American Revolution

  • French and Indian War

    The French-British conflict caused, in major part, due to the differences between the French and British colonies and because the French Fort Duquesne was built on Virginian land.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    An attempt to avoid conflict with Native Americans, the proclamation stated that colonists were not able to move west of the Appalachian Mountains. Colonists, however, often ignored the proclamation and settled westwards anyways.
  • Sugar Act

    The Sugar Act was enacted by the English Parliament to discourage smuggling. It halved the duty on foreign-made molases, placed duties on certain imports that had not been taxed before, and provided that colonists accused of violating the act were tried in a vice-admirality court rather than a colonial court. This made it so one judge would decide the the case rather than a jury of colonists.
  • Stamp Act

    This act imposed a tax on documents and printed items. A stamp would prove the tax was paid. It was the first tax to affect colonists directly, as it levied on goods and services.
  • Townshend Acts

    This act taxed goods that were imported into the colony from Britain (items such as lead, glass, paint, paper, and tea).
  • Sons of Liberty Formed

    A group of colonists led by Samuel Adams and others that worked to boycott British goods.
  • Boston Massacre

    An incident in Boston where British soldiers opened fire on a mob gathered outside of the Bostons Customs House that was taunting the soldiers. Five colonists were killed or mortally wounded.
  • Tea Act

    An act devised to save the British East India Company from bankruptcy. The act allowed the company to sell tea to colonists without taxes that colonial tea sellers had to pay.
  • Boston Tea Party

    A group of Boston rebels disguised themselves as Native Americans and dumped 18,000 pounds of the East India Company's tea into the Boston Harbor as an act of protest on the Tea Act.
  • Intolerable Acts

    A series of measures passed by Parliament that colonists called the Intolerable Acts. One law shut down Boston Harbor. Another, the Quartering Act, allowed British commanders to house soldiers in vacant private homes and other buildings. Also, General Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of the British forces in the colonies, was appointed new governor of Massachusetts.
  • First Continental Congress Meets

    56 delegates from the colonies metin Philidelphia and drew up a declaration of colonial rights. They wanted for the colonies to be able to run their own affairs and said that if the British used force, the colonies would fight back.
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord

    British soldiers went to Lexington, Massachusetts to find a minutemen ammo stache. There, 70 minutemen were drawn up in lines. The British fired, killing 8 minutemen and wounding 10. At Concord, the British found an empty ammo stache. As they marched back, they were ambushed by 3,000-4,000 minutemen, killing dozens upon dozens of British soldiers.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Here, the delegates argued over whether to try for independence or to try and reconcile with Great Britain. Also, the colonial militia was recognized as the Continental Army with George Washington appointed as its commander.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    The bloodiest battle of the revolution. Cooped up in Boston, British general Thomas Gage decided to strike Breed's Hill. Gage sent 2,400 British soldiers up the hill. Colonists held out until the last minute, then opened fire, killing over 1,000 British and suffering 450 casualties.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    A document sent by Congress to the king urging for the return to "former harmony" between Britain and the colonies.
  • Publication of Common Sense

    Thomas Paine published the 50-page pamphlet attacking King George and the monarchy.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Thomas Jefferson was chosen to prepare the final draft of this historic document that signified the colonies seperation from Britain. He declared the rights of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to be "unalienable" rights.
  • Early British Victories

    British sailed into New York with 32,000 troops in the summer of 1776 along with German mercenaries (Hessians). The British were able to take New York and push the colonists across the Delaware into Pennsylvania by late fall.Washington tried to retalliate by surprising the British on Christmas of 1776,and was able to defeat a group of Hessians. The British, however, regrouped and in September of 1777, took over Philidelphia.
  • Early Continental Army Victories

    After New York was taken over by the British, Washington made plans for a brave stroke to surprise the enemy. He led 2,400 troops across the Delaware River then marched to Trenton, New Jersey. There, Washington and his troops were able to defeat a garrison of Hessians in an ambush.
  • Saratoga

    Burgoyone was fighting American troops, but did not realize that backup was not arriving. Surrounded by American troops, he was forced to surrender. This was a milestone for the Americans as it convinced the French that the Americans could win the war.
  • Valley Forge

    Washington and his army fought to stay alive during winter in Pennsylvania. Low on food and supplies during the cold, over 2,000 soldiers died.
  • Friedrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette

    February 1778, friedrich von Steuben helped train the Continental Army. Marquis de Lafayette arrived and offered help to the army by lobbying France for French reinforcements in 1779. Lafayette also led a command in Virginia in the last years of the war.
  • British Victories in the South

    At the end of of 1778, the British expedition southward easily took Savannah, Georgia. Under Charles Cornwallis, the British captured Charles Town, South Carolina in May 1780.
  • British Surrender at Yorktown

    Washington and Lafayette's armies move toward Yorktown. Meanwhile a French fleet defeats a British fleet and blocks Chesapeake Bay. Late September, about 17,000 French and American troops surround the British on the Yorktown penninsula. Cornwallis was forced to surrender, signifying the defeat of the British.
  • Treaty of Paris

    The treaty confirmed the U.S. as being an independent nation and set the boundaries of the U.S. The nation stretched from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River and from Canada to Florida.