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American History

  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta signed

    Magna Carta signed
    The Magna Carta is a document that King John of England was forced into signing. He was forced into signing it because it reduced the power he held. The Magna Carta is considered to be the beginning of a constitutional government in England. It became the basis for the English citizens' rights.
  • Mayflower Compact signed

    Mayflower Compact signed
    When the Pilgrims left England, they got permission from the King of England to settle on land near the Hudson River. Since they chose to remain where they landed in New England, they needed a new permission to settle there. To maintain order and establish a civil society while they waited for the new patent, the male passengers signed the Mayflower Compact. link
  • Formation of the New England Confederation

    Formation of the New England Confederation
    As a result of the Pequot War of 1637, New England settlements were open to plans for strengthening colonial defenses against the threat of Indian attacks. After several years of negotiations, delegates from Connecticut, New Haven, Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Colony met in Boston and formed the New England Confederation. link
  • Albany Plan Of Union announced

    Albany Plan Of Union announced
    This was a plan to place the British North American colonies under a more centralized government. The plan was adopted by representatives from seven of the British North American colonies. link
  • The French and Indian War begins

    The French and Indian War begins
    Also known at the Seven Years' War, this war between the British and French lasted from 1756-1763. Ongoing tensions in North America as the French, British and colonists wanted to extend each country's boundaries. The Indians allied with the French. The British won and the war ended with the Treaty of Paris. link
  • Treaty of Paris (1763)

    Treaty of Paris (1763)
    This treaty ended the French and Indian War between Britain and France (and Spain). France lost all its territories in mainland North America, effectively ending any foreign military threat to the British colonies there.
    link #1
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  • Royal Proclamation (1763)

    Royal Proclamation (1763)
    After the French and Indian war ended, the colonies were excited about the western frontier that they won. However, the king made a proclamation that closed off the land to colonial expansion. The king did this because he wanted to lessen the fears of the Indians, who felt that the colonists would drive them from their land as they expanded westward.
  • Sugar Act

    Sugar Act
    Parliament passes a modified version of the Sugar and Molasses Act (1733). The sugar act reduced the rate of tax on molasses from six pence to three pence per gallon. Britian enforced stricter measures to collect taxes.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The stamp act required the colonists to pay a tax on paper goods such as legal documents, licenses, newspapers, playing cards, etc. The money collected was used to help pay for the costs of defending the Royal Proclamation line.
  • Stamp Act Congress

    Stamp Act Congress
    The colonies did not like the Sugar and Stamp acts. They wanted to speak up but couldn't effectively carry a message to the King and Parliament. Therefore, the Stamp Act Congress met at New York in 1765 to agree on an action but only 9 states sent delegates. In 1766, the British repealed the stamp act because of boycotts.
  • Townshend Acts

    Townshend Acts
    Charles Townshend was British chancellor of the exchequer created the program. Parliament passed the Townshend Acts which placed a tax on all goods imported to the colonies such as paint, lead, glass and tea. They were passed to raise profits to be used in part to support colonial governors, judges, officers and the British army in America.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    In response to taxation, a mob of colonists boycotted by throwing snowballs at British guards at the Customs House in Boston. A shot was fired and then the other guards began firing. 5 colonists were killed - Crispus Attucks, Patrick Carr, Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, and James Caldwell. link
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Parliament passed the Tea Act which said only tea from the East India tea company could be consumed in the colonies. Even though the British tea was cheaper than the smuggled Dutch tea the colonists refused to drink it. The Sons of Liberty, disguised as Mohawk Indians, seized 342 chests of tea from 3 ships and dumped them into Boston Harbor.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The First Continental Congress met from Sept. 5 to Oct. 26 in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia. All of the colonies except Georgia sent delegates. They met to discuss how they should respond to the Intolerable Acts (1774) which were a series of laws meant to punish the colonies passed by Parliament. They agreed to boycott British goods and meet in May 1775 to take note of progress.
  • Patrick Henry "Give Me Liberty"

    Patrick Henry "Give Me Liberty"
    Patrick Henry protested against British tryranny. He believed colonists had a right to bear weapons. In March 1775, he suggested organizing a volunteer company of infantry in every Virginia county. He addressed himself to the Convention's president, Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg. No one there forgot his closing words of his speech: "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
  • Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

    Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
    On the night of April 18 - April 19, 1775, patriot Paul Revere was instructed to ride to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British were marching to arrest them. He yelled "the regulars are coming out!", stopping at each house, and arrived in Lexington about midnight. He was later joined by two other riders, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott. He was arreseted but then released without a horse.
    link <a href='http://www
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord

    Battles of Lexington and Concord
    These were the first battles of the American Revolution. British troops marched from Boston to Concord to search for weapons. Paul Revere and other riders sounded the alarm, and colonial militiamen began moving to ambush the Redcoats. Fighting started on the Lexington green and soon the British were quickly retreating. The colonies won with about 100 dead and the British lost about 300 dead. link
  • Period: to

    American Revolution

  • Fort Ticonderoga

    Fort Ticonderoga
    Less than a hundred of colonial militiamen, under the command of their leaders, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold of Massachusetts, crossed Lake Champlain, surprising and capturing the sleeping British military base at Fort Ticonderoga in New York. This was the first rebel victory of the Revolutionary war. link
  • Second Continental Congress meets

    Second Continental Congress meets
    The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in May 1775 to discuss how they would repond to British military threats. They agreed to create a Continental army and appointed George Washington as commander.
  • Battle Of Bunker Hill

    Battle Of Bunker Hill
    When British General William Howe landed his troops on the Charlestown Peninsula & led them to Breed's Hill, he was shocked to see it fortified. American General William Prescott told his men not to fire until they saw the "whites" of the British soldiers' eyes. The colonists used all their ammunition so they lost despite the lower death toll. <href='' >link</a>
  • "Common Sense" published

    "Common Sense" published
    Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet called the "Common Sense" that was published anonymously in favor of supporting the American Revolution. He insulted the British. This document helped unite citizens and political leaders behind the idea of independence. link
  • British evacuate Boston

    British evacuate Boston
    On March 4, 800 American soldiers & 1,200 workers began fortifying Dorchester Heights. British General Sir William Howe hoped to use the British ships in Boston Harbor to destroy the American position, but a storm set in, which gave the colonists time to finish. George Washington's successful placement of fortifications and cannons on Dorchester Heights forced the British to evacuate Boston. link
  • Declaration of Independence announced

    Declaration of Independence announced
    The Declaration of Independence was formally adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 but it wasn't announced until July 8. A 2,000-pound copper-and-tin bell known as the “Liberty Bell” rung out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, calling citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. link
  • "The Crisis" published

    "The Crisis" published
    "These are the times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country" "The Crisis" no. 1 by Thomas Paine was an article about encouraging Americans to continue fighting in the Revoulutionary War because they were doing it for a good cause. If they let the revolution die, then they would lose and die too. link
  • Washington captures Trenton

    Washington captures Trenton
    On Christmas night, Washington's army crosssed the Delaware River. The Continental Army defeated a military base of Hessian mercenaries before withdrawing. A week later Washington returned to Trenton to push British forces south, then marched to capture Princeton on January 3.
  • British defeated at Saratoga

    British defeated at Saratoga
    Two Battles of Saratoga were fought 18 days apart in the fall of 1777 in New York. British General John Burgoyne attacked two times. The first Battle of Saratoga began on Sept. 19 and the second battle began on Oct. 7. The British surrendered on Oct. 17. link
  • Articles of Confederation signed

    Articles of Confederation signed
    This was the first constitution of the United States, adopted by the Continental Congress. The approval of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781. The AOC was not effective because it created a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments.
  • Winter at Valley Forge, Pa.

    Winter at Valley Forge, Pa.
    The site where the Continental Army camped suring the winter of 1777. The cold soldiers needed nutritious food and winter clothing, but Congress couldn't provide money for new supplies. Desperate to keep the army together, Washington tried to stop retreat by directing to beating as punishment and then threatening to shoot people who wanted to go AWOL. <a href='' >link
  • John Paul Jones defeats the Serapis

    John Paul Jones defeats the Serapis
    The American ship Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones, won a battle against the British ships of war Serapis and Countess of Scarborough, off the eastern coast of England. The Americans moved to the Serapis from the Bonhomme Richard, which sank the next day. link
  • Benedict Arnold's plans found out

    Benedict Arnold's plans found out
    He was once a patriot, but became a traitor. In 1780 Arnold was given command of West Point, the American base on the Hudson River. He contacted Sir Henry Clinton, head of the British forces, and suggested handing over West Point and its men. He made his betraying pact, in which he was to receive a lot of money & a high position in the British army. The plot was uncovered and Andre was captured & killed. Arnold fled to British and went on to lead the their troops. <a href='
  • Cornwallis surrenders

    Cornwallis surrenders
    On this day, British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, VA. He gave up 7,087 officers and men, 900 seamen, 144 cannons, 15 galleys, a frigate and 30 transport ships. This battle ended the Revolutionary War. link
  • Newburgh Conspiracy

    Newburgh Conspiracy
    This was a plan by Continental Army officers to challenge the authority of the Confederation Congress, ermerging from their frustration with Congress' inability to pay the military.
    link #1
    link #2
  • Treaty of Paris (1783) signed

    Treaty of Paris (1783) signed
    This treaty between the American colonies and Great Britain, ended the American Revolution and recognized the United States as an independent nation. Two important arrangements of the treaty were British recognition of U.S. independence and the outline of boundaries that would allow for American western expansion. link
  • Spain closes Mississippi River

    Spain closes Mississippi River
    The Treaty of Paris gave newly independent United States free access to the Mississippi River. However, Spain who controlled New Orleans, closed navigation to the Mississippi because they didn't regard the treaty.
  • Land Ordinance of 1785

    Land Ordinance of 1785
    Congress passes this law which divides the northwest territories into townships, each set at 6 square miles, subdivided into 36 lots of 640 acres each, with each lot selling for no less than $640.

  • Ordinance of Religious Freedom

    Ordinance of Religious Freedom
    The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom is a statement about both freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state. It laid the foundation for the official acceptance of the principles of religious liberty that later were in the Bill of Rights.
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    link #2
  • Annapolis Convention

    Annapolis Convention
    This was a meeting at Annapolis, Maryland of 12 delegates from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia that called for a constitutional convention. They were going to fix any flaws of the Federal Government, which were those barriers that limited trade between the largely independent states under the AOC. The delgates felt that there were not enough states represented to make any agreement. So they sent a report asking for a full meeting. (Philadelphia Convention) <a href=
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Shay's Rebellion was a series of protests in 1786 & 1787 by American farmers against state and local enforcement of tax collections and judgments for debt. It was led by Daniel Shays, a former Revolutionary war captain from Massachusetts. He and his group got weapons to prevent state courts from taking over their farms. The Massachusetts militia ended the rebellion. This made people realize that there problems with the AOC.
  • Constitutional Convention opens

    Constitutional Convention opens
    Delegates representing every state except Rhode Island attended the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Independence Hall. 55 state delegates attended, including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin.
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787

    Northwest Ordinance of 1787
    "An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North West of the River Ohio," was adopted by the Confederation Congress. The Northwest Ordinance created a government for the Northwest Territory, outlined the process for accepting a new state to the Union, and guaranteed that newly created states would be equal to the original 13 states.
  • The Great Compromise agreed to

    The Great Compromise agreed to
    During the Constitutional Convention, Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman provided a bicarmeral legislature split into two houses. In the House of Representatives, each state would have proportional representation based on its population. In the Senate, there would be equal representation for all of the states.
  • Constitution sent to the states for ratification

    Constitution sent to the states for ratification
    At the convention, the delegates signed the Constitution and forwarded it to Congress. Beginning on December 7th, Delaware is the first of the nine states needed to ratify the Constitution. Other five states ratified it in quick succession - Pennsylvania (Dec. 12) New Jersey (Dec. 18) Georgia (Jan. 2, 1788) Connecticut (Jan. 9).
    link #2
  • Federalists Papers appear

    Federalists Papers appear
    The Federalist Papers were a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay persuading the citizens of New York to ratify the new Constitution. They appeared in New York newspapers.
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  • Anti-Federalist articles appear

    Anti-Federalist articles appear
    Anti-federalists, people who opposed to ratification of the Constitution, wrote papers pesuading people not to ratify the document. They feared the Constitution would take away individual rights and liberties.
  • Deleware ratifies the Constitution

    Deleware ratifies the Constitution
    Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the Constitution, doing so by a unanimous vote.This ratification indicated that the states were willing to consider an extra-legal document outlined behind closed doors.
  • Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution

    Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution
    Before Massachusetts opposed the Constitution, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked protection of basic political rights.The Massachusetts Ratification Convention met in Boston from January 1788 to Febuary 1788. John Hancock suggested that Massachusetts recommend several amendments to the Constitution, including a Bill of Rights. Thus, Massachusetts agreed to ratify it.
    href='' >link</a>
  • New Hampshire ratifies the Constitution

    New Hampshire ratifies the Constitution
    Five delegates adopted the Massachusetts Compromise in New Hampshire after days of debate. Thus, New Hampshire was the 9th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, the final state needed to put the document into effect.
  • Geroge Washington elected President

    Geroge Washington elected President
    This was the day when 69 members of Congress cast their ballots to elect George Washington the first president of the United States.
    On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the president.
  • Congress meets for the first time

    Congress meets for the first time
    The first Federal Congress met for the first time at New York City’s Federal Hall. As the legislative body, the Congress began to make decisions and pass laws that provided stability for the U.S. Despite the difficulties, the members overcame their political and regional differences and left a strong foundation.
    <a href='' >link #1</a>
    link #2
  • Bill of Rights sent to the states for ratification

    Bill of Rights sent to the states for ratification
    On this day, the first Federal Congress adopted 12 amendments (The Bill of Rights) to the U.S. Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. The amendments, written by James Madison, were designed to protect the basic rights of U.S. citizens.
  • Bill of Rights ratified

    Bill of Rights ratified
    On this day, Virginia approved the ten of twelve amendments giving it the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make the Bill of Rights legal. One of the two amendments not ratified, became ratified in 1992. The other was never approved.
  • Virgina & Kentucky Resolutions written

    Virgina & Kentucky Resolutions written
    The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions (political statements) of 1798 were written secretly by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The Kentucky state legislature passed the first Kentucky resolution on November 16, 1798 and the Virginia state legislature passed the Virginia Resolution on December 24, 1798.
  • Hartford Convention meets during War of 1812

    Hartford Convention meets during War of 1812
    The Hartford Convention was a meeting in which Federalist delegates from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, at Hartford, Conn., discussed their complaints about the War of 1812 and political problems. They did not like Thomas Jeffferson's policies.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    To continue the balance of power in Congress between slave and free states, the Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state.It prohibited slavery in the Louisiana Territory north of the 36° 30´ line.
    <ahref='' >link</a>
  • Tariff of Abominations passed

    Tariff of Abominations passed
    Congress passed the first import Tariff as a protective tax. It increased the cost of imported goods, which protected some of the new industries of the North. The South opposed the tariff because their economy was based on the export of cotton. That's why it's known as the "tariff of Abominations"
  • South Carolina tries to nullify

    South Carolina tries to nullify
    The south looked to vice president John C. Calhoun from South Carolina to oppose the "tariff of abominations". He thought that if a state found a federal law unconstitutional, it would have the right to "nullify" that law. However President Jackson enforced the law. link
  • Abolition of Slavery Act (1833)

    Abolition of Slavery Act (1833)
    On this day, Parliament of the UK passed a law abolishing slavery in particular places such as the British West Indies, Canada and South Africa. However slavery still existed in other parts of the British empire.
  • Texas declares independence from Mexico

    Texas declares independence from Mexico
    On this day, Texas became independent from Mexico and formed a Republic. On March 1 George C. Childress and a committee of five drafted a declaration of independence. The next day U.S. delegates signed it.
  • James Polk elected

    James Polk elected
    People were surprised when Polk won the presidency. He was called a "dark horse" candidate because he was not expected to beat his opponent, Henry Clay of the Whig Party. In four years, he added Texas to the union, reestablished an independent treasury system, and gained territory from Mexico.

  • Mexican War

    Mexican War
    The Mexican War was a war between Mexico and the U.S. proceeding from the annexation of Texas in 1845 and from an argument over whether Texas ended at the Nueces River (Mexican claim) or the Rio Grande (U.S. claim). President Polk wanted more land but some Americans didn't because they did not want slavery to exapnd. In the end, the U.S. won the war.
  • Wilmot Proviso

    Wilmot Proviso
    Congressman David WIlmot wanted to pass the WIllmot Proviso to end the Mexican War. The WIlmot Proviso was a bill that would've prohibited any land gained from Mexico to be a slave state. However the Wilmot Proviso never got passed.
  • California enters the Union

    California enters the Union
    On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered on the American River near Sacramento. So the gold rush hurried California’s admittance to the Union. California became a free state by the Compromise of 1850.
  • Fugitive Slave Law enacted

    Fugitive Slave Law enacted
    The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was part of the Compromise of 1850. This law required the U.S. government to help slave owners recapture their runaway slaves. This law didn't give blacks the right to testify nor the right to a trial by jury. Northerners opposed the Fugitive Slave law. People who did help runaway slaves could be jailed and fined up to $1000.
  • Publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Uncle Tom's Cabin is a novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The first installment of it appeared on June 5, 1851 in the anti-slavery newspaper, The National Era.It wast later published as a two volume book in 1852. The book was very popular. It demanded that the U.S. deliver on the promise of freedom and equality by ending slavery.
  • Formation of Republican Party

    Formation of Republican Party
    After the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed, the Whig party broke apart. Anti-slavery Whigs (against the Democratic party) begun meeting to discuss the formation of a new party. One meeting, in Wisconsin on March 20, 1854, is remembered as the founding meeting of the Republican Party. The Republican Party was the party of the North.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act passed

    Kansas-Nebraska Act passed
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act was introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois. It repealed the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery in territory that was once free above the 36° 30´ line. To decide if the states would be free or not, there was popular sovereignty. After it was passed by Congress, fighting began in Kansas between northerners and southerners. This resulted in the Civil War.
  • "Border Ruffians" attack Lawrence

    "Border Ruffians" attack Lawrence
    Lawrence was an important place for Kansas's anti-slavery movement. Border Ruffians were pro-slavery people from Missouri who threatened to shoot, burn and hang those opposed to slavery. On May 21, 1856, a group of over 800 men from Kansas and Missouri rode to Lawrence to arrest members of the free state government. Both sides fought, causing destruction and chaos.
  • Charles Sumner attacked

    Charles Sumner attacked
    On May 19, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, an abolitionist, began speech to the Senate in which he said the "crime against Kansas" and blasted South Carolina Senator Andrew P. Butler. Butler's cousin, Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina went to defend him by brutally beating Sumner with his cane. Brooks was a hero in the south.
  • Pottawatomie Creek

    Pottawatomie Creek
    Three days after the Lawrence attack. abolitionist John Brown and his men entered the pro-slavery town of Pottawatomie Creek. They were armed with weapons, storming into the houses of the enemies. Five people were killed.
  • Dred Scott decision announced

    Dred Scott decision announced
    Dred Scott was a former slave who sued his master for illegally holding him as a slave when he lived in Illinois and Wisconsin, both free states. However, chief justice Roger B. Taney made the majority decision that Scott was not free based on his residence in either Illinois or Wisconsin but because he was not considered a person under the U.S. Constitution.
  • Lincoln-Douglass Debates

    Lincoln-Douglass Debates
    The Lincoln-Douglas debates were a series of political debates between the Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, in a campaign for one of Illinois' two Senate seats. No one really knew who Lincoln was. So Lincoln and Douglas went to seven of the nine Illinois Congressional Districts to discuss topics. Unfortunately, Lincoln lost. link
  • Raid at Harper's Ferry

    Raid at Harper's Ferry
    Abolitionist John Brown led a small group on a raid against a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia in an attempt to end slavery. He and his men seized the federal armory and arsenal. Later on, the Marines captured them. Brown was sentenced to death for his crimes and hanged on December 2, 1859.
  • Democrats split in 1860

    Democrats split in 1860
    During the Election of 1860, the Democratic Party split into two parties, the Northern Democratic Party and the Southern Democratic Party over the issue of slavery. Northern Democrats opposed slavery's expansion while Southern Democrats believed that slavery should expand. Stephen Douglass represented the Northern Democratic party and John Beckenridge represented the Southern Democratic party.
  • Formation of the Constitutional Union Party

    Formation of the Constitutional Union Party
    The Constitutional Union Party was a U.S. political party that wanted support for the Union and the Constitution. It was formed by former Whigs. The party nominated John Bell for president. They also wanted to ignore the slavery issue, therefore appealing to border states. link
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    The four major candidates of the election of 1860 were Abraham Lincoln of the Republican party, Stephen Douglass of the northern Democratic party, John Breckenridge of the southern Democratic party, and John Bell of the Constitutional Union Party. Lincoln won the elction with Lincoln 40% of the popular vote and 180 electoral votes. After a couple of weeks South Carolina seceded from the Union.
  • Lecompton Constitution passed

    Lecompton Constitution passed
    The Lecompton Constitution was the second constitution drafted for Kansas Territory. It written by proslavery supporters. The document allowed slaveholding and included a bill of rights excluding free blacks. It was rejected in January 1858 but Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state on Jan. 29, 1861.
  • Abraham Lincoln Announces Plans for Reconstruction

    Abraham Lincoln Announces Plans for Reconstruction
    Lincoln announced his 10 percent plan for reconstruction. It allowed 1) for a pardon to some of the Confederates 2) for a new state gov. to be formed when 10% of the voters had taken an oath of allegiance 3) encouraged southern states to excecute plans to deal with the freed men as long as they still had their freedom. It was the easiet plan for Southerners to accept.
  • Wade-Davis Bill recieves pocket veto

    Wade-Davis Bill recieves pocket veto
    Some people thought Lincoln's 10% plan was too gentle so Senator Benjamin F. Wade and Representative Henry Winter Davis proposed a plan. The Wade-Davis Bill required that 50% of a state’s voters take a loyalty oath to be readmitted to the Union. Sates were also required to give blacks the right to vote. Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill, but Lincoln chose not to sign it, killing it with a pocket veto.
  • Lincoln re-elected president

    Lincoln re-elected president
    On this day, Abraham Lincon was re-elected to a second term.He ran against Democratic candidate George B. McClellan. Five months after his re-election in April the Confederacy lost the Civil War.
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  • Formation of the Freedman's Bureau

    Formation of the Freedman's Bureau
    Congress created the Freedmans' Bureau as a division of the Army to aid and protect the newly freed African American slaves in the south after the Civil War. It provided food, housing and medical aid, established schools and offered legal assistance. In 1872, Congress, under pressure from white Southerners, shut down the bureau.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    Five days after the Civil War ended, President Lincoln was assassinated by actor John Wilkes Booth at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. Booth, a pro-southerner, wanted to avenge Lincoln and many other members of the Union because of the Civil War lost.
  • President Andrew Johnson Announces plans for reconstruction

    President Andrew Johnson Announces plans for reconstruction
    Under the Presidential Reconstruction plan, Johnson gave a pardon and returned their property except their slaves to southerners who swore alleigance and supported the 13th amendment. They were to also reject Confederate debt and void secession. They were allowed to hold a constitutional concention without 10% allegiance requirement and elections.
  • Black Codes created in Mississippi

    Black Codes created in Mississippi
    Southern states passed a series of laws known as the "black codes," to restrict the rights of free African American men and women after slavery was abolished. Mississippi's law required blacks to have written evidence of employment for the coming year each January. If they left before the end of the contract, they would be forced to drop earlier wages and were subject to arrest.
  • Ratification of the 13th Amendment

    Ratification of the 13th Amendment
    The 13th Amendment officially abolished slavery in the U.S. It was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865. "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."
  • Ku Klux Klan created

    Ku Klux Klan created
    In Pulaski, Tennessee, a group of Confederate veterans joined to form a secret organization called "Ku Klux Klan." The group started to grow bigger and bigger. They would cover themselves in long white robes and hoods and cause violence. Their actions included burning crosses in front of the victim's home, harassing, kidnapping, torturing or even killing the victim.
  • Civil Rigths Act (1866) enacted

    Civil Rigths Act (1866) enacted
    The Civil Rights Act of 1866 granted citizenship "without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude." President John tried to veto it but was overturned by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress.
  • Reconstruction Acts enacted

    Reconstruction Acts enacted
    These acts divided the south into districts that were each lead by a Union general. They limited some former Confederate officials' and military officers' rights to vote and to run for public office. They also gave free blacks the right to vote and hold public office.
  • President Andrew Johnson impeached

    President Andrew Johnson impeached
    President Johnson was accused of "high crimes and misdemeanors". The U.S. House of Representatives voted 11 articles of impeachment against Johnson, nine of which note his removal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, a violation of the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson was the first president to be impeached in U.S. history.
  • Ratification of the 14th Amendment

    Ratification of the 14th Amendment
    The 14th amendment granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” and gave equal protection to all Americans. African Americans took advantage of this and rushed to get married, run a business, get educated, own property, etc.
  • Ulysses S. Grant elected president

    Ulysses S. Grant elected president
    linkU.S. Grant was a Civil War General who ran for president in 1868 and won. He was not a good leader during reconstruction.
  • Ratification of the 15th Amendment

    Ratification of the 15th Amendment
    The 15th amendment granted African Americans the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
  • Hiram Revels elected to Senate

    Hiram Revels elected to Senate
    Hiram Revels became the first African American senator in U.S. history on this day. He represented Mississippi. He supported the Union during the Civil War.
  • Ku Klux Klan Act enacted

    Ku Klux Klan Act enacted
    Congress passed this act which gave President U.S. Grant power to declare martial law, impose heavy penalties against terrorist organizations, and use military force to end KKK.
  • Freedman's Bureau abolished

    Freedman's Bureau abolished
    The Bureau also failed to unite whites and blacks in the south because it lacked the means to do so. It recieved no support from Northern and southern politicians. Its staff was cut significantly by 1869 and white southern hostility continued so it closed in 1872.
  • Civil Rights Act (1875) enacted

    Civil Rights Act (1875) enacted
    Congress passed this act which protected all Americans, regardless of race, in their access to public accommodations and facilities such as restaurants, theaters, trains, inns and other public transportation, and protected the right to serve on juries.
  • "Jim Crow" enters the American cultural language

    "Jim Crow" enters the American cultural language
    Crow was a series of anti-black laws which operated primarily, but not only in southern and border states, between 1877 to the 1960s. Jim Crow laws allowed for the Segregation of public schools, places, transportation, restrooms and resturants.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes elected president

    Rutherford B. Hayes elected president
    Hayes was a republican candidate who lost the popular vote but won the presidency by just one electoral vote. He ended reconstruction within his first year in office by removing federal troops from states still under occupation.
  • Last National Troops leave South Carolina

    Last National Troops leave South Carolina
    President Hayes ordered federal troops to leave South Carolina, allowing Democrats to seize control. This ended reconstruction.
  • Civil Rights Act overturned (1883)

    Civil Rights Act overturned (1883)
    The Supreme Court declared the Civil Rights act of 1875 unconstitutional because it was not authorized by the 13th or 14th Amendments of the Constitution. So African Americans were angry because they felt segregation was legal.
  • Florida requires segregation in places of public accommodation

    Florida requires segregation in places of public accommodation
    After Florida passed a law that required segregation in public places, states began to require that railroads furnish separate accommodations for each race.
  • Case of Plessy v. Ferguson

    Case of Plessy v. Ferguson
    Homer Plessy was jailed for sitting in a railroad car designated for whites only. He violated the Separate Car act. Plessy's lawyer argued that the Separate Car Act violated the 13th & 14th amendment. Ferguson decided that the state could choose to regulate railroad copmanies that operated within Louisiana. So Plessy was found guilty.