Increases demand for slave labor.
A federal fugitive slave law is enacted, saying that escaped slaves in the North must be captured and returned to Southern slaveholders.
Bans slavery north of the southern boundary of Missouri.
Fifty-three African slaves on board the slave ship the Armistad revolted against their captors.
Escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin is published. It shows the evils of slavery.
A major blow for abolitionists, this rules that slaves were property, not people.
The Confederacy is created when the South secedes.
President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
Congress establishes the Freedmen's Bureau to protect the rights of newly emancipated blacks.
The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by ex-Confederates.
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, defining citizenship. Individuals born or naturalized in the United States are American citizens, including those born as slaves.
Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote.
The country's first African-American senator.
Plessy v. Ferguson: This landmark Supreme Court decision holds that racial segregation is constitutional, paving the way for the repressive Jim Crow laws in the South.