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North American Revolution

Successful rebellion conducted by the colonists of parts of North America (not Canada) against British rule (1775-1787); a conservative revolution whose success assured property rights but established republican government in place of monarchy.

French Revolution

The second great democratic revolution, taking place in the 1790s, after the American Revolution had been proven to be a success. The U.S. did nothing to aid either side. The French people overthrew the king and his government, and then instituted a series of unsuccessful democratic governments until Napoleon took over as dictator in 1799.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

Issued on August 26, 1789. It affirmed the principles of the new state: rule of law; equal individual citizenship, collective sovereignty of the people. "Men born and remain free and equal in rights" (LIBERTY, PROPERTY, SECURITY AND RESISTANCE TO OPPRESSION). Became catechism of the revolution. Printed and disseminated in large numbers. Translated into many other languages.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Overthrew French Directory in 1799 and became emperor of the French in 1804. Failed to defeat Great Britain and abdicated in 1814. Returned to power briefly in 1815 but was defeated and died in exile.

Haitian Revolution

Toussaint l'Ouverture led this uprising, which in 1790 resulted in the successful overthrow of French colonial rule on this Caribbean island. This revolution set up the first black government in the Western Hemisphere and the world's second democratic republic (after the US). The US was reluctant to give full support to this republic led by former slaves.

Spanish American Revolutions

Colonists in Central and South America revoluted against their Spanish and Portugese rulers for independence

Abolitionist Movement

Movement in the 18th and 19th centuries that sought to make slavery illegal in the U.S. and the British West Indies.


New political idea where a single state encompasses a single ethnic background.

Vindication of the Rights of Women

Mary Wollstonecraft's treatise of 1792, in which she argued that reason was the basis of moral behavior in all human beings, not just in men. She concluded that women should have equal rights with men in education, politics, and economics

Maternal Feminism

Movement that claimed that women have value in society not because of an abstract idea of equality but because woman have a distinctive and vital role as mothers; women have the right to intervene in civil and political life because of their duty to protect/watch over the future of their children.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

A member of the women's right's movement in 1840. She shocked other feminists by advocating suffrage for women at the first Women's Right's Convention in Seneca, New York 1848. Stanton read a "Declaration of Sentiments" which declared "all men and women are created equal."

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