19th Century America

  • Light bulb invented

    The first electric light was made in 1800 by Humphry Davy, an English scientist. He experimented with electricity and invented an electric battery. When he connected wires to his battery and a piece of carbon, the carbon glowed, producing light. This is called an electric arc.
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    The Louisiana Purchase

    The U.S. paid 60 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000), for a total sum of 15 million dollars (less than 3 cents per acre) for the Louisiana territory ($219 million in 2010 dollars, less than 42 cents per acre).
  • Lowell’s first cotton mill

    The Lowell female textile workers wrote and published several literary magazines, including the Lowell Offering, which featured essays, poetry and fiction written by female textile workers. They also actively participated in early labor reform through legislative petitions, forming labor organizations, contributing essays and articles to a pro-labor newspaper the Voice of Industry[1] and protesting through "turn-outs" or strikes.
  • Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise was an agreement passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30' north except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri. Prior to the agreement, the House of Representatives had refused to accept this compromise and a conference committee was appointed.
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    Andrew Jackson

    Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1814), and the British at the Battle of New Orleans (1815). A polarizing figure who dominated the Second Party System in the 1820s and 1830s, as president he destroyed the national bank and relocated most Indian tribes from the Southeast to west of the Missi
  • Indian Removal Act

    The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.
    President Andrew Jackson called for an Indian Removal Act in his 1829 speech on the issue. The Removal Act was strongly supported in the South, where states were eager to gain access to lands inhabited by the Five Civilized Tribes. In particular, Georgia, the largest state at that time, was involved in a contentious jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokee nation.
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    Black Codes

    The Black Codes were laws put in place in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the basic human rights and civil liberties of blacks.
  • Trail of Tears

    The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, among others in the United States, from their homelands to Indian Territory (eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma). The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Chocta
  • First telephone called

    The invention of the telephone is the culmination of work done by many individuals, the history of which involves a collection of claims and counterclaims. The development of the modern telephone involved an array of lawsuits founded upon the patent claims of several individuals.
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    The Mexican–American War

    The Mexican–American War, also known as the First American Intervention, the Mexican War, or the U.S.–Mexican War,[1][2] was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory despite the 1836 Texas Revolution.
  • Oil discovered in Pennsylvania

    Titusville is a city in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,146 at the 2000 census. In 1859, oil was successfully drilled in Titusville, resulting in the birth of the modern oil industry.
  • Compromise of 1850

    The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). The compromise, drafted by Whig Henry Clay and brokered by Clay and Democrat Stephen Douglas, avoided secession or civil war and reduced sectional conflict for four years.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman.
  • Kansas–Nebraska Act

    The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 (10 Stat. 277) created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opened new lands that would help settlement in them, repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and allowed settlers in those territories to determine through Popular Sovereignty if they would allow slavery within their boundaries and to settle there. The act was designed by Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. The initial purpose of the Kansas–Nebraska Act was to open up many thousands of
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    Bleeding Kansas

    Bleeding Kansas, Bloody Kansas or the Border War, was a series of violent events, involving anti-slavery Free-Staters and pro-slavery "Border Ruffian" elements, that took place in the Kansas Territory and the western frontier towns of the U.S. state of Missouri roughly between 1854 and 1858. At the heart of the conflict was the question of whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free state or slave state. As such, Bleeding Kansas was a proxy war between Northerners and Southerners over the iss
  • Bessemer process patented

    The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass-production of steel from molten pig iron. The process is named after its inventor, Henry Bessemer, who took out a patent on the process in 1855. The process was independently discovered in 1851 by William Kelly.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), also known as the Dred Scott Decision, was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves (or their descendants,[2] whether or not they were slaves) were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S. citizens.
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    John Brown’s Raid

    John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry (also known as John Brown's raid or The raid on Harpers Ferry; in many books the town is called "Harper's Ferry" with an apostrophe-s.[1]) was an attempt by white abolitionist John Brown to start an armed slave revolt by seizing a United States Arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Virginia in 1859. Brown's raid was defeated by a detachment of U.S. Marines led by Col. Robert E. Lee. John Brown had originally asked Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, both of whom he ha
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    Lincoln elected

    Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in 1865. He led the country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and promoting economic and financial modernization. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illi
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    American Civil War

    The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ("the Confederacy"); the other 25 states supported the federal government ("the Union").
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly all the rest freed as Union armies advanced. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners; it did not make the ex-slaves, called Freedmen, citizens.
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    Battle of Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War,[8] it is often described as the war's turning point.[9] Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's invasion of the North.
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    Reconstruction

    In the history of the United States, the term "Reconstruction Era" has two senses: the first covers the entire nation in the period 1865–1877 following the Civil War; the second one, used in this article, covers the transformation of the Southern United States from 1863 to 1877, with the reconstruction of state and society in the former Confederacy. In battles between the president and Congress, the president prevailed until the election of 1866.
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    Transcontinental Railroad completed

    The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the "Pacific Railroad" and later as the "Overland Route") was a railroad line built in the United States of America between 1863 and 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad of California and the Union Pacific Railroad that connected its statutory Eastern terminus at Council Bluffs,
  • 13th Amendment

    The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On December 18, Secretary of State William H. Seward, in a proclamation, declared it to have been adopted. It was the first of the Reconstruction Amendments.
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    Sherman's March to the Sea

    Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the Savannah Campaign conducted around Georgia from November 15, 1864 to December 21, 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army in the American Civil War. The campaign began with Sherman's troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia, on November 16 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate States Army General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and one of the last battles of the American Civil War.
  • Lincoln Assassinated

    The assassination of United States President Abraham Lincoln took place on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, as the American Civil War was drawing to a close. The assassination occurred five days after the commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee, and his battered Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated,
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    The Gilded Age

    In United States history, the Gilded Age refers to the era of rapid economic and population growth in the United States during the post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction eras of the late 19th century.
  • Johnson’s Impeachment

    The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States, was one of the most dramatic events in the political life of the United States during Reconstruction, and the first impeachment in history of a sitting United States president.
  • 14th Amendment

    The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v. Sandford ruling by the Supreme Court (1857) that held that blacks could not be citizens of the United States.
  • 15th Amendment

    The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (i.e., slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870. The Fifteenth Amendment is one of the Reconstruction Amendments.
  • Standard Oil Formed

    Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations until it was broken up by the United States Supreme Court in 1911.
  • Sherman Antitrust Act

    The Sherman Antitrust Act requires the United States federal government to investigate and pursue trusts, companies, and organizations suspected of violating the Act. It was the first Federal statute to limit cartels and monopolies, and today still forms the basis for most antitrust litigation by the United States federal government. However, for the most part, politicians were unwilling to refer to the law until Theodore Roosevelt's presidency (1901–1909).
  • Carnegie forms his Steel Company

    Carnegie Steel Company was a steel producing company created by Andrew Carnegie to manage business at his steel mills in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area in the late 19th century.