Terms for Bell Midterm Flashcards

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Indentured Servant

Colonists who received free passage to North America in exchange for working without pay for a certain number of years


Covenant Community

A covenant community is a religious group whose members bind themselves to one another and to the group by a solemn agreement called a covenant


Middle Passage

A voyage that brought enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to North America and the West Indies.



Rose up as the opponents of the Constitution during the period of ratification. They opposed the Constitution's powerful centralized government, arguing that the Constitution gave too much political, economic, and military control. They instead advocated a decentralized governmental structure that granted most power to the states



A member of a political group advocating or fighting for national independence, a strong national government, etc.



Anti-slavery activists who demanded the immediate end of slavery.


Checks and Balances

A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power



A form of government in which the people select representatives to govern them and make laws.


King Cotton

Expression used by Southern authors and orators before Civil War to indicate economic dominance of Southern cotton industry, and that North needed South's cotton. Coined by James Hammond


Popular Sovereignty

A government in which the people rule by their own consent.



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


Spoils System

A system of public employment based on rewarding party loyalists and friends.



A movement in the 18th century that advocated the use of reason in the reappraisal of accepted ideas and social institutions.


Natural Law

God's or nature's law that defines right from wrong and is higher than human law


Shared Powers

Powers granted to the national government by the Constitution, but not denied to the states. One example is the right to lay and collect taxes.


Writs of Assistance

Were documents which served as a general search warrant, allowing customs officials to enter any ship or building that they suspected for any reason might hold smuggled goods.


Judicial Review

Allows the court to determine the constitutionality of laws


Dred Scott Decision

A Missouri slave sued for his freedom, claiming that his four year stay in the northern portion of the Louisiana Territory made free land by the Missouri Compromise had made him a free man. The U.S, Supreme Court decided he couldn't sue in federal court because he was property, not a citizen.


McCulloch v. Maryland

The court decided that the Federal Government had the right and power to set up a Federal bank and that states did not have the power to tax the Federal Government. Marshall ruled in favor of the Federal Government and concluded, “the power to tax involves the power to destroy."


Mayflower Compact

Was a set of rules for self-governance established by the English settlers who traveled to the New World on the Mayflower. It was also the first governing document of Plymouth



Puritans who wanted complete disassociation from the Church of England.


Triangular Trade

A three way system of trade during 1600-1800s Africa sent slaves to America, America sent Raw Materials to Europe, and Europe sent Guns and Rum to Africa


Articles of Confederation

America's first written constitution and form of government. Established a very weak central government, with more power to the states. The US economy crashed under the Articles because the Federal government had no power to tax


Joint-stock company

A company made up of a group of shareholders. Each shareholder contributes some money to the company and receives some share of the company's profits and debts.


Indian Removal Act

Authorized the voluntary relocation of Native Americans, but was frequently abused by government officials and resulted in some forced removals


Treaty of Paris 1763

Ended the French and Indian War and effectively kicked the French out of North America


Gettysburg Address

(1863) a speech given by Abraham Lincoln after the Battle of Gettysburg, in which he praised the bravery of Union soldiers and renewed his commitment to winning the Civil War; supported the ideals of self-government and human rights


Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the Constitution


Federalist Papers

A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name "Publius" to defend the Constitution in detail.


Treaty of Ghent

December 24, 1814 - Ended the War of 1812 and restored the status quo. For the most part, territory captured in the war was returned to the original owner. It also set up a commission to determine the disputed Canada/U.S. border.


Treaty of Paris 1783

This treaty ended the Revolutionary War, recognized the independence of the American colonies, and granted the colonies the territory from the southern border of Canada to the northern border of Florida, and from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River


Compromise of 1850

(1) California admitted as free state, (2) territorial status and popular sovereignty of Utah and New Mexico, (3) resolution of Texas-New Mexico boundaries, (4) federal assumption of Texas debt, (5) slave trade abolished in DC, and (6) new fugitive slave law; advocated by Henry Clay and Stephen A. Douglas


Adams-Onis Treaty

(1819) Spain ceded Florida to the United States and gave up its claims to the Oregon Territory


Declaration of Independence

the document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain


Constitution of 1787

Provided a separation of power between the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government, Defines, empowers, and limits the U.S. government. It prevents any one group from having total power by making the three branches of government depend on one another from their authority.


Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Pamphlet that encouraged the Colonists to fight the British


Emancipation Proclamation

Issued by abraham lincoln on september 22, 1862 it declared that all slaves in the confederate states would be free


Monroe Doctrine

A statement of foreign policy which proclaimed that Europe should not interfere in affairs within the United States or in the development of other countries in the Western Hemisphere.


Washington's Farewell Address

Warned Americans not to get involved in European affairs, not to make permanent alliances, not to form political parties and to avoid sectionalism.


Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Treaty that ended the Mexican War, granting the U.S. control of Texas, New Mexico, and California in exchange for $15 million


Proclamation of 1763

A proclamation from the British government which forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalacian Mountains, and which required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back east.


Kansas-Nebraska Act

1854 - Created Nebraska and Kansas as states and gave the people in those territories the right to chose to be a free or slave state through popular sovereignty.


Missouri Compromise

"Compromise of 1820" over the issue of slavery in Missouri. It was decided Missouri entered as a slave state and Maine entered as a free state and all states North of the 36th parallel were free states and all South were slave states.


Louisiana Purchase

1803 purchase of the Louisiana territory from France. Made by Jefferson, this doubled the size of the US.


Homestead Act

1862 - Provided free land in the West to anyone willing to settle there and develop it. Encouraged westward migration.


Intolerable Acts

A series of laws set up by Parliament to punish Boston for its protests against the British


Boston Tea Party

protest against increased tea prices in which colonists dumped british tea into boston harbor


First Continental Congress

Delagates from all colonies except georgia met to discuss problems with britain and to promote independence


Battle of Saratoga

American victory over British troops in 1777 that was a turning point in the American Revolution.


Second Continental Congress

They organized the continental Army, called on the colonies to send troops, selected George Washington to lead the army, and appointed the comittee to draft the Declaration of Independence


Battle of Gettysburg

1863, this three day battle was the bloodiest of the entire Civil War, ended in a Union victory, and is considered the turning point of the war


Constitutional Convention

Meeting in 1787 of the elected representatives of the thirteen original states to write the Constitution of the United States.


Secession of South Carolina

The first state to succeed from the union after the election of Lincoln.


Nullification Theory

US State has the right to invalidate any federal law which that state has deemed unconstitutional


Land Ordinance of 1785

A law that divided much of the United States into a system of townships to facilitate the sale of land to settlers.


Seneca Falls Convention

(1848) the first national women's rights convention at which the Declaration of Sentiments was written


Great Awakening

Religious revival in the American colonies of the eighteenth century during which a number of new Protestant churches were established.


Battle of Yorktown

Last major battle of the Revolutionary War. Cornwallis and his troops were trapped in the Chesapeake Bay by the French fleet. He was sandwiched between the French navy and the American army. He surrendered October 19, 1781.


Election of 1860

Lincoln, the Republican candidate, won because the Democratic party was split over slavery. As a result, the South no longer felt like it has a voice in politics and a number of states seceded from the Union.


Battle of Antietam

Civil War battle in which the North suceedeed in halting Lee's Confederate forces in Maryland. Was the bloodiest battle of the war resulting in 25,000 casualties


3/5 Compromise

the decision at the Constitutional convention to count slaves as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of deciding the population and determining how many seats each state would have in Congress


Election of 1800

Jefferson elected; defeats Adams, first peaceful, orderly transfer of power via competitive elections Called "Revolution of 1800"


Lewis and Clark Expedition

an expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark that began in 1804 to explore the Louisiana Purchase


Tariff of Abominations

Tariff passed by Congress in 1828 that favored manufacturing in the North and was hated by the South


Election of 1824

No one won a majority of electoral votes, so the House of Representatives had to decide among Adams, Jackson, and Clay. Clay dropped out and urged his supporters in the House to throw their votes behind Adams. Jackson and his followers were furious and accused Adams and Clay of a "corrupt bargain."


Northwest Ordinance of 1787

Created the Northwest Territory (area north of the Ohio River and west of Pennsylvania), established conditions for self-government and statehood, included a Bill of Rights, and permanently prohibited slavery


Mexican War

after disputes over Texas lands that were settled by Mexicans the United States declared war on Mexico in 1846 and by treaty in 1848 took Texas and California and Arizona and New Mexico and Nevada and Utah and part of Colorado and paid Mexico $15,000,000


War of 1812

A war (1812-1814) between the United States and England which was trying to interfere with American trade with France.


Purchase of Florida

1819 - Under the Adams-Onis Treaty, Spain sold Florida to the U.S., and the U.S. gave up its claims to Texas.


XYZ Affair

A 1797 incident in which French officials demanded a bribe from U.S. diplomats


Panic of 1837

When Jackson was president, many state banks received government money that had been withdrawn from the Bank of the U.S. These banks issued paper money and financed wild speculation, especially in federal lands. Jackson issued the Specie Circular to force the payment for federal lands with gold or silver. Many state banks collapsed as a result. A panic ensued (1837). Bank of the U.S. failed, cotton prices fell, businesses went bankrupt, and there was widespread unemployment and distress.


Trail of Tears

The Cherokee Indians were forced to leave their lands. They traveled from North Carolina and Georgia through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas-more than 800 miles (1,287 km)-to the Indian Territory. More than 4, 00 Cherokees died of cold, disease, and lack of food during the 116-day journey.


The Great Compromise

Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature and representation based on population in the other house


American System

Economic program advanced by Henry Clay that included support for a national bank, high tariffs, and internal improvements; emphasized strong role for federal government in the economy.


VA and KY Resolutions

Written anonymously by Jefferson and Madison in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts, they declared that states could nullify federal laws that the states considered unconstitutional.


13th Amendment

Abolished slavery


14th Amendment

Declares that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens and are guaranteed equal protection of the laws


15th Amendment (1870)

U.S. cannot prevent a person from voting because of race, color, or creed


Virginia Constitution of 1829-1830

Sets the structure of the state government and limits its power. It also establishes the basic rights of Virginia's citizens. The constitution is the supreme governing document of the state but may be superseded by the United States Constitution and U.S. federal law.


The Liberator

It was the most widely circulated anti-slavery newspaper during the antebellum period and throughout the Civil War. It was published and edited in Boston by William Lloyd Garrison, a leading white abolitionist, and founder of the influential American Anti-Slavery Society.


Nat Turner

Was an enslaved man who led a rebellion of enslaved people on August 21, 1831. His action set off a massacre of up to 200 Black people and a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the education, movement, and assembly of enslaved people.


James Madison

The America's fourth President (1809-1817), made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing The Federalist Papers, along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In later years, he was referred to as the “Father of the Constitution.”


John Winthrop

Was an English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the second major settlement in New England following Plymouth Colony. Winthrop led the first large wave of colonists from England in 1630 and served as governor for 12 of the colony's first 20 years.


Johnathan Edwards

Is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian. His work as a whole is an expression of two themes — the absolute sovereignty of God and the beauty of God's holiness.



A religious group that embrace concepts of Christianity as well as revelations made by their founder, Joseph Smith. They primarily belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has more than 16 million members worldwide.


Eli Whitney

Was an American inventor, widely known for inventing the cotton gin, one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution that shaped the economy of the Antebellum South.


John Locke

Was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "father of liberalism".


Paul Revere

Was an American silversmith and a patriot in the American Revolution. He is most famous for alerting Colonial militia of the British invasion before the Battles of Lexington and Concord.



Were those colonials who were growing weary of British rules and policies, especially when they had no say in how these laws would be made or implemented. They strived for freedom from a tyrannical royal government, often led by Royal Governors who suppressed any utterance of rebellion.


Lucretia Mott

Was an American Quaker, abolitionist, women's rights activist, and social reformer. She had formed the idea of reforming the position of women in society when she was amongst the women excluded from the World Anti-Slavery Convention held in London in 1840.


Robert Fulton

Designed and operated the world's first commercially successful steamboat. Fulton's Clermont made its historic first run in August 1807 on the Hudson River.


Frederick Douglass

Was a formerly enslaved man who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker. He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the practice of slavery, before and during the Civil War.



The supporters of the proposed Constitution called themselves "Federalists." Their adopted name implied a commitment to a loose, decentralized system of government. In many respects "federalism" — which implies a strong central government — was the opposite of the proposed plan that they supported.



They believed in states' rights and a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and that the government should only do what is stated in it. They were founded on democratic principles and believed in self-government. Led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.


The Virginia Company

Was an English trading company chartered by King James I on 10 April 1606 with the object of colonizing the eastern coast of America. The coast was named Virginia, after Elizabeth I, and it stretched from present-day Maine to the Carolinas.


War Hawks

They were mostly young politicians from hailing from the West and South. Led by new Speaker of the House Henry Clay, this small group of Jeffersonian Republicans pressed for a military confrontation to redress American grievances.



Colonists came to America because they wanted political liberty. They wanted religious freedom and economic opportunity. The United States is a country where individual rights and self-government are important.



Were members of a religious reform movement known as Puritanism that arose within the Church of England in the late 16th century. They believed the Church of England was too similar to the Roman Catholic Church and should eliminate ceremonies and practices not rooted in the Bible.


Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Was an American leader in the women's rights movement who, in 1848, formulated the first organized demand for woman suffrage in the United States. Stanton received a superior education at home, at the Johnstown Academy, and at Emma Willard's Troy Female Seminary, from which she graduated in 1832.


Thomas Jefferson

Was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809).


Robert E. Lee

Was a Confederate general who led the South's attempt at secession during the Civil War. He challenged Union forces during the war's bloodiest battles, including Antietam and Gettysburg, before surrendering to Union General Ulysses S.


Ulysses S. Grant

Led the Union Armies to victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War. As an American hero, Grant was later elected the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877), working to implement Congressional Reconstruction and to remove the vestiges of slavery.


Thomas Paine

Was an England-born political philosopher and writer who supported revolutionary causes in America and Europe. Published in 1776 to international acclaim, “Common Sense” was the first pamphlet to advocate American independence.


Abraham Lincoln

Became the United States' 16th President in 1861, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy in 1863.


William Lloyd Garrison

Published The Liberator every week for thirty-five years. He gave speeches and helped found antislavery societies. He worked with, inspired (and on occasion offended) activists such as Charles Lenox Remond, Frederick Douglass, Lucy Stone, Abby Kelley Foster, Wendell Phillips, and others.


Harriet Beecher Stowe

Published more than 30 books, but it was her best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin that catapulted her to international celebrity and secured her place in history. She believed her actions could make a positive difference. Her words changed the world.


Harriet Tubman

Known as the “Moses of her people,” She was enslaved, escaped, and helped others gain their freedom as a “conductor" of the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War.


John Marshall

Served as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court for more than three decades, during which time he helped increase the power and prestige of the Federal court system.


William Dawes

Along with Paul Revere, Dawes was chosen by Joseph Warren to warn the countryside and alert John Hancock and Samuel Adams that the British troops were marching to Lexington and Concord on the evening of 18 April 1775.


Henry Clay

Helped guide a fragile Union through several critical impasses. As senator, he forged the Compromise of 1850 to maintain the Union, but such compromises could not settle the fractious issues that ultimately resulted in Civil War.


Alexander Hamilton

Was a founding father of the United States, who fought in the American Revolutionary War, helped draft the Constitution, and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He was the founder and chief architect of the American financial system.


George Washington

Often called the “Father of His Country.” He not only served as the first president of the United States, but he also commanded the Continental Army during the American Revolution (1775–83) and presided over the convention that drafted the U.S. Constitution