Colonial Era 1607 – Founding of Jamestown, Virginia, first permanent settlement 1620

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Colonial Era

1607 – Founding of Jamestown, Virginia, first permanent settlement

1620 – Arrival of the Pilgrims and signing of Mayflower Compact/Plymouth Colony (Massachusetts)

Mercantilism-economic theory that a country’s strength is measured by the amount of gold it has, that a country should sell more than it buys and that the colonies exist for the benefit of the Mother Country.


Transatlantic Slave Trade

-Started in the British West Indies to provide a labor force for the sugar plantations

-The triangular trade developed between the Colonies, England and West Indies and slaves were traded in the colonies for other goods (including the cash crops slaves would help cultivate)


First Great Awakening- Religious Movement/Salvation for all/ encourages the ideas of equality/right to challenge authority. Churches welcomed groups of women, African Americans, and Native Americans and inspired colonists to help others. It contributes to the revolutionary idea of independence from Britain years later.

Reasons for exploration- Religion/Wealth/Fame/National pride/Curiosity/Faster, cheaper trade routes to Asia

Reasons for colonization-Religious freedom/Political freedom/Economic opportunity (mercantilism)/Social mobility/A better way of life

New England Colonies – shipbuilding and manufacturing region/Ports/Rivers/ high population density/larger urban areas/ long winters, rocky soil, and forests/ Subsistence farming, shipbuilding, fishing

Middle Colonies – agriculture and cattle producing/Ports/Rivers/ high population density/larger urban areas/ shorter winters, fertile soil, good ports, and natural resources/ farming (“breadbasket”), trade, large immigrant population

Southern Colonies – Cash-crop agricultural (Agrarian) area (cotton, indigo, tobacco)/ low population density/ warm Climate and good soil/plantation system (rice, indigo, cotton, tobacco) and large slave

Physical geographic factors – proximity to Atlantic coastline determined where settlements/colonies were created

Human geographic factors – removal of the Native Americans, disease and conflict  

Representative Growth in the Colonies-The distance from England created a need for colonists to make their own laws and keep peace and order/Colonists were accustomed to English traditions and structures (Parliament)/Most colonies were self-governing, electing members of their community to a general assembly, which made their laws.

Mayflower Compact (1620) – an agreement that established the idea of self-government and majority rule (Massachusetts)

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1638) – first written constitution in the colonies

The Virginia House of Burgesses (1619) – first representative assembly in the American colonies

Massachusetts- Separatists/Pilgrims/Puritans (Religious Reason)

Pennsylvania- Quakers (Religious Reason)/William Penn/Religious Tolerance (Equal)

Maryland-Catholics (Religious Reason)

New York- Dutch (Economic Reasons)

Delaware-Swedes (Economic Reasons)

Virginia- Economic Reasons (Tobacco)

Rhode Island- Roger Williams, founder or RI, and separated Church

Connecticut- Thomas Hooker

Virginia- Jamestown 1607

Georgia- buffer between the other British colonies and Spanish Florida

Thomas Hooker – Reverend and leader of a group of Boston Puritans that migrated to Hartford, Connecticut; gave a sermon in 1638 that influenced the writing of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut  

Charles de Montesquieu – expanded on Locke’s beliefs, added the judiciary to Locke’s executive and legislature; wrote of the separation of powers; believed that in a republic, education is an absolute necessity

John Locke – European Enlightenment philosopher; believed that personal liberty could coexist with political order; consent is the basis for government and fixes its limits; government is a social contract with limited powers and has obligations to its creators; government can be modified by its creators at any time (heavily influenced Thomas Jefferson and the writing of the Declaration of Independence)

William Blackstone – an English judge, jurist and professor who wrote the historical and analytical treatise on common law (Commentaries on the Laws of England); considered as the definitive pre-Revolutionary War source of common law; believed strongly in religious tolerance; supported the idea of self-defense (later became the 2nd Amendment); wrote about “natural rights” which included life and liberty

William Penn – He founded a colony in present day Pennsylvania where Quakers could live according to their religious beliefs and make political decision according to those beliefs.

Revolutionary Era:

Civil Disobedience is the refusal to obey a government law or laws as a means of passive resistance because of one’s moral conviction or belief.

Unalienable Rights – fundamental rights or natural rights guaranteed to people naturally instead of by the law. Examples in the Declaration of Independence- Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.

French and Indian War -War between Great Britain and France in North America/Caused Britain a lot of debt which they tax the colonists to pay it off.

The Proclamation of 1763- Colonists were forbidden to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains, Britain wanted a buffer zone between the colonists and the Native Americans (reduce threat of violence) but the colonists wanted to settle the fertile Ohio River Valley

Colonial grievances – Wrongs, as perceived by the colonists that were committed by the King George III toward the colonists. Twenty-seven grievances are listed in the Declaration of Independence.

Lack of representation in Parliament –the colonists did not have direct representation in Britain‘s law-making body (Parliament); Britain argued that the colonies had/virtual representation

The Sugar Act (1764) - Placed a tax on molasses in the colonies.

The Stamp Act (1765) -required stamps to be purchased and placed on newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, legal documents, and playing cards.

The Townshend Act (1767) - taxes on glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea

Tea Act (1773) - permitted the British East India Tea Comp. to sell tea at a lower price than colonial tea companies.

Boston Tea Party- A protest against the Tea Act of 1773.  The Tea Act let the British East India Tea Company bypass tea merchants and sells directly to colonist dressed as Indians and dumped British tea into Boston harbor.

The Boston Massacre- March 5, 1770 Encounter between British troops and citizens of Boston/Patriots antagonized British troops, who were quartered in Boston to discourage demonstrations against the Townshend Acts. British troops fired on the Patriots, killing 5 people.  

The Intolerable Acts (1774) - The Boston Tea Party made British leaders Intolerant. In 1774, Parliament passed a group of lays to punish the Massachusetts colony. The laws were so harsh that the colonists called then the Intolerable Acts.
Quartering Act (1774) - required the colonist to provide shelter and supplies to British troops (One of the Intolerable Acts)


Declaration of Independence- July 4, 1776. Americans Declared Independence from Great Britain. Written By Thomas Jefferson

Common Sense- Persuaded Americans to join the Patriot cause for Independence/Written by Thomas Paine

Articles of Confederation – occurred at the Second Continental Congress (1776) was the first American constitution.  It was a very weak document that limited the power of the Congress by giving states the final authority over all decisions.

The battle of Lexington and Concord- Battles of Lexington & Concord- 1st battles of the war; (“The shot heard ‘round the world”)

Battle of Saratoga – turning point of the war; France joined the colonists after this victory, tipping the scale. (1777)

Enduring the winter at Valley Forge – after suffering several defeats, Washington took his army to Valley Forge for the winter of 1777, there the men were trained and became more of a professional army (rather than militias), the winter was harsh and men suffered from starvation and frostbite.

Battle of Yorktown – surrender of Cornwallis (General of the British brought end of war. (October 19, 1781)

Signing the Treaty of Paris 1783 – Independence recognized, boundaries extended to Canada in the North, the Mississippi River in the West, and Florida in the South.

Abigail Adams – wife of John Adams, served as his confident and support while he served in the Continental Congress, when John and others were considering a declaration of independence, Abigail reminded him to take care of the women, who would not hold themselves bound by laws in which they had no voice; ―Remember the ladies‖

John Adams – lawyer and politician, defended British soldiers after the Boston Massacre, a member of the Continental Congress (representing Massachusetts), strong supporter of independence,

Wentworth Cheswell – African American Patriot, like Paul Revere he made an all-night ride back from Boston to warn his community of the impending British invasion, served in the army and fought at the Battle of Saratoga

Samuel Adams – played a role in many of the events which contributed to the Revolution including organized opposition to the Stamp Act, protests waged by the Sons of Liberty, and the Boston Massacre

Mercy Otis Warren – wife of a Massachusetts Patriot, anonymously wrote several propaganda pieces supporting the Patriot cause

James Armistead – slave in Virginia, Marquis de Lafayette recruited him as a spy for the Continental Army. Posing as a double agent, forger and servant at British headquarters, he moved freely between the lines with vital information on British troop movements for Lafayette, contributed to the American victory at Yorktown

Benjamin Franklin – a member of the committee which wrote the Declaration of Independence but spent most of the period of the American Revolution in France. He represented the colonies as the American envoy starting in 1776 and remained until 1785. He negotiated the alliance with France and then the Treaty of Paris which ended the war.

Bernardo de Gálvez – Spanish nobleman who became governor of the Spanish province of Louisiana (January 1777), protected American ships in the port of New Orleans and helped transport war supplies, and took up arms and fought to protect Louisiana

Crispus Attucks – a black man, became the first casualty of the American Revolution when he was shot and killed in what became known as the Boston Massacre

King George III – feared that the loss of one group of colonies would lead to the loss of others and the eventual decline of the empire. To prevent this, the Crown maintained an aggressive policy against colonial resistance. George III struggled to enforce royal authority throughout his reign.

Haym Salomon – a Polish-born Jewish immigrant to America who played an important role in financing the Revolution, arrested by the British as a spy, used by the British as an interpreter with their German troops, helped British prisoners escape and encouraged German soldiers to desert the British army, became a broker to the French consul and paymaster to French troops in America

Marquis de Lafayette – a French aristocrat who played a leading role in revolutions in France and in the American Revolution.

George Washington – a resident of Virginia, he was a surveyor, a planter, a soldier in the French and Indian War, a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, commander-in-chief of the Continental

Constitutional Era:


The Constitutional Convention- Occurred in Philadelphia/Called to address the problems with the Articles of Confederation/Constitution was written and adopted/Written in 1787/Ratified in 1789

The Virginia Plan- Large state plan that proposed representation based on population size/plan called for a two-house legislature, a chief executive chosen by the legislature, and a court system.

New Jersey Plan was a small state plan that proposed equal representation among all states.

Great Compromise – Constitution resulted in a two-house legislature (Bi-Cameral) with House of Representatives based on population and the Senate maintaining equal representation from all states. The issue was how slaves should be counted regarding population and taxation.

Three-Fifths Compromise – Three-Fifths of the slave population would be counted when setting direct taxes on the states and three-fifths ratio would also be used to determine representation in the legislature. This was to count each enslaved person as three-fifths of a free person for both taxation and representation.

Federalists – Argued for a stronger national government because under the Articles of

Confederation, the weak national government set the United States up for failure. Federalists were for the Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton was a leader of the Federalists, first Treasurer of the United States, creator of the Bank of the U.S., and killed in a duel by the Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr.

James Madison – Known as the Father of the Constitution, Helped to write the Federalist Papers with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton. Authored the first 10 Amendments (the Bill of Rights) to compromise with the Anti-Federalists

Anti-federalists – Argued that states’ rights should remain powerful over key issues. Remained of the opinion that we fought the Revolution to get away from strong central government; had great desire for individual liberties. Anti-federalists were against the Constitution.

Patrick Henry – Was so opposed to the idea of a stronger national government that he refused to attend the Philadelphia Convention because he smelled a rat. (influential leader from the Colonists’ protest against England with his Give me Liberty or Give me Death speech)

George Mason – Leader of the anti-federalists. Believed in the need to restrict governmental power and supported protection of individual rights. Served as a delegate from Virginia at the Constitutional Convention.

Federalist Papers – Support ratification of the Constitution with a focus on the need for a strong central government with restricted powers.

Anti-Federalist writings- Anti-Federalists opposed the Constitution because it lacked protection of individual rights/Wanted a Bill of Rights

Magna Carta - (1215) Limited the power of the King (Constitution limits the power of the central government)

English Bill of Rights – Listed individual rights (model for the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, first 10 Amendments)

7 Principles of Government-

Popular Sovereignty- the government’s right to rule comes from the people

Limited Government- the government has only the powers that the Constitution gives it.

Separation of Powers-the Constitution divides the government into three branches:

Congress-legislative branch makes laws

President-executive branch carries out the laws

Courts-judicial branch explains and interprets the laws

Checks and Balances- each branch of government has the power to check or limit the actions of the other two

Federalism-division of power between the federal government and the states

Republicanism- citizens elect representatives  to carry out their will

Individual rights-The Constitution protects individual rights such as freedom of speech, freedom religion etc.

The Bill of Rights (First 10 Amendments to the Constitution)-


The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law” restricting freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition.

The Second Amendment guarantees the right of states to organize militias, or armies, and the right of individuals to bear arms.

The Third Amendment forbids the government to order private citizens to allow soldiers to live in their homes.

The Fourth Amendment requires that warrants be issued if property is to be searched or seized (taken) by the government.

The Fifth Amendment protects an accused person from having to testify against him or herself (self-incrimination); bans double jeopardy, and guarantees that no person will suffer the loss of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury; the right to a lawyer; the right to cross examine witnesses; and the right to force witnesses at a trial to testify.

The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in civil suits.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment and excessive bail or fines.

The Ninth Amendment states that the people have rights other than those specifically mentioned in the Constitution.

The Tenth Amendment states that powers not given to the federal government belong to the states.

The Early Republic:


Marbury vs. Madison- 1803/ set the precedent of judicial review and gave the Supreme Court the power to declare laws unconstitutional/John Marshall was the Judge


George Washington-Served as Commander and Chief of the Continental Army/Served as President of the Philadelphia Convention/1st President in 1789/Appointing a Presidential Cabinet- set the precedent for future Presidents/ Federal Judiciary Act 1789 – A law that designed the federal court system/ Whiskey Rebellion – Farmers in western Pennsylvania staged a rebellion against a government tax on whiskey and the grain it was made from.Washington sent out federal troops to put down the uprising. The rebels fled/National Bank – (Alexander Hamilton) Based on a loose interpretation of the elastic clause of the Constitution the bank was “necessary and proper” to carry out the government’s duties. Declared neutrality-when the British and French went to war against each other. He believed that the United States must remain a neutral third party in order to survive. Washington’s Farwell Address- Urged nation to be neutral and steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world/Recognized the dangers of political parties and warned that attacks by political parties could weaken the nation/His advice guides U.S. foreign policy even to today

John Adams- 1st Vice President/2nd Pesident/Federalists/Avoided war with France though many disagreed with him/XYZ Affair – Three anonymous French trouble makers brought France and the U.S. to the brink of war/Alien and Sedition Acts – Four acts that made it difficult to become citizens and declared restrictions against citizens who criticized the government during war time

Federalists-Strong national government/Loose construction of the Constitution/Favored national bank and tariffs/Manufacturing and shipping based economy

Democratic-Republicans-Limited national government/Strict construction of the Constitution/Opposed national bank and tariffs/Agricultural economy


Thomas Jefferson-(Republican/ 3rd President)/Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase- April 30th 1803 Jefferson paid France (Napoleon) $15 million for the purchase of the Louisiana territory. This Purchase doubled the size of the United States/Lewis and Clark Explore- Explored the Louisiana Territory in 1803-1806. Sacagawea Helped/Embargo Act 1807 – Prohibited American from trading with foreign nations/Wrote the Declaration of Independence. (July 4th 1776)


James Madison- 4th President/Farther of the Constitution/Was the commander in chief (President) during the War of 1812 which ended the complications between Britain and the United States

James Monroe- 5th President/ Monroe Doctrine – Proclaimed that European powers should no longer colonize or interfere with the affairs of the nations of the Americas. The U.S. saw itself as a world power and a protector of Latin America/Florida ceded by Spain to the United States in exchange for the U.S. to pay off Spanish debt

War of 1812- Causes- Impressments of U.S. sailors/Shipping interference/British supported American Indian resistance against Americans/War Hawks/ Effects- Increased American Patriotism/Weakened Native American Resistance/U.S. Manufacturing Grew/Events- Attack on Washington D.C./Fort McHenry/Battle of New Orleans/Treaty of Ghent

The Age of Jackson:


Andrew Jackson- For the Common Man/Democratic Party/Government by the People

John C. Calhoun was a South Carolina Congressman and Senator who spoke for the South before and during the Civil War.

Henry Clay was a powerful Kentucky Congressman and Senator who proposed the American System and the Compromise of 1850.

Daniel Webster was a Massachusetts Congressman and Senator who spoke for the North and the preservation of the Union.

Nullification Crisis: Revolved around the ability of a state to declare federal laws unconstitutional. (In 1828 the Tariff of Abominations was passed resulting in a higher tariff. In 1832, a lower tariff was passed but this still angered South Carolinians, led by Senator John C. Calhoun. SC. declared the federal tariff null and void within its borders. Delegates to a special convention urged the state legislature to take military action and to secede from the union if the federal government demanded the customs duties. To prevent a civil war, Henry Clay proposed the Compromise Tariff of 1833. Government lowers tariff and backs down.)

Banking System-The Bank of the United States was extremely powerful and it controlled the nation’s money supply. Jackson viewed this bank as a bank made up of elitists run by private wealthy bankers. When Jackson was given the option to sign a renewed charter bank bill, he decided to veto it instead.

Reasons For Removal And Resettlement of Cherokee Indians-

Early in the 19th century, while the rapidly-growing United States expanded into the lower South, white settlers faced what they considered an obstacle. These Indian nations, in the view of the settlers and many other white Americans, were standing in the way of progress. Eager for land to raise cotton, the settlers pressured the federal government to acquire Indian Territory.

Indian Removal Act - Gave the president power to negotiate removal treaties with Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi. Under these treaties, the Indians were to give up their lands east of the Mississippi in exchange for lands to the west. In 1834 Congress created the Indian Territory, an area in present day Oklahoma, for Native Americans from the Southeast.

Trail of Tears - in 1836, the Cherokee were given two years to move off there land. 16,000 moved, 4,000 died from the long trip. They were forced to move by soldiers.

Worcester v. Georgia (1832) the court ruled in favor of Worcester. President Andrew Jackson responded by enforcing the Indian Removal Act. He also responded by siding with Georgia and chose not to enforce the Supreme Court ruling.

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)- Issue- Maryland wanted to tax its branch of the national bank/Decision- States cannot claim to have power over the federal government/Significance- Federal government is upheld as the supreme law of the land.

Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)- Issue- Steamship operators fought over shipping rights on Hudson River in both New York and New Jersey/Decision- Only the federal government has power to regulate interstate commerce/Significance- Federal government’s power reinforced.

Manifest Destiny


Manifest Destiny-the U.S. government and its citizens believed that the nation’s destiny or fate was to expand Westward from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. (Coast to Coast) Many settlers wanted to start a new life.


The Northwest Ordinance (1787) - The Northwest Ordinance established principals and procedures for orderly expansion of the United States/Orderly procedure for established territories and applying for statehood.

The Louisiana Purchase (1803) - Doubled the size of the United States/Territory started at the Mississippi River and went far West/Purchased by Thomas Jefferson

Territory Acquired-

-          The Oregon Country- By the Adams-Onis Treaty

-          Annexation of Texas- December 29, 1845 Texas became part of the U.S.

-          Mexican Cession-(New Mexico, Arizona, California) Received by The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after the Mexican War.

-          Gadsden Purchase- strip of land along the present day states of Arizona and New Mexico. This was important because it made an easier route to California. With this purchase the United States mainland reached its present size. U.S. paid Mexico 10 Million for this.

-          Alaska Purchase (Seward’s Folly)

War with Mexico-

Causes- President Polk’s desire to expand the United States (Manifest Destiny)/Border Dispute concerning the southern boundary of Texas (Rio Grande was claimed by Texas and disputed by Mexico)/U.S. soldiers patrolled a disputed region that Mexico considered its own territory.

Effects- Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo/Mexican Cession/Gadsden Purchase

California Gold Rush-

-rush of settlers to California; pushed many American Indians off their lands; population of California quickly rises to the amount required for statehood

-California’s proximity to Pacific Ocean led to an increase of immigration from Asian nations.

-Rocky Mountains’ location between eastern and western parts of the United States; resulted in need for Gadsden Purchase to put in railroad for train transport of goods from East to West



Industrial Revolution was the era in which a change from household industries to factory production using powered machinery took place.

Free Enterprise is the freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with minimal government regulation.


Economic Differences in the Regions-

North-Cause – industrialization led to new jobs in cities/Effect – urbanization and growth of cities. South-Cause – warm climate and fertile soil/Effect – plantation system; slave system sustained cash crop economy


Invention of the Cotton Gin-Invented by Eli Whitney/made the cotton-cleaning process more efficient

and quicker thus the need arose for a larger work force (drastic rise in the number

of slaves in the South). It enabled cotton farmers to move west.

Steamboat- Robert Fulton/Increased factory production and led to the growth of cities like New

Orleans and St. Louis because it could move goods and people faster up and down rivers.

Interchangeable parts – parts for devices were made to be nearly identical so that they could fit into any device of the same type, this allows easy assembly of new devices and efficient repair of existing devices/drastically increased productivity and efficiency of production and repair)

Bessemer steel process – the first inexpensive industrial process for the massproduction of steel. It decreased the cost which allowed increase in steel production and work force.

Mechanical Reaper – increased farm productivity

Canals – man-made waterways used for travel and/or shipping (The Erie

Canal (1825) proved to be the key that unlocked an enormous series of social and economic changes in the young nation. The Canal spurred the first great westward movement of American settlers, gave access to the rich land and resources west of the Appalachians and helped make New York the preeminent commercial city in the United States).

Railroads –by the 1890s, the United States was becoming an urban nation, and railroads supplied cities and towns with food, fuel, building materials, and access to markets; the Transcontinental Railroad (completed in 1869) created a nation-wide transportation network that united the Nation; railroads allowed for the transportation of larger quantities of goods over longer distances.

Telegraph (Samuel Morse) – transmitted electric signals over wires from location to a location that translated it into a message; many telegraph lines followed railroads; enhanced communication

Steel Plow- John Deere

Reform and Culture:


Abolitionist was a person who wanted to end slavery in the United States.

Frederick Douglass – leading African-American abolitionist, he spoke and wrote about his early life as a slave. Newspaper Editor for the North Starr.

Harriet Tubman- Slave that helped other slaves escapes via the underground railroad. The Underground Railroad was a series of escape routes from the South to the North. Slaves would travel by foot. They also took wagons, boats, and trains.

Harriet Beecher Stowe- Uncle Toms Cabin. Play that showed slavery was wrong.

William Lloyd Garrison published the abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, in Boston.

Susan B. Anthony – key spokesperson for the 19th century women’s suffrage movement

Elizabeth Cady Stanton – leader of the 19th century women’s suffrage movement ,called for the first convention of women’s movement in Seneca Falls, wrote the “Declaration of Sentiments” which was approved at the Seneca Falls Convention



Second Great Awakening-It spawned many of the humanitarian reform movements, e.g., prison, women’s rights, temperance, and abolition of slavery. It contributed to the motivations of reformers, but heightened class and regional differences (1790’s – Early 1800’s)

Public education – opening of public schools primarily in the North as well as private grade schools and colleges by churches and other groups (Horace Mann)

Temperance – Organized societies that worked at trying to stop the drinking of alcohol. Some states passed laws that made it illegal to sell alcohol

Temperance/Prohibition Laws-A Campaign to stop the drinking of alcohol. This Caused Violence/Will cause Violence. Several women joined this movement.

Women's rights – well organized groups that fought for better working conditions for women. Were able to pass a federal law that ordered a 10 hour working day. Reform efforts did not achieve voting rights, but did shorten the workday. Labor Union/Strike

Prison reform – Pushed for separate jails for women, men, and children and called for the mission of prisons was to rehabilitate

Care of the disabled – Building of new hospitals for the mentally ill, deaf and blind. (Dorothea Dix)

The Civil War 1861-1865


Tariff is a tax on goods brought into a country.

Protective tariff is a tax placed on goods from another country to protect the home industry.

Sectionalism is a strong sense of loyalty to a state or section instead of to the whole country.



North-Illegal since the Revolution/Abolitionist societies and newspapers and Underground Railroad/Many were ambivalent to the plight of slaves/free blacks

South-Economic factor: Slaves viewed and property and labor supply/Maintain way of life/Considered a state’s right issue/Fugitive Slave Law

West-Fight over whether or not to extend slavery into the territories/Maintain balance of free v. slave state in the senate.

Missouri Compromise (1820) – sponsored by Henry Clay, allowed for Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state and Maine as a free state, this maintained the balance of power in the Senate (Slave and Free States).

Nullification Crisis – In 1828 the Tariff of Abominations was passed resulting in a higher tariff. South Carolina almost seceded. In 1833, a lower tariff was passed. 

Compromise of 1850 – sponsored by Henry Clay, allowed for California to enter the Union as a free state (pleased the North); the rest of the Southwest was left open to slavery, depending on a vote of the people (popular sovereignty) who settled there (pleased the South); ended the slave trade in Washington, D.C., put allowed those owning slaves to keep them (pleased both sides)

Fugitive Slave Law- required the return of escaped slaves to their owners (pleased the South, angered the North because they felt it was immoral) Some new states allowed slavery, while some did not. Compromise – an agreement where each side gains some of their demands by giving up some of their demands

Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) – allowed for Kansas and Nebraska organize on the basis of popular sovereignty (they would vote themselves to decide if they would be Free or Slave states)

Dred Scott v. Sanford decision (1857) – was a landmark Supreme Court case in 1857 which confirmed the status of slaves as property rather than citizens.

3 Main Causes of the Civil War-


Slavery- Existed in the South

States’ Rights- The South turned to States Rights argument to protect slavery

Jefferson Davis – President of the Confederate States of America/South

Ulysses S. Grant – Commander of the Union army; was the General of the Union Army and was responsible for winning the Civil War for the North.

Robert E. Lee was the General of the Confederate Army

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States who successfully put the Union back together only to be assassinated 5 days after the Civil War ended.

William Carney: Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (May 23 1900), served with the 54th Massachusetts Regiment (Union) during the Civil War, he was the first black soldier to receive the award

Philip Bazaar – born in Chile, South America, was a Navy seaman in the Union Navy, won the Medal of Honor for his distinguished service in the Civil War.

Stonewall Jackson – Confederate General in the Civil War, earned his name “Stonewall” at the Battle of Bull Run, gifted tactical commander lead troops in the 1st and 2nd Battles of Bull Run (Manassas) and Antietam.

Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address stated that, “no state…can lawfully get out of the Union”, but pledged there would be no war unless the South started it.

Jefferson Davis’s Inaugural Address- He claimed that secession was “ a necessity, not a choice, we have resorted to the remedy of separation, and henceforth our energies must be directed to the conduct of our own affairs, and the perpetuity of the Confederacy which we have formed.”

Firing on Fort Sumter – Fort Sumter, (First battle of the Civil War)a federal fort in Charleston Harbor, was fired upon by rebel forces to begin the Civil war (April 1861)

Battle of Antietam – 1862: The Confederacy started to draft soldiers to meet the demand for troops and the Union followed suit in 1863. The Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single-day battle of the war, occurred in Maryland on September 17, 1862. Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation on September 23, following the Union victory at Antietam.

Emancipation Proclamation – changes the nature of the war from that of preserving the Union to freeing the slaves. The proclamation freed only the slaves in the rebelling territories, the South (announced in September 1862, signed the order in January 1863)

Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War for the North. Confederate troops were forced to retreat and never invaded the North again

Gettysburg Address was a short speech given by Abraham Lincoln to dedicate a cemetery for soldiers who died at the Battle of Gettysburg.  It is considered to be a profound statement of American ideals.

Siege of Vicksburg – the North captured this strong hold to gain control of the Mississippi River and divided the Southern states. (May-July 1863)

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address was meant to help heal and restore the country after four years of Civil War.

Assassination of Lincoln – Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth, a southern sympathizer (April 1865) The loss of his leadership made overcoming the challenges the nation faced more difficult.

Appomattox Court House is the small town in Virginia where Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army to Ulysses S. Grant ending the Civil War.



Reconstruction – process of restoring, reorganizing or repairing

Civil rightsrights to personal liberty

Andrew Johnson- After the assassination of Lincoln, his Vice President took Office, Andrew Johnson/Johnson let Southern States back into the Union after they swore an oath of loyalty to the Union. They had to denounce slavery and ratify the 13th Amendment.


Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery.

Fourteenth Amendment All persons born in the United States (except Native Americans) were citizens and all citizens were entitled to equal rights regardless of their race, and their rights were protected by due process of the law

Fifteenth Amendment Granted black men the right to vote


Homestead Act (May, 1862) – granted adult heads of families 160 acres of surveyed publicland for a minimal filing fee. The impact was that it accelerated the settlement of the western territory.

Morrill Act (July, 1862) – this act made it possible for new western states to establish colleges for their citizens. This act founded major Universities: University of Texas, Texas A&M.  

Freedman Bureau –The Bureau supervised all relief and educational activities relating to refugees and freedmen, including suing rations, clothing and medicine.

Civil Rights Act of 1866 – Granted citizenship to persons born in the United States except Native Americans.

Reconstruction Act of 1867 – Military occupation of the former confederate states, strict guidelines on representation and requirements for readmission to Union.

Compromise of 1877 – occurred after the Presidential Election of 1876; included measures to appease the south (removal of all federal troops from the southern states, appointment of at least on Southern Democrat to Hayes’s Administration, construction of a second transcontinental railroad in the South, and legislation enacted to help industrialize the South)

Dawes Act (February, 1887) – the law allowed for the President to break up reservation land, which was held in common by the members of a tribe, into small allotments to be parceled out to individuals. The land allotted to the Indians included desert or near-desert lands unsuitable for farming  

Black Codes – laws passed in the South during Reconstruction to limit the opportunities for blacks.

Jim Crow Laws - laws passed to bypass laws created by the Radical Republicans and any other federal law that Southerners did not agree with concerning African-Americans. African-Americans were not always able to participate in government or exercise their rights.

Ku Klux Klan - secret society that gained support in 1868 and sought to destroy the Republican Party in the South; used harsh intimidation tactics on African Americans and other groups that helped African Americans.


Reconstruction of the South-was led by Radical Republicans that favored harsh treatment of the South, quick incorporation of the freemen into citizenship with full privileges including voting rights and the push for the seizure of land from planters

Scalawags - Southerners who worked with the Republicans and were viewed as traitors by the southerners.

Carpetbaggers - Northerners who went to the South and became involved in the new state politics. They were called this because of the luggage they carried. They were not trusted by Southerners and many took advantage of the Southerners’ situation.

Impact of Reconstruction-

- Southerners finding ways to go around the federal laws put in place to protect freed slaves

- Freed slaves – were guaranteed rights by the federal government but had to follow laws passed by the states that they lived in which limited their opportunities

- White Southerners – the Radical Republicans removed any type of compromise that the Southerners were willing to make and were able to find political ways to keep blacks still enslaved to them.

Reconstruction of the South-

-Radical Republicans – after Reconstruction was over, Republicans did not have any political power in the South for over 100 years.

-Transitioning slaves to citizens

-Freed slaves – some were able to take advantage of the opportunities given to them by the government but most organizations created to help freed slaves were under funded and most freed slaves ended up working on plantations or sharecropping much like they had before.


Hiram Rhodes Revels was elected as the first African-American Senator. As a senator, Revels won notice for speaking out against racial segregation. The twenty-two African American men elected to the United States Congress from the end of the Civil War to the turn of the twentieth century.



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