U.S. History Semester 1 Timeline

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    U.S. History Semester 1 Timeline

  • French-Indian War

    Although the colonist and British won the war, the colonists were upset with the British tactics and their heavy taxing. This was the beginning of the tension between the British and the colonists that would later lead to America’s independence (Cayton, Andrew R. L., Elisabeth Israels. Perry, Linda Reed, and Allan M. Winkler. Prentice Hall America: Pathways to the Present. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Print.).
  • Sugar Act

    The Sugar Act was the first of the many taxes the British imposed on the colonists. The act hurt many local colonists selling sugar and upset many people. This increased the colonist anger towards the British, which would later lead to the American Revolution (Cayton el at. 111).
  • Boston Massacre

    As a result of rising tensions in the colonies, Britain sent over troops to Boston. When an unruly crowd started causing trouble for the soldiers, the British soldiers fired at the colonists. It left five citizens dead and an increase of anger towards the British. This helped lead the colonists into fighting for their independence (Cayton et al. 114).
  • Boston Tea Party

    The tea party was a result of the British’s tax on tea. Colonists were angry and decided to protest by pouring all the tea from the British ships into the Boston Harbor. This action was part of the growing tension between the colonists and the British. It showed the British that the colonists were not afraid to stand up for themselves (Cayton et al. 114).
  • Events at Lexington and Concord

    The incident that took place at Lexington was the first battle during the Revolutionary War between the British and the colonists, where shots were fired. The Battles at Lexington and Concord showed how the British underestimated the colonists. Although the British were more experienced in militias, the colonists held their ground with modern fighting techniques (Cayton et al.115).
  • American Revolution

    The American Revolution caused the separation between the colonists and the British. After being fed up with the way the British were treating them, the colonists decided to fight for their independence. This fight gave us the United States of America (Cayton et al. 129).
  • George Washington

    Washington played a key role in the American Revolution and later became the first president of the United States. He showed exemplary leadership in his role of commander and chief of the patriots. He won many battles and suffered through harsh winters for the independence of our country. Afterwards, he gave newly U.S. citizens hope of a future when he was chosen as the first president (Cayton et al. 129).
  • Declaration of Independence

    Colonist wanted to break all ties with the British after fighting for about a year. The document was used to declare their independence and establish the principles for American society and government. It also stated that the people would have a strong voice in government. This document was the first step in becoming the United States of America (Cayton et al. 119).
  • Articles of Confederation

    The Articles of Confederation were the United States’ first attempt at creating a structure for the country. It focused on having a limited government, giving the states many rights. In the end it was not established, but it did contribute to the making of the Constitution we have today. It also showed we needed more of a central government (Cayton et al. 145).
  • The Constitution

    The Constitution was created to establish America’s structure. It states all the principles, laws, and ideas that make up America. Most importantly, it focuses on how the people govern the country, not one person. It is a highly important document in America that we continue to abide by (Cayton el at. 154).
  • Bill of Rights

    The Bill of Rights was designed to declare each citizen’s rights. Also, these first ten amendments protect citizens from any tyranny. These rights include the right to enjoy life, own property, and to pursue happiness. The document is very important and continues to protect the citizens of the United States (Cayton et al. 162).
  • Louisiana Purchase

    The French could not keep a hold on their American territory any longer and sold it to the United States. The Louisiana Purchase doubled America in size. It also continued the idea of Manifest Destiny (Cayton et al. 215).
  • Lewis and Clark

    After the Louisiana Purchase was made, President Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to explore the west. They also were sent to look for an all-water pathway to the Pacific Ocean. Although they didn’t find this path, they still made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean while discovering new things about the west. This cause many people to travel west afterwards (Cayton et al. 216).
  • Battle Of New Orleans

    This was the final battle of the War of 1812. It technically happened after peace was declared, but the news of this didn’t spread to troops down in New Orleans. This was the U.S.’s most successful victory of the entire war since they were able to get control of part of the Mississippi River, which was a prime resource for trading. This battle produced a sense of patriotism and it made the country more confident and united (Cayton et al. 227).
  • Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise was the first time the U.S. made an attempt at solving the slavery issue. The compromise kept the balance in the Senate between slave and fee states, and also determined that territories north of a certain line would be free. This caused the North to try and get as many free-states as they could, and caused the South to try and keep all of their slave states. This would create tension that would eventually lead to the Civil War (Cayton el at. 355).
  • Trail of Tears

    After getting the signature of one Native American chief, the United States forced a whole population of Native Americans west. They wanted to settle west but could not because of the natives living there already, so they decided to send the Native Americans on a treacherous journey. The journey killed and injured most of the Native Americans. This hurt the relationship between the Native Americans and the Americans immensely, and also showed how forceful America could be (Cayton et al. 300).
  • Manifest Destiny

    Manifest Destiny was the belief that it was America’s right to expand all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This led them to follow through with the Louisiana Purchase, annex Florida, establish the Indian Removal Act, and fight in the Mexican-American war. All of these events created the United States that we know of today (Cayton et al. 351).
  • Texas Annexation

    After winning its independence from Mexico, Texas wanted to become part of the United States. The U.S. knew if they annexed Texas it would create war with Mexico. They followed through with the idea of Manifest Destiny and annexed it. This would create hostility with Mexico for the next few years (Cayton et al. 351).
  • Mexican-American War

    The United States and Mexico ended up signing the Treaty of Hidalgo, which confirmed that the Rio Grande was the border between the two countries. After the conflict at the Alamo, the U.S. ended up forcing Mexico’s dictator, Santa Anna, to sign to a peace treaty, which gave Texas independence. To this day, America considers this war to be patriotic and heroic, while Mexico sees it as the U.S. stealing their territory (Cayton et al. 352).
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    These laws prevented slaves from running away from their masters, and forced citizens to report any runaway slaves. This was the strictest law at had ever been taken against slaves at the time before the Civil War. This act ended up leading to the formation of many anti-slavery groups, which played a huge role during and after the Civil War. In addition, it strengthened the North’s disapproval of the South with their treatment of African Americans (Cayton et al. 357).
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act/Bleeding Kansas

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act stated that slavery in territories would be decided by popular sovereignty. This caused the North and South to try and claim territories as either a slave or free state. As a result, violence broke out in what is known as Bleeding Kansas. This caused a lot of tensions between the North and South over slavery (Cayton et al. 360).
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott went to court because he believed that he was free since he once lived in a free state. The court ruled that Scott did not have the right to sue because he was a slave and did not have rights. This angered the North and added to the tension between the two sides (Cayton et al. 365).
  • Harpers Ferry/John Brown

    John Brown planned to break into Harper’s Ferry and give the stolen weapons to slaves. The plan went terribly wrong when they were caught and then executed. The North viewed him as a symbol and honored what he did, while the South was furious. This added to the tension between the North and South, which would eventually lead to the Civil War (Cayton el at. 368).
  • Working Conditions

    The conditions in which many people worked in were extremely flawed. Factories overworked and underpaid their employees, which led to revolts. Labor Unions, which fought for better working conditions, were formed. These labor unions along with labor strikes across the nation led to a permanent change in the conditions in which Americans worked, that are still enforced today (Cayton et al. 474).
  • Lincoln

    Lincoln was the 16th president of the U.S. and was greatly involved in the civil war. He fought not necessarily for the freedom of slaves, but for the union of the United States. The Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation, and the 10% plan were all examples of his attempt to bring the states back together (Cayton et al. 395).
  • Civil War

    After tensions between the North and South over slavery rose, war broke out. It divided the United States in half for a while and afterwards required reconstruction to piece it back together. The war caused the division of the states but also the abolishment of slavery in the United States. (Cayton et al. 371).
  • Emancipation Proclomation

    The Emancipation Proclamation declared that slaves in areas of rebellion against the government would be free. It did not have much impact and many viewed it as very weak. It did prevent any European countries from helping the Confederates. Also, it was one of the first steps in freeing the slaves and contributed to the North wining the war (Cayton et al. 395).
  • Gettysburg Address

    The Gettysburg Address was given by Lincoln and stated the reason why the North was fighting. It honored the men who had fought and died, and announced that in order to keep honoring them, the North had to keep fighting. This address helped fuel the North and led them to win the Civil War and abolish slavery (Cayton et al. 408).
  • Lincoln's 10% Plan

    This was Lincoln’s plan to make peace with the South by having them swear allegiance to the Union. The importance of this event was that it set a tone of forgiveness immediately following the end of the Civil War. There was so much tension between the North and South after the war, and this was the first initiative taken to repair their strained relationships (Cayton et al. 526).
  • Radical Republican Plan/Wade Davis Act

    This was the opposition to Lincoln’s Plan. They felt that the main goal of Reconstruction should be to make African Americans truly equal. They saw Lincoln’s plan as being not strict enough towards to Confederates who had treated slaves and Blacks so poorly. The significance of this event was that this was one of the few groups to defend and stand up for Black equality in society. They brought attention to this conflict n achieving racial equality (Cayton et al. 427).
  • Sherman's March

    This ended up being the final battle of the Civil War. It was the most significant battle for the Union because they were able to cut-off the Confederacy from having access to railroads, which meant they weren’t able to get supplies. If it weren’t for this final march, the South could’ve gotten more supplies and the war could’ve potentially been won by the Confederacy (Cayton et al. 413).
  • Waves of Immigration

    During the late 1800’s, a huge number of immigrants came to the United States for new opportunities and freedom. This caused U.S. citizens to become angry and hostile towards them because they began taking their jobs since they worked for less money. Ghettos began forming as well since U.S. citizens wanted to exclude them from living in their communities. Laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act were created which stopped Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. (Cayton et al. 537).
  • Freedmen's Bureau

    The Freedmen’s Bureau was an agency ran by the government that helped freed slaves transition into their new lives of freedom. They helped them in finding jobs and becoming more educated. Although they didn’t leave a huge impact, they contributed to the anti-slavery movement and giving African American’s equal rights (Cayton et al. 429).
  • Reconstruction

    Lincoln was focused on recreating the country and making peace between the North and South. There were still hostile feelings between the two sides after the War, and Lincoln felt it was best to move past this. Reconstruction focused on making Blacks equal in society, which it ended accomplishing several decades later. It ended up being a failure from Lincoln’s assassination and the strong differing opinions between the two sides (Cayton et al. 424).
  • Johnson's Reconstruction Plan

    After Lincoln’s assassination, President Johnson came in to power and created his own plan to pardon the South. His plan was more lenient than Lincoln’s since it only required Southerners to apologize to Johnson personally. This was important because this was the official start of the North and South patching up their conflicts from the Civil War. There was still some tension, but this plan attempted to put their issues in the past to move on (Cayton et al. 427).
  • 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments

    The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment guaranteed equal protection of all citizens, and the 15th Amendment gave equal voting to all people regardless of their race. These amendments were the first steps in making Blacks equal to Whites in society. Although they weren’t enforced at first, they are still in the Constitution today and theyprotect the rights of all citizens, especially those that are Black (Cayton et al. 428).
  • Big Businesses (Late 1800's)

    Big businesses were a major aspect of the Gilded Age. Businesses were gaining power, which led to their expansion and increase in power. The government supported laissez faire policies, which allowed monopolies and trusts to do whatever they wanted. They transformed the U.S.’s economy from being agriculturally-based, and brought people to the cities instead. They also led to terrible working conditions, which led to many upheavals from workers (Cayton et al. 467).
  • Slums and Tenements

    These types of housing were extremely common during the Gilded Age in cities. Since they were designed to cram as many families as possible, the living conditions were awful. The sanitation declined rapidly, which made disease spread. It was difficult for people living in the slums to escape poverty. Another issue from tenements was fires, which left many people either dead or homeless (Cayton et al. 537).
  • Overthrow of Queen/Annexation of Hawaii

    This was a clear example of the United States demonstrating imperialism. Power-seeking businessmen in the U.S., who wanted to increase their wealth by having access to Hawaii’s natural resources, forced the Queen of Hawaii out of her position. Despite these wrongdoings, this did end up leading to Hawaii officially becoming a state in 1959, and the country ended up apologizing to Hawaii in 1993 for overthrowing their Queen (Cayton et al. 595).
  • Imperialism

    The U.S. was stemming off of the idea of manifest destiny. They were rapidly expanding around the world, attempting to gain military, economic, and social control. These ideals led to numerous events such as the Spanish-American war and several interventions in other countries. The U.S. claimed to be helping, but in some cases they ended up causing more harm than good However, this policy of imperialism led to the U.S. becoming the biggest world power (Cayton et al. 584).
  • Spanish-American War

    The Spanish-American war was part of American imperialism. They went in to help Cuba fight for their independence but also they were interested in Cuba economically. It was an easy war for the Americans, and they received the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam from it (Cayton et al. 591).
  • War with the Philippines

    This was a clear demonstration of the U.S. being imperialistic. They wanted to civilize the Filippinos and they wanted American honor, which is what led them to enter the country. Reports of the U.S. committing terrible atrocities such as torture and burning villages spread to other countries throughout the world. This somewhat tarnished the U.S.’s reputation and this ultimately led to them turning over control to the Filippinos in the end (Cayton et al. 592).
  • Panamanian Revolution

    This was when Panama finally became an independent nation from Colombia. The significance of this event was that it was an example of the United States demonstrating imperialism. The U.S. influenced Panama to give them the rights to construct the Panama Canal after the Colombian government flat-out refused the U.S. to have so much control. Following the revolution, the United States was able to build the Panama Canal (Cayton et al. 593).
  • Panama Canal

    The construction of the Panama Canal forever changed the United State’s efficiency of shipping. Instead of having to navigate all the way down around the coast of South America to get to the West Coast of the U.S., the Canal significantly improved this by making shipping both cheaper and faster. The building of the Panama Canal also showed the perseverance of the country since previous countries had given up or failed at constructing the Canal (Cayton et al. 598).
  • Intervention in Nicaragua, Haiti, and Dominican Republic

    In all of these interventions, the U.S. attempted to take control of these countries, which is an example of imperialism. They resented the United States’ involvement since the U.S. was only taking their interests into account. This led to these countries not trusting and feeling betrayed by the United States, however the U.S. still maintained their powerful and influential status (Cayton et al. 587).
  • World War I

    This event had a major impact on the United States. The most significant was the fact that the United States replaced Britain as the biggest world power following their involvement in the war. They remained neutral for quite some time, and once they entered the war the Allied Powers strengthened immensely, and ultimately ended up winning. Since they saved Britain and France from defeat in the war, their relations with these countries improved as well (Cayton et al. 647).
  • Harlem Renaissance

    The Harlem Renaissance was a pivotal moment in Black history. Based in Harlem, New York, this finally gave a sense of pride to African Americans. They were able to freely enjoy themselves writing works of literature and listening to jazz music. Through their literature, they were able to celebrate their heritage and history and explore their identities. This finally gave African Americans a voice to express themselves, and a place to escape racism (Cayton et al. 696).
  • Sedition Act

    This law was passed near the end of the Civil War, and it made it illegal to for U.S. citizens to say anything negative about the government or military. This was done in order to remain a united nation and to prevent any negative criticism that could potentially ruin their reputation. This violated the First Amendment’s freedom of speech, however the country felt it was necessary during times of war. It convicted over 1,000 people after being put in place (Cayton et al. 667).
  • Women's Suffrage

    This movement led to women finally gaining respect and a voice in society. By them standing up for their rights, they were able to get the 19th Amendment passed, which officially gave women the right to vote. This was the turning point in American history, and it ultimately led to women finally being taken seriously. Women in the country began receiving the same opportunities as men and becoming equal in status to them (Cayton et al. 686).