Quick note about this post — there is a short and long version of U.S. history in this post for our first 100 years (you need to read it to find out why 100 years). The post is setup with an introduction, followed by a short history of our first 100 years as well as a link to skip the long version of our history. That link will bring you to the conclusion of this post, with a link at the end of the conclusion to provide you an opportunity to review our first 100 years in better detail. Now, have it at… and thanks for coming by! We hope to see you again!
1876 is 100 years after our Declaration for Independence and 100 years as the United States of America
1876 is 11 years from the end of our Civil War (1861-1865) of which our country survived with thanks to the leadership of Abraham Lincoln.
Our President in 1876?
Ulysses S. Grant, a Republican from Illinois, served March 1869 through March 1877 (Republicans today hardly have the same backbone as Republicans of then)
Our Vice President’s Office was vacant most of President’s Grant’s 2 terms in office due to Henry Wilson passing away while in office November 22, 1875.
Our Chief Justice?
Morrison Waite of Ohio
Speaker of the House of Representatives was Michael C. Kerr, a Democrat from Indiana who served until August 19, 1876 with Samuel J. Randall, a Democrat from Pennsylvania service starting December 4, 1876
Today, we are in our 115th Congress, in 1876 it was the 44th Congress
Our 1st 100 Years (short version)…
1776 56 brave souls sign the United States Declaration of Independence, battle ensues with England
1777 Articles of Confederation – Congress is made sole authority of the new national government
1778 France signs a treaty of alliance with the United States and the American Revolution soon becomes a world war
1782 English Parliament votes against further war in America
1783 England officially declares an end to hostilities in America
1784 The Treaty of Paris is ratified by Congress and the American Revolutionary War officially ends
1788 The U.S. Constitution ratified on June 21st
1789 1st President of the U.S. is George Washington, served from 1789 to 1797
1803 Louisiana Purchase Treaty
1801-1805 1st Barbary War
1812 The War of 1812
1837 Battle of the Alamo
1848 Gold discovered in California
1861 Civil War Starts
1865 Abraham Lincoln assassinated, Civil War ends
Our 1st 100 Years (long version)…
May 2: The American revolution gains support from King Louis XVI of France
July 4: Thomas Jefferson presents the United States Declaration of Independence which was then signed by 56 brave souls willing to put their families as well as their own lives on the line for independence from England.
November 15: Articles of Confederation – Congress is made sole authority of the new national government
February 6: France signs a treaty of alliance with the United States and the American Revolution soon becomes a world war
September 14: Benjamin Franklin appointed American representative in France
September 27: John Adams is appointed to negotiate peace with England
September 23: Plans discovered indicating Benedict Arnold intends to turn traitor and surrender West Point, Benedict Arnold joins the British
October 17: American victory at Yorktown terms discussed for the British surrender.
October 19: The British army surrenders at Yorktown – a devastating effect on the British
February 27: English Parliament votes against further war in America
November 10: The final battle of the Revolutionary War when Americans retaliate by attacking a Shawnee village in Ohio
November 30: Preliminary peace treaty signed in Paris recognizing American independence and the British withdrawal from America
February 4: England officially declares an end to hostilities in America
September 3: The Treaty of Paris is signed by the United States and Great Britain
January 14: The Treaty of Paris is ratified by Congress and the American Revolutionary War officially ends
1st President of the U.S. is George Washington, served from 1789 to 1797
The first 13 states were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island
Judiciary Act of 1789 – federal statute adopted on September 24, 1789, in the 1st session of the First United States Congress, establishing the federal judiciary of the United States
Bill of Rights ratified
Fugitive Slave Act passed by the United States Congress to give effect to the Fugitive Slave Clause of the U.S. Constitution which guaranteed a right of a slaveholder to recover an escaped slave
Vermont and Kentucky were admitted to the U.S.
Whiskey Rebellion – a tax protest beginning in 1791 (during the presidency of George Washington), the “whiskey tax” was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government
2nd President of the U.S. is John Adams, served from 1797 to 1801
Logan Act, a federal law that details the fine and/or imprisonment of unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States; it was intended to prevent the undermining of the government’s position
skip the long version, take me to the conclusion
Library of Congress founded – a research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States; it is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States
Louisiana Purchase Treaty – the acquisition of the Louisiana territory (828,000 square miles) by the United States from France with the U.S. paying 50 million francs ($11,250,000 USD) and providing a cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000 USD) for a total of 68 million francs ($15m USD, or approximately $250m 2016 dollars). The Louisiana territory included land from 15 present U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces: Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; the portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River; a large portion of North Dakota; a large portion of South Dakota; the northeastern section of New Mexico; the northern portion of Texas; the area of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana west of the Mississippi River (plus New Orleans); and small portions of land within the present Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Its non-native population was around 60,000 inhabitants, of whom half were African slaves.
The Kingdom of France controlled the Louisiana territory from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. In 1800, French Emperor Napoleon, hoping to re-establish an empire in North America, regained ownership of Louisiana. However, France’s failure to put down the revolt in Saint-Domingue, coupled with the prospect of renewed warfare with the United Kingdom, prompted Napoleon to sell Louisiana to the United States. The Americans originally sought to purchase only the port city of New Orleans and its adjacent coastal lands, but quickly accepted the bargain. Before the purchase was finalized, the decision faced Federalist Party opposition; they argued that it was unconstitutional to acquire any territory, Jefferson agreed that the U.S. Constitution did not contain explicit provisions for acquiring territory, but he asserted that his constitutional power to negotiate treaties was sufficient.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark explore the Louisiana Territory
1st Barbary War – a series of conflicts that culminated in two wars fought at different times over the same reasons between the United States, Sweden, and the Barbary states (the ‘de jure’ possessions of the Ottoman Empire, but ‘de facto’ independent, Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli) of North Africa in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Swedes had been at war with the Tripolitans since 1800; they were eventually joined by the Americans. At issue was the Barbary pirates’, who were Muslims, demand for tribute from American merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. If ships of a given country failed to pay, pirates would attack the ship and take their goods, and often enslave crew members or hold them for ransom.
When Thomas Jefferson became President of the United States in March 1801, he refused to pay tribute and sent a United States Naval fleet to the Mediterranean; the fleet bombarded various fortified pirate cities in present-day Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria, ultimately extracting concessions of fair passage from their rulers. The Barbary Wars birthed the U.S. Marines, who upon hearing the Muslims loved to behead their victims, wore leather straps around their necks, earning them the title of “Leathernecks”.
Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves – a federal law that stated that no new slaves were permitted to be imported into the United States, it took effect in 1808 which was the earliest date permitted by the United States Constitution
U.S. slave trade with Africa ends
4th President of the U.S. is James Madison, served from 1809 to 1817
Battle of Tippecanoe was fought on November 7 in what is now Battle Ground, Indiana, between American forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and Native American warriors associated with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (commonly known as “The Prophet”) were leaders of a confederacy of Native Americans from various tribes that opposed US expansion into Native territory. As tensions and violence increased, Governor Harrison marched with an army of about 1,000 men to disperse the confederacy’s headquarters at Prophetstown, near the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers. American public opinion blamed the violence on British interference in American affairs through financial and munitions support for the Indians. This led to a further deterioration of relations with Britain and was a catalyst of the War of 1812, which began six months later. By the time the US declared war on the United Kingdom in June 1812, Tecumseh’s confederacy was ready to launch its war against the United States in alliance with the British. In preparation, the Natives soon rebuilt Prophetstown. Frontier violence in the region would continue until well after the War of 1812, although Tecumseh was killed in 1813 during the Battle of the Thames.
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, and their respective allies. Historians in Britain often see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars; in the United States and Canada, it is seen as a war in its own right.
Treaty of Fort Jackson ends Creek War – also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil War, Creek War was a regional war between opposing Creek factions, European empires, and the United States, taking place largely in today’s Alabama and along the Gulf Coast. The major conflicts of the war took place between state militia units and the “Red Stick” Creeks. The Creek War was part of the four-century long Indian Wars. It is usually considered part of the War of 1812 because it was influenced by Tecumseh’s War in the Old Northwest, was concurrent with the American-British war and involved many of the same participants, and the Red Sticks had sought British support and aided Admiral Cochrane’s advance towards New Orleans.
2nd Barbary War – James Madison directed military forces for a second war shortly after the conclusion of the War of 1812 against the British
The First Seminole War (1816–1819) – see 1832
Jackson Purchase in Kentucky – The Jackson Purchase, also known as the Purchase Region or simply the Purchase, is a region in the U.S. state of Kentucky bounded by the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and Tennessee River to the east. Although officially part of Kentucky at its statehood in 1792, the land did not come under definitive U.S. control until 1818, when Andrew Jackson purchased it from the Chickasaw Indians. Historically, this region has been considered the most “Southern” of Kentucky. Jackson’s Purchase also included all of Tennessee west of the Tennessee River. However, in modern usage the term refers only to the Kentucky portion of the Jackson Purchase. The southern portion is simply called West Tennessee. During the Civil War, the Purchase was the area of strongest support for the Confederate cause. On May 29, 1861, a group of Southern sympathizers from Kentucky and Tennessee met at the Graves County Courthouse in Mayfield to discuss the possibility of aligning the Purchase with West Tennessee. Most records of the event were lost, possibly in an 1864 fire that destroyed the courthouse. After the War the region heightened its sense of being “Southern.”
5 more states were admitted to the U.S. – Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi
Adams-Onis Treaty, including acquisition of Florida, is one of those not-well known treaties that had a big impact on how the shape of the U.S. and its borders would take effect. TAlso known as the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty, the Adams-Onis Treaty was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that ceded Florida to the U.S. and defined the boundary between the U.S. and New Spain (see map below). It settled a standing border dispute between the two countries and was considered a triumph of American diplomacy. It came in the midst of increasing tensions related to Spain’s territorial boundaries in North America against the United States and Great Britain in the aftermath of the American Revolution; and also during the Latin American Wars of Independence. Florida had become a burden to Spain, which could not afford to send settlers or garrisons. Madrid decided to cede the territory to the United States through the Adams–Onís Treaty in exchange for settling the boundary dispute along the Sabine River in Spanish Texas. The treaty established the boundary of U.S. territory and claims through the Rocky Mountains and west to the Pacific Ocean, in exchange for the U.S. paying residents’ claims against the Spanish government up to a total of $5,000,000 and relinquishing the US claims on parts of Spanish Texas west of the Sabine River and other Spanish areas, under the terms of the Louisiana Purchase. The treaty remained in full effect for only 183 days: from 22 February 1821 to 24 August 1821 when Spain signed the Treaty of Córdoba acknowledging the independence of Mexico. The Treaty of Limits, signed in 1828 and effective in 1832, recognized the border defined by the Adams–Onís Treaty as the boundary between the United States and Mexico.
Illinois admission to the U.S.
Alabama and Maine admission to the U.S.
Missouri admission to the U.S.
Indian Removal Act was signed by President Andrew Jackson on May 28. The law authorized the president to negotiate with southern Indian tribes for their removal to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for their lands. The act enjoyed strong support from the non-Indian peoples of the South, but there was a large amount of resistance from the Indian tribes, the Whig Party, and whites in the northeast, especially New England. The Cherokee worked together as an independent nation to stop this relocation but were unsuccessful.
Oregon Trail opens – The Oregon Trail is a historic east/west, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of the future state of Kansas, and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The western half of the trail spanned most of the future states of Idaho and Oregon
Nat Turner’s revolt – a slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County, Virginia, during August. Led by Nat Turner, rebel slaves killed from 55 to 65 people, the largest and deadliest slave uprising in U.S. history. The rebellion was put down within a few days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months afterwards. The rebellion was effectively suppressed at Belmont Plantation on the morning of August 23. The following spring in Richmond, the Virginia General Assembly debated the future of slavery in the state. While some urged gradual emancipation, the pro-slavery side prevailed. The General Assembly passed legislation making it unlawful to teach slaves, free blacks, or mulattoes to read or write, and restricting all blacks from holding religious meetings without the presence of a licensed white minister. Other slave-holding states across the South enacted similar laws restricting activities of slaves and free blacks. Some free blacks chose to move their families north to obtain educations for their children. Some white people, such as teachers Thomas J. Jackson (later to be famous in the American Civil War as Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson) and Mary Smith Peake, violated the laws and taught slaves to read. Overall, the laws enacted in the aftermath of the Turner Rebellion enforced widespread illiteracy among slaves. As a result, most newly freed slaves and many free blacks in the South were illiterate at the time of the end of the American Civil War. Freedmen and Northerners considered the issue of education and helping former slaves gain literacy as one of the most critical in the postwar South. Consequently, many northern religious organizations, former Union Army officers and soldiers, and wealthy philanthropists were inspired to create and fund educational efforts specifically for the betterment of African Americans in the South. Although Reconstruction legislatures passed authorization to establish public education for the first time in the South, a system of legal racial segregation was later imposed under Jim Crow laws, and black schools were historically underfunded by southern states.
Black Hawk War — a brief conflict between the United States and Native Americans led by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos, known as the “British Band”, crossed the Mississippi River, into the U.S. state of Illinois, from Iowa Indian Territory in April 1832. Black Hawk’s motives were ambiguous, but he was apparently hoping to avoid bloodshed while resettling on tribal land that had been ceded to the United States in the disputed 1804 Treaty of St. Louis. U.S. officials, convinced that the British Band was hostile, mobilized a frontier militia and opened fire on a delegation from the Native Americans on May 14, 1832. Black Hawk responded by successfully attacking the militia at the Battle of Stillman’s Run. He led his band to a secure location in what is now southern Wisconsin and was pursued by U.S. forces. Meanwhile, other Native Americans conducted raids against forts and settlements largely unprotected with the absence of U.S. troops. Some Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi warriors with grievances against European-Americans took part in these raids, although most tribe members tried to avoid the conflict. The Menominee and Dakota tribes, already at odds with the Sauks and Meskwakis, supported the U.S. Commanded by General Henry Atkinson, the U.S. troops tracked the British Band. Militia under Colonel Henry Dodge caught up with the British Band on July 21 and defeated them at the Battle of Wisconsin Heights. Black Hawk’s band was weakened by hunger, death, and desertion and many native survivors retreated towards the Mississippi. On August 2, U.S. soldiers attacked the remnants of the British Band at the Battle of Bad Axe, killing many or capturing most who remained alive. Black Hawk and other leaders escaped, but later surrendered and were imprisoned for a year. The Black Hawk War gave the young captain Abraham Lincoln his brief military service, although he never participated in a battle. Other participants who later became famous included Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, and Jefferson Davis. The war gave impetus to the U.S. policy of Indian removal, in which Native American tribes were pressured to sell their lands and move west of the Mississippi River and stay there.
Seminole Wars — also known as the Florida Wars, were 3 conflicts in Florida between the Seminole, a Native American tribe that formed in Florida in the early 18th century, and the United States Army. Taken together, the Seminole Wars were the longest and most expensive (both in human and monetary terms) Indian Wars in United States history.
> The First Seminole War (1816–1819) began with General Andrew Jackson’s excursions into West Florida and Spanish Florida against the Seminoles after the conclusion of the War of 1812. The governments of Britain and Spain both expressed outrage over the “invasion”. However, Spain was unable to defend its territory, and the Spanish Crown agreed to cede Florida to the United States in the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819. According to the Treaty of Moultrie Creek of 1823, the Seminoles were required to leave northern Florida and were confined to a large reservation in the center of the Florida peninsula. The U.S. government enforced the treaty by building a series of forts and trading posts in the territory, mainly along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.
> The Second Seminole War (1835-1842) was the result of the United States government attempting to force the Seminoles to leave Florida altogether as described in the Treaty of Payne’s Landing of 1832, which Seminole leaders claimed that they signed under duress. Raids and skirmishes and a handful of larger battles raged throughout the Florida peninsula, with the out gunned and outnumbered Seminoles effectively using guerrilla warfare to frustrate the ever more numerous American forces. After several years spent chasing bands of Seminole warriors through the wilderness, the US Army changed tactics and began seeking out and destroying Seminole farms and villages, a strategy which eventually changed the course of the war. The war resulted in most of the Seminole population in Florida being killed in battle, ravaged by starvation and disease, or relocated to Indian Territory in modern Oklahoma. A few hundred Seminoles were allowed to remain in an unofficial reservation in southwest Florida.> The Third Seminole War (1855-1858) was again the result of Seminoles responding to settlers and US Army scouting parties encroaching on their lands, perhaps deliberately to provoke a violent response that would result in the removal of the last of the Seminoles from Florida. After an army surveying crew found and destroyed a Seminole plantation west of the Everglades in December 1855, Chief Billy Bowlegs led a raid near Fort Myers, setting off a conflict which consisted mainly of raids and reprisals with no large battles fought. American forces again strove to destroy the Seminoles’ food supply, and in 1858, most of the remaining Seminoles, weary of war and facing starvation, agreed to be shipped to Oklahoma in exchange for promises of safe passage and cash payments to their chiefs. An estimated 100 Seminoles still refused to leave and retreated deep into the Everglades to live on land that was unwanted by white settlers.
>>> During the American Civil War, the Confederate government of Florida contacted Sam Jones with promises of aid to keep the Seminole from fighting on the side of the Union. The state did not follow through on its promises, but the Seminole were not interested in fighting another war and remained neutral. The 1868 Florida Constitution, developed by the Republican-dominated Reconstruction legislature, gave the Seminole one seat in the house and one seat in the senate of the state legislature. The Seminole never filled the positions. In 1885, after southern white Democrats had regained political power in the state, they passed a new constitution in 1885. It removed the seats for Seminole and established barriers to voter registration and electoral practices that essentially disfranchised most blacks and minorities, including Native Americans. This situation lasted until the passage of federal civil rights and voting legislation in the mid-1960s, which provided for the enforcement of citizens’ constitutional rights, and the adoption of Florida’s current state constitution in 1968.
Department of Indian Affairs established
Texas War for Independence begins — (October 2, 1835 – April 21, 1836) was a rebellion of colonists from the United States and Tejanos (Texas Mexicans) in putting up armed resistance to the centralist government of Mexico. While the uprising was part of a larger one that included other provinces opposed to the regime of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican government believed the United States had instigated the Texas insurrection with the goal of annexation. The Mexican Congress passed the Tornel Decree, declaring that any foreigners fighting against Mexican troops “will be deemed pirates and dealt with as such, being citizens of no nation presently at war with the Republic and fighting under no recognized flag.” Only the province of Texas succeeded in breaking with Mexico, establishing the Republic of Texas, and eventually being annexed by the United States. The revolution began in October, after a decade of political and cultural clashes between the Mexican government and the increasingly large population of American settlers in Texas. The Mexican government had become increasingly centralized and the rights of its citizens had become increasingly curtailed, particularly regarding immigration from the United States. Colonists and Tejanos disagreed on whether the ultimate goal was independence or a return to the Mexican Constitution of 1824. While delegates at the Consultation (provisional government) debated the war’s motives, Texians and a flood of volunteers from the United States defeated the small garrisons of Mexican soldiers by mid-December 1835. The Consultation declined to declare independence and installed an interim government, whose infighting led to political paralysis and a dearth of effective governance in Texas. An ill-conceived proposal to invade Matamoros siphoned much-needed volunteers and provisions from the fledgling Texas army. In March 1836, a second political convention declared independence and appointed leadership for the new Republic of Texas. Determined to avenge Mexico’s honor, Santa Anna vowed to personally retake Texas. His Army of Operations entered Texas in mid-February 1836 and found the Texians completely unprepared. Mexican General José de Urrea led a contingent of troops on the Goliad Campaign up the Texas coast, defeating all Texian troops in his path and executing most of those who surrendered. Santa Anna led a larger force to San Antonio de Béxar (or Béxar), where his troops defeated the Texian garrison in the Battle of the Alamo, killing almost all of the defenders. A newly created Texian army under the command of Sam Houston was constantly on the move, while terrified civilians fled with the army, in a melee known as the Runaway Scrape. On March 31, Houston paused his men at Groce’s Landing on the Brazos River, and for the next two weeks, the Texians received rigorous military training. Becoming complacent and underestimating the strength of his foes, Santa Anna further subdivided his troops. On April 21, Houston’s army staged a surprise assault on Santa Anna and his vanguard force at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Mexican troops were quickly routed, and vengeful Texians executed many who tried to surrender. Santa Anna was taken hostage; in exchange for his life, he ordered the Mexican army to retreat south of the Rio Grande. Mexico refused to recognize the Republic of Texas, and intermittent conflicts between the two countries continued into the 1840s. The annexation of Texas as the 28th state of the United States, in 1845, led directly to the Mexican–American War.
The Second Seminole War begins (1835-1842) – see 1832
Arkansas admission to the U.S.
8th President of the U.S. is Martin Van Buren 1837-1841
Battle of the Alamo — (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas, United States), killing all of the Texian defenders. Santa Anna’s cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians—both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States—to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution. Several months previously, Texians had driven all Mexican troops out of Mexican Texas. About 100 Texians were then garrisoned at the Alamo. The Texian force grew slightly with the arrival of reinforcements led by eventual Alamo co-commanders James Bowie and William B. Travis. On February 23, approximately 1,500 Mexicans marched into San Antonio de Béxar as the first step in a campaign to retake Texas. For the next 10 days, the two armies engaged in several skirmishes with minimal casualties. Aware that his garrison could not withstand an attack by such a large force, Travis wrote multiple letters pleading for more men and supplies, but the Texians were reinforced by fewer than 100 men. In the early morning hours of March 6, the Mexican Army advanced on the Alamo. After repelling two attacks, the Texians were unable to fend off a third attack. As Mexican soldiers scaled the walls, most of the Texian soldiers withdrew into interior buildings. Defenders unable to reach these points were slain by the Mexican cavalry as they attempted to escape. Between five and seven Texians may have surrendered; if so, they were quickly executed. Most eyewitness accounts reported between 182 and 257 Texians died, while most historians of the Alamo agree that around 600 Mexicans were killed or wounded. Several noncombatants were sent to Gonzales to spread word of the Texian defeat. The news sparked both a strong rush to join the Texian army and a panic, known as “The Runaway Scrape”, in which the Texian army, most settlers, and the new Republic of Texas government fled from the advancing Mexican Army. Within Mexico, the battle has often been overshadowed by events from the Mexican–American War of 1846–48. In 19th-century Texas, the Alamo complex gradually became known as a battle site rather than a former mission.
Panic of 1837 — a financial crisis that touched off a major recession that lasted until the mid-1840s. Profits, prices, and wages went down while unemployment went up. Pessimism abounded during the time. The panic had both domestic and foreign origins. Speculative lending practices in western states, a sharp decline in cotton prices, a collapsing land bubble, international specie flows, and restrictive lending policies in Great Britain were all to blame. On May 10, 1837, banks in New York City suspended specie payments, meaning that they would no longer redeem commercial paper in specie at full face value. Despite a brief recovery in 1838, the recession persisted for approximately seven years. Banks collapsed, businesses failed, prices declined, and thousands of workers lost their jobs. Unemployment may have been as high as 25% in some locales. The years 1837 to 1844 were, generally speaking, years of deflation in wages and prices.
Michigan admission to the U.S.
The Trail of Tears — a series of forced removals of Native American nations from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to an area west of the Mississippi River that had been designated as Indian Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by various government authorities following the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The relocated people suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route, and more than four thousand died before reaching their various destinations. The removal included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. The phrase “Trail of Tears” originated from a description of the removal of the Cherokee Nation in 1838. Between 1830 and 1850, the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee people (including mixed-race and black freedmen and slaves who lived among them) were forcibly removed from their traditional lands in the Southeastern United States, and relocated farther west. Those Native Americans that were relocated were forced to march to their destinations by state and local militias The Cherokee removal in 1838 (the last forced removal east of the Mississippi) was brought on by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia in 1828, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush. Approximately 2,000-6,000 of the 16,543 relocated Cherokee perished along the way.
Mexican-American War — also known as the Mexican War and in Mexico the American intervention in Mexico, was an armed conflict between the United States of America and the United Mexican States (Mexico) from 1846 to 1848. It followed in the wake of the 1845 American annexation of the independent Republic of Texas, which Mexico still considered its northeastern province and a part of its territory after its de facto secession in the 1836 Texas Revolution a decade earlier. After its Treaty of Córdoba with obtaining independence in 1821, from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire as New Spain for the past 300 years, and a brief experiment with a monarchy government, Mexico became a republic in 1824. It was characterized by considerable instability, leaving it ill-prepared for international conflict only two decades later when war broke out in 1846. Native American raids in Mexico’s sparsely settled north in the decades preceding the war prompted the Mexican government to sponsor migration from the U.S.A. on its northeast border (since 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase from the French Empire (France) of Emperor Napoleon I) to the Mexican province of Texas to create a buffer. However, the newly-named “Texians” revolted against the Mexican government of President / dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, who had usurped the Mexican constitution of 1824, in the subsequent 1836 Texas Revolution, creating a republic not recognized by Mexico, which still claimed it as part of its national territory. In 1845, the Texan Republic agreed to an offer of annexation by the U.S. Congress, and became the 28th state in the Union on December 29 that year. In 1845, newly-elected 11th U.S. President James K. Polk (1795–1849, served 1845–1849), made a proposition to the Mexican government to purchase the disputed lands between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande river further south. When that offer was rejected, President Polk moved U.S. troops commanded by Major General Zachary Taylor further south into the disputed territory. Mexican forces attacked an American Army outpost (“Thornton Affair”) in the occupied territory, killing 12 U.S. soldiers and capturing 52. These same Mexican troops later laid siege to an American fort along the Rio Grande. Polk cited this attack as a so-called invasion of U.S. territory, and requested that the Congress declare war. U.S. forces quickly occupied the capital town of Santa Fe de Nuevo México of New Mexico along the upper Rio Grande and the Pacific coast territory province of Alta California (Upper California), and then invaded to the south into parts of central Mexico (modern-day Northeastern Mexico and Northwest Mexico); meanwhile, the Pacific Squadron of the United States Navy conducted a blockade, and took control of several garrisons on the Pacific Ocean western coast farther south in lower Baja California Territory. The U.S. Army, under the command of Major General Winfield Scott, after several fierce battles of stiff resistance from the Mexican Army outside of the capital, Mexico City, eventually captured the city, having marched west from the port of Veracruz, where the Americans staged their first amphibious landing on the Gulf of Mexico coast. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo forced onto the remnant Mexican government, ended the war and specified its major consequence, the Mexican Cession of the northern territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo México to the United States. The U.S. agreed to pay $15 million compensation for the physical damage of the war. In addition, the United States assumed $3.25 million of debt already owed earlier by the Mexican government to U.S. citizens. Mexico acknowledged the loss of their province, later Republic of Texas (and now State of Texas) and thereafter cited and acknowledged the Rio Grande as its future northern national border with the United States. Mexico had lost over one-third of its original territory from its 1821 independence. The territorial expansion of the United States toward the Pacific coast had been the goal of Polk, the leader of the Democratic Party. At first, the war was highly controversial in the United States, with the Whig Party, anti-imperialists, and anti-slavery elements strongly opposing. Critics in the United States pointed to the heavy casualties suffered by U.S. forces (compared to earlier conflicts so far in America’s short history in the Revolutionary War (1775–1783), naval Quasi-War with France (1796–1800), two brief Barbary Wars (1801–1804, 1815), the second conflict with Great Britain in the War of 1812 (1812–1815) and the ongoing American Indian Wars in the western territories) conflict’s high monetary cost. The war intensified the debate over slavery in the United States, contributing to bitter debates that culminated in the American Civil War (1861–1865). In Mexico, the war came in the middle of continued domestic political turmoil, which increased into chaos during the conflict. The military defeat and loss of territory was a disastrous blow, causing Mexico to enter “a period of self-examination … as its leaders sought to identify and address the reasons that had led to such a debacle.” In the immediate aftermath of the war, some prominent Mexicans wrote that the war had resulted in “the state of degradation and ruin” in Mexico, further claiming, for “the true origin of the war, it is sufficient to say that the insatiable ambition of the United States, favored by our weakness, caused it.” The shift in the Mexico-U.S. border left many Mexican citizens separated from their national government. For the indigenous peoples who had never accepted Spanish or Mexican rule, the change in border meant conflicts with a new outside power.
Texas admission to the U.S.
Oregon Treaty signed — a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that was signed on June 15, 1846, in Washington, D.C. Signed under the presidency of James K. Polk, the treaty brought an end to the Oregon boundary dispute by settling competing American and British claims to the Oregon Country; the area had been jointly occupied by both Britain and the U.S. since the Treaty of 1818.
Treaty of Cahuenga ends Mexican-American War — also called the “Capitulation of Cahuenga,” ended the fighting of the Mexican-American War in Alta California in 1847. It was not a formal treaty between nations but an informal agreement between rival military forces in which the Californios gave up fighting. The treaty was drafted in English and Spanish by José Antonio Carrillo, approved by American Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Frémont and Mexican Governor Andrés Pico on January 13, 1847 at Campo de Cahuenga in what is now Universal City, California. The treaty called for the Californios to give up their artillery, and provided that all prisoners from both sides be immediately freed. Those Californios who promised not to again take up arms during the war, and to obey the laws and regulations of the United States, were allowed to peaceably return to their homes and ranchos. They were to be allowed the same rights and privileges as were allowed to citizens of the United States, and were not to be compelled to take an oath of allegiance until a treaty of peace was signed between the United States and Mexico, and were given the privilege of leaving the country if they wished to do so. Under the later Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico formally ceded Alta California and other territories to the United States, and the disputed border of Texas was fixed at the Rio Grande. Pico, like nearly all the Californios, became an American citizen with full legal and voting rights. Pico later became a State Assemblyman and then a State Senator representing Los Angeles in the California State Legislature.
Iowa admission to the U.S.
Gold discovered in California
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War — (Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo in Spanish), officially entitled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, is the peace treaty signed on February 2, 1848, in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo (now a neighborhood of Mexico City) between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican–American War (1846–48). The treaty came into force on July 4, 1848. With the defeat of its army and the fall of its capital, Mexico entered into negotiations to end the war. The treaty called for the U.S. to pay $15 million to Mexico and to pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to $3.25 million. It gave the United States the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California and a large area comprising roughly half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexicans in those annexed areas had the choice of relocating to within Mexico’s new boundaries or receiving American citizenship with full civil rights. The U.S. Senate advised and consented to ratification of the treaty by a vote of 38–14. The opponents of this treaty were led by the Whigs, who had opposed the war and rejected Manifest destiny in general, and rejected this expansion in particular. The amount of land gained by the United States from Mexico was increased as a result of the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, which ceded parts of present-day southern Arizona and New Mexico to the United States.
California admission to the U.S.
Gadsden Purchase — a 29,670-square-mile region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that the United States purchased via a treaty signed on December 30, 1853, by James Gadsden, U.S. ambassador to Mexico at that time. The U.S. Senate voted in favor of ratifying it with amendments on April 25, 1854, and then transmitted it to 14th President Franklin Pierce. Mexico’s government and its General Congress or Congress of the Union took final approval action on June 8, 1854. The purchase was the last substantial territorial acquisition in the contiguous United States. The U.S. sought a better route for the construction of the southern transcontinental railway line. The financially-strapped government of Antonio López de Santa Anna agreed to the sale, which netted Mexico $10 million (equivalent to $4.15 billion in 2016). After the devastating loss of Mexican territory to the U.S. in the Mexican-American War (1846–48) and the continued filibustering by U.S. citizens, Santa Anna may have calculated it was better to yield territory by treaty and receive payment rather than have the territory simply seized by the U.S. The purchase included lands south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande which the U.S. acquired so that it could construct a transcontinental railroad along a deep southern route, which the Southern Pacific Railroad later completed in 1881/1883. The purchase also aimed to reconcile outstanding border issues between the U.S. and Mexico following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the earlier Mexican–American War of 1846–1848. As the railroad age evolved, business-oriented Southerners saw that a railroad linking the South with the Pacific Coast would expand trade opportunities. They thought the topography of the southern portion of the original boundary line to the Mexican Cession (future states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, western Colorado) of 1848 was too mountainous to allow a direct route. Projected southern railroad routes tended to veer to the north as they proceeded eastward, which would favor connections with northern railroads and ultimately favor northern seaports. Southerners saw that to avoid the mountains, a route with a southeastern terminus might need to swing south into what was still Mexican territory. The administration of President Franklin Pierce, strongly influenced by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis (later President of the southern seceding Confederate States), saw an opportunity to acquire land for the railroad, as well as to acquire significant other territory from northern Mexico. In the end, territory for the railroad was purchased for $10 million (equivalent to $4.15 billion in 2016), but Mexico balked at any large-scale sale of territory. In the United States, the debate over the treaty became involved in the dispute over slavery, ending progress before the American Civil War.
The Third Seminole War (1855-1858) – see 1832
Sack of Lawrence, Kansas — occurred on May 21 when pro-slavery activists, led by Sheriff Samuel J. Jones, attacked and ransacked the town which had been founded by anti-slavery settlers from Massachusetts, who were hoping to make Kansas as a “free state”. The incident made worse the guerrilla war in Kansas Territory that later became known as “Bleeding Kansas”. The human cost of the attack was low: only one person—a member of the pro-slavery gang—was killed, and his death was accidental. With that said, Jones and his men managed to halt production of the free-state newspapers the Kansas Free State and the Herald of Freedom, as well as destroy the Free State Hotel. Lawrence was also looted by Jones and his men, and Charles L. Robinson’s house was razed.
Pottawatomie Massacre — occurred during the night of May 24 and the morning of May 25, 1856. In reaction to the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas by pro-slavery forces, John Brown and a band of abolitionist settlers—some of them members of the Pottawatomie Rifles—killed five settlers north of Pottawatomie Creek in Franklin County, Kansas. This was one of the many bloody episodes in Kansas preceding the American Civil War, which came to be known collectively as Bleeding Kansas. Bleeding Kansas was largely brought about by the Missouri Compromise and the Kansas–Nebraska Act.
Minnesota admission to the U.S.
Oregon admission to the U.S.
Harper’s Ferry Raid — (also known as John Brown’s raid or The raid on Harper’s Ferry) was an effort by armed abolitionist John Brown to initiate an armed slave revolt in 1859 by taking over a United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown’s party of 22 was defeated by a company of U.S. Marines, led by First Lieutenant Israel Greene. Colonel Robert E. Lee was in overall command of the operation to retake the arsenal. John Brown had originally asked Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, both of whom he had met in his transformative years as an abolitionist in Springfield, Massachusetts, to join him in his raid, but Tubman was prevented by illness, and Douglass declined, as he believed Brown’s plan would fail.
Pony Express begins — a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, and mail. Officially operating as the Leavenworth and Pike’s Peak Express Company of 1859, in 1860 it became the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company; this firm was founded by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell, all of whom were notable in the freighting business. During its 19 months of operation, it reduced the time for messages to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about 10 days. From April 3 to October 1861, it became the West’s most direct means of east–west communication before the telegraph was established and was vital for tying the new state of California with the rest of the United States.
16th President of the U.S. is Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865
click here for images of President Lincoln before and after our Civil War
Kansas admission to the U.S.
Confederate States of America (the Confederacy) established under President Jefferson Davis — The Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.), commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by 7 secessionist slave-holding states – South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas – in the Lower South region of the United States whose regional economy was mostly dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves. Each state declared its secession from the United States following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, which was considered illegal by the government of the United States. After the Civil War began in April, 4 slave states of the Upper South – Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina – also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy later accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither officially declared secession nor were they ever largely controlled by Confederate forces; Confederate shadow governments attempted to control the two states but were later exiled from them. The government of the United States (the Union) rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegitimate. The American Civil War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government officially recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, although the United Kingdom and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after 4 years of heavy fighting which led to an estimated 620,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy was dissolved. The war lacked a formal end; nearly all Confederate forces had been forced into surrender or deliberately disbanded by the end of 1865, by which point the dwindling manpower and resources of the Confederacy were facing overwhelming odds. By 1865, Jefferson Davis lamented that the Confederacy had “disappeared”.
American Civil War begins at Fort Sumter — was fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The result of a long-standing controversy over slavery, war broke out in April 1861, when Confederates attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, shortly after President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. The nationalists of the Union proclaimed loyalty to the U.S. Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States of America, who advocated for states’ rights to expand slavery. Among the 34 U.S. states in February 1861, 7 Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the U.S. to form the Confederate States of America, or the South. The Confederacy grew to include 11 slave states. The Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by the United States government, nor was it recognized by any foreign country (although Britain and France granted it belligerent status). The states that remained loyal, including the border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North. The North and South quickly raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought mostly in the South over 4 years. The Union finally won the war when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the battle of Appomattox followed by a series of surrenders by Confederate generals throughout the southern states. Four years of intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 soldiers dead, a higher number than the number of American military deaths in all other wars combined. Much of the South’s infrastructure was destroyed, especially the transportation systems, railroads, mills and houses. The Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and 4 million slaves were freed. The Reconstruction Era (1863–1877) overlapped and followed the war, with the process of restoring national unity, strengthening the national government, and granting civil rights to freed slaves throughout the country. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in American history.
Battle of Gettysburg — was fought July 1–3 in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war’s turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade’s Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee’s invasion of the North. After his success at Chancellorsville in Virginia in May, Lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley to begin his second invasion of the North—the Gettysburg Campaign. With his army in high spirits, Lee intended to shift the focus of the summer campaign from war-ravaged northern Virginia and hoped to influence Northern politicians to give up their prosecution of the war by penetrating as far as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, or even Philadelphia. Prodded by President Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker moved his army in pursuit, but was relieved of command just 3 days before the battle and replaced by Meade. Elements of the 2 armies initially collided at Gettysburg on July 1 as Lee urgently concentrated his forces there, his objective being to engage the Union army and destroy it. Low ridges to the northwest of town were defended initially by a Union cavalry division under Brig. Gen. John Buford, and soon reinforced with 2 corps of Union infantry. However, 2 large Confederate corps assaulted them from the northwest and north, collapsing the hastily developed Union lines, sending the defenders retreating through the streets of the town to the hills just to the south. On the 2nd day of battle, most of both armies had assembled. The Union line was laid out in a defensive formation resembling a fishhook. In the late afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union left flank, and fierce fighting raged at Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Devil’s Den, and the Peach Orchard. On the Union right, Confederate demonstrations escalated into full-scale assaults on Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill. All across the battlefield, despite significant losses, the Union defenders held their lines. On the 3rd day of battle, fighting resumed on Culp’s Hill, and cavalry battles raged to the east and south, but the main event was a dramatic infantry assault by 12,500 Confederates against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, known as Pickett’s Charge. The charge was repulsed by Union rifle and artillery fire, at great loss to the Confederate army. Lee led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the 3 day battle, the most costly in U.S. history. On November 19, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.
West Virginia admission to the U.S.
Sand Creek Massacre — also known as the Chivington massacre, the Battle of Sand Creek, or the massacre of Cheyenne Indians, was a massacre in the American Indian Wars that occurred on November 29 when a 675-man force of Colorado U.S. Volunteer Cavalry attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho in southeastern Colorado Territory, killing and mutilating an estimated 70–163 Native Americans, about two-thirds of whom were women and children. The location has been designated the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site and is administered by the National Park Service.
Abraham Lincoln assassinated by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth on April 14 while attending the play ‘Our American Cousin’ at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Shot in the head as he watched the play, Lincoln died the following day at 7:22 a.m., in the Petersen House opposite the theater. He was the first American president to be assassinated; his funeral and burial marked an extended period of national mourning. Occurring near the end of the American Civil War, the assassination was part of a larger conspiracy intended by Booth to revive the Confederate cause by eliminating the 3 most important officials of the United States government. Conspirators Lewis Powell and David Herold were assigned to kill Secretary of State William H. Seward, and George Atzerodt was tasked with killing Vice President Andrew Johnson. Beyond Lincoln’s death the plot failed: Seward was only wounded and Johnson’s would-be attacker lost his nerve. After a dramatic initial escape, Booth was killed at the climax of a lengthy manhunt, and several other conspirators were later hanged.
17th President of the U.S. is Andrew Johnson 1865-1869
Nevada admission to the U.S.
United States Civil War ends
Civil Rights Act of 1866 — enacted April 9, was the first United States federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law. It was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of persons of African descent born in or brought to the U.S., in the wake of the American Civil War. This legislation was enacted by Congress in 1865 but vetoed by President Andrew Johnson. In April, Congress again passed the bill to support the Thirteenth Amendment. Although Johnson again vetoed it, a two-thirds majority in each chamber overcame the veto and the bill therefore became law. John Bingham and some other Congressmen argued that Congress did not yet have sufficient constitutional power to enact this law. Following passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, Congress reenacted the 1866 Act in 1871.
Ku Klux Klan founded — commonly called the KKK or simply the Klan, is the name of 3 distinct movements in the United States that have advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in later iterations—Nordicism, anti-Catholicism, and antisemitism. Historically, the KKK used terrorism—both physical assault and murder—against groups or individuals whom they opposed. All 3 movements have called for the “purification” of American society and all are incorrectly considered right-wing extremist organizations as history proves they are embraced and honored by the left. The 1st Klan flourished in the Southern United States in the late 1860s, then died out by the early 1870s. It sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era, especially by using violence against African American leaders. With numerous chapters across the South, it was suppressed around 1871, through federal law enforcement. Members made their own, often colorful, costumes: robes, masks and conical hats, designed to be terrifying and to hide their identities. The 2nd group was founded in the South in 1915 and it flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, including urban areas of the Midwest and West. Taking inspiration from the film Birth of a Nation, which mythologized the founding of the 1st Klan, it employed marketing techniques and a popular fraternal organization structure. Rooted in local Protestant communities, it sought to maintain white supremacy, often took a pro-prohibition stance, and it opposed Catholics and Jews, while also stressing its opposition to the Catholic Church at a time of high immigration from the mostly Catholic nations of Central Europe and Southern Europe. This second organization adopted a standard white costume and used code words which were similar to those used by the first Klan, while adding cross burnings and mass parades to intimidate others. It rapidly declined in the later half of the 1920s.
The 3rd and current manifestation of the KKK emerged after World War II, in the form of localized and isolated groups that use the KKK name. They have focused on opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, often using violence and murder to suppress activists. It is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. As of 2016, the Anti-Defamation League puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000, while the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) puts it at 6,000 members total. The 2nd and 3rd incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made frequent references to America’s “Anglo-Saxon” blood, hearkening back to 19th-century nativism. Although members of the KKK swear to uphold Christian morality, virtually every Christian denomination has officially denounced the KKK.
Nebraska admission to the U.S.
Alaska Purchase from Russia — was the United States’ acquisition of Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30 by a treaty ratified by the United States Senate, and signed by president Andrew Johnson. Russia wanted to sell its Alaskan territory, fearing that it might be seized if war broke out with the United Kingdom. Russia’s primary activities in the territory had been fur trade and missionary work among the Native Alaskans. The land added 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of new territory to the United States. Reactions to the purchase in the United States were mostly positive; some opponents called it “Seward’s Folly” (after Secretary of State William H. Seward), while many others praised the move for weakening both the UK and Russia as rivals to American commercial expansion in the Pacific region. Originally organized as the Department of Alaska, the area was renamed the District of Alaska and the Alaska Territory before becoming the modern state of Alaska upon being admitted to the Union as a state in 1959.
Great Chicago Fire — a conflagration that burned from Sunday, October 8, to early Tuesday, October 10. The fire killed up to 300 people, destroyed roughly 3.3 square miles of Chicago, Illinois, and left more than 100,000 residents homeless.
Treaty of Washington with Great Britain regarding the Dominion of Canada — a treaty signed and ratified by Great Britain and the United States during the First premiership of William Gladstone and the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant that settled various disputes between the countries, including the Alabama Claims for damages to American shipping caused by British-built warships, as well as illegal fishing in Canadian waters and British civilian losses in the American Civil War. It inaugurated permanent peaceful relations between the United States and Canada, and United States and Britain. After the arbitrators endorsed the American position in 1872, Britain settled the matter by paying the United States $15.5 million, ending the dispute and leading to a treaty that restored friendly relations between Britain and the United States. That international arbitration established a precedent, and the case aroused interest in codifying public international law.
Yellowstone National Park established — a national park located in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone was the 1st National Park in the U.S. and is also widely held to be the first national park in the world. The park is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful geyser, one of its most popular features. It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is the most abundant. It is part of the South Central Rockies forests ecoregion. Native Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years. Aside from visits by mountain men during the early-to-mid-19th century, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. Management and control of the park originally fell under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior, the first being Columbus Delano. However, the U.S. Army was subsequently commissioned to oversee management of Yellowstone for a 30-year period between 1886 and 1916. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance, and researchers have examined more than a thousand archaeological sites. Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles, comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Yellowstone Park is the largest and most famous megafauna location in the Continental United States. Grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in the park. The Yellowstone Park bison herd is the oldest and largest public bison herd in the United States. Forest fires occur in the park each year; in the large forest fires of 1988, nearly one third of the park was burnt. Yellowstone has numerous recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing and sightseeing. Paved roads provide close access to the major geothermal areas as well as some of the lakes and waterfalls. During the winter, visitors often access the park by way of guided tours that use either snow coaches or snowmobiles.
Red River Wars — a military campaign launched by the United States Army in 1874 to remove the Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Native American tribes from the Southern Plains and forcibly relocate them to reservations in Indian Territory. Lasting only a few months, the war had several army columns crisscross the Texas Panhandle in an effort to locate, harass, and capture highly mobile Indian bands. Most of the engagements were small skirmishes in which neither side suffered many casualties. The war wound down over the last few months of 1874, as fewer and fewer Indian bands had the strength and supplies to remain in the field. Though the last significantly sized group did not surrender until mid-1875, the war marked the end of free-roaming Indian populations on the southern Great Plains.
Civil Rights Act of 1875 — sometimes called Enforcement Act or Force Act, was a United States federal law enacted during the Reconstruction Era in response to civil rights violations to African Americans, “to protect all citizens in their civil and legal rights”, giving them equal treatment in public accommodations, public transportation, and to prohibit exclusion from jury service. The bill was passed by the 43rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1. The law was generally opposed by public opinion, but blacks did favor it. It was not effectively enforced and historian William Gillette says the passage of the law was an “insignificant victory”. Eight years later, the Supreme Court ruled in Civil Rights Cases (1883) that the public accommodation sections of the act were unconstitutional.
Battle of the Little Bighorn — known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians as the Battle of the Greasy Grass and also commonly referred to as Custer’s Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which resulted in the defeat of US forces, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It took place on June 25–26 along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana Territory. The fight was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, who were led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, and had been inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake). The U.S. 7th Cavalry, including the Custer Battalion, a force of 700 men led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, suffered a major defeat. Five of the 7th Cavalry’s 12 companies were annihilated and Custer was killed, as were 2 of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law. The total U.S. casualty count included 268 dead and 55 severely wounded (6 died later from their injuries), including 4 Crow Indian scouts and 2 Pawnee Indian scouts. Public response to the Great Sioux War varied in the immediate aftermath of the battle. Custer’s widow soon worked to burnish her husband’s memory, and during the following decades Custer and his troops came to be considered iconic, even heroic figures in American history, a status that lasted into the 1960s. The battle, and Custer’s actions in particular, have been studied extensively by historians.
Why Is Our 1st 100 Years Relevant Today?
This year, particularly this week (8-November), marks the 100th anniversary of Communism…
How many Communist countries and their original Constitutions and/or Manifestos are still around today?
They are all now on a list of had-beens, they are history — and those existing today that are less than 100 years of age are either waking up and changing their ways or are experiencing a tumultuous period that does not look too good for their future.
Now, in its pursuit of Liberty, the United States has made mistakes, there is no doubt about that — yet, it is still the greatest country today and the greatest country in all of world history.
For those that believe in our Judeo-Christian ways, most know that there is a means to get a seven-fold return for what was robbed from you — for those that don’t believe, well, you have the court system, and we all know how that never turns out.
One of the benefits of understanding and being centered around Judeo-Christian ways in heart, soul, and mind.
Looking at the long version of our history, one thing keeps sticking out — the propensity of the Left to snag what they want for the good of the people and the heck with the rest of them.
I can say that – I once was one of those snaggers for a couple of decades.
No more – giving is far more rewarding than taking, being empowered is far more rewarding than waiting on others, learning to be self-sufficient is definitely far more rewarding than being dependent upon the government.
Wherever there are lines of people waiting for what everyone considers to be the staples of life, there is no liberty, no freedom — only socialism, communism, marxism, tyranny, fascism, any “-ism” you can think of save one.
Given the propensity today of the Left to be self-absorbed, empty of character (if any), name calling, finger-pointing, and riding off the backs of those who sacrificed before them and around them, we need to continue defending and being decisive about liberty.
Otherwise, given the pace they are going, within a generation or two the United States will be on that very same list.
The same goes for Europe – Austria, Poland, Hungary all have seen how much better they are defending liberty by being decisive about liberty and they are already reaping the rewards.
France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., Sweden are great examples of countries soon to to on the list of had-beens – they have forfeited their sovereignty for the sake of being nice to people who could not care less about their history, their future, their present.
The Left has blinded the last 3 generations with their voices, consistent bashing, manipulating the school and now college systems to what Liberty truly is, to what Freedom truly is.
Liberty and Freedom is not free by any means as there are heroes lying in cemeteries throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia since the 1700’s to now that have decided that our Liberty, our Freedom was worth protecting with their lives – many of you have family trees that branch out into all this.
Everyone of you that want to protect Liberty, protect Freedom for the 2, 3, 4, 5-year-olds that are running around you today, even now perhaps, have a call to action that you need to seriously consider.
You need to be the difference in your family, in your circle of friends, in your place of work that people see as a symbol of Liberty.
That may not happen today, this week, or this month — but it can happen shortly once you decide to be decisive about Liberty.
Subscribe here to keep updated on all this – some of us are only just beginning to take a stand for Decisive Liberty.
Thankfully, the task will be easier than anyone’s experiences in our first 100 years as the United States of America.
Last note – most Constitutions, on average, exist for 40, 50, 60 years and then are replaced, most.
Only ONE Constitution has seen 200+ years — ours.
And there is a good reason for that.
Want to see the long version of our history from the beginning? Then click here
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