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Columbus' first voyage
On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Spain to find an all-water route to Asia. On October 12, more than two months later, Columbus landed on an island in the Bahamas that he called San Salvador; the natives called it Guanahani.
Spanish Domination
1492-1588, the Spanish empire conquered and incorporated the Aztec and Inca empires, retaining indigenous elites loyal to the Spanish crown and converts to Christianity as intermediaries between their communities and royal government.
The first permanent English settlement in North America.
Mayflower Compact
1620 written agreement created by the Pilgrims upon their arrival in Plymouth. It was the first written constitution adopted in North America.
King Philip's War
1675 series of battles in New Hampshire between the colonists and the Wampanoags, led by Metacom, a chief also known as King Philip. The war was started when the Massachusetts government tried to assert court jurisdiction over the local Indians.
Bacon's Rebellion
1676 uprising in Virginia led by Nathaniel Bacon. Bacon and his followers, many of whom were former servants, were upset by the Virginia governor's unwillingness to send troops to intervene in conflicts between settlers and American Indians and by the lack of representation of western settlers in the House of Burgesses.
Pueblo Revolt
1680 uprising of Pueblo Indians against Spanish forces in New Mexico that led to the Spaniards' temporary retreat from the area. The uprising was sparked by mistreatment and the suppression of Pueblo culture and religion.
Salem Witch Trials
A series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts in 1692.
Seven Years' War
1754-1763 global conflict between European nations, primarily Britain and France, that began in North America in 1754, erupted in Europe in 1756, and ended in 1763. France ultimately ceded all of its North American territories to England and Spain, but the enormous cost of the war also damaged the British economy.
Proclamation of 1763
Act of Parliament that restricted colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Proclamation Line sparked protests from rich and poor colonists alike.
Stamp Act
1765 act of Parliament that imposed a duty on all transactions involving paper items. The Stamp Act prompted widespread, coordinated protests and was eventually repealed.
Boston Massacre
1770 clash between colonial protesters and British soldiers in Boston that led to the death of five colonists. The bloody conflict was used to promote the patriot cause.
Boston Tea Party
Rally against British tax policy organized by the Sons of Liberty on December 16, 1773, consisting of about fifty men disguised as American Indians who boarded British ships and dumped about forty-five tons of tea into the Boston Harbor.
Revolutionary War
1775-1783 insurrection by American Patriots in the 13 colonies to British rule, resulting in American independence.
Dec. of Independence
Document declaring the independence of the colonies from Great Britain. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson and then debated and revised by the Continental Congress, the Declaration was made public on July 4, 1776.
Treaty of Paris
1783 treaty that formally ended the American Revolution.
Shays Rebellion
1786 rebellion by western Massachusetts farmers caused primarily by economic hardships in the aftermath of the American Revolution.
Constitutional Convention
Meeting to draft the United States Constitution in Philadelphia from May to September of 1787. This document established the framework for a strong federal government with executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
Washington's Election
(1788) First presidential election under the Constitution where George Washington received 1 vote from each of the electors and was elected unanimously
Bill of Rights
(1791) The first ten amendments to the Constitution. These ten amendments helped reassure Americans who feared that the federal government established under the Constitution would infringe on the rights of individuals and states.
XYZ Affair
1798 incident in which French agents demanded bribes before meeting with American diplomatic representatives.
Alien & Sedition Acts
1798 security acts passed by the Federalist-controlled Congress. The Alien Act allowed the president to imprison or deport noncitizens; the Sedition Act placed significant restrictions on political speech.
Jefferson's Election
United States Presidential election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The election was a realigning election that ushered in a generation of Democratic-Republican Party rule and the eventual demise of the Federalist Party.
Market Revolution
Innovations in agriculture, industry, communication, and transportation in the early 1800s that fueled increased efficiency and productivity and linked northern industry with western farms and southern plantations.
Louisiana Purchase
U.S. government's 1803 purchase from France of the vast territory stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from New Orleans to present-day Montana, doubling the size of the nation.
War of 1812
1812-1815 war between the United States and Great Britain. The war was one consequence of ongoing conflict between Great Britain and France, as each nation sought to forcibly restrict the United States' trade with the other.
Era of Good Feelings
Years following the War of 1812 that had a rising spirit of nationalism. There was an expansion of the economy, growth of white settlement and trade in the west, and the creation of new states. Characterized by the lack of political battles between political parties.
Missouri Compromise
1820 act that allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state and Maine to enter as a free state and established the southern border of Missouri as the boundary between slave and free states throughout the Louisiana Territory.
Monroe Doctrine
Assertion by President James Monroe in 1823 that the Western Hemisphere was part of the U.S. sphere of influence. Although the United States lacked the power to back up this claim, it signaled an intention to challenge Europeans for authority in the Americas.
loyalty or support of a particular region or section of the nation, rather than the United States as a whole
Jackson's Election
Election of 1824 between Andrew Jackson and John Adams. The majority of his support came from the South, while Adams's support came from the North.
Indian Removal Act
1830 act, supported by President Andrew Jackson, by which American Indian peoples in the East were forced to exchange their lands for territory west of the Mississippi River.
Nat Turner's Rebellion
1831 slave uprising in Virginia led by Nat Turner. Turner's rebellion generated panic among white southerners, leading to tighter control of African Americans and white southerners, leading to the passage of stricter slave codes in southern states.
Nullification Crisis
the result of a conflict between the Jackson Administration and the state of South Carolina over the question of federal tariffs. The state of South Carolina refused to enforce the federal tariff of 1832, passing the Ordinance of Nullification.
Manifest Destiny
the belief that America had the "God-given" right to expand from sea to shining sea
Battle of the Alamo
Texas fort captured by General Santa Anna (Mexico) on March 6, 1836, from rebel defenders. Sensationalist accounts of the siege of the Alamo increased popular support in the United States for Texas independence.
Trail of Tears
The forced march of some 15,000 Cherokees from Georgia to areas west of the Mississippi River that were designated as Indian Territory, beginning in 1831. Inadequate planning, food, water, sanitation, and medicine led to the deaths of thousands of Cherokees.