Explore major events in America's Westward expansion
Early European settlers granted themselves expansion into other peoples' lands. They pushed the frontier ever westward, displacing Native Americans, Mexicans, Canadians and others along the way. These pioneers traveled under the banner of Manifest Destiny, the idea that European Americans had a mission to expand the nation's boundaries and democratic institutions to the continent's Western shores.
Charleston, South Carolina is a rice production center
The French and Indian War begins, Fort Necessity, Pennylvania
First Spanish Mission is founded, San Diego, Spanish California
San Antonio, Spanish Texas is the Spanish colonial capital.
The Declaration of Independence is signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Treaty of Paris is signed in Annapolis, Maryland
New Orleans, Louisiana is the French Quarter
The U.S. buys the Louisiana Territory
Lewis and Clark explore the Northwest
The War of 1812
The American Factory System kickstarts in Waltham, Massachusetts
The Monroe Doctrine is signed, Washington, D.C.
The Erie Canal opens
The Trail of Tears
The first telegraph message is sent in Baltimore, Maryland
Chicago, Illinois, the mechanical reaper comes to the Midwest
The border with Mexico is established
Comstock Lode, Virginia City, Utah Territory
In Nebraska, Daniel Freeman makes the first claim of the Homestead Act
The Navajo Long Walk
Alaska is purchased from Russia
At Promontory Summit, Utah, the transcontinental railroad is completed
Yellowstone becomes America's first National Park
Native American warriors led by Sitting Bull defeat General George Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn
The Exodusters Migration, Nicodemus, Kansas
The Massacre at Wounded Knee, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
The "Closing of the Frontier" speech, Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois
The U.S. annexation of Hawai'i
My American Experience
We invite you to tell us your own stories - whether you lived through a tumultuous time period or learned about it from a relative, a book or a movie.