History of Slavery in the United States

By kobc
  • First Slaves Brought to North America

    The first North American slaves were brought over as 'indentured servants.' Their passage across the Atlantic and subsequent new life was paid for by years of labor in an agricultural or domestic setting.
  • Bacon's Rebellion

    Poor whites and former slaves united against the colonial government to protest Native American encroachment--a sign that blacks and whites can unite for a common cause.
  • Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin

    Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, a revolutionary device designed to help separate the cotton from its seeds. This invention made harvesting cotton much easier and resulted in the need for more slaves and thus the proliferation of the slave trade.
  • Missouri Compromise

    This compromise restricted the spread of slavery in the West past the state of Missouri. It also created Maine, which would be a free state, and made Missuori a slave state. This compromise was estabilshed by Henry Clay and helped ease national tensions.
  • Compromise of 1850

    This compromise guaranteed the illegality of slavery in California and other western states while establishing popular sovereignty in the newly captured territories of New Mexico and Arizona. It also placed greater emphasis on the Fugitive Slave Law, which forced Northerners to help Southerners capture runaway slaves. Finally, the compromise ended slavery in Washington D.C.
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    Bleeding Kansas

    Abolitionists and state's-rights Southerners fight for the legality of slavery in Kansas. They crossed the border to vote in the election and created violence.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    This act, designed by Democrat Stephen Douglas, sought to repeal the Missouri Compromise and allowed for the spread of slavery through popular sovereignty (voting from state to state.) This hightened tensions between the North and the South over the issue of the spread of slavery.
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    The Civil War

    This war was the result of tensions regarding the conflict over slavery and state's rights. It resulted in the North winning the war and the abolition of slavery.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    This proclamation by Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in the Confederate States as an incentive for states to return to the Union.
  • Thirteenth Amendment

    This constitutional amendment prohibited slavery in the United States--a major step for abolitionists.
  • Black Codes Passed

    These codes. established under the unwatchful eye of President Andrew Johnson during Reconstruction, sought to limit the rights of freedmen and replicate a form of social slavery.
  • Fourteenth Amendment

    Declares that it is unconstitutional to deprive any citizen of his or her rights--targeted at the oppressed freedmen.
  • Fifteenth Amendment

    This amendment allowed men of all races to vote.
  • Jim Crow Laws

    These laws passed in the South established racial segregation in public facilities. Imposed the "separate but equal" philosophy.
  • KKK Founded

    The KKK was initially founded to terrorize African Americans from voting. They continued throughout the 20th century and expanded their hate group to Catholics, Jews, homosexuals, and others.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Establishes the "separate but equal" philoosphy. This leads the way for racial segregation in Southern public society.
  • Niagara Falls Conference

    Prominent black civil rights leaders such as W.B. Dubois meet in Canada at the Niagara Falls to discuss their plans for racial equality in establishing the Niagara Falls movement.
  • NAACP founded

    Civil Rights leaders found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People which has been a major influence in the Civil Rights movement since its birth.
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    World War I

    World War I allowed blacks to fight in segregated units. In Europe, blacks were treated equally, causing them to have higher expectations of racial equality upon coming back to America.
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    World War II

    Blacks fought in segregated units during the war. On the home front, many blacks moved to the North due to the explosion of economic opportunity. This in turn created racial tension.
  • Brown vs Board of Education

    The Supreme Court descision decreed that the concept of "separate but equal" was unfair and authorized integration of public places throughout the nation.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Rosa Parks refuses to move from her bus seat for a white person and is arrested. This sparks outrage in the Montgomery communited as blacks boycott the bus system for more than a year to show their determination.
  • Little Rock Desegregation

    The "Little Rock Nine" are escorted into the halls of a school in Little Rock much to the protest of the Governor Faubus and many others. This is a major start to the integration of the school system.
  • Freedom Rides

    Buses of black and white youth attempt to ride from the North to the South and are brutally attacked in the process.
  • MLK's March on Washington

    MLK gives his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a national audience. This is the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement. March is designed to force Kennedy into signing the Civil Rights Amendment.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    This act provided the legislation to disallow discrimination in society. This is a major step for the Civil Rights Movement.