Early American Government

  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta Signed

    Magna Carta Signed
    Document that King John of England was forced to sign because it reduced the power that he had and allowed the formation of a powerful parliament. Drafted by Archbishop Stephen Langton.
  • Residents of Jamestown Settle

    Residents of Jamestown Settle
    Settlers saild to Virginia from London in search of gold and to find a water route to the orient. Ill suited for the task; many died because of it.
  • Mayflower Compact Written

    Mayflower Compact Written
    The Mayflower Compact bound them to live in a civil society according to their own laws. It remained the fundamental law of their colony of Plymouth until the colony was absorbed into Massachusetts in the late seventeenth century.
  • The Petition of Rights

    The Petition of Rights
    The Petition of Rights was based upon earlier statutes and charters and asserted four principles: no taxes may be levied without consent of Parliament; no subject may be imprisoned without cause shown (reaffirmation of the right of habeas corpus); no soldiers may be quartered upon the citizenry; martial law may not be used in time of peace.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    Gave basic rights to all Englishmen: Freedom from royal interference with the law, Freedom from taxation by Royal Prerogative, Freedom to petition the monarch, Freedom from the standing army during a time of peace and more.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    Made up by Ben Franklin, it was an 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.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America, towards further defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the same.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    Incident that caused deaths of five civilians at the hands of British troops on March 5, 1770, the legal aftermath of which helped spark the rebellion in some of the British colonies in America which culminated in the American Revolution.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    A demonstration by citizens of Boston who (disguised as Indians) raided three British ships in Boston harbor and dumped hundreds of chests of tea into the harbor . (against taxes for tea)
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    A series of British measures passed in 1774 and designed to punish the Massachusetts colonists for the Boston Tea Party.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    Was to define the relationship between the Colonists and the British government, in light of the "Coercive Acts" passed by the British Parliament. Colonists were united in their belief that the British had no right to tax them.
  • American Revolution Begins

    American Revolution Begins
    The American Revolution began because the citizens of the thirteen colonies of Great Britain did not feel that they had a voice in their government and were paying high taxes.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved slowly towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independence..
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    A written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states : it provided a legal symbol of their union by gave the central government no coercive power over the states or their citizens
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Movement by New England farmers desperate to be paid for the service in the Revolutionary War. Farmer Daniel Shays took charge of the group and led an attack on a federal arsenal in Springfield, Massachusetts, in January 1787.
  • Philadelphia Convention

    Philadelphia Convention
    Virginia and Maryland had made an effective agreement about navigating the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and wanted Delaware and Pennsylvania to join. Such an agreement, however, was illegal without the consent of the Confederation.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    A compromise adopted at the Constitutional Convention, providing the states with equal representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House of Representatives.
  • Constitutional Convention

    Constitutional Convention