The American Democracy, 10th Edition (Patterson)

Presidential Timeline

George Washington, 1789-17971791
The Bank Act establishes a national banking system.

The Bill of Rights takes effect.

Post Office is established by Congress as a separate entity.

New York Stock Exchange is organized.

Whiskey Rebellion breaks out over excise tax.


The Jay Treaty ratified, establishing commerce with Great Britain.

Pinckney's Treaty with Spain opened navigation on Mississippi River.

John Adams, 1797-1801 1798

Federalists support the highly unpopular Alien and Sedition Acts. They would later be repealed.

Washington D.C. is established as nation's capital.

Library of Congress is established.

Thomas Jefferson, 1801-18091803

Supreme Court rules that any law passed by Congress can be declared unconstitutional by the courts, in Marbury v. Madison.

The Louisiana Territory is purchased from France for $15 million dollars.


After the electoral crisis in Jefferson's election, the 12th Amendment is ratified, changing Presidential election rules.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark begin exploration of the Northwest.


Congress outlaws importing slaves from Africa, yet, another 1/4 million brought in by 1860

Embargo Act forbids American ships to leave American waters.

James Madison, 1809-18171812

War declared on England after England continues to attack U.S. ships


City of Washington captured and burned by British

Francis Scott Key writes "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Treaty of Ghent officially ends War of 1812, but fighting continues


Andrew Jackson defeats British at New Orleans

James Monroe, 1817-18251819

Florida ceded by Spain to the United States


The Missouri Compromise, forbids slavery above 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude.


Monroe Doctrine is delivered to Congress, declaring that the Western Hemisphere is closed to further colonialization.

John Quincy Adams, 1825-18291825

Erie Canal completed.


First passenger and freight railroad.

Andrew Jackson, 1829-18371829

Estate of James Smithson funds the establishment of the Smithsonian.


U.S. briefly becomes debt free.


Alamo is defeated by Mexican Army.

Martin Van Buren, 1837-18411837
"Panic of 1837," is set off by bank closings

Thousands of Indians forced from their homes in what would be called the "Trail of Tears."

William Henry Harrison, 18411841

After delivering the longest inaugural address, in the cold without a topcoat, Harrison contracts pneumonia - dying one month later (the first president to die in office).

John Tyler, 1841-1845 1842

Webster-Ashburton Treaty ratified with Great Britain, settling border disputes.


U.S. signs trade treaty with China.


Texas annexed.

James Knox Polk, 1845-18491846

Great Britain and the U.S. settle dispute over the Oregon Territory, dividing the territory between them.


U.S. gains Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Utah and parts of Colorado and Wyoming, through Treaty of 1848 with Mexico.

Gold discovered in California, starting Gold Rush of '49.

Zachary Taylor, 1849-18501850
The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty signed with Great Britain, agreeing that neither will ever colonize any part of Central America.
Millard Fillmore, 1850-18531850

The Compromise of 1850 passes, regarding slavery questions.

Fugitive Slave Law makes it illegal to harbor slaves in free states.

Franklin Pierce, 1853-18571853

Gadsden Purchase, resolves land claims with Mexico in exchange for $10 million.


Kansas-Nebraska Act passes, allowing people in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide on slavery question within their borders.

Commodore Matthew Perry opens relations with Japans, after 250 years of Japan's isolation.

James Buchanan, 1857-18611857

The pro-slavery Kansas Lecompton Constitution is drafted, but defeated by Kansas voters.


Abolitionist John Brown raids arsenal at Harpers Ferry.

Abraham Lincoln, 1861-18651861

Fort Sumter is fired upon by Confederate forces, precipitating the American Civil War.


Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.

Emancipation Proclamation declared - edict issued by Abraham Lincoln that declared slaves of the Confederate states in rebellion against the Union to be free.


Civil War ends

Lincoln is assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington.

Andrew Johnson, 1865-18691865

Johnson issues Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon for the Confederate States.


Johnson vetoes Civil Rights Act of 1866.


Tenure of Office Act is passed by Congress, over Johnson's Veto, making it illegal for a president to fire an appointee with approval of the Senate.

Johnson Fires Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, leading to his impeachment trial.

Secretary of State William H. Seward successfully negotiates purchase of Alaska from Russia.


Johnson is impeached by the House, but the Senate fails to convict him of charges by one vote.

Fourteenth Amendment is ratified, over Johnson's objections, conferring citizenship on all persons born or naturalized in the United States and guaranteeing them equal protection under the law.

Ulysses Simpson Grant, 1869-18771869

Grant signs bill allowing for the redemption of gold for U.S. paper dollars.

Treaty of Washington is negotiated, providing for the settlement by international tribunal of American claims against Great Britain.


Treaty of London is negotiated to resolve controversies with Great Britain.


"Whiskey Ring," scandal is exposed, accusing high-placed officials of defrauding the government of tax revenues.

Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-18811877

Federal troops withdraw from the South, ending Reconstruction.

Striking railroad workers and federal troops clash.


Bland-Allison Silver Purchase Act passed despite Hayes's veto.

James Abram Garfield, 18811881

Garfield is shot by Charles J. Guiteau, a disappointed office seeker.

Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-18851882

Chinese Exclusion Act signed, which reduced the suspension of Chinese immigration to 10 years (from the proposed 20 years).


Pendleton Civil Service Act passed, which provided for the open appointment and promotion of federal employees based on merit rather than patronage, leading to a permanent federal civil service system.
Grover Cleveland, 1885-18891886

Dedication of the Statue of Liberty

Presidential Succession Act

Geronimo surrenderes, ending Apache wars of New Mexico and Arizona.


Interstate Commerce Act

Tenure of Office Act repealed


New Chinese Exclusion Act

Benjamin Harrison, 1889-18931889

Secretary of State James G. Blaine, presides over the First International Conference of American States.


McKinley Tariff Act, substantially raises duties on most imports.

Sherman Antitrust Act, outlaws "every contract, combination ¼ or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce."

Sherman Silver Purchase Act passed. requiring the government to buy 4.5 million ounces of silver every month.


American-led coup topples Queen Liliuokalani in the Hawaiian Islands.

Grover Cleveland, 1893-18971893

Financial Panic of 1893

Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 repealed


Federal troops are sent to break Pullman Strike.

First National Labor Day

William McKinley, 1897-19011897

Dingley Tariff signed, the highest protective tariff in American history to that time.


American battleship USS Maine suddenly explodes and sinks as it sits anchored in Havana harbor. Spain is blamed, eventually leading to the Spanish-American War. It was latter found that the explosion was caused by an accident on board the ship.

Hawaii is annexed by joint resolution of Congress.


Treaty of Paris is ratified, ceding Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States; Cuba becomes independent.


McKinley is assassinated by Leon F. Czolgosz.

Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-19091902

Sherman Antitrust Act is strengthened by bringing a successful suit to break up a huge railroad conglomerate, the Northern Securities Company.


Construction of Panama Canal begins.


The Forest Service is created.


Roosevelt is awarded Nobel Prize for Peace for mediating an end to the Russo-Japanese War.


Financial Panic of 1907

William Howard Taft, 1909-19131909

Payne-Aldrich Tariff of 1909 signed.

Woodrow Wilson, 1913-19211913

Underwood-Simmons Tariff, passes reducing duties on imports for the first time in 40 years.

Federal Reserve Act is passed, setting up the Federal Reserve banking system.


World War I starts.


U.S. enters World War I.


Treaty of Versailles is signed, ending World War I.

Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-19231921

Peace between Germany and Austria declared.


Beginning of the Teapot Dome Scandal.

Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act

Calvin Coolidge, 1923-19291924

Congress overrides Coolidge's veto of a bill offering a bonus to veterans of World War I.


McNary-Haugen bill, calling for the federal government to purchase surplus crops, is vetoed for the second time.

Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-19331929

The Stock market crashes, helping to bring about the Great Depression.


Construction of Boulder Dam begins (later to be named Hoover Dam).

Hawley-Smoot Tariff bill signed, significantly raising tariffs.


Reconstruction Finance Corporation is established, a large-scale lending institution intended to help banks and industries.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-19451933

Agricultural Adjustment Administration established, which was charged with increasing prices of agricultural commodities and expanding the farmers' portion of national income.

Public Works Administration is established, designed to reduce unemployment and increase purchasing power through the construction of highways and public buildings.


Social Security Act is signed.

Neutrality Act of 1935 passes, as part of a series of laws designed to minimize American involvement with belligerent nations.


World War II breaks out in Europe.


Japanese attack U.S. ships docked at Peal Harbor, Hawaii - leading to U.S. entry into World War II.


Normandy Invasion is launched, turning the tide of World War II in favor of the Allies.


Yalta Conference held, in which the three Great Allied leaders meet - President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, and Premier Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union to plan the final defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany.

Harry S. Truman, 1945-19531945

Atom bomb is successfully tested at Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Germany surrenders.

Atomic bombs dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Japan surrenders.


Marshall Plan goes into action to help rebuild war-torn Europe.


Soviet Union successfully tests a nuclear bomb.


Outbreak of Korean War

Dwight David Eisenhower 1953-19611953

Korean Peace truce is successfully negotiated.


Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) is created to prevent further communist expansion.


Eisenhower Doctrine pledges to send U.S. armed forces to any Middle Eastern country requesting assistance against communist aggression.


International Atomic Energy Agency is formed with 62 nations as members.

Eisenhower dispatches 1,000 federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce a federal court order integrating a high school.

Soviet Union launches Sputnik.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is created.


U.S. U-2 reconnaissance plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers is shot down over the U.S.S.R.


U.S. breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-19631961

Unsuccessful CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Castro's Cuba

Alan B. Shepard, Jr., first U.S. astronaut in space


Cuban Missile Crisis

John H. Glenn, Jr., becomes first U.S. astronaut to orbit earth.


Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty signed.

Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of the slaying, but was fatally shot when being transferred.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-19691964

Civil Rights Act passes, originally promoted by John Kennedy.

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passes, which authorizes the president to take "all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression."


Voting Rights Act passes.

Medicare program is created.

"Operation Rolling Thunder" starts, a series of massive bombing raids on North Vietnam.


Detroit Race Riot


Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.

Robert Kennedy is assassinated.

USS Pueblo, is seized by North Korea.

Tet Offensive is launched by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces against 36 major South Vietnamese cities and towns.

Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-19741970

The Occupational Safety and Health Act is signed.

Environmental Protection Agency is created.


Nixon's trip to China.

Watergate Break-in.


U.S. troops are withdrawn from Vietnam.

Senate starts Watergate Investigation.


Nixon resigns after Senate Judiciary Committee refers three articles of impeachment to full membership.

Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-19771974

Ford grants full unconditional pardon to Richard Nixon.

Ford's grants conditional amnesty program for those who had evaded the draft or deserted during the Vietnam War.


Ford orders an airlift of some 237,000 anticommunist Vietnamese refugees from Da Nang.

Seizure by Cambodia of the American cargo ship Mayaguez.

Two assassination attempts on the President.

James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-19811977

Bert Lance, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, is accused of financial improprieties as a Georgia banker.

Billy Carter is accused of acting as an influence peddler for the Libyan government of Muammar al-Qaddafi. Senate investigators concluded that, while Billy had acted improperly, but he had no real influence on the president.

Treaty is ratified, giving Panama control over the Panama Canal at the end of 1999 and guaranteed the neutrality of that waterway thereafter.


Camp David Accords - Carter brings together Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland, securing a peace agreement.


Carter establishes full diplomatic relations between the United States and China and simultaneously breaking official ties with Taiwan.

Carter signs Bilateral Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II) with Soviet Union.

Iranian students seize U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding U.S. staff hostage.


Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.

Carter removes SALT II from consideration.


Carter negotiates with Iran to release the American Embassy Hostages

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-19891981

American Embassy Hostages are released the day after Reagan assumes presidency.

John W. Hinckley, Jr., fires six shots at Reagan, from a .22. Reagan recovers from incident.

Air Traffic Controllers Strike. Reagan fires striking employees, replacing them with new hires.


1982 Recession

Israeli invades Lebanon

Reagan dispatches 800 marines to join an international force to oversee the evacuation of Palestinian guerrillas from West Beirut.


Reagan proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative, a space-based missile defense system, dubbed the "Star Wars" project.


U.S. invades Grenada, after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop is deposed.


News of a arms-for-hostages deal with Iran, and latter news that funds from those arms sales were diverted to a secret fund to purchase weapons and supplies for the Contras in Nicaragua, lead to what would be called the Iran-Contra scandal.


INF Treaty - nuclear-arms-control accord is reached by the United States and the Soviet Union.

George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-19931989

Bush orders military invasion of Panama in order to topple the entrenched government of General Manuel Antonio Noriega.


Bush meets with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Paris and signs a mutual nonaggression pact, a symbolic conclusion to the Cold War.

Iraq invades and occupies Kuwait.


Persian Gulf War, ends with restored Kuwait's independence.


Bush orders a U.S. military-led mission to feed the starving citizens of war-torn Somalia.

William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-20011993

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is ratified.

In 1993 Clinton invites Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasir 'Arafat to Washington to sign a historic agreement that grants limited Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.


Republican Party for the first time in 40 years gains the majority in both houses of Congress.

Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is reinstated with help of Clinton's foreign-policy efforts.

Attorney General Reno approves an investigation into allegations regarding Clinton's business dealings in Arkansas, which would become known as Whitewater.


Dayton Peace Accords are signed, regarding conflict in Bosnia.


Monica Lewinsky Scandal

The U.S. House approves two articles of impeachment—for perjury and obstruction of justice—against the president.


Clinton is acquitted of the charges by the U.S. Senate.

George Walker Bush, 2001-2001

Bush Signs Tax Cut Bill

Bush Unveils Medicare Initiative

Terrorists Hijack Four Airplanes—known as the "9/11" incident—two crashing into the World Trade Center, one crashing into the Pentagon, the fourth went down in rural Pennsylvania, after struggle between passengers and terrorists.

The U.S. invades Afghanistan to topple Taliban regime


President Vladimir Putin and President George W Bush signed nuclear arms treaty


The U.S. invades Iraq, the Saddam Hussein regime is toppled, but resistance fighters continue to dog coalition forces


A fragile interim Iraqi government is put in place.

George Walker Bush 2001-2009

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 is signed into law by President Bush in an effort to confront increasing energy problems. The act changed American energy policy, giving tax incentives and funding for various types of energy production.

Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans

President Bush signs the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Over one billion dollars goes toward fencing and securing the United States' southwest border as well as other preventative measures toward illegal immigration. The Department of Homeland Security was organized in 2002 in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death and executed by hanging in Baghdad

Unstable Iraqi War conflict leads President Bush to increase troops by more than 20,000 in light of his administration's new strategy for the future of Iraq.

Senate Passes New Wiretapping Bill leading to an overhaul of government and telecommunication company eavesdropping.

$700 billion bailout is signed into law by President Bush

Barack Hussein Obama

Days after his inauguration, President Obama orders the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within a year

President Obama is awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts of international cooperation.

President Obama signs into law the first major health care reform in U.S. history.

Another major reform law is signed by President Obama in the Wall Street Reform Act.

Patterson Tenth Edition Large Cover
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