Recent Event Highlights: World War II, World War I, The Civil War , Pre-Civil War, and 13 more...
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- Nixon extends Vietnam War (April 1970) - Inflation (after 1970's-present day) - 26th Amendment (1971) - Watergate (June 1972) - US-North Vietnam Ceasefire (January 1973) - President Nixon resigns (August 1974) - Gerald Ford elected President (1974-1977) - North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam (April 17, 1975) - Jimmy Carter is elected President (1977-1981) - Ronald Regan becomes President (1981-1989) - Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first women in US Supreme Court (1981) - Iran Contra Affair (1985) - Berlin Wall falls (November 1989) - Warsaw Pact ends (April 1991) - End of Cold War (August 1991) The 20th century was a time of change for America; many of these changes affect modern-day American democracy. Inflation during the 1970's still affects the US economy to this day. Foreign relations during this time are beneficial today: a majority of the US's best products are imported from foreign countries, such as cars. America's aid to alliances and other countries has given it a prestigious reputation. By the end of the 20th century, a stable democracy had been established -- Americans had been granted equality, universal suffrage, civil rights, and involvement in government. Statue of Liberty. Digital image. Tourism Junction. Market Junction, LLC. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. . "U.S. History Timeline: 20th Century." World Almanac for Kids. World Almanac. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. . Note: The Gilder Lehrman Online textbook was used to research every event.
John F. Kennedy elected President (November 1960) - Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961) - Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962) - JFK assassinated in Dallas, Texas (November 22, 1963) - Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President (1963) - "The Great Society" (May 1964) - Civil Rights Act (1964) - Voting Rights Act (1965) - Immigration Act of 1965 - Water Quality Act of 1965 - Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated (1968) - The 1960's characterized a period during which John F. Kennedy planned on establishing a program called the "New Frontier" -- a period of economic reform, educational expansion, medical care for the elderly and poor, and space exploration. Even after Kennedy's death in 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson took the means to establish this "Great Society", through the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, expansion of education, Medicaid & Medicare, low rent public housing, passing of the Immigration Act, Water Quality Act, and consumer protection laws. Reforms were taken in order to accommodate the changes made towards equality by this point. During the 1960's, with all of the reforms taken for equality (women's rights, civil rights, voting rights, African American rights), there is chaos within the US. Everyone wanted more of a say, more of an influence on society, and was pushing for rights in the same time frame. In addition, Kennedy, in his inaugural speech, uttered the famous words "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country". This line is consistent with Republicanism, and shows the broadening of Republican values though Kennedy's programs. Eidenmuller, Michael. Lyndon Bainea Johnson - The Great Society. Digital image. American Rhetoric. American Rhetoric, 2008. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. . "U.S History Timeline: 20th Century." World Almanac for Kids. World Almanac. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. .
- Major spreading of Communism (1944-1948) - Truman Doctrine (March 1947) - Marshall Plan (June 1947) - Berlin Blockade (June 1948-May 1949) - NATO ratified (Jul y 1949) - China turns Communist with rule of Mao (September 1949) - Korean War (June 1950-July 1953) - Warsaw Pact (May 1955) - Emmett Till killed by 2 white men (August 28, 1955) - Fidel Castro takes over Cuba (January 1959) - The Postwar era of America was a time during which minorities -- specifically African Americans -- increased their push for equality back in the US. This caused social instability and tension within America. In addition, the Cold War immediately pulled the US and its allies against the Soviet Union, which in turn led to further conflicts between countries. The United States was caught in a series of back-to-back wars in other countries, and faced additional conflict within its own country (segregation). The advocacy by African Americans for equal rights represents an ideal that was also consistent in the progressive era: using power as a citizen to enforce change. African Americans wanted to make America a government that is truly a democracy with freedom and equality for all. Crouter, Jordan. Communism. Digital image. Business TM. Word Press, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. . "U.S. History Timeline: 20th Century." World Almanac for Kids. World Almanac. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. .
apanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) - US declares war on Japan (December 8, 1941) - Germany and Italy declare war on US (December 11, 1941) - D-Day (June 6, 1994) - FDR begins fourth term as President (Nov. 7, 1944) - FDR dies in Warm Springs, Georgia (April 12, 1945) - Harry S. Truman proceeds FDR as President (1945) - Mussolini executed (April 28, 1945) - Adolf Hitler commits suicide (April 30, 1945) - Germany signs unconditional surrender (May 7, 1945) - Atomic Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 & August 9, 1945, respectively) - Japan surrenders (Sept. 2, 1945) - Economy begins expanding again (1949) - World War II occurred at a delicate point in American history - immediately after America started emerging from the Great Depression. Yet, Americans were able to form alliances with other countries and emerge successful. The Great Depression ruined the US's impression of power and strength; however, the US was able to gain back its reputation as a powerful country following its involvement in World War II, specifically because of its successful usage of the atomic bomb. The US's emergence from a harsh period in American history shows the strength that the US democracy had acquired over time - the US government was able to pull the country out of Depression and into war and come out even stronger. Atomic Bomb. Web. How Stuff Works. How Stuff Works, Inc. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. . Atomic Bomb. Digital Image. How Stuff Works. How Stuff Works, Inc. Web. 26 Sept. 2010. .
- Herbert Hoover elected President (November 1928) - Stock Market Crash of October 1929 - Davis-Bacon Act (March 31, 1931) - Reconstruction Finance Corporation Created (January 22, 1932) - 20th Amendment (January 23, 1933) - FDR inaugurated as President (March 4, 1933) - 21st Amendment, repeals 18th Amendment (December 5, 1933) - US Housing Act (Sept. 1, 1937) The Great Depression was an abrupt change from the innovative, pop-culture-characterized Interwar years. The Depression was a time during which nearly everyone in America was struggling with the same economic devastation. While it was a scarring era in American history, it also united Americans to support one cause: survival. "America's Great Depression." Amatecon. Web. 24 Sept. 2010. . Great Depression. Digital image. Irrelevant Axiom. Word Press, 2 Jan. 2010. Web. 25 Sept. 2010. .
- Andrew Jackson elected President of US (1828) Andrew Jackson, who was elected President after running against John Adams in the Election of 1828, led the United States of America with his ideal of natural liberty. Jackson was the first president to appeal directly to voters: Americans were able to know who they were electing to represent their country, which increased voting participation. Jackson stressed democratic republicanism, and under his democracy, Americans experienced a new era of liberal capitalism where new economic opportunities were offered to the middle class and minorities. Jacksonian democrats sought to expand the independence of individuals. Andrew Jackson believed in the natural instincts of human beings, and believed that people were capable of making great achievements. His presidency influenced Americans to abolish discrimination and try to make difference in the government -- an example would be the Seneca Falls Convention, at which men and women signed a petition in favor of women's suffrage and liberties. The Jacksonian Era extended liberties and economic opportunities to Americans and encouraged them to express their natural rights and liberties as Americans. Andrew Jackson. Digital image. Learn NC. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education. Web. 20 Sept. 2010. .
- Alcohol banned (January 16, 1920) - Inflation (food prices doubled between 1915 and 1920) - Harlem Renaissance (1920's) - Ku Klux Klan at large (early 1920's) - Asians banned from US, strict immigration laws (1924) - The end of World War I brought a decade of significant social reform, which included mass entertainment and consumer-oriented economy. The interwar years were a period of American liberation from the country's past. Both women and African Americans expressed their freedoms: women left their conservative shell behind and embraced fashion and self-expression; African Americans expressed their pride and culture during the Harlem Renaissance. However, African Americans still faced the injustice of segregation and terror attacks from white-supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Immigration restrictions were becoming stricter as well. While the Interwar era was a time in which Americans embraced liberalism and the liberties invested in them through the American democracy, the American government and certain groups were still pushing conservatism. Harlem Renaissance: A Cultural Rebirth. Digital image. Zunal. Zunal, 2 Dec. 2009. Web. 25 Sept. 2010. .
- Woodrow Wilson Still in Power (1912-1920) - Lusitania sunk by German U-Boat (May 7, 1815) - US declares War on Imperial Germany (April 6, 1917) - Selective Service Act, draft (May 18, 1917) - Espionage Act (1917) - Woodrow Wilson declares 14 Points (January 8, 1918) - Sedition Act (1918) - US forces sent to Russia (August 3, 1918) - Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (1917) - Bolsheviks proclaim goal of worldwide communism (1919) - May Day (May 1, 1919) - Millions of Troops return home worldwide (1919) - US involvement in League of Nations (March 19, 1920) - Warren G. Harding elected President (1920) World War I was one of the first times the United States got involved with serious war since the reconstruction period. The US was led into World War I by President Woodrow Wilson after Germany attacked US ships. The US's involvement in a world war is a significant change from the Gilded Age, when the country isolated itself from other countries and exhibited conservatism and republicanism. Lusitania Wreck. Digital image. NBC- ICue. University of Pheonix. Web. 24 Sept. 2010. . "Timeline of World War I." History Learning Site. Web. 22 Sept. 2010. .
- President Roosevelt elected President after McKinley's assasination (1901) - Meat Inspection Act (1906) - Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) - William Howard Taft elected President (1908) - Mann-Elkins Act (1910) - Woodrow Wilson elected President (1912) - Underwood-Simmons Tariff (1913) - Federal Reserve Act (1913) - 16th Amendment, Income Tax (1913) - 17th Amendment, direct election of Senators (1913) - Federal Trade Commission Act (1914) - American troops occupy Haiti (1915) - Seamen Act, Adamson Act, Workingmen's Compensation Act, Child Labor Act, Farm Loan Act(1916) - American troops occupy Dominican Republic (1916) - 18th Amendment, Prohibition (1919) - 19th Amendment, Women's Suffrage (1920) - William Howard Taft appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1930) Progressivism embraced that the United States democracy is "of the people, by the people, for the people"(The Gettysburg Address). Americans used their power and knowledge as "the people" to reform the United States "for the people". The progressive movement was a time during which citizens took interest in their roles in their country -- as a citizen, taxpayer, consumer, family member, employee, etc. Progressive reformers specifically used their freedom of speech to reform the country and improve the involvement of the citizens in government. Progressive reformers influenced economic, political, social, and moral reforms. These reforms include the addition of the 19th Amendment, which granted women's' suffrage; the regulation of labor, including child labor, minimum wage, and working conditions; health and the quality of food and water available; the elimination of government corruption; regulation of business practices; the 17th Amendment, regarding direct election; and the 16th Amendment, regarding income tax. Because progressive reformers did not have to be from a certain political party, ethnicity, or class, progressive reforms protected the minority and benefitted everyone. The citizens knew firsthand what needed to be done to reform the US, and used their knowledge to make the American democracy truly one "of the people, by the people, for the people". Progressivism. Digital image. Chicago Freedom Forum. Blogspot, 7 June 2010. Web. 21 Sept. 2010. .
Mark Twain Published The Gilded Age (September 18, 1873) Panic of 1873 James Garfield elected as President (1881) Garfield assassinated (January 16, 1883) Pendleton Act (November 18, 1883) Grover Cleveland elected President (March 1885) American Federation of Labor founded (November 6, 1888) Benjamin Harrison elected President (June 1889) Cleveland returns to presidency (May 11, 1894) William McKinley elected President (April 1898) William McKinley assassinated (April 1901) The Gilded Age focused on economic, political, moral reform. During the Gilded Age, people gained more government involvement through professional bureaucracy. The US started to make economic reforms by urbanizing and industrializing. The government regulated railroads, and Civil Service Reform was conducted. Political parties were realigned, indicating that the country was moving away from its internal division. The Gilded Age was focused on fixing the problems inside the country and establishing the country as a nation. Because of this, immigration was restricted. The US took a more conservative shift: church attendance was compulsory, Sunday laws were established, and temperance was stressed. The US was becoming more republican, for during the Gilded Age, republicanism meant preserving tradition and regulation. Republicanism did not believe in imposing beliefs on others, and therefore, did not approve of imperialism. The Gilded Age was a time when Americans wanted to maintain American culture and tradition, and expanded republican beliefs into the American democracy. The Gilded Age. Digital image. PBS. Public Broadcating Service. Web. 21 Sept. 2010. .
○ Congressional Reconstruction ( starts in early 1866) ○ 14th Amendment ratified, due process, equal protection (June 1866) ○ Andrew Johnson impeached (1868) ○ 15th Amendment ratified, voting rights regardless of color, race (February 1869) ○ Ulysses S. Grant elected President on January 10, 1870 ○ Election of 1876 ○ Rutherford B. Hayes elected in 1876 ○ Compromise of 1877 Following the end of the Civil War, the American government was serious about restoring civil rights and democracy. Citizenship rights were extended, voting rights were extended, and equality was supported. Amendments were added: the 14th Amendment called for due process and equal protection for all, and the 15th amendment gave men voting rights, regardless of color, race, or servitude. Andrew Johnson, who proceeded Lincoln as President, was considered too lenient and not useful in establishing African American Rights in the South, and was therefore impeached. Congress prevented any further obstruction to reconstruction by limiting presidential power after Johnson's impeachment - this was a step towards democracy. Following his impeachment, Ulysses S. Grant, a Republican, was elected as President in 1868. Reconstruction governments continued to draw up democratic state constitutions, expand women's rights, provide debt relief, and establish state-funded schools. Eventually, by the Compromise of 1877, President Hayes withdrew all forces from the south in exchange for Southern support. The US government was now expanding democracy more heavily than it had before in efforts to strengthen the US's government and democracy and provide equal opportunities for all Americans. Avery, Luther. Ulysses S. Grant. Digital image. Akorra. 4 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Sept. 2010. .
- Abraham Lincoln elected in 1860 - Confederate States of America formed by seven states (December 1860) - Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863) - Gettysburg Address (July 1-3, 1863) - Lincoln's 10% Plan (December 1863) - 13th Amendment ratified, prohibiting slavery (January 1865) - Inaugural Address (1865) - Surrender of Southern forces at Appomattox (April 1865) - Abraham Lincoln is assassinated (April 1865) - The Civil War occurred under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln had moderate beliefs, and opposed only slavery's extension - even the united democratic party did not defeat him. Lincoln led the Union, which was anti-slavery, against the Confederation, which was pro-slavery. Lincoln abolished slavery in all states that had rebelled in the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address stated that the Union's intention in partaking in the Civil War was to reestablish freedom and equality. Lincoln reminded people in his Gettysburg Address that the American democracy was one "of the people, by the people, for the people". Following the Gettysburg Address, more people supported the Union. After the surrender of the southerners, the end of the Civil War, and the assassination of President Lincoln, slavery had come to an end. The Civil War represented a time in which people misused their Constitutional rights (anti-slavery groups said ownership of slaves was justified by constitutional rights). Even more than that, it represented that not all people agree with the all of the ideals of democracy - however, in order for one country to be united, all must abide by the same laws. In the end, people understood Lincoln's reasons for fighting slavery, and democratic ideals were restored in the US. "Abraham Lincoln." The History Place. The History Place, 1996. Web. 20 Sept. 2010. . Civil War Crisis. Digital image. Mountain Charlie. Web. 20 Sept. 2010. .
- Wilmont Proviso (1846) - Election of 1848 - Seneca Falls Convention (1848) - Zachary Taylor elected as President of US (November 24, 1784-July 9, 1850) - Compromise of 1850 By the mid-1800's, slavery was the biggest threat to America. Democrats had morphed from pro-liberty and pro-equality Jacksonian democrats to pro-slavery democrats. Northerners were generally anti-slavery; Southerners were strongly pro-slavery. Southerners saw slaves as property, and were threatening north through claims of free speech suppression. Slavery divided America: legislators voted as "northerners" and "southerners" rather than by political party. This was apparent in the Election of 1848 - Zachary Taylor, a Whig, beat Lewis Cass, a democrat, in the election. However, the election caused southerners to create their own southern party, and northern Whigs to create the Free Soil Party in response. Conflict between pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups became exceptionally intense when both groups migrated to Kansas in 1855. The corruption brought by these conflicts was evident during the Election of 1855, when the pro-slavery legislature passed the slavery code despite 4, 968 pro-slavery voted being fraudulent. This caused a divide in the American democracy when free-staters responded by establishing their own separate legislature in Kansas. Still, President Buchanan took no action to reunify Kansas. It was evident that democracy had once again started to crumble in the US, and that political equality was not a principle Americans would agree with. Zachary Taylor. Digital image. Zachary Taylor Biography. Web. 20 Sept. 2010. .
- Thomas Jefferson elected president (1801-1809) - Louisiana Purchase (1803) - 12th Amendment (1804) - Lewis and Clark expedition (1804) - Prohibition of slave trade (1808) - James Madison elected as president (1809-1817) - War of 1812 between US and Great Britain - Conscription proposal rejected by US (December 12, 1814) - War of 1812 ends (February 17, 1815) - James Monroe elected President (1817-1825) - Missouri Compromise (1820) - Monroe Doctrine (1823) - John Quincy Adams elected President (1825-1829) After the disastrous results of the Election of 1796, the US adopted a new system of voting - it was decided that the both the President and the Vice President would be from the same party. Federalist Aaron Burr and Democratic Republican Thomas Jefferson were running for presidency. James Bayard, Delaware's representative, voted for Jefferson despite being a federalist himself - this represents Americans moving towards stability once more: Bayard puts his personal beliefs aside to vote for the benefit of the country. Thomas Jefferson is elected President of the United States. Jefferson works to give more power to the people through the Louisiana Purchase (which doubled the size of the US at the time), less government involvement in personal affairs, and pushing for economic and social equality. Jefferson's reforms expanded democracy and reflected those principles of freedom and equality stated by the Constitution. Also, although he was a Democratic Republican, Jefferson offered leeway to citizens despite the Constitution, which was a step away from republicanism and another towards democracy. The slave trade was prohibited by 1808, which was one of the preliminary steps to equality. The process of voting was also modified during this period. Property qualifications for voting and office holding were abolished, and by 1821 most states grated suffrage to all adult males. Some states had even granted suffrage to African Americans, and New Jersey had granted suffrage to women. The 12th Amendment was ratified, which called for separate ballots for the vice president and president - another way for Americans to choose who represented them. Democratic ideals were spreading in the country. At the same time, however, a division between the North and South was beginning to form in the US - southerners protested new laws on slave trade. Once Thomas Jefferson's presidency had ended, James Madison was elected president, and was not as effective at expanding democracy. During Madison's presidency, The US and Britain went to war in 1812; economic depression and the Panic of 1819 followed the war. James Monroe, who proceeded Madison as President in 1817, passed the Monroe Doctrine in response to tension between Britain and the US. Still, the Jeffersonian era is characterized by the great expansion of democracy, American liberty, and progress towards equality during its time. Thomas Jefferson: The Consummate American. Digital image. Glenn Institute. 12 Jan. 2010. Web. 16 Sept. 2010. .
- George Washington elected President of the US (March 4, 1789) - Bill of Rights added to Constitution (1791) - Thomas Jefferson resigns as Secretary of State to Washington, joins opposition against Washington (1793) - George Washington rejects 3rd Presidential term (July 1796) - Election of 1796 - XYZ Affair (1798) - Quasi War (1798-1800) - Alien Act (1798) - Sedition Act (1798) - US Capital moves to Washington, D.C. (1800) While it seemed as though America was moving towards a Utopia following the end of the Revolutionary era, there was instability within the country. The first president to be appointed following the ratification of the Constitution was George Washington in 1789. During Washington's presidency, conflicts between Federalist and Democratic-Republicans increased; Washington wanted to appeal to both parties, but failed at incorporating both of their opposing beliefs in government. In July 1793, Thomas Jefferson, Washington's former Secretary of States, resigned and joined opposition to Washington's administration. By September 1796, Washington rejected his 3rd term due to personal attacks and abuse. The instability increased with the Election of 1796, between John Adams (Federalist) and Thomas Jefferson (Democratic Republican). Adams was elected president, making Jefferson vice-president. Because of they were from clashing parties, the two did not make an effective pair when it came to governing the US. Political dissent followed: the XYZ affair caused the Quasi-War with France in 1798-1800. The Federalists held the most power in government, and used it to make significant changes to the US Navy during the war. The Federalist-led government also passed the Alien Act, which allowed the president to expel aliens whom he felt were a threat to the country; and the Sedition Act, which made it punishable to express or conspire opposition to the government, congress, or President. The actions of the Federalists contradicted the freedoms the US supposedly granted to Americans. The era of the "new nation" represented a reemergence of political instability and the struggle to balance democracy and republicanism in the US government. George-Washington. Digital image. Computer Kiddos. PBWorks, 2009. Web. 20 Sept. 2010. .
- Continental Congress is replaced by Congress of Confederation (March 1, 1781) - US Constitution written at Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, PA (May 25-September 17, 1787) - US Constitution ratified (June 22, 1788) One of the major causes for the American Revolution was the colonists' desire for representation and freedom - now that the Revolution had ended, and the colonists had emerged victorious, it was time for colonists to establish their rights. The first attempt to establish a document stating these rights was the Articles of Confederation, agreed on by the Continental Congress in 1781, proceeding the end of the Revolutionary Era. Following the war and agreement of the Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress was also replaced by the Congress of Confederation, which was now the major law-making body of the US government. The Articles of Confederation established the 13 states as the United States of America; each state represented its own sovereignty and all rights to govern (except those rights held by Congress). The irony of the Articles of Confederation was that they were to unify the states as a nation, but that it became increasingly difficult to enforce laws and taxes as a country since each state had individual rights. These conflicts led to problems within the stability of the country as a whole. A new document was needed - this document, written in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, PA, became the United States Constitution. Ratified by 9 states in 1788, The Constitution remains the supreme law of the United States of America to this day. Compared to the Articles of Confederation, it made the US a more balanced country in terms of democracy and republicanism. For instance, the Congress was split up into the House of Representatives and the Senate; state representatives, elected by popular vote, were appointed by population size; Supreme Court settled disputed between states. An important change was the appointment of an executive, the President of the United States, that was elected by electoral votes. The ratification of the Constitution represented a major attempt at balancing of democracy and republicanism in the US government, and was the end result of an era of fighting for just that. Ken, Rohrer. Constitution Day. Digital image. Incredible Constitution Day. The Incredible Art Department. Web. 16 Sept. 2010. . "US Constitution." Enchanted Learning. Enchanted Learning. Web. 16 Sept. 2010. .
- The Sugar Act (April 5, 1764) - Stamp Act (March 22, 1765) - Declaratory Act (March 18, 1766) - The Townshend Revenue Act (June 29, 1767) - Tea Act (May 10, 1773) - Boston Tea Party (December 16, 1773) - Battles of Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775) - Thomas Jefferson writes first draft of Declaration of Independence (June 19, 1775) - Congress adopts Declaration of Independent (July 4, 1776) - US-French Alliance (February 6, 1778) - Articles of Confederation (March 2, 1781) - British Surrender (October 19, 1781) - Treaty of Paris (September 3, 1783) The Revolutionary War - also called the American Revolution - was the result of rising tensions between American Patriots and British soldiers. It began on April 19, 1775, with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Prior to the initiation of the Revolution, the British government had passed a series of laws attempting to increase their control over the colonies, and the Patriots responded by protesting and resisting British influence. In addition, Britain started using the colonies to its benefit: the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and the Tea Act were British attempts to gather large amounts of money and taxes from colonists. However, these taxes pushed the colonists to rebel against British aristocracy even more strongly. The colonies wanted representation and freedom from British rule, as well as equality before law, rule of law, and constitutional rights. The British government resisted colonist´s push for (what would later on be known as) democracy, passing the Declaratory Act and Quartering Act in 1765 and thereby asserting its right to make laws regarding colonists and forcing colonists to put up British soldiers in unoccupied buildings, respectively. After decades of tension between the colonists and Britain, King George III of Britain finally initiated the War by sending troops to Lexington and Concord in 1775 and killing many Patriot soldiers, or minutemen. 14 months later, on June 19, 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, a document that candidly explained why the United States had declared their freedom from Britain. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence had been edited and adopted by the United States. The Revolutionary War continued after this; at many points, such as the fall of 1776 and summer of 1780, it seemed inevitable that the British defeat George Washington´s Patriots. However, the war took a turn for the better of the Patriots in October 1780, when one wing of lord Cornwallis' army was defeated in northern South Carolina. American colonies used strategies such as guerrilla warfare and large-scale attacks to successfully confront British armies. Patriot victories continued, with significant victories in January and March 1781. Following the March 1781 defeat of Cornwallis' troops, Cornwallis deployed British troops near Chesapeake Bay, which was then sealed by a French fleet. 7,800 French troops and 9,000 American troops then combined forces and surrounded Cornwallis' army of 8500, leaving the British surrounded and greatly outnumbered. On October 17, 1781, the British surrendered in Yorktown. The Patriots had won the Revolutionary War. "Cause and Effect of the Revolutionary War." History King. History King. Web. 7 Sept. 2010. . Revolutionary War. Digital image. The Black Regiment. WTV-Zone. Web. 20 Sept. 2010. .