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Land Ordinances of 1784 and 1785
Directed surveying of the Northwest Territory into townships of thirty-six sections each, the sale of the sixteenth section of which was to be used to finance public education.
Massachusetts farmer and a veteran of War for Independence, Daniel Shays and 1,200 compatriots, seeking debt relief through issuance of paper currency and lower taxes, attempted to prevent courts from seizing property from indebted farmers.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
Created the Northwest Territory (area north of the Ohio River and west of Pennsylvania), established conditions for self-government and statehood, included a Bill of Rights, and permanently prohibited slavery.
Consequences for the U.S. economy; The loss of British protection left American merchants open to attack by the Barbary pirates of North Africa, who effectively ended American trade in the Mediterranean region. Fishing & other industries took years to recover from the postwar economic crisis of the 1780's
Checks and Balances
Refers to the way the Constitution seeks to prevent any branch of the national government from dominating the other two. Authority within the government is diffused and balanced against itself, in order to prevent accumulation of power dangerous to liberty. Example: Congress enacts laws, but the president can veto them, and a two-thirds majority is required to pass legislation over his objection.
Seperation of Powers
Feature of the U.S. Constitution, sometimes called "check and balances," in which power is divided between executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the national government so that no one can dominate the other two and endanger citizens' liberties.
High Crimes and Misdemeanors
Any criminal offense by which a president can be impeached and removed from office by the Senate.
Debate over taxation that took place in 1783. Members of wereCongress trying to determine how to fairly assess each state's contribution to the national government. Representatives from slave states realized that counting slaves would significantly increase the assessment placed on their states. The delegates then agreed on the five to three ratio (every five slaves counted as three people- when taxing slave property) later enshrined in the Constitution.
Collection of eighty-five essays that appeared in the New York press in 1787-1788 in support of the Constitution; written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay and published under the pseudonym "Publius."
Opponents of the Constitution who saw it as a limitation on individual and states' rights; their demands led to the addition of a Bill of Rights to the document.
Bill of Rights
First ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1791 to guarantee individual rights against infringement by the federal government.
Historians envisioned the nation as a community open to all those devoted to its political institutions and social values.
Defines the nation as a community of descent based on a shared ethnic heritage, language, and culture.
Leader Little Turtle, of the Miami Confederacy, inflicted a humiliating defeat on American forces led by Arthur St. Clair, the American governor of the Northwest Territory. With 630 dead, this was the costliest loss ever suffered by the U.S. Army at the hands of Indians.
Battle of Fallen Timbers
In 1794, 3,000 American troops under Anthony Wayne defeated Little Turtle's forces at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. This led to the Treaty of Greenville, 1795.
Treaty of Greenville
Treaty in which twelve Indian tribes surrendered most of Ohio & Indiana to the federal government. The treaty also established the annuity system.
Yearly grants of federal money to Indian tribes that instutionalized continuing government influence in tribal affairs & gave outsiders considerable control over Indian life.
Act which assumed that former slaves would remain in the country, not be colonized abroad.
Letters from an American Farmer
Published in France, 1782 by Hector St. John Crevecoeur, strikingly illustrated the process of exclusion. In this book John popularized the idea of the U.S. as a melting pot "individuals of all nations are melted into one."
A term used by historians to describe the Naturalization Act, in which immigrants could become citizens, which was at first only open to "free white persons" from abroad.
Notes on the State of Virginia
Published in 1785, by Thomas Jefferson. In it he claimed that blacks lacked, partly due to natural incapacity and partly because the bitter experience of slavery had (quite understandably, he felt) rendered them disloyal to the nation. He voiced the idea of blacks being inferior to whites in the endowments of body and mind as a suspicion only. He went on to state that this was a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of black people.
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