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Virginia - motives for settling

The Virginia Company of London sent an expedition led by Captain Christopher Newport to settle a colony in the New World. They were originally sent to secure gold and other minerals for investors back in England.

Colonial governments

Legislative assemblies in all British colonies


Economic philosophy of 17th and 18th century European nations; sought to increase wealth and power through acquisition of gold and silver and establishment of a favorable balance of trade. Colonies served interest of mother country through importation of its raw materials -> Exportation > importation

Navigation Acts

Acts passed in 1660 passed by British parliament to increase colonial dependence on Great Britain for trade; limited goods that were exported to colonies; caused great resentment in American colonies.

Indentured servitude

Played a key role in the growth of the tobacco plantation system in Virginia and Maryland. Chief source of agricultural labor in these colonies before 1675.

"City upon a Hill"

Said by Winthrop; refers to the idea that Puritan colonists emigrating to the New World were part of a special pact with God to create a holy community: a model Christian society to the world/moral commonwealth

"Salutary/benign neglect"

150 years of colonial self-rule due to neglect by British authorities

(First) Great Awakening

Religious revival in the colonies in 1730s and 1740s; George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards preached a message of atonement for sins by admitting them to God. The movement attempted to combat the growing secularism and rationalism of mid-eighteenth century America. Religious splits in the colonies became deeper.

18th century immigration

Increase in non-English immigrants and fewer English immigrants; Scots-Irish, Scots, Germans, Dutch, Africans; poor move west for cheaper land

Women's rights - colonial period

women in the colonial period: patriarchy, but more opportunity than in Europe. Women had few rights: children stayed with father after divorce. New England: "little/miniature commonwealth"; Puritan society provided more authority, protection, & respect for women than Chesapeake or England.

French and Indian/Seven Years' War

The war fought by French and English on American soil over control of the Ohio River Valley-- English defeated French in 1763. Historical Significance: established England as number one world power and began to gradually change attitudes of the colonists toward England for the worse (i.e. taxing)

Albany Congress and Plan of Union

Plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1754 that aimed to unite the 13 colonies for trade, military (defense), and other purposes; the plan was turned down at every colonial assembly and by the Crown.

Proclamation of 1763

A proclamations from the British government which forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains, and which required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back east

Slavery in pre-revolutionary times

More than 10 million Africans brought to Americas. This institution was lifelong and generational, racial based, economically profitable, and was abolished by the 13th amendment

Causes of American Revolution

The following were the causes of the ________ __________: salutary/benign neglect, aftermath of the French and Indian War, Proclamation of 1763, Sugar, Currency, Quartering, Stamp, Declaratory, Townshend, Tea Acts, Boston Massacre, Intolerable Acts,

Stamp Act

An act passed by the British Parliament in 1756 that raised revenue from the American colonies by a duty in the form of a stamp required on all newspapers and legal or commercial documents

French Alliance

The French entered the war in 1778, and assisted in the victory of the Americans who were seeking independence from Britain

"Republican motherhood"

The idea that American women had a special responsibility to cultivate "civic virtue" in their children

Articles of Confederation

This document, the nation's first constitution, was adopted by the second continental Congress in 1781 during the revolution. The document was limited because states held most of the power, and Congress lacked the power to tax, regulate trade, and control coinage.

Land Ordinance (1785)

This legislation passed under the Articles of Confederation created a system by which western lands/"public domain" could be surveyed and sold. Territory north of the Ohio River would be surveyed and marked off into "townships". Created a grid system, which left an indelible mark on American landscape.

Northwest Ordinance (1787)

This legislation passed under the Articles of Confederation created a single Northwest Territory and set up the process by which each territory could become a state. Guaranteed freedom of religion and the right to trial by jury. Slavery was prohibited throughout the territory.

Shays' Rebellion

This conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes

3/5 Compromise

The decision at the Constitutional convention to count slaves as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of deciding the population and determining how many seats each state would have in Congress

Ratification of Constitution

debate: Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

Federalist Papers

Series of essays, written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, that defended the Constitution and tried to reassure Americans that the states would not be overpowered by the federal government.

Bill of Rights

A formal statement of the fundamental rights of the people of the United States incorporated in the Constitution as Amendments 1-10, and in all state constitutions.

Hamilton's economic plan

A financial plan involving the funding of national debt at par value, the assumption of state debts, and the establishment of a national bank

Federalists vs. Democratic-Republicans

FEDERALISTS: commercial, urban and industrial American society. Also, they believed in a meritocracy and America as a world power. They wanted to create a complex economy with agricultural, industrial, national, and international commerce along with immigrant labor. Furthermore, they believe in the "aristocracy of merit" for their political leadership. In addition they believe in a strong central government with government support for economic development because they were skeptical of state rights. In addition, they favored a broad, loose interpretation of the Constitution. DEMOCRATIC - REPUBLICANS: They believed in a decentralized, rural, agrarian society that opposed a commercial, urban, and industrial society. They also wanted to avoid world problems. Furthermore, they liked an agricultural economy with an emphasis on local commerce and slave labor. In addition, they wanted citizens such as farmers for their political leaders. They also believed in a limited central government in order to preserve the states' rights, they opposed government support for economic development. Lastly, they had a strict interpretation of the Constitution. SIMILARITIES: Both parties believed in personal freedom, national independence, capitalism, and a republican government.

Washington's Farewell Address

Warned against permanent foreign alliances and political parties, called for unity of the country, established precedent of two-term presidency

Virginia & Kentucky resolutions

Written anonymously by Jefferson and Madison in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, they declared that states could nullify federal laws that they considered unconstitutional.

Second Great Awakening

A series of religious revivals starting in 1801, based on Methodism and Baptism. Stressed a religious philosophy of salvation through good deeds and tolerance for all Protestant sects. The revivals attracted women, Blacks, and Native Americans.

Toussaint L'Overture's rebellion in Haiti (1790s-1804)

Successful slave rebellion from that increased Southern white paranoia of black resistance

Louisiana Purchase

Territory in western United States purchased from France in 1803 for $15 million

Causes of War of 1812

British impressments of American seamen; British interference with American Commerce; British aid to Native Americans on the frontier

Hartford Convention

Meeting of Federalists near the end of the War of 1812 in which the party listed its complaints against the rulings of the Republican Party. These actions were viewed as traitorous to the country and had lost the Federalists much influence and respect (The practical end of the Federalist Party).

Monroe Doctrine

A statement of foreign policy which proclaimed that Europe should not interfere in affairs within the United States or in the development of other countries in the Western Hemisphere

Industrial Revolution - Why?

Transformation of manufacturing; power-driven machines took place of hand-operated tools after 1815; the need for economic independence and better transportation led to the expansion of manufacturing; evident in transportation, electricity, production processes, and communication

Eli Whitney

United States inventor of the mechanical cotton gin (1765-1825)

Second Bank of the U.S.

A national bank chartered by Congress in 1816 with extensive regulatory powers over currency and credit; modeled after Hamilton's original bank and fixing Revolutionary War debt

Erie Canal

A canal between the New York cities of Albany and Buffalo; completed in 1825. The canal, considered a marvel of the modern world at the time, allowed western farmers to ship surplus crops to sell in the North and northern manufacturers to ship finished goods to sell in the West.

De Witt Clinton

The leader of government officials who came up with the plan to link New York City with the Great Lakes region.

Lowell-Waltham system

This system developed in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts in the 1820s, in these factories as much machinery as possible was used, so that few skilled workers were needed in the production process; the workers were almost all young single farm woman.

John Marshall's Supreme Court

Period of court ruling from 1801 to 1835; shaped interpretation of Constitution (loose); strengthened judicial branch; increased power of federal government over state; supported economic activity

Marbury vs. Madison

Established Judicial Review

Gibbons decision

Established that Congress alone regulated interstate commerce

Dartmouth College decision

Established that corporation contracts were inviolable and could not be controlled by state governments

McCulloch decision

Upheld constitutionality of Bank of the United States; Established loose/broad construction/interpretation of the Constitution as constitutional

Missouri Crisis & Compromise

Missouri was not supposed to be a slave state, but it was, and its admission into the Union would tip the balance in favor of the South; Allowed Missouri to enter the union as a slave state, Maine to enter the union as a free state, prohibited slavery north of latitude 36˚ 30' within the Louisiana Territory (1820)

Henry Clay's "American System"

Internal improvements or transportation projects such as roads and canals; transportation links that would promote trade and unite various sections of the country; protective tariffs for domestic industries and funding internal improvements

John C. Calhoun

7th VP of the USA for John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson; succeeded by Martin Van Buren. Promoted nationalism and protective tariffs during the Era of Good Feelings as Secretary of State for Pres. James Monroe, but later switched to states' rights, limited government, nullification and free trade. Viewed slavery as a positive good.

Trail of Tears

Relocation and movement of Native American nations including Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole and Choctaw from the southeastern parts of the US, often described as an act of genocide.

Bank War

Controversy during the Jackson Administration during which the incumbent president sought to destroy the Second Bank of the United States due to its fraud and corruption. Thought to have contributed to the Panic of 1837 due to the federal money being moved into privately-owned "pet banks".


Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints; founded by Joseph Smith in 1830; began in upstate NY, "burned-over district"; moved to Salt Lake City, Utah

New Harmony

19th century utopia. Created by Robert Owen, known as the "Village of Cooperation." It upheld the principles of total equality.

Brook Farm

19th century utopia/experimental community in MA. Founded by George Ripley with the goal of creating a new form of social organization and share equally in labor and leisure. It failed because of tension between the ideal of individual freedom and the demands of communal society. One famous resident was Nathaniel Hawthorne


Individuals who strove to "transcend" limits of intellect" & allow emotions/ soul to create original relation to universe

Seneca Falls

Took place in upper state New York in 1848; women of all ages and even some men went to discuss the rights and conditions of women; wrote the Declaration of Sentiments which tried to get women the right to vote

Manifest destiny

Belief that the US was destined to stretch across the continent; idealistic, sent by God, not for economic or territorial reasons.

Texas Revolution & Annexation

Event in which Texan government declared independence from Mexico; American settlers proclaimed Texan independence; Sam Houston won independence (treaty rejected by Mexican legislature); Texans wanted annexation by U.S.; not done because opposition from northerners and anti-slavery groups; fear of sectional controversy

Mexican War (1846-1848)

Conflict between the US and Mexico that after the US annexation of Texas, which Mexico still considered its own; US troops fought primarily on foreign soil; covered by mass-circulation newspapers; Whigs opposed

Antebellum mass immigration (1840s & 1850s)

Migration into cities; largest in US history; majority Irish, then Germans b/c of widespread famine in their native countries

"Know-Nothings" & the American Party

Party that believed in Nativism-> opposed immigration; aided in the collapse of the second-party system

Kansas-Nebraska Act

Organized Louisiana territory; existence of slavery in these areas would be determined by "popular sovereignty"--> eliminated provisions of the Missouri Compromise; --> destroyed the Whig party--> rise of Republican party

Dred Scott decision

blacks were not U.S. citizens & therefore they had no rights--> Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional & possibility that the Kansas-Nebraska Act was also unconstitutional

Republican platform of the Election of 1860

many Southerners threatened to secede from the Union if the Republicans won; Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won

Presidential reconstruction plans (especially Johnson)

Lincoln's Reconstruction plan/10% plan: New southern state governments could exist when 10% of Southern voters pledged loyalty to the U.S. and abolished slavery by accepting the Emancipation Proclamation. Advocated to encourage Southern Unionists and former Whigs to join the Republican Party and keep the Democrats from controlling Congress. Johnson plan: "The Constitution as it is - The Union as it was" combination of Lincoln and Wade-Davis plans, ultimately lenient to South rapid readmission of Confederate states.

Black codes

Laws passed in the South after the civil war aimed at controlling freedmen & enabling plantation owners to exploit African American workers; denied all blacks rights; guaranteed white supremacy

Congressional (radical) plans - Military Reconstruction

Military Reconstruction Act - 10 Southern states (not Tennessee) divided into 5 military districts led by military commanders who pledged an oath of allegiance to never willingly aid Confederate cause. Requirement for readmission: new state constitutions with black male suffrage and ratify the 14th amendment.

14th Amendment

Anyone born in the U.S. is automatically a citizen; state governments prohibited from infringing on equal rights of citizens; did not prevent northern states from prohibiting black suffrage--> gave black Americans citizenship and legal equality

15th Amendment

states cannot deny suffrage due to race, color, or previous enslavement

Compromise of 1877

Rutherford Hayes became president & remaining fed. troops withdrew from South--> national government had given up attempts to control Southern politics & improve the conditions of Southern blacks

Tenant farming

System of farming in which a person rents land to farm from a planter & pays in crops or $

Plessy vs. Ferguson

A case that was brought to challenge the legality of segregation; court ruled that separate accommodations did not deprive blacks of rights if accommodations were equal.

Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis

Idea that held that the existence of cheap and unsettled land played a key role in making American society more democratic; the frontier helped create the American spirit of democracy and egalitarianism, acted as a safety valve for Americans to escape bad economic conditions, and stimulated nationalism and individualism

Dawes Severalty Act

The act passed with the intent to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream of American life by dissolving tribes as legal entities and eliminating tribal ownership of land

Trans-Mississippi West farming

Beginning in the mid 1880s agricultural economy began long steady decline (overproduction b/c too many farmers); involved problems with fencing land, water, debt; prices (grievances -> Populism); commercial farmer prevails over yeoman (Bonanza farms); overseas sales (international business); spread through the railroads

Social Darwinism

The belief that the fittest survive in both nature and society; wealthy business leaders used this to justify their success. Practioners belief that urban problems are part of a natural evolutionary process that humans cannot control

American Federation of Labor

Led by Samuel Gompers; alliance of skilled workers in craft unions; focus was bread-and butter issues such as higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions

"New immigration"

Refers to immigration from small towns and villages in southern and eastern Europe beginning in 1880; immigrants primarily settled in large cities in the Northeast and Midwest

Sherman Antitrust Act

1890 congressional legislation designed to break up industrial trusts such as the one created by John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil. The bill stated that any combination of businesses that was "in the restraint of trade" was illegal. Because of the vagueness of the legislation and the lack of enforcements tools in the hands of the federal government, few trusts were actually prosecuted as a result of this bill.


Political ideology supported by Southern and Western Democrats, women, "muckrakers", Social Gospel and college-educated, included socialists such as Debs. They wanted government ownership of railroads and control of money supply (bimetallism).

Election of 1896

Republican William McKinley defeated Democratic-Populist "Popocrat" William Jennings Bryan. 1st election in 24 years than Republicans won a majority of the popular vote. McKinley won promoting the gold standard, pluralism, and industrial growth.

American imperialism

This term refers to the period during the 1890s in which the United States began to practice some of the imperialistic policies that it had previously criticized European powers for; annexation of Hawaii; "Open door policy" in China; "white man's burden"; Spanish-American War; new created naval power; annexation of Philippines; building of Panama Canal; extension of Monroe Doctrine -> Roosevelt Corollary (Police of Western Hemisphere); dollar diplomacy

Causes of Spanish-American War

War that began in 1898 and stemmed from furor in America over treatment of Cubans by Spanish troops that controlled the island; a major result of this was the acquisition of the Philippines, which made America a major power in the Pacific.

Open Door policy

The policy that China should be open to trade with all of the major powers, and that all, including the United States, should have equal right to trade there. This was the official American Position toward China as announced by Secretary of State John Hay in 1899.

Roosevelt Corollary

Extension of the Monroe Doctrine in 1904 stating that the U.S. had the right to intervene in order to "stabilize" the economic affairs of small states in the Caribbean and Central America, if they were unable to pay their international debts. Established the foundation later for FDR's "Good Neighbor" policy --> establishment of "protectorates"; police of western hemisphere

Gentleman's Agreement

An informal agreement between the United States and the Empire of Japan whereby the U.S. would not impose restriction on Japanese immigration or students, and Japan would not allow further immigration to the U.S.

Taft and Dollar Diplomacy

Foreign policy of President William Howard Taft, which favored increased American investment in the world as the major method for increasing American influence and stability abroad; in some parts of the world, such as in Latin America, the increased American influence was resented


A movement that desired political and social reform, and was most influential in America from the 1890s up until WW1. Many popular causes included reforming city government, better conditions for urban workers, education of immigrants, and regulation of big businesses. "Progressivism after it had shaved its whiskers, washed its shirt, put on a derby and moved up into the middle class" - William Allen White. They had optimistic beliefs in progress that society is an organic whole. They had a desire for order, stability and morality, and wanted an active government who could enforce laws in the interest of faith in knowledge & efficiency

The Jungle

This 1906 work by Upton Sinclair pointed out the abuses of the meat packing industry. The book led to the passage of the 1906 Meat Inspection Act

Clayton Antitrust Act

1914 act designed to strengthen the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890; certain activities previously committed by big businesses, such as not allowing unions in factories and not allowing strikes, were declared illegal

League of Nations

International organization founded in 1919 to promote world peace and cooperation but greatly weakened by the refusal of the United States to join. It proved ineffectual in stopping aggression by Italy, Japan, and Germany in the 1930s.

Ratification fight over the Treaty of Versailles

Irreconcilables" - Senators who opposed ANY involvement in European affairs (La Follete, Hiram Johnson) vs. Republicans - sought winning election issue; led by Henry Cabot Lodge vs. "reservationists" opposed Article X (League of Nations) but supported rest (unilateralism). Treaty rejected by Senate.

(First) Red Scare -> Palmer Raids

Part of the Red Scare, these were measures to hunt out political radicals and immigrants who were potential threats to American security; led to the arrest of nearly 5,500 people and the deportation of nearly 400.

"Lost Generation"

Group of American intellectuals who viewed America in the 1920s as bigoted, intellectually shallow, and consumed by the quest for the dollar; many became extremely disillusioned with American life and went to Paris. Earnest Hemingway wrote of this group in "The Sun Also Rises."

Scopes Trial

1925 Tennessee trial where teacher John Scopes was charged with teaching evolution; Darrow = defense; Bryan = prosecutor; demonstrated religious fundamentalism vs. modernism

Harlem Renaissance

Black literary and artistic movement centered in Harlem that lasted from the 1920s into the early 1930s that both celebrated and lamented black life in America; Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston were two famous writers of this movement.

Stock Market Crash

Event in which the value of stock fell so low which caused people to be left with huge debts; banks ran out of money and closed, people lost jobs; beginning of Great Depression

President Hoover's reaction to the Depression

President ______'s reaction to the Depression was the passing of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) (which only aided businesses), the Agricultural Recovery Plan (which failed), and the Hawley-Smoot Tariff (which ultimately deepened the depression).

New Deal - support and opposition

Refers to the mixed reactions to FDR's domestic legislation. Involved the following: Critics - Attacks from pro-business conservatives / the right; protest movements - Upton Sinclair's EPIC (End poverty in California), Huey Long's "Share our Wealth", Father Charles Coughlin / "Radio Priest," Dr. Francis Townsend (Townsend Plan); Supreme Court Rulings of FDR's legislation as unconstitutional; Support - Blacks, Indians (Reversal of Dawes Severalty Act), Women, Americans living in the "sunbelt"

Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA)

This organization put limits on crop production in order to raise prices on agricultural goods to "parity" farm prices; farmers paid to limit production

Social Security Act

The act passed by FDR that provided for immediate relief for poor elderly; national Old-Age and survivors insurance, a shared federal-state plan of unemployment insurance, and public assistance programs (AFDC)

Huey Long

Immensely popular governor and senator of Louisiana; provided tax favors, roads, schools, free textbooks, charity hospitals, and improved public services for Louisiana citizens; cost: corruption and personal dictatorship; formed national organization (Share Our Wealth)

Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO)

Group of unions that broke from the AFL in 1938 and organized effective union drives in automobile and rubber industries; supported sit-down strikes in major rubber plants. Reaffiliated with the AFL in 1955.

Supreme Court "Packing" Plan

Plan in which FDR proposed 6 judges to be added to Supreme Court because justices were overworked and over 70 years of age; plan was heavily criticized; Result: Plan rejected -> Court began to accept New Deal Legislation; some Supreme Court Judges retired and were replaced by pro-New Deal judges.

Isolationist Movement

The movement that upheld the ideology of straying away from foreign affairs and global involvement and focusing more on internal affairs.

Japanese Internment

FDR ordered all Japanese Americans to be put in relocation camps, Korematsu vs. U.S. ruled that it was constitutionally permissible; did not apply to Hawaii b/c it would have damaged economy.

Korean War

N. Korea backed by Communist China vs. S. Korea backed by UN led by U.S.; ended when Ike threatened the use of nukes (Armistice); --> Cold War economy, "freeze" in relations w/ China, escalated McCarthyism, MacArthur fired by Truman

Truman vs. MacArthur

MacArthur wanted to expand war to China, but Truman wanted limited war b/c of fear of WWIII; MacArthur fired b/c of public disagreement w/ Truman's war policy ---> reflection policy difference between Eurocentrists & Asaianists; origins of containment vs. "rollback" anti- Communist U.S. foreign policy

(Second) Red Scare - McCarthyism

Belief that New Deal policies were communistic; Truman's Federal Employee Loyalty Program fueled hysteria & intolerance towards communist sympathizers

Brown Decision

"Separate but equal" in schools is unconstitutional

National Highway Act

Creation of interstate highway system for transportation & defense


Soviets launched spacecraft before the U.S.--> "missile gap" & educational assistance; space race

Civil Rights Act of 1964

one of LBJ's major accomplishments; ended Jim Crow laws; integration of all public accommodations


LBJ withdrew from election race; Robert Kennedy & Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated; My Lai massacre; Democratic National Convention; Nixon & "silent majority" win election

Women's rights - 1970's

Women's wages fall to 59 cents for every dollar earned by men (70); Equal rights amendment reintroduced to congress (1970); Roe vs. Wade establishes women's right to abortion (73); formation of MANA (74); Hundreds of colleges offer women's studies courses (74); For the first time in history, more women than men enter college (78)

Jimmy Carter's human rights foreign policy

Carter insisted that the United States should take a moral posture by giving human rights a higher priority; he spoke on behalf of political prisoners; reduced aid to dictatorships


The economic policies adopted by Reagan. They were based on tax-cuts, budget-cuts, and the belief of trickledown economics. This economic policy caused a great deal of discontent, but after he left office, the country was no longer troubled by high inflation and unemployment

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