US government timeline

  • 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta Libertatum, commonly called Magna Carta, is a royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence was designed for multiple audiences: the King, the colonists, and the world. It was also designed to multitask. Its goals were to rally the troops, win foreign allies, and to announce the creation of a new country.
  • Articles of Confederation

    The original constitution of the US, ratified in 1781, which was replaced by the US Constitution in 1789.
  • Northwest Ordinance

    Was an organic act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States.
  • Virginia Plan

    The Virginia Plan was a proposal to the United States Constitutional Convention for the creation of a supreme national government with three branches and a bicameral legislature. The plan was drafted by James Madison while he waited for a quorum to assemble at the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
  • United States Constitution

    United States Constitution
    The US Constitution was written to establish the basic principles of the legal, political and economic systems of the new nation of America. The US Constitution is the basic framework for the system of Government in the USA and its adoption led to the creation of the US Congress.
  • The Federalist Papers

    The Federalist Papers
    The Federalist Papers is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the collective pseudonym "Publius" to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.
  • 1st Amendment

    1st Amendment
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  • 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment
    A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
  • 3rd Amendment

    3rd Amendment
    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
  • 4th Amendment

    4th Amendment
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • 5th Amendment

    5th Amendment
    No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
  • 6th Amendment

    6th Amendment
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial.
  • 7th Amendment

    In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
  • 8th Amendment

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  • 9th Amendment

    9th Amendment
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
  • 10th Amendment

    10th Amendment
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
  • 11th Amendment

    The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
  • Marbury v. Madison

    The power of the federal courts to declare legislative and executive acts unconstitutional.
  • McCulloch v. Maryland

    Congress had implied powers under the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to create the Second Bank of the United States.
  • 12th Amendment

    The Twelfth Amendment requires a person to receive a majority of the electoral votes for vice president for that person to be elected vice president by the Electoral College. If no candidate for vice president has a majority of the total votes, the Senate, with each senator having one vote, chooses the vice president.
  • Gibbons v. Ogden

    Gibbons v. Ogden
    The Supreme Court affirmed Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce, and held that by virtue of the Supremacy Clause, state laws “must yield” to constitutional acts of Congress.
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Dred Scott v. Sandford
    who had resided in a free state and territory (where slavery was prohibited) was not thereby entitled to his freedom
  • Morrill land grant act

    Morrill land grant act
    Provided grants of land to states to finance the establishment of colleges specializing in “agriculture and the mechanic arts.”
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    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.
  • Military reconstruction act

    Military reconstruction act
    The Reconstruction Acts, or the Military Reconstruction Acts, were four statutes passed during the Reconstruction Era by the 40th United States Congress addressing the requirement for Southern States to be readmitted to the Union.
  • 14th Amendment

    granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including former enslaved people—and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.
  • 15th Amendment

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States
  • The Pendleton Act

    The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act is a United States federal law passed by the 47th United States Congress and signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that racial segregation laws did not violate the U.S. Constitution as long as the facilities for each race were equal in quality, a doctrine that came to be known as "separate but equal".
  • 16th Amendment

    16th Amendment
    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
  • 17th Amendment

    17th Amendment
    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies:...
  • 18th Amendment

    18th Amendment
    imposing the federal prohibition of alcohol. Most of the organized efforts supporting prohibition involved religious coalitions that linked alcohol to immorality, criminality, and, with the advent of World War I, unpatriotic citizenship.
  • Schenck v. United States

    Schenck v. United States
    The freedom of speech protection afforded in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment could be restricted if the words spoken or printed represented to society a “clear and present danger.”
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    Guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest.
  • 20th Amendment

    Commonly known as the “Lame Duck Amendment,” the Twentieth Amendment was designed to remove the excessively long period of time a defeated president or member of Congress would continue to serve after his or her failed bid for reelection.
  • 21st Amendment

    21st Amendment
    The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
  • United State v. Darby Lumber co.

    Was a case in which the United States Supreme Court upheld the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, holding that the U.S. Congress had the power under the Commerce Clause to regulate employment conditions.
  • Korematsu v. United States

    Was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court to uphold the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast Military Area during World War II.
  • The GI Bill of Rights

    The GI Bill of Rights
    Established to provide services and benefits to the veterans of World War II
  • 22nd Amendment

    No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    The Supreme Court ruled that separating children in public schools on the basis of race was unconstitutional.
  • Mapp v. Ohio

    Was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the exclusionary rule, which prevents prosecutors from using evidence in court that was obtained by violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
  • 23rd amendment

    The Amendment allows American citizens residing in the District of Columbia to vote for presidential electors, who in turn vote in the Electoral College for President and Vice President. In layperson's terms, the Amendment means that residents of the District are able to vote for President and Vice President.
  • Baker v. Carr

    Was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that redistricting qualifies as a justiciable question under the Fourteenth Amendment, thus enabling federal courts to hear Fourteenth Amendment-based redistricting cases.
  • Gideon v. Wainwright

    guaranteeing the right to legal counsel for criminal defendants in federal and state courts.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act
    Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin
  • 24th Amendment

    24th Amendment
    Not long ago, citizens in some states had to pay a fee to vote in a national election. This fee was called a poll tax. On January 23, 1964, the United States ratified the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting any poll tax in elections for federal officials.
  • 25th Amendment

    25th Amendment
    United States Constitution says that if the President becomes unable to do his job, the Vice President becomes the President
  • Miranda v. Arizona

    Detained criminal suspects, prior to police questioning
  • Brandenburg v. Ohio

    Was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court interpreting the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • 26th Amendment

    The Twenty-Sixth Amendment provides, “The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.”
  • Roe v. Wade

    Roe v. Wade
    Was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
  • United v. Nixon

    was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that resulted in a unanimous decision against President Richard Nixon, ordering him to deliver tape recordings and other subpoenaed materials to a federal district court.
  • 27th Amendment

    No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
  • Patriot act

    USA Patriot Act is to deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world.
  • No child left behind act

    No child left behind act
    major focus of No Child Left Behind is to close student achievement gaps by providing all children with a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.
  • Affordable Care Act

    Affordable Care Act
    The Affordable Care Act, formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and colloquially known as Obamacare, is a United States federal statute enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack. VERY BAD!!
  • Obergefell v. Hodges

    Is a landmark civil rights case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • Van Buren v. United States

    Van Buren v. United States was a United States Supreme Court case dealing with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and its definition of "exceeds authorized access" in relation to one intentionally accessing a computer system they have authorization to access.