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

Naismith, James
Naismith invented the game of basketball.

When Panamanians rose in revolt against the Colombian governors in 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt, interested in a canal route through Panama, ordered the naval cruiser "USS Nashville" to help the rebels. The revolution succeeded, and Panama became independent and immediately negotiated a canal agreement with the United States.

Nasser, Gamal Abdel
Egyptian leader Nasser drifted to the communist orbit in the mid-1950s. He nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956 when the United States withdrew promised aid to build the Aswan dam on the Nile. His action provoked the Suez crisis.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
The federal agency was created in 1958 to manage American manned and unmanned space flights and exploration.

National American Woman Suffrage Association
This organization, formed in 1890, to coordinate the ultimately successful campaign to achieve women's right to vote.

National and Community Service Trust Act
This 1994 legislation created a pilot program for a domestic Peace Corps for young Americans.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
This national interracial organization founded in 1910 was dedicated to restoring African-American political and social rights.

National Association of Colored Women
This group founded in 1896 served as an umbrella organization for black women's clubs that worked to improve the lives of black women, especially in the rural South.

National Banking Act
The National Banking Act, passed in 1863 to help finance the Union war effort, gave the country a uniform currency. Under the act, banks that invested one-third of their capital in U.S. bonds received federal charters. They then could issue currency up to 90 percent of the value of those bonds. This federal currency soon drove state bank notes out of circulation.

National Black Convention
This prominent gathering of nothern black leaders in 1853 was called to protest the Fugitive Slave Act.

National Endowment for the Arts
This federal agency created in 1965 funds research, public programs, and museum exhibits dealing with the performing arts, visual arts, and design arts.

National Endowment for the Humanities
This federal agency created in 1965 funds research, publications, and museum exhibits dealing with history, literature, and related fields.

National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry
The Grange was founded in 1867 by Oliver H. Kelley to provide social and cultural benefits for isolated farmers. It eventually became politically active, especially in support of railroad regulation laws called Granger laws.

National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
This 1933 law created the National Recovery Administration and, in Section 7a, guaranteed workers the rights to organize unions and bargain collectively.

This group of leaders in the 1780s spearheaded the drive to replace the Articles of Confederation with a stronger central government.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
This federal board established in 1935 enforced workers' rights to organize, supervise union elections, and oversee collective bargaining.

national malaise
A malaise is a feeling of discomfort or uneasiness. In 1977, President Carter stated that a "national malaise" had sapped the people's energy and undermined civic pride.

National Organization for Women (NOW)
This group organized in 1966 to expand civil rights for women.

National Origins Act
The 1929 National Origins Act was the culmination of immigration restriction laws in the 1920s that established a quota system to regulate the influx of immigrants to America. The system heavily favored immigrants from Britain and northern Europe, while sharply restricting the "new" immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and Asia. It reduced the annual total of immigrants.

National Recovery Administration (NRA)
This federal agency was established in 1933 to promote economic recovery by promulgating codes to control production, prices, and wages.

National Republicans
The National Republicans were a loosely organized political party that opposed President Jackson and his policies. It unsuccessfully ran John Quincy Adams for the presidency in 1828 and Henry Clay in 1832. It coalesced with other anti-Jacksonians in the 1830s to create the Whig party.

National Security Council (NSC)
Created in 1947, the formal policymaking body for national defense and foreign relations consists of the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, and others appointed by the president.

National Security Council Paper 68 (NSC-68)
This policy statement committed the United States to a military approach to the Cold War.

National War Labor Board
This government agency supervised labor relations during World War I, guaranteeing union rights in exchange for industrial stability.

National Women's Party
This political organization formed in 1916 campaigned aggressively first for women suffrage and thereafter for the Equal Rights Amendment.

National Women's Political Caucus
This political organization formed in 1971 helped elect women to local, state, and federal offices.

National Women's Suffrage Association
The NWSA, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, was a progressive women's rights organization that campaigned for women's right to vote and the unionization of women workers.

Colonists developed a sense of national unity because unity offered the only hope of winning the Revolutionary War. Unlike most modern revolutions, for Americans the desire for independence antedated any intense national feeling.

In the mid-1780s proponents of a constitutional convention, like Alexander Hamilton, were nationalists who believed only centralization of government would save the nation from disintegration.

Nativists were those Americans who feared that large-scale immigration might alter the basic political and social character of the United States.

In 1948, the United States, Canada, and ten European nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military mutual-defense pact. General Eisenhower was the first commander of NATO forces. The Soviet Union countered NATO with the formation of the Warsaw Pact--a military pact among those European nations within its own sphere of influence.

Naturalist writers expressed a pessimistic view of human nature-human beings were helpless animals whose fate was determined by their environment. The naturalist's attention to the dark side of life focused on primitive emotions-lust, hate, and greed.

Naturalization Act of 1798
One of the Alien and Sedition Acts, this law passed by Congress in 1798 extended the residency requirement of alien residents for U.S. citizenship from five to fourteen years.

natural rights
This political philosophy maintains that individuals have an inherent right, found in nature and preceding any government or written law, to life and liberty.

Navigation Acts
The Navigation Acts were passed by Parliament to implement mercantilistic assumptions about trade. They were intended to regulate the flow of goods in imperial commerce to the greater benefit of the mother county. The Navigation Act of 1651 called for imperial trade to be conducted using English or colonial ships with mainly English crews, and the Navigation Act of 1696 closed the loopholes in earlier mercantilist legislation and also created vice-admiralty courts in the colonies.

Nazi is the truncated form of the name of the National Socialist German Workers' party, led by Adolf Hitler, which ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945.

The 1958 National Defense Education Act (NDEA) provided an opportunity and stimulus for college education for many Americans. It allocated funds for upgrading work in the sciences, foreign languages, guidance services, and teaching innovation.

necessary and proper clause
The elastic clause in the Constitution grants Congress the right to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers specifically granted to Congress by the Constitution. This clause was the source of Hamilton's implied powers doctrine.

Neighborhood Union
This organization founded by Lugenia Burns Hope, a middle-class black woman in Atlanta in 1908 and modeled on similar efforts in the urban North, provided playgrounds, a health center, and education for young urban blacks.

Neighborhood Youth Corps
This antipoverty program recruited young people from low-income areas for community projects.

A neoconservative was an advocate of or participant in the revitalized conservative politics of the 1980s and 1990s, calling for a strong government role in defense and foreign policy and a limited role in social and economic policy.

An advocate of or participant in the effort to reshape the Democratic party for the 1990s around a policy emphasizing economic growth and competitiveness in the world economy.

Neutrality Act of 1935
Reacting to their disillusionment with World War I and absorbed in the domestic crisis of the depression, Americans backed Congress's several neutrality acts in the 1930s. The 1935 act forbade loans or the sale of munitions to belligerents in a war. Later, the embargo on munitions was expanded to include civil wars.

New Age
This term applies to a wide range of ideas and practices that seek to enhance individual potential and spiritual well-being outside the boundaries of traditional religion.

New Deal
The New Deal was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan for, and active government response to, the Great Depression. It called for experimentation in providing relief for individuals, recovery of the economy, and reform of the American system.

New England Immigrant Aid Society
The New England Immigrant Aid Society was founded with plans to transport antislavery settlers to Kansas Territory in 1854. Although they were few in numbers, the New Englanders together with midwestern antislavery settlers were active and conspicuous in Kansas Territory's politics.

New England Non-Resistant Society
This pacifist organization founded by Garrisonian abolitionists in 1838 was opposed to all authority resting on force.

New Freedom
In the 1912 presidential campaign, Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson argued for a "New Freedom" contending that the government could best serve the public interest and provide social justice by breaking up the trusts and restoring competition to the economy.

New Frontier
"New Frontier" was the tag attached to President John Kennedy's domestic and foreign policies. Kennedy hoped to revitalize the national economy, extend the influence of the United States abroad, and "get the country moving again."

New Harmony
This short-lived utopian community established in Indiana in 1825 was based on the socialist ideas of Robert Owen, a wealthy Scottish manufacturer.

new immigration
America's "new" immigrants in the late nineteenth century came predominantly from southern and eastern Europe. They came in unprecedented numbers, were usually poor peasants, and were usually non-Protestant.

New Jersey Plan
James Madison offered the Constitutional Convention the Virginia plan calling for proportional representation in Congress. James Paterson's New Jersey plan, hoping to protect the less populous states, called for equal representation for each state in a unicameral legislature. The controversy was resolved in the Great Compromise.

New Lights
During the Great Awakening churches sometimes split between the congregants who supported the incumbent minister (Old Lights), and those who favored the revivalism of itinerant preachers like George Whitefield (New Lights).

New Nationalism
In 1912, running on the Progressive party ticket, Theodore Roosevelt campaigned on a comprehensive progressive platform for economic and social legislation which he termed the New Nationalism. It called for expanding federal power to regulate big business and enacting social-justice legislation.

New Republicanism
New Republicanism referred to Dwight Eisenhower's vision of the Republicans as a relatively moderate party of the political center.

New York Central Railroad
The New York Central originally ran from Albany to Buffalo. Cornelius Vanderbilt expanded the line so that by 1877, it had become a network of lines stretching from New York City to the upper Middle West.

New York draft riots
In July 1863, whites infuriated by the Conscription Act rampaged through New York City. Most rioters were Irish laborers who feared for their jobs. As the protest escalated into class and racial warfare that had to be quelled by federal troops, over 100 people were killed.

Newlands Act
The 1902 Newlands Act funneled the income from federal land sales in the West into federal irrigation projects--a keystone in President Roosevelt's favorite progressive concern, conservation.

Niagara Movement
The Niagara Movement was an impatient response in 1905 to Booker T. Washington's advocacy of black accommodation to white prejudice. More militant blacks called for equal opportunity, equal justice, and an end to segregation. The Niagara Movement led to the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Nickelodeons were early movie houses. They were so named because admission cost a nickel.

Nine-Power Treaty
At the Washington Naval Conference, all participants agreed to respect China's independence and to maintain the Open Door in Asia.

A keystone of the early New Deal, the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA, 1933) permitted manufacturers to establish industrywide codes of "fair business practices"--setting prices and production levels. It also provided for minimum wages and maximum working hours for labor. In addition, the NIRA guaranteed (in Section 7a) labor the right to organize and bargain collectively. It was declared unconstitutional in "Schechter v. United States" in 1935.

Nisei were U.S. citizens born of immigrant Japanese parents.

Nixon, Richard M.
California Congressman Nixon was elected vice president in 1952 and 1956, but lost the 1960 presidential election to Kennedy. He won the presidency in 1968 and 1972, but resigned in disgrace during the Watergate scandal in 1974.

The 1934 National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) created the National Labor Relations Board to supervise union elections and designate winning unions as workers' official bargaining agents. The board could also issue cease-and-desist orders to employers who dealt unfairly with their workers.

no taxation without representation
It was an established British constitutional principle that a subject could not be taxed without his consent (manifested by his representation in Parliament). Colonists stood by this principle to protest British tax policies in the 1760s.

Initiated in response to the taxes imposed by the Sugar and Stamp Acts, this tactical means of putting economic pressure on Britain by refusing to buy its exports to the colonies was used again against the Townshend duties and the Coercive Acts. The nonimportation movement popularized resistance to British measures and deepened the commitment of many ordinary people to a larger American community.

Non-Intercourse Act
In 1808 Congress replaced the Embargo Act with the Non-Intercourse Act. It forbade U.S. trade only with Britain and France, and authorized the president to end nonintercourse with either nation if it stopped violating U.S. neutral rights.

Nonpartisan League
This radical farmers' movement in the Great Plains states after 1915 sought to restrain railroads, banks, elevators, and other major corporations.

"Nordic" is an anthropological term that refers to the Caucasian peoples of northern Europe and their descendants. Most of the "old" immigrants to America (pre-1890) were northern and western European, or from Britain (Anglo-Saxon).

Noriega, Manuel
General Noriega, strongman leader of Panama, was indicted in the United States for drug trafficking. President Bush sent U.S. troops to Panama to capture Noriega and deliver him to the United States for trial.

Warren Harding coined the word normalcy meaning "normality" during the 1920 presidential campaign. The term is identified with his (and the public's) desire to abandon the "abnormal" crusading spirit of progressivism and wartime sacrifice that had demanded so much of his generation.

Norris, George
In 1910, George Norris led progressive insurgents in the House of Representatives, to strip Speaker Joseph Cannon of his control of the Rules Committee. Thereafter, party caucuses made committee appointments. This curtailed some of the arbitrary power of the Speaker of the House.

Norris, George W.
Nebraska Senator Norris, a public-power enthusiast, helped block plans to turn over government-built hydroelectric power plants at Muscle Shoals, Alabama to private capitalists. He sponsored the 1933 Tennessee Valley Authority Act.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
This agreement reached in 1993 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States substantially reduced barriers to trade.

North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
This insurance company founded in Durham, North Carolina, in 1898 eventually became the largest black-owned business in the nation.

North, Oliver
In 1989, Marine Colonel North, an aide to President Reagan's national security advisor, was found guilty of destroying government documents in order to mislead Congress and obstruct its investigation of the Iran-Contra affair. The verdict was later overturned on a technicality.

North Star, The
The North Star was the antislavery newspaper established by Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York, in 1847.

Northern Securities case
In 1902, President Roosevelt ordered the Justice Department to bring suit against the Northern Securities Company, a railroad monopoly. The Supreme Court dissolved the company, ruling that it violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case helped earn Roosevelt the title of "trustbuster."

Northwest Ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 established governments in America's northwestern territories, established a procedure for their admission to statehood, and prohibited slavery north of the Ohio River. This legislation passed by Congress under the Articles of Confederation provided the model for the incorporation of future territories into the Union as coequal states.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in 1966 by feminists calling for equal employment opportunities and equal pay for women. NOW also came to advocate an equal rights amendment, changes in divorce laws, and legalization of abortion.

nuclear family
A nuclear family is a one-family household consisting of parents and their children (and servants). Puritan families were nuclear and patriarchal, that is, the father was boss.

nuclear freeze
Nuclear freeze refers to the proposal that the United States and the Soviet Union should stop further production and deployment of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
One consequence of the Cuban missile crisis was the signing (by 100 nations) of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963. It banned all atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Among the major nations, only France and China did not sign the treaty.

In his 1828 "South Carolina Exposition and Protest," John C. Calhoun argued that if an act of Congress violated the Constitution, a state could interpose its authority and nullify the law--declare it legally void or inoperative--within its own boundaries.

Nullification Crisis
In 1832 a South Carolina convention nullified the Tariff of 1832. President Jackson responded by threatening the use of federal troops to compel South Carolina to obey federal law. Congressional leaders worked out a Compromise Tariff of 1833 calling for gradual reduction of tariff rates. South Carolina then withdrew its Nullification Ordinance and the crisis passed.

Nye, Gerald P.
In 1934, North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye headed a Senate investigation into banking and the munitions industries. He concluded that they had conspired to drag the United States into World War I for their own profit. He labeled munitions manufacturers "merchants of death." His committee's report fed the isolationist mood of Americans in the mid-1930s.

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