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20 Important Events in U.S. History Before 1877

  • Jamestown

    Jamestown was the first permanent settlement in America. These British settlers began a new world of trade, colonization, and prosperity in America. They were essentially the start of a new nation.
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    Major Historical Events Before 1877

  • Plymouth

    While Jamestown was unknowingly becoming the start of a new nation, the new nation grew under Plymouth. This colony was found by the Pilgrims, who came with the purpose of escaping British rule to start a new life.
  • George Washington

    George Washington
    George Washington was many things, including; one of the Founding Fathers of this country, the leader of the Revolutionary War, and the first President of the United States. His idea of the national government was to protect the liberty, improve infrastructure, and open the western country to name a few. His ideas modernized the world and really influenced the upcoming world.
  • American Revolution

    American Revolution
    From 1764 to 1789 America went through many changes. These changes included rejecting the Parliament of Great Britain and getting rid of royal officials. Beyond that, this was a stage of blossoming ideas and fighting for their freedom; as seen in the Revolutionary War
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The First Continental Congress was the first gathering of chosen delegates to discuss matters involving boycotting British goods. This was important due to the role of a government, and leading to the meeting of the Second Continental Congress which acted as such.
  • The Revolutionary War

    The Revolutionary War
    The Revolutionary War, starting in 1775 and ending in 1783 was America fighting against the British Empire for their freedom. This was during the American Revolution. This war created a sense of pride because not only was America a smaller force, the fighting cause was something that would be passed down for generations and generations.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first battles of the Revolutionary War. The first shot was described as the "shot heard 'round the world." With these battles, the fight for freedom began, eventually separating the United States from the British Empire.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776 announced that the 13 colonies were independent states, separated from the British Empire. These independent states would come together and form a nation. This was the official beginning of the United States.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    Before the Constitution, there were the Articles of Confederation. This was the first agreed upon constitution regarding the thirteen colonies. The Articles of Confederation also agreed upon a working government for the states. This was later added to the Constitution on March 4th 1789.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the Revolutionary War ended. With this treaty, America was separated from the British Empire and free to do as they wished. Protection from pirates and such on the seas were taken away and other rights were as well. This treaty was the start of building a nation.
  • Constitution of the United States

    Constitution of the United States
    The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law in the United States of America. It was originally adopted in September 17, 1788, but it was put into effect on March 4, 1789. The Constitution includes the Preamble, Seven Articles, and the Amendments.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    For a total of 828,000 square miles, the Louisiana Territory became part of the United States for $15 million. To put it in perspective, not only was each acre bought for less that three cents, but this opened up a new opportunity for America to grow and spread. This kickstarted the travel West.
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln may be one of the most important Presidents in American History. He led America successfully through the American Civil War. In doing so, he strengthened the national government, modernized the economy, and abolished slavery.
  • Ulysses S. Grant

    Ulysses S. Grant
    Ulysses S. Grant, leader of the Union Army, is most well known for his defeat of Robert E. Lee at the Appomattox. Because of Robert E. Lee's surrender, the Union was allowed to win the war. His role as President during the Reconstruction Era also helped stabilize the country.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    Lincoln-Douglas Debates
    On August 21, 1858, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates started. This was to decide who became the senator of Illinois. The debates started to become geared toward the subject of slavery. Many people attended these debates and slavery became huge and largely discussed. This awareness brought by these debates helped the nation understand the situation of slavery.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. This declared that in the ten rebelling states, slaves were declared free. This freed 3.1 million out of 4 million of the slaves in America at the time. The Proclamation was only applied to slaves in Confederate lands.
  • Reconstruction

    The Reconstruction Era refers to the time period after the Civil War from 1863 to 1877. This era was pointed toward the reconstructing of the Southern States of the United States. Even with some bitter feeling from the South, the goal was the bring the South back to "normal" as soon as possible. This made it a possibility to become one nation instead of a divided one.
  • Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War. This particular battle was the bloodiest during the war, resulting in 46,000 to 51,000 injuries or deaths. This battle ended in Robert E. Lee's, the Confederate Army leader, surrender.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    The Gettysburg Address was a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. The speech took place four months after the surrender of the Confederate Army. This speech emphasized the separating nation, the equality of all people, and how the war was being fought for a principle of human equality.
  • Civil War

    Civil War
    Officially ending on the 10th of May in 1865, the Civil War was a fight between one country. The reason for war was the long standing issue of slaves in the United States. This War ended in the abolition of slavery in the 13th Amendment.