U.S. History Timeline: A New Nation - 1800–1849
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Timeline: A New Nation - 1800-1849
Read about major events in U.S. History from 1800–1849, including the War of 1812, Monroe Doctrine, siege of the Alamo, and more.
- The U.S. capital is moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.
- U.S. Congress meets in Washington, DC, for the first time.
- Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated as the third president in Washington, DC.
Treaty signed May 2
- Louisiana Purchase: United States agrees to pay France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory, which extends west from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and comprises about 830,000 sq mi. As a result, the U.S. nearly doubles in size.
- Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis, Mo., on expedition to explore the West and find a route to the Pacific Ocean.
- Jefferson's second inauguration.
- Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean
- James Madison is inaugurated as the fourth president.
June 18, 1812
- War of 1812: U.S. declares war on Britain over British interference with American maritime shipping and westward expansion.
March 4, 1813
- Madison's second inauguration.
- British capture Washington, DC, and set fire to White House and Capitol.
Sept. 13–14, 1814
Dec. 24, 1814
- Treaty of Ghent is signed, officially ending the war.
- James Monroe is inaugurated as the fifth president.
- Spain agrees to cede Florida to the United States.
- Missouri Compromise: In an effort to maintain the balance between free and slave states, Maine (formerly part of Massachusetts) is admitted as a free state so that Missouri can be admitted as a slave state; except for Missouri, slavery is prohibited in the Louisiana Purchase lands north of latitude 36°30'.
- Monroe's second inauguration.
Dec. 19, 1777 – June 19, 1778
- Battle-weary and destitute Continental army spends brutally cold winter and following spring at Valley Forge, Pa.
Oct. 19, 1781
Sept. 3, 1783
- Great Britain formally acknowledges American independence in the Treaty of Paris, which officially brings the war to a close.
- Monroe Doctrine: In his annual address to Congress, President Monroe declares that the American continents are henceforth off-limits for further colonization by European powers.
- Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation, the first U.S. constitution.
- John Quincy Adams is inaugurated as the sixth president.
- Erie Canal, linking the Hudson River to Lake Erie, is opened for traffic.
- Construction is begun on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first public railroad in the U.S.
- U.S. Constitution goes into effect, having been ratified by nine states.
- U.S. Congress meets for the first time at Federal Hall in New York City.
- Washington is inaugurated as president at Federal Hall in New York City.
- Andrew Jackson is inaugurated as seventh president.
- The court, made up of one chief justice and five associate justices, hears its first case in 1792.
- The nation's first census shows that the population has climbed to nearly 4 million.
- President Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, which authorizes the forced removal of Native Americans living in the eastern part of the country to lands west of the Mississippi River.
- By the late 1830s the Jackson administration has relocated nearly 50,000 Native Americans.
- Nat Turner, an enslaved African American preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history. He and his band of about 80 followers launch a bloody, day-long rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The militia quells the rebellion, and Turner is eventually hanged. As a consequence, Virginia institutes much stricter slave laws.
- William Lloyd Garrison begins publishing the Liberator, a weekly paper that advocates the complete abolition of slavery. He becomes one of the most famous figures in the abolitionist movement.
- Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor.
- Jackson's second inauguration.
- Texas declares its independence from Mexico.
February 24 – March 6
- Texan defenders of the Alamo are all killed during siege by the Mexican Army.
- Texans defeat Mexicans at San Jacinto
- Martin Van Buren is inaugurated as the eighth president.
- William Henry Harrison is inaugurated as the ninth president.
- He dies one month later and is succeeded in office by his vice president, John Tyler.
- U.S. annexes Texas by joint resolution of Congress
- James Polk is inaugurated as the 11th president
- The term “manifest destiny” appears for the first time in a magazine article by John L. O'Sullivan. It expresses the belief held by many white Americans that the United States is destined to expand across the continent.
- Oregon Treaty fixes U.S.-Canadian border at 49th parallel; U.S. acquires Oregon territory.
May 13, 1846
- Mexican War: U.S. declares war on Mexico in effort to gain California and other territory in Southwest.
Feb. 2, 1848
- War concludes with signing of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
- Mexico recognizes Rio Grande as new boundary with Texas and, for $15 million, agrees to cede territory comprising present-day California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
- Gold is discovered at Sutter's Mill in California. The gold rush reaches its height the following year.
- Women's rights convention is held at Seneca Falls, N.Y.
- Zachary Taylor is inaugurated as the 12th president.