Major Events from Early American Government

By rmwuch
  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    The original Aricles of Barons was agreed to by King John and later was revised into the Magna Carta. The document created limits for King John's power and also made him subject to his own laws.
  • Jamestown was settled

    Jamestown was settled
    The Settlement established itself on May 13. They chose this location because of its defensive position and fertile soil. This was England's first Settlement in the Americas and it later became the first established colony.
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    The Mayflower's passesngers knew that the previous settlements had failed because of a lack of government. They composed an agreement of fair and equal laws that benefited the community. The agreement was signed by the adults and established a government free from England.
  • Petition of Right

    Petition of Right
    The Petition of Right was created to redefine Englishman's rights. It outline the following rights: no taxes should be given without consent of Parliament; a free man cannot be imprisoned; soldiers cannot take residence in peoples homes without their consent; and martial law should not be proclaimed in times of peace.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    This document outlined why King James the 2nd misued his power. It went on to show the thirteen rights and liberties that it needed to protect. Finally it established the sovereighnty of William of Orange and his wife. The US Constiutuion reflects many of the English Rights listed.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    This plan was intended to unite the colonies. Benjamin Franklin felt that the colonies would not be able to survive on their own. Only seven of the colonies signed this original plan but it formed a new idea on what America should be like.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The Stamp Act was created to assert dominance over the colonies. England placed taxes on almost all goods to make up for their overwhelming debt. The Stamp Acts fueled the hatred for England.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    This was riot held on the streets of Bostan that resulted in the death of five civilians by British Redcoats. The tension between the two parties resulted after the Townsend Act was passed. British militia was installed in Massachusetts to ensure the taxes in the law were paid.
  • The Boston Tea Party

    The Boston Tea Party
    On this day citizens of the new colonies stormed aboard a British ship in Boston and poured the contents into the sea. The intent was to protest the inustice of British taxes. The Intolerable Acts were published by Parliament soon after. Some say this sparked the revolution.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    These acts were implemented after the Boston Tea Party by Parliament. They shut down Boston's port as a message to the colonies that they would not tolerate such an obvious act of rebellion. Impartial Administration of Justice Act, Massachusetts Bay Regulating Act, Quebec Act, Quartering Act, and Boston Port Act were all passed.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The first Congress met from September 5th to October 25th in Carpenters Hall in Philadelphia to discuss how best to face England. The delegates were split between those who wished to reconcile with England and those who wished to reject it. The Declaration of Resolves was written in this time to reflect the common interests of all the states.
  • The American Revolution Begins

    The American Revolution Begins
    The British marched into Lexington on a mission to capture Patriot leaders as well as the Patriots arsenal supply. The Patriots, however, got wind of the attack and were waiting for them. On this day the "Shot Heard Around the World" was fired leaving eight Americans dead. The Battle of Concord happened directly after. The Patriots succeeded in forcing the British back.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    In this session, held in the State House in Philadelphia after the battle of Lexington and Concord, the delegates appointed a militia to represent the Colonies. They also chose a commander to head the militia, George Washington. They debated on how to fund the war, what their position should be, and how to create foreign ties.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    This document, penned by Thomas Jefferson, outlined the reason why the colonies were seeking independence from the oppression of King George. The document established that America had the right to call for war, make alliances, and do all things as their own government.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    On this day the Articles of Confederation were ratified by all thirteen of the original colonies. The Articles served as the first Constitution of the United States. It gave most of the power to Congress which was made up of delegates from each state.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    During the Constitution Convention they debated whether or not they should adapt to the Virginia Plan or the New Jersey Plan. The Virginia Plan called for the number of delegates to reflect the size of the state while the New Jersey Plan wanted equal representation. The delegate from Connecticut suggested each state send an equal number of representatives to the Senate, and one representative to the House for every 30000 people. This plan is the Connecticut Compromise.
  • Shays Rebellion

    Shays Rebellion
    The rebellion, lead by Daniel Shay, showed a group of farmers desperation to recieve the payment they were owed after their service in the militia. Shay's men attempted to take the arsenal from Springfield Massachusetts. It proved that the federal government had no power to pay the men back and a stronger government needed to be formed. They ultimately failed but they did ensured that the Constiution would establish their rights as soon as possible.
  • Philadelphia Convention

    Philadelphia Convention
    The convention took place in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The goal of the Convention was to revise the Articles of Confederation but attention turned to the New Jersey Plan and the Virginia Plan as a way to revise the government. Each state had such varying ideas that the majority of decisions made could only be considered compromises.
  • Constitution Convention

    Constitution Convention
    On this day 39 of the 55 people attending the Convention signed the Constitution. The delegates had met for four months in Independence Hall to reach on compromise that became our U.S. Constiution. Decisions included who would become president, how he would be elected, and his re-eligibility.