APUSH Key Terms 2nd Quarter

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Fremd High School Brotsos
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Adams-Onis Treaty (1819)

Also known as the Florida Purchase Treaty and the Transcontinental Treaty; under its terms, the United States paid Spain $5 million for Florida, Spain recognized America's claims to the Oregon Country, and the United States surrendered its claim to northern Mexico (Texas)


American System

Set of proposals by Henry Clay that called for a national bank, protective tariffs, and internal improvements; their goal was American economic self-sufficiency.


Andrew Jackson

U.S. general who defeated the Native Americans at
Horseshoe Bend and commanded the victory over the British at New Orleans; he became a national hero as a result of his record in the War of 1812 and later rode that fame to the presidency.


Battle of New Orleans

A major battle of the War of 1812 that actually took place after the war ended; American forces inflicted a massive defeat on the British, protected the city, and propelled Andrew Jackson to national prominence.


Chesapeake-Leopard Affair

Incident in 1807 that brought on a war crisis when the British warship attacked the American warship; the British demanded to board the American ship to search for deserters from the Royal Navy. When the U.S. commander refused, the British attacked, killing or wounding 20 American sailors. Four alleged deserters were then removed from the American ship and impressed. Many angry and humiliated Americans called for war.


Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)

Court case in which the Supreme Court prevented New Hampshire from changing Dartmouth's charter to
make it a public institution; the Court held that the contract clause of the Constitution extended to charters and that contracts could not be invalidated by state law. The case was one of a series of Court decisions that limited states' power and promoted business interests.


Embargo Act (1807)

A law passed by Congress stopping all U.S. exports until British and French interference with U.S. merchant ships stopped; the policy had little effect except to cause widespread economic hardship in America. It was repealed in 1809.


Fletcher v. Peck (1810)

Supreme Court case that established the Court's power to invalidate state laws contrary to the Constitution; in this case, the Court prevented Georgia from rescinding a land grant even though it was fraudulently made.


Gibbon v. Ogden (1824)

Landmark case in which the Supreme Court struck down a New York law that granted a monopoly to certain steamboats operating between New York and New Jersey; the ruling expanded the powers the Constitution gave Congress to regulate interstate commerce. It was another of the cases during this period whereby the Supreme Court expanded federal power and limited states' rights.


Hartford Convention

A meeting of New England state leaders in 1814; among other things, the delegates called for restrictions on embargoes and limits on presidenture tenure. The end of the war brought an end to the gathering, but it was later branded as unpatriotic and helped bring on the collapse of the Federalist Party.


Henry Clay

A leading American statesman from 1810 to 1852; he served as a member of Congress, Speaker of the House, senator, and secretary of state and made three unsuccessful presidential bids. He was known as the Great Compromiser for his role in the compromises of 1820, 1833, and 1850.



The forceful drafting of American sailors into the British navy; between 1790 and 1812, over ten thousand Americans were impressed, the British claiming that they were deserters from the Royal navy. This was the principle cause of the War of 1812.


John Marshall

Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court,
1801-1835; arguably America's most influencial Chief Justice, he authored Court decisions that incorporated Hamilton's Federalist ideas into the constitution. He also established the principle of judicial review, which gave the Court equality with the other branches of government.


Louisiana Purchase

An 828,000-square-mile region purchased from France in 1803 for $15 million; the acquisition doubled the size of the United States and gave it control of the Mississippi River and New Orleans. Jefferson uncharacteristically relied on implied powers in the Constitution (loose construction) for the authority to make the purchase.


Macon's Bill No.2 (1810)

Modified embargo that replaced the NonIntercourse
Act of 1809; this measure reopened trade with both Britain and France but held that if either agreed to respect America's neutrality in their conflict, the United States would end trade with the other.


Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Landmark court case that established the principle of judicial review: which allowed the Supreme Court to determine if federal laws were constitutional. In this case, the Court struck down part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which the justices believed gave the Court power that exceeded the Constitution's intent.


McCulloch v. Maryland

Supreme Court case in which the Court established the supremacy of federal law over state law; in this case, the Court set aside a Maryland law that attempted to control the actions of the Baltimore branch of the Second National Bank by taxing it. By preventing Maryland from regulating the Bank, the ruling strengthened federal supremacy, weakened states' rights, and promoted commercial interests.


Missouri Compromise (1820)

Settlement of a dispute over the spread of slavery that was authored by Henry Clay; the agreement had three parts: (1) Missouri became the twelfth slave state; (2) to maintain the balance between free states and slave states in Congress, Maine became the twelfth free state; (3) the Louisiana territory was divided at 36° 30', with the northern
part closed to slavery and the southern area allowing slavery. This compromise resolved the first real debate over the future of slavery to arise since the Constitution was ratified.


Monroe Doctrine

Issued to counter a perceived threat from European powers to the newly-independent nations of Latin America; it proclaimed: (1) no new colonization in the western hemisphere; (2) existing colonies would not be interfered with; and (3) the United States would not interfere in European affairs. It became the cornerstone of U.S. Latin American policy for the next century.


Non-Intercourse Act (1809)

Replaced the embargo policy by allowing American trade with all countries except Britain and France; like the Embargo Act, this attempt to use American trade as an instrument of foreign policy failed. British and French interference with U.S. shipping continued and the Non-Intercourse Act was repealed in 1810.


Panic of 1819

Severe depression that followed the economic boom of the. post-War of 1812 years; the Second National Bank, trying to dampen land speculation and inflation, called loans, raised interest rates, and received the blame for the panic. All this helped divide the commercial interests of the East from the agrarian interests of an expanding nation.


Second Bank of the United States

National bank organized in 1816; closely modeled after the first Bank of the United States, it held federal tax receipts and regulated the amount of money circulating in the economy. The Bank proved to be very unpopular among western land speculators and farmers, especially after the Panic of 1819.


Treaty of Ghent (1815)

Agreement that ended the War of 1812 but was silent on the causes of the war; all captured territory was returned and unresolved issues such as ownership of the Great Lakes were left to future negotiation.


War Hawks

Young Congressmen in the 12th Congress from the South and West who demanded war with Britain; led by Henry Clay and John Calhoun, they hoped to annex Canada, defend U.S. maritime rights, and end troubles with Native Americans in the Trans-Appalachian West.


Corrupt Bargain

Agreement between presidential candidates Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams during the disputed election of 1824; Clay threw his support to Adams in the House of Representatives, which decided the election, and in return, Adams appointed Clay secretary of state. Andrew Jackson, who had a plurality (but not a majority) of the popular and electoral votes, believed he had been cheated out of the presidency.


Daniel Webster

Noted orator, constitutional lawyer, senator, secretary of state, and major spokesman for nationalism and the union in the 1830s,1840s,and 1850s.


Democratic Party

The modern-day, major political party whose antecedents can be traced to the Democratic Republican Party of the 1790s and early 1800s; it was born after the disputed election of 1824, in which the candidates-all Democratic Republicans-divided on issues and by sections. Supporters of Andrew Jackson, outraged by the election's outcome, organized around Jackson to prepare for the election of 1828.


Exposition and Protest

The document secretly written by Vice President John C
Calhoun in support of nullification; calling on compact theory, he argued the tariff of 1828 was unconstitutional and that South Carolina could lawfully refuse to collect it.


"His Accidency"

The nickname given to John Tyler in 1841 by his opponents when he assumed the presidency upon the death of William Henry Harrison; the first vice president to succeed to the presidency, his nickname reflected his conflict with the Whig party leaders over rechartering the National Bank, raising the tariff, and supporting internal improvements at government expense.


Indian Removal Act (1830)

Gave the president authority to negotiate treaties with southeastern tribes and to trade their land in the east for territory in the west; it also provided money for land transfer and relocation of the tribes.


John C. Calhoun

Vice president under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson; he wrote Exposition and Protest and led the nullification fight in 1832 and 1833. As senator and vice president, he was the leading voice for southern states' rights from 1828 to 1850.


John Quincy Adams

Son of President John Adams and secretary of state who helped purchase Florida and formulate the Monroe Doctrine and president who supported an activist government and economic nationalism; after Jackson defeated his bid for a second term in 1828, he continued to serve America as a member of Congress.


Market Revolution

The process that took place in nineteenth-century America in which an economy dominated by small farms and workshops was transformed into an economy in which farmers and manufacturers produced for a distant cash market; it was also characterized by the emergence of a permanent "working class." These changes had significant consequences for American social institutions, religious practices, political ideology, and cultural patterns.


Martin Van Buren

Senator, vice president, and president of the United States; the Panic of 1837 ruined his presidency, and he was voted out of office in 1840. He later supported the Free Soil Party.



Theory that the states created the Constitution as a compact among them and that they were the final judge of constitutionality of federal law; the doctrine held that states could refuse to obey or enforce federal laws with which they disagreed. The theory was first presented in the Virginia and
Kentucky Resolutions (1798) and reappeared in Exposition and Protest (1828).


Panic of 1837

A major depression that lasted from 1837 to 1844; crop failures, European financial troubles, and the Specie Circular all contributed to the crash, which helped ruin the presidency of Martin Van Buren.


Pet Banks

Financial institutions friendly to Andrew Jackson's administration that received federal funds when he vetoed the Second National Bank's recharter in 1832 and removed all government deposits from it.


Specie Circular (1836)

A federal government action to dampen inflation
brought on by land speculation following the closure of the Second National Bank; Jackson issued an order requiring payment for public lands only in gold or silver. This action contracted credit, caused overextended banks to fail, and precipitated the Panic of 1837.


Spoils system

Practice of appointing people to government positions as a reward for their loyalty and political support; Jackson was accused of abusing this power, yet he only removed about 20 percent of office holders during his tenure.


Tariff of Abominations

Name given to a high tariff passed in 1828; after
years of steadily rising duties, this tariff raised rates on certain goods to an all-time high, leading to the nullification crisis of 1832.


Trail of Tears (1838)

The removal of some 18,000 Cherokees, evicted from
lands in southeastern United States and marched to Indian Territory (Oklahoma); nearly 25 percent of the people perished from disease and exhaustion during the trip.



Political party formed in 1832 in opposition to Andrew Jackson led by Henry Clay, it opposed executive usurpation (a strong president) and advocated rechartering the National Bank, distributing western lands, raising the tariff, and funding internal improvements. It broke apart over the slavery issue in the early 1850s.


Abby Kelley

Effective public speaker in the American Anti-Slavery Society; her election to an all-male committee caused the final break between William Garrison and his abolitionist critics in 1840 that split the organization.


American Anti-Slavery Society

Organization of reformers who embraced moral persuasion to end slavery; founded in 1833, it opposed gradual emancipation, rejected compensation to slaveholders, supported many types of reform, and welcomed women as full and active members.


American Colonization Society

Organization founded in 1817 that advocated sending freed slaves to a colony in Africa; it established the colony of Liberia in 1827 and encouraged free African Americans to emigrate there as well.


American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society

Organization founded in 1840 and led by the Tappan brothers that opposed the radical ideas of William Lloyd Garrison, especially his attacks on the churches and the Constitution; it followed a more moderate approach and supported the political activities of the Liberly Party.


American Society for the Promotion of Temperance

First national temperance organization, founded in 1826, which sent agents to preach total abstinence from alcohol; the society pressed individuals to sign pledges of sobriety and states to prohibit the use of alcohol.


Brook Farm

Utopian society established by transcendentalist George Ripley near Boston in 1841; members shared equally in farm work and leisure discussions of literature and art. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne and others became disenchanted with the experiment, and it collapsed after a fire in 1847.


"Burned-over District"

Area of New York State along the Erie Canal that was constantly aflame with revivalism and reform; as wave after wave of fervor broke over the region, groups such as the Mormons, Shakers, and Millerites found support among the residents.


Charles Finney

A leading evangelist of the Second Great Awakening; he preached that each person had capacity for spiritual rebirth and salvation,and that through individual effort one could be saved. His concept of "utility of benevolence" proposed the reformation of society as well as of individuals.


Compensated Emancipation

Approach to ending slavery that ca1led for slaveholders to be paid for the loss of their "property" as slaves were freed; such proposals were based on the belief that slaveholders would be less resistant to abolition if the economic blow were softened by compensation. A variety of such programs were proposed, some with the support of government leaders, up to and even during the Civil War. Some compensated emancipation existed on a very small scale, as some
anti-slavery organizations purchased slaves and then set them free.


Cult of Domesticity

The belief that as the fairer sex, women occupied a unique and specific social position and that they were to provide religious and moral instruction in the home but avoid the rough world of politics and business in the larger sphere of society.


Declaration of Sentiments

Series of resolutions issued at the end of the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848; modeled after the Declaration of Independence, the list of grievances called for economic and social equality for women, along with a demand for the right to vote.


Dorothea Dix

Schoolteacher turned reformer; she was a pioneer for humane treatment of the mentally ill. She lobbied state legislatures to create separate hospitals for the insane and to remove them from the depravity of the penal system.


Elizabeth Stanton

Pioneer in the women's movement; she organized the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 and fought for women's suffrage throughout the 1800s.


Frederick Douglass

A former slave who became an effective abolitionist
with an authenticity to his speeches unmatched by other antislavery voices; initially a follower of William Lloyd Garrison, he broke away and started his own abolitionist newspaper, The North Star. From the approach to ending slavery that called for slaveholders to be paid for the loss of their "property" as slaves were freed; such proposals were based on the belief that slaveholders would be less resistant to abolition if the economic blow were softened by compensation.


Gradual Emancipation

Approach to ending slavery that called for the phasing out of slavery over a period of time; many gradual emancipation proposals were built around the granting of freedom to children of slaves who were born after a specified date, usually when they attained a specified age; in this way, as existing slaves aged and died, slavery would gradually die too. Many of the northern states, which abolished slavery following the American Revolution, adopted this method of ending the institution.


Horace Mann

Reformer who led a crusade to improve public education in America; as secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, he established a minimum school term, formalized teacher training, and moved curriculum away from religious training toward more secular subjects.


James Birney

Former slaveholder who at one time was a member of the American Colonization Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society, and the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society; in 1840 and 1844, he ran for president on the Liberty Party ticket


Lewis and Arthur Tappan

founders of the American and Foreign AntiSlavery
Society; as successful businessmen, they funded many antislavery activities in the 1830s and 1840s. They also supported the Liberty Party in the 1840s.


Liberty Party

Political party formed in 1840 that supported a program to end the slave trade and slavery in the territories and the District of Columbia; James Birney ran as the party candidate in 1840 and 1844. In 1848, it merged into the Free Soil Party.


Lucretia Mott

Quaker activist in both the abolitionist and women's movements; with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she was a principal organizer of the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.


Maine Law (1851)

First statewide attempt to restrict the consumption of alcohol; the law prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol except for medical reasons.


Sarah and Angelina Grimke

Quaker sisters from South Carolina who came north and became active in the abolitionist movement; Angelina married Theodore Weld, a leading abolitionist, and Sarah wrote and lectured on a variety of reforms including women's rights and abolition.


Second Great Awakening

Period of religious revivals between 1790 and 1840 that preached the sinfulness of man yet emphasized salvation through moral action; it sent a message to tum away from sin and provided philosophical underpinnings of the reforms of the 1830s.


Susan B. Anthony

Friend and partner of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the
struggle for women's rights; meeting in 1851, Anthony and Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association after the Civil War. The Nineteenth Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women in 1920, is sometimes called the "Anthony" amendment.



Writers who believed in the search for reality and truth through spiritual intuition; they held that man was capable of discovering truth without reference to established authority. This belief justified the reformers' challenges to the conventional thinking of their time.


William Lloyd Garrison

Most prominent abolitionist leader of the antebellum period; he published the antislavery newspaper The Liberator and founded the American Anti-Slavery Society.



Mission and fort that was the site of a siege and battle during the Texas Revolution, which resulted in the massacre of all its defenders; the event helped galvanize the Texas rebels and eventually led to their victory at the Battle of San Jacinto and independence from Mexico.


Santa Anna

Political opportunist and general who served as president of Mexico eleven different times and commanded the Mexican army during the Texas Revolution in the 1830s and the war with the United States in the 1840s.


Compromise of 1850

Proposal by Henry Clay to settle the debate over slavery in territories gained from the Mexican War; it was shepherded though Congress by Stephen Douglas. Its elements included admitting California as a free state, ending the buying and selling of slaves in the District of Columbia (DC), a more stringent Fugitive Slave Law, postponed decisions about slavery in the New Mexico and Utah Territories, and settlement of the Texas-New Mexico boundary and debt issues.


Franklin Pierce

Northern Democratic president with southern principles, 1853-1857, who signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act and sought sectional harmony above all else.


Free Soil Party

Formed from the remnants of the Liberty Party in 1848; adopting a slogan of "free soil, free speech, free labor, and free men," it opposed the spread of slavery into territories and supported homesteads, cheap postage, and internal improvements. It ran Martin Van Buren (1848) and John Hale (1852) for president and was absorbed into the Republican Party by 1856.


Gadsden Purchase (1853)

U.S. acquisition of land south of the Gila River from Mexico for $10 million; the land was needed for a possible transcontmental railroad line through the southern United States. However, the route was never used.


James K. Polk

Democratic president from 1845 to 1849; nicknamed
"Young Hickory" because of his close political and personal ties to Andrew Jackson, he pursued an aggressive foreign policy that led to the Mexican War, settternent of the Oregon issue, and the acquisition of the Mexican Cession.


John L. O'Sullivan

Influential editor of the Democratic Review who coined the phrase "manifest destiny" in 1845.


Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)

Stephen Douglas's bill to open western territories, promote a transcontinental railroad, and boost his presidential ambitions; it divided the Nebraska territory into two territories and used popular sovereignty to decide slavery in the region. Among Douglas's goals in making this proposal was to populate Kansas in order to make moreattractive a proposed route for a transcontinental railroad that ended in Chicago, in his home state of Illinois.


Know-Nothing Party

Influential third party of the 1840s; it opposed immigrants, especially Catholics, and supported temperance, a waiting period for citizenship, and literacy tests. Officially the American Party, its more conunonly used nickname came from its members' secrecy and refusal to tell strangers anything about the group. When questioned, they would only reply, "I know nothing."


Lewis Cass

Democratic senator who proposed popular sovereignty to settle the slavery question in the territories; he lost the presidential election in 1848 against Zachary Taylor but continued to advocate his solution to the slavery issue throughout the 1850s.


Manifest Destiny

Set of ideas used to justify American expansion in the 1840s; weaving together the rhetoric of economic necessity, racial superiority, and national security, the concept implied an inevitability of U.S. continental expansion.


Mexican Cession

Region comprising California and all or parts of the states of the present-day American Southwest that Mexico turned over to the United States after the Mexican War.


Nashville Convention

Meeting of representatives of nine southern states
in the summer of 1850 to monitor the negotiations over the Compromise of 1850; it called for extension of the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean and a stronger Fugitive Slave law. The convention accepted the Compromise but laid the groundwork for a southern confederacy in 1860-1861.


Ostend Manifesto (1854)

A statement by American envoys abroad to pressure Spain into selling Cuba to the United States; the declaration suggested that if Spain would not sell Cuba, the United States would be justified in seizing it. It was quickly repudiated by the U.S. government but it added to the belief that a "slave power" existed and was active in Washington.


Popular Sovereignty

Political process promoted by Lewis Cass, Stephen
Douglas, and other northern Democrats whereby, when a territory organized, its residents would vote to decide the future of slavery there; the idea of empowering voters to decide important questions was not new to the 1840s and 1850s or to the slavery issue, however.


Republican Party

Political party formed in 1854 in response to the
Kansas-Nebraska Act; it combined remnants of Whig; Free Soil and Know Nothing Parties as well as disgruntled Democrats. Although not abolitionist, it sought to block the spread of slavery in the territories. It also favored tariffs, homesteads, and a transcontinental railroad.


Sam Houston

Leader of the Texas revolutionaries, 1835-1836, first president of the Republic of Texas, and later a U.S. Senator from the state of Texas; he was a close political and personal ally of Andrew Jackson.


"slave power"

The belief that a slave-holding oligarchy existed to maintain slavery in the South and to spread it throughout the United States, including into the free states; this belief held that a southern cabal championed a closed, aristocratic way of life that attacked northern capitalism and liberty.


Stephen Austin

Leader of American immigration to Texas in the 1820s; he negotiated land grants with Mexico and tried to moderate growing Texan rebelliousness in the 1830s. After Texas became an independent nation, he served as its secretary of state.


Stephen Douglas

A leading Democratic senator in the 1850s; nicknamed the "Little Giant" for his small size and great political power, he steered the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act through Congress. Although increasingly alienated from the southern wing of his party, he ran against his political rival Abraham Lincoln for president in 1860 and lost.


Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)

Agreement that ended the Mexican War; under its terms Mexico gave up all claims to Texas north of the Rio Grande and ceded California and the Utah and New Mexico territories to the United States. The United States paid Mexico fifteen million dollars for the land, but the land cession amounted to nearly half that nation's territory.


Wilmot Proviso

Measure introduced in Congress in 1846 to prohibit
slavery in all territory that might be gained by the Mexican War; southerners blocked its passage in the Senate. Afterward, it became the congressional rallying platform for the antislavery forces in the late 1840s and early 1850s.


Winfield Scott

Arguably the finest military figure in America from the War of 1812 to the Civil War; he distinguished himself in the Mexican War, ran unsuccessfully for president (1852), and briefly commanded the Union armies at the beginning of the Civil War.


Abraham Lincoln

President of the United States, 1861-1865; he is generally rated among America’s greatest presidents for his leadership in restoring the Union. Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth before he could implement his Reconstruction program.


Zachary Taylor

Military hero of Mexican War and the last Whig elected president (1848); his sudden death in July 1850 allowed supporters of the Compromise of 1850 to get the measures through Congress.


Andrew Johnson

Vice president who took over after Lincoln’s assassination; an ex-Democrat with little sympathy for former slaves; his battles with Radical Republicans resulted in his impeachment in 1868. He avoided conviction and removal from office by one vote.


Border States

Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri; these slave states stayed in the Union and were crucial to Lincoln’s political and military strategy. He feared alienating them with emancipation of slaves and adding them to the Confederate cause.



Northerners who went South to participate in Reconstruction governments; although they possessed a variety of motives, southerners often viewed them as opportunistic, poor whites —a carpetbag was cheap luggage—hoping to exploit the South.


Charles Sumner

Senator from Massachusetts who was attacked on the floor of the Senate (1856) for antislavery speech; he required three years to recover but returned to the Senate to lead the Radical Republicans and to fight for racial equality. Sumner authored Civil Rights Act of 1875.


Compromise of 1877

Agreement that ended the disputed election of 1876
between Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden; under its terms, the South accepted Hayes’s election. In return, the North agreed to remove the last troops from the South, support southern railroads, and accept a southerner into the Cabinet. The Compromise of 1877 is generally considered to mark the end of Reconstruction.



Northerners (mostly Democrats) who supported the southern cause; they were strongest in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Former Ohio congressman Clement L. Vallandigham was the most notorious. Many of Lincoln’s arbitrary arrests were directed against this group.


Cotton Diplomacy

Failed southern strategy to embargo cotton from England until Great Britain recognized and assisted the Confederacy; southerners hoped the economic pressure resulting from Britain’s need for cotton for its textile factories would force Britain to aid the South. But direct aid was never forthcoming.


Dred Scott Decision (1857)

Chief Justice Roger Taney led a pro-slavery Supreme Court to uphold the extreme southern position on slavery; his ruling held that Scott was not a citizen (nor were any African Americans), that slavery was protected by the Fifth Amendment and could expand into all territories, and that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional.


Emancipation Proclamation

Executive order issued January 1, 1863, granting freedom to all slaves in states that were in rebellion; Lincoln issued it using his constitutional authority as commander-in-chief, as a military measure to weaken the South's ability to continue the war. It did not affect the Border States or any region under northern control on January 1. However, it was a stepping stone to the Thirteenth Amendment.


Fifteenth Amendment (1870)

Granted black males the right to vote and split former abolitionists and women's rights supporters, who wanted women included as well.


Fourteenth Amendment (1868)

Granted citizenship to any person born or naturalized in the United States; this amendment protects citizens from abuses by state governments, and ensures due process and equal protection of the law. It overrode the Dred Scott decision.


Freedmen's Bureau

A U.S. government-sponsored agency that provided
food, established schools, and tried to redistribute land to former slaves as part of Radical Reconstruction; it was most effective in education, where it created over 4,000 schools in the South


George McClellan

Union general who was reluctant to attack Lee because of military/political reasons; his timidity prompted Lincoln to fire him twice during the war. He ran unsuccessfully for president against Lincoln in 1864 on an antiwar platform.


Harriet Beecher Stowe

Author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, a best selling novel about the cruelty of slavery; often called the greatest propaganda novel in United States history, the book increased tension between sections and helped bring on the Civil War.


James Buchanan

Weak, vacillating president of the United States, 1857-1861; historians rate him as a failure for his ineffective response to secession and the formation of the Confederacy in 1860 and 1861.


Jefferson Davis

President of the Confederatcy; a leading politician of the 1850s, he believed slavery essential to the South and held that it should expand into the territories without restriction. He served as U.S. senator from Mississippi (1847-1851, 1857-1861) and secretary of war (1853-1857) before becoming president of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865). After the war, he served two years in prison for his role in the rebellion.


John Breckinridge

Vice president under James Buchanan and Democratic presidential nominee in 1860 who supported slavery and states' rights; he split the Democratic vote with Stephen Douglas and lost the election to Lincoln. He served in Confederate army and as secretary of war.


John Brown

Violent abolitionist who murdered slaveholders in Kansas and Missouri (1856-1858) before his raid at Harpers Ferry (1859), hoping to incite a slave rebellion; he failed and was executed, but his martyrdom by northern abolitionists frightened the South.


John Fremont

Explorer, soldier, politician, and first presidential nominee of the Republican Party (1856); his erratic personal behavior and his radical views on slavery made him controversial and unelectable.


Ku Klux Klan

Terrorist organization active throughout the South during Reconstruction and after, dedicated to maintaining white supremacy; through violence and intimidation, it tried to stop freedmen from exercising their rights under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.


Radical Republicans

Republican faction in Congress who demanded immediate emancipation of the slaves at the war's beginning; after the war, they favored racial equality, voting rights, and land distribution for the former slaves. Lincoln and Johnson opposed their ideas as too extreme.


Robert E. Lee

Highly regarded Confederate general who was first offered command of the Union armies but declined; He was very successful until he fought against Ulysses S. Grant in 1864 and 1865. He surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant on April 9, 1865, to end major fighting in the war.



White southerners who cooperated with and served in
Reconstruction governments; generally eligible to vote, they were usually considered traitors to their states.


Ten-percent plan

Reconstruction plan of Lincoln and Johnson; when 10% of the number of voters in 1860 took an oath of allegiance, renounced secession, and approved the Thirteenth Amendment, a southern state could form a government and elect congressional representatives. The plan involved no military occupation and provided no help for freedmen. It was rejected by Radical Republicans in December 1865.


Tenure of Office Act (1867)

Radical attempt to further diminish Andrew Johnson's authority by providing that the president could not remove any civilian official without Senate approval; Johnson violated the law by removing Edwin Stanton as secretary of war, and the House of Representatives impeached him over his actions.


Thaddeus Stevens

Uncompromising Radical Republican who wanted to
revolutionize the South by giving equality to blacks; a leader in the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, he hoped for widespread land distribution to former slaves.


Thirteenth Amendment (1865)

This abolished slavery everywhere in the United States.


Ulysses S Grant

A hard-fighting Union general whose relentless pursuit of Robert E. Lee finally brought the war to an end in April 1865; elected president in 1868, he presided over two disappointing and corrupt terms and is considered a failure as president.


Wade-Davis Bill (1864)

The harsh Congressional Reconstruction bill that provided the president would appoint provisional governments for conquered states until a majority of voters took an oath of loyalty to the Union; it required the abolition of slavery by new state constitutions, the disenfranchisement of Confederate officials, and the repudiation of Confederate debt. Lincoln killed the bill with a pocket veto.


William Seward

Lincoln's secretary of state and previously his chief rival for the Republican nomination in 1860; however, his comments about the Fugitive Slave Law and "irrepressible conflict" made him too controversial for the nomination. As secretary of state, he worked to buy Alaska" from Russia.