Bespoke Education SAT2 US History - 1899-Present

1964 Civil Rights Act
Prohibited segregation in public accommodations; gave the federal government the power to pursue school integration; barred discrimination in employment; fulfilled some of the goals Martin Luther King Jr. outlined when he began his civil rights protests in Birmingham, Alabama.
Agricultural Adjustment Acts
New Deal Legislation that paid farmers to take land out of production; established parity pricing; paid farmers to destroy crops and kill livestock to decrease supply; raised prices in the farm sector by responding to the imbalance of supply and demand. First AAA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court due to several technicalities, which were fixed in the otherwise unchanged Second AAA.
Allied Powers
Alliance of England, "Free France" (French Exiled govt led by Charles de Gaulle), Russia, China, and the United States to defeat the Axis Powers in World War II. These five powers were later labeled the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
America First Committee
Organization that opposed American involvement in World War I1 prior to Pearl Harbor, reaching one million members at its peak. Aviator Charles Lindbergh was its primary spokesman.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Founded in 1920 to seek to protect civil liberties for individuals.
Axis Powers
The anti-Communist and anti-Democracy alliance of Germany, Italy, Japan that the Allies successfully defeated in World War II.
Baby Boom
Refers to the decade of post WWII to the 1950s when the US population swelled from 150 million to 180 million.
Bank Holiday
Franklin Roosevelt closed the banks for a short period of time shortly after he became president in order to create financial stability in the banking system.
Bay of Pigs invasion
US attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro in 1961. Cuban exiles were trained by the CIA to invade and were given air support by the US military. Resulted in a massive operational failure and led to the decision by Cuba and the USSR to place Soviet Nukes on the island. This spurred the Cuba Missile Crisis.
Berlin Airlift
An example of a Cold War confrontation between the US and the USSR when the latter cut off supplies to West Berlin. The US and Britain sent food, fuel, and other necessities by plane to help their allies in West Berlin.
Black Panthers
Organized in 1966 in Oakland, CA, the Black Panthers stressed a program of black pride, economic self-sufficiency, and armed resistance to white oppression.
Black Power
Civil Rights slogan advocated in the 1960s emphasizing black superiority and a decrease in interracial cooperation. Criticized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the SCLC, and the NAACP.
Black Thursday / Black Tuesday
Black Thursday refers to October 24, 1929, when the Stock Market lost 11% of its value in panic trading. The date is often associated with the beginning of the Great Depression. Black Tuesday refers to October 29, 1929 when panic trading reached its apex.
Refers to an aggressive, threatening style of diplomacy toward the Soviet Union. Led to the brink of nuclear war on several occasions.
Brown v. Board of Education
Supreme Court decision in 1954 that overturned the Plessey v. Ferguson decision that "separate but equal" education was constitutional. Required immediate integration of all public schools nationwide. Future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall led the legal team for Linda Brown.
Progressive (Bull Moose) Party
Theodore Roosevelt's third-party established in 1912 when he unsuccessfully challenged his successor, President William H. Taft, for the Republican nomination. The splitting of the Republican vote contributed significantly to Woodrow Wilson's election.
George H.W. Bush
Served as president from 1989 to 1993, Vice-President from 1981-1993, and previously as CIA Director. His term was marked by economic recession, U.S. involvement in the Gulf War against Iraq, and the end of the Soviet Union.
Camp David Accords
The first peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, signed in 1978 in exchange for Israel's return of the Sinai Peninsula (previously acquired in the Six-Day War). The accords were a major accomplishment of the Carter presidency.
In September 1939, Congress amended the Neutrality Act, allowing warring nations to buy arms from the US, if they paid cash and carried the arms away on their own ships. This allowed the US to aid the Allies, but officially stay out of the war.
Central Intelligence Agency
Primarily concerned with international spying and information gathering after World War II. It was also involved in supporting civil struggles in Third World countries with groups friendly to US interests. In 1975 the Church Committee investigated its foreign and domestic abuses such as assassination plots and "mind control" experiments and recommended a significant curtailment of the CIA's powers, but it has significantly grown in size since the September 11 attacks.
Central Powers
Refers to Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, an alliance that fought the Allies/Triple Entente in World War I—Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and eventually the US.
Cesar Chavez
A migrant farm worker who created the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee in 1963 to help exploited Chicano workers. After leading many union strikes against California grape growers, he won better pay for the workers.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Outlawed discrimination in education, employment, and all public accommodations.
Civil Rights Act of 1968
Outlawed discrimination in the rental or sale of housing and apartments. It also provided further protection for civil rights leaders and penalties for rioters.
Civil Works Administration
Created by FDR to cope with the added economic difficulties brought on by the cold winter months of 1933. It spent $1 billion on short-term projects for the unemployed, but was abolished in the spring of that year.
Civilian Conservation Corps
The CCC, created in 1933 as part of the New Deal, pumped money into the economy by employing the poor in conservation and other projects.
Clayton Antitrust Act
Initiated by Woodrow Wilson in 1914, the Act sought to improve the vague Sherman Antitrust Act by listing a series of illegal business practices.
Cold War
The Soviet Union and the United States experienced a Cold War from 1946 to 1991. While there was no actual direct conflict between the nations, they were political, technological, and military enemies and rivals. The threat of communism looked and affected all US foreign and even domestic policy during this period. The constant threat of thermonuclear war loomed over this whole era, in which many proxy battles were fought between Communist and Capitalist/Nationalist forces (Korea, Vietnam, etc.).
Congress of Industrial Organizations
Was formed out of the AFL in 1933 to lobby Franklin D. Roosevelt for labor's right to collective bargaining. Was expelled from the AFL for promoting collective bargaining rights for unskilled workers but the two organizations rejoined in the 1950s, forming the AFL-CIO.
Containment Policy
The policy of keeping Communism limited to the regions in which it already existed. Examples include the Truman Doctrine; the creation of NATO; the MacArthur-led invasion of North Korea; the 1948 Berlin airlift.
Contract with America
House Speaker Newt Gingrich's spearheaded and unified Republicans under a program to attack Democratic policies and it led to the Republican takeover of the Congress in 1994. Advocated massive cuts and reforms to welfare programs, deregulation of banking and other industries, and lower taxes especially on the wealthiest citizens (referred to as "job creators" under this trickle-down plan).
Counter-Culture movement of the 1960's
A political and social movement that questioned traditional middle-class values and the conservative conformity of American society. Also heavily involved in (and to a large degree created by) the Anti-War movement during the Vietnam War. Examples include the Hippies, Yippies, and the Free Speech Movement.
Court packing scheme
In 1937, FDR tried to pass a court reform bill that would allow the president to appoint an additional Supreme Court justice for each current justice over the age of 70. The proposal was an obvious attempt to dilute the power of the older, conservative justices and the measure never passed.
Cuban missile crisis
In 1962, the US learned that Soviet missile bases were being constructed in Cuba. JFK demanded that the USSR stop shipping equipment and removed the bases. A naval blockade was ordered and nuclear war appeared imminent. Khrushchev backed down and dismantled the bases in return for a US promise not to invade Cuba and a clandestine removal of US nukes from Turkey.
Daniel Ellsberg
Obtained the secret documents detailing the history of American involvement in Vietnam and were later printed by the New York Times, known as the Pentagon Papers. His psychiatrist's office was later raided for "dirt" on Ellsberg by a group of Richard Nixon's "Dirty Tricksters."
Dawes Plan
In 1924, this plan scaled back US demands for debt payments and reparation from World War I and established a cycle of US loans to Germany. These funds provided Germany with funds for its payment to the Allies.
Defeat of Treaty of Versailles
Republicans sought to gain political advantage from the issue; The Senate was jealous of its role in foreign affairs; Senator Lodge and other Republicans disapproved of United States participation in the League of Nations as it was constituted; President Wilson refused to agree to substantive reservations to the treaty.
Refers to the relaxation of tensions between the US and USSR in the 1960s and 1970s, spearheaded by Henry Kissinger. During this period, the two powers signed treaties limiting nuclear arms productions and opened economic relations.
Direct primary
Voters chose the candidates who will run on a party's ticket in a subsequent election.
Dollar Diplomacy
American multinational corporations represent United States government interests in other countries.
Domino theory
The theory that if a foreign country fell to communism, neighboring countries would likely become communist as well.
Dust bowl
Refers to the region of the southern Great Plains during the 1930s, when a severe drought and fierce winds led to violent dust storms that destroyed farmland, machinery, and houses. The event caused 800,000 residents to migrate westward to California.
Dynamic Conservatism
The name that Eisenhower gave to his philosophy of government to distinguish it from the Republican administrations of the past, which he deemed backward-looking and complacent. In effect, this meant accepting existing New Deal programs but reducing the number of new Federal spending programs.
Economic Opportunity Act
Part of LBJ's Great Society, established an Office of Economic Opportunity to provide young Americans with job training and created a volunteer network devoted to social work and education in impoverished areas.
Eighteenth Amendment
Ratified in 1919, it prohibited the manufacture, transport, or sale of alcoholic beverages. It was sporadically enforced and led to the rise of organized crime families (most notably, Al Capone's) which profited off the operation of illegal "speakeasies" and the selling of "bootleg" alcohol. Prohibition was repealed in 1933 with the passage of the 21st Amendment.
Eisenhower Doctrine
Announced in 1957, the policy committed the US to preventing Communist aggression in the middle East, with troops if necessary.
Engle v. Vitale
The Supreme Court ruled in 1962 that school prayer was unconstitutional in public schools.
Equal Rights Amendment
A constitutional amendment declaring equal rights for men and women. It failed to gain the necessary votes for ratification within the constitutional time limit, largely due to the negative campaign run by conservative Phyllis Schlafly. It was supported by the National Organization for Women, as it would have prevented all gender-based discrimination practices.
This field was popularized during the Progressive Era and founded on the premise that the "perfect" human society could be achieved through genetic tinkering. Eugenics was often used to justify a Protestant white supremacist ideology advocating the elimination of "undesirable racial elements" from American society. This movement was a major influence on Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Fair Deal
This was Harry Truman's attempt to extend the policies of the New Deal. It included measures to increase the minimum wage, expand Social security, and construct low-income housing.
Fair Labor Standards Act
This 1938 Act provided for a minimum wage and restricted shipment of goods produced with child labor.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Created as part of the New Deal, the Act insured individual deposits with federal funds.
Federal Emergency Relief Act
This Act was one of the New Deal's most comprehensive measures to support state and local treasuries that had run out of money.
Federal Reserve Board
Is responsible for making monetary policy in the US. This policy affects money supply through the mechanisms of buying and selling government bonds and adjusting the interest rate.
Federal Reserve System of 1913
Reorganized American banking system by creating a network of twelve Federal Reserve banks authorized to distribute currency.
Federal Securities Act
This 1933 Act made corporate executive liable for any misrepresentation of securities issued by their companies.
Federal Trade Commission
Created by the Federal Trade Commission Act in 1914 to monitor and investigate firms involved in interstate commerce and to issue "cease and desist" order when business practices violated free competition. A central part of Wilson's plan to regulate business.
The Feminine Mystique
Betty Freidan's book and rallying cry for the women's liberation movement. It denounced the belief that women should be tied to the home and encouraged women to get involved in activities outside their home and family.
Delaying or blocking the passage of a piece of legislation in the Senate, which can only be defeated with a cloture of 60 votes. Used to be used sporadically but is now used routinely to give all legislation a 60-vote threshold.
A central stereotype of the Jazz Age of the 1920s—they were seen as flamboyant, liberated, pleasure-seeking young women.
Gerald Ford
A Republican who took over the presidency from Richard Nixon, after the latter resigned. Ford was appointed to the vice-presidency when Vice-President Spiro Agnew had resigned for accepting bribes while Governor of Maryland. Ford later pardoned Nixon and lost a close election to Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Fourteen Points
Wilson's liberal and idealistic peace program for the end of World War I—he called for unrestricted sea travel, free trade, arms reduction, the territorial reorganization of Europe in favor of self-rule, and most importantly, the creation of a "general association of nations" to protect peace and resolve conflicts."
Freedom rider
Was a program led by the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in which black and white members of the two organizations rode through the South on public buses to protest segregation in interstate transportation.
Gideon v. Wainwright
Provide defense lawyers to felony defendants who are too poor to hire attorneys.
Good Neighbor Policy
This policy announced by FDR in 1933, where he pledged that no nation, not even the US had the right to interfere in the affairs of any nation in an attempt to create favorable relations with Latin America.
Grapes of Wrath
Novel by John Steinbeck portraying the dust bowl farmers.
Great Society
President Johnson's program to reduce poverty and racial injustice and to promote a better quality of life in the United States.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Passed by the Senate in 1964 following questionable reports of a naval confrontation between North Vietnamese and US forces in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Resolution granted President Johnson broad wartime powers without explicitly declaring war.
Gulf War
Caused by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and successfully drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, but did not invade Iraq.
H. L. Mencken
Noted 20th century journalist and satirist.
Harlem Renaissance
African-American writers living in New York during the 1920's, and included James Weldon Johnson, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.
Helsinki Accords
In 1965, Ford and Brezhnev, along with the leaders of 31 other nations, signed these Accords to solidify European boundaries and promise to respect human rights and the freedom to travel.
The site of the first atomic bomb attack by the US against the Japanese that helped to end World War II and instantly killed over 70,000 citizens.
Herbert Hoover
Served as president from 1929 to 1933 during the stock market collapse and the height of the Great Depression. He made only limited efforts to control the economic and social problems of the nations, efforts there were considered to be too little, too late. He did, however, set the stage for many future New deal measures during the last year of his presidency with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
Communities of destitute American living in shanties and makeshift shacks. Given this name to serve as a stark reminder of Hoover's failure to alleviate the poverty of the Great Depression.
House Un-American Activities Committee
During the period of McCarthyism HUAC provided the congressional forum in which many hearing about suspected communists in the government took place.
Industrial Workers of the World
IWW or Wobblies, as they were nicknamed, was a radical labor organization founded in 1905 and advocated revolution and massive societal reorganization. It faded away around 1920.
Interstate Highway System
Dwight Eisenhower's most significant domestic achievement, the Interstate Highway System was designed for both economic and military purposes. It caused a sizable population shift from city to suburb.
Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison depicts an African-American man's struggle against a predominantly white American society.
Iran-Contra affair
In 1987, investigation exposed evidence that profits from US arms sales to the anti-American government in Iran had been used to illegally finance the Contras in Nicaragua. Colonel Oliver North, a member of the National Security Council, was convicted of organizing this illegal operation from within the White House.
Jazz Age
The 1920s are often called this because of the development of jazz music in that decade as well as the highly publicized and exaggerated accounts of wild parties, drinking, and dancing.
Kellogg-Briand Pact
In 1928, more than 60 nations signed this Pact, which condemned the use of war. Although the agreement was symbolically important because it made gong to war a criminal act, it did not describe how to enforce it.
John F. Kennedy
A Democratic, served as president from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. A young and charismatic leader, he cultivated a glorified image in the eyes of the American public. His primary achievements came in the realm of international relations, particularly the peaceful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Martin Luther King Jr.
First rose to national prominence as a civil rights leader during the 1956 Montgomery bus boycott. Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960, King tirelessly led the struggle for integration and full equality through nonviolent means. He was assassinated in 1968.
Kitchen Debates of 1959
Conversations between Nixon and Khrushchev concerning communism and capitalism.
Korean War
On June 1950, troops from Soviet-supported North Korea, invaded South Korea. Without asking for a declaration of war, Truman committed US troops as part of a United Nations "police action." Limited fighting continued until July 1953, when an armistice restored the prewar border between North and South Korea.
Korematsu vs. United States
The US Supreme Court ruled that the forced internment of Japanese residents and citizens was an appropriate wartime measure in light of fears of Japanese espionage.
Ku Klux Klan
Founded in 1866 in Tennessee, and was soon controlled by Democratic politicians. By 1868, the Klan operated in all Southern states, conducting raid to intimidate black voters and Republican officials. It then faded away and made a resurgence beginning in 1915. The Klan was dominated by white native-born Protestants and advocated white supremacy.
Launch of Sputnik, 1957
Led to a strong American interest in space program.
League of Nations
The last of Woodrow Wilson 14 Points, first attempt to create a collective security body meant to provide a forum for resolving conflict and future wars. It was written into the Treaty of Versailles, but was rejected by the U.S. Senate, leaving it a weak international force.
Lend-Lease Act
A key move in support of the Allied cause before the US formally entered the war. It allowed the president to lend or lease supplies to any nation deemed "vital to the defense of the US."
Limited Test-Ban Treaty
In 1963 JFK and Khrushchev agreed to this treaty, which prohibited undersea and atmospheric testing of nuclear weaponry. This agreement was characteristic of a period of lessening tensions between the world's two superpowers, known as détente.
Charles Lindbergh
Completed the world's first non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. His plane, called the Spirit of St. Louis went from New York to Paris in 1927 in little more than 33 hours. Also a notable member of the America First isolationist movement that advocated appeasement of Nazi Germany.
Lochner v. New York
Supreme Court declared in 1905 certain professions exempt from the regulation of work hours. The Court ruled that limiting work hours was unconstitutional, because it interfered with the employer/employee contract. The 1908 case, Muller v. Oregon, however, upheld a limited workday for women because the Court deemed them physically inferior.
Henry Cabot Lodge
Led a group of senators known as the "reservationists" during the 1919 debate over the League of Nations, believing it would restrict American sovereignty. Wilson refused to compromise with this group and the treaty was rejected.
Huey Long
A senator from Louisiana, was one of the most vocal critics of the New Deal. His "Share Our Wealth" program proposed a 100% tax on all income over $1 million, and large redistribution. He was assassinated in 1935.
Lost Generation
The term describes a small but prominent circle of writers, poets, and intellectuals during the 1920s—Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Pound—who grew disillusioned with America's postwar culture, finding it overly materialistic and spiritually void. Many of these artists moved to Europe to write, and their writings often express their disgust with America's materialism and superficiality.
This British vessel was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915. The event prompted Wilson to plan for a military buildup and encouraged American alliance with Britain and France in opposition to Germany.
Douglas MacArthur
Commanded the US army in the Pacific in WWII. He oversaw the American occupation of Japan and later led US troops in the Korean War. MacArthur pushed for total victory in the Korean War, seeking to conquer all of Korea and perhaps move into China, but Truman held him back from this goal. As a result of publicly denouncing Truman's policy, he was relieved from duty in 1951.
Malcolm X
Urged African Americans to take pride in their heritage, and he extolled the virtues of self-defense and community action. Originally a member and spokesman of the controversial Nation of Islam, he later broke with its leader Elijah Muhammad and was assassinated.
Man in the Grey Flannel Suit
Analyzed the growing sense of conformity and the loss of individualism in American society.
Manhattan Project
Goal was to create an atomic bomb during World War II that was later used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Mann-Elkins Act
This act in 1910 helped to regular employment and commerce practices. It gave the Interstate Commerce Commission the power to regulate telephone and telegraph lines, and cable and wireless establishments, and to handle any disputes in court.
Marcus Garvey
Founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association was best known for instilling pride and self-sufficiency in working class African Americans.
Thurgood Marshall
A black attorney, who successfully argued the case of Brown v. Board of E education of Topeka in front of the Supreme court in 1954. In 1967, Marshall became the first African-American appointed to the Supreme Court.
Marshall Plan
Developed by George Marshall after World War II to aid the shipment of food, raw material, and machinery to postwar Europe.
Refers to the extreme anticommunism in American politics and society during the early 1950s. The term derives from the actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who led an intense campaign against alleged subversives during this period.
Meat Inspection Act
This 1906 act set federal regulations for meatpacking plans and established a system of federal inspection. These reforms were undertaken in response to the muckrakers' exposes of the unsanitary and often hazardous conditions of food processing plants.
Medical Care Act
An element of President Johnson's great Society program, in 1965, the Medical Care Act created Medicare to provide senior citizens with single-payer government medical insurance and Medicaid to provide welfare recipients with free health care.
Mellon Tax Policy of 1920s
Consisted of reduction of personal income taxes for the wealthy, tax breaks for large corporations, high protective tariffs and excise taxes on automobiles and postal services.
Miranda v. Arizona
In 1966 the Supreme Court ruled that accused suspects had to be informed that they had rights: Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during questioning.
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
1964 to support African American representation at the Democratic convention.
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Boycott helped shape future civil rights strategies because it combined direct action protest with litigation in the courts.
J. P. Morgan
One of the most important Wall Street financier and business leaders, who was involved in many of the most profitable business ventures during the era of industrialization. In 1901, he bought Carnegie Steel and established the world's first billion-dollar corporation, U.S. Steel Corporation.
Muhammad Ali
Won a gold medal in 1960, refused to serve in Vietnam, converted to Islam, changed his name and became a symbol for Civil Rights.
Mutual Assured Destruction
The US policy of M.A.D.. Acknowledged that both the US and the Soviet Union had large enough nuclear arsenals to destroy each other many times over. Developed in the early 1960s, it was America's form of defense against Society attack: MAD promised that whoever launched an attack would, in turn, be attacked, resulting in absolute nuclear devastation on both sides.
A group of blacks in 1909 led by W. E. B. du Bois formed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP called for an end to racial discrimination, attacked Jim Crow laws, and fought to overturn the 1896 Plessy decision. Led by middle-class blacks, the organization continues to advocate for integration and equal treatment for American blacks.
National conservation Commission
Created in 1909 by Theodore Roosevelt, the National Conservation Commission aimed to achieve more efficient and responsible management of the nation's resources.
National Labor Relations Act
Also known as the Wagner Act, the NLRA of 1935 provided a framework for collective bargaining. It granted workers the right to join unions and engage in bargaining, and forbade employers from discriminating against union rights.
National Organization for Women
NOW formed in 1966 to advocate for and raise public awareness of women's issues. NOW was a central part of the 1960s women's liberation movement.
National Origins Act of 1924
The epitome of anti-immigrant sentiments in the 1920s, this act restricted immigration from any one nation to two percent of the number of people already in the US of that national origin in 1890. This law severely restricted immigration from southern and eastern Europe, and excluded Asians entirely.
National Recovery Administration
The NRA, perhaps the most important element of the first New Deal established a forum in which business and government officials meets to set regulation s for fair competition. It was later declared unconstitutional in 1935.
An alliance among the nations of Western Europe and North America formed after World War II, especially aim to prevent the expansion of the Soviet Union.
New Freedom
Characterized Wilson's approach to foreign relation. Unlike Roosevelt's big stick policies and Taft's dollar diplomacy, Wilson's foreign policy sought to bring morality to foreign relations. Wilson denounced imperialism and economic meddling, and focused instead on spreading democracy throughout the world.
New Frontier
JFK's domestic policy focused on reform at home and victory in the Cold War abroad.
Nineteenth Amendment
Ratified in 1920, the 19th Amendment prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on sex.
Richard Nixon
Republic president, served from 1969 until his resignation in 1974. He oversaw a moderately conservative domestic program, gradually pulled troops out of Vietnam, and improved relations with the nation's communist enemies. He was forced to resign after being implicated in the Watergate scandal.
North American Free Trade Agreement
NAFTA narrowly passed Congress in 1993, it removed trade barriers between Canada, the US, and Mexico. Clinton championed this and other efforts to integrate the US more fully into the international economy.
On the Road
Jack Kerouac depicted the attitudes of the Beat Generation.
Organization Man
Analyzed the growing sense of conformity and the loss of individualism in American society.
Palmer Raids
Were designed in 1920 to eradicate communists and anarchists in the United States. It resulted in more than 4,000 arrests, 550 deportations, and countless civil-rights violations.
Rosa Parks
She was a quiet black seamstress who sparked the Montgomery bus boycott by refusing to give up her bus seat for a white man in 1955.
Peace Corps
Created by JFK in 1961 to send volunteer teachers, health workers, and engineers to two-year aid programs in Third World countries.
Pearl Harbor
On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor the site of an American naval base in Hawaii. The surprise attack resulted in the death of 2400 Americans and the following day, the US declared war against Japan, officially entering WWII.
Port Huron Statement
Delineated the frustrations and sense of alienation experienced by many young people in America in the 1960s, was written by the Weathermen.
The truth of an idea is found in the consequences to which it leads.
The role of the government should be expanded to address social and economic problems. The movement that started at the end of the 19th century was inspired by the political theories of the Enlightenment and organizations like the NAACP, muckrakers like Upton Sinclair, and reformers like Dorothea Dix who worked to expose and solve societal problems.
Public Works Administration
Created by the National Industrial Recovery Act was part of the New Deal, the PWA spent over $4million on projects designed to employ the jobless and reinvigorate the economy.
Pure Food and Drug Act
After muckrakers exposed the questionable packaging and labeling practices of food and drug industries, Congress passed this act in1906, which prohibited the sale of adulterated or inaccurately labeled foods and medicines.
Reagan Doctrine
Influenced all of the following foreign policy ventures: the Marines' invasion of Grenada; American support for the contras in Nicaragua; the deployment of Marines to Lebanon; the American bombing of Libya.
Tax cuts designed for the wealthy and intended to have a "trickle down" effect. Sometimes known as Reaganomics, it was based on supply-side economics.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Created by Herbert Hoover in 1932 to make loans to large economic institutions to restart the economy. Often considered to be too little, too late.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Created by President Hoover to counter the problems of the Great Depression.
Red Scare of 1919
Led to the arrest of 4,000 suspected communists.
Jackie Robinson
In 1947, he was the first African-American baseball player to play for the major leagues.
Roe v. Wade
In 1973 the Supreme Court legalized most first- and second trimester abortions in the US. This landmark decision represented a major achievement for the women's liberation movement.
Roosevelt Corollary
TR declared that the US, not Europe should dominate the affairs of Latin America and that although the US had no expansionist intentions, any "brutal wrongdoing" by a Latin American nation would justify US intervention as a global police power.
Roosevelt's "arsenal of democracy"
The Lend-Lease Act; the stationing of American troops in Greenland; the Atlantic Charter; the patrolling of sea lanes in the Atlantic Ocean by American destroyers.
The Rosenbergs
They were accused in 1950 of spying for the Soviets. The Rosenbergs were convicted and sentenced to death.
Rosie the Riveter
Was a nickname given during the Second World War to American women who did industrial work in the 1940's.
Sacco and Vanzetti
Their execution as anarchists and Italian immigrants signified the fear of anarchy permeated the United States in the 1920s.The case was significant for its demonstration of nativist and conservative forces in America, as well as of the liberal forces beginning to align against them.
Samuel Gompers
Organized skilled workers along craft lines; founding leader of the American Federation of Labor. Under his leadership, the AFL rarely went on strike, but rather took a more pragmatic approach based on negotiating for gradual concessions.
Schechter Poultry Corp. v. The United States
This Supreme Court case in 1935 invalidated the National Industrial Recovery Act, which established the National Recovery Administration and created the Public Works Administration. It was declared unconstitutional because the NIRA gave the executive branch regulatory powers that belonged only to Congress.
Schenck v. The United States (1919),
The Supreme Court ruled that civil liberties could be restricted in times of national crisis.
Scopes or "monkey" trial of 1925-significance
Symbolized the conflict between modem scientific ideas and religious fundamentalism.
Second New Deal
After the first New Deal began to crumble in the face of opposition and antagonistic Supreme Court rulings, FDR laid out plans for the Second New Deal in 1935. This was characterized by greater government spending and increased work relief programs. The most lasting measure was the creation of the Social Security system.
Section 7A of the National Recovery Act
After it was found unconstitutional it was replaced by the Wagner Labor Relations Act.
Securities and Exchange Commission
SEC was created in 1934 to regulate the stock market. The Commission was established to prevent a recurrence of the Stock Market crash of 1929, and to reduce abuses in the system.
Sedition Amendment
Passed in 1918, the sedition Amendment of the Espionage Act provided for punishment for anyone using "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" in regard to the US government, flag, or military.
Senator Joseph McCarthy
Rose to political power through his message that communists were working for the US government.
These were English Protestants who would not accept allegiance in any form the Church of England. One Separatist group, the Pilgrims, founded Plymouth Plantation. Other notable Separatists groups included the Quakers and Baptists.
Share the Wealth Society
Campaigns that argued the New Deal did not go far enough—created by Huey Long.
Sharecropping system
This replaced the plantation system as the primary method of agricultural production in the south. The system consisted of plantations subdivided into small farms there were rented to freedmen for leases paid in the form of a share (usually half) of the crop produced.
Silent Spring
By Rachel Carson that brought the dangers of DDT and other pesticides to the attention of the American public.
Upton Sinclair
A famous muckraker, who wrote The Jungle in 1906, which exposed the unsanitary conditions in several meatpacking plans. This novel and other exposes led to the passage of laws designed to ensure the safety of foods and medicines.
Sixteenth Amendment
Ratified in 1913, this Amendment allowed the federal government to collect a direct income tax.
Smith Act of 1940
In 1948, Harry Truman invoked the Smith Act to prosecute communists in the United States.
Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
This tariff of 1930 was one of Hoover's early efforts to protect the nation's farmers following the onset of the Great Depression, although the act wound up hurting farmers more than it helped them. It raised rates on imported agricultural goods.
Social Gospel
Believed that Christians, through their churches, were obligated to help the poor.
Social Security
Established by the Social Security Act of 1935, provides benefits to the elders and disabled.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
An organization committed to the advancement of Black civil rights founded by Martin Luther King Kr and other prominent clergymen to fight against segregation using nonviolent means.
"Speak softly and carry a big stick"
Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy, illustrated by the naval squadron he sent around the world to demonstrate US military power.
Launched by USSR in Oct 1957, this was the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth. Its launching prompted the space race between US and USSR, because Americans were both jealous of Soviet technological skills and afraid that the same rockets that launched Sputnik would be used to deliver nuclear warheads anywhere on the globe.
Square Deal
Theodore Roosevelt's policy toward the trusts which consisted of dissolving corrupt corporations and regulating the others.
Period of rise prices and stagnant economy during the 1970's.
Stokely Carmichael
One of the founders of the Student Non-Violent Committee. He abandoned his nonviolent origins and became a leader of the Black Nationalist movement in 1966. He coined the phrase, "Black Power."
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty
SALT was signed in May 1972 by Nixon and limited each of the superpowers to 200 antiballistic missiles and set quotas for intercontinental and submarine missiles. The agreement spawned hope for cooperation between the superpowers.
Students for a Democratic Society
Created in 1962, this was a united college student movement throughout the country formed to achieve racial equality, alleviate poverty, and most immediately, ending the Vietnam War.
Suez Pledge
The US, United Nations and USSR condemned the intervention of Israel, Great Britain and France in Egypt and pressured the forces to withdraw in November 1956.
Taft foreign policy
William Howard Taft argued that global stability could be achieved through American investment abroad.
Taft-Hartley Act
Post-WW2 policy that was condemned by unions because it barred closed shops and allowed the president to call an 80-day "cooling off" period before a strike could proceed. Part of the second Red Scare.
Teapot Dome scandal
An example of widespread financial misconduct during the presidency of Warren Harding. The Secretary of the Interior was caught taking bribes for oil rights on the federal land of Teapot Dome, Wyoming.
Tennessee Valley Authority
Part of FDR's New Deal, the TVA worked to develop energy production sites and conserve resources in the Tennessee Valley.
Tet offensive
On Jan. 31 1968, the first day of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army launched a general offensive throughout South Vietnam. The month-long attack led the American public to believe that victory in Vietnam was unattainable.
The Affluent Society
John Kenneth Galbraith's criticism of American conformity and the belief that economic growth would solve all problems.
Atlantic Charter
Written by Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill contained provisions for the unconditional surrender by the Axis powers as a prerequisite for peace; freedom of the seas; the establishment of an institution for collective world security after the war; the self-determination of nations after the war.
The Feminine Mystique
Cultural forces conspire to discourage women from pursuing careers and to encourage them to seek fulfillment in domestic life.
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald captured the culture, lifestyle, and excessive materialism that characterized the 1920s in his novel.
The Jungle
Novel by Upton Sinclair portraying unsanitary conditions in the meat-packing industries.
The Organization Man
W. H. Whyte's criticism of American conformity and the belief that economic growth would solve all problems.
Tonkin Gulf Resolution
Resulted from an alleged attack on United States warships by North Vietnamese gunboats in 1964.
Treaty of Versailles
Signed in 1919 at the end of World War I. The treaty punished the Germans severely, forcing Germany to assume blame for the war and to pay massive reparations, and among other things, formation of the League of Nations.
Truman Doctrine
In 1947, Truman proclaimed before Congress that the US would support people anywhere facing "attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." The Truman Doctrine committed the US to a role as a global policeman.
Tuskegee Institute
Founded in order to provide African Americans with a practical education.
Twenty-First Amendment
Repealed prohibition.
Twenty-Second Amendment
Placed a two-term limit on the presidency, was ratified in 1951 in direct response to the four-time election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the presidency.
United Nations
Founded by 51 countries in 1945, under the leadership of the US and its allies during World War II, its central mission was to preserve peace and global stability through international cooperation and collective security.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
This guaranteed the right to vote to all Americans. It allowed the federal government to intervene in elections in order to ensure that minorities could vote.
Wagner Act
New Deal policy that supported the unionization efforts of labor.
War Powers Resolution of 1973
Make it more difficult for the president to unilaterally commit American troops overseas.
Warsaw Pact
Created under the auspices of the Soviet Union to secure their hegemony in Eastern Europe and to serve as a counter-force to NATO.
Watergate Scandal
Burglars employed by Nixon's re-election committee broke into the Democratic National headquarters in the Watergate Hotel during the 1972 election to gather political dirt. The scandal eventually led to Nixon's resignation because of his attempt to cover-up the crime with "hush" money and through interference with the FBI.
President Clinton was suspected of using government connections to get a loan for the land he invested in while he was governor of Arkansas. Clinton was not charged, but some of his associates were charged and convicted with fraud.
Works Progress Administration
Increased the purchasing power of some people receiving government relief; helped lower unemployment levels between 1935 and 1937; employed people on federal building projects; commissioned works of art.
Yalta Agreements
A Soviet promise to enter the war against Japan; a Soviet pledge to let Britain and America govern Germany after the war; recognition of Soviet claims in eastern Europe; a plan for the establishment of the United Nations.
Zimmerman Note
A telegram sent by the German foreign minister to the German ambassador in Mexico and intercepted by British intelligence. The telegram urged Mexico to enter the war against the US in exchange for a German pledge to help restore Mexico's former territories in western United States. A major factor causing the US to enter World War I.
Platt Amendment of 1901
Authorized American withdrawal from Cuba only on the following conditions: Cuba must vow to make no treaty with a foreign power limiting its independence; the US reserved the right to intervene in Cuba when it saw fit; and US could maintain a naval base at Guantanamo Bay.
German American Bund
Refers to the American wing of the Nazi Party, which supported Adolf Hitler from his appointment as Chancellor until the start of World War II. Based out of Manhattan's Germantown neighborhood (now the Upper East Side), the Bund advocated the creation of a fascist government in the United States and good relations with Germany. At its peak, the Bund held a 20,000 person rally at Madison Square Garden.
Teddy Roosevelt
The 26th President of the United States, Republican Teddy Roosevelt ascended to the Presidency after William McKinley's assassination. He later won a second term against conservative Democrat Alton Parker in the 1904 election, championing the gold standard, and a pro-Imperialist policy with fair treatment for and eventual liberation of Filipinos. Domestically, he was known as the first Progressive President, breaking up large trusts, strengthening the regulatory bodies of the United States, leading conservation efforts, and lowering tariffs (an issue he split with the Republican Party on). When his handpicked successor William Taft raised tariffs, Roosevelt ran a third party (Progressive (Bull Moose) Party) bid against his old friend, splitting the vote and allowing the Democrat Woodrow Wilson to become president.
William Howard Taft
The 27th President of the United States and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Republican William Howard Taft defeated William Jennings Bryan in the 1908 election. He represented a more conservative wing of the Republican Party than his predecessor Roosevelt and his pro-Tariff policy drew Roosevelt to run a third party bid against him in 1912, allowing Woodrow Wilson to win.
Woodrow Wilson
The 28th President of the United States, Democrat Woodrow Wilson defeated President Taft in the 1912 election after former President Teddy Roosevelt split the Republican vote. Wilson was a progressive Democrat whose reforms included the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the creation of the first income tax under the 16th Amendment. Reelected on a promise to keep the US out of World War I, Wilson led the US into the war after the interception of the Zimmerman Telegram and Germany's resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare. After the war, which Wilson saw as "the war to end all wars," Wilson proposed his "Fourteen Points" for peace, including the creation of a League of Nations, but he suffered a debilitating stroke while campaigning for the passage of the Treaty of Versailles (after which his wife mostly ran the country). Wilson's notable blind spot was on racial issues: he praised the Ku Klux Klan, endorsed the segregation of the military, and appointed Cabinet Secretaries who segregated their federal departments (including the post office).
Warren G. Harding
The 29th President of the US, Republican Warren G. Harding won the 1920 election on a promise of a "Return to Normalcy" after the First World War. He ran one of the most corrupt administrations in US history, including the Teapot Dome Scandal, and generally promoted high tariffs, the rights of business owners over unions, and limitations on the sizes of navies around the world. He died of a heart attack two years into his term.
Calvin Coolidge
The 30th President of the US, Republican Calvin Coolidge ascended to the presidency upon President Harding's death and continued his policies of high tariffs, disarmament, and laissez faire economics. Coolidge was known as "Silent Cal" for his terse manner of speech, but he was famous for coining the phrase "The chief business of the American people is business."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The 32nd President of the US, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 election. Roosevelt's term was marked by its response to the Great Depression, known as the New Deal, in which the Federal government undertook a significant role in actively combating unemployment and systemic banking failures. FDR was also seen as an inspirational figure as he had survived polio and won the presidency despite the paralysis of his entire lower body, and he was known for giving "fireside chats" explaining government policies to people over the radio. FDR was also the president at the outset of World War II and was ultimately pulled into the war following years of arming the allies through Lend-Lease and other programs. Ultimately, FDR died before the end of the war, but not before winning a fourth term as president (he is the only president to serve more than two terms).
Harry Truman
The 33rd President of the US, Democrat Harry Truman ascended to the presidency upon President Roosevelt's death. Truman oversaw the end of World War II, including the atomic bombings of Japan, and later led the United States into the Korean War to defend South Korea from communist aggression. He also helped create the post-war consensus on free trade and establish worldwide systems and programs like the United Nations and the Marshall Plan. Truman was extremely unpopular as president, especially after dismissing General Douglas MacArthur, and it was assumed that he would lose his reelection campaign (so much so that the Chicago Tribune accidentally published an article that "Dewey Defeats Truman"). However, he won his reelection by campaigning against the "Do Nothing" Republican Congress.
Dwight Eisenhower
The 34th President of the US, Republican Dwight Eisenhower (known as Ike) won the presidential election of 1952. Eisenhower had previously served as the Supreme General of the Allies in Europe during World War II, and the nation looked to him for leadership during the protracted Korean War. Eisenhower continued Truman's policy of containment, significantly increasing the size and power of the US's nuclear arsenal and utilizing CIA operations to take down governments unfriendly to the US (such as Iran). He also began American involvement in the conflict in Vietnam. Domestically, Eisenhower was a moderate who supported New Deal policies while eschewing too many new large government programs. Notably, he created the Interstate Highway System for both military and economic purposes.
John F. Kennedy
The 35th President of the US, Democrat John F. Kennedy won the presidential election of 1960 over Vice President Nixon. Kennedy was an avid supporter of Civil Rights and the founder of the Peace Corps. Internationally, Kennedy led the US through the Cuban Missile Crisis, increased American involvement in Vietnam, and signed the first non-proliferation treaties with the Soviet Union to reduce nuclear testing. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, a disgruntled former communist and the first American to live in the Soviet Union, in 1963.
Lyndon B. Johnson
The 36th President of the US, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson ascended to the presidency upon President Kennedy's death and won a landslide reelection bid in 1964. Johnson oversaw massive new government programs and reforms as part of his Great Society, including Medicare & Medicaid, new education funding, and immigration reform. He also passed the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the 24th Amendment banning poll taxes. Internationally, President Johnson was preoccupied by the Vietnam War which he had rapidly escalated following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Ultimately, stress related to the Vietnam War and his domestic unpopularity led him to not seek another term in 1968.
Jimmy Carter
The 39th President of the US, Democrat Jimmy Carter won the 1976 election against President Ford. Carter was seen as an "outside" and a centrist Democrat who was free of scandal - an appealing candidate following Watergate. Carter's presidency was marked by continuing stagflation following then 1973 Arab oil embargo and anti-inflationary steps taken by the Federal Reserve. Carter's greatest international success were the Camp David Accords - a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. However, he was unpopular due to the Iranian Hostage Crisis and the poor economy and lost reelection.
Ronald Reagan
The 40th President of the US, Republican Ronald Reagan won a landslide election against President Carter in 1980 and an even bigger landslide reelection in 1984. Reagan was the former governor of California and before that was an actor and a celebrity spokesman. Reagan was initially quite popular, especially following a failed assassination attempt against him in 1981, but the economy did not start to recover until 1983. Reagan led a policy of "supply side" or "trickle down" economics based on cutting taxes for the wealthy and having the wealth "trickle down" to other citizens. He also tried to deregulate finance as much as possible, ultimately leading to the Savings and Loans Crisis starting in 1989. Internationally, President Reagan escalated the Cold War and supported anti-Communist governments around the world (including Apartheid South Africa). His presidency was almost cut short by the Iran-Contra Scandal which involved an illegal sale of arms to Iran and illegal funding of authoritarian Contra fighters in Nicaragua, but Reagan himself was not personally implicated in the scandal.
Bill Clinton
The 42nd President of the US, Democrat Bill Clinton defeated President Bush in the 1992 election. President Clinton described himself as a Third-Way Democrat, a centrist Democrat whose policies sometimes intersected with those of his primarily Republican Congress. After failing to reform the health care system, Clinton practiced a policy of triangulation in which he supported selective Republican policies such as Welfare Reform, deregulation, and the North American Free Trade Agreement, but he also passed liberal priorities such as the Children's Health Insurance Program. Internationally, President Clinton intervened to stop ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and oversaw a period of international stability following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Numerous scandals were investigated by a special prosecutor Ken Starr but only one was ever substantiated: later in his presidency, President Clinton was impeached for lying to Congress regarding an affair he had with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. However, he was not convicted by the Senate and remained in office.
George W. Bush
The 43rd President of the US, Republican George W. Bush won a controversial election against Al Gore in 2000. His term was marked by his response to the September 11th attacks, starting wars in Afghanistan (to capture the leaders of Al Qaeda) and Iraq (after the administration erroneously claimed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs). He also dramatically increased the powers of the National Security apparatus, allowing for preventive detention, the Patriot Act (allowing spying of citizens on the internet and the mass collection of metadata), and the torture of enemy combatants captured in the War on Terror. Domestically, Bush cut taxes significantly and oversaw three recessions, the most severe of which in 2007-2008 led Bush to bailout the financial sector. He was also seen as insensitive for his mismanaged response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Bush left office as one of the most unpopular presidents in American history.
Barack Obama
The 44th President of the US, Democrat Barack Obama was the first African-American President. His term was marked by his successful response to the 2007-2008 Great Recession, his passage of health insurance reform, his rescue of the auto industry, and his passage of stricter banking regulation.
Sixteenth Amendment
Ratified in 1913, the 16th Amendment permits Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census.
Seventeenth Amendment
Ratified in 1913, the 17th Amendment establishes the direct election of United States Senators by popular vote.
Twentieth Amendment
Ratified in 1933, the 20th Amendment changes the date on which the terms of the President and Vice President (January 20) and Senators and Representatives (January 3) end and begin.
21st Amendment
Ratified in 1933, the 21st Amendment repeals the 18th Amendment and makes it a federal offense to transport or import intoxicating liquors into US states and territories where such transport or importation is prohibited by the laws of those states and territories.
22nd Amendment
Ratified in 1951, the 22nd Amendment limits the number of times that a person can be elected president: a person cannot be elected president more than twice, and a person who has served more than two years of a term to which someone else was elected cannot be elected more than once.
23rd Amendment
Ratified in 1961, the 23rd Amendment grants the District of Columbia electors (the number of electors being equal to the least populous state) in the Electoral College.
24th Amendment
Ratified in 1964, the 24th Amendment prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of a poll tax or any other tax.
25th Amendment
Ratified in 1965, the 25th Amendment addresses succession to the Presidency and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, as well as responding to Presidential disabilities.
26th Amendment
Ratified in 1971, the 26th Amendment prohibits the denial of the right of US citizens, eighteen years of age or older, to vote on account of age.
27th Amendment
Ratified in 1992, the 27th Amendment delays laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until after the next election of representatives.