|abolitionists people who favored abolition, the ending of slavery
adapt to change in order to survive in a new or different environment or situation
agrarian a person who favors an agricultural way of life and government policies that support agricultural interests
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a disease that weakens the body’s ability to fight off infection and illness
aliens people who have come from other countries and are not yet citizens
ally a nation that joins another nation in some common effort, such as winning a war
amendment a change to the constitution
annex To add a territory to a country. Such an addition is called an annexation.
arsenal a place where weapons and ammunition are stored
Articles of Confederation The first written plan of government for the United States. A “confederation” is an association of states who cooperate for a common purpose.
assembly an elected group of lawmakers
assimilation the process by which immigrants or other newcomers acquire the attitudes, behaviors, and cultural patterns of the society around them
bicameral Having two lawmaking parts. Bicameral comes from Latin words meaning “two rooms.”
bill a proposed law
Bill of Rights a formal listing of the basic rights of citizen
blockade a closing off of an area to keep people or supplies from going in or out
boycott To refuse to buy one or more goods from a certain source. An organized refusal by many people is also called a boycott.
capitalism an economic system based on the private ownership of farms and businesses
carpetbaggers northerners who went to the South after the Civil War to gain money and political power
cash crops crops, such as tobacco, sugar, and cotton, raised in large quantities in order to be sold for profit
checks and balances the system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches
civil rights the rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution to all people as citizens, especially equal treatment under the law
civil servants employees of the government
civil war a war fought between the people of a single country
class A part of society defined by such qualities as wealth, occupation, and inherited titles or honors. A society may have an upper class, a middle class, and a lower class.
collective bargaining a method for negotiating labor issues in which union representatives bargain with employers on behalf of the union’s members
colony a new settlement or territory established and governed by a country in another land
compromise an agreement in which both sides in a dispute agree to give up something they want in order to achieve a settlement
Confederacy the independent country declared by 11 southern states, who called themselves the Confederate States of America
conquistadors Spanish soldier-explorers, especially those who conquered the native peoples of Mexico and Peru
conservation the effort to protect something valuable from being destroyed or used up
constitution a written plan that provides the basic framework of a government
converts people who accept a new religion
corporation a business that is owned by many investors
cotton gin a hand-operated machine that cleans seeds and other unwanted material from cotton
cultural region an area in which a group of people share a similar culture and language
culture a people’s way of life, including beliefs, customs, food, dwellings, and clothing
Declaration of Sentiments A formal statement of injustices suffered by women, written by the organizers of the Seneca Falls Convention. Sentiments means “beliefs” or “convictions.”
defendants people who are required to defend themselves in a legal action; an example is an accused person who is put on trial for a crime
deforestation the clearing away of forests
democratic Ruled by the people. In a democracy, citizens elect representatives to make and carry out laws.
diplomacy The art of conducting negotiations with other countries. People who engage in diplomacy are called diplomats.
discrimination unequal treatment based on a person’s race, gender, religion, place of birth, or other arbitrary characteristic
doctrine a statement of official government policy, especially in foreign affairs
draft a system for requiring citizens to join their country’s armed forces
economy the way a society organizes the manufacture and exchange of things of value, such as money, food, products, and services
Electoral College The group established by the Constitution to elect the president and vice president. Voters in each state choose their electors.
emancipation the act of freeing people from slavery
embargo a government order that stops merchant ships from leaving or entering a country’s ports
Enlightenment the “Age of Reason” in 17th and 18th century Europe. Enlightenment thinkers emphasized using rational thought to discover truths about nature and society
entrepreneur someone who starts a business and is good at making money
environment all of the physical surroundings in a place, including land, water, animals, plants, and climate
executive branch the part of government that “executes” (carries out) the laws
expansionists Americans who favored extending the United States’ power by taking control of new territories
federalism the constitutional system that shares power between the national and state governments
feminist a person who is actively concerned with achieving social, political, and economic equality for women
First Great Awakening a revival of religious feeling and belief in the American colonies that began in the 1730s
folk art art made by ordinary people (as opposed to trained artists) using traditional methods
foreign policy guidelines for how a country handles political and economic interactions with other countries
forty-niners the people (almost all young men) who joined the rush for gold in California in 1849
freedmen African Americans who had been set free from slavery
fugitive a person who flees or tries to escape (for example, from slavery)
Great Depression a drastic decline in the economy that led to widespread unemployment and poverty in the 1930s
guerrillas soldiers who operate on their own and are not part of a regular army
habeas corpus a written order from a court that gives a person the right to a trial before being jailed
heritage the traditional beliefs, values, and customs of a family or country
homestead a plot of land where pioneers could build a home, farm, or ranch
homesteader a farmer who is given a plot of public land (called a homestead) in return for cultivating it
immigrant A person who moves from one country to another. Such a movement is called immigration.
impeach to formally accuse an official of a crime related to official duties
imperialism the policy of extending a nation’s power by gaining political and economic control over other countries
inauguration a formal ceremony to mark the beginning of something, such as a president’s term of office
indentured servant A person who signed an indenture, or an agreement to work for a master for a period of years. Indentured servants were not free until they completed their term of service.
independence freedom from control by another government or country
Industrial Revolution The dramatic change in economies brought about by the use of machines to do work formerly done by hand. The Industrial Revolution began in England in the late 1700s and spread to America and the rest of Europe.
industrialist a person whose wealth comes from the ownership of industrial businesses and who favors government policies that support industry
industrialization the birth and growth of businesses that make and distribute products through the use of machinery
interest group an organization that actively promotes the views of some part of the public on specific issues
Internet a network that allows computers in locations around the world to share information
interstate commerce trade and other business dealings that cross state lines
irrigation a system for bringing water to farmland by artificial means, such as using a dam to trap water and ditches to channel it to fields
isolationism a policy of avoiding political or military agreements with other countries; first established by George Washington
Jim Crow laws Laws enforcing segregation of blacks and whites in the South after the Civil War. “Jim Crow” was a black character in an entertainer’s act in the mid-1800s.
judicial branch the part of government, consisting of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, that interprets the laws
laissez-faire The theory that economies work best when governments do not interfere with them. (Laissez-faire is French for “leave alone.”)
legislative branch The lawmaking part of government, called the legislature. To legislate is to make a law.
Loyalists American colonists who were loyal to the British government
Manifest Destiny the belief that it was America’s right and duty to spread across the North American continent
mass production the use of interchangeable parts and assembly lines to make large quantities of identical goods
mercenaries professional soldiers who fight for anyone who will pay them
migrate To move from one place and establish a home in a new place. A move of a large number of people is called a migration, and the people are called migrants. Some animals also migrate, usually with the seasons.
militarism a policy of glorifying military power and military ideas and values
militia a small army made up of ordinary citizens who are available to fight in an emergency
mission A place established by missionaries for their work. A typical California mission included such things as a church, a residence, workshops, and large areas of land for raising crops.
missionaries people who travel to a territory or community in order to make converts to their religion
monopoly a company that controls all production and sales of a particular product or service
Mormons Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Latter-Day means “modern,” while saints are people who dedicate their lives to following God’s teachings.
nationalism devotion to a national or ethnic identity, including the desire for independence from rule by foreign countries
nativism an attitude of superiority and resentment toward the foreign-born
natural resources useful materials found in nature, including water, vegetation, animals, and minerals
neutrality a policy of not choosing sides in a war or dispute between other countries
New World The European name for the Americas. These continents were a “new” world for the Europeans, but not for the native peoples who lived there.
nullify To refuse to recognize a federal law. This action by a state is called nullification.
oppression the feeling of being weighed down or held back by severe and unfair force
Oregon Trail an overland route that stretched about 2,000 miles from Independence, Missouri, to the Columbia River in Oregon
Parliament the lawmaking body of England, consisting of representatives from throughout the kingdom
party an organized political group
passport a document issued by a citizen’s home government that identifies a person and permits him or her to travel to other countries
Patriots American colonists who believed that the colonies had the right to govern themselves
petition (noun) a formal, written request
petition (verb) to make a formal demand or request
plantation a large area of privately owned land where crops were grown through the labor of workers, usually slaves, who lived on the land
platform a statement of the policies favored by a political party
pogroms Organized and often violent persecutions of minority groups. The word pogrom comes from Russian words meaning “like thunder.”
popular sovereignty the idea that the authority of government comes from the people
populist devoted to the needs and interests of common people
Progressive movement a political reform effort of the early 1900s that focused on improving American life by fighting for such causes as equal rights, better working conditions, and protection of wilderness areas
public schools schools that are paid for by taxes and managed by local government for the benefit of the general public
Puritans People who wanted to “purify” the English Church. Puritans wanted to simplify the Church’s ceremonies and its ranks of authority.
quota a limit based on numbers or proportions—for example, the proportion of a country’s population allowed to immigrate to the United States
racism prejudice based on race
rancho A grant of land made by the Mexican government. Most ranchos were used for raising cattle and crops.
ratify To formally approve a plan or an agreement. The process of approval is called ratification.
Reconstruction the period after the Civil War when the federal government ruled the southern states in order to rebuild them and allow them back into the Union
reformers people who work to correct failings or injustices
refugees people who flee their homes or countries because of war, persecution, or other causes
regulation the enforcement of laws that control conduct or practices; government regulations control the way goods, food, and drugs are produced and sold to the public
reparations debts imposed on a defeated nation to pay for the harm done during a war
repeal to take back, or to cancel, a law
republic a country governed by elected representatives
reservation An area of land set aside (“reserved”) by the government for Native Americans. Reservations generally were on poor land that settlers didn’t want.
Revolutionary War The struggle of the former British colonies in America to gain their independence from Britain. Also called the War for Independence, or the American Revolution.
rights powers or privileges that belong to people as citizens and that cannot or should not be taken away by the government
scalawags white southerners who supported the federal government after the Civil War
secede to withdraw from an organization or alliance; in this case, to withdraw from the United States
secession the act of withdrawing from an organization or alliance, such as the withdrawal of the southern states from the Union
Second Great Awakening A revival of religious feeling and belief in the 1820s and 1830s. The First Great Awakening swept through the American colonies in the 1700s.
secretary of state The head of the State Department, who oversees matters relating to foreign countries. The secretary of state is an important member of the president’s cabinet.
sedition the crime of encouraging rebellion against the government
segregation the social separation of groups of people, especially by race
self-incrimination the act of giving testimony that can be used against oneself
self-made achieving wealth or influence through one’s own effort rather than being born to a privileged family
slavery The treatment of people as property for the purpose of forcing them to do labor. People who are denied freedom in this way are called slaves and are said to be enslaved.
slave trade the business of capturing, transporting, and selling people as slaves
Social Darwinism the idea that people and societies compete for survival, with the fit becoming wealthy and successful while the weak struggle to survive
spiritual a religious folk song of African American origin
spoils system the practice of rewarding political supporters with government jobs
states’ rights All rights kept by the states under the Constitution. Supporters of states’ rights sometimes argued that states were not obliged to honor federal laws that they believed violated the Constitution.
strategy An overall plan (for example, for winning a war). Specific ways of carrying out a strategy are called tactics.
subsidy money or other things of value (such as land) that a government contributes to an enterprise
suffrage the right to vote
tariff a tax imposed by the government on goods imported from another country
tenement buildings crowded and usually run-down buildings with many small, cheap apartments
territory A region designated by Congress and organized under a governor. A territory may apply to become a state when it has a large enough population.
trade unions early labor organizations that brought together workers in the same trade, or job, to fight for better wages and working conditions
tradition a belief, custom, or way of doing something that has existed for a long time
traitor a person guilty of the crime of treason, or disloyalty to the government
transcendentalism a philosophy which taught that people should “transcend” (go beyond) logical thinking to reach true understanding with the help of emotion and intuition
transcontinental railroad a railroad that crosses a continent (trans means “across”)
trappers adventurers who capture and kill animals, such as beavers, for their fur
treaty a formal agreement between nations
trust a group of corporations that unite in order to reduce competition and control prices in a business or industry
tyranny The unjust use of government power. A ruler who uses power in this way is called a tyrant.
undocumented immigrants people living in the United States without official permission from the government
the Union The United States as one country, united under a single government. During the Civil War, “the Union” came to mean the government and armies of the North.
urbanization the growth of cities
veto To reject a proposed law or a bill. Only the president can veto bills.
visas government documents that allow people from other nations to enter the country for a limited period of time
warrant an order from a judge that authorizes police or other officials to take a certain action, such as searching someone’s property
well-born born to an upper-class (wealthy, respected) family
yellow journalism the practice of publishing sensational and often exaggerated news stories in order to attract readers
Abenaki people, 1
abolitionists, 246–247, 249, 294
and Congress, 289, 328–329
voices against slavery, 450–452
Act Concerning Religion, 44
Adams, Abigail, 156, 434
in Continental Congress, 80, 84, 434
as Patriot, 70, 73
as president, 155–156, 164–165, 166
presidential campaign (1800), 157, 436
as vice president, 134, 146
Adams, John Quincy, 172, 185
anti-slavery proposal, 289
election to president (1824), 179, 188
Fourth of July Address (1821), 437
Adams, Samuel, 68–69, 70, 73, 106
adobe, 11, 236
Barbary States, 166–167
migration from South to, 334
slave trade, 40, 45, 55, 84, 112
in the American Revolution, 90, 431
and black codes, 325
civil rights of, 326, 418, 421
in colonial society, 55
culture of, 279–282
education for, 246, 325, 332, 460
Fifteenth Amendment and, 328, 332
Fourteenth Amendment and, 326, 333, 421
free blacks in the North/South, 264, 265, 270–271
freedmen, 324–325, 326, 327, 328, 332
and Jim Crow laws, 181, 333, 394, 457–458
in the military, 90, 317, 403, 431
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 394
in public office, 329
support for the Republican Party, 328
in U.S. population, 111, 263, 269
voting rights, 325, 328, 328–329, 332, 421
See also slavery, slaves
African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), 271
agrarians, 256, 259, 386–387
effect of Industrial Revolution on, 259
Native American, 3, 13, 14
in the Southern economy, 256, 460–461
See also farming, homesteads
Aguinaldo, General Emilio, 404
AIDS, epidemic, 422
Alamo, Battle of the, 202–203
Alaska, purchased from Russia, 400
Algonquian languages, 13
Alien Act, 155
Allen, Ethan, 81
Allen, Richard, 271
ally/allies, 63, 94
to prevent ties in presidential election, 158
protecting individual rights, 127, 421
See also individual amendments
American Anti-Slavery Society, 328
American Expeditionary Force (AEF), 412
American Federation of Labor (AFL), 366
American Notes (Dickens), 448
American Red Cross, 309
American Revolution, 80
African Americans in, 90, 431
American strengths/weaknesses during, 88
battles of, 90–97, 98–99
British strengths/weaknesses during, 89