The AmericanRevolution (1775-83)is also known as theAmericanRevolutionary War andthe U.S. War ofIndependenceThe conflict arose fromgrowing tensionsbetween residents ofGreat Britains 13 NorthAmerican colonies andthe colonial government.After French assistancehelped the ContinentalArmy force the Britishsurrender atYorktown, Virginia, in1779, the Americans hadeffectively won theirindependence, thoughfighting would notformally end until 1783.
The Second ContinentalCongress convened after theAmerican RevolutionaryWar (1775-83) had alreadybegun. In 1776, it took themomentous step ofdeclaring Americasindependence from Britain.Five years later, theCongress ratified the firstnational constitution, theArticles ofConfederation, under whichthe country would begoverned until 1789, whenit was replaced by thecurrent U.S. Constitution.From 1774 to 1789, theContinental Congressserved as the governmentof the 13 Americancolonies and later theUnited States.
The Constitution ofthe United Statesis the supreme lawof the UnitedStates of America.The Constitution wasadopted on September17, 1787, by theConstitutional ConventioninPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania,and ratified byconventions in elevenstates. It went into effecton March 4, 1789. TheUnited States Constitutioncan be changed throughthe amendment process.Constitutionalamendments are added toit, altering its effect. Thefirst tenamendments, ratified bythree-fourths of the states
The Bill of Rights isthe collective namefor the first tenamendments to theUnited StatesConstitution.These limitations serve toprotect the natural rights ofliberty and property. Theyguarantee a number ofpersonal freedoms, limit thegovernments power injudicial and otherproceedings, and reservesome powers to the states andthe public. While originally theamendments applied only tothe federal government, mostof their provisions have sincebeen held to apply to thestates by way of theFourteenth Amendment.
George Washingtoncrossing theDelaware river inthe AmericanRevolutionGeorge Washingtoncommanded theContinental Army inAmericanRevolutionary War(1775–1783), andwas the firstPresident of theUnitedStates, serving from1789 to 1797.
John Adams (1797-1801) was a leader ofthe AmericanRevolution, andserved as the secondU.S. president from1797 to 1801.An American FoundingFather, he was astatesman, diplomat, and aleading advocate ofAmerican independencefrom Great Britain. Welleducated, he wasan Enlightenment politicaltheorist whopromoted republicanismand wrote prolificallyabout his often seminalideas, both in publishedworks and in letters to hiswife and key adviserAbigail as well as toother Founding Fathers.
The governmentmoves fromPhiladelphia, PA toWashington, DC in1800.Congress opened itssession inWashington, D.C. onNovember 17th. Adamsmoved into the WhiteHouse, only to find thewalls still wet. In a letterto his wife, Adamswrote: "I pray Heaven tobestow the best ofblessings on this houseand all that shallhereafter inhabit it. Maynone but the wise andhonest men ever ruleunder this roof."
Thomas Jefferson(1801-1809), authorof the Declaration ofIndependence andthe third U.S.president.Jefferson, who thought thenational governmentshould have a limited rolein citizens lives, waselected president. Duringhis two terms in office(1801-1809), the U.S.purchased the LouisianaTerritory and Lewis andClark explored the vastnew acquisition. AlthoughJefferson promotedindividual liberty, he wasalso a slave owner. Afterleaving office, he retired tohis Virginiaplantation, Monticello, andhelped found theUniversity of Virginia.
With the LouisianaPurchase in 1803, theUnited Statespurchased territoryto enlarge the UnitedStates of America.With the Louisiana Purchase in1803, the United Statespurchased approximately828,000,000 square miles ofterritory from France, therebydoubling the size of the youngrepublic. What was known asLouisiana Territory stretchedfrom the Mississippi River in theeast to the Rocky Mountains inthe west and from the Gulf ofMexico in the south to theCanadian border in the north.Part or all of 15 states wereeventually created from theland deal, which is consideredone of the most importantachievements of ThomasJefferson’s presidency.
James Madison(1809-1817) was anAmerican statesmanand politicaltheorist, the fourth President of theUnited States.He is hailed as the“Father of theConstitution” forbeing instrumental inthe drafting ofthe United StatesConstitution and asthe key championand author ofthe United States Billof Rights. He servedas a politician muchof his adult life.
James Monroe(1817-1825) wasthe fifth Presidentof the United States.Monroe was the lastpresident who wasa Founding Father of theUnited States, the third ofthem to dieon Independence Day, andthe last president fromthe Virginia dynasty andthe RepublicanGeneration. He was injuredin the Battle of Trenton witha musket ball to hisshoulder. After studying lawunder ThomasJefferson from 1780 to1783, he served asa delegate inthe Continental Congress.
Missouri Compromisewas passed in 1820between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in theUnited States CongressInvolving primarily theregulation of slavery inthe western territories. Itprohibited slavery in theformer LouisianaTerritory north of the parallel36°30′ north except within theboundaries of the proposedstate of Missouri. To balancethe number of "slave states"and "free states," the northernregion of what was thenMassachusetts was admittedinto the United States as a freestate to become Maine. Priorto the agreement, the House ofRepresentatives had refused toaccept this compromise, and aconference committee wasappointed.
John Quincy Adams(1825–1829) wasthe sixth President ofthe United States.He served as Americandiplomat, Senator,and Congressionalrepresentative. He was amember of theFederalist, Democratic-Republican, NationalRepublican, andlater Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son offormer President JohnAdams and AbigailAdams.
Andrew Jackson(1829–1837) was theseventh President ofthe United States.Based in frontierTennessee, Jacksonwas a politician andarmy general whodefeatedthe Creek Indians atthe Battle ofHorseshoeBend (1814), and theBritish at the Battle ofNew Orleans (1815).Dismantledthe Second Bank ofthe United States andinitiated forcedrelocation
The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January24, 1848, when gold was foundby James W. Marshall at SuttersMill in Coloma, California.The first to hear confirmedinformation of the Gold Rushwere the peoplein Oregon, the SandwichIslands (Hawaii), and LatinAmerica, who were the firstto start flocking to the statein late 1848. All told, thenews of gold brought some300,000 peopleto California from the rest ofthe United States andabroad.Of the300,000, approximately halfarrived by sea and half camefrom the east overland onthe California Trail andthe Gila River trail.
Franklin Pierce wasthe 14th President ofthe UnitedStates (1853–1857).Pierce is the onlyPresident from NewHampshire. Pierce wasa Democrat and a"doughface" (aNortherner with Southernsympathies) who servedin the U.S. House ofRepresentatives andthe Senate. Pierce tookpart in the Mexican-American War andbecame a brigadiergeneral in the Army. Hemade many friends, buthe suffered tragedy in hispersonal life; all of hischildren died young.
James Buchanan wasthe 15th President ofthe UnitedStates (1857–1861).He is the only presidentfrom Pennsylvania andthe only president whoremained a lifelongbachelor.He representedPennsylvania in theU.S. House ofRepresentatives and laterthe Senate and servedas Minister toRussia underPresident AndrewJackson. He wasalso Secretary ofState underPresident James K. Polk.
Abraham Lincoln wasthe 16th President ofthe UnitedStates, serving fromMarch 1861 until hisassassination in April1865.Lincoln led the UnitedStates through its greatestconstitutional, military, andmoral crises—the AmericanCivil War—preservingthe Union, abolishingslavery, strengthening thenational government andmodernizing the economy.Reared in a poor family onthe western frontier, Lincolnwas self-educated, andbecame a countrylawyer, a Whig Partyleader,Illinois statelegislator during the1830s, and a one-termmember of the UnitedStates House ofRepresentatives during the
The American CivilWar, also known as theWar between the States orsimply the Civil War was acivil war fought from 1861to 1865 aming), was a civilwar fought from 1861 to1865The war had its originin the fractious issueof slavery, and, afterfour years of bloodycombat (mostly in theSouth), theConfederacy wasdefeated, slavery wasabolished, and thedifficultReconstructionprocess of restoringunity andguaranteeing rightsto the freed slavesbegan.