The American Revolution Timeline

  • Navigation Acts

    Navigation Acts
    Designed to restrict colonies from buying from any other country than England. Cleared the way for more restrictive measures that angered the colonists further, like the Stamp and Tea acts.
  • French and Indian War ends

    French and Indian War ends
    The British gained large amounts of land in North America from this war. However, it also drained the Royal coffers and caused Parliament to start levying taxes on the colonies to pay for it.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    Placed taxes on all commercial and legal documents, including newspapers and diplomas. Though later repealed, this Act angered the colonists and began to strain relationships between them and Britain.
  • The Boston Massacre

    The Boston Massacre
    Colonists in Boston were throwing snowballs and rocks at British soldiers, who opened fire and killed 5. This went on to be called the Boston Massacre by the colonists.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    Permitted the British East India company to sell directly to the colonies, allowing the company to avoid and invalidate the colonial middlemen. This would provoke the Boston Tea Party.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Colonists threw a cargo of British tea into the Boston Harbor in response to a tax on tea. This led to the Insufferable Acts and eventually to the First Continental Congress.
  • The Coercive/Intolerable Acts

    The Coercive/Intolerable Acts
    These Acts closed Boston Harbor until Britain was compensated for the Boston Tea Party, allowed British soldiers to be quartered in private homes, and declared that any British officials charged with a crime would be charged in England instead of in America. This was intended to punish the colonies, specifically Massachusetts, but resulted instead in the First Continental Contgress.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    55 delegates from 12 colonies (not Georgia) gathered in Philadelphia to discuss how to respond to the Intolerable Acts. Each colony represented was given one vote.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    Also referred to by “The Shot Heard Round the World,” the skirmishes between British soldiers and colonists at Lexington and Concord caused the disturbances to erupt into war.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Called shortly after the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress set up an army to fight the British with George Washington as the commander. However, as it did not have the power to raise taxes and fund this army, it was very ragtag.
  • Declaration of Independence adopted

    Declaration of Independence adopted
    The Declaration of Independence was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson at the Second Continental Congress. This revolutionary document listed the colonists’ grievances and declared their intent to be completely separate from Britain.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    The Americans defeated the British in this battle, convincing the French to join them as an ally. This caused the Battle of Saratoga to be considered the “Turning Point of the War.”
  • Winter At Valley Forge

    Winter At Valley Forge
    George Washington’s forces stayed the winter of 1777-1778 in Valley Forge under terrible conditions. This allowed them to be camped near the recently lost Philadelphia, site of the First and Second Continental Congress.
  • Battle of Yorktown

    Battle of Yorktown
    This was the decisive battle in the American Revolution. With a French fleet and American troops, Washington forced British troops to surrender, and Britain’s war effort slowed to a halt.
  • U.S. Constitution Written

    U.S. Constitution Written
    After the failure of the Articles of Confederation, James Madison, George Washington, and others decided that a new form of government had to be put in use. They spent the summer of 1787 drafting this new Constitution.
  • U.S. Constitution adopted

    U.S. Constitution adopted
    After writing the Constitution, the Founding Fathers adopted it and made it the official law of the land. This Constitution has remained in place, albeit with some changes, ever since then.