The History of America and It's Literature

Timeline created by acostello
In History
  • Aug 3, 1492

    Christopher Columbus Discovers America

    Christopher Columbus Discovers America
    Christopher Columbus made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain: in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502. Throughout his quests, he was determined to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia, but he never did. Instead, he accidentally stumbled upon the Americas.Though he did not really “discover” the New World as millions of people already lived there his journeys marked the beginning in the centuries of exploration and colonization that would soon come to be.
  • The Salem Witch Trials Begin

    The Salem Witch Trials Begin
    In relation to the Scarlet Letter, The Salem Witch Trials were a series of 200 confirmed witchcraft cases brought before local magistrates in a settlement called Salem which was a part of the Massachusetts Bay colony in the late 17th century. This event ended up killing 20 individuals due to hysteria and the cause of death was typically hanging. If the accused weren't sentenced to death, then they were sent to “witch jail:” a dark, cold, and wet dungeon infested with water rats.
  • The American Colonies Declare Independence from Great Britain

    The American Colonies Declare Independence from Great Britain
    When an armed conflict between many American colonists and British soldiers began in April 1775, known as the Revolutionary War, the movement toward independence from Great Britain was growing at a rapid rate. Quickly a five-man committee composed of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were all tasked with drafting the most infamous statement known to date, the Declaration of Independence. This statement would late be signed in Philadelphia, PA, highlighting Americas freedom.
  • The Constitution is Ratified By the Necessary 9 States

    The Constitution is Ratified By the Necessary 9 States
    New Hampshire become the last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the supreme law of the land. By 1786, defects upon the Articles of Confederation were apparent as congress began to draft a new constitution less than two years later. Through many months of debate, the new U.S. constitution, which created a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was finally put into action that July 21st day in NH.
  • George Washington is Elected the First President of the United States

    George Washington is Elected the First President of the United States
    George Washington was the commander in chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and through his impressive leadership qualities was voted into office at the first presidential election held on January 7, 1789 and would go on to serve two terms as the first U.S. president, from 1789 to 1797. Through his mindful actions, that would likely determine how future presidents would govern, Washington worked hard to set standards of fairness and integrity lasting a lifetime.
  • Bill of Rights Ratified

    Bill of Rights Ratified
    Officially becoming apart of the Constitution in December 1791, the Bill of Rights, created mostly by James Madison, is used to protect citizens from excess government power as well as providing a safeguard for individual liberty upon every American citizen. Although it may be a reach, this event in history could relate to Edgar Allen Poe's " The Pit and The Pendulum " as the eighth amendment mentions " No cruel or usual punishment " perfectly relating to the main character in Poe's short story.
  • The Pit and The Pendulum is Published

    The Pit and The Pendulum is Published
    Set in the Gothic era of literature, one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most infamous stories, “The Pit and the Pendulum” published in 1842, is a work of horror that achieves its effect through the vivid descriptions of an unnamed narrator’s experiences and internal feelings while escaping death by a knife like swinging pendulum. Its fame came to be, as it was one of the first pieces ever that appealed to all five of the readers senses while adding continuous suspense each pendulum swing.
  • The Start of the Women's Rights Movement

    The Start of the Women's Rights Movement
    In relation to "A Pair of Silk Stockings" by Kate Chopin, the Women's Rights Movement banded together women and young girls of all ages, who were typically in the mist of society, by allowing them to fight for what they believed in, which at the time was the right to vote. After the 19th amendment was ratified (nearly 100 years after the start of the movement), this declared for the first time that women, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in American culture.
  • The Scarlet Letter is Published

    The Scarlet Letter is Published
    Although the "Scarlet Letter" was written in the romantic literary period, Nathaniel Hawthorne set this work 200 years earlier during the Puritan era. Found guilty for adultery, clearly shown in her daughter Pearl, Hester Prynne, the main character, must wear a scarlet A to mark her shame. During this time, her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, remains unidentified and is wracked with guilt from his actions, while her husband, Roger Chillingworth, seeks revenge clearly forming drama in Puritan Boston.
  • The Beginning of the Civil War

    The Beginning of the Civil War
    The Civil War in the United States began in 1861, after decades of simmering tensions between northern and southern states mainly over slavery and the states’ rights. After the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, seven southern states formed the Confederate States of America, before four more states also joined them. The war ended in Confederate surrender in 1865 and became the costliest and deadliest war ever fought on American soil, killing 620,000 of 2.4 million soldiers that joined the war.
  • A Pair of Silk Stockings is Written

    A Pair of Silk Stockings is Written
    Formed at the end of the Gilded Age, the american author Kate Chopin's focus was exploring themes that reflected the role of women in society. In "A Pair of Silk Stockings," she portrays the quiet struggle of a woman searching for a balance between family life and personal satisfaction. Infamously known for her works of literature, Chopin beautifully portrays, the main character Mrs. Sommers life caught between many roles, from motherhood to just a single individual alone in society.
  • The Jungle is Published

    The Jungle is Published
    known for being one of the most impactful books to date, now published in 17 different languages, Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" was used to expose the appalling working conditions found in the meat-packing industry during the early 1900s. From his vivid description of diseased, rotten, and contaminated meat that filled the United States, this novel began shocking the public instantly upon release and led to new federal food safety laws that American has to date.
  • FDA / Meat Inspection Act Passed

    FDA / Meat Inspection Act Passed
    Exposed by "The Jungle" written by Upton Sinclair, President Roosevelt called the conditions revealed in Sinclair's novel and the special commission's report "revolting." Later, causing Roosevelt to sign a law regulating the food and drugs in America less then year after Sinclair's "The Jungle" was released. In simplest terms this law regulated food additives and prohibited misleading labeling of food and drugs, which later lead to the formation of the FDA which is still present in 2019.
  • World War I Begins

    World War I Begins
    Relating to "The Great Gatsby" and its main characters, World War I began in 1914, after assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, lasting until 1918. During the conflict, the Central Powers fought against the Allied Powers and due to new military technologies and the horrors of trench warfare, WWI saw unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction. By the time the war was over and the Allied Powers claimed victory, more than 16 million people soldiers and civilians alike were dead.
  • The Great Gatsby is Published

    The Great Gatsby is Published
    F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of "The Great Gatsby", portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching greed and empty pursuit of pleasure resulting ultimately in the corruption of the American dream. An example of this in Fitzgerald's work, is in the main character Gatsby’s failed dream ruined by his worthless over elaboration and the placement of Daisy on such a high pedestal just as the American dream in the 1920s did with money and pleasure.
  • The Stock Market Crashes / Beginning of The Great Depression

    The Stock Market Crashes / Beginning of The Great Depression
    The Great Depression was the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world. It began after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and employment as failing companies laid off workers. By 1933, over 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half the country’s banks had failed.
  • Of Mice and Men is Published

    Of Mice and Men is Published
    Set during the Great Depression in California, "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, illustrates how working class people, especially during The Great Depression, possess little freedom and are often held captive by their circumstances. Both George and Lennie, the main characters in the novel, feel that the ranch wasn't a good place but had to stay because there was no other way to provide for themselves financially. Intern, causing them to only idealize the American Dream without achieving it.
  • The Manhattan Project / First Atomic Bomb Occurs

    The Manhattan Project / First Atomic Bomb Occurs
    The atomic bomb, and nuclear bombs, are powerful weapons that use nuclear reactions as their source of explosive energy. Scientists first developed nuclear weapon technology during World War II through The Manhattan Project. But the only time this powerful weapon has been used in world history was by the United States against Japan at the end of World War II upon the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki instantly killing 120,000 individuals.
  • The Cold War Begins

    The Cold War Begins
    Following the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 7th, 1945 near the close of World War II, the uneasy wartime alliance between the United States and Great Britain on top of the stress from Soviet Union caused certain key events to unravel. Before The Cold War, tensions between the United States and the Soviet union were continuous but lasted for decades during/after the war. Which resulted in anti-communist suspicions and international incidents that led two superpowers to near nuclear disaster.
  • Catcher in the Rye is Published

    Catcher in the Rye is Published
    In the novel "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger the dominating theme is the protection of innocence, especially of children. For most of the book, Holden, the main character, sees this as a primary virtue. As Holden's secret goal is to be "the catcher in the rye." In this metaphor, he envisions a field of rye standing by a dangerous cliff. As the children play in the field filled with joy. If they should come too close to the edge of the cliff, however, Holden is there to catch them.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird is Written

    To Kill A Mockingbird is Written
    Set in the depression era of Alabama, Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" has sold over 40 million copies, translated into 40 different languages. "To Kill A Mockingbird" explores the themes of racial prejudice and injustice as well as love and the coming of age of Scout and Jem, the children of the prominent character Atticus Finch. Lastly, it was published just as the United States Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum and has resonated with readers across cultural lines for decades.
  • The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

    The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
    The assassination of MLK was an event in history that sent shock waves around the world. King had led the civil rights movement since the mid 1950s, using a combination of impassioned speeches and nonviolent protests to fight segregation and achieve significant civil rights advancements for African Americans. His assassination led to an outpouring of anger as well as a period of national mourning that would later lead to significant legislative achievements during the civil rights era.
  • 9/11 Attacks

    9/11 Attacks
    On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks upon the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C.. The the last aircraft crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, and is infamously known as Flight 93. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorists attacks, immediately triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism worldwide.
  • Looking for Alaska is Written

    Looking for Alaska is Written
    Known for being "The Catcher in the Rye" of the 21st century, "Looking for Alaska" by John Green provides a unique perspective on the usual coming of age story. Through the novels closing theme of hope in times of death, grief and loss this creates a close connection between the reader, the novel, and its main characters. Intern, spreading this innovative storyline through the roots of todays social media, giving the novel its quick and lasting fame for years to come.
  • The Las Vegas Massacre Occurs

    The Las Vegas Massacre Occurs
    In relation to the novel looking for Alaska and the theme of hope through tragedy, on October 1st, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd attending the final night of a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 58 people and injuring more than 800. Although the shooting only lasted 10 minutes, the death and injury tolls made this massacre the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and has had an impact on American History in relation to the present gun laws and the need for change.