American flag wall art

The Early Years of American Government

  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    The Magna Carta, also known as "the great charter," stated that monarchy was not absolute and all people were guaranteed trial by jury and due process.
  • Jamestown Settled

    Jamestown Settled
    Jamestown was settled by 104 English men on the banks of the James River. This began America's first permanent English colony.
  • Mayflower Compact Written

    Mayflower Compact Written
    The Mayflower Compact was a written agreement drafted by New Plymouth settlers. It has since been lost.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    The Petition of Right was drafted by the English Parliament and signed by the King of England. It challenged the idea of divine right. In addition, it stated that the monarch was not above the law..
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    The English Bill of Rights forms the basis for much of American government today. It was designed to prevent any kind of power abuse by the English monarchy.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    A group known as the "sons of liberty" dressed indians and dumped 45 tons of tea into the Boston harbor in retaliation to the tea tax imposed by England. This was one of the many events which helped spark the American Revolution.
  • Albany Plan of the Union

    Albany Plan of the Union
    The Albany Plan of the Union proposed that one general government be formed in America, including all the said colonies. In this new form of government, each colony could retain its previous constitution, except when a change was nessecary. It was rejected.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The Stamp Act was a direct tax imposed by the British Parliament. It required many printed materials to be produced on stamped paper made in England.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston Massacre was an incident that led to the deaths of five civilians at the hands of British troops on March 5, 1770, the legal aftermath of which led the American Revolutionary War. A heavy British military presence in Boston to enforce the Townshend Acts led to a tense situation that boiled over; five civilians were killed.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    The Intolerable Acts, also known as the Coercive Acts, were a series of five laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 in response to the Boston Tea Party. It was a major factor that lead to the American Revolution. The first continental congress was called a s a response to these acts.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    A convention of delegates from 13 British North American colonies. They met to discuss and develop some kind of response to the British "Intolerable Acts."
  • American Revolution Begins

    American Revolution Begins
    The 13 colonies in North America decided to officially break free from the British Empire. After Congress wrote the Declaration of Independence, the United States of America was at war with England.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    A meeting of the 13 colonies; established the militia as continental army to represent what would become the 13 states.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    A declaration written to King George, citing all of America's grievances with England and announcing that the 13 American colonies which were at war with Great Britian were now independent states. This date is commonly seen as the "birthday" of the United States.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    The Articles of Confederation was the first constitution of the United States. It was adopted after the American Revolution; however, it gave much power to the individual state governments.
  • Shays Rebellion

    Shays Rebellion
    A group of poor, struggling farmers led by Daniel Shays rebelled against the government. This rebellion influnced Massachusetts to ratify the US constitution.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    This agreement, a compromise between the Virginia and New Jersey plans, was reached during the constitutional convention. It stated that congress should have a senate and a house of representatives. Our system of government today is based on the Connecticut Compromise.
  • Philadelphia Convention

    Philadelphia Convention
    This convention was held to address growing government problems in the United States. Although the convention was supposed to revise the Articles of Confederation, many who attended hoped to draft an entirely new constitution.
  • Constitutional Convention

    Constitutional Convention
    This meeting in Philadelphia was held to address growing concerns about the young U.S. government.