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Early United States: 1791–1815



foreigner living in another country. Many aliens lived in the United States and wanted to become naturalized citizens.

Corps of Discovery

expedition company commissioned by President Jefferson in 1804 to explore the northern half of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase


ban on trade with a particular country or a group of countries

Embargo Act

official prohibition of the export of goods from the United States to all nations. It was enacted in 1807.


internal tax added to the price of a good or commodity for the purpose of raising revenue

First Bank of the United States

national bank founded in 1791 to collect taxes, print money, and pay the government's bills


goods brought in from other countries


forced enlistment of civilians into military service

John Marshall

fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Marshall greatly influenced the development of the U.S. system of constitutional law.

judicial review

notion that the Supreme Court determines the constitutionality of the president's executive actions as well as of local, state, and federal laws

Louisiana Purchase

area of 828,000 square miles purchased from France and stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canada-U.S. border

Marbury v. Madison

William Marbury's lawsuit against James Madison for the right to his commission to serve as a federal judge. The case established the practice of judicial review.

Meriwether Lewis

one of the leaders of the expedition sent to explore the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis was President Jefferson's secretary.

midnight judges

16 judgeships President John Adams planned to fill with Federalists

Non-Importation Act

law proposed by Congress in 1806 banning American merchants from importing British manufactured goods

Non-Intercourse Act

1809 replacement of the Embargo Act allowing the United States to trade with all foreign nations except Britain and France


source of income for a nation

War of 1812

military conflict between the United States and Britain lasting from June 8, 1812, to February 17, 1815

Whiskey Rebellion

1794 event during which farmers of southwestern Pennsylvania openly and violently defied the authority of the federal government to tax spirits

William Clark

one of the leaders of the expedition sent to explore the Louisiana Purchase. Clark was a lieutenant.

XYZ Affair

1797 incident in which three Frenchmen, known as X, Y, and Z, demanded loans and a bribe for setting up a meeting between the Americans and France's foreign minister when President Adams sent envoys to Paris to restore friendly relations