U.S. History Flashcards Preview

Ω Knowledge Rehab Ω > U.S. History > Flashcards

Flashcards in U.S. History Deck (155)
Loading flashcards...

Who were the Puritans?

A sect of Protestants in 16th and 17th centuries

The Puritans sought to "purify" Christian religious practices, and constituted a threat to the Church of England. A subset of these Puritans, known as Separatists, wanted to leave the Church of England entirely.


What was the 1620-1640 Great Migration?

The Great Migration was the first large-scale influx of settlers to the New World.

Fleeing a civil war in England, Puritan "Pilgrims" under John Winthrop established numerous settlements in Massachusetts, including Boston. The influx of new settlers led to an expanded government for what was now the colony of Massachusetts.


Describe relations between the English settlers of the New World and Native Americans.

Initially, the English settlers and Indians coexisted peacefully. The Indians taught the English farming methods and introduced them to new crops, while the English traded tools and weapons with the Indians for furs.

However, as the English sought more land, they began to view the Indians as primitive. Many believed that God had destined them to take territory from the Indians.


Which 17th-century Native American princess befriended Captain John Smith of the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia?


She is said to have prevented Smith's execution by her father by throwing herself upon him, an anecdote that has since been romanticized. She later moved to England and briefly became something of a celebrity.


What was the first permanent English colony in the New World?

Jamestown, Virginia, established in 1607, was England's first permanent colony in the New World.

The Virginia Company, a joint-stock company, received a charter from King James I. A previous colony at Roanoke, founded in 1587, had mysteriously disappeared, but the Jamestown colony survived despite disease and poor planning.


What were the different types of colonies in the New World?

  • Royal colonies, which were governed directly by the King of England. New Hampshire and Virginia were royal colonies.
  • Corporate colonies, which were operated by joint-stock companies under a charter from the King of England. Jamestown was a corporate colony.
  • Proprietary colonies, which were privately administered by individuals who received a charter from the King. Maryland and Pennsylvania were proprietary colonies.


What was the first lawmaking body in the New World?

The Virginia House of Burgesses

The House was established 12 years after the founding of the Jamestown Colony to encourage colonization in Virginia.


What was indentured servitude?

Under indentured servitude, a person's passage to the New World was paid in advance and in exchange for several years of labor.

Colonists, primarily in Maryland and Virginia, used indentured servants to fill labor shortages. Most indentured servants died before obtaining freedom.


What was Bacon's Rebellion?

In 1676, after Virginia's governor, William Berkeley, failed to respond to Indian attacks on the frontier, impoverished farmer Nathaniel Bacon led a group of former indentured servants and blacks in an attack on Jamestown, burning it to the ground.

Bacon and his followers were aggrieved that political power in the colonial government was in the hands of a few wealthy landowners. The rebellion collapsed when Bacon died of dysentery.


How did slavery develop in Virginia?

Initially, few Africans were imported into Virginia, and by 1650 there were only 400 slaves in the colony.

Over the next few decades, however, Virginia landowners began growing rice and indigo in large quantities, which required large amounts of labor, and slavery increased.


How did the triangular trade system operate?

In the triangular trade system,


  1. Europe sends guns, rum, and other goods to Africa
  2. Africa sends the slaves to North America (this was known as the Middle Passage)
  3. North America sends sugar, tobacco, and cotton, harvested from the plantation slaves, to Europe.


Between 1700 and 1750, the population in the American colonies increased from 250,000 to 1,250,000. From where did most immigrants arrive?

Although many immigrants still came from England, a significant portion of the population was Scottish, German, or Scotch-Irish.

The black population also rose, and by 1750 numbered 200,000.


What was the French and Indian War?

The French and Indian War (1754-1763) was fought by the British against France and Indian tribes that were allied to the French. The war was fought mainly for control of the colonial frontier.

The Treaty of Paris (1763) resolved the war, and the English gained control of land east of the Mississippi River Valley, inbetween Canada and Florida.


What were Writs of Assistance?

In Colonial America, Writs of Assistance were general search warrants, designed to stop smuggling. They allowed British customs agents to search wherever they pleased, and without having to pay for any damages.

Many Americans felt that Writs of Assistance impinged upon their rights as British subjects.


What was the Stamp Act?

The Stamp Act, passed in 1765 by the British Parliament, required colonists to purchase a stamp for any official document and for newspapers.

The British enacted it to raise funds to pay off debts they had incurred as a result of the French and Indian War. Colonists were not opposed to the act, but were not pleased that it was passed without their input.


What was the Boston Massacre?

On March 5, 1770, a number of Bostonians harassed British troops with snowballs and taunts. The troops fired into the crowd, killing five Americans. The British troops were tried for murder; defended by (future president) John Adams, they were acquitted or given reduced sentences.


Why did the Boston Tea Party take place?

The Boston Tea Party took place to protest the British government's taxation on the colonies, notably the Tea Act. On December 16, 1773, Americans boarded English ships and threw tea cargo overboard into Boston Harbor. The British punished the colonies in 1774 by passing the Coercive (or Intolerable) Acts, which stated that:

  1. More British soldiers were to be housed in private homes
  2. Boston Harbor was closed until the colonists paid for the tea
  3. The power of Massachusetts' colonial assembly was reduced
  4. British colonial officials would be tried in Britain instead of America


Who were the Minutemen?

The Minutemen was a nickname given to a particularly well-prepared subset of the colonial militia, who were trained to respond at a moment's notice to (war) threats.


What is the significance of Paul Revere's famous ride?

After the British Army was detected moving out of Boston on April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and two other riders, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott, rode through the Massachusetts countryside warning that "the British are coming."

A small force of Minutemen assembled at Lexington to oppose the British advance. The next day's battles marked the first of the Revolutionary War.


What were the first two major battles of the Revolutionary War (1775-83)?

The Battles of Lexington and Concord

  • The Battle of Lexington was the first battle, in which eight Americans were killed and after which the British marched on to Concord.
  • The Battle of Concord was the second battle. The British arrived in Concord to find that the arms and ammunition they had stored there were already gone. They were ambushed by Americans on the way back to Boston.
  • These first two battles proved to be a morale boost for Americans, resulting in larger militias.


Who did the Second Continental Congress dispatch to take command of the American soldiers in 1775?

George Washington

As a Virginian, Washington's appointment signaled colonial unity. Washington was also one of the few colonial soldiers with extensive military experience.


In 1775, the Second Continental Congress sought to restore peace with Great Britain by sending the ___ ___ Petition.

Olive Branch

  • The olive branch was an ancient symbol of peace
  • The Olive Branch Petition was met with a declaration of war from the British
  • The majority of Americans now favored independence


Who won the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775?

The British were victorious, despite the loss of about 1,000 British soldiers. American soldiers withstood two British charges, and only retreated when they ran out of ammunition.


Who wrote Common Sense (1776), a pamphlet advocating for immediate independence from the British?

Thomas Paine

  • Paine's work sold hundreds of thousands of copies and persuaded many Americans to favor independence.
  • Paine later authored Rights of Man, in support of the French Revolution, and The Age of Reason, which supported deism and promoted reason.


What is natural law?

Natural law, presented by philosopher John Locke, states that merely by his existence, man is endowed with rights which cannot be taken or abridged by government.

Natural law was used as a justification for the American Revolution, and is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.


In June of 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution in the Second Continental Congress, calling for independence. Who was tasked with drafting the Declaration?

Thomas Jefferson led the team of five delegates whose task it was to write the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration set out colonists' justifications for separation from Great Britain.


Which 18th-century American politician was president of the Continental Congress and the first to sign the Declaration of Independence?

John Hancock

As a result, his name is now synonymous with a signature.


Which American Founding Father signed the Declaration of Independence and later became the second President of the United States?

John Adams


Which American Founding Father helped draft the Constitution, contributed to The Federalist Papers, and helped found the U.S. financial system as the first Secretary of the Treasury?

Alexander Hamilton

He was killed in a duel by Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804.


Which Founding Father was the main author of the Declaration of Independence and became the third President of the United States?

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson also oversaw the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark Expedition, and founded the University of Virginia.