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US History Sem. 1 Gr. 8


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Explain the three “discoveries” of America and how each was accomplished.
Land Bridge Theory- Because of the ice age, the water level lowered and a bridge was created from Russia to the Americas. Early humans chased game through this bridge and to the Americas.
The Vikings- Leif Ericsson and his people went to Canada and settled, but soon left after being attacked by Native Americans.
Christopher Columbus- The Italian navigated his way to the Americas on accident and traded with Native Americans. He went back to Spain and asked for more people and supplies to trade. When he went back to America, he enslaved Natives and took their gold.
Know and understand what drove European nations to want to explore in the 15th and 16th centuries and the impact of Spanish exploration of the Americas.
Europeans wanted to explore the Americas because of the economic impact that they would get if they successfully took over the land, or any portion of it.
Describe the history of the Jamestown settlement.
The London/Virginia Company was a group that funded colonies in the New World. A little more than 100 people sailed along the James River until they found somewhere to settle. THey were searching for gold. The settlement was almost wiped out because of disease, famine, and a lack of resources. When John Rolfe brought tobacco, the Jamestown settlers were given a crop which could provide economic success.
Who were the scrooby separatists?
Scrooby separatists were another name for the pilgrims.
Explain the role religion and commerce played in the founding of the British colonies by describing specific colonies founded for religious or commercial purposes.
Many colonies/ states were founded for religion. Included are Maryland (Catholics), New England (Puritans), and Pennsylvania (Quakers). Jamestown was developed as an investment and served an economic purpose.
Describe how the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution.
A war between France and Britain. Britain won, and the Treaty of Paris stated that they have control over all of North America. The Native Americans started attacking British forts because they did not send them supplies like France had. This caused the Proclamation of 1763. This made colonists mad because they had to settle west of the Appalachian mountains even though they had won the war and because the British taxed them to pay back their debt from the war.
Describe how the Stamp Act led to the American Revolution.
It added an extra tax on all postage items and paper. The colonists were unhappy because there was taxation without representation.
Describe how the Townshend Act led to the American Revolution.
The Townshend acts were extra taxes put on imported goods like lead, paper, paint, glass, and more. The taxes were indirect taxes, meaning that the customer could not see them. However, store owners knew this and had less sales because they had to put higher prices on their products.
Describe how the Boston Massacre led to the American Revolution.
The people did not like the British soldiers, so they insulted them and started a fight. Only 8 people died. It was called a massacre because of the major propaganda (a painting made by Paul Revere showing peaceful colonists being shot at by British soldiers) it caused afterward.
Describe how the Tea Act and the Boston Tea Party led to the American Revolution.
Because British tea was more expensive than tea from the East Indian Tea Company, it was losing money, so they decided to make an act to control the trade and stop smuggling from Holland. Colonists were not friendly toward this act and, led by the Sons of Liberty, threw tea into the Boston harbor.
Describe how the Intolerable (Coercive) Acts led to the American Revolution.
Britain said that the Boston ports would be closed until the tea was paid for. Also, they banned the committees of correspondence, allowed British troops to come live wherever they wanted, and, if they were convicted of crime, the trial would take place back in Britain.
Parts of the Intolerable Acts:
1. Quebec Act- Britain gave more rights to Quebec, which angered the colonists.
2. Port Act- Britain closed the port of Boston until the colonists paid for the tea.
3. Quartering Act- Britain soldiers were allowed to live wherever they wanted.
4. Massachusetts Assembly Act- Britain forbid the committees of correspondence.
5. Administration of Justice Act- If a British soldier or official is convicted in the Americas, the trial will be held in Britain.
Describe how the First Continental Congress led to the American Revolution.
A group of representatives that were from every state (except Georgia) planned to close all trade with Britain until the Intolerable Acts were repealed.
Describe how the Battle of Saratoga led to the American Revolution
This was the turning point in the war. The British were planning to seize the Hudson River Valley. Burgoyne was to lead a force from South Canada. Colonel Barry St. Leger was to lead from Lake Ontario. While the British were resting, Americans surrounded them and fired at them, causing Burgoyne to surrender. Benedict Arnold was the colonist’s general. Europeans began to believe that the Americans might be able to win. This caused the French to start helping them. Another event that was caused by the battle was that Benedict Arnold, after hearing of the French alliance, became one of the biggest traitors in American history and left to fight for the British.
Describe how the Lexington and Concord incident led to the American Revolution
The British planned to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams and destroy ammunition used for the minutemen and the Sons of Liberty. Their plan was revealed to some Americans, and they lit two lanterns to warn the Americans that the British was coming by sea. Hancock and Adams were able to escape. Minutemen met Britain at the Boston harbor to fight, but there were a lot less of them. As people heard, they hid the arms and ammunition, and Britain was only able to destroy parts of it. Attacks by villagers and more minutemen sent Britain retreating.
Explain the background and the main ideas of both “Common Sense” and Declaration of Independence.
Common Sense was written by Thomas Paine. He talked about why we should be independent from Britain. He discussed the fact that Britain was always dragging us into war and was taxing us to pay off her debts. He also mentioned the trade restrictions Britain forced us to obey. The Declaration of Independence was then written. Richard Henry Lee suggested the idea, and the committee was comprised of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Sherman, and Robert Livingston.
Explain the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan, the Great Compromise and the circumstances surrounding the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
Virginia Plan- Edmund Randolph created the plan and based it on population. The legislative branch was bicameral, meaning it was divided into two houses: one selected by the people and those people select the other branch which was determined by population. This was the large state plan.
New Jersey Plan- William Patterson created the small state plan with one house and all states having equal representation.
The Great (Conneticut) Compromise- Roger Sherman created a mix of the plans and made two houses, one based on population (House of Representatives) and the other having equal representation (Senate).
In the 1787 Constitutional Convention, the Articles of Confederation did not give enough power to the central government, and the nation was in chaos. The convention was held in order to propose ammendments to the Articles of Confederation, but ended in the drafting a new Constitution.
What is the term and requirements for a member of the House
25 years old, 7 years as a citizen, 2 yr term
What is the term and requirement for a member of the Senate
30 years old, 9 years as a citizen, 6 yr term
What is the term and requirement for the President and Vice President
35 years old, natural born citizen, 14 years as a resident, 4 yr term
What is the term and requirement for a supreme court justice?
No requirements and a lifelong term
Explain the functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial powers as well as the meaning of federalism.
Legislative Branch- Writes Laws
House of Representatives- They can begin tax bills, impeach officers, pass bills, raise, borrow, and coin money, and declare war.
Senate- They approve presidential appointments, convict impeached officers by 2/3 vote, approve treaties by 2/3 vote, pass bills, raise, borrow, and coin money, and declare war.
Executive- Enforces Laws
President- He or she is commander in chief of armed forces, pardons and reprieves in federal cases, gives the state of the union address once a year, calls special sessions of Congress, with approval of the Senate can make treaties with foreign countries, appoints federal officials including cabinet, supreme court, and ambassadors.
Judicial- Interprets Laws
Supreme Court- Justices can review and reverse decisions of lower courts, declare laws unconstitutional, or not legal according to the constitution.
Federalism is a multi-level government
Explain the process of removing the President from office.
The house impeaches the President by majority and the Senate holds the trial by 2/3. A president can be impeached for treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors.
Explain the process of changing the Constitution.
First, to propose an amendment, 2/3 of both sides of Congress agree or 2/3 of state legislatives call for a convention. To ratify the amendment, 3/4 of all state legislatures or 3/4 of all conventions agree.
Explain the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
Amendment 1- There is no establishment or prohibition of religion and there is a freedom of speech, press, petition, and assembly.
Amendment 2- There is a right to bears arms and states can have a militia.
Amendment 3- Nobody can live in others’ houses without consent/ no quartering.
Amendment 4- You or your belongings cannot be searched without a warrant.
Amendment 5- You cannot be convicted without being tried, lose basic freedoms, be made to answer, be forced to be a witness against yourself, be deprived of freedoms without a trial, have your property taken away from you without equal pay, and no double jeopardy.
Amendment 6- You have to be told what you are being convicted for, the trial has to take place in the place it happened, right to a speedy or public trial, impartial jury, defense and witnesses, and attorney.
Amendment 7- You have a right to a jury.
Amendment 8- The government cannot set an excessive bail or fine in civil court and they cannot give you cruel and unusual punishments.
Amendment 9- No enumerating Constitution of certain rights and there are more rights for the people than what the Constitution says.
Amendment 10- There are more rights for the people and states than what the Constitution says.
Who were the members of Washington’s first cabinet?
Henry Knox- Secretary of War
Thomas Jefferson- Secretary of States
Alexander Hamilton- Secretary of Treasury
Edmund Randolph- Attorney General
What were our first two political parties and what did each stand for?
Federalists- The federal government has the most power. Alexander Hamilton was the most well known Federalist.
Democratic-Republican- They believed in power to the states and people. Thomas Jefferson was the most well-known Democratic-Republican.
Explain the events and issues surrounding the XYZ affair.
John Adams sent three delegates, Charles Pinkney, Elbridge Gerry, and John Marshall, to France to talk about the seizure of American ships. Instead of agreeing, Tallyrand decided that he wanted the US to pay them 10 million dollars as a bribe in order to even talk to the minister. The US refused and then declined all past treaties with France. This made Congress set aside money to built a navy and army. The president also released the letter that requested the bribe and that hugely increased his popularity
Explain the significance and issues surrounding Jay’s treaty.
John Jay was sent to Britain to discuss the abduction of US ships. Britain agreed to pay for the damaged ships and leave the Ohio Valley, but it did not help the issue of trade with the British West Indies.
Explain the issues of the Alien and Sedition Acts and their relation to the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.
The Alien and Sedition Acts changed the time for becoming an American citizen from 5 to 14 years. Also, the President was allowed to arrest disloyal citizens and sedition was outlawed. The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions said that a state could refuse to follow a law if it was against the Constitution, so the Alien and Sedition Acts were said to have violated the Constitution. The act of ignoring a law because it violates the Constitution is called nullification.
Describe the significance and issues in the case of Marbury vs. Madison.
Marbury sued Madison because he would not give him his commission. The Supreme Court ruled against Marbury and established judicial review.
Explain what the US did to stay out of the British/French War in the early 1800’s and how this war affected the US trade.
During the war, the US sent France supplies. British, angered by this, said that they would attack on American ships if they continued. France said that they would do the same if the US stopped. The US was able to gain neglected trade routes during the war.
Explain the role and significance of the Monroe Doctrine.
It stated that the US would not interfere with European affairs as long as European countries didn't interfere with America or establish any more colonies in the Americas. This stood as America’s foreign policy for over 100 years until World War I.
Describe what happened in the election of 1824.
In this election, there were four candidates: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Crawford. Andrew Jackson won the votes of the people, but not the electoral votes. There had been a tie between Jackson and Adams. Henry Clay, who was eliminated, supported Adams, so he won. Henry Clay was then appointed as one of the cabinet members of Adams. There was talk that Adams had bargained with Clay to win the election.
Explain the rise of Andrew Jackson as a national figure and politician.
Because of his role in the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson soon rose as a figure in America, supporting the common man more than the rich.
Describe what caused the Mexican War and what the US acquired from it.
After they admitted Texas to the US, Congress argued with Mexico where the boundaries were. John Slidell was sent to offer 25 million dollars for California, Texas, and New Mexico, but they declined so the US put soldiers on the border and thus a war was started. The US pushed into the Mexican capital and then offered Mexico 15 million for California, Texas, and New Mexico. Mexico was forced to accept.
Explain the scenario that led to the US acquiring the Oregon territory.
Spain, Britain, and the US shared the Oregon territory. Spain gave up its claims, so it was between the US and Britain. James K. Polk made up the slogan “54 40 or fight!” It basically meant that either Britain give up the Oregon territory or they would go to war. Britain agreed and the Oregon territory belonged to the US.
Describe the effect the cotton gin had on the nation.
Slavery became more and more popular. Since slave trade had been abolished, slaves became much more expensive also due to a lower supply and higher demand.
Explain how the Missouri Compromise led to the Civil War
The Missouri Compromise admitted Maine as a free state (after it declared itself independent of Massachusetts) and then Missouri would be a slave state to keep everything equal. They created the 36 30 parallel. Any state north of the line would be free, any south would be slave.
explain how the Compromise of 1850 led to the Civil War
Because California was territory gained from Mexico, the Compromise of 1850 stated that California would be a free state and DC would have slavery abolished. Also, it created a law that said that Congress could not pass any laws for slavery in the new territories gained from Mexico. There was also the Fugitive Slave Law, where all runaway slaves had to be returned to their owner. It was created by Henry Clay.
explain how Uncle Tom's Cabin led to the Civil War
This showed many Northerners the unfairness of slavery, and more people became abolitionists. This was by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
explain how Kansas-Nebraska Act led to the Civil War
Stephen Douglas tried to split the gained territory for a railroad through Illinois into two parts, Kansas and Nebraska. He decided to resolve the slavery problem by using popular sovereignty. This did not work because the pro-slavery people cheated and had an extra 5000 people from Missouri vote. This caused Bleeding Kansas.
explain how Dred Scott vs. Sandford led to the civil war
It established that the Missouri Compromise was illegal, that slaves could not sue because they are property and property cannot be taken away without just compensation, according to the 5th Amendment, and therefore, Congress cannot abolish slavery
explain how the election of 1860 led to the Civil War
There were four candidates: Northern Democrat Stephen A. Douglass, Southern Democrat John Breckinridge, Republican Abraham Lincoln, and Constitutional Unionist John Bell. Lincoln was elected, and he made the biggest decisions during the Civil War. The election of Lincoln made the South feel like they had no say in the government, so some states seceded.
Explain various Northern and Southern advantages and disadvantages at the start of the Civil War.
Advantages for the North- They had the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, more men, more manufactured goods, and more railroads.
Disadvantages for the North- Mainly, they had weak motivation and unaggresive officers.
Advantages for the South: They had great generals, strong motivations, they were fighting on home ground, and skilled with guns.
Disadvantages for the South: They had the autocratic leadership of Jefferson Davis, inflation, and inferior numbers in people, money, and machinery.
Explain the significance of the emancipation proclamation during the civil war
Lincoln freed all the slaves in the South. His goal was to weaken the Confederacy. It made the war about slavery and Britain had to decide if they were going to help the Confederacy or not because Britain was anti-slavery.
explain the significance of the Battle of Gettysburg during the civil war
This was the major Union victory. Lee retreated because he ran out of men. This was fought between Robert E. Lee and Grant on July 1, 1853 in Pennsylvania.
Explain the importance of the Battle of Vicksburg during the civil war
This was also another Union victory. They gained control of the Mississippi River, therefore splitting the South in half.
explain the importance of the gettysburg address during the civil war
Lincoln gave this speech to dedicate a cemetery to the soldiers who fought in the war. It united the Union and gave them hope to win the war. Talks about the survival of democracy- if the government cannot control their people, then democracy is not going to work.
explain the importance of sherman's march to the sea during the civil war
They destroyed everything in its path from Atlanta to the Atlantic Ocean and freed slaves on their way. It hoped that it would destroy Southern moral.
explain the importance of grant's strategy during the civil war
He decided that the only way to win was to keep fighting and drafting more and more men until the Confederacy forfeited. People did not like this idea because many people died. They knew that the South would soon run out of soldiers. Many more Unionists died, though.
explain the issues and impact of the reconstruction act of 1867
It divided the South into five military zones with different army commanders. Members of the ruling class during the war lost their right to vote. It also made the South give African-American men voting rights and they had to ratify the 14th Amendment.
explain the circumstances surrounding President Andrew Johnson's impeachment
Congress was afraid that Andrew Johnson would fire the advisors that did not agree with him, so they made the Tenure of Office Act. This stated that he could not fire anyone without approval of the Senate. He fired Stanton, without consent of the Senate, and this was why he was impeached. He was cleared of conviction by one vote.
Explain techniques used to deny voting rights
Literacy Tests- The test was designed to see if the voter could read or write. People who were literate could vote. This prevented the lower class and uneducated from voting.
Poll Taxes- There was a fixed amount to be paid for each individual. The taxes were focused on people who did not have the money to vote.
Grandfather Clauses- It said that if your grandfather could not vote, then you cannot vote. This was aimed at blacks because their grandfathers were slaves, therefore they could not vote.
explain the meaning of carpetbaggers and scalliwags
Carpetbaggers- They were white northerners who went into the South to take advantage of Reconstruction and make money.
Scalawags- They were white southerners who supported Reconstruction
explain the significance of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments.
13th Amendment- Slavery is abolished.
14th Amendment- There is equal protection under the law and due process; laws had to be equal for everyone
15th Amendment- Voting cannot be denied based on race.
how did the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson helped establish segregation?
Plessey was a man who was 1/8th black and he sued a railroad company because they made him move to a “black” area. The Supreme Court said that “separate but equal” did not violate the 14th amendment. This allowed segregation to continue.

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