• Library of Congress established

    Library of Congress established
    The Library of Congress is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains a conservation center in Culpeper, Virginia. The library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol.
  • Invention: Suspension Bridge

    Invention: Suspension Bridge
    The world's first suspension bridge in a modern sense, the Jacob's Creek Bridge at approximately 70 feet in length, was invented by James Finley of Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1801,[38] who designed vertical towers to elevate the curved iron cables and to stiffen trusses in order to make the deck of bridges architecturally sound for passing travelers. Nowadays, suspension bridges use steel cables.
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    Presidency: Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd President of the United States.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, the United States nominally acquired a total of 828,000 sq mi. France only controlled a small fraction of this area, most of it inhabited by Native Americans; for the majority of the area, what the United States bought was the "preemptive" right to obtain "Indian" lands by treaty or by conquest, to the exclusion of other colonial powers.
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    Lewis and Clark Expedition

    The Lewis and Clark Expedition was the United States expedition to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Purchase. The expedition made its way westward, and crossed the Continental Divide of the Americas before reaching the Pacific Coast. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase to explore and map the newly acquired territory, and to establish an American presence in this territory before European powers.
  • Ohio enters the Union

    Ohio enters the Union
    Ohio enters the Union as the 17th state.
  • 12th Amendment

    12th Amendment
    The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides the procedure for electing the president and vice president. The amendment was proposed by the Congress and was ratified by the requisite three-fourths of state legislatures. The new rules took effect for the 1804 presidential election and have governed all subsequent presidential elections.
  • Invention: Steamboat

    Invention: Steamboat
    Robert Fulton was present at the trials of the Charlotte Dundas and was intrigued by the potential of the steamboat. While working in France, he corresponded with and was helped by the Scottish engineer Henry Bell, who may have given him the first model of his working steamboat. He designed his own steamboat, which sailed along the River Seine in 1803.
  • Embargo Act of 1807

    Embargo Act of 1807
    The Embargo Act of 1807 was a general trade embargo on all foreign nations that was enacted by the United States Congress. As a successor or replacement law for the 1806 Non-importation Act and passed as the Napoleonic Wars continued, it represented an escalation of attempts to coerce Britain to stop any impressment of American sailors and to respect American sovereignty and neutrality but also attempted to pressure France and other nations in the pursuit of general economic leverage.
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    Presidency: James Madison

    James Madison was the 4th President of the United States.
  • Louisiana enters the Union

    Louisiana enters the Union
    Louisiana enters the Union as the 18th state.
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    The War of 1812

    The War of 1812 was a conflict fought by the United States of America and its indigenous allies against Great Britain and its allies in British North America, with limited participation by Spain in Florida. It began when the US declared war on 18 June 1812 and although peace terms were agreed in the December 1814 Treaty of Ghent, did not officially end until ratified by Congress on 17 February 1815.
  • Burning of Washington D.C.

    Burning of Washington D.C.
    The Burning of Washington was a British invasion of Washington City (now Washington, D.C.), the capital of the United States, during the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812. It is the only time since the American Revolutionary War that a foreign power has captured and occupied the capital of the United States.
  • Invention: Dental Floss

    Invention: Dental Floss
    Dental floss is either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans, is credited with inventing the first form of dental floss. He had been recommending that people should clean their teeth with silk floss since 1815.
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    First Seminole War

    The First Seminole War began with General Andrew Jackson's excursions into Spanish Florida against the Seminoles after the conclusion of the War of 1812. Great Britain and Spain both expressed outrage over the U.S. invasion. According to the terms of the Treaty of Moultrie Creek between the United States and Seminole Nation, the Seminoles were removed from Northern Florida to a reservation in the center of the Florida peninsula.
  • Indiana enters the Union

    Indiana enters the Union
    Indiana enter the Union as the 19th state.
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    Presidency: James Madison

    James Madison was the 5th President of the Unites States.
  • Mississippi enters the Union

    Mississippi enters the Union
    Mississippi enters the union as the 20th state.
  • Illinois enters the Union

    Illinois enters the Union
    Illinois enters the Union as the 21st state.
  • McCulloch v. Maryland

    McCulloch v. Maryland
    McCulloch v. Maryland was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that defined the scope of the U.S. Congress's legislative power and how it relates to the powers of American state legislatures. The dispute in McCulloch involved the legality of the national bank and a tax that the state of Maryland imposed on it. It ruled that the American federal government is supreme over the states, and so states' ability to interfere with the federal government is limited.
  • Alabama enters the Union

    Alabama enters the Union
    Alabama enters the Union as the 22nd state.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise was a United States federal legislation that stopped northern attempts to forever prohibit slavery's expansion by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state in exchange for legislation which prohibited slavery in the remaining Louisiana Purchase lands north of the 36°30′ parallel except for Missouri.
  • Maine enters the Union

    Maine enters the Union
    Maine enters the Union as the 23rd state.
  • Missouri enters the Union

    Missouri enters the Union
    Missouri enters the Union as the 24th state.
  • Monroe Doctrine

    Monroe Doctrine
    The Monroe Doctrine was a United States foreign policy position that opposed European colonialism in the Western Hemisphere. It held that any intervention in the political affairs of the Americas by foreign powers was a potentially hostile act against the U.S. The doctrine was central to U.S. foreign policy for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Gibbons v. Ogden

    Gibbons v. Ogden
    Gibbons v. Ogden was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the power to regulate interstate commerce, granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, encompassed the power to regulate navigation. The case was argued by some of America's most admired and capable attorneys at the time: Thomas Addis Emmet and Thomas J. Oakley argued for Ogden, while U.S. Attorney General William Wirt and Daniel Webster argued for Gibbons.
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    Presidency: John Quincy Adams

    John Quincy Adams was the 6th President of the United States.
  • Tariff of 1828

    Tariff of 1828
    The Tariff of 1828 was a bill designed to not pass Congress because it hurt both industry and farming, but surprisingly it did. The bill was disliked in the South and escalated to a threat of civil war in the Nullification crisis of 1832–1833. The tariff was replaced in 1833 and the crisis ended. It was called "Tariff of Abominations" by its Southern detractors because of the effects it had on the Southern economy. It set a 38% tax on imported goods and a 45% tax on certain raw materials.
  • Invention: Graham Cracker

    Invention: Graham Cracker
    A graham cracker is cookie or digestive biscuit made with graham flour, a combination of fine-ground white flour and coarse-ground wheat bran and germ. Graham crackers are often used for making s'mores and pie crusts. Graham bread was invented by a Presbyterian minister, Reverend Sylvester Graham in 1829, for his vegetarian diet. The Graham bread was high in fiber, made with non-sifted whole wheat flour and cut into little squares now known as graham crackers.
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    Presidency: Andrew Jackson

    Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of the United States.
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    Trail of Tears

    The Trail of Tears was part of the Indian removal, an ethnic cleansing and series of forced displacements of approximately 60,000 Native Americans of the Five Civilized Tribes by the United States government. Members of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes—the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations—were forcibly removed from Southeastern United States to areas to the west of the Mississippi River that had been designated Indian Territory.
  • Indian Removal Act of 1830

    Indian Removal Act of 1830
    The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by United States President Andrew Jackson. The law authorized the president to negotiate with southern Native American tribes for their removal to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for white settlement of their ancestral lands. The Act was signed by Andrew Jackson and it was strongly enforced under his administration and that of Martin Van Buren, which extended until 1841.
  • Tariff of 1832

    Tariff of 1832
    The Tariff of 1832 was a protectionist tariff in the United States. Enacted under Andrew Jackson's presidency, it was largely written by former President John Quincy Adams. It reduced the existing tariffs to remedy the conflict created by the Tariff of 1828, but it was still deemed unsatisfactory by some in the South, especially in South Carolina. South Carolinian opposition to this tariff and its predecessor, the Tariff of Abominations, caused the Nullification Crisis.
  • "Democracy in America" published by Alexis de Tocqueville

    "Democracy in America" published by Alexis de Tocqueville
    In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were sent by the French government to study the American prison system. They arrived in New York City and spent nine months traveling the United States, studying the prisons, and collecting information on American society, including its religious, political, and economic character. In the book, Tocqueville examines the democratic revolution that he believed had been occurring over the previous several hundred years.
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    Second Seminole War

    The Second Seminole War was a conflict in Florida between the United States and groups collectively known as Seminoles, consisting of Native Americans and Black Indians. It was part of a series of conflicts called the Seminole Wars. The Second Seminole War, often referred to as the Seminole War, is regarded as "the longest and most costly of the Indian conflicts of the United States".
  • Invention: Morse code

    Invention: Morse code
    In 1832, Alfred Vail in collaboration with Samuel Morse, began the process of co-inventing the Morse code signaling alphabet. After a few minor changes, including the development of International Morse code which is distinct from the original encoding system, American Morse code, Morse code was standardized in 1865 by the International Telegraphy Congress in Paris, France and later made the norm by the International Telecommunication Union.
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    Republic of Texas

    The Republic of Texas was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846, although Mexico considered it a rebellious province during its entire existence. It was bordered by Mexico to the west and southwest, the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, and the rest of United States surrounding it. The Anglo residents of the republic were known as Texians.
  • Siege of the Alamo

    Siege of the Alamo
    Mexican troops under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna entered San Antonio de Bexar, Texas and surrounded the Alamo Mission. The Alamo was defended by a small force of Texians and Tejanos, led by William Barrett Travis and James Bowie, and included Davy Crockett. The siege ended when the Mexican Army launched an early-morning assault on March 6. Almost all of the defenders were killed, although several civilians survived.
  • Arkansas enters the Union

    Arkansas enters the Union
    Arkansas enters the Union as the 25th state.
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    Presidency: Martin Van Buren

    Martin Van Buran was the 8th President of the United States.
  • Michigan enters the Union

    Michigan enters the Union
    Michigan enters the Union as the 26th state.
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    Presidency: John Tyler

    John Tyler was the 10th President of the United States.
  • First wagon on the Oregon Trail

    First wagon on the Oregon Trail
    The Oregon Trail was laid by fur traders and trappers from about 1811 to 1840, and was only passable on foot or by horseback. By 1842, when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri, a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Wagon trails were cleared increasingly farther west, and eventually reached all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, at which point what came to be called the Oregon Trail was complete.
  • First message sent over to Washington D.C. to Baltimore by Morse

     First message sent over to Washington D.C. to Baltimore by Morse
    Most of the early electrical systems required multiple wires, but the system developed in the United States by Morse and Vail was a single-wire system. This was the system that first used the soon-to-become-ubiquitous Morse code. By 1844, the Morse system connected Baltimore to Washington, and by 1861 the west coast of the continent was connected to the east coast.
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    Presidency: James Polk

    James Polk was the 11th President of the United States.
  • Florida enters the Union

    Florida enters the Union
    Florida enters the Union as the 27th state.
  • Texas enters the Union

    Texas enters the Union
    Texas enters the Union as the 28th state.
  • Invention: Printing Telegraph

    Invention: Printing Telegraph
    The printing telegraph is a derivative of the electrical telegraph which links two 28-key piano-style keyboards by electrical wire representing a letter of the alphabet and when pressed causing the corresponding letter to print at the receiving end. The receiver would then receive the instantly readable text of the message on a paper strip. The printing telegraph was invented in 1846 by Royal Earl House of Rockland, Vermont.
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    Mexican-American War

    The Mexican–American War was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico. It followed the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered Mexican territory. Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna when he was a prisoner of the Texian Army during the 1836 Texas Revolution when he "claimed" Texas. Domestic sectional politics in the U.S. were preventing annexation since Texas would have been a slave state, upsetting the balance of power of free and slave states.
  • Iowa enters the Union

    Iowa enters the Union
    Iowa enters the Union as the 29th state.
  • Wisconsin enters the Union

    Wisconsin enters the Union
    Wisconsin enters the Union as the 30th state.
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    Presidency: Zachary Taylor

    Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states on the status of territories acquired in the Mexican–American War. It also set Texas's western and northern borders and included provisions addressing fugitive slaves and the slave trade.
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    Presidency: Millard Fillmore

    Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States.
  • California enters the Union

    California enters the Union
    California enters the Union as the 31st state.
  • Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

    Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
    The Act was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a slave power conspiracy. It required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be returned to the slaver and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate. Abolitionists nicknamed it the "Bloodhound Bill", after the dogs that were used to track down people fleeing from slavery.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Uncle Tom's Cabin is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. The novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the U.S., and is said to have "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War." Stowe, an active abolitionist, she featured the character of Uncle Tom in the novel, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve. It depicts the reality of slavery and that Christian love can overcome slavery.
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    Presidency: Franklin Pierce

    Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States.
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    The Third Great Awakening

    The Third Great Awakening was marked by religious activism in American history and spans the late 1850s to the early 20th century. It influenced pietistic Protestant denominations and had a strong element of social activism. It was affiliated with the Social Gospel Movement, which applied Christianity to social issues and gained its force from the awakening, as did the worldwide missionary movement.
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    Presidency: James Buchanan

    James Buchanan was the 15th President of the United States.
  • Minnesota enters the Union

    Minnesota enters the Union
    Minnesota enters the Union as the 32nd state.
  • Invention: Electric Stove

    Invention: Electric Stove
    An electric stove is a large kitchen appliance that converts electricity into heat in order to cook and bake food. In addition to heated coils atop a stovetop range, glass-ceramic cooktops and induction stoves using electromagnetic induction have proven to be popular in commercial kitchens as well as for domestic use in homes. However, the first such patent for an electrical stove apparatus was awarded in the United States much earlier to George B. Simpson on September 20, 1859.
  • Oregon enters the Union

    Oregon enters the Union
    Oregon enters the Union as the 33rd state.
  • South Carolina declares succession from United States

    South Carolina declares succession from United States
    South Carolina becomes the first state to declare secession from the United States.
  • Invention: Machine Gun

    Invention: Machine Gun
    The Gatling gun, invented and patented in 1861 by Richard Gatling during the American Civil War, was the earliest precursor to a machine gun in the sense that it had all of the underlying features of reliable loading as well as the ability to fire sustained multiple bursts of rounds, the only drawback being, it had to be manually operated and hand-cranked unlike its 1884 successor, the Maxim gun, which was indisputably the world's first true machine gun.
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    Presidency: Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States.
  • Kansas enters the Union

    Kansas enters the Union
    Kansas enters the Union as the 34th state.
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    American Civil War

    The American Civil War was a civil war in the United States fought between the Union and the Confederacy. The central cause of the war was the status of slavery, especially the expansion of slavery into territories acquired as a result of the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican–American War. On the eve of the Civil War in 1860, four million of the 32 million Americans were enslaved black people, almost all in the South.
  • Homestead Act of 1862

    Homestead Act of 1862
    The intent of the first Homestead Act, passed in 1862, was to liberalize the homesteading requirements of the Preemption Act of 1841. It was signed by Abraham Lincoln following the Secession in the United States, the most vocal opposition in Congress, the Southern States, had been removed.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    Proclamation changed the legal status under federal law of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the secessionist Confederate states from enslaved to free. As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, either by running away across Union lines or through the advance of federal troops, the person was permanently free. Ultimately, the Union victory brought the proclamation into effect in all of the former Confederacy.
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    First Transcontinental Railroad

    North America's first transcontinental railroad was a 1,911-mile continuous railroad line constructed between 1863 and 1869 that connected the existing eastern U.S. rail network at Council Bluffs, Iowa with the Pacific coast at the Oakland Long Wharf on San Francisco Bay. The rail line was built by three private companies over public lands provided by extensive US land grants. Construction was financed by both state and US government subsidy bonds as well as by company issued mortgage bonds.
  • West Virginia enters the Union

    West Virginia enters the Union
    West Virginia enters the Union as the 35th state.
  • Nevada enters the Union

    Nevada enters the Union
    Nevada enters the Union as the 36th state.
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    Presidency: Andrew Johnson

    Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States.
  • Thirteenth Amendment

    Thirteenth Amendment
    The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. The amendment was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the required 27 of the then 36 states on December 6, 1865, and proclaimed on December 18. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was assassinated by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth. While attending the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., he was shot in the head as he watched the play. Lincoln died the following day at 7:22 am in the Petersen House opposite the theater. He was the first U.S. president to be assassinated.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866

    Civil Rights Act of 1866
    The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was the first United States federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law. It was mainly intended, in the wake of the American Civil War, to protect the civil rights of persons of African descent born in or brought to the United States.
  • Nebraska enters the Union

    Nebraska enters the Union
    Nebraska enters the Union as the 37th state.
  • Alaska Purchase

    Alaska Purchase
    The Alaska Purchase was the United States' acquisition of Alaska from the Russian Empire. Alaska was formally transferred to the United States on October 18, 1867, through a treaty ratified by the United States Senate.
  • Fourteenth Amendment

    Fourteenth Amendment
    The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Often considered as one of the most consequential amendments, it addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the law and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it to regain representation in Congress.
  • Fifteenth Amendment

    Fifteenth Amendment
    The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government and each state from denying or abridging a citizen's right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.
  • Invention: Railway Air Brake

    Invention: Railway Air Brake
    A railway air brake is a conveyance braking system which applies the means of compressed air which modern locomotives use to this day. George Westinghouse, a pioneer of the electrical industry, invented the railroad air brake in 1872.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875

    Civil Rights Act of 1875
    The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was a United States federal law enacted during the Reconstruction era in response to civil rights violations against African Americans. The act was designed to "protect all citizens in their civil and legal rights", providing for equal treatment in public accommodations and public transportation and prohibiting exclusion from jury service.
  • Colorado enters the Union

    Colorado enters the Union
    Colorado enters the Union as the 38th state.