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    Quick Prep Guide




    Important events in American History


    1607-- Jamestown founded-First permanent English settlement in the Americas


    1620Mayflower Compact-Helps establish idea of self government and majority rule


               Bacon’s rebellion-Earliest rebellion of colonists. Effects are that laws are passed by the

               House of Burgesses limiting power of the governor.


               1st Great Awakening. Religious revival in the colonies. Jonathan Edwards was a preacher


               Enlightenment. Time of reason and science and great thinkers. Benjamin Franklin was a

               Key figure in the American Enlightenment


               Boston Massacre. British Soldiers fire into an angry mob. Increases tension between

               Britain and its colonies


               Boston Tea Party. Organized by Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty as protest to the Tea

               Act. Dumped Tea into Boston Harbor. Parliament responds with Coercive(Intolerable) Acts


               Battles of Lexington and Concord. First battles of the American Revolution


    1776Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson. Signed by Second Continental  

                Congress. Colonists break away from Great Britain


    1783Treaty of Paris. Ends American Revolution


                Shay’s Rebellion. Makes the country realize a stronger national government is needed


    1788Constitution is ratified. Replaces the Articles of Confederation and gives more power to                                          

                The National Government


                Cotton Gin invented. By Eli Whitney. Makes cotton cheaper. Results in spread of slavery


                 Whisky Rebellion. Its quick suppression proves the Constitution gave the National

                 Government the necessary power to enforce laws


                 XYZ Affair. French demanded a bribe from Americans. Americans were angry


    1803Louisiana Purchase. Doubles the size of the country under Thomas Jefferson’s



                Lewis & Clark Expedition. Explores the Louisiana Territory


                War of 1812. Effects are that American Industry Increase, Native American threat

                 Decrease, and United States proves it can defend itself


                Monroe Doctrine. States that Europe should stay out of the Americas.


                Nullification Crisis. Triggered by South Carolina’s protest of tariffs. Suggested by

                John C Calhoun. Put down by Andrew Jackson


                2nd Great Awakening. Helps begin the Reform Movement Era


                Trail of Tears. Forced march of Cherokees to the west


                Manifest Destiny. Americans feel they should spread from coast to coast


                War with Mexico. Gives the United States much of the Southwest


                California gold rush. Many Americans settle on the west coast


                Dred Scott decision. Further increases tension between the North and South


    1861—Shots fired at Fort Sumter. Beginning of Civil War


    1865—Robert E Lee surrenders at Appomattox Court House. Ends Civil War



    Key People in American History


    Abigail Adams: wrote letters to her husband John Adams and thus the Continental Congress, providing advice and information


    Samuel Adams: Important leader in the American Revolution. Leader in the Sons of Liberty


    Susan B Anthony: Leader in the women’s rights movement


    James Armistead: a slave who worked as a double agent spy for the Patriots serving in General Lafayette’s army


    Benedict Arnold: Traitor in the American Revolution


    Harriet Beecher Stowe: wrote the famous book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which increased tension between Northern and Southern states


    William Blackstone: English Judge who wrote the work “Commentaries” which defined English law and would later influence the Declaration of Independence.


    John Brown: Militant abolitionist who led raid at Harpers Ferry


    William Carney: a soldier in the 54th, even won the Congressional Medal of Honor during Civil War


    John C Calhoun: created doctrine of Nullification


    Wentworth Cheswell- African American Patriot who was one of the signers of The Association Test which supported the Declaration of Independence


    Henry Clay: Politian known as “The Great Compromiser”


    Jefferson Davis: President of the Confederate States in the Civil War


    Frederick Douglass: Former slave and influential abolitionist


    Jonathan Edwards: Important preacher in the 1st Great Awakening


    Robert Fulton: Ran first commercial steamboat


    Benjamin Franklin: Key figure in American Enlightenment. Came up with the Albany Plan of Union. An important figure in the Revolution by convincing France to support the Colonists


    Bernardo Galvez: Governor of Spanish Louisiana who helped Americans in Revolution by giving food and supplies


    William Lloyd Garrison: Printer of the abolitionist newspaper “The Liberator”


    George III: British king during the American Revolution


    Alexander Hamilton: Leading Federalist. First Secretary of State. Believed in Free Enterprise. Supported

    A national debt.


    Patrick Henry: Important patriot of the Revolution. “Give me Liberty, or give me death!”


    Thomas Hooker: Puritan leader who founded Connecticut. Responsible for the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut”, one of the earliest constitutions in America


    Ann Hutchinson. Helped Roger Williams found Rhode Island for religious freedom


    Stonewall Jackson: Confederate general who shocked Union forces at the Battle of Bull Run early in the Civil war.


    John Paul Jones: Naval hero during the American Revolution


    Marquis de Lafayette: came from France to give aid to Washington’s army


    Robert E Lee: Commander of the Confederate Army in the Civil War


    John Locke: English philosopher during Enlightenment. Challenged “Divine Rights” Said everyone had natural rights: life liberty & property


    Horace Mann: Brought about early reforms in education


    John Marshall: Important and influential Chief Justice of the Supreme Court


    George Mason: Anti-Federalist opposed to the Constitution because he felt it did not protect the people from an abusive government


    Charles Montesquieu: French philosopher during the Enlightenment who came up with the idea of separation of powers in governments.


    Samuel Morse: Inventor of the Telegraph system and Morse Code


    William Penn: Quaker. Founder of Pennsylvania. Believed in representative government and allowed a constitution in Pennsylvania.


    Thomas Paine: Influential writer during the American Revolution. Wrote “Common Sense”


    Pocahontas: contributed to easing tensions between English Colonists and Powhaten tribe.


    Dred Scott: Slave who sued for his freedom.


    Haym Soloman: Jewish immigrant from eastern Europe  who joined up with the Sons of Liberty


    Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Leader of movement to give women the right to vote. Organized the Seneca Falls Convention


    Henry David Thoreau: Author and Transcendentalist. Believed in Civil Rights. Practiced Civil Disobedience when he refused to pay taxes in protest of the Mexican War


    Sojourner Truth: Important abolitionist and women’s rights activist


    Mercy Otis Warren: she helped for the committees of correspondence which was vital for spreading information throughout the colonies during the Revolution


    Eli Whitney: Inventor of the Cotton Gin


    John Peter Zenger: Journalist in colonial New York. His trial helped establish the idea of freedom of the press


    Presidents of the United States


    George Washington-no political affiliation: First U.S. President



    John Adams-federalist: Handled the XYZ Affair



    Thomas Jefferson-democratic republican(antifederalist): Louisiana Purchase



    James Madison-democratic republican: War of 1812



    James Monroe-democratic republican: Era of Good Feelings. Industrialization. Monroe Doctrine



    John Quincy Adams-democratic republican: Accused of Corrupt Bargain



    Andrew Jackson-democrat: Jackson Democracy. Bank wars. Indian Removal Act



    Martin Van Buren-democrat: Trail of Tears. Panic of 1837



    William Henry Harrison-Whig: First President to die in office





    Abraham Lincoln-Republican: President in Civil War. Issued Emancipation Proclamation











    Important Documents in American History


    Magna Carta (1215): English Agreement that guaranteed certain rights to all Englishmen. Influenced American’s Bill of Rights that protect individual rights


    Mayflower Compact (1620): Signed by the Pilgrims when they reached Plymouth. Establishes the idea of Self Government and Majority Rules


    Common Sense (1776): Influential Pamphlet written by Thomas Paine which urged Americans to declare independence.


    Declaration of Independence (1776): Written by Thomas Jefferson. Announced the separation of the thirteen colonies from British rule


    Articles of Confederation (1781-1789): First U.S. Government. It eventually failed due to weak National government


    Constitution (1787-present) Our blueprint of government. 7 articles and currently 27 amendments


    Bill of Rights (1791) First 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Guarantees individual rights


    13th Amendment outlawed slavery everywhere in the United States and no compensation was to be given to former slave owners


    14th Amendment passed by Congress to give citizenship to all persons born in the United States. Including newly freed former slaves.


    15th Amendment forbid any state to deny African Americans the right to vote


    George Washington’s Farwell Address (1796): He urged Americans to stay neutral in foreign affairs


    Monroe Doctrine (1823): Stated that Europe should not interfere in the western hemisphere and that the U.S. should not interfere in the affairs of Europe.


    Gettysburg Address (1863): Famous speech given by Abraham Lincoln. Said the Union and preservation of this nation was worth fighting for at any cost

















    Important Laws in American History


    Colonial Period


    Proclamation of 1763- Said that colonists could not move beyond the Appalachian mountains. Colonists became angry


    Stamp Act- Taxed all printed material in the colonies


    Coercive(Intolerable) Acts- laws passed to punish the colonies for the Boston Tea Party



    Laws Passed by Congress


    Northwest Ordinance- established guidelines and rules that a territory would follow in order to become a state


    Fugitive Slave Act- fugitive slaves in the North had to be returned back to the South


    Kansas-Nebraska Act- used popular sovereignty to decide the issue of slavery in the western territories


    Reconstruction Acts- imposed military control of the southern states until they complied with the 14th amendment and allowed former slaves the right to vote


    Homestead Act- accelerated the settlement of western territories after the Civil War.


    Morrill Act- resulted in many states building their first public colleges.


    Dawes Act- tried to help in the assimilation of Native American tribes into American society.




    Important Supreme Court Cases


    Marbury v. Madison: said that the Supreme Court had the right to review all laws made by Congress. Established the precedence of Judicial Review.


    McCulloch v. Maryland: said that a state could not tax a Federal institution. Increased power of Federal government


    Gibbons v. Ogden: said that only the Federal Government could regulate trade between the states.


    Dred Scott v. Sanford: said that African American slaves were not U.S. citizens. Increased Sectionalism.











    Important Terms in American History


    Albany Plan of Union- First formal plan to unite the colonies devised by Benjamin Franklin


    Bessemer Steel Process- process to take impurities out of steel making it stronger and allowing for mass production of steel


    Civil Disobedience- peacefully disobeying a law you feel is unjust. Supported by Henry David



    House of Burgesses- First elected assembly in North America. Influenced our House of Representatives


    Interchangeable Parts- machine made identical parts for products allowing for mass production


    Lowell Mills- provided jobs for women in the factories


    Mercantilism- exploitation of its colonies to make Britain wealthy. This economic practice was hated by colonists


    Pilgrims- came to Plymouth on Mayflower for religious freedom


    Primary Source- Source with firsthand account (diary, autobiography, photograph)


    Pull Factor- immigrants who arrive to seek opportunity (Dutch, Germans)


    Push Factor- immigrants who arrive due to disastrous conditions in their native countries (Irish)


    Puritans- Strict religious group that settled in Massachusetts. Strong work ethic


    Secondary Source- Source written after the fact. (encyclopedia, textbook)


    Sectionalism- loyalty to one’s state or region rather than to the country


    Tobacco- Early cash crop that saved Jamestown from failure


    Urbanization- movement of people into the cities















    Government And Constitutional Studies


    Three Branches of Government:


    Legislative: Congress- Makes the Laws


    Executive: President and the administration- Enforces the Laws


    Judicial: Supreme Court and court system-Interprets the Laws





    Individual Rights- Personal freedoms


    Limited Government- All must obey laws including government leaders


    Republicanism- electing leaders


    Popular Sovereignty- the people rule


    Separation of Powers- the three branches of government


    Federalism- power is shared between state and federal governments


    Checks & Balances- each branch watches over the other two



    Federalists: One of the first political parties. Came about in Constitutional Convention. Favored the Constitution and a strong federal government


    Anti-federalists: One of the first political parties. Came about in Constitutional Convention. Opposed the Constitution and wanted the states to retain their power. Later became known as the Democratic-Republicans


    Virginia Plan- devised at the Constitutional Convention. Favored by Larger states because representation would be determined by state population


    New Jersey Plan- devised at the Constitutional Convention. Favored by Smaller states because representation would be determined by an equal number regardless of state population


    Great Compromise- combined elements from New Jersey Plan and Virginia Plan.


    3/5th Compromise- settled dispute at Constitutional Convention as to how the slave population would be counted for representation










    Colonial Regions


    Upper Colonies (New England): Economy based on trade, ship building, lumber


    Middle Colonies: Economy based on grains and gristmills


    Lower Colonies: Economy based on cash crops


    Appalachian Mountains: Acted as a natural barrier






    American Acquisitions


    Treaty of Paris 1783- established the Boundaries of the United States from Atlantic Ocean to Mississippi River


    Louisiana Purchase- 1803 from France


    Florida- bought from Spain in the Adams-Onis treaty


    Texas- triggered the war with Mexico


    California and the Southwest (Mexican Cession)- obtained from Mexico after Mexican War


    Oregon Territory- acquired through negotiations with Great Britain


    Gadsden Purchase- bought from Mexico for completion of a railroad.

























    Bill of Rights:






    Grievances in the Declaration Of Independence:


    1. Taxation without representation


    1. king has absolute power



    1. Colonists not allowed to speak out against the king


    1. Quartering Act forced colonists to house British soldiers



    1. Colonists homes could be searched without any kind of warrant


    1. Colonists were not allowed a trial with a jury of their peers










    Answered in the Constitution


    1. All states are represented in Congress


    1. Congress has the power to override a presidential veto



    1. 1st amendment-Freedom of speech


    1. 3rd amendment-No quartering of troops



    1. 4th amendment-No unwarranted search or seizure


    1. 6th amendment-Speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.                                  

    7th amendment –Right to a trial by jury of peers.





    1st Amendment- Religious & political freedoms. Speech, press, protest government policies, etc.


    2nd Amendment- Right to bear arms.


    3rd Amendment- No quartering of troops in civilian homes.


    4th Amendment- Protection from unwarranted search & seizure.


    5th Amendment- Guarantees Due Process of Law. Protection from having to testify against yourself. Protection from Double Jeopardy.


    6th Amendment- Right to a speedy public trial and right to have attorney present in all matters


    7th Amendment- Right to have a Jury.


    8th Amendment- Limits of fines and any other cruel and unusual punishments.


    9th Amendment- Rights of all the people.


    10th Amendment- Any laws, procedures not delegated to the Federal Government, are left for the States to decide



    Civil War Amendments:


    13th Amendment outlawed slavery everywhere in the United States and no compensation was to be given to former slave owners


    14th Amendment passed by Congress to give citizenship to all persons born in the United States. Including newly freed former slaves.


    15th Amendment forbid any state to deny African Americans the right to vote




















    Other Important Events/Names/Issues


    • Manifest Destiny
    • Civil War Amendments-(13th, 14th, 15th)
    • Effects of Bacon’s Rebellion
    • Effects of the war of 1812-(Industrialization, increased patriotism, decreased native American resistance)
    • Immigration groups- Dutch, Scotch, Irish
    • Quakers
    • Founding of Georgia
    • Albany Plan of Union-Benjamin Franklin
    • Nullification Crisis
    • House of Burgesses
    • Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson and the founding of Rhode Island for religious freedom
    • Federalists v. Anti-Federalists (democratic republicans)
    • Mercantilism and colonial resentment of
    • Indirect taxes
    • Land Acquisitions of the U.S. through the years
    • Enlightenment
    • Importance of tobacco
    • Puritans-culture-great migration
    • Tea Act/Tea Party
    • Boston Massacre
    • 3 Colonial regions-map-differing economies
    • Shays Rebellion proving ineffectiveness of A.O.C.
    • Cotton gin, Eli Whitney, and its impact
    • Interchangeable parts
    • Lowell mills
    • XYZ affair
    • Northwest ordinance and Land Ordinances
    • Constitutional convention-Virginia plan-new jersey plan- 3/5 compromise
    • 1st amendment rights
    • Primary and secondary sources- difference
    • Alexander Hamilton-contributions. National Bank, Free Enterprise, etc
    • Horace Mann and educational reform
    • Civil disobedience
    • Natural Rights
    • Freedman’s Bureau