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Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)
An agreement between Portugal and Spain which declared that newly discovered lands to the west of an imaginary line in the Atlantic Ocean would belong to Spain and newly discovered lands to the east of the line would belong to Portugal.
St. Augustine (1565)
The oldest continually inhabited European settlement in United States territory.
European government policies of the 16th-18th centuries designed to promote overseas trade between a country & its colonies and accumulate precious metals by requiring colonies to trade only with their motherland country.
A settlement established by the Dutch near the mouth of Hudson River and the southern end of Manhattan Island. Annexed by the English in 1664.
Treaty of Utrecht (1713)
Ended the War of Spanish Succession & recognized France's Philip V as Kind of Spain, but prohibited the unification of the French and Spanish monarchies; gave England profitable lands in North America from France.
First permanent English settlement in the New World located in Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay/James River; settled by the Virginia Company of London.
Original settlers suffered from disease (especially malaria), internal strife, & starvation.
John Smith - Demanded that "He who does not work, will not eat."
John Rolfe - Introduced tobacco to the colony.
Bacon's Rebellion (1676)
Rebellion of discontent former landless servants led by Nathaniel Bacon.
Led to a move from indentured servants to African slaves for labor purposes.
The first permanent English settlement in New England; established by religious separatists seeking autonomy from the church of England.
Group of Puritan separatists who established Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts to seek religious freedom after having lived briefly in the Netherlands.
Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630)
Home to many Puritans who left England because of the persecution they faced from the Anglican Church.
Developed into a theocracy in which the church was central to all decisions; became the first English colony to establish the basis for a representative government.
John Winthrop - Envisioned the colony as a "City upon a Hill."
English religious sect who hoped to "purify" the Anglican church of Roman Catholic traces in practice & organization.
Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony who was instrumental in forming the colony's government and shaping its legislative policy; envisioned the colony as a "city upon a hill" from which Puritans would spread religious righteousness throughout the world.
Puritan dissenter who advocated of religious freedom, the separation of church & state, & fair dealings with Native Americans; convicted of sedition & heresy & banished from the colony; founded Providence Plantation (RI) in 1636.
Puritan dissenter who challenged the authority of the ministers, exposing the subordination of women in the culture of colonial Massachusetts; tried, convicted, & banished from the colony in 1637.
An English Quaker who founded Pennsylvania in 1682 as a "holy experiment" based on religious tolerance.
Maryland Toleration Act (1649)
The first law on religious tolerance in the British North America; allowed freedom of worship for all Christians - including Catholics - in Maryland, but sentenced to death anyone who denied the divinity of Jesus.
First Great Awakening
Religious revival movement during the 1730s and 1740s; stressed the need for individuals to repent and urged a personal understanding of truth.
Jonathan Edwards - "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Reduced the number of church leaders and led to a schism within the Protestant Church.
Stono Rebellion (1739)
The most serious slave rebellion in the the colonial period; inspired in part by Spanish officials' promise of freedom for American slaves who escaped to Florida.
Led to the Negro Act of 1740 prohibiting slaves from growing their own food, assembling in groups, earning money, or learning to read and making it more difficult to free slaves.
French & Indian War (1754-1763)
The name for the North American theater of the Seven Years War & was a successful attempt to move the French out of the Ohio Valley & to stop Indian raids on frontier settlements.
Colonists gained pride in their own military strength, felt more disconnected from Britain, & were left without fear of French a invasion.
Albany Plan of Union (1754)
Plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin that sought to unite the 13 colonies for trade, military, and other purposes; the plan was turned down by the colonies & the Crown.
Statesman who led Britain during the French & Indian War; his decision to pour the full resources of the British Treasury onto the contest & dramatically increase the number of British forces fighting in North America was largely responsible for Britain's victory.
French fort that was site of first major battle of French & Indian War; General Washington led unsuccessful attack on French troops & was then defeated at Fort Necessity, marking beginning of conflict.
Peace of Paris (1763)
Ended French and Indian War
Britain gained all of French Canada & all territory south of Canada & east of the Mississippi River.
France & Spain lost their West Indian colonies.
Britain gained Spanish Florida.
Spain gained French territory west of the Mississippi, including control of the port city of New Orleans.
Ottawa Indian who led a rebellion against the British occupying the western parts of the American colonies after the French & Indian War.
Prime Minister Robert Walpole's policy in dealing with the American colonies. He was primarily concerned with British affairs & believed that unrestricted trade in the colonies would be more profitable for England than would taxation of the colonies.
A series of strict British trade policies designed to promote English shipping & control colonial trade in regard to important crops (such as tobacco) & resources, which had to be shipped exclusively on British ships.
Molasses Act (1733)
British legislation which taxed all molasses, rum, & sugar imported from countries other than Britain & her colonies; British had difficulty enforcing the tax; most colonial merchants did not pay it.
Became the Prime Minister of England in 1763; proposed the Sugar & Stamp Acts to raise revenue in the colonies in order to defray the expenses of the French & Indian War & to maintain Britain's expanded empire in America.
Proclamation of 1763
Forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalacian Mountains & required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back east.
Sugar Act (1764)
Replaced the Molasses Act (1733).
Reduced the duties on imported sugar, while the British made a concerted effort to enforce the act & punish smugglers.
Currency Act (1764)
Forbade colonists from printing their own currency & instead required them to use hard currency (gold & silver) which was in short supply in the colonies.
Quartering Act (1765)
Required colonists to provide food & supplies to British troops stationed in the colonies.
Stamp Act (1765)
Taxed all printed material in the colonies, including - but not limited to - stamps, legal documents, newspapers, playing cards, etc.
Led to the formation of colonial organizations such as the Stamp Act Congress, Sam Adams's Loyal Nine, & the Sons of Liberty & the suggestion that a complete break with Britain was essential to the colonies' future.
Declaratory Act (1766)
Passed at the same time that the Stamp Act was repealed; declared that Parliament had the power to tax the colonies "in all cases whatsoever" & that the colonists possessed virtual representation.
Townshend Acts (1767)
Imposed a tax - to be paid at American ports - on items produced in Britain & sold in the colonies, including paper, glass, lead, paint, & tea.
Suspended the New York Assembly for refusing to provide British troops with supplies.
Established an American Board of Customs & admiralty courts to hear cases of smuggling.
Issued Writs of Assistance.
Led to a boycott of British goods, the Circular Letters, John Dickinson's "Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer," and unrest in Boston.
Writs of Assistance (1767)
Special search warrants that allowed tax collectors to enter homes or businesses to search for smuggled goods.
A statement written by Samuel Adams & passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives; argued that the Townshend Acts were unconstitutional because the colony of Massachusetts was not represented in Parliament.
Led to the dissolution of the Massachusetts Assembly & the occupation of Boston.
Conservative leader who wrote "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania"; advocated for colonial rights but urged conciliation with England & opposed the Declaration of Independence; helped to write the Articles of Confederation.
Boston Massacre (1770)
An incident in which British soldiers fired into a crowd of colonists who were teasing and taunting them; five colonists were killed.
Boston's radicals used to incident to wage an Anti-British propaganda war.
Gaspee Affair (1772)
Incident in which members of the Sons of Liberty attacked, boarded, looted, & torched a British ship that had run aground in shallow water near Warwick, RI.
Officials threatened to charge those involved with treason,moving their trials to England; led to the formation of the Committees of Correspondence.
Committees of Correspondence
A system of communication between patriot leaders in New England & throughout the colonies, providing the organization necessary to unite the colonies in opposition to Parliament; organized by Sam Adams.
Tea Act (1773)
Allowed the British East India Company to sell its low-cost tea directly to the colonies
Undermined colonial tea merchants; led to the Boston Tea Party.
Boston Tea Party (1773)
Colonial response to the Tea Act; 30-130 colonists - dressed as Mohawk Indians - boarded British ships and dumped the tea into Boston Harbor
Led to the Intolerable Acts.
Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts) (1774)
British response to the Boston Tea Party
Boston Port Act - Closed the port of Boston and relocated the customs house so that some important supplies could enter Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Government Act - Limited town meetings and replaced the Massachusetts judiciary and council members with Crown appointees.
Administration of Justice Act - Required that trials of royal officials accused of serious crimes in the colonies be held in Britain.
Quartering Act - Required all colonists to house British troops when ordered.
Quebec Act (1774)
Extended Quebec's boundary to the Ohio River, recognized Catholicism as its official religion, and established a non-representative government for its citizens.
Colonists feared a precedent had been established in regards to the type of government that had been established in Quebec and resented the expansion of its borders into territory to which they had been denied access by the Proclamation of 1763.
First Continental Congress (1774)
Met to discuss a response to the Intolerable Acts; adopted the Declaration and Resolves in which they:
Declared the Intolerable Acts null and void.
Recommended that colonists arm themselves and that militias be formed.
Recommended a boycott of British imports.
Radicals at the 1CC
Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, John Adams, Charles Thomson
Believed that the colonies' relationship with Britain had already passed a point of no return.
Moderates at the 1CC
John Dickinson, George Washington
Believed that the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain could be repaired.
Conservatives at the 1CC
John Jay, Joseph Galloway
Were not prepared to make an aggressive response but did favor a mild rebuke of the British; Galloway proposed a union of colonies under British authority with a colonial "grand council" with the power to veto British acts.
Second Continental Congress (1775)
Managed the colonial war effort, and moved incrementally towards independence - finally adopting the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Battle of Bunker Hill (1775)
First major battle of the American Revolution; ended in colonial defeat.
The British suffered heavy casualties, including a notably large number of officers.
Capture of Fort Ticonderoga (1775)
A small force of Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold overcame a small British garrison at the fort.
Colonists transported cannons and other armaments from the fort to Boston fortifying Dorchester Heights and breaking the standoff at the Siege of Boston.
Olive Branch Petition (1775)
Adopted by the Continental Congress in an attempt to avoid a full-blown war with Great Britain.
Affirmed American loyalty to Great Britain and entreated the king to prevent further conflict.
Rejected and the colonies were formally declared in rebellion.
Patriot and writer whose pamphlet Common Sense convinced many Americans that it was time to declare independence from Britain.
Declaration of Independence (1776)
Written by Thomas Jefferson; influenced by the Enlightenment philosophers of his day.
Part 1 - Explains the necessity of independence for the preservation of basic laws and rights.
Part 2 - Lists a series of "abuses and usurpations" by the king and his government; Jefferson claimed that this treatment violated the social contract the British monarch had with the his colonies, thereby justifying the actions his American subjects felt compelled to take.
Part 3 - Ends with what is tantamount to a formal declaration of war.
Battle of Trenton (1776)
Battle that ended with an American victory against the Hessian mercenaries hired by the British.
Boosted American morale and inspired re-enlistments.
Site of the military camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777-1778 during the American Revolutionary War.
Battle of Saratoga (1777)
Decisive colonial victory in upstate New York; considered to be the turning point of the American Revolution.
Caused France to openly support the colonies with military forces in addition to the supplies and money already being sent.
Battle of Yorktown (1781)
Last major battle of the American Revolution.
Prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict.
Treaty of Paris (1783)
Ended the American Revolution
Britain recognized U.S. independence,
The boundaries of the U.S. were established.
American fishing ships were given unlimited access to the waters off Newfoundland.
The U.S. government agreed it would not interfere with British creditors and merchants seeking to collect debts owed to them by Americans.
The U.S. government agreed to compensate Loyalists whose property had been confiscated during the war.
Articles of Confederation
A unicameral legislature
No authority for Congress to impose taxes
One vote in Congress for each state
No national court system
No provision for a uniform national currency
No chief executive
A requirement that 9 of the 13 states approve passage of certain legislation
Unanimity for amendments to the Articles of Confederation
No authority for Congress to regulate either interstate or foreign commerce
Shays' Rebellion (1786-87)
An armed uprising that took place in central and western Massachusetts protesting mortgage foreclosures.
Highlighted the need for a strong national government.
Land Ordinance of 1785
Townships 6 miles square would be surveyed then divided into sections equaling 1 square mile.
The sections were to be sold in lots of 640 acres at no less than $1 per acre.
The revenue from the sale of one section for each township would be used to develop public education.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
The Northwest Territory would be divided into 3-5 separate territories.
A methodical process would advance each territory to statehood.
Unorganized territories would be overseen by officials appointed by Congress.
Once the population of the territory reached 5000 it could be organized as a territory where residents would elect members to a state legislature and send a delegate to Congress.
Annapolis Convention (1786)
Held to discuss the barriers that limited trade or commerce between the largely independent states under the Articles of Confederation.
Led to the Constitutional (Philadelphia) Convention in 1787.
Historian who argued that the Constitution was designed to protect the economic self-interest of the Framers.
James Madison and Edmund Randolph
Called for a strong national government with three branches and a two-chamber legislature with each state's representation based on its population.
New Jersey Plan
Called for a unicameral legislature in which each State would be equally represented.
Great (Connecticut) Compromise
1) A state's representation in the House of Representatives was to be based on population.
2) The states' representation in the Senate would be equal.
3) All money bills would originate in the House.
4) Direct taxes on states were to be assessed by population.
The South agreed to federal control over foreign and interstate trade.
The importation of slaves would be permitted for 20 years, until 1808.
The federal government was given the authority to collect import taxes, but there would be no duties on exports.
Three-fifths of a state's slave population would be counted for purposes of taxation and representation.
A fugitive slave law required that runaway slaves who escaped to a free state must be returned to their owners.
Powers of the Legislative Branch
Congress has the power of the purse - power to set and collect taxes, borrow money, regulate trade, coin money.
Congress was to set up a postal service and issue patents and copyrights.
War must be authorized by Congress.
Congress is responsible for raising and maintaining an army and a navy.
Powers of the Executive Branch
The president carries out out and enforces laws passed by Congress.
The president can veto congressional bills.
The president makes treaties.
The president is the commander in chief of the U.S. military.
The president appoints federal officials.
Powers of the Judicial Branch
Congress was to establish a Supreme Court and lower courts.
The kinds of cases that could be heard in federal courts was specified.
The Supreme Court's jurisdiction was outlined.
Treason was defined; requirements for conviction were set; and punishment was to be in the hands of Congress.
Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Franklin
Support came mainly from coastal and urban areas and the upper class.
Favored a strong central government to maintain peace and stability.
Patrick Henry, John Hancock, George Mason
Support came mainly from the backcountry and agricultural areas and debtors.
Opposed a central government that did not guarantee protection of individual rights.
Tyranny of the Majority
The potential of a majority to monopolize power for its own gain to the detriment of minority rights and interests.
Series of 85 essays written by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton supporting the ratification of the Constitution.
Hamilton's Economic Program
1) Tariff of 1789
2) Report on Public Credit
3) Report on Manufactures
4) Bank of the United States
Bank of the United States
Institution proposed by Alexander Hamilton in order to stabilize and improve the nation's credit, and to improve handling of the financial business of the U.S. government under the newly enacted Constitution.
Highlighted the growing political rivalry between Hamilton (Federalist) and Jefferson (Democratic-Republican) and the debate concerning the scope of the federal government.
Tariff of 1789
Designed to protect domestic manufacturing; discouraged competition from abroad and compelled foreign competitors to raise prices on their commodities.
Provided the U.S. government with much-needed revenue.
Whiskey Rebellion (1791)
American uprising over the establishment of a federal tax on liquor; was quickly ended by George Washington and 13,000 troops.
Demonstrated that the new national government had the willingness and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws.
Neutrality Proclamation (1793)
Declared that the U.S. would remain neutral in the conflict between France and Great Britain and threatened legal proceedings against any American providing assistance to any country at war.
Edmond (Citizen) Genêt
French minister to the U.S. during the French Revolution; recruited and armed American privateers against Britain and organized American volunteers to fight Britain's Spanish allies in Florida, endangering American neutrality in the war between France and Britain.
Jay Treaty (1794)
US & Great Britain
Stopped the search and seizure of American ships by the British, made America pay pre-revolutionary debts, and opened British ports.
Pinckney Treaty (1795)
US & Spanish Empire
Established the 31st parallel as the border between the United States and Spanish West Florida.
Washington's Farewell Address (1796)
Warned against permanent foreign alliances and political parties, called for unity of the country, established precedent of two-term presidency
Election of 1796
The first contested American presidential election.
John Adams (Federalist) vs. Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)
Adams was elected president while his opponent, Jefferson, was elected vice-president.
Led to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804.
Represented the interests of the capitalist class.
Favored expansion of the federal government's power and a loose interpretation of the Constitution.
Held that the future of the nation was dependent on developing manufacturing and industry.
Favored Great Britain.
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison
Represented the interests of the common man, the farmer.
Favored limitations on the power of the federal government and a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
Held that the future of the nation was dependent on maintaining an agrarian society.
Favored support of France.
XYZ Affair (1797)
Incident that precipitated an undeclared war with France when three French officials demanded that American emissaries pay a bribe before negotiating disputes between the two countries.
Led to the Quasi-War with France; convinced John Adams to strengthen the U.S. navy.
Alien Acts (1798)
Allowed the president to expel any foreigner determined to be a threat to the nation; offenders could be jailed or deported during wartime, and the residency requirement for citizenship was extended from 5 years to 14 years.
Led to the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions; contributed to the debate concerning constitutional rights in times of war.
Sedition Act (1798)
Made it illegal to defame or criticize the president or the government; aimed at war newspapers critical of the Federalist policies; Jeffersonians viewed it as proof that individual liberties were threatened if the central government was too strong.
Led to the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions; contributed to the debate concerning constitutional rights in times of war.
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions (1799)
Jefferson and Madison's response to the Alien and Sedition Acts; promoted the states' right to nullify federal laws they considered to be unconstitutional.
Established the Nullification Doctrine.
Election of 1800
Sometimes referred to as the "Revolution of 1800."
John Adams (Federalist) vs. Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)
Jefferson and Burr tied; the election was thrown into the House of Representatives which elected Jefferson on the 36th ballot.
Led to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804.
Chief Justice John Marshall
Strengthened the power of the federal government over that of the states.
Louisiana Purchase (1803)
A territory in the west central U.S. purchased from France for $15 million; extended from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.
Protected trade access to the port of New Orleans and free passage on the Mississippi River; contributed to the growing slavery debate in the U.S.
Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-06)
The first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States.
To study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and to discover how the region could be exploited economically.
Barbary Wars (1801-05) and (1815)
Two wars fought between U.S. and the Barbary States in North Africa in order to end the Barbary pirates' demand for tribute from American merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.
Essex Decision (1805)
The British ruled that trade closed during peacetime could not be opened during wartime.
Prohibited U.S. trade with the West Indies.
Chesapeake-Leopard Affair (1807)
A naval engagement between the British warship HMS Leopard and American frigate USS Chesapeake during which the crew of the Leopard pursued, attacked and boarded the American frigate looking for deserters from the British Navy.
Led to the Embargo Act of 1807.
Embargo Act (1807)
Prohibited all foreign trade.
Devastated the New England economy and led many to support Charles Pinckney, the Federalist candidate in the 1808 election.
Macon's Bill No. 2 (1810)
Replaced the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809; reopened trade with both Britain and France but held that if either agreed to respect America's neutrality in their conflict, the United States would end trade with the other.
Nationalist members of Congress - primarily from southern and western states - who strongly supported war with Great Britain on the eve of the War of 1812.
Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun
Shawnee leader who tried to unite Native American groups in order to fight the migration of settlers into the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys.
Battle of Tippecanoe (1811)
U.S. forces - led by William Henry Harrison - defeated Tecumseh's confederacy then burned its headquarters at Prophetstown.
Tecumseh's confederacy allied with the British during the War of 1812; Harrison emerged as a war hero.
Battle of Lake Erie (1813)
U.S. forces - led by Oliver Perry - defeated and captured six vessels of Great Britain's Royal Navy.
Ensured American control of the lake for the rest of the war, allowing the Americans to recover Detroit and win the Battle of the Thames to break the Indian confederation of Tecumseh.
Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1814)
U.S. forces - led by Andrew Jackson - defeated the Red Sticks, a part of the Creek Indian tribe who opposed American expansion.
Effectively neutralized the Native Americans as British allies; Jackson emerged as a war hero.
Battle of Baltimore (1814)
U.S. forces repulsed sea and land invasions of the busy port city of Baltimore, Maryland, and killed the commander of the invading British army forces; considered to be one of the turning points of the War of 1812.
Inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Treaty of Ghent (1814)
Ended the War of 1812
Largely restored relations between the U.S. and Great Britain to status quo ante bellum.
Battle of New Orleans (1814)
U.S. forces - led by Andrew Jackson - defeated defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans; widely regarded as the greatest American land victory of the war.
Jackson emerged as a war hero.
Hartford Convention (1814-1815)
Event at which New England Federalists met to discuss their grievances concerning the ongoing War of 1812 and the political problems arising from the domination of the Federal Government by Presidents from Virginia.
Led to the collapse of the Federalist Party.
Effects of the War of 1812
The U.S. economy was devastated.
Large areas of the nation's capitol were destroyed.
American nationalism intensified.
The nation won foreign respect for its military capabilities.
The Federalists and New England were discredited for their antipathy to the war and the actions they took to impede its efforts.
Military careers were launched and enhanced by the war.
Era of Good Feelings (1815-1825)
A period in the political history of the United States that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans; closely associated with Monroe's presidency.
Henry Clay's plan for a profitable domestic market to be used to knit the country together economically and politically.
Support for a high tariff to protect American industries and generate revenue for the federal government.
Maintenance of high public land prices to generate federal revenue.
Preservation of the Bank of the United States to stabilize the currency and rein in risky state and local banks.
Development of a system of internal improvements (such as roads and canals) which would knit the nation together and be financed by the tariff and land sales revenues.
The first major improved highway in the U.S. to be built by the federal government; stretched from Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River to Vandalia, Illinois.
An artificial waterway connecting the Hudson river at Albany with Lake Erie at Buffalo; supported by New York Governor Dewitt Clinton.
Lowered shipping costs, fueling an economic boom in upstate New York and increasing the profitability of farming in the Old Northwest.
Rush-Bagot Treaty (1817)
U.S. and Great Britain
Provided for a large demilitarization of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, where many British naval arrangements and forts still remained; stipulated that the United States and British North America could each maintain one military vessel as well as one cannon on Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain.
Treaty of 1818
U.S. and Great Britain
Allowed the Americans to share the Newfoundland fisheries with Canada and gave both countries a joint occupation of the Oregon Territory for the next 10 years.
Adams-Onis Treaty (1819)
U.S. and Spain
The U.S. paid Spain $5 million for Florida, Spain recognized America's claims to the Oregon Country, and the U.S. surrendered its claim to northern Mexico.
Panic of 1819
Economic panic caused by extensive speculation and a decline of European demand for American goods along with mismanagement within the Second Bank of the United States; often cited as the end of the Era of Good Feelings.
Marked the end of the economic expansion that had followed the War of 1812 and ushered in new financial policies that would shape economic development.
Monroe Doctrine (1823)
Statement delivered by President James Monroe stating that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention.
Persisted with only minor variations for almost two centuries.
"Big Brother" Policy - 1880s
"Roosevelt Corollary" - 1904
Clark Memorandum - 1928
Refers to the three statesmen who dominated the United States Senate in the 1830s and 1840s:
Henry Clay of Kentucky
Daniel Webster of Massachusetts
John C. Calhoun of South Carolina
Election of 1824
John Q. Adams vs. Andrew Jackson vs. William H. Crawford vs. Henry Clay
No candidate won the required number of electoral votes, throwing the election into the House of Representatives where Clay offered his support to Adams who was elected on the first ballot.
Led to accusations of a "corrupt bargain."
National Republican Party (1825-1833)
Formed as the Democratic-Republican Party began to fracture following the Election of 1824.
John Q. Adams, Henry Clay
Supported modernization, industrialization, and economic nationalism.
Whig Party (1833-1856)
Formed in opposition to the policies of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party.
Henry Clay, Daniel Webster
Supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism.
Refers to the claim from the supporters of Andrew Jackson that John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay had worked out a deal to ensure that Adams was elected president by the House of Representatives in 1824.
Election of 1828
John Q. Adams (National Republican) vs. Andrew Jackson (Democrat)
Jackson won a landslid victory.
Marked the beginning of modern American politics, with the decisive establishment of democracy and the formation of the two-party system.
A practice where a political party, after winning an election, gives government jobs to its voters as a reward for working toward victory and as an incentive to keep working for the party.
Nickname for the small group of Jackson's friends and advisors who were especially influential in the first years of his presidency.
Tariff of 1828
Protective tariff on imports that benefited the industrial North while forcing Southerners to pay higher prices on manufactured goods; called the "Tariff of Abominations" by Southerners.
Nullification Crisis (1828-33)
John C. Calhoun
Tariff of 1828 - The "Tariff of Abominations."
Tariff of 1832 - Reduced tariffs to remedy the conflict created by the Tariff of 1828.
Ordinance of Nullification - Declared the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 null and void within the state borders of South Carolina.
Force Bill - Authorized the president to use whatever force necessary to enforce federal tariffs.
Tariff of 1833 - Proposed gradually reducing tariffs back to their 1816 rates.
Indian Removal Act (1830)
Ordered the removal of Indian Tribes still residing east of the Mississippi to newly established Indian Territory west of Arkansas and Missouri; those resisting eviction were forcibly removed by American forces, often after prolonged legal or military battles.
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831)
Ruled that Indians were dependent domestic nations which could be regulated by the federal government.
Worcester v. Georgia (1832)
Held that Native Americans were entitled to federal protection from the actions of state governments which would infringe on the tribe's sovereignty; ignored by the Jackson administration.
Trail of Tears (1838)
The forced relocation of the Cherokee tribe to the Western United States; resulted in the deaths of an estimated 4,000 Cherokees.
Second Bank of the United States
Institution chartered in 1816 under President Madison and became a depository for federal funds and a creditor for state banks.
Blamed for the Panic of 1819; especially unpopular among the western land speculators and farmers who supported Andrew Jackson.
The Bank War (1832-1836)
Erupted when Henry Clay sought to renew the Bank's charter before the Election of 1832.
Jackson vetoed the bill then ordered all federal deposits in the bank to be withdrawn.
Two Secretaries of the Treasury refused and were removed from office.
Jackson was censured by the U.S. Senate.
Bank president Nicholas Biddle called in loans from across the country resulting in a financial crisis.
The Bank lost its charter in 1836 and went out of business five years later.
State banks selected by the U.S. Department of Treasury to receive surplus government funds in 1833; also known as "Wildcat Banks."
Flooded the country with paper currency which became so unreliable that Jackson issued the Specie Circular in 1836.
Specie Circular (1836)
An executive order issued by Andrew Jackson requiring payment for government land to be in gold and silver.
Led to inflation and rising prices; blamed for the Panic of 1837.
Known as the "Father of the American Industrial Revolution" and "Father of the American Factory System"; escaped Britain with the memorized plans for the textile machinery; oversaw construction of the nation's first successful water-powered cotton mill.
Best known for inventing the cotton gin; pioneered the use of interchangeable parts in the manufacture of muskets.
Made cotton a profitable crop, strengthening the economic foundation of slavery.
Textile mills located in a factory town in Massachusetts; employed mostly women between the ages of 16 and 35 known as Lowell Mill Girls.
Workers actively participated in early labor reform by circulating legislative petitions, forming labor organizations, contributing essays and articles to a pro-labor newspaper, and participating in "turn-outs" or strikes.
Inventor of the mechanical reaper; founder of the International Harvester Company.
Greatly improved farm productivity.
Early Industrial Era Court Cases
Fletcher v. Peck (1810)
Dartmouth v. Woodward (1819)
McCulloch v. Maryland(1819)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1835)
Second Great Awakening
A series of religious revivals starting in 1801; stressed a religious philosophy of salvation through good deeds and tolerance for all Protestant sects.
Influenced the antebellum reform movements.
Know-Nothing Party (1845-1860)
Formed in response to the increase in Irish and German immigration.
Few prominent leaders
Characterized by political xenophobia, anti-Catholic sentiment, and occasional bouts of violence against the groups the nativists targeted.
U.S. literary movement that stressed the relationship between human beings and nature, spiritual things over material things, and the importance of the individual conscience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson - "Self-Reliance"
Henry David Thoreau - "Walden," "Civil Disobedience"
Influenced the antebellum reform movements.
Antebellum Reform Movements
Major Reform Movements:
Penitentiary and Mental Health Reform - Dorothea Dix
Temperance Movement - Frances Willard
Educational Reform - Horace Mann
Women's Movement - Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Abolition Movement - William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass
Seneca Falls Convention (1848)
An early and influential women's rights convention at which the push for women's suffrage first gained national prominence.
Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Declaration of Rights and Sentiments
American Colonization Society
Organization established with the goal of transporting free blacks to a colony in Africa; founded Liberia in 1821-22.
Charles Fenton Mercer, Henry Clay, John Randolph, Richard Bland Lee
William Lloyd Garrison
Prominent white abolitionist; editor of "The Liberator"; founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Runaway slave who became a leader of the abolitionist movement; known for his oratory and anti-slavery writings.
Runaway slave who rescued more than 70 slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.
Runaway slave who became a leader of the abolitionist and women's movements; best-known for her Ain't I a Woman? speech (1851).
Experimental societies whose supporters believed that they could further their own moral and spiritual development through cooperative communities.
Alexis de Tocqueville
French political writer whose 1831 study of American society was chronicled in the 2-volume Democracy in America.
Term coined by newspaper editor John O'Sullivan; implied that it was a God-given right and inevitability for the U.S. to spread its Protestant religion, capitalist economy, and democratic-republican political system across the continent.
Served to rationalize American foreign policy, create national unity, and counter criticisms raised by other nations.
Texan Independence (1835-36)
The newly formed Mexican government offered immigrants the opportunity to own land.
Thousands of Americans, including Stephen Austin, migrate into Mexico.
The Mexican government required all settlers to convert to Catholicism and end slavery - American settlers ignored the law.
General Santa Ana proclaimed himself the dictator of Mexico.
The American settlers declared themselves independent from Mexico and selected Sam Houston as the commander of the Texas military.
The Texans fought for - and won - their independence in spite of such early defeats as the Battle of the Alamo.
Webster-Ashburton Treaty (1842)
U.S. and Great Britain
Settled the boundary dispute between Maine and Canada.
Ended the slave trade on the high seas.
Oregon Treaty (1846)
U.S. and Great Britain
Extended the Oregon Territory-Canadian border along the 49th parallel.
Mexican-American War (1846-48)
The U.S. annexed Texas and sought to acquire the California-New Mexico region.
President James K. Polk sent John Slidell to negotiate with Mexico, but his proposal was rejected.
Polk sent troops into the disputed area near the Nueces River and the Rio Grande.
The U.S. declared war on Mexico after 16 soldiers were killed near the disputed territory.
The American forces - led by Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott - took control of the entire southwest.
Taylor emerged as a war hero; contributed to the growing slavery debate in the U.S.
Wilmot Proviso (1846 and 1847)
Proposal to ban slavery in the territories as a result of the Mexican-American War; failed in the Senate.
Spot Resolutions (1847)
Offered by Abraham Lincoln requesting that Polk provide Congress with the exact location (the "spot") upon which blood was spilt on American soil; called into question Polk's conduct during the Mexican-American War.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago (1848)
Ended the Mexican-American War.
Mexico recognized the American claims to the area north of the Rio Grande.
Mexico ceded California and New Mexico to the U.S. in return for $15 million.
The U.S. agreed to assume approximately $3 million in debts Mexico owed to American citizens.
Political Objectives of the North
A high tariff to protect its growing industries.
Federal aid for the development of infrastructure, including roads, canals, bridges, and railroads.
A loose immigration policy which would provide access to cheap labor.
Availability of free or cheap land in the West for settlement and investment opportunities, thereby creating new markets for its manufactured goods.
The containment of slavery.
Political Objectives of the South
Low tariffs to protect its cotton trade with Britain.
The expansion of slavery for political, economic, and ideological reasons.
Opposition to a cheap public land policy which would force the planter-slaveholder to compete politically, economically, and ideologically with the independent farmer in the West.
Compact Theory of Government
The states, not the people, created the national government.
The laws of the states are supreme when in conflict with the laws and actions of the federal government.
The states can declare the laws of the federal government null and void if they deem it necessary and appropriate.
The logical conclusion of this theory - if taken to the extreme - is secession.
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions (1798)
Hartford Convention (1815)
Nullification Crisis (1832)
Contract Theory of Government
The people, not the states, created the Union.
The federal government is supreme.
Thus, federal laws and actions take precedence over state laws and actions.
John Locke's Second Treatise on Government
Texas v. White (1869)
Missouri Compromise (1820)
Agreement designed to establish a line between the admission of free and slave states in the western territories.
Missouri entered the union as a slave state, Maine entered the union as a free state, prohibited slavery north of latitude 36˚ 30' within the Louisiana Territory.
Sought to forbid the further introduction of slaves into Missouri and mandated that all children of slave parents born in the state after its admission should be free at the age of 25; failed to pass the Senate.
Nat Turner's Rebellion (1831)
Virginia slave revolt that resulted in the deaths of sixty whites and raised fears among white Southerners of further uprisings.
Led to new legislation making it unlawful to teach slaves, free blacks, or mulattoes to read or write.
Free Soil Party (1848-54)
Short-lived political party made up of former anti-slavery members of the Whig Party and the Democratic Party.
Martin Van Buren
Opposed slavery in the new territories and sometimes worked to remove existing laws that discriminated against free blacks.
Compromise of 1850
Agreement designed to ease tensions caused by the expansion of slavery into western territories.
California entered the Union as a free state.
The Fugitive Slave Law was strengthened.
The slave trade was banned in Washington, DC.
Land taken from Mexico would be divided into two new territories - New Mexico and Utah - with the slavery question determined by popular sovereignty.
Doctrine that allowed the residents of U.S. territories - and not Congress - to decide whether or not to accept or reject slavery.
Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)
Law that established the Kansas and Nebraska territories with the slavery question determined by popular sovereignty.
Led to the Bleeding Kansas conflict (1854-61).
Bleeding Kansas (1854-61)
A series of violent events involving abolitionists and pro-Slavery elements that took place in Kansas-Nebraska Territory.
Sumner-Brooks Affair (1856)
Incident in which Preston Brooks (SC) beat Charles Sumner (MA) into unconsciousness with his cane on the Senate floor; followed speech Sumner had made two days before about the Kansas issue.
Brooks survived an expulsion vote in the House but resigned his seat; he was reelected.
Sumner was unable to return to his Senate duties for more than three years while he recovered.
Lecompton Constitution (1857)
Proposed Kansas state constitution; protected the rights of slaveholders already in Kansas and provided referedum in which voters could vote for the "Constitution with Slavery" or the "Constitution with no Slavery"; supported by President Buchanan but rejected by the House of Representatives.
Dred Scott Decision (1857)
Ruled that no person descended from an American slave could ever be a U.S. citizen and that slavery could not legally be excluded from U.S. territories.
Strengthened Northern slavery opposition; divided the Democratic Party while strengthening the Republican Party; encouraged secessionist elements among Southern supporters of slavery to make bolder demands.
Raid on Harpers Ferry (1859)
An attempt by white abolitionist John Brown to start an armed slave revolt by seizing a United States Arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Virginia; defeated by a detachment of U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee; Brown was found guilt of treason and was hanged.
Brown became a martyr to many Northerners, which in turn made many Southerners suspect that they were involved in - or at least supportive of - violent slave rebellions.
Election of 1860
Abraham Lincoln (Republican) vs. John C. Breckinridge (Southern Democrat) vs. John Bell (Constitutional Union) vs. Stephen Douglas (Northern Democrat)
Lincoln carried the North, winning with less than 40% of the popular vote nationwide.
Prompted the South Carolina's secession, followed by six other Deep South states.
Crittenden Compromise (1860)
Unsuccessful proposal aimed at resolving the secession crisis.
Guaranteed the permanent existence of slavery and proposed extending the Missouri Compromise line to the west with slavery prohibited north of the 36° 30′ parallel and guaranteed south of it.
Morrill Tariff (1861)
A high protective tariff enacted to protect and encourage industry and the high wages of industrial workers and to raise revenue during the American Civil War.
Battle of Fort Sumter (1861)
Marked the beginning of the American Civil War.
Seen as a military victory in the South and a political victory for the Lincoln administration because the South had opened hostilities.
A vocal group of Northern Democrats who opposed the American Civil War, wanting an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates.
Clement L. Vallandigham who was eventually court-martialed and sentenced to imprisonment until Lincoln commuted the sentence to banishment behind Confederate lines.
Union war plan devised by General Winfield Scott to blockade the South and restrict its trade to win the war.
First Battle of Bull Run (1861)
First major battle of the American Civil War; Confederate victory.
Proved that the war would be longer and more brutal than either side had imagined.
Peninsula Campaign (1862)
Union General George McClellan's failed effort to seize Richmond, the Confederate Capital; Confederate victory made possible by the leadership of General Robert E. Lee.
Battle of Antietam (1862)
Single bloodiest day of the American Civil War; Union victory that turned back a Confederate invasion of the North.
Allowed Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation proclaiming the freedom of slaves in the ten states then in rebellion and shifting the war objectives of the North.
Monitor and Merrimac (1862)
First engagement between two iron-clad naval vessels.
Rendered wooden fleets obsolete and prompted the Union to build a fleet of ironclad warships which it used to gain control of important waterways and defeat Confederate forts that guarded important rivers.
Battle of Gettysburg (1863)
Largest and bloodiest battle of the American Civil War; Union victory; considered - when coupled with General Ulysses S. Grant's victory in Vicksburg the next day - to be the turning point of the war.
Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.
Siege of Vicksburg (1863)
Union victory; considered - when coupled with Robert E. Lee's surrender in Gettysburg the previous day - to be the turning point of the war.
Gave the Union control of the Mississippi River, effectively cutting the Confederacy in half.
Sherman's March to the Sea (1864)
Name commonly given to William Tecumseh Sherman's campaign from the captured city of Atlanta to the port city of Savannah; Union victory.
Inflicted significant damage - particularly to industry and infrastructure - as well as to civilian property; destroyed much of the South's physical and psychological capacity to wage war.
Appomattox Courthouse (1865)
Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrender to General Grant effectively ending the war; Lincoln was assassinated five days later by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth.
Ten Percent Plan (1863)
Abraham Lincoln's proposed plan for Reconstruction; introduced before the end of the War allowing Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas to establish fully functioning governments by 1864.
Called for states to be reintegrated into the Union when 10% of their 1860 voters had taken an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and pledged to abide by emancipation.
Wade-Davis Bill (1864)
Radical Republican plan for Reconstruction that required 50% of a state's 1860 voters to take an "iron clad" oath of allegiance and a state constitutional convention before the election of state officials; pocket-vetoed by Lincoln.
Thirteenth Amendment (1865)
One of the Reconstruction Amendments
Outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
Freedmen's Bureau (1865-69)
Reconstruction agency established to protect the legal rights of former slaves and to assist with their education, jobs, health care, and landowning.
A northerner who went to the South immediately after the Civil War; especially one who tried to gain political advantage or other advantages from the disorganized situation in southern states.
A derogatory term for white Southerners who supported Reconstruction following the Civil War.
Andrew Johnson's plan for Reconstruction.
Similar to Lincoln's Ten Percent Plan.
Gave Johnson the power to pardon former Confederates.
Laws passed by Southern states at the end of the Civil War to control the labor, migration and other activities of newly-freed slaves.
A loose faction of Republicans who sought to punish the South for the American Civil War and demanded civil rights for freedmen; engaged in a bitter struggle with President Johnson.
Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens
Civil Rights Act of 1866
Federal law granting citizenship to former slaves; passed over Johnson's veto.
Fourteenth Amendment (1868)
One of the Reconstruction Amendments
Citizenship Clause - Granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the U.S.
Due Process Clause - Prohibited state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness.
Equal Protection Clause - Required each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction.
Tenure of Office Act (1867)
Denied the president the power to remove any executive officer who had been appointed by a past president without the advice and consent of the Senate; passed over Johnson's veto.
Impeachment of President Johnson (1868)
Johnson dismissed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
The House of Representatives charged Johnson with 11 "high crimes and misdemeanors."
The Senate fell one vote short of removing him from office.
Texas v. White (1869)
Declared that secession was an illegal act and asserted the right of Congress to reframe state governments, thus endorsing the Radical Republican point of view.
Fifteenth Amendment (1870)
One of the Reconstruction Amendments
Prohibited the government from using a citizen's race, color, or previous status as a slave as a voting qualification.
Force Act (1870)
Banned the use of terror, force or bribery to prevent people from voting because of their race.
Amnesty Act (1872)
Removed voting restrictions and office-holding disqualification against most of the secessionists who rebelled in the Civil War.
Slaughterhouse Cases (1873)
Ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment safeguarded a person's rights only at a federal level, not at a state level.
Civil Rights Act of 1875
Called for full equality in all public facilities; ruled unconstitutional in 1883.
Election of 1876
Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican) vs. Samuel Tilden (Democrat)
Results in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina were disputed leading first to an Electoral Commission followed by the Compromise of 1877.
Reconstruction came to a sudden end.
Compromise of 1877
The unwritten deal that settled the Election of 1876.
The removal of all federal troops from the former Confederate States.
The appointment of at least one Southern Democrat to Hayes's cabinet.
The construction of another transcontinental railroad using the Texas and Pacific in the South.
Legislation to help industrialize the South.
Reconstruction came to a sudden end.
Jim Crow Laws
State and local laws mandating de jure racial segregation in Southern states.
Political restrictions - such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and the grandfather clause - were imposed to circumvent the Fifteenth Amendment.
Blacks were denied access to many public and municipal facilities such as parks, theaters, housing, and mass transit.
Various economic sanctions were placed on blacks in order to maintain their status.
Pacific Railway Act (1862)
A series of laws that promoted the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad authorizing the issuance of government bonds and the grants of land to railroad companies.
Railroad line that linked the eastern railroad system with California's railroad system; constructed by the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads; completed in 1869 at Promontory, Utah.
Established a mechanized transcontinental transportation network that revolutionized the population and economy of the American West.
Homestead Act (1862)
Encouraged westward expansion by allowing a settler to acquire as much as 160 acres of land by living on it for 5 years, improving it, and paying a nominal fee of about $30.
Large, 15,000-50,000 acre, single crop farms; came to dominate agricultural life in much of the West in the late 1800s.
Name given to the former slaves who migrated from the South to the West following the Civil War.
Name given to African American soldiers who served in the U.S. Army on the western frontier and fought in the Indian Wars (1854-1890).
Sand Creek Massacre (1864)
Event at which Colonel John Chivington and his troops attacked and destroyed a village of friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho encamped in southeastern Colorado Territory; killed over 150 inhabitants, about two-thirds of whom were women and children.
Battle of Little Big Horn (1876)
Battle at which Colonel George Custer's forces clashed with nearly 4000 well armed Sioux warriors led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull; Custer and more than 250 of his men were killed; U.S. reinforcements chased Sitting Bull to Canada where he received political asylum until hunger forced him to return.
A Century of Dishonor (1881)
A non-fiction book by Helen Hunt Jackson that chronicles the experiences of Native Americans in the U.S.
Led to the passage of the Dawes Act in 1887.
Dawes Severalty Act (1887)
Legislation that allotted each head of household 160 acres of land; land deemed to be "surplus" beyond what was needed for allotment was opened to white settlers with the proceeds invested in education programs; designed to encourage the breakup of the tribes and promote the assimilation of Native Americans into American society.
Native Americans lost about 90 million acres of treaty land.
A ritual dance performed by some members of the Sioux tribe in an effort bring back the buffalo and return the Native American tribes to their land.
Contributed to the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
Wounded Knee Massacre (1890)
The last major encounter between Native Americans and the U.S. Army.
Remembered today as one of the great injustices perpetrated against Native Americans by the U.S. government.
Frederick Jackson Turner
American historian in the early 20th century best known for his essay "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" in which he argued that the spirit and success of the United States was directly tied to the country's westward expansion.
Gilded Age Presidents
Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77) - Plagued by a variety of scandals.
Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-81) - Tried to restore honesty to the government after the corruption of the Grant Administration.
James Garfield (1881) - Assassinated.
Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885) - Supported civil service reform to address the patronage problem.
Grover Cleveland (1885-89) - Won the support of reform-minded Mugwumps.
Benjamin Harrison (1889-93) - Overshadowed by a powerful Billion Dollar Congress.
Grover Cleveland (1893-97) - Lost the support of the of labor unions & the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party.
"Waving the Bloody Shirt"
Refers to the practice of politicians referencing the blood of martyrs or heroes to criticize opponents.
Grant Administration Scandals
Black Friday (1869) - Financial tycoons Jim Fisk and Jay Gould bribed officials in Grant's cabinet to ignore their attempts to corner the gold market; led to the Panic of 1869.
Tweed Ring (1871) -
Crédit Mobilier (1872) -
Whiskey Ring (1875) -
Supporters of Soft Money
Included expectant capitalists, debtors, and farmers because this would enable them to:
Borrow money at lower interest rates.
Pay of their loans faster with inflated dollars.
Increase prices for the goods they produced.
Supporters of Hard Money
Included bankers, entrenched capitalists, creditors, and investors who thought this would:
Allow currency to hold its value, since gold-backed money is less susceptible to inflation.
Increase the value of gold as the population expanded.
Panic of 1873 (1873-1879)
A severe international economic depression triggered by overproduction of railroads, mines, factories and farm products.
Led to the Railroad Strike of 1877.
Railroad Strike of 1877
Railroad workers throughout the U.S. went on strike to protest the lowering of their salaries; when more than a hundred people died during violence related to the strike, Hayes used federal troops to suppress the uprisings.
Bland-Allison Act (1878)
Required the federal government to purchase and coin more silver, increasing the money supply and causing inflation; passed over Hayes's veto.
A political faction of the Republican Party; favored the spoils system and political machines.
A political faction of the Republican Party; favored civil-service reform and the merit system.
James G. Blaine
Pendleton Act (1883)
Created the Civil Service Commission to ensure that hiring of federal employees was based on examinations and merit rather than political patronage.
Significantly reduced federal patronage from powerful office-seekers thus forcing politicians to look increasingly to corporations for campaign funds.
Republican Party activists who had switched to the Democratic Party because they did not like the financial corruption that was associated with the Republican candidate James G. Blaine in 1884.
Billion Dollar Congress (1889-91)
Republican-controlled Congress known for its lavish spending.
McKinley Tariff of 1890 - Increased duties on foreign goods to about 50 percent.
Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 - Allowed the government to buy more silver to produce currency.
Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 - Prohibited certain business activities that reduce competition in the marketplace.
The new time- and labor-saving technology required significant expenditures, which often had to be borrowed with interest charged by the banks.
The availability of land was limited because so much had been granted to railroad companies or sold to land speculators.
States often rewarded railroad and grain companies with reduced taxes with the remainder paid for by private citizens.
The high cost to store and ship grains and crops.
Formed to educate its members about new developments in agriculture and to create a social and culture bond among farmers.
Led to the passage of *"Granger Laws" regulating the railroads and grain elevator operators; challenged in a series of landmark Court decisions.
A Farmers' organization founded in late 1870s; worked for lower railroad freight rates, lower interest rates, and a change in the governments tight money policy.
Mary Elizabeth Lease
Gilded Age Court Cases
Munn v. Illinois (1877) - Allowed states to regulate certain businesses within their borders, including railroads, and is commonly regarded as a milestone in the growth of federal government regulation.
Wabash v. Illinois (1886) - Severely limited the rights of states to control interstate commerce; led to the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
United States v. E. C. Knight Company (1895) - Limited the government's power to control monopolies. The Court ruled that manufacturing was a local activity not subject to congressional regulation of interstate commerce.
Interstate Commerce Act (1887)
Law that was designed to regulate the railroad industry; created the Interstate Commerce Commission to railroads and ensure that they complied with the new regulations.
Short-lived political party based among poor, white cotton farmers in the South and hard-pressed wheat farmers in the Plains states.
James B. Weaver, Thomas E. Watson, William Jennings Bryan
Hostility to banks, railroads, and elites generally.
Omaha Platform (1892)
Political agenda adopted by the Populist Party in 1892.
Called for unlimited coinage of silver (bimetallism), government regulation of railroads and industry, graduated income tax, and a number of election reforms.
Procedure whereby a certain number of voters may, by petition, propose a law or constitutional amendment and have it submitted to the voters.
Panic of 1893
A serious economic depression triggered over-speculation in the railroad industry and a run on the gold supply.
Led to Coxey's Army and a wave of strikes including he Pullman Strike.
Election of 1896
William McKinley (Republican) vs. William Jennings Bryan (Democrat)
McKinley carried the large industrial Northern states, winning the election.
Last election for the Populist Party.
Economic philosophy described by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations; based on the principle that business and the economy would run best with no interference from the government.
Scottish-American industrialist who dominated the U.S. steel industry; pioneered the use of vertical integration; retired after selling his corporation to J.P. Morgan.
Practice in which a single manufacturer controls all of the steps used to change raw materials into finished products.
John D. Rockefeller
Industrialist who founded the Standard Oil Company; concentrated his wealth using horizontal integration, eventually controlling 90% of the nation's oil market.
Investment banker who eliminated business rivals by driving down prices; founded U.S. Steel - the nation's first billion dollar corporation.
The application of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to the business world; used by industrialists and social conservatives to discourage any government regulation in society.
Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner
19th-century American author, best known for his many formulaic juvenile novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty.
Gospel of Wealth
Essay written by Andrew Carnegie in which he described the responsibility of philanthropy by the new upper class of self-made rich.
National Labor Union
The first large-scale U.S. union; founded to organize skilled and unskilled laborers, farmers, and factory workers.
A place of employment at which one is not required to join or financially support a union as a condition of hiring or continued employment.
A form of union security agreement under which the employer agrees to only hire union members, and employees must remain members of the union at all times in order to remain employed.
Knights of Labor
The largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s; promoted the social and cultural uplift of the workingman, rejected socialism and radicalism, demanded the eight-hour day, and promoted the producers ethic of republicanism.
Railroad Strike of 1877
First major post-Civil War strike; employees of the Baltimore and Ohio struck when the company lowered their wages; turned violent; President Hayes called out the U.S. army to suppress the strike.
Indicative of the labor unrest following the war.
Haymarket Square Riot (1886)
Chicago labor protest organized to protest the treatment of workers at the McCormick Harvester Company as well as methods used by police in dealing with protestors; ended abruptly when an unknown assailant threw a bomb that killed 7 police officers; 8 anarchists were convicted of conspiracy.
The public blamed trade unions for the violence.
Homestead Strike (1892)
One of the largest disputes in U.S. labor history; involved workers at the Carnegie Steel Company and ...
Pullman Strike (1894)
Railroad strike that started when the Pullman Palace Car Company cut wages while maintaining high rents; led by Eugene V. Debs; ended when President Grover Cleveland called in federal troops.
Eugene V. Debs
American union leader, one of the founding members of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and several times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.
American Federation of Labor
Alliance of skilled workers in craft unions; focus was bread-and butter issues such as higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions.
American Protective Association
Nativist organization that attacked "New Immigrants" and Roman Catholicism in the 1880s and 1890s.
Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
The first major legal restriction on immigration to the U.S.; prohibited further unskilled Chinese immigration in order to reduce competition for jobs.
Neighborhood centers established to provide help to needy families, combat juvenile delinquency, and assist recent immigrants in learning English and in becoming citizens.
Jane Addams of the Hull House Settlement in Chicago
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Upheld the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities under the doctrine of "separate but equal."
Booker T. Washington
Former slave who promoted economic independence and a slow transition for blacks into free society; founded the Tuskegee Institute.
Challenged Washington's ideas on race relations and encouraged blacks to resist systems of segregation and discrimination; leader of the Niagara Movement in 1905; founding member of the NAACP.
Interracial organization founded in 1909 to abolish segregation and discrimination and to achieve political and civil rights for African Americans.
Industrial Workers of the World
Radical union founded in 1905 to unite the American working class into one union; advocated social revolution; led several major strikes; associated with violence.
William "Big Bill" Haywood, Eugene V. Debs
Muckraking journalist who exposed the corruption of political machines in the cities in his book The Shame of the Cities.
Muckraking journalist who exposed the corruption of the oil industry in her work A History of Standard Oil.
Muckraking journalist and photographer who exposed the poverty, disease, and crime that afflicted many immigrant neighborhoods in New York City in his work How the Other Half Lives.
Newlands Reclamation Act (1902)
Authorized the use of federal funds from public land sales to pay for irrigation and land development projects, mainly in the dry Western states.
Elkins Act (1903)
Strengthened the Interstate Commerce Act by imposing heavy fines on railroads offering rebates and on the shippers accepting them
Alfred T. Mahan
Author who argued in 1890 that the economic future of the United States rested on new overseas markets protected by a larger navy; wrote "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History."
Treaty of Portsmouth (1905)
Ended the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905); signed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire after negotiations brokered by Theodore Roosevelt (for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize).
Great White Fleet
Name for the steam-powered ships of the enlarged and modernized American Navy of the early 1900s.
Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers.
William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer
Communication intercepted by U.S. officials stating that Germany would help Mexico take back territory lost if they declared war on the United States.
Espionage Act (1917)
Prohibited any attempt to interfere with military operations, to support U.S. enemies during wartime, to promote insubordination in the military, or to interfere with military recruitment; upheld in Schenck v. United States.
Sedition Act (1918)
Forbade the use of "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the United States government, its flag, or its armed forces or that caused others to view the American government or its institutions with contempt.
War Industries Board
Government agency established to coordinate the purchase of war supplies during World War I.
War Labor Board
Federal agency created in order to arbitrate disputes between workers and employers in order to ensure labor reliability and productivity during the World War I; it was disbanded after the war in May 1919.
Munich Agreement (1938)
An agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland; it is widely regarded as a failed act of appeasement toward Nazi Germany.
Advocates the creation of a totalitarian single-party state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation and the creation of an ideal "new man" to form a governing elite through indoctrination, physical education, and family policy including eugenics.
A political system where the state, usually under the power of a single political person, faction, or class, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.
A sociopolitical movement that aims for a classless and stateless society structured upon common ownership of the means of production, free access to articles of consumption, and the end of wage labour and private property in the means of production and real estate.
Spanish Civil War (1936-39)
Fought from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939 after a military rebellion, led by a group of conservative generals under the authority of Francisco Franco, went against the elected government. The conservative generals received the support of Nazi Germany and the Fascist Italy while the Soviet Union intervened in support of the socialist Republicans.
The conquering and annexing of neighboring countries by Japan; it was the result of a growing population and limited natural resources in Japan at the time.
U.S. policy calling for the non-recognition of international territorial changes that were executed by force.
Laws that 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 that the US would not become entangled again in foreign conflicts.
Cash & Carry Policy (1939)
U.S. policy that 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.
Selective Service Act (1940)
Required that men between the ages of 21 and 35 register with local draft boards; marked the first peacetime conscription in United States history.
Lend Lease Act (1941)
The program under which the US supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, France and other Allied nations with vast amounts of war material between 1941 and 1945.
Four Freedoms Speech (1941)
Technically Franklin Roosevelt's 1941 State of the Union address in which he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people "everywhere in the world" ought to enjoy:
Freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of worship
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear
Atlantic Charter (1941)
Stated the ideal goals of World War II as no territorial aggrandizement; no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people; restoration of self-government to those deprived of it; free access to raw materials; reduction of trade restrictions; global cooperation to secure better economic and social conditions for all; freedom from fear and want; freedom of the seas; and abandonment of the use of force, as well as disarmament of aggressor nations.
US naval base that was attacked on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese Empire bringing the U.S. into World War II.
Fair Employment Practices Committee (1941)
Prohibited racial discrimination in the national defense industry.
Executive Order 9066 (1942)
Ordered by President Franklin Roosevelt in February, 1942. Declared that large military zones could be set up to exclude current residents who were believed to be a threat to security.
Battle of Stalingrad (1941)
The turning point in World War II between Germany and the Soviet Union. Was the last major offensive attack on the Soviet Union. Germany lost. Germany was then on the retreat for the remainder of the war.
June 6, 1944. Began the invasions on Normandy to liberate the French from Nazi control.
Tehran Conference (1943)
Stalin urged Roosevelt and Churchill to open up a new front in Western Europe. Talked of a possible United Nations.
Casablanca Conference (1943)
Churchill and Roosevelt stated that the Allies would only accept an unconditional surrender from the Axis Powers.
Yalta Conference (1945)
Between Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill. Confirmed what was discussed in the Tehran Conference about setting up United Nations. Stalin promised to allow democratic elections in countries taken by Russia. Promise was reneged, however.
Potsdam Conference (1945)
Divided Germany into 4 military regions each controlled by the US, France, Great Britain, and the USSR after World War II. Berlin was also divided in the same manner.
Manhattan Project (1942-46)
Effort made by the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain to construct an atomic bomb; led by Robert Oppenheimer.
Hiroshima & Nagasaki (1945)
Two major cities that US decided to drop atomic bombs upon. Resulted in the surrender of Japan and end of World War II.
Soviet Post-War Objectives
Reconstruction of the Economy - Soviets demanded that Germany pay it $20 billion in war reparations
Military Competition - Soviets sought to remain on par with the US militarily
Self-Defense - Soviets wanted to make certain that they would no longer be surrounded by countries hostile to the USSR. They therefore create a buffer zone, referred to as the Soviet-bloc nations, in Eastern Europe.
US Post-War Objectives
Reconstruction of Europe - US helped to rebuild the economies of Western European nations such as France, Great Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, & Germany
Military Superiority - Originally achieved through a nuclear monopoly, later through nuclear superiority
Containment - US sought to stop the spread of communism
Eastern European nations under Soviet control; included East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Albania,& Romania.
United States policy using military, economic, and diplomatic strategies to stall the spread of communism, enhance America's security and influence abroad, and prevent a "domino effect."
American adviser, diplomat, political scientist, and historian, best known as "the father of containment" and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War.
Truman Doctrine (1947)
A policy set forth by U.S. President Harry S Truman stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere.
Marshall Plan (1947)
Officially the European Recovery Program; U.S. economic program for rebuilding and creating a stronger economic foundation for the countries of Europe.
Berlin Blockade & Airlift (1948-1949)
In an attempt to consolidate their control of East Germany, the Soviets ordered the access roads into West Berlin closed. In response, the US & Britain launched a year-long airlift that numbered one thousand planes per day & successfully provided 2 million West Berliners with basic necessities.
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
A strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea.
The act of pushing a situation to the verge of war, in order to threaten and encourage one's opponent to back down. Brinkmanship in the Cold War refers to the constant competition between the United States of America and the Soviet Union.
John Foster Dulles
U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world.
A military doctrine and nuclear strategy in which a state commits itself to retaliate in much greater force in the event of an attack.
The first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957.
Cuban Revolution (1959)
A successful armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement that overthrew the U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista on 1 January 1959.
U-2 Incident (1960)
U.S. spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union forcing the Eisenhower administration to acknowledge responsibility for the surveillance mission.
Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961)
An unsuccessful action by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, with support and encouragement from the U.S. government, in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
A confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War.
The practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents.
Refers to the dramatic post-World War II increased birth rate during which an estimated 78.3 million Americans were born.
A region of the United States generally considered to stretch across the South and Southwest.
Four large suburban developments created in the U.S. featuring large numbers of similar houses that were built easily and quickly, allowing rapid recovery of costs.
Fair Deal Legislation
President Harry S. Truman's 21 point program of domestic legislation.
National Mental Health Act (1946)
National School Lunch Act (1946)
Employment Act (1946)
Water Pollution Law (1948)
Housing Act (1949)
Fair Labor Standards Act (1949)
Social Security Act (1950)
A short-lived segregationist, socially conservative political party in the US that originated as a breakaway faction of the Democratic Party in 1948, determined to protect what they portrayed as the Southern way of life beset by an oppressive federal government.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
A landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
An African-American civil rights activist who, in 1955, refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger.
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955)
A political and social protest campaign that started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, USA, intended to oppose the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
An American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement best known for using using nonviolent methods to bring about change.
Civil Rights Act of 1957
A voting rights bill that sought to ensure that all African Americans could exercise their right to vote.
Civil rights activists that rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia (1960).
An African American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi before being shot & killed in June 1963.
Alabama governor best known for his pro-segregation attitudes during the Civil Rights Movement.
New Frontier Legislation
A label for the Kennedy Administration's domestic and foreign programs.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964)
Gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of conventional military force in Southeast Asia.
A policy of the Richard M. Nixon administration, as a result of Tet, 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."
Kent State Shootings (1970)
Involved the shooting of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970.
Pentagon Papers (1971)
A top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of the New York Times in 1971.
Peace with Honor (1973)
A phrase U.S. President Richard M. Nixon used in a speech on January 23, 1973 to describe the Paris Peace Accord to end the Vietnam War.
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (1968)
Banned the transfer of nuclear weapons to nonnuclear nations.
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (1969-1972)
Known as SALT I; aimed to prevent the expansion of U.S. & Soviet nuclear arsenals. SALT II sought further reductions, but when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the Senate refused to ratify the treaty.
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (1972)
Restricted the development of defense systems that could be used against strategic ballistic missiles.
The policies of the first Reagan administration; based on "supply side" theory of growing the economy.
Increased defense spending
Reduced social programs
Ronald Reagan's economic program; founded on the belief that a capitalist system free from taxation and government involvement would be most productive, and that the prosperity of a rich upper class would "trickle down" to the poor.
The name given to three U.S. legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984, all aimed at limiting U.S. government assistance to the rebel Contras in Nicaragua.
A political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan Administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo in hopes of securing the release of hostages and allowing U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras.
Strategic Defensive Initiative (1983)
Known as Star Wars; a satellite defensive system that would theoretically destroy incoming missiles.
Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget Act (1985)
Sought to reduce deficits by providing automatic spending cuts. Declared unconstitutional in 1986.
Head of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. His liberalization effort improved relations with the West, but he lost power after his reforms led to the collapse of Communist governments in eastern Europe.
A political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s; widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Its literal meaning is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.
The policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s.
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement (1987)
The U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to eliminate all intermediate-range nuclear weapons from their arsenals.
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