American Revolution Timeline

  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    After six years of relative peace, the conflict between the French and the British arose once more. The deciding factor of the end of the war was a successful surprise attack waged by the British, eventually giving them victory over the French.
  • Writ of assistance

    Writ of assistance
    This gave the colonist no right to privacy in their home, this written act gave the British soldiers the authority to search a home, take the taxes, demand to be fed and cared for along with a pace to sleep.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    This is what ended the French and Indian war. This treaty stripped the French of the land they had in North America, most of which was either given to Spain (who had formed an alliance with them) or taken over by the British. The Native Americans living in the land previously owned by the French found life much harder than before; the British were not as kind and giving to them as the French had been, creating conflict.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Made after the French and Indian war to promote peace. France was stripped of its land in America and the land went either to Spain (who had allied themselves with France during the war) and to Britain. Now the 'New World' belonged only to Britain and Spain.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    This put a proclamation line across the area of the Appalachian mountains where colonists could not cross over, the land outward belonged to the Native Americans to make peace with them. However the colonist ignored this rule and determinedly continued west no matter the cost.
  • Sugar Act and Colonist response

    Sugar Act and Colonist response
    This act was placed to half the tax laid before it in the hope that the colonists would cease smuggling goods and simply pay the lower tax rate. However, the act also placed taxes on ports that had not been previously taxed.
  • Stamp Act and Colonist Response

    Stamp Act and Colonist Response
    This act placed a tax on documents and printed items such as wills, newspapers and playing cards. This infuriated the colonists and they assembled a boycott until the British appealed.
  • Sons of Liberty is formed and Samuel Adams

    Sons of Liberty is formed and Samuel Adams
    A secret resistance group to fight the oppression laid by the British, they were led by a man named Samuel Adams. They led and ensured the boycotts on all British goods when taxes were laid unfairly in their eyes.
  • Declaratory act

    Declaratory act
    Asserted the full right of the parliament to "bind the colonies and people of america in all cases whatsoever". Meaning, in other words, the king could impose whatever law he saw fit and the colonists would either obey these laws, or be given consequences.
  • Townsend Acts and Colonist Response

    Townsend Acts and Colonist Response
    The acts taxed all imported goods from Britain including paint, glass, tea and paper. The sons of Liberty led a boycott against Britain by refusing to use British goods
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    A mob gathered in front of the Boston Customs house and roused the British soldiers standing guard there. The British soldiers fired on the colonists and five were killed, including Crispus Attucks.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    This act was placed to try and save the East India Company that was going bankrupt. The act granted the dying company to tax the colonists tea.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    A group of Americans dressed as Native Americans (to place blame on them) and dumped over 1 million dollars worth of the East Indian Trading Company's tea into Boston Harbor as retaliation for the British enacting taxes on tea.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    A series of actions by the British against the colonists. One law shut down Boston Harbor, another-called the Quartering Act- allowed British Law enforcers to insist on a place to sleep in colonist homes. These laws were inforced by a slough of British forces, due to General Thomas Gage, a commander of the British army, assigned as Governor of Boston. He enacted the marital law over Boston, requiring these British forces everywhere.
  • The First Continental Congress Meets

    The First Continental Congress Meets
    This was the effect of the intolerable acts by the British, colonial delegates met in Philadelphia to discuss and create a declaration of colonial rights. They proposed that they would manage themselves and if the British were to use force on them, they were permitted to use force in turn.
  • Minutemen

    Colonists assembled together and began Military Preparations to fight back against the British. They stockpiled and hid away mass stashes of firepower in case the British decided to attack any of the colonies, each man ready to fight for the colonies at a moment's notice.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Colonial delegates once again held a meeting in Philadelphia. The colonies were split on the decision to out rightly declare their independence and greatly risk a war, or concede to Great Britain in the most peaceful manner possible to avoid a war. When this long debated ceased, the congress decided to recognize the colonial militia as the Continental Army and to appoint George Washington as the commander of the army.
  • John Locke's Social Contract

    John Locke's Social Contract
    John Locke, a key Enlightenment thinker of the colonial times claimed that everyone has natural rights to life, liberty and property. He created a social contract for the colonials stating that they will support and obey their government as long as it protects their natural rights and does not withhold them. And according to John Locke's social contract, Great Britain was flatly ignoring these natural-given rights.
  • Continental Army

    Continental Army
    Formerly known as the colonial militia, the Continental Army was recognized formally by the continental congress to go against Britain in the favor of the Americans. George Washington was appointed as its commander.
  • Loyalists and Patriots

    Loyalists and Patriots
    Not all of America was all in the revolutionary war. Some supported the colonial army, but some remained loyal to the king and Great Britain. Loyalists were the colonists who were in support of British rule and opposed independence. Most thought that Britain would be victorious and they would not be punished for rebelling. The patriots supported independence from Great Britain and supported the colonial army. Some Americans decided to remain neutral in this conflict.
  • Battle of Lexington

    Battle of Lexington
    700 British soldiers arrived at Lexington to find 70 colonial troops armed and prepared for them because of Paul Revere's legendary ride declaring the British were coming. The British ordered the colonials to put down their weapons, but then a fire was shot and the battle begun. Only one British soldier was killed and eight were killed of the colonials, ten were wounded. The battle was over within fifteen minutes.
  • Battle of Concord

    Battle of Concord
    After the brief Battle of Lexington, the British moved onto Concord. They found an empty arsenal where they had been informed that they had been stockpiled with American weapons. Once they began to march back, 3,000 to 4,000 colonials banded together and came upon the British and it became more of a massacre. This was a major colonial victory.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    This petition was asking for the former peace between the colonists and Great Britain, a grasping attempt to settle the rising conflict between them. King George III refused the petition, and ordered the British navy to blockade ships headed to the American coast
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    British commander Thomas Gage sent 2,400 soldiers up to the colonials, not expecting them to be able to retaliate. The colonials held their fire up until the last minute and then began to charge the British. In the ende, the colonials lost 450 soldiers, but the British had lost nearly half of their troops.
  • Publication of Common Sense

    Publication of Common Sense
    Written by Thomas Paine, this pamphlet directly attacked King George III and the general monarchy. Blaming the British authority for the conflict and bloodshed. Listing ways and reasons why the colonists should stand against England and with the Colonials.
  • Redcoats push Washington's army across the Delaware river into Pennsylvania

    Redcoats push Washington's army across the Delaware river into Pennsylvania
    The colonial army tried to defend New York Harbor in late August, but retreated and were pushed back across the Delaware river and into pennsylvania by the British troops. they had very little chance of survival.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Congress discussed the points and statements in the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Jefferson was selected to write the final draft. It included the 'unalienable' rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness","all men are created equal" (though equality came later), and a government's power can only come from the citizens and overall, gave power to them. In 1776, delegates voted the colonies free, but the declaration was not adopted until July 4th 1776, a since famous date.
  • Washington Crosses the Delaware River

    Washington Crosses the Delaware River
    After their defeat in New York, Washington gathered up the troops and made the legendary crossing of the Delaware river on Christmas night. The British did not expect such an attack and it ended in the colonists favor.
  • Surrender at Saratoga

    Surrender at Saratoga
    The British had seized several American forts, only for the colonists to one by one defeat them. And with his forces nearly depleted, the British General Burgoyne had no choice but to surrender to the colonists in Saratoga.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    This is what ended the revolutionary war. The British had grown tired and their forces were slowly and surely depleting while the colonists only grew stronger and more untied. King George III signed the Treaty to give colonists the freedom they fought for. America, the United States, was finally separate from British rule.