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Fort Sumter

S. Carolina location where Confederate forces fired the first shots of the Civil War after Union forces attempted to supply provisions to the fort
*provoked the North to a fighting mentality; provided the North with a reason to retaliate; Lincoln calls for 75,000 militiamen

Border States

5 slave states that didn't secede during the Civil War (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and W. Virginia)
*contained a white population of more than half of the Confederacy
*doubled the manufacturing capacity of the South and increased its supplies of horses and mules
*provided two crucial rivers Cumberland and Tennessee, which provided a pathway for grain from Dixie

West Virginia

mountainous region that broke away after Virginia seceded from the Union; most of its residents were independent farmers and miners who didn't own slaves
*encouraged North to not 'fire the first shot'

Trent affair

diplomatic affair that threatened to bring the British into the Civil War on the Confederate side; occurred after a Union warship stopped a British steamer and arrested two Confederate diplomats on board
*outraged the British; they prepared for war and sent troops to Canada
*British demand the prisoners and an apology from Union


British-built/manned Confederate warship that seized Union shipping during the Civil War
*angered many Union merchants; captured over 60 vessels
*British are delighted and North has to divert naval strength

Laird rams

two well-armed warships constructed for the Confederacy by a British firm; seeking to avoid war, the British bought them for its Royal Naval instead
*would have possibly caused a war between the Union and Britain; disappointed Confederates

Dominion of Canada

unified Canadian government created by Britain to bolster Canadians against potential attacks from the U.S.
*helped form unity in Canada
*led to the eventual independence of Canada

writ of habeas corpus

petition requiring law enforcement officers to present detained individuals before the court to examine the justification of the arrest
*protected individuals from arbitrary state act
*prevented anti-Unionists in Union states from being arrested
*Lincoln suspends it

New York draft riots

uprising of mostly working-class Irish Americans against the draft
*causes great chaos in New York City; many lives are lost and blacks are lynched
*led the government to make drafts seem more appealing

Morrill Tariff Act

increased duties back up to 1846 levels to raise revenue for the Civil War
*increased existing duties 5-10%
*raised additional revenue and provided more protection for the prosperous manufacturers who were being bombarded by the internal taxes


paper currency issued by the Union Treasury during the Civil War; fluctuated in value throughout the war down to a low of 39 cents
*holders of the notes are indirectly taxed

National Banking System

network of member banks that could issue currency against purchased government bonds
*established stable national currency and stimulated the sale of war bonds
*banks that joined could buy gov't bonds and issue supported paper money
*first significant step taken towards a unified banking network since 1836

Homestead Act

federal law that gave settlers 160acres of land for about $30 if they lived on it and improved it
*made land accessible to hundreds of thousands of westward-moving settlers
*made western lands more attractive to pioneers

U.S. Sanitary Commission

government agency founded by Elizabeth Blackwell, trained nurses, collected medical supplies, and equipped hospitals to help the Union Army
*helped professionalize nursing and gave women the confidence and skills to propel women's movement in postwar years

Charles Francis Adams

American minister who pressured the British into the realization that building Confederate raiders was a dangerous precedent that might be used against them
*threatened the British of war which led them to purchase the Laird rams at the last second and prevent conflict

Napoleon III

Emperor of France who took advantage of America's preoccupation and attempted to take over Mexico City in 1863; placed Maximillian in power of Mexico City, violating the Monroe Doctrine
*Washington gov't gives aid to Mexican resistance movement


Austrian archduke who was made emperor of Mexico City by Napoleon III; he later fell prey to resistance and was executed by a firing squad

Jefferson Davis

made president of the Confederacy, wished for a well-knit central gov't; state's rights supporters fought him fiercely; he never enjoyed real popularity
*his prestiege foiled Lincoln's, and his decisions to ignore the tactical importance of railroads would ultimately secure success for the North

Elizabeth Blackwell

America's first female physician who founded the U.S. Sanitary Commission; trained nurses and helped women develop confidence and skills that they would later use in the postwar women's movements

Clara Barton

helped legitimize nursing as a profession
*opened another major area of employment for women for the postwar era

Sally Tompkins

ran a Richmond infirmary for wounded Confederate soldiers; was awarded the rank of captain by president Davis
*her promotion was a groundbreaking step for women

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