Monday, May 30, 2011

The French in Mainland North America

Early French exploration began in 1534 because King Francis I was eager to catch up to Spain and their colonization efforts of the New World.

And idea circulating at this time was that of the Great River of the West, better known as the Northwest Passage. This idea was borrowed from discoveries in human anatomy. Early modern Europeans thought that oceans were like the circulatory system and that there should be an east-west artery through the huge land mass of North America.

Jacque Cartier was assigned to seek out gold, silver, and this all-water route through North America to Asia. He headed way to the northeast, sailing through the Strait of Belle Island between the Canadian mainland and Newfoundland down into the Gulf of St Lawrence so he could avoid the Spanish Armada, Spain's fleet of warships designed to protect their holds in the Americas.

Cartier's first voyage was brief and in the summer of 1534 where it was warm and land was bountiful. Cartier, after he was met by men waving fur on stick, was excited by the possibilities for trade and welcomed opportunities for exchange. Cartier came in contact with the coastal Indians in what is now Quebec Providence; they lived simply and the French had much of what the Indians wanted. Cartier and his men had to return to France, but Cartier promised to return shortly.

Cartier returned in 1535 and stayed until 1536, bringing with him more men and having the intention of full exploration despite objections of the coastal Indians to push upriving, as they had wanted to preserve their status as the gatekeepers to interior trade. Cartier wanted to open diplomatic negotiations with the powerful town of Hochelaga, which is now the modern-day city of Montreal. Negotiations are a flop, the French seem to be a very inferior trading partner to the prosperous people of interior Canada, so Cartier and his men continue upriver to seek the Northwest Passage to Asia.

Cartier's second trip was miserable. There were black flies, heat, and La Chine, formidable rapids in the middle of Canada in which Cartier and his men can't portage (carry a canoe or other small boat to be able to traverse). To make matters worse, the crew experienced the early snowfall of North America and the harsh weather nearly killed them. The crew was eager to go back to France and the Indians were eager to see them leave.

Cartier, because of his two voyages, was considered a failure. He didn't find an interior passage to Asia, he didn't fond gold or silver like the Spanish had in South America, he discovered that the North American Indians were very unlike the great Mexican and South American civilizations. Cartier discovered that Canada seemed to be a very difficult place to farm--there was a very short growing season as Canada had less than 130 frost-free days; they could grow corn but the French don't like corn very much and wheat needed a longer growing season. It wasn't immediately apparent what one could do there to make money--coastal fishing didn't require land settlement but fur trapping did. However, it would still be decades before the French return to the mainland.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Significance of the Spanish Empire

First, because of the Spanish Empire, there was a new wealth of knowledge going back to Europe about the New World. This also triggered indigenous intellectual revolution as groups absorbed and then refined new technology to meet their needs.

The Spanish Empire was very durable and influencial from 1492 to the 1840s in the lower half of what is now the United States and the Pacific coast. However, there were many environmental changes brought upon by the Columbian Exchange, along with new breeds of livestock, pests, and new DNA combinations from the conquistadors mating with the natives.

Because of the new DNA combinations from the conquistadors mating with the natives, there are new bi-and tri-racial populations. The Spanish also help to perfect the Trans-Atlantic slave routes from Africa, because of the need for even more mine workers after the discovery of gold, and to create European expectations that slave labor, whether Indian or African, would be fundamental and beneficial to colonial society and its success.

During this time, there was a 600% inflation rate in Europe which made Spain the most powerful nation in the 16th century. Every other European nation of means wanted to score rich empires in the Americas.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Spanish in the Americas: Northern Expansion

Like with every empire, the early conquistadors of the Spanish Empire wanted to expand their holds in the New World, especially in pursuit of rumors of El Dorado, the City of Gold, of which they heard about from the natives which reside in what is now the country of Columbia. However, all of the explorations from such conquistadors/explorers as Cabeza de Vaca, Hernan de Soto, and Coronado for such a city came up empty-handed and this created a fifty-year period of indifference.

By the 1590s, about a hundred years after Columbus ventured to the New World. merchants and mine owners wanted to develop trade, the Crown wanted to secure the northern border to protect valuable mines, and the Church wanted to spread Christianity.

Although the term wouldn't be coined until 1845 by John L. O'Sullivan, this was a perfect example of "Manifest Destiny". "Manifest Destiny" is the spreading of your influence as far north, south, east, and west as possible. We'll get to more examples of "Manifest Destiny" as we go further in time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Age of Colonization: The Spanish in the Americas

An important development at this time was the idea of human rights, the idea that one deserves to live with certain inherent liberties and quality of life by the virtue of being human. This idea developed as a result of the colonization of the Americas.

Key: Red=The Spanish Empire; Pink=Regions of Spanish influence after periods of time; Purple=Land lost at or before the Peace of Utrecht in 1714.

The Spanish in the Americas raised fundamental questions about: the nature of creation, their right to govern this new place, and the duties that they owe these new (and obviously culturally different) people.

At first, the conquistadores would act as they would against any infidel--they would treat them as non-humans. It wasn't a sin to rape them, take their land, and kill them if they were infidels and didn't have the same ideals they had, as what could have also been witnessed during the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula and the Crusades. The Monarchy was horrified when they got word of this and demanded that the conquistadores shape up--however, Spain is a long way away and had trouble governing over their people in the Americas.

Because of how the conquistadors were treating the natives, the Crown decided to do something about it. One of the missions of the Crown was to create a Christian world and so they had the current Pope draw up the Requiermento.

The Requiermento was a list of what the conquistadors had to tell the people; if the people didn't agree with the conquistadors and didn't do what was told of them, the conquistadors had the right to do what they had done before the Requiermento was issued. Of course, the list was read in Spanish and the natives had no idea what was being read to them, so their lives were made a living hell.

The Requiermento:
~~There is one God and He created all of us.
~~God appointed the Pope and the Pope says we have the right to rule you.
~~If you do exactly as we say and convert to Catholicism without resistance, you can be our allies.
~~If not, we have the right to enslave you, take your property, drive you off your lands, and otherwise make your life a living hell.

"How could [anyone] think that Indians would believe a mere statement unsubstaniated by proof, read by men held to be infamous and cruel evil-doers, purporting that God in Heaven had given the government of the world to a man called the Pope who in turn had given all the kingdoms of the Indies to the Castilian kings, and that should they fail within two months to swear obedience to the Castilian King, it was lawful to declare war against them?" ~~Bartolome de las Casas.

Because of the Requiermento, an event known as the Great Debate was held. On April 16, 1550, a royal decree was passed to stop all conquests, expeditions, and exploration until a special group of scholars and royal officials could hear a debate about the morality of Spanish colonization. This Great Debate was held in August 1550 in Valladolid, Spain. For five days, Bartolome de Las Casas and Juan Gines de Sepulveda presented their arguments. In the end, the Council of the Indies never declared a winner in the debate. Both Sepulveda and Las Casas claimed victory. Most importantly, though, this debate marked the first time issues about the rights of native peoples were raised and seriously discussed.

Highlights of the Great Debate
~~Settling theological and legal questions
~~Takes place in Spain
~~Involved Papal representatives, Crown representatives, lawyers--a very serious setting with exceptionally high stakes
~~A chance for the Catholic Church to regain moral high ground (had been battered in reputation), but had to give an answer that Spain wanted to hear (because Spain had a huge army). Could not be too critical of what had been done.

Questions for the Great Debate
~~Do indigenous people have souls?
~~Do they share a common creation as Europeans--are they children of Eve?
~~Do they possess sufficient reason to learn basic Christian doctrines?
~~How must we treat these people?
~~What makes our victory just?

New Laws (1540s)

The New Laws were written in order to improve conditions for Indians. Slavery of the Indians was prohibited; they had to be given sufficient time to farm, harvest, build their own houses, rest, and had the right to live in the same place as they worked; they had to build churches and the Spanish had to give the Indians the time to worship if they wanted to but could not force the Indians to practice Catholicism.

The New Laws were not very well complied with. However, the New Laws introduced the idea that humans are humans despite cultural differences and deserve a standard of treatment. Humans as a species are still struggling with this even in this day and age.

Expansion of African Slavery

From the 1550s onward, Spain began to escalate their importation of African slaves. The Spanish Empire and slavery are inseparable. The development of profitable overseas plantations and mines, the feeding of the army, and the conquering of new territories all rest on slave labor. Seven out of 10 humans who came across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World between 1500-1800 were enslaved; nine out of 10 humans who came across the Atlantic Ocean owed service to someone else, meaning that they were indentured servants. Inequality, not equality, was the defining human experience in the colonial era.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Columbian Exchange and the Disease Frontier

The Columbian Exchange is a term coined by ecologist and historian Alfred Crosby to describe the profound transformation of both sides of the Atlantic when species of all sorts started traveling around in the Era of Exploration. Before European exploration had begun, regions had been remote from one another. Particles and other wind-borne things could travel or would be carried by birds, but at a very slow exchange rate prior to European travel by ships.

The Disease Frontier

Pathogens reproduce themselves every 20 seconds and because of this, there were many epidemics during this era. Death rates were between 20-30% at first contact on the virgin soil, mostly killing people in their prime years (early to mid-20s) first. The next pass killed young children and pregnant women. Opportunistic infections, followed by weakened immune systems, were made worse by crowded conditions or densely populated areas. Collateral damage included the curtailing of reproduction, social disintegration, and political turmoil. There was up to 98% population reduction of the native people and the Europeans who traversed into the New World over a 100-year period, which at the same time also served as an unintentional advance force paving the way for European entry and the spread of buffalo and deer, which were being hunted as food sources.

~No place is pristine
~Columbian Exchange has a lopsidedly negative effect on North American indigenous populations
~Within 100 years, North America becomes more like Europe (non-European), creating many "widowed" areas
~Rapid changes effect everyone
~BUT Europeans have some advantages in settlement

Spanish Overseas Exploration

Lucrative exploitation of Atlantic islands off the shore of Africa in the 15th century had led the Spanish to have an additional reason to find populated tropical islands elsewhere, and they thought Columbus could help them.

With the discovery of the Atlantic islands (Azores, Madeiras, and the Canaries), the Iberians discovered that they were perfect for sugar cultivation. And the Iberians learned a lot of lessons from their interactions on the Atlantic islands. They witnessed the effectiveness of steel weapons, mounted men, and war dogs on the native; they learned how to exploit rivalries between indigenous peoples; they turned natives into commodities as slaves; and they pioneered a profitable combination of the plantation system and the slave trade, but they still wanted more.

What were the many motives for Spanish overseas exploration? Columbus said that he could easily and quickly get to Asia, and the Asian subcontinent of India, by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean and that there would be great profit in it for a modest investment.

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer, colonizer, and navigator. On the evening of August 3, 1492, Columbus left the Palos de la Frontera with three ships. The largest was the carrack called the Santa Maria, and the two others were smaller caravels called the Pinta and the Santa Clara (nicknamed Nina after its owner Juan Nino of Moguer). The Santa Maria and the Pinta were the property of Juan de la Cosa, who was an explorer, conquistador, and cartographer, and the Pinzon brothers, who were sailors, explorers, and fishermen. The Spanish Crown made the Palos de la Frontera inhabitants give up their possessions in order to contribute to Columbus's expedition.

Another motive was because the Spanish could get rich quick and would be able to compete for share of the Asian trade.

Another motive was to pursue a mission to extend the reach of Chrsitianity and work on making a Christian world like Isabells and Ferdinand started when they expelled the Jews and Muslims from Spain. Through this, they planned on unifying the Spanish around a central mission as a way of creating a national identity and gaining international prestige among European nations.

Another motive was to find jobs for demobilized soldiers; this would forestall economic decline and/or civil war in a country which is not yet unified.

Christopher Culombus made landfall on an island known as Hispaniola, what is now the current Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in the West Indies.

News circulated very rapidly and this changed European ideas about geography. It challenged religious notions about creation and race, because there were obviously other people in the world. And it introduced a world of new organisms, ideas, and trade items to Europe.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Summing up 1492

Why did European exploration start in 1492?
~Preconditions all came together
~~~Technological advances make overseas exploration possible
~~~Spain finishes Reconquista and has need of a new place to mobilize and send decommisioned Hidalgos
~~~Expulsion of Spanish Jews and seizure of their properties, combined with seizure of Moorish money, provided the financial backing necessary for exploration.

Early European Atlantic Exploration (before 1492)

The success of European explorers and mercantile adventurers appeared unlikely at the start of the 15th century. Europe was a backward place, geographically hemmed in by the more sophisticated Muslim world. At the end of the 15th century, the Spanish and Portuguese had overcome eastern barriers by looking to the West and developing new technologies and ideas that would provide the basis of Atlantic exploration, colonization, and exploitation.

Before 1492, Vikings made temporary habitations in Vinland and Greenland, but climate change and opposition from indigenous "Skraelings" doomed their settlements.

Why didn't other Europeans follow suit immediately? Well, there were a lot of reasons why the other Europeans didn't follow suit immediately such as: domestic turmoil, disease, lack of technological capacity, religious rivalries that drew their attention to the Mediterranean rim, Black Death (around 1350 which wiped out nearly 75 million Europeans), and Islamic Ascendancy.

Islam spread to the Iberian Peninsula, what is now Spain, from the Middle East into Morocco after the death of the prophet Muhammad. The Moors (as the Muslims were called because they were from Morocco) helped the Iberians. The Moors helped provide clean and running water which led to better diets, literacy, science, scholarship, and standardized legal codes. However, religious conflict increased. The Catholic Church noticed that the Iberians were turning towards Islam through learning Arabic, dressing the same, going to the Moor's courts for disputes and got upset.

The Iberian Reconquista (711-1492) was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages in which several Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula succeeded in retaking the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim Al-Andalus province (what is now Andalusia). The Reconquista made Spain a military-driven society, which led to its unification in 1469. Hidalgos were knights and/or warriors who served the kings of the Iberian kingdoms and fought on La Frontera (the line between the Spanish holdings and the Moorish holdings, emblematized by cities under occupation) who developed a vicious method for taking places over. In 1270, the Iberian Peninsula was reconquered by the Catholic Church, although war still raged in Europe. From 1270-1492 was the Consolidation of Fragmented Iberian Kingdoms. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand married to reunite the kingdoms of Castille and Argon to form modern Spain. After the Fall of Granada in 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella gained the Moorish treasury and could now finance their ambitions. Since Hidalgos only knew how to fight and wage war, the Spanish Crown had to figure out a way to get the decomissioned Hidalgoes out of Spain.

During this period, as well, were the Crusades (1095-1291) which were a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns waged by much of Roman Catholic Europe, particularly the Holy Roman Empire and the Franks of France.

Because of the Crusades and other events in Christian Europe, officials there began to police others who they considered "deviant." Jews were expelled from England in 1290 during this time, almost all except those who were considered scholars, and the Moors were expelled in 1492 from the kingdom of Granada. During this time, Pope Adrian IV issued a papal bull which gave England permission to colonize Ireland.

The fragmentation of the Catholic Chruch going on during this era, such as criticisms, dissentsion, and internal disputes, led up to the Protestant Reformation. Before Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of his church, those who practiced folk religions in Europe were persecuted for their heretical practices. Religious imerative added to exploration and colonization. Spain expelled the Jews and the Moors from the country because the Crown wanted to produce a totally Christian world.

Prince Henry the Navigator gathered Muslim and Jewish scholars to his school of navigation in Lisbon. Explorers, men of science, early modern cartographers, and mathematicians gather to develop navigational formulas to sail around the west coast of Africa. I took 83 years of trial and error before Vascao de Gama circumnavigated Africa in the 15th century. Because of this navigation school, first Portugal and then Spain saw the loss of a lot of young men. Many died trying to sail around the African coast trying to make a name for themselves. Portugal allied with African coastal kingdoms proved lucrative for all parties. This made maritime trade seem worth investing in and deep sea navigation seemed possible. Through this trade, slaves could be bought and sold along with various spices and other goods from places like China and India which were very valuable to Europeans.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Native American Culture and Society before 1492

Native American cultures before 1492 were diverse, dynamic, and interconnected. They shared a general world view--animism (the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena)--that would lead to conflict with European explorers and colonizers.

Evidence indicates that the peoples came from Asia to the Americas during the Ice Age, when the sea level was much lower than today and a large land bridge known as Beringia connected the continents.

As scholars learn more about the advances and retreats of the ice sheets, the camping sites of the migrating peoples, and changes in vegetation zones, a much more complete picture of the Americas emerge.

Current scholars hold that migrating peoples initially traveled on the narrow strip of ice-free land along the Pacific Coast. As the area between the Cordilleran and the Laurentide ice sheets lost its cover of ice, probably between 14,000 and 12,000bce, migrants may have also used the inland routes from present-day Alaska to the American interior.

Another theory is that these early people crossed the Atlantic Ocean on skin boats from Palenesia, thus being dubbed Paleo-Indians.

The Archaic Indians, who were around from 9,000-3,000bce, encouraged decentralization in their way of life. Decentralization has two definitions which fit the Archaic Indians: first, decentralization is the social process in which population moves from urban centers to outlying districts; this fit the Archaic Indians because they started to plant crops and needed land to farm, so they couldn't live in small cities. Second, decentralization is the spread of power away from the center (a leader) to smaller branches of government (the people).

The Archaic Indians were an ingenious people who invented horticulture. Horticulture was extremely innovative for this time because the ancient people discovered that there were different times a year where plants would thrive and in what climates; they started to hibridize their crops to make them drought and frost resistant such as high yield grains and root crops.

The changes the Paleo-Indians wrought were both positive and negative. Religion, social development, politics, health/population increase, trade v. garbage, diseases, empires, and violence were all the effects of the Paleo-Indians.

There were two main Mesoamerican civilizations: the Mayans who occupied the Yucatan Penninsula and the Aztecs who occupied Tenochtitlan. In Mesoamerica were north-south trade routes which ran through Hohokum (also known as Snake Town) and Anasazi which included Chaco Canyon and Acoma.

The Missippians, also known as the Mound Builders, moved up from Mesoamerica to the Mississippi River Valley to get away from violence. Cahokia was the center of the empire; there were man-made mounds, Woodhenge, a market place, a trade center, and temples. Overexpansion and climate change probably led to the empire's deline.

The Eastern Woodlands Peoples, or the Iroquois and Algonquin, benefitted from the collapse of the Mississippian markets. They moved the trade routes east-west instead of north-south.

~Long history of social change
~Technological adaptation
~Social flexibility
~Plentiful food
~Experience in the area

~Long historic separations from global disease environment
~Political systems that encourage deliberation over violence
~Metallurgical technology disadvantages

Time Periods

Although the majority of this blog will be events which have taken place in the Contact Period (about 500 years ago to the present day), it's important to know what the time periods are since I will also be writing about the Native Peoples of North America.

~~Paleoindian Period (about 11,500-10,000 years ago)--This period marks the most recent glacial retreat. During it, small groups of hunting, fishing, and gathering peoples entered what is now New York. The landscape they confronted differed from today's. Mastadons and other now extinct mammals roamed here.

~~Archaic Period (10,000-3,000 years ago)--Around 6,000 years ago, the region's climate and environment were beginning to be like today's after gradually moderating for 4,000 years. Human populations and the size and number of their communities grew. Soapstone vessels and ceramic pots were first used near the end of this period.

~~Woodland Period (3,000 to 500 years ago)--By the beginning of the Woodland Period, trade networks linked Upstate Native Peoples with communities on the Atlantic Coast and in the Upper Great Lakes regions. Towards the end of thhis period, tobacco pipes and ceramics became more common and the bow and arrow replaced the spear as the primary hunting tool. Native People began to cultivate corn, beans, and squash-what they called the "Three Sisters".

~~Contact Period (about 500 years ago-present)--European contact and the fur trade introduced new factors to Native Peoples' communities. New York's history during the past 500 years is a story of confrontation and accomodation in this altered cultural environment. Artifacts, oral traditions, written records, maps, drawings, and photographs document this story.

Timeline (2001-present)

2001--George W. Bush becomes president; September 11th terrorist attacks alert America; Taliban removed

2003--Iraq War

2008-09--Global finance crisis and recession

2009-10--Health care reform births Tea Party

2009-present--Barrack Obama becomes first black president

2010--CERN scientists trap anti-matter

2011--Web social networking facilitates revolution; Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda leader, killed by US forces

Timeline (1960-1999)

1960-65--Civil Rights Movement

1961--Inauguration of John F. Kennedy; US Peace Corps established

1962--Cuban Missile Crisis

1963--Assassination of John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvy Oswald; Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in as president

1965-70--Demonstrations against Vietnam War, such as Kent State

1966-69--Hippie Movement

1969--Inauguration of Richard Nixon; Cold War's Arms/Space Race between US and USSR leads to the Apollo 11 mission which sent Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin to the moon

1970s--Sixties energy starts to win specific battles like feminism

1970--US invades Cambodia

1973--War Powers Act; Nixon resigns due to Watergate Scandal

1974--Gerald Ford becomes president

1975--South Vietnam surrenders to North Vietnam

1977--Jimmy Carter becomes president

1978--Jerry Falwell founds Moral Majority

1979--Revolution in Iran, Americans held hostage

1980s--War on Drugs jails 1/5 of young black men

1981--Ronald Reagan becomes president

1983--Reagan proposes STAR WARS and increases military funding

1989--Geroge HW Bush becomes president

1989-1991--USSR dissolves into republics; the Cold War is over

1991--Gulf War is first US reduction of a regional power; Japan is world's largest automobile maker

1992--NAFTA forms

1993--William Clinton becomes president; Internet expands with World Wide Web

1996--Welfare reform

1997--Robust economy creates longest prosperity in US history

1999--Budget goes into surplus

Timeline (1901-1955)

1901--President McKinley shot by anarchist; inauguaration of Theodore Roosevelt

1902--Roosevelt begins conservation of forests

1904--Roosevelt asserts US right to intervene in Latin America

1905--Albert Einstien proposes Special Theory of Relativity

1909--NAACP founded in New York City; inauguration of William H. Taft

1910--Fundamentalism begins with "Five Points"

1913--Inauguration of Woodrow Wilson

1914--World War I begins

1917--selective Service Act creates draft; Russian revoltions, USSR is formed

1919--Treaty of Versailles; League of Nations

1920--Panama Canal completed; Eighteenth Amendment prohibits alcohol

1921--Inauguration of Warren Harding

1924--Citizenship Act makes Native Americans citizens without impairing status as tribal members

1925--Inauguration of Calvin Coolidge

1929--Inauguration of Herbet Hoover; stock market crashes and Great Depression begins

1933--Inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; Roosevelt begins "New Deal"

1935--Social Security Act provides retirement insurance

1941--Japan surprise attack on Pearl Harbor

1944--Normandy landings

1945--US A-bombs Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki; United Nations formed; inauguration of Harry Truman

1947--Marshall Plan

1948--Israel created; NATO formed; Cold War begins

1948-54--Communism quashed in US

1953--Inauguration of Dwight Eisenhower

1955--Montgomery Bus Boycott; Supreme Court oders school desegregation

Timeline (1860-1897)

1860--Tax-supported school system established; South Carolina secedes

1861--Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln; Fort Sumter fired upon; Battle of Bull Run

1862--Monitor v. Merrimac sea battle; Seven Days' Campaign; Battle at Antietam; Battle at Fredericksburg

1863--Emancipation Proclamation; New York City draft riots; Homestead Act; Battle at Gettysburg; Battle at Vicksburg; Lincoln introduces his Ten-Percent Plan

1864--General Grant begins a war of attrition; Wade-Davis Bill; General Sherman marches to the sea; Union Pacific and Central Pacific

1865--Freedmen's Bureau established; Thirteenth Amendment ratified; Union capture of Richmond, VA; General Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Court House; Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Boothe; Special Field Order 15

1865-67--Presidential Reconstruction

1866--Ex parte Milligan ruling; Civil Rights Bill; Ku Klux Klan established

1867--Reconstruction Act; Tenure of Office Act

1867-77--Radical Reconstruction

1868--Impeachment of President Johnson; Fourteenth Amendment ratified

1869--Women's feminist organization splits into two groups; inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant

1870--Hiram Revels becomes the first black Senator; Fifteenth Amendment ratified

1872--Liberal Republicans established

1873--National economic depression begins; Slaughterhouse cases

1875--Civil Rights Act of 1875; Charles Stewart Parnell begins movement for Irish independence

1876--United States v. Cruikshank

1877--Bargain of 1877; inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes

1879--Women lawyers permitted to argue cases before the Supreme Court; Thomas Edison invents incandescent light bulb

1881--Inauguration of James Garfield; inauguration of Chester Arthur

1883--Civil Service established; Maxim invents machine gun

1885--Inauguration of Grover Cleveland

1886--Geronimo surrenders after 15 years of war; Haymarket Square labor riots in Chicago leads to eleven people dead

1889--Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison

1890--Sherman Antitrust Act; massacre at Wounded Knee, SD

1892--Ellis Island opens on New Years Day; strike at Carnegie steel results in ten deaths

1886--Supreme Court rules "separate but equal" legal

1897--Inauguration of William McKinley

Timeline (1770-1859)

1770--Boston Massacre

1772--Somerset case

1773--Tea Act; Boston Tea Party

1774--Intolerable Acts; Continental Congress convenes; Thomas Jefferson's "A Summary View of the Rights of British America"

1775--Lord Dunmore's Proclamation; Battles at Lexington and Concord

1776--Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"; Declaration of Independence; Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations"; John Adams's "Thoughts on Government"

1777--Battle of Saratoga; Vermont state constitution bans slavery; Articles of Confederation drafted

1778--French Treaty of Amity and Commerce; Rhode Island forms a black regiment in its state militia; Molly Pitcher serves during the Battle of Monmouth

1779--Thomas Jefferson writes "Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom"; Pittsburgh Proclamation

1780--Robert Morris becomes director of congressional fiscal policy

1781--Articles of Confederation ratified

1782--Deborah Sampson enlists in the Continental Army; "Letters from an American Farmer"

1786-87--Daniel Shay's Rebellion

1787--Northwest Ordinance of 1787; Constitutional Convention convenes; first Shaker community established in Upstate New York

1788--"The Federalist" papers; Constitution ratified

1789--Inauguration of George Washington; French Revolution begins

1790--Naturalization Act; first national census

1791-1804--Hatian Revolution

1791--Bill of Rights ratified; Little Turtle defeats Arthur St. Clair's forces

1792--Sarah Morton's "The African Chief"; Mary Wollstoncraft's "A Vindiction of the Rights of Woman"

1793--Washington's Neutrality Proclamation; King Louis XVI executed; British and French War begins; Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin

1794--Jay's Treaty; Whiskey Rebellion; Little Turtle defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers

1797--Inauguration of John Adams

1798--XYZ Affair; Alien and Sedition Acts

1799--John Fries's Rebellion

1800--Gabriel's Rebellion

1801--Inauguration of Thomas Jefferson

1803--Louisiana Purchase; Marbury v. Madison

1804--Hamilton-Burr duel

1804-1806--Lewis and Clark Expedition

1806--Congress approves funds for the Cumberland Road

1807--Embargo Act; Robert Fulton develops steamship

1808--Congress abolishes the Atlantic Slave Trade

1809--Inauguration of James Madison

1811--Battle of Tippecanoe; Bank of the United States charter expires

1812-1814--War of 1812

1814--Hartford Convention; Treaty of Ghent

1815--Battle of New Orleans

1816--Second Bank of the United States established; American Colonization Society founded

1817--inauguration of James Monroe

1819--Panic of 1819; McCulloch v. Maryland; Transcontinental Treaty with Spain; Darmouth College v. Woodward

1820--Missouri Compromise; Moses Austin receives Mexican land grant; Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints established

1823--Monroe Doctrine

1824--Gibbons v. Ogden; Owenite community established at New Harmony

1825--Erie Canal opens; inauguration of John Q. Adams

1826--American Temperance Society founded

1827--"Freedom's JOurnal", the first black newspaper, is established in the United States

1828--Construction begins on Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; "Tariff of abominations"

1829--Lydia Maria Child's "The Frugal Housewife"; David Walker's "An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World"; Inauguration of Andrew Jackson

1831--Cyrus McCormick introduces the reaper; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia; William Lloyd Garrison's "The Liberator" debuts

1833--American Anti-Slavery Society founded; Lydia Maria Child's "An Appeal in Fovir of that Class of Americans Called Africans"

1834--Female Moral Reform Society organized

1836--The Alamo

1837--Texas declares its independence from Mexico; John Deere introduces the steel plow; Depression begins; Ralph Waldo Emerson's "The American Scholar"; Harriet Martineau's "Society in America"; Elijah Lovejoy killed

1839--Theodore Weld's "Salvery As It Is"

1840--Orestes Brownson's "The Laboring Class"; Second Great Awakening begins

1841--New England transcendentalists establish Brook Farm; inauguration of William Henry Harrison; Dorr War

1844--Telegraph put into commercial operation

1845--John L. O'Sullivan coins the phrase "Manifest Destiny"

1845-51--Ireland's potato famine

1846--Henry David Thoreau is jailed; Wilmot Proviso

1848--John Humphry Noyes founds Oneida community in New York; Free Soil Party organized; Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; Gold discovered in foothills of Sierra, Nevada and California

1850--Compromise of 1850; Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

1852--Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin"; Frederick Douglass's speech "What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?"

1853--Gadsden Purchase

1854--Henry David Thoreau's "Walden"; Kansas-Nebraska Act; Know-Nothing Party established; Ostend Manifesto

1856--Bleeding Kansas

1857--Dred Scott decision

1858--Lincoln-Douglas debates

1859--John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry

Timeline (9000bce-1769)

To start, here is a timeline of American history.
(bce=before the common era, ce=common era)

9000bce--Agriculture invented in Mexico and Peru

5000bce-1000ce--Mound builders thrive in Mississippi Valley

900-1200--Hopi and Zuni tribes establish towns

1000--Vikings sail to Newfoundland

1142-1451--Great League formed among Iroquois Indians

1215--Signing of the Magna Carta

1430s--Gutenberg develops printing press

1434--Portuguese explore African coast below the Sahara

1487--Bartolmeu Dias reaches the Cape of Good Hope

1492--Columbus's first voyage to the New World

1497--John Cabot reaches Newfoundland

1498--Vasco de Gama sails to the Indian Ocean

1500--Pedro Cabral claims Brazil for Portugal

1502--First African slaves transported to Caribbean Islands; Nicolas de Ovando establishes settlement on Hispaniola

1516--Thomas More's Utopia

1517--Martin Luther launches the Protestant Reformation with his Ninety-Five Theses

1519--Hernan Cortes arrives in Mexico

1530s--Pizarro's conquest of Peru

1542--Spain promulgates the New Laws

1585--Sir Walter Raleigh sets up an establishment on Roanoke Island in what is now failed

1588--Sinking of the Spanish Armada

1607--Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement, is established

1608--Samuel de Champlain establishes Quebec; Henry Hudson claims New Netherland

1610--Santa Fe established

1614--John Rolfe marries Pocahontas

1619--First black slaves arrive in Virginia

1620--Discovery of tobacco; Pilgrims sail on Mayflower to America

1622--Uprising led by Opechancanough against Virginia colony

1624--Dutch West India Company settles Manhattan

1630--Massachusetts founded

1636--Roger Williams kicked out of Massachusetts Bay Colony and establishes Rhode Island

1637--Anne Hutchinson placed on trial in Massachusetts; Pequot War

1638--"Oath of a Freeman"

1639--Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

1642-49--English Civil War

1649--Maryland (established 1632) adopts "An Act Concerning Religion"

1651--First Navigation Act issued by Parliament

1662--Half-Way Covenant proclaimed by Puritans in Massachusetts

1664--English seize New Netherland which becomes New York

1669--The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina

1670--First English settlers arrive in Carolina

1675-76--King Philip's War

1676--Bacon's Rebellion

1680--Pueblo Revolt

1681--William Penn granted Pennsylvania

1682--Charter of Liberty drafted by Penn

1683--Charter of Liberties and Privileges drafted by the New York assembly

1686-88--Dominion of New England formed

1688--Glorious Revolution in England

1689--Parliament enacts a Bill of Rights; Maryland Uprising; Leisler's Rebellion

1690--Toleration Act passed by Parliament

1691--Virginia outlaws English-Indian marraiges; Plymouth Colony absorbed into Massachusetts

1691-92--Salem Witch Trials

1707--Act of Union creating Great Britain

1712--Slave uprising in New York City

1713--Treaty of Utrecht

1715--Yamasee and Creek uprising is crushed

1720-23--Cato's Letters

1727--Junto Club founded by Benjamin Franklin

1728--Pennsylvania Gazette established

1730s--Great Awakening

1733--Georgia colony founded

1735--John Peter Zenger put on trial for libel

1737--Walking Purchase

1739--Stono Rebellion

1749--Ohio Company awarded land from Virginia

1754-63--Great War for Empire (French and Indian War)

1754--Albany Plan of Union drafted by Benjamin Franklin

1757--William Pitt sits as British Prime Minister

1760--George III assumes the British thrones

1763--Pontiac's Rebellion; British government issues Proclamation of 1763

1764--Sugar/Molasses Act

1765--Stamp Act; Sons of Liberty organized

1767--Townshend Acts

1769--Father Serra establishes first mission in California


Hi, I'm Marie Frankson and I'm the Half-Pint Historian and the Albany, New York History Examiner on I grew up in a small town in the Lake George area of the Southern Adriondack Mountains, an area rich in French and Indian War and American Revolution history. To me, history is all about making connections, about drawing a proverbial line leading from event to event, about getting to know the area--what happened there, why, and who was involved. People don't often realize that; people don't often have the urge to want to know what went on. People think that history happens in other places but history happens right in our own backyards. As a lifelong learner and a lover of history, I believe that our greatest treasure is our past and that we should learn about the past so that we can be more conscious of the changes in our own time. Like Dr. Carl Sagan said, “You have to know the past to understand the present." I will lead you through history using written facts and visuals such as pictures, diagrams, and even video clips. So join me as I travel through time and see what this great country has been through as the years have gone by. What secret treasures does this country and its history hold? Well, let's find out.

Also, you can follow me on Twitter @MarieFrankson, "Like" my fan page on Facebook, and add me as a friend for all sorts of updates!

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