Outline of United States history

The following outline is provided as an overview of and a topical guide to the history of the United States.

By period edit

Named eras and periods edit

These multi-year periods are commonly identified in American history. The existence and dating of some of these periods is debated by historians.

Political parties

These periods are commonly identified as the large changes within political parties. Newer Party Systems are typically disputed by experts and historians due to the complexity of changes in political parties.


See List of wars involving the United States.

Timelines and lists edit

15th century edit

1490s edit

16th century edit

1500s edit
1510s edit
1520s edit
  • On March 6, 1521, three Spanish ships under the command of Fernão de Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellan) land on the Island of Guam after a seemingly endless eleven week voyage across the Pacific Ocean. Magellan names the archipelago Las Isles de las Velas Latinas (The Islands of the Latine Sails). When the Spaniards refuse to pay for supplies, natives take iron from the ships. Magellan renames the archipelago Las Islas de los Ladrones (The Islands of the Thieves).
1540s edit
1550s edit
1560s edit
1570s edit
1580s edit
1590s edit

17th century edit

1600s edit
1610s edit
1620s edit
1630s edit
1640s edit
1660s edit
1670s edit
1680s edit
1690s edit

18th century edit

1700s edit
Map of North America at the start of Queen Anne's War (1702), showing areas occupied by the three European powers
1710s edit
1720s edit
1730s edit
1740s edit
1750s edit
1760s edit
Map of the British and French settlements in North America in 1750, before the French and Indian War
1770s edit
1780s edit
1790s edit

19th century edit

1800s edit
1810s edit
1820s edit
1830s edit
1840s edit
1850s edit
1860s edit
1870s edit
1880s edit
1890s edit

20th century edit

1900s edit
1910s edit
1920s edit
1930s edit
1940s edit
1950s edit
1960s edit
1970s edit
1980s edit
1990s edit

21st century edit

2000s edit
2010s edit
2020s edit
  • The COVID-19 pandemic shuts down most businesses and activities, arriving on January 13, 2020.
  • Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021.
  • The Afghanistan War ended with the remaining troops leaving the country on August 30, 2021.

By region edit

Federal district
Insular areas
Outlying islands

By subject edit

History books edit

Books on the history of the United States:

Cultural history of the United States edit

Economic history of the United States edit

History of education in the United States edit

Geographic history of the United States edit

History of health care in the United States edit

Historiography of the United States edit

Maritime history of the United States edit

Political history of the United States edit

History of science in the United States edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ The states of North Dakota and South Dakota were admitted to the Union at precisely the same time. Since the names of the new states were officially published in alphabetical order, it has been customary to consider North Dakota to be the 39th state and South Dakota to be the 40th state.

Further reading edit

  • Adams, James Truslow, ed. Dictionary of American History (5 Vols. 1940)
  • Kutler, Stanley I. ed. Dictionary of American History (3rd Edition 10 Volumes, 2003)
  • Martin, Michael. Dictionary of American History (Littlefield, Adams 1989)
  • Morris. Richard, ed. Encyclopedia of American History (7th ed. 1996)
  • Purvis, Thomas L. A Dictionary of American History (Blackwell 1997)
  • Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr. The Almanac of American History (2nd ed. 1993)
  • Thompson, Peter, and Chris Cook. Dictionary of American History: From 1763 to the Present (Facts on File, 2000)

External links edit