George washington 1782 painting

AP U.S. History Timeline

  • Oct 12, 1492

    Columbus made landfall

    Christopher Columbus made landfall for the first time on the continent of North America. He actually believed he was in India, hence the name for the natives, Indians.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1517 to

    Protestant Reformation

    This was a very important event in Europe in which the Anglican Church was formed. This caused controversy amognst the people living in Europe at this time.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1519 to Jan 1, 1522

    Magellan circumnavigated the world

    Though Magellan is credited for being the first to sail all the way around the world, it was actually his crew who finished out the journey because he died en route.
  • Settlers arrive at Jamestown

    A group of 100 colonists, all males, landed at Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown is a significant colony because it was the first successful colony. Although many settlers died en route, they still had enough living to be successful when they arrived.
  • House of Burgesses created

    The House of Burgesses was created by colonists in Virginia. This was important because it was the first bicameral legislature. It was a representative democracy. This would be a model for later colonies.
  • Period: to

    The Great Migration

    During the English Civil War and the time surrounding it, many people in England decided to move to North America in hopes of more religious freedom or in hopes of a better life in general. During this time, about 70,000 people flocked to North America.
  • Mayflower Compact

    This was an agreement that was signed by the men aboard the Mayflower. It was a basic agreement for the type of goverment they would have, that majority would rule.
  • Maryland Established

    Maryland received a royal charter in 1632 and became a proprietary colony in 1634. This colony was created as a way for England to try to make money. It was a haven for Catholocs and gave religious freedom to others to a certain extent.
  • Period: to

    The Pequot Wars

    Happened in the Connecticut river area. The Pequots were a very powerful Indian tribe. In a quest for control and land, the English settlers set fire to the homes of the Pequots and shot them as them came running out of their burning homes. This wiped a majority of the Pequot population out.
  • New York Established

    The Dutch were the first to settle the land that now is New York. Charles II granted this land to his brother, the Duke of York. In 1664 English soliders arrived and seized this land from the Dutch and re-named the area New York.
  • New Jersey Established

    In 1664, the Duke of York granted land to aristocratic proprietors. Many New Englanders moved to this area. Originally, this land was divided up into two areas, West Jersey and East Jersey. In 1702 these were combined to make one colony, New Jersey.
  • Establisment of the Carolinas

    In 1670, the first settlers came to the region of Carolina from the West Indies. Carolina was granted to eight Lord's Proprietors by the King. In 1712 Carolina split into two colonies, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • Period: to

    King Phillip's War

    This was the only hope for Native Americans to resist the English settlers. Metacom, who was known as King Phillip to the English settlers, organized attacks on English settlements. The English were able to behead Metacom and wipe out some of his followers, too. After this, the Native American population in New England was significantly lower.
  • Pennsylvania Established

    In 1681, the King granted land to William Penn to pay off a debt owed to his father. Penn advertised this new colony throughout all of Europe. Because of this, Pennsylvania was a very diverse and tolerant colony.
  • Delaware Established

    Delaware was granted its own assembly in 1703. It was named after Lord de la Warr. This colony was closely associated with Pennsylvania.
  • Georgia Established

    Georgia was established by James Oglethorpe in 1733 as a haven for debtors. This was the last of the 13 colonies to be created.
  • Period: to

    French and Indian War

    This war was fought in America, Europe, the West Indies, the Phillippines, Africa, and at sea. It was Britain and Prussia versus France, Spain, Austria, and Russia. One of the disputes between Britain and France that caused this war was over the Ohio Valley. The Treaty of Paris of 1763 ended this war.
  • Pontiac's Rebellion

    A Native American attack on British military.
  • Proclamation Act

    This prohibited settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. Its purpose was to keep control over the colonies.
  • Sugar Act

    This put a tariff on molasses and sugar. The purpose was to make the colonies help pay off the debt from the French and Indian War.
  • Currency Act

    This said that the colonies could not print their own money. The colonies had to pay their taxes in specie (gold and silver).
  • Stamp Act

    This taxed all paper products; certificates, deeds, pamphlets, etc. Violations had to be tried in Admirality Courts.
  • Townshend Acts

    These were put in place after the Stamp Act was repealed. This taxed tea, glass, lead, paper, paint, and other things that were of everyday use. This raised money so that Britain could put governors and judges on their payroll and therefore have more control over the colonies.
  • Boston Massacre

    British officials , there to enforce the Townshend Acts, killed five colonists when they felt that they were being threatened.
  • Gaspee Affair

    The Gaspee was a British ship that transported British officials coming to America to enforce trade regulations. When it arrived, colonists boarded the ship, looted it, and then set it on fire.
  • Tea Act

    Britain created this Act in attempt to save the British East India Company from going bankrupt. It gave them a monopoly over the colonies. This actually made tea cheaper and hurt the economy of smugglers. Lots of ports refused this tea.
  • Boston Tea Party

    The colonists did not want the tea that was in their ports, but British officials refused to leave without them purchasing the tea. The colonists boarded this ships in the Boston Harbor and dumped the tea into the ocean.
  • The Intolerable Acts/Coercive Acts

    These acts were created to punish the colonists and make them pay for the tea they had destroyed. This consisted of five acts: The Botson Port Act (which closed down Boston Harbor), The Massachussettes Government Act (banned town meetings and brought in royal governor), The Administration of Justice Act (said that trials could be moved to Nova Scotia or England), The Quartering Act, and the Quebec Act (said that the Ohio River Valley was a part of Quebec).
  • Lexington and Concord

    British General Gage was sent to raid the colonists' stockpile of supplies. At Lexington eight British soliders were killed. Gage then marched his troops towards Concord and encountered "a countryside in arms." 73 British soliders were killed and only 49 colonists killed. Though this was not part of the war yet, it was a "win" for the colonists.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Was a proposal for peace that the colonists sent to England. The King refused to look and it and said that the colonies were in a state of rebellion.
  • The Declaration of Independence

    Was written by Thomas Jefferson and explained why the colonists wanted independence from Brtiain. It said that it was because of their natural rights and things that the King had done wrong. It ulitimately stated that they were free.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Was the turning point of the Revolutionary War. This was a victory for the colonists that led to their alliance with France.
  • The Articles of Confederation

    This was the first constitution of America. It was sent to the states in 1777 but was not excepted by the last state, Maryland, until 1781.
  • Siege of Yorktown

    French and Colonial troops cornered the British General Cornwallis and forced him to surrender. This was the end of the Revolutionary War.
  • The Treaty of Paris

    This formally ended the Revolutionary War. This stated that America was independent of Britain. It set the western boundary for settlement at the Mississippi River and also stated that British men would evacuate their forts in the northwest.
  • The United States Constitution

    It was created in 1787 but not ratified by all of the states until 1788.
  • George Washington became President

    George Washington took the oath of office in New York City.
  • Period: to

    The French Revolution

    This was a period of radical upheaval in France. This affected the U.S. because they were caught in between England and France. The U.S. attempted to stay neutral during this time period.
  • The First Bank of the United States of America

    The First Bank of the U.S. was created created by Congress. This was the place where the federak money would be kept. Individual investors actually held most of the money in the bank. Money would be loaned out to develop industry in the U.S. Located in Philadelphia.
  • Period: to

    The Whiskey Rebellion

    People in Pennsylvania protested the excise tax on whiskey. The excise tax was a part of Alexander Hamilton's economic policy. This tax targeted the South and the Frontier.
  • Battle of Fallen Timbers

    The was a battle that involved the Miami Confederation and the U.S. for control of the Northwest Territory. It was a decisive victory for the Americans.
  • Jay's Treaty

    The U.S. and British were clashing over a few issues and were likely about to go to war with each other. Jay's Treaty was signed to avoid this happening. The terms were that the British would leave Northwestern forts and guaranteed that the U.S. would pay debts owed from before the American Revolutionary War.
  • The Treaty of Greenville

    This was signed after the Native Americans/Western Confederacy lost at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. This marked the end of the Northwest Indian War. The U.S. was given much land that is now a part of present-day Ohio.
  • Pickney's Treaty

    This was a treaty between the U.S. and Spain. It gave U.S. the right of deposit at New Orleans and also gave the U.S. the northern part of Florida.
  • John Adams became President

    Adams won the election of 1796 and was innagurated in March of 1797. Thomas Jefferson became the Vice President.
  • XYZ Affair

    The U.S. sent delegates to France to attempt to stop the French from seizing American ships. Three French Delegates, X, Y, and Z, told them that they had to pay a large sum of money in order to see Tallyrand. American delegates refused to pay this bribe. This resulted in harsh feelings between France and America, and an undeclared naval war, called the Quasi-War.
  • The Alien Enemies Act

    This made is legal for any alien resident to be deported if they were considered to be "a threat".
  • The Sedition Act of 1798

    This made it illegal for U.S. citizenz to critisize the government or to start a riot.
  • The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions

    These were written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. They said that the Alien and Sediton Acts were in violation of the Social Contract. States should be allowed to nullify these acts.
  • Convention of 1800

    This Convention voided the alliance with the French. Led to the establishment of a commercial treaty with France. France then handed back Louisiana to Spain on October 1st.
  • The "Revolution of 1800"

    Jefferson stayed President for a second term, after the election of 1800 being a tie between him and Aaron Burr. The tie went to the House of Representatives for a vote, and Jefferson won. Jefferson was famous for saying, "he who governs least governs best."
  • Period: to

    The First Barbary War

    They declared war on the U.S. in 1801, after we had already given them $1million to stop seizing our ships. Jefferson sent troops overseas, and the Americans won.