America Past

Depression and the New Deal 1930–1939

Roosevelt administration implements economic safeguards to revive U.S. economy
U.S. government expands role as employer of and provider for U.S. citizens
Tensions begin to rise in Europe as Germany once again asserts itself
1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff raises taxes on almost 20,000 items; some economists argue that tariff worsened Great Depression or that Read more

U.S. Involvement in World War I 1915–1919

Wilson wins reelection on campaign promise of maintaining neutrality, but United States is soon drawn into war raging across Europe
World War I proves to be bloodiest war in world history, often referred to as “The Great War” or “The War to End All Wars”
After World War I, disagreements arise Read more

Progressive Era 1901–1914

Progressives agitate for far-reaching reform in politics, business, poverty relief, and conservation
United States implements aggressive foreign policy through both military actions and corporate investment

1901 Anarchist Leon Czolgosz (pictured) assassinates McKinley; Vice President Teddy Roosevelt becomes 26th president
Platt Amendment effectively turns Cuba into U.S. dependency
Spindle top oil field discovered in Read more

The Gilded Age 1878–1900

Corporations and trusts begin to accumulate large capital reserves, ushering in Era of Big Business
Western frontier rapidly parceled out and populated; Native Americans forced to assimilate and/or relocate
Reconstruction policies leave African Americans behind in South as post–Civil War recovery continues
Development of cities fueled by immigration and rise of business

1878 Read more

Reconstruction 1865–1877

Lincoln, radical Republicans clash over plans for postwar Reconstruction
Union establishes military rule in former Confederacy to restore order, defend ex-slaves
13th Amendment,14th Amendment, and Civil Rights Act of 1866 pass
Railroad expansion facilitates movement between eastern, western United States
Steady waves of settlers displace and attack Native Americans in the West

1865 13th Read more

The Colonial Period 1500s–1776

1526 Spanish explorer Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon brings African slaves to coastal South Carolina to establish a settlement
1530s Africans take part in numerous Spanish expeditions to the New World, from present-day Florida to California
1542 Criticism from humanitarians leads Spanish monarch Charles V to outlaw Native American slavery and theencomienda Read more