US History Timeline A

  • Aug 3, 1492

    The Discovery of America by Columbus

    The Discovery of America by Columbus
    The discovery made by Columbus allowed the period of colonization to begin. This had several important effects. From our perspective as Americans, the eventual creation of the US is probably the most important of these effects. By "finding" the New World, Columbus started its European colonization.
  • The Settlement of Jamestown

    The Settlement of Jamestown
    The first permanent English settlement in America was Jamestown, founded in 1607 as an economic venture. England wanted to establish an American colony to increase her wealth and power. England hoped to find silver and gold in America.
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    The French and Indian War

    The French and Indian War began in 1754 and ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1763. The war provided Great Britain enormous territorial gains in North America, but disputes over subsequent frontier policy and paying the war's expenses led to colonial discontent, and ultimately to the American Revolution.
  • The Boston Tea Party

    The Boston Tea Party
    The Boston Tea Party was a direct protest by colonists in Boston against the Tea Tax that had been imposed by the British government. Boston patriots, dressed as Mohawk Indians, raided three British ships in Boston harbor and dumped 342 containers of tea into the harbor.
  • The Battle of Lexington and Concord

    The Battle of Lexington and Concord
    The Battles of Lexington and Concord signaled the start of the American Revolutionary war. The British Army set out from Boston to capture rebel leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Lexington as well as to destroy the American's store of weapons and ammunition in Concord. The Americans won the battle. The British retreated back to Boston. The Battle of Concord proved to the British that the American army was not just a band of unorganized rebels, but an army that deserved respect.
  • The Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence
    By issuing the Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, the 13 American colonies severed their political connections to Great Britain. The Declaration summarized the colonists' motivations for seeking independence.
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    The Battle of Yorktown

    The British army was decimated and the Revolutionary war was virtually over. Significance of the Battle of Yorktown: The significance of the conflict was that Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington as French and American forces trapped the British at Yorktown.
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    The Constitutional Convention

    The official purpose of the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia beginning on May 25, 1787 was to amend the Articles of Confederation. It had, by that time, become clear that the Articles of Confederation were not a good enough constitution for the new nation.
  • The invention of the cotton gin

    The invention of the cotton gin
    The cotton gin is a machine that separates cotton seeds from cotton fiber. Invented by Eli Whitney in 1793, it was an important invention because it dramatically reduced the amount of time it took to separate cotton seeds from cotton fiber.
  • The Alien and Sedition Acts

    The Alien and Sedition Acts
    The Alien and Sedition Acts were a series of four laws passed by the U.S. Congress amid widespread fear that war with France was imminent. The four laws -which remain controversial to this day- restricted the activities of foreign residents in the country and limited freedom of speech and the press. The Federalists believed that Democratic-Republican criticism of Federalist policies was disloyal and feared that aliens living in the United States would sympathize with the French during a war.
  • The Louisiana Purchase

    The Louisiana Purchase
    The Louisiana Purchase was important to the United States because it not only gave the United States about 827,000 square miles of land for 18 dollars per one square mile, (roughly 15 million dollars total.) But it also allowed the United States to become a much larger territory that would soon turn into new states.
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    The War of 1812

    War of 1812. In the War of 1812, caused by British restrictions on U.S. trade and America's desire to expand its territory, the United States took on the greatest naval power in the world, Great Britain, and won.
  • The Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise was an effort by Congress to defuse the sectional and political rivalries triggered by the request of Missouri late in 1819 for admission as a state in which slavery would be permitted. At the time, the United States contained twenty-two states, evenly divided between slave and free. The purpose of the Missouri Compromise was to keep a balance between the number of slave states and the number of free states in the Union.
  • Andrew Jackson’s Election

    Andrew Jackson’s Election
    The 1828 United States presidential election was the 11th quadrennial presidential election, held from October 31 to December 2, 1828. It featured a re-match of the 1824 election, as President John Quincy Adams of the National Republican Party faced Andrew Jackson of the Democratic Party. Both parties were new organizations, and this was the first Presidential election their nominees contested. Unlike in 1824, Jackson defeated Adams, marking the start of Democratic dominance in Federal politics.
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    The Trail of Tears

    In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the "Trail of Tears," because of its devastating effects. Over 4,000 of these Indians died of disease, famine, and warfare.
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    The Panic of 1837

    The Panic of 1837 was influenced by the economic policies of President Jackson. During his term, Jackson created the Specie Circular by executive order and refused to renew the charter of Second Bank of the United States, leading government funds to be withdrawn from the bank.
  • The invention of the telegraph

    The invention of the telegraph
    The telegraph allowed messages to be transmitted very quickly across great distances. Between this and the typewriter, these two inventions revolutionized business. It is for this reason that the typewriter and the telegraph were such important inventions.
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    The Mexican-American War

    The United States offered to buy from Mexico the land extending from Texas to the Pacific Ocean, but Mexico wanted to keep that vast area. In 1846, a dispute over the border between Texas and Mexico resulted in armed conflict, and the Mexican–American War began.
  • The Compromise of 1850

    The Compromise of 1850
    Senator Henry Clay introduced a series of resolutions on January 29, 1850, in an attempt to seek a compromise and avert a crisis between North and South. As part of the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was amended and the slave trade in Washington, D.C., was abolished.
  • The Firing on Fort Sumter

    The Firing on Fort Sumter
    The Battle of Fort Sumter (April 12–13, 1861) was the bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina by the Confederate States Army, and the return gunfire and subsequent surrender by the United States Army, that started the American Civil War.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation
    President Abraham Lincoln declared free all slaves residing in territory in rebellion against the federal government. This Emancipation Proclamation actually freed very few people. Naturally, the states in rebellion did not act on Lincoln's order.
  • Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

    Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse
    On April 9, 1865, near the town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. But the resulting Battle of Appomattox Court House, which lasted only a few hours, effectively brought the four-year Civil War to an end.
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination

    Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination
    Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April, 14th, 1865. Shot in the head by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln died the next morning. The assassination occurred only days after the surrender of Gen. Lee, which had signaled the effective end of the Civil War. Lincoln’s death plunged much of the country into despair, and the search for Booth and his accomplices was the largest manhunt in American history to that date.
  • 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments

    13th, 14th, 15th Amendments
    The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, known collectively as the Civil WarAmendments, were designed to ensure equality for recently emancipated slaves. The 13th Amendment banned slavery and all involuntary servitude, except in the case of punishment for a crime.
  • Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

    Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment
    The impeachment of President Andrew Johnson was the result of political conflict in the aftermath of the Civil War. The Tenure of Office Act passed over Johnson's veto in 1867, stated that a president could not dismiss appointed officials without the consent of Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives cited Johnson's removal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, a violation of the Tenure of Office Act. The House vote made President Johnson the first president to be impeached in U.S. history.
  • The Organization of Standard Oil Trust

    The Organization of Standard Oil Trust
    Established in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller and Henry Flagler as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refinery in the world of its time. Its history as one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations ended in 1911, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a landmark case, that Standard Oil was an illegal monopoly.
  • The invention of the electric light

    The invention of the electric light
    It has been argued that the light bulb was the greatest invention of all time. The light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison in 1879. ... This creates a bright light that is contained by the glass bulb around it. The light bulb has changed the way the world works as a whole.
  • The invention of the telephone

    The invention of the telephone
    In the Industrial Revolution, many inventions were created that had led to significant impacts on society. One of these inventions included the telephone. The telephone was made in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. The invention of the telephone had a great impact on society and broadened the idea of communication.
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    The Pullman and Homestead Strikes

    Two major labor strikes were the Homestead Strike and the Pullman Strike. Homestead Strike happened in Homestead, Pennsylvania. The workers from Carnegie mills went on strike because Andrew Carnegie, the head of the Carnegie Steel Company, refused to increase the wages. the workers in the Pullman were replaced and the railroads began hiring replacement workers (strikebreakers), which increased hostilities. Carnegie Steel (of homestead) moved quickly to institute longer hours and lower wages.
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    The Spanish-American War

    The reasons for war were many, but there were two immediate ones: America's support the ongoing struggle by Cubans and Filipinos against Spanish rule, and the mysterious explosion of the battleship U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor. The war officially ended four months later, when the U.S. and Spanish governments signed the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. Apart from guaranteeing the independence of Cuba, the treaty also forced Spain to cede Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States.
  • Theodore Roosevelt becomes president

    Theodore Roosevelt becomes president
    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. As a leader of the Republican Party, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. He is generally ranked in polls of historians as one of the five best presidents.
  • The invention of the airplane

    The invention of the airplane
    So many inventors, including Orville and Wilbur Wright, tried to invent the flying machine. Most airplane inventors at the time were impulsive and disorganized; they would think of an idea, build a plane as quickly as they could, and then try to fly it as soon as possible. Some people tried strapping wings to their arms. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made four brief flights with their first powered aircraft. The Wright brothers had invented the first successful airplane.