APUSH 2016-2017


Columbus's first transatlantic voyage

August 1492

Italian Columbus appealed to Queen Isabella of Spain for support for his proposed westward voyage, and in 1492, she agreed. Coomanding ninty men and three ships--the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María-Columbus left Spain and sailed west into the Atlantic. Ten weeks later, he sighted land and assumed he had reached an island off Asia. In fact, he had landed in the Bahamas. When he pushed on and encountered Cuba, he assumed he had reached China. He returned to Spain, bringing with him several captured natives as evidence of his achievement.

John Cabot explores North America


Cabot, a Venetian navigator and explorer's, discovery of the coast of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is commonly held to have been the first European exploration of the mainland of North America.

Smallpox ravages Indians

1518 - 1530

Magellan expedition circumnavigates globe

1519 - 1522

A Spanish expedition that sailed from Seville under the command of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese, in search of a maritime path from Spain around the Americas to East Asia across the Pacific Ocean. These men were the first to circumnavigate the globe in a single expedition.

Elizabeth I becomes English Queen


St. Augustine, Florida, founded

September 1565

Founded by the Spanish conquistador, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the contiguous United States.

Second attempt to establish Roanoke colony


An English settlement in the New World.

James I becomes English King


Jamestown founded


In 1607, 104 English men and boys arrived in North America to start a settlement. On May 13 they picked Jamestown, Virginia for their settlement, which was named after their King, James I. The settlement became the first permanent English settlement in North America.

French established Quebec


On July 3, 1608, Samuel de Champlain sailed up the St. Lawrence River in the company of 26 recruits—lumberjacks, carpenters, and laborers. At the behest of Pierre Dugua de Mons, who held a monopoly over the fur trade, Champlain had come to establish a trading post.

Spanish found Santa Fe


Founded by conquistador Don Pedro de Peralta.

Virginia House of Burgesses meets

July 30, 1619

The first legislative assembly in the American colonies. The first assembly met in the church at Jamestown. Present were Governor Yeardley, Council, and 22 burgesses representing 11 plantations (or settlements). Burgesses were elected representatives.

Pilgrims found Plymouth Colony


The settlers were a group of about 100 Puritan Separatist Pilgrims, who sailed on the Mayflower and settled on what is now Cape Cod bay, Massachusetts. They named the first town after their port of departure.

Powhatan Indians attack Virginia


The European settlers in Virginia built their society also on the effective suppression of the local Indians. For two years in the 1610s, Sir Thomas Dale, De La Warr's successor as governor, commanded unrelenting assaults againt the Powhatan Indians, led by (and named for) their formidable chief, Powhatan. In the process, Dale kidnapped Powhatan's young daughter Pocahontas. Several years earlier, Pocahontas had played a role in mediating differences between her people and the Europeans. But now, Powhatan refused to ransom her. By the time of Pocahontas's marriage with John Rolfe, Powhatan had ceased his attacks on the English in the face of overwhelming odds. But after his death several years later, his brother, Opechancanough, began secretly to plan the elimination of the English intruders. On a March morning in 1622, tribesmen called on the white settlements as if to offer goods for sale; then they suddenly attacked. Not until 347 whites of both sexes and all ages (including John Rolfe) lay dead did the Indian warriors finally retreat. And not until over twenty years later were the Powhatans finally defeated.

Dutch settle Manhattan


Puritans establish Massachusetts Bay colony


Settled in 1630 by a group of about 1,000 Puritan refugees from England. It was one of the original English settlements in present-day Massachusetts. The leader of the colony was John Winthrop.

Maryland founded


Roger Williams founds Rhode Island


Williams was a Puritan dissident and theologian who left England to migrate to the New World. He was a supporter of religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

America's first college, Harvard, founded


Established by Puritan theologians who wanted to create a training center for ministers. The college was named for a Charlestown, Massachusetts, minister, John Harvard, who had left it his library and one-half of his estate.)

Pequot War

July 1636 - September 21, 1638

An armed conflict between the Pequot tribe and an alliance of the English colonists of the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook colonies and their Native American allies.

Anne Hutchinson expelled from Massachusetts Bay colony


Anne Hutchinson held religious meetings in her home and refused to stick closely to the rules of worship required by the Puritan leaders who governed the colony. She was put on trial in 1637, convicted and banished from Massachusetts.

First printing press in colonies begins operation


Over time, the rising literacy of the society created a demand for books, pamphlets, and almanacs that the presses rushed to fill.

Carolina chartered

March 24, 1663

Charles II issued a new charter to a group of eight English noblemen, granting them the land of Carolina, as a reward for their faithful support of his efforts to regain the throne of England. The eight were called Lords Proprietors or simply Proprietors.

English capture New Netherland


New Netherland became New York

King Philip's War

June 1675 - August 1676

An armed conflict between American Indian inhabitants of present-day New England and English colonists and their Indian allies.

Bacon's Rebellion


An armed rebellion in 1676 by Virginia settlers led by Nathaniel Bacon against the rule of Governor William Berkeley.

Pennsylvania chartered


Huguenots migrate to America


The Huguenot Church (French Reformed Church) began in France and eventually faced fierce persecution there. The first large migration of French Protestants (Huguenots) began after the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572. A more peaceful time started in 1598 when the Edict of Nantes granted religious freedom.

Dominion of New England

1686 - 1689

An administrative union of English colonies covering New England and the Mid-Atlantic Colonies.

Glorious Revolution

1688 - 1689

Also called the Revolution of 1688. Was the overthrow of King James II of England (James VII of Scotland) by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III, Prince of Orange.

Salem Witch Trials

February 1692

Adolescent girls leveled charges of witchcraft against several West Indian servants steeped in voodoo belief and practice. Hysteria spread throughout the town, and hundreds of people (most of them women) were accused of witchcraft. Nineteen residents of Salem were put to death before the trials finally ended; the girls who had been the original accusers later recanted and admitted that their story had been fabricated.

Cotton Mather starts smallpox inoculation


Slave and medical pioneer

Georgia chartered


Great Awakening


The rhetoric of the revival emphasized the potential for every person to break away from the constraints of the past and start anew in his or her relationship with God. Powerful evangelists from England helped spread the revival. The outstanding preacher of the Great Awakening was the New England Congregationalist John Edwards.

Zenger trial


It organizes opposition and can help revolutionary ideas spread. The trial of John Peter Zenger, a New York printer, was an important step toward this most precious freedom for American colonists. John Peter Zenger was a German immigrant who printed a publication called The New York Weekly Journal.

Stono slave rebellion


100 slaves rose up, seized weapons, killed several whites, and attempted to escape south to Florida. The uprising was quickly crushed, and most participants were executed.

George Whitefield arrives in America


An English Anglican cleric who was one of the founders of Methodism and the evangelical movement

Indigo production begins


French and Indian War

1754 - 1763

1st phase:
2nd phase:
3rd phase:

Seven Years' War

1756 - 1763

Comprised two struggles. One centered on the maritime and colonial conflict between Britain and its Bourbon enemies, France and Spain; the second, on the conflict between Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia and his opponents: Austria, France, Russia, and Sweden.

Proclamation of 1763

October 7, 1763

Issued by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War, which forbade all settlement past a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains.

Sugar Act

April 5, 1764

A revenue-raising act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain. Although the Sugar Act reduced the tax rate of molasses by 3 pence per gallon, this law also put in place measures to ensure the strict collection of this tax.

American Revolution

1765 - 1783

The conflict arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown.

Regulator movement in North Carolina

1765 - 1771

The War of the Regulation or the Regulator Movement was an uprising in the British North America's Carolina colonies, in which citizens took up arms against colonial officials.

Stamp Act

1765 - March 18, 1766

The first internal tax levied directly on American colonists by the British government. The act, which imposed a tax on all paper documents in the colonies, came at a time when the British Empire was deep in debt from the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) and looking to its North American colonies as a revenue source.

Declaratory Act


Declaration by the British Parliament that accompanied the repeal of the Stamp Act. It stated that the British Parliament’s taxing authority was the same in America as in Great Britain.

Townshend Acts

1767 - 1770

A series of measures introduced into the English Parliament by Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend in 1767, the Townshend Acts imposed duties on glass, lead, paints, paper and tea imported into the colonies. Townshend hoped the acts would defray imperial expenses in the colonies, but many Americans viewed the taxation as an abuse of power, resulting in the passage of agreements to limit imports from Britain.

Boston Massacre

March 5, 1770

Known as the Incident on King Street by the British, was an incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers shot and killed people while under attack by a mob

Committees of correspondence in Boston


Rallied colonial opposition against British policy and established a political union among the Thirteen Colonies.

Gaspee incident


A significant event in the lead-up to the American Revolution. HMS Gaspee was a British customs schooner that had been engaged in anti-smuggling operations. It ran aground in shallow water on June 9, 1772, near what is now known as Gaspee Point in the city of Warwick, Rhode Island, while chasing the packet boat Hannah. A group of men led by Abraham Whipple and John Brown attacked, boarded, looted, and torched the ship.

Tea Act


An Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The principal objective was to reduce the massive amount of tea held by the financially troubled British East India Company in its London warehouses and to help the struggling company survive.

Boston Tea Party

December 16, 1773

A political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston.

Coercive Acts


The Intolerable Acts were harsh laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774. They were meant to punish the American colonists for the Boston Tea Party and other protests.

First Continental Congress in Philadelphia

September 5, 1774 - October 26, 1774

A meeting of delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies that met at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early in the American Revolution.

Second Continental Congress


Managed the colonial war effort, and moved incrementally towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Washington commands American forces


Takes command of continental army.

Battles of Lexington and Concord

April 19, 1775

In April 1775, when British troops are sent to confiscate colonial weapons, they run into an untrained and angry militia. This ragtag army defeats 700 British soldiers and the surprise victory bolsters their confidence for the war ahead.

Paine's Common Sense

January 10, 1776

A pamphlet written by Thomas Paine advocating independence from Great Britain to people in the Thirteen Colonies.

Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776

Defined as the formal statement written by Thomas Jefferson declaring the freedom of the thirteen American colonies from Great Britain and was adopted at the Second Continental Congress.

Battle of Trenton

December 26, 1776

A small but pivotal battle during the American Revolutionary War which took place in Trenton, New Jersey. The battle significantly boosted the Continental Army's flagging morale, and inspired re-enlistments.

British defeat at Saratoga


The Battles of Saratoga (September 19 and October 7, 1777) marked the climax of the Saratoga campaign giving a decisive victory to the Americans over the British in the American Revolutionary War.

Articles of Confederation adopted

November 15, 1777

The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States.

French-American Alliance

February 6, 1778 - September 3, 1783

Alliance between the Kingdom of France and the United States during the American Revolutionary War.

Articles of Confederation ratified

March 1, 1781

Ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781.

Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown

October 19, 1781

British General Charles Cornwallis formally surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a French and American force at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing the American Revolution to a close.

Peace of Paris


The set of treaties which ended the American Revolutionary War.

Treaty of Paris


Negotiated between the United States and Great Britain, ended the revolutionary war and recognized American independence.

Postwar depression begins


Shays' Rebellion

1786 - 1787

An armed uprising in Massachusetts during 1786 and 1787. Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led four thousand rebels in an uprising against perceived economic and civil rights injustices.

States ratify Constitution

1787 - 1788

Constitutional Convention and Constitution adopted

May 25, 1787 - September 17, 1787

Took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although the Convention was intended to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one. The delegates elected George Washington to preside over the Convention. The result of the Convention was the creation of the United States Constitution, placing the Convention among the most significant events in the history of the United States.

Northwest Ordinance

July 13, 1787

Enacted by the U.S. Congress for the purpose of establishing orderly and equitable procedures for the settlement and political incorporation of the Northwest Territory—i.e., that part of the American frontier lying west of Pennsylvania, north of the Ohio River, east of the Mississippi River, and south of the Great Lakes; this is generally the area known today as the American Midwest.

French Revolution

1789 - 1799

A watershed event in modern European history, the French Revolution began in 1789 and ended in the late 1790s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. During this period, French citizens razed and redesigned their country’s political landscape, uprooting centuries-old institutions such as absolute monarchy and the feudal system.

Judiciary Act

September 24, 1789

Officially titled "An Act to Establish the Judicial Courts of the United States," was signed into law by President George Washington.

Bill of Rights

September 25, 1789

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. Written by James Madison in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties, the Bill of Rights lists specific prohibitions on governmental power.

Whiskey Rebellion

1791 - 1794

A tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 during the presidency of George Washington. The so-called "whiskey tax" was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. It became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but American whiskey was by far the country's most popular distilled beverage in the 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a "whiskey tax". Farmers of the western frontier were accustomed to distilling their surplus rye, barley, wheat, corn, or fermented grain mixtures into whiskey. These farmers resisted the tax. In these regions, whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the federal government maintained that the taxes were the legal expression of Congressional taxation powers.

First Bank of US chartered

February 25, 1791

The President, Directors and Company, of the Bank of the United States, commonly known as the First Bank of the United States, was a national bank, chartered for a term of twenty years, by the United States Congress. It followed the Bank of North America, the nation's first de facto central bank. Establishment of the Bank of the United States was part of a three-part expansion of federal fiscal and monetary power, along with a federal mint and excise taxes, championed by Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton believed a national bank was necessary to stabilize and improve the nation's credit, and to improve handling of the financial business of the United States government under the newly enacted Constitution.

Eli Whitney invents cotton gin


U.S.-born inventor Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, a machine that revolutionized the production of cotton by greatly speeding up the process of removing seeds from cotton fiber.

Jay's Treaty


The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, commonly known as the Jay Treaty, and also as Jay's Treaty, was a 1795 treaty between the United States and Great Britain that is credited with averting war, resolving issues remaining since the Treaty of Paris of 1783 (which ended the American Revolutionary War), and facilitating ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain in the midst of the French Revolutionary Wars, which began in 1792.

Pinckney's Treaty

October 27, 1795

known as the Treaty of San Lorenzo or the Treaty of Madrid, was signed in San Lorenzo de El Escorial and established intentions of friendship between the United States and Spain.

XYZ Affair

1797 - 1798

A diplomatic incident between French and United States diplomats that resulted in a limited, undeclared war known as the Quasi-War. U.S. and French negotiators restored peace with the Convention of 1800, also known as the Treaty of Mortefontaine.

Alien and Sedition Acts


Four bills passed by the Federalist-dominated 5th United States Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798. They made it harder for an immigrant to become a citizen (Naturalization Act), allowed the president to imprison and deport non-citizens who were deemed dangerous (Alien Friends Act of 1798) or who were from a hostile nation (Alien Enemy Act of 1798), and criminalized making false statements that were critical of the federal government (Sedition Act of 1798).

Quasi war with France

1798 - 1799

An undeclared war fought almost entirely at sea between the United States of America and the French Republic from 1798 to 1800. After the toppling of the French crown during the French Revolutionary Wars, the United States refused to continue repaying its debt to France on the grounds that it had been owed to a previous regime. French outrage led to a series of attacks on American shipping, ultimately leading to retaliation from the Americans and the end of hostilities with the signing of the Convention of 1800 shortly thereafter.

Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

1798 - 1799

Political statements drafted in 1798 and 1799, in which the Kentucky and Virginia legislatures took the position that the federal Alien and Sedition Acts were unconstitutional.

US capital moves to Washington


Gabriel Prosser's unsuccessful slave revolt


In 1800, Gabriel Prosser gathered 1,000 rebellious slaves outside Richmond; but two African Americans gave away the plot, and the Virginia militia stymied the uprising before it could begin. Prosser and thirty-five others were executed.

Marshall named chief justice of Supreme Court


Second Great Awakening begins


A Protestant religious revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800 and, after 1820, membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations whose preachers led the movement.

Louisiana Purchase


A land deal between the United States and France, in which the U.S. acquired approximately 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River for $15 million.

Lewis and Clark expedition

May 14, 1804 - September 23, 1806

Also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States.

Jefferson's Embargo


To prevent future incidents that might bring the nation again to the brink of war, Jefferson persuaded Congress to pass a drastic measure late in 1807. Known as the Embargo Act, it prohibited all international trade from American ports. The embargo was widely evaded, but it was effective enough to create a serious depression throughout most of the nation. Hardest hit were the merchants and shipowners of the Northeast, most of them Federalists.

Slave importation banned


The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 (2 Stat. 426, enacted March 2, 1807) is a United States federal law that stated that no new slaves were permitted to be imported into the United States. It took effect in 1808, the earliest date permitted by the United States Constitution.

Tecumseh Confederacy formed


A group of Native Americans in the Old Northwest that began to form in the early 19th century around the teaching of Tenskwatawa (The Prophet). The confederation grew over several years and came to include several thousand warriors. Shawnee leader Tecumseh, the brother of The Prophet, developed into the leader of the group as early as 1808. Deemed a threat to the United States, a preemptive strike against the confederation was launched resulting in the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe. Under Tecumseh's leadership, the confederation went to war with the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812. Following the death of Tecumseh in 1813 the confederation fell apart.

Non-Intercourse Act


Lifted all embargoes on American shipping except for those bound for British or French ports. Its intent was to damage the economies of the United Kingdom and France. Like its predecessor, the Embargo Act, it was mostly ineffective, and contributed to the coming of the War of 1812.

Macon's Bill No 2

May 14, 1810

Became law and was intended to motivate Great Britain and France to stop seizing American vessels during the Napoleonic Wars. This bill was a revision of the original bill by Representative Nathaniel Macon, known as Macon's Bill Number 1. Macon neither wrote it nor approved it. The law lifted all embargoes with Britain and France (for three months). It stated that if either one of the two countries ceased attacks upon American shipping, the United States would end trade with the other, unless that other country agreed to recognize the rights of the neutral American ships as well.

Battle of Tippecanoe

November 7, 1811

Between American forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and Native American warriors associated with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (commonly known as "The Prophet") were leaders of a confederacy of Native Americans from various tribes that opposed US expansion into Native territory. As tensions and violence increased, Governor Harrison marched and succeeded with an army of about 1,000 men to disperse the confederacy's headquarters at Prophetstown.

US declares war on Great Britain


The United States declared war on Britain in 1812. It did so because Britain refused to stop seizing American ships that traded with France—Britain's enemy in Europe. Sometimes there were also seizures of American sailors. These seizures were known as impressment.

Hartford Convention

December 15, 1814

The purpose of the Hartford Convention was to protest the Federal Government's involvement in the War of 1812. The meeting was held in secret by Federalist delegates at the Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut.

Treaty of Ghent

December 24, 1814

The peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Both sides signed in the city of Ghent, Belgium.

Battle of New Orleans

January 8, 1815 - January 26, 1815

An engagement fought between January 8 and January 18, 1815, constituting the final major battle of the War of 1812, and the most one-sided battle of that war with America having a decisive victory over Britain.

Second Bank of US


The Second Bank of the United States was chartered for many of the same reasons as its predecessor, the First Bank of the United States. The War of 1812 had left a formidable debt. Inflation surged ever upward due to the ever-increasing amount of notes issued by private banks.

Erie Canal constructed

1817 - 1825

The Erie Canal was the greatest construction project Americans had ever undertaken. By providing a route to the Great Lakes, the canal gave New York access to Chicago and the growing markets of the West. The Erie Canal also contributed to the decline of agriculture in New England. Now that it was so much cheaper for western farmers to ship their crops east, people farming marginal land in the Northeast found themselves unable to compete.

Seminole War

1817 - 1818

Began over attempts by U.S. authorities to recapture runaway black slaves living among Seminole bands. Under General Andrew Jackson, U.S. military forces invaded the area, scattering the villagers, burning their towns, and seizing Spanish-held Pensacola and St. Marks. As a result, in 1819 Spain was induced to cede its Florida territory under the terms of the Transcontinental Treaty.

Missouri Compromise


The purpose of the Missouri Compromise was to settle tensions between anti- and pro-slavery states. At the time, there were an equal amount of free and slavery states. Missouri was petitioning for statehood as a slave state, which would have upset that balance. In an effort to preserve the balance of power in Congress between slave and free states, the Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state.

Depression in tobacco prices begins


High cotton production in Southwest

New York constructs first penitentiary


Denmark Vesey's conspiracy


Denmark Vesey, a free black carpenter and Methodist leader, used his position to organize blacks, who were especially angry about the recent decision to suppress their African Church. South Carolina authorities moved swiftly once the plot was uncovered and Vesey and 36 of his co-conspirators were hanged after a dubious trial. Their executions were accompanied by a massive demonstration of support from defiant free and enslaved blacks that required local militia and Federal troops to restore order.

Monroe Doctrine


A U.S. policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as "the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States." At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued in 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved or were at the point of gaining independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires.

Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans


A historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper. It is the second book of the Leatherstocking Tales pentalogy and the best known to contemporary audiences. The Pathfinder, published 14 years later in 1840, is its sequel. The Last of the Mohicans is set in 1757, during the French and Indian War (the Seven Years' War), when France and Great Britain battled for control of North America. During this war, both the French and the British used Native American allies, but the French were particularly dependent, as they were outnumbered in the Northeast frontier areas by the more numerous British colonists.

Tariff of abominations

May 19, 1828

This measure originated with the demands of New England woolen manufacturers. But to win support from middle and western states, the administration had to accept duties on other items. In the process, it antagonized the original supporters of the bill; the benefits of protecting their manufactured goods from foreign competition now had to be weighed against the prospects of having to pay more for raw materials. Adams signed the bill, earning the animosity of southerners, who cursed it as the "tariff of abominations".

Joseph Smith publishes the Book of Mormon


A sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement, which adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421.

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad begins operation


American entreprenaurs quickly grew interested int eh English experiment. The first company to begin actual operations was the Baltimore and Ohio, which opened a thirteen-mile stretch of track in 1830. In New York, the Mohawk and Hudson began running trains along the sixteen miles between Schenectady and Albany in 1831.

Immigration from Ireland and Germany begins


In the middle half of the nineteenth century, more than one-half of the population of Ireland emigrated to the United States. So did an equal number of Germans. Most of them came because of civil unrest, severe unemployment or almost inconceivable hardships at home.

Webster and Hayne debate

January 19, 1830 - January 27, 1830

The Webster–Hayne debate was a famous debate in the United States between Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Senator Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina that took place on the topic of protectionist tariffs.

Indian Removal Act

May 28, 1830

Signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy.

Anti-Mason Party holds first convention


The Anti-Masonic Party conducted the first presidential nominating convention in U.S. history for the 1832 elections, nominating William Wirt (a former Mason) for President and Amos Ellmaker for Vice President in Baltimore.

The Liberator begins publication


The Liberator (1831–1865) was an abolitionist newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp in 1831. Garrison co-published weekly issues of The Liberator from Boston continuously for 35 years, from January 1, 1831, to the final issue of December 29, 1865.

Nullification crisis

1832 - 1833

In 1832, the controversy over nullification finally produced a crisis when South Carolinians responded angrily to a congressional tariff bill that offered them no relief from the 1828 tariff of abominations. Almost immediately, the legislature summoned a state conventions, which voted to nullify the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 and to forbid the collection of duties within the state. At the same time, South Carolina elected Hayne to serve as governor and Calhoun to replace Hayne as senator. This episode taught Calhoun and his allies that no state could defy the federal government alone.

Jackson vetoes recharter Bank of US

July 1832

Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill re-chartering the Second Bank in July 1832 by arguing that in the form presented to him it was incompatible with “justice,” “sound policy” and the Constitution.

Jackson removes deposits from Bank of US


The removal of deposits was the next step in President Andrew Jackson's campaign against the Second Bank of the United States after he vetoed its recharter in July 1832. Under its existing charter, due to expire in 1836, the bank acted as the exclusive fiscal agent of the federal government and the custodian of its funds. It was also the country's only truly national financial institution, with branches throughout the states. Deeply convinced of the bank's corrupting influence on politics, and fearful that it would use its favored position and tremendous financial leverage to again try to force a recharter, Jackson determined to defang the bank by removing public moneys from its control.

American Antislavery Society founded

December 1833

An abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison, and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave, was a key leader of this society who often spoke at its meetings.

Lowell Mills women strike


In 1834, mill wrokers in Lowell organized a union--the Factory Girls Association--which staged a strike to protest a 25% wage cut. Two years later, the association struck againt--against a rent increase in the boardinghouses. Both strikes failed, and a recession in 1837 virtually destroyed the organization.

McCormick patents mechanical paper


Taney named chief justice of Supreme Court


More often favored the power of the states.

Specie circular


A United States presidential executive order issued by President Andrew Jackson in 1836 pursuant to the Coinage Act and carried out by his successor, President Martin Van Buren. It required payment for government land to be in gold and silver.

Texas declares independence from Mexico


The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in the Texas Revolution

Horace Mann appointed secretary of Massachusetts Board of Education


An American educational reformer and Whig politician dedicated to promoting public education.

Seminole Wars

1837 - 1844

Followed the refusal of most Seminoles to abandon the reservation that had been specifically established for them north of Lake Okeechobee and to relocate west of the Mississippi River. Whites coveted this land and sought to oust the Seminoles under the Indian Removal Act. Led by their dynamic chief Osceola, the Seminole warriors hid their families in the Everglades and fought vigorously to defend their homeland, using guerrilla tactics. As many as 2,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in this prolonged fighting, which cost the government between $40,000,000 and $60,000,000. Only after Osceola’s capture while parleying under a flag of truce did Indian resistance decline. With peace, most Seminoles agreed to emigrate.

Independent Treasury Act


Never a national party, the Locofocos, radical wing of the Democrats, reached their peak when President Van Buren urged and Congress passed (July 4, 1840) the Independent Treasury Act, which fulfilled the primary Locofoco aim: complete separation of government from banking. After 1840 Locofoco political influence was largely confined to New York, and by the end of the decade many Locofocos were allied with the Barnburner Democrats, who eventually left the party over the slavery-extension issue.

Liberty Party formed


An antislavery political organization founded in 1840. It was formed by those abolitionists, under the leadership of James G. Birney and Gerrit Smith, who repudiated William Lloyd Garrison's nonpolitical stand.

Brook Farm founded


Although transcendentalism was at its heart an individualistic philosophy, it helped spawn one of the most famous nineteenth-century experiments in communal living: Brook Farm. The dream of the Boston transcendentalist George Ripley, Brook Farm was established in 1841 as an experimental community in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. There individuals would gather to create a new society that would permit every member to have full opportunity for self-realization. The tension between the ideal of individual freedom and the demands of a communal society, however, eventually took its toll on Brook Farm.

Morse sends first telegraph message

May 24, 1844

Sent by inventor Samuel F.B. Morse on May 24, 1844, over an experimental line from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, the message said: "What hath God wrought?"

Frederick Douglass's autobiography


An 1845 memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass. It is generally held to be the most famous of a number of narratives written by former slaves during the same period. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life and is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States.

Oregon boundary dispute settled


The 1846 Oregon Treaty established the border between British North America and the United States along the 49th parallel until the Strait of Georgia, where the marine boundary curved south to exclude Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands from the United States.

Rotary press invented


Rotary drum printing was invented by Richard March Hoe in 1843, perfected in 1846, and patented in 1847.

Wilmot Proviso


Proposed an American law to ban slavery in any territory acquired from Mexico in the Mexican War. The conflict over the proviso was one of the major events leading to the American Civil War.

Mexican-American War

April 25, 1846 - February 2, 1848

An armed conflict between the United States of America and the United Mexican States from 1846 to 1848. It followed in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory in spite of its de facto secession in the 1836 Texas Revolution.

John Deere manufactures steel plows


Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


Officially entitled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, is the peace treaty signed on February 2, 1848, in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo (now a neighborhood of Mexico City) between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican–American War (1846–48).

Oneida Community founded


One of the most enduring of the utopian colonies of the nineteenth century was the Oneida Community, established in 1848 in upstate New York by John Humphrey Noyes. The Oneida "Perfectionists", as residents of the community called themselves, rejected traditional notions o family and marriage. It was a place where the community carefully monitored sexual behavior, where women were protected from unwanted childbearing, and where children were raised communally, often seeing little of their own parents. The Oneidans took pride in what they considered their liberation of women from the demands of male "lust" and from the traditional restraints of family.

California Gold Rush

January 24, 1848 - 1855

When gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad.

Compromise of 1850


A package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850, which defused a four-year political confrontation between slave and free states regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

Gadsden Purchase


A 29,670-square-mile (76,800 km2) region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that the United States purchased via a treaty signed on December 30, 1853, by James Gadsden, U.S. ambassador to Mexico at that time.

Republican Party formed

March 20, 1854

In Ripon, Wisconsin, former members of the Whig Party meet to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories. The Whig Party, which was formed in 1834 to oppose the “tyranny” of President Andrew Jackson, had shown itself incapable of coping with the national crisis over slavery. With the successful introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854, an act that dissolved the terms of the Missouri Compromise and allowed slave or free status to be decided in the territories by popular sovereignty, the Whigs disintegrated. By February 1854, anti-slavery Whigs had begun meeting in the upper midwestern states to discuss the formation of a new party. One such meeting, in Wisconsin on March 20, 1854, is generally remembered as the founding meeting of the Republican Party.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

May 30, 1854

It allowed people in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery within their borders. The Act served to repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which prohibited slavery north of latitude 36°30´.

"Bleeding Kansas"

1855 - 1861

A series of violent political confrontations in the United States involving anti-slavery "Free-Staters" and pro-slavery "Border Ruffian", or "southern" elements in Kansas. This military conflict happened between 1854 and 1861, including "Bleeding Congress". The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 called for "popular sovereignty"—that is, the decision about slavery was to be made by the settlers (rather than outsiders). It would be decided by votes—or more exactly which side had more votes counted by officials. At the heart of the conflict was the question of whether Kansas would allow or outlaw slavery, and thus enter the Union as a slave state or a free state. Pro-slavery forces said every settler had the right to bring his own property, including slaves, into the territory. Anti-slavery "free soil" forces said the rich slaveholders would buy up all the good farmland and work it with black slaves, leaving little or no opportunity for non-slaveholders. As such, Bleeding Kansas was a conflict between anti-slavery forces in the North and pro-slavery forces from the South over the issue of slavery in the United States. The term "Bleeding Kansas" was coined by Republican Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune; its violence indicated that compromise was unlikely, and thus it presaged the Civil War.

Native American Party formed (Know-Nothing/American)


The Know-Nothing Party, also known as the American Party, was a prominent United States political party during the late 1840s and the early 1850s. The American Party originated in 1849. Its members strongly opposed immigrants and followers of the Catholic Church. They were called Know-Nothings because members of the party were told to say 'I know nothing' when asked about it. They were also called 'nativists' because they believed that foreign-born Americans should not be allowed to hold government posts.

John Brown raids Harpers Ferry

October 16, 1859 - October 18, 1859

An effort by armed abolitionist John Brown to initiate an armed slave revolt in 1859 by taking over a United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

Confederate States of America formed


South Carolina was the first to secede, on December 20, 1860, followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. On February 8, 1861, representatives of those states announced the formation of the Confederate States of America, with its capital at Montgomery, Alabama.

Davis president of Confederacy


An American politician who was a Democratic U.S. Representative and Senator from Mississippi, the 23rd U.S. Secretary of War, and the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.

Progressive Era

1890 - 1920

Objectives were eliminating problems caused by industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and corruption of government.

National Association of Manufacturers


Reorganized American Medical Association


United States Chamber of Commerce


Children's Bureau in the Labor Department


Women's clubs convinced Congress to establish this, an agency directed to develop policies to protect children.

World War I

July 1914 - November 1918

The Great Depression

October 1929 - 1939

The 1st New Deal

1933 - 1937

The 2nd New Deal

1935 - 1936

World War II

September 1, 1939 - September 2, 1945

United Nations Founded

October 24, 1945

Atomic Energy Commission

1946 - 1975

National Security Act


Taft-Hartley Act


Levittown construction begins


Cold War

1947 - 1991

Truman Doctrine

March 12, 1947

President Harry S. Truman established that the US would provide political, military, and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces.

Marshall Plan proposed

June 5, 1947

An American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the US gave over $12 billion in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of WWII.

Hiss case begins


Berlin blockade

June 24, 1948 - May 12, 1949

North Atlantic Treaty Association (NATO)

April 4, 1949

Soviet Union explodes A-bomb

August 29, 1949

Mao victorious in China

October 1, 1949

McCarthy's anticommunism campaign begins



April 14, 1950

Korean War

June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953

Truman fires MacArthur

April 11, 1951

Harry Truman, the president of the US, fired General Douglas MacArthur from his post as commander of the UN forces in South Korea at the height of the Korean War.

American occupation of Japan ends

April 28, 1952

The San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, marked the end of the Allied occupation, and when it went into effect on April 28, 1952, Japan was once again an independent state.

Army-McCarthy hearings

April 1954 - June 1954

A series of hearings held by the United States Senate's Subcommittee on Investigations on conflicting accusations between the United States Army and Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Vietnam War

November 1, 1955 - April 30, 1975

Federal Highway Act

June 29, 1956

Suez crisis

October 1956

An invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France.

Little Rock desegregation crisis


The Little Rock Nine was a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Kerouac's On the Road

September 5, 1957

Based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across America. It is considered a defining work of the postwar Beat and Counterculture generations, with its protagonists living life against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use.

Sputnik launched

October 4, 1957

The Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball (58 cm.or 22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path.

Castro seizes power in Cuba


Eisenhower's farewell address


The final public speech of Dwight D. Eisenhower as the 34th President of the United States, delivered in a television broadcast on January 17, 1961.

U-2 incident

May 1, 1960

When a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down while in Soviet airspace.

Freedom riders


Civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States in 1961 and subsequent years in order to challenge the non-enforcement of the United States.

US severs diplomatic relations with Cuba

January 3, 1961

Bay of Pigs

April 17, 1961 - April 19, 1961

A failed military invasion of Cuba undertaken by the CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506.

First American in space: Alan Shepard

May 5, 1961

Berlin Wall erected

August 13, 1961 - November 9, 1989

Cuban missile crisis

October 16, 1962 - October 28, 1962

A 13-day confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union concerning American ballistic missile.

March on Washington

August 28 1963

John F. Kennedy assassinated

November 22, 1963

Johnson launches war on poverty


Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

August 10, 1964

A joint resolution that the United States Congress passed on August 7, 1964, in response to the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Free Speech Movement begins

September 14, 1964

A protest over the rights of students to engage in political activities on campus and was the first major outburst of what was to be nearly a decade of campus turmoil.

Antiwar movement grows


A social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts.

Tet offensive

January 30, 1968

One of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War, launched by forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam against the forces of the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States Armed Forces, and their allies.

Robert F. Kennedy assassinated

June 6, 1968

Americans land on the moon


The Woodstock Festival


A powerful symbol of the fusion of rock music and the counterculture. 400,000 people gathered on a farm for nearly a week. Despite heavy rain, mud, inadequate facilities, and impossible crowding, the attendees remained peaceful and harmonious. Champions of the counterculture spoke rhapsodically at the time of how Woodstock represented the birth of a new youth culture, the "Woodstock nation".

Kent State and Jackson State shootings


Police opened fire on students.

Cambodian Campaign

April 29, 1970 - July 22, 1970

A series of military operations conducted in eastern Cambodia by the US and the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Nixon imposes wage-price controls


Pentagon Papers published


Revealed that the Truman administration gave military aid to France in its colonial war against the communist-led Viet Minh, thus directly involving the US in Vietnam.



Signed by the US and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Were intended to restrain the arms race in strategic ballistic missiles armed with nuclear weapons.

Nixon visits China

February 21, 1972

Nixon was the first president to visit China since it was established in 1949. This was an important event because the US was seeking to improve relations with a Communist country during the Cold War.


June 17, 1972

A major political scandal following a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in DC and President Nixon's administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement.

"Christmas bombing" of North Vietnam

December 17, 1972 - December 30, 1972

The heaviest and most destructive air raids of the entire war on Hanoi, Haiphong, and other North Vietnamese targets. Civilian casualties were high, and fifteen American B-52s were shot down by the North Vietnamese.

1973 Oil Crisis

October 1973 - March 1974

Began when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. The embargo occurred in response to the US' support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War.

Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns

October 10, 1973

The first vice president to resign in disgrace. The same day, he pleaded no contest to a charge of federal income tax evasion in exchange for the dropping of charges of political corruption.

Ford pardons Nixon

September 8, 1974

The Fall/Liberation of Saigon

April 30, 1975

South Vietnam was captured and fell

Panama Canal treaties signed

September 7, 1977

Turned over control of the Panama Canal to the government of Panama.

United States Presidents

President George Washington

April 30, 1789 - March 4, 1797

not really associated with a political party (maybe Federalist?)

President John Adams

March 4, 1797 - March 4, 1801

only Federalist president

President Thomas Jefferson

March 4, 1801 - March 4, 1809

Democratic-Republican party founder

President James Madison

March 4, 1809 - March 4, 1817


President James Monroe

March 4, 1817 - March 4, 1825


President John Quincy Adams

March 4, 1825 - March 4, 1829


President Andrew Jackson

March 4, 1829 - March 4, 1837

Founded the Democratic Party

President Martin Van Buren

March 4, 1837 - March 4, 1841

Helped form the new Democratic party from a coalition of Jeffersonian Republicans who backed the military hero and president Andrew Jackson.

President William Henry Harrison

March 4, 1841 - April 4, 1841


President John Tyler

April 4, 1841 - March 4, 1845

A Democrat who came to represent the Whig Party out of dislike for President Jackson. He was the first vice president to become president due to the death of his predecessor.

President James K. Polk

March 4, 1845 - March 4, 1849


President Zachary Taylor

March 4, 1849 - July 9, 1850


President Millard Fillmore

July 9, 1850 - March 4, 1853


President Franklin Pierce

March 4, 1853 - March 4, 1857


President James Buchanan

March 4, 1857 - March 4, 1861

Democrat. The only President to be elected from Pennsylvania and to remain a lifelong bachelor.

President Abraham Lincoln

March 4, 1861 - April 15, 1865

First Republican President

President Andrew Johnson

April 15, 1865 - March 4, 1869

Union. During the war, he joined Republicans and pro-war Democrats in the National Union party. Clashed with Radical Republicans.

President Ulysses S. Grant

March 4, 1869 - March 4, 1877


President Rutherford B. Hayes

March 4, 1877 - March 4, 1881


President James A. Garfield

March 4, 1881 - September 19, 1881


President Chester A. Arthur

September 19, 1881 - March 4, 1885


President Grover Cleveland Term 1

March 4, 1885 - March 4, 1889


President Benjamin Harrison

March 4, 1889 - March 4, 1893

President Grover Cleveland Term 2

March 4, 1893 - March 4, 1897


William McKinley

March 4, 1897 - September 14, 1901

President Theodore Roosevelt

September 14, 1901 - March 4, 1909

President William Howard Taft

March 4, 1909 - March 4, 1913

President Woodrow Wilson

March 4, 1913 - March 4, 1921

President Warren G. Harding

March 4, 1921 - August 2, 1923

President Calvin Coolidge

August 2, 1923 - March 4, 1929

President Herbert Hoover

March 4, 1929 - March 4, 1933

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

March 4, 1933 - April 12, 1945

President Harry S. Truman

April 12, 1945 - January 20, 1953


President Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 20, 1953 - January 20, 1961


President John F. Kennedy

January 20, 1961 - November 22, 1963


President Lyndon B. Johnson

November 22, 1963 - January 20, 1969


President Richard Nixon

January 20, 1969 - August 9, 1974


President Gerald Ford

August 9, 1974 - January 20, 1977


President Jimmy Carter

January 20, 1977 - January 20, 1981


President Ronald Reagan

January 20, 1981 - January 20, 1989


President George H. W. Bush

January 20, 1989 - January 20, 1993


President Bill Clinton

January 20, 1993 - January 20, 2001


President George W. Bush

January 20, 2001 - January 20, 2009


President Barack Obama

January 20, 2009 - January 20, 2017



Annapolis Conference

September 11, 1786 - September 14, 1786

Formally titled as a Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government was a national political convention held at Mann's Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland, in which twelve delegates from five states–New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia–gathered to discuss and develop a consensus about reversing the protectionist trade barriers that each state had erected.

Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945 - February 11, 1945

The World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin, respectively, for the purpose of discussing Europe's post-war reorganization.

Potsdam Conference

July 17, 1945 - August 2, 1945

Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. The three powers were represented by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and, later, Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.

Black History

African slaves arrive in Spanish America


First African workers in Virginia


Slave importations increase


A turning point in the history of the black population in North America was the year rival traders broke the Royal African Company's monopoly. With the trade now open to competition, prices fell and the number of Africans greatly increased.

Nat Turner slave rebellion

August 21, 1831 - August 23, 1831

A slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County, Virginia, during August 1831. Led by Nat Turner, rebel slaves killed from 55 to 65 people, the highest number of fatalities caused by any slave uprising in the Southern United States. The rebellion was put down within a few days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months afterwards. The rebellion was effectively suppressed at Belmont Plantation on the morning of August 23, 1831.

John Randolph frees 400 slaves


Randolph was a planter, and a Congressman from Virginia, serving in the House of Representatives at various times between 1799 and 1833, the Senate (1825–1827), and also as Minister to Russia (1830).

Cotton prices plummet


De Bow's Commercial Review founded


A widely circulated magazine of "agricultural, commercial, and industrial progress and resource" in the American South during the upper middle of the nineteenth century, from 1846 until 1884.

Brown v. Board of Education

May 17, 1954

The Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.

Montgomery bus boycott

December 5, 1955 - December 20, 1956

A political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama.

Civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham


A movement organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to bring attention the integration efforts of African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama.

Civil Rights Act


A landmark civil rights and US labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Voting Rights Act


A landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.

Malcolm X assassinated

February 21, 1965

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and later also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist.

Racial violence in Watts

August 11, 1965 - August 16, 1965

The Watts riots, sometimes referred to as the Watts Rebellion, took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. The riots were blamed principally on police racism.

Racial violence in Detroit


Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated

April 4, 1968

Women's History

Women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, NY

July 19, 1848 - July 20, 1848

The first women's rights convention. It advertised itself as "a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman".

Jane Adams and Hull House in Chicago


General Federation of Women's Clubs


Women's Trade Union League


Founded by female union members and upper-class reformers and committed to persuading women to join unions.

Friedan's The Feminine Mystique


Often cited as one of the first events of contemporary women's liberation.

National Organization of Women formed


Friedan joined with other feminists to create NOW, which was to become the nation's largest and most influential feminist organization. NOW responded to the complaints of women by demanding greater educational opportunities for women and denouncing the domestic ideal and the traditional concept of marriage. But the heart of the movement was an effort to address the needs of women in the workplace.

Court Cases

Marbury v. Madison


A landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution.

McCulloch v. Maryland


The Supreme Court ruled that Congress had implied powers under the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to create the Second Bank of the United States and that the state of Maryland lacked the power to tax the Bank.

Dartmouth College v. Woodward


Whether Dartmouth College would remain private or become a state school. More broadly, what is protected by the Constitution's "contract" clause? By a 5-1 margin, the Court agreed with Dartmouth. The Court struck down the law, so Dartmouth continued as a private college. Chief Justice Marshall wrote the majority opinion. He said that the charter was, in essence, a contract between the King and the trustees. Even though we were no longer a royal colony, the contract is still valid because the Constitution says that a state cannot pass laws to impair a contract.
Historians believe that the decision greatly encouraged business investment and growth. Corporations are also chartered by states. It states can't pass laws to impair those charters, then businesses are more secure. They are also more apt to attract investors, employ workers, and to add to the national prosperity.

Dred Scott v. Sandford


Ruled (7–2) that a slave (Dred Scott) who had resided in a free state and territory (where slavery was prohibited) was not thereby entitled to his freedom; that African Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States; and that the Missouri Compromise (1820), which had declared free all territories west of Missouri and north of latitude 36°30′, was unconstitutional. The decision added fuel to the sectional controversy and pushed the country closer to civil war.

Lecompton constitution defeated


Under the doctrine of popular sovereignty, proslavery advocates flooded into Kansas Territory and created a government supportive of slavery. By 1857, they drew up a pro-slavery document called the Lecompton Constitution, which would make Kansas a slave state. On 4 January 1858, Kansas voters, having the opportunity to reject the constitution altogether in the referendum, overwhelmingly rejected the Lecompton proposal by a vote of 10,226 to 138. And in Washington, the Lecompton constitution was defeated by the federal House of Representatives in 1858.

Roe v. Wade


Affirmed the legality of a woman's right to have an abortion under the 14th amendment to the Constitution.


Panic of 1819

1819 - 1825

It followed a period of high foreign demand for American farm goods and thus of exceptionally high prices for American farmers. But the rising prices for farm goods stimulated a land boom in the western United States. Fueled by speculative investments, land prices soared. Beginning in 1819, new management at the national bank began tightening credit, calling in loans, and foreclosing mortgages. This precipitated a series of failures by state banks. The result was a financial panic. Six years of depression followed. Some American saw the Panic of 1819 and the widespread distress that followed as a warning that rapid economic growth and territorial expansion would destabilize the nation. But by 1820, most Americans were irrevocably committed to the idea of growth and expansion.

Panic of 1837


Banks and businesses failed; unemployment grew; bread riots shook some of the larger cities; and prices fell, especially the price of land. Many railroad and canal projects failed; several of the debt-burdened state governments ceased to pay interest on their bonds, and a few repudiated their debts, at least temporarily. The worst depression in American history to that point, it lasted for five years, and it was a political catastrophe for Van Buren and the Democrats.


Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter


An 1850 work of fiction in a historical setting, written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book is considered to be his "masterwork". Set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.

Melville's Moby Dick


A novel by American writer Herman Melville, published in 1851 during the period of the American Renaissance. The novel was a commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, but during the 20th century, its reputation as a Great American Novel was established. William Faulkner confessed he wished he had written it himself, and D. H. Lawrence called it "one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world", and "the greatest book of the sea ever written".

Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin


An anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman.

Thoreau's Walden


A book by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The text is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and (to some degree) manual for self-reliance.

Whitman's Leaves of Grass


A poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). The poems of Leaves of Grass are loosely connected, with each representing Whitman's celebration of his philosophy of life and humanity. This book is notable for its discussion of delight in sensual pleasures during a time when such candid displays were considered immoral.