Historical Timeline Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022
NORTH AMERICADATETHE WORLDThomas Jefferson becomes the third president, 1801. The United States purchases the territory of Louisiana, covering 828,000 square miles, from France, 1803.In Marbury v. Madison, the supreme court rules for the first time a federal law unconstitutional, 1803. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark begin their exploration of western United States with the Corps of Discovery, 1804. Congress passes the Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves, 1807. The United States declares war against Great Britain, in 1812, a 32-month long conflict. The Treaty of 1818 with Great Britain establishes the northern boundaries of the United States and Canada as far west as the Rocky Mountains. The Missouri Compromise establishes the dividing line between free and slave states. Maine is admitted to the Union as a free state, 1820.The Monroe Doctrine, a policy first defined by President James Monroe, declared interference by European powers in independent nations in the Americas would be viewed as acts of aggression, warranting United States intervention, 1823. The Supreme Court held in Gibbons v. Ogden federal over state authority in interstate commerce, 1824. 1800The forces of Napoleon I of France defeat the Prussian army of Frederick William III in the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, 1806. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, is published, 1811. Napoleon I invades Russia, resulting in a French defeat, 1812. The colony of Brazil is named United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves by Portugal, 1815. The Treaty of Ghent ends the war between the United States and Great Britain, 1814. Russian and Prussian armies enter Paris, and Napoleon I is exiled to the island of Elba, 1814. The Congress of Vienna is held with Austria, France, Russian, the United Kingdom, and Prussia, where Europe after Napoleon I is debated, 1814. In the Treaty of Cordoba, Mexico gains independence from France, August 24, 1821. Brazil claims independence from Portugal, 1822. A Son of the Forest: The Experience of William Apes, A Native of the Forest, the first memoir by a Native American, is published, 1829. The Indian Removal Act is passed by Congress, 1830. Native American tribes were forced to cede their lands in the southeast United States and relocate to territory west of the Mississippi River. The Second Great Awakening gains momentum, a Protestant movement that gained prominence as a evangelical resurgence in the United States, 1830.The first issue of The Liberator, an abolitionist journal written by William Lloyd Garrison, is published, 1831. Nat Turner, a slave, leads a rebellion in Virginia, killing more than 50 whites. He is captured and hanged, 1831. The Force Bill is passed by Congress, expanding presidential and federal powers, 1833. The new Pueblo of San Francisco held elections, 1834.The Battle of the Alamo takes place in Texas, 1836. The Supreme Court held that Africans aboard the Amistad are free to return to Africa and are not legally slaves, 1841. Settlement in Oregon territory, via the Oregon Trail, begins to increase, 1843. The United States—Mexican War begins, 1846. In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), Mexico would cede more than 500,000 square miles of the west. The Female Labor Reform Association is formed in Lowell, Massachusetts by women cotton mill workers to negotiate worker’s rights, 1845. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas is published, 1845.1825The colony of Liberia is settled as a place of refuge for free blacks from America, 1827. The Java War between Dutch colonialist and Javanese, 1825-1830. Mexico abolishes slavery in its territory, 1829. 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. In Jamaica, Samuel Sharpe, a black Baptist deacon, leads a slave protest that turn violent, and Sharpe is hanged, 1832. Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire, 1833. Maori Wars begin in New Zealand between British colonialist and the Maori King Movement, 1845.Pope Pius IX named head of Catholic Church, serving 32 years, the longest reigning pope in church history, 1846. The “Ten Hours Bill” is passed by the British Parliament, limiting to sixty-three hours of work per week for women and children, 1847. Karl Marx publishes The Communist Manifesto, 1848. The Irish Potato Famine resulted in approximately 1 million deaths, 1845-1852.Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California, beginning the gold rush, 1848. In just a few years, between 300,000 to 500,000 people would migrate to California. Henry David Thoreau moves into a cabin on Walden Pond, 1845. He would live there two years and two months, writing of his experience in Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854). Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published, 1852. The Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed by Congress, which repeals the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery north of the 36* 30’ latitude, and introducing the concept of popular sovereignty as each state decides the issue of slavery, 1854. The Panic of 1857 spreads in the United States and throughout the world, caused by the declining international economy.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 Pony Express begins service delivering messages and mail between St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, 1860. Abraham Lincoln is elected as the sixteenth president of the United States, 1860.1850Commodore Mathew Calbraith Perry, of the United States Navy, begins his expedition to Japan, in pursuit of a Japanese trade treaty, 1852. The Crimean War between the Russian Empire and the alliance of French, British, and Ottoman Empires, 1853-1856. Japan’s capital city Edo (Tokyo) is destroyed by an earthquake and fire, 1855. The British Empire gains control of India following the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin is published, 1859. In Vietnam, the French take over Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), 1859. The Suez Canal is constructed, 1859-1869.
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