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  • "54-40 or Fight!" - Summary Border issue on North-West coast with US and Britain. - Importance Not actually a campaign slogan in 1844, but often misinterpreted as one. James Polk got elected that year on this ideal, but eventually ended up settling on the 49th parallel-- without fighting. This border is still used today.
  • "Burned-over district"

    - Summary A religious phenomenon that promoted social reform around New York.

    - Importance This region was famous for social radicalism, because of this, it shaped many peoples' belief such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton who was a resident of Seneca Falls, New York. This is where a prominent women's rights convention took place. Ultimately because religion was a big influence, it promoted to the reform movements of the period, such as abolition, women's rights, and utopian social experiments.

  • "Corrupt bargain"

    - Summary Political trick used by John Adams to be voted president.

    - Importance Casts a shadow over JQA's presidency. Jackson gets really mad, and stays mad. Must be mad lol.

  • "King Cotton"

    - Summary Phrase used to demonstrate importance of cotton to the South's economy

    - Importance Southern politicians believed that cotton's economic and political power would be able to control the US to avoid war or bring aid if American politics turned ugly.

    The South expected support during the Civil War from Britain, a major cotton importer, but Britain instead developed alternative sources of cotton within its empire. The South's dependence on cotton contributed to its economic weakness after the war.

  • Alexis de Tocqueville

    - Summary A French author who wrote about American social conditions, political ideas an religous observations.

    - Importance

    His books were influential and also he advocated for racial segregation such as the Indian removal act.
  • American System

    - Summary Economic plan to help expansion and economics.

    - Importance Important because this plan was to help the US expand especially westward, as well as depend less on foreign goods and more on internal products which thus pissed the South off and made the West/North happy.

  • Aroostook War

    - Summary Border dispute over Maine's northern territory.

    - Importance It resulted in an ‘official’ border between Maine and Canada and established the Webster-Ash Treaty.

  • Battle of San Jacinto

    - Summary Battle between Mexico and US over Texas.

    - Importance End of Texas Revolution. Led to Treaties of Velasco (Not the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which happened in 1848, 12 years later- which is a different war.) Lets Texas have independence and to be annexed into the US.

  • Compromise of 1850

    - Summary

    A series of bills made to help settle the fight between the North and South.

    - Importance
  • Dorothea Dix

    - Summary She was an American activist who spoke for the indigent insane. - Importance Important because she succeeded by creating the first generation of American mental asylums but hit a stone wall in 1854 when Franklin Pierce vetoed it arguing the federal government should not commit itself to social welfare and instead was the responsibility of the states.

  • Dorr’s Rebellion

    - Summary Armed protest in RI over voting rights.

    - Importance Voting was favoring farmers when the Industrial Revolution swept the North; large numbers of people who lived in the city could no longer vote, thus angering them (they did not own land) in RI. It was so bad that by 1829, 60% of the state's free white men were not allowed to vote. The Rebellion did result in the creation of a new state constitution which lessened the requirements to vote and even allowed any race to vote, all for a simple poll tax of $1.

  • Eli Whitney

    - Summary Creator of cotton gin - Importance Important because his invention obviously shaped the economy of the South and further provoked slavery expansion since blacks were used for cotton-picking.

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    - Summary Was a women’s right supporter who lead the early women’s movement.

    - Importance Her commitment to female suffrage caused a rift in the women’s right movement she created, because ironically she opposed giving legal protection and voting rights to African American men because black or white women were denied those rights. Another popular women's right activist.

  • Erie Canal

    - Summary Canal from NY to Great Lakes used for trade.

    - Importance Important because it cut down nearly 95%~ of transportation costs and greatly improved the economy. Provided manufactured goods to settle the Old Northwest, and crops could be shipped back East. Would eventually be succeeded by the railroad, but not for some time.

  • Force Bill

    - Summary A bill that extended executive power for enforcing tariffs.

    - Importance The importance of the Force Bill is that it is the first piece of legislation to publicly deny the right of secession to individual states. It was also important because it gave Jackson some serious political leverage such as being able to close ports or use armed force.

  • Forty-niners

    - Summary Nickname for prospectors during the Goldrush.

    - Importance Reinforced the idea of Manifest Destiny where America was destined to span from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

  • Francis Cabot Lowell

    - Summary American businessman, founder of mills at Lowell, MA

    - Importance He was a major player in the Industrial Revolution, and brought large factory-style mills to prominence (versus "cottage" mills)

  • Frederick Douglass

    - Summary Was a influential Black abolitionist, social reformer and statesman.

    - Importance The star player for the abolitionists during the antebellum and civil war era. He was also a standing example of proving the south wrong because they compared blacks as stupid and barbaric while Douglas was smarter than most white men.

  • Gadsden Purchase

    - Summary A small purchase made from Mexico to make a railroad to CA

    - Importance The US purchased this land for one reason: railroad. The money paid for it shows how important railroads were to the country in the 1850's. This was the last major territorial acquisition made by antebellum America.

  • Henry Clay

    - Summary American Whig statesman: "The Great Compromiser"

    - Importance He negotiated many politically divisive issues. Famous for the American System, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, and the Compromise of 1850

  • Horace Mann

    - Summary Was an American education reformer and activist.

    - Importance Important because he is likely why you are in school today, not only that but he also advocated to bring children of all ages together in a similar environment of interacting so it could create a common learning experience. This also grant the opportunity for women jobs, allowing females to take the job and experiance as a teacher.

  • Jacksonian Democracy

    - Summary A term used to describe political philosphy and series of ideas Andrew Jackson used.

    - Importance His political philosphy led the course of American ideas and change from 1820s to 1850s such as expansion, equal suffrage, and less government, more about the people.

  • John Jacob Astor

    - Summary Richest man of the 1800s

    - Importance He used a huge exploit with his trade by under-table price negotiation.

  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    - Summary A 1854 act to address slavery being allowed in Kansas and Nebraska.

    - Importance Important because it was a somewhat keen move by Stephen Douglas who was Senator at the time. Douglas did not care about slavery so he took the weight off his chest and let the settlers decide for themselves, hoping it would ease relations between the North and the South. This backfired and also led to the “Bleeding Kansas” and was a major cause of the civil war.

  • Know-Nothing Party

    - Summary United States Political Party during the 1840s and early 1850s.

    - Importance Opposition to Democratic Party, influenced early Republican Party. They shifted American politics during the 1850s and had a huge effect on the voting results especially up North.

  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    - Summary 7 debates in 1858, Abraham Lincoln vs. Stephen Douglas for Senate seat in Illinois.

    - Importance A good preview of the issues that dominate Lincoln's presidential career. Made Lincoln famous in the north and infamous in the South.

  • Martin van Buren

    - Summary 8th U.S. President, took office after Andrew Jackson.

    - Importance He was indecisive on issues related to slavery and made no contribution toward resolving that problem. He was also blamed for Panic of 1837 (economic crisis).

  • Nullification

    - Summary A term for a state calling a Fed. law invalid on their state.

    - Importance Crisis ensued over it involving South Carolina's Ordinance of Nullification, claiming the federal tariff void on their state.

  • Oneida Community

    - Summary Extremist religious group that was in NY and sprung from the Second Great Awakening.

    - Importance Another utopian community that sprung up- showed new ideals that were valued. It failed eventually.

  • Ostend Manifesto

    - Summary An American 'permission pass' plan to gain Cuba.

    - Importance Did not interest everybody, screwed up Pierce's presidency further.

    During Franklin Pierce’s administration, Southern expansionists wanted Cuba as a slave state but the Kansas-Nebraska act left the administration unsure how to judge the situation. The document was immediately denounced by the Northern states as well as Europe and would later result in Bleeding Kansas.

  • Peggy Eaton Affair

    - Summary Scandal in Georgia that caused economy problems for Jackson

    - Importance Andrew Jackson was a close friend of Mr. Eaton and he immediately didn’t like this; in fact it nearly made him "reorganize" his cabinet. Essentially it caused a huge rift in the administration; Andrew Jackson now sided with Martin Van Buren instead of John C. Calhoun (Whose wife was talking the smack) This new split of power defined the outcome of the Jackson administration later.

  • Samuel Slater

    - Summary Founding Father of US industry

    - Importance Important because he was, well, the Father of American Industry. He helped America create mills and factories.

  • Santa Anna

    - Summary Was a Mexican general and later Mexican president.

    - Importance Won at the Battle of the Alamo, was crushed at San Jacinto. Captured as prisoner and forced to sign Treaties of Velasco, giving Texas independence and to be annexed into the US.

  • Secession Crisis (1832)

    - Summary

    Nullification Crisis

    - Importance

    One of the causes leading up to the civil war. Emphasized the whole North vs the South ordeal.
  • Seneca Falls (1848)

    - Summary Womens right convention in in SF, NY - Importance

    It was seen as the single step in the continuing effort by women to gain for themselves a greater proportion of social, civil and moral rights and viewed by others as a revolutionary beginning to the struggle by women for complete equality with men. Essentially it is considered the birthplace / start of the major female reform movement.
  • Specie Circular (1836)

    - Summary Order that changed payment method for land.

    - Importance It is the said cause of inflation (where money becomes less worthy) and many also blame it for the Panic of 1837. (economic crisis)

  • Spoils system

    - Summary A practice where a political party or candidate, after winning an election, gives government jobs to its voters as a reward for them voting.

    - Importance
    This was a major change in the way the Executive branch was organized and a cornerstone of Jacksonian Democracy.

  • Spot Resolutions

    - Summary Lincoln questions Polk about location of deaths.

    - Importance Shows that politicians didn't necessarily like Polk's handling of the war--he pretty much started it on purpose

  • Tariff of Abominations

    - Summary A nickname by Southerns for the 1828 Tariff that was made to help protect US Industry.

    - Importance Important because the South viewed it as further hindering their economy and created more friction which helped fuel later events such as the Civil War.

  • Trail of Tears

    - Summary Indian relocation into the West (Oklahoma today)

    - Importance It was infamously known as a very disturbing treatment of Indians because many died during the trip; an estimated 1/3 of the Indians died during the relocation due to exposure, disease and starvation. They finally relocated into the Indian Territory, modern-day Oklahoma.

  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    - Summary A peace treaty and agreement between the US and Mexico after the Mexican-American War.

    - Importance It was another territorial gain and second near largest chunk of territorial addition to the US. It also established new borders and posed new problems for addressing, such as; if slavery should expand to the new states. Zachary Taylor, who was president at the time, opposed this idea since he was a free-soiler and believed slavery would not fit in a state such as California

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin

    - Summary Anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

    - Importance Considered by many historians to have laid the groundwork and motives of the North for the Civil War. It was a very emotional book and heavily changed opinions over slavery and helped develop the North’s further hate of slavery.

  • William Lloyd Garrison

    - Summary Very popular abolitionist

    - Importance Controversial and radical. Influenced a generation of reformers, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.

  • Wilmot Proviso

    - Summary Attempted bill to ban slavery in gained US territory from Mexico.

    - Importance Angered many; major cause of the Civil War. This plan suggested that slavery should not be allowed to exist in any of the territories that the U.S. could possibly gain from Mexico.  Although this plan passed twice in the House of Representatives in was never fully agreed upon in the Senate, therefore it never became effective.  All free states except one agreed with the conditions of the Wilmot Proviso. Later this "amendment" is seen as being the symbol of the slavery issue in the territories.

  • Worcester v. Georgia

    - Summary A US supreme case about Georgia and Indian lands. - Importance Important because John Marshall says laws of Georgia can have no force in Indian affairs claiming it a special 'problem', and deemed it unconstitutional. Georgia complies. It's also important because he follows up on his previous opinion from the Cherokee case.

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