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Treaty of Paris

Under this agreement, the British recognized the United States as an independent nation, the borders of the new nation extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, and the southern border stopped at Florida, which was returned to Spain. The west of the Mississippi River also went to Spain.

Louisiana Purchase

territory in western United States purchased from France in 1803 for $15 million; extends from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada

Lewis and Clark

Two explorers sent by the president to explore the Louisiana Purchase


the Native American women who was the personal guide and translator for Lewis and Clark and their expedition in northern Lousiana Territory

Adams-Onis Treaty

a result of the War of 1812, the United States acquired Florida from Spain and fixed the settlement of the western boundary of Louisiana.

Manifest Destiny

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

Texas Annexation

Texas gave up status as an independent nation to be added on to the United States in 1845, triggering war between the U.S. and Mexico


Site of battle where 200 Texans are surrounded and slaughtered by 600 mexican forces

James Polk

11th President of the United States; his expansionism led to the Mexican War and the annexation of California and much of the southwest (1795-1849)

Zachary Taylor

American general; invaded northern Mexico; later elected president

Santa Anna

Mexican general who tried to crush the Texas revolt and who lost battles to Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War (1795-1876)

Mexican-American War

after Mexican refusal to sell California-New Mexico region, Polk sent troops and it ended w/ Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo


When this state was acquired in 1867, many Americans thought it quite foolish. In fact, the agreement by which it was purchased was known as "Seward's Folly" for the Secretary of State who made the agreement with Russia. 49th state


America attained this state by forcing the King to sign a constitution and reduced his power. The Queen Liliuokalani gave up her country because she didn't want to go to war with America. 50th State

Gold Rush

a period from 1848 to 1856 when thousands of people came to California in order to search for gold.

Oregon Trail

a route from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon, used by pioneers traveling to the Oregon Territory


religious group that emphasized moderation, saving, hard work, and risk-taking; founded by Joseph Smith; moved from Illinois to Utah, Church of Jesus Christ & the Latter day saints

Monroe Doctrine

an American foreign policy opposing interference in the Western hemisphere from outside powers

trench warfare

Fighting with trenches, mines, and barbed wire. Horrible living conditions, great slaughter, no gains, stalemate, used in WWI.

Central powers

Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey

Archduke Ferdinand

Assassinated in 1914 by a Serbian terrorist. His assassination started the conflict of WWI

Spanish Flu

A pandemic that killed 22 million people, twice as many as the war. 675,000 deaths in the US, which was 5 times as many as we had lost in the war.

Adolf Hitler

Leader of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich in Germany during World War II.

Benito Mussolini

Known as "Il Duce" -- the Leader -- the Fascist dictator of Italy during World War II.

Josef Stalin

leader of Soviet Union, also worked with Roosevelt and Churchill during WWII.

Franklin Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States, elected four times; instituted New Deal to counter the great depression and led country during World War II

Dwight Eisenhower

United States general who supervised the invasion of Normandy and the defeat of Nazi Germany, President who sent federal troops to Little Rock to guarantee that the nine African-American students were protected and integration would occur.

Winston Churchill

Britain's new prime minister during WWII who pleaded for US aid

Erwin Rommel

The Desert Fox. Commander of the Axis forces in North Africa.

Chester Nimitz

United States admiral of the Pacific fleet during World War II who used aircraft carriers to destroy the Japanese navy

Douglas Macarthur

United States general who served as chief of staff and commanded Allied forces in the South Pacific during World War II, he accepted the surrender of Japan

William Halsey

Allie leader who fought for control of the Solomon islands in the South Pacific


Japanese admiral who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941


Japanese army officer who initiated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and who assumed dictatorial control of Japan during World War II


Emperor of Japan during WWII

Rosie the Riveter

Symbol of American women who went to work in factories during the war


Satisfying the demands of dissatisfied powers in an effort to maintain peace and stability.


German word meaning lightning war; the swift attacks launched by Germany in World War II


Allows America to sell, lend, or lease arms or other war supplies to any nation considered "vital to the defense of the U.S."

Operation Overlord

The code name for the Allied invasion of Europe at Normandy on June 6, 1944; also known as D-Day

Battle of the Bulge

Last german attempt at an offensive strike at the allies

V-E Day

May 8, 1945; Victory in Europe Day when the Germans surrendered


The two days when Nazi troops attacked Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues, also know as "Night of the Broken Glass."


The Nazi program of exterminating Jews under Hitler

Pearl Harbor

Base in Hawaii that was bombed by Japan on December 7, 1941, got America to enter the war


Naval battle that was a turning point in the war in the pacific; Americans sank 4 Japanese aircraft carriers

Doolittle Raid

Bombing of Tokyo that boosted American morale

island hopping

Strategy of Allies in World War 2 of capturing some Japanese-held islands and going around others


Japanese suicide pilots who loaded their planes with explosives and crashed them into American ships.

Iwo Jima

A bloody and prolonged operation on a key Japanese island in which American marines landed and defeated Japanese defenders


City in Japan, the first to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, on August 6, 1945. The bombing hastened the end of World War II.


Japanese city in which the second atomic bomb was dropped.

atomic bomb

Bomb that changed the world, ended WWII in Japan, created a nuclear arms race between U.S. and Soviet Union


The name for the forced relocation and confinement of Japanese-Americans to concentration camps

Herbert Hoover

President during the Great Depression. Not well liked. Ignored the depression of the country and the lack of jobs and homes.

Black Tuesday

October 29, 1929; the day the stock market crashed.

Reconstruction Finance Corporation

Gave more than $1 billion of government loans to railroads and large businesses under the Hoover administration


Shanty towns built by the homeless during the Great Depression

Brain Trust

Group of expert policy advisers who worked with FDR in the 1930s to end the Great Depression


A law forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages

Bank holiday

All banks closed until government examiners could investigate their financial condition; only sound/solvent banks were allowed to reopen

Fireside chats

The informal radio conversations Roosevelt had with the people to keep spirits up. It was a means of communicating with the people on how he would take on the depression.

Dust Bowl

Region of the Great Plains that experienced a drought in 1930 lasting for a decade, leaving many farmers without work or substantial wages.

Civilian Conservation Corps

It was Relief that provided work for young men 18-25 years old in food control, planting, flood work, etc.

Agricultural Adjustment Administration

Put a limit on how much farmers can produce and payed farmers not to overproduce; regulated crop prices

Tennessee Valley Authority

Federal project to provide inexpensive electric power, flood control, and recreational opportunities to the Tennessee River Valley

National Recovery Act

Set wage, labor, and price standards

Works Progress Administration

Gave the unemployed work in building construction and arts programs

Social Security Act

Relief passed in 1935 to provide Americans with retirement benefits, unemployment and disability insurance. Workers and employers pay into this fund.

court packing

FDR tried to add more members to the Supreme Court to pass his programs.

Good Neighbor policy

FDR's foreign policy of promoting better relations with Latin America by using economic influence rater than military force in the region

Harry Truman

FDR's vice president that took over when he died. Made the decision to drop the atomic bomb

Joe McCarthy

Anti-communist Wisconsin senator who started another "Red Scare" after he claimed to have a list of communists working in the government

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

They were convicted in 1951 of giving atomic bomb data found by American scientists to the Soviet Union and executed.

Chiang Kai-Shek

Leader of the anti-comunism/nationalist party in China.

Nikita Khrushchev

Leader of the Soviet Union during the building of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis and after Stalin died.

Fidel Castro

Communist leader of Cuba

John Kennedy

President who led Bay of Pigs invasion, led us through Cuban Missile Crisis

Ho Chi Minh

Communist leader of North Vietnam

Lyndon Johnson

President after Kennedy died, started new round of reform known as Great Society, which included medicare and medicaid; increased troops in Vietnam

Richard Nixon

Ended the draft and stopped US participation in Vietnam; during his term Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon; resigned as a result of the Watergate scandal

Jimmy Carter

Dealt with energy crisis, Iran Hostage situation, high inflation and high unemployment

Ronald Reagan

Berlin Wall separating Germany was torn down during his presidency, contributed with ending the cold war; built up the us military

Mikhail Gorbachev

Soviet leader who began the reform policies of perestroika and glasnost, ended the Cold War

Boris Yeltsin

President of the Russian Republic in 1991. Helped end the USSR and force Gorbachev to resign.

Truman Doctrine

President Truman's policy of providing economic and military aid to any country threatened by communism

Red Scare

A period of general fear of communists started by Joe McCarthy

Marshall Plan

A plan that the US came up with to revive war-torn economies of Europe. This plan offered $13 billion in aid to western and Southern Europe.

Cold War

This period of time following World War II is where the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as superpowers and faced off in an arms race that lasted nearly 50 years.

Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles

Long-range nuclear missiles capable of being fired at targets on the other side of the globe. The reason behind the Cuban Missile Crisis -- Russia was threatening the U.S. by building launch sites for these missiles in Cuba.

Berlin Blockade

Blockaded east Germany from American supplies. Americans bypassed by air-lifting goods to the Germans


An alliance made to defend one another if they were attacked by any other country; US, England, France, Canada, Western European countries


American policy of resisting further expansion of communism around the world

Bay of Pigs

American attempt to overthrow the newly established communist government in Cuba by training and sending Cuban rebels. The coup ended up in a disaster due to the lack of support by the Americans.

Cuban Missile Crisis

The 1962 confrontation between US and the Soviet Union over Soviet missiles in Cuba


What Kennedy called the "blockade" around Cuba

Diem Bien Phu

Site where the Vietminh defeated the French after a long siege

Ho Chi Minh Trail

Trail that ran through neutral countries that allowed North Vietnam to get more supplies even during a blockade.

Rolling Thunder

Bombing of North Vietnam for three years by the US

Tet Offensive

Surprise attacks on cities all over South Vietnam by the Vietcong on the Vietnamese New Year


US policy of equipping and training of the South Vietnamese to fight for themselves

Kent State

An Ohio University where National Guardsmen opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam War, wounding nine and killing four

War Powers Act

A law enacted in 1973, limiting a presidents right to send troops into battle without consulting congress.


A person who surrenders to (or is taken by) the enemy in time of war


Negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union designed to limit both countries' stock of nuclear weapons

Camp David Accords

Peace talks between Egypt and Israel mediated by President Carter.

Iran Iraq War

Saddam Hussein attacks Iran to prevent the Islamic revolution from coming to Iraq


A policy of the Soviet government allowing freer discussion of social problems


A policy of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to revitalize the Soviet economy by opening it up to more free enterprise

Iran Contra Affair

Scandal including arms sales to the Middle East in order to send money to help the Contras in Nicaragua even though Congress had objected


Anti-American revolutionaries in Nicaragua

Berlin Wall

A wall separating East and West Berlin built by East Germany in 1961 to keep citizens from escaping to the West

Star Wars

President Reagan's proposed weapons system to destroy Soviet missiles from space.

Gerald Ford

First non elected president and VP, pardoned Nixon

Emmitt Till

14 year old African American who was kidnapped, beaten, and brutally killed in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman

Thurgood Marshall

First black Supreme Court justice, lawyer for the Brown v. Board of Education case

Earl Warren

Chief Justice on the Supreme Court for the Brown v. Board of Education case

Orval Faubus

Governor of Arkansas who opposed the integration of Central High. Sent the Little Rock National Guard to keep them out, then gave them no protection at all.

Rosa Parks

United States civil rights leader who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama which triggered the national civil rights movement

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

An African-American Civil Rights Activist who supported nonviolent protests. He was assassinated in 1968 in Tennessee.

Malcolm X

Leader of the Nation of Islam (Black Muslims) who supported violent protesting. At first thought that blacks would be better separated from whites, later changed his ideas

Stokely Carmichael

Member of SNCC, he called to assert Black Power. Supporting the Black Panthers, he was against integration. Broke off from the nonviolent effort

Ignacio Lopez

Established the Unity League of California in order to promote political candidates who would represent Hispanic interests, achieved integration of public schools in California

Summer of Love

Summer of 1967, thousands of people gather in the Haight-Ashbury district of San-Francisco; height of the psychedelic (hippie) counterculture movement

March on Washington

Held to show support for the Civil Rights Bill in Congress. Martin Luther King gave his famous "I have a dream..." speech. 250,000 people attended the rally

Bus Boycott

Because Rosa Parks was arrested for sitting in the front of the bus (the "white" section), African Americans stopped riding the buses

Freedom Rides

Blacks and whites rode together in interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the Supreme Court ruling of unsegregated public places

Civil Rights Act

This banned federal discrimination in public places such as schools and other facilities and banned discrimination in employment on basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin

Voting Rights Act

Act which guaranteed the right to vote to all Americans and allowed the federal government to intervene in order to ensure that minorities could vote

Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Churches link together to inform blacks about changes in the Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King Jr.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

College kids participate in Civil Rights, stage sit-ins to desegregate lunch counters

Black Panthers

Political party formed by African Americans to fight police brutality. They urged violent resistance against whites. Many whites and moderate African Americans feared the group.

Plessy v. Ferguson

Case in which the Supreme Court ruled that segregated public places and facilities were legal as long as they were equal. "Separate but equal"

Brown v. Board of Education

Court ruled that segregation was unconstitutional, overturned Plessy v. Ferguson.


Non violent protest where African-American students sat down at lunch counters and refused to leave


Break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 that resulted in a cover-up and the subsequent resignation of Nixon


Nixon's secret group that was created to stop information leaks to the press

Pentagon Papers

Secret government documents published in 1971; revealed that the US government had misled Americans about the Vietnam War.

White House tapes

Tapes of all Nixon's conversations in White house, Nixon edited them - tapes show his guilt in Watergate and he resigns


An increase in the overall level of prices in the economy

Energy crisis

Many Arab countries created embargo against U..S. for support of Israel in Yom Kippur War, then the Iran Revolution caused U.S. to not have enough oil supplies for energy

Three Mile Island

Nuclear nightmare in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, power plant accident, very close to reactor meltdown and nuclear disaster


Reagan's theory that if you cut taxes, it will spur the growth of public spending and improve the economy. It included tax breaks for the rich, "supply-side economics," and "trickle down" theory.

environmental issues

Concern in America, since the late 19th century, regarding the misuse of natural resources and the pollution of air and water.

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