American Revolution Timeline

  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    Issued by the United Kingdom government in the name of King George III to prohibit settlement by British colonists beyond the Appalachian Mountains in the lands captured by Britain from France in the French and Indian War. The motivation for the proclamation was a desire to avoid the expense of further wars with Native Americans.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    First direct British tax on American colonists. Every newspaper, pamphlet, and other public and legal document had to have a Stamp, or British seal, on it. The Stamp, of course, cost money. The colonists didn't think they should have to pay for something they had been doing for free for many years.
  • Townshend Acts

    Townshend Acts
    Series of laws named for Charles Townshend, British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasurer). These laws placed new taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Angry and frustrated at a new tax on tea, American colonists calling themselves the Sons of Liberty and disguised as Mohawk Native Americans boarded three British ships (the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver) and dumped 342 whole crates of British tea into Boston harbor.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The Second Continental Congress created the Continental Army and named George Washington as commander-in-chief. The Congress continued through the summer. Out of the discussions came the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Marines Corps.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Demanded complete independence from Great Britain. Also stated a strong case against the monarchy and inherited privilege. It was the most widely distributed pamphlet in American history at that time - popular with the highly educated as well as the common man.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    Turning point of the Revolutionary War in that it convinced France to enter the war on the side of the Americans. The American victory convinced France that America really did have a chance of winning. Soon thereafter, French money and supplies (and eventually, troops and ships) were making their way to America.
  • Articles of Confedaration

    Articles of Confedaration
    The first document detailing a framework for a federal government gave the states enormous power over the federal government. Overall, they did not work.
  • Battle of Yorktown

    Battle of Yorktown
    American victory that ended the Revolutionary War. This was the last major battle of the war, although some minor skirmishes took place for the next two years, until the Treaty of Paris ended the war in 1783.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Movement by New England farmers desperate to be paid for the service in the Revolutionary War. Farmer Daniel Shays took charge of the group and led an attack on a federal arsenal in Springfield, Massachusetts, in January 1787