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When the Federalists disappeared as a national party by 1820, the Jeffersonian Republicans, lacking any organized opposition, became more troubled by internal factional disputes. A faction is a group or clique within a larger group (political party).


Factors were Scottish and English agents who sold colonial planters' crops, filled their orders for manufactured goods, and extended them credit. The factor system was very convenient for southern planters, but it prevented the development of a diversified economy in the South.

factory system

The factory system brought the means of production together in buildings (factories) where water power (later steam and electricity) supplied the energy to run the machinery that increased productivity and reduced labor costs. It was introduced to the United States in textile manufacturing in 1790.

Fair Deal

The Fair Deal was a program for expanded economic opportunity and civil rights proposed by President Truman in 1949.

Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC)

When African Americans demanded equal employment opportunities in 1941, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, which prohibited discrimination in plants with defense contracts. The FEPC was set up to enforce the order.

Fair Labor Standards Act

In 1938, The Fair Labor Standards Act abolished child labor, and established a national minimum wage (40 cents an hour, later raised) and a forty-hour work week.

Fall, Albert

President Harding's secretary of the interior, Albert Fall, arranged to lease government oil reserves to private oil companies in return for personal, non-repayable "loans." The central figure in the Teapot Dome scandal, he was eventually fined and imprisoned for accepting a bribe.

Farewell Address

President Washington decided not to seek reelection in 1796. Near the end of his term he delivered a farewell address that warned the nation against the harmful effects of rivalry between political parties, and against the dangers of permanent alliances with foreign nations.

farm bloc

The 1920s farm bloc of midwestern Republicans and southern Democrats represented a conservative populism of indebted postwar farmers. Their opponent was "the interests" of rich bankers and industrialists. The farm bloc generally favored lower taxes and higher tariffs on farm goods.

Farm Credit Administration

This government agency was estalbished in 1933 to refinance farm mortgages, thereby saving farms and protecting banks.

Farmers' Alliance

As it spread throughout the South in the 1880s, the Farmers Alliance stressed cooperation among farmers (both black and white). Their marketing cooperatives usually failed, pushing many farmers to become economic and social radicals. The Alliances enjoyed some electoral success in 1890 and helped organize the Populist party.


Fascists subscribed to a philosophy of governmental dictatorship that merges the interests of the state, armed forces, and big business. Fascism was associated with the dictatorship of Italian leader Benito Mussolini between 1922 and 1943 and also often applied to Nazi Germany.

Faubus, Orval

Arkansas Governor Faubus tried to prevent the integration of Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. President Eisenhower responded by sending federal troops to enforce the Supreme Court's school-integration mandate.

Faulkner, William

Novelist William Faulkner wrote several works depicting the multiple dilemmas of modern life. His major theme was of southerners imprisoned by their past and their surroundings, trying to escape.

favorable balance of trade

A favorable balance of trade was a condition of maximizing exports of one's own goods and limiting imports of foreign goods so as to remain a creditor nation in international trade.


Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 1933 to guarantee bank deposits up to $5000 (later raised). It was designed to protect individual savings accounts from loss due to bank closings.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

In 1934, Congress created the FCC and gave it power to regulate radio broadcasting and television. It could revoke the license of radio stations that failed to operate in the public interest.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

This government agency guarantees bank deposits, thereby protecting both depositors and banks.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)

This agency was set up to provide direct federal grants to the states for assisting the unemployed during the Great Depression.

Federal Highway Act of 1956

This measure provided federal funding to build a nationwide system of interstate and defense highways.

Federal Reserve Act

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 gave the United States a central banking system governed by a Federal Reserve Board, which controlled the rediscount rate and thus the money supply.

federal system

Delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 agreed that the United States should have a federal system of government with both independent state governments and a national government with limited powers to handle matters of common interest.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC, created in 1914, replaced the Bureau of Corporations. This nonpartisan commission investigated and reported on corporate behavior, and was authorized to issue cease and desist orders against unfair trade practices.

The Federalist

This series of eighty-five essays, written anonymously and individually by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, were published in New York in 1787 and 1788 to rally support for the ratification of the Constitution.

Federalist party

One of the original two political parties, the Federalist party was organized by Alexander Hamilton and generally stood for strong national government, a mercantilistic economy, implied powers, and friendship with England.


Federalists advocated ratification of the Constitution; they were centralizing nationalists. Antifederalists opposed ratification of the Constitution; they were states' rightists and were concerned that the Constitution contained no Bill of Rights.

Federalists Papers

Alexander Hamilton, with the help of James Madison and John Jay wrote the "Federalist Papers," a brilliant series of essays explaining and defending the national government created by the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Female Missionary Society

The Female Missionary Society mobilized the wives of business leaders who were receptive to the admonitions of the evangelical clergy of the Second Great Awakening. The society raised money to support revivalism in the "burned over district" of upstate New York.

Feminine Mystique, The

In her book "The Feminine Mystique" (1963), feminist Betty Friedan attacked the cultural assumptions about women's "proper" place being in the home. Friedan argued that the assumed domesticity of women robbed them of the capacity to use their intelligence and their talent for creativity.

Fence laws

This legislation required the penning of animals so that they would not disturb crops.

Ferraro, Geraldine

Ferraro, the first woman ever nominated for the vice presidency by a major political party, was nominated by the Democrats in 1984.

Fetterman Massacre

In 1866, a tribe of Oglala Sioux under chief Red Cloud, provoked by the building of the Bozeman Trail through their hunting ground in southern Montana, wiped out a U.S. army unit commanded by Captain W. J. Fetterman.

Field Order No. 15

This order by General William T. Sherman in January 1865 set aside abandoned land along the southern Atlantic coast for 40-acre grants to freedmen; it was rescinded by President Andrew Johnson later that year.

Fifteenth Amendment

The Fifteenth Amendment (1870) forbade the states to deny the vote to anyone on the account of race, color, or for having been a slave. It was intended to guarantee blacks the right to vote in the South.

Finney, Charles Grandeson

Finney was probably the most effective of a number of charismatic evangelists who brought the Second Great Awakening to its crest in the early 1830s. He encouraged his listeners to take their salvation into their own hands, and that, with the grace of God, salvation was available to anyone.

fireside chats

During the depression years of the 1930s, President Roosevelt used the radio to communicate with the American people, using plain language to explain complex issues and programs. These "fireside chats" had a reassuring and steadying effect on the public and boosted confidence.

First Continental Congress

Delegates from twelve colonies attended the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1774. The Congress denied Parliament's authority to legislate for the colonies, adopted the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, created a Continental Association to enforce a boycott, and endorsed a call to take up arms. The Congress also wrote addresses to the king, the people of Britain, and the American people.

Fitch, John

Fitch built and operated the world's first regularly scheduled steamboat in 1790. Steamboats later brought the West into the national economy.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott

Fitzgerald was the symbol of the "lost generation" of American writers in the 1920s. Among his other novels, he wrote "The Great Gatsby" and "Tender Is the Night."

Five Nations

The Five Nations was the powerful Iroquois Indian confederation in New York. The confederacy conducted a profitable fur trade with Europeans in North America.

Fletcher v. Peck

This Supreme Court decision of 1810 overturned a state law by ruling that it violated a legal contract.

Food Administration

This agency sought to increase agricultural production and food conservation to supply the U.S. military and the Allies during World War I.

Foran Act
The 1885 Foran Act outlawed the exploitative system of contract labor used to recruit cheap immigrant labor .

Forbes, Charles

Veterans Bureau administrator Charles Forbes siphoned off millions of dollars for his own pocket from funds appropriated to build veterans hospitals. He was one of several in President Harding's Ohio Gang who were involved in corruption.

Force Acts

Congress attacked the Ku Klux Klan with three Force Acts in 1870-1871. They placed state elections under federal jurisdiction and imposed fines and imprisonment on those guilty of interfering with any citizen exercising his right to vote. They were designed to protect black voters in the South.

Ford, Gerald

Ford was a longtime Republican congressman from Michigan. When Vice President Agnew resigned in 1973, Ford replaced him, and when President Nixon resigned the presidency, Ford became president. He was defeated in the 1976 presidential election by Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Ford, Henry

Ford was the person most responsible for the growth of the American automobile industry. His key insights were to lower the price of cars to make them available to a mass market, and to pay good wages to get high production from his employees.

Fordney-McCumber Tariff

The 1922 Fordney-McCumber Tariff granted strong protection to America's "infant industries" like rayon, china, and chemicals, yet it was moderate in its protection of most other industrial products.

Fort Donelson

With Fort Henry, Fort Donelson was one of two strategic forts on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and the site of a January 1862 Union victory during the Civil War.

Fort Henry

With Fort Donelson, Fort Henry was one of two strategic forts on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and the site of a January 1862 Union victory during the Civil War.

Fort Laramie Treaty

In this 1851 treaty, the United States attempted to establish definite boundaries for each of the major Indian tribes on the Central Plains.

Fort Sumter

Built on a small island, Fort Sumter was designed to protect the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. When South Carolina seceded in December 1860, the garrison inside Fort Sumter remained loyal to the United States. When the fort's food supplies began to run out, President Lincoln's effort to replenish them generated military reprisal from Confederate forces. The shelling of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, triggered open warfare between the United States and the Confederate secessionists.

Fort Ticonderoga

On May 10, 1775, Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen, leading forces from Massachusetts and Vermont, respectively, captured this strategically important fort between Lake George and Lake Champlain, along with its fifty defenders and its military stores, at the outset of the Revolutionary War.

Fort Wagner

The Confederate installation guarding the entrance to Charleston harbor during the Civil War was the site of a failed federal assault in July 1863, during which a black Union regiment, the 54th Massachusetts, distinguished itself.

Forty Niners

Miners who rushed to California after the discovery of gold in the northern part of the territory in 1848 were called "forty-niners."

Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers were the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 that wrote the Constitution. Most were lawyers, planters, and businessmen, and most of them had previous political experience.

Four Freedoms

In 1941, before the United States entered World War II, President Roosevelt enumerated the Four Freedoms required for world peace and for which World War II was being fought--freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Four-Power Treaty

At the Washington Naval Conference in 1921, the United States, Britain, France, and Japan agreed to respect one another's interests in the Pacific.

Fourier, Charles

Fourier was a French utopian socialist who proposed that society should be organized in cooperative units called phalanxes. Several phalanxes were founded in the northern and western states, but the communities were short-lived.

Fourteen Points

In January 1918, President Wilson outlined a peace plan with fourteen points, including no secret diplomacy, freedom of the seas, free trade, arms reduction, noncolonization, and national self-determination.

Fourteenth Amendment

This Constitutional amendment passed by Congress in April 1866 incorporated some of the features of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. It prohibited states from violating the civil rights of its citizens and offered states the choice of allowing blacks to vote or losing representation in Congress.

Frame of Government

This plan by William Penn in 1682 for the government of Pennsylvania created a relatively weak legislature and a strong executive; it also contained a provision for religious freedom.

Franco, Francisco

Franco was the fascist leader of Spanish rebels who, with the help of fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, overthrew the liberal Spanish Republic in the 1936 Spanish Civil War. The U.S. reaction to the war was to broaden its neutrality acts to include civil wars, thus isolating itself from these events.

Franco-American Alliance

The French and Americans signed a commercial treaty and a formal treaty of alliance in 1778. They agreed to aid each other, and the French guaranteed the sovereignty and independence of the United States.

Franco-American Accord of 1800

This settlement reached with France brought an end to the Quasi-War and released the United States from its 1778 alliance with France.

Franklin, Ben

Franklin was a Philadelphia printer and critic of Pennsylvania's royal governors. He also expressed concern over the large number of clannish Germans who settled in the Pennsylvania backcountry.


In this battle, fought December 13, 1862, Union General Ambrose E. Burnside failed to dislodge Confederate forces from their defensive position above this small Virginia city. Union forces lost heavily in a poorly conceived assault.

Freedmen's Bureau

The Freedmen's Bureau was a federal refugee agency set up to aid former slaves and destitute whites after the Civil War. It provided them food, clothing, and other necessities as well as helping them find work and set up schools. Congress overrode President Johnson's veto of a Freedmen's Bureau renewal bill in 1866.

freedom rides

"Freedom rides" were bus trips taken by black and white civil-rights advocates in the 1960s. They rode buses through the South to test the enforcement of federal regulations that prohibited segregation in interstate public transportation.

Freedom Summer

This voter registration effort in rural Mississippi was organized by black and white civil rights workers in 1964.

Freedom's Journal

Freedom's Journal was the first African-American newspaper, founded in 1827 by John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish.

Freeport Doctrine

During the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, Douglas declared that, even in the face of the Dred Scott decision, the people of a territory could exclude slavery simply by not passing the local laws essential for holding blacks in bondage. This Freeport Doctrine helped Douglas win reelection to the Senate, but it hurt his bid for the presidential nomination of the Democratic party in 1860.

free silver

Advocates of an inflationary currency policy to raise prices adopted "free silver" as their slogan. Their aim was to inflate the currency and raise (farm) prices by requiring the government to adopt a bimetallic (gold and silver) monetary standard.

Free Soil party

In 1848 the antislavery Barnburners in the Democratic party combined with the abolitionist Liberty party to form the Free Soil party and nominated Martin Van Buren for president. The party opposed the expansion of slavery into the territories.

Free Speech movement (FSM)

The first student protest of the 1960s came at the University of California, Berkeley in 1964. There, veterans of the civil rights movement staged sit-ins to protest university policies that restricted political advocacy on the campus.

Fremont, John C.

Fremont was the presidential nominee of the new Republican party in 1856. Known as "the Pathfinder," he was a noted frontier soldier and a hero of the conquest of California during the Mexican War. He had little political experience.

French and Indian War

Fourth in the series of great wars between England and France, this conflict (1754<>1763) had its focal point in North America and pitted the French and their Native American allies against the English and their Native American allies. Known in Europe as the Seven Years' War, this struggle drove the French from North America.

Fries's Rebellion

This armed attempt to block enforcement of the Direct Tax of 1798 in the eastern counties of Pennsylvania was named for an auctioneer who played a prominent role in the conflict.

front porch campaign

In 1896, William McKinley conducted a "front porch campaign," wherein he never left his Canton, Ohio home. Large crowds of spectators were brought to his "front porch" to meet the candidate. It proved very successful.

Fugitive Slave Act

As part of the Compromise of 1850, Congress passed a new Fugitive Slave Act. Under it, federal commissioners were authorized to compel citizens to assist in the return of runaway (fugitive) slaves, fugitives could not testify in their own behalf, and they were denied a jury trial.

Fulbright, J. William

Arkansas Senator Fulbright was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1960s. He was an opponent of adventurous foreign policy initiatives undertaken by presidents Kennedy in Cuba and Johnson in Vietnam.

Fulton, Robert

Fulton was an American artist and engineer who constructed the steamboat, "Clermont," in 1807. It was the first efficient vessel to operate on America's navigable rivers.

Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina

This complex plan for organizing the colony of Carolina was drafted in 1669 by Anthony Ashley Cooper and John Locke. The plan's provisions included a scheme for creating a hierarchy of nobles who would own vast amounts of land and wield political power; beneath them would be a class of freedmen and slaves. The provisions were never implemented by the Carolina colonists.


Religious fundamentalists, found in larger numbers in the Baptist and Methodist churches of the South and viewed as boors and hayseeds by sophisticated urbanites, were devoted to a literal interpretation of the King James Version of the Bible. Fundamentalism was profoundly conservative and anti-Darwinian, and rejected modern urban culture. The name derives from an influential series of pamphlets, The Fundamentals (1909-1914).

Fundamental Orders

This design for Connecticut government, adopted in 1639, was modeled on that of Massachusetts Bay, except that voters did not have to be church members.

funded debt

This is the means by which governments allocate a portion of tax revenues to guarantee payment of interest on loans from private investors. England used this process to begin paying debts incurred during the first two Anglo-French wars, thereby harnessing private capital to serve the nation's military needs.

funding at par

In his Report on Public Credit in 1791, Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton recommended that the national debt be funded at par. This meant calling in all outstanding securities and issuing new bonds of the same face value in their place, and establishing an untouchable sinking fund to assure payment of the interest and principal of the new bonds.


Fusion refers to the political strategy adopted by Populists and Republicans in North Carolina during their successful 1894 election campaign.

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