a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Gabriel Prosser's Rebellion
In this failed slave revolt, Gabriel Prosser, a slave preacher and blacksmith, organized a thousand slaves for an attack on Richmond, Virginia, in 1800. A thunderstorm upset the timing of the attack, and a slave informer alerted the whites. Prosser and twenty-five of his follwers were executed.

Gadsden Purchase
In 1853, James Gadsden, U.S. Minister to Mexico, engineered the purchase of over 29.000 square miles of Mexican territory south of the Gila River. It provided a potential route for construction of a transcontinental railroad.

gag rule
This procedural rule passed in the House of Representatives prevented discussion of antislavery proposals from 1836 to 1844.

Galloway, Joseph
Galloway was a Pennsylvania delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774. He wrote a conservative proposal to overhaul the empire by creating an American government that would manage intercolonial affairs and possess a veto over parliamentary actions affecting the colonies. His Galloway Plan was rejected.

gang system
The term gang system refers to the organization and supervision of slave field hands into working teams on southern plantations.

Garfield, James A.
Garfield, a compromise "dark horse" nominee of the Republican party, was elected president in 1880. He was a weak and indecisive leader. Charles Guiteau, a frustrated Stalwart, assassinated him four months after he become president.

Garland, Hamlin
In his autobiographical books, Garland, who grew up in the Midwest, wrote of the hardships of life (especially for women) on the farming frontier.

Garner, John Nance
Garner, from Texas, was elected vice president in 1932 and 1936.

Garrison, William Lloyd
Garrison, publisher of "The Liberator," was an immediate abolitionist. He called for immediate, uncompensated emancipation of slaves, and for racial equality. His confrontational tactics repelled moderate abolitionists and the general public.

Gaspee was the British revenue schooner burned in Narragansett Bay by Rhode Islanders in 1772. The incident led to the appointment of a British commission of inquiry whose powers prompted Americans to establish committees of correspondence.

Gates, Horatio
General Gates and Benedict Arnold commanded the Patriot defenses at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
First signed in 1947, this international agreement was designed to lower barriers to international trade and was updated periodically in subsequent years.< P> General Court
The legislature of the colony of Massachusetts was known as the General Court.

General Electric
Building on Thomas Edison's inventive genius, the General Electric Company was founded in 1892. Along with Westinghouse Electric, GE dominated the electric industry in America for decades.

general incorporation law
New York enacted the first general incorporation law. These laws permitted the states to issue charters to corporations without specific legislative action in each case. They placed tight restrictions on the capitalization and term of corporations.

General Union for Promoting the Observance of the Christian Sabbath
Founded in 1828 by Congregationalist and Presbyterian ministers, this reform organization lobbied for an end to the delivery of mail on Sundays and other Sabbath violations.

Gentlemen's Agreement
In 1906, the Japanese government agreed not to issue passports to Japanese workers intending to migrate to the United States. President Roosevelt reciprocated by getting the San Francisco school board to end its discriminatory segregation of Japanese students.

George III
King George III was condemned in the Declaration of Independence as the villain responsible for the colonists' loss of faith in the British empire. He, rather than Parliament, was held responsible because the king was the personification of the empire.

Apache chief Geronimo was captured in 1886. This helped bring a close to the late nineteenth-century suppression of Indian resistance to white migration into the Trans-Mississippi West.

This Pennsylvania town was the site of a pivotal Union victory in July 1863 during the Civil War.

Ghent, Treaty of
This treaty signed in December 1814 between the United States and Britain ended the War of 1812.

A ghetto is a neighborhood or district in which members of a particular ethnic or racial group are forced to live by law or as a result of economics or social discrimination.

GI was World War II slang for a U.S. soldier, derived from the words "government issue" stamped on equipment and supplies.

GI Bill of Rights
in 1944, the federal government made unprecedented educational opportunities available to World War II veterans in the GI Bill of Rights. It subsidized veterans so they could continue their formal education, learn new trades, or start new businesses. It also contained pension, hospitalization, and other benefits.

Gibbons v. Ogden
In "Gibbons v. Ogden" (1824), the Supreme Court ruled that states can regulate commerce that begins and ends in its own territory (intrastate trade), but when the transaction involves crossing a state line (interstate commerce), Congress's constitutional authority to regulate interstate trade takes precedence.

Gideon v. Wainwright
In 1962 the Supreme Court enlarged the rights of those accused of crime via its ruling in "Gideon v. Wainwright" that poor defendants were entitled to free legal counsel.

Gilbert, Humphrey
Gilbert was an English courtier whose interest in a Northwest Passage (through North America) to the Orient led him to attempt, unsuccessfully, the founding of an English colony in Newfoundland in the 1580s.

Gilded Age
The Gilded Age was Mark Twain's label for the post-Civil War decades. The term refers to a facade of proper and civilized behavior covering waste, corruption, and individual greed in late nineteenth-century America.

Gilded Age, The
"The Gilded Age" (1873) was Mark Twain's biting satire on the shallowness of his times.

Gladden, Washington
Gladden was the most influential preacher of the Social Gospel. In "Applied Christianity" (1886) he defended labor's right to organize and strike. Though he was not a socialist, Gladden nevertheless called for government regulation of industry and other economic and social reforms.

Russian for "openness," glasnost was the new policy of Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to encourage political debate and criticism in the Soviet Union. It was coupled with "perestroika" to decentralize administration and reward individual enterprise.

Glass-Steagall Act of 1933
This law separated investment from commercial banking to limit speculation by bankers and created the Federal Deposit control.

Glenn, John H. , Jr.
In 1962 Glenn became the first American (and third man) to orbit the earth in a man-made satellite. He later was a U.S. senator from Ohio.

Glidden, Joseph
Glidden invented barbed wire in 1874. It helped close the "open range" grazing of the cattle industry in the mid-1880s.

Glorieta Pass
This New Mexico mountain pass was the site of an important Civil War battle in April 1862 that maintained the Southwest under Union control.

Glorious Revolution
In 1688 fears that the birth of the son of James II would establish a Catholic dynasty in England prompted the exile of the king in order to secure English Protestantism and Parliament's power. In the colonies the Glorious Revolution resulted in the collapse of the Dominion of New England and in several colonial rebellions against James II's appointed governors. In England the bloodless revolt placed William of Orange, a Protestant, on the throne.

Goldwater, Barry
Arizona Senator Goldwater, leader of the extreme conservative wing of the Republican party, was the party's nominee for president in 1964. He was defeated in a landslide victory for Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

On March 27, 1836, Mexican troops put to death over three hundred American prisoners in this Texas town, during the Texas War for Independence.

Gompers, Samuel
Gompers was a long-time president of the American Federation of Labor. He advocated the use of the strike and the vote to win concessions from employers and business.

Good Neighbor policy
President Hoover's administration initiated a new approach to relations with other nations in the Western Hemisphere. The Good Neighbor policy declared America's intention to disclaim the right to intervention pronounced in the Platt Amendment and the Roosevelt Corollary.

Gorbachev, Mikhail
Gorbachev became premier of the Soviet Union in 1985. More moderate and flexible than his predecessors, he encouraged political debate and free enterprise.

gospel of wealth
The gospel of wealth is the thesis that hard work and preseverance lead to wealth, implying that poverty is a character flaw.

graduated income tax
A graduated income tax taxes income at low rates for low incomes and gradually higher rates for higher incomes. Congress first enacted a graduated income tax during the Civil War, repealed it after the war, and enacted it again in 1894, but it was declared unconstitutional. In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment empowered Congress to impose an income tax.

Graham, Billy
Graham, a fiery and persuasive preacher and the most famous postwar religious revivalist in America, has stressed interdenominational cooperation.

Grand Army of the Republic
The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was founded by former Union soldiers after the Civil War. It lobbied Congress for aid and pensions for former Union soldiers. It was also a powerful lobbying influence within the Republican party.

Grand Settlement of 1701
These separate peace treaties negotiated by Iroquois diplomats at Montreal and Albany marked the beginning of Iroquois neutrality in conflicts between the French and the British in North America.

grandfather clause
The grandfather clause was a rule that required potential voters to demonstrate that their grandfathers had been eligible to vote, a tactic used in some southern states after 1890 to limit the balck electorate, as most black men's grandfathers had been slaves and ineligible to vote.

The Grange refers to the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, a national organization of farm owners formed after the Civil War.

Granger Laws
Granger laws, so-called because they were advocated by the Patrons of Husbandry, or Grange, were state laws designed to regulate railroad and grain warehouse rates. Such laws were upheld as constitutional in "Munn v. Illinois" (1877), but in the Wabash case (1886), the Supreme Court ruled that the regulation of interstate trade was an exclusive power of the national government. The result was the Interstate Commerce Act.

Grant, Ulysses S.
In 1864, President Lincoln placed General Grant, victorious commander at Vicksburg, in command of all Union forces. He slowly battered Lee's armies into submission around Richmond in 1864-1865, and received Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. He was elected president in 1868 and 1872. His administration was ridden with scandal.

Great Awakening
The Great Awakening was the widespread evangelical revival movement of the 1740s and 1750s. Sparked by the tour of the English evangelical minister George Whitefield, the Awakening divided congregations and weakened the authority of established churches in the colonies.

Great Bridge
On December 9, 1775, this causeway near Norfolk, Virginia, was the site of a Revolutionary War battle between Americans and a British force composed mostly of African Americans and other Loyalists who had joined the governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore. Victory by the Americans enabled them to occupy Norfolk shortly thereafter.

Great Compromise
A plan proposed by Roger Sherman of Connecticut at the 1787 Constitutional Convention for creating a national bicameral legislature, the Great Compromise proclaimed that, in the House of Representatives places were to be assigned according to a state's population (proportional representation) and filled by popular vote. In the Senate, each state was to have two members (equal representation) elected by its state legislature.

Great Depression
Extending throughout the 1930s, the nation's worst economic crisis produced unprecedented bank failures, unemployment, and industrial and agricultural collapse and prompted an expanded role for the federal government.

Great Eastern
The steamship "Great Eastern" launched from England in 1858 opened a new era in transatlantic travel. The ocean crossing became safer, speedier, and cheaper; thus, European immigration to America increased dramatically.

Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
This term refers to the Japanese goal of an East Asian economy controlled by Japan and serving the needs of Japanese industry.

Great Migration
The Great Migration was the mass movement of Puritans to Massachusetts Bay colony that began in 1630 and continued into the 1640s. Economic depression and religious persecution in England provoked the migration. Alternately, the term refers to the mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, spurred especially by new job opportunities during World War I and the 1920s.

Great Socitey
President Johnson named his agenda to wage war on poverty, promote social welfare legislation, and advance civil rights the "Great Society."

Great Uprising
The first nationwide work stoppage in American history, the Great Uprising was an unsuccessful railroad strike in 1877 to protest wage cuts and the use of federal troops against strikers.

Great War for the Empire
Also known as the French and Indian War, this was a showdown between England and France for control of North America. With help from the American colonists, the British won this war fought between 1756 and 1763.

Greeley, Horace
Both the Liberal Republicans and the Democrats nominated Horace Greeley, editor of the "New York Tribune," for the presidency in 1876. He lost to President Grant.

Greenback party
This third party of the 1870s and 1880s garnered temporary support by advocating currency inflation to expand the economy and assist debtors.

Greenbacks were paper currency issued by the Union government during the Civil War. Whether to continue the issue of greenbacks and inflate the currency, or withdraw them from circulation remained an unresolved political issue in the 1870s and 1880s.

Greene, Nathanael
General Greene commanded Patriot armies in the backcountry of North and South Carolina in 1778-1781. His guerrilla tactics harassed General Cornwallis's army as it moved toward Virginia and the decision at Yorktown in 1781.

Greenville, Treaty of
In this 1795 treaty, Indians in the Old Northwest were forced to cede most of the present state of Ohio to the United States.

Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village in New York City was a gathering place of bohemian thinkers and "radical" progressives who sought basic changes in America's middle-class society.

A German submarine fired upon the U.S. naval destroyer "Greer" in July 1941. President Roosevelt, ignoring the "Greer's" provocation, ordered the navy to "shoot on sight" any German craft in waters south and west of Iceland, and to convoy merchant vessels to Iceland.

Grenville, George
Grenville became the Prime Minister of England in 1763. He was eager to reduce government spending, and he proposed the Sugar and Stamp acts to raise revenue in the colonies to defray the expenses of Britain's expanded empire.

Grimke, Angelina and Sarah
Angelina and Sarah Grimke, sisters from South Carolina, began their public careers in the abolitionist movement. Male abolitionists objected to their prominence in the movement, and the sisters turned to advocacy of women's rights.

Griswold v. Connecticut
In "Griswold v. Connecticut" (1965), the Supreme Court overruled a Connecticut law that banned the use of contraceptives by married couples. The decision was based on the view that the Connecticut law violated individuals' right to privacy.

Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of
This 1848 treaty ended the Mexican War. In it, Mexico surrended its claim to Texas above the Rio Grande and, in the Mexican Cession of 1848, ceded New Mexico and Alta California to the United States in return for a payment of $15 million.

Guiteau, Charles
Guiteau was a mentally unbalanced Stalwart office seeker who, in frustration, assassinated president James Garfield in 1881.

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
At President Johnson's request, after reports of North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin off North Vietnam, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, gaving the president authority to deploy U.S. troops to repel aggression in Southeast Asia. President Johnson accepted its passage as a license to conduct war in Vietnam.

guns and butter
The phrase "guns and butter" refers to the World War II economy's ability to supply adequate amounts of domestic goods (butter) at the same time it was mobilized for the production of war goods (guns).

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