The Road to Revolution: 1763-July 4, 1776

By jtoth
  • Treaty of Paris

    The Treaty of Paris ends the Seven Years' War and redraws the map of North America, changing which nations control several specific territories and elimating most French and Spanish influence/control in the Colonies.
  • George Grenville becomes Prime Minister of Britain

    Grenville becomes Prime Minister. He is very concerned with British debt and how to finance the British soldiers who are stationed in the colonies to enforce the Proclomation of 1763.
  • Proclomation of 1763

    British government issues this proclomation intended to seperate the colonists and the Natives along the boundary of the Appalachians. Britain thinks they are protecting the colonists while in reality the colonists want to continue expanding. The troops sent to enforce the proclomation are costly, which is a factor leading to new taxes imposed on the colonists.
  • Revenue Act passed

    Also known as the Sugar Act, this act actually reduces the tax on imported molasses but the tax begins being more strictly enforced. The act also adds to the list of products which the colonists can export only to Britain.
  • Currency Act passed

    Parliament passes this act declaring that the only legal tender in the colonies is the British pound sterling. While this actually makes economic sense and attemps to reign in inflation, it angers the colonists who feel that trade is restricted if they can't produce their own money.
  • Stamp Act passed

    Parliament passes this act which requires the colonists to purchase and apply stamps on all newspapers, legal documents, pamphlet, playing cards, and countless other items. Britain is shocked by the colonist' respones to this act, which include riots and tarring and feathering the tax collectors. The act will be repealled the next year.
  • Quartering Act passed

    This act requires public funds from the colonists' to be used to support British troops stationed to enforce the Proclomation of 1763. The majority of the opposition to this act occurs in New York where a particularly large number of these soldierse are stationed.
  • Virginia Resolves

    Encouraged by Patrick Henry, the Virginia House of Burgesses adopts the Virginia Resolves protesting the Stamp Act.
  • Hanging of tax-collector effigy and riots in Boston

    The first widely known act of the Sons of Liberty, colonists in Boston protest the Stamp Act through riots and the hanging of an effigy of Andrew Oliver, a stamp distributor. In the following weeks, they also burn and destroy the houses other British officials. Britain is shocked by the responses to the Stamp Act and repeals it a year later.
  • Stamp Act Congress

    Colonists gather in New York in response to the Stamp Act and author a declaration saying that Britain cannot directly tax them without representation in Parliament.
  • Stamp Act repealed

    Britain is shocked by the colonists' angry responses to the Stamp Act and repeals the act a year after it is passed.
  • Declaratory Act passed

    The same day that Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, they also reaffirm their right to tax the colonists by passing the Declaratory Act.
  • Townshend Acts passed

    Parliament passes the last of four acts, together known as the Townshend Acts. Paper, glass, and tea are among the items that are taxed and must be imported from Britain. The colonists protest through nonimportation and nonconsumption and Britain actually loses money. The Townshend Acts are repealed three years later.
  • Redcoats march into Boston

    Attacks on customs officials angered Britain who sent troops into Boston to subordinate them and demonstrate power.
  • Boston Massacre

    British troops fire into a crowd of unruly colonists leaving five people dead. John Adams represents the soldiers on trial; this goes to show that at the time it is not even really thought of as a "massacre" but will be blown out of proportion in future studies of history.
  • Townshend duties repealed

    Colonists boycotts of goods being taxed under the Townshend Acts are effective: Britain loses money and repeals all the Townshend taxes exept that on tea.
  • Burning of the British ship "Gaspee"

    The British customs ship runs aground off the coast of Rhode Island. The next day, colonists row to the ship and set fire to it. The Crown sets a reward for their capture so they could be sent to England for trial, an announcement which angers many Americans.
  • Tea Act passed

    This act declares that colonists are only allowed to purchase tea from the East India Company in order to help the almost-bankrupt British company. Colonists are angered by yet another attempt by Parliament to tax and have control over them. Many boycotts of tea ensue.
  • Boston Tea Party

    In protest of the Tea Act, a group of colonists let by the Sons of Liberty dress as Native Americans and board British ships carrying tea that are anchored in Boston Harbor. They throw all the tea overboard. This greatly angers Britain and gives Parliament another reason to "put it's boot down"
  • Coercive Acts

    As a response to dissent in the colonies and the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passes a series of acts known in the colonies as the "Intolerable Acts". Among the results of these acts are the closure of Boston Harbor, immunities to all Royal British soldiers, and a new government in MA that has the right to break up any public gatherings. The colonists are furious.
  • First Continental Congress meets

    55 delegates with different interests from all the colonies (except Georgia) meet in Philadelphia from September 5 to October 26 to discuss their unified opposition to the taxes and acts that Parliament has passed and how to fight back.
  • Rever and Dawes' midnight ride

    Massachusetts governor Gage orders 700 British soldiers to destroy the colonists' weapons depot and Paul Revere and William Dawes are sent to warn the colonists. Rever arrives around midnight and warns Samuel Adams and John Hancock who are hiding there.
  • The "shot heard round the world" fired

    The first shot of the war is fired and the battles of Lexington and Concord are fought even before the Colonies have declared independence
  • Second Continental Congress meets

    Delegates once again gather in Philadelphia, this time managing the war efforts and working towards indendence. The Congress drafts the Articles of Confederation (put into practice in 1776 though not formally approved until 1781). The League of States formed could: regulate foreign affairs, manage the post-office, mediate boundary disputes between states, declare war, and pass resolutions but could not enforce them (weak government!)
  • Washington takes control of army

    George Washington is put in charge of the colonial army which at the time has about 17,000 men. Washington is a dynamic leader who has gained experience during the Seven Years War.
  • Olive Branch Petition issued

    The Continental Congress issues the Olive Branch Petition as one last attept at reconciliation with Britain, even though fighting has already began. The petition pleges allegiance to the king and states that Parliament is the problem. The king rejects it and instead declares the colonists to be in a state of rebellion.
  • "Common Sense" published

    The pamphlet, first published anonymously, is widely read throughout the colonies and is extremely influential. In it Paine criticizes the idea of reconciliation with Britain and argues why the Colonies should gain independence.
  • Colonists declare independence

    Congress is hesitant to pass Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and tables it for three days. Parts of the document are revised or removed altogether, such as the part blaming the Crown for brining slavery to the colonies. The document is not highly original, most of the ideas can be attributed to Cato's letters and Enlighment thinkers such as John Locke.