• Jun 15, 1215


    The Magna carta was signed in 1215 by King John of England. It established the principle of limited government. The Magna Carta provided protection against unjust punishment, and the loss of life, liberty, and property. Also, King John agreed that certain taxes could not be levied without proper constent.
  • Virginia House of Burgesses

    Virginia House of Burgesses
    Since most colonists were puritans longing for freedom from the church of england, they moved to america to have the opportunity to choose their own leaders. The Virginia House of Burgesses was established 12 months after the Jamestown Settlement in 1619. It serves as the first legislature in America.
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    . Before reaching America Pilgrim leaders agreed to have laws to govern themselves. To create such laws, The Mayflower Compact was signed in 1620. They elected their own leaders by vote. The Mayflower Compact stands as the first example of self government in America.
  • English Bill of Rights

    English Bill of Rights
    The English Bill of Rights were signed in 1688 after King William II and Queen Mary II were sworn in. It sets clear limits on what a leader could or could not do. It lays out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament. Also, the English Bill of Rights allows the protest of a monarch with out consequences.
  • French and Indian war

    French and Indian war
    The French and Indian War was fought between 1754-1763. It started as a struggle between Britian and France over property in Western Pennsylvania. On Feburary 10th 1763, the war ended and Britian won the war. The French were pushed out and Britian gained control of Eastern America. However, Britian was in a lot of war debt.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    To eliminate war debt from the French and Indian War, King George III levied taxes in America on tea, sugar, glass, and paper. It was the first direct tax on the colonists. The colonists were required to pay a tax on all legal documents, pamphlets, newspapers, and even trading cards. This also led to Parliment passing laws to control colonial trade which only benefied Britian.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Throughout the colonies, political protests began due to the stamp act. The colonists started boycotting all British goods. To stop the protests, Britian repealled the stamp act, however, replaced it with another tax on tea. On December 16th 1773, the colonists retaliated by dressing up as indians and dumping 342 chests of British tea into the Boston harbour.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The Intolerable Acts prompted Virginia and Massachusetts to call a meeting of the colonies. Delegates from all the colonies besides Georgia met in Philadelphia on September 5th 1774. This meeting was known as the First Continental Congress. During the meeting, delegates debated what to do about the relationship with Great Britian, and they decided to impose an embargo, prohibiting trade with Britian.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    On April 19th, 1775, British redcoats engaged the colonists for the first time in Massachusetts. This clash between the colonists and redcoats was known as the "shot heard 'round the world." This was the first battle of the Revolutionary War.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Just three weeks after the battle at Lexington and Concord delegates from all over the 13 colonies gathered in Philadelphia, this was known as the Second Continental Congress. During the meeting, delegates assumed the powers of central government. They chose George Washington as the commander of the new continental army. The Second Continental Congress served as the acting government throughout the Revolutionary War.
  • Declaration of Independance

    Declaration of Independance
    During the Revolutionary War, Congress wanted to be free from Britian. To create a document to show America's independance, congress named John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman to prepare a written Declaration of Independance. On July 4th 1776, congress approved the final draft of the Declaration of Independance
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    The Second Continental Congress established teh structure and operation of government known as the Articles of Conferation. The states wanted a confederation among the 13 independant states, rather than a strong national government. It was finally ratified by all the 13 states on March 1st, 1781.
  • Peace Treaty with Great Britian

    Peace Treaty with Great Britian
    On September 3rd, 1783, Britian recongized America's Independance and peace with Great Britian was reached ending the Revolutionary War. This peace treaty is also known as the Treaty of Paris (1783). Also, through this peace with Britian, United States acquired land that greatly enlarged the nations boundaries.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    After the Revolutionary War, america was in a devastating 40million dollar debt with forgein countries. Economic depression had left many farmers and merchants angry and in debt which led to a rebellion. On August 29th 1786, armed groups of farmers forced courts to close to prevent loss and forecloser of their farms. Daniel Shay, a former captain in the Revolutionary War led the rebellion that closed Massachusetts state supreme court.
  • Constituional Convention

    Constituional Convention
    The Constituional Convention began on May 25th 1787, During the convention George Washington was unanimously chosen to preside over the meeting. Each State had one vote on all questions that were brought up during the meeting. Also, No meetings could be held unless 7 delegates were present
  • Virginia Plan

    Virginia Plan
    On May 29th 1787, Edmund Randolph of Virginia introduced 15 resolutions James Madison Drafted. The Virginia Plan based government on three principles: Strong Legislative branch, strong national executive branch, and a national Judicary. This became the basis for the constitution.
  • New Jersey Plan

    New Jersey Plan
    On June 15th 1787 delegates from small states, led by William Patterson of New Jersey proposed the New Jersey Plan. It based government on the major features of the Articles of Confederation. It gave congress more power to impose taxes. The New Jersey plan introduced and unicameral legislative, with one vote for each state, a weak executive branch consisting of more than one person who was elected by congress, and a national Judicary with limited power.
  • Connecticut Compromise

    Connecticut Compromise
    Due to congress being deadlocked because they couldnt agree on how my representatives per state, a delegate from Connecticut, Roger Sherman, introduced the Connecticut Compromise. It suggested that the legislative have two parts; House of Representatives, and a senate that comprised of two senators from each state.
  • Three-Fifths Compromise

    Three-Fifths Compromise
    Since population size decided the number of Representatives, Southern States had slaves consisting of 1/3 of their population. These states wanted the slaves counted the same as free people to give more power to Southern States in the House of Representatives. However, at the same time they did not want slaves counted because it would levy taxes and the Northern states wanted slaves counted for tax purposes. To end the dispute congress made each slave account for 3/5s of a person.
  • Compromise on Commerce and Slave Trade

    Compromise on Commerce and Slave Trade
    The third compromise resolved the dispute over commerce and slave trade. Northern States wanted government to have complete power of trade with other nations. Delegates determined not to ban the slave trade until 1808. However, Congress was granted the power to regulate intersate and foreign commerce, and was forbidden to impose export taxes.
  • Rhode Island Ratifies

    Rhode Island Ratifies
    The new constitution became into law only when 9 of 13 states ratified it, this lasted until 1790. However, when Rhode Island finally ratified it , the constitution was already in affect on June 21, 1787 when New Hampshire ratified it.
  • Bill of Rights

    Bill of Rights
    The new constitution lacked a Bill of Rights, and the anti-federalists warned that without a Bill of Rights a strong government could take away human rights. However, the federalist believed it would overcome the constitution and lead the country into an anarchy state. Dispite their disbelief in a Bill of Rights, the ferderalists agreed to include a bill of rights as the first order of business under a new government.