US History/ Government- Regents review packet – page 1

US History/ Government- Regents review packet – page 1

Appalacian Mountains
This landfrom is located in the eastern region of the United States and served as a barrier to westward movement, so many early settlements were started to the east of the mountains; after the French and Indian War, colonists were encouraged to move westward beyond this area, despite the presence of the Native Americans. The British Parliament passed the Proclamation of 1765 requsting that the colonists NOT travel beyond this region.
Erie Canal
Waterway in New York state that was built by manpower; it opened in 1825 and provided a waterway from the Hudson River in Albany to Lake Erie in Buffalo; this canal system allowed for a more efficient method of transporting goods and people and created an economic boost for New York; many major cities like Rochester and Syracuse expanded and prospered as a result.
Mississippi River
Longest river in the United States; provides an easy access from the interior plains to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean; this was a major transportation route for shipping farm crops and goods to other parts of the United States and the world.
Mayflower Compact
An example of self-rule, this agreement in which the settlers of Plymouth Colony (the Pilgrims) agreed to obey their government’s laws; this belief in self-government later became one of the founding principles of the United States.
New England Town Meetings
The purpose of these meetings were to include registered voters of the community to discuss new laws and budgets in a town forum. It is very similar in concept to the town government of today. This is also known as “Direct Democracy”.
House of Burgesses
The first legislative assembly in the American colonies. The first assembly met on July 30, 1619, in the church at Jamestown. Representative were chosen by the people.
*Mrs. Hysell’s Tip: Think of the House of Representatives when thinking of the House of Burgesses.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
A pamphlet written by Thomas Paine explaining (in simple language for the common, uneducated man) why the colonies should be free from Great Britain.
Declaration of Independence
Document written in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson that details the colonists’ displeasure with being under Great Britain’s rule (namely the lack of representation in the government) and declares the colonists’ intention of seeking independence from British rule.
John Locke
He was an English philosopher during the Enlightenment Age. His ideas involve the concepts of the social contract and natural rights. These political theories are reflected in the Declaration of Independence.
Social Contract Theory
The theory that the government exists to protect the rights and freedom of its people. When the government fails to do so, then the people have the right to overthrow or change the government by electing new officials.
Natural Rights
The belief that people are born with certain rights given to them by God and no government has the authority to take these rights away.
Articles of Confederation
The first plan of government enacted in 1781 that promoted a limited national government in favor of individual state’s control; this resulted in a weak national government as highlighted bythe Shay’s Rebellion. The Articles of Confederation was eventually replaced by the Constitution.