AP U.S. History Notes

Chapter 19: Renewing the Sectional Struggle, 1848-1854

self-determination - In politics, the right of a people to assert its own national identity or form of government without outside influence.  “The public liked it because it accorded with the democratic tradition of self-determination.”

homestead - A family home or farm with buildings and land sufficient for survival.  “…they broadened their appeal…by urging free government homesteads for settlers.

vigilante - Concerning groups that claim to punish crime and maintain order without legal authority to do so.  “…violence was only partly discouraged by rough vigilante justice.”

sanctuary - A place of refuge or protection, where people are safe from punishment by the law.  “…scores of…runaway slaves…were spirited…to the free-soil sanctuary of Canada.”

fugitive - A person who flees from danger or prosecution.  “…southerners were demanding a new and more stringent fugitive-slave law.”

topography - The precise surface features and details of a place – for example, rivers, bridges, hills – in relation to one another.  “The good Lord had decreed – through climate, topography, and geography – that a plantation economy…could not profitably exist in the Mexican Cession territory….”

mundane - Belonging to this world, as opposed to the spiritual world.  “…Christian legislators must obey God’s moral law as well as mundane human law.”

statecraft - The art of government leadership.  “The Whigs…missed a splendid opportunity to capitalize on their record in statecraft.”

isthmian - Concerning a narrow strip of land connecting two larger bodies of land.  “…neither America nor Britain would fortify or secure exclusive control over any future isthmian waterway.”

filibustering - Referring to adventurers who conduct a private war against a foreign country.  “During 1850 – 1851 two ‘filibustering’ expeditions descended upon Cuba.”

consulate - The office of a foreign official, usually not the ambassador, appointed to look after his or her country’s interests or citizens in a particular place.  “...an angry mob sacked Spain’s consulate in New Orleans.”

cloak-and-dagger - Concerning the activities of spies or undercover agents, especially involving elaborate deceptions.  “And incredible cloak-and-dagger episode followed.”

leak - To accidentally or deliberately disclose information supposed to be kept secret.  “The secret Ostend Manifesto quickly leaked out.”

booster - One who promotes a person or enterprise, especially in a highly enthusiastic way.  “An ardent booster for the West, he longed to…stretch a line of settlements across the continent.”

truce - A temporary suspension of warfare by agreement of the hostile parties.  “This bold step Douglas was prepared to take, even at the risk of shattering the uneasy truce patched up by the Great Compromise of 1850.”


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How to cite this note (MLA)

Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 19: Renewing the Sectional Struggle, 1848-1854" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 19 Mar. 2019. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/us-history/vocabulary/chapter-19-renewing-sectional-struggle/>.
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