FITS - Race in the US

Native Americans

Exchange of Pequot Indians for African slaves


Defeat of the Pequot Indians by the English colonists results in their enslavement. The Pequot Indians were sent to Bermuda in exchange for African slaves in the hope that the latter would “bear slavery more patiently”.

King Philip's War

1675 - 1678

War erupts between European colonists and Native Americans in New England. Native Americans are starved out and massacred, resulting in the elimination of Native American presence in New England.

Oakes, James, Michael McGerr, Jan Ellen Lewis, Nick Cullather, and Jeanne Boydston. 2011. “New England Under Assault: King Philip’s War.” In Of The People: A History of the United States, 102. Oxford University Press.

First Native American reservation established in New Jersey


Brotherton Indian Reservation was the first Native American reservation. It lasted only 43 years; the Native Americans on the reservation were eventually moved to other reservations further west.

“The Colonies’ First and New Jersey’s Only Indian Reservation.” 2013. Accessible Archives Inc. August 29.

Pontiac's Rebellion and the Proclamation of 1763


First attempt by Native Americans to keep the region between the Mississippi River and the Alleghenies free of European settlers. Results in the British Proclamation of 1763 which attempts to confine the European settlers to the east of the Appalachian Mountains. Many European settlers ignore it, calling it a “temporary expedient to quiet the minds of the Indians”, and forcibly settle the land west of the Appalachian Mountains instead.

Oakes, James, Michael McGerr, Jan Ellen Lewis, Nick Cullather, and Jeanne Boydston. 2011. “Enforcing the Empire: Pontiac’s Rebellion and Its Aftermath.” In Of The People: A History of the United States, 165. Oxford University Press.

80% of the Arikara Tribe die of smallpox

1772 - 1780

The Arikara are a tribe in North Dakota. Due to smallpox, their population reduced from 30,000 to 6,000. In the 2010 Census, there were 792 recorded Arikara.

“Lewis and Clark . Native Americans . Arikara Indians | PBS.” 2017. Accessed June 20.

Native Americans rebel against Spanish missionaries in San Diego


Forced to labor in the fields of Mission San Diego de Acalá and adopt the missionaries’ teachings, Native Americans rebelled against the Spanish and burnt down the mission. The Spanish eventually reestablished control.

“History.” 2017. Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá. Accessed June 20.

Northwest Ordinance states that “the utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians”


Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance and creates a policy for the addition of new states to the nation. The Ordinance also states that Native American “land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent.”

“The Northwest Ordinance Guarantees Tribal Land Rights - Timeline - Native Voices.” 2017. Accessed June 20.

The Indian Trade and Intercourse Act regulates trade between Native Americans and colonists


Previously, all trade between Native Americans and colonists had been subject to state government. The Act gave the federal government the right to make treaties and impose policies regarding trade. This paves the way for subsequent federal decisions regarding removal of Native Americans from land.

The Chickasaw Nation. 2017. “Indian Trade and Intercourse Act.” Accessed June 20.

Louisiana Purchase


The U.S government gives the first removal notice to Native Americans


After the Louisiana Purchase (1803), Upper Louisiana is separated from the Territory of Orleans. This allows the president to exchange land

Tecumseh leads tribal confederacy against the United States

1808 - 1812

Increasing settler migration to the west devastated the Native American way of life. Missionaries encouraged Native Americans to adopt European values and religious practices. Settlers either took or bullied Native American leaders into signing away their land. Tecumseh, Chief of the Shawnees, founded Prophetstown in present-day Indiana to unite other Indian tribes in resisting European settlement. Tecumseh’s success alarms the U.S government and William Henry Harrison destroys the town and the pan-Indian coalition in the Battle of Tippicanoe (1811). Tecumseh is killed in 1813 and his death marks the end of organized Native American resistance east of the Mississippi.

Oakes, James, et al. “A Republic in Transition: Indian Resistance to the Yeoman’s Republic.” In Of The People: A History of the United States, 269. Oxford University Press.

Johnson v. McIntosh


Rules that Native Americans only have a "right of occupancy" to land

Indian Removal Act


Allows U.S government to forcibly remove Native Americans from the southeastern United States

Trail of Tears

Approx. 1830 - Approx. 1850

Series of forced removals of Native Americans from territories in the southeastern United States to land west of the Mississippi River designated as Indian territory

Indian Removal Act allows federal government to remove Native Americans from the SE United States


Allows U.S government to forcibly remove Native Americans from the southeastern United States

Seminole War - one of the longest and most expensive wars in U.S history

1835 - 1842

In this period, 40-60 million dollars were spent to force the Seminole people to move to Indian Territory (present-day Kansas, most of Oklahoma and parts of Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming).

Homestead Act allows non-Natives to settle on Native-owned land in the west.


The Homestead Act opened up settlement in the western United States. Any American (including freed slaves) were able to put in a claim for up to 160 acres of federal land. Previous federal policies had allocated land west of the Mississippi River for Native Americans; the Homestead Act effectively forces Native Americans off their land and forces them to abandon their nomadic lifestyle.

Dawes Act redistributes land amongst Native Americans


The Dawes Act allows the federal government to partition up tribal lands into individual allotments. Native Americans who accept the allotments become U.S citizens. 90 million acres for tribal land were stripped from Native Americans and sold to non-Natives. The Dawes Act - motivated by the desire to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream American society - has the effect of annihilating nomadic patterns of life and traditional cultural practices.


Conception of whiteness changed

Columbus reaches the New World


Planted the Spanish flag on the modern islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico, as well as Honduras and Venezuela. From 1492-1504, Columbus makes a total of 4 journeys between Europe and the New World

Oakes, James, Michael McGerr, Jan Ellen Lewis, Nick Cullather, and Jeanne Boydston. 2011. “Worlds in Collision: Columbus Finds a New World.” In Of The People: A History of the United States, 14. Oxford University Press.

The Spanish arrive in Mexico

1519 - 1521

The Spanish destroy Tenochitlán, the Aztec capital, in 1521. A total of 52,000 Aztecs are slaughtered by Hernán Cortés and his Indian allies, with more being starved out. This effectively establishes the center of the Spanish empire in South America.

The Spanish explore the southeastern United States.

1539 - 1542

Spanish colonist, Hernando de Soto arrives in Florida. De Soto’s arrival effectively wipes out the Mississippian Indian tribes through conquest or disease.

2011d. “Onto the Mainland: The Return to Florida.” In Of The People: A History of the United States, 26. Oxford University Press.

First colony founded in Jamestown, Virginia


Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth


Founding of KKK




1619 - 1865

First African slaves arrive in Jamestown, Virginia


Nat Turner's Rebellion


Highest number of fatalities from slave uprising in the Southern United States

Emancipation Proclamation


Reconstruction Era

1865 - 1877

Thirteenth Amendment


"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Fourteenth Amendment

  • Grants African-Americans citizenship

Jim Crow Era

Approx. 1877 - Approx. 1955

Plessy v. Ferguson


Red Summer


Race riots across the United States as a result of competition for jobs and opportunities.

Civil Rights Movement

1954 - 1968

Brown v. Board of Education

1954 - 1955

Emmett Till lynched


Black Power movement

Approx. 1960 - Approx. 1970

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

August 28, 1963

Civil Rights Act


Voting Rights Act


Malcolm X assassinated

February 21, 1965

Selma to Montgomery Marches

March 1965

Black Panther Party founded


MLK assassinated

April 1968

Moral Mondays founded


Trayvon Martin shot

February 26, 2012

Black Lives Matter founded


Michael Brown shot

August 9, 2014

Tamir Rice shot

November 22, 2014


Anti-Coolie Act


Deters Chinese immigration to California, taxes Chinese

Chinese Exclusion Act


First explicitly race-based immigration law

Asiatic Barred Zone Act


Restricts immigration from Asia-Pacific region, imposes literacy tests on immigrants, created new categories of inadmissable persons

Internment of Japanese Americans

1942 - 1946

Magnuson Act


Immigration Act


Eliminates racial quotas on immigration

Latinx Americans

Mexican-American War

1846 - 1848

U.S Invasion of Puerto Rico