Pre-Revolutionary Timeline

  • Navigation Acts

    Navigation Acts
    The British Empire at the time operated under the mercantile system, where all trade was concentrated inside the Empire, and trade with other empires was forbidden. The goal was to enrich Britain—its merchants and its government. Whether the policy was good for the colonists was not an issue in London, but Americans became restive with mercantilist policies.
    Britain implemented mercantilism by trying to block American trade with the French, Spanish or Dutch empires using the Navigation Acts.
  • 7 Years War

    7 Years War
    The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines. The colonists bore a very light total tax burden compared to the average British subject. The British were, however, unhappy with this situation. Even in the 1750s, there was concern at the growing independence of the American colonies.
  • The Sugar Act is Passed

    The Sugar Act is Passed
    The Sugar Act lowered the import tax on foreign molasses in an attempt to deter smuggling, and placed a heavy tax on Madeira wine, which had traditionally been duty-free. The act mandated that many commodities shipped from the colonies had to pass through Britain before going to other European countries."
  • The Quatering Act

    The Quatering Act
    The Quartering Act is the name of at least two 18th-century acts of the Parliament of Great Britain. These Quartering Acts ordered the local governments of the American colonies to provide housing and provisions for British soldiers. Originally intended as a response to problems that arose during Britain's victory in the Seven Years War they later became a source of tension between inhabitants of the Thirteen Colonies and the government in London.
  • The Stamp Act of 1765:

    The Stamp Act of 1765:
    In 1765, Grenville searched for even more revenue for the English Empire. In addition to customs duties, he suggested an excise tax, a levy on various good and services produced within the colonies. The tax would be paid by purchasing a stamp that was then placed on the article. His act would require stamps on newspapers, legal documents, playing cards, ship's papers, and the like.
  • The Declaratory Act of 1766

    The Declaratory Act of 1766
    This law was in response to the American uproar of the Stamp Act. Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in the spring of 1766. But, to save face it passed the Declaratory Act, which declared that Parliament had full power to pass laws and levy taxes for America "in all cases whatsoever."
  • The Townshend Acts of 1767

    The Townshend Acts of 1767
    George Grenville resigned. The new finance minister, Charles Townshend, then suggest a new plan. He asked Parliament to levy customs duties on various colonial imports - paint, tea, paper, lead, and glass. The Townshend taxes were repealed by Parliament in 1770. However, the tax on tea remained, as a symbol of England's authority over the American Colonies, and all who lived there.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston Massacre, called the Boston Riot by the British, was an incident in which British Army soldiers killed five civilian men.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The Boston Tea Party was a direct action by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government and the monopolistic East India Company that controlled all the tea imported into the colonies.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    The Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts are names used to describe a series of laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 relating to Britain's colonies in North America. The acts triggered resistance in the Thirteen Colonies that later became the United States, and were important developments in the growth of the American Revolution.Four of the acts were issued in direct response to the Boston Tea Party. The British Parliament hoped these measures would make an example of Boston.
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord

    Battles of Lexington and Concord
    The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge, near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in the mainland of British North America.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence was a 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.