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Civil War Vocabulary

Civil War and Reconstruction Vocabulary

Sectionalism People favoring the interests of a section rather than the whole country.
Popular Sovereignty Allowing the voters in a territory decide if they want slavery.
Compromise of 1850 Compromise that brings California into the Union as a free state.
Daniel Webster Massachusetts senator whose greatest concern was to keep the Union together.
Fugitive Slave Law Law passed as part of the Compromise of 1850 that made it a federal crime to help runaway slaves.
Uncle Tom's Cabin Book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe that changed American perception of slavery.
Kansas-Nebraska Act Plan that split the Louisiana Purchase into two territories. Popular sovereignty would decide the question of slavery.
Bleeding Kansas Nickname given to Kansas due to violence as a result of "popular sovereignty."
Republican New political party that formed in 1854 in opposition to slavery.
Dred Scott A slave that sued for his freedom because he had lived in free territory.
Stephen Douglas Illinois senator who debates Lincoln on "popular sovereignty."
John Brown An abolitionist who led a slave revolt at Harper's Ferry, Virginia.
Abraham Lincoln He won the Election of 1860 without being on the ballot in the southern states.
Secession The southern states officially leave the Union.
Jefferson Davis The first and only president of the Confederate States of America.
Fort Sumter The opening battle of the Civil War begins here in April, 1861.
Cotton Diplomacy Confederate hope to trade cotton with Europe for supplies needed to fight the war.
1st Bull Run First major battle of the Civil War. It was won by the Confederacy.
G. McClellan Union general early in the war known for his hesitancy to fight.
Robert E. Lee Virginian who resigns from the U.S Army to lead the Confederacy.
Antietam Battle in Maryland known as the "single bloodiest day" in American History.
Ironclad Name given to wooden ships with a sheet of metal armor.
Ulysses S. Grant Lincoln said of him, "I can't spare this man. He fights."
Shiloh Brutally vicious battle fought in April, 1862, on the banks of the Tennessee River.
Reconstruction The process of rebuilding the nation and bringing the southern states back into the Union.
Ten Percent Plan Name of Lincoln's plan to reconstruct the Union.
Thirteenth Amendment that banned slavery.
Freedmen's Bureau Government organization designed to assist former slaves with food and work.
John Wilkes Booth He assassinates Lincoln at Ford's theater.
Andrew Johnson He becomes our 17th president after Lincoln.
Black Codes Laws passed by southern states that limited the freedom of freedmen.
Radical Republicans Congressmen who wanted to punish the South during reconstruction.
Carpetbaggers Northerner who moved south during reconstruction for profit.
Democratic Political party Jefferson Davis would most likely have joined during Reconstruction.
Ku Klux Klan Secret society of white southerners who used violence to intimidate Freedom.
Scalawag Nickname given to white southern Republicans.
Poll Tax Forced freedmen to pay a fee before voting.
Jim Crow Laws passed in southern states to separate races.
Compromise of 1877 Democrats agree to accept election of Rutherford B. Hayes if Reconstruction ended.
Segregation Government practice of keeping whites and African Americans separate.
Plessy vs. Ferguson 1896 Supreme Court decision that upholds the practice of segregation.
Thaddeus Stevens was the most vocal of the Radical Republicans.
Vicksburg was the Union victory that gave the Union control of the Mississippi River.
Copperheads Northern democrats who opposed abolition and sympathized with the South during the war.
Anaconda Plan General Winfield Scott's war strategy to defeat the Confederacy.
Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln declares the slaves free in the rebellious Confederacy states on January 1st, 1863.
Gettysburg Address Speech given by Lincoln to honor the dead in a Pennsylvania battlefield.
Created by: KayleighHolt