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.
Term first used to describe America's consumer culture of the 1920's, when advertising began to influence the choices of purchasers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A "new woman" of the 1920s, who wore short skirts and bobbed hair and rejected many of the social regulations that controlled women of the previous generations.
Food and Drug Act
1906 bill that created a federal Food and Drug Administration; example of consumer protection legislation of the progressive era, it was at least partially passed as a result of Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle.
1832 legislation that gave President Andrew Jackson the power to invade any state if that action was necessary to enforce federal law; bill was response to nullification of federal tariff regulation by the legislature of South Carolina.
1922 act that sharply increased tariffs on imported goods; most Republican leaders of the 1920s firmly believed in "protectionist" policies that would increase profits for American businesses.
Federal fort located in Charleston, South Carolina, that was fired on by Confederate artillery on April 12, 1861; these were the first shots actually fired in the Civil War. A public outcry immediately followed across the Northern states, and the mobilization of a federal army began.
Woodrow Wilson's view of post-World War I that had hoped the other Allied powers would endorse during the negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles; Wilson's vision included elimination of secret treaties, arms reduction, national self-determination, and the creation of a League of Nations. After negotiations, only the League of Nations remained (which the United States never became a part of).
Ratified in 1868, this amendment stated that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States " were citizens. In addition, all former Confederate supporters were prohibited from holding office in the United States.
Missionaries who established settlements in the Southwestern United States in the late 1500s; at their missions Christian conversion was encouraged, but at the same time Native Americans were used as virtual slaves. Rebellions against the missions and the soldiers sent to protect them began in 1598.
Free Speech Movement
Protests at the University of California at Berkeley in 1964 and 1965 that opposed the control that the university, and "the establishment" in general, had over the lives of university students. Protesters demanded changes in university regulations and also broader changes in American society.
The philosophy that trade barriers and protective tariffs inhibit long-term economic growth; this philosophy was the basis for the 1994 ratification by the United States a of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which removed trade restrictions between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Term used for free blacks in the South after the Civil War. Freedmen enjoyed some gains in terms of education, the ability to hold office,and economic well-being during the Reconstruction era, although many of these gains were wiped out after the Compromise of 1877.
Buses of black and white civil rights workers who in 1961 rode on interstate buses to the Deep South to see if Southern states were abiding by the 1960 Supreme Court ruling banning segregation on interstate buses and waiting rooms and restaurants at bus stations. Buses met mob violence in numerous cities; federal marshals were finally called to protect the freedom riders.
Introduced by Stephen Douglas in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the idea that despite the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, a territory could still prevent slavery by electing officials who were opposed to it and by creating laws and regulations that would make slavery impossible to enforce.
Political party that won 10 percent of the in the 1848 presidential election; they were opposed to the spread of slavery into any of the recently acquired American territories. Free-Soil supporters were mainly many former members of the Whig party in the North.
French and Indian War
Called the Seven Years War in European textbooks; in this war, the British and the French fought for the right to expand their empire in the Americas. Colonists and Native Americans fought on both sides, and the war eventually spread to Europe and elsewhere. The English emerged victorious, and in the end received all of French Canada.
Fugitive Slave Act
Part of the Compromise of 1850, this legislation set up special commissions in the Northern states to determine if an accused runaway slave really was one; according to regulations, after the verdict, commissioners were given more money if the accused was found to be a runaway than if he or she was found not to be one. Some Northern legislatures passed laws attempting to circumvent the Fugitive Slave Act.
Strip of territory running through Arizona and New Mexico that the United States purchased from Mexico in 1853; President Pierce authorized this purchase to secure that the southern route of the transcontinental railroad (between Texas and California) would be in American territory.
After the French were defeated in Vietnam, a series of agreements made in 1954 that temporarily divided Vietnam into two parts (along the 17th parallel) and promised nationwide elections within two years. To prevent some communists from gaining control, the United States installed a friendly government in South Vietnam and saw that the reunification elections never took place.
Speech made by Abraham Lincoln at dedication ceremony for a cemetery for Union soldiers who died at the Battle of Gettysburg; in this November 19, 1863, speech, Lincoln stated that freedom should exist in the United States for all men, and that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Religion practiced by Lakota tribesmen in response to the repeated incursions by the American settlers. Ghost dancers thought that a Native American messiah would come and banish the whites, return the buffalo, and give all former Native American land back to the Native Americans. Worried territorial officials had Sitting Bull arrested (he was later killed under uncertain circumstances) and killed another 240 Lakota at Wounded Knee Creek.
Popular term for American servicemen during World War II; refers to the fact that virtually anything they wore or used was "government issued".
Officially called the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944, this legislation gave many benefits to returning World War II veterans, including financial assistance for veterans wanting to go to college or enter other job training programs, special loan programs for veterans wanting to buy homes or businesses, and preferential treatment for veterans who wished to apply for government jobs.
The Gilded Age
Some historians describe the late nineteenth century in this manner, describing it as an era with a surface of great prosperity hiding deep problems of social inequity and shallowness of culture. The term comes from the title of an 1873 Mark Twain novel.
Belief that the United States should work closely with other nations of the world to solve common problems; this was the foreign policy approach of President Clinton. Policies that supported this approach included the ratification of NAFTA, the United States working more closely with the United Nations, and "nation building" abroad. Many policies of globalization were initially rejected by Clinton's successor, George W. Bush.
English revolution of 1688 to 1689 where King James II was removed from the throne and his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William began to rule. Reaction to this in the American colonies varied: There was a revolt against appointed Catholic officials in New York and Maryland, and in Massachusetts the governor was sent back to England with the colonial demand that the Dominion of New England be disbanded.
Economic system that bases all currency on gold, meaning that all paper currency could be exchanged at a bank for gold. Business interests of the late nineteenth century supported this; William Jennings Bryan ran for president three times opposing the gold standard, and supported the free coinage of silver instead.
"Gospel of Wealth"
The philosophy of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who stated that wealthy industrialists had an obligation to create a "trust fund" from their profits to help their local communities. By the time of his death, Carnegie had given over 90 percent of his wealth to various foundations and philanthropic endeavors.
Initially formed in 1867, the Grange was an association of farmers that provided social activities and information about new farming techniques. Some local Grange organizations became involved in cooperative buying and selling.
Plan drafted by Roger Sherman of Connecticut that stated one house of the United States Congress would be based on population (the House of Representatives), while in the other house all states would be represented equally (the Senate). This compromise greatly speeded the ratification of the Constitution.
Migration of large numbers of American blacks to Midwestern and Eastern industrial cities that began during World War I and continued throughout the 1920s because of immigration restrictions; blacks were willing to leave the South because of continued lynchings there and the fact that their economic situation was not improving.
Aggressive program announced by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to attack the major social problems in America; Great Society programs included the War on Poverty, Medicare, and Medicaid programs for elderly Americans, greater protection for and more legislation dealing with civil rights, and greater funding for education. Balancing the Great Society and the war in Vietnam would prove difficult for the Johnson administration.
Political party of the 1870s and early 1880s that stated the government should put more money in circulation and supported an eight -hour workday and female suffrage. The party received support from farmers but never built a national base. The Greenback party argued into the 1880s that more greenbacks should be put in circulation to help farmers who were in debt and who saw the prices of their products decreasing annually.
Paper money issued by the American government during and immediately after the Civil War that was not backed up by gold or silver.
Situation when the president is a member of one political party and the U.S. Congress is controlled by the other party, causing a situation where little legislation is actually passed. This is how some describe the situation with President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress after the 1994 congressional elections.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
1964 Congressional resolution that gave President Johnson the authority to "take all necessary measures to repel" attacks against American military forces stationed in Vietnam. Later, critics would charge, this resolution allowed the president to greatly expand the Vietnam War without congressional oversight.
Black literary and artistic movement centered in Harlem that lasted from the 1920s into the early 1930s that both celebrated and lamented black life in America; Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston were two famous writers in this movement.
Meeting of New England Federalists in the closing months of the War of 1812 where they threatened that New England would secede from the United States unless trade restrictions imposed by President Madison were lifted. American victory in the war made their protests seem pointless.
In response to the initial effects of the Great Depression, Congress authorized this tariff in 1930; this established tariff rates on imported goods at this highest level of any point in United States history. Some American companies benefited in the short term, although the effect on world trade was disastrous, as many other countries erected tariff barriers on American imports.
Location in Chicago of labor rally called by anarchist and other radical labor leaders on May 2, 1886. A bomb was hurled toward police officials, and police opened fire on the demonstrators; numerous policemen and demonstrators were killed and wounded. Response in the nation's press was decidedly anti-union.
One of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty programs that gave substantial funding for a nursery school program to prepare children of poor parents for kindergarten.
The production of steel, iron, and other materials that can be used for building purposes; great increase in heavy industry fueled the massive industrial growth that took place in the last half of the nineteenth century.
German troops who fought in the Revolutionary war on the side of Great Britain; Hessian troops were almost all paid mercenaries.
The study of history and how it is written. Students of historiography would analyze various historical interpretations and the viewpoints of historians. This field is not concerned with historical events themselves as it is with how these events are interpreted.
A company that existed to gain monopoly control over an industry by buying large numbers of shares of stock in as many companies as possible in that industry. The best example in American history was John D. Rockefeller's standard Oil corporation.
Historical term used for the extermination of more than 6 million Jewish victims by Nazi Germany during World War II. Much has been written on the reasons for the Holocaust and why it occurred in Germany.
1862 enactment by Congress that gave 160 acres of publicly owned land to a farmer who lived on the land and farmed it for two years. The provisions of this bill inspired hundreds of thousands of Americans to move westward in the years after the Civil War.
Groups of crude houses made of cardboard and spare wood that sprang up on the fringes of many American cities during the first years of the Great Depression. These shacks were occupied by unemployed workers; the name of these communities demonstrated the feeling that President Hoover should have been doing more to help the downtrodden in America.
The strategy of gaining as much control over an entire single industry as possible, usually by creating trusts and holding companies. The most successful example of horizontal integration was John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, who had at one point controlled over 92 percent of the oil production in the United States.
HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee)
Committee of the House of Representatives that beginning in 1947 investigated possible communist infiltration of the entertainment industry and, more importantly, of the government. Most famous investigations of the committee were the investigation of the "Hollywood Ten" and the investigation of Alger Hiss, a former High-ranking member of the state department.
Protestants in France, who by the 1630s were believers in Calvinism. Few Huguenots ended up setting in the Americas, as French officials feared they would disrupt the unity of the colonial settlements.
Established by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in Chicago in 1889, this was the first settlement house in America. Services such as reading groups, social clubs, an employment bureau, and a "day care center" for working mothers could be found at Hull House. The Hull House model was later copied in many other urban centers.
Term used in allied propaganda during World War I to depict the German soldier; Germans were portrayed as blood thirsty beasts. World War I was the first war where propaganda was used on a widespread scale.
The period from March through June of 1933; the first 100 days of the New Deal presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. During this period programs were implemented to assist farmers, the banks, unemployed workers, and businessmen; in addition, prohibition was repealed.
Early civilization that existed not by farming but by moving from region to region and taking what was necessary at the time from the land; some early Native American tribes in northern New England lived as hunter-gatherers.
Atomic weapons much more powerful than those used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki; these were developed and repeatedly tested by both the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s, increasing dramatically the potential danger of nuclear war.
The process of removing an elected official form office; during the Progressive Era several states adopted measures making it easier to do this. Presidents Andrew Johnson and William Jefferson Clinton were both impeached by the House of Representatives, but neither was convicted by the U.S. Senate ( the procedure outlined in the Constitution of the United States).
British practice of forcing civilians and ex-sailors back into naval service; during the wars against Napoleon the British seized nearly 7500 sailors from American ships, including some that had actually become American citizens. This practice caused increased tensions between the United States and Great Britain and was one cause of the War of 1812.
Advanced and wealthy civilization centered in the Andes mountain region; aided by smallpox, Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incas in 1533.
Legal arrangement when an individual owed compulsory service (in some cases only 3 years, in others up to 10) for free passage to the American colonies. Many of the early settlers in the Virginia colony came as indentured servants.
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
Established in 1905, this union attempted to unionize the unskilled workers who were usually not recruited by the American Federation of Labor. The I.W.W. included blacks, poor sharecroppers, and newly arrived immigrants from Eastern Europe. Members of the union were called "Wobblies," and leaders of the union were inspired by Marxist principles.
The Influence of Sea Power upon History
Very influential 1890 book by Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, which argued that throughout history the most powerful nations have achieved their influence largely because of powerful navies. Mahan called for a large increase in the size of the American navy, the acquisition of American bases in the Pacific, and the building of the Panama Canal.
Procedure supported by the Populist party in the 1890s where any proposed law could go on the public ballot as long as a petition with an appropriate number of names is submitted before hand supporting the proposed law.
Controversial decision was made after the bombing of Pearl Harbor to place Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast in these camps. President Roosevelt authorized this by Executive Order #9066; this order was validated by the Supreme Court in 1944. In 1988 the U.S. government paid compensation to surviving detainees.
Interstate Commerce Act
Passed in 1887, the bill created Americas's first regulatory commission, the Interstate Commerce Committee. The task of this commission was to regulate the railroad and railroad rates, and to ensure that rates were "reasonable and just."
Term used by anti-British speakers across the colonies for the series of bills passed in Great Britain to punish the Massachusetts colony for the Boston Tea Party of December 1773. These including the closing of Boston harbor, prohibited local meetings, and mandatory quartering of troops in the homes of Massachusetts residents.
During the second term of the Reagan administration, government officials sold missiles to Iran (hoping that this would help free American hostages held in Lebanon); money from this sale was used to aid anti-communist Contra forces in Nicaragua. Iran was a country that was supposed to be on the American "no trade" list because of their taking of American hostages, and congressional legislation had been enacted making it illegal to give money to the Contras. A major scandal for the Reagan administration.
Iranian Hostage Crisis
On November 4, 1979, Islamic fundamentalists seized the American embassy in Tehran, Iran, and took all Americans working there hostage. This was a major humiliation for the United States, as diplomatic and military efforts to free the hostages failed. The hostages were finally freed on January 20, 1981, immediately after the inauguration of Ronald Reagan.
In a March 5, 1946, speech in Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill used this term to describe the division that the Soviet Union had created between itself and its Eastern European allies and Western Europe and the United States. Churchill emphasized the need for the United States to stand up to potential Soviet aggression in the future.
Civil War-era ships that were totally encased in iron, thus making them very difficult to damage; the iron clad of the Confederate army was the "Virginia" (it had been the "Merrimac" when it was captured from the Union), whereas the Union ship was the "Monitor". The two ships battled each other in March 1862, with both being badly damaged.
After World War I, a group of U.S. senators who were opposed to a continued U.S. presence in Europe in any form. This group was influential in preventing the passage of the Versailles Treaty in the Senate.
A successful American military tactic in the Pacific in 1942 and 1943 of taking strategic islands that could be used as staging points for continued military offensives. Increasing American dominance in air power made this tactic possible.
A policy of disengaging the United States from major world commitments and concentrating on the U.S. domestic issues. This was the dominant foreign policy of the United States for much of the 1920s and 1930s.
1794 treaty between the United States and Great Britain designed to ease increasing tensions between the two nations; the British did make some concessions to the Americans, including abandoning forts they occupied in the interior of the continent.However, Britain refused to make concessions to America over the rights of American ships; tensions over this issue would eventually be a cause of the War of 1812.
Term used to describe the image of the liberated, urbanized 1920s, with a flapper as a dominant symbol of that era. Many rural, fundamentalist Americans deeply resented the changes in American culture that occurred in the "Roaring 20s."
The Jazz Singer
1927 film starring Al Jolson that was the first movie with sound. Story of the film deals with young Jewish man who has to choose between the "modern" and his Jewish past.
Missionary group who established settlements in Florida, New Mexico, Paraguay, and several areas within French territory in North America. They were organized with military precision and order.
American foreign policy based on strident nationalism, a firm belief in American world superiority, and a belief that military solutions were, in almost every case, the best ones. Jingoism was most evident in America during the months leading up to and during the Spanish-American War.
In the 1803 "Marbury v. Madison" decision, Chief Justice John C. Marshall stated that the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately had the power to decide on the constitutionality of any law passed by the U.S. Congress or by the legislature of any state. Many had argued that individual states should have the power to do this; the "Marbury" decision increased the power of the federal government.
1801 bill passed by the Federalist Congress just before the inauguration of President Thomas Jefferson; Federalists in this bill attempted to maintain control of the judiciary by reducing the number of Supreme Court judges (so Jefferson probably wouldn't be able to name the replacement) and by increasing the number of federal judges ( who President Adams appointed before he left office). Bill was repealed by new Congress in 1802.
Justice Reorganization Bill
Franklin Roosevelt's 1937 plan to increase the number of Supreme Court justices. He claimed that this was because many of the judges were older and needed help keeping up with the work; in reality he wanted to "pack the court" because the Court had made several rulings outlawing New Deal legislation. Many Democrats and Republicans opposed this plan, so it was finally dropped by Roosevelt.
1945 tactic of Japanese air force where pilots flew at American ships at full speed and crashed into them, in several cases causing ships to sink. This tactic showed the desperate nature of the Japanese military situation at this time; by July 1945, kamikaze attacks were no longer utilized, as Japan was running out of airplanes and pilots.
1854 compromise legislation crafted by Stephan Douglas that allowed the settlers in Kansas and Nebraska territories to decide if those territories would be slave or free. Bill caused controversy and bloodshed throughout these territories; in the months before the vote in Kansas, large numbers of "settlers" moved in to influence the vote, and after the vote (won by pro-slavery forces), violence between the two sides intensified.
Kent State University
Site of May 1970 anti-war protest where Ohio National Guardsmen fired on protesters, killing four. To many, this event was symbolic of the extreme political tensions that permeated American society in this era.
Kentucky and Virginia Resolves
Passed by the legislature in these two states, these resolutions maintained that the Alien and Sedition Acts championed through Congress by John Adams went beyond the powers that the Constitution stated belonged to the federal government. These resolves predated that later Southern argument that individual states could "nullify" federal laws that deemed unconstitutional by the states.
Established in 1967 to study the reason for urban riots, the commission spoke at length about the impact of poverty and racism on the lives of urban blacks in America, and emphasized that white institutions created and condoned the ghettos of America.
The American commission that went into various regions of the Middle East immediately after World War I to what political future was desired by residents of the region. It was determined that many did not want to be controlled by Britain and France, and saw the United States in a favorable light. Predictably, the British and French saw to it that the findings of the commission were largely kept quiet.
King William's War
Colonial war against the French that lasted from 1689 to 1697; army from New England colonies attacked Quebec, but were forced to retreat because of the lack of strong colonial leadership and an outbreak of smallpox among colonial forces.
An informal group of advisors, with no official titles, who the president relies on for advice. The most famous Kitchen Cabinet was that of Andrew Jackson, who met with several old political friends and two journalists for advice on many occasions.
Knights of Labor
The major labor union of the 1880s; was not a single large union, but a federation of the unions of many industries. The Knights of Labor accepted unskilled workers; publicity against the organization was intense after the Haymarket Square riot of 1886.
Political party that developed in the 1850s that claimed that the other political parties and the entire political process was corrupt, that immigrants were destroying the economic base of America by working for low wages, and that Catholics in America were intent on destroying American democracy. Know-Nothings were similar in many ways to other nativist groups that developed at various points in America's history.
1950 to 1953 war where American and other United Nations forces fought to stop communist aggression against South Korea. U.S. entry into Korean War was totally consistent with the U.S. Cold War policy of containment. Negotiated settlement divided Korea along the 38th parallel, a division that remains today.
Ku Klux Klan
Organization founded in the South during the Reconstruction era by whites who wanted to maintain white supremacy in the region. KKK used terror tactics, including murder. The Klan was revitalized in the 1920s; members of the 1920s Klan opposed Catholics and Southern and Eastern European immigrants. The KKK exists to this day, with recent efforts to make the Klan appear to be "respectable."
The drive that began in the second half of the nineteenth century to have workers join labor unions. Divisions existed in nineteenth century unions on whether unions should focus their energies on political gains for workers or on "bread and butter" issues important to workers. In the twentieth century, unions have broad political powers, as most endorse and financially support candidates in national and statewide elections.
laissez-faire economic principles
Economic theory derived from eighteenth-century economist Adam Smith, who stated that for the economy to run soundly the government should take a hands-off role in economic matters. Those who had favored policies such as high import tariffs do not follow laissez-faire policies; a policy like NAFTA has more support amongst the "free market" supporters of Adam Smith.
The practice of buying up land with the intent of selling it off in the future for a profit. Land speculation existed in the Kentucky territory in the 1780s, throughout the West after the Homestead Act, and in Florida in the 1920s, when hundreds bought Florida swampland hoping to later sell it for a profit.
League of Nations
International body of nations that was proposed by Woodrow Wilson and was adopted at the Versailles Peace Conference ending World War I. The League was never an effective body in reducing international tensions, at least partially because the United States was never a member of it.
Legislation proposed by Franklin Roosevelt and adopted by Congress in 1941, sating that the United States could either sell or lease arms and other equipment to any country whose security was vital to America's interest. After the passage of this bill, military equipment to help the British war effort began to be shipped from the United States.
"Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania
A 1767 pamphlet by Pennsylvania attorney and landowner John Dickinson, in which he eloquently stated the "taxation without representation" argument, and also stated that the only way that the House of Commons could represent the colonies in a meaningful way would be for actual colonists to be members of it.
Lever Food and Fuel Control Act
August 1917 measure that gave President Wilson the power to regulate the production and consumption of food and fuels during wartime. Some in his administration argued for price controls and rationing; instead, Wilson instituted voluntary controls.
After World War II, the first "suburban" neighborhood; located in Hempstead, Long Island, houses in this development were small, looked the same, but were perfect for the postwar family that wanted to escape urban life. Levittown would become a symbol of the post-World War II flight to suburbia taken by millions.
Lewis and Clark Expidition
1804 and 1806 mission sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore and map the newly acquired Louisiana territory and to create good relations with various Native American tribes within the territory. Reports brought back indicated that settlement was possible in much of the region, and that the Louisiana territory was well worth what had been paid for it.
Massachusetts town where the first skirmish between British troops and colonial militiamen took place; during this April 19, 1775, "battle" eight colonists were killed and another nine were wounded.
The radical abolitionist journal of William Lloyd Garrison that was first published in 1831; Garrison and his journal presented the most extreme abolitionist views during the period leading up to the Civil War.
Sold to the United State civilians during World War I; a holder who paid $10 for a bond could get $13 back if the holder held onto the bond until it matured. Bonds were important in financing the war effort, and celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin made short films encouraging Americans to buy them.
In 1603 King James I gave the London Company a charter to settle the Virginia territory. In April 1607, the first settlers from this company settled at Jamestown.
Group of American intellectuals who viewed America in the 1920s as bigoted, intellectually shallow, and consumed by the quest for the dollar; many became extremely disillusioned with American life and went to Paris. Ernest Hemingway wrote of this group in "The Sun Also Rises".
The 1803 purchase of the huge Louisiana territory (from the Mississippi River out to the Rocky Mountains) from Napoleon for $15 million. This purchase made eventual westward movement possible for vast numbers of Americans.
Developed in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1820s, in these factories as much machinery as possible was used, so that few skilled workers were needed in the process, and the workers were almost all single young farm women, who worked for a few years and then returned home to be housewives. Managers found these young women were the perfect workers for this type of factory life.
Individuals who remained loyal to Great Britain during the years up to and during the Revolutionary War. Many who were loyalists were from the higher strata of the colonial society; when war actually broke out and it became apparent that the British were not going to quickly win, almost all went to Canada, the West Indies, or back to Great Britain.
Loyalty Review Boards
These were established in 1947 in an effort to control possible communist influence in the American government. These boards were created to investigate the possibility of "security risks" working for the American government, and to determine if those "security risks" should lose their jobs. Some employees were released because of their affiliation with "unacceptable" political organizations or because of their sexual orientation.
British passenger liner with 128 Americans on board that was sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915. This sinking caused outrage in the United States and was one of a series of events in the United States closer to war with Germany.
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
Early 1950s book and movie that compares the sterility, sameness, and lack of excitement postwar work and family life with the vitality felt by many World War II veterans during their wartime experiences.
Program begun in 1942 to develop an atomic weapon for the United States; project was aided by German scientists added to to the research team who had been working on a similar bomb in Germany. First test of the bomb took place in New Mexico on July 16, 1945.
Term first used in the 1840s, the concept that America's expansion westward was as journalist John O'Sullivan said, " the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions."
"Marbury v. Madison"
1803 decision of this case written by Chief Justice John Marshall established the principal of judicial review, meaning that the Supreme Court ultimately has the power to decide if any federal or state law is unconstitutional.
March on Washington
Over 200,00 came to Washington for this August 1963 event demanding civil rights for blacks. A key moment of the proceedings was Martin Luther King's " I have a dream" speech; the power of the civil rights movement was not lost on Lyndon Johnson, who pushed for civil rights legislation when he became president the following year.
Plan announced in 1947 whereby the United States would help to economically rebuild Europe after the war; 17 Western European nations became part of the plan. The United States introduced the plan so that communism would not spread across the war-torn Europe and bring other European countries into the communist camp.
During a state of emergency, when rule of law may be suspended and government is controlled by military or police authorities. During the Civil War, Kentucky was placed under martial law by President Lincoln.
Massacre at Wounded Knee
December 28, 1890, "battle" that was the last military resistance of Native Americans of the Great Plains against American encroachment. Minneconjou Indians were at Wounded Knee Creek. American soldiers attempted to take their arms from them; after shooting began, 25 American soldiers died, along with more than 200 men, women, and children of the Indian tribe.
Foreign policy officials in the Eisenhower administration believed the best way to stop communism was to convince the communists that every time they advanced, there would be massive retaliation against them. This policy explains the desire in this era to increase the nuclear arsenal of the United States.
McCarran Internal Security Act
Congressional act enacted in 1950 that stated all members of the Communist party had to register with the office of the Attorney General and that it was a crime to conspire to foster communism in the United States.
1952 bill that limited immigration from everywhere except Northern and Western Europe and stated that immigration officials could turn any immigrant away that they thought might threaten the national security of the United States.
Named After Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, the title given for the movement that took place during the late 1940s and early 1950s in American politics to root out potential communist influence in the government, the military, and the entertainment industry. Harsh tactics were often used by congressional investigations, with few actual communists ever discovered. This period is seen by many today as an era of intolerance and paranoia.
Meat Inspection Act
Inspired by Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle", this 1906 bill established a government commission that would monitor the quality of all meat sold in America and inspect the meatpacking houses for safety and cleanliness.
Part of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program, this program acted as a form of health insurance for retired Americans (and disabled ones as well). Through this, the federal government would pay for services received by elderly patients at doctor's offices and hospitals.
Economic policy practiced by most European states in the late seventeenth century that stated the power of any state depended largely on its wealth; thus it was the state's duty to do all that it could to build up wealth. A mercantilist country would not want to import raw materials from other countries; instead, it would be best to have colonies from which these raw materials could be imported.
Union ironclad ship captured by Confederates during the Civil War and renamed the "Virginia".
American forces played a decisive role in this September 1918 Allied offensive, which was the last major offensive of the war and which convinced the German general staff that victory in World War I was impossible.
War fought over possession of Texas. The settlement ending this war gave the United States the northern part of Texas territory and the territories of New Mexico and California.
The voyage across the Atlantic Ocean taken by slaves on their way to the Americas. Sickness, diseases, and death were rampant as slave ships crossed the Atlantic; on some ships, over 20 percent of slaves who began the journey were dead by the time the ship landed.
Judicial or other appointments made by an outgoing president or governor in the last hours before he or she leaves office. The most famous were the judicial appointments made by John Adams in the hours before Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as president.
In a continued effort to maintain a balance between free and slave states, Henry Clay proposed this 1820 compromise, which admitted Maine to the Union as a free state, Missouri to the Union as a slave state, and stated that any part of the Louisiana Territory north of 36 degrees, 30 minutes would be nonslave territory.
Automobile produced by Ford Motor Company using assembly line techniques. The first Model Ts were produced in 1907; using the assembly line, Ford produced half of the automobiles made in the world between 1907 and 1926.
In the early 1700s colonists traded for molasses with the French West Indies. British traders wanted to reduce trade between the colonies and the French; in 1773 they pressured Parliament to pass this act, which prohibitively high duties on imported molasses.Colonists continued to smuggle French molasses in the Americas in spite of British efforts to prevent this.
Union ironclad ship utilized during the Civil War; fought one battle against the "Virginia", the South's ironclad ship, and never left port again.
President James Monroe's 1823 statement that an attack by a European state on any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be considered an attack on the United States; Monroe stated that the Western Hemisphere was the hemisphere of the United States and not of Europe. Monroe's statement was scoffed at by certain European political leaders, especially those in Great Britain.
Montgomery bus boycott
Year-long refusal by blacks t ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, because of their segregation policies. Boycott began in December 1955; Supreme Court finally ruled that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. Rosa Parks began the protest when she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat for a white man, and Martin Luther King was a young minister involved in organizing the boycott.
Morrill Land-Grant Act
1862 federal act designed to fund state "land-grant" colleges. State governments were given large amounts of land in the western territories; this land was sold to individual settlers, land speculators, and others, and the profits of these land sales could be used to establish the colleges.
Journalists of the Progressive era who attempted to expose the evils of government and big businesses. Many wrote of the corruption of city and state political machines. Factory conditions and the living and working conditions of workers were other topics that some of them wrote about.
My Lai Massacre
In 1986 a unit under the command of Lieutenant William Calley killed over 300 men, women, and children in this small Vietnamese village. The anti-war movement took the attack as a symbol of the "immorality" of United States efforts in Vietnam.
NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
Ratified in 1994 by the U.S. Senate, this agreement established a free trade zone between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Critics of the agreement claim that many jobs have been lost in the United States because of it.
Jellylike substance dropped from American planes during the Vietnam conflict that horribly burned the skin of anyone that came into contact with it. On several occasions, it was accidentally dropped "friendly" villages.
Nation of Islam
Supporters were called Black Muslims; this group was founded by Elijah Muhammad and preached Islamic principles along with black pride and black separatism. Malcolm X was a member of the Nation of Islam.
National American Woman Suffrage Association
The major organization for suffrage for women, it was founded in 1890 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Supported the Wilson administration during World War I and split with the more radical National Woman's Party, who in 1917 began to picket the White House because Wilson had not forcefully stated that women should get the vote.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Formed in 1909, this organization fought for and continues to fight for the rights of blacks in America. The NAACP originally went to court for the plaintiff in the "Brown v. Board of Education" case, and Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP's chief counsel and later a Supreme Court justice, was the main attorney in the case.
Planned by Alexander Hamilton to be similar to the Bank of England, this bank was funded by government and private sources. Hamilton felt a national bank would give economic security and confidence to the new nation; Republicans who had originally opposed the bank felt the same way in 1815 when they supported Henry Clay's American System.
National Consumers League
Formed in 1899, this organization was concerned with improving the working and living conditions of women in the workplace.
When a general unity of tastes and commonality of cultural experience exist in a nation; in a general sense, when a country starts to "think the same." This occurred in America for the first time in the 1920s; as many people saw the same movies, read the same magazines, and heard the same things on the radio, a national culture was born.
National Industry Recovery Act (NIRA)
1933 New Deal legislation that created the Works Progress Administration (WPA) that created jobs t put people back to work right away and the National Recovery Administration (NRA), who worked in conjunction with the industry to bolster the industrial sector and create more long-lasting jobs.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Part of the 1935 Wagner Act, which was a huge victory for organized labor. It ensured that factory owners did not harass union organizers, ensured that collective bargaining was fairly practiced in labor disputes, and supervised union elections. It was given the legal "teeth" to force employees to comply with all of the above.
National Origins Act
Very restrictive immigration legislation passed in 1924, which lowered immigration to 2 percent of each nationality as found in the 1890 census. This lowered immigration dramatically and, quite intentionally, almost eliminated immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe.
National Security League
Organization founded in 1914 that preached patriotism and preparation for war; om 1915 they successfully lobbied government officials to set up camps to prepare men for military life and combat. The patriotism of this group became more strident as the war progressed; in 1917 they lobbied Congress to greatly limit immigration into the country.
National Women's Party
Formed by Alice Paul after women got the vote, this group lobbied unsuccessfully in the 1920s to get Equal Rights Amendment for women added to the Constitution. Desire for this amendment would return among some feminist groups in the 1970s.
States that immigration should be greatly limited or banned altogether, since immigrants hurt the United States economically and also threaten the the social well-being of the country. These groups and parties have developed on several occasions in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries their sentiment was especially strong in the 1920s.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
Collective alliance of the United States and most of the Western European nations that was founded in 1949; an attack of one member of NATO was considered an attack on all. Many United States troops served in Europe during the Cold War era because of the NATO alliance. To counter NATO, the Soviet Union created the Warsaw Pact in 1955.
Naval Act of 1900
Legislation that authorized a large increase in the building of ships to be used for offensive purposes; this measure helped ensure the creation of a world-class American navy.
1660 measures passed by Charles II that were designed to increase the dependence of the colonies on England for trade. Charles mandated that certain goods produced in the colonies, such as tobacco, should be sold only to England, that if the colonists wanted to sell anything to other countries it had to come through England first, and that all trade by the colonies to other countries would have to be done in English ships. These measures could have been devastating to the colonies; however, British officials in the colonies did not enforce them carefully.
Modern American political philosophy that opposes big-government approaches to domestic issues yet favors an interventionist and aggressive foreign policy; most advocated American intervention in Iraq in 2003.
Neutrality Act of 1935
To prevent the United States from being drawn into potential European conflicts, this bill said that America would not trade arms with any country at war, and that any American citizen traveling on a ship of a country at war was doing so at his or her own risk.
Neutrality Act of 1939
Franklin Roosevelt got Congress to amend the Neutrality Act of 1935; new legislation stated that England and France could buy arms from the United States as long as there was cash "up front" for these weapons. This was the first military assistance that the United States gave the Allied countries.
Series of policies instituted by Franklin Roosevelt and his advisors from 1933 to 1941 that attempted to offset the effects of the Great Depression on American society. Many New Deal policies were clearly experimental; in the end it was the onset of World War II, and not the policies of the New Deal, that pulled the United States out of the Great Depression.
New Deal Coalition
The coalition of labor unions and industrial workers, minorities, much of the middle class, and the Solid South that carried Franklin Roosevelt to victories in 1936 and 1940 and that was the basis of Democratic victories on a national level until this coalition started to break up in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A sizable number of this group voted for Ronald Reagan in the presidential elections of 1980 and 1984,
Term used to describe Bill Clinton and his congressional supporters during his two terms in office. A New Democrat was pragmatic, and not tied to the old Democratic belief in big government; New Democrats took both Democratic and Republican ideas as they crafted their policies. Some in the Democratic party maintained that Clinton had actually sold out the principals of the party.
A series of policies during the administration of Ronald Reagan that began to give some power back to the states that had always been held by federal government. Some tax dollars were returned to state and local governments in the form of "block grants"; the state and local governments could then spend this money as they thought best.
New Freedom Policy
An approach favored by Southern and Midwestern Democrats, this policy stated that economic and political preparation for World War I should be done in a decentralized manner; this would prevent too much power falling into the hands of the federal government. President Wilson first favored this approach, but then established federal agencies to organize mobilization.
The program of President John Kennedy to revitalize America at home and to reenergize America for continued battles against the Soviet Union. Kennedy asked young Americans to volunteer for programs such as the Peace Corps; as he said in his inaugural speech: "Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country."
Immigrants that came from Southern and Eastern Europe, who made up the majority of immigrants coming into the United States after 1900. Earlier immigrants from Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia appeared to be "like" the groups that were already settled in the United States; these immigrants were very different. As a result, resentment and nativist sentiment developed against this group, especially in the 1920s.
New Jersey Plan
As the U.S. constitution was being debated and drafted, large states and small states each offered proposals on how the legislature should be structured. This Plan stated that the legislature should have a great deal of power to regulate trade, and that it should consist of one legislative house, with each state having one vote.
The series of progressive reforms supported by Theodore Roosevelt as he ran for president on the Progressive or Bull Moose ticket in 1912. Roosevelt said that more had to be done to regulate big business and that neither of his opponents were committed to conservation.
The conservative movement that began in the 1960s and triumphed with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. It was able to attract many middle-class and Southern voters to the Republican party by emphasizing the themes of patriotism, a smaller government, and a return to "traditional values."
Concept promoted by Southerners in the late 1800s that the South had changed dramatically and was now interested in industrial growth and becoming a part of the national economy. A large textile industry did develop in the South beginning in the 1880s.
Plains Native American tribe that attempted to resist reservation life by traveling 1500 miles with American military forces in pursuit. After being tracked and suffering cold and hardship, the Nez Perce finally surrendered and were forced onto a reservation in 1877.
In response to the failure of France and Britain to respect the rights of American ships at sea, President Madison supported this legislation in 1809, which authorized trade with all countries except Britain and France, and stated that trade exist with those countries as soon as they respected America's rights as a neutral power. The British and French largely ignored this act.
Bills passed in 1784, 1785, and 1787 that authorized the sale of lands in the Northwest Territory to raise money for the federal government; these bills also carefully laid out the procedures for eventual statehood for parts of these territories.
NOW (National Organization for Women)
Formed in 1966, with Betty Friedan as its first president. It was at first interested in publicizing inequalities for women in the workplace; focus of the organization later turned to social issues and eventually the unsuccessful effort to pass an Equal Rights Amendment for women.
The massive buildup of nuclear weapons by the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and into the 1960s; in the United States this was fostered in the belief that the threat of "massive retaliation" was the best way to keep the Soviet Union under control. The psychological effects of the atomic bomb on the populations of the Soviet Union and the United States was also profound.
The belief that an individual state has the right to get rid of any federal law that the state felt was unjust. Andrew Jackson was able to resolve a Nullification Crisis in 1832, but the concept of it was still accepted by many Southerners, and controversy over this was a cause of the Civil War.
Platform of the Farmer's Alliance, formulated at an 1890 convention held in Ocala, Florida. This farmer's organization favored a graduated income tax, government control of the railroad, the unlimited coinage of silver, and the direct election of United States senators. Candidates supporting the farmers called themselves Populists and ran for public offices in the 1890s.
Old Age Revolting Pension Plan
Conceived by California doctor Francis Townsend in 1934, this plan would give every retired American $200 a month, with the stipulation that it would have to be spent by the end of the month ; Townsend claimed this would revitalize the economy by putting more money in circulation. A national tax of 2 percent of all business transactions was supposed to finance this plan. A large number of Townsend clubs were formed to support this plan.
on the margin
The practice in the late 1920s of buying stock and only paying in cash 10 percent of the value of the stock; the buyer could easily borrow the rest from his or her stockbroker or investment banker. This system worked well as long as investors could sell their stocks at a profit and repay their loans; after the 1929 stock market crash, investors had to pay these loans back in cash.
Acronym for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, this organization sets the price for crude oil and determines how much of it will be produced. The decision of OPEC to raise oil prices in 1973 had a dramatic economic impact in both the United States and the rest of the world.
Open Door Policy
The policy that China should be open to trade with all of the major powers, and that all, including the United States, should have equal right to trade there. This was the official American position toward China as announced by Secretary of State John Hay in 1899.
Operation Desert Shield
After Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, President Bush sent 230,000 American position toward China as announced by Secretary of State John Hay in 1899.
Operation Desert Storm
February 1991 attack on Iraqi forces in Kuwait by United States and other allied forces; although Iraq was driven from Kuwait, Saddam Hussein remained in power in Iraq.
Trail that took the settlers from the Ohio River Valley through the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains to Oregon. Settlers began moving westward along this trail in 1842; by 1860 over 325,000 Americans had traveled westward along the trail.
Both the United States and Great Britain claimed the Oregon Territory; in 1815 they agreed to jointly control the region. In 1843 the settlers of Oregon declared that their territory would become an independence republic.
Part of the Red Scare, these were measures to hunt out political radicals and immigrants who were potential threats to American security. Organized by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in 1919 and 1920 (and carried out by J. Edgar Hoover), these raids led to the arrest of nearly 5500 people and the deportation of nearly four hundred.
Crucial for American economic growth, the building of this canal was begun by American builders in 1904 and completed in 1914; the United States had to first engineer a Panamanian revolt against Colombia to guarantee a friendly government in Panama that would support the building of the canal. In 1978 the U.S. Senate voted to return the Panama Canal to Panamanian control.
Panic of 1837
The American economy suffered a deep depression when Great Britain reduced the amount of credit it offered to the United States; American merchants and industrialists had to use their available cash to pay off debts, thus causing businesses to cut production and lay off workers.
Pendleton Civil Service Act
1883 act that established a civil service system; there were a number of government jobs that were filled by civil service examinations and not by the president appointing one of his political cronies. Some states also started to develop professional civil service systems in the 1880s.
A government study of American involvement in Vietnam that outlined in detail many of the mistakes that America had made there; in 1971 a former analyst for the Defense Department, Daniel Ellsberg released these to the "New York Times."
For Cuba to receive its independence from the United States after the Spanish-American war, it had to agree to this Amendment, which stated that the United States had the right to intervene in Cuban affairs if the Cuban government could maintain control or if the independence of Cuba was threatened by external or internal forces.
A group of intelligence officials who worked for the committee to reelect Richard Nixon in 1972; the job of this group was to stop leaks of information and perform "dirty tricks" on political opponents of the president. The Plumbers broke into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, looking for damaging information against him and totally discredited the campaign of Democratic hopeful Edmund Muskie.
A method a president can use to "kill" congressional legislation at the end of a congressional term. Instead of vetoing the bill, the president may simply not sign it; once the congressional term is over, the bill will then die.
An organization that controls the politics of a city, a state, or even the country, sometimes by illegal or quasi-legal means; a machine employs a large number of people to do its "dirty work," for which they are either given some government job or allowed to pocket government bribes or kickbacks. The "best" example of a political machine was the Tammany Hall organization that controlled New York City in the late nineteenth century.
Party that represented the farmers that scored major electoral victories in the 1890s, including the election of several members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the election of on U.S. senator.Their candidates spoke against monopolies, wanted government to become "more democratic," and wanted more direct government action to help the working class.
"Port Huron Statement"
The manifesto of Students for a Democratic Society, a radical student group formed in 1960. It called for a greater role for university students in the nation's affairs, rejected the traditional role of the university, and rejected the foreign policy goals that America was embracing at the time.
A recent trend in cultural and historical study that doubts the existence of absolute historical certainties. It is impossible to know, for example, what "really happened" in the past; therefore, how individuals observe and interpret the past becomes a valuable source of analysis. Postmodernists would also reject statements such as "democracy is best for all nations of the world," and would emphasize the study of various historical viewpoints.
July 1945 conference between new president Harry Truman, Stalin, and Clement Atlee, who had replaced Churchill. Truman took a much tougher stance toward Stalin than Franklin Roosevelt had; little substantive agreement took place at this conference. Truman expressed reservations about the future role of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe at this conference.
Alliance of Native American tribes living in the region of the initial Virginia settlement. Powhatan, leader of this alliance, tried to live in peace with the English settlers when they arrived in 1607.
Actual documents or accounts from an era being studied, these are invaluable to historians. Almost all true historical research involves analysis of primary source documents. Examples would be a letter written by Napoleon, an account of someone who knew Napoleon personally, or a newspaper account from Napoleon's time.
Government officials that receive their positions after taking competitive civil service tests; they are not appointed in return for political favors. Many government jobs at the state and national level are filled in this manner beginning in the 1880s.
A movement that desired political and social reform, and was most influential in America from the 1890s up until World War I. Most popular progressive causes included reforming city government, better conditions for urban workers, the education of newly arrived immigrants, and the regulation of big businesses.
The belief that representation in a legislature should be based on population; the states with the largest populations should have the most representatives. When the Constitution was being formulated, the larger states wanted this; the smaller states favored "one vote per state." The eventual compromise, termed the Connecticut plan, created a two-house legislature.
Settlements in America that were given to individuals who could govern and regulate the territory in any manner they desire. Charles I, for example, gave Maryland territory to Lord Baltimore as on of these.
Group of religious dissidents who came to the New World so they would have a location to establish a "purer" church than the one that existed in England. They began to settle the Plymouth Colony in 1620 and settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony beginning in 1630. They were heavily influenced by John Calvin and his concept of predestination.
The first textile production system in England, where merchants gave wool to families, who in their homes created yarn and then cloth; the merchants would then buy the cloth from the families and sell the finished product. Textile mills made this procedure more efficient.
1765 British edict stating that to help defend the empire; colonial governments had to provide accommodation and food for British troops. Many colonists considered this act to be the ultimate insult; they perceived that they were paying for the troops that were there to control colonies.
Queen Anne's War
1702 to 1713 war, called the War of the Spanish Succession in European texts, pitted England against France and Spain. Spanish Florida was attacked by the English in the early part of this war, and Native Americans fought for both sides in the conflict. The British emerged victorious and in the end received Hudson Bay and Nova Scotia from the French.
Group of Republicans after the Civil War who favored harsh treatment of the defeated South and dramatic restructuring of the economic and social systems in the South; favored a decisive elevation of the political, social, and economic position of former slaves.
In late 1787 and 1788 these were held in all states for the purpose of ratifying the new Constitution of the United States. In many states, approval of the Constitution was only approved by a small margin; in Rhode Island ratification was defeated. The Founding Fathers made an intelligent decision in calling for ratifying conventions to approve the Constitution instead of having state legislatures do it, since under the system proposed by the Constitution,some of the powers state legislatures had at the time would be turned over to the federal government.
Held by Americans during World War II, these recorded the amount of rationed goods such as automobile tires, gasoline, meat, butter, and other materials an individual had purchased Where regulation in World War I had been voluntary, consumption in World War II was regulated by government agencies.
Pragmatic policy of leadership, in which the leader "does what he or she has to do" in order to be successful. Morality has no place in the mind-set of a leader practicing it. The late nineteenth-century German chancellor Otto von Bismarck is the best modern example of a leader practicing this.
"Rebel Without a Cause"
1955 film starring James Dean exploring the difficulties of family life and the alienation that many teenager felt in the 1950s. Juvenile delinquency, and reasons for it, was subtext of this film, as well as the source of countless other 1950s-era movies aimed at the youth market.
One of a number of reforms of the governmental system proposed by progressive-era thinkers; by the process of this, the citizens of a city or state could remove an unpopular elected official from office in midterm. This was adopted in only a small number of communities.
1896 Spanish policy designed to control the Cuban people by forcing them to live in fortified camps; American outrage over this leads some politicians to call for war against Spain.
Plan of Radical Republicans to control the former area of the Confederacy and approved by Congress in March 1867; former Confederacy was divided into five military districts, with each controlled by a military commander (Tennessee was exempt from this). Conventions were to be called to create new state governments (former Confederate officials could not hold office in these governments).
The era following the Civil War where Radical Republicans initiated changes in the South that gave newly freed slaves additional economic, social, and political rights. These changes were greatly resented by many Southerners, causing the creation of organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. Reconstruction ended with the Compromise of 1877.
Reconstruction Finance Corparation
Established in 1932 by Herbert Hoover to offset the effects of the Great Depression; the RFC was authorized to give federal credit to banks so that they could operate efficiently. Banks receiving these loans were expected to extend loans to businesses providing jobs or building low-cost housing.
Vigorous repression of radicals, "political subversives." and "undesirable" immigrant groups in the years immediately following World War I. Nearly 6500 "radicals" were arrested and sent to jail; some sat in jail without ever being changed with a crime, while nearly 500 immigrants were deported.
One of a series of progressive-era reforms designed to improve the political system; with the referendum, certain issues would be decided not by elected representatives as voters are called upon to approve or disapprove specific government programs. Consistent with populist and progressive era desire to return government "to the people."
Primarily Protestant movement that greatly grew beginning in the 1970s and pushed to return "morality" to the forefront in American life. The religious right has been especially active in opposing abortion, and since the 1980s has extended its influence in the political sphere by endorsing and campaigning for specific candidates.
Removal Act of 1830
Part of the effort to remove Native Americans from "Western" lands so that American settlement could continue westward, this legislation gave the president authorization (and money) to purchase from Native Americans all of their lands east of the Mississippi, and gave him the money to purchase lands west of the Mississippi for Native Americans to move to.
"Report on the Public Credit"
1790 report by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, in which he proposed that the federal government assume the entire amount of the nation's debt (including state debt), and that the federal government should have an increased role in the nation's economy. Many of America's early leaders vigorously opposed the expansion of federal economic power in the new republic and the expansion of American industry that Hamilton also promoted.
Formed in 1854 during the death of the Whig party, this party attracted former members of the Free-Soil party and some in the Democratic party who were uncomfortable with the Democratic position on slavery. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. For much of the twentieth century, the party was saddled with the label of being "the party of big business," although Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and others did much to pull middle class and Southern voters into the party.
This group in the United States Senate was led by Henry Cabot Lodge and was opposed to sections of the Versailles Treaty when it was brought home from Paris by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Reservationists were especially concerned that if the United States joined the League of Nations, American troops would be used to conduct League of Nations military operations without the approval of the Congress.
In an attempt to address the problems of Dust Bowlers and other poor farmers, this 1935 New Deal program attempted to provide aid to the poorest farmers, resettle some farmers from the Dust Bowl, and establish cooperatives. This program never received the funding it needed to be even partially successfully, and in 1937 the Farm Security Administration was created to replace it.
Revenue Act of 1935
Tax legislation championed by Franklin Roosevelt that was called a "soak the rich" plan by his opponents. Under this bill corporate, inheritance, and gift taxes went up dramatically; income taxes for the upper brackets also rose. By proposing this, Roosevelt may have been attempting to diffuse the popularity of Huey Long and others with more radical plans to redistribute wealth.
Revenue Act of 1942
Designed to raise money for the war, this bill dramatically increased the number of Americans required to pay income tax. Until this point, roughly 4 million Americans paid income tax; as a result of this legislation, nearly 45 million did.
A historical interpretation not in "standard" history books or supported by most historians. Their history of the origins of the Cold War, for example, would maintain that the aggressive actions of the United States forced the Soviet Union to seize the territories of Eastern Europe for protection. Historical interpretation that may originally be this may, in time, become standard historical interpretation.
Religious meetings consisting of soul-searching, preaching, and prayer that took place during the Second Great Awakening at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some meetings lasted over one week.
1947 treaty signed by the United States and most Latin American countries,stating that the region would work together on economic and defense matters and creating the Organization of American States to facilitate this cooperation.
Roe v. Wade
1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal (except in the last months of pregnancy). Justices voting in the majority in this 5-to-2 decision stated that a woman's right to privacy gave her the legal freedom to choose to have an abortion. Abortion has remained one of the most hotly debated social issues in America.
An extension of the Monroe Doctrine, this policy was announced in 1904 by Theodore Roosevelt; it firmly warned European nations against intervening in the affairs of nations in the Western Hemisphere, and stated that the United States had the right to take action against any nation in Latin America if "chronic wrongdoing" was taking place. The Roosevelt Corollary was used to justify several American "interventions" in Central America in the twentieth century.
Rosie the Riveter
Image of a factory women drawn by Norman Rockwell for the "Saturday Evening Post" during World War II. Women were needed to take on factory jobs that had been held by departing soldiers; by 1945 women made up nearly 37 percent of the entire domestic workforce.
A special unit of soldiers recruited by Theodore Roosevelt to do battle in the Spanish-American War; this unit was composed of men from many backgrounds, with the commanding officer of the unit being Roosevelt (after he resigned as Assistant secretary of the Navy). The most publicized event of the war was the charge of the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898.
Salem Witch Trials
120 men, women, and children were arrested for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692; 19 of these were executed. A new governor appointed by the Crown stopped additional trials and executions; several historians note the class nature of the witch trials, as many of those accused were associated with the business and/or commercial interests in Salem, wile most of the accusers were members of the farming class.
SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks)
1972 treaty signed by Richard Nixon and Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev limiting the development of additional nuclear weapon systems and defense systems to stop them. SALT I was only partially effective in preventing continued development of nuclear weaponry.
British policy announced at the beginning of the eighteenth century stating that as long as the American colonies remained politically loyal and continued their trade with Great Britain, the British government would relax enforcement of various measures restricting colonial activity that were enacted in the 1600s. Tensions between the colonies and Britain continued over British policies concerning colonial trade and the power of colonial legislatures.
Eastern European countries that remained under the control of the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. Most were drawn together militarily by the Warsaw Pact; satellite nations that attempted political or cultural rebellion, such as Hungary in 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968, faced invasion by Soviet forces.
"Saturday Night Massacre"
October 20, 1973, event when Richard Nixon ordered the firing of Archibald Cox, the special investigator in charge of the Watergate investigation. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and several others in the Justice Department refused to carry out this order and resigned. This event greatly damaged Nixon's popularity, both in the eyes of the public and in the Congress.
Term used by Southerners in the Reconstruction era for fellow Southerners who either supported Republican Reconstruction policies or gained economically as a result of these policies.
1925 Tennessee trial where teacher John Scopes was charged with teaching evolution, a violation of state status. The American Civil Liberties Union hired Clarence Darrow to defend Scopes, while the chief attorney for the prosecution was three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. While Scopes was convicted and ordered to pay a small fine, Darrow was able to poke holes in the theory of creationism as expressed by Bryan.
Nine black young men who were accused of raping two white women in a railway boxcar in Scottsboro, Arizona, in 1931. Quick trials, suppressed evidence, and inadequate legal council made them symbols of the discrimination that faced blacks on a daily basis during this era.
Scramble for Africa
The competition between the major European powers to gain colonial territories in Africa that took place between the 1870s and the outbreak of World War I. Conflicts created by competing visions of colonial expansion increased tensions between the European powers and were a factor in the animosities that led to World War I.
A single state or group of states leaving the United States of America. New England Federalists threatened to do this during the first administration of Thomas Jefferson; Southern states did this in the period prior to the Civil War.
Second Battle of Bull Run
Decisive victory by General Robert E. Lee and Confederate forces over the Union army in August 1862.
Second Continental Congress
Meeting of delegates from the American colonies in May 1775; during the sessions some delegates expressed hope that the differences between the colonies and Britain could be reconciled, although Congress authorized that the Continental Army be created and that George Washington be named commander of that army.
Second Great Awakening
Religious revival movement that began at the beginning of the nineteenth century; revivalist ministers asked thousands of worshippers at revival meetings to save their own souls. This reflected the move away from predestination in Protestant thinking of the era.
Second Industrial Revolution
The massive economic growth that took place in America from 1865 until the end of the century that was largely based on the expansion of the railroad, the introduction of electric power, and the production of steel for building. By the 1890s America had replaced Germany as the major industrial producer in the world.
Second National Bank
Bank established by Congress in 1816; President Madison had called for the Second Bank in 1815 as a way to spur national economic growth after the War of 1812. After an economic downturn in 1818, the bank shrank the amount of currency available for loans, an act that helped to create the economic collapse of 1819.
Second New Deal
Beginning n 1935 the New Deal did more to help the poor and attack the wealthy; one reason Roosevelt took this path was to turn the American people away from those who said the New Deal wasn't going far enough to help the average person. Two key legislative acts of this era were the Social Security Act of 1935 and the June 1935 National Labor Relations Act (also called the Wagner Act), which gave all Americans the right to join labor unions. The Wealth Tax Act increased the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.
A historical account written after the fact; a historian writing a secondary source would analyze the available primary sources on his/her topic. Examples would be a textbook, a biography written today of Napoleon, or a new account of the Black Death.
Religious group that opposed the Church of England. This group first went to Holland, and then some went on to the Americas.
Centers set up by progressive-era reformers in the poorest sections of American cities; at these centers workers and their children might receive lessons in the English language or citizenship, while for women lessons in sewing and cooking were often times held. The first settlement house was Hull House in Chicago, established by Jane Addams in 1889.
Ratified in 1913, this amendment allowed voters to directly elect United States senators. Senators had previously been elected by state legislatures; this change perfectly reflected the spirit of progressive-era political reformers who wanted to do all they could to put political power in the hands of the citizenry.
Sherman Antitrust Act
1890 congressional legislation designed to break up industrial trusts such as the one created by John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil. The bill stated that any combination of businesses that was "in the restraint of trade" was illegal. Because of the vagueness of the legislation and the lack of enforcement tools in the hands of the federal government, few trusts were actually prosecuted as a result of this bill.
Plains tribe that tried to resist American westward expansion; after two wars the they were resettled in South Dakota. In 1876 their fighters defeated the forces of General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. In 1890 almost 225 of their men , women, and children were killed by federal troops as the Massacre at Wounded Knee.
A labor tactic where workers refuse to leave their factory until management meets their demands. The most famous sit-down strike occurred at the General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan, beginning in December, 1936; despite efforts by guards to end the strike by force, the workers finally saw their demands met after 44 days.
Tactic used by the civil rights movement in the early 1960s; a group of civil rights workers would typically occupy a lunch counter in a segregated establishment in the South and refuse to leave, thus disrupting normal business (and profits) for the segregated establishment. During sit-ins civil rights workers often suffered physical and emotional abuse. The first sit-in was at the Wordsworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina, on February 1, 1960.
1913 amendment that instituted a federal income tax. In debate over this measure in Congress, most felt that this would be a fairer tax than a national sales tax, which was proposed by some.
1943 legislation that limited the nature of labor action possible for the rest of the war. Many in America felt that strikes, especially those organized in the coal mines by the United Mine Workers, were detrimental to the war effort.
Philosophy that evolved from the writings of Charles Darwin on evolution that stated that people inevitably compete with each other, as do societies; in the end the "survival of the fittest" would naturally occur. It was used to justify the vast differences between the rich and the poor in the late nineteenth century, as well as the control that the United States and Europe maintained over other parts of the world.
Social Gospel movement
Late nineteenth-century Protestant movement preaching that all true Christians should be concerned with the plight of immigrants and other poor residents of American cities and should financially support efforts to improve the lives of these poor urban dwellers. Progressive-era settlement houses were often financed by funds raised by ministers of this movement.
The field of history that analyzes the lives and beliefs of common people in any historical era. In American history, this field has grown dramatically since the 1960s. They believe that we can get a more accurate view of the civil rights movement, by for example, studying the actions of civil rights workers in Mississippi than we can by studying the actions and pronouncements of leaders of the civil rights movement who were active on the national stage.
Social Security Act
Considered by many to be the most important act passed during the entire New Deal, this 1935 bill established a system that would give payments to Americans after they reached retirement age; provisions for unemployment and disability insurance were also found in this bill. Political leaders of recent years have wrestled with the problem of keeping the Social Security system solvent.
Sons of Liberty
Men who organized opposition to the British policies during the late 1760s and 1770s. They were founded in and were most active in Boston, where in response to Stamp Act they burned the local tax collector in effigy and burned a building that he owned. They also organized the Boston Tea Party. Samuel Adams was one of the leaders of this group.
Plan begun by Richard Nixon that has made the Republican party dominant in many areas of the South that had previously voted Democratic. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and countless Republican congressional candidates have emphasized law and order and traditional values in their campaigns, thus winning over numerous voters. Support from the South had been part of the New Deal Democratic coalition crafted by Franklin Roosevelt.
War that began in 1898 and stemmed from furor in America over treatment of Cubans by Spanish troops that controlled the island. During the war the American navy led by Admiral Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in the Pacific, the American ship the "Maine" was sunk in Havana harbor, and Teddy Roosevelt led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill. A major result of the war was the acquisition by the United States of the Philippines, which made America a major power in the Pacific.
Urban clubs that existed in the 1920s where alcohol was illegally sold to patrons. The sheer number of speakeasies in a city such as New York demonstrated the difficulty of enforcing a law such as prohibition.
An official appointed to investigate specific governmental wrongdoing. Archibald Cox was the one assigned to investigate Watergate, while Kenneth Starr was one assigned to investigate the connections between President Clinton and Whitewater. President Nixon's order to fire Cox was the beginning of the famous 1973 "Saturday Night Massacre."
The practice of purchasing either land or stocks with the intent of selling them for a higher price later. After the Homestead Act and other acts opened up the western United States for settlement, many of them purchased land with no intent of ever settling on it; their goal was to later sell the land for profit.
Also called the patronage system, in which the president, governor, or mayor is allowed to fill governmental jobs with political allies and former campaign workers. Political reformers of the 1880s and 1890s introduced legislation calling for large numbers of these jobs to be filled by the merit system, in which candidates for jobs had to take competitive examinations. President Andrew Jackson began this system.
First man-made satellite sent into space, this 1957 scientific breakthrough by the Soviet Union caused great concern in the United States. The thought that the United States was "behind" the Soviet Union in anything worried many, and science and mathematics requirements in universities across the country increased as a result.
The philosophy of President Theodore Roosevelt; included in this was the desire to treat both sides fairly in any dispute. In the coal miner's strike of 1902 he treated the United Mine Workers representatives and company bosses as equals; this approach continued during his efforts to regulate the railroads and other businesses during his second term.
A unique economic situation faced political leaders in the early 1970s, where inflation and signs of economic recession occurred at the same time. Previously, in times of inflation, the economy was improving, and vice versa. Nixon utilized wage and price controls and increased government spending to address this problem.
To help pay for the British army in North America, Parliament passed this act in 1765, under which all legal documents in the colonies had to be issued on officially stamped paper. A tax was imposed on all of these documents, as well as on all colonial newspapers. The resistance to this act was severe in the colonies, and it was eventually repealed.
Stamp Act Congress
Representatives of nine colonies went to this meeting held in New York in October 1765; the document produced by this congress maintained the loyalty of the colonies to the Crown but strongly condemned the Stamp Act. Within one year the Stamp Act was repealed.
The concept that the individual states, and not the federal government, have the power to decide whether federal legislation or regulations are to be enforced within the individual states. The mantle of it would be taken up by New England Federalists during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, by many Southern states in the years leading up to the Civil War, and by some Southern states again i response to federal legislation during the civil rights era of the 1960s.
1739 slave rebellion in South Carolina where over 75 slaves killed white citizens and marched through the countryside with captured guns. After the rebellion was quashed, discipline imposed by many slave owners was much harsher. This was the largest slave rebellion of the 1700s in the colonies.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
Founded in 1960, this group was part of the "New Left" movement of the 1960s. It believed in more participatory society, in a society that was less materialistic, and in university reform that would give students more power. By 1966 it concentrated much of its efforts on organizing opposition to the war in Vietnam. The "Port Huron Statement" was the original manifesto of it and was written by its founder Tom Hayden.
The area outside of the cities massive numbers of families flocked to in the 1950s and 1960s. Suburban parents often still worked in the cities, but the suburban lifestyle shared little with urban life. Critics of 1950s suburbia point to the sameness and lack of vitality noted by some suburban residents and to the fact that suburban women had to forget past dreams to accept the role of "housewife."
These were sent from Suffolk County, Massachusetts, to the meeting of the First Continental Congress in September 1774 and called for citizens of all of the colonies to prepare to take up arms against the British. After much debate, the First Continental Congress adopted this.
Another effort to pay for the British army located in North America, this 1764 measure taxed sugar and other imports. The British had previously attempted to halt the flow of sugar from French colonies to the colonies: By this act they attempted to make money from this trade. Another provision of the act harshly punished smugglers of sugar who didn't pay the import duty imposed by the British.
Economic theory adopted by Ronald Reagan stating that economic growth would be best encouraged by lowering the taxes of wealthy businessmen and investors; this would give them more cash, which they would use to start more businesses, make more investments, and in general stimulate the economy. This theory of "Reaganomics" went against economic theories going back to the New Deal that claimed to efficiently stimulate the economy, more money needed to be held by consumers (who would in turn spend it).
A torpedo from a German submarine hit the French passenger liner the "Sussex" in March 1916, killing and injuring many (including six Americans). In a strongly worded statement, President Wilson demanded that the Germans refrain from attacking passenger ships; in this pledge the Germans said that they would temporarily stop these attacks, but that they might have to resume them in the future if the British continued their blockade if German ports.
1947 congressional legislation that aided the owners in potential labor disputes. In key industries the president could declare an 80-day cooling off period before a strike could actually take place; the bill also allowed owners to sue unions over broken contracts, and forced union leaders to sign anticommunist oaths. The bill was passed over President Truman's veto; Truman only vetoed the bill for political reasons.
Political machine that ran New York City Democratic and city politics beginning in 1870, and a "model" for the political machines that dominated politics in many American cities well into the twentieth century. William Marcy "Boss" Tweed was the head of it for several years and was the most notorious of all of the political bosses.
An extremely protectionist tariff designed to assist new American industries in the aftermath of the War of 1812; this tariff raised import duties by nearly 25 percent.
Tax Reform Act of 1986
The biggest tax cut in American history, this measure cut taxes by $750 billion over five years and cut personal income taxes by 25 percent. Tax cuts were consistent with President Reagan's belief that more money in the hands of the wealthy would stimulate the economy. Critics of this tax cut would argue that the wealthy were the ones that benefited from it, as little of the money that went to the hands of the rich actually "trickled down" to help the rest of the economy. Critics would also argue that the national deficits of the late 1980s and early 1990s were caused by these tax cuts.
Following the management practices of Frederick Winslow Taylor, the belief practiced by many factory owners beginning in 1911 (when Taylor published his first book) that factories should be managed in a scientific manner, with everything done to increase the efficiency of the individual worker and of the factory process as a whole.Taylor describes the movements of workers as if they were machines; workers in many factories resisted being seen in this light.
1773 act by Parliament that would provide the American colonies with cheap tea, but at the same time would force the colonies to admit that Parliament had a right to tax them. The Sons of Liberty acted against this measure in several colonies, with the most dramatic being the Boston Tea Party. Parliament responded with the harsh Coercive Acts.
Teapot Dome Scandal
One of many scandals that took place during the presidency of warren G. Harding. The Secretary of the Interior accepted bribes from oil companies for access to government reserves as Teapot Dome. Wyoming; other cabinet members were later convicted of accepting bribes and using their influence to make millions. The Harding administration in American political history.
As Americans were preparing for war with Spain over Cuba in 1898, this Senate measure stated that under no circumstances would the United States annex Cuba. The amendment was passed as many in the muckraking press were suggesting that the Cuban people would be better off "under the protection" of the United States.
Movement that developed in America before the Civil War that lamented the effect that alcohol had on American society. After the Civil War, members of this movement would become especially concerned about the effect of alcohol on immigrants and other members of the urban poor; out of this movement came the drive for nationwide prohibition.
Ten Percent Plan
Abraham Lincoln's plan for Reconstruction, which would have offered full pardons to persons living in Confederate states who would take an oath of allegiance to the United States (former Confederate military officers and civilian authorities would not be offered this possibility); once 10 percent of the citizens of the state had taken such an oath, the state could take steps to rejoin the Union. Radical Republicans in the U.S. Senate felt that this plan was much too lenient to the South.
In the Reconstruction South, a step up from sharecropping; these people rented their land from the landowner, freeing themselves from the harsh supervision that sharecroppers suffered under.
Tennessee Valley Authority
Ambitious New Deal program that for the first time provided electricity to residents of the Tennessee Valley; it also promoted agricultural and industrial growth (and prevented flooding) in the region. In all, residents of seven states benefited from it.
Tenure of Office Act
1867 congressional act designed to limit the influence of President Andrew Johnson. The act took away the president's role as commander in chief of American military forces and stated that Congress had to approve the removal of government officials made by the president. In 1868 Johnson attempted to fire Secretary of War Stanton without congressional approval, thus helping set the stage for his impeachment hearings later that year.
January 1968 attack launched on American and South Vietnamese forces by North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers. Although Vietcong troops actually occupied the American embassy in Vietnam for several hours, the and result was a crushing defeat for the anti-American forces. However, the psychological effect of it was exactly the reverse: Vietcong forces were convinced they could decisively strike at South Vietnamese and American targets, and many in America ceased to believe that victory was "just around the corner."
1865 amendment abolishing slavery in the United States and all of its territories (the Emancipation Proclamation had only ended slavery in the Confederate states). Final approval of this amendment depended on ratification by newly constructed legislatures in eight states that were former members of the Confederacy.
The dividing line between Soviet supported North Korea and U.S.-backed South Korea both before and as a result of the Korean War; American forces have been stationed on the southern side of this border continually since the Korean War ended in 1953.
As the new Constitution was being debated in 1787, great controversy developed over how slaves should be counted in determining membership in the House of Representatives. To increase their representation, Southern states argued that slaves should be counted as people; Northerners argued that they should not count, since they could not vote or own property. The compromise arrived at was that each slave would count as three-fifths of a free person.
Governmental policy utilized to offset the effects of inflation; on numerous occasions the Federal Reserve Board has increased the interest rate on money it loans to member banks; these higher interests rates are passed on to customers of member banks. With higher interest rates, there are fewer loans and other business activity, which "slows the economy down" and lowers inflation.
Timber and Stone Act
1878 bill that allowed private citizens to purchase forest territory in Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada. Although the intent of the bill was to encourage settlement in these areas, lumber companies purchased large amounts of these land claims from the individuals who had originally purchased them.
1767 Parliamentary act that forced colonists to pay duties on most goods coming from England, including tea and paper, and increased the power of custom boards in the colonies to ensure that these duties were paid. These duties were despised and fiercely resisted in many of the colonies; in Boston resistance was so fierce that the British were forced to occupy Boston with troops. The acts were finally repealed in 1770.
Trail of Tears
Forced march of 20,000 members of Cherokee tribe to their newly designated "home-land" in Oklahoma. Federal troops forced the Cherokees westward in this 1838 event, with one out of every five Native Americans dying from hunger, disease, or exhaustion along the way.
Treaty of Ghent
1814 treaty between the United States an d Great Britain ending the War of 1812; treaty restored diplomatic relations between the two countries but did nothing to address the issues that had initially caused the war.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Treaty ending the war with Mexico that was ratified by the Senate in March of 1848 and for $15 million gave the United States Texas territory to the Rio Grande River, New Mexico, and California.
Treaty of Paris
The treaty ending the Revolutionary War, and signed in 1783; by the terms of this treaty the United States received the land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. The British did keep their Canadian territories.
Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
March 1911 fire in New York factory that trapped young women workers inside locked exit doors; nearly 50 ended up jumping to their death, while 100 died inside the factory. Many factory reforms, including increasing safety precautions for workers, came from the investigation of this incident.
triangular trade system
The complex trading relationship that developed in the late seventeenth century between the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Europeans purchased slaves from Africa to be resold in the Americas, raw materials from the Americas were exported to European states, while manufactured products in Europe were sold throughout the Americas.
Created in response to 1947 requests by Greece and Turkey for American assistance to defend themselves against potentially pro-Soviet elements in their countries, this policy stated that the United States would be ready to assist any free nation trying to defend itself against "armed minorities or...outside pressures." This would become the major American foreign policy goal throughout the Cold War.
Late nineteenth-century legal arrangement that allowed owners of one company to own stock in other companies in the same industry. By this arrangement, John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil were able to buy enough stock to control other oil companies in existence as well. The Sherman Anti trust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act were efforts to "break up" the numerous trusts that were created during this period.
Published by Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893, "The Significance of the West in American History" stated that western expansion had played a fundamental role in defining the American character, and that the American tendencies toward democracy and individualism were created by the frontier experience.
1804 amendment the established separate balloting in the Electoral College for president and vice president. This amendment was passed as as result of the electoral deadlock of the 1800 presidential election, when Thomas Jefferson and his "running mate" Aaron Burr ended up with the same numbers of votes in the Electoral College; the House of Representatives finally decided the election in favor of Jefferson.
American reconnaissance aircraft shot down over the Soviet Union in May 1960. President Eisenhower initially refused to acknowledge that this was a spy flight; the Soviets finally produced pilot Francis Gary Powers, who admitted the purpose of the flight. This incident created an increase in Cold War tensions at the end of the Eisenhower presidency.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin"
1852 novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe that depicted all of the horrors of Southern slavery in great detail. The book went through several printings in the 1850s and early 1860s and helped fuel abolitionist sentiment in the North.
A governmental structure with one-house legislature. As written in the Articles of Confederation, the United States would have a unicameral legislature, with all states having equal representation.
United Farm Workers
Organized by Cesar Chavez in 1961, this union represented Mexican-Americans engaged in the lowest levels of agricultural work. In 1965 Chavez organized a strike against grape growers that hired Mexican-American workers in California, eventually winning the promise of benefits and minimum wage guarantees for the workers.
United States Forest Service
Created during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, this body increased and protected the number of national forests and encouraged through numerous progress the efficient use of America's natural resources.
Universal Negro Improvement Association
Black organization of the early 1920s founded by Marcus Garvey, who argued that, however possible blacks should disassociate themselves from the "evils" of white society. This group organized a "back to Africa" movement, encouraging blacks of African descent to move back there; independent black businesses were encouraged (and sometimes funded) by Garvey's organization.
unrestricted submarine warfare
The German policy announced in early 1917 of having their U-boats attack all ships attempting to land at British or French ports, despite their origin or purpose; because of this policy, the rights of the United States as a neutral power were being violated, stated Woodrow Wilson in 1917, and America was forced to declare war on Germany.
American ship sent to Havana harbor in early 1898 to protect American interests in period of increased tension between Spanish troops and native Cubans; on February 15 an explosion took place on the ship, killing nearly 275 sailors. Later investigations pointed to an internal explosion on board, but all of the muckraking journals of the time in the United States blamed the explosion on the Spanish, which helped to develop intense anti-Spanish sentiment in the United States.
Location where General Washington stationed his troops for the winter of 1777 to 1778. Soldiers suffered hunger, cold, and disease: nearly 1300 deserted over the course of the winter. Morale of the remaining troops was raised by the drilling and discipline instilled by Baron von Steuben, a former Prussian officer who had volunteered to aid the colonial army.
Type of industrial organization practiced in the late nineteenth century and pioneered by Andrew Carnegie and U.S. Steel; under this system all of the various business activities needed to produce and sell a finished product (procuring the raw materials, preparing them, producing them, marketing them, and then selling them) would be done by the same company.
During the Vietnam war, forces that existed within South Vietnam that were fighting for the victory of the North Vietnamese. Its forces were pivotal in the initial successes of the Tet Offensive, which did much to make many in America question the American war effort in Vietnam and played a crucial role in the eventual defeat of the South Vietnamese government.
The process begun by Richard Nixon of removing American troops from Vietnam and turning more of the fighting of the Vietnam war over to the South Vietnamese. Nixon continued to use intense bombing to aid the South Vietnamese efforts as more American troops were being pulled out of Vietnam; in 1973 a peace treaty was finally signed with North Vietnam, allowing American troops to leave the country and all American POWs to be released. In March 1975, North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces captured Saigon and emerged victorious in the war.
A concept of government crafted by James Madison and adopted by delegates to the convention that created the United States Constitution, this plan proposed a stronger central government than had existed under the Articles of Confederation; to prevent too much power being placed in the hands of one person or persons, the plan proposed that the powers of the federal government be divided amongst officials of executive, judicial, and legislative branches.
VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America)
Program instituted in 1964 that sent volunteers to help poor Americans living in both urban and rural settings; this program was sometimes described as a domestic peace corps. This was one of many initiatives that were part of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty program.
The concept that Americans should sacrifice either time or money for the well-being of their country; a sense of voluntarism has permeated America during much of its history, especially during the progressive era and during the administration of John Kennedy ("ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country"). President George W. Bush called for a renewed sense of voluntarism in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Congress passed this bill in 1864 in response to the "10 percent Plan" of Abraham Lincoln; this legislation wet out much more difficult conditions than had been proposed by Lincoln for Southern states to reenter the Union. According to Wade-Davis, all former officers of the Confederacy would be denied citizenship; to vote, a person would have to take an oath that he had never helped the Confederacy in any way, and half of all white males in a state would have to swear loyalty to the Union before statehood could be considered. Lincoln prevented this from becoming law by using the pocket veto.
Also called the National Labor Relations Act, this July 1935 act established major gains for organized labor. It guaranteed collective bargaining, prevented harassment by owners of union activities, and established a National Labor Relations Board to guarantee enforcement of its provisions.
Also called Liberty Bonds, these were sold by the United States government in both World War I and World War II and used by the government to finance the war effort. A person purchasing a war bond can make money if he or she cashes it in after 5 or 10 years; in the meantime, the government can use the money to help pay its bills. In both wars, movie stars and other celebrities encouraged Americans to purchase war bonds.
War of 1812
War between the British and Americans over British seizure of American ships, connections between the British and Native American tribes, and other tensions. Treaty ending war restored diplomatic relations between the two countries.
War Industries Board
Authorized in 1917, the job of this board was to mobilize American industries for the war effort. The board was headed by Wall Street investor Bernard Baruch, who used his influence to get American industries to produce materials useful for the war effort. Baruch was able to increase American production by a staggering 22 percent before the end of the war.
The group that carefully investigated the assassination of John. F. Kennedy. After hearing much testimony, the commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president. Even today many conspiracy theorists question the findings of this commission, claiming that Oswald was part of a larger group who wanted to assassinate the president.
Defensive military alliance created in 1955 by the Soviet Union and all of the Eastern European satellite nations loyal to the Soviet Union; it was formed as a reaction against NATO and NATO's 1955 decision to invite West Germany to join the organization.
1921 conference where the United States, Japan, and the major European powers agreed to build no more warships for 10 years; in addition, the nations agreed not to attack each other's territories in the Pacific. This treaty came from strong post-World War I sentiment that it was important to avoid conflicts between nations that might lead to war.
The break-in into Democratic campaign headquarters was one of a series of dirty tricks carried out by individuals associated with the effort to reelect Richard Nixon as president in 1972. Extensive efforts were also made to cover up these activities. In the end, numerous government and campaign officials spent time in jail for their role in this , as President Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace.
Webb Alien Land Law
1913 California law that prohibited Japanese who were not American citizens from owning farmland in California. This law demonstrates the nativist sentiment found in much of American society in the first decades of the twentieth century.
1830 Senate debate between Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Senator Robert Hayne of South Carolina over the issue of state's rights and whether an individual state has the right to nullify federal legislation. Webster skillfully outlined the dangers to the United States that would be caused by the practice of nullification; this debate perfectly captured many of the political divisions between North and South that would increase in the 1830s through the 1860s.
Political party that came into being in 1834 in opposition to the presidency of Andrew Jackson. This party opposed Jackson's use of the spoils system and extensive power held by President Jackson; for much of their existence, however, they favored an activist federal government (while their opponents the Democrats, favored limited government). William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor were the two from this party elected president. This party dissolved in the 1850s.
Many settlers in Western frontier territory in the early 1790s questioned the power that the federal power had over them. In 1793 settlers in Ohio territory refused to pay federal excise taxes on whiskey and attacked tax officials who were supposed to collect these taxes; large numbers of "whiskey rebels" threatened to attack Pittsburgh and other cities. In 1794 President Washington was forced to send in federal troops to put down the rebellion.
"White Man's Burden"
From the poem of the same name by Rudyard Kipling, this view justified imperialism by the "white man" around the world, but also emphasized the duty of the Europeans and Americans who were occupying new territories to improve the lives of those living in the newly acquired regions.
The name of the scandal that got President Bill Clinton impeached but not convicted. It was the name of a real-estate deal in Arkansas that Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton were both involved in; opponents claimed the actions of the Clintons concerning it were illegal, unethical, or both. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr expanded the investigation to include the suicide of Clinton aide Vincent Foster, missing files in the White House, and the relationship of President Clinton with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.
In the aftermath with Mexico, in 1846 Representative David Wilmont proposed in an amendment to a military bill that slavery should be prohibited in all territories gained in the treaty ending the war. This never went into law, but in the debate over it in both houses, Southern representatives spoke passionately in defense of slavery; John C. Calhoun even suggested that the federal government had no legal jurisdiction to stop the existence of slavery in any new territory.
Woodstock Music Festival
1969 event that some perceive as the pinnacle of the 1960s counterculture. 400,000 young people came together for a weekend of music and a relative lack of hassles or conflict. The difficulty of mixing the 1960s counterculture with the radical politics of the era was demonstrated when Peter Townshend of the Who kicked Abbie Hoffman off the Woodstock stage
Works of Progress Administration (WPA)
New Deal program established in 1935 whose goal was to give out jobs as quickly as possible, even though the wages paid by them were relatively low. Roads and public buildings were constructed by their work crews; at the same time, its authors wrote state guidebooks, artists painted murals in newly constructed public buildings, and musicians performed in large cities and small towns across the country.
writ of habeas corpus
Allows a person suspected of a crime not to simply sit in jail indefinitely; such a suspect must be brought to court and charged with something, or he or she must be released from jail. Abraham Lincoln suspended the right of this during the Civil War so that opponents of his policies could be contained.
Meeting between Stalin, Churchill, And Roosevelt held two months before the fall of Nazi Germany in February of 1945. At this meeting Stalin agreed to assist the Americans against the Japanese after the Germans were defeated; it was decided that Germany would be divided into zones (each controlled by one of the victors), and Stalin promised to hold free elections in the Eastern European nations the Soviet army had liberated from the Nazis. Critics of this event maintain that Roosevelt was naive in his dealings with Stalin at this meeting (he was only months from his own death), and that Churchill and Roosevelt essentially handed over control of Eastern Europe to Stalin.
This method uses accounts and illustrations of lurid and sensational events to sell newspapers. Newspapers using this strategy covered the events in Cuba leading up to the Spanish-american War, and did much to shift American opinion toward desiring war in Spain; some critics maintain that many tactics of this were used during the press coverage of the Whitewater investigation of Bill Clinton.
January 1917 telegram sent by the German foreign minister to Mexico suggesting that the Mexican army should join forces with the Germans against the United States; when the Germans ans Mexicans were victorious, the Mexicans were promised most of the southwestern part of the United States. The British deciphered the code of the telegram and turned it over to the United States; the release of its content caused many in America to feel that war against the Germans was essential.