US History


Treaty of Paris

september 3 1783

established American independence from Great Britain.

Shay's Rebellion

november 1786

Economic conditions were bad and farmers were suffering. Many had large debts that they could not repay, and were jailed for that. Their state gov't did nothing to help.
1. Putting debtors in jail will not help, as they won't be able to work and will use up money instead of earning it.
2. Tax dollars go to the interest of the state and the rich, not to help the debt.
3. Suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus: people who stand up for the farmers are put in jail.
4. The debt collectors and sheriffs are abusing their power, accusing people out of revenge and hatred.
national government isn't doing anything

Northwest Ordinance of 1787


This divided land north of the Ohio River and west of the Appalachians into territories. They also set requirements for admitting new states:
1. Congress would appoint a territorial governor and judges.
2. When a territory has 5,000 voting residents, the settlers could write a temporary constitution and elect their own gov’t.
3. When the total population of the territory reached 60,000 free inhabitants, the settlers could write a state constitution, which had to be approved by Congress before becoming a state.

Constitutional Convention

may 25 1787

Decided to scrap the Articles of Confederation and make a constitution.

Ratification of the Constitution


Treaty of 1788


Alliance between the U.S. and France

Judiciary Act of 1789


Established the first federal courts and organized the Supreme Court comprised of a chief justice and five associates, as well as 13 federal district and 3 circuit courts. It
Allowed state court decisions to be appealed to a federal court when constitutional issues were raised.
Said that federal laws were still the "supreme Law of the Land".

Protective Tariff Passed


Hamilton's Financial Plan

Feb. 25, 1791

Whiskey Rebellion


Treaty of Greenville


After the Battle of Fallen Timbers, settled the western border.

Pinckney Treaty


opened navigation on Mississippi River.

Jay Treaty


Alien & Sedition Acts


Judiciary Act of 1801


Adams tried to fill the Judicial branch with Federalists.

Marbury v. Madison


Marbury was a midnight judge who hadn’t yet received his papers, so he wanted to require Madison to deliver them. However, Madison declared this unconstitutional, and chief justice John Marshall agreed. This affirmed the concept of judicial review, where the Supreme Court can rule an executive act unconstitutional.

Louisiana Purchase


North Abolishes Slavery


Embargo Act of 1807


No trade with Europe.

Embargo Act Repealed


Fletcher v. Peck


Protected property rights through broad interpretation over contract clause; national government controls property.

War of 1812

1812 - 1814

Treaty of Ghent


Ends war of 1812.

Henry Clay's American System


2nd National Bank


Rush-Bagot Treaty


McCulloch v. Maryland


Gives broad powers to the national govt; Maryland cannot tax an institution created by Congress.

Dartmouth v. Woodward


Guards property rights, especially those of chartered corporations.

Missouri Compromise


Maine was admitted as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. The rest of the Louisiana Territory was split into two, one for slave and one for free settlers.

Adams-Onis Treaty


Cohens v. Virginia


The Supreme Court can review state court judgments if it's an issue about the U.S. Constitution or a federal law.

Monroe Doctrine

dec 2 1823

Forbidding Spain and Portugal and other European countries from colonizing in the Western Hemisphere.

Gibbens v. Ogden


Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce.

Indian Removal Act


the federal gov’t would fund treaties that would force Native Americans to move west

Nat Turner's Rebellion

Aug. 1831

Worcester v. Georgia


The Cherokee teamed up with Worcester, a missionary who was jailed for teaching Indians without a license. In Worcester v. Georgia, the Cherokee won recognition, and Georgia could not invade them. Jackson refused this, though and the Cherokee were forced to leave on the Trail of Tears.

Jackson vetoes BUS


Force Bill


Wilmot Proviso

Aug 8 1846

Pennsylvania Democrat David Wilmot heightened regional tensions by proposing the Wilmot Proviso, which said that slavery would be illegal in any territory that the U.S. might gain from war with Mexico. This meant California, Utah, and New Mexico would be closed to slavery forever.

Seneca Falls Convention


Kansas-Nebraska Act

May 1854

Proposed by Stephen Douglas, which would divide the western territory into the Nebraska and Kansas territories, and in each the issue of slavery would be determined by popular sovereignty instead of the Missouri Compromise.

Pottawatomie Massacre

May 24, 1856

John Brown and his followers killed five men from the proslavery settlement of Pottawatomie Creek. This attack became famous and led to cries to revenge.

Dred Scott Decision

March 6 1857

This Supreme Court case concerned Dred Scott, a Missouri slave, whose owner had taken him north of the Missouri Compromise line in 1834. For four years they lived in free territory. When, they returned to Missouri, Scott’s owner died. Scott then sued to gain his freedom because he claimed that he had become free by living in free territory for several years. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that slaves did not have the right of citizens and that Dred Scott could not be free because he had been living in the slave state of Missouri when he sued. Furthermore, the Court ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional because Congress cannot have the power to forbid slavery in any of the territories. Doing so would interfere with slaveholders’ right to own property, a right protected by the 5th Amendment.

The Lecompton Constitution

sept 1857

The proslavery gov’t at Lecompton, Kansas, wrote a constitution and applied to be admitted into the Union. Free-Soilers, who outnumbered the proslavery settlers in Kansas by a large number, rejected the constitution because it protected slaveholders. President Buchanan supported this.

Freeport Doctrine


In the 2nd Lincoln-Douglas debate held at Freeport, Lincoln asked Douglas: could the settlers of a territory vote to exclude slavery before it became a state? Lincoln implied that popular sovereignty was an empty term because the Dred Scott decision said territories could not exclude slavery.

Douglas’s response to this question with the Freeport Doctrine. He said that slavery couldn’t exist anywhere without support of local police regulations so the people of a territory were Free-Soilers, then all they had to do was elect representatives who wouldn’t enforce slave property laws. Basically, people could get around the Dred Scott decision.

Harpers Ferry

Oct 16 1859

John Brown led 21 men into Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He wanted to take the federal arsenal there, distribute the arms to slaves, and start a slave uprising. However, no slaves came forward. Local troops killed 8 of Brown’s men. Then a detachment of U.S. Marines captured Brown.

South Carolina secedes

Dec 20, 1860

The Confederacy is formed

Feb 4, 1861

Fall of Fort Sumter

april 12 1861

Jefferson Davis attacks the fort, marks the beginning of the civil war.

Bull Wall

July 21 1861

An army of inexperienced Union soldiers on its way to the Confederate capital at Richmond fell upon an equally inexperienced Confederate army camped near Bull Run. Lincoln commanded attack. The battle was a seesaw. Confederates held firm, inspired by General Thomas J. Jackson. Confederate reinforcements arrived and turned into the first victory of the South.

Battle of Shiloh

april 6 1862

Grant gathered his troops near a Tennessee church named Shiloh, which was close to the Mississippi border. On April 6 Confederate troops surprised them in an attack. Grant reorganized his troops, ordered reinforcements, and counterattacked the next day. The Confederate troops retreated.

Seven Days’ Battles

June 25 1862 - July 1 1862

Determined to save Richmond, Confederate Robert E. Lee fought against McClellan. The Confederate soldiers were fewer and had more casualties, but Lee’s determination and unorthodox tactics unnerved McClellan so much that he backed away from Richmond.

West Virginia admitted to the Union


Virginia seceded, but the western counties of Virginia were antislavery, so they seceded from Virginia and were admitted into the Union as West Virginia in

Emancipation Proclamation

Jan 1, 1863

Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation, which would free all slaves in the states that were rebelling against the Union.

Battle of Gettysburg

july 3 1863

This was the turning point of the Civil War. This battle crippled the South so badly that General Lee would never again have enough forces to invade a Northern state.

Ten-Percent Plan

Dec 1863

Announced by Lincoln. The gov’t would pardon all Confederates who swear allegiance to the Union except those accused of war crimes. If 10% of the 1860 voting lists took this allegiance, the Confederate state could form a new state gov’t and gain representation in Congress.

Wade-Davis Bil

July 1864

The Radicals responded to the Ten-Percent Plan by passing this, which proposed that Congress, which proposed that Congress, not the president, be in charge of Reconstruction. It also declared that for a state gov’t to be formed, a majority, not just 10%, of 1860 voters would have to swear allegiance to the Constitution. Lincoln used a pocket veto to kill this bill.

Lincoln is assassinated

apr 1865

Presidential Reconstruction Plan

May 1865

Johnson announced this, which said that each remaining Confederate state would be readmitted if it withdrew its secession, swear allegiance to the Union, annul Confederate war debt, and ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. Johnson’s plan differed little from Lincoln’s.

Civil Rights Act of 1866


Granted citizenship and equal protection under the law to African Americans.

Freedmen’s Bureau

Feb 1866

Voted in by Congress. This plan assisted former slaves and poor whites in the South. It also set up hospitals, schools, industrial institutes, etc.

Reconstruction Act of 1867


Radicals and moderates joined in passing this, which did not recognize state gov’ts formed under Lincoln’s and Johnson’s plans. The act divided the 10 former Confederate states into 5 military districts, each ruled by a Union general. The voters in these districts, including African Americans, would elect delegates to conventions in which new state constitutions would be made. In order for a state to reenter the Union, its constitution had to give African Americans the vote and the state had to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment.

Tenure of Office Act

March 1867

Stated that the president could not remove cabinet offices without the consent of the Senate during the appointer’s term.

Fourteenth Amendment


Made all people "born or naturalized in the U.S." citizens. If a state barred some of its citizens from voting, they would lose some congressional seats.

Fifteenth Amendment


No one can be kept from voting because of race.

Enforcement Act of 1870


Protected voting rights of African Americans and gave the federal gov't power to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment.


Articles of Confederation

1781 - 1788

Washington (F-leaning)

1789 - 1797

2 Terms

Adams (F)

1797 - 1801

Jefferson (DR)

1801 - 1809

Madison (DR)

1809 - 1817

Chartered 2nd bank of U.S.

Monroe (DR)

1817 - 1825

John Quincy Adams

1825 - 1829

Andrew Jackson

1829 - March 4, 1837

Martin Van Buren

March 4, 1837 - March 4, 1841

John Tyler

April 4, 1841 - March 4, 1845