Grade 8 Glossary 13th Amendment

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13th Amendment The 13th Amendment, one of

three passed during the era of Reconstruction, freed all slaves

without compensation to the slaveowners. President Abraham

Lincoln first proposed compensated emancipation as an

amendment in December 1862. His Emancipation Proclamation

declared slaves free in the Confederate states in rebellion,

but did not extend to border states. After Lincoln’s

assassination, President Andrew Johnson declared his own

plan for Reconstruction which included the need for Confederate

states to approve the 13th Amendment. The amendment,

adopted in 1865, eight months after the war ended,

legally forbade slavery in the United States.

14th Amendment The 14th Amendment is one of

three to the U.S. Constitution passed during the era of Reconstruction

to protect the rights and involvement of citizens

in government. It declared that all persons born or

naturalized in the United States (except Indians) were citizens,

that all citizens were entitled to equal rights regardless

of their race, and that their rights were protected at both the

state and national levels by due process of the law. Political

pressure ensured ratification.

In 1866, Congress passed the Civil Rights Bill which extended

citizenship to blacks. President Andrew Johnson


opposed and vetoed the legislation but Congress overruled

his veto and then proposed the 14th Amendment. In 1866,

ten of the eleven Confederate states refused to ratify, but the

Military Reconstruction Act, passed by Congress on March

2, 1867, required all seceded states to ratify the amendment

as a condition of their re-admission into the union. In 1868,

the required number of states ratified the 14th Amendment .

The amendment did not extend the right to vote to black

men but it encouraged states to allow them to vote by limiting

the Congressional representation of any state that did

not extend the right. The amendment disappointed women’s

rights activists because it equated the right to vote as a male

right. Most significantly, the amendment incorporated the

“due process clause” as outlined in the 5th Amendment and

ensured the protection of citizen’s rights, previously only

guaranteed at the national level, at the state level.

15th Amendment The 15th Amendment, one of

three amendments to the U.S. Constitution passed during the

era of Reconstruction, granted black men the right to vote.

The amendment derived from a requirement in the Military

Reconstruction Act, passed by Congress on March 2, 1867,

that Confederate states, as a condition for readmission into

the Union, extend the right to vote to former adult male slaves.

Congress eventually sought more stringent means to safeguard

the vote for black men by proposing a constitutional

amendment in 1869. It was ratified in 1870. Women’s rights

activists opposed the amendment because it defined the right

to vote as a male right. Thus, gender remained a determining

factor in denying women the right to vote in national and

state elections until 1920 when the 19th Amendment was

ratified. Between 1870 and 1920, a few states including

Wyoming did extend the right to vote to women but women

could not vote in national elections until after passage of the

19th Amendment.

1607 Representatives of the Virginia Company of London

established the first permanent English settlement in

North America in 1607. The Virginia Company, a joint-stock

company founded by investors in England, called it

Jamestown in honor of King James I of England. Several

factors encouraged settlement including peace with Spain;

willing settlers lured by adventure, markets and the prospect

of religious freedom; financial support provided by the Virginia

Company; and the company’s assurance that colonists

could remain subjects of England.

1776 On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, the Virginia

representative to the Second Continental Congress, moved

that “These United Colonies are, and of right ought to be,

free and independent states. . . “ Congress appointed a committee

to draft an inspirational document to explain to the

world the reasons the colonies were asserting their independence

in the hopes of gaining broad colonial and international

support. The committee included Thomas Jefferson

who was charged with drafting the document. In it he asked

for protection of the “unalienable rights” of humankind, in

addition to British rights, and listed other British actions

which prompted the quest for independence. Congress

adopted Lee’s motion on July 2, and on July 4, fifty-six representatives

from the thirteen original colonies unanimously

approved the Declaration of Independence.

Six months prior to the official declaration, Thomas Paine

published his influential political pamphlet Common Sense.

It presented a clear and persuasive argument for independence,

and convinced many undecided colonists to support

the movement for independence.

1787 Between May 25 and September 17, 1787, delegates

gathered in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation.

Instead they drafted, debated, compromised, and finally

approved for ratification the Constitution of the United States.

It was then sent to the states to adopt or reject based on the

votes of delegates to ratification conventions. The debate

over ratification continued into 1788 as Federalists and Anti-

Federalists faced off over issues of states’ rights, human liberties,

and governmental authority. Ratification of the new

constitution required acceptance by nine of the thirteen states.

Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution and it

was followed by Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 1787.

Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina,

and New Hampshire ratified it in 1788. The ninth state

(New Hampshire) guaranteed that the new United States had

a government. Virginia and New York approved the document

later in 1788, and North Carolina and Rhode Island

adopted it last, in 1789 and 1790, respectively.

1803 The United States, under the leadership of President

Thomas Jefferson, acquired the Louisiana Territory from

Napoleon Bonaparte, ruler of France, for $15 million dollars

in 1803. The purchase more than doubled the area of the

United States. It gave the new nation access to 828,000

square miles of fertile territory and navigable waterways

between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains at

a cost of approximately three cents per acre. All or parts of

13 states were carved out of the Louisiana Purchase (in order

of admission): Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa,

Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota,

South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Oklahoma.

1861-1865 The American Civil War began on April

12, 1861, with the firing on Fort Sumter and ended with the

Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House in early

April, 1865. South Carolina, the first state to leave the Union,

seceded in 1860, prompted by the election of the Republican

presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln. Six more followed

in early 1861 (Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia,

Louisiana and Texas). They formed the Confederate

States of America.

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1861: President Lincoln took the oath of office on March 4,

1861 and sought to maintain ties with eight border states

which remained with the Union. The Civil War began on

April 12 with the firing on Fort Sumter by Confederate troops

off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Four more states

seceded after war was declared: Virginia, Arkansas, North

Carolina, and Tennessee. The first battle of the war at Bull

Run, near Manassas Junction, Virginia, ended in a Confederate

victory due to poor Union generalship.

1862: The Confederacy started to draft soldiers to meet the

demand for troops and the Union followed suit in 1863. The

Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single-day battle of the war,

occurred in Maryland on September 17, 1862. Lincoln issued

his Emancipation Proclamation on September 23, following

the Union victory at Antietam.

1863: From July 1 to 3, 1863, 92,000 Union troops fought

76,000 Confederates at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The fate

of the Confederacy was sealed on July 4 with Union victories

at Gettysburg, turning a Confederate invasion of the

North, and Vicksburg, ceding control of the Mississippi River

to the Union. The war continued for two more years as the

South sought independence and Lincoln demanded union.

1864: Ulysses S. Grant, appointed commander of the Union

army following Vicksburg, crafted a more aggressive military

offensive than previous generals. It included a march of

destruction into the heart of the South by General William

Tecumseh Sherman, and Grant’s own assault on Lee in Virginia.

Sherman’s men captured and burned Atlanta in September

1864. Grant’s engagements with Lee involved destructive

battles including the Wilderness Campaign and the

assault on Cold Harbor.

1865: Union troops captured Richmond and surrounded Lee

in April. On Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865, General Robert E.

Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox

Court House in Virginia. On April 15, 1865, President Lincoln

died from an assassin’s bullet and Vice-President Andrew

Johnson assumed office.

Abolitionist Movement The abolitionist movement

began in the Revolutionary era, partially in response to

the inhumane treatment of slaves and partially in an effort to

remove blacks from white society. The movement in the late

1700s concentrated on freeing the slaves as a humane act.

Quakers in Pennsylvania established the first anti-slavery

society in the world in 1775. Interest in returning slaves to

Africa resulted in the formation of the American Colonization

Society in 1817. The Republic of Liberia, established in

1822 on the west coast of Africa, served as a destination for

approximately 15,000 slaves freed and returned. However,

most slaves considered Africa a foreign culture and sought

freedom and a home in America. In the 1830s American abolitionists

sought to follow the example set in the West Indies

by the British who freed the slaves in 1833. The religious

revivals of the Second Great Awakening also inspired abolitionists

to speak out against the sin of slavery. Abolitionists

published anti-slavery publications including pamphlets and

newspapers. Supporters of William Lloyd Garrison, a vocal

abolitionist and publisher of the newspaper The Liberator,

formed the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. African

Americans played a key role in the abolitionist movement,

most notably Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. Realizing

they needed a political voice, abolitionists supported

the Liberty Party in 1840, the Free Soil party in 1848, and

the Republican party in the 1850s. Abolitionists realize their

goal with the passage of the 13th Amendment.

Absolute and Relative Chronology Absolute

chronology depends on knowing the precise date including

the day, month and/or year of an event. To sequence events

in absolute chronology means to organize them in an order—

that is, from oldest to most recent. Relative chronology depends

less on specific dates and more on relationships of

events. To sequence events, individuals, and time periods,

students must understand past, present, and future time. Students

must also be able to identify the beginning, middle,

and end of an event or story. Students are expected to structure

a story, creating their own sequence by developing a

topic from its beginning to its conclusion. Students are expected

to create and interpret timelines, identify intervals of

time, and order events in the sequence of occurrence and in

relation to other events.

Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation,

the nation’s first constitution, was adopted by the

Second Continental Congress in 1781 during the Revolution.

It provided guidance to government for seven years and

gave Congress limited authority to make laws and to draw

up treaties with other nations. The Articles were limited in

providing solutions to many challenges facing the new Republic

because the states held most of the power, and Congress

lacked the power to tax, regulate trade, or control coinage.

In 1787 the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia

to revise the Articles, but instead the delegates constructed

a new constitution.

Bessemer Steel Process The Bessemer steel process

is the process of removing impurities from iron to make

steel. Steel is less brittle and stronger than iron. Industry

needed steel but was limited by the small quantity that could

be manufactured using traditional methods to remove impurities.

In the 1850s, British inventor Henry Bessemer discovered

that a blast of hot air directly on melted iron reduced

the impurities in iron. As a result, steel manufacturing

increased nearly 20 fold during the era of the Industrial Revolution

in America. Steel bridges, steel rails for railroads, and

the production of automobiles were major technological

achievements. Steel reinforcements in skyscrapers aided ur-

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banization, and increased production of household appliances

brought steel into the home.

Bill of Rights The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments

to the Constitution, ratified in 1791. The 1st Amendment

protects several fundamental rights of U.S. citizens:

freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press, and the rights

to assemble and to petition. The next seven amendments

guarantee other freedoms including the right to a fair trial

and the right to bear arms. Homes are protected from search

without just cause, citizens are protected from the imposition

of housing troops during peacetime, and those accused

of crimes are entitled to fair treatment before the law. The

9th Amendment guarantees that people retain rights not enumerated

in the Constitution and the 10th amendment limits

federal power by granting to the states all powers not specifically

assigned by the Constitution to the national government.

Checks and Balances The U.S. Constitution

authorizes each branch of government to share its powers

with the other branches and thereby check their activities

and power. The President can veto legislation passed by

Congress, but Congress can override the veto. The Senate

confirms major appointments made by the President, and

the courts may declare acts passed by Congress as unconstitutional.

Civic Virtue The term “civic” relates to involvement in

a community. Citizens of a neighborhood, town, state, or

nation have an obligation to be active, peaceful, loyal, and

supportive members of that community. Those with civic

virtue go a step beyond their obligations by taking an active

role in improving the community and the experiences of other

members of the community.

Civil Disobedience Civil disobedience is the process

of defying codes of conduct within a community or ignoring

the policies and government of a state or nation when the

civil laws are considered unjust. Henry David Thoreau included

the essay “Civil Disobedience” in Walden, a collection

of his writings. He did not want people to break the law

indiscriminately but he urged people to challenge laws they

considered unjust by refusing to obey them. This is called

passive resistance. World leaders such as Martin Luther King,

Jr. and Mohandas K. Gandhi followed Thoreau’s advice.

Blacks boycotted buses in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956

until the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was

illegal. Non-violent protest led to the signing of the Civil

Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination.

Declaration of Independence The Declaration

of Independence is a document adopted by the Second

Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It established the 13

colonies as independent states, free from rule by Great Britain.

The committee appointed to write the Declaration of

Independence included Benjamin Franklin, John Adams,

Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the majority of the declaration. In

the Preamble, Jefferson explained that it was necessary to

list the reasons why the colonies sought their own government.

In three sections Jefferson outlined the reasons: people

have the right to control their own government; the British

government and King used their power unjustly to control

the colonies; and the colonies had tried to avoid separating

from Britain, but Britain refused to cooperate. The most famous

passage concerns the right to govern:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are

created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty

and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights,

Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just

power from the consent of the governed. That whenever any

Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is

the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute

new Government. . .

Dred Scott v. Sandford Dred Scott v. Sandford

was a landmark Supreme Court case in 1857 which confirmed

the status of slaves as property rather than citizens.

Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote that a slave could not be

heard in federal courts because he was not a citizen and had

no protection under the Constitution. Also, Congress had no

authority over slavery in the territories, and upon statehood,

each territory would determine whether it would be a slave

state or a free state.

Emancipation Proclamation Abraham Lincoln

issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September

22, 1862, to go into effect on January 1, 1863. It declared

that all slaves in the rebellious Confederate states would be

free. These included slaves in Virginia, North Carolina, South

Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas,

Louisiana, and Texas. Following the proclamation, many

slaves in these states walked away from plantations and

sought protection from Union forces. The proclamation did

not apply to slaves living in border states or to areas in the

South occupied by federal troops. As Union troops moved

into new areas of the Confederacy, slaves in those areas would

be freed. All slaves were not freed until the ratification of

the 13th Amendment in 1865.

English Bill of Rights In 1689, King William

and Queen Mary accepted the English Bill of Rights which

guaranteed certain rights to English citizens and declared

that elections for Parliament would happen frequently. The

document followed the Glorious Revolution in which the

English people forced absolute monarch James II to leave

the country. William and Mary then assumed rule. By agree-

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ing to the English Bill of Rights, they supported a limited

monarchy, a system in which they shared their power with

Parliament and the people, and did not have absolute power,

as James II had sought. The influence of the English Bill of

Rights can be seen in the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution.

Federalism Federalism is the distribution of power between

a federal government and the states within a union.

Federalist Papers After the delegates to the Philadelphia

Convention finished writing the U.S. Constitution,

each state elected delegates to a ratification convention. Ratification

was required by nine of the 13 states in order for the

constitution to take effect. People were divided over issues

of the extent of power of the Constitution, the degree to which

the rights of states were protected, and the degree to which

the rights of citizens were protected. Those favoring the new

form of government, which divided power between a strong

central government and the states, were called Federalists.

Those seeking greater power for states were called Anti-Federalists.

In an effort to sway opinion and get the Constitution

approved, three leading Federalists wrote a series of 85 essays

which explained the new government and the division

of power. Published as The Federalist, the series was written

by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.

For instance, The Federalist, No. 10 (1787) defines the republican

form of government which Federalists envisioned

and the process of electing representatives to Congress.

Federalists and Anti-Federalists The adoption

of the U.S. Constitution was not an easy process. Citizens

disagreed over the way the document divided power between

the states and the national government, the degree to which

the rights of states were protected, and the degree to which

the rights of citizens were protected.

Those favoring ratification of the Constitution and adoption

of the federalist form of government were called Federalists.

Those opposed to the Constitution because they feared

the power of the national government in the new federal system

were called Anti-Federalists. Anti-Federalists were also

concerned that if the national government could overrule state

decisions, the protection of the liberty of individuals would

be at risk. Patrick Henry and George Mason were leading

Anti-Federalists. Henry was so opposed to the process that

he did not even attend the convention which drafted the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson favored some aspects of the Constitution

but was concerned about the lack of protection for

the rights of states and the absence of support for individual

rights. He supported the inclusion of a Bill of Rights. In an

effort to sway opinion and get the Constitution ratified, three

leading Federalists — James Madison, Alexander Hamilton,

and John Jay — published their views in The Federalist , a

series of 85 newspaper essays which have become a classic

of American political thought.

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