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Early civilization based on sedentary agriculture and the cultivation of corn and food production. Cultures included the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Maya, and the Aztec.

Great Biological Exchange

- Europeans and Native Americans exchanged animals, foods, and clothing

Line of Demarcation

- Line drawn by Alexander VI; gave Brazil to Portugal and the rest of S. America to Spain

Treaty of Tordesillas

divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal

Lost colony of Roanoke

- English settlement in the Virginia Colony organized by Sir Walter Raleigh; abandoned the settlement or disappeared.

Virginia Company

English joint stock companies chartered by James I with the purposes of establishing settlements on the coast of North America

Virginia House of Burgesses

Set-up the first representative government group in the American colonies. It was the elected lower house in the legislative assembly established in the Colony of Virginia in 1619. Over time, the name came to represent the entire official legislative body of the Colony of Virginia

William Bradford

was an English leader of the Separatist settlers of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts; primary architect of the Mayflower Compact

Mayflower Compact

- first governing document of Plymouth Colony; written by Pilgrims; declared that they agreed to accept majority rule and participate in a government in the best interest of all members of the colony. This agreement set the precedent for later documents outlining commonwealth

John Winthrop

First governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630; "City upon a hill"

"City on a hill"

John Winthrop's Puritan model society based on Christian principles

Salem witch trials

- Several accusations of witchcraft led to trials and hangings in Salem, Massachusetts; end to Winthrop's ideal society

Roger Williams

- He founded Rhode Island for separation of Church and State. He believed that the Puritans were too powerful and was ordered to leave the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious beliefs.

Thomas Hooker

Puritan minister who led settlers out of Massachusetts Bay to Connecticut because he believed that the governor and other officials had too much power. He wanted to set up a colony in Connecticut with strict limits on government.

Pequot War

- Bay colonists wanted to claim Connecticut for themselves but it belonged to the Pequot. The colonists burned down their village and 400 were killed

King Phillip's War

was an armed conflict between Native American inhabitants of present-day southern New England and English colonists and their Native American allies from 1675-1676. The war is named after the main leader of the Native American side known to the English as "King Philip."

Bacon's Rebellion

an uprising in 1676 in the Virginia Colony, led by Nathaniel Bacon, a wealthy planter. It was the first rebellion in the American colonies in which discontented frontiersmen took part. The uprising was a protest against Native American raids on the frontier.

New Amsterdam

a 17th-century Dutch colonial settlement that served as the capital of New Netherland. It later became the city now known as New York City.

Society of Friends

- a Christian religious movement, whose members are known as Friends or Quakers. The roots of this movement lie in 17th century English dissenters. Stressed personal inspiration as the source of faith and all action.

Maryland Toleration Act (1649)

)- Act that was passed in Maryland that guaranteed toleration to all Christians. Led to the granting of Religious Freedom

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639

Set up a unified government for the towns of the Connecticut area (Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield). First constitution written in America.

Restoration Colonies

land grant in North America given by King Charles II of England, as a reward to his supporters in the Stuart Restoration; marked the resumption of English colonization of the Americas after a 30-year hiatus. Province of Pennsylvania and the Province of Carolina

Dominion of New England

The British government combined the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut into a single province headed by a royal governor (Andros). Ended in 1692, when the colonists revolted and drove out Governor Andros

Jonathan Edwards

American theologian whose sermons and writings stimulated a period of renewed interest in religion in America (1703-1758)

George Whitefield

- succeeded John Wesley as leader of Calvinist Methodists in Oxford, England, major force in revivalism in England and America, journey to colonies sparked Great Awakening

Leisler's Rebellion

militia captain Jacob Leisler seized control of lower New York during Britain's "Glorious Revolution"; reflected colonial resentment against the policies of King James II. Royal authority was restored

Albany Plan of Union

early attempt at forming a union of the colonies during the French and Indian War. Colonies rejected it because they didn't want to surrender their authority.

Benjamin Franklin

Printer, author, inventor, diplomat, statesman, and Founding Father; respected in Europe; secured the French alliance that helped to make independence of the United States possible.

Treaty of Paris (1763)-

)- signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War.


An interpretation of Puritan beliefs that stressed God's gift of salvation and minimized what an individual could do to gain salvation; identified with Anne Hutchinson.

Enumerated articles

Under the English navigation Acts, those commodities that could be shipped only to England or other English colonies; originally included sugar, tobacco, cotton, and indigo.

First Great Awakening

Religious revival movement during the 1730s and 1740s; its leaders were George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards; religious pluralism was promoted by the idea that all Protestant denominations were legitimate.

Great Migration

Settlement of over twenty thousand Puritans in Massachusetts Bay and other parts of New England between 1630 and 1642.

Half-way Covenant

In 1662, Puritans permitted the baptized children of church members into a "half-way" membership in the congregation and allowed them to baptize their children; they still could not vote or take communion.

Headright system

Method of attracting settlers to Virginia; after 1618, it gave fifty acres of land to anyone who paid for their own passage or for that of any other settlers who might be sent or brought to the colony.

Indentured servants

individuals who sold their labor for a fixed number of years in return for passage to the colonies; usually young, unemployed men and could be sold.

Joint-stock company

The company sold shares of stock to finance the outfitting of overseas expeditions; colonies founded by joint-stock companies included Jamestown (Virginia Company) and New Amsterdam (Dutch West India Company.


Economic policy that held that the strength of a nation is based on the amount of gold and silver it has; also, that the country needs a favorable balance of trade and that colonies exist for the good of the mother country as a source of raw materials and a market for manufactured goods

Middle passage

The sea route followed by slave traders from the west coast of Africa to the Western Hemisphere.

Proprietary colony

A colony founded as a grant of land by the king to an individual or group of individuals; Maryland (1634), Carolina (1663), and (1681).


Dissenters who sought to "purify" the church of England from within and who initially populated much of New England.


Those who wanted to break all connections with the Church of England as opposed to most Puritans who believed it was possible to reform the church; the Pilgrims were Separatists

Triangular trade

Trade pattern that developed in the colonies; New England shipped rum to the west coast of Africa in exchange for slaves that were sent to the West Indies for molasses that was sold in New England.

Pontiac's Rebellion

Native American uprising against the British because of mistreatment

Proclamation of 1763

reduced tensions with Native Americans as a result of Pontiac's Rebellion; forbade white settlement west of the Appalachians; outraged colonists

Paxton Boys

Scots-Irish men living in the Appalachians that wanted protection from Indian attacks; marched on Philadelphia; influenced the Regulator Movement

North and South Carolina Regulators

organized effort by backcountry settlers to restore law and order and establish institutions of local government

Letters of a Farmer in Pennsylvania

- essays written by John Dickinson; acknowledged Parliament's power but said that the colonies were sovereign in their internal affairs; taxes for raising revenue were unconstitutional

Samuel Adams-

revolutionary resistance leader who headed the Sons of Liberty in Massachusetts; involved in the Committees of Correspondence, the First and Second Continental Congress, and the signing of the DofI

Sons of Liberty

- radical political organization for colonial independence that was formed after the Stamp Act; rioted and burned customs houses

Gaspee incident

protest of the enforcement of Navigation Acts, residents of Rhode Island boarded Gaspee (Brit ship) and sank it, no trial in US - sent to England

Boston Massacre

British attempted to enforce the Townshend Acts and killed five Bostonians

circular letter

- letters sent between colonies to keep underground groups informed of events in other colonies

Committees of Correspondence

First established in Boston in 1772, the committees became a way for the colonies to state and communicate their grievances against Great Britain.

Thomas Jefferson

Virginian, architect, author, second governor of Virginia, and third president. Wrote the Declaration of Independence

Patrick Henry

- revolutionary orator, statesman, and a member of the House of Burgesses; introduced seven resolutions against the Stamp Act; "Give me liberty or give me death"

Continental Association

Created by the First Continental Congress, it enforced the non-importation of British goods in order to pressure Britain to repeal the Coercive Acts

Lexington & Concord

Militia and Royal infantry fought in Lexington and the colonial troops withdrew; Concord was suspected by British General Gage of housing a stockpile of colonial weaponry. Paul Revere and William Dawes detected movement of British troops.


American troops captured Fort Ticonderoga from the British and gained 50 cannons; raised morale and made French join war

Olive Branch Petition

Pledge of loyalty to King George III but asked Britain to respect the rights/liberties of the colonies, repeal oppressive legislation, and remove British troops; George declared colonies in rebellion

Bunker Hill-

American post overlooking Boston allowed the Americans to contain General Gage and his troops and turn back British frontal assault; overrun when no more ammunition; strengthened American morale

Trenton and Princeton

British army settled for the winter; Washington crossed the Delaware river and successfully attacked on Christmas Eve; drove the British away when British reinforcements arrived


of the bloodiest battles in the Revolution; Loyalists and Native Americans fought against Patriots

Benedict Arnold

US general and traitor in the Revolution; plan to surrender West Point was foiled


British tried to split the colonies along the Hudson River, but failed to mobilize properly and surrendered; first great American victory and a turning point that brought French aid to the colonists

Treaty of Alliance (1778 )

created a defensive alliance between France and the U.S.


British captured this place and the Americans and French allies unsuccessfully attempted to retake it; second bloodiest battle of the Revolution


British under Cornwallis surrendered the war after a siege by American and French troops

General Cornwallis-

Led British forces during the American Revolution and surrendered at Yorktown

Treaty of Paris (1783)-

Peace settlement that ended the Revolutionary War. The U.S. was represented by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay. Britain recognized the US' independence and outlined its borders

western land claims-

seven of the 13 original states had claims to areas in the West, and these "landed" states had a great potential advantage over the six "landless" states

Land Ordinance of 1785-.

Congress organized the distribution of Western land into townships, and the sale of land provided federal revenue

Northwest Ordinance

created five states north of the Ohio River that would be admitted to the Union when free inhabitants reached 60,000; slavery not allowed. Set a precedent for how states could join the Union.

Shays' Rebellion

Daniel Shays led a group of farmers to stop the courts from seizing a farmer's land and enacting debt collection during an economic recession; Boston army suppressed rebels

Robert Walpole

Englishman and Whig statesman who (under George I) was effectively the first British prime minister; His position towards the colonies was salutary neglect.

Salutary neglect

British colonial policy during the reigns of George I and George II; relaxed supervision of internal colonial affairs by royal bureaucrats contributed significantly to the rise of American self government

Committees of Correspondence

First established in Boston in 1772, the committees became a way for the colonies to state and communicate their grievances against Great Britain.

Critical Period

Term used by historians to describe the United States under the Articles of Confederation.

Direct tax

British-imposed tax directly on the colonies that was intended to raise revenue; the Stamp act was the first attempt by Parliament to impose this on the colonies.


A European intellectual movement that stressed the use of human reason.

Indirect tax

A measure that ra ised revenue through the regulation of trade--the Sugar Act, for example.


Also known as Tories, the term refers to those Americans who remained loyal to Great Britain during the Revolution.

Natural rights

Those rights that the Enlightenment (and Jefferson's Declaration) saw as inherent for all humans and that government is not justified in violating.

Non-importation agreements

A form of protest against British policies; colonial merchants refused to import British goods.

Virtual representation

The British argument that the American colonies were represented in Parliament, since the members of Parliament represented all Englishmen in the empire.

Whig ideology

Idea that concentrated power leads to corruption and tyranny; emphasis on balanced government where legislatures check the power of the executive.

Writs of Assistance

General search warrants employed by Britain in an effort to prevent smuggling in the American colonies.

"No taxation without representation"

The assertion that Great Britain had no right to tax the American colonies as long as they did not have their own representatives in the British Parliament.

Virginia Plan

plan of government in which states representatives in Congress based on their population

New Jersey Plan

proposed a single-chamber congress in which each state had one vote

Connecticut Compromise

Compromise agreement by states at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators

3/5 Compromise

- A compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the population of slaves would be counted for


- Led by Alexander Hamilton; believed in a strong central government, loose interpretation, and encouraged commerce and manufacturing


Opposed to a strong central government; saw undemocratic tendencies in the Constitution and insisted on the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. (Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Patrick Henry)

Federalist Papers

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

Alexander Hamilton

United States statesman and leader of the Federalists, as the first Secretary of the Treasury, he established a federal bank; was mortally wounded in a duel with Aaron Burr

John Jay

- United States diplomat and jurist who negotiated peace treaties with Britain and served as the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court

James Madison

- 4th President of the United States, member of the Continental Congress and rapporteur at the Constitutional Convention in 1776; helped frame the Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

a statement of fundamental rights and privileges (first ten amendments

Judiciary Act of 1789

created the federal-court system

Department of War

- Executive department responsible for the operation and maintenance of the US Army

Department of State

executive department responsible for international relations of the United States

Department of Treasury

- The treasury of the United States federal government

Attorney General

head of the Justice Department and the chief law enforcement officer of the United States

Bank of the United States

- Proposed by Alexander Hamilton as the basis of his economic plan. He proposed a powerful private institution, in which the government was the major stockholder. This would be a way to collect and amass the various taxes collected. It would also provide a strong and stable national currency. Jefferson thought it was un-constitutional. Nevertheless, it was created. This issue brought about the issue of implied powers. It also helped start political parties, this being one of the major issues of the day.

Strict Construction

The principle that the national government is legally granted only those powers specifically delegated in the Constitution

protective tariff

a tariff imposed to protect domestic firms from import competition

Whiskey Rebellion

- farmers in Pennsylvania rebelled against Hamilton's excise tax on whiskey; the army, led by Washington, put down the rebellion; showed that the new government under the Constitution could react swiftly and effectively to such a problem


- British practice of taking American sailors and forcing them into military service

Citizen Genet

French diplomat who in 1793 tried to draw the United States into the war between France and England

Jay's Treaty

Was made up by John Jay. It said that Britain was to pay for Americans ships that were seized in 1793. It said that Americans had to pay British merchants debts owed from before the revolution and Britain had agreed to remove their troops from the Ohio Valley

Pinckney's Treaty

- established intentions of friendship between the United States and Spain. It also defined the boundaries of the United States with the Spanish colonies and guaranteed the United States navigation rights on the Mississippi River.

XYZ Affair

a diplomatic episode that soured relations between France and the United States and led to an undeclared naval war called the Quasi War

John Adams

2nd president of US; Federalist. Involved in XYZ affair


platform was at first to keep federalist from creating Monarchy; beliefs - power lies in congress, hate debt, cut army, abolish excise tax, cut federal projects, strict constructionist view of government, wanted treaties approved by the house; supporters - farmers from South and West

Alien and Sedition Acts

- four laws passed by the Federalist Congress: Naturalization Act Alien Act, Alien Enemy Act, and Sedition Act

Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions

state had the right to declare a law unconstitutional, or nullify a law, within its borders. These were written by Jefferson and Madison to resist the Alien and Sedition Acts

Aaron Burr

United States politician who served as Vice President under Jefferson, he mortally wounded his political rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel and fled south (1756-1836)

Election of 1800-

Republican candidates Jefferson and Burr tie with 73 electoral votes each; goes to House of Representatives; Hamilton hated Burr more, went to House and got more votes for Jefferson; Burr later kills Hamilton in a duel. The tie led to the 12th Amendment.

Checks and Balances

System embodied in the Constitution through which the power of each branch of government is limited by the other; the President's authority to veto legislation and Congress's power to override that veto are examples.

Compact theory

The idea advanced by Rousseau, Locke, and Jefferson, that government is created by voluntary agreement among the people involved and that revolution is justified if government breaks the compact by exceeding its authority.


A political system in which the central government is relatively weak and member states retain considerable sovereignty.

Enumerated powers

Powers specifically given to Congress in the Constitution; including the power to collect taxes, coin money, regulate foreign and interstate commerce, and declare war.


Political groups that agree on objectives and policies; the origins of political parties.

Loose construction

Constitution is broadly interpreted, recognizing that it could not possibly anticipate all future developments; relies on the idea of implied powers and the "necessary and proper" clause. Both views on how to interpret the Constitution came up during the debate on chartering the Bank of the United States in 1791.

Separation of powers

The structure of the government provided for in the Constitution where authority is divided between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; idea comes from Montesquieu Spirit of the Laws.

States rights

According to the compact theory of the Union the states retained all powers not specifically delegated to the central government by the Constitution.


A tax on imports (also referred to a "duty), taxes on exports are banned by the Constitution. A "protective" tariff has rates high enough to discourage imports

Marbury v. Madison (1803

) First time an act of Congress is declared unconstitutional; established the principle of judicial review.

Fletcher v. Peck (1810

First time a state law is declared unconstitutional; contract clause of the Constitution overrode state law.

Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

Affirmed federal control of interstate commerce under commerce clause of the Constitution.

Judiciary Act of 1801

created 16 new federal judgeships and other judicial offices; goal was for federalists to dominate the judicial branch of government.

midnight judges

- The 16 judges that were added by the Judiciary Act of 1801 that were called this because Adams signed their appointments late on the last day of his administration.

judicial review

review by a court of law of actions of a government official or entity or of some other legally appointed person or body or the review by an appellate court of the decision of a trial court

Lewis and Clark Expedition-

overland expedition undertaken by the United States to the Pacific coast and back

Embargo Act of 1807

- act issued by Jefferson that forbade American trading ships from leaving the U.S. It was meant to force Britain and France to change their policies towards neutral vessels by depriving them of American trade. It was difficult to enforce because it was opposed by merchants and everyone else whose livelihood depended upon international trade. It also hurt the national economy, so it was replaced by the Non-Intercourse Act.

Non-Intercourse Act

law that allowed Americans to carry on trade with all nations except Britain and France.

Henry Clay

United States politician responsible for the Missouri Compromise between free and slave states

John Calhoun

- First vice president during Jackson's presidency, staunchly pro-slavery vice-president, engineering the Compromise of 1850 and helping further split the nations

Nicholas Biddle

- president of the Bank of the United States; known for bribes and corruption

Daniel Webster

- Leader of the Whig Party, originally pro-North, supported the Compromise of 1850

Francis Scott Key

- wrote 'The Star-Spangled Banner'

Battle of New Orleans

Jackson led a battle that occurred when British troops attacked U.S. soldiers in New Orleans; the War of 1812 had already ended

Treaty of Ghent

- Ended the War of 1812 and restored the status quo

Hartford Convention

Meeting of Federalists near the end of the War of 1812 in which the party listed its complaints against the ruling Republican Party

Rush-Bagot Agreement

treaty that demilitarized the Great Lakes and the boundary between the U.S. and British North America

factory system

system bringing manufacturing steps together in one place to increase efficiency

National Road

- First national road building project funded by Congress

Erie Canal

- an artificial waterway connecting the Hudson river at Albany with Lake Erie

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