American History

  • Jun 1, 1215

    Magna Carta Signed

    Magna Carta Signed
    LinkThe Magna Carta was created to restrict the dictator-like power held by King John of England, The King was forced to sign it and hand over some of his power to the other nobles. By the end of the century, a parliament with representatives from around England had been established, with the Magna Carta used as a basis,
  • Mayflower Compact Signed

    Mayflower Compact Signed
    LinkThe Mayflower compact was a document signed by the adult male passengers of the Mayflower stating that they would stay together in a civil manner and agree to the authority of the group leaders.
  • Formation Of the New England Confederation

    Formation Of the New England Confederation
    Link Two representatives from each of the four colonies came together and formed a union. This helped protect the new colonies from threats of war and other invasion.
  • The French and Indian War Begins

    The French and Indian War Begins
    LinkThe French and Indian war was the result of conflict over land west of the Appalachians. Both the French and the English believed the land should belong to them. Each side had Native American allies who helped their cause.
  • Albany Plan of Union Announced

    Albany Plan of Union Announced
    LinkAfter the French and Indian War, delegates from the US colonies and Iroquois nations met and signed a plan of union,
  • Royal Proclamation

    Royal Proclamation
    Link After the end of the French and Indian War, colonists were eager to expand west. But, the King decreed that no one should live west of the Appalachians. This was mainly so that the British did not need to pay for protection for the colonists. Needless to say, the colonists were not happy that they could not live in land they fought and died for.
  • The Sugar Act

    The Sugar Act
    Link The Sugar act placed a tax on imported goods such as sugar, certian wines, coffee, and molasses. It also restricted what the colonies could export to certian nations and islands.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    Link The Stamp Act was passed in order to relieve some of the debt that the British government held after the French and Indian War. It stated that any document printed on paper needed to have a stamped, taxed seal for it to be official.
  • Stamp Act Congress

    Stamp Act Congress
    Link The Stamp Act Congress was a meeting of delegates from nine colonies to discuss the new taxtes put in place by England. In the end Congress decided that England should be allowed to makes laws, but not taxes.
  • The Townshend Acts

    The Townshend Acts
    Link Charles Townshend, a member of Parliament, propsed a tax on tea, paint, lead, glass, and other goods imported into the colonies.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    Link A cold day in March turned into a fight between a mob of Boston patriots and British soldiers. It is believed that the fight began when colonists began throwing snowballs at the unwelcome british soldiers. A solider slipped firing his gun and other soliders fired after, not aware that they weren't under orders. 5 colonists ended up dead.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Link The Boston Tea Party occurred because the British had not repealed the tax on tea. Also, they said that colonists could only but East India Tea Company tea. The colonists were angered by british control and in response dumped 342 chests of tea from the ships into the Boston Harbor.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The Continental Congress first met in Philidelphia with delegates from each state but Georgia. Different delegates came to the assembly for different reasons. Some wanted to reason with Britian and show a united front while very actually wished to seperate from the crown.
  • Patrick Henry's Speech

    Patrick Henry's Speech
    Link On March 23rd Patrick henry gave a speech at the Second Virginia Convention saying that a militia should be organized for every Virginia county. the last lines of this speech are now famous: "Give me liberty or give me death"
  • Paul Revere's Ride

    Paul Revere's Ride
    On April 18th Revere was instructed to ride to Lexington in order to warn Sam Adams and John Hancock that the Regulars were on thier way to arrest them. On his way, he stopped and alerted people throughout the countryside about the approaching soldiers, as did many other riders.
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord

    Battles of Lexington and Concord
    The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first battles of what would be the Revolutionary War. The British troops crossed into Concord, where the rebel soldiers were waiting for them having already been alerted by Paul Revere and the other riders. This is where "the shot heard 'round the world" would be fired. In the end, the colonists' guerrilla tactics helped them win this first battle.
  • Second Continental Congress Meets

    Second Continental Congress Meets
    The Second Continental Congress met as things were starting to become worse for the colonies. It was decided that a continental army would be formed and George Washington would be the commander. Also, the Olive Branch Petition was written and sent. This was a document sent the King stating the colonists feelings and asking for a peaceful resolution.
  • Fort Ticonderoga

    Fort Ticonderoga
    Fort Ticonderoga was a major for during the French and Idnian War, but after was basically forgotten. On May 10th 400 men were sent to the fort and attacked the south gate. The fort was surrendered with no casualties and no shots being fired.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    Late at night rebel troops sought to take over Bunker Hill, but by mistake set up on Breeds hill. This was still a great strategic position and they were able to hold there ground until running out of ammunition. While the rebels were forced to retreat, they still considered it a victory as they had less casualties than the Regulars.
  • "Common Sense" Published

    "Common Sense" Published
    Common Sense was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, explaining in common language why the colonies should fight for independence from Britain.
  • British Evacuate Boston

    British Evacuate Boston
    After an eleven month seige of Boston, the Continental Army seized Dorchester Heights and aimed their cannons at British troop. On Mrach 17th the British realized that they had no choice but to evacuate Boston.
  • Declaration of Independence Announced

    Declaration of Independence Announced
    On July 8th the Declaration of Independence was announced to and read to the public in front of Independence hall.
  • "The Crisis" Published

    "The Crisis" Published
    Thomas paine wrote this essay at a time in which things were not looking good for the colonial army. Thomas hoped to inspire others to join the army and the rebel cause.
  • Washington Captures Trenton

    Washington Captures Trenton
    The day after Christmas Washington broke the traditional "Christmas truce" by crossing the Delaware with his troop and attacking German mercanaries at Trenton New Jersey.
  • British Defeated at Saratoga

    British Defeated at Saratoga
    The Battle of Saratoga is often known as the turning point in the war in which 86% of the British troops commanded by Burgoyne were captured. It also is known as the battle that gave the French confidence to join the colonies as an ally in the war.
  • Articles of Confederation Signed

    Articles of Confederation Signed
    LinkAfter breaking from England, a new government need to be established. This was layed out in the Articles of Confederation and included a weak central government with most power in the states.
  • Winter at Valley Forge, PA

    Winter at Valley Forge, PA
    Valley Forge was not a battle but instead the location of a six month encampment of US troops as they trained in traditional style warfare and prepared for the battles of the coming spring.
  • Benedict Arnold is Found Out

    Benedict Arnold is Found Out
    Most likely, Benedict Arnold felt unappreciated by the country he had sacrificed so much for and ended up selling out to the British forces, most likely for 10,00 pounds and a position in the military.
  • John Paul Jones Defeats the Serapis

    John Paul Jones Defeats the Serapis
    John Paul Jones was a member of the Continental navy. He was able to convince Benjamin Franklin to petition for a new ship from the French. After recieving this he attacked a British called "Serapis". He rammed his ship into the Serapis and when a fire broke out on his own ship they ended up boarding the captured Serapis.
  • Spain Closes Mississippi River

    Spain Closes Mississippi River
    Link The Treaty of Paris decided that the Mississippi River would be the western border of the United States, but be allowed to be navigated byt the U.S. When Spain shut the river down, Southern delegates were outraged. It provided a way of life and transport for many people. In the end, many had to take matters into their hands in regards to removing the Spainards.
  • Newburgh Conspiracy

    Newburgh Conspiracy
    Link When soliders were not being paid, George Washington gave a speech in front of Congress stating that his fellow officers had worked hard for the freedom of the nation and deserved their pay. Congress agreed.
  • Treaty of Paris Signed

    Treaty of Paris Signed
    Link The treaty of Paris was signed by the U.S., Great Britian, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. It stated that the U.S. was now a nation, and it was allowed to expand
  • Land Ordinance of 1785

    Land Ordinance of 1785
    Previously, education of the children was left up to the states, but each region had a different idea of who should be schooled and how. Congress created the Land Ordinance which stated that each state must have and maintain public schools for each child.
  • Ordiance of Religous Freedom

    Ordiance of Religous Freedom
    Link This document stated that there should be a seperation of church and state, and that each person is entitled to their own religous beliefs.
  • Shays' Rebellion

    Shays' Rebellion
    Link Shays' Rebellion was the first armed Rebellion in the new United States. When soliders were not being paid for their service in the Revolutionary War, many were loosing their farms and falling into debt. A group of farmers decided to stand up ti what was happen and took hold of an armery.
  • Annapolis Convention

    Annapolis Convention
    LinkJames Madison called a meeting in Annapolis to discuss trade between states. In the end the 12 men in attendance decided that the Articles of Confederation needed to be changed or mended into what would eventually become the Constitution.
  • Massachusetts Ratifies

    Massachusetts Ratifies
    Link Massachusetts ratified the Constitution in a 187-168 vote.
  • Constitutional Convention Opens

    Constitutional Convention Opens
    Link 55 delegates met to discuss the problems with the United States government and the Articles of Confederation.
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787

    Northwest Ordinance of 1787
    LinkThe Northwest Ordiance was put into action when a new state, the Northwest Territory, was admitted to the union. This ordiance stated how a state is admitted and that it is equal to all other states.
  • The Great Compromise

    The Great Compromise
    Link During the Constitutional Convention, the issue of state representation divided the delegates. Some thought states should have proportional representation while others thought it should be equal. In the end they compromised and decided that one house should be proportional for each state and one house should be equal for all states.
  • Constitution Sent to States to be Ratified

    Constitution Sent to States to be Ratified
    Link The Constitution was sent out and 9 out of 13 states needed to ratify it in order for it to put into effect.
  • Anti-federalist Articles Appear

    Anti-federalist Articles Appear
    Link The Anti-federalist articles were a series of papers written by anti-federalists insupport of their cause. They wrote about why the Constitution should not be ratified.
  • The Federalist Papers Appear

    The Federalist Papers Appear
    Link The Federalist Papers were 85 essays published by supports of the ratification of the Constitution. Most were published anonymously in newspapers.
  • Delaware Ratifies

    Delaware Ratifies
    Link Delaware was the firt state to ratify the Constitution with a unanimous vote.
  • New Hampshire Ratifies

    New Hampshire Ratifies
    Link It was believed that when New Hampshire ratified the Constitution "pillars" would fall and cause a chain reaction of other states ratifing as well.
  • Congress Meets for the First Time

    Congress Meets for the First Time
    Link The first meeting of the Congress involved the new President appointing judges of the supreme court.
  • George Washinton Elected President

    George Washinton Elected President
    Link After the ratification of the Constitution, the Electoral College elected George Washington president unanimously.
  • Bill of Rights sent to the States for Ratification

    Bill of Rights sent to the States for Ratification
    Link The Bill of Rights was created to protect the individual freedoms of the people. Also, this helped the anti-federalists to agree to the ratification of the constitution.
  • Cornwallis Surrenders

    Cornwallis Surrenders
    At Yorktown, VA Washington and his troops forced the surrender of Lord Cornwallis signaling the end of war for independence.
  • Bill of Rights Ratified

    Bill of Rights Ratified
    Link The Bill of Rights originally proposed 12 amendments, 10 of which were ratified with the approval of two-thirds of the Senate,
  • Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

    After the passing of the Alien and Sedition Acts which stated that it was illegal to write or say anyhting critical of the government, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky an Virginia Resolutions. These documents stated that states should be allowed to reject an laws found unconstitutional.
  • Hartford Convention

    Hartford Convention
    The Hartford Convention was a meeting of Federalist delegates to discuss the drastic decline of their party. Many thought that holding this meeting in the middle of a war was extremely wrong and unprofessional.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    In order to keep the balance between pro- and anti-slavery members of the senate, the 36 30 line was established. No new state or territory could have slavery above this line.
  • Tariff of Abominations Passed

    Tariff of Abominations Passed
    The Tariff was passed in order to protect northeastern goods instead of foriegn products. But, it unintentionally raised taxes on southern cotton, putting a bad light on President John Quincy Adams.
  • South Carolina Tries to Nulify

    South Carolina Tries to Nulify
    After the tariff bill, South Carolina enacted an Ordinance of Nullification. This meant that to them, the bill did not exsist.
  • Abolition of Slavery Act

    Abolition of Slavery Act
    This act eliminated slavery in Britian and compensated all slave-holders for their losses.
  • Texas Declares Independence from Mexico

    Texas Declares Independence from Mexico
    On this date 57 delgates from the Republic of Texas delcares their independence from Mexico.
  • Jim Crow Enters the Cultural Language

    Jim Crow Enters the Cultural Language
    LinkThomas Dartmouth Rice was a white actor who invented the character of a sterotypical African-American. He painted his face black and sang, danced, and acted goofy for audiences. Eventually the term became synonymous with rules or laws suppressing blacks.
  • James Polk Elected

    James Polk Elected
    James K. Polk, a Democrat, was fairly unknown and as a result, it was unexpected for him to win the 1844 election and become president of the United States.
  • Mexican War

    Mexican War
    The United States had envisioned an expansion as far as possible and Mexico stood in their way. Each country disagreed on the location of southern border of Texas. These reasons prompted a war between the nations.
  • Wilmont Proviso

    Wilmont Proviso
    David Wilmont was a Pennsylvania representative who was anti-slavery. He proposed the idea that all new lands won by the Mexican war would be anti-slavery. This idea became known as the Wilmont Proviso and would divide Congress.
  • California Enters the Union

    California Enters the Union
    When Mexico and the United States signed a treaty to end the war, California was included in the land that would be given to the United States.
  • Fugitive Slave Law Enacted

    Fugitive Slave Law Enacted
    Many laws were included under the fugitive slave act including the admission of California as a free state, the ending of the slave trade in DC, and the law that stated all fugitive slaves must be returned immediantly. This also prohibited anyone from aiding a fugitive slave.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Uncle Tom's Cabin was a book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It depicted the harsh realities of slavery and showed many people how evil it truly was. Stowe herself was very anti-slavery and helped many people along the underground railroad.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act Passed

    Kansas-Nebraska Act Passed
    This act eliminated the Missouri Compromise. It was introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas and stated that each state would be able to decide to allow slavery or not via popular sovereignty.
  • Formation of the Republican Party

    Formation of the Republican Party
    The Republican Party was born while the country was divided over the issue of slavery. Republicans typically supportered anti-slavery and whished to prevent it's expansion.
  • Border Ruffians Attack Lawrence

    Border Ruffians Attack Lawrence
    Lawrence, Kansas was the center of the anti-slavery movements in making Kansas a free state. On this date a group of 800 border ruffians stormed Lawrence, pillaging the town and destoying many things.
  • Charles Sumner Attacked

    Charles Sumner Attacked
    Three days before the attack Senator Sumner of Massachusetts gave an offensive speeach directed at Southeners and especially Senator Andrew Butler. Enraged by this speech, representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina (a cousin of Butler) attacked Sumner with the end of his cane.
  • Pottawatomie Creek

    Pottawatomie Creek
    The massacre of Pottawatomie Creek were committed by a group of men led by John Brown, He was strongly anti-slavery and he and his men murdered 5 pro-slavery men stating that they were under a mission of god.
  • Dred Scott Decision Announced

    Dred Scott Decision Announced
    Dred Scott was a slave who was moved to a free soil state. After living there for many years and then being taken back to a slave state and a life of slavery he decided to sue, He thought that after living in a free soil state he was entitled to be released from slavery. A judge ruled in favor of his master, meaning that even in free states slavery could exsist.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    Lincoln-Douglas Debates
    The Lincoln-Douglas debates were 8 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Each were vying for a seat as Senator of Illinois.
  • Raid at Harper's Ferry

    Raid at Harper's Ferry
    The Raid at Harper's Ferry was conducted by John Brown and a group of his followers. They intended to take over an armorey and arm slaves an anti-slavery supporters. They hoped to start a revolution that would spread across the south, eradicating slavery.
  • Formation of the Constitutional Party

    Formation of the Constitutional Party
    The Consitutional Union party was formed during the election of 1860 and represented by John Bell. They believed the issue of slavery should be surpressed in order to keep the union together.
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    The Election of 1860 was the presidential elcetion between John Bell, John C. Breckenridge, Stephen Douglas, and Abraham Lincoln.
  • Democrats Split in 1860

    Democrats Split in 1860
    The Democrats split for the election of 1860. They become the Northern Democrats, typically anti-slavery, and the Southern Democrats, typically pro-slavery.
  • Lecompton Constitution Passed

    Lecompton Constitution Passed
    The Lecompton Constitution was one of many attempted constitutions written to make Kansas an official state.
  • Abraham Lincoln Announces Reconstruction Plan

    Abraham Lincoln Announces Reconstruction Plan
    Lincoln's reconstruction plan was also known as the Ten Percent Plan as 10% of voters needed to swear an oath to the Union to allow the stae to be re-elect officals to congress. This plan was fairly forgiving of the South.
  • Wade-Davis Bill Receives Pocket Veto

    Wade-Davis Bill Receives Pocket Veto
    The Wade-Davis bill was a bill created by Republicans stating that southern states needed to have 50% of all white males swear an oath to the union and allow blacks to vote in order to be allowed into the Union.
  • Lincoln Re-elected President

    Lincoln Re-elected President
    In 1864 Abraham Lincoln was re-elcted President, beating out Democrat George McClellan.
  • Formation of the Freedmen's Bureau

    Formation of the Freedmen's Bureau
    The Freedmen's Bureau was formed to aid former slaves. It did things such as issue food, clothing, and help former slaves recieve citizenship.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was shot an killed the night of April 14th while attending a play at the Ford Theater. The culprit was Southerner John Wilkes Booth, who was a well known actor at the time.
  • Black Codes Created in Mississippi

    Black Codes Created in Mississippi
    Black Codes were laws created in many Southern states after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery. These laws kept blacks far in the lower class, making it impossible for them to be succuessful.
  • President Andrew Johnson Announces Plans for Reconstruction

    President Andrew Johnson Announces Plans for Reconstruction
    President Johnson's plan for Reconstruction was similar to Lincoln's, but even more forgiving to the South.
  • Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

    Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment
    The 13th Amendment formally abolished slavery in the United States.
  • Ku Klux Klan Created

    Ku Klux Klan Created
    The Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, was formed in Tennessee in 1865. It was a group of whites who used violence and fear to supress blacks from participating in society.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866 Enacted

    The Civil Rights Act of 1866 gave all the rights of white males, voting, election to office, etc. to African-American males.
  • Reconstruction Acts Enacted

    The First Reconstruction Act was passed in 1867 and involved splitting the south in five military districts. A general was appointed to watch over each section.
  • President Andrew Johnson Impeached

    President Andrew Johnson Impeached
    The radical Republicans held a strong hold in Congress and impeached Johnson. He wsa not removed from office by a margin of one vote.
  • Ulysses S. Grant Elected President

    Ulysses S. Grant Elected President
    Grant was a formal Union military general, who forced the surreneder of the Confederacy at Appatomox. He was later elected president.
  • Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment

    Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment
    This amendment granted citizenship to anyone born or naturalized in the United States, including African Americans and former slaves.
  • Ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment

    Ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment
    This amendment gave African American males the right to vote.
  • Hiram Revels Elected to Senate

    Hiram Revels Elected to Senate
    Hiram Revels was the first African American Senator. He was elected in the state of Mississippi.
  • Ku Klux Klan Act Enacted

    Ku Klux Klan Act Enacted
    This act stated that any private criminal acts, such as the ones performed by the KKK, would be federal offenses.
  • Freedman's Bureau Abolished

    Freedman's Bureau Abolished
    This Bureau was very critized for promoting the Rebuplican vote and was very unliked. In the end, it was abolished.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875 Passed

    Civil Rights Act of 1875 Passed
    This act entitled all people, including blacks, to "full enjoyment of the law" meaning they could vote, run for office, and do anything a white could do.
  • Last National Troops Leave South Carolina

    Last National Troops Leave South Carolina
    The last troops leaving South Carolina signaled an end to Radical Reconstruction.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes Elected President

    Rutherford B. Hayes Elected President
    Rutherford B. Hayes was elected as 19th President in the election of 1877
  • Civil Rights Act Overturned

    Civil Rights Act Overturned
    The Civil rights act of 1875 was rarely enforced and eventually found unconstitutional and thrown out.
  • Florida Requires Segregation

    Florida Requires Segregation
    Florida Used Jim Crow laws and became the first to require segregation in places of public accommodation.
  • Case of Plessy V. Ferguson

    Case of Plessy V. Ferguson
    The case of Plessy versus Ferguson involved a man who was 1/8 African American riding on the "white" train car, which was illegal. He was found guilty and the judge ruled in favor of "Seperate but Equal"