Christopher Columbus tries to find a new route to Asia. Columbus' three ships land first in the Bahamas and then Cuba. He believes he has found a sea route to India and China.
Jan 1, 1518
Hernando Cortès assaults the Aztecs in Mexico
Exposes the native people to the smallpox virus which decimates the Aztec people.
With the guidance of Captain John Smith, about a hundred London merchants settled Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent settlement in North America.
First Africans captives are brought to Virginia
The first of what was the beginning of African slavery in the colonies and then the United States.
Led by Nathaniel Bacon, explorers crushed an Indian uprising in Virginia because of their resentment towards Virginia Governor William Berkeley's friendly policies towards the Native Americans.
The Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution was the overthrow of King James II due to decreasing support, illicit control of Parliament, and the appointment of Catholic friends to positions of high office.
Salem Witch Trials
Mass hysteria grips the New England town where many people are falsely accused of practicing witchcraft.
The Great Awakening
The first great revival of religion in the new colonies.
George Washington Surrenders Fort Necessity to the French.
After George Washington's unsuccessful attack on the French, the French responded to the attack by attacking Washington and his troops in Fort Necessity. One third of Washington's men died and he surrendered. This sparked the French and Indian War.
The Stamp Act was a tax placed on every printed document in the colonies, including newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, deeds, wills, and licenses. It was an attempt to raise revenue from the colonies without their consent.
The Boston Massacre
The taunting of snow and small rocks being thrown at sentries at the customs house quickly escalated into gunfire, and five innocent civilians were shot and killed.
First Continental Congress
Meeting in Philadelphia, the 56 delegates of the First Continental Congress reached 5 decisions. They rejected a plan for colonial union under British authority, endorsed a statement of grievances which demanded a repeal of all oppressive legislation passed since 1763, approved a series of military preparations in defense of possible attack in Boston, agreed to a series of boycotts that would stop trade with Great Britain, and formed a "Continental Association" to enforce these decisions.
Battle of Lexington and Concord
The first shots fired in the war for American Independence from Great Britain.
The Declaration of Independence
This declaration written by Thomas Jefferson, states the reasons the thirteen British Colonies of North America sought independence from Great Britain.
Patriot victory at Saratoga
A significant turning point in the Revolutionary war. France gives the United States formal recognition and provide French aide to support the Patriot cause.
The Treaty of Paris was signed
This treaty was favorable to the United States. It clearly defined their independence from Great Britain, and a large cession of land to the new nation. American people celebrated as the last of the British forces left New York.
United States Constitution Adopted
Thirty-nine of fifty-five delegates at the Constitutional Convention sign the Constitution, giving the Federal Government its authority.
George Washington Inaugurated as first president
General George Washington inaugurated in New York as the first president of the United States of America.
The Bill of Rights is approved
Congress approves twelve amendments to the Constitution. Ten of the twelve amendments were eventually ratified by the states.
First Bank of the United States Begins Operating
The First Bank of the US provided loans to businesses, currency and established a central bank for America's Financial institution.
Invention of the Cotton Gin
Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin
Invented by Eli Whitney, the cotton gin was a power-driven machine that greatly increased the removal of seeds from short-staple cotton. The Gin carried out the work of a hundred men and increased production as well as the need for more slaves in the South.
Alien & Sedition Acts
Aimed at immigrants trying to become citizens and people speaking out against the government.
Thomas Jefferson Elected President
The "Revolution of 1800".
The War of 1812
The War of 1812
The War of 1812, fought between the U.S. and the British Empire, was caused by the continuous intolerance of unfair control placed on the U.S. by England. It ended in a stalemate due to poor funding and other, more important affairs.
Treaty of Ghent
The treaty between the United States and Britain ending the War of 1812. Neither side realized significant gains from the agreement.
U.S. takes western lands from the Indians
After the War of 1812, the Indians were left with little to no support. White Settlers moved beyond the Mississippi River. Western expansion is one of the greatest developments of the century.
The digging of the Erie Canal begins
Considered the greatest construction project the Americans had ever undertaken. This route to the Great Lakes opened up access to the growing markets of the West. White settlement in the Northwest increases.
The Missouri Compromise
A heated debate arose when Missouri (a slave state) applied for admission to the Union as a state. This application threatened to upset the slave vs. free state balance. The Compromise allows Maine (a free state), to join the Union at the same time, therefore averting a crisis.
The B&O Railroad was the first railroad to begin operations. Railroads became the primary transportation system for the United States. The effect of the railroad on American economy, society, and culture were profound.
Indian Removal Act
United States Government passes an act authorizing the removal of the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes of the Native Americans form Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to make way for white settlers.
Nat Turner's Rebellion
Nat Turner led a band of slaves armed with guns, axes and tools in Southampton County, Virginia where they killed approximately 60 white men, women & children.
The Nullification Crisis
John C. Calhoun of South Carolina developed the nullification theory to "nullify" the tariffs of 1828 and 1832.
Second Bank of the United States Dies.
President Jackson removes all government deposits from the bank and the bank fails to re-secure its charter.
Horace Mann Becomes the First Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education
Mann reforms the school system of Massachusetts which also spread to other states.
Frederick Douglass Escapes Slavery
Douglas becomes the greatest African American abolitionist.
Samuel F. B. Morse transmits the first telegraph
Prior to the telegraph, the only means of long distance communication was by direct physical contact. Morse's development of the telegraph and Morse Code improves communication and saves lives.
Edgar Allan Poe Writes "The Raven"
This literary work establishes Poe as a prolific writer who would eventually have a great impact on European poet.
The Confederate States of America are formed
Prompted by the election of Abraham Lincoln, seven southern slave states secede from the Union forming the Confederate States of America. Governmental control, slavery, and boundaries fuel the beginning of the Civil War.
The Proclamation declared the slaves inside the Confederacy forever free. It also established that the war was being fought not only to preserve the Union but also to abolish slavery.
Lincoln is assassinated, Johnson becomes President
Lincoln's Reconstruction plan was too lenient for Radical Republicans and too stringent for the supporters of the Southern Unions. John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the head while he watched a play at the Ford Theatre. Lincoln died the next morning from his injury. Johnson becomes President and is met with Radical opposition.
The 13th Amendment was ratified
After more than two centuries, legalized slavery was abolished in all parts of the United States. Most of all the Civil War was a victory for millions of African American slaves.
The 14th Amendment is ratified
Defines American citizenship. Forbids the states to deny any person of "life, liberty, or property without due process", or to deny any person of "equal protection of the laws by both the state and national government". Ratification of the 14th amendment allows the former Confederate states to rejoin the Union.
The Compromise of 1877
During the election of 1877, resentment and political deadlock threaten to divide the country. A compromise was reached when Democrats allowed the Appointment of Hayes to President for the exchange for the removal of the remaining federal troops from the South. Reconstruction ended and Rebublican efforts to assure African American civil rights were abandoned.