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AP US History Final

  • The Founding of Jamestown/Introduction of Puritans and Pilgrims

    The Founding of Jamestown/Introduction of Puritans and Pilgrims
    Jamestown, Virginia was the very first settlement established by Britain in North American during its era of colonization. Resulting from King James I of England's Virginia Company charter, the founding of Jamestown paved the way for the eventual founding of the original thirteen colonies. These first new arrivals were mainly young men and boys who were seeking adventure and opportunity elsewhere from the British mainland.
  • Arrival of First Africans to America

    Arrival of First Africans to America
    Shortly after the first English establishments were created, settlers discovered a new cash crop that did not yet exist in England but would soon become violently prominent there- tobacco. This became the basis for the first major 'plantation' style dwellings, and caused the English to begin bringing 'indentured servants' over from Africa. This eventually expanded into slavery as we know it today and became the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
  • The Founding of Plymouth

    The Founding of Plymouth
    Unlike Jamestown, Plymouth, Massachusetts, was comprised of large migratory family groups from Britain. Amongst the people who came were Puritans (Separatists) and Pilgrims, who sought religious freedom and relief from oppression from mainland Britain, as well as land and opportunity. These new ideals were echoed in nearly every American development event to follow.
  • Introduction of the Headright System

    Introduction of the Headright System
    The headright system was introduced as a way to entice European settlers to the colonies. Granted by the Virginia Company, these grants would essentially give 50 acres of land to anyone who paid the immigration passage from England to America. This oversaw the boom of plantation style systems, the beginning of indentured servitude, and the eventual segue into the British grapple for new American land and the power that came with it.
  • Rise of the Southern Elite

    Rise of the Southern Elite
    After many years of success with large cash crops in the agrarian south, a new class began to emerge- the wealthy southern elite. These were land and slave owning, rich and educated white men who lived elaborate lifestyles based on plantation systems. It was this class that caused the huge boom in slavery, and was the same class that later largely headed the secession and formation of the Confederacy.
  • The Albany Congress

    The Albany Congress
    Held in the midst of the French and Indian War, Benjamin Franklin suggests a unified form of government. This government would include all of the colonies and cause them to act more like a unified front rather than a bunch of separate countries. It would control trade, Indian policy and manage defense. Though it was ultimately rejected, it is the first time we see the suggestion of a government built similarly to what we have today.
  • Revenue Act of 1763

    Revenue Act of 1763
    The Revenue Act of 1763 was the first of several taxes and laws imposed by the British on their American colonies. Economically weakened from the 7 Years' War, the English sought to boost their decline in wealth by imposing a tax on American exports of sugar and tobacco. This in turn flung the American colonists into debt and introduced the first tensions between the mainland and colonies. This Revenue Act was the first of several that would come to be known as the Navigation Acts.
  • The Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act
    This act was introduced after the 'need' arose for British troops to constantly occupy the American colonies to make sure that the colonists were adhering to the mainland's taxes. The Stamp Act in particular forced all printed items to receive an official (and taxed) stamp before they were deemed acceptable. In response, the already frustrated Americans introduced the idea of 'no taxation without representation'. It also began to split people into loyalists and those in favor of a new nation.
  • The Declaratory/Townshend Acts

    The Declaratory/Townshend Acts
    The Declaratory Act was passed by Parliament in retaliation for the American colonies' response to the stamp act. It stated that Parliament had full legislative control over the colonies in whatever way they deemed fit. The Townshend Act furthered this by taxing even more goods and causing the Americans to instate a nonimportation ban on any British goods in protest for their constant and unrepresented taxation. The Sons and Daughters of Liberty were created as results of these British actions.
  • The Boston Massacre

    The Boston Massacre
    The American resistance to taxes and the sort of 'American Spirit' only prompted Parliament to send more troops with stricter orders for control. A group of soldiers stationed in Boston fired into an unruly crowd weary of the soldiers' presence, and killed 5 of them. Tried by British authorities, the soldiers were exonerated, but American officials labeled it as a massacre and used it as anti-British propaganda. It furthered colonial-mainland divisions and put the colonies closer to war.
  • The Boston Tea Party & Coercive Acts

    The Boston Tea Party & Coercive Acts
    In response to the British Parliament's passage and enforcement of the Tea, and later the Coercive Acts, Americans from the nationalist group the Sons of Liberty formulated a plan to basically laugh in the British officials' faces. They disguised themselves as Native Americans, boarded three ships and dumped what in today's world would be thousands in tea into the sea. Britain retaliated and enforced the Coercive Acts, which closed the vitally important Boston until Massachusetts could pay up.
  • Continental Congress

    Continental Congress
    Delegations from most of the colonies met in order to discuss how they would react to the British Coercive Acts, which heavily restricted trade and hindered the economy. The issue split the meeting between those who wished for compromise with Great Britain that would allow the king to retain some power, while others wished for stricter separation that would appoint colonial legislatures as well as an overall federal government. They demanded the repealing of the acts and vowed to cut off trade.
  • Thomas Paine Publishes "Common Sense"

    Thomas Paine Publishes "Common Sense"
    The inevitable conflict between the British and the Americans has finally arrived. The fighting is tough, and has thoroughly divided the opinions of the people between those who thought the king might mediate their Parliamentary conflict and those who saw all British leadership as oppressive. In the midst of a tough encampment in Valley Forge where American morale was extremely low after continuous defeat, Paine publishes his pamphlet- a rallying cry for independence that denounced monarchy.
  • The Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence
    Penned by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration was the final fateful step taken by Patriots in order to separate themselves from Britain. It outlined what they believed to be their basic rights, previously denied them by the king. It once again outlined the idea of popular sovereignty replacing tyrannical monarchy. This document inspired other foreign nations and was widely supported throughout America.
  • The Articles of Confederation

    The Articles of Confederation
    The Articles of Confederation were the American people's first attempt at a 'constitution'. However, it ultimately failed because the government it outlined was weak and the majority of the power still lay with the states. While this appeased some who were opposed to strong national government (they feared it would infringe their rights), a national government with little power lacked the authority to enforce anything further than paper.
  • The Surrender at Yorktown

    The Surrender at Yorktown
    After years of vicious military conflict with the imposing British army, George Washington received word their new French allies had sent their powerful West Indian fleet to America. By feigning an attack and splitting his troops along with the French, they were able to surround the British, overwhelm them and force their surrender, marking an end to the mainland fighting in the Revolutionary War.
  • The Northwest Ordinance

    The Northwest Ordinance
    During the Revolutionary War, settlers had begun to expand westward out of the New England and coastal area. In 1787, the Northwest Ordinance officially established these territories as the areas that would later become Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. In these areas, slavery was already made illegal, land was granted for schools, and the territory could apply for statehood when the population reached 60,000 people.
  • Shays' Rebellion

    Shays' Rebellion
    Led by Revolutionary war veteran Daniel Shays, a ragtag group of militiamen revolted against the heavy debt penalties they were now encountering after the war ended. Poor farming families that could not pay debts were often arrested until they could pay or placed in indentured servitude to the wealthier ruling class. This unforeseen revolt called to attention the need for an actual constitution.
  • The Constitution

    The Constitution
    Federalists (those in favor of a strong national government) and Anti- Federalists (those in favor of more localized state governments), were constantly in opposition as to how the country should be governed. James Madison drafted a constitution that proposed a three-branched system of government that would balance each other out while still maintaining a significant deal of power. While antifederalists were largely against it, the federalists suggested adding a Bill of Rights at a later date.
  • Creation of the National Bank/ Hamilton's Financial Plan

    Creation of the National Bank/ Hamilton's Financial Plan
    Under the term of first president George Washington, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton devised a financial plan that included the creation of a national bank. This bank would boost and stabilize the American economy through its ability to grant loans and credit, and handle government funds. Through the raising of tariffs, Hamilton encourage American manufacturing and oversaw principles based on loose constructionism of the Constitution.
  • Protestant Christianity Becomes a Social Force

    Protestant Christianity Becomes a Social Force
    In the wake of the First and Second Great Awakenings, as well as the Enlightenment, Protestant Christianity not only grew in numbers, but grew in power as well. It preached virtuous ways of life that appealed to the masses. In the north, this was greatly accepted since it criticized slavery and allowed them to continue with their lifestyle while still being 'good Christians'. However, in the south, Protestantism was seen as a disruptive force.
  • The Treaty of Greenville

    The Treaty of Greenville
    This treaty, signed by the US military and the Western Confederacy, caused the gain of the land that would become Ohio. However, it also formally acknowledged native ownership of the land, and in return the natives claimed American sovereignty and 'fell under the protection' of the states. This treaty lessened British relations with the natives and also caused a mass migration of whites to the Trans-Appalachian region. It was the first of such movement and was a precursor to native relations.
  • The Appearance of Political Parties

    The Appearance of Political Parties
    Despite the fact that George Washington specifically warned against political parties, as he believed they caused great division amongst the nation, they first began publicly emerging in 1796. The first two concrete examples were the Federalists and Republicans, who began the first 'campaigns' by using propaganda and public events to garner national support. Since then, there have been political parties present at every election.
  • Alien and Sedition, Naturalization Acts

    Alien and Sedition, Naturalization Acts
    Other than in regards to slavery earlier, this is the first time we see outward racism toward immigrants and those not white or not born in the United States. The Naturalization Act lengthened the time of living in American required for a person to become a citizen. The Alien Act allowed for deportation of foreigners, and the Sedition Act made it illegal for anyone to say anything bad about the president or any members of Congress.
  • The Election of 1800

    The Election of 1800
    AKA the Revolution of 1800, it was the first time in history where power had been transferred peacefully in a bloodless way. While Federalists blocked Thomas Jefferson's balloted election 35 times, and the vote eventually went to the House of Representatives because the public vote ended in a tie, and he was eventually elected after his rival Hamilton persuaded high-ranking Federalist officials to support Jefferson.
  • Election of John Marshall

    Election of John Marshall
    John Marshall was a justice appointed to the Supreme Court by President John Adams in 1801, where he later became the chief justice. Many noteworthy cases, including Marbury v. Madison and McCulloch v. Maryland were decided under his judgement, where he ruled with mainly Federalist policy. He stood for judicial authority, supremacy of national laws, and basic property rights. He also claimed the right of judicial review, wherein the court could overturn any law it saw as unconstitutional.
  • Treaty of Ghent

    Treaty of Ghent
    This treaty marked the end of the War of 1812, which almost did not end successfully for the Americans, who declared war on Britain again after the British violated their claims of neutrality. The treaty retained all of America's prewar borders and led to Andrew Jackson's trench-style victory in Louisiana. Despite the war itself nearly being a failure, overall victory and Jackson's victory in particular boosted American morale.
  • The Panic of 1819

    The Panic of 1819
    Partially brought on by corrupt banking policies and partially due to the abrupt fall of the prices American agricultural goods, the panic caused great economic uncertainty amongst the states and debt rates soared. However, this event also fostered American manufacturing, as Americans were forced to look to each other for their goods. Thus, America, already paving the way for industry, began to become a more manufacturing country, especially concentrated in the north.
  • Division of Labor/ Mass Production and Factories

    Division of Labor/ Mass Production and Factories
    As part of the industrial Revolution that was sweeping the nation, particularly in the Northeast, factories sprung up in major industrial based cities. In order to produce as much product as possible in order to compete commercially, these factories introduced the systems of mass production using division of labor. This work system took the job of one and split it between many, thus increasing the rate at which something could be produced. Likewise, factories followed a similar suit.
  • The Monroe Doctrine

    The Monroe Doctrine
    Declared by President James Monroe at the behest of John Adams, the Monroe Doctrine claimed that the Americas were no longer subject to colonization, and warned several European nations to stay away from it and its surrounding territories. At the same time, the US would proclaim neutrality and not interfere in international affairs, thus cementing its Western diplomacy. However, this decision split the Republican party into two factions.
  • The Election of 1824

    The Election of 1824
    During this presidential campaign, which saw the likes of Andrew Jackson competing with John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, was the first election in which no candidate won the absolute majority. Therefore, procedure fell to the instructions outlined in the 12th Amendment, and the House of Representatives chose the winner based on the three with the highest vote count. This led to the so-called 'corrupt bargain' that ultimately flung Adams into the presidency.
  • Construction of the Erie Canal

    Construction of the Erie Canal
    Built during both the Market and Transportation Revolutions, the Erie canal opened up a whole new section of available commerce for Americans. By building a massive canal, transportation of both goods and people was faster, especially with the addition of the steamship. The canal was an instant economic boost and created more towns and settlements along its banks as people once again expanded out. The success of the Erie prompted the mass construction of an entire system of national canals.
  • Andrew Jackson's Election/ The Spoils System

    Andrew Jackson's Election/ The Spoils System
    Newly elected president Andrew Jackson quickly instated several policies that earned him both the favor of the northern artisans and the fear of those with great wealth because of his sharp ways. One of the first things he did as president was enact the spoils system, along with the quote "to the victor the spoils". He bestowed governmental and political positions of power to those who had helped him get there after he gained national popularity for his Louisiana victory.
  • The Indian Removal Act of 1830

    The Indian Removal Act of 1830
    After resistance from several powerful native tribes, Jackson pushed for enacting the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This was the first act of its kind that created a reservation in the then largely undeveloped western part of the country, and would pave the way for others (and worse actions/native treatment) to come. Under this act, the natives were promised protection and resources by the government for 'as long as they lived.' This military-forced migration became the devastating Trail of Tears.
  • The Ordinance of Nullification

    The Ordinance of Nullification
    After Jackson imposed high tariffs, the state of South Carolina to boldly adopt the Ordinance of Nullification. This ordinance declared that states had the right to block or 'nullify' any federal law otherwise imposed upon everyone else. It said that states had the right to their own interpretations of the Constitution, and that the federal government could not force a state to abide by their rules. Later on, this would prompt a Constitutional Amendment, but for now was simply vetoed by Jackson.
  • The Whig Party

    The Whig Party
    The Whig party, named after the pre-Revolutionary American and British parties, was created near the end of Jackson's term as president. In keeping with traditional Whig beliefs, they disliked the idea of a tyrannical monarch or, in this case, a man or government who behaved like one. Their ideas attracted many of the wealthier people in the country at the time, and accused Jackson of Constitutional violation through his actions- including that of the spoils system.
  • The Harrison/ Tyler Election

    The Harrison/ Tyler Election
    The election of 1840 was the first time ever in American history where we see the use of political propaganda in a campaign. In order to win public favor, the Democratic party created an image for their candidate William Henry Harrison, showing him to the public as a 'self made man' who lived as the common people did, ate the same food and did the same things, so as not to distance him from the public like the lofty Whig candidate.
  • The Annexation of Texas

    The Annexation of Texas
    President James K. Polk believed that war with Mexico over the long disputed territory of Texas would lead to its eventual annexation. After four years of war with Mexico, including the infamous battle at the Alamo, the siege of the Mexican capital, and Polk's massacred troop of soldiers who spurred on the vengeance of an entire nation. The result of the war was the annexation of the Texan territory, as well as California and parts of then-Mexico.
  • The Seneca Falls Convention

    The Seneca Falls Convention
    As the abolitionist movement grew, so did the women's rights movement, who held many of the same aspirations. However, once they gained recognition as a cause, many of the abolitionist party turned on the women's cause, calling it a side issue that might otherwise get in the way. The women called a meeting at Seneca Falls to discuss their next plan of action, where they would actually get a chance to speak up for their rights.
  • The Railroad Boom

    The Railroad Boom
    After the success of the canal system, a new form of transportation and communication took over- the railroad. This system was even easier and faster than the canals, and connected cities that were not otherwise adjacent to water. Railroads could travel faster and caused the major boom of western towns, especially after the company charter during the Civil War as well as the discovery of gold in the west.
  • The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad
    Though it had existed for many years prior, the Underground Railroad reached some of its peak action in the 1850s and 60s. Established to help slaves escape to freedom in the north, the railroad was a system of safe houses at which the runaways could stay, out of sight form the bounty hunters who sought to return them to their masters in the south. Its use skyrocketed as cotton crop became ever more popular, and white plantation owners demanded more and more labor under harsher conditions.
  • Immigration & Nativism

    Immigration & Nativism
    During the great Irish potato famine, masses of people immigrated from the Irish mainland to the US. Upon their arrival, those native to America began to see them as disadvantages who would take their jobs and ruin their economy. This led to the formation of the nativist party, who opposed all immigrants and those not born in the US. The nativist party's growth also oversaw the blooming of the abolitionist movement, which would not take affect in full until the Civil War.
  • Utopias

    Utopias
    After the panic of 1837 flung the US into financial crisis, many poor farmers and those living in the industrialized cities began seeking new ways of life. This led to the formation of some rather...unique living situations away from the massive cities and father out to the west. Most who moved to these 'utopias' were drawn by the promise of new opportunity or freedom to practice whatever religion they wished. The Oneida, the Shakers, Mormons and Fourierism were just a few of those created.
  • Lincoln's Election

    Lincoln's Election
    Having risen slowly through the ranks of political power, modestly ambitious Abraham Lincoln ran and was elected as president in 1860, at a time when the country was heavily divided on slavery issues. Privately, Lincoln supported the equality of the African American, but publicly supported the preservation of the Union as a whole, since it was being threatened with breakage because of the south's strong pro-slavery attitude.
  • The Southern Secession

    The Southern Secession
    Nearly immediately after Lincoln's election, the south secedes from the union, beginning with South Carolina. This had long been foreshadowed, as the south was constantly butting heads with the north's anti-slavery ideals. This came to a head when an openly anti-slavery president came into power. The rest of the southern states quickly followed suit and violent conflict was brimming on the horizon. Lincoln gave the south an ultimatum- return to the Union or go to war.
  • The Attack on Fort Sumter

    The Attack on Fort Sumter
    The south's attack on the union artillery Fort Sumter marked the first official conflict of the Civil War between the north and south. Sumter was an important base in Charleston and the south demanded the north surrender it. When they refused, the South Carolina Militia (the Confederacy did not yet exist) attacked and ultimately forced the surrender of the Union army stationed at the fort. The decisive southern victory gave strength to the rebellion and shocked the Union.
  • The Battle of Antietam

    The Battle of Antietam
    The single bloodiest day in American history (as all casualties were Americans, on both sides), Antietam was nearly a disaster for both sides. General Lee of the Confederacy was vastly outnumbered by the north, but his counterpart McClellan was part of the revolving door of crappy Union generals, and did not take more opportunity to pursue the retreating south and take any advantages he may have had otherwise. Antietam led to McClellan's dismissal and dashed Union hopes.w
  • The Battle of Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg
    The battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, marked the Union's affective ending of the south's northern invasion. While both sides suffered heavy casualties during the fighting, it was the Confederacy that ultimately lost more men. These losses inspired Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, wherein he commemorated the fallen and highlighted their national sacrifice. It also severely curbed the south's hopes of becoming an independent nation.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation
    Lincoln had, at first, not admitted emancipation as one of his aims during the war, but the need for it (and the forecasted resulting consequences of it) soon became obvious. However, while it effectively outlawed slavery, it did not immediately free the slaves. What the document needed was a Union victory. Lincoln saw the events at Antietam as the clue he needed to cement this new policy that was widely accepted in European reform but divisive in America.
  • Sherman's March to the Sea

    Sherman's March to the Sea
    During a time when the Confederacy was beginning to think the Union may actually be defeated, Lincoln's relatively new General Sherman carried out an ambitious and audacious plan that would severely weaken the south by cutting right to its heart. Methodically, he cut an arc before eventually seizing Atlanta using scorched earth tactics. They then cut up the coast, taking more cities along the way, affectively asserting power over the south and displaying power on an international level.
  • The Surrender at Appomattox

    The Surrender at Appomattox
    Shortly after the events at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, the Confederacy began to see the end of their fight, and chose to strategically retreat to try and regroup. However, the north, realizing this, pursued General Lee and eventually forced his surrender at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War.
  • The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

    The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
    Tried on eleven counts of infringement of congressional and constitutional powers (plus lots of vetoing), president Andrew Johnson was formally impeached, but not formally removed from office. This was the first president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. He was not removed from office because congress feared the instability that would erupt if the president was kicked out. Only a couple of presidents since then have been impeached, none of which have been removed.
  • Grant's Peace Policy

    Grant's Peace Policy
    Ulysses. S. Grant inherited a messy native American policy that was already on tentative terms. His new Peace Policy, devised to 'help' the natives by assimilating them into white American culture, probably actually did more harm than good. It established boarding schools where natives were completely transformed and removed from their tribes and cultures and forced them further west onto even smaller reservations.
  • The Election of 1876

    The Election of 1876
    Republican Rutherford B. Hayes ran against Democrat Samuel Tilden in one of America's most disputed elections. When the vote form the general public came in, it appeared as though Tilden had won (suspiciously with 100% democratic vote in several southern states). This prompted the formation of an Electoral Committee, which then voted Hayes into the presidency after realizing the southern corruption, but also prompted further southern animosity towards reconstructionist ideals set by Republicans.
  • The Panama Canal

    The Panama Canal
    During the states' era of Imperialism, in which they sought greater global power and economic ventures, the need arose for a quicker route to the Pacific Ocean. The prime location was Panama, a province of Colombia, which at the time was seeking independence. The US decided to aid Panama in exchange for the strip of land through which to build the trade megacenter the Panama Canal. Once built, this canal exploded international trade.
  • The USS Maine

    The USS Maine
    Having watched the inhumane struggle between Cuba and Spain from the sidelines, the US worried over its economic ventures stationed on Cuba. After intercepting the De Lome letter, which verbally insulted president William McKinley, the US decided to set an example by sending its new battleship the USS Maine to sit in the Cuban harbor. Its explosion (later proved as equipment failure), was seen by the Americans as an act of war- one that sent both countries into the Spanish American War.
  • The Treaty of Paris

    The Treaty of Paris
    This treaty, signed between Cuba, America and Spain, effectively marked the end of the Spanish-American War. As implied by the Tellerman Amendment, the states did not gain any Cuban land (until they decided to lease Guantamo Bay as a US Army base), but did gain several secessions by Spain. Puerto Rico and Guam remain under US jurisdiction, while the Philippines have since won their independence.
  • Theodore Roosevelt's Presidency

    Theodore Roosevelt's Presidency
    Having forced the surrender of the Spanish at the Battle of San Juan Hill, Roosevelt was put on the ballot as Republican William McKinley's vice president. After McKinley's assassination, Roosevelt assumed the presidency and went on to create many of the nation's national parks, break large corporate trusts, and ultimately served 'two terms'. Whilst running for a third against Republican candidate William Howard Taft, he formed his own party (Progressive) but ultimately lost to Democrat Wilson.
  • "The Shame of the Cities"/ "The Jungle"

    "The Shame of the Cities"/ "The Jungle"
    These expository muckraking novels, published by Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair, helped expose the darker side of urbanization caused by the massive industrial revolution. Steffens focuses on corrupt political machines and their impacts on major cities, whereas Sinclair attacks the meat packing industry, exposing the rest of society to the terrible working conditions, lack of labor protection laws and tenement housing inhabited by urban poor.
  • The Great White Fleet/ International Affair Policies

    The Great White Fleet/ International Affair Policies
    While president, Roosevelt held the ideology of 'walk softly and carry a big stick', meaning to lead with diplomacy but have sufficient military to back it up. This allowed him to add a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, and earn a Nobel prize for brokering peace between Russia and Japan- conflict that could have become WW1. Instead, he painted the entire navy white and had them demonstrate their power at various global locations. This created America's peacekeeping image. Taft used $ diplomacy.
  • The Automobile

    The Automobile
    Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908, where it cost $850. He wanted to lower that cost so that everyone could afford a car, and pioneered branding and the moving assembly line, which revolutionized the way factories and corporations operated. He also pioneered the idea that efficiency=affordability, and worked to change the employer-employee relationship for the better. This forced his competition to do the same in order to compete. The automobile boom lead to steel and construction spikes.
  • The Formation of the NAACP

    The Formation of the NAACP
    Created in part by early African American activist W.E.B Dubois, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was a civil rights organization pushing for interracial equality, in response to the Springfield Race Riot. They sought to improve voting rights, education and employment opportunities, and legal justice for people of color. Although they would not make significant headway until the "official" civil rights movement of the 50s, the NAACP began pushing for change in 1909.
  • The Election of Woodrow Wilson

    The Election of Woodrow Wilson
    After Taft and Roosevelt split the Republican vote, Wilson became the first Democratic president in 16 years. During his two-term presidency, he created the Federal Trade Commission (commerce regulation), the Federal Reserve, and passed the Underwood Tariff (first income tax). While not a staunch supporter of women's suffrage, he did pass the Keeding- Owens Act, which officially ended child labor, a longstanding issue of the industrialized society.
  • The Introduction of Chemical Warfare

    The Introduction of Chemical Warfare
    Debuted by the Germans in Ypres, France, chemical warfare proved to be horrendous and deadly. They fired lethal chlorine gas bombs into allied forces, marking the first time in history such a weapon had been used. This not only made for new fighting tactics, but ultimately changed the way that wars were fought, coupled with trench fighting and new artillery machines capable of firing longer faster, and submarines. This technological warfare began impacting civilians more, and use exploded in WW2
  • The Sinking of the Lusitania

    The Sinking of the Lusitania
    Despite beginning in 1914, WW1 did not impact America until the Germans' unrestricted submarine warfare sank a passenger ship carrying 128 Americans. Fear of American retaliation prompted Germany to halt this tactic, promising to only attack military vessels and give warning before firing, before realizing it has essentially made their naval blockade ineffective. After resuming the practice, they sink an additional 4 American ships.
  • The Zimmermann Telegram

    The Zimmermann Telegram
    Already wary of potential American involvement in WW1, Germany sought to ally with Mexico in order to make America fight a war on two fronts. This attack from their south, they hoped, would make America stay out of Europe's war. Germany promised Mexico the regaining of lands lost during the Mexican Cession in return for attacking the U.S. However, this plot was discovered through the interception of the Zimmermann Telegram. America saw this as an act of war, and entered WW1 on the Allied side.
  • Wilson's 14 Points

    Wilson's 14 Points
    As part of an address to Congress, Wilson outlined what he believed to be an outlined version of a peacekeeping, postwar world. He argued for European self-determination, and urged the creation of what he called the League of Nations, who would keep peace globally and try to prevent any disputes from becoming wars. If these points were followed, he argued that there might not be any more international conflict. While the Germans agreed to this, the treaty ended up being much different.
  • Prohibition/ The Volstead Act

    Prohibition/ The Volstead Act
    This act became the 18th amendment to the Constitution- the only one to ever be repealed. It outlawed the manufacture, sale, distribution, importation and consumption of alcohol, hoping to destroy what it called 'the root of all evil', a continuation of the earlier Temperance movement. In reality, it only skyrocketed consumption rates, and lead to increased organized crime, NASCAR, speakeasies, bootlegging, and one heck of a spring musical.
  • Treaty of Versailles

    Treaty of Versailles
    This officially ended WW1, but set Germany in such bad terms that it actually laid the groundwork for World War 2. It held Germany responsible for starting the war, and placed several harsh penalties on them, including mass reparations, loss of territory, and military reduction. The treaty also created the League of Nations, an international peacekeeping diplomatic unit devoted to stopping disputes before they became wars, a unit the US did not end up joining.
  • The First Red Scare

    The First Red Scare
    WW1 was creating such patriotism that any sort of non-patriotism was suspicious. This, coupled with the fact that American already didn't like Russia because of the communist Russian Revolution, created the first Red Scare, which not only targeted communists, but stirred anti- immigrant feelings as well. The public feared they would be 'tainted' by communism and toppled as a country. This thought process would be utterly rampant during the Cold War, where the specific focus was on communism.
  • Immigration Act of 1924/ Immigration Quota Act

    Immigration Act of 1924/ Immigration Quota Act
    In response to the rising anti-immigrant feelings, congress first passed the Immigration Act of '24, which specifically banned Asian immigrants. Similarly, the Quota Act limited the number of immigrants entering the country to 2% of the citizens from that country already in America. This was based on the 1829 census, when there were few immigrants in the country. Likewise, it specifically limited immigrants form Italy, Austria and Hungary (allied with Germany.)
  • The Stock Market Crash

    The Stock Market Crash
    As credit, loans, overbuying and debt added up, the economy began to sink. Industrial wages were going up, but far slower than corporate, whereas farm wages were dropping off completely. People were buying more than they could afford, and turned to 'buying on the margin' of the Stock Market, which caused a temporary surge before bad lending processes, declining international trade, weak banks and poor personal finance habits subsequently caused the Stock Market to crash, starting the Depression.
  • The Dust Bowl

    The Dust Bowl
    Already deep in the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl became the greatest environmental disaster worldwide of the 20th century. It affected Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and parts of other states through over farming which destroyed and eroded the topsoil. Lack of nutrients, drought and high winds lead to massive dust clouds that killed people, animals and crops alike. This impacted crop yields into the future, and only deepened the economic stress already tightened by market crash.
  • The Banking Act of 1933

    The Banking Act of 1933
    As part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's overall plan for addressing the country, the New Deal instated many new programs, the first of which was the Banking Act of 1933, which created the FDIC, the SEC, began regulating the stock market, insured individual deposits, shut every bank down until they regained stability, and only allowed healthy banks to reopen. Despite its unconstitutionality, congress didn't want to fall out of favor since to the people it appeared FDR was working to end hardships.
  • Social Security Act of 1935

    Social Security Act of 1935
    A Second New Deal Program, SS was a safety net for all Americans struggling financially. It took a percentage of their paycheck to be taken and saved before withdrawn upon retirement, which encouraged people to retire (not work until they died) which freed up jobs for the younger community. Its intent was to supplement, not replace, everyday income, as people had been less keen on retiring fearing they'd lose all money. It changed the people-government relationship, and is close to collapse now.
  • The Court Packing Scandal

    The Court Packing Scandal
    Having already ruled against the New Deal 22 times, FDR believed the Supreme Court (and anyone challenging him) to be an enemy of the people. Thus, he tried to add 6 pro-new-deal democrat justices to increase the number from 9-15. It was the first time a president had attempted to do so. Despite the Constitution not specifically protecting it, the SC can't be touched by politicians and therefore didn't expand its numbers. However, they also never ruled against the New Deal again.
  • HUAC

    HUAC
    The House UnAmerican Activities Committee was formed during the 30s as a result of the mass suspicions of communism- the Red Scare. However, they saw a mass increase in activity during the cold war, as people feared espionage on behalf of the USSR. This particular committee had the power to subpoena and interview anyone suspected of being a communist, particularly anyone of influence, and continued the same sort of unconstitutionality as would later been seen in McCarthyistic Cold War trials.
  • Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor
    Despite the war raging overseas in Europe for many years prior, American involvement in WW2 didn't start until Japan seemingly bombed the American Naval base out of the blue, sinking several ships and killing thousands of servicemen. Japan wanted to slow down America in order to have better control of the Pacific. While it didn't destroy the navy, it was certainly crippled and the next day FDR declared war on Japan in his "Day of Infamy" speech to the public.
  • D-Day

    D-Day
    Officially known as "Operation Overlord", D-Day was not only the largest seaborne invasion in human history, but also marked the turning point of WW2, because after its completion Germany never again mounted an offensive. A mass combination of battleships, land troops, paratroopers, aircraft and tanks stormed 5 beaches in Normandy, France, split between the allied powers who had set up a false beach to distract Germany and lure them into security. It allowed the allies to retake the coast.
  • The G.I Bill of Rights

    The G.I Bill of Rights
    The government's way of saying thank you to WW2 veterans, this bill was intended to aid them as the retransitioned back to civilian life. It paid for colleges or trade schools for vets because the war had taken 4 prime years of life. It also gave low-interest home and business loans, and created VA hospitals. These opportunities allowed veterans to improve their quality of life, thus in turn creating a society with a heavier fundamental emphasis on universal education.
  • The Creation of the United Nations/ Yalta Conference

    The Creation of the United Nations/ Yalta Conference
    The leaders of the biggest allied countries- Churchill, FDR and Stalin- met at Yalta to discuss how the world would look post WW2. There, they created the global peacekeeping program the United Nations. Unlike the League of Nations from before, the US actually joined this new platform for international diplomacy. Also discussed was what to do with Germany, and Russia's promised entry into the war against Japan (with a very uncooperative Russia that would soon be starting a war of their own.)
  • The Potsdam Conference

    The Potsdam Conference
    A secondary meeting, this conference was adjourned specifically to deal with the issue of Germany post WW2, which had previously been the cause of much tension between the allied powers, particularly Stalin. Stalin had wanted a quicker invasion of Europe, and claimed the allies had intentionally waited in order to wound Russia. He demanded Japan pay massive reparations, and wanted to keep Poland because Russia held half of it. This didn't sit well with Truman and later boiled into the Cold War.
  • Churchill's "Iron Curtain" Speech

    Churchill's "Iron Curtain" Speech
    Having watched most of Eastern Europe fall to the now rapidly expanding communist USSR, the allied powers realized they had replaced Hitler with Stalin. On a visit to the U.S, British Prime Minister Churchill delivered his infamous speech, wherein he called the divide of free western Europe and communist-controlled eastern Europe the "Iron Curtain". This curtain, they realized, required action to stop it from spreading across the globe, and sparked the allies into formulating anticommunist plans
  • The Truman Doctrine

    The Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine was the first instance of an anticommunist strategy referred to as 'containment'- essentially keeping Russia at bay and 'containing' communism before it spread further. As a part of this doctrine, Truman called it America's duty to stand up since no one else could. He also commissioned $400 million in aid plus troops to help Greece and Turkey, who had appealed for help against communist forces. The doctrine proved a success, as those countries never fell to communism.
  • Jackie Robinson Plays in the MLB

    Jackie Robinson Plays in the MLB
    Arguably the first event of the Civil Rights Movement, Jackie Robinson's introduction into MLB as the first black player certainly caused a stir. The manager who hired him was seeking someone with even temperament who wouldn't react poorly, even in the worst of situations, knowing any slip-up would mean bad press and the end of the movement before it had even really begun. Robinson paved the way for future black athletes, and jumpstarted the Civil Rights Movement into its largest actions yet.
  • The Marshall Plan

    The Marshall Plan
    Named after its creator, Sec. of State George Marshall, this plan was America's way of assisting all of Europe. It aimed at rebuilding infrastructure of both friends and enemies, thus proving that American capitalism was in the right. Its main policy stated that economic health= peace and stability, and it helped create currency, expand trade and cooperation, remove restrictions and increase agricultural production for those countries as a result of American abundance. We hoped for future trade.
  • The Berlin Airlift

    The Berlin Airlift
    Berlin, Germany's capitol, was, like the rest of the country, split between communist and free. However, unlike west Germany, west Berlin was in deep turmoil and sought outside help as an island of democracy. Through "Operation Vittles", Truman authorized the Berlin Airlift- American planes that would fly over and drop much-needed supplies to West Berlin without ever touching the ground and violating Russia's blockade. Stalin couldn't shoot down the planes or risk the wrath of the US.
  • The Formation of NATO

    The Formation of NATO
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, was created for the purpose of international mutual defense. If one of the participating nations was ever under attack, the rest would come to its defense. It was originally signed between ten European countries, Canada and the United States. Dwight Eisenhower became the first Supreme Commander, and Russia in response called it a direct attack and formed the Warsaw Pact- like NATO, but communist. NATO was made for defense, and has never attacked.
  • Eisenhower's Election/ Korea

    Eisenhower's Election/ Korea
    After Truman's two terms, Eisenhower is elected president in the midst of the Korean War. After pledging to end the war against communist forces there, he literally went to Korea and arranged an armistice that created a permanent border at the 38th parallel that is now a demilitarized zone. North Korea returned to communism while South Korea remained free.
  • Brown v (Topeka) Board of Education

    Brown v (Topeka) Board of Education
    In the previous ruling of Plessy v Ferguson, the Supreme Court had ruled that education facilities could be separated by race as long as they were equal. However, by the 1950s, it was increasingly apparent that they were not. This new case of Linda Brown was taken up by the NAACP, and represented by Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court Judge. It was also the case that overturned the Plessy v Ferguson ruling, forcing places to desegregate, but not stating exactly when to do so.
  • Rosa Parks/ the Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Rosa Parks/ the Montgomery Bus Boycott
    One of the most infamous events of the Civil Rights Movement was Rosa Parks' arrest, which started a 385-day bus boycott. By refusing to give up her seat, Parks protested the Jim Crow laws that still dominated the south. The incident was planned and she was chosen by the SCLC for such a purpose. After that, black Americans chose to walk rather than ride the bus, impacting the industry until change could be made. This event is a representation of the larger changes that were beginning to be made.
  • The Eisenhower Interstate Highway Act

    The Eisenhower Interstate Highway Act
    The largest public works project in American history, the EIHA updated and improved America's roadways based on Germany's Autobahn. Though expensive, the project connected every major city throughout the country, expanded car culture and ultimately aided the economy through transportation. It also functioned as an emergency Cold War evacuation route as well as a quick runway for military planes. The massive construction project boosted the economy by supporting multiple industries/connecting us.
  • The SCLC

    The SCLC
    The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was a major factor and leader of the organization of the Civil Rights Movement. The church was a prominent piece of African American culture, and was used as a way of mass communication as well as headquarters for protests. The SCLC elected MLK as its leader, and adopted his policies (based on those of Gandhi) of nonviolence in order to achieve direct change. This catapulted him to fame and helped achieve most of the peaceful protest action.
  • The Little Rock 9

    The Little Rock 9
    9 black students in Little Rock, Arkansas, became the first black students ever to attend an all-white high school. This prompted massive protesting from the deep south, pro-segregation south, so much so that governor Orval Faubus ordered the AK national guard to prevent the 9 from entering the building. Only when President Eisenhower deployed the 101st Airborne division did he let them enter. Events such as this happened all over the south, and only spurred the need for more civil rights action
  • SNCC

    SNCC
    The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee emerged as a way for young African Americans to partake in the protest of which their elders were a part of. Young black people felt insulated from the issues they faced by the older generations, who were just trying to keep them safe. SNCC gave them an outlet, and also found favor in younger white Americans. However, after years of frustration with slow change, they abandoned their non-violent ways, another example of the not-so-peaceful events too
  • The First Televised Presidential Debate (1960)

    The First Televised Presidential Debate (1960)
    While Republicans chose to nominated politically proven Richard Nixon, Democrats introduced the radically different, younger, Catholic JFK. Though Kennedy seemed promising, he had yet to prove a track record and many questioned whether he would answer to the Pope first. This was the first instance of a televised presidential debate that clearly showed the issue of perception over reality. Those who watched the broadcast claimed JFK won based on looks, as Nixon was unfamiliar with how it worked.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    Late in 1962, intelligence was received that there were Russian nuclear missiles on the recently-turned-communist Cuba. Unlike other countries, Cuba was in America's backyard, and with Russia's new ICBMs with mass firing range, the country was suddenly in very real danger. After a U2 confirmed the presence of missile launches, the US opted for a naval blockade to stop incoming Russian ships loaded with missiles. This action saved the war from turning hot. After a standoff, the Russian ships left
  • The March On Washington

    The March On Washington
    Coordinated by the SCLC, over 400,000 people of mixed race gathered in Washington D.C. to formally protest racial equality and civil rights. Unlike some protests that had begun peacefully only to dissolve into violent riots, the March was federally protected and became a joyous day of poetry, speech and song, and was the platform for MLK's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. The march presented the issue not only to the government, but the country as a whole, as the event was also publicly televised
  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965
    Though a Civil Rights Act was passed by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, it was ultimately largely ineffectual. Far more impactful was the Voting Rights Act, which federally prohibited discrimination at polls, literacy tests, intimidation and violence. Now any registered voter could vote, regardless of race. Noncompliant states would have their representatives removed from office. This marked a major change as formerly segregated states now protected voting for fear of losing their say in government.
  • Vietnamization

    Vietnamization
    After years of participating in a conflict not formally considered a war, President Nixon began a program he called "Vietnamization", in order to remove America from a fight that had become extremely unpopular at home. Though it was part of the fight against communism, many Americans felt we weren't truly winning the fight there. Nixon's program consisted of standing down and turning the war back over to Vietnam, which was subsequently lost and fell to communism once American troops left.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency

    The Environmental Protection Agency
    As part of Nixon's domestic policies, he created the EPA, which was made to both reinforce old conservation policies and make new ones. In addition to creating the new agency, he also signed the National Environmental Policy Act, which regulated the government's impact on the government (the first type of policy to do so), as well as the Marine Mammal, Clean Air, and Endangered Species Acts. Nixon helped regulate conservation impacts made particularly by the federal government.
  • The Trade Deficit of 1971

    The Trade Deficit of 1971
    In 1971, America experienced something it never had before- a trade deficit. For the first time in history, it was importing more goods than it was exporting. One reason behind this was the dollar's linkage to gold- which made it strong but expensive abroad. Another was up and coming competition from nations we'd previously aided. Because of this, inflation went through the roof, and despite Nixon removing the gold standard, unemployment skyrocketed and bankruptcy loomed in several major cities.
  • Title IX Amendment

    Title IX Amendment
    Nixon also signed the Title IX Amendment, which federally banned gender discrimination in education. It also paved the way for the introduction of women into athletic organizations, despite the fact that women's suffrage had been obtained decades earlier. This also helped ensure the peaceful desegregation of schools, and soon after Nixon lowered the top voting age to 18 in order to include younger generations in federal decisions.
  • The Watergate Scandal

    The Watergate Scandal
    Despite Nixon's successful domestic policies, he is most remembered for the Watergate Scandal. Named after the Watergate Hotel where it took place, the event involved meetings between a journalist and an informant 'Deep Throat'. He revealed that a recent break-in at Democratic HQ had ties to the president himself, seeking information on the other party. Nixon's denial forced his near impeachment, and he is the only president to have resigned. It showed how one event could mar an entire legacy.
  • The Ford Inauguration

    The Ford Inauguration
    Gerald Ford's inauguration to the presidency was a unique one- he is the only US president to never actually be elected. This was because of Nixon's resignation facing his impending impeachment. Ford, smack dab in the middle of a massive period of inflation, introduced WIN (Whip Inflation Now), his only memorable domestic policy, in order to try to combat rising prices. Ford later pardoned Nixon over the Watergate Scandal, which ultimately cost him the presidency when he ran again in 1976.
  • The Iranian Hostage Crisis

    The Iranian Hostage Crisis
    Shortly after delivering his infamous "Crisis of Confidence" speech (which went over like a lead balloon full of lost American morality), the Iranian Revolution broke out against the Carter-backed dictator Shah of Iran. In response to America's support of the Shah, Iranians stormed the US embassy in Iran, taking hostages and holding them for 444 days, only releasing them the day Reagan was inaugurated. This hostage crisis proved only the beginning for decades of tension with the Middle East.
  • The Carter Doctrine

    The Carter Doctrine
    In his State of the Union address, President Carter announced what he called the "Carter Doctrine"- a direct response to the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan, what he called the 'biggest threat since WW2'. It that the United States would use force, if necessary, to protect the Persian Gulf (and the assets the US held there). Not long after, the US helped organize the boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games. This doctrine kept in line with America's image of itself as the world's peacekeeping force.