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Marbury v. Madison

John Marshall
Established judicial review of congressional acts

McCulloch v Maryland

John Marshall
Maryland tried to tax Bank of United States
Declared unconstitutional based on "necessary and proper" clause
Gave Congress implied powers and higher authority over states

Gibbons v Ogden

John Marshall
Gave Congress power to regulate interstate commerce based on the Commerce Clause in the constitution

Dartmouth College v Woodward

John Marshall
Upheld legality of college charter, created before the state
Settled nature of charters and helped the rise of private business

Worcester v. Georgia

John Marshall
Georgia had passed law prohibiting non-Indians from being on Indian lands without permits
Ruled unconstitutional and placed Indian tribal laws over state laws

Commonwealth v Hunt

Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw
Ruled labor unions were legal and had the right to strike

Dred Scott v Sanford

Roger B. Taney, Dred Scott
Decided 1857
Ruled that Dred Scott, a slave, had no right to sue for his freedom because he was property, not a person
Basis for Civil War and Republican Party

Slaughterhouse cases

Chief Justice Salmon B. Chase, various butchers
1873, after 14th Amendment
Ruled in favor of narrow interpretation of 14th
Butchers' rights weren't violated because 14th applied only to U.S. citizenship, not state

Munn v Illinois

Chief Justice Morrison Waite
Ruled that private utilities for public benefit be regulated as government utilites

Plessy v Ferguson

Chief Justice Melville Fuller
Upheld constitutionality of segregation laws; deemed as "separate but equal"
Kept legality of segregation until Brown v Board of education in 1954

Louisiana Purchase

Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte
Midwest United States
Doubled size of U.S.
Allowed slavery, which indirectly led to Civil War

Mexican Cession

John Tyler
Ceded after Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Sparked North-South debate over slavery
Resulted in Gadsden Purchase

Gadsden Purchase

Franklin Pierce
Added land for a southern transcontinental railroad
Debate over use & ownership became part of North-South debates over slavery

Peggy Eaton affair

Peggy Timberlake, Senator Eaton, President Jackson, Vice President John Calhoun
Scandal over Timberlake's marriage to Senator Eaton, Calhoun and many others opposed, though Jackson approved
Resulted in Calhoun returning to South Carolina, outspoken pro-slavery senator

Credit Mobilier

Presidents Johnson and Grant, Union Pacific Railroad
UPR created fake company to hide profits and charge huge construction fees from federal government
Credit Mobilier offered UPR stocks to congressmen for lower price then market value

Pequot War

Pequot tribe, Massachusetts Bay Colony
MBC wanted revenge for death of a privateer (who was kidnapping Pequot at the time to sell as slaves) and for that of a merchant killed by Narraganset allies
Attacked and killed most of Pequot tribe
Resulted in deterioration of colonist-Indian relations; effectively destroyed Pequot tribe

King Phillip's War

New England tribes, colonists, Metacom (aka King Phillip)
Caused by tension between encroaching white settlers and Indians
Ended Indian resistance in New England, left a hatred toward colonists

Bacon's Rebellion

Nathaniel Bacon, frontiersmen, William Berkeley
Jamestown, Virginia
Protest against lack of support for frontiersmen against Indian raids
Resulted in torching of capitol and recalled Berkeley to England

Stono Rebellion

Approx. 100 escaped slaves
South Carolina
Slaves killed whites and tried to escape to Spanish-controlled Florida
Most participants were executed
Resulted in stricter regulations on assemblies of slaves, harsh treatment of slaves, and a 10-year ban on importing slaves

Pontiac's Rebellion

Loose Indian alliance, British settlers, Pontiac
Illinois and Ohio countries
Indian tribes offended by British policies, joined together and attacked British settlements and forts
British retaliated by spreading smallpox-infected blankets in Indian populations
Showed divide between British and Indian populations
Resulted in boundary between Indians and colonists, may have been factor in Revolutionary War

Shays Rebellion

Daniel Shays, Job Shattuck
Western Massachusetts
Protest against imprisonment of rural farmers unable to pay taxes
Showed need for stronger federal government

Whiskey Rebellion

Western farmers, Washington, Hamilton
Farmers who sold corn in form of whiskey had to pay new tax (part of Hamilton's debt plan) & hated it
Intimidated tax collectors and attacked tax inspector's home
Washington sent troops to break up rebellion; it died before he arrived
Showed weakness of Articles of Confederation

XYZ Affair

John Adams, Officials called X, Y, and Z
American delegation supposed to be meeting French foreign minister, Talleyrand, but instead met "X,Y, and Z" who demanded $250,000 as bribe to see Talleyrand
Interpreted as insult to U.S, Federalists took advantage to pass Alien and Sedition acts and create an army

War of 1812

America vs. Britain
America wanted Canada, owned by Britain; British ships impressed American sailors onto their own
No gain by either side at end, but Federalists in Northeast wanted to secede
Resulted in death of Federalist party

Nullification crisis

John Calhoun, President Jackson
South Carolina
SC government nullified Protective Tariff of 1828 because it interfered with southern commerce
Congress passed Force Bill against SC and a more favorable tariff; ended crisis

Mexican-American War

President Polk
Texas, Mexico, Mexico City
Polk wanted America to own all land from Atlantic to Pacific (Manifest destiny)
Ended in Mexican defeat and Mexican Cession

Lexington and Concord

April 19, 1775; Revolutionary War
Revolutionary militias vs. British soldiers
First battle of Revolutionary war
Americans trounced British and harried back to Charlestown
Resulted in martial law in and blockade of Boston, began spread of Revolution


1776, 1777; Revolutionary War
George Washington
New Jersey
First major victories in Revolutionary War
Resulted in higher morale and increased enlistment


1777; Revolutionary War
General Benedict Arnold
Saratoga, New York
Major victory over British, resulted in French involvement against the British


1781; Revolutionary War
George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, General Cornwallis
Yorktown, New York
Last major land battle in Revolutionary War
Resulted in 1783 Treaty of Paris


November 7, 1811; Tecumseh's War
Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa
Prophetstown, Indiana
Indian attack on American troops
End of Tecumseh's War, sparked War of 1812 because British supplied Indians with weapons

New Orleans

January 18, 1815; War of 1812
Andrew Jackson
New Orleans, Louisiana
British attack on New Orleans defeated; greatest land battle of the war
Sparked Jackson's huge popularity and launched him to Presidency


September 17, 1862; Civil War
Antietam, Maryland
George McClellan, Robert E. Lee
Union victory over Conferderates
Gave Lincoln opportunity to announce the Emancipation Declaration


1863; Civil War
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Ulysses S. Grant, John C. Pemberton
Gave Union control of Mississippi, completed part of Anaconda Plan
Cut Confederacy in half, major turning point in Civil War


1863; Civil War
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
George Meade, Robert E. Lee
Union victory over Confederates, last invasion of the North
46-51,000 casualties on both sides
Resulted in Gettysburg Address, major turning point in war

Little Big Horn

1876; Great Sioux War
Little Big Horn river, Montana Territory
George Custer
U.S 7th cavalry ran across ~2,000 Indians camped at LBH river
268 U.S. deaths
Increased aggressiveness of Indian removal

Wounded Knee

1890; Ghost Dancer War
Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota
U.S 7th cavalry killed 150-300 Lakota Indians
Effectively ended Ghost Dancer War

Treaty of Paris, 1763

Britain, France
Ended French-Indian War in favor of British
Removed French from North America

Treaty of Paris, 1783

Britain, United States
Ended Revolutionary War in favor of United States
Created United States of America as an official country

Jay Treaty

John Jay
Resolved some problems with 1783 Treaty of Paris
Facilitated trade and better relations with Britain

Pinckney Treaty

Thomas Pickney
Treaty between U.S. and Spain
Guaranteed American shipping rights on Mississippi
Gave more area for American settlers and farmers

Treaty of Ghent

1814; War of 1812
United States, Britain
Ended War of 1812, ended with no gains to either side

Webster Ashburton Treaty

Britain, United States
Reaffirmed US-Canada border at 49th Parallel
Abolished slaves on ships and gave shared use of Great Lakes to Britain and US

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Nicholas Trist
Mexico, United States
Officially ended Mexican-American War
Created Mexican Cession

Navigation Acts

Series of laws by Britain regulating trade in colonies to foreign countries
Caused resentment towards Britain by American merchants; helped spark Revolutionary War

Sugar Act

British tax on molasses and sugar in the colonies
Increased colonial resentment of Parliament
Helped spark Revolutionary War

Stamp Act

British tax on everything paper in the colonies
Colonists rejected as illegal
Helped spark Revolutionary War

Intolerable acts

Series of acts created blockade of Boston harbor and stricter governance in Massachusetts
Directly lead to rebellion and war

Northwest Ordinance

1787; Westward expansion
Allowed creation of new states rather than expansion of existing ones
Prohibition of slavery in Ordinance lead to debates between slave and free states until the Civil War

Hamilton's Financial Acts

Alexander Hamilton
Paid off state debts at full value, new tariffs to lower federal debt
Promoted accumulation of money to increase commercial and industrial growth

Alien and Sedition Acts

John Adams
Allowed president to deport immigrants deemed dangerous to United States; made "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against government illegal
Lead to Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions and a split between Democratic Republicans and Federalists

Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

1798, 1799
Thomas Jefferson, James Madison
Stated that states had the right to determine the constitutionality of federal laws
Lead to ideology of states rights over federal laws

Missouri Compromise

Henry Clay
Agreement between pro- and anti-slavery factions in congress to have slave states south of 36 30' and free states north of that
Lead to greater tensions between North and South

Gag Rule

Established a rule about no debate over legality of slavery in congress
Resulted in less control over pro- and anti-slavery division

Compromise of 1850

Henry Clay, Stephen Douglas
Admitted California as a free state and allowed slavery in New Mexico and Utah to be determined by popular sovereignty
Set precedent that the Missouri Compromise line didn't have to be followed

Fugitive Slave Act

Part of the Compromise of 1850
Forced Northerners to return escaped slaves to their owners
Angered Northerners because they were forced to take part in the slave trade

Personal Liberty Laws

Laws in the North passed in response to Fugitive Slave Act
Allowed states to arrest slave catchers for kidnapping
Deepened gap between slave and free states

Kansas Nebraska Acts

Stephen Douglas
Allowed Kansas and Nebraska to determine if they were slave or free through popular sovereignty
Lead to Bleeding Kansas and higher tensions between slave and free states

Pacific Railway Act

Promoted construction of a transcontinental railway
Lead to greater travel and settlement in the West

Homestead Act

Abraham Lincoln
Midwestern United States
Gave 160 acres of land in the midwest to applicants
Spread population and increased control over the midwest

Dawes Act

Henry Dawes
Created to facilitate Indian assimilation into society
Resulted in loss of Indian culture

1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

Chester Arthur
Excluded Chinese immigrants from entering the country
Showed increase in racial tensions between poor whites and poor immigrants over jobs

Pendleton Act

Chester Arthur, George Pendleton
Made award of government office based on merit, not contributions to officials, after assassination of James Garfield
Lead to reforms in government and allowed it to become more efficient

Interstate Commerce Act

Designed to regulate railroad industry
Created the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate industry
First law to regulate private business

John Smith

Early 1600s; Colonization of America
Strong leader of Jamestown
Explored Virginia

John Rolfe

Early 1600s; Colonization of America
Created tobacco as a cash crop in Virginia; saved Jamestown from bankruptcy
Married Pocahontas, made English-Indian relations better

William Bradford

Early 1600s; Colonization of America
Plymouth Plantation
Lead colonists at Plymouth
Credited with creation of Thanksgiving holiday

Anne Hutchinson

Early 1600s; Colonization of America
Rhode Island, Massachusetts
Kicked out of Massachusetts because her beliefs were deemed heresy
Fled to Rhode Island

Roger Williams

Early 1600s; Colonization of America
Rhode Island
Proponent of religious freedom
Founded Rhode Island, bought land from natives

William Penn

Early 1600s; Colonization of America
Founded Pennsylvania by Royal charter

Patrick Henry

Revolutionary War
Lead opposition to Stamp Act
Gave "Give me liberty, or give me death!" speech

Samuel Adams

Revolutionary War
Lead Sons of Liberty, a revolutionary terrorist group
Cousin of John Adams

Thomas Gage

Revolutionary War
British general in beginning of war, military governor of Massachusetts
Replaced after battle of Bunker Hill

Charles Cornwallis

Revolutionary War
British general
Lost Battles of Princeton and Yorktown

Thomas Paine

Revolutionary War
Wrote "Common Sense" pamphlet
Spread revolutionary fervor to areas not directly affected by the fighting and protests

1st Cabinet

First cabinet of advisers to a president
Set a precedent

Edmund Randolph

1780s and 1790s
Member of Washington's cabinet
First U.S. Attorney General, replaced Jefferson as Secretary of State after his resignation

Eli Whitney

Invented cotton gin
Resulted in an increase of monocropping cotton and slavery in the south

John Marshall

4th Supreme Court Chief Justice
Established judicial review and made the judiciary an equal branch of government

Lewis & Clark

Early 1800s
Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Sacagawea, Thomas Jefferson
Explored the Louisiana Territory, sent by Jefferson
Reached Pacific ocean and brought many plant and animal samples back to the east

Robert Fulton

Late 1700s, early 1800s
Created first commercially successful steamboat
Resulted in faster water travel and shipping

Aaron Burr

Late 1700s, early 1800s
Alexander Hamilton's rival
Killed Hamilton in a duel in 1804 over his defamation of Burr


Early 1800s
Lead an Indian rebellion against settlers in Indiana territory
Defeated at Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, allied with British during War of 1812

Samuel Slater

Early 1800s
New England/Northeast USA
Brought textile mills to America
"Father of the American Industrial Revolution"

Denmark Vesey

Freed slave
Planned the largest slave rebellion against slaveowners, but was caught and executed before it could be carried out
Considered by anti-slavery activists as a hero

Daniel Webster

Senator from Massachusetts; Secretary of State
Prominent Whig
Negotiated Webster-Ashburton Treaty

John C. Calhoun

Senator from South Carolina; Jackson's Vice President (1 term)
Outspoken slavery advocate
His ideas helped result in the South Carolina secession

Henry Clay

Senator from Kentucky
Responsible for Missouri Compromise and compromise of 1850

Nat Turner

Lead a slave rebellion
Resulted in stricter laws against blacks, free and slave, in the south

Dorothea Dix

1840s; Reform movement
Leader of penitentiary and asylum reform
Created first mental asylums

Horace Mann

1830s and 1840s; Reform movement
Leader of education reform
Created first free public schools

William Lloyd Garrison

Founded an abolitionist newspaper, "The Liberator"
Lobbied for immediate emancipation

Frederick Douglass

1830s and 1840s
Leader of abolition movement
Lead to greater abolitionist sentiment in the north

Winfield Scott

General in War of 1812, Mexican-American War, several Indian wars, and briefly in the Civil War
Devised the Anaconda Plan, the Union's central strategy in the Civil War

Harriet Tubman

1830s and 1840s
Southern USA
Most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad
Lead dozens of slaves to freedom in the north, including her parents

Roger Taney

Dred Scott
Chief Justice of Supreme Court
Ruled that Dred Scott was property, not a person, and therefore couldn't sue for his freedom

Jefferson Davis

1847-1865; Civil War
Mississippi, Confederate States
President of the Confederacy and senator from Mississippi
Argued against secession, but stipulated that states had the right to secede
Considered a hero by many Southerners
Encouraged reconciliation with the Union postwar

Charles Sumner

Senator from Massachusetts
Beaten on Senate floor by nephew of a senator he ridiculed
Unable to return to office for 3 years, but was re-elected anyway

Thaddeus Stevens

Reconstruction post-Civil War
A leader of the Radical Republicans
Advocate of harsh measures against the south

George McClellan

1861-1865; Civil War
Major general of Union army
Lead army to some big victories, some big losses

William T. Sherman

1861-1865; Civil War
General in Union army
Cut 50-mile swath through Georgia on his march to Atlanta, which he burned down

Thomas Jackson

1861-1865; Civil War
General in Confederate army
Lee's "right-hand man," aka Stonewall Jackson
Killed by friendly fire during Battle of Chancellorsville
Considered one of the most brilliant commanders in US history

Robert E. Lee

1861-1865; Civil War
Leader of Confederate army
Soundly defeated Union armies at many battles, but ultimately lost at Appomattox Courthouse

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Mid-1800s; Reform movement
Seneca falls
A leader of the women's reform movement
Created Declaration of Sentiments

Helen Hunt Jackson

1870s; Assimilation of Indians
Wrote A Century of Dishonor
Helped build support for Indian rights

Frederick Jackson Turner

1893; Westward expansion
Western US
Created theory that the spirit of success was tied to westward expansion
Culture on the frontier deemed as pure american

Booker T. Washington

W.E.B. DuBois
Created Tuskegee school only for African Americans
Influential on African American education

W.E.B. DuBois

Booker T. Washington
Believed African Americans should demand full and equal rights
Lead to greater demands for black rights

J.P. Morgan

1880s and 90s
New York
Banking tycoon
Helped stop Panic of 1907 and invested in growth of industry

Andrew Carnegie

1880s and 90s
New York
Self-made steel tycoon
Made steel widespread and cheap, helped grow industry
Donated huge amounts of his wealth to charities

John D. Rockefeller

1880s and 90s
Oil tycoon
Essentially created systematic philanthropy

Samuel Gompers

1880s and 90s
American Federation of Labor
Founded AFL
Consolidated unions


1600s; American colonization
Massachusetts, Rhode Island
William Bradford
Some of first American colonists, looking for religious freedom

Mayflower Compact

1620; American colonization
William Bradford
Colonial agreement to form a government and obey its laws
Planted idea of self-government in colonies

Virginia House of Burgesses

Early 1600s; american colonization
First elected body of government representatives in America
Began strong tradition of representative government in colonies


English colonies
England could sell more than purchased, so increased wealth in for of gold and silver
Resulted in harsher economic measures in colonies

Salutary neglect

English colonies
Failure of British to collect taxes on colonists
Lead to sense of greater freedom in colonies

Great Awakening

Early 1700s, late 1800s
Fervent religious revival in New England
Lead to greater religious involvement and more Christian churches

Albany Plan of Union

1754; French and Indian War
Benjamin Franklin
Attempt at uniting states in defense and "other general important purposes"
Basis for Articles of Confederation

Stamp Act Congress

New York City
Discussion by delegates from most of 13 colonies about Stamp Act
Lead to Declaration of Rights and Grievances, basis for Declaration of Independence

Sons of Liberty

Samuel Adams
Group of revolutionaries involved in terrorist/violent action against British officials and soldiers
Had great influence in revolutionary fervor among colonists

Committees of Correspondence

Various colonies
Coordinated responses to British taxes and laws in the colonies
Helped topple the British system in each colony

First Continental Congress

Met to debate options on how to respond to the Intolerable Acts
Sent list of grievances to King George III and called for a second congress in the future

Second Continental Congress

Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson
Governing body of the states during the Revolutionary War
Created and adopted the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation

Hartford Convention

December 1814-January 1815; War of 1812
Hartford, Connecticut
Federalists opposed war and discussed secession from the USA
After USA won the war, Federalists were disgraced and the party fell apart

Second Great Awakening

Early 1800s
Upstate New York
Religious revival based on the tenet that everyone could be saved from hell through revivals
Lead to reform movements to help society before the second coming


New England
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau
Believed that people could transcend senses to experience nature and God in a purer form
Began a movement towards nature and the divinity of human life

Civil disobedience

New Enland
Henry David Thoreau
Argued that people should stay true to their own conscience, even if it meant breaking the law
Inspired civil rights reformers

Seneca Falls Convention

New York
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott
Convention for women's rights
Created Declaration of Sentiments, demanded women's rights

Popular Sovereignty

1830s and 1840s
Midwest America
Stephen Douglas
Idea that new states could determine existence of slavery in that state by popular vote
Lead to "Bleeding Kansas" and greater North-South sectionalism

John Brown's raid

Harpers Ferry, Virginia
John Brown
Radical abolitionist attack on a weapons arsenal in an attempt to get slaves to rise up and fight owners
Ended in greater mistrust of the North by the South until northerners condemned the attack

Crittenden Compromise

Senator John Crittenden
Aimed to resolve secession crisis
Addressed grievances by slave states
Kept states in union, but imposed further compliance with slavery in the country
Lead to greater hate of the south by northerners who may not have been opposed to slavery before

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter, South Carolina
Abraham Lincoln
First shots of the civil war
Lead to official declaration of war on the Confederacy


The Union
Copperheads were so-called because of their anti-war leanings; viewed as traitors to the union
Lead to suspension of habeas corpus and increased military powers

Presidential reconstruction

Ex-confederate states
Abraham Lincoln
Lenient treatment of defeated states
Creation of 10% Plan

Black Codes

Post-Civil War; Reconstruction and afterward
Southern states
Laws aimed to limit rights of blacks, though didn't specify a specific group (used literacy laws, poll taxes, etc)
Showed very little change in attitude towards blacks after the Civil War

Congressional/Radical reconstruction

Post-civil war
Abraham Lincoln
Advocated much harsher treatment of defeated states and full citizenship and rights for free blacks
Created Wade-Davis bill, killed by a pocket veto

Jim Crow Laws

Post-civil war
Southern states
Created tenet of "separate but equal"
Limited rights of blacks

13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments

Abolished slavery, prohibited states from limiting citizens' rights, prohibited race, color, or previous servitude as variables in ability for citizens to vote

Knights of Labor

Labor union for middle-class workers (doctors, shopowners, etc)
Fell apart after series of failed strikes and public view as being affiliated with anarchists

American Federation of Labor

1880s and 1890s
Samuel Gompers
Loose organization of about 100 workers unions
Focused on specific workers in need

Railroad strike of 1877

Response to wage cuts
Set scene for future violent strikes

Homestead Strike

Homestead, Pennsylvania
Andrew Carnegie
Caused by wage cuts to steelworkers
Resulted in loss of power to steelworker unions countrywide

Haymarket strike

Knights of Labor
Fights between strikers and police
Anarchists threw bombs
Effectively destroyed Knights of Labor

Pullman strike

George Pullman
Response to wage cuts and high cost of living in company town
Resulted in use of courts to limit power of unions

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