Timeline of United States history (1820–1859)
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This section of the Timeline of United States history concerns events from 1820 to 1859.
Presidency of James Monroe
- 1820 – Massachusetts divided in two with the admission of Maine as a state.
- 1820 – U.S. presidential election, 1820: James Monroe reelected president unopposed, Daniel D. Tompkins reelected vice president.
- 1821 – President Monroe and Vice President Tompkins begin second terms
- 1821 – Missouri becomes a state
- 1821 – Florida becomes a U.S. territory; the 1819 Adams–Onís Treaty goes into effect
- 1823 – Monroe Doctrine proclaimed
- 1824 – Gibbons v. Ogden (22 US 1 1824) affirms federal over state authority in interstate commerce. Gibbons' business partner is Cornelius Vanderbilt.
- 1824 – U.S. presidential election, 1824: Presidential results inconclusive. John C. Calhoun elected the vice president.
- 1825 – John Quincy Adams elected president by the House of Representatives;
Presidency of John Quincy Adams
- 1825 – Adams becomes the sixth President; John C. Calhoun, Vice President
- 1825 – Erie Canal is finally completed
- 1826 – Former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams die on the same day, which happens to be on the fiftieth anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of independence.
- 1828 – U.S. presidential election, 1828: Andrew Jackson elected president; John C. Calhoun reelected vice president
- December 22, 1828 - First Lady-designate Rachel Jackson dies of a heart attack.
Presidency of Andrew Jackson
- 1829 – Andrew Jackson becomes the 7th President; Vice President Calhoun begins second term
- 1830s – Second Great Awakening is the religious revival movement
- 1830s – Oregon Trail which comes into use by settlers migrating to the Pacific Northwest
- 1830 – Indian Removal Act
- 1831 – Nat Turner's revolt
- 1831 – The Liberator begins publication in 1831
- 1831 – Cyrus McCormick invents the mechanical reaper
- 1831 – Petticoat affair (also known as the Eaton affair)
- 1832 – Worcester v. State of Georgia the Supreme Court rules in favor of Cherokees; President Jackson ignores the ruling
- 1832-Maria Stewart is the first woman to give speech in front of a mixed audience
- 1832 – Black Hawk War
- 1832 – Tariff of 1832
- 1832 – Ordinance of Nullification passed by South Carolina
- 1832 – Department of Indian Affairs established
- 1832 – 1832 United States presidential election: Andrew Jackson reelected president; Martin Van Buren elected vice president
- 1832 – Jackson vetos the charter renewal of the Second Bank of the United States, bringing to a head the Bank War and ultimately leading to the Panic of 1837
- 1832 – John C. Calhoun resigns as vice president
- 1833 – The Force Bill expands presidential powers
- 1833 – President Jackson begins second term; Martin Van Buren becomes Vice President
- 1834 – Slavery debates at Lane Theological Seminary are one of the first major public discussions of the topic
- 1835 – Mexican President Santa Anna annuls the 1824 constitution, precipitating a civil war which spawns the Texas War for Independence.
- 1835 – Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America published
- 1835 – Second Seminole War begins in Florida as members of the Seminole tribe resist relocation
- 1836 – President Santa Anna's army defeats Texas rebels at Battle of the Alamo
- 1836 - Santa Anna deposed after losing the Battle of San Jacinto and recognizing Texican independence.
- 1836 – Creek War of 1836
- 1836 – Samuel Colt invents the revolver
- 1836 – Original "gag rule" imposed when U.S. House of Representatives bars discussion of antislavery petitions
- 1836 – Specie Circular issued
- 1836 – Arkansas becomes a state
- 1836 – U.S. presidential election, 1836: Martin Van Buren elected president, no one is elected Vice President.
- 1837 - Richard M. Johnson elected vice president by the Senate.
Presidency of Martin Van Buren
- 1837 – Van Buren becomes the eighth President; Johnson, Vice President
- 1837 – U.S. recognizes the Republic of Texas
- 1837 – Caroline affair
- 1837 – Michigan becomes a state
- 1837 – Oberlin College begins enrolling female students, becoming first coeducational college in the U.S.
- 1837 – Panic of 1837
- 1837 – Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge reverses Dartmouth College v. Woodward: property rights can be overridden by public need
- 1838 – Forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from the southeastern U.S. leads to over 4,000 deaths in the Trail of Tears
- 1838 – Aroostook War
- 1839 – Amistad case
- 1840 – 1840 United States presidential election: William Henry Harrison is elected president; John Tyler is elected vice president
- 1841 – John Quincy Adams argues the Amistad Case before the Supreme Court
Presidency of William Henry Harrison (1841)
- March 4 – Harrison becomes the ninth President; Tyler, Vice President
- March 6 - Supreme Court finds for Amistad defendants. Freeing them.
- April 4 – President Harrison dies after only a month in office
Presidency of John Tyler
- April 6, 1841 - Vice President Tyler becomes the tenth President
- September 11, 1841 - Harrison's former cabinet resigns en masse. Only Daniel Webster remains.
- 1842 – Webster–Ashburton Treaty
- 1842 – The Dorr Rebellion: A civil war in Rhode Island
- 1843 – Attempt to impeach President Tyler fails
- 1844 – Oregon message
- 1844 – U.S. presidential election, 1844, James K. Polk is elected president; George M. Dallas is elected vice president
- 1845 – Texas annexation
Presidency of James K. Polk
- 1845 – Polk becomes the 11th President ; Dallas, Vice President
- 1845 – Florida and Texas become states
- 1846 – The U.S.–Mexican War begins
- 1846 - Bear Flag revolt in Alta California, which is momentarily independent.
- 1846 – Iowa becomes a state
- 1846 – Wilmot Proviso
- 1847 - Abraham Lincoln introduces himself to the world by his introduction of the Spot Resolutions in the House.
- 1848 – U.S. presidential election, 1848; Zachary Taylor is elected president; Millard Fillmore is elected vice president
- 1848 – Wisconsin becomes a state
- 1848 – The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican–American War
- 1848 – Dred Scott sues for his freedom
Presidency of Zachary Taylor
- 1849 – Taylor becomes the 12th President; Fillmore, Vice President
- 1849 – California Gold Rush begins
- 1850 – Clayton–Bulwer Treaty
- 1850 – President Taylor threatens to veto Compromise of 1850 even if it means Civil War.
- June 3–11 -The secessionist Nashville Convention held in Nashville, Tennessee.
Presidency of Millard Filmore
- July 9, 1850 – President Taylor dies, Vice President Fillmore becomes the 13th President
- September 9-20,1850 – The Compromise of 1850, including the notorious Fugitive Slave Act passed
- September 9, 1850 – California becomes a state
- November 1850 - Nashville Convention reconvenes; Satisfied with the Compromise, it declares the Union intact-for the moment.
- 1852 – U.S. presidential election, 1852: Franklin Pierce elected president; William R. King elected vice president
- 1853 – Commodore Matthew Perry opens Japan
Presidency of Franklin Pierce
- 1853 – Pierce becomes the 14th President; King, Vice President
- 1853 – Vice President King dies after only six weeks in office.
- 1853 – Gadsden Purchase from Mexico
- 1854 – Kansas–Nebraska Act; nullified Missouri Compromise
- 1854 – Ostend Manifesto
- 1854 - Whig Party collapses
- 1854 – Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan
- 1854 – Walker Expedition into Nicaragua
- 1855 – The Farmers' High School, which becomes Penn State University is founded.
- 1856 – Sack of Lawrence, Kansas
- 1856 – Pottawatomie massacre
- 1856 – Preston Brooks beats Charles Sumner with his walking stick on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building
- 1856 – U.S. presidential election, 1856: James Buchanan elected president; John C. Breckinridge, vice president
Presidency of James Buchanan
- 1857 – Buchanan becomes the 15th President; Breckinridge, Vice President
- 1857 – Dred Scott v. Sandford 60 US 393 1857 declares that slaves and blacks descended from slaves were not American citizens and cannot sue
- 1857 – Utah War
- 1857 – Lecompton Constitution rejected in Kansas Territory
- 1857 – Panic of 1857
- 1858 – Transatlantic cable laid
- 1858 – Minnesota becomes a state
- 1858 – Lincoln-Douglas Debates
- 1858 – U.S. is party to Treaty of Tientsin
- 1859 – John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry
- 1859 – Comstock Lode discovered
- History of the United States (1789–1849)
- History of the United States (1849–1865)
- Timeline of the American Old West
- John S. Galbraith. "British-American Competition in the Border Fur Trade of the 1820s". Minnesota History, Vol. 36, No. 7 (Sep., 1959), pp. 241–249.
- Robert Henry Billigmeier and Fred Altschuler Picard, eds. The old land and the new : the journals of two Swiss families in America in the 1820s. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1965.
- Merrill D Peterson. Democracy, liberty and property; the State Constitutional Conventions of the 1820s. Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1966.
- Robert A. McCaughey. "From Town to City: Boston in the 1820s". Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 88, No. 2 (Jun., 1973), pp. 191–213.
- James Brewer Stewart. "Evangelicalism and the Radical Strain in Southern Antislavery Thought During the 1820s". The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 39, No. 3 (Aug., 1973), pp. 379–396.
- Anne M. Boylan. "Sunday Schools and Changing Evangelical Views of Children in the 1820s". Church History, Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1979), pp. 320–333
- Priscilla Ferguson Clement. "The Philadelphia Welfare Crisis of the 1820s". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 105, No. 2 (Apr., 1981), pp. 150–165.
- Barbara Cloud. "Oregon in the 1820s: The Congressional Perspective". The Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Apr., 1981), pp. 145–164.
- David J Russo. Keepers of our past : local historical writing in the United States, 1820s-1830s. New York : Greenwood Press, 1988.
- James L. Huston. Virtue Besieged: Virtue, "Equality, and the General Welfare in the Tariff Debates of the 1820s". Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Winter, 1994), pp. 523–547
- George A. Thompson, Jr. "Counterfeiter's Jargon of the 1820s". American Speech, Vol. 71, No. 3 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 334–335.
- Miguel Guelbenzu. "Gest's Recollections of Life in the Middle West in the 1830s". Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 73, No. 2 (June 1977), pp. 125–142.
- William R. Swagerty. "A View from the Bottom Up: The Work Force of the American Fur Company on the Upper Missouri in the 1830s". Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Vol. 43, No. 1, Fur Trade Issue (Winter, 1993), pp. 18–33.
- Curtis D. Johnson. "Supply-Side and Demand-Side Revivalism? Evaluating the Social Influences on New York State Evangelism in the 1830s". Social Science History, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring, 1995), pp. 1–30.
- Mary Hershberger. "Mobilizing Women, Anticipating Abolition: The Struggle against Indian Removal in the 1830s". The Journal of American History, Vol. 86, No. 1 (Jun., 1999), pp. 15–40
- Christine MacDonald. "Judging Jurisdictions: Geography and Race in Slave Law and Literature of the 1830s". American Literature, Vol. 71, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 625–655.
- Ralph Mann. "Mountains, Land, and Kin Networks: Burkes Garden, Virginia, in the 1840s and 1850s". The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Aug., 1992), pp. 411–434.
- Harlan D. Parker. "The Musical Cabinet: An Educational Journal of the Boston Area in the 1840s". Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, No. 116 (Spring, 1993), pp. 51–60.
- John W. Quist. "The Great Majority of Our Subscribers Are Farmers": The Michigan Abolitionist Constituency of the 1840s. Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 325–358. also
- Raymond L. Cohn. "Nativism and the End of the Mass Migration of the 1840s and 1850s". The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 60, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 361–383.
- Patricia Junker. Thomas Cole's "Prometheus Bound:" An Allegory for the 1840s. American Art Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1/2 (2000), pp. 32–55.
- Ronald J. Zboray, Mary Saracino Zboray. "Gender Slurs in Boston's Partisan Press during the 1840s". Journal of American Studies, Vol. 34, No. 3, Part 1: Living in America: Recent and Contemporary Perspectives (Dec., 2000), pp. 413–446.
- Alice Taylor. "From Petitions to Partyism: Antislavery and the Domestication of Maine Politics in the 1840s and 1850s". The New England Quarterly, Vol. 77, No. 1 (Mar., 2004), pp. 70–88.
- P. L. Rainwater. "Economic Benefits of Secession: Opinions in Mississippi in the 1850s". The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Nov., 1935), pp. 459–474.
- Christopher Hatch. "Music for America: A Critical Controversy of the 1850s". American Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Winter, 1962), pp. 578–586.
- William W. Chenault, Robert C. Reinders. "The Northern-born Community of New Orleans in the 1850s". The Journal of American History, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Sep., 1964), pp. 232–24.
- Howard H. Bell. "Negro Nationalism in the 1850s". The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Winter, 1966), pp. 100–104.
- Jane H. Pease, William H. Pease. "Confrontation and Abolition in the 1850s". The Journal of American History, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Mar., 1972), pp. 923–937.
- Howard I. Kushner. "Visions of the Northwest Coast: Gwin and Seward in the 1850s". The Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Jul., 1973), pp. 295–306.
- Michael Fellman. "Theodore Parker and the Abolitionist Role in the 1850s". The Journal of American History, Vol. 61, No. 3 (Dec., 1974), pp. 666–684.
- Anne Firor Scott. "Women's Perspective on the Patriarchy in the 1850s". The Journal of American History, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Jun., 1974), pp. 52–64.
- James P. Morris. "An American First: Blood Transfusion in New Orleans in the 1850s". Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Autumn, 1975), pp. 341–360.
- Marshall Scott Legan. "Railroad Sentiment in North Louisiana in the 1850s". Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Spring, 1976), pp. 125–142.
- Carl Abbott. "Indianapolis in the 1850s: Popular Economic Thought and Urban Growth". Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 74, No. 4 (December 1978), pp. 293–315.
- Dale Baum. "Know-Nothingism and the Republican Majority in Massachusetts: The Political Realignment of the 1850s". The Journal of American History, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Mar., 1978), pp. 959–986.
- Susan Jackson. "Movin' On: Mobility through Houston in the 1850s". The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 3 (Jan., 1978), pp. 251–282.
- Matilda W. Rice. "The 4th of July in the 1850s". Minnesota History, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Summer, 1984), pp. 54–55.
- Lori D. Ginzberg. "Moral Suasion Is Moral Balderdash: Women, Politics, and Social Activism in the 1850s". The Journal of American History, Vol. 73, No. 3 (Dec., 1986), pp. 601–622.
- Carla L. Peterson. ""Capitalism, Black (Under)Development, and the Production of the African-American Novel in the 1850s". American Literary History, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Winter, 1992), pp. 559–583.
- Marius M. Carriere Jr. "Anti-Catholicism, Nativism, and Louisiana Politics in the 1850s". Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association", Vol. 35, No. 4 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 455–474.
- Vincent J. Bertolini. "Fireside Chastity: The Erotics of Sentimental Bachelorhood in the 1850s". American Literature, Vol. 68, No. 4 (Dec., 1996), pp. 707–737.
- Larry Knight. "The Cart War: Defining American in San Antonio in the 1850s". The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 109, No. 3 (Jan., 2006), pp. 319–336.