Slavery from 1619 until 1964

  • First slaves arrive in America

    First slaves arrive in America
    The first African slaves arrived in Virginia.
  • Slavery is made illegal.

    Slavery is made illegal.
    Slavery is made illegal in the Northwest Territory. The U.S Constitution states that Congress may not ban the slave trade until 1808.
  • Invention of the cotton gin

    Invention of the cotton gin
    Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor.
  • The Fugitive Slave Law

    The Fugitive Slave Law
    A federal fugitive slave law is enacted, providing for the return slaves who had escaped and crossed state lines.
  • Slave revolt

    Slave revolt
    Gabriel Prosser, an enslaved African American blacksmith, organizes a slave revolt intending to march on Richmond, Virginia. The conspiracy is uncovered, and Prosser and a number of the rebels are hanged. Virginia's slave laws are consequently tightened.
  • Ban slave importation

    Ban slave importation
    Congress bans the importation of slaves from Africa.
  • The Civil War begins

    The Civil War begins
    The Confederacy is founded when the deep South secedes, and the Civil War begins.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate state "are, and henceforward shall be free."
  • The Civil War ends

    The Civil War ends
    The Civil War ends. Lincoln is assassinated. The Thirteenth Amendment abolishes slavery throughout the United States. On June 19 slavery in the United States effectively ended when 250,000 slaves in Texas finally received the news that the Civil War had ended two months earlier.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act
    The Civil Rights Act was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against blacks and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public.