U.S. History Timeline

  • Lost Colony

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

    The first permanent English settlement in North America.
  • House of Burgesses

    House of Burgesses
    The first representative assembly in the American colonies.
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    An agreement established by the men who sailed to America on the Mayflower, which called for laws for the good of the colony and set forth the idea of self-government.
  • Roger Willlams

    Roger Willlams
    Roger Willlams founded Providence, Rl, in June, as a democratically ruled colony with separation of church and state.
  • Navigation Acts

    Navigation Acts
    A series of laws passed by Parliament, beginning in 1651, to ensure that England made money from its colonies' trade.
  • William Penn

    William Penn
    William Penn signed treaty with Delaware Indians and made payment for Pennsylvania lands.
  • Witchcraft delusion

    Witchcraft delusion
    At Salem, MA; 20 alleged witches were executed by a special court.
  • Great Awakening

    Great Awakening
    A revival of religious feeling in the American colonies during the 1730s and 1740s.
  • Benjamin Franklin

    Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin published the first 'Poor Richard's Almanack'.
  • Zenger Trial

    Zenger Trial
    Editor John Peter Zenger was acquitted of libel in New York after criticizing the British governor's conduct in office.
  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    A conflict in North America from 1754 to 1763 that was part of a worldwide struggle between France and Britain; Britain defeated France and gained French Canada.
  • Sugar Act

    Sugar Act
    A law passed by Parliament in 1764 that placed a tax on sugar, molasses, and other products shipped to the colonies; also called for harsh punishment of smugglers.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    A law passed by Parliament that required all legal and commercial documents to carry an official stamp showing a tax had been paid.
  • Quartering Act

    Quartering Act
    A law passed by Parliament in 1765 that required the colonies to house and supply British soldiers.
  • Townshend Acts

    Townshend Acts
    Townshend Acts levied taxes on glass, painter's lead, paper, and tea, In 1770 all duties except on tea were repealed.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    A clash between British soldiers and Boston colonists in 1770, in which five of the colonists, including Crispus Attucks, were killed.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    The dumping of 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor by colonists in 1773 to protest the Tea Act.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    A series of laws enacted by Parliament in 1774 to punish Massachusetts colonists for the Boston Tea Party.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen North American colonies that met on September 5, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early in the American Revolution. It was called in response to the passage of the Coercive Acts (also known as Intolerable Acts by the Colonial Americans) by the British Parliament.
  • Patrick Henry

    Patrick Henry
    Patrick Henry addressed Virginia convention, and said "Give me liberty or give me death!"
  • Paul Revere and William Dawes

    Paul Revere and William Dawes
    Paul Revere and William Dawes rode to alert Patriosts that British were on their way to Concord to destroy arms.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    Sites in Massachusetts of the first battles of the American Revolution.
    At Lexington, MA, Minutemen lost 8. On return from Concord, British took 273 casualties.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Famous pro-independence pamphlet by Thomas Paine.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The document, written in 1776, in which the colonies declared independence from Britain.
  • Saratoga

    Burgoyne surrendered 5,000 men at Saratoga.
  • Articles of Confederation

    Articles of Confederation
    A document, adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777 and finally approved by the states in 1781, that outlined the form of government of the new United States.
  • John Paul Jones

    John Paul Jones
    John Paul Jones on the Bonhomme Richard defeated Serapis in British North Sea waters.
  • Yorktown

    A decisive victory by a combined assault of American forces led by General George Washington and French forces led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis. The last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in North America, as the surrender of Cornwallis' army prompted the British government eventually to negotiate an end to the conflict.
  • Paris peace treaty

    Paris peace treaty
    Formally ended the United States War for Independence.
  • Constitutional convention

    Constitutional convention
    A meeting held in 1787 to consider changes to Articles of Confederation; resulted in the drafting of the Constitution.
  • Northwest Ordinance

    Northwest Ordinance
    It described how the Northwest Territory was to be governed and set conditions for settlement and settlers' rights.
  • George Washington chosen president

    George Washington chosen president
    John Adams became the vice president.
  • Bill of Rights

    Bill of Rights
    The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and consisting of a formal list of citizens' rights and freedoms.
  • Eli Whitney

    Eli Whitney
    Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, reviving Southern slavery.
  • Washington's farewell address

    Washington's farewell address
    Warned against permanent alliances with foreign powers, big public debt, large military establishment, and devices of "small, artful, enterprising minority."
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    The purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France. Doubled U.S. area.
  • Lewis and Clark expedition

    Lewis and Clark expedition
    A group led my Meriswether Lewis and William Clark who explored the lands of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Robert Fulton

    Robert Fulton
    Robert Fulton made the first practical steamboat trip.
  • War of 1812

    War of 1812
    The 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, who raided western borders.
  • The Star-Spangled banner

    The Star-Spangled banner
    "The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    A series of laws enacted in 1820 to maintain the balance of power between slave states and free states.
  • Monroe Doctrine

    Monroe Doctrine
    A policy of U.S. opposition to any European interference in the Western hemisphere, announced by President Monroe.
  • Trail of Tears

    Trail of Tears
    The tragic journey of the Cherokee people from their homeland to Indian Territory between 1838 and 1839; thousands of Cherokee died.
  • Samuel F.B. Morse

    Samuel F.B. Morse
    The first message over the first telegraph made by Samuel F.B. Morse was sent from Washington to Baltimore.
  • Manifest Destiny

    Manifest Destiny
    The belief that the Unites States was destined to stretch across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
  • Seneca Falls Convention

    Seneca Falls Convention
    A women's rights convention held in Seneca falls, New York, led by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    A series of Congressional laws intended to settle the major disagreements between free states and slave staes.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin, which is a novel that portrayed slavery as brutal and immoral.
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was elected president.
  • Confederate States of America

    Confederate States of America
    The confederation formed by the Southern states after their secession from the Union. Jefferson Davis was president.
  • Ft.Sumter

    A federal fort located in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina; the Southern attack on Fort Sumter marked the beginning of the Civil War.
  • The Battle of Antietam

    The Battle of Antietam
    The bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War, in which 25,000 men were killed or wounded.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    An executive order issued by Abraham Lincoln on freeing the slaves in all regions in rebellion against the Union.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the best-known speeches in United States history. It was delivered during the American Civil War. In just over two minutes, Lincoln invoked the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and redefined the Civil War as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as "a new birth of freedom".
  • Appomattox Court House

    Appomattox Court House
    The Virginia town where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses. S. Grant, ending the Civil War.
  • Lincoln was shot

    Lincoln was shot
    Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth. He died the following morning.
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    An amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted in1865, banning slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    An amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed in 1868, that made all persons born or naturalized in the Unites States -including former slaves- citizens of the country.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    This amendment to the U.S. Constitution sated that citizens could not be stopped from voting "on account of race, color, or privious condition of servitude."
  • American Red Cross

    American Red Cross
    Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.