• Early Labor Protests

    The first national labor union was founded as the National Trades Union opened to workers from all trades. It only lasted a few years, and no new unions formed in the wake of the depressions of the late 1830s.
  • The Telegraph

    Samuel Morse perfected the telegraph technology.
  • Pennsylvania congressman, David Wilmot proposes an amendment.

    David Wilmot proposed an amendment called The Wilmot Proviso, it called for a ban on slavery in any territory that the United States gained from Mexico as a result of the war.
  • Socialism Spreads

    German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels expanded on the ideas of sccialism in a treatise titled "Communist Manifesto".
  • Free-Soil Party is formed.

    Free Soil Party wanted to prevent the expansion of slavery into the western territories.
  • Compromise of 1850

    California applied to enter the Union as a free state, threatening the balance of power between slave and free states in the Senate. To ease southern concerns, congress debated and then passed the Compromise of 1850. California was admitted as a free state.
  • Technology Improves City Life

    Elisha Otis developed a safety elevator that would not fall if the lifting rope broke.
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Court ruled against Scott. The court declared that African Americans were not citizens and therefore, were not entitled to sue in the courts. The court also ruled that Congress did not have the power to ban slavery, and that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional.
  • The American Institute of Architecture was Formed

    The American Institute of Architecture was established to professioinalize the practice. It's members encouraged specific education and official licensing in order to become an architect. These professionals designed the buildings that were quickly becoming hallmarks of urban life.
  • Adverstising Atrracts Customers

    Rowland H. Macy opened a department store in New York. It became the largest single store in America. Its sales methods, widespread advertising, a variety of goods organized into "departments", and high quality items at fair prices, became the standard in large urban stores.
  • Natural Resources Fuel Growth

    Edwin Drake drilled the world's first oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. The oil industry grew quickly.
  • Oil Refining

    Oil fuels industrial growth and raises standard of living but encourages American dependence on a single resource and worsens pollution.
  • Social Darwinism

    Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species", arguing that animals evolved by a process of "natural selection" and that only the fittest survived to reproduce.
  • Lincoln wins the election

    40 percent of the popular vote, and almost 60 percent of the electoral vote.
  • Confederacy is formed

    The seven seceding states established the Confederate States of America. It stressed the independence of each state and implied that states had the right to secede, it also guaranteed the protection of slavery.
  • Lincoln takes office.

    Lincoln was sworn in as President.
  • Civil War Begins.

    The North argued that no state had the right to secede. The South aimed to gain their independence from the Union.
  • Pull Factors

    The 1862 Homestead Act and aid from railroad companies made western farmland inexpensive. The railroads even offered reduced fares to get there because they needed customers in the west for their own business to succeed.
  • Anaconda Plan is formed.

    North adopted this to design the South into submission. Involved seizing the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico so that the South could not send or receive shipments.
  • Lincoln Proclaims Emancipation.

    Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamtion which declared that all persons held as slaves within any state shall be free.
  • The Telephone

    Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Within a few years, 148 telephone companies had strung more than 34,000 cities in the Northeast, and Midwest. By 1900, there were more than one million telephones in the United States.
  • Electricity Transforms Life

    Thomas Edison invnted the light bulb. Other inventors later improved upon Edison's work.
  • Workforce Grows

    Nearly three quaters of a million immigrants arrived in America.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act was Formed

    Extreme histility toward Chiinese laborers led Congress to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act whcih prohibited immigration by Chinese laborers, limited the civil rights of Chinese immigrants already in the United States, and forbade the natrualization of Chinese residents.
  • Forming the AFL

    Samuel Gompers formed the American Federation of Labor. This was a craft union, a loose organization of skilled workers from some 100 local unions devoted to a specific crafts or trades.
  • Violence Erupts in haymarket Square

    Protesters gathered at Haymarket Square in Chicago. The Haymarket Riot formed.
  • Government Imposes Regulations

    The United States Senate created the Interstate Commerce Comission to oversee railroad operations.
  • Sherman Antitrust Act

    The federal government slowly became involved in regulating trusts. The Senate passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, which outlawed any trust that operated "in restraint of trade or commerce among the several states".
  • Immigrants Arrive at American Ports

    Most European immigrants arrived in New York Harbor. They were processed at Ellis Island.
  • Wireless Telegraph

    Guglielmo Marconi invented the wireless telegraph. Future inventors would build on this innovation in developing the radio,
  • Electricity Powers Urban Transit

    Boston solved a problem with traffic by running the cars underground in the nation's first subway system.
  • Court Established Chinese U.S. Citizens

    A court case established that Chinese people born in America were United States citizens, and could come and go freely. Many immigration officials ignored this ruling.
  • New Immigrants Come to America

    After 1900, immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe made up more than 70 percent of all immigrants, up from about 1 percent at midcentury. Many native-born Americans felt threatened by these newcomers with different cultures and languages.
  • Technology and Transportation

    The wright brothers flew their first successful airplane flight. Two bicycle manufacturers marked the birth of a new industry.