American history I: final exam review



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War of Texan Independence (1835-6)

  • The Texicans, angered over Mexico’s efforts to discourage further Americans from moving to Texas and over high tariffs placed on goods imported from U.S., demanded independence from Mexico in 1835

  • Sam Houston (1793 – 1863)

  • Led Texicans in fighting for independence from Mexico

  • 2 time President of the independent Republic of Texas, later U.S. Senator and Governor of the state of Texas after Texas joined the United States

  • City of Houston is named after him

  • Battle of the Alamo (Feb. 1836)

  • Around 200 Texicans held off 6000 trained Mexican soldiers for 13 days before being wiped out – Mexican President (and military commander) Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna ordered no prisoners be taken

  • “Remember the Alamo!” became the Texicans battle cry; rather than weaken their resolve, the slaughter at the Alamo made the Texicans even more determined to be independent

  • Battle of Goliad (March 1836)

  • Mexican forces overwhelmed a force of 342 Texicans

  • Santa Anna accepted the survivors surrender and then ordered them all executed

  • Once again, this strengthened, rather than weakened, Texican resolve

  • Battle of San Jacinto (April 1836)

  • Sam Houston’s forces defeated the Mexican army by surprise attacking them during siesta (a traditional afternoon rest period, typical in Latin cultures)

  • During the battle, Santa Anna was captured by the Texicans and forced to sign a treaty granting Texas independence in return for his freedom

  • The Republic of Texas also known as “The Lone Star Republic” (1836 – 1845)

  • Texans initially voted to join the U.S., but northern states blocked Texas’ admission to the Union out of concerns over adding more territory where slavery was allowed

  • The U.S. did recognize Texas as a nation separate from Mexico, one of the only countries to do so

  • Santa Anna refused to acknowledge Texan independence, claiming he had signed the treaty under threat

  • The Election of 1836

  • Jackson supported his Vice-President Martin Van Buren as his successor

  • Van Buren easily won the Democratic nomination at convention (This is the first time national party conventions were used to select candidates)

  • Whigs could not settle on a single candidate to run, leading to a split Whig vote; this allowed Van Buren to win the election

  • The Presidency of Martin Van Buren (Democrat, 1837 - 1841)

  • The Panic of 1837

  • Without the Bank of the U.S. to oversee state and private banks, these banks overextended themselves by loaning money too freely

  • By loaning more money than they had in deposits, many banks bankrupted themselves when people didn’t pay back loans

  • As banks closed, inflation soared, unemployment rose, and businesses closed; many people who had invested in banks lost everything

  • This financial crisis ruined Van Buren’s presidency

  • The Election of 1840

  • Whigs nominated war hero William Henry Harrison after Henry Clay and Daniel Webster each proved too divisive to win majority support within the party

  • Harrison easily defeated Van Buren

  • The Presidency of William Henry Harrison (Whig, 1841)

  • Nicknamed “Old Tippecanoe” from his fame as hero of the Northwest Indian War

  • Shortest tenure in U.S. history – president for only 32 days before dying from pneumonia

    • U.S. Cultural Movements of Early 1800s

    • Neoclassical architecture (Sometimes also called the “Federal” style)

    • A revival of Greek and Roman styles (“neo” means “new” in Greek)

    • The U.S. had modeled itself after the Roman Republic and the democratic ideals of ancient Greece, so it copied their architectural styles as well for its governmental buildings

      • Examples:

        • The White House

        • The U.S. Capitol Building

        • Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello

    • Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859)

    • French author of Democracy in America (1840)

    • Toured the U.S. for 2 years observing how democracy was creating a uniquely “American” culture

    • Determined America was a society where hard work and making money was what drove people, where commoners never deferred to their “betters”, and where individualism was admired

    • Noah Webster (1758 – 1843)

    • Published his first English-language dictionary in 1806

    • In 1826, published his “American” dictionary where he used new American spellings of English words and included thousands of distinctly American words

    • Romanticism

    • Early 19th century artistic and literary movement that promoted emotions over logic and reason, inner spirituality over secular rules, the individual over society, and the natural world over man-made environments

    • The Hudson River School

    • Group of American artists who focused on painting distinctly American landscapes – canyons, rivers, scenes of the wild, untamed frontiers (at first along the Hudson River, but later in the Rockies)

    • Style remained popular throughout the 1800s

    • Romantic Authors:

      • Washington Irving (1783 – 1859): The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip van Winkle

      • Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849): The Raven, The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Tell-Tale Heart

      • James Fenimore Cooper (1789 – 1851): The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

      • Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864): The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of Seven Gables (1851)

      • Herman Melville (1819 – 1891): Moby Dick (1851)

      • Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892): Poet, best known for his work Leaves of Grass

      • Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886): Poet

    • Transcendentalism

    • Literary and philosophical movement which emphasized individualism and self-reliance over religion

    • People need to “transcend” (overcome) the limits of their mind to embrace beauty and truth

    • Hated conformity and “followers”

    • Transcendentalists:

      • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882): Philosopher, lecturer, essayist, and poet

      • Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862): Author of Walden and Civil Disobedience

      • Margaret Fuller (1810 – 1850): Author Woman in the Nineteenth Century – first major feminist work published in US

    • Penny” Press

    • Mass produced daily newspapers which became affordable for common people

    • Focused on reports of fires, crime reports, marriages, gossip, politics, local news

      • Examples: Godey’s Lady’s Weekly, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Weekly

    • Religious Revivalism and Utopian Idealism

    • Second Great Awakening (1797 – 1859)

    • The Second Great Awakening began among frontier farmers of Kentucky

    • Spread quickly among Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians

    • Central ideas: Christians have a moral duty to improve the world in which they live; entrance to Heaven is gained through acts of faith

    • During the Awakening, traveling ministers would set up tents and preach, often for up to a week at a time

    • Singing, prayers, motivational sermons, and speaking in tongues were all designed to whip up the crowd into emotional protestations of faith

    • Charles G. Finney (1792 – 1875)

    • Revivalist Presbyterian minister

    • Allowed women to participate in public prayer (not a normal practice at the time)

    • Preached that everyone has the ability to gain salvation through repentance and good works that demonstrate faith in God

    • Planned and rehearsed his revival sermons

    • Lyman Beecher (1775 – 1863)

    • Revivalist Presbyterian minister

    • Father of author Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin)

    • Preached that citizens, not government, have to be responsible for building a better society

    • Strongly nativist (anti-immigrant) and anti-Catholic

    • Benevolent societies

    • Developed in larger towns and cities in response to the revivalism of the Second Great Awakening

    • Main goal was to spread Protestant Christianity, but soon began to focus on social issues such as alcoholism, prison reform, education reform, and slavery

    • Surprisingly, many of these societies were led by women

    • True Womanhood” (Also called “The Cult of Domesticity”)

    • Belief at the time was that a woman’s responsibility was to be a homemaker and a model of Christian piety and virtue to their children and husband

    • This implied that wives were their husbands’ social equals and their moral superiors

    • Women interpreted this to mean they had a responsibility to build a moral society in which to raise their families, so they assumed a role of social activism

    • Revivalism and abolition

    • Most revivalist ministers were staunch supporters of the abolitionist (anti-slavery) movement

    • They taught that slavery was sinful because it destroys the soul of the master and the body of the slave

    • New American Religious Groups

    • The Unitarian Church

    • Believe Jesus was not the Son of God, but was an important teacher – there was no Virgin Birth, no miracles, and no Resurrection

    • God is a unity (God is One), not a Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

    • The Universalist Church

    • Believe in Universal salvation – there is no Hell and God redeems everyone because He loves everyone (Omni-benevolence)

    • God would not create a person knowing that they were doomed to eternal damnation

    • The Mormon Church

    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    • Started in New York, but were the victims of harassment and persecution over their unique religious beliefs, including the addition of a third testament to the Bible (The Book of Mormon) and practice of polygamy (having multiple wives)

    • After leaving New York, the group eventually resettled in Illinois

    • Joseph Smith (1805 – 1844)

    • Founder of Mormonism and recorder of The Book of Mormon – which he claimed to have received from an angel – which describes how the Israelites arrived in America around 600 BC and were later visited by Jesus

    • Had numerous legal problems in Missouri and Illinois which eventually led to his arrest

    • Murdered by an anti-Mormon mob in 1844 while awaiting trial

    • Brigham Young (1801 – 1877)

    • President of the Mormon church from 1847 -1877

    • After Smith’s death, he led the Mormons west to the remote Utah Territory to escape persecution, founding Salt Lake City, which remains the unofficial “capital” of the Church today

    • Had 55 wives, but most were widows he married in order to become financially responsible for them and their children

    • Utopian Communities

    • Attempts to establish social equality by building communities where all work, responsibilities and rewards are shared equally by the citizens

    • New Harmony, Indiana

    • Town which was bought in 1824 by a utopian group with the intention of transforming it into a perfect socialist community

    • No private property, no money were allowed

    • The community failed and was dissolved in 1829

    • Oneida Community, NY

    • Founded by John Noyes in 1848 in Oneida, NY; lasted until 1881

    • All members of the community worked in a factory making silverware (Oneida Flatware)

    • Every man was married to every woman in the community (a practice called complex marriage)

    • Older women introduced young men to sex, while older men did the same for young women

    • Efforts were made to breed more perfect children by careful selection of breeding partners; children were then raised by the community rather than by specific parents

    • Community only reached a maximum size of about 300, but still managed to produce two men who would later assassinate US presidents!

    • Brook Farm Community

    • Founded in 1841, near west Roxbury, MA

    • Community of Transcendentalist philosophers

    • Citizens shared all labor, and used their free time for intellectual discussion

    • Community collapsed economically after being destroyed by fire in 1847

    • Shakers

    • The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing

    • Founded by Ann Lee (who Shakers believed to be the Second Appearing of Christ) in England; offshoot of the Quakers

    • No marriage allowed, lifelong celibacy required

    • Shakers would adopt orphans to keep communities alive

    • All work and living quarters were divided by sex, but the sexes were equals

    • Peaked in mid 1800s with about 6000 members, today only 3 known practitioners in the US

    • Reform Movements of the Early 19th Century

    • Educational reform

    • Public schools began to open, creating a more educated population

    • Teachers began to be specially trained and their salaries increased

    • School attendance became mandatory in most states, at least through elementary school

    • High schools began to become more common

    • Horace Mann (1796 – 1859)

    • President of the Massachusetts Senate, stepped down to head the new Massachusetts School Board for 12 years

    • Established the standard other states would follow for creating public school systems and teacher-training programs

    • Calvin Wiley (1819 – 1887)

    • North Carolina’s first school superintendent

    • Championed creating state standards for what should be taught in schools

    • More difficult to get children in school in the South because they were needed for farm work

    • Women’s Education

    • Schools for educating girls became more common

    • Emma Willard’s Troy Female Seminary in NY (1821)

    • Mary Lyon’s Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in MA (1837)

    • Elizabeth Blackwell: 1st woman to earn a medical degree in the U.S., built hospital for women and children staffed entirely by women

    • Prison reform

    • Before, inmates were not separated by offense type and prisons included the violent & mentally ill

    • Reformers pushed the idea of rehabilitation rather than punishment

    • States began to build modern prisons (penitentiaries) to house long-term prisoners

    • Mental health reform

    • Before, the mentally ill received no treatment and were housed in prisons with common criminals

    • The field of “mental health” didn’t exist yet, so they received little medical care and were often tortured

    • Dorothea Dix (1802 – 1887)

    • Former teacher who took up the plight of the mentally ill, pushing for the construction of mental hospitals

    • Traveled and wrote articles to expose the abuses suffered by the mentally ill

    • Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh was named after her in 1856

    • Abolitionist Movement

    • Abolitionism = the movement to end slavery

    • Championed primarily by Northerners and women who opposed slavery on moral grounds

    • Abolitionism took on several different forms

    • Gradualism

    • Earliest form of abolitionism called for the gradual freeing of the slaves – stop importing new slaves, then phase out slavery over time

    • Slave owners would be paid by the state for their lost property

    • South would have time to adjust its economy away from cash-crops

    • Repatriation

    • Groups like the American Colonization Society began calling for freeing the slaves and sending them back to Africa

    • Liberia was established in West Africa as a home for repatriated slaves from the U.S.

    • Too many slaves lived in the U.S. to be practical, too expensive to transport millions

    • Most slaves at this point had never seen Africa and didn’t want to live there

    • Abolitionist Leaders

    • David Walker (1785 – 1830)

    • Free African-American journalist who lived in Boston

    • Published pamphlet “Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World,” calling for a violent rebellion by slaves; it was banned throughout the South and a bounty was placed on his life

    • Died under mysterious circumstances – murder?

    • William Lloyd Garrison (1805 – 1879)

    • Editor of The Liberator – an abolitionist newspaper in Boston

    • Called for an immediate emancipation of the slaves rather than any kind of gradual end to slavery

    • Founded the American Antislavery Society in 1833 – by 1838 the AAS had over 250,000 members

    • Once burned a copy of the U.S. Constitution to protest its allowance of slavery

    • Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 – 1896)

    • Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a fictional novel which negatively depicted conditions under which slaves lived in the South

    • Made real to many Northerners how brutal the slave system could really be

    • Sarah & Angelina Grimké (Sarah: 1792 – 1873, Angelina: 1805 – 79)

    • Sisters who grew up on a plantation in South Carolina but later became staunch abolitionists

    • Working with their Northern-born husbands, they wrote and gave speeches on the realities of slavery, which they could report on first-hand

    • Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895)

    • Born a slave, but escaped at age 20

    • Became a speaker and writer – his autobiography was a bestseller

    • Convinced many whites that Africans were intelligent and capable of learning (many in the South had made claims that Africans could not learn)

    • Second wife was white, which cost him support from both whites and fellow African-Americans in his later years

    • Sojourner Truth (1797 – 1883)

    • Born a slave in NY, gained her freedom when NY emancipated all slaves in 1827

    • Became a famous abolitionist speaker and women’s rights activist following her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech in 1851

    • Opposition to Abolitionism

    • Obviously, most whites in the South opposed the abolition movement; even poor whites hoped to one day own slaves

    • Many in the North feared the divisiveness that the movement would cause between North and South; they would rather maintain the status quo and avoid conflict

    • Some in the North feared that freed slaves would all move North, flooding the job market and driving down wages

    • Others feared that if the South’s economy collapsed, it would send the entire nation into a massive economic depression

    • The Temperance Movement

    • Men who drank often neglected or abused their families

    • Bars and saloons were common in the U.S., as were high rates of alcoholism

    • In 1833, the American Temperance Union was created and rapidly gained support, especially from married women

    • In 1851 Maine became the first state to ban the sale of alcohol; by 1855, 12 other states had as well

    • Women’s Rights Movement

    • Women’s traditional roles in the North began to change as fewer families worked on farms

    • As women began to take on more social roles and become more active in reform movements, they began to demand more political rights for themselves

    • Lucretia Mott (1793 – 1880)

    • First American “feminist” to push for women to become more involved in political debate and to have the right to vote

    • Like many women, began her social activism with the abolitionist movement

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 – 1902)

    • Argued for women’s suffrage, the right to divorce, to own property, and to have access to birth control

    • Stanton also strongly supported the abolitionist and temperance movements

    • Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906)

    • Activist who traveled Europe and the U.S. giving 75 – 100 speeches each year for over 40 years

    • Anthony was arrested in 1872 for illegally casting a vote in the presidential election

    • First woman to appear on U.S. currency

    • Seneca Falls Conference (1848, Seneca Falls. NY)

    • Women’s Rights convention organized by Mott and Stanton

    • Issued the “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” which added “and women” to the Declaration of Independence’s “all men are created equal”

    • Began the open push for suffrage for women, but voting rights would not come until 1920

    • Industrialization Leads to Sectionalism

    • Sectionalism = when local needs are placed ahead of what’s best for the country

    • As the North became increasingly concerned with industrial growth, the South remained an agrarian, slave-based society

    • Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin

    • Developed in 1794

    • Machine separates cotton fibers from the sharp seeds, a job previously done by slaves

    • Made cotton farming more profitable because slaves could now all be used in the fields

    • Led to the Southern economy becoming almost completely dependent on cotton (a phenomenon historians call “The Cotton Kingdom”)

    • As cotton became more profitable, the demand for (and price of) slaves went up

    • Interchangeable parts

    • Eli Whitney also developed the idea of making mechanical products out of standardized parts

    • This has the advantage of allowing rapid mass production of high quality mechanical products; also, if a part broke, it could be replaced easily with another part just like it

    • Whitney first applied this technique to building muskets for the U.S. Army

    • Slater’s “Factory System” Arrives

    • In 1789, Samuel Slater, a British cotton mill manager, broke British laws to immigrate to U.S.

    • The British feared that their industrial technologies would spread to other countries and that foreign competition would endanger their economy

    • Slater saw the U.S. as a place of opportunity where he could make his fortune by building his own textile mills closer to the sources of American cotton

    • The Industrial Revolution had arrived in America
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