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Vocab Words for US HISTORY

Compromise of 1850

Includes California admitted as a free state, the Fugitive Slave Act, Made popular sovereignty in most other states from Mexican- American War

Fugitive Slave Act

a law that made it a crime to help runaway slaves; allowed for the arrest of escaped slaves in areas where slavery was illegal and required their return to slaveholders

Middle passage

the route in between the western ports of Africa to the Caribbean and southern U.S. that carried the slave trade

Chattel slavery

ownership of human beings; a system of bondage in which a slave has the legal status of property and so can be bought as sold like property.

Forms of rebellion

In the 1950s, both the beat movement and rock 'n' roll were viewed as

Missouri Compromise

an agreement in 1820 between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States concerning the extension of slavery into new territories

Mexican War and Mexican Cession

after disputes over Texas lands that were settled by Mexicans the United States declared war on Mexico in 1846 and by treaty in 1848 took Texas and California and Arizona and New Mexico and Nevada and Utah and part of Colorado and paid Mexico $15,000,000

Uncle Tom's Cabin

written by harriet beecher stowe in 1853 that highly influenced england's view on the American Deep South and slavery. a novel promoting abolition. intensified sectional conflict.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

United States writer of a novel about slavery that advanced the abolitionists' cause (1811-1896)

Popular Sovereignty

The concept that political power rests with the people who can create, alter, and abolish government. People express themselves through voting and free participation in government

Kansas Nebraska Act

This Act set up Kansas and Nebraska as states. Each state would use popular sovereignty to decide what to do about slavery. People who were proslavery and antislavery moved to Kansas, but some antislavery settlers were against the Act. This began guerrilla warfare.

Stephen Douglas

Senator from Illinois, author of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Freeport Doctrine, argues in favor of popular sovereignty

Bleeding Kansas

Term referring to bloodshed over popular sovereignty in a particular western territory

Bleeding Sumner

Charles Sumner, against slavery; Preston Brooks beat Sumner with a cane, pro slavery preston brooks beat sumner with a cane

Dred Scott Decision

Landmark court decision that ruled that slaves were property and antislavery laws were unconstitutional

Raid at Harpers Ferry

John Brown led a group of followers to the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in VA. He thought enslaved African Americans would revolt. However Robert E. Lee's troops caputred Brown and killed 10 raiders

Know Nothing Party

When people were asked about this party thehy would say i know nothing

Republican Party

Political party that believed in the non-expansion of slavery and comprised of Whigs, Northern Democrats, and Free-Soilers, in defiance to the Slave Powers

Election of 1860

The election in which Abraham Lincoln was first elected President due to the schism of the Democrats. Caused a chain reaction of southern states to secede from the Union since they were afraid of Lincoln's policies.

Abraham Lincoln

U.S. statesmen, 16th president. Led Union to victory in Civil War. Assassinated. Sometimes called "Honest Abe".


the withdrawal of eleven Southern states from the Union in 1860 which precipitated the American Civil War

Upper South States

Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia.

Lower South States

Texas, Lousiana, Mississippi, A;abama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida.

Border States

States bordering the North: Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri. They were slave states, but did not secede.

Fort Sumter

Federal fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina; the confederate attack on the fort marked the start of the Civil War

Preston Brooks

Responsible for beating radical republican Charles Sumner with his cane

Charles Sumner

Radical Republican against the slave power who insults Andrew Butler and subsequently gets caned by Preston Brooks

Jefferson Davis

an American statesman and politician who served as President of the Confederate States of America for its entire history from 1861 to 1865

Lincoln-Douglas Debates

does not want to see any further slavery. Saw slavery as an expanding institution and wanting more territory. Sees a moral issue with slavery.

Anaconda Plan

Union war plan by Winfield Scott, called for blockade of southern coast, capture of Richmond, capture Mississippi R, and to take an army through heart of south

Clara Barton

Nurse during the Civil War; started the American Red Cross

Army of Northern Virginia

major confederate army. number one task was to protect Richmond.

Army of Potomac

Commanded first by Hooker and later by George C. Meade.

Draft riots

were a series of violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of discontent with new laws passed by Congress to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War

General Ulysses S. Grant

Was 18 president and the toughest general ever in the union army. He was fearless and won many battles. but he would rather farm than be in the army.

General Robert E. Lee

Commander of Confederate Army. Great leader, Lincoln wanted him as the leader of the Union Army

General George McClellan

Cautious by nature, which made him a poor general because he did not like it fight.. Fought in the Mexican War. Replaced General Winfield Scott. Planned to capture Richmond, as it was the capital of the Confederacy and one of the few industrial cities in the South

General Stonewall Jackson

Lee's right-hand man/ shot by own man at the Battle of Chancellorsville

General William T. Sherman

he was sent out in 1864 by General Grant to capture Atlanta, Georgia, an important city to the Confederates

General Benjamin Butler

Gov of MA, represented MA in house of representatives during war. during civil war occupied new orleans. policies: slaves were to be regarded as contraband in spite of fugitive slave act. butler's general order no. 28: any woman who insulted officer="woman of the town playing her avocation" aka prositute. postbellum: radical repub. wrote civil rights act of 1871 + proposed civil rights act of 1875 with charles sumner (though wasnt passed.) prominent role in impeachment of johnson.

Slave contraband

An item taken away from the enemy and used against them. Phrase that was commonly used to describe a slave the union captured.

Battle of Bull Run

first major battle of the civil war; fought in virginia in 1861; proved that the war was going to be long and costly.

Fort Henry and Fort Donelson

feb. 1862,TN, Grant captures these two forts on the TN river and Cumberland river


the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with almost 23,000 casualties. After this "win" for the North, Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

Issued by abraham lincoln on september 22, 1862 it declared that all slaves in the confederate states would be free

Battle of Fort Wagner

Took place in South Carolina where the 54th fought bravely but lost the battle

54th Massachusetts Infantry

First African American soldiers recruited by the Union and this regiment earned honorable mentions in US military

Battle of Gettysburg

Turning point of the War that made it clear the North would win. 50,000 people died, and the South lost its chance to invade the North.

Battle of Vicksburg

Union gains control of Mississippi, Grant takes lead, total war begins

March to the Sea

Sherman's march to Savannah which cut off confederate supplies received by the sea

Lee surrenders

appomattox courthouse, said id rather die a thousand deaths than talk to Grant

Total war

the channeling of a nation's entire resources into a war effort

13 Amendment

abolished slavery

14th Amendment

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

15th Amendment

citizens cannot be denied the right to vote because of race, color , or precious condition of servitude


former slaves

Freedman's Bureau

(1865-72), during the Reconstruction period after the American Civil War, popular name for the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, established by Congress to provide practical aid to 4,000,000 newly freed black Americans in their transition from slavery to freedom

Black Codes

Southern laws designed to restrict the rights of the newly freed black slaves


a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office

10% Plan

This was Lincoln's reconstruction plan for after the Civil War. Written in 1863, it proclaimed that a state could be reintegrated into the Union when 10% of its voters in the 1860 election pledged their allegiance to the U.S. and pledged to abide by emancipation, and then formally erect their state governments. This plan was very lenient to the South, would have meant an easy reconstruction.

Wade Davis Bill

bill passed by congress and vetoed by president lincoln that would have given congress control of reconstruction

Presidential Reconstruction

was the President's idea of reconstruction : all states had to end slavery, states had to declare that their secession was illegal, and men had to pledge their loyalty to the U.S.

Radical Reconstruction

Was a period in United States history, 1863-1877, that resolved the issues of the American Civil War when both the Confederacy and its system of slavery were destroyed

Thaddeus Stevens

Man behind the 14th Amendment, which ends slavery. Stevens and President Johnson were absolutely opposed to each other. Known as a Radical Republican

Andrew Johnson

17th President of the United States

John Wilkes Booth

United States actor and assassin of President Lincoln (1838-1865)

Ku Klux Klan

founded in the 1860s in the south; meant to control newly freed slaves through threats and violence; other targets: Catholics, Jews, immigrants and others thought to be un-American

Red Shirts

Garibaldi's army of 1000 red-shirted volunteers

White League

organization established to restore political powar to the pre-Civil War white democrats and did not hesitate to use violence to achieve that end `

Election of 1876

Ended reconstruction because neither canidate had an electorial majority. Hayes was elected, and then ended reconstruction as he secretly promised

Compromise of 1877

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

Jim Crow Laws

Limited rights of blacks. Literacy tests, grandfather clauses and poll taxes limited black voting rights


a social system that provides separate facilities for minority groups

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