US History

  • 1441

    African slaves first brought to Portugal

    In the 15th century, Portuguese expanded to West Africa to access gold, wrought iron, ivory, textiles, tortoise shells, and slaves. The first African slaves arrived in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • 1492

    Spaniards Succeed at Reconquista

    The Reconquista was the long struggle during which Spanish Christians reconquered the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim Empire. The Reconquista ended in 1492, when the Spanish Empire finally succeeded under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel's rule.
  • Oct 12, 1492

    Christopher Columbus's Voyage to the New World

    Sponsored by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel of Spain, Columbus went on his transatlantic voyage to find a western route to India. He called his journey "The Enterprise of the Indies" because once he landed in India, he would bring back silk and spices. However, he instead landed in the Caribbean.
  • 1494

    Treaty of Tordesillas

    Treaty negotiated by the Pope in 1494 to resolve the territorial claims of Spain and Portugal. Portugal was given the the east of America, which was Brazil, and Spain go the west.
  • 1499

    Vespucci's Voyage

    Amerigo Vespucci of Flourence voyaged to the Caribbean and, unlike Columbus, described it as the "New World", which is why today the continent is called "America."
  • 1500

    The Renaissance

    The Renaissance started in the 14th century and lasted until the 16th century. It was the intellectual and artistic flowering in Europe, which occurred after the Islamic Empire shared their preserved ancient Greek texts. New ideologies such as humanism, the belief that ones fate is determined by oneself, rather than religious doctrine.
  • 1500

    Columbus is Arrested

    Once Columbus did not find spices, he forced the Native Taínos to pay tribute to him in the form of gold, but there wasn't much gold on the land. When that did not work, Columbus began to ship them to Spain for slave labor, but majority died because of unfamiliar European germs. Without native people, the Spanish colonizers did not know how to tend to the land, which lead to the downfall of the Spanish colony established in the Caribbean. Dissatisfied with the exploration, Spain arrested him.
  • 1500

    Fishing in Grand Banks Expands

    Nutrients from the Great Lakes and warm water from the Gulf of Mexico made an area with the perfect conditions for sea life and biodiversity. The Europeans would fast frequently because of Catholic holidays, and on days of fast, one cannot eat meat. However, fish is not considered meat in the Church, so it was a very popular source of food.
  • 1506

    Columbus Dies

  • 1508

    Spain Invades Puerto Rico and Jamaica

    Since the Spanish depleted the gold from Hispaniola, they invaded Puerto Rico and Jamaica.
  • 1511

    Spain Invades Cuba

    Bartolomé de las Casas, a priest, participated in the invasion of Cuba. He was looking for gold, but did not find it.
  • 1513

    Balboa Crossed Isthmus of Panama

    Vasco Núñez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador. He crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean, the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean from the New World.
  • 1513

    Ponce de León in Florida

    Ponce de León was the first Spanish conquistador to attempt to extend the conquest to North America. He landed on a mainland coast and calling it "Florida." Native warriors fought against the invasion and killed him in 1521.
  • 1517

    Spaniards Land in Mexico

    Spaniards landed on the coast of Mexico, and within a year they made contact with the Aztec Empire
  • 1517

    Protestant Reformation

    Martin Luther's challenge to the Catholic Church, calling for a return to what he understood to be purer practices and beliefs of early church. Protestants believed that salvation can be granted by faith and Christ alone, not Christ and the Pope, as the Catholic Church believes.
  • 1518

    Spain grants official license to Portuguese slavers

  • 1521

    Cortés Overthrows Aztec Empire

    Cortés landed on the coast of Mexico in 1519. Within two years he overthrew the Aztec Empire using multiple tactics. The main reason for his success in overthrowing them was because he made allies with other native groups that disliked the Aztecs, so what started out as a small army, quickly grew. The Spaniards were also fighting with iron, while the Aztecs had obsidian. In addition, the European diseases had a detrimental effect on the Aztec population.
  • 1532

    Spain Overthrows the Inca Empire

    Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish explorer and conquistador, lead a conquest of Peru to establish a colony. There, he came into contact with the Inca Empire. For 8 years, the population of the Inca Empire was depleting because of the European illnesses, therefore when the population was weak and small, Pizarro attacked the Incas, captured their leader Atahualpa, made him convert to Christianity, then killed him.
  • 1535

    Africans constitute a majority on Hispaniola

  • 1539

    de Soto's Voyage to "Cíbola"

    Inspired by the descriptions of Cabeza de Vaca's report on the legend of Cíbola, the cities of gold, Hernando de Soto, a Spanish conquistador, went on a voyage to visit the cities. He landed in Florida.
  • 1540

    Coronado's Voyage to "Cíablo"

    On his voyage to Cíablo, Coronado explored the Great Plains, the southwest, discovered the Grand Canyon, and was the first conquistador to see a bison.
  • 1541

    Cartier Establishes Claim on Canada

    Cartier found a naval passage that gave access to the Great Lakes, Ohio, Mississippi rivers, and Canada. Finding this route gave France a great geographic edge over other colonial powers. He established France's imperial claim to the lands of Canada.
  • 1552

    The Destruction of the Indies

    de Las Casas had a guilty conscience after participating the the invasion of Cuba. He condemned the Spanish for their torment and destruction of the native population. Therefore, he wrote about the mistreatment of and atrocities committed against the indigenous peoples of Americas. It was written for Prince Philip II of Spain.
  • Juan de Oñate leads Spanish into New Mexico

    Juan de Oñate financed a colonizing expedition with Indian and Mestizo soldiers to look for gold.
  • Fur Trade Expands

    Europeans would hunt beavers in the winter because animals develop a thick layer of fur during that time. The French would even marry into native families so that they would have access to more hunting grounds. Beaver fur was turned into a felt to make hats and became a staple style piece of that time.
  • English found Jamestown

    In 1607, London investors known as the "Virginia Company", which was a joint-stock company, sent ships to Chesapeake Bay and there, colonists built a fort named Jamestown. The Virginia Company investors expected the expedition to bring back gold. The company sent adventurers to the New Worl, rather than farmers or traders.
  • French found Quebec

    Samuel de Champlain founded the settlement of Quebec. This was great for the Fur Trade, and they forged an alliance with the Huron Indians, which helped them access the fur grounds of the Great Lakes.
  • Spanish found Santa Fé

    The Spanish depended on the exploitation of Indian labor to produce valuable commodities, and without mines to exploit, interest in the remote province waned. But the church convinced the Spanish monarchy to subsidize New Mexico as a special missionary colony, and in 1609, a new governor founded the capital of Santa Fé. From this base the Franciscan missionaries penetrated all the surrounding Indian villages.
  • First Africans brought to Virginia

  • Pilgrim Emigration

    Separatists, better known as Pilgrims, believed the Church of England to be corrupt, they believed more in the Holy Spirit, rather than the Pope or state. Therefore, they wanted their own colony; The Virginia Company and Will Bradford led 102 people on the Mayflower, which landed on Massachusetts Bay in Plymouth Colony.
  • Indian Uprising in Virginia

    New England's tobacco economy led to constant expansion and seizure of Powhatan lands, which ultimately provoked resistance as the Powhatan defended their territory. In resistance to this incursion, the confederacy's new chief, Opechancanough, Powhatan's elderly brother, in 1622 led his people in a sudden attack against colonists.
  • Puritans Begin Settlement of Massachusetts Bay

    Puritans were English followers of John Calvin, who believed in predestination. Puritans wanted to purify the Church of England. In 1629, King Charles I granted a royal charter to the Puritans called the Massachusetts Bay Company. in 1629, the Puritan leaders transferred company operations to the New World, which then transformed into the civil government, Massachusetts Bay Colony. The colony was led by John Winthrop.
  • Harvard College founded

  • Pequot War

    1637 The Bay colonists wanted to claim Connecticut for themselves but it belonged to the Pequot. The colonists burned down their village and 400 were killed.
  • English seize Jamaica

    Jamaica was an English colony, used for the sugar plantations there, as sugar does not grow in Europe. These plantations became a significant part of England's economy because of how much money it brought in.
  • Virginia law makes slavery hereditary

    In 1662, the planter assembly of Virginia declared that the status of free or enslaved progeny depends on the mother's status. If the mother was a slave, the child was as well.
  • Half-Way Covenant in New England

    Was created due to the decline in church attendance and religious interest. Members' children who had not experienced conversion could join as "half-way" members, but could not take part in communion.
  • South Carolina founded

    The English settled here. It was a slave state from the beginning. Their economy depended a lot on free labor, slavery, and tobacco farming.
  • Royal African Company organized

    A slave-trading monopoly based in London, chartered in 1672, and ended in 1698. After 1698, the slave trade became open to independent merchants, which increases the volume of slaves transported to the Americas, from Africa.
  • Bishopric of Québec established

    The French Crescent combined church and state by establishing the bishopric of Québec.
  • King Philip's War

    The Indian peoples of southern New England and the Puritan colonies fight for control of land.
  • Bacon's Rebellion

    Violent conflict in Virginia (1675-1676), beginning with settler attacks on Indians but culminating in a rebellion led by Nathaniel Bacon against Virginia's government.
  • Pueblo Revolt

    Drought, famine, disease, and the hanging of 4 Pueblo religious leaders by the Spanish governor of Santa Fé led to the Pueblo Revolt. Pueblo Indians killed 400 Spaniards in the revolt, and when the Spanish were retreating, the Pueblos took over Santa Fé's Palace of Governors. Led by Pope San Juan Pueblo.
  • Robert Sieur de La Salle explores the Mississippi

    Robert Sieur de La Salle, French explorer who claimed the basin of the Mississippi River and its tributaries for Louis XIV of France.
  • Mary Rowlandson’s Sovereignty and Goodness of God

  • King William's War

    The first of a series of colonial struggles between England and France; these conflicts occur principally on the frontiers of northern New England and New York.
  • Toleration Act passed by Parliament

    New England passed the Toleration Act. It was created "to unite their Majesties Protestant subjects in interest and affection". It allowed most dissenters – though not all – the freedom to worship publicly. It was first resisted by the Puritans.
  • Virginia prohibits interracial sexual contact

    Interracial relationships were outlawed to prevent Africans to move up social classes, and experience a better quality of life.
  • Britain opens the slave trade to all its merchants

    After the Royal African Company ended, Britain opened the slave trade to all independent merchants. This increased the volume of slaves being shipped to North America. This informal manner of trade led to the New England slavers' introduction to slave trade.
  • Spanish declare Florida a refuge for escaped slaves

    Spanish attempted to undermine English colonies of the lower south by declaring Florida a refuge for escaped slaves. Therefore, Indians and Africans established communities surrounding St. Augustine. Also, Fort Mose was manned by negro troops.
  • English impose royal governments on all colonies but Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania

  • Iroquois sign treaty of neutrality with France

    This Treaty ended King WIlliam's War.
  • South Carolinians burn St. Augustine

    A battle that is part of Queen Anne's War fought by Great Britain, against France and Spain. South Carolina troops invaded Florida and burned St. Augustine to destroy refuge for fugitive slave. Great Britain won Queen Anne's War, and the Peace of Utrecht Treaty resulted, where Spain had to supply slaves to the American colonies
  • Deerfield raid

    Was part of a series of attacks between the English and French colonists. French Canadiain and Catholic Indian allies took captives from Deerfield to Montreal. These captives stayed at the Kahnawake colony , a community of Catholic Indians near Montreal.
  • Virginia Slave Code established

    A series of laws passed mainly in the southern colonies in the late 17th century to defend the status of slaves and codify the denial of basic rights to them. It did not allow legal slave marriages, as marriages included being part of a church, and the English did not want to enslave religious Christians.
  • French and Spanish navies bombard Charleston

    French and Spanish fleets invaded Charleston. Their mission, sanctioned by King Louis the 14th of France, was to destroy Charleston and to force the English to abandon the young colony of South Carolina.
  • Saybrook Platform in Connecticut

    Enacted a system of government with councils of ministers and elders rather than by Congregations.
  • English capture Port Royal in Acadia

    During Queen Anne's War, the English captured the French Canadian Port Royal.
  • Slave uprising in New York City

    This is known as the first notable slave revolt. 24 Africans vowed for revenge because of their mistreatment.
  • Peace of Utrecht

    Peace of Utrecht was a treaty made after Great Britain won Queen Anne's War. This treaty forced Spain to stop holding slaves for refuge and to provide them with slaves.
  • Robert Walpole leads British cabinet

    British statesman and Whig politician who is generally regarded as the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • Natchez Rebellion in French Louisiana

    France invested in tobacco and indigo plantations in Natchez territory. Therefore, the Natchez Indians rebelled. The Louisiana French pulled back from a total commitment of slavery, which made the economy more diversified.
  • Molasses Act

    A British law that imposed a tax on molasses, sugar, and rum imported from non-British foreign colonies into the North American colonies.
  • George Whitefield first tours the colonies

    George Whitefield spread the Great Awakening. He made church membership an intercolonial phenomenon by being a traveling preacher.
  • Stono Rebellion in South Carolina

    A group of 20 Angolans sacked the armory in Stono, South Carolina.
  • War of Jenkins’s Ear

    Great Britain versus Spain in the Caribbean and Georgia. Part of the European conflict known as the War of the Austrian Succession.
  • King George’s War

    Great Britain and France fight in Acadia and Nova Scotia; the second American round of the War of the Austrian Succession.
  • Great Awakening gets under way in the Northeast

    Was a widespread colonial revival of religion (the 2nd phase of Protestant Reformation). Started by Reverend Edwards, and spread by Whitefield.
  • Parliament passes a naturalization law for the colonies

  • Africans executed in New York for conspiracy

    New York authorities uncovered what they thought was another conspiracy. Thirteen black leaders were burned alive, eighteen more hanged, and eighty sold and shipped to the West Indies.
  • Georgia officially opened to slavery

    Parliament allowed slavery in Georgia, and a high volume of slaves entered Georgia through their coasts and ports. The Georgia coast became an expansion of Carolina's slave system.
  • Peak period of the English colonies’ slave trade

  • Indian revolt at San Diego

    The natives were unhappy about the mission's location at their Nipaguay site and resentful about the intrusion into their lands, so the Spanish faced a serious uprising against them.
  • San Francisco founded

  • Los Angeles founded

  • Importation of slaves into the United States ends

    the U.S. Constitution protected the slave trade for twenty years. Only starting January 1, 1808, could laws become effective to end the slave trade. After January 1, 1808, it would “not be lawful to import or bring into the United States or the territories thereof from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of colour, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of such [person] … as a slave, to be held to service or labour.”