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  • Jamestown founded

    This was the first permanent English settlement in North America. It was named after their King, King James I.
  • First African slaves brought to North America

    On this day 20-30 African slaves landed at Point Comfort, today's Fort Monroe in Hampton Virginia. This was influential because later on slaves held together businesses in the Colonies and helped grow them economically through free labor.
  • Pilgrams arrive on Mayflower/sign Mayflower compact

    The Mayflower Compact was signed by male passengers on the Mayflower ship in 1620 before landing at Plymouth Rock. It established a form of self-government for the Plymouth colony and bound the signers and the colonists to enact just and equal laws for the good of the colony.
  • Massachusetts Bay

    John Winthrop and the Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 as a model religious community guided by Calvinist principles.
  • Harvard College

    Harvard was established in 1636 as the first higher education institution in the colonies to train government leaders.
  • Bacon's Rebellion

    In 1676 Nathaniel Bacon led a rebellion against Virginia's colonial government protesting corruption and mistreatment of colonists.
  • Salem Witch Trials

    In the town Salem, more than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft. More than 20 of them were executed. If you were accused of witchcraft you were taken to court. You could either plead guilty and go to jail for life, or plead innocent and be burnt at the stake.
  • College of William & Mary

    The second oldest college in the country William & Mary was created in 1693 to train civil leaders in Virginia.
  • Former Pirate Captain Kidd Hanged in London

    William Kidd was a Scottish ship captain pirate who was hung in London in 1699 for piracy and murder committed in the colonies.
  • 250,000 Europeans and Slaves Now Living in 13 Colonies

    By 1700 the colonial population had grown to about 250,000 with continuing immigration from Europe, the importation of slaves from Africa, and natural growth.
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  • French & Indian War

    From 1754-1763 Britain fought the French & Indian War in the colonies over territory defeating the French to gain control of New France.
  • Treaty of Paris Ends French & Indian War

    The 1763 Treaty of Paris ended the French & Indian War with France giving Canada and land east of the Mississippi River to Britain.
  • Stamp Act Passed

    The 1765 Stamp Act required colonists to pay a tax on newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents, and other printed things, leading to protests.
  • Boston Massacre

    During a protest in 1770, British troops fired into a crowd and killed 5 colonists fueling tensions between colonists and Britain.
  • Boston Tea Party

    In 1773 colonists protested tea taxes by boarding ships in Boston Harbor and dumping over 300 crates of British tea overboard.
  • Revolutionary War Begins

    The first battles of the Revolutionary War were fought in Massachusetts in 1775 when British troops marched to seize colonial weapons and were confronted by colonial militias.
  • First Continental Congress Meets

    In response to the Intolerable Acts 12 colonies sent delegates to the First Continental Congress in 1774 to coordinate their resistance.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence adopted in 1776 severing the colonies' political ties to Britain.
  • British Surrender at Yorktown

    The last major battle of the Revolutionary War ended in 1781 with Lord Cornwallis surrendering at Yorktown, securing independence for the colonies.
  • US Constitution Ratified

    After ratification in 1788 the US Constitution took effect in 1789 with George Washington sworn in as the first president.
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  • Louisiana Purchase

    In 1803 Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase from France doubled the land area of the country expanding west of the Mississippi River.
  • Steam boat travels the Hudson

    Robert Fulton's Clermont, launched in 1807 was the first commercially successful steamboat, revolutionizing transportation on American rivers.
  • US Fights Britain in War of 1812

    From 1812-1815 the US and Britain fought the War of 1812 which strengthened US independence with an American victory at the Battle of New Orleans.
  • Missouri Compromise

    The 1820 Missouri Compromise keep the balance of free and slave states by admitting Maine and Missouri and prohibiting slavery.
  • Indian Removal Act

    Passed in 1830 the Indian Removal Act authorized the forced relocation of Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi to lands west of the river.
  • Irish Potato Famine

    he Irish Potato Famine from 1845-1849 led over 1 million Irish immigrants to flee starvation by coming to the United States.
  • Gold Discovered in California,

    The 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill set off the California Gold Rush bringing some 300,000 people west in search of gold over the next several years.
  • Compromise of 1850

    The Compromise of 1850, California becomes a free state and made a stricter Fugitive Slave Law seeking to please both the North and South.
  • Civil War

    After 11 southern states seceded the Civil War was fought from 1861-1865 between the Union and the Confederate States of America over slavery and states' rights.
  • Transcontinental Railroad Completed

    The meeting of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads at Promontory Utah in 1869 completed the first transcontinental railroad across the United States.