Historical Timeline


Declaration of Independence ratified in 1776, which reads: “All men are created equal.”Vermont is the first state to abolish slavery, 1777.The Fugitive Slave Act is passed by Congress, 1783.The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves is passed by Congress, 1807The Missouri Compromise establishes the dividing line between free and slave states, 1820. Maine is admitted to the Union as a free state.
Adam Smith publishes Wealth of Nations, in 1776, a major text in the field of Western economics.Napoleon Bonaparte elected as “Emperor of French,” December 2, 1804.In the Treaty of Cordoba, Mexico gains independence from Spain, August 24, 1821.

The first issue of The Liberator, an abolitionist journal written by William Lloyd Garrison, is published, 1831Nat Turner, a slave, leads a rebellion in Virginia, killing more than 50 whites. He is captured and hanged, 1831.Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas is published, 1845.
The Java War between Dutch colonialist and Javanese, 1825-1830.France invades and occupies Algeria, 1830.The eleven year reign of President Simon Bolivar ends in Gran Colombia, 1830.Charles Darwin begins his voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle, December 27, 1831Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire, 1833.Karl Marx publishes The Communist Manifesto, 1848.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published, 1852.The Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed by Congress, introducing the concept of popular sovereignty as each state decides the issue of slavery, 1854.The Supreme Court issues the Dred Scott decision, declaring that Scott is not an American citizen and does not hold the right to petition, 1857.Abolitionist John Brown attempts to incite rebellion at Harper Ferry, Virginia. He is captured and hanged, 1859.
The Irish Potato Famine, resulted in approximately 1 million deaths 1845-1852.The Crimean War between the Russian Empire and the alliance of French, British, and Ottoman Empires, 1853-1856.The British Empire gains control of India following the Indian Rebellion of 1857.The Suez Canal is constructed, 1859-1869.

Abraham Lincoln is elected sixteenth president of the United States, 1860.South Carolina is the first state to secede from the Union, December 1860.
Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay invade Paraguay, 1864.

Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Kansas secede, January 1861.The Provisional Constitution of the Confederacy is adopted. Jefferson Davis is elected President, February 1861.Fort Sumter is bombarded and captured by Confederate troops, April 13, 1861. The Civil War begins.
The Emancipation Reform abolishes serfdom in Russia, 1861.Britain, France, and Spain invade Mexico, intervening in the Mexican civil war, 1861. Maximilian I establishes the Second Mexican Empire.Kingdom of Italy proclaimed, unifying all the territory of modern day Italy, 1861.

Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee is given the command of the Confederate forces, April 1861. Abraham Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus, July 1861. The suspension allows Lincoln to imprision Confederate sympathizers without due process of law guranteed in the Constitution.Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan is offered command of the Union army in November, 1861.
1861 (cont.)
Queen Victoria of England announces neutrality in the American Civil War, 1861. Brazil recognizes the Confederate States of America, 1861.In November and December, the Trent Affair is resolved between the Federal government and Great Britain, averting Britain’s support of the Confederacy.

The Battle of Shiloh between the forces of Maj. Gen. Grant and Gen. Johnston, April 6, 1862. In the first major battle of the war, more than 13,000 Union and 10,000 Confederate were dead and wounded.A military draft is adopted in the Confederacy, April 15, 1862.The Battle of Antietam takes place on September 7, 1862. The single bloodiest day of the war, more than 12,000 Union and 14,000 Confederate casualties.The Confederate Congress passes a bill exempting from army service anyone owning 20 or more slaves, October 11, 1862.After the success of the Union Army at Antietam, Lincoln issues the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862.After replacing an ineffective McClelland, Gen. Ambrose Burnside engages Lee at Fredericksburg, Virginia, November-December, 1862. A decisive victorty for Lee, the Union suffers heavy casualties of more than 10,000 men.
Otto von Bismarck becomes Prime Minister of Prussia, later unifying Germany, 1862.France gains control of Vietnamese territories Vien Hoa, Gia Dinh, and Dinh Toung, 1862.Easter Island is invaded by Peruvian slave raiders, beginning a decade of destruction, 1862.Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza defeats the French Army, 1862; thereafter, commemorated as “Cinco de Mayo.”The Great London Expedition, the first international expedition, takes place in London, 1862.

The Emancipation Proclamation is passed, January 1, 1863.In the winter of 1862-63, Grant’s multiple attempts to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi fail due to weather and high waters of the Mississippi River. Public opinion turns against Grant. After a long siege, Vicksburg falls to Grant’s army on July 4, 1863.Congress passes the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, March 3, 1863. Liincoln signs a federal draft act.While suffering heavy casualties, Lee outmaneuvers the Army of the Potomac under Hooker at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, April 30-May 6, 1863. Public opinion in the north turns against the war.Riots occur in New York City in protest of the draft, July 1863.Beginning in the winter of 1862-1863, Walt Whitman volunteers tending to the wounded soldiers in Washington military hospitals.A Union victory in the Chattanooga Campaign opens a path to the heart of the Confederacy, October-November, 1863.
France annexes Cambodia, 1863.The January Uprising by Poles against the Russian Empire begins, 1863.The International Red Cross is founded in Geneva, 1863.Treaty of Hue is signed between Vietnam and the French Empire, 1863.The British Royal Navy bombards Kagoshima, Japan, 1863, in retaliation for an attack by samurai against British nationals the previous year.

The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1-3, 1863. More than 46,000 casualties are suffered by both sides. Lincoln delivers his address, in dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, on November 19.Ulysses S. Grant is made commander in chief of the Union Armies, March 9, 1864. He reorganizes the armies and takes command of the Army of the Potomac. In May, Grant engages Lee in the “Battle of the Wilderness,” resulting in heavy casualties for the Union.In the Battle of Fort Pillow, Henning, Tennessee, surrendered Union African American troops are slaughtered by Confederate troops under Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, April 12, 1864.The Fugitive Slave Act is repealed by Lincoln, June 28, 1864.Lee’s army soundly defeats Grant’s Union forces at Cold Harbor, Virginia, resulting in more than 12,000 causualties. Anti-war sentiment in the north continues to grow.In July, Sherman begins his offensive against Atlanta in one of the major campaings in the war. On September 2, Sherman captures the city, news of which ensures Lincolns reelection. In November, Sherman begins “The March to the Sea” to Savannah, Georgia, capturing the city on December 21, 1865.
The First Geneva Convention is adopted, 1864. A collection of treaties that define “rules of international law for the protection of victims in armed conflicts.”Spain attempts to regain control of Peru and Chile in the Chincha Islands War, 1864-1866.Mariano Melagarejo seizes power in Bolivia in a coup, 1864.Karl Marx forms the International Workingman’s Association (Fist International) in London, 1864.Fyodor Dostoyevsky publishes Notes from Underground, 1864.The Russian Empire defeats and expels ethnic Circassia’s from the areas of North Caucasus, 1864.

The 13th Amendment is passed by Congress, abolishing slavery in the United States, passed January 31, 1865 (adopted December 6, 1865).Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia both fall to Union forces. Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, April 9, 1865.Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, April 14, 1865.President Andrew Johnson declares the end of the Civil War, May 9, 1865. Confederate president Jefferson Davis is arrested the next day in Abbeville, Georgia.
Gregor Johann Mendel formulates his theory of genetics, 1865.Leo Tolstoy first serializes portions of his novel War and Peace, 1865