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Welcome to 8th grade Social Studies! This year we will journey through many events that led to the creation of our nation! We will begin with the Age of Exploration and discuss some key explorers that played a role in the discovery of new lands. Then we take a look at European colonization in the new world and how many colonies started resisiting control. From there, a war will start to brew, known as the American Revolution and we will fight for independence! After a long battle, our newly formed nation will face many obstacles that important leaders will be forced to make decisions on.We will see the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY shine through! So... hold on tight students...let our journey begin!

  • Terms and Topics List


    Terms and Topics

    First, Second, and Third Terms and Topics Study Guide


    ________________1st  9Weeks Terms_________________


    1. Direct Democracy:

    • Originated in ancient Greece. Every eligible voter meets at a town meeting and voted on all issues facing the community.


    2. Republic:

    • A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them


    3. Crusades:

    • Or Holy Wars, were a series of ancient wars fought between Christians and Muslims.  These wars fought in many locations helped spread religion, disease, technology, new ideas


    4. Irrigation:

    • A way to bring water into an area to supply the needs of humans and/or crops.


    5. Culture:

    • a way of life of a group of people


    6. Pre-historic people:

    • In world history these are the people who are before written records.  Referred to as hunter/gatherers (Nomads)


    7. Feudal System:

    • the political, military, and social system in the Middle Ages, based on the holding of lands in fief or fee and on the resulting relations between lord and vassal.


    8. Democracy:

    • A form of government where citizens own the power to rule

    (Examples: 1. Direct Democracy   2.Representative Democracy)


    9. Government: Ruling authority for a community/country

    Types include:

    • Dictatorship
    • Monarchy
    • Totalitarianism
    • Communism
    • Democracy



    10. Representative Democracy:

    • A government where citizens chose a smaller group to govern on their behalf


    11. Grasslands:

    • Areas of land in the American mid west.  Often referred to as “Americas Breadbasket” Where we see a lot of agricultural activities take place


    12. Mercantilism:

    • Economic theory that states that a country should sell more goods than it buys.



    13. Age of Exploration:

    • Age in which exploration occurred.  Spain and Portugal were very involved seeking riches and discovery of new lands.  During this period new discoveries were made also it was a spread of technology, disease, innovation, cultural discovery, invention.


    14. Magellan:

    • Explorer during the Age of Exploration who is known as the first explorer to circumnavigate or sail around the world.


    15. Christopher Columbus:

    • Explorer during the Age of Exploration very interested in discovery of the “New World” or the Americas.


    16. Jamestown, Virginia:

    • The first permanent English settlement in America 1607


    17. 13 Original Colonies:

    • Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia


    18. Town Meetings:

    • a legislative assembly of the qualified voters of a town.


    19. Colony:

    • A group of people in one place ruled by a parent country elsewhere


    20. Spanish influences to America:

    • Horses, Corn, Language, Disease


    21. Monarchy:

    • A nation that is ruled by a King or Queen


    22. Cash Crop:

    • Something grown or harvested for economic purpose.


    23. Immigration:

    • To enter and settle in a country or region to which one is not native.


    24. Magna Carta:

    • A document that limited the king power in England. Lead to the establishment of the English parliament


    25. Parliament:

    • England's bicameral government made up of the House of lords and the House of Commons


    26. Triangular Trade:

    • Major trade routes that involved Europe, West Indies, and Africa.  It is the avenue by which slaves were brought to America.


    27. Indentured servant vs. slave:

    • Indentured Servant- usually from Europe.  Would work for 5 to 7 years to pay for the amount of money it would take to get to America.
    • Slave- men, women forced into work and labor.  Often this would be for life.


    28. Colonist:

    • A person that lives in a colony


    29. Social Institutions:

    Established in societies:

    • Family
    • Government
    • Economy
    • Religion
    • Education


    30. Imports/Exports:

    Imports- goods or services entering or coming into a country.

    Exports- goods or services leaving or sent outside a country


    31. Patriots:

    • Colonist that supported independence from England


    32. Loyalists:

    • Colonist who were loyal to the British King


    33. Stamp Act:

    A tax on all paper goods sold in the colonies

    1. News papers
    2. Playing Cards
    3. Legal Documents
    4. Dice


    34. Boycott:

    • The refusal of American colonist to buy or use English goods (refusal to buy goods)


    35. Intolerable Acts:

    • Acts passed by the English to punish Boston for the boycott of English goods. The quartering act forced colonist to house any and all English troops for free.


    36. Boston Tea Party /Boston Massacre:

    • Two events in Boston that sparked the American Revolution.


    37. Duties (of U.S. Citizens):

    • Pay Taxes
    • Obey the Law
    • Attend School
    • Serve in Court
    • Defend the Nation


    38. George Washington:

    • First president of the United States, Commander of the Continental Army, Leader of the constitutional convention


    ________________2nd  9Weeks Terms________________


    1. Thomas Paine-

    • Wrote the pamphlet Common Sense


    2. Preamble-

    • The introduction to the constitution and it list the six basic goal of our country


    3. Declaration of Independence-

    • Document that officially announced the independence of the United States


    4. Thomas Jefferson-

    • The third president, Author of the declaration of independence


    5. “Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness”-

    • Unalienable rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence


    6. Articles of Confederation- The first constitution of the United States.

    • A weak document
    • No power to tax
    • No power to enforce laws


    7. Shay’s Rebellion-

    • Showed the people that the articles of the confederation were not effective. Resulted from high state taxes in Massachusetts


    8. Great Compromise-

    • Settled the dispute between the big states and the small states over representation by establishing a bicameral legislature/congress


    9. Bill of Rights-

    • The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution


    10. 1st Amendment-

    • Provides our five basic freedoms: Speech, Press, Religion, assembly and petition the Government


    11. 3 branches of Government-

    • Executive- Enforces Laws, Foreign relations (treaties), Veto Bills
    • Legislative- Make Laws, Approve Treaties, Override veto's
    • Judicial- Interpret laws. Can declare laws unconstitutional (judicial review)


    12. Constitution-

    • The United States of America’s written plan for government including: Preamble, Articles, 27 Amendments


    13. Amendment-

    • To change or add to the constitution. There have been only 27 amendments in our history


    14. Tariffs-

    • A tax on goods entering a country.  This tariff or tax helps keep all goods competitive in a country.


    15. Louisiana Purchase-

    • Bought from France for 15 million dollars (about 3 cents per acre) doubled the size of America.  Helped America fulfill “Manifest Destiny”


    16. Henry Clay-

    • Known as the “Great Compromiser” He is known for
    • Missouri Compromise
    • Compromise of 1850


    17. “Cotton is King”-

    • Major cash crop in the South (1800’s pre-Civil war )




    18. Industrial Revolution-

    • When production of goods changed from being made by hand to be made by machines.


    19. Methods of transportation in United States History-

    • Transportation by railroad, boat steam engine), horse


    20. Urban Development-

    • City growth or the growth of areas that include suburbs.  Example would be skyscrapers in a city in order to maximize limited space.


    21. Rural/Urban-

    • Rural- country.  Sparsely populated (Ex. Farms)
    • Urban- City, densely populated


    22. Agricultural Revolution-

    When a civilization recognized the ability to stay in one place and survive from the planted ground.

    As a result we see….

    • Growth of the family
    • Towns and cities
    • Domesticated animals
    • New technology (plow)


    23. Abolitionists- A person that apposed slavery


    24. Frederick Douglass-

    • Former slave
    • Famous for his speeches.
    • Self-educated.
    • Worked in President Abe Lincoln’s cabinet (part of the executive branch)


    25. Women’s Suffrage-

    • women’s right to vote, achieved in 1920.


    26. 49ers-

    • People migrated to California in search for gold.  Contributed to the Westward expansion of the U.S.


    27. Manifest Destiny-

    • Idea or belief that Americans should occupy domestic America.  We should settle the land from “Sea to shining sea.”


    28. Gadsden Purchase-

    • Small tract of land purchased from Mexico for 10 million dollars.  Also helped America fulfill “Manifest Destiny”


    29. Dictatorship-

    • A person or small group of people that control a country


    30. Westward Movement of the United States-

    • Native American Removal (Andrew Jackson), Manifest Destiny


    31. Migration-

    • A mass movement of people from one area to another.


    32. Major Population Shifts in the United States-

    • Rural to Urban
    • Shift to the Sunbelt
    • Urban/Suburban shift



    ________________3rd 9Weeks Terms_________________



    1. Civil War Causes-

    • Slavery & states rights


    2. Popular Sovereignty-

    • The notion that power lies with the people, they express this power through voting


    3. Abraham Lincoln

    • President of the Union during the Civil War and issued the Emancipation Proclamation

    4. Missouri Compromise-


    5. Emancipation Proclamation-

    • Issued during the Civil War by President Abraham Lincoln, it stated that all slaves in slaveholding states and territories were free.



    6. Advantages and Disadvantages North and South Pre Civil War


    • South- Agriculture, slavery, strong states rights, small population


    • North- Industry, manufacturing, large population




    • 7. Natural Resources-
    • Water
    • Trees
    • Air
    • Coal
    • Natural Gas
    • Land


    8. Discrimination/Segregation-

    • The treatment taken toward or against a person of a certain group in consideration based solely on class or category.



    Historian’s Toolkit:

    9. Primary Source/Secondary Source-

    • Primary: Firsthand information about people or of events (artifacts)
    • Secondary: Sources created by someone who did not actually witness the event.


    10. Physical Map vs. Political Map-

    • Physical Map: Physical Features (mountains, lakes, streams, oceans)
    • Political Map: Shows political boundaries (stases, countries, borders etc)


    11. Latitude and Longitude-

    • Latitude: Lines on the map that run East and West
    • Longitude: Lines on the map that run North and South


    12. Hemispheres-

    • Northern and Southern
    • Separated by the equator on a globe or map

    13. Population Density-

    • Population concentration for a designated area


    The Constitution:

    14. Electoral College-

    • The process by which the United States elects its president and vice president


    15. Powers of the Government-

    • Enumerated
    • Concurrent
    • Reserved


    16. Who has the power to collect taxes?

    Both  State, Federal and Local Governments have the power to collect taxes.


    17.Rights of the Accused-

    5th – 8th amendments

    • Right to remain silent
    • Right to an attorney
    • Trial by jury
    • Speedy trial
    • No cruel or unusual punishment
    • No excessive bail



    18. Concurrent Powers

    Powers shared by state and national government

    1. Raise taxes
    2. Prisons
    3. Courts
    4. Law enforcement


    19. Reserved Powers

    Powers that are reserved by the states

    1. Marriage/divorce laws
    2. Driving Age
    3. Public Education


    20. Enumerated Powers

    Powers set aside for the federal or national government

    1. Maintaining an Army
    2. Coining and printing money
    3. Postal services


    Citizenship Handbook:

    21. Naturalization-


    22. Congress

    • House of Representatives and Senate combined


    23. Checks and Balances

    • Each branch of the federal Government has the power to check, or limit the other two.


    24. Veto

    • Presidential disapproval of a bill


    25. Who has influences our United States system of Government? (Modern and ancient History)

    • Greece (Athens)
    • Rome
    • Locke
    • Montesquieu



    26.  26th Amendment

    • lowered the voting age to 18


    27. Federalism-

    • Interaction between local state and federal governments.


    28. Limits to Rights-

    • Our rights stop when and if we infringe on the rights of others



    29. Levels of Government

    • Federal
    • State
    • Local


    30. Federal System-

    • Interaction between local state and federal governments.



    31. Impeachment-

    • The formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity and the outcome of which can lead to the removal of that official from office or other punishment.


    32. Compromise of 1850-

    • five bills, passed in September 1850, defusing a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North
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