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14 Cards in this Set

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California gold rush (beginning in 1849)
Inflow of thousands of miners to Northern California after news reports of the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in January of 1848 had spread around the world by the end of that year. The onslaught of migrants prompted Californians to organize a government and apply for statehood in 1849.
Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850)
Signed by Great Britain and the United States, it provided that the two nations would jointly protect the neutrality of Central America and that neither power would seek to fortify or exclusively control any future isthmian waterway. Later revoked by the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1901, which gave the United States control of the Panama Canal.
Compromise of 1850
Admitted California as a free state, opened New Mexico and Utah to popular sovereignty, ended the slave trade (but not slavery itself) in Washington D.C., and introduced a more stringent fugitive slave law. Widely opposed in both the North and South, it did little to settle the escalating dispute over slavery.
Free Soil party (1848-1854)
Antislavery party in the 1848 and 1852 elections that opposed the extension of slavery into the territories, arguing that the presence of slavery would limit opportunities for free laborers.
Fugitive Slave Law (1850)
Passed as part of the Compromise of 1850, it set high penalties for anyone who aided escaped slaves and compelled all law enforcement officers to participate in retrieving runaways. Strengthened the antislavery cause in the North.
Gadsden Purchase (1853)
Acquired additional land from Mexico for $10 million to facilitate the construction of a southern transcontinental railroad.
Kanagawa, Treaty of (1854)
Ended Japan’s two-hundred year period of economic isolation, establishing an American consulate in Japan and securing American coaling rights in Japanese ports.
Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)
Proposed that the issue of slavery be decided by popular sovereignty in the Kansas and Nebraska territories, thus revoking the 1820 Missouri Compromise. Introduced by Stephen Douglass in an effort to bring Nebraska into the Union and pave the way for a northern transcontinental railroad.
Opium War (1839-1842)
War between Britain and China over trading rights, particularly Britain’s desire to continue selling opium to Chinese traders. The resulting trade agreement prompted Americans to seek similar concessions from the Chinese.
Ostend Manifesto (1854)
Secret Franklin Pierce administration proposal to purchase or, that failing, to wrest militarily Cuba from Spain. Once leaked, it was quickly abandoned due to vehement opposition from the North.
popular sovereignty
(in the context of the slavery debate) Notion that the sovereign people of a given territory should decide whether to allow slavery. Seemingly a compromise, it was largely opposed by Northern abolitionists who feared it would promote the spread of slavery to the territories.
Seventh of March speech (1850)
Daniel Webster's impassioned address urging the North to support of the Compromise of 1850. Webster argued that topography and climate would keep slavery from becoming entrenched in Mexican Cession territory and urged Northerners to make all reasonable concessions to prevent disunion.
Underground Railroad
Informal network of volunteers that helped runaway slaves escape from the South and reach free-soil Canada. Seeking to halt the flow of runaway slaves to the North, Southern planters and congressmen pushed for a stronger fugitive slave law.
Wanghia, Treaty of (1844)
Signed by the U.S. and China, it assured the United States the same trading concessions granted to other powers, greatly expanding America’s trade with the Chinese.