US History Midterm

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French & Indian War

War between Britain and France that started in the Americas and moved to Europe. Fought from 1754 to 1763. Indians helped French. The British won the war and gained the control of eastern North America. Ended with a Treaty of Paris in 1763. Drove French out of North America.


A Policy in which a Nation could accumulate wealth and become a richer and more powerful nation. They would do this by exporting more goods than they imported thus, not giving money to rival nations. Colonization was an attempt towards mercantilism because of the products that were made in the Americas.

John Locke

An Enlightenment thinker from UK. Believed people deserved natural rights of Life, liberty, and property. If a government doesn’t give these rights, the people are able to leave the government Important because it gave ideas to many colonists when they were trying to break from UK.

Proclamation Line

A line developed in 1763 to give Indians the land west of Appalachian Mountains. This act was because the British thought it to be cheaper to not fight with Indians than to fight. This meant that settlers couldn’t settle west but many still did.


A movement in the early 1700’s. The Belief that society’s problems could be solved through reason and science.

Common Sense

-Written by Thomas Paine -Discussed independence from Britain, union of new states, and republican state Gov’ts -Said the king was the greatest enemy of liberty -If America was free they could trade with entire world

Sons of Liberty

-A group of men who were opposed to British taxes. -Famous leader- Sam Adams. -They led violent protest and killed, tarred, and feathered many tax collectors. -They burned houses and caused all tax collectors to resign.

Stamp Act

(1765)- A tax that made American colonist pay a tax on all printed materials, including newspapers, books, court docs, contracts, and land deeds. Brought about protests of people saying that they had no representation in Parliament so they shouldn’t have to pay taxes to the British.

Townshend Duties

a tax that raised price on glass, lead, paper, paint, tea

Battle of Saratoga

Turning point in the war because British were going to New York from Canada. The French then realized that they could fight their old rival

Declaration of Independence

-written on July 2, 1776 -Written by Thomas Jefferson -Used many of Paine’s Ideas -Used many enlightenment ideas

Boston Tea Party

1773 patriots revolted by throwing tea into the harbor in response to a harsh tax on Dutch Tea. The tax was an attempt by the British to sell their tea to the colonists.

Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts)

An act by Parliament that closed the ports in Boston until they paid for the tea they had destroyed. Along with this, Bostonians had to house British troops in their houses. Sparked more revolts by colonists.

Battles at Lexington and Concord

The British went to Lexington to arrest Hancock and Adams but they met resistance in Lexington and killed eight. They did not arrest the two men but on their way back to Boston they were ambushed by hundreds of militia men.200 British were killed.

First continental Congress

held in Philadelphia in 1774. Every colony but Georgia met, and the idea of being an American was first created. Created a boycott on British goods across the colonies in an attempt to remove the intolerable acts.

Second Continental Congress

Philadelphia in 1775. Congress assumed responsibility for the war with Britain. The continental Army was set up and was led by George Washington.

Battle of Yorktown

1781 Washington trapped Cornwallis’ troops at Yorktown, VA. The French Navy arrived at the perfect time and stopped the British from leaving. British surrender. Treaty of Paris in 1783 was signed giving the US independence and generous boundaries

Articles of Confederation

Drafted in 1777 by the Continental Congress. Design for the Gov’t was a loosely constructed 13 states not a strong central Gov’t. In this Gov’t each state had one vote. No president. Congress had no power to tax. To amend articles you needed all 13 states to vote yes.

Constitutional Convention

1787. A convention in the Pennsylvania State House where the Articles on Confederation were supposed to be revised. Instead they were thrown out and a new constitution was drafted

Virginia Plan

James Madison Congress has power to tax and regulate commerce Power divided amongst the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches States with more population would have more power Called for a strong president

New Jersey Plan

William Paterson Congress has powers to regulate commerce and tax States all have the same power Preserved an executive committee rather than adopting a singular President States remained more powerful than the Federal Gov’t

The Great Compromise

Roger Sherman Senate would have equal representation with to representatives from each state House of Representatives would represent population Supported federalism (divided power among federal and state Gov’ts) To Satisfy the South: -Slavery would no longer be imported after 1808 -Three Fifths Compromise-each slave was three-fifths of a person -Slaves were to be returned to their owners


Favored ratification (change the Articles of Confederation) Famous-George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin Stressed the weakness of the AoC Stronger Nation would get rid of Indians Had support in ports and other centralized locations Had support of Newspapers


Opposed ratification Disliked the lack of a Bill of Rights Said the new constitution would put in place a strong central gov’t Famous- Sam Adams, John Hancock, George Clinton, Richard Lee, Patrick Henry

Bill of Rights

First ten amendments of the constitution. Written by James Madison. They avoided anything that said all men are created equal which helped to deny slave rights. Freedom of Religion, speech, press, assembly,petition; protection from unreasonable searches and seizures(captures), right to speedy and free trial. Was left open to further amendments.

Shays Rebellion

Led by Daniel Shays, 1787. He led 1000 farmers to seize the Springfield Armory and shut down the courts. It was a reaction to the Articles of Confederation not being able to trade with other nations. Farmers could not sell their produce internationally.

Washington’s Farewell Address

He recognized that the country needed him to set a precedent of only running the country for 2 terms so he didn’t run again in 1796. He had defeated Indians, opened the west for settlement, suppressed the Whiskey rebellion, kept them out of European Wars, and helped fund the debts. In his farewell address he told his successors to avoid alliances that may lead to wars. He also told them to leave their own desires away and do what’s best for the nation.

Interpretations of Constitution

Federalists interpreted the Constitution Broadly and Democratic Republicans interpreted it Strictly.

John Marshall

Supreme Court Justice who formed judicial review (The court could determine if acts of Congress and the President were constitutional). He also interpreted the Constitution broadly.

Marbury v. Madison

court case that established judicial review. Marbury (Federalist) was appointed for Justice of Washington DC. James Madison refused to deliver the papers and John Marshall ruled in favor of Madison. They were from different parties so it pleased Madison (Democratic Republican) but it also gave the courts judicial review, which DRs didn’t want.

McCulloch vs. Maryland

State officials in Maryland were raising heavy taxes on the National Banks of that area so their local banks would grow. Marshall said that Congress had the power to make a National Bank and no state could destroy a bank with taxes.

Embargo of 1807

A failed attempt by Thomas Jefferson to suspend trade with the British, thus ruining their economy. The embargo did the opposite of what it intended to do and it crippled the US economy. Gained support for the Federalists in the North.

Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis and Will Clark were sent to explore the territory purchased in Louisiana Purchase. Exploration happened in 1804. The men were guided by Sacajawea and her husband.

Alien Act

The president could arrest and deport immigrants who criticized the federal Gov’t

Sedition Act

allowed juries to acquit defendants who proved the literal truth of their statements. In this system defendants were guilty until proven innocent

Revolution of 1800

Thomas Jefferson took office and he set out to change things that had been done before. Encouraged Congress to Drop the Alien and Sedition Acts and the taxes on unlike goods, wanted to pay all of the debt down, increased foreign trade, sold new federal lands to pay it down.

War of 1812

War with Britain over the repeated economic attacks made by Britain (Impressments, banned direct voyages to Europe). War ended with Treaty of Ghent

Louisiana Purchase

1803. Gave land from Mississippi River to Rocky Mountains to the US. Thomas Jefferson bought the land from the French for $15 million. This contradicted Jefferson’s principles because he was in favor a strict constitution but he as president went out and bought land.

Treaty of Ghent

A treaty in which both sides of the War of 1812 restored prewar boundaries and moved on. This was because both sides were exhausted of war. Was good news for US because the news was broken shortly after the news of the Battle of new Orleans. This made it look like Jackson had caused the Treaty. Treaty signed in Belgium.

Battle of New Orleans

The American’s greatest victory where Andrew Jackson helped to massacre the British

Election of 1824 (Corrupt Bargain)

Jackson, Clay, Adams, and Crawford all ran. The House of Reps chose Adams because Henry Clay had supported him. After Adams became President, he appointed Henry Clay as his Secretary of State. This was seen as a corrupt bargain by Andrew Jackson

Tariff of Abominations

An especially high tariff on incoming goods. This would create a better market for selling American goods to the south and it saved American Industry in the North. The South was unhappy because they did not want to have to pay more because the imported goods before were cheaper than the goods that were coming from the North.

Bank war with "Monster Bank"

Jackson dislikes the Second Bank of the US. He vetoes the renewal of the bank in 1832. He said it was dangerous to liberty, unauthorized and against the rights of the states. The Whigs were formed in response and Henry Clay and Daniel Webster promoted protective tariffs, internal improvements and a National Bank

Spoils System

A system that president Jackson used to get people to be loyal. If one remained loyal to Jackson’s party, he would then reward them with political positions around him.

Nullification Crisis

Happened in 1833 in response to the Tariff of Abominations. John Calhoun of South Carolina who was Jackson’s VP at the time wanted to nullify. South Carolina decided to nullify the tariff and refused to pay federal taxes or they were going to secede

Jacksonian Democracy

A party of Democrats who followed Jackson. They helped him to win the Presidential election of 1828 by a large margin. They wanted strong states and weak gov’ts that would not interfere with slavery

Trail of Tears

The Jackson administration had talked to a small group of Cherokees that didn’t have any power over the other Indians and they agree to leave to Oklahoma. In 1838, 16,000 Native Americans left their homes and walked to Oklahoma. ¼ of the people died along the way.

Monroe Doctrine

A foreign policy doctrine to tell the great European powers that they were not going to stop the Latin American Colonies from liberating themselves.

Eli Whitney

Invented Interchangeable parts that changed the production of things forever. It made items, which were generally hard to replace, easy to switch out a broken piece. He also invented the more famous cotton Gin in 1793, making the separation of cottonseeds from the cotton much faster. This led to the need from more factories in the North and Cotton became over half of the value of all US exports.


In the 1840’s People from Ireland and Germany came to America. They left their home country because of a Potato Famine (Ireland) and a failed Political Revolution (Germany). The Immigrants went into Ellis Island in New York when they first arrived. Most were Catholic and Jewish, they were met with great resistance by Protestants (Nativists)

First Industrial Revolution

A time in America where the country had a boom in industrial production. Textile Mills (created by Sam Slater), Full Mills (For example the Lowell mill), Factory girls working(Lowell and other factories), Interchangeable parts(Invented by Eli Whitney), and Communication Systems(created by Samuel B. Morse).

Missouri Compromise (1820)

Drafted by Henry Clay Maine was entered as a free state and Missouri would be entered as a slave state. Any new state south of the Southwestern corner of Missouri would be entered as a slave state.

Second Great Awakening

A religious movement in the early 1800’s that was started by the protestants to try and revive the religious faith of the country. This ultimately led to other movements because it showed people that they can openly speak about what they believe in.

Women’s Rights Movement

Movement that worked for greater rights and opportunities for women. Began with the Seneca Falls Convention in New York in 1848. Women worked for rights like suffrage (the right to vote), equality in clothing, and property rights

Nat Turner’s Rebellion

A man who believed that he had a theophany and he was supposed to lead the slaves to freedom. He went to an armory and killed 60 people. Later he was found and executed.

Abolition Movement

A movement to end slavery led by William Garrison. He wrote the liberator and was in favor of emancipation. People worked to spread the word about abolitionist movement by going to churches and handing out pamphlets. Many people were against slavery and spoke at these meetings (Fredrick Douglass, the Grimke Sisters). The movement met much resistance in the South and the North ended up going to war with the South.

Public School Reform

Horace Mann was a senator from Massachusetts who wanted to give children the adequate schooling needed. He advances public schools around the country. With his help double the amount of kids attended schools, teachers were not allowed to punish, teachers were trained professionally, and all schools were tax supported. This really increased the literacy rate in the US as other states followed his plan.

Penitentiary Reform

Dorothea Dix was a woman who in 1841was teaching Sunday school in prisons and she noticed that the prisoners weren’t receiving the right treatment and care that they needed. She worked to try and make prisoners feel sorrow for their sins (penitent means sorrow). After her, the Pennsylvania System and the Auburn System were created for prisoners. The Auburn System was more popular because it was cheaper.

Penn-Solitary reform

You had your own room and yard in which to exercise

Auburn- Group reform

Slept in your own room but worked with others during the day

Temperance Movement

A movement to stop people from abusing alcohol. American Temperance Society was set up to help people to stop abusing it. Neal Dow Played a large role because in 1851 he passed the Maine law prohibiting any alcohol sales in the town of Portland. Many laws were passed after this in other states.

William Lloyd Garrison

Was the leading abolitionist. He published the Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper. That way he could spread his ideas around the country. He founded the American Anti-Slavery Society.

Fredrick Douglass

A former slave who spoke at abolitionist meetings across the country. He told personal accounts of slavery and touched many people’s hearts with his story.


The belief that one can find more about themselves through nature. Leading members-Thoreau and Emerson.

Texas Independence

Texas breaks off of Mexico because they want more independence from Santa Anna and his strict leadership. They form the Lone Star Republic headed by Sam Houston.

Oregon Territory

Marcus and Narcissa Whitman went on the Oregon Trail out to Oregon Territory. They set up a compound along the way, attracting several other settlers to the West. Mountain men and others previously went through this territory and they explored the territory before the Whitmans.

Mexican-American war

A war over the Texas, New Mexico, California territory. 1845-Zach Taylor sends his troops down to the Mexican border and Polk declared war. The US were much more powerful and they ended the war in 1847 after the siege of Mexico City. This Victory gave the US all of the Northern third of Mexico.

Manifest Destiny

the belief that it is the United States’ destiny from God to have complete control of the United States. This Belief led to the expansion of the United States to the west

Early Western Migration

Started by John Fremont because of the beauty that he described in the other lands. Early Migration was driven by Manifest Destiny. California Gold Rush happened in 1849 when people found out that there was Gold in California.

Compromise of 1850

Written by Henry Clay to compromise over issue of Slavery -California would be put in as a free state -New Mexico and Utah would be decided over popular sovereignty -The slave trade not slavery would be ended in Washington DC -A new Strict Fugitive Slave Law would be enforced Texas sold New Mexican claims for $10 million

Republican Party

A party formed that was against slavery and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It was formed in 1854. Abe Lincoln was a republican president. They wanted Kansas to be admitted as a free state, and they were against popular sovereignty to decide on the issue of slavery.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe about a slave named Uncle Tom and the harshness f slavery. This cause uprising in the North and their was a large push for the abolishment of slavery. This book was banned in the South. This made the South very upset and cause many people to look towards seceding. This book sold over 300,000 copies.

Dred Scott vs. Sanford(1857)

Supreme Court Case between a Missouri Slave (Dred Scott) who was suing for his freedom from his owner. Scott had lived with his owner in a free state for a few years but was still enslaved. The Chief Justice was Robert B Taney and he ruler against Dred Scott because he was property so he could not sue, the case said the Missouri Compromise was Unconstitutional, and it was illegal for Congress to take property away from someone without due process.

Lincoln- Douglas Debates

A series of seven debates between Stephen A. Douglas(the little Giant) and Abe Lincoln(Honest Abe). They were both running for the US senate position in Illinois in 1858.

Stephen Douglas

Was in favor of Popular Sovereignty Wanted to Annex Texas wanted the votes of democrats

Abe Lincoln

Spoke of right and wrong Not for equal rights for blacks, he was for Natural rights for all (life, liberty, Property)

John Brown

A man who wanted to lead a fight against slavery. He attacked Harper’s Ferry in Virginia because of its central location and he was captured by officials and killed. He had viewed himself as an angel of God. Tensions were raised more and Southerners began to prepare for a war. The Border Ruffians in Kansas also burned his home. In retaliation he killed 5 proslavery men in a nearby town


South Carolina was the first state to leave (1860) because of the result of the election. They felt that they had no voice. They created the Confederate States of America in 1861. They were followed by 6 other southern states and Jefferson Davis was their president.


the belief that someone who is a native-born white American is superior to a newcomer.

Election of 1860

Democrats, Constitutional Unionists and Republicans all had candidates

Democrats in the Election of 1860

Stephen A. Douglas, John BreckinRidge

Stephen A. Douglas

-Northern Democrat -Illinois -Wanted Popular Sovereignty to decide the issue of slavery

John BreckinRidge

-Southern Democrat -Kentucky -Federal Government must protect slavery

Constitutional Unionists in the Election of 1860

John Bell

John Bell

Tennesee Federal government should support slavery and defend the Union

Republicans in the Election of 1860

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln

Illinois Slavery is not allowed

Underground Railroad

A way to get slaves out of the South. They used railroad terms to disguise their movement. Harriet Tubman is one of the most famous for her courageous efforts to keep returning to the South to get hundreds of black slaves.

Popular Sovereignty

A type of democracy where people of an area vote on how they would like things. This is important to slavery because people thought that they should have slavery in some states and not in others. This method does not work however as is seen in the Kansas Nebraska Act because it leads to violent protests and fights.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

Senator Douglas introduced a bill to set up Nebraska and Kansas as two different states, Kansas being entered as a slave state and Nebraska as a free state. The bill was passed in 1854 and it nullified the Missouri Compromise because the area of Kansas had been free for over 30 years. Led to the creation of the Republican Party.

Bleeding Kansas

Border Ruffians from Mississippi would enter into Kansas and persuade people to vote for slavery because Mississippi was a slave state. It exposed the weaknesses of Popular Sovereignty. Two governments had been created in Kansas and they had opposing views on slavery. The Proslavery Capital was Lecompton and the antislavery capital was Topeka. The bloody part of this was when Lawrence was burned by the Border Ruffians (wanted slavery). The fights went on for weeks as both sides attacked each other.

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