A Comprehensive Overview of American History: Key Events and Turning Points

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The Fourteenth Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship rights to all people born in the United States.

The Fifteenth Amendment

The Fifteenth Amendment prohibited states from depriving citizens the right to vote based on race.

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives, but was acquitted by the Senate by one vote.

Plessy v. Ferguson

The Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) that racial segregation laws for public facilities were constitutional as long as the segregated facilities were equal in quality.

Jim Crow Laws

Jim Crow laws were a system of laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States.

The Thirteenth Amendment

The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery.

The Surrender of Geronimo

In 1886, the Apache leader Geronimo surrendered to the United States Army, marking the end of formal warfare between the United States and American Indians.

The Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States. It prohibited Chinese workers from entering the country for 10 years and denied them the right to become citizens.

The Battle of Little Big Horn

The Battle of Little Big Horn was fought on June 25-26, 1876, between the United States Army and a coalition of Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors. The battle resulted in a victory for the Native Americans.

The Steel Industry

The steel industry first emerged in the United States in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

Oil Production

The first significant oil production in the United States occurred in Pennsylvania.

The Internal Combustion Engine

The internal combustion engine was developed in Europe in the 1870s.

The Wright Brothers' First Flight

Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first successful airplane flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903.

Immigration in the 1870s and 1880s

During the 1870s and 1880s, most immigrants to the United States came from Northern Europe, including Germany, Ireland, and England.

The Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American War began in 1898 primarily because of events in Cuba.

The Sinking of the Maine

The explosion that sank the battleship Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 was likely caused by an accident in an engine room.

The Battle of Manila Bay

In the early stages of the Spanish-American War, Commodore George Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.

The Platt Amendment

According to the terms of the 1901 Platt Amendment, the United States had the right to intervene in Cuba to protect life and property.

Philippine Independence

The Philippines achieved independence from the United States on July 4, 1946.

The Triple Entente

In 1914, the Triple Entente consisted of Great Britain, France, and Russia.

World War I

The chief rivalry in Europe on the eve of World War I was between Germany and Great Britain.

The immediate cause of war in Europe in 1914 was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

The sinking of the British passenger liner Lusitania by a German submarine in 1915 led the United States to pressure Germany to stop submarine attacks on shipping.

The Zimmerman telegram, intercepted by British intelligence in 1917, revealed a proposal by Germany to return the American Southwest to Mexico if Mexico would join Germany in a war against the United States.

As the United States entered World War I, its most immediate military effect was in the Atlantic Ocean.

During World War I, airplanes were used for bombing the enemy, attacking other aircraft, reconnaissance, and dogfighting.

The Sabotage Act and the Sedition Act of 1918 made it illegal to express opposition to the war.

The Nineteenth Amendment, passed in 1920, granted women the right to vote.

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson called on the American public to be completely impartial in the war in Europe.

In 1914–1915, the United States responded to a British naval blockade of Germany by ending trade with Germany but continuing trade with Great Britain.

The American Expeditionary Force in World War I was commanded by General John J. Pershing.

During World War I, technologically advanced submarines used diesel-powered engines.

Germany lost the greatest number of lives in World War I.

The service of African American soldiers in World War I increased activism by blacks for their rights.

Marcus Garvey was the most prominent leader of black nationalism following World War I.

The Red Scare in the United States in 1919 was partly motivated by a series of bombings.

In 1929, a fascist-led government came to power in Italy.

After Japanese pilots sank the U.S. gunboat Panay in China in 1937, President Roosevelt accepted Japan's claim that the bombing had been an accident.

The Anschluss of 1938 was the union between Germany and Austria, which was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles.

The Munich Conference of 1938 was precipitated by a crisis over Czechoslovakia.

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