Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr.
Scott and Dorothy Bullitt
Professor of American History 
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African American History | African American History in the West (Now available at www.blackpast.org)  

United States History:

Timeline: Before 1600

Before 1600 | 1600 - 1700 | 1700 - 1800 | 1800 - 1900 | 1900 - 2000 | American Revolution Timeline | Cold War Timeline

30K to 15K BC - First Humans migrate to Americas, probability from Beringa 

13,000 BC - Global Warming trend begins “Folsom points”  in New Mexico – probably group hunting 

10,000 BC - Clovis Technology – Kennewick Man 

9,000 BC - Extinction of Big Game Animals  

8,500 BC - Evidence of group hunting in Colorado 

8,000 BC - Beginning of Archaic period 

7,000 BC - First cultivation of plants in Mexican highlands 

5,000 BC - Athapascan migration to America begins 

4,000 BC - First settled communities along Pacific coast 

3,000 BC - Inupiat and Aleut migrations begin (Persian and Egyptian Civilizations developing in Middle East) 

1,500 – 1,000 BC Maize and other Mexican crops introduced into Southwest (Greek and Roman Civilizations developing in Mediterranean) 

1000 BC - Beginning of Adena culture – urban communities in Mexico 

200 BC – 400 AD  Hopewell culture – Ohio and Mississippi 

650 - Bow and arrow and other crude tools, corn in Northwest 

1000 - tobacco in use

1000 A.D. - Leif Ericson, a Viking seaman, explores the east coast of North America and sights Newfoundland, establishing a short-lived settlement there.  

1150 - founding of Hopi village 

1200 - high point of Mississippian cultures - Cahokia

Oxford University (actually in being since 1096) formally organized http://www.ox.ac.uk/

1215 - The Magna Carta document is adopted in England, guaranteeing liberties to the English people, and proclaiming basic rights and procedures which later become the foundation stone of modern democracy.  

1450 - PRINTING TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED IN EUROPE By 1501 there were 1000 printing shops in Europe, which had produced 35,000 titles and 20 million copies.

Founding of the Iroquois Confederacy in Northeast U.S. 

1492 - C. COLUMBUS LEADS ADVANCE SCOUTING PARTY FOR INVASION OF AMERICA - -Columbus makes the first of four voyages to the New World, funded by the Spanish Crown, seeking a western sea route to Asia. On October 12, sailing the Santa Maria, he lands in the Bahamas, thinking it is an outlying Japanese island. 

1497 - John Cabot of England explores the Atlantic coast of Canada, claiming the area for the English King, Henry VII. Cabot is the first of many European explorers to seek a Northwest Passage (northern water route) to Asia

1499 - Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, sights the coast of South America during a voyage of discovery for Spain.

1507 - The name "America" is first used in a geography book referring to the New World with Amerigo Vespucci getting credit for the discovery of the continent. 

1508 - Spanish Invade Puerto Rico 

1513 - Ponce de Leon lands in Florida 

1516 - Smallpox introduced in New World

1517 - Martin Luther launches the Protestant Reformation in Europe, bringing an end to the sole authority of the Catholic Church, resulting in the growth of numerous Protestant religious sects.  

1519 - Cortes lands in Mexico

1519-1522 - Ferdinand Magellan is the first person to sail around the world.

1524 - Giovanni da Verrazano, sponsored by France, lands in the area around the Carolinas, then sails north and discovers the Hudson River, and continues northward into Narragansett Bay and Nova Scotia.

1534 - Cartier explores the St. Lawrence 

1539 - deSoto and deCoronado mount expeditions 

1541 - Hernando de Soto of Spain discovers the Mississippi River 

- tobacco introduced in Europe (native’s revenge) 


1565 - Spanish found St. Augustine, Florida. 

1584 - Raleigh’s Roanoke Island Va. Colony  

1588 - In Europe, the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English results in Great Britain replacing Spain as the dominant world power and leads to a gradual decline of Spanish influence in the New World and the widening of English imperial interests 

1590 - Roanoke found abandoned  

1598 - deOnate leads Spanish into New Mexico 

1607 - English found Jamestown, Virginia 

1608 - French found Quebec - http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1608champlain.html 

1609 - Spanish found Santa Fe

1613 - A Dutch trading post is set up on lower Manhattan Island.


1620 - November 9, the Mayflower ship lands at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with 101 colonists. On November 11, the Mayflower Compact is signed by the 41 men, establishing a form of local government in which the colonists agree to abide by majority rule and to cooperate for the general good of the colony. The Compact sets the precedent for other colonies as they set up governments.