The Revolutionary War

  • The Battle at Lexington and Concord

    The Battle at Lexington and Concord
    The Hessian British forces try to capture key Patriot gunpowder stores, but are stopped by militiamen who had been previously alerted by Paul Revere, it is also believed that Samuel Adams might have fired the first shot from his hiding place in the trees
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    meets in Philadelphia, John Dickinson leads moderates (want compromise), Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and other Patriots drum for rebellion
  • Second Continental Congress names George Washington Commander in Cheif of Continental army

    Second Continental Congress names George Washington Commander in Cheif of Continental army
    after three British assults and 1,000 casulties at American fortifications on Breed's Hill and Bunker HIll, Congress decides to defend American liberty by creating a Continental army
  • Battle of Bunker HIll

    Battle of Bunker HIll
    the first "volley battle" of the war, winning would give Brits control of Boston, the colonists build a massive dirt wall around the fort, the colonists were originally winning but ran out of ammunition and were forced to retreat, however this battle is the first time the colonists think maybe we can actually do this and win this war
  • General Howe named Commander in Cheif of British forces in America

    General Howe named Commander in Cheif of British forces in America
    General WIlliam Howe replaces General Thomas Gage as commander of British foces in North America
  • Thomas Paine's Common Sense is published

    Thomas Paine's Common Sense is published
    Thomas Paine calls for independence and a republican form of government, assulted traditional monarchal order by mixing well known Biblical quotes with insults, argues for by turning traditional views of patriarchal society on its head, helps inspire Declaration of Independence
  • Declaration of Independence signed and sent to printer

    Declaration of Independence signed and sent to printer
    the main author of the Declaration was Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration consisted of three main sections: the first was a statement of beliefs/philosophy, the second was a list of 28 indictments against the King, the third was the resolution saying what the colonists were going to do about it, the Declaration linked doctrines of individual liberty, popular sovereignty, and republican governent as values of the new nation
  • Battle of Long Island

    Battle of Long Island
    1 month after the signing of the Declatation of Independence, General Howe pushes Washington all the way back from New York to Valley Forge, the Brits had surrounded the Americans but Washington miraculously ecaped, Britsh capture New York quickly after
  • Battle of Trenton

    Battle of Trenton
    Christmas night 1776, Washington crosses the Deleware River and successfully stages a surprise attack on the British Hessian troops, this is a decisive win for the Americans and they win back control of the East River
  • British occupy Philadelphia

    British occupy Philadelphia
    Lord North's secretary Lord George Germain aims a 3 pronged atack on Albany, but General Howe decides to attack Philadelphia instead being as it was the home of the Continental Congress, he successfully captured the city, but failed to squash the Patriot rebellion, and ended up contributing to Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    TURNING POINT OF THE WAR, FIRST TIME AMERICANS TAKE OFFENSIVE, American troops fell huge trees in Brits' path and raid supply lines thereby forcing the Brits to raid Bennington where they are beaten back by 2,000 miltiamen, also beat back troops in Mohawk Valley and British commander in New York City had called back 4,000 troops to go support Howe's campaign in Philadelphia, all culminating in an American victory
  • U.S. and France sign Treaty of Alliance of 1778

    U.S. and France sign Treaty of Alliance of 1778
    Victory at Saratoga comes at the perfect moment for Benjamin Franklin as he was in France and was able to use this outstanding American victory to convince France to join the American side of the war, the Treaty says that once France enters the war neither will sign a separate peace that doesn't state American independence
  • Parliament Panics

    Parliament Panics
    February 1778: Treaty of Alliance of 1778 causes Parliament to panic and repeal the Tea Act, Inhibitory Acts, and to pass a law in which Parliament can't tax the colonies, this has little effect on the Americans and they think it's kind of sketchy
  • Philipsburg Proclaimation

    Philipsburg Proclaimation
    February 1778: British offer protection for all American slaves who flee their masters in an attempt to crash the American economy (part of Clinton's southern strategy)
  • General Howe replaced by Henry Clinton

    General Howe replaced by Henry Clinton
    General Howe gets his feelings hurt at Saratoga and sulks back home to mommy, Henry Clinton takes control and implements a new stragegy: to open a southern theater of war because the south was the backbone of America's economy
  • Washington's Army leaves Valley Forge

    Washington's Army leaves Valley Forge
    During the winter of 1777/78 Washington and his men camped in Valley Forge, he went in with 12,000 soldiers and came out with only about 7,500 BUT Baron von Steuben was put in charge of training the Continental Army, during the winter he taught them proper military techniques and the army came out of Valley Forge more prefessional, self confident, and ready to fight
  • Brits occupy Savannah

    Brits occupy Savannah
    Henry Clinton lands 10,000 troops in Savannah, GA to begin implementing southern stragegy of fanning out and taking major ports starting with Port Charleston
  • Spain joins war on French and American side

    Spain joins war on French and American side
    the American Revolution is now a World War, the Spanish join mainly because they want to take Florida back, they don't put any troops on the ground though they just sent the navy to sit there and scare the British back out of Florida and some of the southernmost states, at this point the French are also creating minor trouble on British soil
  • British capture Charleston

    British capture Charleston
    Clinton forces surrender of Charleston which is a huge economic blow and causes fear in Americans
  • General Charles Cornwallis assumes control of British forces

    General Charles Cornwallis assumes control of British forces
    Cornwallis takes control of British forces in America and begins fanning out through the south
  • Washington responds to Cornwallis

    Washington responds to Cornwallis
    Washington sends Nathaniel Greene and Daniel Morgan along with Granny Gates to the south to respond to Cornwallis's revitilized southern campaign
  • Benedict Arnold joins British

    Benedict Arnold joins British
    Benedict "Pissy Britches" Arnold is supposed to restore order in Philadelphia but gets his feelins hurt and joins the British at New York City where he recieves a comission as a general in the British Army
  • Nathanael Greene named commander of Southern Army

    Nathanael Greene named commander of Southern Army
    Granny Gates falls apart and Nathanael Greene and Daniel Morgan are sent to pick up his pieces, the south has no standing army but rathe rmilitias throughout which scare the Brits, Greene and Morgan are able to win back the waterways to Charleston
  • Articles of Confederation adopted

    Articles of Confederation adopted
    provided for a loose union in which each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence: each state has 1 vote, for important laws 9 of the 13 had to vote yes, no cheif executive or judiciary, couldn't enforce laws or treaties, couldn't tax
  • British lose Guilford County Courthouse

    British lose Guilford County Courthouse
    bruises Cornwallis's ego and the British lose valuable supplies
  • Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown

    Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown
    Washington realizes that his army is falling apart and decides to "restart' at Yorktown, so he sneaks almost all of his troops to Yorktown while tricking the British into thinking that they are about to be invaded in New York, when really he is rallying all his forces and the French reinforcements at Yorktown, Cornwallis is successfully surrounded and bombarded into surrender by the American forces, this is the official end of the Revolutionary War
  • Treaty of Paris of 1783

    Treaty of Paris of 1783
    Great Britain formally recognizes American independence and relinquishes claims on lands south of the Great Lakes and east of the Mississippi River
  • Treaty of Versailles of 1783

    Treaty of Versailles of 1783
    Britain makes peace with France and Spain, however only America truly reaped any benefits from this war
  • Ordinance of 1784

    Ordinance of 1784
    written by Thomas Jefferson, establishes principle that territories could become states as their populations grew
  • Land Ordinance of 1785

    Land Ordinance of 1785
    mandated rectangular-grid system of surveying, specifies minimum price of land at $1 per acre
  • Philidelphia Constitutional Convention

    Philidelphia Constitutional Convention
    every state except Rhode Island represented, many important patriot leaders weren;t there, Virginia Plan and New Jersey plan are considered and eventually the Great Compromise is proposed: there will be an upper chamber with 2 members from each state and a lower chamber determined by population
  • Constitution officially adopted

    Constitution officially adopted
    Federalists and their ideas triumph and the Virgina Plan/Great Compromise are converted into the constitution
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787

    Northwest Ordinance of 1787
    creates Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin terrifories, prohibits slavery, earmarks funds from land sales for suport of schools, congress can appoint a governor and judge until population hits 5,000 then they can elect a legislature, when population hits 60,000 they can have a constitition and apply to be a state
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Winter 1786/1787: very similar to response to Stamp Act, people are angry because the government is overtaxing to try and pay off war debts, to combat rebellion Massachusetts passes riot Act and wealthy bond-holders form resistance force which quickly puts down Shay's rag tag army
  • "The Federalist" published

    "The Federalist" published
    1787/1788: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton defend the constitution and federalist ideals in a collection of 85 essays