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Quasi-war
The series of French and American naval conflicts occurring between 1798 and 1800.
R
Radical Republicans
A minority group that emerged in Congress during the Civil War. Led by Congressman Thaddeus Stevens and Senator Charles Sumner, the Radicals demanded a stringent Reconstruction policy in order to punish the Southern states for seceding, and called for extended civil rights in the South. Often aligned with moderate Republicans during the early years of Reconstruction, Radical Republicans were a dedicated and powerful force in Congress until the mid-1870s.
Railroad strike
The first nationwide strike in the U.S. In 1877, workers on nearly every rail line from New York to San Francisco struck to protest wage cuts and firing. The riots provoked widespread violence and resulted in more than 100 deaths, prompting President Hayes to send in federal troops to subdue the angry mobs and restore order.
Rationalism
A school of thought heavily influenced by the Enlightenment. Rationalists criticized most traditional religion as irrational and unfounded. Proponents of rationalism held that religious beliefs should not simply be accepted but should instead be acquired through investigation and reflection.
Ronald Reagan
Republican, president from 1981 to 1989. His presidency revolved around two goals: economic prosperity and victory in the Cold War. Reagan initiated major tax cuts and a massive military buildup.
Reaganomics
Ronald Reagan’s economic philosophy which held that a that a capitalist system free from taxation and government involvement would be most productive. Reagan believed that the prosperity of a rich upper class would “trickle down” to the poor.
Reconstruction Act of 1867
The central law passed during Reconstruction. The Reconstruction Act invalidated state governments established under Lincoln’s and Johnson’s plans, provided for military occupation of the former Confederacy, and bound state governments to vote for black suffrage.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)
Created by President Hoover in 1932 to make loans to large economic institutions such as railroads and banks. The RFC loaned over $2 billion in 1932, but that amount was too little, too late in the fight against the Great Depression. The RFC continued operating under FDR.
Redemption
A political movement to overturn Reconstruction in the South. Redemption shifted the power in state governments from Republican to Democratic hands, undid Republican legislature, and reinstated the oppression of freedmen.
Republican Party
Arose as the opposition party to the dominant Federalists during the Washington administration, Republicans (sometimes known as Democratic-Republicans) aimed to limit the power of central government in favor of states’ rights and individual liberty. A long period of Republican dominance began with Thomas Jefferson’s election in 1800 and ended with Democrat Andrew Jackson’s election in 1828. A new Republican Party was formed in the mid-1850s after the collapse of the Whig Party. As a sectional party concentrated in the North, the Republican Party focused primarily on promoting the issue of free soil. In 1860, the party successfully elected Abraham Lincoln president, and dominated politics during the Civil War and early Reconstruction. Because of its origin as an antislavery party, the Republican Party held the black vote for over sixty years, until FDR’s New Deal policies caused black voters align with the Democrats.
Revenue Act of 1942
Raised taxes to help finance the war effort. The act hiked rates for the wealthiest Americans and included new middle- and lower-income tax brackets, vastly increasing the number of Americans responsible for paying taxes.
Revolutionary War
Began with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The American colonists defeated the British and won independence.
Robber barons
Wealthy entrepreneurs and businessmen during the Industrial Age. Notable robber barons include Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.
John D. Rockefeller
Chairman of the Standard Oil Trust, which grew to control nearly all of the United States’ oil production and distribution.
Roe v. Wade
The 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized most first- and second-trimester abortions in the United States. Roe v. Wade represented a major victory for the women’s rights movement.
John Rolfe
An English settler in Jamestown. Rolfe married Pocahontas, the daughter of the chief of the Powhatan tribe, and introduced the Jamestown colonists to West Indian tobacco in 1616. Tobacco soon became the colony’s lifeblood, bringing in much revenue and many immigrants eager for a share in the colony’s expanding wealth.
Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
Declared (during Roosevelt’s 1904 State of the Union address) that the United States, not Europe, should dominate the affairs of Latin America, and that although the U.S. had no expansionist intentions, any “chronic wrongdoing” by a Latin American nation would justify U.S. intervention as a global police power.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Democrat, president from 1933 until his death in 1945. FDR broke the unofficial tradition initiated by George Washington of presidents serving no more than two terms in office. FDR was the architect of the New Deal and the visible force behind the United States’ efforts at recovery from the Great Depression. In forging the New Deal, FDR exercised greater authority than perhaps any president before him, giving rise to a new understanding of the role and responsibility of the president. Under FDR’s leadership, the modern Democratic Party was formed, garnering support from labor unions, blacks, urban workers, and farmers. In the later years of his presidency, FDR heavily supervised both the civilian and military effort in World War II. He has been called the most popular president in American history.
Theodore Roosevelt
President from 1901 to 1909. Roosevelt rose to fame as the leader of the Rough Riders, a volunteer unit during the Spanish-American War. He went on to become governor of New York and was vice president to William McKinley during McKinley’s second term in office. After McKinley’s assassination in 1901, Roosevelt assumed the presidency, and served until 1909 (he won the 1904 election). A Progressive reformer, he worked to regulate the activities of corporations and protect consumers and workers. Roosevelt pursued an aggressive style of foreign relations known as “big stick” diplomacy.
The Rosenbergs
Husband and wife who, in 1950, were accused of spying for the Soviets. The Rosenbergs countered the accusation on the grounds that their Jewish background and leftist beliefs made them easy targets for persecution. In a trial closely followed by the American public, the Rosenbergs were convicted and sentenced to death. They were executed on June 19, 1953.
Rosie the Riveter
A popular advertising character during World War II. Rosie the Riveter—a well-muscled woman carrying a rivet gun—symbolized the important role American women played in the war effort at home. “Rosie” represented the new, hard-working, independent woman.
Russo-Japanese War
Fought from 1904–1905. The war pitted Russia against Japan in a battle over Manchuria, China. Roosevelt aided in the negotiation of a peace treaty in the interest of maintaining the balance of power in the Far East, an area recently opened to American business through the Open Door policy.
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Sacajawea
A Native American woman who proved an indispensable guide to Lewis and Clark during their 1804–1806 expedition. Sacajawea showed the men how to forage for food and helped them maintain good relations with tribes in the Northwest.
Sacco-Vanzetti case
Anarchist Italian immigrants who were charged with murder in Massachusetts in 1920 and sentenced to death. The case against Sacco and Vanzetti was circumstantial and poorly argued, although evidence now suggests that they were in fact guilty. It was significant, however, because it showcased nativist and conservative forces at work in America.
Salutary neglect
The English government’s policy of not enforcing certain trade laws it imposed upon the American colonies throughout the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The purpose of salutary neglect was largely to ensure the loyalty of the colonists in the face of the French territorial and commercial threat in North America. Following British victory in the French and Indian War, the English ceased practicing salutary neglect.
Salvation Army
A welfare organization imported from England to the U.S. in 1880. The Salvation Army provides food, shelter, and employment to the urban poor while preaching temperance and morality.
Scalawags
A derisive term that Democrats gave to Southern moderates who cooperated with Republicans during Reconstruction.
Scopes Monkey Trial
In 1925, Tennessee teacher John T. Scopes willfully violated a state statute prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools. Prosecutor William Jennings Bryan and Scopes’s lawyer Clarence Darrow faced off during the highly publicized trial, and although Darrow lost the case he made a fool out of Bryan, substantially weakening the anti-evolution cause throughout the U.S.
Second Bank of the United States
Chartered in 1816 under President Madison. The Bank served as a depository for federal funds and a creditor for state banks. It became unpopular after being blamed for the panic of 1819, and suspicion of corruption and mismanagement haunted it until its charter expired in 1836. Jackson fought against the bank throughout his presidency, proclaiming it to be an unconstitutional extension of the federal government and a tool that rich capitalists used to corrupt American society.
Second Continental Congress
Convened in May 1775 after fighting broke out in Massachusetts between the British and the colonists. Most delegates opposed the drastic move toward complete independence from Britain. In an effort to reach a reconciliation, the Congress sent the Olive Branch Petition to King George III, offering peace under the conditions that there be a cease-fire in Boston, that the Coercive Acts (part of the Intolerable Acts) be repealed, and that negotiations between the colonists and Britain begin immediately. When King George III rejected the petition, the Congress created the Continental Army and elected George Washington its commander in chief.
Second Great Awakening
Emerged in the early 1800s as part of a backlash against America’s growing secularism and rationalism. A wave of religious revivals spread throughout the nation, giving rise to a number of new (largely Protestant) denominations during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Revivalist ministers often stressed self-determination and individual empowerment.
Second New Deal
Created in 1935 after FDR’s first New Deal began to crumble in the face of opposition and antagonistic Supreme Court rulings. The Second New Deal was characterized by greater government spending and increased numbers of work relief programs. The most lasting measure of the Second New Deal was the creation of the Social Security system.
Sedition Amendment
Passed in 1918 as an amendment to the Espionage Act. The Sedition Amendment provided for the punishment of anyone using “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” in regard to the U.S. government, flag, or military.
Selective Service Act
Instituted a draft to build up U.S. military forces. Passed in May 1917, the act required all men aged 21 to 30 to register for military duty.
Selective Service and Training Act
Called for the nation’s first peacetime draft. The act was passed in September 1940.
Seneca Falls Convention
Organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848. The Seneca Falls Convention issued a Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the Declaration of Independence, declaring that all men and women were created equal.
Separatists
English Protestants who would not offer allegiance in any form to the Church of England. One Separatist group, the Pilgrims, founded Plymouth Plantation and went on to found other settlements in New England. Other notable Separatist groups included the Quakers and Baptists.
Seventeenth Amendment
Ratified in 1913. The Seventeenth Amendment provided for the direct election of U.S. senators rather than their selection by state legislatures.
Sexual revolution
Refers to the easing of sexual taboos in some segments of society during the 1920s. Female sexuality and fashion were celebrated, divorce laws were relaxed in many states, and casual dating became more common.
Sharecropping system
Replaced the plantation system after the Civil War as the primary method of agricultural production in the South. Sharecropping consisted of plantations, subdivided into small farms, that were rented to freedmen for leases paid in the form of a share (usually half) of the crop produced. The system gave freedmen a measure of independence but also ensured that whites maintained control of the land.
Shays’s Rebellion
In August 1786, western Massachusetts farmers, led by Daniel Shays, violently tried to shut down three county courthouses in order to prevent foreclosure proceedings. The rebellion was easily put down, but it alerted many government officials to the weaknesses of the nation under the Articles of Confederation.
Sherman Antitrust Act
Passed in 1890 with the intention of breaking up business monopolies. The act outlawed “every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in the restraint of trade.” The Sherman Antitrust Act was largely used to break up union strikes in the 1890s. It was not until the early 1900s that the government launched an aggressive antitrust campaign.
Sherman’s March to the Sea
During the Civil War, Union general William T. Sherman led his forces on a march from Atlanta to Savannah and then to Richmond. Sherman brought the South “to its knees” by ordering large-scale destruction.
Shoot-on-sight order
Issued in 1941 in response to German submarine attacks on American ships in the Atlantic ocean. The order authorized naval patrols to fire on any Axis ships found between the U.S. and Iceland.
Silent majority
A term coined by Richard Nixon during the 1968 presidential campaign. According to Nixon, he represented the “silent majority”—Americans tired of chaos, student protests, and civil rights agitation and eager for a conservative federal government.
Silent Spring
Written by Rachel Carson and published in 1962. Silent Spring exposed the environmental hazards of the pesticide DDT. Carson’s book helped spur an increase in environmental awareness and concern among the American people.
Upton Sinclair
A famous muckraker who published The Jungle in 1906. Sinclair’s novel exposed the unsanitary conditions in several meatpacking plants. It and other exposés led to the passage of laws designed to ensure the safety of foods and medicines.
Sixteenth Amendment
Ratified in 1913. The Sixteenth Amendment allowed the federal government to collect a direct income tax. Shortly thereafter, Congress instituted a graduated income tax with an upper tax rate of 7 percent.
Smith Act
Passed in 1940. The act made it illegal to speak of, or advocate, overthrowing the U.S. government. During the presidential campaign of 1948, Truman demonstrated his aggressive stance against communism by prosecuting eleven leaders of the Communist Party under the Smith Act.
John Smith
Saved the Jamestown colony from collapse in 1608, its first year of existence. Smith’s initiatives improved sanitation, hygiene, and organized work gangs to gather food and build shelters, thereby dramatically lowering the mortality rates among Jamestown colonists.
Smith-Connolly War Labor Disputes Act
Passed in 1930. The act limited the right to strike in key industries and authorized the president to intervene in any strike, eroding the generally amiable relationship between the government and organized labor during World War II.
Smoot-Hawley Tariff
One of Herbert Hoover’s early efforts to protect the nation’s farmers following the onset of the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the tariff raised rates to an all-time high, hurting farmers more than it helped them. Ninety-four percent of the imports taxed were agricultural imports.
Social Darwinism
Darwin’s theories of evolution and survival of the fittest as applied to human societies. Andrew Carnegie and others cited social Darwinist theories to justify the widening gap between the rich and the poor during the era of industrialization.
Social Security
Established by the Social Security Act of August 1935. Social Security provides benefits to the elderly and disabled. These benefits are subsidized by income tax withholdings.
Sons of Liberty
A group of colonists who led opposition to the Stamp Act.
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
Founded in 1957 by Martin Luther King Jr. and other prominent clergymen. The SCLC fought against segregation using nonviolent means.
Spanish-American War
Broke out in 1898 over U.S. concerns for the Cuban independence movement. The U.S. decisively won the war, gaining the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, and securing independence for Cuba. The victory also marked the entrance of the United States as a powerful force onto the world stage.
Speakeasies
Hidden bars during the Prohibition Era that offered live jazz music and hard liquor. Speakeasies were often run by organized crime rings.
Specie Circular
A 1836 executive order issued by President Jackson in an attempt to stabilize the economy, which had been dramatically expanding since the early 1830s due to state banks’ excessive lending practices and over-speculation. The Specie Circular required that all land payments be made in gold and silver rather than in paper money or credit. It precipitated an economic depression known as the panic of 1837.
Spheres of influence
A group of nations or territories in the unofficial economic, political, and social orbit of a greater power. NATO countries were in the U.S. sphere of influence, while the Communist countries of the Warsaw Pact were in the USSR’s sphere of influence. The term is also used to describe European and Russian influence in China at the end of the nineteenth century, when certain countries had exclusive trade and development rights in key Chinese ports and regions.
Spoils system
Provided for the removal and replacement of high-ranking officials from the previous president’s term with loyal members of the winning party. Andrew Jackson was one of the first presidents to use the spoils system extensively, claiming it was necessary to liberty. Based on the adage “to the victor go the spoils.”
Sputnik
The first artificial satellite to orbit the earth, launched by the USSR on October 4, 1957. The launch prompted the space race between the U.S. and USSR—Americans were jealous of Soviet technological skill and afraid that the same rockets that launched Sputnik could be used to deliver nuclear warheads anywhere on the globe.
Square Deal
The name Theodore Roosevelt gave to his social policies, especially his intended relationships with capital and labor. Roosevelt wanted to treat everyone fairly, and, in particular, eliminate government favors to big business.
Joseph Stalin
Dictator of the Soviet Union from 1928 until 1953. Stalin coordinated Soviet involvement in World War II, intitially cooperating with U.S. forces. The relationship between the USSR and the U.S. soured during World War II, eventually leading to the Cold War.
Stamp Act
Issued by England in 1765. The Stamp Act required colonial Americans to buy special watermarked paper for newspapers and all legal documents. Violators faced juryless trials in vice-admiralty courts, as under the 1764 Sugar Act. The Stamp Act provoked the first organized response to British impositions.
Stamp Act Congress
Representatives of nine colonial assemblies met in New York City in October 1765 in anger over the Stamp Act. The colonies agreed that Parliament could not tax anyone outside of Great Britain and could not deny anyone a fair trial, both of which had been dictates of the Stamp Act. The meeting marked a new level of colonial political organization.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
A prominent advocate of women’s rights. Stanton organized the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention with Lucretia Mott.
John Steinbeck
Major American author in the 1930s. Steinbeck’s novels depict simple, rural lives. His most famous work is The Grapes of Wrath (1939).
Thaddeus Stevens
The leader of the Radical Republicans in Congress. Thaddeus Stevens was a gifted orator and an outspoken legislator devoted to stringent and punitive Reconstruction. Stevens worked toward social and political equality for Southern blacks.
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT)
Signed in May 1972 by President Nixon. SALT I limited each of the superpowers to 200 antiballistic missiles and set quotas for intercontinental and submarine missiles.
Strict constructionists
Favored a strict reading of the Constitution, especially of the “elastic clause,” in order to limit the powers of the central government. Led by Thomas Jefferson, strict constructionists comprised the ideological core of the Republican Party.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
Created in 1962. SDS united college students throughout the country in a network committed to achieving racial equality, alleviating poverty, and ending the Vietnam War.
Suez Canal
North-south waterway in Egypt that connects the Mediterranean and the Red Seas. In 1956, the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser tried to nationalize the canal, which had been owned by British and French interests. In response, Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt. The U.S., United Nations, and USSR condemned the intervention and pressured the forces to withdraw in November 1956.
Suffolk Resolves
Declared that the colonies need not obey the 1773 Coercive Acts, since they infringed upon basic liberties. The Suffolk Resolves were endorsed by the First Continental Congress.
Sugar Act
1764 British law which lowered the duty on foreign-produced molasses as an attempt to discourage colonial smuggling. The Sugar Act further stipulated that Americans could export many commodities—including lumber, iron, skins, and whalebone—to foreign countries only if the goods passed through British ports first. The terms of the act and its methods of enforcement outraged many colonists.
Charles Sumner
The leading Radical Republican senator throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction. Sumner argued ardently for civil rights for blacks. He later led the defection of the Liberal Republicans from the Republican Party.
Sussex Pledge
Issued in 1916 by Germany after the U.S. threatened to break off diplomatic relations with Germany following a German U-boat attack against the French ship Sussex, which carried U.S. civilians. Germany pledged not to attack merchant ships without warning, temporarily easing the diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Germany.
T
William Howard Taft
President from 1909 to 1913. Though handpicked by Roosevelt, he was not as enthusiastic about progressive reform, and soon allied himself with the conservative wing of the Republican Party by raising tariffs. In doing so, he offended many Progressive Republicans, including Roosevelt, and precipitated a split in the Republican Party.
Taft-Hartley Act
The centerpiece of a congressional effort to restrict union activity. The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 banned certain union practices and allowed the president to call for an eighty-day cooling off period to delay strikes thought to pose risks to national safety. Truman vetoed the measure, and though his veto was overridden, his actions roused the support of organized labor, a group crucial to his election victory in 1948.
Tallmadge Amendment
1819 amendment to the bill for Missouri’s admission to the Union. Proposed by Representative Tallmadge, the amendment sought to prohibit the further introduction of slaves into Missouri and would have mandated the emancipation of slaves’ children. The proposal was blocked by the Senate, but it sparked intense congressional debate over the balance of slave and free states. In 1821, Congress reached a compromise for Missouri’s admission known as the Missouri Compromise.
Roger B. Taney
Chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1836 to 1864. In support of slavery laws, he delivered the majority opinion on Dred Scott v. Sanford.
Tariff of Abominations
Name given by Southern politicians to the 1828 tariff because it seriously hurt the South’s economy while benefiting Northern and Western industrial interests. Resistance to the tariff in South Carolina led to the Nullification Crisis.
Zachary Taylor
President from 1849 until his death in 1850. Taylor, a Whig, advocated popular sovereignty and in 1849 encouraged California to apply for statehood as a free state, thereby igniting the controversy that led to the Compromise of 1850.
Tea Act
Passed in 1773. The Tea Act eliminated import tariffs on tea entering England, and allowed the British East India Company to sell directly to consumers rather than through merchants. This lowered the price of British tea to below that of smuggled tea, which the British hoped would end the boycott. The British government hoped to use revenue from the Tea Act to pay the salaries of royal governors in the colonies, a plan that outraged many colonists and prompted the Boston Tea Party.
Teapot Dome scandal
Occurred when President Harding’s secretary of the interior, Albert B. Fall, secretly leased government oil reserves to two businessmen in exchange for a $400,000 payment. The scandal was exposed after Harding’s death in 1923, and came to symbolize government corruption.
Tecumseh
A Shawnee chief who tried to unite Native American tribes in Ohio and Indiana to thwart white settlement. His forces were defeated in the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe. Tecumseh later allied with the British during the War of 1812.
Tehran Conference
The first major meeting between the Big Three leaders. Held from November 28 to December 1, 1943, Churchill, FDR, and Stalin planned the 1944 assault on Vichy France and agreed to divide Germany into zones of occupation after the war.
Ten percent plan
Lincoln’s plan for Reconstruction in the South following the Civil War. The plan was more lenient than many members of Congress, especially the Radical Republicans, wanted—Southern states would be readmitted to the Union once 10 percent of the state’s voting population took an oath of loyalty to the Union and the states established new non-Confederate governments. Congress proposed its own, more punitive, Reconstruction plan with the 1864 Wade-Davis Bill.
Tenements
Narrow, four- or five-story buildings with few windows and limited electricity and plumbing. Housing mostly poor ethnic minorities and immigrants, tenements were common during the Industrial Age due to a dramatic increase in the urban poor population.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Part of FDR’s New Deal. The TVA worked to develop energy production sites and conserve resources in the Tennessee Valley. It pumped money into the economy and completed a number of major projects, but eventually faced heavy criticism from environmentalists, advocates of energy conservation, and opponents of nuclear power.
Tet Offensive
A general offensive launched throughout South Vietnam by the Vietcong and North Vietnamese on January 31, 1968, the first day of the Tet, or Vietnamese New Year. Although the forces did not succeed in capturing the cities, they did cause widespread devastation, killing many thousands of American troops. The month-long attack led the American public to believe that victory in Vietnam was unattainable.
Thirteenth Amendment
Ratified December 6, 1865. The Thirteenth Amendment prohibited slavery in the United States.
Three-fifths clause
During the framing of the Constitution, Southern delegates argued that slaves should count toward representative seats, while the delegates of Northern states argued that to count slaves as members of the population would grant an unfair advantage to the Southern states in Congress. The result of this debate was the adoption of the three-fifths clause, which allowed three-fifths of all slaves to be counted as people.
Henry David Thoreau
A prominent transcendentalist writer. Two of his most famous writings are Civil Disobedience (1849) and Walden (1854). Thoreau advocated living life according to one’s conscience, removed from materialism and repressive social codes.
Tiananmen Square
On June 3 and 4, 1989, China’s communist army brutally crushed a pro-democracy protest in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China significantly soured as a result of the attack.
To Secure These Rights
A report issued in 1957 by Truman’s Presidential Commitee on Civil Rights. The report, titled To Secure These Rights, called for the elimination of segregation.
Tories
Colonists who disagreed with the move for independence and did not support the Revolution.
Townshend Duties
A popular name for the Revenue Act of 1767, which taxed glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea entering the colonies. The colonists resented that the act was clearly designed to raise revenue exclusively for England rather than to regulate trade in a manner favorable to the entire British Empire.
Trail of Tears
Despite the Supreme Court decision in Worcester v. Georgia, federal troops forced bands of Cherokee Indians to move west of the Mississippi between 1835 and 1838. Their journey, in which 2,000–4,000 of the 16,000 Cherokee died, became known as the Trail of Tears.
Transcendentalism
A spiritual movement that arose in the 1830s as a challenge to rationalism. Transcendentalists aimed to achieve an inner, emotional understanding of God rather than a rational, institutionalized one. They believed concepts such as absolute truth and freedom were accessible through intuition and sudden insight. Among the more prominent transcendentalists were the writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
Transcontinental railroad
On May 10, 1869, the first transcontinental railroad was completed when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads joined their tracks at Promontory Point, Utah. The railroad dramatically facilitated western settlement, shortening to a single week a coast-to-coast journey that had once taken six to eight months by wagon.
Transcontinental Treaty
Also known as the Adams-Onís Treaty. The Transcontinental Treaty was signed in 1819 between the U.S. and Spain. By the terms of the treaty, Spain ceded eastern Florida to the U.S., renounced all claims to western Florida, and agreed to a southern border of the U.S. west of the Mississippi extending all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Treaty of Ghent
Signed on Christmas Eve in 1815. The Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812 and returned relations between the U.S. and Britain to the way things were before the war.
Treaty of Greenville
Signed by 12 Native American tribes after their defeat at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The Treaty of Greenville cleared the Ohio territory of tribes and opened it up to U.S. settlement.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Ended the Mexican War in 1848. The treaty granted the U.S. control of Texas, New Mexico, and California. In return, the U.S. assumed all monetary claims of U.S. citizens against the Mexican government and paid Mexico $15 million.
Treaty of Paris (1763)
Ended the Seven Years War in Europe and the parallel French and Indian War in North America. Under the treaty, Britain acquired all of Canada and almost all of the modern United States east of the Mississippi.
Treaty of Paris (1783)
Signed in September 1783 and ratified by Congress in January 1784. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and granted the United States its independence. It further granted the U.S. all land east of the Mississippi River, and contained clauses that bound Congress to urge state legislatures to compensate loyalists for property damage incurred during the war, and to allow British creditors to collect debts accrued before the war. The Treaty of Paris opened the door to future legislative and economic disputes.
Treaty of San Lorenzo
Signed with Spain in 1795. The Treaty of San Lorenzo granted the U.S. unrestricted access to the Mississippi River and removed Spanish troops from American land.
Treaty of Tordesillas
Signed by Queen Isabella of Spain and King John II of Portugal in 1494. The treaty divided all future discoveries in the New World between their respective nations. This soon proved unworkable because of the flood of expeditions to the New World and the proliferation of different countries’ claims to territory.
Treaty of Versailles
Signed in June 1919 at the end of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson had hoped for a generous peace settlement to promote democracy, peace, and liberalism throughout war-torn Europe instead of simply punishing the Central Powers. The treaty proved more vindictive against Germany than Wilson would have liked. It punished the Germans severely, forcing them to assume all blame for the war and to pay massive reparations. Other elements of the treaty included demilitarization of the west bank of the Rhine, the creation of new nations to grant autonomy to oppressed geographic and ethnic groups, and the formation of the League of Nations.
Triangular trade
A name for the trade routes that linked England, its colonies in North America, the West Indies, and Africa. At each port, ships were unloaded of goods from another port along the trade route, and then re-loaded with goods particular to that site. New England rum was shipped to Africa and traded for slaves, who were brought to the West Indies and traded for sugar and molasses, which went back to New England.
Tripartite Pact
Signed in September 1940 by Germany, Italy, and Japan. These nations comprised the Axis powers of World War II.
Harry S. Truman
Succeeded FDR as president after FDR’s death in April 1945. Truman served until 1953. Truman ordered the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and he proved instrumental in committing the U.S. to action against the threat of Soviet aggression in Europe during the Cold War. At home, Truman attempted to extend the New Deal policies of his predecessor in what he called the Fair Deal.
Truman Doctrine
In March 1947, Truman proclaimed before Congress that the U.S. would support people anywhere in the world facing “attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” The Truman Doctrine committed the U.S. to a role of global policeman.
Trust
A conglomerate of businesses that tends to reduce market competition. During the Industrial Age, many entrepreneurs consolidated their businesses into trusts in order to gain control of the market and amass great profit, often at the expense of poor workers and consumers.
Harriet Tubman
A former slave who helped establish the Underground Railroad, a network of safehouses and escorts throughout the North to help escaped slaves to freedom.
Mark Twain
A leading literary figure during the Industrial Age. Twain’s most famous books include The Gilded Age (1873), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).
John Tyler
Became president of the United States in 1841, when William Henry Harrison died after one month in office.
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