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U.S. History

Key Terms

U.S. HistoryKey Terms

Black Legend
Spain’s reputation as bloodthirsty conquistadors
a branch of Protestantism started by John Calvin, emphasizing human powerlessness before an omniscient God and stressing the idea of predestination
Columbian Exchange
the movement of plants, animals, and diseases across the Atlantic due to European exploration of the Americas
the transformation of something—for example, an item of ritual significance—into a commodity with monetary value
legal rights to native labor as granted by the Spanish crown
the island in the Caribbean, present-day Haiti and Dominican Republic, where Columbus landed on his first voyage to the Americas and established a Spanish colony
documents for purchase that absolved sinners of their errant behavior
joint stock company
a business entity in which investors provide the capital and assume the risk in order to reap significant returns
the protectionist economic principle that nations should control trade with their colonies to ensure a favorable balance of trade
mourning wars
raids or wars that tribes waged in eastern North America in order to replace members lost to smallpox and other diseases
Separatists, led by William Bradford, who established the first English settlement in New England
sea captains to whom the British government had given permission to raid Spanish ships at will
probanza de mérito
proof of merit: a letter written by a Spanish explorer to the crown to gain royal patronage
Protestant Reformation
the schism in Catholicism that began with Martin Luther and John Calvin in the early sixteenth century
a group of religious reformers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries who wanted to “purify” the Church of England by ridding it of practices associated with the Catholic Church and advocating greater purity of doctrine and worship
the first English colony in Virginia, which mysteriously disappeared sometime between 1587 and 1590
a faction of Puritans who advocated complete separation from the Church of England
a disease that Europeans accidentally brought to the New World, killing millions of Native Americans, who had no immunity to the disease
one of the primary crops of the Americas, which required a tremendous amount of labor to cultivate
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