Historical Eras

TIME PERIOD

HISTORICAL ERA

To 1630

Early America
Pre-contact. Native American Origins and Cultures. Early Exploration. The Spanish. The French. The English. Roanoke Island. Jamestown. Leif Ericksson. Christopher Columbus. John Cabot. Sir Francis Drake. Jacques Cartier. Henry Hudson.

1630-1763

The Colonial Period
Original Inhabitants. King Philip`s War. Bacon`s Rebellion. Mayflower Compact. First Thanksgiving, Wampanoags. Marquette and Joliet. Plymouth Colony. Massachusetts Bay Colony. Cotton Mather. Benjamin Franklin. French and Indian War.

1763-1783

Revolutionary America
Stamp Act. Boston Massacre. Sons of Liberty. Boston Tea Party. Taxation and Representation. Phillis Wheatley. 1st Continental Congress. Common Sense. American Revolution. 2nd Continnental Congress. Paul Revere`s Ride. War of Independence. Yorktown. Treaty of Paris.

1783-1815

The Young Republic
Articles of Confederation. Constitutional Convention. Washington. Hamilton and Federalists. Shays` Rebellion. Jefferson and Republicans. Eli Whitney. Samuel Slater. Whiskey Rebellion. Battle of Fallen Timbers. Alien and Sedition Acts. Revolution of 1800. Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark. Battle of Tippecanoe. War of 1812. Treaty of Ghent. Battle of New Orleans.

1815-1860

Expansion, Political Reform, and Turmoil
Era of Good Feelings. First Industrial Revolution. Henry Clay`s Missouri Compromise. Monroe Doctrine. Jackson and the Revolution of 1828. Nat Turner Rebellion. Panic of 1837. Emerson. Longfellow. Whitman. Manifest Destiny. The Alamo. Frederick Douglass. California Gold Rush. Compromise of 1850. Dred Scott. Lincoln-Douglas Debates.

1830-1876

Sectional Controversy, War, and Reconstruction
Slavery. Underground Railroad. Bleeding Kansas. Lincoln. Civil War. Gettysburg. 13th Amendment. Radical Republicans. Reconstruction. Disputed Election of 1876. Little Big Horn.

1871-1914

Second Industrial Revolution
Railroad Era. Thomas Edison. Nikola Tesla. Henry Ford. George Westinghouse. Immigration. Labor Movement. Sherman Antitrust Act. Closing the Frontier. Wounded Knee Massacre. Spanish-American War.

1880-1920

Political Reform II
Populist Party. Free Silver. Jim Crow Laws. Harry Houdini. Progressive Party aka the Bull Moose Party. Mark Twain. Theodore Roosevelt. Taft. Wilson.

1914-1933

War, Prosperity, and Depression
"Big Stick" Diplomacy. Panama Canal. World War I. Versailles. The Negro Leagues. League of Nations. Black Sox Scandal. Harding Scandals. Charles Lindbergh. Stock Market Crash. Babe Ruth. "Satchmo" Armstrong. Amelia Earhart.

1933-1945

The New Deal and World War II
Franklin D. Roosevelt. First One Hundred Days. Albert Einstein. Manhattan Project. J. Edgar Hoover. War in Europe. Adolph Hitler. The Holocaust. Jesse Owens. Pearl Harbor. World War II. War in the Pacific. Rosie the Riveter. Truman and the Bomb.

1945-1960

Postwar America
Marshall Plan. Berlin Airlift. Korean War. McCarthy. Hollywood Blacklist. Cold War. Eisenhower. Brown v. Board of Education. Rosa Parks. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Elvis. Buddy Holly. Space Race. Nixon and Kennedy.

1960-1980

The Vietnam Era
Bay of Pigs. JFK Assassination. Lyndon B. Johnson and Civil Rights. Martin Luther King Jr.. Muhammad Ali. Hank Aaron. Nixon, Kissinger, and Vietnam. Roe v. Wade. Watergate. Oil Embargo. Carter. Iran Hostage Crisis. Reagan and Conservatism.

1980-2000

End of the Century
Marines in Lebanon. Iran-Contra Scandal. Fall of Berlin Wall. Persian Gulf War. Clinton and Impeachment. Election Turmoil in 2000.

2001-

The New Millenium
September 11, 2001. Terrorism. Afghanistan and Iraqi wars. Election of 2004. Bush. Economic downturn. Illegal Immigrants.

Early America

Most authorities believe that the Western hemisphere was populated at the end of the last ice age when a lowered ocean level exposed a land bridge that Asian peoples traversed to North America.

Later, the arriving European settlers discovered the existence of extensive civilizations. In the southern reaches of North America (present-day Mexico and Central America) the Mayan civilization built sophisticated stone structures, developed an advanced numerical system and maintained extensive agricultural complexes. The Aztecs established a far-reaching empire that controlled much of present-day Mexico.

In the northern portions of North America the early native peoples are commonly divided into the following regional groups:

  • The Eastern Woodland culture was located in the drainage area of the Mississippi River east to the Atlantic Ocean and south from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Various groups of mound builders existed in this region.

  • The Plains culture existed on the open expanses of present-day Canada and the United States.

  • The Southwest culture occupied areas in present-day northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Notable within this grouping were the Pueblo societies in present-day New Mexico and Arizona.

  • The Far West culture ranged from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

  • The Northwest culture inhabited the coastal regions of the northwestern United States and western Canada

  • The Subarctic culture stretched across Canada north of the Great Lakes and south of the Arctic tree line, and across much of Alaska

  • The Arctic culture occupied the treeless expanses in the extreme northern portions of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland
Historical evidence for early European ventures to the New World is in dispute, but it appears that Norsemen, including Leif Eriksson , made voyages to the area toward the end of the 10th century.

Europe lacked the technological skills and motivation to immediately follow the Vikings into the New World. Conditions changed, however, during the 1400s. Portugal emerged as the first nation-state to engage in an organized effort to reach the lucrative Far Eastern markets by means of an all-water route.

Next, Spanish exploration of the New World followed the voyages of Christopher Columbus, 1492-1504. Settlements were established in the hope of finding mineral wealth, converting the native populations to Christianity, and for the thrill of a great adventure.

England and France followed Spain into the Americas in the early 17th century, later to be joined by Holland and, briefly, Sweden.

Northern European interest in exploration was fueled by the search for a Northwest Passage. Later, attention was turned to the establishment of permanent colonies. The English failed in an effort at Roanoke Island in the 1580s, but succeeded at Jamestown in 1607. In 1620, a Pilgrim colony was established at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, followed in 1630 by the Puritan colony of Massachusetts Bay.

The white settlements in New England sparked interaction with local Native Americans, notably the Narragansett and the Pequot. The ultimate failure of the relationships was seen in the Pequot War (1637) and King PhilipÂ’s War (1675-76).

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