America

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  • Jamestown

    the first permanent English settlement in America, is established by the London Company in southeast Virginia.
  • The House of Burgesses

    the first representative assembly in America, meets for the first time in Virginia. The first African slaves are brought to Jamestown.
  • The Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts is established by Pilgrims from England.

    Before disembarking from their ship, the Mayflower, 41 male passengers sign the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that forms the basis of the colony's government.
  • New York

    English seize New Amsterdam (city and colony) from the Dutch and rename it New York.
  • Gregorian calendar

    Britain and the British colonies switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar
  • French and Indian War

    Final conflict in the ongoing struggle between the British and French for control of eastern North America. The British win a decisive victory over the French on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec.
  • Possessions east of the Mississippi

    With the Treaty of Paris, the British formally gain control of Canada and all the French possessions east of the Mississippi.
  • Boston Massacre

    British troops fire into a mob, killing five men and leading to intense public protests.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Group of colonial patriots disguised as Mohawk Indians board three ships in Boston harbor and dump more than 300 crates of tea overboard as a protest against the British tea tax.
  • First Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia

    With 56 delegates representing every colony except Georgia. Delegates include Patrick Henry, George Washington, and Samuel Adams.
  • American Revolution

    War of independence fought between Great Britain and the 13 British colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America. Battles of Lexington and Concord, Mass., between the British Army and colonial minutemen, mark the beginning of the war.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.
  • George Washington

    George Washington is unanimously elected president of the United States in a vote by state electors.
  • U.S. Congress

    Meets for the first time at Federal Hall in New York City.
  • President at Federal Hall

    Washington is inaugurated as president at Federal Hall in New York City.
  • Merchants Exchange Building

    U.S. Supreme Court meets for the first time at the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City.
  • First ten amendments

    First ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, are ratified.
  • Washington's second inauguration is held in Philadelphia.

  • Invention of the cotton gin

    Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor.
  • second president in Philadelphia

    John Adams is inaugurated as the second president in Philadelphia.
  • Abraham Lincoln elected president

    Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln elected president.
  • US gains Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines and Cuba

    US gains Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines and Cuba following the Spanish-American war. US annexes Hawaii.
  • The Great Depression

    More than 13 million people are unemployed after the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929 triggers the Great Depression. President Herbert Hoover rejects direct federal relief.
  • "New Deal" recovery programme

    President Franklin D Roosevelt launches "New Deal" recovery programme which includes major public works. Sale of alcohol resumes.