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Proclamation Line of 1763

Stated that no colonists could settle in lands to the west of the Appalachian mountains– made the colonists very upset

Declaration of Independence

* Document adopted on July 4, 1776. * Established the 13 American colonies as independent states, free from rule by Great Britain. * Thomas Jefferson wrote most of it. * Explained to the world why we wanted our freedom.



Articles of Confederation

1st Constitution of the U.S. 1781-1788 (weaknesses-no executive, no judicial, no power to tax, no power to regulate trade)


a person apposed to the ratification of the US constitution, and wanted a bill of rights to be added.


supporters of the constitution during the debate over its ratification; favored a strong national government


a change to the Constitution

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution, containing a list of individual rights and liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press.


The document which established the present federal government of the United States and outlined its powers. It can be changed through amendments. Supreme law of the land.


a legislature consisting of two "houses"


people that advise the president and help set policy for the nation–an example of the unwritten Constitution

Unwritten Constitution

customs, traditions, practices not written in constitution that are part of our system of government–ie. the cabinet and two term limit.


population count every 10 years, to determine the number of representatives in Congress for each of the states.

Checks and Balances

The power of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government to block some acts by the other two branches–ie. the veto, declaring a law unconstitutional, or impeaching a president.

Electoral College

the body of electors who formally elect the United States president and vice-president

Compromise of 1850

it abolished the slave trade in the District of Columbia, admitted California as a free state and opened much of the Mexican Cession to popular sovereignty

Monroe Doctrine

Europeans should not interfere with affairs in Western Hemisphere, Americans to stay out of foreign affairs; supported Washington’s goal for US neutrality in Americas


A system in which power is divided between the national and state governments

Federalist Papers

Series of essays that defended the Constitution and tried to reassure Americans that the states would not be overpowered by the federal government.

House of Representatives

One of the two parts of Congress, considered the "lower house." Representatives are elected directly by the people, with the number of representatives for each state determined by the state’s population–has the power to impeach


Formal accusation against a president or other public official, the first step in removal from office.

Judicial Review

the power of the courts to declare laws unconstitutional

Manifest Destiny

the belief that the United States was destined to stretch across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean

Andrew Jackson

As president he opposed the Bank of US, did not allow individual states to nullify federal laws, was responsible for the Indian Removal Act, the "Trail of Tears". Created Spoils System

spoils system

practice of rewarding supporters with government jobs


the movement to end slavery

Dred Scott

A black slave, had lived with his master for 5 years in Illinois and Wisconsin Territory. Backed by interested abolitionists, he sued for freedom on the basis of his long residence on free soil. The ruling on the case was that He was a black slave and not a citizen, so he had no rights.

Jim Crow Laws

Laws that separated people of different races in public places in the south


a period after the civil war when the US worked to bring the country back together and the southern states were subject to a federal military presence

13th, 14th, 15th Amendments

The three amendments to the Constitution that resulted from the Civil War and abolished slavery, guaranteed civil rights, and guaranteed blacks the right to vote

Great Plains

vast grassland between the mississippi river and the rocky mountains

New Immigrants

Immigrants who came to the United States during and after the 1880s; most were from southern and eastern Europe.

Old Immigrants

immigrants who had come to the US before the 1880s from Britain, Germany, Ireland, and Scandenavia, or Northern Europe

Harlem Renaissance

a flowering of African American culture in the 1920s; instilled interest in African American culture and pride in being an African American–ie. Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington

Langston Hughes

a Harlem Renaissance poet. The phrase "Harlem Renaissance" refers to African American achievements in art, literature and music in the 1920s

Great Migration

movement of over 300,000 African American from the rural south into Northern cities between 1914 and 1920

Open Door Policy

The idea that all countries should have the right to open trade with China-this was directed toward other imperialist countries. U.S. wanted to prevent countries from setting up separate spheres of influence within China, thereby blocking potential U.S. trade opportunities.

Progressive Era

Period of reform from 1890s-1920s. Opposed waste and corruption, for social justice, general equality, and public safety: Sherman Anti-trust Act, President Theodore Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair’s "The Jungle", Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act of 1906.`


A group of investigative reporters who pointed out the abuses of big business and the corruption of urban politics; included Frank Norris (The Octopus), Ida Tarbell (A history of the standard oil company), Lincoln Steffens (the shame of the cities), and Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)


18th amendment: a total ban on the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor throughout the United States. 1919-1933 — ends with 21st amendment

Social Reformers

Dorothea Dix, Jane Addams, and Jacob Riis –tried to improve lives of poor, underserved in society

Womens suffrage

the right of women to vote W/ 19th amendment in 1920

Seneca Falls Convention

Took place in Upstate New York in 1848. Women of all ages and even some men went to discuss the rights and conditions of women. There, they wrote the Declaration of Sentiments, tried to get women rights for women, especially the right to vote.

Scopes Trial

1925, the trial that pitted the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution against teaching Bible creationism

World War One

War fought because Germany was interfering with American freedom of the seas.

Herbert Hoover

became president in 1928, just before the onset of the Great Depression; blamed for the market crash; actions taken were criticized as too little too late

Great Depression

the economic crisis beginning with the stock market crash in 1929 and continuing through the 1930s.


Congress created the Works Progress Administration in 1935– spent $11 billion on federal works projects and provided employment for 8.5 million persons. They built roads, bridges, schools, etc., but the also funded projects for thespians, artists, writers, and young people.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

an engineer and his wife who were accused, tried, and executed in the early 1950s for running an espionage ring in New York City that gave atomic secrets to the soviet union; long considered unjustly accused victims of the Red Scare, recent evidence suggests that Julius was indeed a soviet agent

Sacco and Vanzetti

Italian radicals who became symbols of the Red Scare of the 1920s; arrested (1920), tried and executed (1927) for a robbery/murder, they were believed by many to have been innocent but convicted because of their immigrant status and radical political beliefs.

World War Two

Event that brought the United States completely out of the Great Depression, we entered because of Japanese bombing at Pearl Harbor

New Deal

The name given to the program of "Relief, Recovery, Reform" begun by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 to bring the United States out of the Great Depression.


an economic system in which the central government directs all major economic decisions. Its spread was our biggest fear after WW2!

Harry Truman

The 33rd U.S. president, who succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt upon Roosevelt’s death in April 1945. Truman, who led the country through the last few months of World War II, is best known for making the controversial decision to use two atomic bombs against Japan in August 1945. After the war, Truman was crucial in the implementation of the Marshall Plan, which greatly accelerated Western Europe’s economic recovery.

Interstate Highway

a main highway that crosses the entire country, either from east to west or south to north–sponsored by D. Eisenhower

John F Kennedy

35th President of the United States 35th President of the United States; only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize; events during his administration include the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement and early events of the Vietnam War; assassinated in Dallas, TX in 1963

Lyndon Johnson

President who escalated Vietnam War, signed the civil rights act of 1964 into law and the voting rights act of 1965. War on Poverty, medicare and Medicaid.

Great Society

President Johnson called his version of the Democratic reform program. In 1965, Congress passed many measures, including Medicare, civil rights legislation, and federal aid to education.


relaxation of tensions between the United States and its two major Communist rivals, the Soviet Union and China


The events and scandal surrounding a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 and the subsequent cover-up of White House involvement, leading to the eventual resignation of President Nixon under the threat of impeachment.

Marbury V Madison

this case establishes the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review

Korematsu v US

This supreme court case followed the movement of 100,000 Japanese Americans moved to internment camps; the case upheld the US govt’s internment policy as justified in wartime.

Schenck V US

1919; conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during WW1. Justice Holmes declared that gov’t can limit speech if the speech provokes a "clear and present danger" of substantive evils.

Brown V Board of Education

1954 – The Supreme Court overruled Plessy v. Ferguson, declared that racially segregated facilities are inherently unequal and ordered all public schools desegregated.

Plessy V Ferguson

Supreme Court case (1896) Legalized segregation under the Constitution with the concept of "separate but equal."

Mapp V Ohio

The 1961 Supreme Court decision ruling that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against "unreasonable searches and seizures" must be extended to the states as well as to the federal government

Miranda V Arizona

1966 ruling that upon arrest, a suspect has the "right to remain silent" and the right to consult with a lawyer.


TLO caught smoking in non-designated area, and drug paraphernalia found in possession. The school search is CONSTITUTIONAL as schools only need "reasonable suspicion." *UNREASONABLE SEARCH/SEIZURE CLAIM DENIED

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