Unit 4 - Key Terms
Adams-Onís Treaty (1819) — also known as the Florida Purchase Treaty and the Transcontinental Treaty; under its terms, the United States paid Spain $5 million for Florida, Spain recognized America’s claims to the Oregon Country, and the United States surrendered its claim to northern Mexico (Texas).
American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society — organization founded in 1840 and led by the Tappan brothers that opposed the radical ideas of William Lloyd Garrison, especially his attacks on the churches and the Constitution; it followed a more moderate approach and supported the political activities of the Liberty Party.
American Anti-Slavery Society — organization of reformers who embraced moral persuasion to end slavery; founded in 1833, it opposed gradual emancipation, rejected compensation to slaveholders, supported many types of reform, and welcomed women as full and active members.
American Colonization Society — organization founded in 1817 that advocated sending freed slaves to a colony in Africa; it established the colony of Liberia in 1827 and encouraged free African Americans to emigrate there as well.
American Society for the Promotion of Temperance — first national temperance organization, founded in 1826, which sent agents to preach total abstinence from alcohol; the society pressed individuals to sign pledges of sobriety and states to prohibit the use of alcohol.
Andrew Jackson — U.S. general who defeated the Native Americans at Horseshoe Bend and commanded the victory over the British at New Orleans; he became a national hero as a result of his record in the War of 1812 and later rode that fame to the presidency.
Battle of New Orleans — a major battle of the War of 1812 that actually took place after the war ended; American forces inflicted a massive defeat on the British, protected the city, and propelled Andrew Jackson to national prominence.
Brook Farm — utopian society established by transcendentalist George Ripley near Boston in 1841; members shared equally in farm work and leisure discussions of literature and art. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne and others became disenchanted with the experiment, and it collapsed after a fire in 1847.
Charles Finney — a leading evangelist of the Second Great Awakening; he preached that each person had capacity for spiritual rebirth and salvation, and that through individual effort one could be saved. His concept of “utility of benevolence” proposed the reformation of society as well as of individuals.
Chesapeake-Leopard Affair — incident in 1807 that brought on a war crisis when the British warship Leopard attacked the American warship Chesapeake; the British demanded to board the American ship to search for deserters from the Royal Navy. When the U.S. commander refused, the British attacked, killing or wounding 20 American sailors. Four alleged deserters were then removed from the Chesapeake and impressed. Many angry and humiliated Americans called for war.
Corrupt Bargain — agreement between presidential candidates Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams during the disputed election of 1824; Clay threw his support to Adams in the House of Representatives, which decided the election, and in return, Adams appointed Clay secretary of state. Andrew Jackson, who had a plurality (but not a majority) of the popular and electoral votes, believed he had been cheated out of the presidency.
Cult of domesticity — the belief that as the fairer sex, women occupied a unique and specific social position and that they were to provide religious and moral instruction in the home but avoid the rough world of politics and business in the larger sphere of society.
Daniel Webster — noted orator, constitutional lawyer, senator, secretary of state, and major spokesman for nationalism and the union in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s.
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) — case in which the Supreme Court prevented New Hampshire from changing Dartmouth’s charter to make it a public institution; the Court held that the contract clause of the Constitution extended to charters and that contracts could not be invalidated by state law. The case was one of a series of Court decisions that limited states’ power and promoted business interests.
Declaration of Sentiments — series of resolutions issued at the end of the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848; modeled after the Declaration of Independence, the list of grievances called for economic and social equality for women, along with a demand for the right to vote.
Democratic Party — the modern-day, major political party whose antecedents can be traced to the Democratic Republican Party of the 1790s and early 1800s; it was born after the disputed election of 1824, in which the candidates—all Democratic Republicans—divided on issues and by sections. Supporters of Andrew Jackson, outraged by the election’s outcome, organized around Jackson to prepare for the election of 1828. After that election, this organization became known as the Democratic Party.
Dorothea Dix — schoolteacher turned reformer; she was a pioneer for humane treatment of the mentally ill. She lobbied state legislatures to create separate hospitals for the insane and to remove them from the depravity of the penal system.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton — pioneer in the women’s movement; she organized the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 and fought for women’s suffrage throughout the 1800s.
Embargo Act (1807) — law passed by Congress stopping all U.S. exports until British and French interference with U.S. merchant ships stopped; the policy had little effect except to cause widespread economic hardship in America. It was repealed in 1809.
Exposition and Protest — document secretly written by Vice President John Calhoun in support of nullification; calling on compact theory, he argued the tariff of 1828 was unconstitutional and that South Carolina could lawfully refuse to collect it.
Frederick Douglass — former slave who became an effective abolitionist with an authenticity to his speeches unmatched by other antislavery voices; initially a follower of William Lloyd Garrison, he broke away and started his own abolitionist newspaper, The North Star. From the 1840s to his death in 1895, he was the leading black spokesman in America.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) — landmark case in which the Supreme Court struck down a New York law that granted a monopoly to certain steamboats operating between New York and New Jersey; the ruling expanded the powers the Constitution gave Congress to regulate interstate commerce. It was another of the cases during this period whereby the Supreme Court expanded federal power and limited states’ rights.
Henry Clay — a leading American statesman from 1810 to 1852; he served as a member of Congress, Speaker of the House, senator, and secretary of state and made three unsuccessful presidential bids. He was known as the Great Compromiser for his role in the compromises of 1820, 1833, and 1850.
“His Accidency“ — nickname given to John Tyler in 1841 by his opponents when he assumed the presidency upon the death of William Henry Harrison; the first vice president to succeed to the presidency, his nickname reflected his conflict with the Whig party leaders over rechartering the National Bank, raising the tariff, and supporting internal improvements at government expense.
Indian Removal Act (1830) — gave the president authority to negotiate treaties with southeastern tribes and to trade their land in the east for territory in the west; it also provided money for land transfer and relocation of the tribes.
James Birney — former slaveholder who at one time was a member of the American Colonization Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society, and the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society; in 1840 and 1844, he ran for president on the Liberty Party ticket.
John C. Calhoun — vice president under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson; he wrote Exposition and Protest and led the nullification fight in 1832 and 1833. As senator and vice president, he was the leading voice for southern states’ rights from 1828 to 1850.
John Marshall — Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1801–1835; arguably America’s most influential Chief Justice, he authored Court decisions that incorporated Hamilton’s Federalist ideas into the Constitution. He also established the principle of judicial review, which gave the Court equality with the other branches of government.
John Quincy Adams — son of President John Adams and secretary of state who helped purchase Florida and formulate the Monroe Doctrine and president who supported an activist government and economic nationalism; after Jackson defeated his bid for a second term in 1828, he continued to serve America as a member of Congress.
Lewis and Arthur Tappan — founders of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society; as successful businessmen, they funded many antislavery activities in the 1830s and 1840s. They also supported the Liberty Party in the 1840s.
Liberty Party — political party formed in 1840 that supported a program to end the slave trade and slavery in the territories and the District of Columbia; James Birney ran as the party candidate in 1840 and 1844. In 1848, it merged into the Free Soil Party.
Louisiana Purchase — an 828,000-square-mile region purchased from France in 1803 for $15 million; the acquisition doubled the size of the United States and gave it control of the Mississippi River and New Orleans. Jefferson uncharacteristically relied on implied powers in the Constitution (loose construction) for the authority to make the purchase.
Lucretia Mott — Quaker activist in both the abolitionist and women’s movements; with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she was a principal organizer of the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.
Marbury v. Madison (1803) — court case that established the principle of judicial review, which allowed the Supreme Court to determine if federal laws were constitutional. In this case, the Court struck down part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which the justices believed gave the Court power that exceeded the Constitution’s intent.
Market Revolution — the process that took place in nineteenth-century America in which an economy dominated by small farms and workshops was transformed into an economy in which farmers and manufacturers produced for a distant cash market; it was also characterized by the emergence of a permanent “working class.” These changes had significant consequences for American social institutions, religious practices, political ideology, and cultural patterns.
Martin Van Buren — senator, vice president, and president of the United States; the Panic of 1837 ruined his presidency, and he was voted out of office in 1840. He later supported the Free Soil Party.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) — Supreme Court case in which the Court established the supremacy of federal law over state law; in this case, the Court set aside a Maryland law that attempted to control the actions of the Baltimore branch of the Second National Bank by taxing it. By preventing Maryland from regulating the Bank, the ruling strengthened federal supremacy, weakened states’ rights, and promoted commercial interests.
Missouri Compromise (1820) — settlement of a dispute over the spread of slavery that was authored by Henry Clay; the agreement had three parts: (1) Missouri became the twelfth slave state; (2) to maintain the balance between free states and slave states in Congress, Maine became the twelfth free state; (3) the Louisiana territory was divided at 36° 30', with the northern part closed to slavery and the southern area allowing slavery. This compromise resolved the first real debate over the future of slavery to arise since the Constitution was ratified.
Monroe Doctrine (1823) — issued to counter a perceived threat from European powers to the newly-independent nations of Latin America; it proclaimed: (1) no new colonization in the western hemisphere; (2) existing colonies would not be interfered with; and (3) the United States would not interfere in European affairs. It became the cornerstone of U.S. Latin American policy for the next century.
Nullification — theory that the states created the Constitution as a compact among them and that they were the final judge of constitutionality of federal law; the doctrine held that states could refuse to obey or enforce federal laws with which they disagreed. The theory was first presented in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1798) and reappeared in Exposition and Protest (1828).
Panic of 1837 — a major depression that lasted from 1837 to 1844; crop failures, European financial troubles, and the Specie Circular all contributed to the crash, which helped ruin the presidency of Martin Van Buren.
Pet banks — financial institutions friendly to Andrew Jackson’s administration that received federal funds when he vetoed the Second National Bank’s recharter in 1832 and removed all government deposits from it.
Sarah and Angelina Grimke — Quaker sisters from South Carolina who came north and became active in the abolitionist movement; Angelina married Theodore Weld, a leading abolitionist, and Sarah wrote and lectured on a variety of reforms including women’s rights and abolition.
Second Bank of the United States — national bank organized in 1816; closely modeled after the first Bank of the United States, it held federal tax receipts and regulated the amount of money circulating in the economy. The Bank proved to be very unpopular among western land speculators and farmers, especially after the Panic of 1819.
Second Great Awakening — period of religious revivals between 1790 and 1840 that preached the sinfulness of man yet emphasized salvation through moral action; it sent a message to turn away from sin and provided philosophical underpinnings of the reforms of the 1830s.
Specie Circular (1836) — a federal government action to dampen inflation brought on by land speculation following the closure of the Second National Bank; Jackson issued an order requiring payment for public lands only in gold or silver. This action contracted credit, caused overextended banks to fail, and precipitated the Panic of 1837.
Spoils system — practice of appointing people to government positions as a reward for their loyalty and political support; Jackson was accused of abusing this power, yet he only removed about 20 percent of office holders during his tenure.
Susan B. Anthony — friend and partner of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the struggle for women’s rights; meeting in 1851, Anthony and Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association after the Civil War. The Nineteenth Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women in 1920, is sometimes called the “Anthony” amendment.
Tariff of Abominations — name given to a high tariff passed in 1828; after years of steadily rising duties, this tariff raised rates on certain goods to an all-time high, leading to the nullification crisis of 1832.
Trail of Tears (1838) — the removal of some 18,000 Cherokees, evicted from lands in southeastern United States and marched to Indian Territory (Oklahoma); nearly 25 percent of the people perished from disease and exhaustion during the trip.
Treaty of Ghent (1815) — agreement that ended the War of 1812 but was silent on the causes of the war; all captured territory was returned and unresolved issues such as ownership of the Great Lakes were left to future negotiation.
War Hawks — young Congressmen in the 12th Congress from the South and West who demanded war with Britain; led by Henry Clay and John Calhoun, they hoped to annex Canada, defend U.S. maritime rights, and end troubles with Native Americans in the Trans-Appalachian West.
Whigs — political party formed in 1832 in opposition to Andrew Jackson; led by Henry Clay, it opposed executive usurpation (a strong president) and advocated rechartering the National Bank, distributing western lands, raising the tariff, and funding internal improvements. It broke apart over the slavery issue in the early 1850s.
William Lloyd Garrison — most prominent abolitionist leader of the antebellum period; he published the antislavery newspaper The Liberator and founded the American Anti-Slavery Society.