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Word Source: United States History Preparing For the Advanced Placement Examination

J. Hector St. John Crevecoeur

French-born American who wrote "Letters from an American Farmer". First successful American author. First to examine the idea of the "American Dream" and attempted to explain what an "American" was


A system of government in which people could aspire to rule themselves and make their own laws; a government based on majority rule.

religious toleration

The ability to practice one's religion freely and openly; acceptance of religious differences.

heredity aristocracy

A title is handed down from father to son on his death.

The Great Awakening

Religious revival in the 1730-40s, helped by Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. Inspired controversy over emotionalism/ revivalism versus traditionalist Protestantism; united the Americans as a people.

Jonathon Edwards

Powerful preacher during the Great Awakening. Believed in the salvation through good works. "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."

George Whitefield

One of the preachers during the Great Awakening, known for his talented voice inflection.

Georgian style

An architectual style of London, mimicked in the colonies in the 1740s and 1750s in houses, churches, and public buildings.
Characterized by symmetrical placement of windows and dormers and a spacious center hall flanked by two fireplaces.

Benjamin West

Anglo-American painter. He became the second president of the Royal Academy.

John Copley

American painter who did portraits of Paul Revere and John Hancock before fleeing to England to avoid the American Revolution.

Cotton Mather

Minister of Massachusetts and Puritan theologian, who urged the inoculation against smallpox, played a role in Salem Witch Trials.

Benjamin Franklin

American printer, author, inventor, diplomat, statesman, scientist, and one of the Founding Fathers. After the success of his Poor Richard's Almanac (1732-1757), he entered politics and played a major part in the American Revolution. Franklin negotiated French support for the colonists, signed the Treaty of Paris (1783), and helped draft the Constitution (1787-1789). His numerous scientific and practical innovations include the lightning rod, bifocal spectacles, and a stove.

Poor Richard's Almanack

Written by Benjamin Franklin. It contained many sayings called from the thinkers of the ages, emphazised such homespun virtues as thrift, industry, morality and common sense. Was well known in Europe and was more widely read in America than anything except the Bible.

Phillis Wheatley

Former slave who became a poet at an early age.


limited to the beliefs of a small group.


not affiliated with or limited to a specific religious denomination.

John Peter Zenger

Journalist who questioned the policies of the governor of New York in the 1700's. He was jailed, so he sued.

Libel Case aka Zenger Case

Resulting in the jury declaring a newspaper had the right to criticize a government leader as long as it was true. Truth was a defense for libel.

Andrew Hamilton

Defended Zenger and won the case, saying that Zenger should not be charged because what he says in the "Journal" is true.

town meetings

Meetings in colonial New England where settlers discussed and voted on issues.

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