Revolutionary War Timeline

  • Sugar Act

    The Sugar Act was passed on April 5, 1764. It set duties on molasses and sugar that were imported by the colonies. This impacted the rum distilleries in New England.
  • Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act was passed on March 22, 1765 by Parliament. This required colonists to pay duties on any paper product. It was Parliament's first attempt to tax the colonist directly. The Stamp Act was repaced in 1766.
  • Townshend Acts

    The Townshend Acts were acts that put taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. To enforce this, "writs of assistance" were used to search colonial buildings and ships for items that were smuggled.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    Issues, such as taxation and soldiers being place in the colonies, between the colonies and Great Britain caused tension. The "tension" was released on March 5, 1770 where there was a major encounter in Boston between the townspeople and British soldiers that ended in 5 colonists being killed by British soldiers.
  • Tea Act

    The Tea Act was passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773 which forced colonists to buy tea from the British East India Company. This tax actually made tea cheaper, but the colonist didn't like it. This act eventually led to the Boston Tea Party.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    During the night of December 16, 1773, 340 chests of tea, which were on three "tea-filled" ships, were dumped into the Boston Harbor. This act was performed by colonists disguised as Indians.
  • The Intolerable Acts

    Also known as the Coercive Acts, the Intolerable Acts were a series of acts that were passed to punish Boston for the Boston Tea Party. The effects were that the Boston Harbor was closed until the dumped tea was paid for, the Massachusetts's charter was canceled, Royal officials accused of crimes were sent to Britain for their trial, colonists being required to house British soldiers, a large amount of the land was given to Quebec, and Thomas Gage was the new governor of Massachusetts.
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    First Continental Congress

    Representatives from all of the colonies except Georgia met in Philadelphia to discuss the colonies' relationship with Great Britain. The outcome was that the colonist were "encouraged" to continure their boycott on British good, and that the colonial militias should prepare for war. The Declaration of Rights, a list of ten resolutions that were presented to King George III, was drafted.
  • Lexington & Concord

    Lexington & Concord
    On April 19, 1774, British troops met an outnumbered 70 armed minutemen at Lexington. After this few-minute-long battle, 8 minutemen were dead and 10 were wounded, whereas only one British soldier was wounded.
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    Second Continental Congress

    The Second Continental Congress was a group of 12 colonist who met because of King George III disregarding the Declaration of Rights. During this, the Continental Army was established with George Washington set to command it and the Olive Branch Petition was signed, but was ignored as well by King George III.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    British troops who were trapped inside of Boston were trying to come up with a battle plan, but awoke on June 17, 1775 to the Patriots already on Breed's Hill over-looking Boston. Even though the British retreated twice, the colonists lost the battle because they ran out of ammunition.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Common Sense was a pamphlet that was anonymously distributed throughout Philadelphia which was written by Thomas Paine. This pamphley questioned the British government and changed the way the colonists viewed their king and the government.
  • Declaration of Indpendence

    Declaration of Indpendence
    Singed on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was the formal announcement of the colonies' separation from Great Britain. Thomas Jeffereson, the main author, wrote that all people possess unalienable rights, icluding the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
  • Battle of New York

    George Washington expected that the British troops would arrive at New York next. He was right and met the experienced and well-equipped 32,000 British soldiers. On the other hand, Washington only had 23,000 poorly experienced and equipped troops and ended up having to retreat many times.
  • Battle of Trenton

    Battle of Trenton
    George Washington sailed accross the Delaware River on December 25, 1776 with the harsh winter weather. On the next, as the Hessians were still asleep from celbrating Christmas, the Patriots successfully surprised them and took more than 900 British prisoners.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    British General, John Burgoyne, was marching down to Albany after taking Ft. Ticonderoga. The Patriots put obstacles in their way, such as cut down tress. During this trek, the militia "swarmed" out and attacked the British. Burgoyne eventually had to surrender his whole army to General Horatio Gates on October 17, 1777.
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    Valley Forge

    During the winter at Valley Forge, Washington's army didn't fight any literal battles, but they did fight the harsh winter. The troops were short on clothing and food. About 2,000 soldiers ended up dying from the extreme weather, but the survivors still were courageous and kept drilling and training with Baron von Steuben.
  • Seige of Charleston

    Seige of Charleston
    Charleston, South Carolina was a major "traget" for the British. General Clinton brought 14,000 troops in early 1780 to Charleston. The British won Charleston in May with only 250 casualties.
  • Battle of Yorktown

    Battle of Yorktown
    George Washington saw an opportunity to trap the British, commanded by Charles Cornwallis, in Yorktown, Virginia. The Continental Army joined their troops with Comte de Rochambeau's French troops. Cornwallis's troops were surrounded and ended up surrendering on October 19, 1781 while the Patriots took about 8,000 British prisoners in the last major battle of the American Revolution.
  • Treaty of Paris (ending Revolutionary War)

    It took delegates over two years to come to a peace agreement. The final outcome was the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which formally recoginized the separation of the Undited States from Great Britain. This treaty set American borders as well.