What Are the Most Important Events in American History?

important-events-american-history Credit: SuperStock/SuperStock/Getty Images

Some of the most important events in American history include Christopher Columbus' voyage in 1492, the Jamestown establishment in 1607, the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620, the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783 followed by the U.S. Constitution in 1787. While these events brought about the founding and establishment of the United States, other subsequent events shaped its history.

Several key events continued to shape the country such as the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which added 800,000 square miles to the Union. The brief War of 1812 with Great Britain restored conquered territories to the previous owners and ended Great Britain's support for the Native Americans. Without Great Britain to stand in the way, the United States continued to expand, with the 1820 Missouri Compromise adding states to the Union and the adding of southwest territory after the 1848 Mexican-American War.

Abraham Lincoln became president of the country in 1860, which led to the abolishment of slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. The 1869 transcontinental railroad connected the United States to the Western territory, and more states were added to the Union. World War I and World War II turned the United States into a superpower, especially after the successful implementation of the Manhattan Project and atomic bombs. The United States reached the moon on July 20, 1969, and the Cold War with Russia ended in 1989 with the dissolution of the USSR. On Sept. 11, 2001, New York's Twin Towers were destroyed, catapulting the United States and the rest of the world into the war on terror.