Civil War terms and definitions

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missouri compromise
measures passed by congress in 1820 to admit missouri into the union as a slave state and maine as a free state while also setting a line at latitude 36 30 (Missouri’s southern border) north of which all Louisiana Purchase territory would be free
sectionalism
strong concern for local issuess
urban
characteristic of or relating to a city
popular sovereignty
a political practice; common in the United States before the civil war in which the people living in a newly organized territory had the right to vote on whether to allow slavery in the territory
compromise of 1850
measures passed by congress in 1850 to admit California into the union as a free state, to divide the rest of the southwest into the New Mexico and Utah territories, with the people there determining for themselves through popular sovereignty whether or not to accept slavery, to ban slavery in Washington D.C’s and the establish a new, strong fugitives slaves law
fugitive slave law
a law first passed by congress in 1793 to allow the seizure and return of slaves who escaped into another state or federal territory
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
an 1852 novel written by Harnet Breecher Stowe that described the cruelties of slavery so clearly that it increased the fervor with which pro slavery and anti slavery Americans supported their caused
Kansas-Nebraska Act
a law passed by congress in 1854 to establish Kansas and Nebraska as territories with popular sovereignty
Republican Party
one of the two major U.S. political parties; founded in 1854 by anti slavery opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska act
Dred Scott Decision
in 1857 ruling of the Supreme Court in the case Scott vs Sanford that legalized slavery in the territories and declared the Missouri compromise unconstitutional
arsenal
a stockpile of weapons and military equipment or the building in which they are stored
agitators
someone who tries to stir up public feelings about a controversial issue
secession
formal withdrawal of 11 southern states from the union in 1860-1861, leading to the civil war
fort sumter
a federal fort in the harbor of Charleston, south Caroline, at which the first battle of the civil war took place on April 12, 1861
Anaconda plan
civil war strategy devised by president Abraham Lincoln and General Winfield Scott by which Union forces would establish a naval blockade of souther ports and take control of the Mississippi River in order to squeeze in on the south from the east and west to defeat it
emancipation proclamation
an edict issues by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 to free the slaves in the confederate states
Gettysburg address
an inspirational speech given by Abraham Lincoln on November 18, 1863, at the civil war battle site of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in memory of the Union soldiers who died there trying in Lincoln’s words, to protect the ideals of freedom upon which the United States had been founded
total war
a military policy in which one side in a conflict decided it is willing to make any sacrifice necessary to completely defeat the opposing side
copperheads
during the civil war, a nickname republicans, used to describe those northerners, mostly democrats, who opposed the war and were sympathetic to the south
draft riots
a series of deadly riots that took place in the U.S. cities in 1863 to protest the newly established military draft
54th Massachusetts Regiment
in the civil war, the first entirely African American regiment of the Union army
freedmen
a man who has been freed from slavery
rifled muskets
a type of gun used during the civil was that had improved power and accuracy
bread riot
during the civil war, a riot involving hundreds of women in Richmond, Virginia, who sought food and other goods that were becoming scarce in the south as Union forces cut off key parts of the region’s economy
Categories: History