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Civil War Timeline

  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    Behind the leadership of Henry Clay, Congress passed a series of agreements
    in 1820–1821 known as the 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.
  • San Felipe de Austin

    San Felipe de Austin
    The main settlement of the colony was named San Felipe de Austin, in
    Stephen’s honor. By 1825, Austin had issued 297 land grants to the group that later
    became known as Texas’s Old Three Hundred. Each family received either 177 very
    inexpensive acres of farmland, or 4,428 acres for stock grazing, as well as a 10-year
    exemption from paying taxes. “I am convinced,” Austin said, “that I could take on
    fifteen hundred families as easily as three hundred if permitted to do so.” By 1830,
    there were mor
  • Mexico Abolishes Slavery

    Mexico Abolishes Slavery
    The mission system
    used by Spain declined after Mexico had won independence from Spain in 1821.
    After freeing the missions from Spanish control, the Mexican government offered
    the surrounding lands to government officials and ranchers. To make the land
    more secure and stable, the Mexican government also encouraged Americans to
    settle in Texas.
  • Stephen F. Austin goes to jail

    Stephen F. Austin goes to jail
    Stephen 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 where “no drunkard, no gambler, no profane
    swearer, and no idler” would be allowed.
  • The Liberator

    The Liberator
    William Lloyd Garrison. Active in religious reform movements
    in Massachusetts, Garrison became the editor of an antislavery paper in 1828.
    Three years later he established his own paper, The Liberator, to deliver an uncompromising
    demand: immediate emancipation
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    Nat Turner's Rebellion (also known as the Southampton Insurrection) was a slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County, Virginia, during August 1831. Led by Nat Turner, rebel slaves killed anywhere from 55 to 65 people, the highest number of fatalities caused by any slave uprising in the American South.
  • Texas Revolution

    Texas Revolution
    While Austin was on his way home, Santa Anna had Austin imprisoned for inciting revolution. After Santa Anna suspended local powers in Texas and other Mexican states, several rebellions broke out, including one that would be
    known as the Texas Revolution
  • Texas Enters the US

    Texas Enters the US
    Most Texans hoped that the United States
    would annex their republic, but U.S. opinion divided along sectional lines.
    Southerners wanted Texas in order to extend slavery, which already had been
    established there. Northerners feared that the annexation of more slave territory
    would tip the uneasy balance in the Senate in favor of slave states—and prompt
    war with Mexico.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mexican American War

    Mexican American War
    A war between the U.S. and Mexico spanned the period from spring 1846 to fall 1847. 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.
  • The North Star

    The North Star
    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.
    In 1847, Douglass began his own
    antislavery newspaper. He named it
    The North Star, after the star that
    guided runaway slaves to freedom.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    officially entitled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, is the peace treaty signed on February 2, 1848, in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850, which defused a four-year political confrontation between slave and free states regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican–American War (1846–48).
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave-holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers.
  • Underground Railroad

    Underground Railroad
    The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause.
  • Harriet Tubman

    Harriet Tubman
    Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and, during the American Civil War, a Union spy
  • Formation of the Confederacy

    Formation of the Confederacy
    The Confederate States of America, commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was a confederation of secessionist American states existing from 1861 to 1865.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman.
  • Kansas Nebraska Act

    Kansas Nebraska Act
    The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 (10 Stat. 277) created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska by Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. The initial purpose of the Kansas–Nebraska Act was to open up many thousands of new farms and make feasible a Midwestern Transcontinental Railroad.
  • Dread Scott v. Sandford

    Dread Scott v. Sandford
    was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court held that African Americans, whether enslaved or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court,[2][3] and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States. Dred Scott, an enslaved African American man who had been taken by his owners to free states and territories, attempted to sue for his freedom
  • Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates

    Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debates
    The Lincoln–Douglas Debates of 1858 (also known as The Great Debates of 1858) were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican ... Stephen Douglas was first elected to the United States Senate in 1846.
  • John Brown's Raid/Harper's Ferry

    John Brown's Raid/Harper's Ferry
    John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry was an effort by white abolitionist John Brown to initiate an armed slave revolt in 1859 by taking over a United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia.
  • 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.
  • Abraham Lincoln becomes President

    Abraham Lincoln becomes President
    On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States, beating Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats, and John Bell of the new Constitutional Union Party. He was the first president from the Republican Party.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    The Battle of Fort Sumter was the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina, that started the American Civil War
  • Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run
    The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas, was fought on July 21, 1861 in Prince William County, Virginia, near the city of Manassas, not far from Washington, D.C. It was the first major battle of the American Civil War
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    The Battle of Antietam /ænˈtiːtəm/, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the South, fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek as part of the Maryland
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
  • Battle Of Gettysburg

    Battle Of Gettysburg
    The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known in American history The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known in American history. It was delivered by Lincoln during the Civil War
  • Battle of Vicksburg

    Battle of Vicksburg
    The Siege of Vicksburg (May 18 – July 4, 1863) was the final major military action in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of maneuvers, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate Army of Mississippi led by Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton into the defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • Sherman's March

    Sherman's March
    Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the military Savannah Campaign in the American Civil War, conducted through Georgia from November 15 to December 21, 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Surrender at Appomattox Court House
    The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was one of the last battles of the American Civil War. It was the final engagement of Confederate Army general Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.
  • Thirteenth Amendment

    Thirteenth Amendment
    The Thirteenth Amendment (Amendment XIII) to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. at a Theater
  • Abolition

    Abolition
    Abolition, the movement to abolish
    slavery, became the most important of a series of reform movements in America.
  • Conscription

    Conscription
    compulsory enlistment for state service, typically into the armed forces.
  • Income Tax

    Income Tax
    An income tax is a government levy (tax) imposed on individuals or entities (taxpayers) that varies with the income or profits (taxable income) of the taxpayer. Details vary widely by jurisdiction.