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24 Important Dates in American History







settlement of Jamestown

First permanent English colony in North America

Defeat of the Spanish Armada, House of Burgesses, Northern, Middle and Southern colonies, Mayflower Compact, Plymouth, Puritan Dilemma, Town Hall meetings, tobacco, indentured servants, slavery


Treaty of Paris (end of French and Indian War), Pontiac’s Uprising

France is temporarily banished from North America, colonists saw fallibility of “redcoats,” both colonists and British thought the other “owed” them

Navigation Laws, Albany Plan, Washington as hero, Sugar Quartering, Stamp, Declaratory Townshend, Tea Acts;


Declaration of American Independence, Revolutionary War

first assertion of independence by colonies against mother nation

Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Lexington and Concord, Patriots v. Loyalists, Founding Fathers, Continental Congress, French help, Articles of Confederation


Ratification of Constitution

Judiciary Act of 1789

Replacement of the Articles of Confederation, stronger central government,

Bill of Rights, French Revolution, funding at par, Federalists and Anti-Federalists (Hamilton v. Jefferson), Whiskey Rebellion, Bank of US


Jefferson's election ("Revolution of 1800")

peaceful transition of power, end of Federalist rule (except in the courts)

Alien and Sedition Acts midnight judges, more agrarian interests, Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions


Louisiana Purchase, Marbury v. Madison

major extension of presidential power, US doubled its size.

Marbury v. Madison(judicial review), Lewis and Clark, British impressment,


War of 1812

America fights for respect, ushers in an era of nationalism and westward expansion

Embargo Act, Macon’s Bill #2, Napoleon, Hartford convention, war hawks & western farmers vs. eastern establishment, DC burned, New Orleans, Monroe Doctrine, Ghent Treaty,

Era of Good Feelings


Missouri Compromise

First of a series of compromises over the issue

of slavery.

Sectionalism, Compromise of 1850, Kansas Nebraska Act, "Bleeding Kansas"


Andrew Jackson elected President

Rise of politics of the common man, electoral power shifts to west of Appalachian Mountains

National conventions, Universal manhood suffrage, Maysville Road veto, Eaton affair, Tariff of Abominations (1828), Tariff of 1832, Force Bill, Biddle, Bank War, Specie Circular


Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

end of Mexican American war

Manifest Destiny, Gold rush, Gadsden Purchase, Free Soil Party, social reform movements, transcendentalism, temperance, Seneca Falls, sectionalism over slavery


Outbreak of the Civil War

America goes to war with itself over slavery and the meaning of federalism

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Bully Brooks, Dred Scott, Harper’s Ferry, Formation of the Confederacy, failure of Crittenden Compromise, Lincoln reprovisions Fort Sumter, border states, Antietam, Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg,


end of Civil War,

beginning of Reconstruction

affirmation of national government over states' rights.

Assassination of Lincoln, 13th-15th amendments, Johnson's Impeachment, Radical Republicans (Sumner and Stevens) Military Reconstruction Act


end of Reconstruction, Hayes Tilden Compromise, start of the Gilded Age

wounds of civil war healing, new era of industrialization and “robber barons”

Compromise of 1877 that allowed Hayes to be pres, Pullman strike, AFL


Census declares there is no longer a discernable frontier line

West has been settled, new emphasis on development of West rather than exploration or settlement, psychological change in American thinking

Turner thesis, Homestead Act, Transcontinental RRs, Dawes Severalty Act, Populists, H.H. Jackson’s-Century of Dishonor


McKinley defeats William. Jennings Bryan

Populist Party absorbed into Democrats, Big Business assumes control over the political process, end of western domination of politics

Trusts and Pools, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Hanna, The Grange, Farmer's Alliances, Cross of Gold Speech, Slums, Tenements, plight of the urban worker, The Jungle,How The Other Half Lives,Muckrakers, Roosevelt,Elections of 1900 and 1912


US entry into World War I

US tries to be neutral- Neutrality Acts

Wilsonian Idealism,

14 Points, Unrestricted sub warfare, Lusitania, Sussex, Arms manufacturers, League of Nations, Treaty of Versailles, Senate refusal


Stock Market Crash,

Great Depression

Most significant economic downturn in US history

Hawley Smoot Tariff, Rugged Individualism, Hoovervilles, Bonus Army March, Rise of totalitarianism in Europe, Election of 1932, New Deal


Bombing of Pearl Harbor

America enters World War II

Neutrality acts 1936-39, Lend Lease Act, Atlantic Charter, "Europe First," “island hopping,” D-Day


End of World War II,

Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

America positioned as sole superpower.

Potsdam and Yalta Conferences, Death of Roosevelt, Cold War, Truman Doctrine, NATO, Berlin Crises,


French defeated in Vietnam,

Brown vs. the Board of Education, CIA-sponsored coup in Guatemala

Prolonged military commitment in Southeast Asia, debacle in Vietnam

Containment, Fall of China, McCarthyism, “massive retaliation,” Korean War (1950-1953), Rosa Parks Little Rock crises, “Flexible Response,” New Frontier


Tonkin Gulf Resolution, “War on Poverty” programs, Civil Rights Act of '64,

24th amendment (no poll tax)

“Freedom Summer” voter registration in the South

Continuation of New Deal philosophy and welfare state politics, escalation of Vietnam involvement

MLK and integrationists, Malcolm X and Black Panthers (separatists), growth of the suburbs, white flight, Medicare, Food stamps


Tet Offensive, assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., Democratic convention, urban riots, Election of 1968

American support for Vietnam and containment erodes. White backlash to Civil Rights and other changes

rise of the counterculture and anti-war movement, Vietnamization, moon landing, urban riots, silent majority


Watergate scandal

First president to resign the office, Americans become disillusioned with politics

Agnew’s resignation, War Powers Act, high inflation and unemployment oil embargo, New Federalism,


Eastern Europe throws off communist regimes,

Fall of the Berlin Wall,

“New World Order”

End of the Cold War, America once again emerges as the sole superpower.

Solidarity Movement (Poland) Tianamen Square (China), Persian Gulf War, Bush, Clinton, weakening of Roe v. Wade, LA riots