Calhoun Resolutions In making the proslavery response to the Wilmot Proviso,
Senator John C. Calhoun argued that barring slavery in Mexican acquisitions
would violate the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution by depriving
slaveholding settlers of their property.
Calvinism Doctrine of predestination expounded by Swiss theologian John
Calvin in 1536; influenced the Puritan, Presbyterian, German and
Dutch Reformed, and Huguenot churches in the colonies.
Camp David Accords Peace agreement between Israeli prime minister Menachem
Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, brokered by President
Jimmy Carter in 1978.
Carpetbaggers Northern emigrants who participated in the Republican governments
of the Reconstruction South.
Chancellorsville, Battle of Confederate general Robert E. Lee won his last
major victory and General “Stonewall’’ Jackson died in this Civil War battle
in northern Virginia on May 1–4, 1863.
Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) Halted Chinese immigration to the United
Civil Rights Act of 1866 Along with the Fourteenth Amendment, guaranteed
the rights of citizenship to freedmen.
Civil Rights Act of 1957 First federal civil rights law since Reconstruction;
established the Civil Rights Commission and the Civil Rights Division of
the Department of Justice.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 Outlawed discrimination in public accommodations
Clipper ships Superior oceangoing sailing ships of the 1840s to 1860s that
cut travel time in half; the clipper ship route around Cape Horn was the
fastest way to travel between the coasts of the United States.
Closed shop Hiring requirement that all workers in a business must be union
Coercive Acts/Intolerable Acts (1774) Four parliamentary measures in reaction
to the Boston Tea Party that forced payment for the tea, disallowed
colonial trials of British soldiers, forced their quartering in private
homes, and set up a military government.
Cold war Term for tensions, 1945–89, between the Soviet Union and the
United States, the two major world powers after World War II.
Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842) Landmark ruling of the Massachusetts
supreme court establishing the legality of labor unions.
Compromise of 1850 Complex compromise mediated by Senator Henry
Clay that headed off southern secession over California statehood; to appease
the South it included a stronger fugitive slave law and delayed determination
of the slave status of the New Mexico and Utah territories.
Compromise of 1877 Deal made by a special congressional commission on
March 2, 1877, to resolve the disputed presidential election of 1876; Republican
Rutherford B. Hayes, who had lost the popular vote, was declared
the winner in exchange for the withdrawal of federal troops from
the South, marking the end of Reconstruction.
Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) Umbrella organization of semiskilled
industrial unions, formed in 1935 as the Committee for Industrial
Organization and renamed in 1938.
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Civil rights organization started in
1944 and best known for its “freedom rides,” bus journeys challenging
racial segregation in the South in 1961.
Conspicuous consumption Phrase referring to extravagant spending to raise
social standing, coined by Thorstein Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure
Constitutional Convention Meeting in Philadelphia, May 25–September
17, 1787, of representatives from twelve colonies—excepting Rhode
Island—to revise the existing Articles of Confederation; convention soon
resolved to produce an entirely new constitution.
Containment General U.S. strategy in the cold war that called for containing
Soviet expansion; originally devised in 1947 by U.S. diplomat George F.
Continental Army Army authorized by the Continental Congress, 1775–84,
to fight the British; commanded by General George Washington.
Continental Congress Representatives of a loose confederation of colonies
met first in Philadelphia in 1774 to formulate actions against British
policies; the Second Continental Congress (1775–89) conducted the
war and adopted the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of
Convict leasing System developed in the post–Civil War South that generated
income for the states and satisfied planters’ need for cheap labor by
renting prisoners out; the convicts, however, were often treated poorly.
Copperheads Northerners opposed to the Civil War.
Coral Sea, Battle of the Fought on May 7–8, 1942, near the eastern coast of
Australia, it was the first U.S. naval victory over Japan in World War II.
Cotton gin Invented by Eli Whitney in 1793, the machine separated cotton
seed from cotton fiber, speeding cotton processing and making profitable
the cultivation of the more hardy, but difficult to clean, short-staple cotton;
led directly to the dramatic nineteenth-century expansion of slavery
in the South.
Counterculture "Hippie" youth culture of the 1960s, which rejected the values
of the dominant culture in favor of illicit drugs, communes, free sex,
and rock music.
Court-packing plan President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s failed 1937 attempt to
increase the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices from nine to fifteen
in order to save his Second New Deal programs from constitutional challenges.
Credit Mobilier scandal Millions of dollars in overcharges for building the
Union Pacific Railroad were exposed; high officials of the Ulysses S.
Grant administration were implicated but never charged.
Cuban missile crisis Caused when the United States discovered Soviet offensive
missile sites in Cuba in October 1962; the U.S.-Soviet confrontation
was the cold war’s closest brush with nuclear war.
Crop-lien system Merchants extended credit to tenants based on their future
crops, but high interest rates and the uncertainties of farming often led
to inescapable debts (debt peonage).