American Revolution Timeline

  • Navigation Acts

    The navigation acts were a series of laws to restrict trade an commerce with other nations. Britain eventually used them to increase revenue in the colonies, which became a catalyst for the American Revolution.
  • French and Indian War Ends

    The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. France, Great Britain and Spain all signed it. France lost all claims to Canada and gave Louisiana to Spain. Meanwhile, Britain received Spanish Florida, Upper Canada, and various French holdings. Additionally, it strengthened the American colonies by removing European rivals to the north and south.
  • Stamp Act

    It was a tax imposed on all paper documents in the colonies. The British Parliament was attempting to make up for debt from the Seven Years’ War, and trying to use the colonies as a revenue source. However, it was repealed in 1766.
  • Boston Massacre

    Resentful at the presence of British soldiers, 50 citizens of Boston attacked a British sentinel with snowballs, stones, and sticks. The soldiers fired on the crowd, killing 5 and wounding 6. The soldiers were tried; all were acquitted but two, who were found guilty of manslaughter.
  • Tea Act

    The act enabled the tea company to ship tea straight to the colonies rather than stopping in England first. Thought this led to the drop of price of tea for the colonists, it only angered them. The act eliminated colonist tea merchants, and eventually caused the Boston Tea Party.
  • Boston Tea Party

    American colonists, out of frustration from “taxation without representation,” dumped hundreds of chests of tea from Britain into the harbor.
  • Coercive/Intolerable Acts

    It was a series of four Acts intended to punish the colonies for the Boston Tea Party. They included the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration Act of Justice, and the Quartering Act.
  • First Continental Congress

    Gathered in Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia, the delegates from all states but Georgia argued their various views on how to deal with the current situation with England.
  • Second Continental Congress

    They met inside Independece Hall. At the Congress, they established a Continental army and elected George Washington to be the Commander-in-Chief. Additionally, they drafted the Olive Branch to try and repair with Britain; however, it was rejected and the colonies decided to revolt.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Hundreds of British troops attempted to seize an arms cache in Concord, but Paul Revere along with several others alerted the colonists and gathered a force to intercept them in Lexington, a nearby town.
  • Declaration of Independence Adopted

    Fed up with the British being too controlling, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, which severed all political ties with Great Britain. The public statement was the official breaking away from Britain and beginning of the Revolutionary War.
  • Winter at Valley Forge

    Washington’s Army, hindered by cold, hunger, low morale and several defeats, marche into Valley forge in December of 1777. The thousands of troops endured 6 months of harsh conditions as a result of being ill-prepared and lacking basic necessities. However, it was a strategic location that allowed the army to stay close to the city in a defensible position while also having access to clean water and firewood.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    It was the turning point in the Revolutionary war. It prevented the British general John Burgoyne’s attempt to control the Hudson River valley, and it convinced King Louis XVI to help America. It greatly boosted American morale.
  • Battle of Yorktown

    Outnumbering the British in a three-week siege, the Americans forced them to surrender and negotiated peace and the signing of the Treat of Paris in 1783. It essentially ended the American Revolution with a victory for the colonies.
  • US Constitution Written

    After 3 months of debating, The Committee of Detail and Committee of Style and Arrangement that the delegates appointed put together 7 articles to create a new government.
  • US Constitution Adopted

    After it was written, the Constitution required 9 votes in order to be ratified. After quickly gaining the votes of Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut, it took a long time to gain the votes from the Anti-Federalists. After nine months of arguing and fighting, all nine states finally agreed in June of 1788.