History Timeline

Time Periods

Populist Movement

1890 - Approx. 1898

Started because farmers were in debt
Gather, want change in government
Challenges government's role in business
Eugene Debs leader
Want inflation
Only for themselves

Progressive Movement

Approx. 1898 - 1917

Middle class, urban, well-educated leaders
Want to change role of government
Pose order in the face of growing chaos
Government is the answer to help people
Help all people

Spanish-American War

April 1898 - August 1898

Cuba very poor, unstable colony of Spain
Cuba has revolution
Spain sends General Weyler
U.S. has investment in Cuba (sugar)
Weyler cuts off food supply to revolutionaries
Yellow Press wants war
Spanish ambassador's letter stolen
Criticizes McKinley, angers U.S.
Maine explodes, Spain is blamed
McKinley does not want war, goes to war in fear
Attacks Philippines first
Frees Emilo Aguinaldo
Takes over Cuba
Pays Spain $20 M for Philippines
Treaties passes because of William Jennings Bryan
Philippines would be in anarchy

World War I

July 28 1914 - November 11 1918
  1. Nationalism- countries based on culture
  2. Imperialism - world powers fight for empires Africa and Asia cut up by France, Germany, Britain
  3. Alliances Triple Alliance - Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy Triple Entente - Russia, France, Britain Secret treaties Britain and France ally in fear of Germany
  4. Economic Instability - boom and bust Countries blame each other for problems Education becomes propaganda
  5. Feeling that war was unavoidable Yellow press of Europe
  6. Large standing armies - equals do not fight
  7. Stupidity

1920s Era

1919 - 1929

"Most liberal of decades and most conservative of decades."
Politics conservative, society liberal and conservative
Between World War I and stock market crash

Radio primary form of entertainment
Orsen Welles: War of the Worlds
Baseball, Boxing, Horse Racing popular
Popular because of gambling
Babe Ruth/NY Yankees - baseball
Jack Dempsey/Gene Tunney - boxing
Jim Thorpe - decathlon, football
Bobby Jones - golf

Music: Jazz, Blues, Stage (Musicals)
Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington - Jazz
George Gershwin - Stage

Lost Generation of Writers
Disillusioned after World War I
Liberal writers

"Era of rugged individualism"
Many wanted to stand out
Completed insane feats until death
Wanted attention

First time there is a lot to buy
Consumerism - people buy objects
Advertisements aimed at women
More stuff creates more jobs

Prosperity decade - Upper/middle classes gain
Lower class somewhat gains
Farmers lose money
Decade of money

Rural more conservative
Urban more liberal
Politics turn more conservative


March 25 1929 - 1936

Stock is a traded commodity

Stock market exists on belief/faith
Rich and upper-middle class buy stock
Middle class buys stock on credit
Stock becomes available to a wider variety of people
Buyer must put up collateral

Federal Reserve - National Banks
Federal Reserve decides Federal Interest Rate
Gives interest rate to banks
Low interest rates facilitate growth

Buy on Margin - only pay 10% to buy stock
Collateral - Item put up if money cannot be paid
Prime Lending Rate - rate Federal Reserve lends to banks



1877 - 1881


1881 - 1885


1885 - 1889


1889 - 1893


1893 - 1897

Divided presidency


1897 - 1901

Front Porch Campain


1901 - 1909

Takes over after McKinley is assassinated
Disliked by much of the Republican Party
Breaks up trusts
Keeps U.S. Steel "good trust"
Later forms Rough Riders


1909 - 1913

Breaks up trusts
Brilliant, not energetic
Hands-off, relaxed
Defeats William Jennings Bryan
Fueds with Roosevelt

Dollar Diplomacy - Taft's plan in the Caribbean
Wall Street sets up business for poor countries
Instead robs countries of their resources


1913 - 1921

Wins easily because of battle between Roosevelt and Taft
Breaks up trusts
Extremely racist
Kept America out of war slogan


1921 - 1923

From Ohio
Beloved by public
Morally wrong
Promised to return American to normalcy
Charles Andrew Hughes - Secretary of State
Andrew Mellon - Secretary of the Treasury
Herbert Hoover - Secretary of Commerce
Wanted to return to Laissez-Faire
Embrace Isolationism
Rest of cabinet corrupt
Called Ohio Gang
Harding's cabinet = Grant's cabinet
Harding wants to leave Washington
Takes boat to Alaska
Gets violently ill, is diagnosed with food poisoning
Goes to San Francisco, diagnosed with heart attack
Gets pneumonia, dies


1923 - 1929

"Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong."
"The man who builds a factory builds a temple, that the man who works there worships there, and to each is due, not scorn and blame, but reverence and promise."
"Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business."

Trickle Down Economics
Andrew Mellow
Dramatically reduce taxes
Dramatically reduce government spending
Government spends too much money
Government has too much money
People make more money
People have more money to spend
Wealthy can invest more
Wealthy can make more jobs
Income increases
Government gets more money
Middle/upper class get much richer
Poor gets slightly richer
Gap becomes larger between rich and poor
Belief is most important in economy
Farmers left out
Farmers fall into depression in 1925


1929 - 1933

"The prosperity will never end." - Hoover before the stock market crash of 1929
Self made man
Orphan from Iowa
Worked hard in school
Full ride to Stanford
Becomes engineer
Millionaire by mid 20s
30s and 40s wanted to serve public

National Acts

Sherman Antitrust Act


Combats monopolies
First attempt to break trusts

Forest Reserve Act


All progressive presidents preservationists
Develops National Park system

Teller Amendment

April 20, 1898

Grants Cuba its independence

Platt Amendment

March 2, 1901
  1. Cuba cannot contract debt counteracting independence
  2. U.S. can intervene if independence is impaired
  3. Must provide U.S. with a naval base

Elkins Act


Amended Interstate Commerce Act of 1887
Made it crime to have different rates for different customers
Hurt railroads
Hurts big business

Roosevelt Corollary

December 6 1904

Told Europeans to stay out of Americas
Backed by Britain
U.S. becomes tax collector
Wants to make life of 3rd-world-countries better
Impossible task

Hepburn Act


Strengthened federal regulation of railroads
Increased power of ICC
ICC had more range of power
ICC could reduce rates found unreasonable

Meat Inspection Act

June 30, 1906

Federal inspection of food
Government impacting business

Pure Food and Drug Act

July 30, 1906

The Jungle mostly responsible for this
Food may not be mislabeled

Payne-Aldrich Tariff


Passed by Taft
Taft did not want fight
Small tariff, large amendments
Angers country

Mann-Elkins Act


ICC now overlooks telephone, telegraph, and cable

16th Amendment

February 1913

Income tax
Originally only for rich

17th Amendment

April 1913

Direct election of Senators by popular vote

Underwood-Simmons Tariff

October 1913

Wilson strong president
Took out amendments

Federal Reserve Board

September 1914

Anti-foreign-trusts act
Government interferes with foreign business

Clayton Antitrust Act

October 1914

Strengthens Sherman Antitrust Act
Legalizes peaceful strikes: boycotts, picketing

Keating-Owens Act

September 1, 1916

Child labor law

18th Amendment



19th Amendment


Women's suffrage (right to vote)
Women are driving force behind this movement

Important Events

Salvation Army Meet Founded in US


Formed in US because of Social Gospel
Faith/church in social reform
Religion and Reform go hand in hand

Crime of 1873


Mints stopped making silver coins

Chinese Exclusion Act


Chinese treated worst

How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis


Only write about bad, ills of society
Ida Tarbell - Standard Oil, trusts
Lincoln Steffens - Child labor, social issues

Populist Platform of 1892


Government corrupt
National debt should be paid
Workers cheated
Politicians ignore important issues
Government must own business to be fair
Income tax
Nationalize banks
Control railroads
Support unions, workers
No more Pinkerton men
Directly elect Senators
Interventionist appeals
Moves away from Laissez-Faire
Only want change that helps themselves

Panic of 1893

Jan 1, 1893 - Dec 31, 1893

Major corporations went bankrupt
16,000 business went underwater
Stock market crash
Almost 500 banks closed
Wanted relief, but country did not change policies
Hurt Cleveland

Coxey's Army


Jacob Coxey
Unemployed march to Washington, DC

Plessy v. Ferguson

May 18, 1896

Segregation ruled legal but Supreme Court

Civil Rights leaders
Booker T. Washington - African-Americans work hard to gain trust of whites
Honorary Degree from Harvard, loved by whites
W. E. B. Du Bois - NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Equal rights for all, radical, not loved by whites
Marcus Garvey - Back to Africa movement
Ultimately fails without much support

Cross of Gold Speech

Jul 9, 1896

William Jennings Bryan
From Nebraska
Denounces gold standard
Democratic and Populist nominee

Price of Grain Jumps

Sept 1896

Farmers not angry
Farmers doing well
Farmers vote for McKinley
Populist lose because they only want change for themselves

Anti-Imperialist League Forms

June 15 1898

Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie members
Nativism - do not want competition
Wanted jobs to stay in America
Believed imperialism undermined Declaration on Independence

Northern Security Trust Broken


Only successful railroad
Privately owned
Broken up by Roosevelt
Officially broken by Supreme Court in 1904

Anthracite Coal Strike


Coal miners on strike
Roosevelt calls meeting in White House
Threatens to break up trust
Workers get 10% more and 1 less hour per shift
First time government sides with workers

Treaty of Portsmouth

September 5 1905

Russo-Japanese war
Roosevelt takes both countries to U.S.
Both countries get less
Become angry at U.S.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

February 26, 1906

Written about Chicago meat processing

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

March 25, 1911

146 dead
Public outrage
Calls for better working conditions

Panama Canal Opens

August 15 1914

Panama originally part of Colombia
U.S. could put canal in Panama or Nicaragua

French company offered to sell in Panama
Volcanoes in Nicaragua
Colombia votes down treaty, wants more money
Roosevelt sends soldiers into Panama
French company assists revolt
U.S. recognizes Panama's independence
Eventually pays Colombia $25 M

World War I

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

28 June 1914

Francis Ferdinand heir to throne of Austria
Assassinated by Gavrilo Princip
Princip part of Black Hand terrorist group of Serbia

Austria Attacks Serbia

July 28 1914

Germany gives Austria blank check
Russia prepares for war against Austria and Germany
Russia allies with France (and England somewhat)
Germany attacks France first

Von Schlieffen Plan - crush France before Russia can mobilize
Germany assumes Italy will attack France
Italy stays neutral
Germany attacks Belgium
Britain allied with Belgium
Britain enters war


August 26 1914 - August 30 1914

Germans circle Russians
German victory
Massive Russia defeat

Battle of the Marne

September 5 1914 - September 12 1914

Germans advance towards Paris
Fight at Marne River, France
Russia mobilizes 4 weeks faster
Germans send 40,000 to Russia
German line spread
French/English victory

Masurian Lakes

September 9 1914 - September 14 1914

Last Eastern battle not fought in Russia territory
Rest of war fought in Russia
Russia loses over 25,000 men


February 19 1915 - January 9 1916

Located in Turkey
British attack on Turks
Tries to get supplies to Russia


February 21 1916 - December 18 1916

Trench battle
Over 1 million dead
French victory

Sussex Pledge

May 4 1916

Germany sinks the Sussex
Had American citizens
Wilson threatens to go to war
Germany pulls out of submarine warfare


July 1 1916 - November 18 1916

British led assault
Tries to relieve pressure on Verdun
Over 1 million dead
More deaths than Verdun
British and French victory

American Enters WWI

April 6 1917

Many anti-war Germans in Midwest
Women enter workforce
African Americans migrate North
Compete with whites after war
Liberty Loans - war bonds

Creel Committee Formed

April 13 1917

Formed to convince Americans war was just
Three Minute Men - gave speeches

Wilson Delivers 14 Points of Peace

January 8 1918
  1. Open diplomacy - no secret treaties
  2. Freedom of seas - no blockades
  3. Removal of economic barriers - no tariffs
  4. Reduction of armaments - smaller armies and navies
  5. Adjustment of colonial claims - presumed freedom
  6. - 13. Territory changes
  7. League of Nations - made to prevent war

Paris Peace Conference

January 18 1919 - January 21 1920

Big Four: Wilson - US, George - Britain, Clemenceau - France, Orlando - Italy


Birth of a Nation

February 8 1915

First movie, silent film
Racist, banned at many colleges

Planned Parenthood Founded

October 16 1916

Founded by Margaret Sanger
Women's rights activist
Favored birth control
Favored abortion
Strong racist, wanted to contain African-American population

Flappers - young women, considered scandalous
Broke free of restraints
Expressed newly-found freedoms
Drank alcohol, wore scandalous skirts

Russian Revolution

March 8 1917 - November 8 1917

Red Scare - fear of communism
Bolsheviks main party in Russia
Marxian belief all countries much be communists
Nativism backs Red Scare
U.S. scared by immigrants from Italy, Ireland, and Eastern Europe

Spanish Flu

January 1 1918 - December 31 1919

Killed 675,000 in U.S.
Killed 20 Million worldwide
Food Supplies low
Bad conditions
Flu spread easily, not much medication

Palmer Raids

1919 - 1920

A. Mitchell Palmer - attorney general
Deports suspected communists
Did not hold trial
Very popular at first
Claims there will be communist revolution on May Day
Held communists and anarchists without trial
Angered country
Revolution does not happen

Year of the Strike


Workers go on strike
Inflation after the war
More workers than jobs
Wages decrease
Communism blamed

Volstead Act

October 29 1919

Banned alcohol (Prohibition)
Wets want alcohol
Drys want Prohibition
Leads to rise in organized crime
Leads to rise in the mafia
Mafia profited from prostitution, prohibition, and gambling
Laundered money, made illegal money legal
Used legal business fronts

Al Capone - mafia as leader
Killed 50-70 people
Only could be charged with false tax returns

Sacco and Vanzetti Robbery

April 15 1920

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti
Italian immigrants
Supposedly robbed payroll
Put on trial with little evidence
Found guilty, was to receive death penalty

Washington Conference

November 12 1921 - February 6 1922

5 Power Treaty - Battleships
U.S., Britain, Japan, France, Italy
U.S. and Britain allowed more battleships
U.S. does not want to spend money
Negotiates to lower amount of ships allowed
Japan does best
Japan gets U.S./Britain to not build forts in Pacific
Japan knows they must fight U.S./Britain to control Pacific
Leads to Japanese advantage in beginning of WWII

9 Power Treaty - Open Door Policy in China
U.S., Britain, Japan, France, Italy, Belguim, Netherlands, Portugal, China
Agrees to keep Open Door Policy/maintain integrity in China

4 Power Treaty - Status Quo
U.S., Britain, Japan, France
Agrees to keep status quo in China
Will not fight over land/power in East Asia

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis


By Sinclair Lewis
Writes that middle class way of life is hypocritical
Main Street, Elmer Gantry

Teapot Dome Scandal

April 7 1922

Albert Fall - Secretary of Interior
Navy has 2 strategic oil reserves
Gets Secretary of Navy to transfer reserves to Interior
Accepts $250,000 of bribes to open to oil companies

Forbes Veteran's Bureau Scandal


Government to build Veteran's hospitals
Forbes sets up fake construction company
Awards building to fake company
Steals millions from government

Daugherty Scandal


Daugherty Attorney General
Prohibition in place
Medical alcohol allowed in
Puts government seals on illegal alcohol
Allows illegal alcohol in country

Johnson-Reed Act


Quotas on countries based off preexisting population
Proportioned immigration
Cut off immigrants from new groups
Leads to rise in KKK
Large in both the North and South
Against African-Americans, Catholics, and Jewish
Very active

Dawes Plan

August 1924

Germany penalized financially after WWI
Germany cannot pay billions charged
Creates more money, inflation
U.S. banks lend Germany money
Germany creates new currency backed by U.S. dollar
Uses some money to pay reparations to England/France
England/France pay U.S. back
U.S. takes some money then lends it back to Germany
Germany's economy recovers, becomes strong

The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes


By Langston Hughes
Part of Harlem Renaissance, African-American arts movement
First major African-American writer
Writes about way of life for African-Americans

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

April 10 1925

By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Symbolical writer
Writes about materially wealthy but morally bankrupt

Scopes Monkey Trial

July 14, 1925 - July 25, 1925

Fought over fundamentalism
Fundamentalism - Theory of Evolution
Creationism vs. Evolution
Substitute teacher John Scopes
Taught evolution in Tennessee
American Civil Liberties Union member
Clarence Darrow vs. William Jennings Bryan
Bryan fundamentalist, self-proclaimed Bible expert
Bryan looks stupid
Dies one week later of a heart attack
Scopes found guilty
Triggered many political cartoons

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway

October 22 1926

By Ernest Hemingway
Writes about physically/emotionally devastated by WWI
Old Man and the Sea, For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Farewell to Arms

Charles Lindbergh Transatlantic Flight

May 21 1927

Spirit of St. Louis
Flies across Atlantic Ocean
33 hours 30 minutes
Has child kidnapped

The Jazz Singer

October 6 1927

First talking film

Kellogg-Briand Pact

August 27 1928

Germany's economic resurgence scares France
France comes to U.S.
France and U.S. sign pact outlawing war
Has basically no effect/power


Stock Market Crash of 1929

March 25 1929 - October 30 1929

March 25: mini-crash, market recovers June-September
Steel production declines
Construction slows
Automobile sales decline
Consumers rack up high debt because of easy credit

August: Federal Reserve increases Prime Interest Rate

September 20: London Stock Market crashes
Happens because Turkish bank fails
Causes ripple effect throughout Europe

Hawley Smoot Tariff Scare: Hoover may sign tariff
Massive withdraw from stock market

October 24: Black Thursday
Stock Market loses 11% of value

October 25: Stock Market recovers
Happens because bank owners buy out stocks

October 28: Black Monday
Stock Market loses 13%

October 29: Black Tuesday
Stock Market loses 11%

Stock Market loses 1/3 of total value in less than a week

October 30: Stock Market recovers 12%

Stock Market recovers until June 1930

Hawley Smoot Tariff

June 17 1930

Signed by Hebert Hoover
Counteracts free trade
induces high tariff
Foreign nations greatly increase tariffs
Business cannot sell internationally with tariff
Tariffs dry up International Trade
Makes Depression worldwide, not just U.S.
Banks go under
People want to withdraw out of fear
Banks cannot support massive withdraw
No one buying bank's collateral
Banks losing money because no one is buying

Reasons for Depression

June 18 1930

16% of all Americans owned stock
Rich create jobs
Poor lose jobs created by rich

Trickle Down causes greater separation
Lots of product without many buyers
Businesses stop producing
Easy Credit reason for Stock Market Crash
Poor cannot buy, jobs are lost
People become afraid
Doubt causes economy to decline

Businesses cannot sell internationally with tariff
Tariffs are raised in other countries
Tariffs dry up International Trade
Makes depression worldwide, not just U.S.
Banks go under water
People want to withdraw because scared
Banks cannot support massive withdraw
No one buying collateral, banks lose money

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner


By William Faulkner
Writes about life in the South in 20s and 30s

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


By John Steinbeck
Writes about Depression
Grapes of Wrath