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American Revolution Timeline

By cireric
  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    War arose between the French and British. The war was caused due to disputes over land. This war helped create a rift between the British and the French which would eventually lead to the American Revolution.
  • John Locke's Social Contract

    John Locke's Social Contract
    Enlightenment thinker John Locke, believed that every person has the right to life, liberty and property. He also believed that every society was to be based on a social contract. In essence, the people obey and put their trust in the government, under the condition that the government protects these rights.
  • Writ of Assistance

    Writ of Assistance
    In 1761, the royal governor of Massachusetts issued a general search warrant that allowed British officials to search colonial ships or buildings that may be suspected to contain smuggled goods.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    The French and Indian War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The British increased their land control, while France and the Native Americans lost land.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    After the French defeat, Native Americans began to fight the British. The British, in an effort to stop conflict and fighting, established the Proclamation of 1763. The Proclamation stated that colonists were not permitted to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains.
  • Sugar Act & Colonist's Response

    Sugar Act & Colonist's Response
    In an effort to pay back national debt, British prime minister -George Grenville- imposed the Sugar Act. The act angered colonists by putting taxes on imports that had not previously been there. Furthermore, it was not fair because the colonists had no say.
  • Stamp Act & Colonists Response

    Stamp Act & Colonists Response
    In March, Parliament passed the Stamp Act. Tax was added to printed items and documents. In order to make sure that tax was paid, officials would add a stamp as proof of paid tax. In response, rebellion ensued as a the colonists created an organization called the "Sons of Liberty". Eventually, Parliament revealed the act.
  • Sons of Liberty is Formed & Samuel Adams

    Sons of Liberty is Formed & Samuel Adams
    In response to the Stamp Act, the colonists created an underground organization called "The Sons of Liberty". When the Stamp Act was repealed, Parliament began taxing imports from Britain to America. Angered, the founders of the Sons of Liberty -like Samuel Adams- began to boycott British goods.
  • Declaratory Act

    Declaratory Act
    On the same day of the repeal of the Stamp Act, Parliament passed the Declaratory Act. It gave Parliament full control of the colonies. This angered the colonists as it signified the power imbalance between America and Britain.
  • Townshend Acts & Colonists Response

    Townshend Acts & Colonists Response
    The Townshend Act, passed in 1767, taxed goods that were imported into the colonies. Lead, glass, paint, paper and tea were some of the taxed goods. Enraged, the Sons of Liberty boycotted goods like these. This created rising tensions which resulted in the Boston Massacre. The new prime minister repealed the act seeing that it brought more harm than good.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    A protest that took place in front of the Boston Customs House resulted in the killing of 5 colonists. It was labeled a massacre and did relax political tensions.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    After the repeal of the Townshend Acts, one tax remained: the tea tax. Tea was the most popular drink in the colonies. In 1773, the Tea Act was put into act to save the British East India Company.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Boston colonists, dressed as Native Americans, raided three British ships and dumped 18,000 pounds of tea into the British harbor.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    A furious King George III had Parliament pass the Intolerable Acts. They shut down the British harbor. Furthermore, they allowed British commanders and soldiers to take housing in vacant homes and various buildings. Finally, General Thomas Gage, of the British forces in North America, was appointed governor of Massachusetts.
  • First Continental Congress Meets

    First Continental Congress Meets
    The colonies' 56 delegates met in Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress. They created a declaration of colonial rights to defend the colonists. Minutemen were put into place, a civilian soldier who could fight on a minute's notice.
  • Minutemen

    Civilian soldiers who were put into effect after the First Continental Congress. They stocked up on firearms and gunpowder and were ready to fight in a "minute".
  • Continental Army

    Continental Army
    At the Second Continental Congress, it was agreed that the colonies needed a militia. It would be known as the Continental Army, it was led by George Washington.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Colonial leaders met again for the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. There were mixed opinions on the path that America should take. Some argued for peace with Britain while others wanted to break free from Britain's control. After many debates, it was agreed that there would be colonial militia known as the Continental Army and it would be led by George Washington to help fend the colonies.
  • Battle of Lexington and Concord

    Battle of Lexington and Concord
    On the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott rode throughout the countryside to warn all the villages of the marching British army making its way. In an effort to resist, 60-70 minutemen met the British at Lexington. Outnumbered and out armed, the minutemen resistance was destroyed. As the British began to return after searching for resistance, they were ambushed and killed by 3,000-4,000 assembled minutemen.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    British general Thomas Gage sent 2,400 British soldiers to take out minutemen forces on Breed's Hill. A strategy allowed the minutemen to take out 1,000 British soldiers while losing 450 men. The battle was named the "Battle of Bunker Hill".
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    In an effort to diffuse the tensions between Britain and America, Congress sent the Olive Branch Petition in hopes to restore former peace between the two countries; however, King George rejected the petition and escalated British forces.
  • Publication of Common Sense

    Publication of Common Sense
    A famous 50-page pamphlet was created by Thomas Paine. It is called "Common Sense". Paine wrote this to highlight the cruelty and harshness of British rule. Paine believed that America would be better off without oversea rule. His work helped to influence the colonies.
  • Loyalists and Patriots

    Loyalists and Patriots
    During the war, Americans were split. There were Loyalists and Patriots. Loyalists opposed the revolution and chose to side with Britain. Patriots supported the revolution and independence and were comprised of people who saw opportunity in America.
  • Redcoats Push Washington's Army

    Redcoats Push Washington's Army
    The British tried to take control of New York City with 32,000 soldiers. Due to the poorly trained Continental Army, they were pushed back across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    Written by Thomas Jefferson, America was created on this document. The people of America have certain rights that cannot be taken away. Citizens have the right to create their own type of government. This structure of the country should be made up by the people of the country. It was written as a formal document to break away from British rule and control
  • Washington's Christmas Attack

    Washington's Christmas Attack
    During a storm on Christmas night, Washington led 2,400 men in small rowboats across the Delaware River. They reached Trenton, New Jersey, and defeated Germans who allied with the British (Hessians).
  • Saratoga

    British general John Burgoyne devised a plan to isolate New England and join forces with another British army. Unbeknownst to him, the army that he planned to join forces with had been preoccupied. The Americans surrounded the British at Saratoga.
  • Valley Forge

    Valley Forge
    Although America was now allied with the French, Washington and the Continental Army had to endure the cold winter in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. More than 2,000 soldiers died that winter.
  • French-American Alliance

    French-American Alliance
    After the victory at Saratoga, the French had become more public with their aid to the Americans. France signed an alliance with America to help take Britain out.
  • Valley Forge

    Valley Forge
    Washington and the Continental Army had a hard time staying alive in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. They lost more than 2,000 soldiers.
  • Friedrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette

    Friedrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette
    Colonists aides, France and Prussia, assisted the Continental Army. Steuben helped train while Lafayette arrived with reinforcements.
  • British Victories in the South

    British Victories in the South
    After defeat at Saratoga, the British moved south. Then took parts of Georgia and South Carolina.
  • British Surrender at Yorktown

    British Surrender at Yorktown
    With the help of the French, the Continental Army moved to Yorktown to counter the British. The French formed a naval blockade to prevent escape. Trapped, Cornwallis surrendered.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    After the British defeat, peace began in Paris. John Adams, John Jay of New York, and Benjamin Franklin arranged the peace negotiations. They signed the Treaty of Paris which set the U.S. free.