Political Foundations Timeline


House of Burgesses


The House of Burgesses was one of the first elected groups of the people. It was modeled after Parliament, and it was the beginning of what is the United States Congress today. It gave the colonists representation in their government, which is what they had been yearning for.

Colonial Assemblies


Starting in the House of Burgesses (1619), the Colonial Assemblies were the start of representation of the people. These meetings were what started a small democracy in the colonies.

Town Meetings


These were the start of democracy, finally allowing colonists to have a say in what happens in their towns.

Mayflower Compact

November 11, 1620

The first agreement for self-government in the new world. It was created aboard the Mayflower, for the Pilgrims to have their own government.


1685 - 1815

This was an age that brought along new knowledge to the world. People were learning so much and applying these new ideas. This was important because it was when the world truly began to change.

Great Awakening

1730 - 1743

The Great Awakening was something that awakened the colonists to new views on religion and faith. It brought religious revivals, causing an awakened sense of religion in the colonies.

Declaration of Independence


This was the list of grievances that the colonists sent to England, showing that they wanted to be independent. It was adopted by the second continental congress, and was one of the main events that started the Revoloutionary War.

U.S. Constitution


The Constitution is the "foundation" of our country; it states all of the rules and the morals the the country lives by. It includes many parts, but it allowed Americans to build the country that they wanted to see.

Jefferson and Antifederalists

1790 - 1791

Jefferson and the Antifederalists believed that a Federalist government would not be ideal for the country. They thought that a Federal Government would be too strict against colonists, and they thought that everyone should have equal rights.

Bill of Rights


These were the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, and they are prominent to this day. They were ratified in 1791, and give colonists access to freedom of speech, religion and worship.

Hamilton and Federalists

1792 - 1794

These federalists believed that there should be a stronger federal government, instead of handing off power to the individual state governments. Federalists thought that there should be more things like national banks in the country.

GW Farewell Address


This was a letter from George Washington to "friends and fellow-citizens." It was a letter written at the end of his presidency, and it was him saying goodbye to the position and the people before retiring. He stated that he was never fit to be president, and while Washington and Jefferson disagreed on many things, Jefferson agreed with how Washington handled this.

Alien and Sedition Acts


In 1798, these acts were passes by federalists in congress, and made it harder for immigrants to get into the country. Signed into law by President John Adams, the Alien and Sedition Acts made it easier to deport people, while also making immigrating to the U.S. harder.

Revolution of 1800


This was the Election of 1800, when Vice-President Jefferson beat President Adams for the Presidency. It brought in Anti-Federalist views, and almost demolished the Federalist Party.

Judicial Review


The Marbury v Madison case in 1803 was what truly started the idea of Judicial Review. Judicial Review is when a court goes over the validity of the action against the constitution, deeming it right or wrong.

Hartford Convention

1814 - 1815

This was a convention from the end of 1814-the beginning of 1815 when people from all parties gathered to state their grievances about the continuous War of 1812. Held in Hartford, Connecticut, it was the beginning of the end for the federalist party, and it started the 3/5 compromise, giving slave states more power in congress, which would cause problems later.

Era of Good Feelings

1817 - 1825

This was a time when Americans really showed patriotism for the country, and a love for all that they do because of the ending of the War of 1812.

Universal Male Suffrage

1820 - 1850

Universal male suffrage is a type of rights that give all males the right to vote, regardless of political or social standings.

Corrupt Bargain


In 1824, the House of Representatives chose to elect John Quincy Adams over his rival, Andrew Jackson. This was really surprising, but most people believed that Henry Clay convinced Congress to vote for Adams, because he knew Adams would make him Secretary of State. The supporters of Andrew Jackson called it the "Corrupt Bargain."

Jacksonian Democracy -2nd Party System

1828 - 1854

Jackson's supporters were the second party system, and they believed in a greater democracy for all.

Nullification Crisis


This was when South Carolina decided to nullify the tariff acts, labeling them unconstitutional. While other states agreed in some aspects, South Carolina was the only state that went through with it.

Spolis System


The Spolis system is the practice of a successful political party giving public office to its supporters. It was distributing government jobs to it's supporters.

Whig Party


The Whig Party was founded by leaders like Henry Clay, former speaker of the house. It was formed to oppose Andrew Jackson and his Democratic policies, and they believed in the congress being more powerful than the president.

Log Cabin Campaign


This was the Presidential Campaign of William Henry Harrison. He campaigned actively for office, with slogans and posters promoting himself.

American Party - Know-Nothings


This was an anti-catholic and and anti-immigrant movement, that was often seen as a secret society. It was soon changed to the American Party, but it had the same ideals.