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History of the United States from the Colonial period to the end of the Conquest of the West

  • 1492

    "Discovery" of America

    "Discovery" of America
    Christopher Columbus arrival in West Indies (les Antilles) and then the Bahamas. He never set foot on America. Vikings are the first one to go in America in the 10th century.
  • 1506

    Death of Christopher Columbus

    He died while believing he arrived in India (named Indians in the West Indies (les Antilles)).
  • 1507

    First time naming America

    Amerigo Vespucci was the first one to understand America was not India so the land was named after him.
    It was the beginning of Europeans' will of making profit of this land (creating new routes, exploit new ores or natural ressources).
  • 1507

    * The Native Americans *

    Native Americans or Indians is a wrong and general term (there were a lot of different tribes with different cultures who were usually ennemies from one another like the Shawnee, the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Shoshone, the Comanche, the Navajo and the Apache.).
    2 to 8 millions of them lived in the US and probably over 100 millions in all America.
    90 to 95% of them died in contact of Europeans (because of diseases, war or slavery or because Whites killed all buffaloes used for food, fabric...).
  • Period: to

    Settlers fleeing to America

    During 17th century, 200.000 English people flew England to come in America: because of growing population in England there was food or health or wages or religious problems.
    A lot of them went into indenture (work in poor conditions for other richer people to earn money to do the trip or to start over in America, most of them died because they were not slaves that belong directly to colonialist).
  • Virginia, the First British Colony

    The first town was Jamestown named after James I (first colonialist king) and after late Queen Elisabeth I nicknamed the Virgin Queen (she never married).
    John Smith helped creating this colony thanks to his knowledge and relationships with Pocahontas.
  • * Black Codes *

    * Black Codes *
    Slaves could not testify in court, do any business (buy or sell), own properties, participate in politics, gather or travel, marry or have children (so mother and children or spouses had to separate): they were considered as things belonging to a master.
  • Period: to

    The Slaves Trade

    The triangular trade:
    - Europe to Africa: (manufactured goods) pots, guns, alcohol, horses...
    - Africa to America: africans slaves
    - America to Europe: sugar, cotton, rum, tobacco, coffee...
    50% of them died on ships in bad conditions and they were mainly sent to the West Indies or to Brazil. Only 5% of them arrived in North America (10.000) and were important in the South for cotton plantation (in the North they were servants). They came from Africa or India or because they were war prisoners.
  • Plymouth, the Second British Colony

    Created by the Pilgrim Fathers (pères pèlerins) like John Winthrop, its purpose was religious: English people flew their country because of persecution (Maryland was also a shelter for catholics or puritans (against the Church of England)).
    When they arrived in Massachusetts they didn't had any food and they would have died if it wasn't for the Indians who helped them (actual thanksgiving every 1st November).
  • Navigation Acts

    It was a restriction for the colonies to only sell their goods to Great Britain and only buy their goods from GB hence the fact that colonialists felt hatred toward "Motherland". In addition to that, other europeans flew their countries so patriotical feelings (for GB) started to die off and most of new Americans believed in Human beings more than Gods (contradiction with GB divine monarchy): it's the enlightenment period.
  • Period: to

    French and Indian war (or Seven Year war)

    It opposed the British to the French (Indians tribes sided with the French mainly). France and England wanted to expand their territories and there was a conflict between protestant (new Church of England) and catholics (French), France only kept St Pierre et Miquelon and gain, in exchange for Canada (hard to defend and to grow plantations), only two small territories: Guadeloupe and Martinique.
  • First taxes (Sugar Act and Stamp Act)

    After the French and Indian war, Britain lost millions so it taxed heavily America on Sugar first and then a year after with the Stamp Acts all printed materials. Colonialists created the Sons of Liberty and, in 1766, the tax was reduced.
  • Townshend Acts

    Tax on tea, paper and glass followed by a boycott of this product (a year later it was remove except for tea)
  • Boston massacre

    British soldiers shot between 5 and 7 people against the Townshend acts.
  • Boston Tea Party

    The sons of Liberty raided Boston's Harbor and threw all the tea of 3 ships that just arrived in Massachusetts.
  • The Coercive Acts (or Intolerable Acts)

    Boston's Harbor was closed until settlers had paid for all the damage they had caused during tea party. The elected council was dissolve and the king was in power in Massachusetts.
  • Period: to

    First Continental Congress

    First assembly of 12 colonies out of 13 to create a resistance towards Britain (stop taxes, make sure the minutes men (private militia) and the people had weapons to defend themselves).
  • Creation of the Continental Army

    Made by the Second Continental Congress, it was the real first army of the colonies and after of US led by George Washington (first president of US 1789 to 1797 and slave owner of Virginia).
  • Beginning of British invasion

    During the night between the 18th and the 19th April, British troops marched from Boston (where they arrived) to Concord in New Hampshire to take all Americans weapons but the Minutemen were warned by Paul Revere during his "midnight ride". The war of Independence had begun.
  • Period: to

    The War of Independence

    Americans decided to fight for their rights against Britain's tyranny but they were not totally against British power just against taxes and Acts. Some British were for the American's Independence like Thomas Paine and his "Common sense" pamphlet that helped neutral Americans to take side with the revolutionist?
  • Period: to

    Second Continental Congress

    Ratification of Declaration of Independence and "rulers" of the American revolution (1/5 of loyalists to Britain, 2/5 of revolutionists, the rest was neutral but the congress eventually succeed to convince them to join revolution). It was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    Americans declared themselves free of the yoke of GB. John Addams (2nd president 1797-1801), Thomas Jefferson (3rd president 1801-1809 and main writer of DoI) and Benjamin Franklin (inventor of lighting rod, politician, journalist...) participated to its ratification. 13 colonies became 13 States of American Union with a common flag (13 stars then and now 50): USA was born.
  • France's help

    France's help
    They join the war with General Lafayette on 1778 to have revenge on French and Indian war and in 1783 the Treaty of Paris declared US "unconditionally independent"
  • The Articles of Confederation

    Written by the Second Continental Congress a few years ago, its goal was to define the relationship of all 13 colonies. It's the first text of the US Constitution.
  • The Constitution

    After the Articles of Confederation's failure, 55 delegates met in Philadelphia (founding fathers) and wrote the 7 articles: US...
    1 - is a republic
    2 - is a federal country (different powers between States)
    3 - have 3 separate power
    4 - said power have "checks and balance" (make a president resign, having a veto for the president)
    5 - have 2 chambers (the house of representatives and the senate
    6 - will tolerate slavery
    7 - have the 3/5th compromise (slave were only 3/5 of a person
  • The Northwest Ordinance

    The Northwest Ordinance
    North-west territories becoming part of USA as Free States (no slavery there).
  • Election of George Washington

    First president of US.
  • Beginning of White expansion and Conquest of the West

    Policies towards Indians were made so they wouldn't start wars (treaty for fur in exchange of goods like rum or ironware or blankets or even guns which had diseases on them like measles (rougeole) or smallpox (variole) or treaty on land: Indians gave their lands in exchange of peace with the Whites).
    Later, assimilation was a the new trick to "peacefully" take down Indians tribes by putting them into Christianism and putting their kids in "Whites school": 'Kill the Indian, save the man'.
  • The Bill of Rights

    Constitution: 7 articles + 10 amendements of BoR (was proposed in 1789) + 17 amendements later.
    1 - Freedom of speech, press, religion and peaceful assembly.
    2 - Right to bear arms
    5 to 8 - right to not be a witness against yourself, to have a trial...
    13 and 14 - Former slaves becomes citizen (1865)
    15 - Former slaves have the Right to vote (1870)
    19 - Women have the Right to vote (1920)
  • Treaty of Greenville

    2.000 of Indians died in attacks against White so a Miami chief gave up most of futur Ohio and other territories. Two Shawnee leaders organized resistance because of this (1809 to 1811), but they were defeated and it ended the resistance in the Old Northwest.
  • Period: to

    Indians reaction to assimilation

    Some like the Cherokee adapted to the Whites way of life (they still lost over 80% of their lands), other like the Shawnee or the Creek resisted (they created the Western Confederacy that attacked old military structures and led to White repression).
  • The Louisiana Purchase

    The Louisiana Purchase
    France sold Louisiana to pay his wars and because of a bad reputation (due mainly to Natives and poor incomes).
  • Period: to

    The Lewis and Clark Expedition

    They were sent to map Louisiana and do research on the people who lived there and on flora and fauna by Thomas Jefferson and were accompanied by Sacagawea.
  • End of Slaves Trades with France and Great Britain

    They stopped sending slaves in America but the slaves who were already in America remained slaves (end of slavery is 60 years later).
  • Creek war

    5.000 White men led by Andrew Jackson (7th president of US and Indians persecutor) took the most sacred place for the Creek, the Choctaw and the Chickasaw after the war to build fort Jackson.
  • The acquisition of Florida

    The acquisition of Florida
    Commonly known as treaty of Adams-Onís, Spain gave its territory.
  • The Missouri Compromise

    About slavery (prohibited in the North of Ohio river), the rule was back then that for each Free State there is one Slave State (to feed its people). Even if Missouri was on the North of Ohio, it was decided for it to be a Slave State while Maine was supposed to be its equivalent as a Free State.
  • * The pioneers *

    After exploration (mapped the grounds), the pioneers arrived on the New Land, they had 2 main activities: trappers (for beavers fur: Davy Crockett, 1786 to 1836) and hunters (for buffalo: Buffalo Bill, 1846 to 1917). They created businesses from scratch and valued working together more than the titles.
  • * The settlers *

    They came after pioneers. There was 3 main types of pioneers: miners (interested in different ores and especially gold), farmers and cattlemen (nomadic lifestyle).
  • Beginning of the Railway era

    End of stagecoaches, a lot of new train tracks were created (the most important is the first Transcontinental railroad of 1869 which went from one coast to the other). People went from 25 days in stagecoaches to do this trip to a single week.
  • Andrew Jackson's Removal Act

    Massive act of Indians forced migration towards Western part. Among the 100.000 of them that were sent away from their lands, 30.000 of them died because of the hard condition. They were forced into selling their home for cheap prices to the Withes and often had to leave in the dead of winter with almost nothing on and ended up in unhospitaliate places. Over 25% of them died (Cherokee mainly). Some tried to rebel but in 1837, the army was sent to evict them: it was the trail of tears.
  • The Manifest Destiny

    Invented by John O'Sullivan, its goal was to give a better image to the Conquest of the West: « that’s the destiny of the US to push the boundaries westward », « Americans didn’t have any control on that because that’s God’s Will that brought the expansion of US and He chose it because it’s the greatest country of all time ». The main idea of the Manifest Destiny is that the US are above everyone.
  • The annexation of Texas

    The annexation of Texas
    28th State of US, it had belonged to the Spanish before Mexico became independent in 1821(it became a Mexican territory) before becoming itself an independent country: the Lone star.
  • The Oregon Treaty

    The Oregon Treaty
    became an American territory through a peaceful agreement with GB.
  • The end of the war with Mexico

    The end of the war with Mexico
    Lasted 2 years, at its end, the war allowed US to take another part of Mexicans territories on the western part.
  • Discovery of Gold in California

    Caused the beginning of the Gold Rush (from 14.000 people to 200.000). At the end, the population grew so much that buffaloes almost all died making the Plains Indians suffer a lot of damage afterward. Most miners didn't found enough gold to pay their expensive and went back to a farmers life.
  • Creation of mail companies

    Creation of Wells Fargo and American Express which are, today, banks. Pony Express was the quickest of them all and Buffalo Bill helped making it but it disappear in 1861 because of telegraph.
  • The Gadsden Purchase

    The Gadsden Purchase
    Last territory bought to Mexico, US could now do railway's from one coast to the other. Mexico lost 55% of its territory to US.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Repeal the Missouri Compromise, Americans could now decide if their State was or not a Slave State.
  • Homestead Act and Great Plains

    Homestead Act and Great Plains
    During Civil war, act that stipulated that every citizen that didn't borne arms to government would have 160 acres in the Great Plains (red mark on the map). The Great Plains were the hunting place of the Indians for Buffaloes, it was a dry place (hard to grow plants or to settle a farm or ranch). Many former miners who earned those new territories went western to rainier place. Indians lost the Great Plain in 1851: it was almost impossible for Buffaloes to remain there because of destruction.
  • Abolition of Slavery

    It's the 13th amendments of Constitution made under Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States of America.
  • Appropriation Act

    American tribes are no longer independent nations and were wards of America.
  • Last Indian victory

    Won by Indians in Dakota, known as the last Indians victory before total assimilation and end of the conquest of the West (1890)
  • Dawes Act

    Gave Indians allotments: got back some of their former land by paying (goals to separate tribes and sense of community and encourage individual ownership (capitalism °3°)). They lost 3/4 of their lands because they were forced to sell their land to pay bills and feed their families (became dependent of the American government).
  • End of Conquest of the West

    Lasted almost a century, the CotW resulted in US being a complete continental country (6 States until actual US) and of Mexico loosing 50% of its territory as well as the complete disappearance of Indians tribes.
  • Klondike Rush

    Late gold Rush in Alaska.