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  • Jun 10, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    The Magna Carta, or Great Charter, is a document created for the purpose of limiting the powers of the monarch and preserving the basic legal rights of all free men in England.
  • Jamestown Settled

    Jamestown Settled
    The Jamestown settlement was funded by King James I. It sent 104 settlers sailed from London instructed to settle Virginia, find gold, and seek a water route to the Orient.
  • Mayflower Compact Written

    Mayflower Compact Written
    The Mayflower Compact is a written agreement composed by a consensus of the new Settlers arriving at New Plymouth in November of 1620. The Mayflower Compact was drawn up with fair and equal laws, for the general good of the settlement and with the will of the majority.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    Petition sent by Parliament to King Charles I complaining about a series of breaches of law. The petition sought recognition of four principles: no taxation without the consent of Parliament, no imprisonment without cause, no quartering of soldiers on subjects, and no martial law in peacetime.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    This bill was a precursor to the American Bill of Rights, and set out strict limits on the Royal Family's legal prerogatives such as a prohibition against arbitrary suspension of Parliament's laws. More importantly, it limited the right to raise money through taxation to Parliament.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    Benjamin Franklin and Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson drafted a proposal for colonial unity in the face of the coming war with France.The plan called for the creation of new layers of government, including a president-general who would be appointed by the Crown and exercise broad powers over relationships with the natives, making war and governing the frontier areas until new colonies were created.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The new tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed. The money collected by the Stamp Act was to be used to help pay the costs of defending and protecting the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains (10,000 troops were to be stationed on the American frontier for this purpose).
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston Massacre was a street fight that occurred on March 5, 1770, between a "patriot" mob, throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks, and a squad of British soldiers. Several colonists were killed and this led to a campaign by speech-writers to rouse the fire of the citizenry.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The crisis came to a head on December 16, 1773 when as many as 7,000 agitated locals milled about the wharf where the ships were docked.It was now early evening and a group of about 200 men, some disguised as Indians, assembled on a near-by hill. Whopping war chants, the crowd marched two-by-two to the wharf, descended upon the three ships and dumped their offending cargos of tea into the harbor waters.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    The Intolerable Acts were a group of laws passed by Britain to penalize the American colony of Massachusetts. These laws were passed mostly as a retaliation for the resistance to the Stamp Act, resistance to quartering British troops, and the Boston Tea Party.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    Representatives from each colony, except Georgia, met. The congress had three objectives: to compose a statement of colonial rights, to identify British parliaments violation of those rights, and to provide a plan that would convince Britain to restore those rights.
  • American Revolution Begins

    American Revolution Begins
    The initial purpose of the American revolution was to protest the inequities of the English Law. The war did not become a war for independence until the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The Second Continental Congress established the militia as the Continental Army to represent the thirteen states. They also elected George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
  • Decleration of Independence

    Decleration of Independence
    A document approved by representatives of the American colonies. It stated their grievances against the British monarch, and declared independence.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    The Articles of Confederation defined the federal government powers separate from those of the states. In the interim, the Congress continued to act on behalf of the federal government, and they directed the war effort.
  • Shays Rebellion

    Shays Rebellion
    Series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers. The rebellion was led by Revolutionary war Captain, Daniel Shays, to block foreclosure proceedings.
  • Philadelphia Convention

    Philadelphia Convention
    On May 25, 1787, a week later than scheduled, delegates from the various states met in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia. Among the first orders of business was electing George Washington president of the Convention and establishing the rules--including complete secrecy concerning its deliberations--that would guide the proceedings.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    This plan proposed a one-house national legislature with representatives selected by state legislatures. Each state will be able to cast one vote. It also proposed a supreme court appointed for life by the executive officers.
  • Constitution Convention

    Constitution Convention
    On September 17, 1787, forty-two of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day, to sign the Constitution of the United States of America.