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    Expansionism - The Civil War - Years of Growth - Progressivism

  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Britain officially recognized her former colonies as an independent nation. And, at the same time, more territories were granted to them: the Old Northwest and the Old Southwest.
  • Northwest Ordinance

    Northwest Ordinance
    It protected Amerindians' rights to land and liberty. The importance of the plan is that it made sure that the original thirteen lands were not able to control for their own benefit lands that were settled later. It implied a further step towards a democratic union of equals movement.
  • Cotton Spinning Machine

    Cotton Spinning Machine
    Samuel Slater, as an English mechanic, memorized the plans of this machine and opened a mill with Moses Brown in Rhode Island. This turned the Northeast into a manufacturing region.
  • The First Factory

    The First Factory
    At the end of the Independence War, the US was a land of farmers, but then the first factory opened, and the Industrial Revolution has been imported from Britain to the US.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    Louisiana was a purchase from France because Napoleon needed money to fight against Britain. For this vast domain, the United States just needed to pay fifteen million dollars.
  • Oregon

    Four countries claimed to own the lands beyond Louisiana, known as Oregon: Russia, Spain, Britain and the United States.
    Russia owned Alaska, and Spain ruled California. But in Oregon the British and Americans were in the strongest position.
  • Oregon Trail

    Oregon Trail
    The explorers Lewis and Clark made a special journey throughout almost 4,000 miles in order to demonstrate that was possible to go to the western lands beyond Louisiana. This became known as the Oregon Trail, even though, it was more like a collection of trails.
  • Slaves

    In 1684, the first ship with slaves arrived in America, and by this time there were 1.2 million of people living in America as slaves. Even the leaders of the revolution that said "that all men are created equal", like Jefferson and Washington, had slaves.
  • Britain War

    Britain War
    Britain and France were at war (1803-1815) and this interfered with American trade. But when the British took American seamen to fight in the war, the Congress declared war on Britain. The war impeded the US from trading, so they started making their own manufactured goods.
  • Peace Treaty

    Peace Treaty
    The US and Britain signed a peace treaty, but it taught Americans
    an important lesson, as Jefferson wrote soon after: "We must
    now place the manufacturer by the side of the agriculturist".
  • The Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise
    It was decided that slavery would be permitted in Missouri and Arkansas but banned in lands to the west and north of Missouri, but this 'agreement' did not end the disputes between North and South.
  • Cotton Gin by Eli Whitney

    Cotton Gin by Eli Whitney
    This invention made possible a huge increase in the amount of cotton grown by southern planters. But their prosperity depended upon in bringing more slaves to do the job. The southern 'peculiar institution' started to have even more prosperity based on slaves work.
  • The Cherokees

    The Cherokees
    They were an Amerindian people who suffered greatly from the Indian Removal policy. By the early 19th century, the Cherokees had changed themselves from a Stone Age tribe into a civilized community. But, they were driven off from their homes and Congress declared that their lands belonged to the state of Georgia.
  • The Trail of Tears

    The Trail of Tears
    In the bitterly cold winter of 1838, the American soldiers gathered thousands of Cherokee men, women and children, and drove them west. The nightmare journey lasted almost five months. More than 4,000 of the Amerindians (25% of them) were dead.
  • Railroads Crossing the Great Plains

    Railroads Crossing the Great Plains
    In 1840, when railroads started crossing the Great Plains, Amerindians let them pass without problems. After a couple of years, white people started to stay there and plough the land. At first Amerindians tried to drive the newcomers away from their hunting land, but it was impossible, so they made treaties with Washington giving up large pieces of lands.
  • The Golden Door

    The Golden Door
    Most immigrants came from Europe and were running from wars and famine between 1840 and 1860. They were 5 million per year. During the Civil War, the federal government encouraged more immigration from Europe by offering them land in exchange of them serving as soldiers for the Union. By 1895, more than half of the immigrants entering the US were from the South or East part of Europe. Many Jewish people came to the US at this time, as they were being massacred all over Europe.
  • Oregon Fever

    Oregon Fever
    The Oregon Fever started when many people took the Oregon trail with the aim of going to these 'new' lands and, as settlers, outnumbered the British. It was a dangerous long journey, but it was more powerful the promise of a better life due to the ownership of larger lands.
  • Texas

    Thousands of Americans had settled in Texas, but up to the 1830s, it was ruled by Mexico. The Texans came to dislike Mexican rule. In 1835, they rebelled and in 1836 they became an independent republic. However, they wanted their country to join the United States. Eventually, the two countries reached an agreement and Texas became a state of the US.
  • Mexican-American War

    Mexican-American War
    There was a fighting between American and Mexican soldiers along the border between Texas and Mexico. President Polk saw an opportunity to take land from Mexico and he declared war. Soon after, they occupied Mexico City, the country's capital.
  • Oregon Treaty

    Oregon Treaty
    After that, Americans had left their worn-out farms in the East and set off for the West. The settlers were mostly American in Oregon, so the United States and Britain made a treaty and Oregon was finally annexed. The "Oregon Fever" was successful.
  • Mexican Cession

    Mexican Cession
    The Mexican-American War was ended by a peace treaty signed in February 1848. The treaty forced Mexico to hand over enormous stretches of its territory to the United States. Today these lands form the American states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.
  • Gold in California

    Gold in California
    A group of workmen found gold in California. Men and women from all over the US territory hurried to the gold fields to make themselves rich. By the spring of 1849, people from all over the world were rushing to California to look for gold.
  • The Manifest Destiny

    The Manifest Destiny
    The annexation of the Mexican lands completed the "manifest destiny" of the United States. It now stretched across the North American continent from ocean to ocean. The former only 13 colonies had grown into one of the largest countries in the
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    It made easier for southerners to capture slaves who had escaped from their masters. The law called severe penalties to those who assisted these black people. Slave owners offered rewards ("bounties") for the return of runaway slaves. However, this Act angered many northerners who had not so far given much thought to the rights and wrongs of slavery.
  • The Great Plains

    The Great Plains
    In the 1840s and 1850s, people crossed the Great Plains to reach the farms of Oregon and the gold mines of California. Thousands of miles separated these settlements from the rest of the United States.
  • The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad
    At this time, it was the peak of the Underground Railroad. It was a railroad system that transported slaves during the night to Canada, where they would be free. The final stop on these escape routes was Canada, where fugitives could be followed by neither American laws nor bounty hunters.
  • "Bleeding Kansas"

    "Bleeding Kansas"
    This event happened when the Congress ended the Missouri Compromise and let Kansas decide whether to own slaves or not. A race for the control of Kansas began and there was so much killing and violence. Neither side won the struggle.
  • The Union March

    The Union March
    The Union had been losing battles in Virginia, but then started to have more luck splitting the territory. The Union marched into Georgia, and occupied Savannah. Then they marched to North and South Carolina, burning and destroying everything they encountered on the way. With this strategy, they opened their way to reach Virginia, the Confederacy's capital.
  • South Carolina

    South Carolina
    The state of South Carolina voted to secede from the United States and settled the precedent for the other southern states.
  • The States' Rights Doctrine

    The States' Rights Doctrine
    John Calhoun raised this idea: a state had the right to disobey federal law if the state believed that the law would harm its interests. But it was strongly denied by Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts: the power to decide whether the federal authorities were acting rightly or not belonged to the Supreme Court.
  • Andrew Carnegie

    Andrew Carnegie
    He invested money in the iron and steel business and by 1860s he controlled the companies in charge of bridges, rails and locomotives.
  • The Confederate States of America

    The Confederate States of America
    Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, along the provisional governments of Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, followed the South Carolina precedent and voted to secede from the United States. They were now an independent nation, often known as the Confederacy.
  • The First Civil War Battle

    The First Civil War Battle
    Confederacy forces opened fire in Fort Sumter, South Carolina, which was occupied by United States' troops (the Union). This marked the beginning of the war. Southerners denied they were fighting for slavery. They claimed they wanted to be independent.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation
    It was passed by Lincoln, the Union's president, and declared that all slaves living in the Confederacy were to make free. This changed the focus of the war from secession to protecting slavery.
  • Homestead Act

    Homestead Act
    During the Civil War, Congress passed the Homestead Act, which offered free farms in the West to families of settlers (including immigrants). All they had to do was move to a piece of land owned by the government and live there for five years and after that, the land became theirs. They could also buy it after 6 months for a low price. Besides, transcontinental railroad companies provided settlers with cheap land, and even shipped immigrants across the Atlantic.
  • The Biggest Battle Fought in the US

    The Biggest Battle Fought in the US
    The Confederate forces marched into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, but found the Union blocking their way. Union forces won and the Confederacy would never recover from this defeat. This battle was a slaughter: more than 50,000 men were killed or wounded in the timespan of only three days.
  • The Civil War Context

    The Civil War Context
    The Confederacy was led by Jefferson Davis, and the Union by Lincoln. The decision to support one or another it was difficult sometimes, because it could mean to split families. The North had more men and material resources, but needed to invade the South. The South only needed to hold on.
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    This amendment abolished completely slavery. When a state voted to accept the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, it should be accepted back into the Union as a full and equal member.
  • The Confederacy Surrender

    The Confederacy Surrender
    The Confederacy last army led by General Lee had been forced to abandon the capital, and an Union army led by General Grant had trapped them. They met at Appomattox and Lee surrendered his army. Grant treated the defeated Confederate soldiers generously. At the end, he said: "The war is over. The rebels are our countrymen again".
  • President Lincoln Assassination

    President Lincoln Assassination
    President Lincoln was assassinated in Washington in a theater, just a couple days after the end of the Civil War. The gunman was an actor named John Booth, he was captured a few days later, hiding in a barn in the Virginia countryside. Lincoln was succeeded by Andrew Johnson, his vice president.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act
    Congress passed this act, despite opposition from the President. It also set up an organization called the Freedmen's Bureau. Both were intended to ensure black people's rights in the South.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    This Amendment gave blacks the right to citizenships, including the right to vote. All former Confederates except Tennessee refused to accept it.
  • The Reconstruction Act

    The Reconstruction Act
    Once the Congress passed, this act placed all white government in the South under military rule. They would be able to elect their government again, only if they accepted the 14th Amendment.
  • Fort Laramie Treaty

    Fort Laramie Treaty
    In this treaty, the government declared that large areas between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains belonged to the Sioux.
  • Railroads

    In 1862, Congress had granted money to the Union Pacific Railroad Company to build a railroad west from the Mississippi towards the Pacific. At the same time it gave a grant to the Central Pacific Railroad Company to build eastwards from California. The two railroad lines finally met in 1869. This mark an important connection for trade, people and developments.
  • Reconstruction Governments

    Reconstruction Governments
    All southern states had "Reconstruction governments", most were made up of blacks, some northerners and some southerners. Most white southerners supported the Democratic political party, who claimed that these governments were incompetent and dishonest. There was some truth in this claim because of the inexperienced and poorly education. But they also contained honest men who tried to improve the South.
  • Ku Klux Klan

    Ku Klux Klan
    White southerners organized terrorist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, who was the largest and most feared secret society. It members dressed themselves in white sheets and wore hoods to hide their faces. They rode by night through the southern countryside, beating and killing any blacks who tried to improve their position. The main aim of these groups was to threaten and frighten black people and prevent them from claiming their rights.
  • "Carpetbaggers" and "Scalawags"

    "Carpetbaggers" and "Scalawags"
    Calling names was another of the South answers to the Reconstruction governments. The southerners referred to the newly northerners as “carpetbaggers”. The name is based on the image of opportunist "Yankees" arriving from the North ready to pillage and plunder the defeated South. Then, the “scalawags” referred to the white southerners who cooperate with the ‘carpetbaggers’. They were Southern whites who formed a Republican coalition with black freemen and Northern newcomers.
  • Black Hills

    Black Hills
    In 1874, American soldiers found gold in the Black Hills, which were sacred to the Sioux. The Sioux refused to sell the Black Hills, but the government ignored them, broke the treaty and allowed prospectors and miners to enter the Black Hills. By this time, with the buffalo to the brink of extinction and the latter president's sculpture in Mount Rushmore, the Sioux were in trouble and their mountains were desecrated.
  • Centennial Exposition

    Centennial Exposition
    The US celebrated the 100 year anniversary of their independence with the Centennial Exposition. The main attraction was the Machinery Hall, full of American inventions and machines. In the years that followed the exposition, American industries grew quickly.
  • Battle of Little Big Horn

    Battle of Little Big Horn
    As more settlers claimed homesteads in the West, the government needed more lands, so it decided to force the Amerindians to abandon their way of life and put them into reservations (areas of unfarmable land). The Amerindian fought back, especially the Sioux, but they were outnumbered and unarmed. One important battle was called Little Big Horn, where American soldiers were defeated. After this, US citizens were outraged and more soldiers were sent to the West to hunt down Amerindians.
  • Congress Withdrawal

    Congress Withdrawal
    The use of violence and fear helped white racists regain control of state government in the South. In 1877, Congress withdrew federal troops from the South. Black people were more and more treated as "second class citizens" and robbed of their right to vote. Reconstruction was over.
  • Thomas Edison

    Thomas Edison
    Edison had his greatest success in making practical use of electricity. He formed the Edison Electric Light Company in 1878.
  • The Great Plains Divided

    The Great Plains Divided
    Twenty five years after the end of the Civil War, the Great Plains had been divided into states and territories, occupied by farmers, ranchers and shepherds. The "Great American Desert" had started its change.
  • Chinese Immigration Banning

    Chinese Immigration Banning
    The flood of immigrants worried many Americans, they accused immigrants of taking jobs away from American-born workers. In the 1860s, Chinese workers had been brought to build the railroads, the fact that they were willing to work for less pay caused unrest. Chinese immigrants were being attacked, and this caused the government to ban Chinese, Japanese and other Asian immigrants until WWII.
  • Black Codes

    Black Codes
    White southerners were horrified and wanted to resist the Congress measurements, so they started to pass this "codes" that did not allow black people to access education, land or jobs. They also refused black people the right to vote.
  • The Ghost Dance

    The Ghost Dance
    A religious prophet told the Sioux to dance a special dance, “the Ghost Dance”, which would bring their dead warriors to life while at the same time the buffalo would return and the white settlers would go away. It was a peaceful movement, but it worried the government. So when some Siouxs tried to leave their reservation in order to do it, they were stopped. After a quarrel with the American army, shots were fired and within minutes most of the Sioux were dead or severely injured.
  • Coal and Iron Growth

    Coal and Iron Growth
    New deposits of iron and carbon were found, and they started using these materials to build new machines. By 1890, the industries of the US were bigger and more important than the farmlands. By 1913, more than one third of the world’s industrial production was from the mines and factories from the US.
  • Henry Ford

    Henry Ford
    He started in the automobile industry in the 1890s. In 1903, he started using a new method of mass production: standardization. He also added a moving assembling line in 1913.
  • Great Plains Farming

    Great Plains Farming
    The Great Plains had never been ploughed before and the roots on the ground were very thick. Lack of water was another problem, and so was fire and insects. Gradually, farmers began to overcome these problems, especially with the help of machinery manufactured in big cities. Before the end of the 19th century, wheat farmed in the Great Plains was not only feeding the US but also some parts of Europe.
  • Ellis Island

    Ellis Island
    In 1892, Ellis Island opened in New York. All intended immigrants were examined there before they were allowed to enter. It dealt with 2,000 immigrants a day at its busiest times. More than 20 million people went through this process until 1954.
  • Black Lives Consequences

    Black Lives Consequences
    Segregation was enforced on trains, in parks, in schools, and even cemeteries. Any black who dares to break these segregation laws was likely to end up either in prison or dead. In the 1890s an average of 150 blacks was killed illegally - "lynched" - by white mobs. The former improvements seemed lost forever.
  • Segregation

    Some states introduced segregation, made legal by 1896 Supreme Court ruling: the Constitution allowed separate facilities and services to be provided for black and white people as long as the facilities were of equal quality. Their claim was "separate but equal", but the reality was so far to be equal.
  • South Trickes

    South Trickes
    Some states prevented blacks from voting by introducing a poll tax, which was so high that black people could not pay it. In fact, if blacks did try to pay, the tax collectors often refused to take their money. Other states introduced "Grandfather clauses" that allowed the vote only to people whose grandfathers had qualified to vote in 1865, but most blacks had only obtained the vote in 1866.
  • The Spanish-American War

    The Spanish-American War
    In the 1890s, Americans wanted to claim more colonies as it meant trade, wealth, power and prestige. Americans saw this opportunity with Cuba, which rose rebellion against Spanish rulers, and sent a warship to help the country. The warship was blown up and Americans blamed Spaniards, this event led to a war that ended with the Spanish colonial rule in the Americas and the US gaining some territories in the Western Pacific and Latin America.
  • Progressivism

    People began to demand Congress to address social and political issues exposed in magazines. This changed the American political panorama. Before this, most Americans believed in laissez-faire, which stated that the government should abstain from interfering in people’s lives. After 1900, many Americans became Progressive, people who believed the government should take action to deal with the problems of society.
  • Working Conditions

    Working Conditions
    By 1900, US was the richest and most productive country in the world. About 20 million people worked in the industries, including women and children. Many worked 59 hours a week or even more and wages were low. They all lived in overcrowded slums and their work was often dangerous and unhealthy. Workers died of burns, explosions, electric shocks, suffocation, falling objects or crushes. Neither workers nor their families received any compensation in the case of injury or death.
  • Theodore Roosevelt

    Theodore Roosevelt
    He was President between 1901 and 1909. He believed in giving people “a square deal” to improve conditions of living. He was concerned about the power of trusts, so he wanted to allow businessmen enough freedom of action to run their business, but at the same time he wanted to prevent them from taking unfair advantage from people. To do this, he enforced some anti-trust laws.
  • Coal Mine Strike

    Coal Mine Strike
    President Roosevelt intervened so that the owners hear the workers and reached a settlement. A few years later, he forced big companies to charge their customers fair rates, instead of allowing big industrialist clients to pay less than farmers.
  • The Panama Canal

    The Panama Canal
    In 1903, the US wanted to build a canal through Panama, but this land was owned by Colombia. Roosevelt sent warships to Panama and helped this country to become independent from Colombia. In return, Panama gave the US permission to build the canal.
  • The Jungle

    The Jungle
    In the early years of the 20th century, magazines and articles drew people’s attention to some social issues. Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906, a novel in which he exposed life among immigrant workers of slaughterhouses in Chicago, and how the meat was handled. Reports like this shocked and frightened the American people, making meat sales drop by half. Companies begged Congress to inspect their slaughterhouses to convince the public that the products were fit to eat.
  • Pure Food and Drug Act

    Pure Food and Drug Act
    President Roosevelt supported laws to control that food and water were pure. He also controlled medicine.
  • Roosevelt’s Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

    Roosevelt’s Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
    President James Monroe (1817 - 1825) stated that Europe should not interfere in Latin America. In 1908, Roosevelt made an addition to it (corollary): the United States can intervene in Latin America when it was necessary.
  • Howard Taft

    Howard Taft
    He was President between 1909 and 1913. He was a mild reformer. He enforced some anti-trust acts and passed laws for workmen’s compensation.
  • The Dollar Diplomacy

    The Dollar Diplomacy
    President Taft encouraged American businessmen to invest in areas that were strategically important to the US, such as Latin America.
  • 16th Amendment

    16th Amendment
    Under Taft's presidency, the congress passed the amendment by which it shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
  • Woodrow Wilson

    Woodrow Wilson
    He was President between 1913 and 1921. His policies were called "The New Freedom". By a series of laws, he could reduce the custom duties to foster trade, reform the banking system, introduce a system of taxes on high incomes, reduce the power of trusts. He could enable farmers to receive loans from the government, give more rights to labor unions, forbid factories to employ children, introduce secret voting, improve safety at work, and protect natural resources.
  • Underwood Tariff Act

    Underwood Tariff Act
    This was passed under Wilson's presidency. Its purpose was to reduce levies on manufactured and semi-manufactured goods and to eliminate duties on most raw materials.
  • The Federal Reserve Act

    The Federal Reserve Act
    This Act was passed under Wilson's presidency and established the Federal Reserve System as the central bank of the United States to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. The law sets out the purposes, structure, and functions of the System as well as outlines aspects of its operations and accountability.