Revolutionary war 044 1

American Government

  • Jun 15, 1215

    King John Signs Magna Carta

    King John Signs Magna Carta
    A document signed by King John of England that demonstrated how power could be limited through written documents. This document established the first English liberties, limited the King's power, and was the beginning of constitutional government in England.
  • Jamestown Settled

    Jamestown Settled
    This was the first permanent English settlement in the new world. It offered a good defensive position, fertile soils, and a warm climate. The voyage had been sponsored by the Virginia Company of London which hoped the settlement would expand trade and reap profits.
  • Mayflower Compact Written

    Mayflower Compact Written
    This document established the colony at New Plymouth as free of English law. The settlers knew that other settlements had failed because of a lack of government, and they were determined not to let this happen. The government established by this document would be run within the group itself, and the laws decided upon would come from those who were governed by them.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    When Parliament decided not fund a foreign policy of King Charles I, he began abusing his power and breaking laws to pursue it on his own. The Petition of Right was sent to him as a reminder of his limitations and rights. He agreed to the Petition, but after a short time he returned to breaking policies, which eventually led to a civil war.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    Enacted by Parliament and signed by King William III, this document marked the transition of subjects under a monarchy to citizens with inalienable rights. It layed out 13 basic rights, stated the abuses of power committed by King James II, and declared that no Catholics could rule. It also authenticated the rule of William and Mary as successors to the throne.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    This was a plan adopted by colonial representatives at the Albany Congress. While it was never put into action, it was the first plan that viewed the North American colonies as a unit separate from England and other Britich colonies. The plan would have established a grand council consisting of representatives from colonial states and a president general appointed by the British government.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    This act was passed by Parliament in an effort to raise money to pay for British troops staitioned in America. Colonists had to place a stamp or British seal on every item of paper, from pamphlets to newspapers. Colonists were angered by this act because they felt it was unfair that they were being taxed without having any representation present in Parliament to place an input on the taxation. Without representation, colonists felt Parliament may continue to place similar taxes on them.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Named after Daniel Shays, a Revolutionary War veteran, who led a 6 month rebellion against courthouses. The reason for the rebellions was that farmers were being imprisioned and having their land seized because they were unable to pay debts on their farms. The farmers were mad at their unresponsive government and high taxes.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    A mob of "patriots" had been throwing snowballs and sticks at a group of British soldiers. Back-up was called for by the British and upon arrival they too were attacked by the mob. Shots were eventually fired into the mob of patriots resulting in the death of 5 and wounding of 6. Paul Revere created an inaccurate print of the event, which stirred anti-British feelings and helped gain support for a revolution.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The British government had imposed numerous taxes on the colonists. Because of opposition and revolts, they repealed many but left the tax on tea in place. Colonists boycotted British tea to keep from paying the tax. However, the monarchy refused to accept defeat and took several actions to ensure the collection of the tax. A group of about 50 men dressed up as Mohawk Indians and dumped 342 crates of tea into the Boston harbor to show their anger and opposition.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    In response to the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed a number of acts termed the "Intolerable Acts" by colonists. These acts consisted of the Quartering Act, Qubec Act, Massachusetts Government Act, Administration of Justice Act, and the Boston Port Act. These angered the colonists even more as they saw them as unfair and unjust.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    With tensions growing between the colonies and Britain, a meeting was set up to discuss the future of British and colonial relations. Delegates from each colony were sent to Philadelphia to participate in the meeting. Their main goal was not seperation but peace. They wanted Parliament to right the wrongs they felt had been imposed on them by the Intolerable Acts. They made resolutions to began training citizens for battle and set up a trade embargo on England.
  • American Revolution Begins

    American Revolution Begins
    The British had ordered 700 troops to go to Concord to seize munition from patriot forces. On their way they were stopped in Lexington by minutemen who had been ordered not to fire unless fired upon. While it is unclear who took the first shot, shots were fired and the battle that took place while the British worked to complete their mission is viewed as the start of the Revolutionary War.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Because the conditions between the colonies and Britain did not improve, the Continental Congress convened again. They again set their sites on peace with Britain, however, the King ignored them, labeling them traitors. The Congress now took on the role as a governing body. They worked toward forming an army, gaining foreign allies, and financing their operations by printing money. The group knew Independence was coming and established a committee to write the Declaration of Independence.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    After the start of the Revolutionary War, the committee selected by the Continental Congress began working on the Declartation of Indpendence. This document expressed the reasons why the colonies were splitting from Britain and why they felt they had the right to. This document represents the birth of the United States of America.
  • Articles of Confederation Enacted

    Articles of Confederation Enacted
    It was the first U.S. Constitution, which established a national legislature known as the Continental Congress. Fearing a tyrannical central government, most power within the colonies remained with the states. It did not have the power to collect taxes, so Congress had to request funds from states for the army and navy. The states often denied such requests. The Articles of the Confederation left the United States with a weak and limited national government.
  • Philadelphia Convention

    Philadelphia Convention
    WIth the Articles of Confederation resulting in a weak national government, delegates were ordered to come up with revisions to the document. The 55 delegates that made up the convention realized every state would not agree with the revisions, and therefore, under the conditions of the Articles of Confederation, would not be adopted. Because of this, the group deicided to write a whole new constitution for the nation, and did just that.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    The compromise answered the question of how states would be represented in the new legislative branch. The New Jersey plan had been favored by small states. It called for each state to have an equal number of representatives, much like the senate we have today. The Virginia Plan, favored by larger states, called for a representation based on population per state. The compromise agreed upon combined the two ideas, creating a two part Congress composed of the Senate and the House of Reps.
  • Constitution Convention

    Constitution Convention
    The convention took place in Philadelphia and was full of debates and compromises among the 55 state delegates present. They argued on how they believed the new nation should be governed based on their own philosophies and desires. After 109 days of meetings, they had produced the constitution that is still in place in America today.