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AP US History: Antebellum America
Important events, people, concepts, and places relating to the Antebellum period in American history.
Terms in this set (53)
An inventor who created the cotton gin in 1793, and later created the manufacturing system of "interchangeable parts" in 1798. This system had become widely adopted by 1850.
The implementation of more effective means of travel in the US from 1815 to 1840. Included inventions such as the steamboat and the iron horse.
An array of public works constructed during the antebellum period, chiefly transportation infrastructure like canals and roads.
The first steamboat, the Clermont, was Invented by Robert Fulton in 1807. This allowed people to ignore wind or water currents, and greatly bolstered river-based trade in the US.
Built by the state of New York under the command of Governor DeWitt Clinton from 1817 to 1825. Made shipping a lot cheaper, and sparked a frenzy of canal-building.
The Iron Horse
The first railroad in the US was built in 1828. By 1860, 30,000 miles of railroad track had been built. It was faster, more reliable, and cheaper to construct than canals.
The Lancaster Turnpike was built in 1790, and started a turnpike-building boom. The National Road began construction in 1811 and was finished in 1852.
A British mechanic who brought British mill technology to the US, which was successfully implemented in 1971.
Women and girls who typically worked 12 to 13 hours, 6 days a week, earning very low wages. Lowell Mill in Massachusetts was often considered by its owners, The Boston Associates, to be a showplace factory. The workers were under constant supervision, on and off work, giving them little opportunity to complain about the terrible working conditions.
Most labor strikes were unsuccessful, due to the presence of wage-depressing immigrant workers. An important legal victory in "Commonwealth vs. Hunt" declared labor unions legal.
The Sewing Machine
Invented by Elias Howe in 1846, and later perfected by Isaac Singer. Created the ready-made clothing industry.
John Deere invented the steel-tipped plow in 1837, which allowed for the cultivation of tougher soil. Cyrus McCormick invented the mechanical "reaper" in the 1830's, which allowed for larger-scale agriculture.
American System of Manufacturing
The use of interchangeable parts and the gradual mechanization of industry.
Invented by Samuel F.B. Morse in 1844. They tied the nation together in politics, social life, and economics.
The development of a national economy through the progression of industry and creation of a market-oriented economy.
Well-to-do European immigrants who fled to America seeking democracy and land. They could afford large parcels of land, and built successful communities farming. They were staunch abolitionists, and brought beer to the US.
Poor European immigrants fleeing the social turmoil created by the Potato Famine in 1845 to 1849. They worked menial, labor-intensive jobs in major American cities.
The American "Know-Nothing" Party
A nativist party created in 1849 whose only political platform was that of anti-immigration.
The policy of implementing rigid restriction on immigration and protecting the interests of native citizens.
Wrote, "A Treatise on Domestic Economy" in 1841. The book talked about the differences between men and women, and how women should dominate domestic life.
The Cult of Domesticity
Formed in the 1820's, this viewpoint asserted that women should remain at home and tend to those respective duties.
Second Great Awakening
A surge in religious faith and revivals beginning in 1790. It generated a large amount of religious fervor and affected numerous aspects of American social life.
Women in the Second Great Awakening
Women played a large role in the Second Great Awakening. They were a large portion of church attendees, and were more likely to retain their faith after conversion. They united their families under faith.
Deism and Unitarianism
Deism is the belief that reasoning should be used rather than revelations. They rejected Christ's divinity and the supernatural aspects of religion. Unitarianism is the belief in a single divine being, as opposed to the orthodox trinity.
Charles G. Finney
The greatest of revival preachers, Finney led massive revivals and captivated audiences with his oratory skills.
The westernmost section of New York, where many religious revivals and sermons took place.
A Methodist circuit-rider, he roamed across the frontier, and preached to its settlers.
The founder of the Latter-Day Saints, he claimed to have received golden plates from an angel in 1830. Its members were persecuted frequently, and subsequently had to move numerous times before finally building and settling Salt Lake City in Utah. Joseph Smith had been killed by a mob in Illinois in 1844, so Brigham Young led them to their final destination in Utah.
A religious sect led by Mother Ann Lee that began in the 1770's. They separated men and women, and forbade marriage and sex. They were the longest-living sect.
The secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, he spearheaded public education reform. He advocated for and successfully brought about better schoolhouses, higher pay for teachers, a standardized curriculum, and longer school terms.
American Temperance Society
Founded in 1826, this society sought to limit the consumption of alcohol in America.
Women's Rights Movement
The Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 cemented the Women's Rights movement in America's political consciousness.
Sarah and Angelina Grimké
Two sisters who advocated for abolition, women's suffrage, and the elimination of black prejudice.
A New England author who traveled to many insane asylums across the country, advocating successfully for reform in mental illness treatment.
During the antebellum period, debtor prisons were eliminated, the number of capital offenses was lowered, and unusual or brutal punishments were gradually reduced.
Robert Owen, a wealthy textile manufacturer, founded New Harmony in 1825. It was short-lived due to the contradictory ideals and lifestyles its inhabitants led. Brook Farm was built in 1841 by transcendentalists. A fire struck down one of their buildings, and their colony died after succumbing to debt. The Oneida community was founded on the principles of free love, complex marriage, and eugenics. They thrived as a community by producing silverware. Oneida was founded by John Humphrey Noyes.
Comical theater productions that portrayed white actors in black-face performing various hi-jinks and comedic stunts. Portrayed black people as dumb, happy-go-lucky, and very musical.
Boosted by nationalism after the War of 1812, many new American authors began to take root in the global artistic consciousness. Washington Irving was the first globally recognized American writer, and James Fermine Cooper was the first globally recognized American author. Walt Whitman was a transcendentalist poet, Edgar Allen Poe wrote from a darker perspective on humanity, and Nathaniel Hawthorne chiefly wrote about struggles of "good vs. evil." Herman Melville, after gaining years of experience on whaling ships, wrote "Moby Dick."
The belief that enlightenment can be derived from observing nature.
The Hudson River School and various American artists turned their attention to natural American landscapes in order to merit international recognition. Such artists were: Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, and Frederic Church.
American science was progressing during the antebellum period; John Audubon was documenting bird species, and many scientist pursued original research. Medicines and medical technology was still relatively primitive, however.
The success of cotton as a cash crop in the south due to the cotton gin led to a massive surge in its production. The south spent all of its capital on slaves and cotton, which helped the south dominate the cotton market. By the time the Civil War had begun, the south was producing half of the world's cotton.
The Upper and Lower South
The upper south tended to have less slaves and cotton production in comparison to the lower south.
The elite 1% of the south's population that owned more than 100 slaves. They controlled virtually every aspect of southern life: the economy, politics, and social life.
Hillbillies and Rednecks
This demographic composed the vast majority of the southern population. They were mostly yeoman farmers who owned no slaves. Their stereotypical lazy and listless behavior can be attributed to the fact that many of them were diseased, often with hookworm.
A fringe group of southerners who resided in the lower Appalachian Mountains. They had a distinct culture that had been virtually unaltered since colonial days.
The Virginia Slave Debate
The Virginia state legislature debated from 1831 to 1832 various solutions to the increasing issue of slavery and slave revolts. This debate was prompted by the infamous Nat Turner rebellion in 1831. Various solutions included abolishing slavery and sending slaves to Africa, but ultimately no action was taken.
Many southern supporters of slavery argued that such a practice was supported by the Bible and the teachings of Aristotle. They also argued that slavery benefited the slaves by giving them food and shelter.
Typical field-hand slaves worked all day, every day under the vigilant eye of their superiors. They had virtually no legal protection, yet they still managed to hold stable family relationships. These relationships would be shattered, however, if their master decided to sell them to different people at slave auctions. Slaves possessed a unique culture that combined Christian and African elements.
Slaves would often protest their social status by working as slowly as possible. This led to the racial stereotype of slaves being lazy. Slaves would also break tools and machinery, and, on occasion, poison their master's food.
Gabriel Prosser's Conspiracy
From 1799 to 1800, Gabriel Prosser attempted to lead a slave revolt. His plans were foiled by informers, and he and the other revolt leaders were hanged.
Denmark Vessey's Conspiracy
In 1822, a slave named Denmark Vessey purchases a lottery ticket and wins a large sum of money, which he uses to buy his freedom. He returns afterward and attempts to lead a rebellion, believing that his stroke of luck was a sign from God. The revolt fails.
Nat Turner's Rebellion
In 1831, a slave named Nat Turner led a rebellion that killed 60 white southerners, most of them were innocent women and children. This was the largest number of fatalities generated by a slave uprising in the American south.
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