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Aztecs
Native American tribe whose forces controlled the Valley of Mexico through terror and elaborate rituals of human sacrifice performed on the steps of magnificent stepped-pyramids; conquered with surprising ease by Cortes and his men
Iroquois
Indians of NY, PA, OH, & Canada; Five Nations confederacy dominated Eastern Woodland Indians in 17th and 18th century
Black Legend
lurid accounts of Spanish torture and mistreatment of their Indian subjects; most originated in Spanish accounts criticizing their own conduct; blown hugely out of proportion by anti-Catholic English Protestants
caravel
new European ships that combined swiftness of Arabian lantine sails with size of older European ships
Church of England
New church created when King Henry VIII broke away from Rome in his attempt to find a male heir and secure a legal divorce; still adhered to many of the rituals and liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church; attacked by Puritans as corrupt and in need of reform; parent of American Episcopalian or Anglican Church
Columbian Exchange
The process of transferring plants, animals, foods, diseases, wealth, and culture between Europe and the Americas, beginning at the time of Christopher Columbus and continuing throughout the era of exploration and expansion. The exchange often resulted in the devastation of Native American peoples and cultures, so much so that the process is sometimes referred to as the "Columbian collision."
conquistadores
first Spanish explorers and founders of new colonies in New World; adopted ruthless, greedy attitude toward wealth of New World; most came from dispossessed gentry and Spanish middle classes
Cortes, Hernando
Spanish conquistador whose conquest of Mexico was one of the most dramatic tales of world history
Encomienda System
The government in Spain gave away large tracts of conquered land in Spanish America, including whole villages of indigenous peoples, to court favorites, including many conquistadores. These new landlords, or encomenderos, were supposed to educate the natives and teach them the Roman Catholic faith. The system was rife with abuse, however. Landlords rarely offered much education, preferring instead to exploit the labor of the local inhabitants, whom they treated like slaves.
Northwest Passage
During the Age of Exploration, adventurers from England, France, and the Netherlands kept seeking an all-water route across North America. The goal was to gain access to Oriental material goods and riches while avoiding contact with the developing Spanish empire farther to the south in Central and South America.
Prince Henry the Navigator
Portugese monarch of 15th century whose fascination with sea exploration and navigation made Portugal the lead nation for over a century, especially in exploring the southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Protestant Reformation
A religious reform movement formally begun in 1517 when the German friar Martin Luther openly attacked abuses of Roman Catholic doctrine. Luther contended that the people could read scripture for themselves in seeking God's grace and that the Bible, not church doctrine, was the ultimate authority in human relationships. Luther's complaints helped foster a variety of dissenting religious groups, some of which would settle in America to get away from various forms of oppression in Europe.
Puritans
Protestant Reformers in England who wanted the Church of England to follow the full path of reform; they attacked the existing church for its "Roman" character of hierarchy, church governance, liturgy, vestments, and moral laxness
quadrant
navigational tool of the 16th and 17th century that made sailing on open seas possible through more accurate navigation
Raleigh, Walter
Elizabeth I's favorite cavalier; he sponsored several expeditions to Virginia and Carolina, none of them successful
Renaissance
Beginning in the 1400s, the European Renaissance represented an intellectual and cultural flowering in the arts, literature, philosophy, and the sciences. One of the most important tenets of the Renaissance was the belief in human progress, or the betterment of society.
repartimiento
system of forced labor the Spanish used with Indians requiring them to work for their masters in the mines
Roanoke Island
Site of first failed settlment off the coast of North Carolina
Atlantic slave trade
Slavery was introduced into America in 1619 with the sale of four slaves from the Caribbean by Dutch traders to the English; however, major trading in slaves did not start until 1675, when tobacco farmers imported them to replace indentured labor that had gotten too expensive and unruly; later millions of Africans were shipped as slaves to North and South America over the next 200 years
Bacon's Rebellion
1676 - Nathaniel Bacon and other western Virginia settlers were angry at Virginia Governor Berkley for trying to appease the Doeg Indians after the Doegs attacked the western settlements. The frontiersmen formed an army, with Bacon as its leader, which defeated the Indians and then marched on Jamestown and burned the city. The rebellion ended suddenly when Bacon died of an illness.
Berkely, William
governor of the Chesapeake colony of Virginia in the 17th century; led the successful opposition to Bacon's Rebellion
French Huguenots
French Protestants who were repressed by the Catholic throne; a sizeable group migrated to the Middle Colonies
Headright
As an economic incentive to encourage English to settle in Virginia and other English colonies during the seventeenth century, sponsoring parties would offer 50 acres of land per person to those who migrated or who paid for the passage of others willing to migrate to America. Because of Virginia's high death rate and difficult living conditions, headrights functioned as an inducement to help bolster the colony's low settlement rate.
House of Burgesses
1619 - The Virginia House of Burgesses formed, the first legislative body in colonial America. Later other colonies would adopt houses of burgesses.
Indentured servants
People who could not afford passage to the colonies could become indentured servants. Another person would pay their passage, and in exchange, the indentured servant would serve that person for a set length of time (usually seven years) and then would be free.
James Oglethorpe
Founder and governor of the Georgia colony. He ran a tightly disciplined, military-like colony. Slaves, alcohol, and Catholicism were forbidden in his colony. Many colonists felt that Oglethorpe was a dictator, and that (along with the colonist's dissatisfaction over not being allowed to own slaves) caused the colony to break down and Oglethorpe to lose his position as governor.
Jamestown
site of first successful settlement in Virginia on James River of Chesapeake Bay; named for King James I
John Smith
Helped found and govern Jamestown. His leadership and strict discipline helped the Virginia colony get through the difficult first winter.
Joint Stock Trading Companies
These companies were given the right to develop trade between England and certain geographic regions, such as Russia or India. Investors would pool their capital, in return for shares of stock, to underwrite trading ventures. One such company, the Virginia Company, failed to secure profits for its investors but laid the basis for the first major English colony in the Americas.
Mercantilism
An economic system built on the assumption that the world's supply of wealth is fixed and that nations must export more goods than they import to assure a steady supply of gold and silver into national coffers. Mercantile thinkers saw the inflow of such wealth as the key to maintaining and enhancing national power and self-sufficiency. Within this context, the accumulation and development of colonies was of great importance, since colonies could supply scarce raw materials to parent nations and serve as markets for finished goods.
mestizos
a person of mixed Indian and Spanish parentage
Middle Passage
term used to describe the hellish journey from freedom in Africa to slavery in America; millions died en route
Navigation Acts of 1650, 1660, 1663, and 1696
British regulations designed to protect British shipping from competition. Said that British colonies could only import goods if they were shipped on British-owned vessels and at least 3/4 of the crew of the ship were British.
Powhatan
sachem, or leader, of the Native Americans who lived around and about Jamestown in the 17th century; Pocahantas was his daughter
proprietary colony
colonies that legally belonged to the King; he "gave" the territory to certain individuals as a"gift"; they then "owned" the colony for themselves
Pueblo Revolt of 1680
largest Indian uprising of the colonial era; drove the Spanish out of SW for more than 10 years
Quitrents
fees for the use of land collected every year
royal colony
colony that belonged directly to the King--Virginia
Staple crops in the South
Tobacco was grown in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. Rice was grown in South Carolina and Georgia. Indigo was grown in South Carolina.
Virginia Company
joint-stock company that undertook Jamestown expedition and setlement in the 16th and 17th centuries
Virginia: purpose, problems, failures, successes
Virginia was formed by the Virginia Company as a profit-earning venture. Starvation was the major problem; about 90% of the colonists died the first year, many of the survivors left, and the company had trouble attracting new colonists. They offered private land ownership in the colony to attract settlers, but the Virginia Company eventually went bankrupt and the colony went to the crown. Virginia did not become a successful colony until the colonists started raising and exporting tobacco.
Anne Hutchinson, Antinomianism
She preached the idea that God communicated directly to individuals instead of through the church elders. She was forced to leave Massachusetts in 1637. Her followers (the Antinomians) founded the colony of New Hampshire in 1639.
Antinomian
Literally meaning against the laws of human governance. Antinomians believed that once they had earned saving grace, God would offer them direct revelation by which to order the steps of their lives. As such, human institutions, such as churches and government, were no longer necessary. Mainline Puritans believed Antinomianism would produce only social chaos and destroy the Bay Colony's mission, so they repudiated and even exiled prominent persons like Anne Hutchinson, who advocated such doctrines.
Benjamin Franklin
Printer, author, inventor, diplomat, statesman, and Founding Father. One of the few Americans who was highly respected in Europe, primarily due to his discoveries in the field of electricity.
bicameral legislature
a legislature with two chambers—higher(hereditary) and lower (elected)
Calvinism
Broadly influential Protestant theology emanating from the French theologian John Calvin, who fled to Switzerland, where he reordered life in the community of Geneva according to his conception of the Bible. Calvinism emphasized the power and omnipotence of God and the importance of seeking to earn saving grace and salvation, even though God had already determined (the concept of predestination) who would be eternally saved or damned.
City Upon a Hill
Phrase from John Winthrop's sermon, "A Model of Christian Charity," in which he challenged his fellow Puritans to build a model, ideal community in America that would serve as an example of how the rest of the world should order its existence. Here was the beginning of the idea of America as a special, indeed exceptional society, therefore worthy of emulation by others. The concept of American exceptionalism has dominated American history and culture down to the present.
commercial agriculture
two basic styles of farming: 1) for mostly personal consumption—"subsistence agriculture"; 2) commercial agriculture: farming to produce a surplus to be sold at market for cash
Congregationalists
church organization favored by most Puritans; each church was governed by its "elect members" who hired and fired the minister; no hierarchy of church officials abovr each congregation
Contrast Puritan colonies with others
Puritan colonies were self-governed, with each town having its own government which led the people in strict accordance with Puritan beliefs. Only those members of the congregation who had achieved grace and were full church members (called the "elect," or "saints") could vote and hold public office. Other colonies had different styles of government and were more open to different beliefs.
Coverture
Coverture is closely connected with patriarchy because this concept contends that the legal identity of women is subordinated first in their fathers and, then, in their husbands, as the sanctioned heads of households. See patriarchal.
None
Dominion of New England
1686 - The British government combined the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut into a single province headed by a royal governor (Andros). The Dominion ended in 1692, when the colonists revolted and drove out Governor Andros.
Enumerated Goods
Products grown or extracted from England's North American colonies that could be shipped only to England or other colonies within the empire. Goods on the first enumeration list included tobacco, indigo, and sugar. Later furs, molasses, and rice would be added to a growing list of products that the English colonies could not sell directly to foreign nations.
Glorious Revolution, 1688
King James II's policies, such as converting to Catholicism, conducting a series of repressive trials known as the "Bloody Assizes," and maintaining a standing army, so outraged the people of England that Parliament asked him to resign and invited King William of the Netherlands (who became known as William II in England), to take over the throne. King James II left peacefully (after his troops deserted him) and King William II and his wife Queen Mary II took the throne without any war or bloodshed, hence the revolution was termed "glorious."
Halfway Covenant
Realizing that many children of the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first generation were not actively seeking God's saving grace and full church membership, the question was how to keep the next generation of children active in church affairs. The solution, agreed to in 1662, was to permit the baptism of children and grandchildren of professing saints, thereby according them half-way membership. Full church membership still would come only after individuals testified to a conversion experience. This compromise on standards of membership was seen as a sign of declension. See declension.
Holy Experiment
Tolerance of religious diversity was at the core of William Penn's vision for a colony in America. As such, the colony of Pennsylvania represented a "holy experiment" for Penn. He encouraged people of all faiths to live together in harmony and to maintain harmonious relations with Native Americans in the region. The residents of early Pennsylvania never fully embraced Penn's vision, but the colony was open to religious dissenters and became a model for the diversity that later characterized America.
Jesuits
Roman Catholic Order of the Society of Jesus; known for their brilliance and determination to spread and defend the Catholic faith
John Winthrop (1588-1649), his beliefs
1629 - He became the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and served in that capacity from 1630 through 1649. A Puritan with strong religious beliefs. He opposed total democracy, believing the colony was best governed by a small group of skillful leaders. He helped organize the New England Confederation in 1643 and served as its first president.
Joint stock company
A company made up of a group of shareholders. Each shareholder contributes some money to the company and receives some share of the company's profits and debts.
King Philip's War
1675 - A series of battles in New Hampshire between the colonists and the Wompanowogs, 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. The colonists won with the help of the Mohawks, and this victory opened up additional Indian lands for expansion.
League of Iroquois
Loose alliance of Iroquois-speaking Indians of the Eastern Woodlands; dominated the fur trade with the French and English; reputatiopn for great ferocity; often sided with English against French and Americans; aka The Five Nations
Leisler's Rebellion
1689 - When King James II was dethroned and replaced by King William of the Netherlands, the colonists of New York rebelled and made Jacob Leiser, a militia officer, governor of New York. Leisler was hanged for treason when royal authority was reinstated in 1691, but the representative assembly which he founded remained part of the government of New York.
Maryland Act of Toleration (Act of Religious Toleration)
1649 - Ordered by Lord Baltimore after a Protestant was made governor of Maryland at the demand of the colony's large Protestant population. The act guaranteed religious freedom to all Christians.
Massachusetts Bay Company
The original joint stock company organized by Puritans to set up colony in New England; loophole in by-laws permitted the company to hold meetings wherever the Board was
Mayflower Compact
1620 - The first agreement for self-government in America. It was signed by the 41 men on the Mayflower and set up a government for the Plymouth colony.
Mercantilism: features, rationale, impact on Great Britain, impact on the colonies
Mercantilism was the economic policy of Europe in the 1500s through 1700s. The government exercised control over industry and trade with the idea that national strength and economic security comes from exporting more than is imported. Possession of colonies provided countries both with sources of raw materials and markets for their manufactured goods. Great Britain exported goods and forced the colonies to buy them.
Navigation System
To effect mercantilist goals, King and Parliament legislated a series of Navigation Acts (1651, 1660,1663, 1673, 1696) that established England as the central hub of trade in its emerging empire. Various rules of trade, as embodied in the Navigation Acts, made it clear that England's colonies in the Americas existed first and foremost to serve the parent nation's economic interests, regardless of what was best for the colonists.
New England Confederation
1643 - Formed to provide for the defense of the four New England colonies, and also acted as a court in disputes between colonies.
New Netherlands; New Amsterdam
Dutch colony emphasizing trade and a diverse population; later became New York after English seized the territory
New York and Philadelphia as urban centers
New York became an important urban center due to its harbor and rivers, which made it an important center for trade. Philadelphia was a center for trade and crafts, and attracted a large number of immigrants, so that by 1720 it had a population of 10,000. It was the capital of Pennsylvania from 1683-1799. As urban centers, both cities played a major role in American Independence.
Pennsylvania, William Penn
1681- 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 colony, Pennsylvania, allowed religious freedom.
Pilgrims and Puritans contrasted
The Pilgrims were separatists who believed that the Church of England could not be reformed. Separatist groups were illegal in England, so the Pilgrims fled to America and settled in Plymouth. The Puritans were non-separatists who wished to adopt reforms to purify the Church of England. They received a right to settle in the Massachusetts Bay area from the King of England.
Poor Richard's Almanack, first published 1732
Written by Benjamin Franklin, it was filled with witty, insightful, and funny bits of observation and common sense advice (the saying, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," first appeared in this almanac). It was the most popular almanac in the colonies.
Primogeniture, entail
These were the two British legal doctrines governing the inheritance of property. Primogeniture required that a man's real property pass in its entirety to his oldest son. Entail required that property could only be left to direct descendants (usually sons), and not to persons outside of the family.
Puritan migration
Many Puritans emigrated from England to America in the 1630s and 1640s. During this time, the population of the Massachusetts Bay colony grew to ten times its earlier population.
Quakers; Society of Friends
Radical Christian dissenters who refused to recognize royalty or aristocracy; addressed everyone by the name : "Friend"; no priests or ministers; believed in the Inner Light of conscience that speaks to all who listen; pacifist tradition; much reviled and abused in England and parts of America; most settled in PA in the 17th and 18th centuries
Roger Williams, Rhode Island
1635 - He left the Massachusetts colony and purchased the land from a neighboring Indian tribe to found the colony of Rhode Island. Rhode Island was the only colony at that time to offer complete religious freedom.
Salem witch trials
Several accusations of witchcraft led to sensational trials in Salem, Massachusetts at which Cotton Mather presided as the chief judge. 18 people were hanged as witches. Afterwards, most of the people involved admitted that the trials and executions had been a terrible mistake.
Separatists, non-separatists
Non-separatists (which included the Puritans) believed that the Church of England could be purified through reforms. Separatists (which included the Pilgrims) believed that the Church of England could not be reformed, and so started their own congregations.
town meeting
Puritan form of participatory democracy; town citizens gather in meeting house/church to discuss and decide important community issues
Triangular Trade
The backbone of New England's economy during the colonial period. Ships from New England sailed first to Africa, exchanging New England rum for slaves. The slaves were shipped from Africa to the Caribbean (this was known as the Middle Passage, when many slaves died on the ships). In the Caribbean, the slaves were traded for sugar and molasses. Then the ships returned to New England, where the molasses were used to make rum.
Albany Congress
Congress organized to bring together the separate colonies and the Indians to coordinate war against the French and present united front to the English authorities; far-sighted but premature attempt at union; Benjamin Franklin eloquent spokesman for their efforts; published the "Join or Die" cartoon in his Philadelphia newspaper
backcountry
eastern seaboard area closest to ocean ports for easy trade and export of staple crops most popular and settled areas; backcountry was at higher elevations and far from rivers and seaboard ports; subsitence agriculture and more disordered society
consumer revolution of 18th century
American colonists, as their economy stabilized and the costs of English goods fell, began to buy the English "look" in furniture, carriages, clothing, etc.; colonials trying to live just like the mother country; people began to identify themselves as much by what they consumed (purchased and displayed) as by what they did to produce (their source of income), or their colony, or their religion.
Currency Act, 1764
This act applied to all of the colonies. It banned the production of paper money in the colonies in an effort to combat the inflation caused by Virginia's decision to get itself out of debt by issuing more paper money.
Deism
The religion of the Enlightenment (1700s). Followers believed that God existed and had created the world, but that afterwards He left it to run by its own natural laws. Denied that God communicated to man or in any way influenced his life.
Enlightenment
A broadly influential philosophical and intellectual movement that began in Europe during the eighteenth century. The Enlightenment unleashed a tidal wave of new learning, especially in the sciences and mathematics, that helped promote the notion that human beings, through the use of their reason, could solve society's problems. The Enlightenment era, as such, has also been called the "Age of Reason." Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were leading proponents of Enlightenment thinking in America.
George Whitefield
Credited with starting the Great Awakening, also a leader of the "New Lights."
Great Awakening
Spilling over into the colonies from a wave of revivals in Europe, the Awakening placed renewed emphasis on vital religious faith, partially in reaction to more secular, rationalist thinking characterizing the Enlightenment. Beginning as scattered revivals in the 1720s, the Awakening grew into a fully developed outpouring of rejuvenated faith by the 1740s. Key figures included Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. The Awakening's legacy included more emphasis on personal choice, as opposed to state mandates about worship, in matters of religious faith.
itinerant preachers
unschooled, unofficial preachers who preached because the spirit moved them and they had the gist; uncontrolled preaching worried traditonal authorities responsible for maintaining orthodox belief and behavior; more common in the remote backcountry
John Peter Zenger trial
Zenger published articles critical of British governor William Cosby. He was taken to trial, but found not guilty. The trial set a precedent for freedom of the press in the colonies.
Join or Die
motto chosen by Ben Franklin for the Albany Plan of Union; featured a snake cut up into separate parts labelled by colony
Jonathan Edwards,
Part of the Great Awakening, Edwards gave gripping sermons about sin and the torments of Hell.Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, a Careful and Strict Inquiry Into...That Freedom of Will
Molasses Act, 1733
British legislation which taxed all molasses, rum, and sugar which the colonies imported from countries other than Britain and her colonies. The act angered the New England colonies, which imported a lot of molasses from the Caribbean as part of the Triangular Trade. The British had difficulty enforcing the tax; most colonial merchants ignored it.
New Lights
As the Great Awakening spread during the 1730s and 1740s, various religious groups fractured into two camps, sometimes known as the New Lights and Old Lights. The New Lights placed emphasis on a "new birth" conversion experience--gaining God's saving grace. They also demanded ministers who had clearly experienced conversions themselves. See Old Lights.
Old Lights
As the Great Awakening spread during the 1730s and 1740s, various religious groups fractured into two camps, sometimes known as the Old Lights and the New Lights. The "New Lights" were new religious movements formed during the Great Awakening and broke away from the congregational church in New England. The "Old Lights" were the established congregational church.The Old Lights were not very enthusiastic about the Awakening, particularly in terms of what they viewed as popular excesses in seeking after God's grace. Old Light ministers emphasized formal schooling in theology as a source of their religious authority, and they emphasized good order in their churches. See New Lights.
population explosion of 18th century
the rate of natural increase exploded in 18th century America;average family size in non-urban areas peaked at around 10-12 children per family in the 1790's; indicates the much better diet American's enjoyed as well as a freedom from deadly diseases and epidemics--until the 1790's
Proprietary, charter, and royal colonies
Proprietary colonies were founded by a proprietary company or individual and were controlled by the proprietor. Charter colonies were founded by a government charter granted to a company or a group of people. The British government had some control over charter colonies. Royal (or crown) colonies were formed by the king, so the government had total control over them.
Rationalism
A main tenet of the Enlightenment era, meaning a firm trust in the ability of the human mind to solve earthly problems, thereby lessening the role of--and reliance on God as an active force in the ordering of human affairs.
Regulators
group of disaffected backcountrymen in Carolinas in the 1770's who felt they were not being fairly represented in the colonial legislatures which were mostly located in the eastern seaboard areas; thousands of them were declared traitors by the established authorities and irregular skirmishes took place before they were given adequate representation and courts and order established in the remoter areas of the states
salutary neglect
period after the Glorious Revolution (1688 to 1763) and before the French & Indian War when the British were too preoccupied with their continental wars with France to worry too much about the American colonies; they governed their own internal affairs with little interference from England; grew accustomed to taxing themselves to support their own colonial governments
Salutary Neglect
This term signifies England's relatively benign neglect of its American colonies from about 1690 to 1760. During these years King and Parliament rarely legislated constraints of any kind and allowed the colonists much autonomy in provincial and local matters. In turn, the colonists supported the parent nation's economic political objectives. This harmonious period came to an end after the Seven Year's War when King and Parliament began asserting more control over the American colonists through taxes and trade regulations.
Scots-Irish
major source of immigrants to North America during 18th century; many were Scots who had immigrated to Northern Ireland before coming to America; many settled in the backcountry of NY, PA, VA, and Carolinas
Stono Rebellion
1739 South Carolina slave rebellion; largest of 18th century; nearly 100 African Americans seized arms from a store and killed several white neighbors before they were caught and killed by a white militia
task system
system of organizing slave labor in deep south; slaves assigned tasks and allowed to direct own activities after they were completed; afforded slaves considerable autonomy
The Enlightenment
A philosophical movement which started in Europe in the 1700's and spread to the colonies. It emphasized reason and the scientific method. Writers of the enlightenment tended to focus on government, ethics, and science, rather than on imagination, emotions, or religion. Many members of the Enlightenment rejected traditional religious beliefs in favor of Deism, which holds that the world is run by natural laws without the direct intervention of God.
Town meetings
A purely democratic form of government common in the colonies, and the most prevalent form of local government in New England. In general, the town's voting population would meet once a year to elect officers, levy taxes, and pass laws.
Boston Massacre, 1770
The colonials hated the British soldiers in the colonies because the worked for very low wages and took jobs away from colonists. On March 4, 1770, a group of colonials started throwing rocks and snowballs at some British soldiers; the soldiers panicked and fired their muskets, killing a few colonials. This outraged the colonies and increased anti-British sentiment.
Boston Tea Party, 1773
British ships carrying tea sailed into Boston Harbor and refused to leave until the colonials took their tea. Boston was boycotting the tea in protest of the Tea Act and would not let the ships bring the tea ashore. Finally, on the night of December 16, 1773, colonials disguised as Indians boarded the ships and threw the tea overboard. They did so because they were afraid that Governor Hutchinson would secretly unload the tea because he owned a share in the cargo.
classical republicanism
popular 18th century American ideology of the excellence of serving one's country before one's pwn self-interest
Coercive Acts / Intolerable Acts / Repressive Acts
All of these names refer to the same acts, passed in 1774 in response to the Boston Tea Party, and which included the Boston Port Act, which shut down Boston Harbor; the Massachusetts Government Act, which disbanded the Boston Assembly (but it soon reinstated itself); the Quartering Act, which required the colony to provide provisions for British soldiers; and the Administration of Justice Act, which removed the power of colonial courts to arrest royal officers.
colonial militias
Minutemen: citizen soldiers well-accustomed to hunting and using a gun; believed that standing armies were the enemy of freedom
Committees of Correspondence
These started as groups of private citizens in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York who, in 1763, began circulating information about opposition to British trade measures. The first government-organized committee appeared in Massachusetts in 1764. Other colonies created their own committees in order to exchange information and organize protests to British trade regulations. The Committees became particularly active following the Gaspee Incident.
Common Sense
This best-selling pamphlet by Thomas Paine, first published in 1776, denounced the British monarchy, called for American independence, and encouraged the adoption of republican forms of government. Paine's bold words thus helped crack the power of reconciliationist leaders in the Second Continental Congress who did not believe the colonies could stand up to British arms and survive as an independent nation.
Continental Association
Created by the First Continental Congress, 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.
Crispus Attucks (1723-1770)
He was one of the colonials involved in the Boston Massacre, and when the shooting started, he was the first to die. He became a martyr.
Currency Act, 1764
British legislation which banned the production of paper money in the colonies in an effort to combat the inflation caused by Virginia's decision to get itself out of debt by issuing more paper money.
Daughters of Liberty
patriotic American women who gave up English goods, especially clothing, and took to wearing homespun as a symbol of their support for liberty; served coffee instead of tea, and boycotted shops serving English goods
Declaration of Rights & Grievances
1774 declaration by Continental Congress denouncing the Coercive Acts and the Quebec Act as unjust and unconstitutional; ten resolutions set forth the rights of the colonists to "life, liberty, and property" and of the exclusive rights of the colonial legislatures to internal taxation subject only to royal veto; economic sanctions were pledged until the acts were repealed
Declatory Act, 1766
Passed at the same time that the Stamp Act was repealed, the Act declared that Parliament had the power to tax the colonies both internally and externally, and had absolute power over the colonial legislatures.
Differences between French and British colonization
The British settled mainly along the coast, where they started farms, towns, and governments. As a general rule, whole families emigrated. The British colonies had little interaction with the local Indians (aside from occasional fighting). The French colonized the interior, where they controlled the fur trade. Most of the French immigrants were single men, and there were few towns and only loose governmental authority. The French lived closely with the Indians, trading with them for furs and sometimes taking Indian wives.
External taxes
Taxes arose out of activities that originated outside of the colonies, such as customs duties. The Sugar Act was considered an external tax, because it only operated on goods imported into the colonies from overseas. Many colonists who objected to Parliament's "internal" taxes on the colonies felt that Parliament had the authority to levy external taxes on imported goods.
First Continental Congress
This body was the most important expression of intercolonial protest activity up to 1774. Called in response to Parliament's Coercive Acts, the delegates met in Philadelphia for nearly two months. More radical delegates dominated the deliberations. Before dissolving itself, the Congress called for ongoing resistance, even military preparations to defend American communities, and a second congress, should King and Parliament not redress American grievances.
French and Indian War (1756-1763)
Part of the Seven Years' War in Europe. Britain and France fought for control of the Ohio Valley and Canada. The Iroquois, who feared British expansion into the Ohio Valley, allied with the French. The colonies fought under British commanders. Britain eventually 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.
Gaspée Incident
In June, 1772, the British customs ship Gaspée ran around off the colonial coast. When the British went ashore for help, colonials boarded the ship and burned it. They were sent to Britain for trial. Colonial outrage led to the widespread formation of Committees of Correspondence.
Grenville's Program
As Prime Minister, he passed the Sugar Act in 1764 and the Stamp Act in 1765 to help finance the cost of maintaining a standing force of British troops in the colonies. He believed in reducing the financial burden on the British by enacting new taxes in the colonies.
Internal taxes
Taxes which arose out of activities that occurred "internally" within the colonies. The Stamp Act was considered an internal tax, because it taxed the colonists on legal transactions they undertook locally. Many colonists and Englishmen felt that Parliament did not have the authority to levy internal taxes on the colonies.
John Locke (1632-1704), his theories
Locke was an English political philosopher whose ideas inspired the American Revolution. He wrote that all human beings have a right to life, liberty, and property, and that governments exist to protect those rights. He believed that government was based upon an unwritten "social contract" between the rulers and their people, and if the government failed to uphold its end of the contract, the people had a right to rebel and institute a new government.
Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1774
General Gage, stationed in Boston, was ordered by King George III to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock. The British marched on Lexington, where they believed the colonials had a cache of weapons. The colonial militias, warned beforehand by Paul Revere and William Dawes, attempted to block the progress of the troops and were fired on by the British at Lexington. The British continued to Concord, where they believed Adams and Hancock were hiding, and they were again attacked by the colonial militia. As the British retreated to Boston, the colonials continued to shoot at them from behind cover on the sides of the road. This was the start of the Revolutionary War.
Massachusetts Circular Letter
A letter written in Boston and circulated through the colonies in February, 1768, which urged the colonies not to import goods taxed by the Townshend Acts. Boston, New York, and Philadelphia agreed to non-importation. It was followed by the Virginia Circular Letter in May, 1768. Parliament ordered all colonial legislatures which did not rescind the circular letters dissolved.
Molasses Act, 1733
British legislation which had taxed all molasses, rum, and sugar which the colonies imported from countries other than Britain and her colonies. The act angered the New England colonies, which imported a lot of molasses from the Caribbean as part of the Triangular Trade. The British had difficulty enforcing the tax; most colonial merchants did not pay it.
Navigation Acts
A series of British regulations which taxed goods imported by the colonies from places other than Britain, or otherwise sought to control and regulate colonial trade. Increased British-colonial trade and tax revenues. The Navigation Acts were reinstated after the French and Indian War because Britain needed to pay off debts incurred during the war, and to pay the costs of maintaining a standing army in the colonies.
Non-importation
A movement under which the colonies agreed to stop importing goods from Britain in order to protest the Stamp Act.
Pontiac's Rebellion
1763 - An Indian uprising after the French and Indian War, 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.
Proclamation of 1763
A proclamation from the British government which forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains, and which required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back east.
Public Virtue
A cornerstone of good citizenship in republican states, public virtue involved the subordination of individual self-interest to serving the greater good of the whole community. Revolutionary leaders believed that public virtue was essential for a republic to survive and thrive. If absent, governments would be torn apart by competing private interests and succumb to anarchy, at which point tyrants would emerge to offer political stability but with the loss of dearly won political liberties.
Quartering Act
March 24, 1765 - Required the colonials to provide food, lodging, and supplies for the British troops in the colonies.
Quebec Act, First Continental Congress, 1774
The Quebec Act, passed by Parliament, alarmed the colonies because it recognized the Roman- Catholic Church in Quebec. Some colonials took it as a sign that Britain was planning to impose Catholicism upon the colonies. The First Continental Congress met to discuss their concerns over Parliament's dissolutions of the New York (for refusing to pay to quarter troops), Massachusetts (for the Boston Tea Party), and Virginia Assemblies. The First Continental Congress rejected the plan for a unified colonial government, stated grievances against the crown called the Declaration of Rights, resolved to prepare militias, and created the Continental Association to enforce a new non-importation agreement through Committees of Vigilance. In response, in February, 1775, Parliament declared the colonies to be in rebellion.
Radical Revolutionaries
At the time of the American Revolution, they argued in favor of establishing more democratic forms of government. Radical revolutionaries had a strong trust in the people, viewed them as inherently virtuous (see public virtue), and believed that citizens could govern themselves. Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine might be described as radical revolutionaries. See cautious revolutionaries.
Sam Adams (1722-1803)
A Massachusetts politician who was a radical fighter for colonial independence. Helped organize the Sons of Liberty and the Non-Importation Commission, which protested the Townshend Acts, and is believed to have lead the Boston Tea Party. He served in the Continental Congress throughout the Revolution, and served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1794-1797.
Second Continental Congress
This body gathered in Philadelphia during May 1775 after the shooting war with Great Britain had started. The second Congress functioned as a coordinating government for the colonies and states in providing overall direction for the patriot war effort. It continued as a central legislative body under the Articles of Confederation until 1789 when a new national legislature, the federal Congress as established under the Constitution of 1787, first convened.
Seven Years' War
another name for the French & Indian Wars that became a world-wide struggle between France and Britain for colonial domination of Asia and North America; France lost her Canadian colonies and her outposts in India; Indians lost their French alliance; British gained total domination of North America east of Mississippi R. and dominion of the seas and of India
Sons of Liberty
A radical political organization for colonial independence which formed in 1765 after the passage of 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 Sons leaders included Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.
Sugar Act, 1764
Part of Prime Minister Grenville's revenue program, the act replaced the Molasses Act of 1733, and actually lowered the tax on sugar and molasses (which the New England colonies imported to make rum as part of the triangular trade) from 6 cents to 3 cents a barrel, but for the first time adopted provisions that would insure that the tax was strictly enforced; created the vice-admiralty courts; and made it illegal for the colonies to buy goods from non-British Caribbean colonies.
Tea Act, East India Company
The Tea Act gave the East India Company a monopoly on the trade in tea, made it illegal for the colonies to buy non-British tea, and forced the colonies to pay the tea tax of 3 cents/pound.
Tory
In England during the eighteenth century the Tory Party was closely identified with the king's interests and monarchism, or in the minds of many American patriots, with tyrannical government. As the Revolution dawned, Tory became a term of derision applied to those colonists who sought to maintain their allegiance to the British crown. They preferred to think of themselves as loyalists, since they were not rebelling against but were still supporting British imperial authority in America.
Townshend Acts, reaction
Another series of revenue measures, passed by Townshend as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1767, they taxed quasi-luxury items imported into the colonies, including paper, lead, tea, and paint. The colonial reaction was outrage and they instituted another movement to stop importing British goods.
Treaty of Paris, 1763
Treaty between Britain, France, and Spain, which ended the Seven Years War (and the French and Indian War). France lost Canada, the land east of the Mississippi, some Caribbean islands and India to Britain. France also gave New Orleans and the land west of the Mississippi to Spain, to compensate it for ceding Florida to the British.
Virtual Representation
King George III's chief minister, George Grenville, employed this concept in 1765 in relation to the Stamp Act. He insisted that all colonists were represented in Parliament by virtue of being English subjects, regardless of where they lived. Grenville was attempting to counter the colonists' position that King and Parliament had no authority to tax them, since the Americans had no duly elected representatives serving in Parliament.
Virtual, actual representation
Virtual representation means that a representative is not elected by his constituents, but he resembles them in his political beliefs and goals. Actual representation mean that a representative is elected by his constituents. The colonies only had virtual representation in the British government.
Writs of Assistance
Search warrants issued by the British government. They allowed officials to search houses and ships for smuggled goods, and to enlist colonials to help them search. The writs could be used anywhere, anytime, as often as desired. The officials did not need to prove that there was reasonable cause to believe that the person subject to the search had committed a crime or might have possession of contraband before getting a writ or searching a house. The writs were protested by the colonies.
Cautious Revolutionaries
Sometimes called reluctant revolutionaries, these leaders lacked a strong trust in the people to rise above their own self-interest and provide for enlightened legislative policies (see public virtue). At the time of the American Revolution, they argued in favor of forms of government that could easily check the popular will. To assure political stability, they believed that political decision making should be in the hands of society's proven social and economic elite. John Dickinson, John Adams (very much an eager revolutionary), and Robert Morris might be described as cautious revolutionaries. (see radical revolutionaries)
French Alliance of 1778, reasons for it
The colonies needed help from Europe in their war against Britain. France was Britain's rival and hoped to weaken Britain by causing her to lose the American colonies. The French were persuaded to support the colonists by news of the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga.
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
He wrote that all human beings have a right to life, liberty, and property and that governments exist to protect those rights. He rejected the theory of the Divine Right of the monarchy, and believed that government was based upon a "social contract" that existed between a government and its people. If the government failed to uphold its end of the contract by protecting those rights, the people could rebel and institute a new government.
July 4, 1776 and the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was signed by the Second Continental Congress on July 4. It dissolved the colonies' ties with Britain, listed grievances against King George III, and declared the colonies to be an independent nation.
Major battles: Saratoga, Valley Forge
In 1777, British General John Burgoyne attacked southward from Canada along the Hudson Valley in New York, hoping to link up with General Howe in New York City, thereby cutting the colonies in half. Burgoyne was defeated by American General Horatio Gates on October 17, 1777, at the Battle of Saratoga, surrendering the entire British Army of the North. Valley Forge was not a battle; it was the site where the Continental Army camped during the winter of 1777- '78, after its defeats at the Battles of the Brandywine and Germantown. The Continental Army suffered further casualties at Valley Forge due to cold and disease. Washington chose the site because it allowed him to defend the Continental Congress if necessary, which was then meeting in York, Pennsylvania after the British capture of Philadelphia.
Olive Branch Petition
On July 8, 1775, the colonies made a final offer of peace to Britain, agreeing to be loyal to the British government if it addressed their grievances (repealed the Coercive Acts, ended the taxation without representation policies). It was rejected by Parliament, which in December 1775 passed the American Prohibitory Act forbidding all further trade with the colonies.
Republican Motherhood
This definition of motherhood, emanating from the American Revolution, assigned mothers the task of raising dutiful children, especially sons, who would be prepared to serve the nation in disinterested fashion (see public virtue). Mothers thus acquired the special charge of assuring that future generations could uphold the tenets of republicanism. This expanded role for mothers meant that women, not men, would be responsible for the domestic sphere of life.
Republicanism
At the time of the American Revolution, republicanism referred to the concept that sovereignty, or ultimate political authority, is vested in the people--the citizens of the nation. As such, republican governments not only derive their authority from the consent of the governed but also predicate themselves on the principles of rule by law and legislation by elected representatives.
Southern Strategy
Once France formally entered the War for Independence in 1778 on the American side, the British had to concern themselves with protecting such vital holdings as their sugar islands in the Caribbean region. Needing to disperse their troop strength, the idea of the Southern strategy was to tap into a perceived reservoir of loyalist numbers in the southern colonies. Reduced British forces could employ these loyalists as troops in subduing the rebels and as civil officials in reestablishing royal governments. The plan failed for many reasons, including a shortfall of loyalist support and an inability to hold ground once conquered in places like South Carolina.
Treaty of Paris, 1783
This treaty ended the Revolutionary War, recognized the independence of the American colonies, and granted the colonies the territory from the southern border of Canada to the northern border of Florida, and from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River.
Antifederalists
They opposed the ratification of the Constitution because it gave more power to the federal government and less to the states, and because it did not ensure individual rights. Many wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation. The Antifederalists were instrumental in obtaining passage of the Bill of Rights as a prerequisite to ratification of the Constitution in several states. After the ratification of the Constitution, the Antifederalists regrouped as the Democratic-Republican (or simply Republican) party.
Articles of Confederation: powers, weaknesses, successes
The Articles of Confederation delegated most of the powers (the power to tax, to regulate trade, and to draft troops) to the individual states, but left the federal government power over war, foreign policy, and issuing money. The Articles' weakness was that they gave the federal government so little power that it couldn't keep the country united. The Articles' only major success was that they settled western land claims with the Northwest Ordinance. The Articles were abandoned for the Constitution.
Beard thesis, his critics
Charles Austin Beard wrote in 1913 that the Constitution was written not to ensure a democratic government for the people, but to protect the economic interests of its writers (most of the men at the Constitutional Convention were very rich), and specifically to benefit wealthy financial speculators who had purchased Revolutionary War government bonds through the creation of a strong national government that could insure the bonds repayment. Beard's thesis has met with much criticism.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which protect the rights of individuals from the powers of the national government. Congress and the states adopted the ten amendments in 1791.
Constitution: Checks and balances
Each of the three branches of government "checks" (i.e., blocks) the power of the other two, so no one branch can become too powerful. The president (executive) can veto laws passed by Congress (legislative), and also chooses the judges in the Supreme Court (judiciary). Congress can overturn a presidential veto if 2/3 of the members vote to do so. The Supreme Court can declare laws passed by Congress and the president unconstitutional, and hence invalid.
Constitution: Gerrymander
The practice of drawing the boundary lines of Congressional voting districts to give a particular political party an advantage when electing representatives. First used during Eldbridge Gerry's second term as governor of Massachusetts, the term comes from a combination of Gerry's name and a reference that the shape of the district boundary resembled a salamander.
Constitution: Ratification
The Constitution had to be ratified (approved) by at least 9 of the 13 original states in order to be put into effect.
Constitution: Separation of power
The powers of the government are divided between three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.
Constitution: Supremacy clause
Article VI of the Constitution, which declares the Constitution, all federal laws passed pursuant to its provisions, and all federal treaties, to be the "supreme law of the land," which override any state laws or state constitutional provisions to the contrary.
Constitution: The amendment process
An amendment to the Constitution may be proposed if 2/3 of the members of Congress or 2/3 of state legislatures vote for it. The amendment may then be added to the Constitution by a 3/4 vote of state legislatures, or special state conventions elected for that purpose.
Federalist Papers
These 85 newspaper essays, written in support of ratification of the Constitution of 1787 in New York by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, described the proposed plan of national government as a sure foundation for long-term political stability and enlightened legislation. Although having little effect on the ratification debate in New York, the papers soon became classics of political philosophy about the Constitution as the framework of federal government for the American republic.
Federalists
In the campaign to ratify the Constitution of 1787, nationalists started referring to themselves as federalists, which conveyed the meaning that they were in favor of splitting authority between their proposed strong national government and the states. The confusion in terminology may have helped win some support among citizens worried about a powerful--and potentially tyrannical--national government. Some leading nationalists of the 1780s became Federalists in the 1790s. See Antifederalists. The term also refers to a political party founded by Alexander Hamilton in the 1790s to support his economic program. See Antifederalists.
Fiske, The Critical Period of American History
He called the introduction of the Constitution the "critical period" because the Constitution saved the nation from certain disaster under the Articles of Confederation.
Great Compromise
At the Constitutional Convention, larger states wanted to follow the Virginia Plan, which based each state's representation in Congress on state population. Smaller states wanted to follow the New Jersey Plan, which gave every state the same number of representatives. The convention compromised by creating the House and the Senate, and using both of the two separate plans as the method for electing members of each.
James Madison, "Father of the Constitution"
His proposals for an effective government became the Virginia Plan, which was the basis for the Constitution. He was responsible for drafting most of the language of the Constitution.
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
He wrote that all human beings have a right to life, liberty, and property and that governments exist to protect those rights. He believed that a contract existed between a government and its people, and if the government failed to uphold its end of the contract, the people could rebel and institute a new government.
Manumission
The freeing or emancipation of chattel slaves by their owners, which became more common in the upper South in the wake of so much talk during the American Revolution about human liberty. George Washington was among those planters who provided for the manumission of his slaves after the death of his wife Martha.
Maryland, cession of western land claims
After the Revolutionary War, many states claimed all of the western land between their northernmost and southernmost borders, which meant that many strips of land were claimed by more than one state. The Continental Congress was trying to get the states to ratify the Articles of Confederation, but Maryland refused to ratify it until all the states gave up their western land claims. Maryland held out, and the western land claims were abandoned.
Nationalists
These revolutionary leaders favored a stronger national government than the one provided for in the Articles of Confederation. They believed that only a powerful national government, rather than self-serving states, could deal effectively with the many vexing problems besetting the new nation. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison were prominent nationalists.
New state constitutions during the Revolutionary War and after
The first set of constitutions drafted by the individual states placed most of the government's power in the legislature, and almost none in the executive in order to promote democracy and avoid tyranny. However, without the strong leadership of the executive, the state legislatures argued among themselves and couldn't get anything done. After the Constitution was written, the states abandoned these old constitutions and wrote new ones that better balanced the power between the legislative and the executive.
North-South Compromises
The North was given full federal protection of trade and commerce. The South was given permanent relief from export taxes and a guarantee that the importation of slaves would not be halted for at least 20 years, plus the national capitol was placed in the South. Slaves were also deemed to 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.
Northwest Ordinance, 1787
A major success of the Articles of Confederation. Set up the framework of a government for the Northwest territory. The Ordinance provided that the Territory would be divided into 3 to 5 states, outlawed slavery in the Territory, and set 60,000 as the minimum population for statehood.
Philadelphia Convention for the Constitution (Constitutional Convention)
Beginning on May 25, 1787, the convention recommended by the Annapolis Convention was held in Philadelphia. All of the states except Rhode Island sent delegates, and George Washington served as president of the convention. The convention lasted 16 weeks, and on September 17, 1787, produced the present Constitution of the United States, which was drafted largely by James Madison.
Shay's Rebellion
Occurred in the winter of 1786-7 under the Articles of Confederation. Poor, indebted landowners in Massachusetts blocked access to courts and prevented the government from arresting or repossessing the property of those in debt. The federal government was too weak to help Boston remove the rebels, a sign that the Articles of Confederation weren't working effectively.
Slavery and the Constitution: slave trade, 3/5 Clause
The South's slave trade was guaranteed for at least 20 years after the ratification of the Constitution. Slaves were considered 3/5 of a person when determining the state population.
Virginia Plan, New Jersey Plan, Connecticut Plan
The Virginia Plan called for a two-house Congress with each state's representation based on state population. The New Jersey Plan called for a one-house Congress in which each state had equal representation. The Connecticut Plan called for a two-house Congress in which both types of representation would be applied, and is also known as the Compromise Plan.
Alien and Sedition Acts
These consist of four laws passed by the Federalist Congress and signed by President Adams in 1798: the Naturalization Act, which increased the waiting period for an immigrant to become a citizen from 5 to 14 years; the Alien Act, which empowered the president to arrest and deport dangerous aliens; the Alien Enemy Act, which allowed for the arrest and deportation of citizens of countries at was with the US; and the Sedition Act, which made it illegal to publish defamatory statements about the federal government or its officials. The first 3 were enacted in response to the XYZ Affair, and were aimed at French and Irish immigrants, who were considered subversives. The Sedition Act was an attempt to stifle Democratic-Republican opposition, although only 25 people were ever arrested, and only 10 convicted, under the law. The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which initiated the concept of "nullification" of federal laws, were written in response to the Acts.
Bank of the United States
A central bank, chartered by the federal government in 1791. Proposed by Alexander Hamilton, the bank collected taxes, held government funds, and regulated state banks. The bank's charter expired in 1811. A second Bank of the United States was created in 1816. See Second Bank of the United States.
Citizen Genet
Edmond Charles Genet. A French diplomat who came to the U.S. 1793 to ask the American government to send money and troops to aid the revolutionaries in the French Revolution. President Washington asked France to recall Genet after Genet began recruiting men and arming ships in U.S. ports. However, Washington later relented and allowed Genet U.S. citizenship upon learning that the new French government planned to arrest Genet.
Farewell Address
In this 1796 statement, in which he expresses his intention not to run for a third term as president, George Washington warns of the dangers of party divisions, sectionalism, and permanent alliances with foreign nations.
Federalist control of courts and judges, midnight judges
On his last day in office, President Adams appointed a large number of Federalist judges to the federal courts in an effort to maintain Federalist control of the government. (The Federalists had lost the presidency and much of Congress to the Republicans.) These newly appointed Federalist judges were called midnight judges because John Adams had stayed up until midnight signing the appointments.
Federalists / Democratic-Republicans: Foreign proclivities
Federalists supported Britain, while the Democratic-Republicans felt that France was the U.S.'s most important ally.
Federalists / Democratic-Republicans: Party leaders and supporters
The leading Federalists were Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The leading Democratic- Republicans were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Federalists / Democratic-Republicans: Philosophies
Federalists believed in a strong central government, a strong army, industry, and loose interpretation of the Constitution. Democratic-Republicans believed in a weak central government, state and individual rights, and strict interpretation of the Constitution.
Federalists / Democratic-Republicans: Programs
Federalist programs were the National Bank and taxes to support the growth of industry. The Democratic-Republicans opposed these programs, favoring state banks and little industry.
Federalists and Democratic-Republicans
The first two political parties. Many of the Democratic-Republicans had earlier been members of the Antifederalists, which had never organized into a formal political party.
French Revolution
The second great democratic revolution, taking place in the 1790s, after the American Revolution had been proven to be a success. The U.S. did nothing to aid either side. The French people overthrew the king and his government, and then instituted a series of unsuccessful democratic governments until Napoleon took over as dictator in 1799.
Hamilton's Program: ideas, proposals, reasons for it
Designed to pay off the U.S.'s war debts and stabilize the economy, he believed that the United States should become a leading international commercial power. His programs included the creation of the National Bank, the establishment of the U.S.'s credit rate, increased tariffs, and an excise tax on whiskey. Also, he insisted that the federal government assume debts incurred by the states during the war.
Implied powers, elastic clause, necessary and proper clause
Section 8 of Article I contains a long list of powers specifically granted to Congress, and ends with the statement that Congress shall also have the power "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers." These unspecified powers are known as Congress' "implied" powers. There has long been a debate as to how much power this clause grants to Congress, which is sometimes referred to as the "elastic" clause because it can be "stretched" to include almost any other power that Congress might try to assert.
Loose Interpretation
The view that the national government has the power to create agencies or enact statutes to fulfill the powers granted by the U.S. Constitution.
National debt, state debt, foreign debt
The U.S.'s national debt included domestic debt owed to soldiers and others who had not yet been paid for their Revolutionary War services, plus foreign debt to other countries which had helped the U.S. The federal government also assumed all the debts incurred by the states during the war. Hamilton's program paid off these debts.
Neutrality Proclamation
Washington's declaration that the U.S. would not take sides after the French Revolution touched off a war between France and a coalition consisting primarily of England, Austria and Prussia. Washington's Proclamation was technically a violation of the Franco-American Treaty of 1778.
Pinckney's Treaty
1795 - Treaty between the U.S. and Spain which gave the U.S. the right to transport goods on the Mississippi river and to store goods in the Spanish port of New Orleans.
Quasi-War
Late 1790s - Beginning in 1794, the French had began seizing American vessels in retaliation for Jay's Treaty, so Congress responded by ordering the navy to attack any French ships on the American coast. The conflict became especially violent after the X,Y, Z Affair. A peace convention in 1800 with the newly installed dictator, Napoleon, ended the conflict.
Strict Construction
The view that the powers of the national government are limited to those described in the U.S. Constitution.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
Written anonymously by Jefferson and Madison in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, they declared that states could nullify federal laws that the states considered unconstitutional.
Whiskey Rebellion
In 1794, farmers in Pennsylvania rebelled against Hamilton's excise tax on whiskey, and several federal officers were killed in the riots caused by their attempts to serve arrest warrants on the offenders. In October, 1794, the army, led by Washington, put down the rebellion. The incident showed that the new government under the Constitution could react swiftly and effectively to such a problem, in contrast to the inability of the government under the Articles of Confederation to deal with Shay's Rebellion.
XYZ Affair, Talleyrand
1798 - A commission had been sent to France in 1797 to discuss the disputes that had arisen out of the U.S.'s refusal to honor the Franco-American Treaty of 1778. President Adams had also criticized the French Revolution, so France began to break off relations with the U.S. Adams sent delegates to meet with French foreign minister Talleyrand in the hopes of working things out. Talleyrand's three agents told the American delegates that they could meet with Talleyrand only in exchange for a very large bribe. The Americans did not pay the bribe, and in 1798 Adams made the incident public, substituting the letters "X, Y and Z" for the names of the three French agents in his report to Congress.
Berlin Decree (1806), Milan Decree (1807)
These decrees issued by Napoleon dealt with shipping and led to the War of 1812. The Berlin Decree initiated the Continental System, which closed European ports to ships which had docked in Britain. The Milan Decree authorized French ships to seize neutral shipping vessels trying to trade at British ports.
British seizure of American ships
France blocked English ports during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s; England responded by blocking French ports. The British seized neutral American merchant ships which tried to trade at French ports.
Burr expedition, treason trial
After the duel, Burr fled New York and joined a group of mercenaries in the southern Louisiana territory region. The U.S. arrested them as they moved towards Mexico. Burr claimed that they had intended to attack Mexico, but the U.S. believed that they were actually trying to get Mexican aid to start a secession movement in the territories. Burr was tried for treason, and although Jefferson advocated Burr's punishment, the Supreme Court acquitted Burr.
Causes of the War of 1812
These included: British impressment of sailors, British seizure of neutral American trading ships, and the reasons given by the War Hawks (the British were inciting the Indians on the frontier to attack the Americans, and the war would allow the U.S. to seize the northwest posts, Florida, and possibly Canada).
Chesapeake-Leopard Affair
1807 - The American ship Chesapeake refused to allow the British on the Leopard to board to look for deserters. In response, the Leopard fired on the Chesapeake. As a result of the incident, the U.S. expelled all British ships from its waters until Britain issued an apology. They surrendered the colony to the English on Sept. 8, 1664.
Chief Justice John Marshall: decision
Justice Marshall was a Federalist whose decisions on the U.S. Supreme Court promoted federal power over state power and established the judiciary as a branch of government equal to the legislative and executive. In Marbury v. Madison he established the Supreme Court's power of judicial review, which allows the Supreme Court to declare laws unconstitutional.
Clay's American System
Proposed after the War of 1812, it included using federal money for internal improvements (roads, bridges, industrial improvements, etc.), enacting a protective tariff to foster the growth of American industries, and strengthening the national bank.
Dartmouth v. Woodward
A landmark 1819 Supreme Court decision protecting contracts. In the case, Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the charters of business corporations are contracts and thus protected under the U.S. Constitution.
Election of 1800, tie, Jefferson and Burr
The two Democratic-Republicans Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr defeated Federalist John Adams, but tied with each other. The final decision went the House of Representatives, where there was another tie. After a long series of ties in the House, Jefferson was finally chosen as president. Burr became vice-president. This led to the 12th Amendment, which requires the president and vice-president of the same party to run on the same ticket.
Embargo of 1807, opposition
This act issued by Jefferson forbade American trading ships from leaving the U.S. It was meant to force Britain and France to change their policies towards neutral vessels by depriving them of American trade. It was difficult to enforce because it was opposed by merchants and everyone else whose livelihood depended upon international trade. It also hurt the national economy, so it was replaced by the Non-Intercourse Act.
Era of Good Feelings
A name for President Monroe's two terms, a period of strong nationalism, economic growth, and territorial expansion. Since the Federalist party dissolved after the War of 1812, there was only one political party and no partisan conflicts.
Federalist opposition to the War of 1812
The Federalist party was mainly composed of New England merchants, who wanted good relations with Britain and free trade. New England merchants met at the Hartford Convention in protest of the war and the U.S. government's restrictions on trade.
Hamilton-Burr duel
After Burr lost to Jefferson as a Republican, he switched to the Federalist party and ran for governor of New York. When he lost, he blamed Hamilton (a successful Federalist politician) of making defamatory remarks that cost him the election. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel, in which Hamilton was killed on July 11, 1804.
Hartford Convention, resolution
December 1814 - A convention of New England merchants who opposed the Embargo and other trade restriction, and the War of 1812. They proposed some Amendments to the Constitution and advocated the right of states to nullify federal laws. They also discussed the idea of seceding from the U.S. if their desires were ignored. The Hartford Convention turned public sentiment against the Federalists and led to the demise of the party.
Impressment
British seamen often deserted to join the American merchant marines. The British would board American vessels in order to retrieve the deserters, and often seized any sailor who could not prove that he was an American citizen and not British.
Jackson in Florida
1817 - The Seminole Indians in Florida, encouraged by the Spanish, launched a series of raids into the U.S. President J. Q. Adams ordered Andrew Jackson, whose troops were on the U.S./Florida border, to seize Spanish forts in northern Florida. Jackson's successful attacks convinced the Spanish that they could not defend Florida against the U.S.
Jackson's victory at New Orleans
January, 1815 - A large British invasion force was repelled by Andrew Jackson's troops at New Orleans. Jackson had been given the details of the British army's battle plans by the French pirate, Jean Laffite. About 2500 British soldiers were killed or captured, while in the American army only 8 men were killed. Neither side knew that the Treaty of Ghent had ended the War of 1812 two weeks before the battle. This victory inspired American nationalism.
Judicial Review
The power of the courts to determine the constitutionality of acts of other branches of government and to declare unconstitutional acts null and void.
Lewis and Clark expedition and its findings
1804-1806 - Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were commissioned by Jefferson to map and explore the Louisiana Purchase region. Beginning at St. Louis, Missouri, the expedition traveled up the Missouri River to the Great Divide, and then down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. It produced extensive maps of the area and recorded many scientific discoveries, greatly facilitating later settlement of the region and travel to the Pacific coast.
Louisiana Purchase: reasons, Jefferson, loose construction
1803 - The U.S. purchased the land from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains from Napoleon for $15 million. Jefferson was interested in the territory because it would give the U.S. the Mississippi River and New Orleans (both were valuable for trade and shipping) and also room to expand. Napoleon wanted to sell because he 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 Constitution did not give the federal government the power to buy land, so Jefferson used loose construction to justify the purchase.
L'ouverture, Toussaint
The leader of the Haitian Revolution.
Macon's Bill No. 2
1810 - Forbade trade with Britain and France, but offered to resume trade with whichever nation lifted its neutral trading restrictions first. France quickly changed its policies against neutral vessels, so the U.S. resumed trade with France, but not Britain.
Marbury v. Madison
This landmark 1803 Supreme Court decision, which established the principle of judicial review,marked the first time that the Court declared an act of Congress unconstitutional.
McCullough v. Maryland
A landmark 1819 Supreme Court decision establishing Congress's power to charter a national bank and declaring unconstitutional a tax imposed by Maryland on the bank's Baltimore branch.
Monroe Doctrine: origins, provisions, impact
1823 - Declared that Europe should not interfere in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere and that any attempt at interference by a European power would be seen as a threat to the U.S. It also declared that a New World colony which has gained independence may not be recolonized by Europe. (It was written at a time when many South American nations were gaining independence). Only England, in particular George Canning, supported the Monroe Doctrine. Mostly just a show of nationalism, the doctrine had no major impact until later in the 1800s.
New England's merchants, critics of the War of 1812, Essex Junto
New England's merchants opposed the War of 1812 because it cut off trade with Great Britain. Critics of the war were mainly Federalists who represented New England. The Essex Junto was a group of extreme Federalists led by Aaron Burr who advocated New England's secession from the U.S.
Non-Intercourse Act
1809 - Replaced the Embargo of 1807. Unlike the Embargo, which forbade American trade with all foreign nations, this act only forbade trade with France and Britain. It did not succeed in changing British or French policy towards neutral ships, so it was replaced by Macon's Bill No. 2.
Purchase of Florida
1819 - Under the Adams-Onis Treaty, Spain sold Florida to the U.S., and the U.S. gave up its claims to Texas.
Revolution of 1800
Jefferson's election changed the direction of the government from Federalist to Democratic- Republican, so it was called a "revolution."
Second bank of the U.S., a reversal of Jeffersonian ideas
As a Republican, Jefferson opposed the National Bank. The Second Bank of the U.S. was established in 1816 and was given more authority than the First Bank of the U.S. Bank loans were used to finance the American industrial revolution in the period after the War of 1812.
Second Great Awakening
A series of religious revivals starting in 1801, based on Methodism and Baptism. Stressed a religious philosophy of salvation through good deeds and tolerance for all Protestant sects. The revivals attracted women, Blacks, and Native Americans.
Supreme Court: Gibbons v. Ogden
1824 - This case ruled that only the federal government has authority over interstate commerce.
Supreme Court: Marbury v. Madison
1803 - The case arose out of Jefferson's refusal to deliver the commissions to the judges appointed by Adams' Midnight Appointments. One of the appointees, Marbury, sued the Sect. of State, Madison, to obtain his commission. The Supreme Court held that Madison need not deliver the commissions because the Congressional act that had created the new judgeships violated the judiciary provisions of the Constitution, and was therefore unconstitutional and void. This case established the Supreme Court's right to judicial review. Chief Justice John Marshall presided.
Tecumseh (1763-1813)
A Shawnee chief who, along with his brother, Tenskwatawa, a religious leader known as The Prophet, worked to unite the Northwestern Indian tribes. The league of tribes was defeated by an American army led by William Henry Harrison 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.
War Hawks
Western settlers who advocated war with Britain because they hoped to acquire Britain's northwest posts (and also Florida or even Canada) and because they felt the British were aiding the Indians and encouraging them to attack the Americans on the frontier. In Congress, the War Hawks were Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun.
War of 1812 (1812-1814)
A war between the U.S. and Great Britain caused by American outrage over the impressment of American sailors by the British, the British seizure of American ships, and British aid to the Indians attacking the Americans on the western frontier. Also, a war against Britain gave the U.S. an excuse to seize the British northwest posts and to annex Florida from Britain's ally Spain, and possibly even to seize Canada from Britain. The War Hawks (young westerners led by Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun) argued for war in Congress. The war involved several sea battles and frontier skirmishes. U.S. troops led by Andrew Jackson seized Florida and at one point the British managed to invade and burn Washington, D.C. The Treaty of Ghent (December 1814) restored the status quo and required the U.S. to give back Florida. Two weeks later, Andrew Jackson's troops defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans, not knowing that a peace treaty had already been signed. The war strengthened American nationalism and encouraged the growth of industry.
War of 1812 increased nationalism and economic independence
The U.S.'s success in the War of 1812 gave Americans a feeling of national pride. The War of 1812 had cut off America's access to British manufactured goods and forced the U.S. to develop the means to produce those goods on its own.
American System (of Henry Clay)
Henry Clay's program for the national economy, which included a protective tariff to stimulate industry, a national bank to provide credit, and federally funded internal improvements to expand the market for farm products.
Changes and improvements in transportation and its effect
These included canals in the Great Lakes region, toll roads, steamboats, and clipper ships. The result was faster trade and easier access to the western frontier. It aided the growth of the nation.
Clipper ships
Long, narrow, wooden ships with tall masts and enormous sails. They were developed in the second quarter of the 1800s. These ships were unequalled in speed and were used for trade, especially for transporting perishable products from distant countries like China and between the eastern and western U.S.
Commonwealth v. Hunt
1842 - Case heard by the Massachusetts supreme court. The case was the first judgment in the U.S. that recognized that the conspiracy law is inapplicable to unions and that strikes for a closed shop are legal. Also decided that unions are not responsible for the illegal acts of their members.
Cyrus McCormic, mechanical reaper
McCormick built the reaping machine in 1831, and it make farming more efficient. Part of the industrial revolution, it allowed farmers to substantially increase the acreage that could be worked by a single family, and also made corporate farming possible.
Eli Whitney: cotton gin (short for "engine")
1798 - He developed the cotton gin, a machine which could separate cotton form its seeds. This invention made cotton a profitable crop of great value to the Southern economy. It also reinforced the importance of slavery in the economy of the South.
Erie Canal, Dewitt Clinton
1825 - The Erie canal was opened as a toll waterway connecting New York to the Great Lakes. The canal was approved in 1817 with the support of New York's Governor, Dewitt Clinton. Along with the Cumberland Road, it helped connect the North and the West.
Factory girls
Lowell opened a chaperoned boarding house for the girls who worked in his factory. He hired girls because they could do the job as well as men (in textiles, sometimes better), and he didn't have to pay them as much. He hired only unmarried women because they needed the money and would not be distracted from their work by domestic duties.
Growth of industry in New England, textiles
The industrial revolution had occurred in England in the 1700s, but it was not until the period industrial growth after the War of 1812 that the U.S. began to manufacture goods with the aid of factories and machines. New England, rather than the South, emerged as a manufacturing center because New England had many rivers to supply water power, plus a better system of roads and canals. The first major industry in New England was textiles.
Interchangeable parts
1799-1800 - Eli Whitney developed a manufacturing system which uses standardized parts which are all identical and thus, interchangeable. Before this, each part of a given device had been designed only for that one device; if a single piece of the device broke, it was difficult or impossible to replace. With standardized parts, it was easy to get a replacement part from the manufacturer. Whitney first put used standardized parts to make muskets for the U.S. government.
Internal improvements
The program for building roads, canals, bridges, and railroads in and between the states. There was a dispute over whether the federal government should fund internal improvements, since it was not specifically given that power by the Constitution.
Missouri Compromise, provisions
Admitted Missouri as a slave state and at the same time admitted Maine as a free state. Declared that all territory north of the 36°30" latitude would become free states, and all territory south of that latitude would become slave states.
National Road (also called Cumberland Road)
The first highway built by the federal government. Constructed during 1825-1850, it stretched from Pennsylvania to Illinois. It was a major overland shipping route and an important connection between the North and the West.
New England's opposition to cheap land
New England was opposed to the federal government's liberal land policy because they did not feel that their region was benefiting from the money made off the land sales.
Panic of 1819
A natural post-war depression caused by overproduction and the reduced demand for goods after the war. However, it was generally blamed on the National Bank.
Robert Fulton, Clermont
A famous inventor, Robert Fulton designed and built America's first steamboat, the Clermont in 1807. He also built the Nautilus, the first practical submarine.
Samuel F.B. Morse, telegraph
Morse developed a working telegraph which improved communications.
Samuel Slater (1768-1835)
When he emigrated from England to America in the 1790s, he brought with him the plans to an English factory. With these plans, he helped build the first factory in America.
Transcontinental Treaty (Adams-Onis Treaty)
Spain gave up Florida to the U.S. and the U.S./Mexico border was set so that Texas and the American Southwest would be part of Mexico.
Transportation Revolution
By the 1850s railroad transportation was fairly cheap and widespread. It allowed goods to be moved in large quantities over long distances, and it reduced travel time. This linked cities' economies together.