Christopher Columbus sails across the Atlantic Ocean and reaches an island in the Bahamas in the Caribbean Sea.
Jamestown, Virginia, the first English settlement in North America, is founded by Captain John Smith
The first African slaves are brought to Jamestown. (Slavery is made legal in 1650.)
Pilgrims from England arrive at Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the Mayflower.
French Indian War
French and Indian War between England and France. The French are defeated and lose their lands in Canada and the American Midwest.
England places taxes on sugar that comes from their North American colonies. England also requires colonists to buy stamps to help pay for royal troops. Colonists protest, and the Stamp Act is repealed in 1766.
Boston Massacre: English troops fire on a group of people protesting English taxes, killing five.
Boston Tea Party
Boston Tea Party: English tea is thrown into the harbor to protest a tax on tea.
Lexington and Concord
Fighting at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, marks the beginning of the American Revolution.
Declaration of independence
The Declaration of Independence is approved July 4 by the Continental Congress (made up of representatives from the American colonies).
British General Cornwallis surrenders to the Americans at Yorktown, Virginia, ending the fighting in the Revolutionary War.
Gathering of The Constitution
The Constitutional Convention meets to write a Constitution for the U.S.
The new Constitution is approved by the states. George Washington is chosen as the first president.
The U.S. makes the Louisiana Purchase from France. The Purchase doubled the area of the U.S.
Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark explore what is now the northwestern United States.