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The American Story Timeline

  • Sep 8, 1440

    Johann Gutenberg

    Johann Gutenberg
    When Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press he created a communication revolution. The first book ever printed on his press was the "Forty-Two-Line" Bible. People in England were able to be informed of exploration in the New World. The printing press also led to the rise in literacy rates., The American Story
  • Jun 11, 1492


    Columbus sailed in 1492 to the Americas in hopes of finding India, but instead found the Americas. He wanted to find gold but instead found Natives. His pursuit in trying to find gold and civilize the Natives led to tribute systems. His discovery contributed to the settlement of the colonies.
    The American Story
  • Sep 7, 1492


    Reconquista was a holy war between Islamics and Catholics started by the faith of the monarchs. The Catholics waged war, setting out to take back southern Spain which was previously captured by Muslims. When the Islamic kingdom fell, it was reunited under Christian leaders. The Jews and Moors were thrown out and many became conquistadores seeking personal glory.
    The American Story
  • Sep 7, 1494

    Treaty of Tordesillas

    Treaty of Tordesillas
    The Treaty of Tordesillas divided the world in two by a line to settle disputes between land discoveries. Any discoveries located to the east of the line belonged to Portugal, and to the west, Spain. The new discoveries of Spain led to many explorers looking to settle in the Caribbean.
    The American Story,
  • Sep 8, 1497

    John Cabbot

    John Cabbot
    A Venetian captain who while attempting to find Asia through a Northwest passage, instead claimed land in Canada. With an English vessel, "he completed the first tansatlantic voyage" (American Story). He later died trying to find a direct route to Cathay.
    The American Story,
  • Sep 8, 1508

    Sebastian Cabbot

    Sebastian Cabbot
    Following in his father's footsteps (John Cabbot), Sebastain explored the Hudson Bay region. Although interest in the New World slowed down, Cabbot's claims established in England when curiosity was revived.
    The American Story
  • Mar 7, 1534

    Protestant Reformation

    Protestant Reformation
    Because there were so many high authorities in England, none of them payed attention to Henry and all turned to pledge their allegiance to the pope. England viewed Spain as a threat to their exploration. Strong Eniglish and European identities were created in the centralization of Protestantism which merged with nationalism. King Henry decided to split from the pope in Rome, due to no male heir produced and his request for divorce declined, doors were opened to new religious ideas.
  • Mar 8, 1534

    Protestant Reformation Continued

    Protestant Reformation Continued
    The bible was published in English and the teachings of John Calvin and Martin Luther continued in both England and America. The American Story
  • Sep 8, 1580

    Spanish Armada

    Spanish Armada
    The Spanish Armada was constructed when Phillip II could no longer take Queen Elizabeth's arrogance. The armada was "invincible" in the eyes of others with hundreds of vessels. But a smaller English fleet destroyed the Spanish fleet along with the help of a storm. When the Armada recovered, they took revenge on England, severing their communication with America.
    The American Story
  • Roanoke

    Sir Walter Ralegh renamed present-day North Carolina, Virginia after Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. Roanoke was established there but was in a poor situation. Roanoke was abandoned and when Ralegh revisited, the colonists went home with him. After he established a second colony, communication was severed by The Spanish Armada. English ships was put to use in military service while no one visted Roanoke and when they were finally reached, the island was found deserted.
    The American Story
  • Richard Haklyut

    Richard Haklyut
    Richard Haklyut was an English historian and geographer who wrote: The Principall Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation, a compilation of interviews from captains and sailors after returning from their journeys. Haklyut made it known to England that they needed the American colonies which had a big impact on their opinion of the colonies. Haklyut persuaded settlers to live the European dream while in no way letting on to the cruel mistreatment of the Natives. American Story
  • Encomienda System

    Encomienda System
    The encomienda system provided the Native Americans with protection in exchange for labor. While under the encomienda system, the Ntaives were also forced to convert to Christianity. Although the labor system was cruel and exploited the Natives, it gave the explorers complete control over the Natives.
    The American Story
  • Jamestown (Virginia)

    Jamestown (Virginia)
    Jamestown was founded by Sir Thomas Smith in 1607, by using funds from the Joint Stock Company. During a period of total anarchy, John Smith saved the colony whose hopes were to find resources. The House of Burgesses which created headrights was founded by Sir Edwyn Sandys.
  • Quebec

    Unsuccessful conquests to find shorter routes to China led to the discovery of Quebec in 1608. The French used the Natives to their econmic advantage and traded cooperatively with them. The French realized they need the Natives to survive and didn't take their help for granted; furs were one of Canadas's main exports. Although settlements in Louisiana and New Orleans were aso established, the French had a hard time increasing the population.
    The American Story
  • Slave Trade

    Slave Trade
    The slave trade between the Americas and Africa was highly profitable for the colonists and the Europeans in Africa. The slaves made a lot of money benefitting only the authorities and growing the American market through working in sugar fields, mines and other various places. Many slaves died en route to America and when they arrived due to disease and exhaustion.
    The American Story
  • Plymouth

    Pilgrims on the Mayflower were traveling to America in search of religious freedom. While on the Mayflower, the separitists, who disbanded from the church of England, established the Mayflower conpact which would prevented them from falling into total anarchy. The governor was William Bradford.
  • New York

    New York
    New York was founded in 1624 by the Duke of York. This was a result of the effort to encircle disloyal Puritans.
  • Massachusetts Bay

    Massachusetts Bay
    Puritans travled to America in search of religious freedom and better living. They believed that God would smite the Church of England after they left. Roger Williams and Anne Hitchinson preached separatism while challenging the rules of Purtitan Orthodoxy which led to their exile to Rhode Island.
  • Maryland

    Maryland was founded as a sanctuary for Catholics and Protestants by Lord Baltimore (Sir George Calvert). People were assigned positions in an elite social heirarchy and suffered from primitive standard of living. The government was sometimes politically unstable.
  • Conneticut

    Conneticut's most prominent minister, Thomas Hooker helped to define the Congregational church policy. The Fundamental Orders were passed in 1639 served as guidelines for the civil government.
  • Carolinas

    The Stuarts after being restored expected a heavy income and benefitted from the Carolinas (founded in 1663) which were highly dependent on slavery and extremely agricultural.
  • Bacon's Rebellion

    Bacon's Rebellion
    Nathaniel Bacon (substantial farmer) envied the governent patronage and wanted to joing the fur trade but was declined. When Indians killed white men, Bacon offered to lead a volunteer army demanding miltary command and the right to attack the Indians. The governor refused and Bacon massacred Indians and burned Jamestown to the ground. This is significant because Bacon went against the governnor and did not have as much need as the slaves and servants who were in need of substantial reforms.
  • New Hampshire

    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire was an economically dependent colony with slow population growth founded in 1677.
  • Parliamentary Supremacy

    Parliamentary Supremacy
    Parliamentary Supremacy was where the legislative branch could set, amend or repeal any law. Parliament had total control over the colonists. Colonists had to defend and define principles in their own culture.
  • Views on Representation : England vs. America

    Views on Representation : England vs. America
    America: 1. Only legitimate representatives chosen by the people
    2. If Parliament can't think American then they can't represent them.
    England: 1. Parliament has power of the constitution
    2. Supreme power
    3. Event hough they have no contact with current members they are still represented by them and represent the political interests of everyone
  • Engish Bill of Rights of 1689

    Engish Bill of Rights of 1689
    During the Glorious Revolution, the elite of England deposed of King James II. Sir Edmund Andros (selected by King James II) enforced the Navigation acts which led to economic depression but was also overthrown. Mary and William became joint monarchs and accepted the English Bill of Rights which acknowleged the constitutional rights of all Englishmen.
  • First Great Awakening

    First Great Awakening
    The First Great Awakening was a religious movement full of Protestant revival which foccussed on religion. Jonothan Edwards, a local minister, taught that fate was decided by God and set off many religious revivals. George Whitefield a Calvanist, spread ideas of the Great Awakening and welcomed all protestants.
  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    During the French and Indian war (also called the seven years war), colonists tried to push the French out of Mississippi. Britain was given Florida, Candada, and land east of the Mississippi river. All the French were able to keep was Guadaloupe and Matinique. The war ended when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763.
  • Sugar Act

    Sugar Act
    The Sugar Act placed a tax on sugar while also lowering the price to discourage smuggling and prevent the Navigation Acts from being profitable. The Sugar Act was significant to the colonists because it was the first real tax, the sugar was cheaper, and the colonists felt their social contract was violated.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The Stamp Act required colonists to purchase seals and stamps to validate their documents. The Stamp Act was significant because it raised money for America to pay for the war and brought England out of debt. The original purpose of the Stamp Act was to simply raise money in America. This would help fund the bill for the maitenence of the army and generate more money in England.
  • Quatering Act

    Quatering Act
    The Quatering Acts forced the colonists were to supply the soldiers with food and housing. The colonists viewed this as more taxation without representation and they also refused to pay.
  • Stamp Act Congress

    Stamp Act Congress
    The Stamp Act Congress was a general meeting to protest Grenville's policy and an opportunity to discuss common problems. The Stamp Act touched lives of ordinary men/women and ultimately brought the colonists closer to Independence.
  • Declatory Act

    Declatory Act
    The Declatory Act was the defense of parliamentary supremacy and declared sovereignty over the colonies. Parliament payed no attention to the colonists and did not listen to what they had to say.
  • Townshend Revenue Acts

    Townshend Revenue Acts
    The Townshend Acts (June 26-June 2) placed a tax on glass, paper, lead, tea, and paint to generate funds to pay the salaries of government workers. The government was no longer dependent on the colonial assemblies, colonists protested, and British goods were not allowed to be imported.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    Before the Boston Massacre, troops were transferred to a peaceful city where a mob formed and grew restless/threatening. The troops fired, killing 5 Americans. The colomists believed the men kiled were martyrs. They blamed King George and Parliamentary Supremacy.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    With the Tea Act enforced, the East India Company was given the right to sell tea directly to the colonists to save themselves from bankruptcy. The Tea Act lowered the price of tea, helped the East India Company, and generated revenue for England.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The Boston Tea Party occurred when men boycotted the Tea Act by dumping tea into the Boston Harbor. The colonists had contempt for Parliamentary Supremacy and protested. This led to the Coercive Acts and the government finally paying attention to the colonists.
  • Coercive Acts/ Intolerable Acts

    Coercive Acts/ Intolerable Acts
    The Coercive Acts lasted from March until June.The acts enforced the quartering of troops, closed the port of Boston, restructured the Massachusetts government, and transfered criminals to the line of duty. This led to the boycott of British goods, the convening of The First Continental Congress, and less crime.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The First Continental Congress was a gathering of 55 elected delegates who created the "Association". The delegates stood up to Parliament.
  • Germantown/Valley Forge

    Germantown/Valley Forge
    The army launched a major attack on fog covered field. The fight broke off when camp diseases killed 2500 Americans.
  • Prevention of the Revolution

    Prevention of the Revolution
    1. Exclusion of the Tea Act
    2. Independence of Colonists given to them by King George when they asked
    3. Troops should not have been transferred Causing the Boston Massacre
  • Shot heard 'round the world

    Shot heard 'round the world
    When the shot heard 'round the world took place, Great Britain's troops were sent to seize rebel supplies. Paul Revere warned the militia men who waited for the soldiers to pass them. In the heat of the moment, shots were fired. Minutemen swarmed to respond to military emergencies. The colonists had to watch for approaching redcoats.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    Troops were sent by Gage to seize supplies, militia of Lexington waited for the redcoats to pass and fired at them. This was the beginning of the American Revolution. The win of the first battle proved the Americans were not unorganized rebels.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The Second Continental congress appointed George Washington as commander because the army was in need of a strong central leader. The colinsts now had a new leader and congress took control of the war.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    The Olive Branch Petition was a treaty between King George and the colonists who attempted to gain rights while still remaining loyal to Great Britain. Colonists now knew they wanted Independence. The rejection of the petition led to the Revolution.
  • Prohibitory Act

    Prohibitory Act
    The Prohibitory Act placed an embargo on all American goods, siezed American ships, and intended to coerce the colonists into submission. This led The Continental Congress to reach further toward Independence.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Common Sense written by Thomas Paine stripped kingship of historical and theological justification. Common Sense pushed colonists closer to Independence and shone a light on government oppression.
  • Trenton

    During the battle of Trenton, the army experienced a period of enlistment expiration as well as a difficult winter. The American army defeated the German mercenaries.
  • Saratoga, Second Battle

    Saratoga, Second Battle
    The British were determined to break free. With the devastation of troops, Burgoyne surrendered. This battle was a turning point in the war and the colonists gained the French as an ally.
  • Vitality of European Power to American success/terms of alliance

    Vitality of European Power to American success/terms of alliance
    The French
    1. Established commercial relations (Treaty of Amity and Commerce).
    2. French accepted the colonists were now an independent republic.
    3. French would reject truce or peace with Great Britain (if they went to war) until England acknowledged America's Independence.
    4. Claims of formerly owned land east of Mississippi River by Great Britain were surrendered by France.
    5. Americans wouldn't sign for peace with England without first telling France.
    6. England wouldn't claim Canada.
  • Kings Mountain

    Kings Mountain
    The battle of Kings Mountain was fought in the backcountry where the colonists had the homefield advantage. The colonists descended into guerilla warfare. Cornwallis surrendered his entire army of 6000.
  • Yorktown

    The battle of Yorktown lasted from Aug. 30 until Oct. 19. The British were put under siege. Cornwallis had inadequate supplies and surrendered. The British still had control over NYC and Charlestown.
  • Conditions of Treaty Ending Revolution

    Conditions of Treaty Ending Revolution
    Colonists were gauranteed Independence and all territory east of the Mississippi River was transfered to the new republic. Colonists were given generous boundaries on the North and South and fishing rights in the Atlantic Ocean. Congress would help British merchants colllect debt and compensate land.
  • Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 1787. Quakers found refuge in this wealthy and agricultural colony.
  • Georgia

    Georgia was a debtors colony established in 1788 that served as the middle man between spanish Florida and the Carolinas. It was full of criminals and the insane.
  • Rhode Island

    Rhode Island
    Rhode Island was a religious safe haven where exiles and convicts fled to find refuge and were not religously persecuted. Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williamson were exiled here.