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manifest destiny: The political doctrine or belief held by the United States of America, particularly during its expansion, that the nation was destined to expand toward the west.

wilmot proviso: bold attempt by opponents of slavery to prevent its introduction in the territories purchased from Mexico following the Mexican War. Named after its sponsor, Democratic representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania, the proviso never passed both houses of C

fugitive slave act: laws passed by the United States Congress in 1793 and 1850 to provide for the return of slaves who escaped from one state into another state or territory.

treaty of guagaloupe hildalgo: peace treaty, largely dictated by the United States (U.S.) to the interim government of a militarily occupied Mexico City, that ended the Mexican-American War

santa anna: Mexican general who tried to crush the Texas revolt and who lost battles to Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War (1795-1876)

compromise of 1850: intricate package of five bills, passed in September 1850, defusing a four year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North that arose from expectation of territorial expansion of the United States with the Texas A

stephen douglas: American politician from the western state of Illinois, and was the Northern Democratic Party nominee for President in 1860. ...

alamo: A poplar tree of Southwestern U.S.; the cottonwood.

gadsden purchase: region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that was purchased by the United States in a treaty signed by President Franklin Pierce on June 24, 1853, and ratified by the U.S

49ers: Prospectors in the Californian Gold Rush who arrived relatively early, in 1849 * San Francisco 49ers, American football team, named for the above prospectors * The Charlotte 49ers, athletic teams of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte * The Long

bleeding kansas: series of violent events, involving anti-slavery Free-Staters and pro-slavery "Border Ruffian" elements, that took place in the Kansas Territory and the western frontier towns of the U.S. state of Missouri roughly between 1854 and 1858

kansas nebraska act: Controversial 1854 legislation that opened Kansas and Nebraska to white settlement, repealed the Compromise of 1820, and led oppo nents to form the Republican party.

secession: The act of seceding.

republican party: the younger of two major political parties in the United States; GOP is an acronym for grand old party

dred scott decision: ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves were not protected by the constitution

popular sovereignty: expresses a concept and does not necessarily reflect or describe a political reality. It is often contrasted with the concept of individual sovereignty

john brown: abolitionist who was hanged after leading an unsuccessful raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (1800-1859)

harpers ferry raid: locality of extreme northeast West Virginia. It was the scene of John Brown's rebellion (1859), in which he briefly seized the U.S. arsenal here. The town changed hands a number of times during the Civil War.

martyr: One who willingly accepts being put to death for adhering openly to one's religious beliefs; notably, saints canonized after martyrdom.

harriet beecher stowe: United States writer of a novel about slavery that advanced the abolitionists' cause (1811-1896)

sumner incident: took the rising tensions between north and south and the issue of slavery into the center of Congress

abraham lincoln: 16th President of the United States; saved the Union during the American Civil War and emancipated the slaves; was assassinated by Booth (1809-1865)

j davis: American football cornerback for the Houston Texans of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at North Carolina State

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