Timeline of the development of the US as a nation-state

Understand the implications and general dating of items in regular print; for bolded items, be able to explain fully what happened, when, and why. Note:History 1 stops 1865; History 2 begins 1865.


1492, 1493. 1498, 1502-Columbus voyages, establishment of colonies in the Caribbean basin

1514-Cortez arrives in Mexico; colonization of Latin America begins

1535-French found Montreal colony

1540-Spanish enter and claim indigenous New Mexico; Spanish settlement delayed until 1598

1565-St. Augustine founded in Florida by Spanish

1607-Chesapeake settled by British; wars against indigenous people begin and last until 1890

1608-Quebec claimed by French

1612-Tobacco introduced into Chesapeake

1619-First slave ship to N. American; Virginia founds House of Burgess legislature

1620-Plymouth Pilgrims arrive on Mayflower

1637-Pequot wars begin; extermination of indigenous people becomes British goal

1642-Civil war in England; exodus to the colonies results

1651-British pass first Navigation Act to regulate trade

1676--Bacon's Rebellion

1680-Enlightenment begins; first Pueblo Revolt

1690-King Williams' war begins 70 years of French-British struggle in Americas

1690-Boston prints first newspaper in colonies

1692-Salem witch trials test law and faith in MA; dozens are killed as witches

1720s-First Great Awakening

1752-Britain and colonies switch calendars, adopt Gregorian

1754-Albany Congress

1756-Seven Year's War begins, eventually expels France from much of Americas and leads to grievances that push colonies to independence

1769-California Mission system begins

1770-Boston Massacre

1773-Boston Tea Party

1774-Uprisings in Western Massachusetts

1775-Continental Congress and Minutemen begin US revolution

1776-US Declaration of Independence begins US history as sovereign nation-state

1781-Washington defeats Cornwallis at Yorktown with French Navy; peace for US

1786-Shay's Rebellion of MA farmers against laws and politicians unfair to working classes

1787-Articles of Confederation rewritten at Constitutional Convention, Northwest Ordinance passed

1788-US constitution ratified

1789-Washington becomes first US president

1790-invention of cotton gin by slave woman strengthens slavery's power and hold

1791-written Bill of Rights ratified, a legal first in the history of the world

1794-Whiskey Rebellion in western PA carried out against new government's taxation policies

1796-first presidential transfer of power as Adams replaces Washington

1800-first transfer of power between parties as Jefferson replaces Adams, repeals Alien and Sedition Acts

1808-slave trading legally ended in US

1810--Mexico declares itself independent of Spain, and begins war to make this so

1812-1815-Second War of US Independence/War of 1812

1820-Missouri Compromise

1821-Mexico gains independence from Spain

1823-Monroe Doctrine declared

1830s-Indian Removal

1831-Nat Turner's Rebellion; William Lloyd Garrison founds The Liberator in Boston

1832--Nullification Crisis raises state vs. federal rights issue; Andrew Jackson stiffles state of SC

1836-Texas independence from Mexico

1837-Panic/Depression begins, lasts four years.

1840s-Oregon Trail becomes popular trail west; other trails get heavy use also

1845-Mexican war, annexation of Texas

1848-California gold discovered; statehood follows within the year

1850-Compromise of 1850 leads toward Civil War

1854-Kansas-Nebraska Act

1857-Dred Scott case decided by Supreme Court

1859-Harpers Ferry

1860-Secession due in part to Southern fears about the election of A. Lincoln

1861-65--Civil War kills 625,000 and preserves the union with a strong North and devastated South

1863-First Homestead Act, renewed for more than fifty years

1865-68-Presidential Reconstruction

1868-76-Radical Reconstruction

1869-Transcontinental railroad completed


1876-forward-Counter Reconstruction

1877-the Great Railroad Strikes

1886-doctrine of corporate personhood established in Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific

1882-federal Chinese Exclusion Act passed

1890-Sherman Anti-Trust Act passed, heralds in Progressive Era, which ends with WWI

1893-97-Panic/Depression resulting in Pullman strike, Coxey's Army

1898-1905-Spanish/Cuban/Filipino War; 1898 annexation of Hawaii and the Open Door Policy

1910-Mexican revolution begins; effects huge and long lasting

1914-WWI begins in Europe; "stolen fair and square" Panama Canal completed

1917-US enters WWI

1918-WWI ends and the world is changed forever

1919-20-Palmer Raids, women get suffrage with 19th Amendment


1920s-quotas introduced for control of desirable and undesirable immigrants

1927-first talking movie, a "talkie"

1929-Stock market crash sets off the Great Depression

1932-FDR takes office and implements the New Deal

1935-Wagner Act, Social Security Act

1936-8-Spanish Civil war introduces militarized fascism; US men fight as the Lincoln Brigade

1938-40-Hitler's aggression menaces Europe, overruns all but England, WWII begins

1941-Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, US enters WWII

1945-FDR dies; Germans defeated; A-bombs dropped by US on Japan begin nuclear age, United Nations founded to prevent future world wars

1945-9-Nuremberg Trials establish personal responsibility for evil in international law

1947-89-The Cold War

1950-53-The Korean War

1954-defeated at Dien Ben Phu, the French leave Vietnam to US efforts

1950s-anti-communism sweeps the US, HUAC hearings

1954-Brown vs. Topeka requires school integration, sparks modern Civil Rights movements

1955-6-Montgomery bus boycott

1957-Central High School in Little Rock integrated

1959-Cuban revolution; Sputnik spurs science race

1963-Cuban Missile Crisis, birth control pills first marketed

1964-Tonkin Gulf and US escalation in Vietnam

1967-Summer of Love

1969-US astronauts reach the moon

1972-Break-in at Watergate Hotel Democratic Headquarters

1973-Oil Producing and Exporting Cartel (OPEC) embargoes oil and forces US conservation

1974-Watergate impeachment hearings and the resignation of Richard Nixon

1975-US ends Vietnam activity and leaves Saigon, which falls to the North Vietnamese

1980s-invasions of or interventions in Granada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama

1986-Iran-contra scandal

1991-Persian Gulf War

1990s-birth and growth of the Internet as an independent, unregulated information source

2000-World Trade Center destroyed