Events of American History

By LukeB
  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta Signed

    Magna Carta Signed
    The Magna Carta was a written document that forced King John of England into signing and emphasized having a strong parliament. The purpose of this document demonstrated that the king should have limited power and begin to use the old English laws for the citizens. The Barons of England forced King John to sign the document.
  • Mayflower Compact Signed

    Mayflower Compact Signed
    The Mayflower Compact was a written document coming from oversea voyagers to create a new independent government away from English law. The passengers on the Mayflower signed this document in order to create a new colony in America with equal laws and rights.
  • Formation of the New England Confederation

    Formation of the New England Confederation
    The New England Confederation was an alliance between Massachusetts, Conneticut, New Haven, and Plymouth. The alliance was formed for defense and protection from the Dutch, the French, or the Indians. It turned out that the alliance was weak and ignored upon by the state of Massachusetts.
  • French and Indian War Begins

    French and Indian War Begins
    The French and Indian War was the first Colonial War between France and England. The two nations fought for domination over North America. England won, but they were put in a staggering debt that nearly destroyed the government. In order to get back on track England had no choice but to tax the colonies in North America which led to tensions and the Revolutionary War.
  • Albany Plan of Union Announced

    Albany Plan of Union Announced
    The Albany Plan of Union kept the colonies united under one government. Its purpose was to place the British North American colonies under a more organized government. Although this plan was never carried out, it was the first important plan towards creating unity and equal justice.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    After the Colonial War, the Treaty of Paris was written which favored the victorious Great Britain and punished the defeated France. All French territory in North America was lost and the British received Qubec and the Ohio Valley. Spain gained the port of New Orleans for being an ally with Britain. This treaty, however, did not lessen the tensions between the colonialists and the British.
  • Royal Proclamation

    Royal Proclamation
    The Royal Proclamation was put into effect after the French and Indian war ended. The French were forced to give up the western frontier to the British and the colonists were excited to expand westward in that direction. The British, however, closed off the frontier with the Royal Proclamation saying the Indians in that area were feared of colonists taking over their land. The colonists were angry and thought that the British did this so it would be easier to regulate them on the east coast.
  • Sugar Act

    Sugar Act
    After the war the British decided to raise taxes on the colonists. Colonial merchants had to pay a tax of 6 pence per gallon on importation from foreign molasses. This caused corruption in the colonies and colonists began to evade taxes. The Parliament agreed to change the tax rate and announced the Sugar Act, which lowered molasses from 6 pence to 3 pence per gallon. This act also had other foreign goods become taxed as well, such as sugar, wines, and coffee.
  • Stamp Act Congress

    Stamp Act Congress
    Colonists began to boycott British goods and delegates met at the Stamp Act Congress for other options. The Congress started out weak as it quickly divided into radicals and moderates. The radicals believed there should be stonger measures against Britain, besides 'no taxation without representation' and the moderates stayed at bay with what was happening. Eventually the Congress gained support from other colonies and had less boycotts than the Stamp Act, but delegates united with each other.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The Stamp Act was between the colonists and the British leaders/Parliament. As a result of high war debt, Britain was desperate in gathering large incomes of repayment money. Britain decided to tax the colonies on many goods. To make sure colonists payed their taxes, they had to stamp the goods they bought, showing that they payed for its tax. The colonists had a really hard time paying for the taxes and they rebelled in ways of not paying them.
  • Townshend Acts

    Townshend Acts
    The Townshend Acts placed a tax on all goods imported to the colonies, such as lead, paint, glass, and tea. The British planned to raise $40,000 a year from the administration of the colonies. This resulted in rebellious acts made by the colonists. The revolutionary reaction that occurred was crowds of colonists mobbing the custom office to force British officials to move out a British Warship in the Harbor. Britain troops were sent to occupy Boston and Bostonians offered great resistance.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston Massacre was a boycott act in which colonists threw snowballs at the British Guard. The colonists were angry from taxes and once the riot began, the British called for reinforcements. They arrived and, 'by accident' a rifle was fired causing the other Briitsh fire. Five colonists were killed and six were wounded. Sam Adams, leader of the Sons of Liberty, used the Committees of Correspondence to spread the word of the British violence, calling it the Boston Massacre.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    In 1772, a British guard continuouly searched for colonists violating British law. Colonists were already angry at the taxes on sugar and tea and thought of this as tyranny. Colonists fired and destroyed the guard's ship. The colonists then sent letters to alert Patriots from tyranny and when three Britain tea ships came in to the Boston Port, the Patriots took action. They dressed up as Indians and dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor. This led to Parliament sending the Intolerable Acts.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The First Continental Congress was a meeting of colonial delgates in Philadelphia to discuss how they should respond to the Intolerable Acts. The delegates agreed to continue to boycott Britsh goods and work towards being self-sufficient. A minority of delegates discussed Independence and they agreed to hold another meeting a year later to check in on their progress and determine their next steps.
  • Patrick Henry "Give me Liberty"

    Patrick Henry "Give me Liberty"
    During the Second Virginia Convention, delegate Patrick Henry wanted raise a military and give Virginia a secure defense. Other delegates urged caution and patience until the crown replied to Congress' latest petition for reconciliation. On Henry's speech, he proposed to organize a volunteer company of soldiers in every Virginia town. Henry closed his speech with the unforgettable words, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
  • Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

    Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
    The first goal of the riders, Revere and Dawes, was to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were visiting in Lexington. Revere and Dawes tooks differnet paths to cover more ground to warn colonists of the British. Revere covered 16 miles in an hour yelling, "the regulars are coming!" Dawes and Revere showed up at Lexington and warned Hancock and Adams. They took off towards Concord with the help of another rider, Prescott. This led to good preparation for the battle of Lexington and Concord.
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord

    Battles of Lexington and Concord
    Word spread from town to town warning the colonists of the on-coming British soldiers. In the town of Lexington, 240 British soldiers matched up against only 70 colonists. The colonial militia organized it this way so that the British could become overly confident and expect an easy win. The British easily won the first presence, but in Concord the colonial militia came together in a large mass and forced the British to retreat. The militia then sent guerilla attacks, ensuring a first victory.
  • Fort Ticonderoga

    Fort Ticonderoga
    LinkFort Ticonderoga was built for Britain's advantage over the colonists. The colonists struggled with ammunition supply and this fort stored ammunition for the British. As a result of the fort's location, expeditions were held in order to capture the fort. The successful expedition was led by two American leaders of a group of colonial militia. The fort was greeted at night in which British soldiers were caught sleeping. Taking action, the colonists forced the British to surrender.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    The British were surprised to see the colonial militia ready to attack up high on Breed's Hill. The British had an advantage of their navy, but it was almost useless because the shots would go over the colonists heads since the colonists were on a hill. The British decided to fight on land and eventually forced the colonists to retreat, but there was a significant amount of casualties on the British side than the colonists side. This gave the colonists confidence of fighting the British.
  • "Common Sense" Published

    "Common Sense" Published
    Thomas Paine wrote this in order to favor and persuade people for American Independence. He did a well job in making the pamphlet readable for low class citizens so he could gain more support. "Common Sense" became an ideal importance in creating the American Revolution. It was one of the most influential pamphlets in history.
  • British Evacuate Boston

    British Evacuate Boston
    The British military was forced to leave Boston because of George Washinton's successful strategy in placing fortifications and cannons on Dorchester Heights. Washington structured this quietly over night and shot cannons in the morning so the British couldn't hear what was going on. Britsh wanted to shoot down the colonists from the sea, but a storm came in giving the colonists enough time to form a defensive fort. This brought an end to the eight year war between both hated countries.
  • Second Continental Congress meets

    Second Continental Congress meets
    Even after the victorious battles of Lexington and Concord, congress believed they still weren't ready to break away from Britain. Going step after step, they decided to put the colonies in a state of defense. They also decided to organize the colonial militia better by forming the American Continental Army. The Congress futhermore agreed to print their own paper money. This Congress became a very important factor in the decision-making of the revolution.
  • Declaration of Independence announced

    Declaration of Independence announced
    Even though on July 2nd the Declaration of Independece was written, it wasn't read or announced to the public until six days afterwards. To call together all the colonists the Liberty Bell was rung from the Pennsylvania State House. People gathered around to hear the newly written document. The bell did not ring to announce the issuing of the document, though. It was publicly announced when it returned from the printer.
  • "The Crisis" Published

    "The Crisis" Published
    When "tThe Crisis" was published, colonial militia were miserable in a string of defeats. Washington foresaw the end of the revolution as colonists gave up and retired to their families. In respond to this depression, Washington read "The Crisis" by Paine to his group of militia. The colonists were very influenced and inspired by Washington's speech/Paine's document and they crossed the icy Delaware River to defeat the Hessians on the other side.
  • Washington captures Trenton

    Washington captures Trenton
    The Battle of Trenton was fought on the day after Christmas as Washington and his troops crossed the icy Delaware River in order to suprise attack the Hessians who were hung-over from the holiday. This was a major risk by Washington, but it resulted in a victory for the colonists as Trenton was captured. This victory was a major building point for the colonists where began to gain their confidence again and fight with a purpose.
  • British defeated at Saratoga

    British defeated at Saratoga
    The Battle of Saratoga was the turn point of the Revolution. At first, Britain's plan was to "divide and conquer" the colonists with Burgoyne's troops invading from Canada and Howe's troops coming up from New Jersey and New York. Once Burgoyne reached Albany, he was faced by Gate's American army on the other side. Burgoyne took the offensive and attacked first, but it wasn't enough as the Americans captured and destroyed Burgoyne's troops. This victory led France to ally the colonists.
  • Articles of Confederation Signed

    Articles of Confederation Signed
    The Articles of Confederation was a document that showed the different functions of the United States government after the country declared independence from England. It contained a weak central government that mostly tried to prevent individual states from forming their own foreign culture/lifestyle. This document took place after the failed Albany Plan.
  • Winter at Valley Forge, PA

    Winter at Valley Forge, PA
    During this time period in Valley Forge, Wasington's soldiers were miserable with nothing to eat, frigid cold weather, and tiring stretches of endurance. Washington became very angry at Congress for its little sympathy and support for the colonists. The positive side, though, was that while the soldiers spent three months in the winter of Valley Forge, a proffessional American Army was born.
  • Benedict Arnold Plans found out

    Benedict Arnold Plans found out
    During Britain's return attack on the colonists in the four islands of New York, Washington gave Arnold permission to command the West Point. This was a very important position to keep an eye on the British soldiers on the other side of the river. Arnold wrote a letter to Washington based off his plan on what to do with West Point. Arnold wanted to sell West Point for $20,000 becaue of delays in communication. Arnold surrendered West Point and his plan to surprise attack the British failed.
  • John Paul Jones defeats the Serapis

    John Paul Jones defeats the Serapis
    John Paul Jones was a commerce raider who attacked British trade ships because of their vunerability. Jones would invade Britain's home waters launching raids along the west coast of Britain. One of Jones' most famous victories was the Battle of Serapis at sea. Jones was ruthless as he fired down "Bonhomme Richard" and blew it into flames.
  • Cornwallis Surrenders

    Cornwallis Surrenders
    During the battle of British's return, Cornwallis split apart his forces as he was lead into Washington's trap. Washington called for all his colonial forces to re-group as one which threw off Cornwallis who sent soldiers to find and attack the moving colonists. The colonists re-grouped with 7000 men to force Cornwallis to surrender who had only 4,500 men. This victory was very upbeat for the colonists.
  • Newburgh Conspiracy

    Newburgh Conspiracy
    During the war with the British, George Washington faced many problems with his own military. The men were anxious to go home and angry about lack of payment. To prevent a meltdown in the army, Washington made a speech in front of the officers known as the Newburgh Conspiracy. This speech negociated the militaries problems and ended peacefully and respectfully. The military was back and fought through the end of the war.
  • Treaty of Paris Signed

    Treaty of Paris Signed
    The Treaty of Paris was a negotiation between America and Great Britain in which the Americans wanted independence and an end to the war. For two months, Benjamin Franklin constantly bargained with Great Britain until certain negotiations formed. These included that Great Britain would leave the thirteen colonies and America would contain peace with their ally, France.
  • Land Ordinance of 1785

    Land Ordinance of 1785
    The Land Ordinance of 1785 was brought up because after the American Revolution the requests of lands claims lowered and caused less tension among the states allowing chunk of land to be owned by the Federal Government. A policy was created for what to do with the land, called the Land of Ordinance, and the land became used for towns/settlements and the maintenance of public schools.
  • Ordinance of Religious Freedom

    Ordinance of Religious Freedom
    The Ordinance of Religious Freedom consisted of three paragraphs. The first paragraph emphasized how God gives man the right to choose his religious beliefs, thus showing that all man should have the right to think what's on their mind. The second paragraph stated that every man is able to have free worship entering a church without paying taxes. The third paragraph focused on the rights a man should have and never be taken away.
  • Annapolis Convention

    Annapolis Convention
    The Annapolis Convention was a meeting that called for the Constitutional Convention which debated on new terms that were different to the Articles of Confederation. The convention wanted to extend trade between the large independent states rather than limiting it and felt that there weren't enough states represented to fall upon agreements. The convention required state commissioners to show up on time to meetings and from there, create new laws.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    During the 1780's, many farmers in western Massachusttes suffered from high debt trying to create new farms. The government didn't respond to this economic breakdown and the farmers who couldn't pay their debt were sent to jail. Daniel Shays (farmer) was angry at this and formed a group of farmers into rebellion as they broke into an ammunition supply and forced the courts in the area to close. The military ended this revolt, but it sent a message to the National Leaders.
  • Constitutional Convention Opens

    Constitutional Convention Opens
    The beginning of the Constitutional Convention consisted of fifty-five representatives that attended and began to draft the Constitution. They had to think critically on how to form a more perfect union as they debated on several important issues. These issues dealed with the future of slave trade in American life, the idea of a powerful, strong government system, and being able to build a representative government. This convention succeeded because it was able to forge compromises.
  • Northwest Ordinance

    Northwest Ordinance
    The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 is thought of as America's "organic law." It enforces Christianity to be taught in the schools of each state. This document proved that the separation of church and state was false. This was because the gvernment can support religion over non-religion and it is necessary for schools to teach religion.
  • The Great Compromise Agreed

    The Great Compromise Agreed
    The Great Compromise dealed with the equality between the representation of the small and the large states. It said that the national legislature would have two houses. In one house the representation would be decided among the population. 'Each state would get one representative for every 40 thousand people in that state.' In the second house the representation would be equal. 'Each state would have the same number of representatives as the other states.'
  • Federalists Papers appear

    Federalists Papers appear
    LinkThe Federalist Papers were consisited of 85 essays that were written to convince the states the benefits of uniting under a central government. The essays were written by a group of intelligent men: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay who helped gain and encourage support for, the U.S Constitution to be ratified. The federalist papers more so were intended to persuade the New York state legislators to ratify the Constitution.
  • Anti-Federalist Articles appear

    Anti-Federalist Articles appear
    The Anti-Federalist Papers were brought up to go against ratification of the new constitution. These papers mainly desired to establish a weak central government and include strong state governments. It also wanted support of small farmers/landowners and of citizens in debt who felt that strong state legislatures were more sympathetic to them than a strong central government.
  • Delaware Ratifies

    Delaware Ratifies
    Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution. The approval message that was sent was brief and agreed in every way to the Constitutional Rights. Here is one quote that shows how supportive and influenced the state of Delaware is in ratifying the Constitution: "...for and in behalf of ourselves and our constituents, fully, freely, and entirely approve of...the...Constitution." There were no suggested changes in the message.
  • Constitution sent to the States for Ratification

    Constitution sent to the States for Ratification
    The Constitution needed to become ratified by nine states before becoming a law. Delaware was the first state to ratify and the ninth state to ratify was New Hampshire. Even though the Constitution was officially put into effect, its execution was in doubt because of uncertainty of votes coming from two very important states, Virginia and New York. Eventually, the two states supported the Constitution and it took off successfully as well as influencing Rhode Island.
  • Massachusetts Ratifies Constitution

    Massachusetts Ratifies Constitution
    Massachuetts was the sixth state to ratify the Constitution and was the first to include a list of suggested changes for the Constitution. Some of these changes consisted of protecting states and individuals. Massachusetts believed that this Constitution would remove the fear of the good people in the state. One desired change was this: "That Congress erect no company of merchants with exclusive advantages of commerce."
  • New Hampshire Ratifies Constitution

    New Hampshire Ratifies Constitution
    New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify, and with its ratification, the Constitution was officially in effect. The approval message that was sent consisted of a suggested change to the Constitution that said, "Congress shall never disarm any citizen, unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion." Another suggestion was: "Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or to infringe the rights of conscience."
  • George Washington elected President

    George Washington elected President
    In 1789, George Washington became the very first president of the United States. He was elected by the Electoral College as soon as the Constitution was ratified. For his presidency, he wished to have a well-development of military arts and had an interest of western expansion. He did not want to jump in on foreign policies for war or revolutions only because he had a concern of his nation's strength and he wanted to get stronger. Washington ended up retiring after his second year.
  • Congress meets for the 1st time

    Congress meets for the 1st time
    On the first meeting of Congress, all the members gathered in New York City and discussed different concerns of the publics' expectations. They thought the publics' anxiety would be so high that disappointment would follow after a while. Morris stated, "I believe there will be inclination and abilities in the two houses to do every thing that reasonable and sensible men can promise to themselves..." The members were concerned because they new that it was hard to keep pace with public's desires.
  • Bill of Rights sent to the States for Ratification

    Bill of Rights sent to the States for Ratification
    LinkA little after George Washington became president, the first Congress of the United States approved 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. The amendments were used to protect the rights of U.S. citizens for the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and beliefs of religion. It promoted the right to legal procedure and powers not delegated to the federal government would be reserved for the states and the people.
  • Bill of Rights Ratified

    Bill of Rights Ratified
    LinkThe first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which was also known as the Bill of Rights, became the law of the U.S. The Congress approved 12 ammendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for agreement and approval. As the Bill of Rights was being ratified, it seemed to be struggling. George Mason and other critics agreed to support the Constitution and 10 out of 14 states approved which gave the Bill of Rights a 2/3 vote in becoming ratified.
  • Spain closes Missisippi River

    Spain closes Missisippi River
    After the American Revolution, Spain saw that America was weak and they decided to close the Mississippi River from trade. From doing this, Spain hoped to lure the farmers/merchants away from America and come to Spanish North America. Eventually a resulution came about this problem in 1795 with the Pickney's Treaty.
  • Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions written

    Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions written
    The authors of these resolutions were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The resolutions argued that the federal government had no authority to exercise power not specifically delegated to it in the Constitution. The Virginia reolution practiced more communication and speech with the public to give people information of what goes on. The Kentucky resolution went beyond Virginia stating that states had the power to nullify unconstitutional federal laws.
  • Hartford Convention meets during War of 1812

    Hartford Convention meets during War of 1812
    This was a meeting with the New England delegates during the War of 1812 to discuss their opposition to the war with England. They brought up several problems in New England during this war. One problem was how the New England states refused to surrender their militia to national service even when they've been threatened with an invasion in 1814. The Federal Loan got no support in New England and extremists wanted a separate peace between New England and Great Britain.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise was passed in order to preserve the balance of power in Congress between slave and free states. This law prohibited slavery in northern Louisiana Territory. Three years later the Missouri Compromise was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, which ruled that Congress did not have the authority to prohibit slavery in any territories.
  • Tariff of Abominations passed

    Tariff of Abominations passed
    In 1828, the US Congress passed the first import Tariff, which was a protective tax made on imported goods. The tariff increased the cost of imported goods, therefore protecting some of the new industries of the North. In the South, however, their economy was based on the trade of cotton and they did not manufacture significant products. As a result, these tariffs did not benefit southern states and southerners called it the "Tariff of Abominations."
  • South Carolina tries to nullify

    South Carolina tries to nullify
    In the late 1820's, the North was advancing industriously as the Southern states were still holding on to agricultural grounds. After the Tariff of Abominations was passed the South Carolinians felt that the rates were too high and they proclaimed to grant a nullification in order to avoid the tariffs being passed down to southern states. With the help of Vice President John C. Calhoun, the nullification was enacted into law as tariffs were no longer able to occur in South Carolina's borders.
  • Abolition of Slavery Act

    Abolition of Slavery Act
    The Abolition of Slavery Act was passed by Parliament in England abolishing slavery throughout most of the British Empire. This act gave slaves in the British Empire their freedom, meaning no one could buy or own someone else anymore. As a result for the slave owners, the British government paid them compensation depending on how Canada and southern Africa.
  • Texas declares independence from Mexico

    Texas declares independence from Mexico
    The debate over Texas was a large dispute between the U.S. and Mexico. Mexican president, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, saw U.S citizens settling in Texas. To prevent this, Santa Anna abolished slavery and enforced new changes on the new settlers. In response, the settlers revolted under the command of General Sam Houston. Houston declared independence while organizing a temporary government. The Battle of Goliad became the most famous battle in the war between Texas and Mexico.
  • James Polk elected

    James Polk elected
    James K. Polk became the 11th President of the United States elected in 1844. Polk's four main goals as a President were to reestablish the independent treasury system, lower the tariff, settle the Oregon boundry dispute, and obain California. All these goals were successfully accomplished by Polk, but Polk was not successful in avoiding the Mexican War.
  • Mexican War

    Mexican War
    Polk planned to purchase California and New Mexico, which weren't overly populated by Mexicans, and to treaty certain lands claimed by Texas. Polk's messenger, John Slidell, failed to negotiate and made the already unhappy Mexicans even more angry as they attacked Zachary Taylor, who was occupying a land claimed by both countries. The outcome of the war gave Mexico an increase in American territory and for the US, Polk allowed the British to keep the northern half of Oregon.
  • Wilmot Proviso

    Wilmot Proviso
    LinkDavid Wilmot, an extreme protester against the extension of slavery, disliked Polk's actions and ideas for he was willing to fight for the South, but would only compromise for the North. Wilmot felt that a war was being fought to extend the way of life of the southerners (slavery). It was time for the northerners to be heard in protest. With more representatives in the north, Wilmot's Proviso was passed several times to work out the competition against slave labor. It never became a law though.
  • California enters the Union

    California enters the Union
    Californians began to seek statehood after the Mexican War and also after the heated debate arising from US Congress on the slavery issue. By the Compromise of 1850, California entered the Union as a free, non-slavery state. California added to the protest against slavery.
  • Fugitive Slave Law enacted

    Fugitive Slave Law enacted
    The first fugitive slave law enacted by Congress was passed in 1793 in which it required that all states, including those who forbid slavery, to return slaves who have escaped from other states to return to their original owners. Northerners, however, did not strictly follow this law and tried to defend the fugitive slaves in jury trials. Southerners became furious of this and it led to a second fugitive slave law apart of the Compromise of 1850. Slaves were given little rights to be returned.
  • Publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin"

    Publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
    "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was a major influencial book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. After one year, 300,000 books were sold to the people of the U.S. When Abraham Lincoln met Harriet ten years after the publication, he said, "so your the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war." In the North, the people began to see how awful and horrible slavery was because they recognized slaves were actual people. The South was outraged, however, and the book helped the Abolitionist cause.
  • Formation of Republican Party

    Formation of Republican Party
    There was much anger from the Kansas-Nebraska Act in Northern communities. Large public meetings were held in the North and the Northerners called them "Republican." Other parties at the time were in a downfall period. The Whig party in the North united to oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but the deaths of their major leaders, Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, made the party ineffective. The Republican Party began to become strongly influenced around the Northern area. It supported many good ideas.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act passed

    Kansas-Nebraska Act passed
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed in order to create a "popular sovereignty" vote in Kansas and Nebraska on whether they should become slave states or free states. The Southern leaders especially supported this act as they had a chance to make Kansas, that was above the 36^30', a slave state. They also hoped for southern slave owners around the area to move into Kansas and vote for slave state. Northerners opposed this law. They argued the Missouri Compromise had already banned slavery.
  • Charles Sumner attacked

    Charles Sumner attacked
    During the fight in Kansas, the debate over popular sovereignty and slavery in western territories continued in U.S Senate. Charles Sumner, an abolitionist senator of Massachusetts, gave a speech called, "Crimes against Kansas," in which he accused Andrew Butler of South Carolina for this violence spreading across the country. Word of Sumner's speech quickly spread and it wasn't long until Butler's relative, Brooks, beat Sumner with his cane in revenge.
  • "Border Ruffians" attack Lawrence

    "Border Ruffians" attack Lawrence
    LinkDuring the period of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, New England sent anti-slavery forces to fight off pro-slavery forces in Kansas so Kansas would become a free state. On the pro-slavery side, attackers coming from the border of Missouri were known as "Border Ruffians." The Border Ruffians violently fought off anti-slavery forces and began to vote illegally as they crossed into Kansas. The town of Lawrence was at the time an anti-slavery stronghold. The Border Ruffians attacked and destroyed the town.
  • Pottawatomie Creek

    Pottawatomie Creek
    In retaliation towards the attack on Lawrence made by the Border Ruffians, a group of abolitionists, led by John Brown, attacked and killed five pro-slavery settlers in the town of Pottawatomie Creek. These killings sparked even more violence between the North and South. By the mid 1850's, more than 200 people had been killed over the issue of slavery in Kansas. Newspapers began calling the territory "Bleeding Kansas."
  • Lecompton Constitution passed

    Lecompton Constitution passed
    As Kansas gained enough people for statehood, pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces rushed into the territory to have a constitution submitted that encompassed their respective views. The Lecompton Constitution was the anti-slavery document and because of the Border Ruffians, the pro-slavery document got passed as well. Through severe fighting and violence, the Lecompton Constitution was accepted and Kansas became a free state.
  • Dred Scott decision announced

    Dred Scott decision announced
    LinkThe Supreme Court of the U.S was led by Justice Roger B. Taney who declared that all blacks could never become citizens of the U.S. Dred Scott, who was a free black that moved back to the slave state of Missouri, created a case in which he appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom. Taney, who was a very strong supporter of slavery, explained that, because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and had no say or right to have freedom. This created big Northern aggression.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    Lincoln-Douglas Debates
    There was plenty of opposition between Douglas and Lincoln. Douglas believed in Popular Sovereignty and was responsible for the Kansas-Nebraska Act, also known as Bleeding Kansas. Lincoln believed the U.S could not survive as half free states and half slave states. One of the main debates occurred in Union County Fairgrounds, Jonesboro, Illinois. This debate subject split families into Confederate and Union factions. Many lives were lost through war between the opposing states.
  • Raid at Harper's Ferry

    Raid at Harper's Ferry
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    The Raid at Harpers Ferry was when John Brown and his men attacked the U.S. Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. John Brown wanted to capture the arsenal because he thought by stealing weapons he could help free slaves. Brown tried to get slaves and other abolitionists to fight against slave owners. Brown only had 20 members fighting along his side. Among the 20 were five blacks.This invasion became one of the major causes of the Civil War.
  • Democratics split in 1860

    Democratics split in 1860
    During the election of 1860, the democrats in the South, especially South Carolina, split from the democrats in the North. Southern democrats believed Douglas was a traitor because he supported Popular Sovereignty in which a state has the capability of becoming a free state. As a result to this, Southern democrats nominated Vice President Breckenridge for President. Most Northern democrats joined the Republican Party because South democrats encouraged slavery.
  • Formation of Constitutional Union Party

    Formation of Constitutional Union Party
    The Constitutional Union Party was formed before the election of 1860 by the "Whig" and "Know Nothing" parties. This party supported Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia in the election and believed that the middle of the country on the north/south division would become the main battleground in a civil war. The party sought, "no political principle but the Constitution of the country, the union of the states and the enforcement of laws."
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    The election for President in 1860 was between Douglas and Lincoln. The people in South Carolina thought of Douglas as a traitor because he supported Popular Sovereignty and they decided to nominate the Vice President. Breckenridge for president. The Constitutional Union Party decided to nominate Bell for President. Lincoln became popular from his debates and became a nominie for President. Lincoln went on to win the election and, as a result, South Carolina left the Union.
  • Abraham Lincoln Announces Plans for Reconstruction

    Abraham Lincoln Announces Plans for Reconstruction
    LinkLincoln's Plan for Reconstruction:
    1. Pardon any Confederate who takes an oath to the Union and accepts federal policy of slavery
    2. Deny all pardons for the Confederate Military
    3. Allow each state to hold a constitutional convention only after 10 percent of voters in-state have sworn allegiance against slavery
    4. States would then be able to hold elections
  • Wade-Davis Bill Receives Pocket Veto

    Wade-Davis Bill Receives Pocket Veto
    Many thought Lincoln's 10 percent plan was too mild so Senator Wade and Representative Davis created a bill that said southern states can only be admitted back into the Union if 50 percent of the state's population takes the oath. In addition, states were required to give blacks the right to vote. Congress passed the bill, but President Lincoln decided to pocket veto it and it did not become a law.
  • Lincoln Re-Elected President

    Lincoln Re-Elected President
    Once Lincoln was re-elected he faced a few problems as radical republicans were unhappy with his reconstruction plan and the Civil War was not quite over yet. Lincoln and the Union ended up defeating the Confederacy completely and Lincoln was ready to enforce his plan for reconstruction.
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    On this night, Lincoln decided to go to Ford's Theater with his wife to see the play "Our American Cousin." John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor at the time and supporter of the Confederacy, did not like Lincoln and planned to kill Lincoln on his appearance. Booth sneaked into the President's private box and waited until the audience broke into laughter and then he took out a pistol and shot Lincoln in the ear. Lincoln died the next day.
  • Formation of the Freedman's Bureau

    Formation of the Freedman's Bureau
    The Freedmen's Bureau was formed to aid and protect the newly freed blacks in the South after the Civil War. One of the jobs the Freedmen's Bureau had was to provide medical care to the newly freed slaves. Another job was to divide 850,000 acres of government seized land into forty acre sections.
  • President Andrew Johnson Announce Plans for Reconstruction

    President Andrew Johnson Announce Plans for Reconstruction
    Johnson's Plans for Reconstruction:
    1. Pardon southerners who swear allegiance to the Union
    2. Allow each state to hold a constitutional convention
    3. States require to avoid secession and abolish slavery
    4. States could then hold elections and rejoin the Union
  • Black Codes created in Mississippi

    Black Codes created in Mississippi
    The Black Codes were written immediately after the Civil War. According to these codes, freed men and women were not allowed to own property, own weapons, or have public meetings. Segregation occurred greatly between blacks and whites especially in southern states of Mississippi and Louisiana.
  • Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

    Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment
    The 13th Amendment of the Constitution stated that "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, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." It was required to be ratified by southern states after the Civil War.
  • Ku Klux Klan created

    Ku Klux Klan created
    The KKK were a group of Confederate veterans who engaged in terrorist raids against African-Americans and white republicans at night. This caused intimidation, destruction of property, assault, and murder. Republicans organized militia units to try and break up the Klan.
  • Civil Rights Act (1866) Enacted

    Civil Rights Act (1866) Enacted
    The Civil Rights Act of 1866 gave citizenship and the same rights used by white citizens to all people in the United States "without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude." President Andrew Johnson's veto of the bill was overturned by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress, and the bill became law.
  • Reconstruction Acts Enacted

    Reconstruction Acts Enacted
    The First Reconstruction Act split the states in the South into five districts. Each district was in charge of a northern general whose responsibility was to protect life and property. It also demanded the need for new state delegates and constitutions, ratification of the fourteenth amendment, and equal rights to all citizens.
  • President Johnson Impeached

    President Johnson Impeached
    Johnson was the first President to be impeached in US history. The House of Representatives impeached Johnson because he violated the Tenure of Office Act by removing secretary of war, Edwin M. Stanton.
  • Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment

    Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment
    This amendment grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" which also included all former slaves freed after the Civil War. This amendment was rejected by many southern states, but was ratified by the required three-fourths of the states.
  • Ulysses S. Grant elected President

    Ulysses S. Grant elected President
    Grant was elected as a republican and allowed for the radical republican's plan for reconstruction. He sent northern generals to control the South in sections and attacked it at times with military force.
  • Ratification of the Fifthteenth Amendment

    Ratification of the Fifthteenth Amendment
    Congress chose the first version out of three of this amendment which prohibitted states from denying citizens the right to vote because of their race, color, or the previous experience of being a slave. This amendment became apart of the Constitution after enough states ratified it, especially in the South.
  • Hiram Revels elected to Senate

    Hiram Revels elected to Senate
    Revels was elected as the first African American member of the United States Senate. A few senators opposed, saying he had not been a citizen of the United States for nine years which was a requirement, but 48 to 8 votes were in favor.
  • Ku Klux Klan Act Enacted

    Ku Klux Klan Act Enacted
    This act authorized President Grant to declare martial law, enforce heavy penalties against terrorist organizations, and use military force to destroy the KKK.
  • Freedman's Bureau Abolished

    Freedman's Bureau Abolished
    The Freedman's Bureau helped ex-slaves in many ways ranging from food supplies, education, justice, and land distribution. After 1866, President Johnson tried to veto the organization, but Congress overrode the veto and allowed them to keep their practice. The final educational programs were eventually outlawed in 1872.
  • Civil Rights Act (1875) passed

    Civil Rights Act (1875) passed
    This act protected all Americans, regardless of race and allowed them in access to public accommodations and facilities such as restaurants, theaters, trains and other public transportation. It protected the right to serve on juries. This act was never enforced however, and was declared unconstitutional in 1883.
  • "Jim Crow" enters the American cultural language

    "Jim Crow" enters the American cultural language
    Under Jim Crow's laws, which held strong to the 1960's, African-Americans were referred to as second class citizens. These laws enforced segregation amongst whites and blacks where the whites were superior in all aspects of life. An example of one of the laws was "Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public, especially kissing, because it offended whites."
  • Last National Troops Leave South Carolina

    Last National Troops Leave South Carolina
    In the end of formal reconstruction, a compromise was reached that dispatched all northern troops out of the South from controlling and protecting rights in the South. This ended the Federal's government control in the South.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes elected President

    Rutherford B. Hayes elected President
    In the compromise at the end of reconstruction, republican Hayes was elected as President. Hayes took Federal control out of the South, officially ending reconstruction.
  • Civil Rights Act Overturned (1883)

    Civil Rights Act Overturned (1883)
    Between 1875 and 1883, a range of Civil Rights Cases led to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be unconstitutional. An example of one of the cases was Mr. Bird Gee was denied the ability to eat dinner at a table at a inn because he was a person of color. This happened in Kansas.
  • Florida Requires Segregation in Places of Public Accommodation

    Florida Requires Segregation in Places of Public Accommodation
    Florida became the first state to enforce these laws until most other southern states followed in 1892. These segregational laws cause Blacks to disappear from the Southern juries and they also interfered with the blacks rights to vote. They had literacy tests and poll taxes which made many blacks unable to vote.
  • Case of Plessy v. Ferguson

    Case of Plessy v. Ferguson
    In 1892, Plessy was arrested for sitting in the "White" car of the East Louisiana Railroad. The Separate Car Act which was recently enforced was purposely violated by Plessy so he could challenge the law as the case went to the United States Supreme Court. Plessy's side argued that the Separate Car Act violated both the 13th and 14th Amendments. As a result, segregation voted to be Constitutional as long as it was equal. "Separate but equal."