When: 1600 – 1763 Where: New World (Present Day North and South America) Why

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Colonial Era
Who: British (Puritans & Pilgrims), French, Spanish (Conquistadors), West

African Slaves, Indians, Quakers, Dutch

What: Colonies (North or New England, Middle, and Southern)
When: 1600 – 1763
Where: New World (Present Day North and South America)
Why: To Colonize; Attain more land (gold and silver); Spread Christianity:

New Life – Freedom from Persecution

How: Sailing from Europe to America

Sailing from Europe to Africa to America

Summary of Event / Era

Once the “New World” is discovered, European nations hurried to colonize this region to bring wealth back to the mother country. The 3 primary countries were Britain, France and Spain, who also believed it was their duty to spread Christianity. Unfortunately, this action displaced and eventually destroyed the majority of the Native American population. Once this form of “free labor” was exhausted, they were replaced by West Africans brought over on what is commonly known as the “Middle Passage” (one leg of the triangular trade). In addition, there were many individuals from Europe who journeyed in the hopes of finding wealth, escaping persecution or simply a better life. Thus, the white European population grew in America. There were 3 types of colonies based on the geography. The Northern colonies, such as Massachusetts, found their livelihood in maritime trade and were politically more liberal, which the Southern colonies such as Virginian, relied more on farming and in turn slave labor.

Coming to America

Obtain an empire- more land

Labor used in America were slaves from West Africa

Obtain gold and silver - wealth

Native Americans displaced

In hopes of escaping persecution

England’s 13 colonies

Spread Christianity

American Revolution

Who: Patriots & Loyalists, George Washington, Thomas Paine, John Locke & Montesquieu, Thomas Jefferson, Daughters & Sons of Liberty, Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Lafayette, Charles Cornwallis
What: “Common Sense”, American Revolution, Political Documents, Proclamation of 1763
When: 1763 – 1783
Where: Valley Forge, Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre, Trenton, Saratoga, Yorktown, Paris
Why: Colonists wanted Independence from Britain
How: Causes of War, Political Documents, Battles, Treaty

Many events caused the Revolution to happen, starting with the Proclamation of 1763 (told colonists they could not settle west of the Appalachian Mtns), which upset colonists who had just risked their lives for the British in the French and Indian War. Then, Britain put stricter taxes on the colonists, including the Stamp Act (first direct tax). As a result, the colonists boycotted certain products like tea and the Boston Tea Party occurred. Another troubling incident was the Boston Massacre soon after and the Intolerable Acts which happened as a result of the Boston Tea Party. Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” said the next move for the colonists is obviously independence since they were being treated so poorly by the mother country and their best interests weren’t being looked after and they couldn’t be represented in Parliament (Taxation without representation).

The American Revolution was fought on American soil and the Continental or American army was led by General George Washington. The first major battle of victory for America was the Battle of Trenton, when they snuck across the Delaware River and surprised the Hessians (hired soldiers to fight for British) on Christmas. Another major battle was Saratoga, where the French aid (led by Lafayette) finally came for the Americans. The Battle of Yorktown was where Cornwallis surrendered and soon after the British signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783 giving Americans their Independence. The Declaration of Independence was written my Thomas Jefferson before the War started. His resources were from John Locke’s “Life, Liberty and Property” as well as author Montesquieu.
I am Free!

Native Americans after French & Indian War Upset Colonists

Delaware River crossed secretly


People who supported the Crown = Loyalists

Evident Truths, Self (Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness)

No French came to American Aid until Saratoga

Treaty of Paris, 1783
Establishing America & War of1812
Who: James Madison, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Andrew Jackson
What: Constitutional Powers; Constitutional Convention; 3/5 Compromise; War of 1812; Articles of Confederation; 12th Amendment; Treaty of Ghent; Citizens Rights; White House
When: 1763-1815

United States (Washington, D.C. & New Orleans Primarily)
Why: Need for Strong Government; Independence; Expansion; Reasons for War of 1812 – Impressment, Embargo Act, British aiding Native Americans in U.S.A., War Hawks
How: Establish Constitution; Louisiana Purchase; War; Monroe Doctrine; Bill of Rights; Burned Capitol City

This time period was known as the Post-Revolutionary Era. America now has its independence from Britain and is trying to establish a successful and working government. After the failure of the Articles of Confederation, James Madison drafted the Constitution which he proposed to the Constitutional Convention. The articles failed primarily because it did not give enough power to the federal government and too much power to individual states. However, the new constitution needed to protect citizens as well from the federal government. This brought about the first 10 amendments to the constitution, which are collectively known as the Bill of Rights and guarantees citizens personal rights.

Expansion occurred in 1803 with the largest land deal in history known as the Louisiana Purchase, when President Thomas Jefferson bought a region of America from Napoleon, which more than doubled the size of the U.S. at the time and only cost $15 million. Moreover, the U.S. gained the port of New Orleans (important for shipping), control of the entire Mississippi River, and got France out of the U.S. for good.

The War of 1812 was the last effort on the part of the British to regain America. Contrary to popular belief, the war was not an American victory. In fact, it was more a tie between the U.S. and Britain. The Treaty of Ghent ended the war, but a famous battle was fought after this called the Battle of New Orleans. The conflict was led by Andrew Jackson and was one of the few American victories. During the war, Great Britain was much more victorious and burnt the White House and Washington D.C. to the ground.


New America

Fighting British AGAIN in War of 1812

Andrew Jackson victorious in Battle of New Orleans

Native Americans being helped by British


Your rights as citizens (Bill of Rights)

Era of Good Feelings & Jacksonian Era
Who: James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, Native Americans

What: A time period of American growth and power; Trail of Tears; American System (3 parts = National Bank, Protective Tariffs, National Construction); Pet Banks, Spoils System; Nationalism; Suffrage Expanded; Monroe Doctrine; Presidential Elections (1824 & 1828); Whig Party

When: 1815 - 1838

Where: America becomes connected geographically with construction of roads, railroad lines, canals, etc.; Georgia to Oklahoma; Washington D.C.; America’s original 13 states

Why: After the War of 1812, America enters a stage or political and industrial growth that will later contribute to social growth as well.

How: Henry Clay implements the “American System”; The administrations of Presidents Madison and Monroe experience an “Era of Good Feelings”; Jackson served as a very dominate President, which led to the formation of the Whig Party and forced relocation of Native Americans.

After the War of 1812, America began to flourish for the first time since its independence from the British Empire. The Missouri Compromise increased the size of the U.S. by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state. Also in the 1820s, Congressman Henry Clay proposed the “American System”, which was intended to nationalism and patriotism. This proposal took on 3 important parts. The first was to geographically connect America with a National Road, Railroad Lines and the Erie Canal. That way trade and transportation would be more efficient, and Americans could feel connected to the rest of the country if it took less time to get the final destination (Ex: A Georgian could feel connected to New York if it took 3 days to get there instead of 3 weeks). The second part was a uniform currency (dollar) and uniform method of banking. Thus, the National Bank was established making the dollar the only currency accepted throughout the nation. The final part of the American System was Protective Tariffs, which taxed foreign products and, in turn, encourage Americans to purchase domestic products instead of foreign. This boosted the American economy.

When Andrew Jackson became President in 1828, he asserted a tremendous amount of power. For example, he replaced the National Bank with pet banks, which were under his personal control. He expanded suffrage to all white males and dropped the property requirement. He initiated the “Spoils System”, where he chose people for prominent government positions that had done him favors in the past instead of the best qualified person for the job. He did not care for Native Americans and refused to enforce the court case of Worchester V. GA, which gave the Cherokee the right to remain in Georgia; thus, forcing them to the Trail of Tears ending up in present day Oklahoma. Due to all of Jackson’s actions, a new political party was formed called the “Whigs”. They were fed up with Jackson abusing his power and created the name from a political party in Britain that was also tired of the King and his “absolute power.” Nonetheless, during this era America grew and flourished by leaps and bounds.
Growth of America

Onward and Upward

Opposed foreign products – Protective Tariffs

American Reforms

Who: Lyman Beecher, David Walker, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Horace Mann, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Dorothea Dix, Frederick Douglass

What: Reform Efforts

When: Mid 1800s / Mid 19th Century

Where: U.S.A.

Why: To help make American society better

How: People standing up and demanding rights for those who can’t speak for themselves, demand for equality, and a recognition that society will only get better if education is made a priority

The reform efforts of the mid 19th century were women’s rights, temperance, abolition, imprisoned & mentally ill and education. All of these movements helped the United States become a better and more powerful place; thus giving it dominance in the world. Below is a list of the leaders of each reform:

Women’s rights = Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth

Temperance = Lyman Beecher

Abolition = David Walker (violent), William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass

Education = Horace Mann

Imprisoned & Mentally Ill = Dorothea Dix
The women’s rights movement first fought for moral changes, such as temperance (against alcohol) where their goal was to make America a better place and they believed alcohol was the root of all problems in America such as husbands losing jobs, being violent, abandoning family, etc. Eventually, they branched out and began to protest for more rights for themselves, such as suffrage (right to vote). The abolitionist movement (against slavery – wanted everyone free) had many different leaders with many different ideas on how to end slavery. Some, like David Walker, believed the only way slavery would end in America was through violence. Others, like William Lloyd Garrison, believed in a political method of ending slavery, where it would be gradually phased out over time. Nonetheless, they all believed slavery was morally wrong. William Lloyd Garrison owned an abolitionist newspaper called “The Liberator” as did Frederick Douglass – his was called “The North Star.” The education reform was led by Secretary of Education for the state of Massachusetts, Horace Mann. This is when mandatory school attendance began (180 days a year). And finally, Dorothea Dix fought for those who could not fight for their own rights. The conditions in prisons and facilities for the mentally ill were atrocious, and she fought to correct these injustices. Also, she promoted “rehabilitation” in prisons, which promoted teaching prisoners a skill. Thus, when they were released from prison, they could be productive members of society and not turn back to a life of crime.
Righteous and moral changes


First women’s rights efforts (NAWSA)

Our rights as minorities


Mandatory school attendance

Sectional Conflicts

Who: John C. Calhoun, John Brown, Dred Scott, Abraham Lincoln, Roger Taney

What: Antebellum Conflicts (War, Political & Social); California Gold Strike; Compromise of 1850; Abolition; Fugitive Slave Act; Kansas-Nebraska Act

When: 1840-1860

Where: U.S. A. (North and South)

Why: Southern States wanted more power or sovereignty and desired the right to continue slavery, which was much more important to their agrarian way of life as opposed to the North’s more industrial culture. Thus, the North did not require manual labor to turn a profit, whereas the South depended on this free labor for its livelihood

How: Making Compromises until there was no choice but War.

The Mexican American War served as the jumping off point in “MAJOR” sectional conflicts between the North and South. When the U.S. won Texas as a result of the war, the question of whether it (or any other new state for that matter) would be a slave state or a free state. This decision could turn the power in Congress from one side or the other. So, political compromises were made in order to keep this balance in Congress. The most well known is the Compromise of 1850. When Californians discovered gold in 1849, the population boomed overnight and soon they applied for statehood. To keep the balance in Congress, California entered as a free state, but New Mexico and Utah would be determined through popular sovereignty. Moreover, southern states were granted a very strict “fugitive slave law”, which allowed any runaway slave to be returned to bondage even if found in a free state or free territory. This was a major blow to the abolitionist movement. Another attempt to keep Congress balanced was the Kansas-Nebraska Act, where both states would be determined through popular sovereignty. However, squatters came from all over to try to make Kansas either “Slave” or “Free.” The end result was violence, where John Brown (extreme abolitionist) beheaded pro-slavery men in their camp while they slept. This event is commonly known as the “Pottawatomie Massacre.” John Brown then left for Harpers’ Ferry, VA, and he attempted to encourage slaves to rise up and meet him at a federal arsenal where they were to take over the city. A U.S. general named Robert E. Lee caught Brown soon after, and he was hanged for his crimes.

The Dred Scott case was another sectional conflict of the time period. Dred Scott was a slave taken into a free territory by his master; therefore, Scott sued for freedom since he had been in a free territory where slavery was illegal. The Chief Justice, Roger Taney, and other members of the Supreme Court refused to accept his logic. Scott lost his case in 1852, bringing America one step closer to War. The final blow came with the 1860 Presidential Election. When Lincoln won the Presidency without 1 Southern state voting for him, the South felt they lacked political power. In their minds, the only next step was to secede. 11 states left the Union with Jefferson Davis as the President of the Confederate States of America.

South vs. North

Election of 1860 (Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back)

Compromise of 1850

Texas joined the Union after Mexican-American War

I am John Calhoun, and I love the South!!!

Oh my goodness, 11 states seceded from the Union

Northern states had more political power

Attempts were made to preserve the Union to no avail

Lincoln, Abraham

Civil War

Who: John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, Roger Taney, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, John Wilkes Booth

What: fort Sumter, 1st Battle of Bull Run, Battle of Antietam, Battle of Vicksburg, Battle of Gettysburg, Sherman’s March to the Sea, Surrender at Appomattox Court House

When: 1861 - 1865

Where: U.S.A. (North or Union vs. South or Confederacy), Mexico and Western U.S.

Why: Mexican War, Missouri Compromise, Compromise of1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act, John Brown’s Raid, Dred Scott Case, 1860 Election, South wanted state sovereignty, Threat of slavery ending, 11 states seceded from Union

How: (North): Anaconda Plan, Transportation, Industry, Large Population; (South): Capture Washington, invade North, Most battles fought in South – home field advantage, conscription


The causes of the Civil War started back in 1820 with the Missouri Compromise. As the U.S. grew, territories became states and keeping a balance of free states and slave states in Congress was a major issue. So, Missouri entered as a slave state and Maine as a free state. The same is true with the Kansas-Nebraska act, but popular sovereignty was used to determine a state’s status on slavery. This led to bloody conflicts (Bleeding Kansas & John Brown’s Raid in Virginia). Another cause was the Dred Scott case, where he was suing for freedom. Roger Taney, chief justice of the Supreme Court, and other justices did not grant Scott his freedom, and this was looked at as a major blow to the abolitionist movement furthering the divide between abolitionists and pro-slavery people. The Mexican War was another cause primarily because President Polk, who supported slavery, wanted to seize Texas and make it a slave state. The Compromise of 1850 was a temporary fix keeping the peace for a little while longer, but there was no saving us from going to war after Lincoln won the Presidential Election of 1860 without winning 1 state in the South. The south felt politically powerless, so they seceded (11 states) and South Carolina led the way.

The Civil War began in 1861 and ended in 1865. Abraham Lincoln was President of the U.S.A. and Jefferson Davis was President of the C.S.A. The Union plan to attack was known as the Anaconda Plan and consisted of 3 parts: 1) Take the capital at Richmond, Va. 2) Blockade Southern ports on Atlantic Ocean 3) Split the Confederacy in half by taking the Mississippi River. The South’s plan was to take the capital at Washington, D.C. and invade the North. While the South had better military leadership, the North had a larger population and more industry to their advantage. The major Union generals were Grant (overall commander after Vicksburg) and Sherman, while the major Confederate generals were Lee (overall commander) and Stonewall Jackson. The war began when the south took over the federal Ft. Sumter in South Carolina. The first “real” battle was Bull Run and was a Confederate victory. This is where Stonewall got his nickname because he and his men stood strong like a “stone wall.” Another major battle was the bloodiest single day battle known as Antietam. While this was a Union victory, both sides lost so many men that it was not a true victory. The battle of Gettysburg is known as the turning point of the Civil War, because it was a 3 day battle where the Union came out victorious. It was also the bloodiest battle of the entire Civil War. This battle took place in July of 1863 as did the Battle of Vicksburg, which was led by Grant where he took a strategic victory in the west along the Mississippi River. Afterwards, Grant was made commander of entire Union army. Union general Sherman began his “march to the sea” where he destroyed almost every city from Atlanta to Savannah in 1864. Soon after, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House and the war was over. Now, it was time to rebuild America geographically, politically and emotionally.

Abraham Lincoln Population helps North

North Wins Lee, Robert E.

Antietam Assassination of Lincoln by Booth

Capture Washington Now we rebuild - Reconstruction

Owning Slaves

Northern Invasion

Dred Scott Case

Appomattox Court House

Reconstruction Era

Who: Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, Andrew Johnson, Frederick Douglass, Freedman’s Bureau, African Americans, KKK
What: Rebuilding, Jim Crow Laws, Equality of African Americans, Lincoln’s assassination, Congress vs. Johnson, 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments, 1876 Election, Compromise of 1877
When: 1865 – 1877
Where: Southern U.S.
Why: South needed to rebuild and adjust to a new way of life after the Civil War
How: Enacting Freedman’s Bureau, Radical Republicans in Congress using their power to force the South to their terms, 1876 Election, Compromise of 1877, Jim Crow Laws, KKK’s actions

After the Civil War, the South was in tatters and needed to be rebuilt. President Lincoln issued orders to get aid to the South and help reunite them with the Union (north). The 13th (Ended Slavery), 14th (Guaranteed Citizenship to Former Slaves) and 15th (Gave all Males Suffrage) Amendments were passed to give African Americans equality. Also, the Freedman’s Bureau was established to help African Americans in the South adjust to their new life as free people. However, soon after Reconstruction and the Republicans power in the South ended, Jim Crow Laws were implemented. This gave Democrats control of the South (White Southerners who were not happy with losing the war and slavery ending) and treated free blacks as second class citizens. When Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theater, Johnson succeeded to the Presidency. While Lincoln was allied with the Radical Republicans in Congress, Johnson was a Southerner and actually had former Confederates in his Presidential Cabinet. He overlooked southern states refusal to ratify the 13th Amendment, and was the first President to be impeached by Congress. However, he was found not guilty of the charge of impeachment. Unfortunately, Reconstruction came to an end in a political deal struck between the two political parties during the 1876 Election. Tilden (Democrat) won the popular vote, but Hayes (Republican) became President. The Democrats agreed not to challenge the victory as long as the Republicans agreed to end Reconstruction in the South. This is collectively known as the Compromise of 1877, which traded the Presidency for the removal of federal troops from the South. Racism began to rear its ugly head again in the South and soon after 1877. The growth of a new organization called the KKK gained power both socially and politically, and their actions led to many lynchings and unnecessary African American deaths and mistreatments throughout the 1800s and into the first half of the 20th Century.

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