The United States has seen many political events in its history. These moments shape the country as we know it today and also help establish the direction of the country for years to come. Below is a list of some of the most momentous political events in United States history.
1) George Washington resigns from Presidency
George Washington, the first President of the United States, resigned from office in 1797. Washington was the first president to resign from office, but he did not retire from public service. George Washington remains the only president to have held office under a monarchy.
Washington’s resignation came during the country’s infancy, but it set the precedent for presidential leadership. The next president, John Adams, took over right before a new decade, and he set the standard for presidential leadership during the new republic.
Adams was a severe critic of the Constitution and he was frustrated with the system of government, but he still believed in the democratic principles of the country.
2) US Senator Samuel Morrill’s Pro-Slavery Amendment
On the same day that the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was passed, Senator Samuel C Morrill of Vermont introduced a bill in the Senate that would establish a federal department of public education. The amendment passed and Morrill was named the first Commissioner of Education.
Although the amendment did not directly create a federal department of education, Morrill was Commissioner of Education until 1883. The Morrill Act was a federal land-grant program that established a standard for American universities. Morrill’s role in this history highlights the importance of elected officials in setting the direction for the country’s history.
3) Abraham Lincoln becomes President
Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States on November 6, 1860, and took office on March 4, 1861. During the Civil War, Lincoln led the nation into a new era of government. He preserved the Union, restored the Constitution, and abolished slavery.
Lincoln’s efforts helped heal the nation after the violent conflict and also helped restore the country’s economy. Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be elected to two non-consecutive terms.
4) 2nd inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
On April 16, 1865, just two months after the Civil War ended, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. This event shocked the country and, within minutes, the Vice President, Andrew Johnson, assumed the presidency.
After several months of reconstruction, Andrew Johnson officially took over the presidency from Abraham Lincoln during his second inauguration on March 4, 1866. The inauguration is notable because it was the first in which U.S. citizens were allowed to attend the event.
5) The reconstruction Era Begins in the South under Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln’s efforts to restore the Union, and the 13th Amendment, were all part of a much larger plan to end slavery. One of the major debates during Reconstruction was whether the federal government would allow the southern states to continue in complete federalism or whether they would be required to reintegrate fully and ratify the 13th Amendment.
In both cases, the federal government took the lead in forcing the states to comply with the laws and re-integrate. The federal government was the main force in forcing the reconstruction of the South under the terms set out in the 13th Amendment.
The federal government was able to use the 13th Amendment as a tool to force the reintegration of the South. This ended up helping the federal government during the Reconstruction Era because the South was essentially controlled by the federal government during Reconstruction.
6) Rutherford B. Hayes is sworn in as the 19th President of the United States
Andrew Johnson was elected president in 1868, and he was impeached for abuse of power in office in 1868. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Johnson, but he was acquitted by a single vote in the Senate.
During the impeachment trial, Johnson had to leave the Senate to deal with a military crisis, so the Senate was essentially controlled by the southern states.
After the impeachment trial, Congress went on recess until September 1868. While Congress was on recess, Congresswoman Leonidas C. Sandlin of Florida introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to establish a commission to oversee the Reconstruction of the South.
On September 3, 1868, the bill passed by a vote of one hundred and sixty-eight to one. This bill became the basis of the Hayes Amnesty Program which protected the lives of Southerners and helped end Reconstruction.
7) The assassination of William McKinley and the installation of Theodore Roosevelt as the 20th President of the United States
On September 6, 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated. The Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, became the 21st President of the United States. The assassination of President McKinley showed that there was a chance for anyone to die in office and that only a president can save the country in times of crisis.
8) Woodrow Wilson becomes the 28th President of the United States and issues 4,000 Days – Sermon on a Mount and The Federal Reserve Act is passed
Wilson was elected to be the 28th President of the United States on February 1916. Wilson was the first president to have a Ph.D. and the first president to have been born in the twentieth century. He was also the second president to address Congress.
Wilson’s presidency is noted for being one of the most progressive and forward-thinking in American history. He was the first president to establish a cabinet-level department, and he was the first to establish the Federal Reserve. Wilson also made the first presidential address to Congress.
9) FDR becomes the 32nd President of the United States and issues Executive Order 9066 which leads to Japanese Internment Camps
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected president in 1932. During his term as president, he led the country through the Great Depression.
The Great Depression was a time in which the country experienced a severe drop in employment, wages, and prices. In his first executive order, Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps which employed young men between the ages of 18-25 and worked on projects in the national parks.
The CCC also built roads and bridges throughout the United Roosevelt also created the Civil Works Administration which employed men who were between the ages of 25 and 55. The work done under the CWA included public works projects such as building schools and roads.
10) 6 Million Jews Are Murdered During The Holocaust During WWII Under Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Leadership
The Holocaust is a term used to describe the extermination of six million Jews during World War II. The Holocaust is considered the most momentous event in United States history and it was also one of the most momentous events in world history.