50 Important Events - semester one

  • Jamestown

    In 1607, a group of 104 Englishmen traveled to the New World by request of King James I and built America’s first settlement in the lands Virginia. Their main goal was to find gold and seek an easier route to Asia. The significance of this was that it was the first successful English settlement in the New World and it ultimately paved the way towards more and more people inhabiting the lands of America. It was the beginning of the formation of the United States.
    (Cayton et. al pg 44)
  • The Great Awakening (1730s and 1740s)

    This was a revival movement led by people, including John Edwards and George Whitefield, who sensed a lack of religious faith within the colonies. They energized people and urged them to speak for themselves and rely less on the traditional authority of ministers and books. In the end, the Great Awakening helped prepare the colonists to fight the Revolutionary War by revealing how they did not need the superior authority of the British to live their lives since they could rely on their own faith
  • French and Indian War

    This was a war that was fought for seven years (1754-1763) between the British and their colonists against the French and the Native Americans over land in the north eastern part of America. After the wars end, Britain placed taxes on the colonists in order to pay off all the money spent on war effort which angered the colonists greatly. This ultimately marked the beginning of conflict between the British and the colonists which lead to the Revolutionary war.
    (Cayton. et. al. 104)
  • Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act was instituted within colonies and called for taxes on items such as newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, and other printed materials. The British imposed these taxes in order to keep their troops within America. This, of course, angered the colonists even further and led more people to turn against their authority. This act served as yet another reason as to why the Revolutionary War took place.
  • Sons of Liberty

    The Sons of Liberty was a group composed of merchants and other colony members who, altogether, organized boycotts against the British government. They did things such as threaten stamp deliverers with mobs and other acts of resistance against British policies. The significance of the group was that it made it clear that many people were going against the British authority and were, in fact, taking action to make sure that their stances on Britain’s actions towards the colonists were clear.
  • Boston Massacre

    The Boston Massacre was when Britain sent troops to Boston and they happened on a rebellion. Soldiers opened fire on the rebelling group and ended up killing five colonists. This upset the colony members and only further pushed them to being against the British.
    (Cayton et. al 114)
  • Boston Tea Party

    The Boston Tea Party took place on the night of December 16, 1773. Colonists dressed up as Native Americans and boarded three tea ships. They dumped every crate of tea aboard the ships into the Boston Harbor as an act of revolt against the Tea Act that was instituted on the colonies. The significance of this was that it served as another act against the British government and a step closer towards the Revolutionary War.
    (Clayton et. al. 120)
  • Battle of Lexington

    800 British troops marched to Lexington in order to rid of ammunition that the colonists stashed away. Paul Revere had warned the colonists that the British were coming and so the colonial militia got ready. A single shot was fired once both sides met and the fighting began. This marks the beginning of the Revolutionary War and the fight towards freedom.
    (Cayton et. al. 116)
  • The American Revolution

    This war was fought between the British and their 13 colonies. The colonists came out victorious after the Battles of Yorktown and Charleston. Overall, this war established America as independent from the British and mark the beginning of the creation of the America that we live in today.
    (Clayton et. al. 116)
  • Triangular Trade

    This was the trade route in which slaves took that eventually ended up in America. Starting in the West Indies, the English would trade items such as sugar and molasses, then they went on to Africa to trade their goods for slaves and then made their way back to America. The significance of this is that it gave colonies more help to make cash crops
    (Cayton. et. al. 75)
  • Thomas Paine and the Common Sense

    Thomas Paine wrote popular pamphlets in which he called the Common Sense. The pamphlets talked about the conflict with Britain and everything that was bad about their government. In the end, this led to more and more changed opinions about the British and also provoked a want for liberty and equality amongst the people.
    (Clayton et. al. 118)
  • Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence was made by the second Continental Congress one month after fighting at Lexington and was signed July 4, 1776. It included the preamble, a declaration of rights, complaints against the British king, and a resolution of independence. The significance of this was that it was a written defiance against the British government and called for the freedom of the colonists from their rule. It set up America to be a free nation.
    (Clayton et. al. 119)
  • Articles of Confederation

    The Boston Massacre was when Britain sent troops to Boston and they happened on a rebellion. Soldiers opened fire on the rebelling group and ended up killing five colonists. This upset the colony members and only further pushed them to being against the British.
    (Clayton et. al. 145)
  • Conflicts with the Constitution

    Conflicts included representation and how it should be decided how many reps each state got in the government, rights to people (Feds did not want a Bill of Rights and Anti-Feds did), and whether slaves should be counted as part of a states population. The significance of these problems were that it presented America with its first difficulties on governing itself and it brought about the major issue of slavery within America, which would be disputed about for years to come
    (Clayton et. al. 150)
  • The Great Compromise

    The Great Compromise was the decision to make a two house legislature. The Senate would have equal representation, which would include two reps from each state, while the House would be made up of reps based on population of the states. The significance of this was that it set up the system of our legislative branch that we follow in present day.
    (Clayton. et. al. 153)
  • Slavery and the Constitution

    The question of whether or not the constitution should allow slavery to continue in America or not was hugely discussed throughout the creation of the document. In the end, slavery was allowed to continue but the word “slave” was never written out in the Constitution. The significance of this was that it proved that there were two different sides to this question. Some people wanted slavery and others did not, which proved to be a problem once again when the Civil war came about.
    (Clayton. et.
  • Federalists and Anti-Federalists

    The Federalists wanted a strong national government while the Anti-feds believed that the Federalist’s plan of creating a Constitution posed a threat to state governments and the rights to individuals. They ultimately believed that a Constitution was a betrayal of the American Revolution. The significance of this was that it formed a rift between citizens of the United States and created many problems when trying to establish a working government.
    (Clayton et. al. 158)
  • Bill of Rights

    The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments in the Constitution. They included natural rights that were automatically given to the people by God once they were born, such as life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. Federalists saw no need for these amendments while the Anti-Feds wanted the rights spelled out and clear to all people.
    (Clayton. et. al. 163)
  • The Louisianna Purchase

    Napoleon of France sold the French claims to the US for just four cents per acre since France needed funds to fight their war. This purchase doubled the size of the United States and paces the way for westward expansion.
    (Clayton. et. al. 215)
  • Lewis and Clark's Expedition

    Lewis and Clark were the leaders of the Corps of Discovery team, a group of about 50 men, that set out and explored the new land within the Louisianna Purchase. They joined up with an Indian women named Sacagawea and traveled all over, talking to Indian tribes all over America. The significance of these people was that they demonstrated the relationship between Native Americans and the English people and discovered new species of animals and resources among the new land.
    (cayton et. al. 216)
  • War of 1812

    The War of 1812 began because Americans believed that the Brtitish were responsible for an increase in attacks by Native Americans. The American government also wanted to put an end to impressment. The significance of this war was that the federalists were seen as traitors because they held secret conventions in opposition to the war and it also showed that the US could win in war and their victory in their Revolution was not a fluke.
    (Clayton. et. al. 225)
  • Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise was an agreement that called for the admission of Missouri as a slave state while at the same time admitting Maine as a free state. It also banned slavery in future states above 36 degrees longitude and 30 degrees North latitute. The significance of this was that it settled north and south disputes over slavery issues.
    (Clayton. et. al. 225)
  • Indian Removal Act/Trail of Tears

    This was a tragic event in which 100,000 Native Americans were relocated into the newer parts of the Louisiana Purchase in exchange for their land in the east. Five of these Native American tribes refused to move which resulted in the Trail of Tears; a forced march to the west into Oklahoma. About 1/4 of the 15,000 Cherokees died along the journey. The significance of this is that showed the terrible treatment that Americans bestowed upon the Native Americans.
    (Cayton. ep. al. 301)
  • Labor Unions

    Labor Unions were groups of people that went on strike demanding shorter hours and higher wages. They united together in order to reform the labor force. The significance of these unions were that they showed that workeres were willing to take action against their employers. It also showed the downside to the industrial period because businesses were thriving but people were living in poor conditions.
    (cayton. et. al. 285)
  • Manifest Destiny

    Manifest destiny was the idea that it was America's "god-given right" to spread liberty across the continent. The significance of this concept is that it inspired people to expand westward towards the Pacific ocean. It is to thank for the amount of land that the United States has to this day.
    (Clayton. et. al. 253)
  • Texas Annexation

    The Texas annexatoin occured when Texas won independence from Mexico. Texas then wanted to join the US. The significance of this is that it eventually led to the Mexican War (a war over border disputes)
    (Cayton. ep. al 267)
  • Mexican-American War

    The annexation of Texas angered Mexico quite a bit and so they broke off diplomatic relations with the US. Texas and Mexico then went on to dispute over border issues which created even more tension. President Polk sent troops into the disputed territory and Mexico took it as a call to war and fighting broke out. The significance of this war is that it resulted in the gain of a lot of land,opening the door to even more westward expansion.
    (Cayton. et. al. 353)
  • Harper's Ferry/ John Brown's Raid

    John Brown wanted to invade the south and liberate the slaves. He formed a raiding party and went towards Harper's Ferry. The invasion was cut off and Brown was executed. The significance of this event was that it intensified sour relations between the North and the South.
    (Cayton. et. al. 255)
  • KKK

    The KKK was a white-supremist organization that terrorized and attacked African Americans by means of violence and threats. They instilled fear in blacks with the intent of demonstrating that blacks were still inferior even after the Emancipation Procolamation. The significance of this group was that it showed how many people were still unaccepting of blacks in society and did not approve of their granted freedom.
    (Clayton et. al. 400)
  • Sharecropping

    Sharecropping was when freedmen worked on farms under close supervision and for little to no pay. It was as close to slavery as it could have gotten after it was abolished. Many farmers charged black for housing which led them to wind up in debt. Since they could not leave until their debt was paid off, many blacks got stuck working on the plantations for many years.
    (Cayton. et.al. 437)
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    President Lincoln declared slaves were free in the Confederate territory. The decree had little impact for the most part since Lincoln did not control slaves in the south or those controlled by Union forces. The significance of this is that it promised that slaves would be free once the North won the war.
    (Cayton. et. al. 396)
  • Lincoln's 10% Plan

    Abraham Lincoln proposed a plan to incorporate the south back into the union. It included a pardon once 10%b of the Confederates swore allegance to the Union. The significance of this was that it showed how the North wanted to come together with the south to be one union.
    (cayton. et. al. 230)
  • Gettysburg Address

    The Gettysburg Address was a famous two minute long speech that was made by President Lincoln. He reminded everybody of why the North was fighting the the Civil war in the first place and convinced people to keep fighting so that all the soldiers who had already been lost would not have been lost for nothing,
    (Cayton. et. al 409)
  • Radical Republican Plan

    The Radical Republican Plan put the south under military rule. It required ex-confederates to take an oath of future loyalty to the union and swear that they never borne arms against the US, at least not willingly. Lincoln let this bill die in a pocket veto but it still served as significant in the way that it showed that the north wanted to come together with the south to be one united union.
    (Cayton. et. al. 427)
  • Reconstruction

    Reconstruction was the attempt to bring together the north and the south into one union after the Civil War had ended. After a five year war and a defeat by the north, the south was completely destroyed once the war finally ceased; it's economy, government, and basic order were targetted for complete transformation. This attempted idea demonstrated how the north tred to get blacks incorporated into society and how they wanted America to be one united union.
    (Clayton et. al. 424)
  • Slums and Tenements

    Slums and tenements were dirty, unsanitary, and crowded living spaces. They were designed to fit the most people as possible. They were significant because they showed the downside to the industrial period. Even though the economy and businesses were thriving, people were suffering.
    (Clayton. et. al. 536)
  • Johnson's Reconstruction Plan

    This reconstruction plan pardoned all southerners that swore their allegiance to the Union. It also allowed states to hold constitutional conventions but it still required states to void their secession and abolish slavery completely. The significance of this was that Johnson generously allowed the south to join back into the Union easily.
    (Cayton. et. al. 427)
    (Cayton. et. al. 427)
  • Imperialism

    Imperialism is when one country exerts power, whether its economic, social, militaristic, or political on another country in order to gain control. The significance of this is that it was the sole idea that led the US to join so many wars with other countries. This concept led our nation to rise in power all over the world.
    (Clayton. et. al 584)
  • Black Codes/Jim Crowe Laws

    The Jim Crowe laws restricted blacks in their daily life. They had curfews, land restrictions, and labor contracts. These laws required the segregation of public services by race. The significance of these laws were that they limited blacks even after they had their freedom. Many blacks traveled north in search of more freedoms.
    (Cayton. et. al. 432)
  • Annexation of Hawaii

    Businesses all over the United States were interested in Hawaii and all its resources that it contained. These business leaders traveled to Hawaii and imprisoned the queen, then taking over the state for themselves. This event is a perfect example of the United State's imperialistic trait because all of the reasons for this takeover were purely selfish. American businesses wanted access to Hawaii's resources and they did not care how.
    (Clayton. et. al. 595)
  • Spanish-American War

    The United States entered the Spanish-American war on April 25, 1898 as a result of the sinking of the Maine, and the De Lome letter, which was a note written by the Spanish Ambassador which described president Mckinley a weak leader. Though the war only lasted for 114 days, the United States still ended up rising in power from the victory. Besides just that, the US gained all of Spain's overseas territories from the win.
    (Clayton. et. al 591)
  • War with the Philippines

    The war with the Philippines occured from 1899-1902. The US set out to control the Philippines because they believed that they were not civilized. In addition, they wanted control of the land since it was closer to China, a striving nation at that time. But, when the Filipinos refused to be held under American rule, war broke out. This war is significant for it shows just how selfish America truly was. They wanted to take over another country for their own benefit.
    (Clayton. et. al 550)
  • Samar Island

    The United States wanted retaliation for a Philippino raid an American garrison. In the end, American soldiers ended up killing off everyone on Samar Island. Once news of this reached the United States, citizens were horrified and outraged by the actions of their soldiers. This event ended up bringing to knowledge just how imperialistic the US had become. At this point, Americans no longer wanted to be at war.
    (Cayton. et. al. 594)
  • The Panama Canal

    The Panama canal was a manmade waterway that stretched 50 miles long. It connects the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean, making for easier trade. By the United States completing the building of this canal, they proved better than the French, who gave up on the task long before its completion. The significance of the canal is that it made the US the leading powerhouse in the world. It is yet another display of creation with imperialistic motives involved.

    (Cayton. et. al 599)
  • US in WWI

    The United States entered World War I in the year 1917. There were four big reasons as to why they joined the war; militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism. The sinking of the Lusitania (British ship carrying 128 Americans) ignited the war- The US did not like the German's submarine warfare. The significance of the US entering the war is that they were supposed to remain nuetral throughout its duration. Instead, the US joined and showed its imperialistic qualities once again.