Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

This is a study guide of the midterm test for the History curriculum book The Americans by McDougal Littel.

Prince Henry

Under the armchair navigator, _______, Portugal took the lead in developing and testing innovative sailing technologies in the 1400s.


In the 1400s, the majority of Europeans made up the _____ of the social hierarchy


In the 1400s, the daily life of the average European centered around the ______ family


The costly nature and ultimate failure of the campaigns of the ______ led to an increase in the power of European monarchs at the expense of the nobility and the papacy.


In the early 1500s, the ______ divided Christianity in Western Europe into Catholicism and Protestantism.

Iberian Peninsula

The "reconquista" of the _______ was achieved when Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon united their kingdoms.


The main goals of Christopher Columbus's first exploration of the Americas were to find gold, claim lands for ______, and spread Christianity.


The ______ were the first Native Americans with whom Columbus came in contact.


The European system of colonization was established during the ________


The Treaty of Tordesillas was an agreement established by the _____ in an effort to settle disagreements about expansion.


In the 1500s, ____ was the main contribution of the Americas to the Columbian Exchange.

triangular lateen sails

These sails found on caravels allowed the ship to travel against the wind.

shallow draft

Allowed the caravel to travel in shallow water.


Allowed the caravel to make tighter turns.

John Smith

The English leader responsible for the survival of the first Jamestown settlers.


The first permanent English settlement in North America.


Native American people who both helped and later hurt the Jamestown settlers.

indentured servants

Term for people who worked a set number of years in return for passage to North America.

royal colony

Term for an English colony under direct control of the King.

Nathaniel Bacon

Leader of Virginia's frontier settlers who led a rebellion against Governor Berkeley in Jamestown in 1676.

headright system

Under this system, anyone who paid for their own or another's passage to Virginia received 50 acres of land.

joint-stock companies

These allowed several investors to pool their money in support of a colony in the New World that would hopefully yield a profit.

Stono rebellion

1739 slave rebellion.

middle passage

Voyage that brought Africans to the colonies.

cash crop

Term for a crop grown for profit.

triangular trade

Name of the transatlantic trade network.


A system of forced labor.


The European movement of science and reason.

Benjamin Franklin

American who embodied the Enlightenment.

Jonathan Edwards

Puritan leader of the Great Awakening

Great Awakening

This revived religion in the colonies.

New France

A French colony in North America.

George Washington

He was a hero and officer in the French and Indian War,

French and Indian War

This was the fourth war between Britain and France for control of North America.

William Pitt

Led a British army against France in 1757


Smallpox helped to defeat this Native American man's rebellion

Proclamation of 1763

This British Act banned all settlement west of the Appalachian mountains.

George Grenville

A British financial expert hired by King George III that proposed and prompted British parliament to enact the Sugar Act.

Sugar Act

British tax act on foreign-made molasses.

Stamp Act

British tax on colonial documents; later repealed by British due to colonist's organized resistance.

Boston Massacre

British attack on a mob in Massachusetts in 1770 that increased tensions with the colonists.

committee of correspondence

Groups set up by American colonists to exchange information about British threats to their liberty.

Olive Branch Petition

An offer of peace extended to Britain in 1775 by the Second Continental Congress

Common Sense

Thomas Paine's pamphlet which inflamed the colonists' desire for independence from Britain.

Thomas Jefferson

Virginia lawyer and author of the Declaration of Independence


Key American victory in 1777 that helped sway France to support the Revolution

Valley Forge

The Pennsylvania camp where George Washington's troops struggled to survive the winter of 1777-1778

Marquis de Lafayette

The French aristocrat and military leader who offered key assistance to the Patriots


The battle at which the British surrendered to the Americans in 1781.


Form of government in which citizens rule through elected representatives.

Articles of Confederation

The set of laws that created two levels of government; later replaced by the Constitution.

Land Ordinance of 1785

The plan for surveying public land west of the Appalachians and north of the Ohio River.

Shay's Rebellion

The mob action by debt-ridden farmers in 1787; it highlighted the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.

James Madison

Author of the Virginia Plan, "Father of the Constitution," and a Federalist.

checks and balances

the system that prevents one branch of government from dominating the others.

electoral college

The group of electors chosen by each state to cast ballots for presidential candidates.


The supporters of the Constitution; those who favored a balance of federal and state powers.


Those who opposed the Constitution and a strong federal government.

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the Constitution; it listed personal liberties and government limits.

Alexander Hamilton

Federalist Secretary of Treasury


The president's chief advisers

Alien and Sedition Acts

These acts raised citizenship requirements

John Marshal

Federalist chief justice

Louisiana Purchase

1803 purchase from Napolean

Meriwether Lewis

Half of the explorer team of the West.


Ban on trade with other countries


Native American that organized a band to fight against white settlers

Andrew Jackson

He won the Battle of New Orleans

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording