U.S. History Midterm Study Guide

Circumnavigation
to sail completely around

Ferdinand Magellan
the first person to circumnavigate the world

Christopher Columbus
discovered the “New World”

Isabella and Ferdinand
the king and queen of Spain who funded Columbus

Aztecs
Indian tribe located in Mexico; were conquered by Hernando Cortés

Incas
Indian tribe located in South America, around Peru; were conquered by Franscisco Pizarro

Franscisco Pizarro
Spanish conquistador who conquered much of the Incan empire

Hernando Cortés
Spanish conquistador who conquered the Aztecs

Plantation
a large estate formed by many workers that mainly grew one thing

Father Marquette
traveled with Joilet to reach the Missisippi in 1673

Northwest Passage
a waterway through or around North America

Virginia Company
a company in London that received a charter from King James I that gave them the right to settle lands in the New World and gave the colonists that settled there the rights of English citizens

Established Church
the chosen religion

John Smith
saved the Jamestown colony by setting up stern rules that forced colonists to work if they wanted to eat

Walter Raleigh
raised money to outfit a colony in North America

House of Burgesses
an assembly of burgesses with the governor and his council that made laws the for Jamestown colony; marked the beginning of representative government in the English colonies

William Bradford
a Pilgrim who went to the Plymouth colony

Mayflower Compact
an agreement for ruling the Plymouth colony that was signed by the Pilgrims

Squanto
an Indian who helped the Pilgrims by giving them the seeds of native plants and by teaching the Pilgrims how to plant them

John Winthrop
the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony

Roger Williams
a Puritan minister in the town of Salem that believed in religious tolerance and the seperation of church and state

Puritans
a religious group that migrated to Massachusetts Bay during the 1630s and reformed the church by introducing simpler forms of worship

Indigo
a plant used to make a valuable blue dye

Thomas Hooker
led about 100 settlers out of Massachusetts Bay and built Hartford with them

Quakers
Protstant reformers who believe in equality of all people and no war or violence

Royal Colony
a colony under the direct control of the English crown

Proprietary Colony
when the king gives land to one or more people in return for a yearly payment

Lord Baltimore
founded the colony of Maryland and gave generous land grants to anyone who brought over servants, women, and children

Peter Minuit
led a group of Dutch settlers to the mouth of the Hudson River and bought Manhattan Island from the Indians

Peter Stuyvesant
the governor of New Netherland, who was very unpopular with the colonists, but restored law and order

New Netherland
founded by the Dutch, was taken over by the English and renamed New York

New Jersey
used to be part of New York, the Duke of York gave it two his two friends who made it into a colony

Navigation Acts
a series of laws passed by the English Parliment in the 1650s that regulated trade between England and it’s colonies

William Penn
a Quaker who founded the colony of Pennsylvania because they were being prosecuted in England

James Oglethrope
founded Georgia and wanted it to be a place where debtors could make a fresh start

Apprentice
a person who worked for a master to learn a trade or craft

French and Indian War
a war that pitted the English against France and their Indian allies

Gen. James Wolfe
captured the French city of Quebec, which ended the French and Indian War

Marquis de Montcalm
fought against the British on the Plains of Abraham to defend Quebec, but lost

Plains of Abraham
was where the British fought against the French to capture Quebec

Proclamation of 1763
a law forbiddding English colonists to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains

Treaty of Paris
was signed by Britain and France and ended French power in North America; was also a peace treaty between the United States and Britain that reconized the United States as an independent country

Gen. Edward Braddock
led British and colonial troops in an attack against Fort Duquesne but failed because he was stubborn and had little experience at fighting in the forests of North America

Intolerable Acts
four strict laws passed to punish the colonists for the Boston Tea Party

George Washington
fought in the French and Indian War, became a brilliant commander to the Continental Army in the Revolution, and was elected president of the Constitutional Convention; was later elected President of the United States

Olive Branch Petition
an American petition in which they declared loyalty to the king and asked him to repeal the Intolerable Acts; was rejected by King George III

Boston Tea Party
a protest in which colonists dressed as Indians dumped British tea into Boston Harbor

Stamp Act
placed new duties on legal documents and taxed newspapers, almanacs, playing cards, and dice

First Continental Congress
a meeting between 12 delagates in Philadelphia

Minutemen
colonists who were prepared to fight at a moment’s notice

Lexington and Concord
conflicts between Massachusetts colonists and British soldiers that started the Revolutionary War

King George III
the king of England during the time of the Revolutionary War

Green Mountain Boys
a group of Vermonters that Ethan Allen lead to attack Fort Ticonderoga

Patriot
a colonist who favored war against Britain

Loyalist
a colonist who remained loyal to Britain

Battle of Bunker Hill
the first major battle of the Revolutionary War

Mercenaries
troops for hire

Thomas Paine
a Patriot who wrote Common Sense, an essay that urged colonists to declare independence

Declaration of Independence
a 1776 document stating that the 13 colonies were a free and independent nation

Thomas Jefferson
a Patriot who wrote the Declaration of Independence

Battle of Long Island
a 1776 battle in New York in which more than 1400 Americans were killed, wounded, or captured

Nathan Hale
a Patriot who volunteered to go behind British lines to gather information, but was executed when he was caught

Battle of Trenton
was when the Americans suprised the Hessian troops and took most of them prisoner

Battle of Saratoga
was a major turning point in the Revolution, and it ended the British threat to New England

Marquis de Lafayette
a young French noble who brought trained soldiers to help the Patriot cause

Lord Cornwallis
led the British army but surrendered it after they lost the Battle of Yorktown

Benedict Arnold
a traitor to the Americans who captured and burned Virgunia’s capital, Richmond, and turned over the American fort, West Point, to the British

Valley Forge
a makeshift camp where Washington’s army stayed during the winter of 1777-1778

John Paul Jones
an American captain who captured the powerful British warship Sarapis

Comte de Rochambeau
helped Washington and his troops trap Cornwallis on the Yorktown peninsula

Battle of Yorktown
the final battle of the Revoutionary War that forced the British to surrender

Constitution
a document that sets out the laws, principles, organization, and processes of government

Bill of Rights
a list of freedoms that the government promises to protect; also the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Virginia Plan
called for a strong national government with 3 branches, the legislative, executvive, and the judicial; the legislative would have two houses and seats would be awarded by population

New Jersey Plan
called for three branches of government; but the legislative would only have one house and each state would only have one vote

3/5 Compromise
a compromise in which 3/5 of slaves would be counted as part of the population in Southern states

Great Compromise
Roger Sherman’s plan for the new government that combined the VA and NJ plans, and was approved on July 16,1787

George Mason
an Antifederalist who wrote the bill of rights for Virginia’s constitution in 1776 and was one of the strongest supporters for a bill of rights

Federalists
supporters of the Constitution

Antifederalists
people who opposed the Constitution

Amendments
additions to the Constitution that improved or changed it

House of Representatives
the larger of the two bodies that make up the legislative branch of the U.S. government; representation is based on population

Senate
the smaller of the two bodies that make up the legislative branch of the U.S. government; representation is based on equal representation

Supreme Court
highest court in the U.S. established by the Constitution

Veto
reject, as when the President rejects a law passed by Congress

Impeach
to bring charges of serious wrongdoing against a public official

Cabinet
group of officials who head government departments and advise the President

Seperation of Powers
was designed to keep any person or group from gaining too much power

Inauguration
ceremony in which the President officially takes the oath of office

Articles of Confederation
the first American Constitution, approved 1777, which created a loose alliance of 13 independent states

Northwest Ordinance
passed by Congress in 1787, set up a government for the Northwest Territory, guaranteed basic rights to settlers, and outlawed slavery there

Legislative Branch
would pass the laws

Executive Branch
would carry out the laws

Judicial Branch
a system of courts that would decide if laws were carried out fairly

1st Amendment
Freedoms of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition

2nd Amendment
Right to Bear Arms

3rd Amendment
Lodging Troops in Private Homes

4th Amendment
Search and Seizure

5th Amendment
Rights of the Accussed

6th Amendment
Right to Speddy Trial by Jury

7th Amendment
Jury Trial in Civil Cases

8th Amendment
Bail and Punishment

9th Amendment
Powers Reserved to the People

10th Amendment
Powers Reserved to the States

13th Amendment
Abolition of Slavery

14th Amendment
Rights of Citizens

15th Amendment
Voting Rights