Leading up to the United States Constitution

  • May Flower Lands at Plymouth Rock

    The ship carried 102 Pilgrims on its maiden voyage to the shores of America. The Mayflower Compact, which set up the laws for the Pilgrims, was signed while the passangers were on board the ship, and can be seen as the original civilian, governmental system in the settlers new America.
  • English Bill of Rights is passed

    It is one of the fundamental documents of English constitutional law, and marks a fundamental milestone in the progression of English society from a nation of subjects under the plenary authority of a monarch to a nation of free citizens with inalienable rights. Many of the sentiments and laws stated in this document would later be mirrored in the US Constitution.
  • British Parliament passes the Sugar Act

    The Sugar act put more taxes on already struggling American citizens, showing the American citizens the true need for a government that was representing them and looking out for their best interests instead of using them as a source of revenue when times became tough
  • The Stamp Act is Passed

    This act put a tax on every piece of printed paper that was used. It was not as much the money that became the problem from this act, but the precedent it set. It showed Britain's complete control over American life and infuriated US citizens who began to demand change.
  • The Townshend Acts begin to be passed

    These acts allowed for Parliament to raise revenues in the colonies through the implementation of new taxes and trade regulations. The American people refused to accept or acknowledge the Townshend Acts, this caused Britian to occupy Boston with the British Army -succeeding to only raise tention and unrest amongst the American citizens.
  • The Boston Tea Party

    The acting out/breaking point of the American people as they felt that their rights under the British Constitution were being violated and ignored.
  • Common Sense is Published, written by Thomas Paine

    Common Sense illustrated to the American colonists the need for freedom from under the British rule, when the question of whether or not to demand independence was still in flux. Paine put an acurate, truthful voice to the anger that many citizens felt.
  • Declaration of Independence

    It was the founding document of the United States of America, it changed the American Rebellion against the British into a Revolution. This was the document that declared the colonists freedom from the laws, overseeing and taxes of Britain -imancipating them from the British Government but leaving them without their own.
  • Radification of the Articles of the Confederation is Completed

    The Radification of the Articles of the Confederation is signed by all thirteen states, showing the acceptance and common understanding of the need for a central government within the United States
  • The Drafting of the Articles of the Confederation Begin

    This was the beginning of the document that provided America with domestic and international legitimacy for their newly placed Continental Congress to be able to direct the American Revolutionary War
  • The American Revolution Begins in Massachusetts

    The begining of the war that gained America's independence from Great Britan. This war showed the american people that they required a stronger centeral government
  • The Treaty of Paris is Signed

    The treaty signed by King George III of Great Britain and representatives of the United States that ended the Revolutionary war and officially conceded America's independence.
  • Shays Rebellion begins in Massachusetts

    Shays Rebelllion illustrated to the newly forming US government the need for a truly strong, undeniable center of government.
  • Constitutional Convention is held in Philadelphia

    The Convention was brought about to address problems with the governing of the US. Up until this point, The US had been operating under the Articles of Confederation -after declaring independence from Great Britain. The Convention was meant to revise the Articles of Confederation, but instead, a new document, the United States Constitution, was created.
  • The Constitutional Convention reaches a quorum

    The minimum number (7) of States is met and the Convention truly begins.
  • The Virginia Plan is Proposed by Edmund Randolf

    The Virginia Plan would create a centralized government in which representation would be based on the population of each state.
  • Small vs. Large States Debate

    The question of how to determine the representation of each state in Congress arises and is battled by the emerging groups of small and large states.
  • The New Jersey Plan is Presented

    The New Jersey plan was a small-state alternative to the Virginia Plan. It called for the equal representation of states in the government regardless of the number of citizens a state had. These two plans begin to show the emerging House of Representatives and the Senate
  • The Great Compromise

    The Great Compromise is adopted by the entire Constitutional Convention. The Great Compromise created America's bicameral Congress so that states would be equally represented in the Senate and proportionally represented in the House of Representatives.
  • The Slave Trade Debate

    The importance of this comes not so much from what was being debated as from the fact that this topic was being debated. The debate over the Slave Trade shows not only the editing of old laws and standards but also the incorporation of new ones as well.
  • The Draft of the Constitution is signed

    the Constitution of the United States of America was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention.
  • The Constitution is Published and Distributed

    This marks the Constitutions rise in power. It is not only a document written and concieved by the minds of powerful men, but a set of rules to live by that has become tangible for the citizens of the United States.
  • Radification of the Constitution by the States Begins

    The radification of the constitution was its final test to bring it into full being and prove this infantile country's prowess
  • The Federalist Papers are Published

    The Federalist Papers were a series of articles defending and supporting the US Constitution. They illustrated the importance of a strong, unified central government and by explaining the benefits of belonging to the Union were one of the major forces that convinced the states to ratify the Constitution
  • NH Becomes the 9th State to Ratify the Constitution

    As dictated by Article VII, the document (the Constituion) would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states. This marked the official begining of the US Constitution's power.