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Key terms form Civil War & Reconstruction study guide

13th Amendment

abolished slavery in the United States

Ku Klux Klan

secret organization of whites who intimidated blacks (and later Jews, immigrants, etc.)


person who farms on someone else's land and pays part of the crop for the rent (became another way of slavery)

Freedman's Bureau

government program giving food & shelter (40 acres land & mule) to former slaves to get them on their feet

Confederate States of America

southern states who broke away (seceded) from the Union

Emancipation Proclamation

statement by Union president, Abraham Lincoln, that proclaimed freedom for slaves in states that were in rebellion against the Union

Uncle Tom's Cabin

anti-slavery book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe about the evils of slavery

Anaconda Plan

Union plan during the Civil War for a naval blockade shaped like a snake squeezing the South

Underground Railroad

secret network of escape routes to smuggle run-away slaves to freedom in the North

Fugitive Slave Act

law that made it illegal to help runaway slaves even in North

poll tax

money paid in order to vote; used in Southern states to stop blacks from voting beginning during Reconstruction

Jefferson Davis

President of the Confederate States of America

Dred Scott

slave who sued for his freedom; Supreme Court ruled slaves are not citizens but property

Harriet Tubman

former slave who helped slaves escape on the Underground Railroad, nicknamed black Moses

John Brown

abolitionist who led forces in Bleeding Kansas as well as a raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia to get weapons


Northern politicians who came to the South to ask for votes

Harper's Ferry

place where John Brown tried to raid the federal arsenal to arm slaves for a rebellion


person working against slavery

Robert E. Lee

General of the Confederates (South) during the Civil War

14th Amendment

amendment granting citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" which included former slaves

15th Amendment

says that the right of citizens of the U.S. to vote shall not be denied by anyone or any state on account of race, color, or being a slave before

Stephen Douglas

Senator from Illinois who ran for president against Abraham Lincoln. Wrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act; believed in states' rights

free soiler

a person dedicated to preventing the expansion of slavery into the western territories by moving there

Harriet Beecher Stowe

woman author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, a book about a slave who is treated badly which persuaded more people, particularly Northerners, to become anti-slavery

Know Nothings

the American Party; anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic

Clara Barton

Nurse during the Civil War; started the American Red Cross

Ulysses S. Grant

General of the Union Army credited for winning the Civil War for the North

Stonewall Jackson

Confederate general who earned his nickname for standing firm at the Battle of Bull Run


battle of the American Civil War that was a turning point for the North since they finally won a major fight

Underground Railroad

a system of secret routes used by escaping slaves to reach freedom in the North or in Canada


to formally leave the union

Kansas-Nebraska Act

created Nebraska and Kansas as states and gave the people living in those territories the right to choose to be a free or slave state through popular sovereignty (voting)


forced military service

Gettysburg Address

a famous speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln in Nov. 1863 at the dedication of a national cemetary on the site of the Battle of Gettysburg

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