98 terms



Terms in this set (...)

an economic policy under which nations sought to increase their wealth and power by obtaining large amounts of gold and silver and by selling more goods than they bought
Stamp Act 1765
Was issued in order to raise revenues to support the new British military force. Mandated the use of stamped paper certifying the payment of taxes. Colonist were angrily aroused and felt that this act was jeopardizing the basic right of the colonists as Englishmen.
Sons of Liberty
A radical political organization for colonial independence which formed in 1765 after the passage of the Stamp Act. They incited riots and burned the customs houses where the stamped British paper was kept. After the repeal of the Stamp Act, many of the local chapters formed the Committees of Correspondence which continued to promote opposition to British policies towards the colonies. The Sons leaders included Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.
Declaratory Act 1766
this Act repealed the Stamp Act, but stated that Great Britain can rule the colonies anyway she sees fit (with date)
Boston Massacre
The first bloodshed of the Amercan Revolution, as British guards at the Boston Customs House opened fire on a crowd killing five americans
Tea Act 1773
Allowed East India Company to avoid navigation taxes when exporting tea to colonies and gave them power to monopolize tea trade; this angered colonists and threatened merchants and the colonial economy.
Coercive Acts 1774
1. Closed Boston port until destroyed tea paid for. 2. stopped town meetings. 3. Appointed a military government for Massachusetts. 4. Trials of government officials will be in England.
First Continental Congress
Delegates from all colonies except georgia met to discuss problems with britain and to promote independence
Lexington and Concord
the first battle of the American Revolution (April 19, 1775)
Another name for Loyalists
Battle of Bunker Hill
the first important battle of the American War of Independence (1775)
Paxton Boys
They were a group of Scots-Irish men living in the Appalachian hills that wanted protection from Indian attacks. They made an armed march on Philadelphia in 1764. They protested the lenient way that the Quakers treated the Indians. Their ideas started the Regulator Movement in North Carolina.
writs of assistance
It was part of the Townshend Acts. It said that the customs officers could inspect a ship's cargo without giving a reason. Colonists protested that the Writs violated their rights as British citizens.
revenue tariff
tax on imports used primarily to raise government revenue without restricting imports
Admiralty Courts
in British law, special administrative courts designed to handle maritime cases without a jury.
Declaration of Independence
This document was
adopted on July 4, 1776. It
established the 13 American colonies as independent states, free from rule by Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson wrote the
majority of this document.
Battle of Saratoga
Turning point of the American Revolution. It was very important because it convinced the French to give the U.S. military support. It lifted American spirits, ended the British threat in New England by taking control of the Hudson River, and, most importantly, showed the French that the Americans had the potential to beat their enemy, Great Britain.
General Cornwallis
the British general who defied an order and was trapped at Yorktown forcing his surrender; he called Washington an old fox
John Jay
First chief justice of the Supreme Court
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, or control coinage.
Northwest Ordinance
Enacted in 1787, it is considered one of the most significant achievements of the Articles of Confederation. It established a system for setting up governments in the western territories so they could eventually join the Union on an equal footing with the original 13 states
James Madison
Strict constructionist, 4th president, father of the Constitution, leads nation through War of 1812
Great Compromise
Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature and representation based on population in the other house
opponents of a strong central government who campaigned against the ratification of the Constitution in favor of a confederation of independant states
John Locke
English philosopher who advocated the idea of a "social contract" in which government powers are derived from the consent of the governed and in which the government serves the people; also said people have natural rights to life, liberty and property.
federal system
a government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments
enumerated powers
The powers explicitly given to Congress in the Constitution.
tactical victory
a battle won by tactics
Declaration of Causes
a document which was a justification of their taking arms.
Richard Henry Lee
Member of the Second Continental Congress who urged Congress to support independence; signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, containing a list of individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press.
checks and balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
Sugar Act of 1764
An act that raised tax revenue in the colonies for the crown. It also increased the duty on foreign sugar imported from the West Indies.
virtual representation
British governmental theory that Parliament spoke for all British subjects, including Americans, even if they did not vote for its members
Stamp Act Congress
group of colonists who protested the Stamp Act, saying that Parliament couldn't tax without colonist' consent
Charles Townshend
British Prime Minister. Influenced Parliament to pass the Townshend Acts.
non-importation agreements
A form of protest against British policies; colonial merchants refused to import British goods.
committees of correspondence
Organization founded by Samuel Adams consisting of a system of communication between patriot leaders in New England and throughout the colonies
Intolerable Acts 1774
1774 closed harbor untio damage were paid and order can be ensued + British official if they killed someone they get trial by jury in Britian where they were likely not to get charged. (in response when the colonist threw the tea)
John Adams
America's first Vice-President and second President. Sponsor of the American Revolution in Massachusetts, and wrote the Massachusetts guarantee that freedom of press "ought not to be restrained."
American colonists who were determined to fight the British until American independence was won
Second Continental Congress
They organized the continental Army, called on the colonies to send troops, selected George Washington to lead the army, and appointed the comittee to draft the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Paine
Revolutionary leader who wrote the pamphlet Common Sense (1776) arguing for American independence from Britain. In England he published The Rights of Man
Pontiac's Rebellion
A 1763 conflict between Native Americans and the British over settlement of Indian lands in the Great Lakes area
internal taxation
revenues levied directly on property (such as land or livestock), persons (such as poll taxes), or governmental functions (such as the Stamp Act).
external taxation
Britain wanted a way to tax Americans without upsetting them. They started it from outside the country
natural rights
the idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property
consent of the governed
the idea that government derives its authority by the sanction of the people
Baron von Steuben
volunteer, general in Prussia,offered help to Patriots after Washington won the battles at Trenton & Princeton, arrived at Valley Forge in the spring of 1778
Benjamin Franklin
Printer, author, inventor, diplomat, statesman, and Founding Father. One of the few Americans who was highly respected in Europe, primarily due to his discoveries in the field of electricity.
Admiral de Grasse
the French naval commander/ helped the troops in the Navy trap and cut off Cornwallis
Treaty of Paris 1783
The British recognized the independence of the United States. It granted boundaries, which stretched from the Mississippi on the west, to the Great Lakes on the north, and to Spanish Florida on the south. The Yankees retained a share of Newfoundland.
Land Ordinance of 1785
A law that divided much of the United States into a system of townships to facilitate the sale of land to settlers.
Annapolis Convention
Originally planning to discuss the promotion of interstate commerce, delegates from five states met at Annapolis in September 1786 and ended up suggesting a convention to amend the Articles of Confederation
Virginia Plan
Virginia delegate James Madison's plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population
Three fifths Compromise
the agreement by which the number of each state's representatives in Congress would be based on a count of all the free people plus three-fifths of the slaves
The Federalist
Essays promoting ratification of the Constitution, published anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787 and 1788.
salutary neglect
idea that the colonies benefited by being left alone, without too much British interference
confederal system
A system consisting of a league of independent states, each having essentially sovereign powers. The central government created by such a league has only limited powers over the states.
reserved powers
powers that the Constitution does not give to the national government that are kept by the states
moral victory
At the Battle of Bunkerhill the colonists lost but proved they could fight well
Olive Branch Petition
On July 8, 1775, the colonies made a final offer of peace to Britain, agreeing to be loyal to the British government if it addressed their grievances (repealed the Coercive Acts, ended the taxation without representation policies). It was rejected by Parliament, which in December 1775 passed the American Prohibitory Act forbidding all further trade with the colonies.
Virginia Resolution
Written anonymously by Jefferson and Madison in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, they declared that states could nullify federal laws that the states considered unconstitutional.
Constitutional Convention
meeting of delegates in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation, which produced the new U.S. Constitution
strict constructionism
a judicial approach holding that the Constitution should be read literally, with the framers' intentions uppermost in mind
formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty
Quartering Act of 1765
Act forcing colonists to house and supply British forces in the colonies; created more resentment; seen as assault on liberties.
direct representation
citizens individually choose their representatives in a legislature
Proclamation Act 1763
Act passed by England prohibiting colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains
Townshend Acts 1767
Taxed luxury items imported into the colonies; colonists outraged and started another movement to stop importing Br. goods
George III
English monarch at the time of the revolution. He was the main opposition for the colonies due to his stubborn attitude and unwillingness to hear out colonial requests/grievances.
Samuel Adams
Founder of the Sons of Liberty and one of the most vocal patriots for independence; signed the Declaration of Independence
Quebec Act
Signed in 1774, intended to reorganize the way these British territories were governed
German soldiers who fought for the British
American colonists who remained loyal to Britain and opposed the war for independence
George Washington
Virginian, patriot, general, and president. Lived at Mount Vernon. Led the Revolutionary Army in the fight for independence. First President of the United States.
Common Sense
a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that claimed the colonies had a right to be an independent nation
power of the purse
Constitutional power given to Congress to raise and spend money
protective tariff
a tax on imported goods that raises the price of imports so people will buy domestic goods
Social Contract Theory
A voluntary agreement between the government and the governed
circular letter
A letter circulated in 1767 in reaction to the Townshend Act. It urged colonists to jointly sign a petition of protest and was influential in causing colonists to work together against the British.
Battles of Trenton and Princeton
Washington crossed Delaware, surprised Hessians at Trenton, went on to win at Princeton...gave new hope to Americans after defeats in New York
Nathaniel Greene
Quaker-raised American general who employed tactics of fighting and then drawing back to recover, then attacking again. Defeated Cornwallis by thus "fighting Quaker".
The last major battle of the war in which Charles Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. The French helped us. The was over, and colonists had won!
seniority by birth; state of being the first-born child; right of the eldest child (to inherit the entire property of one or both parents)
Shay's Rebellion
was led by Daniel Shays it was a protest against the land being taken away and the taxes that they had just worked so hard to get rid of
Alexander Hamilton
Delegate to the Constitutional Convention and leader of the Federalists; first secretary of the treasury.
New Jersey Plan
Opposite of the Virginia Plan, it proposed a single-chamber congress in which each state had one vote. This created a conflict with representation between bigger states, who wanted control befitting their population, and smaller states, who didn't want to be bullied by larger states.
supporters of the stronger central govt. who advocated the ratification of the new constitution
Thomas Hobbes
wrote "Leviathan" and believed people were naturally cruel, greedy, and selfish; he also believed only a powerful governemnt could keep an orderly society
ability of a state to govern its territory free from control of its internal affairs by other states
unitary system
a government that gives all key powers to the national or central government
concurrent powers
powers that are shared by both the federal and state governments
Conciliatory Proposition
If you voluntarily contribute to upkeep of the colonies, then they will not tax America anymore
Prohibitory Act
On July 8, 1775, the colonies made a final offer of peace to Britain, agreeing to be loyal to the British government if it addressed their grievances (repealed the Coercive Acts, ended the taxation without representation policies). It was rejected by Parliament, which in December 1775 passed the American Prohibitory Act forbidding all further trade with the colonies.
defensive war
a war in which the army stays in its own area and defends that area from attack, rather than advancing into enemy territory
separation of powers
the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
loose constructionism
Courts should read the Constitution expansively and should not limit themselves to what is explicitly stated