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Major Events and Achievements by Presidential Administrations


Major Events and Achievements by Presidential Administrations

AP United States History


1.George Washington, 1789-1797

Federalist;   VP – John Adams;  Secretary of State – Thomas Jefferson

Secretary of Treasury – Alexander Hamilton

Major Items:

Judiciary Act, 1789

Tariff of 1789

Whiskey Rebellion, 1799

French Revolution – Citizen Genét, 1793

Jay Treaty with England, 1795

Pinckney Treaty with Spain, 1795

Farewell Address, 1796

First Bank of United States , 1791-1811

2.John Adams, 1797-1801

Federalist;  VP – Thomas Jefferson

Major Items:

XYZ Affair, 1797

Alien Act, Sedition Act, 1798

Naturalization Act

“Midnight Judges,” 1801

Kentucky (Jefferson) and Virginia (Madison) Resolutions, 1798

3.Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809

Republican (Democratic-Republican);  VP – Aaron Burr;    Secretary of State – James Madison

Major Items:

Marbury v. Madison, 1803

Louisiana Purchase, 1803

Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1805

12th Amendment, 1804

Embargo Act, 1807

Non-Intercourse Act, 1809

4.James Madison, 1809-1817

Republican (Democratic-Republican);  VP – George Clinton;  Secretary of State – James Monroe

Major Items:

Macon Act, 1810

Berlin and Milan Decrees

Orders in Council

“War Hawks,” 1811-1812

War of 1812

Hartford Convention, 1814

First Protective Tariff, 1816

Era of Good Feelings and the Era of the Common Man, 1815-1840

5.James Monroe, 1817-1825

Republican (Democratic-Republican)

VP – Tompkins;   Secretary of State – John Quincy Adams

Major Items:

Marshall’s Decisions:  McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819; Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 1819; Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824

Acquisition of Florida from Spain, 1819

Transcontinental or Adam-Oñis Treaty, 1819

Missouri Compromise, 1820

Monroe Doctrine, 1823

Sectional Tariff, 1824

Favorite Sons Election [Jackson, J. Q. Adams, Crawford, Clay], 1824


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6.John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829

National Republican;  VP – John C. Calhoun;   Secretary of State – Henry Clay

Major Items:

“Corrupt Bargain”

Erie Canal, 1825

Tariff of Abominations

Calhoun’s Exposition and Protest, 1828

7.Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837

Democrat;  VP – John C. Calhoun and Martin Van Buren

Major Items:

Jacksonian Democracy

Tariffs of 1832 and 1833

The 2nd Bank of the United States (due to expire in 1836)

Formation of the Whig Party, 1832

8.Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841

Democrat;  VP – Richard M. Johnson

Major Items:

Panic of 1837

Specie Circular, no Bank of the United States

Unsound financing by state governments

Ante-Bellum Period, 1840-1860

9.William Henry Harrison, 1841

Whig;  VP – John Tyler;   Secretary of State – Daniel Webster

10.John Tyler, 1841-1845

Anti-Jackson Democrat ran as VP on Whig ticket

Secretary of State – Daniel Webster

Major Items:

Webster-Ashburton Treaty, 1842

Vetoes Clay’s bill for 3rd Bank of the United States

Canadian Border set at 45th parallel

11.James K. Polk, 1845-1849

Democrat ;  original “dark horse” candidate;  VP – Dallas

Major Items:

Manifest Destiny

Texas becomes a state, 1845

Oregon boundary settled, 1846

Mexican War, 1846-1848

Treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo, 1848

Wilmot Proviso

12.Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850


VP – Millard Fillmore

13.Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853

Whig;  Secretary of State – Daniel Webster

Major Items:

Compromise of 1850

Clayton-Bulwer Treaty 1850

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852








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14.Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857

Democrat;  VP – King

Major Items:

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 1854

popular sovereignty

Japan opened to world trade, 1853

Underground Railroad

Bleeding Kansas

Ostend Manifesto, 1854

15.James Buchanan, 1857-1861

Democrat;  VP- Breckinridge

Major Items:

Dred Scott decision, 1857

Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 1858

Civil War 1861-1865

16.Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865

Republican;  VP – Andrew Johnson

Secretary of State – William H. Seward (New York)

Secretary of Treasury – Salmon P. Chase

Secretary of War – Edwin M. Stanton

Major Items:

Civil War, 1861-1865

Emancipation Proclamation, 1863

Homestead Act, 1862

Morill Act, 1862 (created agricultural colleges)

Assassinated April 14th, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth

Reconstruction, 1865-1877

17.Andrew Johnson, 1865, 1869

Republican;   Secretary of State – William H. Seward

Major Items:

13th Amendment, 1865

14th Amendment, 1868

Reconstruction Act, 1867

Tenure of Office Act, 1867

Impeachment Trial, 1868

Formation of KKK

Adoption of Black Codes in the South

18.Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877


VP – Colfax, Wilson

Secretary of State – Hamilton Fish

Major Items:

15th Amendment, 1870

First Transcontinental Railroad, 1869

Tweed Ring

Panic of 1873

Crédit Mobilier

Whiskey Ring

Indian Ring

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Gilded Age, 1877-1900

19.Rutherford B. Hayes, 1877-1881

Republican;  VP – Wheeler

Major Items:

Bland-Allison Act, 1878 (free coinage of silver)

Troops withdrawn from the South, 1877

20.James A Garfield, March 4 to September 19, 1881

Republican;  VP – Chester A. Arthur

Secretary of State – James A. Blaine

Major Items:

Assassinated by C. Julius Guiteau

21.Chester A. Arthur, 1881-1885

Republican;  Secretary of State – James A. Blaine

Major Items:

Pendleton Act, 1883 (set up civil service commission)

22.Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889

Democrat;  VP – Hendricks

Major Items:

Knights of Labor, 1886

Haymarket Riot, 1886

Interstate Commerce Act, 1887

Washburn v. Illinois, 1886

23.Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893

Republican;  VP – Morton;  Secretary of State – James A. Blaine

Major Items:

Sherman Anti-trust Act, 1890

Populist Party Platform, 1892

North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington become states, 1889

Idaho and Wyoming become states, 1890

McKinley Tariff, 1890

Sherman Act, 1890

24.Grover Cleveland, 1893-1897

Second Administration (only President to serve two non-consecutive terms)

Democrat;  VP – Stevenson

Major Items:

Panic of 1893

Hawaiian incident, 1893

Venezuelan Boundary Affair, 1895

Pullman Strike, 1894

American Federation of Labor

Wilson-Gorman Tariff, 1894








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25.William McKinley, 1897-1901

Republican;  VP – Garet Hobart, 1896-1900;  VP – Theodore Roosevelt;  Secretary of State – John Hay

Major Items:

New Imperialism

Spanish-American War, April 1898 – February 1899

Open Door Policy, 1899

Boxer Rebellion, 1900

McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz, 1901

Progressive Age, 1900-1920

26.Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1908

Republican;  VP – Fairbanks;  Secretary of State – John Hay, Elihu Root

Major Items:

Panama Canal, 1903-1914

“Square Deal”

Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, 1904

Portsmouth Treaty, 1905

Gentleman’s Agreement with Japan, 1904

Hague Conferences, 1899 and 1907

Hepburn Act, 1906

Pure Food and Drug Act, Meat Inspection Act, and “muckrakers”, 1906

Political reforms of the Roosevelt Era


Coal Strike


Venezuelan Debt Controversy, 1902

Dominican Republic Crisis, 1902

Algerian Conference over Morocco, 1906

27.William Howard Taft, 1909-1913

Republican;  VP – Sherman

Major Items:

Paine-Aldrich Tariff, 1909

Pinchot-Ballinger controversy, 1909 (conservation v. reclamation)

“Dollar Diplomacy”

28.Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921

Democrat;  VP – Marshall

Major Items:

Underwood Tariff, 1913

16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th Amendments

Federal Reserve System, 1913

Glassower Act, 1913

Federal trade Commission, 1914

Clayton Anti-trust Act, 1914

Troops to Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Virgin Islands, Mexico

The Lusitania, May 1915

“Fourteen Points,” January 1917

Treaty of Versailles, 1919-1920

“New Freedom”

29.Warren G. Harding, 1921-1923

Republican;  “Dark Horse” candidate;  VP – Calvin Coolidge;  Secretary of State – Charles Evans Hughes

Major Items:

Teapot Dome Scandal

Washington Conference, 1921-1922

Fordney-McCumber Tariff, 1922


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30.Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929

Republican;  VP – Dawes;  Secretary of State – Frank Kellogg

Major Items:

Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928

31.Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933

Republican;  VP – Curtis;  Secretary of State – Henry L. Stimson

Major Items:

National Origins Immigration Act, 1929

Panic and Depression

Stock market Crash, 1929

Hawley-Smoot tariff, 1930

The New Deal and the Era of Reform, 1920-1945

32.Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933-1945

Democrat;  VP – Garner, Wallace, Truman

Major Items:

New Deal

“Alphabet soup” bureaucracies

World War 2

Labor reforms

33.Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953

Democrat;  VP – Barkley

Major Items:

World War 2 ends

Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945

Taft-Harley Act, 1947

Truman Doctrine, 1947

Marshall Plan, 1947

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 1949

Korean War, 1950-1953

“Fair Deal”

The Cold War, 1945-1968

34.Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953-1961


VP – Nixon

Major Items:

22nd Amendment

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO)

Suez Crisis, 1956

Eisenhower Doctrine

the “race for space”

Alaska and Hawaii become states, 1959

35.John F. Kennedy, 1961-1963


VP – Lyndon B. Johnson

Major Items:

Alliance for Progress

Baker v. Carr, 1962

Peace Corps

Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962

“New Frontier”

Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty

Assassinated in Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963, by Lee Harvey Oswald


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36.Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1968


VP – Humphrey

Major Items:

The “Cold War”

Cuban Policy

Income tax cut

Wesberry v. Sanders, 1964

Civil Rights Act, 1964

Voting Rights Act, 1965

Anti-Poverty Act, 1964

Elementary and Secondary education reform


“Great Society”

Modern America, 1968 – Present

37.Richard M. Nixon, 1968-1974


VP – Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford

Major Items:

“Imperial Presidency”

Landing on the moon, July 1969

Warren Burger, Chief Justice, 1969

Woodstock, August 1969

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established, 1970

16th Amendment, 1971

Visit to China, February 1972

Visit to Russia, May 1972

Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT), 1972

Kissinger and “shuttle diplomacy,” 1973-1975

Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1973

Allende regime in Chile overthrown with the help of the CIA, September 1973

Agnew resigns, 1973

Nixon resigns, August 9, 1974

Pentagon Papers, August 30, 1971 (U.S.S.C. allows the NY Times to publish)

38.Gerald Ford, 1974-1976

Republican (1st appointed President)

VP – Nelson Rockefeller  (Neither President nor Vice-President had been elected)

Major Items:

Pardons Richard Nixon

OPEC crisis, 1974

39.Jimmy Carter, 1977-1981


VP – Walter Mondale

Major Items:

Panama Canal Treaty signed, September 1977

Established diplomatic relations with China and ended recognition of Taiwan

Three-Mile Island Incident, March 1979 (nuclear reactor leak in Pennsylvania)

Egypt and Israel peace treaty; Sadat and Begin win the Nobel Prize, 1979

Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979 (rescue attempt, 8 killed, April 1980)

Seizure of Afghanistan by Soviets, 1979


Boycott of Olympics in Moscow to protest invasion of Afghanistan



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40.Ronald Reagan, 1981-1989


VP – George Bush

Major Items:

Hostages returned

Falkland Islands Crisis, 1982 (U. S. supports England)

1500 Marines sent to Beirut, 1983; withdrawn in 1984

Grenada, October 1983

Nicaragua, 1984

Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman appointed to the Supreme Court

“Supply-side economics”

Iran-Contra Hearings, Summer 1987 (Oliver North)

41.George Bush, 1989- 1993


VP – Dan Quayle

Major Items:

Savings and Loan Scandal, 1990

Berlin Wall came down leading to the reunification of Germany

Invasion of Panama, 1990

Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm (the Gulf War), Jan to Aug 1992

42.Bill Clinton, 1993-2001


VP – Al Gore

Major Items:

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 1993

Proposes a national health care system, 1993

Participates in air strikes in Bosnia, 1994

Participates in air strikes in Iraq

Sex scandal, 1998

Participates in air strikes on Serbia, 1999

43.George Walker Bush (2001 – )


VP – Richard Cheney

Major Items:

Operation Enduring Freedom

Withdrawing from ABM Treaty


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