history - chapter 9-12: vocabulary

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Paddle-wheelers that could travel both up and down the river in deep or shallow waters. They became commercially viable early in the 10th century and soon developed into America's first inland freight and passenger service network.
Erie Canal
Most important and profitable of the canals from 1820-30. Stretched from Buffalo to Albany NY connecting the Great Lakes to the East Coast and making New York the nation's largest port.
Cotton Kingdom
Cotton producing region relying on predominantly slave labor that spanned from North Carolina, West to Louisiana, and reached as far North as Southern Illinois.
cotton gin
Invented by Eli Whitney in 1763, the machine that spread cotton seed from cotton fiber, speeding cotton processing and making profitable cultivation handier but difficult to clean short-staple cotton led directly to the 19th-century expansion of slavery in the South.
Nickname of Cincinnati, coin of the mid-19th century, after its numerous slaughter houses.
American systems of manufactures
A system of production that relied on the mass production of interchangeable parts that could be rapidly assembled into standardized finished products was first perfected in Connecticut by clock master Eli Terry and by small arms producer Eli Whitney in the 1840s-50s.
mill girls
Women who worked at textile mills during the Industrial Revolution who enjoyed new freedoms and independence not seen before.
Anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic feelings that were especially prominent from the 1830s through the 1850s; the largest group of its proponents was New York's order of the Star-Spangled Banner which expanded into the American (know-nothing) party in 1854.
Dartmouth College v. Woodward
1819 US Supreme Court case in which the court upheld the original charter of the college against New Hampshire's attempt to alter the board of trustees set the precedent of support of contracts against state interference.
Gibbons v. Ogden
1824 US Supreme Court decision reinforcing the 'commerce clause of the constitution; Chief Justice John Marshall ruled against the state of New York's grating of steamboat monopolies.
Commonwealth v. Hunt
Landmark 1842 ruling of Massachusetts Supreme Court establishing the legality of labor unions.
Manifest destiny
Phrase first used in 1845 to urge annexation of Texas; used thereafter to encourage American settlement of European colonial and Indian lands in the Great Plains and West and most generally, as a justification for American Empire.
Philosophy of a small group of mid-19th century New-England writers and thinkers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margret Fuller; stressed personal and intellectual self-reliance.
Second Great Awakening
Religious revival movement of the early decades of the early century in reaction to the growth of secularism and rationalist religion; began the predominance of the Baptist and Methodist churches.
Term that entered language in the 1820s to describe the increasing emphasis on the pursuit of personal advancement and private fulfillment free of outside interference.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Religious sect founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith; was a product of the intense revivalism of the "burned-over district" of New York. Smith's successor, Brigham Young, led 15000 followers to Utah in 1847 to escape persecution.
cult of domesticity
The 19th-century ideology of "virtue" and "modesty" as the qualities that were essential to proper womanhood.
Family wage
Idea that male workers should earn a wage sufficient enough to enable them to support their entire family without their wives' having to work outside the house.
The Dorr War
A movement in Rhode Island against property qualifications for voting. The movement formed an extra-legal constitutional convention for the state and elected Thomas Dorr as a governor, but was quashed by federal troops dispatched by President John Tyler.
Democracy in America
Two works, published in 1835 and 1840 by the French thinker Alexis de Tocqueville on the subject of American democracy, and the importance and prevalence of equality in American life.
The right to vote
American System
Program of internal improvements and protective tariffs promoted by the speaker of the house, Henry Clay, in his presidency campaign of 1824; his proposals formed the core of Whig ideology in the 1830s and 1840s.
Tariff of 1816
First true protective tariff, intended to protect certain American goods against foreign campaign.
Panic of 1819
Financial collapse brought on by sharply falling cotton prices, declining demand for American exports, and reckless Western land speculation.
McCulloch v. Maryland
1819 US Supreme Court decision in which Chief Justice John Marshall, holding that Maryland could not tax the second Bank of the United States, supported the authority of the federal government versus the states.
Era of Good Feelings
Contemporary characterization of the administration of popular Republican president, James Monroe, 1817-1825.
Monroe Doctrine
President Jame Monroe's declaration to congress on December 2nd, 1823, that the American continents would be thenceforth closed to European colonization, and that the United States would not interfere in European affairs.
Spoils system
The term meaning the filling of federal government jobs with persons loyal to the party of the president originated in Andrew Jackson's first term.
Tariff of abominations
Tariff passed in 1828 by Parliament that taxed imported goods at a very high rate; aroused strong opposition in the South.
Exposition and Protest
Document written in 1828 by Vice President John C. Calhoun of South Carolina to protest the so-called "Tariff of Abominations" which seemed to favor the northern industry; introduced the concept of state impositions and became the basis of South Carolina's Nullification Doctrine of 1833.
Webster-Hayne debate
US Senate debate of January 1830 between Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Robert Hayne of South Carolina over nullification and States' rights.
Nullification crisis
The 1832 attempt by the State of South Carolina to nullify, or invalidate within its borders, the 1832 federal tariff law. President Jackson responded with the Force Act of 1833.
Force Act
1833 legislation; sparked by the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina, that authorized the president's use of the army to compel the stares to comply with federal law.
Indian Removal Act
1830 law signed by President Andrew Jackson that permitted the negotiation of treaties to obtain the Indians' land in exchange for their relocation to what would become Oklahoma.
Worcester v. Georgia
1832 Supreme Court Case that held that the Indian nations were distinct peoples who could not be dealt with by the states; instead, only the federal government could negotiate with them. President Jackson refused to enforce the ruling.
Trail of Tears
Cherokees' own term for their forced removal, 1838-1839 from the Southeast to Indian lands; of 15000 forced to March, 4000 died on the way to what is now known as Cincinnati.
Bank War
Political struggle in the early 1830s between President Jackson and financier Nicholas Biddle over the renewing of the second Banks Charter.
Soft money and hard money
In the 1830s, "soft money: referred to paper currency issued in banks while "hard money" was gold and silver, also called "specie."
Panic of 1837
The beginning of major economic depression, lasting about 6 years. Touched off by a British financial crisis, and made worse by falling cotton prices, credit and currency problems, and speculation in land, canals and railroads.

A "peculiar institution"

A phrase used by whites in the antebellum South to refer to slavery without using the word "slavery."

Second Middle Passage

A mass trade of slaves within the US to replace the original importation of slaves from Africa (halted in 1808) from the old slave states to newer slave states in the lower South from the 1820s to 1860s.

"Cotton is King"

Phrase from Senator James Henry Hammond's speech extolling the virtues of cotton and implicitly, the slave system of production that led to its bounty for the South. "King Cotton" became a shorthand for southern political and economic power.


An idea that justified slavery by identifying the owner as one who takes care of his property. Slaves were deprived of liberty for their own "good."

Proslavery Argument

The series of arguments defending the institution of slavery in the South as a positive good, not a necessary evil. The arguments included the racist belief that black people were inherently inferior to white people as well as the belief that slavery, in creating a permanent underclass of laborers, made freedom possible for whites. Other elements of the argument included biblical citations.

Fugitive Slaves

Runaway slaves who fled to the North, cities in the Lower South, or remote areas inhabited by Native Americans. Many were faced with immense difficulty and most were young men. This threatened the institution of slavery.

Underground Railroad

A loose organization of abolitionists who helped transport fugitive slaves to the North by moving them from "station" to "station."

Harriet Tubman

Former slave who was a key player in the underground railroad, risking her life to help slaves find freedom in the North.

The Amistad

The ship which was seized by slaves and was later captured by a US ship. Although President van Buren thought that the slaves should be returned to Cuba, most slaves made their way back to Africa supported by John Quincy Adams and abolitionists after they brought the case to the supreme court.

Denmark Vesey's Conspiracy

(1822) A failed slave uprising in Charleston, SC supposedly led by a free black who tried to find anti-slavery sentiment in the Bible and the DoI. It represented a mix of African and American influences.

Nat Turner's Rebellion

(1831) A slave rebellion in VA led by Nat Turner which killed 60 whites but was put down by the militia. It made VA and other slave states tighten their control on slavery, rather than getting rid of the institution.

utopian communities

Ideal communities that offered innovative social and economic relationships to those who were interested in achieving salvation.


Utopian community founded in 1848; the Perfectionist religious group practiced "complex marriage" under leader John Humphrey Noyes.

Brook Farm

Transcendentalist commune in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, populated from 1841 to 1847 principally by writers (Nathaniel Hawthorne, for one) and other intellectuals


Social reform movement of the nineteenth century driven by the belief that by establishing small communities based on common ownership of property, a less competitive and less individualistic society could be developed.

New Harmony

Community founded in Indiana by British industrialist Robert Owen in 1825; the short-lived New Harmony Community of Equality was one of the few nineteenth-century communal experiments not based on religious ideology.


The idea that social ills once considered incurable could in fact be eliminated, popularized by the religious revivalism of the nineteenth century.

temperence movement

A widespread reform movement, led by militant Christians, focused on reducing the use of alcoholic beverages.

common school

Tax-supported state schools of the early nineteenth century open to all children

American Colonization Society

Organized in 1816 to encourage colonization of free blacks to Africa; West African nation of Liberia founded in 1822 to serve as a homeland for them

American Anti-Slavery Society

Founded in 1833, the organization that sought an immediate end to slavery and the establishment of equality for black Americans. It split in 1840 after disputes about the role of women within the organization and other issues.

moral suasion

The abolitionist strategy that sought to end slavery by persuading both slave-owners and complicit northerners that the institution was evil.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 antislavery novel that popularized the abolitionist position

"gentlemen of property and standing"

Well-to-do merchants who often had commercial ties to the South and resisted abolitionism, occasionally inciting violence against its adherents.

gag rule

Rule adopted by House of Representatives in 1836 prohibiting consideration of abolitionist petitions; opposition, led by former president John Quincy Adams, succeeded in having it repealed in 1844

Dorthea Dix

An important figure in increasing the public's awareness of the plight of the mentally ill. After a two-year investigation of the treatment of the mentally ill in Massachusetts, she presented her findings and won the support of leading reformers. She eventually convinced twenty states to reform their treatment of the mentally ill.

Women's suffrage

Movement to give women the right to vote through a constitutional amendment, spearheaded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's National Woman Suffrage Association


Term that entered the lexicon in the early twentieth century to describe the movement for full equality for women, in political, social, and personal life.

Liberty Party

Abolitionist political party that nominated James G. Birney for president in 1840 and 1844; merged with the Free Soil Party in 1848.