The Struggle for Independence

By msigler
  • Treaty of Paris

    The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War in North America, granting the Britain control of all land to the east of the Mississippi River.
  • King George III signs the Proclamation of 1763

    The Proclamation of 1763 declared that all land transactions made to the west of the Appalachian crest would be governed by the British government rather than by the colonies.
  • The Quartering Act Takes Effect

    The Quartering Act required colonial legislatures to pay for certain supplies for British troops stationed in each colony. The Quartering Act became controversial during 1766, when New York refuses to comply with it.
  • The Sugar Act is Passed

    The Sugar Act lowered the import tax on foreign molasses in an attempt to deter smuggling, and placed a heavy tax on Madeira wine, which had traditionally been duty-free. The act mandated that many commodities shipped from the colonies had to pass through Britain before going to other European countries.
  • The Stamp Act is Passed

    To be enacted on November 1, 1765, the Stamp Act required all colonists to purchase watermarked, taxed paper for use in newspapers and legal documents. The Stamp Act was the first internal tax ever imposed on the colonies by Parliament and aroused great opposition.
  • The Virginia House of Burgesses passes the Virginia Resolves

    The Virginia Resolves denied Parliament's right to tax the colonies under the Stamp Act, igniting opposition to the act in other colonial assemblies.
  • The Stamp Act Congress Meets in New York City

    The colonial legislatures sent representatives to New York, where they agreed broadly that Parliament had no right to tax the colonies or to deny colonists a fair trial.
  • The Stamp Act is Repealed

    In response to colonial resistance, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, and passed the Declaratory Act on March 18, which states that Parliament may legislate for the colonies in all cases.
  • The Townshend duties are Enacted

    The Townshend duties was the popular name for the collected import taxes imposed by the Revenue Act of 1767. The Revenue Act taxed glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea entering the colonies. The duties were clearly passed in an effort to raise revenue for the British treasury rather than to regulate trade.
  • John Dickinson Publishes Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer

    Dickinson's series of twelve letters are published in almost every colonial newspaper. The letters exhorted Americans to resist the Townshend duties, enumerating the political arguments against the constitutionality of the Revenue Act.
  • Circular Letter Adopted by the Massachusetts House of Representatives

    The circular letter, drafted by Samuel Adams and sent to all of the other colonial legislatures, condemned taxation without representation and decried British efforts to make royal governors financially independent of the elected legislatures as a further deprivation of representative government. It spurred some other legislatures to draft similar letters, but most remain apathetic.
  • Troops Begin to Land in Boston

    In response to growing political unrest in Massachusetts, Britain sent troops to occupy the city in the final months of 1768. Tensions mounted between the troops and the civilians.
  • The Boston Massacre

    Troops in Boston squared off with a crowd of sailors led by Crispus Attucks. When the crowd knocked one soldier to the ground, the soldiers fired and killed 5 men.
  • The Townshend Duties are Repealed

    Under financial pressure from the colonists' non-importation policy, Parliament repealed all of the Townshend duties except for the tax on tea.
  • The Burning of the Gaspee

    In an act of open defiance against British rule, more than one hundred Rhode Island colonists burn the corrupt customs ship Gaspee to the waterline after it runs aground near Providence.
  • Samuel Adams Publishes the Letters of Thomas Hutchinson Through the Committees of Correspondence

    Massachusetts' royal governor, Hutchinson, in his letters, advocates "an abridgement of what are called British liberties," and "a great restraint of natural liberty" in the colonies. The publication of these letters convinces Americans of a British plot to destroy their political freedom.
  • Boston Tea Party

    In protest of the Tea Act, a group of colonists let by the Sons of Liberty dress as Native Americans and board British ships carrying tea that are anchored in Boston Harbor. They throw all the tea overboard. This greatly angers Britain and gives Parliament another reason to "put it's boot down"
  • First Continental Congress meets

    55 delegates with different interests from all the colonies (except Georgia) meet in Philadelphia from September 5 to October 26 to discuss their unified opposition to the taxes and acts that Parliament has passed and how to fight back.
  • The "shot heard round the world" fired

    The first shot of the war is fired and the battles of Lexington and Concord are fought even before the Colonies have declared independence
  • Olive Branch Petition issued

    The Continental Congress issues the Olive Branch Petition as one last attept at reconciliation with Britain, even though fighting has already began. The petition pleges allegiance to the king and states that Parliament is the problem. The king rejects it and instead declares the colonists to be in a state of rebellion.
  • "Common Sense" published

    The pamphlet, first published anonymously, is widely read throughout the colonies and is extremely influential. In it Paine criticizes the idea of reconciliation with Britain and argues why the Colonies should gain independence.
  • Colonists declare independence

    Congress is hesitant to pass Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and tables it for three days. Parts of the document are revised or removed altogether, such as the part blaming the Crown for brining slavery to the colonies. The document is not highly original, most of the ideas can be attributed to Cato's letters and Enlighment thinkers such as John Locke.