Elementary Social Studies Vocabulary List

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1 Elementary Social Studies Vocabulary List Social Studies/ Cultural Studies Unit, Gheens Academy for Curricular Excellence and Instructional Leadership 3/1/2012

2 Vocabulary for Native Americans and Explorers (SSPA 1) Adaptations: changes in a way of life that allow people to survive in a particular environment Age of Exploration: a period of time when people from Europe traveled to North America Artifacts: objects made by humans Conquistadors: Spanish explorers who came to the Americas in the 1500s and claimed land for Spain Contagious disease: sickness that spreads quickly Culture: the way of life of a group of people Expedition: a trip taken with the goal of exploration Exploration: the act of traveling to new places in order to learn about them, Explorers: people who travel to new places in order to learn about them Invasion: the entrance of an army into a country for conquest Merchants: people who buy and sell goods, sometimes traveling to other lands to do this Migration: the movement of people from one country or area to another country or area Missionary: a religious teacher sent out by a church to spread its religion Native: born in a particular place or country Navigation: the science of planning and following a route New World: North and South America Nomads: people who move from place to place Northwest Passage: the supposed water route across the northern part of North America that Europeans were looking for but never found Old World: the world known to Europeans before exploration Region: an area in which many features are similar Trade route: a route used by traders of goods Treaty: a formal agreement between countries or groups Voyage: a journey from one place to another 2

3 Colony: a land ruled by another country Vocabulary for Colonization (SSPA 2) Indentured servants: individuals who agreed to work for a period of time in exchange for a free passage from Europe Jamestown: the first permanent English settlement in North America, named after King James Mayflower Compact: an agreement signed by Pilgrims that described the way they planned to govern themselves in the New World Middle Passage: the route of the slave trade of Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas Overseer: a person put in charge of enslaved persons Pilgrim: a person who makes a journey for religious reasons Plantations: large farms that depended on the labor of workers or enslaved persons who lived on the land Plymouth (Plimouth): the third English settlement started in North America by people who were looking for religious freedom Roanoke: the first English settlement in North America, referred to as the lost colony because no one knows what happened to the settlers there Slave auctions: a sale in which enslaved persons were sold to buyers who bid for them Slavery: the practice of holding people against their will and making them work without pay 3

4 Vocabulary for Struggle for Independence (SSPA 2) Boston: an historic city that served as the British capital and the place where the Revolution began Boston Massacre: event in 1770 in Boston in which British soldiers killed five colonists who were part of an angry group that had surrounded them Boston Tea Party: event in which members of the Sons of Liberty dressed like Mohawks; boarded ships in the Boston Harbor carrying British tea; and opened the chests of tea and dumped the tea into the harbor Boycott: a refusal to buy goods Committees of Correspondence: groups of colonists formed in the 1770s to spread news quickly about protests against the British Daughters of Liberty: groups of women Patriots who wove cloth to replace boycotted British goods First Continental Congress: meeting of representatives from every colony except Georgia held in Philadelphia in 1774 to discuss actions to take place in response to the Intolerable Acts Intolerable Acts: laws passed by British Parliament to punish the people of Boston, following the Boston Tea Party Loyalists: colonists who remained loyal to King George and the British government Militia: volunteer armies Minutemen: Patriot militia groups that could be ready in a minute s notice to fight for their colony Parliament: Britain s law-making assembly Patriots: colonists who opposed British rule Quartering: to provide with shelter and food Repeal: to cancel Sons of Liberty: group that led protests against the British government 4

5 Stamp Act: law that placed a tax on printed materials in the colonies, such as legal documents, newspapers, and even playing cards (When colonists bought these items, they had to buy a stamp and put it on the item to show they had paid the tax.) Tariff: tax on imported goods Townshend Acts: laws that placed a tariff (tax) on imported goods the colonies imported from Britain, such as paper, wool, and tea 5

6 Vocabulary for The Young Republic (SSPA 3) 3/5 Compromise: an agreement between Northern and Southern states at the Constitutional Convention (1787) to count 3/5 of a state s enslaved population for the purposes of taxation and representation Amendment: an official change, correction, or addition to the Constitution Articles of Confederation: the original agreement among the 13 founding states that said the United States would be a loose union of 13 separate states. Bill: a proposed law Bill of Rights: the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, added in 1791 Branches of government: executive, legislative, judicial Checks and balances: a system of government that attempts to balance the power of the branches of government; each branch of government limiting the others so no one branch becomes too strong Citizen: a person who gets the rights, privileges, and protections of a nation by birth or granted through a naturalization process Civic engagement: working to promote the quality of life in a community and/or nation Common good: working together for the greater benefit of everyone Compromise: to settle a dispute by each side agreeing to give up part of its demands Conflict: to be opposed, to differ Conflict resolution: processes used to work through differences and disagreements Cooperation: working together toward a common purpose Democracy: a form of government in which the people, either directly or indirectly, take part in their own governing Equality: the social concept that all individuals are of the same value and worth and thus should be given similar opportunities and social status Executive branch: the part of the government that ensures laws are carried out Federalism: a system of government where power is shared between the state and federal government Freedoms/Liberties: the absence of constraint or restraint from another; a right and/or privilege 6

7 General welfare: a clause in the Preamble that says the powers of the government should be used for the common good of its citizens Government: an authority that acts on behalf of a group of people Great Compromise: an agreement at the Constitutional Convention that each state have an equal number of representatives in the Senate and the number of representatives in the House of Representatives be proportional to the size of the population Interstate commerce: the trade between two or more states Judicial branch: the branch of government that interprets and decides the meaning of laws and settles disputes Justice: correcting wrongs and making decisions to keep or achieve fairness Law: a rule of action or conduct made by governments Legislative branch: the law-making part of government with the power to raise money needed to run the government Limited government: the idea that the government has only the power that the Constitution gives it Popular sovereignty: the idea that the government and its leaders are ruled by their citizens through their votes Preamble: the introduction to the Constitution which explains its purpose Republic: a government in which citizens rule themselves through elected representatives Responsibilities: what citizens should do to support the government Rights: a freedom or protection guaranteed by the U.S. government for all citizens Separation of powers: each branch of government having different responsibilities which act as checks on the power of other branches Social contract: an agreement in which people give up some of their rights and powers to have the benefit of government Tax: payment of money that citizens and businesses must make to help pay the cost of government U.S. Constitution: set of basic principles and laws that state the powers and duties of government and serves as the supreme law and plan of government for our nation; adopted in

8 Vocabulary for A Growing Nation (SSPA 4) Annex: to add or attach Expedition: a journey made for a special purpose Forty-niner: nickname for a person who arrived in California in 1849 to look for gold Frontier: outer edge of a settled area Gold Rush: sudden movement of many people to an area where gold had been found Homestead Act: 1862 law offering free land to pioneers willing to start farms on the Great Plains Indian Removal Act: law passed in 1830 forcing American Indians living in the Southeast to be moved west of the Mississippi Louisiana Purchase: territory purchased by the United States from France in 1803 extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada Manifest destiny: belief that the United States had the right to expand west to the Pacific Ocean Northwest Passage: water route that explorers thought would flow through North America, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Oregon Trail: trail many pioneers used to settle the West Pioneer: early settler of a region Plains: a large flat area of land, grassland Reservation: land set aside by the United States government for Native Americans Territory: a piece of land belonging to or under government authority Trail of Tears: forced march of 15,000 Cherokee from the southeastern United States to Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma in 1838 Trapper: a person who traps animals for furs Wagon Train: common method of transportation to the West in which wagons traveled in groups for safety 8

9 Vocabulary for A Nation Divided (SSPA 4) Assassination: the killing of a high- ranking official or leader Blockade: the shutting off of an area by troops or ships to keep people and supplies from moving in and out Border state: during the Civil War, a state between the Union and the Confederacy that allowed slavery but remained in the Union Civil War: war between people of the same country Compromise of 1850: a law passed by Congress under which California was admitted to the Union as a free state and the Fugitive Slave Law was passed Confederacy: Confederate States of America formed by the 11 Southern states that seceded from the Union Draft: law that requires men of a certain age to serve in the military, if called Emancipation Proclamation: statement issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, freeing all enslaved persons in Confederate states still at war with the Union Fifteenth Amendment: Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1870, that gave the right to vote to male citizens of all races Fourteenth Amendment: Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1868, that said no state could deny any citizen the equal protection of the law Freedmen s Bureau: federal agency set up in 1865 to provide food, schools, and medical care to enslaved persons freed in the South Free state: state that did not allow slavery Fugitive Slave Law: law passed by Congress in 1850 that said escaped enslaved persons had to be returned to their owners Gettysburg Address: famous Civil War speech given by President Lincoln in 1863 at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg Jim Crow Laws: laws passed in the South after Reconstruction establishing segregation of whites and blacks 9

10 Kansas-Nebraska Act: law passed in 1854 allowing these two territories to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery Missouri Compromise: law passed in 1820 dividing the Louisiana Territory into areas prohibiting slavery and areas allowing slavery Reconstruction: period of rebuilding after the Civil War during which the Southern states rejoined the Union Secede: to break away from a group, as the Southern states broke away from the United States in 1861 Segregation: separation of people because of race Sharecropping: system of farming in which farmers rented land and paid the landowner with a share of the crops they raised Slave codes: laws designed to control the behavior of enslaved persons Slave state: state in which slavery was legally allowed States rights: idea that states have the right to make decisions about issues that concern them Tariff: tax on imported goods Thirteenth Amendment: Amendment to the Constitution in 1865 that ended slavery Underground Railroad: system of secret routes used by escaping enslaved persons that led from the South to the North/Canada Union: states that remained loyal to the United States government during the Civil War 10

11 Canal: human-made waterway Vocabulary for A Nation Changes (SSPA 4) Cotton gin: machine invented by Eli Whitney that cleaned the seeds from cotton Immigrants: people who leave one country to go live in another country Industrial Revolution: period of important change from making goods by hand to making goods by machine in factories Labor union: groups of workers joined together to gain improved working conditions and better wages Manufacturing: making of goods by manual labor or by machinery in large quantities Progressive Era: time in history of great change when people began to work to help correct many of America s social problems Progressives: reformers who wanted to improve government Strike: work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work Technology: use of scientific knowledge or new tools to make or do something Telegraph: machine used to send messages along wires using electricity Tenement: building that is divided into very small apartments Transcontinental railroad: a railroad line that crossed the United States completed in Urban: related to a city 11

12 The Great Depression Vocabulary for America in the 20 th Century (SSPA 5) Assembly line: a line of workers and equipment that puts a product together piece by piece Consumer goods: products made for personal use Credit: the act of getting an item today, but paying for it later Depression: a time in which many people can t find work and many others have no money to keep businesses going Division of labor: when workers perform different parts of a large task Great Depression: the worst economic slump in history, which began in the United States in 1929 and spread to other parts of the world, lasting until 1941 New Deal: programs created by the government to help people who were suffering from the effects of the Great Depression (PWA, WPA) PWA (Public Works Administration): a New Deal program that created jobs by hiring people to work on public projects (i.e., improving roads and parks) Rationing: limiting what people can buy Social Security: a New Deal program that provides money to help people who are disables or who have stopped working due to age Stock: a share of ownership in a company Stock market: the place where stocks are bought and sold Unemployment: the number of people without a job WPA (Works Progress Administration): a New Deal program that included programs for unemployed writers and artists 12

13 World War II Alliance: an agreement nations make to support and defend each other Allied powers: France, Great Britain, Soviet Union Allies: partners Armistice: an agreement to stop fighting Atomic bomb: a powerful bomb that can destroy an entire city Axis powers: Italy, Japan, and Germany Capitalism: an economic system in which people and businesses control the production of goods and services Capital resource: an item that is used in the production of other goods and services Communism: an economic system in which the government controls production and owns the nation s natural and capital resources Concentration camp: a place where large numbers of people are held prisoner and forced to work Dictator: a ruler who has total power over a country and its people Free world: the United States and its allies Genocide: a planned attempt to kill an entire population of people Holocaust: the mass murder of Jews during World War II Internment camp: a place where prisoners are held during war time Japanese relocation: relocation of individuals of Japanese heritage (including U.S. citizens) to isolated inland areas as a result of Japan s attack on Pearl Harbor Nationalism: devotion to one s country Natural resource: any material provided by nature that can be used to produce goods or services 13

14 Pearl Harbor: U.S. military base in Hawaii that was attacked by Japan, causing the United States to declare war on Japan and join World War II War bonds: loans from the American people to the federal government to pay for war World War II: a conflict fought from 1939 to 1945 by troops from 61 countries; the most costly war in history in the number of people killed and the amount of property destroyed Cold War Arms race: a contest between nations to build bigger and more powerful weapons Space race: a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union to send people into outer space Civil Rights Movement Boycott: to protest by refusing to use or buy a good or service Brown vs. Board of Education: pivotal Supreme Court case that ordered the desegregation of all public schools Civil rights: the rights that countries guarantee their citizens Civil Rights Act of 1964: the law that ended segregation in public places, including restaurants, movie theaters, and hotels Civil rights movement: an organized effort, beginning in the 1950s, to achieve equal rights for black Americans Demonstration: a gathering of people who want to express their opinion to the public and the government Desegregation: ending the separation of people by racial or ethnic group Discrimination: the unfair treatment of particular groups Integration: the bringing together of people of all races 14

15 March on Washington 1965: a protest march organized by civil-rights leaders to support a bill to end segregation in the United States Non-violent protests: a way of bringing change without using violence Voting Rights Act of 1965: the law that further protected the right to vote for all citizens; forced the states to obey the constitution 15

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