Colonial America

By skatjo
  • Founding of Jamestown

    The Viriginia Company of London establishes what would become the first permanent English settlement in North America near the coast of modern-day Virginia.
  • House of Burgesses is formed

    The first elected legislative assembly is formed in Jamestown, Virginia.
  • Founding of Plymouth

    A group of Puritan separatists now referred to as Pilgrims found a colony on the coast of modern-day Massachusetts. This was the first sizable permanent English settlement in the New England region.
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    Pequot War

    An armed conflict between the Pequot tribe and settlers of the Massachusetts Bay colony. The conflict was large over land rights and the fur trade in modern-day Massachusetts. The Pequot were soundly defeated and most survivors were sold into slavery.
  • Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

    Considered to be the first written constitution in North America. Later all colonies (and eventually states) would have written consitutions and ultimately the United States government would as well.
  • Maryland Toleration Act of 1649

    A law passed in Maryland that protected freedom of religious worship for all Christians. Although it did not include non-Christian religions it did ultimately become a basis for freedom of religion being protected by the First Amendment in the Consitution.
  • Navigation Acts

    First of a series of laws restricting colonial trade is passed. The laws were intended to protect English access to raw materials in North America. The ultimate result was increase in smuggling and slowly growing American resentment of British economic policies.
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    King Philip's War

    An armed conflict in New England between Native Americans and the white settlers of the region (along with their Native American allies). The war wiped out an estimated 60-80% of the Native American population. The war ended for the most part when King Philip (Metacom), a Pokunoket Chief, was beheaded, although some fighting continued for several more months.
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    Bacon's Rebellion

    Nathaniel Bacon, a young farmer, led an armed revolt against Governor William Berkely and Virginia over land policies and laws seen as favorable to wealthier settlers. Ultimately the rebellion failed but it did lead to a hardening racial class system due to a preference of enslaved Africans over indentured servants.
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    Dominion of New England

    In an attempt to regain economic and political control of the colonies Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey were placed consolidated and placed under direct control of the crown. The Dominion collapses soon after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 but did demonstrate a growing rift between English and American economic interests.
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    Salem Witch Trials

    A series of trials in Massachusetts in which over 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft, with 20 being executed. The trials stand as a primary example of the power that mass hysteria has over a society.
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    Great Awakening

    A period of religous revival in which preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield gave impassioned sermons. Several new religious denominations grew out of the movement and it emphasized the individualism that helped lead to the American Revolution.
  • Peter Zenger is Arrested

    Zenger was arrested for printing stories critical of New York Governor William Cosby. He was found not guilty and the trial stood as an important precedent for freedom of the press and freedom of petition.
  • Stono Rebellion

    Slave rebellion in South Carolina that was the largest of its kind before the American Revolution. The rebellion resulted in the deaths of 20 white settlers and 44 slaves. Most of the surviving slaves were executed.