AP US Timeline

By laura.g
  • Aug 3, 1492

    Columbus Sets Sail

    Columbus Sets Sail
    Columbus had a lot of trouble getting a country to let him sail for them. This was due to his miscalculation of the size of the earth and also because he made a lot of demands. However, he was finally able to get Spain to approve of this voyage and so he set sail on this date. It took several weeks until he finally made landfall in the Carribean.
  • Oct 12, 1492

    Columbus reaches Carribean

    Columbus reaches Carribean
    Columbus finally reaches land after many weeks of sailing. Although he thought he had landing in Asia, like he wanted to, he actually landed in the Carribean. He was in search of an alternate route to India and was sailing under the flag of Spain.
  • Dec 24, 1492

    Santa Maria

    Santa Maria
    The Santa Maria, one of Columbus's ships, wrecked on a reef in the Bahamas on Christmas Eve. However, the Nina and the Pinta, two of Columbus's other ships, reached their destination.
  • Sep 20, 1519

    Magellan Begins Journey

    Magellan Begins Journey
    Magellan left from San Lucar with 256 men. He was attempting to become the first man to circumnavigate the world. Although Magellan died on the voyage, his crew was able to finish it and so he is credited with the achievement.
  • Jun 30, 1520

    Aztecs Attack Spanish

    Aztecs Attack Spanish
    At first, the Aztecs were hospitable to the Spanish, but soon, their thirst for gold began to annoy them so they attacked. The Aztecs drove the Spanish away from Tenochtitlan, but Cortez laid seige to the city. It was eventaully captured.
  • Aug 13, 1521

    Cortes Captures Tenochtitlan

    Cortes Captures Tenochtitlan
    After the Aztecs attacked the Spanish, Cortes was able to capture Tenochtitlan on this date. During this year, the smallpox epidemic spread to the Indians, greatly weaking them. The buildings already existing in the city that was captured were tore down and replaced with Christian cathedrals.
  • Landing in Jamestown

    Landing in Jamestown
    In 1606, the Virginia Company sent out three ships to settle a colony. On this date, the ships finally landed in Jamestown. The ships contained 100 male colonists, however the settlement did not go very well. The colonists wanted to look for gold instead of work so many died.
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    The Mayflower Compact was signed before the colonists left the ship. It said that the colonists would agree to live under majority rule. It was between mainly Sepratists and Puritans who wanted religious freedom.
  • Plymouth is Founded

    Plymouth is Founded
    On Decemeber 21, 1620, Plymouth, Massachusetts is founded. It was established by Pilgrims who were trying to break away from the Church of England in order to gain religious freedom.
  • Massachussetts Bay Colony

    Massachussetts Bay Colony
    On this day, the Massachussetts Bay Colony was founded. A group of Puritains led by John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley settled here after convincing King James to grant them some land by the Massachussetts Bay.
  • Rhode Island

    Rhode Island
    Rhode Island was founded on this date. It was founded by Roger Williams, who was banned from his original colony because he had different ideas about religion that most people in his colony.
  • Georgia was Founded

    Georgia was Founded
    Georgia was founded on this date by James Oglethorpe. It was mostly a colony for debtors and it also served as a buffer between the Spainish, who were in Florida, and the New England colonies.
  • Start of the French and Indian War

    Start of the French and Indian War
    This date marked the start of the French and Indian War. It all started when the French and the Indians overwhelmed Fort Necessity. The war was between Great Britain and France. France had the Native Americans as their allies.
  • End of French and Indian War

    End of French and Indian War
    On this date, the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years War, came to an end. It ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. France lost all of its territory in America as a result of this war.
  • Stamp Act is Repealed

    Stamp Act is Repealed
    On this date, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which put a tax on all paper documents in the colonies. These documents included marraige certificates, birth certificates, legal documents, playing cards, and much more.
  • Townshend Acts are Repealed

    Townshend Acts are Repealed
    After many protests from the colonists and non-importation agreements, Britain finally repealed the Townshend Acts, which taxed tea, paper, paint, glass, and lead. However, they still left the tax on tea.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    Here, British soldiers fired into a crowd of colonists, killing many. After this, John Adams felt that the British soldiers who killed the colonists should have a fair trial. This also caused the Committees of Correspondence to be formed. They consisted of groups of leaders from each colony that would meet and help to build colonial unity.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    On this date the first Continental Congress met to discuss ideas that they had. The group consisted mostly of well educated, white, wealthy men, who shared many of the same beliefs. Here, they created The Association, which called for a complete boycott of all British goods.
  • Shot Heard Round the World

    Shot Heard Round the World
    The first major battles in the Revolutionary War took place on this date in Lexington and Concord. Gage marched the British soldiers to Concord Bridge, where the "shot heard round the world" happened. He encountered a "countryside in arms" and had to fight to get back into Boston.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    The Olive Branch Petition was shipped to Britain by boat on this date. When it reached Britian, the king refused to even receive the document. He then declared that Britain would not trade with the colonists any more.
  • "Common Sense" is Published

    "Common Sense" is Published
    Thomas Paine published "Common Sense" on this date. It helped to urge the colonists to support the Revolution by saying the reasons why the colonies should declare their independence from Britain.
  • Proposal from the Virginia Assembly

    Proposal from the Virginia Assembly
    On this date, Richard Henry Lee brought the much awaited proposal for independence from the Virginia Assembly to the Continental Congress. The Congress needing this to show the colonies that other states wanted independence, not just the New England states.
  • The Signing of the Declaration of Independence

    The Signing of the Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence, which was written by Thomas Jefferson, was signed on July 4th, 1776 by the Continental Congress. The Declaration contained three parts: a philisophical part, which explained why the colonists should be able to revolt, a list of grivences against the kings, and a part that explained why the colonists should be independent.
  • Washington Crossed the Delaware

    Washington Crossed the Delaware
    Washington crossed the Delaware River on this date. When he reached the otherside, he came across of Hessian soldiers. After some fighting, they surrendered. This victory brought about new enthusiasm to the colonists.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    On this date, the British were forced to surrender to the colonists because they were running low on supplies. This marked the turning point in the war for the colonists and it helped them realize that they could win the war.
  • Cornwallis Surrenders

    Cornwallis Surrenders
    Cornwallis finally surrenders to Washington in Yorktown, Virginia, bringing an end to the Revolutionary War.
  • Treaty of Paris was Signed

    Treaty of Paris was Signed
    The Treaty of Paris was signed on this date. It finally ended the revolutionary war between the colonists and British. It outlined the new boundaries in America and stopped British command over the colonies.
  • The Great Compromise

    The Great Compromise
    The Great Compromise was proposed on this date by Roger Sherman. It was a compromise to the previously proposed Virginia plan and the New Jersey Plan. The Great Compromise suggested that the government should have a bicameral legislature, one where each state recieved the same number of votes and one where the number of votes a state recieved would be based on population.
  • The Constitution

    The Constitution
    When the Continental Congress was told to revise the Articles of Confederation, they decided to completely replace it instead. They replaced it with the Constitution, which was a plan for the new government in the states. The colonists worried that it did not outline their rights, but that was fixed with the addition of the Bill of Rights a few years later.
  • George Washington Takes Office

    George Washington Takes Office
    George Washington took office on this date. He became the first president of the United States. One of his main goals while in office was to keep the United States neutral.
  • Bill of Rights is Added

    Bill of Rights is Added
    Once George Washington was elected as President, he added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution on this date. The Bill of Rights explained what rights the citizens would have and it said that they would be protected.
  • Order of Council

    Britain passed this on this date. It said that Britain would not trade with the United States.
  • Battle of Fallen Timbers

    Battle of Fallen Timbers
    On this date, the Battle of Fallen Timbers began. In this, Mad Anthony Wayne defeated the Miami Indians. Later, theTreaty of Greenville signed in which the Indians gave up a lot of territory to the United States.
  • Convention of 1800

    Convention of 1800
    On this date, the Convention of 1800 met to settle the undeclared war between the French and the United States. At this convention, the US ended their allience with France but said that they would trade with them.
  • Louisiana Territory

    Louisiana Territory
    On this date, France gave the Louisiana territory back to Spain. Later the US would purchase this land from Spain for the low price of three cents an acre.
  • Jefferson Takes Office

    Jefferson Takes Office
    On this date, Thomas Jefferson takes office in his first term as president of the United States. The votes were Jefferson:73 Burr:73 in the election. Since it was a tie, it went to House of Representatives for them to decide.
  • Marbury vs. Madison

    Marbury vs. Madison
    The decision to Marbury vs. Madison was decided on this date. This set up the idea of judicial review, which is the power of the Supreme Court to determine the Constitution and declare things unconstitutional. However, this power was not used again till the Dred Scott case.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    The Louisiana Territory was purchased from Spain on this date. This more the doubled the land of the United States and it was purchased for a total of 15 million dollars, or three cents an acre.
  • Embargo of 1807

    Embargo of 1807
    The Embargo of 1807 was passed on this date. It put a stop to ALL foreign trade with the goal to stop impessement to keep ships from being seized. In the end, it hurt the United States more then any other country. Jefferson had overestimated the importance of the US in the global economy.
  • Non Intercourse Act

    Non Intercourse Act
    The Non Intercourse Act, which was passed on this date by James Madison, said that the US could not trade with Britain or France but that they could trade with other countries. The effect of this was that it opened up trade.
  • James Madison Takes Office

    James Madison Takes Office
    On this date, James Madison took the office as president of the United States. He took this position from Thomas Jefferson, who had served for two terms before him. James Madison had previous experience as Secretary of State.
  • Erskine Agreement

    On this date, the Erskine Agreement was signed with Britain. Erskine was the prime minister at the time and England was saying that they were going to revoke the Orders of Council (their trade restrictions) and the US would drop the Embargo against them. However, England later went back on their promise so the US maintained the Non Intercourse Act.
  • Madison's Orders

    On this date, Madison ordered Britain to drop their Orders of Council against the United States. He said that they had six months to drop them or else the United States would stop trading with them. Britain did not do this, so the US passed a new Non Intercourse Act.
  • New Non Intercourse Act

    On this date, Madison passed a new Non Intercourse Act against Britain. This is due to the fact that Britain did not repeal their Orders of Council against the US like Madison wanted them to.
  • Battle of Tippecanoe

    Battle of Tippecanoe
    This battle was fought on November 7, 1811. William Henry Harrison led troops into the Indiana Territory, where they fought the Indians.