Civil war

Civil War

  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    Under these agreements, Maine was admitted as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. The rest of the Louisiana Territory was split into two parts. The dividing line was set at 36°30´ north latitude. South of the line, slavery was legal. North of the line—except in Missouri—slavery was banned.
    President James Monroe.
  • Santa Fe Trail

    Santa Fe Trail
    The settlers and traders who made the trek west used a series of old Native American trails as well as new routes. One of the busiest routes was the Santa Fe Trail, which stretched 780 miles from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe in the Mexican province of New Mexico. American traders loaded their wagons with goods and set off to Santa Fe.
  • San Felipe de Austin

    San Felipe de Austin
    Stephen F. Austin obtained permission, first from Spain and then from Mexico after it had won its independence, to carry out his father’s project. In 1821 he established a colony. The main settlement of the colony was named San Felipe de Austin, in Stephen’s honor.
  • Mexico abolishes slavery

    Mexico abolishes slavery
    Many of the settlers were Southerners, who had brought slaves with them to Texas. Mexico, which had abolished slavery in 1829, insisted in vain that the Texans free their slaves.
  • The Liberator

    The Liberator
    Established by William Lloyd Garrison, white abolitionist and editor. Wanted to deliver an uncompromising demand: immediate emancipation (liberation, freedom).
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    Led by Virginia slave Nat Turner. In August 1831, Turner and more than 50 followers attacked four plantations and killed about 60 whites. Whites eventually captured and executed many members of the group, including Turner.
  • Stephen F. Austin goes to jail

    Stephen F. Austin goes to jail
    Austin had traveled to Mexico City late in 1833 to present petitions to Mexican president Antonio López de Santa Anna for greater self-government for Texas. While Austin was on his way home, Santa Anna had Austin imprisoned for inciting revolution.
  • Abolition

    The movement to abolish slavery. It became the most important of a series of reform movements in America.
  • Oregon Trail

    Oregon Trail
    The Oregon Trail stretched from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon. It was blazed in 1836 by two Methodist missionaries named Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. By driving their wagon as far as Fort Boise (near present-day Boise, Idaho), they proved that wagons could travel on the Oregon Trail.
  • Texas Revolution

    Texas Revolution
    The 1836 rebellion in which Texas gained its independence from Mexico.
  • Texas enters the United States

    Texas enters the United States
    On March 2, 1836, Texans declared their independence from Mexico and quickly ratified a constitution based on that of the United States. The Texans set Santa Anna free only after he signed the Treaty of Velasco, which granted independence to Texas. In September 1836, Sam Houston was elected president of the new Republic of Texas. The 1844 U.S. presidential campaign focused on westward expansion. The winner, James K. Polk, a slaveholder, firmly favored the annexation of Texas.
  • Manifest Destiny

    Manifest Destiny
    The phrase “manifest destiny” expressed the belief that the United States was ordained to expand to the Pacific Ocean and into Mexican and Native American territory. Many Americans also believed that this destiny was manifest, or obvious and inevitable.
  • Mexican-American War

    Mexican-American War
    April 25, 1846 – February 2, 1848
    The war was initiated by Mexico and resulted in Mexico's defeat and the loss of approximately half of its national territory in the north. Initially, the United States declined to incorporate it into the union, largely because northern political interests were against the addition of a new slave state.
  • The North Star

    The North Star
    Written by Frederick Douglass. Hoping that abolition could be achieved without violence, Douglass broke with Garrison, who believed that abolition justified whatever means were necessary to achieve it.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    Signed on February 2, 1848, by the United States and Mexico. Mexico agreed to the Rio Grande as the border between Texas and Mexico and ceded the New Mexico and California territories to the United States. The United States agreed to pay $15 million for the Mexican cession, which included presentday California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, most of Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    After obtaining support of the powerful Massachusetts senator Daniel Webster, Clay presented to the Senate a series of resolutions later called the Compromise of 1850. To please the North, the compromise provided that California be admitted to the Union as a free state. To please the South, the compromise proposed a new and more effective fugitive slave law. To placate both sides, a provision allowed popular sovereignty, the right to vote for or against slavery, for New Mexico & Utah.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    Under the law, alleged fugitive slaves were not entitled to a trial by jury. In addition, anyone convicted of helping a fugitive was liable for a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for
    up to six months. Infuriated by the Fugitive Slave Act, some Northerners resisted it by organizing “vigilance committees” to send endangered African Americans to safety in Canada. Others resorted to violence to rescue fugitive slaves. Still others worked to help slaves escape from slavery.
  • Underground Railroad

    Underground Railroad
    As time went on, free African Americans and white abolitionists developed a secret network of people who would, at great risk to themselves, hide fugitive slaves. The system of escape routes they used became known as the Underground Railroad.
  • Harriet Tubman

    Harriet Tubman
    One of the most famous conductors of the Underground Railroad. She was born a slave in Maryland in 1820. In 1849, after Tubman’s owner died, she heard rumors that she was about to be sold. Fearing this possibility, Tubman decided to make a break for freedom and succeeded in reaching Philadelphia.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Harriet Beecher Stowe published her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which stressed that slavery was not just a political contest, but also a great moral struggle.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    Senator Stephen Douglas introduced avbill in Congress on January 23, 1854, that would divide the area into two
    territories: Nebraska in the north and Kansas in the south. If passed, the bill would repeal the Missouri Compromise and establish popular sovereignty for both territories. Became law in 1854.
  • Dred Scott vs. Sandford

    Dred Scott vs. Sandford
    Dred Scott, a slave whose owner took him from the slave state of Missouri to free territory in Illinois and Wisconsin and back to Missouri. Scott appealed to the Supreme Court for his
    freedom on the grounds that living in a free state—Illinois—and a free territory—Wisconsin—had made him a free man. March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court ruled against Dred Scott. Lacked legal standing to sue b/c he was not and never could be a citizen.
  • Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates

    Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates
    Douglas believed deeply in popular supreme power (sovereignty). Lincoln, on the other hand, believed that slavery was immoral. Douglas won the Senate seat, but his response had widened the split in the Democratic Party. As for Lincoln, his attacks on the “vast moral evil” of slavery drew national attention, and some Republicans began thinking of him as an excellent candidate for the presidency in 1860.
  • John Brown's raid/Harpers Ferry

    John Brown's raid/Harpers Ferry
    Abolitionist John Brown believed that the time was ripe for uprisings in the United States. On October 16, 1859, he led a band of 21 men, black and white, into Harpers Ferry, Virginia
    (now West Virginia). His aim was to seize the federal arsenal there and start a general slave uprising. No such uprising occurred, however. Instead, troops put down the rebellion.
    Later, authorities tried Brown and put him to death.
  • Abraham Lincoln becomes president

    Abraham Lincoln becomes president
    Lincoln appeared to be moderate in his views. Although he pledged to halt the further spread of slavery, he also tried to reassure Southerners that a Republican administration would not “interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves.”
  • Formation of the Confederacy

    Formation of the Confederacy
    South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. In February 1861, delegates from the secessionist states met in Montgomery, Alabama, where they formed the Confederate States of America. The Confederates then unanimously elected former senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as president.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    As soon as the Confederacy was formed, Confederate soldiers
    in each secessionist state began seizing federal installations—especially forts. Only four Southern forts
    remained in Union hands, the most important was Fort Sumter, on an island in Charleston harbor. News of Fort Sumter’s fall united the North.
  • Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run
    The first bloodshed on the battlefield occurred about three months after Fort Sumter fell, near the little creek of Bull Run. The battle was a seesaw affair. In the morning the Union army
    gained the upper hand, but the Confederates held firm. In the afternoon Confederate reinforcements helped win the first Southern victory. Fortunately for the Union, the Confederates were too exhausted to follow up their victory with an attack on
    Washington. Still, Confederate morale soared.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    McClellan ordered his men to pursue Lee, and the two
    sides fought on September 17 near a creek called the
    Antietam. The clash proved to be the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with casualties totaling more than 26,000. The next day, instead of pursuing the battered Confederate army into Virginia and possibly ending the war, McClellan did nothing. As a result, Lincoln removed him from command.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation did not free any slaves immediately because it applied only to areas behind Confederate lines, outside Union control. Nevertheless, for many, the proclamation gave the war a moral purpose by turning the struggle into a fight to free the slaves. It also ensured that compromise was no longer possible.
  • Conscription

    As the fighting intensified, heavy casualties and widespread desertions led each side to impose conscription, a draft that forced men to serve in the army.
  • Income Tax

    Income Tax
    As the Northern economy grew, Congress decided to help pay for the war by collecting the nation’s first income tax, a tax that takes a specified percentage of an individual’s income.
  • Battle at Gettysburg

    Battle at Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1 when Confederate soldiers led by A. P. Hill encountered several brigades of Union cavalry under the command of John Buford, an experienced officer from Illinois. The three-day battle produced staggering losses: 23,000 Union men and 28,000
    Confederates were killed or wounded. Total casualties were more than 30 percent. Despite the devastation, Northerners were enthusiastic about breaking “the charm of Robert Lee’s invincibility.”
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    In November 1863, a ceremony was held to dedicate a cemetery in Gettysburg. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address “remade America.” The speech helped the country to realize that it was not just a collection of individual states; it was one unified nation.
  • Battle at Vicksburg

    Battle at Vicksburg
    While Meade’s Army of the Potomac was destroying Confederate hopes in Gettysburg, Union general Ulysses S. Grant fought to take Vicksburg, one of the two remaining Confederate strongholds on the Mississippi River. The Confederate command of Vicksburg asked Grant for terms of surrender. The city fell on July 4. Five days later the last Confederate holdout on the Mississippi, also fell. The Union had achieved another of its major military objectives, and the Confederacy was cut in two.
  • Sherman's March

    Sherman's March
    Led by William Tecumseh Sherman. Sherman began his march southeast through Georgia to the sea, creating a wide path of destruction. Determined to make Southerners “so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.” By mid-November he had burned most of Atlanta. After reaching the ocean, Sherman’s forces—followed by 25,000 former slaves—turned north to help Grant “wipe out Lee.”
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Surrender at Appomattox Court House
    On April 9, 1865, in a Virginia town called Appomattox Court House, Lee and Grant met at a private home to arrange a Confederate surrender. Grant paroled Lee’s soldiers and sent them home with their possessions and three days’ worth of rations. Officers were permitted to keep their side arms. Within a month all remaining Confederate resistance collapsed. After four long years, the Civil War was over.
  • Thirteenth Ammendment

    Thirteenth Ammendment
    The U.S. Constitution now stated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary
    servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    Shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth—a 26-year-old actor and Southern sympathizer. Ford’s Theatre.