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Historical timeline: Political & Social


Definitions & related ideas

History is the study of past events, particularly in human affairs and how those past events connect with someone or something.

History is happening in the world around us, but the issues are rooted in the past. Maureen Costello

When historians abandon the study of the nation, when scholars stop trying to write a common history for a people, nationalism doesn't die. Instead it eats liberalism. Jill Lepore

It should be clear to all now that history does not end and is not necessarily going to any particular place or bending in an inevitable arc toward justice or anything else. David W. Blight

Politics is the relationships and activities used to govern a country or other areas where people organize in groups.

Politics is the power and influence used to make decisions for groups or countries to enact their goals. Ancient Greeks

Politics is simply the means by which people try to get what they want. Roger Butterfield

There is no natural liberal world order, and there are no rules without someone to enforce them.

Information flow in authoritarian countries benefits the autocrat.

Trade with autocrats promotes autocracy.

Democracy must be debated and defended.
Anne Applebaum

Focus ideas

This timeline includes a collection of actions and events that affect the relationships and governance we call politics.

Politics start with relationships and becomes part of a culture over time as traditions, laws, bill of rights, a constitution, edicts, proclamations, or other actions develop that influence and control group relationships and activities.

In ancient times groups were very small and their relationships and activities today would probably be considered more as personal and family relationships than political. However, as groups increase in size the relationships within these larger groups extend family relationships and actions to deal with increased complexities. The result, is what we associate with political relationships in dynasties and monarchies.

Later, populations of empires and kingdoms increase, frontiers became borders, and people question leaders decisions. To maintain their authority, leaders write and codify laws to appear fair and consistent to reduce disputes. As population and size of a kingdom increase a leader appoints others to judge and resolve disputes. Disputes raise questions for leaders to explore: who should judge, who should rule, how long should a person rule, what makes a legitimate government?

To solve problems and answer these questions, philosophers, political scientists, and citizens in general studied and devised an assortment of political relationships and organizations to establish laws and policies to guide political actions and events. This timeline highlights significant events that shape political and social history.

Supporting ideas

  • Political groups form and function as a result of their past experiences (histories). Histories that drive people to create cooperative relationships and actions to achieve shared goals for survival and better lives (social and political). Actions, that affect people can lift and improve their condition or oppress their condition.
  • Political goals include: to survive and provide better lives become political, when relationships are formed to cooperate and achieve them. Goals to provide water, food, shelter, and knowledge. How to educate each other and develop tools and technology to organize for work and pleasure, organize families, arrange marriages, provide sexual partners, protect from nature and outside groups, protect the environment, sustain inheritable political, divine, and positional rights, protect civil liberties for all or select groups, care for everyone, leave no one behind, provide economic stability, increase wealth, status, and power, oppress people with certain beliefs, understandings, races, or other conditions.
  • Motivation to cooperate politically includes: need for companionship, to survive, to learn, for enjoyment, to gain power, to reduce fear, and avoid harm.
  • Challenges: Growing global population, urban migration, demand for natural resources, pollution, negative climate change, clean water, food, demand for economic development over quality living conditions, inexpensive expansive forms of information and open communication systems for good and bad, globalization, political demands for economic growth over quality living conditions, ...
  • Survival: Human survival is one of perseverance with each person’s survival a journey of a different struggle. Struggles of suffering and surviving within harsh environments, maintaining health, organization of social groups that range from harmonious relationships and entitlement to servitude or oppression from group to group. For better or worse struggles recorded as our history.

Modern Present - 1500


Study on the influence of trade on war and peace find conflicting results

Source The Trade Truce by Stephen E. Brooks. Foreign Affairs July/August 2024..


The Senate confirms the first Black women Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

#Me Too, H. R. 4445 passes Congress and President Biden signs into law

The bill allows legal action, for employees in the workplace, to pursue lawsuits in the court for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. Which has previously been restricted with non disclosure clauses in labor contracts and arbitration requirements in contracts, that deny employees pursuit of legal action.

Union approval graph


2021 Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

Day of accountability - January 6

U.S. Congress meets to certify the 2020 Presidential election and are temporarily delayed when a riotous mob, encouraged by President Trump onstage at his rally to go to the capitol and be strong. The mob storms the capitol resulting in the death of five people and vandalizes the senate chamber, house chamber, halls, and offices.

Politicians, who remained silent, who used clever reasoning, failed in over 60 court challenges, are faced with the reality of four years of denial and certifying the legal election results from all 50 states.

  • Will we fix democracy after Trump?
  • Will we hold people accountable and change the hysteria?
  • Will we fix the catastrophe of the INTERNET, get dark money out of politics, and help people in clear and visible ways?
  • Can we move on without a reckoning and accountability?


Chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, & Google testify in the House of Representatives

The house issues a report that calls for breaking up Big Tech companies due to their monopoly of power. David Cicilline notes: today’s Big Tech companies are like the trusts of the Gilded Age. They

enjoy the power to pick winners and losers, shake down, small businesses, and enrich themselves while choking off competitors. Their ability to dictate terms, call the shots, upend entire sectors, and inspire fear represent the powers of a private government.

NASA announces the Artemis Accords.

Policies to create a coalition of international partners to establish international law to legally commercialize space mining and harvesting of resources. Historically, the Hague Working Group in 1967 created the Treaty on Principle Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. An agreement that in 2020 includes 110 countries.

Some of its main achievements: prohibit nuclear weapons in space, protect the rights of all space actors to enjoy free access to all parts of the Moon, allows free movement of all parties in space and on the moon.

The dilemma between present global treaties and the Artemis Accords is how they interrelate. Critics of the Artemis Accord believe it is an attempt to provide International support to legalize commercial space mining, which is not a view accepted by most other nations. Source See also Artemis program

Darnella Frazier recording her video of George Floyd murder

George Floyd dies at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

Darnella Frazier (17) records his death with her phone and posts the ten minute video on Facebook. Her video and testimony are critical in the jury's guilty verdict on three counts of murder and opens dialogue into police violence and policing in America.



Prison Reform Act passes

Sharice Davids & Deb HaalandFirst Native American women elected to Congress:

Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland on November 6, 2018

Policing and Race

Frank R. Baumgartner, Derek A. Epp, and Kelsey Shoub, analyze 20 million routine traffic stops in N. Carolina and report Blacks are two times more likely to be pulled over, and proportionally are twice as likely to be searched than Whites and four time less likely to be charged, while a greater number of Whites are found to have contraband. Women are much less likely to be searched and Blacks and Hispanics are much more likely. Younger people, male or female, are also more likely to be searched. Suggests a very poor use of public funding and ethically questionable. Source Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tell Us about Policing and Race

Americans begin to realize social media and big technology create problems with misinformation and propaganda. Lessons forgotten from the cold war. Ideas like: repeating lies to persuade people to act on nonsense and dangerous ideas, saying the same things over and over causes people to react to misinformation and lies told in emotional language, people select news they want to hear and chose what they want to believe rather than seek the truth, facts, and reasoning to understand consequences of their actions or inactions.

To insure a functioning democracy to meet the needs of its citizens, people must believe a democratic government can be successful and be willing to engage in politics to work together for the good of all rather than an anointed few. If a sufficient amount of people are not willing to sacrifice and engage in working for the common good of all citizens, then special interest groups and corrupt individuals will establish an autocratic government for their benefit willing to oppress the rest.

2017 Donald Trump sworn in as the 45th President of the U. S.



American Muslims become the new not really Americans, which leads to a belief they are not to be trusted, hence their loyalty questioned. A belief their religion isn’t really a religion but a political ideology, that seeks to destroy American ideals and values. The same biased beliefs that were made about Jews, Catholics, and other minorities throughout history.

Few are able to see the focus of Jihad is not just on Americans, but the whole modern world and all nations. Particularly Muslims who embrace the modern world, as they are seen as traitors to the goal of a single world civilization under one caliphate. See 9/11

The solution is two fold: first, to jail or kill the militants who won't renounce these ideas and second, take away the appeal these ideas may have to people with these grievances by opening their minds to better alternatives. Who are these people? Resa Aslan's believes.

"If you are an organization whose entire ideology is predicated on the removal of all borders and boundaries, the rejection of all ethnic and nationalistic and racial ideologies, the reconstitution of the world as a wholly new global order, these are quite sophisticated concepts. You don't join ISIS to feed your family. You join ISIS because you believe in this conception, this idea of a new world order that can be built with your violence and your blood. That's, again, why it's very important to avoid these absurdly simplistic generalities, because not only are they just simply wrong, but they actually are quite dangerous." Reza Aslan Source.

We must recognize Muslims as allies and join together to protect each other.

Notable Muslims of 2016:

Muhammad Ali, boxer; Shahid Khan, owner Jacksonville Jaguars, Doctor Mehmet Oz, Doctor and TV personality; Malik Zayn, singer; Shaquille O'Neal, retired NBA player and TV personality; Janet Jackson, singer; Malala, student and activist; Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon, NBA player drafted before Michael Jordan; Dave Chappelle, comedian and actor; Ice Cube, rapper; Mike Tyson, boxer, spokes person; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA basketball player; Lupe Fiasco, rapper; Aasif Mandvi, actor; Akon, R&B singer; Omar Sharif, actor; Faran Tahir, actor; Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan, actor; ... Source.

Islamophobia Lesson/UNIT: by Fakhra Shah

Russians meddle in US. election

The philosophical basis for Russian meddling in US politics can be linked to the book The Foundations of Geopolitics, by Alexander Dugin. The text could be ignored if it wasn't required reading for Russian military officers above the rank of Colonel. Dugin claims Russia is the heartland of the world and should accept its position as a fascist Romanesque empire of Eurasia.

To achieve it he says, Russia should actively oppose the U.S. by deception and create geopolitical chaos by encouraging all manners of separatism, ethnic diversity, social and racial conflict, actively support every extremist dissident movement, racist sectarian group, and destabilize the political processes within America. [ch.5, The West Threat, p. 367] and simultaneously support isolationism and the idea the U.S. should limit itself to internal problems. Source


County Clerk of Kentucky refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

ACLU of Kentucky claims:

Ms. Davis has the absolute right to believe whatever she wants about God, faith, and religion, but as a government official who swore an oath to uphold the law, she cannot pick and choose who she is going to serve, or which duties her office will perform based on her religious beliefs. ACLU of Kentucky Cooperating Attorney Laura Landenwich. Source

United States District Judge David Bunning denied the American Civil Liberties Union's request to order Davis to reissue licenses she had altered to remove her name and title or face the possibility of further punishment. Before an appeal could advance, the Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin, signs an executive order to remove clerks' names from marriage licenses in response to Davis' case. Source

Supreme Court rules on same sex marriage Obergefell v. Hodges June 26, 2015

"The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State." Source


Deep State is introduced by Mike Lofgren in his 2014 essay and later book in 2016.

Lofgren meant the connections corporations, banks, and defense contractors have that control the financial and political sources of Washington D.C. to the extend of being corrupt. But conservatives at Breitbart News, Fox News, use the term to describe career officials in law-enforcement, intelligence agencies, and other government agencies with whom they disagree. Trump later weaponizes it to use against his real and perceived enemies.

United Smart Cities Initiative is created by the United Nations to investigate and share information about smart cities.

Smart cities create a digital surveillance infrastructure to monitor and control resources (water, electric, energy use, climate change, carbon use, habitat quality, ...) and social interactions (travel, law enforcement, citizen tracking, economic decisions, housing, and other social interactions...)

The State Council of China outlines a plan to collect data on individuals, government officials, and companies to create a nationwide tracking system by 2020. The goal is to shape behavior with a mixture of rewards and persuasions related to travel and access to social services.

Civil liberties and smart cities: a system that monitors citizens combined with biometric sensing, artificial intelligence (AI) and social systems engineering must decide on how to use the information. Models can be created to create or maintain a caring culture with diverse backgrounds and a broad range of opinions communicated through a variety of media based on free expression and a free press. Or one where citizens are controlled and manipulated by the government for a state ideological and dogmatic need.

Systems Analysis model: Qian Xuesen and Gu Jifa suggest mathematical models alone would not work. That renli, or human relations grounded in current culture is also necessary to shape decisions when implementing a systems analysis to achieve a goal. They suggest WSR. An integrated systems analysis of three areas: wuli, an investigation of facts and future scenarios; shili, the mathematical and conceptual models used to organize systems; and renli. Source


Supreme Court (5-4) overturns a section of the Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court invalidates the section of the 1965 Voting Rights law that required lawmakers, in states with a history of discrimination against minority voters, get federal permission before changing voting rules.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote: "our country has changed."

Justice Ruth Ginsburg warned the ruling was like "throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet."



Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, is broken into on December 14 by 20 year-old Adam Lanza. He shots and kills 20 six and seven year old children and six adults.

The shootings prompt the following:

  • Renew gun control debate for universal background-checks, banning some types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines.
  • President Obama creates a gun violence task force headed by Vice President Biden.
  • Obama signs 23 executive orders and proposes 12 congressional actions related to gun control.
  • In December, Wayne LaPierre (NRA) claims gun-free school zones attract killers and a gun ban would not protect Americans. He asks Congress to allocate money for armed police in every American school and that the NRA would create a National School Shield Emergency Response Program.
  • In January, 2013, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (who was shot in a 2011 in Tucson), creates a gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions.
  • New York passes a Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act.[
  • Connecticut and Maryland enact new restrictions to their existing gun laws.
  • Ten other states pass laws that relax gun restrictions.
  • The 113th Congress votes on an Assault Weapons Ban and a Manchin-Toomey Amendment to strengthen background checks on gun purchases. Both are defeated in the Senate on April 17, 2013.
  • Strengthens the political and cultural views of gun sellers, buyers, and ownership.
  • Strengthens an ethic of security. Gun ownership becomes an increasingly acceptable way of dealing with feelings of insecurity.
  • Provides a tool to use against victimization. Stand your ground.
  • Becomes an expression of individual rights.
  • Provides a defense against government control and indoctrination.
  • Becomes a symbol of identity: political, empowerment, freedom, independence, …
  • Recommended as a way to reduce gun violence. Only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.



First domestic violence case against the U.S. brought to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) after claims reject in 2005.

The case claims inaction by police and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. U.S.A. (see below) violated her human rights. The landmark decision finds the U.S. government responsible for human rights violations against Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) and her three children, victims of domestic violence.

In June 1999, Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) three young daughters, ages seven, nine and ten, were abducted by her estranged husband and killed after the Colorado police refused to enforce a restraining order against him. Although Gonzales repeatedly called the police, telling them of her fears for her daughters' safety, they failed to respond. Hours later, Gonzales' husband drove his pick-up truck to the police department and opened fire. He was shot dead by the police. The slain bodies of the three girls were subsequently discovered in the back of his pickup truck. Gonzales filed a lawsuit against the police, but in June 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that she had no Constitutional right to police enforcement of her restraining order. Source

She then files a petition against the U. S. in the IACHR who rule as noted above.

U.S. government doesn't recognize this decision, but in 2015 releases official guidance to law enforcement agencies for how to prevent gender bias in response to domestic violence and sexual assault.


Congress rejects the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan.

A bipartisan plan to significantly reduce the U.S. national debt. It includes six steps to lower the budget deficit. Source

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against election law restrictions on speech-related spending based on corporate identity and restricted corporate spending. The ruling allows unlimited campaign funding of elections by anyone, even foreign spending funneled through pacs (political action committees.

2009 Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th President of the U. S.


Ursula Burns is the First Black Woman to Run a Fortune 500 Company. Source


Home loan and sub prime financial crisis.


The number of people, around the world, living in urban areas (cities) becomes greater than the number of people living in rural areas.

Crash of 2008

  • British lender Northern Rock informs British regulators that it needs assistance.
  • Lack of bank funding ripples around the world's financial system as a trillion dollar bank run.
  • Banks need to raise more than a trillion dollars to cover their difference between assets and dollars available.
  • In the U.S. the mortgage system fails as housing prices plunge and banks over lend causing massive loan defaults.
  • By 2008 banking systems look to governments to rescue them as investment banks fail, employment declines and people lose their houses, and jobs.
  • In 2008 the Federal Reserve Bank offers cheap cash to U.S. financial institutions, European financial institutions, Asian, and Latin American financial institutions through Single-Tranche Open Market Operations and swap lines.
  • The first G-20 summit is organized to coordinate a financial recovery or to avert a collapse. See The Forgotten History of the Financial Crisis by Adam Tooze
  • Debt is increased by $60 trillion dollars with most of it being transfered from the private to the public sector. Rana Foroohar

U.S. Supreme Court rules the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases (CO2) in automobile emissions and it could not refuse to do so unless it provides a scientific argument based on reasoned justification. Adding that while the Clean Air Act left regulatory determination to the judgment of the EPA's administrator," the word judgment is not a roving license to ignore the statutory text."

Nancy Pelosi takes the oath of office and becomes the first woman Speaker of the House, January 4, 2007.

Nancy Pelosi door sign


Jessica Lenahan v. Castle Rock, CO

Lenahan claims police violated her constitutional due process rights by not meaningfully responding to her calls for help. The court rules she had no constitutional right to have her restraining order enforced by the police.

  • She then files suit with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). See 2011

Economics of growth

Paul M. Romer includes variables for economic growth as: development of ideas, investment in research, education, resources, protection of patents, copyrights, and licenses; foreign investment, property rights, amount of regulation, tax rates, and investment in capital on the effects of economic growth.

The U.S. Senate approves a resolution apologizing for its failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation, Monday, June 13, 2005

  • Between 1890 and 1952 seven presidents petitioned Congress to pass a federal anti-lynching law, nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress, and three laws were passed by the House.
  • On Monday, June 13, 2005 senators approved, by voice vote, Resolution 39, which calls for lawmakers to apologize to lynching victims, survivors and their descendants.
  • "There may be no other injustice in American history for which the Senate so uniquely bears responsibility," Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
  • Finally the Senate is "on the record condemning the brutal atrocity that plagued our great nation." Sen. George Allen (R-Va.)
  • There were few senators on the floor and no roll call vote. However, 80 of the 100 members signed on as co-sponsors. Missing from that list were senators from the state that reported the most lynching incidents: Mississippi Republicans Trent Lott and Thad Cochran.


Farmlands have evolved to include: California, North America's Great Plains, Europe, Pampas in Argentina, Cape of Southern Africa, Indian subcontinent, Java and Australia's wheat belt. If these areas are so well suited for farming or herding, why weren't they used in the past?

Food production centers

Source Twitter.com



September 11. The fall of the World Trade Centers, attack on the Pentagon, and downing of a plane in Pennsylvania.

How did we get there?

In Diriya on the Arabian Peninsula in 1744 Abd al-Wahhab, Islamic purist, met Ibn Saud, ruler of the area, and agreed to conquer Arabia and impose Wahhahism, a very extreme version of Islam to defend Muslims from impurity.

In Cairo in 1928 Hassan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood added jihad, assault on Western politics and their ideas to reform society, to achieve an Islamic identity and caliphate over colonialism. Including the destruction of Muslim rulers if he contravenes divine law.

In the 1960s, the Brotherhood became even more extreme with the influence of Sayyid Qutb, who advocates violence to overthrow bad Muslim governments.

The writings of Sayyid Qutb describes a hatred of the modern world, its obsession with science and invention and he envisioned a better world with its destruction. To him America was the example of this excessive modern culture that he thought was vulgar, materialistic, promiscuous, and totally without higher virtues. He believed the value of civilizations should be their universal truths and the worldviews they attain. To him civilization began with Muhammad, in the seventh century, and reached its peak in the Middle Ages, with its expansion by the Muslim armies.

He wasn't quiet with his views as he wrote twenty plus books.

Eventually, Qutb called all true Muslims to jihad, or Holy War, against jahiliyya‚ which is to say, against modernity, which America so powerfully represents. His ideas led to his execution in 1966 when he refuses to renounce his jihad in exchange for mercy offered by Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser.

However, that isn't the end. His influence directly contributes to Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Mohammed Atta (9/11 hijacker ), and numerous others. Source

See 2016


Cabrini-Green, public housing development in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) begins demolishing housing in Cabrini-Green to improve public housing. Previously it is a successful public housing project. However, poor planning, physical deterioration, managerial neglect, gang violence, drugs, and chronic unemployment, make it a failed project. Source

2001 George W. Bush sworn in as the 43rd President of the U. S. Every TV network uses computer projections to prematurely declare Bush the winner.


Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999, Seniors Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris kill 12 students, Dave Sanders (teacher), and injured 24 students. Before Mr. Sanders is killed he warns hundreds of students in the cafeteria who run before the shooters reach there. His actions are believed to have saved many lives.

Charlton Heston's response to the Columbine Massacre is the NRA's Keynote Speech in May 1999. Speech text source, Speech video.

See Sandy Hook 2012, NRA 1977.


President Clinton appoints Madeleine Albright - Secretary of State.

She is the first woman to serve as Secretary of State. Source


The Violence Against Women Act passes.

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 signed by
President Bill Clinton

The largest crime bill in the history of the United States becomes a statement as tough on crime. It expands the death penalty, encourages longer prison sentences, mass incarceration, federal three strikes and out, funds 100,000 additional police officers, and eliminates federal funding for inmate education. Source

More on Clinton crime bill: Why is it so controversial?

In his state of the union message President Bill Clinton claims

The best strategy to ensure our security and build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere.

1993 William Clinton sworn in as the 42nd President of the U. S.


Rodney King verdict and Los Angeles riots.

  • 862 buildings destroyed
  • $1 billion in damage
  • 8,000 arrests
  • 2,000 injuries
  • more than 50 deaths the majority black
Can we all get along?
Please, we can get along here. We all can get along.
I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while.
Let’s try to work it out.


Is Rodney King to Blame? Created by Restine Jackson rap video explicit language

Native lands

Search an electronic map of for native lands on Earth. The map takes awhile to load and it may display a part of the world you might not be searching for. To find what you are searching for enter a tribe name, close to your area of interest, and the Earth will rotate and display the information it contains.


Change of native territories in the U. S. from 1850 - 1990.

Tribal lands

1989 George Bush sworn in as the 41st President of the U. S.


Spike Lee is looking for an anthem for his movie Do the Right Thing and wants Public Enemy to write and record it. Inspired by The Isley Brothers' song, Fight the Power, but wants something deeper, the result is Fight the Power by Public Enemy.

Leonard Leo starts a student chapter of the Federalist Society at Cornell

He is a conservative legal activist and will become a long time Federalist Society vice president, who works to influence the selection of judges and the decisions of the U. S. legal system.


Black Monday stock market crash. Falls 508 points, about 23% of its total value. Dow Jones ends the year at 964.

First climate change legislation

Global Climate Protection Act (P.L. 100-204) is signed into law in 1987 by Ronald Reagan the first federal climate change legislation. It authorizes the State Department to develop an approach to address global warming and establish an intergovernmental task force to develop a national strategy. However, he also invests heavily in fossil fuels and bashes environmentalism.

In 1988, California governor George Deukmejian and New Jersey governor Thomas Kean sign the first state laws designed to respond to climate change. While in 1989 George W. Bush appoints John Sununu chief of staff. He doubts global warming and believes a solution would bridle economic progress and result in excessive global authoritarian interference, so he blocks any actions which would address global warming.

None of these laws are capable of solving the problem or reversing the threat of climate change.

Source The Challenges of U.S. Climate Governance by Barry G. Rabe

United States V. Stanley (experiment without consent)

In 1958 while James Stanley is in the Army he, unknowingly, is given LSD along with 1 000 others as a chemical warfare experiment. After which, he experiences medical problems, personal and family problems, acts violently, and is unable to work. He never knew why until the Army asks him to participate in a follow-up study. He sues and the Supreme Court dismisses his claim (5 - 4) in 1987. The majority claim he could not sue the government for such a claim. A strong dissent by Justices Thurgood Marshall, William Brennan and Sandra Day O’Conner argue the Nuremberg Code applies to soldiers as well as civilians and "... consent of human subjects is absolutely essential ... to satisfy moral , ethical, and legal concepts." Source

President Ronald Reagan nominates Robert Bork for the U.S. Supreme Court and the Senate voted 58-42 against his confirmation. Historians note it as the beginning of politicization of the judicial system. Source


Bayer drug company continues to ship AIDS tainted medicine. 2 Paths of Bayer Drug in 80's: Riskier One Steered Overseas. By Walt Bogdanich & Eric Koli. May 22, 2003.


September 1983, Soviet Army Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov notices an autonomous surveillance system alert identified as an incoming U.S. nuclear missile attack. He refuses to respond to it as an attack. Later it is identified as a terrible system malfunction. He very likely stopped a nuclear holocaust.


MTV and Black artists

AT&T antitrust suit

This is the second AT&T antitrust suit. In 1949, AT&T is a nationwide service vital for national security and is exempt from antitrust regulations. However, in 1974 it is sued under the Sherman Antitrust law and on January 8, 1982, it is ordered to breakup. The parent company, Ma Bell is ordered to spin off its local calling services and create what is called Baby Bells. The parent company would hold on to its long distance business and be allowed to move into computer and Internet businesses. Source & more

AT&T is formed by JP Morgan. In 1913, it settled its first anti-trust suit with the US government, which establishes the company as an officially sanctioned communication monopoly based on Alexander Graham Bell's technology, as outlined in the Kingsbury Commitment. Part of the agreement required AT&T to sell off its control of Western Union. To increase their communication empire they purchase the patent for the De Forest vacuum tube amplifier in 1915 and expand into wireless technologies. This creates obstacles for competitors. As AT&T grows larger it creates a research and development arm in 1925 - Bell Telephone Labs. AT&T's monopoly profits are invested in Bell Labs and it produces thousands of inventions and patents. One of Bell Lab's inventions is the transistor in 1947, which results from a major investment of research to replace the vacuum tube.

AT&T tries to avoid another antitrust suit in the early 1950's by selling licenses for its new discovery. General Electric, Raytheon, RCA, and Sylvania, use their transistor licenses to create military applications. This fear of an antitrust suit results in an extraordinary sharing of this technology.

In 1956, the Justice Department limits AT&T from computer-related activities except for sales to the military and for its own telephone switching equipment and requires it to give up its remaining transistor patents.

Motorola, Texas Instruments and Fairchild take advantage of AT&T's transistor technology to mass produce transistors. Also important for expanding transistor technology is the nuclear arms race with the USSR and the goal to land on the Moon, both lead to advances in computer technologies.

Vincent Chin, a Chinese American man, is attacked, stalked, and beaten to death by two white men, in Detroit, MI.

The two are fined $3,000 and released. The judge rationalizes his ruling based on the two men’s loss of jobs in the automotive industry caused by imports of Japanese cars and their past employment. The sentence causes Asian American to organize for justice. Source


The first women Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, appointed by President Ronald Reagan. She serves from 1981 until 2006. Source.

1981 Ronald Reagan sworn in as the 40th President of the U. S. NBC news declares Reagan the winner at 8:15 eastern time before western poles close. Democrats in the west lose, as voters don't show up. TV networks adopt new rules to not call elections before the polls close. Clin

Emphasizes a foreign policy as - peace through strength, to portray Carter as weak.


Micro Computer development marks the start of the tech revolution.

Cathy Hughes creates Radio One, known today as Urban One, Inc. In 1999 it goes public making Cathy Hughes the first African American woman to lead a publicly traded company. Urban One operates radio stations across the nation: One Solution, TV One, and CLEO TV. It becomes the world's largest Black-owned broadcasting and media network.


Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek advocate for a fundamental laissez-fair free market system. Political leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan use it to make drastic cuts in welfare and deregulation to counter gains made by labor organizations and socialism.

Reagan begins deregulation of the savings and loan industry, which continues with additional deregulations under Clinton. With a lack of oversight, fraud in the industry leads to the 2008 financial crisis and millions of Americans lose their homes.


Voyager 1

Launches September 5. It is still going ...

  • Took the famous blue dot photo 2, in 1990;
  • It becomes the most distant human made object on February 17, 1998; when it crosses the termination shock;
  • It passes the reach of the solar wind on February 13, 2010;
  • Reaches interstellar space August 25, 2012.

Pale Blue Dot image

Photo of Earth taken by Voyager 1 between Uranus and Neptune. Original: NASA JP

National Rifle Association (NRA) votes to become a pro gun and anti gun control organization

The NRA is found in 1871 as a gun safety, marksmanship training, and shooting for recreation organization. It even helps write laws to restrict gun use until 1977 when its membership votes to change to a pro gun and anti gun control organization. Change that advocates for the second amendment right to bear arms and later to rationalize the use of guns for personal protection from violence and oppose any restrictions on gun usage. Source

See Columbine 1999.

1977 James Carter sworn in as the 39th President of the U. S.

1974 Gerald Ford sworn in as the 38th President of the U. S.


Roe V. Wade

Supreme Court decides a person may choose to have an abortion until a fetus becomes viable, based on the right to privacy contained in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Viability means, the ability to live outside the womb, which usually happens between 24 and 28 weeks after conception. Source

Abortion is an issue with two sides and no middle ground with each side wanting to live in a different society. A society where.

  1. Women do not have a right to kill a developing fetus.
  2. Women have a right to control their own bodies.

It isn't like consumer preferences where differences exist without controversy such as when a group of people can eat pizza and a sandwich in harmony at the same table.


Birth Control legally available to all women not just married women.

William Baird is convicted for giving a woman a contraceptive foam at the close of his lecture on contraception.

MA law states:

"... first, married persons may obtain contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, but only from doctors or druggists on prescription; second, single persons may not obtain contraceptives from anyone to prevent pregnancy; and, third, married or single persons may obtain contraceptives from anyone to prevent not pregnancy, but the spread of disease."

Later the court found

" a second and more compelling ground for upholding the statute" -- namely, to protect morals through "regulating the private sexual lives of single persons."

The supreme court in Eisenstadt v. Baird finds the statute, viewed as a prohibition on contraception per se, violates the rights of single persons under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


Tom Bradley, becomes the first Black Mayor of a major American city with a major white population and diverse population, Los Angeles

Source Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race (3:42).

Tom Bradley biography

Watergate break in. Leads to President Nixon's resignation August 8, 1974

  • President Nixon begins cover up.
  • John Dean testifies to congress about blackmail for cover up.
  • Butterfield discloses that listening devices recorded conversations in the White House
  • Nixon bans Washington Post reporters from the White House
  • Nixon fires Department of Justice involved in investigation (Saturday night Massacre),
  • Tapes obtained, July 1974
  • Bipartisan vote to impeach
  • Nixon resigns on August 8, 1974 before a Senate trial to remove him from office.

Blue marble photo


Blue marble photograph by Jack Schmitt December 7, 1972.


Equal Rights amendment passes congress

  • Requires 75% of the states to ratify it before it can become the 27th amendment.
  • It is first proposed by the National Woman's political party in 1923
  • In 2020 it attains the required number of states for ratification.
  • It's legality is questioned since it is outside a ratification time limit.
  • However, the amendment it self does not have a time limit in it, however, there is one in the resolving clause.
  • Congress can vote to extend it and a bill is introduced in 2019.
  • Thus, ratification is …
  • Those who work for its original passage: Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Flo Kennedy, Shirley Chisholm … However, Phyllis Schlafly and other conservative women who work against it as they believe a women’s role should be as the stereotypical 1950’s mother. Their tactic to stop the ratification of the amendment is to demonize feminism and claim any government action to support working mothers, and poor families as a product of communism and the welfare state. They blame feminists for so many women entering the workforce, claim government wants to destroy the family, and stronger families with stay at home mothers, will resolve all the problems in spite of all the social, demographic, and technological change.

View: Mini series Mrs. America & review.


War on Drugs

Richard Nixon speaks on June 17, 1971. While it doesn't include the words war on drugs. It does include:

"In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive."

He asks for a budget increase of $155 million to spend for drug abuse, both in enforcement and treatment. Source

Ronald Reagan doubles down in 1976 with his Just say no campaign.

See Jay Z's video "The War on Drugs is an Epic Fail"

Legislative Reorganization Act passes.

This act includes what is known as the sunshine reforms or the sunshine laws, which bring greater transparency to government workings to expose secrecy and eliminate corruption.

Over the coming years congress will relearn why the founding fathers deliberated in secrecy while they wrote the Constitution by: not allowing delegates to take notes, (except Madison, who keeps them secret for 50 years) locking themselves in their room while in session, and posting an armed guard at the door.

Results of the act exposes how congress members vote in committee (previously secret). This increases the number of lobbies and the number of lobbyists who campaign and corrupt members to vote in a certain way. Which shuts down discussion and compromise to pass legislation, which might better protect and benefit the average American citizens, instead of benefit to a corporation or smaller group at the expense of the greater good.

Lewis F. Powell, Supreme Court Justice, writes a memo on August 23, to: Mr. Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chairman, Education Committee, & U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Memo: Attack on American Free Enterprise System. From: Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

In it he complains participation in the U.S. democracy has extended to groups that are making demands beyond what is healthy for a capitalist economy. Therefore, the rich must take back control of the country.

President Richard Nixon suspends the dollar's convertibility to gold, which creates an unregulated market system of floating exchange rates.

A long term effect for economies that leave a gold standard, is they are changing to a monetary standard, which requires more intergovernmental cooperation required to manage international money exchanges.

Portland citizens take charge of their City planning 1971 - present

Portland, Oregon has a long history of city planning. Starting in the 1880's Oregonian farmers moved by outsider control of their economy formed a populist movement. Over the next decades they influence Oregonian politics that result in a series of government reforms that create, initiatives, referendums, direct primary elections, municipal home rule, a 10-hour workday for women, and a corrupt practices act. As a result a tradition of participatory democracy is created by and for the citizens of Portland.

  • 1968 The first city in which a major freeway was removed and not replaced.
  • 1950-1960 Portland City's Neighborhood Associations (NA's) emerged and became a strong factor for Portland's citizens democratic participation in government.
  • 1976 Freeway Revolt. Freeway was canceled and light rail system, bus system, and arterial streets improved.
  • 1979 Urban Growth Boundaries (UGB) were created.
  • 1979 The first and only directly-elected regional government in the US, Metro Council, is created and given power to govern over an area with 27 jurisdictions (25 cities and 3 counties) in the metropolitan Portland region. An idea not implemented anywhere else in the country.
  • 1992 The Metropolitan Greenspaces Master Plan is adopted for spaces within the UGB.
  • 1992-1994 the 2040 Growth Concept is created.
  • 2000 Portland City Government creates the Office of Sustainable Development (OSD) Among its achievements is: the support and development of the green building movement, and CO2 emissions reduction, waste reduction, energy, and recycling.

Source with additional information

Greenpeace 1971+

Bob Hunter, one of the founders of Greenpeace, is significant for the success of the organization with his idea of planting media mindbombs. The idea of going viral before the INTERNET. Significant mindbombs that introduced the public to Greenpeace and continue to provide support for the organization.

  • 1971, Anchoring a ship off the Island of Amchitka, Alaska in an attempt to stop the testing of a 5 megaton nuclear bomb. While not successful in stopping the test it was an important event that brought enough political pressure to cause the Amchitka Program to be canceled.
  • 1975, Save the whale campaign focused on the Russian fleet of California and provided a mindbomb of a Soviet catcher ship firing a grenade harpoon over the heads of two activists into a sperm whale. Influenced a moratorium on whaling. Source
  • 1975, Images of seals being clubbed on Orkney Island. Results in bans to seal harvest.
  • More success on Greenpeace's timeline of successes. Greenpeace International 1979.


"If we wait for the meek to inherit the Earth, there won't be anything to inherit."

Bob Hunter


The Kent State Massacre occurs on Kent State University campus in Kent, Ohio.

On May 4th, students protest the Cambodian Campaign, announced by President Richard Nixon on April 30. Unarmed protesters, students walking nearby, and some distant observers are shot by the Ohio National Guard: killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffers permanent paralysis. Source.

On May 15 Neil Young sees the cover story Tragedy At Kent, in the May 15 issue of Life magazine, and 20 minutes later writes the song Ohio. On May 21st, the band, Crosby, Stills, and Nash record it. And it is released on June 4.

Free agency and Curt Flood

Curt Flood ball card

Curt Flood sues Major League Baseball to challenge their reserve clause. The reserve clause is created by baseball team owners in the 1880s, to deny players the right to negotiate with other teams. When he is involved in a trade he writes the Commissioner of Baseball, Bowie Kuhn, and states.

"I do not regard myself as a piece of property to be bought or sold,"

His challenge initially fails in court and basically ends his career. However, the court agrees with him in their ruling.

"... Flood should have the right be a free agent, but that baseball's antitrust exemption could only be removed by an act of Congress and that free agency for players should be attained through collective bargaining."

Five years later free agency is achieved in baseball through collective bargaining and later in the same way in other sports. It is a symbolic victory for individual rights in society at large. Jessi Jackson ...

"Baseball didn't change Curt Flood. Curt Flood changed baseball. He fought the good fight."



Stonewall riots, or Stonewall uprising June 28, 1969

Nine policemen enter the Stonewall Inn, arrest the employees for selling alcohol without a license, rough up many of its patrons, clear the bar, and in accordance with a New York criminal statute authorize the arrest of anyone not wearing at least three articles of gender-appropriate clothing and take several people into custody. It is the third such raid on Greenwich Village gay bars in a short period. About 400 people outside didn't disperse and instead confront the police. The riots waxed and waned for the next five days.

This uprising against police harassment and social discrimination, suffered by many American lesbians, gays, and transgender people, is considered by many to have been a uniting force for gay rights in the manner of the civil rights and feminist movements.

  • In 1999 the U.S. National Park Service put the Stonewall Inn on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In 2016 President Barack Obama designates the site of the Stonewall uprising a national monument.


SWAT 1969, 1971, 1994.

Special weapons and tactics concept originates as a result of several sniping incidents in Los Angeles during and after the Watts Riot. John Nelson presents the idea to Darryl F. Gates who approves 15 four-man teams on an as needed basis.

On December 9th, 1969 search warrants for illegal weapons are served at the Black Panther Party Headquarters. The members present resist, resulting in a shoot out with the 40 member SWAT Team. In the four-hour siege, thousands of rounds of ammunition are fired, wounding three Panther Party members and three SWAT members before Panther members surrender.

In 1971, SWAT is assigned on a full-time basis to respond to subversive groups.


Before 1967 it is legal to carry firearms in public in California. However, governor, Ronald Reagan, signs the Mulford Act in 1967, a law which prohibits the general carrying of firearms in public. It is the most sweeping gun law in the country. Later as president he issues an executive order to ban the importation of some types of shotguns, and later supports the Brady Bill, and a Ban on Assault Weapons in 1994.

1969 Richard Nixon sworn in as the 37th President of the U. S.


Fair Housing Act is enacted to protect individuals and families from discrimination in the sale, rental, financing, or advertising of housing. Source

Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated April 4

Martin is a Black minister and recognized leader of the civil rights movement. He advocates with nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and Mahatma Gandhi. He believes in non violence to achieve justice for those oppressed:

... you need to let your oppressors know you are not attempting to defeat them, humiliate them, or pay them back for injustices enacted on you, but you want justice for all.

The night of his assassination John Robert Lewis convinces Robert Kennedy to talk to the Black community in Indianapolis, which he does and a riot is adverted there.

However, riots in 137 cities are not.


1968 Olympics 200 m award ceremony

World Olympics 200m award ceremony in Mexico City, Mexico.

From left to right. Australian Peter Norman and Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Protest against racial discrimination in the United States of America. They are barefoot and listen to their national anthem with their heads bowed and black gloved fists raised. October.

Photo by Angelo Cozzi (Mondadori Publishers) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



See part one of a two part article: A Courageous Stand. August 5, 1991 in Sports Illustrated.

See: Frozen Fists in Speed City: The Statue as Twenty-First- Century Reparations by Maureen Margaret Smith


Kerner Commission

After riots in American cities, President Johnson creates the Kerner Commission.

The commission has 20 days of closed hearings, visits many cities, interviews more than 1200 people in 20 different cities and conducts major surveys of Black and White attitudes. 

The commission found:

The basis of urban American turmoil is white racism and a white societal system, not black anger.

A system of Bad policing practices, a flawed justice system, unscrupulous consumer credit practices, poor or inadequate housing, high unemployment, voter suppression, and other culturally embedded forms of racial discrimination all converged to propel violent upheaval on the streets of African-American neighborhoods in American cities, north and south, east and west. And as black unrest arose, inadequately trained police officers and National Guard troops entered affected neighborhoods, often worsening the violence.

The commission concluded:

Absent a massive investment into poor Black communities outside of existing War on Poverty programs, Black rebellion and White retaliation would entrench racial inequality as a permanent feature of American life.

All of which recognizes what Martin Luther King Jr. proffers at the end of his life.

"Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention."

While most Americans agree with this and the 708 page report, President Johnson's actions speak other wise:

  • President Johnson supports the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act passed in June 1968
  • Federal spending on his War on Crime for local police increases from
    • $0 in 1964
    • $10 million in 1965
    • $20.6 million in 1966,
    • $63 million in 1968,
    • $100 million in 1969 &
    • $300 million in 1970.
  • Policing which increases the use of stop and frisk
  • Supports additional spend to support the Vietnam war, space moon program, and with little desire to raise taxes, spending on social programs is reduced.
  • President Nixon is elected, the report is devalued, and his supporters implement a law and order crack down on crime in the inner cities instead


Tragedy of the Commons

Garrett Hardin writes Tragedy of the Commons. In it he describe the dilemma of managing resources held in common. He explains how herders, who seek to increase profits, will increase herd size; and without collective cooperative social pressure, they will seek to maximize individual profit and over graze the common range. Which, will exceed capacity causing livestock to suffer and production to fall and maybe eventually fail, which will result in no rancher to be able to graze the field, due to overconsumption, hence tragedy of the commons.

Over the years the idea of the common expands to include what is necessary to supply humans the necessities of a quality life. Land to provide food, shelter, aesthetic value, a watershed for quality water to sustain agriculture and human health; healthy oceans, clean atmosphere with balanced amounts of oxygen nitrogen, carbon dioxide; life sustaining climate, transportation, intellectual knowledge rights, and whatever else is necessary for a quality life. Source

See also Principled procedures for sustainability.


Public Broadcasting Corporation is created

Carnegie Commission on Educational TV report helps pass the Public Broadcasting Act, which establishes the Public Broadcasting Corporation. See Education timeline 1969 for funding debate & Sesame Street Debut

Riots in Newark & Detroit  July


Stokely Carmichael first uses the phrase Black Power in Greenwood, Mississippi in June. Source

For What It's Worth is written

Stephen Stills, is going to Sunset Strip in Hollywood to listen to live music where thousands of young people show up to protest the closing of a club called Pandora’s Box.

The closing was in response to LA county wanting to change the strip from a hang out for hippies of rock and roll to a more upscale district. To achieve this they pass a curfew law and plan to clear the area.

From the experience, Stephen writes the song For What It’s Worth, the Buffalo Springfield band records it. It becomes a protest song for Vietnam and later protests.

Congress passes The Freedom of Information Act.

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense is formed in California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.

They organize to follow police, who patrol black communities, in order to protect their neighbors from police violence. It is legal to carry fire arms so they follow police and escort people with shotguns. Over the years the BPP distribute food and services to community members, have free breakfast programs for children, sickle-cell testing, legal aid, adult education and start schools with an emphasis on Black history. Early female members include Joan Lewis (pen name Natilaba), Erika Huggins, Kathleen Cleaver, and Elaine Brown. Source

First time a team starts five Black players in an NCAA championship.

Western Texas Miners now Texas Western beats Kentucky 72-55 in the NCAA national championship.

See Glory Road book by Don Haskins & movie by Jerry Bruckheimer: movie review


President Johnson declares War on Crime in March.

Ignoring Robert Fogelson, Morris Janowitz, & Louis Masotti warnings that escalating police force will not solve the problems of unemployment, failing public schools, inhumane housing, social unrest, and racial inequality and their suggestions for alternative actions.

The war on crime increases federal dollars for local police from $0 in 1964 to $300 million in 1970, results in stop and frisk, and police presence in schools.

These issues are reviewed later in the Kerner commission.

Voting Rights Act passes and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

After passing the Civil Rights Act (1964), violence against Black Americans continues. Video and images at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Sunday March 7, 1965 (Bloody Sunday) causes LBJ to address Congress on March 15 who urges them to pass the voting rights act. It passes, and is signed by LBJ on August 6 with John Lewis and MLK in attendance. LBJ implores John to go home and get Blacks registered. He does and within 48 hours he is in police custody in Americus, Georgia where county officials are insisting on segregated voter registration.

Book cover His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

John Robert Lewis:

Insists Americans need to collectively strive for a more perfect union. Not accept a moderate course, as a moderate course is no course for change, but maintains the status quo. Therefore, we must collectively stand up, and fight for what is just by using good trouble.
We say we are a believing nation, but when we are wronged, the people demand revenge. Not forgiveness, compassion, redemption, and restoration.

Believes we can make Earth more heavenly.

Lewis is arrested forty times. Read His Truth is Marching on: John Lewis and the Power of Hope. By John Meacham also see the Library of Congress interview of John Meacham about knowing John Robert Lewis and the power of hope. (43:16)

Also three part series graphic novels March

Other leaders include:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,
  • James Farmer,
  • A. Phillip Randolph,
  • Roy Wilkins,
  • Whitney Young,
  • Rosa Parks,
  • Fanny Lou Hamer - Calms people with her singing and speaks truth to power with her challenges to segregation and the denial of voting rights in Mississippi. When asked about being afraid, she replied: “I’m gonna be standing up, I’m gonna be moving forward, and if they shoot me, I’m not going to fall back, I’m going to fall 5 feet 4 inches forward.” Source
  • James Baldwin, an essayist, playwright, novelist and voice of the American civil and gay rights movement known for works including Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time and Go Tell It on the Mountain.
  • Viola Liuzzo is killed in Alabama while transporting civil rights activists.
  • Malcolm X

Watts riots in August,

Birth Control made legal for married couples.

Sex Education and Birth Control: Margaret Sanger's contributions:

"No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother."Margaret Sanger

"Every child should be a wanted child." Margaret Sanger

  • Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision in 1965 made birth control legal for married couples.
  • Loretta Lynn’s song The Pill becomes a hit. She sings about the daily injustices of married women’s lives. It is banned by many country music stations.
  • The FDA approves the first birth control pill (Envoid on June 23, 1960) for use to prevent pregnancy, forever changing women’s lives and choices. However, openly talking about the pill is taboo and women outside of city centers often had no idea that it existed.
  • Margaret Sanger recruits Gregory Pincus, a human reproduction expert, to develop a birth control pill with financial support from Katharine McCormick. This results in the first oral contraceptive.
  • Margaret Sanger establishes the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952.
  • In 1936, the U.S. Court of Appeals rules to allow birth control devices and related materials to be imported.
  • Sanger starts the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control in 1929. They seek to make it legal for doctors to freely distribute birth control.
  • Sanger establishes the American Birth Control League, a precursor to today's Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1921.
  • Margaret Sanger promotes birth control, a term she invents, when she opens the first birth control clinic in the United States in 1916. She and her sister are arrested and jailed for 30 days based on breaking the Comstock law. On appeal the court overturns the verdict to allow doctors to prescribe contraception to female patients for medical reasons.
  • Margaret Sanger returns to the United States in 1915, after charges against her are dropped.
  • In 1914, She starts a publication: The Woman Rebel, it declares a woman's right to birth control. At the time it is a crime to distribute obscene and immoral materials related to contraception. Rather than face a possible five-year jail sentence, she flees to England.
  • She also dreams of a pill to control pregnancy.
  • She fights to make birth control information and contraceptives available, which is against the Comstock Act (see 1873).
  • As a nurse she treats a number of women who underwent back-alley abortions or tried to self-terminate their pregnancies.
  • Margaret Sanger starts her campaign to educate women about sex in 1912 with a newspaper column: What Every Girl Should Know. In 1916 she opens the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York.


The Immigration Act passes

The law eliminates the use of national origin quotas. Its goal is to accept immigrants of all nationalities on an equal basis.

Malcom X is assassinated

Rival Black Muslims in New York assassinate Malcolm X while speaking to his followers. Malcolm, like Jefferson, felt humans should use any means necessary to achieve their rights. Violence, if necessary, should be used to defend against white-supremacist terror, but not to burn down America.


Congress passes The Civil Rights Act

It contains laws to fight Jim Crow segregation and racial discrimination.

  • Bans segregation and discrimination in public accommodations.
  • Acknowledges how little has been accomplished in desegregating schools in the decade after the Brown. And gives the federal government authority to withhold federal funds from schools that fail to desegregate.
  • Bans employment discrimination based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


Images of violence against Black Americans at peaceful demonstrations, walks, and sit-ins creates enough public push to cause President Johnson to argue for and pass civil rights and later voting rights legislation.

Abington School District v. Schempp

The United States Supreme Court rules 8-1 that

... no state law or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read or that the Lord's Prayer be recited in the public schools of a State at the beginning of each school day -- even if individual students may be excused from attending or participating in such exercises upon written request of their parents. Source

Vietnam Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Authorizes President Eisenhower takes military action in Vietnam without a declaration of war. Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening are the only senators who oppose the controversial Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Source

New York Times v. Sullivan

The Court holds the First Amendment protects newspapers even when they print false statements, as long as the newspapers did not act with actual malice.

The case involves an advertisement published in March 1960 that describes the oppression of African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama and asks for contributions to support the struggle to end racial segregation in the South. Source

October 16 at 3 pm China detonates its first atomic bomb and announces its policy of no first use in a conflict.

Qian Xuesen is born in China. Receives a scholarship to MIT gains a security clearance and works on classified weapons research in the U.S. During the Red scare. The FBI revokes his clearance and puts him under house arrest. He returns to China and works on their nuclear weapons program, ballistic missile program, aerodynamics, and systems engineering to control social science and engineering problems (Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River). Setting the stage for state run surveillance to control reality later in 2016. Source

1963 Dow Jone closes at the end of the year at 763

Lincoln memorial M L K Dream Speech

March on Washington D.C. for Jobs and Freedom

August 28, 1963

Originally the march was to end at the Capitol building, but D. C. officials refuse and permit it to end at the Lincoln Memorial. Speakers include:

On June 11, 1963

  • George Wallace stands in the school house doorway at Alabama University to block the registration of Black students. Four hours later he is removed by the National Guard.
  • John F. Kennedy announces the Civil Rights Act
  • Madger Evers is assassinated.

1963 President Kennedy assassinated Lyndon Johnson sworn in as the 35th President of the U. S.


U.S. Marshals escort James MeredithJames Meredith becomes the first African American to enroll in the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). It took Supreme Court rulings and 538 federal law enforcement officers made up of, Federal Marshalls, U. S. Deputies, and U.S. Border Patrol agents to enroll and provide 24 hour protection until Meredith graduates, August 1963. During the year 160 Deputies are injured, 28 by gunfire and some receive harassing phone calls and threatening letters for years after. Source: Read the story of these courageous and unheralded law enforcement officials.

Cuban missile crisis thirteen day standoff resolves with the removal of Russian missiles from Cuba and U.S. missiles from Turkey, establishes a hot-line between the Kremlin and the White House and agreement on a Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, July 25, 1963. Source

Much of the information needed to avert the crisis is collected by Juanita Moody and her team. It is her insistence, in a male and military-dominated agency, on the gravity of the situation that causes the decision to launch a U-2 spy plane, which takes photos that show offensive nuclear weapons in Cuba, and leads to President Kennedy's response. Source


  • Berlin wall is built,
  • Bay of Pigs,
  • Cairo, Egypt riots.

December 1961. President Kennedy authorizes the use of defoliants in Vietnam.

Bus carrying Freedom Riders is fire-bombed on Mother's Day near Anniston, Alabama on May 14. Source

Yuri Gagarin is the first human launched into space aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft
And orbits the Earth on April 12.

Tim Flock is banned for life from NASCAR for his work to organize a driver's union.

Tim is a stock-car racing pioneer and best NASCAR driver in history (40 victories in 189 starts). Source

1961 John F. Kennedy sworn in as the 35th President of the U. S. All three major TV networks use computers to project winners of the election.

John F. Kennedy - Author Profiles in Courage. Summary


Motown Records Corporation is incorporated the merger of Tamla and Motown labels by Berry Gordy. Berry becomes an American record executive, record producer, songwriter, film producer and television producer that markets across racial barriers. Source


Barbie doll becomes the first mass-produced toy doll in the US with adult features. Presenting an unrealistic body image that affects lives of girls.


Space age begins with Sputnik 1

The U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of free speech.

In Yates v. United States the court rules the First Amendment protects radical and reactionary speech, unless it poses a clear and present danger.

Freedom of speech can be thought of as two parts: freedom of thought and freedom of action.

First, speech as freedom of thought. People's thoughts generally aren't controllable. They jump from idea to idea ranging from: good to bad, knowledgeable to nonsense, self-serving to collective value, specific to general and more. However, if speech could be controlled, people would generally agree that it shouldn't be.

Second, speech as action (words and symbols), is generally agreed that it should be controlled if it is: harmful (yelling fire in a crowd, bomb threats, murder for hire), hate speech, or libel. Freedom of speech in government can range from Madison's idea: that freedom of speech in a liberal democracy is essential; to: Authoritarian dictators who claim an ideology and who will mock, intimidate, censor, and punish all contrary actions opposed to their ideology.

Harriet MillsFor a historical philosophical discussion see, John Stuart Mills book On Liberty published in 1859 chapters 1 and 2 on free discussion and expression.

  • When we speak of freedom we should think of a country who fights to maintain a moral virtue to protect everyone's freedom; as opposed to one that fights to keep everyone alive as separate individuals.
  • Morality requires free people who make free choices for the improvement of themselves and society.
  • Politics in a liberal democracy uses free speech to make principled decisions for the common good, which are put into governmental rules so its citizens have free choice. Free choice, is what makes it moral. Therefore, political liberty is the use of free speech to decide who and what principles rule.

Harriet Mills contributed much of the thinking that went into On Liberty, as well as Subjection of Woman, although John did not put her name on the title page or give her credit.

Dow Jones closes at the end of the year at 436.


First televised presidential debate between two Democratic primary contenders, Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver. Four years before the Kennedy Nixon debate.


Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white person. December 1955.

Book cover Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till CaseEmmett Till, a 14 year old black boy is kidnapped and murdered by a group of white men in Mississippi in August 1955. The jury finds the two men, who are charged with the murder: not guilty. The case and open casket photo of Emmett in Jet magazine contributes to the civil rights movement. Source Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case.

1954 -1980

Eyes on the Prize documentary videos are created to recount the fight to end decades of discrimination and segregation. They are the stories of the people: young and old, male and female, northern and southern who work to eradicate a world where whites and blacks could not go to the same school, ride the same bus, vote in the same election, or participate equally in society. A world where peaceful demonstrators are met with resistance and brutality ... Source

Programs in the series:

  • Awakenings (1954-1956)
  • Fighting Back (1957-1962)
  • Ain't Scared of Your Jails (1960-1961)
  • No Easy Walk (1961-1963)
  • Mississippi: Is This America? (1963-1964)
  • Bridge to Freedom (1965)
  • The Time Has Come (1964-66)
  • Two Societies (1965-68)
  • Power! (1966-68)
  • The Promised Land (1967-68)
  • Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More (1964-72)
  • A Nation of Law? (1968-71)
  • The Keys to the Kingdom (1974-80)
  • Back to the Movement (1979-mid 80s)


Brown v. Board of Education Topeka.

Black girl goint to all white school 1954A class action lawsuit is filed on behalf of Black parents in Topeka, Kansas for their children who are required to attend segregated schools for Black students. Their attorney, Thurgood Marshall, challenges the doctrine of, separate but equal, created in 1896 by the Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson.

He uses research from Kenneth Clark and Mamie Clark to prove the sociological and psychological impact of Jim Crow and segregation on children. One of their experiments becomes known as: the doll test.

The equal protection ruling in Brown is later applied to laws and rulings for the right of equal access to public and political areas for all.
See Education timeline 1954

A down side of Brown is Black schools close and the number of Black educators decrease. This severely limits the number Black teachers and role models available in schools. Which in turn limits the kind of necessary education they provided that taught the skills to resist and repair damage caused by racial discrimination of minorities so they could flourish in an oppressive world. Additionally this dehumanizes and erases minority cultures and achievements and distort the nation’s history. Source Coming to terms with the power of teaching. By Deborah Loewenberg Ball. Kappan April 2022.

White man convicted for selling a house to a Black family

Andrew Wade, an African American Korean War veteran, bought a house in Louisville from Anne and Carl Braden who were White friends. The home was shot at, a cross burned in the yard, and bombed. Later Bradens and others are indicted on criminal conspiracy charges. Carl Braden is tried and convicted under a state sedition law. Sentenced to 15 years, but released after 7 months. Source


President Dwight D. Eisenhower issues an executive order that leads to the termination of 10,450 federal employees for being gay.

1953 Dwight Eisenhower sworn in as the 34th President of the U. S. CBS news buys a UNIVAC computer to predict the results of the election.


First time a politician uses TV to appeal to the voters.

Richard M. Nixon, runs as Eisenhower's Vice President gives what becomes known as his Checkers speech, after a dog, Checkers, given to the family as a gift. Nixon is accused of spending money from a campaign fund created by his backers to reimburse him for his political expenses. In his speech he claims his innocence.


Levittown is a legend in American suburban living.

Abraham Levitt and sons break ground in 1947 in Nassau County, Long Island. Within a few years the farmland becomes a modern suburban community housing thousands of families along with two others in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

These communities represent hope for suburban living for millions of Americans in the 1950s. But underneath the uniform development is also one of exclusion, segregation and persecution as Black Americans are excluded from purchasing homes in a variety of ways. By owners not selling to nonwhite, refusal of FHA and VA to approve loans to Blacks, zoning laws, and discriminatory homeowner agreements. Source

More on government segregation read: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. by Richard Rothstein.


Truman defeats Dewey. However, Chicago Daily Tribune goes to press with an inaccurate headline: DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.

President Truman visits Boys Town

He is greeted by boys who are White, Black, Hispanic and Native American as shown in the photo.

At a time when the U.S. is deeply segregated, with the U.S. military housing Black and White soldiers and sailors in separate units. However,

It was an absolute expectation at Boys Town that to be a citizen of this small American village meant that you treated every single person as your brother, without regard to race, creed or religion.

An under appreciated legacy of the founder of Boys Town, Rev. Edward J. Flanagan, who may have established the country's first fully integrated community of boys.

Source Boys Town called Nation’s first integrated community, by Heather Fryer in Omaha Herald.

Truman at Boy's Town

Shelley v. Kraemer rule people can not conspire to restrict sale of property to minorities. Color of Law cover

The Supreme Court rules States can abstain from action, leaving private individuals free to impose discriminatory actions. States have not made available the full coercive power of government to stop discrimination against buyers, on the grounds of race or color, to purchase property they are able to purchase and others are willing to sell. Therefore, such state action is discriminatory and in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, since they do not involve state action, a court can not enforce them under the Fourteenth Amendment. b Source

More on government segregation read: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. by Richard Rothstein.


Jackie Robinson and integration of baseball

April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson steps onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn as the first African American player in Major League Baseball. The color barrier is broken and the face of sports begins to change.

Jackie Robinson, "There is always going to be a price to pay for any rebel sound that challenges oppression. If you showed anything that suggested dignity and necessarily you believed in equality you were immediately undesirable. Be a good nigger."

Rachel Robinson, "He couldn't continue to be silent and to be subordinate. He had to be himself and he had to represent the race as well as himself."

Jackie Robinson," As long as I appeared to ignore insult and injury, I was a martyred hero, but the minute I began to argue, the minute I began to sound off. I became a swell head, a wise guy, an uppity nigger. When the white player did it he had spirit. When the black player did it, he was ungrateful. I was a fine guy until I began to change. Jackie Robinson."


Jack Robinson struggles with how to best help African Americans gain equality. He finds he could not be complacent, sit back, and be grateful for what he has. He struggles with the idea of integration at the expense of Negro institutions. The importance of business, economic, and political gains necessary to gain equality. How to be aggressive without being violent. Understanding law and order as a means to hold back Blacks. Check sources for his endeavors in business: Choc full o'Nuts Coffee, New York and Presidential politics. Sources

The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947

Passes by a Republican controlled Congress over the veto of Democratic President Harry S. Truman. It significantly weakens the Wagner Act (1935) and the ability of workers to organize for better labor practices.

  • It prohibits a closed shop (requires union membership as a condition of employment), allows states to prohibit the agency shop (requires non union members to pay a bargaining fee to the union), narrowed the definition of unfair labor practices, specified unfair union practices, and other provisions.
  • To enact the prohibition of agency shop, states enact so-called right to work laws, which ban both closed and agency shops.
  • Later the Landrum-Griffin Act (1959), bans secondary boycotts and limits the right to picket.
  • Limits the ability to strike.
  • Helps Republicans and southern Democrats get elected.
  • Helps Truman get elected.


Truman Doctrine March 1947

President Truman tells Congress of threats to the governments in Athens, Greece and Ankara, Turkey and suggests no other country has the means to help them. He declares:

... it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures.

This policy becomes known as the Truman Doctrine and leads to rebuilding war-torn Europe and later Japan, Greece, and Turkey.

In later years it may have contributed to the U. S. entering the Vietnam war and conflicts in Iran, Guatemala, Congo, Chile, and the invasion of Cuba. President Dwight Eisenhower also suggested the doctrine lead to an over emphasis on militaristic solutions.


Adam Clayton Powell Jr. is elected from Harlem, New York City, and will serve in the United States House of Representatives from 1945 - 1971 (fourth African American elected after 1900).

Prior to serving in the House, he is elected the first black member of the New York City Council, in 1941. Source

Blacks are essentially excluded from politics until after civil rights legislation passes in the mid-1960s.

Manhattan Project's Trinity test successfully detonates the first atomic bomb in Alamogordo, New Mexico at 5:29:45 a.m. on July 16, 1945.

Senate ratifies the UN Charter 89-2.

Dow Jones closes at the end of the year at 193.

1945 Harry Truman sworn in as the 33rd President of the U S.

FDR's last written words

Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together in the same world, at peace.


Bretton Woods trade and monetary agreement

  • It changes international markets by centralizing governmental control over the movement of money (capital) across international borders.
  • It sets the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency standard, and creates a way to give loans to countries with deficits.
  • These policies cause countries to focus on their borders as economic gateways sometimes used for political gains.
  • In the 1980's it is replaced with unrestricted movement of capital and free trade which later leads to the creation of trade organizations and treaties.


Smith vs. Allwright Overturns Texas primary of whites only voting

Thurgood Marshall argues the Texas Democratic Party's policy of prohibiting Blacks from voting in primary elections violates the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The Supreme Court rules it did. In its explanation on June 12, 1944, it claims:

  1. The United States is a constitutional democracy.
  2. It gives all citizens a right to participate in the election of officials without restriction of race.
  3. The restricted primary denied Smith equal protection accorded by the Fourteenth Amendment.
  4. The right of choice shall not be nullified by the state allowing racial discrimination with the electoral process conducted by a private organization (Democratic Party).
  5. The state of Texas, delegates its authority to the Democratic Party to regulate its primaries, thereby, allowing discrimination to be practiced, which is unconstitutional.


Space age

The V-2 missile is fired successfully from Peenemund island off Germanies Baltic coast.

The project is overseen by German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.

They Called US Enemy book jacket

American citizens of Japanese descent are relocated to prison camps


President Roosevelt announces Executive Order 9066 and relocates Japanese citizens and aliens to interment camps. Source


Read George Takei's They Called US Enemy graphic novel for his story as a child during his families imprisonment.



Japanese Relocation Site
The Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado, housed thousands of Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent. National Park Service


December 7

The Japanese bomb bases on the island of Oahu, Pearl Harbor, and Honolulu. Simultaneously bombing bases on the Philippines. Which they follow with an invasion forcing Douglas MacArthur to leave and they capture thousands of American and Filipino prisoners in Bataan, who are tortured and many die.

1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to a third term

FDR had 27 million and all states but two Wendell Willkie 22 million.
FDR breaks the unofficial rule stated by Jefferson: that no President should serve more than two terms. It i followed by Madison, Monroe, & Jackson. Until Grant and T. Roosevelt try for a third term, but lose.


Marian Anderson, performs at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9

A performance recognized as an important prelude to the civil rights movement to come. Her performance there happens when Secretary of the Interior, Harold L. Ickes, approves it after the Daughters of the American Revolution, who operate Constitution Hall, (dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.) refuses to allow her to perform there because she is Black. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and other women quit the D.A.R. in protest. She performs seven songs: “America,” “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” “Ave Maria,” “Gospel Train,” “My Soul Is Anchored in the Lord,” “O mio Fernando” and “Trampin” Source


Fair Labor Standards Act passes

A national minimum wage is set at $.25 an hour,
along with other standards, including overtime pay or compensatory time for over 40 hours of work a week. The law does not provide protection for many employee’s. Teachers and, doctors, lawyers, and other salaried employees. While this has worked out good for doctors and lawyers it will suppress teacher’s salaries which in turn drives down recruitment and retention. See education timeline professionalization of teachers.

Dow Jones closes at the end of the year at 248.

Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht)

November 9, violence against Jews is escalates. It starts as an unplanned protest in response to the assassination of a German official in Paris by a Jewish teenager.

However, it started in two days, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses are trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people are killed, Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes are looted while police and fire brigades stood by.

The next morning 30,000 German Jewish men are arrested for being Jewish and sent to concentration camps. Some Jewish women are also arrested and jailed. Businesses, owned by Jews, are not allowed to reopen unless they are managed by non-Jews. Curfews are placed on Jews, limiting the hours of the day they could leave their homes.

German and Austrian Jewish children and teenagers are barred from entering museums, public playgrounds, and swimming pools, and expelled from public schools.

Seven days later the U.S. recalls their ambassador.


Two years earlier June 13, 1936 August Landmesser refuses to salute Hitler. His behavior is considered insulting as Hitler consolidates his power before Kristallbacht. Read about August Landmesser. Source

Man refused to salute


Court rulings and labor

March 29, the Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the Minimum Wage Act of the State of Washington.

April 12, the Supreme Court upholds the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 that created the National Labor Relations Board and empowered it to prevent unfair labor practices under its commerce clause authority. Industry argue it regulated all industry, including local industry, and thus invaded the reserved powers of States. But the Court expanded federal commerce and found the law constitutional.

May 24, the Court rules in favor of Social Security Act. That the program does not coerce the States to violate the Tenth Amendment or that the federal government is restricted to care for the aged, widowed, children, and handicapped.


Chicago police kill ten CIO pickets, eight shot in the back, during a labor dispute with Republic Steel plant. Later Steel signed with the union.



FDR re-elected with 28 million votes over Alf Landon, a wealthy Kansas oil producer, with 17 million

Keynesian economics

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) publishes,The General Theory Of Employment, Interest And Money. In it he claims an aggregate demand created by households, businesses and the government is the driving force of an economy. Not a free market system. Free markets have no balancing force to create stability and full employment. He believes a stalled economy or recession could be altered by stimulating demand with government expenditures and lower taxes. Therefore, only government policies and government intervention could achieve full employment and economic stability across time.

Hoover Dam is completed. Previously called the Boulder Dam. It is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River, between Nevada and Arizona. It is a project created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. It is begun in 1931 and completed in 1936. It involves thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. Naming the dam after President Herbert Hoover is controversial.

First Green Book published: The Black Travelers' Guide to Jim Crow America.

For nearly 30 years, a guide called the, "Negro Motorist Green Book"‚ provided African Americans with advice on safe places to eat and sleep when they traveled through the Jim Crow-era United States. Source


Green cities and cooperative planning in government

Roosevelt forms the Resettlement Administration and named Rexford G. Tugwell director. His administration creates many programs, one the Greenbelt town program. The purpose of this program is a combination of a back to the land program and suburban planning for self-sufficient cooperative communities, where producers and consumers are one.

100 cities are studied for their economic character and population changes and eight are initially selected. When President Roosevelt authorizes $31,000,000, the pool of cities is narrowed to three: Greenbelt, Maryland; Greenhills, Ohio; and Greendale, Wisconsin.

Description of Greenbelt, Maryland

Greenbelt, is constructed from 1936 to 1938 by thousands of laborers, through the New Deal programs. Clarence S. Stein is a consultant and created design guidelines. Later Stein worked to preserve the town as an example of a socially and environmentally responsible community design that could be a prototype for future designs.

Designs that combined superblocks of houses and apartments that had pedestrian walkways through communal green space which joined to a central area with commercial and recreational structures separate from roads for automobile travel.

In addition, the federal government promoted cooperative enterprises and associations in Greenbelt as a way to foster affordability and an enduring sense of community. While the cooperative nature of the towns were deemed a failure, the physical layout of the town was replicated by private developers. Source

In 1937, the residential and commercial centers are ready for citizens to move in. The three projects included 2 267 family units and complete community facilities, at a final cost of over $36,000,000.

Community members establish consumer cooperatives that pay limited dividends and provide consumer goods at a savings. Credit unions are available and group medical services are provided at $1. a month a person, or $3. for a family. City council and town manager are elected, but could only make suggestions to the Farm Security Administration, (F.S.A.) This eventually created serious conflicts and inability to act in a timely manner that contributes to failure. They are also restricted by congress, to not allowing them to create a cooperative for industrial purposes.

In the initial years community members met and formed many cooperatives and argued for self-sufficiency. Rejecting use of federal money to build a recreational center and other projects, they form cooperatives, among them a supermarket cooperative that sold food 9% cheaper than most markets and paid 3.8% dividends to 65% of the community members who purchase shares.

M. L. Wilson and Tugwell believed the New Deal communities would epitomize cooperation as the new alternative to the economic insecurity and chaos of the past. They envisioned this cooperative planning would run as a New England town meeting, frontier town, farmer's cooperative, or rural power cooperative and would be successful for these communities; and indeed they were initially.

Tugwell tried to move Roosevelt beyond city planning, subsistence homesteads, garden cities, farm colonies, and a back-to-the-land movement to a full commitment of national economic planning, land use management, conservation, and national agricultural planning. He is hopeful government could organize the sheep instead of aiding the wolves. However, Harold Ickes, dislikes decentralized administration and abolishes all local control completely federalizing these programs.

Additionally, Greenbelt communities are continuously criticized by many who are involved in banking, lending, real estate, construction, and the Chamber of Commerce among others. With the New York American Newspaper calling them the first communist towns.

In 1935 the court rules the whole Emergency Relief Act is unconstitutional as it is in opposition of state's rights and there is no constitutional power for the government to regulate housing or to resettle populations. The Attorney General rules the decision applies only to the Greenbrook project.

Tugwell wants to divest the communities from the federal government, but the number of citizens in each is not sufficient to make it feasible. Thus the Greenbrook project goes out of existence in 1935, Tugwell resigns in 1936, and the communities remain under the resettlement program which becomes part of the Department of Agriculture.

At the critical period of initial development (1937-38), New Deal community opponents use the problems of the communities as propaganda to urge Congress to investigate the Farm Security Administration in 1943.

When the enterprises are financial failures and shut down, the technical experts agreed it is because of poor management, not lack of cooperation of the community members. They blame the Farm Security Administration, with large investments, of being afraid to turn the cooperative associations over to inexperienced community members. Resulting in the loss of cooperation as managers make the important decisions.

What could be learned from these programs is: a cooperative society needs collective detailed economic, political, and social planning achieved only with slow hard work and costly sacrifices. These ideas seem at the time far too radical for most Americans as they ignore these virtues and emphasize shortcomings and negatively frame them as New Deal communities that are destroying the American profit system.

In 1952 Greenbelt is sold to a private cooperative. A cooperative requires a critical mass of membership and democratic involvement to oversee its workings and investments and maintain their effectiveness. When there is a large population turnover and new members are not made aware of the necessary culture or people's interests change, cooperatives fall apart.


Bryn Gweled A democratic community run cooperatively since 1939.

" ... the cooperative method of community planning, complete with self-built housing endeavors is a possible economic and social solution." Julia Hessel Maddox 1978.

Huey Pierce Long

Uses fiery oratory, irreverent speech, and unconventional buffoonery to rally support from poor and rural citizens of Louisiana and gets elected Governor of Louisiana. He improves the state with public works and welfare legislation that include: free textbooks, improved roads, bridges, state universities, state hospital, and provides social services for poor whites. All that had been neglected by the wealthy elite who previously controlled state government.

He funds these with increased inheritance taxes, income taxes and a tax on oil. His supporters ignore the ruthless autocratic methods he uses that dictated change to the legislature, with intimidation and illegal actions, which deny citizens any legal or electoral redress. He replaces the elected lieutenant governor, abolishes local government, takes control of all education, police, and fire fighting appointments throughout the state, gains control of the state militia, judiciary, and the election and tax-assessing apparatus.

He is elected to the U. S. Senate and continues his practices at the state level and expands them to the national level beginning to unify factions from both parties to gain power.

However, he is assassinated by Carl Austin Weiss, the son of a man whom he had denigrated. His political dynasty continues with his brother, Earl K. Long, as governor (1939-1940, 1948-1952, 1956-1960), and his son, Russell B. Long, as U.S. Senator from 1948 to 1987.


Wagner Act is signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on July 5

It creates the National Labor Relations Board to deal with relations between unions and employers in the private sector and guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions and engage in collective bargaining of terms and conditions of work. It excludes government employees, employees covered by the Railway Labor Act, supervisors, agricultural, and domestic workers. Since many agricultural and domestic workers were minorities it is claimed these exclusions are racially biased. See also Taft-Hartly Act 1947.


The Social Security Act of 1935 passes

It is a complex bill, with 11 titles authorizing 7 different programs. Title II is one part, which is known as Social Security. It did not cover about half the workers in the US. It excludes agricultural and domestic workers, among which a large percentage were African and Mexican Americans. This has led some to claim the exclusion a deliberate racial biases. Source


Arthurdale homestead community for vocational reeducation, subsistence living, and cooperative store

The Reedsville Project, later named Arthurdale after Richard Arthur, from whom the land is purchased, begins as a homestead community. Land is purchased, residents are selected, homes constructed, then more residents are elected, and more homes constructed‚ until there are 165 homes, several community buildings, and a school complex spread across approximately 1,200 acres in rural Preston County, WV. Today, most of the community buildings still stand and most are part of the New Deal Homestead Museum. Source

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is established on January 1, 1934; and since then, no one has lost insured funds. FDIC insures bank accounts up to $100,000. The Bush Administration increase those levels to $250,000 in 2008.

First political consulting company founded in CA, U.S.

Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter, a husband-and-wife team, start Campaigns Inc. They work for mostly Republican candidates who support conservative ideas. Their first campaign is against Upton Sinclair in 1934 who runs for Governor of California, which they portray negatively as a socialist. They develope strategies to reframe political issues that revolutionize politics and strategies widely used in today's campaigns: buying ads from multiple medias and direct-mail campaigns.

In 1945 Earl Warren propose compulsory health insurance in California and 1946 Harry Truman proposes a national program both to be funded by a payroll tax. Both are defeated by Whitaker and Baxter and the AMA. Source

Communications Act passes and requires broadcasters to act in the public interest for licensure. see 1927


Franklin D. Roosevelt ideas to overcome the depression is to put people to work with government programs:

  • In May 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority Act (TVA) passes for a third time. The first two times it passed it was vetoed, first by Coolidge & second by Hoover. The third time FDR signs it. Nebraska senator George W. Norris, fought for it over all those years. It opens the Tennessee River to commerce, and saves millions of acres from flooding. It includes the Norris Dam and 15 other main dams which will provide electricity to rural areas.
  • On May 11, 1935, Roosevelt signs Executive Order No. 7037. It establishes the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). A year later the Rural Electrification Act passes. It authorizes a lending program to fund electrical cooperatives. which is the first official act to provide rural Americans electrical power through Rural electric cooperatives. In 1935 nine out of 10 rural homes are without electric service. Cows are milked by hand in the dim light of a kerosene lantern. Food is prepared on wood stoves and clothes washed by hand with a washboard. The lack of electricity in rural areas means their economies are based on primitive agricultural methods and limited from attracting factories and businesses that use electric power.
  • Private corporations tried to block the TVA & cooperatives:
    • Private utilities complained it is unfair because they didn’t pay taxes, but Congress required it to pay sums that were more than the private companies paid in taxes.
    • False claims, that electric cooperatives are hoarding copper wire, during World War II bring leaders from different states together to defend themselves against the liable statements. This leads to the formation of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Which, provides a unified voice for the rural cooperatives to represent their interests in Washington, DC. in 1942.
    • Source Also see a good video that describes what cooperatives are and how they work (3:27).
  • The Social Security Act 1935
  • The Wagner-Connery Labor Relations Act and its re-enacted Section 7-A
  • The Strikebreaker Act
  • The Works Progress Administration (WPA)
  • The National Youth Administration
  • Resettlement Administration
  • Public Utility Act
  • Raised taxes on the large personal and corporate incomes

Reform rather than recovery became the cry for the Second New Deal is aimed at labor and unemployment as the first benefited bankers, businessmen and farmers.

By 1935 Franklin has a group of Black Americans advising him, which the refers to as the Black Cabinet and the Black Brain Trust. Together Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt begin to move the federal government from a racist position and ignoring Black Americans to some inclusion. Some achievements include.

  • Around 45 African Americans are working in federal executive departments and New Deal agencies. Collectively they advise the President and Eleanor Roosevelt on African Americans needs, which have been ignored since the death of Lincoln.
  • He appoints more blacks to government positions of responsibility than any previous president.
  • Southern members of the party support segregation and oppose a federal anti-lynching law as an infringement on state's rights. In spite of this F.D.R. repeals restrictions within the federal government, enacted by Woodrow Wilson.
  • In 1935, the WPA employed approximately 350,000 African Americans a year, about 15% of its total workforce.
  • The CCC enrolls more than 350,000 before it is shut down in 1942. Percentage of blacks increase from about 3% in 1933 to more than 11% in 1938.
  • The National Youth Administration, under the direction of Aubrey Williams, hires more black administrators than any other New deal agency. And it assists more than 300,000 Africa American youth during the Depression.
  • In 1934, the PWA insert a clause in all government construction contracts that establish a quota for the hiring of black laborers.
  • The Federal Music Project funds performances of black composers.
  • The Federal Theatre and Writing Projects hire and feature the work of hundreds of African American artists.
  • The New Deal's educational programs teaches over 1 million illiterate blacks to read and write and increases the number of African American children in primary school.
  • FDR is the first president to appoint an African American as a federal judge, William H. Hastie to the United States District Court for the Virgin Islands.
  • First to promote a black man, Benjamin O. Davis, to the rank of Brigadier General in the Army. Who is the first black man to graduate from West Point where no cadet talked to him for his entire four years.
  • FDR is the first president to publicly call lynching murder, "a vile form of collective murder".
  • FDR's administration triples the number of Africa Americans working for the federal government and under his leadership, and the strong support of Eleanor Roosevelt, the Democrats include the first specific African American plank in the party platform at the 1936 convention.


First - First Lady press conference.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt, on March 6, 1933, two days after becoming First Lady, holds a press conference.

  • The first of her 348 press conferences.
  • There are nearly 35 women in attendance.
  • She limits attendance to women, except for one. She does this to support women as political journalist, so that major newspapers had to employ them to have access to this news. Source

Transcripts of all conferences

Photo Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, age 23, on her wedding day.
She is cousin to Teddy Roosevelt.

Source The American Past: A History of the United States from Concord to Hiroshima told with thousands of pictures. Roger Butterfield. 1947.

Bank holiday

Franklin D. Roosevelt announces a three-day bank holiday to stop the run on banks. When the banks reopen, nearly 1,000 are saved.

Glass-Steagall Act separates commercial banks and investment banks to reduce unregulated risk. Which lasts until 1970.

1932 Franklin Roosevelt sworn in as the 32nd President of the U. S.


Franklin D. Roosevelt runs for president as a member of the Democratic party.

F.D. Roosevelt and J Garner campaign photo
F. D. Roosevelt with Jack Garner in 1932 campaign photo. Notice Franklin's braces he uses to stand and walk with a cane.

Source The American Past: A History of the United States from Concord to Hiroshima told with thousands of pictures. Roger Butterfield. 1947.



The Great Depression

  • From 1930-1933 100,000 people a week lose their job.
  • Many families don't have a means to provide for their own needs and become dependent on state and federal government for assistance.Francis Perkins
  • When FDR takes office about 5000 banks have failed.
  • It is said he saves capitalism in 8 days.
  • He appoints the first women cabinet member, Francis Perkins, as Secretary of Labor. She said, "... the day she witnessed the 1911Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire the New Deal was born."
  • FDR initiates the Fireside Chat to improve the emotional needs of the country.
  • Education relies on property taxes, which decrease as businesses fail and land values fall. Chicago in 1934 borrows $22 million so it can pay teacher salaries owed for three years of work.
The Worst Hard Time book cover

Dust Bowl

While dust storms occur from 1930-1940. The weather is not the only factor that creates the storms. The Homestead Act, poor land management, increase rainfall in the 1920's, World War I, failure of wheat crops in Russia, increase price for wheat, and high water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, combine to create the Dust Bowl. Source.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Eagan an outstanding book about the people of the Dust Bowl. Includes study questions.

Dust storm in Lamar, Colorado in 1934

Dust storm in Lamar, Colorado in 1934

First female U.S. Senator

Ophelia Wyatt Caraway is the first women elected to the U. S. Senate who serves a full term.


African American representation in Congress 1929+

Oscar Stanton De Priest, is the first African American elected to Congress in the 20th century and serves from 1929-1935. His election challenges the status quo of segregation in the national capital, Washington D. C. He and his wife, Mrs. Jessie De Priest, struggle to be accepted and work to get rid of segregation. Source See also 1870 African American representation in Congress after the Civil War

Saint Valentine's Day Massacre

Seven men, of a Chicago North Side Irish gang, are murdered as a result of bootlegging conflicts during the Prohibition Era.
It is the first time bullet casings are used to identify a weapon used in a crime.

Stock Market Crash and bank failures

  • A run on American banks begins immediately after the stock market crash of 1929. Hundreds of thousands of customers withdraw their deposits. With no money to lend and loans not being paid, businesses and farmers go bankrupt and the crisis gets worse. By the end of the year 650 banks fail and by 1933, 11,000 of the nation's 25,000 banks close.
  • Dow Jones closes at the end of the year at 248.
  • In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt announces a three-day bank holiday to stop the run on banks. When the banks are reopen, nearly 1 000 banks are saved.
  • On January 1, 1934, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is established, and since then, no one has lost insured funds. FDIC insured bank accounts up to $100,000. The Bush Administration changed those levels to $250,000 in 2008.
  • Economists debate if bank failures cause the Great Depression, or the Great Depression causes bank failures.

1929 Herbert Hoover sworn in as the 31st President of the U. S.

Charles Curtis

His Vice President, Charles Curtis is the first biracial Native American (Kaw) Vice President.

He previously served in the Senate and as Majority Leader (1924-1929). More


Edward Bernays publishes Propaganda. In it he claims.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinion of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanisms of society constitutes an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. p. 9

His efforts include: Work with the American Tobacco Company to increase cigarette smoking of women. Selling his Uncle’s Sigmund Freud’s idea of a wild and untamed ego to the American public and business. Worked for President Coolidge, Wilson, Hoover, & Eisenhower. Also Edison, Caruso, Nijinsky, and other large corporations and foreign governments.


Mississippi Flood creates big government?

Calvin Coolidge is president during the 1927 Mississippi Flood, where more than 23 000 square miles (60 000 square km) of land is submerged, hundreds of thousands of people are displaced, and around 250 people die. Source

Coolidge believes service and public works are best provided by local and states government to the extent that he says ...

If the federal government were to go out of existence, the common run of people would not detect the difference.

Congress does not believe his idea is realistic for modern reality and passes The Flood Control Act of 1928. Source

Coolidge also is against federal support for farmers and as farm prices fall and industry booms, with government tariff supports. Coolidge remarks, Well, farmers never have made money.

COolidge ideas of farmers and industrialists

Source The American Past: A History of the United States from Concord to Hiroshima told with thousands of pictures. Roger Butterfield. 1947.

Charles Lindbergh flies nonstop from New York to Paris.

Radio Act passes and requires broadcasters to act in the public interest for licensure. See 1934


The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, The Snyder Act

The U.S. Congress passes The Indian Citizenship Act, which provides citizenship for all Native Americans and was thought to be the last step in the assimilation of Native Americans into White society, who many disagreed with. Source

Rosebud Sioux and Calvin Coolidge on the Whitehouse lawn in 1925
Rosebud Sioux and Calvin Coolidge on the Whitehouse lawn in 1925


Equal Rights Amendment

Alice Paul, and other suffragists, argue the nineteenth amendment alone does not end discrimination based upon sex. Paul drafts the Equal Rights Amendment and, in 1923, presents it as the Lucretia Mott Amendment during the 75th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention and the Declaration of Sentiments.

Later that same year it is introduced in Congress. However, the outcomes of equality for women, becomes controversial. Spokespeople for the working class are strongly opposed; arguing employed women need special protections regarding working conditions and hours.

In 1972, it passes both houses of Congress and is submitted to state legislatures for ratification. It seems headed for quick approval until Phyllis Schlafly mobilizes women in opposition, arguing it will disadvantage housewives. Congress sets a ratification deadline of March 22, 1979.
In 1977, the amendment is ratified by 35 of the necessary 38 states needed.
After which, five states rescind their ratifications.
In 1978, before the 1979 deadline, Congress extends the ratification deadline to June 30, 1982.
However, no other states ratify the amendment and it appears to die. See 1972

1923 Calvin Coolidge sworn in as the thirtieth President of the U. S.
Coolidge photo opt to gain farmer's support

Calvin Coolidge arrives in touring car with brand new overhauls & polished shoes for a photo to gain farmer's support

Source The American Past: A History of the United States from Concord to Hiroshima told with thousands of pictures. Roger Butterfield. 1947.


First woman, Rebecca Felton, elected to the U.S. Senate in Georgia.

1921 Warren Harding sworn in as the twenty-ninth President of the U. S.


Tulsa race massacre

A young African American, Dick Rowland, is accused of assaulting a white girl, Sarah Page. The Tulsa Tribune publishes a story claiming Rowland tried to rape Page and an editorial for a lynching. That evening mobs of blacks and whites clash a white protester is killed. Mobs of white people loot and set fire to African American businesses and homes throughout the city for two days. Killing 30 to 300 people and destroy the prosperous black neighborhood, known as black Wall Street. More than 1 400 homes and businesses were burned and about 10,000 people are left homeless. Source


Tulsa before

After:Tulsa after

Tulsa 1921


Essay by Scott Ellsworth: Tulsa Race Massacre

Battle of Blair Mountain Site, Spruce Fork Ridge, Logan County, West Virginia

Miners in Logan and Mingo counties of West Virginia attempt to organize and join the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Logan Coal Operators Association move to stop the men from joining and attempt to arrest organizers. Seven detectives and four towns people, including the mayor are killed.

Over the following months each side gains followers until the miners attempt to free jailed union members and organizers. This causes the citizen forces, under Logan County Sheriff Don Chafin, to block their path. Both sides are unable to gain ground until President Harding sends the assistance of the U.S. Army. The miners are defeated and up their attempt to unionize southern mine workers. Grand juries hand down 1,217 indictments, 325 for murder and 24 for treason against the state. Charges are dropped on all but two who serve three years for murder and are eventually pardoned.



Women in the United States get the right to vote

Susan B Anthony & Elizabeth Cady StantonNineteenth Amendment is ratified when Tennessee is the 36th state to vote for ratification and secures its adoption.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Suffragette leaders in the U.S. are Carrie Chapman Catt, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Alice Paul ...

Leaders in the United Kingdom: Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, John Stuart Mill ... through two laws in 1918 and 1928. See also equal rights amendment 1923.

Land grab from the Osage

In the 1920’2 the Osage tribe of Oklahoma buy land where oil is discovered and they make millions of dollars from oil production, which they share the profits with the tribe in equal shares, called headrights. Other locals, mostly White, are jealous and feel Natives were not worthy of wealth, and murder hundreds of Osage tribal members to steal the mineral rights outright or through a guardian scheme. Source

Wall Street bombing

September 16, 1920 a wagon loaded with dynamite and scrap iron explodes at Broad and Wall Street. Thirty-eight are killed and hundreds hurt. The driver escapes and no one is ever charged.

Wall Street bomb 1920

Source The American Past: A History of the United States from Concord to Hiroshima told with thousands of pictures. Roger Butterfield. 1947.

Eighteenth Amendment (1920 - 1930)

Initiates a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. The Volstead Act includes the rules of enforcement and defines what alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Passage is supported by rural Protestants and social Progressives in the Democratic and Republican parties, and facilitated by the Anti-Saloon League, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Senate rejects U.S. participation in the League of Nations three times from 1919 - 1920.


Thousands in Omaha lynch Will Brown. Source

Chicago Riot

A group of Black children, floating on a raft in the Michigan Lake, drift from what is understood as a Black beach, to a White Beach. A White boy throws a rock that hits a Eugene Williams (Black) who is on the raft, he falls off and drowns. Rumors spread and white gangs attack Black neighborhoods. Among the acts of violence is what can be considered the first drive by shooting as whites drive through black neighborhoods and shot Blacks. The riot last from July 27 - August 8. Resulting in 37 dead, over 500 brutally injured, and much property damaged; before the mayor calls in the national guard a week later.

After the riot, an Illinois commission is formed to study the causes. They publish a report: The Negro in Chicago: A Study of Race Relations and a Race Riot. It finds

The relation of whites and Negroes in the United States is our most grave and perplexing domestic problem. … differences in color and physical features … make an easy and natural basis for distinctions, discriminations, and antipathies …

History is repeated in the 1960’s with the Kerner Commission.

Paris Peace Conference

Is the first time so many countries try to organize a cooperative world order.

Their vision suffers set backs by post war resentment, leading to unrealistic terms in the Treaty of Lausanne, due to a stronger belief in national and ethnic destiny over world cooperation, and the refusal of U.S. to join the League of Nations. The result will be a more destructive World War II.


Standard time & time zones is established with the Standard Time Act or the Calder Act. The act includes the contentious daylight savings time. See 1883

Anti war acts pass

The Espionage Act of 1917 & The Sedition Act of 1918

They give American authorities a right to close newspapers and jail people with anti-war views.

In 1918 Eugene V. Debs makes an anti-war speech, is arrested, and convicted under the Espionage Act of 1917. He is sentenced to ten years in prison. President Warren G. Harding commutes his sentence on December 1921.


First woman, Jeannette Rankin, elected to the House of Representatives. Elected in Montana in 1916, begins her term in 1917.

Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party (NWP) are the first to picket the White House, January 10. Four years before women win the right to vote nationally with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Fall of the Ottomans

The Sykes-Picot Agreement (Asia Minor Agreement), is made public.

It partitions the Ottoman Empire into several Islamic states, each with very diverse cultures, which will be the seeds of enduring conflict.

Based on the premise: that the Ottoman Empire will be defeated in World War I, the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire, secretly meet from November 1915 to March 1916 and write the Sykes-Picot agreement for how to divide the empire after the war. Source The Fall of the Ottomans (2015). E. Rogan See also Rise of the Ottoman Empire

Other treaties made that will be broken within the next 20 years:

  • Japan in 1931, Japan war with China 1937 and proclaims a new order for East Asia 1939
  • Germany tore up the Treaty of Versailles 1935, took over the Rhineland 1936, Austria 1938, Czechoslovakia with British and French 1938-39, Poland 1939,
  • Italy conquers Ethiopia 1936-36, set up a dictatorship Spain 1936-39,
  • Albania 1939, attacks France in 1940,


Congress passes the Adamson Act that establishes an eight hour day with overtime for railroad workers only.


Book cover

The Great Migration, begins in 1915 and lasts until 1970.

Six million people migrate out of the south moving north and west seeking equal treatment, economic opportunities, and a better life. It is one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history and changes American cultural, politics and paves the way for equal rights legislation. Video source (2:00)

Children and grandchildren of this Great Migration include: John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Jimi Hendrix, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Romare Bearden, Malcolm X, Jesse Owens, Bill Russell, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama.

The Warmth of Other Suns (2010), by Isabel Wilkerson, tells one of the greatest under reported stories in American history. It is the story of how it changed the North and the South. How northern cities came to be, the music and culture that might not have existed had the people not left. The consequences of lives in both the North and South and most importantly of the courageous souls who dared to leave everything they knew for the hope of something better.

How the Great Migration changed the cultural and politics of America. Pressure on the South to seek equal rights for the lowest class people in the country. The text is based on 1 200 interviews of people who participate in the Migration, census data, and archival material.

The film: Birth of a Nation is released

From 1915-1919 the film is shown in 621 counties in every state, except Kansas (were it is banned). Where it is shown the number of lynchings or race riots increases in the month after it is shown along with the number of murders of minorities, but not whites. Additionally, the existence of racist hate groups being active is more likely for decades afterward.


World War 1 starts after the driver misunderstood directions and took a wrong turn.

When the car stops to back up, the assassin of Gavrilo Princip, is right next to the car. He fires twice at Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, his wife, killing them both.

1913 Woodrow Wilson sworn in as the 28th President of the U. S.
Votes are Wilson 6,286,214, Roosevelt 4, 126,020, & Taft 3,483,922.

Promotes peace through democracy and world government cooperation (League of Nations)


Fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City kills145 workers on March 25, 1911, The tragedy brings widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, and leads to the development of a series of laws and regulations. PBS Source. OSHA Source.

Nebraska passes a law permitting cooperatives. See One Hundred Years of Nebraska Farmers Union, Unauthorized and Unabridged.


The Federal Corrupt Practices Act passes Congress

It requires federal candidates to disclose their funding sources.

1909 William Taft sworn in as the twenty-seventh President of the U. S.


Ford assembly line

Henry Ford uses standardized parts and an efficient assembly line to create an affordable car for the common man. A car every 22 seconds rolls off the line.

1907 Annette Kellerman One-piece bathing suit

Annette Kellerman is arrested, for indecency, when she wears a fitted
one-piece bathing suit.


Congress outlaws corporate donations to election campaigns with the Tillman Act.

Walter Rauschenbusch preaches and writes:

“ ... whoever uncouples religion and the social life does not understand Jesus.”

His writings and speakings influence Dr. King, John Lewis and others that will shape the Christian church’s strong relationship to social movements for justice in the years to come.


Race riot Atlanta 1906First race riot in Atlanta, Georgia. Tensions after reconstruction, job competition, black voting rights, and civil rights for African Americans become more intense as white politicians implement and expand Jim Crow laws. Laws for separate black and white neighborhoods, segregated public transportation, and schools. As blacks seek change and some make economic gains, many white citizens perceive it as a black threat. On September 22, after four alleged sexual attacks on white women by black men are reported in the local white press, a mob of approximately 10,000 white men forms and attack black neighborhoods. The violence causes the mobilization of the state militia and black men to organize to defend their homes and families. Source

See also Springfield, Illinois Race Riot of 1908.

Book cover JungleThe Jungle, the Pure Food & Drug Act, & the Food & Drug Administration

Upton SinclairUpton Sinclair personally publishes his book, The Jungle, after multiple publishers refuse to publish it, because they are afraid of being accused of being a socialist.

It is the year's it top seller.

Upton is hopeful it will educate the public so they will support workers who organize for get better working conditions and higher pay.

He is disappointed when Congress goes in a different direction and passes the Pure Food & Drug Act and establishes the Food & Drug Administration.

He says:

I aimed for their brain and hit their stomach.


Alfred Fuller creates The Fuller Brush Company. His legendary suitcase of house cleaning products sold door to door also includes personal care products. It is sold to Consolidated Foods, later Sara Lee Corporation in 1968.


Madam Walker Walker hair care productFirst American female millionaire

Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) becomes the first black woman millionaire in America by marketing hair care products, the Walker system. She also funds scholarships, donates to the NAACP, the black YMCA, dozens of other charities, promotes female talent, and promotes political activism.




Maggie Lena Walker becomes the first female bank president of any race to charter a bank in the United States when she opens her St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. Source

Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully fly and control a heavier than air machine with a pilot on board. Source


Teddy Roosevelt sworn in as the twenty-sixth President of the U. S.

Uses the quote Speak softly, and carry a big stick. to highlight his foreign policy.

The era of big oil begins ( January 10) when a well at Spindletop (Beaumont, Texas) strikes oil at a depth of 1,139 ft. The Lucas Gusher goes 150 feet in the air and blew 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 gallons) per day for nine days before it is capped.

Beaumont becomes a boomtown as its population grows from 10,000 to 50,000 in three months.


Child labor supports industrialization in the United States with 1,752,187 children working.

In this textile mill one fourth of the workers are children, some six and seven who work 13 hours a day.

Children working in a textile mill in 1900

Florence Kelley and others work to outlaw child labor and reform other unfair labor and social practices. She is frustrated by ordinary workers who won’t speak or act against professional politicians, factory owners, and others who control land, labor, goods, services and oppress them. Source


Only coup in America.

A mob of thousands of white men attack and overthrow the elected government composed of white and black men in Wilmington, North Carolina. They go on to destroy the property and businesses of black citizens built since the Civil War, and kill between 60-300 people.

These actions are examples of how White Americans do not stand up for Black American rights, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment after the Civil War.

After the Civil War Republicans, the party of Lincoln, work to provide equal voting rights to black men and to enforce their right to compete. Reconstruction works to bring blacks into the economy allowing them to compete and they begin to own property, get elected to government positions, become skilled craftsmen, own businesses including a newspaper, and attain positions of power. During these dire economic times, black men and poor white men work together to begin to form an integrated society. However, white men, not happy with these changes, organize politically with the Democratic Party and pass legislation to undercut, the gains blacks have made, through legal and illegal manipulation, including violence. Source

1897 William McKinley sworn in as the twenty-fifth President of the U. S.
1896 William Jennings Bryan is the first presidential candidate to give a concession speech.


Plessy v. Ferguson

The Supreme Court rules (8-1), that separate rail cars for black and white passengers did not violate the 14th Amendments and the equal protection clause is legal, as long as the difference is reasonable.

In the descent, Justice Harland wrote:

The arbitrary separation of citizens on the basis of race while they are on a public highway is a badge of servitude wholly inconsistent with the civil freedom and equality before the law established by the constitution, it can not be justified upon any legal grounds.

One hundred years later (posthumously) Homer Adolph Plessy becomes the first person in Louisiana pardoned for a crime.

The separate but equal decision makes racial segregation legal and delays ruling equality as a universal standard.

The court attempts to establish a distinction between civil and social equality to justify white supremacy. And uphold the constitutionality of the Jim Crow laws. It holds until Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling in 1954.

See more about Homer Plessy, Judge Ferguson and the case.


Congress passes the first peace time federal income tax.

However, it is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

First time clock, October 30th, 1894 to put workers ... on the clock.

Daniel M. Cooper, is granted a patent for his invention of the Workman's Time Recorder. A devise that uses a card to record the time an employee punches in and punches out from work. Cooper sells his patent to the Rochester Time company, who sells time recorders until the company became part of IBM.

1893 Grover Cleveland sworn in as the twenty-fourth President of the U. S.


The Homestead strike / riot, in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (union) goes on strike against the Carnegie Steel Company. A three-year contract between the union and corporation in 1889 gives the workers wages that are higher than other steel workers in the country.

In 1892 Andrew Carnegie decides to break the union, reduce wages, and increase his profits.

  • His manager, Henry Clay Frick, builds a 10 foot high fence, tops it with barbed wire, locks workers out, refuses to accept the unions offers, advertises for strikebreakers, and discharges all workers.
  • The workers go on strike and take over the company town.
  • Frick hires three hundred Pinkerton guards and sends them to the town where they are met by ten thousand strikers.
  • The groups fight and the Pinkertons surrender.
  • Nine strikers and seven Pinkertons are killed and many others were injured.
  • Governor William Stone sends eight thousand militia who get the town under control, protect strikebreakers, and get the plant into production.
  • Legal cases use much of the union's time, money, and energy and the strike ends later that year. 1892.
  • Carnegie Steel increases the workers hours and lowers wages.


Lynching of Black women and men increase.

Ida B. Wells investigates, publishes, and lectures about these crimes and the lack of prosecution in 1892. Source


New York City and the people who live in the backstreets and minority areas in 1890's.

Jacob Riis believes every person's experience is worth something. This motivates him to photograph and document people in New York City whose story he felt would otherwise be lost in his book - How the other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York. The book is a valuable source for life at the turn of the century. Book source

The Superintendent of the Census declares that until 1890 the country has always had a frontier but the data from the census suggests the American Frontier is closed.

This announcement encourages Frederick Jackson Turner to present his paper: The Significance of the Frontier in American History at the the American Historical Association in Chicago, July 12, 1893, at the World Columbian Exposition

Sherman Act becomes the first antitrust act passed by congress.

However, much of it is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wounded Knee Massacre

American troops killed up to 300 Lakota, including women and children in The Black Hills.


Survivors of W0unded Knee
Survivors Wounded Knee 1891

1889 Benjamin Harrison sworn in as the twenty-third President of the U. S.


Jane Addams and Ellen Starr open Hull-House where Jane works and lives for the rest of her life. She is the first woman awarded the Noble Peace Prize (1931), experiments in philanthropy, political action, opposes child labor, lynching, supports trade unions, the NAACP, youth clubs, career choices for women, child care, social justice, and conducts social science research that becomes a model for dignified work among the poor and a need to respect the values and traditions of immigrants and help them adjust to American culture and institutions to achieve the American ideal of a good life.


Congress passes the Dawes Act, which allows the President to break up reservation land, held in common by a tribe, into small plots allotted to individual Native Americans February 8, 1887. Source

Interstate Commerce Act is passed by Congress to regulate monopolistic practices of the railroads by making it illegal for them to treat their customers differently.


May Day

May Day is a celebration of laborers as International Workers' Day and commemorates the Haymarket affair. It has its origins in the United States of America.

Cartoon below depicts workers urging congress for an 8 hour work day.

Eight hour day cartoon

During the 1800's long work days, death, and injury is common at work. See Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906) and Jack London's The Iron Heel (1908). Working people begin to organize and speak for a shorter workday without reduced pay (8 our work @ 10 hrs pay).

Book cover Iron Heel

Without consent of employers, in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (American Federation of Labor) proclaim: after May 1, 1886, an eight hour day shall be a legal day's labor.

As workers try to get employers to accept a shorter day they are harassed, beat, and locked-out when they go on strike and picket.

On Saturday, May 1, 35,000 workers walk off their jobs. Thousands more join them on May 3 as they travel from workplace to workplace urging fellow workers to strike. Police clash with strikers at least a dozen times, three with shootings.

On May 4, 1886, families with children and the mayor of Chicago gather to listen to August Spies in the Haymarket. The mayor would later testify the crowd was calm and orderly. However, the police move in as the crowd is dispersing. A bomb, from an unknown source, is thrown into the police ranks. Enraged, police fire into the crowd. The bomb thrower is never identified. Eight anarchists are arrested and convicted of murder. Only three of the eight were present and they were in full view of everyone when the bomb was thrown. Since all are innocent, the jury of businessmen convict them based on their political and social beliefs. On November 11, 1887, after many failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fisher are hung to death. Six years later the others, still alive, are pardoned.

Mainstream media wrote anarchist are bomb throwing socialist and un-American. The common image of an anarchist became a bearded, eastern European immigrant with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other. Source

1885 Grover Cleveland sworn in as the twenty-second President of the U. S.


U.S. Supreme court rules Native Americans are not citizens

Elk v Wilkins. John Elk attempts to register, in 1880, to vote in Omaha, Nebraska and is denied. The case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which rules, Native Americans are wards of the state, have no right to become U.S. citizens, and are not protected by the 14th and 15th amendments.


Pendleton Act is passed by Congress.

It restricts many types of political support.

Eugenics is invented Francis Galton

Eugenics is the ideas of nature v nurture and concludes nature can be used to improve the population. Galton believes eugenics can be used to increase the amount of people deemed desirable and to reduce the number of undesirable or defective people.

Increase desirables by encouraging physically and mentally superior people to choose partners with similar traits. And reduce undesirable births through sterilization of undesirables.

Standard time starts November 18, 1883

The United States and Canadian railroads establish standard time to provide consistency across both countries. Before then, time is a local matter with most cities having some form of local solar time, maintained by a local town clock. The new standard time has four zones. As a system it is gradually accepted for its advantages in communication and travel.

Standard time with time zones is established in 1918 by U.S. law with the Standard Time Act or the Calder Act. The act includes the contentious daylight savings time.


Chinese Exclusion Act makes it illegal for Chinese laborers to immigrate to America and for those who were here to become citizens. Various modifications of this act last until Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1965. Source PBS video

1881 Chester A. Arthur sworn in as the twenty-first President of the U. S.

1881 James Garfield sworn in as the twentieth President of the U. S.


U.S. troops force the surrender of the Utes in Colorado.

Standing Bear v. George Crook

Standing Bear and other Ponca Indians are living; on their reservation in Niobrara, NE. Farming and sending their children to school before being removed and taken south to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Their crops do not grow and 158 people die. Among them his son. Honoring his son's wish, to be buried in his homeland, a small group head north and are captured on the Omaha reservation. They are brought to Omaha, NE where a writ of habeas corpus is filed at the court house at 15th and Dodge.

Territorial Capitol of Nebraska in Omaha
Territorial Capitol Omaha

The case centers on: do Indians have a legal right to a writ of habeas corpus (a court order, that literally meaning to produce the body, or a court order to bring a person into the court room to decide if the person has been detained, jailed, or imprisoned legally).

Standing Bear's attorneys argue the government has no justification to arrest and detain them. They claim the law is clear. It says nothing about being a citizen. It says only: any person or party has a legal right to apply for a writ.

The government's attorney argues the court overstepped its legal boundaries and has no legal right to compel the government to justify its arrest and relocation of the Indians, because an Indian has no legal right to sue in federal court. Further no writ has ever been issued for an Indian and can not be.

Native Americans are ruled persons

Chief Standing Bear

Presiding Judge Elmer Dundy of the US District Court in Omaha, NE (15th and Dodge?)

Dundy rules: It is illogical to assume that since no Indian ever sought a writ of habeas corpus, that Standing Bear could not seek one.

The court has jurisdiction, because Standing Bear and the Ponca were restrained of their liberty in violation of a treaty provision and only the federal court can determine if the prisoners' constitutional rights were violated.

He writes:

"It would be a sad commentary on the justice and impartiality of our laws, to hold that Indians, though natives of our own country, cannot test the validity of an alleged illegal imprisonment."

As to who could legally apply for a writ. The government steadfastly argues only citizens could. And since Indians are not citizens, they could not sue. However, Dundy rules person not citizen is the required criteria and writes:

" ... a reasonable definition of a person can be found by consulting a dictionary. "Webster describes a person as‚ a living soul; a self conscious being; a moral agent; especially a living human being; a man, woman or child; an individual of the human race."

This, he said, "is comprehensive enough, it would seem, to include even an Indian."

Dundy says, Standing Bear and the Ponca have done all they could to terminate their tribal allegiance (expatriate) to become independent farmers, provide education for their children, and adopt the ways of civilization.

Dundy notes that on July 27, 1868, Congress declared the right of expatriation (to withdraw oneself from residence of one's native country) is a natural and inherent right of all people, indisputable to the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

All this leads Dundy to the decision:

An Indian, "possesses the clear and God-given right to withdraw from his tribe and forever live away from it, as though it had no further existence."

Finally, does the government have a legal right to remove Standing Bear and the Ponca from the Omaha Reservation and send them back to the Oklahoma Indian Territory?

Dundy writes,

... no such power exists. The government can not arbitrarily round up Indians who had severed their tribal ties and simply move them whenever and wherever it wanted. Unless, they were deemed detrimental to the peace and welfare of the reservation. But in such cases, the law requires they must be turned over to civilian's not military' authorities.

In summary, Judge Dundy concludes,

  • An Indian is a PERSON within the meaning of the laws of the United States, and has therefore the right to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court.
  • General Crook illegally detained the Ponca prisoners.
  • The military has no legal authority to force removal of the Ponca to Indian Territory.
  • Indians possess the inherent right of expatriation as well as the more fortunate white race, and have the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ...
  • And, since they have been illegally detained in violation of their constitutional rights, the Ponca must be discharged from custody.

Judge Dundy does something unprecedented:

He grants the hearing and declares, for the first time in the nation's history, an Indian is a person within the meaning of U.S. law with legal rights Whites are required to uphold. Unfortunately, Judge Dundy does not address the issue of citizenship for Indians, or their ability to own land. It would not be until 1924 when Congress passes the Citizenship Act, which provides citizenship for all Indians.

After the trial, Standing Bear visits Webster and presents him with a pipe tomahawk.

Standing Bear says,

“[W]hen we have been wronged we went to war. To assert our rights and avenge our wrongs we took the tomahawk. We had no law to punish those who did wrong, so we took our tomahawks and went to kill. … But you have found a better way. You have gone into court for us and I find our wrongs can be righted there. Now I have no more use for the tomahawk. I want to lay it down forever. I lay it down, I have no more use for it. I have found a better way.”

In 2022 members of the Ponca delegation pose with the repatriated pipe tomahawk.

Courtesy of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska

1877 Crazyhorse is killed by a soldier's bayonet at Fort Robinson Nebraska.

1877 Rutherford B. Hayes sworn in as the nineteenth President of the U. S. - after 1876 election irregularities and the compromise of 1877

1876 Samuel J. Tilden Democratic presidential candidate wins the election with 4,300,590 to 4,036,298 popular votes and 196 to 173 electoral votes. However, after the election, Republican bribery, forgery, and perjury by the Louisiana and Florida Republican election boards, who void 14,000 ballots and switch their 12 electoral votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, gives Hayes a majority of one vote, 185-184 and the Presidency.


Little Bighorn

Lakotas and Cheyenne, led by Chiefs Rain in the Face, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse annihilate 256 U.S. cavalry troops led by George Custer.

First modern privately owned hotel, motel, restaurant chain is created

Fred Harvey founds The Fred Harvey Company, a hospitality company with a chain of restaurants and hotels in western U.S. for railroad passengers. As part of its service, it becomes famous for its Harvey Girls, who were decent hardworking young girls. Source

At the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, these engines exhibited by George H. Corliss draw the most people. Demonstrating the strong support the country is having for industrialization.

1875 First official college football game. Rutgers vs Princeton, in New Jersey.

1874 Barbed wire goes into production.

The Icarians thought they could build a Utopia, before Karl Marx and Communism, but their project was marked by failure almost from the start as they tried in Iowa, Illinois, and Texas. Their conclusion …

It may be impossible to build a Utopian society in a capitalistic world that requires money for trade. Source


The Panic of 1873 or the first Great Depression

  • Lasts more than five years.
  • Wipes out 121 railroads.
  • Destroys more than $15 billion in value, at today’s prices.
  • Bankrupts 18,000 other businesses.
  • Countless small-time investors, who invest their hard-earned money into the railroads, are wiped out.

Jay Cooke, who got very rich building an investment network that sold more than $1.6 billion in Civil War bonds to small-time investors across the North. Later he uses his famous wealthy person influence to off load these bonds to naive investors who are looking to get rich by investing in the new railroads. These corrupt dealings and the failure of his Northern Pacific Railroad, also causes the failure of the Freedman’s Savings Bank where he banks.

The bank also held the life savings of many formerly enslaved Americans so when it fails they lose their savings. President Grant refuses to bail out the railroads and to provide any substantial financial measures to address the economic fallout. As a result, unemployment surges to 14 percent nationally and 25 percent in New York City. Many Civil War veterans became transients, spawning the rise of the now-familiar terms of tramp and bum. And the depression lasts five years. Unlike these forgotten men, Cooke recovers his fortune by investing in a Utah silver mine and dies a wealthy man in 1905.

Rocky Mountain locusts become extinct

The Rocky Mountain locust seems to have plagued farmers from California (1722) to Maine (1743-56) and Vermont (1797-98). As farming expands westward outbreaks are recorded in 1828, 1838, 1846, and 1855, throughout the West. Plagues in Minnesota (1856-57, 1865) and Nebraska (1856 and 1874). The last major swarms of Rocky Mountain locust are between 1873 and 1877, when the locust cause $200 million in crop damage in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and other states. After that they disappear, become extinct. Source

Comstock act passes in 1873 & creates the First Sex Laws

Named after Anthony Comstock, an American reformer, who leads a 40 year crusade against what he considers obscenity in literature and other forms of expression results in sex laws: Act of the Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use.

The act criminalizes sending obscene, lewd or lascivious” materials through the mail pornographic materials, in addition to anything related to the prevention of conception or procuring of abortion. Makes it criminal for any person involved in the publication, distribution, and possession of information about or devices or medications for unlawful abortion or contraception. If convicted a person could be imprisoned for up to five years and fined up to $2 000.

In the year after its implementation he arrests more than 50 people
And continues his work in his Post Office role for forty years until retiring a few months before his death in 1915. In his last years he brags that he has confiscated 150 tons of books, made 4,000 arrests and pushed 15 people to die by suicide.

Vestiges of the act last well into the 1900's, when in 1915, Mary Ware Dennett edits a popular sex education booklet titled: The Sex Side of Life: An Explanation for Young People and omits the information about birth control. She replaces the information with:

At present, unfortunately, it is against the law to give people information as to how to manage their sex relations so that no baby will be created.

The book is still deemed obscene, and she is charged for violating the Comstock Act. Her approach is to make birth control a fundamental right, later, Sanger will work to make birth control available through a medical professional.

When the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in 2022, the relevance of the Comstock Act will return as a way to target the mailing of abortion pills and other abortion related information.

In 1971 Congress removes the language concerning contraception. Federal courts rule it applies only to unlawful abortions in Roe v. Wade (1973). After Roe, laws criminalizing transportation of information about abortion remain on the books, although they are not enforced, they are expanded to ban distribution of abortion-related information on the Internet.


Another victim of Anthony Comstock is Madame Restell, who offered abortions for more than 30 years, until she finally succumbs to the pressure of Anthony Comstock in 1878.

Ann, is born Ann Trow in England in 1811, immigrates to the U.S. with her husband and daughter in 1831, is widowed and a single mother two years later. To survive she learns how to compound abortion pills and perform surgical abortions if the drugs she gives patients fail. She, her brother and her second husband, advertise her,

... celebrated preventative powders for married ladies whose health prevents too rapid an increase of family.

This public advertising of her services, attracts satisfied customers and enemies, as abortion is a criminal offense in New York.




Horse Flu 1872: devastates the transportation system

Horse (equine) influenza is first reported in Ontario, Canada in September of 1872 and spreads across North America to the west coast by March 1873 and south into Nicaragua and the Caribbean with more than 75% of the horses in the US getting the virus and 2-10% of all horses dying. For example, the New York Times reported: ...there were probably 12,000 sick horses in New York and Brooklyn today (October 30, 1872).

Horses, like humans get a fever, cough, sneeze, wheeze, and can die. As with humans treatment is rest. However, resting horses presents a huge problem for people who depend on them as the major mode of transportation for moving goods and people. During this time horses are the lifeblood of transportation and without them life came to a stand still.

Mail, food, water, garbage, wood, coal, and all sorts of freight sat undelivered. Government shut down and trains and ships couldn't be loaded or unloaded. Doctors couldn't reach their patients. Fire fighters in Boston had to pull their fire engines with men instead of horses, and 776 buildings burn in November of 1872. Source


African American representation in Congress after the Civil War

After the Civil War and during reconstruction: laws, new constitutions, and other procedures are deliberately used to prevent black citizens from registering and voting. Acts against the Fifteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, which are intended to protect the voting rights of free men.

Henry P. Cheatham, is one of five African-American politicians elected to Congress from the South in the 1800's.

See also 1929+ African American representation in Congress after 1900.

1870 Christmas is declared a federal holiday


Transcontinental railroad is opened for through traffic on May 10, 1869 with a ceremonial driving of the last spike. The spike, referred to as the golden spike, is driven with a silver hammer, at Promontory Summit, Utah.

President Ulysses Grant issues a proclamation for an eight hour workday for government workers only.

1869 Ulysses S. Grant sworn in as the eighteenth President of the U. S.


America begins a turn from farming to industrialization

Bell Time, by Winslow Homer.

He shows workers leaving the Lawrence Massachusetts mill after their 13 hour day. 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. with two half hour periods to eat.

Winslow Homer's BellTime

Industrialization is driven by steam power to power textile factories, mining operations, and railroads so goods can be made faster and moved quicker. However, it creates new problems and greater inequalities which creates a demand for a political response to counter private monopolies and the power the possess. Responses to counter this oppression include: better communication, standardization, product safety, public education, invention of unions, cooperatives, mutual societies, public libraries, common areas, and philanthropic organizations.

Slave jail into Black school

Mary Lumpkin, Black slave, helps a white Baptist missionary from the American Baptist Home Mission Society turn a slave jail, she inherits from her master (1866), and her children’s father, into a school: God’s Half Acre. There she educates her children and moves north. The school becomes the Virginia Union University (VUU) a HBCU) and is still in existence today. Source



After the Civil War America's politics and constitution change, but important questions are not resolved and prepare for future unrest:

  • Who is an American?
  • What is equality?
  • How do we establish and protect each person’s freedoms?
  • What is the relationship of state government and federal governments?
  • How much government involvement is necessary to protect and benefit everyone for their survival and the survival of our democratic government?

After Lincoln's assassination a majority in Congress, are in favor of reconstruction to establish a government to provide freed slaves with constitutional rights and ways to provide property to establish them as free people.

However, President Johnson, in his words wants:

The Union as it was, the Constitution as it is.

Congress, with a Republican majority disagrees and pass:

  • The Civil Rights Act, in 1865 but it isn't enacted until 1870.
  • 14th Amendment,
  • 15th Amendment over Johnson's veto, and
  • Four Reconstruction Acts in 1867 & 1868, which establish military law, appoints people to govern to achieve reconstruction, and describes conditions for the Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.

Johnson becomes the first President to be impeached

His disagreement with the intentions of congress leads to his impeachment on May 26, 1868 See his impeachment overview, timeline and other resources. However, he is not convicted and removed from office.

By 1870 states renounce secession, end slavery, and are readmitted to the Union. Thus, any gains for reconstruction are short lived as federal support are removed and the power is returned to the states, where white supremacy begins to erode any gains for equality.

The 1876 presidential election is disputed. To resolve the election the Compromise of 1877, has three southern states support the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange for the removal of the last federal troops from their three states.

This essentially ends reconstruction and creates a tenant farming system for former slaves and some poor whites who become dependent on landlords and the haves. The system is maintained through intimidation and torture which suppresses material and property ownership, independence, and political power.

With many believing the slave problem is solved, the attention of the country turns to industrial capitalism: building railroads, cotton mills, and expansion westward, to move to an industrialized economy where people leave farms and move to cities where they are joined by millions of arriving immigrants.

The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified on July 28, 1868

  • It grants citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" which includes former slaves who had just been freed after the Civil War.
  • It forbids any state to deny any person [not citizens] "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The 15th Amendment grants voting rights to Black men.

Fredrick Douglass speaks about ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

All shall here bow to the same law, speak the same language, support the same Government, enjoy the same liberty, vibrate with the same national enthusiasm, and seek the same national ends.


The Civil Rights Act is passed by Congress and vetoed by President Johnson.

It will be enacted in 1866, but not ratified until 1870. It is the first United States federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law.

1865 Andrew Johnson sworn in as the seventeenth President of the U. S.

The Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company is started for former slaves and their descendants by John W. Alvord and A. M. Sperry.

  • In 1865 Congress passes a law and President Lincoln signs it to incorporate the bank.
  • It expands and locates its main office in Washington D.C.
  • It has 37 branch offices in 17 states and is one of the first multi-state banks in the nation.
  • The Panic of 1873, the bank's rapid expansion, and upper management fraud in 1874 puts the bank in financial trouble.
  • Frederick Douglass is elected president to save it, however Congress refuses to help it and it collapses.


The 13th Amendment is ratified

It abolishes slavery in the United States.

May 13, 1865 the Civil War officially ends

The cost of the Civil War is so great that it could've bought the freedom of every slave and fed everyone in America for four years with a goodly amount left over.


Sand Creek massacre

November 29, 1864, the Third Colorado Cavalry with a force of 675 state militia under the command of Colonel John Chivington attack and destroy a Cheyenne and Arapaho village in southeastern Colorado Territory. They kill and mutilate about 600 Native American people with around 230 of them children and unarmed women.

1863 November 19

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address image

Lincoln gives his Gettysburg's Address

In Lincoln's words, the power of the address is about what the civil war along with the 13th, 14th, & 15th amendments will create ...

One nation over state's rights to go their own way. A unity of national majority rule. ... that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Hay's version


  • July 1-3, 1863 The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lee invades the North with the hope to change the sentiment of northerners against the unification of the nation by war.
  • July 4, 1963 Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrenders to General Grant
  • September 17th, 1862, Battle of Antietam, Maryland the bloodiest day of the Civil War. Lincoln believes General George McClellan failed to follow and defeat Lee’s weakened army and fires him after the midterm elections.

The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, is issued by President Abraham Lincoln

On July 22, 1862 Lincoln decides it is time to embrace a higher goal for the Civil War. He introduces, to his cabinet, the idea to use his powers as Commander-in-Chief to free all slaves in states, which are in active rebellion against the federal government. Secretary of State William Seward suggests Lincoln wait for a Union victory before issuing it so it would not appearance as an act of desperation. Lincoln agrees.

Five days after the Battle of Antietam, on September 17, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issues the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Declaring he will free all slaves in any state in rebellion against the United States on January 1, 1863.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, follows through on his promise and signs the proclamation: … that all persons held as slaves, within the rebellious states, are, and henceforward shall be free.

England and France, which outlawed slavery, were now less interested in recognizing the Confederate States.


War, the fallen ...

Mathew Brady's photograph, after the Battle of Antietam, is the first photo published of American dead.

Antietam photo

Previously in kingdoms the bodies of the people belong to the king and could be used as the king saw fit so notification of family and what to do with the remains is at the kings discretion.

In small war parties warriors knew each other and if they are lucky enough to return, they report to families and sometimes return bodies if there is an opportunity to do so.

As armies get larger, fighting lasts longer, and soldiers move after a battle, those who fall on the battle field are left behind. Fellow soldiers often fell obligated to send letters or report to their comrades families circumstances of their deaths.

After the Civil War people ask congress to pass and fund a law to collect and inter the bones of the fallen. Thus, begins the idea that notification of family, burial, or return of the body as the responsibility of the government.

The bill didn't include the collection of bones for all Civil War soldiers. Confederate soldiers were not included and black soldiers were discriminated as to their final resting place in some cemeteries. Ladies of Hollywood Memorial Association is one group that formed in the south to collect, move, bury, and care for the graves in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery. It is also thought this group began the idea of Memorial Day to honor the fallen.


1861 - 1865

The Country tears itself apart with Civil War

The American Civil War begins because the founding fathers did not resolve the issue of slavery.

Slavery continues to expand without any decision as to specifically who should be considered equal, as claimed in the Declaration of Independence.

"...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The issue of slavery as a cause is clearly identified in Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy, speaks about the differences of the Union and the Confederacy as defined in the different constitutions.

  • Jefferson and the founding fathers formed the old constitution on the idea enslavement of Africans is in violation of the laws of nature; being wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically.
  • "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition." Source Corner stone Speech

Differences in Confederacy Constitution and U.S. Constitution.

While the issue of whether the United States is a confederation (group) of sovereign states where the states have rights which the federal government can't over ride; or is it an indivisible nation with a strong central or national government (Federalist) whose decisions are ultimate and final may be claimed as an issue. However, slavery is the issue and states' rights an excuse any state can use to argue to override a decision by the Federal government.

See Lincoln's views, on these issues, on February 27, 1860 as delivered in New York, NY. in his Cooper Union Election Speech.
Source of Lincoln speeches and more

Other voices and acts that promote abolition of slavery. Harriet Tubman

  • Fredrick Douglas writes about his life as a slave and supports abolition Source and history
  • Harriet Tubman escapes slavery and speaks and writes for abolition and civil rights. Her timeline of accomplishments
  • Margaret Garner's story of her willingness to kill her own child to prevent her from returning to a life in bondage: receives national attention which causes many more people to view slavery as inhumane. However, others believe her actions demonstrate inferior intelligence, which supports their ideological views of slavery as the perfect human condition for a better world.

The election of 1860.

The nomination: Lincoln's campaign manager is David Davis. Who unknown to Lincoln, passes out counterfeit tickets to Lincoln's campaign supporters. They fill the hall before William H. Seward's people arrive. Thurlow Weed, Sewards campaign manager, pleas for Seward's delegates to parade through town and enter the hall. As a result Seward didn't get enough votes in the first round. After which Davis began to make deals and picks up 79 votes on the second round by offering cabinet positions to win the nomination. It is believed he offered William H. Seward the cabinet position of Secretary of State to win the Ohio delegations support.

During the election Lincoln isn't on the ballot in the southern states. Douglas campaigns by traveling more than 1 000 miles in the south with his message to save the union. It didn't work. Lincoln wins with less than 40% of the vote, sneaks into Washington under threat of assassination, and is inaugurated while Army troops line Pennsylvania Avenue. Douglas is on the podium and holds Lincoln's hat due to it being a windy day. The south immediately leaves the union. Race to the White House Lincoln - Douglas.

First income tax assessed. Needing money to fund the Civil War Congress passes and Lincoln signs, a 3 percent tax on yearly incomes over $800.00.

1861 Abraham Lincoln sworn in as the sixteenth President of the U. S.


Francis Lieber writes an essay Nationalism: A Fragment of Political Science on the importance of nationalism in the modern sense of the word.

Without a national character, states cannot obtain that longevity and continuity of political society which is necessary for our progress.

Charles Darwin publishes: On the Origin of Species

Idea of evolution and survival of the fittest

Unfortunately instead of his ideas on evolution being used to support how fragile life is, because each organism is dependent on a sustainable ecosystem for survival. Evolution is used to focus on survival and fitness will be use to justify colonialism, monopolistic economics, racism, and other ideas that benefit individualistic sources of power at the expense of others and a sustainable world.
Mistakenly elevating the idea that power is most important for survival; devaluing the importance of living in harmony in a caring community with kinship to maintain an interdependence to sustain a healthy environment.

1857 James Buchanan sworn in as the fifteenth President of the U. S.


Dred Scott v. John F.A. Sandford

The U.S. Supreme Court, lead by Roger Taney rules (7–2) that a slave (Dred Scott) that African Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States; and that the Missouri Compromise (1820), which had declared all territories west of Missouri and north of latitude 36°30′ as free; as unconstitutional based on the belief it is a Constitutional right of the states to deal with slavery individually and gradually. The decision results from a pro slavery founding and pushes the U.S. closer to civil war.


Kansas Nebraska Act

The Kansas Nebraska act repeals the Missouri Compromise, which closed this territory to slavery. With the hopes to save the nation from civil war, the compromise opens the territory for a state’s settlers to decide if they want to allow slavery or not. Violence breaks out in Kansas between pro slavery and abolitionist factions. See history of Lawrence, Kansas.

1853 Franklin Pierce sworn in as the fourteenth President of the U. S. First election with the results announced nationally via the telegraph. He will serve only one term.


Fredrick Douglass, a former slave, delivers his speech The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro to the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society at Corinthian Hall in downtown Rochester. Within his speech he says ...

"There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, that dose not know that slavery is wrong for him."

That single line destroys all logical arguments for slavery.

Read more in The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, Volume II Pre-Civil War Decade 1850-1860 Philip S. Foner International Publishers Co., Inc., New York, 1950. For example:

A man’s character greatly takes its hue and shape from the form and color of things about him.

See also 1868, 1861


Compromise of 1850 .

Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and Stephen Douglas propose, support, and pass a series of bills. The result ...

  • Texas would relinquish its claim to land all the way to Santa Fe in return for 10 million dollars to pay its debt to Mexico.
  • New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah territories would decide on slavery when they apply for statehood
  • Slave trade is abolished in the District of Columbia, but slavery would still be permitted.
  • California would be admitted as a free state.
  • To pacify slave-state politicians, who objected to a free slave state imbalance, that would be created, the Fugitive Slave Act (probably the worst act ever passed by Congress) is passed. It requires citizens to assist in the recovery of fugitive slaves and denies a fugitive right to a jury trial.

As a result an estimated 20 000 blacks move to Canada.

Many fugitives are captured and returned to slavery. Free blacks are also captured and sent to the South. Who had no legal right to plead their cases.

The Underground Railroad becomes more active, reaching its peak between 1850 and 1860. However, there is only a small fraction who actually reach Canadian freedom.

The Compromise of 1850 did keep the nation united, but it is only temporary. Over the following decade the country's citizens become further divided over the issue of slavery and leads to the Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854, which divides the country even more. Then In June 28, 1864, the act is repealed.

1850 Millard Fillmore sworn in as the thirteenth President of the U. S.


1849 Zachary Taylor sworn in as the twelfth President of the U. S.

Charles Summer, Massachusetts describes human rights.

Here is the Great Charter of every human being drawing vital breath upon this soil, whatever may be his condition, and whoever may be his parents. He may be poor, weak, humble, or black, - he may be of Caucasian, Jewish, Indian, or Ethiopian race - he may be French, German, English, or Irish extraction; but before the Constitution of Massachusetts all these distinctions disappear ... he is a MAN, the equal of all his fellow men. He is one of the children of the State, which, like an impartial parent, regards all of its offspring with an equal care.


Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

First three declarations of Woman's Rights are written at the convention held at Seneca Falls on July 19-20, 1848.

... "Resolved, That such laws as conflict, in any way, with the true and substantial happiness of woman, are contrary to the great precept of nature, and of no validity; for this is "superior in obligation to any other.

Resolved, That all laws which prevent woman from occupying such a station in society as her conscience shall dictate, or which place her in a position inferior to that of man, are contrary to the great precept of nature, and therefore of no force or authority.

Resolved, That woman is man's equal—was intended to be so by the Creator, and the highest good of the race demands that she should be recognized as such." ... Entire text ...

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the U.S. Mexican War. Mexico cedes all land north of the Rio Grande, U.S. pays Mexico $15 million, and grants Mexicans who would now live in America White person status.

1845 James Polk sworn in as the eleventh President of the U. S.


The Philadelphia Riots (Prayer Riots, Bible Riots and Native American Riots) are several riots between May 6 and 8 and July 6 and 7, 1844, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States and the adjacent districts of Kensington and Southwark. Thirteen people die, Catholic Irish churches are attacked and two burnt to the ground.

A major issue, is whose religious interests would be represented in school, not a separation of Church and State issue. The city is divided by anti Catholic and Nativists anti immigrant sentiments. Use of a protestant Bible in public schools and derogatory religious and heritage wording in texts and by teachers. Source

1841 John Tyler sworn in as the tenth President of the U. S.

1841 William Harrison sworn in as the ninth President of the U. S.


Democracy in America is written by Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis is a French aristocrat, political philosopher and historian, who writes this two volumes set. It presents an outsiders view of democracy and early America, and he is often quoted.

For example:

The most perilous moment for a bad government is one when it seeks to mend its ways.

An ominous warning for dealing with slavery.


Great Britain ends slavery.

1837 Martin Van Buren sworn in as the eighth President of the U. S.


Nat Turner rebellion, or the Southampton Insurrection is led by Nat Turner. He and other slaves kill from 55 to 65 people. The most fatalities caused by any slave uprising in the American South. See Atlantic Monthly Nat Turner's Insurrection. August 1861 a 30 years later account.

Fear grows, so in 1833 the government allocates funds to conduct a census and ask all free people of color in Virginia if they would emigrate to West Africa. All 452 Albemarle County free Blacks, including Joseph Fossett, Sally Hemings, Madison Hemings, and Eston Hemings, decline the offer.

1829 Andrew Jackson sworn in as the seventh President of the U. S.


New Harmony, Indian a Utopian social experiment fails. New Harmony is a socialist, communal, or communist collective. Reasons for its failure are explained as: colonists gave up their commitment to a collective ideal, people are not screened which allows too many misfits to join, a period of introduction isn't sufficient, and there is no accountability or incentives. Robert Owen, textile industrialist and social reformer, buys the properties from the Harmonist in 1835, after they give up on the site and moves back to Pennsylvania. After two years he withdraws his support and turns toward Cooperative exchanges and production. Source

See 1874 and the Icarians for another attempt.

1825 John Quincy Adams sworn in as the sixth President of the U. S.


The Missouri Compromise

Congress passes and President Monroe signs legislation hoping to continue the political balance of the north and south. The compromise admits Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state and prohibits slavery in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase.

1817 James Monroe sworn in as the fifth President of the U. S.

1809 James Madison sworn in as the fourth President of the U. S. - He writes under the pseudonym of Helvidius & as Publius with Hamilton. Hamilton wrote as Pacificus. He believes money builds cities and industry with factory jobs for all, men, women, & children.

Money is, with propriety, considered as the vital principle of the body politic. Alexander Hamilton

He also rebukes the notion that the

... spirit of commerce has a tendency to soften the manners of men. Concluding that history had numerous cases of wars founded upon commercial motives. Alexander Hamilton


Tecumseh, Shawnee, works to unite Native Americans to keep and protect their homeland. They build Prophetstown, which is attacked by William Harrison and burned in what is known as the Battle of Tippecanoe. He is also involved in the Siege of Detroit, & The Battle of the Thames. Source


Virginia passes a law that requires slaves freed after May 1806 to leave the state within one year or face re enslavement. The law is not consistently enforced, When Jefferson bequeathes freedom to five men in 1826, he petitions the Virginia legislature for a special exemption from the law. Source

Efforts to rid the state of free African Americans increase over the century. See 1831 Nat Turner and 1833 Virginia government action.


The Haitian Revolution lasts from 1791 to 1804 and results in the first independent nation in the Caribbean, the second democracy in the western hemisphere, and the first Black republic in the world. See History of Haiti timeline.

The Haitian Revolution raises concerns about the free Blacks in the south and what to do. See 1806 law for freed slaves to leave Virginia.

Louisiana Purchase

President Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Robert Livingston agree to buy the Louisiana Territory.


Marbury vs. Madison establishes judicial review.

Giving the power of the Supreme Court to overturn Congressional legislation. Establishes a boundary between the executive and judicial branches of the United States government.

1801 Thomas Jefferson sworn in as the third President of the U. S. after 37 votes in Congress be wins over Aaron Burr.


Gabriel Prosser plans a slave revolt on August 30, 1800. However, two slaves tip off Virginia authorities so Governor James Monroe alerts the militia while a rainstorm delays Prosser from assembling his army. When he realizes their plan is compromised he and his followers disperse. 35 leaders are captured and executed, but Prosser escapes until other slaves turn him in for the reward. He is, tried, found guilty, and executed October 7, 1800. Source


U.S. government passes the Alien and Sedition Acts.

  • The acts are based on the culture and laws of England, which protect the king.
  • They pass amid fears of war.
  • One act provides for a fine or imprisonment for any person who writes, prints, states, or publishes any false, scandalous and malicious writings against the government with intent to defame or disrepute the president or members of congress.
  • Madison, argues against the law by claiming any speech critical of government is harmful and the ability to criticize government is essential in a democracy.
  • It is the biggest mistake of Adam's presidency and influences the election of Jefferson.
  • All but one of the acts are allowed to expire in 1802.
  • The Alien Enemies Act, is amended in 1918 and in effect today.
  • It is used during World War II, 1942, to confine 120,000 Japanese Americans.


Eli Whitney invents interchangeable parts, mass production, and claims industrialization as economic progress

  • Again Whitney's ability of observation leads him to see a demand for more efficient manufacturing. In this case for guns with interchangeable parts so they can be mass produced to supply a growing demand.
  • He lobbies politicians to pass legislation to standardize arms production.
  • He is also one of the first Americans to join the ideas of republicanism and technological progress.
  • He links the American industrial revolution with economic progress and Puritanical attributes of diligence, sobriety, and thrift.


Robert Malthus publishes, An Essay on the Principle of Population.

He argues population will increase at a rate greater than food production. He bases his conclusion on a finite limit of land for crops, a geometric rate of population growth, and an arithmetic rate of increasing food production. His theory influences Darwin and his theory of natural selection; and years later Keynes and his Keynesian economics.

1797 John Adams sworn in as second President of the U.S. after President George Washington decides to step down after his two terms. Later, President Thomas Jefferson also steps down, which establishes a two term limit tradition, until President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Later the twenty-second amendment establishes two term limits.


President Washington's Farewell Address

Explains his refusal to serve another term, expresses gratitude to the country for the honors bestowed on him, expresses the importance of unity of government as one people, concern for division created by political parties, government for the whole is indispensable, respect the Constitution, keep liberty for all secure, rise of despotism, religion and morality are indispensable for political and judicial prosperity, cherish public credit by balancing taxes and debt, observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all, passionate attachment to one foreign nation, foreign influence, foreign commercial relations, permanent alliances, should be policy guided humane liberal interactions with all nations, and the faults of incompetent abilities consigned to oblivion. Source

Starting in 1896, to honor Washington, every year on his birthday, the two parties in the U.S. Senate take turns reading it aloud.


Treaty of Greenville

See Indian world and Washington


Washington tells congress

If we desire peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for war.

Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin and its effect on slavery

The cotton gin revolutionizes agriculture, but not in a positive way. It creates the cotton economy of the American South. It could clean ten times as much cotton as a slave by hand so that increases the use of slaves for growing and harvesting cotton to meet the increased demand for cotton to gin. This also creates a demand for more land which promotes the removal of Native Americans from fertile land and causes an expansionist climate for southerners and others who want to profit from cotton.



Englishwoman Mary Wollstonecraft wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women


First US. census day - August 2, 1790.

Washington D.C. established as capital

Hamilton wants the federal Government to pay all the state’s debts from the American Revolution. Which is held by speculators and banks, who bought them from the original owners and soldiers at pennies on the dollar. The Assumption bill (funding act) fails to pass in Congress. Hamilton goes to Jefferson and asks him to convince other southern senators to vote for it in exchange for northerners to vote for the Residency Act, to locate the capital in the south, Washington D.C. They both pass. Jefferson later claims: "I was hoodwinked."

1789 George Washington sworn in as first President of the U. S.

First left right used to describe political parties

French Assembly delegates who favored preservationist sit on the right side of the chamber and those who favored change sit on the left side. Hence the terms right - left or conservative - liberal is born.


Constitutional Convention meets, concludes their work, and sign the U. S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.

Never before in history is there a better assembly of learned men knowledgeable in the history, economics, and political science of government. Who cut and pasted previous documents to create it.

However, strong the delegation, there are issues left unsolved.

  • Has no bill of rights
  • Does not allow one person one vote for President or Senators
  • Endorses slavery with 3/5 rule and the return of run away slaves
  • Doesn't include women or Native Americans
  • Allows taxes, but no mention of a national bank
  • Favors no religion and requires no church attendance

Those in attendance are capitalist elites drawn for personal, political, financial reasons. Believing as John Jay.

Those who own the country ought to govern it. John Jay

While many ultimately ended up broke, destitute, land poor or failed in other ways. They are bankers, real estate speculators, lawyers, bond holders, plantation owners, wealthy merchants and manufacturers. Here is a short bio. and financial interests for each of the 55 members.

Those not represented, or in attendance are small land owners, family farmers, small business owners, merchants, tradesmen, veterans, laborers, poor, indentured servants, slaves, Native Americans, nor any women in any category. Also John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are on diplomatic missions in Europe.

Madison and many others believe democracy needs to be limited. The issue is how to limit it. One solution is the Senate and appointment to office by the state legislatures.

Some of what they charged the federal government with:

  • Create a National (Federal) Government able to "... establish Justice, Domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and out Posterity.".
  • Make no law respecting the establishment of Religion, no tax support for churches, no religious test for office, no required attendance to worship.
  • Collect taxes. One of the first is a whiskey tax.
  • Create a standing army. Protect from uprisings of Native Americans, slaves, veterans, those unwilling or able to pay taxes. Like: Shay's Rebellion 1781 organize by Daniel Shay due to unpaid veterans, foreclosure, worthless money, bad loans … Philadelphia workmen led what might be the first strike in 1783, Congress flees to Princeton, suppressed, and ends with 12 soldiers being executed.
  • Opposition to the Constitution is most strong in rural districts, where most people live, feeling it is like the British tyranny in disguise.
  • Nine states ratify it and it becomes the law.
  • Three states immediately demand amendments to guarantee human and property rights (Bill of Rights).
  • Validate all debts issued before the creation of the U.S. government (Constitution)
  • Create the Fugitive act.
  • Importation of slavery would be legal for another 20 years.
  • Mandate a census every ten years.

The Northwest Ordinance establishes a process to acquire, settle and organize western lands. Doing so legitimizes the United States government. This solidifies power by making Congress the authority over all territories held by the United States. It bans slavery and servitude in the territories and gives all decision making over the territories to the new federal government. This reduces conflict over western expansion and paves the way for new states to join the United States as full and equal states. As for the issue of slavery it proves to be a temporary solution. Source

The Ordinance directs:

"the utmost good faith shall always be observed towards Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent.”


James Madison recognizes that a census could be a scientific method to decide how to distribute political power. If a census is conducted every ten years, the data could be used to determine how many representatives each state would have. Therefore, a way to guarantee the House of Representatives would equitably represent future population changes.

  • His idea is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.
  • The first census of the United States records the population of the United States as of Census Day, August 2, 1790.
  • A scientific accurate census provides information to make wise social, economic, health, medical research, technological, and other important decisions.
  • If conducted well it becomes a valuable source to create representative samples for quality research.


Richard Allen uses religion to convince his master to allow him to buy his freedom. He uses his preaching abilities and other skills to earn money to buy his freedom. He and other Blacks had disputes with White congregants, which leads to a sit in and eventually builds his own church Bethel and founds the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Source

1st treaty by the United States government that creates a reservation

Treaty of Fort Stanwix is made between the United States and the Oneida and Tuscarora tribes.


Mum Bett also known as, Elizabeth Freeman, is struck by Mistress Ashley with a kitchen shovel. After she is hit she leaves their home and refuses to return. Her owner, Colonel Ashley, goes to court to seek her return. Mum Bett knew about the Bill of Rights and the Massachusetts State Constitution so she decides that if all people are born free and equal, then it ought to apply to slaves.

She asks a lawyer, Theodore Sedgewick, for help. He takes the case and with another slave, Brom, files suit. In Brom & Bett v. Ashley. The jury rules in favor of Bett and Brom, making them the first enslaved African Americans to be freed under the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, and orders Ashley to pay 30 shillings and costs. This case leads to the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts. Source

British surrender to Washington and Lafayette at Yorktown Virginia

William Armistead is a slave whose master gives permission to join the U.S. Army during the American Revolution. Marquis de Lafayette, the commander of the U.S. French allies asks him to spy on the English. He is able to convince the British General Charles Cornwallis that he will spy for the British. As a double agent he is able to travel freely in both British and American camps. This enables him to gather and give information to Lafayette and Washington so they are able to stop 10, 000 British reinforcements from reaching Yorktown and use the American and French troops and armaments to surprise the British and seriously damage their military so Cornwallis surrenders on October 19, 1781.

While Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown ends the fighting, the war does not officially end until a peace treaty is signed in Paris on September 3, 1783.


Spain and the American Revolution

Prior to Spain entering the war Bernardo de Galvez (Spanish aristocrat) is governor and commander in Louisiana during the American Revolutionary War, who works to expand Spain's power in America, and assists the U.S. in the Revolution.

  • Galvez supplies the colonies with secret Spanish aid and only allows Spanish, American, and French ships to dock in New Orleans. Thus, England has no supply route to the Mississippi Valley and the western side of the colonies.
  • On June 21, 1779 Spain enters the war against England and uses its navy to stop supplies and soldiers coming to America from Europe.
  • Spain also provides supplies and troops to America.
  • Galvez oversees the supplies and weapons that travel up the Mississippi River to American troops in Pennsylvania.
  • He also supervises attacks on English forts and trading towns on the Mississippi River.
  • He assembles a force of Spanish soldiers, Creoles, Acadians (French Canadians), Native Americans, and free blacks. Who capture Baton Rouge, Natches, Mobile, and Pensacola (the capital of British West Florida) with support of the Spanish naval forces from Havana, Cuba.
  • His removal of the British from Florida makes it possible for America to buy the Florida colonies in 1819.
  • After the war Congress honors Galvez for his assistance.
  • As Spanish patriot he negotiates the southern territories return to Spain, which sets the western border of the United States as the Mississippi River.
  • Spain makes Galvez General of Florida and the Louisiana territory, later Cuba and Mexico.
  • He becomes known for his abilities to solve problems and is a very popular leader who considers his citizens best interests in the decisions he makes.
  • He marries a Creole and has three children.


Before, during, and after the Revolutionary war American Indians on the western frontier are constantly pressured by Spanish, French, English, and of course American settlers. Some interesting events:

  • Chief Blackfish and Daniel Boone - siege of Boonesborough
  • Tecumseh as a young boy experiences events that shape his later life, see 1810
  • October 7, 1780, the Battle of King's Mountain, South Carolina, is fought with Patriot irregulars lead by Colonel William Campbell against British loyalists (Tories) led by Major Patrick Ferguson. Ferguson is killed along with most of his force. This defeat forces General Charles Cornwallis to abandon his plans to travel north and invade North Carolina. Instead he retreats south to Yorktown where he surrenders on October 19, 1781.

1st official treaty between the United States government and American Indians for their removal from their native lands

The Lenape (Delaware) sign a treaty. The Delaware Tribe is the first tribe to sign a treaty with the American government,


First American sniper

October 7, 1777, during the Second Battle of Saratoga, of the Revolutionary War Timothy Murphy is ordered to kill Brigadier General Simon Fraser. Murphy climbs a tree 300 yards away and fatally wounds Fraser with his third shot. He dies the next morning. The shot becomes the legend of Sure Shot Tim, whom Andy Dougan claims is the precursor of the modern sniper. Source Through the Crosshairs: A History of Snipers.

Independence for?

The Half Has Never Been Told book cover

Abigail Adams asks John Adams to: remember the ladies. They were not. Source

In 1776 there are 700 000 slaves in America, mostly Africans. Read. The Half Has Never Been Told, by Edward E. Baptist who describes America's struggle with slavery from the creation of the country and the alarming reality to which slavery is embedded in our country: politically, morally, and most of all, yet least recognized - economically. The profits made with systematic kidnapping, torture, murder, and oppression.

Baptist combines personal narratives, economic information, and politics to describe how wealth, slavery, and state's rights caused the Civil War. How a one dimensional focus on slavery as a moral issue, thought solved with The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution 1865. Allows for a continuation of oppression without the consideration of dimensions of: wealth, education, oppression ... The other half.

The Indian World of Washington

The Indian World of Washington describes Washington's vision of Native Americans and their land. While his interactions with Native Americans is complicated he consistently works to have them adopt a culture of land cultivation. He believes in time this would decrease their need for vast tracks of land, they traditionally require as hunters and gatherers. He hopes to assimilate them and to populate the land with farmers, which would raise money by selling their vast tracks of land, much of which he owns, for his profits and other land to fund the new government. See Also Northwest ordinance

President Washington declares one of his highest priorities is to deal with the Indians with justice and humanity. However the history of the French, Spanish, British, and American dealings with Native Americans where each creates conflict in order to benefit their own selfish gains is too difficult to forget and learn to live together in peace. The Northwest Ordinance, opens the Ohio Valley for settlement and accepts Indian treaties. However, Congress has no way to protect tribes and their lands from the large number of settlers moving west. Conflict in 1790 and 1791, causes Washington to send armies, who are soundly defeated. In response Congress authorizes a larger army, which defeats the Indian confederation in 1794 and the Treaty of Greenville results. By 1796 Washington concludes:

"I believe scarcely anything short of a Chinese wall, or a line troops, will restrain Land jobbers, and the encroachment of settlers upon the Indian territory."



Declaration of Independence is written by a committee of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston in 1776. It is printed by Mary Katherine Goddard in Baltimore.

Declaration of Independence

The most recognized part of the Declaration of independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

  • Borrowed from John Locke right to life, liberty, and property
  • Influenced by Isaac Newton, Principia and Coke, Institutes where he relies on the importance of knowledge and reason for men (citizens) to govern themselves; removing religion (god) and a monarchy (king) from government. Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Mason, Franklin, and others generally believe justice and good character is important, but one religion or state religion is not acceptable.
    • Washington never joins a church and commands his officers to respect all religions among their troops and of those they fight.
    • Jefferson writes a bill for religious freedom in 1783 and he and Madison oppose giving state money for religion in 1786. After the bills failure writes to Jefferson: "... we have in this country extinguished forever the ambitious hope of making laws for the human mind."
    • In 1790 Washington writes to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, that he applauds the people of the United States for rejecting the European practice of a national religion and instead have "an enlarged and liberal policy" that religious liberty is a natural right, not a gift of government, to which all citizens are equally free to enjoy.
  • Jefferson wrote "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable, ... inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ..."
    • Franklin suggests a stronger secular statement by changing sacred and undeniable to, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, ..." To remove the hand of God.
    • "inherent & inalienable",was changed to " unalienable Rights"
  • These changes along with "... deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ..." and the understanding of the times, result in the understanding that the Declarations is for the property owners currently in power, not slaves and women.
  • Jefferson couldn't see a way to free slaves.
  • John Adams thoughts on government, at this time, are in his, Thoughts on Government, Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies, on the request of the North Carolina Provincial Congress for suggestions on how to establish a new government and constitution. Adams basis much of his suggestions on the importance of human happiness being central to the purpose of government. Source
  • Abigail Adams asks John Adams to: remember the ladies. They were not. Source
  • See 1787 - constitutional convention.

Trumbell Declaration image

Source John Trumbull [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) by Adam Smith.

Wealth is regulated by:

  • The quality, skill, judgment of the workers, and specialization
  • The productive workers,
  • The proportion of useful workers and non useful workers or unemployed.
  • Product distribution, supply and demand, trade, barriers, price control, and tariffs
  • Investments, capital stock and its use.
  • How capital and stock are accumulated and distributed in ways that are good, kind, and show concern.
  • National labor practices
  • How labor focuses on supply and consumption.
  • Revenue of governments, taxation, monopolies, cartels


Voices from 1770's

Thomas Paine, encouraged by Benjamin Rush, writes Common Sense and publishes it anonymously with the pen name, An Englishman, on January 9, 1776. Encourages independence with ideas like:

  • There is something very absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.
  • While Samuel Adams deals with liberty and equality, Paine launches an assault on monarchy and hereditary succession. And asks to name a single advantage to a continued connection with Great Britain.
  • Argues that liberal states do not fight one another, all the Republics of Europe are all in peace. And we may say always.

John Dickinson, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, also writes to support t independence with his twelve Letters as a Farmer in Pennsylvania, which are published from 1767 and 1768.

Daniel Dulany, a lawyer and Mayor of Annapolis shortly before the American Revolution, writes a pamphlet Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes in the British Colonies. In it he argues eloquently against taxation without representation.

William Pitt is a senior leader for Great Britain who led Britain to victory over France in the French and Indian War. He is against the Treaty of Paris wanting to continue the fight against Spain who is an ally of France. Thus, the British empire gains control of Canada and the Mississippi Valley, but not the colonies of Spain. He repeatedly speaks his opposition to impose taxes on the American colonies, without representation and argues for their representation in the British Parliament. However, he is unable to convince King George III and Parliament to change their treatment of the American colonists before the American Revolution and during the Revolution. He advocates for a more fair treatment and advises to settle their differences so the colonies will remain in the British empire. He speaks for these ideas in British Parliament, from 1766 to 1778 when he collapses and dies a month later.

In 1775, General Gage, Commander in Chief of the British Army in America, is replaced by General William Howe. Basically because Gage said winning the war is not possible with what the government is willing to spend.

King George III rules Great Britain from the age of 12 and takes Britain to war in the Seven Years’ War, French and Indian War, American Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812.

Committees of safety, or committees of observation and committees of inspection, are organized locally to govern themselves and refuse to be governed by royal officials. They arrange militias, boycotts, and the general safety of the people. People who did not cooperate are ostracized and often choose to move away. Later consolidated into state governments and the federal government.

Chief Pontiac see French & Indian war

Joseph Brant, one of the many Native American leaders who seek an alliance with Britain against the Americans in the Revolutionary War to maintain the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

Benjamin Rush

  • Advocates for primary school for all Pennsylvania children.
  • Prison reform
  • A college for physicians
  • Abolition of slavery
  • Education of females as the same as males
  • Wrote
    • First cross religion writings
    • Directions for preserving the health of soldiers used by Washington
    • Other health documents


The Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia

  • Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. Among the many who fight is Peter Salem, an African American born into slavery, freed by, Major Lawson Buckminster, to serve in the local militia. At Bunker Hill he shoots and kills British Royal Marine Major John Pitcairn, which allows the American troops to retreat. While the British hold the hill they lose 1054 troops and the Americans 400. The bloodies battle of the war.
  • Second Continental Congress appoints Washington commander in chief of the American army on June 15, 1775 and declares Congress as a provisional government of the 13 colonies, gives it the power to mint and print money, establish a postal system, and creates a navy. Source
  • Americans and British troops fight at Lexington and Concord, MA on April 19, 1775


There are 18 English colonies in North America: Province of Quebec, Nova Scotia, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, West Florida, East Florida.

Map of 15 colonies

British Parliament passes the Coercive Acts of 1774, (Intolerable Acts in the American colonies) four laws to punish the colony of Massachusetts Bay for the Boston Tea Party. (Boston Port Act, Massachusetts Government Act, Administration of Justice Act, and the Quartering Act) and close the Boston Harbor

King George III assumes the colonists will help pay for Great Britain’s protect from the French and Native Americans. However, he fails to understand the colonies see them as intolerable, not for the cost, but as having power to oppress them as colonist and not on an equal legal basis with the rights that loyal English citizens have.

56 delegates (from 12 colonies) met in Philadelphia September 5, 1774. Later known as the first Congress, and reject reconciliation with England and adopt a declaration of personal rights, liberty, property, assembly, and trial by jury. Denounce taxation without representation and housing the British army without consent. Regulation of American commerce is acceptable. Later they petition the English crown to settle claims since 1763 and call for a boycott and not to export goods to England to force compliance. Adjourn and set next Congress for 1775. Source

Thomas Hutchinson, Royal governor of Massachusetts does not allow the British East India Tea Company’s ships to leave Boston Harbor with their tea, as other ports in the colonies had. The result being the Boston Tea Party.


Ben Franklin writes a satire Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One.

A satire on how Great Britain's treatment of the colonies will be their downfall. Source

First poem collection by an American of Indigenous African descent

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.

By Phillis Wheatley, American, 1773. Illustrated by Scipio Moorhead. She could not find a publisher in Boston who would publish it so she had it published in Britain by Archibald Bell. Source


Boston Massacre

Samuel Adams

  • The man who has the greatest hand in the greatest revolution in the world.
  • The Patriarch of Liberty, the person considered as the earliest, most active, and most persevering of the Revolution.
  • Early on Adams believes:
“The foundation of a people’s ruin is often at first laid in small, and almost imperceptible encroachments upon their liberties.”
  • The Revolutinary: Samuel Adams He takes any action of the parliament or the King that he can to advocate for his ideal of liberty and power for the people, without mentioning revolution to avoid being hung for treason.
  • His knowing people are governed more by feelings and emotions than reason combined with his belief that underhanded tactics to achieve noble goals are permissible, he achieves a foundation of revolution along with a structure to achieve it.
  • He does so with his writings: which includes thirty plus pseudonyms, running for political offices, seeking government employments, committee work, petitions, boycotts, the Circular Letter, work with The Sons of Liberty, sabotage, speeches, letters to unite the colonies, the committee of correspondence, pamphlets (Natural Rights of the Colonists, Catalog of infringements & violations, & Appeal to unite MA towns), Stamp Act riots, Petition to the King, Boston Tea Party, Lexington ..
  • Later, Jefferson would say that he asks himself over and over:
"Is it as Samuel would express it? Will he approve of it? A government … where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern."

Source: The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams by Stacy Schiff


Great Britain enacts taxes

King George III assumes the colonists will help pay for Great Britain’s protection from the French and Native Americans and passes the Navigation Act, Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, and Currency Act, and makes George Grenville responsible for enforcing them.

1763 & prior

French & Indian War

From the early meetings of Europeans (French in the north) and North Eastern Aboriginal peoples (Huron, Algonkin, Abenaki, Micmac, Wabanaki, …) a destructive dependency is struck as both sides try to benefit by trading with the other. Soon the best deals are trading furs for metal and other European manufactured goods. Metal, which starts a transition for the native people from a stone hunting culture to using metal with their hunting tools and eventually guns. Which makes them dependent on European trade. As both sides compete for better deals a limit of furs increases competition among tribes. Southern tribes, Iroquois, having an advantage of milder climates to supplement their food with crops that grow better further south and not having to rely on as much trade. However, northern tribes have an advantage because animal grow better fur in colder climates.

By the 1700's colonization in North America has created many alliances that contribute to trading benefits for Europeans and Native Americans. These alliances are more than economic as settlers and natives intermarry and some live in a fairly localized harmony with each other as they learn from each other and benefit with their cooperation. Europeans learn about the environment and new foods and Natives learn about manufactured goods and settled living. However, as additional French and British settlers arrive pressure is exerted on Natives who are caught in the middle of the French in Canada and the British on the East coast.

In the mid 1700s European expansion in North America leads to what is known as the French and Indian War, in America, and the Seven Year's War, in Europe.

Notable events and people:

  • George Washington, fails in his attempt to remove French from the Ohio Valley and surrenders at Fort Necessity
  • General Braddock fails to capture Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) 1755
  • Robert Rogers and his rangers conduct raids in the northeast, march on Quebec and Montreal, and capture Detroit and other northwestern posts.
  • British defeat French in India and Minorca 1756
  • Abenaki and Iroquois nations. Iroquois Confederacy initially fight on both sides and after a battle where they kill many of their own confederacy members vow never to fight each other and become neutral.
  • Iroquios wars
  • The massacre at Fort William Henry 1757
  • Battles of Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point Tragic expulsion of the Acadians
  • Fall of Quebec and Montreal Lord Howe, Montcalm, James Wolfe
  • Brutal destruction of the Abenakis sophisticated town with wood houses and church burnt at Saint Francis by Rogers Rangers.
  • Iroquois diplomacy of Sir William Johnson help turn the war
  • Franklin publishes his image of a rattlesnake cut into pieces with the caption join or die.
  • Spain enters the war 1762
  • Treaty of Paris February, 1763 gives much territory in North America and Mississippi river valley to Great Britain, lands west of the Appalachian Mountains (Proclamation Line) to Native Americans, and left the British with great debt. Britain attempts to pay the debt by taxing the colonies and the restriction imposed by granting western lands to Native Americans lead to the colonies revolution. Source
  • After the treaty is signed, General Jeffrey Amherst attempts to impose new policies. Chief Pontiac and a confederation of Indians in the Great Lakes region unite to drive the British soldiers and settlers out of their territory. They attack and destroy eight British forts and kill and capture hundreds of colonists which causes many more to flee. The Indians are unable to repel the arrival of additional reinforcements. However, the uprising causes the British to reverse the controversial policies.
  • The British government seeks to prevent further racial violence and issues the Royal Proclamation of 1763 (in October), which creates a boundary between colonists and Indians.
  • Warfare on the North American frontier is brutal with many killings and atrocities. Including British officers at Fort Pitt giving Chief Pontiac blankets exposed to smallpox.

Pontiac's Rebellion map


Emile cover Jean-Jacques Rousseau - (1712 -1778)

French author who wrote:
Emile or a Treatise on Education.

The book is considered the first educational philosophy book as well as the first child psychology book.

Rousseau claims children have a natural goodness and can become critical life long learners and educated citizens if they can survive a corrupted society.

Rousseau is sometimes referred to as the father of modern child psychology.


First political cartoon


Montesquieu, born Charles-Louis de Secondat & inherited the tile
baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu, (1689- 1755)

  • Wrote, Persian Letters, 1722
  • Write, Reflections on the Causes of the Grandeur and Declension of the Romans, 1734
  • Wrote, The Spirit of Laws, 1750
  • Strong supporter of Democracy with three separate branches: executive, legislative and judicial



Abd al-Wahhab mets Ibn Saud in Diriya on the Arabian Peninsula.

Abd al-Wahhab, Islamic purist, and Ibn Saud, ruler of the area, agree to work together to conquer Arabia and impose Wahhabism, a very extreme version of Islam to defend Muslims from impurity. See 2001 for more.


Fort Mose or Moosa (Moh say) is created by Spanish Colonial Governor, Manuel de Montiano as a free black settlement.

Francisco Menendez, African born and baptized as Spanish, is assigned as the fort's leader.

  • Word of a free black settlement reaches into the English colonies. In 1739 the Stono Rebellion had dozens of blacks who try to escape to Spanish Florida. They are unsuccessful.
  • In 1740 colonists want to eliminate this haven for runaways and send a force commanded by James Oglethorpe, who destroys the fort.
  • Spanish troops, Indians, and black militia counterattack and Oglethorpe retreats back to Savannah, Georgia.
  • Citizens from the fort move to St. Augustine until Fort Mose is rebuilt in 1752.
  • In 1763 East Florida becomes part of England as a term for the Peace of Paris. Most Spaniards, including, black and native Americans, evacuate to Spanish, Cuba. Source


A pair of colonial traders murder a Susequehannock hunter. Colonial officials promise justice. They apprehend the suspects and organize a trial to punish the suspects. Imagining this will gain the respect of the Native communities. However, the Susequehannock advocate for a process of acknowledgment, restitution and reconciliation. They achieve it with a treaty in Albany, New York. Source


The Great Awakening or First Great Awakening

  • Protestant religious revival in northern Europe and British America from 1720 - 1740 with a second about 1770.
  • An evangelical and revitalization movement with a permanent impact on American Protestantism and American government.
  • Higher education institutions like Princeton, Brown, Rutgers, and Dartmouth are created to educate students with this enlightened view.
  • Dissent from established religion with a focus on a more diverse view of religious toleration and democratic religious experiences that influence the American Revolution.
  • See also: John Wesley, John Calvin, Calvinism, born again in Jesus Christ, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Anne Hutchinson, ... Source


John Locke (1632-1704)

Defines political power as a:

"...right of making Laws with Penalties of Death, and consequently all less Penalties, for the Regulating and Preserving of Property, and of employing the force of the Community, in the Execution of such Laws and in defence of the Commonwealth from Foreign Injury, and all this only for the Publick Good."

Other ideas he represents, argues for, and participates in:

  1. Defend the claim that men are by nature free and equal against any claim that God made all people subjects of a monarch or that a monarch had a divine right to rule.
  2. Defend the right to life, liberty, and property
  3. Defend unrestricted capitalist accumulation.
  4. Said individual consent is the mechanism by which governments are created and given legitimacy.
  5. Argue government's power to promote the common good extends to actions to increase population, improve a military, strengthen the economy and infrastructure, and so on, for the purpose of preserving the public good.
  6. Believe the law of nature, is the natural moral way to justify rightness or wrongness of human conduct. It requires no logical necessity. It is determined directly or indirectly based on evidence of experience. An empiricist principle, that all knowledge, including moral knowledge, is derived from experience and therefore not innate.
  7. He defends (property) slaves as property (chattel), giving their owners the power of life and death over them and justifies enslavement through the taking of prisoners in a just war.
  8. He helps draft the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina. In which he applies his ideas of slaves as property and justification, although flawed, which gave absolute power to the owners of African-American slaves.
  9. He is secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations (1673-74)
  10. He is a member of the Board of Trade (1696-1700), with responsibility for the American colonies.
  11. He is a major investor in the English slave trade through the Royal African Company and the Bahama Adventurers company.
  12. Says, uncultivated land is essentially valueless as its value is attained by farmers who improve the land. God gave us the land to improve, therefore, it rightfully belongs to those who improve it. Justification for colonization and removal of Native Americans from their land. Source
  13. He believes these rights apply only to a small group of Englishmen, like himself.
  14. Writes An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) see more on these ideas in the Education timeline 1689.


Spain offers asylum to slaves in British colonies and in 1693 the King of Spain makes it official that runaways can have freedom in Florida if they convert to Catholicism and serve four years to the King.


Isaac Newton published Principia Mathematica Principia Mathemaatica cover

Adapted from Isaac Newton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Bacon’s Rebellion

Life in in the middle colonies like Jamestown, Virginia and the Chesapeake bay is terrible for most people, but especially for those who are not large land owners and favored government officials of the King. Many die from diseases, live in crude housing, unsanitary condition, lack potable water, have little to eat, have no say in government, and are being worked to death by propertied Whites. These people, who are in power, believe the only way to control people is through force and they need to control them, because they also believe cheap labor is necessary for their economy and to stay in power. To achieve this they discover tobacco as a cash crop and importing indentured servants and slaves for cheap labor. They

  • Control poor Whites and later immigrants with: indentures that terminate over time, poor wages, share cropping, and the promise of future affordable land.
  • Control immigrants with indentures (a promise of owning land after they work off their debt of passage and keep after arriving) and keeping other poor with low wages, share cropping, and little opportunities to improve.
  • Control Blacks with enslavement
  • See also Why We Left: Untold Stories and Songs of America's First Immigrants by Joanna Brooks

Nathaniel Bacon leads an armed force of Virginia settlers against the Colonial Governor William Berkeley.

Bacon with around 500 men (indentured servants, poorer blacks and whites) demand action against unfair taxes, government favoritism, toward richer land owners, monopolized beaver trade, and pro Indigenous American treatment.

Bacon’s uprising burns Jamestown.

William Berkeley, with the support of the Royal Navy, defeats the uprising, seizes some of the organizers properties, and hangs 23 men.

Many believe this uprising raises fears for colonist of future rebellions; where poor Whites, Blacks, and Indigenous Americans might unite and be more successful. To reduce this possibility, politicians combine fear with white supremacy, to promote disunity based on race to gain power and pass laws that oppress colored and poor people. A caste system of slaves, Native Indians, poor Whites, non Whites, immigrants, and propertied Whites.

  • Control poor Whites and later immigrants with indentures that terminate over time, poor wages, share cropping, and the promise of future affordable land.
  • Control Native Americans by intimidation, plunder, germ warfare, killing, slaughter, taking their land by assuming European countries owned the land and could dislocate them further west to reservations with militia, rangers, and government troops who commit atrocities, torture, murder, slaughter, and burning crops and homes.
  • Enslaving Blacks as codified in the Virginia Slave Codes in 1705, which leads to oppression of all people of color.


1st reservation in America

General Assembly of the Virginia Colony (under British rule) pass an act to create a reservation for the Mattaponi of the Powhatan confederation of tribes, who agreed to live on a reservation and release claim to other lands.


Thomas Hobbes, publishes Leviathan. It describes social contract theory, which becomes a foundation for Western political philosophy and modern political philosophy.

  • Government power is justified on the basis that each citizen gives consent based on their self-interests.
  • Stated, life is nasty brutish and short.
  • Believes people are wicked, greedy, and selfish.
  • Believes an absolute monarchy (king or queen) is needed to protect people from their bad impulses of human nature. Therefore, government should be strong to suppress rebellion.
  • Believes nature gives people the right to do what is needed to survive.
  • Believes people should give up their freedom to be controlled and protected by government.


Irish Archbishop, James Ussher, publishes his Bible computations claiming the world was created Sunday, October 23, 4004 at 9:00 a.m. Previously, Dr. John Lightfoot wrote man was created at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 12, 3928.


Peace of Westphalia ends the Thirty and Eighty years wars and creates a social order with state sovereignty as the basis of international relations.


The powerful Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy of the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Senecca and Tuscarora; once the greatest Native American alliance on the continent is fading into obscurity. Lewis Henry Morgan Ancient Society.

Emigrants to America

Why do people emigrate to America where there are great risk of disease, harsh winters, starvation, and death from Indigenous populations? For example the Roanoke colony of 1587 disappeared, Mayflower 1620, or Jamestown starts with 500 settlers and fell to 60 after the winter of 1609-10. Generally the terrible conditions in the United Kingdom causes many to flee along with a few given charters for the hopes of political and economic gains.

To understand why, review the history of England, Ireland, & Scotland, which becomes the United Kingdom.

Start at the top to go back in history or the bottom to go forward in time.

  • In 1171 England conquers large parts of Ireland.
  • Over the next hundred years England tries to make Ireland more English by enclosing the commons and creating an aristocracy, like they did in England.
  • In doing so, they create distinctions between being a property owner (settler) and being an indigenous native in the lands they claim.
  • 1534 King Henry VIII, in England, declares the English crown to be the only supreme head on earth and the Church in England takes the place of the pope (the Act of Supremacy). Allegiance to the pope is considered treason, making all Catholics enemies of the state.
  • 1536 Ireland is brought under direct English control with the Tudor conquest of Ireland.
  • 1485 Henry VII creates the Court of Star Chamber (a room with painted stars on the ceiling) where the royal court sat to judge, manage licenses, signs, tokens, civil unrest, and other matters of the state.
  • 1560 The Scottish Reformation abolishes the Catholic Church and Catholic practices illegal in Scotland.
  • 1600 Queen Elizabeth requires the people of Ireland to swear an unconditional loyalty oath. However, when many side with Spain in their war against England, she sends an army who burn the land and slaughter men, women and children.
  • 1603-1625 King James believes kings have divine rights.
  • 1609 King James sends English and Scottish Protestants to settle northern Ireland. They confiscate Irish land and remove the native Irish inhabitants, not aligned with the King. They are sent to demonstrate the superiority of English plantations. However, the Irish disagree that working for free as a peasant is a better deal.
  • 1625-1649 Charles I believes in the divine right of kings and quarrels with parliament, dismissing it for many years.
  • In 1625 King James II makes a Proclamation that sends Irish political prisoners to the West Indies and sells them to English settlers as slaves.
  • King James II and Charles I continued with efforts to crush and eliminate the Irish.
  • In 1641 Irish Catholics revolt and the English crush the revolts and impose strict anti-Catholic laws.
  • A civil war begins in 1642 and ends in January 1649 when Charles is put on trial, found guilty on January 27, 1649, and beheaded 30 January 30, 1649.
  • 1649 Parliament abolishes the monarchy and the House of Lords.
  • 1649 Oliver Cromwell is sent to Ireland. His army uses a scorched earth policy for anyone not English approved.
  • The Act of Settlement of 1652 takes land away from Irish Catholics and either kills them or sells them overseas as indentured servants.
  • 1658 Oliver Cromwell dies. His son Richard becomes his successor until he resigns May 1659.
  • 1660 General Monck marches to London. Monck recalls the surviving members of the Long Parliament, which first met in 1640, they vote to disband and hold fresh elections for a new parliament which becomes the Convention parliament that decides the government of England shall be King, Lords and Commons.
  • 1660 Charles II becomes king.
  • 1694 Mary dies
  • 1685 James II becomes King appoints Catholics to powerful and important positions, has a son who would be a Catholic heir. Seven powerful nobles invite the Dutchman William of Orange, husband of James's Protestant daughter Mary, to come to England with an army. William lands in Devon in November and James II flees to France in December. Parliament declares the throne vacant and declares William and Mary joint monarchs (Mary couldn't rule as she was female).
  • 1689 Parliament creates a Bill of Rights. It includes: no Catholic can be king or queen. No king can marry a Catholic. The king could not suspend laws or levy loans or taxes without parliament's consent.
  • 1700s England continues to oppress Catholics in Ireland with laws to suppress the Catholic religion and strengthen the Protestant stronghold on Ireland's economy. Catholics could not vote, hold office or send their children abroad to be educated in Catholicism. Inheritance laws require land to be passed on to all male heirs, making barely tillable plots and leading many to live as tenant farmers on the poorest land, crowed into poorly constructed housing under conditions that lead to disease and fatal health conditions.
  • In 1772, the Irish Parliament creates workhouses for the unemployed poor. However, they are insufficient for the number of poor and the deplorable conditions cause only the most desperate or those who are forced to go into them.
  • In 1733 the Irish Parliament creates charter schools to rescue the Catholic Irish children from abject poverty and free them from their dangerous religion. Parents send their children only during times of famine.
  • In 1788, a Parliament-sponsored committee finds students in charter schools are living in deplorable conditions and being treated cruelly.
  • In 1798 the United Irishmen attempt to establish an independent Irish republic.
  • In 1800 England puts Ireland in the the United Kingdom with the Act of Union. However, it doesn’t grant Catholic emancipation.
  • In 1829 emancipation is granted. However Ireland pushes for repealing the Act of Union and demands self government.
  • From the 1840’s -1850 every potato harvest fails resulting is over a million deaths from starvation and disease and millions more emigrate. The momentum of the movement stalls.
  • Conflict continues into the 2000’s


First English War in America

Dutch and First people trading organizations are pressured by new arrivals their expansion into their territories. Among them the pilgrims. At first the alliance between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag is able to remain nonviolent. However, as the colonist demand for land, the spread of disease, and the exploitation of resources in

territory, tensions lead to violence. The Pequot tribe, the strongest First people influence in the area at the time and newly arrived English colonists in Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Saybrook are unable to create peaceful resolutions for trade, land disputes, and crimes against each other. Since living in fairly close proximity and some who are trying to maintain peace may have created an opportunity for those who did not want to live together peacefully.

Events during this time:

  • History records two wars. Pequot war, which is more local and King Philip's war involves most of New England.
  • Pequot land is confiscated.
  • The Pequot attack settlers working in a field near Wethersfield, kill seven to nine settlers and take two girls captive, who are later returned.
  • John Oldham is killed, by First people, the colonists demand those involved be punished.
  • A meeting between the Pequot tribe and colonist to resolve this situation is unsuccessful.
  • Massachusetts sends militia led by John Endicott to Block Island, kill 14 First people, burn the village, and crops. Then they go to a Pequot village at Saybrook. First people there flee and the militia burn the village and leave.
  • Remaining Pequots attack anyone who leaves Fort Saybrook.
  • Pequot send war belts to neighbor tribes. The Narragansett and many small tribes stay neutral and the Mohegan side with the colonists.
  • Connecticut declares war on the Pequot and sends a militia led by John Mason and John Underhill to attack a Pequot village near New Haven, CN. They do in early morning, burning it and many of its inhabitants, killing 400-700 Pequots inside; men, women, & children.
  • Colonists claim the word of god gives them permission to do so and believe the European's way of life and Christian religion is superior and provides legitimacy to conquer those who are different.
  • Pequots are hunted down, enslaved, some sold in the West Indies, and some escape and assimilate among other tribes.
  • A 1638 treaty makes legal the seizing of Pequot land, the enslavement of survivors, wampum as tribute, and outlaws the name Pequot.
  • The Pequot, a powerful nation, is destroyed.
  • The Pequot destruction eliminates Indians as an obstacle to colonial expansion.
  • This land is their land coverThe greater conflict King Philip's War, or the Great Narragansett War, not only devastates the Wampanoags, but forever shifts the balance of power in New England in favor of European immigrants. Wampanoags today remember the Pilgrims’ entry to their homeland as a day of deep mourning, rather than a moment of giving thanks. Book review This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving



Massachusetts Bay Colony sees themselves as not like the rest of the world. John Winthrop gives his City upon a hill sermon to explain their vision. audio (47:02)


Sir Francis Bacon rejects syllogism in favor of the scientific method, which he describes in his Novum Organum. See science, math, & technology timeline.

Plymouth RockMayflower leaves London and 66 days later lands on Cape Cod (Provincetown) November 21, 1620. On December 26 its 102 settlers land at Plymouth, Massachusetts and begin to create a settlement. The ship remains until April when it leaves for England.

Mayflower compact is the first document in America created by Europeans for representative self government. see also immigrants to America 1640


When the pilgrims land at Plymouth in 1620, they meet with the Wampanoag Nation's, Sachem (chief) Ousamequin. He knows his band is weak from disease and war so he bargains with the new arrivals to gain support for his people's protection against the Narragansetts in exchange for his support of the pilgrims. See 1637 Pequot

Tisquantum (Squanto, Samoset), who is with the Wampanoag Nation at the Patuxet village can speak English and interpret. It is believed he was taken to England in 1605 by George Weymouth and returned with John Smith in 1614-15. Later he is captured and taken to Spain, but returns to America in 1619 to find his tribe dead from disease. Later Tisquantum dies while serving as a guide to Governor Bradford on an expedition around Cape Cod. Source See 1637 for more

With Squanto back among the Wampanoag, and because he is multilingual, he goes to the Plymouth colony with Samoset. Governor William Bradford makes him an emissary. He and Edward Winslow negotiate with Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags, to establish a treaty in 1621. Celebration of the treaty includes entertainment and feasting. See Thanksgiving below.

Thanksgiving in America

  • The treaty of 1621 celebration is later claimed as the first Thanksgiving.
  • Food probably included: freshly killed deer, assorted wildfowl, cod and bass, a native variety of corn harvested by the Native Americans, eaten as corn bread and porridge. Other possibilities: walnuts, chestnuts, other small nuts, plums, and other native flowers, roots and herbs. Source Pilgrim Hall Museum
  • Pilgrims celebrated a European Thanksgiving as a day with fasting and prayer as described by: Edward Winslow, December, 1621.
    "Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
  • Pilgrim Thanksgiving will later suggest friendly Indians welcome the Pilgrims to America, teach them how to live in their world, celebrate their success with a meal, then the Indians disappear and leave the Pilgrims to flourish.
  • Over the years pilgrim descendants, claim cultural authority through their historical family relationships to the first pilgrims, who they regard with esteem as the fathers of America.
  • Continental Congress declares the first national Thanksgiving on December 18, 1777 to increase national unity.
  • George Washington declares the last Thursday in November a national Thanksgiving in 1789. A declaration is not an official holidays.
  • Future presidents do not continue the Thanksgiving declaration.
  • As immigration increases in the 1800’s, being able to trace ones ancestry to a Pilgrim ancestor increases their social power and respectability as the country’s founding myth becomes more centered around the Pilgrims and New England geography.
  • During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln declares Thanksgiving a national holiday to unite the country.
  • The myth of Thanksgiving continues as it provides a Native American welcoming, suggests New England as the origin of America, which obscures the dark aspects of history associated with a Spanish, Native, and Black centered American history.
  • Thanksgiving Day is a day of mourning for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.
  • For Native Americans the idea of giving thanks is central to their heritage and culture. Their spirituality and respect for everything around them encourages them to give thanks for what they have as they harvest and make life choices.

Plymouth plaque for national day of mourning



First representative assembly in Americas, the House of Burgess, meets for the first time in Jamestown, Virginia.

The first Africans arrive at the British controlled colony of Jamestown, Virginia. A Dutch trading ship arrives after a storm with only a cargo of twenty some Africans, which are seized. Before setting sail, they are exchanged for supplies. Their status as indentured servants or slaves is questionable. Spanish and English treatment of slaves is different. For example. The English consider baptized Christians exempt from slavery. However, the Spanish baptized slaves in Africa before setting sail. Therefore, their status as slaves or indentured servants (indentured to work for a set amount of time, then granted freedom) is questionable. At this time there are about 1,000 English indentured servants in the colony and no slaves.

Atlantic article by Conor Friedersdorf 1776 Honors America’s Diversity in a Way 1619 Does Not


Pedro de Peralta, designates Santa Fe the capital of the Kingdom of New Mexico. It is the oldest state capital in the United States. Santa Fe, has been continuously occupied since 900 BCE, first by Pueblo and Tanoan hunter-gatherers. It is at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.


English begin the Jamestown Colony

PocahontasPowhatan (Wahunsenacawh father of Pocahontas) is the chief of chiefs that rules dozens of tribes in the Powhatan empire when the English begin the Jamestown Colony (1607). It is thought he rules between 13,000 and 3 ,000 people. At times he attacks the colonists, uses them as allies against his enemies, trades food for metal artifacts, and decides to let them starve, which they almost do until a supply ship arrives from England in 1610.

The colony suffers from close to 80% dying from coming to get rich and not understanding the environmental conditions and hard work necessary to survive. Bad water, poor soil, over-crowding, mosquitoes, malaria and other diseases.

In April 1614 Powhatan approves of the marriage of his daughter, Pocahontas, to John Rolfe, which results in more friendly relations until after the chief's death in 1618.


Three early sources of American Indians and Inca history

In April 12, 1539 Garcilaso de la Vega, the "Inca," is born in Cuzco and named Gomez Suarez de Figueroa. His father, Sebastian Garcilaso de la Vega y Vargas, is a prominent conquistador captain. His mother, Isabel Suarez Chimpu Ocllo, is an Inca princess and the niece of Inca Huaina Capac and concubine to the Spanish captain.

He is educated by both sides of the family who teach the traditions of their respective cultures. He first learns Quechua and then Spanish before an elementary study of Latin in Cuzco.

He travels to Spain to continue his education. After finding his heritage did little to help a career in politics and the military he turns to study and writing.

He publishes several books. Noteworthy, is his writing about Native American Indians, conquest, and life as a Peruvian Mestizo.

Beginning with La Florida del Inca in 1605, a collaboration with Gonzalo Silvestre, a survivor of de Soto's expedition in what is now the southeastern United States. Based on interviews of his travels, it is a masterful account. Garcilaso's narrative use classical allusions that make the conquistadors heroic figures and depicts the Indians as noble pagans analogous to the ancient Romans and Greeks.

His works continue with a historiographical perspective in, his monumental two-volume history of Peru. Comentarios Reales de los Incas (part 1: 1609) and the Historia General del Peru (part 2, posthumously in 1617). Source.


Missing settlers ...

Virginia Dare stampSir Walter Raleigh sends John White to America to create an English settlement along the Chesapeake Bay. White sets sail from England on April 26, 1587 with a small fleet and arrives at Roanoke Island, Virginia to check on the Roanoke Colony, see 1585. Instead of starting the new colony on the Chesapeake Bay, he leaves the 117 settlers at the Roanoke settlement and returns to England for more settlers and supplies.

Due to a war between England and Spain it takes him three years to return.

Eleanor White Dare, daughter of John White, is among those who stay at the colony and is thought to have the first English child born in America on August 18, and names her Virginia. What happens to her and the other settlers is still a mystery; and she becomes a prominent character in American myth and folklore. When John White returns, the only clue he finds is Croatoan carved in the settlement palisade. Video

It is possible smaller groups went to different Indian villages, since the whole colony probably would have been a too large a burden for one village. Possible sites are: inland to the mouth of the Chowan River and Salmon Creek, the Native American village of Mettaquem, or a site, two miles away where ceramic fragments were found which were used for food preparation and storage, and others suggest Hatteras Island. The idea of their assimilation into native villages is thought impossible in the 1800's so mysteries for their disappearance are authored.


Sir Francis Drake (English) attacks, burns, and plunders Spanish colonies and weakens Spain's foothold in America.


Queen Elizabeth appoints Sir Walter Raleigh to establish England's first colony in the New World. He sends a group of men, lead by Ralph Lane, to create the Roanoke Colony in Virginia. Among them, Joachim Gans, a metallurgist and first known Jew to arrive in America. Gans builds a small lab where he works with Thomas Harriot to study the areas rocks for their metal content and plants for medical properties. After a winter with a lack of food, disagreements with the Native Americans, the survivors return to England with Sir Francis Drake.

Weeks later Richard Grenville arrives with supplies. With the colony abandoned, he leaves a small group to protect the claim until more settlers arrive. See 1587

As nations encourage more exploration, trade, and settlements they authorize charters and companies to maintain control over them and benefit from what ever gains are made.

  • Muscovy Company is granted a charter in 1555 that gave them a monopoly on trade between England and Russia
  • Levant Company in 1592
  • East India Company in 1600
  • Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) Dutch company chartered in 1602
  • Virginia Company in 1606
  • Newfoundland Company 1610
  • Hudson’s Bay Company 1670
  • Royal African Company in 1672

As these companies encounter problems, they require ways to solve them and as they do they become powerful monopolies with the power to act as a government to form armies, navies, take land, fight wars … One incident in 1623: Amboyna Massacre when the VOC massacres East India Company on the Indonesian Island of Amboyna.

Mughal emperor surrenders to British East India Company


The Gregorian calendar / Western calendar / Christian calendar, is named for Pope Gregory XIII, who introduces it in October 1582.


Pedro Menendez de Aviles lands on the shore of Matanzas Bay and founds the city of Presidio of San Augustin (St. Augustine, Florida) on September 8, 1565 on the site of an ancient Native American village, which makes it the oldest continually occupied city in the United States.

French under Jaun Ribault build Fort Caroline on the St John's River in Florida.

Spanish are determined to drive the French from Florida. Reinforcements from Spain encounter bad weather that weakens their forces and wait for a better opportunity to attack. When the French leave Ft. Caroline, Menendez goes on the offensive. He kills and captures many French. Menendez didn't know what to do with so many captives so executes about 350 of them.

Over twenty years additional forts were built along the coast, but only Fort Augustine survives.

Source Francisco Lopez diary of his travels. He also notes the first feast of thanksgiving with Native Americans upon landing, which precedes the Pilgrims. PBS video source


Giorgio Vasari describes the importance of history

Le Vite

History is truly the mirror of human life: not merely the dry narration of events … but a means of pointing out the judgments, counsels, decisions, and plans of human beings, as well as the reason for their successful or unsuccessful actions; this is the true spirit of history.

In his book:

The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (Italian: Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori), simply known as The Lives (Italian: Le Vite).

While it includes a series of artist biographies he captures the essence and importance of history, within his history of art.

Written in 1550 it is considered the most famous, and even today, the most read work of the older literature of art. The Italian Renaissance's most influential writing on art and the first important book on art history.

Gutenberg English translation source



Hernando de Soto explores Florida & beyond

Hernando de Soto, sails for Florida on the 18th of May 1539, with nine vessels, priests, women, horses, mules, war dogs, and pigs.

  • He lands on the northern shore of the Little Manatee River. Meets a survivor from the Narvaez expedition, Juan Ortiz, who knows native languages and is familiar with the area.
  • They struggle to find water, food, cross rivers, and explore the area.
  • He violates his king's orders to treat natives well and convert them to Catholicism. Instead enslaves, mutilates, and executes them, often without provocation.
  • Under attack by natives, he dispatches riders which are killed.
  • Later, native hostages he uses as guides, lead his troops into ambushes. However, he continues north to the Apalachee tribe in Florida's Panhandle, makes camp for the winter, and sends for his ships and supplies left near Tampa.
  • He continues north into Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, across the Mississippi River, and Arkansas.
  • He becomes ill and dies in 1542 ending his reign of terror.
  • Less than half of the men he starts with arrive in Mexico on September 10, 1543, four years after landing in Florida.
  • Gonzalo Silvestre, a survivor will later collaborate with Garcilaso de la Vega, to write La Florida del Inca.

De Soto and his men see hundreds of cities of the Mississippi culture, that represent a civilization of millions of people. However, the destruction De Soto causes decimates their population and government so Europeans that follow would find a totally different culture.



Atahualpa, Inca leader meets Pizarro, Spaniard in Cajamarca, Peru.

See Garcilaso de la Vega, two-volume history of Peru. Comentarios Reales de los Incas and the Historia General del Peru.


Panfilo de Narvaez explores Florida and west. On order from Charles V of Spain Narvaez sails from Spain on June 17, 1527, with five ships and about 600 soldiers, sailors, and colonists.

  • In Santo Domingo 140 men desert.
  • In Cuba a hurricane sinks two ships and kills 50 men.
  • In February 1528, he sails five ships to Tampa Bay, Florida. and claims the land for Spain.
  • He travels north with 300 men, fights Indians, and arrives at St. Marks, Florida, in July.
  • There he builds five vessels with 245 men and hopes to sail to Mexico.
  • He disappears at sea and four men are known to survive.
  • Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, one of the four survivors, his eight years of harsh survival spent wandering alone among tribes of the Gulf Coast is told in his book Shipwrecked and the Description of the Journey Which he Made Through Florida with Panfilo de Narvaez. Source  

Historiadores Primitivos by de Vaca


Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon fails in his attempt to establish a colony for Spain in Florida. However, his arrival spreads the plague to Native Americans.


Conquest of the Aztecs (coalition of Central American people) capital, Tenochtitlan, (Mexico City) by the Spaniards lead by Hernandez Cortez.

Aztec artist smallpox

For more on Aztec life see Conquest Life of the Aztec as recorded in the Florentine Codex.


Martin Luther Martin Luther & Katarina Bora

Wrote his 95 theses (Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences) which he hopes will start debate.

  • Believes the Bible is the word of God and the word of God can be understood by all people without interpretation of Priests. Everyone as equal before God (priests, poor, rich) or the democratization of religion.
  • He is a prolific writer. He writes 130 volumes, one-fourth of all the books and pamphlets sold in Europe at the time.
  • His popularity and renown could allow him to claim that he is the world's first media star.
  • He believes and advocates for a basic education for all children (girls and boys). That they should be taught to read and write, however, many parents concerns are on finding jobs for their children so they could earn money.
  • His favorite quotes:
    • God forgives.
    • Without love faith is nothing.
  • Wrote a children's book, Large Catechism published in April 1529, to help understand the Christian faith. It includes: The Ten Commandments, The Apostles' Creed, The Lord's Prayer, Holy Baptism, and The Sacrament of the Eucharist.


Juan Ponce de Leon reaches Florida

He is recognized and documented as the first European to visit, what is now the United States. He believes the climate and land are too difficult to live there.

Spain reviews policies for native treatment.

Spain recognizes slaves as human, have souls, and rights and did not separate families. Based on these ideas some Spaniards question the enslavement of natives and stealing their land. In court they argue against the barbaric treatment of natives. The court decides conquistadors can be absolved of their actions if they informed native inhabitants of Spain's right of conquest. To do this conquistadors read a document: The Spanish Requirement of 1513, in Spanish to inform Natives of Spain's right of conquest; and to those who resist that they will be considered to harbor evil intentions of defying God's plan, therefore, providing justification to be conquered and enslaved. Those who yield will be spared if they convert to Catholicism. Source

The Spanish Requirement of 1513, requires Spaniards to inform Natives, in foreign lands, of Spain's right to conquest by reading the requirement to them in Spanish.

Middle age - 1499 - 700


The modern horse arrives in the Americas

Christopher Columbus arrives in the Greater Antilles and begins the colonization of the Taínos.


The principle of land ownership

Whoever's is [owns] the soil, it is theirs all the way to Heaven and all the way to Hell

Italian jurist Accursius, and Edward I of England. Use this as a principle of property law. Meaning, the property owner has the right, not only to the plot of land itself, but also the air above and whatever is in the ground below.


The Ottoman Empire government is established and begins to expand under Osman I, Orhan, Murad I and Bayezid I, until 1453 when Mehmed II conquers Constantinople (Istanbul) and the Byzantine Empire ends. See 1917


Glass making becomes industrialized when the Venetian Republic, thought the 1,000 degree furnaces in the city are fire hazards for their wooden buildings. Their solution is to order glass makers to move their foundries out of town and to isolate them on the small island of Murano nearby. The move brings many glass makers together and promotes advancements in glass manufacturing as Murano becomes a hot spot for glass makers as they develop and improve their craft and art by making quality glass. Which they continue into present times. Source


Huns and Ghengis Khan ...

Ghengis Khan map

Adapted from Bkkbrad (talk) Gengis_Khan_empire-fr.svg: historicair 17:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
(Gengis_Khan_empire-fr.svg) via Wikimedia Commons


Genghis Khan - 1206

You can conquer a kingdom on horseback, but to rule it you have to dismount.


1215 The YEar of Magna Carta

King John signs the Magna Carta on June 15

Magna Carta, first known as the Charter of Liberties. (Big Charter to be distinguished from the Forest Charter). IA document written in Latin to declare the rule of law and give rights to free men. It includes 63 statements for freedom and human rights. Among them is the idea of the presumption of innocence and right to a trial with presentation of facts to determine guilt.

No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or deprived or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice.

Source 1215 The Year of Magna Cartar. Danny Danziger & John Gillingham.

King John is the brother of Richard the Lionheart and son of Henry II and Eleanor


Chinggisid world order

is an order based on how Genghis Kahn (Chinggis Khan in Mongolia) rules the Mongol empire. Where the leader is selected by tribal leaders after a violent power struggle among the contenders. The Kahn, or leader, is supreme with all decisions empire related centralized with him. However, he delegates local issues to cooperating local leaders, to the achieve the empires interest of global expansion through any mean necessary.

This political organization is continued by the Ming, Mughal, Safavid, and Timurid empires in China, India, Iran, and Uzbekistan, until European colonial powers weaken them.

Source is William of Rubruck, Belgiu, who is sent by King Louis IX on a mission to Mongolia in 1253. His 300 page book includes a description of his nearly three year journey. Later in 1404 Run Gonzalez de Clavijo visits Timur in Samarkand for Henry III of Castile.


Christine de Pizan, in her book, Book of the City of Ladies has her character of Reason ask:

"Do you know why it is that women know less than men?"

and answers herself,
"Is because they are less exposed to a wide variety of experiences since they have is stay at home all day to look after the household."


Lotario dei Segni (became Pope Innocent III in 1198)

Writes On the Misery of Man in which he claims humans are made of slime, dust, and a filthy seed, born naked and grow into a ridiculous shape.

That they should not take pride in their vanities and achievements (buildings, cities, clothes, jewelry, art …), but should toil and suffer till they die and enter the City of God.

Expands papal authority, launches Crusades to capture the Holy Land, combats heresy in Italy and France, and shapes a powerful and original doctrine for papal power of the church.

1100 CE

Vikings exploration 700 - 1100

Source Science September 18, 2020

711 CEA


Spanish Iberian Peninsula from 711-1492 contain times when Christians, Muslims, and Jews live together peacefully and other times when the persecuted each other viciously. . Source

City state and Agriculture: 699 CE - 10 000 BCE

Summary of change

600 year 1 of the Muslim calendar

Muhammad completes his escape from Mecca to Medina. There he writes the Medina Charter or Medina constitution based on Islamic law to establish an Islamic State that allows people of different races or ethnic groups to live together peacefully.

300 - 400

Hun's range


Nomadic tribes of Northern Asia invade China, eastern Asia, and Europe. With superior horse skills and the stirrup destroy villages, the current political structures, and changed peoples lives.

395 CE

Christianity becomes the state religion of the Roman Empire.

30 CE

Birth of Christianity

The Roman Empire includes areas around the Mediterranean Sea. Pontius Pilate is governor of the Jewish territory and their holy city of Jerusalem. The Jewish religion has one god and accepts no others. The Romans expect the Jews to worship their emperor as a god. Refusal to worship the Roman emperor, infuriates Roman rulers. Rebellion to Roman rule results in many Jewish deaths.

Many Jews believe and await a messiah to deliver them from Roman rule.

Jesus has grown and gathered a group of followers, who are mostly Jewish. He teachers love and tolerance and claims a life after death. His ideas are rejected by most Jews in Galilee, Israel. Jesus attacks trading activities in the Temple, which give Roman authorities an excuse to arrest him, which they do on the night of the Passover Seder (Last Supper). Jesus is executed by crucifixion. Three days after his death, his tomb is found empty. His disciples claim seeing him over the next 40 days.

Paul, converts to Christianity, travels, and preaches of a loving god and a life after death. The Romans persecute Christians who rejected Roman polytheism. Four centuries later, 395 CE, Christianity becomes the state religion of the Roman Empire.

C. E. -------------------- B. C. E.

0 (Zero)

Jesus of Nazareth is born

241 BCE

The Battle of the Aegates, off the Aegadian Islands near the west coast Sicily is the final naval battle between Carthage and the Republic of Rome on March 10, 241 BCE. The result is a decisive Roman victory, which eliminates Carthage supremacy in the Mediterranean Sea and makes Rome supreme.

250 BC

Confucian - positive and negative belief on the nature of humans

Mengzi humans are empowered to make our natural seeds of virtue grow.

Xunzi humans need to remold their detestable human nature.

360 BCE

Aristotle - 380 - 322 BCE

Teaches rhetoric and adds syllogism, use of logic as a device for determining the truth. (Categorical syllogism uses two premises and a conclusion: All humans are vertebrates; no insect is a vertebrate; therefore no humans are insects.

He teaches:

  • Education should be controlled by the State.
  • People learn to be virtuous with practice.
  • Ethics, involves performing just acts.
  • Learning becomes doing or acting.
  • If what is being done is virtuous, then learning is intrinsically valuable for the individual and society: the State.

He argues:

  • All citizens should participate in a Democracy. Therefore, a welfare state is necessary so all people live out of poverty and can contribute to the government.
  • In Politics: some people should rule and others should be ruled. This is not only necessary, but expedient. All relations are relations of hierarchy: man rules over animals, men over women, masters over slaves. Slavery is not a matter of law but a matter of nature. Those who are by nature possessions are those who have a lesser capacity for reason ... better for them to be slaves and under the rule of a master. Reasoning to justify slavery into the 1800's.
  • If what is being done is virtuous, then learning is intrinsically valuable for the individual and society - the State.

407 BCE

Plato and Socrates 427 - 347 BCE

Develop a philosophy of education - learning happens when the teacher asks key questions. Socratic Method. Source The Republic. Key beliefs and ideas.

Education is based on interests, abilities, and stations in life.

Utopian ideal is to produce philosopher kings or guardians to rule the State.

Built on Greek rhetoric: the art and process of effective public speaking. First taught by the sophists (480 BCE).

Dialectic reasoning or dialectics (Socratic method, Hindu, Buddhist, Medieval, Hegelian dialectics, Marxist, Talmudic, and Neo-orthodoxy), and modern debate. All involve conversations between two or more people arguing different points of view for the purpose of establishing truth with reasoned argument.

Socrates values truth as the highest value. Truth discovered through conversation with reason and logic (dialectic reasoning). Logic, not emotion, to discover truth for persuasion and make choices to guide one's life. To Socrates, truth, not art, was the greater good to guide one's life. Therefore, Socrates opposes the sophists and their teaching of rhetoric as art and as emotional oratory requiring neither logic nor proof.

Dialectic method, rhetoric, and debate can have fundamental differences. In theory debate may be considered as unemotional and committed to rational argument. However, in practice debaters can present emotionally charged ideas to suppress rational thought, hoping to persuade others to their point of view. See rhetoric (480 BCE) sophists

Augustine of Hippo (Saint Augustine - North African - Amazigh)

Wrote Confessions (400) and The City of God (420).

He is the first to describe the concept of original sin that humans are born fundamentally wrong, flawed and had to spend their lives seeking redemption (Adam & Eve). His influence on Latin Christianity is only surpassed by the scriptures.

432 BCE

Parthenon is completed

Dedicated to Athena, it is one of Athens prominent constructions built during Athen's Golden Age.

Pericles, writes of the difference between Sparta and Athens as:

  • Spartans obsess with military drills and discipline, shut themselves off from the world, brutalize their children to make them tough and participate in an hierarchical government. (Except if a woman or slave)
  • Athens has freedom and harmony, trades with the world, educates for liberty to take part freely and equally in the city’s affairs. (Except if a women or slaves)
  • He helps Athens maintain its economic and naval prominence in the region until he and many other Athenians die of plague during the Peloponnesian War with Sparta.
  • According to Thucydides, his death means his war strategies are abandoned, changing the conduct of state affairs to those of the whims of the multitude‚ which leads to a Spartan victory. Source

450 BCE

Greek culture is based on two Titans (Prometheus & Epimetheus) who steal fire from the gods, along with the art of farming, sewing, building, language, and religion.

Zeus sees what they did and gives them an extra gift: the capacity to form friendships, to cooperate, and to develop a thriving society to collaborate for learning and teaching each other.

Source - Play Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus

Listen & see a very well done ... YouTube reader's theater of Prometheus Bound with historical introduction and comments!

480 BCE

Sophists - 480 - 390 BCE

The first teachers of rhetoric (the art (arte) and process of effective public speaking) in the Greek world are known as Sophists (wise men). They teach by example, skills of civic life and explore a wide range of human experience about Greek culture. Not being Athenians, they often clash culturally and philosophically with Athenians.

They taught art and thought it had the highest value in life. Therefore, it should be used to make choices and to seek it out in all things. To them the artistic quality of a speech or oration is its power to motivate, influence, and please people. Therefore, oration is taught as an art form, used to please, motivate, and influence other people through quality speaking. Maybe the historical basis for Declamations, which are student's interpretations of famous speeches by their regiving them to demonstrate the student's ability to understand and apply the purpose and power of speech and skill in public speaking. Samples

Rhetoric is a method or art of speaking or discourse/ conversation to persuade, inform, or motivate an audience. Concepts of rational appeal (logos), emotional appeal, (pathos), and ethical appeal (ethos) are all intentionally used to persuade and convince people of a particular idea or argument. See: Rhetoric

500 ? BCE

Sun Tzu writes The Art of War. Includes many topics of conflict and warfare. He writes to advise commanders on how to prepare for and conduct war. From attacking and defending to treating the vanquished. An influential text in history.

508 BCE

Cleisthenes' reforms are demanded by the middle class after Solon's political reforms.

This reform expands the Assembly to include all males over twenty and creates a judicial system for citizens and non-citizens to seek justice for civic and criminal wrongs in a court with a jury of citizens. This new democratic polis, requires all citizens to be involved in civic affairs.

For all citizens to participate in the polis, they must be able to speak and write, which increases the need and importance of rhetoric and language to participate in politics (polis).

The ability to speak effectively to increase your interests becomes the study of rhetoric, the art and process of effective public speaking for the purpose of politics. See education timeline Aristotle, Socrates, Plato ...

580 BCE

Judaism first records monotheism (one God)

A world with many gods is common. Which provides contradictory guidance for human behavior. However, a single God commands one set of behaviors. A collective morality to bind a society, civilization, species, to one set of ethical principles.

This suggest the Universe is governed by a single unified set of laws and principles to use to understand how it works. An idea that can used to reason about what happen in the world and explain the why of cause and event with consistency.

Did this lead to Abraham believing that: Life as a process of exploration, a progression, that creates history, of a past that's different than the present, and an understanding that the future will be different from the present, that the way things are now will eventually be history; a progression that hopefully enlightens and creates a better life.

590 BCE

Solon's plan creates classes based on wealth and property.

Solon's political reforms, are not democratic for all its citizens. However, a broader range of citizens are allowed to participate in the political process and aristocrats are restricted some.

Thus, the political power gained by farmers and craftsmen increases their wealth and their ownership of property, which creates a class system with lower, middle, and upper class citizens.

600 BCE

Democracy begins in Athens

Athens is ruled by aristocrats who appoint members to the Council of Areopagus. Family rivalries keep Athens from improving their economic, political, and cultural well being. The Council appoints Solon to make a plan to improve the lives of non aristocratic citizens. His plan is implemented over the next ten years. It marks the start of Athenian Democracy.

622 BCE

Draco becomes the first recorded legislator of Athens, Greece.

He replaces the current rule of oral law and blood feud with written codes enforced by a court as requested by the Athenian citizens. He writes harsh laws, such as, being sold into slavery for not paying your debts and other crimes, that are not murder, being punished by death. Laws so harsh the word, draconian is known today as unfair, harsh, and severe rules or laws.

800 BCE

Feudal-tribal units are governed by aristocratic, land-holding families who control those within their realm. A political system that limits economic development and is prone to war.

Ancient Greeks are aware and amazed by the profound effect language spoken or written has on politics (polis). See Greek education.

1473 BCE - 1458 BCE

Hatshepsut cartouche

Hatshepsut, the second female king of Egypt is the daughter of King Thutmose II. She consolidates her power by marrying her half-brother, Thutmose II, around the age of 12. She has a successful military campaign, extends Egyptian trade and oversees ambitious building projects (Temple of Deir el-Bahri, She gains the full power of a pharaoh with all titles and regalia of a pharaoh. At the death of Thutmose III it seems an attempt is made to cover-up the existence of a female ruler (Hatshepsu) and make it look as if the rule is passed through all male rulers of Thutmose I, Thutmose II, Thutmose III. As a result her statues are torn down, her monuments defaced, and her name removed from the official king list. Source

Video on the search for her mummy in The Search for the Lost Queen

Hunter gatherer: 8 000 BCE or ≈ 10 000 years ago (pre politics? )

As mentioned in the introduction, politics includes the relationships and activities used to govern a country or other areas where people organize in groups. In ancient times groups are very small and their relationships and activities are more like family relationships than political organizations. However, as groups increase in size their relationships and organizations expand to include what has become known as tribal (governmental) politics.

To understand these politics archaeologists continually discover ancient artifacts that suggest early humans are more capable and able than previously thought. There ability to hunt and forage in a variety of environments, create tools, domesticate animals and plants, farm, create permanent settlements and much more, prior to 10 000 years ago suggests the development of political structures for groups who cooperated to survive.

Cooperation to provide resources: water, food, shelter, protection, and companionship to reproduce and maintain a family and species suggest quality relationships to work together in sophisticated and specialized ways to survive and provide for and care for groups of people.

Relationships that include care for group members, trade, cooperate with others or oppress others with power, rewards, and coercion. Small groups suggest a political organization similar to an extended family of hunters and gathers to a bit larger that would likely be tribal in nature. To know how they function, inferences can be made from recent and near recent historical studies of geographically isolated hunters, gatherers, and tribal societies.

Politics grows out of cooperation. Cooperation that can help and hurt those involved. For information about discoveries of artifacts prior to 10 000 years ago ...

See the Technology, science, and mathematics timeline - related to Hunter gatherers - evidence of human and prehuman activity, that can be used to infer early political organizations.

Beginning - 13.8 billion years ago - Big Bang!

See the Technology, science, and mathematics timeline - related to Hunter gatherers - evidence of human and prehuman activity, that can be used to infer early political organizations.





Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
homeofbob.com & thehob.net