Revolutionary War Timeline

  • Sugar Act

    The Sugar Act was passed in 1764. The British placed a tax on sugar, wine, and other important things. The Sugar Act made the people in the colonies very upset. If they only traded with Britain, they would not be able to sell their goods for as much. In addition, they lost money if they bought they same amount of sugar, wine and other important things that they did before the Sugar Act started. Some leaders in the colonies started to boycott, or to quite buying, British goods.
  • Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765. The new tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed. What made the law so offensive to the colonists was not so much its immediate cost but the standard it seemed to set.
  • Townshend Acts

    Series of 1767 laws named for Charles Townshend. These laws placed new taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. Colonial reaction to these taxes was the same as to the Sugar Act and Stamp Act, and Britain eventually repealed all the taxes except the one on tea. In response to the sometimes violent protests by the American colonists, Great Britain sent more troops to the colonies.
  • Boston Massacre

    The Boston Massacre was a street fight that occurred on March 5, 1770, between a "patriot" mob, throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks, and a squad of British soldiers. Several colonists were killed.
  • Tea Act

    American colonists could buy no tea unless it came from that company. The East Indian Company wasn't doing so well, and the British wanted to give it some more business. The Tea Act lowered the price on this East India tea so much that it was way below tea from other suppliers. But the American colonists saw this law as yet another means of "taxation without representation" because it meant that they couldn't buy tea from anyone else without spending a lot more money.
  • Boston Tea Party

    On the evening of December 16, 1773, a group of men calling themselves the "Sons of Liberty" went to the Boston Harbor. The men were dressed as Mohawk Indians. They boarded three British ships, the Beaver, the Eleanor and the Dartmouth, and dumped forty-five tons of tea into the Boston Harbor.
  • Intolerable Acts

    The British closed the Boston Harbor pending the people of Boston paying for the lost tea, and paying the required tax. They changed the Justice Act so that people charged with violent crimes would be tried in England. They expanded the Quartering Act requiring British troops to be housed in private homes. The Intolerable Acts united the colonies against Britain. Patriot leaders began to call for a meeting, or a colonial congress, to discuss the issues.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Lt. General Gage then sent British ships to bombard the hill, while Maj. General William Howe prepared to sail across the bay and retake the position that afternoon. At three o'clock in the afternoon, the British finally began an assault on the hill. The Americans repulsed them twice, but due to twindling ammunition, they were forced to abandon the position during the third British assault. Though the British technically won, it came at a high cost and Lt. General Gage resigned his command.
  • Lexington & Concord

    British General Thomas Gage sent 700 soldiers to destroy guns and ammunition the colonists had stored in the town of Concord, just outside of Boston. Paul Revere promised to warn them when the British soldiers started to march. Patriots had organized a group called the Minutemen. The British soldiers fired, killing 8 Minutemen and injuring 10 others. As the British soldiers headed back to Boston, they were attacked by the Minutemen.
  • Declaration of Independence

    The Declaration of Independence states the reasons the British colonies of North America wanted independence in July of 1776. The declaration starts with a preamble describing why the colonists want to over throw the king and start there own government. it stated all men are created equal and there are certain unalienable rights that governments should never take away.The new nation will be called the United States of America and will have no further connections with Great Britain.
  • Battle of New York

    On 28th August Washington brought reinforcements from New York but with the increasing threat from the Royal Navy he withdrew from Brooklyn on 29th August. Howe failed to interfere with the withdrawal. On 15th September Washington was forced to leave New York. Again Howe failed to interfere with the withdrawal losing the opportunity to capture Washington and much of the Continental Army. Washington was forced to conduct a fighting withdrawal to the Delaware River where he wintered.
  • Battle of Trenton

    This battle is best known for General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton, New Jersey. Only Washington and his 2,400 men were able to cross the river for the assault. After a 9 mile march south to Trenton, the colonial soldiers met the Hessian soldiers and pushed them back into the city. After a brief battle, almost two thirds of the 1,500 Hessian soldiers garrisoned at Trenton were captured. This was done with very few American losses.
  • Battle of Brandywine Creek

    General Howe’s army of about 15,000 troops met General George Washington’s Continental Army of about 11,000 at Chadds Ford, on Brandywine Creek in southeastern Pennsylvania. In the end, the British troops took over the battlefield, but they didnt destroyed Washington’s army or cut it off from the capital at Philadelphia. So American army was kept intact and the war kept going.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    General Burgoyne attacked for the third time at the Battle of Saratoga. This time Burgoyne and his forces were defeated. General Burgoyne was forced to surrender. This was a major victory for the American forces and a key turning point in the war.
  • Valley Forge

    The Continental army was running very low on supplies. In December Washington settled 12,000 men at Valley Forge, about 20 miles north of Philadelphia. No battles took place but the winter was very brutal. Washington's men lack even the most basic protections against the snow. Soldiers built crude shelters, but they offered little protection. Some soldiers had no shirts and others had no boots. About 2,000 died while at Valley Forge but they still drilled and trained to become better soldiers.
  • Common Sense

    In Common sense Thomas Paine argues for American Independence. Paine begins by distinguishing between government and society. Paine thought the government wasn't protecting them like it need to. When Common Sense was published an outbreak of hatred between the American colonies and Great Britain started. It influenced American colonists to separate from Britain and helped to inspire America during the Revolutionary War.
  • John Paul Jones captures the Serapis

    John Paul Jones captured many British supply ships and the French greatly admired him. One of Jones's most famous victories was the capture of the British ship Serapis. The battle to capture Serapis lasted more than two hours, but the British got worn out and surrendered. The patriots had few ships but it was a small effective naval force.
  • British Capture Charleston

    The siege of Charleston was a victory for the British towards the end of the revolutionary war. The British had turned their attention to the south and sent in troops to Charlestown South Carolina by sea. After landing south of Charlestown British generals made a push towards the city and after laying siege to the city and bombarding it for several days continental General Lincoln surrendered. This was a huge loss for the Americans.
  • Battle of Yorktown

    The battle of Yorktown began late in September 1781. The British General sent pleas for troop reinforcements and even considered ferrying his men across the river to safety. The French and Americans began a long bombardment, with the French artillery proving highly accurate. No reinforcements, the continuous bombardment by French and Americans. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton, led Cornwallis to see there was little hope left for his army. He surrenderd to Washington on October 19, 1781.
  • Treaty of Paris(ending Revoutionary war)

    Treaty that officially ended the Revolutionary War on September 3, 1783. Under the terms of the treaty, Britain recognized the independent nation of the United States of America. Britain agreed to remove all of its troops from the new nation. The treaty also set new borders for the United States, including all land from the Great Lakes on the north to Florida on the south, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River.