Bespoke Education SAT2 US History - Pre 1789

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Albany Plan of 1754
Called for the creation of a unified colonial government by Benjamin Franklin in face of threats by the French and Native Americans during the French and Indian War. The colonies rejected the plan for fear of losing too much power. The famous slogan "join or die" with the image of a cut-up snake is based on this Albany Plan.
Alien and Sedition Acts
These 1798 acts by President John Adams in the midst of the Quasi-War with France gave the federal government unprecedented power to infringe upon individual liberty. Acts were made up of the Alien Act, Naturalization Act, and Sedition Act - respectively these gave the President power to deport immigrants, called for a longer period for immigrants to achieve naturalization, and made it illegal to slander the Federal government (though one could criticize the government as long as he or she was telling the truth). These acts were directed at the pro-French Democratic-Republicans which dominated the immigrant vote and were used to shut down Democratic-Republican newspapers.
Annapolis Convention
Originally planned to discuss the promotion of interstate commerce, delegates from give states met at Annapolis in 1786 and ended up suggesting a convention to amend the Articles of Confederation.
Anne Hutchinson
Was banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony because she believed that one could communicate with God without the assistance of the clergy. Later joined Roger Williams in Rhode Island.
Anti-Federalists
A group opposed to the adoption of the Constitution because of fears that it would allow Congress to levy heavy taxes, raise a standing army, give the president as much power as a king, and damage the sovereignty of state governments. Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry were two notable members of this group.
Articles of Confederation
Adopted in 1777 during the Revolutionary War, the Articles established the United States of America. The Articles granted limited powers to the central government, creating only a single branch of government (unicameral legislature) without taxation power and requiring a 2/3 majority for all votes. The result was a poorly defined national state that couldn't govern the country's finances or maintain stability. The Constitution replaced them in 1789.
Bacon's Rebellion
Was caused by the high taxes imposed on western farmers by the Tidewater government and the lack of government protection against Native American attacks in the Piedmont.
Battle of Saratoga
Key battle of the American Revolution, as the victory of the Americans over the British convinced the French that they should enter the war on the side of the colonists.
Bill of Rights
Consisted of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, drafted by James Madison and other to help ensure passage of the Constitution, which guarantees rights to individuals and states not mentioned in the Constitution.
Boston Massacre
In March 1770, a crowd of colonists protested against British custom agents and the presence of British troops in Boston. Five colonists were killed.
Checks and Balances
The division of power among the three branches of the federal government—legislative, executive, and judicial—ensures that no one branch gained supremacy. This represented the solution to the problem of how to empower the central government, while also protecting against corruption and despotism. Based on the philosophy of the Enlightenment figure Montesquieu.
Christopher Columbus
Italian explorer who sailed to the New World under the Spanish flag in 1492. Although not the first European to reach the Americas (the Vikings arrived more than 300 years earlier), he is credited with opening the New World to exploration.
Committees of Correspondence
The first committee was organized by Samuel Adams to create a system of communication between patriot leaders in New England and throughout the colonies. They provided the organization necessary to unite the colonies in opposition to Parliament. The committees sent delegates to the First Continental Congress.
Declaration of Independence
Approved by Congress on July 4, 1776 and drafted by Thomas Jefferson, it formalized the colonies' separation from Britain and laid out the Enlightenment values of John Locke—of natural rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" upon which the American Revolution was based.
Declaratory Act
Passed in 1766 just after the repeal of the Stamp Act, the Declaratory Act stated that Parliament could legislate for the colonies in all cases, including taxation.
Dominion of New England
The new colonial governing agency created for New England after the Glorious Revolution in England.
Federalist Papers
Advocated the adoption of US Constitution because a republican government must balance its power among different branches and wider representation decreases the opportunities for tyranny.
First Continental Congress
Convened in September 1774 to protest the Intolerable Acts. It endorsed the Suffolk Resolves, voted for a boycott of British imports and sent a petition to King George III.
First Great Awakening
A response to Enlightenment ideals. Protestant ministers held revivals throughout the English colonies stressing the need for individuals to repent and urging a personal understanding of truth.
Fourth Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause as determined by a neutral judge or magistrate.
Benjamin Franklin
Served as ambassador to France during the Revolutionary War, was the oldest delegate to the Constitutional Convention and his advice proved crucial in the drafting other Constitution. Franklin has often been held up as the paradigm of Enlightenment though in Colonial America because of his contributions to the fields of science and philosophy.
French and Indian War
The American theater of the global Seven Years' War which began in 1754 and ended in 1763 (technically nine years). The American theater of the war was fought between English colonists and English soldiers (and a few native allies) against the significantly outnumbered French and Native American allies for dominance in North America. England's eventual victory brought England control of Canada and the eastern half of North America and eliminated the French as a threat to English dominance.
George Grenville
Prime Minister of Great Britain who believed that there was a need to defray the large debt Britain incurred after the French and Indian War through several taxes - notably the Sugar and Stamp Acts.
First Great Awakening
Protestant religious revivalism that swept across the American colonies in the 1730s. Led to a proliferation of new Protestant sects and increased mistrust of Roman Catholic "popery" and influence of clergy. Led by George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, the movement used harsh "fire and brimstone" language to advocate the need for religious reform.
Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise)
Compromise developed by Roger Sherman to settle the conflict between large and small states (Virginia and New Jersey Plans). It led to the creation of the House of Representatives determined by population and the Senate by equal representation of states.
Half-Way Covenant
Eased the requirements for church membership among Puritans.
Headright System
A method of inducing people to settle in the colonies in the 17th century. They would be granted tracts of land based on the number of people (usually indentured servants) they brought to the colonies.
Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts)
British response to the Boston Tea Party in which it sought the restructuring of the Massachusetts government with more power given to the Crown; the closing of the port of Boston; the authorization of the housing (quartering) of British troops in the homes of private citizens; the transfer of the trials of British soldiers accused of murder to England.
King Philip's War
King Philip's War of 1675 was a conflict between Native Americans and settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. King Philip (also known as Metacom or Metacomet) was a Wampanoag Chieftain and the son of Massasoit, who had brokered an alliance with the Plymouth Colony (the source of the story of Thanksgiving).
"Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer"
John Dickinson published this response in 1767 to the Townshend Duties and inspired anti-British sentiment throughout the colonies.
Maryland Act of Toleration, 1649
Gave political rights to Catholics in the colony of Maryland.
Mayflower Compact
The Pilgrims who signed the Mayflower Compact in 1620, from which this statement comes, created this document to exercise their right to self-government, as guaranteed in the Magna Carta.
Mercantilism
A theory of trade stressing that a nation's economic strength depended on exporting more than it imported and in which colonies serve as sources of raw materials and as markets for industrial goods. For Britain this manifested as the triangular trade and the Navigation Acts.
Middle Passage
Refers to the dangerous passage across the Atlantic Ocean when slaves were transported from Africa to the New World.
Minutemen
This nickname was given to local militiamen who fought against the British during the Revolutionary War. They were called minutemen because of their supposed ability to be ready for battle at a minute's notice.
Molasses Act
A tax on Molasses that was enacted after complaints from British sugar planters in the West Indies; it resulted in much smuggling by Americans colonists, who intended to avoid the tax.
Navigation Acts
England sought to do all of the following: confine the profits of colonial trade to its own subjects; regulate the colonial production of staple crops, increase its customs receipts, and increase its sea power.
New Jersey Plan
This plan was presented at the Constitutional Convention as an alternative to the Virginia Plan. The New Jersey Plan favored small states in that it proposed a unicameral Congress with equal representation for each state.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
One of the few laws passed under the Articles of Confederation, the ordinance established a procedure for bringing new states into the Union as the equals of the older states. Organized the Northwest Territory (the American Midwest) into 4-6 states that required 60,000 citizens each. Also banned slavery in the Territory, which demonstrated the will of the Founders to limit slavery, and increased the northern-southern divide over the issue.
Patrick Henry
A member of the Virginia House of Burgesses who famously declared "give me liberty or give me death." He was also a notable Anti-Federalist during the debate over the Constitution
Pequot War
English colonists devastated the Pequot nation, destroying whole villages in the 17th century.
Pontiac's Rebellion
A Native American conflict immediately proceeding the French and Indian War. In 1763, as a result of expansion westward of English colonists, a large number of Indian tribes banned together under the Ottawa chief Pontiac (though most were loosely organized) to keep the colonists from taking over their land. The rebellion led to Britain's Proclamation of 1763, which stated that colonists could not settle west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Proclamation Line of 1763
Point beyond which British colonists were forbidden to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Proprietary Colony
Created when the king gave a huge land grant to a wealthy subject who controlled how the colony would be settled.
Puritans
These were a Protestant group aiming to purify the Anglican Church. They established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Boston. Puritan influence in North America spread throughout the region of New England and with it came a focus on family life and a pious restraint of passion.
Quakers
A Protestant sect that settled in Pennsylvania and espoused freedom of religion.
Tenth Amendment (Reserved Power Clause)
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Tenth Amendment reinforces the principle of federalism by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the states or the people through the Constitution.
Roger Williams
He believed that each person had the right to worship.
Salem Witchcraft Trials
Several girls were accused of witchcraft and more than 100 people were eventually tried. The trials were significant because it exemplified how hysteria could overcome rational thought during a time of instability.
Salutary Neglect
Throughout the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the English government did not enforce those trade laws that most harmed the colonial economy. The purpose of salutary neglect was to ensure the loyalty of the colonists in the face of the French territorial and commercial threat in North America. The English ceased practicing salutary neglect following the British victory in the French and Indian War.
Samuel Adams
He played a key role in the defense of colonial rights. He had been a leader of the Sons of Liberty and suggested the formation of the committees of Correspondence. He is credited with provoking the Boston Tea Party.
Second Continental Congress
Convened in May 1775, the Congress opposed the drastic moved toward complete independence from Britain. Yet external conditions, the publication of Common Sense and the failure of King George III to recognize the Olive Branch Petition, an effort for reconciliation from the Congress, led to the Declaration of Independence.
Separation of Powers
Refers to the organization of the national government in three branches.
Shays' Rebellion
Worried some American political leaders, including George Washington, because it demonstrated that the central government could not respond effectively to upheavals by the lower classes and was a catalyst which led to the scrapping of the Articles of Confederation.
John Smith
He effectively saved Jamestown when the colony was on the verge of collapse in 1608. Smith's initiatives to improve sanitation and hygiene and to organize work gangs to gather food and build shelters dramatically lowered mortality rates among the colonists.
Stamp Act of 1765
Was primarily intended to increase British revenues to offset Britain's mounting debt after the French and Indian War.
Stamp Act Congress
Angered over the Stamp Act, representatives of nine colonial assemblies met in New York City in October 1765. The colonies agreed widely on the principles that Parliament could not tax anyone outside of Great Britain and could not deny anyone a fair trial, both of which had been dictates of the Stamp Act. The meeting marked a new level of colonial political organization. They also agreed to a boycott of British goods, which eventually helped get the Stamp Act repealed.
Suffolk Resolves
The First Continental Congress declared the Intolerable Acts invalid; they called for a boycott of English goods until the Intolerable Acts were repealed; King George viewed them as a serious threat that could result in an English war with the American colonies; they indicated that the colonies were still loyal to the king.
Sugar Act
This 1764 act lowered the duty on foreign produced molasses as an attempt to discourage colonial smuggling. Yet it further stipulated that Americans could export many commodities, but only if the goods first passed through a British port. The terms of the act and its method of enforcement outraged many colonists.
Tea Act of 1773
The act eliminated import tariffs on tea entering England and allowed the British East India Company to sell directly to consumers rather than through merchants. This act effectively crated a monopoly for the East India Company and was perceived as legitimizing the Townshend Duties. This outraged many colonists and prompted the Boston Tea Party.
The elastic clause
"The Congress shall have power . . . to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."
Thomas Paine
Author of Common Sense—argued that the colonists should free themselves from British rule and establish an independent government based on Enlightenment ideas. Many historians credit it with dissolving the final resistance to the fight for independence.
Three-Fifths Compromise
Settled the conflict over how slaves would be counted in terms of determining the number of representatives for a state. Slaves were to be counted as Three-Fifths of a person, effectively giving white southerners increased representation (since the slaves could not vote). This imbalance of representation (known as Slave Power) was a major cause of the Civil War.
Treaty of Paris of 1783
Ended the Revolutionary War and granted the US its independence. It further granted the US all land east of the Mississippi River.
Triangular Trade
These trade routes under the mercantilist system linked England, its colonies in North America, the West Indies, and Africa. New England rum was shipped to Africa and traded for slaves, who were brought to the West Indies and traded for sugar and molasses, which went back to New England.
Vice-admiralty courts
Established by Great Britain to make it easier to prosecute colonists who violated the Navigation Acts.
Virginia Plan
This was presented to the Constitutional Convention and proposed creation of a bicameral legislature with representation in both houses proportional to population. This plan favored the larger states. In opposition, the small states proposed the New Jersey Plan. In the end, the two sides found common ground through the Great Compromise.
Virtual representation
The theory that British colonists were represented in Parliament by virtue of the fact that Parliament represents all British subjects, whether or not they are allowed to vote.
John Winthrop
As governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, he was instrumental in forming the colony's government and shaping its legislative policy. He envisioned the colony, as a "city upon a hill" from which Puritans would spread religious righteousness throughout the world.
Writs of assistance
Essentially allowed British customs officials to search homes without a formal warrant for smuggled goods. Angered colonists because the writs violated what the colonists considered to be traditional English civil liberties. Protests over these Writs led to the Boston Massacre.
First Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the First Amendment prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances
Second Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms.
Third Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Third Amendment places restrictions on the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent, prohibiting it during peacetime.
Fifth Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Fifth Amendment sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy.
Sixth Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Sixth Amendment protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel.
Seventh Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Seventh Amendment provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law.
Eighth Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
Ninth Amendment
Established in the Bill of Rights in 1789, the Ninth Amendment protects rights not enumerated in the Constitution.
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