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U.S. Important People


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Believed to be the earliest empire; 1200 B.C; what is now southern Mexico
A.D. 250-900; Built a dynamic culture in Guatemala and the Yucatán Peninsula
Inhabited the Valley of Mexico in the 1200s
The most prominent empire builders in South America; Empire stretched 2,500 miles along the mountainous western coast of South America around A.D 1200
Hohokam and Anasazi
Native American groups who introduced crops into the arid deserts of the Southwest
Adena, Hopewell, and Mississippian
Complex societies that developed east of the Mississippi River; Famous as "mound builders"
Kashaya Pomo
Native American group who flourished along the northern California coast
A Native American group who collected shellfish and hunted for whales, sea otters, and seals from Alaska to northern California
Native American descendents of the Hohokam and Anasazi; Built settlements near the Rio Grande, where they could irrigate their farms
Native Americans who resided in the woodlands east of the Mississippi River; Utilized the plethora of trees for woodworking
Prince Henry
"Henry the Navigator"; Portugese ruler who sent ships to explore the west coast of Africa
Christopher Columbus
Genoese sailor who planned an sailing across the ocean to find a sea route to east Asia, thus accidentally discovering the New World
"noble ones"; First inhabitants that Columbus first encountered; Columbus renamed their island San Salvador
Hernando Cortes
Spaniard who conquered much of the American mainland
"conquerors"; Exploreres lured by the prospect of lands filled with gold and silver; Conquered much of the New World
Of mixed Spanish and Native American descent
Juan Ponce de Leon
Discovered and named La Florida on Easter Sunday
Pueblo Religious leader; led a fairly successful rebellion against Spanish inhabitants
John Smith
Adventurous, thrill-seeking young man who sailed across the Atlantic with the Virginia Comany and helped begin the colonization of America
Residents close to Jamestown who aided the colonists by providing food
Nathaniel Bacon
Colonist who raised an army to fight Native Americans in 1676, against the will of Governor Sir William Berkeley
Church members who wanted to "purify" or reform the church of England
John Winthrop
First governor of the first Puritan society, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which he declared the "City Upon a Hill"
Pilgrims; Puritans who did not believe that reformation was possible, so they separated from the Church completely
Roger Williams
Extreme pilgrim who founded the colony of Providence, which guaranteed a separation of Church and State
Anne Hutchinson
Taught that individuals did not need the Church to interpret the Bible; she was banished for this teaching
AKA King Philip; Began the King Philip's War as a last-ditch effort to fight off invaders; defeated due to food shortages, disease, and heavy casualties
William Penn
Society of Friends, or Quaker, a radical sect of Protestantism; founded Pennsylvania
Held services without formal ministers, dressed plainly, refused to defer persons of rank, embraced pacifism; Harassed for their radical views
Sir Edmund Andros
Unfair leader sent by King James to govern New England
Benjamin Franklin
Figure in the Enlightenment who believed in obtaining truth through experimentation and reasoning
Jonathan Edwards
Member of the Massachusetts clergy who sought to revive the vision of the original Puritans
George Washington
Valiant soldier in the Revolutionary War; 1st President
William Pitt
Selected by King George II to govern and lead the British army against the French; Pittsburgh
Ottowa leader who fought the British
George Grenville
Chosen by King George III to be prime minister; Angered colonists with his unfair taxed (Sugar Act)
Samuel Adams
Political activist; On of the founders of the Sons of Liberty; Opposed the Stamp Act
Crispus Attucks
Valiant sailor who rebelled against British soldiers at the Boston Massacre
King George III
Passed the Intolerable Acts as a response to the Boston Tea Party
civilian soldiers
Thomas Jefferson
Writer of the Declaration of Independence (inspired by John Locke); Opposed Hamilton's National Bank; 3rd President
Supporters of independence
Opposed independence and remained loyal to the Crown
Fredrich von Steuben
Prussian army captain who trained Colonial soldiers
Marquis de Lafayette
Young French military leader who lobbied for French reinforcements and aided General Washington
Charles Cornwallis
British general who aided in the capture of Charles Town in South Carolina
Daniel Shays
Led a rebellion of farmers due to excessive taxation
James Madison
Leader from Virginia who called a meeting to discuss taxes on trade; 4th president
Roger Sherman
Leader from Connecticut; Proposed the Great Compromise- 2-houses of Congress
Alexander Hamilton
Secretary of Treasury; Proposed a National Bank (opposed by Jefferson)
President's chief advisers (originally secretary of state, of treasury, of war, and attorney general)
Supporters of Jefferson's vision of strong state governments
Edmond Genet
Young French diplomat who recruited Americans in a war effort against Great Britain
Thomas Pinckney
U.S. minister to Great Britain; Produced a treaty to prevent conflict with Spain
John Jay
Chief justice of the Supreme Court; Treaty with Britain concerning the land west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Lewis and Clark
Commissioned by President Jefferson on an expedition to explore the west (St. Louis to the Pacific Coast)
Aaron Burr
Jefferson's running-mate; Beat when Hamilton intervened in Jefferson's favor
John Marshall
Served as chief justice of the Supreme Court for 30 years
Native American woman who accompanied Lewish and Clark, serving as interpreter and guide
William Henry Harrison
Presidential candidate for the Whigs against Van Buren's reelection; Defeated Van Buren
Shawnee chief who believed that Native Americans should form a confederacy to protect their lands
Andrew Jackson
Gained national fame with a series of victories over Native American armies (ironically won his greated victory after the war had ended)
Eli Whitney
Innovative inventor of the cotton gin, and developed the idea of interchangeable parts
Henry Clay
Speaker of the House who promoted the American System
John Quincy Adams
Secretary of State who established a foreign policy based on nationalism, in which the nation's interests are placed before regional concerns
Daniel Webster
Massachusetts senator who preached for nationalism
John C. Calhoun
Webster's greatest opponent in the struggle between states' rights and federal authority
Martin Van Buren
Succeeded Jackson as president for teh Democrats
John Tyler
Harrison's vice president and successor; Included in the administration to pick up southern votes, but opposed many Whig beliefs ("His Accidency")
Charles Grandison Finney
Famous Christian convert who preached of his own salvation
Ralph Waldo Emerson
New England writer who practiced transcendentalism- a literary style that emphasized simple life and celebrated truth found in nature
Henry David Thoreau
Author who wrote about civil disobedience and self-reliance
Dorothea Dix
Joined the movement for social reform and improved conditions for mentally ill people
William Lloyd Garrison
Radical white abolitionist who started teh abolitionist paper The Liberator
David Walker
A free black who advised blacks to fight for freedom
Frederick Douglass
Born into slavery, but escaped after learning to read and write; Sponsored by Garrison as a speaker for abolition
Nat Turner
Preacher who led a slave uprising; After being captured, tried, and hanged, whites resolved to keep more control over slaves
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
One of the main women of reform; Held the Seneca Falls Convention
Lucretia Mott
Assissted Stanton in her reforms for women
Sarah and Angelina Grimke
Sisters who fought for the abolition of slavery
Sojourner Truth
Isabella Baumfree- sojourned (traveled) the country preaching abolition
Samuel F. B. Morse
Inventor of the telegraph (Morse code) which transmitted messages through copper wire
John Deere
Blacksmith who invented teh first steel plow
Cyrus McCormick
Inventor the the mechanical reaper (made farming easier)
Joseph Smith
Established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
Brigham Young
Smith's successor; Took Mormons beyond the American border to the west
James K. Polk
American president who gained land from Mexico
Zachary Taylor
General sent by Polk to blockade the Rio Grande
Stephen Kearney
Colonel sent by Polk to claim New Mexico

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