US History


Columbian exchange

1492 - 1820

o A title for the transatlantic flow of goods and people
o America→ Europe: corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peanuts, tobacco
o Europe→ America: wheat, rice, sugarcane, horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, GERMS (caused many diseases and deaths which caused Indian populations to suffer catastrophic decline)

Indentured servants

1607 - 1700

surrendered freedom for passage to America, had to follow the same rules as slaves, most did not last till the end of 5-7 year term, or were set free

Virginia Company


company that funded Jamestown, wanted a quick profit from Jamestown (gold) did not really care about its overall success so did not send adequate supplies, eventually realized they had to stop searching for gold and find a marketable commodity, and attract more settlers (head right system)

Head right system


50 acres of land to colonists who paid for another’s passage ... used to attract people to the united states

House of Burgesses


in place of governor’s militaristic regime, first elected assembly in colonial America


1629 - 1642

arose in English in the late 16th century, initially formed by those unsatisfied with the progress of the Protestant Reformation in England
o all Puritans agreed that the Church of England retained too many elements of Catholicism and saw elaborate church rituals and doctrines and “property, believed that seeking truth was through reading the bible
Mass Bay company founded by London merchants who hoped to further Puritan cause and make profit from trade with Indians, 5 ships were sent between 1629 - 1642 and some 21000 puritans had emigrated to Mass

Mass Bay colony

1629 - 1630

wanted to rule the colony without non-Puritan interference, at governors were appointed from faraway (**ruling from afar)

John Winthrop


Governor of Mass Bay, believed that freedom depended on “subjection of authority”, believed uncultivated land could be taken from Indians

Roger Williams


believed in separation of church and state, and said that Puritans were not the chosen people of God and said any citizen can practice any type of religion, banished in 1636 and started Rhode Island with the idea of religious freedom, arrived in mass in 1631

Anne Hutchinson


another threat to Puritans because she held discussions of religious issues, said ministers were guilty of faulty preaching because distinguished “saints” from damned based on activities and moral behavior rather than inner state of grace denounced for Antinomianism (judgment or faith above human law and teachings of church), tried for sedition in 1637(expressing opinions dangerous to authority).


1651 - 1776

o the role of colonies → source of wealth for England
o the idea that which every country gets the most gold/silver is most successful
o exporting more than importing
o England wanted to trade with colonies because it kept everything inside the system
o Colonies sent unfinished products to Europe (sugar, tobacco) but Europe sends finished products back (weapons, cotton, textiles, metal goods) so they get gold
Navigation Acts were the start of English Mercantilism

Atlantic Slave Trade

1664 - 1808

o Began for british when English took over New Netherland seizing control of African Trading posts after Anglo - Dutch war
Bargaining over human lives
o In 18th century British Empire slavery was the norm while it was unusual to have free laborers working for wages
o As the products that the slaves produces became in more high demand more slaves were needed
o Triangular trading routes→ Crossed over the Atlantic British goods to Africa and colonies, colonial products to Europe, and slaves from Africa to the colonies
o Middle passage→ Middle leg in the triangular trade route “harrowing experience”, slaves were packed onto ships →brutal conditions
o many slaves headed for the West Indies because high death rates on the sugar plantations caused a demand for new imports

Bacon's Rebellion


o Bacon (elite) and many of the settlers wanted to settle on the land Berkeley had reserved for the Indians so wanted Indians removed
o Berkeley refused so the men backing Bacon massacred many Indians and revolted against Berkeley’s system of government
o Bacon marched into Jamestown with his army and burned it down
o Can be considered a conflict within the Virginia elite but not a democratic revolution because Bacon was part of the elite (local control vs. far control)
o ***not a democratic revolution because Bacon was an elite

Salem Witch Trials


o Women who others believed had supernatural powers which they used to harm others and interfered with the natural world
o 1692: many executions for Witches took place
o **when a woman was accused of being a Witch the only was she could be saved was to say the name of another “witch” (obviously people accuse randomly) and as the accusations and executions escalated it only showed that there was a major flaw in the colonies government

Rice Production


staple crop of South Carolina making them the “wealthiest elite in English North America”, in rice plantations: 90% B, 10% W compared to Charleston 10% B 90% W, high death rate so always new slaves being sent in→ continued African culture didn’t develop African American culture, rice plantations had to be as large as possible to prouduct the lost rice

Great Awakening


A series of local events geared to reviving religin rather than one collective movement
o Religious Revivals→ Many ministers feared that new establishments were undermining religious devotion, revivals swept throughout the colonies in the 1730s
o “religion of the heart”→ the idea the Christianity was more personal and emotional than it was presented in church
o The Preaching of English minister George Whitefield
• Main instigator of the Great awakening
o The Awakening's Impact
• ***aim of Great Awakening was primarily spiritual
• Emergence of numerous Dissenting churches→ Inspired by Whitefield
• Questioning authority

French Indian War


o Fought between British and French for seven years
o Ohio Company was awarded a half million acres of untouched fertile land, and the French stepped in
o British and Colonists against French and Indians, led to Proclamation of 1763
o Pontiac’s Rebellion→ French had ceded land to British, leaving the Indians helpless (dependence), Indians launched a revolt against British rule, all Indians were a single people
America Gained Louisiana purchase

Salutary neglect


policy of British gov prior to 1763 after Glorious Rev, Neglect= ignore, salutary= not on purpose
o during SN Britain’s main concern= French, Empire, trade and did not really focus on colonies
o 1763→ 7 years war over and stop neglecting colonies b/c need $
o **KLC//GCA→ governors have de jure power, assemblies have de facto power
o *
colonies think they have same set up at mother country but don’t want corruption
o *
*some say cause of American Rev was end of salutary neglect b/c England acknowledges colonies

proclamation of 1763


o Prohibited further western settlement beyond the Appalachian mountains for British colonists
o Britain wanted to stabilize the situation
o Colonists did not listen ignored this new policy but attempting to do it discreetly (George Washington)
end of 7 years war

Sugar and Currency Act


1764 reduced molasses tax, new machinery to end smuggling, smugglers: trial without jury, attempt to strengthen the Navigation Acts

Virginia Stamp Act Resolves


o Colonists enjoy same liberties as citizens in the mother country
o Right to consent taxation was a cornerstone of “British freedom”
o HOB rejected 3 other resolutions
o 1765 delegates formed the Stamp Act Congress which endorsed Virginia’s position

Stamp Act


all goods have a stamp, direct tax on colonies which help finance empire, all colonial leaders opposed this referred to natural rights of mankind

Boston Massacre


Boston was focal point of conflict, in March, 5, 1770 snowball fight turned into an armed confrontation between Bostonians and British troops in response to the Townshend Duties, 5 Bostonians dead

Townshend crisis - 1767 new set of taxes on goods and imports

Coercive acts


military commanders could lodge soldiers in private homes→ direct threat to political freedom

Committees of Safety


winter of ’74-75 in order to enforce Coercive Acts, main job: spy on neighbors to make sure they are boycotting British goods, need something to replace government

Common Sense


1776 pamphlet written by Thomas Paine criticized British government “royal brute of England”, how can continent be governed by island? (***ruling from afar) was popular because wrote ideas clearly and directly, wrote to entire public sphere

battle of Saratoga


summer 1779 Howe accidently abandoned Burgoyne and American forces forced Burgoyne to surrender, ***helped prove to French that American victory was possible and motivated them to supply military assistance



exist in big cities governors get elites to support them
o Retained allegiance to the crown
o 20-25% of free Americans
o numerous in NY, Georgia, Pennsylvania
o In South backcountry farmers sided with British in hope for freedom
o ***British thought there were many more loyalists which is why they were underprepared for war

Articles of Confederation

1781 - 1789

Articles of Confederation:
Ratified after large states ceded western land to national gov
National Gov only had powers to declare war, deal with foreign affairs, and negotiate treaties
Congress cant pay debts of interests

Shay's rebellion

1786 - 1787

1786-1787 debt-ridden farmers attacked courts in MA to prevent the seizure of their land for failure to pay taxes, Jefferson saw this as healthy government, Daniel Shay: veteran farmer of war of independence who led attacks



Virginia plan ( 2 houses, based on population)
New Jersey Plan (1 house, every state with one vote)
Balance of power within the constitution to ensure no corruption
Federalists: Hamilton, Madison, Jay
Antifederalist: Samuel Adams, Hancock, Henry

Northwest Ordinance


1787 establishment of 5 new states north of the Ohio River with equal rights as other states

Virginia Plan


in response to Articles of Confederation, creation of 2-house legislature with the population determining the representation in each, presented by Madison in the Constitutional Convention

3/5 Compromise


3/5 of the slave population would be counted in determining each state’s representation in the HOR and its electoral votes for president, reached at philidelphia convention in 1787

Anti Federalist


o lacked the coherent leadership→ didn’t have anyone leading their argument
o watchword: Liberty→ thought liberty was threatened by new Constitution
o Social bases of support and opposition → small farmers from isolated rural areas



o Supporters of Washington
o Prosperous businessmen, elitist outlook traditional 18th century
o Thought America was turning into an anarchy

Federalist Papers


o Essays used to gain support for ratification of the Constitution
o Checks and balances made tyranny impossible
o Wanted ratification of the Constitution
o Believed that government balanced powers appropriately, with a monarchy
o Men with substantial property and domination of the national press



o More sympathetic to France and had more faith in democratic self-government
lead by Jefferson
o Wealthy southern planters and other ordinary farmers
o Critical of social and economic inequality

Bill of Rights


ratified 1791, 1st 10 Amendments
o “Parchment barriers”= eliminate abuse of authority
o 1st Amendment→ freedom of religion, speech, press, right to assembly
o 2nd Amendment→ right to bear arms
o Others→ arrest without warrants, testify, jury
o 10th Amendment→ powers not yet delegated remained with states

Haitian Revolution


Jeffersonians reacted in horror to this revolution because this was the slaves revolting which reinforced Americans fears of slave insurrection at home, educated slave in Haiti organized army and rebelled against British forces

Whiskey Rebellion


backcountry Pennsylvania farmers sought to block tax collection of the new tax on distilled spirits, had liberty poles and banners that said “Liberty or Death”, Washington dispatched 13,000 militiamen

Jay's Treaty


no British concessions on impressments or the rights of American shipping, US favor of British goods led to opposition party

Washington's Farewell Address


Washington’s address when leaving office published in newspapers, mostly drafted by Hamilton, defended his administration against criticism, warned against the dangers of party spirit, and advised the country to stay away from permanent alliances

Quasi War with france


o John Adams feels mounting pressure to break neutrality with France
o As a neutral nation U.S. claims right to trade non-military goods with Britain & France
o Both countries seize American ships
o 1797 American diplomats sent to negotiate treaty to reinforce old alliance with France
o Random French officials sent…designated as “XYZ” HUGE INSULT TO AMERICA
o These naval encounters comprise an undeclared “Quasi-War” culminating in a diplomatic affair

Alien and Sedation acts


o Alien: deportation of persons from abroad deemed “dangerous” by federal authorities
o Sedition: authorized persecution of any assembly or publication critical of government→ Federalists efforts to silence opposition

Virginia and Kentucky resolutions


opposition to the Sedition act saying it was a violation of the 1st Amendment,

Louisiana Purchase


o Greatest achievement of Jefferson’s presidency
o France could no longer control land which presented a sudden opportunity to purchase Louisiana
o Jefferson abandoned conviction that governments power was explicitly defined in the Constitution because buying territory from a foreign power wasn’t listed (but said it was ok because it ensured the agrarian character of the country and political stability for centuries to come)
o Louisiana territory stretched from Gulf of Mexico to Canada & MI River to Rockies
o $15 mil, one of the greatest real estate bargains to exist (doubled size of US)

Marbury vs. Madison


(ex of Harrisons prediction of how it is impossible to uproot national authority completely)
o Supreme Court’s first chance to execute power to review laws of Congress and states (Marshall)
o Marbury sued for his office which Madison was supposed to issue to him but it was determined that the court he was being sued in had to Constitutional rights to order Madison to issue commissions.
o ***judicial review = The Supreme Court has assumed the right to determine whether an act of Congress violates the Constitution

12th Amendment


electors had to cast separate votes for president and vice, result of problems that arose in elections of 1796 and 1800

Embargo act


Dec. 1807 a ban on all American vessels sailing to foreign ports

War of 1812

June 1812

started with British assaults on American shipping, Madison asked congress for a declaration of war which ended up revealing a deeply divided country where both Federalists and Republicans in the north voted against war and south voted for, bill passed, in 1814 Britain invaded US burned white house, seized D.C. (Americans enjoyed few military successes), can be described as a two-front struggle against British and Indians, many victories against Indians

Wilmot Proviso


ides that all territory acquired from Mexico had no slavery, passed in house not in senate, David Wilmot from Pennsylvania

Free Soil Party


unlike abolitionism→ decision of Slavery should be left to settlers, Van Buren and Charles Francis Adams, popular sovereignty, barring slavery from the west so it wouldn't kill western expansion, did not want to compete with black labor

Popular Sovereignty


every year Douglass proposed territorial governments for Kansas and Nebraska and the status of slavery would be determined by local inhabitants of Mexican territories, Led to Bleeding Kanas

California Gold Rush


gold was discovered in 1849 and population rose to 200,000 in 1852 compared to a previous 15,000, populated Cali

Fugitive Slave act


special federal commissioners determined the fate of alleged fugitives without benefit of trial by jury or testimony, everyone had to help with the capture of fugitives, many abolitionists refused to do so, by law if fugitive slaves found in North had to send them back

Compromise of 1850


proposed by Henry Clay
o 1) California comes in as a free state
o 2) slave trade abolished in the capital ***no nowhere in country can legally get slaves from Africa east of MS
o 3) fugitive slave law
o 4) slavery determined in Mexico territories by white inhabitants→ popular sovereignty
o 5) pay of Texas debt

Know- Nothings


Nativism (hostility to immigrants) became a national political movement and caused the Know-Nothings Party which did not share any information to the public and tried to reserve native-born Americans, nearly all European immigrants benefitted from being white

Kanas - Nebraska Act


slavery was no longer prohibited in these territories, technically should be free because above the 36/30 but off balanced the free vs. slave states so instituted popular sovereignty

John Brown

1856 - 1859

During civil war in Kanasa (bleeding Kanasa) brown traveled to the territory. May 1856 - attack on lawrence, he murdered 5 settlers at Pottawatomie Creek. Raised funds for war against south.
October 16, 1859 with 21 men Brown (abolitionist) seized Harpers Ferry which didn’t make much military sense and was placed on trial for treason against VA, heightened sectional tensions. Sentenced to death

Dred Scott


• during the 1830s Dred Scott was taken with his owner, Dr. John Emerson of Missouri, to Illinois where slaver was prohibited by the Northwest Ordinance and later to Wisconsin where there was also no slavery due to the Missouri Compromise
• Scott claimed this his temporary residence on free soil made him free
• Chief Justice Taney addressed 3 issues in Dred Scott Decision (1857 2 days after inauguration of Buchanan)
1. Can Scott sue in Federal court? NO (Taney could have stopped the case there b/c Scott was not a free slave but continued)
2. Do blacks have legal Constitutional rights? NO
3. Does Congress have the right to discuss slavery issues in territories? NO (brings into question all of Congress acts dating back to the Northwest Ordinance which restricted the expansion slavery while also undermining Douglas’s idea of popular sovereignty)
• Overall Taney declared that only white persons could be citizens of the US
• Worst decision the Supreme Court has ever made

Lincoln - Douglas debates


“A house divided cannot stand” –Lincoln, freedom meant opposition to slavery, Douglass- essence of freedom lay in local self-government and individual self-determination



sparked by Lincolns victory because it put the south’s future in danger, people in the south knew status of slavery could drastically change within a few years, in months following the election several states began seceding
o South Carolina→ first to secede from the Union had highest percentage of slaves and a long history of political radicalism

election of 1860


Douglass (Northern D) vs. Breckinridge (Southern D) vs. Lincoln (R) vs. Bell (Constitutional union party)→ Lincoln won, 2 separate elections in North and South, Lincoln won all the north except NJ, Douglas only one MO but had support everywhere, and Breckinridge won most of the slave states, Bell won 3 upper south states

Fort Sumter


Lincoln had warned governor that he was replenishing the garrison’s food supply in South Carolina at Ft Sumter and Jefferson Davis ordered batteries to fire on the fort and its commander surrendered causing Lincoln to cell for 75,000 troops Civil war
o ***Lincoln wanted the South (not the Union) to fire the first shot and ensured this at Ft Sumter

Columbian exchange

o A title for the transatlantic flow of goods and people
o America→ Europe: corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peanuts, tobacco
o Europe→ America: wheat, rice, sugarcane, horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, GERMS (caused many diseases and deaths which caused Indian populations to suffer catastrophic decline)