American revolution hero

American Revolution Timeline

  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    The French and Indian War occurred during the year of 1754 and was a French and British conflict that reignited after six peaceful years. After the French built Fort Duquesne in the region that the Virginia government had granted to wealthy planters, the Virginia governor sent a militia to evict the French, starting the war. This created tension between Britain and the colonies because after years of defeat after defeat, the colonies began to question the competence of the British.
  • Writ of Assitance

    Writ of Assitance
    In 1761, the royal governor of Massachusetts authorized the use of the Writs of Assistance. This was a general search warrant that allowed British customs officials to search any colonial ship or building to be holding smuggled goods. This caused tension between the British and the colonies because the British were able to search and invade residences whether there was evidence or not.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    The Treaty of Paris was written in the year of 1763 to end the French and Indian War. It permitted Spain to keep possession of its lands west of the Mississippi and the city of New Orleans.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    The Proclamation of 1763 established a Proclamation Line along the Appalachians in order to avoid costly conflicts with the Native Americans. This caused tension between the colonies and Britain because the colonists were not allowed to cross this line. Eager to expand westward, the colonists ignored the Proclamation and continued to stream onto Native American lands.
  • Sugar Act & Colonists Response

    Sugar Act & Colonists Response
    Parliament enacted the Sugar Act in the year of 1764. It halved the duty on foreign-made molasses in hopes that the colonists would pay a lower tax rather than risk arrest by smuggling. In addition, it placed duties on certain imports that had not been taxed before. Most importantly, the law provided that the colonists accused of violating the act would be tried in a vice-admiralty court rather than a colonial court. This caused tension because colonial merchants' profits would be reduced.
  • Stamp Act & Colonists Response

    Stamp Act & Colonists Response
    The Stamp Act was passed in March 1765 which imposed a tax on documents and printed items such as wills, newspapers, and playing cards. This created tension between the colonists and Britain because it was the first tax that directly affected the colonists because it was levied on goods and services.
  • Sons of Liberty is Formed & Samuel Adams

    Sons of Liberty is Formed & Samuel Adams
    As an act to defy the law, in May of 1765, the colonists unified together to form the Sons of Liberty, Samuel Adams, being one of its founders. This caused tension because the colonists were openly going against the British's law.
  • Interesting Fact 3

    Interesting Fact 3
    During the American Revolution, people on both sides of the war used spy craft to send messages. Coded letters and ciphers required a key to decode the message due to its use of using letters and numbers to make up words. Invisible ink was created by James Jay from a tannic acid solution. This method was used by Washington for reports. Another method was intercepted letters. During the war, false information was written by the British in letters in hopes that the Americans would be deceived.
  • Declaratory Act

    Declaratory Act
    Parliament passed the Declaratory Act on the same day that the Stamp Act was repealed. This asserted Parliament's full right "to bind the colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever". This caused more tension between the British and the colonies because Parliament was allowed to pass binding laws on the colonies such as the power to tax.
  • Townshend Acts & Colonists Response; Why They Were Repealed

    Townshend Acts & Colonists Response; Why They Were Repealed
    Named after Charles Townshend, the Townshend Acts taxed goods that were imported into the colony from Britain, such as lead, glass, paint, paper, tea and other popular drinks. In response, Samuel Adams led a boycott against British goods. The Townshend Acts were repealed because Lord Frederick North realized that they were costing more to enforce than they would ever bring in.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    On March 5, 1770, a mob had taunted British guards which led to shots being fired leaving five colonists to be killed or mortally wounded. This created tension between the colonies and the British because the British fired on an unarmed crowd and murdered some of the colonists.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    The Tea Act was devised to save the nearly bankrupt British East India Company by granting the company the right to sell tea to the colonies free of the taxes that colonial tea sellers had to pay. This created tension between the British and colonists because the act would put colonial tea sellers out of business. Instead of buying the tax free tea, colonists protested dramatically.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The Boston Tea Party was an incident where Boston rebels disguised themselves as Native Americans. They took action against the three British tea ships by dumping 18,000 pounds of the East India Company's Tea into the waters of the Boston harbor. This caused tension because the British lost a lot of money in response to the colonists' many acts of rebellion.
  • Intolerable Acts

    In response to the Boston Tea Party incident, King George III set up the Intolerable Acts. The laws consisted of shutting down the Boston harbor, authorizing British commanders to house soldiers in vacant private homes, and the new governor of Massachusetts was General Thomas, commander-in-chief of British forces. This caused tension because the Boston Harbor was a main port in importing and exporting goods.
  • First Continental Congress Meets

    In response to the Intolerable Acts in 1774, in September of 1774 the colonial leaders formed the first continental congress met and drew up the declaration of colonial rights. This made the colonies closer to war with Britain because the declaration of colonial rights defended the colonials' rights to run their own affairs and stated that if the British used more force against the colonies, the colonies should fight back.
  • Minutemen

    Formed after the first Continental Congress met, Minutemen, were civilian soldiers who pledged to be ready to fight against the British on a minute's notice. It moved the colonies closer to war with Britain because the British seized illegal weapons, one of the few things that would have been used against the British.
  • Second Continental Congress

    In May of 1775, the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia met in order to debate their next move. Although some delegates called for independence and others called for reconciliation, everyone agreed to recognize the colonial militia as the Continental Army and appointed George Washington as its commander. This brought the colonists closer to war because the colonists had established a militia along with a commander.
  • John Locke's Social Contract

    During the 1760s and 1770s, one of the key Enlightenment thinkers John Locke believed that people had natural rights to life, liberty and property. He thought society was based on a an agreement in which the people obey a government as long as it guards its rights. Thus, if the government didn't protect their rights, the people could overthrow the government. This brought them closer to war because it made the colonies question whether the British were violating the social contract or not.
  • Continental Army

    In May of 1775, the Congress agreed to recognize the colonial militia as the Continental Army and appointed George Washington as its commander.
  • Loyalists and Patriots

    Loyalists and Patriots
    As the war began, Americans found themselves separated into Loyalists and Patriots. the Loyalists were those who opposed independence and remained loyal to the King. This included judges and governors. Many thought that the British were going to win and didn't want to face punishment and some believed that the British government could protect their rights more. The other side was the Patriots, the supporters of the Independence which included people who saw political and economical opportunity.
  • Battle of Lexington

    On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott rode out to warn colonies that the British were coming to Concord. 70 Minutemen were lined up and by the end of the battle 8 minutemen were injured and only 1 British was hurt. The battle lasted for 15 minutes and the British had won due to their fast firing time and military experience.
  • Battle of Concord

    After marching to Concord, the British found an empty arsenal and instead 3,000 to 4,000 minutemen assembled. As they fired at the British, the British retreated to Boston and the colonists won the battle due to their strength in numbers.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    On June 17, 1775, British general Thomas Gage decided to strike at militiamen at Breed's Hill, north of the city and near Bunker Hill. Gage sent 2,400 British soldiers up the hill. The colonists held their fire and advanced on the British before finally retreating. As a result of the battle, the colonists lost 450 men while the British lost over 1,000 men. Although the colonists retreated, they did a lot of damage and the battle would prove to be the deadliest battle of the war.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    On July 8th, Congress sent the King an Olive Branch Petition that urged the former coexistence of the British and the colonies. However, King George rejected the petition and instead issued a proclamation stating that the colonies were in rebellion and urged Parliament to order a naval blockade to isolate a line of ships for the American coast. This brought the colonists and the British closer to war because the King rejected the "truce" and ordered a naval blockade in its place.
  • Redcoats push Washington's army across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania

    Redcoats push Washington's army across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania
    In the summer of 1776, to stop the rebellion, the British attempted to seize New York City with 32,000 soldiers. Although the Continental Army tried to defend the land, they were untrained and poorly equipped and as a result they had to retreat. This was a significant part of the war because the British were able to push Washington's army into Pennsylvania.
  • Interesting Fact 2

    Interesting Fact 2
    Similar to the Sons of Liberty, there was a group called the Daughters of Liberty which was created in response to the Townshend Acts of 1767. They organized and participated in boycotts and helped manufacture goods when there were shortages. Although none of the members were listed, some notable women such as Sarah Bradlee Fulton contributed to the American's cause. She is credited with the plan of disguising men as Mohawk Indians during the Boston Tea Party.
  • Publication of Common Sense

    Publication of Common Sense
    Thomas Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense attacked King George and the monarchy. He declared independence for America which would benefit them in trading and in creating a better society, one that was free from tyranny, with equal social and economic opportunities. This brought the colonists and the British closer to war because it shifted the public's opinion about independence from Britain.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    On July 4, 1776, the colonists had declared their freedom from Britain by adopting the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson was chosen to prepare the final draft which included the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which couldn't be taken away. The draft states that people can overthrow the government if rights weren't protected and all men are equal. This brought the colonies closer to war with Britain because they would now have to fight for their wanted freedom.
  • Washington's Christmas Night Surprise Attack

    Washington's Christmas Night Surprise Attack
    On Christmas night of 1776, Washington led 2,400 med through a storm across the Delaware River in small rowboats. He then marched to Trenton, New Jersey and defeated a garrison of Hessians, German hired soldiers. The success was contributed to the strategy of a surprise attack. This is a significant part of the war because Washington was able to get a victory after his army retreated across the Delaware River.
  • Saratoga

    On October 17, 1777, American troops surrounded Burgoyne, a general that planned to join forces with the other British in Albany in order to isolate New England from the rest of the colonies. Burgoyne's plan failed because the British officers were preoccupied with Philadelphia and weren't coming to meet him. The American's victory bolstered France's belief that the Americans would win the war against the British.
  • French- American Alliance

    French- American Alliance
    The French secretly aided the Americans since early 1776 and the victory in Saratoga only bolstered their belief that the Americans could win the war. As a result, they signed an alliance in February of 1778 and openly joined them in the fight.
  • Valley Forge

    Valley Forge
    In 1778, Washington and his army were low on food and supplies and fought to stay alive at winter camp in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. More than 2,000 soldiers died, but the survivors didn't desert.
  • Friedrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette

    Friedrich von Steuben and Marquis de Lafayette
    In February 1778, American troops began an amazing transformation with help of Friedrich von Steuben, a Prussian captain and talented drill master that helped to train the Continental Army. Other foreign military leaders such as Marquis de Lafayette helped by lobbying France for French reinforcements in 1779 as well as by leading a command in Virginia in the last years of the war.
  • British victories in the South

    British victories in the South
    At the end of 1778, a British expedition easily captured Savannah, Georgia. Under Generals Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis, the British were able to capture Charles Town, South Carolina in May 1780. The British's strength in numbers contributed to their success.
  • Interesting Fact 1

    Interesting Fact 1
    General Benedict Arnold helped the American cause immensely, however, by the end of the war he was considered a traitor and fought along side the British. In the start of the war he helped capture Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, hindered an invasion of New York at the Battle of Lake Champlain and helped with the surrender of Burgoyne in Saratoga. Arnold thought he didn't get the recognition he deserved and agreed to turn over the US post at West Point for money and command in the British army.
  • British surrender at Yorktown

    British surrender at Yorktown
    After learning Cornwallis' plan to fortify Yorktown, take Virginia, and then move north to join Clinton's forces, Lafayette's and Washington's armies moved south to Yorktown. Due to a French naval force defeating a British fleet, the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay was blocked and thus obstructed British sea routes to the bay. On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered after being bombarded day and night by the Americans.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Peace talks began and representing America the negotiating team consisted of John Adams, John Jay of New York, and Benjamin Franklin. In Paris in September of 1783, the delegates signed the Treaty of Paris, which confirmed the U.S. as independent and set the boundaries of the new nation. The borders of the nation were then stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from Canada to the Florida border.