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The First Great Awakening

(1720s-1740) a series of emotional religious revivals occurring throughout the American colonies in New England; George Whitefield and Jonathon Edwards became the most dynamic preachers of the Great Awakening; it encouraged greater religious enthusiasm and political independence in the British colonies

The Second Great Awakening

(1790-1840s) a series of American religious revivals occurring throughout that eastern U.S.; these revivals encouraged a culture performing good deeds in exchange for salvation, and therefore became responsible for an upswing in prison reform, the temperance cause, the feminist movement, and abolitionism

Declaration of Independence

a document addressed to King George III of England explaining why the American colonies believed they should be independent from British rule; supported the ideals of self government and human rights; it was signed and sent to England on July 4, 1776; Thomas Jefferson wrote the majority of this document

U.S. Constitution

a document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that laid out the structure of the U.S. government; it replaced the Articles of Confederation

French Estates General

the French system of government that originated in the 1300s and finally fell in June of 1789; was made up of three estates: The Clergy (church officials) made up the 1st, the nobles (rich people with power) were the 2nd, and the rest of the French population made up the third; the 1st and 2nd estates had the most power BUT they only made up 3% of the population...problems followed

The Mayflower Compact (1620)

a document written by the Pilgrims establishing themselves as a political society and setting guidelines for self-government


U.S. system of government in which power is distributed between a central government and individual states


a boat that is powered by a steam engine; they became popular in the U.S. in the early 1800s because they were well suited for river travel and could move upstream without wind power

Tom Thumb

a small but powerful locomotive built by Peter Cooper in 1830; it was the first American-built steam locomotive and is credited with bringing "railroad fever" to the U.S.


a type of cloth or woven fabric


people who make goods by hand; many of them lost their jobs with the mass production of manufactured goods during the Industrial Revolution

Industrial Revolution

a period of rapid growth in using machines in manufacturing and production that began in the mid-1700s (1750s-1760s) in Great Britain

textile industry

an industry that produces cloth items and was the first industry to use machines for manufacturing

Transportation Revolution

a period of rapid growth in the speed and convenience of travel because of new methods of transportation; steel, coal, and logging industries expanded as a direct result of this period of growth


a device that could send information over wires very quickly and across great distances

Samuel F.B. Morse

the American man who invented the single-wire telegraph in 1832

The Spinning Jenny

a small, inexpensive machine invented by James Hargreaves that revolutionized the manufacture of cloth by reducing the amount of time needed to produce yarn (thread)

Alexis de Tocqueville

a French political thinker and historian who wrote the book "Democracy in America;" he wrote that Americans were always looking for ways to make life "more comfortable and convenient"


a refusal to work until employers meet demands

trade unions

groups of workers that tried to their improve pay and working conditions, usually through use of strikes or petitions

New England

a region in the northeastern corner of the United States, consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island

Robert Fulton

in 1807 this man designed the "Clermont," the first full-sized commercial steamboat in the United States

Samuel Slater

a British mechanic who immigrated to the U.S. after memorizing the designs of textile mill machines; he started the first textile mill in the U.S. and later developed the Rhode Island System.

Eli Whitney

an American inventor who developed the idea of using interchangeable parts to help mass produce guns for the U.S. government, and later invented the cotton gin in 1793

interchangeable parts

parts of a machine that are identical

mass production

the process of making large quantities (numbers) of a product quickly and cheaply

War of 1812

a war fought between the U.S. and Great Britain that lasted from 1812 to 1815. During the war, British ships prevented goods or people from entering or leaving eastern seaports in the U.S. This lead to a shortage of manufactured goods in the U.S. in 1812 and, soon after, to an increase in American manufacturing as the U.S. rushed to produce for itself goods that it had once bought from Britain.

Richard Arkwright

a British inventor who became the wealthiest and most successful textile manufacturer of the early Industrial Revolution; in 1769 he invented the water frame

cash crop

a farm crop grown to be sold or traded rather than used by the farm family


a plant whose leaves are dried and turned into material for smoking or chewing; the first major cash crop in the South of the U.S.


white owners of small farms who owned a few slaves or none at all; if they did have slaves they worked alongside them in the fields

religious justification of slavery

wealthy white southerners used religion to justify slavery by arguing that God created some people, like themselves, to rule others

slave auctions

a sale in which slaves were sold to planters who bid for them; slaves were treated as property, and sold in the same way that property was sold; at these sales, slaves worried most about becoming separated from their families


emotional Christian songs that blended African and European music; they were sung by slaves to express their religious beliefs and boost their spirits

Religion in slave culture

By the early 1800s most slaves were Christian and many of them cape to see themselves, like the slaves in the Old Testament, as God's chosen people who had faith that they would someday live in freedom

Turner's Rebellion

although it was unsuccessful, it was the most violent slave rebellion in American history; took place in 1831 and was led by a slave from Southampton County, Virginia; it prompted many states to strengthen their slave codes

cotton belt

the area of high cotton production in the South, it stretched from North Carolina to Texas

Nat Turner

a slave from Southampton County, Virginia who believed that God had told him to end slavery; he let a violent slave revolt in Virginia in 1831, after which he was arrested and hanged

slave codes

strict laws passed by state governments to control slaves

gang-labor system

a system used on most plantations in which all field hands worked on the same task at the same time

field hands

the lowest class of slaves, they worked in the fields from sunup to sundown

Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and New Orleans, Louisiana

they became three of the largest and most important cities in the south because they are located on the Atlantic coast, an ideal location for trade and shipping

free African-Americans

group in southern society that had limited rights and faced discrimination; there were over 250,000 of these individuals living in the South and most lived in urban areas, working as skilled artisans; they could not vote, travel freely, or hold certain jobs

cotton gin

a machine that removes seeds from short staple cotton, it was invented by Eli Whitney in 1793 and revolutionized the cotton industry, helping to launch the cotton boom in the South; increased the number of slaves needed for labor in the Deep South


the wealthiest and most influential members of southern society, these individuals lived on large plantations, owned 20 or more slaves, and often showed of their wealth by living in beautiful mansions


in, relating to, or characteristic of a city or town


people who oppose immigration


to disapprove of and attempt to prevent

Know-Nothing Party

a political organization, founded by American nativists in 1849, that tried to make it difficult for foreigners to become citizens or hold office


a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country


a social movement that developed in New England around 1836; members believed that people could transcend, or rise above, material things in life and that people should follow their own beliefs and think for themselves; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau were all important figures in this movement

utopian communities

groups of transcendentalists who tried to form perfect societies


to change something in order to improve it

temperance movement

a reform movement that tried to get people to stop drinking alcohol


the eating or drinking of something

common-school movement

a social reform effort, started by Horace Mann in the mid-1800s, that promoted the idea of having all children educated in a common place regardless of social class or background

Horace Mann

an advocate for public education, a graduate of Brown University (my university!!), and a leader of the common-school movement; in 1837, he became Massachusetts's first secretary of education

Dorothea Dix

a female reformer in the movement to treat the insane as mentally ill; beginning in the 1820's, she was responsible for improving conditions in jails, poorhouses and insane asylums throughout the U.S. and Canada

William Lloyd Garrison

an American abolitionist, journalist, and women's rights advocate; he wanted to end slavery immediately; he was the editor and creator of the abolitionist newspaper "The Liberator" and one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society


a person who wants to abolish (get rid of) slavery


a movement to end slavery

Sarah and Angelina Grimké

two sisters, born in South Carolina to a wealthy family of slave owners; after they grow up, they become Quakers, join the abolitionist movement, and later fight for women's rights


a Christian movement founded by George Fox in 1650; members of this movement are devoted to peace and social equality; many of the participants in 19th century, American reform efforts were members of this movement

Frederick Douglass

one of the most important African American figures in the abolitionist movement; he taught himself to read and write when he was a boy (even though there was a law against it) and escaped from slavery when he was 20; he created an abolitionist newspaper called "North Star" and wrote an autobiography called "Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglass" in which he wrote about the injustices of slavery


unfair or unreasonable behavior or treatment


fair and reasonable behavior or treatment

Seneca Falls Convention

the first public meeting about women's rights in the U.S.; it was organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848; the participants created the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

a document in favor of women's rights written by the women and men who attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848; the language used in the document was modeled after the language in the Declaration of Independence

Susan B. Anthony

a women's rights advocate who wanted women and men to receive equal pay for work, women to be able to hold the same jobs as men, and women to be able to own their own property and wages; in 1860, largely thanks to her petition for a new property rights law, New York gave married women ownership of their wages and property

Lucretia Mott

an American Quaker, abolitionist, and women's rights activist, she helped organize the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

an abolitionist and early leader in the women's rights movement; she attended the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London but was not allowed to participate; she helped found the National Woman Suffrage Association and helped organize the Seneca Falls Convention along with Lucretia Mott

women's rights movement

the organized effort to improve political, legal, and economic status of women in American society; it was largely inspired by women's frustration with their limited participation rights in the abolitionist movement

Underground Railroad

a network of people who helped thousands of enslaved people escape to free states in the North of the U.S, and to and Canada, by providing transportation and hiding places

Mississippi River

the largest river system in the U.S., it stretches from Minnesota in the North, to the Gulf of Mexico in the South; many routes of the Underground Railroad traveled along this river


a philosophy that emphasized a love of nature, the importance of individual expression (saying what you think, and thinking for yourself), and the rejection of established rules; this philosophy began in Western Europe in the late 1700s and spread to the U.S. in the mid-1800s

Wilmot Proviso

a bill, sponsored by David Wilmot, that would have banned slavery in the remaining territories of the Mexican Cession; it led to the introduction of the idea of popular sovereignty, as a kind of compromise between those who fully supported this bill, and those who opposed it


devotion to the interests of one region instead of to the country as a whole

popular sovereignty

principle that would allow voters in a particular territory to vote on what policies they want to exist in that territory (for example, whether or not they want slavery to be legal)

Free-Soil Party

a small political party, active in the U.S. in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections; the party was formed by antislavery northerners who supported the Wilmot Proviso

Henry Clay

a politician from Kentucky who was responsible for the Missouri Compromise (1820) and the Compromise of 1850; he has been called the "Great Compromiser"

Fugitive Slave Act

a law put into practice in September of 1850, that made it a crime to help runaway slaves and allowed officials to arrest slaves in free states as well as slave states; slaves captured under the law were not allowed to testify for themselves and were not allowed to have a trial with a jury

Uncle Tom's Cabin

a powerful antislavery novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe

person who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin; Abraham Lincoln once said to her, "So, you're the little lady who made this big war"

Republican Party

formed in 1854 by former Whigs, Free-Soilers, and some Democrats who were united against the spread of slavery in the West and against the Kansas-Nebraska Act;

Whig Party

An American political party formed in the 1830s to oppose President Andrew Jackson and the Democrats, stood for protective tariffs, national banking, and federal aid for internal improvements; fell apart after Bleeding Kansas

The Seventh of March Speech

a speech given by Senator Daniel Webster on the floor of the Senate, in favor of the Compromise of 1850; in the speech, Webster expressed concern that if the southern states seceded, violence would arise

Compromise of 1850

a plan, developed by Senator Henry Clay, that was meant to help the U.S. maintain peace, while allowing California to be admitted as a free state

David Wilmot

a senator from Pennsylvania who sponsored the Wilmot Proviso

John C. Calhoun

a senator from South Carolina who was Vice President of the U.S. under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson; when debating the Compromise of 1850, he believed that letting California enter as a free state would destroy the nation's balance and lead to war

Presidential Election of 1860

a presidential election that pitted Abraham Lincoln (Republican) against Stephen A. Douglas (Northern Democrat), John Breckinridge (Southern Democrat), and John Bell (Constitutional Union Party); the main issue of the election was the debate over the expansion of slavery; Lincoln won and South Carolina seceded

Franklin Pierce

the 14th President of the United States from 1853-1857, he was bullied by Stephen A. Douglas into supporting the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854; he swore to honor the Compromise of 1850 and enforce the Fugitive Slave Act

Stephen A. Douglas

an American politician from Illinois, nicknames the "Little Giant" because he was short, but he was a "giant" in politics; wanted to build a railroad in the North and sponsored the Kansas-Nebraska Act in a failed attempt to win support for his railroad


(verb) to withdraw, or formally break away from


(noun) the act of withdrawing or formally breaking away from a group or country

Kansas-Nebraska Act

a plan, introduced by Stephen A. Douglas in 1854, that would divide the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase into two territories - Kansas and Nebraska - and allow the people in each territory to decide on the question of slavery (popular sovereignty); it eliminated the Missouri Compromise's restriction on slavery north of the 36°30' line (the southern boundary of Missouri)

Winfield Scott

United States general who was a hero of the Mexican American War (1846-1847) and later, of the Civil War; nicknamed "Old Fuss and Feathers"; the Whig candidate for president in the 1852 presidential election; he came up with the Anaconda Plan during the Civil War

Pottawatomie Massacre

(May 24, 1856) the slaughter of 5 pro-slavery men in Kansas by John Brown and his followers, in reaction to the Sack of Lawrence; as a result of this event, Kansas collapsed into a civil war and over 200 citizens were killed as pro and antislavery advocates attacked each other

Sack of Lawrence

(May 1856) an attack, led by pro-slavery men, on abolitionists living in the city of Lawrence, Kansas; these pro-slavery men were sent to arrest antislavery leaders in Lawrence and in the process, they (the pro-slavery men) burned the town, robbed many buildings, and destroyed printing presses used to print abolitionist newspapers

John Brown

a violent abolitionist who led the Pottawatomie Massacre in Kansas, believing that God had told him to "fight fire with fire..and strike terror in the hearts of pro-slavery people;" he was hanged in 1859 after leading an unsuccessful raid of an arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia

Charles Sumner

a Massachusetts senator who criticized pro-slavery people in Kansas in a 3-day speech in the Senate, in response to Bleeding Kansas; he was beaten unconscious with a cane in the Senate chambers on May 22, 1856, by pro-slavery Representative Preston Brooks, a relative of a pro-slavery senator Sumner insulted during his speech

Preston Brooks

a proslavery representative from South Carolina who used his cane to beat antislavery senator Charles Sumner unconscious on May 22, 1856

Dred Scott v. Sandford

an 1857 Supreme Court case that finished with Chief Justice Roger B. Tany's ruling that African Americans, whether free or slave, were not citizens of the U.S.; that living in a free state or territory, even for many years, did not free slaves; and that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional - meaning that slavery should be allowed in all states, so Congress did NOT have the power to ban slavery

Dred Scott

born a slave in Virginia, this man moved with his slaveholder to the free state of Illinois and then to Wisconsin Territory; after returning to the South, he sued for his freedom, claiming that because he had lived in a state that banned slavery, he was no longer a slave

Lincoln-Douglas debates

a series of debates between Abraham Lincoln (Republican) and Stephen A. Douglas (Democrat) during their campaigns for senator of Illinois in 1858; in each debate, Lincoln stressed that the central issue of the campaign was the spread of slavery in the West; Lincoln accused Democrats of wanting to spread slavery across the nation; Douglas accused Lincoln of wanting to make every state a free state

John Brown's Raid

in 1859, the militant abolitionist John Brown seized the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry in an unorganized effort to end slavery by massacring slave owners and freeing their slaves. Although Brown was determined, the raid failed and Brown was captured and hanged.

The Confederate States of America

the name given to the new nation and government when delegates from the states of South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia seceded from the Union in 1861; they elected Jefferson Davis as their President

Mexican Cession

land given to the U.S. as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848) after the Mexican American War. The U.S. paid $15 million for the land


(noun) a person who publicly supports a particular cause or policy

Fort Sumter

a federal outpost in Charleston, South Carolina; when it was attacked by Confederates on April 12, 1861, Lincoln declared war on the "rebel" southern states and the Civil War began


the 12-year process (1865-1877) of reuniting the U.S. by readmitting the former Confederate states to the Union and helping those states to rebuild without slavery; it was started by Abraham Lincoln because he wanted to readmit the former Confederate states to the Union as quickly and as painlessly as possible

Thirteenth (13th) Amendment

a constitutional amendment ratified in 1865 that abolished slavery [made slavery illegal] throughout the United States

Freedmen's Bureau

an agency established by Congress to help poor southerners, both black and white - especially freedpeople (former slaves), poor whites and white refugees; the agency built schools, provided legal aid to former slaves, provided medical care, etc.


African-Americans who had been held as slaves but were set free once the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified in 1865

John Wilkes Booth

an American theater actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865, because he strongly opposed the abolition of slavery in the U.S. and Lincoln's other views on extending more civil rights to African Americans

assassinate (past tense: assassinated)

(verb) to murder an important person in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons

Abraham Lincoln

the Republican 16th President of the United States; wanted to maintain the unity of the country; his election led to the secession of southern states, which quickly led to the Civil War; issued the Emancipation Proclamation and supported the 13th amendment (although it would not become law until after his death); shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre

Andrew Johnson

Abraham Lincoln's Vice President and the 17th President of the United States; a Democrat; impeached by the House of Representatives, but was found not guilty by a single vote in the Senate

Black Codes

laws passed by southern states after the Civil War that greatly limited the freedom of African Americans

Radical Republicans

a small group (within Republican party) of men who thought that the federal government should be very tough with the South during Reconstruction to force it to change; they wanted more protection for freedmen and more guarantees that Confederate nationalism was completely eliminated


(noun) feeling or expressing love, loyalty, enthusiasm and a lot of support for one's country


(noun) the rejection of a decision or proposal made by law-makers

Fourteenth (14th) Amendment

a constitutional amendment ratified in 1868 that gave full rights of citizenship to all people born or naturalized in the United States, except for American Indians

to become naturalized

(verb) to become a citizen of a country where you were not born

Why was President Andrew Johnson impeached?

because he fired his secretary of war (Edwin Stanton) without the approval of the Senate, even though Congress had just passed a new law making it illegal for him to fire any cabinet officials without the approval of the Senate


the process used by a legislative body [a group of people who make laws] to bring charges of wrongdoing against a public official

cabinet officials

advisors to the President - for example, the Secretary of War, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Agriculture, Attorney General, etc.

Fifteenth (15th) Amendment

a constitutional amendment ratified in 1870 that gave African American men the right to vote

Hiram Revels

he was a Methodist minister from Mississippi who served as a minister in the Union army; in 1870, he became the first African American senator in the U.S.

Ku Klux Klan

a secret society formed in Tennessee in 1866 by a group of people opposed to the increase in government support for civil rights for African Americans; they used violence and terror to prevent African Americans from voting

secret society

(noun) a group whose members are sworn to secrecy about its activities - in other words, the group members promise not to tell anyone outside of the group what they have done or what they will do

lobby (past tense: lobbied)

(verb) to try to influence a politician or a public official to support a certain issue

civil rights

the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality

racial segregation

the forced separation of whites and African Americans in pubic places

Jim Crow laws

laws that enforced racial segregation in the U.S. from 1876 to 1965

Plessy v. Ferguson

an 1896 Supreme Court Case in which Chief Justice Melville Fuller declared that state laws that enforced racial segregation (such as the Jim Crow laws) were constitutional if "separate but equal" facilities were provided for both races


(noun) a group of people with common physical features (skin color, shape of eyes, texture of hair, etc.)


a system of farming in which landowners provided land, tool and supplies to grow crops and workers (usually freedpeople and poor whites) provided the labor; since the workers had to give most of the crops to the landowners, this system left many freedpeople and poor whites with a lot of debt

Ulysses S. Grant

he fought in the Mexican-American War, was the commander of the Union Army during the Civil War, was in command of the U.S. Army during Reconstruction and in 1868, he became the 18th president of the United States

Harriet Tubman

a former slave who became the most important leader of the Underground Railroad, leading escaped slaves to freedom in the North

Bleeding Kansas

(1856) a series of violent fights between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces in Kansas who had moved to Kansas to try to influence the decision of whether or not Kansas would a slave state or a free state.

judicial review

the Supreme Court's power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional; this principle was established by the U.S. Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison in 1803

Great Compromise (1787)

an agreement worked out at the Constitutional Convention establishing that a state's population would determine representation in the lower house of the legislature, while each state would have equal representation in the upper house of the legislature

habeus corpus

the constitutional protection against unlawful imprisonment

Hartford Convention (1815)

a meeting of Federalists at Hartford, Connecticut, to protest the War of 1812

Homestead Act (1862)

a law passed by Congress to encourage settlement in the West by giving government-owned land to small farmers


a person who hunts animals and gathers wild plants to provide for his or her needs


the practice of extending a nation's power by gaining territories for a colonial empire

Indian Removal Act (1830)

a congressional act that authorized the removal of Native Americans who lived east of the Mississippi River; relocated thousands of Cherokee Indians from Georgia to Indian Territory in Oklahoma; made that land available for white miners (gold was discovered there) and farmers (very fertile land)


increased prices for goods and services combined with the reduced value of money

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