U.S. History Timeline

  • 1492

    Columbus journeys to the Americas

    Columbus journeys to the Americas
    Columbus sailed to the Americas to find a passageway to India and China. Europe was able to colonize the New World because of this "discovery."
  • Jamestown was founded

    Jamestown was founded
    Jamestown was the first successful settlement in the New World, located near Chesapeake Bay in what is now Virginia. It almost failed but, thanks to the farming of tobacco, eventually became essential in the founding of the later colonies.
  • Pilgrims land in Plymouth

    Pilgrims land in Plymouth
    The pilgrims and the "strangers" attempted to sail to land in Virginia, as they had permission and funding from the Virginia Company. Instead, they ended up at Cape Cod, north of the land promised. The "strangers" decided that since they were not under the authority of the Virginia Company anymore, they could do whatever they wanted. This resulted in the signing of the Mayflower compact and the start of a government in Plymouth.
  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    The French and Indian War took place because France and Britain both wanted to claim the same land. It was the French & Indians vs Britain & the colonies. It was called the 7 Years War because it lasted for 7 years. In the end, France ended up giving much of their land to the British, who then proceeded to give some of that land to the Spanish. This land was later used to Britain's advantage, as they owned the Mississippi river on which they could transport goods easily.
  • Albany Plan of Union

    Albany Plan of Union
    A plan created by Benjamin Franklin during the F&I War. Benjamin Franklin wanted to unite the colonies through this so they would be stronger. It had the slogan "Join or Die" because one would either join and help win the war or not join, lose the war, and die. It eventually helped Britain and the colonies win the war.
  • 1763 Treaty of Paris

    1763 Treaty of Paris
    A treaty that was signed after the French & Indian War, giving Britain all the land up to the Mississippi River that was once French. This river helped Britain later on to transport goods.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    A proclamation made by Britain after the French & Indian war announcing that the colonists were not allowed to settle past the Appalachian Mountains, as this was were the Natives had settled. The colonists didn't listen to this and proceeded to settle there anyways.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    An act passed by Parliament to solve the debt issue in Great Britain after the French & Indian War. It required colonists to buy a stamp for every paper product they use; essentially another form of taxing the colonists. This aggravated the colonists and contributed to the anger that sparked the American Revolution.
  • Quartering Act

    Quartering Act
    An act passed by Parliament just 2 days after the Stamp Act was passed, when anger about it died down. The Quartering Act required colonists to provide soldiers with fully furnished homes, as there were no homes for the soldiers sent to enforce taxes. This, obviously, cost money and served as another way to gain money from the colonists to pay off the debt. This aggravated the colonists and contributed to the anger that sparked the American Revolution.
  • Townshend Act

    Townshend Act
    This was passed after both the Stamp Act and the Quartering Act were repealed, as the debt in Great Britain grew larger again. It placed a tax on all colonial imports. This aggravated the colonists and contributed to the anger that sparked the American Revolution.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    A fight between British soldiers and the American colonists. It further added to the tension between the two sides.
  • Tea Act of 1773

    Tea Act of 1773
    An act passed by Parliament that placed a tax on all imported British tea. This was another way to gain money for the crown. This aggravated the colonists and contributed to the anger that sparked the American Revolution.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Bostonians snuck onto the English tea ships, broke the crates of tea, and pushed them overboard. This was because colonists did not want to be taxed and they wanted to send that message to the crown somehow. The Boston Tea party served as the reason for the next couple of acts that the British would pass, the Intolerable (Coercive) Acts.
  • Intolerable (Coercive) Acts

    Intolerable (Coercive) Acts
    The Coercive Acts, called the Intolerable Acts by colonists, were passed to control the colonies. The British wanted to prevent more aggressive actions taken by the colonists like those in the Boston Tea Party. They passed laws that almost completely took away the colonists' rights, even taking away representation in their own court and government.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The first Continental Congress tried to avoid starting a war, and instead hurt the English economy. Their agenda was to establish forms of colonial protests that were legal. They ended up placing "SANCTIONS" on nonimportation of British goods.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    The Second Continental Congress was founded for defense purposes. They created the Continental Army and placed George Washington in the spot of commander.
  • Battle of Lexington

    Battle of Lexington
    The Battle of Lexington was the battle between the colonists and the British that sparked the American Revolution almost immediately after.
  • Battle of Concord

    Battle of Concord
    The Battle of Concord was fought immediately after the Battle of Lexington, on the same day. As the British retreated from the Battle of Lexington, the Patriots attacked and fired at them on the way back, killing many.
  • Period: to

    American Revolution

    The American Revolution was a battle between the 13 colonies and Britain. The colonies were fighting for independence from King George III and eventually won, doubling the land they previously owned.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    The Olive Branch Petition was a letter that the representatives of the 13 colonies wrote and sent to the king. It begged for the king's forgiveness and used lavish language to try and persuade him to avoid starting a war. The king, however, ignored it.
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine

    Common Sense by Thomas Paine
    Common Sense, written by Thomas Paine, was a document published to tell the colonists that war was inevitable. It mentioned that they should not be controlled by a country that is smaller than them--it's common sense!
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence is a document bearing the laws and terms of the newly founded American government. It was signed and ratified during the American revolution.
  • Treaty of Paris (1783)

    Treaty of Paris (1783)
    The Treaty of Paris (1783) was a treaty that ended the American Revolution and formally granted America Independence. It was signed by the 13 Colonies and Great Britain.
  • Shays's Rebellion

    Shays's Rebellion
    A rebellion led by farmer and Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays. The people partaking in the rebellion were storing weapons to use against the Massachusetts government, so the government sent reinforcements to try and confiscate the weapons. This served as a message to the government that they needed to do something about the debt situation.
  • Congress ratifies the U.S. Constitution

    Congress ratifies the U.S. Constitution
    When New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify the Constitution, it marked the start of a new government in America.
  • Whiskey Rebellion

    Whiskey Rebellion
    A group of farmers rebelled over the tax placed on whiskey. Whiskey was one of the biggest sellers at the time and farmers were upset that they had to pay taxes on it. Washington tried to convince them that the tax was necessary to maintain the new federal government, but they wouldn't hear it. He could either send troops and most likely make the situation worse or abolish the tax. He sent troops and the farmers stopped, because it showed that rebelling wont get them what they want anymore.
  • XYZ Affair

    XYZ Affair