American Revolution

  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    As the French empire in North America expanded, it collided with the growing British empire. One major area of contention between France and Great Britain was the rich Ohio River valley. . In 1754, the French built Fort Duquesne in the region despite the fact that the Virginia government had already granted 200,000 acres of land in the Ohio country to a group of wealthy planters. The war officially ended in 1763 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
  • Writ of Assistance

    Writ of Assistance
    In 1761, the royal governor of Massachusetts authorized the use of the writs of assistance, a general search warrant that allowed British customs officials to search any colonial ship or building they believed to be holding smuggled goods.
  • 2. Treaty of Paris 1763

    2.	Treaty of Paris 1763
    Great Britain claimed Canada and virtually all of North America east of the Mississippi River. Britain also took Florida from Spain, which had allied itself with France. The treaty permitted Spain to keep possession of its lands west of the Mississippi and the city of New Orleans, which it had gained from France in 1762. France retained control of only a few islands and small colonies near Newfoundland, in the West Indies, and elsewhere.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    The Proclamation of 1763 established a Proclamation Line along the Appalachians, which the colonists were not allowed to cross. However, the colonists, eager to expand westward from the increasingly crowded Atlantic seaboard, ignored the proclamation and continued to stream onto Native American lands.
  • Sugar Act & colonists response

    Sugar Act & colonists response
    The Sugar Act did three things. It halved the duty on foreign-made molasses in the hopes that colonists would pay a lower tax rather than risk arrest by smuggling. It placed duties on certain imports that had not been taxed before. Most important, it provided that colonists accused of violating
    the act would be tried in a vice-admiralty court rather than a colonial court. There, each case would be decided by a single judge rather than by a jury of sympathetic colonist.
  • Stamp Act & colonists response

    Stamp Act & colonists response
    In March 1765 Parliament passed the Stamp Act. This act imposed a tax on documents and printed items such as wills, newspapers, and playing cards. A stamp would be placed on the items to prove that the tax had been paid.
  • Sons of Liberty is formed & Samuel Adams

    Sons of Liberty is formed & Samuel Adams
    Boston shopkeepers, artisans, and laborers organized a secret resistance group called the Sons of Liberty to protest the law. Samuel Adams, one of the founders of the Sons of Liberty, the colonists again boycotted British goods.
  • Declaratory Act

    Declaratory Act
    The Declaratory Act, which asserted Parliament’s full right “to bind the colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever.” An Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, which accompanied the repeal of the Stamp Act 1765 and the changing and lessening of the Sugar Act.
  • Townshend Acts & colonists response. Why they were repealed

    Townshend Acts & colonists response. Why they were repealed
    The Townshend Acts taxed goods that were imported into the colony from Britain, such as lead, glass, paint, and paper. The Acts also imposed a tax on tea, the most popular drink in the colonies. The colonists again boycotted British goods.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    On March 5, 1770, a mob gathered in front of the Boston Customs House and taunted the British soldiers standing guard
    there. Shots were fired and five colonists, including Crispus Attucks, were killed or mortally wounded.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    In 1773, Lord North devised the Tea Act in order to save the nearly bankrupt British East India Company. The act granted the company the right to sell tea to the colonies free of the taxes that colonial tea sellers had to pay.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    A large group of Boston rebels disguised themselves as Native Americans and proceeded to take action against three British tea ships anchored in the harbor. The “Indians” dumped 18,000 pounds of the East India Company’s tea into the waters of Boston harbor.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    One law shut down Boston harbor. Another, the Quartering Act, authorized British commanders to house soldiers in vacant private
    homes and other buildings. To keep the peace, General Thomas
    Gage placed Boston under martial law, or rule imposed by military forces
  • First Continental Congress meets

    First Continental Congress meets
    In response to Britain’s actions, the committees of correspondence assembled the First Continental Congress. In September 1774, 56 delegates met in Philadelphia and drew up a declaration of colonial rights. They defended the colonies’ right to run their own affairs and stated that, if the British used force against the colonies, the colonies should fight back.
  • Minutemen

    Minutemen—civilian soldiers who pledged to be ready to fight against the British on a minute’s notice—quietly stockpiled firearms and gunpowder.
  • John Locke’s Social Contract

     John Locke’s Social Contract
    An agreement in which the people consent to choose and obey a government so long as it safeguards their natural rights. If the government violates that social contract by taking away or interfering with those rights, people have the right to resist and even overthrow the government. Locke maintained that people have natural rights to life, liberty, and property.
  • Midnight riders: Revere, Dawes, Prescott

     Midnight riders: Revere, Dawes, Prescott
    Colonists in Boston were watching, and on the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott rode out to spread word that 700 British troops were headed for Concord. The darkened countryside rang with church bells and gunshots—prearranged signals, sent from town to town, that the British were coming.
  • Battle of Lexington

    Battle of Lexington
    “Redcoats” because of their uniforms, reached Lexington, Massachusetts, five miles short of Concord. They saw 70 minutemen drawn up in lines on the village green. Eight minutemen were killed and ten more were wounded, but only one British soldier was injured. The Battle of Lexington, the first battle of the Revolutionary War, lasted only 15 minutes.
  • Battle of Concord

     Battle of Concord
    The British marched on to Concord, where they found an empty arsenal. After a brief skirmish with minutemen, the British soldiers lined up to march back to Boston. Between 3,000 and 4,000 minutemen had assembled by now, and they fired on the marching troops from behind stone walls and trees. British soldiers fell by the dozen. Colonists had become enemies of Britain and now held Boston and its encampment of British troops under siege.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Colonial leaders called the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to debate their next move. Some delegates called for independence, while others argued for reconciliation with Great Britain. Despite such differences, the Congress agreed to recognize the colonial militia as the Continental Army and appointed George Washington as its commander.
  • Continental Army

    Continental Army
    The Congress agreed to recognize the colonial militia as the Continental Army and appointed George Washington as its commander.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    Cooped up in Boston, British general Thomas Gage decided to strike at militiamen on Breed’s Hill, north of the city and near Bunker Hill. Gage sent 2,400 British soldiers up the hill. The colonists held their fire until the last minute and then began to mow down the advancing redcoats before finally retreating. The colonists had lost 450 men, while the British had suffered over 1,000 casualties. The misnamed Battle of Bunker Hill would prove to be the deadliest battle of the war.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    Most of the delegates, like most colonists, felt deep loyalty to George III and blamed the bloodshed on the king’s ministers. On July 8, Congress sent the king the so-called Olive Branch Petition, urging a return to “the former harmony” between Britain and the colonies.
  • Publication of Common Sense

    Publication of Common Sense
    Paine attacked King George and the monarchy. Responsibility for British tyranny lay with “the royal brute of Britain.” Paine explained that his own revolt against the king had begun with Lexington and Concord. Paine declared that independence would allow America to trade more freely. He also stated that independence would give American colonists the chance to create a better society—one free from tyranny, with equal social and economic opportunities for all. 500,000 copies if Common Sense.
  • Loyalists and Patriots

    Loyalists and Patriots
    Loyalists—those who opposed independence and remained loyal to the British king—included judges and governors, as well as people of more modest means.
    Patriots—the supporters of independence—drew their numbers from people who saw political and economic opportunity in an independent America.
    Many Americans remained neutral. Many African Americans fought on the side of the Patriots, but others joined the Loyalists. Most Native Americans supported the British.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    Thomas Jefferson's (author) document declared the rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” to be “unalienable” rights. A government’s legitimate power can only come from the consent of the governed, and the people have the right to “alter or abolish” that government.The Declaration states flatly that “all men are created equal.” On July 2, 1776, the delegates voted unanimously that the American colonies were free, and on July 4, 1776, they adopted the Declaration of Independence.
  • Redcoats push Washington’s army across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania

    Redcoats push Washington’s army across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania
    Although the Continental Army attempted to defend New York in late August, the untrained and poorly equipped colonial troops soon retreated. By late fall, the British had pushed Washington’s army across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.
  • Washington’s Christmas night surprise attack

    Washington’s Christmas night surprise attack
    In the face of a fierce storm, Washington led 2,400 men in small rowboats across the ice-choked Delaware River. They then marched to their objective—Trenton, New Jersey—and defeated a garrison of Hessians in a surprise attack.
  • Saratoga

    General John Burgoyne planned to lead an army down a route of lakes from Canada to Albany, where he would meet British troops as they arrived from New York City. The two regiments would then join forces to isolate New England from the rest of the colonies. Burgoyne didn’t realize that his fellow British officers were preoccupied with holding Philadelphia and weren’t coming to meet him. The French signed an alliance with the Americans in February 1778 and openly joined them in their fight.
  • Valley Forge

    Valley Forge
    While this hopeful turn of events took place in Paris, Washington and his Continental Army—desperately low on food and supplies—fought to stay alive at winter camp in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. More than 2,000 soldiers died, yet the survivors didn’t desert. Their endurance and suffering filled Washington’s letters to the Congress and his friends.
  • Friedrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette

    Friedrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette
    Friedrich von Steuben, a Prussian captain and talented drillmaster, helped to train the Continental Army. Marquis de Lafayette lobbied France for French reinforcements in 1779, and led a command in Virginia in the last years of the war.
  • French-American Alliance

    French-American Alliance
    The French had secretly aided the Patriots since early 1776, the Saratoga victory bolstered France’s belief that the Americans could win the war. As a result, the French signed an alliance with the Americans in February 1778 and openly joined them in their fight.
  • British victories in the South

    British victories in the South
    At the end of 1778, a British expedition easily took Savannah, Georgia. In their greatest victory of the war, the British under Generals Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis captured Charles Town, South Carolina, in May 1780. Clinton then left for New York, while Cornwallis continued to conquer land throughout the South.
  • British surrender at Yorktown

    British surrender at Yorktown
    Shortly after learning of Corwallis’s actions, the armies of Lafayette and Washington moved south toward Yorktown. Meanwhile, a French naval force defeated a British fleet and then blocked the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, thereby obstructing British sea routes to the bay. By late September, about 17,000 French and American troops surrounded the British on the Yorktown peninsula; began bombarding them day and night. Less than a month later, on October 19, 1781, Cornwallis finally surrendered.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Peace talks began in Paris in 1782. The American negotiating team included John Adams, John Jay of New York, and Benjamin Franklin. In September 1783, the delegates signed the Treaty of Paris, which confirmed U.S. independence and set the boundaries of the new nation. The United States now stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from Canada to the Florida border.