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French residents of Nova Scotia expelled by the British.

Albany Plan of Union

Drafted by Benjamin Franklin in 1754; envisioned the creation of a Grand Council composed of delegates from each colony, with the power to levy taxes and deal with Indian relations and common defense.

American Enlightenment

Revolution in thought in the eighteenth century that emphasized reason and science over the authority of traditional religion.

Atlantic slave trade

The systematic importation of African slaves from their native continent across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World, largely fuelled by rising demand for sugar, rice, coffee, and tobacco.

Circulating libraries

Establishments that made possible wider dissemination of knowledge, as books were still expensive. The first, the Library Company of Philadelphia, was established by Benjamin Franklin in 1731.


People born in the New World of European ancestry.


The assumption among ordinary people that wealth, education, and social prominence carried a right to public office.

Father Junipero Serra

A controversial figure who founded the first California mission in San Diego in 1769.

Freedom of expression

Generally not considered one of the ancient rights of Englishmen; there was no legal protection of free speech in the 17th century.

Freedom of the press

Viewed as dangerous by both American and European governments.

Great Awakening

Fervent religious revival movement in the 1720s through the 1740s that was spread throughout the colonies by ministers like New England Congregationalist Jonathan Edwards and English revivalist George Whitefield.


A language that mixed various African roots that was mostly unintelligible to whites.


Originally, political philosophy that emphasized the protection of liberty by limiting the power of government to interfere with the natural rights of citizens; in the twentieth century, belief in an activist government promoting greater social and economic equality.

Middle Ground

The area between European empires and Indian sovereignty that contained intermixed villages of settlers and tribes.

Middle Passage

The voyage of slaves across the Atlantic.


A Delaware religious prophet whose teachings contributed to Pontiac's Rebellion.

Pontiac's Rebellion

A revolt against British rule in 1763 by Indians of the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes.


Spanish military outposts in Texas.


Political theory in eighteenth-century England and America that celebrated active participation in public life by economically independent citizens as central to freedom.


Escaped slaves seeking freedom from their owners.

Salutary Neglect

A policy adopted by British governments that left the colonies largely to govern themselves.

Seditious libel

A crime that included defaming government officials in published works.

Stono Rebellion

An uprising in South Carolina by slaves that led to a severe tightening of the slave code and the temporary imposition of a prohibitive tax on imported slaves.

Task System

A system whereby individual slaves were assigned daily jobs, and the completion of which allowed them time for leisure or farming of their own.

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

An autobiography of an freed slave that gives insight into slave life and challenges many period stereotypes towards blacks.

Two Treatises of Government

Written by John Locke around 1680, but became largely influential in the next century. He wrote on the principles of government, the social contract between man and government, and the natural rights of man.


Defined in the eighteenth century as both a personal moral quality but also the willingness to subordinate self-interest to the pursuit of the public good.

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