From Empire to Independence

  • Trial of John Peter Zenger

    Trial of John Peter Zenger
    Zenger TrialJohn Zenger was a German immigrant. He printed The New York Weekly Journal publication. The newspaper showed the actions the royal governor, William Cosby did, It would accuse Cosby of the rigging of elections and allowing the French into the New York harbor. Zenger would only print them, but he was still accused of opposing the colonial government. Andrew Hamilton was alongside him to defend during the trial and he was found "not guilty". This trial was later a base for Freedom of Press.
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    Seven Years War

    The war was mainly fought in Europe. It was one of the Imperial Wars. Led to the complete expulsion of the French from North America. In the end, England lost, and they acquired large debts. Domination of colonial trade was at stake
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    Fort Ticonderoga

    It served as a key point of access to both Canada and the Hudson River Valley during the French and Indian War. it was a small-scale conflict, the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga was the first American victory of the Revolutionary War, and would give the Continental Army much-needed artillery to be used in future battles.
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    Albany Congress

    Delegates coming from 7 of the 13 colonies met in Albany to discuss and create The Albany Plan of Union for Indian diplomacy. Their plan was to replace Indian leaders with Royal, British leaders. Albany Congress Description
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    Pontiac's Rebellion

    Pontiac's Rebellion descriptionPontiac was an Ottawan chieftain who preached for the return of the traditional way of living without the Bristish. He held a war council in April of 1763. He and his allies plotted to take over Fort Detroit, but ultimately failed. After facing defeat twice, he managed to take 8 English forts in 1763. In 1766, Pontiac finally signed a peace treaty with England.He was later killed by another Indian.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    The war ended in 1763 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty gave Britain almost all French land in Canada and, to the south, all of France's holdings east of the Mississippi River except New Orleans. Britain also received the territory of Florida from Spain, which had become France's ally in 1762. France kept two tiny islands south of Newfoundland -- St.-Pierre and Miquelon -- and the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
  • The Sugar Act

    The Sugar Act
    <ahref='http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/sugaract.htm' >Sugar Act desc.</a>
    It was a modified version of the previous Sugar and Molasses act of 1733. It reduced the tax on molasses, by almost half. It also specifically listed all the foreign goods that would now be taxed, including sugar and coffee. It declined the rum industry, and it also cut off much of the trade coming into the colonies from the outside. It disrupted the colonial economy and the amount of curency available.
  • The Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act
    Stamp ActThe act was passed by the British Parliament and it forced all Americans to be taxed on every single printed paper they used. Documents, newspapers, liscenses, playing cars, and other publications were taxed. The money gained was for protecting the frontier near the Appalachian Mts. The colonies were mad because it didn't need the approval of the legislatures, and it seemed it wasn't for the regulation commerce anymore; instead, it was only for England to make money.
  • The Declaratory Act

    The Declaratory Act
    Declaratory Act
    After the Stamp act was turned away Britain passed the Declaratory act for the colonies. It stated that the taxing authority they have in England will be the same in America (the colonies). This document stated England's complete authority over the colonies at all times.
  • Parliament Repeals the Stamp Act

    Parliament Repeals the Stamp Act
    Since there was a plethora of protesting in the American colonies, the British Parliament decided to repeal their Stamp Act after 4 months. The protesting issued a very important agrument, "no taxation, without representation". Americans would boycott British goods, and some attacked the customhouses and homes of tax collectors Various appeals would lead to Parliament's choice of repeal.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    It began as a street fight betwwen Sons of Liberty and British soldiers. The residents of Boston detested whenever British troops came into the city. The boys created a large pole, and the soldiers decided to chop it down and took them to the local tavern. A riot ensued, causing an 11-year old boy to be shot. On the 5th, a captain and seven of his soldiers retaliated name calling and snowballs by killing a total of 7 people.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    Boston Port Act - shut down the Boston harbour
    Massachusetts Gov't Act - delegates of the upper house would be chosen by the king
    Administration of Justice Act - protected Bristish officials from colonial court
    Quartering Act of 1774 - people had to house British soldiers if needed.

    Quebec Act - appointed a government for Canada, enlarged Quebec's boundaries, and confirmed priveleges of Catholic Church.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    12 colonies met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They suceeded in foraging an agreement on the principles and policies they would follow in the most serious crisis in the history of the British N. American colonies.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    Preparation for violent uprisings against the British began in the winter of 1774, because King George III sent his army men out to the colonies to quell all opposition towards the crown. Militias formed within the colonies. Thomas Gage, who was the British military leader at the time in Massachusetts, who also made the decision to confiscate weapons owned by the colonies in Massachusetts. It was to capture the patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were t
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved incrementally towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independence. By raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, and making formal treaties, the Congress acted as the de facto national government of what became the United States.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    The British had won the so-called Battle of Bunker Hill, and Breed's Hill and the Charlestown peninsula fell firmly under British control. Despite losing their strategic positions, the battle was a morale-builder for the Americans, who had suffered far fewer casualties than their enemy while demonstrating that they could conduct war effectively against the British.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    The Olive Branch Petition was adopted by the Continental Congress in July 1775 in an attempt to avoid a full-blown war with Great Britain. The petition affirmed American loyalty to Great Britain and entreated the king to prevent further conflict. The colonies were formally declared in rebellion by the Proclamation of Rebellion, and the petition was rejected de facto, although not having been received by the king before declaring the colonists traitors.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Thomas Paine wrote this pamphlet. Advocated independence for the American colonies from Britain and is considered one of the most influential pamphlets in American history. Credited with uniting average citizens and political leaders behind the idea of independence, "Common Sense" played a remarkable role in transforming a colonial squabble into the American Revolution.
  • Virginia Declaration of Rights

    Virginia Declaration of Rights
    The Virginia Declaration of Rights is a document drafted to proclaim the inherent rights of men, including the right to rebel against "inadequate" government. It influenced the United States Declaration of Independence, the United States Bill of Rights , and the French Revolution's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    Officially declared the U.S's independence from the British crown. This eventually led to a war. It was only adopted by 12 colonies. The American War for Independence would last for five more years.
  • Battle of Long Island

    Battle of Long Island
    The British Army successfully moved against the American Continental Army led by George Washington. The battle was part of a British campaign to seize control of New York and thereby isolate New England from the rest of the colonies. Washington's defeat could have led to the surrender of his entire force, but his ingenuity instead allowed him to escape and continue the fight.
  • Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom

    Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom
    It promoted religious freedom for the state of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison promoted the bill for years before it was finally passed by the Virginia legislature. At the time, the Anglican Church was officially recognized as the state religion. The law disestablished that denomination. An alternative proposal that many other denominations be recognized was rejected. Created the base for the First Amendment
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    Battle of Sarratoga

    Fought eighteen days apart. The two Battles of Saratoga were a turning point in the American Revolution. On September 19th, British General John Burgoyne achieved a small, but costly victory over American forces led by Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold. Though his troop strength had been weakened, Burgoyne again attacked the Americans at Bemis Heights on October 7th, but this time was defeated and forced to retreat. He surrendered which told French and Americans were allies.
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    Valley Forge

    Valley Forge was not a site for a battle; yet, it was the turning point of the Revolutionary War. It was here that the Continental army was desperately against the ropes and ready to quit.
  • Articles of Confederation Ratified

    Articles of Confederation Ratified
    It gave a rather weak federal structure for the government. Led to the making of the constitution and a more centeralized federal government. Congress felt the need for a stronger union and a government powerful enough to defeat Great Britain.
  • Battle of Yorktown

    Battle of Yorktown
    General George Washington, commanding a force of 17,000 French and Continental troops, begins the siege known as the Battle of Yorktown against British General Lord Charles Cornwallis and a contingent of 9,000 British troops at Yorktown, Virginia, in the most important battle of the Revolutionary War. The Patriot victory at Yorktown ended fighting in the American colonies.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Treaty of Paris descriptionThis prominent document formally ended the War for Independence from Britain. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay were the representatives for the United States. The nine articles of the treaty "established U.S. boundaries, specified certain fishing rights, allowed creditors of each country to be paid by citizens of the other, restored the rights and property of Loyalists, opened up the Mississippi River to citizens of both nations and provided for evacuation of all British forces. "
  • George Washington's Inauguration

    George Washington's Inauguration
    President George Washington attends a ball in his honor. The event provided a model for the first official inaugural ball, held to celebrate James Madison's ascension to the office ten years later, which then became an annual tradition. Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States on April 30, 1789.
  • Land Ordinance of 1785

    Land Ordinance of 1785
    Called for taking of land west of the Appalachian Mountains, north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River was to be divided into ten separate states. However, the 1784 resolution did not define the mechanism by which the land would become states, or how the territories would be governed or settled before they became states.
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787

    Northwest Ordinance of 1787
    The primary effect of the ordinance was the creation of the Northwest Territory as the first organized territory of the United States out of the region south of the Great Lakes, north and west of the Ohio River, and east of the Mississippi River. On August 7, 1789, President George Washington signed the Northwest Ordinance of 1789 into law after the newly created U.S. Congress reaffirmed the Ordinance with slight modifications under the Constitution.