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Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Critical Supreme Court decision that established the principle of judicial review, stating that the supreme court had the right to review all federal laws and decisions and declare whether or not they are constitutional.

Louisiana Purchase (1803)

The U.S., under Jefferson, bought this territory from France, under the rule of Napoleon. The U.S. paid $15 million for the Louisiana Purchase, and Napoleon gave up his empire in North America. The U.S. gained control of Mississippi trade route and doubled its size.

Lewis and Clark Expedition

an expedition sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore the northwestern territories of the United States and to see the economic possibilities in the US

War of 1812

War between the British and the Americans over British seizure of American ships, connections between the British and native American tribes, and other tensions. The British sacked Washington DC in 1814. Treaty ending the war merely restored diplomatic relations between the two countries.

American System

Plan proposed by Henry Clay and others to make American economically independent by increasing industrial production in the US and by the creation of the Second National Bank

Missouri Compromise (1820)

Allowed Missouri to enter the union as a slave state. Allowed maine to enter the union as a free state. Drew an imaginary line at 30 36 no slaves above the line, slaves below the line

Twelfth Amendment

Beginning in 1804, electors would vote separately for President and Vice President

Judiciary Act

a 1789 law that created the structure of the Supreme Court and set up a system of district courts and circuit courts for the nation

midnight appointments

Adams signed the commissions for these Federal judges during his last night in office. Demonstrated the Federalists' last minute attempt to keep some power in the newly Republican Government.

Essex Junto

A group of extreme Federalists who wanted to secede from the U.S. and form a Northern Confederacy because they thought northern states would have less power after the Louisiana Purchase

Aaron Burr

United States politician who served as Vice President under Jefferson


British practice of taking American sailors and forcing them into military service

Embargo of 1807

Law that forbade American ships from sailing to foreign ports and closed American ports to British ships

Non-Intercourse Act

it allowed Americans to carry or trade with all nations except for Britian and France

Reasons for the War of 1812

1. Great Britain was impressing out sailors
2. Great Britain was giving the Native-Americans guns with which to fight us
3. The War Hawks in Congress were pushing for war

War Hawks

members of Congress who wanted to fight Great Britain in the War of 1812

Treaty of Ghent

Treaty that ended the War of 1812 and maintained prewar conditions

Battle of New Orleans

A battle during the War of 1812 where the British army attempted to take New Orleans. Due to the foolish frontal attack, Jackson defeated them, which gave him an enormous popularity boost.

Hartford Convention

Meeting by Federalists dissatisfied with the war to draft a new Constitution; resulted in seemingly traitorous Federalist party's collapse

Era of Good Feelings

A name for President Monroe's two terms, a period of strong nationalism, economic growth, and territorial expansion. Since the Federalist party dissolved after the War of 1812, there was only one political party and no partisan conflicts.

Tariff of 1816

This protective tariff helped American industry by raising the prices of British manufactured goods, which were often cheaper and of higher quality than those produced in the U.S.

Monroe Doctrine (1823)

proclamation that countries of the Western Hemisphere "are not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European Power"

Removal Act of 1830

Removal of all Native Americans east of the mississippi River "Trail of Tears"- many natives die on thier way to relocating

The Liberator

abolitionist newspaper begun by William Lloyd Garrison in 1831.

Spoils System

a system used heavily during the presidency of Andrew Jackson whereby political supporters of the winning candidate are given jobs in the government.


The doctrine that a state can declare null and void a federal law that, in the state's opinion, violates the Constitution.

Whig Party

political party that emerged in the 1830s in opposition to the Democratic Party; Whigs favored policies that promoted commercial and industrial growth.

putting-out system

System where merchants would buy raw materials, recruit dozens or in some case hundreds, of farm families to do the work, and then sell the finished product.

Lowell System

dormitories for young women where they were cared for, fed, and sheltered in return for cheap labor, mill towns, homes for workers to live in around the mills

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

A case in which Chief Justice Marshall stated that Native Americans had no real standing in court, since they were not a state or a foreign country. Nevertheless, Marshall affirmed that the Cherokee had a right to the lands that they possessed.

Second Great Awakening

A series of religious revivals starting in 1801, based on Methodism and Baptism. Stressed a religious philosophy of salvation through good deeds and tolerance for all Protestant sects. The revivals attracted women, Blacks, and Native Americans.

revival meetings

Special religious services organized to bring sinners back into the church

temperance movement

campaign to limit or ban the use of alcoholic beverages

abolitionist movement

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

American Colonization Society

A Society that thought slavery was bad. They would buy land in Africa and get free blacks to move there. One of these such colonies was made into what now is Liberia. Most sponsors just wanted to get blacks out of their country.

Fredrick Douglas

former slave + abolitionist, stood up for his beliefs, fought for womens + blacks rights, runaway slave, newspaper-the north star

Alexis de Tocqueville

He wrote a two-volume Democracy in America that contained insights and pinpointed the general equality among people. He wrote that inequalities were less visible in America than France.

Election of 1824

John Quincy Adams won after Henry Clay gave his support to Adams, securing his Presidency. When Adams appointed Clay as his secretary of state, Jackson's supporters raged that a corrupt bargain had cheated Jackson of presidency.

Election of 1828

"Jacksonian Democracy"- , Jackson defeats John Quincy Adams in this election, becoming our 7th President

Kitchen Cabinet

informal group of friends who advised Jackson during his administration. Jackson believed that the "official" Cabinet's main function was to carry out his orders.

Webster-Hayne Debate

Daniel Webster argued that if nullification were to proceed, the results would be "states dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds or drenched... in fraternal blood."

John Calhoun

South Carolina Senator - advocate for state's rights, limited government, and nullification

Force Act

Passed after civil war - protected voting rights of blacks, Federal Government could send troops into South Carolina to enforce tariff- in response to the Nullification

pet banks

State banks where Andrew Jackson placed deposits removed from the federal National Bank.

Panic of 1837

a series of financial failures that led to an economic depression

Manifest destiny

the belief that the U.S. should extend all the way to the pacific ocean

Mexican-American War

War fought over possession of Texas, which was claimed by both mexico and US. The settlement ending this war gave the US the northern part of the Texas territory and the territories of New Mexico and California

Compromise of 1850

temporarily ending tensions between the north and South, this measure allowed California to enter the Union as a free state but also strengthened the Fugitive Slave Law.

Fugitive Slave Law

Enacted by Congress in 1793 and 1850, these laws provided for the return of escaped slaves to their owners. Many northern state legislatures attempted to circumvent this law.

Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)

created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opened new lands, repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and allowed settlers in those territories to determine if they would allow slavery within their boundaries.

Dred Scott Case

Supreme Court case which ruled that slaves are not citizens but are property, affirmed that property cannot be interfered with by Congress, slaves do not become free if they travel to free territories or states, fueled abolitionist movement, hailed as victory for the south

Oregon Treaty

Gave most of Oregon to Americans in 1846.

Remember the Alamo

what soldiers fighting in the war for Texas independence yelled going into battle to remind each other of the bravery and sacrifice of the Alamo's defenders.

Sam Houston

United States politician and military leader who fought to gain independence for Texas from Mexico and to make it a part of the United States (1793-1863), First president of the Republic of Texas. President of Lone Star Republic

John Tyler

elected Vice President and became the 10th President of the United States when Harrison died (1790-1862)

Election of 1844

Main debate over Texas. Whigs nominate Henry Clay and democrats nominate James Polk. Polk says he will annex Texas and Oregon to make both sides happy. Polk was elected

James Polk

This man was a slave owning southerner dedicated to Democratic party. In 1844, he was a "dark horse" candidate for president, and he won the election. He favored American expansion, especially advocating the annexation of Texas, California, and Oregon. He was a friend and follower of Andrew Jackson. He opposed Clay's American System, instead advocating lower tariff, separation the treasury and the federal government from the banking system. He was a nationalist who believed in Manifest Destiny.

Walker Tariff of 1846

tariff that established a very low tariff on imported goods, delighting many in the South and disgusting many Northern industrialists.

Bear Flag Republic

nickname for California after it declared independence from Mexico in 1846

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

February 2 1848. The agreement between President Polk and the new Mexican government for Mexico to cede California and New Mexico to the US and acknowledge the Rio Grand as the boundary of Texas. In return, the US promised to assume any financial claims its new citizens had against Mexico and to pay the Mexicans $15 million.

Wilmot Proviso

Bill that would ban slavery in the territories acquired after the War with Mexico (1846) ( Never Passed!)

Free-soil party

Formed in 1847 - 1848, dedicated to opposing slavery in newly acquired territories such as Oregon and ceded Mexican territory.

Gold Rush

a movement of many people to a region in which gold has been discovered. Rush in California started in 1848. Around 34,000 people moved to San Francisco. Many different ethnic groups including Asians, moved to California.

Stephen A Douglas

Senator from Illinois who ran for president against Abraham Lincoln. Wrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Freeport Doctrine

Zachary Taylor

General that was a military leader in Mexican-American War and 12th president of the United States. Sent by president Polk to lead the American Army against Mexico at Rio Grande, but defeated.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1853 that highly influenced england's view on the American Deep South and slavery. a novel promoting abolition. intensified sectional conflict.

Gadsden Purchase

the purchasing of land from Mexico that completed the continental United States It provided the land needed to build the transcontinental railroad.

Know-Nothing Party

Group of prejudice people who formed a political party during the time when the KKK grew. Anti-Catholics and anti-foreign. They were also known as the American Party. Developed in response to immigration from Ireland and Germany

Franklin Pierce

Democratic candidate for President in 1852 and the fourteenth president of the US. He made the Gadsden Purchase, which opened the Northwest for settlement, and passed the unpopular Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Bleeding Kansas

A sequence of violent events involving abolitionists and pro-Slavery elements that took place in Kansas-Nebraska Territory. The dispute further strained the relations of the North and South, making civil war imminent.

John Brown

abolitionist who was hanged after leading an unsuccessful raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (1800-1858)

Lincoln-Douglas Debates

During the race to become Senator Lincoln asked to have multiple debates with Douglas. Certain topics of these debates were slavery, how to deal with slavery, and where slavery should be allowed. Although Lincoln lost the election to Douglas, he was known throughout the country because of the debates.

Freeport Doctrine

Idea authored by Stephen Douglas that claimed slavery could only exist when popular sovereignty said so

Presidential Election of 1860

the presidential election of 1860 was won by Abraham Lincoln, the republican candidate. He won no southern states, which angered the South sparking states to seceed from the Union.

Confederate States of America

the southern states that seceded from the United States in 1861

First Battle of Bull Run (1861)

early Civil War engagement ending in defeat for the Union army; this battle convinced many in the North that victory over the Confederacy would not be as easy as the first thought it would be.

Emancipation Proclamation

January 1, 1863, proclamation that freed slaves in Southern territories was controlled by the Union army; this executive proclamation by President Lincoln also committed the Union to the abolition of slavery.

Battle of Gettysburg (1863)

the bloodiest overall battle of the Civil War; many historians claim that the Southern defeat in this battle was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.


Virginia courthouse where General Robert E. Lee surrendered Confederate forces on April 9, 1865.

Fort Sumter

Federal fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina; the confederate attack on the fort marked the start of the Civil War

Crittenden Plan

1860 compromise proposal on the slavery issue designed to defuse tension between North and South; would have allowed slavery to continue in the South and would have denied Congress the power to regulate interstate slave trade; Republicans in Congress voted against it.

Robert E. Lee

Confederate general who had opposed secession but did not believe the Union should be held together by force

Anaconda Plan

the Union (Northern) plan devised by General Winfield Scott to blockade the south and restrict its trade to win the war.

Second Battle of Bull Run

Conflict between Lee and General John Pope in August 1862, ending in a decisive victory by Lee that led to increased confidence and an attempt to convince Maryland to secede,

Battle of Shiloh

the second great battle of the American Civil War (1862)

Merrimack and Monitor

These two ironclad ships pitted against each other in a sea battle that made wooden ships obsolete.


drafting of civilians to serve in the army


Name for Union paper money not backed by gold or silver. Value would fluctuate depending on status of the war (plural)

martial law

the body of law imposed by the military over civilian affairs (usually in time of war or civil crisis)


a group of northern Democrats who opposed abolition and sympathized with the South during the Civil War

writ of Habeas corpus

a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge

battle of Gettysburg

Turning point of the War that made it clear the North would win. 50,000 people died, and the South lost its chance to invade the North.


Grant besieged the city from May 18 to July 4, 1863, until it surrendered, yielding command of the Mississippi River to the Union.

Gettysburg address

Speech given by Abraham Lincoln which captured the spirit of liberty and morality ideally held by citizens of a democracy. That ideal was threatened by the Civil War.

Reconstruction Era

Period after the Civil War during which Northern political leaders created plans for the governance of the South and a procedure for former Southern states to rejoin the Union; Southern resentment of this era lasted well into the twentieth century.

Radical Republicans

congressional group that wished to punish the South for its secession from the Union; pushed for measures that gave economic and political rights to newly freed blacks in the South and that made it difficult for former Confederate states to rejoin the Union.

Reconstruction Act (1867)

act placing Southern states under military rule and barring former supporters of the Confederacy from voting.


northerners who moved to the South during the Reconstruction era; traditional elements of Southern society were deeply resentful of profits made by carpetbaggers during this period.


term of derision use din the South during the Reconstruction era for white Southern Republicans

Ku Klux Klan

this group was founded in Tennessee in 1866; its oftentimes violent actions during the Reconstruction era represented the resentments felt by many Southern whites toward the changing political, social, and economic conditions of the Reconstruction era

Compromise of 1877

Political compromise ending the disputed presidential election of 1876; by the terms of this compromise Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes was awarded the electoral votes of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, thus giving him the presidency; in return, all federal troops were removed from the South and the Congress promised to stop enforcing much Reconstruction-era legislation concerning the South.

ten percent plan

Lincoln's plan that allowed a Southern state to form its own government afetr ten percent of its voters swore an oath of loyalty to the United States

black codes

laws passed in the south just after the civil war aimed at controlling freedmen and enabling plantation owners to exploit african american workers

Wade-Davis Act

bill stated that Congress would only authorize a state government in former Confederate States when the majority of voters took an "ironclad" oath, statign that they were not now disloyal to the Union nor had they ever been disloyal. Lincoln killed this bill with a pocket veto.


former slaves

Civil Rights Act of 1866

law that gave African Americans citizenship and guaranteed them the same legal rights as white Americans

Thirteenth Amendment

1865 - Freed all slaves, abolished slavery.

Fourteenth Amendment

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

Tenure of Office Act

1866 - enacted by radical congress - forbade president from removing civil officers without senatorial consent - was to prevent Johnson from removing a radical republican from his cabinet

Andrew Johnson

A Southerner form Tennessee, as V.P. when Lincoln was killed, he became president. He opposed radical Republicans who passed Reconstruction Acts over his veto. The first U.S. president to be impeached, he survived the Senate removal by only one vote. He was a very weak president.

Fifteenth Amendment

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Homestead Act (1862)

This bill did much to encourage settlers to move west; 160 acres of land were given to any settler who was an American citizen or who had applied for citizenship, who was committed to farming the land for six months of the year, and who could pay the $10 registration fee for the land

Massacre at Wounded Knee (1890)

This battle was the last large-scale attempt by Native Americans to resist American settlement in the Great Plains region. Federal soldiers opened fire on Native Americans, killing more than 200.

Dawes Act (1887)

This act was designed to break up Native-American tribes by offering individual Native Americans land to be used for either farming or grazing.

Farmers' Alliance

Organizations that united farmers at the statewide and regional level; policy goals of this organization included more readily available farm credits and federal regulation of the railroads

Populist Party

Formed in 1892 by members of the Farmers' Alliances, this party was designed to appeal to workers in all parts of the country. They favored a larger role of government in American society, a progressive income tax, and more direct methods of democracy

Turner Thesis

1893 thesis by Frederick Jackson Turner suggesting that the innovations practiced by western settlers gradually became ingrained into the fabric of American society; democracy and self-improvement were also central to western expansion, Turner claimed. In short, he suggested that many of the characteristics of the "American character" were created by westward expansion.

Morill Land-Grant Act

In 1862, this act gave public land to state governments to sell. The money was to be used to finance public education. This led to the formation of many state schools and colleges

bonanza farms

Large scale farms often over 50,000 acres, where farmers set up companies to operate


name given to slaves who moved in mass from the former Confederacy to Kansas

Anaconda Copper Company

Large mining syndicate typical of many companies involved in mining in the western US in the 186/70's; used heavy machinery and professional engineers. Many prospectors who found gold, silver, or copper sold their claims to companies such as this.

Timber and Stone Act

This 1878 act opened land in California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington to purchase by settlers

Battle of Little Bighorn

In 1876, Indian leaders Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse defeated Custer's troops who tried to force them back on to the reservation, Custer and all his men died

Massacre at Wounded Knee

the U.S. army shot and killed 150 Sioux near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. It was the last major incident on the Great Plains.

Dawes Act

An act that removed Indian land from tribal possesion, redivided it, and distributed it among individual Indian families. Designed to break tribal mentalities and promote individualism.

tight money policy

a policy that took the paper money used during the Civil War out of circulation

gold standard

every dollar in circulation had to be backed by a similar amount of gold held by the federal government


an association formed by farmers in the last 1800s to make life better for farmers by sharing information about crops, prices, and supplies

ocala platform

A platform that would have significant impact in later years: They supported 1) direct election of US senators, 2) lower tariff rates, 3) a graduated income tax, and 4) a new banking system regulated by the federal govt.

interstate commerce act

stated that the federal government could regulate interstate railway rates

sherman antritrust act

aimed to control the power of trusts and monopolies.

Williams Jennings Bryan

gave "Cross of Gold" speech that was so popular, making him the democratic nominee for president in the 1896 election at only age 36.

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