Territorial growth of the United States, 1810–1920
Clockwise from top: Battle of Gettysburg

Union Captain John Tidball's artillery

Confederate prisoners

ironclad USS Atlanta (1861)

Ruins of Richmond, Virginia

Battle of Franklin
The ruins of Richmond, Virginia, the former Confederate capital, after the American Civil War; newly-freed African Americans voting for the first time in 1867; office of the Freedmen's Bureau in Memphis, Tennessee; Memphis riots of 1866
This map shows the approximate location of the ice-free corridor and specific Paleoindian sites (Clovis theory).
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, aroused public opinion about the evils of slavery. According to legend, when Lincoln was introduced to her at the White House, his first words were, "So this is the little lady who started this Great War."
The Southern economy had been ruined by the war. Charleston, South Carolina: Broad Street, 1865
The Cultural areas of pre-Columbian North America, according to Alfred Kroeber.
Frederick Douglass, a former slave, was a leading abolitionist
The distribution of wealth per capita in 1872, illustrating the disparity between North and South in that period
Grave Creek Mound, located in Moundsville, West Virginia, is one of the largest conical mounds in the United States. It was built by the Adena culture.
Marais des Cygnes massacre of anti-slavery Kansans, May 19, 1858
A political cartoon of Andrew Johnson and Abraham Lincoln, 1865, entitled "The Rail Splitter At Work Repairing the Union". The caption reads (Johnson): "Take it quietly Uncle Abe and I will draw it closer than ever." (Lincoln): "A few more stitches Andy and the good old Union will be mended."
Monks Mound of Cahokia (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in summer. The concrete staircase follows the approximate course of the ancient wooden stairs.
Mathew Brady, Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, 1860
Monument in honor of the Grand Army of the Republic, organized after the war
Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first published imprint of secession, a broadside issued by the Charleston Mercury, December 20, 1860
Freedmen voting in New Orleans, 1867
The K'alyaan Totem Pole of the Tlingit Kiks.ádi Clan, erected at Sitka National Historical Park to commemorate the lives lost in the 1804 Battle of Sitka.
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America (1861–1865)
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (1861–1865)
Leif Erikson discovers America by Christian Krohg, 1893
Bombardment of the Fort by the Confederates
Celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation in Massachusetts, 1862
The Mayflower, which transported Pilgrims to the New World. During the first winter at Plymouth, about half of the Pilgrims died.
Rioters attacking a building during the New York anti-draft riots of 1863
Northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
Squanto known for having been an early liaison between the native populations in Southern New England and the Mayflower settlers, who made their settlement at the site of Squanto's former summer village.
Clashes on the rivers were melees of ironclads, cottonclads, gunboats and rams, complicated by naval mines and fire rafts.
Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States (1865–1869)
The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Battle between the USS Monitor and USS Merrimack (1855)
An October 24th, 1874 Harper's Magazine editorial cartoon by Thomas Nast denouncing KKK and White League murders of innocent Blacks
Indians trade 90-lb packs of furs at a Hudson's Bay Company trading post in the 19th century.
General Scott's "Anaconda Plan" 1861. Tightening naval blockade, forcing rebels out of Missouri along the Mississippi River, Kentucky Unionists sit on the fence, idled cotton industry illustrated in Georgia.
The debate over Reconstruction and the Freedmen's Bureau was nationwide. This 1866 Pennsylvania election poster alleged that the bureau kept the Negro in idleness at the expense of the hardworking white taxpayer. A racist caricature of an African American is depicted.
The Indian massacre of Jamestown settlers in 1622. Soon the colonists in the South feared all natives as enemies.
Gunline of nine Union ironclads. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Charleston. Continuous blockade of all major ports was sustained by North's overwhelming war production.
1868 Republican cartoon identifies Democratic candidates Seymour and Blair (right) with KKK violence and with Confederate soldiers (left).
John Gadsby Chapman, Baptism of Pocahontas (1840), on display in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.
A December 1861 cartoon in Punch magazine in London ridicules American aggressiveness in the Trent Affair. John Bull, at right, warns Uncle Sam, "You do what's right, my son, or I'll blow you out of the water."
"This is a white man's government", Thomas Nast's caricature of the forces arraigned against Grant and Reconstruction in the 1868 election. Atop a black Union veteran reaching for a ballot box: the New York City Irish; Confederate and Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest; and big-money Democratic Party chairman August Belmont, a burning freedmen's school in the background. Harper's Weekly, September 5, 1868.
Map of the British and French settlements in North America in 1750, before the French and Indian War
County map of Civil War battles by theater and year
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States (1869–1877)
Join, or Die: This 1756 political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin urged the colonies to join during the French and Indian War.
Robert E. Lee
Grant's Attorney General Amos T. Akerman prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan, believing that the strong arm of the federal Justice Department could pacify the South.
An 1846 painting of the 1773 Boston Tea Party
"Stonewall" Jackson got his nickname at Bull Run.
Eastman Johnson's 1863 painting The Lord is My Shepherd, of a man reading the Bible
The population density in the American Colonies in 1775.
George B. McClellan
Atlanta's rail yard and roundhouse in ruins shortly after the end of the Civil War
Washington's surprise crossing of the Delaware River in December 1776 was a major comeback after the loss of New York City; his army defeated the British in two battles and recaptured New Jersey.
The Battle of Antietam, the Civil War's deadliest one-day fight.
$20 banknote with portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch
John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence (1819)
Confederate dead overrun at Marye's Heights, reoccupied next day May 4, 1863
Winslow Homer's 1876 painting A Visit from the Old Mistress
The United States after the Treaty of Paris (1783), with individual state claims and cessions through 1802
Pickett's Charge
A Republican Form of Government and No Domestic Violence, by Thomas Nast, a political cartoon about the Wheeler Compromise in Louisiana, published in Harper's Weekly, March 6, 1875
Economic growth in America per capita income. Index with 1700 set as 100.
Ulysses S. Grant
White Leaguers attacking the New Orleans integrated police force and state militia, Battle of Liberty Place, 1874
George Washington's legacy remains among the greatest in American history, as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, hero of the Revolution, and the first President of the United States. (by Gilbert Charles Stuart)
Albert Sidney Johnston died at Shiloh
Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States (1877–1881)
Depiction of election-day activities in Philadelphia (by John Lewis Krimmel, 1815)
By 1863, the Union controlled large portions of the Western Theater, especially areas surrounding the Mississippi River
A poster for the 1939 epic film Gone with the Wind, which is set during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras
Slaves Waiting for Sale: Richmond, Virginia (by Eyre Crowe)
The Battle of Chickamauga, the highest two-day losses
Map of the five Reconstruction military districts
First Military District
Second Military District
Third Military District
Fourth Military District
Fifth Military District
Thomas Jefferson saw himself as a man of the frontier and a scientist; he was keenly interested in expanding and exploring the West.
Nathaniel Lyon secured St. Louis docks and arsenal, led Union forces to expel Missouri Confederate forces and government.
Territorial expansion; Louisiana Purchase in white.
New Orleans captured
Oliver Hazard Perry's message to William Henry Harrison after the Battle of Lake Erie began with: "We have met the enemy and they are ours" (by William H. Powell, 1865)
William Tecumseh Sherman
A drawing of a Protestant camp meeting (by H. Bridport, c. 1829)
These dead soldiers—from Ewell's May 1864 attack at Spotsylvania—delayed Grant's advance on Richmond in the Overland Campaign.
"Independence Day Celebration in Centre Square, Philadelphia" (by John Lewis Krimmel, 1819)
Philip Sheridan
Settlers crossing the Plains of Nebraska (by C.C.A. Christensen, 19th century)
Map of Confederate territory losses year by year
The Indian Removal Act resulted in the transplantation of several Native American tribes and the Trail of Tears.
Burying Union dead on the Antietam battlefield, 1862
Henry Clay
Through the supervision of the Freedmen's Bureau, northern teachers traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population.
Horace Greeley's New York Tribune—the leading Whig paper—endorsed Clay for President and Fillmore for Governor, 1844.
Beginning in 1961 the U.S. Post Office released commemorative stamps for five famous battles, each issued on the 100th anniversary of the respective battle.
Officers and men of the Irish-Catholic 69th New York Volunteer Regiment attend Catholic services in 1861.
The Battle of Fort Sumter, as depicted by Currier and Ives.
The California Gold Rush news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad.
Slave states that seceded before April 15, 1861 Slave states that seceded after April 15, 1861 Union states that permitted slavery (border states) Union states that banned slavery
Territories
The American occupation of Mexico City in 1848
US Secession map. The Union vs. the Confederacy.
Union states
Union territories not permitting slavery
Border Union states, permitting slavery (One of these states, West Virginia was created in 1863)
Confederate states
Union territories that permitted slavery (claimed by Confederacy) at the start of the war, but where slavery was outlawed by the U.S. in 1862
The United States, immediately before the Civil War. All of the lands east of, or bordering, the Mississippi River were organized as states in the Union, but the West was still largely inhabited by Native Americans.
The Battle of Antietam, the Civil War's deadliest one-day fight.
The Battle of Franklin, November 30, 1864.
Abolition of slavery in the various states of the United States over time:Abolition of slavery during or shortly after the American Revolution
The Northwest Ordinance, 1787
Gradual emancipation in New York (starting 1799, completed 1827) and New Jersey (starting 1804, completed by Thirteenth Amendment, 1865)
The Missouri Compromise, 1821
Effective abolition of slavery by Mexican or joint US/British authority
Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1861
Abolition of slavery by Congressional action, 1862
Emancipation Proclamation as originally issued, January 1, 1863
Subsequent operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863
Abolition of slavery by state action during the Civil War
Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1864
Operation of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865
Thirteenth Amendment to the US constitution, December 18, 1865
Territory incorporated into the US after the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment
Lincoln with Allan Pinkerton and Major General John Alexander McClernand at the Battle of Antietam.
Oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and, among other promises, to "abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the . . . rebellion having reference to slaves . . . ," signed by former Confederate officer Samuel M. Kennard on June 27, 1865
Freedmen voting in New Orleans, 1867.
Atlanta's railyard and roundhouse in ruins shortly after the end of the Civil War
The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (1869) at First Transcontinental Railroad, by Andrew J. Russell
Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry.
Mulberry Street, along which Manhattan's Little Italy is centered. Lower East Side, circa 1900. Almost 97% of residents of the 10 largest American cities of 1900 were non-Hispanic whites.
This cartoon reflects the view of Judge magazine regarding America's imperial ambitions following a quick victory in the Spanish–American War of 1898. The American flag flies from the Philippines and Hawaii in the Pacific to Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean.
American children of many ethnic backgrounds celebrate noisily in a 1902 Puck cartoon.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (pictured) wrote these articles about feminism for the Atlanta Constitution, published on December 10, 1916.
The American Cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon
Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol in Chicago, 1921.
Money supply decreased a lot between Black Tuesday and the Bank Holiday in March 1933 when there were massive bank runs across the United States.
Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, a mother of seven, age 32, in Nipomo, California, March 1936.
Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas (left) and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (right) in 1936
The Japanese crippled American naval power with the attack on Pearl Harbor, destroying many battleships.
Into the Jaws of Death: The Normandy landings began the Allied march toward Germany from the west.
American corpses sprawled on the beach of Tarawa, November 1943.
The Trinity test of the Manhattan Project was the first detonation of a nuclear weapon.
Cuban Missile Crisis a U-2 reconnaissance photograph of Cuba, showing Soviet nuclear missiles, their transports and tents for fueling and maintenance.
Eisenhower button from the 1952 campaign
President Kennedy's Civil Rights Address, June 11, 1963.
U.S. soldiers searching a village for potential Viet Cong during the Vietnam War
Buzz Aldrin (shown) and Neil Armstrong became the first people to walk on the Moon during NASA's 1969 Apollo 11 mission
Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (right) with President Lyndon B. Johnson in the background (left)
Duncan West speaking with Cesar Chavez. The Delano UFW rally. Duncan represented the Teamsters who were supporting the UFW and condemning their IBT leadership for working as thugs against a fellow union. Duncan and his wife Mary were the branch organizers of the LA IS.
Anti-Vietnam War demonstration, 1967
Two hippies at Woodstock
United States Navy F-4 Phantom II shadows a Soviet Tu-95 Bear D aircraft in the early 1970s
U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie speaking at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia on Earth Day, 1970
Richard Nixon departs
Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate challenges Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall in 1987, shortly before the end of the Cold War.
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Clinton, Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat during the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993.
The NASDAQ Composite index swelled with the dot-com bubble in the optimistic "New Economy". The bubble burst in 2000.
The former World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan during September 11 attacks in 2001
George W. Bush addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 12, 2002, to outline the complaints of the United States government against the Iraqi government.
Headquarters of the Lehman Brothers, who filed for bankruptcy in September 2008 at the height of the U.S. financial crisis.
Tea Party protesters walk towards the United States Capitol during the Taxpayer March on Washington, September 12, 2009.
Barack Obama was the first African-American president of the United States
The White House lit with rainbow colors in celebration of the legalization of gay marriage
A man stands on a burned out car following protests over the murder of George Floyd
President Donald Trump delivering his inaugural address, 2017
A naval officer checks on a patient connected to a ventilator in Baton Rouge during the COVID-19 pandemic
European territorial claims in North America, c. 1750
France
Great Britain
Spain
Supporters of then-President Donald Trump attempted to stop the counting of electoral votes on January 6, 2021.
Protestors outside of the Supreme Court shortly after the announcement of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision in 2022.

The Reconstruction era was a period in American history following the American Civil War (1861–1865); it lasted from 1865 to 1877 and marked a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States.

- Reconstruction era

Precipitated by the election of Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860, the Civil War began as the southern states seceded from the Union to form their own pro-slavery country, the Confederate States of America.

- History of the United States

In the Reconstruction era following the war, legal and voting rights were extended to freed slaves.

- History of the United States

The war-torn nation then entered the Reconstruction era in a partially successful attempt to rebuild the country and grant civil rights to freed slaves.

- American Civil War

The Civil War is one of the most studied and written about episodes in the history of the United States.

- American Civil War
Territorial growth of the United States, 1810–1920

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Portrait by Mathew Brady, 1870–1880

Ulysses S. Grant

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American military officer and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877.

American military officer and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877.

Portrait by Mathew Brady, 1870–1880
Grant's birthplace, Point Pleasant, Ohio
Grant c. undefined 1845–1847
Battle of Monterrey Published 1847
Chinook Indian Plank House Published 1845
Grant believed Pacific Northwest Indians were a peaceful people and not a threat to settlers.
"Hardscrabble" Published 1891
The farm home Grant built in Missouri for his family. His wife Julia called the home an "unattractive cabin".
Brigadier General Grant photographed at Cairo, Illinois, September 1861 (Published 1911)
21st Illinois regiment monument in the Viniard Field, Chickamauga
Grant's successful gamble: Porter's gunboats night ran the Confederate gauntlet at Vicksburg on the Mississippi River.
Published 1863
The Battle of Jackson, fought on May 14, 1863, was part of the Vicksburg Campaign.
Published 1863
Union troops swarm Missionary Ridge and defeat Bragg's army. Published 1886
Commanding General Grant at the Battle of Cold Harbor, June 1864
Grant (center left) next to Lincoln with General Sherman (far left) and Admiral Porter (right) – The Peacemakers by Healy, 1868
Defeated by Grant, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House
Ulysses S. Grant by Balling (1865)
Grant–Colfax Republican Ticket
Published 1868
220px
Inauguration of President U.S. Grant, Capitol building steps.
March 4, 1869
Anthony Comstock Grant's vigorous prosecutor of abortionists and pornographers.
Amos T. Akerman, appointed Attorney General by Grant, who vigorously prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan
Image of mobs rioting entitled "The Louisiana Outrage". White Leaguers at Liberty Place attacked the integrated police force and state militia, New Orleans, September 1874.
Published October 1874
Secretary of Treasury George S. Boutwell aided Grant to defeat the Gold Ring.
Secretary of State Hamilton Fish and Grant successfully settled the Alabama Claims by treaty and arbitration.
Wharf of Santo Domingo City
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
American Captain Frye and his crew were executed by Spanish authority.
King Kalākaua of Hawaii meets President Grant at the White House on his state visit, 1874.
Published January 2, 1875
Ely Samuel Parker
Grant appointed Parker the first Native American (Seneca) Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
Battle of the Little Big Horn
Great Sioux War
Published 1889
Cartoon by Thomas Nast on Grant's opponents in the reelection campaign
Grant is congratulated for vetoing the "inflation bill" in 1874.
Cartoonist Thomas Nast praises Grant for rejecting demands by Pennsylvania politicians to suspend civil service rules.
Harper's Weekly
cartoon on Bristow's Whiskey Ring investigation
Grant and Bismarck in 1878
Cartoonist Joseph Keppler lampooned Grant and his associates. Grant's prosecutions of the Whiskey Ring and the Klan were ignored.
Puck, 1880
Official White House portrait of President Grant by Henry Ulke, 1875
Commanding General Grant
Constant Mayer's portrait of 1866
Grant National Memorial, known as "Grant's Tomb", largest mausoleum in North America

As Commanding General, he led the Union Army to victory in the American Civil War in 1865 and thereafter briefly served as Secretary of War.

Later, as president, Grant was an effective civil rights executive who created the Justice Department and worked with Radical Republicans to protect African Americans during Reconstruction.

Historical assessments have often ranked Grant as one of the worst presidents in American history.