3rd American Party System The Republican Party--initially concerned only with the non-expansion of slavery into the territories--garnered a significant amount of votes in the Election of 1856. Soon, as the Republican Party adopted a more comprehensive platform, the party system in American featured the Democrats and Republicans, like today.
9/11 Common shorthand for the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, in which 19 militant Islamist men hijacked and crashed four commercial aircraft. Two planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, causing them to collapse. One plan crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the fourth, overtaken by passengers, crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. Nearly 3000 people were killed in the worst case of domestic terrorism in American history.
13th Amendment (1865) Constitutional amendment prohibiting all forms of slavery and involuntary servitude. Former Confederate States were required to ratify the amendment prior to gaining reentry into the Union.
14th Amendment (1868) Constitutional amendment that extended civil rights to freedmen and prohibited states from taking away such rights without due process.
15th Amendment (1870) Prohibited states from denying citizens the franchise on account of race. It disappointed feminists who wanted the Amendment to include guarantees for women's suffrage.
16th Amendment (1913) Adopted in 1913 during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, this amendment to the Constitution to levy and collect a tax on incomes.
17th Amendment (1913) Adopted in 1913 during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, this amendment provided for the direct election of senators by the people, instead of by state legislatures, as was previously the case.
18th Amendment Amendment that gave the government the power to ban the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors. It was enforced under the Volstead Act.
19th Amendment Amendment giving women the right to vote.
20th Amendment Amendment that established that Presidential and Congressional terms began in January, preventing the long lame-duck periods that previously existed. It also established that Congress would assemble once a year on January 3rd and that the Vice President would succeed the President if he were to die in office.
21st Amendment Amendment that repealed prohibition.
ABM Treaty Treaty signed at a summit in Moscow by Richard Nixon and the Soviet premier that limited each nation's anti-ballistic missile defense systems so as to prevent any nation from having too much of an upper hand and emboldening them to attack the other nation.
Abolitionists Reformers who called for the doing-away of slavery. Abolitionism was not uniform in its belief, some believed that freed Africans should be moved back to Africa, while others believed in welcoming them into American society. Most were pacifists, so they tried to morally persuade people to reject slavery. They wanted some concrete steps to be taken, such as the abolition of slavery in the territories and Washington, D.C., and they even went so far as to form their own party, the Liberty party.
Act of Toleration Passed in Maryland, it guaranteed toleration to all Christians but decreed the death penalty for those, like Jews and atheists, who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. Ensured that Maryland would continue to attract a high proportion of Catholic migrants throughout the colonial period.
Actual Representation Idea espoused by Americans that they should be able to elect their own representatives.
Affirmative Action Program designed to redress historic racial and gender imbalances in jobs and education. The term grew from an executive order issued by John F. Kennedy in 1961 mandating that projects paid for with federal funds could not discriminate based on race in their hiring practices. In the late 1960s, President Nixon's Philadelphia Plan changed the meaning to require attention to certain groups, as opposed to protecting individuals against discrimination.
Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) (1933) A New Deal program designed to raise agricultural prices by paying farmers not to farm. It was based on the assumption that higher prices would increase farmers' purchasing power and thereby help alleviate the Great Depression.
Albany Plan Devised by Benjamin Franklin, this was a plan for colonial self-rule that called for the levying of taxes, hiring of armies, building of warships and negotiation of territory. Although it was not taken seriously by either the colonists or London, it was significant in that it was the first attempt at colonial unity.
Albert Fall Secretary of the Interior under Warren G. Harding. He was the main figure in the Teapot Dome scandal, taking bribes from oil industry leaders in exchange for the lease of land.
Al Capone Chicago mobster who essentially controlled the city. His goons used murderous tactics to keep him in power, and he was untouchable to the police, until he was finally convicted of tax evasion.
Alfred Thayer Mahan Writer of "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History" (1890). In it, he pointed out that the great powers of world history all had great navies. Therefore, he posited, the USA needed to develop a navy to become a global power. As such, the US would need to colonize islands for the sake of coaling.
Algeciras Conference (1906) Meeting of the United States and European powers to discuss France's relationship with the government of Morocco. Roosevelt helped to call the conference, and the United States sided with the French, saying that they did indeed have control over Moroccan affairs, in contrast with the German view that Morocco was sovereign.
Alger Hiss State Department employee accused by Whittaker Chambers of being a communist spy. These claims were widely ignored, save for by Richard Nixon. Later, a microfilm was found to have top-secret documents on it, vindicating Chambers and implicating the accused party.
America First Committee Group that opposed American involvement in World War II. They were a key figure in foreign policy debate, especially in 1940, after the passage of the Destroyer-Bases Deal.
American Anti-Slavery Society (1833-1870) Abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison, who advocated the immediate abolition of slavery. By 1838, the organization had more than 250,000 members across 1,350 chapters.
American Federation of Labor A national federation of trade unions that included only skilled workers, founded in 1886. Led by Samuel Gompers for nearly four decades, the AFL sought to negotiate with employers for a better kind of capitalism that rewarded workers fairly with better wages, hours and conditions. The AFL's membership was almost entirely white and male until the middle of the twentieth century.
Americanization The United States' increased role in the Vietnam War, to the point where they played a much more active role than South Vietnam. The purposes of this were to break down North Vietnam's morale, to break its will to fight and to force it to the negotiating table. There was a steady increase in expenditures and troops, and the domino theory was used as justification. Unfortunately for the United States, this strategy did not net victory, it just protracted the conflict.
American System (1820s) Henry Clay's three-pronged system to promote American industry. Clay advocated a strong banking system, a protective tariff and a federally funded transportation network.
Andrew Carnegie Steel magnate who utilized vertical integration to establish a stranglehold on the steel industry. He treated his workers poorly. Eventually, he sold his company to J.P. Morgan for 400 million dollars.
Andrew Mellon Secretary of the Treasury under Warren G. Harding. He believed that taxes inhibited investing and economic growth, so he lowered taxes on the upper tax brackets.
Annapolis Convention Ill-fated convention originally intended to revise the Articles of Confederation (particularly in regards to regulating commerce). It was supplanted by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
Anne Hutchinson Puritan who believed that, since humans were predestined, it was unnecessary to obey either the law of God or the law of man (antinomianism). She was banished and fled to Rhode Island.
Anthony Comstock Crusader against immortality who was confiscated obscene photos, pills (and other materials used in abortions) and pictures from saloons. He claimed to have driven 15 people to suicide.
Anthracite Coal Strike (1902) In Pennsylvania, coal miners struck against mine owners, as they felt they were being straddled with unjust working conditions. The owners would not budge. The Roosevelt administration then threatened to take over the coal fields if there was no agreement. This was unique in that the White House so forcefully took the side of labor.
Antietam (September 1862) Landmark battle in the Civil War that essentially ended in a draw but demonstrated the prowess of the Union army. It forestalled foreign intervention and gave Lincoln the "victory" he needed for the Emancipation Proclamation.
Anti-Imperialist League Group opposed to the Treaty of Paris of 1898 for the following reasons: 1) it was not in keeping with America's history, 2) it risked war with Asian nations, 3) it was not in line with America's political ideals, 4) it would be impossible to assimilate Asians, 5) it would lead to imperialism and 6) it would violate the Monroe Doctrine. Its cause lost out, but it, nevertheless, brought enough attention to the issue for the signing of the treaty to be hotly contested.
Anti-Saloon League A league formed in 1893 that rallied against the saloon. It was essentially a league that was against alcohol and for the cause of prohibition (hence the name anti-saloon since it was saloons where alcohol was drunk in small towns and larger cities). They forced the prohibition issue into the forefront of the state and local elections and pioneered the strategy of the single-issue pressure group.
Anwar Sadat Egyptian representative during the Camp David Accords.
A. Philip Randolph Black leader and head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters who threatened a "Negro March of Washington" if blacks were not afforded the equal opportunities in war jobs and the armed forces. It spurned the passage of an executive order forbidding discrimination in these realms, as well as a Fair Employment Practices Commission to make sure this order was obeyed.
Apologist Movement In terms of slavery, people who espoused favorable opinions about slavery (or at least defended it). Apologists argued for slavery on the grounds of religion, history, (pseudo)science, politics and economics. The growth of the apologist movement was actually key in shifting many Northerners to the anti-slavery side of the fence.
Appeasement (1938) The policy followed by leaders of Britain and France at the 1938 conference in Munich. Their purpose was to avoid war, but they allowed Germany to take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia.
Appomattox Courthouse Site where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865 after almost a year of brutal fighting throughout Virginia in the "Wilderness Campaign."
Arabic Pledge (1915) Pledge made by Germany after the sinking of the Lusitania. The Germans promised that passenger ships would be warned before they would be sunk by German U-boats.
Army Appropriations Act (1867) Made military governors have to go through the General of the Army with any decisions. This act was a response to the fact that since Andrew Johnson was the commander and chief of the army he could appoint any military governors that he wanted, and that would listen to what he wanted to be done. This act also had a loophole in it, however, in the fact that Johnson could simply appoint, whichever governor he pleased, but this loophole was plugged with the Tenure of Office Act that was passed later that year.
Articles of Confederation America's original constitution that was mainly drawn up to help deal with intercolonial problems. It did not allow for the regulation of commerce and enforcing of taxes and was later scrapped in favor of the Constitution.
Article X Part of the League of Nations covenant that called for collective security. It stated that an attack on a member nation was an attack on ALL nations, which was meant to be a deterrent against aggression. This was particularly hard to stomach for Republicans, who felt that this was unconstitutional.
The Association Non-importation agreement crafted during the First Continental Congress calling for the complete boycott of British goods.
Assumption Bill Transfer of debt from one party to another. In order to strengthen the union, the federal government assumed states' Revolutionary War debts in 1790, thereby tying the interests of wealthy lenders with those of the national government.
Atlanta Compromise A speech by Booker T. Washington in which he stated that blacks had to accept segregation in the short term. Washington focused on economic gain to achieve political equality in the future. It said that blacks should focus on economic gains, go to school, learn skills and work their way up the ladder and that Southern whites should help out to create an unresentful people
Atlantic Charter (1941) Meeting on a warship off the coast of Newfoundland in August 1941, Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed this covenant outlining the future path toward disarmament, peace and a permanent system of general security. Its spirit would animate the founding of the United Nations and raise awareness of the human rights of individuals after World War II.
Ayatollah Khomeini Anti-American Islamist leader who supplanted the Shah after the Iranians overthrew him in 1978. The Iranians, under his rule, took emissaries at the American embassy in Iran hostage in response to America's refusal to return the hostages. Failed efforts at rescue marked a major foreign policy failing on the part of Jimmy Carter.
Baby Boomers (1946-1964) Those born during the demographic explosion from births to returning soldiers and others who had put off starting families during the war. This large generation of new Americans forced the expansion of many institutions, such as schools and universities.
"Back to Africa" Movement Black nationalist movement championed by Marcus Garvey. He advocated that African Americans physically return to the African continent.
Bacon's Rebellion Uprising of Virginia back country farmers and indentured servants led by planter Nathaniel Bacon; initially a response to Governor William Berkeley's refusal to protect back country settlers from Indian attacks, the rebellion eventually grew into a broader conflict between impoverished settlers and the planter elite.
Bakke v. Board of Regents Supreme Court case that arose after a prospective medical student was denied admittance into the University of California-Davis' medical school, even though his MCAT score was above average. He claimed that he was discriminated against for being white. The Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action was unconstitutional insofar as quota systems were, but that race could indeed factor into admissions decisions.
Ballinger-Pinchot Controversy Conflict involving William Taft. Secretary of the Interior Ballinger was selling land to corporate interests, and Pinchot, chief forester, called him and Taft out. Refusing to stay silent, Taft removed Pinchot from his position, and many Progressives, therefore, chastised Taft for not being committed to a progressive conservation policy.
Bank Holiday First order of business for Roosevelt during the Hundred Days. Banks, which were hit particularly hard by the Depression, were given time off, and myriad reforms were implemented. Such reforms included ending the gold standard, insuring banks, the Glass-Steagall Act, the Emergency Banking Act and the creation of the FDIC.
Bank of the United States Chartered by Congress as part of Alexander Hamilton's financial program, the bank printed paper money and served as a depository for Treasury funds. It drew opposition from Jeffersonian Republicans, who argued that the bank was unconstitutional.
Bank War (1832) Battle between President Andrew Jackson and Congressional supporters of the Bank of the United States over the bank's renewal in 1832. Jackson vetoed the Bank Bill, arguing that the bank favored moneyed interests at the expense of western farmers.
Barack Obama Forty-fourth president of the United States. He was the first African American president, and his presidency is still ongoing.
Barbados Slave Code First formal statute governing the treatment of slaves, which provided for harsh punishments against offending slaves but lacked penalties for the mistreatment of slaves by masters.
Barbary Pirates Plunderers from the Barbary States of North Africa who plundered, blackmailed and extorted American merchant ships in the Mediterranean. Jefferson had to dispatch ships to the Mediterranean when pirates became more and more dissatisfied with the protection money they were receiving. Jefferson was eventually prompted to amass a larger navy to help quell any further problems that would occur.
Barry Goldwater Republican candidate in 1964 whose campaign was ostentatiously conservative. His platform included making social security voluntary, selling the Tennessee Valley Authority, abolishing the graduated income tax, opposing the nuclear test ban treaty and an aggressive foreign policy. He lost to the ticket of Johnson and Humphrey.
Battle of Leyte Gulf (1944) The largest naval battle in history in which the Japanese navy was not only defeated, but thoroughly destroyed by the United States.
Battle of Little Bighorn (1876) A particularly violent example of the warfare between whites and Native Americans in the late nineteenth century, also known as "Custer's Last Stand." In two days, June 25 and June 26, 1876, the combined forces of over 2,000 Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians defeated and killed more than 250 US soldiers, including Colonel George Custer. The battle came as the US government tried to compel Native Americans to remain on the reservations and Native Americans tried to defend territory from white gold-seekers. This Indian advantage did not last long, however, as the union of these Indian fighters proved tenuous and the United States army soon exacted retribution.
Battle of Midway (1942) Surprising United States victory over Japan that marked the end of any significant advance by the Japanese.
Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943) Crucial and bloody battle that took place during the German advance into Soviet Russia. The USSR, including its civilians, fought off the German advance, and the Germans would get no farther into the country.
Battle of the Bulge (1944) Last-ditch counteroffensive by the Germans as the Allies closed in on Berlin. Although they had the element of surprise on their side and pushed back the Allies (creating a "bulge"), they were unable to break the enemy's lines.
Battle of the Coral Sea (1942) Massive battle that marked the first time that aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first time that a naval battle was fought entirely in the air. The Allies won, providing a much-need morale boost.
Battle of Wounded Knee (1890) A battle between the US Army and the Dakota Sioux, in which several hundred Native Americans and 29 US soldiers died. Tensions erupted over two issues: the Sioux practice of the "Ghost Dance," which the US government had outlawed, and the dispute over whether the Sioux reservation land would be broken up because of the Dawes Act.
Battles of Lexington and Concord These battles initiated the Revolutionary War between the American colonists and the British. British governor Thomas Gage sent troops to Concord to stop the colonists who were loading arms. The next day, on April 19, 1775, the first shots were fired in Lexington, starting the war. The battles resulted in a British retreat to Boston.
Bay of Pigs (1961) CIA plot in 1961 to overthrow Fidel Castro by training Cuban exiles to invade and supporting them with American air power. The mission failed and became a public relations disaster early in John F. Kennedy's presidency.
Beat Generation A group of American writers who became prominent in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they wrote about. Central elements of "Beat" culture included a rejection of mainstream American values, experimentation with drugs and alternate forms of sexuality and an interest in Eastern spirituality
Berlin Airlift (1948) Year-long mission of flying food and supplies to blockaded West Berliners, whom the Soviet Union cut off from access to the West in the first major crisis of the Cold War.
Berlin Wall Fortified and guarded barrier between East and West Berlin erected on orders from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1961 to stop the flow of people to the West. Until its destruction in 1989, the wall was a vivid symbol of the divide between the communist and capitalist worlds.
Betty Friedan Author who wrote "The Feminist Mystique" (1963), a best-selling book that challenged women to move beyond the drudgery of suburban housewifery and helped launch what would become second-wave feminism.
Bill Clinton Forty-second president of the United States whose presidency was contextualized by a conflict between religious traditionalists and secular liberals. He navigated the middle ground when his politics caused a rift in the Democratic party, propelling him to victory. His presidency brought with it immense prosperity, although he was mired in scandal pertaining to his sexual relations with a White House intern.
Bill of Rights Popular term for the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The amendments secure key rights for individuals and reserve to the states all powers not explicitly delegated or prohibited by the Constitution. This was key in getting the Antifederalists to ratify the Constitution.
Birth of a Nation (1915) D.W. Griffith's film that glorified the Ku Klux Klan of Reconstruction days and defamed both blacks and Northern carpetbaggers. White Southerners applauded the book, but African Americans opposed it and organized protest marches, petition campaigns and public hearings in response.
Black Codes (1865-1866) Laws passed throughout the South to restrict the rights of emancipated blacks, particularly with respect to negotiating labor contracts. Increased Northerners' criticisms of President Andrew Johnson's lenient Reconstruction policies.
Black Panthers Organization of armed black militants formed in Oakland, California in 1966 to protect black rights. They represented a growing dissatisfaction with the non-violent wing of the civil rights movement and signaled a new direction to that movement after the legislative victories of 1964 and 1965.
Bland-Allison Act (1878) An act passed by Congress in 1878 that provided for the free coinage of silver. It was offered by Representative Richard P. Bland and incorporated the demands of the Western radicals for free and unlimited coinage of silver. This was passed through the House but was unacceptable to the conservative Senate. Senator William B. Allison then offered an amended version. The act as adopted required the U.S. Treasury to purchase between $2 million and $4 million worth of silver bullion each month at market prices; this was to be coined into silver dollars, which were made legal tender for all debts. It remained law until the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890.
Bleeding Kansas (1856-1861) Civil war in Kansas over the issue of slavery in the territory, fought intermittently until 1861, when it merged with the wider national Civil War.
Bonus March (1932) World War I vets were angry because the Great Depression was economically crippling them, so they wanted their war bonuses early, but the government was refusing to give them any earlier than the agreed upon date. In response, thousands of veterans amassed in Washington, DC and sat in tents as a protest, and the government had to send in the military to sort things out and make sure that they didn't do anything. Douglas MacArthur was brought in to break up the commotion at the end, and the entire event was disastrous, harming Hoover's reputation even more.
Booker T. Washington Ex-slave who helped establish a quality curriculum at the Tuskegee Institute. He acknowledged a deep-rooted racism in the South, but thought that it was necessary to first educate blacks before taking it on.
Booker T. Washington Ex-slave who helped establish a quality curriculum at the Tuskegee Institute. He acknowledged a deep-rooted racism in the South, but thought that it was necessary to first educate blacks before taking it on.
Boris Yeltsin Russian anti-establishment politician became the country's first president after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Boss Tweed Leader of the Tammany Hall political machine. He was able to get New York City's political scene to remain beneficial to him by giving immigrants work in exchange for political loyalty. In addition, he supplied his cronies with money by overtaxing the public.
Boston Massacre Clash between unruly Bostonian protesters and locally stationed British redcoats, who fired on the jeering crowd, killing or wounding eleven citizens.
Boston Tea Party Rowdy protest against the British East India Company's newly acquired monopoly on the tea trade. Colonists, disguised as Indians, dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston harbor, prompting harsh sanctions from Parliament.
Boxer Rebellion (1900) An uprising in China directed against foreign influence. It was suppressed by an international force of some eighteen thousand soldiers, including several thousand Americans. The Boxer Rebellion paved the way for the revolution of 1911, which led to the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912.
Bracero Program A program that opened borders to allow Mexicans to work agricultural jobs. The Mexicans, however, were seen as disloyal to the war effort because they wore zoot suits that took up a bunch of cloth that should have been on the soldiers' uniforms. As a result, riots broke out across the nation.
Brain Trust Specialists in law, economics and welfare, many young university professors, who advised President Franklin D. Roosevelt and helped developed the policies of the New Deal.
Bread and Butter Unionism Unionism focused on better wages, hours and working conditions, the bread-and-butter issues of labor unions.
Brigham Young Mormon who seized a position of high power after Joseph Smith was murdered. He took the Mormons to present-day Utah, setting up a community that prospered, primarily on account of efficient irrigation systems.
Brinksmanship Aspect of Eisenhower's foreign policy that aimed to deter the Soviets and other countries from attacking the United States on account of the fact that it would result in massive retaliation.
Brook Farm (1841-1846) Massachusetts utopian commune founded in 1841. It was formed by about 20 transcendentalists and it prospered until 1846, when a large fire destroyed the town's communal home. After this, the community was suffocated by debt. It inspired Hawthorne's novel "The Blithedale Romance" and went by the motto "plain living and high thinking."
Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Landmark Supreme Court decision that overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and abolished racial segregation in public schools. The Court reasoned that "separate" was inherently "unequal," rejecting the foundation of the Jim Crow system of racial segregation in the South. This decision was the first major step toward the legal end of racial discrimination and a major accomplishment for the Civil Rights Movement.
Bull Moose Party Roosevelt, entering the 1912 political arena, seeing as to how he felt that Taft's leadership was ineffective, said that he felt as strong as a bull moose. The name stuck with the Progressive Republicans, and though the party fizzled out after the Election of 1912, it was still a force, finishing in second that year.
Bull Run (July 1861) First major battle of the Civil War and a victory for the South. It dispelled Northern illusions of a swift victory.
Bully Pulpit Theodore Roosevelt's podium by which he gave powerful, stirring speeches, an affirmation of his powerful political presence.
"Bundle of Compromises" 4 major compromises during the Constitutional Convention; they were:
1) The Connecticut Plan
2) The Three-fifths Compromise
3) The Electoral College Compromise
4) The Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise
Burr Conspiracy Separate plots by Aaron Burr pertaining to both the secession of the western United States from the eastern portion, as well as the secession of New York from New Jersey. Neither of the plots came to fruition, and he was exiled to Europe--where he tried to get France and Britain to join together and invade America.
"Buying On Margin" A form of buying stock that created perfect conditions for the Great Depression. Stocks were growing at an all-time high pace because of all the speculation going on so people would buy them in throngs, and they would borrow the money that they used to buy stocks. Even if stocks would not do well, nothing would happen because if they didn't do well and went under investors would use their stocks as collateral.
Caleb Cushing Diplomat sent to China who was able to negotiate deftly with the Chinese. Negotiations resulted in the opening of ports that the British had access to to America, extraterritoriality and most favored nation status.
California Gold Rush Massive influx of migrants after the discovery of gold in California that peaked in 1849. The population grew with such speed that the government was unable to properly control the population. California, as a result, forewent the territory stage and immediately applied to become a free-soil state.
Camp David Accords A peace treaty between Menachem Begin of Israel Anwar Sadat of Egypt that ended 30 years of war between the two nation, thus making Egypt the first country in the Middle East to recognize the existence of Israel as a nation. Israel also pledged to return territory conquered in 1967 as long as Egypt was respectful of Israeli borders.
Cannon Revolt Controversy in the House of Representatives where tyrannical Joe Cannon appointed Old Guard Republicans to the head of all powerful committees, thereby impeding the passage of New Guard reform. In addition, he, as head of the Rules Committee, often prevented bills from ever reaching the House floor. The New Guard was not willing to team up with Democrats, but Taft would have been a good asset, but Taft refused to assist, convincing Progressives that Taft was not himself a Progressive.
Carpetbaggers Pejorative used by Southern whites to describe Northern businessmen and politicians who came from the South after the Civil War to work on Reconstruction projects or invest in Southern infrastructure.
Carrie Nation Leader of the Women's Christian Temperance Organization, which worked to do away with the buying, selling, distribution of alcohol. She would destroy saloons with a hatchet.
Carter Doctrine Statement by Jimmy Carter after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that stated the United States would repel any assault on the Persian Gulf by any means necessary.
Casablanca (1943) City in Morocco that was the location of a meeting between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. There, they agreed to step up the Pacific war, invade Sicily, increase pressure on Italy and insist upon unconditional surrender (which would increase suspicion by the Soviets, acknowledge the Allies' weakness and prevent postwar broken armistice charges).
"Cash and carry" Term associated with the Lend-Lease Act that stipulated that European democracies could acquire munitions from the United States but that they would have to purchase them in cash and ship them with their own ships.
Central High School School 9 black students attended in 1957. Orval Faubus of Arkansas sent National Guard troops to prevent the students from entering, but, Eisenhower, though apathetic toward civil rights, sent troops to allow the students in, as doing otherwise would allow Faubus to directly flout the earlier Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.
A Century of Dishonor (1881) Book written by Helen Hunt Jackson. It detailed the United States government's despicable record in dealing with the Native Americans. It awoke the national conscience and compelled Americans to right these horrible wrongs.
Chancellorsville (May 1863) Battle that ended with a Confederate victory. However, morale took a heavy hit, as Stonewall Jackson was killed in this battle.
Charles Coughlin Anti-socialist, -communist and -Wall Street priest whose slogan was "social justice." He garnered a following of about 40 million listeners, but he was eventually silenced as his preaching became more anti-Semitic.
Charles Darwin British naturalist who proposed the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, which threw the religious scene in America for a loop. Though rejected at first, his ideas are now almost universally accepted as truth. Religion now needed to examined in the context of science, and literalism began to die off.
Charles Francis Adams American minister who met with the British to convince them to stop manufacturing ships for Confederate use. He declared that war would be inevitable if such actions were to continue, and his diplomacy eventually won out.
Charles River Bridge Case Ruling handed down by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in response to a lawsuit filed by the proprietors of Charles River Bridge against Warren Bridge for violating their original contract with the state of Massachusetts. SCOTUS ruled in favor of Warren Bridge, declaring that the "rights of the community" outweighed exclusive community rights. This ruling opened the door for more competition in American business.
Charles Wilson Peale Maryland painter who painted about 60 portraits of George Washington.
Charter Colonies Colonies whose governors were elected under self-governing charters.
Chattanooga and Chickamauga (September 1863) Two separate battles in Tennessee. The Confederacy won one battle, and the Union won the other. In the end, Ulysses Grant was successful in driving the Confederacy out of Tennessee.
Chautauqua Movement One of the first adult education programs. Started in 1874 as a summer training program for Sunday School teachers, it developed into a travelling lecture series and adult summer school that traversed the country, providing religious and secular education though lectures and classes.
Checks and Balances A major principle of the American system of government. Helps maintain separation of powers so that no one branch gets too powerful. (Examples: President vetoes laws; Senate confirms appointments & treaties; Congress impeaches president & judges.)
Chesapeake Affair (1807) Conflict between Britain and the United States that precipitated the 1807 embargo. The conflict developed when a British ship, in search of deserters, fired on the American Chesapeake off the coast of Virginia.
Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) Federal legislation that prohibited further Chinese immigration to the United States. This was the first major legal restriction on immigration in US history.
Christian Right United States political faction that advocates social and political conservatism, school prayer and federal aid for religious groups and schools.
Christmas Bombing Also known as Operation Linebacker, this was a 12-day bombing of North Vietnam by the United States. It was in response to the North Vietnamese's refusal to sign a ceasefire agreement. After this intense bombing raid, however, the North Vietnamese did agree to a ceasefire.
Citizen Genet Emissary in America for the French. He fitted privateers and took advantage of the Treaty of Alliance (1778). He fell out of favor even with the most pro-French of Americans. Eventually, he was withdrawn by the French.
"City on a Hill" How John Winthrop worded that the Puritans that went to "new" England were an example to the morally corrupt England. Also, this meant that the eyes of the world would be upon Boston (the city in question), and that the moral progression would be greatly scrutinized.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) (1933) A government program created by Congress to hire young unemployed men to improve the rural, out-of-doors environment with such work as planting trees, fighting fires, draining swamps and maintaining National Parks. This proved to be an important for the post-World War II environmental movement.
Civil Rights Act of 1866 Passed over Andrew Johnson's veto, the bill aimed to counteract the Black Codes by conferring citizenship on African Americans and making it a crime to deprive blacks of their rights to sue, testify in court or hold property.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 Federal law that banned racial discrimination in public facilities and strengthened the federal government's power to fight segregation in schools. Title VII of the act prohibited employers from discriminating based on race in their hiring practices and empowered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to regulate fair employment.
Civil Rights Commission (1957) Relatively moderate organization formed by the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 that investigated violations of civil rights and authorized federal injunctions to protect voting rights.
Civil Works Administration (CWA) (1933) Organization created as a branch of FERA. Harry Hopkins was its head, and its role was to provide purely temporary jobs during the winter emergency. It employed thousands at simple tasks like leaf-raking (and it received some criticism for this).
Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) Law extending the antitrust protections of the Sherman Antitrust Act and exempting labor unions and agricultural organizations from anti-monopoly constraints. The act conferred long-overdue benefits on labor.
Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850) Signed by Great Britain and the United States, it provided that the two nations would jointly protect the neutrality of Central America and that neither power would seek to fortify or exclusively control any future isthmian waterway.
Clinton Impeachment After first claiming that he did not have any sexual relations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton later came clean. The fact that Clinton lied under oath was grounds, per the Republican Congress, for impeachment. Although the Republicans controlled Congress, Clinton was never impeached, as few saw his offense as impeachable.
Cohens v. Virginia (1821) Case that reinforced federal supremacy by establishing the right of the Supreme Court to review decisions of state supreme courts in questions involving the powers of the federal government.
Columbian Exchange The transfer of goods, crops and diseases between New and Old World societies after 1492.
Columbus Italian explorer credited with "discovering America." He attempted to find a western route to the Orient, but instead landed in the West Indies.
Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise Compromise between northern and southern states that only a simple majority was needed to regulate commerce, but that exports could not be taxed and the slave trade could not be regulated for 20 years.
Committee on Public Information (1917) A government office during World War I known popularly as the Creel Committee for its Chairman George Creel, it was dedicated to winning everyday Americans' support for the war effort. It regularly distributed pro-war propaganda and sent out an army of "four-minute men" to rally crowds and deliver "patriotic pep."
Committees of Correspondence Local committees established across Massachusetts, and later in each of the thirteen colonies, to maintain colonial opposition to British policies through the exchange of letters and pamphlets.
Common Sense Thomas Paine's pamphlet urging the colonies to declare independence and establish a republican government. The widely read pamphlet helped convince colonists to support the Revolution.
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842) Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that strengthened the labor movement by upholding the legality of unions.
Compact Theory Theory espoused by Jefferson and Madison that the thirteen sovereign states had entered into a compact regarding the jurisdiction of the federal government. Therefore, the states were the final arbiter as to whether or not the government had overstepped its bounds.
Compact Theory Theory espoused by Robert Hayne and John Calhoun that the states were the ultimate sovereign, as they had formed a compact to bring the Union into being. This was key in the rationale of South Carolinians during the Nullification Crisis.
Compromise of 1850 Admitted California as a free state, opened New Mexico and Utah to popular sovereignty, ended the slave trade (but not slavery itself) in Washington DC and introduced a more stringent fugitive slave law. Widely opposed by in both the North and South, it did little to settle the escalating dispute over slavery.
Compromise of 1877 The agreement that finally resolved the 1876 election and officially ended Reconstruction. In exchange for the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, winning the presidency, Hayes agreed to withdraw the last of the federal troops from the former Confederate states. This deal effectively completed the southern return to white-only, Democratic-dominated electoral politics.
Confederation A political system in which a weak central government has limited authority, and the states have ultimate power.
Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) A New Deal-era labor organization that broke away from the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in order to organize unskilled industrial workers regardless of their particular economic sector or craft. The CIO gave a great boost to labor organizing in the midst of the Great Depression and during World War II. In 1955, the CIO merged with the AFL.
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) (1942) Nonviolent civil rights organization founded in 1942 and committed to the "Double V"--victory over fascism abroad and racism at home. After World War II, it would become a major force in the civil rights movement.
Conquistadors Sixteenth-century Spaniards who fanned out across the Americas. They overpowered the Incan and Aztec Empires. They sought gold, glory, nobility and various other honors.
Constitution Supreme law of the land in America that delegated powers to the various federal branches, the states and the people. Unlike in Britain, this Constitution was above other laws.
Containment America's strategy against the Soviet Union based on ideas of George Kennan. The doctrine declared that the Soviet Union and communism were inherently expansionist and had to be stopped from spreading through both military and political pressure. Containment guided American foreign policy throughout most of the Cold War.
Continental System French trade restrictions, enacted in response to Orders in Council, that closed ports to British goods and neutral countries complying with British regulations.
Cornelius Vanderbilt Man who consolidated various railroads, eventually connecting Chicago and New York City. He solved the problem of intentionally inconsistent gauges.
Corporation Independent legal entity owned by shareholders that proves advantageous insofar as shareholders only incurred limited liability. Such types included vertically-integrated ones, horizontally-integrated ones, trusts and holding companies.
Corrupt Bargain Alleged deal between presidential candidates John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay to throw the election, to be decided by the House of Representatives, in Adams' favor. Though never proven, the accusation became the rallying cry for supporters of Andrew Jackson, who had actually garnered a plurality of the popular vote in 1824.
Cotton Gin (1793) Eli Whitney's invention that sped up the process of harvesting cotton. The gin made cotton cultivation more profitable, revitalizing the Southern economy and increasing the importance of slavery in the South.
Court-packing Scheme Roosevelt's response to the conservative Supreme Court's hostility toward New Deal reform. He proposed the Judicial Reform Procedure Bill (1937), which would add one justice for every justice over 70. This plan was almost universally panned, and it was one of the largest political failures of Roosevelt's presidency.
Credit Mobilier Scandal (1872) A construction company was formed by owners of the Union Pacific Railroad for the purpose of receiving government contracts to build the railroad at highly inflated prices--and profits. In 1872, a scandal erupted when journalists discovered that the Credit Mobilier Company had bribed congressmen and even the vice president in order to allow the ruse to continue.
"Crime of '73" In 1873, after a boom in the supply of gold, the United States government stopped buying silver and unofficially adopted the gold standard. This coincided with the Comstock Lode, which put huge amounts of silver into circulation. In response, silver prices dropped. Disgruntled miners and other possessors of silver decried this change in policy.
Critical Period The period between the end of the revolutionary war and the ratification of the constitution.
Crittenden Compromise (1860) Proposed in an attempt to appease the South, the failed Constitutional amendments would have given federal protection for slavery in all territories south of 36 degrees 30 minutes where slavery was supported by popular sovereignty.
Cross of Gold Speech (1896) Speech by William Jennings Bryan in which he pleaded for a bimetallic standard, believing that this would increase the US's prosperity many-fold. This speech was so inspiring that it earned him the Democratic nomination, though he had not been a front-runner at that point. It also touched on the Populists' main point: free silver, causing them to latch onto his campaign, which would prove to be their undoing.
Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) Standoff between John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in October 1962 over Soviet plans to install nuclear weapons in Cuba. Although the crisis was ultimately settled in America's favor and represented a foreign policy triumph for Kennedy, it brought the world's superpowers perilously close to the brink of nuclear confrontation.
Cult of Domesticity Pervasive nineteenth-century cultural creed that venerated the domestic role of women. It gave married women greater authority to shape home life but limited opportunities outside the domestic sphere.
Cultural Isolation The act of keeping a culture separated from those of the other parts of the world. This was established with the isolationism of the early presidents such as Monroe and Washington and held true after World War I as the United State tried to stay out of world affairs in order to avoid more warfare. This, however, was eventually violated when Japan attacked the United States and caused them to enter World War II. It could also be interpreted as immigrants from different cultural groups who separated into their own distinct neighborhoods and didn't mix with each other's culture or the American culture due to the fact that they spoke different languages and preferred to be isolated from the rest of the races and cultures the majority of the time.
Currency Act (1764) This made gold and silver the preferred currency. Though gold and silver was preferable to paper money, it stirred up discontent among the colonists because there was a paucity of the metals as compared to the demand.
Cyrus McCormick Virginian inventor of a mechanical mower-reaper. The McCormick reaper allowed farmers to greatly increase their efficiency and allowed westerners to harvest a larger crop than southerners. In addition, it allowed farmers to buy more land, as it was not so arduous to farm smaller plots.
Dartmouth v. Woodward (1819) Supreme Court case that sustained Dartmouth University's original charter against changes proposed by the New Hampshire state legislature, thereby protecting corporations from domination by state governments.
David Walker Black abolitionist who wrote "Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World." He advocated for violent means to end white supremacy.
Dawes Plan (1924) An arrangement negotiated in 1924 to reschedule German reparation payments. It stabilized the German currency and opened the way for further American private loans to Germany.
Dawes Severalty Act (1887) An act that broke up Indian reservations and distributed land to individual households. Leftover land was sold for money to fund US government efforts to "civilize" Native Americans. Of 130 million acres held in Native American reservations before the act, 90 million were sold to non-Native buyers.
D-Day (1944) A massive military operation led by American forces in Normandy beginning on June 6, 1944. The pivotal battle led to the liberation of France and brought on the final phases of World War II in Europe.
Declaration of Independence Formal pronouncement of independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson and approved by Congress. The declaration allowed Americans to appeal for foreign aid and served as an inspiration for later revolutionary movements worldwide.
Declaration of Rights and Greviances Petition to the king urging him to redress colonial grievances and restore colonial rights; recognized Parliament's authority to regulate commerce.
Declaratory Act Passed alongside the repeal of the Stamp Act, it reaffirmed Parliament's unqualified sovereignty over the North American colonies.
De facto and de jure segregation Two types of segregation found in the United States before, during and after the Civil Rights movement. De jure segregation pertained to legalized segregation, which was phased out with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. De facto segregation, on the other hand, was segregation permeated institutions and society and was found in the North as well as the South. This form of segregation has not disappeared and was much tougher to expunge from America than de jure segregation.
Democracy A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.
Democratic-Republican Party Led by Thomas Jefferson, believed people should have political power, favored strong state governments, emphasized agriculture and strict interpretation of the Constitution, was pro-French and opposed National Bank.
Destroyer-Bases Deal (1940) U.S. policy of war involvement (not in the form of putting troops on the ground) wherein Roosevelt transferred 50 U.S. destroyers to the United Kingdom in exchange for eight military bases in Newfoundland and the Caribbean.
Dixiecrats Faction of the Democrats in the election of 1948 that was not so much aimed at winning the election but at convincing Democrats that they needed to listen to Southern demands to be a powerful political force. Their candidate, Strom Thurmond, won 2% of the popular vote, along with 39 electoral votes.
The Dole Contemptuous slang for unemployment benefit payments received by 2 million unemployed in Britain (by 1921). Britain was losing its primacy even before WWI but especially after it. There was increasing competition from newly industrialized nations, growth of tariff barriers, indigenous industries in the colonies, new textiles competing with Britain and new fuels besides coal. Losses were accelerated by WWI disruptions. Thus, Britain's economy was declining even in the early 1920s when others were starting to revive. Britain therefore made use of this welfare system to cope with unemployment. This was copied by the Americans during the Great Depression through welfare programs to help the poor.
Dollar Diplomacy Name applied by President Taft's critics to the policy of supporting US investments and political interests abroad. First applied to the financing of railways in China after 1909, the policy then spread to Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua. President Woodrow Wilson disavowed the practice, but his administration undertook comparable acts of intervention in support of US business interests, especially in Latin America.
Domino Theory One of the driving forces behind American involvement in Vietnam, this was the idea that the fall of one country to communism would create a cascade in which more and more fell to the ideology (e.g., Vietnam then Cambodia then Laos and so forth). The United States used this as partial justification for their entry into Vietnam.
Dorothea Dix Teacher and author from New England who was responsible for extensive investigative work pertaining to the conditions of insane asylums throughout America. A petition written by her in 1843 was vital in the improving of conditions in asylums and also helped to convince people that the mentally ill were not willfully so.
Double V Campaign A campaign by African Americans in the armed forces during World War II. Its goal was to emerge victorious over fascism abroad and racism at home.
Douglas MacArthur General who was the leading figure in the Pacific Theater of Operations. After the Japanese defeat, he was in charge of the occupying forces there. He later led American forces in the Korean War, but was fired after he was openly insubordinate and criticized Harry Truman for not using nuclear weapons to ensure American victory. After he was fired, he was greeted with rousing applause, whereas Truman saw his approval rating drop drastically.
Draft Riots Response to draft for the Civil War. These were most severe in large cities, specifically New York (in July 1863). These resulted in deaths and lynchings.
Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) Supreme Court decision that extended federal protection to slavery by ruling that Congress did not have the power to prohibit slavery in any territory. Also declared that slaves, as property, were not citizens of the United States.
Dumbarton Oaks Conference (1944) Meeting in Washington, D.C. of representatives from the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, (nationalist) China, and the United States in which a peacekeeping organization was discussed. The main feature of this peacekeeping organization was a Security Council where the UK, China, France, USSR, and US would always be represented.
Dumbbell Tenements A slum house that was perfected in 1879 that was earned its name because of the outline of its floor plan. These were usually seven or eight stories high with shallow, sunless and ill-smelling air shafts. Each had several families shoved onto each floor like barracks, and they all shared a toilet. In New York's Lung Block, hundreds of these existed in Flophouses, where people might sleep for a few cents on verminous mattresses. They were fire hazards, contained extensive amounts of waste and were a natural breeding ground for disease.
Dust Bowl Grim nickname for the Great Plains region devastated by drought and dust storms during the 1930s. The disaster led to the migration into California of thousands of displaced "Okies" and "Arkies."
Dwight Eisenhower General who led the Americans in the European Theater, most notably during D-Day. The Democrats asked him to run for president in 1948, but he refused, even though he would run as a Republican in 1952.
Economic Opportunity Act (1964) Major piece of legislation in Johnson's war on poverty, it set up the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Jobs Corps, the Neighborhood Youth Corps, the Volunteers to Service to America, Project Head Start and Upward Bound. This was one of many pieces of legislation passed during the biggest legislative period since the New Deal.
Edgar Allan Poe Drunkard who was, nevertheless, a gifted poet. His preferred genre was horror, and he also wrote a lot about the supernatural. His tone was more pessimistic and, therefore, not very popular in America. It did, however, garner success in Europe.
Edwin Sandys Reorganized dying stock organizations by instituting a series of reforms, which promoted private investors to develop their own estates in Virginia. Promised an elective representative assembly called the House of Burgesses.
Edwin Stanton Secretary of war who was a holdover from the Lincoln administration. He functioned as a spy for Radicals, and preserving his standing was key in the proposing of the Tenure of Office Act. His removal from office was the rationale the Radicals needed to impeach Johnson.
Eisenhower Doctrine (1957) Policy of the Eisenhower administration that stated that the United States would used armed forces, upon request, to respond to an imminent aggression against the United States. Unlike the Truman Doctrine, this policy allowed for the use of troops for containment, not merely money. It was issued in respond to the Suez Crisis, which threatened to involve the USSR after France, Britain and Israel attacked Egypt.
Election of 1860 Election won by Abraham Lincoln against a splintered Democrat party and the Constitutional Union Party. The Republicans were destined for success because they had adopted a platform pleasing to everyone (other than Southerners--who were not the bulk of the population). For many Southerners, the election of Lincoln, a free-soiler, was the last straw before secession.
Election of 2000 (Florida Recount) Closely contested election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Gore picked 7 counties in which he could have a manual recount, but each of these counties had different criteria of what did and did not count as a vote. This case went to the Supreme Court, and it ruled that the county-by-county process violated the 14th Amendment and that there would be no recount, making Bush the new president.
Electoral College Compromise Compromise about who would elect the president. The Electoral College was used instead of a direct popular vote, Congress or state legislatures.
Elihu Root Secretary of War who established a general staff for the army and the War College (in DC) during the Spanish-American War.
Eli Whitney Creator of the cotton gin--a machine that separated the seed of cotton from the fiber. His manufacturing of muskets also brought with it the innovation of interchangeable parts.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Influential suffragette and mother of 7 who shocked many when she insisted upon having "obey" kept out of her wedding vows. She surprised many by calling for suffrage for women.
Emancipation Proclamation (1863) Declared all slaves in rebelling states to be free but did not affect slavery in non-rebelling Border States. The Proclamation closed the door on possible compromise with the South and encouraged thousands of Southern states to flee to Union lines.
Embargo Act of 1807 Enacted in response to British and French mistreatment of American merchants, the Act banned the export of all goods from the United States to any port. The embargo placed great strains on the American economy while only marginally affecting its European targets, and was, therefore, repealed in 1809.
Emilio Aguinaldo Revolutionary brought to fight against the Spanish in the Philippines by George Dewey. He was an effective soldier, and he declared his loyalty to the US, even though he collaborated with Japan when WWII rolled around.
Emily Dickinson Reclusive Massachusetts poet whose poetry went largely undiscovered (save for two poems) until after her death.
Employment Act of 1946 Legislation declaring that the government's economic policy should aim to promote maximum employment, production and purchasing power, as well as to keep inflation low, a general commitment that was much shorter on specific targets and rules than its liberals creators had wished. The Act created the Council of Economic Advisers to provide the president with data and recommendations to make economic policy.
Enrollment Act (1863) Passed in the Union to fill army, this stipulated that the military would be composed of 20- to 45-year-old draftees (if volunteers did not meet quotas). A $300 fee could be paid for an exemption, or a substitute could be hired to fight in one's place.
Equal Rights Amendment Amendment that declared full constitutional equality for women. Although it passed both houses of Congress in 1972, a concerned grassroots campaign by anti-feminists led by Phyllis Schlafly persuaded enough state legislatures to vote against ratification. The amendment failed to become part of the constitution.
Era of Good Feelings (1816-1824) Popular name for the period of one-party, Republican, rule during James Monroe's presidency. The term obscures bitter conflicts over internal improvements, slavery and the national bank.
Erie Canal (completed 1825) New York state canal that linked Lake Erie to the Hudson River. It dramatically lowered shipping costs, fueling an economic boom in upstate New York and increasing the profitability of farming in the Old Northwest.
Ernest Hemingway Expatriate American who had seen action on the Italian front in 1917, and was profoundly affected by the war. He responded to pernicious propaganda and the overblown appeal to patriotism by devising in his own lean, word sparing, but word-perfect style. In "The Sun Also Rises," he told of disillusioned spiritually numb American expatriates in Europe. In "A Farewell to Arms," he crafted one of the finest novels in any language about the war experience. He blew his brains out, however, because he decided that he wanted to.
Espionage Act (1917) A law prohibiting interference with the draft and other acts of national "disloyalty." Together with the Sedition Act of 1918, which added penalties for abusing the government in writing, it created a climate that was unfriendly to civil liberties.
Eugene Debs He was a key socialist figure in America. He was a gradualist and felt that socialist policy must be implemented slowly. He was a key figure in the Pullman Strike and a strong advocate for workers' rights. He ran for president, but his Socialist Party could never muster substantial support.
Eugene Debs Organizer of the Pullman Strike who was later imprisoned to 6 months in prison for ignoring a federal injunction to cease striking. He later became a leading figure in the American socialist movement.
Executive Order 9981 (1948) An executive order passed by Harry Truman that desegregated the armed forces, civil service and all companies that were doing business with the federal government.
Ex Parte Milligan (1866) Civil War Era case in which the Supreme Court ruled that military tribunals could not be used to try civilians if civil courts were open.
Exposition and Protest (1828) Written by John C. Calhoun in response to Tariff of Abominations. It referenced the compact theory as a means of protecting the minority (the South)
Fair Deal President Truman's extensive social program introduced in his 1949 message to Congress. Republicans and Southern Democrats kept much of his vision from being enacted, except for raising minimum wage, providing for more public housing and extending old-age insurance to many more beneficiaries under the Social Security Act.
Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) (1941) Threatened with a massive "Negro March on Washington" to demand equal opportunities in war jobs and in the military, Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration issued an executive order forbidding racial discrimination in all defense plants operating under contract with the federal government. This was intended to monitor compliance with the Executive Order.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (1938) Important New Deal labor legislation that regulated minimum wages and maximum hours for workers involved in interstate commerce. The law also outlawed labor by children under 16. The exclusion of agricultural, service and domestic workers meant that many blacks, Mexican Americans and women--who were concentrated in these sectors--did not benefit from the act's protection.
Fall of the Berlin Wall Event that marked a symbolic reunification between East Germany and West Germany and, more broadly, Eastern Europe and Western Europe. Not a whole lot after this event, the two German states became one and the Soviet Union dissolved.
Farmer's Alliance Organization that used socialization to bring together farmers who had fallen upon hard times. It sought to escape the grip of railroads and manufacturers through collectives. Its membership reached 1 million people, but it also ignored poor farmers and black farmers, which proved to hurt its ability to garner a significant voice.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (1933) A corporation that still exists today, which, at its inception, insured everyone's deposits up to $5,000. Its purpose was and is to prevent bank runs, which were highly prevalent during the nascent days of the Great Depression.
Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) (1933) Organization headed by Harry Hopkins that was concerned with immediate relief. It gave loans to state and local governments to boost employment and expand infrastructure. In total, it gran
Federal Highway Act (1956) Federal legislation signed by Dwight D. Eisenhower to construct thousands of miles of modern highways in the name of national defense. Officially called the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, this bill dramatically increased the move to the suburbs, as white middle-class people could more easily commute to urban jobs.
Federalism A system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and several regional governments.
Federalist Papers Writings by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton aimed specifically at New York that were key in shifting the sentiment toward ratification in that state.
Federalist Party Formed by Alexander Hamilton in 1792, it controlled the government until 1801. It wanted strong nationalistic government. Opposed by Democratic Republicans.
Federalists vs. Antifederalists Conflict between two different groups in America during the process of ratifying the Constitution. the Federalists favored a strong central government, had heavyweights in politics on their side and had the support of the media. The Antifederalists, on the other hand, thought that the government (in particular, the president) was too powerful and were distressed by the lack of a Bill of Rights.
Federal Reserve Act (1913) An act establishing twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks and a Federal Reserve Board, appointed by the president, to regulate banking and create stability on a national scale in the volatile banking sector. The law carried the nation through the financial crises of World War I.
Federal Trade Commission A commission set up by the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. It was created to investigate unfair trade practices and determine if a business was bad or good (i.e., if it was a monopoly or not). It investigated false advertising, unlawful competition and mislabeling of goods.
First American Party System Though the founders never envisioned a party system in America, this was the result of irreconcilable disagreements between Jefferson and Hamilton over a national bank and, more broadly, how the constitution should be interpreted.
First Continental Congress Convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies that convened in Philadelphia to craft a response to the Intolerable Acts. Delegates established The Association, which called for a complete boycott of British goods.
Flappers Carefree young women with short, "bobbed" hair, heavy makeup and short skirts. They symbolized the new "liberated" woman of the 1920s. Many people saw the bold, boyish look and shocking behavior of them as a sign of decaying morals. Though hardly typical of American women, this image reinforced the idea that women now had more freedom.
Fletcher v. Peck (1810) Established firmer protection for private property and asserted the right of the Supreme Court to invalidate state laws in conflict with the federal Constitution.
Florence Kelley Socialist idealist who battled for the advancement of rights of children, women, blacks and consumers. She moved to the Henry Street Settlement in New York and served as a secretary for the National Consumers League.
Florida Purchase Treaty (Adams-Onis Treaty) (1819) Agreement wherein Spain ceded to Florida to the United States and the United States abandoned its claims in Texas. The treaty also drew a line to the Pacific, dividing Oregon (which Spain also ceded) from Spanish holdings.
Food Administration (1917) Established by the Lever Act and chaired by Herbert Hoover, this fed soldiers, civilians and the Allies. It set prices on food, not allowing supply and demand to dictate the market. It controlled distribution, but conservation was voluntary (i.e., there was no rationing).
Force Bill (1833) Passed by Congress alongside the Compromise Tariff, it authorized the president to use the military to collect federal tariff duties.
Fort Laramie Treaty (1868) Agreement after Fetterman's Massacre that stipulated the following: 1) the US would abandon all forts along the Bozeman Trail, 2) the Great Sioux Reservation would be created, 3) Indians reserved the right to unceded land in the Powder River Country and 4) no change would be made to the treaty without the approval of 3/4s of the population of the adult male western Sioux.
Fort Sumter South Carolina location where Confederate forces fired the first shots of the Civil War in April of 1861, after Union forces attempted to provision the fort.
"Forty Acres and a Mule" Failed attempt to help freed blacks during reconstruction - had promised blacks forty acres of land and a mule to plow with.
Fourteen Points (1918) Woodrow Wilson's proposal to ensure peace after World War I, calling for an end to secret treaties, widespread arms reduction, national self-determination and a new league of nations.
Francis Townsend Critic of the New Deal from the left who recommended a system of old-age pensions. This suggestion portended the Social Security Act.
Frank Lloyd Wright Architect who revolutionized American architecture by declaring that buildings should be in harmony with their surroundings and that the United States should adopt its own unique architecture, as opposed to merely mimicking the Greeks and Romans.
Frederick Douglass Black abolitionist who published an autobiography ("Narrative of the Life of [name]"). He escaped bondage at 21, and his autobiography chronicled his escape, along with his education and upbringing. He was largely concerned with political reform and was more flexible in his beliefs than his colleague, William Lloyd Garrison.
Frederick Olmstead Landscape architect and writer who stumbled upon Teutonic settlements and was very impressed by them.
Fredericksburg (December 1862) Decisive victory in Virginia for Robert E. Lee, who successfully repelled a Union attack on his lines.
Frederick Taylor A prominent inventor, engineer and tennis player who sought to eliminate wasted motion through scientific management in the large industrial city of Detroit. Scientific management was management that emphasized stopwatch efficiency to improve factor performance and gained immense popularity throughout both the United States and Europe.
Freedmen's Bureau (1865-1872) Created to aid newly emancipated slaves by providing food, clothing, medical care, education and legal support. Its achievements were uneven and depended largely on the quality of local administrators.
Freeport Doctrine (1858) Declared that since slavery could not exist without laws to protect it, territorial legislatures, not the Supreme Court, would have the final say on the slavery question. First argued by Stephen Douglas in response to Abraham Lincoln's Freeport Question.
Free Silver Movement Response to the Crime of '73 that called for the government to buy back silver. It was formed as a result of the fact that silver was no longer viable on the open market.
Free-Soilers Those who opposed expansion of slavery into the territories.
French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) Nine-year war between the British and French in North America. It resulted in the expulsion of the French from the North American mainland and helped spark the Seven Years' War in Europe.
Frontier Thesis Idea espoused by Frederick Jackson Turner that western settlement was woven into the fabric of America's character and that the grit and gumption of American settlers made them agents of civilization and democracy. It came under fire for its Eurocentricity and others who claimed that the West was merely a place, not a process.
F. Scott Fitzgerald Author and expatriate who wrote "The Great Gatsby," which told the story of the destruction of a tycoon made rich by bootlegging as he attempted to win over his love and work his way up the social ladder.
Fugitive Slave Law (1850) Passed as part of the Compromise of 1850, it set high penalties for anyone who aided escaped slaves and compelled all law enforcement officers to participate in retrieving runaways. Strengthened the antislavery cause in the North.
Funding Bill Payment of debts, such as government bonds, at face value. In 1790, Alexander Hamilton proposed that the federal government pay its Revolutionary war debts in full order to bolster the nation's credit.
Gadsden Purchase (1853) Acquired additional land from Mexico for $10 million to facilitate the construction of a southern transcontinental railroad.
Gag Resolution Prohibited debate or action on antislavery appeals. Driven through the House by pro-slavery Southerners, this passed every year for eight years until it was eventually overturned with the help of John Quincy Adams.
Galloway Plan Proposed during the First Continental Congress by Joseph Galloway of PA; the idea was to have the colonies stay with Britain and create their own Colonial Parliament, which would act together with British Parliament; due to the already well-established radical wave, the plan was narrowly outvoted by the Congress.
Gaspee Affair A British revenue schooner that had been vigorously enforcing unpopular trade regulations ran aground in shallow water on June 9, 1772, near what is now known as Gaspee Point in the city of Warwick, Rhode Island while chasing the packet boat Hannah. In an act of defiance that gained considerable notoriety, the ship was attacked, boarded, stripped of valuables and torched by American patriots led by Abraham Whipple. This led to battles of Concord and Lexington.
Geneva Accords (1954) Agreement reached during a gathering of the United States, Britain, France, Soviet Union, China, Laos, Cambodia and North and South Vietnam that established the 17th parallel with a demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam. In addition, it declared that there would be free elections in 1956 to unite the two sections. The signing of this by France and North Vietnam sparked massive migration to South Vietnam.
Gentlemen's Agreement (1907-1908) Response to segregation in American schools in response to a mass influx of Japanese immigrants. The Japanese agreed to withhold passports for immigrant laborers.
George Grenville Chancellor of the Exchequer who believed that Americans were undertaxed and Londoners were overtaxed. He was responsible for the implementation of the Currency Act, which made gold and silver the preferred currency. Though gold and silver was preferable to paper money, it stirred up discontent among the colonists because there was a paucity of the metals as compared to the demand.
George H.W. Bush Forty-first president of the United States who waged the Persian Gulf War against Iraq after they invaded the oil fields of Kuwait. He also presided over the end of the Cold War and saw the death of communism as a sign of a new world order that would develop.
George Kennan The mind behind containment, he said that Russia had always looked to expand to quench the needs of the Politburo. In response, he argued, the West needed to have a patient but firm approach in repressing these tendencies. If they were repressed, he said, the Soviets would become discouraged and take their feet off the pedal in the realm of expansion. His plan of action put into context future U.S. foreign policy.
George McClellan General of the Union Army who was removed in 1862 after not being aggressive enough in his pursuit. He was rehired for the same position, but ended up being fired again for his lack of aggression. He ran as a Democrat in the Election of 1864, but was defeated.
George Wallace Candidate for the American Independent Party from Alabama who staunchly resisted integration in Alabama and was an outspoken proponent of involvement in Vietnam, to the point of utterly decimating the North Vietnamese.
George W. Bush Forty-third president of the United States who entered Afghanistan to hunt for Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in addition to creating the Department of Homeland Security, utilizing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and establishing a doctrine that the United States would act unilaterally in events of national security problems. He also entered Iraq in 2003 to hunt down WMDs, which were never found.
George Whitefield Talented Puritan orator who preached passionately about human helplessness and divine omnipotence.
Gerald Ford Thirty-eighth president of the United States who took over after Nixon resigned. He was marred by slips of the tongue and general ineffectiveness in the realm of policy. He pardoned Nixon on August 9, 1974, and fell to Jimmy Carter in the election of 1976.
Geraldine Ferraro First female vice-presidential candidate who ran alongside Walter Mondale against Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Gettysburg (July 1863) Civil War battle in Pennsylvania that ended in Union victory, spelling doom for the Confederacy, which never again managed to invade the North. Site of General George Pickett's daring but doomed charge on the Northern lines.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) Suit over whether New York State could grant a monopoly to a ferry operating on interstate waters. The ruling reasserted that Congress had the sole power to regulate interstate commerce.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) Supreme Court ruling that declared that all criminal defendants were entitled to legal counsel, even if they were too poor to afford it.
Gilded Age (1877-1896) A term given to the period 1865-1896 by Mark Twain, indicating both the fabulous wealth and the widespread corruption of the era.
Glasnost/perestroika Two policies instituted by Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union that made the Soviet Union more open and dedicated to restructuring. Openness meant that they aimed to ventilate the secretive, repressiveness of Soviet society by instituting free speech and a measure of political liberty. In restructuring, Gorbachev meant that he intended to revive the economy by adopting many of the free market practices of the capitalist West that was gaining a lot of ground in the money aspect of power.
Glass-Steagall Act (1933) A law creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insured individual bank deposits and ended a century-long tradition of unstable banking that had reached a crisis in the Great Depression.
Global War on Terror Bush's proclamation that the United States would fight terrorism. Waged after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, three countries in an Axis of Evil (Iran, Iraq and North Korea) were identified. The means by which this war on terror would be waged created a hotly contested debate about the balance between security and liberty.
Glorious Revolution Relatively peaceful overthrow of the unpopular Catholic monarch, James II, replacing him with Dutch-born William III and Mary, daughter of James II. William and Mary accepted increased Parliamentary oversight and new limits on monarchical authority.
Goldbugs Proponents of deflation (and, therefore, mostly creditors) who did not support the free silver movement and wanted the government to remain solely on the gold standard.
Good and Bad Trusts Concept by Theodore Roosevelt that established that trusts were not inherently bad. Roosevelt said that bad trusts inhibited competition, whereas good trusts did not. The rule of reason of 1911 affirmed this belief, although Taft thought that trusts were always bad.
Good Neighbor Policy A departure from the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, this stressed nonintervention in Latin America. It was begun by Herbert Hoover but is associated with Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Gospel of Wealth One defense of big business that stated that accumulating wealth is a virtue and that it was wrong to demonize the wealthy. It went on to state that wealth was God-given.
The Grange Also known as the Patrons of Husbandry, this organization sought to enhance farmers' lives through social, educational and fraternal means. It started off concerned with individualism, but it eventually grew to become more collective-minded, establishing collectives, fighting for legislation and trying its hand at manufacturing. Though it reached 800,000 members at one point, unfortunate court decisions and badly-made laws undid it.
Granger Laws A series of laws that were passed by members of the Grange in the states of the upper-Mississippi Valley to promote the ideas of the Grange. The Grangers lobbied in the state legislatures of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana, so they were able to control the rates for railroad chargers in those states. The railroads, however, sued them because they didn't think that they could do that, and two Supreme Court Cases were heard over the argument. The first one was Munn v. Illinois in 1877, which stated that since the railroads were for the public good, the public had a right to regulate them for the benefit of the common good. The second one was Wabash v. Illinois in 1886, which was under a new Supreme Court and it reversed its prior statement in Munn.
Granger Laws A series of laws passed in Southern states of the United States after the American Civil War to regulate grain and railroad freight rates and to address long- and short-haul discrimination. They were passed through political agitation both by merchants' associations and by so-called Granger parties, which were third parties formed most often by members of the Patrons of Husbandry, an organization for farmers commonly called the Grange. These were an issue in two important court cases in the late 19th century, Munn v. Illinois and Wabash v. Illinois.
Great Awakening Religious revival that swept the colonies. Participating minsters, most notably Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, placed an emphasis on direct, emotive spirituality. Conflicts ensued between "old lights" and "new lights" and created schisms that greatly diversified the American religious landscape.
Great Compromise (Connecticut Plan) Compromise between the Virginia Plan and New Jersey Plan that allowed for two legislative houses--one (the House of Representative) was based on population, and the other (the Senate) had uniform representation across the states.
Great Puritan Migration Migration of 70 thousand refugees from England to the North American colonies, primarily New England and the Caribbean. The migrants shared a common goal, which was to establish a model Christian settlement in the New World.
Great Society (1964-1968) President Lyndon Johnson's term for his domestic policy agenda. Billed as a successor to the New Deal, it aimed to extend the postwar prosperity to all people in American society by promoting civil rights and fighting poverty. Its programs included the War on Poverty, which expanded the Social Security system by providing Medicare and Medicaid to provide health care for the aged and the poor. Johnson also signed laws protecting consumers and empowering community organizations to combat poverty at grassroots levels.
Greenback Movement Political movement in response to the unfortunate circumstances faced by western farmers. It called for more money to be put into circulation, which would thereby create inflation and ease farmers' financial problems.
Greensboro Sit-Ins (1960) Protest originally partaken in by 4 students in North Carolina. They demanded service at the all-white Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they were refused, they stayed, and later the sit-in grew to include 19 students. Soon after this, the sit-in movement grew across the country in protest at various establishments--eateries and otherwise.
Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) Supreme Court case that overruled a state law that prohibited the use of contraceptives, even among married couples, on account of protecting a "right of privacy." It laid the foundation for future abortion laws.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964) Agreement after two incidents in the Gulf of Tonkin that authorized Johnson to protect American forces in Indochina. Johnson received a blank check for acting in the region, and Johnson promised wider involvement for the sake of the South Vietnamese.
Haitian Rebellion (1791) Led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, this was a slave revolt against the French on the island of Santo Domingo (Haiti). Haiti was initially supposed to be supplied with foodstuffs from Louisiana, but the rebellion (coupled with disease) forced the French to abandon it. With this, Louisiana was no longer needed as a supplier, and Napoleon was thus much more amenable to a sale of the Louisiana territory.
Half-Breeds A group of Republicans who flirted coyly with civil service reform, but their real quarrel was who should grasp the ladle that dished out the spoils. Their champion was James G. Blaine of Maine.
Halfway Covenant Agreement allowing unconverted offspring of church members to baptize their children. It signified the waning of religious zeal among second and third generation Puritans.
Hamilton's Economic Program Plan to stimulate and free the young American nation from past debt through a national bank, assumption and funding at par.
Harlem Renaissance Burst of creativity in Harlem, New York, a predominately black neighborhood. Spurned on by racial pride and desire for blacks to reinvent themselves as "New Negros" (full citizens and social equals to whites), it was spearheaded by great artists such as Langston Hughes and Louie Armstrong.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Writer of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1852). Her novel's depictions of slavery pushed the North to even more definite anti-slavery grounds. The book was a viral success not only in the United States, but Europe, too. The South criticized her for writing a novel over a topic she had no real knowledge of.
Harry Truman In the election of 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt, nearing death, chose him to be a more moderate and palatable Democratic running mate. When Roosevelt did die, he ascended to the position of president. Foreign policy highlights include involvement in the Korean War and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. His Truman Doctrine declared that the United States would aid any entity fighting against communism. He was reelected in 1948, even though his approval rating was plummeting. He is largely remembered for his "give-em-hell" attitude and his forthrightness.
Hartford Convention (1814-15) Convention of Federalists from 5 New England states who opposed the war of 1812 and resented the strength of Southern and Western interests in Congress and in the White House.
Harvard College Established in 1636 by vote of Massachusetts Bay Colony, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the US. It was created in order to train Puritan ministers.
Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty (1903) Treaty signed between the United States and Panama that established the Panama Canal Zone and allowed for the subsequent construction of the Panama Canal.
Hay-Herran Treaty (1903) Rejected treaty that that had an aim of buying a tract of land from Colombia to build a canal on that would be ruled by the US government. The treaty called for the US to buy a six mile wide path for 10 million dollars to build on, and they would have to pay 250 thousand dollars a year to keep it. The Colombians, however, rejected this treaty because they didn't like that the US would retain control of the canal. With this rejection, the US would have to look elsewhere (Panama) to build a canal.
Haymarket Incident (1866) A May Day rally that turned violent when someone threw a bomb into the middle of the meeting, killing several dozen people. Eight anarchists were arrested for conspiracy contributing to the disorder, although evidence linking them to the bombing was thin. Four were executed, one committed suicide and three were pardoned in 1893.
Hay-Pauncefote Treaty (1901) A treaty signed between the United States and Great Britain, giving Americans a free hand to build a canal in Central America. The treaty nullified the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850, which prohibited the British or US from acquiring territory in Central America.
Headright System Each ticket bought for a transatlantic voyage to the New World was worth 50 acres of land.
Helen Hunt Jackson Author of "A Century of Dishonor" (1881), which chronicled the United States' sorry record with dealing with Native Americans. It awoke the national conscience and spurred debate about how to wrong these rights committed against Native Americans.
Helsinki Accords Series of accords by the Ford administration that sought to expand the detente ideals that Nixon held so dear. The West agreed to respect post-World War II Soviet boundaries, whereas the Soviets would respect human rights in return and allow more east-west (and vice versa) flow. Americans were not all too happy with this, as they felt that the United States was gaining nothing but an empty promise from these accords.
Henry Cabot Lodge Senator from Massachusetts who opposed the Treaty of Versailles, feeling that the best option for killing it was to delay its passing, eroding the public's support for it. He was not willing to compromise on his opinion on the treaty, as he and Wilson had a rivalry that would not allow anything but absolute victory. The conflict between him and Wilson was one of the reasons that the Treaty of Versailles died in the Senate.
Henry Clay Kentucky senator who ran for president in 1824. He was key in orchestrating the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which would lower the Tariff of 1832 by 10% over 8 years back to the level of the Tariff of 1816.
Henry Clay The man behind the American system, which called for a strong banking system, a protective tariff and improved transportation. He also proposed the Missouri Compromise.
Henry David Thoreau Transcendentalist and associate of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was a poet, mysticist and nonconformist. He was staunchly opposed to slavery and went to live in isolation so as eschew material pursuit in lieu of intellectual advancement. His writings, "Walden" and "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience," were key in influencing further ideological thought in America and served to influence Ghandi and MLK.
Henry Ford American businessman who used the assembly line to streamline production, expediting automobile production, thereby driving prices down and making car ownership widespread. He was also an efficiency expert who oversaw wartime production during World War I.
Henry Wallace Democratic dissenter who ran in the Election of 1948 on the platform of a new New Deal. He earned 2% of the popular vote and no electoral votes. Though his presence would have logically taken votes from his Democratic counterpart, Truman, the incumbent still emerged victorious in the election.
Herman Melville Uneducated New Yorker who spent 18 years at sea whaling. There, he drew his inspiration to write his novel "Moby Dick." Though not positively received at first, postmortem, the allegory about the struggle between good and evil became a hit.
Hinton Helper White southerner who wrote "The Impending Crisis of the South" (1857). He argued that non-slave-owning whites suffered the most under the slavery system. He was condemned in the South, but his work was used as campaign fodder by Republicans.
Hippies Group that emerged in the 60s known for being pro-peace and very liberal and experimental in the realm of drugs and sex.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945) Sight of the two atomic bombings by the United States against Japan. These marked the only two instances where atomic weapons were used during war, and these were what finally convinced the Japanese to surrender.
Holding Company Corporation that buys controlling interests in different companies but does not actually produce anything.
Homestead Act (1862) A federal law that gave settlers 160 acres of land for about $30 if they lived on it for five years and improved it by, for instance, building a house on it. The act helped make land accessible to hundreds of thousands of westward-moving settlers, but many people also found disappointment when their land was infertile or they saw speculators grabbing up the best land.
Hoovervilles Grim shantytowns where impoverished victims of the Great Depression slept under newspapers and in makeshift tents. Their visibility (and sarcastic name) tarnished the reputation of the Hoover administration.
Horace Mann Brown graduate and secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. He campaigned for better schoolhouses, longer school terms, higher pay for teachers and an expanded curriculum. His words resonated in other states, and marked improvements followed.
Horatio Alger Preacher who eventually wrote more than a hundred volumes of juvenile fiction that stated that one could rise to the top through virtue.
Horizontal Integration The practice perfected by John D. Rockefeller of dominating a particular phase of the production process in order to monopolize a market, often forming trusts and alliances with competitors.
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) Investigatory body established in 1938 to root out "subversion." Sought to expose communist influence in American government and society, in particular through the trial of Alger Hiss.
How the Other Half Lives Indictment written by Jacob A. Riis that condemned the conditions of New York slums and inspired reform. It particularly hit home with New York police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt.
Hudson River School American artistic movement that produced romantic renditions of local landscapes. The popularity of this movement marked a shift from an interest in human landscapes to local landscapes.
Huey Long Louisianian senator who was a strong critic of the New Deal on account of its not being radical enough. He wanted to create a system of sharing wealth where every man would be a "king." A demagogue, he planned on running against Roosevelt in the 1936 election, but he was assassinated.
Huey Newton Co-founder of the Black Panther party, which was an organization of armed black militants formed in Oakland, California in 1966. The party existed to protect civil rights and represented a growing dissatisfaction with the non-violent wing of the Civil Rights Movement and signaled a new direction to that movement after the legislative victories of 1964 and 1965.
"Hundred Days" (1933) The first hundred days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, stretching from March 9 to June 16, 1933, when an unprecedented number of reform bills were passed by a Democratic Congress to launch the New Deal.
Ida Wells Woman who protested the lynching of three black men in Memphis. She launched the black women's club movement, a precursor to the National Association of Colored Women.
Immigration Act (National Origins Act) (1924) This law established quotas for immigration to the United States. Immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe were sharply curtailed, while immigrants from Asian were shut out altogether.
Impeachment Accusation. Andrew Johnson had charges brought against him, namely violation of the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson was eventually acquitted by one vote, which proved to avoid a dangerous precedent for what an elected official could be impeached for.
Impressment Act of forcibly drafting an individual into military service, employed by the British navy against American seamen in times of war against France (1793-1815). Impressment was a continual source of conflict between Britain and the United States in the early national period.
Impressment Act of forcibly drafting an individual into military service, employed by the British navy against American seamen in times of war against France, 1793-1815. Impressment was a continual source of conflict between Britain and the United States in the early national period.
Indentured Servants Migrants who, in exchange for transatlantic passage, bound themselves to a colonial employer for a term of service, typically between four and seven years. Their migration addressed the chronic labor shortage in the colonies and facilitated settlement.
Independent Treasury (1840-1841) Bill that separated the government and banking. It was enacted in response to the Panic of 1837. It was not overly popular with the Democrats and condemned harshly by the Whigs. It was repealed in 1841 by the Whigs and went back into practice in 1846 until the Civil War.
Indian Removal Act (1830) Ordered the removal of Indian Tribes still residing east of the Mississippi to newly established Indian territory west of Arkansas and Missouri. Tribes resisting eviction were forcibly removed by American forces, often after prolonged legal or military battles.
Indian Reorganization Act (1934) Bill proposed by John Collier that was inspired by his sojourn in Taos, New Mexico. It encouraged tribes to establish local self-government and to preserve their native crafts and traditions. It also helped stop the loss of Indian lands and revived tribes' interest in their identity and culture. Some tribes denounced it as going "back to the blanket," but the majority of tribes did set up tribal governments under it.
INF Treaty Agreement between Reagan and Gorbachev that each side would cease to deploy intermediate range nuclear forces. This was a key part of Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika strategies, as cutting this from these missiles from his defense budget would be advantageous in his aim of cutting military spending overall.
Injunction One of the powers of corporations during labor disputes that allowed them to call upon federal courts, which were mostly overseen by conservative judges, to issue injunctions ordering the strikers to stop striking. If the strikers didn't cease when told to do so, the corporation could request that state and federal authorities bring in troops to stop any violence and striking taking place.
Insular Cases (1901-1904) Beginning in 1901, a badly divided Supreme Court decreed in these cases that the Constitution did not follow the flag. In other words, Puerto Ricans and Filipinos would not necessarily enjoy all American rights.
Insurgents The New Guards of the Republican Party, who were essentially very radical progressives.
Interlocking Directorate Practice of placing executives on the boards of other firms, utilized most famously by JP Morgan. It was outlawed by the Clayton Act.
Interstate Commerce Act (1887) Congressional legislation that established the Interstate Commerce Commission, compelled railroads to publish standard rates and prohibited rebates and pools. Railroads quickly became adept at using the act to achieve their own ends, but the act gave the government an important means to regulate big business.
Intolerable (Coercive) Acts Series of punitive measures passed in retaliation for the Boston Tea Party, closing the Port of Boston, revoking a number of rights in the Massachusetts colonial charter, and expanding the Quartering Act to allow for lodging of soldiers in private homes. In response, colonists convened the First Continental Congress and called for a complete boycott of British goods.
Iran-Contra Affair Major political scandal of Ronald Reagan's second term. An illicit arrangement of selling "arms for hostages" with Iran and using money to support the contras in Nicaragua, the scandal deeply damaged Reagan's credibility.
Iran Hostage Crisis The 444 days, from November 1979 to January 1981, in which American embassy workers were held captive by Iranian revolutionaries. The Iranian Revolution began in January 1979 when young Muslim fundamentalists overthrew the oppressive regime of the American-backed shah, forcing him into exile. Deeming the United States "the Great Satan," these revolutionaries triggered an energy crisis by cutting off Iranian oil. The hostage crisis began when revolutionaries stormed the American embassy, demanding that the United States return the shah to Iran for trial. The episode was marked by botched diplomacy and failed rescue attempts by the Carter administration. After permanently damaging relations between the two countries, the crisis ended with the hostages' release the day Ronald Reagan became president, January 20, 1981.
Iraqi Freedom The rationale behind the invasion of Iraq (in addition to WMDs) that looked to make Iraq a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. While the totalitarian regime there was overthrown, the Iraq War merely created a power vacuum, and the nation is still unstable today.
Irish Immigration Forced from their homeland by the potato famine in the 1840s, the Irish ended up crowding eastern cities (as they were too poor to afford western land). The Irish did not have a glamorous life, and they were forced into backbreaking labor and often discriminated against. Eventually, however, the Irish did begin to gain a level of political potency.
Iron Curtain Speech (1946) Speech by Winston Churchill in Fulton, Missouri in which he detailed the menace of the Soviet Union--including its control over the bulk of Eastern Europe and its secretiveness. He called for Churchill to stop Soviet expansion, and it was a precursor to concrete American action against the Soviet Union.
Iroquois Confederacy Entity that bound together five tribes--the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas--in the Mohawk Valley of what is now New York State.
Irreconcilables Republican senators who opposed the Treaty of Versailles and would not vote for its passage, no matter what amendments were made to it.
Island-hopping Allied strategy in the Pacific that entailed taking smaller islands to close in on Japan. This would not only increase Allied presence in this theater, but it would also be convenient insofar as planes would have to fly shorter distances, which would make aerial attacks (such as the Tokyo bombings) feasible.
Jackie Robinson Baseball player who broke the color barrier playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
James Fenimore Cooper First American novelist. His "The Spy" was an engrossing tail of the American Revolution. His most famous work was "Leatherstocking," but books like "The Last of the Mohicans" also gained popularity. His works were popular in Europe and explored the viability and destiny of the republican experiment by contrasting civilized with uncivilized values.
James K. Polk Democrat from Tennessee who had 4 campaign promises: he would lower the tariff, establish a new Independent Treasury Act, settle Oregon and buy California. He was successful in all of these endeavors, but he went to war to acquire California.
James Oglethorpe Founder of Georgia who successfully repelled Spanish attacks. He was interested in prison reform and kept Georgia afloat through his leadership and mortgaging of his fortune.
Jane Addams First generation college-educated woman who established the Hull House. She condemned war and poverty and was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1931, though her pacifism also drew the ire of some Americans.
Japanese Internment (EO 9066) (1942) Order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizing the War Department to remove Japanese "enemy aliens" to isolated internment camps. Immigrants and citizens alike were sent away from their homes, neighbors, schools and businesses. This was held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court in Korematsu v. U.S. (1944).
Jerry Falwell Evangelical minister from Virginia who, in 1979, founded the Moral Majority. He preached with great success against sexual permissiveness, abortion, feminism and the spread of gay rights.
Jiang Jieshi Leader of nationalist China who was supported by the United States. Eventually, he was removed from power and fled to Taiwan, a country that the United States recognized as the "real" China until 1979.
Jim Crow Laws System of racial segregation in the American South from the end of Reconstruction until the mid-20th century. Based on the concept of "separate but equal" facilities for blacks and whites, these sought to prevent racial mixing in public, including restaurants, movie theaters and public transportation. An informal system, it was generally perpetuated by custom, violence and intimidation.
Jimmy Carter Thirty-ninth president of the United States. He was an outsider from Georgia who vowed to clean up a Washington that was plagued by cronyism. Unfortunately, he was unable to penetrate it: Few heard and his ideas and even fewer were receptive to them. He was overwhelmed by the events of the 70s, failed in rejuvenating the United States' misery index and was notable for foreign policy failings, most notably in Iran.
Jingoism A form of extreme nationalism that is often manifested in an aggressive foreign policy. This ideology was key in fueling European and American interest in imperialism.
John Brown Militant abolitionist who butchered a group of pro-slavery men at Pottawatomie Creek. Later, he conducted a raid at Harpers Ferry. After it failed, he was hanged and hailed as a hero in the North and a psychopath in the South.
John C. Calhoun Jackson's vice president. He was a states' rights proponent and came to blows with Jackson over this. He was a key figure in the Nullification Crisis, and Jackson went so far as to threaten to have him hanged for his role.
John Deere Illinoian man who produced a steel plow capable of breaking through thick western soil. Its lightweight nature also allowed horses to supplant oxen as pullers of plows.
John Dewey. He was a philosopher who believed in "learning by doing," which formed the foundation of progressive education. He was also a philosopher who helped, with members of Peirce's Metaphysical Club, establish the philosophy of pragmatism.
John D. Rockefeller Creator of Standard Oil who used horizontal integration to amass a net worth of nearly 320 billion dollars. He focused on acquiring refineries, as this was the most specialized part of the kerosene production chain. He employed many tactics that would be considered unethical today and actually became richer when his monopoly was disbanded.
John Hay Secretary of State responsible for dispatching Open Door notes. Firstly, he only called for the protection of China's commercial interests, but later, after the Boxer Rebellion, he also called for the protection of the country's territorial integrity.
John L. Lewis Head of the United Mine Workers. In 1935, he created the Committee of Industrial Organization (CIO). He and his organization were sympathetic toward unskilled laborers and minorities, creating friction with the older and more powerful American Federation of Labor.
John Locke Believed all people have a right to life, liberty, and property; stated the government is "created by the people for the people."
John Muir United States naturalist (born in England) who advocated for the creation of national parks, inspired the creation of Yosemite National Park and became president of the Sierra Club.
John Pershing Man who led a cadre of a man to take out bandit Francisco Villa. He came into conflict with his band, but was never successful in killing Villa himself.
John Peter Altgeld German-American mayor of Chicago who pardoned those surviving anarchists implicated in the Haymarket Incident. Though his move was not popular (and likely prevented him from being reelected) he, nevertheless, probably made the correct move)
John Slidell Man commissioned by Polk for the purpose of completing a deal for disputed territories--ending the Mexican American War as quickly as possible. Slidell was ignored by the Mexican government, and Polk tried to use this as a reason for war.
John Trumbull Soldier in the Revolutionary War who painted scenes recounting the events of the fateful conflict.
Jonathan Edwards Learned preacher who ignited the Great Awakening. He painted a vivid picture of hell and also denied the idea that salvation could be achieved through good works.
Joseph Pulitzer Hungarian tycoon who competed with William Randolph Hearst and employed the tactic of yellow journalism in St. Louis and with the "New York World."
J.P. Morgan Wall Street magnate who financed the reorganization of railroads, insurance companies and banks. He bought out Andrew Carnegie's steel business in 1900 for 400 million dollars and rapidly expanded this steel industry.
Judicial Review (1803) Right of the Supreme Court to review, and thereby serve as the final arbiter over, laws passed by Congress.
Judiciary Act of 1789 Organized the federal legal system, establishing the Supreme Court, federal district and circuit courts, and the office of the attorney general.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg Couple arrested for espionage in 1950 and later executed in 1953. Though the involvement of Ethel remains dubious, it was discovered that Julius passed on details from the Manhattan Project to a middleman who then gave these details to the Soviet Union.
The Jungle Novel by Upton Sinclair depicting the horrors of the meat-packing industry in Chicago. It was intended to be a plea for better working conditions but mainly frightened readers about the meat they were eating. It revolved Roosevelt and spurned on the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act.
Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) Proposed that the issue of slavery be decided by popular sovereignty in the Kansas and Nebraska territories, thus revoking the 1820 Missouri Compromise. Introduced by Stephen Douglas in an effort to bring Nebraska into the Union and pave the way for a northern transcontinental railroad.
Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928) A sentimental triumph of the 1920s peace movement, this pact linked sixty-two nations in the supposed outlawing of war.
Kent State Massacre Massacre of four college students by National Guardsmen on May 4, 1970, in Ohio. In response to Nixon's announcement that he had expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia, college campuses across the country exploded in violence. On May 14 and 15, students at historically black Jackson State College in Mississippi were protesting the war as well as the Kent State shooting when highway patrolmen fired into a student dormitory, killing two students.
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions Statements secretly drafted by Jefferson and Madison for the legislatures of Kentucky and Virginia. Argued that states were the final arbiters of whether the federal government overstepped its boundaries and could therefore nullify, or refuse to accept, national legislation they deemed unconstitutional.
Kerner Commission (1967) A commission formed to study riots, which were commonplace in the 60s, especially those of the racial variety. The commission concluded that America was moving to a state where there would be a distinct white society and a distinct black one and that the riots were a result of frustration about a lack of economic opportunity for African Americans. Johnson had suspected this, and he tried to use his Great Society programs to fix it.
Keynesian Economics An economic theory based on the thoughts of the British economist John Maynard Keynes, holding that central banks should adjust interest rates and governments should use deficit spending and tax policies to increase purchasing power and hence prosperity.
Kim Il-Sung North Korean communist leader who was behind the invasion of South Korea.
King Philip's War Series of assaults by Metacom, King Philip, on English settlements in New England. Slowed westward expansion of English colonies in New England for several decades.
Knights of Labor The second national labor organization, organized in 1869 as a secret society and opened for public membership in 1881. The Knights were known for their efforts to organize all workers, regardless of skill level, gender or race. After the mid-1880s, their membership declined for a variety of reasons, including the Knight's participation in violent strikes and discord between skilled and unskilled members.
Know-Nothings (1850s) Nativist political party, also known as the American Party, which emerged in response to an influx of immigrants, particularly Irish Catholics.
Korean War (1950-1953) The first "hot war" of the Cold War, it began in 1950 when Soviet-backed North Koreans invaded South Korea before meeting a counteroffensive by UN Forces, dominated by the United States. The war ended in stalemate in 1953.
Korematsu v. U.S. (1944) Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of Japanese internment on account of circumstances being different in war than in peacetime. Despite this ruling, the United States apologized for its actions and approved the payment of reparations of $20,000 to each camp survivor in 1988.
Ku Klux Klan An extremist, paramilitary, right-wing secret society founded in the mid-nineteenth century and revived during the 1920s. It was anti-foreign, anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-pacifist, anti-communist, anti-internationalist, anti-evolutionist and anti-bootlegger, but pro-Anglo-Saxon and pro-Protestant. Its members, cloaked in sheets to conceal their identities, terrorized freedmen and sympathetic whites throughout the South after the Civil War. By the 1890s, Klan-style violence and Democratic legislation succeeded in virtually disenfranchising all Southern blacks.
Ku Klux Klan An extremist, paramilitary, right-wing secret society founded in the mid-nineteenth century and revived during the 1920s. It was ant-foreign, anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-pacifist, anti-Communist, anti-internationalist, anti-evolutionist and anti-bootlegger, but pro-Anglo-Saxon and pro-Protestant. Its membership during the 1920s reached into the millions, primarily with enthusiastic support in the West and South, but investigations revealed that the organization was involved in illegal activities, as well as partook in rituals that were laughable, which drove membership down.
Landed vs. Landless States Landed states had western lands that they could sell to pay off their debts. Landless states did not, and were, therefore, necessitated to tax their citizens. Landless states were worried that this would cause their civilians to leave in throngs. If this were the case, they would have to hike up taxes even more to compensate.
Langston Hughes An African American author who was a pivotal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He described the rich culture of African American culture and life using rhythms influenced by jazz and other things. He wrote of hope for the future of African Americans and of defiance in poems such as "The Negro Speaks of the River" and "My People."
League of Nations (1919) A world organization of national governments proposed by President Woodrow Wilson and established by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. It worked to facilitate peaceful international cooperation. Despite emotional appeals by Wilson, isolationists' objections to the League created the major obstacle to American signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
Lecompton Constitution (1857) Proposed Kansas constitution, whose ratification was unfairly rigged so as to guarantee slavery in the territory. Initially ratified by pro-slavery forces, it was later voted down when Congress required that the entire constitution be put up for vote.
Lee Harvey Oswald The man who shot Kennedy in Dallas, Texas; he was later killed by Jack Ruby before he could stand trial. He got off three rounds from an old Italian bolt action rifle in only 6 seconds and scored 2 hits, including a head shot. He was pretty far, from that book suppository building.
Leisler's Rebellion Armed conflict between aspiring merchants led by Jacob Leisler and the ruling elite of New York. One of many uprisings that erupted across the colonies when wealthy colonists attempted to recreate European social structures in the New World.
Lend-Lease Act (1941) Based on the motto, "Send guns, not sons," this law abandoned former pretenses of neutrality by allowing Americans to sell unlimited supplies of arms to any nation defending itself against the Axis powers. Patriotically numbered 1776, the bill was praised as a device for keeping the nation out of World War II.
Leonid Brezhnev Soviet Premier with whom Jimmy Carter met with in Vienna, Austria to discuss the SALT-II treaty.
"Letter from Birmingham Jail" (1963) A letter from Martin Luther King, Jr. while he was in Birmingham jail that outlined the Civil Rights Movement and why it was justified through pathos, ethos, and logos.
Lewis and Clark Explorers dispatched by Thomas Jefferson to explore the newly-acquired Louisiana territory. Their mission had 3 goals, to explore the Missouri River and finds its source, to make friends with the Indians and to study the flora, geology and climate of the land.
The Liberator (1831-1865) Antislavery newspaper published by William Lloyd Garrison, who called for the immediate emancipation of all slaves.
Lincoln Assassination (1865) Shooting of Lincoln at a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. His killing was part of a larger conspiracy, but he was the only person to die in it. The assassination brought an end to any hopes of quick and painless Reconstruction.
Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858) Series of debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas during the US Senate race in Illinois. Douglas won the election, but Lincoln gained national prominence and emerged as the leading candidate for the 1860 Republican nomination.
Lochner v. New York (1905) A setback from labor reformers, this 1905 Supreme Court decision invalidated a state law establishing a ten-hour day for bakers. It held that the "right to free contract" was implicit to the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Lone Star Republic Name for the Texas colony that fought for its independence against Mexico. The general public supported the annexation of Texas, but certain factors (chiefly slavery) made recognition and absorption a risky move. Eventually, however, the state was admitted to the union.
Looking Backward Socialistic novel by Edward Bellamy that describes a protagonist who awakes to find that big business' dissolution at the hands of the government and service of the public interest has cured the world's social and economic ills.
Loose vs. Strict Constitutionalism Two trains of thought on how the constitution should be interpreted. Loose constitutionalism used the necessary and proper clause as a means to justify measures that were not explicitly allowed in the Constitution. Strict constitutionalism called for greater state and individual rights, and for the central government to only act in ways specifically enumerated by the Constitution.
Lords of Trade This new body was created by the king in 1675 to make recommendations for imperial reform. So he increased control over Massachusetts and took away its authority over New Hampshire. He made a royal colony and chose the governor for it. This showed how the king was starting to get control over the colonies. He still wanted power over everyone.
Lost Generation A phrase made popular by American author Ernest Hemingway in his first published novel "The Sun Also Rises." It is often used to refer to a group of American literary notables who lived in Paris and other parts of Europe, some after military service in the First World War, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson, Waldo Peirce and John Dos Passos. It also refers to the time period from the end of World War I to the beginning of the Great Depression. More generally, the term is used for the generation of young people coming of age in the United States during and shortly after World War I.
Louisa May Alcott New Englander who was imbued with transcendentalist rhetoric as a child from, in particular, her father. She wrote "Little Women" and other books to sustain her family while her father was too caught up in ideals to actually bring in a steady source of income.
Louis Frontenac Governor-general of Canada who wished to expand the borders of New France southward in the hopes of controlling and expanding the fur trade as well as setting up a trade route with Mexico. His actions prompted many attacks from the Iroquois nations, but in the end gained New France a stronger footing in the New World.
Louisiana Purchase (1803) Acquisition of Louisiana territory from France. The purchase more than doubled the territory of the United States, opening vast tracts for settlement.
Louis Sullivan Architect whose principle "form follows function" helped to popularize the skyscraper.
Loyalists (Tories) American colonists who opposed the Revolution and maintained their loyalty to the King; sometimes referred to as "Tories."
Lucretia Mott Quaker suffragette who was perturbed when she and her female delegates to the London antislavery society were not recognized.
Lusitania British passenger line torpedoed and sunk by Germany on May 7, 1915. It ended the lives of 1,198 people, including 128 Americans and pushed the US closer to war.
Macon's Bill No. 2 Aimed at resuming peaceful trade with Britain and France, the act stipulated that if either Britain or France repealed its trade restrictions, the United States would reinstate the embargo against the non-repealing nation. When Napoleon offered to lift his restrictions on British ports, the United States was forced to declare an embargo on Britain, thereby pushing the two nations closer to war.
MAD John F. Kennedy's policy in regards to nuclear warfare in which he declared that nukes should be pointed at major cities. This, he surmised, would be a deterrent to fighting, as it would entail the deaths of the aggressor's civilians in a counter-strike.
Magellan He was killed in the Philippines, but one ship (out of his original 5) was able to return to Spain and complete the first circumnavigation of the world.
Maine Laws Laws that prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol, based on the Maine Law of 1851. 12 other states passed laws similar to the Maine Law of 1851, but they proved ineffective and were repealed within a decade.
Malcolm X Born Malcolm Little, he was a civil rights activist who was inspired by the teachings of the Nation of Islam. He preached black separatism and spoke against "blue-eyed white devils," although he became more moderate as time progressed. Eventually, he was killed by a rival Nation of Islam gunman.
Manhattan Project (1942) Code name for the American commission established in 1942 to develop the atomic bomb. The first experimental bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, in the desert of New Mexico. Atomic bombs were then dropped on two cities in Japan in hopes of bringing the war to an end: Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.
Manifest Destiny (1840s and 1850s) Belief that the United States was destined by God to spread its "empire of liberty" across North America. Served as a justification for mid-nineteenth century expansionism.
Mann-Elkins Act (1910) Act that allowed the ICC to initiate rate changes, expand their reach to include the telephone and telegraph and to establish a commerce court. It was passed during the presidency of William Taft and was an example of progressive politics.
Manuel Noriega Former CIA agent and de facto leader of Panama during the 1980s whose government continuously harassed United States soldiers, prompting America to send airborne troops to capture the dictator and drug lord.
Mao Zedong Chinese communist leader and insurgent who eventually deposed the nationalist government. He used World War II, when China was focusing its efforts on the outside world, to increase the strength of his rebellion group. His ascent to power created a large amount of controversy. Accusations were thrown as to who exactly was responsible for the loss of China to communism (which became a campaign issue) as well as to which China (the People's Republic or Taiwan) had veto power in the UN.
Marbury v. Madison (1803) Supreme Court case that established the principle of "judicial review"--the idea that the Supreme Court had the final authority to determine constitutionality.
Marcus Garvey Jamaican minister who pioneered the "Back to Africa" Movement.
Margaret Sanger Feminist leader who spearheaded the birth control movement and openly championed the use of contraceptives. She was forbidden to talk about the topic, so she often had to close her mouth with various devices while she wrote on a chalkboard in order to lecture. She established contraceptive clinics throughout the United States and lectured constantly in order to further her cause.
Mark Twain Writer who gave the Gilded Age its name. He wrote in a more down-to-earth style, used an alias and criticized the corruption of the day. He went on to lecture after he went bankrupt. Some of his works included "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," "The Innocents Abroad," "The Gilded Age" and "Roughing It."
Marshall Plan (1948) Massive transfer of aid money to help rebuild postwar Western Europe that was intended to bolster capitalist and democratic governments and prevent domestic communist groups from riding poverty and misery to power. The plan was first announced by Secretary of State George Marshall at Harvard's commencement in June 1947.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil rights activist involved in the march in Selma and, most notably, his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington. He advocated peaceful integration and equality, earning him the condemnation from some more extreme civil rights advocates. He was shot and killed in 1968.
Mary Baker Eddy Founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. She preached that the practice of Christianity heals sickness, and she espoused these views in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."
Massive Retaliation Part of Eisenhower's "New Look" strategy that intended to deter Soviet aggression by creating uncertainty as to how the United States would respond to any provocation. The United States was not planning for limited nuclear war. Rather, they would plan to fight a total nuclear war so that there would be no nuclear war fought at all.
Matthew Perry Aggressive commodore who negotiated with isolationist Japan. Using intimidating tactics, Perry was able to get the Japanese to agree to open select ports to the US, allow for the establishment of a consulate and treat shipwrecked sailors better.
Mayaguez Incident Event where an American ship was seized by Cambodians. Forty-one American crew members were taken hostage, and Gerald Ford's rescue mission resulted in the death of 41 Marines, which made the United States appear weak not long after their evacuation of Southeast Asia.
Mayflower Compact Simple agreement made by Pilgrims to form a crude government and submit to the will of the majority under the regulations agreed upon. Though it was not a constitution per se, it laid the groundwork for future constitutions.
McCarthyism A brand of vitriolic, fear-mongering anti-communism associated with the career of Senator Joseph McCarthy. In the early 1950s, McCarthy used his position in Congress to accuse high-ranking government officials and other Americans of conspiracy with communism. The term named after him refers to the dangerous forces of unfairness and fear wrought by anticommunist paranoia.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) Supreme Court case that strengthened federal authority and upheld the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States by establishing that the State of Maryland did not have power to tax the bank.
Menachem Begin Israeli representative during the Camp David Accords.
Mercantilism Economic system aimed at maximizing the profit of a nation. This is usually done in the form of government regulations to increase exports and decrease imports.
Merrimack and Monitor (1862) Confederate and Union ironclads, respectively, whose successes against wooden ships signaled an end to wooden warships. They fought an historic, though inconsequential, battle in 1862.
Mexican-American War War that was sparked by the US's annexation of Texas, a boundary dispute over Texas, the instability of the Mexican government, unpaid debt by Mexico and Polk's desire to acquire California and New Mexico. The war was won without much trouble by the United States, but the conflict ended up being a precursor to the Civil War.
Mexican Cession Historical name for the region of the present day southwestern United States that was ceded to the U.S. by Mexico in 1848 under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the Mexican-American War. This massive land grab was significant because the question of extending slavery into newly acquired territories became the leading national political issue soon after.
Michael Harrington Writer of "The Other America," which revealed that 20% of the entire population, and 40% of blacks, was in poverty. It aroused support for Johnson's War on Poverty.
Middle Passage Transatlantic voyage slaves endured between Africa and the colonies. Mortality rates were notoriously high.
"Midnight Judges" (1801) Federal justices appointed by John Adams during the last days of his presidency. Their positions were revoked when the newly elected Republican Congress repealed the Judiciary Act.
Mikhail Gorbachev Soviet Premier who embraced glasnost (open discussion of political and social issues) and perestroika (a more broad restructuring of Soviet economic and foreign policy). The country was less hard-line communist under his rule, and more committed Soviet figures attempted to overthrow him in a coup. He did not remain leader once the coup was quelled (Boris Yeltsin took over), and this coup's suppression brought with it the death of the Soviet Union.
Military Reconstruction Act (1867) Took the power of Reconstruction out of the hands of the president and into the hands of the military. It split the South of 10 states into 5 different military districts, each of which was ruled by a military governor, had its own standing army, and completely set aside civilian rule that was present beforehand. The military governor of each district had several responsibilities, which were to register black voters, get the new Constitution written and ratified, get the 14th Amendment ratified and Oversee election of new legislatures
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Supreme Court decision that held that accused had a right to remain silent and had other protections. It gave rise to the Miranda warning, which arresting police officers must read to suspects.
Misery Index Economic indicator of a nation's general misery calculated by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It was used as a tool by Ronald Reagan when he ran against Jimmy Carter in 1980.
Missouri Compromise (1820) Allowed Missouri to enter as a slave state but preserved the balance between North and South by carving free-soil Maine out of Massachusetts and prohibiting slavery from territories acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, north of the line of 36 degrees, 30 minutes.
Modern Republicanism (Dynamic Conservatism) Eisenhower's domestic policy whose crux was that the New Deal wasn't going anywhere. Its policies included reducing government involvement in the economy, balancing the budget, making New Deal programs more efficient, expanding Social Security, increasing the minimum wage and creating an interstate highway system.
Molly McGuires 19th century secret society formed by Irish coal miners who were subjected to dangerous working conditions and poor treatment by their overseers. In response, this group used equally violent tactics. Eventually, the group was dissolved and members were tried, imprisoned and hanged.
Monroe Doctrine (1823) Statement delivered by President James Monroe, warning European powers to refrain from seeking any new territories in the Americas. The United States largely lacked the power to back up the pronouncement, which was actually enforced by the British, who sought unfettered access to Latin American markets.
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) Protest, sparked by Rosa Parks' defiant refusal to move to the back of the bus, by black Alabamians against segregated seating on city buses. The bus boycott lasted from December 1, 1955 until December 26, 1956 and became one of the key moments of the Civil Rights Movement. It led to the rise of Martin Luther King, Jr., and ultimately to a Supreme Court decision opposing segregated busing.
Moon Landing Landing of Apollo 11 on the lunar surface in 1969 that was one small step for man but one giant leap for mankind.
Moral Diplomacy Wilson's idea that the United States needed to do things differently when acting diplomatically because the United States was supposed to lead by example. By this, he meant that there could be no more expansionism or imperialism. The US had to show underdeveloped nations how to live under a constitutional system and had to have faith in international law, not alliances or militarism like so many other countries had become dependent on. Bryan was the secretary of state that carried this out.
Mormons Religious followers of Joseph Smith, who founded a communal, oligarchic religious order in the 1830s. Officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Facing deep hostility from their neighbors, they eventually migrated west and established a flourishing settlement in the Utah desert.
Muckrakers Bright young reporters at the turn of the twentieth century who won this unfavorable moniker from Theodore Roosevelt, but boosted the circulation of their magazines by writing exposes of widespread corruption in American society. Their subjects included business manipulation of government, white slavers, child labor and illegal deeds of the trusts, and helped spur the passage of reform legislation. Muckrakers included Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Frank Norris and Upton Sinclair.
Mugwumps Republicans who left for the Democrats after a letter was leaked that implicated John Blaine as corrupt. These Republicans had the negative connotation of being seated on a high horse.
Mujahedin Afghani insurgents whom the United States supported in their resistance to Soviet incursion.
Muller v. Oregon (1908) A landmark Supreme Court case in which crusading attorney Louis D. Brandeis persuaded the Supreme Court to accept the constitutionality of limiting the hours of women workers. Coming on the heels of Lochner v. New York, it established a different standard for male and female workers.
"Munich" "Ugly word" that symbolized the appeasement of dictators during the conference that was held in this Bavarian city. It was an unsuccessful attempt to satiate Hitler's imperialistic appetites, but it failed miserably.
My Lai Massacre Military assault in a small Vietnamese village on March 16, 1968, in which American soldiers under the command of 2nd Lieutenant William Calley murdered hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians, mostly women and children. The atrocity produced outrage and reduced support for the war in America and around the world when details of the massacre and an attempted cover-up were revealed in 1971.
NAACP A society created by the followers of WEB DuBois as a result of the Niagara movement in 1910 that became the vanguard for the civil rights movement in the future. It provided education and many other things that helped to promote the colored people of society and hopefully gain the respect of the whites who controlled nearly the entire country at that time in history.
NASA Organization founded in 1958 after the USSR launched Sputnik I and II into space. It was a response to an identity-crisis in America that the country was falling beyond the Soviets technologically. After its foundation, the United States put a 2.5 pound satellite into orbit.
Nashville Convention (1850) A convention of several southern extremists in Nashville while the Compromise of 1850 was being finalized and in response to it. The convention rejected the Compromise of 1850, but it did not call for secession outright.
Nathaniel Hawthorne Writer from Salem who wrote "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Marble Faun." Both of these novels deal with the concepts of good and evil. In particular, "The Scarlet Letter" was directed at what he saw as a hypocritical Puritan theology.
National Defense Education Act (1957) Law that authorized $887 million in loans to needy college students and in grants for the improvement of teaching the sciences and the languages. Congress rejected Eisenhower's call for federal scholarships, and this law was passed as an alternative. It was passed in response to the Sputnik launch, which led some to believe that the Soviets educational system was superior to the United States.
National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) (1933) Act passed during the first 100 days that attempted to change the business cycle and set industrial standards and codes. Inspired by the War Industries Board, this organization tried too a lot in a very short amount of time and was thrown together rather haphazardly. As a result, it did not truly fulfill its goals.
National Labor Relations Act (1935) Also known as the Wagner Act, this law protected the right of labor to organize in unions and bargain collectively with employers and established the National Labor Relations Board to monitor unfair labor practices on the part of the employer. Its passage marked the culmination of decades of labor protest.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) (1935) Created by the Wagner Act, this was an administrative organization that reasserted the right of labor to engage in self-organization and to bargain collectively through representatives of its own choice. Its existence encouraged unskilled laborers to organize--as opposed to the past trend where labor organizations were almost completely filled with skilled laborers.
National Labor Union (1866-1872) The first national labor organization in U.S. history was founded in 1866 and gained 600,000 members from many parts of the workforce, although it limited the participation of Chinese, women and blacks. The organization devoted much of its energy to fighting for an eight-hour workday before it dissolved in 1872.
National Recovery Administration (NRA) (1933) Known by its critics as the "National Run Around," it was an early New Deal program designed to assist industry, labor and the unemployed through centralized planning mechanisms and monitored workers' earnings and working hours to distribute work and established codes for "fair competition" to ensure that similar procedures were allowed by all firms in any particular industrial sector.
National Republicans One of the offshoots of the dissolved, unified Republican Party of the Era of Good Feelings. Its head was John Quincy Adams. The party flung mud in the direction of Andrew Jackson, and it was largely unpopular, save for in the Northeast.
NATO Military alliance of Western European powers and the United States and Canada established in 1949 to defend against the common threat from the Soviet Union, marking a giant stride forward for European unity and American internationalism.
Nat Turner Black preacher who led a slave revolt that resulted in the death of 60 Virginians. His rebellion was bloodily crushed, but the aftermath of his actions left Southerners paranoid about other possible uprisings.
Navigation Acts Series of laws passed, beginning in 1651, to regulate colonial shipping; the acts provided that only English ships would be allowed to trade in English and colonial ports, and that all goods destined for the colonies would first pass through England.
Neal Dow "Father of Prohibition" who sponsored the Maine Law of 1851. His anti-alcohol sentiment derived from first-hand witness of its negative effects.
Neutrality Acts (of 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1939) The first three of these were short-sighted acts that aimed to prevent American participation in a European war. Among other provisions, they prevented Americans from selling munitions to foreign belligerents. The last one allowed European democracies to buy American munitions, but that they would have to pay in cash for them and transport them in their own ships. It represented an effort to avoid war debts and protect American arms-carriers from torpedo attacks.
Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 Issued by George Washington, it proclaimed America's formal neutrality in the escalating conflict between England and France, a statement that enraged pro-French Jeffersonians.
New Deal The economic and political policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration in the 1930s, which aimed to solve the problems of the Great Depression by providing relief for the unemployed and launching efforts to stimulate economic recovery. It built on reforms of the progressive era to expand greatly an American-style welfare state.
New England Confederacy Formed by 4 colonies separate whilst England was caught in the midst of civil war. Exclusively Puritan, this body's primary purposes were defense and inter-colonial issues (e.g., runaways). Each colony had 2 votes.
New Federalism Attempts by Richard Nixon and later Ronald Reagan to return power to the states through block grants. This turned over powers and responsibilities of some United States federal programs to state and local governments and reduced the role of the national government in domestic affairs.
New Freedom (1912) Wilson's campaign platform for the Election of 1912 that was a rival to, but significantly more conservative than, Roosevelt's New Nationalism. It did, however, call for stricter control of business and banking and tariff reforms.
New Frontier (1961-1963) President Kennedy's nickname for his domestic policy agenda. Buoyed by youthful optimism, the program included proposals for the Peace Corps and efforts to improve education and health care.
New Harmony (1825-1827) Communal society of around one thousand members, established in New Harmony, Indiana by Robert Owen. The community attracted a hodgepodge of individuals, from scholars to crooks, and fell apart due to infighting and confusion after two years.
New Jersey Plan (Paterson Plan) Plan that called for a 1-house legislature with equal representation, a plural executive and a national court.
"New Look" Dwight Eisenhower's national security strategy that made the nuclear arsenal the centerpiece of containment, put the threat of massive retaliation in the forefront, entailed covert action by the CIA and included numerous collective security pacts to supplement massive retaliation.
New Nationalism (1912) State-interventionist reform program devised by journalist Herbert Croly and advocated by Theodore Roosevelt during his Bull Moose presidential campaign. Roosevelt did not object to continued consolidation of trusts and labor unions. Rather, he sought to create stronger regulatory agencies to insure that they operated to serve the public interest, not private gain.
New Right The New Republicans that emerged with Ronald Reagan after nearly 80 years of Democratic dominance. They were opposed to the New deal and abandoned the isolationism of earlier Republicans of the Roaring Twenties.
New South Creed Phrase that captured the new attitude of the South after the Civil War and Reconstruction. This new attitude was one dedicated to building up Southern infrastructure and eventually building it up so much that it would be able to compete with the North both industrially and financially. This was evident in the fact that one of the terms of the Compromise of 1877 was that the South's federally funded internal improvements were to be be paid for and completed by the government of the US
NINA Short for "No Irish Need Apply," this sign was posted at factory gates, exemplifying an anti-Irish sentiment of the mid-1800s.
Nixon Doctrine President Nixon's plan for "peace with honor" in Vietnam. The doctrine stated that the United States would honor its existing defense commitments but, in the future, countries would have to fight their own wars.
Nixon Pardon Gerald Ford's pardoning of Richard Nixon of any crimes committed or possibly committed. Although intended to help America put Watergate in the rear-view mirror, this was seen instead as a suspicious political maneuver.
Non-importation Agreements Boycotts against British goods adopted in response to the Stamp Act and, later, the Townshend and Intolerable Acts. The agreements were the most effective form of protest against British policies in the colonies.
Non-Intercourse Act (1809) Passed alongside the repeal of the Embargo Act, it reopened trade with all but the two belligerent nations, Britain and France. The act continued Jefferson's policy of economic coercion, still with little effect.
"Normalcy" Harding's desire to return America to a more conservative way of life, eschewing the progressive policies of Roosevelt, Taft and Harding.
Northern Securities Case (1904) First successful trust bust in US history, where Northern Securities, a trust owned by JP Morgan, was dissolved. Later, however, Teddy Roosevelt gave Morgan permission for his US Steel Corporation to buyout Tennessee Coal and Iron, showing that Roosevelt was not opposed to trusts altogether.
"No Taxation Without Representation" Mantra for protest against Parliamentary taxation. Conceding that Britain had the right to legislate colonial affairs, colonists insisted that only colonial legislatures should have the right to levy taxes in America. This maxim was key in that it forced Americans to deny the power of Parliament (because it made no distinction between legislative and taxing authorities) and begin to shift their mindset toward political independence.
NSC-68 (1950) National Security Council recommendation to quadruple defense spending and rapidly expand peacetime armed forces to address Cold War tensions. It reflected a new militarization of American foreign policy but the huge costs of rearmament were not expected to interfere with what seemed like the limitless possibilities of postwar prosperity.
NSDD-75 National policy statement under Reagan that stated the goal was no longer for the United States and Soviet Union to coexist but rather for the United States to roll back Soviet Power through attrition through an expansion of the nuclear arsenal as well as conventional forces and by monopolization of research and development. Also, the United States would wage economic war: They would force them to spend their limited money to keep up with the United States, deprive them of oil through close relations with the Saudis and South Africans, deprive them of credit and technology and force them to use hard money to maintain their empires abroad.
Nullification Crisis (1832-1833) Showdown between President Andrew Jackson and the South Carolina legislature, which declared the 1832 tariff null and void in the state and threatened secession if the federal government tried to collect duties. It was resolved by a compromise negotiated by Henry Clay in 1833.
Nuremberg Laws (1935) A series of laws passed by the German government under Hitler in 1935 during the early stages of the genocide and Holocaust against the Jews that defined what a German citizen was and, in doing so, essentially excluded Jewish peoples from that group. They stripped German Jews from their citizenship, thus barring them from certain professions and military service, and prohibiting marriage between Jews and Aryans. These laws were passed in 1935 but were further defined throughout the war and were especially prevalent during the November of 1938 Kristallnacht attacks that took place on Jewish businesses, synagogues and homes.
Nuremberg Trials (1945-1946) Military tribunal in which Nazi leaders stood trial for their war crimes. In the end, 19 were convicted, with 12 of them being executed. Holding the Nazi higher-ups responsible for their crimes was not controversial, what was controversial was the dubiously defined charges they were brought up on: "crimes against humanity."
Nye Committee (1934-1936) Nonpartisan group that studied US entry into World War I with an attention on the role of the banking and munitions industries. Its conclusions were that international bankers pushed the United States into World War I and that the forthcoming war would not present the United States with a big enough moral dilemma or security threat to justify involvement. Its conclusions recommended non-intervention and fueled isolationist sentiment.
Olive Branch Petition Conciliatory measure adopted by the Continental Congress, professing American loyalty and seeking an end to the hostilities. King George rejected the petition and proclaimed the colonies in rebellion.
Open Door Policy Policy that came about after Open Door notes were left, which stipulated that China would keep its ports open to all nations and charge equal rates and that no powers with China in its sphere of influence would charge unequal dues against other powers. The Chinese subsequently fought the Boxer Rebellion--fearing that the West cared only to make China into a pushover nation--before the Open Door policy evolved to better protect China's territorial integrity.
Operation Desert Storm U.S.-led multi-country military engagement in January and February of 1991 that drove Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army out of neighboring Kuwait. In addition to presaging the longer and more protracted Iraq War of the 2000s, the 1991 war helped undo what some called the "Vietnam Syndrome," a felling of military uncertainty that plagued many Americans.
Orders in Council (1806-07) Edicts issued by the British Crown closing French-owned European ports to foreign shipping. The French responded by ordering the seizure of all vessels entering British ports, thereby cutting off American merchants from trade with both parties.
Oregon Territory Ceded by Spain in the Adams-Onis Treaty, this swath of land was the endpoint of the Trail of Tears.
Ostend Manifesto (1854) Secret Franklin Pierce administration proposal to purchase or, that failing, to wrest militarily Cuba from Spain. Once leaked, it was quickly abandoned due to vehement opposition from the North.
Owen-Keating Child Labor Act (1916) An act passed in 1916 that excluded goods made by children under the age of 14 from interstate commerce.
Palmer Raids Mass detaining and deporting of suspected communists that netted 6,000 people in total.
Panama Canal (1914) Initially limited by the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, the United States wanted to create a transoceanic pathway through Central America, and this hope was rejuvenated after the Spanish-American War. After Colombia initially rejected plans by the United States to build a canal, Roosevelt supported a Panamanian insurrection, and decided to instead build the canal there.
Pancho Villa Initially a revolutionary backed by the United States government, he was a bandit who, after not ascending to the presidency, assaulted and killed Americans in Columbus, New Mexico. John Pershing and a group of soldiers were sent to take him out, but he survived these attempts.
Panic of 1819 Severe financial crisis brought on primarily by the efforts of the Bank of the United States to curb over-speculation on western lands. It disproportionately affected the poorer classes, especially in the West, sowing the seeds of Jacksonian Democracy.
Pat Robertson American televangelist who has founded, among other things, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition.
Paxton Boys Armed march on Philadelphia by Scots-Irish frontiersmen in protest against the Quaker establishment's lenient policies toward Native Americans.
Payne-Aldrich Tariff (1909) While intended to lower tariff rates, this bill was eventually revised beyond all recognition, retaining high rates on most imports. President Taft angered the progressive wing of his party when he declared it "the best bill that the Republican party ever passed."
Peace Corps A federal agency created by President Kennedy in 1961 to promote voluntary service by Americans in foreign countries. It provides labor power to help developing countries improve their infrastructure, health care, educational systems and other aspects of their societies. Part of Kennedy's New Frontier vision, the organization represented an effort by postwar liberals to promote American values and influence through productive exchanges across the world.
Peaceful Coexistence Nikita Khrushchev's call for military peace between the Soviets and the West. Although he wanted military peace, he was still waging a public relations campaign, proclaiming communism to be the best road to modernization. He instead wanted competition between the Soviet Union and United States to be non-military.
Pendleton Act (1883) Congressional legislation that established the Civil Service Commission, which granted federal government jobs on the basis of examinations instead of political patronage, thus reigning in the spoils system.
Peninsular Campaign (1862) Union General George B. McClellan's failed effort to seize Richmond, the Confederate Capital. Had McClellan taken Richmond and toppled the Confederacy, slavery would have most likely survived in the South for some time.
Pentagon Papers Secret U.S. government report detailing early planning and policy decisions regarding the Vietnam War under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Leaked to the New York Times in 1971, it revealed instances of governmental secrecy, lies and incompetence in the prosecution of the war.
"Pet Banks" Popular term for pro-Jackson state banks that received the bulk of federal deposits when Andrew Jackson moved to dismantle the Bank of the United States in 1833.
Peter Zenger Trial Landmark case where John Peter Zenger was brought to court for his newspaper's attack of the New York governor. The court ruled that if statements were true, they did not constitute libel.
Philadelphia Convention (Constitutional Convention) Meeting of delegates from 12 of the 13 states (Rhode Island excluded) that originally intended to fix the Articles of Confederation. It was later agreed that the Articles were broken beyond repair, and a new Constitution was drawn up instead.
"Phony War" During World War II Hitler removed his forces from Poland to focus his efforts on France and Britain. All of Europe fell rather silent at the shock of Hitler's move. This silence and period of inactivity in Europe came to an end when Hitler again moved his forces, and attacked the weaker Norway and Denmark.
Phyllis Schlafly Anti-feminist activist who argued that the ERA would remove traditional protections that women enjoyed by forcing the law to see them as men's equals. She further believed that the law would threaten the American family structure.
Phyllis Wheatley Enslaved girl brought to Boston at age eight and never formally educated. She published a book of verse and subsequently wrote other refined poems that revealed the influence of Alexander Pope.
Pilgrims Puritans who did not believe that the Anglican Church could be saved. Worried about the political implications, the crown oppressed them. They fled to the Netherlands, but were appalled by Dutch culture. Landed at Plymouth Rock.
Ping-Pong Diplomacy Meeting between Kissinger and the Chinese that helped lay the groundwork for new relations with China and set up a Beijing Summit.
Platt Amendment (1901) Following its military occupation, the United States successfully pressured the Cuban government to write this into its constitution. It limited Cuba's treaty-making abilities, controlled its debt and stipulated that the United States could intervene militarily to restore order when it saw fit.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) An 1896 Supreme Court case that upheld the constitutionality of segregation laws, saying that as long as blacks were provided with "separate but equal" facilities, these laws did violate the 14th Amendment. This decision provided legal justification for the Jim Crow system until the 1950s.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) An 1896 Supreme Court case that upheld the constitutionality of segregation laws, saying that as long as blacks were provided with "separate but equal" facilities, these laws did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. This decision provided legal justification for Jim Crow in the 1950s.
Pontiac's Rebellion Bloody campaign waged by Ottawa chief Pontiac to drive the British out of Ohio Country. It was brutally crushed by British troops, who resorted to distributing blankets infected with smallpox as a means to put down rebellion.
Popular Sovereignty Notion that the sovereign people of a given territory should decide whether to allow slavery. Seemingly a compromise, it was largely opposed by the Northern abolitionists who feared it would allow slavery to spread into the territories.
Populist Party Officially known as the People's party, these represented Westerners and Southerners who believed that US economic policy inappropriately favored Eastern businessmen instead of the nation's farmers. Their proposals included nationalizing the railroads, creating a graduated income tax and the unlimited coinage of silver.
Potsdam Conference (1945) From July 17 to August 2, 1945, President Harry S Truman met with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and British leaders Winston Churchill and later Clement Attlee (when the Labour party defeated Churchill's Conservative party) near Berlin to deliver an ultimatum to Japan: surrender or be destroyed.
Powhatan Confederacy Loose affiliation of small tribes in James River area that took up arms, leading to two wars that would later result in the extinction of the Powhatan tribe.
Pragmatism Theory that the truth or meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences. Its creator was William James.
Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842) Court case that ruled that Northern states could not be coerced into aiding in the return of runaway slaves. The case was nullified by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which stated that states were required to aid in their return (even though this was principle was not followed).
Proclamation of 1763 Decree issued by Parliament in the wake of Pontiac's uprising prohibiting settlement beyond the Appalachians. Contributed to rising resentment of British rule in the American colonies.
Progress and Poverty Treatise, written by Henry George, that sought to eradicate the problem of associating progress with poverty. George proposed a 100% tax on landowners who unfairly received huge sums of money by population booms (which drove property value up). He was decried by many, and his 100% tax plan was horrifying to most publishers, who rejected his future best-seller.
Progressivism Movement that sought to use the government as a means to cure social and economic ills, specifically monopoly power and poor standards of living for the poor. The party encompassed a wide variety of issues, among them suffrage, temperance, labor reform, imperialism, isolationism, trust-busting and child labor reform. Members included Social Gospelers and socialists. Their philosophy stated that laissex-faire was broken, rejected Social Darwinism and had a diversity of opinion.
Prohibition Instituted in 1917 and repealed in 1933, this measure prohibited the sale, transportation and manufacture of intoxicating liquors. It was broadly popular in the South and West but decried by city-dwellers and foreigners. It was widely ignored, and the rum running business catapulted many gangsters to immense positions of power.
Proprietary Colonies Colonies under the control of local proprietors, who appointed colonial governors.
Public Works Administration (PWA) (1933) Organization that was intended for both industrial recovery and unemployment relief. Its goal was for civic improvements and the boosting of the economy through employment. It was headed by Harold L. Ickes and completed some spectacular projects, like the Grand Coulee Dam.
Pullman Strike (1894) An 1894 strike by railroad workers upset by drastic wage cuts. The strike was led by socialist Eugene Debs but not supported by the American Federation of Labor. Eventually, President Grover Cleveland intervened, and federal troops forced an end to the strike. The strike highlighted both divisions within labor and the government's new willingness to use armed force to combat work stoppages.
Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) A law passed by Congress to inspect and regulate the labeling of all foods and pharmaceuticals intended for human consumption. This legislation, and additional provisions passed in 1911 to strengthen it, aimed particularly at the patent medicine industry. The more comprehensive Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 largely replaced this legislation.
Puritans English Protestant reformers who sought to purify the Church of England of Catholic rituals and creeds. Some of the most devout Puritans believed that only "visible saints" should be admitted to Church membership.
Puritan Theology Taught that humans were wretched, sinful beings and that God was omnipotent. Everyone's fate was predestined. Those who were saved were known as the "elect," and they gained knowledge that they would be saved through a conversion experience.
Quartering Act Law that required colonies to provide food and housing for British soldiers. Many colonists resented the act, which they perceived as an encroachment on their rights.
Quota System A system adopted during the 1920s that emphasized slowing down the immense immigration that was taking place into the United States, especially from Eastern and Southern Europe. It was spearheaded by two different acts that were passed by Congress that made quotas about how many immigrants could enter the country; they varied in their severity, but they essentially did the same thing and had the same goal. The first one was the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, which had the goal of eliminating the xenophobia instilled in many Americans' hearts by capping immigration from any given country in any given year to 3 percent of the population in the United States of that nationality in 1910. The second act passed was the Immigration Act of 1924, which lowered these quotas.
Rachel Carson Scientist and author who, in 1962, wrote "Silent Spring," a muckraking work that investigated the detrimental effects of pesticides. She became the mother of the modern conservation movement as a result of the effectiveness of "Silent Spring."
Radical Reconstruction Plan for Reconstruction that sought to punish the South for its transgressions. It called for a 50% "iron-clad" loyalty oath, the abolition of slavery, the repudiation of war debts and the disenfranchisement of Confederate leaders.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Transcendentalist who was originally a Unitarian minister. He was a lyceum lecturer and toured the West annually. His "American Scholar" speech was key in declaring intellectual independence from Europe.
Rapprochement The American policy of reestablishing ties with China during the Nixon administration after having virtually no ties since the 1940s. The United States looked to woo either the Chinese or Soviets, in part to have one of them influence the North Vietnamese to stop fighting. This involved Ping-Pong Diplomacy as well as a summit in Beijing where Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong met--the United States did not formally reestablish ties nor even recognize the People's Republic of China, but it signaled a major shift in U.S.-Chinese-Soviet relations.
Reconstruction Finance Committee (1932) A government lending agency established under the Hoover administration in order to assist insurance companies, banks, agricultural organizations, railroads and local governments. It was a precursor to later agencies that grew out of the New Deal and symbolized a recognition by the Republicans that some federal action was required to address the Great Depression.
Redeemers Southern Democrtaic politicians who sought to wrest control from Republican regimes in the South after Reconstruction.
Red Power A Native American pride group founded by Dennis Banks and Russel Means that challenged government policies and treaty violations with many tactics. They seized Alcatraz Island in 1969, held a sit-in at the Bureau of Indian Affairs and had a siege at Wounded Knee over a dispute in tribal leadership.
Red Scare Postwar fear of communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids. It was met with a good deal of witch-hunting, as evidenced through the actions of the House Un-American Affairs Committee and turned the atmosphere of the country as a whole to starkly anticommunist.
Red Scare (1919-1920) A period of intense anti-communism lasting from 1919 to 1920. The "Palmer raids" of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer resulted in about six thousand deportations of people suspected of "subversive" activities.
Regulator Movement Eventually violent uprising of back country settlers in North Carolina against unfair taxation and the control of colonial affairs by the seaboard elite.
Republicanism Political mode of thought wherein sovereignty was vested in the people. In addition, representatives were elected (directly or indirectly) by the people.
Republican Motherhood Idea that women in the post-war America would help to cultivate civic virtue in their husbands, daughters and sons.
Reservationists Those who, when presented with the Treaty of Versailles by Woodrow Wilson, were not ready to accept it, but would be open to accepting it after it was amended. There were 4 of these on the Democratic side of the coin and 35 Republicans (23 of whom held strong reservations and 12 of whom held mild reservations).
Revolution of 1800 Electoral victory of Democratic-Republicans over the Federalists, who lost their Congressional majority and the presidency. The peaceful transfer of power between rival parties solidified faith in America's political system.
Richard Nixon Californian representative who was a key player in investigating communists during the second Red Scare. He was especially famous for implicating Alger Hiss as a spy after an investigation of his revealed microfilm to have top-secret government documents on it.
Richard Nixon Thirty-seventh president of the United States who appealed to the silent majority with Vietnamization and the Nixon Doctrine, which stated that the United States would support non-communist allies without putting troops on the ground. He wanted to widen the Vietnam war to end it, and, eventually, under him, the Vietnam War ended. He helped make relations with both the Soviet Union and China more amicable. His presence saw a severe energy crisis and the rise of environmentalism, as well as an urban crisis and suburban revolt. After being elected in 1972 by using his Southern Strategy, he resigned from office after facing impeachment for his role in the obstruction of justice associated with the Watergate scandal.
Robert E. Lee Top Confederate general. He was strategically-minded, and his surrender was the unofficial surrender for the entire South.
Robert LaFollette Governor of Wisconsin who wrested control from corporations and returned it to the people by, for example, regulating public utilities. He was initially the 1912 Progressive Republican candidate, but after an episode of poor health, Roosevelt helped himself to this role.
Roe v. Wade Landmark Supreme Court decision that forbade states from barring abortion by citing a woman's constitutional right to privacy. Seen as a victory for feminism and civil liberties by some, the decision provoked a strong counter-reaction by opponents to abortion, galvanizing the Pro-Life movement.
Roger Williams Separatist who called for clergymen to fully break from the Church of England, challenged the legality of the Bay Colony's charter and denied that a civil government could regulate religious behavior. He was aided by Indians to escape from the Bay Colony and, in Rhode Island, created a society far more liberal than other colonies.
Ronald Reagan 40th president of the United States whose coalition attracted suburban voters, Southern whites, the Religious Right and Reagan Democrats. His economic policy was known as Reaganomics, which called for tax cuts, budget cuts and deregulation to to stimulate the economy. His judiciary appointments were conservative. In addition, he criticized containment and sought to defeat the Soviets via military build-up, a monopoly on research and development and economic warfare. The Iran-Contra Affair, however, was a stain on his foreign policy, even though he was incredibly popular in office.
Roosevelt Corollary (1904) A brazen policy of "preventive intervention" advocated by Theodore Roosevelt in his Annual Message to Congress in 1904. Adding ballast to the Monroe Doctrine, his corollary stipulated that United States would retain a right to intervene in the domestic affairs of Latin American nations in order to restore military and financial order.
Root-Takahira Agreement (1908) Signed on November 30, 1908, the United States and Japan agreed to respect each other's territorial possessions in the Pacific and to uphold the Open Door in China. The agreement was credited with easing tensions between the two nations, but it also resulted in a weakened American influence over further Japanese hegemony in China.
Rosie the Riveter Caricature used to represent women in the workforce during World War II, when they filled industrial positions left vacant by men who left to fought.
Royal Colonies Colonies where governors were appointed directly by the King. Though often competent administrators, the governors frequently ran into trouble with colonial legislatures, which resented the imposition of control from across the Atlantic.
"Rule of Reason" In 1911, the Supreme Court declared that monopolies were not inherently illegal. It made a distinction between good trusts and bad trusts, where the main question wasn't if the company in question was a trust or not, but rather, how it was behaving. It was rejected by Taft but affirmed Roosevelt's stance on trusts in general.
Rush-Bagot Treaty (1817) Signed by Britain and the United States, it established strict limits on naval armaments in the Great Lakes, a first step in the full demilitarization of the U.S.-Canadian border, completed in the 1870s.
Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) Conflict between Russia and Japan that Japan eventually emerged victorious in. Roosevelt sponsored the peace negotiations that were not received well by either side. He was strategic in these negotiations, keen on making sure that Russia would not be left so powerless that Japan's growth would be unchecked. The stipulations of the Treaty of Portsmouth were as follows: 1) Sakhalin Island was split, 2) there would be no indemnity in Japan and 3) the United States would recognize Japanese control of Port Arthur.
Sacco and Vanzetti Two Italians who were accused of a double murder. They were most likely guilty, but the campaign was plagued with suspicions that the judge and jury were xenophobic, as the accused were Italian, anarchists, atheists and draft dodgers.
Salem Witch Trials Series of witchcraft trials launched after a group of adolescent girls in Salem, Massachusetts, claimed to have been bewitched by certain older women of the town. Twenty individuals were put to death before the trails were put to an end by the Governor of Massachusetts.
SALT II Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty agreement between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and American president Jimmy Carter. Despite an accord to limit weapons between the two leaders, the agreement was ultimately scuttled in the US Senate following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
SALT-I Treaty Treaty negotiated by Richard Nixon during a summit in the Soviet Union that set limits on ICBMs and temporarily ended the arms race.
Salutary Neglect Unofficial policy of relaxed royal control over colonial trade and only weak enforcement of Navigation Laws. Lasted from the Glorious Revolution to the end of the French and Indian War in 1763.
Salutary Neglect Unofficial policy of relaxed royal control over colonial trade and only weak enforcement of Navigation Laws. Lasted from the Glorious Revolution to the end of the French and Indian War in 1763.
Salvation Army New denomination that appealed to the down-and-outers and did much practical good, especially in regards to providing civilians with free soup. The organization still exists today.
Samuel Gompers Founder of the American Federation of Labor. He sought to use a down-to-earth strategy, shunned politics, wanted a fairer share of labor (without outright condemnation of capitalism), wanted better hours, wages and working conditions (bread and butter), was concerned with the short-term and wanted the authorization of all-union labor. The chief modes of protest were the walk-out and boycott. He let unskilled workers fend for themselves.
Sandinistas Leftwing anti-American revolutionaries in Nicaragua who launched a civil war in 1979.
Sandra Day O'Connor American jurist appointed by Ronald Reagan. Retired as of 2006, she was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.
San Francisco Conference (1945) Inaugural meeting of the United Nations that established its charter. The Security Council would be made of the 5 victors of World War II, as well as 6 members to be chosen on a rotational basis. The UN would also be comprised of humanitarian agencies, have a General Assembly and be headquartered in New York City (thereby committing the United States to involvement, a drastic departure from the nation's previous foreign policy).
Saturday Night Massacre Series of events wherein Richard Nixon attempted to fire Archibald Cox. The Attorney General Nixon ordered to fire Cox resigned, as did the Deputy Attorney General later. Though Cox was eventually fired, the events left a cloud over Nixon's already suspicious image.
Scalawags Derogatory term for pro-Union Southerners whom Southern Democrats accused of plundering the resources of the South in collusion with Republican governments after the Civil War.
Schechter Poultry v. U.S. (1935) A unanimous decision by the Supreme Court that struck down the NIRA and ruled the NRA unconstitutional. The case arose a Brooklyn poultry company was accused of selling diseased chickens, which was forbidden by the NIRA's poultry standards. The court ruled that Congress had delegated too much power to the executive branch and that live poultry was a part of intrastate commerce.
Schenck v. United States A Supreme Court decision that upheld the Espionage and Sedition Acts, reasoning that freedom of speech could be curtailed when it posed a "clear and present danger" to the nation.
Scopes Trial (1925) A trial that took place in Dayton, Tennessee that centered around a teacher who taught the theory of evolution in a school. The prosecution in the case when William Jennings Bryan, and the defendant was Clarence Darrow. The prosecution won, but the case was more a publicity stunt for the small town than anything else.
Secession Formal withdrawal of states or regions from a nation. In response to the fact that the slavery issue appeared to be unsolvable, South Carolina seceded, followed by other states, forming the Confederate States of America.
Second American Party System In the year 1828, Democrats were in control of the White House and were opposed by the Whig party. This new system institutionalized divisions that had vexed the Revolutionary generation and came to constitute an important part of the nation's checks and balances on political power.
Second Bank of the United States In 1816, during the administration of President James Madison, the Democratic-Republicans reversed course and supported its creation. It was patterned after the first and quickly established branches throughout the Union.
Second Continental Congress Representative body of delegates from all thirteen colonies. Drafted the Declaration of Independence and managed the colonial war effort.
Second Great Awakening Religious revival characterized by emotional mass "camp meetings" and widespread conversion. Brought about a democratization of religion as a multiplicity of denominations vied for members.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (1934) Organization created to oversee the stock exchange. Its main objectives were to prevent fraud, insider trading and market manipulation. It made the stock market into a "market," as opposed to its old reputation as being a de facto casino.
Selective Service Act (1917) This act, which was established in 1917 and was still around from World War I, required all males age 19 or older to register for the military draft. It was resurrected for World War II.
Seneca Falls Convention First major meeting of feminist leaders whose purpose was to call attention to the plight of 19th century women. There, the Declaration of Sentiments, whose effectiveness was supposed to lie in the fact that it harkened back to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, was proposed. It also passed a resolution asking for the right to vote. Denounced by the press, it was the foundation of the modern women's rights movement.
Separation of Powers Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law and the judiciary interpreting the law
Separatists Small group of Puritans who sought to break away entirely from the Church of England; after initially settling in Holland, a number of them made their way to Plymouth Bay, MA in 1620. Most Pilgrims are these.
Servicemen's Readjustment Act (GI Bill/GI Bill of Rights) (1944) This law helped returning World War II soldiers reintegrate into civilian life by securing loans to buy homes and farms and set up small businesses and by making tuition and stipends available for them to attend college and job training programs. The Act was also intended to cushion the blow of 15 million returning servicemen on the employment market and to nurture the postwar economy.
Settlement House Movement Surge in the creation of settlement houses in America. Settlement houses were mostly run by middle-class, native-born women and provided housing, food, education, child care, cultural activities and social connections for new arrivals in the United States. These often became centers for social activism. The most famous was the Hull House in Chicago, run by Jane Addams.
Sharecropping An agricultural system that emerged after the Civil War in which black and white farmers rented land and residences from a plantation owner in exchange for giving him a certain "share" of each year's crop. It was the dominant form of southern agriculture after the Civil War, and landowners manipulated this system to keep tenants in perpetual debt and unable to leave their plantations.
"Share the Wealth" Senator Huey Long's plan to distribute wealth to all Americans. His plan was for all Americans who made more than $1 million a year to have all but $1 million of that money redistributed to poorer Americans. The end goal was for every American to have a home, car, basic necessities and a $25 thousand per year salary.
Shawnee Confederacy Organization of Indian tribes located east of the Mississippi. The organization was key in fostering a renewal of Indian unity and culture.
Shays' Rebellion Uprising wherein Daniel Shays, a Massachusetts farmer, stormed a courthouse in order to prevent his lands from being seized by debtors. Though it was finally suppressed, it created a fear that the national government would be unable to quell similar uprisings. The response was to call the Annapolis Convention to thoroughly regulate commerce.
Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890) A law that forbade trusts or combinations in business. This was landmark legislation because it was one of the first Congressional attempts to regulate big business for the public good. At first, the law was mostly used to restrain trade unions as the courts tended to side with companies in legal cases. In 1914, the act was revised so it could more effectively be used against monopolistic corporations.
Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890) An act passed in 1890 by the U.S. Congress to supplant the Bland-Allison Act of 1878. It not only required the U.S. government to purchase nearly twice as much silver as before, but also added substantially to the amount of money already in circulation. Supported by John Sherman only as a compromise with the advocates of free silver, it threatened, when put into operation, to undermine the U.S. Treasury's gold reserves. After the panic of 1893 broke, President Cleveland called a special session of Congress and secured the repeal of the act.
Sherman's March to the Sea (1864-1865) Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's destructive march through Georgia. An early instance of "total war," purposely targeting infrastructure and civilian property to diminish morale and undercut the Confederate war effort.
Shuttle Diplomacy The foreign policy of Nixon and Kissinger in which Kissinger flew around the world to establish other economic ties with other countries in a shuttle. A notable example is intervention in the Yom Kippur War. The diplomacy's namesake comes from Kissinger's flying back and forth between Tel Aviv and Cairo during the Yom Kippur War trying to settle the disputes, eventually leading to the Camp David Accords.
Silverites Proponents of inflation (and, therefore, mostly debtors) who supported the free silver movement and wanted the government to purchase silver.
Sioux Wars (1868-1890) Series of conflicts between the American cavalry and Native Americans out west. The first was Fetterman's Massacre, where 81 Americans were killed by scores of Indians led by Crazy Horse. The conflict was resolved with the Ft. Laramie Treaty. The Black Hills Expedition was not so much a war but a stalemate over land between the US government and Native Americans in the Black Hills--a sacred region for Native Americans. The Battle of Little Bighorn was a slaughter in which a severely under-matched cavalry, led by George Custer, was slaughtered. Finally, the "battle" of Wounded Knee consisted of Americans haphazardly firing canons upon Native Americans after an erroneous shot was fired from an unknown source.
Sit-Down Strike Form of striking in which workers would go to their place of employment but not partake in any work. This was effective insofar as it would force employers to either acquiesce to demands or fire all the strikers, which would be a bad PR move. Examples during the Great Depression included one at the General Motors Company in Flint, Michigan.
Social Contract Theory The belief that people are free and equal by natural right, and that this in turn requires that all people give their consent to be governed; espoused by John Locke and influential in the writing of the declaration of independence.
Social Darwinism Believers in the idea, popular in the late 19th century, that people gained wealth by "survival of the fittest." Therefore, the wealthy had simply won a natural competition and owed nothing to the poor, and indeed service to the poor would interfere with this organic process. Some social Darwinists also applied this theory to whole nations and races, explaining that powerful peoples were naturally endowed with gifts that allowed them to gain superiority over others. This theory provided one of the popular justifications for U.S. imperial ventures like the Spanish-American War.
Social Gospel A reform movement led by Protestant ministers who used religious doctrine to demand better housing and living conditions for the urban poor. Popular at the turn of the twentieth century, it was closely linked to the settlement house movement, which brought middle-class, Anglo-American service volunteers into contact with immigrants and working people.
Social Security Act (1935) A flagship accomplishment of the New Deal, this law provided for unemployment and old-age insurance financed by a payroll tax on employers and employees. Its primary beneficiaries are the elderly, survivors and the disabled (OASDI). It has long remained a pillar of the "New Deal Order."
Sojourner Truth Abolitionist who both advocated for the end of slavery and for expanded women's rights. She was deeply religious and condemned slavery as a grievous sin.
Sons of Liberty Patriotic groups that played a central role in agitating against the Stamp Act and enforcing non-importation agreements.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference Organization founded by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1957. It aimed to mobilize black churches, which were the largest and best-organized black institutions, on behalf of civil rights.
Southern Strategy Nixon's attempt to draw Southern voters (who traditionally voted along Democratic lines) to his side during the election of 1972. His plan was to equivocate through buzzwords (namely states' rights) in order to both draw Southern voters to his side in addition to keeping the support of those who traditionally voted for Republicans.
Spanish-American War (1898) War sparked in part by yellow journalism and in part by public pressure. McKinley did not want to fight, but he eventually submitted to the will of the people. Militarily, the US was successful; in fact, more soldiers were lost to malaria than combat. The war established the US as a respectable world power, gave it a new martial spirit, invigorated support for a bigger navy, unified the North and the South and sparked interest in creating a Panamanian Canal.
Specie Circular (1836) U.S. Treasury decree requiring that all public lands be purchased with "hard," or metallic, currency. Issued after small state banks flooded the market with unreliable paper currency, fueling land speculation in the West.
Sphere of Influence The area where a dominant power exerts it power over a weaker state. This was a key concept in China, where China was a colony in everything but name, just for the sake of appeasing the nation.
Spirit of St. Louis Plane flown by Charles Lindbergh in his trans-Atlantic flight, the first in history.
Spiro Agnew Nixon's vice president who would have succeeded him after Watergate had he not resigned from office in light of accusations of bribery and extortion.
Spoils System Policy of rewarding political supporters with public office, first widely employed at the federal level by Andrew Jackson. The practice was widely abused by unscrupulous office seekers, but it also helped cement party loyalty in the emerging two-party system.
Sputnik Name of two different satellites put into orbit by the Soviet Union. This groundbreaking achievement by the Soviets was distressing for the United States, which saw this as possible evidence that the country was falling behind its communist foes technologically. In response, NASA was founded and the United States was more keen to test ICBMs.
Square Deal Roosevelt's stance on domestic policy that controlled corporations, protected the consumer and conserved the natural resources of the country.
Stagflation When an economy is not growing, but inflation is, nevertheless, high. This was detrimental for the economy and problematic during Nixon's presidency, as there was no clear answer as to whether or not focus should be put on curbing inflation or encouraging growth.
Stalwarts A group of Republicans who rallied behind Senator Roscoe Conkling of New York and embraced the time honored system of swapping civil service jobs for votes. They tried to give party favorites a government office, utilized the spoils system and added to the corruption of the gilded age.
Stamp Act Widely unpopular tax on an array of paper goods, repealed in 1766 after mass protests erupted across the colonies. Colonists developed the principle of "no taxation without representation," which questioned Parliament's authority over the colonies and laid the foundation for future revolutionary claims.
Stamp Act Congress Assembly of delegates from nine colonies who met in New York City to draft a petition for the repeal of the Stamp Act. Helped ease sectional suspicions and promote intercolonial unity.
Standard Oil Trust Trust formed by John D. Rockefeller wherein Standard Oil ran rival refineries so long as former owners received a certain share of the profits. With its stranglehold on the kerosene market now firmly in hand, Rockefeller effectively had the public in the palm of his hand. It was broken up, but this made Rockefeller all the richer.
START Talks between the Soviet Union and the United States that replaced the SALT negotiations since little success was found in reducing nuclear arms in Reagan's first term. SALT II was signed in 1993 by President George H.W. Bush with Boris Yeltsin committing both powers to reduce their long-range nuclear arsenals by two thirds within 10 years.
Stephen Crane Wrote about industrial life in America. Some of his works included "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets" (about a prostitute driven to suicide; it was printed privately, for it was too grim for publishers) and "The Red Badge of Courage" (a story of a young Civil War recruit under fire that gained him his fame).
Stephen Douglas Illinois senator and presidential nominee. He was the mind behind the Kansas-Nebraska Act and was an outspoken advocate of popular sovereignty.
Stephen F. Austin Man who took on his father's goal of establishing a colony in Texas of 300 people. In charge of the colony, he established three guidelines for immigration: 1) slaves were to be left alone, 2) immigrants must convert to Catholicism and 3) immigrants must assimilate.
Stimson Doctrine (1931) Declaration made by the United States after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria that stated that the United States did not recognize Manchuria as Japanese territory and would refuse any territory conquered by similar means.
Stokley Carmichael Co-founder of the Black Panther party, which was an organization of armed black militants formed in Oakland, California in 1966. The party existed to protect civil rights and represented a growing dissatisfaction with the non-violent wing of the Civil Rights Movement and signaled a new direction to that movement after the legislative victories of 1964 and 1965. He also founded the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee from Greensboro for black pride and non-violent protests to further the cause of civil rights.
Stono Rebellion Slave revolt in South Carolina wherein more than 50 slaves marched to Spanish Florida, before being stopped by a local militia unit.
Strategic Defense Initiative Reagan administration plan announced in 1983 to create a missile-defense system over American territory to block a nuclear attack. Derided as "Star Wars" by critics, the plan typified Reagan's commitment to vigorous defense spending even as he sought to limit the size of the government in domestic matters.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Youth organization founded by southern black students in 1960 to promote civil rights. Drawing on its members' youthful energies, in its early years, it coordinated demonstrations, sit-ins and voter registration drives.
Suez Crisis (1956) International crisis launched when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, which had been owned mostly by French and British stockholders. The crisis led to a British and French attack on Egypt, which failed without aid from the United States. The Suez Crisis marked an important turning point in the post-colonial Middle East and highlighted the rising importance of oil in world affairs.
Suffolk Reserves Declaration made on September 9, 1774 by the leaders of Suffolk County, Massachusetts (of which Boston is the major city). The declaration rejected the Massachusetts Government Act and resolved on a boycott of imported goods from Britain unless the Intolerable Acts were repealed.
Sugar Act Duty on imported sugar from the West Indies. It was the first tax levied on the colonists by the crown and was lowered substantially in response to widespread protests.
Sumner-Brooks Affair (1856) Charles Sumner delivered a scathing speech condemning slavery on the Senate floor. In this speech, he mocked popular senator Andrew Butler. Preston Brooks, Butler's nephew, assaulted Sumner with a cane. In the North, Sumner was viewed as a martyr; in the South, Brooks was hailed as a hero.
Supply-side economics Economic theory that underlay Ronald Reagan's tax and spending cuts. Contrary to Keynesianism, this theory declared that government policy should aim to increase the supply of goods and services, rather than the demand for them. It held that lower taxes and decreased regulation would increase productivity by providing increased incentives to work, thus increasing productivity and the tax base.
Sussex Pledge (1916) Pledge made by Germany after the sinking of the Sussex. In it, the Germans promised to not attack civilian ships and to only attack merchant ships after searching for contraband aboard.
Syngman Rhee President of South Korea at the time that it was invaded by North Korea.
Taft-Hartley Act (1947) Republican-promoted, anti-union legislation passed over Truman's vigorous veto that weakened many of labor's New Deal gains by banning the closed shop and other strategies that helped unions organize. It also required union leaders to take a non-communist oath, which purged the union movement of many of its most committed and active organizers.
Tallmadge Amendment (1819) Failed proposal to prohibit the importation of slaves into Missouri territory and pave the way for gradual emancipation. Southerners vehemently opposed the amendment, which they perceived as a threat to the sectional balance between North and South.
Tariff of Abominations (1828) Noteworthy for its unprecedentedly high duties on imports. Southerners vehemently opposed the Tariff, arguing that it hurt Southern farmers, who did not enjoy the protection of tariffs, but were forced to pay higher prices for manufactures.
Tea Act Law designed to aid the floundering East India Company. It, in fact, made tea cheaper; however, colonists felt that it broadsided colonial merchants and smugglers and was an effort to garner support for previous taxes.
Teapot Dome (1921) A tawdry affair involving the illegal lease of priceless naval oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California. The scandal, which implicated President Harding's Secretary of the Interior, was one of the several that gave his administration a reputation for corruption.
Tecumseh Political leader of the Shawnee Confederacy. He organized the confederacy with his brother, boycotting white products and forswearing the concept of ownership altogether.
Tehran Conference (1943) Gathering of the United States, Soviet Union and United Kingdom where the Soviets declared that the Allies must open a second front against the Germans. The Allies said that they were not prepared but that they would pursue this goal in 1944.
Teller Amendment (1898) A proviso to President William McKinley's war plans that proclaimed to the world that when the United States had overthrown Spanish misrule, it would give Cuba its freedom. The amendment testified to the ostensibly "anti-imperialist" designs of the initial war plans.
Temperance Movement Response to the fact that drunkenness was running amuck in 19th century America. Originally just advocating for moderation in drinking, it eventually called for abolishing the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. The movement drove its messages home with pictures, pamphlets and lectures.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (1933) One of the most revolutionary of the New Deal public works projects, this brought cheap electric power, full employment, low-cost housing and environmental improvements to Americans in the Tennessee Valley.
Ten Percent Plan (1863) Introduced by President Lincoln, it proposed that a state be readmitted to the Union once 10 percent of its voters had pledged loyalty to the United States and promised to honor emancipation.
Tenure of Office Act (1867) Required the President to seek approval from the Senate before removing appointees. When Andrew Johnson removed his secretary of war in violation of this act, he was impeached by the house but remained in office when the Senate fell one vote short of removing him.
Tet Offensive (1968) A joint offensive by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong on a Vietnamese lunar holiday. Although it was a military failure, it hurt the credibility of both Johnson and Westmoreland (a key military figure in Vietnam). Criticism for involvement in the war intensified, partially aided by Walter Cronkite's criticism, as it seemed to outside observers that the war was not winnable. It also created a rift among Democrats.
Theodore Dreiser Social novelist who wrote "Sister Carrie" about a girl with contempt for moral standards who becomes a man's mistress, elopes with another and fails at a stage career.
"The Purge" Southern Democrats, many of whom opposed Roosevelt's policies, were members of Congress' most important committees. Roosevelt, wanting to garner support for his New Deal policies, sought to find Southerners more amicable to his politics. However, the plan was unsuccessful and disgruntled Southern Democrats were, in response, unwilling to help push forward his legislation. The failure of this plan was a chief reason for New Deal legislation's lack of success.
Thomas Nast Political cartoonist who was key in taking down Boss Tweed.
Three C's Three points of Theodore Roosevelt's domestic policy: control of corporations, protection of consumers and conservation.
Three-fifths Compromise Compromise between the northern (who did not want "other persons" included in the census) and southern (who did) states that declared that 3/5 of the population of "other persons" would be counted in the census.
Townshend Acts External, or indirect, levies on glass, white lead, paper, paint and tea, the proceeds of which were used to pay colonial governors, who had previously been paid directly by colonial assemblies. Sparked another round of protests in the colonies.
Trail of Tears (1838-1839) Forced march of 15,000 Cherokee Indians from their Georgia and Alabama homes to Indian Territory. Some 4,000 Cherokee died on the arduous journey.
Transcendentalism Literary and intellectual movement that emphasized individualism and self-reliance, predicated upon a belief that each person possesses an "inner-light" that can point the way to truth and direct contact with God.
Treaty of Alliance (1778) After the Battle of Saratoga, France and America entered into a formal alliance against Britain. The alliance gave the Americans a considerable advantage over the British, as it provided them with additional troops and supplies
Treaty of Ghent (1815) Ended the War of 1812 in a virtual draw, restoring prewar borders but failing to address any of the grievances that first brought America into the war.
Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848) Treaty that ended the war with Mexico. Mexico agreed to cede territory reaching northwest from Texas to Oregon in exchange for $18.25 million and assumed debts.
Treaty of Paris 1763 After a decisive British victory in the French-Indian War, this treaty established the following: 1) England gained all of Canada, 2) England gained French lands east of the Mississippi River, 3) England gained Spanish Florida, 4) Spain gained Louisiana, 5) French retained some possessions.
Treaty of Paris 1783 This treaty ended the Revolutionary War, recognized the independence of the American colonies, and granted the colonies the territory from the southern border of Canada to the northern border of Florida, and from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River
Treaty of Paris (1898) Signed at the end of the Spanish-American War by 1 vote, it provided that Spain would cede the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States, Cuba would be independent and the US would pay $20 million for the Philippines. There was a ratification debate between imperialists and anti-imperialists, and this sentiment is what made the outcome so tight.
Treaty of Tordesillas Signed by Spain and Portugal, this divided the territories of the New World. Spain received the bulk of territory in the Americas, compensating Portugal with titles to lands in Africa and Asia.
Treaty of Versailles (1919) World War I concluded with this vengeful document, which secured peace but imposed sharp terms on Germany and created a territorial mandate system to manage former colonies of the world powers. To Woodrow Wilson's chagrin, it incorporated very few of his original Fourteen Points, although it did include the League of Nations he had sought. Isolationists in the United States, deeply opposed to the League, led the opposition to the Treaty, which was never ratified by the Senate.
Trent Affair (1861) Diplomatic row that threatened to bring the British into the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy, after a Union warship stopped a British steamer and arrested two Confederate diplomats on board.
Triangular Trade Extremely profitable network of trade wherein the colonies shipped rum to Africa for slaves, who then went to the West Indies, molasses was then sent from the islands back to the colonies.
Triple Wall of Privilege Wilson's plan to take on the following three domestic problems that he felt furthered inequity: banks, trusts and tariffs.
Truman Doctrine (1947) President Truman's universal pledge of support for any people fighting any communist or communist-inspired threat. Truman presented the doctrine to Congress in 1947 in support of his request for $400 million to defend Greece and Turkey against Soviet-backed insurgencies.
Tydings-McDuffie Act (1934) Act that granted Philippines independence after a ten-year probationary period. The country was not granted independence within this time frame as a result of World War II, but it eventually was given it on July 4, 1946.
U-2 Incident (1960) Occurrence on May 5, 1960 where an American spy plane taking pictures of American military facilities was shot down. Eisenhower claimed that the Soviets had merely downed a weather balloon, but the pilot of the plane later confessed. Eisenhower was faced with having to admit that he lied or that he was not aware of the actions of his military. He came clean but made clear that spying would continue. This affair led to the cancellation of a summit in Paris, scheduled for May 16, that was supposed to occur between Eisenhower and Khrushchev.
Ulysses S. Grant Bold Union general who brought victory to the North. He was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Army and forged relentlessly through the Southern wilderness in spite of heavy losses.
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) Harriet Beecher Stowe's widely read novel that dramatized the horrors of slavery. It heightened Northern support for abolition and escalated sectional conflict.
Underground Railroad Informal network of volunteers that helped runaway slaves escape from the South and reach free-soil Canada. Seeking to halt the flow of runaway slaves to the North, Southern planters and congressmen pushed for a stronger fugitive slave law.
Underwood-Simmons Tariff (1913) This tariff provided for a substantial reduction of rates and enacted an unprecedented, graduated federal income tax. By 1917, revenue from the income tax surpassed receipts from the tariff, a gap that has since been vastly widened.
United Nations International body formed in 1945 to bring nations into dialogue in hopes of preventing further world wars. Much like the former League of Nations in ambition, it was more realistic in recognizing the authority of the Big Five Powers in keeping peace in the world. Thus, it guaranteed veto power to all permanent members of its Security Council--Britain, China France, the Soviet Union and the United States.
USS Maine (1898) American battleship dispatched to keep a "friendly" watch over Cuba in early 1898. It mysteriously blew up in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, with a loss of 260 sailors. Later evidence confirmed that the explosion was accidental, resulting from combustion in one of the ship's internal coal bunkers. But many Americans, eager for war, insisted that it was the fault of a Spanish submarine mine.
U.S. v. Butler (1936) Supreme Court decision that struck down the Agricultural Adjustment Act. It ruled that the processing tax, and, ergo, the AAA, was unconstitutional.
Utopian Communities Communal settlements, often settled out of the eye of the public, that sought human betterment and communist-esque ways of life. They were urged on by the reform movements of the day that called for the perfection of the individual and society, at large.
Vertical Integration The practice perfected by Andrew Carnegie of controlling every step of the industrial production process in order to increase efficiency and limit competition.
Vicksburg (June-July 1863) Two-and-a-half month siege of a Confederate fort on the Mississippi River in Tennessee. Vicksburg finally fell to Ulysses S. Grant in July of 1863, giving the Union Army control of the Mississippi River and splitting the South in two.
Vienna Summit (1961) Summit between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev wherein JFK was visibly weak and timid, which made Khrushchev believe that he was a weak leader that he could easily bend. He demanded that the Americans leave Berlin within 6 months, and Kennedy weakly refused, which convinced Khrushchev, moreover, that he was of greater stature than Kennedy.
Vietnamization Military strategy launched by Richard Nixon in 1969. The plan reduced the number of American combat troops in Vietnam and left more of the fighting to the South Vietnamese, who were supplied with American armor, tanks and weaponry.
Virginia Plan (Rudolph Plan) Plan that called for 2 legislative houses based on population, a judicial branch and an executive branch.
Virtual Representation Theory asserted by George Grenville. This claimed that since every member of Parliament represented all British subjects, even Americans were represented in Parliament.
Volstead Act (1919) A federal act enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages.
Voting Rights Act of 1965 Legislation pushed through Congress by President Johnson that prohibited ballot-denying tactics, such as literacy tests and intimidation. This was a successor to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and sought to make racial disenfranchisement explicitly illegal.
Wade-Davis Bill Passed by Congressional Republicans in response to Abraham Lincoln's "10 percent plan," it required that 50 percent of a state's voters pledge allegiance to the Union, and set stronger safeguards for emancipation. Reflected divisions between Congress and the President, and between radical and moderate Republicans, over the treatment of the defeated South.
Wagner Act (1935) Also known as the National Labor Relations Act, this law protected the right of labor to organize in unions and bargain collectively with employers and established the National Labor Relations Board to monitor unfair labor practices on the part of the employer. Its passage marked the culmination of decades of labor protest.
Walter Camp Man who chose an "All American" team that was put on display between Yale and Princeton. This was key in revolutionizing football, and foreigners condemned the sports craze in America.
Walter Rauschenbusch Pastor of a German Baptist church who sought to apply the teachings of the Gospel to the slums and factories.
Walt Whitman Brooklyn native who was romantic, emotional and unconventional. His prose varied greatly, and he was very frank about sexual topics. His most famous work was "Leaves of Grass" (initially a financial and critical flop). He was able to capture the American nationalism and enthusiasm as the country began to turn its back to Old World traditions.
Walt Whitman Carryover from the pre-war era who both revised his "Leaves of Grass" collection and wrote odes to Lincoln after his assassination.
War Hawks (1811-12) Democratic-Republican Congressmen who pressed James Madison to declare war on Britain. Largely drawn from the South and West, they resented British constraints on American trade and accused the British of supporting Indian attacks against American settlements on the frontier.
War Industries Board (1917) Headed by Bernard Baruch, this federal agency coordinated industrial production during World War I, setting production quotas, allocating raw materials and pushing companies to increase efficiency and eliminate waste. Under the economic mobilization of this, industrial production in the United States increased 20% during World War I.
War of 1812 ("Mr. Madison's War") (1812-1815) Fought between Britain and the United States largely over the issues of trade and impressment. Though the war ended in a relative draw, it demonstrated America's willingness to defend its interests militarily, earning the young nation new found respect from European powers.
War on Poverty Lyndon Johnson's view on domestic policy that emphasized helping those in poverty more than anything else, since at the time 22% of the nation was in poverty. It included the Economic Opportunity Act and ramming Kennedy's New Frontier tax bill through Congress.
War Powers Act Law passed by Congress in 1973 limiting the President's ability to wage war without Congressional approval. The act required the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing troops to a foreign conflict. An important consequence of the Vietnam War, this piece of legislation sought to reduce the President's unilateral authority in military matters.
Warren Commission (1963) Report by Chief Justice Earl Warren that found that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating John F. Kennedy and that, likewise, Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Lee Harvey Oswald. Johnson ordered an investigation by Warren to quiet down conspiracy theorists who suspected that there was more to Kennedy's death--as the circumstances surrounding it were very bizarre. The commission, however, had many gaps in it, which left the door open for further conspiracy theorizing.
Warren Court (1953-1969) Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren that actively used Judicial Review to strictly scrutinize and overturn state and federal statutes, to apply many provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states and to provide opportunities for those groups in society that had been excluded from the political process. The Supreme Court became increasingly liberal and activist, drawing the fire of political and judicial conservatives who believed that the Warren Court had overstepped its constitutional role and had become a legislative body. It became a catalyst for change, initiating reforms rather than responding to pressures applied by other branches of government.
Washington Naval Conference A conference on naval disarmament held by Warren Harding. Harding invited other nations to Washington, DC to discuss the production and usage of armaments. The United States, unknown to the other countries, came in with the goals of cutting spending, stopping the arms race between Britain and Japan and creating Asian stability. Three different treaties, were established through this conference, the Five Power Naval Treaty, Four Power Treaty and Nine Power Treaty, all of which sought to complete the goals that the United States sought.
Washington Outsider A term for someone enters national politics without any prior experience or connections. Jimmy Carter was one of these, although his humble upbringing made it difficult for him to successfully negotiate or communicate his policy, both to Congress and the American people.
Washington's Farewell Address George Washington's address at the end of his presidency, warning against "permanent alliances" with other nations. Washington did not oppose all alliances, but believed that the young, fledgling nation should forge alliances only on a temporary basis, in extraordinary circumstances.
Watergate Series of scandals that resulted in President Richard Nixon's resignation in August 1974 amid calls for his impeachment. The episode sprang from a failed burglary attempt at Democratic party headquarters in Washington's Watergate Hotel during the 1972 election.
"Waving the Bloody Shirt" A strong campaign slogan used by the Republicans in the presidential elections of 1868. It was used to blame the Democrats for the Civil War, which cost the lives of many Americans. This was the first time that the Civil War was used in a presidential election. It was also a great example of the political "mudslinging" of the Gilded Age.
WEB DuBois Critic of Booker T. Washington who demanded complete social and economic equality for blacks and helped found the NAACP.
W.E.B. DuBois Critic of Booker T. Washington who demanded complete social and economic equality for blacks and helped found the NAACP.
Webster-Ashburton Treaty The northwest boundary with Britain was being heavily disputed in the middle 19th century in the Maine region. The area disputed was mainly in the heavily wooded Aroostook valley, so there was a lumberjack war for a brief period of time over the Aroostook Valley. The lumberjack war was eventually settled between Webster and Ashburton in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, and in this treaty the US received nearly 90 percent of the lands that were already claimed partially because the maps that were used to determine who got what were false maps and tricked Britain into giving the US more than they should have.
Webster-Hayne Debates Debates on the Senate floor between Daniel Webster and Robert Hayne. The debate was ostensibly over United States land policy, but was, moreover, a debate about the very nature of the United States itself. Webster was in favor of a strong central government, and Hayne was a proponent of states' rights.
Whigs Party whose name harkened back to the anti-monarchists of the Revolutionary Era. Initially, the only platform this party had was a common hatred of Jackson. However, it eventually developed a broader platform that included calls for internal improvements, support for institutions like asylums, prisons and public schools and support of market economics. Demographically, the group included proponents of the American System, states' righters, northern industrialists and merchants and Evangelical Protestants.
Whigs (Whig Ideology) Eighteenth-century British political commentators who agitated against political corruption and emphasized the threat to liberty posed by arbitrary power. Their writings shaped American political thought and made colonists especially alert to encroachments on their rights.
Whiskey Rebellion Uprising by back-country moonshiners who were perturbed by Hamilton's excise taxes on whiskey. The uprising was quickly--and, for the most part, nonviolently--quelled by the government in a show of their growing military strength.
"Who Lost China?" The question that emerged after Jiang Jieshi fled to Taiwan in December 1949. The Republicans were conspicuously accusatory, blaming the Democrats for being soft on communism, which resulted in a large country falling to the ideology.
William Bradford Elected 30 times as governor of the Pilgrims. He feared that non-Puritans would corrupt his Puritan society in New England. He governed at a time when, while it was not a major powerhouse economically or politically, Plymouth was spotted with fishing villages and other settlements and was a major epicenter of spirituality and morality.
William Jennings Bryan Upstart Democratic presidential candidate from Nebraska whose "Cross of Gold" speech attached the Populists to the Democrats. He only received 48% of the popular vote, as well as 176 electoral votes, and his loss in the Election of 1896 sunk the Populists.
William Lloyd Garrison Abolitionist who was spurned by the Second Great Awakening. He published The Liberator and founded the American Anti-Slavery Society. He was loud and unequivocal in his calls for emancipation, and his words sparked a conflict that foreshadowed the Civil War.
William Penn Englishman who developed a propensity for Quakerism as a teen. Condemned in England, he fled to the New World and established the colony of Pennsylvania, where his liberal land policies attracted a large influx of immigrants.
William Pitt British minister of war who wanted Britain to do everything within its power to secure the North American continent for itself. His tactics included hiring Prussians to fight the French in Europe, spending as much money as possible for victory in America and promoting young (and untested) military officers.
William Randolph Hearst Rival of Joseph Pulitzer who, using his father's mining money, created the "San Francisco Examiner."
William Seward Secretary of State under Lincoln and Johnson. He was a candidate for the Republican nomination in 1860, but Lincoln was selected instead--as he had fewer enemies. He was also key in orchestrating the purchase of Alaska from Russia.
Wilmot Proviso (1846) Amendment that sought to prohibit slavery from territories acquired from Mexico. Introduced by Pennsylvania congressman David Wilmont, the failed amendment ratcheted up tensions between the North and South on the issue of slavery.
Women's Christian Temperance Union Founded in 1874, this organization advocated for the prohibition of alcohol, using women's supposedly greater purity and morality as a rallying point. Advocates of prohibition in the United States found common cause with activists elsewhere, especially in Britain, and in the 1880s, they founded the World Women's Christian Temperance Union, which sent missionaries around the world to spread the gospel of temperance.
Woodstock A three-day rock concert in upstate New York in 1969 during the Summer of Love that was the pinnacle of the counter-cultural and hippie movements.
Worcester v. Georgia (1832) Supreme Court case that ruled that the Cherokee people (and, ergo, other Indian nations) were sovereign and out of the jurisdiction of the states wherein they resided. These peoples were ruled to reside in "dependent nations" that could only negotiate with the federal government. President Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the ruling.
Works Progress Administration (WPA) (1935) Created in response to the unrest stirred by demagogues opposed to the New Deal, this organization's goal was to employ civilians on useful projects. This spent about $11 billion on public buildings, bridges and roads. One of its most popular projects was the Federal Art Project, which hired artists to create posters and murals. In the end, it employed about 9 million people.
XYZ Affair Diplomatic conflict between France and the United States when American envoys to France were asked to pay a hefty bribe for the privilege of meeting with the French foreign minister. Many in the U.S. called for war against France, while American sailors and privateers waged an undeclared war against French merchants in the Caribbean.
Yalta Conference (1945) Meeting of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in February 1945 at an old Tsarist resort on the Black Sea, where the Big Three leaders laid the foundations for the postwar division of power in Europe, including a divided Germany and a territorial concession to the Soviet Union.
Yassir Arafat Leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization who met with Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin to agree on self-rule for Palestinians within Israel. Two years later, Rabin was assassinated and he died a few years later.
Yellow Dog Contracts Contracts that some business owners forced their employees to sign so that they would not form unions and challenge their power above them in strikes and other things of union nature. In these, workers promised to never join unions and attested to the fact that they had never been a part of union prior. This was significant because if they broke it, then businesses could sue, not for very much, but enough to put workers in jail and ruin their family by destroying a consistent inflow of income.
Yellow Journalism A scandal-mongering practice of journalism that emerged in New York during the Gilded Age out of the circulation battles between Joseph Pulitzer's "New York World" and William Randolph Hearst's "New York Journal." These circulation battles were responsible for overplaying events in Cuba, which sparked a fire under the American public to take on the (allegedly) cruel practices of the Spanish there.
Yom Kippur War An attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria, who were being armed and backed by the Soviet Union. The United States sent Henry Kissinger to try to negotiate an end to this aid, and they sent $2 billion in assistance to the Israelis. Israel won in stunning fashion, but OPEC countries were enraged by the U.S.'s meddling an placed an embargo on the country, contributing to a severe energy crisis.
Young Men's Christian Association Urban clubs that were established in the United States before the Civil War and combined physical education with other kinds of religious instruction to create a kind of safe haven for those in the cities. By the end of the century these had appeared in nearly every major city in America.
Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer (1952) A Supreme Court decision that arose when Harry Truman discovered that steel workers were planning a strike. He ordered the Secretary of Commerce to nationalize steel mines and have the government run them. In response, the Supreme Court ruled that this was not to be allowed, as the president could not take possession of private property.
Zimmermann Note (1917) German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann had secretly proposed a German-Mexican alliance against the United States. When the note was intercepted and published in March 1917, it caused an uproar that made some Americans more willing to enter World War I.