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These are all the terms provided in the glossary of the course study guide "5 Steps to A 5 AP U.S. History": 2010-2011 edition by Stephen Armstrong. There are a total of 503 terms with their exact definition that is given in the guide in alphabetical order. The provided terms will give you the idea of what will be covered throughout the course.

abolitionist movement

Movement dedicated to the abolition of slavery that existed primarily in the North in years leading up to the Civil War; had both white and black members.

advertising age

Term first used to describe America's consumer culture of the 1920's, when advertising began to influence the choices of purchasers.

affirmative action

Policies that began in the 1970s to make up for the past discrimination and give minorities and women advantages in applying for certain jobs and in applying for admission to certain universities.

affluent society

Term used by economist John Kenneth Galbraith to describe the American economy in the 1950s, during which time many Americans became enraptured with appliances and homes in the suburbs.

Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA)

Established by the Agricultural Act of 1932, a New Deal bureau designed to restore economic position of farmers by paying them not to farm goods that were being overproduced.

Agricultural Marketing Acrt

1929 act championed by Herbert Hoover that authorized the lending of federal money to farmer's cooperatives to buy crops to keep them from the over-saturated market; program hampered by lack of adequate federal financial support.

Albany Congress

1754 meeting of representatives of seven colonies to coordinate their efforts against French and Native American threats in the Western frontier regions.

Alien and Sedition Acts

Proposed and supported by John Adams, gave the president the power to expel aliens deemed "dangerous to the country's well-being" and outlawed publication and public pronouncement of "false, scandalous, and malicious" statements about the government.

Allied powers

Coalition of nations that opposed Germany,Italy,and Japan in World War II; led by England, the Soviet Union, and the United States.
In World War I, the coalition consisted of France,Russia, and Great Britain. This Group opposed the Central powers (Germany,Austria-Hungary, and Italy).

America First Committee

Isolationist group in America that insisted that America stay out of World War II; held rallies from 1939 to 1941; argued that affairs in Europe should be settled by Europeans and not Americans and stated that the Soviet Union was a greater eventual threat than Nazi Germany.

American Colonization Society

Formed in 1817, stated that the best way to end the slavery problem in the United States was for blacks to emigrate to Africa; by 1822 a few American blacks emigrated to Liberia. Organization's views were later rejected by most abolitionists.

American Expeditionary Force

Official title of the American army sent to Europe to aid England and France after the United States entered World War I; army was commanded by General John J. Pershing.

American Federation of Labor (AFL)

National labor union founded by Samuel Gompers in 1886; original goal was to organize skilled workers by craft. Merged with Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1955.

American Indian Movement (AIM)

Native American organization founded in 1968 to protest government policies and injustices suffered by Native Americans; in 1973 organized armed occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

American Liberty League

Formed in 1934 by anti-New Deal politicians and business leaders to oppose policies of Franklin Roosevelt; stated that New Deal policies brought America closer to fascism.

American System

Economic plan promoted by Speaker of the House Henry Clay in years following the War of 1812; promoted vigorous growth of the American economy and the use of protective tariffs to encourage Americans to buy more domestic goods.

Anaconda Copper Company

Large mining syndicate typical of many companies involved in mining in the western United States in the 1860s and 1870s; used heavy machinery and professional engineers. Many prospectors who found gold,silver, or copper sold their claims to companies such as this.

Anaconda Plan

Critical component of initial Union plans to win the Civil War; called for capture of critical Southern ports and eventual control of the Mississippi River, which would create major economic and strategic difficulties for the Confederacy.


Group that opposed the ratification of the proposed Constitution of the United Sates in 1787; many feared that strong central government would remove the process of government "from the people" and replicate the excesses of the British monarchy.

Anti-Imperialist League

Organization formed in 1898 to oppose American annexation of the Philippines and American imperialism in general; focused the public on the potential financial,military, and especially moral costs of imperialism.

Anti-Saloon League

Organization founded in 1893 that increased public awareness of the social effects of alcohol on society; supported politicians who favored prohibition and promoted statewide referendums in Western and Southern states to ban alcohol.


In the courthouse of Virginia city Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865.

Army-McCarthy hearings

1954 televised hearings on charges that Senator Joseph McCarthy was unfairly tarnishing the United States Army with charges of communist infiltration into the armed forces; hearings were the beginning of the end for McCarthy, whose bullying tactics were repeatedly demonstrated.

Articles of Confederation

Ratified in 1781, this document established the first official government of the United States; allowed much power to remain in the states, with the federal government possessing only limited powers. Articles replaced by the Constitution in 1788.


Instrument that enabled navigators to calculate their latitude using the sun and the stars; allowed more accuracy in plotting routes during the Age of Discovery.

Atlantic Charter

Fall 1941 agreement between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, stating that America and Great Britain would support a postwar world based on self-determination and would endorse a world body to ensure "general security"; U.S. agreement to convoy merchant ships across part of the Atlantic inevitably drew America closer to conflict with Germany.


Advanced Indian society located in central Mexico; conquered by Spanish conquistador Cortes. The defeat of the Aztecs was hastened by the smallpox brought to Mexico by the Spanish.

baby boom

Large increase in birthrate in United States that began in 1945 and lasted until 1962; new and larger families fueled the move to suburbia that occurred in the 1950s and produced the "youth culture" that would become crucial in the 1960s.

Ballinger-Pinchot Affair

Crisis that occurred when William Howard Taft was president, further distancing himself from Progressive supporters of Theodore Roosevelt. Richard Ballinger, Taft's Secretary of the Interior, allowed private businessmen to purchase large amounts of public land in Alaska; Forest Service head Gifford Pinchot (a Roosevelt supporter) protested to Congress and was fired by Taft.

Bank War

Political battles surrounding the attempt by President Andrew Jackson to greatly reduce the power of the Second Bank of the United States; Jackson claimed the bank was designed to serve special interests in America and not the common people.

Bataan Death March

Forced march of nearly 75,000 American and Filipino soldiers captured by the Japanese from the Bataan Peninsula in early May 1942; over 10,000 soldiers died during this one- week ordeal.

Battle of the Atlantic

Began in spring 1941 with the sinking of the American merchant vessel by a German submarine. Armed conflict between warships of America and Germany took place in September of 1941; American merchant vessels were armed by 1942.

Battle of the Bulge

December 1944 German attack that was the last major offensive by the Axis powers in World War II; Germans managed to push forward into Belgium but were then driven back. Attack was costly to the Germans in terms of material and manpower.

Battle of Bunker Hill

June 1775 British attack on colonial forces at Breed's Hill outside Boston; despite the frightful losses, the British emerged victorious in this Battle.

Battle of Chancellorsville

Brilliant Confederate attack on Union forces led by Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee on May 2 to 3, 1863; Union defeat led to great pessimism in North and convinced many in the South that victory over North was indeed possible.

Battle of Chateau-Thierry

One of the first 1918 World War I battles where soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force fought and suffered severe casualties.

Battle of Concord

Occurred on April 19, 1775, between British regulars and Massachusetts militiamen. Almost 275 British soldiers were wounded or died; as a result, a wider conflict between the colonies and the British became much more probable.

Battle of the Coral Sea

May 1942 American naval victory over the Japanese; prevented Japanese from attacking Australia. First naval battle where losses on both sides came almost exclusively from bombing from airplanes.

Battle of Dien Bien Phu

1954 victory of Vietnamese forces over the French, causing the French to leave Vietnam and all of Indochina; Geneva Peace Accords that followed the established North and South Vietnam.

Battle of Fredericksburg

Battle on December 13, 1862, where the Union army commanded by General Ambrose Burnside suffered a major defeat at the hands of Confederate forces.

Battle of Gettysburg

The most important battle of the Civil War, this July 1863 victory by the Union forces prevented General Robert E. Lee from invading the North. Defeat at Gettysburg, along with defeat at the Battle of Vicksburg during the same month, turned the tide of war firmly in the direction of the Union forces.

Battle of Guadalcanal

Battle over this Pacific island lasted from August 1942 through February 1943; American victory against the fierce Japanese resistance was the first major offensive victory for the Americans in the Pacific War.

Battle of the Little Bighorn

1876 Montana battle where Colonel George Custer and more than 200 of his men were killed by a group of Cheyenne and Lakota warriors. This was the last major victory by the Native American forces over a U.S. army unit.

Battle of Midway

June 4, 1942, naval battle that crippled Japanese offensive capabilities in the Pacific; American airplanes destroyed four aircraft carriers and over 200 Japanese planes. After Midway, Japanese military operations were mainly defensive.

Battle of Shiloh

Fierce Civil War battle in Tennessee in April 1862; although the union emerged victorious, both sides suffered a large number of casualties in this battle. Total casualties in this battle were nearly 25,000. General U.S. Grant commanded the Union forces at Shiloh.

Battle of Trenton

December 26, 1776, surprise attack by forces commanded by George Washington on Hessian forces outside of Trenton, New Jersey. Nearly 950 Hessians were captured and 30 were killed by Washington's forces; three Americans were wounded in the attack. The battle was a tremendous psychological boost for the American war effort.

Battle of Vicksburg

After a lengthy siege, this Confederate city along the Mississippi River was finally taken by Union forces in July 1863; this victory gave the Union virtual control of the Mississippi River and was a serious psychological blow to the Confederacy.

Battle of Yorktown

The defeat of the forces of General Cornwallis in this battle in October of 1781 essentially ended the hopes of the British for winning the Revolutionary War. American and French troops hemmed the British in on the peninsula of Yorktown, while the French navy located in Chesapeake Bay made rescue of the British troops by sea impossible.

Bay of Pigs

Failed 1961 invasion of Cuba by the United States-supported anti-Castro refugees designed to topple Castro from power; prestige of the United States, and of the newly elected president, John Kennedy, was damaged by this failed coup attempt.

Bear Flag Republic

Declaring independence from Mexican control, this republic was declared in 1846 by American settlers living in California; this political act was part of a larger American political and military strategy to wrest Texas and California from Mexico.

Beat Generation

Literary movement of the 1950s that criticized the conformity of American society and the ever-present threat of atomic warfare; "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac, "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg, and "Naked Lunch" by William Burroughs were key works of the Beat Generation.

Berlin Airlift

American and British pilots flew in food and fuel to West Berlin during 1948 and early 1949 because Soviet Union and East Germany blockaded other access to West Berlin (which was located in East Germany); Stalin ended this blockade in May 1949. Airlift demonstrated American commitment to protecting Western allies in Europe during the Cold War period.

Berlin Wall

Concrete structure built in 1961 by Soviets and East Germany physically dividing East and West Berlin; to many in the West, the Wall was symbolic of communist repression in the Cold War era. The wall was finally torn down in 1989.

Bessemer Steel

First produced in 1856 in converter (furnace) invented by Henry Bessemer; was much more durable and harder than iron. Steel was a critical commodity in the Second Industrial Revolution.


No historical writing can be totally objective; observers are always influenced by either conscious or unconscious bias. Conscious bias might be a flattering biography of Lincoln written by an abolitionist in 1865, or an unflattering biography of Lincoln written by a southerner in the same year. Unconscious bias may be created by one's education, predispositions toward the subject, or even one's race or gender.

bicameral legislature

A legislative structure consisting of two houses, this was adopted by the authors of the U.S. Constitution; membership of the states in one house (the House of Representatives) is determined by population, while in the other house (the Senate) all states have equal representation.

Bill of Rights

Added to the Constitution in 1791, the first 10 amendments protected freedom of speech, freedom of press, the right to bear arms, and other basic rights of American citizens.

Birth of a Nation

Epic movie released in 1915 by director D.W. Griffith; portrayed the Reconstruction as a period when Southern blacks threatened basic American values, which the Ku Klux Klan tried to protect; film was lauded by many, including President Woodrow Wilson.

Black Codes

Laws adopted by the Southern states in the Reconstruction era that greatly limited the freedom of Southern blacks; in several states blacks could not move,own land, or do anything but farm.


Prevented persons accused of being communist from getting work in entertainment and other industries during the period of anticommunist fervor of the late 1940s and early 1950s; some entertainers waited until the mid-1960s before working publicly again.

black nationalism

Spurred by Malcolm X and other black leaders, a call for black pride and advancement without the help of whites; this appeared to be a repudiation of the calls for peaceful integration urged by Martin Luther King. Race riots in Northern cities in mid-1960s were at least partially fueled by supporters of black nationalism.

Black Panthers

Group originally founded in Oakland, California, to protect blacks from police harassment; promoted militant black power; also ran social programs in several California cities. Founded by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton.

black power

Movement of black Americans in the mid-1960s that emphasized [ride in racial heritage and black econmic and political self-reliance; term coined by black civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael.

"Bleeding Kansas"

As a result of Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, residents of Kansas territory could decide if territory would allow slavery or not; as a result, both pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups flooded settlers into Kansas territory. Much violence followed very disputed elections in 1855.

bonanza farms

Large farms that came to dominate agricultural life in much of the West in the late 1800s; instead of plots farmed by yeoman farmers, large amounts of machinery were used, and workers were hired laborers, often performing only specific tasks (similar to work in a factory).

Bonus Army

Group of nearly 17,000 veterans who marched on Washington in May 1932 to demand the military bonuses they had been promised; this group was eventually driven from their camp city by the United States Army. This action increased the public perception that the Hoover administration cared little about the poor.

Boston Massacre

Conflict between British soldiers and Boston civilians on March 5, 1770; after civilians threw rocks and snowballs at the soldiers, the soldiers opened fire, killing five and wounding six.

Boston Tea Party

In response to the Tea Act and additional British taxes on Tea, Boston radicals disguised as Native Americans threw nearly 350 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773.

Brown v. Board of Education

1954 Supreme Court decision that threw out the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that schools could be "separate but equal"; the ruling began the long and painful process of school desegregation in the South and other parts of America.

Bull Moose party

Name given to the Progressive party in the 1912 presidential campaign; Bull Moose candidate ex-president Theodore Roosevelt ran against incumbent president William Howard Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson, with Wilson emerging victorious.


Protestant faith that preached salvation "by faith alone" and predestination; desire by Calvinists in England to create a "pure church" in England was only partially successful, thus causing Calvinists Puritans to come to the New World starting in 1620.

Camp David Accords

Treaty between Egypt and Israel brokered by President Jimmy Carter and signed in early 1797; Israel agreed to give back territory in the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, while Egypt agreed to recognize Israel's right to exist as a nation.


Term used by Southerners to mock Northerners who came to the South to gain either financially or politically during the Reconstruction era.

Central Powers

The alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria that opposed England, France, Russia, and later the United States in World War I.

Chancellor of the Exchequer

During the era prior to and during the Revolutionary War, this was the head of the department in the British government that issued and collected taxes; many acts issued by the Chancellor of the Exchequer created great resentment in the American colonies.

Checkers Speech

Speech made by Richard Nixon on national television on September 23, 1952, where he defended himself against charges that rich supporters had set up a special expense account for his use; by the speech Nixon saved his spot on the 1952 Republican ticket (he was running for vice president, with Eisenhower running for president) and saved his political career.

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

1831 Supreme Court case in which the Cherokee tribe claimed that Georgia had no right to enforce laws in Cherokee territory, since Cherokee were a sovereign nation; ruling by Marshall stated that Cherokees were a "domestic dependent nation" and had no right to appeal in federal court.

Church of England

Also called the Anglican Church, this was the Protestant Church established by King Henry VIII; religious radicals desired a "purer" church that was allowed by monarchs of the early seventeenth century, causing some to leave for the Americas.

Circular Letter

In reaction to the 1767 Townshend Acts, the Massachusetts assembly circulated a letter to the other colonies, asking that they work together and jointly issue a petition of protest. Strong-willed response of British authorities to the letter influenced the colonial assemblies to work together on a closer basis.

Civil Rights Act of 1866

Act that struck down Black Codes and defined the rights of all citizens; also stated that federal government could act when civil rights were violated at a state level. Passed by Congress over the veto of President Andrew Johnson.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Key piece of civil rights legislation that made discrimination on the basis of race,sex,religion, or national origin illegal; segregation in public restrooms, bus stations, and other public facilities also was declared illegal.

Civil Service Commission

Created by Pendelton Civil Service Act of 1883, this body was in charge of testing applicants and assigning them to appropriate government jobs; filling jobs on the basis of merit replaced the spoils system, in which government jobs were given as rewards for political service.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

New Deal program that began in 1933, putting nearly 3 million young men to work; workers were paid little, but worked on conservation projects and maintaining beaches and parks. CCC program for young women began in 1937.

Clayton Antitrust Act

1914 act designed to strengthen the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890; certain activities previously committed by big businesses, such as not allowing unions in factories and not allowing strikes, were declared illegal.

Cold War

Period between 1945 and 1991 of near continuous struggle between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies; Cold War tensions were made even more intense by the existence of the atomic bomb.

colonial assemblies

Existed in all of the British colonies in America; House of Burgesses in Virginia was the first one. Members of colonial assemblies were almost always members of the upper classes of colonial society.

Committee on Public Information

Created by Woodrow Wilson during World War I to mobilize the public opinion for the war, this was the most intensive use of propaganda until that time by the United States. The image of "Uncle Sam" was created for this propaganda campaign.

Committees of Correspondence

First existed in Massachusetts, and eventually in all of the colonies; leaders of resistance to British rule listed their grievances against the British and circulated them to all the towns of the colony.

Common Sense

Very popular 1776 publication in the colonies written by Englishman Thomas Paine, who had come to America in 1774; repudiated the entire concept of government by monarchy. After publication of this document, public sentiment in the colonies turned decisively toward a desire for independence.

Compromise of 1850

Complex agreement that temporarily lessened tensions between Northern and Southern political leaders, and prevented a possible secession crisis; to appease the South, the Fugitive Slave Act was strengthened; to appease the North, California entered the Union as a free state.

Compromise of 1877

Political arrangement that ended the contested presidential election of 1876. Representatives of Southern states agreed not to oppose the official election of Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president despite massive election irregularities. In return, the Union army stopped enforcing Reconstruction legislation in the South, thus ending Reconstruction.

Confederate States of America

Eventually made up of 11 former states with Jefferson Davis as its first and only president. Was unable to defeat the North because of lack of railroad lines, lack of industry, and an inability to get European nations to support their cause.

Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO)

Group of unions that broke form the AFL in 1938 and organized effective union drives in automobile and rubber industries; supported sit-down strikes in major rubber plants reaffiliated with the AFL in 1955.


Getting recruits for military service using a draft; this method was used by the American government in all of the wars of the twentieth century. Conscription was viewed most negatively during the Vietnam War.

consumer society

Many Americans in the 1950s became infatuated with all of the new products produced by technology and went out and purchased more than any prior generation; consumer tastes of the decade were largely dictated by advertising and television.

containment policy

Formulated by George Kennan, a policy whereby the United States would forcibly stop communist aggression whenever and wherever it occurred; containment was the dominant American policy of the Cold War era, and forced America to become involved in foreign conflicts such as Vietnam.


Soldiers in the "American" army commanded by George Washington in the Revolutionary War; victory at the battle of Trenton on December 16, 1776, did much to raise the morale of the soldiers (and convince many of them to reenlist). Also a term used for paper money printed in 1781 that was soon made worthless by inflation.

Contract with America

1994 pledge by Republican candidates for House of Representatives; led by Newt Gingrich, candidates promised to support term limits, balancing the budget, and lessening the size of the federal government. In 1994 Congressional elections, Republicans won both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

convoy system

System used to protect American ships carrying materials to Great Britain in 1940 and 1941; merchant ships were protected by American warships. Firing took place between these ships and German submarines, with American losses. Also used in World War I by the Navy to allow American shipping to Europe.


Democrats in Congress in the first years of the Civil War who opposed Abraham Lincoln and the North's attack on the South, claiming that the war would result in massive numbers of freed slaves entering the North and a total disruption of the Northern economy.


Youth of the 1960s who espoused a lifestyle of encompassing drug use, free love, and a rejection of adult authority; actual "hippies" were never more than a small percentage of young people.

Coxey's Army

Supporters of Ohio Populist Jacob Coxey who in 1894 marched on Washington, demanded that the government create jobs for the unemployed; although this group had no effect whatsoever over policy, it did demonstrate the social and economic impact of the Panic of 1893.


Belief in the Biblical account of the origin of the universe and the origin of man; believers in creationism and believers in evolution both had their day in court during the 1925 Scopes Trial.

Crittenden Plan

1860 compromise proposal on the slavery issue designed to defuse tension between North and South; would have allowed slavery to continue in the South and would have denied Congress the power to regulate interstate slave trade. On the advice of newly elected President Lincoln, Republicans in Congress voted against it.


From these attempts to recapture the Holy Land, Europeans acquired an appreciation of the benefits of overseas expansion and an appreciation of the economic benefits of slavery.

Cuban Missile Crisis

1962 conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union over Soviet missiles discovered in Cuba; Soviets eventually removed missiles under American pressure. Crisis was perhaps the closest the world came to armed conflict in the Cold War era.

Currency Act

1764 British act forbidding the American colonies to issue paper money as legal tender; act was repealed in 1773 by the British as an effort to ease tensions between themselves and the colonies.

dark horse candidate

A candidate for office with little support before the beginning of the nomination process; James K. Polk was the first dark horse candidate for president in 1844.

Dawes Act

1887 act designed to break up Native American tribes, offered Native American families 160 acres of farmland or 320 acres of farmland for grazing. Large amounts of tribal lands were not claimed by the Native Americans, and thus were purchased by land speculators.

Declaration of Neutrality

Issued by President Woodrow Wilson after the outbreak of World War I in 1914, stating that the United States would maintain normal relations with and continue to trade with both sides in the conflict; factors including submarine warfare made it difficult for America to maintain this policy. Also declared by George Washington in 1793 to allow American merchants to trade with those on both sides of the French Revolution.

Declaration of Rights and Grievances

1774 measure adopted by the First Continental Congress, stating that Parliament had some rights to regulated colonial trade with Britain, but that the Parliament did not have the right to tax the colonies without their consent.

Declaratory Act

1766 British law stating that the Parliament had absolute right to tax the colonies as they saw fit and to make laws that would be enacted in the colonies. Ironically issued at the same time as the repeal of the Stamp Act.

deficit spending

Economic policy where government spends money that it "doesn't have," thus creating a budget deficit. Although "conventional" economic theory disapproves of this, it is commonplace during times of crisis or war (e.g., the New Deal; post-September 11, 2001).

Democratic party

Had its birth during the candidacy of Andrew Jackson; originally drew its principles from Thomas Jefferson and advocated limited government. In modern times many Democrats favor domestic programs that a larger, more powerful government allows.


Believed in the ideas of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the benefits of a limited government and of a society dominated by the values of the yeoman farmer. Opposed to the Federalists, who wanted a strong national state and a society dominated by commercial interests.


The lessening of tensions between nations. A policy of détente between the United States and the Soviet Union and Communist China began during the presidency of Richard Nixon; the architect of policy was National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger.

direct primary

Progressive-era reform adopted by some states that allowed candidates for state offices to be nominated by the rank-and-file party members in the statewide primaries instead of by the party bosses, who had traditionally dominated the nominating process.

Dollar Diplomacy

Foreign policy of William Howard Taft, which favored increased American investment in the world as a major method for increasing American influence and stability abroad; in some parts of the world, such as in Latin America, the increased American influence was resented.


Social trend of post-World War II America; many Americans turned to family and home life as a source of contentment; emphasis on family as a source of fulfillment forced some women to abandon the workforce and achieve "satisfaction" as homemakers.

Domination of New England

Instituted by King James II in 1686. Sir Edmund Andros governed the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Plymouth, and New Hampshire as a single entity without an elective assembly; Andros was finally overthrown by militiamen in Boston in April 1689 (after the Glorious Revolution).

domino theory

Major tenet of Cold War containment policy of the United States held that if one country in a region turned communist, other surrounding countries would soon follow; this theory convinced many that to save all of Southeast Asia, it was necessary to resist communist aggression in Vietnam.

Double V campaign

World War II "policy" supported by several prominent black newspapers, stating that blacks in America should work for victory over the Axis of powers but at the same time work for victory over oppression at home; black leaders remained frustrated during the war by continued segregation of the armed forces.

Dred Scott case

Supreme court case involving a man who was born a slave but had then lived in both a nonslave state and a nonslave territory and was now petitioning for his legal freedom; in 1857 the Court ruled that slaves were not people but were property, that they could not be citizens of the United States, and thus had no legal right to petition the Court for anything. Ruling also stated that the Missouri Compromise, which banned slavery in the territories, was unconstitutional.

Dust Bowl

Great Plains region suffered severe drought and experienced massive dust storms during the 1930s; because of the extreme conditions many who lived in the Dust Bowl left their farms and went to California to work as migrant farmers.

Eisenhower Doctrine

Policy established in 1957 that promised military and economic aid to "friendly" nations in the Middle East; policy was established to prevent communism from gaining a foothold in the region. Policy first utilized later that year when United States gave large amounts to King Hussein of Jordan to put down internal rebellion.

Electoral College

Procedure outlined in the Constitution for the election of the president; under this system, votes of electors from each state, and not the popular vote, determine who is elected president. As was demonstrated in 2000 presidential election, this system allows a person to be elected president who does not win the nationwide popular vote.

Emancipation Proclamation

Edict by Abraham Lincoln that went into effect on January 1, 1863, abolishing slavery in the Confederate states; proclamation did not affect the four slave states that were still part of the Union (so as not to alienate them).

Embargo of 1807

Declaration by President Thomas Jefferson that banned all American trade with Europe. As a result a war between England and Napoleon's France, America's sea rights as a neutral power were threatened; Jefferson hoped the embargo would force England and France to respect American neutrality.

Emergency Quota Act

Also called the Johnson Act, this 1921 bill limited immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe by stating that in a year, total immigration from any country would equal 3 percent of the number of immigrations from that country living in the United States in 1910.


Eighteenth-century European intellectual movement that attempted to discover the natural laws that governed science and society and taught that progress was inevitable in the Western world. Americans were greatly influenced by the Enlightenment, especially by the ideas of John Locke, who stated that government should exist for the benefit of the people living under it.

Enola Gay

The name of the American bomber that on August 6,1945, dropped the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, thus initiating the nuclear age.

Era of Good Feelings

Term used by a newspaper of the of the period to describe the years between 1816 and 1823, when after the end of the War of 1812 the United States remained generally free of foreign conflicts and when political strife at home was at a bare minimum (because of the collapse of the Federalist party).

Espionage Act

World War I-era regulation passed in 1917 that ordered severe penalties for citizens who criticized the war effort of the government; mandatory prison sentences were also proclaimed for those who interfered with the draft process. Nearly 700 Americans were arrested for violating this act.

Essex Junto

Group of Massachusetts Federalists who met to voice their displeasure with the policies of Thomas Jefferson during Jefferson's second term, and proposed that the New England states and New York secede the Union.


Large number of Southern blacks who left the South and moved to Kansas for a "better life" after Reconstruction ended in 1877; many failed to find satisfaction in Kansas because of lack of opportunities and hostility from Kansas residents.

Fair Deal

A series of domestic programs proposed to Congress by President Harry Truman that included a Fair Employment Practices Act, a call for government construction of public housing, an extension of Social Security, and a proposal to ensure employment for all American workers.

Farmers' Alliances

After the decline of Grange organizations, this became the major organizations of farmers in the 1880s; many experimented with cooperative buying and selling. Many local alliances became involved in direct political activity with the growth of the Populist Party in the 1890s.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Passed during the first Hundred Days of the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, this body insured individual bank deposits up to $2500 and helped to restore confidence in America's banks.

Federal Reserve System

Established by Federal Reserve Act of 1913, this system established 12 district reserve banks to be controlled by the banks in each district; in addition, a Federal Reserve Board was established to regulate the entire structure. This act improved public confidence in the banking system.

Federal Trade Commision

Authorized after the passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, it was established as the major government body in charge of regulating big businesses. The FTC investigated possible violations of antitrust laws.


During the period when the Constitution was being ratified, these were the supporters of the larger national government as outlined in the Constitution; the party of Washington and John Adams, it was supported by commercial interests. Federalists were opposed by Jeffersonians, who favored a smaller federal government and a society dominated by agrarian values. Federalists influence in national politics ended with the presidential election of 1816.

The Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedan's 1963 book that was the Bible of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Friedan maintained that the post-World War II emphasis on family forced women to think of themselves primarily as housewives and robbed them of much of their creative potential.


The belief that women should have the same rights and benefits in American society that men do. Feminism gained supporters during the Progressive era, and in the 1960s drew large numbers of supporters. The National Organizations for Women (NOW) was established in 1966 by Betty Friedan and had nearly 200,000 members in 1969.

Fifteenth Amendment

Ratified in 1870, this amendment stated that a person could not be denied the right to vote because of the color of their skin or whether or not they had been a slave. This extended the rights of blacks to vote to the North (which the Emancipation Proclamation had not done); some in the women's movement opposed the amendment on the grounds that it did nothing for the rights of women.

Final Solution

The plan of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany to eliminate Jewish civilization from Europe; by the end of the war in 1945, nearly 6 million Jews had been executed. The full extent of Germany's atrocities was not known in Europe and the United States until near the end of World War II.

fireside chats

Broadcast on the radio by Franklin Roosevelt addressed directly to the American people that made many Americans feel that he personally cared for them; FDR did 16 of these in his first two terms. Many Americans in the 1930s had pictures of Roosevelt in their living rooms; in addition, Roosevelt received more letters from ordinary Americans than any other president in American history.

First Battle of Bull Run

July 21, 1861 Confederate victory over Union forces, which ended in Union forces fleeing in disarray toward Washington; this battle convinced Lincoln and others in the North that victory over the Confederates would not be as easy as they initially thought.

First Continental Congress

A 1774 meeting in Philadelphia at which colonists vowed to resist further efforts to tax them without their consent.

First Great Awakening

A religious revival in the American colonies that lasted from the 1720s through the 1740s; speakers like Jonathan Edwards enraptured speakers with sermons such as "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." Religious splits in colonies became deeper because of this movement.

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