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United States History

Periods in American History

DatesPeriodMajor Characteristics
1607-1776Colonial EraFrom the first colonies to the eve of the American Revolution.
1776-1789Formative YearsIndependence, the American Revolutionary War, and creation of the American Constitution.
1789-1848Early National PeriodFederalism, Jacksonian Democracy, close of the Mexican-American War and continental imperialism.
1848-1865Civil War EraMajor social movements, sectional conflicts, to the end of the American Civil War
1865-1890Reconstruction and the
Gilded Age
Racial politics, massively disproportianate accumulations of wealth, the closing of the frontier
1890-1918Progressive Era and World War ICampaigns for social and economic reform, Populism, the end of the "Great War."
1918-1940Age of "Normalcy" and the Great DepressionProsperity followed by global economic depression, the "Red Scare," dawn of New Deal liberalism, "Realpolitik" and the rise of global fascism.
1940-1965World War II and the Atomic AgeReturn of prosperity, McCarthism and the start of the Cold War, foreign policy of "containment," the Korean and Vietnam Wars, rise of the Counter-Culture Movement.
1965-1989Cold War and the rise of the NeoconsSocial unrest, modern conservatism, the "Computer Age."
1989-presentModern PeriodThe fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the Gulf War and the "War on Terror," the "Internet Age."

 

The Star-Spangled Banner: This flag of 15 stars and 15 strips flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812 with Great Britain.

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