Civil Rights Timeline

  • First slave-trade arrival from Africa

    Begining of slave trade from Africa to America
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    States "All men are created equal."
  • Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin

    The cotton gin led to a greatly increased cotton industry in the southern states, which required slaves in order to run cotton plantations. This event brought increased dependence on slavery in the South, and eventually led to a main reason the South refused to eliminate slavery as it was the backbone of their economic base, cotton.
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Dred Scott was a Missouri slave who's owner had taken him into Illinois and Wisconsin, free territories, and he was sueing his owner, Sandford for his freedom stating that he deserved it because he left the South. However, the Supreme Court ruled that it could not rule on this case as Dred Scott was not a citizen of the United States and therefore could not sue Sandford. Dred Scott was sent back to Sandford as a slave.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Lincoln promised that on January 1, 1863 slaves in all rebellion states would be "then, thenceforward, and forever free." "I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, shall recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons." - President Lincoln
  • Surrender of Confederacy at Appomattox Court House

    Surrender of Confederacy at Appomattox Court House
    ended with a reuniting of the Union and an abolition of slavery
  • The Death of Lincoln

    Joh Wilkes booth shot President Lincoln, eventually killing him after the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln had done many things for the rights of blacks, and his successor, Andrew Johnson, from Tennessee did very little to help enforce the rights of blacks. Lincoln's death marked a time of great struggle for the rights of blacks as the leader in the drive to equality had been killed and replaced with a white southerner.
  • Thirteenth Amendment

    An amendment that abolished slavery and was ratified by the required number of states. It stated,
    "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
  • First civil rights act

    It declared blacks to be citizens of the United States and gave the federal government power to intervene in state affairs to protect the rights of citizens. This was in response to the Black Codes that state legislatures were passing to limit the rights of blacks and make it hard for advancement in late 1865 into early 1866. Johnson vetoed this bill, but Congress overroad him.
  • Plessy Vs. Furgeson

    The Supreme Court ruled that separate seating arrangements for the races on railroads was allowed, and the Court upheld separate accommodations that did not deprive blacks of equal rights if the accomodations were equal.