Chapter 1: Contact, Conflict, and Exchange in the Atlantic World to 1590
Chapter 2: Colonization of North America, 1590-1675
Chapter 3: Crisis and Change, 1675-1720
Chapter 4: The Expansion of Colonial British America, 1720-1763
Chapter 5: Wars for Independence, 1764-1783
Chapter 6: Toward a More Perfect Union, 1783-1788
Chapter 7: The Federalist Republic, 1789-1799
Chapter 8: The New Republic Faces a New Century, 1800-1815
Chapter 9: Exploded Boundaries, 1815-1828
Chapter 10: The Years of Andrew Jackson, 1829-1836
Chapter 11: Panic and Boom, 1837-1845
Chapter 12: Expansion and Reaction, 1846-1854
Chapter 13: Broken Bonds, 1855-1861
Chapter 14: Descent into War, 1861-1862
Chapter 15: Blood and Freedom, 1863-1867
Chapter 16: Reconstruction Abandoned, 1867-1877
Chapter 17: An Economy Transformed: The Rise of Big Business, 1877-1887
Chapter 18: Urban Growth and Farm Protest, 1887-1893
Chapter 19: A Troubled Nation Expands Outward, 1893-1901
Chapter 20: Theodore Roosevelt and Progressive Reform, 1901-1909
Chapter 21: Progressivism at High Tide, 1909-1914
Chapter 22: Over There and Over Here: The Impact of World War I, 1914-1921
Chapter 23: The Age of Jazz and Mass Culture, 1921-1927
Chapter 24: The Great Depression, 1927-1933
Chapter 25: The New Deal, 1933-1939
Chapter 26: The Second World War, 1940-1945
Chapter 27: Postwar America, 1946-1952
Chapter 28: The Eisenhower Years, 1953-1960
Chapter 29: The Turbulent Years, 1960-1968
Chapter 30: Crisis of Confidence, 1969-1980
Chapter 31: The Reagan-Bush Years, 1981-1992
Chapter 32: From Prosperity to Terrorism, 1992-2005
Atlantic Slave Trade
In the 1440s Portugal initiated the trans-Atlantic trade that lasted four centuries. During that time, other European nations participated in commerce that took more than ten million people in Africa .
Inhabitants of the Valley of Mexico who founded their capital, Tenochtitlán, in the early fourteenth century. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the Aztecs built a large empire in which they dominated many neighboring peoples. Their civilization included engineering, mathematics, art, and music.
An Italian mariner who sailed for Spain in 1492 in search of a western route to Asia . He located San Salvador in the West Indies , opening the Americas to European exploration and colonization.
Queen of England (1558–1603) who succeeded the Catholic Mary I and reestablished Protestantism in England . Her reign was marked by several plots to overthrow her, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots (1587), the defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588), and domestic prosperity and literary achievement.
English naval hero and explorer, he was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world (1577-1580). He was vice admiral of the fleet that destroyed the Spanish Armada (1588).
Spanish explorer who conquered the Aztecs initially in 1519, retreated when they rebelled, then defeated them again, aided by a smallpox epidemic, in 1521.
French-born Swiss Protestant theologian who broke with the Roman Catholic Church (1533) and set forth the tenets of his theology, the Reformed tradition including Puritans, Huguenots, Presbyterians, and Dutch Reformed, in Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536).
German theologian and leader of the Reformation. His opposition to the wealth and corruption of the papacy and his belief that salvation would be granted on the basis of faith alone rather than by works caused his excommunication from the Catholic Church (1521). He confirmed the Augsburg Confession in 1530, effectively establishing the Lutheran Church .
Inhabitants of the Yucatan Peninsula whose civilization was at its height from AD 300 to 900. Their civilization included a unique system of writing, mathematics, architecture and sculpture, and astronomy.
A theory that states that God has decreed, even before he created the world, who will be saved and who will be damned.
Prince Henry of Portugal
Henry “the Navigator” (1394–1460) established a school for navigators and geographers. He sought to increase the power of Portugal by promoting exploration of trade routes to the East by way of Africa.
The religious reformation against the Roman Catholic Church that began in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses on a church door in Wittenberg , Germany .
Island that was the site of England's first attempt to establish a colony in North America (1585).
A tax on silver and gold from the New World , of which this percentage of its value went to the king of Spain
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) located the Line of Demarcation 370 leagues (about 1,000 miles) west of the Azores and expanded the principle of "spheres of influence."
The governor of a country, province, or colony, ruling as the representative of a sovereign
English-born American colonist and religious leader who was banished from Boston (1637) for her religious beliefs, which included an emphasis on an individual’s direct communication with God.
The first permanent English settlement in America (1607), it was located on the James River in Virginia .
English colonist, explorer, and writer whose maps and accounts of his explorations in Virginia and New England were invaluable to later explorers and colonists.
Juan de Oñate
Spanish explorer and conquistador who claimed New Mexico for Spain in 1598 and served as its governor until he was removed on charges of cruelty in 1607.
Massachusetts Bay Colony
Founded in 1630 by non-Separatist Puritans with the intention of creating a society in New England that would serve as a model for reforming the Anglican Church.
When the Mayflower reached land at Cape Cod and the colonists decided to settle there, they lacked the legal basis to establish a government. Thus the adult males of the colony signed a mutual agreement for ordering their society later referred to as the Mayflower Compact.
Brother of Powhatan. In the 1620s Opechancanough organized a military offensive against English settlers.
A colony established by the English Pilgrims, or Separatists, in 1620. The Separatists were Puritans who abandoned hope that the Anglican Church could be reformed. Plymouth became part of Massachusetts in 1691.
An Algonquian leader who founded the Powhatan confederacy and maintained peaceful relations with English colonists after the marriage of his daughter Pocahontas to John Rolfe (1614).
The strain of English Calvinism that demanded purification of the Anglican Church, including elimination of rituals, vestments, statues, and bishops.
English cleric in America who was expelled from Massachusetts for his criticism of Puritan policies. He founded Providence Plantation (1636), a community based on religious freedom, and obtained a charter for Rhode Island in 1644.
A Patuxet Indian who helped the English colonists in Plymouth develop agricultural techniques and served as an interpreter between the colonists and the Wampanoags.
A government ruled by or subject to religious authority.
London joint-stock company that founded the first permanent English colony at Jamestown in 1607. In 1606 King James I chartered the Virginia Company; one group was centered in London and founded Jamestown , a second group from Plymouth in western England founded the Plymouth colony.
A civil war in the Chesapeake among English colonists that also involved conflict between American Indians and whites (1676). Nathaniel Bacon led landless freemen in attacking Indians for their territory and burning Jamestown to challenge Governor Berkeley for greater participation in the government of Virginia.
Dominion of New England
In an effort to centralize the colonies and create consistent laws and political structures, James II combined Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Plymouth, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey under the Dominion of New England.
The English Revolution of 1688-1689 against the authoritarian policies and Catholicism of James II. James was forced into exile, and his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange took the throne. The revolution secured the dominance of Parliament over royal power.
The Puritan practice whereby parents who had been baptized but had not yet experienced conversion could bring their children before the church and have them baptized.
Wampanoag leader who waged King Philip’s War (1675–1676) with New England colonists who had encroached on Native American territory.
The transport of slaves across the Atlantic from Africa to North America .
American colonist who led Bacon's Rebellion (1676), in which a group of landless freemen attacked neighboring Indians and burned Jamestown in an attempt to gain land and greater participation in the government of Virginia .
A 1680 Pueblo rebellion led by a medicine man named Popé that succeeded in driving the Spanish from New Mexico for 13 years.
Established by John Eliot, praying towns were villages in which the Indians were supposed to adopt English customs and learn the fundamentals of Puritan religion.
Salem witch trials
The prosecution in 1691 and 1692 of almost two hundred people in Salem , Massachusetts , and its environs on charges of practicing witchcraft. Twenty people were put to death before Governor William Phips halted the trials.
Sieur de La Salle
French explorer in North America who claimed Louisiana for France (1682).
Sir Edmund Andros
English colonial administrator in America whose attempt to unify the New England colonies under his governorship (1686–1689) was met by revolt.
Treaty of Utrecht
Ending Queen Anne’s War between Great Britain and France, the Treaty of Utrecht ceded control of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland , and the Hudson Bay territory to the English.
An English Quaker leader who obtained a charter for Pennsylvania from Charles II in exchange for a debt owed to Penn's father. Penn intended to establish a model society based on religious freedom and peaceful relations with Native Americans, in addition to benefiting financially from the sale of the land.
An American public official, writer, scientist, and printer. He proposed a plan for union at the Albany Congress (1754) and played a major part in the American Revolution. Franklin helped secure French support for the colonists, negotiated the Treaty of Paris (1783), and helped draft the Constitution (1787). His numerous scientific and practical innovations include the lightning rod, bifocal spectacles, and a stove.
A philosophical movement of the eighteenth century that emphasized the use of reason to scrutinize previously accepted doctrines and traditions and that brought about many humanitarian reforms.
French and Indian War
The name often used for the Seven Years’ War in North America . The conflict began in 1754 in the Ohio Valley between British colonists and the French and their Indian allies.
An immense religious revival that swept across the Protestant world.
Along with John Viscount Percival, Oglethorpe sought a charter to colonize Georgia , the last of the British mainland colonies. Upon royal approval, he founded the colony with the intention of establishing a society of small farmers, without slavery or hard liquor.
British general in Canada . He defeated the French at Quebec (1759) but was mortally wounded in the battle.
An English philosopher and author of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), which challenged the notion of innate knowledge, and Two Treatises on Civil Government (1690), which discussed the social contract.
To gain greater protection from Indian attacks in western Pennsylvania , the “Paxton Boys” of Lancaster County murdered a number of Christian Indians at Conestoga, then marched on Philadelphia .
Proclamation of 1763
In an attempt to keep white settlers out of the Ohio Valley , the Proclamation of 1763 drew a line along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia and required all colonists to move east of the line.
Seven Years' War
The world conflict (1754-1763) fought in Europe , India , and North America between Great Britain , Hanover , and Prussia in one side and France , Austria , Spain , and other nations on the other side.
A revolt of enslaved Africans against their owners near the Stono River in South Carolina .
A British political leader and orator who directed his country’s military effort during the Seven Years’ War.
Articles of Confederation
The compact first adopted by the original thirteen states of the United States in 1781 that remained the supreme law until 1789.
1770) A pre-Revolutionary incident growing out of the resentment against the British troops sent to Boston to maintain order and to enforce the Townshend Act.
Boston Tea Party
In 1773 Bostonians protested the Tea Act, which retained the Townshend duty on tea and granted a monopoly on tea sales in the colonies to the East India Company, by dumping chests of tea into Boston Harbor .
Published by Thomas Paine in January 1776, Common Sense convinced the American public of the need for independence.
Declaration of Independence
The document, drafted primarily by Thomas Jefferson, that declared the independence of the thirteen mainland colonies from Great Britain and enumerated their reasons for separating.
George Rogers Clark
American military leader and frontiersman who led raids on British troops and Native Americans in the West during the Revolutionary War.
The first vice president (1789– 1797) and second president (1797–1801) of the United States . He was a major figure during the American Revolution: he helped draft the Declaration of Independence and served on the commission to negotiate the Treaty of Paris (1783).
In 1765 the British Parliament passed a law requiring colonists to purchase a stamp for official documents and published papers, including wills, newspapers, and pamphlets.
Author of Common Sense (1776) and other pamphlets, Paine was a recent immigrant from England .
The term referred to the followers of James II and became the name of a major political party in England . Americans who remained loyal to the British during the Revolution were called Tories.
Treaty of Paris
Signed on September 3, 1783 , the Treaty of Paris established the independence of the United States from Great Britain . It set specific land boundaries and called for the evacuation of British troops.
writs of assistance
General search warrants; a writ of assistance authorized customs officials to search for smuggled goods.
A legislature with two houses or chambers
Fifty-five delegates met in Philadelphia in May 1787 to reform the U.S. government. They chose to draft a new constitution rather than revise the Articles of Confederation.
The group that elects the president. Each state received as many electors as it had congressmen and senators combined.
A plan proposed by a delegation from Connecticut that established a bicameral Congress with a House of Representatives, based on a state’s population, and the Senate, in which each state would be represented equally.
The fourth President of the United States (1809-1817). A member of the Continental Congress (1780-1783) and the Constitutional Convention (1787), he strongly supported ratification of the Constitution and was a contributor to The Federalist Papers (1787-1788), which argued the effectiveness of the proposed constitution.
American diplomat and jurist who served in both Continental Congresses and helped negotiate peace with Great Britain (1782-1783). He was the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1789-1795) and negotiated a second agreement with Great Britain , Jay's Treaty (1794-1795).
New Jersey Plan
Written by William Paterson, the New Jersey Plan proposed a onehouse (unicameral) Congress in which states had equal representation.
Adopted by the Congress in 1787 to establish stricter control over the government of the Northwest territories ceded to the United States by the states. The ordinance was the most significant achievement of Congress under the Articles of Confederation.
The idea of Dr. Benjamin Rush that nurturing incorruptible future leaders was women's principal responsibility under the new government.
American Revolutionary politician and financier. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, he raised money for the Continental Army, attended the Constitutional Convention (1787), and was financially ruined by land speculation.
The revolt by western Massachusetts farmers in 1786-1787 named after one of the leaders, Daniel Shays. Their demands included a more responsive state government, paper money, and tender laws that would enable them to settle debts and pay taxes with goods rather than with specie.
The Federalist Papers
James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote a series of eighty-five essays in support of the Constitution. First published in newspapers, they appeared in book form as The Federalist in the spring of 1788.
Written by James Madison, this proposal favored a powerful central government dominated by a National Legislature of two houses (bicameral). It also favored a system of greater representation based upon a state's population.
The first U.S. secretary of the treasury (1789-1795), he established the national bank and public credit system. He was mortally wounded in a duel with his political rival Aaron Burr.
Bank of the United States
This first bank was established in 1791 as part of the system proposed by Alexander Hamilton to launch the new government on a sound economic basis.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution. These contain basic protection of the rights of individuals from abuses by the federal government, including freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly.
French ambassador who enlisted American mercenaries to assist the French against the British. Genet's move threatened the relations between the United States and Britain.
American inventor and manufacturer whose invention of the cotton gin (1793) revolutionized the cotton industry. He also established the first factory to assemble muskets with interchangeable parts.
Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, presiding officer at the Constitutional Convention, and the first president of the United States (1789-1797).
Jay Treaty Plan
Concluded in 1794 between the United States and Great Britain to settle difficulties arising mainly out of violations of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 and to regulate commerce and navigation.
The first vice president (1789-1797) and second president (1797-1801) of the United States. He was a major figure during the American Revolution: he helped draft the Declaration of Independence and served on the commission to negotiate the Treaty of Paris (1783).
American inventor who developed the first application of steam power in an industrial setting. He also developed a method of automating flour mills that a generation later was standard in U.S. mills.
British-born textile pioneer in America, he oversaw construction of the nation's first successful water-powered cotton mill (1790-1793).
The third president of the United States (1801-1809). A member of the second Continental Congress, he drafted the Declaration of Independence (1776). His presidency was marked by the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France (1803) and the Embargo of 1807.
In the early 1790s western Pennsylvania farmers resisted the whiskey tax: they held protest meetings, tarred and feathered collaborators, and destroyed property. In 1794 the Washington administration sent thirteen thousand troops to restore order, but the revolt was over by the time they arrived.
Name given to the episode in which the French government (the Directory) demanded, through three agents known to the American public as X, Y, and Z, that the U.S. government pay a bribe and apologize for criticizing France.
The seventh president of the United States (1829–1837) who, as a general in the War of 1812, defeated the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend (1814) and the British at New Orleans (1815). As president he denied the right of individual states to nullify federal laws and increased presidential powers.
A gathering of Federalists in 1814 that called for significant amendments to the Constitution and attempted to damage the Republican party. The Treaty of Ghent and Andrew Jackson’s victory at New Orleans annulled any recommendation of the convention.
American jurist and politician who served as the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1801-1835) and helped establish the practice of judicial review.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
From 1804 to 1806 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led the Corps of Discovery from St. Louis to the Pacific coast and back. They informed Native Americans that the United States had acquired the territory from France and recorded geographic and scientific data.
The acquisition in 1803 of the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi River and New Orleans by the United States from France for $15 million.
Marbury v. Madison
The first decision by the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional and void an act passed by Congress that the Court considered in violation of the Constitution. The decision established the doctrine of judicial review, which recognizes the authority of courts to declare statutes unconstitutional.
Federal judicial officials appointed to office in the closing period of John Adams’s presidential administration. The Republicans accused Adams of staying awake until midnight in order to sign the commissions for Federalist officeholders.
Shoshone guide and interpreter who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition (1805–1806).
Second Great Awakening
A series of Protestant religious rivals that began in 1797 and lasted into the 1830s.
A group of people forming a distinct unit within a larger group by virtue of certain refinements or distinctions of belief or practice.
Shawnee leader who attempted to establish a confederacy to unify Native Americans against white encroachment. He sided with the British in the War of 1812 and was killed in the Battle of the Thames .
Ship that won important victories against the British during the War of 1812 by destroying the Royal Navy’s ships, the Guerrière and the Java.
William Henry Harrison
While governor of the Indiana Territory , he attacked and burned Prophetstown in 1811. The ninth president of the United States (1841), he died of pneumonia after one month in office.
The future of the country, Clay and Calhoun believed, lay in commerce and industry. The government should ally itself with the forces of trade. These nationalists called their vision the “American System.”
The seventh president of the United States (1829–1837) who, as a general in the War of 1812, defeated the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend (1814) and the British at New Orleans (1815). As president he denied the right of individual states to nullify federal laws and increased presidential powers.
No place in the world was as prepared to supply the burgeoning demand for cotton as the American South.
American insurrectionist. A freed slave in South Carolina , he was implicated in the planning of a large uprising of slaves and was hanged. The event led to more stringent slave codes in many Southern states.
“Era of Good Feelings“
Period in U.S. history (1817-23) when, the Federalist party having declined, there was little open party feeling.
The first major American canal, stretching two hundred fifty miles from Lake Erie across the state of New York to Albany , where boats then traveled down the Hudson River to New York City .
American politician who pushed the Missouri Compromise through the U.S. House of Representatives (1820) in an effort to reconcile free and slave states.
The fifth President of the United States (1817-1825), whose administration was marked by the acquisition of Florida (1819); the Missouri Compromise (1820), in which Missouri was declared a slave state; and the profession of the Monroe Doctrine (1823), declaring U.S. opposition to European interference in the Americas.
John C. Calhoun
Vice President of the United States (1825-1832) under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. In his political philosophy he maintained that the states had the right to nullify federal legislation that they deemed unconstitutional.
American jurist and politician who served as the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1801–1835) and helped establish the practice of judicial review.
Measure passed by the U.S. Congress in 1820-1821 to end the first series of crises concerning the extension of slavery.
Authored by James Monroe, the doctrine declared U.S. opposition to European inference in the Americas .
Connecting the Potomac River at Cumberland , Maryland , with Wheeling , [West] Virginia , on the Ohio River . The road was the best that technology could provide at the time, with excellent bridges and a relatively smooth stone surface.
Women, especially widows and other single females, worked in their homes to produce palm hats, portions of shoes, or articles of clothing that merchants from nearby cities gathered and had assembled in workshops. These women added such piecework to their farm work, laboring in the evenings and throughout the winters.
A Native American people made up of various primarily Creek groups who moved into northern Florida during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, later inhabiting the Everglades region as well.
A campaign to reduce or eliminate the influence of alcoholic beverages in American life.
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
Leader of Mexico at the time of the battle at the Alamo . Taken prisoner when attacked at San Jacinto , he signed treaties removing Mexican troops from Texas , granting Texas its independence, and recognizing the Rio Grande as the boundary.
Controversy over the role of the "Bank of the United States," a large private institution that opponents felt gave privileged bank stockholders far too much power. Agreeing with these critics, President Andrew Jackson vetoed a rechartering of the Bank and moved all federal funds to state banks.
Charles Grandison Finney
American evangelist, theologian, and educator born in Warren , Conn. Licensed to the Presbyterian ministry in 1824, he had phenomenal success as a revivalist in the Eastern states, converting many who became noted abolitionists.
The name often given to the hundreds of thousands of unenslaved African Americans who lived in the American South, especially in the Upper South states of Maryland and Virginia and in all the major cities of the region, during the days of slavery.
Congress sought to avoid conflict of antislavery abolitionists by merely tabling the petitions calling for the end of slavery in the District of Columbia , but the compromise pleased no one.
Indian Removal Act
Passed in 1830, this act set aside land in the Oklahoma Territory for American Indians to be removed from the eastern United States. Over the next eight years, tens of thousands of Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee people were transported from their homes on what the Cherokees called the "Trail of Tears."
John C. Calhoun
Vice President of the United States under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. In his political philosophy he maintained that the states had the right to nullify federal legislation that they deemed unconstitutional.
American religious leader who founded (1830) the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and led his congregation westward from New York State to western Illinois, where he was murdered by an anti-Mormon mob.
Commander of the tejano cavalry who won a decisive battle against Mexican forces at San Jacinto in April 1836.
American slave leader who organized about 70 followers and led a rebellion in Virginia , during which approximately 50 whites were killed (1831). He was then captured and executed.
A doctrine, supported by John C. Calhoun and others, holding that states have the right to declare null and void any federal law that they deem unconstitutional.
Wife of John Eaton and the central figure in a controversy that divided President Jackson's cabinet into pro-Eaton and anti-Eaton factions.
Second Bank of the United States
Created to prevent inflation and deflation of the American economy. Many prominent figures believed the Second Bank of the United States had too much power, one of whom was President Jackson, who vetoed the bank’s attempt to recharter.
A system by which the victorious political party rewarded its supporters with government jobs.
The Book of Mormon
The holy book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or the Mormons.
Trail of Tears
Route used for removal of the Cherokees from Georgia to Oklahoma during the 1830s. It is estimated that about one in four Cherokees died on the forced march.
William Lloyd Garrison
American abolitionist leader who founded and published The Liberator (1831-1865), an antislavery journal.
America 's "Wests"
During the depressions of the 1830s and 1840s, many easterners who had fallen on hard times migrated westward; the "West" was defined in different ways, denoting not only territories near the Pacific coast but states like Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
A slave ship on which forty-nine Africans rebelled in 1839 off the coast of Cuba. The ship sailed to Long Island Sound where Spanish authorities demanded they be turned over for punishment. A group of American abolitionists, led by former President John Quincy Adams, fought for and won their freedom in 1841. The thirty-five who survived returned to Africa.
An early photographic process with the image made on a light-sensitive silver-coated metallic plate.
Election of 1840
The election between Democrat Martin Van Buren and the Whig party's William Henry Harrison, won by Harrison .
American abolitionist and journalist who escaped from slavery (1838) and became an influential lecturer both in the North and abroad. He wrote Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) and co-founded and edited the North Star (1847-1860), an abolitionist newspaper.
The first female abolitionist speakers, they were prominent figures in the Anti-Slavery movement of the late 1830s.
An escaped slave who returned to the South and led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom in the North. Active throughout the 1850s, Tubman became famous as the most active member of the Underground Railroad.
A U.S. political party formed in 1839 to oppose the practice of slavery; it merged with the Free-Soil party in 1848.
The belief that the United States was destined to grow from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Arctic to the tropics. Providence supposedly intended for Americans to have this area for a great experiment in liberty.
Martin Van Buren
The eighth President of the United States (1837-1841). A powerful Democrat from New York , he served in the U.S. Senate (1821-1828), as secretary of state (1829-1831), and as Vice President (1833-1837) under Andrew Jackson before being elected President in 1836. He unsuccessfully sought reelection in 1840 and 1848.
Panic of 1837
A financial crisis that began a major depression that lasted six years.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
American writer, philosopher, and central figure of American transcendentalism. His poems, orations, and especially his essays, such as “Nature” (1836), are regarded as landmarks in the development of American thought and literary expression.
Samuel F. B. Morse
American painter and inventor. He refined and patented the telegraph and developed the telegraphic code that bears his name.
A campaign to reduce or eliminate the influence of alcoholic beverages in American life.
Members of an intellectual and social movement of the 1830s and 1840s that emphasized the active role the mind plays in constructing what we think of as reality. A loose grouping of intellectuals in Massachusetts sought to "transcend" the limits of thought in conventional America, whether religious or philosophical.
The act of incorporating territory into an existing political unit, such as a country.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
American feminist and social reformer. She helped organize the first women's rights convention, held in Seneca Falls , New York (1848), for which she wrote a Declaration of Sentiments calling for the reform of discriminatory practices that perpetuated sexual inequality.
Mostly men lured to California by the gold rush of 1849.
Free Soil Party
A former political party in the U.S. ; formed in 1848 to oppose the extension of slavery into the territories, it merged with the Liberty Party in 1848.
Fugitive Slave Act
The federal act of 1850 providing for the return between states of escaped black slaves.
Deal in which the United States paid Mexico $15 million for the strip of land that finished the “building” of the U.S. and gave the country its final border with Mexico.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Author of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), the most important abolitionist novel.
Author of Moby Dick (1851), often considered to be the greatest American novel of the Nineteenth Century.
Written by Stephen A. Douglas, the act declared people of new territories could decide for themselves whether or not their states would permit slaves and slaveholders.
A popular name for the American Party, an anti-immigration party of the mid-1850s, derived from their response to any question about their activities: "I know nothing."
Author of several important novels including The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of Seven Gables (1851).
Grouping a number of items together in an attempt to get them passed; often used to enact controversial legislation.
The concept that settlers of each territory would decide for themselves whether to allow slavery.
Seneca Falls Convention
The first major gathering of woman's rights advocates was held in Seneca Falls , New York , in 1848.
A former slave who became an advocate for abolitionism and for woman's rights.
Stephen A. Douglas
American politician who served as U.S. representative (1843-1847) and senator (1847-1861) from Illinois . He proposed legislation that allowed individual territories to determine whether they would allow slavery (1854) and in the senatorial campaign of 1858 engaged Abraham Lincoln in a famous series of debates.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Novel by author Harriet Beecher Stowe which helped change white attitudes towards African Americans.
A visionary poet who wrote Leaves of Grass (1855), inventing a new American idiom.
The twelfth president (died in his first year in office in 1850), he became famous as a general in the war with Mexico . As Whig president, he tried to avoid entanglements of both party and region.
The sixteenth president (1861–1865), he led the United States throughout the Civil War.
“Bleeding Kansas “
Nickname given to the Kansas Territory in the wake of a number of clashes between proslavery and anti-slavery supporters.
Missouri settlers who crossed into Kansas to lend support for proslavery issues (1855).
U.S. senator from Massachusetts (1851-1874), he was a noted orator with an uncompromising opposition to slavery.
Dred Scott case
An enslaved man sued for his freedom in 1847, leading to a crucial Supreme Court decision in 1857 in which the Court ruled that African Americans held no rights as citizens and that the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was unconstitutional. The decision was widely denounced in the North and strengthened the new Republican party.
To engage in a military expedition without state sanction. William Walker filibustered in the early 1850s in hopes of expanding American territory into Mexico where slavery could flourish.
Southerners who were eager, enthusiastic supporters of southern rights and later of secession.
The fort in the harbor of Charleston , South Carolina , that was fired on by the Confederacy on April 12, 1861 , triggering the Civil War.
A Virginia town that was the site of John Brown's raid in 1859, a failed attempt to lead a slave insurrection. It ignited public opinion in both the North and the South.
The fifteenth president of the United States (1857–1861). He tried to maintain a balance between proslavery and antislavery factions, but his views angered radicals in both the North and South.
American abolitionist who, in 1859 with twenty-one followers, captured the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry as part of an effort to liberate southern slaves. His group was defeated, and Brown was hanged after a trial in which he won sympathy as an abolitionist martyr.
Seven debates between Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln for the Illinois senatorial race of 1858.
The thirteenth president of the United States (1850-1853), who succeeded to office after the death of Zachary Taylor. He struggled to keep the nation unified but lost the support of his Whig party.
Roger B. Taney
American jurist who served as the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1836-1864). In the Dred Scott decision (1857) he ruled that slaves and their descendants had no rights as citizens.
Term used by some northerners to characterize the influence of the slaveholding class in the South; such critics held that haughty self-proclaimed aristocrats lorded over ignorant whites, bullying them into supporting parties and policies that worked against their own interests.
A proslavery Tennessean who pushed for expansion of the American territory into Cuba or Central America, places where slavery could flourish.
A nonslaveholding white in the antebellum south who farmed with the help of his family and community network. Yeomen's self-sufficient farm households were idealized as one of the cornerstones of American democracy.
Term given to the strategy employed by the North during the Civil War in which the Confederacy would be slowly strangled by a blockade.
A battle near Sharpsburg , Maryland , in September 1862 in which the Union Army stopped the Confederacy's drive into the North. With twenty-five thousand casualties, it was the bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War.
The Confederate States of America
Term used by the Union for the black people who made their way to the Union ranks. This term usually applies to goods prohibited by law or treaty from being imported or exported.
A term used by some Republicans to describe Peace Democrats. It implied that they were traitors to the Union . Peace Democrats thought that the war was a failure and should be abandoned.
Commander of Union naval forces that captured the city of New Orleans and then much of the lower Mississippi River in 1862.
An American philanthropist, reformer, and educator who took charge of nurses for the U.S. in the Civil War.
George B. McClellan
Major General of the United States Army who led forces in Virginia in 1861 and 1862. He was widely blamed for not taking advantage of his numerical superiority to defeat the Confederates around Richmond . McClellan ran against Abraham Lincoln for president in 1864 on the Democratic ticket.
United States senator, secretary of war and then president of the Confederacy (1861–1865). He was captured by Union soldiers in 1865 and imprisoned for two years. Although he was indicted for treason (1866), he was never prosecuted.
American Confederate general known for his flamboyant personal style and dashing, but not always successful, strategic campaigns. He ordered the bombardment of Fort Sumter in April 1861.
Robert E. Lee
American general who led the Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War.
The Monitor and the Virginia
The Union hired a Swiss inventor to design a different kind of ironclad; his innovative plan called for a ship that would be mostly submerged except for a rotating turret on top. The highly maneuverable ship that resulted, the Monitor, prevented the Confederate ironclad ship, the Virginia, from breaking the Union blockade in an 1862 battle.
Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson
American Confederate general who commanded troops at both battles of Bull Run (1861 and 1862) and directed the Shenandoah Valley campaign (1862). He was accidentally killed by his own troops at Chancellorsville (1863).
Union ship captain Charles Wilkes boarded the Trent, a British mail packet traveling from Cuba, and seized two Confederate emissaries onboard, taking them to a Boston prison and receiving a hero's welcome. The act incited British ire, however, and reflected the uneasy state of international relations created by the war.
“twenty negro law”
Confederate law that exempted from military service one white man for every twenty slaves under his supervision.
Ulysses S. Grant
The eighteenth president of the United States ; commander of the Union Army in the American Civil War.
Mississippi battle site under siege by Grant's army for six weeks. Before falling it became the symbol of Confederate doggedness and Union frustration.
African American soldiers
Finally allowed to enlist in May 1863, African American soldiers accounted for more than one hundred eighty thousand troops and played a major role in the Union victory.
The seventeenth president of the United States (1865–1869); he succeeded the assassinated Abraham Lincoln.
The small Virginia village that served as the site of surrender of Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 , generally recognized as bringing the Civil War to an end.
laws for controlling the former slaves
Draft law passed by the North in 1863.
Riots in protest of the draft began in New York City on July 13, 1863, lasting for three days. Mobs began assaulting draft officials, then turned their anger on any man who looked rich enough to have hired a substitute, then on pro-Lincoln newspapers and abolitionists' homes.
The ending of slavery, initiated in the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 but not accomplished in many places until the Confederate surrender in 1865.
American abolitionist and journalist who escaped from slavery (1838) and became an influential lecturer in the North and abroad. He wrote Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) and cofounded and edited the North Star (1847-1860), an abolitionist newspaper.
A federal agency created in 1865 to supervise newly freed people. It oversaw relations between whites and blacks in the South, issued food rations, and supervised labor contracts.
Site of Robert E. Lee’s defeat in Pennsylvania in July 1863. Along with the loss of Vicksburg , this was a blow from which the South would not recover.
A brief speech given by President Lincoln at the dedication of the Gettysburg Cemetery in November 1863 that declared that the Civil War was dedicated to freedom.
The act of charging a public official with misconduct in office.
John Wilkes Booth
An actor and southern sympathizer who assassinated Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 .
Ku Klux Klan
Founded in 1866 by Nathan Bedford Forrest in Tennessee, this group dedicated itself to maintaining white supremacy through intimidation and violence.
Republicans who supported black rights.
Act passed on March 2, 1867, placing the South under military rule. All the Southern states except Tennessee (which had already ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and been readmitted to the Union) were categorized into five military districts.
Special Field Order No. 15
Issued by William T. Sherman in January of 1865, this order reserved land in coastal South Carolina , Georgia , and Florida for former slaves. Those who settled on the land would receive forty-acre plots.
Passed in 1865, this constitutional amendment abolished slavery.
Mississippi city under siege by Grant's army for six weeks. Before falling it became the symbol of confederate doggedness and Union frustration.
William T. Sherman
Union general under Ulysses S. Grant who took Atlanta and led the "March to the Sea".
Alexander Graham Bell
His invention of the telephone at the end of the nineteenth century changed the nature of life in the United States .
Native American Sioux leader who defeated George Custer in battle.
George Armstrong Custer
Colonel famous for his battle at Little Big Horn against the Sioux Indians.
Grant's opponent in the 1872 election. Seen as a political oddball in the eyes of many Americans, the 61-year-old editor favored the protective tariff and was indifferent to civil service reform. He was also passionate about ideas such as vegetarianism and the use of human manure in farming.
Organization formed in 1872 by Republicans discontented with the political corruption and the policies of President Grant’s first administration.
Little Big Horn
Site of the attack in which Indians led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull destroyed George Armstrong Custer and his troops.
Rutherford B. Hayes
Nineteenth president of the United States . Beneficiary of one of the most fiercely disputed elections in American history.
Samuel J. Tilden
Governor of New York selected to run as the Democratic candidate in the 1876 presidential election. He narrowly lost what has been considered the most controversial election in American history.
Ally of Crazy Horse in the Custer battle.
The right to vote that was extended to African American males after the Civil War
Susan B. Anthony
Advocate of woman's suffrage and leader in the women's rights movement along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
The act of abstaining from partaking of alcoholic beverages.
The Gilded Age
Title of an 1873 novel by Mark Twain; the phrase came to be used to describe the decades following the Civil War, an age where political corruption, social disorder, and economic inequity lurked beneath the appealing fašade of peace and business expansion.
The most celebrated example of political corruption in the Reconstruction era. Led by “Boss” Tweed , it operated out of New York City ’s Tammany Hall.
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union
Organization formed to fight for a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol
Alexander Graham Bell
His invention of the telephone at the end of the nineteenth century changed the nature of life in the United States .
A major business leader in the evolution of the steel industry.
Dawes Severalty Act
This 1887 act undermined tribal structure and culture by dividing collective reservation land into 160-acre allotments that were distributed to individual Native Americans. The surplus land was sold to white settlers.
An Apache leader who resisted white incursions until his capture in 1886.
On May 4, 1886 , workmen in Chicago gathered to protest police conduct during a strike at a factory of the McCormick Company.
A procedure wherein a company takes over competitors to achieve control within an industry.
Interstate Commerce Act
Passed by Congress in 1887, this act set up an Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which could investigate complaints of railroad misconduct or file suit against the companies.
John D. Rockefeller
Key figure in the development of the oil industry and the growth of large corporations.
Atlanta druggist who became famous for inventing Coca Cola.
Knights of Labor
A labor organization that combined fraternal ritual, the language of Christianity, and a belief in the social equality of all citizens.
Law passed to reform the spoils system. It created a civil service system and changed the way political contributions could be made.
Those who took over state governments in the South after Reconstruction, and who believed they had “saved” the South from a disastrous foray into multiracial politics.
Railroad industry leaders such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould who became renowned for their ruthless methods against competitors.
Samuel L. Clemens
Author who wrote under the pen name of Mark Twain, providing a vivid view of an America that was changing before his eyes.
Working land in return for a share of the crops produced instead of paying cash rent. A shortage of currency in the South made this a frequent form of land tenure, and African Americans endured it because it eliminated the labor gangs of the slavery period.
A philosophy that allegedly showed how closely the social history of humans resembled Darwin ’s principle of “survival of the fittest.” According to this theory, human social history could be understood as a struggle among races, with the strongest and the fittest invariably triumphing.
Thomas Alva Edison
The inventor of the phonograph, electric lights, and countless other products.
A procedure wherein a company gains control of all phases of production.
Battle of Wounded Knee
Last major chapter in Indian wars, it was fought on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota .
The twenty-third president of the United States , he lost the popular vote but gained a majority of the electoral college votes in the 1888 election.
An urban “political machine“ that relied for its existence on the votes of the large inner-city population. The flow of money through the machine was often based on corruption.
The author of Looking Backward(1888), a major protest novel
An immigration station opened in 1892 where new arrivals were passed through a medical examination and were questioned about their economic prospects.
A concerted national effort by farmers to combat worsening farm conditions and falling crop prices through cooperative action and political participation. It flourished in the 1880s and was a precursor to the Populist party.
The twenty-second and twenty-fourth president of the United States , he was the first Democrat elected to the presidency after the Civil War.
Homer A. Plessy
In a test of an 1890 law specifying that blacks must ride in separate railroad cars, this one-eighth-black man boarded a train and sat in the car reserved for whites. When the conductor instructed him to move, he refused and was arrested; the case prompted a landmark Supreme Court decision.
A labor uprising of workers at a steel plant in Homestead , Pennsylvania , in 1892 that was put down by military force
Founded in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr as a settlement home in a Chicago neighborhood to help solve the troubling problems of American city life.
Pioneer of settlement houses in Chicago and a major reform leader.
John L. Sullivan
Famous Irish American boxing champion of the late nineteenth century.
National American Woman Suffrage Association
Association formed in 1890 to fight for gaining voting rights for women. NAWSA was formed through the efforts of Lucy Stone Blackwell, and its first president was Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
In most large cities of the late nineteenth century, political bosses (who rarely held office themselves) dominated city politics from behind the scenes; they delivered votes for their party by courting inner city constituents, but middle and upper class reformers often attacked them as inefficient and corrupt.
Also known as the People's Party, this political party held its first national convention on July 4, 1892 . The party's platform took a stern view of the state of the nation. The specific planks endorsed the sub treasury, free coinage of sliver, and other reform proposals.
Sherman Antitrust Act
This Legislation was passed in 1890 to curb the growth of large monopolistic corporations.
The last major chapter in the Indian wars fought on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota .
A program for African American acceptance of white supremacy put forth by Booker T. Washington.
Booker T. Washington
A spokesman for blacks in the 1890s, he argued that African Americans should emphasize hard work and personal development rather than rebelling against their condition.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
An ardent advocate of Feminism
Unemployed Americans who joined Jacob Coxey in an unsuccessful march to the nation’s capital to petition the government for help
Eugene Victor Debs
Leader of the American Railway Union that struck in sympathy with the workers in the Pullman Palace Car Company. His experiences in this labor dispute helped persuade him to become a leader of the Socialist Party.
On May 1, 1898 , he inflicted a decisive defeat on the Spanish navy at Manila Bay in the Philippines , thus helping the United States win the Spanish-American War.
Developer of the railroad sleeping car and creator of a model town outside Chicago where his employees were to live
The 22nd and 24th president, he was the first democrat elected to the presidency after the Civil War.
African American leader of an anti-lynching campaign
This Amendment barred an independent Cuba from allying itself with another foreign power. The United States had a right to intervene to preserve stability.
Plessy v. Ferguson
The 1896 Supreme Court case that approved racial segregation.
Strike by railway workers that led to nationwide unrest in 1894
Name given by Spanish troops to African American soldiers fighting in Cuba during the Spanish-American War
Spanish American War
The conflict that brought the United States a world empire
Author of The Red Badge of Courage
The twenty-sixth president of the United States, he became the youngest president in the nation's history after the assassination of William McKinley. He brought new excitement and power to the presidency as he vigorously led Congress and the American people toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy.
The twenty-fifth president of the United States, he won by the largest majority of popular votes since 1872.
William Randolph Hearst
The most celebrated publisher of the yellow press
yellow press/yellow journalism
A type of journalism where stories were embellished with titillating details when the true reports did not seem sensational enough. This type of writing catered to a hunger for “real-life” accounts.
A black man burned at the stake in Balltown , Louisiana , for allegedly robbing and raping a white woman; no trial was held.
He worked closely with Roosevelt to formulate a conservation policy that involved managing natural resources, not locking them up for indefinite future use.
A preeminent female crusading journalist
Interstate Commerce Commission
With the passing of the Hepburn Act in 1906, this commission was given the power to establish maximum rates and to review the accounts and records of the railroads.
He purchased Carnegie Steel Company in 1901 for $480 million from Andrew Carnegie, creating United States Steel, which controlled 60 percent of the steel industry’s productive capacity.
Name given to reform journalists at the beginning of the 20 th century, they were noted for exposing corruption and societal problems.
Muller vs. Oregon
Case in which the Supreme Court upheld limits on working hours for women
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
An organization that fights against racial injustice.
National Women's Trade Union League
A feminist labor organization
American citizens began calling for political and societal reforms in response to growth of cities, problems of industrialism, and fears about the nation's future.
Pure Food and Drugs Act
Passed in 1906 to deal with fraudulent medicines and unsafe factory practices in the food industry
Robert La Follette
Personified the reform energy of progressivism in his speeches to crowds in Wisconsin and across the nation.
Roosevelt ’s extension of the Monroe Doctrine to Latin American states and the right to supervise their behavior.
Provided for the direct election of U.S. senators
Roosevelt 's approach to treat capital and labor on an equal basis.
Term applied to Theodore Roosevelt’s efforts to enforce the Sherman Act.
Author of The Jungle, a novel that brought to light major problems in the meat-packing industry
W.E.B. Du Bois
Initially a supporter of Booker T. Washington’s education policy, he later criticized Washington ’s methods as having “practically accepted the alleged inferiority of the Negro.”
Main figure of the radical wing of the woman's suffrage movement in the early 20 th century.
A phrase used to describe the foreign policies of Secretary of State Philander C. Knox under President William H. Taft. This type of diplomacy focused on expanding American investments abroad, especially in Latin America and China .
Austrian archduke murdered along with his wife in Sarajevo , Bosnia . Austria 's response to the dual murder led to the beginnings of World War I.
An automaker who developed the assembly line and low-priced automobiles
Became America ’s first African American heavyweight boxing champion in 1908
A prominent Boston lawyer and reformist thinker who was a consultant to Wilson during his campaign for election in 1912.
Numerous deaths that occurred when coal miners striking at John D. Rockefeller’s Colorado mine were set upon by troops
Roosevelt 's far-reaching program that called for a strong federal government to stabilize the economy, protect the weak, and restore social harmony.
An effort to ban the sale of alcohol; it was achieved in 1919.
Ratified in 1913, this made a national income tax constitutional.
Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
A tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in which dozens of female workers perished.
An alliance of Italy , Germany and Austria-Hungary , whose ties were frayed in 1914
The Mexican general who presented a problem for President Wilson
William Howard Taft
The twenty-seventh president of the United States , who split with Theodore Roosevelt once in office.
William Jennings Bryan
After several unsuccessful bids for the presidency, he became Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State.
Women achieved the right to vote in 1919-1920 after an intense struggle in Congress.
The twenty-eighth president of the United States , he was an advocate for the New Freedom and the League of Nations .
Carrie Chapman Catt
A leader in the woman's suffrage campaign.
Charles Evans Hughes
A Supreme Court Justice nominated as the Republican candidate for president in the 1916 election. He had been a progressive governor of New York and said little about foreign policy.
Amendment which banned the production and sale of alcoholic beverages
Young, single, middle-class women who wore their hair and dresses short, rolled their stockings down, used cosmetics, and smoked in public. They were signaling their desire for independence and equality, but not through politics. The new female personality was endowed with self-reliance, outspokenness, and a new appreciation for the pleasures of life.
Wilson 's Peace Program. Among the key provisions were freedom of the seas, free trade, and more open diplomacy.
A massive movement of blacks leaving the South for cities in the North. It began slowly around 1910 and then accelerated between 1914 and 1920 when more than 600,000 African Americans left the South.
Henry Cabot Lodge
Massachusetts Senator best remembered for spearheading Senate blockage of American membership in the League of Nations on the grounds that its covenant threatened American sovereignty.
Thirty-year government bonds sold to individuals with an annual interest rate of three and one-half percent. They were offered in five issues between 1917 and 1920, and their purchase was equated with patriotic duty.
A British liner hit by a German torpedo in May of 1915. Among the nearly twelve hundred passengers who died were 128 Americans.
New York feminist jailed and fined for trying to inform women about birth control
African Americans after World War I who wanted to gain their rights
Period shortly after World War I during which many Americans became frightened about a perceived growing threat from Socialists within the United States
The Birth of a Nation
D. W. Griffith 's twisted movie portrayal of the Reconstruction period in the South. It depicted African Americans as ignorant and glamorized the Ku Klux Klan.
British intelligence intercepted and decoded this secret German diplomatic telegram to the German ambassador in Mexico . It dangled the return to Mexico of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas as bait to entice the Mexicans to enter the war on the German side.
An African American poet and an important member of the Harlem Renaissance
Albert B. Fall
Secretary of the Interior involved in the Teapot Dome scandal
Alphonse "Al" Capone
Gangster devoted to gaining control of gambling, prostitution, and bootlegging in the Chicago area.
Enterprising individuals who moved alcohol across the border into the U.S. from Canada and the Caribbean during the Prohibition era, where the liquor could be sold at illegal saloons known as “speakeasies”
Charles A. Lindbergh
His solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927 made him an international hero
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Serious novelist of the day and author of The Great Gatsby. He, along with his wife Zelda, captured attention as the embodiment of the free spirit of the Jazz Age.
George Herman “Babe” Ruth
This Boston Red Sox pitcher was sold to the New York Yankees in 1918 for $400,000. He belted out fifty-four home runs during the 1920 season, and fans flocked to see him play.
John T. Scopes
Teacher named as defendant in the celebrated trial that took place in 1925 Tennessee. The trial pitted Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan; with a verdict of guilty, the ban on teaching evolution was upheld for several decades, though Darrow's cross-examination of Bryan was seen by many as a blow to fundamentalism.
Trumpeter and major innovator of jazz
Jamaican immigrant who promised to "organize the 400 million Negroes of the World into a vast organization to plant the banner of freedom in the great continent of Africa."
Agricultural bill that would let the federal government subsidize crops to insure a profit for farmers
National Woman's Party
Created by Alice Paul, this organization pushed for the Equal Rights Amendment during the 1920s.
Sacco and Vanzetti
Two Italian immigrants whose criminal trial became a major controversy in a 1920 murder and robbery case that took place in South Braintree , Massachusetts .
Local authorities indicted this Dayton , Tennessee , schoolteacher for teaching evolution in one of his classes. The jury found him guilty and assessed a small fine.
The Jazz Singer
One of the first motion pictures with sound, it starred Al Jolson, who specialized in blackface renditions of popular tunes.
Zora Neale Hurston
An African American novelist who embodied the creative and artistic aspirations of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.
A vigorous reformer as governor of New York , he became the first Roman Catholic to win the nomination of a major party for president of the United States .
Amos ‘n’ Andy
The most popular radio program of the Depression years. It portrayed the lives of two African American men in Harlem as interpreted by two white entertainers, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll.
October 29, 1929 , the day the spectacular New York Stock Market crash began.
Thousands of veterans, determined to collect promised cash bonuses early, came to Washington during the summer of 1932 to listen to Congress debate the bonus proposal.
A group of prominent academics recruited as a source of ideas for the Roosevelt campaign to write speeches
Franklin D. Roosevelt
The thirty-second president of the United States , he assumed the presidency at the depth of the Great Depression and helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope with his inaugural address in which he promised prompt, vigorous action and asserted that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Good Neighbor policy
Hoover ’s change of focus in Latin America , as he renounced the Roosevelt Corollary and withdrew troops from the region
Makeshift "villages," usually at the edge of a city, with "homes" made of cardboard, scrap metal, or whatever was cheap and available; named for President Hoover, who was despised by the poor for his apparent refusal to help them.
John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner
Speaker of the House in 1931 whose answer to the growing budget deficit was to offer a national sales tax. He also ran against Roosevelt for the Democratic nomination for president but decided to release his delegates and was in turn rewarded with the vice presidential nomination.
Workers who moved through agricultural regions, especially California , looking for seasonal work
A group of black youths accused of raping a white woman in Alabama who became a source of controversy and focus of civil rights activism in the early 1930s.
stock market crash of 1929
The collapse of stock prices that ended the speculative boom of the 1920s and is associated with the onset of the Great Depression.
This amendment moved the presidential inauguration date from four months after the election to January 20.
Agricultural Adjustment Act
Created under Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal program, its purpose was to help farmers by reducing production of staple crops, thus raising farm prices and encouraging more diversified farming.
Civil Works Administration
The agency tasked with creating jobs and restoring self-respect by handing out pay envelopes instead of relief checks. In reality, workers sometimes performed worthless tasks, known as “boondoggles,” but much of the $1 billion budget was spent on projects of lasting value including airports and roads.
Civilian Conservation Corps
One of the New Deal's most popular programs, it took unemployed young men from the cities and put them to work on conservation projects in the country.
The name given to areas of the U.S. prairie states that suffered ecological devastation in the 1930s and then to a lesser extent in the mid-1950s.
American diplomat, writer, and First Lady of the United States (1933-1945) as the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A delegate to the United Nations (1945-1952 and 1961-1962), she was an outspoken advocate of human rights. Her written works include This I Remember (1949).
Roosevelt 's choice to run the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. He eventually became Roosevelt 's closest advisor.
Huey P. Long
A populist but dictatorial governor of Louisiana (1928-1932), he instituted major public works legislation, and as a U.S. senator (1932-1935), he proposed a national "Share-the-Wealth" program.
John L. Lewis
American labor leader who was president of the United Mine Workers of America (1920-1960) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1935-1940).
An opera singer and human rights advocate, she performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd of seventy-five thousand after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution. She helped focus national attention on the racial prejudice faced by African Americans in all facets of national life.
Mary McLeod Bethune
An educator who sought improved racial relations and educational opportunities for Black Americans, she was part of the U.S. delegation to the first United Nations meeting (1945).
National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
Enacted on June 16, 1933 , this emergency measure was designed to encourage industrial recovery and help combat widespread unemployment.
The name given to the many domestic programs and reforms instituted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration in response to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Created in 1933 during the New Deal's first hundred days, it was a massive experiment in regional planning that focused on providing electricity, flood control, and soil conservation to one of the nation's poorest regions, covering seven states in the Tennessee Valley .
The Grapes of Wrath
Written by John Steinbeck and published in 1939, this novel depicts the struggle of ordinary Americans in the Great Depression, following the plight of the Joad family as it migrated west from Oklahoma to California .
U.S. and Philippine World War II troops surrendered this peninsula in western Luzon , Philippines , to the Japanese in April 1942 after an extended siege; U.S. forces recaptured the peninsula in February 1945.
The B-29 bomber, named after the mother of pilot Colonel PaulW. Tibbets, that dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 , killing more than one hundred thousand people.
Executive Order 9066
Issued by President Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 , it designated certain parts of the country as sensitive military areas from which "any or all persons may be executed," which led to the forced evacuation of more than one hundred twenty thousand people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast of the United States .
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
The thirty-fourth president of the United States and supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force during World War II. He launched the invasion of Normandy (June 6, 1944) and oversaw the final defeat of Germany in 1945.
General Douglas MacArthur
He served as chief of staff (1930–1935) and commanded the Allied forces in the South Pacific during World War II. Initially losing the Philippines to the Japanese in 1942, he regained the islands and accepted the surrender of Japan in 1945. He commanded the UN forces in Korea (1950– 1951) until a conflict in strategies led to his dismissal by President Truman.
Harry S. Truman
The thirty-third president of the United States, he took office following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Reelected in 1948 in a stunning political upset, Truman's controversial and historic decisions included the use of atomic weapons against Japan, desegregation of the U.S. military, and dismissal of General MacArthur as commander of U.S. forces during the Korean War.
Passed in 1941, this act forged the way for the United States to transfer military supplies to the Allies, primarily Great Britain and the Soviet Union.
A naval battle in WorldWar II in which land and carrier-based U.S. planes decisively defeated a Japanese fleet on its way to invade Midway Island .
A person born in America of parents who emigrated from Japan
The name given to the Allied invasion of the European continent through Normandy .
The site of a U.S. naval base on the southern coast of Oahu, Hawaii, which the Japanese attacked on Sunday, December 7, 1941; the United States entered World War II the following day.
Rosie the Riveter
A symbol of the new breed of working women during World War II.
A Wall Street lawyer who ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt in his bid for a third consecutive term, which Roosevelt won.
A British politician and writer, as prime minister (1940-1945 and 1951-1955) he led Great Britain through World War II. He published several books, including The Second World War (1948-1953), and won the 1953 Nobel Prize for literature.
A U.S. public official accused of espionage at the height of the Cold War, he was convicted of perjury in 1950 in a controversial case.
A sudden increase in births in the years after World War II
American general who served as U.S. chief of staff (1930-1935) and commanded Allied forces in the South Pacific during World War II. After losing the Philippines to the Japanese (1942), he regained the islands (1944) and accepted the surrender of Japan (1945). He commanded the United Nations forces in Korea (1950-1951) until a conflict in strategies led to his dismissal by President Harry S. Truman.
American general and the 34th President of the United States (1953-1961). As supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force (1943-1945) he launched the invasion of Normandy (June 6, 1944) and oversaw the final defeat of Germany (1945). His presidency was marked by an end to the Korean War (1953), domestic racial problems, cold war with the Soviet Union , and a break in diplomatic relations with Cuba (1961).
General George C. Marshall
A soldier, diplomat, and politician who, as U.S. secretary of state (1947–1949), organized the European Recovery Plan, often called the Marshall Plan, for which he received the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize.
House Un-American Activities Committee
Formed in the 1930s as a watchdog against Nazi propaganda, HUAC was revived after World War II as a watchdog against Communist propaganda.
The military, political, and ideological barrier established between the Soviet bloc and Western Europe from 1945 to 1990.
The first African American player in the Major Leagues in the twentieth century, he was a second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, had a lifetime batting average of .311, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Joseph R. McCarthy
A U.S. senator from Wisconsin (1947–1957), he presided over the permanent subcommittee on investigations and held public hearings in which he accused Army officials, members of the media, and public figures of being Communists. These charges were never proved, and he was censured by the Senate in 1954.
An unincorporated community of 53,286 people in southeast New York on west Long Island, which was founded in 1947 as a low-cost housing development for World War II veterans.
Also known as the European Recovery Plan, this 1947 U.S. plan costing about $13 billion was credited with restoring economic confidence throughout Western Europe , raising living standards, curbing the influence of local Communist parties, and increasing U.S. trade and investment on the Continent.
Reflecting a tougher approach to the Soviet Union following World War II, President Truman went before Congress in 1947 to request $400 million in military aid for Greece and Turkey , claiming the appropriation was vital to the containment of Communism and to the future of freedom everywhere.
Homebuilder who adapted assembly line techniques to his houses in a New York suburb. The technique enabled him to construct prefabricated houses in record time. His self-contained neighborhoods were noted for their sameness, their safe streets, and their white populations.
The self-proclaimed father of rock 'n' roll, he was the first DJ to start playing black rhythm and blues artists on the radio.
Brown vs. Board of Education
The unanimous Supreme Court decision ruling that segregated facilities in public education were “inherently unequal” and violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. This decision overruled the longstanding “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson .
War or rivalry conducted by all means available except open military action. Diplomatic relations are not commonly broken.
A theory that if one nation comes under Communist control, neighboring nations will soon follow.
Francis Gary Powers
Pilot of an American U-2 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft shot down over Soviet territory on May 1, 1960 .
Ho Chi Minh
Vietnamese leader and first president of North Vietnam. His army was victorious in the French Indochina War, and he later led North Vietnam's struggle to defeat the U.S.-supported government of South Vietnam. He died before the reunification of Vietnam.
An American rock ’n’ roll singer noted for his flamboyant style, he influenced many artists including Elvis Presley and the Beatles.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
An African American cleric whose eloquence and commitment to nonviolent tactics formed the foundation of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He led the 1963 march on Washington at which he delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and was assassinated four years later in Memphis , Tennessee .
Montgomery bus boycott
Begun in December 1955 as a result of an act of protest by Rosa Parks against the segregated transportation facilities and humiliating treatment facing African Americans in the capital city of Alabama , the boycott soon became an international event.
A Soviet politician and Stalin loyalist in the 1930s, he was appointed first secretary of the Communist party in 1953. As Soviet premier, he denounced Stalin, thwarted the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and improved his country’s image abroad. He was deposed in 1964 for failing to establish missiles in Cuba or improve the Soviet economy.
Governor of Arkansas in 1957 who triggered a confrontation between national authority and states' rights by defying a federal court order to integrate Little Rock's all-white Central High School.
Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery , Alabama , resulted in a citywide boycott of the bus company and stirred the civil rights movement across the nation.
Launched by the Soviet Union in October 1957, it was the first artificial space satellite. News of its success provoked both anger and anxiety among the American people who had always taken their country's technological superiority for granted.
Bay of Pigs
Fifteen hundred Cuban exiles, supported by the CIA, landed here on April 17, 1961 in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the new Communist government of Fidel Castro.
A feminist who wrote The Feminist Mystique in 1963 and founded the National Organization for Women in 1966.
Movement that developed in the mid-1960s calling for renewed racial pride in their African American heritage. They believed that to seek full integration into the existing white order would be to capitulate to the institutions of racism.
labor organizer who founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962.
Fannie Lou Hamer
Daughter of illiterate Mississippi sharecroppers, she helped lead the civil rights struggle in Mississippi, focusing on voting rights for African Americans and representation in the national Democratic party.
Cuban revolutionary leader who overthrew the corrupt regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and soon after established a Communist state. Prime minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, he has been president of the government and First Secretary of the Communist party in Cuba since 1976.
Interracial groups who rode buses in the South so that a series of federal court decisions declaring segregation on buses and in waiting rooms unconstitutional would not be ignored by white officials.
Gen. William Westmoreland
General who was the senior commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam from 1964 through 1968.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Following reports of a confrontation with North Vietnamese in the Tonkin Gulf in 1964, President Johnson requested, and received, congressional authority to “take all necessary measures” to repel “further aggression” in Vietnam, giving the president formal authority to escalate the war.
On February 20, 1962 , aboard the Friendship 7, he was the first American to orbit the earth, and in 1998 he was the oldest person to participate in a space flight mission as a crew member of the space shuttle Discovery. From 1974 to 1998 he served as U.S. Senator from Ohio .
Lee Harvey Oswald
Alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, he was shot two days later while under arrest.
Lyndon Baines Johnson
The thirty-sixth president of the United States, he took over following President Kennedy's assassination in 1963 and was elected in a landslide the following year. He piloted a number of important initiatives through Congress, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
A popular Black Muslim leader who advocated nationalism, self-defense, and racial separation. He split with the Black Muslim movement and formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity, Which attracted thousands of young, urban blacks with its message of socialism and self-help. He was assassinated by a Black Muslim at a New York rally in 1965.
The thirty-seventh president of the United States . Known early in his career as a hard-line anti-Communist, he was the first U.S. president to visit Communist China. He also worked skillfully to ease tensions with the Soviet Union . He became the first president to resign from office, due to his involvement in the Watergate scandal.
He served as U.S. attorney general (1961-1964) during the presidency of his brother John F. Kennedy. He was elected to the Senate (1964) and was campaigning for the presidency when he was assassinated in Los Angeles in 1968.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
Formed in Port Huron, Michigan, in 1962, this group became one of the leading New Left antiwar organizations of the 1960s, exemplifying both the idealism and the excesses of radical student groups in the Vietnam era.
A major military operation by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong in 1968. Thought beaten back, there were tremendous casualties, and the enormity of the offensive served to undermine President Johnson's claim that steady progress was being made in Vietnam.
A U.S. spy plane. One piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, which led to the angry breakup of a Summit meeting in Paris between President Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
Among the most violent urban disturbances in U.S. history, it erupted in an African American neighborhood in Los Angeles following the arrest of a black motorist. By the time it ended, five days later, forty-one people were dead, hundreds were injured, property damage topped $200 million, and National Guardsmen had to be called in to restore order.
Camp David Accords
The historic treaty between Egypt and Israel , brokered by President Carter at Camp David in 1978, that returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for Egypt ’s recognition of the State of Israel.
An easing of tensions among countries, which usually leads to increased economic, diplomatic, and other types of contacts between former rivals.
Equal Rights Amendment. (ERA)
Congress overwhelmingly passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, but by the mid-1970s conservative groups had managed to stall its confirmation by the states.
Freedom of Information Act
Passed in response to Watergate and Vietnam , this act allowed for public access to much formerly classified government material.
A U.S. senator from South Dakota , he opposed the Vietnam War and was defeated as the 1972 Democratic candidate for President.
A three-time governor of Alabama , he first came to national attention as an outspoken segregationist, and he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1968 and 1972.
The thirty-eighth president of the United States , he was appointed vice president on the resignation of Spiro Agnew and became president when Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal. As president, Ford granted a full pardon to Nixon in 1974.
A German-born American diplomat, he was national security advisor and U.S. secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford. He shared the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to negotiate the Vietnam ceasefire.
The thirty-ninth president of the United States, his successes in office, including the Camp David Accords, were overshadowed by domestic worries and an international crisis involving the taking of American hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Iran. He was defeated by Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election.
Kent State University
National Guardsmen were sent to this Ohio campus to restore order following a series of tumultuous antiwar protests in May 1970. They fired into a crowd of students, killing four and wounding nine others.
La Raza Unida
Formed in 1969 by Mexican American activists, it reflected the growing demand for political and cultural recognition of "Chicano" causes, especially in the Southwest.
Roe v. Wade
Decided by the Supreme Court in 1973, this case along with Doe v. Bolton legalized abortion in the first trimester.
A policy whereby the South Vietnamese were to assume more of the military burdens of the war. This transfer of responsibility was expected to eventually allow the United States to withdraw.
The Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington , D.C. , was burglarized in 1972, which led to criminal convictions for several top government officials and forced President Nixon to resign from office in 1974.
Woodstock Art and Music Fair
A fusion of rock music, hard drugs, free love, and anti-war protest drawing 400,000 people to a New York farm in the summer of 1969.
She brought charges of sexual misconduct against Clarence Thomas and herself became a very polarizing figure as a result.
A Supreme Court justice appointed by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 whose confirmation became controversial due to allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.
He served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1996 and was influential in planning U.S. strategy during the Persian Gulf War.
A Nicaraguan military force trained and financed by the United States that opposed the socialist Nicaraguan government led by the Sandinista party.
George H. W. Bush
The forty-first president of the United States , he was in office when the Soviet Union collapsed.
A major scandal of the second Reagan term that involved shipping arms to Iran and diverting money from
the sale of these weapons to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua .
A Baptist minister and civil rights leader, he directed national antidiscrimination efforts in the mid-1960s and 1970s. His concern for the oppressed and his dramatic oratory attracted a large grassroots constituency.
General secretary of the Soviet Communist party in the mid-1980s and president of the USSR from 1989 to 1991, he ushered in an era of unprecedented glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.
A political action group founded in 1979 and composed of conservative, fundamentalist Christians. Led by evangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell, the group played a significant role in the 1980 elections through its strong support of conservative candidates.
A member of the NSC staff and a Marine colonel, he was a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.
The fortieth president of the United States, he represented the ascendancy of conservatism during the 1980s.
Sandra Day O'Connor
Appointed during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, she was the first woman justice on the Supreme Court.
Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
A research and development program of the U.S. government tasked with developing a space-based system to defend the nation from attack by strategic ballistic missiles.
The Great Communicator
A nickname given to Ronald Reagan for his skill in conveying his views.
Adjacent to the Forbidden City in Beijing , China , this large public square was the site of many festivals, rallies, and demonstrations. During a student demonstration there in 1989, Chinese troops fired on the demonstrators, killing an estimated two thousand or more.
Vice president of the United States under Jimmy Carter, he earlier served as a U.S. senator from Minnesota and was the unsuccessful 1984 Democratic nominee for president.
A religious sect involved in a siege by government agents in Waco , Texas , in April 1993 that ended in deadly violence.
Contract with America
Republican election platform of the 1990's that promised action on such items as a balanced budget amendment, term limits for members of Congress, and equitable regulation of legislators (i.e., seeing that they obeyed the regulations they applied to society).
George W. Bush
The forty-third president of the United States
Special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Whitewater affair. He expanded his investigation into other matters and eventually sent a report to the House of Representatives alleging that there were grounds for impeaching Clinton for lying under oath, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and other offenses.
African American religious, cultural, and political leader. In 1997 he became the leader of the Nation of Islam.
Million Man March
A protest march in October 1995 in Washington D.C. , that was organized by Louis Farrakhan to draw attention to black grievances.
An unpaid intern and later a paid staffer at the White House, Lewinski had an affair with Clinton in the White House.
American politician. A U.S. representative from Georgia first elected in 1979, he served as Speaker of the House from 1994 to 1999, when he resigned from Congress.
Oklahoma City Bombing
Militant rightwing U.S. terrorists bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995, causing the deaths of 168 people.
Of, relating to, or supporting broad social, political, and educational change, especially to redress historical injustices in matters such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.
Political party founded in 1995 by H. Ross Perot as an alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties.
Victim of a violent beating by the Los Angeles Police Department that was caught on tape. The acquittal of the white police officers involved led to the 1992 riots in Los Angeles .
American business executive and political leader, Perot came to national attention during the Iran hostage crisis (1979), when he funded an operation that rescued two of his employees from an Iranian prison. In 1992, he emerged as an independent candidate for president, expressing serious concern over the national debt.
September 11, 2001
On this date al Qaeda terrorists carries out a plan by Osama bin Laden that destroyed the World Trade Center towers and damaged the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
war on terrorism
In response to the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush declared war on the terrorists and sent U.S. troops to invade first Afghanistan and later Iraq .
Popular name for a failed 1970s Arkansas real estate venture by the Whitewater Development Corp., in which Governor (later President) Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton , were partners.
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton
The forty-second president of the United States .