Us history

Dual Credit US History Timeline

By benwatz
  • Jan 1, 1440

    Johann Gutenberg

    Johann Gutenberg
    Gutenberg invented printing from movable type in the 1440s, and this facilitated the spread of technical knowledge. Printing sparked a communications revolution. The printing press caused Europeans to imagine new and intriguing opportunities.
  • Aug 1, 1492

    The Reconquista

    The Reconquista
    The Reconquista was a holy war waged against the Muslims in southern Spain. The Moors had been in the kingdom of Grenada for over 700 years, and their Islamic kingdom fell in 1492. This united the entire Iberian peninsula under Christianity, a unification which spurred the exploration of the Americas.
  • Jun 7, 1494

    Treaty of Tordesillas

    Treaty of Tordesillas
    Spain and Portugal were great rivals in the 15th century, especially in the exploration/colonization area. Pope Alexander VI negotiated the treaty, which divided the world along a line of longitude. Lands to the west of the line were property of Spain, and lands to the east belonged to Portugal. This "ownership" of land caused conflicts later on when other European powers began their explorations in the New World.
  • Jan 1, 1497

    John and Sebastion Cabot

    John and Sebastion Cabot
    John Cabot made the first voyage by an English vessel to the Americas in 1497. On a second attempt to find a route to Cathay in 1498, he died. Sebastion Cabot continued the explorations of his father in the Hudson Bay 1508-1509. The interest England had in the New World didn't increase, despite this family of explorers, due to England's preoccupation with domestic and religious matters. England's eventual claim to American territory was established by Cabot's voyages.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1509 to Jan 1, 1547

    Protestant Reformation: Henry VIII

    Anticlericalism became popular because of people like John Calvin and Martin Luther. England first became a portestant country because of king Henry VII, who wanted a male heir (which wasn't happening with his wife). The Catholic church refused to provide him with the annulments for a divorce, and so he left the Catholic church and his wife Catherine. His new wife gave him another female heir, Elizabeth.
  • Nov 18, 1518

    Encomienda System

    Encomienda System
    Beginning with Cortés's expedition, leaders of conquests in New Spain were rewarded by the Spanish monarch. Their reward was an Indian village, and the people within these villages were forced to provide the Spaniards with labor. This tribute system exploited Native Americans to get labor, and in exchange, the encomenderos (the Spaniards) would give the Indians legal protection.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1558 to

    Protestant Reformation: Elizabeth I

    Henry's eldest daughter, Mary, ascended the throne and enforced Catholicism in England, executing hundreds of Protestants. She died in 1588 and was succeeded by Elizabeth. She didn't share Mary's desire to restor Catholicism. Elizabeth assumed the title of the "Supreme Head of the Church," and political and economic activities during her rule were shaped by religion. Spain and England became rivals in the new world, as well as in religion (Catholicism vs. Protestantism).
  • Richard Hakluyt the Younger

    Richard Hakluyt the Younger
    Hakluyt publicized the accounts of explorers of the New World. His vision of America shaped English public opinion. These accounts were placed in his book in 1589 (pictured here), and the central point of the book was that England needed american colonies. European settlers were persuaded that the New World was theirs for the taking.
  • The Lost Colony of Roanoke

    The Lost Colony of Roanoke
    The English colony of Roanoke, settled by Sir Walter Ralegh, was positioned to avoid detection by the Spanish, who had claimed the land (Virginia) long before. The Spanish Armada cut off communication between America and England, and so the Roanoke colonists recieved no visitors by ship between 1587 and 1590. Rescuers found the village deserted.
  • Jamestown

    John Smith was the principal founder. Jamestown was a settlement in Virginia, and the quality of life here was bad.
  • Virginia

    Virginia was founded in 1607 as a commercial venture. The joint-stock company was the business organization that made this venture possible. The name of the company was the London (or Virginia) Company. Colonists came to Virginia to find material wealth, especially after the discovery of tobacco. The Virginia House of Burgesses was the first legislative assembly of elected representatives in America.
  • Quebec

    King Francis I of France sponsored a few unsuccessful voyages in an attempt to find a short water route to China. James Cartier was one of the explorers; he traveled up the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and returned home in 1542 because of harsh winters. Samuel de Champlain resettled this area in 1608, founding Quebec. The French depended on the Indians for fur trade, and French traders even took native wives. This area became known as New France.
  • Sir Edwin Sandys

    Sir Edwin Sandys
    Sandys led a faction of stockholders that pumped life into the Virginia Company. He wanted private investors to develop their own estates in Virginia. By relaxing Dale's martial law and promising an elective representative assembly (the House of Burgesses), Sandys thought that the colony would be mor attractive to wealthy spectulators.
  • Plymouth

    Plymouth was where the Mayflower landed with all the Pilgrims, who were Separatists (left the Anglican Church). They set up a settlement there in 1620 as a refuge for the Pilgrims. Their patent had no validity in this region though, and so they were unable to form a civil government. They formed the Mayflower Compact to govern themselves. William Bradford became the governor. These Europeans would have starved without support from the Indians. The colony was absorbed into Massachusetts in 1691.
  • New Hampshire

    New Hampshire
    New Hamphsire was founded in 1623 by John Mason as a commercial venture.
  • Maryland

    Maryland was originally founded as a refuge for English Catholics in 1628 by Lord Baltimore (George Calvert). Calvert’s son earned a charter for a colony from the king. Settlers swore an oath of allegiance to Lord Baltimore, not the king of England. Widespread political instability almost destroyed Maryland. Protestants were welcomed also, but there was a law that forced complete toleration, as long as the person accepted the divinity of Christ.
  • Connecticut

    Connecticut was founded by Thomas Hooker in 1635 as an expansion of Massachusetts. People were drawn to this region’s fertile lands, and created a society similar to the one in the Bay Colony. Charles II awarded the colony a charter in 1639. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut laid out the structure and powers of the government that the Connecticut River towns had set up.
  • Rhode Island

    Rhode Island
    Roger Williams, a challenger to Puritan Orthodoxy, was banished from the Massachusetts colony and settled Providence, Rhode Island in 1636. Anne Hutchinson also was a challenger, and she and her followers were exiled to Rhode Island. Nobody in Rhode Island was persecuted for their religious beliefs. The settlers of Rhode Island built a profitable commerce in agricultural goods.
  • Massachusetts Bay

    Massachusetts Bay
    Massachusetts was founded in 1638 by John Winthrop as a refuge for English Puritans. They wanted to reform and purify the Church of England. They obtained a charter from the king for a Massachusetts Bay Company. The Puritans migrated in nuclear family units. They believed that God was on their side, and as long as they all lived according to scripture, they’d survive and prosper. It was neither a democracy nor a theocracy, and they strove to uphold their “City on a Hill” status.
  • Period: to

    Parliamentary Supremacy

    Started during English Civil War, solidified during Glorious Revolution Parliament established its supremacy in matters It angered them that Parliament claimed to be supreme and represent them when they were in reality not receiving any representation.
  • Slave Trade

    Slave Trade
    The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reash West Africa by sail. They journeyed to Africa in search of gold and slaves. Local merchants transported these items from the interior of Africa to the coast where they were exchanged for manufactured items from Europe. By 1650, most West African slaves were going to the Americas instead of the Middle East.
  • Carolinas

    North and South Carolina were founded (originally as one colony) by Anthony Ashley Cooper 1633-1634 as a place for wealthy persons to purchase vast tracts of land and receive a title and sit in the Council of Nobles. People in Barbados migrated to Carolina as individuals and families. In 1719, the king created separate royal governments for North and South Carolina.
  • New York

    New York
    New York, which was originally New Amsterdam, was a commercial venture made by Peter Stuyvesant (1613), and then taken over by the English Duke of York in 1664. The Dutch originally had colonists there, that weren’t actual colonists, but employees of the Dutch West India Company that were expected to gather animal furs. The Articles of Capitulation allowed the Dutch to remain in New York. The “Duke’s Laws” guaranteed religious toleration and created local government.
  • Bacon's Rebellion

    Bacon's Rebellion
    Nathaniel Bacon offered to lead a volunteer army against the Indians at no cost to the taxpayers. The governor of Virginia denied Bacon’s request for a commission of military command and the right to attack Indians. Bacon retaliated, and exterminated peaceful tribes to avenge the death of a few white settlers, and so many people died.
  • Pennslyvania

    Pennsylvania was originally founded by William Penn as a refuge for English Quakers. Penn also purchased from the Duke of York what would eventually become Delaware. Penn’s governmental structure was clumsy, and it crumbled. Quakers came to this colony from England to escape persecution, however not all immigrants were Quakers.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    William and Mary accepted a Bill of Rights that stipulated the rights of all Englishmen. This was a result of the Glorious Revolution.
  • First Great Awakening

    First Great Awakening
    This was a spiritual awakening that began in the 1730s and lasted many decades. Many Americans complained that organized religion had lost its vitality. Johnathan Edwards was a preacher during this time, and young people began flocking to hear his preaching. George Whitefield was an itinerant preacher and a revivalist as well. New Lights (people who went to see the itinerant preachers) founded several important centers of higher learning.
  • Georgia

    Georgia was founded in 1733 by James Oglethorpe so as to discourage Spanish expansion, and for charity (saving London’s worthy poor from debtor’s prison).The colonists wanted a voice in local government (trustees in England had complete control over Georgia politics), and the trustees returned Georgia to the king. Georgia attracted very few new settlers.
  • Period: to

    French and Indian War (Seven Years War)

    The British declared war on the French after the long struggle in North America to control colonial markets and raw materials. The Peace of Paris of 1763 was signed after the British won the war. Great Britain got a lot of previously French territory, but gave the Caribbean sugar islands back to France. Lousisiana was given to Spain.
  • Sugar Act

    Sugar Act
    Revised duties on sugar, coffee, tea, wine, and other imports; expended jurisdiction of vice-admiralty courts The Americans saw this as an unconstitutional scheme; however no violence came of it. Ordinary persons were marginally involved with formal petitions.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    Printed documents (deeds, newspapers, marriage licenses, etc.) issued only on special stamped paper purchased from stamp distributors. Americans like Patrick Henry protested the act. Resistance to the Stamp Act spread from assemblies to the streets, as it touched the lives of ordinary people. repealed March 18, 1766
  • Townshend Revenue Acts

    Townshend Revenue Acts
    New duties on glass, lead, paper, paints, and tea; customs collections tightened in America Colonists showed no interest to pay Townshend’s duties. There became a foundation for intercolonial communication and a strengthening sense of righteousness as a result of these acts. All were repealed except duty on tea March 1770. (The picture is of Charles Townshend, after whom the acts were named).
  • Quartering Act

    Quartering Act
    Colonists must supply British troops with housing and other item (candles, firewood, etc.) Many Americans regarded this act as more than taxation without representation. Colonists moved to resist the unconstitutional revenue acts. British goods were boycotted in major ports.
  • Stamp Act Congress

    Stamp Act Congress
    Representatives from nine colonies met in New York City. This meeting provided leaders from different regions with an opportunity to discuss common problems
  • Declaratory Act

    Declaratory Act
    Parliament declares its sovereignty over the colonies “in all cases whatsoever” Most Americans had been a little frightened by the events of the past two years, and they hoped to have a confrontation with the British later.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    British officers accidentally shot and killed 5 American protestors. The victims were seen as martyrs and the event fueled the independence movement.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    Parliament gives East India Company the right to sell tea directly to Americans; some duties on tea reduced Parliament allowed the company to sell directly to American retailers. The act threatened to undermine colonial merchants who traded smuggled Dutch tea. Led to the Boston Tea Party
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    A group of men disguised as Mohawk Indians dumped British tea into Boston Harbor. It was a patriotic defiance against the British and their taxation without representation.
  • Coercive Acts/Intolerable Acts

    Coercive Acts/Intolerable Acts
    March-June 1774: Closes port of Boston; restructures Massachusetts government; restricts town meetings; troops quartered in Boston; British officials accused of crimes sent to England or Canada for trial It seemed to the colonists as if Britain meant to enslave the American people. Few people wanted to split, however they refused to remain passive as Boston was destroyed.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    A gathering of 55 elected delegates from twelve colonies to represent the colonists. It provided colonists with a means to discuss common issues and the beginning of the revolutionary movement.
  • Battle of Concord

    Battle of Concord
    The British went to Concord and found nothing of use there, and on their way back, the militiamen were able to successfully attack. This was the first American victory
  • Shot heard 'round the world

    Shot heard 'round the world
    First shots of the American Revolution (in Lexington) fired. Word of the incident spread quickly and it marked the beginning of the revolution.
  • Battle of Lexington

    Battle of Lexington
    A Small farm village in Massachusetts, Lexington militia stood on the village green, and somebody accidentally fired a shot. The British responded with firing rounds. The first battle of the American Revolution, “shots heard ‘round the world”
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    A gathering of delegates in Philadelphia during the Revolution. It provided central leadership since British government in the colonies had ceased to function. They formed a Continental Army.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    The petition was a last attempt to avoid a war between the Colonies and Britain. It assured Britain that America was still loyal and petitioned the king to prevent further conflict.
  • Prohibitory Act

    Prohibitory Act
    Declares British intention to coerce Americans into submission; embargo on American goods; American ships seized The colonists weren’t able to trade with the rest of the world until they begged for pardon.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Common Sense was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine calling for “The Free and Independent States of America”. It Influenced revolutionary ideas
  • Battle of Trenton

    Battle of Trenton
    On Christmas night, Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware and caught the Hessians by surprise. It was a big win for the Americans, and it was a use of untraditional warfare tactics by the Americans.
  • Battle of Germantown/Valley Forge

    Battle of Germantown/Valley Forge
    The revolutionaries launched a major counterattack, and broke off the fight before a winner was determined. Valley forge was the winter camp of the American soldiers. Valley Forge took a lot of lives with disease. Confusion led to the break off of the Germantown battle.
  • Saratoga, Second Battle

    Saratoga, Second Battle
    The Americans fought Saratoga twice, and the second time, they were victorious. The American victory won French support of the American Revolution.
  • Battle of Kings Mountain

    Battle of Kings Mountain
    The most vicious fighting of the revolution, as Americans used guerrilla warfare tactics to attack the British. The Americans won this battle using untraditional warfare tactics (again).
  • Battle of Yorktown

    Battle of Yorktown
    The French Admiral cut Cornwallis off from the sea while Washington and his lieutenants encircled the British on land General Cornwallis surrendered his entire army, and this was the last battle of the American Revolution.
    The battle ended, but the legalities lasted until October 18.
  • The Treaty of Paris

    The Treaty of Paris
    The Treaty of Paris of 1783 guaranteed the independence of the United States. It also transferred all the territory east of the Mississippi River, except Florida, to the new republic. This treaty ended one hundred seventy-six years of colonial rule.