US colonial history study guide summary



US colonial history study guide summary


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US colonial history study guide summary


A. Colonial History (1600 - 1763):


Separatist vs. non-Separatist Puritans – Radical Calvinists against the Church of England; Separatists (Pilgrims) argued for a break from the Church of England, led the Mayflower, and established the settlement at Plymouth.


Northwest Passage – believed to provide shortcut from Atlantic to Pacific, searched for by Giovanni de Verrazano for Francis I in the race to Asian wealth.


Conversion Experience – required of members of the Puritan Church; took the place of baptism required by the Catholic Church.


4. Social Reciprocity – society naturally punishes criminals indiscriminately.


Church of England – Protestant church led by the king of England, independent of Catholic Church; tended toward Catholicism during reign of Catholic royalty.


Atlantic slave trade – often debtors sold to slave traders by African kings seeking riches; Columbian Exchange.


Jamestown – first permanent English settlement in the Americas (1607), along James River .


John Smith – introduced work ethic to Jamestown colony, sanitation, diplomat to local Native American tribes; had fought Spanish and Turks.


Pocahontas – key to English-Native American relationship, died in England in 1617.


Mayflower Compact – foundation for self-government laid out by  the first Massachusetts settlers before arriving on land.


John Winthrop – Calvinist, devised concept of “city on a hill” (“A Model of Christian Charity”); founded highly successful towns in Massachusetts Bay.


“City on a Hill” – exemplary Christian community, rich to show charity, held to Calvinistic beliefs.


Indentured servants – settlers to pay the expenses of a servant’s voyage and be granted land for each person they brought over; headright system.


Maryland Act of Religious Toleration (1649) – mandated the toleration of all Christian denominations in Maryland, even though Maryland was founded for Catholics (but majority was protestant).


James I, Charles I – reluctant to give colonists their own government, preferred to appoint royal governors.


William Penn and the Quakers – settled in Pennsylvania, believed the “Inner Light” could speak through any person and ran religious services without ministers.


Roger Williams – challenged New Englanders to completely separate Church from State, as the State would corrupt the church.


Anne Hutchinson – challenged New England Calvinist ministers’ authority, as they taught the good works for salvation of Catholicism.


The Half-Way Covenant – New Englanders who did not wish to relate their conversion experiences could become half-way saints so that their children would be able to have the opportunity to be saints.


Bacon’s Rebellion – rebels felt the governor of Virginia failed to protect the frontier from the Native Americans Independence (1676).


Navigation Acts of 1712 – only English and American ships allowed to colonial ports; dissent began in 1763.


Mercantilism – ensured trade with mother country, nationalism; too restrictive on colonial economy, not voted on by colonists.


Charles II, James II – tried to rule as absolute monarchs without using Parliament, little to no sympathy for colonial legislatures.


William and Mary – ended the Dominion of New England, gave power back to colonies.


Dominion of New England – combined Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut,   Island, and Plymouth (and laterJersey and New York) into one “supercolony” governed by Sir Edmond Andros, a “supergovernor”.


The Glorious Revolution – William and Mary kicked James II out of England (exiled into France), allowed more power to the legislatures.


James Oglethorpe – established colony of Georgia as a place for honest debtors.


B. 1763 - 1788:


The Enlightenment – emphasis on human reason, logic, and science (acquired, not nascent, knowledge); increased followers of Christianity.


Benjamin Franklin – connected the colonies to Britain, opposed to unnecessary unfair taxation; strong influence on Albany Plan.


The Great Awakening – began by Edwards to return to Puritanism, increased overall religious involvement, gave women more active roles in religion, more and more ministers sprouted up throughout the country; mainly affected towns and cities:


      Deists – believed that God created the universe to act through natural laws; Franklin, Jefferson, Paine


      George Whitefield – powerful speaker, toured the country and inspired many into Christianity


      Jonathan Edwards – Puritan minister, led revivals, stressed immediate repentance


      New Lights vs. Old Lights – New Lights brought new ideas, rejected by Old Lights; both sought out institutions independent of each other


Albany Plan of Union – colonies proposed colonial confederation under lighter British rule (crown-appointed president, “Grand Council”); never took effect.


French and Indian War – French threat at the borders was no longer present, therefore the colonies didn’t need English protection; more independent stand against Britain.


Proclamation of 1763 – prohibited settlements west of Appalachian, restriction on colonial growth.


Salutary Neglect – Parliament took minor actions in the colonies, allowing them to experiment with and become accustomed to self- government, international trade agreements.


Writs of Assistance – search warrants on shipping to reduce smuggling; challenged by James Otis.


Townshend Act (1767) – similar to Navigation; raised money to pay colonial officials by American taxes; led to Boston boycott of English luxuries.


Sugar Act – increased tariff on sugar (and other imports), attempted to harder enforce existing tariffs.


Stamp Act– taxes on all legal documents to support British troops, not approved by colonists through their representatives.


Stamp Act Congress – held in New York, agreed to not import British goods until Stamp Act was repealed


Virginia Resolves – “no taxation without representation,” introduced by Patrick Henry


Currency Act – prohibited colonies from issuing paper money, destabilized colonial economy.


Virtual Representation – all English subjects are represented in Parliament, including those not allowed to vote.


The Loyal Nine – group of Bostonians in opposition to the Stamp Act, sought to drive stamp distributors from the city.


Sons of Liberty – organized and controlled resistance against Parliamentary acts in less violent ways (strength of martyrdom), advocated nonimportation.


Declaratory Act – allowed Parliament to completely legislate over the colonies, limited colonists’ say.


Boston Massacre – British soldiers shot into crowd of snowball fight; two of nine soldiers (defended by John Adams) found guilty of manslaughter.


Committees of Correspondence – committees appointed from different colonies to communicate on matters; asserted rights to self-government, cooperation between colonies.


Tea Act (1773) – intended to save British East India Company from bankruptcy, could sell directly to consumers rather than through wholesalers (lowered prices to compete with smuggled tea).


Boston Tea Party – peaceful destruction of British tea in Boston Harbor by colonists disguised as Indians.


Quebec Acts – former French subjects in Canada allowed to keep Catholicism, while American colonists expected to participate in the Church of England.

Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts) – in reaction to the Boston Tea Party; closing of Boston Harbor, revocation of Massachusetts charter (power to governor), murder in the name of royal authority would be tried in England or another colony.


Suffolk Resolves – organize militia, end trade with Britain, refuse to pay taxes to Britain.


Olive Branch Petition – politely demanded from the king a cease-fire in Boston, repeal of Coercive Acts, guarantee of American rights.


Thomas Paine, Common Sense – stressed to the American people British maltreatment and emphasize a need for revolution; appealed to American emotions.


George Washington – American commander-in-chief; first president, set precedents for future presidents, put down Whiskey Rebellion (enforced Whiskey Tax), managed first presidential cabinet, carefully used power of executive to avoid monarchial style rule.


Whigs (Patriots) – most numerous in New England, fought for independence.


Tories (Loyalists) – fought for return to colonial rule, usually conservative(educated and wealthy).


British strengths and weaknesses – British citizenship outnumbered colonies’, large navy and professional army; exhausted resources (Hessians hired), national debt.


    Colonial strengths and weaknesses – fair amount of troops, short guerilla tactics, strong leaders (Washington); nonprofessional army that could not handle long battles


Battle of Saratoga – American general Horatio Gates was victorious over British general Burgoyne.


Valley Forge – scarce supplies (food and clothing), army motivated by von Steuben.


Battle of Yorktown – last major battle; surrender of Cornwallis, led King George III to officially make peace with the colonies.


Treaty of Paris (1783) – full American independence, territory west of Appalachian ceded to America, loyalists to be compensated for seized property, fishing rights off of Newfoundland.


American society during the Revolution – British-occupied cities, new governments, fighting by any with experience, loaned money, African-Americans and Native Americans involved.


Articles of Confederation – states joined for foreign affairs, Congress reigned supreme (lacked executive and judicial), one vote per state, 2/3 vote for bills, unanimous for amendments; too much power to states, unable to regulate commerce or taxes.

Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom (1786) – foundation for First Amendment, offered free choice of religion, not influenced by state.


Northwest Ordinance of 1787 – defined process for territories to become states (population reached 60,000), forbade slavery in the new territories.


Alexander Hamilton – pushed for Assumption (federal government to assume state debts), pushed creation of the National Bank (most controversial), loose interpretation of Constitution, leader of Federalist Party.


James Madison – strong central government, separation of powers, “extended republic”.


Shays’s Rebellion – mistreated farmers, fear of mobocracy, forced people to think about central government.


Connecticut Compromise – advocated by Roger Sherman, proposed two independently-voting senators per state and representation in the House based on population.


            • Virginia Plan – bicameral congressional representation based on                         population


            • New Jersey Plan – equal representation in unicameral congress


            • Commerce Compromise – congress could tax imports but not exports


Federalism – strong central government provided by power divided between state and national governments, checks and balances, amendable constitution.


Changes in the Constitution from the Articles – stronger union of states, equal and population-based representation, simple majority vote (with presidential veto), regulation of foreign and interstate commerce, execution by president, power to enact taxes, federal courts, easier amendment process:


      Articles’ achievement – system for orderly settlement of West

      Elastic Clause (“necessary and proper”) – gives Congress the power to pass laws it deems necessary to enforce the Constitution.


Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists – Anti-Federalists wanted states’ rights, bill of rights, unanimous consent, reference to religion, more power to less-rich and common people; Federalists wanted strong central government, more power to experienced, separation of church and state, stated that national government would protect individual rights.


The Federalist Papers – written anonymously by Hamilton, Jay, and Madison; commentary on Constitution, republicanism extended over large territory.


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