Major Events for Early American Government

By dchicks
  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    The Magna Carter was originially issued in 1215. It challenged the English Monarch's authority. King John of England was forced to sign the document, passing laws that stated that no man could be punished except by the law of the land.
  • Jamestown settled

    Jamestown settled
    The first successful English settlement on the mainland of North America. Named after King James I of England and founded in the Colony of Virginia.
  • Mayflower Compact written

    Mayflower Compact written
    The first governing document of Plymouth Colony. Written by the colonists (Pilgrims), who crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower. Signed by 41 of the ship's 101 passengers.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    A major English consitutional document that sets specific liberties the king is prohibited from infringing. It was produced by English Parliament and is well known for its confirmation that taxes can only be levied by Parliament.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    It set limits on the powers of sovereign and the rights of Parliament. Also set out rules for freedom of speech in Parliament, requirement to regular elections to Parliament, and the right to petition the monarch without fear of retribution.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    The French and Indian Wars led to the Albany Plan of Union. With this plan each colonial legislature would elect delegates to an American continental assembly that would be presided over by a royal governor.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    It was a director tax imposed by the British Parliament. This was specifically aimed at the colonies of North America. It required many printed materials to be produced on stamped paper produced in London.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    British troops were stationed in Boston since 1768. They were placed there to protect the crown-appointed colonial officials. On March 5, 1770, the British redcoats killed 5 cvilian men.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The colonists in Boston, Massachusetts held a resistance movement by boarding British ships in the middle of the night and dumping all of the tea into the Boston Harbor. This was because of the British Tea Act which required taxes to be paid on tea.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    Also known as the Coercive Acts. It was a series of laws passed by the British Parliament relating to Britain's colonies in North America. 4 of the acts were a direct response to the Boston Tea Party.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    A convention of delegates from 12 of the colonies. They met at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia. It was called in response of the Coercive Acts, which punished Boston for the Boston Tea Party.
  • American Revolution begins

    American Revolution begins
    At about 5 AM, 700 British troops set out on a mission to capture Patriot leaders. They marched into Lexington where 77 minutemen under Captain John Parker were waiting for them. The "shot heard around the world" was fired and so the American Revolution began.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    A convention of delegates from the 13 colonies, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It managed the colonial war effort and moved towards independence.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    Statement adopted by the Continental Congreses which announced the 13 colonies as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. It was ulitmately a formal explanation as to why Congress voted on July 2nd to declare independence.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    The first constitution of the United States. Under the articles, States were able to retain their sovereignty, freedom and independence. Became operative on March 1, 1781
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    An armed uprising in Massachusetts, named after Daniel Shays. It started over financial difficulties and by 1787, over 1000 Shaysites had been arrested. There was a lack of institutional respsonse to the upgrising, so the Articles of Confederation were thought to be reevaluated.
  • Philadelphia Convention

    Philadelphia Convention
    Also known as The Consitutional Convention. It was called to revise the Articles of Confederation of the many of the attendees had plans to create a new government, rather than fix the current one.
  • Consitution Convention

    Consitution Convention
    Same thing as the Philadelphia Convention. Was created to revise the Articles of Confederation
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    An agreement reached during the Consitutional Convention between large and small states. It defined the legislative representation and structure that each state would have.