AP US History Timeline

  • Jamestown Settlement

    The Jamestown Colony is officially established as the first permanent English settlement in the colonies. The Jamestown colonly greatly suffered in the onset of their exploration. The colonly had a high morality rate and 80% of children died by the age of five.
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    AP US History Timeline

  • House of Burgesses is Formed

    The House of Burgesses is formed in Virginia in 1619 as the colonies first official government.
  • Signing of the Mayflower Compact

    The Mayflower Compact was signed by the members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Mayflower Compact is often considered to be the first form of government in the colonies, though it was really a social agreement to submit to majority rule within the colony.
  • Peace Treaty that Ends Second Anglo-Powhatan War

    The peace treaty that ends the Second Anglo-Powhatan War is signed.
  • End of Queen Anne's War

    Queen Anne's War ends, giving Britain Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, the Hudson Bay, and partial trading rights in Spanish America. This war promotes salutary neglect within the colonies.
  • Addition of Georgia

    Georgia becomes the 13th colony in 1733 when James Oglethorpe founds it as a debtor's colony. It also serves as a buffer colony between Spanish Florida and British Charleston.
  • Beginning of the French and Indian War

    The French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Year's War began in relation to disputes over the Ohio River Valley. The colonies elected a President General and a 48 member representative that could make treaties and declare war. This marked the beginnings of American government.
  • End of the French and Indian War

    The French and Indian War comes to an end with the sigining of the Treaty of Paris. The conditions of the treaty included France losing all control in North America, Spain loses control of Louisiana and Florida. Britain goes into grave debt at the end of the war, and thus, salutary neglect in the colonies ends.
  • Pontiac's Rebellion

    A band of Native American tribes ransack British homes and forts and kill many British and colonial citizens, as they are outraged over British policies. They also wish to push British and colonial citizens out of the Ohio region.
  • Proclamation Act of 1763

    This act prohibited settlement West of Appalachia. England wanted to assert their control over the colonies.
  • Sugar Act of 1764

    Britain began taxing sugar and molasses to help defray the costs of caring for the colonies. The colonists disapproved of external taxation, and began protesting in the forn of non-importation agreements, pamphlets, petitions, and colonial meetings.
  • The Paxton Boys Cause Trouble

    A group of men are outraged because of the lack of protection during Pontiac's Rebellion, and go to the Conastoga Village and massacre the tribe.
  • Currency Act of 1764

    This act stated that Colonial Assemblies could not longer print their own money, thus forcing the colonies to pay taxes in species (only silver and gold).
  • Quartering Act of 1765

    British Parliament passed this act, which stated that colonists and colonial assemblies had to provide housing, bedding, and food for British troops.
  • The Stamp Act

    This act put a tax on any document, most paper products, and even playing cards. Colonists were offended by the principle of taxation without representation. They protested through non-importation agreements, harassment of stamp distributors, and they also advocated communication.
  • Townshend Acts of 1767

    This act was passed after the Stamp Act was repealed. The act taxed tea, glass, lead, and paint. The purpose was to put judges and governors on the British payroll, as well as raise revenue.
  • Townshend Acts are Repealed

    Though this act was not as widely controversial as the Stamp Act, many colonists did protest it. All of the acts, with the exception of the tax on tea, were repealed. King George III wanted to leave the tea tax as a statement of his power of the colonies.
  • Tea Act of 1773

    The purpose of the Tea Act was the save the British East India Company from bankruptcy. The act gave the company a monopoly on all tea sales in the colonies. The colonists were outraged at the principle of taxation without representation. Colonists in New York even blocked the ships from entering the ports.
  • Boston Tea Party

    The Sons of Liberty and other colonial members disguised themselves as Native Americans and dumped 10,000 pounds of British tea into the Boston Harbor in protest of the Tea Act. The purpose was to provoke the British retaliation, which would justify colonial actions. As a result, Britain shut down the Boston Harbor until the tea could be paid for.
  • Intolerable Acts

    These acts are established to punish the colonists for the Boston Tea Party. The acts shut down the Massachusetts elected assembly and their Committee of Correspondence. The acts also moved certain trials to British territories outside of the colonies.
  • The Shot Heard Around the World Lexington/Concord

    The first shots of the American Revolution are fired on the Old North Bridge in Concord Massachusetts. This marks the beginning of the revolution.
  • The Declaration of Independence is Signed

    The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, is signed and adopted by the Continental Congress. It is the official declaration of grievances and intentions of achieving independence by the colonies as a whole. It is based largely on John Locke's philosophy of natural rights.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    This is the turning point of the American Revolution. It was a significant victory for the colonists, as it led to the French Alliance. It was a much needed victory. Without this victory, it is likely that the colonists would not have prevailed in the war.
  • The Articles of Confederation are Sent out for Ratification

    Though the Articles were sent to the states for ratification in 1777, it was not until 1781 that all 13 states ratified the Articles of Confederation. Maryland was the last state to ratify because of concerns over the division of Western lands. The Articles of Confederation emphasized state power and gave the federal government little authority.
  • Battle of Guilford Courthouse

    This is another significant battle. Though the colonists techinally lost, the British troops lost about 1/3 of their army. This technical loss proved the colonists to be capable, and it also motivated the colonists that they could truly win the Revolution.
  • Cornwallis' Surrender

    Cornwallis surrenders in Yorktown, Virginia in 1781 after being virtually surrounded by American troops.
  • Peace Treaty of Paris is Enacted

    The signing of the Peace Treaty of Paris ends the American Revolution. It sets the Western United States boundary at the Mississippi River. It also acknowledges American independence, while it states that British troops must evacuate American properties.
  • Shays' Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion begins. This is a rebellion of angry farmers and others, led by Daniel Shays. This rebellion sent a message that America needed a much stronger national government.
  • The Constitutional Convention Meets

    The Constitutional Convention decides to meet in Philadelphia in 1787, in order to amend the Articles of Confederation. 12 of the 13 states were represented, Rhode Island refusing to attend. The meeting eventually came down to the representatives writing a new form of government, instead of amending the Articles.
  • The Constitution of the United States is Ratified

    On this day, the Constitution is officially ratified by all 13 states, Rhode Island being the last to ratify. Many states only ratified with the promise that a Bill of Rights would be added.
  • Pinckney's Treaty 1795

    This was a treaty with Spain which gave the United States the Right of Deposit in the Port of New Orleans.
  • Barbary Pirate Fiasco/U.S.S Philadelphia

    Though the United States has previously payed a 20 million dollar bribe to the Barbary Pirates to convince them to stop ransacking American ships. However, the Barbary Pirates officially declare war with the United Statess and Jefferson sends ships to the Mediterranean. Stephen Decatur burns the U.S.S Philadelphia after it is captured by the pirates.
  • Lousisiana Purchase

    The United States officially purchases the Louisiana territory from the French for 15 million dollars. This territory doubled the size of the United States.
  • Marbury v Madison

    This was a Supreme Court decision that established the principle of judicial review. It was reviewed under Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Marshall.
  • The Chesapeake Incident

    The Chesapeake was seized by the British and the commander of the ship refused to allow the British soldiers to take deserts. So, as a result, the British opened fire on the ship and took the deserters hostage.
  • Embargo Act is Passed

    This is an act passed by Thomas Jefferson that prohibits all foreign trade with all foreign nations, in an attempt to stop British impressment. The act is wildly unpopular and actually ends up hurting the United States rather than France and Britain. This also sparks talk of secession.
  • Non Intercourse Act is Passed

    This act was passed by James Madison and reinstated trade with all foreign nations except for Britain and France.
  • Macon's Bill #2

    This was a bill passed in Congress and was directed towards France and Britain. It stated that the United States would repeal its trade embargo on whichever nation repealed their trade restrictions first. So, if France repealed their restrictions, the United States would only maintain its embargo on Britain.
  • Declaration of the War of 1812

    War was officially declared by Congress on this date. However, the vote was not utterly convincing or representative of the country's desire for war. The House vote was 79/49 and the Senate vote was 19/13, both in favor of war.
  • The Massacre at Fort Dearborn

    This was an incident that occured in present day Chicago, in which Native Americans killed 86 adults and 12 children in a massacre to assert their authority over land.
  • Battle of the Thames

    This is a battle won by the Americans, in which Tecumseh is killed in the battle. Thus, the Native American alliance is broken up, relinquishing much Northwest territory.
  • The Battle of Horseshoe Bend

    This battle was fought in Alabama, and the American army was led by Andrew Jackson. This was a significant victory for Americans, and it broke up the Indian power and authority in the Southwest. The battle was fought between the Americans and the Creek Indians.
  • The Hartford Convention

    This was convention for Federalists, held in Connecticut. The members of this convention wished to alter the powers of Congress, such as their power to declare war. This convention ruined the Federalist reputation, and this marked the finality of the party. It was highly unsuccessful.
  • Signing of the Treaty of Ghent

    The signing of this treaty ended the War of 1812. Though both sides, Britain and the United States, made high demands, neither side was favored in the treaty. This treaty solidified British recognition of American independence, as well as established the use of conventions to solve disputes.
  • The Commercial Convention of 1815

    This reopened trade between Britain and the United States, except for in the West Indies.
  • The Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1818

    This treaty demilitarized the Canadian border and the Great Lakes, thus creating the longest unarmed border in the world.