United States History Timeline

  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects
  • Roanoke Island

    Roanoke Island
    "Lost Colony" sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh was founded on Roanoke Island, off North Carolina coast; settlers found to have vanished,1590.
  • Jamestown

    First permanent English settlement in New World at Jamestown
  • House of Burgesses

    House of Burgesses
    House of Burgesses, first reprepresentative assembly in New World, elected July 30 at Jamestown,VA.
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    Mayflower Compact was signed on Nov. 11. It was an agreement to form a self-government.
  • Providence

    Roger Williams founded Providence,RI, in June, as a democratically ruled colony with seperation of church and state. Charter granted, 1644.
  • Navigation Acts

    Navigation Acts
    British Parliament passed first Navigation Act Dec. 1, regulating colonial commerce to suit English needs.
  • Nathaniel Bacon

    Nathaniel Bacon
    Nathaniel Bacon led planters against autocractic British Gov. Sir William Berkley, burned Jamestown, VA, Sept. 19. Rebellion collapsed when Bacon died
  • William Penn

    William Penn
    William Penn signed treaty with Deleware Indians Apr. 23 and made payment for Pennsylvania lands.
  • Witchcraft

    Witchcraft delusion at Salem, MA; 20 alleged witches executed by special court
  • Benjamin Franklin

    Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin published the first Poor Richard's Almanack; published annually until 1757
  • John Peter Zenger

    John Peter Zenger
    Editor John Peter Zenger was acquitted of libel Aug. 5 in New York after criticizing the British governor's conduct in office
  • Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards
    Famous sermon " Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," delivered at Enfield, MA, July 8, by Jonathan Edwards, a major figure in the revivalist Great Awakening
  • Albany, NY

    Albany, NY
    Delegates from 7 colonies to Albany, NY, Congress, July 19, approved a plan of union by Benjamin Franklin
  • Townshend Acts

    Townshend Acts
    Townshend Acts levied taxes on glass,painter's lead, paper, and tea.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    ''Intoleralerable Acts'' of Parliament curtailed Massachusetts self-rule
  • Patrick Henry

    Patrick Henry
    Patrick Henry addressed Virginia convention, Mar. 23, said, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Common Sense, famous pro-independence pamphlet by Thomas Paine, was pumblished Jan. 10; quickly sold some 100,000 copies
  • Princeton

    Washington defeated Lord Cornwallis at Princeton Jan.3.
  • George Rogers Clark

    George Rogers Clark
    George Rogers Clark took Vincennes in February
  • Bank of North America

    Bank of North America
    Bank of North America incorporated May 26
  • Paris peace treaty

    Paris peace treaty
    Britain, U.S. signed Paris peace treaty, Sept. 3
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Shay's Rebellion of debt-ridden farmers in Massachusetts failed, Jan. 25.
  • George Washington

    George Washington
    George Washington chosen president by all electors voting He was inaugurated Apr. 30.
  • Bill of Rights

    Bill of Rights
    Bill of Rights, submitted to states, Sept. 25, went into effect Dec. 15
  • Washington's Inauguaration

    Washington's Inauguaration
    Washington inauguarated for second term, Mar. 4
  • Whiskey Rebellion

    Whiskey Rebellion
    Whiskey Rebellion , western Pennsylvania farmers protesting liquor tax of 1791
  • Washington's farewell address

    Washington's farewell address
    Washington's farewell address as president delivered Sept. 17
  • Alien & Sedition Acts

    Alien & Sedition Acts
    Alien & Sedition Acts passed by federalists June-July
  • John Marshall

    John Marshall
    John Marshall named Supreme Court chief justice, Jan. 20.
  • Marbury v. Madison

    Marbury v. Madison
    Supreme Court, in Marbury v. Madison, for the first time overturned a U.S. law
  • Lewis and Clark

    Lewis and Clark
    Lewis and Clark expedition ordered by Pres. Thomas Jefferson to explore what is now northwest U.S.
  • Embargo Act

    Embargo Act
    Embargo Act banned all trade with foreign countries, forbidding ships to set sail for foreign ports Dec. 22
  • War of 1812

    War of 1812
    War of 1812 had 3 main causes; Britain seized U.S. ships trading with France; Britain had seized 4,000 naturalized U.S. sailors by 1810; Britain armed indians.
  • Oliver H. Perry

    Oliver H. Perry
    Oliver H. Perry defeated British fleet at Battle of Lake Erie
  • Francis Scott Key

    Francis Scott Key
    Francis Scott Key wrote the "Star-Spangled Banner" after the British burned the White House and the Capitol
  • Florida

    Spain ceded Florida to the U.S. Feb, 22
  • Monroe Doctrine

    Monroe Doctrine
    Monroe Doctrine, opposing European intervention in the Americas, enunciated by Pres, James Monroe Dec. 2
  • Daniel Webster

    Daniel Webster
    Famous debate Jan. 27 between Daniel Webster and Robert Hayne, on state right to nullify federal law
  • William Lloyd Garrison

    William Lloyd Garrison
    William Lloyd Garrison began abolitionist newspaper '' The Liberator '' Jan, 1
  • Trail of Tears

    Trail of Tears
    Cherokee Indians forced to walk the " Trail of Tears " from Georgia to Oklahoma starting in October.
  • Samuel F.B. Morse

    Samuel F.B. Morse
    First message over first telegraph line sent May 24 by inventor Samuel F.B. Morse
  • Mexican War

    Mexican War
    Mexican War began after James K. Polk ordered Zachary Taylor to seize disputed Texan land settled by Mexicans
  • Gold Discovery

    Gold Discovery
    Gold discovered Jan. 24 in California
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    Compromise of 1850 admitted California as 31st state Sept. 9
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Harriet Beecher Stowe's " Uncle Tom's Cabin " published
  • Republican Party

    Republican Party
    Republican Party formed at Ripon, WI, Feb. 28
  • Dred Scott

    Dred Scott
    Dred Scott decision by Supreme Court Mar. 6 held that slaves did not become free in a free state
  • John Brown

    John Brown
    Abolitionist John Brown, with 21 men, seized U.S. Armony at Harper's Ferry
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln
    Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected president Nov. 6
  • Confederate States of America

    Confederate States of America
    seven southern states set up Confederate States of America Feb. 8
  • Homestead Act

    Homestead Act
    Homestead Act, which granted free farms to settlers, was approved May 20.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Abraham Lincoln issued Emancipation Proclamation Jan. 1, freeing " all slaves in areas still in rebellion."
  • Robert E. Lee

    Robert E. Lee
    Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered 27,800 Confederate troops to Gen. Grant at Appomattox Court House, VA, April 9.
  • Andrew Johnson

    Andrew Johnson
    Pres. Johnson tried to remove secretary of war Edwin M. Stanton; he was impeached by the House Feb. 24
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    15th Amendment, making race no bar to voting rights, ratified Feb, 8.
  • Clara Barton

    Clara Barton
    Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross May 21.