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

Radical Republicans
The Radical Republicans in Congress, headed by Thaddeus Stevens and Benjamin Wade, insisted on black suffrage and federal protection of the civil rights of blacks. They gained control of Reconstruction in 1867 and required the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment as a condition of readmission for former Confederate states.

Railroad Administration
This federal agency operated and modernized the nation's railways to improve transportation related to the World War I war effort.

Raleigh, Walter
Raleigh was an English courtier who attempted an English settlement on Roanoke Island in 1587. The colony failed for lack of supplies.

Randolph, A. Philip
Randolph was an African American leader and president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union. In 1941 he threatened a march on Washington if black workers where not guaranteed equal employment opportunities. President Roosevelt responded with Executive Order 8802, prohibiting discrimination in hiring for plants with defense contracts.

Rappites, followers of George Rapp, were a communal group that settled in Pennsylvania in 1804. They were millennialists, they renounced marriage and sex, and they took every word of the Bible literally.

In the aftermath of the War of 1812, the United States and Britain negotiated several friendly agreements regarding the U.S.-Canadian border. This rapprochement (coming together) meant that for years no serious trouble would mar Anglo-American relations.

The process by which members of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 submitted their proposed national constitution to specially elected state conventions for approval. This process bypassed existing state legislatures, many of which seemed reluctant to grant power to a new national government above them, yet avoided a direct popular referendum, which some members of the Constitutional Convention feared. This mechanism allowed those in favor of the new national constitution first to influence the voters, then to influence delegates to the special conventions. (2) The process by which amendments to the United States Constitution are accepted or rejected. Ratification of any amendment to the national constitution requires a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress and approval by three-fourths of the existing state legislatures. (3) The process by which individual states constitutions were approved or are amended. This process almost always involves direct public referenda.

Raven, The
Edgar Allen Poe's poem, "The Raven" (1845) was an enormously popular work that reflected the author's preoccupation with mystery, fright, and the occult.

Ray, James Earl
Ray pleaded guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968. He was sentenced to ninety-nine years in prison.

Reagan, Ronald
Reagan, a former governor of California, was elected president in 1980 and 1984. His administration was devoted to reducing the scope of federal activity, particularly in social welfare areas. It was also committed to lowering taxes and increasing the strength of America's armed forces.

"Reaganomics" was the label pinned on President Reagan's policies of tax cuts, reduced federal spending and regulation, and a tight-money policy.

Realism was a literary genre that emerged in the late nineteenth century. It was the product of industrialism, Darwinian evolution, and scientific empiricism. Realist novelists undertook the examination of complex social problems and were painstaking in their fashioning of multidimensional characters in real life situations.

In the cutthroat competition of late nineteenth-century railroading, some railroads increased the volume of freight they carried by giving shippers rebates--reduced rates for large shipments. It was a policy open to abuse.

The term recall refers to the process of removing an official from office by popular vote, usually after using petitions to call for such a vote.

reconcentration camps
When Spanish General Valeriano Weyler became governor of Cuba in 1896, he herded the rural population into "reconcentration" camps to prevent them from giving aid or recruits to the rebels fighting for Cuban independence from Spain.

During this long struggle (ending in 1492), the Spanish Christians reconquered the Iberian peninsula from Muslim occupiers, who first invaded in the eighth century.

During the Reconstruction era (1865-1877), the resolution of two major issues--the status of the former slaves and the terms of the Confederate states' readmission into the Union--dominated political debate.

Reconstruction Acts
The 1867 Reconstruction Acts divided the South into five military districts, each governed by a general. It required southern states to guarantee black suffrage, and it disfranchised many former Confederates. Southern states were required to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment as a condition of their readmission to the Union.

Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)
In 1932 President Hoover agreed to the creation of the RFC, a federal agency which would loan money to banks, railroads, and insurance companies in an effort to stimulate the depressed economy and save the entities from bankruptcy. These were loans, not gifts or grants, and they offered no direct relief to individuals.

Red Scare
This post-World War I public hysteria over Bolshevik influence in the United States was directed against labor activism, radical dissenters, and some ethnic groups.

The term Red-baiting refers to accusing a political opponent of sympathizing with or being "soft on" Communism.

Redeemers were Southern Democrats who wrested control of govenrments in the former Confederacy, often through electoral fraud and violence, from Republicans beginning in 1870.

Redemptioners were similar to indentured servants, except that redemptioners signed labor contracts in America rather than in Europe, as indentured servants did. Shipmasters sold redemptioners into servitude to recoup the cost of their passage if they could not pay the fare upon their arrival.

Redlining refers to refusing mortgage loans and insurance to properties in designated inner-city neighborhoods.

Reed, Thomas
Ultra-conservative Thomas "Czar" Reed was a long-time Speaker of the House in the late nineteenth century. He ruled the House with an iron hand.

Reexport trade
In the "Essex" case (1805) a British judge declared that U.S. ships could not circumvent the Rule of 1756 by using the reexport trade. To get around the Rule of 1756, U.S. merchants had been first shipping foreign goods to a U.S. port, then reexporting them to England and Europe as "neutral" goods.

A referendum is the submission of a law, proposed or already in effect, to a direct popular vote for approval or rejection.

The Reformation was the sixteenth-century movement to reform the Catholic Church that began with Martin Luther's critique of church practices in 1517. The Reformation ultimately led to the founding of a number of new Protestant Christian religious groups.

Regulators were vigilante groups active in the 1760s and 1770s in the western parts of North and South Carolina. The South Carolina Regulators attempted to rid the area of outlaws; the North Carolina Regulators sought to protect themselves against excessively high taxes and court costs. In both cases, westerners lacked sufficient representation in the legislature to obtain immediate redress of their grievances. The South Carolina government eventually made concessions; the North Carolina government suppressed its Regulator movement by force.

Rehnquist, William
President Reagan appointed Rehnquist Chief Justice of the United States in 1986.

President Jackson viewed Indians as savages who were incapable of self-government. He pursued a policy of removing Indians from the path of westward settlement. By 1840 most eastern tribes had been relocated to lands west of the Mississippi River.

The Renaissance was the major cultural movement in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that began in the city-states of Italy and spread to other parts of the continent. Sharing a "rebirth" of interest in the classical civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, many artists of the period produced notable works in painting, sculpture, architecture, writing, and music.

In the Spanish colonies, repartimiento referred to the assignment of Indian workers to labor on public works projects.

Report on Manufacturers
In 1791 Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton issued a bold call for economic planning. His Report on Manufacturers called for tariffs and subsidies to encourage investment in American manufacturing. Congress rejected this proposal.

Report on Public Credit
n 1791 Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton recommended that Congress fund the national debt at par and assume the states' debts. He was trying to establish the financial credit of the new national government.

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 agreed that the United States should have a republican form of government drawing its authority from the people and remaining responsible to them. They agreed that ordinary citizens should share in the process of selecting those who were to make and execute the laws.

Republicanism was a complex, changing body of ideas, values, and assumptions, closely related to country ideology, that influenced American political behavior during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Derived from the political ideas of classical antiquity, Renaissance Europe, and early modern England, republicanism held that self-government by the citizens of a country, or their representatives, provided a more reliable foundation for the good society and individual freedom than rule by kings. The benefits of monarchy depended on the variable abilities of monarchs; the character of republican government depended on the virtue of the people. Republicanism therefore helped give the American Revolution a moral dimension. But the nature of republican virtue and the conditions favorable to it became sources of debate that influenced the writing of the state and federal constitutions as well as the development of political parties.

Republican party
1) (Jeffersonian) One of the original two political parties, the Republican party was organized by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson and generally stood for states' rights, an agrarian economy and the interests of farmers and planters over those of financial and commercial groups, strict construction, and friendship with France and support for the cause of the French Revolution.
2)The Republican Party organized in 1855 in response to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was a party composed of northerners who opposed the territorial expansion of slavery. It also adopted most of the Whig's economic program. The party nominated John C. Fremont for president in 1856 and Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

Republican party (Jeffersonian)
One of the original two political parties, the Republican party was organized by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson and generally stood for states' rights, an agrarian economy and the interests of farmers and planters over those of financial and commercial groups, strict construction, and friendship with France and support for the cause of the French Revolution.

The "Requerimiento" was a lengthy document read to New World Indians by conquistadors. It demanded that the Indians recognize the sovereignty of the Spanish monarch or face utter destruction.

Rerum novarum
Pope Leo's encyclical, "Rerum novarum," criticized the greedy excesses of capitalism, defended the right of labor to form unions, and stated the government's duty to care for the poor. The statement made the inner-city Catholic churches more conscious of their social mission.

Rescate referred to the procedure by which Spanish colonists would pay ransom to free Indians captured by rival natives. The rescued Indians then became workers in Spanish households.

Many senators had reservations about the wisdom of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. They wanted to modify the treaty to protect their own political interests and to assure American sovereignty in world affairs. They were particularly suspicious of the treaty's creation of a League of Nations.

Resettlement Administration
This federal agency was established in 1935 to provide financial assistance and social services to displaced tenants and farm workers.

Revenue Act of 1935
This law established a more progressive tax system by setting graduated taxes on corporate income and increasing the top tax rates on personal income.

Rhode Island system
During the industrialization of the early nineteenth century, the Rhode Island system referred to the recruitment of entire families for employment in a factory.

right of deposit
The right of deposit--storing goods in Spanish New Orleans while awaiting ocean-going transportation to eastern and European markets--was vital to western settlers. Spain conceded the right in the Treaty of San Lorenzo (Pinckney's Treaty) in 1795.

right of privacy
In 1965, the Supreme Court affirmed a personal right of privacy (freedom from certain public or governmental intrusion into one's affairs) in "Griswold v. Connecticut." The Court struck down a Connecticut law that banned the use of contraceptives by married couples.

right of revolution
The Declaration of Independence justified the colonists' revolt against Britain by an appeal to the abstract right of a people to revolt against a tyrannical government.

Rockefeller, John D.
Rockefeller was an unusually skillful business organizer. He founded Standard Oil Company and the Standard Oil Trust, which dominated American oil refining. Like others of his ilk, he sought to stabilize his industry, reduce competition, and maximize profits.

Roe v. Wade
In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in "Roe v. Wade" that women had a constitutional right to have an abortion during the first three months (trimester) of pregnancy and established guidelines for abortion in the second and third trimesters. The decision provoked a vigorous "right-to-life" movement that opposed abortion.

Early nineteenth-century literary romantics believed that change and growth were the essence of life, for individuals and for institutions. They valued feeling and intuition over reason and pure thought, and they stressed the differences between individuals, rather than their similarities.

Romer v. Evans
This U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1996 overturned an antigay measured adopted in Colorado.

Rommel, Erwin
German General Erwin Rommel commanded the elite Afrika Korps in North Africa in World War II. He had great expertise in armored warfare (tanks) and was nicknamed "the desert fox."

Roosevelt Corollary
I n 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt announced as a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, that the United States had a right to intervene in the internal affairs of Latin American nations should those nations become unstable. Through it, the United States assumed the role of a hemispheric policeman.

Roosevelt revolution
This label identifies the New Deal programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the transformation they effected on government. His New Deal vastly expanded the power and responsibility of the federal government such that the widespread suffering of another Great Depression is not likely to be repeated.

Roosevelt, Eleanor
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the president, was a force for civil rights and a spokeswoman for better treatment and equal employment opportunities for African Americans and women in the depression years of the 1930s.

Roosevelt, Franklin D.
Former New York's governor Franklin Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944. He organized the New Deal's broadening of government authority to deal with the Great Depression and lead the nation throughout World War II.

Roosevelt, Theodore
President Theodore Roosevelt was the leader of national progressivism at the turn of the twentieth century. He supported regulation of big business, conservation of natural resources, and a "square deal" for ordinary people. He greatly expanded the role and authority of the presidency in the national government.

Rosenberg, Julius and Ethel
In the early 1950s, the Rosenbergs were accused of espionage and supplying atomic-bomb secrets to the Soviet Union. They were tried, convicted, and executed.

The Jacksonian principle of rotation-in-office rationalized the dismissal of experienced government employees from their jobs by arguing that no one had any intrinsic right to hold an appointed office; that, if left in office too long, they would become indifferent toward public interests and tend toward incompetence and corruption.

Rough Riders
The Rough Riders were Colonel Teddy Roosevelt's volunteer unit in the Cuban theater of the Spanish-American War. They charged up the San Juan heights near Santiago to help capture that city.

Royal African Company
The Royal African Company was an English joint-stock company founded in 1672 and devoted to the slave trade. It made slaves more readily available to English colonists in America.

Rule of 1756
The Rule of 1756 was a British maritime regulation stating that neutral nations could not trade in wartime with ports normally closed to them by mercantilistic restriction in time of peace. John Jay accepted this British definition of America's neutral rights in the Jay Treaty of 1795.

Rural Electrification Administration (REA)
This federal agency transformed American rural life by making electricity available in areas that private companies had refused to service.

Rural free delivery
RFD refers to the government delivery of mail directly to farmsteads rather than merely to village post offices to which rural residents would than have to travel to retrieve their mail.

Rush-Bagot Agreement
In the 1817 Rush-Bagot Agreement the United States and Britain agreed to limit naval forces on the Great Lakes. Eventually, as an outgrowth of this decision, the entire border was demilitarized, a remarkable achievement.

The term rustbelt referred to the states of the Midwest and Northeast affected adversely by the decline of manufacturing in the 1970s and 1980s; named for the image of machinery rusting in abandoned factories.

Ruth, Babe
Ruth was baseball's most outstanding star in the 1920s. He changed the game from a pitcher's duel to a hitter's game. He set a record for home runs in a season that stood for thirty-five years.

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