American history Discussion homework
01. What is the period between when a candidate or party loses an election and
when the successor takes office called?
02. What is an act passed by both houses of Congress with a simple majority
rather than the two-thirds majority in the Senate?
03. In the early republic, what was the group of congressmen that traditionally
chose the party’s presidential candidates, though by the 1820s, the
American public distrusted it as undemocratic since it represented only the
party currently in power?
04. What was claimed by Andrew Jackson and his supporters that was made in
the election of 1824 when Henry Clay allegedly sold his support during the
House vote in the disputed election of John Quincy Adams?
05. What doctrine argued that the Union was a voluntary compact between
sovereign states, and that states were the ultimate judges of the validity of
federal law, and as such, could break the compact if they wished?
06. What term refers to government jobs that were given out to the political
supporters of the winning party, regardless of ability or the act of awarding
them government contracts, often based on political favoritism rather than
07. What system operates by which the victorious political party rewards its
supporters with government jobs?
08. What term is used to describe the end of slavery?
09. What descriptive adjective referred to an informal group of advisers to
President Andrew Jackson?
10. What term referred to the act of abstaining from the partaking of alcoholic
11. What phrase referred to the belief that the United States was destined to
grow from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Arctic to the tropics?
Providence supposedly intended for Americans to have this area for a great
experiment in liberty.
12. What system permits all adult males to vote without regard to property,
religious, or race qualifications or limitations?
13. What term refers to metal money or coins, usually made of gold or silver?
14. What political party appeared in the 1820s and favored government action
to improve the nation and the lives of its citizens? It ran its last
presidential candidate in 1852.
15. What was employed in Congress from 1846-1844 to avoid debating the
thousands of anti-slavery petitions that were pouring in from abolitionist
16. What was founded in 1826 after the murder of a man who had published a
book about the Masonic Order’s secret rituals, becoming a single-issue
party aimed at destroying what seemed like the pervasive power of a
17. What was the Whigs’ euphonious campaign slogan in 1840, which referred
to William Henry Harrison’s victory over the Indians of the Old Northwest
almost 30 years previously and to their Vice-presidential candidate?
18. What was President Andrew Jackson’s 1836 directive to the Treasury
Department to accept only gold and silver coin in payment for federal
19. Which Massachusetts Whig politician (1782–1852) was usually
considered the greatest orator in an age of great orators? In a Senate
debate with Robert Hayne over the doctrine of nullification in 1830, he made
an eloquent plea for the Union against state sovereignty as the wellspring
of American liberty.
20. Who was one (1815–1902) of the founders of American feminism,
resenting the disabilities she suffered because of her gender from
girlhood? In 1840, on her wedding trip to Europe, she and several other
women were denied the right to sit on the floor of an antislavery convention.
From then on, while raising seven children, she devoted her life to winning
the vote and professional opportunities for women and reforming divorce
21. What was founded in 1817 to help free blacks emigrate to West Africa? It
hoped that by answering slave owners’ fears of a large free black
population in the United States, they would be encouraged to free their
22. What was the name given to an old, largely abandoned mission compound
in San Antonio, Texas. (It refers to “cottonwood tree.”) It became the
symbol of Texan independence when, in March 1836, Mexican president
Santa Anna defeated a handful of defenders there and executed the
23. In 1844 what politician of Tennessee was the Democratic Party’s nominee
when delegates who favored the annexation of Texas refused to accept
Martin Van Buren, the party’s most prominent leader?
24. What was a popular slogan in 1845, which referred to the northern
boundary of the Oregon Country (the southern boundary of Russian
Alaska)? If Great Britain did not yield the whole of Oregon,
the United States would go to war. President Polk used the patriotic
hysteria behind the slogan but had no intention of going to war with Britain
in an attempt to win the northern part of Oregon (now British Columbia),
where there was no American presence worth mentioning.
25. What appellation referred originally to a major party’s candidate for the
presidency who had not been considered a possible nominee, but who
was selected by the party when it was unable to agree on serious
26. What was the name given to a swath of land across western New York that
experienced one religious excitement after another in the 1820s, 1830s,
and 1840s? It was a hotbed of religious mania and experimentation.
Among the notable people who lived in the “district” were Charles
Grandison Finney, William Miller, the Fox sisters, and Joseph Smith.
27. From class lectures, what term was used to describe the invasion or
attempt to invade various Latin American areas to attempt to add them to
the slaveholding regions of the United States? The word originated from a
Spanish word meaning a freebooter or pirate.
28. What was the catchword applied to the aggressive defense of slavery that
was a response to the abolitionist movement during the 1830s? Most
white Southerners had considered slavery at best a necessary evil
saddled on the South by history and was beneficial for both whites and
29. What term by which white Southerners referred to slavery was a
euphemistic alternative to saying the word slavery, just as 18th-century
slave owners had called their slaves “servants” and 19th-century planters
often called their slaves “my people? ”However, it was also a pointed
reference to the fact that although slavery was not unique to the South by
the fourth decade of the century, it was almost unique, distinct and
particular to the American South.
30. What term refers to the period beginning in 1828 the Democratic-
Republicans, later the Democratic Party, cohered under the leadership of
Andrew Jackson and when the Whig Party in 1834 was organized in
opposition to the Democrats. This period system survived until the 1850s,
when the Whig Party fell apart and saw the emergence of a new Republican
31. Which free black carpenter and Methodist preacher (1767?–1822)
in Charleston organized an abortive slave rebellion in 1822? He had been
a seaman as a boy and intended for the rebel slaves to seize ships and
sail for Haiti. An informer betrayed the conspiracy, and the ringleaders
32. What was the most popular form of theater among working men of the
Northern cities, whereby White men in blackface portrayed African
Americans in song and dance?
33. What term and social group developed in the early 19th century, and mostly
included large-city and country merchants, master craftsmen who had
turned themselves into manufacturers, and the mass of market-oriented
farmers? The social status first developed in New England, and many of
such values prevalent in areas of the United States were based on New
34. What word refers to the act of having more than one wife?
35. What term was used by the Mormons to describe their “promised land”
where they could prosper and live without persecution?
36. What word refers to an attitude that favors the interest of native-born
Americans over immigrants?
37. What were established throughout the country during the mid-1800s by
religious groups seeking to escape from existing social organizations and
includes New Harmony and Oneida?
38. What school of thought emphasized the spirituality of the natural world and
viewed social institutions as stifling of the human spirit?
39. What is the nickname for members of the political organization of the 1850s
that favored temperance and opposed immigration?
40. What term referred to a farmer who works his own farm? Thomas Jefferson
considered them to be the most important group in the democratic republic.
41. What is the legislator’s term for a (usually unrelated) clause that is
attached to a bill already under consideration in Congress or in a state
42. What attachment to an army appropriations bill in 1846, at the beginning of
the war with Mexico, by a Pennsylvania congressman, providing that
“neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist” in any lands taken
43. What tactic was employed in Congress from 1846-1844 to avoid debating the
thousands of anti-slavery petitions that were pouring in from abolitionist
44. Which semitropical plant produces white, fluffy fibers that could be made into
textiles? Two main types were grown in the United States: Long-staple type
produced high-quality fiber and had a smooth seed that was easy to remove,
and the short-staple type was hardier, which could be produced throughout a
large part of the Deep South.
45. What was the derisive name for the American Party of the 1850s, an anti-
immigration and anti-Catholic movement that won control of several states
between 1852 and 1854, electing 43 members to Congress?
46. What term was used to describe people who opposed the expansion of
slavery into the territories? It came from the name of a small political party in
the election of 1848 and whose members wanted to exclude all Blacks from
47. What term refers to acting in good faith?
48. Which political third party contributed the presidential nominating convention
as an effort for more transparency and participation in the selection of
49. The formation of what political party was inspired by the Wilmot Proviso,
particularly after the House of Representatives approved it and attached
the Wilmot Proviso to 50 bills during and after the war? Each time, the
proviso was removed in the Senate mostly by the Southern senators.
50. What term was used to describe the invasion by freebooters or pirates or
attempt to invade various Latin American areas to attempt to add them to the
slaveholding regions of the United States?
51. What is the appellation attached to a group of young members of the
Democratic Party who were interested in territorial expansion in the 1840s?
52. What was the derisive sobriquet used by Democrats to signify the belief that
the Republican Party stood for racial equality? The Democrats used this fear
to convince many whites to remain loyal to them.
53. What term was used to describe pro-slavery Missourians who streamed into
Kansas in 1854, determined to vote as many times as necessary to install a
pro-slavery government there?
54. What was the belief that all work in a free society is honorable and that
manual labor is degraded when it is equated with slavery or bondage?
55. What is the intermittent act of abstaining from the partaking of alcoholic
56. What is the idea that government is subject to the will of the people? Applied
to the territories, this idea meant that the residents of a territory should
determine, through their legislatures, whether to allow slavery.
58. What was the 1857 US Supreme Court decision that ruled the Missouri
Compromise unconstitutional, thus denying the federal government the right
to exclude slavery in the territories and declaring that African Americans were
58. What was the enormously popular 1852 antislavery novel by Harriet Beecher
Stowe that helped to solidify Northern sentiment against slavery and to
confirm white Southerners’ sense that no sympathy remained for them in the
59. With key elements including the admission of California as a free state and
the Fugitive Slave Act, what were the laws meant to resolve the dispute over
the spread of slavery in the territories?
60. What was the antislavery party formed in 1854 following passage of the
Kansas-Nebraska Act, and whose members attempted to unite all those who
opposed the extension of slavery into any territory of the United States?
61. What was a law included in the Compromise of 1850 to help attract Southern
support for the legislative package, notably its strict provisions for capturing
runaway slaves provoked outrage in the North and intensified antislavery
sentiment in the region?
62. What was the first major battle of the Civil War, fought at a railroad junction in
northern Virginia on July 21, 1861, whereby the Union suffered a sobering
defeat, while the Confederates’ felt affirmed in their superiority and the
inevitability of Confederate nationhood?
63. First introduced by the Confederacy in 1862, what term used during the Civil
War referred to forcing men to serve in the military?
64. What was President Lincoln’s January 1, 1863, declaration that all slaves in
Confederate-controlled territory were free, making the Civil War a war to free
slaves, although its limitations—exemptions for loyal border states and
Union-occupied areas of the Confederacy—made some ridicule the act?
65. What term refers to the closing of a country’s harbors by enemy ships to
prevent trade and commerce, especially to prevent traffic in military supplies?
66. What term refers to metal money or coins, usually made of gold or silver?
67. What term refers to the act of a state withdrawing from the Union? South
Carolina was the first state to attempt to do this in 1860.
68. What term referred to paper money used by the Union to help finance the
Civil War, in essence a temporary legal tender?
69. What term was used by General Benjamin Butler in the James River area in
1861 to describe slaves who came within the Union lines?
70. What term was used by some Republicans to describe Peace Democrats,
impiyng that they were traitors to the Union? Peace Democrats thought that
the war was a failure and should be abandoned.
71. What perjorative was used to refer to a Northern man with Southern
principles or sympathies?
72. In accusing Abraham Lincoln of advocating this practice, what term was
purportedly invented by Democrats in the election of 1864 to refer to
interracial sexual relations?
73. What exists when government is ruled by military force rather than by
citizens, often used most often in emergency situations?
74. What battle is the bloodiest day in American history?
75. What was the Confederate diplomatic strategy built on the hope that
European nations starving for cotton would break the Union blockade and
recognize the Confederacy?
76. What cone-shaped lead bullet whose base expanded upon firing was used
during the Civil War?
77. What two (2) 1863 battles represented the turning points as Union victories in
the US Civil War?
78. What portion of the Confederate conscription law exempted from the draft
one white man on every plantation owning specific numbers of slaves? The
law’s purpose was to exempt overseers or owners which would ensure
discipline over the slaves and keep up production, but it was regarded as
discrimination by non-slaveholding families.
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79. Which eleven (11) men to 1865 became American Presidents without having
served as Vice President of the United States?
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