Periods of American History (1830s-present)


Antebellum Era 1830s-1861

Period when tensions between the slave south and the free north steadily built towards armed conflict.

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Civil War 1861-1865

Period of bloody civil war in which over 600,000 soldiers died. The North's victory under President Lincoln preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.

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Reconstruction 1865-1877

The period when the United States attempted to rebuild the union after the Civil War.

Lincoln assassinated shortly after the war.

Vice-president Andrew Johnson took over.

Johnson made a mess of Reconstruction and didn't protect the freed slaves in the South.

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Gilded Age late 1870s-late 1890s

Satirically named - describes the great rise in wealth but also the increasing social problems that were caused by industrialisation and immigration.

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Progressive Era late 1890s-early 1930s

Greater willingness by Americans to engage in campaigns for political and social reform.

Many people became involved in campaigns to deal with social and economic issues.

Led to teh passing of the Prohibition Law.

Republican WASPs were mostily in power in this period and continued to segregate non whites, opposed increased rights for women and tried to suppress immigrants.

Brief break from Republican dominance when Democratic President Woodrow Wilson passed the 19th Amendment giving women the vote.

Ended by the Wall Street Crash.

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New Deal Era 1933-late 1960s

Franklin Roosevelt came to power starting a period of Democratic dominance.

Campaigns by women and labour unions increased as they gained more political awareness.

Democrats remained divided on African American civil rights with Southern Democrats strongly against it.

Significant changes did happen towards the end of the era.

Vietnam war ruined the Democratic dominance.

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Divided Era late 1960s-now

No political party dominated.

Congress and President often taken from different parties.

Politicians look to solve social issues as a way of gaining votes.

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