American History 100 Facts
Mr. Ken Brown
The Declaration of Independence was signed on
The Constitution of the
President Thomas Jefferson purchased
5. The Civil War was fought from 1861-1865.
Important Places and Events:
6. The opening shots of the American Revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts in April 1775.
Independence Hall in
8. The Battle of Saratoga was the turning point of the American Revolution.
The British defeat at
The first shots of the Civil War were
11. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War for the North. Confederate troops were forced to retreat and never invaded the North again.
The capture of
Appomattox Court House is the
small town in
14. Mercantilism is an economic theory that a country’s strength is measured by the amount of gold it has, that a country should sell more than it buys and that the colonies exist for the benefit of the Mother Country.
An abolitionist was a person who wanted to end slavery in the
16. A tariff is a tax on goods brought into a country.
17. A protective tariff is a tax placed on goods from another country to protect the home industry.
18. Sectionalism is a strong sense of loyalty to a state or section instead of to the whole country.
Manifest Destiny is the belief
20. The Temperance Movement was a campaign against the sale or drinking of alcohol.
21. Representative Government is a system of government in which voters elect representatives to make laws for them.
22. A Republic is a nation in which voters choose representatives to govern them.
23. The House of Burgesses was the first representative assembly in the new world.
24. The Three Branches of Government are the Legislative Branch, the Judicial Branch, and the Executive branch.
25. Checks and Balances is a system set up by the Constitution in which each branch of the federal government has the power to check, or control, the actions of the other branches.
26. Free Enterprise is the freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with minimal government regulation.
27. Federalism is the sharing of power between the states and the national government.
28. Separation of Powers is a system in which each branch of government has its own powers.
29. Popular Sovereignty is the political theory that government is subject to the will of the people. Before the Civil War, the idea that people living in a territory had the right to decide by voting if slavery would be allowed there.
30. Amend means to change.
31. Unalienable rights are rights that cannot be given up, taken away or transferred. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are some of those rights.
32. Tyranny is a cruel and unjust government.
33. A Democracy is a form of government that is run for and by the people, giving people the supreme power.
34. Ratify means to approve by vote.
35. Judicial Review is the right of the Supreme Court to judge laws passed by Congress and determines whether they are constitutional or not.
36. Civil Disobedience is the refusal to obey a government law or laws as a means of passive resistance because of one’s moral conviction or belief.
37. Federalists were supporters of the Constitution who favored a strong national government.
38. Antifederalists were people opposed to the Constitution, preferring more power be given to the state governments than to the national government.
39. Nullification is the idea of a state declaring a federal law illegal.
40. Primary Sources are the original records of an event. They include eyewitness reports, records created at the time of an event, speeches, and letters by people involved in the event, photographs and artifacts.
41. Secondary Sources are the later writings and interpretations of historians and writers. Often secondary sources, like textbooks and articles, provide summaries of information found in primary sources.
42. Republicanism was an attitude toward society in the late 1700s based on the belief that the good virtue and morality of the people was essential to sustain the republican form of government.
43. Industrial Revolution was the era in which a change from household industries to factory production using powered machinery took place.
Important Documents and Policies:
The Magna Carta, signed in 1215 by King John of
45. The English Bill of Rights protected the rights of English citizens and became the basis for the American Bill of Rights.
The Declaration of Independence was a document written by Thomas Jefferson, declaring the colonies
47. The Articles of Confederation was the first American constitution. It was a very weak document that limited the power of the Congress by giving states the final authority over all decisions.
The Constitution of the United
States sets out the laws and principles of the government
George Washington’s Farewell Address advised the
50. The Monroe Doctrine was a foreign policy statement delivered by President James Monroe stating that 1) the U.S. would not interfere in European affairs, and 2) that the western hemisphere was closed to colonization and/ or interference by European nations.
The Treaty of
The Treaty of
The Northwest Ordinance was a policy of establishing the principles and procedures for the
orderly expansion of the
The Mayflower Compact was the agreement signed in 1620 by the Pilgrims in
The Federalist Papers were a series of essays written by James Madison, John Jay, and
Alexander Hamilton, defending the Constitution and the principles on which the
government of the
Common Sense was a pamphlet
written by Thomas Paine to convince colonists that it was time to become
57. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution and detail the protection of individual liberties.
58. The Gettysburg Address was a short speech given by Abraham Lincoln to dedicate a cemetery for soldiers who died at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is considered to be a profound statement of American ideals.
Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation
Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address stated that, “no state…can lawfully get out of the
61. Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address was meant to help heal and restore the country after four years of Civil War.
62. The Great Compromise created two houses of Congress. One based on population, the other gave equal representation to each state.
63. Sam Adams was a member of the Sons of Liberty who started the Committee of Correspondence to stir public support for American independence.
64. Ben Franklin was an inventor, statesman, diplomat, signer of the Declaration of Independence and delegate to Constitutional Convention.
65. King George III was the King of England who disbanded the colonial legislatures, taxed the colonies, and refused the Olive Branch Petition leading to the final break with the colonies.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the
Declaration of Independence; became the 3rd President of the
67. Thomas Paine wrote pamphlets like Common Sense and The Crisis to encourage American independence and resolve.
George Washington was the leader of
the Continental Army who became the first President of the
Andrew Jackson was the leader of
the original Democratic Party and a “President of the people”. He was also responsible for the Trail of
Tears, which forced Native Americans west of the
John C. Calhoun was a
Henry Clay was a powerful
Daniel Webster was a
73. Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederacy during the Civil War.
74. Ulysses S. Grant was the General of the Union Army and was responsible for winning the Civil War for the North.
75. Robert E. Lee was the General of the Confederate Army.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th
President of the
Alexander Hamilton was a leader of
the Federalists, first Treasurer of the
78. Patrick Henry was a passionate patriot who became famous for his fiery speeches in favor of American independence. His most famous quote included the words, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
79. James Madison is considered to be the “Father of the Constitution”.
80. Frederick Douglass was a former slave who became the best-known black abolitionist in the country.
81. James Monroe was the author of the Monroe Doctrine, which shut down the western hemisphere to European expansion or interference.
82. Harriet Tubman was an escaped slave who became a Conductor on the Underground Railroad and helped over 300 slaves to freedom in the North.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized
the Seneca Falls Convention creating the Women’s Rights Movement in the
Amendments to the Constitution:
84. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law” restricting freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition.
85. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of states to organize militias, or armies, and the right of individuals to bear arms.
86. The Third Amendment forbids the government to order private citizens to allow soldiers to live in their homes.
87. The Fourth Amendment requires that warrants be issued if property is to be searched or seized (taken) by the government.
88. The Fifth Amendment protects an accused person from having to testify against him or herself (self-incrimination); bans double jeopardy, and guarantees that no person will suffer the loss of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
89. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury; the right to a lawyer; the right to cross examine witnesses; and the right to force witnesses at a trial to testify.
90. The Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in civil suits.
91. The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment and excessive bail or fines.
92. The Ninth Amendment states that the people have rights other than those specifically mentioned in the Constitution.
93. The Tenth Amendment states that powers not given to the federal government belong to the states.
94. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery.
The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizenship and rights to all people born or naturalized in
96. The Fifteenth Amendment guarantees the right to vote to all citizens regardless of race.
Supreme Court Cases:
97. Marbury v. Madison was the 1803 Court decision that gave the Supreme Court the right to determine whether a law violates the Constitution. It set up the principle of judicial review.
98. Dred Scott v. Sanford was the Supreme Court decision that said slaves were property and not citizens and that Congress had no right to ban slavery in the territories.
99. The Cotton Gin was an invention by Eli Whitney that speeded the cleaning of cotton fibers and in effect, increased the need for slaves.
100. The successful use of the steamboat by Robert Fulton revolutionized
transportation and trade in the United States.