Bullet points in bold are eligible for final exam.
1619 Jamestown , VA , first western representative government, House of Burgesses (which leads to VA General Assembly)
1647 Rhode Island, Code of Laws mentions Freedom of Conscience, “otherwise what is herein forbidden, all men may walk as their conscience persuade them, everyone in the name of his god”
1776 Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, defining natural rights.
1776 Virginia adopts Declaration of Rights, which includes freedom of religion. This declaration becomes foundation for the Bill of Rights.
1777 Continental Congress adopts Articles of Confederation: loose union of states and weak central government
1787 Congress seeks to revise Articles, new Constitution is written, strengthens role of central government. Federalists (Alexander Hamilton) support constitution.
1788 Constitution ratified by 9 states.
1789 George Washington becomes first president. Congress adopts the Bill of Rights (1st 10 amendments to Constitution). Madison authors the Bill of Rights. Three Federal Departments are the State, War and Treasury. Washington meets with these three heads, and it is the first cabinet. Congress takes on responsibility for creation of new departments.
1790 Congress meets in Philadelphia and votes for a new capital along the Potomac.
1791 First national bank, responsible for regulating state banks.
1792 The Democratic-Republican party, led by Jefferson , opposes the federalists. D-R has strong belief in state rights.
1794 Federal Gov’t uses force during Whiskey Rebellion (farmers not wanting to pay tax on whiskey)
1798 Kentucky and VA Resolutions argue that Alien and Sedition Acts are unconstitutional, present Doctrine of Nullification---where states can nullify actions of US congress.
1800 first election with two parties. Jefferson (D-R) defeats John Adams, Federalist.
1804 12th Amendment requires separate election of president and vice president.
1818 Connecticut abolishes property ownership as requirement to vote.
1824 5 different factions of Democratic-Republican party run for President. Jackson wins popular vote, but not electoral vote. J. Quincy Adams elected by House of Representatives.
1828 Andrew Jackson elected as Democrat, after disillusionment with D-R party.
1840 William Henry Harrison, a Whig, is elected.
1865 13th Amendment ratified, prohibiting slavery
1866 1st Civil Rights Act: all persons born in the US are citizens (except Native Americans)
1868 Andrew Johnson impeached by Senate for violation of the Tenure in Office Act. Wins acquittal by one vote.
1872 People’s Party Ticket: Victoria Woodhull is first woman presidential candidate. Frederick Douglass the VP candidate.
1876 Samuel Tilden wins the popular vote, but not electoral vote.
1886 Presidential Succession Act approved, (revised in 1947)
1894 congress passes the first federal income tax.
1895 Supreme Court declares unconstitutional 1908 Bureau of Investigation established.
1913 16th Amendment, Federal Income Tax
1918 Eugene Debs, Socialist Party leader, jailed for espionage, receives one million votes while in jail.
1920 19th Amendment, Women receive right to vote.
1932 Hyatt Caraway elected first woman to senate.
1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, legislation designed to overcome great depression.
1937 “FDR’s Court Packing Scheme”
1951 22nd Amendment, limiting presidents to 2 terms.
1965 Voting Rights Act
1967 Thurgood Marshall becomes first black supreme court justice.
1971 26th Amendment lowers voting age to 18
1973 VP Spiro Agnew resigns, Gerald Ford becomes first VP to not be elected.
1974 President Nixon becomes first to resign the office of presidency
1981 Sandra Day O’Conner becomes first woman Supreme Court justice