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Events and Eras in American History


American History can be divided into numerous eras. This section focuses on the major eras and events in America's past.
  1. Age of Exploration
  2. Colonial Era
  3. Federalist Period
  4. Age of Jackson
  1. Westward Expansion
  2. Reconstruction
  3. Prohibition Era
  4. Cold War

Age of Exploration

Image of Christopher Columbus

The Age of Exploration lasted from the 15th through 17th centuries when the Europeans were searching the globe for trading routes and natural resources. It resulted in the founding of numerous colonies in North America by the French, British, and Spanish.

Colonial Era

Engraving of William Penn's Treaty with the Lenni Lenape Indians in 1681 during the Colonial Era

The Colonial Era is a fascinating era in American History. The Colonial Era covers the time from when the European countries had created colonies in North America to the time of independence, especially focusing on the history of the thirteen British colonies.

Federalist Period

Portrait of President George Washington

The era when both George Washington and John Adams were president was called the Federalist Period. Both Washington and Adams were of the Federalist party. However, Washington did include members of both the Federalist and Anti-Federalist parties.

Age of Jackson

Here is the official White House portrait of Andrew Jackson.

The time between 1815 and 1840 was known as the Age of Jackson. This was an era during which the involvement of the American people in elections and the powers of the presidency greatly increased.

Westward Expansion

Westward Expansion Engraving

From the first settling of America the colonists had a desire to find new, undeveloped land to the west. Over time, they felt they had a right to settle from "sea to sea" under a manifest destiny.


Andrew Johnson

At the end of the Civil War, the US Congress adopted a reconstruction effort to help reorganize and reassimilate the Southern states. It lasted from 1866 to 1877 and was an extremely turbulent period for the nation.

Prohibition Era

Temperance Movement Image - Still from Edison Movie

Read about the fascinating Prohibition Era, a time when America decided to "legally" give up drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, the experiment ended in failure with growing crime rates and lawlessness.

Cold War

Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima During World War II

The Cold War was a stand-off between the two major superpowers left at the end of World War II: the United States and the Soviet Union. They both tried to further their own ends by influencing nations around the world. The period was marked by conflict and increasing tension that only resolved with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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