Major Periods & Important Dates in American History



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Major Periods & Important Dates in American History


Colonial Period 1607-1763

  • Chesapeake: Jamestown (1st slaves & House of Burgesses; Bacon’s Rebellion)

  • New England; Mayflower Compact & Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

  • Diversity of the Middle colonies

  • Salutary neglect; colonial assemblies

  • Navigation Acts, mercantilism

  • French and Indian war 1754-1763


Revolutionary Period, 1763-1789

  • War debts; End to salutary neglect after French & Indian War, 1763

  • Sugar & Stamp Acts; Townshend Acts

  • Sons of Liberty; No taxation without representation; Committees of correspondence

  • Lexington and Concord, 1775

  • Second Continental Congress

  • Declaration of Independence, 1776

  • Saratoga; Battle of Yorktown

  • Treaty of Paris, 1783


Early Republic, 1789-1824

  • Articles of Confederation ratified, 1781 &
    the “Critical Period, 1781- 1788”

  • Land Ordinance; NW Ordinance

  • Constitution Ratified, 1789

  • Washington, Adams, Jefferson presidencies

  • Proclamation of Neutrality

  • Marbury v Madison

  • Louisiana Purchase

  • War of 1812, 1812-1815

  • “Era of Good Feelings,” 1816-1824

  • Compromise of 1820 (Missouri Comp)


Market Revolution, 1816-1845

  • Clay’s American System, 1816

  • Tariff of 1816; 2nd BUS

  • Roads, canals (Erie Canal), some railroads

  • Growth of cotton in the Deep South; commercial farming in West; textiles in North


Age of Jackson, 1828-1840

  • Universal white manhood suffrage

  • “Corrupt Bargain” of 1824

  • Andrew Jackson elected, 1828

  • Bank War; Specie Circular

  • Nullification Crisis

  • Indian removal

  • 2nd Great Awakening & reform movements (temperance, abolition, Seneca Falls, 1848)


Late Antebellum Period, 1840-1860

  • Manifest Destiny, 1840s

  • Mexican War, 1846-48

  • Compromise of 1850

  • Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854

  • Formation of the Republican Party

  • Dred Scott case, 1857

  • Lincoln Douglas Debates, 1858

  • John Brown at Harpers Ferry

  • Election of Lincoln, 1860


Civil War, 1861-65

  • Confederate States of America, 1861

  • Fort Sumter attacked, 1861

  • Antietam, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Atlanta

  • Emancipation Proclamation, 1863

  • Confederate Surrender, 1865

  • Lincoln assassinated, 1865


Reconstruction, 1865-77

  • Reconstruction Amendments
    (13th-slavery abolished, 14th-citizenship & rights, 15th-manhood suffrage)

  • Weak presidents: A Johnson, Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes (2nd corrupt bargain)

  • Nation reunifies

  • End of Reconstruction; Jim Crow laws


The Gilded Age (1870-1900)

  • Settlement of the West, 1877-1900

  • Destruction of Native Americans, Farming, Ranching, Mining, Populism

  • Industrial Revolution (ROSE)

  • New forms of marketing and business organization, holding companies & trusts

  • The Jim Crow South, disenfranchisement of blacks, sharecropping & crop lien

  • Depression of 1893

  • New Immigrants


U.S. Imperialism, 1890-1914

  • Spanish-American War, 1898

  • Guam, Puerto Rico, Philippines

  • Philippine War

  • Panama Canal

  • Big Stick, Dollar, Moral Diplomacies

  • Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine

  • Pancho Villa


Progressive Era 1900-1914

  • Muckrakers (Tarbell, Riis, Steffens, Sinclair)

  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act

  • Northern Securities Co.

  • “Square Deal”

  • Clayton Anti-Trust Act

  • Federal Reserve

  • Underwood-Simmons Tariff

  • Initiative, Referendum, Recall

  • 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th amendments


WWI, 1914-1918

  • Unrestricted Submarine Warfare

  • Zimmerman Note

  • WIB & CPI

  • Selective Service Act

  • Great migration

  • 14 Points, Treaty of Versailles

  • League of Nations

  • Irreconcilables, Reservationists


1920s--1930s

  • Roaring Twenties, Consumerism

  • Women gain right to vote

  • Harlem Renaissance

  • Urban vs rural conflicts (Prohibition, evolution, immigration, KKK)

  • 1929 Stock market crash

  • Hoover’s “Rugged Individualism”

  • 1st New Deal, 2nd New Deal

  • Relief, Recovery, Reform

  • Court Packing


1940s

  • Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

  • WPB, OSS, OPA

  • Great Migration

  • Rosie the Riveter

  • D-Day, Island Hopping

  • Manhattan Project

  • A-bombs dropped; Japan surrenders

  • Tehran, Yalta, Potsdam Conferences


1950s

  • Affluent Society, Consumerism

  • Suburbs, White Flight

  • Baby boom

  • Rock n roll, Juvenile delinquency

  • Social expectations, conformity

  • Jack Kerouac, Beats

  • Automania


Cold War, 1947-1989

  • Containment: Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, NATO, 1st peacetime alliance

  • Soviets test A-bomb, 1949

  • China goes communist, 1949

  • Korean War, 1950-53

  • HUAC, Loyalty Review Board

  • McCarthyism, 1950-54

  • Vietnam War, 1965-73 (Gulf of Tonkin)

  • Nixon & Détente, 1972-1979

  • Fall of Berlin Wall, 1989

  • Collapse of Soviet Union, 1991


Civil Rights, 1954-68

  • Brown v. Board of Ed. decision, 1954

  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

  • Birmingham

  • March on Washington

  • SCLC, SNCC, CORE, NAACP

  • Civil Rights Act, 1964

  • Voting Rights Act, 1965

  • 24th Amendment, 1964

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated, 1968

  • Stokely Carmichael; Black Power

  • Malcolm X


1960s & 1970s

  • JFK, New Frontier, assassination 1963

  • Berlin Crisis

  • Cuban Missile Crisis

  • LBJ; “Great Society”

  • Hippies, New Left

  • Turmoil in 1968 (Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Chicago, assassination of RFK & MLK)

  • President Nixon, 1969-1974, Conservativism, Silent Majority, Watergate, Resignation, 1974

  • Triangular diplomacy: détente, China, Cease fire in Vietnam

  • President Gerald Ford, 1974-76

  • President Jimmy Carter, 1977-80

  • Oil Embargo, Energy Crisis, Stagflation

  • Iran hostage crisis, Camp David, Afghanistan


1980s & Recent Past

  • President Ronald Reagan, 1981-89

  • Supply-side economics

  • Iran-Contra Affair

  • SDI, nuclear build-up, Cold war ends,

  • President George Bush, 1989-92; NAFTA

  • The Persian Gulf War, 1991

  • President Bill Clinton, 1993-2001, Impeachment, economic growth,

  • President George W. Bush, 2000 Election; 9/11, War on Terror, Iraq War.

  • Election of Barack Obama, 2008





HISTORICAL PERIODS TO MEMORIZE


Pre-colonial period (before 1492): Indians, Renaissance, Protestant Reformation

Colonial Period: 1607-1776

16th Century: geography, politics, economics, society (including religion)

17th Century: geography, politics, economics, society (including religion)

Salutary Neglect”: 1713-1763



French and Indian War: 1756-1763

Revolutionary War era: 1763-1783; Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

Critical Period” -- Articles of Confed (1783-1789)



Federalist Era (1789-1801)

Presidents Washington and Adams



Jeffersonian Democracy (1800-1824)

Presidents Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe



War of 1812: (1812-1815) Madison

Era of Good Feelings”: 1816-1824; Monroe



Jacksonian Democracy: 1828-1848

Presidents Jackson, Van Buren, (Tyler?) & Polk



Manifest Destiny (1840s): Presidents Tyler & Polk (Jackson & Indian removal in 1830s)

Mexican War: 1846-1848

American Society: 1790-1860

Early Industrial Rev: textiles, railroads, iron, coal (TRIC)

Transportation Revolution: turnpikes, steamboats, canals, railroads

2nd Great Awakening (1820-1860): abolitionism, temperance, women's rights, etc.

Road to Civil War (1848-1860): Wilmot Proviso through election of 1860



Civil War (1861-1865)

Reconstruction (1865-1877)

Gilded Age (1865-1900)

Politics: scandal, money issue (1870s & '90s), tariff (1880s), Panics of 1873 & 1893

Second Industrial Revolution: ROSE -- railroads, oil, steel, electricity; Unionization

Urbanization: “New Immigrants” (1880-1924), Social Gospel, political machines, nativists

The Great West: Three frontiers -- 1) farming
2) mining 3) cattle

Populism, election of 1896

Imperialism (1889-1914): Hawaii, Spanish-Am War, Open Door, "Big Stick", "dollar diplomacy,"
"moral diplomacy"

Progressive Era (1901-1920): Presidents T. Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson

World War I: 1914-1918; President Wilson; Treaty of Versailles (1919)

1920s: Presidents Harding, Coolidge & Hoover

Conservative domestic policy; isolationist foreign policy (including 1930s)

“Americanism”

“Roaring 20s” and “Jazz Age” (+ “Lost Generation”)



The Great Depression 1929-1939; Hoover and FDR

New Deal: 1933-1938

World War II: 1939-1945 (U.S. 1941-1945)

Cold War: 1946-1991

Truman’s Presidency (1945-1953)

Cold War

domestic policy; “Fair Deal”

“Red Scare” (second one): 1947-1954?

Affluent Society”: 1950-1970



1950s: President Eisenhower (1953-1961)

Foreign and domestic policy; Civil Rights era (1954-1965); consumerism; conformity



1960s: JFK & LBJ

Cold War (including Vietnam)

“New Frontier”

“Great Society” (including Civil Rights)

Women's rights

Vietnam War: 1964-1973

1970s: President Nixon (1969-1974), Ford, Carter

Cold War (end of Vietnam) and dètente

Domestic issues (including Watergate); “New Federalism”; oil crisis; “stagflation”

“Imperial Presidency”: WWII-1974

1980s: Reagan and Bush

Conservative revolution: “Reaganomics”

Cold War and other foreign policy issues




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