Us history Top 200ish – 1215 to 1870’s Definitions, Examples, & Meanings Study Guide for 2012 staar. Prepared by Fort Burrows 1

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(1832) Definition: States wanted to prevent Native American tribes from forming their independent governments within states. Georgia declared all Indians must obey states’ laws. Mississippi and Alabama followed suit. The Cherokees instead went to court for this and the case reached the Supreme Court. Named Worcester v. Georgia it said it was unconstitutional and Native Americans were protected under constitution.




(1819) Definition: Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the opinion for this landmark case defining the powers of a state over the federal government. Summary: The United States, at this time had a federal bank, the Bank of the United States. The State of Maryland voted to tax all bank business not done with state banks. This was meant to be a tax on people who lived in Maryland but who did business with banks in other states. However, the State of Maryland also sought to tax the federal bank. Andrew McCulloch, who worked in the Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States, refused to pay the tax. The State of Maryland sued, and the Supreme Court accepted the case. Writing for the Court, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the federal government did indeed have the right and power to set up a federal bank. Further, he wrote, a state did not have the power to tax the federal government. "The right to tax is the right to destroy," he wrote, and states should not have that power over the federal government.

133. Gibbons



(1824) Definition: One of the most important decisions of the early Supreme Court. Led by Chief Justice John Marshall, the Court said that the federal commerce clause, in effect, outranked a state law that had granted a monopoly to one group of people. Summary: The New York Legislature had passed a law giving a monopoly on steamship travel in New York state to a group of investors, including Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamship Clermont. Among the people who had permission to do business under this monopoly was Aaron Ogden. Thomas Gibbons, another steamship trader, wanted to use the New York waterways for his business, too. He had been given federal permission to do so. He was denied access to these waterways by the State of New York, which cited its law as enforcement. Gibbons sued Ogden, and the Supreme Court agreed to decide the case. The majority opinion, written by Marshall, said that the U.S. Constitution had a commerce clause that allowed the federal government to regulate commerce, in this case trade, wherever it might be, including within the borders of a state. Previously, it was thought that the federal government had power over only interstate commerce. But Marshall's opinion said that the commerce clause applied here, too. Thus, the Supreme Court extended the definition of interstate commerce and cemented the power of the federal government over the states when laws conflicted.

134. Marbury



(1803) Definition: First decision by the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional (1803). Summary: At the very end of his term, President John Adams had made many federal appointments, including William Marbury as justice of the peace in the District of Columbia. Thomas Jefferson, the new president, refused to recognize the appointment of Marbury. The normal practice of making such appointments was to deliver a "commission," or notice, of appointment. This was normally done by the Secretary of State. Jefferson's Secretary of State at the time was James Madison. At the direction of Jefferson, Madison refused to deliver Marbury's commission. Marbury sued Madison, and the Supreme Court took the case. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the Judiciary Act of 1789, which spelled out the practice of delivering such commissions for judges and justices of the peace, was unconstitutional because it then gave the Supreme Court authority that was denied it by Article III of the Constitution. Thus, the Supreme Court said, the Judiciary Act of 1789 was illegal and not to be followed. This was the first time the Supreme Court struck down a law because it was unconstitutional. It was the beginning of the practice of "judicial review."

135. Daniel


(1782-1852) Daniel Webster was a representative and senator from New Hampshire and then Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress. He served twice as secretary of state and negotiated the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842 which resolved a border dispute with Canada. He was noted for his speaking ability and his commitment to preserving the union of states. 

136. John C


(1782-1850) John C. Calhoun raised issues which highlighted sectional conflicts and presaged the coming of the Civil War. Born in South Carolina, Calhoun served as secretary of war, secretary of state, and as vice-president to two presidents, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He supported a system of national improvements to support growth and increase commerce and communication, but by the late 1820s he switched his opinion to favor states' rights. He was an eloquent spokesman for increasing the authority of states, and led opposition in South Carolina to the protective Tariff of 1828. During 1832, delegates to a state convention in South Carolina declared the tariff null and void in the state and threatened to secede from the union if federal representatives used force to collect duties. Jackson responded to the Nullification Crisis by sending reinforcements and speaking out against the right of any state to ignore a federal law. The crisis ended without incident and Calhoun preserved his status in state politics. He continued to represent South Carolina in the U.S. Senate until his death. In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the union.

137. Henry Clay

(1771-1852) Henry Clay was known as the "Great Compromiser" for his ability to smooth sectional conflict through balanced legislation. First a senator and then a representative to the U.S. Congress from Kentucky, Clay served as speaker of the house for the majority of his 13 years of service. He favored internal improvements and westward expansion. He sponsored the Missouri Compromise in 1820, admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving the United States for the moment. He also proposed measures which stilled the Nullification Crisis in 1832. He returned to the senate in 1831 as a Whig and served 11 more years. He died in office during his final term (1849-52). 

138. French &

Indian War

A war fought between Great Britain and New France, with both sides supported by military troops from Europe and Native American Indians and Colonist. They were fighting for power in Europe and North America. In 1754 there was more fighting and settlers called it the French and Indian War because it was them against France and its Native American Allies. France lost the war and as a result, lost its power forever, in America.

3rd Period Group 17 – c. Lalith – Miss Kitty – Kendra

139. Sectionalism:


Human Characteristics - Daniel Webster was the leader of the North. He was a very skilled public speaker from New Hampshire. The people in the North opposed the War of 1812 and did not want slavery.

Geographic Characteristics - The North was becoming much more industrialized.

Economic Characteristics - : The main industries in the North were textile mills and factories.

140. Sectionalism:


Human Characteristics - The leader in the South was John C. Calhoun, who was a handsome and energetic man from South Carolina. The South supported slavery as well as the War of 1812; they did not want a strong central government.

Geographic Characteristics - The south had a warm climate, forests, and good farmland.

Economic Characteristics - Agriculture (Farming) was the main industry in the south, because there were very few factories.

141. Sectionalism:


Human Characteristics - The leader of the West was Henry Clay. Clay was a man from Kentucky who was the leader of the War Hawks, although he charmed all the people around him. The West supported the War of 1812 and wanted to have an active role in the government.

Geographic Characteristics - The West was mostly unsettled territory.

Economic Characteristics - Supported international improvements like better transportation for the United States. 

Group 18 – c. Pooh – Ballard – UniKorn

142. Protective


passed by Congress on May 19, 1828, created to protect the industry in the northern part of the US, hurt the southern part of the US because they had to pay more for the good from Europe, which was not produced in America

143. Tariff of


When the government of the United States
put a large tariff to protect the factories (manufacturing) but hurt
the farmers in the Southern states

144. Missouri



Compromise between the slave and anti-slave states, prohibited slavery in the Louisiana Territory except for Missouri

145. Compromise

of 1850

intricate packet of five bills, passed in September, four year confederation between the slave states and the free states of the north that arose from expectation of territorial
expansion of the US with Texas's annexation

146. Wilmot


an unsuccessful congressional amendment in 1846that sought to ban slavery newly acquired from Mexico

147. Kansas



In 1854, a law was created to allow the potential ‘new’ states to have a popular vote to choose to have slavery or not in within their boundaries. The Act was to try to eliminate possible disputes between the Northern states which were anti-slavery and the Southern states which were pro-slavery.

148. Nullification


when the states thought they had enough power to veto bills prospered by the national government

149. Secede

When a territory, state, or country separates from central power to create its own political power.

150. Cession

Late 1800's and early 1900's, states separated from the federal government. Between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains, they wanted to create a peaceful union among the former British Colonies

Group 19 – c. M&M – Caleb – Young

151. State’s Rights

Political powers reserved to states inside of a country such as the U.S.

152. Emancipation


An executive order issued by Lincoln January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War ordering that all slaves in the Confederate States were FREE and slavery would be illegal in those states. This did not affect the neutral-border states.

153. Assassination

of Lincoln

His assassination took place on Good Friday, at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., and he was killed by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and a Southern sympathizer. In response to Lincoln’s stand on making slavery Illegal in ALL of America.

154. Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address

Lincoln’s first inaugural address focused on support of the north without further alienating the south.

155. Lincoln’s



Delivered on November 19, 1863, in it he highlighted the liberty and equality were the core components for the emancipation of America. He urged common men and politicians to pay tribute to unsung heroes.

156. Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address

Delivered in March 4, 1865, he defined the meaning of civil war and approached reconstruction.

157. Abraham


(1809-1865) Abraham Lincoln served as president of the United States during the Civil War. He managed to preserve the unity of the United States and took steps to abolish slavery, but was assassinated before he could implement post-war plans. He began his political career by serving four terms in the Illinois state legislature beginning in 1834. He served one term as representative from Illinois to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected the sixteenth President in 1860, re-elected in 1864, and assassinated in 1865. He helped build the Republican Party, which replaced the Whig Party in the 1850s, from obscurity to the party of choice by 1860. His Gettysburg Address, delivered in November 1863 at the dedication of the national cemetery at the Civil War battlefield, called for national unity despite obstacles. He began the process of freeing slaves in the Confederate states when he issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. His most lasting influence remains the Thirteenth Amendment, ratified in December 1865, months after his death. It banned slavery throughout the United States. His likeness is one of four presidents carved into the monument at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. Presidents' Day, a federal holiday, occurs on the third Monday in February, near his birthday, February 12. 

158. Jefferson


(1808-1889) President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis was educated at West Point and served on the frontier during the 1830s. He also volunteered in the Mexican War. He represented Mississippi in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate and was secretary of war from 1853 to 1857. He was appointed provisional president and then was elected president of the confederacy. He was demanding, did not tolerate disagreement, interfered in military matters, and did not select effective subordinates. Regardless, he managed to hold the confederacy together despite the lack of consensus among southerners. He supported the confederate cause after the war, writing a two-volume history, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. 

159. Stonewall


(1824-1863) Born in what is now the state of West Virginia, in the town of Clarksburg; Thomas Jonathan Jackson possessed a strong military background at the outbreak of the Civil War. His training in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, recognition as a hero in the Mexican War, and his experience as an instructor at the Virginia Military Institute justified Jackson's rank of brigadier general at the first major battle of the Civil War near Manassas, Virginia. Upon that field, General Bernard E. Bee proclaimed, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall," and a legend as well as a nickname was born.

160. Julia Ward


She was an American abolitionist, social activist, and a poet. She wrote a popular song called “John Browns Body”. It was then used as a battle hymn, for the Union troops during the Civil War.

Group 20 – c. Tommy – Jenny – Deek Deek

161. Ulysses



(1822-1885) The eighteenth president, Ulysses S. Grant gained notoriety as commander of the Union army during the Civil War. He graduated from West Point, served in the Mexican War, and then resigned from the military after serving in posts on the west coast. He was commissioned as a colonel at the start of the Civil War. By September 1861 he was promoted to general. After a series of victories, including the capture of Vicksburg, Lincoln gave him command of the Union army. He created an overall plan concentrated on Sherman's march through Georgia and his own assault on the Confederate army in Virginia. Grant accepted Lee's surrender in 1865, ending the war. His popularity after the war and the voters' disillusionment with professional politicians following the Andrew Johnson administration led Republicans to nominate Grant for the presidency in 1868. He wanted peace, not continued military reconstruction in the South, but he was unprepared to serve as president. He managed to maintain his personal integrity despite the scandals which racked his administration. 

162. William


(1842-1908) Sgt. William H. Carney was the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Sgt. Carney served with the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and took part in the July 18, 1863 assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina. He received his medal for saving the American flag and planting it on the parapet and holding it while the troops charged. He was wounded four times, but returned the flag to the lines, saying, "Boys, the old flag never touched the ground!"

163. Phillip


(?-Unknown-?) Seaman Philip Bazaar, born in Chile, South America, was a Navy seaman who was awarded the United States' highest military decoration for valor in combat - the Medal of Honor (1865)- for having distinguished himself during the battle for Fort Fisher of the American Civil War.

164. Robert



(1807-1870) Lee gained recognition for his military leadership during the Civil War. A soldier who graduated second in his class at West Point, Lee served in the Mexican War and worked as an engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers. When the South seceded, Lincoln offered Lee the command of Union forces but Lee refused, resigned from the U.S. Army, and returned to Virginia to serve with the Confederate forces. In 1862 Lee was appointed to command the Army of Northern Virginia. His battle strategies are admired to this day, but he was criticized for having a narrow strategy centered on his native Virginia. He surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865. Following the war he urged southerners to pledge allegiance to the north and rebuild the nation. He became president of William and Lee University in Virginia and died there. 

165. Fort Sumter

A union fort at which the Confederates started shooting at and started the Civil War

166. Antietam

Historic site in northwestern Maryland, scene of a major Civil War battle in 1862

167. Gettysburg

A historic borough in south central Pennsylvania, scene of a critical Civil War battle in July 1863; pop. 7,025

168. Appomattox

Court House

Historical place where General Robert E. Lee signed the surrender officially ending the Civil War, all on Palm Sunday

169. Lexington

Known as, “The Shot Heard Around The World”

Colonist were hiding ammunition/weapons, the British marched there to confiscate the weapons. About 70 minutemen poised to protect their town. An unknown person fired the first shot. Many were killed. Site of the first skirmish/battle of the American Revolutionary War.

Group 21 – c. Miss Taylor – Kimmy – Christian

170. Saratoga

The Battle of Saratoga was a major turning point in the American Revolution. This battle was in 1777. Saratoga ended the British threat to New England. This boasted the spirits of the Americans because it was a time of great defeat. Most importantly, this helped France be convinced to be our ally. This battle can never be forgotten because if we never had this battle then we would still probably be a part of England.
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