American History (1492-1890)


Columbus Sailed to the Americas


Columbus sailed with 3 ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. When he landed, he was amazed by the kindness of the native people, but decided to abuse them instead of returning the favor.

King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella order Columbus to leave Americas


King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella are unhappy with the way that Columbus is running his new founded colony. As a result, they order him to return to Spain.



IN 1585, A group was sent to colonize Roanoke, a tiny island in the Americas. This group failed.



A second group was sent to colonize Roanoke. When John white returns to Roanoke after leaving for England to get supplies he found the settlement empty and one word engraved on a tree. CROATOAN

King James I of England grants a charter to the Virginia Company


A charter was land that was given to a company by the government. The Virginia company was one of the first to obtain such a charter.

Virginia Company sets sail and founds Jamestown


Virginia Company with the ships; Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed, sets sail for the Americas with 150 passengers and crew aboard. They found Jamestown.

The Starving Time


Many people in the Jamestown settlement die. Of the 600 that recently arrived, only 60 survive. This is a time in which people resorted to eating anything they could to stay alive.

New colonists arrive


About 600 new colonists arrive in Jamestown with livestock and provisions. However, Powhatan natives are alarmed by mass numbers and begin insurgency.

John Smith takes control of Jamestown


The colony of Jamestown is floundering and has had many casualties. 38 settlers remain. John Smith says, "he that will not work shall not eat."

Virginia Company begins headright system


Under this system, anyone who paid for passage, their own or someone else's, to Virginia received 50 acres of land.

First African-American laborers arrive in Virginia


Africans arrive on a Dutch merchant ship and are treated as indentured servants. After a certain amount of years, they were freed and received land.

Puritans arrive in Americas


Puritans come to America to create a perfect "Utopian" society. John Winthrop explains that theirs will be a, "City upon a hill."

Anne Hutchinson is banned from Puritan Society


Anne Hutchinson is banned from the Puritan colony for her teaching that people can interpret the bible for themselves.

William Penn receives a charter in the Americas


William Penn receives a charter in the Americas which he later uses to start Pennsylvania. This colony was founded on Quaker values and had very good relations with native Americans.

Salem Witch Trials


The Salem Witch Trials are based on the testimony of a few Salem girls who accused a slave as practicing witchcraft. Things got out of hand from there, and in the end 19 people have been killed, and 150 people imprisoned.



This was an era in which the belief that the world was governed by chance was replaced with the idea of a mathematical world.

The Great Awakening


This time period was a time period in which the religious fervor was higher than normal. This was brought about in great part by traveling preachers who held revival meetings.

Slavery in America flourishes


In 1750, there were 200,000 slaves in Southern Colonies. Compared to the 13,000 of 1690, that becomes a very large number.

French and Indian War


The rivalry between France and Britain manifests itself in this war. This begins with the fighting at Fort Necessity. George Washington is involved, fighting with the British.

William Pitt is put in charge


William Pitt, a politician, reinvigorates the British army and puts the expenses of Britain in place.

Treaty Of Paris


This officially ends the French and Indian War. Britain gains all French land except for a few islands off the east coast of North America.

Proclamation of 1763


This proclamation forbids any settlement west of the Appalachians. The British government does this because of the violence from native americans.

George Greenville as Prime Minister


George Greenville is appointed as Prime Minister and attempts to balance the British budget. Many costs have been incurred in the fight for America and Britain wants their money back. A rift opens between British and American people.

Sugar Act


The sugar act is enacted and enrages the colonies. This act halved taxes on molasses in hopes that the colonists would stop smuggling it. It also placed more taxes on other imports and tightened the courts about smugglers.

Stamp Act


The stamp act rules that all paper must be stamped for it to be legally binding. Also it raised taxes on all paper products in America.

Townshend Acts


These acts created indirect taxes on many imports including tea. It brought outrage from the colonists and well organized resistance was set up. This also brought the idea of, "No taxation without Representation."

Boston Massacre


Colonists are harassing British soldiers who fire into the mob and kill five. The colonial media instantly calls this a massacre, saying the British fired on innocent civilians.

Boston Tea Party


Colonists, disguised as indians, dumped approximately 18,000 pounds of tea into Boston harbor to protest new taxes levied on tea.

The Intolerable Acts


These acts placed Boston under martial law, shut down Boston harbor until the rebels paid for the ruined goods, and included the Quartering act which allowed British soldiers to stay in civilians homes.

Lexington and Concord


The first main battle of the Revolutionary War. The British marched to Lexington and Concord to find rebel arms. Rebels are routed at Lexington, but then continue to fire at British as they are marching. British take many casualties.

Second Continental Congress


This group attempts to reconcile with Great Brtain, and then leads the United States to be a new country, free of British rule.

Battle of Bunker Hill


Colonials remember the words, "don't fire 'till you see the whites of their eyes!" The British win a Pyrrhic victory.

Olive Branch Petition


This petition is sent by the Second Continental Congress to King George III and sued for peace, but with many changes. He rejected the petition and sent British ships to blockade the American coast.

Declaration of Independence


This declaration was created by Jefferson and embodied the feeling of the new colonies as they separated themselves from Britain. It listed grievances and then exclaimed absolute independence from Britain.

Battle of New York


The American troops, lead by General George Washington are outnumbered outgunned and less trained than their British counterparts. They retreat with many casualties.

Deceleration of Neutrailty


United States issues a declaration of neutrality concerning the war in Europe between Britain and France.

Victory at Yorktown


The British, gathered at Yorktown are surrounded by troops on land and the French fleet on the ocean. General Cornwallis surrenders and the British troops lay down their arms. This effectively ends the Revolutionary war in favor of the new United States of America.

Bank of The United States is established


The Bank of The United States is established on Hamilton's idea. This entity would issue paper money and handle taxes and other government funds.

Treaty Of Paris


This treaty confirms the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and sets the boundaries of the new nation.

Land Ordinance of 1785


This ordinance established a plan for surveying land. This was important because of the rich land especially around the Ohio River.

Northwest Ordinance of 1787


This ordinance created steps for coming into statehood. These steps, however, seemed to ignore native american land claims.

Shays' Rebellion


This rebellion was instigated because farmer's felt that they were being cheated into paying too many taxes by the government. Many, like Daniel Shays faced Debtor's Prison.

George Washington is elected president


George Washington is elected as President of The United States of America. He was the first and only president to be unanimously elected.

Constitution Ratified


The Constitution was finally ratified by Rhode Island. All other states ratified it in 1789 or before. The government became a reality in 1789.

Bill of Rights is Ratified


The Bill of rights is ratified by the required three fourths majority. The first ten amendments to the constitution are considered to be The Bill of Rights.

John Adams is elected as POTUS


This election was the first between two political parties. The vote was barely in Adam's favor and, because of the constitution, Pinckney became vice president.

Alien and Sedition Acts


The Alien and Sedition Acts were highly controversial acts which were debatable as unconstitutional. These were pushed by the Federalists and vehemently argued against by anti-federalists.

George Washington dies


George Washington passes away after getting a very severe cold.

Jefferson Wins Presidential Election


Jefferson wins presidential election against John Adams. There is a bitter race in which the first "mud-slinging" occurs.

Louisiana Purchase


The Louisiana Territory is purchased by the U.S. government for 15 million dollars. This is debatable as unconstitutional but is done anyway.

Marbury Vs. Madison


Although this was not a matter of Judicial Review, it set a precedent for Judicial Review. This is the review of a certain act that has happened by judicial sources to find if it is legal or not.

Lewis and Clark Depart


Lewis and Clark depart on an expedition to survey the newly acquired Louisiana Territory.

Treaty of Ghent


This treaty ended the war of 1812 between the United States and Britain.

Adam-Onis Treaty


Spain is unable to maintain its influence in North America and cedes Florida to the United States.

Missouri Compromise


This Compromise set a boundary in Missouri where slavery was legal and where it was not. This was later ruled as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Textile Mills Open in Lowell


Textile mills open in Lowell and employ mostly women to work for them. The women are treated very poorly wage wise.

Erie Canal is Finished


The Erie canal is built to unify the South and the North sections of America. It linked the Atlantic Ocean to The Great Lakes.

Sojourner Truth is Freed


Sojourner Truth is freed from slavery. She continues to head back to the South to help other slaves escape to freedom.

Andrew Jackson is elected


Jackson wins by portraying himself as the people's man. He portrays his opponent as an intellectual. This is very influential in the evolution of politics today.

Women in the Workforce


At this time, women make up nine-tenths of the work force in the mill business. These women were generally under the age of 30.

Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World


David Walker published this pamphlet which advised black people to fight for their freedom.

Indian Removal Act


This act essentially forced Indians to move west, away from their ancestral homelands.



This paper, written by William Lloyd Garrison, was to free slaves. That was its sole purpose for being created.

Nat Turner's Rebellion


Nat Turner leads a slave rebellion which is unsuccessful. He hoped to have others join him but his hope was not realized.

Whig Party Forms


The Whig party is formed and begins to prosper to a degree.

Lowell Mill Strike


Eight hundred people participate in this strike against low wages and bad conditions. However, the Mill refuses to be swayed and most go back to work for the lower wage.

The Alamo


Texans push military forces out of an old mission called the Alamo. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna then comes and kills all rebels in the fort. This becomes a battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!"

The Telegraph is Invented


In 1837, Samuel Morse invents the telegraph. This invention allows for communication across long distances almost instantaneously.

John Deere Invents the Steel Plow


John Deere invents the steel plow which allows people to be able to farm their plots of land more efficiently. Previously, wood plows had been used, but steel made it much more efficient.

Trail of Tears


During this event, the Cherokee people were forced to move from their homeland. Many people died en route.

Manifest Destiny


Americans believe in the idea that it is their "Manifest Destiny" (apparent god-given future) to spread across North America. This term is given by John O'Sullivan in an article that he wrote.

The War with Mexico


The war with Mexico begins over the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo


This treaty ends the War with Mexico and gives the U.S. the land that it was fighting for. The U.S. also pays $15 million for the Southwest area of what now makes up the U.S.

Seneca Falls Convention


The Seneca Falls Convention was a convention that was created for the purpose of furthering women's rights. Only women were invited to come and men were actually asked to specifically not come.

Gold Rush


In 1848, James Marshall finds gold by chance in California on Sutter's Mill. Word of this finding travels fast and starts the Gold Rush.



These people left anything they were doing to go and find gold in California. They included people from the U.S. but also from Europe, Asia and South America.

Sojourner Truth Speaks for Women's Rights


Sojourner Truth speaks at a women's rights convention and is hissed and booed at. However, she delivers her, "Ain't I a woman?" speech.

Treaty of Fort Laramie


The Treaty of Fort Laramie promised natives all of the great plains, however was frequently broached by the U.S. Government and later totally invalidated by other treaties.

Gadsden Purchase


The Gadsden Purchase buys more land from Mexico at a price of $10 million.

Kansas-Nebraska Act


This act created Popular Sovereignty for each state that wanted to join the Union. This means that each state could vote if they wanted slavery to be legal in their state or not.

Dred-Scott Decision


In this case, the court rules that slaves have no right and are only property. It also ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional and that to say that slavery was illegal in any part of the country was unconstitutional.

Harper's Ferry


In this event, John Brown attempted to seize a federal arsenal. He was doing this to use these arms to fight against slavery, but was stopped by federal forces.

Abraham Lincoln is elected as POTUS


Abraham Lincoln wins the Presidential election and becomes president of the United States.

The Confederacy is Formed


The Confederate States of America are formed. These are made up of southern states that have ceded from the Union. Southern states seceded because they believed that they had lost their voice in U.S. government.

Fort Sumter


Fort Sumter is taken by the confederates. This is the first confrontation of the Civil War. Lincoln tells his people to not fire the first shot, but to let the confederates begin the war.

Bull Run

July 1861

This First Battle Of Bull Run was a confederate victory and shook the Union awake to realize that this was not going to be a simply short war.

Monitor Vs. Merrimack


This was a naval battle in which two ironclads fought against each other. It was a draw and signaled the end of the era of wooden warships.



The battle of Shiloh was considered a draw, and was very costly for both sides. Again, it demonstrated the brutality of war.



This was and still is the bloodiest day in American History. This battle occurred at Antietam and was a standoff with no technical victor.

Emancipation Proclamation


The Emancipation freed all slaves that were not now under Union control and changed the meaning of the war from a war over states' rights to one over the issue of slavery.



This three day battle incurred incredible losses on both sides of the conflict. However, after this battle, the South never again invaded the North. This battle is often seen as the turning point of the war.

Gettysburg Address


Lincoln, although not the main speaker at this occasion, was asked to give a few words about what happened at Gettysburg. He gave the Gettysburg Address which is still looked at today. In this address he stated that the United States is, instead of the accepted are that was used by people of this time.

Sherman's March To The Sea


Sherman's March to the Sea was a practice in total war. This is the use of any tactic to destroy the enemy including destroying civilian targets. This was a brutal march that helped to end the Civil War.

Lincoln's Assasination


This occurred 5 days after the surrender of the confederacy. John Wilkes Booth, a southern sympathizer, shot and killed President Lincoln while he was at a theater. Booth died with the words, "Tell my mother I died for my country. I did what I though was best. Useless... Useless."



This was a time period in which the United States tried to reconstruct itself and rebuild after the Civil War.

Black Codes


These were codes that took many rights away from black people in the Southern United States. Although these people had been freed from slavery, they were now placed in economic slavery, often working for the same masters that they were once slaves to.

Appomattox Court House


Here was the location of the Confederate surrender to Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln desired the terms to be very generous and so, the confederate forces were offered very lenient terms, and where allowed to go home and be with their families.

Black Codes Repealed


Most Black Codes have been repealed and now Blacks have most of the same rights as Whites do, even in the South.

Ku Klux Klan


The Ku Klux Klan is started in Tennessee. This group is a terror group, devoted to reclaiming white supremacy.

Fifteenth Amendment


This amendment to the Constitution declared that no person, black or white, could be denied the right to vote.

Custer's Last Stand


In this battle, Custer was outflanked and his 7th cavalry was totally destroyed by Chief Sitting Bull and his warriors.

Battle of Wounded Knee


Custer's cavalry rounded up about 350 Sioux and gathered them in a camp called Wounded Knee. After demanding the weapons of the natives, a shot was fired, and over 300 natives, including women and children were slaughtered.