Raleigh, Sir Walter - English courtier, navigator, colonizer, and writer. A favorite of Elizabeth I, he introduced tobacco and the potato to Europe. Convicted of treason by James I, he was released for another expedition to Guiana and executed after its failure.
Virginia Company – In 1606 the Virginia Company, a joint-stock company received a charter from King James I to settle the New World. The main attraction was not permanent settlement but either gold or a passage to Asia.
White, John – The leader of a group of settlers sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to Roanoke Island. After several years in Virginia, White was forced to return to England for supplies. When he returned in 1590 the colony had disappeared.
Dare, Virginia - The first white child born in America.
Powhatan – American Indian chief of the Powhatan tribe in Virginia.
Pocahontas -The daughter of Powhatan who married John Rolfe in 1614, thus creating an alliance between the Indians and the English.
Headright system – The Virginia Company introduced the Headright system to encourage settlers in Virginia. Each settle received 50 acres of land and an additional 50 acres for each family member and servant.
Smith, John – In 1607 he helped with the founding of Jamestown. He was appointed a member of the governing council and worked with the Indians to help the colonists survive. In 1608 he was elected president of the colony and through his hard work and discipline he was able to help them survive.
Mayflower Compact (1620) - The covenant was the first attempt at self-government in America. It was signed on the Mayflower for the government of Plymouth colony and was designed to afford just and equal laws.
Bradford, William - Bradford sailed to America on board the Mayflower in 1620. In 1621 he was selected to be governor of Plymouth Colony, and was re-elected 30 times. He developed and maintained good relations with the Indians, and his leadership helped the colony out of debt.
Puritans – Extreme English Protestants who were unhappy with the Anglican Church and wanted to purify the Church of Catholic elements. Their religious philosophy was based on Calvinism. In the 1620s many moved to America.
Massachusetts Bay Colony – The colony was founded by non-Separatists who had secured a royal charter to form the Massachusetts Bay Company. John Winthrop was the first governor and he wanted to create “a city upon a hill” for all humanity. The colony thrived because of hard work and abundant resources.
Squanto – An Indian that was taken from America and who lived in England for several years. He returned to America in 1619 and acted as an interpreter for the Plymouth colonists. He helped the colonists develop agriculture and fishing.
Dutch West India Company – Trading company created in 1621 to supervise the movement of goods and people in the western hemisphere for the Dutch government.
Lord Baltimore – Founded the colony of Maryland as a refuge for Catholics.
Maryland Act of Toleration (1649) - (Act of Religious Toleration)
Ordered by Lord Baltimore, a Roman Catholic, to guarantee religious freedom to all Christians.
Ashley-Cooper, Sir Anthony – One of the eight Lords proprietors that was granted a charter for Carolina.
Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina – John Locke was hired by Sir Anthony Ashley-Cooper to create a plan of settlement for the Carolina colony. In theory the plan was wonderful but it was not practicable in the Americas. The Carolinas had little organized government until the 1720s.
Winthrop, John - Colonial leader and first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1629 he joined other Puritan leader in the Cambridge Agreement. In 1643 he headed the United Colonies of New England against the Indians.
Hutchinson, Anne – After she sailed to Boston she became a well-liked and influential religious leader. The conservatives attacked her teachings. She was banished from the colony and moved with her family to Rhode Island where Indians later killed her.
Williams, Roger – A religious leader and founder of Rhode Island. He criticized the Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was banished. In 1636, Williams and his followers founded the colony of Rhode Island and adopted policies of separation of church and state as well as religious toleration.
Hooker, Thomas – After being investigated by the Court of High Commission in England he fled to Holland in 1630. Three years later he sailed to Massachusetts Bay, but he soon disagreed with the leaders of the colony. In 1636 he led a small group to Connecticut and created a new political philosophy embodied in the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. He helped form the New England Confederation, the first union in the colonies.
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut – (1639) Set up a unified government for the towns of the Connecticut. First constitution written in America.
Joint stock company - A company made up of shareholders. Each shareholder contributes some money to the company and receives some share of the company’s profits and debts.
Rolfe, John – English settler at Jamestown who married Pocahontas. He discovered how to successfully grow tobacco in Virginia and cure it for export, which made Virginia an economically successful colony.
House of Burgesses (1619) – The Virginia Company granted settlers the right to form a representative assembly. This became the first legislative body in colonial America.
Penn, William - William Penn received a land grant from King Charles II, and used it to form a colony that would provide a haven for Quakers. His “holy experiment” was Pennsylvania, a colony that allowed religious freedom.
Quakers (The Society of Friends) – A Christian sect that emphasized the need for the individual to find the ‘inner light’. A colony of Quakers was founded in Pennsylvania, American by William Penn. The Quakers were pacifists.
Holy experiment – The term used by William Penn to describe his colony of Quakers in Pennsylvania.
New Amsterdam – Dutch settlement that was renamed New York in 1664 when the British captured it.
Stuyvesant, Peter - The governor of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam who had a wooden leg. When he arrived in New Amsterdam (New York) in 1647 the colony was in a state of disarray. Stuyvesant imposed social and religious uniformity. He was not an impressive leader and was often hated by the colonists. He surrendered the colony to the English in1664.
Oglethorpe, James – English lord who became the founder and governor of the colony of Georgia. As a member of the House of Commons he dreamed of developing a refuge for unemployed and freed debtors in America. He secured a charter for Georgia in 1732 and accompanied the first set of colonists.
Pequot War – In 1637 the Pequot Indians attacked Puritan settlers in the Connecticut River valley. The Massachusetts General Court ordered out the militia. Quickly the militia destroyed the Pequot villages, killing men, women, and children.
Treaty of Hartford (1638) – Signed at the end of the Pequot War and officially dissolved the Pequot nation.
Yamasee War (1715) – An revolt by the Creeks, Choctaws and some smaller tribes against the English. The English blame the Spanish and the French, but their participation has not been proved. When the Creek asked the Cherokee for help the Cherokee killed the Creek leaders. The war ended in 1717, but the Indians continued to fight each other.
Bacon’s Rebellion (1676) - Nathaniel Bacon led a group of Virginia settlers were angry at Virginia Governor Berkley marched on Jamestown and burned the city. The farmers were angry over land shortages and Indian policies. The rebellion ended suddenly when Bacon died of an illness.
New England Confederation (1643) – Formed after the Pequot War, by Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut for protection against the Indians. Ended in 1684.
Indentured servitude – Workers would sign labor contracts, usually for seven years, in return their passage to the colonies would be paid. Usually the servant received a piece of land at the end of the contract.
Harvard – Founded in 1636 by the Puritans to train young men for the ministry, Harvard is the oldest college in the United States.
Metcomet – Called King Philip by the English, formed an alliance of Indian tribes to fight against English encroachment. When the war ended in 1676, his wife and son were sold as slaves and his head was carried back to Plymouth.
King Philip’s War (1675-76) – A series of Indian attacks on towns in New Hampshire, led by a chief known as King Philip. The war was started when the Massachusetts government tried to assert court jurisdiction over the local Indians.
Dominion of New England – (1686-89) Imposed by English rule from London the Dominion of New England replaced the New England Confederation. The organization included the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut into a single province headed by a royal governor Sir Edmund Andros. Intended to ensure the defense of the colonies, the Dominion collapsed when the colonists heard of the Glorious Revolution.
Andros, Sir Edmond – The heavy-handed governor of the Dominion of New England from 1686 until 1689. He restricted the press and town meetings and his tactless nature infuriated the colonists. After news of the Glorious Revolution the colonists rebelled and forced him to return to England.
Locke, John - British political theorist who wrote the Fundamental Constitution for the Carolinas colony. Locke also developed the idea that people have a right to be free and that government works through a contract of mutual obligations. His ideas became the cornerstone of the Declaration of Independence.
Stono Rebellion (1739) – A slave uprising in South Carolina that was brutally suppressed by the authorities.
Leisler’s Rebellion (1689) – A rebellion led by a German merchant in New York against the officials representing the Dominion of New England. Leisler was executed as a traitor.
Salutary Neglect – Roughly the period from 1714-39 when the British government had little involvement in colonial affairs. Created a sense of independence amongst the colonists.
Mercantilism – The favored economic policy of most European nations between 1500-1800. It was based upon the belief that economic security comes from exporting more than is imported.
Trade and Navigation Acts (1651-73) – A series of laws passed by the British government to remove the threat of Dutch shipping. The laws required colonial trade to be carried by ships commanded, owned, and mostly manned by Englishmen. All goods sent to the colonies must be shipped through British ports. American resentment was one of the causes of the Revolutionary War.
Great Awakening (1730s-60s) – A series of evangelical revivals because preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield were concerned about the loss of piety and the impact of the Enlightenment.
Edwards, Jonathan, – The leading theological mind in the colonies, Edwards lectured during the Great Awakening, on the need for complete dependence on God’s grace. His most famous sermon is Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, which speaks of the torments of Hell for those that do not follow the true way of God.
Salem witch trials - In 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts several young girls claimed that older women in the community had bewitched them. The subsequent inquiry (witch hunt) found 20 people guilty and had 19 hanged and one crushed.
Zenger trial (1734-5) - John Peter Zenger published articles in his newspaper that criticized the corrupt British governor William Cosby. Zenger was charged with libel and put on trial. He was defended by Alexander Hamilton and found not guilty. The case established freedom of the press in the colonies.
Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713) One of a series of wars between the English and the French. Both sides used Indian allies to wage a guerilla war against the other. Neither Britain nor France wanted to send troops to the colonies to fight.
Peace of Utrecht (1713) - Ended Queen Anne’s War. Britain received Arcadia (renamed Nova Scotia), Newfoundland, and Hudson Bay. After the war the English basically ignored the colonies for decades in what was seen as salutary neglect.
War of Jenkin’s Ear (1739-1743) – Fight between the Spanish and the British in the Caribbean but closely affect Georgia. In Georgia, Oglethorpe fought the Spanish. The war became part of the larger War of Austrian Succession (1740-8).
King George’s War (1744-1748) The name for the War of Austrian Succession in colonies. France allied with Spain against Britain. The British captured the French fortress at Louisbourg, but gave it back in the treaty of 1748.
Road to Revolution
Cajuns – In 1755 the British expelled the French from Arcadia (Canada) who would not swear an oath of allegiance. They moved south to Louisiana, another French possession and became known as Cajun. The word is a derivation of Arcadian.
French and Indian War (1756-1763) – Known as the Seven Years’ War in Europe, it was, perhaps the first global conflict. In the North American continent Britain and France fought for control of the Ohio Valley and Canada. The Algonquians, allied with the French and the Mohawks. Other tribes of the Iroquois Nation allied with the British. Britain won, and gained control of all of the remaining French possessions in Canada, as well as India. Spain, which had allied with France, ceded Florida to Britain, but received Louisiana in return.
Albany Plan of Union – The British called a meeting during the French and Indian War, to be held in Albany. Only seven colonies sent representatives. Franklin presented a plan for unified colonial government, which would operate under the authority of the British government. The plan as accepted by the delegates but rejected by the states.
Wolfe, James - British general James Wolfe who led an attack on Quebec. The two armies faced each other on the Plains of Abraham with Wolfe winning the battle. Wolfe and his French counterpart Marquis de Montcalm were both killed.
Treaty of Paris (1763) – Signed at the end of the French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War) and made the British the strongest influence on the North American continent. British gained all French territory as well as Spanish Florida. French land west of the Mississippi became part of New Spain.
Proclamation of 1763 – British government proclamation that prohibited colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains. Those settlers already in violation were required to move back east. The order was soon ignored by settlers looking for land.
Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-4) - An Indian led by an Ottawa chief named Pontiac. They opposed British expansion into the western Ohio Valley and began destroying British forts in the area. The attacks ended when Pontiac was killed, but warned the British government about the cost and difficulty of keeping the peace on the frontier.
Triangular Trade – Rum would be taken to Africa and bartered for slaves; slaves would be taken to the West Indies and bartered for molasses; molasses would be taken to New England and so the cycle would be repeated.
Molasses Act (1733) – Aimed at preventing trade with the French West Indies, the British government taxed sugar, rum, and molasses. The Molasses Act infuriated the colonist, especially in New England, who simply resorted to smuggling to circumvent the law.
Stamp Act Congress (1765) - Delegates from 9 colonies met in New York in October 1765. They petitioned George III for relief and asked Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act. They adopted a “Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonies.”
Quartering Act (1765) - Required the colonials in the 5 rural colonies to provide housing and provisions for the British troops in the colonies. The act expired in 1768.
Virginia Resolves (1765) – The Virginia House of Burgesses passed a series of resolutions inspired by Patrick Henry condemning the British government for its taxes and other policies. The main idea was that the colonials were entitled to all the rights of Englishmen and could only be taxed by their own representatives. Other colonies quickly followed the lead of Virginia.
Sons of Liberty – Radical group of colonists formed in 1765 after 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 leaders included Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.
Boston Massacre (1770) - On March 4, 1770, a group of colonials started throwing rocks and snowballs at some British soldiers. Some soldiers panicked and fired their muskets at the mob killing a few colonials. The accused soldiers were defended in court by John Adams.
Crispus Attucks – An escaped slave who was one of the first to be killed in the Boston massacre.
Gaspée Incident (1772) - The British customs ship Gaspée ran aground near Providence while looking for smugglers. Colonials boarded the ship, removed the crew, and burned the ship. Colonial outrage led to the widespread formation of Committees of Correspondence.
Hutchinson, Thomas - Governor of Massachusetts immediately prior to the Revolution. Governor Hutchinson was a supporter of Parliament's right to tax the colonies.
Committees of Correspondence – They started at the urging of Sam Adams after the Gaspée Incident. The first committee was formed in Massachusetts in 1772, but soon other states formed their own committees. The committees exchanged information and organized protests against British trade regulations.
Boston Tea Party (1773) – Three ships carrying tea that belonged to the East India Company moored at Boston harbor in 1773. Sam Adams ordered colonials to dress as Indians, board the ships, and throw the tea into the harbor. Over 300 chests of tea, which were subject to import duty (Tea Tax), were thrown into Boston harbor and ruined. This event led to the passing of the Intolerable Acts.
Boston Port Act (1774) – The British government closed Boston harbor to all trade except that which was needed to prevent starvation. The act was in retaliation for the Boston Tea Party and was designed to make the colonials pay for the tea.
Quartering Act (1774) – The second Quartering Act and was one of the Intolerable Acts. It allowed colonial governors to requisition unoccupied houses and barns to shelter British troops.
First Continental Congress (1774) – Fifty-five delegates from 12 colonies met in Philadelphia. They agreed that Parliament had a right to regulate external affairs, but not the internal affairs of the colony. A Continental Association was formed to boycott British goods imported into the colonies.
Suffolk Resolves - Resolution passed in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, that stated the Intolerable Acts were unconstitutional and called disobedience, ordered taxes to be paid to colonial governments instead of the royal government, and prepared local militias. The resolution was approved by the First Continental Congress in 1774.
Continental Association - Created by the First Continental Congress and in response to the Intolerable Acts, it enforced the non-importation of British goods by empowering local Committees of Vigilance in each colony to fine or arrest violators. It was meant to pressure Britain to repeal the Coercive Acts. The Association also encouraged colonies to trade with each other at a fair price.
Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1774) – These were the first two engagements of the Revolutionary War. The British were looking for hidden weapons. Although the British completed their mission they were harassed all the way back to Boston by Minutemen. The British sustain a significant number of casualties as they retreated.
Revere, Paul – A Boston silversmith who carried the messages during the Revolutionary War. On April 18, 1775, Revere and William Dawes carried news to Lexington to warn John Adams and John Hancock that the British were approaching. Revere was arrested as he rode to Concord, but his warning allowed the Minutemen to avoid being surprised by the British.
Battle of Bunker Hill (Breed’s Hill) (1775) – The first major battle of the Revolutionary War. The Continental Army fortified Breed’s Hill and looked down on the British. British general Gage led two unsuccessful attempts to take this hill, before he finally seized it with the third assault after the rebels ran out of gunpowder. The British, who refused to be beaten, suffered massive losses and lost any hope for a quick victory against the colonies. The battle was named after nearby Bunker Hill.
Second Continental Congress - It met in 1775 and lasted throughout the war. Representatives from all the colonies met in Philadelphia and drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence, which justified the Revolutionary War and declared that the colonies should be independent of Britain. They also adopted the Articles of Confederation (1777).
Olive Branch Petition (1775) – Written by John Dickinson it was the final attempt at reconciliation between the colonies and Britain. It was directed to George III and endorsed by the first Continental Congress. The colonies agreed to be loyal to the British government if their grievances (repealed the Coercive Acts, ended the taxation without representation policies) were heard. Arriving in Britain at the same time as news of the Battle of Bunker Hill, it was rejected by Parliament.
Common Sense – Anti-monarchical article written by Thomas Paine and published anonymously on January 1, 1776. The pamphlet encouraged the colonies to seek independence. It stated that the colonies were being exploited by Britain and that King George III was a villain.
Locke, John - Believed people were born like blank slates and the environment shapes development, (tabula rasa). Wrote Essay Concerning Human Understanding, and Second Treatise of Government.
Two Treatise of Civil Government (1690) - Written by Locke, government is created to protect life, liberty, and property. In America the word property was replaced with happiness.
George III – George ascended to the throne of England in 1760 and ruled during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
Richard Henry Lee’s Resolution (1776) - Stated that the colonies should be independent from Britain. It was adopted by Congress and was the first step towards independence.
Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) - Based on the ideas of the Enlightenment it declared people had an alienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It also recognized the compact theory of government. The Second Continental Congress accepted the declaration on July 4, 1776, making the colonies independent from Britain.
Saratoga (October 17, 1777) – Victory for the Americans in this battle was a turning point in the Revolutionary War because after the victory the French allied with the colonists.
Yorktown (1782) – The last battle of the Revolutionary War. The British commander Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis was trapped at Yorktown on his way back to New York. The French navy, led by Admiral de Grasse, blocked their escape and the possibility of British reinforcements. After a series of battles, Cornwallis surrendered to the Continental Army on October 19, 1781.
Treaty of Paris (1783) – This treaty ended the Revolutionary War and recognized the independence of the American colonies.
A New Government
Articles of Confederation – Was the first official constitution of the United States, adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777 and lasted until 1789. It loosely organized the 13 colonies giving them equal representation in Congress. But they were too weak to be effective for long.
Land Ordinance of 1785 – Provided for the surveying and sale of land in the Old Northwest (north of the Ohio River) to pay off the national debt. Some of the income was allocated to fund public education.
Northwest Ordinance, 1787 – Legislation that provided for government in the territories. Initially governors would be appointed but there would be a gradual move toward self-government. When population permitted the territories could petition for statehood.
Annapolis Convention (1786) – A meeting requested by Virginia, whereby representatives would meet to discuss revising the Articles of Confederation to better facilitate commerce. There were 12 delegates from 5 colonies.
Shay’s Rebellion - A rebellion of farmers throughout New England that were organized by Daniel Shay to protest increased taxes and to find a way to redress problems with debt. Shay and his men were defeated trying to take the federal armory at Springfield, Massachusetts in 1787. The rebellion persuaded people to accept stronger governmental control and proved the ineffectiveness of the Articles of Confederation.
Virginia Plan (“large states”) – Plan designed by Madison and presented by Edmund Randolph. Wanted a two-house legislature with representation based on population.
New Jersey Plan (“small states”) – Proposed by William Paterson and wanted equal representation for all states regardless of size and population.
The Great Compromise – Proposed by Roger Sherman. The Senate would have equal representation while the House of Representatives would be based on population.
Philadelphia Convention for the Constitution (Constitutional Convention) - Starting in May 1787, the convention of 55 delegates was held in Philadelphia. All of the states except Rhode Island sent delegates to revise the Articles of Confederation. George Washington served as president of the convention, but Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were absent. The convention produced the present Constitution of the United States, which was drafted largely by James Madison.
Three-fifths Compromise - The south was guaranteed that the slave trade would not be halted for 20 years and slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a person when determining the state population, thus giving the Southern states a greater number of representatives in the House.
Anti-Federalists – (also known as Democratic-Republicans, later just Republican Party). Political group, led by Thomas Jefferson who favored:
a smaller national government
low tariffs –so people could buy cheaper foreign products
against the Constitution
closely allied to France
they wanted to protect individual rights – hence they demanded the Bill of Rights
Federalists – Mostly from wealthy families who were afraid of anarchy, they included Alexander Hamilton. They favored:
strong national government – less interest in states’ rights
an active role for the government in matters of the economy
high tariffs to protect domestic industry
supported the Constitution
closely allied to Great Britain.
The Federalist Papers – A collection of 85 essays published in New York newspapers entitled The Federalist, under the pseudonym Publius. The intent of the essays was to gather support for ratifying the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote most of the essays.
"The Federalist, # 10" - Perhaps the most famous of the Federalist Papers, written by James Madison. Madison argued that a large republic equipped with checks and balances would prevent any one group from dominating or subverting government.
Lee, Richard Henry – Statesman during the Revolutionary War. During the second continental congress he introduced a resolution calling for independence, which led to the Declaration of Independence.,
Bill of Rights – Adopted in 1791. The first ten amendments to the Constitution, which guaranteed basic individual rights including:
Freedom of speech, religions, press, and assembly
The right to bear arms
Required a search warrant before a search of a home
The right to legal representation in a trial
The requirement of an accused person to hear the charges against him
Prohibition of double jeopardy – being tried twice for the same crime
Forbid the use of cruel and unusual punishment.
Knox, Henry – American Revolutionary War general. He later became secretary of war.
Judiciary Act of 1789 - Created the federal court system and allowed the president to appoint judges.
Neutrality Proclamation (1793) – Washington realized that the new nation was not strong enough to get dragged into a European conflict. After the outbreak of war between Britain and France in 1793, Washington issued his Neutrality Proclamation stating the United States would not be involved in the fighting and warning Americans against participating.
Genêt, Edmond Charles – A French diplomat who was sent to the United States in 1793 to encourage America to join France’s war against Britain and Spain. Washington asked France to recall Genêt after disregarded his instructions and began recruiting men for the war. His actions led to America’s neutrality proclamation.
Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) – A battle between the Indians and the Americans, led by Anthony Wayne, near Lake Erie, which the Americans won. After their defeat the Indians of the Northwest Territories signed the Treaty of Greenville.
Treaty of Greenville (1795) –After the Battle of Fallen Timbers the United States agreed to pay northwestern Indians $10,000 for land in the Ohio Valley.
Whiskey Rebellion (1794) farmers in Western Pennsylvania protested against the government’s attempts to enforce a tax distilled liquor, primarily whisky. The uprising was suppressed when Washington led federal troops to Pennsylvania.
Jay’s Treaty (1794) - An agreement negotiated by John Jay aimed at settling issue between Britain and the United States. Britain agreed to abandon forts in the Northwest and to stop helping Indian resistance; America agreed to pay all pre-war debt owed to British merchants.
Pickney’s Treaty (1795) - Treaty between the U.S. and Spain granting the U.S. the right to transport goods on the Mississippi river and to store goods in the Spanish port of New Orleans and defined the boundaries of Florida and Louisiana.
XYZ Affair (1798) – A diplomatic disagreement between the United States and France over the two nations’ difference. Adams sent Marshall, Eldridge, and Pinckney to Paris but they were told that the United States would have to pay a bribe before they would be seen. Three unknown mediators (later called X, Y, and Z) offered to act to resolve the issue.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1798) - Anonymously by Jefferson and Madison in 1798 in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Resolution claimed that states had the right to nullify federal laws that was considered unconstitutional.
Revolution of 1800 – So-called because the election of 1800 witnessed the first transition from one political party, Federalists to another, Democratic-Republicans and it did so without problems.
midnight judges – On his last day in office President Adams appointed Federalist judges to Federalists courts in an attempt to maintain control of the judicial branch. The name comes from the erroneous belief that the President stayed up until midnight completing the paperwork.
Barbary pirates – Pirates that inhabited the North African coast from Morocco to Tripoli. Prior to the Jefferson administration the U.S. government had paid protection money to the pirates to guarantee the security of American merchant ships. Jefferson refused to pay the tribute leading to the Tripolitan War (1801-05).
Tripolitan War (1801-1805) - The naval engagements launched by President Jefferson in an effort to stop the attacks on American merchant ships by the Barbary pirates.
Louisiana Purchase (1803) - The U.S. purchased the Louisiana territory from Napoleon for $15 million. Jefferson realized that the nation needed the port of New Orleans to open the west. Napoleon needed money for his European campaigns and because a rebellion against the French in Haiti had soured him on the idea of New World colonies. The purchase did cause some problems for Jefferson since it was not discussed in the Constitution.
Toussaint L’Overture (1803) - Led the slave rebellion on the French Caribbean island of Haiti. The rebellion eventually led to Napoleon abandoning colonies in the New World and selling Louisiana to the U.S.
Lewis and Clark Expedition – (1804-1806) – President Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the Louisiana Purchase region. From St. Louis they traveled across the Great Plains to the Pacific before returning with extensive maps, drawings, and samples.
Sacajawea – A member of the Snake tribe of the Shoshone Indians who had been sold to a French trapper. Lewis and Clark wintered with the Shoshone in 1804 and used Sacajawea and her husband as guides and interpreters.
James Wilkinson – U.S. general in the Continental Army who became governor of Louisiana. He plotted with Aaron Burr to take over Louisiana, but fearing discovery he informed on Burr to President Jefferson and was a leading witness against Burr.
Impressment – The kidnapping of American sailors who were forced to serve on British ships. Many American sailors died during this process and this became one of the causes of the War 1812.
Chesapeake-Leopard Affair – (1807) The British ship Leopard ordered the American ship the Chesapeake to allow the British to board and look for deserters. The Chesapeake, sailing in international waters off the coast of Virginia, refused. The Leopard fired on the Chesapeake.
Non-Intercourse Act (1809) – After repealing the Embargo act, Parliament implemented the Non-Intercourse Act, which reopened trade with all nations except Britain and France.
War Hawks – People, mainly from the South and West who demanded war with Britain. The main reasons being: they believed the British were helping the Indians on the frontier; they wanted to acquire Canada. They included Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun.
Tecumseh - A Shawnee chief, who with his brother, the Prophet, tried to unite the Northwestern Indian tribes. The Indians were defeated by an American army led by William Henry Harrison, governor of Indian territory, at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Tecumseh was killed fighting for the British during the War of 1812 at the Battle of the Thames in 1813.
Fort McHenry (1815) – A British fleet attacked the Americans at Fort McHenry, but the Americans held out. Francis Scott Key saw Fort McHenry hold out during the night against a British attack and was inspired to write the "Star Spangled Banner." Later the words were set to an old English drinking song to become national Anthem.
Battle of New Orleans (1815) - A seasoned British force made the mistake of launching a frontal attack on the smaller American force led by Andrew Jackson. The battle solidified the reputation of Jackson but had no effect on the war since the peace treaty had been signed two weeks earlier in Belgium.
Essex Junto – A group of New England merchants led by Timothy Pickering, who organized after the Louisiana Purchase fearing a loss of trade and power. They also opposed the War of 1812 and even threatened to secede.
Hartford Convention (1814) - A convention of New England representative who wanted an end to the War of 1812. They proposed several constitutional amendments, but lost influence when the war ended. The Convention led to the demise of the Federalists.
Treaty of Ghent (1814) - Ended the War of 1812, but not really a peace agreement. Both sides agreed to stop fighting and there was no mention of why the war was fought. It also set up a commission to determine the disputed Canada/U.S. border.
Era of Good Feeling
Era of Good Feelings - The name for President Monroe’s two terms on office between 1817-25. The time period was noted for strong nationalism, economic growth, and territorial expansion. Because the Federalists had lost credibility with the War of 1812 there was no political opposition or partisan conflicts.
Tariff of 1816 - First tariff designed to be protect and not raise revenue. Raised the prices of British manufactured goods, which were often cheaper and of higher quality than those produced in the U.S. to allow domestic industries established during the War of 1812 to survive.
Erie Canal - Started in 1817 and finished in 1825, the canal stretched from Buffalo to the Hudson River and New York. Built under the leadership of Governor DeWitt Clinton the waterway opened the Great Lakes.
Convention of 1818 – Dealt with 3 issues: a) set the northern border of the Louisiana territory at along the forty-ninth parallel, b) Oregon would be administered jointly by the United States and Britain, c) Americans gained the right to fish off Newfoundland and Labrador.
West Florida – Region along the Gulf Coast, which included much of the northwest of present-day Florida, southern Mississippi, and southern Alabama. The Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded this region was given to Spain by the British. Spain renounced all claims to West Florida under the Adams-Onis Treaty.
Panic of 1819 – Chiefly caused by over speculating on land in the west, which had put a great strain on banks.
Tallmadge Amendment (1819) – If Missouri wanting to join the Union there needed to be some decision over slave or free states. The Tallmadge Amendment proposed that no more slaves be taken to Missouri and for gradual emancipation for the children who were born into slave families.
American System – An economic program designed by Henry Clay during the Jackson administration. The system was based on the idea that each region of the country should act as a market for the other regions. His plan called for a national bank, a system of roads and canals, and tariffs on imported goods.
“Corrupt bargain” – Refers to the alleged deal by which Henry Clay was awarded the position of secretary of state in return for getting the presidency fro John Quincy Adams.
Maysville Road Veto – (1830) The Maysville Road Bill was proposed by Henry Clay to build a road in Kentucky at federal expense. Jackson vetoed it because he did not like Clay, and Martin Van Buren pointed out that New York and Pennsylvania paid for their transportation improvements with state money. Applied strict interpretation of the Constitution by saying that the federal government could not pay for internal improvements as it did not benefit interstate commerce.
National Road (also called Cumberland Road) – In 1811 the federal government started work on a road from western Maryland to Illinois (almost 600 miles.) It became a major route for the opening of the west.
Vesey, Denmark – A former slave accused of planning a slave revolt in 1822. The authorities stopped the revolt by arresting the leaders and hanging the leaders, including Vesey.
Webster-Hayne debate (1830) - The Webster-Hayne debate was over the sale of public land in the west. The debate was between Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Robert Hayne of South Carolina in what became a classical argument over sectional issues. Hayne argued for states’ rights while Webster claimed states’ rights would leave to Civil War. States' rights (South) vs. nationalism (North).
South Carolina Exposition and Protest – Written by Vice-President Calhoun the essay South Carolina Exposition and Protest, justified the idea of states’ right. It was written in reaction to the Tariff of 1828, which he claimed violated the rights of the people in the south. Calhoun said states had a right to declare federal legislation null and void. South Carolina had threatened to secede if the tariff was not revoked; Calhoun suggested state nullification as a more peaceful solution.
Kitchen Cabinet – The derogatory name given to Jackson’s advisors. Jackson tended to favor his friends and not his appointed cabinet; however, other presidents followed Jackson’s example.
Force Bill (1833) – Gave President Jackson the authority to invade a state if it was necessary to enforce federal law.
"Trail of Tears" – By 1838 thousands of Cherokees had made the move westward to Indian Territory. Over four thousands Indians died from neglect or exhaustion of the march
Whigs – Political party that battled the Democrats between 1834 and 1852 and was created as an anti-Jackson party. Many of the Whigs were German and British immigrants who opposed slavery.
Specie Circular (1836) – Was issued by President specie (gold Jackson to stop land speculation caused by states printing paper money without proper or silver) backing it. The Circular required that the purchase of public lands be paid for in specie. It stopped the land speculation in the west and the sale of public lands went down sharply. Led to the panic of 1837.
Panic of 1837 – President Jackson sought to end land speculation with the Specie Circular. Jackson required the payment for federal lands to be with gold or silver. Many state banks collapsed as a result. The Bank of the U.S. failed, cotton prices fell, businesses went bankrupt, and there was widespread unemployment and distress. President Van Buren repealed the Specie Circular in 1838 but the depression lingered on.
Second Great Awakening – A series of spiritual revivals, which encouraged many social programs like prison reform and the temperance movement. The religious groups that benefited the most were the Methodists and the Baptists.
Transcendentalism – A philosophy that believed God existed in humans and in nature and that intuition is the highest source of knowledge.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo – Philosopher and writer who became a central figure amongst the transcendentalists.
Thoreau, Henry David - A transcendentalist and friend of Emerson who is best known for Walden. However, he also wrote "On Civil Disobedience" which advocated passive resistance.
Cooper, James Fenimore – Author who wrote Last of the Mohicans about the French and Indian War and about the noble savage living on the wild frontier.
Melville, Herman – One of the greatest American authors who wrote Moby Dick (1851).
Tocqueville, Alexis de - De Tocqueville came from France to America and observed democracy in government and society. His book, Democracy in America discusses the advantages of democracy and consequences of the majority's unlimited power.
Smith, Joseph – The founder of Mormonism in New York in 1830 who received golden plates from an angel. The plates became the Book of Mormon. In 1844, Smith was murdered by a mob in Illinois.
Young, Brigham - After Joseph Smith had been killed, Brigham Young led the Mormons to the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah in 1846-7.
Dix, Dorothea - A reformer who was a pioneer in the treatment of the mentally ill.
Mott, Lucretia – Quaker minister who created the Philadelphia female Anti-Slavery Society (1833). She later helped organize the Seneca Falls Convention.
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady - A pioneer in the women's suffrage movement, she helped organize the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York (1848).
Seneca Falls (1848) – The first convention to discuss the role of women. Organized by Stanton and Mott, the convention issued a Declaration of Sentiments, which said, “all men and women are created equal.”
Greeley, Horace - Founder and editor of the New York Tribune.
Benton, Thomas Hart – Missouri senator who opposed slavery.
Cotton gin – Invented in 1793 by Eli Whitney, the cotton gin was fifty times more effective at picking out seeds from cotton. It was this device that made the production of cotton profitable in the South. But also increased the demand for slaves.
Abolitionism – Attempts by people to abolish slavery. Although the Civil War was not fought about slavery the issue of slavery dominated American politics throughout the 1800s.
Sectionalism – The idea that different parts of the country can and will develop different philosophies.
The Liberator – Published by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison in Boston from 1831 to 1865 The Liberator was an antislavery newspaper.
Truth, Sojourner – A freed black woman who campaigned tirelessly for the emancipation of the slaves and for women’s right.
Underground Railroad – A secret organization to help runaway slaves escape to the North. Safe houses were “stations” - runaway slaves were “passengers” – abolitionists were “conductors” who all risked their lives in the process.
Tubman, Harriet – A former slave who escaped to Pennsylvania by using the Underground Railroad. Tubman then started working on the Underground Railroad assisting other runaway slaves.
Uncle Tom's Cabin – Written by the abolitionist, Harriet Beecher Stowe. It made the general public aware of what life was like for the slaves, but also increased tension between the south and the north.
Manifest Destiny – Phrase used in the early to mid-1800’s to morally justify expansionism.
Austin, Stephen – Helped establish one of the first American colonies in Texas. He went to Mexico to negotiate with the dictator, Santa Ana and was arrested. He was released in 1835 when he returned to Texas to command the army in the Texas Revolution.
Santa Anna - Dictator of Mexico who led the attack on the Alamo in 1836. He was later defeated by Sam Houston at San Jacinto.
Alamo – A Spanish mission near San Antonio where the besieged Texans held off the army of the Mexican general, Santa Ana for 13 days. Eventually all the Texans were killed by the Mexican soldiers.
Houston, Sam – In 1835, Houston permanently relocated to Texas. In 1836 he led the Texas army in the surprise attack of Santa Ana at San Jacinto. Later in the year he was elected president of the Republic of Texas. When Texas joined the Union in 1845, Houston served in the Senate for 14 years.
San Jacinto – Near Houston, Texas, the location of the surprise attack by Sam Houston on the army of Santa Ana in 1836 only weeks after the Alamo. After the one-sided battle, Santa Ana signed an agreement granting Texas independence.
Republic of Texas - Created March, 1836 but not recognized until after the battle of San Jacinto. Texas joined the U.S. in 1845.
Spot Resolutions - Congressman Abraham Lincoln demanded an inquiry to locate the spot where American troops were fired upon, suspecting that they had illegally crossed into Mexican territory.
Scott, Winfield – Fought in the War of 1812 and in the war with Mexico. He continued to serve in the army during the Civil War.
Oregon – The area north of California and from the Rockies to the Pacific. The Spanish, Russians, British, and Americans had claimed the area.
49th Parallel – Established the border of Oregon, which stretched from the Rockies to the Pacific.
Nat Turner's Insurrection (1831) - Slave uprising in Virginia. Nat Turner led a group of slaves in a rebellion against the whites. Turner and 19 others were hanged. The rebellion led to a stricter enforcement of the laws against slaves and a greater fear of free blacks.
"King Cotton" - Expression used by to indicate the economic dominance of the Southern cotton industry.
Free Soil Party – Political party organized by antislavery men who ran on the platform of no slavery in the territories.
Forty-Niners – Adventurers who moved to California in 1849 to look for gold during the great gold rush.
Compromise of 1850 – California was to be added as a free state, but this would alter the balance of slave and free states in the Senate. Henry Clay proposed a set of bills to ensure the South would not lose its political power. Initially the bill was defeated by Senator Douglas suggested the various parts be offered separately. By breaking down the main ball all the components passed. The main parts involved California being added as a free state, The boundaries of Texas and New Mexico were settled, and New Mexico was made a territory with its residents to decide the issue of slavery later.
Fugitive Slave Law – Legislation favoring the slave states, which was passed as part of the compromise of 1850. The law now required runaway slaves to be returned and those that aided runaway slaves faced heavy fines. Also fugitives could not testify in their own defense.
Ostend Manifesto (1854) – The document issue by President Pierce that stated the United States would be justified taking Cuba, by force if necessary. When the story was leaked to the press the administration abandoned their plans to take the island.
Popular Sovereignty – The idea that each state or territory had the right to decide it own laws.
"Bleeding Kansas” – A time of violence between the proslavery and the antislavery groups that was fought in Kansas territory before the Civil War. The violence followed the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854).
Pottawatomie Massacre (1856) – John Brown and four of his sons and three other men attacked the proslavery settlement at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas. They pulled five men from their houses and hacked them to death. The murders set of a virtual guerrilla war in the state.
Sumner-Brooks Affair (1856) - Senator Andrew Brooks of South Carolina beat Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts over the head with his cane after Sumner gave a speech attacking the South.
Lecompton Constitution (1857) – A pro-slavery constitution for Kansas intended to resolve the issue of bleeding Kansas. The pro-slavery element drafted a Constitution that allowed slavery. If slavery was prohibited the slaves in the state would remain enslaved.
Taney, Roger B. - Chief justice who wrote the important decision in the Dred Scott case.
Lincoln-Douglas debates - A series of seven debates between Douglas and Lincoln. Douglas won the debates but the national attention helped Lincoln win the presidency in 1860.
John Brown's Raid (1859) – Abolitionist John Brown led a small band of followers to capture the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. His hope was that the slaves would rise in rebellion and free themselves. The raid went wrong and Brown was captured, put on trial, and executed.
Crittenden Compromise (1860) – A last-ditch attempt to avert by that was proposed by Senator James Crittenden of Kentucky. Slavery would be prohibited north of a line 36 30 and would be federally protected in all states (and future states) south of the line. Future states north or south could enter the Union as either free or slave states. Lincoln rejected the idea and thus doomed the country to war.
Fort Sumter – Location in South Carolina of the first fighting of the Civil war. When South Carolina seceded the Union demanded all Federal property be surrendered to the authorities. Lincoln told the South Carolinians that he intended to re-supply Fort Sumter since it was Federal property. The Carolinians saw the Union action as an act of aggression and opened fire on the fort. After thirty-four hours, in which no one was killed, the Fort surrendered.
Border states - States located between the Union and the Confederacy. The states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, which were slave states, but did not secede.
Bull Run – The first major battle of the war. Bull Run was twenty-five miles from Washington D. C. and the Union expected a quick victory over a smaller Confederate army. Spectators flooded from the capital to watch the battle expecting to see a Union victory. Initially the Union gained the advantage, but “Stonewall” Jackson turned events around when reinforcements arrived. The inexperienced Union troops fled in panic. Both sides realized that the war would not be quick or easy and that they were ill-prepared.
Jackson, Thomas – A graduate of West Point, Thomas Jackson was appointed colonel in the Confederate army. He was thought to be eccentric, but Robert E. Lee considered him one of his best soldiers. He earned the nickname Stonewall at the Battle of Bull Run after refusing the retreat. While on patrol he was accidently shot by his own men and died a few days later.
Trent Affair – In 1861 the British ship Trent, with James Madison and John Slidell traveling to Europe, was stopped by the Union ship San Jacinto. The two men were taken prisoner and transported to Boston. The British government was furious since the action was in violation of the laws of seas. Secretary of State Seward notified the British that the American captain was wrong and promised to release the prisoners, thus preventing the British from joining the Confederate side.
Napoleon III – Emperor of France who offered to mediate between the two sides during the war. His offer was rejected by the Union. He sent an army to Mexico and overthrew the Juarez government. He installed Emperor Maximillian as the head of a puppet government in 1864. In 1867 he was forced to pull his army out of Mexico.
Anaconda Plan – The plan developed by Gen. Winfield Scott to split the Confederacy by controlling the Mississippi River. The idea was to separate the western confederate states and suffocate them into submission. Originally people scoffed that the plan and it was never implemented because it called for too much time.
Sherman, William T. – A Union general who in 1864 invaded Georgia and captured Atlanta. He then marched his army across Georgia to the sea, living off the land as he went. His philosophy was that of total war, and when the Confederates complained he merely said that what they were experiencing was a fact of war.
Gettysburg – A small town in Pennsylvania where in 1863 a massive Union force, led by General Meade, met a large Confederate force led by General Robert E. Lee. After fighting for three days the Confederate troops withdrew and retreated back to the South. The battle was a major turning point in the war.
Copperheads – nickname given to any northerner during the Civil War who was suspected of subversive activity for the Confederacy.
Vallandingham, Clement L. – A congressman from Ohio and openly sympathetic towards the South, Vallandingham was very vocal in his attempts to end the war. The Copperhead was put on trial and found guilty of treasonable utterances. His punishment was to be banished to the Confederacy.
Booth, John Wilkes – Five days after Lee’s surrender President Lincoln was assassinated by a deranged actor called John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln's Ten Percent Plan - Confederate states would be readmitted to the Union if 10% of their citizens took a loyalty oath and ratified the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery. Top Confederate officials would not be pardoned. The plan was never initiated because Lincoln was assassinated.
Radical Republicans – Politicians who believed the Confederate States should be harshly punished for causing the war. As southern resistance mounted these politicians became more vocal and more determined. Led by Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, and Ben Wade.
Hampton Roads Peace Conference - On Feb. 3, 1865, on board the Union ship, River Queen in Hampton Roads, Va., a meeting was held with the intention of ending the Civil War. The meeting was so important that President Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward both represented the Union, and A. H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, and J. A. Campbell, the Confederacy. Lincoln was able to dictate the conditions, which included: acceptance of emancipation, an immediate end to hostilities, and the disbanding of all Confederate forces. These conditions proved unacceptable to the South and the conference disbanded.
Black codes – Restrictions on the blacks passed in 1865 and 1866. Led by Mississippi the codes limited the rights of the blacks including interracial marriages and the right to bear arms even for self-defense. Led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1866) to protect the rights of the blacks.
Stevens, Thaddeus – Congressman from Pennsylvania who believed the Confederate States should be treated as conquered territory and demanded harsh punishment for rebel leaders.
Freedmen's Bureau (1865) – Established by Congress to help with the immediate needs of the freed African-Americans. Confiscated land could be rented or purchased by freedmen. The Bureau also established schools and hospitals as well as legal advice for freedmen.
Ku Klux Klan – A white supremacist group that was founded in Tennessee after the war to terrorize blacks and white Republicans in the South.
Stanton, Edwin M. – Stanton was secretary of war for Lincoln and remained in office until President Johnson asked him to resign in 1867. The dismissal of Stanton led to the impeachment of Johnson because Stanton’s dismissal was a violation of the Tenure of Office Law.
Scalawags – Name given to whites that worked with the Radical Republicans.
Carpetbaggers – Derogatory name applied to northern whites that went to the South to help with Reconstruction. These people were often very idealistic.
Alaska – Purchased from Russia in 1866 by Secretary of State Seward for $7.2 million. Initially considered worthless, the venture became known as “Seward’s folly.” Russia preferred selling it to the United States than selling it to Great Britain.
Seward, William – Seward was named secretary of state by Lincoln and eventually became one of Lincoln’s closest advisors. After the war, he persuaded the French to leave Mexico and purchased Alaska from Russia. He remained in office under Andrew Johnson and supported the president's lenient Reconstruction program.
Sharecropping – No longer tied to the plantation the freedmen looked for land and work. They were forced to enter into a system called sharecropping. The landowner (the former plantation owner) extended credit to the sharecroppers allowing them to purchase food and supplies in the store. To protect himself the landowner took out a lien against the tenant’s crop. The system was open to abuse as sharecroppers found themselves tied to the land and working for the same people as before the war.
Revels, Hiram R. - In January 1870, Revels was elected a senator for Mississippi. He took his place in February, 1870 and held the seat until March, 1871, becoming the first African-American U.S. senator.
Bruce, Blanche K. - Despite opposition from whites in Mississippi, Bruce was able to work with all factions and win a seat in the Senate in 1874. He was the second African-American to be elected to Congress and the first to serve a full term.
Whiskey Ring – Several of President Grant’s appointments were involved of working with the whiskey distillers to avoid paying exercise tax. They defrauded the country out of millions of dollars.
"Credit Mobilier" – The company that was created in 1867 to build the Union Pacific Railroad shares were sold a very low cost to congressmen who then approved of federal subsidies. This became a major scandal of the Grant administration.
"Waving the bloody shirt" - The practice of reviving memories of the Civil War. The term came from the shirt Benjamin Butler showed on the floor of the House during the impeachment of President Johnson. The shirt belonged to a republican who had been killed by the Klan.
Panic of 1873 - Unrestrained speculation on the railroads led to economic disaster. Railroad workers went on strike and the army was used to break up the strike.
Greenbacks – Paper money issued by the federal government during the Civil War that was not backed by gold.
National Woman Suffrage Association - Organization led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The organization only allowed women members and sought a Constitutional amendment to guarantee the vote for women. Also worked on other issues.
American Woman Suffrage Association – Organized by Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe. The organization accepted men as members, but focused only on suffrage. In 1890 it merged with the National Woman Suffrage Association.
"Gilded Age" - A name for the late 1800s, coined by Mark Twain to describe the tremendous increase in wealth caused by the industrial age and the ostentatious lifestyles it allowed the very rich.
Compromise of 1877 – The democrats accepted the fact Hayes had won the election in return for the immediate removal of federal troops from Louisiana and South Carolina – the only two states in which they remained. This marked the end of Reconstruction.
Great Railroad Strike (1877) – A series of strikes that showed the country just how unhappy workers were with the railroad companies.
Stalwarts – Corrupt Republican Party bosses and their followers in the post-Civil War years.
Half-breeds – Politicians from either party who favored tariff and social reform.
Mugwumps – Republicans who sided with the Democrats and Grover Cleveland in the 1884 election because the Republican Party did not advocate civil service reform.
Powderly, Terence V. - Was elected head of the Knights of Labor in 1883.
"Robber Barons" – A term used to describe the industrialists and financiers of the late nineteenth century who had little or no compassion for the public and were only interested in profit.
Rockefeller, John D. – Rockefeller was able to obtain a virtual monopoly in oil refining through the Standard Oil Company. He developed a strategy of horizontal integration to take over or remove competitors. Later in life he became a philanthropist and donated millions to research and education.
Standard Oil Company - Founded by John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1870. Antitrust legislation led to the break up of the company in 1911.
Horizontal integration – Combining companies that perform the same task to eliminate repetition or waste, it also eliminated competition.
Vertical integration – Creating one company that brings together various parts of the manufacturing process such as the marketing, selling, and distribution of a finished product.
Edison Thomas A. – Perhaps the most famous American inventor of electrical devices. Edison invented the light bulb, the phonograph, and the microphone.
Bell, Alexander Graham – Engineer born inn Scotland and emigrated to the United States. Invented the telephone in 1876.
Vanderbilt, Cornelius - A railroad magnate who gained control of the New York Central Railroad and was able to connect New York to Chicago. He was responsible for the founding of Vanderbilt University.
Morgan, J. Pierpont – Financier who created the world’s most powerful banking organization in the late nineteenth century. He became interested in railroads and eventually owned thousands of miles of track. He was responsible for alleviating the Panic of 1907.
Carnegie, Andrew – Scottish born industrialist who made a fortune from the production and sale of steel. At the end of his life he became a philanthropist and gave away millions to for libraries, schools, and research.
Gospel of Wealth – Carnegie’s idea that those with great wealth have an obligation to society to help those less fortunate.
Social Darwinism – Argument that came from the ideas of Charles Darwin (although not Darwin’s idea.) The idea was that survival was a competition and only the strongest of the fittest would survive at the expense of the weak. Those that survived would ultimately benefit society.
Central Pacific Railroad – As part of the Pacific Railroad Bill (1862) Lincoln authorized the Central Pacific Railroad to lay track eastward from Sacramento. Most of the work was done by Chinese laborers.
Union Pacific Railroad - As part of the Pacific Railroad Bill (1862) Lincoln authorized the Union Pacific Railroad to lay track westward from Omaha. Most of the work was done by Irish laborers.
Interstate Commerce Act (1887) – Passed in response to the Wabash case to regulate the railroads.
Interstate Commerce Commission – The first regulatory commission, which required railroads to charge “reasonable and just.” Initially the commission had little real power until it was supported by the Hepburn Act (1906).
Farmer's Alliance - Founded in Texas in the late 1870s, by 1890 the Alliance movement had over 1 million members. Initially started for social reasons, the Farmer’s Alliance became a political organization with the goal of uniting farmers so they could gain some measure of protection. They also wanted the nationalization of the railroads, debt relief, and a lowering of tariffs. Eventually the Farmer’s Alliance gave way to the Populist Party.
The Grange – The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry (the Grange), was formed in 1867 to enhance the life of isolated farmers. Membership in the Grange spread quickly across the South and West. The philosophy of the organization became more political and focused on economically protecting the farmers especially from trusts and the railroads.
People’s Party – (also known as the Populist Party) - Founded in 1891 in Cincinnati, Ohio. They called for free coinage of silver and paper money; national income tax; direct election of senators; regulation of railroads; and other government reforms to help farmers.
Knights of Labor - An American labor union founded in 1869 in Philadelphia by Uriah Stephens. Opened membership to anyone who was paid a wage, including blacks and women. The organization reached its peak in 1886.
American Federation of Labor (AFL) – Started in 1881 by Samuel Gompers and consisted of several skilled craft unions. They wanted higher wages, an 8-hour day and legislation to protect their benefits. Advocated collective bargaining over strikes.
Gompers, Samuel – Union leader who became president of the American federation of labor in 1886. Gompers believed a union needed to be skilled workers who had the bargaining power to negotiate with the employers. The union forged strong ties with the Democratic party, that still exist.
Haymarket Square Riot (1886) – When a crowd of union men held a rally in Haymarket Square to protest police brutality. An anarchist exploded a bomb killing or injuring many of the police. Several anarchists were arrested and charged with murder.
Billion Dollar Congress - The first session where Congress spent over $1 billion.
Tammany Hall – New York City Democratic party political machine that dominated the city.
Tweed, William Marcy “Boss” – leader of a corrupt group of New York City politicians. They swindled the city out of millions of dollars. Eventually he was charged with forgery and larceny.
"New Imigration" - Between 1865-1910, 25 million new immigrants arrived. The New Immigrants came mostly from Southern and Eastern Europe, fleeing persecution and poverty.
Chinese Exclusion Law (1882) – Law passed to prevent Chinese laborers from entering the country.
Jackson, Helen Hunt – Massachusetts writer of children’s literature who wrote A Century of Dishonor, about the way the government had shamelessly treated the Indians.
Turner, Frederick Jackson – American historian who wrote, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.”
Women’s Christian Temperance Union (1874) – The first women’s organization to battle alcohol.
Anti-Saloon League (1893) – Made the demand for prohibition a political issue when they endorsed an amendment to the Constitution in 1913.
Custer, George Armstrong – Former Civil War hero had been demoted and shipped to the West. Custer’s seventh Cavalry set out to suppress the Sioux, led by Sitting Bull. Custer got caught by the Indians and he and all his men were killed.
Little Big Horn – Site where Col. George Custer attacked Crazy Horse and the Lakota and Cheyenne in 1876. Custer and his men were all killed by the Indians. Leading to a war of attrition against the Indians of the Great Plains.
Geronimo – Leader of the Apaches who resisted the authorities in Arizona and New Mexico. He raided towns until 1886, when he surrendered. He was sent to Florida before being relocated to Oklahoma.
Chief Joseph – Chief of the Nez Percé who tried to lead his people to Canada in 1877. They failed and were forced into exile in the Indian Territory.
The Progressive Era
"Muckrakers" – Writers who crusaded against corruption and dishonesty. Roosevelt came up with the name. Leading muckrakers included Tarbell, Steffens, and Riis.
Lloyd, Henry Demarest – Writer who attacked Standard Oil in his book, Wealth Against Commonwealth.
Riis, Jacob - Author who described the miserable conditions in the tenements in How the Other Half Lives.
Steffens, Lincoln – An author who wrote The Shame of the Cities a novel about the appalling conditions in American cities.
Tarbell, Ida – Writer who exposed the questionable business practices of Standard Oil in, History of the Standard Oil Company.
Tenements – Multifamily apartment buildings that served as housing for poor factory workers. Often overcrowded and unsanitary.
Jane Addams – Born into a wealthy family, Addams became one of many educated people who saw the need for welfare. She purchased the dilapidated Hull House and remodeled it to become a settlement house.
Hull House - In 1889 Hull House was founded by Jane Addams in Chicago. Hull House was the first private social welfare agency in the United States.
Homestead Strike (1892) – When the Carnegie Steel Company announced pay reductions the workers went on strike. In what became one of the most violent strikes in history seven strikers died when Pinkerton detectives were hired to end the strike. The strikers protested and the governor of Pennsylvania sent in 8,000 troops to protect the strikebreakers.
Depression of 1893 – The worst economic downturn of the nineteenth century caused by over-speculation, labor disputes, and agricultural depression. Thousands of businesses collapsed. Led to the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890). The depression was ended when banker J. P. Morgan and his associates agreed to lend the government $65 million in gold.
Coxey's army – A group of unemployed workers led by Jacob Coxey marched from Ohio to Washington DC in 1893. Their goal was to draw attention to the plight of workers and ask for government relief. The leaders were arrested and the march broke up.
Pullman Strike (1894) – Led by Eugene V. Debs, workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company went on strike to protest a wage reduction and other company policies. The strike stopped rail traffic between Chicago and the West coast. President Cleveland sent soldiers in to restore order and protect the mail. Attorney General Richard Olney obtained an injunction the prohibited interference with interstate commerce. Union leaders were jailed and the strikers returned to work.
Industrial Workers of the World (1905) (IWW, “Wobblies”) –Bill Haywood organized unskilled workers with the intent of creating one union. Peaked at 600,000 members and declined after 1913.
Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890) – Congress required federal government to increase its purchase of silver.
Gold Standard Act (1900) – A former act under which the country’s currency was based on the value of gold. The act was signed by McKinley and put the US on the gold standard.
“Cross of Gold” – At the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1896, William Jennings Bryan from Nebraska made a speech supporting silver and not gold. The next day Bryan was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the election of 1896.
Sinclair, Upton (The Jungle) – Sinclair’s book about the abuses of the meat packing industry in Chicago in 1906 caused uproar in the general public. President Roosevelt sent a commission to investigate and found conditions to be worse than in the book. Eventually led to new of health legislation for the food industry.
Square Deal – Roosevelt’s platform for improving society by utilizing the 3 c’s – control of corporations, consumer protection, and conservation of natural resources.
"Yellow journalism" – The term used to describe the sensationalist newspaper articles. The most famous advocate of yellow journalism was William Randolph Hearst who built a newspaper empire based on the type of journalism.
Pulitzer, Joseph – Newspaper owner who made the World a leading national newspaper. Pulitzer had no problem using “yellow journalism” to attract readers. His biggest competitor was Hearst.
Hearst, William Randolph – Media mogul and creator of “yellow journalism.” Hearst used his newspaper to inflame public opinion against Spanish activities in Cuba.
Paul, Alice – Radical campaigner for women to get the vote. She had worked with suffragettes in Britain and learned military tactics to get publicity and attention. In 1916 she founded the National Woman’s Party (NWP). She worked to form alliances to help get the Nineteenth Amendment passed.
Federal Trade Commission – Created in 1914 this 5-member board replaced Roosevelt’s Bureau of Corporations to define fair trade practices.
Foraker Act (1900) – Established a civilian government on the island of Puerto Rico.
USS Maine – U.S. ship which exploded in Havana in 1898 resulting in the death of 260 sailors. Although there was no real proof the United States blamed Spain and used the event as an excuse to start the Spanish-American War.
Spanish-American War (1898) – War against Spain that resulted in the United States getting possession of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.
Dewey, George (1837-1917)– During the Spanish-American War, Commodore Dewey led the Asiatic squadron into Manila Bay, in the Philippine Islands, and attacked the Spanish Pacific fleet. Dewey surprised the Spanish at anchor in the bay and sank or crippled their entire fleet.
Rough Riders – In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt led the Rough Riders in the Spanish- American War in Cuba. The volunteer cavalry became famous after they charged up San Juan Hill during the battle of Santiago, ensuring Roosevelt’s popularity.
Treaty of Paris (1898) – Signed in Paris on December 10, 1898, the treaty ended the Spanish-American War. Spain withdrew from Cuba and the island became independent. The United States received Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, and paid $420 million to Spain.
Teller Amendment (1896) – A statement from Congress that disclaimed any intent of the United States government to assert control over Cuba.
Mahan, Alfred Thayer - Wrote The Influence of Sea Power upon History (1890.) Captain Mahan advocated that national and international strength came from possessing a large navy.
Big Stick Diplomacy – Roosevelt’s foreign policy as it pertained to Latin America. It was based on the statement, "walk softly and carry a big stick."
Great White Fleet – In 1907 and 1908, President Roosevelt sent sixteen battleships on a world tour so that people could see the military might of the United States.
Platt Amendment (1901) - The Platt Amendment succeeded the Teller Amendment and allowed the United States to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence. Cuba couldn’t make any treaties that would interfere with her independence nor could they assume any debt that it could not pay. Guantanamo Bay was to be leased to the Americans.
Aguinaldo, Emilio - Led a Filipino insurrection against the Spanish in 1896 and assisted the American invasion.
Hawaii – Sugar planters hurt by the McKinley Tariff in 1890 started to make noises about the possibility of the islands becoming part of the United States. Attempts to annex the islands were blocked by Queen Liliuokalani until the planters organized a revolt in 1893. In 1898, Congress made Hawaii a U.S. territory.
Queen Liliuokalani - Queen of Hawaii who wanted to return the islands back to the islanders. She was deposed in 1893 by American planters.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – Founded in 1909 the NAACP has campaigned to end segregation, discrimination, and racism.
ABC Powers – Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba.
"Dollar Diplomacy"- The belief that American foreign policy should be based on protecting American business interests. It was devised by Taft and applied specifically to Latin America.
Bull Moose Party – The popular name given to the Progressive party in 1912 because of its association with Theodore Roosevelt.
Good Neighbor Policy – policy announced by Hoover and expounded upon by Roosevelt declaring that the United States would be a “good neighbor” and would respect the rights of other nations. In 1933 a treaty was signed by western hemisphere nations stating that no nation would interfere in the internal or external affairs of another nation.
Villa, Francisco “Pancho” – Mexican bandit and revolutionary leader who led an attack on New Mexico in 1916. The United Sates government sent American soldiers commanded by General John Pershing to find Villa and return him to justice. Pershing was unsuccessful.
Lusitania – British passenger liner torpedoed by a German submarine in 1915. The death toll included 128 Americans, leading to a diplomatic crisis between America and Germany, but it did not force the United States to enter World War I.
Sussex Pledge (1916) – German promise to stop sinking merchant ships without warning if the Americans persuaded the Allies to obey international law. Wilson accepted the pledge, but did little to pressure the Allies.
Zimmerman Telegram (1917) - German Arthur Zimmerman sent a telegram to the German minister in Mexico City telling him to promise the Mexican President German help if Mexico went to war with the U.S. the telegram was intercepted and decoded by the British, shocked the American public.
American Expeditionary Force - The first American troops sent to fight in Europe in June 1917. They were commanded by General Pershing.
The Roaring Twenties
Wilson’s Fourteen Points - President Wilson’s Peace proposal in 1918 stressed national self-determination and the rights of the small countries. Freedom of the seas and free trade. Clemenceau said, "God only had ten."
Versailles Conference (1919) – The conference to determine the conditions for peace after World War I. Located at the Palace of Versailles near Paris. Most nations were invited but the main exceptions were Germany and Russia (because of the Revolution.)
Big Four – The four main leaders at Versailles – Wilson from U. S.; Orlando from Italy; Clemenceau from France; and George from Great Britain. Many other nations attended but these four dominated.
League of Nations – Devised by Wilson to prevent future conflicts. It would be comprised of delegates from all nations, but was intended to be run by the major powers.
Article 10 (Article X) of the Versailles Treaty - Created the League of Nations.
Reparations – Payments as compensation for damages or losses. The Treaty of Versailles mandated Germany to pay reparations to the Allies. Germany’s inability to make the payments led to hyperinflation in Germany
Palmer raids – Government raids on individuals or companies in an attempt to find political radicals. Instigated by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, authorities questioned over 5,000 suspects, some were deported.
Red Scare - In 1919, a wave of anti-Communist sentiment that swept across the country.
Normalcy – President Harding wanted the American lifestyle to return to normalcy after World War I. However normalcy also meant isolationism and the rounding up of thousands of suspected radicals.
Ohio Gang – The political and business friends of President Harding who often gathered at the White House. Many of these men were later involved in scandals.
Teapot Dome – Corruption involving secretary of the interior, Albert Fall. The Navy had secured oil fields to make sure of a constant fuel supply. In 1921 those oil fields were transferred to Fall’s department. Fall gave Mammoth Oil secret and illegal permission to drill for oil for which he was paid over $300,000. Fall told investigators that the money was just a loan.
Bureau of Budget – Created in 1921 and designed to assist the President in preparing estimates for the budget. It was intended to remove inflated estimates.
Mellon, Andrew – Millionaire Secretary of the Treasury Mellon argued that high taxes on the wealthy discouraged investment, so he designed a series of tax cuts to relieve the tax burden on the wealthiest individuals between 1921 and 1926.
Progressive Party – Political party formed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. The party collapsed when Roosevelt returned to the Republican party in 1916. The party advocated tax reform, conservationism, improving education and a revival of traditional morals.
McNary-Haugen Bill – Legislation that provided for the government to purchase surplus crops during years when there were large outputs. The legislation was vetoed by Coolidge in 1927 and 1928.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott – Perhaps the most popular writer of the 1920s. His work epitomized the feelings of the decades and included The Great Gatsby and Tales of the Jazz Age.
Hemingway, Ernest – American author who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 and a Pulitzer in 1952. His classic work was, A Farewell to Arms, which dealt with human relations against a backdrop of World War I.
Immigration Act of 1921 – The first of a series of bills to limit the number of immigrants arriving every year.
Sacco and Vanzetti case (1921) - Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were convicted of murder in Braintree, MA. They were found guilty, even though the evidence was very suspect. They were electrocuted in 1927 despite numerous pleas for clemency.
Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922) – Tariff designed to protect domestic producers from foreign competition because it raised tariffs to a record high. The policy had mixed results because it prompted other countries to initiate their own protective tariffs.
Scopes trial (1925) – John Scopes, a high school teacher was prosecuted for teaching evolution, which was a violation of Tennessee law. William Jennings Bryan, prosecuted the case, and Clarence Darrow, defended Scopes. Ultimately Scopes was convicted and fined $100, but the trial turned public opinion away from Fundamentalism and towards evolution.
Darrow, Clarence – Staunch advocate of Progressivism he opposed William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes trial.
Henry Ford – Inventor and founder of the Ford Motor Company. He developed the idea of mass production and produced cheaper that were affordable.
Model T (“Tin Lizzies”) – Automobile produce by Ford between 1908 and 1927. It was cheap and affordable so the average American could now purchase one.
The Jazz Singer (1927) – The first talking movie.
Prohibition – With the passing of the eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1919 the manufacture, sale, and import of liquor became illegal. Also known as the Volstead Act. Large-scale prohibition proved almost impossible to enforce.
Capone, Al (Scarface) – Perhaps the most notorious gangster during the age of Prohibition. Capone made millions from bootlegging, gambling, and prostitution. He was eventually sent to prison for income tax evasion.
Jazz Age - Typified by the new popular jazz music style from the United States with its lively, energetic beat. Young people sought individual freedoms and experimented with values that often differed from their parents.
Jolson, Al - American singer who was very popular during the 1920s. Starred in the first talking movie, The Jazz Singer (1927).
Lost Generation - Many American writers, artists, and painters left the United States to live in Europe, primarily Paris, to mix with other intellectuals and artists. Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, and Stein wrote about the emptiness and disillusion after the Great War.
Flappers – A young woman in the 1920s who ignored the old-fashioned ways of dress and behavior. They wore short skirts, had hair short hair, and wore lots of make-up.
Speakeasies – Secret bars at which prohibited alcohol was sold. There were thousands of speakeasies especially in the major cities.
Harlem Renaissance – Literary and artistic movement that flourished in the 1920s and was centered in Harlem, New York. It was a celebration of African-American culture by black artists and writers. One of the leading people was Langston Hughes who wrote poems, stories, and essays.
Babe Ruth – Baseball player who started as pitcher for the Boston Red Sox but then was sold to the New York Yankees. As a Yankee he moved to the outfield and in 1927 he hit 60 home runs. In 1931 he was the highest paid player in the game.
Washington Disarmament Conference (1921-1922) – The United States and nine other nations discussed setting limits on naval armament to reduce the risk of war. Each country was allowed a certain quota of ships based on the size of the existing navy.
Five Powers Treaty – Evolved from the Washington conference and involved Britain, France, U. S., Japan, and Italy. The treaty established that these countries would suspend the construction of large vessels for 10 years. Led to the Four Powers Treaty and the Nine Powers Treaty.
Dawes Plan - Since Germany was unable to make the payments on her reparations; Charles Dawes constructed a plan that would allow them to pay off their debts. The idea was to make annual payments.
Kellogg-Briand Pact (Pact of Paris) (1928) – Signed by fifteen nations (later 64) it renounced the use of war to settle disputes. The countries that signed reserved the right to fight a defensive war if the need arose. The Treaty was basically ineffective.
The Wall Street Crash – “Black Tuesday” October 29, 1929.
New Deal - President Franklin Roosevelt’s plan to create a welfare state to combat the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Hawley-Smoot Tariff (1930) – Tariff passed as a response to the Depression. Congress set tariffs at record levels, but it only served to disrupt world trade. By 1933 exports were at an all-time low.
Bonus Army – Veterans wanted Congress to pay them retirement bonuses early so they could survive the Depression. Congress considered a bill but it was never approved. Angry veterans marched on Washington D.C. to protest. Hoover called in the army to disperse the protestors.
"Hooverville" – Shantytowns built during the Great Depression.
Good Neighbor Policy – Foreign policy towards South America that stressed non-intervention. Initiated by Hoover, but probably more closely associated with Franklin Roosevelt.
Hundred Days – Between March 9 and June 16, 1933, a special session of Congress enacted many of the bills associated with the New Deal.
Second New Deal – Much of the legislation passed after 1935 is referred to as the Second New Deal. Roosevelt added this to maintain the momentum of the acts passed in the early part of the New Deal.
Court-packing plan – To prevent the Supreme Court from striking down New Deal legislation, Roosevelt asked Congress for the authority to appoint a new justice for every current member over seventy who would not retire. The plan back-fired on Roosevelt and popular opinion turned against him.
World War Two
Russo-German Nonaggression Pact (August 1939) - Hitler and Stalin promised to remain neutral if either country were to become involved in war. Germany violated the pact by invading Russia in 1941.
D-Day (June 6, 1944) - Americans and British forces under General Dwight Eisenhower landed on the beaches of Normandy; this was history’s greatest naval invasion.
Lend-Lease Program (1941) - The U. S. lent money and resources to the European states to help reconstruction.
Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941. A Japanese surprise attack on the American base at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese killed over 2,000 Americans and the following day the United States declared war on Japan. In President Roosevelt’s speech he said December 7, 1941 would be a “date which will live in infamy.”
MacArthur, General Douglas (1880-1964) - Commander of the Allied Forces in the Pacific. Implemented the ‘island hopping’ strategy to free Pacific islands from Japanese control.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) – Perhaps the greatest wartime leader; rallied the British with his speeches, infectious confidence, and bulldog determination; known for his "iron curtain" speech; led the British during World War II; agreed Hitler should be conquered; was replaced after the war.
Okinawa – An island in the Pacific Ocean that was invaded by American troops during World war II as part of their island-hopping campaign in 1945.
Casablanca Conference (1943) - Resolved to accept nothing less than unconditional surrender of Axis powers. Also decided to go ahead with invasion of Sicily and Italy.
Potsdam Conference (July 1945) - Brought forward many differences over east Europe; Stalin would not allow any type of freely elected government in east European countries; Roosevelt had died and was succeeded by Harry Truman, who demanded free elections.
Teheran Conference (1943) - Meeting between Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill; confirmed their defense to crush Hitler.
Yalta Conference (1945) - On the Black Sea; the Big Three met in February 1945 in southern Russia; it was agreed that Germany would be divided into zones of occupation and would pay heavy reparations to the soviet Union in the form of agricultural and industrial goods; when the Big Three met in 1945 at Yalta in southern Russia they agreed that east European governments were to be freely elected but pro-soviet.
Bolsheviks – Literally means "Majority group." Modern Communism evolved from the split between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in 1903. Lenin led the more radical Bolsheviks who advocated the overthrow of capitalism by whatever means necessary.
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918) - Negotiated by Lenin to get Russia out of the First World War.
a. Russia gave up almost one-quarter of the landmass of the old Russian Empire.
b. Russia gave up Finland, Russia Poland, the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), and part of Byelorussia.
c. Russian troops were removed from the Ukraine
The treaty was nullified after the defeat of Germany in 1918.
Capitalism - An economic system in which the means of production are owned by individuals and not the state, the production of goods for profit, and the development of credit. In the system each person has equal opportunity. Competition leads to greater profits and higher efficiency.
Communism - A system in which property (real property and the means of production) are held in common. In a modern Communist state, the Communist Party controls the government; who then manages the resources of the country for the people. This type of government espoused by Marx, and further developed by Lenin became the foundation of the Soviet Union.
Stalin, Joseph - Communist statesman; leader of Bolshevik Party; became ruler of USSR after Lenin; assumed full military and political leadership.
United Nations Conference (1945) – representatives from 50 nations created the United nations Charter, which had a Security Council of five nations – China, France, Britain, America, and the Soviet Union.
Containment – American policy of containing the spread of Soviet expansionism. Led to the creation of NATO (1949).
George F. Kennan - American Secretary of State during the Cold War. Keenan wrote an anonymous article in Foreign Affairs in which he advocated the policy of slowly containing Communism. The philosophy of containment became the cornerstone of American foreign policy, especially in Asia.
Truman Doctrine (1947) – The basis of American post-war foreign policy, aimed at containing communism. It was stated by President Truman at a time when Greece and Turkey were in danger of communist takeover. Truman pledged US support for any people resisting “outside pressure.” Congress supported the policy with financial and military aid.
Marshall Plan (1947) – Proposed by Secretary of State George G. Marshall. Advocated the massive amounts of American economic aid to Europe to revitalize the European economies after WWII and help prevent the spread of Communism.
Berlin blockade (1948-9) – The Soviets closed all land and water routes to Berlin. The Allies organized the Berlin airlift to keep the city supplied. In 1949 the siege was lifted by the Soviets.
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization- formed in 1949 by U.S. anti-Soviet Military alliance of Western Governments.
Warsaw Pact (1955) - Counter to NATO created by Stalin to tighten his hold on satellites. Albania withdrew in 1968 when Czechoslovakia was invaded.
Fair Deal – President Truman’s domestic agenda in which he hoped to add to and improve the New Deal programs already in existence. Initially he was slowed because the republicans controlled Congress, but his second term he was more successful.
Brinkmanship - International relations involving the deliberate creation of a risk of war to apply pressure on the other party.
Dulles, John Foster – Secretary of state for Eisenhower who supported the use of nuclear war to deter the soviets.
Massive Retaliation – Term coined by Dulles in 1954 to imply the United States would use nuclear weapons against the Soviets.
Eisenhower doctrine (1957) – Foreign policy of President Eisenhower that promised military and economic aid to anti-Communist governments, specifically in the Middle East. Led to American troops being sent to Lebanon.
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) - Russian premier after Stalin. Led de-Stalinization of Russia. A reformer who argued for major innovations.
"peaceful coexistence" - Krushev’s foreign policy; peaceful coexistence with communism was possible.
Kai-shek, Chiang – Leader of the Nationalist forces after the death of Sun Yat-sen. He experienced a hot/cold relationship with the Communists and became President Nationalist Republic of China in 1928.
Zedong, Mao – “The Great Helmsman.” China’s greatest revolutionary leader and founder of the Chinese Communist Party. Won favor with the peasants in his clash with the nationalist forces and recruited them for his Red Army
Minh, Ho Chi (1890-1969) – Communist leader and president of North Vietnam (1954-69). He led the Vietnamese in their successful war for independence from the French.
Dien Bien Phu – The battle between the French and the North Vietnamese that ended French involvement in Indochina. The French held a fortified position for months and received supplies by parachute. Eventually the French were forced to surrender. After the shocking defeat the French withdrew from Vietnam.
Domino Theory – The belief that if one nation fell to communism then other neighboring nations would fall too.
Geneva Conference (1954) – Truce signed to end the conflict between the French and the Vietnamese. The country was divided at the 17th parallel – the Communists controlled the North while the anti-Communists controlled the South.
Ngo Dinh Diem – President of South Vietnam who was supported by the United States. He violently suppressed opposition and was eventually assassinated in 1963.
Viet Cong - Name given to the Communist guerilla fighters.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964) – Was the legislation used to give President Johnson the congressional approval to escalate the Vietnam War. Two U. S. ships were supposedly attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. Later reports proved these stories to be false, but Johnson accused the North Vietnamese of aggression and obtained his resolution to prevent all further attacks against United States forces.
Tet Offensive (1968) – On the Vietnamese New Year celebration (Tet) the Viet Cong attacked South Vietnamese cities, but quickly lost control of their gains.
Vietnamization – The scaling back of American involvement in Vietnam, eventually leading to turning over the war to the Vietnamese.
Pentagon Papers – Reports commissioned by secretary of defense McNamara in 1967, which were written about American involvement in Indochina since the end of World War II. They were given to the New York Times without proper permission and indicated the government had lied to the people and made many mistakes.
Kissinger, Henry – American diplomat who worked for Nixon as national security advisor. He was instrumental in negotiating the cease-fire in Vietnam.
Paris Accord (1973) - Peace treaty between United States and North Vietnam that led to the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. In 1975, South Vietnam was invaded by North Vietnam, which was a violation of the treaty.
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) - Created in 1938 as a committee to investigate Communist activities. Became instrumental in the advancement of Richard Nixon.
Hiss, Alger – State department employee accused in 1948 of being a Communist spy. He was eventually found guilty of perjury and sent to prison.
Rosenberg, Julius and Ethel – Married couple accused of conspiracy in 1951 after they allegedly gave secret about the atomic bomb to the Russians
McCarthy, Joseph – Senator from Wisconsin who initiated the Communist “witch hunts” of the 1950s.
McCarran Internal Security Act (1950) - Passed over President Truman’s veto, the act allowed the president to arrest and detain people who might be a danger to the state.
Manhattan Project – Scientific research project begun in 1941 to develop an atomic bomb.
Oppenheimer, J. Robert – American physicist who was director of the program to create the first atomic bomb. Became controversial when he opposed the creation of the H-bomb and consequently he was accused of being sympathetic towards the Communists.
Castro, Fidel - (1926- ) The Communist leader of Cuba who took power from Fulgencio Batista in a coup in 1959. Once a Cold War friend of the Soviet Union, now Castro, recently Castro has been forced to adopt limited capitalism.
Bay of Pigs (1961) – A small group of anti-Castro exiles had been trained by the CIA to land in Cuba, overthrow Castro and, with the help of the CIA restore democracy to the island. The Communists learned of the attack and surprised the exiles. The United States could do nothing to help.
Cuban Missile Crisis (1963) – a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. After the Bay of Pigs the Cubans accepted aid from the Soviets. Soon after they started to build missile sites from which missiles could easily land in the United States. President Kennedy forced the Soviets to back down and dismantle the missile silos.
Détente – Specifically a lessening of tension between 2 states. The phrase became popular in describing the relations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War thaw of the early 1970s.
G.I. Bill of Rights (1944) – Officially known as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act. Granted $13 billion in aid for military personal once they left the service.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – An independent agency created in 1947 under the National Security Act. The Central Intelligence At (1949) allowed the director to keep secret how the agency spent funds.
National Security Council – Agency created in 1947 to organize the strategic defense of the United States and advise the president on issues that need coordination between foreign, domestic, and military policies. So secretive that even Congress does not know much about the actions of the Council.
National Security Act (1947) – Legislation that created the air force as an independent branch of the military, unified all the branches of the military under the Department of Defense, and created the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Robinson, Jackie – In 1947 Robinson became the first black baseball player to play in the major leagues. Later he became the first black baseball player inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Dewey, Thomas E. – Republican Governor of New York who twice unsuccessfully ran for president.
Thurmond, Strom – Political leader from South Carolina. He ran for president in 1948 as the representative for the States’ Rights Democratic party (Dixecrats).
Dixiecrats - Southern Democrats who formed the States' Rights Democratic Party and nominated Strom Thurmond of South Carolina for president.
Southern Manifesto – Statement issued by southern congressmen in 1954 after the passage of Brown v. Board of Education. The congressmen pledged to oppose desegregation.
Marshall, Thurgood – In 1967, he became the first black justice to be appointed to the Supreme Court. He had made a reputation in Civil Rights cases and had represented the defense in the Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case before the Supreme Court.
Warren, Earl – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969. Was responsible for protecting much of the civil rights legislation.
"Separate but Equal" - In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate could exist if it was equal for blacks and whites.
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) - The boycotting of busses in Montgomery Alabama after Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to move to the back of the bus. The boycott lasted almost a year and was led by martin Luther King Jr.
Rosa Parks – Black lady who refused to give up her seat and move the back of the bus in 1955. Her action led to the Montgomery bus boycott.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference – Formed by Martin Luther King Jr., after the Montgomery bus boycott. Went on to be a major factor in the civil rights movement.
Faubus, Orval – Governor of Arkansas who used the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Little Rock Central High School. The move was countered by President Eisenhower who sent the army to ensure the students could attend class.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) – Formed in 1960 after the Greensboro sit-ins, the organization was more aggressive than the Southern Christian Leadership Counsel. The SNCC endorsed the idea of Black Power and expelled white members.
Oswald, Lee Harvey – The man who shot President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Oswald was later killed by Jack Ruby. It was determined by the Warren Commission that both men had acted alone.
Warren Commission (1963-4) – Committee led by Chief Justice Warren to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. The committee concluded that there was no conspiracy.
Economic Opportunity Act (1964) – A main part to President Johnson’s war on poverty, which created Head Start, Jobs Corp, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). Johnson hoped to create a Great Society for all.
Great Society – President Johnson’s platform for social improvement in the United States. But his escalation of the war in Vietnam undermined his agenda.
War on Poverty (1965) - President Johnson’s program to attack poverty and the causes of poverty in the United States. He used money made available because of the Gross National Profit had risen. The programs were the fulfillment of President Kennedy’s dream but became part of Johnson’s Great Society. It included programs such as, Medicare, Head Start, and Medicaid. When Johnson escalated the war in Vietnam the budget deficit increased dramatically and Congress looked for ways to cut programs.
Watts – A predominantly black area of Los Angeles that witnessed widespread looting and rioting in 1965. After the riots ended 34 people had been killed and over $45 million in damage had been done.
Malcom X – Born Malcolm Little he dropped his “slave name” and became Malcolm X. Controversial African-American activist who wanted black separation. He was a member of the Nation of Islam but broke with the organization. He was assassinated by three Black Muslims in 1965.
Carmichael, Stokely (Kwame Ture) – Influential African-American civil rights advocate during the 1960s and 1970s. He helped organize the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), supported the idea of Black Power, the Black Panthers, and was against integration.
Black Power – Term created in the 1966 and used to make people aware of the racial identity of the black man. Malcolm X was in important leader.
Betty Frieden – Feminist who wrote The Feminine Mystique in 1963 and helped form the National Organization for Women in 1966.
National Organization for Women (NOW) – Women’s rights organization inspired by Betty Frieden in 1966. The organization fought for equality for women.
Silent Majority – Traditional the white middle class and working class, right-wing public who had grown frustrated with the permissiveness of society.
Chicanos – A term used to describe the ethno-cultural roots of Mexican-Americans. It was very popular in the 1970s.
United Farm Workers Association – The union for migrant farm workers organized by Cesar Chavez in 1962. It changed its name to United Farm Workers of America.
Wallace, George – Former governor of Alabama who had stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama to prevent black students from entering. He ran for the presidency in 1968 as third party candidate. Running on a platform of segregation, he gained more votes than any previous third party candidate.
Kent State University (1970) – A protest against the Vietnam War turned tragic when Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on demonstrators killing 4 and wounding many more. Some of those killed were not demonstrators, but students on their way to class.
Leary, Timothy – Harvard professor who led the counterculture movement who advocated the use of LSD.
The Beatles – One of the most successful English rock groups. They were formed in the early 1960’s and disbanded in 1970. The 4 musicians were led by John Lennon and became famous for their lyrics.
Rolling Stones – A British rock group led by Mick Jagger. Very hard rock that talked about drugs and sex.
Medicare - Part of Johnson’s War on Poverty and enacted in 1965 it provided medical benefits for the poor and long-term social security claimants.
Medicaid - Part of Johnson’s War on Poverty and enacted in 1965 it provided medical benefits for welfare recipients.
Armstrong, Neil – Commander of the Apollo 11 mission to put the first man on the moon. Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon in July 1969.
Watergate – Luxury hotel in Washington D.C. that was the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The break in and the subsequent attempts to cover it up led to the downfall of Nixon.
Committee for the Re-election of the President (CREEP) – Nixon’s campaign committee.
McGovern, George M. – Senator from South Dakota who opposed the Vietnam War and ran as the Democratic nomination for president in 1972.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - An international organization of the major petroleum producing countries formed in 1960. The organization is dominated by Arab nations. Their goal is to control the flow and price of oil.
Arab-Israeli War (1973) – Egypt attacked Israel across the Suez canal while Syria attacked Israel from the Golan Heights. On October 22, 1973, the U. N. Security Council issued Resolution 338 calling for a ceasefire. Both sides claimed victory.
Camp David Accords - In 1978 President Carter invited Egyptian President Sadat to meet with Israeli Prime minister Begin at Camp David in Maryland. The agreement signed was the basis of the Arab-Israeli peace treaty.
Khomeini, Ayatollah Ruhollah - Shiite cleric and Islamic fundamentalist who had been exiled by the shah and who returned from exile to take over Iran in 1979.
Reaganomics – The economic principles of the Reagan administration. Based on the belief that tax cuts for the wealthy and deregulation of industry helps to stimulate the economy.
Supply side economics - Economic policy during the Reagan administration. The idea was that cuts in income tax would generate capital, which in turn would stimulate the economy. The policy did not work partly because Reagan could not cut government spending.
Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) – Also known as “Star Wars,” was an attempt to create a laser-based defense against possible missile attacks during the Reagan administration years.
"Stagflation" – A period when the economy is experiencing inflation and a stagnation of national growth at the same time.
Economic Recovery Tax Act (1981) – Legislation the cut income tax by 25% across the board and made even larger reductions for the wealthier people.
Contras – Nicaraguan rebels fighting to overthrow the Sandinista government. They were backed by the United States.
Noriega, Manuel - As head of the military in Panama General Noriega assumed power in 1988. He had worked closely with the CIA and was widely known for his brutality and drug trafficking. He was seized in 1989 when President Bush sent American troops to free Panama. He was replaced by President Ernesto Pérez.
Mondale, Walter – The Democratic nominee for the presidency in 1984. He was a liberal from Minnesota, his platform was the increasing gap between the poor and the rich and the rising deficit.
Ferraro, Geraldine – Liberal congresswoman from New York who was nominated to be the Democratic running mate for Walter Mondale. She was the first woman to be nominated for the nation’s second highest office.
North, Oliver – Staff member of the National Security Council and decorated Vietnam veteran, North was charged with diverting millions of dollars from the sale of weapons to aid the Contras in Nicaragua.
McFarlane, Robert - The national security advisor for President Reagan who was responsible for shipping arms to Iran in exchange for hostages.
Poindexter, John – Head of the National Security Council for the Reagan administration. He was Oliver North’s boss.
Common Market – The creation of the Common Market was based on a desire to rebuild Europe after World War II and to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future. The name was later changed to the European Community and than again to the European Union.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – An agreement ratified in 1993 that removed tariffs and trade barriers between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Brezhnev Doctrine - Soviet Union and its allies had the right to intervene in any socialist country whenever they saw the need.
Hussein, Saddam - President of Iraq in 1979, became a dictator who violently persecuted the Kurds.
Quayle, Dan - Chosen as George Bush’s running mate for the 1988 election.
Dukakis, Michael – As the Democratic governor of Massachusetts during much of the 1980s, Dukakis had made the state one of the most desirable in the Union. He was nominated as the Democratic party candidate for president in 1988. Lacking a great stage-presence and fighting allegations of being soft on crime the Democrats lost the election to Bush, but retained control of Congress.
Bentsen, Lloyd – The vice president nominee for Michael Dukakis and the Democratic party in 1992. Bentsen was from Texas and hope was that he would win the South for the Democrats.
Thomas, Clarence – In 1991, after the retirement of Thurgood Marshall, President Bush nominated African-American Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. During the nominating process the public learned that Thomas had been accused of sexually harassing Anita Hill who had worked for him. Nevertheless the Senate confirmed Hill.
Perot, H. Ross A Texas billionaire, Ross Perot financed his own third-party in an attempt to win the presidency in 1992. Campaigning on a platform of changing the status quo in Washington, Perot attacked the Clinton and Bush. Perot dropped out of the race before the election and then decided to run again. His party took the largest percentage for a third party, primarily from the Republicans, helping Clinton win the election.