US History Terms Study Guide for US History Finals

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Term Definition
Reasons why American Colonists settled where they did They settled in Jamestown because it was a small, defensible peninsula.
Foundations of American Democracy At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the delegates decided to form an entirely new government ruled by the people and with a system of checks and balances so no branch of government could have too much power
Why did the Anti-Federalists oppose the ratification of the Constitution in 1787? They wanted a Bill of Rights, which wasn't included in the original Constitution, and they opposed a strong central government
Thomas Paine and Common Sense A 50 page pamphlet attacking King George and the Monarchy
Declaration of Independence The document written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, in which the delegates of the Continental Congress declared the colonies' independence from Britain
Shay’s Rebellion an uprising of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers protesting increased state taxes in 1787
Louisiana Purchase The 1803 purchase by United States of France's Louisiana Territory- extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains- for $15 million
Missouri Compromise of 1820 A series of agreements passed by Congress in 1820-1821 to maintain the balance of power between slave states and free states
Compromise of 1850 Compromised proposed by Henry Clay that would appease the North and the South: California would be admitted as a free state, new and more effective fugitive slave law, popular sovereignty for the residents of New Mexico and Utah
Manifest Destiny The 19th century belief that the United States would inevitably expand westward to the Pacific Ocean and into Mexican territory
Economic differences of the North and South prior to the Civil War The North had more factories and industrial workers, but the South relied heavily on agriculture and cotton trade
Lincoln’s goal in the Civil War Originally, his goal was to bring the Southern states back in to the Union
Seneca Falls Convention A woman's right convention held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848
Reconstruction Period The period of rebuilding that followed the Civil War, during which the defeated Confederate states were readmitted into the Union
President Andrew Johnson and the Reconstruction Period Johnson believed that white men should manage the South and he also wanted to break the planters' power; Civil Rights Act and 14th Amendment
Result of the Civil War The North won, the South was brought back into the Union, Former slaves were able to improve their lives somewhat
Black Codes Discriminatory laws that severely restricted African Americans' lives
Native Americans Groups of people that were native to America
Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 A law, enacted in 1882, that prohibited all Chinese except students, teachers, merchants, tourists, and government officials from entering the United States
Indian Wars between 1860-1890 A series of battles between Native Americans and US Forces over land
Homestead Act of 1862 A U.S. law enacted in 1862, that provided 160 acres in the West to any citizen or intended citizen who was head of household and would cultivate the land for five years
Transcontinental Railroad A railroad line linking the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States, completed in 1869
Development of the Great Plains The government tried to get the Plains Indians to leave the plains, the cattle business was big so many were cowboys, people started farming
Three-fifths Compromise 3/5 of a state's slaves would be counted in the population
Reconstruction goals after the Civil War Lincoln planned for the government to pardon Confederates that swore allegiance to the Union
Economic impact of the Civil War In the South, the value of property plummeted and the population was devastated
Tenements A multifamily urban dwelling, usually overcrowded and unsanitary
Women's’ Suffrage Movement The movement that sought voting rights for women
Battleship Maine The battleship that blew up and started the Spanish-American
Why was the North worried about Great Britain during the Civil War? Because they relied on Britain to buy their wheat and corn, but Britain relied heavily on the South for cotton also
Impressments The forcible seizure of men for military service
Trail of Tears The marches in which the Cherokee people were forcibly removed from Georgia to the Indian Territory in 1838-1840, with thousands of the Cherokee dying on way
Why did the South secede from the Union? Because Abraham Lincoln had been elected as President, and they didn't feel that they were represented in the government anymore
Emancipation Proclamation An executive order issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, freeing the slaves in all regions behind Confederate lines
Why could Lincoln not carry out his plan of Reconstruction? He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth
Muckrackers One of the magazine journalists who exposed the corrupt side of businesses and public life in the early 1900s
Who had great job opportunities during WWI when they did not before the war? Women and African Americans
Treaty of Versailles The 1919 peace treaty at the end of World War I which established new nations, borders, and war reparations
Why did US enter WWI? To ensure the Allies would repay their debts to the U.S., to prevent the Germans from threatening U.S. shipping, because of the German U-boats, and the Zimmerman note
League of Nations An association of nations established in 1920 to promote international cooperation and peace
Americans reaction to WWI The war didn't threaten American lives or property so they wanted to stay neutral in it, but they had more economic and ancestral ties with the Allies
Lusitania sinking In 1915, a German U-boat sunk the Lusitania, which was a British passenger ship
Zimmermann Telegram A message sent in 1917 by the German foreign minister to the German ambassador in Mexico proposing a German-Mexican alliance and promising to help Mexico regain Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if the United States entered World War I

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