Before The American Constitution

  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    The Magna Carta was adopted in England to limit the authority of the Monarchy. This is monumental in the establishment of Government and has tremendous influence on the American Government and democracy.
  • Jun 15, 1215

    Parliament of England

    Parliament of England
    The Parliament evolved from the Great Council and became the supreme legislative body in England. It's significance is huge because it served as a model for the government in America, namely Congress.
  • Aug 28, 1341

    Parliament Becomes Bicameral

    Parliament Becomes Bicameral
    This transition into two Chambers occurred when the Commons chose to meet separately from the nobility, establishing the Upper and Lower Chambers. This bicameral government would serve as a model for the future American government which is in use today.
  • Jamestown Colony

    Jamestown Colony
    The first permanent English settlement occured in Jamestown, Virginia. This impacted the Natives and influenced more Europeans to settle in the New World.
  • House of Burgesses

    House of Burgesses
    This was the first legislative body in the Colonies. It was in Virginia and met annually to make laws and discuss colony business. While this was not truly a representative government, it influenced the creation of our nation, especially our government.
  • Beginning of Slavery

    Beginning of Slavery
    20 Africans are brought to the Jamestown Colony to serve colonists. They were traded for supplies. This marks the start of Slavery in Colonial America.
  • Mayflower

    101 Colonists arrive in Cape Cod, Massachusetts aboard the Mayflower.
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    The first form of local government is established by 41 men. The terms are agreed upon by the majority in order for the colony to be successful. This influences other colonies to establish their own governments.
  • Boston Latin School

    Boston Latin School
    BLS is the first public school in America. It influenced the creation of the many schools to come in America.
  • Harvard University

    Harvard University
    Harvard University was established in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is the oldest collegiate institution in the country and remains one of the most, if not the most, prestigious universities.
  • First Colonial Printing Press

    First Colonial Printing Press
    The first printing press in Colonial America was established in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This was monumental in aiding the spread of news, literature, and information throughout the colonies. The modern world of print and press owe their current success to the establishment of the first printing press
  • Salem Witch Trials

    Salem Witch Trials
    These trials occurred between Feb. of 1692 and May of 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts. Many people, mainly women, were imprisoned or suspected of witchcraft. 20 people are executed, 14 of which were women.
  • Yale University

    Yale University
    Yale University was founded within the Colony of Connecticut in order to train future ministers and future leaders of Connecticut. It is the third oldest high-education institution in the U.S. Yale remains one of the most prestigious collegiate schools today.
  • Post Office Act

    The Post Office Act is passed in English Parliament and began a taxation on letters. It established postal rates and created a postmaster general for the colonies. This Act began the first postal system within the colonies
  • The Albany Congress

    The Albany Congress
    Representatives from 7 of the 13 colonies were present at the Albany Congress. They met in response to the French and Indian War, and were fearful that the French would start a war against North America. During the meeting, The Albany Plan of Union was presented. This plan proposed the union of the colonies in order to be a stronger defense. It also proposed the creation of new levels of government. Although this plan was not adopted, it served as a preview for the future of the colonies.
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    French and Indian War

    This war was fought by the English and the French and Indian allied forces. The English wanted to take the Ohio Valley which meant expanding into French territory. This was a very significant war because the English gained more settlement areas and the French lost a large territory. It also impact the future of America because the colonists were taxed in order to help pay the debt from the war. This angered the colonies and began their movement towards independence.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. Now all territory east of the Mississippi River and Canada would belong to the British Empire.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    The King created the Proclamation to prevent westward expansion. While the King viewed this as a way to end tension with the Native Americans, the colonists saw this as a way for the King to remain in control. This is one factor which fueled the fight for independence.
  • Sugar Act

    This Act was created in order to tax the foreign imports that were coming into the colonies. The main objective was to increase trade between the colonies and Britain because imports and exports from British territories would not be taxed. This damaged the economy of the colonies greatly, and added to their anger towards the British Government. It was significant in pushing the colonies to fight for independence.
  • The Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act began the taxation on all legal documents, newspapers, almanacs, and playing cards within the colonies. This angered the colonists who believed that the British Government had no right to tax them. Representatives from nine of the colonies met in New York as apart of the Stamp Act Congress. They petitioned Parliament which eventually repealed the Act in 1766. This was another Act issued by the British Government which fueled the eventual fight for independence.
  • The Quartering Act

    This Act passed by the British government requested that colonists house British soldiers and supply them with food. The Act was viewed by colonists as unfair and the result of unjust control over them. This Act was one of many which fueled the fight for Independence.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Three ships carrying tea sail in to Boston Harbor. Activists against the Tea Act and other taxation board the ships in disguise and dump 342 containers of tea into the sea. The "Sons of Liberty" under Samuel Adams organized the protest. This was one of the final events which led to the fight for independence. It was Samuel Adams who first talked about independence with John Adams and John Hancock.
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    First Continental Congress

    Representatives from each colony (except Georgia) meet in Philadelphia to protest the English governments unfair taxations and laws within the colonies. It was during this Continental Congress that the Declaration of Independence was devised.
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord

    Battles of Lexington and Concord
    This was the start of the American Revolutionary War.
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    American Revolutionary War

    This war was initially fought between the British and the colonies, but became a global war when the French, Spain, and Netherlands forces became allies to the U.S. It was the final fight for independence from Great Britain. America was victorious and won their independence.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence was presented by Thomas Jefferson to the British Government declaring the colonies independence. This was the most monumental occurrence in America's history.
  • Congress of the Confederation

    After agreeing on the Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress becomes the Congress of the Confederation. This is the basis of the US government
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    The Treaty of Paris was the official end to the Revolutionary War. By signing this treaty, the colonies gained their independence from Britain. The Americans also gained all of the Native American territory between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.
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    Constitutional Convention

    This Convention in Philadelphia, PA was comprised of delegates from the colonies (excluding Rhode Island) with the objective to form a centralized and effective government to run the newly independent America. It was during this convention that the US Constitution was written.
  • US Constitution

    US Constitution
    It is on this day in late June that the Constitution is ratified by nine states and becomes the supreme law of the United States of America