Major Events for Early American Government

By jroos03
  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges.
  • Jamestown settled

    Jamestown settled
    In June of 1606, King James I granted a charter to a group of London entrepreneurs, the Virginia Company, to establish a satellite English settlement in the Chesapeake region of North America. It is the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States of America, following several earlier failed attempts.
  • 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. 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
    The Petition of Right is a major English constitutional document that sets out specific liberties of the subject that the king is prohibited from infringing. The Petition is most notable for its confirmation of the principles that taxes can be levied only by Parliament.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    The Bill of Rights laid out certain basic rights for all Englishmen. An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    The Albany Plan was proposed by Benjamin Franklin at the Albany Congress in 1754 in Albany, New York. It was an early attempt at forming a union of the colonies under one government as far as might be necessary for defense and other general important purposes during the French and Indian War.
  • American Revolution Begins

    American Revolution Begins
    The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire. The Battle of Lexington and Concord took place April 19, 1775, when the British sent a force of roughly 1000 troops to confiscate arms and arrest revolutionaries in Concord. They clashed with the local militia, marking the first fighting of the American Revolutionary War.
  • 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. The colonies sent no representatives to Parliament, and therefore had no influence over what taxes were raised, how they were levied, or how they would be spent.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston Massacre was an incident that led to the deaths of five civilians at the hands of British troops. The aftermath of which helped spark the rebellion in some of the British American colonies, which culminated in the American Revolutionary War.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    A group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor to protest taxes. Colonists objected to the Tea Act for a variety of reasons, especially because they believed that it violated their right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    Twelve of the 13 colonies sent delegates. The representatives gathered to discuss their response to the British "Intolerable Acts." They met to discuss their relationship with Britain.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    % laws set-up in response to the Boston Tea Party. Also called the Coercive Acts, they were a major factor contributing to the outbreak of the American Revolution.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved incrementally towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independence. By raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, and making formal treaties, the Congress acted as the de facto national government of what became the United States.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration is a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    It was the first constitution of the United States of America. It specified how the national government was to operate. The articles established a "firm league of friendship" between and among the 13 states.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    The rebellion is named after Daniel Shays, a veteran of the American Revolution who led the rebels. They attempted to prevent the courts from seizing property from indebted farmers by forcing the closure of courts in western Massachusetts.
  • Constitution Convention

    Constitution Convention
    Was a gathering to address problems in governing the United States of America, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from Great Britain. Although the Convention was purportedly intended only to revise the Articles of Confederation.
  • Philadelphia Convention

    Philadelphia Convention
    Also know as the Constitution Cnvention. The Convention was purportedly intended only to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one. The delegates elected George Washington to preside over the convention.
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    Philadelphia Convention

  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    The Connecticut Compromise was the compromise at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which resolved the differences between the Virginia (Big-States) Plan and the New Jersey (Small States) Plan. It proposed a bicameral legislature, resulting in the current United States Senate and House of Representatives.