How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

100 terms

Top 100 History Facts

Review for TAKS
STUDY
PLAY
Jamestown
the first permanent English settlement, was founded in 1607
Declaration of Independence
signed on July 4, 1776
Constitution
written in 1787
Louisiana Territory
President Thomas Jefferson purchased this land from France in 1803, it doubled the size of the United States.
Civil War
war fought from 1861-1865
Lexington, Massachusetts
The first shots of the American Revolution were fired here in April 1775.
Concord, Massachusetts
the site of the first battle of the American Revolution
Battle of Saratoga
the turning point of the American Revolution
Battle of Yorktown
signaled the end of the Revolution - Cornwallis surrendered, British lost.
Fort Sumter
First shots of the Civil War were fired here.
Battle of Gettysburg
the turning point in the Civil War for the North. Confederate troops were forced to retreat and never invaded the North again.
Vicksburg, Mississippi
The capture of this place by the North in 1863, effectively split the Confederacy in two and gave control of the Mississippi River to the Union.
Appomattox Court House
small town in Virginia where Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army to Ulysses S. Grant ending the Civil War.
Mercantilism
an economic theory that a country's strength is measured by the amount of gold it has, that a country should sell more than it buys and that the colonies exist for the benefit of the Mother Country.
abolitionist
a person who wanted to end slavery in the United States.
tariff
tax on goods brought into a country
protective tariff
a tax placed on goods from another country to protect the home industry.
Sectionalism
a strong sense of loyalty to a state or section instead of to the whole country.
Manifest Destiny
the belief that the United States should own all of the land between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Temperance Movement
a campaign against the sale or drinking of alcohol.
Representative Government
a system of government in which voters elect representatives to make laws for them.
Republic
a nation in which voters choose representatives to govern them.
House of Burgesses
the first representative assembly in the new world.
Three Branches of Government
the Legislative Branch, the Judicial Branch, and the Executive branch.
Checks and Balances
a system set up by the Constitution in which each branch of the federal government has the power to check, or control, the actions of the other branches.
Free Enterprise
the freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with minimal government regulation.
Federalism
the sharing of power between the states and the national government.
Separation of Powers
system in which each branch of government has it's own powers.
Popular Sovereignty
the practice of allowing each territory to decide for itself whether or not to allow slavery.
Amend
means to change.
Unalienable rights
rights that cannot be given up, taken away or transferred. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are some of those rights.
Tyranny
a cruel and unjust government
Democracy
a form of government that is run for and by the people, giving people the supreme power.
Ratify
to approve by vote
Judicial Review
the right of the Supreme Court to judge laws passed by Congress and determine whether they are constitutional or not.
Civil Disobedience
the refusal to obey a government law or laws as a means of passive resistance because of one's moral conviction or belief.
Federalists
supporters of the Constitution who favored a strong national government.
Antifederalists
people opposed to the Constitution, preferring more power be given to the state governments than to the national government.
Nullification
the idea of a state declaring a federal law illegal
Primary Sources
the original records of an event. They include eyewitness reports, records created at the time of an event, speeches, and letters by people involved in the event, photographs and artifacts.
Secondary Sources
the later writings and interpretations of historians and writers. Often secondary sources, like textbooks and articles, provide summaries of information found in primary sources
Republicanism
an attitude toward society in the late 1700s based on the belief that the good virtue and morality of the people was essential to sustain the republican form of government.
Industrial Revolution
the era in which a change from household industries to factory production using powered machinery took place.
Magna Carta
signed in 1215 by William and Mary of England, was the first document that limited power of the ruler.
English Bill of Rights
protected the rights of English citizens and became the basis for the American Bill of Rights.
Declaration of Independence
a document written by Thomas Jefferson, declaring the colonies independence from England
Articles of Confederation
was the first American constitution. It was a very weak document that limited the power of the Congress by giving states the final authority over all decisions.
Constitution
sets out the laws and principles of the government of the United States.
49. George Washington's Farewell Address
advised the United States to stay "neutral in its relations with other nations" and to avoid "entangling alliances".
Monroe Doctrine
was a foreign policy statement by President James Monroe stating that 1) the U.S. would not interfere in European affairs, and 2) that the western hemisphere was closed to colonization and/ or interference by European nations.
Treaty of Paris of 1763
ended the French and Indian War and effectively kicked the French out of North America.
Treaty of Paris of 1783
ended the American Revolution and forced Britain to recognize the United States as an independent nation.
Northwest Ordinance
a policy of establishing the principles and procedures for the orderly expansion of the United States.
Mayflower Compact
the agreement signed in 1620 by the Pilgrims in Plymouth, to consult each other about laws for the colony and a promise to work together to make it succeed.
Federalist Papers
a series of essays written by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton, defending the Constitution and the principles on which the government of the United States was founded
Common Sense
a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine to convince colonists that it was time to become independent from Britain
Bill of Rights
the first ten amendments to the Constitution and detail the protection of individual liberties.
Gettysburg Address
a short speech given by Abraham Lincoln to dedicate a cemetery for soldiers who died at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is considered to be a profound statement of American ideals
Emancipation Proclamation
Abraham Lincoln issued this on January 1, 1863, setting all slaves in the Confederate states free.
Lincoln's First Inaugural Address
stated that, "no state...can lawfully get out of the Union", but pledged there would be no war unless the South started it.
Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
was meant to help heal and restore the country after four years of Civil War.
Great Compromise
created two houses of Congress. One based on population, the other gave equal representation to each state.
Sam Adams
leader of the Sons of Liberty who started the Committee of Correspondence to stir public support for American independence.
Ben Franklin
was an inventor, statesman, diplomat, signer of the Declaration of Independence and delegate to Constitutional Convention.
King George III
was the King of England who disbanded the colonial legislatures, taxed the colonies, and refused the Olive Branch Petition leading to the final break with the colonies.
Thomas Jefferson
wrote the Declaration of Independence; became the 3rd President of the United States and purchased the Louisiana territory, doubling the size of the United States.
Thomas Paine
wrote pamphlets like Common Sense and The Crisis to encourage American independence and resolve
George Washington
the leader of the Continental Army who became the first President of the United States
Andrew Jackson
the leader of the original Democratic Party and a "President of the people". He was also responsible for the Trail of Tears, which forced Native Americans west of the Mississippi River
John C. Calhoun
a South Carolina Congressman and Senator who spoke for the South before and during the Civil War
Henry Clay
a powerful Kentucky Congressman and Senator who proposed the American System and the Compromise of 1850.
Daniel Webster
a Massachusetts Congressman and Senator who spoke for the North and the preservation of the Union
Jefferson Davis
the President of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Ulysses S. Grant
the General of the Union Army and was responsible for winning the Civil War for the North.
Robert E. Lee
the General of the Confederate Army
Abraham Lincoln
the 16th President of the United States who successfully put the Union back together only to be assassinated 5 days after the Civil War ended.
Alexander Hamilton
a leader of the Federalists, first Treasurer of the United States, creator of the Bank of the U.S., and killed in a duel by the Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr.
Patrick Henry
a passionate patriot who became famous for his fiery speeches in favor of American independence. His most famous quote included the words, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
James Madison
considered to be the "Father of the Constitution".
Frederick Douglass
a former slave who became the best-known black abolitionist in the country.
James Monroe
the author of the Monroe Doctrine, which shut down the western hemisphere to European expansion or interference.
Harriet Tubman
an escaped slave who became a Conductor on the Underground Railroad and helped over 300 slaves to freedom in the North.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
organized the Seneca Falls Convention creating the Women's Rights Movement in the United States.
First Amendment
states that "Congress shall make no law" restricting freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition.
Second Amendment
guarantees the right of states to organize militias, or armies, and the right of individuals to bear arms.
Third Amendment
forbids the government to order private citizens to allow soldiers to live in their homes
Fourth Amendment
requires that warrants be issued if property is to be searched or seized (taken) by the government.
Fifth Amendment
protects an accused person from having to testify against him or herself (self-incrimination); bans double jeopardy, and guarantees that no person will suffer the loss of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
Sixth Amendment
guarantees the right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury; the right to a lawyer; the right to cross examine witnesses; and the right to force witnesses at a trial to testify.
Seventh Amendment
guarantees the right to a jury trial in civil suits.
Eighth Amendment
prohibits cruel and unusual punishment and excessive bail or fines.
Ninth Amendment
states that the people have rights other than those specifically mentioned in the Constitution.
Tenth Amendment
states that powers not given to the federal government belong to the states.
Thirteenth Amendment
abolished slavery.
Fourteenth Amendment
guarantees citizenship and rights to all people born or naturalized in the United States
Fifteenth Amendment
guarantees the right to vote to all citizens regardless of race.
Marbury v. Madison
was the 1803 Court decision that gave the Supreme Court the right to determine whether a law violates the Constitution. It set up the principle of judicial review.
Dred Scott v. Sanford
the Supreme Court decision that said slaves were property and not citizens.
Cotton Gin
an invention by Eli Whitney that speeded the cleaning of cotton fibers and in effect, increased the need for slaves - the interchangeable parts revolutionized industry.
steamboat
Robert Fulton revolutionized
transportation and trade in the United States