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The Indians of one of the most advanced early civilizations of the Western Hemisphere; made their home in Central America.


Ancient civilization (1200-1500AD) that was located in the Andes in Peru


The Aztecs were a Native American Empire who lived in Mexico. Their capital was Tenochtitlan. They worshipped everything around them especially the sun. Cortes conquered them in 1521.

Treaty of Tordesillas

Set the Line of Demarcation which was a boundary established in 1493 to define Spanish and Portuguese possessions in the Americas.

Hernan Cortes

Spanish conquistador who defeated the Aztecs and conquered Mexico (1485-1547)

Francisco Pizarro

Spanish explorer who conquered the Incas in what is now Peru and founded the city of Lima (1475-1541)

John Cabot

Italian explorer who led the English expedition in 1497 that discovered the mainland of North America and explored the coast from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland (ca. 1450-1498)


The first successful settlement in the Virginia colony founded in May, 1607. Harsh conditions nearly destroyed the colony but in 1610 supplies arrived with a new wave of settlers. . The population remained low due to lack of supplies until agriculture was solidly established. Jamestown grew to be a prosperous shipping port when John Rolfe introduced tobacco as a major export and cash crop.


A religious group who wanted to purify the Church of England. They came to America for religious freedom and settled Massachusetts Bay.

John Winthrop

As governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop (1588-1649) was instrumental in forming the colony's government and shaping its legislative policy. He envisioned the colony, centered in present-day Boston, as a "city upon a hill" from which Puritans would spread religious righteousness throughout the world.

Virginia House of Burgesses

1619. First elected legislative assembly in the New World established in the Colony of Virginia. Served as an early model of elected government in the New World.

Proprietary colonies

Colonies in which the proprietors (who had obtained their patents from the king) named the governors, subject to the king's approval.

William Berkeley

a Governor of Virginia, appointed by King Charles I, of whom he was a favorite. He was governor from 1641-1652 and 1660-1677. Berkeley enacted friendly policies towards the Indians that led to Bacon's Rebellion in 1676.

Bacons Rebellion

A rebellion lead by Nathaniel Bacon with backcountry farmers to attack Native Americans in an attempt to gain more land

Roger Williams

He founded Rhode Island for separation of Church and State. He believed that the Puritans were too powerful and was ordered to leave the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious beliefs.


the theological doctrine that by faith and God's grace a Christian is freed from all laws (including the moral standards of the culture)

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

Set up a unified government for the towns of the Connecticut area (Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield). First constitution written in America.

Thomas Hooker

A Puritan minister who led about 100 settlers out of Massachusetts Bay to Connecticut because he believed that the governor and other officials had too much power. He wanted to set up a colony in Connecticut with strict limits on government.

Halfway Covenant

A Puritan church policy of 1662, which allowed partial membership rights to persons not yet converted into the Puritan church; It lessened the difference between the "elect" members of the church from the regular members.

Navigation Acts

Laws that governed trade between England and its colonies. Colonists were required to ship certain products exclusively to England.

Glorious Revolution

A reference to the political events of 1688-1689, when James II abdicated his throne and was replaced by his daughter Mary and her husband, Prince William of Orange.

Great Awakening

Religious revival in the American colonies of the eighteenth century during which a number of new Protestant churches were established.

George Whitefield

Credited with starting the Great Awakening, also a leader of the "New Lights."

Phillis Wheatley

American poet (born in Africa) who was the first recognized Black writer in America (1753-1784)

John Peter Zenger

journalist who questioned the policies of the governor of New York in the 1700's. He was jailed; he sued, and this court case was the basis for our freedom of speech and press. He was found not guilty.

Albany Plan of Union

plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1754 that aimed to unite the 13 colonies for trade, military, and other purposes; the plan was turned down by the colonies and the Crown

Peace of Paris

This ended the Seven Years War/French and Indian war between Britain and her allies and France and her allies. The result was the acquisition of all land east of the Mississippi plus Canada for Britain, and the removal of the French from mainland North America.


conservatives and popular with pro-Bank people and plantation owners. They mainly came from the National Republican Party, which was once largely Federalists. Their policies included support of industry, protective tariffs, and Clay's American System. They were generally upper class in origin. Included Clay and Webster, John Tyler


Supporters of the Constitution that were led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. They firmly believed the national government should be strong. They didn't want the Bill of Rights because they felt citizens' rights were already well protected by the Constitution.


Led by Thomas Jefferson, believed people should have political power, favored strong STATE governments, emphasized agriculture, strict interpretation of the Constitution, pro-French, opposed National Bank

Pontiacs Rebellion

a 1763 conflict between Native Americans and the British over settlement of Indian lands in the Great Lakes area

Declaratory Act

Act passed in 1766 just after the repeal of the Stamp Act. Stated that Parliament could legislate for the colonies in all cases.

Sam Adams

A member of the Sons of Liberty who started the Committee of Correspondence to stir public support for American independence.

committee of correspondence

colonial organization organized in 1770 to spread news of Great Britain's actions and acts throughout the colonies

Port Act

this closed Boston Harbor, prohibiting trade in or out until the tea destroyed in the Boston Tea Party was paid for

Massachusetts Government Act

This was another of the Coercive Acts, which said that members of the Massachusetts assembly would no longer be elected, but instead would be appointed by the king. In response, the colonists elected a their own legislature which met in the interior of the colony.

John Locke

English empiricist philosopher who believed that all knowledge is derived from sensory experience (1632-1704)

First Continental Congress

Delegates from all colonies except Georgia met to discuss problems with Britain and to promote independence

John Jay

United States diplomat and jurist who negotiated peace treaties with Britain and served as the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court

Jay Treaty

It said that Britain was to pay for Americans ships that were seized in 1793. It said that Americans had to pay British merchants debts owed from before the revolution and Britain had agreed to remove their troops from the Ohio Valley

Declaration of Rights and Grievances

created by delegates from nine colonies, set forth view of British power in colonies. Parliament didn't have right to tax colonists without their legislative consent and demanded repeal of Stamp and Sugar Acts

Battle of Bunker Hill

First major battle of the Revolutions. It showed that the Americans could hold their own, but the British were also not easy to defeat. Ultimately, the Americans were forced to withdraw after running out of ammunition, and Bunker Hill was in British hands.

Second Continental Congress

They organized the continental Army, called on the colonies to send troops, selected George Washington to lead the army, and appointed the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence

Prohibitory Act

Declared all colonists rebellion and suspended trade among British and American Colonies

Articles of Confederation

this document, the nations first constitution, was adopted by the second continental congress in 1781during the revolution. the document was limited because states held most of the power, and congress lacked the power to tax, regulate trade, or control coinage, Shays rebellion happened due to this

Shays Rebellion

Rebellion led by Daniel Shays of farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786-1787, protesting mortgage foreclosures. It highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the Constitutional Convention went out.

Annapolis Convention

A convention held in September 1786 to consider problems of trade and navigation, attended by five states and important because it issued the call to Congress and the states for what became the Constitutional Convention.

Virginia Plan

Virginia delegate James Madison's plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population

New Jersey Plan

New Jersey delegate William Paterson's plan of government, in which states got an equal number of representatives in Congress

Three-fifths Compromise

The agreement by which the number of each state's representatives in Congress would be based on a count of all the free people plus three-fifths of the slaves

Judiciary Act

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

Edmund Randolph

a delegate from Virginia at the Constitutional convention. He proposed the large state compromise of a bicameral legislature

Pinckney Treaty

agreement between the united states and Spain that changed Florida's border and made it easier for American ships to use the port of new Orleans

Whiskey Rebellion

In 1794, farmers in Pennsylvania rebelled against Hamilton's excise tax on whiskey, and several federal officers were killed in the riots caused by their attempts to serve arrest warrants on the offenders. The incident showed that the new government under the Constitution could react swiftly and effectively to such a problem, in contrast to the inability of the government under the Articles of Confederation to deal with Shay's Rebellion.

Washington's Farewell Address

Warned Americans not to get involved in European affairs, not to make permanent alliances, not to form political parties and to avoid sectionalism.

Alien and Sedition Acts

These consist of four laws passed by the Federalist Congress and signed by President Adams in 1798: the Naturalization Act, which increased the waiting period for an immigrant to become a citizen from 5 to 14 years; the Alien Act, which empowered the president to arrest and deport dangerous aliens; and the Sedition Act, which made it illegal to publish defamatory statements about the federal government or its officials.

Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions

These stated that a state had the right to declare a law unconstitutional, or nullify a law, within its borders. These were written by Jefferson and Madison to resist the Alien and Sedition Acts

Marbury v. Madison

The decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress, (the Judiciary Act of 1789).

Embargo Act

signed by Thomas Jefferson in 1807 - stop export of all American goods and American ships from sailing for foreign ports

Henry Clay

Senator who persuaded Congress to accept the Missouri Compromise, which admitted Maine into the Union as a free state, and Missouri as a slave state

John C. Calhoun

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

Treaty of Ghent

Ended the War of 1812

Hartford Convention

Meeting of Federalists near the end of the War of 1812 in which the party listed it's complaints against the ruling Republican Party. These actions were largely viewed as traitorous to the country and lost the Federalist much influence

Tariff of 1816

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

Panic of 1819

Economic panic caused by extensive speculation and a decline of European demand for American goods along with mismanagement within the Second Bank of the United States. Often cited as the end of the Era of Good Feelings.

Fletcher v. Peck

Supreme Court case which protected property rights and asserted the right to invalidate state laws in conflict with the Constitution

McCulloch v. Maryland

Maryland was trying to tax the national bank and Supreme Court ruled that federal law was stronger than the state law

Dartmouth College v. Woodward

New Hampshire had attempted to take over Dartmouth College by revising its colonial charter. The Court ruled that the charter was protected under the contract clause of the U. S. Constitution; upholds the sanctity of contracts.

Gibbons v. Ogden

Regulating interstate commerce is a power reserved to the federal government

Treaty of 1818

it established the 49th parallel fixing the northern border between the US and Canada from Minnesota to Oregon

Tallmadge Amendment

The amendment would have prohibited the further introduction of slaves into Missouri and would have mandated the emancipation of slaves' offspring born after the state was admitted.

Lowell System

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

Daniel Webster

Senator who, originally pro-North, supported the Compromise of 1850 and subsequently lost favor from his constituency

John Deere

United States industrialist who manufactured plows suitable for working the prairie soil (1804-1886)


Americans who feared that immigrants would take jobs and impose their Roman Catholic beliefs on society

Nat Turner

United States slave and insurrectionist who in 1831 led a rebellion of slaves in Virginia

Spoils system

the system of employing and promoting civil servants who are friends and supporters of the group in power

Tariff of 1828

a high tariff on imports that benefited the industrial North while forcing Southerners to pay higher prices on manufactured goods; called the "Tariff of Abominations" by Southerners

Indian Removal Act

removed indians from southern states and put them on reservations in the midwest

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

(1831) The Cherokees argued that they were a separate nation and therefore not under Georgia's jurisdiction. Marshall said they were not, but rather had "special status"

Worcester v. Georgia

case where the state of Georgia tried to remove the Cherokee Indians, but Congress said it was illegal to remove them off their own land

Roger Taney

United States jurist who served as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court

Specie Circular

Issued by Jackson - attempt to stop states from speculating land with money they printed that was not backed by anything - required land speculation in speci; Provided that in payment for public lands, the government would accept only gold or silver

Panic of 1837

Economic downturn caused by loose lending practices of stat banks' and over-speculation. Martin Van Buren spent most of his time in office attempting to stabilize and lessen the economic situation

Second Great Awakening

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

Timothy Dwight

He was an educated Reverend who helped initiate the Second Great Awakening. His campus revivals inspired many young men to become evangelical preachers.


church founded by Joseph Smith in 1830 with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah

Joseph Smith

religious leader who founded the Mormon Church in 1830 (1805-1844)

Brigham Young

United States religious leader of the Mormon Church after the assassination of Joseph Smith


any system of philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical and material

Ralph Waldo Emerson

American transcendentalist who was against slavery and stressed self-reliance, optimism, self-improvement, self-confidence, and freedom.

Henry David Thoreau

American transcendentalist who was against a government that supported slavery. He started the movement of civil-disobedience when he refused to pay the toll-tax to support him Mexican War.

Margaret Fuller

Social reformer, leader in women's movement and a transcendentalist. Edited "The Dial" which was the publication of the transcendentalists.


a celibate and communistic Christian sect in the United States


The Perfectionist Utopian movement began in New York. People lived in a commune and shared everything, even marriages. Today, the town is known for manufacturing silverware.

New Harmony

This was a society that focused on Utopian Socialism (Communism). It was started by Robert Owens but failed because everybody did not share a fair load of the work.

Washington Irving

United States writer remembered for his stories (1783-1859)

Nathaniel Hawthorne

later rejected them and became a leading anti-transcendentalist. He was a descendant of Puritan settlers. The Scarlet Letter shows the hypocrisy and insensitivity of New England puritans by showing their cruelty to a woman who has committed adultery and is forced to wear a scarlet "A".

Thomas Gallaudet

set up a school for the deaf in hartford, connecticut

Samuel Gridley Howe

he became the first director of the New England Institution for the Education of the Blind the first such institution in the United States. Howe directed the school for the rest of his life

Lucretia Mott

A Quaker who attended an anti-slavery convention in 1840 and her party of women was not recognized. She and Stanton called the first women's right convention in New York in 1848

The Liberator

An anti-slavery newspaper written by William Lloyd Garrison. It drew attention to abolition, both positive and negative, causing a war of words between supporters of slavery and those opposed.

The North Star

antislavery newspaper published by Fredrick Douglass

David Ruggles

an anti-slavery activist who was active in the New York Committee of Vigilance and the Underground Railroad. He claimed to have led over six hundred people, including friend and fellow abolitionist Frederick Douglass, to freedom in the North.

William Still

African American abolitionist and author; wrote The Underground Railroad which chronicles how he helped 649 slaves escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad

Liberty Party

A former political party in the United States; formed in 1839 to oppose the practice of slavery; merged with the Free Soil Party in 1848

Sam Houston

United States politician and military leader who fought to gain independence for Texas from Mexico and to make it a part of the United States (1793-1863)

Webster-Ashburton Treaty

1842 - Established Maine's northern border and the boundaries of the Great Lake states.

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight

slogan used in the 1844 presidential election as a call for us annexation of the oregon territory

Wilmot Proviso

Bill that would ban slavery in the territories acquired after the War with Mexico

Ostend Manifesto

The recommendation that the U.S. offer Spain $20 million for Cuba. It was not carried through in part because the North feared Cuba would become another slave state.

Clayton-Bulwer Treaty

between U.S. and Great Britain agreeing that neither country would try to obtain exclusive rights to canal across Isthmus of Panama;

Panic of 1857

Economic downturn caused by overspeculation of western lands, railroads, gold in California, grain. Mostly affected northerners, who called for higher tariffs and free homesteads

Elias Howe

invented the sewing machine

Free-Soil Party

political party dedicated to stopping the expansion of slavery

Henry Clay

Senator who persuaded Congress to accept the Missouri Compromise, which admitted Maine into the Union as a free state, and Missouri as a slave state, American System

Uncle Toms Cabin

1852, harriet beecher stowe, antislavery book, widely read- hated by southerners - made northerners more skeptical of slavery

Lecompton Constitution

Pro-slave constitution that got voted in for Kansas after anti-slavery people boycotted the election

Dred Scott v. Sanford

Supreme Court case that decided US Congress did not have the power to prohibit slavery in federal territories and slaves, as private property, could not be taken away without due process - basically slaves would remain slaves in non-slave states and slaves could not sue because they were not citizens

Freeport Doctrine

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

Crittenden Compromise

A last-ditch effort to resolve the secession crisis by compromise. It proposed to bar the government from intervening in the states' decision of slavery, to restore the Missouri Compromise, and to guarantee protection of slavery below the line. Lincoln rejected the proposal, causing the gateway to bloodshed to be open.

Winfield Scott

United States general who was a hero of the War of 1812 and who defeated Santa Anna in the Mexican War (1786-1866)

George McCllelan

major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army; relieved of command

13th amendment

This amendment freed all slaves without compensation to the slaveowners. It legally forbade slavery in the United States.


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

Morrill Tariff Act

1861 law that increased tariffs duties to 10%

Homestead Act

Passed in 1862, it gave 160 acres of public land to any settler who would farm the land for five years. The settler would only have to pay a registration fee of $25.

Morrill Land Grant Act

passed by Congress in 1862, this law distributed millions of acres of western lands to state governments in order to fund state agricultural colleges.

Ex Parte Milligan

was a United States Supreme Court case that ruled suspension of Habeas Corpus by President Abraham Lincoln as constitutional

Wade-Davis Bill

an 1864 plan for Reconstruction that denied the right to vote or hold office for anyone who had fought for the Confederacy...Lincoln refused to sign this bill thinking it was too harsh.

Radical Republicans

political party that favored harsh punishment of southern states after Civil War

Civil Rights act of 1866

Act that prohibits any racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing

14th amendment

Declares that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens and are guaranteed equal protection of the laws

Reconstruction Acts

1867 - Pushed through Congress over Johnson's veto, it gave radical Republicans complete military control over the South and divided the South into five military zones, each headed by a general with absolute power over his district.

15th amendment

This amendment granted black men the right to vote.

Civil Rights Act of 1875

Prohibited discrimination against blacks in public place, such as inns, amusement parks, and on public transportation. Declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.


southern whites who supported Republican policy throughout reconstruction


northern whites who moved to the south and served as republican leaders during reconstruction

Boss Tweed

Leader of the Democratic Tammany Hall, New York political machine

Panic of 1873

Four year economic depression caused by over-speculation on railroads and western lands, and worsened by Grant's poor fiscal response refusing to coin silver

Amnesty Act of 1872

gave forgiveness to former Confederates and Whites in the South and allowed them to vote again

Compromise of 1877

Ended Reconstruction. Republicans promise 1) Remove military from South, 2) Appoint Democrat to cabinet (David Key postmaster general), 3) Federal money for railroad construction and levees on Mississippi river

Dawes Severalty Act

Bill that promised Indians tracts of land to farm in order to assimilate them into white culture. The bill was resisted, uneffective, and disastrous to Indian tribes

Indian Reorganization Act

1934 - Restored tribal ownership of lands, recognized tribal constitutions and government, and provided loans for economic development.

Plessy v. Ferguson

supreme court ruled that segregation public places facilities were legal as long as the facilities where equal

Booker T. Washington

African American progressive who supported segregation and demanded that African American better themselves individually to achieve equality.

Munn v. Illinois

(1877) United States Supreme Court Case that ended up allowing states to regulate business within their borders, including railroads

Wabash v. Illinois

Supreme court ruling that states could not regulate interstate commerce

Intersate commerce Act

1887 established federal government right to supervise railroad activities and created five member interstate commerce.

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