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.

 

1750s-1860s

Charleston, South Carolina is a rice production center


1754

The French and Indian War begins, Fort Necessity, Pennylvania


1769

First Spanish Mission is founded, San Diego, Spanish California


1772

San Antonio, Spanish Texas is the Spanish colonial capital.


1776

The Declaration of Independence is signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


1783

The Treaty of Paris is signed in Annapolis, Maryland


1794

New Orleans, Louisiana is the French Quarter




1803

The U.S. buys the Louisiana Territory




1804



1812-1815

1813

The American Factory System kickstarts in Waltham, Massachusetts


1823

The Monroe Doctrine is signed, Washington, D.C.




1825



1838

1843

The first telegraph message is sent in Baltimore, Maryland


1847

Chicago, Illinois, the mechanical reaper comes to the Midwest




1853: 1850-1900

The border with Mexico is established


1859

Comstock Lode, Virginia City, Utah Territory


1863

In Nebraska, Daniel Freeman makes the first claim of the Homestead Act




1863



1867

1868

The Battle of Washita takes place

The Treaty of Fort Laramie is signed


1869

At Promontory Summit, Utah, the transcontinental railroad is completed




1872

Yellowstone becomes America's first National Park


1876

Native American warriors led by Sitting Bull defeat General George Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn


1878

The Exodusters Migration, Nicodemus, Kansas


1890

The Massacre at Wounded Knee, Pine Ridge, South Dakota


1893

The "Closing of the Frontier" speech, Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois




1898

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