U.S. History II


Purchase of Alaska


The purchase of Alaska by Secretary of State William Seward was referred to as "Seward's Folly"; the U.S. wanted to reward Russia, who had been their ally; Russia wanted to sell Alaska since war with Britain seemed imminent and they would lose it anyway.

Johnson's impeachment

February 24, 1868

For violating the Tenure of Office Act by dismissing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton

First transcontinental railroad

May 10, 1869

The Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads joined in Utah, creating a transcontinental railroad from Sacramento, CA to Omaha, NB

Invention of barbed wire


Joseph Glidden invented and patented barbed wire, heavily impacting the Western frontier.

Haymarket Riot

May, 1886

Mass strikes led to a labor demonstration in Chicago; on May 4th, a bomb went off during labor groups/policemen confrontation.

Queen Liliuokalani overthrown


Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii was overthrown by wealthy American sugar cane planters. In 1898 Hawaii was annexed by the United States.

Panic of 1893


One of the causes for the Panic of 1893 can be traced back to Argentina. Investment was encouraged by the Argentinean agent bank, Baring Brothers. However, a failure in the wheat crop and a coup in Buenos Aires ended further investments. This shock started a run on gold in the U.S. Treasury, as investors were cashing in their investments. This occurred during "The Gilded Age," where the United States was experiencing economic growth and expansion. This expansion eventually became driven by railroad speculation. Railroads were over-built, incurring expenses that outstripped revenues. Also, new mines flooded the market with silver, causing its price to fall. In addition, farmers--particularly in wheat and cotton regions--struggled under a decline in prices for agricultural commodities.

Hawaii annexed by the United States


Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii was overthrown by wealthy American sugar cane planters. In 1898 Hawaii was annexed by the United States.

U.S.S. Maine incident


The U.S. battleship Maine blew up in Havana Harbor in 1898. The cause of the explosion could not be determined, but many Americans demanded war with Spain as a result of that incident.

Philippine Insurrection

1899 - 1902

The United States gained the Philippines by paying Spain 20 million dollars at the end of the Spanish-American War. The Philippines expected the U.S. to grant them independence; when this did not happen, the Philippine Insurrection, a revolt against American rule, began.

Boxer Rebellion


Revolt by the Chinese against foreign influence in China. During this time countries such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Japan were carving up China into "spheres of influence," where each country had exclusive trading rights. The U.S. wanted to preserve the Chinese Empire and get in on this lucrative market so it helped put down the rebellion.

Insular Cases

1901 - 1905

Essentially, the Supreme Court said that full constitutional rights did not automatically extend to all areas under American control.
The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Constitution extended ex proprio vigore to the territories. However, the Court in these cases also established the doctrine of territorial incorporation. Under the same, the Constitution applied fully only in incorporated territories such as Alaska and Hawaii, whereas it applied only partially in the new unincorporated territories of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.

Great Depression

1929 - 1941

U.S recognizes Soviet Union


The Soviet Union was formed in 1918 but was not formally recognized by the U.S as a country until 1933 because the Soviet Union a) would not assume Russia's debts and b) spread propaganda through the U.S. encouraging revolution. FDR's justification for recognizing the USSR was to establish trade, and because he believed the Soviets could end up being an ally against _________ expansion.

Communist takeover in China


Despite American aid, the Communists took over and the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan.

Korean War




In 1954, the year of the Geneva Accords, eight countries formed SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organization) in an effort to prevent the spread of communism in southeast Asia. The eight nations included the United States, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Pakistan, and Thailand.

Geneva Accords


The Geneva Accords set a demarcation line at the 17th parallel in Vietnam, with the Communist Viet Minh controlling the north, and the French controlling the south. The country was supposed to be reunited in 1956 with democratic elections, but the United States did not support the Accords.

AFL-CIO merging


The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organization joined in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

First summit conference


President Eisenhower wanted to improve Soviet-American relations through meetings known as summit conferences, believing that face-to-face meetings to be the most effective way to improve relations. The first summit conference was in Geneva in 1955 between the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France; it resulted in the "Spirit of Geneva," with less tension between the countries.

Suez Crisis


The Suez Crisis was a situation where Israel, France, and Britain engaged in a military intervention to attempt to prevent Egypt's leader General Nasser from nationalizing the Suez Canal. It was caused when Egypt began to establish stronger ties with the Soviet Union, and as a result, the U.S. withdrew its offer of financial aid in the construction of Egypt's Aswan High Dam. In response to the U.S. decision to withdraw funds, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal.

Your Answer:

Soviet Union launches SPUTNIK


Incidents such as the USSR's launching of the satellite Sputnik, which showed that the Soviet Union could launch long-range nuclear missiles, renewed the tensions after the "Spirit of Geneva".

Kennedy's assassination


Black Panther Party


A militant party that was formed advocating Black Power and did not agree with the nonviolent philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr.. Many of its members were armed and got into clashes with the police. Movements such as the Black Panthers and Malcom X's Black Muslim movement emphasized separatism instead of integration, and this cost the civil rights movement much white support in the late 1960s.

Nixon to China


Under President Nixon, a twenty year freeze in relations with China were formally ended, and he personally visited the country to normalize relations. One of the goals Nixon worked towards was world stability, and one of his accomplishments in this area was improving relations with China. Trade between the United States and China increased soon after Nixon's visit to China.

Watergate Scandal

June 1972 - August 1974

Richard Nixon resigned as president as a result of the Watergate scandal which first began in June 1972. The Watergate scandal began in 1972 when five men were arrested while breaking into the Democratic party headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C.. After two years of investigations, it was clear Nixon was going to be impeached, and he resigned from office in August 1974.

Paris Peace Accords


Resulted in the complete withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, five years after peace talks began. After the U.S. departed, South Vietnam was overrun by the North and a Communist regime ruled.

Soviet Union invades Afghanistan


The progress of detente between the United States and the Soviet Union ended during President Carter's administration when the U.S.S.R. invaded Afghanistan to support the pro-Communist government there.

Peacekeeping forces in Lebanon


In 1982, the U.S., along with France and Great Britain, sent peacekeeping forces into Lebanon to maintain order; terrorist groups targeted the forces and in 1983, a terrorist bombing killed over 200 American troops. After the bombing, President Reagan withdrew the remaining U.S. forces from Lebanon. In the years following, tensions increased between Israelis and Palestinians.

Rodney King affair


The 1992 Rodney King affair, an event in which Los Angeles local police who were caught on tape violently beating an African American man after an automobile chase were eventually acquitted by a white jury, resulted in widespread rioting in South Central Los Angeles that was the worst urban violence in U.S. since 1900. President Bush provided emergency aid to the situation; 51 people were killed in the rioting and more than three-quarters of a million dollars in property damage occurred.


Timber Culture Act


Offered additional 160 acres on condition that a quarter be planted with trees.

Timber and Stone Act


Allowed private citizens to purchase 160 acre plots at low prices (land that was unsuitable for farming)

Chinese Exclusion Act

1882 - 1943

Did not allow Chinese immigration

Exclusion Act

August 18, 1882

Denied immigration entry to the insane, criminals, paupers, and (for 10 years) Chinese contract-laborers.

Dawes Act


Replaced tribal with individual ownership of property.

Sherman Antitrust Act


Declared trusts and other types of corporations and business organizations which were formed with the purpose of "restraint of trade" to be illegal, and gave the government the power to break them up.

Brown v. Board of Education


Kansas overturned the "separate but equal" doctrine established by the Supreme Court in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson, resulting in the segregation of public schools in 1955.


Battle of Wounded Knee


Spanish-American War

April 25, 1898 - December 10, 1898

Spain had declared war on the U.S. the day before. The Treaty of Paris signed US annexed Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines.
January 23, 1899: Philippines declares itself an independent republic Led by Emilio Aguinaldo, the self-declared Filipino government fights a guerilla war against the US that lasts longer than the Spanish-American War itself.

Korean War

1951 - 1953

Began under Truman and ended under the Eisenhower administration.

Tet Offensive


The turning point of the war in Vietnam when most Americans considered the war unwinnable


Uncertain monetary policy

1876 - 1900

Progressive Era

1900 - 1920

Rock 'n' Roll

1950 - 1959

Peace, prosperity, conformity

1950 - 1959

The Korean War ended in 1953, the economy was doing well, medicine was advancing (polio vaccine), etc.

Consumer Culture

1950 - 1960

Advertising, wealth, restaurants and shopping malls, and a booming economy contributed to the consumer culture of the 50s.

Rebellion, unrest, war

1960 - 1969

Baby Boomers move

1970 - 1990

During the 1970s and 1980s, many Baby Boomers (persons born between 1946 and 1960) moved from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West. Plant closures, layoffs in industrial areas, and increasing housing prices, inflation, and interest rates drove many Baby Boomers to move to the South and West during the 1970s and 1980s.




Rutherford B. Hayes v. Samuel Tilden; Hayes won by a single electoral vote and agreed to the Compromise of 1877.
? Did the Democrats agree to let Hayes win in exchange for the Compromise?



The Republican Party was split into two factions over the campaign issue of Civil Service reform -- half-breeds and Stalwarts.



First election with a Populist nominee, James Weaver.



As a result of the Panic of 1893, a major campaign issue in the election of 1896 was whether to have a silver or gold monetary standard. The Republicans supported the gold standard. The Democrats were split into two factions: the Silverites supported currency based on silver, while the goldbugs supported the gold standard.



Theodore Roosevelt ran for the Progressive Party and William Taft ran for the Republican Party, splitting the vote. The victor was Woodrow Wilson, who ran for the Democratic Party.

First federal income tax


When the first federal income tax was passed in 1913, it only applied to 2% of the labor force and its highest rate was 7%.