History Outlines & Charts
World War I recruiting poster
by James Montgomery Flagg
Americans: (pdf) Spreading from Alaska to
Tierra del Fuego,
America's first immigrants cultivated maize, developed sophisticated
calendars and used zeros, built temples and pyramids without the use of
wheels, but were helpless against the disease and weapons of the
Chart: 16th & 17th Century European Colonizing Efforts (pdf)-Five European nations (Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, France, and England) played major roles in opening up the New World to priests, treasure-seekers, and colonists.
Beginnings (pdf)--Europeans apply
different models to colonial America, though the British plan is the
most successful. The establishment of English colonies in America in
Virginia and New England.
Slavery in the American Colonies--(pdf) The first African-Americans arrived in Jamestown in 1619. Slavery greatly influenced American attitudes towards race, work, and justice, particularly in the South.
Early American Colonial Life: Politics & Economics A look at the ways America changed and grew in the 1600s and 1700s, focusing on mercantilism, the Glorious Revolution, and the growth in influence of colonial assemblies
Chart: America's Colonial Wars (pdf) --A series of wars with European and American theaters affected the American colonies, particularly as French influence waned and British influence increased.
The Great Awakening (pdf) --The religious revival that arose in the 1730s produced some of America's greatest preachers and colleges, changed colonial behavior, and challenged religious authority.
Colonial Restraints--(pdf) British laws enacted from 1759-1773 placed burdens on Americans and highlighted the growing differences between the colonists and the mother countryThe American Revolutionary War (pdf)--Political and economic in origin, the colonial fight for freedom resulted in a new nation.
Chart: Federalists &
practical and philosophical, emerged as the Constitution took form.
This is a list of
key areas of disagreement between supporters and opponents of the
The Federalist Era (pdf)--From 1789-1801, the Federalist Party dominated America's political and economic life.
Chart: Federalists & Democrat-Republicans--During the Federalist Era, the supporters of Hamilton and Jefferson took radically different positions on the issues of the day. These two groups were the nation's first political parties.
Jeffersonian Era- (pdf)-Jefferson and Marshall, two very different Virginians, had tremendous impact on American life
Legacy of the Marshall Court--(pdf)The decisions of Federalist Supreme Court JusticeJohn Marshall have shaped American judicial life in profound ways.
War of 1812 (pdf)--Frustration with British policies and War Hawks pushed America into an ill-advised conflict that left Washington in ruins.
Jackson Era-(pdf) Andrew Jackson expanded the concept of American democracy while making the presidency a more powerful position.
Century Reform The reformers of the antebellum period sought to
American life through a variety of causes.
Chart: Reforms & Reformers--The reforming impulse manifested itself in a number of do-good causes
Expansionism--Texas, Oregon & the Mexican Cession were the main scenes of America's westward expansion in the 1830s and 1840s.
1850s: Decade of Controversy--The decade 1850 to 1860 witnessed the unravelling of the nation over sectional issues.
Civil War The conflict that devastated the South, caused over 600,000 deaths, and helped define the United States as a true nation.
Frontier West--Indians, miners, cowboys, and farmers and how their
interactions opened up the western half of the continent
Government Land Policy 1850-1900-- (pdf)Railroads,
cattle companies, agricultural students, and homesteaders all benefited
from a series of laws that distributed federal lands in the last half
of the 19th century. Biggest losers: American Indians, who saw over
half of their lands (usually the best half) taken by whites.
American Industrialization--The owners, workers, machines, and ideas that helped form the American industrial empire
Rise of the American City--Urban problems such as corruption and congestion were battled by reformers and the rise of a new form of Christianity called the Social Gospel which applied religious principles to social problems.
Immigration in American Life--Everyone (even the Indians) is an immigrant, yet citizens and the government have expressed ambivalent attitudes towards immigrants from the earliest days.
Age Politics--In a dreary time of party politics and economic
the Populists energized America and helped promote William Jennings
an orator of prodigious power
American industrial might grew, the desire to expand to international
markets and the emergence of a new manifest destiny led to adventures
and misadventures close to home (Mexico) and far away (China)
Spanish-American War--A summary of the important background, major events, and results of the Spanish-American War (1898)
The Progressive Era--Seeking to create a just society through governmental action, direct democracy, and volunteerism, Progressives challenge traditional American ways of thinking and governing
U.S. Involvement in World War I--Events that helped move the U.S. from a neutral to a belligerent stand in a horrible and costly war
War I's Aftermath: Attack on Civil Liberties and Betrayal at Versailles
1918-1920--Wilson's idealistic quest for a "war to end all wars"
disastrously in France while civil liberties are squelched in
Wilson's 14 Points--Which of Woodrow Wilson's
idealistic goals of 1918 were actually accomplished?
Simulation: Civil Liberties in World War I--a fact-based simulation concerning four instances of First Amendment cases that demonstrate the tensions that come about for the Bill of Rights in time of war.
Roaring Twenties--The decade of the 1920s was marked with
conservative Republican presidents, and major social and technological
Tensions of the 1920s--A list of the serious issues in the culture
wars of the 1920s that led to divisions and disagreements about
The Scopes Trial--This 1925 Tennessee trial
pitted Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a fight over the
teaching of evolution in the schools and also pointed to the growing
divisions in American society between religious fundamentalism and
The Great Depression--America's most serious economic downturn had many causes and brought a decade of personal and national hardships
The Home Front During World War II--The industrial might of the U.S. was a major factor in turning the tide for the Allies. In addition, the U.S. faced issues of propaganda, racism, and women's roles.Origins of the Cold War--The early years of the competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and the fears it raised at home.
World War II Conferences & Treaties--From the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact which sacrificed Poland to the Potsdam Conference which brought the nuclear age to reality, World War II witnessed several significant conferences and treaties.
Arguments for Dropping the Bomb (pdf version) --President Truman never second-guessed himself for the decision to use nuclear weapons, though plenty of others have since.
Key Events in the Korean War--The "temporary" division of Korea between Americans and Soviets becomes permanent as a result of Cold War tensions that result in war.
Key Events in the American Civil Rights Movement A brief overview of some major events in the civil rights struggle in the United States
1960s: The Tumultuous Decade--From Camelot to cynicism, the 1960s witnessed American society pull apart due to a number of forces, including racial tension, the Vietnam War, and student protest
Vietnam War--Traces America's involvement from World War II to
A Chronology of the Watergate Crisis--President Nixon won 49 out of 50 states in the 1972 election, yet resigned in disgrace in August 1974 because of the coverup of the series of crimes, errors, and actions that came to be known as "Watergate."
The Rise of Conservatism and the End of the Cold War--Ronald Reagan's election in 1980 marked a resurgence in American conservative values and new economic policies. While foreign relations were strained at times, the Cold War ended and the Berlin Wall fell.
Clinton Impeachment Timeline--President Bill Clinton faced a Senate
impeachment trial for his involvement with the Kenneth Starr
investigation. While escaping conviction, Clinton was forced to admit
"inappropriate" relations with a 22-year old White House intern, Monica
American History--A brief summary of
the major domestic and foreign events that have helped shape America
causes, results, years, and treaties of America's wars.
Parties--The development of American political parties, key issues,
leaders, presidential winners, and third parties.