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American history timeline

  • Invention of safety elevators

    Safety elevators where an important invention to allow for taller building to be built. They had brakes that would stop the elevator in case of an emergency. They were invented by Elisha Otis.
  • Homestead act

    Homestead act
    Congress passed the homestead act. This act was meant to encourage people to move out west. This act would give 160 acres of land in the west to anyone who agreed to live and improve upon the land for 5 years.
  • The battle of Antietam

    The battle of Antietam
    The battle of Antietam was between the north and the south. The battle took place in Maryland. Antietam had a total of 20,000 casualties in a single day, making it the bloodiest day of the civil war.
  • Emancipation proclamation

    Emancipation proclamation
    The emancipation proclamation said that all slaves in states in rebellion were free. The emancipation proclamation was given by Abraham Lincoln. The main reason for the proclamation was to make the civil war officially about slavery and to keep Britain and France from allying with the south.
  • The battle of Gettysburg

    This was the second attempt the south made to invade the north. The battle lasted three days and had 50,000 casualties. This battle is considered the bloodiest battle of the war.
  • President Lincoln’s assassination

    President Lincoln’s assassination
    Lincoln was assassinated shortly after the end of the war. He was killed in fords theater while he was watching a play. The killer was John Wilkes booth.
  • The 13th Amendment

    The 13th Amendment
    This amendment abolished slavery. The amendment did however still allows slavery and involuntary servitude to be used as punishment for criminals. This was a major step towards equal rights.
  • The 14th amendment

    The 14th amendment
    This amendment guaranteed citizenship rights to all Americans. This gave former slaves equal opportunity to white people. This was an important amendment for black people.
  • Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge

    Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge
    This was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its construction. It measured 1,595.5 feet long. It was designed by John Roebling
  • Completion of transcontinental railroad

    Completion of transcontinental railroad
    The central pacific railroad and Union Pacific railroad met in promontory point, Utah. This completed the transcontinental railroad. This was a huge step forward for settling the west.
  • The battle of little big horn

    The battle of little big horn
    This was a battle between the Indians and Americans. Americans discovered that the land that they had given to the Indians to live on was valuable so they offered to buy it back. The Indians refused the deal so the Americans decided to fight for it. The Indians were the victors of this battle.
  • Company v. Wells

    Company v. Wells
    This was a case were Ida B. Wells was arrested for refusing to move back to the colored car even though she had bought a first class ticket. She sued the railroad. She won in lower courts but it was eventually overturned in higher courts.
  • The Oklahoma land rush

    The Oklahoma land rush
    This was a race set up by the government to get the last bit of unclaimed land in the west. People started at the same place and then rushed to put their flag in a designated spot to claim that piece of land. This finished settling the west.
  • The grandfather clause

    The grandfather clause
    This was intended to be a loophole for white people who could not afford poll taxes or pass the literacy test. It allowed you to vote if your grandfather could have voted in 1867. This allowed more white people to vote but still excluded many black people since almost all of the time their grandfathers could not have voted.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    This was a court case where Plessy was arrested for refusing to move from a white only section of a train. Plessy sued claiming that segregation was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that segregation was constitutional so long as the facilities were equal.
  • The sinking of the U.S.S Maine

    The sinking of the U.S.S Maine
    The U.S. had sent the Maine to a harbor in Cuba. The Maine exploded while it was there and sunk. Americans blamed Spain and the sinking of the Maine became a catalyst for the Spanish-American war.
  • The battle of San Juan Hill

    The battle of San Juan Hill
    This was a battle during the Spanish American war. The Americans were advancing up the hill and the Spanish soldiers were defending from atop the hill. The Americans won.
  • Platt Amendment

    Platt Amendment
    This was an amendment drafted by the U.S. that was signed by Cuba. This happened after the Spanish-American war. The amendment limited Cuba’s right to make treaties and borrow money. It also allowed the U.S. to keep a naval base on Cuba.