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American History Timeline 1800-1876

  • US Capital Moves to Washington

    US Capital Moves to Washington
    The U.S. capital is moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.
  • Thomas Jefferson - 3rd President

    Thomas Jefferson - 3rd President
    Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated as the third president in Washington, DC.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    Louisiana Purchase: United States agrees to pay France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory, which extends west from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and comprises about 830,000 sq mi. As a result, the U.S. nearly doubles in
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    Lewis and Clark Expedition

    Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis, Mo., on expedition to explore the West and find a route to the Pacific Ocean.
  • Thomas Jefferson 2nd Inauguration

    Thomas Jefferson 2nd Inauguration
    Second inauguration of Thomas Jefferson
  • James Madison - 4th President

    James Madison - 4th President
    James Madison 4th President
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    The War of 1812

    Conflict fought by the United States of America and its indigenous allies against Great Britain and its allies in British North America, with limited participation by Spain in Florida.
  • Star-Spangled Banner

    Star-Spangled Banner
    Francis Scott Key writes Star-Spangled Banner as he watches British attack on Fort McHenry at Baltimore.
  • The Treaty of Ghent Signed

    The Treaty of Ghent Signed
    The Treaty of Ghent was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom. It took effect in February 1815. Both sides signed it on December 24, 1814, in the city of Ghent, United Netherlands.
  • James Monroe - 5th President

    James Monroe - 5th President
    James Monroe - 5th president
  • Florida is Obtained by US

    Florida is Obtained by US
    Spain agrees to cede Florida to the United States.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    Missouri Compromise: In an effort to maintain the balance between free and slave states, Maine (formerly part of Massachusetts) is admitted as a free state so that Missouri can be admitted as a slave state; except for Missouri, slavery is prohibited in the Louisiana Purchase lands north of latitude 3630'.
  • Monroe Doctrine

    Monroe Doctrine
    Monroe Doctrine: In his annual address to Congress, President Monroe declares that the American continents are henceforth off-limits for further colonization by European powers.
  • John Quincy Adams - 6th President

    John Quincy Adams - 6th President
    John Quincy Adams is inaugurated as the sixth president.
  • New York Canal System

    New York Canal System
    Erie Canal, linking the Hudson River to Lake Erie, is opened for traffic.
  • B&O Railroad Construction Begins

    B&O Railroad Construction Begins
    Construction is begun on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first public railroad in the U.S.
  • Andrew Jackson - 7th President

    Andrew Jackson - 7th President
    Andrew Jackson is inaugurated as seventh president.
  • Indian Removal Act

    Indian Removal Act
    President Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, which authorizes the forced removal of Native Americans living in the eastern part of the country to lands west of the Mississippi River. Relocated nearly 50,000 Native Americans.
  • Nat Turner Rebellion

    Nat Turner Rebellion
    Nat Turner, an enslaved African American preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history. He and his band of about 80 followers launch a bloody, day-long rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The militia quells the rebellion, and Turner is eventually hanged. As a consequence, Virginia institutes much stricter slave laws.
  • Trail of Tears

    Trail of Tears
    More than 15,000 Cherokee Indians are forced to march from Georgia to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. Approximately 4,000 die from starvation and disease along the Trail of Tears. part of the Indian Removal Act
  • Texas Declares Independence from Mexico

    Texas Declares Independence from Mexico
    Texas declares its independence from Mexico. Texan defenders of the Alamo are all killed during siege by the Mexican Army. Texans defeat Mexicans at San Jacinto
  • Martin Van Buren - 8th President

    Martin Van Buren - 8th President
    Martin Van Buren is inaugurated as the eighth president.
  • William Henry Harrison - 9th President

    William Henry Harrison - 9th President
    William Henry Harrison is inaugurated as the ninth president.
  • John Tyler - Succeeded office upon Harrison's Death

    John Tyler - Succeeded office upon Harrison's Death
    Harrison dies one month after taking office and is succeeded in office by his vice president, John Tyler.
  • James Polk - 11th President

    James Polk - 11th President
    James Polk is inaugurated as the 11th president
  • Oregon Treaty

    Oregon Treaty
    Oregon Treaty fixes U.S.-Canadian border at 49th parallel; U.S. acquires Oregon territory.
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    Mexican War

    Mexican War: U.S. declares war on Mexico in effort to gain California and other territory in Southwest.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    Mexican War concludes with signing of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
  • Gold Discovered at Sutter's Mill

    Gold Discovered at Sutter's Mill
    Gold is discovered at Sutter's Mill in California. The gold rush reaches its height the following year.
  • Women's Rights Convention - Seneca Falls

    Women's Rights Convention - Seneca Falls
    Seneca Falls, New York, that launched the woman suffrage movement in the United States. The convention passed 12 resolutions—11 unanimously—designed to gain certain rights and privileges that women of the era were denied.
  • Zachary Taylor - 12th President

    Zachary Taylor - 12th President
    Zachary Taylor is inaugurated as the 12th president
  • Harriet Tubman - Underground Railroad

    Harriet Tubman - Underground Railroad
    Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated members of the Underground Railroad.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    The continuing debate whether territory gained in the Mexican War should be open to slavery is decided in the Compromise of 1850: California is admitted as a free state, Utah and New Mexico territories are left to be decided by popular sovereignty, and the slave trade in Washington, DC, is prohibited. It also establishes a much stricter fugitive slave law, than the original, passed in 1793.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin Published

    Uncle Tom's Cabin Published
    Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin is published. It becomes one of the most influential works to stir anti-slavery sentiments.
  • Franklin Pierce - 14th President

    Franklin Pierce - 14th President
    Franklin Pierce is inaugurated as the 14th president.
  • Kansas and Nebraska Established

    Kansas and Nebraska Established
    Congress passes the Kansas-Nebraska Act, establishing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska.
  • James Buchanan - 15th President

    James Buchanan - 15th President
    James Buchanan is inaugurated as the 15th president.
  • Abraham Lincoln - 16th President

    Abraham Lincoln - 16th President
    16th President - Abraham Lincoln
  • Confederate States of America Established

    Confederate States of America Established
    Confederate States of America is established.
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    Civil War

    Civil War: Conflict between the North (the Union) and the South (the Confederacy) over the expansion of slavery into western states.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    Emancipation Proclamation, edict issued by U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, that freed the slaves of the Confederate states in rebellion against the Union.
  • The Battle of Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War, costing the Union 23,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Confederates suffered some 25,000 casualties. .
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    President Lincoln delivered the 272 word Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
  • Homestead Act Becomes Law

    Homestead Act Becomes Law
    Homestead Act becomes law, allowing settlers to claim land (160 acres) after they have lived on it for five years.
  • Lincoln Assassinated

    Lincoln Assassinated
    Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in Washington, DC, and is succeeded by his vice president, Andrew Johnson.
  • 13th Amendment Ratified - Prohibit Slavery

    13th Amendment Ratified - Prohibit Slavery
    Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery.
  • US Acquires Alaska

    US Acquires Alaska
    U.S. acquires Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million.
  • 14th Amendment Ratified - Define Citizenship

    14th Amendment Ratified - Define Citizenship
    Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, defining citizenship.
  • Ulysses S Grant - 18th President

    Ulysses S Grant - 18th President
    Ulysses S. Grant is inaugurated as the 18th president.
  • First Transcontinental Railroad

    First Transcontinental Railroad
    Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads are joined at Promontory, Utah, creating first transcontinental railroad.
  • 15th Amendment Ratified - Blacks Right to Vote

    15th Amendment Ratified - Blacks Right to Vote
    Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote.
  • The Great Chicago Fire

    The Great Chicago Fire
    Chicago fire kills 300 and leaves 90,000 people homeless.
  • Battle of Little Big Horn

    Battle of Little Big Horn
    Lt. Col. George A. Custer's regiment is wiped out by Sioux Indians under Sitting Bull at the Little Big Horn River, Mont.