Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

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.

New Amsterdam

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.

New France (1608)

A French colony in North America. Fell to the British in 1763.

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.

Jamestown (1607)

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.
Historical Significance:
Led to a move from indentured servants to African slaves for labor purposes.

Plymouth (1620)

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.

John Winthrop

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.

Roger Williams

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.

Anne Hutchinson

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.

William Penn

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.
George Whitefield
Jonathan Edwards - "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.

William Pitt

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.

Fort Duquesne

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.

Chief Pontiac

Ottawa Indian who led a rebellion against the British occupying the western parts of the American colonies after the French & Indian War.

Salutary Neglect

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.

Navigation Laws

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.

George Grenville

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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.

Circular Letters

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.
Historical Significance:
Led to the dissolution of the Massachusetts Assembly & the occupation of Boston.

John Dickinson

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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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
Historical Significance:
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
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.

Lexington and Concord (1775)

Site of the first shots of the American Revolution.

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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
Rejected and the colonies were formally declared in rebellion.

Thomas Paine

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.
Historical Significance:
Boosted American morale and inspired re-enlistments.

Valley Forge

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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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

Major Features:
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.
Historical Significance:
Highlighted the need for a strong national government.

Achievements of the Articles of Confederation

Land Ordinance of 1785
Northwest Ordinance of 1787

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.
Historical Significance:
Led to the Constitutional (Philadelphia) Convention in 1787.

Charles Beard

Historian who argued that the Constitution was designed to protect the economic self-interest of the Framers.

Virginia Plan

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

William Patterson
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.

Commerce Compromise

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 Compromise

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.

Federalist Papers

Series of 85 essays written by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton supporting the ratification of the Constitution.


The division of power between the state and national governments.

Hamilton's Economic Program

Major Features:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
Led to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804.

Federalist Party

Alexander Hamilton
Major Ideas:
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.

Democratic-Republican Party

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison
Major Ideas:
Represented the interests of the common man, the farmer.
Was anti-capitalistic.
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
Led to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804.

Marshall Court

Chief Justice John Marshall
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
Led to the Embargo Act of 1807.

Embargo Act (1807)

Prohibited all foreign trade.
Historical Significance:
Devastated the New England economy and led many to support Charles Pinckney, the Federalist candidate in the 1808 election.

Nonintercourse Act (1809)

Opened trade with all nations except Britain and France.

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.

War Hawks

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

Chief Tecumseh

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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.

American System

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.

National Road

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.

Erie Canal

An artificial waterway connecting the Hudson river at Albany with Lake Erie at Buffalo; supported by New York Governor Dewitt Clinton.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
Persisted with only minor variations for almost two centuries.
"Big Brother" Policy - 1880s
"Roosevelt Corollary" - 1904
Clark Memorandum - 1928

Great Triumvirate

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.
Historical Significance:
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
Major Ideas:
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
Major Ideas:
Supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism.

"Corrupt Bargain"

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.
Historical Significance:
Marked the beginning of modern American politics, with the decisive establishment of democracy and the formation of the two-party system.

Spoils 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.

Kitchen Cabinet

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.
Historical Significance:
Blamed for the Panic of 1819; especially unpopular among the western land speculators and farmers who supported Andrew Jackson.

The Bank War (1832-1836)

Major Events:
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.

Pet Banks

State banks selected by the U.S. Department of Treasury to receive surplus government funds in 1833; also known as "Wildcat Banks."
Historical Significance:
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.
Historical Significance:
Led to inflation and rising prices; blamed for the Panic of 1837.

Samuel Slater

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.

Eli Whitney

Best known for inventing the cotton gin; pioneered the use of interchangeable parts in the manufacture of muskets.
Historical Significance:
Made cotton a profitable crop, strengthening the economic foundation of slavery.

Lowell Mills

Textile mills located in a factory town in Massachusetts; employed mostly women between the ages of 16 and 35 known as Lowell Mill Girls.
Historical Significance:
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.

Cyrus McCormack

Inventor of the mechanical reaper; founder of the International Harvester Company.
Historical Significance:
Greatly improved farm productivity.

See more

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording