Acts in US History

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  1. 1649 - Proposed by Cecilus Calvert (Lord Baltimore) to allow freedom of worship in Maryland.
    Act of Toleration
  2. 1662 - Loosened the requirements for entry into Puritan church in MA. Passed in response to drop in church attendance.
    Halfway covenant
  3. 1763 - Parliament passed it to restrict colonial settlement to land east of Appalachians. Passed in response to clashes w/ Indians.
    Proclamation of 1763
  4. 1765- Parliament required colonists to affix pieces of paper to a variety of printed material. Led to a namesake Congress to protest British taxes.
    Stamp Act
  5. 1767- Revenue-producing taxes leveled at Colonists to pay for British troops' occupation. Taxed lead, paint, glass, etc.
    Townshend Acts
  6. 1774- Four acts designed to punish Boston for the Tea Party. British refer to them as "Coercive."
    Intolerable Acts
  7. 1774- Not intended to be an intolerable act. Established Catholicism as the religion of a certain province, and expanded it into much of the Great Lakes region.
    Quebec Act
  8. 1785- Passed by Articles of Confederation congress ; established method for surveying and selling western lands. It divided the land into 6 mi2 townships and homesteads.
    Land Ordinance
  9. 1787- Also passed by Articles of Confederation Congress; established method by which new states could join Union.
    Northwest Ordinanace
  10. 1798- Series of acts inspired by Federalists out of fear of treason. Attempted to limit power of TJ's Dem-Rep. party
    Alien and Sedition acts
  11. 1807- Forbade US maritime trade with other nations. Designed by TJ to maintain neutrality during Napoleonic wars. Opposed by New England Federalists.
    Embargo Act
  12. 1809- Repealed the Embargo act with regards to everyone except Brit/France
    Non-Intercourse act
  13. 1820- Admitted the namesake state as a slave state and Maine as a free state. Set southern boundary of the former state at 36o 30' as the slave-free boundary. Ruled unconstitutional in Dred Scott.
    Missouri Compromise
  14. 1828- "Tariff of Abominations"; led to nullification crisis, the resignation of Calhoun as VP, etc
    Tariff of 1828
  15. 1830- Jackson's forcible removal of Five Civilized Tribes from the South via the Train of Tears. Direct response to Cherokee Nation v. GA and opposed by Worcester v. GA
    Indian Removal Act
  16. 1850- 5 laws intended to compromise on the issue of slavery in the lands acquired after Mex-Am war. CA=free, slave trade ended in DC, and North agreed to stricter Fugitive Slave Law.
    Compromise of 1850
  17. 1854- Provided for the admission of the two states w/ or w/o slavery. Essentially repealed MO compromise.
    Kansas-Nebraska act
  18. 1862- Provided for distribution of western lands to US citizens. Given 160 acres of free land in exchange for a pledge to improve it.
    Homestead Act
  19. 1864- Radical Reconstruction plan proposed by Republicans and vetoed by Lincoln. Called for 50% of southern citizens to retake an oath of allegiance, in challenge to Lincoln's lenient 10% plan
    Wade-Davis bill
  20. 1868- Prohibited the President from removing officials properly appt'd by senate. Johnson was impeached for violating it.
    Tenure of Office Act
  21. 1878- Required the Treasury to purchase limited amounts of silver for coinage. Congress later required to purchase $2million of silver. Repealed by Sherman Silver Purchase.
    Bland-Allison act
  22. 1882- Reversal of 1868 Burlingame treaty, forbidding immigrants from the namesake nation
    Chinese Exclusion act
  23. 1883- Provided for objective appointment of merit-based civil servants. Response to Guiteau's assassinating Garfield.
    Pendleton Act
  24. 1887- Created the Interstate COmmerce Commission and forced railroad charges to be fair. Response to the Grange and others' protests.
    Interstate Commerce Act
  25. 1890- Federal government could dissolve trusts. It was weak, and used to restrict power of unions. Strengthened by Clayton act.
    Sherman Antitrust Act
  26. 1890- Replaced Bland-Allison; required treasury to purchase 4.5 millon oz of silver/month
    Sherman SIlver Purchase Act
  27. 1900- Established government in Puerto Rico. Insular Cases declared that citizenship wasn't automatic in new territories.
    Foraker Act
  28. 1906- Forbade manufacture and sale of adulterated or mislabeled food or drug. Response to Sinclair's The Jungle.
    Pure Food and Drug Act
  29. 1906- Aimed to eliminate dangerous conditions in meatpacking industry. Response to The Jungle.
    Meat Inspection Act
  30. 1914- Strengthened Sherman Antitrust; more-specific. Called "Magna Carta of organized labor" by Gompers. Removed Sherman's restrictions on labor unions.
    Clayton Antitrust Act
  31. 1917- Provided penalties for people found guilty of aiding the enemy or refusing to fight. Led to Schenck v. US
    Espionage Act
  32. 1919- Provided for enforcement of 18th amendment (Prohibition)
    Volstead Act
  33. 1924- Provided payment of bonuses to all WWI vets. The Bonus Army marched in 1931 b/c they didn't get it.
    Adjusted Compensation Act
  34. 1930- Increased tariff rate on thousands of goods. Hoover thought it would alleviate the Depression, but many believe it made it worse.
    Hawley-Smoot Tariff
  35. 1932- Hoover's attempt to address the Depression by giving billions to banks and businesses. Didn't provide direct relief to the poor
    Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)
  36. 1932- "Anti-Injunction Act." Barred federal courts from issuing injunctions to halt labor disputes; banned yellow dog contracts.
    Norris-LaGuardia Act
  37. 1933- Created National Recovery Administration and the Public Works Administration. Later ruled unconstitutional in Schecter Poultry v. US
    National Industrtial Recovery Act
  38. 1933- Created the Federal Emergency Relief Administration to aid the states through Grants.
    Federal Emergency Relief Act
  39. 1933- Established the Agricultural Adjustment Administration which paid farmers to farm less land and thereby raise prices
    Agricultural Adjustment Act
  40. 1933- Created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee bank deposits
    Glass-Steagall Act
  41. 1935- Known as National Labor Relations Act; created National Labor Relations Board
    Wagner Act
  42. 1941- Allowed any country whose defense is deemed necessary to the US to buy weapons and supplies from us. Helped the UK during Battle of Britain and followed "Cash & Carry" and "Destroyers for Bases"
    Lend-Lease Act
  43. 1947- Passed over Truman's veto. Restricted Unions and banned the "closed shop." FOrbade union contributions to campaigns. Allowed the Federal Government to apply for injunctions.
    Taft-Hartley Act
  44. 1947- Combined all military departments into the Dept. of Defense, James Forrestal was first secretary.
    National Security Act
  45. 1964- Outlawed discrimination in employment based on race/religion/gender. Created Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
    Civil Rights Act
  46. 1965- Eliminated literacy and other tests to barr people from voting
    Voting Rights Act
  47. 1970- Mandated that employers protect employees from "recognized hazards."
    Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
  48. 1973- 60-day lmit on presedential commitment of troops w/o congress's approval. Passed over Nixon's veto; considered to be reaction to Gulf of Tonkin.
    War Powers Act
  49. 1985- Required Congress to balance the budget.
    Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act
  50. 2002- Regulates campaign financing. Targets "soft money" contributions and "issue ads" not financed by specific candidate/
    McCain-Feingold Act
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Acts in US History
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