Early and Antebellum America (1789-1860)
As the 1800s progressed, the increasingly sharp division between free and slave states defined a large part of American society. Eventually this division would spark a Civil War.
One often sees George Washington portrayed as a President above the fray, indifferent to the base and petty disputes of party politics. Is this a true impression?
- Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. - The Age of Jackson (Back Bay Books (Series))
- Daniel Walker Howe - What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (Oxford History of the United States)
- Annette Gordon-Reed - The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
- Alex Haley - Roots: The Saga of an American Family
- 1791 - The Bill of Rights are passed, enshrining a number of individual rights into the Constitution.
- 1794 - Battle of Fallen Timbers ends in defeat for Ohio tribes. "Mad Anthony" Wayne gains prominence for his leadership.
- 1803 - The Louisiana Purchase doubles the size of the United States.
- 1807 - The Embargo is passed, forbidding all foreign trade. The U.S. suffers a steep recession.
- 1811 - Tecumseh's Confederation unites against white settlers in the Midwest. It suffers a grave defeat at Tippecanoe to the army of William Henry Harrison.
- 1812-1815 - The War of 1812 is fought, ending with the United States intact. The Star Spangled Banner is written by Francis Scott Key.
- 1825 - The Erie Canal opens and revolutionizes the New York and Midwest economies. New York City secures its role as America's commercial capital.
- 1831 - Nat Turner launches a failed slave revolt in Virginia, leading to numerous reprisals and restrictions on slave activity.
- 1831-1838 - Most Southern Indian tribes are relocated to Oklahoma in the Trail of Tears.
- 1836 - The Republic of Texas is founded as settlers break away from the Mexican dictatorship of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
- 1837 - The Bank Wars end with the defeat of the Second Bank of the United States. Andrew Jackson considers it his finest achievement.
- 1848 - United States greatly expands its territory in the Southwest after the Mexican-American War.
- 1849 - The California Gold Rush increases the population and wealth of San Francisco and northern California in legendary fashion.
- 1850-1860 - The Underground Railroad, The Fugitive Slave Act, the caning of Senator Charles Sumner, Dred Scott v. Sandford, "Bleeding Kansas", and the failed uprising of John Brown highlight the degenerating atmosphere on slavery.