American revolutionary war

Major Events for Early American Government

  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    English charter widely viewed as one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy. Issued June 15, 1215 and passed into law ten years later in 1225. Included very direct challenges to the monarch's authority.
  • Jamestown Settled

    Jamestown Settled
    Early English settlement in Virginia founded by the London Company. Capital of the colony for 83 years.
  • Mayflower Compact Written

    Mayflower Compact Written
    First governing document written the Pilgrims, who crossed the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower. Almost half of the colonists were part of a separatist group seeking the freedom to practice Christianity according to their own determination and not the will of the English Church.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    Major English constitutional document that sets out specific liberties of the subject that the king is prohibited from infringing.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    Document passed by Parliament that lays down limits on the powers of sovereign and sets out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    Plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin to form a union of the colonies “under one government as far as might be necessary for defense and other general important purposes.”
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    Direct tax imposed by the British Parliament specifically on the colonies that required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London. Purpose: to help pay for troops stationed in North America after the British victory in the Seven Years’ War.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    Conflict in Boston between stationed British redcoats and the American colonists in which five civilians were killed.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Direct action by the American colonists in defiance of the Tea Act. A group of colonists boarded ships in the Boston Harbor and destroyed the tea by throwing it overboard.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    Convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen North American colonies called in response to the passage of the Coercive Acts (also known as the Intolerable Acts).
  • Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts)

    Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts)
    Series of laws passed by the British Parliament relating to Britain’s colonies in North America which triggered outrage and resistance in the Thirteen Colonies. Four of the acts were issued in direct response to the Boston Tea Party, hoping to put a stop to colonial resistance.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Reconvening of the First Continental Congress. At Second Continental Congress, the delegates managed the colonial war effort and moved incrementally towards independence.
  • American Revolution Begins

    American Revolution Begins
    Eight-year war (1775-1783) during which the American colonists fought for the independence from Great Britain.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    Statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    The first constitution of the United States. Established a national legislature, the Continental Congress, but most authority rested with the state legislatures. Adopted by Congress in November 15, 1777 but not enacted until 1781.
  • Shays' Rebellion

    Shays' Rebellion
    A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by revolutionary war Captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
  • Philadelphia Convention (Constitutional Convention)

    Philadelphia Convention (Constitutional Convention)
    Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to address problems in governing the USA. The result of the Convention was the United States Constitution.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    Agreement between large and small states reached during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that in part defined the legislative structure and representation that each state would have under the United States Constitution. Resulted in the agreement of proportional representation in the House and equal representation in the Senate.