise attack effectively ended the debate. On December 8, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared before Congress, where he called December 7 "a date which will live in infamy" and asked for a declaration of war against Japan.
Office of War Mobilization
This agency of the United States government coordinated all government agencies involved in the war effort during World War II. This office took over from the earlier War Production Board to shift the country from a peacetime to a wartime economy. The United States was soon outproducing the Axis powers. Unemployment, the scourge of ten years earlier, had all but vanished, as Americans went to work to fuel the war machine.
National War Labor Board
This Agency was originally created during WWI by President Woodrow Wilson. In 1942, President Roosevelt reestablished the commission for WWII. It was charged with acting as an arbitration tribunal in labor-management dispute cases, thereby preventing work stoppages which might hinder the war effort.
Smith Connally Act
This law was passed on June 25, 1943, over President Franklin D. Roosevelt's veto. The Act allowed the federal government to seize and operate industries threatened by or under strikes that would interfere with war production.
This controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, or services was implemented in the U.S. in 1942. Targeted items included food and other necessities in short supply, including materials needed for the war effort such as rubber tires, leather shoes, clothing and gasoline. Some items, such as sugar, were distributed evenly based on the number of people in a household. Other items, like gasoline or fuel oil, were rationed only to those who could justify a need.
A. Philip Randolph
This African American leader met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 to press for integration of the armed forces and the employment of black workers in the defense plants. To force an executive order to end discriminatory hiring practices in defense plants, he called for a show of strength: a massive march on Washington in July 1941. On July 1, six days before the march was to occur, Roosevelt signed an executive order barring discrimination in defense plants and in government service. Though integration of the armed forces was not achieved, thousands of jobs in defense industries were opened up for blacks.
Executive Order 8802
On June 25, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed this executive order, "Reaffirming Policy Full Participation in the Defense Program by All Persons, Regardless of Race, Creed, Color, or National Origin, and Directing Certain Act in Furtherance of Said Policy." It ended discriminatory practices in the defense industry, as the United States prepared for its possible entry into World War II.
Navajo Code Talkers
These marines developed and implemented one of the few unbroken codes in history. The language was largely unwritten and not a subject of linguistic study. They based the code on nature as a reference. Birds indicated planes, a buzzard was a bomber, and fish denoted types of ships. They worked with all six marine divisions in the Pacific and served with distinction on the islands of Iwo Jima, Saipan, and Guadalcanal. The code was finally declassified in 1968.
Executive Order 9066
Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, this executive order to authorize the internment of over 100,000 Japanese Americans during the war. Both the U.S. government and much of the public feared that Japanese Americans would commit acts of sabotage in the United States to undermine the U.S. war effort and assist the Japanese. Instead, the government forced Japanese Americans into camps throughout the West, where they suffered from deprivation, despair, and disease for much of the war, even as Japanese-American units distinguished themselves in the U.S. military.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
As supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in World War II, he directed the invasions of North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. He was not a colorful figure like Gen. George S. Patton or Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. However, his style of firm, calm leadership proved to be ideally suited for welding the disparate forces of the Allies into an efficient military machine capable of accomplishing the largest amphibious invasion in history at Normandy in 1944 and then crushing Nazi Germany.
This term designates June 6, 1944, the day Allied troops launched Operation Overlord and crossed the English Channel and opened a second front in Western Europe. The operation was the largest amphibious invasion in world history, with nearly 200,000 troops and 5,000 ships involved. The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast . The success of this invasion led to the liberation of France in late August 1944 and to the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945.
General George Patton
He was the most outstanding American combat general of World War II. Known as much for his showmanship and eccentric behavior as for his boldness, he was an extraordinarily intellectual and cultured man who employed his encyclopedic knowledge of history to fight his battles. His command of the U.S. Seventh Army during the Sicily campaign in the summer of 1943 brought him fame. He then commanded the Third Army, which spearheaded the breakout from the Normandy bridgehead in early August 1944. His finest hour occurred during the Battle of the Bulge when he turned Third Army to the north in record time to relieve Bastogne and help ensure the failure of the German attack.
Battle of the Bulge
This German counter-offensive was launched in December, 1944 as a final effort to turn the tide of the war. A successful surprise attack on the thin Allied line would enable Germany to recapture the Allied supply port at Antwerp, and it would also separate the British forces from the American troops. The German ambush caught the Allies off guard and temporarily drove them back. However, Allied reinforcements and air superiority led to a major defeat for the German Army; it opened the door for Allied invasion of Germany itself.
Battle of Coral Sea
This WWII battle occurred between U.S. and Japanese aircraft carriers in May 1942 and served to halt the Japanese advance toward Australia during World War II. The battle was the first major naval battle in which the opposing fleets did not sight each other; aircraft carried out all combat. This ushered in a new style of naval warfare: carrier-versus-carrier.
This Pacific Island became the focus of the first U.S. offensive of World War II. The battle here, which was waged from early August 1942 to mid-February 1943, was a decisive Allied victory over the Empire of Japan. The battle was also the first Japanese land defeat of the conflict. It also revealed the incredible resilience of the Japanese fighters and their unwillingness to surrender, which led many U.S. leaders to support the use of the atomic bomb to end the war.
This battle, fought in June, 1942 is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Japanese admiral Yamamoto anticipated that the attack would lure those American aircraft carriers that had escaped from the Pearl Harbor attack into open waters, where they could be sunk. However, this battle marked the first clear-cut Japanese defeat since the outbreak of World War II; it ended Japan's ability to expand its control in the Pacific, and forced the Japanese to be on the defensive for the remainder of the war. Japan was unable to recover from the loss of four aircraft carriers, the best in the navy's fleet, and the loss of so many skilled pilots.
General Douglas MacArthur
He commanded Allied troops in the Pacific during World War II. He was forced to surrender the Philippines in 1941 and was thereafter obsessed with its recapture, which he accomplished in 1944. He later commanded the American occupation of Japan and United Nations troops in the Korean War.
Admiral Chester Nimitz
He was commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet throughout World War II. As rapidly as ships, men, and material became available, he shifted to the offensive and defeated the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Coral Sea, and the pivotal Battle of Midway. He culminated his long-range island-hopping strategy by successful amphibious assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. On September 2,1945 he signed for the United States when Japan formally surrendered on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
island hopping
This was the American strategy in the Pacific during World War II. It involved a leapfrogging movement of American forces from one strategic island to the next until American forces were in control of the Pacific and prepared to invade Japan.
Leyte Gulf
This is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history. Fought between 23-26 October 1944, the Imperial Japanese Navy had suffered its greatest loss of ships and crew ever. Japan's failure to repulse the Allied invaders meant the inevitable loss of the Philippines to the Allies, which in turn meant that Japan would be all but cut off from its occupied territories in Southeast Asia.
In the spring of 1945, it was the site of the largest and final confrontation between the United States and Japanese imperial forces during World War II. The Americans hoped to capture the island so it could be used to stage raids against the Japanese mainland. The Japanese, having dug into caves and bunkers, ambushed every U.S. force. Japanese resistance included kamikaze attacks. After three months of severe fighting, the Americans finally prevailed on June 21, 1945 at a cost of 13,000 dead. Approximately150,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians died. . The tenacity of the Japanese forces convinced President Harry Truman to drop the atomic bomb on Japan rather than invade and suffer potentially horrendous losses.
Harry S Truman
He assumed the office of president after the unexpected death of Roosevelt on April 12, 1945. He became president during an extraordinarily difficult period with very little preparation. Roosevelt had not included him in Cabinet or important policy meetings. During his first two years in office, he had to decide whether to use the atomic bomb to end the war with Japan and he had to confront the immensely difficult tasks of rebuilding the nations ravaged by World War II and containing the powerful appeal of communism.
Manhattan Project
This was the code name for the American effort to develop the atomic bomb. Under the auspices of Gen. Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army, the project involved roughly 125,000 people and cost more than $2 billion, yet it remained top secret throughout the course of World War II. The project culminated in the detonation of the first atomic weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico (16 July 1945).
After the Japanese rejected a final surrender ultimatum issued on July 26, 1945, President Harry Truman decided to employ the atomic bomb. These two cities were the ultimate targets. The first atomic bomb, code-named "Little Boy," was dropped on this port city of on August 6. More than 70,000 people were killed instantly, only about a third of whom were military personnel. The United States again demanded surrender, but Japan, dismissing the threat as American propaganda, refused. Three days later, a second atomic bomb, codenamed "Fat Man," was dropped on this city, killing more than 70,000 people. Five days later, on August 14, Japan surrendered unconditionally.
This was the site of a wartime conference in February 1945, where U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin met. The Allies agreed to final plans for the defeat of Germany and its subsequent division into zones of occupation. The Soviets agreed to allow free elections in Poland, but the elections were never held. The Soviet Union promised to enter the war against Japan three months after the war with Germany ended.
Last Allied conference of World War II, held at Potsdam outside Berlin from 11 July to 2 August 1945 between British Prime Minister Churchill (replaced by Attlee during the course of the conference), Joseph Stalin of the USSR and President Truman. The Allies agreed at the conference to the partitioning of Germany between themselves into zones of military occupation. An ultimatum was also sentto Japan demanding unconditional surrender on pain of utter destruction.
Bank Holiday
The day after becoming president in 1933, Franklin Roosevelt called for this—a temporary closure of all banks while they were investigated by federal examiners. In this time, Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act of 1933. When banks reopened depositors stood in line to return their stashed cash to neighborhood banks. On March 15, 1933, the first day of trading after the extended closure, the New York Stock Exchange recorded the largest one-day percentage price increase ever. With the benefit of hindsight, this action ended the bank runs that had plagued the Great Depression and signaled the vigorous executive action associated with Roosevelt's New Deal.
Hundred Days
This term refers to the early part of the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he initiated legislation to relieve economic pressures during the Great Depression. In this time, Roosevelt called Congress into a special session and he proposed more legislative programs than any previous president had done in a comparable time period. The New Deal significantly reoriented America's understanding of the responsibility of the national government for social welfare. This period remains an example of unparalleled exercise of presidential powers in a time of peace and has served as inspiration for later presidents.
21st Amendment
This Amendment to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment which had mandated nationwide Prohibition. It was ratified on December 5, 1933.
Fireside Chats
This term described the national radio addresses delivered by President Franklin Roosevelt that were intended to reassure the public and inform them of any national issues or crises. After the success of the first radio address on March 12, 1933, Roosevelt went on to give 28 more over the next 10 years. Not only did these speeches garner him wide support as an understanding president, but they also promoted New Deal programs.
This labor union was formed in 1938 as an organization of semi-or unskilled labor from mass-production industries that was composed of industrial unions rather than craft unions like the AFL. This meant that labor recruiters would organize all of the workers in one industry or plant into a single union, rather than organizing them on the basis of their industrial craft skills.
Brain Trust
This was the name given to a diverse group of academics who served as advisers to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. These men played a key role in shaping the New Deal. Although this group represented a variety of ideologies, they shared a basic, somewhat self-justifying belief that organized intelligence could restore the political, economic, and social health of society.
John Steinbeck
This author wrote the famous novel, The Grapes of Wrath in 1939, a book that captured the economic despair of the 1930s and spawned popular outrage against conditions faced by migrant farm workers. In the book, the Joad family characterized typical "Oakies" who moved from Oklahoma to California, like to escape the droughts and Dust Bowl conditions that ruined farmers in the Midwest. By 1950, four million people, or one quarter of all persons born in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, or Missouri, like Steinbeck's Joad family, lived outside the region. Most went to California.
Huey Long
This Louisiana Senator was a left-wing critic of the New Deal, contending it did too little to help the poor. He advocated a "Share Our Wealth" program to transfer wealth from the rich to the poor. He made it clear that he hoped to run for the presidency at the head of the Democratic Party in 1936 or 1940, but that if he could not secure the nomination he would run as an independent. He never had the chance. He was assassinated on September 8, 1935 by the son-in-law of a political opponent he was attempting to destroy. He died two days later.
Father Charles Coughlin
This magnetic radio personality quickly won enormous popularity, and by 1930 his broadcasts attracted as many as 40 million listeners. His attention soon turned from religious to political issues. Initially a supporter of FDR, by 1934, he launched his own political organization--the National Union for Social Justice--and gradually turned it into a vehicle for challenging the president. His radio sermons attacked the New Deal as a communist conspiracy and an incipient dictatorship. In 1938, he added a harsh anti-Semitism to his broadcasts. Although he retained a devoted following, his new extremism drove away most of his traditional supporters; in 1940, no longer able to afford radio time, he ceased his broadcasts.
Dr. Francis Townsend
This American physician was best known for his proposal for a revolving old-age pension plan during the Great Depression. This proposal is often considered an important influence on the establishment of the Social Security system during the Roosevelt Administration
Schecter v United States
This unanimous Supreme Court decision declared the National Industrial Recovery Act, a main component of President Roosevelt's New Deal, was unconstitutional. Speaking to aides of Roosevelt, Justice Louis Brandeis remarked that, "This is the end of this business of centralization, and I want you to go back and tell the president that we're not going to let this government centralize everything."
Wagner Act
This is the more common name for the National Labor Relations Act (1935) which created the National Labor Relations Board to aid unions by prohibiting employers from engaging in unfair labor practices. The law set the stage for the development of collective bargaining for labor organizations during the 1930s. One of the key pieces of legislation during the New Deal, this act, among other things, created the National Labor Relations Board, which heard thousands of cases of alleged unfair labor practices. The passage of this law elevated the standing of labor unions across the country.
Social Security Act
This monumental piece of New Deal legislation (1935) established a system of old-age, unemployment, and survivors insurance funded by wage and payroll taxes. At age sixty-five workers could retire with a modest benefit. Because agricultural laborers and domestic servants were excluded from coverage, three-fifths of African American workers were ineligible for these benefits, as were most Native Americans. Also excluded were teachers, nurses, hospital employees, librarians, and social workers--all predominantly female occupations.
Court Packing Plan
In 1937 in one of his fireside chats, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced this plan to the public. In the preceding years, the U.S. Supreme Court had declared several components of his New Deal program unconstitutional, so Roosevelt wanted to appoint additional justices to the Court who would be more sympathetic to his policies. This plan met with widespread public and congressional condemnation, as Roosevelt was accused of suggesting a major constitutional reform without sufficient cause, and the plan was ultimately defeated.
Sit-Down Strikes
This type of strike by General Motors workers in Flint, Michigan energized the new CIO and labor union movement during the Roosevelt administration. GM was the largest and most profitable U.S. corporation, the very epitome of twentieth-century corporate power. From December 29, 1936, until February 11, 1937, GM workers occupied several key GM plants. The strike was widely supported and skillfully publicized. The auto workers' stunning victory came to symbolize CIO solidarity and militancy, galvanizing not only auto workers but all labor.
Fair Labor Standards Act
Also known as the Wages and Hours Law, this New Deal legislation abolished child labor and established a national minimum wage of 40 cents per hour and a maximum work week of 40 hours.
Frances Perkins
She was the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, and the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet. As a loyal supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt, she helped pull the labor movement into the New Deal coalition. During her term as Secretary of Labor, she championed many aspects of the New Deal, including the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Public Works Administration. Through the Fair Labor Standards Act, she established the first minimum wage and overtime laws for American workers, and defined the standard 40-hour work week.
Eleanor Roosevelt
This First Lady (1933-1945) was the first wife of a president to use her unique position to fight for the rights of minorities, women, and the destitute. She worked in the slums, visited workers in mines and factories, held press conferences, and wrote a newspaper column. Strongly committed to civil equality for African Americans, she was often the only person close to the White House who was willing to speak up on the issue. After her husband's death in 1945, she continued her public life, serving as a delegate to the United Nations until 1952.
Indian Organization Act
The law replaced the "Dawes Act" and reversed previous Indian policy by guaranteeing tribal self-government and providing economic assistance. It was intended to allow Native Americans to resurrect their culture and traditions lost to government expansion and encroachment years earlier. Part of Congress's intent was to help Native Americans achieve economic parity with white people, while not becoming dependent on state governments. The goal of the act, however, was to give greater independence to local tribes, not individual members.
Gerald Nye
He headed a Senate investigation into banking and the munitions industries. He concluded that they had conspired to drag the United States into World War I for their own profit. He labeled munitions manufacturers "merchants of death." His committee's report fed the isolationist mood of Americans in the mid-1930s.
Neutrality Acts
These laws were passed by the United States Congress in the 1930s, in response to the growing turmoil in Europe and Asia that eventually led to World War II. They were spurred by the growth in isolationism and non-interventionism in the US following its costly involvement in World War I, and sought to ensure US neutrality by forbidding arms trade and loans to belligerent countries.
Quarantine Speech
President Franklin Roosevelt delivered this speech in 1937 as an alternative to the political climate of American neutrality and non-intervention that was prevalent at the time. He condemned international aggression and suggested the use of economic pressure, a forceful response, but less direct than outright aggression.
Cash and Carry
This was a policy requested by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939, as World War II was spreading throughout Europe. It replaced the Neutrality Acts of 1936. The revision allowed the sale of material to belligerents, as long as the recipients arranged for the transport using their own ships and paid immediately in cash, assuming all risk in transportation.
Destroyers for Bases
In 1940, the Roosevelt Administration was sympathetic to Britain's plight in the European War, but American public opinion at the time overwhelmingly supported isolationism. President Roosevelt arranged this deal to trade fifty old American naval destroyers to Britain in exchange for six Caribbean naval bases. It was a shrewd deal that helped save Britain's fleet and bolster U.S. defenses in the Atlantic.
America First Committee
Led by aviation hero Charles Lindbergh, this was an isolationist organization in the 1930s that opposed any U.S. intervention in world affairs that might lead the United States into war. Peaking at 800,000 members, it was likely the largest anti-war organization in American history. Started in 1940, it became defunct after the attack upon Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
Lend-Lease Act
This Act (March, 1941) provided for the extension of credit, weapons, and supplies to the British government, as Great Britain struggled against the aggression of Nazi Germany in World War II. Technically, the law allowed the president to grant aid to any country whose defense the president believed to be vital to U.S. security. Over the course of the war and under the auspices of this bill, the United States granted more than $50 billion of aid to its allies.
Four Freedoms
In 1941, before the United States entered World War II, President Roosevelt enumerated these goals for world peace and for which World War II was being fought--freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
Reuben James
This US Navy destroyer was the first United States Navy ship sunk by hostile action in World War II. The destroyer was part of the convoy escort force established to promote the safe arrival of materiel to the United Kingdom. On October 31st, 1941, while escorting a convoy, this ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. Of the 159-man crew, only 44 survived.
Warren Harding
In 1920, this Republican presidential candidate promised "less government in business and more business in government" to help bring back prosperity after the recession and inflation that followed World War I. But prosperity was no substitute for leadership. After becoming president, he admitted to his friend, "I knew that this job would be too much for me." He was right. The widespread abuse of the public trust by his cronies shocked the nation. The most notorious abuse was the Teapot Dome scandal by Secretary of Interior, Albert Fall.
Andrew Mellon
In 1921, President Harding selected this man to be secretary of the treasury. He proved so competent at dealing with the broad range of complicated economic issues that he was retained in this position in the succeeding Coolidge and Hoover administrations. He reduced individual and corporate tax rates and substantially cut the federal budget. He also significantly lowered the national debt, from $24 billion to $16 billion. His policies were hailed by many Americans during the prosperous 1920s but drew criticism as the country sank into a deep depression in the early 1930s.
Teapot Dome Scandal
With the possible exception of the Watergate scandal, few political scandals in American history have stirred as much controversy as this scandal that took place during the presidency of Warren Harding. President Harding transferred control of naval oil reserves held at in Wyoming from the Navy to his friend Albert Fall, Secretary of the Interior, who subsequently leased them to oil companies in return for a bribe. Fall was eventually imprisoned in 1929, following a Senate investigation, the first Cabinet minster to be criminally convicted.
Calvin Coolidge
Harding's death in August 1923 made this man president. He moved quickly to neutralize the effects of the Harding scandals and secure the 1924 presidential nomination for himself. His victory seemed to confirm the popularity of the conservative policies that he claimed were responsible for a growing national prosperity. In the domestic policy sphere, his pro-business policies helped secure further cuts in federal taxes and expenditures, maintain a high protective tariff. Among his administration's diplomatic achievements were the Dawes Plan and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. In 1927 he announced that he would not run for president again.
Washington Naval Conference
This was an International diplomatic meeting 1921 to avert a naval arms race between the principal maritime powers: Britain, the USA, Japan, France, and Italy. The resultant treaty 1922 put a stop to naval competition by limiting the battleship strength of the five powers.
Kellogg-Briand Pact
In August 1928, representatives of a number of nations met in Paris to sign this pact to renounce war. It was subsequently adopted by over sixty governments. It represented the most ambitious attempt to outlaw war that the modern world had yet seen; at its heart lay the simple notion that war ought to be illegal. In the end, despite the noble intentions of those who promoted the Pact, its lack of any means of enforcement guaranteed its failure.
Clark Memorandum
This memorandum was written in 1928 by Calvin Coolidge's undersecretary of state. It rejected the view that the Roosevelt Corollary was based on the Monroe Doctrine and stated that the Monroe Doctrine was based on conflicts of interest between the United States and European nations, rather than between the United States and Latin American nations.
Good Neighbor Policy
This foreign policy stance was adopted by President Franklin Roosevelt to promote better diplomatic relations, especially with South America. The policy called for non-intervention in Latin America. As the Great Depression gripped the United States in the 1930s, this policy redirected U.S. funds from Latin American aid toward domestic programs. Roosevelt's policy helped the United States maintain good relations with Latin America and contributed to Latin America's support of the United States during WWII
Dawes Plan
This plan was presented by an American banker in 1924 to help Germany to meet the harsh financial terms imposed by the Allies at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919-1920. The plan included a graduated schedule of reparation payments and a huge foreign loan for Germany. In 1924, the architect of the plan was nominated by the Republican Party to be President Coolidge's vice president and he won the Nobel Prize the next year.
Herbert Hoover
During the campaign for president in 1928, the stock market soared, and this candidate said in a speech, "We are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land." He won the election in a landslide. In October 1929, less than a year after he took office, the stock market crashed and so too did his dream of presiding over a period of increasing prosperity. He failed as a president to lead the United States effectively during the Great Depression. Relief activities belonged, he believed, to state and local governments. From the perspective of those in need of immediate relief, it appeared as though he was helping the rich instead of the poor. His name became associated with the misery of the Great Depression.
October 29, 1929
This date is remembered as "Black Tuesday" when the stock market "crashed" and wiped out the fortunes and life savings of many investors. The event marked the end of the securities boom of the 1920s and the beginning of the Great Depression. Many investors lost their life savings, and many businesses and banks failed due to their losses. Ultimately, the crash triggered the reform of laws regulating the securities market and led to the establishment of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which acted to enforce new reporting and listing requirements and other laws that aimed to end manipulative practices in securities trading.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
This administration was established by President Herbert Hoover in 1932 to make emergency loans to banks and railroads in danger of defaulting as the Great Depression deepened. The agency dispensed $1.5 billion in its first year and was credited with contributing to the reduction in bank failures during the first half of 1932. As the financial situation worsened again Hoover's congressional opponents argued for direct federal grants to individuals, but Hoover opposed all such programs, convinced that direct relief was not the role of federal government.
Hawley-Smoot Tariff
In 1930, Congress enacted this tariff which raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels. Unable to earn American dollars in trade, Europeans could not make their war debt payments, which further aggravated the depression of both the American and European economies. Ensuing retaliatory tariffs by U.S. trading partners reduced American exports and imports by more than half. Some economists have opined that the tariffs contributed to the severity of the Great Depression
This was the name given to shantytowns that were occupied by those most severely hurt by the economic calamity. Poverty-stricken men and women were forced into tin shantytowns where they ate out of garbage cans and cooked on discarded scrap metal. These towns were nicknamed after the Herbert Hoover administration, which was blamed for failing to notice or remedy any underlying weaknesses in the apparently booming U.S. economy.
Bonus Army
In June 1932, these 20,000 World War I veterans marched on Washington, D.C., to demand immediate payment of their "adjusted compensation" bonuses voted by Congress in 1924. Congress rejected their demands, and President Hoover had the army forcefully remove them from their encampment. He feared their ranks were infested with criminals and radicals. The event proved to be the fatal blow to Hoover's political career; Franklin D. Roosevelt used the incident against him during the election of 1932.
Dust Bowl
This 150,000-square-mile area in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and portions of Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico, was struck by a severe drought and high winds in the summers from 1934 to 1937. Those conditions caused the topsoil to blow into great clouds of dust. The dust clouds obscured sunlight, piled up in drifts as high as snow, and devastated agriculture and livestock in the region. For many farmers who were already suffering the effects of the Great Depression, the dust clouds were the final blow. They sold or abandoned their land and migrated west to California to start over.
Dorthea Lange
This documentary photographer is best known for her sensitive, impassioned images of depression-era poverty. Her achievements in photographic technique and her respect and compassion for the subjects of her portraits raised the level of art photography and the awareness of the plight of those most affected by the Great Depression.
New Deal
This was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan for, and active government response to, the Great Depression. It called for experimentation in providing relief for individuals, recovery of the economy, and reform of the American system. Numerous federal programs, such as the CCC, CWA, and TVA, illustrate this proactive, pragmatic legislative agenda.
Quota Act
Passed on May 26, 1924, this law stemmed the massive tide of immigration that had been flowing into the United States since the mid-19th century. Of particular concern was the high number of nonwhite and Eastern European immigrants who had been coming into the country by the hundreds of thousands for decades. The law established a system for immigration that highly favored Northern Europeans over all others and set the standard for immigration policy until the 1960s.
"Jazz Age"
This term, first penned by novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, was just one of many names used to describe the popular culture and newfound prosperity of the United States after World War I. Some have referred to it as the Roaring Twenties, while others have named it the Ballyhoo Years. Charleston dance and jazz bands; female flappers and loose morals; bathtub gin and speakeasies, all combined and intertwined into the decade of the 1920s, also known by this name.
Margaret Sanger
She dedicated her life to the birth-control movement in the United States, of which she was the founder and controversial leader. She founded the American Birth Control League, serving as president until 1928; the organization later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942.
Alice Paul
This feminist and suffragist devoted her life to fighting for women's rights. In 1912, she led the congressional committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Her preference for militant tactics made her break with that organization the following year, forming the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, which she chaired. Disagreeing with NAWSA's state-by-state approach, the new organization pushed for a woman suffrage amendment to the Constitution and singled out the party in power—in this case, the Democrats—as the culprit for failing to endorse such an amendment. The nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920.
Birth of a Nation
Originally called The Clansman, this1915 American silent film was directed by D.W. Griffith and was the highest-grossing film of the silent film era and has been praised for its technical innovations. The film was, and remains, highly controversial due to its portrayal of African American men (played by white actors in blackface) as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women, and the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan as a heroic force.The film is also credited as one of the events which inspired the formation of the "second era" Klan and was used as a recruiting tool for the KKK. It was the first motion picture to be shown at the White House.
Scopes Monkey Trial
This 1925 trial was considered the "trial of the century." It represented the opening skirmish between fundamentalist Christians and modernists over the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools. In early 1925, the state of Tennessee made it illegal to "teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man." When a biology teacher violated this law and taught evolution, the case wen to court. William Jennings Bryan represented the prosecution and Clarence Darrow represented the teacher. The teacher was found guilty, but the trial presented a serious challenge to fundamentalist teachings.
18th Amendment
This Constitutional Amendment (1919), along with the Volstead Act, legislatively banned "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors." The era of Prohibition was underway. This Amendment was the culmination of efforts to ban alcohol that dated to the19th-century temperance movements. The Amendment was eventually repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933.
These establishments illegally sold alcoholic beverages in the United States during the period known as Prohibition. Some of them were operated by people who were part of organized crime. Although police and agents of the Bureau of Prohibition would often raid them and arrest their owners and patrons, they were so profitable that they continued to flourish. They became symbolic of the difficulty associated with enforcement of the 18th Amendment.
Al Capone
He was one of America's most notorious criminals, and the crime organization that he created in the 1920s became a symbol of the Mafia. In addition to the flourishing trade in alcohol, the mob expanded its operations in gambling, prostitution and bribery during the 1920s. In 1931, the U.S. Department of Justice successfully prosecuted him for income tax invasion, resulting in a 10-year prison sentence.
Ku Klux Klan
This organization was reborn in the 1910s and 1920s, after fictionalized version of an earlier version of the group was presented in The Birth of a Nation. In the 1920s they added foreigners, Jews, Catholics, and organized labor to their lists of enemies. In this era, the great stronghold of this group was the Midwest, and the organization enjoyed a wider membership base and great political power. They advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically expressed through terrorism.
Sacco and Vanzetti
In 1920, these two Italian immigrants were arrested for an armed robbery in which two men had been killed. In the eyes of immigrant union members, left-wing radicals, and rebels of all kinds, they were innocent men who were being railroaded for their political beliefs. Members of the established power structure saw them as dangerous foreigners out to subvert the American way of life. In what many observers felt was an unfair trial, both men were convicted of murder and given the death penalty. The question of the two men's guilt or innocence is still a matter of historical controversy.
Lost Generation
This term described the young generation of artists and writers, disillusioned by the brutality of World War I and alienated by the materialism and conformity of the new mass culture, who became critics of modern society's manners, morals, and materialism. Many Americans among them became expatriates, leaving the United States to live in Europe.
Marcus Garvey
Born in Jamaica, this black nationalist leader aimed to organize blacks everywhere but achieved his greatest impact in the United States, where he tapped into and enhanced the growing black aspirations for justice, wealth, and a sense of community. During World War I and the 1920s, his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was the largest black secular organization in African-American history. Possibly a million men and women from the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa belonged to it. His work demonstrated that the urban masses were a potentially powerful force in the struggle for black freedom.
"New Negro"
This term was popularized during the Harlem Renaissance. It referred to a more outspoken advocacy of dignity and a refusal to submit quietly to the practices and laws of Jim Crow racial segregation. Those described by this term were seen invariably as men and women (but mostly men) of middle-class orientation who often demanded their legal rights as citizens, but almost always wanted to craft new images that would subvert and challenge old stereotypes. Above all, they sought a "spiritual emancipation" in the 1910s and 1920s.
Harlem Renaissance
This was a time of cultural renewal among African Americans, concurrent with the Jazz Age during the 1920s. Centered on the activities of African-American writers, artists, and musicians in the Harlem district of New York City, the new appreciation for and celebration of black culture spread throughout the United States. The movement was fuelled by the Great Migration, when African Americans left the south seeking jobs and a better way of life in northern cities. Names like Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong are all associated with this term.
Langston Hughes
He was an American poet, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the new literary art form jazz poetry. He is best-known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue".
Henry Ford
He revolutionized the automobile industry, life in the United States, and possibly Western culture with the Model T. His assembly-line production method enabled cars to be made in quantity at a cost that brought them within reach of the average person. He controlled his company despotically, discouraged the introduction of modern ways of management, and fiercely resisted unionization. When World War II broke out his company became heavily involved in American defense production notably at its huge Willow Run plant, where thousands of B-24 Liberator bombers were built.
Charles Lindbergh
He is famed for completing the first solo crossing of the Atlantic on 21 May 1927, flying from Long Island, New York to Paris, France in 33 hours in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis. He became a popular hero over night and was nicknamed 'Lucky Lindy' by the press. On his return to New York he was given an unprecedented ticker-tape reception. He relentlessly used his fame to help promote the rapid development of U.S. commercial aviation.
Fort Sumter
Built on a small island, this fort was designed to protect the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. When South Carolina seceded in December 1860, the garrison inside Fort Sumter remained loyal to the United States. When the fort's food supplies began to run out, President Lincoln's effort to replenish them generated military reprisal from Confederate forces. The shelling of this fort on April 12, 1861, started the Civil War.
Anaconda Plan
This is the name widely applied to an outline strategy for subduing the seceding states in the American Civil War. Proposed by General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the plan emphasized the blockade of the Southern ports, and called for an advance down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two.
General George McClellan
President Lincoln appointed him commander of Union forces in 1861. After months of preparation however, his army was defeated by Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army in the Peninsular Campaign of 1862. His egotism and overcautiousness cost the Union the chance to end the Civil War quickly and finally forced President Abraham Lincoln to relieve him of command after Antietam in 1862. Thereafter, he identified with the political opposition to Lincoln and in 1864 ran unsuccessfully for president as a Democrat.
This term refers to the paper currency issued by the Union government during the Civil War. The original note was printed in black and green on the back side. Whether to continue the printing of this paper money and inflate the currency, or withdraw them from circulation remained an unresolved political issue in the 1870s and 1880s. The term is still used today to refer to the U.S. dollar.
Radical Republicans
Like all Republicans, this faction of the party shared a dislike of slavery and preference for free labor, but this faction further insisted that correcting the moral wrong of slavery outweighed all considerations of property loss, possible civil war, constitutional objections, and existing racial prejudices. These Republicans in Congress, headed by Thaddeus Stevens and Benjamin Wade, insisted on black suffrage and federal protection of the civil rights of blacks. They gained control of Reconstruction in 1867 and required the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment as a condition of readmission for former Confederate states.
This term refers to the northern Democrats who opposed all measures in support of war against the Confederacy. These "Peace Democrats" were convinced that the war was centralizing national power and that such developments ultimately posed greater dangers to the nation than the military challenge of Southern Rebels. Many Northerners strongly suspected unpatriotic motives lay behind the scathing attacks leveled by these Democrats against the war and the administration. Republicans branded them as disloyal. Indeed, the activities of some seemed to border on the treasonable, causing Lincoln such concern that he once expressed his fear of a "fire in the rear."
habeas corpus
This Constitutional right requires arresting authorities to explain the grounds for a person's imprisonment or detention before a court of law. Abraham Lincoln suspended this right in Maryland in order to "suppress the insurrection" and restrain "disloyal persons."
Ex Parte Merryman
This was a well-known US federal court case which arose out of the Civil War. Chief Justice Roger Taney held that President Abraham Lincoln could not suspend the writ of habeas corpus and thus defending the rights of the individual against arbitrary martial law. Lincoln nevertheless continued making unauthorized suspensions for another two years until the Habeas Corpus Act of March 3, 1863 formally suspended the writ for him.
Trent Affair
This was was the most serious diplomatic crisis associated with the Civil War. In 1861, a U.S. naval vessel intercepted this British ship and removed two Confederate envoys. This was a clear violation of international law. The British objected and threatened war, but Lincoln realized the North could not fight both the Confederacy and Britain at once. The crisis passed when Lincoln released the two Confederates. By preventing British involvement, the North avoided what would have been a grievous blow to the Union war effort.
General Ulysses S. Grant
In 1864, President Lincoln placed this victorious commander at Vicksburg in command of all Union forces. He slowly battered Lee's armies into submission around Richmond in 1864-1865, and received Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. He was elected president in 1868 and 1872 and guided the nation through the difficult period of Reconstruction. His scandal-ridden administration seemed to suggest a transition into a new "gilded age."
USS Monitor vs. Merrimack
This Civil War naval battle took place on March 9, 1862, near Hampton Roads, Virginia. The significance of the battle is that it centered on a new class of warship, the ironclad. Although the two ironclads sparred for almost four hours, neither vessel was badly damaged. Neither the Union nor the Confederacy could claim outright victory, but both acknowledged that history had been made as the two ships revolutionized naval warfare.
Gerneral Robert E. Lee
He was the commander of the Confederacy's Army of Northern Virginia. Always outnumbered but never outfought, he was one of the most brilliant tacticians in American military history and the embodiment of Southern military prowess during the Civil War. For three years, he defied and outmaneuvered superior numbers of Union troops, though his Army of Northern Virginia was perpetually short of men, equipment, and supplies. He surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, in 1865.
This Civil War battle took place near Sharpsburg, Maryland in September, 1862. Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army, had led his troops into the North to forage for supplies and to rally Southern sympathizers in Maryland. This was the bloodiest battle of the entire Civil War. The Confederates' defeat was a serious blow to their morale and diminished the Confederacy's chances of securing international recognition. McClellan, despite winning the battle, was criticized for not inflicting a more resounding defeat on the Confederates with their vastly superior numbers.
Emancipation Proclamation
This war measure was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862 to take effect on January 1, 1863. It freed the slaves in all areas rebelling against the Union at that point. Slaves in areas still within the control of the Confederacy were obviously not affected by this order, nor were slaves residing in the border states that had remained loyal to the Union. Despite the limited practical impact, however, it had an enormous psychological impact, elevating the abolition of slavery to one of the North's stated war aims and leading the way for the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment after the war ended in Union victory in 1865.
New York City draft riots
Discontent with new laws passed by Congress to draft men to fight in the ongoing Civil War, and objection to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, led to this violent protest. The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history. The military suppressed the mob using artillery and fixed bayonets, but not before numerous buildings were ransacked or destroyed, including many homes and an orphanage for black children. Estimated fatalities during the five days of violence totaled more than 100. More than 50 large buildings were destroyed by fire, and property damage was about $2 million.
Massachusetts 54th
This regiment was one of the first official black units in the United States armed forces. The regiment gained recognition on July 18, 1863, when it spearheaded an assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina. Although the Union was not able to take and hold the fort, the unit was widely acclaimed for its valor, and the event helped encourage the further enlistment and mobilization of African-American troops, a key development that President Abraham Lincoln once noted as helping to secure the final victory.
This battle is considered by many historians to be the turning point of the Civil War. General Lee planned a raid into Pennsylvania to relieve the strained Virginia countryside, disrupt Union economic security and bring foreign recognition to the Confederacy. US General George G. Meade ordered the entire army to concentrate on this battlefield against Lee's forces. After the Confederate loss there, Gen. Robert E. Lee never took the strategic offensive in battle again. Lee's army of 75,000 troops suffered 28,000 casualties. Though Meade had kept Lee out of the North, he was later criticized for not further pursuing and demolishing the Confederate Army.
Gettysburg Address
On November 19, 1863 in a ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg fought the previous July, President Abraham Lincoln delivered this brief address to a crowd of 15,000 people as he dedicated a cemetery for the battle's dead. Both at the time and since, Americans have looked to this address as representing the noblest vision of America and the sacrifice that is often called upon to attain that vision.
During the Civil War, this strategic location earned the label "The Gibraltar of the Confederacy" because of its impregnable situation on the Mississippi River. In July, 1863, Union major general Ulysses S. Grant completed a successful campaign to capture the city. The Union victory came at a high cost, but it succeeded in cutting off the Confederacy's only remaining route to its western regions with their indispensable supplies. The capture of this location solidified Grant's reputation as a fighting general, prepared to win the war despite the casualties. Lincoln later named him commander of all Union forces.
Homestead Act
In 1862, Congress passed this act that gave 160 acres of public land to any settler who would farm and improve the land within five years of the grant. It encouraged westward migration into the Great Plains after the Civil War. This remained in effect for over a century. During that time, over 2 million people filed for a homestead on a quarter section of public domain land. However, only about 40%, or 783,000, succeeded in finally earning the title to their property.
Morrill Land Grant Act
Passed on July 2, 1862 in the midst of the Civil War, this act encouraged the founding of agricultural (and later engineering) colleges across the United States by providing land for campuses in all states loyal to the Union. Under its auspices, more than 70 land-grant colleges have been founded in the United States.
Pacific Railway Act
This 1862 act established the pattern for government land grants to railroads. It gave five square miles of public land to railroad construction companies for each mile of track laid. In all, the railroads received more than 175 million acres of public land - an area larger than Texas. Railroad expansion facilitated westward expansion and settlement of the frontier. The railroads sold portions of their land to arriving settlers at a handsome profit.
National Banking Act
This act, passed in 1863 to help finance the Union war effort, gave the country a uniform currency. The federal currency soon drove state bank notes out of circulation.
Sherman's March
In September 1864, General William Sherman's army captured Atlanta and began marching toward Savannah on the Georgia coast. He intended to defeat the enemy's forces, destroy its economic resources, and break its will to resist. Sherman himself estimated his raid had inflicted $100 million worth of damage. Sherman's strategy of destruction was designed, as his own saying went, to "make Georgia howl."
Appomatox Court House
On April 9, 1865, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrended to Union general Ulysses S. Grant in this town in south-central Virginia. The Confederate surrender was the end of the Civil War in Virginia and marked the beginning of the end of the war across the South.
Plessy v Ferguson
The US Supreme Court decision of 1896 that upheld the legality of racial segregation with the doctrine of 'separate but equal' public facilities. This standard for segregation legitimized the widespread Jim Crow laws in the South and remained in force until 1954, when it was finally overturned by the Brown v. Board of Education case.