Excelsior U.S. History Unit 1 (Ch. 2) (Test A & B)

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King George III
The King of England during the Revolutionary War who allowed the enactment of many violations against the American colonists.
Sugar Act
An Act of Parliament instituted in 1764 which added new taxes on the colonists. The colonists argued that it was unfair to increase taxes when they had no one to represent them in Parliament.
The Stamp Act
The Parliamentary Law passed in 1785 which increased taxes on everyday items, goods, and services. This law taxed every form of paper, from newspapers, to playing cards and affected the colonists is every way. The colonists boycotted as they agreed it was unlawful for Parliament to tax the colonies when it refused to allow them a representative. The boycott worked and the Stamp Act was repealed.
Samuel Adams
An American colonist and a founding member of the Sons of Liberty who helped to organize the boycott of tea when England put a tax on it.
Boston Massacre
Confrontation in March of 1770 when a colonial mob gathered in front of the Boston Customs House and taunted the British soldiers. The soldiers shot and killed five colonists.
Boston Tea Party
In response to the unbalanced policies on tea taxes, a group of colonists dressed as Native Americans dumped 18,000 pounds of tea into Boston Harbor from the ships that carried it in December of 1773.
John Locke
An English philosopher who believed that people had the right to life, liberty, and property and that society can choose to obey its government as long as it safeguards those rights. If it tries to remove or alter those rights, the people can revolt or overthrow the government. Thomas Jefferson based our Declaration of Independence after his theories.
Common Sense
A 50-page pamphlet written by Thomas Paine detailing the tyranny of King George of England, blaming him for all the issues in the colonies, and urging for independence.
Declaration of Independence
Document written by Thomas Jefferson stating man's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that a government can only rule with the consent of its people and if those people believe those rights are being dismissed by the government, the people have the right to revolt. The document listed all the ways through which England had dismissed those rights and declared our independence from England.
Thomas Jefferson
American colonist who wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Loyalist
The Colonists who opposed independence and remained loyal to the King.
Patriots
The colonists who supported the war for independence.
Revolutionary War
The war for America's independence fought between the American colonists and the British. A few years after the war began, the French came to help the colonists defeat the British. Eventually, the colonists won the war and the borders of America were established as a sovereign nation for the first time.
Battle of Lexington
Where the first shots were fired between the redcoats (British military) and the minutemen (Colonial military).
Saratoga
The battle in which the colonists defeated Burgoyne and showed the French that they could win the war so France openly entered on America's side.
Valley Forge
The winter camp where George Washington and his troops were staying and over 2,000 died from lack of food and supplies.
Marquis de Lafayette
The French military leader who a lead a command in Virginia through the end of the war.
Charles Cornwallis
The British General who easily defeated the colonists in Charles Town, South Carolina in May of 1780.
Yorktown
The city in Virginia where all the sides met and surrounded Cornwallis' army so he was forced to surrender and end the war.
Treaty of Paris
The document which ended the Revolutionary War, officially gave America her independence, and set the original borders.
egalitarianism
A belief in the equality of all people.
republic
A government in which citizens rule through their elected representatives.
Shay's Rebellion
A revolt by farmers in Massachusetts over taxes which demonstrated that the national government needed to be stronger so that it could keep the state taxes at acceptable levels.
James Madison
Known as the father of the Constitution, Madison proposed the Virginia Plan which advocated legislature based on population.
federalism
A system of government in which power is divided between a national government and state governments.
checks and balances
After separating the national government into three parts (executive, legislative and judicial), they established a system of checks and balances to prevent any one branch from dominating the others.
ratification
The process of approving the new Constitution.
Federalists
The name for those who supported the new Constitution because of its balance of power.
Antifederalists
The name of those against the new Constitution because they did not want a strong national government. They were concerned about individual rights and were in support of adding the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.
Bill of Rights
The first ten Amendments ratified into law. The first eight discuss personal liberties and the last two impose general limits on the power of the federal government. These were added to the Constitution in order to appease the Antifederalists who were concerned about personal rights.
Judiciary Act of 1789
Established the Supreme Court, federal circuit and district courts and allowed state decisions to be appealed at the federal level when Constitutional issues were raised.
Alexander Hamilton
The first Secretary of the Treasury who believed in a strong federal government and that commerce and industry were the keys to a strong nation.
cabinet
The President's chief advisors who helped him govern over foreign affairs (Department of State), military matters (Department of War), and manage finances (Department of the Treasury).
two-party system
The system created by the differences in opinion between the Federalists who supported a strong central government and the Democratic-Republicans.

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