1800-1876

  • Slave Revolt

    Gabriel Prosser, an enslaved African American blacksmith, organizes a slave revolt intending to march on Richmond, Virginia. The conspiracy is uncovered, and Prosser and a number of the rebels are hanged. Virginia's slave laws are consequently tightened.
  • Washington New U.S. Capital

    The U.S. capital is moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.
  • First Congress Meet in Washington

    First Congress Meet in Washington
    U.S. Congress meets in Washington, DC, for the first time.
  • Thomas Jefferson Becomes 3rd President

    Thomas Jefferson Becomes 3rd President
    Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated as the third president in Washington, DC.
  • Marbury v. Madison

    Marbury v. Madison
    Landmark Supreme Court decision greatly expands the power of the Court by establishing its right to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    The United States agrees to pay France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory, which extends west from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and comprises about 830,000 sq mi. As a result, the U.S. nearly doubles in size.
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition

    Lewis and Clark Expedition
    Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis, Mo., on an expedition to explore the West and find a route to the Pacific Ocean.
  • Jefferson's Second Inauguration

  • Lewis and Clark Reach the Pacific Ocean

  • The War of 1812

    The War of 1812
    The U.S. declares war on Britain over British interference with American maritime shipping and westward expansion
  • Fire Attack on White House

    Fire Attack on White House
    British capture Washington, DC, and set fire to White House and Capitol.
  • Star-Spangled Banner

    Star-Spangled Banner
    Francis Scott Key writes Star-Spangled Banner as he watches British attack on Fort McHenry at Baltimore.
  • Treaty of Ghent

    Treaty of Ghent is signed, officially ending the war.
  • James Monroe as Fifth President

    James Monroe as Fifth President
  • McCulloch v. Maryland

    Landmark Supreme Court decision upholds the right of Congress to establish a national bank, a power implied but not specifically enumerated by the Constitution
  • Spain agrees to cede Florida to the United States

  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    In an effort to maintain the balance between free and slave states, Maine (formerly part of Massachusetts) is admitted as a free state so that Missouri can be admitted as a slave state; except for Missouri, slavery is prohibited in the Louisiana Purchase lands north of latitude 36°30'
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation, the first U.S. constitution.
  • Monroe Doctrine

    Monroe Doctrine
    In his annual address to Congress, President Monroe declares that the American continents are henceforth off-limits for further colonization by European powers.
  • Gibbons v. Ogden

    Landmark Supreme Court decision broadly defines Congress's right to regulate interstate commerce
  • John Quincy Adams Becomes Sixth President

    John Quincy Adams Becomes Sixth President
    John Quincy Adams is inaugurated as the sixth president
  • U.S. Constitution Spreads

    U.S. Constitution goes into effect, having been ratified by nine states
  • Baltimore and Ohio Railroad

    Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
    Construction is begun on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first public railroad in the U.S.
  • Andrew Jackson Becomes Seventh President

    Andrew Jackson Becomes Seventh President
    Andrew Jackson is inaugurated as the seventh president.
  • Indian Removal Act

    President Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, which authorizes the forced removal of Native Americans living in the eastern part of the country to lands west of the Mississippi River.
  • Nat Turner

    Nat Turner
    Nat Turner, an enslaved African American preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history. He and his band of about 80 followers launch a bloody, day-long rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The militia quells the rebellion, and Turner is eventually hanged. As a consequence, Virginia institutes much stricter slave laws.
  • The Liberator

    The Liberator
    William Lloyd Garrison begins publishing the Liberator, a weekly paper that advocates the complete abolition of slavery. He becomes one of the most famous figures in the abolitionist movement.
  • Cotton Gin

    Cotton Gin
    Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor.
  • The Alamo

    The Alamo
    Texan defenders of the Alamo are all killed during siege by the Mexican Army
  • Texas Declares Independence from Mexico

  • Texans Defeat Mexicans at San Jacinto

  • Martin Van Buren Becomes Eighth President

    Martin Van Buren Becomes Eighth President
    Martin Van Buren is inaugurated as the eighth president
  • Trail of Tears

    Trail of Tears
    More than 15,000 Cherokee Indians are forced to march from Georgia to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. Approximately 4,000 die from starvation and disease along the “Trail of Tears.”
  • William Henry Harrison Becomes Ninth President

    William Henry Harrison Becomes Ninth President
    William Henry Harrison is inaugurated as the ninth president.
  • William Henry Harrison Dies

    He dies one month later and is succeeded in office by his vice president, John Tyler
  • Manifest Destiny

    The term “manifest destiny” appears for the first time in a magazine article by John L. O'Sullivan. It expresses the belief held by many white Americans that the United States is destined to expand across the continent.
  • James Polk becomes 11th President

    James Polk becomes 11th President
    James Polk is inaugurated as the 11th president
  • The Wilmot Proviso

    The Wilmot Proviso, introduced by Democratic representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania, attempts to ban slavery in territory gained in the Mexican War The proviso is blocked by Southerners but continues to enflame the debate over slavery
  • The Mexican War

    The Mexican War
    The U.S. declares war on Mexico in an effort to gain California and another territory in Southwest.
  • Oregon Treaty

    Oregon Treaty fixes the U.S.-Canadian border at 49th parallel; the U.S. acquires Oregon territory.
  • Mexico and Texas Boundaries

    Mexico recognizes Rio Grande as new boundary with Texas and, for $15 million, agrees to cede territory comprising present-day California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
  • Gold Rush

    Gold is discovered at Sutter's Mill in California. The gold rush reaches its height the following year.
  • End of Mexican War

    War concludes with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
  • Harriet Tubman

    Harriet Tubman
    Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated members of the Underground Railroad.
  • Zachary Taylor Becomes the 12th President

    Zachary Taylor Becomes the 12th President
    Zachary Taylor is inaugurated as the 12th president.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Harriet Beecher Stowe
    U.S. abolitionist and writer Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896) publishes Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a book and sells 300,000 copies in its first year.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act breaks the previous compromises over slavery.
  • Abraham Lincoln is Elected

    Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest and most remembered presidents of America, was elected on this day. His election spurred on the most brutal and deadliest war in American history. Soon after he was elected, South Carolina seceded from the Union and was then followed by the Civil War
  • Civil War

    Civil War
    Civil War begins
  • Confederate Sates

    The Confederate States left America
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery
  • Civil War Ends

  • Abraham Lincoln is Assassinated

  • Ulysses S. Grant Becomes President

    Ulysses S. Grant Becomes President
    A hero of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885) becomes president of the United States
  • Yellowstone Park

    Yellowstone Park
    President U.S. Grant establishes Yellowstone Park as the first National Park.
  • Alexander Graham Bell Invents Telephone

    Alexander Graham Bell Invents Telephone
  • Rutherford B. Hayes

    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Rutherford B. Hayes (1822–1893) wins the hotly contested 1876 presidential election, although not the popular vote.