324 terms

APUS Terms of Concern

Confederation of New England 1643
a political and military alliance of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. Its main purpose was to unite Puritan colonies against the Native Americans and also served as a forum for resolving inter-colonial disputes. King Charles II revoked Massachusetts's charter in 1684 as a result of colonial insubordination with trade, tariff and navigation laws. This led to the Confederation's collapse. In 1686, the centralized Dominion of New England was imposed on the colonies.
King Philip's War 1675
conflict between Native Americans and New Englanders in the New England colonies. The war is named after the main leader of the Native American side, Metacom known to the English as "King Philip". The colonists won the war, opening up land for expansion.
Dominion of New England 1684
British government consolidated and placed royal governor over the once Confederation of New England in order to force the Navigation Acts. The colonists did not like this and William of Orange got rid of it.
Glorious Revolution 1688
King James overthrown after being accused of making England too Catholic and well as being dictator-like. William of Orange took his place.
Great Awakening (1739
44)- people were upset due to a recline in religious piety, launching this sudden outbreak of religious fervor that swept through the colonies. It was one of the first unifying events in the new world.
Town Meetings
purely democratic form of government common in the colonies. The town's voters would meet once a year to elect officers, levy taxes, and pass laws.
French and Indian War (1756
63)- part of Seven Years' War in Europe between Britain and France + Native Americans. Originally the colonists were losing under Washington and then Braddock, at Fort Necessity. However William Pitt took over and helped Britain defeat the French and Indians. Britain then gained control of all remaining French possessions in Canada. Spain ceded Florida to Britain and received Louisiana in return.
Pontiac's Rebellion 1763
An Indian uprising after the French and Indian War. The Indians opposed British expansion and destroyed forts in the western Ohio Valley. Led to Proclamation of 1763.
Paxton Boys 1763
mob of Pennsylvania frontiersmen who massacred a group of non-hostile Indians and marched on Pennsylvania because they were upset both about Indian attacks and taxation on farmers. Benjamin Franklin was able to mollify them.
Virginia Resolves 1765
Patrick Henry's speech which condemned the British government for its taxes and other policies. He proposed 7 resolves to show Virginia's resistance. Soon eight other colonies followed suit.
Patrick Henry
Member of House of Burgesses who gave speeches against British government and urged the colonies to fight for independence. "Give me liberty or give me death" Instrumental in getting the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution.
John Dickinson
in 1767 wrote "Letters from a Pennsylvania farmer" to protest the Townshend Acts. He was a critic of British policies towards the colonies, but opposed the Revolution and refused to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Gaspee Incident 1772
In June, 1772 British customs ship ran around off colonial coast collecting taces. Colonists boarded the ship and set it on fire. They were sent to Britain and tried in admiralty courts, which led to outrage and the formation of Committees of Correspondence.
Thomas Hutchinson
royal governor of Massachusetts who was a supporter of Parliament's right to tax the colonies. His home was burned by a mob during the Stamp Act riots in 1765. in 1773 his refusal to comply with colonists' demands to prohibit an EIC ship from unloading its cargo precipitated the Boston Tea Party.
Committees of Correspondence
started as groups of private citizens in the north, who, in 1763 began circulating information about opposition to British trading measures. These governmental assemblies became particularly active after the Gaspee incident.
Lord North
Prime Minister of England from 1770 to 1782. He repealed the Townshend Acts, but generally went along with King George III'ss repressive policies towards the colonies even though he personally considered them wrong. He resigned after Cornwallis' surrender in 1781.
First Continental Congress 1774
a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies that met on September 5, 1774, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Called in response to the passage of the Coercive Acts by the British Parliament, the Congress met briefly to consider options, including an economic boycott of British trade; publishing a list of rights and grievances; and petitioning King George for redress of those grievances. The Congress also called for another Continental Congress in the event that their petition was unsuccessful in halting enforcement of the Intolerable Acts. Their appeal to the Crown, the Olive Branch Petition, had no effect. The delegates also urged each colony to set up and train its own militia.
Suffolk Resolves 1774
a declaration made on September 9, 1774 by the leaders of Suffolk County, Massachusetts, . The Resolves were recognized by statesman Edmund Burke as a major development in colonial animosity leading to adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence from Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, and he urged British conciliation with the American colonies, to little effect. The First Continental Congress passed the Resolves on September 17, 1774, nullifying the Coercive Acts, closing royal courts, ordering taxes to be paid to local government, and raising local militias.
Battle of Bunker Hill 1775
considered one of the greatest draws of all time, in this battle the British technically won, but suffered so many losses that it was hardly a victory. If anything, this battle proved that the colonists were willing to and could put up a good fight against the British.
Battle of Saratoga 1777
British General John Burgoyne attacked southward from Canada along the Hudson Valley in New York, hoping to link up with General Howe in NYC, thereby cutting the colonies in half. Burgoyne was defeated by American General Horatio Gates, however, surrendering the entire British Army of the North. This battle was a turning point in that it convinced the French that the colonists had a chance of winning the war, and they subsequently allied with the Americans.
French Alliance of 1778
the colonies needed help from Europe in their war against Britain. France was Britain's rival and hoped to weaken Britain by causing her to lose the American colonies. The French were persuaded to support the colonists by news f the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga.
Battle of Yorktown 1781
Because of their lack of success in suppressing the Revolution in the northern colonies, the British switched their strategy and undertook a series of campaigns through the southern colonies. This strategy was equally unsuccessful, and the British decided to return their main headquarters to NYC. On the march from Virginia to NYC, Lord Cornwallis became trapped in Yortown on the Chesapeake Bay. His troops fortified the town and waited for reinforcements. The French navy blocked their escape, and after a series of battles Cornwallis surrendered to the Continental Army, ending all major fighting for the Revolutionary War.
Mercy Otis Warren
19th century American historian who wrote 3-volume history of American Revolution.
Edmund Burke (1729
97)- conservative British politician who was generally sympathetic to the colonists' greivances, and who felt that Britain's colonial policies were misguided. He recognized the Suffolk Resolves, which helped lead to the Declaration of Independence. However, he also urged reconciliation between Britain and the colonies.
Benedict Arnold
He had been a Colonel in the Connecticut militia at the outbreak of the Revolution and soon became a general in the Continental Army. He won key victories for the colonies in the battles in upstate New Yor in 1777, and was instrumental in General Gates victory over the British at Saratoga. After becoming Commander of Philadelphia in 1778, he was caught conspiring against the colonies.
Second Continental Congress
Signed Declaration of Independence, and for the time during the Revolutionary War it served as the de facto government. Launched Articles of Confederation in 1777.
Articles of Confederation
the first constitution of the United States of America that' specified how the national government was to operate. Under the Articles, the states retained sovereignty over all governmental functions not specifically relinquished to the national government. The Federal government was capable of making war, negotiating diplomatic agreements, and resolving issues regarding the western territories. Nationalists led by George Washington and Alexander Hamilton felt that the Articles lacked the necessary provisions for a sufficiently effective government. There was no president or executive agencies or judiciary. There was no tax base. There was no way to pay off state and national debts from the war years. In 1788, they were replaced by the United States Constitution and the new government began operations in 1789.
John Jay
served as the President of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779. During and after the American Revolution, he helped fashion United States foreign policy, and to secure favorable peace terms from the United Kingdom with Jay's Treaty of 1794. As a leader of the new Federalist Party, Jay was the Governor of New York State from 1795 to 1801, and he became the state's leading opponent of slavery. His first two attempts to pass laws for the emancipation of all slaves in New York failed in 1777 and in 1785, but his third attempt succeeded in 1799.
Critical Period (1783
9)- refers to the period of time following the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 to the inauguration of George Washington in 1789. During this time, the newly independent former colonies were beset with a wide array of foreign and domestic problems. Some historians believe it was a bleak, terrible time for Americans, while others believe the term "Critical Period" is exaggerated, and that, while the 1780's were a time of dispute and change, they were also a time of economic growth and political maturation.
Basic Land Ordinance 1785
adopted in 1785 under the Articles of Confederation to raise money through the sale of land in the largely unmapped territory west of the original states acquired at the 1783 peace treaty that ended the Revolutionary War. It provided easily recognized land descriptions, which in turn contributed enormously to the orderly and largely peaceful occupation of the land. The rectangular survey also provided the units within which economic, political, and social development took place. Written by Thomas Jefferson.
Northwest Ordinance 1789
an act of the Congress that established the Northwest Territory as the first organized territory of the United States out of the region south of the Great Lakes, north and west of the Ohio River, and east of the Mississippi River. It established the precedent by which the United States would expand westward across North America by the admission of new states, rather than by the expansion of existing states. Further, the banning of slavery in the territory had the effect of establishing the Ohio River as the boundary between free and slave territory in the region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. This division helped set the stage for the balancing act between free and slave states.
Barbary Pirates
Muslim pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa known in Europe as the Barbary Coast. In addition to seizing ships, they engaged in Razzias, raids on European coastal towns and villages. The main purpose of their attacks was to capture Christian slaves for the Islamic market in North Africa and the Middle East. Pirates captured thousands of ships, and long stretches of coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants, discouraging settlement until the 19th century.
Shays' Rebellion 1786
an armed uprising in central and western Massachusetts of poor farmers angered by crushing debt and taxes. Failure to repay such debts often resulted in imprisonment in debtor's prisons or the claiming of property by the government. Seeking debt relief through the issuance of paper currency and lower taxes, they attempted to prevent the courts from seizing property from indebted farmers by forcing the closure of courts in western Massachusetts. The rebellion started on August 29, 1786, and by January 1787, over 1000 Shaysites had been arrested. A militia that had been raised as a private army defeated an attack on the federal Springfield Armory by the main Shaysite force on February 3, 1787. There was a lack of an institutional response to the uprising, which energized calls to reevaluate the Articles of Confederation and gave strong impetus to the Philadelphia Convention. Shays' Rebellion produced fears that the Revolution's democratic impulse had gotten out of hand.
Judiciary Act of 1789
a landmark statute in the first session of the First United States Congress establishing the U.S. federal judiciary. Article III, section 1 of the Constitution prescribed that the "judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court," and such inferior courts as Congress saw fit to establish. It made no provision, though, for the composition or procedures of any of the courts, leaving this to Congress to decide. The existence of a separate federal judiciary had been controversial during the debates over the ratification of the Constitution. Anti-Federalists had denounced the judicial power as a potential instrument of national tyranny. But it went into place anyway.
Neutrality Proclamation 1793
formal announcement declaring the U.S. neutral in the conflict between France and Great Britain.
Gen. Anthony Wayne
A United States Army general and statesman whose military exploits and fiery personality earned himthe sobriquet of Mad Anthony. He won a decisive victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and the following year he negotiated the Treaty of Greenville, opening the Northwest Territory to American settlers.
Battle of Fallen Timbers 1794
the final battle of the Northwest Indian War, a struggle between American Indian tribes affiliated with the Western Confederacy and the United States for control of the Northwest Territory. The battle, which was a decisive victory for the United States, ended major hostilities in the region until Tecumseh's War and the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.
Treaty of Greenville 1795
treaty signed at Forth Greenville following the Battle of Fallen Timbers. It put an end to the Northwest Indian War. The US was represented by General Wayne. In exchange for goods to the value of $20,000, the Native Americans turned over a large amount of land to the United States, establishing the Greenville Treaty Line.
Pinckney's Treaty
treaty in 1796 between Spanish and Americans that established good relations between the two. The Americans ceded more of Florida to Spain, while the Spanish opened up their trade to Americans.
Report on Public Credit
the first of three major reports on economic policy issued by Hamilton on the request of Congress. Commissioned by the House of Representatives, the document was the first proposed federal assumption of debt owed by the states.
Report on Manufacturers
in 1791 the third report of Hamilton that recommended economic policies to stimulate the new republic's economy and ensure the independence won in the Revolution. It laid forth economic principles rooted in mercantilism.
Election of 1796
the first contested American presidential election and the only one to elect a President and Vice President from opposing tickets. Vice President John Adams of Massachusetts was a candidate for the presidency on the Federalist Party ticket with former Governor Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina as the next most popular Federalist. Their opponents were former Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson of Virginia along with Senator Aaron Burr of New York on the Democratic-Republican ticket. Although Adams won, Thomas Jefferson received more electoral votes than Pinckney and was elected Vice-President.
John Adams
A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States (1797-1801). A conservative Federalist, he was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. During his one term as president, he encountered ferocious attacks by the Jeffersonian Republicans, as well as the dominant faction in his own Federalist Party led by his bitter enemy Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the army and navy in the face of an undeclared naval war with France, 1798-1800. The major accomplishment of his presidency was his peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamilton's opposition. In 1800 Adams was defeated for reelection by Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts.
XYZ Affair
a diplomatic incident that almost led to war between the United States and France. The scandal inflamed U.S. public opinion and led to the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Though the affair caused an unofficial naval war, the two countries were able to negotiate their differences and end their conflict in 1800. The French regarded the United States as a hostile nation, particularly after the signing of Jay's Treaty in 1794. Consequently, President John Adams appointed Charles Pinckney minister to France in 1796 in an attempt to ease French-U.S. relations.
Matthew Lyon
In the presidential election of 1800 that resulted in a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, throwing the vote into the House, he cast the deciding ballot for Jefferson. Lyon was elected to his second term in the House (1798) while serving time in jail. He had been found guilty under the Sedition Act of 1798 of maligning the government for charging that the Federalists were pro-British.
Election of 1800, Revolution of 1800
Vice President Thomas Jefferson defeated incumbent president John Adams. The election was a realigning election that ushered in a generation of Republican Party rule and the eventual demise of the Federalist Party in the First Party System. It was a rematch of the 1796 election between the Republicans under Jefferson and Aaron Burr, against incumbent Adams and Charles Pinckney. The central issues included opposition to the tax imposed by Congress to pay for the mobilization of the new army and the navy in the Quasi-War against France in 1798, and the Alien and Sedition acts. While the Republicans were well organized at the state and local levels, the Federalists were disorganized, and suffered a bitter split between their two major leaders, President Adams and Alexander Hamilton. The election exposed one of the flaws in the original Constitution. Members of the Electoral College could only vote for President; each elector could vote for two candidates, and the Vice President was the person who received the second largest number of votes during the election. The Republicans had planned for one of the electors to abstain from casting his second vote for Aaron Burr, which would have led to Jefferson receiving one electoral vote more than Burr. The plan, however, was bungled, resulting in a tied electoral vote between Jefferson and Burr. The election was then put into the hands of the outgoing House of Representatives controlled by the Federalist Party. Federalist Alexander Hamilton, who detested both but preferred Jefferson to Burr, was one of those who vigorously lobbied against Burr. Jefferson eventually won the presidency.
Aaron Burr
third Vice President of the United States (1801-1805) under President Thomas Jefferson who was a formative member of the Democratic-Republican party. A candidate for President in 1800, Burr tied Jefferson with 73 electoral votes, making him eligible for one of the country's two highest offices and sending the election into the U.S. House of Representatives. After 36 ballots, Jefferson was elected President and Burr elected Vice President. Burr was often criticized in published articles written by Alexander Hamilton, a longtime political rival.
Naturalization Act of 1802
directed the clerk of the court to record the entry of all aliens into the United States. Certain doubts had arisen as to whether State and local courts were included within the description of U.S. district or circuit courts. The act of 1802 reaffirmed that every State and Territorial court was considered a district court within the meaning of the laws pertaining to naturalization, and that any persons naturalized in such courts were accorded the same rights and privileges as if they had been naturalized in a district or circuit court of the United States. Was the last major piece of naturalization legislation during the 19th century.
Judiciary Act of 1801
represented an effort to solve an issue in the U.S. Supreme Court during the early 19th century. There was concern, beginning in 1789, about the system that required the justices of the Supreme Court to "ride circuit" and reiterate decisions made in the appellate level courts. The Supreme Court justices often took advantage of opportunities to voice concern and to suggest that the judges of the Supreme and circuit courts be divided.
Albert Gallatin
Swiss-American Congressman, and the longest-serving United States Secretary of the Treasury. He was politically active against the Federalist Party program and an important leader of the new Democratic-Republican Party. He was its chief spokesman on financial matters and opposed the entire program of Alexander Hamilton. He also helped found the House Committee on Finance and often engineered withholding of finances by the House as a method of overriding executive actions to which he objected.
Marbury v Madison (1803)
This case resulted from a petition to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, who had been appointed by President John Adams as Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia but whose commission was not subsequently delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force Secretary of State James Madison to deliver the documents, but the court, with John Marshall as Chief Justice, denied Marbury's petition, holding that the part of the statute upon which he based his claim, the Judiciary Act of 1789, was unconstitutional. Marbury v. Madison was the first time the Supreme Court declared something "unconstitutional", and established the concept of judicial review in the U.S. (the idea that courts may oversee and nullify the actions of another branch of government). The landmark decision helped define the "checks and balances" of the American form of government.
Judicial Review
the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review, and possible invalidation, by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority, such as the terms of a written constitution. Judicial review is an example of the functioning of separation of powers in a modern governmental system.
Samuel Chase
an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Early in life, Chase was a "firebrand" states-righter and revolutionary. His political views changed over his lifetime and in the last decades of his career he became well-known as a staunch Federalist, and was impeached for allegedly letting his partisan leanings affect his court decisions. Chase was acquitted.
Naval battles at Tripoli 1802
The First Battle was a fought in Tripoli harbor between a combined force consisting of the American frigate USS Boston and two Swedish frigates against several Tripolitian corsairs. The Swedish-American force was enforcing the blockade when an engagement broke out between it and Tripolitian forces. The Allied fleet damaged the Tripolitian squadron as well as the harbor fortifications before withdrawing and resuming the blockade.
Treaty of San Ildefonso (1800)
a secretly negotiated treaty between France and Spain in which Spain returned the colonial territory of Louisiana to France. The treaty was negotiated under some duress, as Spain was under pressure from Napoleon. This would open up the possibility of the Louisiana Purchase.
Toussaint L'Ouverture
leader of the Haitian Revolution who led enslaved blacks in a long struggle for independence over French colonizers, abolished slavery, and secured "native" control over the colony, Haiti. Especially between the years 1799 and 1802, Toussaint Louverture tried to rebuild the collapsed economy of Haiti and reestablish commercial contacts with the United States and Britain. His rule permitted the colony a taste of freedom.
Essex Junto
These Federalists supported Alexander Hamilton and the Massachusetts radicals. When Hamilton was offered a place in the plot to secede New England from the Union, he denied the offer. Consequently, the Essex Junto tried to vie support from Aaron Burr, who accepted the offer from the Junto. The first attempt to break off New England from the Union failed since it was unable to gain support from the major power brokers in the state of New York. After Hamilton's death, they became even more extreme.
Burr Conspiracy
a suspected treasonous cabal of planters, politicians, and army officers led by former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr. According to the accusations against him, Burr's goal was to create an independent nation in the center of North America and/or the Southwest and parts of Mexico. Burr's explanation: To take possession of, and farm the Texas Territory leased to him by the Spanish. When the expected war with Spain broke out, he would fight with his armed "farmers," to seize some lands he could conquer in the war-all illegal by rules of warfare. Jefferson and others had Burr arrested and indicted for treason with no firm evidence put forward.
Leopard Affair 1807-the British warship HMS Leopard attacked and boarded the American frigate Chesapeake. The incident enflamed patriotic passions and spurred new calls for the protection of American sovereignty in neutral waters. Seeking to pressure England and France to respect American neutrality, President Thomas Jefferson pushed the Embargo Act through Congress in December 1807
Embargo Act
American laws restricting American ships from engaging in foreign trade 1807 and 1812. They led to the War of 1812 between the U.S. and Britain. Britain and France were engaged in a life-and-death struggle for control of Europe, and the small, remote U.S.A. became a pawn in their game. The Acts were diplomatic responses by presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison designed to protect American interests and avoid war. They failed, and helped cause the war. The Acts were bitterly opposed by New England shipping interests which suffered greatly from them.
Intercourse Act- In the last four days of President Thomas Jefferson's presidency, the United States Congress replaced the Embargo Act of 1807 with the almost unenforceable Non-Intercourse Act of March 1809. This Act lifted all embargoes on American shipping except for those bound for British or French ports. The intent was to damage the economies of the United Kingdom and France. Like its predecessor, the Embargo Act, it was mostly ineffective, and contributed to the coming of the War of 1812. In addition, it seriously damaged the economy of the United States.
Macon' Bill No. 2
law that lifted all embargoes with Britain or France. If either one of the two countries stopped attacks upon American shipping, the United States would cease trade with the other, unless that country agreed to recognize the rights of the neutral American ships as well. Napoleon immediately saw a chance to exploit this bill in order to further his Continental Plan, a form of economic warfare he believed would destroy Britain's economy. However, Napoleon had no intention of ever following through on his promise, and Madison soon realized this as well, ignoring the French promise. The British were still highly offended by the agreement and threatened force. Soon the U.S. and Britain were entangled in the War of 1812 due to the continued harassment of American ships and escalated tensions between the United States and the nations of Europe.
a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy that opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812. A large following and a confederacy grew around his prophetic teachings. The Native American independence movement led to strife with settlers on the frontier. The confederacy eventually moved farther into the northwest and settled Prophetstown, Indiana in 1808. Tecumseh confronted Indiana Governor William Henry Harrison to demand that land purchase treaties be rescinded. Tecumseh traveled to the southern United States in an attempt to unite Native American tribes in a confederacy throughout the North American continent. During the War of 1812, Tecumseh's confederacy allied with the British in Canada and helped in the capture of Fort Detroit. The Americans, led by Harrison, launched a counter assault and invaded Canada. They killed Tecumseh in the Battle of the Thames, in which they were also victorious over the British.
War Hawks
The War Hawks were Democratic-Republicans who had been imbued with the ideals of the American Revolution, and were primarily from southern and western states. The War Hawks advocated going to war against related to the interference of the Royal Navy in American shipping, which the War Hawks believed hurt the American economy and injured American prestige. War Hawks from the western states also believed that the British were instigating American Indians on the frontier to attack American settlements, and so the War Hawks called for an invasion of British Canada to punish Britain and end this threat. The leader of this group was Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky.
Tippecanoe 1811
fought between United States forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and forces of Tecumseh's growing American Indian confederation. In response to rising tensions with the tribes and threats of war, a United States force of militia and regulars set out to launch a preemptive strike on the headquarters of the confederacy. The battle took place outside. Although the United States was victorious, the win was costly. The tribes attacked with fewer men and sustained fewer casualties. The battle was the culmination of rising tensions in a period sometimes called Tecumseh's War, which continued until Tecumseh's death in 1813. The Tippecanoe defeat dealt a devastating blow to Tecumseh's confederacy, which never regained its former strength. It was a major catalyst for the War of 1812, because the Americans thought that the British had sided with the Native Americans.
Battle of Horseshoe Bend 1814
fought during the War of 1812 in central Alabama, United States forces and Indian allies under General Andrew Jackson defeated the Red Sticks, a part of the Creek Indian tribe inspired by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, effectively ending the Creek War. Significant because the power of the Upper Creek was broken and the brief Creek War came to a close. Also, Extremely rich lands taken from the tribes in Georgia and Alabama were quickly opened to white settlers. The area rapidly became a prime source of cotton, the engine of the Southern economy, and helped to revive the flagging institution of slavery. Finally Jackson's reputation began to take on legendary status during the Creek War.
Oliver Hazard Perry
served in the War of 1812 against Britain, and at the age of 27 earned the title "Hero of Lake Erie" for leading American forces in a decisive naval victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.
Hartford Convention
vent spanning from December 15, 1814-January 4, 1815 in the United States during the War of 1812 in which New England's opposition to the war reached the point where secession from the United States was discussed. The end of the war with a return to the status quo ante bellum disgraced the Federalist Party, which disbanded in most places.
Second Bank of the United States
chartered in 1816 by many of the same congressmen who in 1811 had refused to renew the charter of the original Bank of the United States. The predominant reason that the Second Bank of the United States was chartered was that in the War of 1812, the U.S. experienced severe inflation and had difficulty in financing military operations. Subsequently, the credit and borrowing status of the United States were at their lowest levels since its founding. Like the First Bank, the Second Bank was also chartered for 20 years, and also failed to get its charter renewed.
Henry Clay
a leading war hawk, he favored war with Britain and played a significant role in leading the nation to war in 1812. He was the foremost proponent of the American System, fighting for an increase in tariffs to foster industry in the United States, the use of federal funding to build and maintain infrastructure, and a strong national bank. He opposed the annexation of Texas, fearing it would inject the slavery issue into politics. Clay also opposed the Mexican-American War and the "Manifest Destiny" policy of Democrats, which cost him votes in the close 1844 election. Dubbed the "Great Compromiser," he brokered important compromises during the Nullification Crisis and on the slavery issue, especially in 1820 and 1850, during which he was part of the "Great Triumvirate" or "Immortal Trio," along with his colleagues Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun.
American System
a mercantilist economic plan based on the "American School" ideas of Alexander Hamilton, consisting of a high tariff to support internal improvements such as road-building, and a national bank to encourage productive enterprise and form a national currency. This program was intended to allow the United States to grow and prosper, by providing a defense against the dumping of cheap foreign products, mainly at the time from the British Empire.
Bagot Agreement 1817- treaty between the United States and Britain that provided for the demilitarization of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, where many British naval arrangements and forts still remained. The treaty laid the basis for a demilitarized boundary between the U.S. and British North America. This agreement was indicative of improving relations between the United States and Great Britain in the period following the War of 1812.
Onis (Transcontinental) Treaty 1819- treaty that settled a border dispute in North America between the United States and Spain. The treaty was the result of increasing tensions between the U.S. and Spain regarding territorial rights at a time of weakened Spanish power in the New World. In addition to ceding Florida to the United States, the treaty settled a boundary dispute along the Sabine River in Texas and firmly established the boundary of U.S. territory and claims through the Rocky Mountains and west to the Pacific Ocean in exchange for the U.S. paying residents' claims against the Spanish government up to a total of $5,000,000 and relinquishing its own claims on parts of Texas west of the Sabine River and other Spanish areas under the terms of the Louisiana Purchase.
Convention of 1818
a treaty signed in 1818 between the United States and the United Kingdom. It resolved standing boundary issues between the two nations, and allowed for joint occupation and settlement of the Oregon Country, known to the British and in Canadian history as the Columbia District of the Hudson's Bay Company, and including the southern portion of its sister for district New Caledonia. The treaty marked the last permanent major territorial loss of Continental United States, the northern most tip of the territory of Louisiana above the 49th parallel north, known as the Milk River in present day southern Alberta. Britain ceded all of Rupert's Land south of the 49th parallel and west to the Rocky Mountains, including the Red River Colony.
James Fenimore Cooper
American writer of the early 19th century who is best remembered as a novelist who wrote the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel. The Last of the Mohicans.
Natty Bumpo
the protagonist of James Fenimore Cooper's pentalogy of novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Although the child of white parents, he grew up with Native Americans, becoming a near-fearless warrior skilled in many weapons, one of which is the long rifle. He respects his forest home and all its inhabitants, hunting only what he needs to survive. And when it comes time to fire his trusty flintlock, he lives by the rule, "One shot, one kill." He and his Mohican "brother" Chingachgook champion goodness by trying to stop the incessant conflict between the Mohicans and the Hurons.
Washington Irving
Best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." Along with James Fenimore Cooper, was among the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and Irving encouraged American authors. He advocated for writing as a legitimate profession, and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement.
Hudson River School
a mid-19th century American art movement embodied by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by romanticism.
McCulloch v Maryland 1819
a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. The state of Maryland had attempted to impede operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by imposing a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland. Though the law, by its language, was generally applicable to all banks not chartered in Maryland, the Second Bank of the United States was the only out-of-state bank then existing in Maryland, and the law was recognized in the court's opinion as having specifically targeted the U.S. Bank. The Court invoked the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution which allowed the Federal government to pass laws not expressly provided for in the Constitution's list of express powers provided those laws are in useful furtherance of the express powers of Congress under the Constitution. This fundamental case established the following two principles: The Constitution grants to Congress implied powers for implementing the Constitution's express powers, in order to create a functional national government. State action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal government.
Gibbons v Ogden 1824
a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the power to regulate interstate commerce was granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Ogden had a license to operate a steamboat in New York, and when Gibbons began to operate a steamboat in the same general location, Ogden sued.The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Gibbons. The sole argued source of Congress's power to promulgate the law at issue was the Commerce Clause. Accordingly, the Court had to answer whether the law was constitutional. In the end Gibbons won because it is argued that navigation is commerce because it moves goods in between places.
Fletcher v Peck 1810
a landmark United States Supreme Court decision and one of the first cases in which the Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional. Following the end of American Revolution, Georgia claimed possession of the Yazoo lands, an Indian Reserve west of its own territory. In 1795, the Georgia legislature divided the area into four tracts and sold them to separate land development companies. The Georgia legislature approved this land grant, known as the Yazoo Land Act of 1795. It was revealed that the Yazoo Land Act sale to private speculators had been approved in return for bribes and after the scandal was exposed voters rejected most of the incumbents in the next election, and the next legislature, reacting to the public outcry, repealed the law and voided transactions made under it. John Peck had purchased land that had previously been sold under the 1795 act and later sold this land to Robert Fletcher who then brought this suit against Peck in 1803, claiming that he did not have clear title to the land when he sold it. The resulting case reached the Supreme Court which in a unanimous decision ruled that the state legislature's repeal of the law was void because it was unconstitutional. The opinion written by John Marshall held that the sale was a binding contract which cannot be invalidated even if illegally secured and as a result the ruling lends further protection to property rights against popular pressures and is the earliest case of the Court asserting its right to invalidate state laws which are in conflict with or are otherwise contrary to the Constitution.
Cohens v Virginia 1821
a United States Supreme Court decision most noted for John Marshall and the Court's assertion of its power to review state supreme court decisions in criminal law matters when they claim their Constitutional rights have been violated. An act of the United States Congress authorized the operation of a lottery in the District of Columbia. The Cohen brothers proceeded to sell D.C. lottery tickets in the Commonwealth of Virginia, violating state law. State authorities tried and convicted the Cohens. In this case, the Cohens were prosecuted successfully by the state of Virginia for selling lottery tickets from the District of Columbia in Virginia, thereby violating Virginia state law. The Supreme Court upheld their convictions. The Supreme Court claimed full appellate jurisdiction over any case tried before a state court. Virginia, however, decided that this was unacceptable and declared the decision the Supreme Court made null and void, even though it had upheld the previous conviction, because Virginia felt the ruling limited states' rights.
James Monroe
fifth President of the United States, serving two terms from 1817 to 1825. His presidency was marked both by an "Era of Good Feelings" and later by the Panic of 1819 and a fierce national debate over the admission of the Missouri Territory. He is most noted for his proclamation in 1823 of the Monroe Doctrine. He was well received everywhere, as nationalism surged, partisan fury subsided and the "Era of Good Feelings" ensued. The Panic of 1819 struck and the dispute over the admission of Missouri embroiled the country in 1820. Nonetheless, Monroe won near-unanimous reelection. In 1823, he announced the Monroe Doctrine, which became a landmark in American foreign policy.
Tariff of 1816
The recently concluded War of 1812 forced Americans to confront the issue of protecting their struggling industries. The British had stashed large quantities of manufactured goods in warehouses during the war, but when peace was achieved in 1815, a flood of these goods was dumped on the American market. New England manufacturing concerns found it almost impossible to compete with the cheap foreign imports.Henry Clay argued on behalf of the domestic mill and iron industries. John C. Calhoun supported protectionism because he believed that the South's future would include industrial development. The Tariff of 1816 was a mildly protectionist measure, raising the average rates to around 20 percent. New England manufacturers actually desired higher rates, but had not yet developed a sufficient political presence in Washington to have their way. Daniel Webster, a spokesman for New England interests, opposed the tariff measure. The 1816 tariff act was the first true protectionist measure.
Samuel Slater
known as the "Father of the American Industrial Revolution" because he brought British textile technology to America. A native of England, he was apprenticed as a manager in a cotton mill of the type pioneered by Richard Arkwright at Cromford. In 1789 he violated a British emigration law that prohibited the spread of British manufacturing technology to other nations. When he left for New York, he had memorized the plans for the mill and had a deep understanding of Strutt's managerial practices. He offered to sell his knowledge to American industrialists, doing so to Moses Brown of Providence, who used the plan, and made major profit.
Oliver Evans
inventor whose most important invention was an automated grist mill which operated continuously through the use of bulk material handling devices. Evans devoted a great deal of his time to patents, patent extensions, and enforcement of his patents. He also produced an improved high-pressure steam engine. As Evans designed a refrigeration machine which ran on vapor in 1805, he is often called the inventor of the refrigerator, although he never built one.
Robert Fulton
American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat. In 1800 he was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the Nautilus, which was the first practical submarine in history.
Erie Canal 1825
first transportation system between the eastern seaboard (NYC) and the western interior (Great Lakes) that did not require portage and was faster than carts pulled by animals as well as cut transport costs by 95%. First proposed in 1807, it was under construction from 1817 to 1825 and officially opened on October 26, 1825. The canal fostered a population surge in western New York state, opened regions farther west to settlement, and helped New York City become the chief U.S. port.
National (Cumberland) Road
one of the first major improved highways in the United States to be built by the federal government. Construction began in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River. It crossed the Allegheny Mountains and southwestern Pennsylvania, reaching Wheeling, Virginia on the Ohio River in 1818. A chain of turnpikes connecting Baltimore, Maryland, to the National Road at Cumberland was completed in 1824, forming what is referred to as an eastern extension of the National Road.
Panic of 1819
first major financial crisis in the United States, which occurred during the end of the Era of Good Feelings. There were three key causes of the Panic of 1819, inflation, public debt from the War of 1812 and the Louisiana Purchase. The Panic had a lasting affect on the American banking system and directed attention to the crucial 1819-1821 session of Congress. Prices throughout the United States had been rising dramatically since shortly after the end of the War of 1812, mostly caused by the United States government's attempt to pay off the war debt. Since the war debt was mostly held by Americans, payment in currency, now deflated in value, was legal. In 1816 the Second Bank of the United States was formed, but it continued to feed the expansion by having significantly more money in circulation than it did gold reserves. The panic marked the end of the economic expansion that had followed the War of 1812 and ushered in new financial policies that would shape economic development.
Tallmadge Amendment
submitted by James Tallmadge, Jr. in the United States House of Representatives on February 13, 1819, during the debate regarding the admission of Missouri as a state. Tallmadge, an opponent of slavery, sought to impose conditions on Missouri that would extinguish slavery within a generation. Although the Tallmadge Amendment passed in the House, the Senate, which held a balance of slave and free states, passed a version of the Missouri statehood bill without the amendment. If adopted, the amendment would have led to the gradual elimination of slavery in the Missouri territory. The majorities of the House and the Senate eventually agreed to the Missouri Compromise, which did not include the Tallmadge Amendment, but prohibited slavery in the territories of the Louisiana Purchase above the 36˚30' parallel
Alexis de Tocqueville
French political thinker and historian in the Jacksonian era who explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in western societies. He wrote Democracy in America which discussed how America was very democratic and therefore had a strong foundation. Significance is foreign approval.
William Crawford
American politician and candidate for President of the United States in 1824. In 1824, when the congressional caucus was fast becoming extinct, Crawford, being prepared to control it, insisted that it should be held, but of 216 Republicans only 66 attended; of these, 64 voted for Crawford. Three other candidates, however, Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and Henry Clay, were otherwise put in the field. During the campaign Crawford was stricken with paralysis, and when the electoral vote was cast he was in third. It remained for the House of Representatives to choose from Jackson, Adams and Crawford, and through Clay's influence Adams became President. Crawford was invited by Adams to continue as Secretary of the Treasury, but declined.
John Quincy Adams
sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829 who was a member of Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. He lost his 1828 bid for re-election to Andrew Jackson. As president, he presented a vision of national greatness resting on economic growth and a strong federal government, but his presidency was not a success. Adams is best known as a diplomat who shaped America's foreign policy in line with his deeply conservative and ardently nationalist commitment to America's republican values.
Nominating conventions
political convention held every four years in the United States to select the party's nominee for President. In the early 19th century, members of Congress met within their party caucuses to select their party's nominee. Conflicts between the interests of the Eastern Congressional class and citizens in newer Western states led to the hotly contested 1824 election, in which factions of the Democratic-Republican Party rejected the caucus nominee, William H. Crawford of Georgia, and backed John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and Andrew Jackson instead. In 1831 the Anti-Masonic Party convened in Baltimore, Maryland to select a single presidential candidate agreeable to the whole party leadership in the 1832 presidential election.
Peggy Eaton Affair 1831
Senator John Eaton, a close friend of Jackson, had married the widowed daughter of a Washington innkeeper, Margaret (Peggy) O'Neill. The local rumor mill ground out gossip that O'Neill and Eaton had had an affair prior to her husband's death. The Cabinet wives, led by Mrs. John C. Calhoun, were scandalized and refused to attend events when she was present. Jackson was not pleased with this tempest, remembering how deeply his late wife had been hurt by scandal-mongering. In 1831, Eaton and Van Buren resigned his office, putting pressure on the other members to do likewise. These resignations gave Jackson the opportunity to appoint Cabinet officers who were loyal to him rather than Calhoun.
Tariff of Abomination 1828
protective tariff passed by the Congress to protect industry in the northern United States. It was labeled the Tariff of Abominations by its southern detractors because of the effects it had on the antebellum Southern economy and led to the Nullification Crisis. The South was harmed firstly by having to pay higher prices on goods the region did not produce, and secondly because reducing the importation of British goods made it difficult for the British to pay for the cotton they imported from the South. The reaction in the South, particularly in South Carolina, would lead to the Nullification Crisis that began in late 1832. New England wasn't so happy either because they were industrial and needed the raw materials from Britain. The only people who liked it were those in the west and middle states because they wanted to expand and use their own goods.
SC Exposition and Protest 1828
written in 1828 by John C. Calhoun, the Vice President of the United States under Andrew Jackson. The document was a protest against the Tariff of 1828. The document stated that if the tariff was not repealed, South Carolina would secede. It stated also Calhoun's Doctrine of nullification.
Hayne Debate 1830- famous debate in the U.S. between Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Senator Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina that took place on January 19-27, 1830 regarding protectionist tariffs. Webster described the US government as "made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people."
John C. Calhoun
leading Southern politician from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century who began his political career as a nationalist and proponent of protective tariffs. Later, he became a proponent of free trade, states' rights, limited government, and nullification. He built his reputation as a political theorist by his redefinition of republicanism to include approval of slavery and minority rights. He served as Vice President under John Quincy Adams and under Andrew Jackson, was the first Vice President to resign from office. He wrote legislation making South Carolina the first state to adopt universal suffrage for white men. As a "war hawk" he agitated in Congress for the War of 1812. Calhoun supported states' rights and nullification, under which states could declare null and void federal laws which they deemed to be unconstitutional.
Jefferson Day Dinner
dinner in which Robert Hayne began by toasting to "The Union of the States, and the Sovereignty of the States." Jackson then rose, and in a booming voice added "Our federal Union: It must be preserved!" (UNION UPHOLDS THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE)- a clear challenge to Calhoun. Calhoun clarified his position by responding "The Union: Next to our Liberty, the most dear! (LIBERTY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE UNION)
Tariff of 1832
a protectionist tariff in the United States passed as a reduced tariff to remedy the conflict created by the tariff of 1828, but it was still deemed unsatisfactory by southerners and other groups hurt by high tariff rates. Southern opposition to this tariff and its predecessor, the Tariff of Abominations, caused the Nullification Crisis involving South Carolina. It was repealed by the Compromise Tariff of 1833.
Compromise Tariff of 1833
proposed by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun as a resolution to the Nullification Crisis. It was adopted to gradually reduce the rates after southerners objected to the protectionism found in the Tariff of 1832 and the 1828 Tariff of Abominations, which had prompted South Carolina to threaten secession from the Union. This Act stipulated that import taxes would gradually be cut over the next decade until, by 1842, they matched the levels set in the Tariff of 1816--an average of 20%.
Force Bill 1833
initially enacted on March 2, 1833 to authorize U.S. President Andrew Jackson's use of whatever force necessary to enforce Federal tariffs. It was intended to suppress South Carolina's refusal to collect tariffs during the Nullification Crisis. The bill was a work of political mastery on Jackson's part as it gave the President the authority to close ports or harbors at his will. The importance of the Force Bill is that it is the first piece of legislation to publicly deny the right of secession to individual states.
Bank War
controversy over the Second Bank of the United States and the attempts to destroy it by then-president Andrew Jackson. At that time, it was the only nationwide bank and, along with its president Nicholas Biddle, exerted tremendous influence over the nation's financial system. Jackson viewed the Second Bank of the United States as a monopoly since it was a private institution managed by a board of directors, and in 1832 he vetoed the renewal of its charter.
Pet banks
degrading term for state banks selected by the U.S. Department of Treasury to receive surplus government funds in 1833. They were made among the big U.S. bank when President Andrew Jackson vetoed the recharter for the Second Bank of the United States, proposed by Daniel Webster and Henry Clay four years in advance in 1832. The term implied that the state banks were controlled by Jackson. By 1833 there were 23 "pet banks" or state banks with US Treasury funds. The term gained currency because most of the banks were chosen not because of monetary fitness but on the basis of the spoils system, which rewarded political allies of Andrew Jackson. Most Pet Banks eventually lost money and failed as they flooded the country with paper currency. Because this money became so unreliable, Jackson issued the Specie Circular, which required all public lands to be purchased with metallic money. This contributed to the Panic of 1837 where there was a major dip in the economy due to the increased debt created by this banking system.
Specie Circular 1836
an executive order issued by President Andrew Jackson requiring that payment for the purchase of public lands be made exclusively in gold or silver. In an effort to curb excessive land speculation and to quash the enormous growth of paper money in circulation, Jackson directed the Treasury Department, "pet" banks, and other receivers of public money to accept only specie as payment for government-owned land after Aug. 15, 1836.The Specie Circular, by seriously curtailing the use of paper money, was highly deflationary and at least in part produced the ensuing credit crunch and the economic crisis called the Panic of 1837. On May 21, 1838, a joint resolution of Congress repealed the Specie Circular.
Panic of 1837
a financial crisis in the United States built on a speculative fever. The bubble burst on May 10, 1837 in New York City, when every bank began to accept payment only in specie. This was based on the assumption by former president, Andrew Jackson, that government was selling land for state bank notes of questionable value. The Panic was followed by a five-year depression, with the failure of banks and record-high unemployment levels.
Martin Van Buren
a democrat and Vice President and Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson (1829-1831). He was the third president to serve only one term, and was one of the central figures in developing modern political organizations. As Andrew Jackson's Secretary of State and then Vice President, he was a key figure in building the organizational structure for Jacksonian democracy, particularly in New York State. However, as a president, his administration was largely characterized by the economic hardship of his time, the Panic of 1837. He was therefore was voted out of office after four years, with a close popular vote but a rout in the electoral vote. In 1848, he ran for president on a third-party ticket, the Free Soil Party.
Independent Treasury System
system for the retaining of government funds in the Treasury and its subtreasuries independently of the national banking and financial systems.
Cherokee Nation v Georgia 1828
The state of Georgia enacted a series of laws which stripped the Cherokee of their rights under the laws of the state, with the intention to force the Cherokee to leave the state. In this climate, John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation tribal band, led a delegation to Washington in January 1829 to resolve disputes over the non-payment of annuities to the Cherokee, and to seek Federal sustainment of the boundary between the territory of the state of Georgia and the Cherokee Nation's historic tribal lands within that state. Ross wrote an immediate memorial to Congress. Despite support from the republicans, in April 1829, it was announced that President Jackson would support the right of Georgia to extend its laws over the Cherokee Nation. This led to Jackson's passing of the Indian Removal Act, which authorized the president to set aside lands west of the Mississippi River to exchange for the lands of the Indian nations in the east.
Seminole War (1835
42)- Three conflicts in Florida between various groups of Native Americans, collectively known as Seminoles, and the United States Army. The Seminoles were doing well until in 1842 the U.S. attacked during a supposed time of peace.
Black Hawk War 1832
fought in Midwestern United States between a Native American chief's British Band against the United States Army and militia for possession of lands in the area. The white population of the region grew rapidly after the War of 1812 and this led to increasing tensions with the Native American population. Black Hawk led a group of Native Americans to the ceded region during the winters of both 1830 and 1831, which the Illinois governor declared an "invasion". Federal troops were brought in, and Black Hawk's band was ordered to withdraw but refused. Hostilities began on May 14, 1832 when Black Hawk's band defeated militia at the Battle of Stillman's Run. The war primarily comprised a series of minor battles and skirmishes. The war ended with a decisive victory for the militia at the Battle of Bad Axe on August 1-2, 1832.
Maysville Road Veto 1830
occurred when President Jackson vetoed a bill which would allow the Federal government to purchase stock in the Maysville, Washington, Paris, and Lexington Turnpike Road Company, which had been organized to construct a road linking Lexington and the Ohio River, the entirety of which would be in the state of Kentucky. Its advocates regarded it as a part of the national Cumberland Road system. Congress passed a bill in 1830 providing federal funds to complete the project. Jackson vetoed the bill on the grounds that federal funding of intrastate projects of this nature was unconstitutional. He declared that such bills violated the principle that the government shouldn't be an economic affair. Jackson also pointed out that funding for these kinds of projects interfered with the paying off of the national debt.
Charles River Bridge v Warren Bridge 1828
a case regarding the Charles River Bridge and the Warren Bridge of Boston, Massachusetts. The case settled a dispute over the constitutional clause regarding obligation of contract. In 1785, the Charles River Bridge Company had been granted a charter to construct a bridge over the Charles River connecting Boston and Charlestown. When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sanctioned another company to build the Warren Bridge, chartered 1828, that would be very close in proximity to the first bridge and would connect the same two cities, the proprietors of the Charles River Bridge claimed that the Massachusetts legislature had broken its contract with the Charles River Bridge Company, and thus the contract had been violated. The owners of the first bridge claimed that the charter had implied exclusive rights to the Charles River Bridge Company. The Court ultimately sided with Warren Bridge.
political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy that was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson. In particular, they supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency, and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism. The group counted among its members such national political luminaries as Daniel Webster, William Henry Harrison, and their preeminent leader, Henry Clay of Kentucky. The party was ultimately destroyed by the question of whether to allow the expansion of slavery to the territories.
William Henry Harrison
originally gained national fame for leading U.S. forces against American Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. As a general in the subsequent War of 1812, his most notable contribution was a victory at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, which brought an end to hostilities in his region. He became ninth President of the United States and the first president to die in office. After he died on his thirty-second day in office of complications from a cold - the shortest tenure in United States presidential history.
John Tyler
longtime Democratic-Republican, he was nonetheless elected Vice President on the Whig ticket. Tyler became President when Harrison died. Once he became president, he stood against his party's platform and vetoed several of their proposals. In result, most of his cabinet resigned and the Whigs expelled him from their party. His most significant achievement was the annexation of the Republic of Texas in 1845. The only thing that did get passed during Tyler's administration was the repeal of the independent treasury system and a higher tariff. His entire cabinet resigned, leaving Tyler a president w/o a Party.
Second Great Awakening
religious revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States, which expressed Armenian theology by which every person could be saved through revivals. It enrolled millions of new members, and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age. The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. PEOPLE CAN BE SAVED
Charles Grandison Finney
Presbyterian and Congregationalist figure in the Second Great Awakening. His influence during this period was enough that he has been called The Father of Modern Revivalism. He was known for his innovations in preaching and religious meetings such as having women pray in public meetings of mixed gender, development of the "anxious seat", a place where those considering becoming Christians could come to receive prayer, and public censure of individuals by name in sermons and prayers.
American Colonization Society
the primary vehicle for proposals to return free African Americans to what was considered greater freedom in Africa. The ACS was made up mostly of Quakers, who supported abolition, and slaveholders, who wanted to remove the threat of free blacks. They disagreed on the issue of slavery but found common ground in support of so-called "repatriation". The Friends believed blacks would face better chances for fully free lives in Africa than in the U.S. The slaveholders opposed freedom for blacks, but saw repatriation as a way to avoid slave rebellions. The society was also supported by Southerners fearful of organized revolt by free blacks, by Northerners concerned that an influx of black workers would hurt the economic opportunities of indigent white, by some who opposed slavery but did not favor integration, and by many blacks who saw a return to Africa as the best solution to their troubles.
American Anti
slavery Society- abolitionist society that called for an immediate end to slavery. The society's headquarters was in New York City. From 1840 to 1870 it published a weekly newspaper, the National Anti-Slavery Standard.
Liberty Party
U.S. political party formed by a splinter group of abolitionists. It was created by Arthur Tappan and Theodore Weld in opposition to William Lloyd Garrison, who scorned political action as a futile way to end slavery. At its first party convention in 1840, James Birney was nominated for U.S. president. By 1844 the party had influenced undecided legislators in many local elections to adopt antislavery stands. In 1848 it dissolved when many of its members formed the Free Soil Party.
Thomas R. Dew
one of the earliest defenders of slavery
Gag Rule 1836
rule in the south that prohibited the consideration of an anti-slavery movement. These measures effectively tabled antislavery petitions without submitting them to usual House procedures. Public outcry over the gag rules ultimately aided the antislavery cause, and the fierce House debate concerning their future anticipated later conflicts over slavery.
Nat Turner
American slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on August 21, 1831 that resulted in 56 deaths among their victims, the largest number of white fatalities to occur in one uprising in the southern United States. Turner's killing of whites during the uprising makes his legacy controversial. Across Virginia and other southern states, state legislators passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free blacks, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free blacks, and requiring white ministers to be present at black worship services.
William Lloyd Garrison
prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer best known as the editor of the radical abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society. He promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United States and was also a prominent voice for the women's suffrage movement.
Lucretia Mott
American Quaker, abolitionist, social reformer, and proponent of women's rights. She is credited as the first American "feminist" in the early 19th century but was, more accurately, the initiator of women's political rights.
Grimke sisters
19th-century American Quakers, educators and writers who were early advocates of abolitionism and women's rights. They traveled throughout the North, lecturing about their first hand experiences with slavery on their family's plantation. Among the first women to act publicly in social reform movements, they received abuse and ridicule for their abolitionist activity.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States.
Susan B. Anthony
prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She traveled the United States, and Europe, and averaged 75 to 100 speeches per year.
Abby Kelley
American abolitionist and radical social reformer active from the 1830s to 1870s. She became a fundraiser, lecturer and committee organizer for the influential American Anti-Slavery Society, where she worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison and other radicals.
Neal Dow
prohibitionist mayor of Portland, Maine, known as the "Father of Prohibition". He sponsored the "Maine law of 1851", which prohibited the manufacture and sale of liquor. Dow was widely criticized for his heavy handed tactics during the Portland Rum Riot of 1855.
John B. Gough
heavy drinker turned suicidal when his wife died in childbirth. However one day after being touched by a waiter who was a part of the temperance movement, he change his life. He took a pledge of abstinence from alcohol and dedicated the rest of his life to the temperance movement.
Dorothea Dix
American activist on behalf of the indigent insane who, through a vigorous program of lobbying state legislatures and the United States Congress, created the first generation of American mental asylums. During the Civil War, she served as Superintendent of Army Nurses
Bronson Alcott
American teacher, writer and philosopher who left a legacy of forward-thinking social ideas. His status as a well-publicized figure from the 1830s to the 1880s stemmed from his founding of two short-lived projects, an unconventional school and an utopian community known as "Fruitlands", as well as from his association with the philosophy of Transcendentalism and from the celebrity accruing to his daughter, Little Women author Louisa May Alcott.
Horace Mann
American education reformer, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1827 to 1833. He served in the Massachusetts Senate from 1834 to 1837. Arguing that universal public education was the best way to turn the nation's unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens for building public schools. Indeed, most states adopted one version or another of the system he established in Massachusetts, especially the program for "normal schools" to train professional teachers. Mann has been credited by many educational historians as the "Father of the Common School Movement".
Henry Barnard
U.S. educator who studied law and entered the state legislature, where he helped create a state board of education and the first teachers' institute (1839). With Horace Mann, he undertook to reform the country's common schools; he was an innovator in instituting school inspections, textbook reviews, and parent-teacher organizations. As Rhode Island's first commissioner of education (from 1845) he worked to raise teachers' wages, repair buildings, and obtain higher-education appropriations. In 1855 he helped found the American Journal of Education.
Samuel Gridley Howe
a prominent 19th century United States physician, abolitionist, and an advocate of education for the blind.
religious sect originally thought to be a development of the Protestant Quakers. Founded upon the teachings of Ann Lee, the group was known for their emphasis on social equality and rejection of sexual relations, which led to their precipitous decline in numbers after their heavy involvement in the running of orphanages was curtailed.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
a restorationist Christian church and the largest denomination originating from the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. Adherents view faith in Jesus Christ as the central tenet of their religion.
Joseph Smith
founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints and publisher of the Book of Mormons, he was viewed as a prophet by his followers
Brigham Young
American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement, he was the founder of Salt Lake City and the first governor of Utah Territory
Brook Farm
a utopian experiment in communal living in the United States in the 1840s founded by former Unitarian minister George Ripley at the Ellis Farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1841 and was inspired in part by the ideals of Transcendentalism Founded as a joint stock company, it promised its participants a portion of the profits from the farm in exchange for performing an equal share of the work.
New Harmony
Robert Owen, a Welsh utopian thinker and social reformer bought this land in 1824. The town banned money and other commodities. For this and other reasons the communal society was doomed to failure, and it dissolved in 1829.
Gilbert Stuart
American painter from Rhode Island widely considered to be one of America's oremost portraitists. His best known work, the unfinished portrait of George Washington that is sometimes referred was begun in 1796 and never finished, and appears on the dollar bill.
Charles Wilson Peale
American painter, soldier, and naturalist who is best remembered for his portraits of famous American revolutionaries. He was the founder of America's first museum.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
American poet and essayist who's famous works include "Paul Revere's Ride."
Seneca Falls 1848
an early and influential women's rights convention on July 19-20, 1848 organized by local New York women upon the occasion of a visit by Lucretia Mott. The local women, primarily members of a radical Quaker group, organized the meeting along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. A vigorous discussion sprang up regarding women's right to vote, with many including Mott urging the removal of this concept, but Frederick Douglass argued eloquently for its inclusion, and the suffrage resolution was retained.
Caroline Affair 1837
A group of men led by William Lyon Mackenzie rebelled in Upper Canada demanded a more democratic government. There was much sympathy for their cause in the United States, and a small steamer, the Caroline, owned by U.S. citizens, carried men and supplies from the U.S. side of the Niagara river to the Canadian rebels on Navy Island just above Niagara Falls. On the night of Dec. 29, 1837, a small group of British and Canadians loyal to the Upper Canadian government crossed the river to the U.S. side where the Caroline was moored, loosed her, set fire to her, and sent her over the falls. Americans on the border were aroused to intense anti-British feeling, and soldiers under Gen. Winfield Scott were rushed to the scene to prevent violent American action. The Caroline Affair and the Aroostook War helped to make relations with Great Britain very tense in the years before the Webster-Ashburton Treaty
Creole Affair 1841
an uprising by a group of slaves who were in the process of being transported in the ship, the Creole. They killed the captain, took control of ship and sailed for Bahamas, where they became free under British. Incidents such as this contributed to the intensification of sectional conflict in the United States.
Aroostook County War 1839
an undeclared confrontation between the United States and Great Britain over the international boundary between Canada and Maine. It is called a war because not only were tensions high and rhetoric heated in Maine and New Brunswick, but troops were raised and armed on both sides and marched to the disputed border. President Martin Van Buren sent General Winfield Scott to work out a compromise. A neutral area was created and the controversy gradually died down. There was no actual confrontation between military forces, and the dispute was soon settled through negotiations between diplomats from Britain and U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster who secretly funded a propaganda campaign that convinced Maine leaders that a compromise was wise. The final border between the two countries was established with the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842.
Ashburton Treaty 1842- treaty resolving several border issues between the United States and the British North American colonies, particularly a dispute over the location of the Maine-New Brunswick border. It also established the details of the border between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods; reaffirmed the location of the border (at the 49th parallel) in the westward frontier up to the Rocky Mountains; called for a final end to the slave trade on the high seas; and agreed on terms for shared use of the Great Lakes. The treaty was signed by United States Secretary of State Daniel Webster and United Kingdom Privy Counselor Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton.
Pakenham Treaty 1846- treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that was signed on June 15, 1846, in Washington, D.C. The treaty brought an end to the Oregon boundary dispute by settling competing American and British claims to the Oregon Country, which had been jointly occupied by both Britain and the U.S. since the Treaty of 1818
Sam Houston
leader of the Texas Revolution
Election of 1844
saw Democrat James Polk defeat Whig Henry Clay in a close contest that turned on foreign policy, with Polk favoring the annexation of Texas and Clay opposed. Democratic nominee James K. Polk ran on a platform that embraced American territorial expansionism. At their convention, the Democrats called for the annexation of Texas and asserted that the United States had a "clear and unquestionable" claim to "the whole" of Oregon. By informally tying the Oregon boundary dispute to the more controversial Texas debate, the Democrats appealed to both Northern expansionists and Southern expansionists. Polk went on to win a narrow victory over Whig candidate Henry Clay, in part because Clay had taken a stand against expansion, although economic issues were also of great importance.
James K. Polk
the11th President of the United States (1845-1849) and a Democrat, he was the surprise candidate for president in 1844, defeating Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party by promising to annex Texas. Polk was a leader of Jacksonian Democracy during the Second Party System. He was the last strong pre-Civil War president and is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain then backed away and split the ownership of the Oregon region with Britain. When Mexico rejected American annexation of Texas, he led the nation to a sweeping victory in the Mexican-American War, followed by purchase of California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Annexation of Texas 1846
the annexation of the Republic of Texas to the United States of America as the twenty-eighth state. This act quickly led to the Mexican War (1846-48) in which the U.S. captured additional territory extending the 19th century southern U.S. territorial acquisitions from Mexico all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Texas then claimed, but never actually controlled, the western part of this new territory. This created a continuing dispute between Texas, the federal government and the New Mexico Territory until the Compromise of 1850, when these lands became parts of other territories of the United States in exchange for the U.S. federal government assuming the Texas Republic's $10 million in debt.
John Slidell
served as agent to Mexico in the months preceding the outbreak of war between that nation and the United States. Slidell's connections landed him the official task of negotiating a deal with Mexico. He was instructed to offer a settlement of all U.S. claims against Mexico, in exchange for recognition of the Rio Grande as the boundary between the two nations. In addition, Polk instructed Slidell to try and buy California for $25 million. The Mexicans rejected Slidell and his mission outright. Polk then ordered General Zachary Taylor to head for the Rio Grande.
Zachary Taylor
12th President of the United States and an American military leader who ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election. He achieved fame leading American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War. As president, Taylor angered many Southerners by taking a moderate stance on the issue of slavery. He urged settlers in New Mexico and California to bypass the territorial stage and draft constitutions for statehood, setting the stage for the Compromise of 1850. Taylor died just 16 months into his term, the third shortest tenure of any President.
John C. Fremont
American military officer, explorer, the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of president of the U.S., and the first presidential candidate of a major party to run on a platform opposing slavery. During the American Civil War he was given command of the armies in the west but made hasty decisions and was relieved.
Winfield Scott
United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852. Known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" he served on active duty as a general longer than any other man in American history and many historians rate him the ablest American commander of his time. A national hero after the Mexican-American War, he served as military governor of Mexico City.
American War (1846-8)- armed conflict between the United States and Mexico in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory despite the 1836 Texas Revolution. In addition to a naval blockade off the Mexican coast, American forces invaded and conquered New Mexico, California, and parts of what is currently northern Mexico. Another American army captured Mexico City, forcing Mexico to agree to the sale of its northern territories to the U.S. Territorial expansion of the United States to the Pacific coast was the goal of President James K. Polk, the leader of the Democratic Party. However, the war was highly controversial in the U.S., with the Whig Party and anti-slavery elements strongly opposed. The major consequence of the war was the forced Mexican Cession of the territories of California and New Mexico to the United States in exchange for $15 million. In addition, the United States forgave debt owed by the Mexican government to U.S. citizens. Mexico accepted the Rio Grande as its national border, and the loss of Texas. The political aftermath of the war raised the slavery issue in the U.S., leading to intense debates that pointed to civil war; the Compromise of 1850 provided a brief respite.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848
peace treaty between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican War. The treaty was signed on Feb. 2, 1848, in the village of Guadalupe Hidalgo, just outside Mexico City. It confirmed U.S. claims to Texas and set its boundary at the Rio Grande. Mexico also agreed to cede to the United States California and New Mexico in exchange for $15 million and assumption by the United States of claims against Mexico by U.S. citizens. The treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate on Mar. 10, 1848, and by the Mexican Congress on May 25.
Gadsden Purchase 1852
U.S. purchase of land in Mexico. Following the conquest of much of northern Mexico in the Mexican War (1848), advocates of a southern transcontinental railroad endorsed the purchase of 30,000 sq mi of northern Mexican territory, now southern Arizona and southern New Mexico. The purchase was negotiated by James Gadsden, U.S. minister to Mexico, for $10 million. The acquisition fixed the borders of the later 48 contiguous states.
Wilmot Proviso
one of the major events leading to the Civil War, would have banned slavery in any territory to be acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War or in the future, including the area later known as the Mexican Cession, but which some proponents construed to also include the disputed lands in south Texas and New Mexico east of the Rio Grande. Congressman David Wilmot first introduced the Proviso in the United States House of Representatives on August 8, 1846 as a rider on a $2 million appropriations bill intended for the final negotiations to resolve the Mexican-American War. It passed the House but failed in the Senate, where the South had greater representation. In 1848, an attempt to make it part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo also failed. Sectional conflict over slavery in the Southwest continued up to the Compromise of 1850.
Compromise of 1850
a package of five bills defusing a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North that arose following the Mexican-American War. The compromise, drafted by Whig Henry Clay avoided secession or civil war at the time and quieted sectional conflict. Texas surrendered its claim to New Mexico but received debt relief and the Texas Panhandle, and retained the control over El Paso that it had established earlier in 1850. The South avoided the humiliating Wilmot Proviso but did not receive desired Pacific territory in Southern California or a guarantee of slavery south of a territorial compromise line like the Missouri Compromise Line or the 35th parallel north. As compensation, the South received the possibility of slave states by popular sovereignty in the new New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory, which, however, were unsuited to plantation agriculture and populated by non-Southerners; a stronger Fugitive Slave Act, which in practice outraged Northern public opinion; and preservation of slavery in the national capital, although the slave trade was banned there except in the portion of the District of Columbia that rejoined Virginia.
Free Soil Party
a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections, and in some state elections. Its main purpose was opposing the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery. They opposed slavery in the new territories and sometimes worked to remove existing laws that discriminated against freed African Americans in states such as Ohio.
Election of 1848
The Whigs in 1846-47 had focused all their energies on condemning Polk's war policies. They had to quickly reverse course when, in February 1848 Polk surprised everyone with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War and gave the U.S. vast new territories . The Whigs in the Senate voted 2-1 to approve the treaty. Then in the summer the Whigs nominated the hero of the war, Zachary Taylor. While he did promise no more future wars, he did not condemn the war or criticize Polk, and Whigs had to follow his lead. They shifted their attention to the new issue of whether slavery could be banned from the new territories. Taylor's victory made him one of only two Whigs to be elected President before the party ceased to exist in the 1850s; the other Whig to be elected President was William Henry Harrison, who had also been a general and war hero, but died a month into office.
Christiana Massacre
in response to the Compromise of 1850, a gunfight broke out in Pennsylvania
Harriet Beecher Stowe
an American abolitionist and author whose novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States. It energized anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe which helped to crystallize the rift between the North and South. It has been called the greatest American propaganda novel ever written, and helped to bring about the Civil War.
Election of 1852
election that in many ways a replay of the election of 1844 when the incumbent President was a Whig who had succeeded to the presidency upon the death of his war hero predecessor; in this case, it was Millard Fillmore who followed General Zachary Taylor. The Whig party passed over the incumbent for nomination — casting aside Fillmore in favor of General Winfield Scott. The Democrats nominated a "dark horse" candidate, this time Franklin Pierce. The Whigs again campaigned on the obscurity of the Democratic candidate, and once again this strategy failed. Pierce went on to win what was at the time one of the nation's largest electoral victories. After the 1852 election the Whig Party quickly collapsed, and it was soon replaced by the new Republican Party.
Franklin Pierce
a New Hampshire Democrat who became the 14th president of the United States. In 1852 he attended the Democratic national convention and, much to his surprise, won the nomination and the election over incumbent president Millard Fillmore. Pierce tried unsuccessfully to promote conciliation between the North and the South over slavery, an issue (the "Kansas Question") that dominated his presidency, He served only one term and was succeeded by James Buchanan.
Winfield Scott
a United States Army general and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852. A national hero after the Mexican-American War, he served as military governor of Mexico City. Such was his stature that, in 1852, the United States Whig Party passed over its own incumbent President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, to nominate him in the United States presidential election. He lost to Democrat Franklin Pierce in the general election, but remained a popular national figure.
Nebraska Act 1854- designed by Stephen Douglas in 1854, this act created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opened new lands, repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and allowed settlers in those territories to determine if they would allow slavery within their boundaries. The initial purpose of this Act was to create opportunities for a Mideastern Transcontinental Railroad. It became problematic when popular sovereignty was written into the proposal. The act established that settlers could vote to decide whether to allow slavery, in the name of popular sovereignty or rule of the people. Douglas hoped that would ease relations between the North and the South, because the South could expand slavery to new territories but the North still had the right to abolish slavery in its states. Instead, opponents denounced the law as a concession to the slave power of the South. The new Republican Party, which was created in opposition to the act, aimed to stop the expansion of slavery and soon emerged as the dominant force throughout the North.
Republican Party
Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854 in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
American (Know Nothing) Party
a nativist American political movement of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to Anglo-Saxon Protestant values and controlled by the pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success. The movement originated in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party.
Bleeding Kansas (1854
8)- a series of violent events, involving anti-slavery Free-Staters and pro-slavery "Border Ruffians," that took place in the Kansas Territory and the western frontier towns of the U.S. state of Missouri. At the heart of the conflict was the question of whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free state or slave state. As such, Bleeding Kansas was a proxy war between Northerners and Southerners over the issue of slavery in the United States. These events were prompted by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which nullified the Missouri Compromise and instead implemented the concept of popular sovereignty. This resulted in immigration en masse to Kansas by activists from both sides. At one point, Kansas had two separate governments, each with its own constitution, although only one was federally recognized. On January 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state.
Pottawatomie Creek Massacre 1856
In reaction to the sacking of Lawrence by pro-slavery forces, John Brown and a band of abolitionist settlers killed five settlers north of Pottawatomie Creek in Franklin County, Kansas. This was one of the many bloody episodes in Kansas preceding the American Civil War, which came to be known collectively as Bleeding Kansas. Bleeding Kansas was due to the Missouri Compromise and Kansas-Nebraska Act
Charles Sumner
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (1851-74) who was active before and after the Civil War in the movement to abolish slavery and give equal rights to black Americans. In 1856 he wrote "The Crime Against Kansas," in which he condemned his opponents on the issue, including South Carolina's Senator Andrew P. Butler. Two days later Preston Brooks, Butler's nephew and a Congressman from South Carolina, entered the Senate chamber and beat Sumner unconscious with a cane. Brooks was a hero to his constituents and was re-elected; Sumner, who took three years to recover from the beating, was a martyr to his constituents and was re-elected. Sumner was one of the most powerful members of the Radical Republicans, whose insistence on immediate equal rights for blacks (and punitive measures against slaveowners) caused him to clash with presidents Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson and Ulysses Grant.
Preston Brooks
a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina, known for severely beating Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate with a cane in response to an insult. His first cousin, Matthew Butler, was a Confederate general.
Election of 1856
an unusually heated election campaign that led to the election of James Buchanan. Republican candidate John C. Frémont condemned the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and crusaded against the Slave Power and the expansion of slavery, while Democrat James Buchanan warned that the Republicans were extremists whose victory would lead to civil war. The Democrats endorsed the moderate "popular sovereignty" approach to slavery expansion utilized in the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Former President Millard Fillmore represented the "Know-Nothings". The Know Nothings, who ignored the slavery issue in favor of anti-immigration policies, won a little over a fifth of the vote. Franklin Pierce was defeated in his effort to be renominated by the Democrats who instead selected James Buchanan of Pennsylvania; this was due in part to the fact that the Kansas-Nebraska Act divided Democrats. The Republicans nominated John Frémont of California as their first standard bearer, over Senator William H. Seward. The electoral college results indicated that the Republicans could likely win the next election in 1860 by winning just two more states—such as Pennsylvania and Illinois.
James Buchanan
last American president before the Civil War. In the 1856 elections he ran as the democratic nominee and defeated both former president Millard Fillmore and frontier hero John C. Fremont.. He was considered a northern man with southern principles, and was opposed to slavery. But as president he couldn't handle the bad blood between North and South; his attempts to find a legalistic solution were never effective. By the election of 1860 he was tired of the presidency and did not seek re-election. He was succeeded by Republican Abraham Lincoln.
Dred Scott v. Sanford 1857
a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves (or their descendants, whether or not they were slaves) were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S. citizens. The court also held that the U.S. Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories and that, because slaves were not citizens, they could not sue in court. Lastly, the Court ruled that slaves, as chattels or private property, could not be taken away from their owners without due process. The Supreme Court's decision was written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.
Kansas Constitutional Crisis
Lecompton Constitution 1857
instrument framed in Lecompton, Kan., by Southern pro-slavery advocates of Kansas statehood. It contained clauses protecting slaveholding and a bill of rights excluding free blacks, and it added to the frictions leading up to the U.S. Civil War. Though it was rejected in a territorial election (January 1858), Pres. James Buchanan subsequently recommended statehood for Kansas under its provisions. Congress balked, and a compromise was offered calling for resubmission of the constitution to the territory's voters. Kansas again rejected it the following August and was admitted to the Union as a free state on Jan. 29, 1861.
Douglas Debates- A series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, both running for U.S. Senate representative from Illinois. The two argued the important issues of the day like popular sovereignty, the Lecompton Constitution and the Dred Scott decision. Douglas won the senate seat debates, but Lincoln's position in these debates helped him beat Douglas in the 1860 presidential election.
Freeport Doctrine 1858
Stephen Douglas's doctrine that, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, slavery could be excluded from territories of the United States by local legislation. Although propounded earlier and elsewhere, this solution of the apparent inconsistency between popular sovereignty and the Dred Scott decision, advanced at the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 in Freeport, Illinois, came to be known as the Freeport Doctrine. By thus answering Abraham Lincoln's questions on slavery, Douglas was able to hold his Illinois followers and secure reelection to the Senate, but the extensive publicity the doctrine received killed his chance of Southern support for the presidency in 1860.
William Seward
United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. An outspoken opponent of the spread of slavery in the years leading up to the American Civil War, he was a dominant figure in the Republican Party in its formative years, and was widely regarded as the leading contender for the party's presidential nomination in 1860 - yet his very outspokenness may have cost him the nomination, and he lost to Lincoln.
Election of 1860
election that set the stage for the American Civil War. The nation had been divided throughout most of the 1850s on questions of states' rights and slavery in the territories. In 1860, this issue finally came to a head, fracturing the formerly dominant Democratic Party into Southern and Northern factions and bringing Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party to power without the support of a single Southern state. Hardly more than a month following Lincoln's victory came declarations of secession by South Carolina and other states, which were rejected as illegal by outgoing President James Buchanan and President-elect Lincoln.
Jefferson Davis
a war hero from the Mexican war, and Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce, be announced the secession of Mississippi from the Union following the election of Lincoln. He hoped for command of the Confederate armies, but instead he became a compromise provisional president in January 1861 and was confirmed by popular vote in December.
Crittenden Compromise 1860
an unsuccessful last-minute effort to avert the Civil War. It was proposed in Congress as a constitutional amendment in Dec., 1860, by Sen. John J. Crittenden of Kentucky with support from the National Union party. Basically, it accepted the boundary between free and slave states that had been set by the Missouri Compromise (1820-21), extended the line to California, and assured the continuation of slavery where it already existed. In addition, it advocated slavery in the District of Columbia, upheld the fugitive slave law (1850) with minor modifications, and called for vigorous suppression of the African slave trade.It failed in the House of Representatives in Jan., 1861, by a vote of 113 to 80 and in the Senate in March by a vote of 20 to 19. Its defeat made clear the inevitability of the Civil War.
Fort Sumter 1861
the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, that started the American Civil War. Following declarations of secession by seven Southern states, South Carolina demanded that the U.S. Army abandon Fort Sumter since the fort was located in South Carolina territory and South Carolina no longer considered itself part of the Union. The Union refused to relinquish the fort. When the ultimatum deadline passed, an artillery barrage ensued, lasting until the fort was surrendered. There was no loss of life on either side as a direct result of this engagement. Border States- slave states which did not declare their secession from the United States before April 1861. Four slave states never declared a secession: Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri, and four others did not declare secession until after the 1861 Battle of Fort Sumter: Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Also included as a border state during the war is West Virginia, which broke away from Confederate Virginia and became a new state in the Union. In all the border states there was a wide consensus against military coercion of the Confederacy. When Lincoln called for troops to march south to recapture Fort Sumter and other national possessions, local Unionists were dismayed, and secessionists in Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia were successful in getting those states to also declare independence from the U.S. and to join the Confederacy. In Kentucky and Missouri, there were both pro-Confederate and pro-Union governments. West Virginia was formed in 1862-63 from those northwestern counties of Virginia which had remained loyal to the Union and set up a loyalist state government of Virginia.
Robert E. Lee
commanding general of the Confederate army and a postwar icon of the South's "lost cause." At the outbreak of the Civil War, he faced a difficult decision. He personally disliked the institution of slavery, opposed secession by Virginia, loved the army, and revered the Union, but was a Southerner at heart. Refusing to participate in an invasion of the seceded states, he declined to accept a military command offered by Abraham Lincoln. When Virginia seceded, he resigned from the northern army and, In March 1862, was recalled to Virginia to check George McClellan's move toward Richmond. The experienced early success at the Seven Days' Battles (June-July 1862), the first major Confederate success since First Bull Run, and at Second Bull Run (August). His fortunes were reversed at the Battle of Antietam(September), but turned again at Fredericksburg (December) and Chancellorsville (May 1863). The disaster at Gettysburg (1863), defeated his hopes for Southern victory.
George McClellan
a major general during the American Civil War who organized the famous Army of the Potomac and played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union. Although he was meticulous in his planning and preparations, these characteristics may have hampered his ability to challenge aggressive opponents in a fast-moving battlefield environment. He chronically overestimated the strength of enemy units and was reluctant to apply principles of mass, frequently leaving large portions of his army unengaged at decisive points. His Peninsula Campaign in 1862 ended in failure, with retreats from attacks by General Robert E. Lee's smaller Army of Northern Virginia and an unfulfilled plan to seize the Confederate capital of Richmond. His performance at the bloody Battle of Antietam ended in a draw, despite outnumbering the Confederates. As a result, his leadership skills during battles were questioned by President Abraham Lincoln, who eventually removed him from command. After he was relieved of command, he became the unsuccessful Democratic nominee opposing Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election. His party had an anti-war platform, promising to end the war and negotiate with the Confederacy, which he was forced to repudiate, damaging the effectiveness of his campaign.
First Battle At Bull Run 1861
The initial major battle of the Civil War occurred on July 21, 1861 about 30 miles south of Washington. Union forces charged the opposition lines several times and nearly broke through. The Confederates were bolstered by the courageous leadership of General Thomas J. Jackson, who stood like a "stone wall," oblivious to enemy fire. The arrival of Johnston's soldiers enabled the Confederates to mount a charge that broke the Union lines. Northern forces fled toward Washington, D.C. he encounter at Bull Run ended all thought in the North that the war would be short and easily won. Southerners were elated, believing that their hopes of a quick victory might be realized.
Monitor v. Merrimack 1862
the most noted naval battle of the Civil War, it was fought over two days, March 8-9, 1862, in Hampton Roads, a roadstead in Virginia. The battle was a part of the effort of the Confederacy to break the Union blockade, which had cut off Virginia's largest cities, Norfolk and Richmond, from international trade. The major significance of the battle is that it was the first meeting in combat of ironclad warships. The battle received worldwide attention, and it had immediate effects on navies around the world. The preeminent naval powers, Great Britain and France, halted further construction of wooden-hulled ships, and others followed suit. A new type of warship was produced, and the use of a small number of very heavy guns, mounted so that they could fire in all directions soon became standard in warships of all types. (It was a draw)
Antietam 1862
battle fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, was 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 about 23,000 casualties. Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, it had unique significance as enough of a victory to give President Abraham Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, which discouraged the British and French governments from potential plans for recognition of the Confederacy.
Emancipation Proclamation 1862
an executive order issued by President Lincoln that proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with the rest freed as Union armies advanced. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln announced that he would issue a formal emancipation of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. The actual order was signed and issued January 1, 1863; it named the locations under Confederate control where it would apply.
Gettysburg 1862
military battle in June of 1862 when Lee was defeated by the Union army, under General George Meade. This was the bloodiest overall battle of the war, with 24,000 casualties suffered by the North and 28,000 by the South. Lee's army was forced to retreat to Virginia and would never again be able to mount an attack into Northern territory. Some military historians claim that the fate of the Confederate army was sealed by their defeat at Gettysburg.
Ulysses S. Grant
18th president of the United States and commander for the Union during the Civil War. Under his command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America. Fighting in the Mexican American War, he was a close observer of the techniques of Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. he fought a series of major battles and captured a Confederate army, and at the bloody Battle of Shiloh earned a reputation as an aggressive general who seized control of most of Kentucky and Tennessee. He then confronted Robert E. Lee in a series of very high casualty battles and finally captured Richmond, the Confederate capital, in April 1865.The Confederacy collapsed and the Civil War ended.
Vicksburg 1863
a series of maneuvers and battles in the Western Theater of the American Civil War directed against Vicksburg, Mississippi, a fortress city that dominated the last Confederate-controlled section of the Mississippi River. The Union Army of the Tennessee under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant gained control of the river by capturing this stronghold and defeating Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton's forces stationed there.
William Tecumseh Sherman
an American soldier who served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War, for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the "scorched earth" policies that he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States. He served under General Ulysses S. Grant in 1862 and 1863 during the campaigns that led to the fall of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River and culminated with the routing of the Confederate armies in the state of Tennessee. Then he commanded the March to the Sea, inflicting significant damage on industry, infrastructure, and civilian property in Atlanta.
March to the Sea 1864
The campaign conducted around Georgia during November-December 1864 by William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army in the American Civil War. The campaign began with Sherman's troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia on November 15 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. It inflicted significant damage, particularly to industry and infrastructure, and also to civilian property.
Trent Affair 1861
an international diplomatic incident that occurred during the American Civil War when the USS San Jacinto, commanded by Union Captain Charles Wilkes, intercepted the British mail packet Trent and removed as contraband of war two Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell. The envoys were bound for Great Britain and France to press the Confederacy's case for diplomatic recognition by Europe. The initial reaction in the United States was to rally against Britain, threatening war; but President Abraham Lincoln and his top advisors did not want to risk war. In the Confederate States, the hope was that the incident would lead to a permanent rupture in Anglo-American relations and even diplomatic recognition by Britain of the Confederacy. Confederates realized their independence potentially depended on a war between Britain and the U.S. In Britain, the public expressed outrage at this violation of neutral rights and insult to their national honor. The British government demanded an apology and the release of the prisoners while it took steps to strengthen its military forces in Canada and the Atlantic. The crisis was resolved when the Lincoln administration released the envoys and disavowed Captain Wilkes's actions. Mason and Slidell resumed their voyage to Britain but failed in their goal of achieving diplomatic recognition.
The Alabama Claims (Civ War) 1862
a series of claims for damages by the United States government against the government of Great Britain for the assistance given to the Confederate cause during the American Civil War. After international arbitration endorsed the American position in 1872, Britain settled the matter by paying the U.S. $15.5 million for damages done by several warships built in Britain and sold to the Confederacy, thus ending the dispute and ensuring friendly relations.
NY City Draft Riot 1863
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. The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history apart from the Civil War itself. President Abraham Lincoln sent several regiments of militia and volunteer troops to control the city. The rioters were overwhelmingly working class men, resentful, among other reasons, because the draft unfairly affected them while sparing wealthier men, who could afford to pay a $300.00 Commutation Fee to exclude themselves from its reach. Initially intended to express anger at the draft, the protests turned ugly and some were killed. The military suppressed the mob using artillery and fixed bayonets, but not before numerous buildings were ransacked or destroyed, including many homes and an orphanage for black children.
Election of 1864
election when incumbent Abraham Lincoln was re-elected as president. Lincoln ran under the National Union banner against his former top Civil War general, the Democratic candidate, George B. McClellan. McClellan was the "peace candidate" but did not personally believe in his party's platform. The election occurred during the Civil War; none of the states loyal to the Confederate States of America participated.
Appomattox 1865
a series of battles fought March 29 - April 9, 1865, in Virginia that culminated in the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and the effective end of the American Civil War. Cornered, outnumbered, and short of supplies, Lee finally agreed to surrender his army on April 9 at Appomattox Court House.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
a federal law in the United States regarding everyone born in the U.S. and not subject to any foreign power is a citizen, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude. As citizens they could make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property. Persons who denied these rights to former slaves were guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction faced a fine not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both. The activities of organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan undermined the workings of this act and it failed to guarantee the civil rights of African Americans. It was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, then passed over his veto by Radical Republicans in Congress.
Fourteenth Amendment 1868
Amendment to the Constitution in 1868 who's Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford , which held that blacks could not be citizens of the United States. Its Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken. Its Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause later became the basis for Brown v. Board of Education.
Fifteenth Amendment 1870
Amendment that prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (i.e., slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870.
Military Reconstruction Act 1867
bill in 1867 that reduced the secessionist states to little more than conquered territory, dividing them into five military districts, each governed by a Union general. Congress declared martial law in the territories, dispatching troops to keep the peace and protect former slaves.
Hiram Revels
the first African American to serve in the United States Senate. Since he preceded any African American in the House, he was the first African American in the U.S. Congress as well. He represented Mississippi in 1870 and 1871 during Reconstruction.
a derogatory term applied to native white Southerners who supported the federal reconstruction plan and cooperated with the blacks in order to achieve their ends.
also a term of derision, but applied to Northerners who went South during Reconstruction, motivated by either profit or idealism. Despite the negative connotation of the name, many carpetbaggers were sincerely interested in aiding the freedom and education of the former slaves.
political coalition in the Southern United States during the Reconstruction era, who sought to oust the Republican coalition of freedmen, carpetbaggers and scalawags. They were the southern wing of the Bourbon Democrats, who were the conservative, pro-business wing of the Democratic Party.
Credit Mobilier 1872
scandal that involved the Union Pacific Railroad and the Crédit Mobilier of America construction company in the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. The distribution of Crédit Mobilier shares of stock by Congressman Oakes Ames along with cash bribes to congressmen took place during the Andrew Johnson presidency in 1868. The revelation of the congressmen who received cash bribes or shares in Crédit Mobilier took place during the Ulysses S. Grant administration in 1872.
Whiskey Ring 1875
a scandal involving diversion of tax revenues in a conspiracy among government agents, politicians, whiskey distillers, and distributors. Before they were caught, a group of mostly Republican politicians were able to siphon off millions of dollars in federal taxes on liquor; U.S. It was seen by many as a sign of corruption under the Republican governments, and President Ulysses S. Grant, although not directly involved in the ring, came to be seen as emblematic of Republican corruption. This, along with other alleged abuses of power by the Republican party, contributed to national weariness of Reconstruction, which ended after Grant's presidency with the Compromise of 1877.
Horace Greeley
American newspaper editor who's New York Tribune was America's most influential newspaper from the 1840s to the 1870s and "established his reputation as the greatest editor of his day." Crusading against the corruption of Ulysses S. Grant's Republican administration, he was the new Liberal Republican Party's candidate in the 1872 U.S. presidential election. Despite having the additional support of the Democratic Party, he lost in a landslide. He is currently the only presidential candidate to have died prior to the counting of electoral votes.
Rutherford B. Hayes
a reformer who began the efforts that would lead to civil service reform and attempted, unsuccessfully, to reconcile the divisions that had led to the American Civil War fifteen years earlier. In 1876, he was elected president in one of the most contentious and hotly disputed elections in American history. Although he lost the popular vote to Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, he won the presidency by just one electoral vote after a congressional commission awarded him twenty disputed electoral votes. The result was the Compromise of 1877, in which the Democrats acquiesced to his election and he accepted the end of military occupation of the South. He believed in meritocratic government, equal treatment without regard to race, and improvement through education. He ordered federal troops to suppress the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and ordered them out of Southern capitals as Reconstruction ended. He battled with Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress to begin gradual civil service reforms, laying the groundwork for the greater reforms of the 1880s and 1890s.
Samuel J. Tilden
Democratic candidate for the U.S. presidency in the disputed election of 1876, one of the most controversial American elections of the 19th century. A political reformer, he was a Bourbon Democrat who worked closely with the New York City business community, led the fight against the corruption of Tammany Hall, and fought to keep taxes low.
Jim Crow Laws
state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965 that mandated racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans. In reality, this led to treatment and accommodations that were usually inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages.
Plessy v Ferguson 1896
a landmark United States Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in private businesses (particularly railroads), under the doctrine of "separate but equal". "Separate but equal" remained standard doctrine in U.S. law until its repudiation in the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education. The issue first arose when Homer Plessy, a bi-racial man, refused to move to the "colored" section of a train in Louisiana.
W.E.B. DuBois
an intellectual leader of the black community in America who graduated from Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D in History, making him Harvard's first African-American to earn a Ph.D. Later he became a professor of history and economics at Atlanta University. He became the head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1910, becoming founder and editor of the NAACP's journal The Crisis. He rose to national attention in his opposition of Booker T. Washington's ideas of accommodation with Jim Crow separation between whites and blacks and disenfranchisement of blacks, campaigning instead for increased political representation for blacks in order to guarantee civil rights, and the formation of a Black elite that would work for the progress of the African American race.
"Talented tenth"
an influential essay written by W. E. B. Du Bois and published in September 1903. Du Bois used the term to describe the likelihood of one in ten black men becoming leaders of their race in the world, through methods such as continuing their education, writing books, or becoming directly involved in social change. He strongly believed that blacks needed a classical education to be able to reach their potential, rather than the industrial education promoted by such people as Booker T. Washington.
Ida B. Wells
an African American journalist, newspaper editor and, with her husband, newspaper owner Ferdinand L. Barnett, an early leader in the civil rights movement. She documented the extent of lynching in the United States, and was also active in the women's rights movement and the women's suffrage movement.
one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States, was founded in 1909 by a group of bi-racial activists. Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination." United in its opposition to the preaching of Booker T. Washington, who urged blacks to accept segregation, the group first sought to make whites aware of the need for racial equality. The organization launched a program of speechmaking, lobbying, and publicizing the issue of racial discrimination and inequality in housing, education, employment, voting, and transportation. It also launched the Crisis, a magazine edited for 25 years by the black intellectual and leader, W.E.B. DuBois. It also publicized the evils of the Jim Crow Laws, and worked to stop lynching.
Literacy test, poll tax, grandfather clause
a series of laws placed on blacks to inhibit them in the time period after reconstruction
Poll taxes
taxes on people voting, blacks were too poor to pay so they couldn't vote
Literacy tests to vote
blacks always failed these tests and therefore couldn't vote
Grandfather clause
you can vote only if your grandfather could vote, basically says that any black who's grandparents were slaves can't vote
National Woman Suffrage Association 1869
formed on May 15, 1869 in New York City in response to a split in the American Equal Rights Association over whether the woman's movement should support the Fifteenth Amendment. Its founders, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, opposed the Fifteenth Amendment unless it included the vote for women. Men were able to join the organization as members; however, women solely controlled the leadership of the group. The group worked to secure women's enfranchisement through a federal constitutional amendment.
American Woman Suffrage Association 1869
formed in November 1869 in response to a split in the American Equal Rights Association over the Fifteenth Amendment, its founders included Lucy Stone, and Henry Blackwell. They were staunch abolitionists, and strongly supported securing the right to vote for the Negro. They believed that the Fifteenth Amendment would be in danger of failing to pass in Congress if it included the vote for women. They believed success and women's suffrage could be more easily achieved through state-by-state campaigns.
Morrill Act 1862
United States statutes that allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges
Pacific Railway Act 1862
a series of acts of Congress that promoted the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the United States through authorizing the issuance of government bonds and the grants of land to railroad companies.
Homestead Act 1862
one of two United States federal laws that gave an applicant freehold title to up to 160 acres of undeveloped federal land outside the original Thirteen Colonies. The law required three steps: file an application, improve the land, and file for deed of title. Anyone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government, including freed slaves, could file an application and evidence of improvements to a federal land area. The occupant also had to be 21 or older and had to live on the land for five years.
Comstock Lode (boom 1859)
the first major U.S. discovery of silver ore, located under what is now Virginia City, Nevada, on the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range. After the discovery was made public in 1859, prospectors rushed to the area and scrambled to stake their claims. Mining camps soon thrived in the vicinity, which became bustling centers of fabulous wealth. It is notable not just for the immense fortunes it generated and the large role those fortunes had in the growth of Nevada and San Francisco, but also for the advances in mining technology that it spurred. The mines declined after 1874.
Chisholm Trail
a trail used in the late 1800s to drive cattle overland from ranches in Texas to Kansas railheads. The trail stretched from the Red River, and on to the railhead of the Kansas Pacific Railway in Abilene, Kansas, where the cattle would be sold and shipped eastward. The Chisholm trail stretched from around San Antonio, Texas to Abilene, Kansas.
Oklahoma Land Rush 1890s
historical event in which previously-restricted land of the United States was opened for homesteading on a first arrival basis. Some newly opened lands were sold first-come, sold by bid, or won by lottery, or by means other than a run. The settlers, no matter how they acquired occupancy, purchased the land from the United States Land Office. For former Indian lands, the Land Office distributed the funds to the various tribal entities according to previously negotiated terms.
Helen Hunt Jackson
an American writer who became an activist to improve United States government treatment of Native Americans. She wrote newspaper articles and directly to government officials. In 1881, she published A Century of Dishonor, about the adverse effects of government actions, and sent a copy to each member of Congress. She gained the widest publicity with her novel Ramona, dramatizing the ill treatment by the United States (US) government of Native Americans in Southern California. It was generally received more as a romance than political novel.
Sand Creek Massacre 1864
an incident in the Indian Wars of the United States that occurred on November 29, 1864, when a 700-man force of Colorado Territory militia attacked and destroyed a village of friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho encamped in southeastern Colorado Territory, killing and mutilating an estimated 70-163 Indians, about two-thirds of whom were women and children. The location has been designated a National Historic Site and is administered by the National Park Service.
Red Cloud
a war leader and the head Chief of the Sioux, his reign was from 1868 to 1909. One of the most capable Native American opponents the United States Army faced, he led a successful conflict in 1866-1868 known as Red Cloud's War over control of the Powder River Country in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana. After the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), he led his people in the important transition to reservation life. Some of his US opponents thought of him as overall leader of the Sioux, but this was mistaken. The large tribe had several major divisions and was highly decentralized. Bands among the Oglala and other divisions operated independently, even though some individual leaders such as Red Cloud were renowned as warriors.
1st & 2nd Sioux Wars 1876
6- a series of conflicts between the United States and the Sioux people that occurred in the latter half of the 19th century. The earliest conflict came in 1854 when a fight broke out at Fort Laramie in Wyoming, when Indian warriors killed 29 U.S. soldiers after their chief was shot in the back, in what became known as the Grattan Massacre. The U.S. exacted revenge the next year by killing approximately 100 Sioux in Nebraska.
Battle of the Little Bighorn 1876
an armed engagement between combined forces of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho people against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army near the Little Bighorn River in eastern Montana Territory The battle was the most famous action of the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. It was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, led by several major war leaders. The U.S. Seventh Cavalry, including the Custer Battalion, a force of 700 men led by George Armstrong Custer, suffered a severe defeat. Five of the Seventh's companies were annihilated; Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law. Total U.S. deaths were 268, including scouts, and 55 were wounded.
Sitting Bull
a Sioux holy man who led his people as a war chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. He is notable in American and Native American history for his role in the major victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn against Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment on June 25, 1876, where his premonition of defeating the cavalry became reality. Seven months after the battle, he and his group left the United States to Saskatchewan, where he remained until 1881, at which time he surrendered to US forces. During an ensuing struggle between his followers and the agency police trying to arrest him, he was shot in the side and head by Standing Rock policemen.
Nez Perce 1877
an armed conflict between the Nez Perce and the United States government fought in 1877 as part of the American Indian Wars. After a series of battles in which both the U.S. Army and native people sustained significant casualties, the Nez Perce surrendered and were relocated to an Indian reservation. The Nez Perce were led by several individuals, most notably Chief Joseph. The American Army was represented mainly by General Oliver Otis Howard.
Ghost Dance
a religious movement which was incorporated into numerous Native American belief systems. As the movement spread from its original source, Native American tribes synthesized selective aspects of the ritual with their own beliefs. This process often created change in both the society that integrated it and the ritual. The chief figure in the movement was the prophet of peace, Jack Wilson, known as Wovoka among the Paiute. He prophesied a peaceful end to white American expansion while preaching goals of clean living, an honest life, and cross-cultural cooperation by Native Americans. Practice of the movement was believed to have contributed to Lakota resistance. In the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, US Army forces killed at least 153 Lakota Sioux. The Sioux variation on the dance tended towards millenarianism, an innovation that distinguished the Sioux interpretation from Jack Wilson's original teachings.
Battle of Wounded Knee 1890
a confrontation between the Sioux Indians and the Americans on December 29,1890 on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. On the day before, a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside intercepted Spotted Elk's band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them 5 miles westward (8 km) to Wounded Knee Creek where they made camp. The rest of the 7th Cavalry Regiment arrived led by Colonel James Forsyth and surrounded the encampment supported by four Hotchkiss guns. On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle claiming he had paid a lot for it. A scuffle over Black Coyote's rifle escalated and a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry opening firing indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow troopers. Those few Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking troopers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.
Dawes Act 1887
enacted by the U.S. Congress regarding the distribution of land to Native Americans in Oklahoma. The act was signed in 1887 and remained in effect until 1934. The act provided for the division of tribally held lands into individually-owned parcels and opening "surplus" lands to settlement by non-Indians and development by railroads.
Cattle Frontier
supplanted the miners after the Civil War. At first, cattle-ranchers settled in Texas to pursue range ranching, an activity requiring ranchers to drive huge herds of cattle hundreds of miles over open grasslands to designated slaughter depots.
Mining Frontier
miners flocked to Idaho and Montana in the 1860s and followed the lure of gold into the Black Hills in the Dakota territory in 1875 (a violation of Sioux treaty rights that led to the Battle of the Little Bighorn). The last gold rush of the century brought miners to the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory in 1897. The mining boom also brought government to the Mountain West, first through vigilante committees that provided swift justice to those who broke the law. Several areas became territories and states sooner than they would have without the mining rush. Nevada, for instance, was admitted to the Union in 1864, just five years after the discovery of the Comstock Lode.
Frontier Thesis 1893
the argument advanced by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893 that the origin of the distinctive egalitarian, democratic, aggressive, and innovative features of the American character has been the American frontier experience. He stressed the process—the moving frontier line—and the impact it had on pioneers going through the process. In the thesis, the frontier created freedom, by "breaking the bonds of custom, offering new experiences, [and] calling out new institutions and activities."
Frederick Jackson Turner
influential American historian in the early 20th century best known for his Frontier Thesis, which stated that the American frontier was closed, and America had now to turn to new activities- i.e. industrialism.
Frederick Winslow Taylor
an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is regarded as the father of scientific management and was one of the first management consultants. Taylor was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and his ideas, broadly conceived, were highly influential in the Progressive Era.
Robber Baron
the name given to unscrupulous and despotic nobility of the medieval period in Europe. It has slightly different meanings in different countries. In modern US parlance, the term is used to describe unscrupulous industrialists.
Horizontal integration
a strategy used by a business or corporation that seeks to sell a type of product in numerous markets. It occurs when a firm is being taken over by, or merged with, another firm which is in the same industry and in the same stage of production as the merged firm, e.g. a car manufacturer merging with another car manufacturer. In this case both the companies are in the same stage of production and also in the same industry. This process is also known as a "buy out" or "take-over".
Vertical integration
a style of management control where the supply chain s united through a common owner. Usually each member of the supply chain produces a different product or (market-specific) service, and the products combine to satisfy a common need. Nineteenth century steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie introduced the concept and used the system to promote better financial growth and efficiency in their businesses.
U. S. Steel
an integrated steel producer that was founded by J.P Morgan in 1901 and merged with Carnegie's steel company. It soon became the world's first billion dollar company.
J. P. Morgan
an American financier, banker and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892 he arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing the creation of the Federal Steel Company he merged in 1901the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron businesses to form the United States Steel Corporation.
John D. Rockefeller
an American oil magnate who revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and aggressively ran it until he officially retired in 1897. Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership, but kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, his wealth soared, and he became the world's richest man and first American worth more than a billion dollars.
Standard Oil
a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations. John D. Rockefeller was a founder, chairman and major shareholder. As it grew exponentially and engaged in business strategies, tactics and practices that were lawful but drove many smaller businesses under, it became widely criticized in the public eye, even as it made Rockefeller the richest man in modern history.
Herbert Spencer
an English philosopher, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist who developed a conception evolution as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, and human culture and societies. He is best known for coining the concept "survival of the fittest", a term that strongly suggests natural selection.
William Graham Sumner
an American academic and professor at Yale College. For many years he had a reputation as one of the most influential teachers there. He was a staunch defender of laissez faire, saying it was justified by the laws of evolution and Social Darwinism.
Henry George
American writer, politician and political economist, who was the most influential proponent of the land value tax, also known as the "single tax" on land. He inspired the philosophy and economic ideology known as Georgism, which is that everyone owns what he or she creates, but that everything found in nature, most importantly land, belongs equally to all humanity. His most famous work is Progress and Poverty written during 1879; it is a treatise on inequality, the cyclic nature of industrial economies and possible remedies.
Edward Bellamy
American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel Looking Backward.
Set in Boston in the year 2000, he described the United States under an ideal socialist system that featured cooperation, brotherhood, and an industry geared to human need. The novel, which sold more than 1,000,000 copies, appealed to a public still suffering the effects of the depression of 1883. As a socialist, he became an active propagandist for the nationalization of public services, and his ideas encouraged the foundation of Nationalist clubs.
Gospel of Wealth
an essay written by Andrew Carnegie in 1889 that described the responsibility of philanthropy by the new upper class of self-made rich. The central thesis of Carnegie's essay was the peril of allowing large sums of money to be passed into the hands of persons or organizations ill-equipped mentally or emotionally to cope with them. As a result, the wealthy entrepreneur must assume the responsibility of distributing his fortune in a way that it will be put to good use, and not wasted on frivolous expenditure.
Horatio Alger
In 1867, published the first of more than 100 short novels depicting rags-to-riches stories meant to inspire the nation's youth. Bearing such titles as Ragged Dick and Tattered Tom, the novels traced the rise of street urchins to positions of wealth and prominence. The virtues of loyalty, hard work, faith, thrift and clean living were trumpeted. His work was intended to convey the idea that great rewards awaited those who applied themselves and followed the rules.
American Protective Association
an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant group that briefly acquired a membership greater than 2,000,000 during the 1890s. A successor in spirit and outlook to the pre-Civil War Know-Nothing Party, it was founded by Henry F. Bowers at Clinton, Iowa, in 1887. It was a secret society that played upon the fears of rural Americans about the growth and political power of immigrant-populated cities.
Chinese Exclusion Act 1882
United States federal law signed by Chester A. Arthur on May 8, 1882, following revisions made in 1880 to the Burlingame Treaty of 1868. Those revisions allowed the U.S. to suspend immigration, and Congress subsequently acted quickly to implement the suspension of Chinese immigration, a ban that was intended to last 10 years.
Dumbbell tenement
tenements built in New York City after the Tenement House Act of 1879 and before the New York State Tenement House Act of 1901.The 1879 law required that every inhabitable room have a window opening to plain air, a requirement that was met by including air shafts between adjacent buildings. They were built in great numbers to accommodate waves of immigrating Europeans from troubled nations.
Jacob Riis
a Danish American social reformer, muckraking journalist and social documentary photographer. He is known for his dedication to using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the impoverished in New York City, which was the subject of most of his prolific writings and photography. He helped with the implementation of "model tenements" in New York with the help of humanitarian Lawrence Veiller. As one of the most prominent proponents of the newly practicable flash, he is considered a pioneer in photography. While living in New York, he faced poverty and became a police reporter that covered quality of life in the slums. He alleviated much of the poor living conditions many lower class citizens were subjected to.
Louis Sullivan
an American architect, and has been called the "father of skyscrapers." He is considered by many as the creator of the modern skyscraper, was an influential architect and critic of the Chicago School, was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, and an inspiration to the Chicago group of architects who have come to be known as the Prairie School.
Social Gospel
a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The movement applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially social justice, inequality, liquor, crime, racial tensions, slums, bad hygiene, child labor, weak labor unions, poor schools, and the danger of war. The leaders believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort. They were predominantly associated with the liberal wing of the Progressive Movement , although they were typically conservative when it came to their views on social issues.
Charles W. Sheldon
an American minister in the Congregational churches and leader of the Social Gospel movement. His novel, In His Steps, introduced the principle of "What Would Jesus Do?" which articulated an approach to Christian theology that became popular at the turn of the 20th Century and had a revival almost one hundred years later.
John Dewey
an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology. He was a major representative of the progressive and progressive populist[2] philosophies of schooling during the first half of the 20th century in the USA. In his advocacy of democracy, he considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—as being major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. He asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully formed public opinion, accomplished by effective communication among citizens, experts, and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt.
Yellow Press
made up information that was prominent during the Gilded Age as it became clear that big headlines were what sold
Henry Demarest Lloyd
a 19th century American progressive political activist and a muckraking journalist. He is best remembered for his exposés of the Standard Oil Company and its monopolistic abuses.
a philosophical movement that includes those who claim that an ideology or proposition is true if and only if it works satisfactorily, that the meaning of a proposition is to be found in the practical consequences of accepting it, and that impractical ideas are to be rejected. The concept, in William James' eyes, was that the truth of an idea needed to be tested to prove its validity. Other important aspects include, radical empiricism, instrumentalism, verificationism, conceptual relativity, a denial of the fact-value distinction, a high regard for science, and fallibilism.
William James
a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a medical doctor. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism.
Black lists
big businesses would have lists of people in unions who were not to be hired
Yellow dog contract
an agreement between an employer and an employee in which the employee agrees, as a condition of employment, not to be a member of a labor union. In the United States, such contracts were, until the 1930s, widely used by employers to prevent the formation of unions, most often by permitting employers to take legal action against union organizers. In 1932, these contracts were outlawed in the United States under the Norris-LaGuardia Act.
when an employer prevents the employees from working. That is, during a strike, instead of giving in to the demands of the union, a company can continue on without those workers, holding out longer and eventually winning and either hiring new people or ending the strike.
those who would take jobs that opened up due to a strike in the field, going against the union
Company town
towns that were entirely centered upon one company. If a person chose to quit their job at that company, it became virtually impossible for them to find work in that town.
National Labor Union
the first national labor federation in the United States that was founded in 1866. It sought to bring together all of the national labor organizations in existence, as well as the "eight-hour leagues" established to press for the eight-hour day, to create a national federation that could press for labor reforms and help found national unions in those areas where none existed. The new organization favored arbitration over strikes and called for the creation of a national labor party as an alternative to the two existing parties. It drew much of its support from construction unions and other groups of skilled employees, but also invited the unskilled and farmers to join. It achieved an early success, but one that proved less significant in practice. In 1868, Congress passed the statute for which the Union had campaigned so hard, providing the eight-hour day for government workers. Many government agencies, however, reduced wages at the same time that they reduced hours. While President Grant ordered federal departments not to reduce wages, his order was ignored by many. It collapsed when it adopted the policy that electoral politics, with a particular emphasis on monetary reform, was the only means for advancing its agenda. The organization was spectacularly unsuccessful at the polls and lost virtually all of its union supporters, many of whom moved on to the newly formed Knights of Labor.
Terence Powderly
a highly visible national spokesman for the working man as head of the Knights of Labor from 1879 until 1893. Although the Knights claimed over 600,000 members at its peak in 1886, it was so poorly organized that he had little power.
American Federation of Labor
one of the first federations of labor unions in the United States, it was founded in 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor. As the Knights of Labor faded away, the coalition gradually gained strength with Samuel Gompers as its president. They were important in industrial cities, where they formed a central labor office to coordinate the actions of different unions. Most strikes were assertions of jurisdiction, so that the plumbers, for example, used strikes to ensure that all major construction projects in the city used union plumbers. To win they needed the support of other unions, hence the need for AFL solidarity. .Focused on higher wages and job security, the federation fought against socialism and the Socialist party.
Samuel Gompers
an English-born American labor union leader and a key figure in American labor history. He founded the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and served as that organization's president from 1886 to 1894 and from 1895 until his death in 1924. He promoted harmony among the different craft unions that comprised the AFL, trying to minimize jurisdictional battles. He promoted "thorough" organization and collective bargaining to secure shorter hours and higher wages, the first essential steps, he believed, to emancipating labor. He also encouraged the AFL to take political action to "elect their friends" and "defeat their enemies." During World War I, he and the AFL worked with the government to avoid strikes and boost morale, while raising wage rates and expanding membership.
Railroad Strike of 1877
as a result of economic depression, the railroad workers received massive pay cuts and consequently went on strike in 1877. Violence erupted and state militia units were brought in, but often proved to be ineffective because of their sympathy for the strikers. Responding to a request from the governor of West Virginia, President Hayes dispatched federal forces to protect the railroad—the first use of such soldiers in a labor matter. Demonstrations, general strikes and violence occurred in cities across the nation. Massive intervention by the federal government sank the strikers' spirits and buoyed those of management. The workers eventually capitulated, but harbored ill feeling against Hayes for his action. This was the starting signal for an era of strife between workers and owners.
Haymarket Square 1886
a demonstration and unrest that took place on Tuesday May 4, 1886, in Chicago. It began as a rally in support of striking workers, and an unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they dispersed the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of eight police officers, mostly from friendly fire, and an unknown number of civilians. In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were tried for murder. Four men were convicted and executed, and one committed suicide in prison, although the prosecution conceded none of the defendants had thrown the bomb.
Homestead Strike 1892
an industrial lockout and strike which began on June 30, 1892, culminating in a battle between strikers and private security agents on July 6, 1892. It was one of the most serious disputes in US labor history. The dispute occurred at the Homestead Steel Works in the Pittsburgh-area town of Homestead, Pennsylvania, between the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers and the Carnegie Steel Company. The final result was a major defeat for the union, and a setback for efforts to unionize steelworkers.
Henry Frick
American industrialist who founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the formation of the giant U.S. Steel steel manufacturing concern. He also financed the construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Company, and owned extensive real estate holding in Pittsburgh and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Once known by his critics as "the most hated man in America,"Portfolio.com named Frick one of the "Worst American CEOs of All Time" and he has long been vilified by the public and historians for his lack of morality and ruthlessness in business.
Pullman strike 1894
a nationwide conflict between labor unions and railroads that occurred in the United States in 1894. The conflict began in the town of Pullman, Illinois on May 11 when approximately 3,000 employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company began a wildcat strike in response to recent reductions in wages, bringing traffic west of Chicago to a halt. The American Railway Union, the nation's first industry-wide union, led by Eugene V. Debs, subsequently became embroiled in what The New York Times described as "a struggle between the greatest and most important labor organization and the entire railroad capital" that involved some 250,000 workers in 27 states at its peak. President Grover Cleveland ordered federal troops to Chicago to end the strike, causing debate within his own cabinet about whether the President had the constitutional authority to do so. The conflict peaked on July 6, shortly after the troops' arrival in the city, and ended several days later.
Eugene Victor Debs
American union leader, one of the founding members of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and several times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States. Hr was instrumental in the founding of the American Railway Union (ARU), the nation's first industrial union. When the ARU struck the Pullman Palace Car Company over pay cuts, he was imprisoned for failing to obey an injunction against the strike. In prison he educated himself about socialism and emerged to launch his career as the nation's most prominent socialist in the first decades of the 20th century. He ran as the Socialist Party's candidate for the presidency in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920, the last time from his prison cell.
Boss Tweed
an American politician most notable for being the "boss" of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York City. At the height of his influence, he was the third-largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railway, the Tenth National Bank, and the New-York Printing Company, as well as proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1852, and the New York County Board of Supervisors in 1858, the year he became the "Grand Sachem" of Tammany Hall. His greatest influence came from being an appointed member of a number of boards and commissions, his control over political patronage in New York City through Tammany, and his ability to ensure the loyalty of voters through jobs he could create and dispense on city-related projects. He was convicted for stealing an amount estimated by an aldermen's committee in 1877 at between $25 million and $45 million from New York City taxpayers through political corruption, and died in the Ludlow Street Jail.
Tammany Hall
a political/social party that was headed in 1868 by William Tweed. Tweed was successful with making the organization a statewide force, but was eventually brought down by a reform attorney, Samuel J. Tilden due to the massive amounts of corruption he ushered.
Thomas Nast
famed American cartoonist whose negative depictions of the corruption of city machines, in particular Boss Tweed, helped lead to the publication of numerous accounts that persecuted Tweed. Was bribed many times by Tweed to stop creating the political cartoons but refused.
Pendleton Act 1883
This was what some people called the Magna Carta of civil-service reform. It prohibited, at least on paper, financial assessments on jobholders. It created a merit system of making appointments to government jobs on the basis of aptitude rather than who you know, or the spoils system. It set up a Civil Service Commission, chaired with administering open competitive examinations to applicants for posts in the classified service. The people were forced, under this law, to take an exam before being hired to a governmental job position.
McKinley Tariff 1890
bill in 1890 sponsored by Republican Senator William McKinley of Ohio. The measure gained support from seemingly unlikely sources: Western and Southern Democrats. This was thanks to a bargain between these regional forces to support protectionism in return for cooperation on the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. The result was the highest protective tariff in American history to that point with an average rate of 48 percent. President Benjamin Harrison successfully persuaded his fellow Republicans to support provisions in the law in order to establish reciprocity. This led to a sharp rise in the prices of many products, and many who had supported the measure were defeated at the polls in 1892.
"Billion Dollar" congress
a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1891, during the first two years of the administration of U.S. President Benjamin Harrison. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Tenth Census of the United States in 1880. Both chambers had a Republican majority.
Bland Allison Act 1878
As a result of economic depression, in 1878 act of Congress requiring the U.S. Treasury to buy a certain amount of silver and put it into circulation as silver dollars. Though the bill was vetoed by President Rutherford B. Hayes, the Congress overrode Hayes' veto on February 28, 1878 to enact the law.
Sherman Silver Purchase Act 1890
passed by the U.S. Congress to replace the Bland-Allison Act of 1878. It not only required the U.S. government to purchase nearly twice as much silver as before, but also added substantially to the amount of money already in circulation. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act (supported by John Sherman only as a compromise with the advocates of free silver) threatened, when put into operation, to undermine the U.S. Treasury's gold reserves. After the panic of 1893 broke, President Cleveland called a special session of Congress and secured (1893) the repeal of the act.
The Grange
founded in 1867 as a fraternal organization for American farmers that encourages farm families to band together for their common economic and political well-being. In addition to serving as a center for many farming communities, it was an effective advocacy group for farmers and their agendas, including fighting railroad monopolies and advocating rural mail deliveries.
Greenback Party
an American political party with an anti-monopoly ideology that was active between 1874 and 1884. Its name referred to paper money, or "greenbacks," that had been issued during the American Civil War and afterward. The party opposed the shift from paper money back to a bullion coin-based monetary system because it believed that privately owned banks and corporations would then reacquire the power to define the value of products and labor. It also condemned the use of militias and private police against union strikes. Conversely, they believed that government control of the monetary system would allow it to keep more currency in circulation, as it had in the war. This would better foster business and assist farmers by raising prices and making debts easier to pay. It was established as a political party whose members were primarily farmers financially hurt by the Panic of 1873.
Free Silver
an important United States political policy issue in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Its advocates were in favor of an inflationary monetary policy using the "free coinage of silver"; its supporters were called "Silverites". It largely pitted the financial establishment of the Northeast, who were creditors and would be hurt by inflation, against the more rural areas of the country, who were debtors and would benefit from inflation: farmers in the Midwest, miners in the West, and Southerners still chafing against federal government control. The debate lasted from the Coinage Act of 1873, which demonetized silver, to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which radically overhauled the US monetary system, coming to a head in the presidential election of 1896, most memorably in the Cross of Gold speech. Throughout, Free Silver was consistently defeated. While the Free Silver movement ended, debates about inflation and monetary policy continue to this day.
Farmers' Alliances
group that originated as a social clique in order to relieve some of the boredom and tediousness of farm life. Eventually, this group became political and demanded things such as the coinage of silver, a graduated income tax, state ownership of railroads, and lower tariffs. Eventually this group would denounce politics and go back towards social aims. However it would lead way to the rise of the Populist party.
"Crime of '73"
when the government adopted the gold standard in 1873 and stop coining silver, people were extremely upset. Panic soon ensued, as speculation was rapid and banks collapsed.
Wabash v. IL 1886
a Supreme Court decision in 1886 that narrowed the Munn v. Illinois favorable to state regulation of those phases of interstate commerce upon which Congress itself had not acted. The court declared invalid an Illinois law prohibiting long- and short-haul clauses in transportation contracts as an infringement on the exclusive powers of Congress granted by the commerce clause of the Constitution. The result of the case was denial of state power to regulate interstate rates for railroads, and the decision led to creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Interstate Commerce Act 1887
a law that was designed to regulate the railroad industry, particularly its monopolistic practices. The Act required that railroad rates be "reasonable and just," but did not empower the government to fix specific rates. It also required that railroads publicize shipping rates and prohibited short haul/long haul fare discrimination, a form of price discrimination against smaller markets, particularly farmers. The Act created a federal regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which it charged with monitoring railroads to ensure that they complied with the new regulations. The Act was the first federal law to regulate private industry in the United States.
Sherman Antitrust Act 1890
Act that requires the United States federal government to investigate and pursue trusts, companies, and organizations suspected of violating the Act. It was the first Federal statute to limit cartels and monopolies; however, for the most part, politicians were unwilling to refer to the law until Theodore Roosevelt's presidency (1901-1909).
U.S. v. E.C. Knight 1895
a United States Supreme Court case that limited the government's power to control monopolies. The case, which was the first heard by the Supreme Court concerning the Sherman Antitrust Act, was in response to the "Sugar Trust" monopoly on sugar. The justification for the final ruling was that government could only constitutionally regulate interstate trade, but not commerce.
Election of 1892
election between former president Grover Cleveland and incumbent President Benjamin Harrison. Cleveland defeated Harrison, thus becoming the only person in US history to be elected to a second, non-consecutive presidential term. Cleveland, who had won the popular vote against Harrison in 1888, lost the electoral vote which cost him re-election. He won both the popular and electoral vote in the rematch election. The campaign centered mainly on the issue of a sound currency. The new Populist Party, formed by groups from the Grange, the Farmers' Alliances, and the Knights of Labor, polled more than a million votes. But Cleveland won easily.
Depression of 1893
a serious economic depression in the United States that, similar to the Panic of 1873, was marked by the collapse of railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures. Compounding market overbuilding and the railroad bubble, was a run on the gold supply (relative to silver), because of the long-established American policy of Bimetalism, which used both silver and gold metals at a fixed 16:1 rate for pegging the value of the US Dollar. Until the Great Depression, this depression was considered the worst depression the United States had ever experienced.
Jacob Coxey
a socialist American politician, who ran for elective office several times in Ohio. He twice led Coxey's Army in 1894 and 1914, consisting of a group of unemployed men that he led on marches from Massillon, Ohio to Washington, D.C. to present a "Petition in Boots" demanding that the United States Congress allocate enough money to create jobs for the unemployed. Although his march failed, Coxey's Army was a harbinger of an issue that would rise to prominence as unemployment insurance would become a key element in the future Social Security Act.
Wilson Gorman Tariff 1894
slightly reduced the United States tariff rates from the numbers set in the 1890 McKinley tariff and imposed a 2% income tax. Supported by the Democrats, this attempt at tariff reform was important because it imposed the first peacetime income tax (2% on income over $4,000 or $88,100 in 2010 dollars, which meant fewer than 10% of households would pay any). The purpose of the income tax was to make up for revenue that would be lost by tariff reductions. The bill introduced by Wilson and passed by the House significantly lowered tariff rates, in accord with Democratic platform promises, and dropped the tariff to zero on iron ore, coal, lumber and wool, which angered American producers. With Senator Gorman operating behind the scenes, protectionists in the Senate added more than 600 amendments that nullified most of the reforms and raised rates again. The "Sugar Trust" in particular made changes that favored itself at the expense of the consumer. INCOME TAX!
Pollack Case 1895
a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the unapportioned income taxes on interest, dividends and rents imposed by the Income Tax Act of 1894 were, in effect, direct taxes, and were unconstitutional because they violated the provision that direct taxes be apportioned. The decision was nullified in 1913 by Amendment XVI to the US Constitution.
William Jennings Bryan
an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States(1896, 1900 and 1908).Because of his faith in the goodness and rightness of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner." In the intensely fought 1896 and 1900 elections, he was defeated by William McKinley but retained control of the Democratic Party. With over 500 speeches in 1896, he invented the national stumping tour, in an era when other presidential candidates stayed home. In his three presidential bids, he promoted Free Silver in 1896, anti-imperialism in 1900, and trust-busting in 1908, calling on Democrats to fight the trusts (big corporations) and big banks, and embrace anti-elitist ideals of republicanism.
William McKinley
25th President of the United States, was a national Republican leader; his signature issue was high tariffs on imports as a formula for prosperity, as typified by his McKinley Tariff of 1890. As the Republican candidate in the 1896 presidential election against Democrat William Jennings Bryan, he upheld the gold standard, and promoted pluralism among ethnic groups. His campaign, introduced new advertising-style campaign techniques that revolutionized campaign practices and beat back the crusading of his arch-rival, William Jennings Bryan. The 1896 election is often considered a realigning election that marked the beginning of the Progressive Era. He presided over a return to prosperity after the Panic of 1893, and made gold the base of the currency.
Lincoln Steffens
an American journalist, lecturer, and political philosopher, and one of the most famous practitioners of the journalistic style called muckraking.
Ida Tarbell
an American teacher, author and journalist known as one of the leading "muckrakers" of the progressive era, work known in modern times as "investigative journalism". She wrote many notable magazine series and biographies. She is best-known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which was listed as No. 5 in a 1999 list by the New York Times of the top 100 works of 20th-century American journalism. She began her work on The Standard after her editors at McClure's Magazine called for a story on one of the trusts.
Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire 1911
the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York, and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, most of them women, who either died from the fire or jumped from the fatal height. Most of the workers could not escape the burning building because the managers locked the doors to the stairwells and exits to keep them from leaving early. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better and safer working conditions for sweatshop workers in that industry.