French and Indian War
War in North America between France and Britain that lead to a huge British national debt
Proclamation Line of 1763
An order in which Britain prohibited its American colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains
Stamp Act
British tax on paper goods (ie. marriage licenses, birth certificates, playing cards, dice, documents, etc.)
Boston Massacre
(1770) British soldiers fired into a crowd of colonists who were teasing and taunting them, five colonists were killed
Crispus Attucks
Free African-American man who was the first person to be killed in the Revolution (during the Boston Massacre)
Sons of Liberty
A radical political organization for colonial independence which formed in 1765 after the passage of the Stamp Act. They incited riots and burned the customs houses where the stamped British paper was kept. After the repeal of the Stamp Act, many of the local chapters formed the Committees of Correspondence which continued to promote opposition to British policies towards the colonies. The Sons leaders included Samuel Adams and Paul Revere
Intolerable Acts
(1774) Passed by Parliament in reaction to the Boston Tea Party. Passed series of measures including shutting down Boston Harbor and the Quartering Act, which allowed British commanders to house soldiers in vacant private homes and other buildings. This resulted in the colonists forming the First Continental Congress and drawing up a declaration of colonial rights
Boston Tea Party
(1773) Protest against British taxes in which Boston colonists disguised as Mohawks dumped valuable tea into Boston Harbor
Battle of Lexington & Concord
First military conflicts of the war. At Lexington a shot suddenly rang out as minutemen were leaving the scene at Lexington. Fighting then occurred. The British won the brief fight. At Concord, the British had found no arms and left to go back to Boston. On the bridge back, they met 300 minutemen. The British were forced to retreat, and the Americans claimed victory.
Bunker Hill
(1775) The British only captured the hills after three charges when the Americans finally ran out of ammunition. Battle implied that Americans could fight the British if they had sufficient supplies.
John Locke
Enlightenment thinker from whom American leaders borrowed the ideas of natural rights
Common Sense
(1776) Pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that claimed the colonies had a right to be an independent nation
James Madison
Wrote the Federalist Papers, called the Father of the Constitution and was the 4th US president
Thomas Jefferson
Credited with writing the Declaration of Independence
Supporter of the British during the Revolution
Supporter of the newly independent American national during the Revolution
Battle in New York where the Continental Army defeated the British, proved to be the turning point of the war and gave France enough faith in the colonists to openly declare support for the colonies with military forces in addition to the supplies and money already being sent
Valley Forge
(1777-1778) Where Washington's army spent the winter. A 4th of troops died from disease and malnutriton but did not desert even though they were not being paid, showed the determination of the American army
Cornwallis was forced to surrender after being surrounded by the French navy and the American troops, ultimately an American victory in the Revolution
Battle of Trenton
Took Hessian mercenaries by surprise after crossing the Delaware River at night on Christmas, renewed hope for the Americans
Treaty of Paris
(1783) Peace agreement that officially ended the Revolutionary War and established Britian's formal recognition of the US as its own independent nation
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
Congressional procedure for dividing the new lands into territories; set requirements for admission of new states
Shay's Rebellion
(1786) Revolt by Massachusetts farmers seeking relief from debt and foreclosure that was a factor in the calling of the Constitutional Convention
Constitutional Convention
(1787) Meeting in Philadelphia that produced the US Constitution
Articles of Confederation
(1781-1788) First Constitution of the U.S., very weak, had no executive or judicial branch, and no power to tax or regulate trade
3/5 Compromise
A compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the population of slaves would be counted for enumeration purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives
Great Compromise
(1787) This compromise was between the large and small states of the colonies. The Great Compromise resolved that there would be representation by population in the House of Representatives, and equal representation would exist in the Senate. Each state, regardless of size, would have 2 senators. All tax bills and revenues would originate in the House. This compromise combined the needs of both large and small states and formed a fair and sensible resolution to their problems.
Bicameral Legislature
A law making body made of two houses-- The House of Representatives and The Senate
Supporters of the Constitution during ratification debates in state legislatures; wanted a strong central government
Citizens who opposed the adoption of the United States Constitution; were afraid of a strong central government
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution; a statement of fundamental rights and privileges of the American people that the government must protect
Judicial Review
Authority given the courts to review constitutionality of acts by the executive branch/state/legislature
Appellate Court
A court having jurisdiction to review cases and issues that were originally tried in lower courts
Approval by the states of an official document (ie. Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Amendments)
Electoral College
A group selected by the states to elect the president and the vice-president, in which each state's number of electors is equal to the number of its senators and representatives in Congress
Checks and Balances
Powers of the federal government are separated into 3 branches so no one branch can gain too much power over the others