• Washington, D.C.

    The U.S. capital is moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.
  • The White House

    U.S. President John Adams is the first President to live in the White House, then known as the Executive Mansion and sixteen days later, the United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
  • 3rd President of the United States

    Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated as the third president in Washington, DC.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    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. The U.S. nearly doubles in size.
  • Lewis & Clark

    Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis, Mo., on expedition to explore the West and find a route to the Pacific Ocean
  • Start of the War of 1812

    U.S. declares war on Britain over British interference with American maritime shipping and westward expansion.
  • U.S. Capitol Burned

    British capture Washington, DC, and set fire to White House and Capitol.
  • 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 of 1812
  • 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'.
  • 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 Rebellion

    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
  • Republic of Texas

    Texas declares its independence from Mexico.
  • 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.
  • The State of Texas

    U.S. annexes Texas by joint resolution of Congress
  • Mexican War

    U.S. declares war on Mexico in effort to gain California and other territory in Southwest.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

    Mexican War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
  • Beginning of the Underground Railroad

    Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated members of the Underground Railroad.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Harriet Beecher Stowe's masterpiece of American slavery, Uncle Tom's Cabin, is published. Stowe wrote this work of anti-slavery in response to the Fugitive Slave Act. It sold 300,000 copies in its first years of publication.
  • Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee secede.

  • Confederate States of America

    Confederate States of America is established following the succession of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana. Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederacy and Texas would succeed soon after.
  • President Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln is sworn in as president of the United States with Hannibal Hamlin as Vice President.
  • Start of the Civil War

    Confederates attack Ft. Sumter in Charleston, S.C., marking the start of the war.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation is issued, freeing slaves in the Confederate states.
  • Gettysburg Address

    President Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.
  • End of Civil War

    General Robert E. Lee, as commander in chief of Confederate forces, surrenders his 27,000 man army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, ending the four years of Civil War conflict.
  • Assassination of President Lincoln

    Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in Washington, DC, and is succeeded by his vice president, Andrew Johnson.
  • 13th Amendment

    Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery.
  • The KKK

    The Klu Klux Klan forms secretly to discourage blacks from voting, issuing in a brutal and shameful era of terror and crime amid southern states as civil rights for freed slaves emerged from the Civil War Era and made hesitant progress throughout the majority of the 20th Century.
  • the State of Alaska

    U.S. acquires Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million.
  • 14th Amendment

    Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, defining citizenship.
  • 15th Amendment

    Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote.