Major American Government Events

  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta

    The Magna Carta is an English charter that king john was forced to sign. It proclaimed certain liberties, and made the king accept that his will was not arbitrary, for example by explicitly accepting that no "freeman" could be punished except through the law of the land, a right which is still in existence today.
  • Jamestown Settled

    Jamestown, Virgina, the first sucessful English settlement was founded by English settlers searching for new land.
  • Mayflower Compact Written

    The Mayflower Compact was an agreement between English settlers and the Indian tribes that already lived on the land.
  • Petition of Right

    The petition of right was passed by Parliament and signed by Charles I. The Petition is known best as a confirmation of the principles that taxes can be levied only by Parliament, that martial law may not be imposed in time of peace, and that prisoners must be able to challenge the legitimacy of their detentions through the writ of habeas corpus
  • English Bill of Rights

    The English Bill of Rights was an act declaring liberties of the subject and settling the succession of the Crown, signed by William and Mary.
  • 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 during the French and Indian War. Franklin's plan of union was one of several put forth by various delegates of the Albany Congress
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The stamp act was Parliament's first serious attempt to assert governmental authority over the colonies. Great Britain was faced with a massive national debt following the Seven Years War. English citizens in Britain were taxed at a rate that created a serious threat of revolt.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston Massacre was an incident that led to the deaths of five civilians at the hands of British troops. A heavy British military presence in Boston led to a tense situation that boiled over into brawls between soldiers and civilians and eventually led to troops discharging their muskets after being attacked by a rioting crowd. The event helped spark rebellion in some of the British American colonies, which culminated in the American Revolutionary War.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The boston tea party was a protest againt taxation without representation. The colonists dumped the tea in the harbor because they refused to leave without the colonists paying the tea tax.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    The intolerable acts were a series of five laws passed by the English Parliament as a reaction to the Boston Tea Party. Boston's port was closed, which angered the colonies.
  • American Revolution Begins

    American Revolution Begins
    The political and social developments of America's independence, including the origins and aftermath of the war.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen North American colonies that met at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early in the American Revolution.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved towards independence. It was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun.
  • Decloration of Independence

    Decloration of Independence
    A document, written by Thomas Jefferson, that states the reasons the thirteen American colonies wanted to be free of Great Britain's government.
  • Articles of Confederation

    The articles of confederation were essentially the first U.S. constitution.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Farmers in W Massachusetts against the state government. Debt-ridden farmers, struck by the economic depression that followed the American Revolution, petitioned the state senate to issue paper money and to halt foreclosure of mortgages on their property and their own imprisonment for debt as a result of high land taxes.
  • Constitutional Convention

    Constitutional Convention
    The Constitutional Convention seven states had sent delegates to the Philidelphia meeting to devise a constituation that sets out a plan to build a government. This meeting became known as the Constitutional convention.
  • Philidelphia Convention

    Philidelphia Convention
    the purpose was to adress 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 intended only to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention of many, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    Agreement during the Constitutional Convention that Congress should be composed of a Senate in which states would be represented equally, and a House, in which representation would be based on a States population.