American Revolution Timeline

  • French-Indian War

    French-Indian War
    As the the French empire in North America expanded, it collided with the growing British empire.During the late 17th and the first half of the 18th centuries, France and Great Britain had fought three inconclusive wars. Each war had begun in Europe but spread to their overseas colonies.In 1754, after six relatively peaceful years, the French-British conflict reignited.
  • Writ of Assistance

    Writ of Assistance
    By the time Grenville took over, tensions between Britain and Massachusetts were rising. During the French and Indian war, the British cracked down on colonial smuggling to ensure that merchants were not doing business in any French-held territories. In 1761, the royal governor of Massachusetts authorized the use of the writs assistance, a general search warrant that allowed British customs officials to search any colonial ship or building they believed that were smuggling goods.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    When the French and Indian war was finally over in 1763, Britain emerged victorious. The war was ended by the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Great Britain claimed Canada and virtually all of North America east of the Mississippi River, Britain also took Florida from Spain. Since the Native Americans lost some ground from the war and are afraid of new settlers coming so they captured some British soldiers and force negotiations
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    Due to the Natives losing land, they captured several British soldiers and wanted negotiations for land. To avoid further costly conflicts with the Natives, the British government prohibited colonist from moving west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Proclamation of 1763 established a Proclamation Line along the Appalachians, which the colonist were not allowed to cross. However, the colonists, eager to expand westward from the crowded Atlantic Seaboard migrated to the west into Native land.
  • Sugar Act and colonist response

    Sugar Act and colonist response
    With the Proclamation of 1763, the colonist believed that the British government didn't care about their needs. A second result of the French and Indian war brought along Britain's financial crisis. Great Britain borrowed so much money that it doubled its nations debt, so they started the sugar act in 1764 which did three things. It halved the duty on foreign made molasses, placed duties on certain imports that haven't been taxed before, and accused of violating the act would be tried in court
  • Stamp Act and Colonist response

    Stamp Act and Colonist response
    In March of 1765 Parliament passed the Stamp Act. This act imposed taxes 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. It was the first taxed that affected the colonist directly. In May colonist united to defy the law.
  • Sons of Liberty and Samuel Adams

    Sons of Liberty and Samuel Adams
    May of 1765, Boston shopkeepers, artisans, and laborers organized a secret resistance called the Sons of Liberty to protest the law. Meanwhile, the colonial assemblies declared that Parliament lacked the power to impose taxes on the colonies because the colonists were not represented in Parliament. In October 1765, merchant in New York, Boston,and Philadelphia agreed to boycott British goods until the Stamp Act was repealed the law, and it worked. In March 1766, the law was repealed.
  • Declaratory Act

    Declaratory Act
    On the same day that parliament repealed the Stamp Act, the passed the Declaratory Act, which asserted Parliaments full right "to bind colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever."
  • Townshend Act and colonist response

    Townshend Act and colonist response
    In 1767, parliament passed the Townshend acts, named after Charles Townshend, the leading government minister.The Townshend act taxed goods that were imprinted 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 colonize. Samuel Adams and the colonist boycotted British goods. More troops were deployed around major ports, colonist also shouted the famous words "taxation without representation".
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    On March, 5, 1770, a mob gathered in front of Boston Customs House and taunted the British soldiers standing guard there. Shots were fired and five colonist, including Crispus Attucks, were killed or mortally wounded. Colonial leaders quickly labeled the confrontation, the Boston Massacre.
  • 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 tight to sell tea to the colonies free of the taxes that colonial settlers had to pay. This action would have cut colonial merchants out of the tea trade by enabling the East India Company to sell its tea directly to consumers for less. North hoped that Americans colonists would simply buy the cheaper tea; instead, they protested dramatically.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    On the evening on December 16,1773, a large group of Boston rebels disguised themselves as Native Americans and proceeded to take action against three British tea ships anchored in the hardboard. In this incident, the rebels dumped 18,000 pounds of the East India Company's tea into the waters of the Boston Harbor.
  • Intolerables Acts

    Intolerables Acts
    King George the third pressed Parliament to act. In 1774, Parliament responded by passing a series of measures that the colonist called the 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. In addition to those manners, General Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, was appointed the new governor of Massachusetts and placed it under martial law.
  • Minutemen

    After the First Continental Congress met, colonist in many eastern New England towns stepped up military preparations. Minutemen-civilian soldiers who pledged to be ready to fight the British at a minutes notice-quietly stockpiled firearms and gunpowder
  • First Continental Congress meets

    First Continental Congress meets
    In response to British 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 forced against the colonies, the colonies should fight back.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    In May of 1775, colonial leaders called the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to debate their next move. The loyalties that divided the colonies sparked endless debates at the Second Continental Congress. 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 such appointed George Washington as its commander.
  • John Locke's Social Contract

    John Locke's Social Contract
    Locke maintained that the people have natural rights to life, liberty, and property. Furthermore, he contended, every society is based on a 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 doesn't support this, the people have a right to retaliate and overthrow the government.
  • Continental Army

    Continental Army
    The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the ex-British colonies that became the United States of America.
  • Battle of Concord

    Battle of Concord
    The British marched on to Concord, where they found an empty arsenal. After a brief skirmish with the minutemen, the British soldiers lined up to march back to Boston, but the march became quickly a slaughter. Between 3,000 to 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 dozens. Bloodied and humiliated, the remaining British troops made their way back to Boston that night.
  • Loyalist and Patriots

    Loyalist and Patriots
    Loyalist were those who opposed independence and remained loyal to the British King, included judges, governors, as well as people of more modest means. Many thought that the British were going to win and wanted to avoid punishment as rebels. The Patriots are the supporters of independence, drew their numbers from people who saw political and economic opportunity in a independent America.
  • Battle of Lexington

    Battle of Lexington
    The kings troops reached Lexington, Massachusetts, five miles short from Concord. As they neared the town, they saw 70 minutemen drawn up in lines on the village green. The British commander ordered the minutemen to lay down their muskets. Then someone fired, and the British shot back. Eight minutemen were killed and ten more wounded, but only one British soldier was injured. The first battle of the revolutionary war only lasted fifteen minutes
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    British General, Thomas Gage, sent 2,400 of his troops up the hill. The colonist held their fire until the last minute and began to mow down the advancing redcoats before finally retreating. After the retreat, the colonist lost about 450 men while the British lost about 1,000
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    Congress sent the king a so-called Olive Branch Petition, urging a return to "the former harmony" between Britain and the colonies. The king rejected and put up a naval blockade to isolate the American ships since the colonies were rebelling
  • Publication of Common Sense

    Publication of Common Sense
    In a widely read 50-page pamphlet titled Common Sense, Thomas Paine attacked King George and the monarchy. Paine, a recent immigrant, argued that responsibility for British tyranny lay with "the toyal brute or Britain." Paine explained that his own revolt against the king had begun with Lexington and Concord
  • Redcoats Push Washington's army across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania

    Redcoats Push Washington's army across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania
    The British planned to isolate the colonist from New England by tempting to seize New York on the summer of 1776 with a force of about 32,000 soldiers. They included thousands of German mercenaries. Although the Continental Army attempted to defend New York in the 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.
  • Declaration of Independence author, summary of statements made, date of adoption

    Declaration of Independence author, summary of statements made, date of adoption
    Congress appointed a committee to prepare a formal Declaration of Independence, Virginia lawyer Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the final draft. Drawing from Locke's ideas, Jefferson document declared the rights of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" to be "unalienable" rights that could never be taken away. He then asserted that a government's legitimate power denies their unalienable rights, the people have a right to "alter or abolish" that government.
  • Washington's Christmas night surprise attack

    Washington's Christmas night surprise attack
    Desperate for a early victory, Washington risked everything on one bold stroke for Christmas night, 1776. In the face of a fierce storm, he led 2,400 men in small rowboats across the ice-choked Delaware River. They then marched to their objective-Trenton, New Jersey-and defeat a garrison of Hessian in a surprise attack. The British soon regrouped, however, and in September of 1777, they captured the American capital Philadelphia.
  • Saratoga

    As Burgoyne traveled through the forest, militiamen and soldiers gathered at New York and New England. While fighting off colonial troops, Burgoyne didn't realize that his fellow British officers were preoccupied with holding Philadelphia and weren't coming to meet him. American troops finally surrounded Burgoyne at Saratoga, where he surrendered on Oct.17,1777
  • French-American Alliance

    French-American Alliance
    The surrender at Saratoga turned out to be one of the most important events of the war. Although the French 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 the fight.
  • Valley Forge

    Valley Forge
    While this hopeful turn of events took place in Paris, Washington and his Continental Army-desperately low on food 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 letter to the Congress and his friends
  • Fredrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette

    Fredrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette
    In February 1778, in the midst of the frozen winter in Valery Forge, American Troops began an amazing transformation. Fredrich von Steuben, a Prussian captain and talented drillmaster, helped trained the Continental Army. Other foreigm leaders, such as the Marquis de Lafayette, also arrived to offer their help, and led a command in Virginia in the last years of the war. With the help of such European military leaders, the raw Continental Army became an effective fighting force.
  • 3 interesting facts about the American Revolution

    About 25,000 free black slaves fought on both sides, there was a second Boston Tea party but much smaller on March 7, 1774. Also in 1782, 21 year old Deborah Sampson dressed as a man, called herself Robert Shurtlieff Sampson (after a deceased brother), and enlisted in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army. She served for over a year, until a doctor discovered her secret while treating her for an unhealed injury. She was discharged with honor.
  • British Victories in the South

    After Saratoga, the British moved their operation South. At the end of 1778, a British expedition easily took Savannah, Georgia. Then they captured Charles Town, South Carolina, in May 1780 with General Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis. In early 1781, despite several defeats, the colonist continued to battle Cornwallis-hindering the efforts in Carolina's. The British General then chose to move the fight to Virginia. He led an army of 7,500 onto the peninsula and fortified at Yorktown.
  • British surrender at Yorktown

    Shortly after learning about Cornwallis'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 and begun bombarding them day and night. Less then a month later, on October 19, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Peace talks begun in Paris in 1782. The American negotiating team induced 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 boundaries of the new nation. The United States now stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from Canada to the Floridan Border.