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Transcript of U.S. History
Decade of Disunion
Manifest Destiny was a term used to describe the idea that the United States had a God-given right to rule from coast to coast. In this time period, that idea was taken to radical heights as Americans battled for land.
The Age of Jackson was a time well explained by the characteristics of Jackson. It was full of turmoil, fighting, and death.
Age of Jackson
The Age of Jefferson was a period of foreign affairs and expansion of executive power.
Age of Jefferson
This period consisted of massive changes on the government, changing from colonial government to the developing system of an independent nation. These changes were achieved by a multitude of meetings, documents, and debates.
The Infant Nation
Birth of a Nation
This period was a period of exploration and experimentation in the newly developed independent forms of government in the New World.
1492- Columbus journeys to the New World
1777- Articles of Confederation
September 1776- 1st Continental Congress
-After Texas declared its independence, the United States government waited to annex Texas, in hopes of avoiding a war. However, the annexation of Texas was a subject of dispute, since the Northern states feared the expansion of slavery to such large territories would upset the balance in government.
1845- Annexation of Texas
-Christopher Columbus was financed by Spain in and attempt to discover an easier route to the East Indies. Upon Columbus's arrival, he believed he had succeeded, dubbing the natives, "Indians". In fact, he had discovered the New World.
-Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in America. It was founded by the London Company in South Eastern Virginia. Led by the famous John Smith, Jamestown was one of the first independently governed colonies of Britain.
1643-1776-- House of Burgesses
-It was the first representative assembly in America, and would obviously lead to the development of the complete representative government. It held democratic elections, which were the first of its kind, and it gave colonists a say in the progressions of the colonial government.
1620- The Mayflower Compact
-This was an attempt at an early form of temporary self government. It was drafted by the settlers of the Plymouth colony, commonly known as Pilgrims. They had fled Great Britain in search of religious freedom, thus creating one of the first documents in the colonies that enabled freedom of religion.
1676- Bacon's Rebellion
-Nathaniel Bacon proposed the removal of the Native Americans from Jamestown. After he was denied this by the government, he took matters into his own hands and set off with 200 men to slaughter the natives himself. The rebellion was a brutal success until Bacon fell to dysentery, so without a leader, the rebellion was finally crushed.
-This took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was seven weeks long. It was a formal meeting of the many leaders of the individual colonies to organize a response to the suppressive actions of England. It resulted in a boycott and a petition to the King of England.
July 4, 1776- Declaration of Independence
-This historical document was a formal declaration to the King of England that the thirteen colonies considered themselves independent from the British Empire. It also displayed the early ideas of the founding fathers' plans for the rising nation, clearly shown through the words, "All men are created equal". It was written by Thomas Jefferson, who was inspired by the works of John Locke.
-This system of government was adopted to maintain organization during the war. Though it was effective enough during that time, after the conclusion of the war, it proved to be an inadequate form of government. Though the state governments supported this type of system, which limited federal power, it sent the nation in a spiraling downfall and debt. The federal government, unable to levy taxes, found that there was no way to pay off its incredible war debt.
September 17, 1787- The Constitution
-Drafted at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, the Constitution was the result of the failure of the Articles of Confederation. This document is the oldest in the world that is still in use today. It split the government into three branches: judicial, legislative, and executive. Its goal was to balance the power in the national government, as well as balance the power between the federal and state governments.
September 25, 1784- Bill of Rights
-This is the name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. They are purposed to protect the basic rights, or "natural rights" of the citizens of the United States. these rights include freedom of speech, press, religion, petition, assembly, etc.
1801- Jefferson becomes President
-Thomas Jefferson, known for drafting the Declaration of Independence, as well as serving a Vice President for John Adams, won the presidential election in 1800. During his presidency, it is noted that Jefferson greatly expanded the power of the President by taking implications from the powers given to the Executive Branch. Despite this demonstration of federal power, Jefferson was victorious once again in the election of 1804.
1803- Louisiana Purchase
-An example of Jefferson's "implied powers" is his executive decision to buy the Louisiana Territory. It was sold for 15 million dollars by Napoleon Bonaparte, who was, at that time, attempting to conquer Europe. This was also an early provocation of the idea of manifest destiny.
1804-1806-- Louis and Clark
-After the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson commissioned an expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. This journey was the first to reach the Pacific Ocean by land. Its purpose was to map the unsettled territory of the Louisiana Region.
1807- Embargo Act
-During the Napoleonic Wars, France and Britain disrupted their commerce systems in an attempt to cripple the other's economy. These actions, in turn, began to cripple the United States' economy. This, combined with the British impressment of American sailors, most famously, the "Chesapeake-Leopard Affair" brought the United States to close off all exports in this Embargo Act. However, this proved to harm American economy more than others, so was repealed.
1823- Monroe Doctrine
-President James Monroe introduced this policy in hopes of displaying the power of the United States. The Doctrine set the Western Hemisphere off limits to the European nations, prohibiting any further colonization while allowing any pre-existing colonies to remain.
By Jess Schafer
1767-1845-- Andrew Jackson
-Nicknamed "Old Hickory", Andrew Jackson was an esteemed politician and army general. He won the presidential election of 1828, and would serve for two terms. He was famous for his temperamental personality, as well as his many duels. During his presidency, he increased the power of the president, and supported the removal of Native Americans.
1830- Indian Removal Act
-This was a law passed to grant President Jackson the ability to negotiate the relocation of Native Americans in the Eastern regions to Indian Reservations west of the Mississippi River. This was largely supported by the white Southerners who longed to expand to the fertile territories the Native tribes possessed.
1831- Nat Turner's Rebellion
-Nat Turner was a slave from the South who led one of the most significant slave uprisings in America history. He led about 80 men in a gruesome and bloody, day-long rebellion. However, this radical revolt was crushed by the Virginia militia and Turner was eventually hanged. This uprising led to harsher and stricter laws placed on African American slaves.
1836- Texas Declares Independence
-For some time, the Mexican government had tolerated the movement of Americans into the Texas territory. However, as Mexico began to lose control, the government attempted to crack down on the settlers. In response, the Americans fought back, declaring Texas their own. This led to the famous battle of the Alamo, where legendary frontiersmen, Davy Crockett died.
1831-1838-- Trail of Tears
-A result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was the relocation of Natives to Reservations west of the Mississippi River. This gruesome journey, resulting in a vast number of deaths due to disease, starvation, and exposure to the elements. Some Native Tribes resisted, resulting in forced relocation, and thus brutal treatment.
1842- Webster-Ashburton Treaty
-The United States had been disputing with England over land in the Oregon Territory. This treaty set the border of the 49th Parallel, a border that is still in use today. This treaty, though upsetting the many who cried, "Fifty-four forty or fight!", it settled the irritated "saber-rattling" between Britain and America.
1846-1848-- Mexican War
-Though the U.S. Government had wished to avoid conflict with Mexico, there continued to be unrest in the Texas territory. The Americans believed that the border was the Rio Grande, while Mexicans believed that the border was to the north at the Nueces River. Eventually, of course, the U.S. Government sent troops to drive the Mexicans back across the Rio Grande.
-Gold was first found by James W. Marshall, and this news was thus spread across the country. Travelers flocked to the West Coast, desperate to take part in the easy pickings of gold. This led to both technological advancements as well as a better connection between the East and West Coasts. However, on a darker side of the Gold Rush, people attacked Natives, desperate to search their lands for gold, resulting in massive hostility between these groups.
1849- California Gold Rush
-Due to the unrest over the territories acquired during the Mexican War, the U.S. Government passed this compromise in five different bills, hoping to satisfy both the North and the South. It included that California would enter the Union as a free state, Utah and New Mexico would determine their positions on slavery by popular sovereignty, Texas surrendered its claim to New Mexico, slave trade was banned in D.C., and the introduction of the Fugitive Slave Law.
Compromise of 1850
1852- Uncle Tom's Cabin
1854- Kansas-Nebraska Act
1857- Dred Scott Decision
1858- Lincoln-Douglas Debates
1859- Harper's Ferry
-This novel, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a piece of literature speaking of the life of an African American. Since it was published in a time of abolitionist fervor, it was received by the public in many ways, anti-slavery advocates were spurred and inspired by this work, while supporters of slavery widely opposed the novel.
-This act established the Kansas and Nebraska territories, as well as enabled popular sovereignty in these regions. This then, inevitably, nullified the Missouri Compromise. This angered many Northerners, who feared that they wold lose their majority of representation in government.
-Dred Scott, a slave who was brought to a free territory by his master, sued for his freedom, since he resided in a free state. This case was brought before the Supreme Court, resulting in multiple controversial conclusions. First, the court determined that blacks were not, nor would ever be considered citizens. Also, it was determined that a slave owner could bring his slaves anywhere, and never be obligated to free them, since slaves were considered property, and taking ones property was a violation of the Fifth Amendment. Finally, the Missouri Compromise was declared unconstitutional, but this was unnecessary since it was already nullified.
-These debates were during the Illinois election for Senate. Though Lincoln did not win, these debates made him a beacon for anti-slavery, since these debates greatly revolved around this topic. These debates would later assist in Lincoln's victory in the Presidential Election of 1860.
-Famous abolitionsist, John Brown, who had played a role in the warfare known as "Bloody Kansas", led a raid on the Harper's Ferry Armory in Virginia. His plan was to break into the armory, and distribute arms to the slaves, leading a massive slave revolt. However, word of the revolt had not traveled far, so their numbers were small. The rebels were caught, and eventually put to death. But, Brown kept face before his execution, and was later seen as a martyr in the eyes of abolitionists.
-Lincoln's election was an instigator for the secession of South Carolina. At a convention, it was determined that this election was the last straw, and resulted in South Carolina leaving the Union. Although Lincoln assured the nation that he was only supportive of maintaining the Union rather than abolishing slavery, Southern states continued to secede.
1860- Lincoln Elected as President
-Fort Sumter was the final Northern post that had remained after the Southern states seceded. Lincoln, hoping to assist the troops whose supplies were depleting, sent a convoy. However, the Southern armies attacked the fort, spilling the first blood of the war, therefore marking this as the start of the Civil War.
1861- Fort Sumter
1863- Emancipation Proclamation
-For much of the war, Lincoln was careful to keep his goals strictly for maintaining the Union, in fear that the border states would secede otherwise. However, as the war dragged on, Lincoln determined that it was time to change his tactics in order to maintain support in the North. Thus, he presented the Emancipation Proclamation, stating that all slaves were to be freed.
-This brutal battle held the most causalities of the Civil War. It was the only instance where the South took the offensive and attacked the North. After three terrible days of warfare, Southern General Robert E. Lee led his troops in retreat. Months later, Lincoln gave his famous speech, the Gettysburg Address at the memorial ceremony for those who died in the battle.
July 1863- Battle of Gettysburg
-Though it occurred after the conclusion of the Civil War, this horrible murder is a sign that the disagreements between the people of the Union are far from over.
April 14, 1865- Lincoln's Assassination
After slavery was abolished in 1865, Southern legislatures adopted these codes, which restricted the rights of the newly freed African Americans. According to these laws, blacks could not rent land or borrow money to buy land, blacks were forced into apprenticeships, and they were not allowed to testify against whites in court.
-As it has been seen in most political parties, a rift formed between the Republicans. the Moderates were concerned with economic reconstruction, while the Radicals were more concerned with gaining African American rights. The Radical's leader was Charles Sumner, who led these followers for four years in the struggle to win black civil rights.
-With this Act came the Fourteenth Amendment, which made all those born in the U.S. a citizen, and proclaimed equal rights for all citizens. In addition to this, the Amendment took precautions and denied office to any former confederate leader, and threatened penalization to any state that neglected the rights of any citizen. Later, in 1875, another act was passed to guarantee equal accommodations in public places.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
-Newly freed African Americans found themselves struggling, since they had few possessions, and little to no money at all. Thus, they had to turn to a system called sharecropping, which is strikingly similar to slavery. The South, who had just lost its primary force of labor, proposed this system, which the land-owner provided seed and land for the blacks to farm, and in return, the blacks had to give give half of their produce to the white land-owner.
-Although African Americans had been granted equal rights by the government, not all inhabitants of the U.S. agreed to this change. Thus, those who still strongly supported white supremacy created groups such as the KKK. These groups violently targeted black families and those who supported African American Civil Rights.
The Ku Klux Klan
-These men, first appearing at the Continental Congress, are the creators of the government we are familiar with today. True, it had been am amended, but the primary goals, democracy, representative government, equality, and natural rights remain.
The Founding Fathers
-The Constitution divides the national government into three different sections: the legislature, executive, and judicial. Each has its own powers, giving each branch a different duty, and never giving more power to one branch than another.
The Three Branches
-This is the name given to the first ten amendments to the Constitution. These amendments were created to protect the basic, or "natural", rights of citizens. They include rights such as the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion.
The Bill of Rights
-In an effort to maintain a balance of power within the federal government, the Founding Fathers created a system where the separate branches could check each other's power and actions. For example, the President can veto a law from Congress. Also, the Supreme Court can declare a law unconstitutional, therefore nullifying it. Also, the House of Representatives can impeach the president, while the Senate can remove Judges from the Supreme Court.
Checks and Balances
The Legislative Branch
-This Branch is split into two parts: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House has more members, and the number of representatives is base off of a state's population. These Representatives serve two-year terms. In the Senate, each state has two Senators who serve six-year terms. This system is meant to increase the say the people of the nation have in government.
The Civil War
The American Civil War was the most gruesome and fatal war the U.S. has experienced. However, though revolving primarily around the topic of slavery, Abraham Lincoln played a massive role. His presence greatly influenced the results of the war, as well as kept morale in its hardest times.
Although there were many advancements in technology and government during this time, a primary event was the unfair treatment of newly freed slaves, and their battle to gain complete equality.
Adopted September 17, 1787
Took effect September 25, 1789
The Constitution was drafted at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. It relfects the principles respected by the Founding Fathers, and is still followed today. It was the first constitution of its kind, and would inspire others like it. Its primary purpose is to protect the rights of citizens and avoid tyranny.