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By alyssum
  • Election of 1800

    Election of 1800
    By 1800, President Adams had lost the confidence of many Americans. In the end, the contest came down to a tie between two Republicans, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia and Aaron Burr of New York. The House of Representatives voted dozens of times without breaking the tie. On the thirty-sixth ballot, Thomas Jefferson emerged victorious.
  • Lousiana Territory

    Lousiana Territory
    President Jefferson authorized the acquisition of Louisiana from France in 1803 in what is considered the largest real estate deal in American history. America purchased the Louisiana Territory for $15 million.
  • The Embargo Act of 1807

    The Embargo Act of 1807
    Under the Embargo Act of 1807, American ports were closed to all foreign trade in hopes of avoiding war. Jefferson hoped that an embargo would force European nations to respect American neutrality. However, the embargo greatly hurt the U.S. economy.
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    The War of 1812

    The controversies that led to this war centered around the United State's national honor. President Madison signed a declaration of war on June 18, 1812 and the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814.
  • The Treaty of Ghent

    The Treaty of Ghent
    The Treaty of Ghent, which was the peace treaty for the War of 1812, was signed on December 24, 1814. This treaty essentially returned relations between the United States and Britain to their prewar status.
  • The Missouri Compromise of 1820

    The Missouri Compromise of 1820
    This Compromise contained three parts. First, Congress would admit Missouri as a slave state. Second, Congress would admit Maine as a free state, maintaining the balance between the number of free and slave states. Third, the rest of the Louisiana Purchase territory would be divided along the 36°30’ line of latitude. Slavery would be prohibited in other new states north of this line, but it would be permitted in new states to the south.
  • Election of 1824

    Election of 1824
    This election was one of the closest elections in American history. Each nominee came from a different part of the country—Adams from Massachusetts, Jackson from Tennessee, William H. Crawford from Georgia, and Henry Clay from Kentucky. Jackson won more popular votes than anyone else. However, with no majority winner in the Electoral College, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives where Adams was determined the winner.
  • Completion of the Erie Canal

    Completion of the Erie Canal
    New York State completed the Erie Canal in 1825. The 350-mile-long human-made waterway linked the Great Lakes with the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Launching of the B&O Railroad

    The Launching of the B&O Railroad
    The United States’ first long-distance rail line launched from Maryland in 1827. Baltimore’s city government and the state government of Maryland provided half the start-up funds for the new Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Rail Road Company. The B&O’s founders hoped it to be a means to funnel the agricultural products of the trans-Appalachian West to an outlet on the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Indian Removal Act of 1830

    The Indian Removal Act of 1830
    Congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830 in order to grant the president authority to begin treaty negotiations that would give Native Americans land in the West in exchange for their lands east of the Mississippi.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    Turner led the most deadly slave rebellion in the antebellum South. On August 22, 1831, in Southampton County, Virginia, Nat Turner and six collaborators attempted to free the region’s enslaved population. Overall, Turner and his band killed many on eleven farms. The white terror that followed Nat Turner’s rebellion transformed southern religion.
  • The Founding of the Transcendental Club

    The Founding of the Transcendental Club
    The Transcendental Club, founded in 1836 by a group of Unitarian ministers, met for four years and included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, George Ripley, Orestes Brownson, James Freeman Clarke, and Theodore Parker. While initially limited to ministers or former ministers—except for the eccentric Alcott—the club quickly expanded to include numerous literary intellectuals.
  • The Seneca Falls Convention

    The Seneca Falls Convention
    In 1848, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Lady Stanton organized the Seneca Falls Convention, a two-day summit in New York state in which women’s rights advocates came together to discuss the problems facing women.
  • The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

    The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
    Though a legal mandate to return runaway enslaved people had existed in U.S. federal law since 1793, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 upped the ante by harshly penalizing officials who failed to arrest runaways and private citizens who tried to help them.
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 contest on November 6, gaining just 40 percent of the popular vote and not a single southern vote in the Electoral College. Of the voting electorate, 81.2 percent came out to vote—at that point the highest ever for a presidential election. Lincoln was trailed by Breckinridge with his 72 electoral votes, carrying eleven of the fifteen slave states; Bell came in third with 39 electoral votes; and Douglas came in last with only 12 electoral votes.
  • The Secession of South Carolina

    The Secession of South Carolina
    On December 20, South Carolina voted to secede and issued its Declaration of the Immediate Causes.
  • The Beginning of the Civil War

    The Beginning of the Civil War
    While resupplying Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, South Carolina called for U.S. soldiers to evacuate the fort, but Commanding officer Major Robert Anderson refused. On April 12, 1861, Confederate Brigadier General P. G. T. Beauregard fired on the fort. Anderson surrendered on April 13 and the Union troops evacuated. In response to the attack, President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to serve three months to suppress the rebellion.
  • The Battle of Shiloh

    The Battle of Shiloh
    One of the deadliest of these clashes occurred along the Tennessee River at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6–7, 1862. This battle, lasting only two days, was the costliest single battle in American history up to that time. The Union victory shocked both the Union and the Confederacy with approximately twenty-three thousand casualties, a number that exceeded casualties from all of the United States’ previous wars combined.
  • The Battle of Antietam

    The Battle of Antietam
    On September 17, 1862, McClellan’s and Lee’s forces collided at the Battle of Antietam near the town of Sharpsburg. This battle was the first major battle of the Civil War to occur on Union soil. It remains the bloodiest single day in American history: over twenty thousand soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing.
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    The Battle of Gettysburg

    The Gettysburg Campaign was Lee’s final northern incursion and the Battle of Gettysburg remains the bloodiest battle of the war, and in American history, with fifty-one thousand casualties.
  • The Thirteenth Amendment

    The Thirteenth Amendment
    To cement the abolition of slavery, Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment on January 31, 1865. The amendment legally abolished slavery “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Section Two of the amendment granted Congress the “power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” State ratification followed, and by the end of the year the requisite three fourths of the states had approved the amendment freeing four million people.
  • Lee's Surrender at the Appomattox Court House

    Lee's Surrender at the Appomattox Court House
    With Grant’s dogged pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia, Lee surrendered to Grant at the Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, effectively ending major Confederate military operations.
  • Death of Abraham Lincoln

    Death of Abraham Lincoln
    John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln on April 14, 1865, during a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater. Although treated rapidly and with all possible care, Lincoln nevertheless succumbed to his wounds the following morning.
  • The Fourteenth Amendment

    The Fourteenth Amendment
    The House of Representatives approved the Fourteenth Amendment on June 13, 1866. Section One granted citizenship and repealed the Taney Court’s infamous Dred Scott (1857) decision. Moreover, it ensured that state laws could not deny due process or discriminate against particular groups of people. The Fourteenth Amendment signaled the federal government’s willingness to enforce the Bill of Rights over the authority of the states.